Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why The American Left Doesn't Make Any Sense

Simply put, they're not wed to reality--despite their self-given title of being the "reality-based community":

But the left has never cared much for reality. It is wedded to theory in the name of which a failed experiment, an invisible omelette, must constantly be refried. Leftist convictions are ultimately camouflage for political ritual, indifference to suffering, and rampant egotism. One can hide from oneself —
one’s resentments, failures, and surreptitious motives — behind so-called “progressive” thinking, a veritable hodgepodge of maxims that need not be mutually consistent: All “truths” are valid. All cultures are equal in value. Overpopulation is a curse on the planet. Global warming is a settled fact that demands the demolition of the West’s economy and the overturning of our way of life. There is no such thing as an ultimate purpose except to establish some future utopian harmony — Hitchens’ “teleological.” The family is no longer the primary social unit, its prerogatives having been usurped by group identity politics and the hegemony of the collective. Personal identity is “socially constructed.” History has been superseded by narrative. A nation does not compel allegiance or obligation; nevertheless, the state knows best.

Under such a proliferation of fashionable tenets posing as a philosophy of enlightenment, the individual need not commit to the labor of cultural continuity, the responsibilities of procreation and child nurture, or even the demands of personal intellectual development. Thus, by espousing a leftist mindset, the individual is emancipated from the rigors of independent thought, the preservation of the family, and the defense of the nation and its living tradition. In effect, the individual no longer has a past worth saving or a present worth defending, only a hypothetical future worth sacrificing for. Oddly enough, though, most of the sacrificing is done by others.

25 comments:

mazenko said...

It's not a left-right thing. There are people detached from reality on both sides of the floor. How else to explain a belief that the debt can be paid down and the deficit closed by tax cuts. How else to explain people arguing for tax cuts to "grow the economy like Reagan did," when they ignore that he cut marginal rates from 89%, not 36%. How else to explain GOP faithful who still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and someday the stockpile of WMDs will be found.

It works both ways. Crazy is crazy. It's not about liberal or conservative.

Darren said...

You took a turn into Crazyland. Who *are* these GOP faithful who think Saddam was behind 9/11?

And the GOP faithful believe in tax cuts *and* spending cuts.

You need better talking points!

mazenko said...

25-30% of Americans still believe the link between Saddam and 9/11. Sarah Palin perpetuates it by claiming the war in Irag was "necessary to secure our freedoms from the Al Qaeda forces behind 9/11."

And a continued belief in supply-side theories that tax cuts increase revenue is "detached from reality." That criticism comes from Gregory Mankiw, conservative Harvard economist and Bush economic advisor.

Every "rational" voice and commission on debt and deficits knows that the problems will only be addressed through a combination of spending cuts "and" revenue increases.

Believing their is a ceiling for taxes, but no floor, is detached from reality.

MikeAT said...

How else to explain a belief that the debt can be paid down and the deficit closed by tax cuts.

Not directely. The deficit is closed, surpluses run and the debt paid down by economic growth. Disciplined government spending and lower tax rates will result in increased tax revenue.

A simple concept that leftist can’t get is 15% of a buck is much more than 50% of nothing. Prime example of an idiot who can’t run a cash register, B Hussein Obama. Source: ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/DemocraticDebate/Story?id=4670271&page=3

GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, "I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton," which was 28 percent. It's now 15 percent. That's almost a doubling, if you went to 28 percent.
But actually, Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. ...

GIBSON: But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.


Again, the man-child Obama can’t get the concept down if he wants money people will want a return on their investment…and if they can’t get that, they will hide their money and the government gets nothing. So all he cares about his controlling people’s money…if he was worried about increasing revenue he would do things to grow the economy like not allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, or endig the drilling moratorium or getting the government and UAW out of the business of running two of our car companies. That ain’t going to happen anytime soon.

A history quiz, when was the last time we had surpluses? The late 90s. Who ran the Congress back them. Republicans, or more the point, conservatives. They were the ones that told Clinton present us a budget that balances within 7 years by CBO numbers. What happened? The budget balanced and surpluses were run. That will not happen while leftist run the government.

