September 29, 2015

Kevin D. Williamson: I'm Not Sure I'm So Keen on Tax Cuts
— Ace

Everyone from Rubio to Trump has proposed some kind of tax cut for the nation; it's a standard bit of Republican electioneering.

But is it the right proposal?

Every Republican tax-reform plan should be rooted in this reality: If you are going to have federal spending that is 21 percent of GDP, then you can have a.) taxes that are 21 percent of GDP; b.) deficits. There is no c.

If, on the other hand, you have a credible program for reducing spending to 17 or 18 percent of GDP, which is where taxes have been coming in, please do share it.

The problem with the Growth Fairy model of balancing budgets is that while economic growth would certainly reduce federal spending as a share of GDP if spending were kept constant, there is zero evidence that the government of these United States has the will or the inclination to enact serious spending controls when times are good (Uncork the champagne!) or when times are bad (Wicked austerity! We must have stimulus!).

It is standard conservative theory that tax cuts and spending cuts go hand in hand. But after decades of ever-rising spending, coupled with occasional tax cuts, I'm not so certain of that any longer.

I believe it was after Reagan that Republican theorists began justifying his model of tax-cuts-now-spending-cuts-later as the "starve the beast" theory of limiting government -- if we cut taxes, therefore cutting government's resources, we should, logically, force the government to adapt itself to living with fewer taxpayer dollars. Ergo, spending should be forced down by the practicalities of the situation -- either you start cutting spending, or else you start running up dangerous, Greece-level of debts.

The problem is that this country has always elected the "or else" part of this syllogism: We are racking up dangerous, Greece-levels of debts, and we're barely even talking about that any longer.

The problem has grown so immense that we've decided to declare it officially a Non-Problem. (It will decide to re-assert itself as a Really Big Problem in a short period of time.)

So I no longer believe in the "starve the beast" theory, because the "starve the beast" theory relies upon Americans understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, which they plainly do not.

Since Americans are not capable of understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, it seems to me the only way to impose budget discipline and spending rollback is to offer Americans an immediate, as opposed to future, confrontation with reality: that is, if Americans wish to have so much government, they should be forced to pay for the level of government they are choosing, and not defer that payment (as they apparently will choose, every single time) into the future, to be imposed upon their children.

But, instead, they must be forced to reckon with the level of government they are choosing now by paying the full freight and cost of that government now.

That is to say: I believe that rolling back spending is only possible when Americans are made to feel the costs of the government they're choosing, and that will only happen when they're forced to actually pay for it.

If Americans want 21% of GDP to be wasted on government, then we should make them pay 21% of their GDP to pay for this clumsy, murderous goliath.

And when they grow tired of paying 21% of GDP for this level of gold-plated, clay-footed government, perhaps they will see the sweet reason of reducing government expenditures down to, say, 19% of GDP, or, dare we dream, 18%.

I don't see any other way, frankly. And removing ever-more people from the tax rolls altogether -- making lower income people not even pay a small amount of tax -- accelerates the growth of government, as we create a larger and larger class for whom Big Government has tangible inducements and no visible drawbacks.

I've been thinking about this for some time. Am I a tax-hawk, or a spending-hawk? The typical conservative formulation is that we should be both at the same time, but that results in an ever-growing deficit that will, in fact, one day soon overwhelm us. (As the captain said in Titanic said about the ship's alleged unsinkability: "She is made of iron. She will sink, I guarantee it.")

So I suppose I'm more of a deficit hawk -- and a spending hawk.

I just don't see how the American people -- or the GOP, for that matter, but I should say they are only doing what their irresponsible citizen voters demand -- can be trusted to choose less government at some later date.

It does not help that even fairly well informed conservatives still blather about cutting foreign aid and waste and fraud, while willfully blinding themselves to the fact that the major drivers of spending are Social Security, Medicaid, and military spending -- three things they all insist not be cut, ever, no ways.

The non-military discretionary part of the budget is only one sixth of total spending, so even if you imposed draconian cuts on this section of the budget, slashing it by a full half of all spending (and you know the shrieking that would occur from that), you would only have cut the budget by 1/12th -- a bit more than the net interest we have to pay just on servicing the debt we've already acquired.

No one, including conservatives, seems willing to deal with this reality, preferring Fantasy Mathematics in which we cut some ethanol subsidies and some foreign aid to UNESCO and we're all ship-shape and square on matters budgetary, so it's time to force some reality into people's thinking.

Cutting taxes while raising spending teaches people that there is no connection between spending discipline and lower taxes. It teaches us we can have our cake and eat it too, so why not do both?

But of course we cannot have both -- or, at least, not for very long.

A reckoning is coming. We ought to start paying for the things we buy, and we're buying an awful lot of government, and conservatives are very nearly as hungry for big government as the liberals they decry.

The only way to bring reason to this madness is to make people square up their accounts every year -- for each year you want 21% of GDP spending on government, you pay 21% of GDP in taxes.

Then maybe we can start talking seriously about cutting government.

Thinking Twice: I guess this is really just a call with a Balanced Budget Amendment with forced tax hikes if spending goes up the previous year -- therefore strongly underlining in the public's mind the direct consequences of that Democrat goody-bag Congress just passed (with, no doubt, some moderate Republicans in support who want to prove they "can govern").

Posted by: Ace at 09:17 AM | Comments (391)
Post contains 1171 words, total size 7 kb.

1 1st

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:18 AM (AkOaV)

2 TRANS POWER!!!

Posted by: Caitlyn Jenner at September 29, 2015 09:18 AM (E5UB0)

3 and i actually read the content (not the links though)

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:18 AM (AkOaV)

4 Yeah, like any of it matters. Burning, there will be.

Posted by: Drill_Thrawl at September 29, 2015 09:18 AM (JOG+K)

5 Aaaaaaaarghh!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Caitlyn Jenner at September 29, 2015 09:18 AM (E5UB0)

6 Here's my question, though, ace -- at what point do confiscatory taxes put a brake on any real economic growth we may or may not have? I'd argue we are probably at that point. but if our taxes and spending equalize at the level they are at now... well... aren't we in danger of creating an economic growth death spiral?

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:19 AM (AkOaV)

7 Seniors love to vote. No one will ever touch SS or Medicare until the whole system comes crashing down.

Posted by: brak at September 29, 2015 09:20 AM (xwPSp)

8 1.  Spending will never decrease.
There is no #2.

Posted by: dfbaskwill at September 29, 2015 09:20 AM (zllbf)

9 Well dammit.

Posted by: Jenny Hates When You Guys Are Right at September 29, 2015 09:20 AM (GvNnD)

10 As usual, Teh Ewok didn't like the movie.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at September 29, 2015 09:21 AM (UBLhq)

11 Ugh. It's not like raising taxes will lead to spending cuts either. We're not even bothering with budgets lately. All this is just talk.

Posted by: Lea at September 29, 2015 09:21 AM (lIU4e)

12 I only wish CNN had investigated the math of Obamacare as it was actually being made law as much as they are investigating the tax plans of potential Republican presidential contenders.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (mcm0N)

13 But, the EBT card still has money on it, and I'm ready for Hillary!!

Posted by: Libtard Economists at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (VndSC)

14 1. Spending will never decrease. There is no #2. Posted by: dfbaskwill at September 29, 2015 02:20 PM (zllbf) The Government Spending ratchet wasn't made by Craftsman. It doesn't have a reverse switch.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (UBLhq)

15 7 Seniors love to vote. No one will ever touch SS or Medicare until the whole system comes crashing down. Posted by: brak at September 29, 2015 02:20 PM (xwPSp) If we were to get rid of SS and Medicare, we'd still be running a deficit, but it would be more manageable. Our tax level would still be as ridiculously high. I honestly don't see a way out of this financial situation, especially with so many entrenched interests all over the political landscape.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (AkOaV)

16 Give them what they want.Give it to them good and hard.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (sPO3u)

17

Is there a budget?

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (dFi94)

18 Tax breaks go to the rich, who then turn around and vote for Democrats.

Fuck 'em.

Posted by: chemjeff at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (lVU49)

19 It's kind of funny how Williamson started rethinking his support of tax cuts once Trump proposed a tax cut. If we could freeze actual expenditures at current levels while growing the economy, eventually expenditures would be down to 18% of the GDP. The trick is going through and rooting out all of the embedded triggers that bump up spending 1% a year every year like clockwork.

Posted by: Jake at September 29, 2015 09:22 AM (L3hBc)

20 >>But, instead, they must be forced to reckon with the level of government they are choosing now by paying the full freight and cost of that government now. But we aren't choosing it. Just one example was the yuuuuge pushback on Obamacare, which was passed despite a lot of citizen protest. How do we get our politicians to square what they want with what the people want to pay for?

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:23 AM (NOIQH)

21 Tax cuts?  I'd be happy with a stable regulatory regime and congressional oversight of out of control unelected bureaucrats. 

Which means I'll probably get neither and mandatory body cavity checks.

Posted by: rebel flounder at September 29, 2015 09:23 AM (1DH1V)

22 I don't see a politician cutting spending. Perhaps a business man or woman. Someone who's had to do it. Sink or swim.

Posted by: artisanal 'ette at September 29, 2015 09:23 AM (qCMvj)

23 Sorry for early OT, but: Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., will not challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for Senate seat - @azcentral

Posted by: Meremortal at September 29, 2015 09:23 AM (3myMJ)

24 >>>It's not like raising taxes will lead to spending cuts either. damn you're probably right

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:23 AM (dciA+)

25 How do we get our politicians to square what they want with what the people want to pay for?

Posted by: Lizzy at September 29, 2015 02:23 PM (NOIQH)

===========================



Tar.  Feathers.

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (dFi94)

26 You are suggesting then that budgets should be balanced. Which is a rarity at the Federal level. What has happened is that we totally abandoned any concept of trying to keep that deficit small. They can just deem another 40 or 50% more revenue that is an easy do.

Posted by: blaster at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (2Ocf1)

27 But aren't Rich People supposed to pay for all that? Not me, right?

Posted by: Bat Chain Puller at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (SCcgT)

28 18 Tax breaks go to the rich, who then turn around and vote for Democrats. Fuck 'em. Posted by: chemjeff at September 29, 2015 02:22 PM (lVU49) while there's some emotional satisfaction there, we all know "the rich" have nowhere near the amount of income or wealth needed to even come close to pretending to really addressing the problem. The only people who do are us, the middle class. And everyone knows it. But thankfully, no one is going to address the debt, spending, or deficit at all. So we can all just carry on not worrying and be thankful we have floating tsunami water purification ships all over the ocean and the grandma still gets her SS check every month.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (AkOaV)

29 24 Not probably,definitely.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (sPO3u)

30 >>>It's kind of funny how Williamson started rethinking his support of tax cuts once Trump proposed a tax cut. yeah but almost all of them have.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:24 AM (dciA+)

31 Take away payroll tax deductions and make people pay their taxes quarterly. But, make sure one of the payments is the week before election day.

Posted by: Roy at September 29, 2015 09:25 AM (VndSC)

32 Then maybe we can start talking seriously about cutting government.-ace Yeah, when the flames are licking at the Average LIV Joe's backdoor. While I sit at the picnic table and heartily laugh, let it burn.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at September 29, 2015 09:25 AM (9mTYi)

33 How many people were on board with Obama's intentional doubling of the food stamps participation? How many even knew about it? Who is on board with the "Obamaphone" program, which has existed for many years, but like food stamps, was greatly expanded under Obama?

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:25 AM (NOIQH)

34 >>>But of course we cannot have both -- or, at least, not for very long. ------------------------------------ Nope, it's a con. It's like, "see, we can increase benefits without raising your taxes". Then later, "Oopsie, we'll need to raise your taxes". And people will never connect the one with the other, since they are separated temporally. And the gov't printing money which results in inflation.

Posted by: Caitlyn Jenner at September 29, 2015 09:25 AM (E5UB0)

35 It cannot continue and it will not continue.It's going to get...painful.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 09:25 AM (sPO3u)

36 @19 Trumps rattling all of the cages. Williamsons just flinging poo. I'm pretty sure that Tory Cooke was Gobsmacked when Trump released his 2a position paper.

Posted by: Kreplach at September 29, 2015 09:26 AM (rnKiX)

37 17 Is there a budget? Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 02:22 PM (dFi9 No, not really. Not the way your family or my family has one.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at September 29, 2015 09:26 AM (9mTYi)

38 30 >>>It's kind of funny how Williamson started rethinking his support of tax cuts everythingonce Trump proposed a tax cut.

yeah but almost all of them have.


Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 02:24 PM (dciA+)

Posted by: rebel flounder at September 29, 2015 09:26 AM (1DH1V)

39 What you mean "we," white man?

Posted by: Tonto at September 29, 2015 09:26 AM (oVYxm)

40 The media investigates Republican tax plans via colonoscopy meanwhile Hillary is getting asked the hard questions by Lena Dunham. And the Democrat debate will be about how much Socialism can we sneak by Americans.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (mcm0N)

41 Yes, we need to cut spending and we can start with all the money being dumped to Obama cronies in the green buisness scam.


The we can hit the bribes going to inner city shit holes.


But the government has never cut spending, they have only reduced the rate of growth.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (t2KH5)

42 I've tried to do some back of the envelope estimates of how much of my money directly and indirectly ends up in governments hands. And by indirect I mean including taxes on businesses whose products I buy, and tolls and diesel taxes paid by trucks used to deliver my groceries, etc. etc. I could be wrong (so many variables) but I'm thinking its around 70% of my money that ends up in the hands of some level of government as it is. And I'm not rich. Is there really a lot of room left to continue taxing people even more?

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (AkOaV)

43 yeah but almost all of them have. Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 02:24 PM (dciA+) Nonetheless the occasion and timing of his epiphany is noteworthy.

Posted by: Wonk with Pigtails at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (TFWFz)

44 In Amity Shlaes' book on Coolidge, she says that one of the problems Coolidge had was that the tax cuts consistently brought in higher revenues--and he had to keep Congress from spending the money. In other words, tax cuts remain good policy --it's the spending that's the problem (as we all know) and it's a problem whether taxes are high or low.

Posted by: Burke at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (91yCk)

45 1) I hate federal income taxes. Any plan that gets rid of some of that tax is a winner for me.

2) With Trump's 15% business tax, you will replace a lot of gov't personal income tax revenue with businesses that will actually pay taxes for once.

3) Government needs to be cut a LOT. Most of this right away can be done just through attrition as Baby Boomer gov't employees retires. It would be an easy sell because no one would be 'losing' a job. We just wouldn't hire to replace those who retired. We can do better with the money we take in right now.

4) Sorry, but Trump's plan for 1-person businesses (like mine) is GOLDEN. I love it. I won't be happy with any other tax plan that doesn't include this in it. Small businesses get HAMMERED in the tax code unfairly. It would be nice to get the same benefits of large businesses without having to incorporate (expensive and silly for a 1-person business).

It would also be nice to have a law that states the federal government cannot borrow money to pay for certain expenditures. Perhaps money could only be borrowed for defensive (i.e. war) purposes only. No borrowed money for food stamps, energy programs, education initiatives, etc.

Posted by: K-E at September 29, 2015 09:27 AM (M7nfX)

46 Totally unrelated story on Drudge. Medicare paid $30 M for ambulance trips that didn't start anywhere, didn't go anywhere, and no medical.services were provided.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at September 29, 2015 09:28 AM (Nwg0u)

47 I tend to agree BUT. If you really want people to cut government, everybody has to feel that tax burden. It has to hurt everyone. Additionally perhaps it should be hinged directly to government spending. Income tax in the US is consistently about 18%. Say for every % above GDP minus say 15%, government spending was for the previous year apply a % of sales tax for the coming year.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at September 29, 2015 09:28 AM (0q2P7)

48 "starve the beast" theory

We forgot the "Never go full retard" warning.
Applies to the prior thread and the hairball in the one before that as well.

Apparently it applies even if he's black.

Posted by: DaveA[/i][/b][/s] at September 29, 2015 09:28 AM (DL2i+)

49 36 @19 Williamsons just flinging poo. ---------- Careful there Kreplach you might be accused of the "R" word

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at September 29, 2015 09:28 AM (9mTYi)

50 Arthur Laffer - what me worry.

Posted by: Alfred E Neuman at September 29, 2015 09:28 AM (cgxNI)

51 They said Johnny Wadd Holmes was too big to fail too. Until a puny virus got him.

Posted by: Roy at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (VndSC)

52 I have adopted KW's reference to the US as "these United States." I rather like that.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (gmeXX)

53 To get things started, I would propose a 15% surtax on the assets of all college endowment funds and non-profit organizations with more than $25 million in assets.

Posted by: Furious George at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (UlJ3l)

54 It's just a matter of time -- until interest rates rise. Then the forgotten portion of spending, Interest on the Debt, starts ballooning. Then there ain't no money. If you incur more debt, the Interest on the Debt payments skyrocket and you get into an inescapable spiral. So, you have to cut. And as Ace points out, there is only one place to cut -- entitlements. The welfare state cannot sustain itself and its long life can only be sustained by a population that is ashamed of receiving the benefits. If you have a large portion of the population who believes it is social justice to always be a receiver and never a producer, you will run out of money. Even Sweden has seen this. Sweden is not actually socialist, but has a massive welfare state that they've been paring back over the years. Sweden, in fact, has a thriving private economy and relatively low taxes on the rich (taxes on the middle class and the lower class are higher). As they take in more welfare-dependent refugees, their welfare state gets more costly and less popular among the native Swedish population as well as immigrants from Europe who assimilate and high-skilled immigrants not from the refugee population. Interest rates will go up at some point and at that point something will have to give and that something will be either: (1) Social Security (2) Medicare (3) Medicaid (4) Welfare programs (5) The military Non-military discretionary programs (like NSF, NEH, NEA, NIH, etc.) may see some cuts, but that won't do anything substantially. Given that Obama has lit fires everywhere around the world, military cuts are not going to be popular. I think (1) goes and quite easily. People 40 and older have heard for decades that they weren't going to get Social Security. (3) and (4) will probably go as well. Healthcare for the aged is probably the most palatable welfare program we have.

