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Friday, March 22, 2019

WASHINGTON — Here’s the mistake made by President Obama and the Democrats that nobody is talking about: They have been too fearful of confronting our country’s three-year obsession with the wrong problem.

And here is the Tea Party’s greatest victory: It has made the wrong problem the center of policymaking.

The wrong problem is the deficit. The right problem is sluggish growth and persistent unemployment.

The paradox is that the deficit would be less challenging today if we had been less preoccupied with it since the 2010 elections. The deep cuts in government spending since then have slowed the very growth we need to make our way toward fiscal balance.

But relief may be on the way. More from political exhaustion than any change of heart, we may be about to take halting steps toward dealing with the issues we should have been grappling with in the first place.

The president’s defenders would assert that he has been careful all along to emphasize the need for short-term stimulus to get the economy moving and to insist that deficit reduction was his goal only for the longer run.

That’s true enough. But there are the words, and then there is the music. Since a Republican Party driven by Tea-Party thinking managed to make government spending and deficits Washington’s paramount concerns, the administration has backed off aggressive efforts to use government to pump much-needed energy into an economy whose tepid growth since the 2008 implosion has left 11.3 million Americans still out of work.

By putting so much effort into negotiating a failed “grand bargain” with House Speaker John Boehner in 2011 and subsequently agreeing to the sharp, across-the-board cuts of the “sequester” to get out of a crisis, Obama contributed to the deficit chorus. Because of the fiscal tightening, our unemployment rate is probably a point higher than it would have been otherwise. We’ve done a heck of a job on the deficit, reducing it from about 10 percent of the economy in 2009 to 4 percent now. We’ve done badly by the jobless.

The administration would argue that it did a lot to avoid even more damage. It had to play the political hand dealt it by the 2010 elections while also facing the overwhelming consensus among political elites that deficit reduction was urgent. The commission that Obama himself appointed, led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, spread this gospel with passion and zeal — even if both acknowledged, usually in much softer tones, that the economy still needed a short-term boost.

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155 responses to “First, Admit The Problem”

  1. John Pigg says:

    I like the sequester cuts. It was one of the Obama administrations most ingenious moves. It effectively forces congress with arbitrary cuts of 10% that they don’t like, until they agree to do their jobs.

    We have to raise taxes and cut spending. If cuts of 10% to the DOD are needed to get the GOP to realize that they have to be willing to raise taxes, then so be it.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

      So true, John. So true.

    • bandrulz says:

      I don’t agree that this is the best strategy to move the economy, but it seems to be the only strategy that accomplishes ANYTHING and if it will eventually wake up the conservatives to the fact that the country needs more revenue, that could be a positive. However, for the tax increases they will probably demand more cuts to social programs which should be unnecessary and off the table.

      • John Pigg says:

        I wouldn’t have a problem with delaying retirement, if the Social Security taxes were taken on yearly salary over 100k. If the GOP can be forced to raise taxes I wouldn’t oppose compromise. But Paul Ryan budget plans have no place on the table.

        • Lynnette Gentry says:

          Paul Ryan Budget Plan To Design To Do As Much Damage As It Can To The Middle Class And Poor Working People Here In This Country!! Screw Paul (Lying King)Ryan!! 🙁

          • John Pigg says:

            I don’t think you have to be as vitriolic as all that. Simply put he wants to lower taxes, and raise military spending.

            Doesn’t sound very fiscally conservative to me… what about you?

        • stcroixcarp says:

          The problem with delaying retirement age is that there are people who have paid in all their working lives who will reap none of these earned benefits because they will die before their 67th, 68th or 70th birthdays and their spouses will not get the benefits either. The “savings” will be achieved by the deaths of the people who paid for these benefits.

          • Michael Kollmorgen says:

            One of the principals of SS is that the program does survive on people’s death before they can start collecting their payments.

            It’s one of those dirty little secrets the government don’t want you to know about.

            One of the biggest problems SS is facing is declining child birth that in the future supports the program. During our grandparents generation, there was usually 6 kids to a family that in the future worked and paid into the program. Now, families are lucky if they have at the most 2 kids.

            And, the families who do have a lot of kids, usually low income brackets, can’t make enough during their lifetimes to support substantial payments from SS.

            I don’t know. IF seems, and I hate to admit it, but SS is going to be in big trouble in the future if they can’t get more revenue.

          • Independent1 says:

            Not if they eliminte the cutoff for SS taxes at around 113,000 now and don’t set another cap. Doing just that would secure SS for another 76 yrs or so.

    • cpbis says:

      Do you really think the GOP cares? All they want is to get rid of Obama and put in their candidates to run the government as Obama’s predecessor did! God help us, please!

    • johninPCFL says:

      The 10% figure is interesting to me. Start with the fact that it occured 1/2 way through the fed fiscal year. That means that the impact was actualy 20% (at least.) Then take into account that Social Security was’t impacted, and magically 25% of the fed spending is not touched. Add in Medicare and Medicaid and another 25% of spending wasn’t touched. hen there’s the interest on the national debt, and of course that can’t go unpaid.
      That leaves over 1/2 of the fedgov 1/2 of the way through the year, or less than 25% of overall spending (mostly military plus discretionary fedgov) absorbing the “10% cut”.
      Looking the other way through the funnel, with each non-discretionary dollar subtracted from “spending”, those remaining saw their funds cut by about half.

  2. Dominick Vila says:

    Deficit spending, borrowing, accumulation of debt, and paying huge interests on the debt are problems that need to be addressed and solved, but our biggest problem is lack of investment and innovation. Neither the public nor the private sectors have been investing enough to stimulate the economy and achieve sustainable economic growth and low unemployment. The public sector has been unable to do it because of ideological opposition, even though our infrastructure is clearly in desperate need of modernization, The private sector has not done it because it is more profitable and logical to invest in countries with low labor costs, and in those that all but guarantee large returns on investment, both because of profits and because of potential sales expansion. Add to that the fact that the private sector has never been inclined to invest in infrastructure and anything that does not augur a high ROI, and it is not too difficult to understand why our economy remains sluggish, why our unemployment rate remain high, and why our roads and bridges are crumbling, our power grid is among the most inefficient in the industrialized world, and new ideas and concepts are something that is only evident in history books.
    We don’t need draconian spending reductions, we need investment and we need more people like Ford, Edison, Bell, Gates and Steve Jobs. Government investment in infrastructure, R&D, education and a few other parts of our economy are an absolute necessity, if nothing else because the private sector is unwilling to invest in those areas and to provide the stimuli and resources we need to compete in the world stage, but the key to sustainable growth and prosperity is to have a robust and profitable private sector. Our investors, and all of those who benefit from tax breaks, loopholes, and subsidies must make an effort to remember where they were born or, if nothing else, consider the impact of a collapse of the U.S. economy and inability to compete would have on their portfolios and personal wealth.

    • itsfun says:

      I think people aren’t investing because they don’t know what our current administration is going to do. I wish our investors and the folks who benefit from loopholes and subsidies would remember where they were born, but they want profit now. The have to please stockholders and such. You are sure right about the power grid, our politicians keep ignoring the potential disaster lurking there. I believe we must relax some of the regulations on our private industry to help them get our economy going. The relaxing does not need to be permanent, but long enough to get us going again.

      • Kurt CPI says:

        Careful, you’ll sound like a capitalist! 🙂 But seriously, it’s the fact that no regulatory policy is permanent, indeed often has no kind of long-term guarantee at all, that keeps people from investing. Nothing drives the economic forces like uncertainty. All investment involves risk, but things like the IRS code and regulatory statutes are fertile soil for politicians to wheel and deal, reward and punish, almost at a whim – very scary for investors. A consistent and stable regulatory policy and tax code, neither of which has to give away the farm, would go a long way toward providing the fundamental certainty that financial and industrial planners need to build a workable business model.

