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Tilting at Windmills

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September 21, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY THE BUFFOON....Rudy Giuliani told a crowd today that he'd like to lower taxes on the rich by eliminating the AMT, but that the only fair way to do this is if we also lower taxes on the rich by making the Bush tax cuts permanent:

Giuliani told the 700-member audience of the Northern Virginia Technology Council that he wants to cap the tax, and perhaps eventually eliminate it altogether.

"Over time we can figure out how to eliminate it....If we were going to eliminate it, though, we'd have to balance it with additional tax cuts," Giuliani said, leaving confused expressions on his audience. "That might be by making the Bush tax cuts permanent."

Even a local Democrat who heard the speech was willing to give Rudy the benefit of the doubt on this: "I do think he may have misspoke," said Gerry Connolly, the chairman of Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors.

Please. Just for once, can we hold this guy responsible for what he says? Sure, he misspoke, but he misspoke because he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about and blurted out the first thing that came to mind: namely that reducing taxes is the answer to every question. Nobody with even the vaguest idea of what it meant to eliminate the AMT would say that it had to be balanced by reducing other taxes.

Remember when George Bush wasn't able to name the president of Pakistan back in the 2000 campaign? Everyone laughed it off. But this isn't a game of gotcha. Nobody forces Rudy to say this stuff. He just flatly doesn't know what he's talking about. He's a buffoon. It's time for the press corps to take notice and quit giving him a pass on this stuff.

Kevin Drum 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (115)

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Comments

reducing taxes is the answer to every question.

every second question you mean, alternating with "9/11."

Posted by: benjoya on September 21, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"It's time for the press corps to take notice and quit giving him a pass."

Better watch it, Kevin. Anymore posts like this and Bob Somerby's going to take you to the woodshed again.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on September 21, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Leaving confused expressions on his audience," while atrocious English, is reporter-ese for "I didn't get it, either." Maybe they're ready to stop giving him that pass.

Posted by: Martin on September 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jose: Bob and I have different goals in life.....

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, he was mayor of NYC on 9/11.

What could be more of a qualification to be President?

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on September 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

'Unthinking' is the accurate way to describe Rudy-- Unfortunately, a lot of folks find this appealing.

Posted by: MattF on September 21, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Most American voters connect best with candidates who don't know shit. It will be far less damaging to Giuliani than knowing a lot was to Kerry or Gore.

Posted by: chance on September 21, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gore/Edwards 08,

That is very close to Swiftboating - Remember you are talking about someone who is in the top four or five best known Americans in the Whole Wide Wonderful World - Right after Ernest

Posted by: Howard Kurtz's Lackey on September 21, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

But..but..John Edwards paid $400 for a haircut!

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave on September 21, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

nobody with even the vaguest idea of what it meant to eliminate the AMT would say that it had to be balanced by reducing other taxes.

Nonsense Kevin. All conservatives are saying is that lowering taxes might raise revenues because, as President Bush pointed out, lowering taxes raised revenues in the Bush Administration.

online.wsj.com/article/SB116778526385965459.html

"It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we've done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule."

Posted by: Al on September 21, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've always found it amazing how perfectly intelligent people who almost always vote Republican are willing to give these idiots a pass--or bend over backwards to make excuses for them.

Posted by: Ringo on September 21, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
namely that reducing taxes is the answer to every question.

More specifically, reducing taxes on the rich is the answer to every question; both the tax cuts he want to extend and the new tax cuts he proposes are tilted toward the rich. Its important not to lose sight of the distributional slant of his nonsense policy proposals; there is method in his madness. You get this right at the beginning, but then when you get to the part about point out the consistency of his approach, you drop the "on the rich" part that is so central.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ladies and gentlemen. I present to you our President for 2009-2016, Rudy Giuliani.

Posted by: gregor on September 21, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe one day he'll achieve the status of being a blogger for a magazine that no one reads. You know, instead of the guy who cleaned up NYC from the Dinkins mess, prosecuted John Gotti & won re-election as mayor until he was term-limited out.

The peanut section is calling...they're saying you're beneath them.

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Amen, Kevin. I would think that after eight years of the most profoundly stupid and disengaged man in the Oval Office, you would think American of every political stripe, would be yearning for someone with honesty, integrity and intelligence. John Edwards, for example, or even Chuck Hagel, from the other side of the aisle.

Anyone who supports Rudolf Giuliani for president, obviously places party loyalty above the good of this country and should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 21, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, but cutting taxes is the answer to every question, regarding the buying of votes.

Posted by: bigTom on September 21, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

He's a buffoon. It's time for the press corps to take notice and quit giving him a pass.

That's funny, Kevin, because you know perfectly well that it will never happen. He's a Republican; he's protected because he is a regular guy who doesn't try to be smarter than the reporters.

He's America's mayor, not a calculating bitch or an inexperienced naif or a rich guy phony. The narratives are already set.

Posted by: TJM on September 21, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

For those of you who live in Red State America and make less that about $100,000 the ATM Kevin is talking about is the Alternative Minimum Tax which is imposed on rich people to make sure they pay something. It hits people who live in Blue States like New York and California harder than people who live in most Red States because of the way it treats state and local taxes and the fact that middle class Blue State people make more money than us in the Republican promised land of Red State America. Eliminating the ATM is in itself a tax reduction for lots and lots of folks, especially middle class folks who live in Blue States. You don't offset one tax reduction with another tax reduction.

It is entirely possible that a guy like Rudy has never encountered ATM. Oh, I forgot Rudy makes serious jack and he lives in New York (a rich Blue State,) never mind.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 21, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

"The peanut section is calling...they're saying you're beneath them."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!!! SNAP!!!!

When Kevin Drum runs for President, we can review his inadequacies for the position. Until then, it's the people who are actually running who probably deserve the greatest scrutiny, yes?

"Rudy is a more qualified executive than a blogger" is not, repeat, NOT, a good enough justification to make him the President of anything.

I'm ignoring the fact that it may not even be true in the first place.

Posted by: Rudy's Secret Wife on September 21, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy made some very asinine -not to mention incorrect, comments to PM Gordon Browne (he requested a visit with the PM) regarding the poor state of British health care compared to the American system.

Posted by: brian on September 21, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we can get another interview with Bill Burkett to give us more detail on the matter...

Until then, the premise is little different than a fat slob yelling from his armchair that Shaquille O'Neal is a bum since he missed a free-throw. All those championship rings aside, at least he made the NBA.

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

If they would only reduce taxes to zero, the government would be floating in money!

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't want to sound like a broken record but my job is to help corporations reduce their taxes. If we got rid of AMT then I would have a lot more business because I wouldn't have to worry about reducing taxes so much that the corporation would just pay them back in increased AMT.

The rules for individuals are different but a lot of the ideas are the same.

