Atlas and the Tax Cuts

300 economists signed a letter yesterday - the kind of letter that means Paul Krugman won't be inviting them to any of his parties:

We, the undersigned economists, write in support of extending current tax rates on income and investments in order to prevent a devastating blow to Americas fragile economic recovery, the letter reads. Robust economic growth is best served by a tax code that levies low and predictable rates. The promise of a tax increase in January 2011 would create significant economic distortions as individuals and businesses conserve capital or stave off hiring.
And of course they shouldn't be holding their breath for an invite to one of those all-too-common shindigs at the White House:
The letter was meant, in part, to counter a statement President Obama made earlier this month during a press conference. He said economists believe extending the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans is probably the worst way to stimulate the economy.
Sweet.

I was discussing this with Andy over at The Snausages last night - he was of the addlepated impression that letting the Bush tax cuts expire wouldn't have that large an impact, especially if it was restricted to the $250K+ set. I disagree, for the following reason:

If you look at the ratio of private working stiffs to everybody else, you can get an idea of the burden on the private sector. That is, you can tell how many mouths each private employee has to feed, be they government employees, the unemployed, kids, or other people who don't work. Here's how that has looked over the past few years (the population divisor does not include kids under 16, so it's high):

AtlasGroansSep2010Small.gif


That's Atlas groaning right there - more than a 10% increase in the burden on each private employee. Naturally that has been unsustainable, which is why we've borrowed to make up the shortfall.

Now imagine increasing the tax rate on the $250K+ folk by 5%. They make about a quarter of the country's income, so you're basically taking another 1.25% out of the private economy and running it through the government at an economic multiplier that's less than 1. That just increases that already-unsustainable burden on the private sector.

The bottom line is that until we recover to ratios in the neighborhood of 0.5, it's not a great time to be pulling more money out of private hands. But as we already know, for the Obama crowd it's not a matter of a healthy economy, it's a matter of social justice. Which means that it's fine if the economy tanks, as long as we all tank together.

Posted by: Geoff at 09:39 AM



Comments

1
Come on Krugman-o-crats - raise taxes on those making more than 250K.

do it. I dare you. And please, after you tax everyone while they are alive, make sure to steal another 55% on what's left, when they die. You know - so the family business has to die, like you want.

OK - democrats? do it.

Come on economic losers(D); fuck us over, voters will reward you... I promise.


Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 09:44 AM (0fzsA)

2 OT
The fat man from New Jersey strikes again.
True to his tough-guy persona, Gov. Chris Christie mixed it up today
with a political naysayer, who heckled California Republican
gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman at a political rally.

Posted by: YIKES! at September 23, 2010 09:45 AM (WHRS/)

3 mmmmm snausage

Posted by: Bat Chain Puller at September 23, 2010 09:47 AM (SCcgT)

4
Paul Krugman and Tom Friedman should be laughed off the stage.


Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 09:49 AM (0fzsA)

5
Family businesses have a silent partner - an evil silent partner - Big Daddy Government.

Defeat Ed Pearlmutter(D-CO), and end the tax rape.

Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 09:51 AM (0fzsA)

6 >> running it through the government at an economic multiplier that's less than 1

Much less than 1. Imagine an endless sponge.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at September 23, 2010 09:52 AM (WvXvd)

7 Great, I'm on my deathbed already, that will push me over.

Posted by: Hiring at September 23, 2010 09:52 AM (MMC8r)

8 I'll bet the feds spend $3.50 to administer every $1.00 they take.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at September 23, 2010 09:55 AM (WvXvd)

9 You fully grasp the extent of how unpopular letting the Bush tax cut expire are when Democratic Congressman, running for re-election, are running from Nancy Pelosistraight to Fox News to pronounce that they want to extend all the tax cuts.
The desperation is thick in Washington.

