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The Irony of Dems Supporting Bush Tax Cuts

Original post made by Lawrence on Jan 1, 2013

Politics is a strange thing. Obama has embraced the vast majority of GWB's tax cuts, something he opposed for a long time. The GOP are whining, even though they got much of what they wanted, and they still have the debt limit as leverage to get entiitlement cuts. The GOP should be satisfied with victory, when they get it. The Dems will live to fight another day, with their demands to tax the rich even more.



Comments (42)

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

No, none of us is "whining". We got no spending cuts now. We got nothing we wanted. The Dems won the "class warfare" rhetoric for the low information voter of "tax the rich more and we will solve our problems" The "tax hike" funds the government for what...3 days? Vs the huge spending deficit we have.

A picture is worth a thousand words. See the results of "tax hike" compared to the deficit spending.

Web Link

Our dear leaders continue to enslave our kids.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 2, 2013 at 10:50 am

Return to full Clinton era spending (cut the DOD back to 2001 levels, eliminate the DHS, repeal Medicare Part D, end the war) and full Clinton tax rates.

Clinton balanced the budget and created 23 million jobs -- name a republican who has that kind of record. Stimulate the economy to get to that kind of growth and the deficit takes care of itself (until another Bush comes along.)

If the 'fiscal cliff' deal was a GOP victory, why did the GOP house members vote against it as a caucus?

And if it was a victory, why is the GOP buzzing about tweets like this? "@RepTomPrice told WMAL this morning that GOP needs "red state leadership." As @LarryOConnor notes, that doesn't include OH, VA, & CA" (Boehner - yes vote, Cantor - no vote, McCarthy - no vote, all from blue states.)

Victory?


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

>If the 'fiscal cliff' deal was a GOP victory, why did the GOP house members vote against it as a caucus

Probably because they thought it was not a perfect bill, including the lack of budget constrictions (re: entitlements). The GOP and the Dems will fight out the budget cuts, as they always do, but the GOP got so much of what they wanted.

BTW, serious budget cuts will probably not happen...it will be resolved through inflation, in the end. Inflation also benefits the rich, even though the GOP rails against it.

The GOP got a very serious victory here, handed to them by Obama. What are they complaining about? They should be celebrating!


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

So I'm looking at the New York Times 2013 federal budget charts. Most people would regard the NYT as more liberal leaning than conservative - so hopefully we can keep the "media bias" rhetoric to a low level...in other words, I would expect the NYT to give the Administration the benefit of the doubt. Even with that assumption, the numbers are not looking good!

Obama's 2013 budget is $3.7 Trillion --- $907 Billion deficit spending for 2013. Fact is, even if the House agreed to income tax increases on all earners of $250K and above, there is no way that the revenue increase would offset the $907 Billion deficit. Not even close.

While everyone can debate whether the current tax increase is too much, enough or not enough, the reality is that the USA is going to spend way more than it will bring in.

Another way to look at it - nearly 25% of the federal budget is unfunded.

According to the NYT - the mandatory and discretionary spending breaks down as:

Mandatory
$2.5 trillion
About 70 percent of budgetary spending is controlled by existing laws, including entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
- Medicare and Medicaid will go up 8.4% and will be $922B, 25% of the total budget.
- Social Security will go up 6.7% to $885B, 24% of the budget.
- Summarizing: almost half of the Federal budget is for Medicare, Medicaid and SS.

Discretionary
$1.1 trillion
Only about 30 percent of the budget is controlled by the annual budget process. Last August, the White House and Congress agreed to a cap on this spending.

Military spending overall will go down. Some mandatory spending will go up (e.g., salaries), but the discretionary military spending will go down. Overall, defense spending will be $620B, 17% of the budget. In 2012, the military budget was about 19% of the overall spend. Without taking too much time going through the details, it appears that the military budget has the largest reduction in dollars overall.

Interest on the "public debt" will rise 4.8% to $472B, 13% of the budget.

The next largest department is Agriculture at $155B. Of which $108B is for "Food and Nutrition Service" - which is essentially food stamps, school lunch programs, etc. This is only up just over 1%.

OK - so let's drop the rhetoric here. Let's leave that to the blowhards (on both sides of the aisle) in DC.

How in the world are we going get our Federal budget under control? Sure, we can look at other revenue increases (such as reforming corporate taxes) --- but we have to be honest here, we have to reduce spending as well.

