Ronald Reagan, closet socialist

President Obama is being accused by some of pursuing a socialist agenda. His critics claim that under Obama, the federal government will consume more and more of what the American people produce, leaving less and less to be spent by the private economy.

It raises an interesting question: How much of our nation’s annual income OUGHT to be available for spending by the federal government? What’s the right level? Since 1970, the annual federal budget has been as low as 18.4 percent of our gross domestic product, and as high as 23.5 percent. (In 2008, preliminary figures say it was 20.5 percent.) (Source, Historical Tables, Office of Management and Budget).

Interestingly, that peak of 23.5 percent occurred in 1983, under President Ronald Reagan. In fact, the federal government consumed a greater share of our national income that year than in any year since the end of World War II.

To take it further, since 1947, the four years in which the federal government consumed the biggest chunk of our national income — the years in which Washington stole the most food off our children’s plates, as conservative rhetoric might put it — all occurred under Reagan.

They were, in order, 1983 (23.5 percent), 1982 (23.1 percent), 1985 (22.9 percent) and 1986 (22.4 percent).

Conversely, since 1970, the federal government spent the least amount of our national income in 2000 — 18.4 percent. That was under President Clinton.

In fact, the three post-’70 years in which the federal government consumed the smallest proportion of our national income were all under budgets signed into law by Clinton — 2000 (18.4 percent); 2001 (18.5 percent); 1999 (18.7 percent).

108 comments Add your comment

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
12:24 pm

“His critics claim that under Obama, the federal government will consume more and more of what the American people produce, leaving less and less to be spent by the private economy.”

Reminds me of another quote:

“Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Shawny

February 26th, 2009
12:29 pm

Reagan spent a lot on defense. Clinton slashed defense spending. Obama is a socialist.

Who said this, “The era of big government is over”? Bill Clinton in 1996. Obama in 2009, the govt can’t get big enough.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
12:43 pm

Shawny, did Clinton really slash defense spending? Or just carry out, essentially, what GHWB had proposed?

per
http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/PubLibrary/H.20000831.Post-Cold_War_Defe/H.20000831.Post-Cold_War_Defe.php

There is almost no difference between the level of funding proposed for defense by President Bush in his last fiscal year (FY) 1994-99 budget plan and the level of funding actually provided for defense over this six-year period under the Clinton Administration. Both Bush planned funding and actual funding amounted to $1.72 trillion (in FY 2001 dollars).

I’m pretty sure if you look at what Carter had proposed going forward for his second-term-that-never-was, and what Reagan actually spent, there’s not much daylight there, either. But I’ll let someone call me out on that, too pressed for time to look it up.

ByteMe

February 26th, 2009
12:44 pm

Uh oh, Jay. There you go messing with the Reagan religion again. It’s like the “flat-earthers” or the “flat taxers”. Facts don’t matter, just their perception of reality.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
12:47 pm

ByteMe,

You beat me to it. Jay has dared to speak ill of their Chosen One.

PJ

February 26th, 2009
12:48 pm

Just as an aside item, I’ve just returned from the main post office here in Hapeville and asked where the tax forms were. I was told by the clerk that he was told that it was not in the budget that they supply any this year. Boy we are on a downward slope.

P.S…I’ve been to the local libraries and none of them had the 2106 form I needed. Any suggestions besides PDF.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
12:48 pm

You wouldn’t want to look up who controlled Congress in 1983, 1982, 1985, 1986, 2000, 2001, and 1999 would you?

I didn’t think so.

These next two years with a Congress slam full of Democrats and a Socialist President may be impossible to recover from if we the people don’t wake up and quick.

Brad Steal

February 26th, 2009
12:49 pm

Of course, the same Obama critics will claim that is was the magic Reagan tax cuts and completely dsicredited supply-side economics (aka economics for the gullible) that lead to the Clinton prosperity – HA!.

Once the Obama policy stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, he will wisely start hacking some of the egregious 22% of the fedral budget that is spent on the US’s world policing. Or maybe the shrill Reagan mythology task force will be succussful in keeping the farcical Star Wars program in the black.
B. Steal

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
12:49 pm

Wait a minute, this is all gonna be Carter’s fault somehow, I just know it.

ByteMe

February 26th, 2009
12:51 pm

RW: Going for that religious myth, huh? Reagan signed budgets that were pretty much similar to what he proposed each of the years he was in office. But let’s not let facts get in the way of good mythology.

Class of '98

February 26th, 2009
12:52 pm

Can you imagine if Bush said that “America invented the automobile” like Obama did Tuesday?

But of course, there’s no media bias.

Jay

February 26th, 2009
12:55 pm

Byte is correct. The annual budgets signed by Reagan were almost exactly for the amount he had originally proposed. I have gone back and checked the historical record myself. Congress and Reagan disagreed about HOW some of that money should be spent, but not on how much. Congress followed Reagan’s lead on that.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
12:55 pm

PJ,

What’s wrong with PDF? Just hit print and you should be fine.