If you got rid of AMT then you would have s stampede into tax shelters to reduce regular taxable income or, by using credits, the tax due on any amount of income to $0.

As the greatest President ever said "Bring em on!"


Did I say 'greatest'? I was just checking if anyone was really reading this.

Posted by: neil wilson on September 21, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think we should balance the damage the Bush WH did manipulating the fed. govt. to further Republican political machinations, by lowering laxes on the poor and middle class and raising them on corporations.

Posted by: Swan on September 21, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe one day he'll achieve the status of being a blogger for a magazine that no one reads.

said the loser who comes to the forum for the magazine that "no one reads" in order to get some attention.

Posted by: haha on September 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Until then, the premise is little different than a fat slob yelling from his armchair that Shaquille O'Neal is a bum since he missed a free-throw.

we'll take it you never criticize an elected Democrat then, right? right?

Posted by: haha on September 21, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

He's a buffoon. It's time for the press corps to take notice and quit giving him a pass on this stuff. —Kevin Drum

Kevin,

I think you make too much of what the press does and doesn't pay attention to regarding Rudy. The fact of the matter is he doesn't have even an outside chance of getting the Republican nomination, so why sweat what he does or says? Actually, you ought to hope that he's willing to ride his doomed effort straight into the ground. Anything that might draw further attention to what a collection of complete losers the Right is running this time only helps the Dems.

Posted by: JeffII on September 21, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you ignorant slut.

All conservatives are saying is that lowering taxes might raise revenues

Might? We're supposed to hedge our bets on "maybe"? And incidentally, Alan Greenspan is one conservative who does not agree with the logic behind the Bush tax cuts.

as President Bush pointed out, lowering taxes raised revenues in the Bush Administration.

I'm convinced. Bush pats himself on the back for a job well done based on little empirical evidence? Maybe that bulshit convinces you, but I'm not buying.

The only revenue increase seen in this country over the last six years has been for the extreme wealthy and corporations. The middle class growth is essentially flat, and voodoo economics isn't going to put money in their pockets anytime soon.

You and Roody are in good company with your crackpot theories of economics .

Posted by: John S. on September 21, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

namely that reducing taxes is the answer to every question.

More specifically, reducing taxes on the rich is the answer to every question; . . . Posted by: cmdicely

The rich? They don't really pay taxes.

A painful full disclosure moment here: My wife's job is to help people with too much money (generally net assets of $10M +) figure out how to avoid paying taxes. The simple fact of the matter is that most large corporations and wealthy individuals/households don't come close to paying even the now much lower tax rates.

Posted by: JeffII on September 21, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Spokeswoman Insists He did NOT mispeak:

But a Giuliani spokeswoman said later that Giuliani meant what he said — tax cuts could replace the lost revenue from the AMT by boosting the overall economy.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ie0AXT5wT2MAtnVwJEOoBbjCeEBA

Of course its pure fantasy.

Posted by: Catch22 on September 21, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK
The rich? They don't really pay taxes.

Well, that's often true, too, but avoiding taxes can expensive (though not as much as paying them would be, or it wouldn't get done) so cutting the nominal taxes on the rich still puts even more money in their pockets.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

"reducing taxes is the answer to every question.

every second question you mean, alternating with "9/11."

so right.

I'm waiting for him to say "9/11 proved we need to cut more taxes."

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Query - Can one even say 9/11 without paying some sort of licensing fee or royalty directly to Rudy?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 21, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The AMT also tops out so that the super-rich actually pay less under the AMT than under the regular tax system. (I forget just exactly how this works, but it has something to do with the top marginal rates.)

So, Rudy is correct, according to his "soak the rich -- with money" philosphy. If the AMT were eliminated, the super rich could end up paying more income tax. So there tax rate WOULD have to be reduced, or they'd get pissed off and fire Rudy.

Posted by: Unremembered personal info on September 21, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

It should be obvious that a Democrat will NOT win the WH this year. The MSM can't control what happend at state levels but they can greatly impact a prez race and so far, only democrats are being scrutinized.

Take it to the bank people. Rudi or Mitty will win the election. End of story.

Posted by: bob on September 21, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson announced today that if he is elected president, it will be ok by him if every male in America fantasizes about having sex with his wife. (per Drudge)

Posted by: lampwick on September 21, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Next, Rudy will suggest that in order to balance our trade deficit we need to import more goods and services.

Posted by: Nemo on September 21, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Bush taxcuts expire (sunset) in 2010. I assume Giuliani meant to make the EXPIRED cuts permanent, so that they couldn't be cut again after 2010.

Or something.

Posted by: M. Peachbush on September 21, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

--Nonsense Kevin. All conservatives are saying is that lowering taxes might raise revenues because, as President Bush pointed out, lowering taxes raised revenues in the Bush Administration.

online.wsj.com/article/SB116778526385965459.html

--"It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we've done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule."
Posted by: Al on September 21, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

________________________________

Wrong. tax revenues fell for three years in a row after Bush took office. They fell. After his tax cuts. Revenues fell for three years in a row. Conservatives have a bad habit of ignoring those first three years, and concentrate solely on the eventual rebound. Tax cuts do NOT increase revenues. By definition. They can't possibly do that at the rates in play over the last couple of decades. They can only create shortfalls. Which is why every single time we see "trickle down economics", or voodoo economics, as Bush Sr. called it, we ALSO see record deficits.

Record deficits. If tax cuts did what conservatives claim they do, we would see budget surpluses, not record deficits.

Our economy almost always grows. That's been it's history. Without tax cuts, it grows. With tax cuts it grows. If the government does nothing, it grows. With some exceptions. And, because it grows, almost without pause, revenues SHOULD grow as well. By definition. Every year should see "record revenue growth". Every year should be better than the previous year.

However, BECAUSE Bush cut taxes, and cut them during a time of war, America saw three years in a row of revenue REDUCTIONS. It wasn't until 2005 that revenues FINALLY exceeded 2000 levels. And that's another record.

Tax cuts don't increase revenue to the Treasury, and they don't help the economy on their own. Deficit spending, massive borrowing (caused by tax cuts), normal increases in government spending, and population increases all contribute to expansion.

And, again, expansion in the U.S. economy is the norm. Lack of expansion is rare.

Tax cuts are NOT necessary for growth. At all. That rich people lie about this issue and foist this garbage on a gullible populace is obvious. The amazing thing is when those who aren't rich buy into the lies.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 21, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

cuchulain,
Where did you send your Bush tax cut check, the IRS or the US Treasury? You didn't KEEP it, did you?

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

" The amazing thing is when those who aren't rich buy into the lies."