Posted by: AmishDude at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (Xd2w5)

55 First the spending ramps up. Then you need taxation to pay for it. Can't have one without the other. The time for fiscal hawkishness is before the spending happens. Afterwards, if you don't want the taxation then you are "irresponsible" and you "don't believe in paying your bills". Just look at Illinois.

Posted by: navybrat at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (ETxiG)

56 >>The only people who do are us, the middle class. And everyone knows it. I do not think everyone knows this. There are a ton of stupid, math illiterate people in the country who do not know this. There are a ton of people who only read the NYTimes or watch news who do not know this. Because no one will tell them.

Posted by: Lea at September 29, 2015 09:29 AM (lIU4e)

57 Who was on board with Bush's No Child Left Behind that increased federal education funding by 60%? And how much of the TARP funds went for education? IIRC, a lot of it, despite it being sold as "infrastructure spending." Who wants high-speed rail in CA and all the other state boondoggles that eat up federal funds? I know that this is just nipping at the edges, but we have to start somewhere, and we need to reinforce a culture of fiscal responsibility so that new boondoggles are aborted before implementation.

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:30 AM (NOIQH)

58 And here's the thing: we can't even do the fairytale stuff that won't matter like cutting foreign aid or ethanol to save the few trivial dollars. As a matter of signaling, if even the low hanging fruit is too high, what does that say?

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 09:30 AM (t06LC)

59 One of the articles mentioned on the morning thread (think it's pj media) talked about Carson's plan. He wants everyone to pay taxes, in the way that the religious pay tithes. He thinks everyone should have some skin in the game. And I am starting to feel that he's right. Everyone should have to pay in, just so they will have some awareness of what the government is doing with THEIR money.

Posted by: notsothoreau at September 29, 2015 09:30 AM (5HBd1)

60 "That which can't go on, won't" - a thing Insty says "You hear that (expensive government thing talked about on the radio)? That's your money they're spending. You better figure out how to be useful and make money". - a thing I say to my 18 year old. "Oh, it's OK. We're just not going to pay China back" - what my 18 yr old says back.

Posted by: Bandersnatch, Opus/Bill the Cat 2016 at September 29, 2015 09:30 AM (JtwS4)

61 Starving the beast works, unless you raise the debt ceiling in perpetuity.

Posted by: Grump928(c) at September 29, 2015 09:30 AM (evdj2)

62 The Growth Fairy leaves you a nickel if you put your tumor under the pillow.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 09:31 AM (3ZtZW)

63 Fiscal responsibility must be enforced. Political pressure won't do it. Fiscal pressures won't do it. Speeches and moral suasion won't do it. I am slowly coming to believe that we have come to the flip side of a simple principle: For a virtuous people, tyranny is impossible; for a virtue-less people, tyranny is inevitable. The best we can hope for is a benevolent dictator. The odds of that...Vegas ain't taking that bet.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 09:31 AM (9krrF)

64 so long as the Dems in the Senate can get away with blocking anything they oppose and the Repubs allow it, this mess will continue.

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 09:31 AM (qSIlh)

65 It's kind of funny how Williamson started rethinking his support of tax cuts once Trump proposed a tax cut. ------ I don't think this is a new idea by KW. He has been focused on government spending for a long time.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (gmeXX)

66 As for tax increases, every time we raise taxes the Democrats raise spending by a greater amount.  Remember "read my lips" and "we need a tax increase to reduce the deficit".   I do.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (t2KH5)

67 I suspect that deep down, many Keynesians don't care about deficits because they figure they can extort their way of out excessive debt, ala Greece, or go the Iceland route and renege on all debt and start over. I think they figure that we're too big to fail and the Chinese and other big creditors will accept haircuts rather than face the huge losses and financial ruin by total debt repudiation. To paraphrase Goodfellas, nobody's going to pay for it anyway, so who cares?

Posted by: Citizen Cake at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (ppaKI)

68 It's too late. The only way this ends is with a complete implosion of the US dollar. Until then, party on! Obamaphones for everyone!

Posted by: Guzalot at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (prSvo)

69 My brilliant brother, with a degree in Finance, once told me:

"Deficit spending / National Debt is not a problem as long as the growth of the debt does not exceed the growth of the GDP."

Trouble is the growth of the National debt IS EXCEEDING the growth of the GDP.

Math is hard.




Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (1ijHg)

70 Posted by: Roy at September 29, 2015 02:25 PM (VndSC) I like that idea. Kind of when some states took away mandatory payment of union dues. Amazing how things suddenly changed.

Posted by: HH at September 29, 2015 09:32 AM (DrCtv)

71 If we were to get rid of SS and Medicare, we'd still be running a deficit, but it would be more manageable. Posted by: Harry Paratestes 2014 Federal Spending = $3.5 trillion 2014 Tax Receipts = $3.0 trillion SS = 24% of 2014 federal budget Deficit = ~$0.5 trillion SS = $0.84 trillion

Posted by: weft cut-loop[/i] [/b] at September 29, 2015 09:33 AM (JmGFJ)

72 Using the phrase "tax cuts" is problematic. It implies less revenue will flow to the govt. Tax 'rate' cuts can result in more revenue to the govt, especially if targeted to help business owners, leading to more employment and a broader tax base. I've watched the capital gains tax xtructure for 45 years and seen how it works. Raising the capital gains rate results in less revenue as investors hold assets and take the income stream rather than sell and pay the higher taxes. If you want to explode business activity AND tax revenue, do away the real estate "tax-free exchange" and lower capital gains rates by 50%. The ensuing explosion of activity would lead to a lot of remodeling, rehabilitation, and furniture and fixture sales. It would also help the housing shortage in many areas.

Posted by: Meremortal at September 29, 2015 09:33 AM (3myMJ)

73 You CAN cut it all---even Security and Medicare,etc---for FUTURE beneficiaries--like those --pick a number..'X' years from benefits.

Posted by: Lower Class person whose opinions need to be guided at September 29, 2015 09:33 AM (TYRPo)

74 I support the Fair Tax - a national sales tax. It should be high enough to pay for all federal spending, and EVERYONE should have to pay it - none of that "poor people don't pay taxes" crap. At the end of the day, I'm with Ace: people should have to pay for what they vote for....but I want to eliminate the IRS and the politicians' favorite mechanism for dicking around the American people and rewarding their cronies: the tax code.

Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 09:33 AM (9YRwm)

75 Barack Obama is a SCOAMT.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 09:33 AM (M1uf/)

76 Interest rates will go up at some point and at that point something will have to give and that something will be either: (1) Social Security (2) Medicare (3) Medicaid (4) Welfare programs (5) The military SS / Medicare / Medicaid is where the real money is. Those massive wealth transfer programs are the main drivers of our deficit. Yes, I'm sure there is a lot of room to cut in military and welfare spending (personally I would like to see all welfare spending done away with alltogether). But neither of those are growing exponentially like SS / Medicare / Medicaid.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (AkOaV)

77 Burn it down. Scatter the stones. Salt the earth where it stood.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (M1uf/)

78 I agree with Carson. We're almost at the point where ~50% of the people don't pay taxes. That's a recipe for disaster.

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (NOIQH)

79 Nonetheless the occasion and timing of his epiphany is noteworthy. ------ Again - not an epiphany for KW. He has been writing about this for years.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (gmeXX)

80 24 >>>It's not like raising taxes will lead to spending cuts either. damn you're probably right Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 02:23 PM (dciA+) The 60 billion tax increase Obama got at the beginning of 2012 went to fatso Christie and the state of Alaska (For some reason) for Hurricane Sandy relief. The minute they raise taxes, they consider it new money and spend it. The power to tax remains the power to destroy.

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (WlG0e)

81 @64 Nuke the filibuster completely and send wave after wave of bills to the senate and make the Donks take the hard votes and explain them and make the president veto them and explain them as well. But this seems to be beyond the capacity of the Turtle and soon to be ex worst speaker of the house ever, Orange Crush.

Posted by: Kreplach at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (rnKiX)

82 that tax guru, whats his name Grover Norquist. he likes it. not sure I trust old Grover however

Posted by: ThunderB at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (zOTsN)

83 It's kind of funny how Williamson started rethinking his support of tax cuts once Trump proposed a tax cut. I'm the spiritual father of the Cult of Trump the Destroyer in these parts and -I- balk at absolving 50% of the population of the burden of taxation. This goes on because nobody sees the cost. I don't know if it would solve the problem, but by all means, time to get everyone's skin in the game.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 09:34 AM (9krrF)

84 >>>Seniors love to vote. No one will ever touch SS or Medicare until the whole system comes crashing down. Oh that's only part of the problem. I have in the past, on this forum, suggested that the SS/MC problem is so deep that while I was willing to bear the brunt of that mistake that has led to the crisis, the current batch of retirees (Whom, by political extension are far more responsible than I for the insolvent nature of that system) should also bear some of the pain with my generation and might have to forgo some of their increases in coming years (Not all, not reduced payment, just fewer increases with inflation). I was called a senior hater, and demonized, here, on this forum. By people reputably of my own generation or younger. If I can't convince this forum of that no politically significant forum will ever agree to it. The problem isn't seniors solely. I learned that well, and resigned myself to the financial end of the SS/MC institution.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (0q2P7)

85 61 Starving the beast works, unless you raise the debt ceiling in perpetuity. Posted by: Grump928(c) at September 29, 2015 02:30 PM (evdj2) So... bring back the gold standard? If tied to something, debt can't expand infinitely.

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (t06LC)

86 What about a 50% tax on political donations?

Posted by: Furious George at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (UlJ3l)

87 Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 02:33 PM (9YRwm) the problem is this: it would have to be SO HIGH to come close to maintain current revenue levels that there would be a huge incentive to evade the tax. And its easier to evade a sales tax than an income tax. I live in a no sales tax state, you should see the lines of people from surrounding states who do all of their shopping here. And their states have like 5-6% sales tax. They're willing to drive an hour to avoid that. Imagine what people would do to avoid a 15-20% sales tax.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (AkOaV)

88 I know people think I'm trying to be funny, but I'm not. A massive surtax on legal fees is a great solution. The cause of most of the friction on the economy is litigation or the fear of litigation. If lawyers can't get rich on lawsuits, there will be a LOT fewer lawsuits. And generally the power of lawyers in our society will be reduced. Even so, we've got an out-of-control debt. Tax plans and spending plans won't save anything at this point.

Posted by: AmishDude at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (Xd2w5)

89 So, who actually owns the debt?  The Federal Reserve?  The big banks that borrow from the Fed and then make money on the float?


Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (1ijHg)

90 >>>2) With Trump's 15% business tax, you will replace a lot of gov't personal income tax revenue with businesses that will actually pay taxes for once. ... 4) Sorry, but Trump's plan for 1-person businesses (like mine) is GOLDEN. I love it. I won't be happy with any other tax plan that doesn't include this in it. Small businesses get HAMMERED in the tax code unfairly. It would be nice to get the same benefits of large businesses without having to incorporate (expensive and silly for a 1-person business). ... i confess I do not know the tax code at this level of granularity and can only speak with any (fake) level of authority on a macro, what-%-of-GDP level. you may be right about these things, but this might be a case for shifting tax burdens, rather than reducing them generally.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (dciA+)

91 The fewer the taxes the less the distortion. Only have one tax. A head tax. Men can pay twice cause they have two heads. Men with bigger heads can pay more. Women who give head get a rebate.

Posted by: simple simon at September 29, 2015 09:35 AM (j2xmV)

92 Good luck increasing taxes to 21% of GDP. We've tried high taxes. We've tried low taxes. We've tried middle-of-the-road taxes. For at least as long as I've been alive, we've clocked in at tax receipts between 16.5% and 19.5% - and some of that variance can happen without the tax code changing. The fact is, you're going to bring in around 17 or 18 percent of GDP, and it will be very difficult to bring in more than that almost no matter what the tax scheme.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (M1uf/)

93 >>But neither of those are growing exponentially like SS / Medicare / Medicaid And IIRC, Obamacare is resulting in *more* people going on Medicaid (that's the non-seniors one, right?) because they've lost or can't afford health insurance.

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (NOIQH)

94 (5) The military Because the Democrats want to go Euro-socialist in a bad way and Big Pimp Daddy Putin is taking on the American role. /think I'm joking?

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (3ZtZW)

95 "So I no longer believe in the "starve the beast" theory, because the "starve the beast" theory relies upon Americans understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, which they plainly do not." _________________________________________________ The beast will starve one way or the other.

Posted by: NotCoach at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (rsudF)

96 Just, like, tax the rich!

Posted by: Bernie! at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (xwPSp)

97 It always makes me laugh when the conservative crowd goes fucking bonkers every time they have to reset the debt limit.  There will be hours-long speeches in the Senate how we cannot allow this to happen!

When all they are doing is agreeing to borrow to pay for the same shit they voted FOR a few months prior - when they knew full well they didn't have enough revenue to pay for it!  The hypocrisy is stupefying!

Balance the fucking budget, you fucking imbeciles.  And, you will never have to raise the debt ceiling again.

And you do that by either cutting spending or raising taxes, or hope for the growth fairy.

Good post, Ace.  That needed to be said.


Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at September 29, 2015 09:36 AM (so+oy)

98 Seniors love to vote. No one will ever touch SS or Medicare until the whole system comes crashing down. ------ I support means-testing under the theory (which may be misguided) that SS/Medicare will have less support if the people who pay the most "into" the system do not get any of the "benefits."

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:37 AM (gmeXX)

99 I would like a flat tax but I am for whatever gives small business owners a break

Posted by: ThunderB at September 29, 2015 09:37 AM (zOTsN)

100 So, who actually owns the debt? The people who buy Treasury bonds, notes, etc.

Posted by: Bandersnatch, Opus/Bill the Cat 2016 at September 29, 2015 09:37 AM (JtwS4)

101 Let me see if I've got this right -- Republicans are now against tax cuts because there is just no way to cut government spending? I've seen some others today also arguing to tax the poor (i.e., "Trump wants to increase the number of people not paying taxes? Ridiculous!") "Tax the poor" -- that's a winning slogan right there, let me tell you. I'm not all aboard the Trump train, but I have to hand it to him-- he really is making the GOP elite reveal their true faces.

Posted by: Dancing Queen at September 29, 2015 09:37 AM (nJvB1)

102 74 I support the Fair Tax - a national sales tax. It should be high enough to pay for all federal spending, and EVERYONE should have to pay it - none of that "poor people don't pay taxes" crap. At the end of the day, I'm with Ace: people should have to pay for what they vote for....but I want to eliminate the IRS and the politicians' favorite mechanism for dicking around the American people and rewarding their cronies: the tax code. Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 02:33 PM (9YRwm) I don't. Its like a VAT and the tax gets hidden 100 different ways and never really felt. To be effective at limiting government, taxes should be transparent and should be felt. A flat tax not taken out of a persons check at the end of the year for example. Or if you do take it out of checks, send a statement saying how much was kept. Something along those lines.

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (t06LC)

103 I think you'd have to be an idiot to think that the universally panned 'trickle down economics,' doesn't work. Reagan got some of the tax cuts he wanted, but virtually none of the spending cuts. Plus, he got the huge military budget increases that he sought that bankrupted Russia and that cause (in my perspective) for China to embrace a form of capitalism. Growth did accelerate, and not from government spending alone, but from a revitalized private sector. Deregulation worked, and then it didn't because you can carry things too far, and they did. Even though the problems facing us are staggering and probably insurmountable, if this (gestures everywhere) can be fixed, it with be growth probably that will allow it to be fixed.

Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (BZAd3)

104 >>You CAN cut it all---even Security and Medicare,etc---for FUTURE beneficiaries--like those --pick a number..'X' years from benefits. In theory, yes. In practice, no. Every politician who brings it up gets attacked and nothing ever gets done. What's interesting is that every western welfare state is in the same place as we are. What happens when the whole world goes broke? We are going to find out.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (OGm46)

105 Hillary's single payer healthcare will cost us all. And if she's willing to abort babies at eight months for a few bucks...just think of the draconian cuts she will be willing to make when certain people are costing us all.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (mcm0N)

106 I posted this on the ONT: In 2014 According to the Social Security Trustees' report, relying too heavily on a 75-year projection "can lead to incorrect perceptions and policies that fail to address financial sustainability for the more distant future." To address this shortcoming, the Trustees Report calculates how much money must be placed in the Social Security Trust Fund right now in order to finance projected deficits for the infinite horizon. This amounts to $24.9 trillion, which is comprised of $10.6 trillion to cover the shortfalls from 2014-2088 (as explained above) and another $14.3 trillion to cover the shortfalls for 2089 and beyond."

Posted by: Daybrother Samurai Slacker at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (+jFOF)

107 A constitutional amendment banning electricity and running water in the Federal capital city, enforced by the death penalty. FIFY

Posted by: Oschisms at September 29, 2015 09:38 AM (93udK)

108 If, say, Scott Walker, proposed this exact plan Kenny Williamson would be rubbing his peen raw while telling us how great it is.

Posted by: Soothie at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (H9gvv)

109 There are two problems here: deficits and economic growth. Higher taxes lower deficits and simultaneously retard growth. Most people advocating tax cuts are doing so in pursuit of higher growth. Higher growth creates jobs and new tax revenues. Deficits expand in the short term after a tax cut, absent a mythical event (spending reductions), but deficits decline faster when growth is higher. Most importantly, growth creates new jobs and higher wages. Tax cuts are the only way to get new jobs and higher wages. You should support tax cuts, Ace. You may also want to support spending reductions, and I suggest those occur in welfare programs benefitting illegals, because they don't vote (today anyway).