If that doesn’t work just go to an IRS office.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
12:58 pm

Jay B and Byte,

Or Reagan went along with Congress’ lead so he could get other things done. It seems like back then people actually talked to each other before making proposals, much less passing $800,000,000.00 bills without any debate.

Mrs. Godzilla

February 26th, 2009
12:59 pm

Every time a wingnut calls Obama a socialist….another liberal is born!

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
1:00 pm

Pardon the typo. $800,000,000,000.00.

We could only wish I had been right the first time.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
1:03 pm

Every time a wingnut calls Obama a socialist….another liberal is born!

I guess we’ve found the antidote to abortion on demand.

Just today we have $634,000,000,000.00 for a down payment on socialized medicine and another $750,000,000,000.00 for the Geitner Bank and Trust. Should we call him a fiscal conservative?

PJ

February 26th, 2009
1:06 pm

Thanks RW but for some reason I Can’t download the PDF format but I will check the IRS. But my main point is what has this country come to when you can’t get basic tax forms from the main post office. Has our country sunk so low that basic services fall by the wayside. Everyone shouts about big items when sometimes it’s the small ones gives us an indication of the state we are in.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
1:06 pm

Gawd this refresh bug is aggravating.

Can we take up a collection to hire an IT person for the AJC?

Later!

ByteMe

February 26th, 2009
1:08 pm

PJ: Your library should also have them. I’ve gotten forms from there in the past, although never the more obscure ones. You might also give the IRS a call to see if they’ll mail you the forms you need. There might even be a hotline to request them by number (wouldn’t that be efficient!).

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
1:10 pm

PJ,

If you’re on your own PC you may have to download a PDF reader like Acrobat first. If you’re at work they must have those blocked, but that would seem mighty strange. You can download Adobe Acrobat here.

caz1158

February 26th, 2009
1:11 pm

For every lib born,there truly now can be an argument for abortion!!!

caz1158

February 26th, 2009
1:12 pm

Sorry that was cruel,and I brought my self down to intelligent level of a Lib!!! Please accept my apology.

G

February 26th, 2009
1:13 pm

Raygun = socialist.

The Republicans will say something like: “Well, Raygun was doing what was in the best interest of the country at the time…”, or something equally as irrational or hypocritical.

During the campaign the Republicans slammed Obama for having “socialistic” and “Marxist” tendencies and not one word was spoken about those same tendencies found in the Republican party since the early 1920’s, including their most famous Republican, Raygun. This was the model for the entire McCain campaign and for virtually every attack on Obama.

They never bother to check the opposing side of their logic and that is what makes the symmetry so fun to produce for them, as they pawn away in total silence, or retreat into personal attack mode.

Hilarious to watch unfold around here – so predictable, are they.

Phu-leez

February 26th, 2009
1:13 pm

This is not the IRS help blog. I suggest you go else where for help – almost any where but here.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
1:15 pm

RW, with the PDF, you don’t get that cool news-printy stock that the library supplied tax forms were always printed on.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
1:16 pm

Did DB Nanny change names again?

Sorry, DB, couldn’t resist.

Now I’m really outta here. See y’all upstairs for Happy Hour.

Mr. Snarky

February 26th, 2009
1:27 pm

Jay, I always suspected Ronny was a pinko commie. Thanks for outing him.

NRB

February 26th, 2009
1:32 pm

Fine, Reagan was a socialist.

But he isnt president anymore, Obama is.

We can tax everyone at a flat 10% rate and the imperial federal government would still have enough money to do it’s constitutional duties.

If government does not have enough money with a 10% flat tax, then tough crap. Cut spending. Starting with entitlements and scams like Social Security and Medicare.

Then we can work on removing liberals from the country, by force if need be.

Mrs. Godzilla

February 26th, 2009
1:33 pm

As the old base gets shriller, more vitriolic and in some instances
bat poop crazy…..I think it’s time we all hugged a Republican.

Nice firm hug, the kind that makes George Will uncomfortable.

Paul

February 26th, 2009
1:35 pm

I gotta run, so I’ll comment more on-topic later, but a quick observation:

Hey Mrs. Godzilla!

Howya’ feelin’? Stating Jay’s thread another way, didja’ know that when you were voting for Pres Obama you were in reality voting for the philosophical son of Pres Reagan?

Midori

February 26th, 2009
1:35 pm

come here NRB and get your hug!!

Mr. Snarky

February 26th, 2009
1:36 pm

Mrs. G, you’re on your own with that one…I hope you have a shower handy.

fed up

February 26th, 2009
1:37 pm

Who really cares about what Reagan did. Let’s live in the here and now. This spending has got to stop. If any of this spending works it will be in the short term, what happens later?

