Tax cuts don't boost revenue
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
The following are a couple of related articles that do a great job of explaining why we are in the current mess. Why the republicans in congress believe that you can spend more money without raising more revenue is something I don't understand.

Tax Cuts Don't Boost Revenues
By Justin Fox Thursday, Dec. 06, 2007


If there's one thing that Republican politicians agree on, it's that slashing taxes brings the government more money. "You cut taxes, and the tax revenues increase," President Bush said in a speech last year. Keeping taxes low, Vice President Dick Cheney explained in a recent interview, "does produce more revenue for the Federal Government." Presidential candidate John McCain declared in March that "tax cuts ... as we all know, increase revenues." His rival Rudy Giuliani couldn't agree more. "I know that reducing taxes produces more revenues," he intones in a new TV ad.

If there's one thing that economists agree on, it's that these claims are false. We're not talking just ivory-tower lefties. Virtually every economics Ph.D. who has worked in a prominent role in the Bush Administration acknowledges that the tax cuts enacted during the past six years have not paid for themselves--and were never intended to. Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2005, even devotes a section of his best-selling economics textbook to debunking the claim that tax cuts increase revenues.
The yawning chasm between Republican rhetoric on taxes and even informed conservative opinion is maddening to those of wonkish bent. Pointing it out has become an opinion-column staple. But none of these screeds seem to have altered the political debate. So rather than write yet another, I decided to find out what Arthur Laffer thought.

Laffer is a bona fide economist with a doctorate from Stanford. He's also largely responsible for the Republican belief that tax cuts pay for themselves. Now 67, Laffer runs economic-consulting and money-management firms in Nashville. About the best I could get out of him on the question of whether the Bush tax cuts have paid for themselves was "I don't know." But that's only part of the story.
It's a saga that began in a bar near the White House on a December afternoon in 1974. Huddled at a meeting arranged by Wall Street Journal editorial writer Jude Wanniski were Cheney, then the deputy chief of staff to Republican President Gerald Ford, and Laffer, who was teaching at the University of Chicago's business school after a stint in the Nixon White House. In trying to explain to Cheney why a tax hike mooted by the President might not be such a great idea, Laffer drew a chart on a napkin that showed government revenues increasing as the tax rate moved up from 0% but then turning around and heading back toward zero as it neared 100%.

The idea that high tax rates brought diminishing returns was not controversial or even new--Laffer traces it to 14th century Muslim philosopher Ibn Khaldun. But few economists in the 1970s even considered that real-world tax rates could be on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve. Laffer thought they might be, and Wanniski argued on the Journal's editorial page and elsewhere that they almost certainly were. The claim became a key plank of Ronald Reagan's successful 1980 campaign for President.

And how did things work out? Laffer is convinced that the reduction of the top tax rate from 70% to 28% during the Reagan years paid for itself--in part by encouraging the rich to stop finagling--and the evidence mostly backs him up. "You find these enormous responses in the upper brackets," Laffer says. "These guys fire their lawyers and accountants and actually pay their taxes. Yay! Isn't that what we want them to do?"

But Reagan's tax cuts for the nonrich were big money losers, and it took the fiscal discipline of Bill Clinton to mop up the resulting red ink. Laffer gushes with praise for Clinton, but he's also a fan of Clinton's successor. "What Clinton did was, he gave Bush the fiscal flexibility to do what was right," Laffer says. In the face of the recession and terrorist attacks of 2001, Bush "needed to stimulate the economy and spend for defense, and Clinton gave him the ability to do that."


In other words, the Bush tax cuts were meant to create big deficits. But Laffer's O.K. with that. "The Laffer Curve should not be the reason you raise or lower taxes," he says. Perhaps not, but it does make for great campaign promises.


http://www.time.com/time/...z1TWfF7Xf1

Obama's and Bush's effects on the deficit in one graph


What's also important, but not evident, on this chart is that Obama's major expenses were temporary - the stimulus is over now - while Bush's were, effectively, recurring. The Bush tax cuts didn't just lower revenue for 10 years. It's clear now that they lowered it indefinitely, which means this chart is understating their true cost. Similarly, the Medicare drug benefit is costing money on perpetuity, not just for two or three years. And Boehner, Ryan and others voted for these laws and, in some cases, helped to craft and pass them.