Posted by: MTF at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (TxJGV)

110 >>>very difficult to bring in more than that almost no matter what the tax scheme. No not really. It's just hard to do with an Income Tax Scheme alone. When you add excise taxes to the mix you can get far more than 19% out of the economy.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (0q2P7)

111 >>>Using the phrase "tax cuts" is problematic. It implies less revenue will flow to the govt. Tax 'rate' cuts can result in more revenue to the govt, especially if targeted to help business owners, leading to more employment and a broader tax base. It CAN depending on where you are on the Laffer curve. But Bush the Younger's tax cuts did not bring in much more revenue. Less, I think, because we went into deficit spending immediately. at some point, and this point is only determinable through experimentation and observation, cutting taxes results in cutting revenue, no Laffer curve bump in revenue.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (dciA+)

112 89 So, who actually owns the debt? The Federal Reserve? The big banks that borrow from the Fed and then make money on the float? Posted by: Grampa Jimbo at September 29, 2015 02:35 PM (1ijHg) Yes. Federal Reserve. Too big to fail banks. Foreign central banks. Institutional Investors. And idiots. Oh, and of course, the social security administration has most of the "intra-governmental debt", which naturally is what DC also likes to call the "social security trust fund". Also known as worthless paper that will be redeemed as needed for more T-bonds (legit issued debt) on which we will be paying interest on for the next 1000 years.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (AkOaV)

113 "Medicare paid $30 M for ambulance trips that didn't start anywhere, didn't go anywhere, and no medical.services were provided."

Medicare's IT systems keep track of procedures previously performed.

You would think it would be pretty simple and basic sanity checking to, for instance, flag claims for orthopedic shoes for patients who had had both of their feet previously amputated due to diabetic complications.

But no. Medicare paid out regularly and steadily on a stream of just such claims, all of them completely fraudulent from the get-go.

"Well, okay, Obamacare isn't working as we had hoped. But we have a fallback plan. Medicare For All!" -- the left

Posted by: torquewrench at September 29, 2015 09:39 AM (noWW6)

114 We can start by eliminating all the Bush tax cuts. The upper bracket cuts were eliminated at the fiscal cliff in 2012. The middle class cuts were extended. We still have 80% of the Bush cuts in effect. That's a huge chunk of money.

Posted by: Mark1971 at September 29, 2015 09:40 AM (vaR50)

115 I don't. Its like a VAT and the tax gets hidden 100 different ways and never really felt. Posted by: Jollyroger It's nothing like VAT at all. They are two entirely different concepts.

Posted by: weft cut-loop[/i] [/b] at September 29, 2015 09:40 AM (JmGFJ)

116 Posted by: weft cut-loop at September 29, 2015 02:33 PM (JmGFJ) Aha! There you are. Hey, just wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me the other night about problems I was having with this site. Didn't get around to it until today, but the no-script add on worked perfectly. Appreciate it.

Posted by: HH at September 29, 2015 09:40 AM (DrCtv)

117 Carly should really do a commercial with puppies...that would get the Liberals attention. They have more empathy for animals than they have for human life.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 09:40 AM (mcm0N)

118

The plan    to cut spending is easy to construct:  first, eliminate any welfare benefits to illegal aliens, then step to is to     cut transfer payments by about 8 percent, and you should be in the ballpark.

 

On the revenue side, the only way to get the federal government out of the   spying on their own citizens business is via a consumption    tax.  Savings is not taxed, spending is.

Posted by: Vashta Nerada at September 29, 2015 09:40 AM (oEDuY)

119 Hillary's single payer healthcare will cost us all. Ironically, single-payer legalcare will save us.

Posted by: AmishDude at September 29, 2015 09:41 AM (Xd2w5)

120 >>>I think you'd have to be an idiot to think that the universally panned 'trickle down economics,' doesn't work. Reagan got some of the tax cuts he wanted, but virtually none of the spending cuts. Plus, he got the huge military budget increases that he sought that bankrupted Russia and that cause (in my perspective) for China to embrace a form of capitalism. ... but this did not happen with Bush's round of tax cuts, did it? Or, if you want to argue it did happen, certainly it happened (if at all) on a very subdued, hard-to-discern level.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:41 AM (dciA+)

121 Don't fall into the "zero-sum-game", Ace. Taxes have to be cut in order to grow this awful economy we have now. The gorilla in the room right now is Obamacare. Repeal that and much of this nation's future debt would vanish. Same goes for SS Disability payment. Bring the hammer down on that too. Immediate steps could be taken to curtail a lot of spending.

Posted by: Soona at September 29, 2015 09:41 AM (Fmupd)

122 "The only way to bring reason to this madness is to make people square up their accounts every year -- for each year you want 21% of GDP spending on government, you pay 21% of GDP in taxes." _________________________________________________ How are those onerous taxes working out in Greece. Like I said the beast will starve one way or the other. And punitive taxation will in response to bloated budgets will only increase debt. So we either get our spending under control, or we plan for the bad times. It's probably best to plan for the bad times because the only realistic way to curb spending is a restructuring of government that gets the feds out of our lives. Unless we embrace our founding principles once again of a very limited federal government barred from doing anything but what few items are enumerated in the Constitution we are boned.

Posted by: NotCoach at September 29, 2015 09:41 AM (rsudF)

123 Ace,

I probably don't know that tax code that in depth. But I do know that  my personal business which only hauls in maybe $30K to $35K per year ends up costing me almost 40% in tax. How? My husband's income gets us high enough that with my business income we are tipped into the 25% tax bracket. Plus, I have to pay both side of SS (about 12%) and Medicare.

The only way to fix under the current system is for my business to be *less* successful. And who wants that? So, instead, I try my best to expense everything, track all of my mileage and keep my fingers crossed that we don't owe a pile of tax.

My business should not be penalized in this way. What Trump has proposed is that I could split out my business income under it's own 15% tax bracket on the regular, personal income tax forms. My husband's income would be our 'household income.' It would be amazing for me and my family. We would save thousands in taxes. It would be a miracle, to tell you the truth.

I am sure most sole proprietors and freelancers feel the same way I do.

Posted by: K-E at September 29, 2015 09:42 AM (M7nfX)

124 So, who actually owns the debt? The Federal Reserve? The big banks that borrow from the Fed and then make money on the float? Posted by: Grampa Jimbo I think it is the future "us".

Posted by: Daybrother Samurai Slacker at September 29, 2015 09:42 AM (+jFOF)

125 Tax cuts now and spending cuts later wasn't Reagan's idea.

It's what he wound up with because a Democrat run Congress wouldn't cut spending when they agreed they would when the tax cuts were voted on.

The Republicans being the Democrat JV team went along with this and when they wound up accidentally put into power in Congress just kept doing what was already SOP.

Bush kept on doing the same stuff and rationalized a lot of it because of the war in Iraq and terrorism.

Meanwhile the country never got the Cold War Ending windfall because no spending cuts were ever made.

I don't see the possibility that any government will voluntarily cut it's power because that's what spending is; power. No Gov Official has ever been voted out because they cut spending. Some have been elected but they don't last very long.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at September 29, 2015 09:42 AM (x3GpS)

126 The biggest problem is any time we have raised taxes to cut the deficit, Congress simply sends all the new taxes with out addressing the deficit.

Posted by: Big V at September 29, 2015 09:42 AM (9rgyU)

127 SS/Medicare will be reformed just in time to screw Gen X which is a small generation sandwhiched between the Boomers (who will not cut their SS/Medicare) and the Millenials (who will not pay for the generation above them). As the boomers die off and as Gen X enters its retirement years, the Millenials will reform the system. So we Gen Xrs will have "paid into" our entire lives, but will get none of the "benefits." But that is the sacrifice our generation will make.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (gmeXX)

128 This is what happens when Monty isn't here every Monday to explain things to Ace...

Posted by: Brock O'bama at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (7S3eH)

129 I don't see how any sort of massive cuts will ever be achieved without the media focusing on every horrible story about the effects of tax cuts until there is howling in the streets and the politicians cave.



Every politician just loves to play freaking Santa Clause because it's fun to give away free crap that you don't have to pay for.



Apparently Math or economic realities about printing money are going to have to be the ultimate bad guys to get the spending to stop.



I think a homogenous population which can focus on their society and culture continuing successfully into the next generation are more able and willing to bring government largesse under control. The left can't or are unwilling to breed and have no reason to give a damn about the future.

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (AC0lD)

130 Money: how does it fucking work?

Posted by: BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b][/u] at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (LUgeY)

131 Kevin Williamson would oppose anything from Trump. He's so rabidly anti-Trump that I cannot read anything he writes that is even tangentially related to Trump. Too bad. He's normally quite good.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (St6BJ)

132 Disturbing thoughts, ace. It's a shame people are so fucking stupid that they must be made to feel immediate, empirical pain before they realize, "hey, maybe I should take my hand off the stove". A nation of Joe Bidens.

Posted by: Caitlyn Jenner at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (E5UB0)

133 Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 02:33 PM (9YRwm) Want the US Companies to have a competitive advantage??? National Sales Tax... Imports would be taxed when sold... but production here in the US would not be taxed until the item is sold.. Thus, Imports would pay their countries taxes, AND our Taxes... While things produced in the US would only be taxed when sold... And as many OTHER countries don't have sales taxes, OUR exports would then have an advantage.

Posted by: BB Wolf at September 29, 2015 09:43 AM (qh617)

134 >>>I'm not all aboard the Trump train, but I have to hand it to him-- he really is making the GOP elite reveal their true faces. i'm the GOP elite? Not sure whether to bow or to laugh. No, I just explained to you my priorities: My priorities are deficit-hawking and spending-hawking. I do not see tax cuts as consistent with those two top priorities. I see further tax cuts in an age of both expanding deficits and expanding government as irresponsible. But if you want to cheerlead and go to your only argument -- "anyone who disagrees with what Mr. Trump said today is the "GOP elite" -- by all means, do. Apparently it's all you've got, and I wouldn't want to leave you with nothing at all.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (dciA+)

135 Taxes are a fairy tale made up by the CBO and IRS while the real problem is the Feds spending pretend money by going into pretend debt. That is until the adults get home. A penny saved is a penny earned bitches.

Posted by: Zombie Benjamin Franklin at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (D0NZx)

136 That's didn't cut spending. (sorry)

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (x3GpS)

137 114 We can start by eliminating all the Bush tax cuts. The upper bracket cuts were eliminated at the fiscal cliff in 2012. The middle class cuts were extended. We still have 80% of the Bush cuts in effect. That's a huge chunk of money. Posted by: Mark1971 at September 29, 2015 02:40 PM (vaR50) I don't know how serious you're being, but that would not bring in any significant amount of money. And again, I think we need to be very careful about raising tax rates. You get to a point of diminishing returns (and I think we are there right now) where every marginal dollar you raise costs you more than a dollar in short-term growth. Kind of like the Keynesian multiplier effect, but real.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (AkOaV)

138 And they all said I was mad.

Posted by: Ron Paul at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (OD2ni)

139 Too bad. He's normally quite good. ======== Is he? Never really read him all that much. Seemed really boring.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 09:44 AM (3ZtZW)

140 Trump is still setting the agenda for all candidates in immigration and now tax reform sort of feels like....leadership

Posted by: ThunderB at September 29, 2015 09:45 AM (zOTsN)

141 I agree with Kevin and Ace.  Time for the rich liberals who voted for Obama and the Democrats to live up to Obama and the Democrats' proposals.  Rich liberals pay far too less in taxes and should start paying through the nose, especially the Wall Street bankers who are lining Hillary's coffers.

F'em.  Make them pay.

Posted by: MacGruber at September 29, 2015 09:45 AM (sgrzZ)

142 Here's that article: http://bit.ly/1Gf7L8e

Posted by: notsothoreau at September 29, 2015 09:45 AM (5HBd1)

143 Another blown opportunity by Trump. I generally like the plan, it's just I'd rather he'd push for a fair or flat tax and abolish the IRS. Now THAT would have won him the nomination and probably the next 2 general elections if he succeeded.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 09:45 AM (St6BJ)

144 SS/Medicare will be reformed just in time to screw Gen X which is a small generation sandwhiched between the Boomers (who will not cut their SS/Medicare) and the Millenials (who will not pay for the generation above them). As the boomers die off and as Gen X enters its retirement years, the Millenials will reform the system. So we Gen Xrs will have "paid into" our entire lives, but will get none of the "benefits." But that is the sacrifice our generation will make. Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 02:43 PM (gmeXX) I think you are right. On the other hand, the Millennials will have to fight another World War probably, so we'll have avoided that.

Posted by: AmishDude at September 29, 2015 09:46 AM (Xd2w5)

145 Regardless of where tax rates are, the only "real" solution is to drastically cut spending. And the only place where there is a shit ton of spending to be cut ASAP is in the "transfer payments" department. Which means it won't happen.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:46 AM (AkOaV)

146 Kevin Williamson would oppose anything from Trump. He's so rabidly anti-Trump that I cannot read anything he writes that is even tangentially related to Trump. Too bad. He's normally quite good. ----- You should read the piece. This is not an anti-trump piece. It is an accepting of reality that we really need spending cuts or should accept higher taxes. This is nothing new from KW.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:46 AM (gmeXX)

147 The big money is in entitlements and the name for that spending class states the political problem in reducing them: the recipients feel entitled.

Posted by: kraki at September 29, 2015 09:46 AM (TNa9O)

148 When you add excise taxes to the mix you can get far more than 19% out of the economy. True. Won't that be fun! but this did not happen with Bush's round of tax cuts, did it? Or, if you want to argue it did happen, certainly it happened (if at all) on a very subdued, hard-to-discern level. Not true. Bush's tax cuts (I presume you mean W) took the 2000 bubble burst and turned it into record (or near record) economic growth for 7 years. People often forget the mini recession (mini because W moved decisively to spur growth) right as Bush took office, and then the economy took a pretty solid whammy in September 2001. Yet the very fact most don't remember those is (arguably, at least) attributable to GW and the cuts he managed to get Congress to pass.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (M1uf/)

149 I tend to agree BUT. If you really want people to cut government, everybody has to feel that tax burden. It has to hurt everyone. Well, you have 47 or 52% that pay zero fed taxes. Put the screws to them for awhile.

Posted by: rickb223 at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (SEFXb)

150 141 Posted by: MacGruber at September 29, 2015 02:45 PM (sgrzZ) The Leviathan is the real target. Starve it and you go along way to solving a lot of problems.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (St6BJ)

151 SS could be saved if we simply kill SSDI which is 50% fraud and abuse.  But Obama increased spending by $1T his first year in office, and in the last 6 years he has never reduced it.  And most of that is going into green scams for cronies and inner city thugs pockets.


And we are currently collecting record amounts of taxes so the answer is not a tax increase.  It would simply get spent.  We have to cut some of this wasteful spending.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (t2KH5)

152 So what do the following three Republican politicians have in common?

-- Ronald Reagan
-- Poppy Bush
-- John Boehner

All three of them thought they had "fiscal responsibility" deals sewn up with their Democratic counterparties to trade tax hikes for spending cuts in a 1:1 or better ratio.

All three of them got completely rolled by the Democrats.

Posted by: torquewrench at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (noWW6)

153 No tax on Baby Formula/Milk Diapers. Dried, Rice/Beans/Whole Grain/Flour Education Water Sales tax on all other food at (Spending/GDP - 15%) Sales tax on all other goods and services (Spending/GDP)

Posted by: MikeTheMoose at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (0q2P7)

154 I think you are right. On the other hand, the Millennials will have to fight another World War probably, so we'll have avoided that. ----- There is always that.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:47 AM (gmeXX)

155 146 You should read the piece. This is not an anti-trump piece. It is an accepting of reality that we really need spending cuts or should accept higher taxes. This is nothing new from KW. Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 02:46 PM (gmeXX) Point taken.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 09:48 AM (St6BJ)

156 The IRS will NEVER be abolished. Let's get that straight once and for all.

In any of the alternate tax plans currently in vogue, the IRS will be kept around to manage the paperwork, validate the information the tax is based on and provide any rebates, over withholding (oh you thought that was going away too? Silly Rabbit), collections and tax law interpretations.

Posted by: Bitter Clinger and All That at September 29, 2015 09:48 AM (x3GpS)

157 So, who actually owns the debt? The Federal Reserve? The big banks that borrow from the Fed and then make money on the float? Posted by: Grampa Jimbo I think it is the future "us". The future "us" owes the debt. The buyers of Treasuries own the debt.

Posted by: Bandersnatch, Opus/Bill the Cat 2016 at September 29, 2015 09:48 AM (JtwS4)

158 @131 What Trump is doing is showing what conservatism, which I really don't know what it is in the real world any longer, is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Especially when espoused from the conservative commentariate industrial complex of which Williamson, Cooke and Will are members on good standing.

Posted by: Kreplach at September 29, 2015 09:48 AM (rnKiX)

159 J.J. Sefton would support anything from Trump. He's so rabidly pro-Trump that I cannot read anything he writes that is even tangentially related to Trump. Too bad. He's normally quite good.

Posted by: AmishDude at September 29, 2015 09:48 AM (Xd2w5)

160 didnt the IRS take in record receipts last year but the debt did not diminish

Posted by: ThunderB at September 29, 2015 09:49 AM (zOTsN)

161 If you really want people to cut government, everybody has to feel that tax burden. It has to hurt everyone. ======== Go back to the old style of tax collectors - farm it out to the lowest, most violent bidder.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 09:49 AM (3ZtZW)

162 155 146 You should read the piece. This is not an anti-trump piece. It is an accepting of reality that we really need spending cuts or should accept higher taxes. This is nothing new from KW. Spending cuts are impossible. Just ask any Republican in Washington. Higher taxes can be done, but the money will be spent immediately on new projects.

