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No doubt most of the chatter about the new projections of a $1.5 trillion deficit will focus on spending. But spending is just one side of the equation. The other side, of course, is revenue, and any honest debate over the deficit needs to take that into account, especially in light of this:

Tax revenues are projected to drop to their lowest levels since 1950, when measured against the size of the economy.

In the short-term, the best thing we can do to reduce the deficit is to increase economic growth, not reduce spending. Long-run we need to bring down the cost of health care and retarget war expenditures on domestic investments. But we also can't ignore that current tax policy -- in particular, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- have brought tax revenue to their lowest levels in six decades.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:06 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If we cut taxes to zero, we'll have a surplus! (17+ / 0-)

    It's Bat-Shit Onomics 101!

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:10:11 AM PST

  •  WELL DON'T LOOK AT ME (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    American Zapatista, jck

    My federal withholding went up.  Go figure.

  •  How much competition did we face in 1950 (9+ / 0-)

    from Europe, Japan, China, India, and Korea?

    In 1950, American exports ruled world markets. Times have changed. I'm no economist, but I think it's just good common sense that we impose punitive tariffs on all goods and services imported from countries which are unable or unwilling to meet American standards for the protection of workers, consumers, and the environment. Instead of exporting jobs, we should be exporting our standards.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:11:38 AM PST

    •  This would be GREAT news for... (0+ / 0-)

      ... Canada!

    •  China imposes tariffs on US Goods... (4+ / 0-)

      ...via its manipulation of it f/x rate, which leaves it at least 30% undervalued against the dollar.

      China also demands that any company wanting to sell it wind turbines must source at least 70% of its parts in China, and if it can't find the providers, it must transfer technology to enable them to do so.

      So, China imposes tariffs, while the US does not.

      Over the last 10 years, per-capita income growth of over 9% in China.

      In the US, wages have been stagnant.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:27:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  China can get away with it now because (0+ / 0-)

        such things aren't covered (yet) under the GATT and the WTO.  There is of course already a movement (the Dohan Process) to expand WTO's authority to financial areas (that process has been stalled for five or six years because of unrelated fights over agricultural subsidies).  Obama has already been making noises about attempting to re-start the Dohan Process.

    •  How much were we spending to rebuild (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, socalmonk

      Germany, Japan, etc

      The Republican motto: I've got mine. Screw you.

      by leu2500 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:28:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rebuilding Gernmany / Japan (0+ / 0-)
        ended the cycle of wars.

        After WWI Germany was flatened, not allowed to rebuild, and made to pay repreations.  This lead to the resentment that allowed Hitler to rise to power.  This lead to WWII.

        After WWII, Germany was helped to rebuild and become part of Western Europe.  Did this hurt US manufacturing, yes.  Did not having another World War because the Germans saw no better solution to there problems benefit the US? Yes.

        You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

        by Edge PA on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:43:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that was all Cold War politics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drewfromct

          The original Morgantheau Plan for Germany and Japan did indeed advocate flattening Germany again, removing most of its industry and turning it into a pastoral agrarian society.

          The ONLY reason it wasn't carried out is because we needed a re-armed Germany as protection against a Soviet invasion of Europe.

          It was raw naked self-interest, not the goodness of our hearts of the wiseness of our foresight, that prevented us from acting the same way towards Germnay after WW2 that we had after WW1.

    •  My mother told me the tax rate was 91 percent on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem

      the rich.  This was during the Eisenhower years.

      What happened?  Ronald Ray-gun, I presume.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:35:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't Kennedy drop it to around 70%? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, drewfromct

        The Republican motto: I've got mine. Screw you.

        by leu2500 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:43:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This was only on the VERY TOP income (0+ / 0-)

        This bears repeating: we had a graduated tax system, with 33 different brackets. Remember the way brackets work: the first $10K (for a simplication) are taxed at the lowest rate (say 10% or $1000), the portion of the next bracket, say up to $20K, are taxed at the next bracket (say 15%, or $1500). That's an actual tax rate in my example of 12.5%.