    • Kurt CPI says:

      Dominick, you are a thoughtful and logical person and I enjoy reading your pertinent and well-analyzed posts. But here’s where (IMHO) you are missing the mark. In reference to investment and economic stimulus you said, “The public sector has been unable to do it because of ideological opposition”. The problem is that the public sector simply can’t do it. Everything government does, from purchasing materials to paying employees, is financed by the private sector. You’re absolutely right that we need growth and investment, but it needs to happen at the source of the revenue stream, not the pit into which it pours. I’m NOT talking about Reaganesque “trickle-down”, I think we all see where that has led us. But on the opposite side is the cost of government. Obamacare is the perfect example. Regardless of your feelings about it, it’s a fact that it represents a huge tax increase on the middle class. Even the most optimistic estimates project cost for the average family rising by $2500/yr. And less optimistic estimates are far higher. No point in debating it, time will tell where it truly falls. The point is that increasing the the number of public employees, or private employees financed by government contracts, actually adds to the cost. It would be cheaper to pay people a welfare subsistence that includes free Obamacare than it would to pay them a $60,000 wage and collect $6000 of that back in taxes (a net expense of $54,000). Revenue generation still comes from the same place it always has: real products and services, export revenues (not trade deficits), i.e. mining, smelting, construction, logging, plumbing, etc. Things of intrinsic value created today that didn’t exist yesterday. Tax dollars should finance the things that are necessary for support, i.e. teaching, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc. Laws that favor large corporations who are completely happy to hold their profits in Indonesia need to be changed so that small, domestic companies can employ American workers to generate that value. It’s not a Republican thing, it’s not a Democrat thing. Both are equally guilty. No voodoo, just simple math.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        The public sector investment I was referring was in areas such as infrastructure, R&D, public transportation, and education. Not only because ensuring adequate investment in those areas are critical to our well being and ability to compete, but because the private sector has never shown interest in those sectors of our economy. Eisenhower’s decision to build the National Highway System is an example of what the public sector can and should achieve, and how beneficial public sector investment can be. Social programs such as Social Security, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, the Affordable Care Act, and welfare may not be classic “investments”, but they are indirect investments. For example, before SS was created millions of American senior citizens lived in deplorable conditions, or depended on their children for sustenance. The latter represented a huge burden for their children, and deprived seniors of the dignity afforded by financial independence. SS and MEDICARE are not an expense, they are government run pension and healthcare systems modeled after the insurance industry. We pay into it during our professional lives, the government collects our SS/MEDICARE taxes and promises to provide services in return when we reach a certain age. ACA is pretty much the same, except for the fact that a dedicated tax has not yet been identified and, therefore, its revenues come from general taxes. The benefits of ACA should be obvious to everyone. In addition to eliminating the pre-existing condition and insurance caps, it provides preventive medical care to tens of millions of Americans who currently do not have it. That circumstance contributes to an unacceptably low longevity rate, and impacts businesses and revenues as a result of increased absenteeism, impairments, and serious illnesses that could be easily prevented or reduced. I think it is also important to remember that part of the ACA cost would be offset by eliminating or reducing ER subsidies. Obviously, there is also a component that is difficult to quantify, which is the responsibility of society towards its less fortunate members.

        Subject: Re: New comment posted on First, Admit The Problem

        • Kurt CPI says:

          I agree entirely as long as there’s a foreseeable ROI on the infrastructure, R&D, public transportation, and education we’re paying for. So many spending programs are truly worthless, you don’t need to go further than your back yard to see that. The benefits of ACA are evident, but the money out of the pockets of hard-working people will eventually lead to the need for more public assistance, since that money will come right out of allocation for savings for many. Your last line shows your pragmatic side and you say it with humanity. So let me re-state it in truly steel-gray terms. Does society (the working class) have the responsibility to the less fortunate (those who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not contribute) to pay for them – and to keep them alive so as to perpetuate paying for them as long as possible? I’m not really that cold, but factoring out all but economics, that’s what it boils down to.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            First of all, programs such as Social Security and MEDICARE are not government handouts, we – society – pays for those products via taxation throughout our professional lives, and we continue paying hefty MEDICARE fees AFTER we retire. Portraying such programs as welfare that forces hard working Americans to support parasites is simply not true and it reflects how out of touch or cynical the right wingers are.
            ACA is designed to make healthcare accessible to ALL Americans. It does not exempt anyone from paying their fair share, what it does is to provide subsidies for those who can ill afford to pay insurance company premiums, and make exchanges available for high earners so that they can bargain for lower premiums as part of a large pool of people rather than as individuals.
            Don’t forget that aging, debilitating diseases, impairments and other such factors can and do afflict all of us at some point in our lives. Let’s not forget that not everybody is a multi-millionaire or wealthy enough to live independently when they can no longer work. Yes, society does have a responsibility towards its most vulnerable citizens, if the goal is to stay true to our values and do whatever we can to preserve our way of life. BTW, that is also true for the need to help bright students get the higher education they need.
            Obviously, there are some whose belief is I got mine and to hell with everyone else. It would not surprise me if their ‘final solution” is a cyanide pill.

          • Kurt CPI says:

            Social Security and Medicare are not handouts. They face insolvency without correction, but they are entirely funded by the beneficiaries, both present and future. If I sounded like I was portraying these programs as something else it was not my intent.

            ACA is designed to do exactly as you say, but the employer mandate has been skirted by many of the largest US corporations (as exemptions), so I’m not sure those corporations are paying their “fair share” as you say. Instead they will continue to post billions in profits while the working people foot the bill for their low-wage employees’ healthcare.

            What someone can afford is based on many factors, and time will show us if indeed the working class doesn’t end up with 99% of the bill. As it is now, someone making $10M pays the same as someone making $100K for ACA, so it’s progressive nature is questionable.

            ACA will likely not provide as much life extension as we currently see. I posed my “steel-gray” observation only hypothetically – to generate discussion. But I do believe there’s a limit to what I should expect my neighbors to pay for my benefit. No feeding tubes and respirators for my last 3 months, thank you. On the other hand, your cyanide pill represents a shift to the dark side that I hope I never see.

            I do agree that education should be funded for those who have the aptitude, and that should include training/retraining for displaced workers or anyone who can become productive as a result. Here I strongly disagree that low income people should automatically qualify for educational funding programs that are inaccessible to average-income people. It’s unfair to the taxpayer to fund the educations of low academic achievers simply because they’re poor. I’m not talking about affirmative action – I’m a big supporter of that, it’s necessary and fruitful. I’m talking about programs that, all other things being equal, try to solve non income-related issues on the basis of income. In education, the continuation of funding must be contingent upon achievement. And our colleges and universities must evaluate and grade students on their achievement, not their potential as sources of revenue.

      • sigrid28 says:

        I wonder what you would say about a $2,500 increase in family medical costs that did more than pay for one-half of a two-hour ER visit to diagnose a TIA: $2500 gone in an hour. How does a $2,500 increase in family medical costs that ensures medical expenses will not drive a family into bankruptcy figure in? Or think of it this way: Cost of a colonoscopy–$2,500; annual cost of medication for family of two without insurance–$3,600. Of course, I’m talking about the cost of health insurance available through the ACA, but I could refer as well to health insurance available on the open market or through an employer. Any thoughts?

        • Kurt CPI says:

          But for the vast majority of privately/employer insured, ACA amounts to paying more and getting less. The real shame is that there are three tiers for everyone. Do you think $2500 means anything to someone earning a millions bucks per year? It’s a drop in the bucket. But for a working-class family of 5 that already has better health insurance for $2500 less, it’s a huge deal. It amounts to nothing more than taking that money right out of their pockets.

          • sigrid28 says:

            You might SAY that more costly insurance covers fewer medical costs, but that doesn’t prove anything unless you see the two policies. One reason insurers raise the cost is that the law forces them to accept some people who were refused before and not drop people as soon as they were sick, etc. These companies fight such fairness by raising premiums–or are just using the new law as an excuse. Be that as it may, you refuse to answer my question: Isn’t it better for this family to pay $200 a month more or about $2500 more a year in premiums and avoid bankruptcy than pay less and face losing everything as soon as their old–perhaps illegal policy from before–dropped them?

      • ChrisArc says:

        “a welfare subsistence that includes free Obamacare”?

        The Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” is NOT free health care!

        • Kurt CPI says:

          First, you missed the point entirely. But since you raise the issue, it’s sure not free for the working class. It’ll cost 5% – 10% of a working-class family’s income to finance. That’s a 50% – 100% tax increase for many.

          • ChrisArc says:

            Your point was complaining about the government giving away taxpayer money to the old and poor.

            First the old getting SS are not getting free money, they paid money into the system so that is their money they are getting back. A lot of the poor that needs food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid are working for companies like Wal-Mart that are making billions off of them while making the taxpayers pay for their health care and other needs. That is a huge tax increase know as “The High Cost of Low Prices” or “The Wal-Mart Effect”.

            Second “Obamacare” is not free for anybody, it does not provide health care it is just rules that make it easier for people to get health insurance and make sure they are not just going to the ER and then not paying like most of the illegals do.

            When SS was started the age of 65 was picked because that was the normal life expectancy then.