I look forward to a well-informed, thoughtful discussion...


Posted by old data from CPD, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm

@cp dad
Where's the link to the NYT article? How old is it? A year?

@lawrence
Why ironic? Obama campaigned on tax cuts for the middle class and raising on the wealthy. Won 51 - 47, by 5 million votes. The new congress picks up 15 dem seats.

Was in the cards. Obama was better off waiting, but took a hit to nprotect our economy. Something rebublicaans won't do - protect the economy.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

From my observations, over the decades, there is no such thing as a real cut in public benefits programs. There are only reductions in rates of increase ( a negative second derivative). It will probably be the same thing with entitlements, no real cuts, just a decrease in the rate of increase.

Since the U.S. is in a structural bad spot, with an aging population, and an increasingly undereducated youth population, and a general decline in cultural values, we will continue to decline. The political/economic solution will be inflation. Inflation favors the rich much more than the poor.


Posted by Guitar Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Inflation? Fringies have been crying "INFLATION" FOR 20 YEARS AND BEEN WRONG. Why now?

If we're undereducated, we need to better educate. Make that part of a stimulus that rebuilds infrastructure. The resulting growth will reduce deficits.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 2, 2013 at 1:08 pm

>Why ironic? Obama campaigned on tax cuts for the middle class and raising on the wealthy. Won 51 - 47, by 5 million votes. The new congress picks up 15 dem seats.

Because Obama fought to support Bush tax cuts, which are now made permanent,at most levels, as the GOP always wanted. I see Obama's campaign as a big win for the GOP. I simply cannot udnerstand why the GOP is whining, when Obama is carrying its water.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 2, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Obama supported the middle class tax cuts, as have most dems. What on earth are you smoking?

"I see Obama's campaign as a big win for the GOP"

Noted without comment.

Charles Krauthammer: "Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill, and for good reason. This is a complete surrender on everything. The ratio of tax cuts, of tax hikes to spending cuts is 40-to-one, rather than one-to-one or one-to-two, or one-to-three.
So, I mean, it's a complete rout by the Democrats, so it's understandable."

Is John Boehner out by tomorrow?


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm

>Obama supported the middle class tax cuts, as have most dems. What on earth are you smoking?

When GWB proposed the current tax system, he was fought by the Dems, who thought the Clinton system was just fine. Now, the Dems are supporting GWB's system. We still hear from some retro Dems that the Clinton system is where we should be. Obama has now locked the Bush system into place. I cannot understand why the GOP would complain about Obama doing the job for them, even if I was smoking something. The GOP, if it continues to whine, will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

">Obama supported the middle class tax cuts, as have most dems. What on earth are you smoking?"

Like I said, Obama was for the middle class tax cuts. Lawrence twists it to something that wasn't debated.

Recall that it was Obama that was elected to clean up Bush's disastrous economy: 800,000 jobs lost per month, negative 8% GDP, doubling the national debt, the first trillion dollar deficit.

Obama didn't want the taxes on the middle class to go up at that time. For Lawrence to then deflect the point to Dems in 2002 is disingenuous.

The House GOP had a better deal from Obama for them a month ago but Boehner couldn't corral his own caucus, that's why the GOP lost to Obama on this one.

Boneher finally got 218 votes for something today -- he has secured the Speaker role for another two years.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Sorry - forgot the link:

Web Link

Yes - the data is 10 months old (Feb. 2012). But close enough for government work! ;-)

I, too, would love to return to the Clinton surplus (and income tax rate) era - even if it would cost us more in taxes. But I think what is difficult to measure under today's economy is how much of a positive impact the private sector had on corporate tax revenue at that time.

I'm no federal economist - but I'm guessing that the tax revenues from today's businesses (using Clinton rates) would be proportionally smaller than what was received back then.

I'm sure we'd all love to see military spending further reduced --- but that would require that we get the you-know-what out of Afghanistan and all of the other wonderful places are men & women are deployed these days. As long as the President and Congress insist on deploying are soldiers & sailors in all of those far off corners of the world, I want them to receive the very best that can be supplied and supported. Same goes for all of our Vets from any era, any year.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm

sorry - "our soldiers & sailors"


Posted by trolling Sean J Gary, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

original poster framed it erroneously from the beginning, and continued with his erroneous ways: "Obama has embraced the vast majority of GWB's tax cuts, something he opposed for a long time."

