“Libertarian left” vs “libertarian right” perspective on recent history

[S.S]

So Obama’s new jobs bill (still not introduced into Congress) is to tax the crap (1.5 Trillion) out of business.

 

The rest is another stimulus that’s half the size of the last one.

We may need to honestly ask if our president has suffered brain damage…Like ·  · Monday at 4:11pm · Privacy:

  •  
    • [J.A.] What’s your plan?

      Monday at 4:16pm · Like

    • [thinkahol] http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/09/6-dumb-arguments-against-taxing-rich-explained

      Monday at 4:21pm · Like

    • [S.S.] A 10% (+/-) tax cut for a year off of income tax, across the board.

      No capital gains tax for two years.

      Spending cuts as necessary, though it isn’t like we’re currently balancing the books anyway.Monday at 4:22pm · Like

    • [S.S.]

      Unlike [thinkahol], I’m actually going to show some work instead of posting someone else’s piece of un-researched crap as an “argument”. Here’s your article with response:

      “On Saturday, the Obama administration unveiled the “Buffett Rule,” a proposed tax on millionaires and billionaires named after celebrity investor Warren Buffett, who has long argued that the federal government should demand more of the wealthy. The millionaires tax is certain to become a major point of contention in the 2012 presidential campaign, and Republicans have wasted no time in heaping it with calumnies. Here are the six most popular conservative arguments against a progressive tax code, and why they’re wrong:”

      This wouldn’t be the same Buffet who owes over a billion in back taxes which he’s refused to pay thus far and is fighting? Oh yeah, it is the same hypocritical bastard.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/29/warren-buffett-taxes-berkshire-hathaway_n_941099.html

      “It’s class warfare!

      Yeah right. Three decades of laissez-faire economic polices have allowed the rich to double their share of the national income while paying tax rates a fifth lower than before. The result, notes Kevin Drum, was “wage stagnation for everyone else, a massive financial collapse that ravaged the middle class, an enormous deficits that they’ll be asked to pay off eventually.” If the millionaires tax is the only blowback, the wealthy should count their blessings.”

      They are talking out of their ass with no facts to back up their analysis. Even so, it is irrefutable that the “wealthy” pay way more taxes in dollar amounts and percentages, produce more jobs than the so called “middle class”. There is no such thing as “their share” of the income. Income is not a finite, fixed item. Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, and any idiot who can’t even understand that fundamental reality of economics isn’t qualified to make change at the cash register.

      “It’s a tax on small business

      “Don’t forget that most small businesses file taxes as individuals,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Fox News Sunday. “So when you are raising top tax rates, you are raising taxes on these job creators.” Except when you aren’t. ThinkProgress’s Pat Garofalo points out that fewer than 2 percent of the nation’s small businesses fall into either of the top two tax brackets. Plus, many of the small business filers in the upper brackets are merely investors who have nothing to do with running the business. And if small businesses don’t want to pay taxes as individuals, they can file always as corporations.”

      Anyone who quotes ThinkProgress with a straight-face and thinks it will be a convincing argument to their opponent deserves to be slapped for it. Be that as it may, they apparently don’t realize that the “investments” these small corporations make is taxed under “capital gains” which Obama wants to raise. Furthermore, filing a business under corporate tax laws is way more complicated than personal tax laws and requires much more time and expense to prepare. Finally they deceitfully mention that almost no small business falls in the top two tax brackets, but Obama’s plan will negatively impact more than the top two brackets.

      “It reduces incentives to work and invest

      Experience shows otherwise. As Nancy Folbre points out over at Economix, ‘average annual rates of growth in gross domestic product in the high tax era between 1950 and 1980 exceeded those of the last 30 years. Increases in the top tax rate under President Bill Clinton were followed by robust economic expansion.'”

      What they cleverly failed to mention was that even with the higher tax rates, total taxes collected as a percentage of GDP was still roughly the same, which means that corporations found ways of hiding their money when the tax system got too oppressive, or they moved their money off shore. Also, ever tax increase was followed in a couple years by a recession. If Bush is still responsible for our economy, then you can’t claim that the recessions were unrelated to the previous market conditions (i.e. higher taxes). Finally, the so called “rich” in the upper tax margins mysteriously had a tendency of disappearing when taxes started getting punitive.

      “It’s an unstable source of revenue

      A recent essay in the Wall Street Journal argued that the high volatility of upper-level income makes it impractical to rely on taxing it. But this concern is vastly overblown and can be easily dealt with by establishing rainy day funds.”

      “It’s unfair

      In the libertarian view, the rich are entitled to their gains because they worked for them. But this ignores how structural changes in the economy such as globalization, financial deregulation, and the rise of the knowledge-based economy has disproportionately rewarded the wealthy. At the same time, we’ve failed to reinvest in government programs that once leveled the playing field, such as financing for community colleges and public universities.”

