Until GOP stops believing in magic, adult discussion is impossible

A college buddy of mine used to work closely with Alan Greenspan, back when Greenspan was still serving as Fed chair. Sometimes, I’m told, they would tease Greenspan in private about his ability to talk without really saying anything, a trick he often employed when testifying before Congress. Sufficiently prodded, Greenspan would then launch into that schtick for a few minutes, using it as a parlor trick to amuse his listeners.

These days, a chastened Greenspan is much more to the point, as he was last weekend on “Meet The Press”:

“Look, I’m very much in favor of tax cuts, but not with borrowed money. And the problem that we’ve gotten into in recent years is spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day, that proves disastrous.”

Tax cuts, he told David Gregory point blank, do not pay for themselves.

That’s a critically salient point. When we increase government spending, we finance it by borrowing more money. Everyone gets that part. But the second part of Greenspan’s observation shouldn’t be controversial either: Tax cuts are financed the exact same way, by borrowing more money and adding to the deficit.

Some people don’t want to hear that, of course. They prefer to believe that tax cuts “return the taxpayers’ money,” even though it does nothing of the kind. Every dime that taxpayers send Washington is spent, and once money is spent it cannot be “returned.” As a result, tax-cut money is borrowed money, money that puts the government deeper and deeper into debt.

For a generation, Republican economic theory has been built on denying that simple fact. They peddled the wishful thinking that tax cuts represent free money that falls down out of the sky, magically putting more cash in voters’ pockets AND putting more cash into government coffers.

But magic is an illusion. Greenspan now acknowledges that. The CBO has documented it, estimating that each dollar of a tax cut generates 10 to 40 cents in additional GDP, far less than is needed to pay for itself. Mark Zandi of Moody Economics, who served as John McCain’s top economic adviser, also estimates that tax cuts produce roughly 30 cents in growth for each dollar “returned” to taxpayers.

David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan’s budget director, now condemns what he calls “the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts”:

“Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.

This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals. It has also led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy.”

Stockman’s conclusion?

“The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing — as suggested by last week’s news that the national economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. Under these circumstances, it’s a pity that the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach — balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline — is needed more than ever.”

It’s a pity indeed. The Democratic Party alone cannot solve this nation’s fiscal problems, in part because it lacks the necessary votes and in part because it needs a viable partner on the other side that will insist in good faith that entitlements be addressed. It’s going to take the best of both parties to work this out. However, that adult conversation cannot take place as long as the GOP clings to a myth that never made sense in the first place and that has been thoroughly refuted by decade after decade of ever-growing debt.

469 comments Add your comment

Union

August 3rd, 2010
4:18 pm

why should i pay more for someone that makes less and is less fortunate?

Tom Crawford

August 3rd, 2010
4:23 pm

You are correct, but you might as well be talking to a brick wall.

moonbat betty

August 3rd, 2010
4:24 pm

And while republicans try to fix the economy, anonymous sources report that obama has been sited noodling for Snookis along the Hudson river.

Union

August 3rd, 2010
4:29 pm

whats a snookie?

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

Ah, yes, the old “Let’s bring out a single alleged Republican to debunk all Republican theories” argument.

Predictable.

And, by the way, already pathetically covered by CT earlier. You two really need to mix it up a bit.

TheCrooksAreStillAtIT

August 3rd, 2010
4:33 pm

The GOP can never listen to reason or facts.

Lord Help Us

August 3rd, 2010
4:36 pm

Dave R, how about you provide us a list of economists that say tax cuts pay for themselves…

@@

August 3rd, 2010
4:38 pm

I didn’t like Greenspan when, and I have no use for Greenspan now. When it comes to economists, I’m a Paul Ryan fan.

That may not make me popular with those on the right OR the left, but I is what I is.

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
4:39 pm

DAVE
I’m not sure the Bruin and CT speak to each other… :-)

Dave

August 3rd, 2010
4:39 pm

Come on everyone, we all know it’s not your hard earned money. It’s the government’s money and you should be on your knees thanking the gov’t for letting you keep what little they do… afterall, they know how to spend it better than we do.

Union

August 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

tax cuts may not pay for themselves.. but if you dont spend the money.. then you dont have to tax it out of people.. just sayin..

funny thing is in a few years jay is gonna have a blog about.. “remember when obama said healthcare costs were going to be lowered?”

godless heathen

August 3rd, 2010
4:40 pm

Taking less is not giving.

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
4:41 pm

Jay,

either your honesty or your reasoning abilities are in a state of decline.

This is the first time back to the site in over a week.

Only to have you pitching an outright lie by ommission.