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
1:38 pm

Mrs. Godzilla February 26th, 2009 12:59 pm Every time a wingnut calls Obama a socialist….another liberal is born!

I guess we’re making babies by the gross then.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
1:42 pm

caz1158,

Oh, that’s okay, you were just saying what you really feel – that those who don’t think like you should have been aborted, or those who in the future may not think like you, would be better off aborted.

No, no, we understand what you meant……perfectly. :roll:

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
1:43 pm

Taxpayer,

I really like Mr. eye roll guy.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
1:44 pm

Bosch,

I see you have perfected the use of the eye roll.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
1:44 pm

Flat-taxers are… well, let’s just call them “special.” They’ve decided that there should never be any kind of pressure brought to bear via the tax code to effect modest behavioral changes because, well, just because!

And to that Deep Thought I must ask our NRB: what is so holy about a 10% tax rate? Does some kind of harmonic perfection occur in the universe if everyone pays that rate? Or is it, as I suspect, about what you’re willing to fork over yourself, and screw everyone who has a different opinion on the matter?

PJ

February 26th, 2009
1:44 pm

As far as socialist spending is concerned all politicians spend our money like they earned it. It just comes down to ideology who you want to do the spending. Reagan paid lip service to his constituency (the Religious Right and those who complained about the welfare state) yet he did little to nothing about the issues they were concerned with. It seems to me there was a lot of talk and no action. Republicans need to hold the people they voted for responsible for their failures not the Democrats they didn’t vote for. Just like the “Contract for American” was suppose to change how business was run in Washington (anyone remember term limits and a balanced budget) and “No New Taxes” was a campaign cry and The repeal of Roe V Wade and closing the of borders just to name a few. You voted for these people for these reasons and nothing has changed. You can blame the Democrats and say because of them none of these ant other things went through but it seems mighty funny how they seem to get through most of what they want even with opposition. When Obama, Clinton and Carter were elected no one had blinders on to what they proposed so where is all this surprise coming from. Obama said he would raise taxes on the wealthy (and we know who he considered wealthy), he said he wanted to vastly change our heath care system. he said he wanted out of Iraq, he said he wanted to do infrastructure improvements, he said he wanted to change our energy policies. That’s why he won. That’s why he is the president today. You guys act like as soon as the words and proposals fall out of his mouth if things haven’t improved immediately he a failure. Give me and him a break. We did not get where we are overnight so don’t press CTRL, ATL, DELETE just yet. Most of the things Conservatives worry about lead to the ruination of this country (tax cuts in the time of war) or trying to ram your morals and ideology down everyone’s throats caused the downfall of your party.

mntx

February 26th, 2009
1:44 pm

Two items they fail to point out, first, all spending and taxation bills originate in Congress. The President can steer and recommend, but it is congress that drafts the final budget.

Second, when weighing a ratio of spending to GDP, the big fluctuation during these years was GDP, far more than spending.

Mr. Snarky

February 26th, 2009
1:46 pm

fed up,
Ever taken Econ 101? If not, give it a try. If so, stay awake next time.

The spending stopped back in the thirties and we got the Great Depression, something the current administration is trying to avoid…hence spending. Hopefully, if private spending will bounce back in the next year or two and take up the slack when the stimulus money stops flowing.

Mrs. Godzilla

February 26th, 2009
1:46 pm

Mr. Snarky:

Protective clothing optional.

Midori

Good Girl! Big ole’ bear hug.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
1:49 pm

caz, there is absolutely positively no argument for abortion. Just ask any Republican. It’s just a good thing that science and medicine have improved so much over the years because I just don’t know how some folks lived with themselves back when infant mortality rates were on up there and mere mortals could do nothing to save the little ones.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
1:53 pm

DB, 10% is a time-honored tradition dating back to a time when churches could not gather enough money to literally get their congregation in out of the rain. Anyway, if we didn’t have this ridiculous separation of church and state, we could just let the church collect the tithe and fund government with it.

Redneck Convert

February 26th, 2009
2:02 pm

Well, I might of knowed Bookman would have to slam President Reagan. The only reason the budget was so high under him is because all the people that worked for him kept giving things away and he didn’t know nothing about it. Some of the people was giving away missiles to Iran and he didn’t know nothing about it. Others were giving away rifles and such to the Contras and he didn’t know nothing about that either. They was stealing him blind. Come to think of it, there sure was a lot of stuff Reagan didn’t know or couldn’t remember. A man like that, you can’t expect him to be bothered with how big the budget was. Have a good day everybody.

PJ

February 26th, 2009
2:07 pm

To: Phu-leez, who made you orator of what is discussed here. I thought this was Jay’s blog site. We all digress at one point or another, sometimes to make a point or sometimes just to help each other. If you don’t care for what is being written just skip it just like I will be skipping anything you type from now on.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

February 26th, 2009
2:17 pm

Jay, you fail to see the nuance and, therein, lies all the difference.

