The Big Lie exposed, in living color

The core belief that animates the modern conservative movement is that taxes are too damn high and getting higher all the time. They believe that rampaging government at every level — local, state and federal — takes more and more of their hard-earned money, leaving the private sector barely enough resources to sustain itself.

In fact, I’d love to ask delegates to the 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa this month one simple question: As a share of the economy, how much have total taxes increased over the last 50 years? Most would probably guess that it has doubled or tripled.

The real answer is that it has not changed at all. As a share of gross domestic product — and that’s the standard measure of tax burden accepted by most economists, both liberal and conservative — taxes at every level today amount to roughly 25 percent of the economy, just what they did back in the early ’60s.

historical_receipt_comp_chart

In other words, the image of an ever-gluttonous government that serves as the basis of modern conservatism is false.

The chart above, compiled from decades of federal data by the Tax Policy Center, has a lot of smaller stories to tell as well:

– Local and state taxes account for the same share of the American economy today as they did back in the 1930s, which means it is unchanged for 80 years.

– As a share of GDP, taxes on corporations have fallen to less than half of what they were back in the 1950s.

– The only type of taxes to have grown as a share of the economy in the last 50 years have been federal payroll taxes, used to finance Social Security and Medicare and generally hitting the working and middle classes. For the last 30 years, revenue surpluses generated by Social Security have been diverted out of that program and used to run general government programs.

– To shrink then-rising deficits, President Clinton signed tax increases into law in 1993 at considerable political cost to himself and his party. The results are evident in the chart in the form of gradually rising revenue from the individual income tax. What the chart does not show is that despite GOP predictions of economic calamity after those tax increases, we went on to enjoy the longest period of economic expansion in our nation’s history.

Thanks to that rising revenue, we were also able to reclaim control of our nation’s fiscal destiny, slashing the annual deficit to zero. That proved temporary. Major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 did not produce the economic boom that their backers had promised, but they did set off another cycle of rapidly increasing deficits.

A gradual return to the Clinton-era tax rates — not just for the wealthy, but for everybody — would allow us once again to reclaim control of our national finances. (And yes, at this point significant spending cuts will be required as well.) But in a political climate dominated by false notions about taxation, that option is simply not open to us.

– Jay Bookman

299 comments Add your comment

Scuba Steve

August 20th, 2012
8:22 am

Doggone/GA

August 20th, 2012
8:26 am

” we went on to enjoy the longest period of economic expansion in our nation’s history

but, but, but…the tech bubble! (Had to get that in there!)

Peter

August 20th, 2012
8:29 am

Well start a few wars that are un-funded and see what happens to the US treasury ?

Lord Help Us

August 20th, 2012
8:32 am

I miss Slick Willie…

barking frog

August 20th, 2012
8:33 am

The job creators are concerned about taxes.
Without the tax cuts the
current hiring tsunami
would not have happened.

the cat

August 20th, 2012
8:34 am

President Clinton presided over 8 years of peace and prosperity. I long for those days……

Jay

August 20th, 2012
8:35 am

Barking Frog, temporary tax cuts to get the economy through tough times is a perfectly appropriate tool. But when those “temporary” tax cuts become permanent, and are followed by still more “temporary” tax cuts …

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 20th, 2012
8:35 am

Major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 did not produce the economic boom that their backers had promised

wha?????

gadem

August 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Some people have the belief that they can use all of the resources and not pay on red cent. Let them tell it, they are taxed to death. I guess some people will believe whatever lie they are told.

Doggone/GA

August 20th, 2012
8:37 am

“Well start a few wars that are un-funded”

I’ve seen this inaccuracy posted here many times lately. Those wars were not unfunded…they were unbudgeted. If they were unfunded that would mean that no money was spent on them…and clearly THAT is untrue.

Jeffrey

August 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Romney doesn’t want to talk about his taxes. He wants to talk about jobs and the economy for which his only plan is to cut taxes for people like him. Am I the only one who sees how this leads right back to his taxes?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 20th, 2012
8:37 am

President Clinton presided over 8 years of peace

Well, except for those daily carpet bombings in the former Yugoslavia….oh, and that right wing terrorist hit on Oklahoma City federal building….oh, and the first hit on the WTC in 1993.

barking frog

August 20th, 2012
8:39 am

the cat
but the presider had newt…

ty webb

August 20th, 2012
8:40 am

“President Clinton presided over 8 years of peace…”

well, except for Sudanese aspirin factories.