There is a substantial overlap of these two groups of people: those who believe that tax cuts always increase revenue, and those who believe in "Creationism." Both views are nothing less than theologies, and the adherents are thoroughly resistant to contrary factual evidence. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Posted by: bluestatedon on September 21, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Manhattan Mussolini also said today that MoveOn.org's leadership should be arrested and imprisoned.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 21, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see dear little RW is back with his fact-free rants. RW, dear, where cuchulain put his income tax refund, assuming that he got one, is entirely irrelevant to this discussion. Do feel free to come back when you're ready to address the substance of cuchulain's remarks, won't you?

Posted by: PaulB on September 21, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

But a Giuliani spokeswoman said later that Giuliani meant what he said — tax cuts could replace the lost revenue from the AMT by boosting the overall economy.

That is some brilliant mumbo jumbo there.

A naif might be tempted to follow-up with why cutting the AMT doesn't pay for itself, and requires yet another tax cut in order to break even, and if that other tax cut has such a higher ROI, why not keep the AMT and just go with the other cut?

Oh gawd, you know, I really did believe that in Nov 92 we had seen the last of supply-side stupidity. I really did. But then I predicted the inet, telecom, and housing bubbles would burst five yrs before they actually did, so my track record with estimating the stupidity of the USAmerican public ain't so good.

From now on, I'm going long on stupid.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

John S.: You and Roody are in good company with your crackpot theories of economics.

Thanks for bitch-slapping Al, though I don't think it will take. I might re-write the above as: You and Roody have lots of company with your crackpot theories of economics." There's nothing "good" about the company Al keeps.

Posted by: bigcat on September 21, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

bob: "Take it to the bank people. Rudi or Mitty will win the election. End of story."

Thank you so much for your wonderful display of confidence in your own side. It was simultaneously inspirational and motivating.

Now, isn't there some Three's Company or Golden Girls marathon on cable TV that you can go and watch? That would be a far more productive use of your time, rather than dispensing your mirth and good cheer to the Washington Monthly's online community.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 21, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK
Wrong. tax revenues fell for three years in a row after Bush took office. They fell. After his tax cuts. Revenues fell for three years in a row.


And, before someone squawks about the recession, the recession ended in late 2001, and revenues kept falling for another two years.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Tax revenues fell in Bush's first years because:

a) The rush for Roth IRA conversions fell. In 1997, Clinton signed the Roth IRA legislation and this allowed folks to convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRA by paying income taxes immediately (over 4 years if converted before 1999).

b) The internet bubble and Nasdaq stocks going up 20+% year after year popped in 2000. This showed up in tax returns filed April 15th, 2001 as people reported their massive losses in 2000.

Rudy should've paraphrased Hillary's comments about how her health care boondoggle was going to be paid for.

"We're going to make up the revenue from eliminating the AMT by improving efficiencies."

LMAO.

Posted by: muckdog on September 21, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, Gerry Connolly the craptacular chairman in Fairfax County -- he never met a developer he didn't like and hates, hates bloggers and the netroots. The only reason Connolly won the election was the fact that he was running against a wingnut book burner in 2003. Gerry's gonna win this time too 'cause the GOP candidate is totally out of step with Fairfax voters. Jeez, I hope somebody competent and not so bought steps up to the plate in 2011.

Posted by: HokieAnnie on September 21, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

neither of which gets us past 2001 to 2003.

nice try though, mucked up.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

RW,

Do you believe that tax cuts increase revenue to the Treasury? As in net revenue. Do you think that tax cuts, in and of themselves, provide economic stimulus?

Try this hypothetical. What would happen if the government cut SPENDING, dollar for dollar with tax CUTS?

Think it through.

It's never been done, which is why it has to be a hypothetical at this point.

If the government sends out X amount of dollars with one hand, but cuts spending by the same amount, we have a wash. There is no economic stimulus due to the tax cuts. None. Zero. Zilch. Government spending in this economy has the same stimulus effect as tax cuts. Actually, depending upon the spending target, it can be a greater stimulus.

The only way tax cuts can be included among the things that can create stimulus to X degree, is because government never cuts spending, dollar for dollar, with those tax cuts. Which then brings us deficits, deficit spending, and massive borrowing.

Bush's tax cuts forced the government to borrow more than three trillion dollars, mostly from China and India. If anyone thinks that an EXTRA three trillion of BORROWED money doesn't impact this economy, they're in major denial.

So, in effect, Bush gave us record deficits, record Debt, a war without end, and dumped (paying for) it all on future generations. And after all is said and done, it looks like the economy is heading toward recession.

Bottom line: the rich got richer. The poor got poorer. The middle stagnated or lost ground. Bush and his cronies made out like bandits. Which is what they are.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 21, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

"A naif might be tempted to follow-up with why cutting the AMT doesn't pay for itself, and requires yet another tax cut in order to break even, and if that other tax cut has such a higher ROI, why not keep the AMT and just go with the other cut?"

Heh, good point!

It's not even self consistent given a set of bad assumptions like most right wing economics.

A new height in the stupidity of tax cutting rhetoric?

Posted by: jefff on September 21, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK
If the government sends out X amount of dollars with one hand, but cuts spending by the same amount, we have a wash.

That really depends on the distribution of both tax and spending cuts. It seems to me that government taxation and spending is almost by definition no net stimulus or drag on the economy before you consider distributional effects, since every dollar of spending is necessarily pulled out of the economy either through taxation or through borrowing, and every dollar pulled out of the economy through those means is spent.

To discuss stimulative or anti-stimulative effect, the amount spent, taxed, or borrowed isn't the main issue, how the money is spent and who it is taxed or borrowed from is important.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

A painful full disclosure moment here: My wife's job is to help people with too much money (generally net assets of $10M +) figure out how to avoid paying taxes.

Yuck.

It should be obvious that a Democrat will NOT win the WH this year.

That's a pretty safe bet. Most of us will be voting for president next year.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

The rich? They don't really pay taxes.

Huh? The rich pay most all of the taxes!

The Top 50% pay 96.54% of All Income Taxes

The Top 1% Pay More Than a Third: 34.27%

83.88% of all income taxes are paid by the top 25% of all income earners

Link.

Posted by: muckdog on September 21, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK
The rich pay most all of the taxes!

All taxes are not the same as income taxes, percentage of the latter doesn't imply percentage of the former.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Not that it needs to be pointed out yet again, but Kevin frequently forgets MSM Rule #1 for covering politics: Republicans get a pass on everything. This is why Giulliani can display astounding ignorance of basic economics and why Glenn Beck still has a TV show, but MoveOn gets pilloried for a newspaper ad. He could have come out in favor of reviving lynching and nobody would really take note.

Posted by: jonas on September 21, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Government spending is not "taken out of the economy". The current budget is three trillion. That's one fourth of our economy. It's never taken out of that pool. It circulates throughout the economy. Government workers spend their paychecks here, pay taxes here. Government contracts out for trillions to Americans firms which make money, spend money here, pay taxes here. And, lest someone remind us that we send money overseas as well . . . so do people who get tax cuts. The rich are not restricted by borders, at all, and the middle spends overseas on vacations, etc. etc. If anything, government directed spending has a better chance of going to projects here, for Americans, etc.