Posted by: Bevel Lemelisk at September 29, 2015 09:49 AM (WlG0e)

163 Ace: Great post but at the end, Balanced Budget Amendment made me nervous. It amounts to the government saying, We never do manage to choose to do the right thing, so let's recognize it as the right thing and pass a law forcing us to do it every time. In related news, I plan to quit smoking by hiding my packs of cigarettes from me. (I think that's a PJ O'Rourke paraphrase.)

Posted by: JPS at September 29, 2015 09:49 AM (lVKME)

164 >>Well, you have 47 or 52% that pay zero fed taxes. Put the screws to them for awhile. Which is why I do not support Trump's tax plan. It would further institutionalize that number. If you want to cut the size of government then make as many people as possible feel the lash. Why in God's name would 50% of the country support cutting the size of the government if they don't fund it? Hint, they wouldn't just as they don't today.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 09:49 AM (OGm46)

165 151 SS could be saved if we simply kill SSDI which is 50% fraud and abuse. Posted by: Vic-we have no party at September 29, 2015 02:47 PM (t2KH5) Not a chance, Vic. It's a Ponzi scheme. The math never made sense in the long term. Never. Put another way -- SS started paying out benefits on day 1. It was ALWAYS taking money from "the workers" and transferring it to "the not workers". From day one. There has never been nor ever will be a "trust fund"

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (AkOaV)

166 I would have gone with a everyone pays a 1% tax above $20K. Everyone should have some skin in the game. Anyways, I'm not going to support higher taxes until the Feds actually get serious about cutting waste, stop paying illegals benefits, and tighten up requirements on a lot things like disability. The gov't is still complaining about cutting the ExIm bank.

Posted by: WOPR at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (LTDSy)

167 "So, who actually owns the debt?" US debt has been rehypothecated. It now serves the same purpose as gold did before the US went off the Gold Standard. That is one reason why Treasury only gives you a number not a certificate. The Treasury can always say you don't own it. How could you prove otherwise. This was true of paper also (counterfeit claim) but at least you would have a pretty. I'm expecting them to declare treasury hoarding and take (the numbers) at a discount like FDR did gold.

Posted by: finance wiz at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (Bbcs8)

168 That's right folks, the Republicans want to raise your taxes AND cut your sweet, sweet stipend from Uncle Sugar

Posted by: Dem talking points at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (5LOno)

169 Republicans haven't cared about cutting spending since Coolidge. Rand and perhaps Cruz are the only candidates who could conceivably attempt to curtail spending. Rubio will be Bush III.

Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (lU0bX)

170 But is it the right proposal? Yes, because the only aspect of the economy that matters, right now, is growth. Real growth, not the fake kind where the feral government borrows and spends over $500 billion into the economy in a year and then claims "growth" in the GDP of a spectacular $300 billion (if that). That is nothing but straight out fraud. The debt is nigh-unserviceable. But the only chance (and it is a slim one) that that debt can be serviced in the future is if we experience growth in the 6% range for a good amount of time - coupled with fiscal sanity at all government levels. It isn't a question of how much in annual deficits we can continue to carry. The answer is 'almost none" and whether we can limp along with anemic growth (even anemic real growth .. which we are far, far away from) - we can't. Taxes must be cut and deficits must be done away with. There is no other choice, really ... well, I guess there would still remain one choice barring those two things happening - hyper-inflation and the messy, nasty, near apocalyptic death of the dollar or default.

Posted by: ThePrimordialOrderedPair at September 29, 2015 09:50 AM (zc3Db)

171

I once drunkenly proposed a per capita tax.  E.g., here's what we spent this year; here's your household's share of it.  Pay up.  By the way, no withholding and tax day is Oct 31, right before election day.

Posted by: LibertarianJim at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (WDCYi)

172 139 Is he? Never really read him all that much. Seemed really boring. Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 02:44 PM (3ZtZW) ----------------------------------------------------- Almost never boring. Lively writer.

Posted by: MTF at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (TxJGV)

173 When W. Bush cut tax rates, tax revenues increased. That's just simple history. Google "Federal Tax Receipts," shift to Images, and pick whatever graph you want. 9/11 coincides with a horrific recession. Bush led the cutting of taxes, and they were never increased again during his 8 years - but look at how receipts rebound and grow. So, yes, there is an "elasticity" to taxation, for sure. Less taxes, under the right circumstances, do lead to more receipts. It's stimulative, etc. The issue isn't receipts, it's expenses. As deficit becomes debt, it crowds out everything else. Servicing the debt is becoming leviathan, and if interest rates do rise, the impact will be immediately felt... Deficit spending is stimulative. The fact is, we have been in a Stimulus situation for well over 15 years now, with only a brief pause under Clinton when the budget actually balanced. To get this monkey off of our back will be contractionary. Ask Portugal what it's like to "deficit spend less, and call it 'Austerity.'" It's NOT living under a balanced budget... it's just "deficit spending Less," and it's killing them. We now owe about 100% of what we make, as a country. It is a disaster waiting to happen. Taxes aren't the issue; spending is the issue. We either ease our way towards a balanced budget, which will include servicing and thus lowering the debt, or we follow Greece, Portugal, etc. into the furnace. Japan, at 400% Debt to GDP is going to be the first major catastrophe, barring anything unusual. When Japan can't borrow more money, and I know I sure wouldn't buy Japanese debt at this point, then see our own future...

Posted by: RobM1981 at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (zurJC)

174 "If, on the other hand, you have a credible program for reducing spending to 17 or 18 percent of GDP, which is where taxes have been coming in, please do share it. " A lot of this was covered yesterday. The only plan that will work to limit spending to 19% of GDP (truly, without bookkeeping bullshit), is the compensation plan I laid out for congressmen, senators and the president. It would finally bring the correct incentive to the people who spend the money. The original plan had congressmen at $375K base with an additional $375K bonus if they pass a budget on time that stays within the 19% GDP guidelines. Senators would be $500K, base and bonus and the President would be 2 million base, 2 bonus. Congressmen/senators would also get a housing allowance of 10K/month along with a pro-rated Net Jets card based on the distance of their district. Small jets for congress, medium for senate. All the perks disappear if the 19% goal is missed in amount or time. Pass this simple fix and see how easily a problem is solved.

Posted by: jwest at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (Zs4uk)

175 There need to be tax cuts.  Big ones. Especially to business.  At the same time stop the crony capitalist BS. Sorry big farms you dont get paid to sit idle any more and get paid to do so. No more IMF bank and special cut outs. If you want to start a business you have the same rights as those already in the market.

2) You have 4 years in a first term.  Either eliminate or return to the states most of the social spending. So long Department of education, transportation, EPA etc. Yea states would  have to raise taxes. But guess what? Then we have plenty of choices. If I want California or Texas styles of government. Then I get to vote with my feet.

3) I have been told since I was a kid Social Security would not be there for me when I was old enough for it. Guess what. Time to pay the piper. Phasing it out and cancelling it for future generations. Means test those on it already and boot them. It was designed so you would not starve to death. Not so you could take 3 vacations a year in Miami.

Posted by: Mythx at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (uBSn/)

176 All one has to do to understand exactly how much financial trouble we're in is to compare Washington's spending to that of your own family's. Try spending three or four times what you bring in each and every year and see how long you're able to do that. The only reason Fedzilla is able to get away with it is that they own printing presses and can print all the money they need. The people spending the money have no idea how an economy should work. The endless nonsensical blathering from "economists" (who, if laid end to end, wouldn't reach a conclusion) is just so much static. They want you to believe in some sort of magical thinking that mysteriously shields government from making incomprehensively bad decisions. It doesn't and there's no such thing. It just hasn't caught up with us yet and when it does, it'll be a worldwide collapse of Biblical proportions. I hope I'm not around to see it. I fear for my grandkids.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b][/u] at September 29, 2015 09:51 AM (LUgeY)

177 If you have a mutual fund that buys T bills, then you are part owner of the debt.

Posted by: navybrat at September 29, 2015 09:52 AM (ETxiG)

178 - No more withholding. People pay a quarterly check to Uncle Sam. - Eliminate the current services baseline. If the government spends more next year than this year, that's an increase. It is never a cut. These won't balance the budget, but they sure would set the stage.

Posted by: JPS at September 29, 2015 09:52 AM (lVKME)

179 >>>It's a Ponzi scheme. The math never made sense in the long term. Never. ... the math only works if the next generation is always more numerous than the last -- something unlikely to happen, and which would ultimately have to stop at some point.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:52 AM (dciA+)

180 "Everyone should have some skin in the game" Trump wants to get elected. He is trying to get LIVs and disaffected Republican votes. 50 million votes and he wins.

Posted by: think agout it at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (Bbcs8)

181 Eliminate direct taxation from the Federal government altogether.  Instead, simply take the Federal budget and apportion responsibility for funding to the states based on percentage of population.  California has 18% of the US population?  Then they pay in 18% of the money for this year's budget.


Posted by: Colorado Alex at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (OiH3z)

182 165  Put another way -- SS started paying out benefits on day 1. It was ALWAYS taking money from "the workers" and transferring it to "the not workers".

From day one.

There has never been nor ever will be a "trust fund"

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 02:50 PM (AkOaV)



SS and SSDI are separate issues.  SS itself is not in real trouble right now.  SSDI is what is bankrupting the system and reports say that it is 50% fraud.  And more recently Obama dumping everybody on medicaid and helping either.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (t2KH5)

183 >>The Leviathan is the real target. Starve it and you go along way to solving a lot of problems.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 02:47 PM (St6BJ)<<


Rich liberals have for far too long comfortably voted Democrat knowing that Republicans will shield them from higher taxes.  So rich liberals vote Democrat and get a politician who agrees with their liberal views, but also knows that Republicans will ensure he/she doesn't have to pay for the government they are getting.


If you make the rich 1% and above pay the freight for the people they supposedly care about - the poor - then you will see who's the real liberal and who isn't.


And those rich liberals aren't employing people.  They are the actors, the socialites, the trial lawyers, the Wall Street bankers moving around money.  They are not the small businessmen who create jobs.


Frankly, the GOP should adopt a platform to soak anyone making more than $2 million/year.  Multinational corporations who ship jobs overseas?  Yep, soak them as well.  I'm looking at you, Apple, GM, etc.

Posted by: MacGruber at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (sgrzZ)

184 "SS could be saved if we simply kill SSDI which is 50% fraud and abuse."

All through the Reagan and Poppy Bush years, people could sign up for SSDI on the basis of a "disability" due to addiction. Alone. No other impairment required.

What, you're a junkie? Oh, you're a wino? Here's your check! Have fun!

That is, providing a massive and specific disincentive to get clean and sober.

That particular scam was finally killed off in early 1996 by the GOP House, one of a few good measures that came out of the Gingrich years, and Bill Clinton was wary enough of the fall elections that year not to veto it.

Posted by: torquewrench at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (noWW6)

185 the math only works if the next generation is always more numerous than the last -- something unlikely to happen, and which would ultimately have to stop at some point. ----- It only worked because of the Boomers.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:53 AM (gmeXX)

186 143 Another blown opportunity by Trump. I generally like the plan, it's just I'd rather he'd push for a fair or flat tax and abolish the IRS. Now THAT would have won him the nomination and probably the next 2 general elections if he succeeded. Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 02:45 PM (St6BJ) -------------------------- I think Trump is trying to work within the realm of reality. There's no way that the congress we have now would pass any kind of a flat or consumption tax as it's only source of revenue.

Posted by: Soona at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (Fmupd)

187 Hey Republicans, leave my Medicare alone!

Posted by: Old Lady in future Dem campaign commercial at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (OD2ni)

188 @167 Bush's tax cuts led to increased tax receipts. By 2004 receipts were roaring back, after a nasty post-9/11 recession. Google "Federal Tax Receipts," and choose the image of your choice. The economic recovery led to more tax revenues. It's history, not opinion.

Posted by: RobM1981 at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (zurJC)

189 A slightly different idea, no salary increases for any non-DOD fed employ while there is a deficit. Also, Glenn Reynold's revolving door tax.

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (5LOno)

190 I've come to the point where I think none of these proposals actually mean anything. Just noise, mostly designed to keep campaigns alive in the news cycle. There is one and only one way to change what happens in D.C. and that is amending the Constitution. It's the only solution.

Posted by: MTF at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (TxJGV)

191 I stopped reading at Kevin Williamson. The guy is not credible after he went to the wall for Obama on TPA/TPP.

Posted by: Dan Stevens at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (Bcqod)

192 If tax cuts are not the solution, than what is? Higher taxes? It is a spending problem. Always has been. It is a lack of political will problem. Always has been. It is the terrible two year old tyrant who rules the home because the parents are just too worn out from fighting the monster and give up who are the problem. Trump has done something to that poor man and his colleagues over at NRO. If Trump proposes tax cuts then they are against it. When Reagan was talking about 'starve the beast' I understood his intent to mean that tax cuts would force the government to reduce spending to within the limits of the revenue raised by those taxes. The democrats lied, and Reagan admitted it was his worst mistake. No one on the conservative side ever imagined the democrats would continue to spend money irresponsibly like they have. We all thought the democrats were just misguided. We never considered they might be evil or insane. Someone has to go to Washington and take a battle axe to the leviathan, and that will bring out an army of protesters, and they have to be put down just like we did in the 'Whiskey Rebellion'. We are in a war for the survival of the United States, and conservatives are losing that war. What is really distressing is the skill at which the liberal left can make the same case for rounding up conservatives as enemies of the state and putting the blame for all of this on republicans. We're going to end up in the time of the gun and politics and ideology are going out the window.

Posted by: Hayfield Volkovski at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (FETr8)

193 >>> Almost never boring. Lively writer. Lively tax writer? You guys like some strange entertainments

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 09:54 AM (3ZtZW)

194 Aha! There you are. Posted by: HH De nada. Glad it works.

Posted by: weft cut-loop[/i] [/b] at September 29, 2015 09:55 AM (JmGFJ)

195

Without a balanced  budget amendment,  Democrats can run on European  Socialist  giveaways  without having to proposed the European  Socialist  taxes.

 

That is where are at.

 

If we don't change that equation, we deserve our present fate of  meaningless victories.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2015 09:55 AM (9KqcB)

196 "Rich liberals have for far too long comfortably voted Democrat knowing that Republicans will shield them from higher taxes. So rich liberals vote Democrat and get a politician who agrees with their liberal views, but also knows that Republicans will ensure he/she doesn't have to pay for the government they are getting."

I'll just bring up again one sacred cow that should be slaughtered: the mortgage interest tax deduction.

Which provides financial benefits to upper-income taxpayers tightly concentrated in just two states: New York and California.

Who are, in both of those states, a reliable Democratic voting bloc.

Posted by: torquewrench at September 29, 2015 09:56 AM (noWW6)

197 The Federal Government has already passed critical mass. This is all academic. The USA as the dominant financial power in the West has mismanaged its role so badly that the last 8 years have been an exercise in propping up an enormous house of cards on a shaky table. President Zero has raced in to rescue us by aggressively undermining the entire facade and will be as surprised as anyone in his administration to realize that every day millions of people have their fingers in the dike he and his people are tearing down. We've got about 5-10 years tops. Then it will be a second dark ages. DOOM.

Posted by: Daybrother Samurai Slacker at September 29, 2015 09:56 AM (+jFOF)

198 Cutting taxes is not an effective sales pitch, in isolation any more.

Trump is just throwing shit against the wall, hoping to arrest his Carly-caused recent poll slide.  Immigration isn't the new hotness now that he got his ass handed to him at the last debate.  He's down in the polls and in the media mentions and the site searches. 

Every one of the other candidates has already published at least the outlines of a fiscal/tax policy proposal.  Almost all of them have some kind of rate alteration/simplification proposal. 

One of the least-appreciated aspects of the Boehner House has been the flattening out of government spending over the last 5 years.  Gov't spending as a percentage of GDP has dropped quite a bit.  But, math is hard, as Barbie says.


Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 09:56 AM (ljZD2)

199 >>the math only works if the next generation is always more numerous than the last -- something unlikely to happen, and which would ultimately have to stop at some point. A lot of people ask why Republicans don't fight against illegal immigration harder and in some cases seem to actually support it. Yes, yes, big business and the Chamber of Commerce. But this is an even more obvious reason. Ponzi schemes only work when you keep adding new blood at the bottom to pay off the top. I'm not saying that pols are geniuses, far from it, but a lot of them understand this problem and since we aren't breeding enough internally we need to import them because nobody has the stones to cut entitlements. Happening in every welfare state around the globe. We just talk about the US as unique cause it affects us directly but this is not a unique phenomenon.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 09:57 AM (OGm46)

200 I'll just bring up again one sacred cow that should be slaughtered: the mortgage interest tax deduction. ---------- And state and property tax deductions.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:57 AM (gmeXX)

201 the math only works if the next generation is always more numerous than the last -- something unlikely to happen, and which would ultimately have to stop at some point. Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 02:52 PM (dciA+) When SS first started, the combined employer / employee contribution was 1%. Now we're up to north of 12%. Some of that is population growth, some of that is life expectancy, a lot of it is just that (like a pyramid scheme) each lower level of the pyramid needs a larger and larger base of dummies willing to buy in to the scheme. At some point, there just aren't even dummies in existence to pay in, everyone panics and that's the end of that. Of course, government-enforced Ponzi schemes are a little different in that we HAVE to be dummies. Also, as Lindsey Graham said in the last debate, this SS issue is why they want to import so many new immigrants to take the place of Americans who weren't born / aren't paying in

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:57 AM (AkOaV)

202 >>>'ve come to the point where I think none of these proposals actually mean anything. Just noise, mostly designed to keep campaigns alive in the news cycle. ... probably. it feels kind of stupid debating all these Things Which Aren't Going to Happen.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:57 AM (dciA+)

203 Proscriptions. That's what we need. Tax 80% of the net worth of Soros, Gates, Zuckerberg, and the rest of the left-leaning billionaire class. On pain of exile. Seize assets, freeze accounts. Let's go whole hog into the late Republic! None of this pussyfooting around bullshit.