      A bunch of unsubstantiated drivel. I defy anyone to show how one measures the wealthy being “disproportionately rewarded” because of their wealth. Wealthy are taxed at a higher percentage, and produce more jobs than those in lower brackets. That is fundamentally unfair. To try to measure some mythical value of “knowledge-based economy”, “reward”, and punish these richer individuals with higher tax rates is absurd. Even if one could measure such qualities, they certainly aren’t directly proportional to your wealth, so how can you devise a progressive tax system to fairly tax people off of them? Why do we even care if they playing field is level. Life isn’t fair. To be unfair to one group of people so that someone else gets a “fair” chance isn’t fair either.

      “The rich will leave the country

      Good riddance, writes Don Peck in a recent Atlantic essay on how to save the middle class: ‘America remains a magnet for talent, for reasons that go beyond the tax code; and by international standards, none of the tax changes recommended here would create an excessive tax burden on high earners. If a few financiers choose to decamp for some small island-state in search of the smallest possible tax bill, we should wish them good luck.'”

      One more absolutely mind numbing paragraph. The wealthy create jobs, and pay a substantial amount of taxes right now. If you remove them from the market, you lose large job markets, and a lot of current taxes. If the wealthy are leaving because they feel that the tax system is punitive and disincentivizing them, then why would anyone else try to make wealth after they leave? Who wants to be the next guy to get robbed? Besides, once the wealthy leave, the middle class will have to take up the slack of the tax burden. Don Peck is an abosolute idiot.

      Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Owes Taxes Going Back To 2002

      http://www.huffingtonpost.comA little over two weeks ago, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, the third-ri…See More

      Monday at 4:54pm · Like

    • [W.A.] If nothing else I think this is the longest post I’ve ever seen. Good solid analysis and reason.

      Monday at 6:31pm · Like

    • [A.O.], [S.S.] pls re read your posts… I chastised you a while back aboiut [sic] name calling and you denied doing it… again reread your posts. you have decent counter points but lose all ground gained with name calling.

      Monday at 6:35pm · Like

    • [S.S.]

      ‎@[A.O.], I’m not calling anyone on this thread names. I am calling out some of the idiots quoted in the article.

      I get really irritated when someone responds to a post of mine with an article and no actual, personal analysis. Especially when the response comes from a super lefty source. If you want to try to convince me, then quote from a source that either leans my way or is at least somewhere in the middle (see my huffpo referrence above). Secondly, spend the time to explain why your source relates or refutes something I wrote.

      While you’re right, that my response would go much farther to convince my opposition if I didn’t resort to name calling, there are places for that (a certain board you and I are a member of, for instance). My page I prefer the rant/op-ed.

      As to my original post, I am seriously wondering about the competency of this President and his ability to make rational decisions. How you can make a bill which is supposed to create jobs, which primarily taxes those who create jobs, is beyond me. Furthermore, I’m really pissed off about the constant lies this President is telling about this bill and the detractors.Monday at 7:16pm · Like

    • [thinkahol]

      ‎@ [S.S.], I didn’t mean to irritate you, that’ just what happens. I didn’t have the time to take out of my day to refute you point by point like last time, but I wanted people to have access to a more credible alternative view point (yes thinkprogress is more credible than you).

      First whether or not Buffet is a hypocrite for doing the things that the wealthy do in their own best interest at the expense of everyone else while stating publicly his opinions about how the U.S. government could provide the services the people overwhelmingly want by making his shenanigans more difficult, is entirely immaterial to the discussion. Wanted to get that out of the way because it has no bearing on the actual policy discussion.

      1. the article:

      “It’s class warfare!

      Yeah right. Three decades of laissez-faire economic polices have allowed the rich to double their share of the national income while paying tax rates a fifth lower than before. The result, notes Kevin Drum, was “wage stagnation for everyone else, a massive financial collapse that ravaged the middle class, an enormous deficits that they’ll be asked to pay off eventually.” If the millionaires tax is the only blowback, the wealthy should count their blessings.”

      your response:

      “They are talking out of their ass with no facts to back up their analysis. Even so, it is irrefutable that the “wealthy” pay way more taxes in dollar amounts and percentages, produce more jobs than the so called “middle class”. There is no such thing as “their share” of the income. Income is not a finite, fixed item. Wealth isn’t a zero sum game, and any idiot who can’t even understand that fundamental reality of economics isn’t qualified to make change at the cash register.”

      There isn’t even anything controversial about those facts about the last few decades. It’s mind-blowing to just dismiss them out of hand for not having evidence, without having any evidence of your own.

      You’re clearly just not understanding the use of “share.” At any given moment there exists a distribution of income in society. The percentage amount of income of any given segment of society, is their “share” of income. That percentage amount of income, or share can obviously change through time. No one was claiming that the total amount of wealth stayed the same. People are talking about percentages out of the 100% pie. So in that sense it very much is zero sum, there is only one pie being talked about and you and I can’t both have it in its entirety at the same time. “Using 2007 post-tax dollars, the wealthiest 1% of the US population increased their share of the nation’s income 120% between 1979 and 2007. The top 20% grew their share about 30%, while every other income group decreased their share. Most notably, the bottom 20% lost about 30% of their share of the nation’s income.”

      http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/wealthiest-americans-dramatically-increase-income-16296/

      2. the article:

      “It’s a tax on small business

      “Don’t forget that most small businesses file taxes as individuals,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Fox News Sunday. “So when you are raising top tax rates, you are raising taxes on these job creators.” Except when you aren’t. ThinkProgress’s Pat Garofalo points out that fewer than 2 percent of the nation’s small businesses fall into either of the top two tax brackets. Plus, many of the small business filers in the upper brackets are merely investors who have nothing to do with running the business. And if small businesses don’t want to pay taxes as individuals, they can file always as corporations.”

      your response:

      “Anyone who quotes ThinkProgress with a straight-face and thinks it will be a convincing argument to their opponent deserves to be slapped for it. Be that as it may, they apparently don’t realize that the “investments” these small corporations make is taxed under “capital gains” which Obama wants to raise. Furthermore, filing a business under corporate tax laws is way more complicated than personal tax laws and requires much more time and expense to prepare. Finally they deceitfully mention that almost no small business falls in the top two tax brackets, but Obama’s plan will negatively impact more than the top two brackets.”

      According to the AP:

      “–$405 billion from limiting the itemized deductions for charitable contributions and other deductions that can be taken by individuals making over $200,000 a year and families making over $250,000;

      –$41 billion from closing loopholes for oil and gas companies;

      –$18 billion from requiring fund managers to pay higher taxes on certain income;

      –$3 billion from changing the tax treatment of corporate jets.”

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-would-raise-taxes-to-apf-336304616.html?x=0

      With these expected results:

      “Goldman Sachs says it will raise 2012 GDP by about 1.5%–before any multiplier effects. Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi thinks the effect on 2012 GDP will be about 2%. Expect more estimates in the 1-3% range for 2012; smaller for 2013.”

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/09/obamas-jobs-bill-a-reasonable-plan/

      That sounds pretty reasonable, especially since there are concerns about a double dip recession, and it’s the recession itself that is the second biggest cause of the deficits preceded by Bush’s legislative agenda:

      http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/08/deficit_numbers.html

      http://www.wvpolicy.org/downloads/IB110410.pdf

      3. the article:

      “It reduces incentives to work and invest

      Experience shows otherwise. As Nancy Folbre points out over at Economix, ‘average annual rates of growth in gross domestic product in the high tax era between 1950 and 1980 exceeded those of the last 30 years. Increases in the top tax rate under President Bill Clinton were followed by robust economic expansion.'”

      your response:

      “What they cleverly failed to mention was that even with the higher tax rates, total taxes collected as a percentage of GDP was still roughly the same, which means that corporations found ways of hiding their money when the tax system got too oppressive, or they moved their money off shore. Also, ever tax increase was followed in a couple years by a recession. If Bush is still responsible for our economy, then you can’t claim that the recessions were unrelated to the previous market conditions (i.e. higher taxes). Finally, the so called “rich” in the upper tax margins mysteriously had a tendency of disappearing when taxes started getting punitive.”

      You didn’t refute anything that was said. Average annual rates of growth between 1950 and 1980 did exceed those of the last 30 years. Increases in the tax rate under President Clinton was indeed followed by “robust” economic expansion. Higher taxes incentivize long-term embedded wealth building because they lessen opportunities for get rich quick windfall profit at the cost of gutting companies and communities and pawning off the husk. The unimaginable wealth concentration at the very top destabilizes the entire economy as larger pools of money are changing hands under conditions of less transparency resulting in financial crises like the one we just experienced. Not to mention the concomitant growth of financial interference in our political process as both parties kowtow to the deepest pockets to fund acceleratingly expensive ad-campaigns.

      http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010041625/13-ways-90-percent-top-tax-rate-fixes-economyTuesday at 3:14am · Like

    • [thinkahol]

      ‎4. they said:

      “It’s an unstable source of revenue

      A recent essay in the Wall Street Journal argued that the high volatility of upper-level income makes it impractical to rely on taxing it. But this concern is vastly overblown and can be easily dealt with by establishing rainy day funds.”

      “It’s unfair

      In the libertarian view, the rich are entitled to their gains because they worked for them. But this ignores how structural changes in the economy such as globalization, financial deregulation, and the rise of the knowledge-based economy has disproportionately rewarded the wealthy. At the same time, we’ve failed to reinvest in government programs that once leveled the playing field, such as financing for community colleges and public universities.”

      you said:

      “A bunch of unsubstantiated drivel. I defy anyone to show how one measures the wealthy being “disproportionately rewarded” because of their wealth. Wealthy are taxed at a higher percentage, and produce more jobs than those in lower brackets. That is fundamentally unfair. To try to measure some mythical value of “knowledge-based economy”, “reward”, and punish these richer individuals with higher tax rates is absurd. Even if one could measure such qualities, they certainly aren’t directly proportional to your wealth, so how can you devise a progressive tax system to fairly tax people off of them? Why do we even care if they playing field is level. Life isn’t fair. To be unfair to one group of people so that someone else gets a “fair” chance isn’t fair either.”

      I’m tired so I’ll quote Sam Harris:

      “Of course, this is just an economic cartoon. We don’t have perfectly efficient markets, and many wealthy people don’t create much in the way of value for others. In fact, as our recent financial crisis has shown, it is possible for a few people to become extraordinarily rich by wrecking the global economy.