Plus, if the spending is targeted rationally, we gain permanent benefits. Work on infrastructure has far reaching implications for the health and well being of our economy, our quality of life, etc. Sending out tax cuts guarantees no such long last benefit.

And, no, I'm not suggesting that we give all of our money to the government. I'm just saying that it's long been a myth to say or suggest that our government some how deals in a parallel universe, wherein the money we send it is lost forever, goes down the drain, and never sees the light of day. In point of fact, it goes right back into the economy, has the proverbial ripple effect, creates wealth, jobs, tax revenues.

It's not taken out of the economy. It's one FOURTH of the economy.

That said . . . would I prefer lower taxes? Certainly. But I also want balanced budgets. The way to get there is to stop unnecessary wars, stop the expansion of the American empire, stop giving away tax dollars to fat cats and filthy rich corporations that do not need public largesse. The way to get to lower taxes is to ONLY spend public money for the public good. Which is just too obvious for words, but seems to escape all too many.

Spend public money for public good, not private good, not private bottom lines.

We can get to lower taxes that way. It's resource allocation, priorities, and common sense.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 21, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Muck dog,


As a percentage of total income, the rich pay far less than the middle or the lower middle. Far less. They have the resources to avoid a great deal of their taxation, and labor is taxed far more heavily than investments. Not to mention, FICA tax has a current ceiling of approximately 94K.

Those who make less than that are taxed on 100% of their income. The percentage goes down the more you make.

If you make 940K, your FICA tax is only dealing with 10% of your income. If you make 9.4 mil, you're taxed on 1%.

It's incredible that anyone would try to paint the rich as victims in this case. They have most of the money, and it's fair that they pay most of the taxes. But when it comes to a percentage of their incomes, the middle pays a higher one.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 21, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK
Government spending is not "taken out of the economy".

Taxing and borrowing is taken out of the economy.

Spending is put into the economy.

The latter category is exactly equal to the former, for no net transfer into or out of the (world) economy.

OTOH, there is definitely a net transfer between people in the world economy, and the effect of particular spending, taxing, and borrowing may be to transfer money into or out of the domestic economy, but you need to look at the details of the policy, not just those big numbers, to discern what is going on there. The aggregates are meaningless, its the details that matter.

(Monetary, rather than fiscal, policy puts money into and/or takes it out of the economy, but that's done by the Fed, and completely distinct from taxing, borrowing, and spending.)

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2007 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Rudy:
"That's one for you, one for me. Two for you, one, two for me. Three for you, one, two, three for me...."

Posted by: pbg on September 21, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

And in today's other news from the GAG Party (Guns And God), Saint John McCain told the Palmetto Family Council that he was "doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan."

Honest to gott. I heard it on All Things Considered just this afternoon.

Isn't there a bottom to this pit?

Posted by: Figbash on September 21, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

"doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan."

He meant that he is doing Lord Satan's work.

Posted by: Disputo on September 21, 2007 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

cuchulain,
Seriously, if your tax cut was so horrendous, you can send it back. They'll keep it. You DO want to avoid participating in that which you wish to be illegal, don't you?

Bottom line: the rich got richer. The poor got poorer. The middle stagnated or lost ground.

Yeah, I know. America sucks & what we really need are tax increases.

And who said you guys have no new ideas?

If you make 940K, your FICA tax is only dealing with 10% of your income. If you make 9.4 mil, you're taxed on 1%.

Yeah, that darn ceiling. We need to eliminate it so that Bill Gates gets eight-figure social security checks up on his retirement. Seriously, don't you guys ever think things through?

Do you believe that tax cuts increase revenue to the Treasury? As in net revenue. Do you think that tax cuts, in and of themselves, provide economic stimulus?

Loaded questions about a dynamic economy. Nice try.

Do you think that stores which run sales lose money verses items at their regular prices?

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

And in today's other news from the GAG Party (Guns And God), Saint John McCain told the Palmetto Family Council that he was "doing the Lord's work in the city of Satan."

Isn't there a bottom to this pit? Posted by: Figbash

Fucking embarrassing, innit? If a European politician said something like this people would either be stifling the urge to laugh out loud or, at the very least, trying to casually saunter away from the speaker.

Posted by: JeffII on September 21, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Do you believe that tax cuts increase revenue to the Treasury? As in net revenue. Do you think that tax cuts, in and of themselves, provide economic stimulus?

Loaded questions about a dynamic economy. Nice try.

No, dumbass, it's not a loaded question. The most dynamic economy (bubble or otherwise) we've seen in the last three decades occured during the last three years of the Clinton administration, tax rates were higher than today, economic activity was robust to say the least, and we we actually paying down the national debt. As opposed to the situation we have today - lower tax rates and the highest level if federal debt in history, and this began even before Shrub's war began.

Do you think that stores which run sales lose money verses items at their regular prices? Posted by: RW

Dumb question probably posed by someone who has never worked retail. Sales are designed primarily to break even on dead stock, initiated on the hope that people will buy non-sale merchandise at the same time.

Posted by: JeffII on September 21, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ya know, if tax receipts are up then there was no 'tax cut'but a tax shift. What Rudy is talking about is making the tax shift unto the R and L middle [not the 1%] and lower classes to pay for the 1% wars.

Posted by: Ya Know... on September 21, 2007 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, its nice to think of ones self as the 1% class, but the fact is most modern day conservatives simply do not fall into the soup they ladle. Just look at what this fiscal recklessness has cause in the markets. Even the investors have come to realize that the Republican oratory is false. Rudy, if he were smart would be preaching just the opposite of ehat he is today.

Posted by: Ya Know... on September 21, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK
….the guy who cleaned up NYC….RW at 1:07 PM
This Guy? The guy who constantly embroiled the city in lawsuits over his snits, the ones he lost and cost millions? Il Duce and his love shack?
….Where did you send your Bush tax cut check….RW at 4:33 PM
Deficits are future tax increases and no one in American history has created bigger deficits than George W. Bush.
Tax revenues fell in Bush's first years because: a) The rush for Roth IRA conversions fell…. b) The internet bubble…. popped in 2000…muckdog at 5:18 PM
Revenues fell because tax rates were reduced. Your analysis is as stupid here as it was on other sites you have infested. Posted by: Mike on September 21, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Er, dynamic means fluid (the opposite of "static"). You're not very bright, are you?

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

The guy who constantly embroiled the city in lawsuits over his snits

The guy who cleaned up the city after Dinkins left it in ruins. Even a good percentage of moonbats acknowledge this.

Deficits are future tax increases and no one in American history has created bigger deficits than George W. Bush.

I promise I'm not voting for him. Where did you send your tax cut check, by the way?