To relate this specifically to the debt-ceiling debate, we're not raising the debt ceiling because of the new policies passed in the past two years. We're raising the debt ceiling because of the accumulated effect of policies passed in recent decades, many of them under Republicans. It's convenient for whichever side isn't in power, or wasn't recently in power, to blame the debt ceiling on the other party. But it isn't true.
http://www.washingtonpost..._blog.html


[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (7/29/2011)]
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Posted by Oly (+8) 10 years ago
False...

Check out these websites.

http://startthinkingright...-revenues/

http://www.house.gov/jec/...agtxct.htm

All the left wants us to do is move toward a Communist State, rather than having everybody *gasp* work for themselves.

Oly

[This message has been edited by Oly (7/29/2011)]
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 10 years ago
When did commies stop working? It's the lazy freedom lovers who won't pick lettuce or build a great wall.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (7/29/2011)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
False...

Check out these websites.


-What is "false"?

-You are REALLY going to site a website from 1996 as a defense against a chart that shows the actual results of the very polices the your source promotes???
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Posted by Oly (+8) 10 years ago
If it worked in the 20's, 60's, 80's and was written about in the 90's it must still work in this century...
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
You didn't answer the question.

What does the original article say that is "false"? The graph suggest that tax cuts did NOT work the last time.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (7/29/2011)]
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+274) 10 years ago
At the end of the bush administration the national debt was approx 8 trillion dollars. In a little over 2 1/2 yrs of Obama it is over 14 trillion and he wants to raise it another 2 trillion which will double the debt since he took over as president. As far as tax revenues, (listen close) If you have 100 people paying taxes and you receive x amt of taxes and you put 100 more people to work and they start paying taxes, have you not increased revenues with no increase in tax rates ? No one is talking about a tax cut, just not raising them. We don't have a debt limit problem we have a debt load problem primarily caused by the last congress, the last administration and this administration. Now they can't come to terms on how to resolve it, that's the stupidity of the whole thing and all the political views don't mean a thing. I think we will lose the triple A credit rating no matter what resolve congress comes up with and we are in for massive inflation and a financial collapse. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think so...........//korkyII//
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
Taxes have to be raised. Spending has to be cut. Political posturing and tea bagger dog and pony shows have to stop.
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Posted by tax payer (+355) 10 years ago
We need to cut waste like paying for the historical office in town. Get down to the basics that are needed for now.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
My office probably doesn't do what you think it does. Our main focus is on historic rehabilitation as a part of economic development but if you truly think historic preservation is a bad thing, write your congressman and try to have the program eliminated. I will argue for it and you can argue against and congress can decide.

The point, they need to DO something besides play games. They need to cut spending and raise taxes. Maybe that means killing historic preservation and the accompanying economic development but it needs to be discussed and dealt with honestly. No more posturing.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
If you have 100 people paying taxes and you receive x amt of taxes and you put 100 more people to work and they start paying taxes, have you not increased revenues with no increase in tax rates ?


IF the first 100 hundred people actually use the tax cut to employ the second 100 people, yes, you would raise revenue with no increase in rates.

Reality, however, says that in this economy, without the prospect of increased sales, 95 of the first 100 people will simply pocket the savings. The effect of the tax break never accomplishes the intended objective.


No one is talking about a tax cut, just not raising them.


Umm... that is one of the only two things the tea-party people talk about... "lower taxes like Reagan did". Somehow they forget that Reagan raised taxes 11 times.