Lord Help Us

August 20th, 2012
8:41 am

Will any gop admit they were better off after eight years of Clinton than after eight years of GWB?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 20th, 2012
8:42 am

sorry – off topic but this is dumbfounding:

today the iPhone brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft. No, really. One Apple product, something that didn’t exist five years ago, has higher sales than everything Microsoft has to offer. More than Windows, Office, Xbox, Bing, Windows Phone, and every other product that Microsoft has created since 1975. In the quarter ended March 31, 2012, iPhone had sales of $22.7 billion; Microsoft Corporation, $17.4 billion.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/08/microsoft-lost-mojo-steve-ballmer

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 20th, 2012
8:42 am

“but, but, but…the tech bubble! (Had to get that in there!)”

yeppers … Clinton killed the internet star … or something like that

barking frog

August 20th, 2012
8:43 am

Jay
are you saying that good
stuff should not be followed
with more good stuff and
that totally eliminating
taxes would not result in
an economic boom for the
masses ?

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 20th, 2012
8:43 am

“today the iPhone brings in more revenue than the entirety of Microsoft”

you know why??

because it is laced with crack.

iPhone is seriously one of the most addictive things … ever.

gadem

August 20th, 2012
8:47 am

I think that Jay is wrong. From what I heard, those tax cuts to the job creators ignited the most job creation the world has ever seen. Kind of like the Big Bang theory only this happened with jobs.

lynnie gal

August 20th, 2012
8:47 am

If lower taxes for the wealthy, ahem, I mean the “job creators” creates for jobs, why have we been losing jobs since Bush cut their taxes in 2001? They expect us to believe that if we’ll just let ‘em cut some more, take the tax rate for someone like Romney down from 13% to, say, 7% or even zero, this will magically create jobs. Only a simple minded dimwit would believe that.

Recon 0311 2533

August 20th, 2012
8:48 am

Temporary tax cuts to get the economy through tough times is a perfectly appropriate tool. But when those tough times become seemingly permanent, we should not as president Obama once stated be raising taxes on anyone.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
8:50 am

“Are you saying that …totally eliminating
taxes would not result in
an economic boom for the
masses?

Absolutely I’m saying that. If you eliminate taxes but not government, you get deficits that make these look like an anthill, with dire economic consequences.

And if you eliminate taxes AND government, you get anarchy and a collapse of civil society. See, Somalia.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 20th, 2012
8:50 am

Jay, there you go again with your silly notions of proportionality and history and expecting people to mean what they say and stuff.

Recon 0311 2533

August 20th, 2012
8:55 am

Lets scrape the current tax code and adopt a consumption tax so everyone pays their fair share.

commoncents

August 20th, 2012
8:55 am

Jay @ 8:50 – Absolutely I’m saying that. If you eliminate taxes but not government, you get deficits that make these look like an anthill, with dire economic consequences.

Sounds like we need to get rid of some government…

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 20th, 2012
8:56 am

” From what I heard, those tax cuts to the job creators ignited the most job creation the world has ever seen”

wait … wait … WHICH tax cuts??

commoncents

August 20th, 2012
8:56 am

*some, not all.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 20th, 2012
8:57 am

“Sounds like we need to get rid of some government…”

yay!!

let’s start with the DOD since they’re the biggest spenders

barking frog

August 20th, 2012
8:57 am

Jay
Is it necessary for you to
reveal the Romney/Ryan
plan before they do? Now
no October surprise.

Brad Steel

August 20th, 2012
8:57 am

While in the oval office, President Clinton presided over one sweet piece.

Paul

August 20th, 2012
8:57 am

” But in a political climate dominated by false notions about taxation, that option is simply not open to us.”

Sigh…. Jay, Jay, Jay…. why do you persist in assuming the current conservative movement has a connection with reality when it is not in evidence?