      Nevertheless, the basic argument often holds: Many people have amassed fortunes because they (or their parent’s, parent’s, parents) created value. Steve Jobs resurrected Apple Computer and has since produced one gorgeous product after another. It isn’t an accident that millions of us are happy to give him our money.

      But even in the ideal case, where obvious value has been created, how much wealth can one person be allowed to keep? A trillion dollars? Ten trillion? (Fifty trillion is the current GDP of Earth.) Granted, there will be some limit to how fully wealth can concentrate in any society, for the richest possible person must still spend money on something, thereby spreading wealth to others. But there is nothing to prevent the ultra rich from cooking all their meals at home, using vegetables grown in their own gardens, and investing the majority of their assets in China.

      […]

      How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it.”

      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/how-rich-is-too-rich/

      5. they said:

      “The rich will leave the country

      Good riddance, writes Don Peck in a recent Atlantic essay on how to save the middle class: ‘America remains a magnet for talent, for reasons that go beyond the tax code; and by international standards, none of the tax changes recommended here would create an excessive tax burden on high earners. If a few financiers choose to decamp for some small island-state in search of the smallest possible tax bill, we should wish them good luck.'”

      you said:

      “One more absolutely mind numbing paragraph. The wealthy create jobs, and pay a substantial amount of taxes right now. If you remove them from the market, you lose large job markets, and a lot of current taxes. If the wealthy are leaving because they feel that the tax system is punitive and disincentivizing them, then why would anyone else try to make wealth after they leave? Who wants to be the next guy to get robbed? Besides, once the wealthy leave, the middle class will have to take up the slack of the tax burden. Don Peck is an abosolute idiot.”

      If it was just a function of having money equals job creation then we could have massive job creation as corporations are sitting on close to $2 Trillion. Businesses expand and people are hired when demand for products increases (and this expansion can even be paid for by taking out a loan). If there isn’t enough demand there is no incentive to expand hence the $2 Trillion. Slashing budgets and putting more people out of work is probably the worst thing you could do right now. There is no demand because as poverty increases the number of consumers declines.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704312104575298652567988246.html

      It’s always theft when money is taken from those who can most afford it for some reason. “We now live in a country in which the bottom 40 percent (120 million people) owns just 0.3 percent of the wealth. Data of this kind make one feel that one is participating in a vast psychological experiment: Just how much inequality can free people endure? Have you seen Ralph Lauren’s car collection? Yes, it is beautiful. It also cost hundreds of millions of dollars. “So what?” many people will say. “It’s his money. He earned it. He should be able to do whatever he wants with it.” In conservative circles, expressing any doubt on this point has long been synonymous with Marxism.

      And yet over one million American children are now homeless. People on Medicare are being denied life-saving organ transplants that were routinely covered before the recession. Over one quarter of our nation’s bridges are structurally deficient. When might be a convenient time to ask the richest Americans to help solve problems of this kind? How about now?”

      http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/a-new-years-resolution-for-the-rich/

      I’m all for making the transition to next generation of collective decision-making processes, but until then infrastructure is real, costs money, and benefits everyone. And the people that have benefitted most from our societal arrangements have benefitted most, by definition, and are therefore in the best position to keep society functioning.

      This type of thinking:

      “If the wealthy are leaving because they feel that the tax system is punitive and disincentivizing them, then why would anyone else try to make wealth after they leave? Who wants to be the next guy to get robbed?” It just clearly isn’t born out in reality. The wealthy overwhelmingly don’t move due to tax hikes.

      http://reason.com/archives/2011/04/29/the-truth-about-taxes-and-the/singlepage

      And the poor and middle class would pay more taxes if inequality hadn’t gotten as bad as it has. And yes inequality is bad for everyone.

      Meanwhile in the real world:

      “banks take risks, get paid for the upside, and then transfer the downside to shareholders, taxpayers, and even retirees. In order to rescue the banking system, the Federal Reserve, for example, put interest rates at artificially low levels; as was disclosed recently, it also has provided secret loans of $1.2 trillion to banks. The main effect so far has been to help bankers generate bonuses (rather than attract borrowers) by hiding exposures.”

      https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/taleb1/English

      The fact of the matter is banks just got trillions and you’re saying none of it should be siphoned back into the economy in taxes.

      http://theamericano.com/2011/04/28/biggest-legalized-theft-middle-class-american-wealth/

      Really the monetary system itself is debt generating instead of wealth generating with legality of fractional reserve lending.

      http://www.monetary.org/the-1930s-chicago-plan-vs-the-american-monetary-act/2009/08Tuesday at 3:15am · Like

    • [thinkahol]

      ‎”Nobel laureate Milton Friedman would become the proposal’s best-known champion.

      This proposal was the shift from banking industry creation of “money as debt” through loans (technically “credit” and not money because it exists only and always as increasing and unpayable debt in the macro economy), to the government creating debt-free money for the direct payment of public goods and services. This policy has several extraordinary benefits (details in the links):

      http://www.examiner.com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/open-proposal-to-us-higher-education-end-oligarchy-economics-save-trillions-with-education-3-of-4-1#ixzz1YUBlV93hTuesday at 3:16am · Like

    • [S.S.]