Remember, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Darren said...

Mazenko, I've explained before that so many Republicans don't want tax increases because they know it's just good money after bad and will be wasted. Get government under control, spend only on what should be spent on, and then we can talk about tax increases. Not a moment before.

mazenko said...

MikeAT - What? Disciplined spending leads to increased revenue? Tax cuts don't lead to increased revenue. Never have; never will. See previous note on Mankiw - a conservative more credible on economics than both of us combined.

Darren, you're departing from the original point, asserting that detachment from reality is the liberals problem. It's actually on both sides because "ideologues" detach from reality. For example, MikeAT's supply side theory.

My point was the debt and deficit. I agree with the spending argument - always have. But, you can do the math to conclude that spending cuts alone won't pay down the debt. There has to an increase in revenue and that has never followed from cutting the source of revenue.

Case in point: allowing the 2001/03 tax cuts to expire will "immediately" cut the deficit by 30% - that is $300 billion. And it will simply return rates to Clinton-era levels that were lower than all but two years of the Reagan tax rates.

So, again, the belief in tax cuts as a panacea for our ills is the right-wing example of ideologues being detached from reality.

mazenko said...

And, on another point of right side ideologues being "detached from reality," we have the governor's race in Colorado. You might follow it, as it's become a three-ring circus for the GOP.

The GOP nominee, Dan Maes, a businessman from Evergreen (and a not very successful one from the tax records) has been arguing that Denver's new bicycle sharing program is part of a plot by the UN to eliminate Americans' personal freedoms.

You'll recall that the whopping majority of the UN-conspiracy talk - with black helicopters and codes on stop signs - from the 1990s was from the right and the far right. Right wingers are far more likely to believe in a government cover-up of aliens crashing at Roswell.

You know that's all crazy talk, and you know it is common on both sides at the extremes. You also know that I am a centrist (center-left in your estimation) and independent. However, these days I tend to avoid the GOP because they are so detached from reality on economic issues - Lindsay Graham, David Brooks, and George Will excepted.

Anyone who is blocking financial regulation and argues that derivatives don't need regulation is losing it. Anyone who puts the economic meltdown more on the subprime mortgages than the mortgage backed securities and credit default swaps that resulted is also ignoring reality.

Already in the GOP - from Boehner to Paul Ryan to our old friend Phil Graham - people are calling for restraint in regulating Wall Street Investment banks. It's barely been a two years, and the economy is still struggling. But they want to ease up on Goldman Sachs. That's scary. And the White House is complicit in this too.

Clearly, many on both side are not dealing in the reality of Main Street.

mazenko said...

If people are really, truly, seriously concerned about cutting the deficit (and ultimately paying down the debt), can you think of anywhere else that a spending cut will "immediately" close the deficit by a third? $300 billion. A third of the trillion making up the trillions in the debt?

Anything?

I mean, of course, anything reasonable. We could instantly cut Medicare or pull every soldier out of the Middle East. But that's not going to happen.

Darren said...

We'll eventually have no choice but to cut entitlement spending. The question is whether we'll elect "leaders" who can do it now, when it hurts, or whether we'll elect "politicians" who will kick the can the few years we have left down the road, when it's a real (not in the future) crisis.

mazenko said...

I agree with that. Streamlining the intelligence and military monolith is also necessary. Doubt we'll elect leaders with the stones to do that either.

In Colorado, my GOP rep Mike Coffman has been a vociferous voice saying "No!" to all spending and speaking continuously about the debt and deficit. And, then, lo and behold, he writes an op-ed about how he has saved the current levels of spending in the space program so we can go back to the moon and to Mars .... oh, and save all those space/military contracts in Colorado.

Nothing like talking out of both sides.

neko said...

It's actually pretty simple: people are far more willing to spend money when they know that they won't have to give as much of it to the government. They get to use a greater percentage of the money as they see fit and to their own benefit, not someone else's. When that happens, the economy grows.

While the percentage that the government takes has grown smaller, the fact that the whole pie has gotten larger means that the government's slice is actually bigger than it was when it was taking a larger percentage of the smaller pie.

MikeAT said...