Obama opposed tax cuts for those over 250K a year, the 2%, for a long time, in fact he ran upon it as a platform and won overwhelmingly, 332-206 (2% is not even close to the "vast majority".) He allowed the cuts for the 2% for a couple years last time in exchange for hundreds of billions in stimulus and unemployment extensions. Decent trade for everyone.

Other poster was correct: Obama offered spending cuts a month ago, the republicans couldn't take Yes for an answer and Beohner couldn't close his caucus, hence the Plan B vote, that also failed.

original poster had a silly frame, and is just trolling for argument when obviously John "serenity prayer" Boenher could have had, AND DID have a better deal all along.



Posted by Bernie, a resident of Atherton
on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Crescent Park Dad,

Using year old editorials as current budget numbers is dicey, frankly, that requires revisiting the numbers to insure they are still valid, before using them in debate.

I too support a return to the Clinton economy of 23 million new jobs, balanced budgets, etc... but the structural damage put in place by Bush and cronies is too great.

Wars, a doubled since 2002 Dept of Defense budget of waste, the Dept of Homeland Security budget fiasco, Medicare Part D as mentioned above, along with all the tax cuts makes it impossible to control the deficit.

Anyone fighting for tax cuts is fighting to retain a huge deficit for America. Absurd, given our taxes are lower now (far lower for the wealthy!) than they were under Reagan or Nixon.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

I'll look for a more recent set of figures. However I would argue that my two points of concern will still have significant relevance:

- Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security is approximately 50% of our Federal budget. All forecasts point to those 3 programs taking a larger proportional share of the budget each year. I am not saying you slash and burn the budgets --- but clearly some changes have to be made (revenues, costs, processes, reforms, etc.) otherwise there will be a time that those 3 programs will take over the entire budget.

- The estate tax is at best 1% of total revenues that the Federal government takes in. 1%. We can point fingers all we want - but the reality is whining about the estate tax is not going to come close to fixing our deficit problem.

According to Wikipedia (I know, a dubious resource) - the budget is $3.8T and projected revenues is $2.9T. A $900B deficit. This is a problem that affects all of us.


Posted by Alfred, a resident of Atherton
on Jan 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

My response to a similar post under the other thread: the irony is having any so-called 'deficit hawk' supporting the tax cuts, pegs the Irony Meter at 'high'.

-----

The deficit is NOT an issue -- the Feds just told us that when they passed tax cuts that will pile another $4 trillion onto the debt.

Look at the pork in the tax bill, just to name a couple: tax breaks for NASCAR tracks and Hollywood.

While the GOP wanted more deficit busting tax cuts, the Democrats supported most of it.

I take issue with one program mentioned: Social Security has never added a dime to the deficit. It's valid (edit: 'solvent') for 20 years, with 75% of the benefits there for the next 100 years. A simple fix for that would be to remove the cap on wages, currently around $110k per year. A very regressive tax as it stands. One simple fix and you can remove SS from any deficit discussion.

Back to the deficit: anyone who voted for this bill, or voted no because they wanted more tax cuts, is not a serous person to be listened to on the issue of the deficit. That includes Sam, (edit: Lawrence in this thread) who wants (edit: more tax cuts.)

Clinton's budget surplus's and great economy, lost to Bush's deficits and slow economies.

Proof: 155k jobs last month. Web Link


Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

bru is a registered user.

> Obama has embraced the vast majority of GWB's tax cuts

I am not sure this is a fair characterization of what Obama supports.

1. Obama is no economics experts, so he is steering by economist and lobbyists on this.

2. The Bush tax cuts have changes the economy, but also the society, leading to a more hierarchical and more elite government, that in turn changes the government to assist them in grabbing even more power and money ... so there is a social aspect to what these tax cuts have done.

3. Economically when business have an expectation or a way of working, changing things under them without warning or preparation is a bad thing ... same thing with the overall economy. Now things like removing the homeowner credit or trashing social security is not something without effect to the larger economy and society.

Bush tax cuts in my opinion were a political move to make the country and the government more "plutocratic" and elite, which have had a wide effect on everyone, and in my opinion have been an unjust and arbitrary and DELIBERATE attempt to change the American order - without any consent or understanding by the people - that is a deliberate classist coup.

