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View Diary: Krugman is Wrong: The Real Reason to Raise Taxes on the Rich (133 comments)

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  •  The debt only became unbearable (30+ / 0-)

    When Obama took office.  Just like it did when Clinton was elected.  When Reagan tripled the deficit, and George W doubled it, it was perfectly ok.  

    Personally, I think the top tax rate should be the unemployment rate times 7.  The more the "job creators" fail to do their job, the more government has to pick up the slack, and needs taxes to do it.  We've tried bribring them, and that failed miserably.  It's time for accountability.

    •  That creates a negative feedback cycle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      See my comment right below.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 25, 2011 at 09:05:58 PM PST

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    •  We've been in debt since 1836--literally (6+ / 0-)

      Look it up. Jackson was the last president to not have a debt. He crashed the economy as a result. Just like Jefferson, the only other president to have zero debt. They both cut back spending to recessionary levels.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 12:14:58 AM PST

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    •  Raise taxes? Raise wages! (11+ / 0-)

      I do support raising taxes on the 1 percent - especially on the top .1 percent. The question is:

      How does raising taxes on the wealthy reduce income disparity?

      This is a tough question. Just hitting the rich harder doesn't necessarily raise everyone else's boats.

      Yes, if we balance out tax income better, we can shore up the safety net and secure retirement and healthcare benefits, but that doesn't raise wages, which is the key problem in economic injustice.

      Part of the problem is that the CEO makes 400 times what the average employee earns, and while chipping down the CEO's pay is important, I'm wondering how we get the employee's salary up a bit to capture our gains in productivity.

      So I like Zaphkiel's comment here because it does focus more on that question. Also, how about a unionization effort? Maybe one reason employee wages are so low is that most workers have no collective bargaining power anymore.

      Every day's another chance to stick it to the man. - dls

      by The Raven on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 03:44:24 AM PST

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      •  Raising top marginal tax rates (8+ / 0-)

        encourages anyone who owns a business to invest money in that business (which he controls) rather than take the money out as executive pay and bonuses which would mostly go to pay income tax.

        Clever CEOs will realize that paying employees more will create a more stable, productive work force, which will be good for their business, and will do that on their own.

        Not so clever CEOs (and there are many more of those than Republicans would have you believe) will need the pressure of a good union bargain to raise wages.

        Oh the other hand, we could use taxes to build low cost housing, subsidize food and public transportation, directly hire people to work on infrastructure or public services. If government can create a scarcity of available employees by lowering the unemployment rate to, say, half a percent, then private companies will pay higher wages to lure competent employees away from their competition, or will pay to train unskilled workers.


        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:13:24 AM PST

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        •  Not really.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...raising top marginal tax rates will just compel the business owner to put more personal expenses - cars, planes - through the corporate income statement.

          •  There was quite a bit of that going on (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eikyu Saha, Roger Fox, Arenosa, The Raven

            back in the 50s and 60s when top marginal rates were way up there. There are limits to it, though: the cost of those cars and planes, shareholders perusing financial statements, accountants certifying financial statements, IRS auditors challenging perks as income.

            While those checks won't stop it from happening, of course, they will keep it within reasonable limits. I doubt a John McCain could justify 12 personal residences as a "business expense" even if he could get away with one or two.

            If you recall, back in those years, the chief complaint about business was "empire building" in which executives competed with each other not for the highest take home pay, but for the number of people they managed. I wouldn't mind putting incentives like that back in place, and I suspect most unemployed people would agree.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 01:10:31 PM PST

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    •  Tying top tax rates to unemployment (9+ / 0-)

      reinforces another right wing myth: that the top 1% are "job creators." They are not.

      Economic demand for goods and services creates jobs, not people who happen to have their names on corporate paperwork.

      One big problem is the rich are cutting jobs here to increase their personal compensation. They are trying to break unions, are hiring illegal immigrants, are moving operations to other countries where labor is cheaper. Why on earth do we continue to speak of these people as "job creators"?

      The top tax rate should be set so that concentrations of wealth do not occur. Extremely high estate taxes would be a good place to start. Why should Paris Hilton, by virtue of her birth, get billions to play with, when the same money could provide, say, free college education to all the nation's children?

      Extremely high top marginal tax rates are another good idea, since they encourage CEOs to invest in their businesses rather than in their take home pay, which will, after a certain amount, go to the government in income tax.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sat Nov 26, 2011 at 06:00:48 AM PST

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    •  It was a huge problem to many of us here when (0+ / 0-)

      Bush held office and it has become no less of a problem now.

      Our gross debt as a share of the GDP  has increased by 24.4% over the last 3 years. It is at 100%.  The expiring Bush tax cuts were extended.  Even the payroll tax is unaffordable political pandering.  

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