MikeAT - What? Disciplined spending leads to increased revenue? Tax cuts don't lead to increased revenue. Never have; never will. See previous note on Mankiw - a conservative more credible on economics than both of us combined.

mazenko, this fact is you tax an activity so much it’s not worth conducting you don’t get the activity and therefore there is no revenue from the taxation. See my comment about 15 cents from a buck. Also you should know the phrase never say never

Facts:
Year/CG Revenue (Bil)/CG Rate

1991/112/31%
1992/127/31%
1993/152/39.6%
1994/153/39.6%
1995/180/39.6%
1996/261/39.6%
1997/365/39.6%/28-20% *
1998/455/20-28%
1999/553/20-28%
2000/644/20-28%
Capital Gains tax rates were reduced to 20-28% in July 97. Notice how the revenue went up in 97-00. Almost doubled. Gee, lower tax rates and more revenue. Who would have thunk it!?
Sources:
Revenue to 2000: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=3856&type=0
Rates: http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/2088.html

And it’s not “MikeAT’s supply side theory” but Dr Laffer’s. And it worked with Kennedy/Johnson, Reagan and Bush.

You say let the Bush tax cuts expire and that will bring in 300 billion. It won’t. People are already pushing income and capital gains to this tax year to pay lower taxes. People will shield themselves from taxes by putting that investment income in non-taxable instruments, not selling an asset to avoid capital gains, etc. That income will not be there to be taxed next year. How about this. Let’s cut the federal outlays by about three trillion. How? Repeal Obamacare. Repeal the porkulus bill, aka stimulus bill, and son of porkulus. We are wasting billions and billions for nothing. Let’s get the federal government out of the car business (http://acopswatch.blogspot.com/search/label/Auto), the home mortgage business that led to the housing bubble (FANNIE and FREDDIE anyone…anyone). Let’s end the drilling moratorium, expand drilling, thereby increasing employment and taxpayers. We have to neuter the feds and make its interference with people’s lives safe, legal and rare….I’ve heard that somewhere before.

BTY mazenko, every side of the political spectrum has its problem children, aka radicals. Yes, we have black helo people on the right. The difference is the right in general (i.e. Republican Party, Tea Party, and Conservative Movement) doesn’t embrace that. You on the left embrace your radicals and put them to the fore front of your movement. Saul Aliniski, B Hussein Obama, William Ayers, Charlie Rangle, Harry Reid, Nancy “Stretch” Pelosi, Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson. That is a group of people who really don’t like this country. And that is why they can’t be trusted.

PS: I had no idea who the hell Mankiw was so I googled him and found his blog. I’ve withhold judgment, but the fact he teaches economics at Harvard (excuse me, HAAAAAAVARD) doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy.

mazenko said...

Mike,

Post hoc ergo propter hoc - "correlation does not equal causation." There is no causality between a tax rate change in from one year to the next and increased revenue. You've offered a ideological simplification that is obvious as a logical fallacy to my high school students.

There are a myriad of factors affecting overall GDP and revenue production. Additionally, during 97 - 00 there was significant opportunities for multinationals to repatriate huge amounts of cash they'd been hiding offshore without penalty. There was also an ever expanding fraud-inspired mortgage industry, and a still growing tech bubble.

To see causality between a basic tax rate and increased revenue is rather elementary thinking. I'd expect more from you.

Well aware of Laffer by the way - and the refuted aspects of his theory - that is increased revenue. And you missed the point completely - Kennedy/Johnson/Reagan were cutting marginal rates in the 60 - 90% range, not 36%. There is a floor for rates, just as there is a ceiling. Yet, that logic seems to elude you for only ideological reasons.

The lefties are not mine, as I claim none of them, and in terms of economics I tend to follow Mankiw and Krugman equally. That's called being rational and well-informed.

Criticizing one of the top colleges in the world? That's quire immature of you. Of course, criticizing intelligence and dumbing down the conversation is a standard of Fox news, so I understand why it appeals to you. You didn't have a problem with the last Ivy Leaguer in the White House - even though he got in on legacy only.

maxutils said...