Posted by: Mallamutt at September 23, 2010 09:56 AM (OWjjx)

10
The government doesn't produce a thing - - it confiscates and redistributes. Period. with the corrupt Obama administration - our tax money is funneled to pay-to-play donors like, oh I don't know - the UNIONS.
During an economic down-turn where we are all belt-tightening, not the unions. Not bloated teachers union pensions and the like..

Another example of democrat corruption and idiocy: The bond holders at GM were screwed while the unions got to keep everything. All during an economic implosion.
Smart!



Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 09:57 AM (0fzsA)

11 Not a peep out of the "economists" about cutting gubmint spending.

If the tax rates remain as they are now, and the pork-guzzling wastrels in Congress stick with Osama Obama on their suicidal spending spree, the debt will grow until it is somewhere far beyond our ability to reduce or pay off.

I grant you letting the criminal fuckweasels in D.C. have more of our money is bad all by itself. To push for status quo on taxes without slicing spending is insane.

I don't think the Repubs' "promise" to cut spending to '08 levels is anything more than cheap theater. Most people I know are spending at a level more like '00 or '01 (hard to spend when you're unemployed or underemployed at best), and I think that's about where Congress and the Traitor-in-Chief should be.

Cut taxes even more. Cut all pork. Cut all the worthless programs the Mohammedan Mouthpiece and the pigs in Congress have set up to reward their pals.

That would be a start.

Posted by: MrScribbler at September 23, 2010 09:59 AM (Ulu3i)

12 8 - That reminds me of the Republican Governor Primary debate with Rick, Kay Bailey, and Debra M: I don't remember the specific question, but Gov. Perry mentioned the fact he'd like to see the Federal Government stop taking a dollar of our transportation money (via taxes) just to give us 50 cents.

Kay Bailey's response (with a straight face, natch) was something along the lines of "I worked in the government to get that up to 90 cents for every dollar..." like she completely didn't get that the point was that if we'd kept it, we'd have gotten the whole dollar...

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:00 AM (8y9MW)

13
Good thing each congressman has 20 staffers each. All on the government payroll.

We need to cut government waste and start within our own government.
-No more remodeling of democrat buildings.
-Cut Congressional pay by 55% (same as the death tax)
-Cut the amount of staffers each congress person is allowed to have. One is enough.
-cut cut cut.


Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 10:00 AM (0fzsA)

14 the population divisor does not include kids under 16

My kids eat like Robert Rizzo on steroids, and I buy clothes as often as I buy groceries.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:02 AM (5aa4z)

15 Cut Payroll taxes if you aren't going to cut income taxes.

Posted by: Ben at September 23, 2010 10:03 AM (wuv1c)

16 Well, since the depression has made quite a few of the rich not so rich anymore, that means we simply must tax the surviving rich even harder, right?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 23, 2010 10:04 AM (A6Fbq)

17 So does this asshole start every speech of with lies about how all economists agree with him?

Posted by: Mr Pink at September 23, 2010 10:05 AM (riXWU)

18 i don't kill hobos because they sign my paychecks

Posted by: Ben at September 23, 2010 10:06 AM (wuv1c)

19 This is why the TEA Party exists. This is why Rs are doing better in polls than they have ever done. NEVER let anyone forget where we are now, or how we got her. Remind everyone every election from now until taxes, government spending, communism ,and socialism become the dirty words they deserve to be.

Posted by: shillelagh at September 23, 2010 10:07 AM (Oz4Bj)

20 Have there been announcements of three more folks leaving the administration, like asap?

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:07 AM (p302b)

21 Have there been announcements of three more folks leaving the administration, like asap?
Summers was already planning on leaving. Now he can go to Harvard and teach kids about job creation and budgetary discipline.
Rahm wants to run for Mayor of Chicago, you don't think it was an odd coincidence that the Jesse Jackson Jr information leaked in the past few days do you?
And Axelrod wants to get back to his family mustasche factory, where they have been producing high quality mustasches since 1947.

Posted by: Ben at September 23, 2010 10:10 AM (wuv1c)

22 What no Obama/UN thread? Oh well I may as well go take a dump

Posted by: nevergiveup at September 23, 2010 10:11 AM (0GFWk)

23
What no Obama/UN thread? Oh well I may as well go take a dump

You're going to live blog the speech?