We need to cut spending, raise taxes, and quit the political posturing.
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Posted by tax payer (+355) 10 years ago
Amorette, what does the historic preservation have to do with economic development? This is not meant to be a snide remark, just don't follow the idea.
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Posted by tax payer (+355) 10 years ago
http://blogs.forbes.com/p...o-reality/

[This message has been edited by tax payer (7/29/2011)]
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Posted by Wil Nelson (+72) 10 years ago
Tax rates were cut during the JFK administration and the economy did very well. While government spending is part of GDP you can not have all of government spending account for 100% of GDP unless you want a total socialist state as you would essentially have everyone working for the government in some form.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+274) 10 years ago
So, lets go raise taxes and create a bigger govt, let everyone work for the govt and have the govt provide us with all our needs. Historically speaking, all tax increases do is create a larger wallett for congress to spend from. I am against any tax increase until we get iron clad assurance that congress will not create another program to spend it on......//korkyII..
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
Could one of you paranoid morans please point out to me where anyone anywhere on this (or really, any other thread) has suggested that taxes be raised to 100%, or that EVERYONE must work for the government, or that the government will care for everybody?

You people are cultists. And your cult of FYIGM is going to end up running the country into the ground.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+274) 10 years ago
Just maybe if we cut discressionary spending, reform medicare/medicaid, cut foreign aid and get out of 3 wars and cut the waste out of social security and close the loopholes that allow big business not to pay taxes, there wouldn't be a so called need to raise taxes. For some reason there are morons out there that can't see this. Raising taxes should be a last resort. We need a balanced budget and a lot spending cuts. If the debt ceiling is raised then we need equal spending cuts or we are just creating a larger suitcase.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+979) 10 years ago
Reagen's economic adviser was just on NPR this morning. He had some interesting things to say. Mainly he talked about how both sides are wrong in the current debate. He said taxes are too low. They are 14% of GNP, the lowest they have been sense WWII. Then he said spending is also too high and more trouble is coming if some things are not changed. So according to Reagen's top econ. guy, Rep are wrong on rising taxes, it needs to be done, Dems are wrong on social security should not be changed, it is spending more then taking in and this trend is getting worse. His final statement was both are wrong on military spending. They get all the money they want with way too little oversight and need to be rained in and waste programs cut. So his main point, we HAVE TO raise taxes and HAVE TOO cut spending.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
Well said, Steve.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+274) 10 years ago
I agree in part with that Steve. We as citizens have to give our gov enough money to operate with. But before we go just increasing taxes without a budget or reforming (or what ever you want to call it) our medicare/ social security I am against any tax increase. I know a guy that was married and had one kid. He got divorced and he ex married a man on social security disability. She then received a 400.00 a month "entitlement" from social security. (she was employed) His kid, because he was living with them also received a 400.00 a month "entitlement" even though his father was paying 450.00 a month in child support. The father was given full custody of the kid eventually but was still receiving the entitlement, the father told SS he did not need or want the entitlement but was told by SS he had no choice and if he refused he would be taken to court and could face jail time. This is the type of reform I am talking about.
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Posted by Chris Gamrath (+384) 10 years ago
It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out that both sides are wrong. 95% of the everyday, hard working, tax paying, citizens of this country could tell you that. Why? It's because we have two "SIDES" of government. A democracy only works if all parties are willing to work together and compromise on situations that may not be the best for our own ideals, will in the long run, be the best for the country it represents. We lost sight of THAT ideal long before Obama and Bush made it into office.

When you turn on C-Span to watch members of the House and Senate go at it like some over produced episode of Reality television, to this I say "The system is BROKEN!" I think it's time we take every last one of them, sit them down, and make them watch Seaseme Street to re-learn the word "Cooperation". Until you fix the attitude of "Well my side is right because your side is wrong", you're not "fixing" anything else in this country!
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
If lower taxes create jobs and make the economy hum, why are we in a recession with a high jobless rate when the taxes are the lowest they have been since 1950? Because that claim is bogus and a simple examination of the last 60 years worth of economics will tell you that.

And no one goes to jail for refusing Social Security. Somewhere, that story got seriously distorted.

Raise taxes. Cut spending. Stop playing political chicken.

If you are really interested in how historic preservation works to stimulate economic development, come down to my office and I can show you. Letting older tax districts rot does nothing for a local economy. Preserving Main Streets is the best economic development program in the the US today. I have the actual facts to show it. Reusing and rehabilitating older properties is energy efficient, saves on infrastructure, provides jobs, attracts tourists, and has lot of other benefits. Tearing down old buildings and leaving empty lots behind that grow weeds does very little for an economy.