Mazenko, two things: first, cutting tax rates in order to increase revenue is NOT strictly speaking a supply side policy, as the intent is not to try to create jobs. It is VERY likely that such a policy would make the rich richer. But, so what? They're also paying more dollars in taxes. Supply side was demonstrated not to better their working class under Reagan, but it DID increase tax revenues. Second, sometimes increasing a tax rate increases revenue, sometimes it decreases it, and sometimes it is revenue neutral . . . it depends on the tax, the initial rate, and a host of other factors. However, past experience has shown that lowering the capital gains tax is revenue beneficial, largely because it is a tremendously easy tax to avoid. Lowering the rate reduces the incentive to avoid it. MikeAT, please be careful about claiming we were running surpluses in the 90s -- that is true only if you ignore the FICA tax not coming close to covering Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is a favorite Republican ploy, along with claiming that the poor pay no income tax, when, in fact, their effective tax burden is actually a minimum of 16% if you count FICA. All of this would be something we could forget about if we just eliminated all taxes other than personal income . . . it would then be very clear precisely how much each of us paid.

mazenko said...

Well said, Max. I completely agree.

I've always supported supply-side ideas that have proved effective, and I believe in lower but sufficient and effective tax rates. Certainly, the more money freed for circulation is preferable. In that regard Kennedy and Reagan were effective.

My opposition is to the non-thinking ideological "tax cuts for all occasions" that drives the GOP these days. Palin and Gingrich argue for "cutting taxes like Reagan did," then they ignore the huge historical differences in the economy and current rates. Whereas the 82-83 cuts proved effective, the 01-03 rates have been disasterous.

Arguing to pay down $12 trillion in debt and close trillion dollar deficits by extending and furthering current Bush tax cuts is astoundingly ignorant in my opinion. That was my criticism.

MikeAT said...

1/2

Post hoc ergo propter hoc - "correlation does not equal causation." There is no causality between a tax rate change in from one year to the next and increased revenue. You've offered a ideological simplification that is obvious as a logical fallacy to my high school students.....There are a myriad of factors affecting overall GDP and revenue production....

Actually it means after this, therefore because of this, but I guess you're saying something close enough for government work. However, you're not doing a good defense of a bad premise. Fact, income is taxed in the year it's earned. I'm paid a buck a percent of that dollar is taken from me. There is no way to get around that (with exceptions, such as funnel ling it into a 401k/Roth IRA, but the money is not available for immediate use). Capital gains, however, are paid only when the asset is sold. If the idiots on Capitol Hill make it so expensive to sell the asset it's not worth it (like with 50% or 39% capital gains) few people (actually groups, because the big payers of capital gains are things like investment groups, pension funds, large businesses, etc) they will not sell their assets as they will not get a decent return on the investment. When the rate went lower (20% if you had held the asset for at least two years) people were willing to sell. It was lower than simple income and it freed up capital.

To see causality between a basic tax rate and increased revenue is rather elementary thinking. I'd expect more from you.

Again, action/reaction. If you make something so expensive it's not worth making money, you get less of it. Examples:

- Bill Clinton put surtax on yachts in 1993 to get at millionaires. So what did the rich people do? They purchases their boats overseas, which leads to fewer people buying American made, which led to layoffs, boat builders in the US not paying taxes and draining other taxes in the form of unemployment. That tax was repealed, as I recall, in the 95 budget bill.

- Again, Bill Clinton put a millionaire's surtax for high end earners. So what did business do? They paid in stock.

- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an abysmal property tax and specific yacht tax. So John Kerry, the haughty French looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, docked his boat in Rhode Island to avoid high leftist taxes. Pure hypocrisy but that is to be expected from a leftist like Kerry, who earned money the respectable way: He married it.

A few examples on how you can increase tax rates and decrease tax revenue. You were saying about rather elementary thinking.

...Kennedy/Johnson/Reagan were cutting marginal rates in the 60 - 90% range, not 36%. ...
In the Kennedy/Johnson era no one paid 90%. Back then you could deduct pig snot expense from your taxes (slight exaggeration for effect). So the effective rate was much lower. And actually Reagan cut rates from 70% to 35% beginning in 1982, and then with the Tax Reform Act of 28, he cut them to 28% max rate. But he eliminated most of the deductions with the act. The problem is the rates are going back up but the deductions are not coming back. We're taxing our way into being a second world country.