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:12 AM (5aa4z)

24 Consensus!

Posted by: schizuki at September 23, 2010 10:12 AM (M+lbD)

25 I had no idea there were so many racist economists.

Posted by: Barack "The King" Obama at September 23, 2010 10:12 AM (DYJjQ)

26 11 - Well, since the question on the table at the moment isn't _about_ spending, it's about whether or not to extend all of the Bush Tax Cuts (Thanks, RINOS for not supporting them enough to make the permanent in the first place!), I don't think them not mentioning spending cuts is really germane. Or are you just looking for something to whine about, again?

I'm relatively certain that the majority of economists would agree that the best long term strategy would be a combination of spending cuts and tax cuts, but that's not currently on the table in the first place.

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:13 AM (8y9MW)

27 "Federal help boosts vulnerable Democrats"
Beck is reading the new stuff that kicks in today via obamacare.

Oddly enough you need to file 1099's up the wazoo but then again if you are working "they" already know all about you and what you are making. How come they aren't going after the "pay me in cash, please" crowd and the Buffets and Gates guys who manage to hire the best tax attorneys and accountants on the planet. It's not comforting that buffet taunted all of us by saying he pays less tax than his secretary. Wonder if that is the same secretary who won't sell him her shares now....ah, Karma's a bitch.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:15 AM (p302b)

28 It's getting hard to shrug while down on my knees.

Posted by: Atlas at September 23, 2010 10:15 AM (gbCNS)

29 Hey wait, I thought the tax cuts were only for the rich in the first place. Couldn't be that the Democrats/media lied could it?

Posted by: kansas at September 23, 2010 10:16 AM (1Vt0o)

30 As I recall, Bush took a lot of people completely off the tax rolls. They just aren't being taxed at all. And it's not a small group. So what happens when they realize that, in demanding that they "tax those rich suckers" that they inadvertently drew attention to themselves and they are now going to be asked to "do their part". How are these folks not going to be really really pissed?

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:19 AM (p302b)

31
Democrats live to confiscate. Democrats are Liberty-Kill.
Bush tax rate cuts are going bye bye. Remember, they are EVIIIIL.
Evil tax cuts for evil rich people. It's important to kill the engines of a free society.
The government knows best. Plus the democrats have already spent the money. They need us to pay for their superior socialistic public shopping spree.
Free health care for all!

Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 10:19 AM (0fzsA)

32 OTThe fat man from New Jersey strikes again.True to his tough-guy persona, Gov. Chris Christie mixed it up today with a political naysayer, who heckled California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman at a political rally.



My man crush for him grows daily.....

Posted by: Learflyer at September 23, 2010 10:20 AM (9vscO)

33 My sister in law owns her own business (neurology). If the tax cuts are not extended, she will have to let go two employees or cut her office hours by a third (meaning she will see fewer patients).

My brother and I have a small publishing business. Due to the new medical laws, we are going to be hit hard. So, we are passing that hit along to our employees (2). When the public option comes online, they get to move over to the public option. Seeing as how they both voted for Obama and were strong proponents of the new laws, we don't have much heartburn over it. However, both have looked at in detail now and are begging to keep us on their current medical plan. We told them they could if they take a deep pay cut.

Another friend of mine (a contractor of 20 years) has decided to fold up shop. He had just bounced into the 250k + range 2 years ago. With the array of new EPA regs and tax increases and med legislation, he is simply not going to be able to manage the business and make what he needs.

Its hurting, and the effects are only beginning to be felt

Posted by: davis at September 23, 2010 10:21 AM (xmDD0)

34 Posted by: Lemon Kitten at September 23, 2010 10:19 AM (0fzsA)

What really bothers me are all the weimar republic references being subtly dropped all over the MSM and on financial sites in connection with jokes. Like it would be funny. And then the dimwits on their little blogs who say that the only thing that will save us is either default or cutting the value of the dollar "at least in half".