None of you guys are answering that question. c'mon, aren't you the fighting nutroots.

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

None of you guys are answering that question. c'mon, aren't you the fighting nutroots. -RW

Please, tax cuts do not create jobs, the GOP knew that, but thats the story they had to tell to sell them to the public, and the fool on the hill, the MAB guy, believed that.

"stick to principle' whispered Karl in his ear.

Posted by: Ya Know... on September 21, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Please, tax cuts do not create jobs,

Then I urge Democrats to run on a platform of raising taxes and explaining to the ignorant masses that more money in their pockets does not create jobs (they just hide it under their pillow.....I read it on the internet). That is, just after the congressional majority immediately cuts off funding for the war & gets our soldiers home by the end of the year.

So, did you send your tax cut to the IRS or the Treasury department, YK? Don't you cut and run like the rest......

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Where did you send your Bush tax cut check, the IRS or the US Treasury? You didn't KEEP it, did you?"

Well, we divvied up that blood money into three parts and sent checks to NARAL, GreenPeace, and Habitat for Humanity. Figured that was as close as we could get to compensating in some way for the damage done on our behalf.

Posted by: tharpold on September 21, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Where did you send your tax cut check, by the way?

I endorsed mine over to the United Negro College Fund and sent it to them. Later got a call from a student who'd received a scholarship it helped fund. Nice girl.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

I see tharpold handled his or her check similarly. Interesting thing is that now I donate the same amount every year to the UNCF, not counting contributions to other orgs, so I guess you could say that George Bush's appalling lack of education indirectly helped educate others.

His brain cells did not die in vain...his terrible mind has not been a total waste.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, humor and sarcasm and promises of donations to liberal causes, an old retort (again, who said you guys have no new ideas?).

Sorry, choosing what to do with your money is soooooo capitalistic (and, frankly, no different than deciding to use it towards purchasing an SUV). Funny, you don't want folks to decide on what to do with THEIR money....you want it to be illegal for THEM to have it.

Face it, either you sent it back or you can't walk the talk.

Posted by: RW on September 21, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

He's a buffon and we currently have??? Why am I getting worried? Oh...that's right Joe and Jane six pack hear tax cut and aside from bashing gays, that's their entire attention span.

Posted by: Ron Russell on September 21, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Scholarships are a "liberal cause"? Well, I suppose from your worldview, they probably are. After all, if people deserved to go to college, they'd have enough money to come up with the $20K or $30K a year without help.

Awfully telling comments there. Thanks for salivating when we rang the bell, Fido.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

The press gives him a pass because he's a scumpublican. Democrats never get passes from the press, only scumpublicans do. It's a habit the press picked up when Reagan got elected, and they've been doing it ever since.

Posted by: me on September 21, 2007 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Then I urge Democrats to run on a platform of raising taxes -RW

I did not say there was a tax cut, I said there was a tax shift, and it did not create jobs.

Nice try.

Posted by: Ya Know... on September 22, 2007 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

And so RW, with the increased tax receipts it means there was no tax cut. Besides that they are backloaded. Capice?

Now as far as tax cuts create jobs.
Jobs Report Shows First Decline in Four Years
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14232848
There were 4,000 fewer jobs in August, marking the first monthly decline in four years, the Labor Department said, confounding analysts who had forecast a moderate gain for the period.

Posted by: Ya Know... on September 22, 2007 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

RW,

You are the good, obedient little conservative, aren't you, forever ducking questions, forever throwing up straw men, false choices, and false dichotomies.

As a typical conservative, you want to suggest or state directly that our choices are keeping our money and spending it as we see fit, and having the government make that choice for us. As if conservatives don't tax anyone. As if under a conservative regime, people have more freedom to keep their money than under liberal administrations.

You're still being taxed. And the rate of taxation is marginally different for most Americans. Barely a difference when your boys are in charge, and when the other side of the aisle runs thing.

A big difference for the rich, true. But for most Americans, it's a hair's difference, and your side ALWAYS causes record deficits that mean tax INCREASES for the next generation.

Supply siders succeed in lowering rates for the wealthy, but the rest of us are pretty much not impacted. And, irony of ironies, supply siders ALWAYS outspend their opposition across the aisle, which is one of the truly great tricks (as in con-jobs) in American history. Meaning, supply siders enact deep tax cuts for the wealthy, increase spending dramatically, which requires massive borrowing, which means a huge shot of steroids (funny money) into the economy, so no one feels any pain, and too many think "the tax cuts did it". If we balanced budgets along with those massive tax cuts, people WOULD feel the pain and rebel.

The rich know this. Supply siders know this. So when they do that voodoo they do, they make doubly sure that government spending increases at a greater rate than it does under non-supply side administration, so people are fooled, blinded, distracted.

In reality, we have these choices:

1. Go the "conservative", supply side route, and watch this country go bankrupt, so that the rich can get richer and leave when it gets too hot. The vast majority of the country never gains any more "freedom to spend its money the way it sees fit", and future generations will be stuck with crushing tax burdens or face massive, draconian cuts in all sectors of government, included the essentials.

Or

2. Roll back the tax cuts for the rich, stop starting unnecessary trillion dollar wars, start investing in the American people, stop giving bennies and sweetheart deals to the already rich, start balancing the budget and stop kicking the can down the road for future generations.

RW, your crowd has failed, failed utterly. And it continues to lie about its failures. Any sane and rational person knows that, and they see through those lies. You're a fool if you think sane, rational people will keep buying into the lies you and your ilk peddle.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

And, the old "raising taxes" con.

Yeah, I'd raise 'em. But only on the wealthy. Since the vast majority of us aren't wealthy, the vast majority of us wouldn't have our taxes raised a penny.

I'd also blow open the ceiling on FICA. The additional revenue would be so incredibly huge, we could afford to REDUCE the rate of FICA taxation and STILL make sure the trust funds are solvent for hundreds of years. As in, the amount of untapped, untaxed wealth is astronomical. Lift the ceiling, and FICA rates could be dramatically reduced for everyone. You'd probably be able to bring in enough extra money to give small businesses a big break:

No more matching social security funds per employee. Which would be a nice incentive to hire more workers.

Make our taxes progressive. Make the rich pay their fair share, pay a fair percentage of their income, and we could actually REDUCE the tax burden on the middle, the poor, and small businesses.

Reprioritize our spending, spend public funds on the public, ONLY, stop expanding the American empire, pull in our horns, concentrate on improving the quality of life for all Americans, and kick voodoo economics out of DC for good.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Are you sure you should be saying these types of things about a future president during a time of war? Better criticize him while you can, he'll probably throw you in a secret prison if he's elected.

Posted by: ctb619 on September 22, 2007 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'd also blow open the ceiling on FICA. The additional revenue would be so incredibly huge, we could afford to REDUCE the rate of FICA taxation and STILL make sure the trust funds are solvent for hundreds of years.