...I tend to follow Mankiw and Krugman equally. That's called being rational and well-informed.

Former Enron Adviser (FEA) Paul Krugman is many things, but he's not rational and well-informed. He's a prime example of the idiocy of the Ivy Leaque and higher education. Because you have the term PhD behind your name it means you're educated, you're not necessarily smart.

MikeAT said...

1/2

Post hoc ergo propter hoc - "correlation does not equal causation." There is no causality between a tax rate change in from one year to the next and increased revenue. You've offered a ideological simplification that is obvious as a logical fallacy to my high school students.....There are a myriad of factors affecting overall GDP and revenue production....

Actually it means after this, therefore because of this, but I guess you're saying something close enough for government work. However, you're not doing a good defense of a bad premise. Fact, income is taxed in the year it's earned. I'm paid a buck a percent of that dollar is taken from me. There is no way to get around that (with exceptions, such as funnel ling it into a 401k/Roth IRA, but the money is not available for immediate use). Capital gains, however, are paid only when the asset is sold. If the idiots on Capitol Hill make it so expensive to sell the asset it's not worth it (like with 50% or 39% capital gains) few people (actually groups, because the big payers of capital gains are things like investment groups, pension funds, large businesses, etc) they will not sell their assets as they will not get a decent return on the investment. When the rate went lower (20% if you had held the asset for at least two years) people were willing to sell. It was lower than simple income and it freed up capital.

To see causality between a basic tax rate and increased revenue is rather elementary thinking. I'd expect more from you.

Again, action/reaction. If you make something so expensive it's not worth making money, you get less of it. Examples:

- Bill Clinton put surtax on yachts in 1993 to get at millionaires. So what did the rich people do? They purchases their boats overseas, which leads to fewer people buying American made, which led to layoffs, boat builders in the US not paying taxes and draining other taxes in the form of unemployment. That tax was repealed, as I recall, in the 95 budget bill.

- Again, Bill Clinton put a millionaire's surtax for high end earners. So what did business do? They paid in stock.

- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has an abysmal property tax and specific yacht tax. So John Kerry, the haughty French looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, docked his boat in Rhode Island to avoid high leftist taxes. Pure hypocrisy but that is to be expected from a leftist like Kerry, who earned money the respectable way: He married it.

A few examples on how you can increase tax rates and decrease tax revenue. You were saying about rather elementary thinking.

...Kennedy/Johnson/Reagan were cutting marginal rates in the 60 - 90% range, not 36%. ...
In the Kennedy/Johnson era no one paid 90%. Back then you could deduct pig snot expense from your taxes (slight exaggeration for effect). So the effective rate was much lower. And actually Reagan cut rates from 70% to 35% beginning in 1982, and then with the Tax Reform Act of 28, he cut them to 28% max rate. But he eliminated most of the deductions with the act. The problem is the rates are going back up but the deductions are not coming back. We're taxing our way into being a second world country.

...I tend to follow Mankiw and Krugman equally. That's called being rational and well-informed.

Former Enron Adviser (FEA) Paul Krugman is many things, but he's not rational and well-informed. He's a prime example of the idiocy of the Ivy Leaque and higher education. Because you have the term PhD behind your name it means you're educated, you're not necessarily smart.

MikeAT said...

2/2
Criticizing one of the top colleges in the world? That's quire immature of you. Of course, criticizing intelligence and dumbing down the conversation is a standard of Fox news, so I understand why it appeals to you.

Why is a formerly top college above criticism. I say formerly because it's no longer a place for a great education but a place you go to make contacts. If you want a good education you go to places outside the Ivy Leaque and get educated at much lower cost.

You didn't have a problem with the last Ivy Leaguer in the White House - even though he got in on legacy only.