          • Kurt CPI says:

            That was not the point. The response, as it states in the first sentence or two, was to spending public money as “investment” and “economic stimulus”. My point was to the long-term benefit of spending public funds in this manner when, in the end, no new revenue is directly produced. The hope of such an investment is that it will spur private enterprise, where all things of “value” in the economic sense are produced. As a contrast I used ACA since it’s in the forefront of scrutiny at present. I just stated a truth (albeit an intentionally short-sighted one”) that it would cost less to pay the minimum welfare benefit and provide ACA at no charge than it would be to create a temporary job at taxpayer expense. It’s not an arguable point.
            As far as your comment that ACA is not free for anyone, you’d better go back and do a fact check. ACA absolutely DOES provide health insurance, it’s not just rules. It’s maintains partial privatization by distributing the accounting between a few private providers and government entities, but it fundamentally nationalizes healthcare for everyone who can’t qualify for an exemption. BTW, Wal-Mart has already qualified for exemption! So it’s an even better deal for them.

  3. docb says:

    I am listening to coburn for Ok flat out lie on MSNBC,. $700 million for a web site…LIE, Medicare is broke…LIE, Repubs have a plan..LIE…Think the problem is no one in the media is calling them out..not just the dems but the bobble heads..They let axelrod begin to refute and then let coburn over run…Disgusting..Lyin ryan and the House repub liars are running a scam..this article lays it out!
    No wonder the American people find the repubs more despicable daily!

    • foundingprinciples says:

      Well, this explains it!

      • WhutHeSaid says:

        This really is your hero, isn’t it? You drooling Tea-Bigots can’t seem to get Hitler off your minds.

        • Lynnette Gentry says:

          That’s Cause Their Pimps The Koch Brothers Love Hitler And They Follow Them Two Demons In Meat Suits To Hell Where They All Came From!! 🙁

    • Lynnette Gentry says:

      Funny How They Never Tell They The GOP Did All Of The Damage Spending!! 🙁 I Don’t Know Who The Hell They Think Their Fooling!!! 🙁

    • itsfun says:

      The cost of the web site is probably close to or will be greater than 700 million. I spend 35 years in the IT business and have some idea of what a huge project like this will cost. The project management for this project just wasn’t there. We always had weekly meetings with the different teams to assure we were meeting project deadlines. When any team started to fall behind, we did things to get them up to speed. We had monthly meeting with management of our customers to give statuses updates to them. We thoroughly tested every phase of our projects before moving on to the next phase. You not only do in house testing, but also live testing with people outside of our element, and try to break the system. You have outside folks follow the instructions, don’t help them at all. Watch them and see the problems they have and then fix the problems. I can’t believe any of these steps were taken. Our government officials should have been on top of all problems every month

      • sigrid28 says:

        Divide the $700 million by ten, that is the estimated cost of the website. Now multiply your $700 million figure by three and add $300 million more, and you have$ 24 billion, the amount the Republican shutdown cost this country this month alone, in its abortive effort to stop a law without winning enough elections.

        • itsfun says:

          What does that have to do with the cost of implementing the Obamacare tax?

          • highpckts says:

            Because the GOP are ALWAYS complaining about spending but they didn’t blink when they cost this country 24 billion by the shutdown!!

          • Lynnette Gentry says:

            They Are The Main Ones Who Caused This Debt!!! They Have Done NOTHING TO HELP THIS COUNTRY NOR THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE HERE NOTHING BUT KEEP UP A LOT OF BULLSHIT!!!

          • itsfun says:

            Reid and Obama shut the government down by refusing to even talk to the House. My original post was about how bad the company was that tried to write the obamacare tax computer system and how the Government blew it by not demanding project management meetings to know exactly where the system was in the development stage. My point was project management was completely ignored and this type of failure should not have happened, or at the least the Government should have known this system was in a lot of trouble. Instead all we heard was how wonderful it was going to be and easy to use like comparing cell phone companies and the such. We have been lied to all thru this train wreck. From being told we could keep our current plans and doctors to how easy it would be to use the web site. Instead of admitting how terrible this is, you talk about other things and I am supposed to forget about this train wreck. Not going to happen.

        • docb says:

          Hear Hear, sigrid!

        • Paul Bass says:

          It’s worse than that! multiple $700 million by 30 times (not 3 times) and you get $21 billion, and you still need to add $3 billion more!
          So the repubs are complaining about $700 million, which is really closer to $70 million, while they blow through 300 times as much on a useless shutdown.
          Yes sir, another clear example of the republicans “fiscal responsibility”…

    • sigrid28 says:

      I, too, find the false equivalencies of media coverage depressing–they think they have to give false ideas equal time to allow representation of both parties. Another problem is ownership of media franchises, which is skewing Republican, with predictable results. My recommendation is to set yourself up with a bottle of Tums and watch C-Span this week. Here is where one may easily separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak. Besides covering the House and Senate, these channels also give you whole press conferences, entire congressional hearings (prepare to scream), and the chance to interact now and then. You get an appreciation for the role editting plays in media.

      • docb says:

        Yes, I have watched C-SPAN but it is very depressing to have so obvious an example of obstruction and ignorance in my face! I do not have much time to watch during their ‘office ‘ hours, am afraid…I practice too much and they rarely are in session.

        Am fortunate enough to have had 2 cousins in the US. House..One Dem and one Repub and saw the US Congress in action…when Congress worked for the Country. A different World this past decade and a half.

        • sigrid28 says:

          Great that you are still practicing! You can sometimes see a rerun of a hearing overnight, but not usually “live” coverage of the House and Senate in session. I wonder what these cousins who served in the House think of the present situation.

          • docb says:

            Neither cousin is impressed with the Sophomoric repubs in Congress! The Dem is working on replacing a repub Governor with a Dem and the Republican has closed his checkbook!

    • Mikey7a says:

      Bill Maher calls them out all the time. The trouble being, he uses humor, so rarely gets taken seriously.

      • docb says:

        But he gets to the youth and that is a segment that needs information..

        Forbes- 5/2012 :

        “It’s enough to make even the most ardent Obama cynic scratch his head in confusion.

        Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is
        reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than
        any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

        Who knew?”

  4. Dominick Vila says:

    How about including charts showing the impact of the lowest tax rates on government revenues and our ability to pay our bills? How about a chart showing where the main beneficiaries of low tax rates, loopholes, and subsidies are investing their money, and a correlation to job growth in the USA?
    The GOP’s obsession with spending is influenced by the need to deflect attention from the effects of having the lowest tax rates in the industrialized world, making sure people remain unaware of the fact that those who benefit the most from loopholes and subsidies are among the wealthiest members of our society, and pretending to be fiscally conscious as long as balancing the budget does not affect their political donors.

    • foundingprinciples says:

      The upper 10% pay more – in proportion to their incomes – than those who have lower incomes. The 10% pay 70% of the income taxes. In other words, the 90% is actually living off the largess of the 10%

      The 90% – or especially the lowest 50% – should be thankful and grateful.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

        Excuse me, but where in the hell did you get your figures? From Rick Santorum’s Talking Points? If so, why do guys like Jeff Immelt, Diamond Dave Cote and Tim Cook pay less in taxes than guys like Dominic Vila, John Pigg and myself? At least as far as the impact on our income to spending ratio.

        • foundingprinciples says:

          Nope. The data are readily available on the net.

          Check it out for yourself. It is very easy: Google the % of income tax revenue that comes from the upper 1%, upper 5% and upper 10%. You will see that these groups are paying most of the income tax: The upper 10% are paying about 70% of the total.

          Of course, Liberals find an exception and present it as though it is what most of the wealthy do. If you are honest and want to know truth, look at the aggregate, not individuals. Pointing to individuals distorts what is happening.

          • morbius777 says:

            If we were playing on a level playing field, you might have a point. But ever since Reagan, Republican/conservative/business interests have been gaming the system tilting it heavily in their direction. What do you think all the efforts at deregulation were about? For the average citizen? Hardly. Look at wages for workers; static for 30 years. Look at the profits for the 1%… through the roof. And were are those profits coming from? The systematic dismantling of the middle and lower classes. They SHOULD be paying a much GREATER SHARE OF TAXES. Example, raise the capital gains tax back to 25% (those guys sitting around the pool waiting for their dividend checks should pay more). Let’s have a wall street transaction tax of .01% on every transaction… would raise revenue and help curb speculation.

          • sigrid28 says:

            This is a troll plant, whose screen name and photo image fit a meme. As he/she told me, the picture is of Milton Friedman, chief economic advocate of Reagan’s trickle down economics. It’s like conversing with a puppet.

          • Lynnette Gentry says:

            Yes No Doubt About It He/ She Is A Lying Troll!!! LOL And Full Of #2!! LOL

          • Independent1 says:

            Sigrid, I think it’s like conversing with a puppet we used to know as Obozomustgo – notice he hasn’t been around lately and this creep likes to post cute sayings and pictures like old MUSTGO.
            Sure wish he would!!