But historic pres and NEA and Pell Grants aren't even big enough to be drops in a bucket. The big boys are Medicare, Social Security, and the military. They need to be reined in and reformed. Not gotten rid of, unless you plan to support your aged parents and pay all their medical bills, just faced up to and dealt with.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+274) 10 years ago
The only thing holding back jobs right now is private business is setting back waiting to see what direction the gov't is going. If they continue to spend and do business as usual then they won't hire. If they are going to get hit with high taxes to help get us out of this mess, then they aren't going to hire. Plus they don't know what this obamacare is going to cost them (if it's too much then they will just pay the fine). There are a bunch of uncertainties because no one knows what direction the government is going. It's quite apparrent to me the gov't doesnt even know what way it is going mainly because there is no leadership. (and thats on both sides of the fence)...//korkyII//
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Posted by tax payer (+355) 10 years ago
Amorette...it may be a drop in the bucket, but there are many drops out there in other programs big and small. I agree the waste in all programs needs to be cut. I also agree with Jan on her last post.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Just maybe if we cut discressionary spending, reform medicare/medicaid, cut foreign aid and get out of 3 wars and cut the waste out of social security and close the loopholes that allow big business not to pay taxes, there wouldn't be a so called need to raise taxes.


"3 wars"- started by whom? I agree we need to get out of this quagmire. We need to find those WMD's.

Big business loopholes- I whole heartedly agree with you on that but if it was not for big business (Koch) then who would fund the tea party?
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Govenor Schweitzer said it best in another post.

"The governor launched into a long explanation of why he's not interested in becoming a senator or congressman.

"The system is broken, and it isn't because we don't have good people," Schweitzer said. "We have some good people that we've sent from Montana, and we have good people there now. But it seems that the system is broken, and we're all responsible for that.

"It's journalism. It's the 24-hour shout news and radio. It's the blogs that are shouting at each other and just are angry all the time. It's the political parties that are always trying to make hay out of it.

"We're reaching a debt ceiling and last week we were talking about some congressman taking pictures of himself and blogging it around. Most of what they talk about in Washington, D.C., is gotcha, instead of doing their homework and getting their job done and finding a way to work together.

"It's the corporations with their lobbyists, who are shoveling cash on this side and that side so it protects them from having any kind of regulation or paying their taxes in the United States. So it's all of us. It's the political parties, it's the lobbyists, it's journalism or the lack thereof. The end result is we have a lot of people shouting at each other and not getting things done."

Schweitzer said the United States is "just shoveling cash to the military industrial complex, like Eisenhower warned us" not to do.

The American people aren't immune from his criticism.

"It's about us looking in the mirror and saying how much do we demand from our government and how much are we willing to pay for. So some of our problems are on us. It's tough medicine.""
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17230) 10 years ago
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Posted by Leann (+183) 10 years ago
I know I will sound stupid but I don't care. I'm so tired of hearing people saying they need higher wages for jobs. I feel more jobs need to hire people and let them learn on the job training. Instead of telling them they don't quallify because they don't have enough a BS or some other degree. Instead of raising prices on everything why not put a cap on some of it so the economy can try and balance out. For example mediacal drugs like high blood presure pills. One shouldn't have to pay $1/pill.
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Posted by tom regan (+2492) 10 years ago
Frank Lopez: Lesson number one: Don't underestimate the other guy's greed!
[laughing]
Elvira Hancock: Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.


Tony Montana: In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc...venues.pdf

Growth in Federal Tax Revenues From 2003 to 2006
Total federal revenues grew by about $625 billion, or 35 percent, between fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2006. CBO's analysis of that increase in revenues since 2003 is necessarily preliminary because relevant data are not yet fully available. CBO examined the available data using the commonly employed method of analyzing the sources of revenue growth as a percentage of GDP. Had revenues grown at the same rate as the overall economy between 2003 and 2006, federal receipts would have increased by only $373 billion. The other $252 billion of the actual increase in revenues represents growth in excess of GDP growth. As a result, receipts as a share of GDP rose from 16.5 percent in 2003 to 18.4 percent in 2006, an increase of 1.9 percentage points


Taxes cut... revenue grew. How can it be?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
I need a graph that correlates this to the # of pirates as well before I can make an informed decision.
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Posted by souix (+300) 10 years ago
Interesting Documentary
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
Taxes cut... revenue grew. How can it be?