Why no mention in your article of any Democrats speaking out for extending the cuts?

Why! One could argue it did not fit into teh story until you made the assessment that democrats couldn’t do this on their own. Yet your ideological blindfold does not allow you to even mention that there have been several democrats who have came out in support…. no mention of Kent conrad, Ben Nelson nothing.

Since apparently by your standards it is only need to prove fact that a person and/or person from that party has to refute what is being said by the rest of teh party. So hows about this quote……

“As a general rule, you don’t want to be cutting spending or raising taxes in the midst of a downturn,” Mr. Conrad said. “We know that very soon we’ve got to pivot and focus on the deficit. But it probably is too soon to cut spending or raise taxes.”

Jay do you not care about the recovery of our economy or do you only care for your partisian ideology?

barking frog

August 3rd, 2010
4:41 pm

It is amazing that Alan Greenspan has become so
wise since he left the Fed.

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
4:41 pm

union

“why should i pay more for someone that makes less and is less fortunate?”

Because you have a moral compass?

booger

August 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

So the right formula to economic bliss is to drive the entire country into generations of debt with trillion dollar stimulus bills and health care plans, and then raise taxes to cover it……It all makes sense now. And since when did Jay decide Greenspan was a credible resource.

Union

August 3rd, 2010
4:43 pm

josef … what does morality have to do with taking away from my children and giving to someone elses.. (not disagreeing.. being the devils advocate for purpose of discussion)

professional skeptic

August 3rd, 2010
4:44 pm

Check it out, Jay, looks like the Republicans may be throwing in the towel on trying to convince intelligent, thinking Americans that tax cuts reduce the deficit. Instead, they’re saying preserving tax cuts on the wealthy will create jobs, which takes priority over deficit/debt reduction.

In other words, they’re going back to “trickle down” because they’ve got nothing else…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/03/republican-leaders-now-to_n_668608.html

RW-(the original)

August 3rd, 2010
4:44 pm

Every dime that taxpayers send Washington is spent, and once money is spent it cannot be “returned.”

If it’s truly a tax cut the money is never sent to them in the first place.

Union

August 3rd, 2010
4:44 pm

booger.. you forgot the raising taxes part.

Don't Forget

August 3rd, 2010
4:45 pm

Jay,
Couldn’t agree more and I’ve been saying this for a long time. Whatever happened to the sober rational conservatives? Seems like 80-90% of the conservatives are wingnuts and the other 10% are labeled as RINO’s.

joe matarotz

August 3rd, 2010
4:47 pm

Take off the rose colored glasses, Jay. The Democraps are just as happy reaching a record deficit as any Republicant mongrel who ever sat in Congress. The scum that ‘represent’ us are incapable of doing the right thing. And they have the full support of clowns like you in the media to continue to eff things up.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
4:48 pm

So far, I don’t see any conservatives trying to rebut the actual facts or actual argument presented here.

Do tax cuts pay for themselves? Can we really cut taxes and reduce the national debt? Or will tax hikes be a necessary part of any solution?

I’ve made it clear in this piece and others that Democrats have to be willing to step up and deliver on spending cuts. But again, unless they have partners willing to accept the pain of taxation, we’re going nowhere fast.

Set aside the rote slogans that you folks have internalized as responses to such discussions and actually think and debate.

popeye

August 3rd, 2010
4:49 pm

Dave R….Re….All your posts above!

Proof please, data please, links please

I just copied and pasted from your earlier well thought out comments.

You’re welcome.

godless heathen

August 3rd, 2010
4:49 pm

I agree with Bookman. The government should not spend money it doesn’t have, but the entire way of talking about it is wrong. A tax cut does not give money back to the taxpayer. A tax cut seizes less.

Didn’t Obama promise a tax cut for most Americans?

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
4:51 pm

Yeah, let’s let the math-less conservatives fill congress with their intelligent picks like Angle!

Anyone with a pulse and an (R) after their name is a-ok!

AmVet

August 3rd, 2010
4:52 pm

This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals. It has also led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy.”

Crippled our economy.

To the faithful that must just be another throw away phrase that has no human impact. And as it has affected no Republican neighborhoods and communities I can understand the reluctance. The same reluctance to acknowledge that the sky is blue.

And not only do the crumb-fed ever-conned hold completely faultless the criminals who did this, they cheer them and their War on the Middle Class on to new heights! Or is depths?

They are the New Party of Lawlessness and Fiscal Irresponsibility.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
4:52 pm

Lord Help Us, I don’t know any, which doesn’t man they don’t exist, either.