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:22 AM (p302b)

35 We're a clever bunch, aren't we? Normally, I mean?
How come we keep saying tax cuts? There is no tax cut in the offing. We're either going to raise them or keep them the same.
Furthermore, lowering the marginal tax rate always, always results in increased revenues (at least as long as we're on the top half of the Laffer curve). If people are really interested (Democrats included) for "paying for" their criminally-negligent spending, they should be talking about cutting taxes.
This is not about revenues. It's about punishment. It always is for them.

Posted by: Truman North at September 23, 2010 10:22 AM (HLGCA)

36 Nearly half the $250K "individuals and households" are actually small businesses, that will be getting significantly smaller in January.

Posted by: Truman North at September 23, 2010 10:28 AM (HLGCA)

37 Posted by: polynikes at September 23, 2010 10:22 AM (m2CN7)

Honestly, I would imagine the number of households making 250K has collapsed in this overwhelmingly shitty economy. I'd be happy to get back to where I could at least SMELL triple digits again.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:28 AM (5aa4z)

38 Posted by: polynikes at September 23, 2010 10:22 AM (m2CN7)

I don't understand it either. In many of our major cities you can barely live on $250 grand, combined income. And this is not living high on the hog. This is a family with a couple of kids to feed and clothe. And if you go on the mom sites that some of my friends go on they are upset about new laws about selling stuff and some new laws about supplements. One of my working mom dem friends supplements her income by selling stuff on ebay and craig's list. Stuff they don't need anymore but shouldn't be thrown away. A lot of folks are saying that "there are no extras, every penny is spent just to live like they lived growing up and no one was spoiled. Retail is terrified at what Christmas will look like as back to school wasn't at all what they expected.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:29 AM (p302b)

39 Which means that it's fine if the economy tanks, as long as we all tank together.

Actually, you will be tanking, I'll be having waygu and kobe beef.

By the way, don't eat that ramen stuff - its bad for your.

Posted by: Barack Obama at September 23, 2010 10:29 AM (7BU4a)

40 Frankly I don't think $250,000 for a double income family is what I classify as rich. Considering that its not unreasonablethat a household of a RN and an overland truckdriver can bring in close to 200k. I can think of any number of combinations of what I would consider blue collar or mid level white collar jobs that would bring you close to the 250k wealthy designation.
Particularly if you factor in geographical considerations. 250k is not an unreasonable expectation for 2 mid-level white collar management types in New York, San Fransico, Los Angles and Chicago. Yet, such combined salary, in those particular locations, would not make you "rich". Comfortably middle-class, maybe, rich, far from it.

Posted by: Mallamutt at September 23, 2010 10:29 AM (OWjjx)

41 35 - Because, pedantry aside, "Tax Cut" is short hand for "Tax Rate Cut." Since what everyone means by "Tax" is "How much of my pay check gets taken by the Government," "Tax Cut" is "How much _less_ of my pay check gets taken by the Government."

It's the same as saying "I got in my car and drove to X" when your "car" is really a van, truck, suv, or whatever.

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:30 AM (8y9MW)

42 Retail is terrified at what Christmas will look like

It'll be slimmer round our place, I can tell you that. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:30 AM (5aa4z)

43 Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:30 AM (5aa4z)

My mom and her sibs always talk about the notorious "underwear Christmas"
There were boxes under the tree but a lot of them had underwear and things you just needed for maintenance.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:33 AM (p302b)

44 What no Obama/UN thread? Oh well I may as well go take a dumpGot it on now. Nothing worth talking about, other than a very mild swipe at the Islamic run states that you can't have a productive society where girls and women are not allowed to be employed and go to school. But, he didn't say "Muslim" or name anyone in particular. So, everyone can go along thinking he was talking about something else.
That, and he keeps pausing, like he is expecting applause and not getting any. TOTUS is probably pissed.