          • docb says:

            Just click on his history/ name!..a couple thousand posts and 400+ upvotes…It helps to know who to NOT to waste your time on!

          • Lynnette Gentry says:

            Exactly docb!! LOL

          • stcroixcarp says:

            I love that transaction tax idea.

          • Paul Bass says:

            You are playing fast and loose with statistics! The upper 10% of America makes OVER 95% of the revenue of the entire nation, therefore they SHOULD pay over 95% of the taxes, yet they do not.
            Therefore us middle class folks are subsidizing the wealthy, so that they pay less taxes PROPORTIONATELY (not in absolute $) then we do.
            You are confusing absolute numbers with percentages, the wealthy should pay about the same percentage of taxes as the middle class, not the same dollar amounts.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Nope. The upper 10% makes less of the national income than they pay – proportionally, that is.

          • TZToronto says:

            You’re mixing two measures but pretending they’re the same thing. The fact that the upper 10% pay so much in taxes has nothing to do with the proportionality of what they pay. If I make $100 million this year and end up paying $10 million in taxes, what’s the tax rate? On the other hand, if I make $60,000 and pay $10,000 in taxes, what’s the tax rate? In the first case, I pay a whole whack of money in taxes; in the second case not so much. As a proportion of my income, though, my $60K get’s taxed at a higher rate than my $100MM. Does that seem fair?

          • BillP says:

            TZ founding’s statics may be correct but you are 100% right when you talk about what effective tax rate someone pays. A perfect example of this is Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax return that was displayed on a website. In 2010 Romney taxable income was over $21,000,000 and his effective tax rate was a whopping 13.9%. My income was 1/210th of his and my effective rate was 20.2%. Founding is correct in that Romney paid more in tax dollars than I did but it wasn’t 210 times more than amount. The major reason was that the vast majority of Romney’s income came from interest, dividends and capital gains, all taxed at 15% and not the nominal rate he should be paying at. The tax code favors the wealthy since they can earn more money through items taxed at 15% while the middle class worker has most of their income come from a salary that will be taxed at a higher rate. Founding’s argument is typical, the wealthy pay more in tax dollars but it’s not proportional to their total income.

          • Independent1 says:

            What makes it worse, is that Romney paying over 10% in taxes for 2010 and 11 were obviously setups to mislead the American people. They were probably the only years Mitt paid an effective tax rate over 5% in the past 15 years – he didn’t refused to divulge his earlier tax returns because he was proud of them. Mitt has used so many gimmicks over the years, including shielding monies in places like Switzerland, Ireland and the Cayman islands to lower his tax rate, he’s probably had years when he paid close to Zero. (Anyone who can accumulate over 100 million in a 401K over 15 years when the max that could have legally been put into it each year was $30,000 or $450,000 over 15 years – knows how to cheat the system.)

          • BillP says:

            Unfortunately there was only access to 2010 and 2011 tax returns that Romney filed. In 2011 his effective rate was 14.1%. Not bad for a guy who earned in the tens of millions. People like founders always like to use the amount of taxes paid by the wealthy because it seems like they are paying a lot of money but the reality is that the wealthy never pay anywhere near what their nominal rates should be. You are right that Romney and other wealthy people can hide money in offshore accounts. I do it too, I put a dollar in a bottle and threw it in the Atlantic Ocean.

          • Independent1 says:

            And he only achieved a 14% rate by not fully claiming some deductions he had available to him which if he had taken them would have reduced his rate to close to 10% – which he apparently thought was the wrong move for someone running for president. But you can be sure that once the election was over and he had lost,that he filed an amended return and claimed those deductions.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Illogical. If you make $100 million and pay 30 million, you are paying 30%, of course. And the guy making $60,000, paying only $600 is paying 1%!

            We are in charge of sales tax, which does not exist in many states, and we get back (plus much more) SS and medicare. So, it is mainly income tax to be concerned with.

            In addition, the successful own property and pay property tax, while those who pay almost no tax (the bottom half pay only 2.7%, notice the decimal), rent and pay no property tax!

            The Leftists, with their anti-free market ideology, attempt to turn people against the successful and against property. The Liberals create rationales to confiscate the property of others and call themselves “compassionate!” What freakin’ frauds and hypocrites!

          • iamproteus says:

            Your first paragraph is totally out of the realm of reality……and you are completely aware of that. No need to belabor that point any further. As for your claim that those who rent pay no property tax, answer this question (try to do so honestly, please!): where do you suppose the property owner gets the money to pay the property tax….and the insurance….and the maintenance on the property as well as every nickle of every other expense related to that property as well as the principal and interest on the loan through which said property was acquired? Since I don’t trust you to be honest, I will tell you: it ALL comes from the renter of the property no matter if it is a motel room or a high rise office space on Madison Avenue. In summary “Foundingprinciple, I just want to say one more thing to your lying ass……phuque off!

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Renters choose where they want to live. They can move. Landlords are not evil.

            I own rental property. I pay for upkeep, insurance and taxes no matter what, and they have been periods of YEARS in which I lost money. So, in those years – where did I get the money? From my private bank account, of course.

            The renters care nothing for the property, and many are like you who resent the “evil landlord” who is the owners of CAPITAL. When the Left-wingers take over a city, they start with the rent control and “rights” for the poor widdle renters. It got so bad in Berkeley – home of Leftism – that the Liberals there actually passed local laws in response to state laws.

            At the state level, the law was that the property owner could evict renters if he sold the property. At Berkeley, they actually made the owner of the property pay up to $5,000 in moving expenses!

            Summary: Property owners are those in the middle and upper classes, and they contribute to the tax base. This includes their own homes, of course. They have to pay the rent. The poor can get subsidies and make the successful pay out even more so they can have a “decent standard of living” which includes housing projects and FOOD STAMPS – All paid for by the successful.

            We are reaching a tipping point at which enough of the people are not contributing to the tax base and they will want – with the encouragement of Leftists – to confiscate and “spread” the wealth. If this Liberal nightmare ever comes, I hope that the successful can get their money out of the country before the freakin’ Leftists get their tentacles on it. I have citizenship of another country myself; it the Left-wingers get full control, I will be out before the Liberals destroy the greatest nation that ever was.

          • Paul Bass says:

            You have citizenship in another country? If America is so bad, because of us Leftist, why don’t you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, leave!
            Us Lefties and those few moderate republicans can then go about governing this country without the threat of shutdown whenever the TPers don’t get their way.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Conservatism in America is on the rise! There is hope for America, of course.

            “The public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood – James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs-from 1950 to 2012.”

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2013/10/09/the-conservative-shift-in-public-opinion-has-happened-in-all-50-states/

          • BillP says:

            Your first paragraph uses an example that never happens. There is no person making $100 million a year that pays an effective rate of 30%. They have lawyers and tax accountants that can take advantage of tax code loopholes. They also get a good amount of income from interest, dividends and capital gains, something a person earning $60K can’t do. The tax code is skewed towards the wealthy not the middle class.

            At what income level does the “bottom half” start? There are a lot of people at the lower income levels who pay little or no tax because they make so little. A person earning $10 an hour earns $20,800 that is below the poverty level of $23,050 for a family of four. $10 an hour is above the minimum hourly wage that many people have to live on. You right wingers also seem to make the poor and near-poor responsible the ills of the country.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            It was a HYPOTHETICAL example, hypothetical, hypothetical! It was to demonstrate the idea of % of income!!!!!!!

            Again: The people in the higher income brackets pay a higher % of their incomes in income tax! This is incontrovertible. It does not matter if you can dig up some exception of some rich guy who paid only 2%. IT DOES NOT CHANGE A FREAKIN’ THING! YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE AGGREGATE!

          • BillP says:

            So you use a hypothetical example as proof of your argument, that convinced me. Your statement in the 2nd paragraph is just not valid. Any wealthy person can take advantage of tax code loopholes and hide income from govt taxes. You provide no factual proof of your statement, typing in capital letters doesn’t make your comment factual. You seem to have a lot of anger inside you,this typing with capital letters is just an example of it.

            What is fact is that high income earners can keep money off-shore, in tax deferred vehicles and use lawyers and tax accountants to pay a less effective rate than ordinary salaried workers. Since you claim that the aggregate pays a higher % than others show me where this data exists.

            Why show a picture of someone that is not you?

          • foundingprinciples says:

            There is factual proof if one does not do the vapid Leftist thing and find individuals and falsely claim that they represent the entire group.

            FACT: Those of the highest incomes pay a larger % of their incomes to income tax. That is an incontrovertible fact. Your not liking it, or Rachel Maddow telling you different does not change that fact.

