Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Day Before June BLS Figures, Conservatives Prepare To Spin

In the last year my favorite time of the month has been when the Employment Situation Summary is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I can’t help it. I just like to watch conservatives struggle to find ways to dismiss whatever good news the report holds so they can continue to insist our country is about to cease to exist thanks to President Obama.

When I roam around the web I find conservatives typically making a couple of arguments about the economy. First they like to pretend Obama has grown government employment and let the private sector flounder. The truth is the economy has added 1.7 million private sector jobs in the last 12 months while the public sector has decreased by 853,000. The data doesn't really hold up to what conservatives will suggest.

Another argument is that the U-3 standard unemployment figure of 9.1% is misleading and that the "real" unemployment is much, much higher. They may round up to as high as 20% when U-6 is really just about 15.8%. U-6 is always about 1.8 times higher* than the value of U-3 anyway even under the best conditions so there's nothing shocking or unexpected there.

What I can't understand is where the right gets off pretending anyone thinks 9.1% is good and that calling out U-6 is some kind of reality check for liberals. No, 9.1% is not good. It's just better than 10.1%. U-3 is not reported as a way to hide the truth about employment. It's just the traditional method for measuring unemployment while U-6 and others are simply alternative methods.

So what will tomorrow's report look like? I think maybe we'll add somewhere between 100,000 and 125,000 jobs based on predictions I've seen made this week and possibly revise May downward some. I think June's report will show that May did not mark a new trend and that as the US economy responds to changes around the globe that it will return to adding more and more jobs this year. But I'm no economist so I'm really not sure of any of that.

One thing I am sure of though is whatever the report says it will disappoint conservatives. They have to ignore a lot of facts and figures these days to pretend we're on the brink of collapse.

* U-6 is typically about 1.8 times higher or a little less than double U-3 on any given month. I had originally said 55% higher which is incorrect.

Posted by Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 9:58 AM
Comments
Comment #325347

adam


“They have to ignore a lot of facts and figures these days to pretend we’re on the brink of collapse.”


and you’de have to ignore even more facts and figures to believe obama has made things better. considering the cost of energy, the debt he’s added in less than three years, the high unemployment rate, the devaluation of our currency which in turn has caused inflation in the things we use on a daily basis, one would have to say we’ve gotten absolutely no bang for our buck. what is really scarey is that they want to throw more borrowed money away on another round of worthless stimulus spending. why anyone would believe we can borrow, and spend our way out of a hole is mind boggling.

Posted by: dbs at July 7, 2011 12:27 PM
Comment #325348

Hey DBS, what your doing is called deflection. Steering the conversation to a different topic becuause, quite frankly, you have nothing to add to what the author is actually taking about. Job numbers and the interpretation of the numbers and that fact the republicans couldnt and wont find anything positive to say because they want to Obama to “fail” at any price.

Posted by: Paul at July 7, 2011 12:47 PM
Comment #325350

DBS: “…and you’d have to ignore even more facts and figures to believe obama has made things better.”

In terms of Obama’s biggest impact on the economy, the ARRA, Obama has been a success. Now, Obama is responsible for most of the debt that has grown thanks to Bush-era policies. Senator Obama is much more responsible for that debt than President Obama is but you’ll find the Bush policies and the recession are the primary cause of the debt.

DBS: “…why anyone would believe we can borrow, and spend our way out of a hole is mind boggling.”

It’s good to note we were never going to dig out of the hole on stimulus money alone. If you read the Rhomer Bernstein Report on the impact of the ARRA you will see they predicted the stimulus would aid but not completely restore the economy. What you should be questioning is whether we can borrow and spend our way toward preventing a deeper hole from being created. We know the fixed amount of stimulus did not impact the greater than expected recession as much as needed but that is not to say the stimulus performed exceedingly below expectations. It did pretty well.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 1:03 PM
Comment #325351

paul

“what your doing is called deflection. Steering the conversation to a different topic”


i responded to his closing statement. he opened the door by making it. or is that off limits?

while an uptick in job creation is a good thing, the fact we’ve spent so much money to create such anemic job growth numbers is not. to quote the left” what kind of jobs are they” are they “mc jobs”? i recall the job growth under bush being dismissed as low paying jobs. IE, ya… there are a lot of jobs being created, but they’re crappy jobs. pot meet kettle.

“republicans couldnt and wont find anything positive to say because they want to Obama to “fail” at any price.”


he’s doing that all on his own. no help needed.

Posted by: dbs at July 7, 2011 1:19 PM
Comment #325352

adam


“In terms of Obama’s biggest impact on the economy, the ARRA, Obama has been a success.”

maybe not so much. it would seem the biggest argument is that things would have been much worse without it, which may be unprovable.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-final-verdict-on-the-2009-stimulus-a-failure/

“Obama is responsible for most of the debt that has grown thanks to Bush-era policies.”

who was it that signed the bill eliminating the regulations allowing companies to bet on thier own debt?

Posted by: dbs at July 7, 2011 1:53 PM
Comment #325353

DBS: “…while an uptick in job creation is a good thing, the fact we’ve spent so much money to create such anemic job growth numbers is not.”

While job growth is nothing to boast about, it is generally accepted by the CBO, CEA, Moody’s, Zandi, etc., that we’d be worse off now without the stimulus. What could we have done alternatively. Doing nothing would have left us at about 12% unemployment or 22% “real” unemployment for those who prefer larger inflated numbers to attack Obama with.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 1:53 PM
Comment #325354

dbs you bring up a good point that seems to go unnoticed in discussions about jobs. The anemic creation of jobs during the Bush administration and the ongoing struggle to create good paying jobs since should tell us several things. First the service economy isn’t working for the country. Second tax cuts to spur job growth doesn’t solve the problem anymore. Third the president can do very little to create jobs when demand for goods and services just isn’t there. And fourth when corporate America sits on billions of dollars it doesn’t circulate through the economy, taxing this money to pay down the national debt or for large scale infrastructure improvements wouldn’t hurt job creation.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 7, 2011 1:59 PM
Comment #325355

DBS: “…it would seem the biggest argument is that things would have been much worse without it, which may be unprovable.”

Unprovable is based on a faulty premise that the expert models used to determine the economic impact with and without the stimulus are somehow not accurate enough to do anything but guess.

Had these models found evidence more fitting your preconceived notion of liberal economic failure then I’m sure they’d seem a lot more solid and provable then, wouldn’t they?

We see your source not only citing a neo-con rag like the Weekly Standard which lied about the view of the CEA report on the ARRA but also it rehashes the easily refuted talking points about how Obama promised 8% unemployment and didn’t get that so the stimulus is a failure.

The stimulus was not magic. It was a fixed amount of spending for a fixed amount of impact on GDP and job numbers. The variable was the recession itself so the results in turn varied. That they wanted 3 million jobs to counter a loss of 5 million but instead got 2.5 to counter 8 million shed is a fact that is lost in the right’s critique of the stimulus.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 2:12 PM
Comment #325356

If anyone can be held accountable for making the recession worse and prolonging it would be the Republicans, especially the tea party. Their refusal to cooperate and their - it’s our way or no way stance proves the premise.

Not only did the Republicans produce this recession ( yes, with plenty of help from the Democrats with greasy palms), they are doing all they can to prolong it.

The government fell under the control of the to big to fail banks and the multi-national corporations. The policies that helped them, helped produce this recession and are helping to prolong it.

Anyone care to comment on which companies are now doing rather well in this economy and which ones are not?

Posted by: jlw at July 7, 2011 2:41 PM
Comment #325359

“In the last year my favorite time of the month has been when the Employment Situation Summary is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

I agree with Adam; the only thing I like more is the revised numbers that come out on the Monday after the Friday that the original numbers come out.

Other than that, it would be nice if Adam provided proof for his facts, instead of editorials.

Posted by: Mike at July 7, 2011 3:11 PM
Comment #325360

Mike: “…the only thing I like more is the revised numbers that come out on the Monday after the Friday that the original numbers come out.”

Which numbers come out Monday? You’ll have to direct me to where and where that happens.

Mike: “Other than that, it would be nice if Adam provided proof for his facts, instead of editorials.”

I haven’t cited anything here today that goes beyond common and easy to find information. If you have a specific fact you question just bring it to my attention and I’ll show you where I got it.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 3:44 PM
Comment #325361

adam

i doubt you’ll like these sources any better. my guess is any source you provide will link to sites i would consider partisan, but here they are anyway.


http://biggovernment.com/capitolconfidential/2010/04/19/white-house-caught-altering-stimulus-baseline-projection-by-7-million-jobs/#more-108654

http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=165693

“In sum, never before has government spent so much and intervened so directly in credit allocation to spur growth, yet the results have been mediocre at best. In return for adding nearly $3 trillion in federal debt in two years, we still have 14.9 million unemployed. What happened?

***
The explanations from the White House and liberal economists boil down to three: The stimulus was too small, Republicans blocked better policies, and this recession is different because it began in a financial meltdown. Only the third point has some merit, and for a different reason than the White House claims.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703444804575071281687927918.html

Posted by: dbs at July 7, 2011 3:54 PM
Comment #325364

Adam D said:

“Mike: “…the only thing I like more is the revised numbers that come out on the Monday after the Friday that the original numbers come out.”

“Which numbers come out Monday? You’ll have to direct me to where and where that happens.”

Well Adam, it happens almost every week. It may be a little difficult for you to find the info; unlike your info which is “beyond common and easy to find information”. But I am sure you will be able to figure it out:

“The Technical Note produced by BLS with its national statistics each month describe how the monthly numbers are derived. Note how many times the word “estimate” or its derivatives are used. This is what unemployment statistics are.

There are two sets of data:

• Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), based on a telephone survey of households, is used to calculate the unemployment rate and size of the labor force;

• Current Employment Statistics (CES), also known as the Payroll Survey, which comes from sampling of state unemployment insurance records.

These are revised weeks and even months later when more complete information becomes available. These revised numbers are unquestionably more accurate, but often get little attention”

http://businessjournalism.org/2010/08/09/lies-damned-lies-and-unemployment-numbers/

Posted by: Mike at July 7, 2011 6:55 PM
Comment #325365

Mike: “It may be a little difficult for you to find the info; unlike your info which is…”

First of all, don’t take my statement the wrong way. I meant that not as an insult or a put down. Second, since you don’t mention any of my facts you question I assume you’re just complaining and not actually wishing you had the source.

Mike: “Well Adam, it happens almost every week.”

I have a fairly strong grasp of BLS methods for collecting data and the way they revise values based on birth/death modeling, census updates, etc. I’m still unclear what you’re suggesting happens almost every week though even after reading over your linked article several times. I don’t see anything in the article I disagree with but I also don’t see the point you’re making.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 7:21 PM
Comment #325366

Welcome to the blue column, Adam!

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 7, 2011 7:32 PM
Comment #325367

DBS: On the Big Government article:

I don’t get the point really. Ignore for now the fact that the Romer/Bernstein report and the CEA reports are two different groups of people reporting inside the Obama administration and there isn’t simply some cohesive group of economists putting data out every few months.

The truth is the estimate of the recession changed greatly between the time of the Romer/Bernstein report and when the CEA started releasing quarterly reports on the impact of ARRA. They didn’t get rid of 7 million in order to make their numbers work. They revised the estimates on the impact after they had more data to go with.

DBS: On the Ways and Means document:

That one is kind of a laugher, no offense. It’s just a bunch of nonsense.

1. Jobs: They ignore that the impact of the downturn was greater than estimated at the time of the report. You can’t mix and match the predictions over time to suggest they fell 6.5 million short. CEA’s latest look has a table of businesses and groups that have studied the impact of the stimulus and found it created or saved somewhere in the area of 2.5 million jobs.

2. Unemployment Rate: 8% was not a prediction but rather an estimate based on an assumed number of jobs lost and jobs created. The stimulus held up it’s end of the bargain by creating close to the target for jobs but the jobs lost were much greater than expected so it would be impossible to stay at 8%, a value exceeded already by the time the stimulus was law.

3. Private Sector Employment: It talks about jobs lost in the private sector but it does nothing to address the suggesting that 90% of jobs created would be private. I don’t have a strong graph of the final result of this but I can tell you for instance that BLS stats show 2 million private sector jobs added since January 2010 and -358,000 in the public sector. Sounds like 90% was a pretty good guess at how this would grow.

4. Construction and Manufacturing Employment: Construction job creation has been pretty stagnant and not what had been hoped for or predicted in the report but the report was not predicting a net increase for the most part in any sector. They were always expected to create about 3 million jobs to cover a loss of 5 million so there wasn’t going to be boom through the stimulus.

5. Full Time Employment: This is similar to the above argument. They have no evidence as to how many have moved from part time to full time but they suggest that since overall many have not moved then that is the fault of the stimulus. It’s another matter of the impact never being predicted to be as much as the critics suggest.

DBS: On the WSJ article:

The recovery is indeed a slow one but when you consider how bad the recession was it’s not hard to imagine why we haven’t roared back to 4% unemployment and massive GDP growth just 2 years after the recession ended.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 8:01 PM
Comment #325369

adam

i read over the report in your link. i’m no economist, but one statement that stood out, and was repeated several times, was this.

“As discussed in previous ARRA reports, measuring the impact of policy on growth and employment is inherently difficult because no one can observe directly what would have occurred without the policy.”

it’s like they went through all the trouble to put together the report, but added that disclaimer so as to give themselves an out when reality didn’t coincide with thier projected rusults.

thus thier claim that without it things would have been much worse, by thier own admission they have know way of knowing.

Posted by: dbs at July 7, 2011 9:34 PM
Comment #325371

DBS: “…thus their claim that without it things would have been much worse, by their own admission they have no way of knowing.”

Estimating values using sophisticated models does suggest the possibility of error but it does not automatically imply a high degree of unreliability. These are best guesses using generally accepted economics principles.

We can start throwing out values and figures that are not 100% certain but then we’d be left with very little useful information about the world we live in and there wouldn’t be very much to argue about.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 7, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #325374

Well I am sure Adam is happy again today with the unemployment rate increasing to 9.2%. He is looking forward to watching the right spin this one against Obama. I believe the Obama administration is their own worst enemy; we have an administration who is completely out of touch with reality, and is even willing to throw his own party under the bus. It is interesting that Obama believes the voters only care about their own personal lives, but in reality it is Obama who is only concerned about his own re-election.

“That seemed to be at the root of Plouffe’s remarks on Wednesday, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Plouffe said, according to Bloomberg. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’ ”

The remarks will likely irritate Democrats who think Obama and his political team have taken their eye off jobs.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/170309-plouffe-says-jobs-rate-not-key-in-2012?page=2#comments

“July 1, 2011
Obama’s Carefully Burnished Economic Ignorance”

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/07/01/obamas_carefully_burnished_economic_ignorance_99111.html

39,000 state government jobs cut this last month and 18,000 net jobs added. This is not enough to meet the graduating students looking for work, let alone the millions that are already out of work. And what is Obama and the libs plan for fixing things; more taxes…

We know that Obama is in political trouble; but it remains to be seen how far he is willing to go in this debt ceiling debate. My guess is that he will do whatever it takes to get re-elected, even if it means killing his own party. The left loves to talk about divisions in the Republican Party, but as I see it, the Democratic Party is disfunctional.

Posted by: Mike at July 8, 2011 9:23 AM
Comment #325375

Adam is having a hard time understanding that the government revises numbers each month and the revised numbers are always worse than originally reported:

“The government revised April and May payrolls to show 44,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported.”

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Jobs-barely-rise-dousing-rb-264540871.html?x=0

Posted by: Mike at July 8, 2011 9:35 AM
Comment #325376

Adam,
The non-farm payrolls numbers are volatile, as you know. I think it is interesting the markets are down very little, especially considering the remarkable recent run up of the equity markets. Unemployment numbers will eventually improve, but that will be the last area to reflect improvements.

Meanwhile, the GOP and the Democrats continue to focus upon the frame defined by the Republicans, the deficit. They seem incapable of focusing upon jobs. Of course, Obama can be counted on to seek middle ground, and compromise. Unfortunately, Obama thinks the middle ground is located somewhere between the political right and far right.

This inability to focus upon jobs represents a continuation of Bush policies. While the economy will recover, much as it did after the first Bush recession, the failure to focus upon job creation, infrastructure, education, and effective health care reform will mean a replay of the ‘jobless recovery’ that happened last time.

Posted by: phx8 at July 8, 2011 10:27 AM
Comment #325377
One thing I am sure of though is whatever the report says it will disappoint conservatives. They have to ignore a lot of facts and figures these days to pretend we’re on the brink of collapse.

Yeh that report sure does disappoint me, and I certainly will ignore those facts and figures just to keep my sanity.

As for your argument on government employment I’m a little confused. One of the big selling points of the ARRA was that it would save the teacher, firemen and police jobs. Indeed, according to the Census Bureau total government employment remained statistically unchanged between 2008 and 2009 while the national unemployment rate moved from 5.8% to 9.3%. Now you seem to be saying that maintaining government employment wasn’t the Administration’s goal and are you touting the great cuts in government employment (conveniently at a time when the ARRA money is drying up). While it’s true that the Administration did not “grow” government and “let” the public sector flounder, it is clear that the Administration artificially supported government employment at a time when GDP was declining. All in the name of saving the teachers (and their union bosses). From a supporters perspective isn’t this a good thing, and isn’t the recent decline a not so good thing?

Posted by: George at July 8, 2011 10:39 AM
Comment #325378

Mike: “Well I am sure Adam is happy again today with the unemployment rate increasing to 9.2%.”

It’s a disappointing report and easy for the GOP to spin as doom and gloom but the truth is we’ve still had 16 straight months of private sector job growth worth 2.1 million new jobs. We’ll need more than a couple of disappointing months in a row to hide that fact but I’m sure your side can tell me again how the end is near for our way of life.

Mike: “And what is Obama and the libs plan for fixing things; more taxes…”

Obama’s major fight on taxes has been to raise taxes on those making 250,000 or more a year. To fight this the right suggests such a tax would hurt small businesses and in turn hurt jobs. It wouldn’t.

It is true that small businesses employ 99.7% of employees in America. The problem is that these small businesses are not going to be hit with taxes. Only about 97% of those owners are making less than enough to be taxed higher under by Obama and the majority of that 3% that would be taxed higher would be hit with only a slim increase.

We need to come to grips with the fact that the wealthy in America don’t do as much as conservatives pretend they do simply by being super rich. We need tax revenue and we can take a little more from the rich without hurting them or our economy. It will add somewhere in the range of a trillion in revenue over a multi-year span. It’s as simple as that.

Mike: “Adam is having a hard time understanding that the government revises numbers each month and the revised numbers are always worse than originally reported…”

Yes, the government revises each month. No, they are not always worse than originally reported. At least not in the case of BLS values. BLS has actually had very little revision downward month to month until this recent decline. I should have mentioned this in my post since I’m confronted by this a lot. When a BLS report comes out that is good news the right says, “Oh, just wait for it to be revised downward before you pretend it’s good news.”

The facts don’t fit the story though. Each report gives the previous month’s values and revises the two months before that. Over a 12 month span that is 24 revisions. Only 8 of those 24 revisions have been revisions downward over that span. Of that 8, 4 revisions have come in the last 2 months. Of the other 4 one is a revision down by 1,000 jobs and another is just 3,000 jobs. We have seen only 6 significant downward revisions in the last 12 months and 4 of those have come in the last 2 months alone.

You can see the archives yourself but let me just show you what I’m talking about. Revisions downward are marked with asterisks:

Jun 2011:

* April was revised from +232,000 to +217,000 *
* May was revised from +54,000 to +25,000 *

May 2011:

* March was revised from +221,000 to +194,000 *
* April was revised from +244,000 to +232,000 *

Apr 2011:

* February was revised from +194,000 to +235,000
* March was revised from +216,000 to +221,000

Feb 2011:

* December was revised from +121,000 to +152,000
* January was revised from +36,000 to +63,000

Jan 2011:

* November was revised from +71,000 to +93,000
* December was revised from +103,000 to +121,000

Dec 2010:

* October was revised from +172,000 to +210,000
* November was revised from +39,000 to +71,000

Nov 2010:

* September was revised from -41,000 to -24,000
* October was revised from +151,000 to +172,000

Oct 2010:

* August was revised from -57,000 to -1,000
* September was revised from -95,000 to -41,000

Sep 2010:

* July was revised from -54,000 to -66,000 *
* August was revised from -54,000 to -57,000 *

Aug 2010:

* June was revised from -221,000 to -175,000
* July was revised from -131,000 to -54,000

Jul 2010:

* May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000 *
* June was revised from -125,000 to -221,000 *

Of course BLS will go through and revise again later for the whole year when they have better birth/death model data and such but in terms of month to month revisions you are clearly mistaken.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 10:51 AM
Comment #325379

adam

http://news.yahoo.com/unemployment-rose-9-2-percent-hiring-stalls-123141666.html

guess republicans won’t need to spin this one.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 10:52 AM
Comment #325380

DBS: “…guess republicans won’t need to spin this one.”