Regan wanted to take money that was wasted (i.e. payments to welfare mamas with a sucker under each arm) and move it to productive puposes (tax cuts that fueled remarkable and unpredented economic growth and individual wealth) for the common good. Exogent circumstances, ending the coldwar and the mess left JEC left behind, demanded increased spending and debt.

POTUS goes far beyond that which is required by current Decomcrat induced (which see, Fannie, Freddie, & the credit crunch) crisis would reasonably to take moneys from the common good (taxcuts that would fuel economic recovery and Reagan-esque future growth) to waste it on a built in voter base (welfare mamas with a sucker under each arm and ACORN miscreants)that couldn’t tell you three things about Obama’s policies if there next welfare check and a $200 pari of Nikes depended on it.

Hillbilly Deluxe

February 26th, 2009
2:29 pm

If you’re going to cut taxes, you need to cut spending too. I don’t remember anybody doing this in my lifetime.

My 2 cents on income taxes. I’d like to see all the deductions and breaks done away with. Adjust the percentages to keep it revenue neutral. Keep the graduated tax brackets. Try that for 5 years or so and see how it goes.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
2:39 pm

Mr. Deluxe @ 2.29, what you propose is at least somewhat realistic. I don’t actually have a big philosophical problem with it since the idea is to sweep it all clean and start with a fresh slate, save for one—the mortgage interest deduction.

When we last eliminated an interest deduction on personal credit, if memory serves, it was done in a five-year phase-out. One year you could deduct 100% of the interest, the next year 80%, until it went away. That was just personal credit.

A big ol’ monster deduction like home mortgage interest would need to be phased out over at least ten years, I think, to prevent what’s already a precarious market from tumbling much farther/faster than it’s bound to, still (since housing prices are, sadly, probably overvalued nationwide).

Eric

February 26th, 2009
2:43 pm

Well then, that settles it. Since large government spending happened in certain past years, that obviously makes it OK to borrow ourselves into oblivion indefinitely.

I guess the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” doesn’t hold water anymore. Got it. Makes perfect sense. What a great argument! Besides, those rich people can pay for it all anyway, right? It’s not like they work hard or provide jobs. They just sit home lighting cigars with $100 bills, right?

Another awesome blog by Mr. Bookman!

Midori

February 26th, 2009
2:48 pm

Eric,

you sound, um, bitter.

here’s a hug for you, too.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
2:52 pm

Eric, your post @ 2.43 is reason enough to post this thing I’d had kicking around awhile, and I ask this of any non-crazy folk who’d like to weigh in…

Had McCain had managed to win in ‘08 and there was some kind of a “Rebuild and Empower America” bill being tossed around the House and Senate to respond to what, one presumes, would’ve been a similar jobs/market freefall in Nov.-Jan., just how much of a difference would there have been between what McCain would sign, and Obama actually did sign, on Presidents Day?

I’m thinking it would’ve been about 10-20% smaller overall, split 50/50 between spending and tax cuts. I think the difference in spending, then, would’ve been around two hundred billion. Which comes to about 6, 7 hundred bucks per capita. A lot of money to finance, yes, but in terms of what we hope to earn and spend? I suspect Republicans would’ve figured it was no big deal.

I include these SWAGs because of all the apocalyptic, “America is OVER!” kind of language I’m hearing from people who really, maybe, ought to know better. Had it been President McCain at the helm methinks there’d have been grumbling to be sure, but less of these end-of-the-world pronouncements from any side.

As RC would say, that’s my opinion and it’s very true. Have a good day everyone.

Eric

February 26th, 2009
3:01 pm

DB, go ahead and brand me an “end of the world” person if you want. But tell me this: what’s the plan to pay for all of this?

Bush took the debt from 5 trillion to 10 trillion in 8 years. Obama will add ANOTHER 5 trillion in just 4 years.

Where does it end? How do we pay the bill?

Eric

February 26th, 2009
3:05 pm

Midori, how come you can’t offer any rebuttal to my comment? We are borrowing money with no end in sight, and no “exit strategy” that I can see, other than “tax rich people”

A great WSJ editorial today showed that this strategy falls terribly short.

I’m frankly shocked more people aren’t horrified by this. I guess it’s easier to justify Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s horrible fiscal behavior by saying “yeah but Bush and Reagan spent a lot of money too, so nanny nanny boo boo”

Pardon me if I find that argument dumb.

Observer

February 26th, 2009
3:06 pm

Reagan was indeed in love with government spending – especially if it was for defense – just like most of the Republican party since him. It’s sad that the Republican party espouses smaller government but managed to double the size of the federal government while they were in charge. Of course, Democrats have no claim to the moral high ground because they are, and always have been, the party of big government. At least they’re honest about it.

Having said that, to compare Obama to Reagan is simply laughable. Sure Reagan spent money, but he never proposed the nationalization the banking, auto manufacturing and healthcare industries.