I had problems with many of his actions in office (the Amnesty Bill of 06, out of control spending etc) not his college days. He’ll be the first to say his undergraduate days were not something to look back upon with pride. However, he did get his MBA from Harvard back when that actually meant something. And unlike the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, B Hussein Obama, Bush released his college records. Gee, I wonder why that Quota Kid, err Affirmative Actions Child, err what the hell is it called this week man-child won't show off his record? Any suggestions why Mike?

MikeAT said...

MikeAT, please be careful about claiming we were running surpluses in the 90s -- that is true only if you ignore the FICA tax not coming close to covering Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Fair enough, should have listed it as a notional surplus. We know the Social Security trust fund is just a slush fund for politicians of both parties to raid...

This is a favorite Republican ploy

Actually it's the Democrats who say most forcefully that there were surpluses in the 90s....e.g. B Hussein Obama saying of Bush “he turned years of surpluses into deficits…” or Bubba Clinton saying claiming an end to the deficit, when he was forced to budget restrain by a conservative congress. And it was conservatives who pointed out the trust funds were bankrupt and without raiding them we would still be in deficit.

...along with claiming that the poor pay no income tax, when, in fact, their effective tax burden is actually a minimum of 16% if you count FICA.

They do not pay income taxes. They pay payroll taxes on 100% of income as opposed to 10% (soon to be 15%) on wage over a certain point. E.G. a family of four making 40K a year pays less than 100 dollars in income tax, but they pay much more in payroll tax (which is matched by the employer). And it’s the left in this country that will not do anything to reform Social Security, etc that takes their money at gun point and throws it away. If they allowed them to put into a 401k type plan it will allow the poor to build wealth and prevent congress from wasting it.

All of this would be something we could forget about if we just eliminated all taxes other than personal income . . . it would then be very clear precisely how much each of us paid.

Personally I would first repeal the 16th Amendment and then put a VAT or some type of sales tax as a replacement for the income tax. That way everyone pays. But that’s not going to happen.

MikeAT said...

MikeAT, please be careful about claiming we were running surpluses in the 90s -- that is true only if you ignore the FICA tax not coming close to covering Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Fair enough, should have listed it as a notional surplus. We know the Social Security trust fund is just a slush fund for politicians of both parties to raid...

This is a favorite Republican ploy

Actually it's the Democrats who say most forcefully that there were surpluses in the 90s....e.g. B Hussein Obama saying of Bush “he turned years of surpluses into deficits…” or Bubba Clinton saying claiming an end to the deficit, when he was forced to budget restrain by a conservative congress. And it was conservatives who pointed out the trust funds were bankrupt and without raiding them we would still be in deficit.

...along with claiming that the poor pay no income tax, when, in fact, their effective tax burden is actually a minimum of 16% if you count FICA.

They do not pay income taxes. They pay payroll taxes on 100% of income as opposed to 10% (soon to be 15%) on wage over a certain point. E.G. a family of four making 40K a year pays less than 100 dollars in income tax, but they pay much more in payroll tax (which is matched by the employer). And it’s the left in this country that will not do anything to reform Social Security, etc that takes their money at gun point and throws it away. If they allowed them to put into a 401k type plan it will allow the poor to build wealth and prevent congress from wasting it.

All of this would be something we could forget about if we just eliminated all taxes other than personal income . . . it would then be very clear precisely how much each of us paid.

Personally I would first repeal the 16th Amendment and then put a VAT or some type of sales tax as a replacement for the income tax. That way everyone pays. But that’s not going to happen.

mazenko said...

I know the Latin translation, as I teach it. I was spelling the point out for you, as you already argued against intelligence and education.

Your argue in theory and extremes with your "tax it more creates less." The Clinton yacht example is not comparable to the whole economy. Raising or lowering marginal rates by 3-5% points is a non-issue, as the 01-03 cuts proved, as compared to the 81-83 cuts. It's not an absolute that raising a rate decreases activity as the 93 tax reform proves.

Of course no one paid the 89% because of deductions. That doesn't refute the effect that big drops do make a difference. It does refute the criticism that America's corporate rate is too high, as none pays the 35%, and many pay 5% or none at all.

MikeAT said...

I know the Latin translation, as I teach it.