Oh, they’ll find plenty to spin. They’ll ignore the 16 straight months of private sector job growth to suggest that 2 months of stagnant growth due to various economic factors is a sign that they were right all along. Here comes the double dip recession! Here comes the inflation! We’ll be back to shedding 700,000 jobs a month in no-time.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 10:56 AM
Comment #325381

Adam Drucker-
Welcome to Watchblog! I think I’m going to like having somebody with your style around.

Don’t let the right wing folks get you down, though.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2011 11:04 AM
Comment #325382

George: “I’m a little confused. One of the big selling points of the ARRA was that it would save the teacher, firemen and police jobs.”

I get your point for the most part. It did save those jobs while money lasted but it didn’t create a net increase in them as some on the right have tried to suggest.

ARRA became law in February 2009 so growth between 2008 and 2009 isn’t very relevant. Only during the Census hiring did the government grow significantly since the ARRA became law and then those jobs were removed as soon as the work was done.

It can’t be said enough that the stimulus was never supposed to create net increases in job growth but was instead supposed to lay a foundation for future growth.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 11:13 AM
Comment #325383

adam

“We need tax revenue and we can take a little more from the rich without hurting them or our economy.”


the top 1% already accounts for nearly 40% of all income tax revenue collected. your assertion that we can take some more from them because they have enough completely ignores the fact that it is thier property, and they already contrbute plenty. it’s a shame that politicians have promised to much to to many in order to garner votes, but we are at critical mass here, and someone needs to speak the truth to them. this cannot continue.

http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

our problem is not lack of revenue, but excessive spending. we currently have to borrow just to maintain it at its current level. to continue increasing every year without the revenue to pay for is insanity. we also have been stealing excess funds from soc. sec. to help fill the gap. want to help fix soc. sec.? then make those funds off limits for anything else, and pass an amendment that forces congress to balance the budget.


the bottom 50% those making 33k or less account for less than 3% of all income tax revenue collected. that means the bottom 40% pay nothing or actually get it all back and then some. we are redstributing wealth through the tax code, and you want those already paying the most to pay even more, just because you think they should. the very best anyone should expect is to break even. we need this written into the code that if you pay say $3000 in income tax over the course of a year that that is the most you can legally get back.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 11:23 AM
Comment #325384

adam

“Here comes the inflation!”

i got news for you. it’s already here.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 11:25 AM
Comment #325385

stephen

“I think I’m going to like having somebody with your style around.”

HI FIVE GIRLFRIEND !!!!! LOL!!!

“Don’t let the right wing folks get you down, though.”

GAG!!!!


Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 11:34 AM
Comment #325387

dbs,

“the top 1% already accounts for nearly 40% of all income tax revenue collected.”

What you fail to mention is that same top 1% account for 70% of the wealth.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 8, 2011 12:00 PM
Comment #325388

DBS: “…the top 1% already accounts for nearly 40% of all income tax revenue collected.”

True, but they also hold almost 35% of the wealth so it makes sense. Their total share of federal taxes is actually lower anyway though due to the nature of their wealth compared to middle and lower class Americans.

DBS: “…our problem is not lack of revenue, but excessive spending.”

True, but it’s also a matter of priorities. We shouldn’t let go of our obligations to our own people and our social safety nets simply because we don’t want to increase taxes on those that can afford it. Fiscal sanity means a balance between cutting spending and raising taxes. The right calls for protecting those who do nothing but be wealthy at the expense of those middle class Americans that actually create jobs and the lower class Americans that are the labor backbone of the economy.

DBS: “…i got news for you. it’s already here.”

Is it?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 12:05 PM
Comment #325390

When all taxes are included- income, fees, tolls, sales, property, payroll, and so on- the rate of taxation for rich and poor is about the same, in the range of 27 -28%.

dbs,
Why do you think the bond markets do not reflect your fears about inflation? After all, the bond market buyers and sellers consist mainly of governments, the same ones who print money in the first place. There has been some steepening of the US bond markets this year, reflecting a slight rise in inflation; however, it is well within acceptable limits, and the bigger concerns seem to be over the threat of default (unlikely), and the persistent accompaniement of economic growth with increasing oil prices (deterred by the use of the Strategic Oil Reserve). The only threat of inflation seems to be coming from commodity price increases, fueld by economic growth in the US as well as around the world.

Posted by: phx8 at July 8, 2011 12:16 PM
Comment #325391

Wow, that’s a spread in numbers on the % of wealth between Rocky and Adam. Which one is it?

And if tax increases are so important, why didn’t the President allow the Bush tax cuts to expire? Or at least let the ones on the wealthy expire?

Posted by: George at July 8, 2011 12:34 PM
Comment #325392

adam

“it’s also a matter of priorities. We shouldn’t let go of our obligations to our own people and our social safety nets simply because we don’t want to increase taxes on those that can afford it.”

we also can’t keep reaching into the pockets of those we feel can afford it, simply because we’ve made unrealistic promises to those who rely on a disproportionate amount of support from the fed. gov’t..it has to stop some time. now is as good as any. if not now. then when?


“Is it?”

absolutely.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 12:45 PM
Comment #325393

George: “Which one is it?”

I’d go with my source, personally. I’m not sure what Rocky bases his or her figure on.

George: “And if tax increases are so important, why didn’t the President allow the Bush tax cuts to expire?”

In my opinion it was a two fold issue. First, hardly no one wanted the cuts to expire on the lower and middle class. Second, the wealthy fill the coffers of Congress so our politicians protect them. This made some members of congress hold the lower and middle class cuts hostage to ultimately get tax cuts for the rich extended as well.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 12:50 PM
Comment #325394

phx8

“increasing oil prices (deterred by the use of the Strategic Oil Reserve).”


the relief was short lived. now those reserves released need to be replenished. gas and oil prices are on the rise again. gas where i live has gas risen @ 30cents a gallon in the last two weeks. peak oil prices receeded from thier all time high before the release. when the oil was released gas here was about $3.80 a gallon. at the lowest point a couple weeks ago it was $3.38 a gallon. it is now $3.65 to $3.70. the trend is defintely upward.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 1:02 PM
Comment #325395

DBS: “…we also can’t keep reaching into the pockets of those we feel can afford it…”

The middle and lower class Americans keep the country running with their brains, hard work, and sweat while the richest in the country profit from being able to grow and invest their wealth in the global market. We’re not taxing the rich to extinction or suggesting we could live without them. We’ve hardly “reached” at all but we can go back to 90’s level taxation that worked well to add tax revenue.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 1:04 PM
Comment #325396

Adam, I also want to thank you for your article as well as your prompt responses to the comments. You took a bit of a journalistic risk commenting on a jobs report before it was issued, and while it didn’t exactly work out like you thought it has sparked some friendly debate.

Well played and don’t be a stranger!

Oh and while I’m older and probably a lot more conservative than you, I supported Hillary in ‘08 as well!

Posted by: George at July 8, 2011 1:25 PM
Comment #325397

Adam said:

“It’s a disappointing report and easy for the GOP to spin as doom and gloom but the truth is we’ve still had 16 straight months of private sector job growth worth 2.1 million new jobs.”

The way I figure, that is an average of about 139,000 new private sector jobs a month; but it will take an average of 250,000 created jobs to significantly affect the unemployment rate. And we are nowhere near that number. But putting that aside, perhaps Adam could explain HOW private sector jobs are created are being created in the past 16 months, when there was an increase of 545,000 lost jobs in the past few months? Talk about fuzzy math. What the left claims and what are really happening is two different things. Your claim of creating 2.1 million jobs comes straight from the mouth of Obama. I have heard him several times say the exact same thing and it is not true, because the numbers are being juggled.

“The number of unemployed persons (14.1 million) and the unemployment rate (9.2 percent) were essentially unchanged over the month. Since March, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 545,000, and the unemployment rate has risen by 0.4 percentage point. The labor force, at 153.4 million, changed little over the month.”

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

The creation of 139,000 jobs is not even enough to keep up with the demand for new jobs for those entering the work force:

“Typically the figure economists cite as the minimum number of additional jobs needed to keep the unemployment rate flat is about 150,000 to 200,000.”

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/how-many-jobs-should-we-be-adding-each-month/

“We’ll need more than a couple of disappointing months in a row to hide that fact but I’m sure your side can tell me again how the end is near for our way of life.”

Adam, we have had 2 ½ years of disappointing numbers.

Adam goes on to say:

“Mike: “And what is Obama and the libs plan for fixing things; more taxes…”
“Obama’s major fight on taxes has been to raise taxes on those making 250,000 or more a year. To fight this the right suggests such a tax would hurt small businesses and in turn hurt jobs. It wouldn’t.
It is true that small businesses employ 99.7% of employees in America. The problem is that these small businesses are not going to be hit with taxes. Only about 97% of those owners are making less than enough to be taxed higher under by Obama and the majority of that 3% that would be taxed higher would be hit with only a slim increase.”

You are completely WRONG. A close friend of mine has a small company that hires 7 employees and they make a skilled union rate of pay. His company earnings are over $250, 000 a year, and since he owns the company, then his earnings are over $250,000 a year, and I already know that if his taxes goes up, he will have to let some of his employees go. What incentive is there for a small company to expand, hire more people, and make more money? My friend could live a very comfortable life, with a whole lot headache if he only had a couple of employees.

“We need to come to grips with the fact that the wealthy in America don’t do as much as conservatives pretend they do simply by being super rich. We need tax revenue and we can take a little more from the rich without hurting them or our economy. It will add somewhere in the range of a trillion in revenue over a multi-year span. It’s as simple as that.”

Adam, if you confiscated all the wealth of all the so called rich in America, there still wouldn’t be enough money to make a dent in the excess spending that liberals love to do. It is not income, the problem is the spending. You guys on the left love to try to split the country into the haves and have not’s. We have a President who wants to tax the rich, tax on yachts, on jets, and this same thing was tried under Clinton, in the 90’s, and it had to be reversed, due the loss of jobs.

“TWELVE minutes after the 103rd Congress convened early this year, there was a proposal to repeal the luxury tax on yachts costing $100,000 or more. By the end of the day there were five separate proposals to repeal the tax, including several proposals to repeal the levy on all luxury items covered - yachts, furs, jewelry, planes, and cars.

“The luxury tax has been a miserable failure,” said Rep. Bob Stump (R) of Arizona, who wants to eliminate all the taxes.

Advocates of revoking the tax, especially the one on yachts, say it will easily pass Congress. The legislature has already revoked the yacht tax twice, but in broader tax measures vetoed by President Bush, who also favored its repeal.

This time, however, proponents of eliminating the tax believe it will be signed by President Clinton. In the last Congress, both Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D) of Maine and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D) of Texas, now Treasury secretary, supported repeal for yachts. A spokesman for Mr. Bentsen says it’s too early to know if repeal will be part of Clinton’s budget package.”

http://www.csmonitor.com/1993/0125/25022.html

“”We’re more optimistic than we’ve been in this horrible 2 1/2 -year process,” said Amy Halsted of Annapolis, a member of the Coalition to Save Jobs in Boating, an industry group formed to push for repeal of the tax.

The luxury tax was meant to soak the blue-blazer crowd when it went into effect in 1991. Instead, it slammed into the boating industry with the force of a northeaster, leaving the scattered debris of decreased sales and lost jobs.

Before the tax went into effect, there were 600,000 people employed in the marine industry nationwide. The recession cost 100,000 jobs, and the luxury tax resulted in the loss of another 25,000, the National Marine Manufacturers Association estimates. Boat sales nationally dropped 42 percent during the period, from $17 billion in 1989 to $10 billion in 1992.

While industry officials note that most of that downfall can be blamed on the nagging recession, they say the luxury tax helped make a bad situation worse.

Many businesses failed

Throughout Maryland, as many as 300 of the state’s estimated 1,500 marine-related businesses went under, leading to hundreds of layoffs, said David Morrow, president of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland. Mr. Morrow, an insurance agent, has seen his boat-related business drop about 20 percent.”

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-05-25/news/1993145090_1_luxury-tax-tax-on-boats-boating-industry

The left tries the same old things and they never work. Higher taxes on luxury items at this point in history will only make employment matters worse.

Posted by: Mike at July 8, 2011 1:47 PM
Comment #325398

“Adam Drucker-
Welcome to Watchblog! I think I’m going to like having somebody with your style around.

Don’t let the right wing folks get you down, though.

Keep up the good work.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2011 11:04 AM”

I’m glad SD did not compare Adam’s style to his own, because it appears from the get go that Adam is willing to admit when the libs are wrong. I hope he does not defend liberals to the last breath, as SD does, even when the libs are proven to be wrong.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 8, 2011 1:52 PM
Comment #325399


Mike: “Your claim of creating 2.1 million jobs comes straight from the mouth of Obama.”

No. It comes from BLS databases just like the figures you cite.

Mike: “The creation of 139,000 jobs is not even enough to keep up with the demand for new jobs for those entering the work force…”

Correct but we need to put it in perspective of improvement. We are recovering from a deep recession. We lost 8.8 million private sector jobs between March 2008 and February 2010. Since then we’ve added back 2.1. We’ve got a long way to go to dig out of the hole.

Mike: “But putting that aside, perhaps Adam could explain HOW private sector jobs are created are being created in the past 16 months, when there was an increase of 545,000 lost jobs in the past few months? Talk about fuzzy math.”

It’s not fuzzy. First of all unemployed does not imply the job was lost over that time span since there are several groups of people without jobs that do not count under standard measurements of the unemployed. Second, these are net values. Even if we lost 545,000 jobs over that span that does not count the jobs added. For instance +18,000 for June is a combination of jobs added and lost for a net of 18,000.

Mike: “Adam, we have had 2 ½ years of disappointing numbers.”

It’s not disappointing if it’s expected to do bad to start with as it was for most of that 2.5 year span. The last two months were disappointing only compared to the slow but steady growth of the 14 months before that.

Mike: “His company earnings are over $250, 000 a year, and since he owns the company, then his earnings are over $250,000 a year”

I would really question the idea that your friend himself makes over $250,000 a year in taxable income. What a business earns and what the owner earns are two different values. But I also fail to see where I’m wrong based on your story. I didn’t say no small business would be taxed. Many will. It’s just that the very vast majority will not and those that do will be tiny amounts.

Mike: “Adam, if you confiscated all the wealth of all the so called rich in America, there still wouldn’t be enough money to make a dent in the excess spending that liberals love to do.”

True, but no one is calling for that so such a statement is irrelevant. We’re simply suggesting a 3% increase would add several trillion more in tax revenue to the budget over a decade or so without harming the economy or the wealthy. The defense of the wealthy against common sense taxation has got to stop.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 2:30 PM
Comment #325400

George: “You took a bit of a journalistic risk commenting on a jobs report before it was issued, and while it didn’t exactly work out like you thought it has sparked some friendly debate.”

I knew the risks but figured it was worth an argument even if my predictions turned out false. I feel conservatives have started with a great deal of preconceived notions about the ARRA and the future of the economy and have been working overtime ever since it was passed to prove it was a failure. Conservatives will have less work this month but I feel confident this is not a trend that is going in the critics favor.

My religious values teach me to honor even conservatives I disagree with politically and I try not to stray too far down the road of disrespect. It’s hard through when you argue politics online to keep it in perspective all the time.

I like my posts short and my comment threads long and I don’t care about staying on topic if there’s a subject people want to argue about in a civil fashion.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 2:41 PM
Comment #325401

adam

i think this is what mike was talking about

“The U.S. Department of Labor also reported a downward revision (-44,000) in the job numbers for April and May.”

http://news.yahoo.com/small-business-advocates-june-jobs-data-151605778.html


“The middle and lower class Americans keep the country running with their brains, hard work, and sweat while the richest in the country profit from being able to grow and invest their wealth in the global market.”


i know that. i fall into that category myself, but without that money being invested by business and individuals there would be no jobs requiring thier efforts, and hard work. keep in mind business exist to make money, and that is why people invest in them. they do not exist to create jobs. jobs are merely a byproduct of a successful business

you also need to consider where that seed money they are now growing and investing came from. money that for the most part was earned by working. i’m assuming you’re talking about the capital gains rate which is currently 15%. also consider many retired persons living off annuities pay this same rate on the income they are drawing.

Posted by: dbs at July 8, 2011 3:11 PM
Comment #325402

DBS: “…i think this is what mike was talking about”

All I can say is that the number of unemployed growing by 545,000 does not mean 545,000 jobs were lost and is outside of the fact that the economy added +454,000 jobs over that same span. Among other groups not counted we have 2.68 million marginally attached workers that can enter the workforce and therefore be counted as unemployed any given month. That +454,000 accounts for revisions from the months before and the addition of +18,000 this month.

DBS: “…money that for the most part was earned by working.”

There are complexities to the wealthy and their money in America but I’m tired of our politicians protecting them and lying to us by saying slight increases in taxes on the richest Americans will kill jobs. It won’t. We know better.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 3:35 PM
Comment #325403

Mike-
Where I get fuzzy on the math is where shedding aroudn eight hundred thousand public sector jobs represents a positive contribution to the economy. It’s not like people are getting back this money to spend. Instead, it’s going to settle the shortfalls, and being taken out of local economies as well.

I think the inflection point has been the rise in tea-party power, an hostility to sensible stimulus measures. We tried things the Democrat’s way, and they were turned around and going in the right direction by the end of 2010. Unfortunately, the Republicans got more control of the government, both on the Federal and the State and Local level, and the sum of their “Jobs” programs has been to cut jobs and lower the amount of business being done, in the hopes that lowered public sector activity will convince the economy to recover on its own.

Except, that’s not the way it’s working. The job losses are acting like an anti-stimulus, a combination albatross, millstone, and anchor around our necks. (well, if I’m going to mix metaphorse, I should at least do it upfront)

Seriously, though, even Goldman Sachs is calling what Republicans are doing a “fiscal drag” on the economy.

And really, is the confidence problem really with our government expenditures? Well, let’s see: the government runs big deficits, but Wall Street recovers just fine.

Bad jobs reports, or negative economic reports? Well, that sends wall street selling.

And for good reason: America needs more customers. It needs more reason for business to do business. It needs for us to recover from our jobs deficit, which in fact one of the primary causes of the deficits, and one of the primary impediments to the workability of austerity measures.

But hey, I’m a liberal, what the hell do I know. I just think if you’re going to push counterintuitive theories like “Tax cuts increase revenue” “Throwing people out of their jobs improves the jobs situation” “Putting greater burden on Seniors helps create unheard of growth and low unemployment rates” then you better have good evidence and good history on your side to back those claims.

Some conservative should explain to me how it is that withdrawing tax cuts is any worse than withdrawing spending, especially spending like food stamps and unemployment benefits, which have been found to have a better than even return on investment in stimulating the economy. Yes, for some it might be a great improvement on their personal economics, but for most of the rest of America, the price is a devastating blow in a time where more punishment is hardly needed.

The left tries the same old things and they never work. Higher taxes on luxury items at this point in history will only make employment matters worse.

We raised taxes on the rich, and fiscal matters recovered. You cut taxes on the rich, and growth plateaued and then fell over a cliff, while fiscal matters jumped almost immediately into deficit. Your party is good at fiscal rhetoric, terrible at actual fiscal policy.

The Right has a set of things that it repeats in order to push the public’s opinion a certain way, and while it works, it doesn’t change the fact that the explosive growth they promised doesn’t come, unemployment doesn’t flee in the face of the cuts, and whatever supposed recovery in fiscal matters that is supposed to come from the growth, of course doesn’t show up.

You should recall, as you bash people for not believing the the power of tax cuts and their great success, that Reagan instituted two of the greatest tax hikes in American history in order to soak up the damage from his fiscal misbehavior, so any claim that his policy somehow magically solved things is off base.