          • BillP says:

            You still haven’t answer my question, show me proof of your statement. You can also stop with your indignant vapid left wing comments they just show your anger and nothing else. Prove your incontrovertible fact, it’s as simple as that, otherwise it’s just the ranting of an angry person. My example of Mitt Romney was use because he ran for president and didn’t like takers but didn’t mind taking advantage of a skewed tax code.

            You also display an unwarranted arrogance, you don’t know me but am stating that I watch or listen to Rachel Maddow. Something isn’t incontrovertible unless you can prove it.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            You have tempted me to go back on a promise I made to myself: Do not provide links or “sources” to a Left-winger.

            And why? Because they NEVER – and I mean NEVER – accept any data. Liberals ALWAYS find some excuse to deny or negate the data, ALWAYS. If they cannot negate it, they deflect, insult, question, and/or ask for more. Liberals demand newer data, different sources. There is a plethora of ways that Left-wingers never accept.

            But I will regret what I will now do. I am going to be stupid and provide the data, and the numbers and the link!

            But you will not accept it. I already know this.

            It can be difficult to say how much wealth people OWN, but income is different.

            The top 1% have 21% of the total Adjusted Gross Income but pay 38% of the total taxes. Close to double.

            The top 5%, have 35% and pay 58%

            The top 10% have 46% and pay 70%

            The top 25% have 67% and pay 86%

            The top 50% have 87% and pay 97%

            The bottom half have 13% and pay 3%

            http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/250.html

          • BillP says:

            Great your facts are talking about absolute amounts,the upper income earners make more money so they pay money in tax dollars. However you don’t prove that they pay a higher relative amount than middle class taxpayers. That is what I have stated all along and you,have offered nothing to refute this.

            My example of Romney’s tax return for 2010 shows that he paid around $3 million in Federal taxes which equals an effective tax rate of 13.9% due to the skewed tax code. My effective rate was 20.2% on an income that was around 1/210th of his but my taxes paid were more than 1/210th of his

            In an earlier comment you stated that the wealthy pay a higher % (that would be their effective rate) of their income than the middle class and you still haven’t proved this. You seem to,not understand the concept of relative versus absolute values. Relatively speaking the wealthy pay a lesser effective rate than do the middle class.

            You Amy want to try some anger management classes, they may help you with your,problem.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            I just proved it. Romney has absolutely nothing to do with this at all. That is ridiculous to keep referring to him.

            I knew that you would make up some fantastic, and illogical, nonsensical excuse to deny it, of course. This is precisely why there is absolutely no point in providing Left-wingers with any data, links, or sources. Leftists can be like religious fanatics, true believers.

          • BillP says:

            You really should try to control your anger, you come across as a very bitter man. As for statistics I went to the tax foundation website and found some very interesting numbers. For the fiscal year 2010 here some numbers for you to scoff at.

            Top 1% Adjusted Gross Inc – $1.5 trillion
            % of Total AGI – 18.9%
            Average Tax Rate – 23.39%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 35%

            Top 5% Adjusted Gross Inc – $2.7 trillion
            % of Total AGI – 33.8%
            Average Tax Rate – 20.64%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 33%

            Top 10% Adjusted Gross Inc – $3.6 trillion
            % of Total AGI – 45.2%
            Average Tax Rate – 18.46%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 28%

            Top 25% Adjusted Gross Inc – $5.4 trillion
            % of Total AGI – 67.6%
            Average Tax Rate – 15.22%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 25%

            Top 50% Adjusted Gross Inc – $7.1 trillion
            % of Total AGI – 88.3%
            Average Tax Rate – 13.06%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 15%

            Bottom 50% Adjusted Gross Inc – $944 billion
            % of Total AGI – 11.7%
            Average Tax Rate – 2.37%
            Nominal Tax Rate – 10%

            These are the aggregate totals for a number of tax levels. The top 1% pays an effective tax rate of 23.38% not the 38% that you are trying to imply. This data is right from tax foundation.org website that you cited. I’m surprised you didn’t find it yourself but then very little penetrates the conservative bubble that you live in. Enjoy the numbers

          • Paul Bass says:

            You keep saying they pay a higher percentage, but that is a totally false statement!
            They pay more dollars, but less percentage of their income!
            As wealthy as you are, you don’t seem to grasp the difference between nominal dollars and a percentage of a total.
            Yes, someone who pays 10% on $100 million pays $10 million in taxes (a lot of money)
            But someone who pays $10,000 on $60,000, while “only” paying $10,000 in taxes, actually pays 67% GREATER taxes than the millionaire! (16.7%/10% = 167%).

          • foundingprinciples says:

            If the lower and higher incomes paid the same amount of money in taxes, of course the lower end is paying a higher %. That is a given. Why do you state the obvious?

            The matter is not that at all. The wealthy not only pay more, but a HIGHER PERCENTAGE of their income to income tax. The dumb way would be to find some individual and claim that he represents the group.

            The intelligent way is to look at the entire group, of course. When one does that, it becomes perfectly obvious and irrefutable.

          • plc97477 says:

            When you claim the poor don’t pay taxes you mean they do not pay income taxes. They do however pay gas, sales, property etc.

          • BillP says:

            Plc you are correct I meant that the working poor don’t pay Federal income tax but do pay FICA, Medicare and a whole slew of sales taxes.

          • Paul Bass says:

            You’ve switched up TZs numbers (to, of course make your argument seem reasonable). TZ mentions 10% (not 30%) on $100 million, $10 million or a 10% tax rate.
            While he mentions $10,000 on a $60,000, or a 16.7% tax rate (NOT 1%).
            So TZ argument is correct, why should the wealthy pay only 10% taxes while middle class folks pay so much more?
            So the wealthy get a subsidy from the rest of us.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Hypothetical example. TX’s figures were not accurate at all; he pulled them out of thin air. The successful pay far more income taxes than the middle or lower economic classes as a proportion of their incomes.

            For the THIRD TIME: The one percent (1%) was a HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE to demonstrate the concept. Got it? HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE, HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE, HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE, HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE, HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE, HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE.

          • iamproteus says:

            Are you losing it, Founding? It really messes with your head when people don’t buy into your B.S., doesn’t it? You’re as full of crap as a Christmas turkey!

          • foundingprinciples says:

            No. I see the Liberals WANTING to believe the the successful pay a lower % of tax on their incomes, and using all sorts of subterfuge to promote that myth. The conversation goes off in all sorts of directions, and the obfuscation is quite incredible. All to avoid the truth that is readily verifiable. I provided links to prove it, but Leftists are True Believers who cling to their faith in Socialism and Statism.

          • TZToronto says:

            You’re not talking about liberals. You’re talking about communists. I don’t know any liberals who are against private ownership. The point is that the person making $100 million is more likely to pay $600 than is the person making $60,000. Here in Toronto, many people who live in the most exclusive area of the city on large plots of land have had their properties zoned as farmland in order to lower their property taxes. There’s been no farming there for decades.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Liberals want to confiscate the wealth of the successful. In addition, many Liberals want the nationalization of natural resources and communications. That was consistent after both wars – out in the open. Today, the Left-wingers will use excuses, such as the oil spill to say that the oil industry should be nationalized. The Liberals want to, ipso facto, control corporations by more and more regulations. The Liberals want to have harsh progressive taxation, even confiscating inheritances about a certain amount. Liberals will soon clamor for Universal Healthcare, having the government take over that. The Left-wingers never stop.

          • TZToronto says:

            I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have heard nothing about nationalizing the oil industry, controlling corporations, or confiscating inheritances. As for universal healthcare, yes, that’s the ultimate goal. Keep in mind that regulations of all kinds have been eased over the last 30 or so years (and one type of easing led to the sub-prime debacle that is still plaguing the U.S. economy). There may be liberals who would love to see more government control over the things you mention, but I think there are few in positions of authority who want such control.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            {I have heard nothing about nationalizing the oil industry}

            Really?

          • ChrisArc says:

            The six members of the Walton family alone make more than 40% of the workers in this country.

            They are making billions off of workers that they pay below poverty level wages and workers locked in sweat shops in other countries that dies when the factories catch fire or collapse. Meanwhile the taxpayers get stuck paying for their workers health care through Medicare and Medicaid!

            Everybody knows that the rich use all the loopholes they can to avoid paying their share of taxes and those loopholes need to be plugged up for good!

          • Bill says:

            Try getting the GOP to agree with that.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            {The six members of the Walton family alone make more than 40% of the workers in this country.}

            Good for them! The only reason anyone could resent this is one: ENVY. E..N..V..Y

          • Nancy Maupin says:

            ENVY…..how delusional are you?

            If I were a Walton, I would pay my workers livable wages, provide health care and refuse to buy cheap, worthless crap made in overseas sweatshops. Sure, my profit margin may be smaller, but I would still be a billionaire.