If you read Obama’s books, he makes no attempt to hide from his fondness of socialism. Now, as president, he is trying to impose that will on the rest of us. Sadly, he has willing accomplices in Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. If someone doesn’t rein him in between now and the mid-term elections, we’re going to be in serious trouble.

BTW – Eric, your 3:01 post is spot on. Somebody needs to step up and stop the madness.

Midori

February 26th, 2009
3:09 pm

Eric,

I simply just didn’t know where to start, so I went for the “healing” route.

Your persuasion has mastered the art of tit for tat.

fed up

February 26th, 2009
3:10 pm

Mr.Snarkly tell me your BS in a few years (if we’re lucky).

@@

February 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

fed up

February 26th, 2009
3:11 pm

tcoach

February 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

(CNN) – Mississippi Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor blasted the budget outline President Obama submitted to Capitol Hill today, saying “I don’t like it…change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did.”

What is this a democrat using Bush’s name and not placing the blame on him. Guess he missed the party memo.

He will surely get a talking to by Nancy.

Bookman I thought you oppossed Reagan, so why would you go and show how he has similar policy to Obama?

Eric

February 26th, 2009
3:14 pm

Midori @ 3:09pm

“Eric,

I simply just didn’t know where to start”

Another cop-out. Shocking. I guess you just can’t answer a simple question: how do we pay for all of this, other than “tax rich guys”???

Twice you’ve given a smarmy reply. Twice you’ve offered no substance. Care to try for strike three?

Midori

February 26th, 2009
3:18 pm

Eric,

I did not mean for that to be a “cop out”.

I simply told the truth.

try it some time.

I simply did not know where to start.

I try to tread venom carefully.

Try as you may, you’re not going to have me engage in a pie throwing contest.

Don’t have the time. Nor the desire.

Phu-leez

February 26th, 2009
3:21 pm

PJ writes (or attempts to write may be a better way of describing it): “To: Phu-leez, who made you orator of what is discussed here. ”

PJ, bless your heart, I think you mean “arbiter” not “orator.” If you didn’t mean arbiter, you should have. And I will reiterate (that means restate), this is not the IRS help site. Moreover, if you are off-point, sensitive (like PJ) or have a propensity for spoonerisms like a semi-literate tool (also like PJ), don’t hit the “Submit Comment” button.

BDAtlanta

February 26th, 2009
3:24 pm

Quick, somebody give these wingnuts some tax cuts before they whine some more.

Midori

February 26th, 2009
3:27 pm

LOL, BD – all I can offer them is a hug :)

Gotta go — conference call.

Dave R

February 26th, 2009
3:30 pm

Never have so many posted such nonsense.

Interesting topic, Jay. Obviously designed to get the usual moles and trolls to pop their heads up. But as usual, we get the same “I’ve got three degrees, but I’m stupid” comments (right, Taxpayer?).

A little schooling is in order. For those of you who have never served in an elected position, stay out of this – you aren’t qualified.

First, you can’t compare one Presidential term with another, especially if the dynamics changed between the two. Ronald Reagan had the Cold War to fight. Bill Clinton reaped the benefits of that battle having been won by Reagan’s actions. He could afford to redirect defense spending because of what Reagan accomplished.

Two, Reagan never enjoyed a Congress where he had a GOP majority in the House (you know, the ones responsible for passing a budget?). And he had Tip O’Neill as Speaker of the House, one of the cagiest politicians to ever walk the face of the earth. In fact, Reagan never had less than a 242-192 Democrat-controlled House, and at one point he had a 269-166 Democrat-controlled House.

Why is this important?

Because at some point, you have to get your budget passed, or shut down the government. Ronald Reagan was not a shut-the-government-down kind of guy, especially when he had to get parts of HIS agenda passed through a hostile House. He was forced, therefore, to have to give on some budget items to get his main goals through Congress. Thus, his budget reflected the reality of having to work within the checks and balances of our Constitutional system.

Clinton had the reverse of Reagan with a Republican House, who forced him to consider smaller budgets. Unfortunately, he had a better mix of GOP to Dems (220-201 GOP), and was able to pick off stragglers when the threat to shut down government came up during his term.

Now to throw some red meat to all the Bush haters out there (and don’t you feel silly when you accuse the right of hate-speech), he completely blew it with a GOP controlled House and Senate. He overspent badly and there weren’t enough people telling him and his Congress to knock it off. President Hope & Change is simply taking advantage of a great tactical situation with his majority as well, even if it will lead us down the road to ruin. After all, if you think all this increased spending under Bush was bad, why do you think increased spending under Hope & Change is good? Oh – that’s right – because it’s for “we the people”, as if any of you even knew what that meant.