Posted by: imp at September 29, 2015 09:57 AM (T4Aju)

204 Shrug

Posted by: Atlas at September 29, 2015 09:58 AM (cgxNI)

205 Yeah! Everybody else pay up for MOAR GOVT! ...just don't raise my taxes.

Posted by: How It Will Play Out at September 29, 2015 09:58 AM (D7HXY)

206 Without a balanced budget amendment, Democrats can run on European Socialist giveaways without having to proposed the European Socialist taxes. *** Speaking of which, I think it may be time for the "American Defense Subscription Fee". Much like pre-Imperial Athens, if you want the American military to defend you, you need to pay. Now for some countries, like Oz, the rates would be low. South Korea/Japan/Germany/Saudi Arabia though? That's in the premium subscription rate...

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 09:58 AM (5LOno)

207 >>the math only works if the next generation is always more numerous than the last -- ....or the current SS recipients die off at a faster rate. I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of the unmentioned goals behind Obamacare. It was designed by people like Ezekiel Emanuel, who is a firm believer in rationing care, reducing spending on non-productive members of society. The benefit being less SS payouts, getting their assets distributed (and taxed), etc.

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 09:58 AM (NOIQH)

208 We try to bring this down into a home budget situation, and telling people "You can't spend like this!!" doesn't work as an argument. The American people have a negative savings rate. Whatever we earn, we spend 102% of that. So I'm not surprised that as a government we take in 18% in taxes, but spend 21%. That's Americans being stupid about money. The American household IS the US Government. They don't see a problem with deficits in their personal lives, so why would they care about the government?

Posted by: Brenden at September 29, 2015 09:58 AM (wa+SP)

209 >>>But this is an even more obvious reason. Ponzi schemes only work when you keep adding new blood at the bottom to pay off the top. I'm not saying that pols are geniuses, far from it, but a lot of them understand this problem and since we aren't breeding enough internally we need to import them because nobody has the stones to cut entitlements. ... i have wondered about this. But i'm not sure the right way to fight socialism is to import a lot of socialist-leaning new voters.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 09:59 AM (dciA+)

210 Trump does make a great point in his plan about business taxes and repatriation. Business headquarter elsewhere because of the hit. If they could save money by doing it here, they would, and job growth would come about as a result.

Posted by: Emile Antoon Khadaji at September 29, 2015 09:59 AM (Nj2wY)

211 SS and SSDI are separate issues. SS itself is not in real trouble right now. SSDI is what is bankrupting the system and reports say that it is 50% fraud. And more recently Obama dumping everybody on medicaid and helping either. Posted by: Vic-we have no party at September 29, 2015 02:53 PM (t2KH5) Vic, I'm not sure I follow. Nearly 1/3 of the cash DC brings in goes directly to SS. I'd say that's a problem.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 09:59 AM (AkOaV)

212 When SS first started, the combined employer / employee contribution was 1%. Now we're up to north of 12%. ------ Of course as KW points out, this is really just the employee's contribution. There is not real employer contribution.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 09:59 AM (gmeXX)

213 Also, as Lindsey Graham said in the last debate, this SS issue is why they want to import so many new immigrants to take the place of Americans who weren't born / aren't paying in ========== That much is obvious. Not so obvious is how they expect to get them to pay anything.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (3ZtZW)

214
1.  Why even collect taxes at all?, just finance it with the fed if debt isn't a problem.

2. A BBA would be nice if DC actually followed the Constitution.

3. Any tax plan not a flat tax does not treat people equally under the law, a principle of this nation at one time.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (ODxAs)

215 It is not my purpose in life to make sure the government gets "enough" revenue.

Posted by: eman at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (mR7Es)

216 It is to laugh: Cuomo Demands Democrats Shut Down the Government Unless More Gun Control Legislation Passes

Posted by: weft cut-loop[/i] [/b] at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (JmGFJ)

217 probably. it feels kind of stupid debating all these Things Which Aren't Going to Happen. ------ I'm sure many felt the same in 1773. But sometimes things do happen. Usually due to a very small number of people.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (gmeXX)

218 It may very well be that the left is following the Cloward -Piven strategy,even if some of them are dim enough to believe the money will never run out.It may well be that they think they can go full socialist after the collapse.True " fundamental transformation".I think the foundation has been set.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (sPO3u)

219 Now for some countries, like Oz, the rates would be low. South Korea/Japan/Germany/Saudi Arabia though? That's in the premium subscription Platinum Membership rate... Corrected as per the Moron Doctrine.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 10:00 AM (9krrF)

220 Would an option be to bar the feds from borrowing? Any deficits must be met with printed money and the costs associated with the ensuing inflation?

Posted by: Buzzsaw90 at September 29, 2015 10:01 AM (/eTPT)

221 i have wondered about this. But i'm not sure the right way to fight socialism is to import a lot of socialist-leaning new voters. ========== Other way is to tax virtual personalities. Which would reduce the troll problem right there.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 10:01 AM (3ZtZW)

222 Cuomo Demands Democrats Shut Down the Government Unless More Gun Control Legislation Passes Promise?

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 10:01 AM (9krrF)

223 Of course as KW points out, this is really just the employee's contribution. There is not real employer contribution. Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 02:59 PM (gmeXX) You're right of course, I'm just simplifying it. Because if I say "SS is close to 13% tax" then I get the "YOURE AN IDIOT! ITs only 6.whatever!! AHAHAh111!!!11!" so its easier to break it out. BUt of course, its part of your total compensation package.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 10:01 AM (AkOaV)

224 Sure the standard of living will drop drastically like it does every where else.But we will get by on residual wealth ling enough and it will happen gradually enough that the dummies wont notice until it is too late.Than it will just be the new normal.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 10:02 AM (sPO3u)

225 Gov't spending as a percentage of GDP has dropped quite a bit. But, math is hard, as Barbie says. Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 02:56 PM (ljZD2) --------------------------------------------------- Over many years or between Friday and today? All spending, or just one small department? Is this sweeping and vague comment true, or are you full of shit?

Posted by: MTF at September 29, 2015 10:02 AM (TxJGV)

226 10% across the board cut for every government funded entity. Find the waste and eliminate it or die.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at September 29, 2015 10:02 AM (014lE)

227 I had no idea there was a Kevin D. Williamson movie out.

Posted by: logprof at September 29, 2015 10:02 AM (vsbNu)

228 People are going to have to feel the pain of their decisions before they get serious about how government is managed. Frankly, I hope they feel a lot of pain. Being self employed, I have to deal with taxes all the damn time and it is the most frustrating, expensive, time-wasting bunch of bullshit in my life. And all of it so they can persecute conservative groups and lie to congress?

I'm trying to call the Colorado state department of revenue today in fact and getting the "no agents are available to take your call" *hangup* nonsense. Online forms are fucked. System doesn't work. How much do I pay for these assholes again so they can go and smirk their way through congressional hearings.

Nothing gets me more heated than dealing with taxes. Fuck 'em all.

Posted by: ElKomandante at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (APQ2q)

229 202  Also, as Lindsey Graham said in the last debate, this SS issue is why they want to import so many new immigrants to take the place of Americans who weren't born / aren't paying in

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 02:57 PM (AkOaV)



As always, Graham is full of shit.  Haven't you seen the statistics of all those 1M new immigrants coming in every year?  70% of them go immediately on welfare and stay there.   They don't pay into the system, they take out of the system.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (t2KH5)

230 >>i have wondered about this. But i'm not sure the right way to fight socialism is to import a lot of socialist-leaning new voters. Oh I think its a terrible idea and I don't support it. Just trying to understand why any right of center pol would accept illegal hordes. We don't seem to have a lot of pols these days with the will to fight and this would explain why they roll over.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (OGm46)

231 But this is an even more obvious reason. Ponzi schemes only work when you keep adding new blood at the bottom to pay off the top. I'm not saying that pols are geniuses, far from it, but a lot of them understand this problem and since we aren't breeding enough internally we need to import them because nobody has the stones to cut entitlements. Why, it's almost like we're missing 40-odd million Americans! I wonder how that happened...

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (9krrF)

232 Some taxes I would propose were I running for office: The entertainment industry tax: They tell us we should pay more in taxes and that it is a sin to be rich...We know they cook the books, we know they do bad things, time to pay up... The urban tax: Cities use up disproportionate resources. I think something like $100/head for each purpose over 100,000 in a city sounds pretty good. The NGO racket tax: Any NGO "non-profit" that spends more then 10% of its budget on salaries gets taxed like a corporation The remittance tax: Any country that is sending a non-trivial number of illegals gets a 50% fee on remittances.

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (5LOno)

233 The economy is more complicated than that. It doesn't belong to one man.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 10:03 AM (mcm0N)

234 Frankly, the GOP should adopt a platform to soak anyone making more than $2 million/year. Multinational corporations who ship jobs overseas? Yep, soak them as well. I'm looking at you, Apple, GM, etc. Posted by: MacGruber at September 29, 2015 02:53 PM (sgrzZ) Right on! And I would like to see the Repubs implement an "entertainer" tax where everyone in the entertainment business pays 75% of their income in taxes. And SS makes me and Bernie Madoff look like amateurs.

Posted by: Zombie Charles Ponzi at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (D0NZx)

235 since we aren't breeding enough internally ------- Well the government has made the cost of raising kids a lot more expensive (regulations) while taking more of our money (taxes). And let's not forget those 50,000,000,000 souls.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (gmeXX)

236 Excellent post.


It helps in explaining this point to LIVs to relate the government's finances (see http://www.usdebtclock.org/) to those of a family (by dropping off seven zeros).


Point out to them that the government corresponds to a family that makes $32,000 per year, spends $36,000 per year, and owes $184,000 in credit card debt.


Another interesting perspective: the debt per citizen is $57,000, whereas the debt pertaxpayer is $155,000. Hmmm

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i][/b][/s][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (oKE6c)

237 Until we stop pretending there is any difference between income tax and fica, the lowest tax bracket is 15.3%.   The first thing any reform plan should do is combine fica and income tax under new rates to keep current revenue.  Then everyone has skin in the game and people begin to understand SS tax is not an investment and old people are not "due" entitlements any more than they are due any other form of federal spending.

Posted by: pashmr at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (3aNC4)

238 Posted by: MTF at September 29, 2015 03:02 PM (TxJGV) State / local/ federal has stayed fairly flat in the Obama years. Slight dip after his first year. Federal has dipped slightly as GDP has grown slightly (on paper at least)

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (AkOaV)

239 If everyone is going to be stubborn about not allowing spending cuts, I don't see any good reason not to lower taxes and hasten the federal governments' detonation.

It's not like it serves any purpose.

Posted by: Methos at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (ZbV+0)

240 Which is why I do not support Trump's tax plan. It would further institutionalize that number. Which is why it has a chance of passing, while a Flat Tax and a National Sales tax do not. nonsense, "record economic growth." The growth was at the 3% level, sometimes hitting 3.5%, often falling to 2.5% of lower. Nonsense yourself. 1) IIRC (and I may not) the way the numbers were calculated changed. 2) GDP itself is not "growth" (though it is one indicator thereof). 3) Remember incredibly low unemployment? When the only problem the MFM had to complain about (economically) was "McJobs?" 4) Record DOW several times (also not "growth" but one indicator thereof, and since the Fed wasn't pumping trillions into Treasuries every quarter back then, a much better one then than it is now). Meanwhile, yes, growth under Reagan's plan was phenomenal, and growth under Clinton's Newt's plan was very good, too. Reagan had the advantage of growing out of the gutter. I can't remember the specific reason for Newt's growth (though at the end, a lot of it was the .com bubble which would burst in 2000). GW, meanwhile, was growing (again- he acted very swiftly to curtail a mini-recession) at 3 - 3.5% against already very good numbers. Percentages are important, but they're not the only measure here. All of that, by-the-by, misses the point. The point of lowering tax *rates* is not to reduce revenue to the government. Lowering tax rates will (to some degree - that currently unknown) increase receipts by the IRS. There is no intrinsic conflict here. Disputing such increased receipts (as seen under, say, Reagan) as "the growth fairy" is a disingenuous way of trying to pretend that lowering tax rates decreases the money the government takes in. It does not. It never has in my lifetime. Yes, we must cut spending. We spend too much. That is a given. It is also not going to happen until everything burns down and the stones are scattered. The public realized it could vote itself largesse from the public treasury. At that point, the game was over, all that's left is the screaming. Given that we're not going to cut spending, lower tax rates a) prolong the time until collapse (giving the hopeful a little more hope that the American people can be made to see the results of their voting) and b) put more money in my pocket so that I can better prepare myself and my family for when the collapse does come (repairing a farm isn't cheap).

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (M1uf/)

241 The "Clinton Economy" probably belonged more to technology and Silicon Valley than it did to Bill.

Posted by: Your friendly Danube river guide at September 29, 2015 10:04 AM (mcm0N)

242 South Korea does pay the US for defense - $866.5 Million US in 2014.



http://tinyurl.com/nosgewx

Posted by: Stateless Infidel at September 29, 2015 10:05 AM (AC0lD)

243 "Over many years or between Friday and today? All spending, or just one small department? Is this sweeping and vague comment true, or are you full of shit?"



See Sean Trende's piece today at RCP.  You won't like it because he argues for Boehner being effective, under the circumstances, but the charts are there.

Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 10:05 AM (ljZD2)

244 Yes, balanced budget amendment. Also, cuts everywhere we can. Anyone who responds to a proposed spending cut by saying the cut is too tiny compared to the problem should be forced to tongue-bathe Hilary Clinton.*

Instead of always focusing on the hard stuff and saying the problem is just too big, how about we start by cutting the easy stuff. Come on. Couldn't we just try to cut funding for cowboy poetry and see if the nation can survive without it? Maybe we will discover there is joy to be found in reducing the level of government spending.


* Yes, our situation is that dire.

Posted by: Anon Y. Mous at September 29, 2015 10:05 AM (IN7k+)

245 Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 02:38 PM (t06LC) VATs are hidden as part of the price of whatever you buy. Fair Tax is added to the retail price at point of purchase just like sales taxes now. It IS transparent.

Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 10:05 AM (9YRwm)

246

But this is an even more obvious reason. Ponzi schemes only work when you keep adding new blood at the bottom to pay off the top.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 02:57 PM (OGm46)

 

--

 

THIS

 

My cousin is a wealthy  GOP businessman. He says the U.S.   will need a population  of 700 million  to pay its bills. 

 

Because some folks  just see a nation as a ledger. It's not.

 

I remind him that adding that many immigrants from poor nations will drive up the cost of government faster than their ability to pay. But by then we had both had too many beers  to go on.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (9KqcB)

247 If you got internal breeding you should go to the ER

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (3ZtZW)

248 but this did not happen with Bush's round of tax cuts, did it? Or, if you want to argue it did happen, certainly it happened (if at all) on a very subdued, hard-to-discern level. Posted by: ace at September 29, 2015 02:41 PM (dciA+) This is true, but this is also true: for the concept to work, there has to be savings on the expense side of the ledger. There weren't and a lot of that had to do with the bogus concept of "compassionate conservatism" a euphemism for liberalism with a conservative label on it. Bush and his advisers spent like we were all made of money. Cheney famously said that debt is good. We still have mandated 7% growth of government every year. No amount of trickle down will pay for that over the long haul. Either government spending is cut either drastically or progressively, no amount of tax cuts OR tax increases will fix this.

Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (BZAd3)

249 212  Vic, I'm not sure I follow. Nearly 1/3 of the cash DC brings in goes directly to SS.

I'd say that's a problem.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 02:59 PM (AkOaV)


But most of that is going to the SSDI part like the woman in Detroit who was getting $70K a year for her kids with ADD through SSDI and other welfare payments.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (t2KH5)

250 People are going to have to feel the pain of their decisions before they get serious about how government is managed. They're already feeling it. They've just been taught not to associate the pain with the cause, but to blame something or someone else instead.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, down with Eph 6:12-13 at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (9krrF)

251 The feds don't tax assets. States do on property. The fed debt is dwarfed by the state's 'debts'. About 20 to 1 for pension and bond obligations. What can't go on won't and nothing will change that. What happens on the other side of this tax system I can't say. But this one is doomed especially if interest rates rise to traditional levels where they should be now.

Posted by: just saying at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (g0hKk)

252 As always, Graham is full of shit. Haven't you seen the statistics of all those 1M new immigrants coming in every year? 70% of them go immediately on welfare and stay there. They don't pay into the system, they take out of the system. Posted by: Vic-we have no party at September 29, 2015 03:03 PM (t2KH5) Oh, no kidding. Graham comes from the "Latinos are natural conservatives, you guys!!!111!11!!" school of idiotic thought. He also comes from the "lets bomb the shit out everyone" school of thought too, but thats not germane for this convo.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (AkOaV)

253 I get the argument. At the first Tea Party in 2009 I carried a sign that said "No Representation without Taxation". But guess what -- taxes are everywhere, even on those who pay no income tax. There are gas taxes, phone taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, Obamacare tax, etc. The problem isn't that people aren't paying tax -- it's that the tax is made invisible. Worse, the government deliberately over-taxes, so that they can make April 15th into "refund day". We joke about how people hate tax day, but it's not true any more. People look forward to their annual "money from government" day. Taxation is made to seem invisible, and refunds are made highly visible. I'm okay with a simplification of the tax code that has some people paying no income tax. The reforms I'd like to see are visibility of taxes. Require gas pumps to show two numbers spinning up: the retail price of the gas, and the tax. Or make people pay for "ration cards" in advance of shopping, instead of sales tax at the time of checkout. Send people a bill for their quarterly income taxes instead of taking it out of their paychecks invisibly.