            Only one word for the Walton family: G…R…E…E…D.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Yes, envy. You are not a Walton because you (and I) lack something that they have. Some quality of the personality or intelligence. You can sit in front of your computer and claim that you would do this and that – but it is with something ABOUT WHICH you really KNOW NOTHING!

          • Paul Bass says:

            “Quality of the personality or intelligence…”
            Are you delusional? They INHERITED their money, they did NOTHING for their wealth. Their daddy gave it all to them, that’s NOT intelligence or personality…

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Typical Left-winger myth.

            Hey, Libbo, instead of parroting the Party line, why not go to the Fortune 400 and have a look-see for yourself? Why don’t you freakin’ THINK for a change instead of vomiting up the myths, the propaganda of the Left?

            Take a look, pal. Take a good look.

            But even if one finds that there were some who inherited some money, so what? That means – because they did not fit the Leftist criterion of “earning” the money as Liberals deem proper or whatever – that you Leftists can now confiscate it with a clear conscience or something?

            But don’t use that last paragraph to avoid what I suggested in the beginning. I know you will not make the effort because you are comfortable just regurgitating the tropes of the Liberals and then placing yourself on some kind of false, pretentious platform. I know you will not look. I know this.

          • Paul Bass says:

            Opinion, not facts, again!

          • foundingprinciples says:

            I just provided it, and know that the Left-wingers will think of some excuse to negate and deny. Or they will change the subject, insult, respond with leading (insulting) questions, divert, or simply ignore it. Read the data and do your thing.

          • TZToronto says:

            Recently, Loblaw in Canada, a grocery chain that sells low-priced apparel as well in some of their stores, said that they were going to give $70 million to the families and survivors of the Bangladesh factory that collapsed, killing more than 1000 workers. One famous, wealthy Canadian entrepreneur commented that this largesse was not fair to Loblaw shareholders. This guy is notorious for his criticism of almost all taxation, and feels–like you do–that everyone should look out for himself. Give the families of the dead, subsistence-wage workers money simply because they were killed in a factory that makes cheap clothing to sell in your stores? Unfair to the shareholders! Really?

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Walmart gave over $1 BILLION!

            Overall, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s total global contributions of $1.08 billion in the last fiscal year include:

            U.S. giving of $1 billion in cash and in-kind gifts, up from $872.7 million last year

            More than 351 million meals to local food banks through Feeding America

            1 million bottles of water to residents impacted by Hurricane Sandy

            $1.9 million in grants to Share Our Strength to provide 122,000 families the skills and resources needed to prepare healthy, affordable meals

            Our stores and clubs gave $4.9 million toward first responders, including nearly $3 million toward local law enforcement

            $106.4 million in cash and in-kind gifts given by Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program

            http://news.walmart.com/news-archive/2013/04/22/walmart-giving-in-last-fiscal-year-exceeds-1-billion-for-the-first-time

            Now, be a good Left-winger and make me regret posting actual data and a link: Deny, contrive some way to negate this, claim it is not valid in some way. Do the Liberal thing.

          • TZToronto says:

            I’m not the one who’s looking for proof. My post had to do with the to-hell-with-’em attitude of raw capitalism. To say that the shareholders are being mistreated by a company when the company tries to make amends for supporting near-slavery working conditions which led to the deaths of over 1000 workers is simply greedy and selfish. I’m happy to see, based on your numbers, that some corporations actually do support their communities.

          • bhaggen says:

            Don’t we all use all the “loopholes” we can to avoid paying more taxes than we have to?

          • Paul Bass says:

            Opinion, not facts. Again the top 10% make more than (acquire from lower classes) 95% of the total economic output of the country, yet they do NOT pay 95% of the taxes.
            Therefore the wealthiest are being subsidized by the rest of us.
            According to your own statistics earlier, if they only pay 70% of the nations taxes, they are getting a free ride on their taxes of over 25%!
            Wow, I wish us middle class could get 25% of our taxes paid by others!

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Nope. You are wrong. Look it up, buddy. You have been duped.

          • TZToronto says:

            There’s only one thing wrong with what you’ve said. The upper 10% generally don’t MAKE their money. They receive it through the labor of others. . . . foundingprinciples should have fun with this. . . .

      • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG says:

        I see your disdain for people who you consider less than you and members of your party has not improved. I will be thankful and grateful when people like you stop thinking you are superior to everyone else. Are you one of those Republicans who claims to be a “Good Christian”, while demeaning people who are less fortunate, are of a different color than you, have different religious beliefs than you and who have different political point of view than you?

        • foundingprinciples says:

          I am not “superior” to anyone. I present facts. Did you verify them? Or do you just name call and insult when someone presents facts that do not align with your Left-winger dogma?

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG says:

            I did not say a word about your facts sir, I did not call you a particular name, however I have called into question your attitude towards others. I respect the fact that people have different political points of view and openly discuss them with individuals, however, to date I still do not agree or embrace Republican economic policies (which brought us here), Republican Social Policies, and Republican Foreign Policies (the Iraq War).

          • Paul Bass says:

            Sorry, you opinions are not facts.
            And no, you have not seen me name call. I DID learn that in kindergarten, although my tongue is double in size from biting it so much…

        • sigrid28 says:

          No, he/she is a troll plant, setting about stirring up controversy on the National Memo in an exciting new way.

      • sigrid28 says:

        Troll plant alert.

        • foundingprinciples says:

          Lefties write “troll” when they are challenged. It allows them to ignore facts and avoid thinking.

          • highpckts says:

            Don’t you wish! There are Tax rules for everything except when! Nothing is absolute so you can argue from now on! There are always exceptions.

          • WhutHeSaid says:

            LIAR ALERT!!

            WHOOP!! WHOOP!! WHOOP!!

            This is a LIAR ALERT from the National Bullshit Center. Be aware that extreme bullshit combined with absurd exaggerations is headed for your location. Seek cover and don your tallest boots immediately.

            WHOOP!! WHOOP!! WHOOP!!

            Say, aren’t you the very same person who claims others are stalking you when they defeat you in an argument?

      • 788eddie says:

        You again!?!
        Time for a nap, grandpa.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        Are you insinuating that 90% of Americans should send Thank You notes to folks like Mitt Romney who pays no taxes – or 15% when he does pay taxes? At least some billionaires, like Warren Buffett, have the decency of admitting that their secretaries pay more taxes – proportionally – than he does. Yes, the folks that own 2/3 of our wealth do pay a lot of money in taxes, even though their tax rate is low, but that does not mean they are overtaxes and, most importantly, it does not mean the Average American does not pay taxes. It is a lot harder for a waitress to pay $1K in taxes than it is for the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other members of our elite to pay $100M in taxes. They pay more because their wealth and earnings are much higher than ours.
        BTW, thank you for implicitly reminding us of the infamous 47%.

        • foundingprinciples says:

          Ever heard of capital gains? LOL.

          Next, the successful actually do pay a higher rate of income tax. It can be verified easily for an HONEST AND ETHICAL person.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Honest and ethical persons also know that few, if any, members of the upper class pay the full amount owed to Uncle Sam. After taking advantage of loopholes, deducting tax free subsidies, business deductions such as depreciation and amortization, hiding part of their fortunes in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, and investing abroad to avoid paying U.S. – and very often foreign taxes – many members of the elite and many corporations pay absolutely nothing, and the few that do pay something often pay less than 15%.
            Loopholes should be eliminated, subsidies should be limited to emerging technologies or concepts, the inheritance tax should be raised, and earnings made at the expense of American workers and troubled business – think Romney – should be taxed at Eisenhower era tax rates.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Not true. I came across a study showing that the middle class and upper middle class cheat on their taxes the most!

            What are “loopholes,” anyway? Ever take a mortgage deduction? I deducted my daughter’s college education expenses, pal: That was a “loophole!” Are you married? Do you then take the “loophole” of the child or marriage dependent tax LOOPHOLE? Have a business and take deductions for losses? How’s about your dentist who makes deductions for educational, office, secretary salary and equipment expenses? Take those from him, why don’t cha?

      • Tyndon Clusters says:

        foundingprinciples conveniently leaves out the fact that income taxes make up only about 48% of federal revenue. Payroll taxes make up another 47% and those are paid almost entirely by the working class.
        So, the top 1% earn 40% of all income, yet pay only about 40% of ALL taxes. The bottom 90% earns about 40% of income, yet pays over 50% of ALL taxes.

        Therefore, why does this wingnut piece of schitt azzhole feel that the bottom 90% should be grateful that the top 1% are carrying them when in fact the top 1% are undertaxed if we go by a truly progressive marginal rate structure.