What I DO know is that every tax cut not paid for in spending cuts DOES add to our deficit, which is what I have been saying for years. Now that some Republicans are seeing the light, maybe we’ll have a chance to stop stealing money from the private sector and allow it to be used to fund private business expansion which does create jobs, rather than fund government debt which does not.

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
4:52 pm

So far, I don’t see any conservatives trying to rebut the actual facts or actual argument presented here.

Jay, you love your job, don’t you? hehehe

Matti

August 3rd, 2010
4:52 pm

The Democratic Party alone cannot solve this nation’s fiscal problems, in part because it lacks the necessary votes and in part because it needs a viable partner on the other side that will insist in good faith that entitlements be addressed.

True, but the Democrats also need to start listing the facts and stop taking the bait of meaningless emotional arguments. Trying to please people who refuse to be pleased is a pointless endeavor. The Republicans would not lead with ideology, fear, and “moral” issues if they had facts on their side. List the facts, list the facts, list the facts.

godless heathen

August 3rd, 2010
4:52 pm

I thought about it, Jay.
Cut spending, cut spending, and cut spending until income exceeds outlay.

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
4:53 pm

Union
I’ll put it this way, our household gets zapped each year with a tax bill that pretty much reflects a comfortable lifestyle. I do not object to any of that that goes for those less fortunate (food stamps, ADC, Peach Care and what have you). It is not the tax per se that I get bent out of shape about, but how it is spent and how much those dispersing it skim off the top to increase their own already comfortable standard of living. My objection is raising my taxes to pay for those more fortunate.

To be honest, the minimum wage earner could post the same argument that their taxes are taking away from them to pay for the “less fortunate.” I think it was the choice of the term “less fortunate” that I took umbrage to, It is my belief that we are always to consider those less fortunate.

Ninja

August 3rd, 2010
4:55 pm

What a waste of time Jay. They don’t believe that garbage, they’re just peddling excuses for why they should get more bribes at their childrens’ expense. Then they have the gall to complain about some piddly welfare handouts that don’t amount to a hill of beans. But they know that too.

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
4:56 pm

Yeah, Dave! That dang government is stealing yer money. It’s a crock that it takes money to provide roads, police, postal service, fire department, a military, meat inspectors, health inspectors and all that other crap necessary so all those wonderful private businesses can operate successfully!

I demand a refund!…or something!

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 3rd, 2010
4:56 pm

I don’t care if they pay theirselfs. I want my Tax Cut, I need my Tax Cut, and if us Tea Partiers don’t get our Tax Cut we’re going to drive our pickups to DC and lay down on the Congress floor and hold our breath and kick and then scream till we get our Tax Cut. Heck with everything else. We’ll worry about paying the bills after we get our Tax Cut.

booger

August 3rd, 2010
4:56 pm

The whole tone of this article, including Jay’s comments seems to be fatalistic. It looks like no one believes an economic recovery is even possible, so all attention must now turn to bailing government out for their bad decisions.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
4:57 pm

But godless, the Republicans won’t ever dare to suggest what such cuts might be. The only one who has taken that plunge in any semi-serious way is Paul Ryan, and his fellow Republicans are terrified at being associated with his plan.

Given that political reality — and it IS reality whether you like it or not — what do you propose we do? I mean here in the universe in which we live, not the one in which we might wish to live.

Scout

August 3rd, 2010
4:57 pm

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial …………… the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

We are spending ourselves into tyranny.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
4:58 pm

popeye, you need some reading comprehension training.

My comment above made no reference to anyone proving anything differently, but rather pointed out the usual liberal shell game of taking ONE conservative or Republican comment, and trying to dispel ALL Republican or conservative thought on a particular issue.

“See, we have a single REPUBLICAN saying that the GOP idea of (fill in the blank) is all wrong! That proves that the GOP idea of (fill in the blank) MUST be all wrong as well!”

Pitiful.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

and a tax cut does NOT seize less, godless.

It just seizes from people who haven’t even been born yet.

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

Jay,

Tax cuts do not directly pay for themselves.

However since you are no fan of magic, please explain to me why anyone in the upper tax bracket would continue to employ a person on their staff or as a part-time staff, such as landscaping, and then have a net loss of actual, attainable, spendable money? I think not if it means firing a worker that will be done, if it requires no longer having a lawn service that will happen. Do you think there will not be a negative employment side to the taxes being cut? Have you ever seen anyone increase theri spending while revenue decreased, other than government?

I think many are of the argument that the tax cuts are not needed to lower or balance the budget, there are politicians but seems I failed to see your point when it was a democrat wanting to engage in deficiet spending, why silent there?