Really, cool. I had to look it up. Off the subject, out of curiosity what do you specifically teach? Composition courses, literature, Latin courses, what?

Your argue in theory and extremes with your "tax it more creates less."

No, I’m pointing out specific examples on how you regressively tax an activity you have people avoiding the activity to avoid the tax. These are not extreme examples but what has happened.

Raising or lowering marginal rates by 3-5% points is a non-issue, as the 01-03 cuts proved, as compared to the 81-83 cuts.

Specifically, what did the 01-03 cuts prove as opposed the to the 81-83 cuts?

It's not an absolute that raising a rate decreases activity as the 93 tax reform proves.

We were in a dead economy all through the retroactive tax increases of 93 to 95. What happened in January 95 that may have made business do something different….oh yes, conservatives took over the Congress. They made Clinton produce a budget plan that balanced in seven years by CBO numbers. And lowered the capital gains rate. That made business feel more secure. The biggest thing business wants is stability. And to show you a classic example of instability

Murphy Oil Corp. moving drilling rig to coast of Congo
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Facing uncertainty about the deepwater drilling outlook in the Gulf of Mexico, Murphy Oil Corp. is moving a rig to the coast of the Republic of Congo.

Murphy Oil and Diamond Offshore Drilling have agreed on a three-well commitment with the option for more.


Source: http://www.eldoradonews.com/news/localnews/2010/07/16/murphy-oil-corp-moving-drilling-rig-to-c-87.php

Yes, thanks to that man-child you voted for (presumption on my part I'll admit as you have never said who you voted for, or if you even voted in 08) we are losing rigs to the more business stable climate of The Congo!

Of course no one paid the 89% because of deductions. That doesn't refute the effect that big drops do make a difference. It does refute the criticism that America's corporate rate is too high, as none pays the 35%, and many pay 5% or none at all.

Few pay the full 35% as there are tax deductions they can take (e.g. depreciation of assets). However I would like to see a major corporation that pays 0-5%. Please name them. I want to invest in a company smart enough to dodge the Alternative Minimum Tax.

maxutils said...

MikeAT -- my point is that we should not count payroll tax and income tax separately. Both go to the federal government to support federal programs. It is a distinction without a difference. Additionally, while you are correct that the employer is required to match the employee contribution, basic economics shows that the true burden of this tax can be shifted fully on to the employee in terms of a lower wage -- since all employers must do the same, they can safely offer less money without fear of anyone else stealing the employee for a higher wage. Deductions or no, no one would have paid 90% under Kennedy, since, even without deductions, the 90% would only have applied to dollars earned after reaching the bracket where it kicked in. So the effective tax rate would always be much lower. We lose sight of this because we look up our tax in tables instead of calculating 0% of the first $15,000, 15% of the next 85k, and 28% of everything thereafter . . .or, whatever it is right now. That said, good examples of bad, easy to avoid taxes. Another great example is the snack tax that California attempted under Pete Wilson -- expanding the sales tax to 'junk' food but not regular. It actually cost more to administer than it brought in . . .

mazenko said...

I teach Honors English and AP Language & Composition, which primarily focuses on argumentation and style analysis.

The last major party candidate I voted for as president - before this one - was George H W Bush.

Check out the GAO reports on corporations paying 0% income tax.

The 01-03 tax rates did nothing to increase economic activity and did not increase revenue.

Companies go offshore primarily over labor and construction costs. Even when Colorado cut business taxes they still lost companies to states and other countries with lower labor and building costs. They know how to get around tax issues - it's cost of living which is harder to control.

MikeAT said...

maxutils, I agree, any directed tax that the Congress takes from us is put into the general treasury fund and wasted. Another example is the gasoline tax. When the Interstate Highway system was started in the 50s. A federal gas tax was put in to fund the system. Now it’s used for general fund, funding light rail boondoggles, etc. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have been used for years to hide the true size of the defects.

Yes, the match limits the ability of the employer to pay more in wages and for self employed people it’s a double tax they cannot avoid.

And as far as your example of the CA junk food tax, remember it justified many a bureaucrat’s job…and that’s all that matters!