Posted by: joeclark.phd at September 29, 2015 10:06 AM (OtaAB)

254 Well the government has made the cost of raising kids a lot more expensive (regulations) while taking more of our money (taxes). *** Its not just cash either. The government, though more the media that works with it, had made parenting MUCH more demanding. Hell, they'll throw you in jail for letting your kid walk to the park...

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 10:07 AM (5LOno)

255 I'll just bring up again one sacred cow that should be slaughtered: the mortgage interest tax deduction. Yes. But because of all the bitching and moaning that goes with that from fair-weather-republicans, I would be happy if we had a gradual phase out or grandfathering old mortgages. But it real does need to go. It simply juices home prices, leaving nothing more in your pocket. Pay a couple grand extra to the govt or your broker.

Posted by: wooga at September 29, 2015 10:07 AM (Qws/8)

256

As long a spending is done in 12 yuugeee bills, or worse, one reconciliation bill, the bastards will sneak in their useless junk. So one thing i'd like to see is line item spending bills. That way the president does not need a line item veto.

And he can't hold the government hostage for a pet project...like PP.

 

Posted by: Buzzsaw90 at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (/eTPT)

257 108
If, say, Scott Walker, proposed this exact plan Kenny Williamson would be rubbing his peen raw while telling us how great it is. Posted by: Soothie



I lol'd, I did.

Posted by: Mortimer [/i][/b] at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (0dcbp)

258 @156, you are correct. They will never abolish the IRS. In WA state, we got rid of the Liquor control board and allowed companies to sell liquor in the stores. When we legalized pot, who got picked to handle it? Why the Liquor Control Board! Bureaucrats protect their own.

Posted by: notsothoreau at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (5HBd1)

259 off topic, email from George P Bush: You already heard from Mom and Dad, but now I'm personally reaching out because we're 2 days away from the biggest deadline of this campaign and we're still $126,724 short of our goal. Hillary outraised us last quarter, so we need 7,500 grassroots supporters to step up in the next 48 hours to help us fight back. [ha ha ha ha ha...]

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (qSIlh)

260 So I no longer believe in the "starve the beast" theory, because the "starve the beast" theory relies upon Americans understanding the mid-to-longer term trajectory of their spending choices, which they plainly do not. Said this back in 1987 or so. No one cared then, doubt anyone will care now.

Posted by: WTP at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (kZVsz)

261 >>I remind him that adding that many immigrants from poor nations will drive up the cost of government faster than their ability to pay. Yeah, just came out that about half are on the dole. Why do we need to import mooches?

Posted by: Lizzy[/i] at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (NOIQH)

262 Calling for tax cuts without corresponding spending cuts is pointless. It's as short-sighted and ineffective as Keynesian inflationary policy. Government spending itself is the ultimate "tax" on production. And deficit-financing government spending under a fractional reserve system is a ticking time bomb. You want the electorate to feel the pain of the spending it clamors for. Everyone should pay taxes, and government spending should be financed 100% by taxation. How to administer those taxes as efficiently as possible is another matter.

Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 10:08 AM (lU0bX)

263 One of the least-appreciated aspects of the Boehner House has been the flattening out of government spending over the last 5 years. the setting in stone of the wild spending of the Pelosi years. Fixed.

Posted by: do you ever tire of being a sycophant? at September 29, 2015 10:09 AM (ZtFr+)

264 SS itself is not in real trouble right now. --- Uh...the SS Trust directors say the fund needs 25 Trillion dollars right now. Actually last year. The government can't keep issuing IOUs disguised as non-owner T-Bills in pension funds and call it actual money they can put in that account. It's a check kiting scheme. Nearly every entitlement is being funded this way. Eventually math wins.

Posted by: Daybrother Samurai Slacker at September 29, 2015 10:09 AM (+jFOF)

265 But most of that is going to the SSDI part like the woman in Detroit who was getting $70K a year for her kids with ADD through SSDI and other welfare payments. Posted by: Vic-we have no party at September 29, 2015 03:06 PM (t2KH5) Only (only, heh) around $200 billion goes to SSDI as a program. SS is around $1 trillion a year. So yeah, you could eliminate SSDI and save an a-year-of-the-Iraq-war-a-year, but it doesn't change anything SS-wise and its growth path.

Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 10:09 AM (AkOaV)

266
Everybody including the presidential candidates can make suggestions for tax plans or spending cuts, but it doesn't matter.

The federal reserve act was passed in 1913 taking a way US sovereign money soon after the income tax being was enshrined in the Constitution via the 16th Amendment.

You see the institutions lending the money to the US needed to make sure the govt could thieve the money from the citizens to pay them their never ending interest.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at September 29, 2015 10:09 AM (ODxAs)

267 >>>>Every Republican tax-reform plan should be rooted in this reality: If you are going to have federal spending that is 21 percent of GDP, then you can have a.) taxes that are 21 percent of GDP; b.) deficits. There is no c.
.
.
.While this is a true statement taken as a snapshot in time as of right now, it is not going to hold true after the Fed raises Interest rates.  After that Debt servicing spending is going to skyrocket and will take up a higher and higher portion of tax revenues.  I seriously doubt that we will return to the interest rates of the 1970s, but if we do, interest on the debt will suck up over 75% of all Federal revenues.

Posted by: The Great White Scotsman at September 29, 2015 10:09 AM (iONHu)

268 Its not just cash either. The government, though more the media that works with it, had made parenting MUCH more demanding. --------- Exactly. You can't have a friend pick up your 5 year old and drive them 3 blocks home from school unless they have the right child seat. You can't drop your kid off a the mom who is just trying to raise a few extra dollars by running her own mother's day out program. The government has made the cost of being a parent a lot higher these days.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (gmeXX)

269 People are going to have to feel the pain of their decisions before they get serious about how government is managed. *** Ask people if they've noticed hamburger costs twice as much as in 2006...they'll say yeah. Ask them if they think that might have to do with the change in government in 2006 and their eyes glaze over. One think I would like to see an actual opposition party point out is that costs are going up, up, up as government keeps spending money it doesn't have to give to people that aren't working. It isn't technically inflation, but frankly it is. The government found a neat little way to jack up taxes and it is bleeding the productive class dry...

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (5LOno)

270 Point out to them that the government corresponds to a family that makes $32,000 per year, spends $36,000 per year, and owes $184,000 in credit card debt. ^^^^This x 1000. This isn't rocket surgery. And absolutely no one ever brings it up on the campaign trail. Neither do they say anything about TFG spending more than all the other presidents before him combined. And for what? An UE rate of about 10%, high inflation and 1.8% GDP growth? We're being run by innumerates who probably can't even balance their own checkbooks and apparently never do their own grocery shopping.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (LUgeY)

271
I think everything that can be privatized, should be privatized.  Government should only run programs that would be impractical for private businesses.  That would eliminate much of the need for huge revenue collection.




For instance, private schools vs public schools.  How much is the actual cost of each one, and what is the quality of the product?




It's much like private toilets vs public toilets.  Which is more user-friendly?

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (dFi94)

272 246 Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 02:38 PM (t06LC) VATs are hidden as part of the price of whatever you buy. Fair Tax is added to the retail price at point of purchase just like sales taxes now. It IS transparent. Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 03:05 PM (9YRwm) Yes, but my point was its more of a death of 1,000 cuts and people generally don't notice it. Sure, you may pay an extra dollar on a big mac meal. And, there it is on your receipt. So what? Much like the proverbial drip of water, our minds are conditioned not to notice such things. If you want to get someone's attention, don't do that. Make them write a check out for 10% of their income all at once. That will do the trick.

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (t06LC)

273 As long as everyone has to pay taxes. Everyone! And get rid of withholding.

Posted by: Tonic Dog at September 29, 2015 10:10 AM (AOgSc)

274 Another interesting perspective: the debt per citizen is $57,000, whereas the debt pertaxpayer is $155,000. They better start giving out handjobs at the DMV.

Posted by: wooga at September 29, 2015 10:11 AM (Qws/8)

275
We're being run by innumerates who probably can't even balance their own checkbooks

whassa "chick-book"?

Posted by: EBT Nation[/i][/b] at September 29, 2015 10:11 AM (0dcbp)

276 262  Yeah, just came out that about half are on the dole. Why do we need to import mooches?

Posted by: Lizzy at September 29, 2015 03:08 PM (NOIQH)


More like 70%.

Posted by: Vic[/i]-we have no party at September 29, 2015 10:11 AM (t2KH5)

277 Men with bigger heads can pay more.

How is this even remotely fair?

Posted by: Peyton Manning at September 29, 2015 10:12 AM (4WhSY)

278 @246 I should add I live in Texas. I pay sales tax, and it doesn't bother me. You know what does? Paying my real estate tax. Why? Even though cumulatively I pay more in sales tax, over time I don't notice it. I do notice paying tax on my house once a year.

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 10:12 AM (t06LC)

279 They better start giving out handjobs at the DMV. ==== That'd be one slow handjob

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 10:13 AM (3ZtZW)

280 Meanwhile, yes, growth under Reagan's plan was phenomenal, and growth under Clinton's Newt's plan was very good, too. Reagan had the advantage of growing out of the gutter.


Another big advantage Reagan had: Paul Volcker had just crushed inflationary expectations (plus Jimmy Carter's re-election chances) by racking interest rates up through the roof. Showing the U.S. was willing to endure a lot of pain to wring out inflation convinced prospective lenders to lend at lower interest rates (instead of demanding an inflation premium). It also tamped down wage expectations (e.g., unions had routinely and successfully been demanding more to offset inflation).


Between them these considerations acted like rocket fuel for the economy, despite increased military spending.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i][/b][/s][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:13 AM (oKE6c)

281 For the record for all you pro-Trump Williamson bashers upthread, Williamson has been skeptical of "tax cuts = automatic growth and miracles" argument for quite a while before your beloved Bankruptcy champion introduced his tax plan. Every third article he's written on NR the last few years have talked about the perils of deficit spending that will result from further tax cuts without spending cuts. Keep fucking that Trump-like chicken though.

Posted by: ATaLien at September 29, 2015 10:13 AM (b96e6)

282 A neat little trick that an actual opposition party that wanted to cut spending could pull: All tax rates will be automatically adjusted by how its State's delegation votes. So if Alabama votes for cutting spending to 20% of GDP, all residents of Alabama get a 1% cut. If New York votes for spending at the current 21%, it gets a 1% tax increase. Put this rule in place and just sit back and watch....

Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (5LOno)

283 KDW and the entire crew at NRO outed themselves as GOPe a couple of months ago. Everything they write should be viewed as propaganda, disinformation or some kind of false-flag op. KDW wrote a book called "The end is near and it's gonna be great", or something like that. In that book he argues that spending does not matter since government default will result in reduced spending anyway and the problem will be solved. Now, he is worried about spending. I smell a GOPe rat.

Posted by: TommyTee at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (zFXwQ)

284 Even though cumulatively I pay more in sales tax, over time I don't notice it. I do notice paying tax on my house once a year. Also because property tax means the government owns my home, not me or the bank.

Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (M1uf/)

285 I'll just bring up again one sacred cow that should be slaughtered: the mortgage interest tax deduction. Posted by: torquewrench at September 29, 2015 02:56 PM (noWW6) Either we go with people and corporations get to deduct expenses or we don't. The system where companies get to pay no taxes because their expenses meant no profit but a person get's "Sorry you had a tough year, but pay up" doesn't work for me anymore. So, sure we can do away with the home mortgage deduction. A company buys a piece of equipment fine. But that doesn't change the taxes they owe.

Posted by: WOPR at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (LTDSy)

286 >>Government should only run programs that would be impractical for private businesses What impractical programs are actually worth running? If it's impossible to make money providing a service, it would seem that there's no demand for that service.

Posted by: a phoenician sailor at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (uEmgg)

287 Not only do the come in and go on welfare they bring their parents in to collect SS.

Posted by: steevy at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (sPO3u)

288 I'm okay with tax cuts, but only on the lowest incomes. When you look at the total number of Americans employed the high point was during the last Bush administration. People are exiting the employment market in droves, willing to either subsist on the government dole or do without. Someone working to make 15k per year is infinitely preferable (and easier on the Treasury) then someone sucking 15k from the government teat. So let's bring back the 5% tax rate -- even better have a 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5% bracket. Another bracket I'd like to see is the 'lifetime achievement' tax bracket. Why not take a look at the lifetime earnings of the top individuals? Yeah call me a commie if you wish, but I'm grateful to the country that provided me and the business I ran for decades to make millions personally and tens of millions for the benefit of the business and its employees. You get to a certain age, keep working, just to fill the driveway and six car garage with more cars? That's just playing the 'my dicks bigger then yours' game. Tax the everliving hell out of someone like that.I hate both the country club republicans and the limousine liberals. They've taken this country to the edge of the abyss, let them shell out through the nose, and every other orifice, for what they have brought.

Posted by: se pa moron at September 29, 2015 10:14 AM (sI4OA)

289 Also because property tax means the government owns my home, not me or the bank. Posted by: AllenG (DedicatedTenther) - Fire-hooks and Rock Salt for sale at September 29, 2015 03:14 PM (M1uf/) There has been some talk in Ohio about getting rid of property taxes for that very reason.

Posted by: WOPR at September 29, 2015 10:15 AM (LTDSy)

290 Men with bigger heads can pay more.
How is this even remotely fair?
Posted by: Peyton Manning


This is not my America!

Posted by: Ken Griffey Jr.[/i][/b] at September 29, 2015 10:15 AM (0dcbp)

291 One other thing Reagan had was a blossoming computer industry that was justifying all that excess cash that had been printed with a tremendous boost in productivity.

Posted by: WTP at September 29, 2015 10:15 AM (kZVsz)

292 Either we go with people and corporations get to deduct expenses or we don't. The system where companies get to pay no taxes because their expenses meant no profit but a person get's "Sorry you had a tough year, but pay up" doesn't work for me anymore. So, sure we can do away with the home mortgage deduction. A company buys a piece of equipment fine. But that doesn't change the taxes they owe. ------ What's the point of taxing corporations? Let's just not tax them and move on.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:16 AM (gmeXX)

293 Somebody in the last election, I think it was Perry (I don't really remember) proposed that there be a mandated 1% per year cut in government spending for ten years. The effects of this would be huge and the pain from it would be minimal. But instead, we now have virtually every government department and agency that has within it an enforcement arm. Private extra-military military enforcement arms. Even the USDA has one. That's BS and those elements of those agencies should be closed immediately. They won't be, but they should. Government has gotten so big that the ONLY answer to ANY problem is more money.

Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 10:16 AM (BZAd3)

294 I going to go the one step further than Ace is willing to state plainly, and it will make me a conservative heretic..... Raise taxes. This is a ridiculous proposal and a far fetched hypothetical, so just play along. Raise them by closing loopholes on the very top (this will never happen as the very top gets the tax code they want, bushels of campaign cash and all that.) Hollywood and Crony capitalists have been eager to push for leftism as long as they are left out, or benefit financially. No more. You want Big Government way more than the rest of America, you should pay more. Raise taxes on the bottom, to 2 percent, or you give up your right to vote. Your choice. You want to put in your .02 cents worth of opinion by casting a vote, have some 'skin in the game', as ShitMidas would say. Raise taxes in a myriad of small, trivial ways, to reflect the countless ways government interferes (they call it help) on a daily basis. And do it by passing a balanced budget law with teeth, that has to be followed. Of course, that's why it will never happen, so just enjoy the decline until the crash, because it is coming. PS the caveat to raising all those taxes is that I would lower the taxes that would actually spur investment in the US, the corporate tax rate in particular.

Posted by: OneEyedJack, who is laughing as he's typing at September 29, 2015 10:16 AM (kKHcp)

295 Posted by: 18-1 at September 29, 2015 03:10 PM (5LOno)  <<<<

Inflation is called the invisible tax.  Politicians love it, because they don't have to vote to raise taxes, they just fund the debt thru the fed, which increases the money supply which causes inflation. 

They get their pockets lined, and the public gets boned.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at September 29, 2015 10:16 AM (ODxAs)

296 The argument for a capitalist dictator is that compromise never works in economics. It's like one person wanting a V-8 and the other wanting a V-6 and they compromise by building a V-8 with just 6 spark plugs.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at September 29, 2015 10:16 AM (014lE)

297 How about instead of cuts, we just raise it on folks who support illegal immigration?

Posted by: Draki at September 29, 2015 10:17 AM (0eidE)

298 Since Obama doubled the national debt while the Fed held effective interest rates at effectively zero, the path forward has been constricted to one of two possibilities: rampant hyperinflation as the debt is totally monetized (implicitly repudiating the debt by paying it back with worthless paper), or explicitly repudiating the debt.

Posted by: cthulhu at September 29, 2015 10:17 AM (EzgxV)

299 The "Clinton Economy" probably belonged more to technology and Silicon Valley than it did to Bill. It was the tail-end of Ronaldus Magnus' high-growth era too.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:17 AM (LUgeY)

300 What impractical programs are actually worth running? If it's impossible to make money providing a service, it would seem that there's no demand for that service.

Posted by: a phoenician sailor at September 29, 2015 03:14 PM (uEmgg)

====================


I think it makes sense to have a national defense. 

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 10:17 AM (dFi94)

301 Flat rate. No deductions, for anything. Everyone who earns income, pays. Period. That's the only fair system. Everything else is somebody winning and somebody losing courtesy the government.

Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 10:17 AM (/j9PE)

302 I think it makes sense to have a national defense. ------- But we don't ask the government to build our tanks. There is a lot you can privatize.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:18 AM (gmeXX)

303 re 286: A company buys a piece of equipment fine. But that doesn't change the taxes they owe. depreciation, it's called. Buy a truck for $50,000, expect to use it for ten years and then junk it, you get (in it's simplest form) $5000 a year deduction from revenues. Accelerated depreciation encourages businesses to buy more often, presumably good for the economy.