The problem is, liberal policies face the hard realities instead of allowing people to indulge in fantasies about how fiscal matters are supposed to work. Rather than being the spendthrifts you claim us to be, we actually offset what we get in terms of government by taxes, when that is appropriate. That’s why we don’t have a two trillion dollar deficit in the wake of passage of healthcare reform.

Conservativethinker-
I’m sure you’ll be accusing him of refusing to admit mistakes in short order. He’s doing what I do, and which you hate: nailing down your political fantasies with unflattering, hard facts.

To all-
Overall, my thoughts are this: The rich are already spending the money they’re willing to spend. Giving them tax cuts, or maintaining that they got is not going to solve either our fiscal or our financial problems. What is going to solve it is getting people back to work. We need people making money, if we want to solve the fiscal problems.

We need to base our economics and our fiscal course on hard numbers first and foremost, and only drift off into the realm of secondary effects as necessary. Tough love isn’t going to improve the economy. This is not happening because people are too lazy or lacking in confidence to work. This is companies not hiring, because they know people aren’t spending.

If the Republicans aren’t up to the job, there’s a party more willing to do it that we can put in charge.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2011 5:17 PM
Comment #325405

All this talk about employment rates and statistics is just plain boring. What is not boring is the fact that no one I know is doing well any longer. You can blame Bush if you want. Why not? Obama does…with regularity.

The fact is not something that I read about on the Internet or on the news. I actually lived it. In 2009 I had a thriving business with 8 employees and doing well. It began to struggle and when it did, I had plenty of hopes the stimulus would take care of it. $878 Billion dollars would surely help that! Wrong.

Long story short, 2010 came and I laid off everyone and had to put in long hard days myself with my live in help. So early this year, I lost my business and my home. I still had income, mostly from rentals. So I felt I was pretty well off. Wrong again.

Tenants lose their jobs or are underemployed or living on unemployment checks so they now are late and later and now the latest they have ever been. I have been a landlord for 37 years and I can tell you for a fact that I have never seen so many people struggle. I have yet to collect all the rent from last month. But I keep my tenants because 10 of the 11 are all late. There just are no jobs. Not sure which statistic you will find that in. But I have never seen anything like this in my 37 years of being a landlord. Oh sure, I would get a deadbeat once in a while and swiftly took action needed. But these people are not deadbeats. So how do you process 10 tenants all at the same time? I know, I know. I am an evil Conservative.

So I stay with them and collect what I can. Even those that had to leave the state to find work to pay the rent for their family. It is truly heartbreaking and that is the tragedy here. The human toll this economy takes on the people this administration claims to be for.

Raise Taxes! Not an answer. If you could find me just 1 tax that creates a permanent job, other than a government job, I would say hooray. What is needed is more jobs so more people that are able to pay taxes. It is quite basic and not a mystery. So, more jobs are essential to more revenue. Not more Taxes! Why would I want to pay more taxes to people that spend it like it’s not theirs. Oh, of course. It isn’t theirs.

Or as Pelosi says tax cuts for the rich! Specious argument to say the least.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 5:36 PM
Comment #325406
If the Republicans aren’t up to the job, there’s a party more willing to do it that we can put in charge.

What? Your party is still in charge. Or did this slip your mind for a brief moment?

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 5:42 PM
Comment #325408

I am quite certain than some readers enjoyed my absence the past ten days. Well, I am back and refreshed after spending time in the cool Wisconsin weather visiting relatives and relaxing. It’s hotter than hell right now in East Texas and the heat here matches the political rhetoric on Watchblog.

As the budget and deficit battle continues in congress both sides continue to defend their positions. I read Krugman’s column in the NY Times today and enjoyed his blasting of Obama on what Krugman sees as a rightward turn.

And, Obama’s newly announced position on reducing Social Security benefits (even for current recipients) must be ripping a new one for the liberals on Watchblog as well.

Since we have very little factual information about what is really going on in the budget and deficit debates between party leaders, much speculation abounds. I believe we will have serious budget cuts with no tax increases.

The libs are adamant that taxes on the rich must be increased because it is only “fair”.

The Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this year that the richest 20 percent of all taxpayers pay a record 86 percent of all federal income taxes. More than they were paying when Ronald Reagan entered the White House (64 percent) and more than when George W. Bush took office (81 percent).

The tax-burden shift came about in part when Mr. Bush cut marginal tax rates across the board in 2001 and 2003 from the highest income brackets to the lowest, which he cut by one-third, while doubling the refundable child tax credit. That alone removed 10 million low-income families from the income-tax rolls.

Seekers of a more progressive tax policy should answer two questions: If 86 percent of the income tax burden is not enough, how much should the top 20 percent of taxpayers pay? And if the bottom 40 percent paying no income taxes is not sufficient, what is?

As for federal spending on behalf of low-income Americans, it’s been growing by leaps and bounds. Anti-poverty expenditures rose from $190 billion in 1990 to $348 billion in 2000, soaring to $638 billion this year, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Since 2000, food-stamp expenditures have grown by 229 percent, child care assistance by 89 percent, Medicaid by 80 percent, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by 470 percent. But suggest that the growth of these and other poverty programs can be slowed even a little bit, and the Democrats cry that that would shred the safety net.

Some democrat senators, especially those facing reelection next year, are balking at increasing taxes. Among those are; Joe Machin III of West Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

The dems hold 53 seats in the senate and will be hard pressed to get any tax increases passed with the defections now taking place.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 6:25 PM
Comment #325410

Republicans are very wary of dem calls for spending cuts combined with tax increases.

In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he agreed. He was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases.

Fully 235 Republican House members signed a 2010 pledge not to raise taxes. And by giving their word they were rewarded with victory.

Should they now dishonor that pledge, what would differentiate them from George H.W. Bush, who famously promised in 1988: “Read my lips! No new taxes!” then went back on his word and took the party down to defeat with him.

Reps in the house have not said they will not raise the debt ceiling as they must and will do that. The GOP is standing its ground on tax increases. Unlike the dems, they understand that our fiscal crisis comes from overspending, not under-taxation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 7:05 PM
Comment #325411

MAW,
I do not believe your comment is true. Here is the line that gives it away:

“In 2009 I had a thriving business with 8 employees and doing well.”

Apparently you’re hoping no one would notice a simple fact: the economy started tanking in the fall 2007, and did a nosedive in 2008.

You lost your home, yet continued receiving income from rentals? Odd. Did a medical condition cause you to lose your home? That is the most common cause. If you had paid tax for universal health care, medical issues would not have resulted in the loss of the house. You can say “hooray” to that.

Of course no one likes to pay taxes. In places like Somalia, you would not pay any taxes. They have a failed government. Such freedom! Guns are available for all! Of course, that means no reliable infrastructure, no regulations or facilities to keep food and water from poisoning people, no public education system, rampant crime, grinding poverty with no social safety net, and so on.

So frankly, you could not be more wrong. Taxes and government spending result in an environment for creating and enjoying wealth, especially spending on health care, education, and infrastructure. When “We the People” collect taxes and direct the spending towards the areas I mentioned, we create a prosperous country with great opportunities for all.

Posted by: phx8 at July 8, 2011 7:10 PM
Comment #325413

Royal Flush,

Welcome back from vacation. Wisconsin in the summer is splendid. Trust you had a good time.

About the tax thing. Please stop with the rich pay all the income taxes. It ignores the entire payroll tax as well as sales, excise, local and state taxes and other fees. Of total federal tax revenue, the payroll taxes have dramatically increased as a share of federal revenue. Income taxes have remained fairly constant and corporate taxes as a percentage of total revenue are at one of lowest levels in history. It is the average guy who has seen his total tax burden increased in recent decades.

It should also be remembered that payroll taxes have been, for more than 30 years, collected at a rate greater than pay go to provide a surplus for anticipated baby boomers requirements. That surplus by law went into general operations in exchange for special Treasuries earning interest. The net effect was to reduce the amount of income taxes required and/or to reduce the amount of government bonds issued in the open market. In essence, the payroll taxes have been a form of hidden income tax for the government for many years and that tax has been borne by the middle class.

The fact that food stamp outlays and other “safety net” expenditures have increased significantly should come as no surprise considering the magnitude of the financial collapse and recession. It is not that the criteria for such “safety net” assistance has been lowered. It is the result of economic recession. More people sadly qualify. However, economists don’t see it as all bad. Most of these programs are referred to as automatic stabilizers by economists. As the private sector falters, government expenditures (safety net) automatically increase to offset some of the loss of private sector demand.

Posted by: Rich at July 8, 2011 7:28 PM
Comment #325414

Thank you Rich for your “welcome back” message.

You wrote; “Please stop with the rich pay all the income taxes. It ignores the entire payroll tax as well as sales, excise, local and state taxes and other fees.”

The ratio of how much the rich pay in taxes doesn’t change much even when you throw in all federal taxes — corporate, payroll and excise taxes. In 1980, the wealthiest 20 percent paid 55 percent of all federal revenue. The top 20 percent now pay 69 percent.

As for sales, state and local taxes, that is determined by each state so isn’t really part of our discussion of federal revenue and spending.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 7:52 PM
Comment #325415

Welcome back Royal, I used to spend some time in northern WI when I was a teen. Just south of Iron Mountain, MI. I have been up there in the winter too; gets very cold and lots of snow.

Nothing has changed on WB since you left; SD is still defending obama to the point of rediculous. We have a new lib writing on WB; hopefully he’s not eat up with impressing everyone how intelligent he is, as someone else we all know…

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 8, 2011 7:53 PM
Comment #325416
MAW, I do not believe your comment is true. Here is the line that gives it away: “In 2009 I had a thriving business with 8 employees and doing well.” Apparently you’re hoping no one would notice a simple fact: the economy started tanking in the fall 2007, and did a nosedive in 2008.

My, my Phx8,
You must think you know me. In fact you must be a lib because they always think they know everything. Here are facts.
In September of 2008 my business was doing very well. It started to tank at the very end of 2008 as December was always my busiest month. Unlike previous years however, the first 2 weeks of that month was very slow but it did pick up. So it was a speed bump to put it another way.

In 2009, I managed to make my payments such as rent, utilities, payments, but it was a struggle and as the year passed I had to put in more and more of my personal money from Social Security, rental income and had to move my mother from one nursing home to a less expensive one. Summer months were very slow and some weeks there was no business at all. Everyone around was closing their doors but I felt I could hold on and the stimulus package would surely work. It did nothing. In fact it seemed to make things worse.

By 2010 I could no longer make the payments. I could only pay a temp staff and the utilities. I had to sacrifice my business or lose my rental income. Oh and my home was at my business. So I lost it all. All the cash I had accumulated was in my business. It was all gone and the place I resided in. I can hear you snickering already. You must think I deserved it. Well, maybe I did. Because I believed in the human spirit and that all people want to do is make a contribution and do not want a handout. All conservative people that is.

So as far as taxes are concerned, I believe everyone should pay taxes. But people have to have jobs and a strong economy to pay them. Is this too hard to understand? Too difficult perhaps for the average person? I don’t know. But what I do know is an airplane tax or taxes on oil companies or whoever gets a tax increase will only move it down to the consumer! And that consumer is EVERYBODY. So everybody will pay that tax. WE NEED JOBS!

Just give me one tax that creates a non government permanent job. Just one!

And to give those people in Congress more money is pure insanity.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #325417

Conservativethinker writes; “Welcome back Royal, I used to spend some time in northern WI when I was a teen. Just south of Iron Mountain, MI. I have been up there in the winter too; gets very cold and lots of snow.”

Thank you very much CT. I was born and lived in Wisconsin until I moved to Virginia in 1975 and worked in Niagra, WI, just South of Iron Mountain for a number of years. The winters were indeed very cold, but the summers were wonderful despite the crow-sized mosquitoes (lol).

I must admit that I missed Watchblog. I could have stayed in touch but decided I needed a vacation from politics too.

My batteries have been fully recharged and I am anxious to continue my debates with SD and others. I trust that you have handled the conservative viewpoint quite well in my absence.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 8:15 PM
Comment #325418

MAW: “I can hear you snickering already. You must think I deserved it.”

I’m pretty sure nobody is snickering. It’s nothing to laugh at. Nice to meet you though, by the way.

MAW: “Just give me one tax that creates a non government permanent job. Just one!”

I’m not sure I would argue tax increases create specific jobs growth. What a tax increase can do is help lower deficits. Politifact looked at this very subject recently, actually. I agree with this sentiment:

“You can argue that one reason we had strong growth in the 1990s is that Bush I and Clinton reduced the deficit (cut spending and raised taxes), bringing down budget deficits,” Faucher said. “This, in turn, lowered long-term borrowing costs and made more capital available to the private sector. The strong growth then helped bring down the deficit further, and eventually we got surpluses. I think the fiscal discipline of Bush I and Clinton was a reason for the strong growth in the 1990s.”


Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 8, 2011 8:16 PM
Comment #325419

MAW, I read your story and understand how hard it must be to lose so much. You sound like you have “True Grit” and will survive without losing your spirit and belief in America. Best wishes for your future.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 8:23 PM
Comment #325420
The Congressional Budget Office reported earlier this year that the richest 20 percent of all taxpayers pay a record 86 percent of all federal income taxes.

Royal perhaps the reason the top 20% pay 80 % of the taxes is due to the fact that the top 20% have 80 % of the wealth in this country.

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequality-in-america-2010-4#half-of-america-has-25-of-the-wealth-2

Posted by: j2t2 at July 8, 2011 8:42 PM
Comment #325421

I find the link that Adam provided very interesting. In part, there is this quote from Obama…

“I mean, we can test the two theories. You had what happened during the ‘90s — right? Taxes for wealthy individuals were somewhat higher, businesses boomed, the economy boomed, great job growth. And then the 2000s, when taxes were cut on wealthy individuals, jobs didn’t grow as fast, businesses didn’t grow as fast. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t tried what these other folks are pitching. It didn’t work. And we should go with what works.”

It is a juvenile assumption, and purely political, for Obama to link higher taxes with growth and lower taxes with job loss. To be believed one would have to believe there is a direct link, a proven cause and affect. What Obama declares to be a “fact” is merely an observation having nothing to do with cause, and a merely coincidental or tangential occurrence.

If I part my hair on the right, instead of the left, and win a jackpot at the casino, would it be reasonable to attribute that win to how I part my hair?

One could carry Obama’s theory to its illogical conclusion. Increase taxes on the wealthy to 100 percent and really get the economy humming.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 8:52 PM
Comment #325422
I’m not sure I would argue tax increases create specific jobs growth. What a tax increase can do is help lower deficits. Politifact looked at this very subject recently, actually. I agree with this sentiment:
Hey Adam, It’s nice to meet you as well. I used to spend a lot of time on Watchblog back about 8 years ago but had to give it up as it took too much of my time. I see that a lot of people are still around and some new people as well. Besides, I had a business to run…or run into the ground as it were.

I agree with you about taxes and I do believe that W spent too much money and we can debate whether the Iraq war was worth the dollar sacrifice and more importantly the human sacrifice this country has paid. The fiscal discipline of Clinton was more of a forced issue between him and a Republican Congress than anything. And there was that dot com bubble and a peace dividend that Clinton was able to cash in on. But I digress.

I just can not understand the class warfare that goes on about “taxing the rich”. The “rich” is where I want to be. Because that is where I can do the most good for humankind and make that contribution that I spoke of. I am useless at this point and the only help I can proffer is to ease up on those tenants. Some of those tenants probably voted for Obama…. Now that’s a kick in the pants. LOL!

I think what makes this country so great is that we all strive to do our best and we want to help our fellow man. And taxing people and letting the government do it is the most ineffective method of them all. Because it is a cesspool of mishandled money going to lots of people except where it is intended. This should be left to Churches, Community Groups, Philanthropic Organizations and private contributions. I just do not feel it is the governments business to help in this way. Call me evil but I believe it falls on to us as individuals to help those in need and not “The Government “. I believed Jon Stossel when he did a story on what does government do right or better than private enterprise. He came up with a big fat zero.

As a mother of 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren I raised my children as a single mother and not to depend on any type of government aid. I believe that cycle is a hard thing to break once it has started. It’s purpose is to help temporarily, not permanently.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness. It is truly appreciated.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 9:06 PM
Comment #325423

j2t2 writes; “Royal perhaps the reason the top 20% pay 80 % of the taxes is due to the fact that the top 20% have 80 % of the wealth in this country.”

Really? Is the wealth of our nation really a zero-sum game in which one persons gain is another person loss? Such a belief in a closed system is simply false.

People rise and fall on the economic ladder all the time. If my neighbor has more than me is it because he stole it from me? I applaud my neighbor and ask how he did it in hopes that I can do the same.

Think about the equity market. If my stock rises in value by $1000 it doesn’t mean that someone lost $1000. And if I make $1000 on my stock it doesn’t mean that I am obliged to give 80% of it to those who lost on their investments.

Some folks should put on their long pants and begin to understand that most wealth was accumulated by working for it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 8, 2011 9:09 PM
Comment #325424
MAW, I read your story and understand how hard it must be to lose so much. You sound like you have “True Grit” and will survive without losing your spirit and belief in America. Best wishes for your future.

Oh RF,
You are so kind and thoughtful. You are correct, I did not lose my spirit. I have always said if you lose your sense of humor, you’ve lost everything. The same can be said for spirit.

I decided to not look back and now that I am in my retirement years I will be able to say I did that! No regrets! But always a conservative though.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 9:10 PM
Comment #325426

MAW,
I certainly am not snickering at your situation. I felt you were making very selective references to your situation in order to make a point about taxes. Obviously, I am not familiar with the details, but if you are retired, then there’s a good chance Social Security plays an important part in your life- a program conservatives are fighting to destroy, and progressives fighting to protect. Not sure if that’s true? Recall Bush after the 2004, campaigning for months to privatize the program. Imagine how horrible it would have been if the conservatives succeeded, and turned over Social Security to the banks- you know, the ones the failed. And how much better would your life and the life of your loved ones have been with universal health care in place? The question is not just how much one pays in taxes, but what one receives in return.

Posted by: phx8 at July 8, 2011 9:30 PM
Comment #325427

Royal Flush,

Perhaps you are correct. Correlation doesn’t prove causation. However, the disturbing thing about the Bush tax cuts is that they didn’t stimulate significant growth. Job growth during the Bush years was the worst since Hooover. Remember, there was a sunset provision which presumed the economy would have grown enough to warrant raising taxes again in 2010 to reduce the anticipated deficit. In fact, what happened is that a bubble housing market and extraordinary consumer debt eventually drove the economy into recovery until it massively crashed in 2008.

It might be helpful if both sides took a breather on this debt ceiling, deficits, taxes, etc. and took a longer and more focused look on the structural problems in our economy. What are the reasons for the increasingly jobless recoveries? It is not a new phenomena. It was first coined in the early years of the Clinton administration. Why hasn’t the economy produced sufficient jobs to employ Americans? Why have wages stagnated for the middle class? Why are corporations hoarding cash? It is not because of Obama. Corporations have been increasingly hoarding cash for the last 30 years. Why aren’t they investing in new production? Why is there such a large output-demand gap? Why is consumer demand so depressed? What is the true nature of this recession?

If we can answer those questions, the debates on tax cuts, government deficit expenditures, Federal Reserve policies, etc. might make some sense.

Posted by: Rich at July 8, 2011 9:38 PM
Comment #325429
Not sure if that’s true? Recall Bush after the 2004, campaigning for months to privatize the program. Imagine how horrible it would have been if the conservatives succeeded, and turned over Social Security to the banks- you know, the ones the failed.

Uh Oh Phx8, Now you woke up Mama Bear.

I believe that Congress should keep their paws off of Social Security or live on what they have given us instead of creating a plethora of richness for themselves alone. I believe that privatizing Social Security would be in the best interest of those that want it that way. If that is what they choose to do. It is their money. For me to get the pittance that I get after paying in for some 50 years is criminal and it is because the government has their hands in it. This government has chosen not to give retirees a cost of living increase at least since Libs took over Congress, yet gives themselves a raise each and every year. Explain that one!

And the added insult of not being able to leave it to my heirs is the ultimate slap in the face. Especially for the poor that you hold so dear to your heart. Have you ever asked yourself why that is? Sad isn’t it. They work all their lives contribute to Social Security. Pass away after a few years and their heirs get nothing. The ones that need it the most. And you defend this hypocrisy? No need to say any more.

Here is a news bulletin. There may not be any money for Social Security if this administration keeps on spending and refuses to cut because they may lose votes is another specious argument.