No, sorry, not really that huge. Remember that we're talking payroll here, not income from all sources. The FICA tax currently reaches more than 83% of total payroll so the incremental benefit to the funds would be $100 billion/year at the most.

From the Social Security Trustees Report-2007(Our preliminary
estimate for 2006 is 83.2 percent.
)

spend public funds on the public

Approx. 40% of Federal expenditures are discretionary, the rest are mandates like Medicare and Social Security.

Make the rich pay their fair share, pay a fair percentage of their income
As the IRS Tax Stats show when combined with Census data, 40% of households in the US pay no income tax, in fact their tax rate is negative because of the EITC. That 40% pays payroll taxes but that amount is capped at the combined rates of FICA and Medicare for employees (7.65%).

If you want to argue that the rich should pay more of the tax burden, which opinion is fine and dandy, stop putting ammunition into the opposite sides arguments so blithely. Use the facts to craft a case and then make it. Otherwise, you're just flaming.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: TJM on September 22, 2007 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I'd raise 'em. But only on the wealthy.

Career dead-ender duly noted.
Perhaps wiser choices earlier in life would've enhanced your chances against wishing for the gov't to tax OTHERS (not you, you're different) in order to pay for the programs that YOU cannot provide for yourself.

In summation: you deposited your tax cut (don't feel bad about ducking the question, ALL OF YOU GUYS duck it.....it's embarrassing to be outed as such a hypocrite, isn't it?) and you want taxes on others raised. Wow, new ideas from the left arise every day, don't they?

No more matching social security funds per employee. Which would be a nice incentive to hire more workers.

Wow, you actually think that employers really pay matching funds, instead of passing along that cost & thus dropping the salary of the employee. You really ARE a career dead-ender, aren't you? No offense, but people with success realize this. Gov't workers and students often do not.

If you're THAT ignorant (what next, you think that businesses don't pass along taxes? Never mind, around this crowd, that's probably a popular view) I shall not waste my time further.

Posted by: RW on September 22, 2007 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

"Ah, humor and sarcasm and promises of donations to liberal causes, an old retort (again, who said you guys have no new ideas?)."

Actual donations to, as in our case, organizations pledged to protect women's freedom to control their own bodies, to repair the planet from the hapless depredations of those SUV'ers, and to build homes for families living in the street ("liberal causes" as you say... how far we have fallen toward the purest narcissism that these are no longer "common" causes) -- *actual* donations of monies to such groups are a more productive thing than longwinded, cynical promises of benefits from "tax cuts" -- i.e., borrowing from our children's future savings and any legacy they may have left. As others here have ably demonstrated, those benefits have *never* come, except for those already well-off.

"Sorry, choosing what to do with your money is soooooo capitalistic (and, frankly, no different than deciding to use it towards purchasing an SUV)."

The equation is laughable on its face. No one here has questioned that we do or should live under a capitalist system. (That could be a subject for another discussions.) But if you wish, as you seem to, to equate capitalism with conspicuous excess and braying self-indulgence, I'm not going to challenge you.

"Funny, you don't want folks to decide on what to do with THEIR money....you want it to be illegal for THEM to have it."

Illegality was never mentioned. But it's a handy term -- like "immorality" -- for people who can only throw up straw men in response to common sense arguments. The fundamental, obvious point is this: if we are to reconcile the economic principles of capitalism with republican democracy (little r, little d), *taxes are an essential tool of government.* Without them, you can't gather the funds to build or repair schools, roads, bridges, enforce laws, support even the most basic programs to protect and advance the health and well-being of citizens. etc.

The challenge is in deciding what is fair for each of us to pay toward the common good. There may be legitimate differences of opinion on that point, though we have long ago lost the thread of a reasoned argument in public discourse. Rudy's nonsensical comments are a plain demonstration of that.

Some portion of "your" and "my" money must be thought of as "our" money, or this whole house of cards will fall.

Posted by: tharpold on September 22, 2007 at 7:37 AM | PERMALINK

RW, aww, too bad he left b4 I could ask him why he gets a tax refund. Only the innumerate get refund checks and I was sure he didn't really pose that question since he would surely know that a refund check is merely the return of his own money. (Although why he loaned it to the government in the first place is beyond me.)

What RW doesn't seem to realize is that the Treasury Dept. treats refunds as a reduction in tax revenues not as an expenditure like, say, Social Security benefits or the EITC.

The next time some dope like RW poses some inane question that he got from, I don't know... Glenn Beck?...about what you did with your tax refund just point out that a refund is merely the return of the loan you made to the government. Surely RW wouldn't want the government to keep money it's not entitled to? That whole drowning in the bathtub shtick.

(By the way, he is right about the whole payroll tax thing. You all knew that, though, didn't you?)

Posted by: TJM on September 22, 2007 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

come on Al, you cut the deficit in half 3 years early then you planned?......you created the deficit, Bush inherited a huge surplus and pi553d it away

Posted by: Bill B on September 22, 2007 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe Rudy's brain has been affected by all the toxins he inhaled at Ground Zero.

Posted by: bob h on September 22, 2007 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

RW, aww, too bad he left b4 I could ask him why he gets a tax refund.

I'm not about to waste time rereading this thread, but I assumed on my first cursory scan that he was talking about the Bush tax "refund" of 2001.

Posted by: shortstop on September 22, 2007 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

"He's a buffoon. It's time for the press corps to take notice and quit giving him a pass on this stuff."

I don't believe the press corps can take notice because, in general, its members are mostly buffoons too.

Posted by: Bill on September 22, 2007 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy is not running for political office, He is running for the CULT OF PERSONALITY so making sense is not required. Not a buffoon; just out of place. Wrong guy & wrong country.

Posted by: theod on September 22, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

So, which land will become the new Ethiopia for Il Duce II?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 22, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

The media and the big time donor's on both sides seem to want a Hillary vs Guiliani campaign, no matter their qualifications. Rudy is totally lost in the debates, especially when Rep. Ron Paul is given the rare chance to speak (who is the only republican candidate with a sense of American political philosophy and history), his facial expressions remind me of a lost child. Hillary on the other hand has already been nominated for all intnets and purposes, bypassing the whole primary process. She has been annoited and given a pass by nearly every Dem that I know because of good ole' Bill and the romantic view of their time in the White House, (which does seem a lot better than Bush's but still marred by scandal {and not the Monica Scandal} and corruption of a high order). So myself, I am just going to sit back and place a few side bets, the biggest one... that it will be Clinton vs. Guiliani regardless of what happens in the coming months, and that Hill will get elected and we will have 24 years of Bush Clinton, Bush, Clinton, it sounds so awesome, so American. Personally, if I win that sidebet I will be writing in my local newspaper boy for President.