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:19 AM (qSIlh)

304 That's the only fair system. Everything else is somebody winning and somebody losing courtesy the government. Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 03:17 PM (/j9PE) I think this is correct. This is also why it'll never happen. Too many vested interests have their hands in the cookie jar getting goodies for their lobbies. You can read the tax code and see the Real Estate handouts for example. That and all of the lawyers and accountants who'd be out of work...

Posted by: Jollyroger at September 29, 2015 10:20 AM (t06LC)

305 Since Obama doubled the national debt while the Fed held effective interest rates at effectively zero, the path forward has been constricted to one of two possibilities: rampant hyperinflation as the debt is totally monetized (implicitly repudiating the debt by paying it back with worthless paper), or explicitly repudiating the debt. Posted by: cthulhu at September 29, 2015 03:17 PM (EzgxV) I think they'll go the hyperinflation route, personally, but yeah, repudiating the debt is a distinct possibility as well.

Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 10:20 AM (/j9PE)

306 (As the captain said in Titanic said about the ship's alleged unsinkability: "She is made of iron. She will sink, I guarantee it.") Just as an aside, that wasn't the captain, that was Thomas Andrews, the architect and builder of the ship. I know it's just from the movie, but to a Titanic nut every little detail counts. Now back to finish reading the fine, fine essay.

Posted by: Dr. Mabuse at September 29, 2015 10:20 AM (VBbCO)

307 Posted by: se pa moron at September 29, 2015 03:14 PM (sI4OA) Yes that does sound very socialist. Over taxing success never works.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at September 29, 2015 10:21 AM (014lE)

308 We have taxation at 18% and spending at 21%. I fear that if we have taxation at 21% we will have spending at 25%. We are a nation of children who elect other children who promise to give everyone everything they ever wanted just so long as they'll be nice to the gheys, or the wimmins, or the muslims, or whomever is the favored group of the week. We have allowed ourselves to buy into the idea that the government can provide things and we either turn a blind eye to, or actively applaud, the fact that government can only do that by taking things from others. de Tocqueville said that America was great because it's people were good. We are no longer good and balancing the equation will not be delayed forever.

Posted by: Laughing in Texas at September 29, 2015 10:21 AM (eBNjM)

309 Accelerated depreciation encourages businesses to buy more often, presumably good for the economy. Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 03:19 PM (qSIlh) This sounds an awful lot like Bastiat's broken window fallacy, does it not?

Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 10:21 AM (/j9PE)

310 #295 I agree that the crash is coming and bringing hell with it. I wonder what day to day living will look like when it happens.

Posted by: Velvet Ambition at September 29, 2015 10:22 AM (R8hU8)

311 @293 SH is correct. You can't actually tax a corporation, any more than you can tax the ocean or a chair. (See Milton Friedman's excellent lecture on this) Every tax ultimately falls on a person. The end result of taxing a corporation is 1) stock holders earn less, 2) workers earn less and/or 3) consumers pay more. The corporate income tax should be abolished.

Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 10:22 AM (lU0bX)

312 re 300: don't forget that Gingrich and the Repubs actually fought with Clinton to restrain spending (although I was thumbing through a Nat Rev from around 1998 and read that the difference over ten years was expected to be 13 trillion vs 12 trillion.)

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:22 AM (qSIlh)

313

Great discussion.

 

Keep in mind that skyrocketing immigration  and  single-parent homes will soon make reducing  the  cost of government impossible. Literally impossible, for all intents  and purposes. 

 

So, talk faster.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (9KqcB)

314 Everything else is deckchairs.

Posted by: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (Wckf4)

315 VATs are hidden as part of the price of whatever you buy. Fair Tax is added to the retail price at point of purchase just like sales taxes now. It IS transparent. Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 03:05 PM (9YRwm) My problem with VAT taxes is that they are invariably insidious. They start out small and grow very quickly. Politicians come to see VAT increases as an answer to everything AND they keep right on borrowing on top of that. You can check it out in any country where they have been tried. They are proposed at 1 or 2 percent and within a decade they are 15% or higher.

Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (BZAd3)

316 But most of that is going to the SSDI part like the woman in Detroit who was getting $70K a year for her kids with ADD through SSDI and other welfare payments.
Posted by: Vic
.........
Not true.. only one-third of social security goes to SSDI..  still way too much!

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (so+oy)

317 In my fantasy dream world, there would be a law that says the governent would pay for itself last and if it had to run a deficit, then it wouldn't pay for itself. So after paying for social security, medicare and medcaid and the military, if there was no more money, then congress and government workers would be working for free. You know because they are all about selfless public service.

Posted by: Darth Randall at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (6n332)

318 >>I think it makes sense to have a national defense. Me too. Having one provided by a blind bureaucracy interested in making its friends money off of the procurement process doesn't make sense though.

Posted by: a phoenician sailor at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (uEmgg)

319 >>Every tax ultimately falls on a person. The end result of taxing a corporation is 1) stock holders earn less, 2) workers earn less and/or 3) consumers pay more. You forgot 4) company moves overseas and liberal politicians demonize them.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 10:23 AM (OGm46)

320 My problem with VAT taxes is that they are invariably insidious. They start out small and grow very quickly. Politicians come to see VAT increases as an answer to everything AND they keep right on borrowing on top of that. You can check it out in any country where they have been tried. They are proposed at 1 or 2 percent and within a decade they are 15% or higher. Posted by: Semper In Stercus
..............
My problem is that they would encourage a hidden economy.. black markets would thrive in an America with a VAT.

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at September 29, 2015 10:24 AM (so+oy)

321 I seriously doubt that we will return to the interest rates of the 1970s, but if we do, interest on the debt will suck up over 75% of all Federal revenues. Posted by: The Great White Scotsman Someone recently calculated that if interest rates rose to a modest 6% the payments on government debt would jump to One Trillion a year.

Posted by: Daybrother Samurai Slacker at September 29, 2015 10:24 AM (+jFOF)

322 I have yet to understand how people think the "teach the public a lesson" campaign strategy will be a winner. 

Flat tax!  End withholding!  Make them see the cost! 

Whatever.

People aren't stupid.  They understand that they are paying taxes every time they buy something and see that sales tax added, and every time they see the FICA withholding that they don't get back every April.  Even if they get back the "income tax" portion of the withholding, they still lose the FICA.  They understand.

Altering how they pay the taxes they pay to make it more inconvenient to pay doesn't change anything, except make it even less likely they will ever vote Republican. 

There isn't some mass of people just waiting to become flat tax champions if only they had to write a separate check for income taxes every quarter.  Stop fantasizing that there is one.

Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 10:25 AM (ljZD2)

323 Every tax ultimately falls on a person. The end result of taxing a corporation is 1) stock holders earn less, 2) workers earn less and/or 3) consumers pay more. The corporate income tax should be abolished. Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 03:22 PM (lU0bX) Totally correct, but with today's LIVs, totally impossible to achieve. The best you could hope for is to tax corporations at the same flat rate as everyone else, and to do that, you have to hammer hard the whole "fairness" issue of taxing everyone at exactly the same rate. A lot of people *think* we do that now, as amazing as that sounds.

Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 10:25 AM (/j9PE)

324 I like this argument. It reminds me of the pushbacks against the Laffer curve. The thing is, it's fine to say lower tax rates will increase tax revenues between two particular points on the curve because of increased economic activity. But do we want government to have increased revenues? What will they do with those revenues? Yep. That's why I find myself agreeing with Ace on this too.

Posted by: VA GOP Sucks at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (PFy0L)

325 It amounts to the government saying, We never do manage to choose to do the right thing, so let's recognize it as the right thing and pass a law forcing us to do it every time. Remember when Pelosi's congress said they were going to be responsible and passed the PAYGO bill ? All spending increases had to be paid for unless it was deemed an emergency. coincidentally, almost every spending bill thereafter was exempted from PAYGO as an emergency of some sort.

Posted by: McCool at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (nCSwS)

326 Altering how they pay the taxes they pay to make it more inconvenient to pay doesn't change anything, except make it even less likely they will ever vote Republican. ------ I have to disagree with you on that. Human psychology and all.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (gmeXX)

327 Just read the review;  Democrats are mostly to blame... and GOPe of course.  Carve outs and projects..   The Defense folks want this or that and so their monies are held ransom for some Obama-phone-like legislation that the donks want.  Rinse, repeat, over and over.  I think a LOT of the Bush the younger reckless spending was partially in this vein, ... to get what he needed for the wars and military, the donks had their way with other appropriations.. it appeared that way.

When 30% of the pop doesn't pay in , but receives benny's, and when a very healthy percentage of the population is economically illiterate , what are you going to do?   I don't blame the people,.. I blame K street, DC, and lack of leadership.. that can outlast it's opposition, ie, Reagan... even his vision was immediately undercut and undone by papa Bush... and so it goes.

Posted by: Toonces the Cat at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (e7T6D)

328 My husband is actually on SSDI. His hip joints started dying. He's had one side replaced twice and the other once (and due a replacement soon if the pain is any indication). But no worries, as he's almost old enough to roll over to SS. I do know there is a lot of fraud on SSDI, but it's not all fraudulent. He ran his own business before the health issues put him on disability. And I've seen what I'll be getting on Social Security, should I ever have to retire. It's about $1200 a month, so I doubt that I'll be taking those vacations to Miami any time soon. If I hadn't lost my good tech job in the tech bust, I'd probably have been able to afford to fund my own retirement. It's hard to do on $15 an hour. So, yes there are issues with entitlements. And there is fraud in all government programs and even amongst some private companies. The Dems have made it nearly impossible to talk about reforming entitlements. It really is too bad that we can't make them own the deficit too.

Posted by: notsothoreau at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (5HBd1)

329 re 310: no, not really. Accelerated depreciation lets a business claim more depreciation in the early years and less in the later years. Bastiat was trashing the idea that breaking things is good for business: the baker needed to buy a new window, the window man could then buy a new suit, the tailor could buy new shoes, etc. Instead the baker could have bought himself that new suit instead of having to replace the window. (I hope I explained it right)

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:26 AM (qSIlh)

330 Sorry, Ace. I just don't agree with you on this one. A better economy with tax cuts would eliminate much of the spending we're seeing now.

Posted by: Soona at September 29, 2015 10:27 AM (Fmupd)

331 "...forced tax hikes if spending goes up the previous year..." Probably already been said by this point, but only if everyone gets the twitch of a tax hike. All the Peggy Joseph and businesses included because if they don't feel the pain then it'll just keep going up. The problem with business is that a) it is pass along to consumer and b) they pick up and leave.

Posted by: dogfish at September 29, 2015 10:27 AM (0O2Lr)

332 Totally correct, but with today's LIVs, totally impossible to achieve. ------ By that standard, every conservative position is impossible. And it is not.

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:27 AM (gmeXX)

333 A modest proposal: tax welfare benefits. Gross up welfare benefits, then tax them back to where they are now, and make getting future benefits contingent on ponying up the difference (so they don't just pocket the increase).


A problem we have is that people on benefits just view it as free money. If instead of getting, say, $10,000 per year, they got $12,000, but had to pay back $2,000 as tax, they'd probably pretty quickly become tax hawks. It would be a way of educating the innumerate.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i][/b][/s][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:27 AM (oKE6c)

334 I agree that the crash is coming and bringing hell with it. I wonder what day to day living will look like when it happens.

Decentralization and states take local control. Fed Gov can't meet payroll and dissolves. Military walks home. Dollars are burned for fuel, gray and black market barter economies boom. And cannibalism.

If we're lucky.

Posted by: Swing voters at September 29, 2015 10:27 AM (0dcbp)

335 Hilarious article in the Mirror shows video of "Shocking footage" where referee in a soccer game pulls a gun. The ref was not pointing it at anyone but the whole focus of the article is what punishment the ref will receive. A little footnote adds: "The ref was getting a little rough treatment" later described as being kicked and slapped. No mention of any discipline to the teams or players who assaulted the ref. Figures.

Posted by: xanderphife at September 29, 2015 10:28 AM (H3WNZ)

336 wow , that's an old sock.

Posted by: Mortimer [/i][/b] at September 29, 2015 10:28 AM (0dcbp)

337 Social Security, Medicare, Military...... Well, from a conservative viewpoint: Social Security: Most of the money put into the SS trust fund should be in the form of private accounts that are taxed beyond a certain annual return to help pay for SS payments for others. The paltry 0.5% rate of return on one's SS investment when handled by the govt. is proof of that. If we could just invest it in say, govt. bonds, then the dollars available for social security would double in no time. Therefore, social security SPENDING is NOT the driving force for our huge govt. spending. The problem with social security is it's investment process. MILITARY: As long as a significant amount of military spending is used to build jets, ammo, boats and cruise missiles within the U.S., the multiplier effect of military spending would be so great that it would more than pay for itself. Medicare: That's a problem and it's going to get worse and worse until they have two healthcare systems: One for public and one for private. Government funded healthcare benefits' networks should offer less and worse medical attention at a lower price. An individual should be allowed to opt to pay more for going out of the govt. network into private healthcare if they are willing to pay more for that service.

Posted by: doug at September 29, 2015 10:29 AM (f2UbK)

338 Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 03:21 PM (/j9PE) Not really because the business ( owner of the window) is not breaking his new truck ( the window) and incurring unexpected expense ( payment to the window repairer) . He is replacing an item that has been used up.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at September 29, 2015 10:29 AM (014lE)

339 Hilarious article in the Mirror shows video of "Shocking footage" where referee in a soccer game pulls a gun. The ref was not pointing it at anyone but the whole focus of the article is what punishment the ref will receive. A little footnote adds: "The ref was getting a little rough treatment" later described as being kicked and slapped. No mention of any discipline to the teams or players who assaulted the ref. Figures. ------- Just ask Enrico Pallazzo

Posted by: Zombie Leslie Nielson at September 29, 2015 10:29 AM (gmeXX)

340 nood

Posted by: dogfish at September 29, 2015 10:29 AM (0O2Lr)

341 Fair Tax is added to the retail price at point of purchase just like sales taxes now.
It IS transparent.


Except it is not "fair".  There are all these pre-bates and complications, etc that do not treat all citizens equally under the law.

Posted by: Guy Mohawk at September 29, 2015 10:29 AM (ODxAs)

342 Every tax ultimately falls on a person. The end result of taxing a corporation is 1) stock holders earn less, 2) workers earn less and/or 3) consumers pay more.

The corporate income tax should be abolished.
Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 03:22 PM (lU0bX)




Not a person in a thousand understands this.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i][/b][/s][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:30 AM (oKE6c)

343 re 322: here's an idea: no interest paid on the federal debt the federal reserve bought with money they just printed for the occasion. Might as well admit that Social Security it also a pure pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme and stop paying interest on those "special" treasury securities, too.

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:30 AM (qSIlh)

344 Keep in mind that skyrocketing immigration and single-parent homes will soon make reducing the cost of government impossible. Literally impossible, for all intents and purposes.

So, talk faster.

Posted by: CJ at September 29, 2015 03:23 PM (9KqcB)

===================



I think this is exactly what is going to happen.  We are just going to get broker and broker.  And, no.  There will be no flat tax. Or fair tax.  There will not be the abolishment of the IRS.  There will be no economics genius that gets elected and POOF we are on solid ground again. It is what it is and ever will be.

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at September 29, 2015 10:31 AM (dFi94)

345 re 343: that makes most of us here one in a thousand types, no?

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:31 AM (qSIlh)

346 Posted by: Harry Paratestes, the artist formally known as mynewhandle at September 29, 2015 02:35 PM (AkOaV) The fact that it would have to be so high to cover current spending is a feature, not a bug. When they whine they can't cover spending with a realistic rate people will pay, the message to Washington should be clear: CUT SPENDING!!!

Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 10:31 AM (9YRwm)

347 "I have to disagree with you on that. Human psychology and all."

This is what would happen.  People will NOT get mad about the amount of tax they pay because if that were going to happen, it already would have.  what will instead happen is that the press and the Democrats will focus on how nobody got a tax cut (those lying Republicans!!) and instead those lying Republicans just made it more hard to pay the taxes you were already paying, bastards!  So, the lesson learned will be that the Republicans are lying bastards who just want to make things hard for "working people" and taxes never go down.  Oh, and withholding will be started right back up after the Dems win the next election, anyway.

You know I'm right about this.

Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (ljZD2)

348 Or - just spitballing here, as long as we're in "dare we dream" territory - maybe we should limit what the Federal government can spend money on to those few Enumerated Powers are contained within the borders of the Constitution (just go with me on this for the moment).  Everything else (education, energy production, wetlands, health insurance, environmental mandates, welfare, redistribution of wealth from earners and producers to moochers and looters) gets either eliminated, or devolved to the States (or lower).

Is there some magical significance to 21% of GDP?  I didn't think so.  That's why I'm opposed to any "revenue-neutral" changes to our tax structure.  I don't want it locked at this level.  Hell, over upon a time, we didn't even have an income tax, and government ran on the trickle of a few tariffs and duties.  I'd like to go back to that, please.

Mr. O'Spades, you're right -- as a nation, we seem to want government to provide all of this, and the general populace doesn't understand that government produces nothing.  It can only dole out what it takes in from elsewhere, so I acknowledge, by fantasy above ain't going to happen... at least, not under the current system.

But when it collapses -- as it must, sooner or later -- then I want this in whatever new system replaces the wreckage of what we've got now.  The Tenth Amendment was supposed to protect us from this.  It's a pity that we were fool enough to let our government start ignoring the Tenth Amendment.  Whether by collapse, or revolution, or secession, when the do-over comes around, we'd best remember that.