        Foundingprinciples, I just ripped you another azzhole and destroyed your argument, so come back and dispute MY figures you pompous shcitt head.

        • foundingprinciples says:

          {foundingprinciples conveniently leaves out the fact that income taxes make up only about 48% of federal revenue. Payroll taxes make up another 47% and those are paid almost entirely by the working class.}

          I already explained that. For the SEVENTH time: The rest of the payroll tax is for what people GET BACK – DIRECTLY GET BACK – SS and Medicare. It is really like a savings account in which we are forced to pay into, then get paid back later on.

          Income tax does not work that way.

          • Tyndon Clusters says:

            Founding, again, you’re a pompous douche…revenue is revenue and they are called “payroll taxes” which go into the system as trust funds to be distributed by the federal gov’t to be disbursed to the citizens in the forms or “entitlements” which your wingnut cohorts do not treat as a “savings account” but rather as an expense to be cut to trim the deficit. So, phuck off trying to focus your intentions solely on “income tax” as those payroll tax payments are 30% of the federal budgetary outlays you clown and are paid for mainly by the working class and not the top 10%.
            You try to make it sound like the top 10% have it so hard and are the only ones paying into the system by focusing solely on income tax which I have shown are only 40 % of federal revenues.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Look at the payroll deductions. Income tax, SS and Medicare. Some for unemployment insurance, etc., but almost all for the other. The people get back the Medicare and SS, plus some, on the backs of the young.

            I never said the upper 10% have it hard, of course. They live well. Unlike you, I am not ravaged by envy.

          • Tyndon Clusters says:

            I guess in your warped world, the “greatest generation” must have been wracked with envy too as they taxed your beloved rich at marginal rates which ranged from 90% to 71% from the 30s thru the early 80s.

            Were they all delusional Marxists? Was there not envy on their part to abuse the rich by burdening them with such high marginal rates if we follow your sick, twisted logic?

            When you’re done kissing the rich mans’ azz, get back to me on that one you Tory baztard.

            PS, juxtapose the GDP growth rates when we heavily taxed the rich vis-a-vis growth rates the last 34 years if you have the balls to admit how flawed your reasoning and arguments are.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Interesting how left-wingers actually believe that high taxes promote prosperity. Hard to understand how they can have such an ingrained ideology that lets adults adhere to that myth.

          • Tyndon Clusters says:

            You dipschitt, just look at GDP growth, middle class wages, small budget deficits and all the infrastructure that was built between 1932 -1982 when taxes where much higher. That destroys your bullschitt myth of “high taxes – low growth rates” right there.

            Look at romney’s old man who was paying almost 40% of his income in taxes during the 12 years he released prior to his running in 1968 juxtaposed with his son who paid 13% and tell me which economy was stronger – those from the high tax years or those like the last 12 years, with record low rates for the elite.

            I am kicking the schitt out of your whole thesis, but in true wingnut fashion, ignore FACTs and blather on about liberals hating business.

            You are a huge dooshbag.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            It is a lack of logic to try to infer causality from higher taxes. It does not make any sense at all to think that higher taxes lead to prosperity.

            The Liberal mind is amazing sometimes.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            “Facts?” You are a distorter and a deceiver. You put up Romney’s paying lower taxes, first of all, without mentioning the capital gains part, and second, as though this lower rate represents people at his level.

            You have refused to look at the total group, and persist in your distortion of the truth.

          • Tyndon Clusters says:

            The top 1% don’t get W2s, the majority are just like Mitt, their income comes from passive investments, dividends, royalties, capital gains, hence the IRS came out in 2009 with this: the average federal income tax rate on the 400 richest people in America was 18.11 percent in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service,
            down from 26.38 percent when these data were first calculated in 1992.
            Among the top 400, 7.5 percent had an average tax rate of less than 10
            percent, 25 percent paid between 10 and 15 percent, and 28 percent
            paid between 15 and 20 percent.

            Game over you lame wingnut piece of schitt. The trouble with you dooshbags is you can NEVER change your friggin’ closed minds about how WRONG you are. The above is from the IRS about the VERY group you accused me of not looking at.

            Why can’t you friggin idiots give up the trope that taxing the rich results automatically in lower growth and a sluggish economy when its demonstrably false – except to you ridiculously stupid azzwholes.

      • Tyndon Clusters says:

        foundingprinciples
        conveniently leaves out the fact that income taxes make up only about
        48% of federal revenue. Payroll taxes make up another 47% and those are
        paid almost entirely by the working class.
        So, the top 1% earn 40% of
        all income, yet pay only about 40% of ALL taxes. The bottom 90% earns
        about 40% of income, yet pays over 50% of ALL taxes.

        Therefore, why does this wingnut piece of schitt azzhole feel that
        the bottom 90% should be grateful that the top 1% are carrying them when
        in fact the top 1% are undertaxed if we go by a truly progressive
        marginal rate structure.

        Foundingprinciples, I just ripped you another azzhole and destroyed
        your argument, so come back and dispute MY figures you pompous shcitt
        head.

      • CrankyToo says:

        As usual, you’re full of crap. The middle and lower classes pay more as a percentage of income than do the well off and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or (like you) a lying POS.

        • foundingprinciples says:

          Nope. All one has to do is look at the % of the national income that the various groups has, and compare that to the % of income tax paid by each group.

          It is ignorant to keep denying these facts.

          • CrankyToo says:

            Your response is grammatically incorrect. I would like to add that it’s factually incorrect, as well, but I cannot because there are no facts contained therein. It is absolute nonsense.

            Incidentally, you seem to enjoy prefacing your replies with the word “nope”. This may come as a shock to your addled mind, but “nope” is not a wand with which you can magically turn facts into fiction.

            Conclusion: you are apparently oblivious to the fact that you’re an idiot. The good news is that you’re an idiot of the first magnitude (which to any rational, thinking person is a dubious distinction, indeed).

            You’re right about one thing, though: it’s ignorant to keep denying facts, which makes you an ignoramus into the bargain.

          • foundingprinciples says:

            Nope. I supplied the numbers, facts, data and supporting links. You got nothin’, pal. Just the raving of a Leftist. Personal attacks, caterwauling.

    • TZToronto says:

      As we’ve seen many times, thanks to the trolls who lurk here, the prevailing philosophy of the right is, “I’ve got mine, and I’m certainly not going to pay for yours by way of increased taxes!” Of course, as soon as those who have “theirs” lose what they have, they blame the loss of “theirs” on everybody except the people in whose laps the blame should be placed–those on the right.

      • alphaa10000 says:

        A more succinct statement of the GOP scandal of Wall Street deregulation could not be found. Sen. McCain called that “market” for what it was, and is– a “casino”.

        The casino swallows so much American capital, it has become the principal hindrance to national economic growth. The casino’s clientele insists on short-term investment and a short-game, high return, and they invest their ill-gotten gains outside the country that feeds and sustains them. (Then they wonder why everyone grumbles about them.)

    • Independent1 says:

      The GOP is obsessed about spending because a Democrat is in office. If Romney had won the 2012 election, he would be following in Reagan and the two Bushes example and spending like a drunken sailor; and the GOP would be pooh pooing any notion that rising deficits are a problem. Even though Obama has cut spending faster over the past 4 years than any president since Truman right after WWII and has overseen the smallest government spending since Eisenhower – here they are, day after day (the GOP) claiming the problem is spending when as you point out, it’s missing tax revenues due to Bush jr. allowing the worst recession to hit America (the Great Recession) since the GOP manufactured a world-wide depression in the 1930s with all it’s million of lost jobs and thousands of large and small companies going belly up.
      Here’s a link to an article on the Forbes website which I think docb first posted that proves that Obama has overseen the smallest government spending since Ike.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/

      • Dominick Vila says:

        In addition to contributing to the worst recession since the Great Depression, Bush II also passed on the effects of two unfunded crusades. I guess they never saw the posters of Uncle Sam saying I Want You. Perhaps they don’t know that in addition to needing more people to join our Armed Forces, our government also needed the funds needed to pay for our involvements in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and all the other wars we have been in. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bush II decided to “charge it”, admitting the national debt was just IOUs, pieces of paper.

    • alphaa10000 says:

      Parse every GOP message since the Great Depression of 1932, and there is an implicit chorus of “tax him, but not me!”.

      The GOP does not really agree with our system of progressive taxation– the idea the wealthy pay a fair share for their bigger share of the benefit. Ironically enough, that means the real “freeloaders” are the rich who thrive on the fertile economic environment that only taxes make possible– but do not feel the slightest obligation to return more than a minimum of their benefit as taxes.