So to rely on a false argument as the one you chose seems to be a shallow position.

BTW. I decided long ago not to rely on Social Security because I knew then that it may not be here or if it were it would not be enough, so I invested in rental properties. Properties that people rent and can barely hang onto because this Administration does not have a clue on how to create jobs.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 9:56 PM
Comment #325431
In fact, what happened is that a bubble housing market and extraordinary consumer debt eventually drove the economy into recovery until it massively crashed in 2008.

Rich,
Since you mentioned the housing bubble that burst perhaps we should take you back to the Carter years where the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was conceived. And strengthened under the Clinton Administration.

You should do some checking on those Stated Income Loans or what we called liar loans when people that should never have bought a home did! Even Acorn was picketing banks that wanted to loan responsibly. And was spurred on by the likes of Waters, Dodd and Frank. Who refused to believe there was any problem at all even when the Bush Administration sent people to congress to warn them.

Check it out…. That was a significant if not the only thing that caused that crash!

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 10:07 PM
Comment #325432

MAW,

You keep blaming the Obama administration for the failure to create jobs. But, I thought that it was the private sector that created jobs. Why hasn’t the private sector created more jobs? Why hasn’t the private sector leveraged all that corporate cash into massive job producing investments? Why is credit expansion so tepid? Why is there such massive debt in the private sector choking off consumer demand? Why do we have such a huge trade imbalance? Why haven’t the lowest tax rates in modern history spurred a vigorous recovery? It didn’t start with Obama.

Posted by: Rich at July 8, 2011 10:36 PM
Comment #325433

MAW,

Perhaps, you should check out the Bush home ownership policies which involved a strong push for minority home ownership and those with impaired credit. Did you ever hear of the American Dream Down Payment Act sponsored by the Bush administration? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream_Down_Payment_Act_of_2003

Do you actually understand the importance placed by the Bush administration on housing and mortgage expansion and the role it played in the crash? Check this summary out. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-admin.4.18853088.html

Blaming the Carter administration for something that happened more than thirty years later is nonsensical. The housing bubble developed most seriously in the 2004-2007 period. As far as I can recall, both the executive and legislative branches were controlled by Republicans during this period.

Posted by: Rich at July 8, 2011 10:53 PM
Comment #325434
You keep blaming the Obama administration for the failure to create jobs.

Because he said he could do it! He said he could fix it! He ran for the position of President and he wanted the job. He got the job. Now he should do it!

How is it that Bush gets blamed for a recession that he inherited and gets blamed for a recession that he left with. Clinton gets absolution and Obama gets absolution.

So which is it? You tell me.

The private sector has not created jobs because they do not know what this administration is going to do. Had I known they would be in power, perhaps I would have held on to my money as well. And been a lot better off. This administration is not business friendly at all. They don’t claim to be. Remember they are for the little people. Well guess what? You can’t have it both ways.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 10:54 PM
Comment #325435

Naaah Bush got the blame because he took a surplus and went war shopping.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 8, 2011 11:04 PM
Comment #325436

Rich,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM

Treasury Secretary John Snow went before congress and got shut down by who else? Watch it and you may learn something.

If you need more just let me know. And I will do your research.

The housing bubble developed most seriously in the 2004-2007 period. As far as I can recall, both the executive and legislative branches were controlled by Republicans during this period.

I believe in 2006 Congress was taken over by hmmmmmm… Democrats! And both houses if memory serves me. And that is when the trouble started. It seems as if you can look at the glass as half full or half empty depending on the side you are on.

Oh and the crash started in 2007. Hmmmmm!

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 11:14 PM
Comment #325437
Naaah Bush got the blame because he took a surplus and went war shopping.

So now its called war shopping. Believe me all those wars, the worst terrorist attack on our soil, all those corporate scandals and a recession left a deficit of around $500 billion and then came TARP which got paid back with interest on Obama’s watch….With Interest!

I’m no economist but it seems Obama has actually spent even more than what is reported. He got paid back on his watch but was attributed to Bush… go figure..

Oh poor Obama. Aren’t you feeling sorry for him….poor thing. Got stuck with all of Bush’s problems. Yes, he reminds us of it all the time. His arm must be sore from patting himself on his back.

Posted by: MAW at July 8, 2011 11:21 PM
Comment #325438

“Naaah Bush got the blame because he took a surplus and went war shopping.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 8, 2011 11:04 PM”

Yes, and Obama said he would bring the troops home, but instead, we are still in Iraq and loosing, in Afghanistan and loosing, in Pakistan where we have no business, in Libya fighting someone else’s war, and involved in Yemen. Obama lied to everyone and you still support him. He has had almost 3 years and $3.5 trillion dollars and he has done NOTHING except make things worse, and you still support him. He had complete control of the Senate, House, and WH for two years and has done nothing except take over another 1/6th of our economy through his HC plan and the best the left can do is to continue to defend his policies and support him. He has done absolutely nothing to create jobs and you support him. He said when he was running for office that he wanted to bring America together, and yet all he does is create more class warfare and racial division and all the left can do is carry his water bucket for him. The best Obama can do, after almost 3 years is to continue to blame Bush, and all the left can do is parrot him. Well, there was a statement made in November of 2010, and there will be another statement made in November of 2012, and the left is not going to know what has happened to them. One message was sent to the politicians in 2010 and the left can spin it all they want.

Spinny Liberal, you make a foolish statement about Bush and what he did with a surplus after we had been attacked by an enemy resulting in the death of 3000 people. He didn’t have much choice; but Obama has continued and escalated the wars in the Middle-East and is still spending tax dollars, even after he promised to bring the troops home, and where is your outrage now?

Posted by: Mike at July 9, 2011 12:17 AM
Comment #325439

Here is a video of a complete idiot. She is typical of the left in this country; completely out of touch with reality:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the health summit: “It’s about jobs. In it’s life, it [the health bill] will create 4 million jobs — 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/02/25/pelosi_health_reform_will_create_400000_jobs_almost_immediately.html

But then again, what else is she going to say; she wasted her 2 years as Speaker, passing a HC Bill that will eventually fail and be repealed or declared unconstitutional.

She created no jobs, but the left will continue to defend her.

Posted by: Mike at July 9, 2011 12:34 AM
Comment #325440

phx8

“Recall Bush after the 2004, campaigning for months to privatize the program”

what a crock. what he proposed was allowing people under a certain age to invest a small portion in the private market. he never suggested the entire program should be privatized. that was just fear mongoring by the left.

Posted by: dbs at July 9, 2011 1:09 AM
Comment #325441
Spinny Liberal, you make a foolish statement about Bush and what he did with a surplus after we had been attacked by an enemy resulting in the death of 3000 people. He didn’t have much choice; but Obama has continued and escalated the wars in the Middle-East and is still spending tax dollars, even after he promised to bring the troops home, and where is your outrage now?

Afghanistan was justified. Iraq wasn’t.

Outraged? Hell yes. I want out of these wars yesterday.

Mike, just because I’m liberal doesn’t mean I support Obama in everything he does. It’s easier to hate the other side when you think they’re the exact opposite of you. Most of us aren’t 100% liberal or conservative.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 9, 2011 1:17 AM
Comment #325445

MAW,

“The private sector has not created jobs because they do not know what this administration is going to do.”

The private sector didn’t create jobs during the Bush administration either. Job creation during the Bush years was the worst since Herbert Hoover. That was preceded by a jobless recovery during the early years of the Clinton administration when the phrase was coined. Each successive recession has gotten worse from a jobless recovery perspective. This has been the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. The problem is not unexpected.

Does it not strike you that there is a disturbing trend of anemic job creation regardless of what party is in power? Does it not strike you that the economy has become increasingly dependent upon inflationary asset bubbles (dot.com and housing) for growth? Does it not strike you that main street has faltered with slow job growth and wage stagnation while Wall Street has exploded over the past few decades? Wall Street and the major multi-national corporations are doing quite well now. How’s main street doing? Where did the majority of trillions of dollars of government and Federal Reserve assistance go to after the collapse of 2008? Was it to the investor class and the holders of massive defaulting private sector debt or to the main street debtors?

Posted by: Rich at July 9, 2011 6:36 AM
Comment #325446

MAW-
This may not be the right time to raise taxes, to be sure, but if it’s not the right time to raise taxes, why is it the right time to reduce spending? The people depending on that spending, whether they’re contractors, or folks in poverty or on unemployment will see less money in their wallet. It’s austerity either way, and that’s not going to help the economy.

The folks on the right have the solution of yanking the spending. The folks on the left have what I think to be the less harmful position in this week economy of taking more in taxes from those who aren’t having to spend everything they’re getting to stay afloat.

You ask yourself, which will do better for my current tenants who are having problems paying the rent, and yourself, who is depending on that money: Taking money away that people are spending, or taking that away which people aren’t. Taking more sacrifice from those who have already lost much, or never had much to begin with, or demanding that sacrifice from those who will still live in comfort if they are the ones who face the austerity.

The rich have enjoyed a historic period of low taxes for their income brackets, even while this nation’s economy has been saddled with greater and greater public debt to fund this. If we were are to start a program of austerity, it strikes me as silly that we shouldn’t start with those who gain the most benefits from government, but sacrifice the least, in comparison to their income, in order to gain them.

Or, do you think the less specious argument is to take from those who have less? To make the economic situation of most Americans worse? In particular, the folks who are struggling to pay you that rent. How many of them are on unemployment? The Republicans have suggested saving money by not keeping that up long term. Well, if there aren’t jobs out there, what’s the point of not doing that? You lose somebody as a taxpayer, perhaps permanently, if they’re old enough.

As for the matter of dates, It’s not as if the Democrats get scott free, as they followed the Republican’s lead on financial deregulation, but Republicans lead on it, and it takes more than a year or two for things like this to happen. The housing market’s decline, which is what caused this avalanche of derivatives, cratering local markets and home values was already well underway during the final days of the Republican majority. But with something as big and complex as an economy, the **** doesn’t hit the fan all at once. First the Non-Bank lenders collapse. Then the investment banks start to feel the pinch. Then, with the failure of Lehman Brothers, anybody who had exposure to Lehman Brothers. Which was everybody, which is what made TARP necessary. The cratering of the ability or willingness of the banks to lend caused a collapse in consumer finance, and a dangerous tightening of the credit markets in commercial paper. Businesses failed because they couldn’t meet payrolls.

So why do we have an unemployment problem? Because a huge swath of business failed or contracted, laying off millions, which forced economic contractions on other businesses, which failed and contracted as well- in other words, a vicious feedback cycle of unemployment.

The Republican solution is to cause another cycle of greater unemployment to match, this time in the Public sector. Then they’ll give additional tax cuts to their friends.

But those first tax cuts they did, back in the last decade, neither functioned to increase job creation or spur the economy to do that instead. They failed.

But don’t tell that to the leaders on the right. They want to insist that it’s a cure-all. Are they being sincere, or are they just cynically running interference for something that benefits greedy contributors?

This should be left to Churches, Community Groups, Philanthropic Organizations and private contributions. I just do not feel it is the governments business to help in this way.

The problem here is that in a downturn, these folks suffer too, as private individuals scale back on giving, as charity endownments suffer like everything else in the market, as the demand for charity rises higher while the means of charity go down.

I can understand the impulse not to depend on government aid. But I think that should be a choice, because for some, there is no rental property or anything else to sell or give up. For some, there’s no cushion, nothing between them and being out of a house, starving, unable to support their loved ones.

In the end, I think people should avail themselves of what help they need. I also think government should help them become self-sufficient again, if that’s possible. The stereotype of the liberal is that we just want people to laze around, and that we just want to spend endlessly. But that’s not the case

The news bulletin from my end is that liberal respect the elimination of waste, fraud, and duplication, that they want efficient government help for people, so that each dollar can do the most good. And yes, we actually want it paid for. We didn’t have any strong ideological inclination in the early part of the last decade to undo the surplus.

But these are different times, and this is a far different situation. The private sector, by itself, is not looking up to solving this problem. But that doesn’t mean we should just be handing people money. No, we need things done, things researched that are themselves of economic benefit. We an economy that recovers in a way that resolves the weaknesses in the economy we had that lead to the disaster we went through.

The Right Wing in America has had the chance multiple times to do things its way. It’s time for somebody else to rise up and clean up this mess instead.

Since you mentioned the housing bubble that burst perhaps we should take you back to the Carter years where the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was conceived. And strengthened under the Clinton Administration.

Ahhh. That one.

Would it surprise you to learn that more CRA subprime loans were paid off responsibly than the average? or that of the 25 top lenders in the subprime market, only one of them was the kind of full-fledged depository bank fully regulated under the CRA?

What the people telling you these things either won’t admit, or don’t know themselves is that without Wall Street’s Wild West Derivatives market, none of this would be possible.

Here’s how things went:

Mortgage companies looked to sell people mortgages they couldn’t pay. Why? Because the more trouble these people got into, the higher the theoretical intake from the loan would be. Using that value, the mortgage companies sold the mortgages off on the secondary market, bundling them with others.

Ah, but they remain high risk, and only certain players want high risk mortgages.

So what do you do? Take out insurance in the form of a derivative. The bond-rating agency then signifies the asset as low risk.

Low-risk buyers, more plentiful than high risk ones, buy up the securities, providing a return on investment for those who created the risky asset.

But the asset is still risky, and the mortgage security remains vulnerable to being devalued. More to the point, the people buying the mortgages are often being deceived into thinking they can afford something they can’t. So, they suffer economic damage.

The investors in these non-band lenders believe that the company is solvent, that it’s making loans responsibly. But they aren’t, and the company they invested in will only remain solvent so long as nobody pulls the plug on selling off the mortgages on the secondary market.

And that Secondary market? It was fine as long as loans were being paid off, and home values were going up. But the market distortion created by this intentional game of selling risky mortgages as low-risk investments meant that a lot of risky mortgages were piling up, and a lot of investors had investments that weren’t quite the solid deals they were being lead to believe.

Only it gets more complicated than that. The mortgage securities were used as feedstocks for an array of derivatives contracts which were then sold to investors. The brokers then often turned around and bet against what they had sold other people. An immense array of financial instruments went back and forth between the major investments banks and the different hedge funds.

Ah, but as the housing market bubble burst, the value of many of these assets were coming into question. Did people know what these mortgage securities were worth?

Not really. They’d all been bundled into tranches and then sliced up. It is the uncertainty about the value of all these financial instruments that put the banks in danger of collapse. If they knew the value, high or low, they could have set prices, established what they were in and out for, made decisions on what assets they would keep so their value would appreciate, and what assets they would dump for some braver risk taker to buy

What should occur to you at this point is that much of the damage Wall Street did, it did to itself, and enthusiastically. They manipulated the markets in such a way that supply and demand did not put the constraints it was supposed to on price, and the availability of those houses on the market.

It doesn’t take a government to distort the markets from what they should be. It does, however, take a government to step in and say that a certain kind of market distortion is illegal, and a certain level of disclosur is necessary.

We can tell each other fairy tales about how the economy is self-correcting, or we can realize that sometimes human beings need laws if they are to be discouraged from dishonesty. Sometimes the incentives for theft and deception are too high for the prospect of failure and loss to discourage the dishonest, or those who strive to compete with them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 9:33 AM
Comment #325447

Royal Flush-
The Rich took in more income. That’s what makes them liable to more income taxes. To lower their income taxes would not be to even up their share, it would be to take their share out of proportion to their actual intake.

And really, as you say, this shift is primarily the result of your own tax policy as well.

As for the growth of the expenditures you describe, have you stopped for a moment, and asked what it is that’s creating their necessity? You want to slow the growth of programs related to poverty, then you have to tackle the causes of poverty. Otherwise, cutting these costs will only shift the burdens back to those whose increased poverty will only make them a greater burden on society.

Look, if the kid or the parent doesn’t get their healthcare through Medicaid or S-CHIPS, what do they do? They wait until they get real sick, and then they show up at the emergency room. As for food stamps, they are both regarded as one of the most effective means of economic stimulus, and of crime prevention that you will see. That’s right, crime prevention. Nutrition helps children develop properly, and proper development of the brain means more economically productive, less criminally inclined adults. The phasing out of lead paint and lead in gasoline has had a demonstrable effect in improving the behavior of those in poverty.

You take this bean-counters mentality to this problem, and fail to see it as anything more than the balance of numbers. But economics isn’t just about numbers, it’s about behavior.

In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he agreed. He was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases.

Your party’s tax policy is pathological. You want to know what all that austerity in 1982 was about?

His tax cuts cratered revenues. That’s what. The expected explosion in the economy and bounce backs in revenues never occured. Reaganomics didn’t work. Something else as well:

When this act was introduced by Pete Stark, unemployment was at 8.3 percent, having risen since Reagan’s tax cut was signed into law by almost a full percentage point. By the time Reagan signed the tax hike into law, Unemployment was at 10.1%. That was the effect of Reagans tax cuts and spending cuts.

Wall Street didn’t buy it. They didn’t buy the supply-side rhetoric. It didn’t create jobs. Between the time Reagan cut taxes and then raised them again, unemployment had gone up by three points, and the nation was in the midst of a recession.

If they want to be austere at this time, they should stop picking on the people who can’t shoulder the burden of losing that money without passing it on to others. Yes, it will be politically devastating, but you know what?

Look around you. Your choices are: Demand cuts in popular programs like Medicare; Force America into its first deliberate default, destroying its credit; and raise taxes on those who can afford to take the hit.

You want to make this out to be some matter of honor, fine. But your people screwed themselves out of reasonable options long ago by making promise they couldn’t keep without hurting the nation and its economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 10:13 AM
Comment #325448

SD

Once again you typed a myriad of words and say nothing.

“The people depending on that spending, whether they’re contractors, or folks in poverty or on unemployment will see less money in their wallet.”

You make a statement as though it were a fact which it is not. The amount of spending that ought to be cut and cut permanently do not fit in your neat little spin category. The spending of trillions of dollars and some of it in duplicated projects, in areas that the federal government should not be spending anyway. How did we get to the amount of debt and spending that is at todays level? The government just kept on spending and spending and spending along with borrowing and borrowing and borrowing. Now he have a situation that is out of control.

We do not need to raise taxes!! The revenue for the federal government is there. Just quit spending it the way they do.

If you took 100% of the assets of the top 10% wealthiest of the country, in 30 days it would be gone.

It is not the rate of tax for any group of people, it is the loopholes thru which all groups of people reduce their taxable income to a low enough level to pay little or no tax.

If everybody above a proscribed poverty level paid a flat percentage of their gross income with no deductions and no exemptions, paid at the time of earning it, no possibility of deferred payment, therefore paid up to date at all times, no April 15, and a requirement that the federal government must by law have a balanced budget, then we could begin to get some sanity to this issue.

In the meantime all that pap written above by SD and others about whether to raise taxes and debt, and not reduce spending is just about insanity gone wild. There is no logic nor is it common sense to raise taxes when it is not needed. That is only a license for the government to spend more and that is exactly what would happen.

Posted by: tom humes at July 9, 2011 10:25 AM
Comment #325450

When I read this first statement made by Stephen Daugherty I chucked the rest:

“MAW-
This may not be the right time to raise taxes, to be sure, but if it’s not the right time to raise taxes, why is it the right time to reduce spending?”

Could it be because we are broke… When SD is talking about spending, he is talking about government spending. He believes we can spend ourselves into prosperity. What a crock.

Since we have a new liberal writing in the blue column, Adam Ducker, and since he seems to have more intelligence than to just quote the latest liberal talking points, I would love to hear his take on the above statements by SD. Or maybe the better question would be; are there any liberals on WB who have any common sense? SD’s remarks are the most idiotic I have ever heard, but the purpose of his comments is solely to defend and protect the actions of liberal socialist politicians. I have a suggestion Stephen, why don’t you introduce a Bill through one of your politicians to confiscate all the money that US companies are sitting on, simply because they won’t reinvest it? Then we could tax the rich at 100%, and while we are at it place these taxes on anyone making over $100K a year. Then increase the luxury taxes on anything bought in America, and then we could take all those tax dollars and create another entitlement that just sends out government checks to anyone who does not now pay taxes (40% of Americans), and the goal of the democrats to transfer the wealth would be complete. Then everyone would be happy. The downtrodden, the minorities, the illegal aliens, and the just plain lazy will be taken care of, the evil rich will “pay their fair share”, everyone will be dependent on the government, and the democrats will be guaranteed to stay in power because everyone will vote for them. This is the utopia the left wants. God help us…


By the way MAW, you will soon learn that SD’s sole purpose is to parrot the liberal taking points of the left. I have often believed he is on democratic payroll, and his job is to say the most rediculous statements he can; kind of like throwing horsecrap against a wall and hoping some of it sticks.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 9, 2011 10:28 AM
Comment #325452

This may not be the right time to raise taxes, to be sure, but if it’s not the right time to raise taxes, why is it the right time to reduce spending?