Since taxes as a percent of the economy have remained constant, the next interesting step would be to see which segments have seen their overall contribution increase or decrease. I’m guessing corporate contributions have shifted dramatically. But I suppose that’s to be expected, else how could a couple dozen major corporations pay more to a single employee than they pay to Uncle Sam?

Morality?

August 20th, 2012
8:59 am

Remember Ruby Ridge.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 20th, 2012
8:59 am

I opt out of the so called social contract..to hell with you all

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

August 20th, 2012
9:00 am

“Sigh…. Jay, Jay, Jay…. why do you persist in assuming the current conservative movement has a connection with reality when it is not in evidence?”

hope springs eternal?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 20th, 2012
9:00 am

“THE” Big Lie?

Pardon me, but that would suggest the current conservatives are pushing only one…..

jconservative

August 20th, 2012
9:02 am

Slick Willie?

Based just on the legislation signed into law, and just the legislation signed into law, the most conservative president we have had since Herbert Hoover is Bill Clinton.

The above is a fact. Easily checked out if you put the time into reviewing all legislation signed by every president since Hoover.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

August 20th, 2012
9:03 am

If we scrape the tax code, what will we end up with a pile of?

TaxPayer

August 20th, 2012
9:04 am

Clearly, you guys are missing the point. Whoever said Republicans wanted to return to the roaring 60s!

Doggone/GA

August 20th, 2012
9:04 am

“guessing corporate contributions have shifted dramatically”

“– As a share of GDP, taxes on corporations have fallen to less than half of what they were back in the 1950s.”

Mama Says

August 20th, 2012
9:05 am

“leaving the private sector barely enough resources to sustain itself”

“As a share of the economy, how much have total taxes increased over the last 50 years?”

Jay and his self contrived GOP standards, like he truly feels them and knows what they are. It is true that the private sector would spend more if they had more, however your basic argument is void of one thing–the main thing, Conservatives INDIVIDUALS think we can spend our money better than the government. Therefore your figures on GDP themselves indicate that the taxes have risen due to inflation and it’s relationship to the GDP.

10 years ago what would a dollar have bought you ? what will it today ? you are taking more because the dollar is less, comparatively speaking.

You cant have your argument both ways. You argued 3-4 weeks ago that salaries were stagnant and have been for 30 some odd years. If that is the case then it goes without saying that the amount you take hurts more than it did 20-30 years ago, because inflation historically rises and the value of the dollar has been dropping for years.

by the way if you were absolutely correct then you would be saying that the democrats wish to raise taxes above the historic trend line, given the fact that you say they are what they have been for 50 years, and you guys want more.

One more thing. Clinton was the president who lied to a grand jury correct ?

Peace and prosperity ?

Somalia, Bosnia, Sudan…come on peace under Clinton ? He bombed more countries than Bush did.

Morality?

August 20th, 2012
9:06 am

Cut Big Gub’ment’s 1% per year until the budget is balanced. Start with the arrogant and unnecessary “Thought Police” thugs owned and run by Prez Obama.

The Thin Guy

August 20th, 2012
9:07 am

Don

August 20th, 2012
9:08 am

The problem is government spending which has historically been 19-21% of GDP is headed to 22-24% of GDP. The solution is to get both taxation and spending to the 20% level. Can’t do that without entitlement reform AND tax increases AND cuts in military and discretionary spending.

Any politician that leaves one of these three out is LYING to us.

Van Jones

August 20th, 2012
9:08 am

I’m much more concerned about the growth of total government spending and that little thing we call the defecit.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:08 am

Mama, your post makes no sense. Not to me anyway.

kayaker 71

August 20th, 2012
9:08 am

My property tax bill 4 yrs ago was about 1600/yr. Last year it was 3900. Most of my neighbor’s property taxes at least doubled in the last four years. That might have nothing to do with the federal tax burden but it ups my tax burden to over 300/month.

Peter

August 20th, 2012
9:09 am

Well I can certainly appreciate the fact the Non Budgeted wars are in fact an every day Republican idea…… The Republican’s would have America waste all the money on War, so a few rich can get richer.