        Back in the days of highest personal tax rates in this country, the very absolute richest people in the country might pay 50% of their total income in taxes. That's neglecting tax shelters and loopholes, etc. Rich people usually can afford expensive tax lawyers.

        Of course, currently we're down to only five tax brackets, topping out at 33%, and essentially exempting the lower 20% of earners, who nevertheless pay the highest proportion of their incomes as taxes due to the increase in payroll taxes since the Reagan-era "reforms" of 1986 raised them. (I might note for my fellow fans of low business taxation that this also affects businesses, particularly small businesses that pay entry-level wages, unduly compared to their less labor-intensive corporate friends, since businesses half to match payroll taxes, making hiring more expensive relative to capital investments or outsourcing).

        When we had the extremely high tax brackets in this country on the rich, it was (a) following our previous record-high deficit, which was in 1946, and was incurred to win World War II; and (b) was also during one of our greatest periods of economic expansion.

        I'm not in favor of going back to our 1950s era brackets, and I am in favor of simplification of the tax code, which is just insane right now. But going back to the Clinton-era tax rates on the richest Americans seems to me like it's a fairly proven way of assuring government and the economy function, and providing for economic stability for everybody as a result.

        So much of the financial crisis has come about because as a nation we invested in paper and string instead of actual infrastructure and new business, whether it was real estate schemes or financial instruments or simple speculation. The best way to keep money working in an economy is to provide economic incentive to invest it back into that same economy, and the higher marginal tax rates on the wealthiest individuals were part of the overall tax system that until the Bush era managed to keep the juices recirculating because that was the best place to park excess money, while assuring the base of the economy and sovereign functions (also important to the economy - education, research, infrastructure) continued uninterrupted.

        Yes, Virginia, higher taxes on the richest people in this country are good for the economy.

        Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

        by TheCrank on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 02:04:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the problem with "simplifying" the tax system is (0+ / 0-)

          that fewer and fewer brackets mean we come continuously closer to a flat tax, which is, just like the sales taxes, utterly regressive.

          There simply must be a way to insure that the rich fucks at the top pay a lot more, and the people at the bottom pay a lot less. And I can't think of any way to do that other than having lots of brackets with progressively higher rates.

        •  You might not favor going back to 1950s rates... (0+ / 0-)

          But I sure do.  We have to do something to nip wealth accumulation at the top in the bud.  On top of that we need a 75% estate tax rate, not the embarrassing 35% we have now.  

          Obama has screwed up so badly in pushing these Republican tax plans it is not even funny.  It's just another indication of how poor his judgment is.  

          Does anyone even care anymore if Obama is reelected?

          by Asak on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:34:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  1950 competition (0+ / 0-)

      Let's see: much of Europe and Japan still very much in slow recovery from the depredations of WW II , China, India and Korea still very much 3rd world. Good times!

    •  tariffs wont work, for many reasons (0+ / 0-)

      An excerpt from my diary series on the history of corporations:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      A favorite tactic utilized by protectionists is the punitive tariff. Tariffs are surcharges that are added to the price of cheap imports in order to artificially raise their selling price to match those of more expensive domestic products.

      As the global economy declined in 2008-2010, calls for protective tariffs became increasingly common from both Democrats and Republicans, even those who had formerly supported tariff-free “free trade”, as a measure to “help the American economy”. In 2009, Obama, bowing to pressure from the United Auto Workers union, imposed a 35% tariff on imported Chinese tires, which had captured about 17% of the US market. Some American tariffs actually double or even triple the price of particular imported products; the American synthetic-textile clothing industry is protected by a 32% tariff, most imported automobile parts have a 25% surcharge, imported sneakers and sport shoes pay a 48% tariff, some European meats and cheeses pay a 100% import tax, and the American tobacco industry is protected by a whopping 350% tariff. In 2010, the House passed, with heavy bipartisan support, a bill empowering the Commerce Department to impose a new round of tariffs as retaliation for China’s policy of manipulating its currency to keep the value of the yuan artificially low and thereby make Chinese imports cheaper for other nations.