Posted by: Qoheleth at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (iIzG7)

349 The bottom line is that at some point the pain of paying for government will be re-attached to the benefits of government spending. The only thing at issue is exactly how that re-attachment will occur. It is IMHO more likely to come as the result of some major economic catastrophe, than of any kind of political process resulting in a "fix" to the system, because the system is run by people with strong, vested interests in not changing the system one little itty bitty bit. The problem with this is of course that a major economic catastrophe will kill a lot of people in the worst conceivable way--starvation, hypothermia, etc., etc. So we have to keep trying to roll the rock up the hill, even though it's probably hopeless. Because you never know, maybe there will be a miracle.

Posted by: filbert at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (/j9PE)

350 I agree that the crash is coming and bringing hell with it. I wonder what day to day living will look like when it happens. ========== Yugoslavia. We separate into ethnic conclaves and a Milosovec shows up and the genocides start.

Posted by: Bigby's Atomic Elbow at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (3ZtZW)

351 sock off

Posted by: SH at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (gmeXX)

352 >>Hilarious article in the Mirror shows video of "Shocking footage" where referee in a soccer game pulls a gun. The ref was not pointing it at anyone but the whole focus of the article is what punishment the ref will receive Yea, that was an amateur match in Brazil. I've said this here before but I was in Brazil a couple years ago when some "fans" didn't approve of the calls the ref had made in the match between a couple amateur teams. So they stabbed him to death, cut his head off and put it on a stake. Not joking. Kick ball is just a tad different in Brazil.

Posted by: JackStraw at September 29, 2015 10:32 AM (OGm46)

353 Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 03:23 PM (BZAd3) The Fair Tax is a sales tax, not a VAT. VAT's work like this: you pick up a TV, and the price tag says it costs $1500. You don't know it, but a large portion of that is VAT. Sales taxes (like the Fair Tax) work like this: you pick up a TV, and the price tag says it costs $1250. You pay $1500, which is the total AFTER the Fair Tax is added. You know how much you're paying. It's transparent, and the price comes directly out of your budget. If you don't like how much you're paying, take it up with Washington. Added bonus: when Dems talk about tax hikes, maybe the pitchforks will finally come out.

Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 10:34 AM (9YRwm)

354 316 VATs are hidden as part of the price of whatever you buy. Fair Tax is added to the retail price at point of purchase just like sales taxes now. It IS transparent. Posted by: DRayRaven at September 29, 2015 03:05 PM (9YRwm) My problem with VAT taxes is that they are invariably insidious. They start out small and grow very quickly. Politicians come to see VAT increases as an answer to everything AND they keep right on borrowing on top of that. You can check it out in any country where they have been tried. They are proposed at 1 or 2 percent and within a decade they are 15% or higher. Posted by: Semper In Stercus at September 29, 2015 03:23 PM (BZAd3) I actually used this as a parlor-trick in Fiji. I noticed that our restaurant tab didn't add-up properly and questioned our server, who explained it was the VAT tax of 6%. I replied, "oh, the one from the national emergency about three years ago?" The startled waiter said, "how did you know that if you didn't know the tax was there in the first place?" and I explained: "VAT taxes are always imposed during some national emergency. They always start out very low -- perhaps one percent. They always ratchet upwards within about 10 years to about 20%. The only time you'll find a 6% VAT is about three years after its enactment."

Posted by: cthulhu at September 29, 2015 10:35 AM (EzgxV)

355 re 321: I wonder how many people are making a good living buying cigs in NC and selling them in NYC..?

Posted by: mallfly at September 29, 2015 10:35 AM (qSIlh)

356 I know the solution: get Ahmed to invent us a new debt clock.

Posted by: wth at September 29, 2015 10:35 AM (wAQA5)

357 The peasants are cattle. They exist to provide funds for their betters- the Illuminated and the connected. In return, they receive guidance and sustenance. Cradle to grave social systems will feed them, while the connected benefit from their leadership. Human beings have rights, and when given the freedom to make choices, often violate them. To protect their rights, you restrict their freedom for their benefit.

Posted by: Mary Cloggenstein from Brattleboro, VT at September 29, 2015 10:35 AM (giapq)

358 Posted by: trumpetdaddy at September 29, 2015 03:32 PM (ljZD2) No you're not right about this.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at September 29, 2015 10:35 AM (014lE)

359 Every tax ultimately falls on a person. The end result of taxing a corporation is 1) stock holders earn less, 2) workers earn less and/or 3) consumers pay more.

The corporate income tax should be abolished.
Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 03:22 PM (lU0bX)




Government will never get rid of corporate taxes because, in essence, the government uses corporations as a stalking horse for its own revenue desires. People get pissed at corporations for raising prices (to pay taxes), but not at the government for causing the price increases. But the upshot is money goes from the populace to the government.

Posted by: Jay Guevara[/i][/b][/s][/u] at September 29, 2015 10:36 AM (oKE6c)

360 Aw, hell, you ought see the crowd in the lines around the local Social Security offices... oh, the diversitty! Must be every kinda johnny-come-lately illegal alien represented, being paid MY benefits I been contributing since age 16!

Posted by: OK, Thanks, Bye at September 29, 2015 10:36 AM (ucB75)

361 @324 filbert, I agree it has zero chance of happening, because 100% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans think it's a good idea to tax corporations. One way to achieve it, however, might be trading tax increases for tax reform. I.e., pass a bill that slightly increases tax rates but removes all deductions and abolishes the corporate income tax.

Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 10:36 AM (lU0bX)

362 You know I'm right about this.

It's so cute that you think that there is a difference between (D) and (R).

Posted by: Mortimer [/i][/b] at September 29, 2015 10:37 AM (0dcbp)

363 @360 Jay, I couldn't agree more. Inflation is always blamed on corporations and never on money creation. I'm not arguing that the corporate income tax can be abolished. I'm just arguing that it should be.

Posted by: Phyllis Balzac at September 29, 2015 10:39 AM (lU0bX)

364 I think that increasing taxes (or not decreasing them) will lead to even more spending. We will always spend more than we take in. At least at the current formulation (21% spend: 17% revenue), the whole thing comes to a head with a lower total debt number. If you increase govt. revenues to 25% or 30% of GDP you will be able to grow the debt orders of magnitude higher before the eventual reckoning. The most important thing we can do is to spread the pain of taxes broadly. You cannot expect the majority who do not pay income taxes to vote against their interest in getting stuff paid for by other people. Yet, all I hear about is Republicans proposing to remove more people from the income tax rolls. Everyone has to have skin in the game.

Posted by: Brian at September 29, 2015 10:41 AM (Hd5n8)

365 Please go to usgovernmentspending.com Look for budget_pie_gs.php and 2015 Look how they hide welfare by scattering it among the categories. 27% health care 536B Seniors NOT INCLUDING MILITARY 5B Public Health 33B Health R&D 444B Vendor Payments (Welfare) 25% pensions 893B Social security 139B Federal retirement NOT INCLUDING MILITARY 22% military - includes military pensions & health, foreign aid etc 10% welfare 6% interest 4% education 2% protection (police/courts/prisons)

Posted by: Jimmy don\'t play that at September 29, 2015 10:41 AM (F5OyJ)

366 Foo - lost all my indentation!

Posted by: Jimmy don\'t play that at September 29, 2015 10:42 AM (F5OyJ)

367 If Americans want 21% of GDP to be wasted on government, then we should make them pay 21% of their GDP to pay for this clumsy, murderous goliath.
===

Agree, in principle, but here's the problem.

The USA has had all sort of tax regimes for the last 70 years, and no matter what taxation rates are, collections are always roughly the same percentage of GDP (about 20%).

IE, a 21% GDP tax yield may not be achievable.  Correspondingly, its probably not true that we can tax our way out of debt.   EG, increasing tax RATES just drags the economy and doesn't really lead to proportionately higher revenues.

If we want to address the debt problem, what we probably need to do is decrease spending AND taxes (ie the exact opposite of the above approach).  That "should" stimulate economic growth, therefore increasing revenues, and with lowered spending we'll have at least some ability to outgrow and service debt.

 


Posted by: looking closely at September 29, 2015 10:44 AM (ji45d)

368 I'll settle for a cut that is actually a cut, even 1%, so that I can see "last year we spent X. This year we are budgeting 0.99X". Not the "3% cut because they wanted 10% but we gave them 7%" so that budget is 1.07X.

Posted by: mer at September 29, 2015 10:46 AM (WM7U2)

369 >>Government will never get rid of corporate taxes because, in essence, the government uses corporations as a stalking horse for its own revenue desires.

Political Rule #1 of taxes:

Don't tax you, don't tax me; tax the guy behind the tree.

(See here:  http://tinyurl.com/pwx3lm2  )

IE, as long as it LOOKS like "someone else" is paying the tax, then the tax is OK.  

Posted by: looking closely at September 29, 2015 10:47 AM (ji45d)

370 " For a virtuous people, tyranny is impossible; for a virtue-less people, tyranny is inevitable." You may be on to something there.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez[/i][/b][/u][/s] at September 29, 2015 10:48 AM (S0bOl)

371 This is David Stockman's theory too. He says Eisenhower did this in the 1950s and expenditures came down significantly within 2 years.

Posted by: rfichoke at September 29, 2015 10:49 AM (1XDkO)

372 I'm not sure if the same thing would happen these days though. We are a different country now.

Posted by: rfichoke at September 29, 2015 10:52 AM (1XDkO)

373 The tax policy that will mess with the economy the most is an ever changing one. The impact of changes to tax policy is temporary but if you change it all the time - and some say simply talking about changing policy is enough to cause an impact - then the affect is continuous. Fix taxes where they are, now and forever, and they effectively disappear; they become built into the cost of items, including labor. Talking about tax cuts is the modern political equivalent of the promise of a "chicken in every pot", it's pandering. If you want to reduce or close the federal budget deficit the only way is to cut government spending.

Posted by: steve walsh at September 29, 2015 11:11 AM (UPLmD)

374 Either one of two things is going to happen Ace, the commenters at HA are going to assume I'm you're sock puppet or I'm ripping you off. It is nice to see that someone listens to me, though.

Posted by: Mary Matalin at September 29, 2015 11:26 AM (ARu6p)

375 Either one of two things is going to happen Ace, the commenters at HA are going to assume I'm you're sock puppet or I'm ripping you off. It is nice to see that someone listens to me, though.

*stupid sock puppet name game strikes again.

Posted by: DFCtomm at September 29, 2015 11:27 AM (ARu6p)

376 if everyone doesn't have to pay something into the kitty, then those folks will continue to vote for free shit.

put the hurt on everyone,  to include non-profits, churches, etc.

that way those organizations might stop advocating free shit as well.

and yes: no withholding. everyone has to write a check in April

when something is painful, only the masochists amongst us will keep doing it.

Posted by: redc1c4 at September 29, 2015 11:27 AM (vQvKz)

377 Right on redc1c4! If I recall correctly, a decided minority of Americans pays a significant majority of all taxes collected. Until that is fixed the voting for free shit thingy will continue unabated. Two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for lunch.

Posted by: steve walsh at September 29, 2015 11:31 AM (UPLmD)

378 "No one, including conservatives, seems willing to deal with this reality, preferring Fantasy Mathematics." Bullcrap, Ace. Rand has repeatedly proposed budgets that balance in 5 years. Not lipservice to limited government, like Trump and the GOPe, but specifics and details. The budgets are so good they made Vox rage (http://www.vox.com/2015/4/7/8360691/rand-paul-budget-president). The fact that Rand is at 3% in the polls tells me more about the GOP and its base then it does about Rand. When pollsters ask which programs should be cut and even "conservatives" say No to any specific cuts, I'm no longer surprised. The GOP and its cheerleaders are fundamentally unserious when they discuss limited government. If the nominee is Trump, Fiorina, Carson, Rubio, Jeb, or Huckabee, then I plan to vote 3rd party. I'm done enabling the status quo. I'm happier as an independent, small L libertarian. Everyone on that debate stage has no guts or interest in slashing the budget by half a trillion.

Posted by: Robert W at September 29, 2015 11:49 AM (suKOa)

379 The dollar has been implicitly repudiated. The timing is still being worked out and our government is taking a 'last one out the door is 'it'' approach. The good news is that medical advances mean it's more likely that the thieving class will be alive to face the people in the aftermath.

Posted by: East Bay Jay at September 29, 2015 12:01 PM (PvCxa)

380

Would have worked well except for one minor detail.

 

The majority of voters don't pay federal income taxes. Thus, they have no incentive to reduce the size of government they are not paying for.  This is the secret behind the soak the rich arguments of the democrats and their allies. THe size of the government never has to be dealt with because the majority of voters don't pay for it, they just vote for MOAR please.

Posted by: simplemind at September 29, 2015 12:01 PM (5vV+V)

381

There is a third solution  - you can cut taxes, and reduce deficits.  The solution is simple, and effective.  And that is eliminate all deductions.  what you loose in tax rates, you gain by reducing tax avoidance.  It also serves to rationalize our economy - decisions are no longer biased toward making money AND avoiding taxes. Taxes have a very low relevance to economic decisions, meaning those decisions actually become better and more economically sound.

 

Also, deductions and tax rebate schemes are all examples of congress mucking around in the economy, trying to force it to do things they want, instead of things that are economically sound.  All of that mucking about slows the growth of the GDP, and the growth of tax receipts.

Posted by: George Orwell's Ghost at September 29, 2015 12:18 PM (FzvkV)

382
   So at some point all the things we (wife and I ) earned legally morally and ethically are going to be either denied or confiscated?

   Is that what I read out of this bullshit??

   If so, then stay well out of range.

Posted by: irongrampa at September 29, 2015 12:36 PM (jeCnD)

383 Ace, you caused me to think "How can I simplify this message down to where LIVs can understand it?"

What I came up with is:

We must choose one of three choices.  They are:

a) Cut spending to below what we collect in taxes.

b) Increase taxes to pay for all the spending.

c) Saddle everyone's children with a crippling debt.

That's it, we have to choose one of the three.  And every year we take no action is another year we chose option (c).

Of course some people who love big government claim that there is an option (d), just print a bunch of money or mint a few trillion dollar coins or whatever.  "We just owe the money to ourselves", etc.  But it would be great if we could force people to start saying that on the record.  I think even LIVs understand, at some level, that there is no free lunch.

It would be great if all the conservatives could use the same talking points, the above distilled points or something similar, and just hammer them all the time.  Liberals operate like that and it works.

Posted by: mr_jack at September 29, 2015 12:40 PM (M59SC)

384 I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Can't we just print more money?

Posted by: 52% of voters at September 29, 2015 12:41 PM (Z+7WE)

385 If the next generation doesn't like paying my bills, I'll just abort them.

Posted by: 52% of voters at September 29, 2015 12:43 PM (Z+7WE)

386 If you cannot cut spending at the current level of taxation, what on Earth makes you think you can cut spending at an increased level of taxation? KW is delusional if he thinks the increased revenues will not be directed by politicians towards kicking the can just a bit farther down the road.

Posted by: Ceteris Paribus at September 29, 2015 01:30 PM (lQqJB)

387 Don't cut government spending. Just push all those federal programs to the States - where they have always belonged in the first place. No need to cut any goods or services - just change the name of the payor from "US Treasury" to, say, "State of California". The recipients of the largess won't care if their bucks come from Uncle Sam of from the State of Tennessee. The welfare folks will be happy to charge up their SNAP cards from the teat under the State of Oregon. Do that, and you could cut Federal Taxes to a couple percent of GDP, and you could cut Federal Spending to a couple percent of GDP. No need to cut anything; no need for a Balanced Budget Amendment; no need for Congress to pluck around with these Continuing Resolutions every other month. Just put the government back where it belongs - in the States. Let the States do the business of governing the citizenry. That's the way it was always supposed to be.

Posted by: LCMS Rulz! at September 29, 2015 01:36 PM (PEgKF)

388 143
Another blown opportunity by Trump. I generally like the plan, it's just I'd rather he'd push for a fair or flat tax and abolish the IRS.

Now THAT would have won him the nomination and probably the next 2 general elections if he succeeded.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at September 29, 2015 02:45 PM (St6BJ)


A few wks ago Trump said he was for either a flat or far tax but that he thought a reform of the current system would be easier and faster... btw, Cruz has proposed what you said and he's not "winning" the nomination at all.


You say "another blown opportunity"? What others do you think Trump's blown? Just curious because I know you are not an anti-Trumper and you seem to like him. TIA

Posted by: Aslan's Girl at September 29, 2015 01:49 PM (xetep)

389 at this point, spending cuts are more important than tax cuts

Posted by: Shoey at September 29, 2015 02:51 PM (vA94g)

390 Love this post, Ace. One minor complaint - It's Medicare, not Medicaid, which is in the process of bankrupting the country.

Posted by: lolmonkey at September 29, 2015 07:19 PM (DQcK4)

391 How to reduce the deficit, reduce the debt, reduce the burden of unfunded mandates, and reduce unemployment:

1. Reduce, Disband, or Spin off the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, and Homeland Security.

2.  Sell off 75% of currently unused Federal Buildings.  Alternately, issue 99 year leases to private companies to maintain the buildings and sub-let them to other tenants.

3.  Reduce the corporate tax to the average of the G20 minus five percent. 

4.  Offer additional tax incentives to businesses based on the percentage of US Citizens and lawful permanent residents on their employee list.

5.  Repeal the Federal and State Income taxes, institute a national sales tax of ten percent and limit State Sales Taxes to an additional ten percent.

This would dramatically increase the domestic economy, increase savings, increase sales, and more importantly decrease Federal spending.  It would remove penalties on earning and on hiring Americans.  And after being weaned off the taxpayer, those government departments could compete in the marketplace and those truly needed would survive.

Americans are generous people.  The poor would not be neglected--and there would be more jobs since the new, lower tax rates would bring many new jobs here.  It would not be "heaven on earth"; but it could be a lot closer than we've had for many, many years.


Posted by: setnaffa at September 30, 2015 10:33 AM (BtRXi)

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