In short, you have to play with the cards you are dealt. Reagan had a decidedly bad hand with which to work, and Clinton had a slightly better one. But for each to move their main policy forward at the time, they had to put forth budgets that had a chance to pass. That is why Jay can have such an egregious topic title such as this, when he knows it is not true. Not that truth ever really matters to Jay as it is.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
3:35 pm

Maybe I am just a big giant socialist, but I was just thinking how weird it would be if a corporation decided to pay everyone the same thing – everyone – from the CEO down – same thing – across the board.

After all, in a corporation, everyone’s job is important or why would they have the job in the first place.

And Hillbilly Deluxe mentioned something I was thinking about yesterday, why do we get tax refunds? I mean, I like the ones I’ve gotten in the past, and I’m no tax genius, but why do we get them in the first place? Can anyone tell me?

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
3:37 pm

And again, why is it that certain folks will blame Congress for things some of the time and not all the time, especially when they are trying to make their party look good.

Let’s be consistent, shall we?

fed up

February 26th, 2009
3:43 pm

Consistency is not required on this blog, haven’t you noticed?

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
3:44 pm

And if in my weird little experimental corporation, any profits earned, a certain percentage would be invested back into the corporation for updates, supplies, better equipment, etc. , but what’s left over, is split evenly among employees. I wonder if such a place could exist outside of my head.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
3:45 pm

fed up,

Why yes, I have.

TnGelding

February 26th, 2009
3:45 pm

Jay, thanks for pointing that out. I’ve explained a couple of times why Clinton did so well. If he did cut $250 billion in spending over five years, the entire amount was realized again in the 6th and every year since, if it wasn’t put back in. Looks like O! might break the Gypper’s record tho.

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
3:47 pm

Bosch,

Has Floyd been passing out mushrooms with the sushi these days? At every step of the way up the corporate ladder you have a more intricate job with a smaller and smaller pool of people capable of doing that job. Sure it’s important to have someone clean the toilets, but baring handicap everybody in the world is qualified to do it.

DB,

I’m on record from during the primaries as saying that the worst thing that could ever happen to conservatism and any chance at a smaller government would be electing McCain because he would do exactly what you outlined. Obama is doing it in such a huge and rapid way that he’ll either ruin our country or his political philosophy. I can only hope it’s the latter.

Dave R

February 26th, 2009
3:52 pm

I don’t think you’re a Socialist, Bosch (OK, yeah, I do), but I don’t think you’ve ever held a position of responsibility in your lifetime.

CEO’s make more because they are more important than janitors to a corporation. We are all CREATED equal, but we don’t all end up that way. CEO’s don’t punch a time clock. They make decisions affecting tens, hundreds, thousands of employees and potentially millions of investors. (frankly, I can’t believe I even have to answer this question).

With responsibility comes reward. More responsibility = more reward.

And for all those out there who bemoan the executive pay and bonus packages given out when a company loses money; think about this:

If you brought someone on board as you CEO at a time when your company was expected to lose a billion dollars and through their leadership brought that loss down to $250 million, don’t you think that person was worth $50 million to your bottom line? This doesn’t excuse those who lost money during their terms when they didn’t expect to; it is just putting a different perspective out there that not ALL situations are the same.

And if your 3:37 comment was aimed at me, you obviously have never really read my posts.

NRB

February 26th, 2009
4:03 pm

“They’ve decided that there should never be any kind of pressure brought to bear via the tax code to effect modest behavioral changes because, well, just because!”

How about because we’re supposed to be a free nation and not a nation where government effects “modest behavioral changes”? You truly want government to influence how it’s citizens behave, via gunpoint? Because that is exactly what you’re implying is correct.

Truly sick.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:04 pm

Dave R,

I’ve yet to see anyone of the liberal persuasion here say that all this spending is so great, as ye claim. I have said that I’m glad we are looking to spending things here, in this country, rather than in the sand ghettos, and that’s certainly what I believe. I’ve also said on occasion that I do not feel that the government can fix this problem by throwing money at it – the private sector will be doing that – and I certainly do not feel they need the tax help to do it – not after we’ve seen what they do with such tax help.

So, make sure what you are accusing, is actually true.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
4:08 pm

“Obama is doing it in such a huge and rapid way that he’ll either ruin our country or his political philosophy.”

Ok, I’ve got to digest this a bit. On one hand you say you’re more or less with me in thinking a Pres. McCain would’ve passed something just like I described. Which is not a lot huger or rapider than what Obama’s signed into law.

And then you say this modestly larger bill will ruin the country?

That’s what I’m not getting. And I’m not trying to be thick; I just think some folks could try to tone down the sky-is-falling rhetoric, if only for the sake of their own blood pressure.

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
4:09 pm

“So, make sure what you are accusing, is actually true.”

Where’s the sport in that?

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
4:10 pm

“Never have so many posted such nonsense.”