Posted by: Mallamutt at September 23, 2010 10:33 AM (OWjjx)

45 Its hurting, and the effects are only beginning to be felt
Posted by: davis at September 23, 2010 10:21 AM (xmDD0)
They just don't understand how good Obama and his policies have been for them. There seems to be a commuication issue here. What they need to do is read his press releases or maybe listen to one of the speeches he's been giving lately. If they like their policy, they can keep their policy, Obama has said so.
(What are they, racists?...)

Posted by: Warthog at September 23, 2010 10:36 AM (WDySP)

46 More important than whether it's a "Tax Cut" or a "Tax Rate Cut" is the fact we keep agreeing to their terminology on "Rich, Middle-Class, Poor." These are class warfare distinctions, and we need to get away from them.

Things to keep in mind:

1) With very few exceptions, the "poor" in America have a nice standard of living which includes a private home (Apartment, or House- even if rented), one or more cars, one or more color tvs, enough money to eat at fast food places, drink beer, and buy cigarettes.

2) "Middle Class" is a completely made-up term the meaning of which changes as Democrats want.

3) "Rich" actually means not having to work- and not working means you mostly don't pay Taxes. Their war is on the affluent: people who are working, are creating jobs and economic growth, and have enough money to buy nice things.

4) Most of the affluent are "self-made" (as are a fair number of the truly rich) and must be destroyed, not because they're wealthy, but because they prove that one doesn't need Government to succeed.

It would be nice if we could remind people of those things a little more often: and if our politicians would go to the mat for us on these kinds of things.

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:38 AM (8y9MW)

47 I know this sounds kind of dick-ish, but these are not tax cuts..they are tax rate cuts.
Taxes (revenue) actually went up due to the cuts (rates)

Posted by: beedubya at September 23, 2010 10:38 AM (AnTyA)

48
The Elites think the rest of us exist to serve them and their agent, government.

We are not becoming serfs.

We are serfs.

We have been for decades.

Now we are realizing it and rebelling.

Posted by: eman at September 23, 2010 10:40 AM (/3tkR)

49 With very few exceptions, the "poor" in America have a nice standard of
living which includes a private home (Apartment, or House- even if
rented), one or more cars, one or more color tvs, enough money to eat
at fast food places, drink beer, and buy cigarettes.

That definition is changing. You just described the middle class.

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:41 AM (5aa4z)

50 ... the kind of letter that means Paul Krugman won't be inviting them to any of his parties

I imagine, then, that all of them signed it with a great sigh of relief.

Posted by: ya2daup at September 23, 2010 10:42 AM (FcKXR)

51 That health insurance and retirement plan company you bought last year that makes cars as a sideline has resumed "political giving":

http://tinyurl.com/2w9unxu

Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:44 AM (5aa4z)

52 1 And please, after you tax everyone while they are alive, make sure to steal another 55% on what's left, when they die. You know - so the family business has to die, like you want.
I remember reading somewhere that one of the ways Berkshire/Hathaway, you know Warren Buffet's company, got so rich was by preying on small family businesses that had to sell the business when the founder died, in order to pay the death tax.
BH would offer pennies on the dollar for the company, the families are grieving the loss of their father/husband and the IRS is demanding payment immediately. So they sell at the worst time under the worst circumstances.
No wonder Buffet wants to keep the death tax firmly in place, he must be going nuts looking at all these middle class businesses losing their founders this year and NOT having to hand over their companies to BH. Hope he cries in his beer and chokes.

Posted by: Boots at September 23, 2010 10:45 AM (06JTY)

53 45 Posted by: Herr Morgenholz at September 23, 2010 10:30 AM (5aa4z)My mom and her sibs always talk about the notorious "underwear Christmas"There were boxes under the tree but a lot of them had underwear and things you just needed for maintenance.
Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 10:33 AM (p302b)
Walmart is already planning for that. There was a large article in our Sunday paper about it.