Yes, it is the right time to reduce spending because government spending is wasteful and billions are spent carelessly. We all have to tighten our belts in this economy. Yet when Nancy was speaker she lavished herself with a non-stop jet and treated her whole family to traveling first class. Just a tiny, miniscule look at how they treat OUR money. I don’t know about you but I was OUTRAGED about that.

Case and point: Your analogy would mean that I raise my tenants rents! And that way I would keep on spending the way I had been accustom or spend even more as this Administration has done.

I despise class hatred and that is all that the Left knows how to do when every time they open their mouths they say “Tax The Rich” and all the Right wants to do is destroy Social Security and push Grandma over the edge. It is quite pathetic and disgusting because they appeal to those that do not know better and listen to the propaganda and believe it.

These quotes are often attributed to Lincoln but in actuality appeared in the newspapers to honor Lincoln from the pen of Reverend William John Henry Boetcker (1873-1962).

* You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
* You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
* You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
* You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
* You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
* You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

It seems to me that the so called “wealthy” won’t be affected because they have already earned their money. They have set up their assets and income such as not to be taxed personally. The ONLY ones that will be affected will be those that spend 60 or more hours a week working their butts off at a job or running a company and trying to make ends meet that make over $250,000 a year or what ever Obama chooses as the wage flavor of the week. They are the ones doing the right things to make this economy work by trying to employ people and send their own children to college instead of some liberal politician on the opposite coast.

My children are doing fine and did not go to college. But I had to spend money to send them to trade school so why the heck would I want to pay money to send someone else’s children to college. And these are the ones that will be punished. The people that employ people. This too is something that I know to be personally true. Too bad the left is so smart that they can not see the obvious and are blinded by class hatred.

Believe me, as a single mother raising 4 children it was hard work and hard work every day of my life. So I resent it when hard working people are told to pay more so the government can waste more money. You seem to think that people making over $250,000 a year just have to check their bank balances and not work for it. Wrong!

All that raising taxes does is punish people for doing well. Which is NOT what this country is about, nor should it be. We should be rewarded for doing well and doing the right things and not living off the government. Sure, help those that need help temporarily but not make it a lifestyle. Which where we are now headed and it will only get worse.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 10:38 AM
Comment #325453
By the way MAW, you will soon learn that SD’s sole purpose is to parrot the liberal taking points of the left. I have often believed he is on democratic payroll, and his job is to say the most rediculous statements he can; kind of like throwing horsecrap against a wall and hoping some of it sticks.

Thanks CT, I think I am figuring that out. And BTW, I think you said it much better than I did. Thanks for your thoughtful answer.

Oh and I read the first statement from SD and figured where his post was going as well. Same rhetoric from the left. You would think they would get some new talking points.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 10:44 AM
Comment #325454
In the meantime all that pap written above by SD and others about whether to raise taxes and debt, and not reduce spending is just about insanity gone wild. There is no logic nor is it common sense to raise taxes when it is not needed. That is only a license for the government to spend more and that is exactly what would happen.

Bravo Tom! You said it much better than I could or did.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 10:51 AM
Comment #325455

This Republican Add says it all. You will notice the circus music is appropiate, because we are dealing with clowns on the left:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvCilAIMUaY&feature=player_embedded

By the way, there is a big election taking place in Southern CA next week between a TP conservative, who appears to not have much GOP support, and a liberal in a liberal district; A special run-off election for the 36th Congressional District seat to be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

We will see how things turn out.

Posted by: Mike at July 9, 2011 11:07 AM
Comment #325457

Yes Mike, This should play well in all 57 states!!!

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 11:22 AM
Comment #325458

Adam,

I’m too busy with work at the moment to comment intelligently on this topic, but I wanted to welcome you back to Watchblog. I hope you decide to stick around because sometimes it gets awfully boring to read pieces by the same authors again & again.

Posted by: Warped Reality at July 9, 2011 11:22 AM
Comment #325459
By the way, there is a big election taking place in Southern CA next week between a TP conservative, who appears to not have much GOP support, and a liberal in a liberal district; A special run-off election for the 36th Congressional District seat to be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.

Yes, Janice Hahn is running on the coattails of her father who was well respected by a lot of people in SoCal. It is a good one to watch.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 11:25 AM
Comment #325460

Tom: “There is no logic nor is it common sense to raise taxes when it is not needed.”

I agree that we should not raise taxes when it’s not needed. I just think it’s needed. There isn’t enough NPRs and Planned Parenthoods in the budget to cut our way out of debt and it’s simply a fantasy to think Congress will ever unravel major pieces of our safety net as long as there are major elections every 2 years.

At the core of the problem is the economy keeps cratering every few years and when it has been growing it’s just a bubble waiting to pop and crater it again.

I’m not smart enough to know a perfect solution to all our economic problems. I do however agree with those who say a solution to the current debt problem will take cuts that the left hate with a passion and tax increases that make the right tie Gadsden Flags to their walkers.

It’s not 50/50 but more like 75/25 cuts to taxes according to a recent article in the Economist that I wish I had a link to still.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011 11:42 AM
Comment #325461

MAW, mike


after spending the first 45 years of my life in so. cal., i can pretty much tell you how that one is going to turn out. i truely miss california, but it has gone over a cliff, and i didn’t want to be there when it hit the bottom.

here’s a link where you can pull up the district map.

http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/congress.html#ca


i lived in orange county, so i’m pretty familiar with the part of the south bay this district covers. if the conservative wins it will be a miracle. also if it’s close, and hahn loses expect the democrats to try and steal it back through the courts.

Posted by: dbs at July 9, 2011 11:51 AM
Comment #325462
if the conservative wins it will be a miracle. also if it’s close, and hahn loses expect the democrats to try and steal it back through the courts.

Yes Mike, It is sad here in California. Run by Democrats and a RINO as Governor has been disastrous and it keeps getting worse.

They keep electing the same people that put us in this predicament and won’t touch the pigs that are raiding the state, like Unions, which I was a member of for 13 years but kept my sanity.

They know that they have to cow-tow to unions or they will lose their jobs. How sad! California keeps making the same mistake over and over… God Help us. And Nevada too for that matter. Harry Reid knew he had it because he had Union money. One of my tenants went to work in Nevada. A big Obama supporter and a Union big wig. OMG!

Then we have those hard working politicians in Bell! What a crock that was. All Democrats. But did you ever see a D after their names? Not one time. Not ever. If they had been Republicans, you would have seen it on every corner in every paper on every news cast. Sad but this is what we are up against.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 12:10 PM
Comment #325463
I agree that we should not raise taxes when it’s not needed. I just think it’s needed. There isn’t enough NPRs and Planned Parenthoods in the budget to cut our way out of debt and it’s simply a fantasy to think Congress will ever unravel major pieces of our safety net as long as there are major elections every 2 years.

There is not enough taxes even if you tax everyone at 100% to make up for the spending, outrageous spending, to fix the budget. What is needed is more jobs! Fix the job problem and you will fix the economy. More people working means more people paying. Simple but may be too simple for the left because they believe that government is the answer.

Please give me one tax, just one that creates a non government, permanent job. Just one. I have asked this question over and over and over on this post and not gotten even close to an answer. Just a lot of rhetoric and mumble jumble.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 12:18 PM
Comment #325464

Rich wrote; “This has been the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression.”

And, the worst recovery since the depression as well. If one blames Bush for the financial collapse, who is responsible for the non-recovery?

SD wrote; “The rich have enjoyed a historic period of low taxes for their income brackets, even while this nation’s economy has been saddled with greater and greater public debt to fund this.”

I have seldom heard a better summation of liberal economic policy that SD’s statement above. Low taxes for the rich saddled the public with greater debt?

Debt only occurs with spending. If one doesn’t spend, there can not be debt incurred. In Reagan’s time the dems promised to reduce spending by $3 for every $1 increase in taxes. They lied then and they are lying now!

That debt comes with spending is an irrefutable fact. It can not be otherwise. So, the dem/lib policy is actually one that wishes to continue spending and finding someone else to pay for it. Since the wealthy twenty percent are only paying 86% of the revenue collected, they must be made to pay more for more spending.

One wonders if the dem/lib is so much more compassionate than others, or if there just might be another motive for spending. I have found little evidence of greater compassion among this political group, so…I will ascribe another motive to their ever increasing desire to spend and tax.

The majority of conservatives desire a balanced budget amendment and, as one would expect, the liberals shrink from that like a vampire from a crucifix.

Could SD and other liberals please explain to me and others why it is wrong for a government to be required to balance its budget?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 12:44 PM
Comment #325465

MAW: “Please give me one tax, just one that creates a non government, permanent job.”

I stated above that I am not arguing a tax increase creates a job directly. But an essential part of balancing the budget will be such tax increases. Tax cuts on the richest Americans have created a trillion dollar shortfall over the last decade. We need that money as part of a long term plan to get rid of our deficits and among other things prevent crowding out of our economy.

Really though a debate about debt just gets us off track of the debate about how to create jobs in America. The ARRA didn’t focus directly on stimulating demand but went about it the long way around. The ARRA tried to create jobs by creating work projects and save jobs by injecting cash into state and local governments for employment there. The hope was the shovel ready projects and the jobs saved in the states would get people spending again. They would also give everyone tax breaks, the unemployed more aid, and more money to programs like SNAP that get spent up quickly every month. This worked as well as could be expected but it didn’t add back enough jobs to counter the 8 million lost so we’re still stuck with low demand.

As I started realizing just yesterday it’s clear now that such low demand is what is preventing small businesses from hiring so here we are with a slow, essentially jobless recovery.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011 12:45 PM
Comment #325467

MAW

“Yes Mike, It is sad here in California.”

actually that was me “dbs” that made that comment. you’re right though.

when pete wilson left office we had budget surplus. unfortunately gov. gumby pissed it all away in short
order. i remember the recall election and wanting to vote for tom mc clintock, but realized that might be throwing my vote away, and hand the election to cruz bustamante. so what did i do? i voted for arnold thinking i’de rather have him than bustamante. looked how that worked out! LOL!!


“They keep electing the same people that put us in this predicament”


isn’t that the truth. i was stunned when they elected gov. moon beam. talk about a flashback from a bad acid trip, WHOA!!!


“and won’t touch the pigs that are raiding the state, like Unions,”

absolutely, the cta, and the ca.public employees unions run that state. you saw what happened when we held that special election to force them to get permission before using dues for political donations. calif. has to be by far one of the best examples of why public employees should not be able to unionize.

“Sad but this is what we are up against.”

i was in the dump truck business as an owner operator for @ 10 years, and watched the regulations, insurance, and everything else get completely out of control. BTW i still get suff from CARB telling me i have to install a particulate trap on my truck, and comply with the new clean air regulations. i have been threatened and harassed by the DMV, and the state board of equalization. trust me they’ll try and get money out of you even after you tell them you don’t live there anymore. ( sorry got a little side tracked there )

now what was i saying? oh ya.

by 2008 work was nearly non existant, the home i had owned 15 years and built major equity in was dropping in value daily because of all the forclosures landing in the market. it was time for me to leave, and let me tell you it wasn’t easy. i was better off than most because of how long i’de been in my home. still by not selling 1 1/2 years earlier i lost almost 200k in equity.

my advice would be to get out before they close the border and pass a law prohibiting you from leaving. LOL!!!

Posted by: dbs at July 9, 2011 1:31 PM
Comment #325470

Obama said recently, as reported in the HuffPOst.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/08/obama-jobs-report-unemployment-debt-ceiling_n_893251.html

“…the sooner that we give our businesses the certainty that they will need in order to make additional investments to grow and hire and will provide more confidence to the rest of the world as well, so that they are committed to investing in America.”

Contrary to many comments by dem/libs on WatchBlog, the president is correct in his assessment as to why business isn’t creating more jobs right now.

Like my conservative friends on WatchBlog, I have been advocating for more certainty in government as the key to releasing the power of private enterprise to create real jobs.

While the president is correct with the statement I quoted above, he remains steadfast in his call for more taxes and more public spending. He stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the growing public sentiment against more debt and higher taxes. And, he is absolutely blind to the fact that the house will not increase taxes or approve additional spending.

The debt ceiling must and will be increased to pay our current obligations.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 2:15 PM
Comment #325471
Could SD and other liberals please explain to me and others why it is wrong for a government to be required to balance its budget?

It isn’t wrong, and it should be required. Surprised a Liberal would say that? Don’t be. The main difference is in the way we want to achieve that.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 9, 2011 2:24 PM
Comment #325472

I read this in “Daily Finance”. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/07/08/what-stops-and-what-doesnt-when-a-state-government-shuts/

The state of Minnesota closed down government about a week ago. Why?

“Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton wants to raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents to help close the gap on the state’s $5 billion shortfall; Republican legislators do not. The legislature passed a two-year, $34 billion budget that Dayton rejected because it did not include any tax increases.”

I wonder if Obama might do the same as Gov. Dayton if congress presents him with a budget that doesn’t include tax increases. I think it’s a toss-up and Obama’s decision will be entirely political just as in Minnesota.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 2:29 PM
Comment #325474

It (Balanced Budget Amendment) isn’t wrong, and it should be required. Surprised a Liberal would say that? Don’t be. The main difference is in the way we want to achieve that.

Posted by: Spinny Liberal

Yes Spinny, I am surprised. I know that many liberals and dems in congress don’t agree with me or you.

I am interested in how you would achieve it. Since I haven’t said how I believe it should be done, we have no disagreement at this point.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 2:34 PM
Comment #325477

I’m no economist, and I don’t pretend to be. I really liked this budget. I’m sure there will be disagreement. =)

The People’s Budget

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 9, 2011 2:50 PM
Comment #325478

tom humes-

The people depending on that spending, whether they’re contractors, or folks in poverty or on unemployment will see less money in their wallet.”
You make a statement as though it were a fact which it is not.

Excuse me? If an unemployed worker’s unemployment benefits are cancelled, then it’s self evident he’s got less money in his pocket. If a woman who heads up a company that sells traffic light parts doesn’t get contracts from the state or local governments, then she’ll see less money. And of course, if a poor family has to pay for their groceries out of their meager to absent earnings, then either they’ll have to spend more out of their pocket to cover groceries, or they’ll have to impose on somebody else.

And don’t get me started on the rises in fees, or the use of emergency rooms as healthcare clinics of last resort.

Somebody has to foot the bill, and somebody will. Americans will see greater burdens imposed. People will devote spending that could have gone to increasing demand, and thereby increasing jobs, to merely trying to get by, or take care of children, fellow family members, or parents who can no longer hold up.

The borrowing didn’t go out of control on accident. Republicans cut taxes, and didn’t bother to offset a damn thing. In fact, they kept on spending, and since it was mostly defense spending, they turned a blind eye to it.

We need to be concerned about jobs. The ten year Treasury notes are at their lowest level in years, unemployment at levels we haven’t seen since the early eighties The jobs situation will continue to be a drag on the fiscal situation until we get people back to work.

You can characterizes my messages however you want, but it won’t make your policies work. It won’t make the dream of tax cut initiated economic recovery a reality. Our economy’s done the opposite every time, because the tax cuts only work to bring on greater deficits.

Quit telling us that you’re all about resolving debt and deficit if you won’t consider increasing revenue to cover the spending you don’t have the political clout to reduce.

Yeah, that’s right. You don’t have it! You wouldn’t be holding this country hostage over a government shutdown or a debt ceiling crisis if you thought you could force the President to do what you want politically any other way. You simply do not feel that you have the political pull to get this done by normal means.

Conservativethinker-

When I read this first statement made by Stephen Daugherty I chucked the rest:
“MAW-
This may not be the right time to raise taxes, to be sure, but if it’s not the right time to raise taxes, why is it the right time to reduce spending?”

Funny how you’re always inventing excuses for not dealing with the parts of the argument that actually prove yours wrong.

Look, what you’re asking us to cut is the benefits going to seniors, to the disabled, to the unemployed. You’re asking us to take on your medicare plan which shifts costs to seniors in order to create its savings.

I don’t remember the Republicans repealing the economic principle of opportunity cost. Was that back in May? Well, the simply rule goes that you can’t spend the same dollar in two different places.

You guys somehow expect Businesses to get money from all these people who are going to have to pay that money instead to the healthcare companies, or to buy groceries, or whatever else. Point is, you’re not accounting for the costs you impose on the citizens of this country, when you talk about undoing the deficit spending.

Now the same principle might apply to the rises in taxes we’re seeking. Except, we’re aiming our tax increases at the people who already have plenty of cash, and much of the wealth in this country, people who by definition don’t spend it as much, or as necessarily as the rest of us do.

The Average American, the Middle Class American, has absorbed a lot of the economic damage done by the downfall of Wall Street, while Wall Street tycoons prospered. Now you want to add insult to injury by saying that these people, who often can literaly be said to have made out like bandits, don’t have to pay for their misbegotten windfall, and the consequences its had on the budget.

Quit with the class warfare. And by that, I don’t mean quit accusing us of it. I mean, quit practicing it yourself. Quit acting like it’s the interests of the rich and powerful that are in danger, like they are the victims whose accounts have been emptied, whose investments have been wiped out. They’ve voted themselves pay raises hand over fist in the last few years, and they’re taking an increasing amount of the share of this countries wealth.

I mean, let’s just say it: the world isn’t being unfair to them! And it won’t it be unfair when they’re asked to pay more of their fair share, rather than all the rest of us, who have yet to recover from their spectacular screw-ups!

If you’re looking at 9.2 percent unemployment, the lowest effective tax rates for corporations and rich people in decades, and the greatest income inequality since the great depression, and you’re telling me the problem is poor people are getting too much money, and the rich not enough, then you are the one engaging in class warfare, and not on the side of those who deserve to be stuck up for.

I mean really, is it so controversial to assert, especially in the wake of empirical evidence about what the rich did with their money, and the worse job creation rates since Hoover, that when you cut the taxes of the rich, all they do is keep the money and stash it in their accounts?

I mean, is it really controversial that when corporations were presented with a choice between hiring or keeping more people at work, and making more money by laying them off, that they did so, even in a time where they were making more money than ever?

Your idea of how the economy works is either incredibly naive, or incredibly cynical, because you’re either expecting altruism that the record shows the rich and the corporations do not display, or you know they want do it, and simply just think they deserve it more than the rest of us.

MAW-
This isn’t about class hatred. I don’t hate the rich in particular. What I hate is injustice, justified by an economic agenda that’s promoted more like a religion of false idols than like a system that has to be proved empirically correct.

I wouldn’t want you to increase your tenant’s rents, especially not among those who couldn’t afford it. I sympathize with your situation, and merely warn you that it will not get better if those people who have fallen on hard times find themselves on even harder times.

The problems we face are beyond the living memory of most people alive now, and that may not be a coincidence. We cast aside a whole lot of hard-won experience about the unreliability of markets policing themselves to get where we are today.

We can talk in platitudes, or we can recognize some basic truths: if you want true shared sacrifice in these times, then you don’t go back and force the same people who have already lost much to sacrifice more. That’s not only impractical, it’s cruel.

Truth be told, we face a situation where the greed of those who ran the banks, who pushed people into financing things they could not afford, which kept their salaries too low and their healthcare too expensive has come back to haunt us all as an economy. You say you cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. Well, what is it that the Right has been encouraging for the last thirty years?

The Right has encouraged a credit economy, an economy where the savings rate was incredibly low, and morest consumer purchases were debt-financed. They looked the other way as these companies engaged in more and more predatory behavior, which helped put people, even responsible people further and further into debt.

You can say, you can’t strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, but I would say you can’t defend the weak by leaving them at their mercy either. Somebody has to stand up for those who don’t have the power or wealth to stand up by themselves.

And really, do we help the small men, when we let the big men tear them down? Do we help the poor, when we don’t constrain the rich and powerful from destroying their lives? Do we help the wage earners by revoking their rights to stand up for their interests?