Clearly, you’ve never been to Free Republic.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
4:11 pm

At least with Obama in office, we can look forward to some fiscal responsibility and some truth about where our money has been going as well as where it has been coming from. I like what I see with Obama’s plans to make some of the rich start paying their way and the cuts in the bloated defense department and the IRS going after the first wave of 52,000 tax cheats and letting those stupid Republican tax cuts expire, etc. That’s not only change that I believe in, it’s change we can all live with even if the minority party doesn’t agree with it. They’re starting to break ranks more and more though as legislation comes to the floor that different members want. That just say no strategy didn’t work for Nancy and it’s not working now either. The minority party needs to leave Reagan and his failed policies buried.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:15 pm

Dave R,

My aren’t we making assumptions about those we don’t know. What is a position of responsibility actually – as a parent, as a business owner, as a worker? Because I’m all that – now.

I think some people have self-inflated notions that make them THINK their job is more important than others, but in essence, no their not.

Realistically and physically, CEOs do not work any harder than janitors. Now, CEOs would certainly have to know more about business than a janitor, not arguing that, as analysts have to know how to analyze data, and so forth, but I doubt they’d know how to unclog a toilet, and that’s just as important in my book (sometimes, maybe even more so). I’m not arguing for one minute that a CEO would have to know certain things that others may not, but as far as his/her worth as an employee, he’s no different than anyone else.

CEOs never work alone (except me) they always have a team (I don’t), and they have workers below them that make what they decide happen – they can make all these brilliant million/billion dollar decisions all they want to, but without workers, their decisions are nothing – and without janitors they’re gonna be walking around on some pretty gross floors.

Paul

February 26th, 2009
4:16 pm

Hi Bosch, you big giant socialist, you –

I took the thread to essentially mean, if people are okay with the level of gov’t spending under Pres Reagan, why aren’t they okay with the level under Pres Obama, especially as it’s less as a percent of GDP?

It’s a fair question to make a point. And it isn’t directed just at the Right, as my fun comment to Mrs. Godzilla indicates (”hey all you Pres Obama supporters, do you realize he’s the philosophical son of Pres Reagan?”).

That Jay sure knows how to have a good time.

But I’ve always had a bit of a problem in comparing gov’t outlays as a function of the total value (roughly speaking) of goods and services. It’s rather the same argument whole life life insurance salesmen use – n percent of your income should go to insurance. The percent may stay the same but the amount spent on insurance quickly becomes realistic. Plus, we seem to carve out quite a bit of the GDP as off-limits to gov’t taking. One day I’m going to take a look at it in terms of value subject to taxation I’ve a feeling the percentages would be a bit higher.

But there was another decent question he raised: How much of our nation’s annual income OUGHT to be available for spending by the federal government?

Darn good question, one that should be tempered with the thought that no matter how much money ‘the government’ has, they can ALWAYS find a way to spend more. That’s why those mayors and governors had all those billions in ’shovel ready’ projects.

The amount of money government can spend is limited only by the imagination of the politicians and bureaucrats; in other words, it’s unlimited. They will phrase everything as a ‘need’ or a ‘requirement’ or a ‘good’ – but it’s unlimited, nonetheless.

And therein lies the problem.

Paul

February 26th, 2009
4:18 pm

Bosch,

Okay, my life insurance example should have read “The percent may stay the same but as income greatly increases, the amount spent on insurance quickly becomes unrealistic.”

DB, Gwinnettian

February 26th, 2009
4:19 pm

“You truly want government to influence how it’s [sic] citizens behave, via gunpoint?”

Dude, upon what planet do you reside? Seriously, do you always go all drama queen when this sort of thing is discussed?

Tax policies encourage certain kinds of behaviors. You eliminate capital gains taxes, it’s supposed to encourage investment because you won’t get taxed on interest at all. Is that at “gunpoint?” Well, maybe, if you hole up and go all David Koresh with the wimminfolk I guess, but otherwise, no.

Is this really the first time it’s ever dawned on you that tax policy effects behavior, and–gasp!–is actually designed that way?

Such a hoot. I’d love to chat, but, well… later.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:20 pm

RW,

“At every step of the way up the corporate ladder you have a more intricate job with a smaller and smaller pool of people capable of doing that job”

I don’t believe that for a minute. Like I said earlier, I’m not arguing that they may have to know certain things and have certain skills, and yes, there are some who just ain’t that bright out there, but no one job in a company is any less important than the other – if the job wasn’t important, then why have it?

I thought I tasted something funny in my sushi today – I’m gonna have to talk to Floyd tomorrow when I pick up my mail.

NRB

February 26th, 2009
4:23 pm

Oh Bosch, when liberals start crying about how much actors in Hollywood makes per movie, I’ll start worrying about CEO pay.

I could go to midtown and find ten guys that would make out with each other on camera for free, instead of Sean Penn getting millions to do the same thing. Oh the humanity!

I mean after all, if Penn was paid millions of dollars to kiss another dude onscreen, that means there are people who are poor because there is a fixed amount of money available to everyone! Sean took a big piece of that fixed pie! Babies starved and another black kid will be denied college!