Posted by: Ben on September 22, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

RW,

Raising taxes on the rich is the right thing to do. But, nice try at throwing in the "jealousy meme". They've had a run of massive tax CUTS, whenever any supply sider idiot gains control of the system. It's fair to reverse those.

I'm talking about putting them back to where they were prior to the ill-timed, unprecedented Bush tax cuts.

Plus, as I mentioned, the rich have been escaping their tax burdens for decades. The more money you make, the more resources you have to put toward escaping that burden.

Plus, it's pure logic to ask the rich to pay more. THEY HAVE THE MONEY!! THEY CAN AFFORD IT!! Increasing the tax burden of the already poor or stagnant middle just increases their struggles and may well crush them. Increasing the tax burden on the already wealthy by a few percentages won't impact them in the slightest. And the overall health of the economy is impacted far more when the majority of people--those who AREN'T wealthy--can't afford to buy products and services. Asking the rich to pay a bit more in taxes won't hurt the economy in the slightest. Again, they, by definition, ALREADY have enough disposable income to make their usual purchases.

And, again, money sent to the Treasury comes back into the economy. It circulates and percolates throughout. When you increase the burden on the poor and the middle, you lose consumer buying power, but gain the taxes needed to keep circulating throughout the economy. A poor deal. The benefits are mixed and mostly negative. When you increase the burden on the rich, you have no impact on their buying power within that economy, AND you increase the money flow into the Treasury.

That's a win/win scenario. It's a lose/win scenario when you increase tax burdens on the poor and middle.

We need to balance the budget. It's actually immoral to kick the can down the road for future generations, just so the rich can keep on partying like it's 1999, and warmongers have their substitute corvette. It's immoral. Our Debt is more than 9 trillion. Bush, BECAUSE of his tax cuts, has added more new Debt than any other president in history. AND, the MAJORITY of American Debt has been accrued under supply side administrations.

It's not even close.

Your way is a failed way, RW. Your way just increases the gap between rich and poor and drives us further into Debt. And all you have in response to that is junior-high level snark.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I find it amazing that righties can hold so many conflicting ideas in their little heads at the same time.

One of the worst being that myth they've bought into about supply siders. In reality, the pattern is clear. They outspend their democratic opponents, every time. They actually grow the government at a faster rate than their democratic opponents. Which means, obviously, they are creating the necessity for increased taxes to pay for that growth. In the future.

Yet, righties continue to peddle the nonsense about "tax and spend" liberals. And they continue to peddle the nonsense that our choices are clear cut. Between those good conservatives who want people to keep their own hard earned money and those bad liberals who want to take it away.

Again, good conservatives, if they're supply siders, have been creating the scenario wherein MORE money will be taken away from citizens. Eventually. A LOT more. Dems consistently spend less and grow government at a slower rate (at least since the Nixon era) than their opponents across the aisle. They consistently are more fiscally responsible with taxes and spending.

But, again, I have to hand it to those good conservatives. They've managed to brainwash millions that there IS such a thing as a free lunch. Cut taxes, increase spending, borrow like there's no tomorrow . . . and STILL peddle the incredibly nervy idea that they are somehow more fiscally responsible than the Dems.

Amazing.

The vast majority of our national Debt was created by Republicans. The majority of that was created by just three presidents:

Reagan, Bush Sr and Dubya.

Republicans have been the party of fiscal irresponsibility for a long time now. And if they continue to hold power, America just may not recover from their recklessness.

Giuliani would be a disaster. On all fronts. Including economics.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you read all the responses to your previous comments before you go off again. That's ok, but you're missing a few data points.

Great name, are you truly an Irish hero?

Posted by: TJM on September 22, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,

Naw. Not missing any data points. My posts are factual.


__________

Latest study of the Iraq war says TAXPAYERS are responsible for $500,000 a minute now.

Think about it.

Half a million dollars spent per minute. Not on our own healthcare woes. Not on our own environmental problems. Not on education here. Not on our deteriorating roads and bridges. Not on energy needs. Not on security needs. Not on first responders. Not on our communications grid.

Sent down the drain in Iraq. $500,000 per minute.

That's insane. And that's the Republican neocon, chickenhawk, nutcase cabal in a nutshell.

Republicans spend more of our hard earned money. They just put the bill on a credit card. They cause more wars, fight more wars, cause more death and destruction, cause more blowback. They do far less to protect the environment, our infrastructure, our schools. They ignore the public good for the private bottom line.

They are the party of fiscal irresponsibility, of war and more war and more blowback, of theocracy in the making, of blind devotion to authority, of bigger and bigger and more intrusive government. They are the party most at odds with the environment, with science, with reality, and our Constitution.

Neither party is what we need right now. Neither party truly works for the good of the public they serve. But, of the two, the Republicans are easily and obviously more dangerous and more destructive. Rudy would be a disaster.


Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,

Here's a good link for the budget piechart. Seems to counter your earlier stats.

http://www.concordcoalition.org/issues/fedbudget/fedbudget-spending-income-chart.htm

Also, I checked your link regarding FICA. Couldn't find the 83% figure. Does it say 83% of all potential revenue, or 83% of individuals receiving payroll checks?

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

You must not have looked very hard. It's the Social Security Trustees Report fer Christ's sake, I copied the figure down for you. FICA is taken from 83% of total payroll.

Seems to counter your earlier stats

Stats? You mean the % of the Fed. budget that's discretionary? The Concord Coalition figures pretty much confirm what I said that only 40% of the Fed. budget is discretionary. How do you figure that it's counter?

My posts are factual. Most of them you are wrong about the effect of raising the FICA ceiling and words like "fair share" and the rich aren't facts, they're opinions. More definition please.

Posted by: TJM on September 22, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

TJM,


I looked. Several times. At several links. Couldn't find the number. Even used the technology at my disposal. You know. The find field. Nothing came up for 83%.

And, let's say you're right about the figure of 40% for discretionary spending. How does that counter my call for spending public money on the public? It says nothing whatsoever about HOW money is spent. I'm in favor of putting 100% of it toward public good, and nothing toward private gain and bottom lines. If, somehow, the twain meet, then cool. As in, if when we spend the public's money on the public good and private enterprise makes out at the same time . . . fine. That's cool. But, right now, the emphasis is on the reverse. Helping out private concerns at the public's expense, with nary of meeting of the two needs.

I think it's beyond obvious that the central and sole concern of the government should be to spend and focus all resources on the public good. Let the private sector help itself, heal itself, pick itself up by its own bootstraps--as conservatives are always telling the poor.

We are the richest nation on earth. At least for a bit longer. If we concentrated all of our time, effort and resources (when it comes to government) to improving the lives, the QUALITY of lives for all citizens, instead of catering to the richest and most powerful, this nation would be Atlantis.