Revenue is only one side of the national net-worth picture. One of your assumptions appears to be that we are still on the right-hand side of the Laffer curve and that there is no kurtosis or skewness to the right or left in the curve. I don't think any of that is completely true.

You might want to read the following article in its entirety. http://www.cbpp.org/files/3-8-06tax.pdf

Here are some selected quotes:

In 1981, Congress substantially lowered marginal income-tax rates on the well off. In 1990 and 1993, by contrast, Congress raised marginal income-tax rates on the well off. When the 1981 tax cuts were being debated, some supporters contended the tax cuts would more than pay for themselves. Similarly, opponents of the 1990 and 1993 tax increases claimed they would damage the economy and cause tax receipts to grow more slowly in the 1990s than in the 1980s.

In fact, the economy grew at about the same rate in the 1990s as in the 1980s, while tax revenues grew about twice as fast in the 1990s as in the 1980s: 3.5 percent (after adjustment for inflation and the increase in the size of the population), compared to 1.7 percent in the 1980s.



After adjusting for inflation and population growth, this year and last year's strong growth in revenues have barely made up for the deep revenue losses in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Measured since the current business cycle began in March 2001, total per-capita revenue growth, adjusted for inflation, has been near zero. Based on OMB's latest revenue estimates, real per-capita revenues in 2006 will be only 0.2 percent above the level they attained more than five years ago at the start of the business cycle. In other words, the current revenue "surge" is merely restoring revenues to where they were half a decade ago.

By contrast, five and a half years after the peak of previous post-World War II business cycles, real per-capita revenues had increased by an average of 10 percent. And at this point in the 1990s business cycle, real per-capita revenues were 11 percent higher than their level at the end of the previous business cycle.6

Furthermore, the performance of the economy during the current business cycle has been slightly weaker overall than the economy's average performance over the comparable period of other business cycles since the end of World War II. Investment growth during the current business cycle has been below the historical average, even though some of the Bush administration's tax cuts have been specifically targeted at investment. Employment and wage and salary growth have been especiallyweakduringthecurrentbusinesscycle.7

If tax cuts are crucial to economic growth, then the current business cycle - with its large tax cuts - should strongly outperform previous business cycles. Instead, it has performed more poorly than average.


"A recent CBO study of the economic effects of tax cuts found that how tax cuts are financed significantly impacts how they affect the economy. In the short run, deficit-financed tax cuts may help stimulate an economy in recession and thus temporarily improve growth (although the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were poorly structured as stimulus). But in the long run, the deficits that result from unpaid-for tax cuts constitute a drag on the economy because they lower national savings.16

For this reason, deficit-financed tax cuts may actually weaken long-run economic growth. A study and literature review by Brookings Institution economists William Gale and Peter Orszag, for instance, concluded that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were "likely to reduce, not increase, national income in the long term" because of their effect in swelling the deficit.17 Studies by economists at the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have found that, even in models that predict that deficit-financed tax cuts can have a positive economic impact over the ten- year budget window, their longer-run impact is negative.18

If deficit-financed tax cuts weaken economic growth, their long-run cost could be greater than conventional revenue estimates suggest, because they will reduce revenues not only directly (by lowering people's tax bills) but also indirectly (by slowing the economy). A recent CBO study of the economic effects of a hypothetical 10 percent across-the-board cut in income tax rates found that under certain assumptions, the increased deficits resulting from the tax cut would be enough of a drag on the economy that the tax cut actually would lose more revenue than if one assumed it had no effect on the economy. In other words, deficit-financed tax cuts could be even more expensive than officially "scored," rather than less expensive or costless.

In the final analysis, the idea that tax cuts can spur sufficient economic growth to pay for themselves sounds too good to be true because it is too good to be true. In tax policy, as in other aspects of policymaking, there is no "free lunch".