Save us Obama, save us!

RW-(the original)

February 26th, 2009
4:24 pm

DB,

How about if the first person to stop screaming that the sky is falling is our newbie President. I think the convo we’re sort of having will fit into the new thread so I’m moving upstairs.

NRB

February 26th, 2009
4:27 pm

“Is this really the first time it’s ever dawned on you that tax policy effects behavior, and–gasp!–is actually designed that way?”

Of course not, dummy. I was stating that I disagree with it. It’s government tampering in the lives of private citizens one way or the other.

At least I’m glad you agree that lower taxes cause a positive reaction. Now let’s slash all taxes by 90% and watch the economy explode. Or should we just try the same ol’ same ol’ and let government steal our money and move it around until it’s all gone. Great idea.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 26th, 2009
4:28 pm

Reagan in the closet?

None of my business.

But he did spend a lot of time with Errol Flynn, who played for both teams, and he was married to Nancy, so cut him some slack.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:30 pm

Paul @ 4:16,

Darn good post. I know what Jay’s thread is about, but it’s kind of boring to say “Well, I’m not so comfortable with it” – that would be kind of a short thread, so I just started writing about things in my head.

You know, me being a big giant socialist never held a position of responsibility loser that I am and all.

You know, that question Jay brought up about how much OUGHT to blah, blah, blah is what got my mind to thinking of socialism anyway.

There is somthing to be said for self-sufficiency, well, I like it actually, but again, I’m just a big giant socialist what do I know. And I understand that you have to make money for those things you can’t produce – but I’m having a hard time thinking of anything in this country that we can’t produce.

My minds just wondering right now – I have alot on it – that happens sometimes – and it can get kind of scary.

Mitch

February 26th, 2009
4:38 pm

We may as well do away with Obama’s education funding programs because Bosch thinks any schmuck can run a corporation, even the toilet twirlers. Everyone should be on an equal footing with Bosch. No need to educate.

Dave R

February 26th, 2009
4:39 pm

Taxpayer says that he thinks increasing our deficit next year to $1.7 TRILLION dollars equates to “fiscal responsibility”.

If earning one degree makes you this dumb, imagine how dumb three degrees makes you. Oh, that’s right, we already can see! We just have to read Taxpayers posts!

And Bosch, as soon as you pay everyone in your company the same as you, then you can make such comments. If you’re a sole CEO/owner/worker all rolled up in one, then you haven’t had a position of responsibility when it comes to providing others jobs.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:56 pm

Mitch,

For one, never be so arrogant as to presume what I think – no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be that important – I’m just tossing around some ideas to see where they lead, and as usual they lead with some on the right going off the deep end because someone threw in a weird idea – heaven forbid.

Dave R,

I disagree. I provide jobs for people all the time. My earlier example was just an idea to see where it would go. But I’m off for the day! Good evening.

Bosch

February 26th, 2009
4:57 pm

Mitch,

One more thing – if you’ll actually read what I wrote, then you’ll see that you are way off base in your comment about how I think any schmuck can run a company – I never said that anyone can run a company, but that each job is just as important. There’s a big difference if you can get your head around it.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
5:03 pm

Let’s just make it an even 3.4 trillion over two years instead and raise the taxes on the rich some more to make up for it. I like that approach even better. We need a really big estate tax and bigger capital gains taxes and we need a much smaller military and I think Obama is just plain wrong if he really plans to leave any troops in Iraq at all unless the Iraqis start paying for the protection. And, that worthless Agriculture legislation that the idiot Saxby pushed through needs to go completely. That would be a good start at least.

Tech82

February 26th, 2009
6:19 pm

Taxpayer – Your 4:11 post says, “At least with Obama in office, we can look forward to some fiscal responsibility…”

Would you mind telling me when I should expect to start seeing that? So far, he has managed to increase the budget of EVERY department of the executive branch of government. Is that fiscal responsibility? He has funded every democrat wish list he’s seen. Is that fiscal responsibility?

A couple of more month’s of Obama’s “fiscal responsibility” and we’re going to find ourselves in an economic crisis that will make the 1930’s look like a walk in the park.

CommunistAJC

February 26th, 2009
6:43 pm

Jay Bookman has officially hit rock bottom. So has the AJC.

Taxpayer

February 26th, 2009
7:19 pm

Tech82,

Obama’s promise was by the end of his first term we would see the deficit cut to some 500 odd billion, I think. Of course, Obama is now dealing with the correct budget that includes money that Bush deliberately left out in order to hide it from we the people so he has made his task even harder.

Dave R

February 26th, 2009
8:26 pm

Yeah, Taxpayer, and it ALSO includes the $2 TRILLION he’s pushed through or will push through in a month’s time.

Hope & Change is about fiscal responsibility as you are to sane.