Cost plus contracts… are the shinning example of how the GOP will spend your money like water, but then cry foul when American’s want to help American’s in America !

Thank you for pointed out the Wars were not Budgeted……… Nice to see the GOP point out how they actually think.

Fly-On-The-Wall

August 20th, 2012
9:10 am

This will not deter the conservatives at all. They will simply say that if we reduce taxes and cut spending even further it would improve our economic condition faster.

Oh, they will dispute this because they *know* we are the most overtaxed nation on earth….until they want to complain about how Europe overtaxes their citizens for their socialized govenments.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:10 am

kayaker, given what property values have done in the last four years, that is very difficult to believe, to say the least. What county do you live in ?

Morality?

August 20th, 2012
9:12 am

Yes I agree “Scrape” the tax code…….. do you mean SCRAP the tax code? FLAT TAX will curb the over burdening influence of the Fed Gub’ment on our private lives and it will help reduce the Fed debt because we can TERMINATE a bunch of pencil pushers from the payroll.

kayaker 71

August 20th, 2012
9:12 am

Bookman, 9:10,

Bibb county.

weetamoe

August 20th, 2012
9:12 am

Since Jay’s usual comment club anticipates/makes up all points of view on the subject and then mocks themselves to absurdity, it appears the discussion is over.

Common Sense

August 20th, 2012
9:12 am

Tax Receipts? You are joking right?

No mention of all the debt to date that will also needed to be added to those already collected receipts to have paid for what has ALREADY been spent?

How much more deceitful could this “conclusion” be?

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (aka "Knuckle-Dragger")

August 20th, 2012
9:12 am

Poor old Jay, you miss the argument, entirely, again (what a surprise!). Nobody cares what happens as a percentage of GDP. What people care about is how much they pay individually, and the utility gained by every extra dollar of taxation. In an average year, I provide the government with somewhere between 50% and 60% of my income. If you add in private school, because the public schools are no good in my area, it jumps even higher. This is, as you will agree, too much. Add in the consternation of knowing at least 50% of my tax money, probably higher, is wasted due to incompetence and criminal activity, and nobody in their right mind wants to pay more. My suggestion for liberals, if they feel compelled to continue to feed the Beast, is send in some more of your own money and leave me alone. These concepts may be too “high level’ for you to understand, Jay, but I hope this helps.

I enjoy your funny stuff alot better, like the global warming posts. Please stick to those types of posts. Been a fairly cool August, so far, so I guess global warming is over.

atler8

August 20th, 2012
9:13 am

Oh goodie! TDWE is back spewing “..hell..” already this morning.
I remember her saying how she hated liberals over on the Galloway blog.
She would probably like to send a significant percentage of the American population that she disagrees with politically off to some sort of internment camps or, at the very least, revoke their right to cast a ballot.

Misty Fyed

August 20th, 2012
9:14 am

As a conservative, I’m not as concerned with the tax rate as I am with the fact that the tax rate is not tied to the spending rate. When politicians can routinely spend more money without coming up with a way to pay for it, we get the mess we are in now. Right now we are taxed at a ground beef rate but living a lobster life style. I’d love to see a balanced budget amendment. Of course there will be exceptions to it but when citizens have to pay for the services they want, they may be a little more judicious in the programs they support.

Get Real

August 20th, 2012
9:15 am

very Good Comrade Bookman

gadem

August 20th, 2012
9:18 am

kayaker your property tax bill is higher because the cuts are trickling on down…State and Federal money is drying up, so the county has to tap its citizens to pay for roads…schools…fire and police. You know the things that taxes are suppose to pay for. Do you not want to pay taxes at all?

TaxPayer

August 20th, 2012
9:18 am

Are mama says and the knuckle dragger the parents of that Todd Akin fella.

kayaker 71

August 20th, 2012
9:19 am

My, how time changes things. Twenty years ago, Randy Weaver was shot and members of his family killed, including his wife, when reports of him selling two sawed off shotguns illegally surfaced. Now we have an Attorney General who gives guns away to drug cartels, resulting in the killing of hundreds of Mexican civilians and at least one border agent, while covering up the facts to the case with Executive Order protection.

zeke

August 20th, 2012
9:20 am

jay, you really think facts matter to tea party and republicans…..they are a combination of greedy and religious zealots…..