The plan was very good since Obama a Democrat has very little ability to begin to reverse it, even if he wanted to, which is it unclear that he does.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Four trillion added to permanent deficits

frickin' insane

- agree with dude who says they have no integrity in any deficit debate

- Obama is a centrist and not a liberal

- just no more republican centrists left to compare him to, all gone off the loony tea bag cliff


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2013 at 11:53 am

"Centrist" seems to have no meaning anymore ... it is not centrist to compromise with Republicans for the following reason ... Republican's have been engaged in a long term "project" to run the deficit up in order to manipulate government outside of democracy or even republicanism if you want to say we are not a democracy.

Increasing interest payments on the debt insure that our tax money is going to the very people who have invested their money in the government. It's like another tax giveaway to the rich - and yes I know that not everyone who invests in government bonds is super rich, but the point is that the vast majority of American do not have enough money to invest in anything. This is not because they do not have enough education, or they do not work hard enough or their skills are not current, it is because of the cutthroat way we implement the free market system - getting more cutthroat as well, thanks to Republicans. If everyone was a super-productive expert in whatever they did with PhD. degrees their labor would still be stratified by competition and we would still have poverty.

This is clear, and it is further clear that this is from the power of a few being covertly forced on everyone else - outside of anything ever mentioned in the Constitution.

The Republican party has become the perfect example of taxation without representation.

Instead of paying taxes for things we want and need to happen in society, we pay taxes to support what has become a military-industrial state that the majority are coerced and regimented to fit into. A state that manufactures it's own news stories and distributes as if they were actual news reports by civilian journalists by a media that is consolidated and owned by defense contractors - to tell us what to think. If it will not work they will force it on us.

With the monopoly of capital from a few, instead of governing responsibly, we now are getting more and more of a police and military state justified by ticking off and exploiting the rest of the world so we can call them a threat to our stability, lump it all together as the new "terrorism" threat and sooner or later start to label opponents of this anti-American system inside our country as terrorists. Rome would have been amazed.

This system is going to go nowhere good for anyone. Living in such a convoluted world is toxic for the minds of children who grow up based on myths, lies and coercion, only to get enough information about what's really going on when they have already given the labor they can and had it profited on and taxed and misused to oppress them. We do not even consider what we are doing to ourselves, much as we are not considering what we are going to the environment, or the atmosphere, etc.

President Obama had Liberal rhetoric and credentials, but he is a big soft media created playtoy symbol that Americans can try to grasp on to that is presiding over the inch by inch institution of the Republican agenda, and the media and big capital makes sure that there is no alternative choice. Maybe this is the only way in a world such as ours, but if it is our system demands that it be explained and put to a vote!

What we have is not democracy - not even a republic. This is a country that has gone astray and has no way to get back home.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde School
on Jan 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

>President Obama had Liberal rhetoric and credentials, but he is a big soft media created playtoy symbol that Americans can try to grasp on to that is presiding over the inch by inch institution of the Republican agenda....

That was my original argument. Why is the GOP upset with this fiscal cliff deal? It is largely locked into GWB's tax structure.

BTW, I think your rant, overall, is just warmed over Marxism, but I extracted the above little nugget, which I think is true.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Lawrence: $4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years.

Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?

Nicce to know we don't have to listen to Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, etc.. cry about deficits now.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Lawrence ... I don't know what Marxism is anymore except a catch-all slogan that Republicans use when they don't like something ... so ... maybe? So I guess you are either a Republican who supports this mess the country is in, or you are misled into misperceiving the goal and effects of Republican policies.

I am a capitalist though, I think people come before the econony and the capitalist economy needs to be responsible and democratic.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm

> I don't know what Marxism is anymore except a catch-all slogan

Just use the old slogan, "Give according to ability, take according to need". If you agree with that premise, you are, in simplistic terms, a Marxist.

>I am a capitalist though, I think people come before the econony and the capitalist economy needs to be responsible and democratic.

I have no idea what that means. Explain?


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Lawrence: $4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years.

Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?

Afraid to answer? Just keep hiding behind the marxist straw man....


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

>Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?

Obama and the Dems supported 98% of them. Seems that they have bought into the GOP argument that increasing taxes, in the middle of a near-recession, does not promote growth.

I suggest you ask the Dems why they want to keep most of GWB's tax cuts.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 6, 2013 at 10:29 am

Lawrence: (and the rest of the Gary/Sean/Jerry/etc.. clones)

I am well aware of the reasons the victorious Democratic Party campaigned on during the recent election cycle that brought them the White House, two more Senate seats, and 15 House seats, including a far more liberal/progressive tilt (ie.. replacing mod/conservative Lieberman with a real lib, replacing Brown with Elizabeth Warren, etc...).