My main issue with you position is you blamed republicans and didn’t even acknowledge that there are DEMOCRATS who want to extend these tax cuts as well…. for you to completely leave that out of the article makes you less than trustworthy, even manipulative to be honest, but that is nothing new for you now is it.

I answered your question now lets check your integrity……

Why now are you concerned for the deficiet spending? The democrats have been doing this for over 18 months now and not peep?

You do remember penning your piece a lil while back about extending unemployment benefits, but wasn’t that also adding to the debt?

Will Health Care reform not ad to the debt?

Will the stimulus (Recovery act) add to the debt?

Could you provide us all with a list of JAY BOOKMANS acceptable and non-acceptable reasons for debt spending because they seem to change as the wind or on your ideology which everone?

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:00 pm

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
4:59 pm

Why were you not concerned for those to be born with HC reform, unemployment benfit extensions, the recovery act?

RW-(the original)

August 3rd, 2010
5:01 pm

Do tax cuts pay for themselves? Can we really cut taxes and reduce the national debt? Or will tax hikes be a necessary part of any solution?

It all depends on whether you believe lower taxes spur economic growth. If they do they not only pay for themselves they create excesses. I believe there was a time when tax cuts really would jumpstart the economy, but now I think business is so overly regulated that tax policy will have a lot less effect. If I’m right then the debate misses the mark when you only include spending and tax rates.

Of course Democrats believing that raising taxes and adding layers of cost through burdensome regulation has no effect is their very own brand of magic.

Wes

August 3rd, 2010
5:02 pm

Jay,

What’s the point of arguing on this one? Both parties are scared of losing old voters and looking soft on defense. Therefore the three biggest expenditures are considered sacrosanct. We’re not going to raise taxes enough to make up the difference.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:02 pm

Thomas, because the recovery act and unemployment benefits are temporary and wise solutions to a temporary problem, and health care reform is by the best guesses we have at least deficit neutral and perhaps deficit-positive.

It is a start at drastic and necessary changes in our health care delivery system that will otherwise make this current fiscal problem seem minor.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:03 pm

“The only one who has taken that plunge in any semi-serious way is Paul Ryan, and his fellow Republicans are terrified at being associated with his plan.”

My point being made yet again.

A couple of Republicans have expressed reservations about Paul Ryan’s plan, but Jay decides (once again), by painting with the usual broad brush, that ALL Republicans are terrified about his plan. You’d think that someone who makes a living with words would use them more carefully.

But then, it couldn’t shape the argument the way he wants if he did, could it?

(Firmly poking the Bruin with a very pointed stick) :)

El Jefe

August 3rd, 2010
5:03 pm

You are right, without pending cuts, any movement on taxes is moot.

I would imagine there are plenty of items to cut from the “DEEMED” budget – yeah, the democrats deemed the budget has passed.

professional skeptic

August 3rd, 2010
5:05 pm

It just seizes from people who haven’t even been born yet.

Preach it, Jay.

El Jefe

August 3rd, 2010
5:05 pm

I would start with a rollback of obamacare, wall street reform and other items.

Throw in the Department of Education and you have paid for any tax cut and will help shrink the deficit.

El Jefe

August 3rd, 2010
5:06 pm

Go against the Unions and allow a temporary worker visa – less money spent on illegal immigration enforcement.

booger

August 3rd, 2010
5:06 pm

Last year 45% of the wage earners in this country paid no tax. This situation was made possible by government cutting taxes to this group. Given that, I agree we should change the code so that everyone can participate in bailing the government out for their gluttony. EIC also needs to go by the wayside. We just can,t afford it right now.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

“Thomas, because the recovery act and unemployment benefits are temporary and wise solutions to a temporary problem, and health care reform is by the best guesses we have at least deficit neutral and perhaps deficit-positive.”

More Bruin poking here.

WTF, Jay? Your vaunted CBO has now calculated the effect on the deficit (now that they’ve READ the bill, and says it will ADD to the deficit, not lower or be neutral. Plus lets take a look at the rising cost of health care borne by businesses (or individuals) as their new rates are now being announced. Our county alone will have to cover about $2 million more due to new health care mandates. Either our employees have to pay it, or our property taxes are going up. So much for not raising taxes on those of us under $250k, right?

And the stimulus created or saved almost no PRIVATE sector jobs, Jay. But the public sector was well-taken care of.

Don't Forget

August 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

Jay said:

Set aside the rote slogans that you folks have internalized as responses to such discussions and actually think and debate.

From your lips to God’s ears.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:10 pm

Booger, that statistic is a flat out lie. It may keep you warm and cozy at night, protected against dangerous thoughts and facts, but it remains a flat out lie.