      I’m going to only post relevant parts of your response as this thread is getting ungodly long already.

      “First whether or not Buffet is a hypocrite for doing the things that the wealthy do in their own best interest at the expense of everyone else while stating publicly his opinions about how the U.S. government could provide the services the people overwhelmingly want by making his shenanigans more difficult, is entirely immaterial to the discussion. Wanted to get that out of the way because it has no bearing on the actual policy discussion.”

      Is is relevant since the law is going to be named after him, he is pushing it, and he’s a damned lying scumbag. Not only is he trying to dodge taxes that he supposedly is worried about rich people getting out of, unless his secretary is being cheated by her accountant, she’s still not paying as much, percentage-wise, as Buffet.

      “There isn’t even anything controversial about those facts about the last few decades. It’s mind-blowing to just dismiss them out of hand for not having evidence, without having any evidence of your own.

      You’re clearly just not understanding the use of “share.” At any given moment there exists a distribution of income in society. The percentage amount of income of any given segment of society, is their “share” of income. That percentage amount of income, or share can obviously change through time. No one was claiming that the total amount of wealth stayed the same. People are talking about percentages out of the 100% pie. So in that sense it very much is zero sum, there is only one pie being talked about and you and I can’t both have it in its entirety at the same time. “Using 2007 post-tax dollars, the wealthiest 1% of the US population increased their share of the nation’s income 120% between 1979 and 2007. The top 20% grew their share about 30%, while every other income group decreased their share. Most notably, the bottom 20% lost about 30% of their share of the nation’s income.””

      They did not define what they meant, whether it was some sort of “entitled to” or actual “income”. Even if the Rich did increase their wealth, their conclusions are wholly unfounded as to the effects it had on the market and other classes. They do not support their observations. Since they proposed this hypothesis, the burden of proof lies with them.

      “According to the AP:

      “–$405 billion from limiting the itemized deductions for charitable contributions and other deductions that can be taken by individuals making over $200,000 a year and families making over $250,000;

      –$41 billion from closing loopholes for oil and gas companies;

      –$18 billion from requiring fund managers to pay higher taxes on certain income;

      –$3 billion from changing the tax treatment of corporate jets.”

      http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Obama-would-raise-taxes-to-apf-336304616.html?x=0

      With these expected results:

      “Goldman Sachs says it will raise 2012 GDP by about 1.5%–before any multiplier effects. Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi thinks the effect on 2012 GDP will be about 2%. Expect more estimates in the 1-3% range for 2012; smaller for 2013.”

      http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/09/obamas-jobs-bill-a-reasonable-plan/

      That sounds pretty reasonable, especially since there are concerns about a double dip recession, and it’s the recession itself that is the second biggest cause of the deficits preceded by Bush’s legislative agenda:

      http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/08/deficit_numbers.html

      http://www.wvpolicy.org/downloads/IB110410.pdf

      That is only a partial list of the changes. Furthermore, on what basis to do find this “reasonable”? How badly do the rich have to be screwed for you to be happy? What is their fair share? Define this. We can’t have a legitimate argument about how much the rich have to pay if you don’t define what is fair. They already pay more percentage wise of their income, and they pay more per capita than lower brackets.

      “You didn’t refute anything that was said. Average annual rates of growth between 1950 and 1980 did exceed those of the last 30 years. Increases in the tax rate under President Clinton was indeed followed by “robust” economic expansion. Higher taxes incentivize long-term embedded wealth building because they lessen opportunities for get rich quick windfall profit at the cost of gutting companies and communities and pawning off the husk. The unimaginable wealth concentration at the very top destabilizes the entire economy as larger pools of money are changing hands under conditions of less transparency resulting in financial crises like the one we just experienced. Not to mention the concomitant growth of financial interference in our political process as both parties kowtow to the deepest pockets to fund acceleratingly expensive ad-campaigns.

      http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010041625/13-ways-90-percent-top-tax-rate-fixes-economy”

      I did too. If taxes were higher, and GDP was higher, but the overall dollar intake from taxes remained roughly the same, it means that Corporations were finding ways to dodge the higher tax rates so that they paid about the same as before. Furthermore, the article made a bunch of unsubstantiated claims about how this really didn’t hurt growth, but they didn’t even deal with the negative impact to the economy within 5-8 years of every tax increase. I pointed out that these same people want to still blame Bush for the economy of today, so they don’t get a free pass on how taxes effect the future economy within the same window.

      Obama would raise taxes to pay for his jobs bill – Yahoo! Finance

      finance.yahoo.comWASHINGTON (AP) — In a sharp challenge to the GOP, President Barack Obama propo…See More

      Tuesday at 5:35pm · Like

    • [S.S.]

      ‎”I’m tired so I’ll quote Sam Harris:

      “Of course, this is just an economic cartoon. We don’t have perfectly efficient markets, and many wealthy people don’t create much in the way of value for others. In fact, as our recent financial crisis has shown, it is possible for a few people to become extraordinarily rich by wrecking the global economy.