I have asked YOU, twice, if you support the tax cuts from Obama? The $4T deficit busting tax cuts.

"Lawrence: $4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years. Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"

Waiting.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2013 at 11:32 am

>> Just use the old slogan, "Give according to ability, take according to need". If you agree with that premise, you are, in simplistic terms, a Marxist.

Of no, of course not, let's continue to give access to our society and markets to those with the power to monopolize and corrupt the government, take their increasing profits and plow it back into a political opposition that seeks to overturn the Constitution without a public vote, and let's simplify every argument or discussion as to whether it is Marxist or not according to Lawrence.

And, certainly let's not permit anyone to take anything according to their need, like if they have a broken leg legs not give them a splint, or if they are a poor kid they sure should not a hot meal at school so they can learn and grow up productively, or let's not allow citizens that are affected by pollution to steal the money out of an industry's pocket and force them to install scrubbers to clean the air ....

and let's not take money from capitalists so we, the people, the government, can provide for the defense of us all ... or the common welfare, as it says in the Constitution, that Marxist document, why that would be communism.

As I said before ... the word "Marxism" is a catch-all slogan that Republicans use when they don't like something and the person who said it. I'd go further and say at this point, the Marxism slogan is being used to discredit economic ideas from Nobel Prize winners who want to fix the economy.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I guess Luke was a marxist, eh, gary?

"to whom much is given much is expected"

Don't forget: "$4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years. Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

>The $4T deficit busting tax cuts.

Interesting question. Clearly, Obama thought the GWB tax cuts were pro-growth. If they are, then obviously, I would support them. If raising taxes on the middle class would promote growth, I would support them, too. Are you saying that going back to the Clinton tax rates, in this current economic environment, the economy would spring to life?

I think going to higher tax rates only works in a high growth economy. Obama appears to agree with me. However, this thread is not about me, it is about the irony that Obama and the Dems have bought into the GOP tax agenda, and the GOP is whining about it!


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

> I think going to higher tax rates only works in a high growth economy

Clearly you are not thinking this out.

Without taxes you can never balance the budget and pay off the debt.

Until growth kicks in, only considering these factors means this slump just gets worse and worse as trends work against the US.

Clearly some out of the box trend or thinking is needed.

Since our Nobel Prize winning economist and most people with an actual logical argument are saying the problem is lack of demand, and since the declining economy is not helping demand, the problem gets worse, in fact spirals because less demand means less work means less jobs means less demand ... repeat. With Lawrence's ideas, Republican ideas, we languish in this for a long time. Last time, the depression we languished until war came around inadvertently provided the largest stimulus we have had and helped economists understand it was not war per se, but stimulus and expanding the middle class that built the economy through demand.

Over time as often happens in many countries some powerful niche unilaterally changes thing for their own benefit and cuts the rest of the country out and disaster eventually befalls. This is what we have now. The curve ball here is globalism which allows global corporations to grow, and even detach from America, and their national responsibilities. When we try to compete with dictatorships to the top 400 people that own the country, becoming a dictatorship to them seems preferable to paying taxes and doing what is needed to rescue our own country.

So what gets us out of this is intelligent investment in infrastructure and investment in our people ... keeping people from falling out of the system, losing their skills, becoming costs and liabilities health wise or criminal justice wise. The alternative is a fortress state built to defend from its own people.

It has nothing to do with Marxism, except in a broad sense where Marx's criticisms of Laissez-Faire capitalism have proved pretty much right in its negative affects in people and the economy - the reason Marx's name is still around at all as a key economist.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

>the problem is lack of demand

I think the interesting issue is that Obama and the Dems agree with the GOP that taxing the middle class decreases demand. I think what you really mean (ala Krugman) is that increased stimuls spending (borrowed money, primarily from China) is the way to increase demand. The problem with that is that it also increases the national interest on the debt obligations. I believe Greece tried this approach. Maybe Obama does not want us to become Greece?


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

> I think what you really mean (ala Krugman) is that increased stimuls spending (borrowed money, primarily from China) is the way to increase demand.

Selling bonds is not "borrowing money from China" and the fact that you have to use that "China" thing like Mitt Romney is just another blurt that makes you appear dishonest and clueless.

It is not borrowing money from China, it is deficit spending to invest in the country.

The problems I see with that are two.