TaxPayer

August 20th, 2012
9:21 am

Do you not want to pay taxes at all?

Now you’re getting somewhere.

Soothsayer

August 20th, 2012
9:22 am

kayaker: you and every single person should be filing an annual PT-50R where you tell the county what your home is worth and not vice versa.

Simply put PT-50R in your search engine and download it. It is form you can fill out on the screen and print or print and fill out in longhand.

The information you need to fill out the form can be found on last years property tax bill.

To find out what your home may be worth go to http://www.zillow.com.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:22 am

“As a conservative, I’m not as concerned with the tax rate as I am with the fact that the tax rate is not tied to the spending rate. When politicians can routinely spend more money without coming up with a way to pay for it, we get the mess we are in now. Right now we are taxed at a ground beef rate but living a lobster life style.

Misty, I agree with a lot of that. But who’s to blame for it? Who has cut taxes over and over again, without doing the hard work of cutting government? Who has instead INCREASED government by such things as Medicare Part D and getting us involved in two long wars, one that was entirely optional?

I think this is a fundamental conservative miscalculation. They have made government falsely cheap, and you know what happens when people don’t have to pay the full price for something? They demand even more of it.

TaxPayer

August 20th, 2012
9:22 am

kayaker71 is being hard on GW again.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

August 20th, 2012
9:23 am

Misty Fyed

August 20th, 2012
9:14 am
As a conservative, I’m not as concerned with the tax rate as I am with the fact that the tax rate is not tied to the spending rate. When politicians can routinely spend more money without coming up with a way to pay for it, we get the mess we are in now.

basically correct, but way too late to have been of any real use. if you (or “yours”) had led that charge in 2002 or 3 or 4 or 5…..you
might have had some credibility.

Right now we are taxed at a ground beef rate but living a lobster life style.

i assume you are speaking for yourself…..as you certainly aren’t speaking for me or the folks who are lucky to get ground beef

I’d love to see a balanced budget amendment. Of course there will be exceptions to it but when citizens have to pay for the services they want, they may be a little more judicious in the programs they support.

balanced budget amendment with exceptions….sounds like pork paradise

RB from Gwinnett

August 20th, 2012
9:29 am

And here’s the lie Jay keeps wanting to skip over. While the percent of GDP taxes represent may not be changing, the percentage of the population footing that bill has. It’s now close to half and all indications are the dems want that trend to continue until only the “wealthy” are paying the entire bill.

The other lie is the percentage of the tax revenue that essentially equals wealth redistribution vs spending on infrastructure, defense, etc.

My property taxes keep going up too, jay. Fees at every government agency are going up. Governments everywhere are scheming every day to find new revenue sources in their thirst for the people’s money as if that’s their purpose for being.

Generation$crewed

August 20th, 2012
9:29 am

So taxes have basically remained the same as a percentage of GDP!!!

But spending has not remained the same seems to be higher, especially entitlement spending.

Yep Bookman your right it’s conservatives faults cause we all know gown they are the knights for entitlements.

Oh right democrats want to engage spending cuts and tax increases.

Could you point me to the specific cuts dens or more specifically President Obama is proposing to cut spending?

If there is no plan to cut spending do the dens intend to be honest and tell everyone their taxes will need to go up to keep paying for all of their pet programs?

Welcome to the Occupation

August 20th, 2012
9:31 am

Jay: “– As a share of GDP, taxes on corporations have fallen to less than half of what they were back in the 1950s”

Note also that due to existence of this now radically globalized economy, a great many companies – not all certainly, but a great many – now enjoy almost a total lack of restrictions on capital flow, meaning that they can earn money here in the US, then move that money to tax havens abroad and essentially avoid paying taxes on it. One way they now enjoy essential IMMUNITY FROM TAXATION now which was unheard of say 40 yrs ago.

kayaker 71

August 20th, 2012
9:32 am

Soothsayer,

Zillow is pretty far off base. I don’t think that I would use it to get a fair estimate of property values or of statistics regarding residential property. At least, it doesn’t fit mine very well.