      And the GOP complains about taxes with a huge element of hypocrisy, as well. Its current yammering about deficits is completely compromised by the fact the same party doubled the national debt during the Bush2 term– after Reagan doubled it in his. [ http://zfacts.com/p/gross-national-debt.html ]

      President Obama’s favorite phrase for making budget concessions to the GOP is “grand bargain”. More than once, Obama has said everything is on the table, including cuts to social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

      But how grand would such a bargain be? Consider that social safety net programs are the economic lifeline of those least able to bear the Great Recession. For many elderly, they make the difference between having food and medicine, or having to choose between them. We might presume Obama understands the massive suffering of any cuts to social funding,simply to make negotiating points with Republicans.

      By now, it is clear cutting our social programs has an even darker side– it is the ultimate GOP strategy for reducing taxes on the rich, at the expense of everybody else. The infallible proof is mere mention of increasing net taxes on the wealthy signals the GOP to stage costly and dangerous budget theatrics– as they did this year, and promise to do every year in office.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        Hopefully, President Obama learned a lesson after the cynical way the GOP portrayed the $700B in MEDICARE savings during the last presidential campaign, while clamoring for spending reductions. Not surprisingly, savings achieved by putting in place more stringent claims procedures and more effective oversight designed to eliminate fraud, abuse, and duplication of medical tests by service providers, was immediately advertised as an attack on senior citizen benefits by the very people who were proposing dismantling MEDICARE and replacing it with a voucher system. The same happened to the so called “chained CPI” compromise.
        There are ways to further reduce the Federal government deficits, which have already been cut in half since President Obama’s inauguration, without impacting the safety net and financially strapped students. Unfortunately, that approach is of little interest to the GOP since the ultimate goal is to get rid of every government program that is not directly related to defense and protecting the interests of the wealthy.

        • alphaa10000 says:

          Both E.J. Dionne and Krugman understand the deficit is an indirect symptom of malfunction, but not its immediate cause– meaning a yawning fiscal shortfall from tax breaks (Bush2, etc.), coupled with abjectly insufficient effort at seeding income growth among small and medium business and consumers (who are The US Economy, by most estimates) guarantees subpar performance.

          This is not a problem conservatives do not understand, they simply do not care– as long as they do well enough in their financial speculations. In fact, the recovery prognosis would have to be dire, indeed (for the rest of us) to jolt these self-satisfied dolts into recognition the economy is everyone, working to maximum productivity.

          For this economy, the way out is definitely not through hybrid, bipartisan tinkering, so the implication is to revisit stimulus with a more focused congress, and through such counsel from Dionne, Krugman, Reich, Stiglitz and Dean Baker (who does not always agree with Krugman).

      • Independent1 says:

        Great post! Just a minor update: Reagan actually almost quadrupled the country’s debt in his 8 years; he inherited 826 Billion in debt and through his last budget which included significant more deficit spending – he raised it from 826 billion to over 2.9trillion (with a T) – almost a factor of 4 times. He spent more money in his 8 years than at least Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter had spent COMBINED!!!!

        Not only that, but he was the first president to dramatically reduce taxes to allow his rich buddies to begin the totally unfair practice of paying a lot less than their fair share. Ronnie reduced the max rate that was around 70% to what was eventually less than 30%. It’s hard to even imagine how many more millions and billions that allowed his rich buddies to keep in their pockets and spend on THEMSELVES!!! Totally ignoring the plight of America and all those in need, including the country’s deteriorating infrastructure!!!

        • alphaa10000 says:

          What continues to surprise many is the deafening silence about the real motivation of the GOP since it abandoned the former slaves and their civil rights struggle 140 years ago, and signed on as the wholly-owned subsidiary of today’s One Percent. The emphasis has been money, money and more money (in that order).

          Call the GOP out for what they have become, since, with over a century of practice– the trained monkey of an incredible minority of wealthy individuals, and a still considerable reactionary segment, clueless that they have been used since Nixon. What Republicans like Boehner want is simply to resume their old status as “kept party” populated by Country Club Gentlemen, and keep the unwashed Tea Party rabble at a discreet distance.

          As an appendage of the wealthy, Boehner and Company could care less about national recovery for the middle class, on whom it ultimately must depend. That is why any escape from our trough of economic despair comes from engaging all innocent survivors of 2007-2008, and building the political muscle to win in district after district. For that to happen, all must understand the Great Recession is simply continuing class warfare waged by the GOP, with no quarter given..

    • jarradcvh059 says:

      my aunty just got a 9 month
      old Lexus RX 350 SUV by working parttime off of a macbook air. straight from
      the source J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

  5. Kurt CPI says:

    Quoting the article, “The wrong problem is the deficit. The right problem is sluggish growth and persistent unemployment.” But they’re both problems. Big problems. And the rest of the article goes on to reason how growing one problem to alleviate another is good policy. Neither is good policy and until both sides figure that out nothing will change. See my reply to Dominick Vila below so I don’t have to make the same point twice….

    • Independent1 says:

      First of all, the deficit is not a ‘big problem’. Consider that EVERY NONCOMMUNIST INDUSTRIALIZED NATION ON THE PLANET HAS A BIGGER DEBT PROBLEM THAN AMERICA. It’s only a ‘big problem’ because a Democrat is in office. If the president was a Republican, there would be no fuss.

      The CBO said a couple weeks ago, that America’s debt to GDP ratio is 73%. Virtually no other country on the planet like I mentioned above has a debt to GDP ration below 80%; even Canada’s is greater than 87%. The reason that E,J, said sluggish growth is what we need to work on, is because increasing job growth which would result in increased tax revenues would cure our deficit spending and debt to GDP ration faster than anything else. Obama has already cut deficit spending in half over the past 4 years – from 1.4 billion to 673 billion this year and one big reason for that is 7.2 million jobs were created boosting not only tax revenues but also America’s GDP – out GDP increased from amost almost 2 trillion in 15 months – from 14.7T to 16.4T. That’s what we need to keep doing – increasing tax revenues and job growth.

      • Kurt CPI says:

        It is a big problem, and will only get bigger over time. The only difference the party in office makes is who gets the current blame for inflating the principal (Republicans have the most dismal record by far). Sluggish growth is a problem, I wouldn’t even argue that it isn’t the biggest one. But paying people with public funds so they can pay 10% – 15% back as taxes is ludicrous. Only private sector jobs – and of those only those that don’t get their payroll from government contracts – povide a net increase in tax revenues. I don’t argue with your math – more tax revenues = less deficit spending. But it doesn’t work when it costs $50,000 to get $5,000 in return. The increase in GDP is encouraging – that means the private sector is showing a more healthy color. But if it’s all a result of stimulus and quantitative easing, and we return to previous levels with nothing to show for it other than a higher payment on the mortgage, where will we be? I sincerely hope you are right – that the influx of borrowed money serves to provide a sustainable level of employment, consumption and production once the valve is closed. But I have my pragmatic reservations.

  6. Bill says:

    I’ll believe the GOP cares about the middle class when I see them do something for them. The latest is dump another tax on us from the ACA, Dem. wanted to defer it but the GOP said no let it go into effect. The only time the GOP cares about taxes is when they effect the rich.

  7. Oarboar says:

    Has anyone else besides me noticed that austerity advocates never, ever
    want a taste of their own medicine? Austerity is always for someone
    else.

    As an economic strategy, unemployment isn’t working.

  8. alphaa10000 says:

    Parse every GOP message since the Great Depression of 1932, and there is an implicit chorus of “tax him, but not me!”.

    The GOP does not really agree with our system of progressive taxation– the idea the wealthy pay a fair share for their bigger share of the benefit. Ironically enough, that means the real “freeloaders” are the rich who thrive on the fertile economic environment that only taxes make possible– but do not feel the slightest obligation to return more than a minimum of their benefit as taxes.

    And the GOP complains about taxes with a huge element of hypocrisy, as well. Its current yammering about deficits is completely compromised by the fact the same party doubled the national debt during the Bush2 term– after Reagan doubled it in his. [ http://zfacts.com/p/gross-nati… ]

    President Obama’s favorite phrase for making budget concessions to the GOP is “grand bargain”. More than once, Obama has said everything is on the table, including cuts to social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

    But how grand would such a bargain be? Consider that social safety net programs are the economic lifeline of those least able to bear the Great Recession. For many elderly, they make the difference between having food and medicine, or having to choose between them. We might presume Obama understands the massive suffering of any cuts to social funding,simply to make negotiating points with Republicans.

    By now, it is clear cutting our social programs has an even darker side– it is the ultimate GOP strategy for reducing taxes on the rich, at the expense of everybody else. The infallible proof is mere mention of increasing net taxes on the wealthy signals the GOP to stage costly and dangerous budget theatrics– as they did this year, and promise to do every year in office.

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