Prioritize. All 3 trillion taxpayer dollars going toward improving our education system, our infrastructure, our health care, our environment, our national parks and forests, our working conditions, consumer protections, research and development, clean energy and energy independence. None of it . . . not one cent . . . toward making fat cats fatter.

That scenario has never been attempted. Ever. And the beauty of it all is that we could do it AND lower taxes on most Americans. If for no other reason than it would end wars of aggression and empire, because they OBVIOUSLY do not benefit the public good. They only benefit fat cats, chickenhawks, neocons and assorted warmongers.

End the American empire, concentrate on improving the lives of all citizens, and we're golden.

Posted by: cuchulain on September 22, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK
The guy who cleaned up the city….RW at 10:22 PM
Sorry, chum, but Il Duce was one of the most divisive mayors of NYC. His record is no better than many other mayor who also reduced crime in their cities without the racism and policy brutality that epitomized Giuliani Time. Posted by: Mike on September 22, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

"I promise I'm not voting for him. Where did you send your tax cut check, by the way?"

Answer: More than my tax cut went to anyone and every one who opposed the Chimperor and the worst Repugs of the 109th CONgress.

Posted by: Ron Russell on September 22, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

"combined rates of FICA and Medicare for employees (7.65%)."

The real rate is double that. Half of it is phrased so as to prevent it from showing up on paychecks.

Then there are all the regressive state and local taxes.

But overall (at least excepting the super rich, which I don't know about) the US tax system is slightly progressive. Not nearly as progressive as the vast majority of people want it to be or think it is, but still slightly progressive.

Posted by: jefff on September 22, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

cuchulain, I would say you must not be familiar with the Trustees Report. Once you get there, there is a contents page where you should scroll down to Assumptions and Methods where you'll find his:

2. Covered Employment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
3. Taxable Payroll and Payroll Tax Revenue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

Next, you want to go to those pages (103 and 104 in the report) and you will find this on page 105:

The portion of covered earnings that is taxable
(i.e., at or below the base) was about 89.5, 86.9, and 82.8 percent for 1983,
1994, and 2000, respectively. This ratio of taxable earnings to covered earnings
rose to about 85.8 in 2002, then fell to 83.7 by 2005

Posted by: TJM on September 22, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Who gives a FFF about something Rudy said? Moveon.org ran an ad! In a newspaper! Questioning something a general said! Run, Democrats, run for the hills!

Yes, they're all idiots, aren't they?

Posted by: Limbaugh's Pilonidal Cyst on September 23, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Remember when George Bush wasn't able to name the president of Pakistan back in the 2000 campaign? Everyone laughed it off.

Weird thing is, Bush now seems to be modelling his presidency on Musharraf's. Except that Musharraf will give up his position as chief of the army.

Posted by: ahem on September 23, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad Rudy may have "misspoke." Can you imagine if he had misspoken?

Posted by: Terebinth on September 23, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

reduce taxes = gimme more money
who cares if the infrastructure comes crashing down around our ears. Who cares if we abandon history. Who cares if our parks deteriorate.
Who cares if our health care is two to three times more expensive than any other industrialized nation. Who cares if the poor die in the streets or in isolation.
gimme more money = the answer

Posted by: gc_wall on September 24, 2007 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

For those guys cutting taxes in the alpha and the omega, the answer to every policy qustion. Need to finance a trillion dollar war? Simply cut taxes and the resulting economic growth will easily cover the expense. And what can't be solved by tax cuts will be taken care of if only you bring prayers into the schools, put a stone carving of the 10 commandments in every public building and every park and make every form of birth control save abstinence illegal.

Posted by: jdpslx on September 24, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

The "tax-cut" was only a conniving means to have all taxpayers pay for the republican election campaign of 2000 and bribe campaign contributors for their continued support.

People were not told how angry big business leaders were about the government ending up with a surplus. A surplus translated to big business acting as if it had been ripped off. It supposedly had very little to do with the fact that Al Gore's first priority as vice president was to streamline, eliminate duplication of effort, reduce administration costs, eliminate government programs that had proven ineffective, and get a handle on wasteful spending.

If any of the readers here have ever worked for the government as an employee of the government knows that the government is tight. The offices are warm/hot in the summer, cool/cold in the winter, they haven't been painted in ages, the same office furniture that was there thirty years ago is still being used, and until Al Gore was given the task of updating government computer systems including bringing the federal government to the internet it still used IBM Selectric typewriters and computers that by today's standards are a joke.

The actual waste and fraud has been conducted by corrupt individuals, and government contractors, as is the case to this day. In the past, except for the most egregious cases of fraud and corruption were punished; today corruption and fraud are considered by the administration a means of pumping money into a failing economic system that does not describe actual human economic behavior, but a system based almost entirely on false assumptions that have allowed a heirarchal structure that is not affordable to exist.

Those at the top of this artificial construct do not care that this system creates a poverty rate of twenty to twenty-five percent. They do not care about those who suffer due to a lack of health care, retirement benefits, and unemployment insurance. They do not care that American soldiers die in a war made necessary by the hierarchy's need for perpetual war in order to keep the artifice afloat. The pomposity and arrogance of those who leach off of the poor and the middle class so they can live lives of luxury are obscene in their consumption and the garbage they produce.

They are willing to steal Americans freedom by prying into their private lives because of the fear that one day citizens will become angered by the gross inequality that exists in our society. The attack on democracy and freedom is relentless due to their paranoia that is fed by their greed. They seek to destroy democracy because it is an impediment to profit, (as it was intended to be,) and freedom, because it makes markets less predictable.

As long as it can the hierarchy will push the illusion that the system is working at the expense of working Americans and poor people everywhere, because the system based on greed cannot exist without exploitation and repression. At one time America could afford to export these evils, and allow Americans the opportunity to succeed, but no longer.

As corporations become international their allegience to our revolution and the principles upon which our nation was built have no meaning for them, and thus they behave in a manner that is anti-American in every respect, including giving powers to the executive branch that our ancestors would have perceived as treasonous.

The social contract is broken. The economic system is false. America is turning toward facsism, and no one seems to care, especially those who are benefitting financially from this political poisoning of principles essential to democracy and freedom.

Posted by: gc_wall on September 24, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

"What did you do with your tax cut check?"

Hey, I didn't GET a check!

Not everyone who pays income tax got a check. There were holes, and hubby and I were in one.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 25, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe when all you kiddies grow up you will understand economics. Cutting taxes produces jobs. Raising taxes/minimum wage causes inflation- it is solely a short term fix.

Please- take off your headphones and go start a company of your own and then you will understand. "Fat Cats" became that way most often through hard work in pursuance of the American Dream: for you to vilify that is disrespectful at the least.

If you babies keep this up I am going to move my company elsewhere and stop employing all of you whiny pansies.

Remember- that Big Bad Boss is not the bad guy- it could be you!! Try harder! Start something of your own!!

Posted by: William Penn on February 22, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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