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:10 pm

Until Democrats (and the bed-wetters who vote for them) stop believing they can force the top 10% of wage earners to pay for any and all colossal vote-buying social programs they can dream up, adult discussion is impossible.

RW-(the original)

August 3rd, 2010
5:10 pm

and health care reform is by the best guesses we have at least deficit neutral and perhaps deficit-positive.

Talk about believing in magic, geez. Of course as long as you tuck things like the doc fix into other bills you can make believe they aren’t health care costs I guess

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:11 pm

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:02 pm

So in other words you only feel it is OK to spend while in debt if it is something you believe in?

Thats trash!

There are also those out there that predict HC reform will cost waaay more than predicted as the CBO has already ammended their report on more than one occasion….. but those guys are normalyy right though… how did Med. Part D turn out for Bush?

How is extending the tax cuts not temporary unless they are going to be made LAw and last forever?

So again all Jay’s reason is because he says so. It is Ok to spend when in debt for some things just not others.

I ask again,

Why was your method and reasoning for extending unemployment benefits to over 2 years was because you were concerned for those who needed it.

But why are you not concerned for the landscaper or the person going to be laid off?

You do understand they will go on the roles of the 2 year unemployment too, so calculate those figures in as well to that moral calculater in your head.

I stand firm that your only reason for choosing which is a valid time to spend while in debt has nothing to do more than party lines.

That is a sad story for a journalist who has investigative skills but lacks the integrity to be trusted.

You blamed this on republicans failing to mention the Democrats who feel teh same as the republicans. Why!?

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

“and a tax cut does NOT seize less, godless.

It just seizes from people who haven’t even been born yet.”

Only if it is not coupled with an associated cut in spending, Jay. Sheesh!

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

Jay, your employer, the AJC, printed a story from the AP proclaiming almost exactly what booger stated…the bottom 47% of wage earners have zero federal income tax liability. No matter how much you deny it, or how many t imes you call it a lie, it remains a fact.

Ninja

August 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

“colossal vote-buying social programs”

Oh you mean where the government picks up the tab for the greedy plutocrats who want to steal the labor of lower classes but not pay a fair rate? So they dump the poor on the government and then complain about the cost?

Dave

August 3rd, 2010
5:13 pm

Well Finn, if the government only used tax money for only those things or things outlined in the Constitution, then that’s fine. But instead we get stuff like this:

100 Worst Stimulus Projects

1. Forest Service to Replace Windows in Visitor Center Closed in 2007 (Amboy, WA) -
$554,763
2. “Dance Draw” – Interactive Dance Software Development (Charlotte, NC) – $762,372
3. North Shore Connector to Professional Sports Stadiums, Casino (Pittsburgh, PA) – $62
million
4. FEMA Stalls Two Texas Fire Stations More Than a Year, Increases Costs (San Antonio, TX)
- $7.3 million
5. Abandoned Train Station Converted Into Museum (Glassboro, NJ) – $1.2 million
6. Ants Talk. Taxpayers Listen (San Francisco, CA) – $1.9 million
7. Stimulus Project Threatens Pastor’s House (Newark, OH) – $1.8 million
8. Old Abandoned Iron Furnace Gets Facelift after Money Squandered on Same Project Years
Before (Fitchburg, KY) – $357,710
9. Power Plant Construction Won’t Start for at Least Two Years (Kern County, CA) – $308
million
10. Town Replaces New Sidewalks With Newer Sidewalks That Lead to Ditch (Boynton, OK) -
$89,298
11. Upgraded Office Space and Indoor Parking for Kansas Politicians (Topeka, Kansas) – $39.7
million plus

etc, etc, etc….. (and Gibbs keeps on insisting that there’s no pork in the stimulus bill)

larry

August 3rd, 2010
5:14 pm

O.K. You really want to get serious about the debt , here ya go………………………….

Cut spending across the board , including the Dept. of Defense , including the VA
Increase the tax rate for the richest americans from 35% to 70% for five years
Close all corporate tax loopholes, increase corporate tax rate from 35% to 45%
Increase funding for the inspector generals office of the dept of health and human services to cut down on medicare and medicad fraud.
Cut all salaries of the members of Congress , the VP and the President for five years
Close all national parks
Get all troops out of all the foreign countries , including Iraq and Iran and Korea
Get rid of the border patrol

This way , our debt goes back down to when GWB went into office in 2001, 5.6 trillion dollars and
we do not have any more deficits . You cut spending WHEN you have a tax cut.