Posted by: Johnnyreb at September 23, 2010 10:46 AM (JSetw)

54 Why are you booing the guy who's telling you the truth?
Excellent!

Posted by: ya2daup at September 23, 2010 10:51 AM (FcKXR)

55 Geoff,
You don't understand how the economy works. The goverment wants something important and buys it (defense, infrastructure, space program, etc). The private sector makes what the government wants to buy. The income they get from thisallows people to buy other stuff not as important (clothes, cars, etc) like gravy on top of mash potatoes. We need the goverment to buy more so that we get more gravy.
That simple.

Posted by: typical lib thinker at September 23, 2010 10:52 AM (4JpPD)

56 The income they get from thisallows people to buy other stuff not as important (clothes, cars, etc) like gravy on top of mash potatoes. We need the goverment to buy more so that we get more gravy.
Hhhhmmmmmmmmmm, gravy.....

Posted by: Homer Simpson at September 23, 2010 10:53 AM (OWjjx)

57 I love that they gotta raise taxes on $250,000 or more because otherwise the debt will be $700 billion greater over ten years. They don't mention that the debt is project to increase by $15 TRILLION over the same period. IOW, extending the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest is only small drop in the bucket of the debt picture.

Posted by: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz at September 23, 2010 10:54 AM (4JpPD)

58 48 Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:38 AM (8y9MW)
Their war is on the affluent: people who are working, are creating jobs and economic growth, and have enough money to buy nice things.
Yes! Your whole comment is spot on, but this one sentence sums up the entire Obama administration and their goals. How dare the little people do anything for themselves and be successful at it!

Posted by: Boots at September 23, 2010 10:56 AM (06JTY)

59 56 Posted by: ya2daup at September 23, 2010 10:51 AM (FcKXR)

I should have mentioned that the quote was from one of the O/T Christie videos where he was addressing a statewide firefighters' convention.

The articles and tapes from his California stop warrant their own thread, IMHO

Posted by: ya2daup at September 23, 2010 10:58 AM (FcKXR)

60 I like Dave Ramesy's talk about Investment vs. Insurance. Investment, he says, is something into which you put your money to make a profit: a business, stocks, bonds, Val-U-Right, whatever. Insurance is something you pay for now, so you won't have to pay as much later.

In that sense, any Government spending is "Insurance" not "Investment" since Government can only remove value from the economy. What we need to do is look at every single Government program and ask: is this insurance I need? Can I get it cheaper elsewhere?

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 10:58 AM (8y9MW)

61 This entire mess is so frustrating because it is so simple.
Reality: There is massive debt. Spending is outpacing income.
Solution: Spend less, God damn it!
I mean, Jesus Christ tapdancing on the moon, it's not complicated. Anyone that doesn't act on thissolution does so out of malice. I refuse to allow for stupidity as an excuse. Except for actual retarded persons, full-on extra chromosome retarded, anyone can understand this solution.

Posted by: shillelagh at September 23, 2010 11:02 AM (Oz4Bj)

62 Does anyone know total goverment spending (federal, state, municipal)? I wouldn't be suprised if it was +50% of GDP.

Posted by: Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz at September 23, 2010 11:03 AM (4JpPD)

63 Krugman is a whistle dick.

Posted by: Buddha at September 23, 2010 11:05 AM (+QCck)

64 What is really bothering me is the mantra, first uttered i think by the sheriff, that "we need to keep spending or the problems will be worse". Which is odd cause most Americans have cut back on spending big time to pay their debts. Forget saving. It's all, from my little corner of the world, going to debt pay down.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 11:05 AM (p302b)

65 63- The problem (whether we want to admit it or not) is that a large portion of the US is already addicted to their Government Cheese, so "spend less" is much, much easier said than done.

I actually agree with you, but we need to be educating those around us about the benefits of getting Government out of your retirement, out of your health care, out of your back yard, etc. etc.

Until a majority of the public supports specific spending cuts, no politician is going to fall on that particular grenade. No matter how many it would save in the long run.

Posted by: AllenG at September 23, 2010 11:07 AM (8y9MW)

66
What no Obama/UN thread? Oh well I may as well go take a dumpYou're going to live blog the speech?




Heh.