As for Class hatred, you tell me, do people suddenly forget how we got here? Do they forget the mortgage company that deceived them into getting a mortgage they couldn’t afford? Do they forget the Wall Street tycoons that ran their banks and investment firms into the ground, then got even richer in the process? There’s only so much of this rationalization that the rich and powerful can do before people get a visceral sense of being wronged that no expectation of polite class respect will do away with.

You guys tried things your way, and you kicked, punched, and elbowed a lot of people in the process of getting things your way. Now, a lot of those people want things to change, and your attempts to make villains out of them for wanting a redress of their greivances will probably not go over well.

You should go back and read through what I wrote. If you’re concerned about rewards, then ask yourself, what were the rewards telling people to do in the private sector, what was it encouraging? The government didn’t set up the scams with derivatives and everything. Wall Street did that to itself, and where demand would have gradually come into equilibrium with supply otherwise, the housing sector instead became incredibly inbalanced, as speculators in Wall Street both fueled and prospered on the imbalance.

Wall Street could have prospered and increased its wealth by capitalizing business in this country instead, but even with all the deregulation and tax breaks, they mostly chose to ship jobs overseas, and leave the manufacturing sector here in a shambles, which is part of what has our economy in such a continued slump. Wall Street invested in a market that was little more than just a financial fever-dream, an overamped engine that failed when the strain got too much on the consumers supporting its profitability.

If you want to defend that, fine. But it goes against many of the purported principles your mid-19th century motivational speaker came up with. The reality of conservative economics falls far short of its claimed virtues.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 3:09 PM
Comment #325481

Royal Flush-

Could SD and other liberals please explain to me and others why it is wrong for a government to be required to balance its budget?

Because **** happens. We go to war, we experience economic downturns, and so it becomes necessary to take out debt in order to avoid doing stupid things.

Hell, that was your argument for debt financing the Iraq war! I mean, you should have financed it by taxes, but we debt financed most of our other wars as well, to a lesser extent. Hell, the Revolutionary war was debt financed!

Put another way, if the Founding Fathers had engaged in your kind of policy, this country would have lost the war, and never become a country.

Debt only occurs with spending. If one doesn’t spend, there can not be debt incurred.

Yes, but spending doesn’t necessarily produce debt. It only produces debt when debts are taken out to pay for things, and not paid for by other means.

Taxation is a means of paying for spending without creating debt. Your people deliberately chose debt over non-debt generating means of paying for spending. That simple.

The Republicans chose debt. Bush chose debt. Obama was handed that situation when he got into office, yet he’s blamed for not immediately shedding enough spending in order to fix it, in the midst of the worst recession in around seventy years, with two wars and a new, Republican mandated entitlement stacked up on top of that budget.

But do you know what Obama did, when he had the chance to decide how he was going to pay for his healthcare reform? He chose non-debt means of financing those programs. He didn’t increase the deficit to pay for what he wanted.

Republicans, given the same chance, chose debt. Bush deliberately chose debt.

So quit with your sanctimonious lectures about fiscal responsiblity. Republicans when dealing with long term programs, deliberately chose debt, while Democrats, faced with such continuous, long term spending, chose taxes, fees, and offsets.

Republicans talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk of fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 3:21 PM
Comment #325482

Royal Flush-
Oh, and on the subject of the Minnesota shutdown:

The headline gets points for its presentation of the absurdity of all this.

The real story here is that your leaders lack the maturity and wisdom to take deals that get them better than fifty percent of what they want. The headline, though, illustrates what monumental ****-up the situation is:

In Minnesota shutdown, workers who calculate the cost are laid off
.

The final paragraph also highlights the pointlessness of it:

Although the details of the final tally are fuzzy, one thing is clear: Even with government barely functioning, the shutdown will almost certainly cost the state more than it saves, Pollard said.

This happens because Republicans lionize the failure to govern properly, to come to the deals needed to function as something of a virtue in their leaders. Unfortunately, everybody else looks at these temper tantrums, and sees them, and those making them, for what they are.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 3:30 PM
Comment #325483

Thanks for the link to the “Peoples Budget” Spiny. My eyes began watering about half way through it. Nothing new here. More useless spending paid for by those who have done well by working hard. The “Budget” makes so many false assumptions that it is difficult to take it seriously. It reads like “Rosy Scenario” on steroids.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 3:39 PM
Comment #325484

OK, Royal Flush. =)

Posted by: Spinny Liberal at July 9, 2011 3:53 PM
Comment #325486
One wonders if the dem/lib is so much more compassionate than others, or if there just might be another motive for spending. I have found little evidence of greater compassion among this political group, so…I will ascribe another motive to their ever increasing desire to spend and tax.One wonders if the dem/lib is so much more compassionate than others, or if there just might be another motive for spending. I have found little evidence of greater compassion among this political group, so…I will ascribe another motive to their ever increasing desire to spend and tax.

Hey RF,
Your quote got me thinking about something I once heard from J C Watts.

He had this an interesting take on this one. He was once asked to comment on Jesse Jackson’s compassion and his response was appropriate. I can not quote him verbatim put it went like this.

“Jesse measures compassion by how many people are on welfare. I measure compassion by how many are NOT on welfare. “

Sums up the difference from the right and the left. Lots of votes there for the left. Not many for the right.

A good man J C Watts, Republican from Oklahoma and the first Black Republican to be elected to a leadership post in 1998.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 4:12 PM
Comment #325487

SD’s comments about debt and spending are just hilarious. Out of the left side of his keyboard comes nonsense about dems paying for their ever increasing spending and from the right side of his keyboard comes more nonsense about increasing taxes to pay for past unpaid spending.

I will simply sum up his comments. He would like us to believe that past spending, amounting to nearly $15 trillion in deficits is a result of low taxes. In SD’s world, spending is just fine as long as taxes increase to pay for it. In his world, the goose laying the golden eggs never objects to having those eggs stolen. He can’t imagine a day when the goose no longer cares to lay eggs and joins the thieves.

SD’s comments on Minnesota shutting down and the link he provides says nothing about why the government shut down. He couldn’t answer my question as to why the Gov. didn’t sign the budget passed, but I believe I know. It didn’t have enough spending and tax increases.

And, if obama is presented with a budget lacking spending and tax increases, he will likely not sign it either. Then comes the election in 2012 and the spender in chief becomes unemployed. Since he’s never held anything but a government job, I guess he can go back to helping folks unplug their toilets and drive a few libs to the polling place. He could try writing his memoirs…but then, who cares.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 4:17 PM
Comment #325488

MAW, I agree about JC Watts. He was a good man. In fact, he was too good to remain in politics and left. The country could use him today.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 4:21 PM
Comment #325489
MAW- This isn’t about class hatred. I don’t hate the rich in particular. What I hate is injustice, justified by an economic agenda that’s promoted more like a religion of false idols than like a system that has to be proved empirically correct.

See my note to RF about compassion…. Vote compassion is what I call it.

I wouldn’t want you to increase your tenant’s rents, especially not among those who couldn’t afford it. I sympathize with your situation, and merely warn you that it will not get better if those people who have fallen on hard times find themselves on even harder times.
if you want true shared sacrifice in these times, then you don’t go back and force the same people who have already lost much to sacrifice more. That’s not only impractical, it’s cruel.

So your solution in all this rhetoric is to kill the Golden Goose with more taxes and regulations?

My tenants need jobs. They are hardworkers and not deadbeats. They don’t need more government spending and government handouts. They are very proud people that work hard and want to make a contribution. What about that is hard to understand?

Taxing and more regulations will not make a conducive business atmosphere. Have you ever had your own business where you had to make a payroll and were responsible for people’s livelihood? You speak nonsense about the real world. Much as Obama does and his lack of experience is thunderous.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 4:26 PM
Comment #325494
I stated above that I am not arguing a tax increase creates a job directly. But an essential part of balancing the budget will be such tax increases. Tax cuts on the richest Americans have created a trillion dollar shortfall over the last decade. We need that money as part of a long term plan to get rid of our deficits and among other things prevent crowding out of our economy.

Really though a debate about debt just gets us off track of the debate about how to create jobs in America. The ARRA didn’t focus directly on stimulating demand but went about it the long way around. The ARRA tried to create jobs by creating work projects and save jobs by injecting cash into state and local governments for employment there. The hope was the shovel ready projects and the jobs saved in the states would get people spending again.

This sounds like a debate for “Tastes Great” “Less Filling”

News Bulletin: Millions back to work. Jobs have been created for everyone by reducing taxes and restrictions on business. And the federal deficit has gone down for the first time in………………..

ARRA was nothing less than a payback to those that put the slimes in office. That is all it did and it served no purpose at all. I know this first hand because out of that trillion dollars that was spent there were no jobs that helped my little business with 8 employees. Yeah, I know that is not a lot but where I come from it is just one of many.

Oh, I forgot there were 2 roads that cost about 50 million to repave. Both roads were about 3 miles long. And those jobs went to guess who? Cal-Trans and perhaps a private company and lasted about 3 months.

Did it help our economy? NO a thousand times NO! But the sign along the road just warmed the cockles of my heart.

American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

How special! That spending sure helped!

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 4:50 PM
Comment #325495

MAW, certainly you have come to realize that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 5:00 PM
Comment #325496

SD

You keep bringing up this diatribe about seniors getting kicked to the curb and people on unemployment getting the axe by those you oppose. You are making a fool of yourself. The reduction in spending is for all those pork projects and departments that should not be.

Using your logic the amount the congress has increased in spending over the last few years, which has amounted to trillions of dollars went to unemployment, seniors, SS, medicare and the like. You are blowing smoke and you know it. That makes your whole position unethical, and lacks integrity.

You can use all those crap positions from the left all over the place all you want. It will continue to make you look like the devil incarnate, foolish, and ignorant. You don’t need me or other conservative persons on WB to make you look that way, you do it in grand style all on your lonesome.

One thing for sure in todays world the emblem of the democratic party is being lived up to in great measure.

Posted by: tom humes at July 9, 2011 5:09 PM
Comment #325497

Royal Flush-

SD’s comments about debt and spending are just hilarious. Out of the left side of his keyboard comes nonsense about dems paying for their ever increasing spending and from the right side of his keyboard comes more nonsense about increasing taxes to pay for past unpaid spending.

I wonder how long you spent considering the alternative dismissals you could use. I’ve always maintained a consistent view, just one that doesn’t treat all situations the same. We increase public spending in times of need, then pay for it in times of plenty. This isn’t an old strategy, it’s what Joseph did in the bible. Rulers that tried to do the opposite in times of need, typically got a revolt for their troubles.

I will simply sum up his comments.

You mean travesty them, right?

He would like us to believe that past spending, amounting to nearly $15 trillion in deficits is a result of low taxes.

Past debts. Spending creates debts only when it’s not paid for by revenues. Revenues your people deliberately neglected to pair with your new spending.

In SD’s world, spending is just fine as long as taxes increase to pay for it.

If people object to the level of taxes, they’ll elect people to cut them. Of course, if those leaders are responsible, they’ll cut the spending with the taxes, rather than spend without the revenues to pay for it, as all three of our most recent Republican Presidents did with abandon. But of course, the main reason why they didn’t is that cutting enough spending to match those new rates would have been politically undoable.

So really, it should be like a feedback loop, a negative feedback loop to be technical about it. If taxes get too high, people should tell their folks to cut back on spending. If they don’t like the spending cuts, they should tell their leaders to levy the taxes necessary to pay for the spending.

In his world, the goose laying the golden eggs never objects to having those eggs stolen. He can’t imagine a day when the goose no longer cares to lay eggs and joins the thieves.

Thieves! They stole it from us and we wants it back! My own… Myyyyy Precioussssss!

Seriously, though, are you done with the melodrama? Real world goverments tax to pay their bills. What Republicans have encouraged is not a healthy balance of what we want from government, against what we want from our own money. No, instead, you’ve encouraged people, through your policies, to make no choice at all!

I liked the system we had coming into the last decade: Pay as you go. If you want a new program, you find offsets, fees, or tax dollars, or whatever to fund it. If you want a tax cut, you have to cut something to offset it.

Choices. Our system, as it was before Bush forced us to decide what was more valuable, what the government did with the money, or what we wanted to do. What Bush and the Republicans did was let people both have the benefits of increased spending, and decreased taxes, and never addressed the wisdom of doing both at the same time.

SD’s comments on Minnesota shutting down and the link he provides says nothing about why the government shut down. He couldn’t answer my question as to why the Gov. didn’t sign the budget passed, but I believe I know. It didn’t have enough spending and tax increases.

You seem to be rather intent on telling me what I think. Sorry, I already informed myself, and won’t be needing your services. ;-)

Seriously fellow, the average person in Minnesota is being asked to take on more burdens, make sacrifices so that your people can balance the budget. But if we’re really talking shared sacrifice, what are the Rich having to give up? Apparently shared sacrifice for your people means, shared among the little people. Look, if the people who can’t afford it are being asked to suffer to balance the budget, why don’t the people who can afford it suffer with them? Is belt-tightening just for, again, the little people?

I think your people should be the ones worried most about 2012, because the kind of help that people want from government, the kind that is in demand, isn’t the kind your party or movement can provide for. Instead, you’ve killed hundreds of thousands of jobs, and made people feel the pain of the Great Recession. Republicans have once again reminded people why voting for Republicans in the midst of a recession is a bad idea.

Republicans are bumping up against the other side of the feedback loop: folks like low taxes, but they also like getting help when they need it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 5:28 PM
Comment #325498

Tom, you are correct in your assessment of SD’s political positions. He is a liberal progressive and enjoys being included in the 20% of voters who think as he does. I don’t honestly know what motivates them. I am certain it is not compassion for their fellow citizen. They don’t appear to possess above average mental capacity. Their arguments for socialism have been tried, and failed, many times in history. I don’t doubt their sincerity, but I just can’t understand why they hold such silly ideas.

The liberal progressives of today remind me of the hippies of the 60’s who still practice that lifestyle today. They too never grew up mentally or socially. Most were freeloaders and loafers. Now that they have one of their kind in the White House, it emboldens them and they fill their wee minds with even more fantasy.

They are an endangered species and one can only hope that they will soon disappear.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 5:37 PM
Comment #325499

Adam Ducker said:

“At the core of the problem is the economy keeps cratering every few years and when it has been growing it’s just a bubble waiting to pop and crater it again.”

Adam, am I understanding you to say that the economy runs in cycles and that no one person or party is at fault?

MAW said:

“Yes Mike, It is sad here in California. Run by Democrats and a RINO as Governor has been disastrous and it keeps getting worse.
They keep electing the same people that put us in this predicament and won’t touch the pigs that are raiding the state, like Unions, which I was a member of for 13 years but kept my sanity.”

Yes, you’re correct and this is the reason Obama has used so much of the stimulus and TARP money to bail out union pension funds and failing states. I’m sure the liberal democratic controlled states are about to panic at the idea of Obama being voted out next year.

Adam said:

“I stated above that I am not arguing a tax increase creates a job directly. But an essential part of balancing the budget will be such tax increases. Tax cuts on the richest Americans have created a trillion dollar shortfall over the last decade. We need that money as part of a long term plan to get rid of our deficits and among other things prevent crowding out of our economy.”

Yes, and Obama has managed to spend us $3 ½ trillion more in debt in the past 2 ½ years. So which is worse? I am not a rich person but I live comfortably, within my means. But I will say this about the lambasting of the rich; they earned the money and it’s theirs. It is corrupt and thievery to constantly try to steal someone else’s income; simply for the purpose of providing entitlement programs. The free for all spending needs to stop and I mean by both parties. The left has attacked the Tea Party over the past couple of years; but the purpose of the TP was for voters to hold their politicians accountable for the spending. I have no problem with making cuts and I believe there can be cuts in military spending and it would be easy enough to do, if Obama lived up to his word and brought our troops home instead of escalating the violence. He is just another lying politician who should be held accountable. If it were a Republican President who involved in this many conflicts, the left would be crying loud.

Stephen said:

“MAW-
This isn’t about class hatred. I don’t hate the rich in particular. What I hate is injustice, justified by an economic agenda that’s promoted more like a religion of false idols than like a system that has to be proved empirically correct.”

Is it injustice for an American to work hard and become rich, while others refuse to work and wait for government handouts?

I believe this comment should be repeated because it is true:

“SD

You keep bringing up this diatribe about seniors getting kicked to the curb and people on unemployment getting the axe by those you oppose. You are making a fool of yourself. The reduction in spending is for all those pork projects and departments that should not be.

Using your logic the amount the congress has increased in spending over the last few years, which has amounted to trillions of dollars went to unemployment, seniors, SS, medicare and the like. You are blowing smoke and you know it. That makes your whole position unethical, and lacks integrity.

You can use all those crap positions from the left all over the place all you want. It will continue to make you look like the devil incarnate, foolish, and ignorant. You don’t need me or other conservative persons on WB to make you look that way, you do it in grand style all on your lonesome.

One thing for sure in todays world the emblem of the democratic party is being lived up to in great measure.”

Posted by: tom humes at July 9, 2011 05:09 PM


I have noticed that Stephen says these same untruths over and over. It is simply not true that Republicans are trying to take senior’s SS or Medicare. I don’t understand why he keeps saying the same thing, unless it is simply to scare people. I have noticed that CT always accuses Stephen of simply quoting democratic talking points; I am beginning to believe he is correct.

Posted by: Mike at July 9, 2011 5:47 PM
Comment #325501

Republicans are bumping up against the other side of the feedback loop: folks like low taxes, but they also like getting help when they need it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011

Is SD telling us that no help is being given to those in need? What planet is he living on?

The liberal fallacy is easily understood by reasonable folks. When the last wealthy person (those making over $250K per year) is sucked dry, just who will be found next to pay for their schemes?

Easy answer. Those making more than $100K per year will become the evil rich and they will have their turn at having their blood sucked. At some point, the bloodsuckers will die as no victims will remain.

The liberal craziness must be stopped now. We have the opportunity and the votes.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 6:09 PM
Comment #325502
Really? Is the wealth of our nation really a zero-sum game in which one persons gain is another person loss? Such a belief in a closed system is simply false.

I agree Royal except for options and futures contracts of course. Then again Poker is a zero sum game, but what does that have to do with taxes paid by the wealthy?

People rise and fall on the economic ladder all the time. If my neighbor has more than me is it because he stole it from me? I applaud my neighbor and ask how he did it in hopes that I can do the same.

Yes they do, I am sure your applause is welcomed, but once again what does this have to do with the wealthy paying their share of taxes?

Think about the equity market. If my stock rises in value by $1000 it doesn’t mean that someone lost $1000. And if I make $1000 on my stock it doesn’t mean that I am obliged to give 80% of it to those who lost on their investments.

True but this apples and oranges comparison has nothing to do with paying taxes on your gain does it Royal?

Some folks should put on their long pants and begin to understand that most wealth was accumulated by working for it.

And some folks should put on the long pants and understand why it is the wealthy pay more in taxes now. This deception you carry on about has nothing to do with why the wealthy pay, as you claim, 80% of the income tax in this country. But of course you know that Royal.


“Because higher-income groups earn a disproportionate share of pretax income and because tax rates rise with income, higher-income groups also pay a disproportionate share of federal taxes.”

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/how-much-americans-actually-pay-in-taxes/

“With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

Posted by: j2t2 at July 9, 2011 6:12 PM
Comment #325503

tom humes-

You keep bringing up this diatribe about seniors getting kicked to the curb and people on unemployment getting the axe by those you oppose. You are making a fool of yourself. The reduction in spending is for all those pork projects and departments that should not be.

I don’t know of any Departments that have been getting the axe, and the pork projects continue apace under other provisions

Meanwhile, the Republican’s opposition of extension of unemployment benefits Is on the record.

So is the Ryan Budget, and the demand that Social Security benefits be cut.

I’m not blowing smoke. Unlike you, I’m not flailing to avoid the setbacks that come from such a crappy position. My position doesn’t lack one ounce of integrity. The facts will back me up on my accusation, and invalidate yours.

This is one of the drawbacks of arguing ad hominem: your position doesn’t get any better, no matter how many hits you score on the othe person’s reputation.

Mike-

“At the core of the problem is the economy keeps cratering every few years and when it has been growing it’s just a bubble waiting to pop and crater it again.”
Adam, am I understanding you to say that the economy runs in cycles and that no one person or party is at fault?