Hillbilly Deluxe

August 3rd, 2010
5:14 pm

Last year 45% of the wage earners in this country paid no tax.

If you’re talking about Federal Income Tax, that might be true. For the sake of argument, how many of those 45% come from each income bracket? I bet not all of them are from the lower brackets. I’ve never seen any figures on this but a lot of people in all brackets know how to work those deductions. I’d be curious if Jay or anybody had any figures on that.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:14 pm

And Dave R, name a Republican in a leadership position who has endorsed Ryan’s plan.

That’s not too high a hurdle: ONE Republican in a leadership position who says he or she backs Ryan’s plan. Last count I saw put his co-sponsors at 13, out of a House Republican Caucus of 178.

None in a leadership position.

Where's My Party?

August 3rd, 2010
5:15 pm

Cut spending and then a tax increase is ok by me, as long as it is a tax increase on EVERYONE. Not the “rich”, not the “poor”…..everyone, but cut spending first.

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
5:15 pm

Harry, booger
If, as you say, c45% of the wage earners have zero tax liability, what does that tell you about the wages being paid to that 45% and the concurrent standard of living they can afford?

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:16 pm

Jay, see link…according to NPR of all people (I guess you will now call them right-wing liars like Fox News?) 47% of Americans have zero federal income tax liability. WillI I see your retraction and apology to booger in the paper tomorrow?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125997180

Don't Forget

August 3rd, 2010
5:16 pm

Ah, so here we go again with the repeal Obamacare line because “it will cost a lot despite what CBO says”
Well, how come none of you have ever called for the repeal of this?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A9328-2005Feb8.html

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
5:17 pm

thomas writes: please explain to me why anyone in the upper tax bracket would continue to employ a person on their staff or as a part-time staff, such as landscaping, and then have a net loss of actual, attainable, spendable money?

And this person should remain in business if they can’t do any better than break even? Let me guess, you also want tax cuts and maybe some subsidies to keep this loser in business?

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:17 pm

Ninja

August 3rd, 2010
5:12 pm

You know anyone looking for a job on a golf course?

I play alot and there are 3 courses near my house hiring… 8.75 n hour thats over the $300 weekly in unemployment.

Jobs have been open all summer since May!

Live ear a agricultural community and the cheap labor you speak of is illegally being bought and paid for elsewhere.

Wonder why they can’t find anyone to take the job…. they have offered it a few times and one course has even hired 2 people both left before lunch.

So now is that the government or the people who dump them on the gov then complain about it fault?

Don't Forget

August 3rd, 2010
5:18 pm

Last year 45% of the wage earners in this country paid no tax.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:18 pm

Jay, I don’t give a rat’s patootie about GOP leadership and who has signed on. And a LACK of endorsement or sponsorship does not equate to being placed in the “terrified” column.

Depending on who gets elected to the House and Senate this November, there may be some very different people in leadership positions on the GOP side come January.

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:19 pm

LOL at Bookman…wondering how many times he’s going to get busted calling the “bottom half pay nothing” thing a lie when it is a demonstrable fact.

Don't Forget

August 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

oops meant to say

Last year 45% of the wage earners in this country paid no tax.
———————————————————————————————————————————————–
How much do hedge fund managers pay? they pay the capital gains tax on earnings from capital that isn’t theirs which is 15%.

Dusty

August 3rd, 2010
5:20 pm

JOSEF

So….Jay & Tucker are not speaking. Good! I would not speak to each other either.
—————————-
DON’T FORGET, 4:45

So you say you haven’t seen any sober rational conservatives. Do you hear a distant blowing noise outside? That’s the sober, rational conservatives trying to pump oxygen into the US Congress now ruled by Democrats and gasping for breath. What’s approval now? 11% and not holding as it sinks!

By the way, quit checking all those liberal bars amd taverns for conservatives. You only find the drunks there and they are not conservatives..They are YOUR buddies.

————————

Jay, did you actually say that “Until GOP stops believing in magic, adult conversation is impossible.”????

What?? You mean we can’t fly on magic carpets? Ha!! Get a camel, Jay.!!!

I just love adult conversations, ’specially like those that drone on here for hours every morning. zzzzzz And that is all of my delightful adult convo for a while. I must get ready for another winning BRAVES game tonight. Hurrah and pass the spghetti!!! GO BRAVES!!!

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:21 pm

Jay, what, no comment on the NPR link? Wow..I just slapped the AJC’s #1 columnist so silly he can’t even respond.

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
5:21 pm

thomas
@ 8:65 p.h. on 40 hour week is above the $300 unemployment…now figure the deductions and see what the take home pay is. Would you do it?