Not Blind

August 20th, 2012
9:33 am

Knuckledragger nailed it. GDP has been rising while wages have been stagnant if not falling. Technology has eliminated many jobs. This increases productivity which is great for the GDP but terrible for the worker paying the taxes. It is plain foolishness to say that most taxpayers are not paying more taxes now than in the past. The use of cherry picked statistics and “…standard measures…” as a smoke screen for failed policies is intellectually dishonest.

Simple Truths

August 20th, 2012
9:34 am

Jay supporting higher taxes for everyone? Say it isn’t so…

Mama Says

August 20th, 2012
9:34 am

Ok Jay I will try it once more.

1st of all you applied your own thoughts as to what conservative motivations are and then argued against your thoughts.

Second. Several weeks ago you blogged that salaries are stagnant and have been for 30 years.

Now you are saying that taxes are the same and have been for 50 years.

You say all this with no account for inflation and its relationship to the GDP.

A dollar buys less today than it did 30 or 50 years ago right ?

then if taxes are the same rates now as they were 50 years ago and as you say salaries have not increased, then the fact is that the government is taking more of the INDIVIDUALS money than they use to. While your figures only talk of rates past and present you have no mention of the larger inpact inflation has on the individuals net salary.

example would be 30 years ago it took 1 out of 10 tax dollars to fund a program, today it takes 4 out of 10 to fund the program and deliver the same benefit.

If salaries are stagnant then you have to be impacting individuals more today than you did yesterday, right ? since it takes more dollars for the individual to live in todays world and you have not decreased what you take from them.

understand now ?

Paul

August 20th, 2012
9:34 am

Vast Right Wing

“. In an average year, I provide the government with somewhere between 50% and 60% of my income”

I’m skeptical Could you break it down, no numbers, just percentages, as in “Gross Income Reported: X. Adjusted gross income: .7X. Of AGI, fed tax .15X.

Or in you case, apparently, fed tax as a percent of AGI: .4X?

George P. Burdell

August 20th, 2012
9:35 am

Similar charts with 2011 included are available and they show that government revenues have already rebounded to as high a level as we have ever seen historically. We still have a huge deficit and the scary trend to me is that when government reveues get to a certain height, we inevitably have an economic slowdown that follows. If that holds true, we are right on the cusp of another economic slowdown. I’m sure your personal view on who is responsible for the coming slowdown will have a lot to do with who wins in November so no matter your political leanings, go ahead and start working on your arguments for that eventuality.

MiltonMan

August 20th, 2012
9:35 am

…and defense spending is the same, in terms of GDP, but you libs keep harking about a bloated defense budget that needs to be cut.

TaxPayer

August 20th, 2012
9:35 am

I remember at one time hearing Republicans talk about how they were not against taxes. They just wanted local control. :lol:

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 20th, 2012
9:36 am

My property tax bill 4 yrs ago was about 1600/yr.

1600? per year? really?

And instead of being glad that you were able to avoid paying the freight for all those years in the past, you’re whining about why you have to pay it now.

Typical.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

August 20th, 2012
9:36 am

It’s a race for the neocons. That’s what it is.

Can they dumb down the education system fast enough? (with private
for profit jaysus-rode-the-dinosaur bible schools)

Fast enough that the chiddren don’t figure out the whole neocon house
of cards is a Big Lie.

I have faith in the children. They’re gonna figure it out.
And the con house of cards will come tumbling down.
We’re very close to this time – right now.

Chris Sanchez

August 20th, 2012
9:38 am

Jay:

How about a little intellectual honesty? BOTH political parties have increased the size of government while paying lip service to wanting a smaller government. Remember Mr. Obama stating “I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less…” August 28, 2008? No?

Both parties are to blame for the mess our federal government has created. Thankfully, the states must have balanced budgets or it would be just as bad at the state level. Here in Georgia, some may not like the tough decisions that our political leaders have made but they have made those decisions and our budget is balanced.