1. Hindsight - Bush and Cheney and the Republicans forced this deficit/debt on us in order to push the country into an economic discontinuity that they hoped they would control and use to their advantage to kill popular social programs by lying to people that they do not work, are unsustainable, and kill jobs - and I have a big problem with that since that is now what our system is supposed to be about ... not to mention other intentional lies and bad judgement as regards the whole country and economy - except to benefit a very few at the top. It was criminal abuse of power with intent to undermine the Constitution ... it does not get much worse.

2. The only problem with stimulus is where does it go. While it's true the government is not good at picking winners, it's also true that good infrastructure programs leapfrog the country forward. The market is doing nothing to exploiting their cash and power advantage overseas. Great for a few individuals but killing the country since they do not even pay taxes and in some cases undermine the government at home.

- the fact that you want to jump on the government for being bad at picking winners and ignore the banks and corporations who did not manage their responsibilities and caused the crash is another Republican puzzler. There has never been so much fraud and abuse in the private sector, nor so much militant use of capital, God knows how much of it was stolen or fraudulent to increase the ownership and power of the elite minority at take away power from the citizens.

It all sums together as Republican supporting a structure of our country that was never explained, voted on, and in many cases is downright opposed through dishonesty and corruption.

As I said in another post not long ago ....

The big trick pulled on all Americans! ....

WE TREAT BILLIONAIRES LIKE MILLIONAIRES ! ! !

This is my newest slogan ... and what is says is that we keep higher income people incentivized to resist tax increases that would be responsible and beneficial by lumping them in with the super-rich, ultra-weathy, .01% or the 400 people who own as much as the rest of the country combined ... however you want to describe them.

For example, it costs a lot to live in Palo Alto, and even though someone might well be a millionaire, a top rate doctor, lawyer, developer, small-business owner ... whatever ... when they live in Palo Alto they do not have tons of money left over if they live an affluent life.

It's hard to say affluent people are "stretched" ... exactly, but they are not necessarily greedy or corrupt because they want their taxes to be as low as possible since they live in a competitive place where prices are high.

Compare a top small-business owner with some of the financial class or corporate executives who make tens of millions or even more and you begin to see why this mess about taxes and the budget has developed over time. The, let's call them "billionaires" even though they might not be, have lassoed the millionaires and motivated attached them permanently to their camp, a camp that at this point is impoverishing the whole rest of the country.

This is the biggest covert secret trick and it costs no money, there need be no political advertising, no speeches, nothing to align the interests of the well off

with the interests of what are basically the "plutocracy".

The answer in my opinion is to get rid of tax brackets altogether and device a mathematically continuous function that is the same for all income, working and investment income that is progressive, and more so all the way to the very top. A function that would intersect the Y-axis at some living wage income where taxes would begin and continue upward until some maximum tax rate decided by how much deficit/debt we have.

This system would motivate the plutocracy to solve problems efficiently in order to lower their taxes - not to try to jettison responsibility to the bulk of Americans and inspire greed, underhandedness and corruption.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

The clones refuse to answer: "this thread is not about me"

Yet you have a third of the posts and have said NOTHING.

"Lawrence: $4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years. Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"

Waiting.


Posted by Lawrence, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

>Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"

I believe I already answered that question, above. The essential question is why Obama and the Dems agree with GWB and the GOP.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

"I believe I already answered that question, above." Nope, and you know it Gar....

You had an "If they " statement. Not an answer.

Didn't think you would ever answer.

Now I now.

You can't answer a simple question: "$4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years. Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

>> "$4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years.

I think that number's low, and low or not it was added, deliberately added to shift the economy into this "plutocrat" mode for dishonest purposes that have nothing to do with saving or improving the overall economy.

unless we have real idiots in charge what we ended up with is what was planned. and the reactions suggested are the desired goal.


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 7, 2013 at 5:45 am

Guitar Gary: The price of everything roughly doubles every 20 years. That is inflation.

Won't do your research for you. If you can't even remember the cost of bread, a fast food meal, a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk from just 4 years ago and realize the cost of everything has already risen at least 30% ( double in the case of gas), then you are either very young or deliberately "forgetting".

Write down the cost of a loaf of bread, a fast food meal today. Then compare it 4 years from now. That is inflation.

In the meantime, salaries have not risen at all. This is the "tax" of the federal reserve printing money we don't have.

It hurts the retired, the disabled, and those barely meeting ends the most.