A little late in the thread, but....heh.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at September 23, 2010 11:13 AM (P9+0W)

67 for the Obama crowd it's not a matter of a healthy economy, it's a
matter of social justice. Which means that it's fine if the economy
tanks, as long as we all tank together.

The problem is that they've told themselves the lie that the economy won't tank for so long now, that they actually believe it.

Posted by: Phil Smith at September 23, 2010 11:13 AM (n+cpx)

68 Their war is on the affluent: people who are working, are creating
jobs and economic growth, and have enough money to buy nice things.

Exactly right. But America itself is "the affluent" in the global community and must redistribute its wealth for world equality. Why do you think I'm indifferent to U.S. jobs and, for instance, giving them to Mexico or giving loans to Venezuela?

Posted by: Barry Obammy at September 23, 2010 11:25 AM (gbCNS)

69 Did you notice that an HGTV program has a new show for the last two or so years "House Hunters International". A lot of very wealthy brits and europeans looking to "relocate" to usually south america or an island somewhere. But more and more, it's Americans.

A lot of people who would be considered wealthy, not buffet or gates wealthy but wealthy none the less and talking about becoming "expats". it is sort of unsettling to hear that people are actually thinking of leaving this country.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 11:31 AM (p302b)

70 The title of this post led me to believe it would feature Pam Gellar's jugs.

Penis mood: bitterly disappointed

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at September 23, 2010 11:35 AM (gcEc9)

71 This entire mess is so frustrating because it is so simple.
Reality: There is massive debt. Spending is outpacing income.
Solution: Spend less, God damn it!

I mean, Jesus Christ tapdancing on the moon, it's not complicated.
Anyone that doesn't act on thissolution does so out of malice. I
refuse to allow for stupidity as an excuse. Except for actual retarded
persons, full-on extra chromosome retarded, anyone can understand this
solution.

They DO want to cut spending. Defense, since that's the cause of all our problems. If we didn't spend money on defense, we could fund EVERYTHING! Cuz we spend that much on Defense.
Ugh, it's hard to even type this nonsense.

Posted by: Jay in Ames at September 23, 2010 11:38 AM (UEEex)

72 And how many of those "economists" have a Nobel Prize, like Paul Krugman?

Pffft. Their voices are as the buzzing of flies to Lord Vigo.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at September 23, 2010 11:39 AM (gcEc9)

73 Posted by: Empire of Jeff at September 23, 2010 11:35 AM (gcEc9)

I've noticed that there is suddenly an awful lot of "stuff" out there about Pam Geller and her ex husband and her life. All of a sudden. some PI is allegedly putting the stuff out and it is not "she's going to be a saint" kind of stuff.

Posted by: curious at September 23, 2010 11:53 AM (p302b)

74 He said economists believe extending the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy Americans is probably the worst way to stimulate the economy.

--Christina Romer says otherwise. Guess that's why she was fired.

Posted by: sexypig at September 23, 2010 12:04 PM (0t7L8)

75 There will be no tax cuts.

Posted by: Ali- Bama and his 40 thieves at September 23, 2010 12:08 PM (jrtMR)

76 Curious, hadn't heard any of that.

Posted by: Sean Bielat at September 23, 2010 12:40 PM (gcEc9)

77 Bullshit. Economic growth was significantly higher in the 80s and 90s, when capital gains rates were significantly higher (sometimes almost double) and when there was a 55% estate tax.

But forgive me for being a conservative who thinks the bill for the cost of government should be divided euqitably among the governed. Having a top marginal income tax rate of 36% but a top marginal cap gains rate of only 15% (with no payroll tax) is phenomenally stupid, unfair, and, as a bonus, makes no economic sense.

See the bottom graph and chart at the link: http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/gdp_real_growth_rate.html

Bush lowered cap gains rates to 15% in 2001. They were 20% from 1981-86 and from 1997-2001. They were ~28% from 1987-1996.

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