There are cycles, and then there are cycles. **** happens, and so from time to time economies go into recession. But when speculation is allowed run amok, the swings get stronger. We need growth to be solidly built, and the recessions to be simply a result of a little overreach, not of the sudden discovery that most of our assets were speculative froth.

Is it injustice for an American to work hard and become rich, while others refuse to work and wait for government handouts?

It’s injustice for people to make their fortunes betraying the interests of their clients, or endangering their investors money through ultra-risky investments, without giving them the chance to decide whether they want to be a part of it.

It’s injustice that the people who are going to pay the most cost for the failure of the tycoons to manage their finances and their markets well, will be folks who did nothing wrong themselves, and who can’t really afford it. It’s injustice, that having accepted hundreds of billions in Government help to help save the busineses they ran into the ground, they’re still trying to run away from paying taxes themselves, so that everybody else has to pay off THEIR enormous debts.

And even as this system fails to do all that is advertized, even as it fails spectactularly, your people are unwilling to admit it’s done any wrong.

But its been so deeply drilled into your side, that you’re unwilling to let go, so it become a religion, something that must be believed in, even as every result argues against it.

Well, I’m sorry. You had your chance to prove that tax cuts could stimulate the economy. Hell, you had several chances during the course of the Bush Administration. It proved wrong. The Bush Administration was the worst time for job creation since Hoover. I know you’ll call this a liberal lie, but it’s no lie, but a truth based on the statistics of actual job creation.

You can’t just deny a truth because you’ve put a liberal label on it. Truth is truth.

I have noticed that Stephen says these same untruths over and over. It is simply not true that Republicans are trying to take senior’s SS or Medicare. I don’t understand why he keeps saying the same thing, unless it is simply to scare people. I have noticed that CT always accuses Stephen of simply quoting democratic talking points; I am beginning to believe he is correct.

Yeah, I see how this works. I say it, you declare it untrue, no effort put forward to actually prove it so, and I’m the liar for it, right?

Republicans are trying to reduce the benefits that seniors are to get. That’s what you do when you put retirement further out in the future for them, of force them to take cuts to get them before they’ve reached the required age. That’s what you do when you adjust payments by a chained CPI rather than a COLA adjustment. Don’t try to bull**** me, I’ve seen your proposals and I’ve seen the numbers.

And really, who are you kidding about Medicare? The Ryan Plan, which your people have gotten behind, essentially turns Medicare from being a plan that pays for comprehensive healthcare expenses, to being a voucher, which will only pay for those expenses up to a few thousand dollars, and then no more.

Republicans are trying to take the debt they built up through their irresponsibility, the deficits they created through the tax and fiscal policies, and make the weakest among us pay the cost for the mistakes of the rich and powerful.

This isn’t a talking point, this is the truth of what you’re doing, the truth you will not face. If all you can do in response to me is belittle me, then I’ve already won, because such a response is the refuge of those who don’t have a factual response.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 6:17 PM
Comment #325504

Royal Flush-

Is SD telling us that no help is being given to those in need? What planet is he living on?

The government doesn’t have to depend on people’s ability to give to charity to help the nation out. As we have good credit, we can afford to leverage against our future prosperity in order to… well, ensure our future prosperity!

We’re not in a natural slump here, we’re in a vicious feedback cycle, where the paralysis of credit and the resulting crash in employment have conspired to create an extraordinary period where we’re producing much less as a nation than we’re capable of.

It’s nice that you see people who make less than a hundred thousand dollars as bloodsuckers, just waiting to drain the deserving rich. But really, what we’re talking about here are millions of people who could be working if our economy didn’t continue to be in such crap shape.

I’m talking about getting them back to work. YOU are talking about leaving them idle until whatever sins caused this crap market are expiated, and God grants us prosperity again.

But do you realize that while people remain unemployed, they’re not paying taxes? That’s part of what’s causing this big damn deficit! Yet you’re trying to solve all this with measures whose immediate effect is to cause even greater unemployment!

It’s not liberals who are acting crazy. It’s not liberals who expect throwing 800,000 people out of work will spur more job creation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #325505

Thanks for the link to the NY times j2t2. I recall reading that article when it was first published. There were a few paragraphs that I found interesting since it was written by a liberal.

“I realize that it’s possible to argue that payroll taxes should be excluded from the discussion because they pay for benefits — Social Security and Medicare — that people receive on the back end. But that argument doesn’t seem very persuasive.

Why? People do not receive benefits equal to the payroll taxes they paid. Those who die at age 70 will receive much less in Social Security and Medicare than they paid in taxes. Those who die at 95 will probably get much more.”

This quote reveals the great deception of our entitlement programs that libs wish to perpetuate and grow. I predict that Obamacare, if left standing by the Supreme Court, will fall into the same category. Just another giant Ponzi scheme.

And yet, the author and you continue to advocate for such obviously unproductive policies and want more in taxes to continue and expand them.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 6:41 PM
Comment #325506

Hey Stephen,

With the exception of Adam who valiantly gave the old college try about what tax creates a single job and fell short or admitted it did not, when will you or some of the others give me an example? I am still waiting and will check later for the answer. I am sure you will come up with one and since you must be getting paid by the letter/word, it shouldn’t be a dissertation.

Oh, and while you are at it, why can’t the government just do the only the 2 things it is constitutionally charged with doing? I know you can name them.

Please try to keep in within my limited scope of understanding.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 6:44 PM
Comment #325507
The liberal fallacy is easily understood by reasonable folks. When the last wealthy person (those making over $250K per year) is sucked dry, just who will be found next to pay for their schemes?

As you said Royal “Really? Is the wealth of our nation really a zero-sum game in which one persons gain is another person loss? Such a belief in a closed system is simply false.”

This isn’t poker Royal.


Posted by: j2t2 at July 9, 2011 6:49 PM
Comment #325509

SD writes; “As we have good credit, we can afford to leverage against our future prosperity in order to… well, ensure our future prosperity!”

OH, MAN…I luv this comment. Here, he thinks leverage is good for our future prosperity and in his post above it he blames leverage for all our problems.

He talks about the unfairness of the bailouts. Well, I agree. Those who got bailed out should have been left to rot in the sun. But no, government rushed in with taxpayer money…oooops, excuse me, with borrowed money to bail out the crooks and thieves.

SD clamors for more regulation to stop these market criminals. We have the perfect solution and it works every time. It’s call bankruptcy. OH, I know the usual liberal refrain. They claim that without the bailout we would be in worse economic shape. Of course, that’s just a guess on their part but they think it is fact.

So, in their infinite liberal wisdom, they bailed out the crooks and now Obama is pandering to this same bunch for campaign money. I wonder how much campaign money obama would get from them if they were bankrupt and broke?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 7:02 PM
Comment #325510

Mike: “Adam, am I understanding you to say that the economy runs in cycles and that no one person or party is at fault?”

No, I didn’t say that.


Royal Flush: “The liberal fallacy is easily understood by reasonable folks. When the last wealthy person (those making over $250K per year) is sucked dry, just who will be found next to pay for their schemes?”

I’m going out on a limb to say that 3% more in proposed taxes on those making above $250,000 a year is not going to suck anyone dry.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011 7:06 PM
Comment #325511

I’m going out on a limb to say that 3% more in proposed taxes on those making above $250,000 a year is not going to suck anyone dry.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011

Adam…it’s the old tale about the camel and the tent. I too will go out on a limb and suggest that capping spending at pre-recession levels will not leave anyone without food, clothing, shelter or medical care.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 7:11 PM
Comment #325512

MAW: “I am still waiting and will check later for the answer.”

I’m still not clear what you’re driving at. Who is arguing for tax increases to create jobs anyway?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011 7:12 PM
Comment #325513

Adam…that would be obama and his congressional buddies.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 9, 2011 7:19 PM
Comment #325516

“OH, I know the usual liberal refrain. They claim that without the bailout we would be in worse economic shape. Of course, that’s just a guess on their part but they think it is fact.”

Royal Flush,

It wasn’t liberals who even proposed the bailout of the banks. You do remember that it was the Bush administration that proposed the bailouts both for the banks and the auto industry. You do remember Secretary Paulson on his knees before Pelosi begging for Congressional support. You do remember President Bush’s Rose Garden address announcing the need for the bailout to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the economy. Thinking about it, that was a pretty crazy time.

The federal bailouts of the banks actually were small potatoes to the assistance provided by the Federal Reserve to the banks. The most important was taking on its balance sheet a huge amount of toxic assets at future estimated value rather than market value. This created a market for the assets, converted them to cash and allowed the banks to avoid insolvency.

Neither the Bush administration nor the Federal Reserve would generally be considered liberal. While liberals may have, with some exceptions, supported the bailouts, they were not liberal proposals.

Posted by: Rich at July 9, 2011 8:56 PM
Comment #325519

Stephen said:

“Mike-
“At the core of the problem is the economy keeps cratering every few years and when it has been growing it’s just a bubble waiting to pop and crater it again.”
Adam, am I understanding you to say that the economy runs in cycles and that no one person or party is at fault?
There are cycles, and then there are cycles. **** happens, and so from time to time economies go into recession. But when speculation is allowed run amok, the swings get stronger. We need growth to be solidly built, and the recessions to be simply a result of a little overreach, not of the sudden discovery that most of our assets were speculative froth.”

Thanks Stephen, but how would you know how to answer for a statement that Adam said; can we add mind reading to your list of abilities?

“Meanwhile, the Republican’s opposition of extension of unemployment benefits Is on the record.”

How many years of unemployment benefits would you like to give Stephen? Lifetime?

“But its been so deeply drilled into your side, that you’re unwilling to let go, so it become a religion, something that must be believed in, even as every result argues against it.”

You must mean like Global Warming is to the left?

MAW said:

“Hey Stephen,
With the exception of Adam who valiantly gave the old college try about what tax creates a single job and fell short or admitted it did not, when will you or some of the others give me an example? I am still waiting and will check later for the answer. I am sure you will come up with one and since you must be getting paid by the letter/word, it shouldn’t be a dissertation.”

MAW, they cannot give an answer, unless you are talking about government jobs. In fact, it now appears that Adam has no idea what you are talking about, “I’m still not clear what you’re driving at. Who is arguing for tax increases to create jobs anyway?”
Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 9, 2011 07:12 PM

Adam must have missed that part of Obama’s many speeches on taxing the rich to provide jobs for the poor.

And last but not least, Rich said:

“Neither the Bush administration nor the Federal Reserve would generally be considered liberal. While liberals may have, with some exceptions, supported the bailouts, they were not liberal proposals.”

That’s why we call them RINO’s Rich, and that’s why we have the TP, and that’s why changes are being made in the Republican Party.

Posted by: Mike at July 9, 2011 9:56 PM
Comment #325521

Royal Flush-
Oh, don’t be coy, you’ll go out on a limb and saw it off from the wrong side. Capping spending at pre-recession levels might work for the first few years, but inflation and the disasters we face in the world are going to make any such cap an anchor around our necks. We don’t need caps, we need fiscal discipline, and part of that discipline is not taking the fruitless course of trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

OH, MAN…I luv this comment. Here, he thinks leverage is good for our future prosperity and in his post above it he blames leverage for all our problems.

You “luv” it? What I “luv” is how you take such a rigid point of view so quickly about what I said.

Easy there. Leverage on Wall Street meant derivatives compounded on derivatives, and companies building castles of air that went up in smoke as the derivatives the other derivatives were based on turned out to be worthless or a cost to the firm.

Leverage here is simple. We did it before, and we restored millions of jobs and quite a few points of growth. We simply do what worked again. We choose our investments, and with an eye to our profit.

On the unfairness of the bailouts? Well, my view is not so emotionally simplistic as yours, but it’s more practical. You? To satisfy your sense of unfairness, you have us repeat the incredible disaster with Lehman Brothers and its bankruptcy five times over with the biggest banks in America, bankruptcies that would immediately devalue the assets of this country by trillions of dollars in addition to the assets that had already been lost.

Yeah, that would pretty much **** the economy good.

I want regulations because I do think it’s unfair that the American taxpayer should foot the bill for their irresponsibility. The price of a bailout should be the submission of Wall Street to the kind of policing that they promised to do, but did not do. That way, this unfairness doesn’t get repeated so often.

Republicans have got to stop playing tough guys about bailouts and stuff like this. These are positions that end up making them look weak when they don’t live up to the tough talk, and stupid, bordering on insane when they do have the foolishness to go through with them.

There’s no point to failing to save capitalism just because the means to do so don’t fit your purists ideology. There’s no point in destroying capitalism in order not to save it in an politically inconsistent way. Nobody’s going to admire your purity from the depths of another Great Depression.

MAW-

I am sure you will come up with one and since you must be getting paid by the letter/word, it shouldn’t be a dissertation.

Since you don’t have the time to hear me out properly, I guess I should make this short enough for your benefit.

That question of yours is a trick question, a loaded one, since nobody I know has actually said “Tax increases create jobs.” What could you mean?

Well, it occurs to me that you might mean that I’ve been saying that the Tax cuts not only failed to give us more jobs during the last decade, it was the worst decade for job creation since WWII.

But that doesn’t mean I was arguing that Tax increases create jobs. Only that there’s good evidence that tax cuts don’t provide the economic benefits that are promised.

Given that, given the failure of both promised fiscal results, and promised economic results, there’s not much upside to tax cuts. If your concern is deficit and the debt, or if your concern is the economy, tax increases for the rich make sense. The Rich are less sensitive to the loss of the money, and it provides a great deal of deficit relief without compound the issue with economic problems.

If you want to start austerity, start with those who can take it, and wait to increase the burden on others.

On a final note, There’s no point in being rude about the way I write. I’ve always given my answers in long form, that’s how I think things out. I’m methodical.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 9, 2011 10:10 PM
Comment #325523

Thanks Stephen for bringing this point out, I must have missed it:

MAW said:

“I am sure you will come up with one and since you must be getting paid by the letter/word, it shouldn’t be a dissertation.”

Good Lord, this can’t be happening!!! I think I’m in luv with MAW. I have been saying this same thing for years and finally another conservative has said the exact same thing.

Way to go MAW…

When we conservatives on WB begin to read SD’s ultra long posts, our eyes begin to glaze over and we usually fall asleep:)

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 9, 2011 10:20 PM
Comment #325524

CT, MAW, Mike,
Taxes create jobs. I answered this earlier. They create jobs by fostering the environment, especially when the revenues are applied to infrastructure, education, and health care.

Earlier in this thread I provided an example of a country with no taxes: Somalia.

There are many examples of countries with no ‘income redistribution’ through an effective tax code. Most of the Third World gives you examples. Most countries have an enormous amount of their wealth concentrated among a very small number of people, with the vast majority living in, not just poverty, but misery. Attempts to redistribute are often violently suppressed.

Posted by: phx8 at July 9, 2011 10:58 PM
Comment #325525
Taxes create jobs. I answered this earlier. They create jobs by fostering the environment, especially when the revenues are applied to infrastructure, education, and health care.

Foster jobs? What lingo is Fostering the Environment. OK then Earthquakes foster jobs, so do Hurricanes and Tornados. This is a WTF answer! And I don’t me Winning the Future!

Yes, disasters Foster the environment so jobs are created out of the misery of many…..OMG! Oh wait, there is the Post Office…. Oh, they sell stuff and lose money… Well, then there is the Department of Energy and perhaps the Department of Education. Don’t forget all the Czars. OOPS, I said permanent nongovernment jobs. Perhaps the biggest waste of them all ARRA! That certainly fostered the environment….for about a year…maybe.
Oh well, I will just have to wait it out and some one will tell me which tax creates a job.

Welcome to Serfdom….Where the government tells us that they can spend our money better than we can. Oh, I forgot. ObamaCare…. they did that already…..Hmmm. still at a loss here.

Posted by: MAW at July 9, 2011 11:21 PM
Comment #325526

Not only do taxes create jobs, they create virtually every job worth having in a civilized country.

And yes, MAW, in some cases, the government- also known as We the People- can spend money better than you can. Absolutely. It’s a simple matter of economy of scale. For example, you cannot single-handedly build an interstate highway. However, when you participate as one of We the People, and use your government and the funds it collects through taxation, then you can enjoy the many many jobs that result from building that highway, and many other benefits as well.

This line of logic can be applied to fighting disease through the NIH, enjoying security through national defense, being provided weather forecasts through satellites, and so on.

And as painful as it may be on a personal, financial level- I get that, believe me!- virtually every job worth having in a civilized country results from the benefits of taxation.

Posted by: phx8 at July 9, 2011 11:46 PM
Comment #325529

Are you familiar with the problem of the ‘free rider’ in economics?

Posted by: phx8 at July 10, 2011 12:11 AM
Comment #325530
With the exception of Adam who valiantly gave the old college try about what tax creates a single job and fell short or admitted it did not, when will you or some of the others give me an example? I am still waiting and will check later for the answer.

Every contractor who has worked on a federally funded project was paid by taxes Mike. The government project created the job not the contractor. Every federal prison, bridge, highway, and office building employed architects, engineers, electricians, brick layers and laborers to name a few during the course of the project. Every dollar earned by the contractor was paid by tax dollars. So the answer is the income tax. The space shuttle was designed and built by private companies paid for by tax dollars, income tax dollars Mike. The private armies serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are paid with tax dollars, without the government they would not be a job for them, right?

Are you sure this conservative talking point of “no tax ever created a job” isn’t just another conservative a myth?

Now my turn for a question. Why is it the tax cuts of the Bush years, the stimulus and the employer tax holidays have failed to create enough jobs to get the economy rolling for the 3rd recession in a row? My guess is it is because it is another conservative myth.


When we conservatives on WB begin to read SD’s ultra long posts, our eyes begin to glaze over and we usually fall asleep:)

Explains why the country fell apart during the first 6 years of this century, conservatives running the country fell asleep at the wheel if they had to read more than a paragraph. ;)

Posted by: j2t2 at July 10, 2011 12:41 AM
Comment #325531
Thanks for the link to the NY times j2t2. I recall reading that article when it was first published.

So having triggered your memory Royal we have put the nonsensical “20% pay 80% of taxes” conservative talking point to rest then?

This quote reveals the great deception of our entitlement programs that libs wish to perpetuate and grow. I predict that Obamacare, if left standing by the Supreme Court, will fall into the same category. Just another giant Ponzi scheme.

But alas it is being replaced by the conservative myth of entitlements as Ponzi schemes. While you claim liberalism to be a mental disorder it seems conservatives are inflicted with such a rigid conformity to group norms and so submissive to higher status individuals that they cannot recognize these conservative talking points are not factual. ;)

http://reason.com/archives/2004/10/20/pathologizing-conservatism

Posted by: j2t2 at July 10, 2011 9:50 AM
Comment #325532

phx8


“you cannot single-handedly build an interstate highway. However, when you participate as one of We the People, and use your government and the funds it collects through taxation, then you can enjoy the many many jobs that result from building that highway, and many other benefits as well.”


so you’ve answered the age old question of ” which came first, the chicken or the egg eh?” a little cause and effect will be helpful here.

it starts with a need.

why is it we need infrastructure to begin with? because of private industry, and individuals, and the economy they create. with out private industry there would be no need for infrastructure because there is no one who will use it.

where does that money for infrastructure come from? oh, that’s right, from revenue generated by private industry, and individuals. with out that money infrastructure would not be possible.

no one is going to argue that infrastructure isn’t necessary, but let’s be honest, it is the private sector that creates the need for infrastructure, not the other way around.


“virtually every job worth having in a civilized country results from the benefits of taxation.”

no….it results from the hard work of individuals, who then by the commerce they create provide a need for infrastructure, and other gov’t services like police and fire which require taxes to pay for. you can try and put the cart before the horse if you like, but it won’t work out very well for you.


Posted by: dbs at July 10, 2011 9:58 AM
Comment #325533

j2t2


“So having triggered your memory Royal we have put the nonsensical “20% pay 80% of taxes” conservative talking point to rest then?”

actually….not really.


the top 25% pay 86% of all income taxes, according to IRS statistics for 2008.

http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

Posted by: dbs at July 10, 2011 10:06 AM
Comment #325534

dbs,
It really is not a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario because of the economy of scale issue. Projects with large capital requirements or broad geographic scope are beyond the reach of private commerce.

There is a general historical trend towards larger populations, larger businesses, and larger governments, moving from local to regional to state, and even global. The day when societies succeeded with minimal government went by the wayside a long time ago. A minimal government today merely leaves a population vulnerable to other large forces, which will fill that power vacuum. In the case of the USA, we find ourselves increasing at the mercy of large corporations and their agendas.