[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (8/3/2011)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
You're stretching, Richard. Using some mythological business cycle peak as a baseline doesn't make any sense. If you're saying the Bush tax cuts hurt revenue... show me where.

Looks to me like revenue went up 35% during the three years following the tax cuts. And if the argument is that it was just a product of the business cycle, then the revenue increases should've only been in line with GDP growth. But revenue growth heavily outpaced GDP growth.

How does that fall in line with the 'Bush Tax Cuts caused the deficit' argument?

The plain fact of the matter is that spending is our problem, not revenue.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17230) 10 years ago
The plain fact of the matter is that spending is our problem, not revenue.


This line of Tea Party Republican thinking is whats going to keep the economy in the doldrums for a very long time.

The plain fact of the matter is that unemployment is our problem, not spending.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5105) 10 years ago
In 2009, revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product was at a 50 year low.

But revenue is not the problem, right Rickenhawk?

If only Bush would've lowered taxes more...
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Since Government Spending is a component of GDP.. as government spending makes up a larger part of GDP (today, government spending is the highest percentage of GDP since WWII), government revenue as a share of that GDP will by-definition drop (since government obviously can't tax its own spending)

All of it's a red herring anyway, as tax receipts exploded for the 4 years after the Bush tax cuts. And even with the economic collapse that happened after that, revenues are still over 20% higher than they were in 2003. Unfortunately, at the same time spending is 60% higher than it was in 2003.

The screaming in Washington about more revenue is really only about feeding a spending addiction.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (8/4/2011)]
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Posted by Kelly (+2692) 10 years ago
The screaming in Washington about more revenue is really only about feeding a spending addiction.


No, it is about math.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5105) 10 years ago
Rickenhawk, you're not very bright. No offense.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5105) 10 years ago
Here's a question for you, Rickenhawk.

B happens after A

therefore

A caused B


True or false?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17230) 10 years ago
Yep, all those spending cuts sure gave investors confidence in the economy today.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
This seems like it belongs here:


DEALING WITH IRRATIONAL PEOPLE: You are wrong because...

AMAZINGLY BAD ANALOGY: You can train a dog to fetch a stick. Therefore, you can train a potato to dance.

FAULTY CAUSE AND EFFECT: On the basis of my observations, wearing huge pants makes you fat.

I AM THE WORLD: I don't listen to country music. Therefore, country music is not popular.

IGNORING EVERYTHING SCIENCE KNOWS ABOUT THE BRAIN: People choose to be obese/gay/alcoholic because they prefer the lifestyle.

THE FEW ARE THE SAME AS THE WHOLE: Some Elbonians are animal rights activists. Some Elbonians were fur coats. Therefore, all Elbonians are hypocrites.

GENERALIZING FROM SELF: I'm a liar. Therefore I don't believe what you're saying.

TOTAL LOGICAL DISCONNECTION: I enjoy pasta because my house is made of bricks.

ARGUMENT BY BIZARRE DEFINITION: He's not a criminal. He just does things that are against the law.

ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IS EASY TO DO: If you have the right tools, how hard can it be to generate nuclear fission at home.

IGNORANCE OF STATISTICS: I'm putting ALL of my money on the lottery this week because the jackpot is so big.

IGNORING THE DOWNSIDE RISK: I know that bungee jumping could kill me but it's 3 seconds of pure fun!

SUBSTITUTING FAMOUS QUOTES FOR COMMON SENSE: Remember "all things come to those who wait." So don't bother looking for a job.

IRRELEVANT COMPARISONS: $100 is a good price for a toaster, compared to buying a Ferrari.

CIRCULAR REASONING: I'm correct because I'm smarter than you. And I must be smarter than you because I'm correct.

INCOMPLETENESS AS PROOF OF FACT Your theory of gravity doesn't address the question of why there are no unicorns, so it must be wrong.

IGNORING THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS WITHOUT GOOD REASON: Sure the experts say you shouldn't ride a bicycle in the eye of a hurricane, but I have my own theory.

FOLLOWING THE ADVICE OF KNOWN IDIOTS: Uncle Horace says eating pork makes you smarter. That's good enough for me.