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:21 pm

Booger, Harry and Don’t Forget, Jay was hoping you wouldn’t notice that he knew you were talking about INCOME tax, but booger didn’t specify that in his first post, which gave Jay cover to denounce it.

Once you insert the word “income” in front of “tax”, he can’t defend his statement any longer.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:23 pm

Hiya, josef!

Having some fun poking the Bruin this afternoon. It will probably get me bitten in the a$$ later on, but for right now, he’s on the defensive, linguistically. :D

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:23 pm

Harry, it is a demonstrable lie, as has been demonstrated here. It excludes Social Security and Medicare taxes, which are taxes on income by any rational definition, and it includes in its numbers millions of teen-age and college kids who work part-time jobs that pay less than the taxable minimum of $5,400 a year. They aren’t “households” who are ducking their obligations as citizens, but those who put together this lie still count them that way.

Demonstrable fact.

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
5:17 pm

Try this……

If I make$100 every year and you tax me 35%.

That means I give you 35 bucks and keep 65 for myself.

Now if you tax me 40% I now only keep 60 bucks.

Therefore I have an ability to spend less than before.

Now if i was saving 20 bucks every time and spending the rest.

i would spend 45 bucks to have my lawn cut or whatever.

If you take an extra 5 bucks by raising taxes i am still going to save my $20… I will just spend less and maybe get rid of a luxery item or service i was content to pay for.

Seriously if you are going to try to debate my arguments and horrible math and a lack of reading on your part are all that you are going to use as arguments I fear this will not be a long debate before the fat lady begins to chirp and hmmm.

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

Jay also clings to the intellectually dishonest position (a polite way of saying he’s a liar) of refusing to acknoledge that the Earned Income Tax Credit refunds (and then some) what little actually gets deducted from the lower 47%’s paychecks.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

August 3rd, 2010
5:24 pm

Every dime that taxpayers send Washington is spent, and once money is spent it cannot be “returned.”

I wonder what part of cutting government spending that kookman doesn’t understand?

Tax cuts are just one small component of the coming fiscal sobriety that the dummycrats will be watching safely from the sidelines, albeit probably drunk as hell, as usual. More money for those who wisely invest and spend it, instead of squandering it on something that produces absolutely no return on it whatsoever-

The California Academy of Sciences is receiving nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa to capture, photograph and analyze thousands of exotic ants.

Aahhh, yes.

And then there is this, been a long time, been a long time, been a lonely lonely lonely time, yes it has, since there was any brain power in the democrat party-

“In today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarges the federal deficit – why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.”

– John F. Kennedy, Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”

Any questions?

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:25 pm

Jay, Social Security and Medicare aren’t taxes…they are retirement and health car insurance, respectively. Democrat’s definitions, not mine.

getalife

August 3rd, 2010
5:26 pm

They are attacking the Constitution like they lost their minds.

Radical right .

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:27 pm

And jay, you knew that booger was talking about federal income taxes, and NOT social security/medicare, when you called his assertion a lie. So I guess you’re the one having a problem with adult discussion. Good thing for hte health of this blog that I have a few spare minutes everyday to call you out on this stuff.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:27 pm

Harry did you even read that NPR story? It says what I say:

“For many Americans, the Social Security and Medicare taxes take a bigger chunk of their income than the income tax does. And for quite a few Americans, that’s a low threshold to clear since they don’t pay any federal income tax at all. ”

Those “quite a few Americans” include millions of kids working a summer job as a lifeguard or grocery sacker or waitress, who make less than the minimum required to file.

Those tax-dodgers!!!!

Ninja

August 3rd, 2010
5:27 pm

Gee Thomas, maybe that’s because 8.75 an hour is barely enough to live on, let alone take care of another dependant. Which means the government will have to assist them so the owner can continue to protect his own ill-gotten profit at the expense of ALL OF US.
But I guess they should go in debt to the banksters to learn a skill in college (so the plutocrats again don’t have to pay their own training costs) only to have that job shipped out to India and have to do the whole thing over again, while the fruits of their labor went into somebody else’s pocket.
But of course the only solution republicans offer is piling on the very people who allow them to profit so obscenly. Until they become full-blown fascists and advocate passive eugenics….oh wait, that’s already starting.

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:27 pm

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
5:21 pm

would I do it hell have done it!

Do you think I was awarded a coaching or teaching job immediately after graduation?

Haha your deductions is crap…. only social security would not be returned as the person making 8.25 per would certainly fall into the 45% with no tax liability. Which means the “taxes” would actually be no interest savings plans.