Before anything in Washington DC will get fixed, the people “We the People” send there must change. I for one would like to see term limits enacted. Nothing will change until the people are changed!

Not Blind

August 20th, 2012
9:39 am

Kayaker, there is an appeal process. Some counties though won’t budge hardly at all even if they know there are valuation errors. I live in Gwinnett where fortunately the county assessor administration has a policy of fairness. Nonetheless, it’s up to the property owner to initiate and follow through on the appeals process. If you or none of your neighbors do this then the county doesn’t feel obligated to look out for your interests.

Gordon

August 20th, 2012
9:40 am

“A gradual return to the Clinton-era tax rates — not just for the wealthy, but for everybody — would allow us once again to reclaim control of our national finances. (And yes, at this point significant pending cuts will be required as well.)”

I generally agree with what you wrote, except for the above. This makes it sound like the bulk of the work will be done by tax increases. The reality is the bulk of the work must be done by entitlement reform.

Here’s what I predict will happen: Eventually there will be compromise and there will be tax increases and entitlement reforms. After a relatively short time, the media and mostly Democratic politicians will highlight instances where entitlement reform has hurt someone. Rather than make sensible adjustments, the entitlement reforms will be rolled back, but the tax increases will remain. The tax increases will not nearly be enough to cover the entitlements, and calls will be made for more tax increases. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tax increases should be tied legislatively to entitlement reform, and the proportion is not nearly 1 to 1 because it can’t be. Roll one back, they both get rolled back.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:41 am

Salaries are stagnant after accounting for inflation, Mama. That’s where your string of logic falls apart, right at the beginning.

Furthermore, using taxes as percentage of GDP as the measure removes inflation as a factor, since both the numerator and denominator — taxes and GDP — are affected equally by it. They are both figured in the same dollars.

… “example would be 30 years ago it took 1 out of 10 tax dollars to fund a program, today it takes 4 out of 10 to fund the program and deliver the same benefit.”

Example of how you are wrong, you mean. Fifty years ago, it took basically 25 cents out of every dollar to fund government. Today, it takes basically 25 cents out of every dollar to fund government. That’s the whole message of that chart.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 20th, 2012
9:41 am

So, 20 years since Ruby Ridge. Thanks, resident righties, for reminding me of the milestone.

So any of your buddies got a Ryder truck rented to commemorate this one?

ragnar danneskjold

August 20th, 2012
9:41 am

The “Big Lie” is that conservatives want taxes cut. While that would have a beneficial effect, the level of taxes is not the reason the Obama-conomy is in the dumps. Rather it is the exponential explosion of Federal spending and over-regulation of the economy. Taxes are too high, but the adverse change over the past five years has been in the level of government spending and regulation.

If a leftist is honest, that economic truth is painfully obvious. Either regulators are effective or they are not. If they are not effective, the spending is a pure waste. However, if they are effective in preventing behaviors the overlords deem undesirable, their regulation inevitably constrains the innocent as well as the evil – through costs and manpower dedicated to “compliance.”

The solution to the foolishness is not so distasteful as leftists imagine. Certainly the level of spending for regulation needs to be cut back sharply. However that diminishment of the government need not leave the idiots exposed to the sharpies. Ragnar’s simple rules for intelligent regulation:

(1) Do not prevent evil; punish it. Do not spend tons of money on policemen to invade the business place. When an evil act arises, punish it. Thus one would eliminate EPA environmental impact statements, and would punish actual pollution. One would eliminate the FDA’s authority to prohibit drugs and products from entering the marketplace, but would enhance the FDA’s capacity to put people in jail for actual harm.

(2) Abolish the fine. Fines allow miscreants to evade the law, to simply pay money for the right to occasionally break the law. Fines benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Diminishing the capital base by feeding money to government is the problem, not the solution. The only appropriate penalty for law-breaking is incarceration.

(3) Rethink the purpose of agencies. EPA and FDA have much expertise to offer the public and industry, but their primary efforts revolve around telling businesses how they have to run the company, substituting the bureaucrats’s biases for the entrepreneur’s market sense. Why should EPA have “authority” at all – it should be reconstituted along the lines of the FBI crime labs, as a resource for state governments. Similarly FDA ought not be keeping drugs from coming to market – rather it should have the power to “accept” the beneficial effects of drugs and devices and to insulate same – on a case-by-case basis – from any litigation.