      Nevertheless, the basic argument often holds: Many people have amassed fortunes because they (or their parent’s, parent’s, parents) created value. Steve Jobs resurrected Apple Computer and has since produced one gorgeous product after another. It isn’t an accident that millions of us are happy to give him our money.

      But even in the ideal case, where obvious value has been created, how much wealth can one person be allowed to keep? A trillion dollars? Ten trillion? (Fifty trillion is the current GDP of Earth.) Granted, there will be some limit to how fully wealth can concentrate in any society, for the richest possible person must still spend money on something, thereby spreading wealth to others. But there is nothing to prevent the ultra rich from cooking all their meals at home, using vegetables grown in their own gardens, and investing the majority of their assets in China.

      […]

      How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it.”

      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/how-rich-is-too-rich/”

      Sam Harris would seem to mostly agree with me. However, that is beside the point. You didn’t respond to my critique of the issue at hand. The article is trying to justify stealing more money from the rich because of some imaginary “disproportionate advantage” caused by the wealth. My questions still stand. How can you tax that which you can’t measure? How can this wholly arbitrary decision be applied fairly across the rich? For instance, one guy makes his money by having the corner on a natural resource. Another guy makes the same money by building a product people love (Apple). If such an imbecilic measurement were valid, we’d have to say the guy who got lucky with the resource cornered market, had way more “market advantage” than the guy who created a product people liked, even though they ended up with the same wealth. Once again, how much is their “fair share”. If you are going to claim they owe more, explain how you arrive at that conclusion.

      “If it was just a function of having money equals job creation then we could have massive job creation as corporations are sitting on close to $2 Trillion. Businesses expand and people are hired when demand for products increases (and this expansion can even be paid for by taking out a loan). If there isn’t enough demand there is no incentive to expand hence the $2 Trillion. Slashing budgets and putting more people out of work is probably the worst thing you could do right now. There is no demand because as poverty increases the number of consumers declines.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704312104575298652567988246.html”

      Ask your President who thought throwing around stimulus money would magically create jobs…

      We’re arguing chicken or egg, but I have the advantage. People get money through work or having jobs. They get jobs because business needs to hire them. If a business can’t find a demand, they fail, problem solved. You continue to perpetrate the lie that businesses can “sit” on money. This just isn’t true. Unless they hold this money in a vault, it is getting invested, which means it’s moving. Furthermore that wealth is not keeping anyone else from creating new wealth. The fact that you don’t understand how wealth is created means you will never be able to grasp any macro economic principle until you resolve that. Wealth is created by someone being able to produce something better or cheaper than the other guy, and the other guy having something he can produce better or cheaper to pay the first guy with (with both parties wanting the opposite guys commodity). There is nothing preventing anyone from finding a new niche and filling it. As long as you believe you are helpless unless some corporation or government gives you a job or money, you’ll always be someone else’s doormat.

      “It’s always theft when money is taken from those who can most afford it for some reason. “We now live in a country in which the bottom 40 percent (120 million people) owns just 0.3 percent of the wealth. Data of this kind make one feel that one is participating in a vast psychological experiment: Just how much inequality can free people endure? Have you seen Ralph Lauren’s car collection? Yes, it is beautiful. It also cost hundreds of millions of dollars. “So what?” many people will say. “It’s his money. He earned it. He should be able to do whatever he wants with it.” In conservative circles, expressing any doubt on this point has long been synonymous with Marxism.

      And yet over one million American children are now homeless. People on Medicare are being denied life-saving organ transplants that were routinely covered before the recession. Over one quarter of our nation’s bridges are structurally deficient. When might be a convenient time to ask the richest Americans to help solve problems of this kind? How about now?”

      http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/a-new-years-resolution-for-the-rich/”

      Once again, this is not the rich peoples fault. Many who are poor deserve to starve to death. Let’s be blunt. They don’t spend their money well, the make constant, stupid decisions, they deserve to fail or survive on their own merit. Once gain, your quote is promoting class-warfare between those who have money and those who don’t. Those who have money are paying way more taxes already. How much is their fair share? Answer the bloody question instead of just saying “more”.

      Also when Lauren bought his cars, he spent money into the market…I thought that’s what you lefties and Keynesians wanted. He put money into the system…Or, does it only work if the government steals it from him and then uses it to fund the Presidents vacations? Why do we assume that when the government takes more money that it goes to the poor. It doesn’t most of the time. It is used to subsidize future government bloat.

      Most of the rest of your argument is against crony capitalism and the Federal Reserve. However, it is precisely the government’s meddling and the current progressive tax system which allows these abuses and loopholes. A flat, no exceptions, tax would not allow loop holes. A government staying out of the system and not giving bailouts or favoring any particular business would prevent the items you describe. I want the Fed gone. I want the market to right itself or not, by itself.

      The Blog : How Rich is Too Rich? : Sam Harris

      http://www.samharris.orgSam Harris, neuroscientist and author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End…See More

      Tuesday at 6:00pm · Like

    • [thinkahol]

      I’m going to try to give brief answers to the ongoing questions and try to narrow our conversation at the end.

      ok, Buffet. The point I was trying to make was that we were trying to have a discussion about policy not politics, and that those are separate things. I don’t care if he’s a scumbag, if he never existed we could have the rest of this discussion just fine.