Thanks a lot, leftists ( of both Repub and Dem stripes) who simply can't live within our means.


Posted by Palmer, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jan 7, 2013 at 9:15 am

"just 4 years ago and realize the cost of everything has already risen at least 30%"

A little hyperbole? Nah, a lot, one could say an inflated amount, of hyperbole!

Gas is about the same price it was 5 years ago. Web Link Milk fluctuates at Trader Joes, right now it's a little high, but will be back to near three bucks a gallon shortly. I don't recall the cost of a loaf of whole wheat 4 years ago, but it hasn't risen (hyuk) 30 percent.

I suspect Gary's point is that we've heard the right moaning about and predicting immediate inflation for years, and it hasn't happened.

Perspective: are you with the Gary clones on supporting the deficit busting tax package?

"$4 Trillion added onto the deficit over ten years. Support the deficit busting tax cuts, or not?"


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 9, 2013 at 6:28 am

Palmer: The bottom line is the bottom line. Higher tax rates produce less tax revenue. I am for more tax revenue..this is produced by more of us working and paying taxes. That is accomplished by a better economy with more employed folks. It takes how many drops to fill a lake? The more drops of water there are, the more the lake fills.

Again, if taking everything from everyone produced more revenue for use..ok, then your premise works. But it doesn't. The former USSR, China, Cuba, Venezuela..all show that the more a population is taxed, the less revenue there is.

Study the Laffer curve. Read anything by Thomas Sowell. Understand economics. I am for what works, not what I wish worked.


Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

> Higher tax rates produce less tax revenue.

> Study the Laffer curve.

This is not what the Laffer curve means, in fact it goes in direct contradiction to the Laffer Curve and is more like the lightweight Laffer Curve Republican propaganda.

Merely highlighting the Laffer curve is not a productive way to discuss the current budget or economic problems. Far more thought is needed as opposed to just fiddling with the tax rates to try to maximize revenue. As was mentioned employment is a big factor as well as the costs of people who working or who get sick or who need education or training, etc.

Furthermore the biggest ripoff of the American worker has been moving steadily along for decades, the transfer or more and more of the wealthiest Americans income from being taxed at regular rates to being taxed at special rates, ie. capital gains, deferred stock options, etc. This is an abomination that the media and politicians either have not talked about or do not understand.

In fact for anyone interested there is a video archive of a debate about the flat tax from the 80's from the PBS show Firing Line with William F. Buckley where all the predictions that were made at that time about the US tax system becoming more regressive have all come to pass. The great speech from that debate came from economist Lester Thurow with backup comments from Robert Kuttner, and Jerry Brown, a former Presidential candidate at the time in favor of the flat tax.

Jerry Brown was in favor of the flat tax AT THAT TIME BECAUSE IRONICALLY HE FELT THAT A FLAT TAX WOULD MAKE THE AMERICAN TAX SYSTEM MORE PROGRESSIVE because of all the special deals being cut with government ... over 30 years ago.

So do not try to tell me these budget problems are some kind of accident, this was understood and foreseen over 30 years ago publicly.

The episode is available for free on the Amazon.Com website if you have Amazon Prime, along with a lot of other great Firing Line episodes that show what the Republican party used to be like before they became truly extreme.


Posted by a tale of 2 perspectives, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

A tale of two perspectives (both from the same @Perspective post): 1. Silly perspective. 2. Smart perspective

1. silly perspective: "Again, if taking everything from everyone produced more revenue for use..ok, then your premise works."

Oh, let's do the extremist logical fallacy, only in the direction! How about, if we take taxes to ZERO, we'll collect way more taxes!

Get away from the hypothetical (and joke) Laffer curve and look at the real world. Reagan used Laffer, and TRIPLED the national debt.

Clinton raised taxes on high earners, balanced budgets, left surpluses, and created 23 million new jobs.

Bush cut taxes, and DOUBLED the national debt.

That's not hypothetical, that's real world. Real world = history. History tells us Bush took those budget surpluses, actually paying down the debt, and Bush gave us trillion dollar deficits. Why? did Bush give us the first trillion dollar deficit? Because little Dickie Cheney kept whispering in his ear:

"Reagan taught us deficits don't matter"

2. smarter perspective: "I am for what works, not what I wish worked." I agree. Let's go to what works, proven in the real world, not some Laffer or Sowell fantasy. Clinton spending, Clinton tax rates.

23 million new jobs.


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