The government need not be the enemy of the economy. Except when leftists are in charge.

(2) Do not

kayaker 71

August 20th, 2012
9:41 am

stands for decibels, 9:36,

Nope. Only pointing out the fallacy in Bookman’s piece, nothing more. And if the lions share of my property taxes goes for paying for Bibb county education, and Bibb county has a 51% high school graduation rate, I’m not getting much for my buck.

Thomas Heyward Jr

August 20th, 2012
9:43 am

Comes now the Good Keynesian.
.
He ignores the most insidious TAX of all.
The planned devaluation of one’s currency.
.
That’s is why “GNP” figures are tossed around………to hide this fact.
.
lol

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 20th, 2012
9:45 am

Only pointing out the fallacy in Bookman’s piece, nothing more.

I really don’t think a sample size of one (1) disproves any “fallacy” concerning the nation’s overall tax burdens as a percentage of GDP.

Soothsayer

August 20th, 2012
9:45 am

“Zillow is pretty far off base. I don’t think that I would use it to get a fair estimate of property values or of statistics regarding residential property. At least, it doesn’t fit mine very well.”

Not sure what you mean by that.

The county bases is assessment of your property on sales (of property similar to yours) in the previous year.

If you play around with zillow you can find sales for the previous year in your entire county. This is what you want to use for your “return” value on the PT-50R. It is important that these sales be homes similar to yours, i.e., square footage, lot size, etc.

Most of you are getting royally screwed on your county property tax bills. That is, the value the county assigns to your house is far higher than what it should be.

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:45 am

“It is plain foolishness to say that most taxpayers are not paying more taxes now than in the past.

No, it is not. It is plain fact.

For example, here’s the effective total federal tax rate as a share of income. According to the most recent numbers available, every single income group is paying LESS of their income in federal taxes than they were in 1979.

Every single one, from poor to rich.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=456

stands for decibels (SfBA)

August 20th, 2012
9:45 am

The planned devaluation of one’s currency.

Is this before or after the “planned” grabbin’ of all yer gunz?

independent thinker

August 20th, 2012
9:46 am

CAN SOMEONE ON THE RIGHT WING SIDE TELL ME WHAT GROVER NORQUIST DOES FOR A LIVING? why do the GOP sheep in Congress worship him? Has he created any jobs?

Jay

August 20th, 2012
9:46 am

“The “Big Lie” is that conservatives want taxes cut.

Wow. I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

Not Blind

August 20th, 2012
9:47 am

Jay, I didn’t say JUST FEDERAL TAXES. I said “taxes”.

barking frog

August 20th, 2012
9:47 am

Kayaker71
“And if the
lions share of my property
taxes goes for paying for
Bibb county education, and
Bibb county has a 51% high
school graduation rate, I’m
not getting much for my
buck.”
………
that would depend on how
well educated the dropouts
are.

Doggone/GA

August 20th, 2012
9:47 am

“The reality is the bulk of the work must be done by entitlement reform.”

Before you state that so positively, I’d suggest you check out the percentage of government spending that is “entitlements” You might be surprised at how low it is, especially when compare to the DOD.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

August 20th, 2012
9:48 am

Well, I’m with Raghead. I say if a business pollutes the water so when we drink it we get killed we need to punish that business. Course, we’ll still be dead but at least we can strike back from the grave.

That’s my opinion—and Raghead’s—and it’s very true. Have a good Monday everybody.

Aquagirl

August 20th, 2012
9:49 am

Only pointing out the fallacy in Bookman’s piece, nothing more.

In other words, who cares what’s happening outside of YOUR tax bill? If you think your taxes are going up, that’s all that matters.

Perfect encapsulation of the Tea Potty type. Screw what’s happening with anyone else. If it ain’t happening in your bubble….it ain’t happening.

Not Blind

August 20th, 2012
9:49 am

This also does nothing to address that the tax revenues don’t come anywhere near to covering the expenditures.