      “Even if the Rich did increase their wealth, their conclusions are wholly unfounded as to the effects it had on the market and other classes. They do not support their observations. Since they proposed this hypothesis, the burden of proof lies with them.”

      I think this chart summarizes their position:

      “That is only a partial list of the changes. Furthermore, on what basis to do find this “reasonable”? How badly do the rich have to be screwed for you to be happy? What is their fair share? Define this. We can’t have a legitimate argument about how much the rich have to pay if you don’t define what is fair. They already pay more percentage wise of their income, and they pay more per capita than lower brackets. ”

      I didn’t read the full bill did you? If there are changes that you wish to add to the discussion please do. Anyway the rich (and especially the richest of the rich) are doing better after taxes than they have ever done, so I really think it’s premature to talk about them being screwed. I think this comes from a place of considering all taxes unfair which I’ll address below.

      “If taxes were higher, and GDP was higher, but the overall dollar intake from taxes remained roughly the same, it means that Corporations were finding ways to dodge the higher tax rates so that they paid about the same as before. Furthermore, the article made a bunch of unsubstantiated claims about how this really didn’t hurt growth, but they didn’t even deal with the negative impact to the economy within 5-8 years of every tax increase. I pointed out that these same people want to still blame Bush for the economy of today, so they don’t get a free pass on how taxes effect the future economy within the same window.”

      So you’re willing to grant that average annual rates of growth between 1950 and 1980 did exceed those of the last 30 years and that Clinton tax increases were followed by economic expansion. You never really explained this from your perspective. What you seem to have pointed out is, that if you’re right, tax increases have only a short term effect negative on the economy before it adjusts.

      You kind of went on a tangent after this Sam Harris quote (and I’ll get to that), but I still want to know how you respond to this:

      “How many Republicans who have vowed not to raise taxes on billionaires would want to live in a country with a trillionaire and 30 percent unemployment? If the answer is “none”—and it really must be—then everyone is in favor of “wealth redistribution.” They just haven’t been forced to admit it.”

      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/how-rich-is-too-rich/

      “Ask your President who thought throwing around stimulus money would magically create jobs…”

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/feb/17/barack-obama/obama-says-stimulus-responsible-millions-jobs-save/

      more to come

      http://cdn.front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/who-got-wealthy-LARGE.jpg

      cdn.front.moveon.org22 hours ago · Like ·

    • [thinkahol]

      Sam Harris:

      “And yet over one million American children are now homeless. People on Medicare are being denied life-saving organ transplants that were routinely covered before the recession. Over one quarter of our nation’s bridges are structurally deficient. When might be a convenient time to ask the richest Americans to help solve problems of this kind? How about now?”

      http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/a-new-years-resolution-for-the-rich/”

      You:

      “Once again, this is not the rich peoples fault. Many who are poor deserve to starve to death. Let’s be blunt. They don’t spend their money well, the make constant, stupid decisions, they deserve to fail or survive on their own merit. Once gain, your quote is promoting class-warfare between those who have money and those who don’t. Those who have money are paying way more taxes already.”

      Do you really think that personal failure is a legitimate hypothesis in explaining shifts in poverty on the scale of millions of people? I’m sure that the increase in poverty has absolutely nothing big banks making bad bets and crashing the economy.

      You’re being quite ridiculous here. “[P]oor people deserve to starve to death.” Really.

      “Harvard researchers say 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were caused by health problems—and 78% of those filers had insurance.”

      http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2009/db2009064_666715.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories

      Are you sure many of their children deserve to starve?

      Can you seriously say with a straight face that any child deserves to starve? What could any child do to deserve that? Our society deems it to be inhuman to starve murderers to death. How could you knowingly choose to starve children to death? How could it possibly be illegitimate for a society to collectively, democratically choose to not let children starve to death?

      To say I’m promoting class warfare is to start following the game a little late. Over the last 30 years, “After-Tax Income For The Top One Percent Of Earners Has Skyrocketed.”

      http://mediamatters.org/research/201109210020

      People are comparing modern poverty to The Great Depression:

      http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/279-82/7472-photographing-the-great-depression-then-and-now

      “Consider simply these two facts. First, at the end of the second world war, for every dollar Washington raised in taxes on individuals, it raised $1.50 in taxes on business profits. Today, that ratio is very different: for every dollar Washington gets in taxes on individuals, it takes 25 cents in taxes on business. In short, the last half century has seen a massive shift of the burden of federal taxation off business and onto individuals.

      Second, across those 50 years, the actual shift that occurred was the opposite of the much more modest reversal proposed this week by President Obama; over the same period, the federal income tax rate on the richest individuals fell from 91% to the current 35%. Yet, Republicans and conservatives use the term “class war” for what Obama proposes – and never for what the last five decades have accomplished in shifting the tax burden from the rich and corporations to the working class.

      The tax structure imposed by Washington on the US over the last half-century has seen a massive double shift of the burden of taxation: from corporations to individuals and from the richest individuals to everyone else. If the national debate wants seriously to use a term like “class war” to describe Washington’s tax policies, then the reality is that the class war’s winners have been corporations and the rich. Its losers – the rest of us – now want to reduce our losses modestly by small increases in taxes on the super-rich (but not, or not yet, on corporations).”