Are you alluding to the fact that people may be tempted to stay on unemployment if a comparable job presented itself?

I assumed tehy wanted to work, but apparently you are saying they only want to work for a heavy price? Interesting take you have there.

Dave R.

August 3rd, 2010
5:29 pm

PLUS, Harry, the required “matching” funds your employers kick in merely takes away income you could have in your pocket.

But I do see Jay’s point. After all, if a government can fine you for not purchasing health care insurance and call the fine a tax, then I guess everything IS a tax to them.

Right, Jay?

Matti

August 3rd, 2010
5:29 pm

Will those magicians and unicorn believers who want to cut taxes, cut spending, pay the debt off AND balance the budget please post your names on the appropriate sign-up sheet for the current government service you’re volunteering to perform free of charge? Your options include road, bridge, dam, and levee construction and repair, operating emergency rooms to treat those for whom no other options exist once you repeal “obamacare,” educating the children of the less-than-educated parents that have, do, and will always exist in your own community so that they might one day become employable instead of pillaging your family to survive, build and man prisons to hold both bad guys and the aforementioned children, inspect and maintain water treatment facilities and plan reservoirs, etc. for the future water needs resulting from poorly-managed growth, sew uniforms and manufacture armor and equipment for our soliders, act as licensed defense attorneys for those who cannot afford one, in order to preserve “justice” in this country as per our Bill of Rights, patrol the borders, inspect incoming cargo, research and share information about epidemics, both human and agricultural, and share them with the public to protect us all from anihilation…. *whew!* There’s more, but I need to take a breath. Who’s first on the sign-up sheet?

josef nix

August 3rd, 2010
5:29 pm

DAVE R
Have fun, but he DO can git grouchy! :-)

IR/YW
Thought about you today. The Escalade is the most often stolen vehicle…Nice to know you’re ready to do your part for the improvement of the “working” class…

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:30 pm

But Harry, WHY do you limit it to what is technically called the federal income tax? Are not the SSI and Medicare taxes taxes on income? Hasn’t the SSI revenue been used just as income tax revenue has been used, to fund the war in Iraq and the salaries of Congress and the FBI?

You are creating an artificial statistic for no other reason than to demean your fellow Americans.

Finn McCool

August 3rd, 2010
5:30 pm

thomas, I wasn’t debating you and I never will. I prefer to deal with adults.

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:31 pm

Jay, we’re talking federal income taxes, which is what funds federal budgets…once again, you get something in return for social security and medicare withholding, and the low income earners (the ones in the bottom 47%) get a way better return on their minimal investment than high income earners.

Demonstrable fact.

Del

August 3rd, 2010
5:31 pm

The Democratic party alone can’t solve this nations fiscal problems. A true statement indeed because they just continue to add to them. The party of pander can’t do anything sensible like spending cuts and getting people who should be on the tax roles back on as well as getting creative with job stimulus . No, their economic stimulus consists of programs that study monkeys getting high on cocaine and determining Yoga’s affect on menopausal woman. Their solution to everything is taxing the wealthy.

jt

August 3rd, 2010
5:33 pm

Watch it,

Jay will pull a Paul Krugman on yee.

Harry Callahan

August 3rd, 2010
5:34 pm

jay, I’m not demeaning my fellow Americans. I used to be one of the lower 47%. Like most people, I started out in life making a little. moved up to something decent, and now earn a good difference. The difference is, at no point along the way did I expect other people to pay my way.

And you knew all along that booger was correct, that 47% of Americans have no federal income tax liability, and you tried to deceive. Sad, Jay, very sad.

Jay

August 3rd, 2010
5:34 pm

But again, you folks are refusing to engage in the real issue.

I believe that all or most of us will have to pay more in taxes, AND that we will have to cut government spending significantly. But those of you who pretend its going to be done through spending cuts alone are believing in magic, because even the Republicans dare not even propose or suggest such cuts.

They need the cover of the Democrats to make such suggestions, just as the Democrats need the cover from Republicans to do what’s needed on taxes.

And the single biggest obstacle to reaching such an accord is the GOP’s fervent, doctrinal belief that taxes can never be raised and that tax cuts produce new revenue,

thomas

August 3rd, 2010
5:35 pm

If the reason for not extending teh bush tax cuts IS truely because of the deficit spending…. can anyone answer for me this…..

Why are they going to allow some tax cuts to be extended and others not to be extended?

Seems that the tax cuts will not pay for themselves regardless of if the person paying them makes $10,000 or makes $10,000 per year.

Jay, or anyone who thinks one should be extended while the other not!

I thought it was about deficit spending and the cuts not paying for themselves.