Posted by: phx8 at July 10, 2011 11:53 AM
Comment #325536
no one is going to argue that infrastructure isn’t necessary, but let’s be honest, it is the private sector that creates the need for infrastructure, not the other way around.

dbs it was the military, a government entity that had the need for the interstate highway system back in the ‘50’s. So it is indeed all of us, public and private sector that require and benefit from the infrastructure.

the top 25% pay 86% of all income taxes, according to IRS statistics for 2008.

“Because higher-income groups earn a disproportionate share of pretax income and because tax rates rise with income, higher-income groups also pay a disproportionate share of federal taxes.”

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/how-much-americans-actually-pay-in-taxes/

What you are calling attention to dbs is not an unfair tax system but instead income inequality not seen since the gilded age. Conservatives try to use this misleading figure as to try to convince themselves taxes on the rich are to high. A form of submission to higher status individuals if the “Reason” link is to be believed. ;) It is a talking point of the right that is disingenuous at best.

Would wages for the bottom 75% have kept up with the top 25% this would not be an issue. In a nutshell, the comeback of conservatism in the 70’s and the ideology of trickle down has resulted in the business sector winning the war on unions and the middle class resulting in this problem.

As phx8 has so eloquently pointed out it is the Somalia system at work in this country. I have referred to it many times as the South Americanization of America. Either way it is conservatism ideology combined with technology, off shoring and uber-pro business regulations that have left us in this mess.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 10, 2011 12:38 PM
Comment #325537

“Conservatives try to use this misleading figure as to try to convince themselves taxes on the rich are to high.”

Should read:
“Conservatives try to use this misleading figure to convince themselves taxes on the rich are to high.”

Posted by: j2t2 at July 10, 2011 12:40 PM
Comment #325538

j2t2


“it was the military, a government entity that had the need for the interstate highway system back in the ‘50’s.”


that would constitute defense spending. it was built to aid the country during the cold war, in order to make the movement of supplies easier. there was also a requirement that a certain amount roadway had to be straight in order to facilitate the landing of aircraft. it was not built, as you say in the “field of dreams” spirit. ie, if we build it they will come.

“So it is indeed all of us, public and private sector that require and benefit from the infrastructure.”

the need precedes the action. in the case of the interstate hiway it was the military. in the case of other infrastructure it is expansion of private enterprise.


“What you are calling attention to dbs is not an unfair tax system but instead income inequality”


actually what i said was that the lefts contention that upper earners don’t pay “thier fair share” is nonsense. “income inequality”? your answer is what, redistribute that which you deem as ill gotten gains through punitive taxation. and you guys wonder why we accuse you of being marxists?


“What you are calling attention to dbs is not an unfair tax system “

no……..that’s exactly what i’m doing.


“Would wages for the bottom 75% have kept up with the top 25% this would not be an issue.”


so we should all earn the same regardless of our ambition, and ability right? what do you suppose that would do to the incentive to work harder than the next guy in order to get ahead? or the incentive to create something useful to society in order to make a profit. i know you don’t like that evil word, but it is the incentive the drives people to create.


“Either way it is conservatism ideology combined with technology, off shoring and uber-pro business regulations that have left us in this mess.”


and it is the marxist asperations of liberalism, and the belief that what one creates belong to everyone that has facilitated the moving of business, and thier assets off shore to avoid mass confiscation and redistribution of the fruits of thier labor.

Posted by: dbs at July 10, 2011 1:28 PM
Comment #325539

Remember the movie, “Field of Dreams” and the quote, “If you build it, they will come”. Of course this was a fictional movie; but for some mysterious reason, the left believes if they can force corporatiions to turn loose of their billions of dollars and hire people for jobs not yet needed, then the economy will come. It’s easy to find a reason to spend someone else’s money.

My suggestion is that all liberals, including those of WB, cash in their stocks, empty their bank accounts, close out their 401k’s and IRA’s and hire people, who are out of work, to work on their lawns. It is a small effort, but if done by liberals all across America it would make a difference. Come, my liberal friends, take the lead and do something rather than telling others to do it. It’s only money, and you certaintly can’t take it with you to the grave; do what is right and use your own money to make a real change. Be a leader.

Posted by: Mike at July 10, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #325540
And yes, MAW, in some cases, the government- also known as We the People- can spend money better than you can. Absolutely.

Don’t you mean spend the money the way they see fit because they know better than you how to spend your money?

So tell me this. Is this economy working for you?

It’s not for me nor for anybody I know.

And I mean that literally.

Posted by: MAW at July 10, 2011 1:43 PM
Comment #325542
For example, you cannot single-handedly build an interstate highway.

lNo, you let a private company do it with taxes paid at the pump in the most efficient way. Not like the $50 million dollar road that got paid near my business that created no jobs and more importantly NO Business. A complete and total waste of taxpayers money….It would have been better spent giving the money away…Oh, wait that’s what they did…to their cronies.

Posted by: MAW at July 10, 2011 1:49 PM
Comment #325543
However, when you participate as one of We the People, and use your government and the funds it collects through taxation, then you can enjoy the many many jobs that result from building that highway, and many other benefits as well.

We The People says provide for the common defense. So you should like war!

The many, many jobs from ARRA for instance? Are those the jobs you speak of? I mean the shovel ready jobs… those jobs? A trillion dollars and no jobs! I must be a little slow. But I do not see any jobs. But yet there are many, many of them.

Posted by: MAW at July 10, 2011 1:54 PM
Comment #325545
Are you familiar with the problem of the ‘free rider’ in economics?
Would that be another name for Keynesian Economics?

I am not certain what you mean? Are you back to “the rich” don’t pay their fair share? Where are you going with this? Marxism perhaps? Is this your solution? Not sure what exactly you are proposing here?


I think everybody should pay their fair share. Unfortunately, people that make the decision think they know better and spend it as if it is their own money. Well here’s a new one. It’s NOT. There is no Golden Goose and the more you tax, the more people will leave and when they do, they take the jobs with them.

It’s about JOBS!

Posted by: MAW at July 10, 2011 2:05 PM
Comment #325546
This line of logic can be applied to fighting disease through the NIH, enjoying security through national defense, being provided weather forecasts through satellites, and so on.
Private companies with private money can do all these much better. I think you can figure out why…

A little clue. It’s about being efficient and showing a profit. I know to libs, that is a bad word. But this country was built on Capitalism. Not Socialism….

Posted by: MAW at July 10, 2011 2:15 PM
Comment #325547

phx8 wrote; “Projects with large capital requirements or broad geographic scope are beyond the reach of private commerce.”

Well, that’s just silly. Where does the money government spends originate?

j2t2 wrote; “Conservatives try to use this misleading figure as to try to convince themselves taxes on the rich are to high.”

Nope, conservatives and the TEA party are saying current tax rates should not be increased. TEA (Taxed Enough Already).

One in five miles of the Interstate System is straight so airplanes can land in emergencies.

This myth is widespread on the Internet and in reference sources, but has no basis in law, regulation, design manual—or fact. Airplanes occasionally land on Interstates when no alternative is available in an emergency, not because the Interstates are designed for that purpose.


http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/interstatemyths.htm

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 10, 2011 3:03 PM
Comment #325550

RF

looks like i learned something new today. i too believed some straight sections were designed as a back up, if our airfields were rendered unusable. at least that’s what we were taught in school. thanks for the link.

Posted by: dbs at July 10, 2011 3:55 PM
Comment #325553

Thanks RF for the link on Interstate Highways, I also learned a few things. I believe j2t2 must have learned a few things too. I’m sure he will thank you also.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 10, 2011 4:41 PM
Comment #325562

MAW,
This economy is working very, very well for me, thanks to the stock market. So now you know someone who is doing well.

Posted by: phx8 at July 10, 2011 5:53 PM
Comment #325575

Conservativethinker-
My posts take the length they do because I explain my position completely. I explain my positions completely because my positions are often taken strongly, and people deserve complete explanations when a person wants them to change their mind on things they believe strongly.

You? You expect people to change their positions based on nothing more than a smug browbeating. You tell people liberalism is a mental disease, and make up excuses as to why people should believe what others and I say.

I tell people that particular policies and ideas of the conservative movement are wrong, and I explain why. I acknowledge that there are things on which Conservatives aren’t wrong. I’m not so wrapped up in my own point of view that I somehow forget that most Conservatives are decent people, just like most liberals are.

This isn’t a fight to destroy conservatism. This is a fight for me about reminding people what’s most important, and what needs to be done, regardless of our politics.

To all-
1) The Share Canard:
The rich are paying more of the income taxes because fewer people are employed, and fewer people are earning what they once did. The rich are also paying themselves more by leaps and bounds, which means even carrying a greater share of the income taxes, they’re still more prosperous than before.

What is the suggestion of the Republican Party here? Impose more income taxes on those making less? Revoke more spending that keeps people employed, or keeps people cycling money back into the economy?

A decade of doing these same things has not reversed the situation in question, it’s created it.

2)The Elitism Canard:
The real issue is the Republicans want to scare people about increased public spending on their behalf, or make them resent it. So what do they do? They say “Well, these people think the government can spend your money better than you can.”

Ugh. Stop right there. This is a democratic republic, so that means that we select the people who shape policy. People run on certain policies, and we make judgments on who wins, on what policies get a mandate. In one way or another, WE decide what gets done with our money.

Or at least, we get to if we insist on it. Anyways, the point of democratic republic like ours, is that we, as a people can hold these people accountable.

I think the best way of putting it is that you’re deciding upon one use of your money or another. Now, if you want to avoid debts, you’d better be willing to pay for what you’re getting, or if you don’t want to pay for that, you’d better decide what you want to do away with.

That is, under normal circumstances.

Republicans leaders, in their charity, keep on lecturing us about how irresponsible it is to run debts, but the fact is, the Framers did put that temptation before us. Why?

Well, just look at WWII. The government went deeply into debt to finance that. Why? Because events were unfolding too fast, and the needs of the country were too great to wait on funding it by taxes.

Which is not to say they didn’t raise tax rates to pay for it. They did considerably. But they had a war to win, and they were more committed to carrying out that policy imperative than taking a bean-counting approach.

What’s more, they paid off that debt, keeping top rates pretty high for quite some time. Contrary to the picture of Democrats as spendthrifts, Democrats, up to the Carter Administration, were pretty disciplined about the balance between taxing and spending.

Running debts isn’t the problem. Being unrealistic about how you pay them off, and how you pay for future government spending is what gets you deeper in debt, with larger deficits.

3)The Spending Problem Canard:
The argument goes that you have to spend in order to get further into debt, so spending must be the problem.

Well, go to the grocery store, buy an apple, and pay cash for it.

Did you go further into debt? No, you didn’t. Same thing if you used a check card, and paid out of the available balance on your account.

Spending is just making the arrangements to get something for a price. The debt comes when we decide we’re not going to pay for it right now.

Republicans voted in big tax cuts, and Bush signed them into law. They then decided, and this is a matter of public record, to spend for two wars, and a major addition to the scope of Medicare benefits. They decided to spend, in other words. But did they decide to raise taxes to pay for it, to raise the cash for it from the American people?

No. That went against their political principles. Well, fine, but they didn’t offet it any other way. It doesn’t take a grade school student to know that if you spend money you don’t have, you’ll either end up in trouble for stiffing somebody, or you’ll have to take out debt.

Now, sometimes, you need to take out debt. Wars, recessions and other emergencies justify it. But if the recession isn’t that severe, or if you can afford to pay for the war with taxes, you can avoid that.

Republicans started these wars and these benefits in a time of plenty, and rather than spend out of money they had, they played Santa Claus and Gave Americans all these wonderful things, while putting it on the credit card.

And now they beat up Obama for deficits that largely owe their existence to their policies.

We don’t have a spending problem. We have a problem with some people about how to pay for spending at different times, and under different circumstances. We have people who won’t tax for things when folks can afford it, And who then pull back on spending, government employment, and other things when our economy needs the economic activity, and when the emergency justifies the taking out of debt.

Republicans are trying to pretend like now is not the time to be taking out more debt, But the fact is, this is like your air conditioner going out in the middle of summer, or your sewer line breaking, or some awful thing like that. It’s not being frugal to avoid paying for that, it’s being stupid.

We need to fix the economy. We’ve got a workforce idled when it doesn’t have to be, growth stifled when it shouldn’t be, state, local and federal government considering reducing the economic activity of the government when what our nation needs is all the economic activity it can get, so people are once again spending into the economy, and our nation gets back on a self-sustained course of prosperity, rather than a sustained course of stagnation.

Republicans want everything to fix itself. Well, it’s not going to, not unless some bizarre event happens that slaps us into greater productivity. Unfortunately, things like a World War don’t happen all that often (hell, shouldn’t happen that often), and we can’t count on the next technological revolutions to buoy us up if we’re not investing in our industries and our education to take advantage of it.

In my view, there are sometimes when a nation leads itself, where the public reaches a consensus on its own about how it should move, and there are other times when we need more orderly, more top-down policies to coalesce ourselves as a nation into action. It’s not that people are individually stupid, or something like that, it’s just that sometimes people need a little direction and a little back up to do the kinds of things they want to do.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 10, 2011 9:31 PM
Comment #325578

SD

That does not explain the last 30 months of increase spending and deeper in debt and less jobs and the economy in the tank. Republicans didn’t do it. The Democrats did it. How extremely ignorant on your part to once again pass the buck. Thanks again Stephen “cheap shot” Daugherty.

Posted by: tom humes at July 11, 2011 12:19 AM
Comment #325579

dbs the money came through taxes , taxes that paid for the largest public works project that employed many contractors for years. It was not money from the defense budget that paid for the highway system.


“The money for the Interstate Highway and Defense Highways was handled in a Highway Trust Fund that paid for 90 percent of highway construction costs with the states required to pay the remaining 10 percent. It was expected that the money would be generated through new taxes on fuel, automobiles, trucks, and tires. As a matter of practice, the Federal portion of the cost of the Interstate Highway System has been paid for by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal-Aid_Highway_Act_of_1956

it was not built, as you say in the “field of dreams” spirit. ie, if we build it they will come.the need precedes the action. in the case of the interstate hiway it was the military. in the case of other infrastructure it is expansion of private enterprise.

dbs I mentioned nothing about some field of dreams spirit. I took exception to your point that it was a private sector need that drives all infrastructure improvements . Of course there was a need, since the ‘20’s there was a need. The Lincoln highway was the the route across the country then. FDR and others started laying out plans in the ‘30’s to extend the highway system for military and civilian purposes.

actually what i said was that the lefts contention that upper earners don’t pay “thier fair share” is nonsense. “income inequality”? your answer is what, redistribute that which you deem as ill gotten gains through punitive taxation. and you guys wonder why we accuse you of being marxists?

The fact is the top 1% have had tax cuts over the years and pay less than they ever have, dbs, that is just the facts. So you consider it fair that the upper earners that pay only 15% on their unearned income such as dividends while the wage earner with earned income pays more percentage wise depending upon the tax bracket they are in. Once again submissive to higher status individuals seems to be consistent in conservative thought.

I don’t consider these gains to be ill gotten but as they say it is not earned by the sweat of their brow , it is unearned income from stocks and such. To tax it at a lower rate than the earned income doesn’t constitute fair share IMHO. Actually I don’t wonder about the Marxist allegations dbs as I have seen conservatives use this many times when their weak argument is exposed, this is just one more case.


“What you are calling attention to dbs is not an unfair tax system “

no……..that’s exactly what i’m doing.

I disagree dbs the progressive income tax has worked to build the best country with the biggest middle class for many years. It wasn’t until the conservatives started dismantling this tax system that our finances went south. The real issue here is income inequality .

so we should all earn the same regardless of our ambition, and ability right? what do you suppose that would do to the incentive to work harder than the next guy in order to get ahead? or the incentive to create something useful to society in order to make a profit. i know you don’t like that evil word, but it is the incentive the drives people to create.

Really dbs, this comment shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue. This strawman is foolish and a waste if time, re-read what the issue and try again.

and it is the marxist asperations of liberalism, and the belief that what one creates belong to everyone that has facilitated the moving of business, and thier assets off shore to avoid mass confiscation and redistribution of the fruits of thier labor.

No it was cheap labor and low environmental standards that is the real culprit. “Marxist aspirations of liberalism” is just conservative nonsense used to fool the easily led into believing this giant Marxist conspiracy is out there. To think that conservatives are so submissive to higher status individuals that they cannot comprehend the need for environmental standards and labor laws is why we are headed towards third world status dbs.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 11, 2011 1:34 AM
Comment #325589

George,

“Wow, that’s a spread in numbers on the % of wealth between Rocky and Adam. Which one is it?”

Sorry I have been gone for the last few days.

The following is from an article written by an economist named Robert Freeman.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/17

“The data on concentration of wealth are even more startling. The top 1% own more than 50% of all assets in the U.S. They own more than 70% of all financial assets. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of wealth holders own a mere 3.5% of all the assets in the country. The bottom 40% own nothing. They have a combined net worth of zero. Middle class homeowners now own less of the equity in their homes, 45%, than at any time since World War II when the figure stood at 70%. They lost $13 trillion in the housing meltdown, even as the entire past decade produced zero net new jobs.”


dbs,

“the relief was short lived. now those reserves released need to be replenished. gas and oil prices are on the rise again. gas where i live has gas risen @ 30cents a gallon in the last two weeks.”

I don’t know where you live but here in Arizona the trend is downward and has been for the last month or so. The price of gas reached it’s peak of $3.79 a gallon for regular, about a month ago and yesterday (Sunday) I saw $3.18 a gallon.
Oh, and BTW, the value of my house has also been trending upward. It’s up nearly 20% since January.

Adam,

“I’m not sure what Rocky bases his or her figure on.”

See the above link, and the last time I checked I was a guy.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 11, 2011 12:05 PM
Comment #325590

tom humes-

That does not explain the last 30 months of increase spending and deeper in debt and less jobs and the economy in the tank. Republicans didn’t do it. The Democrats did it. How extremely ignorant on your part to once again pass the buck. Thanks again Stephen “cheap shot” Daugherty.

The cheap thing, I think, is that Democrats are treated as spendthrifts for enacting emergency spending, at a time where the threat to the economy was extreme, indeed.

The cheap thing is that you don’t acknowledge that it’s a combination of the bad economy and Obama actually putting the costs of the war on budget, among other things, that creates most of the deficit. I wrote an article about it, quite a ways back.

The cheap thing is that you don’t acknowledge how much of the deficit comes from just three policies: The Medicare Drug Benefit (a good in my opinion, but unpaid for), The Wars, and the Bush Tax Cuts. Altogether, these are worth trillions

Obama put together a trillion dollar package for healthcare reform that didn’t add a trillion dollars to the deficit, that in fact, according to the CBO, put hundreds of billions of offsets on top of being revenue neutral.

So you know what? I think YOUR talking points are cheap shots. I think you’re pretending that Democrats can just snap their fingers, and destroy the medicare drug benefit, end two wars, reduce the defense budget, and undo the tax cuts without any problem

The real problem here is that the Republicans are trying to pass the buck, even while they do everything they can to prevent the fiscal changes necessary to balance the budget.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 11, 2011 1:50 PM
Comment #325595

SD

It makes no difference to you that the democratic majority in the House, the Senate and the WH refused to pass a budget lass year. You would call that responsible. I call it what it is and that is irresponsible.

Can’t think of anything but to flip the words. Okay.

Posted by: tom humes at July 11, 2011 6:05 PM
Comment #325601

“That does not explain the last 30 months of increase spending and deeper in debt and less jobs and the economy in the tank. Republicans didn’t do it.”

Tom,

Nonsense, the Republicans did do it. The largest deficit in modern history was the last budget of the Bush administration (2008-2009). That deficit, excluding the stimulus, was $1.3 trillion. The rate of job loss accelerated through 2008 and only leveled off in mid 2009. Obama inherited a massive recession, unemployment and a huge deficit. We can argue about the effectiveness of Obama’s responses to the recession. However, it is clear that Obama didn’t create the deficit and unemployment problem, it was presented to him upon taking office.


Posted by: Rich at July 11, 2011 8:05 PM
Comment #325602

SD

Better go back to Baylor and get your money back. Comprehension may have been taught but you did not learn it.

Posted by: tom humes at July 11, 2011 8:14 PM
Comment #330898

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