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/20

      To talk about this jobs bill as if it has suddenly introduced class power struggle dynamics into American society is absolutely absurd.

      “How much is their fair share? Answer the bloody question instead of just saying ‘more’.”

      It’s not up to me to decide alone what the tax rates of the wealthiest Americans should be. In a republic questions like that are for the people to decide democratically. But we can clearly see that looking back higher tax rates certainly didn’t bring armageddon, quite the contrary.

      I can probably fit the rest in one more20 hours ago · Like

    • [thinkahol]

      ‎”Also when Lauren bought his cars, he spent money into the market…I thought that’s what you lefties and Keynesians wanted. He put money into the system…”

      Consumption certainly is one of the necessary requirements for growth. And in a recession especially people are suffering due to lack of employment options until the economy grows fast enough to provide enough jobs for new people hitting the job market (and catch up for previous lost jobs). That he chose to spend his money on cars isn’t the issue. It just calls attention to the strange premise that a free market some how magically comes to the “best” outcomes. One of the only legitimate jobs of government is to democratically choose the boundaries of market competition so that it best coincides with the interests and will of the people. The market is only sensitive to money (only one system of value humans conventionally use for purposes of exchange).

      “Or, does it only work if the government steals it from him and then uses it to fund the Presidents vacations? Why do we assume that when the government takes more money that it goes to the poor. It doesn’t most of the time. It is used to subsidize future government bloat.”

      You’ve actually conflated government with unaccountable government. Accountable government is actually legitimate because it actually expresses the will of the people. Unaccountable government (ours is toward that end of the spectrum) is by definition illegitimate if we agree that government derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed.

      “Most of the rest of your argument is against crony capitalism and the Federal Reserve. However, it is precisely the government’s meddling and the current progressive tax system which allows these abuses and loopholes. A flat, no exceptions, tax would not allow loop holes.”

      Are taxes by definition illegitimate? Because it sounds like you’re saying that taxes on the people who can afford taxes most is stealing. But you haven’t explicitly said that all taxes are somehow morally wrong. So it sounds like you’re saying that rich people are somehow getting a raw deal. Is that right so far?

      Let’s talk about what’s fair:

      Because I’m when I take a glance around at life, I’ve never been immediately struck when spending time with wealthy people, that Gee Whiz it must really be rough making enough money that after taxes I’m still richer than I’ve ever been. Or more modestly that after taxes all I’m really struggling for is higher status for myself or my children (and I don’t really have to worry about being homeless or going hungry, or my children being either).

      Call me heartless but I’m not losing any sleep over that class; they are doing quite fine, thanks for asking.

      If you’re going to talk about meddling in the economy don’t pretend that 90% of it favors large corporations. Additionally, loopholes are a function of corruption. As wealth has concentrated into fewer individuals and corporations they have exercised that money power and gotten even more tax breaks and loopholes.

      “A government staying out of the system and not giving bailouts or favoring any particular business would prevent the items you describe. I want the Fed gone.”

      Government can’t stay out of the system (as the system stands). They tried that, and it has consistently failed. There is not a single historical example of a modern market being sustained without the force of government. Allowing unlimited concentration of capital undermines a free market. Money is a form of power that when concentrated enough, given the human condition, is inevitably used to tilt the playing field. Throughout human history oligarchies have always been the biggest threat to the free market.

      http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2006/06/allocation-vs-markets-ancient-struggle.html

      “I want the market to right itself or not, by itself.”

      I feel like that is quite a statement. Let’s not put all our eggs in that basket and just hope for the best. How about we don’t genuflect before the altar of capital as if it is God. 

      Elizabeth Warren on Debt Crisis, Fair Taxation

      http://www.youtube.comElizabeth Warren discussing the debt crisis, fair taxation and other important issues as part of her talking tour.

      19 hours ago · Like ·

    • [thinkahol]

      I feel like it’s ridiculous to have a deficit that’s largely a result of an economic downturn caused by big banks, Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, unpaid for wars (fought by our poor), and unpaid for medicare give-away to drug companies, with rising healthcare costs looming on the horizon causing predictions of long term budget deficits, and instead of putting bankers that committed criminal fraud in jail, ending Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, ending Bush’s (and now Obama’s wars), and replacing our current health-care system (which has the highest cost and almost worst outcomes of any developed nations healthcare system) with a demonstrably cheaper and better one, Republicans tell us that we have to raise taxes on the poor, cut Social Security and Medicare, and strike down our remaining environmental laws (that have demonstrably saved millions of lives), or else the big businesses sitting on almost $2 trillion in cash won’t start hiring, even though they won’t start hiring anyway until demand increases (which it can’t because too many people are too poor).

      But if you raise any taxes on the rich (or even end Bush’s “temporary” tax cuts) it’s “CLASS WARFARE!” even though the rich have already won.

      Also regarding the amount of money corporations and the wealthy are sitting on, and it’s relation to providing capital for our economy please catch up to speed on tax havens. You may have heard of them.18 hours ago · Like”

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