REACHING BIZARRE CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT ANY INFORMATION: My car won't start. I'm certain the spark plugs have been stolen by rogue clowns.

FAULTY PATTERN RECOGNITION: His last 6 wives were murdered mysteriously. I hope to be wife #7.

FAILURE TO RECOGNISE WHAT'S IMPORTANT: My house is on fire! Quick, call the post office and tell them to hold my mail!

OVERAPPLICATION OF OCCAM'S RAZOR: The simplest explanation for the moon landings is that they were hoaxes.

INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME THINGS HAVE MULTIPLE CAUSES: The Beatles were popular for one reason only: they were good singers.

JUDGING THE WHOLE BY ONE OF IT'S CHARACTERISTICS: The sun causes sunburns. Therefore the planet would be better off without the sun.

BLINDING FLASHES OF THE OBVIOUS: If everyone had more money, we could eliminate poverty.

BLAMING THE TOOL: I bought an encyclopedia but I'm still stupid.

TAKING THINGS TO THEIR ILLOGICAL CONCLUSION: If you let your barber cut your hair, they next thing you know he'll be lopping your limbs off.

PROOF BY LACK OF EVIDENCE: I've never seen you drunk, so you must be one of those Amish people.
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
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Posted by Maryann McDaniel (+260) 10 years ago
I appreciate what historical commissions and groups do. But, fyi, Texas cut completely the state's historical commission funding. No more historical markers, no more funding of many of the historical parks, etc. When one is faced with the kinds of budgets we now have as state and federal government -- and as families -- something has to give. I am sad that it is historical commissions, but health, housing, food, and other welfare takes priority.

I think our budgets (from families to state to fed) are gonna become pretty lean over the next few years, unless we get a grip on what can be cut. We need to get real about our expenditures.
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Posted by Maryann McDaniel (+260) 10 years ago
I think we should be concerned about what is happening in our financial markets. As a former stock broker, now in math education, today's drop hurt so many people. I thankfully got completely out of the market mid-year 2010. It has been brutal for those who stayed in -- particularly retirees or those investing in their retirement accounts.

It may not be a pretty picture. August has a history of having many Black days......when the market was in free fall. Hope it does not happen this year.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
We need to get real about our expenditures.

And who is being taxed how much. Austerity to Prosperity - if you're already prosperous.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2742) 10 years ago
Wouldn't it be interesting to give Jan and her fellow Tea Party true-believers 100% control of our economy so they can inflict their "cure" upon us all without any restraints whatsoever?

Well, actually that would be horrific. The interesting part would be seeing if, when our economy tanks completely, they could possibly bring their supremely smug selves to admit that they were wrong OR whether they would just create some more highly convoluted theories to blame it all once again on Obama (much more likely).

As for the state of Congress, the dysfunction has everything to do with the manipulation of our election process over the past 30 years by the Radical Right (e.g., Tom DeLay). A Congress comprised of two ideologically-driven sides divided beyond repair is the direct outcome of grossly gerrymandered congressional districts. The victors of today's congressional races are decided in primaries by the most strident and extreme members of the parties who thrive on beating up on anyone who thinks even slightly differently than them. Is it any wonder that these folks can't see eye-to-eye with the other side (e.g., those procreatin' Liberals). The current House of Representatives isn't merely divided by an aisle - it's divided by the 21st Century equivalent of the Mason-Dixon Line.

The point of all this (and I do have one): We don't need new parties. We can restore sanity in Congress by getting rid of the gerrymandered (and unConstitutional) district boundaries. Until we do, our Nation is not united, it is at risk of being divisible, and liberty and justice will remain in the hands of a bunch of crazed zealots with a ton of confidence and zero common sense.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (8/4/2011)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1903) 10 years ago
Perhaps districts represented by Tea Baggers - and I think Denny fancies himself a 'Bagger so that would include Montana - should volunteer to refuse all of those socialistic entitlement programs to demonstrate how quickly the economy will rebound. It's a can't miss...like the way the "Bush Taxcuts" have led us to economic Shangri-La.
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