      The whole intent of the WTO’s free trade framework is, of course, to eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers, and WTO has the authority to unilaterally invalidate protective tariffs passed by any member nation. The WTO agreement, however, does not cover all areas of trade, and the WTO does not have any jurisdiction over tariffs in economic areas that fall outside of those covered by GATT.

      Even in areas where the WTO cannot invalidate a trade barrier, however, it is unlikely that protective tariffs will actually play any effective role.

      Tariffs can be justified in certain cases. For decades, small nations in the developing world suffered as predatory corporations, most of them American, dominated their economy, crushed domestic industries, and turned the country into a virtual economic colony—and tariffs were seen as one weapon to gain economic independence. The “Asian Tigers” (Singapore, Korea, Taiwan), for instance, used tariffs to protect their infant industries until they were strong enough to compete in the world market and become economic powers in their own right. Developing nations in particular are still anxious to utilize protective tariffs to protect their small-scale farmers who are incapable of competing with the heavily-subsidized American and European agribusinesses (though the developing nations would prefer instead that the wealthy economies stop subsidizing large agribusinesses and drop their own protective tariffs against the small farmers in poorer countries). In cases where smaller and weaker economies are protecting themselves from larger and wealthier ones, tariffs may indeed have a progressive role to play.

      Most tariffs, however, have the purpose of protecting those large wealthy industries from competition by cheaper products in developing nations—not of protecting the weak from the strong, but of protecting the strong from the weak. The American industries with the loudest calls for protective tariffs—steel, textiles and auto parts—are formerly-huge rich industries who now face the stiffest competition from younger foreign companies. I.e., they are industries who are desperate to protect their formerly privileged position. Not coincidentally, they are also industries who still have large and politically-powerful labor unions.

      As the furor over the “Buy American” provision in the Stimulus Bill demonstrated, however, most corporations still reject protectionism and embrace the free-trade framework, making it difficult for the US to pass protective trade barriers. American corporations opposed tariffs not only because they did not want to  re-ignite the destructive trade wars of the 80’s, but also because most American corporations now had large portions of their productive capacity located overseas. For instance, at least 60% of all the products exported to other countries from China actually came from companies that are owned by Americans, Europeans or Japanese. Critics point out that tariffs to keep out cheap imported Chinese products are pointless when it is American companies themselves who are making and importing them. The American corporations do not want tariff “protection” from low-wage unregulated Chinese products—they are the ones who have been flocking to China to make them, and they want to be able to continue importing them back into the US as cheaply as possible.

      Other critics point out that measures to “protect American industry” are useless in a global economy where there are no “American industries” anymore. As American-based corporations move productive capacity overseas, the “foreign” corporations are locating more and more of their factories in the US. When the US used tariffs and import quotas in the 1980’s to try to keep Japanese cars out of the American market, Toyota and Honda responded by simply moving their factories here—today, most of the Japanese cars sold in America are actually manufactured within the US. In 2009, the German steel industry responded similarly to protectionist sentiments in the US by building a huge production plant in Alabama.

      Finally, progressive critics point out that protective tariffs don’t help American workers, and don’t help workers in developing countries either. Although tariffs raise the prices of imported goods, they don’t raise anyone’s wages, including those of the American workers they are supposed to be “protecting”. Indeed, by artificially raising prices and denying consumers access to cheaper imported products, tariffs actually hurt American workers by forcing them to pay more for products that they could otherwise get less expensively, thereby pushing their purchasing power even lower and decreasing their real wages. And, since the indigenous workers in developing countries do not get any of the money from the increased price of their product, they continue in the same low-wage poverty as before. The situation helps no one except the particular American corporations whose profits are being artificially protected.

      •  Mixed messaging... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jestbill

        You say that tariffs don't work, and then go on to provide several examples of where they do:

        Tariffs can be justified in certain cases. For decades, small nations in the developing world suffered as predatory corporations, most of them American, dominated their economy, crushed domestic industries, and turned the country into a virtual economic colony—and tariffs were seen as one weapon to gain economic independence. The "Asian Tigers" (Singapore, Korea, Taiwan), for instance, used tariffs to protect their infant industries until they were strong enough to compete in the world market and become economic powers in their own right.

        This might be a nice place to point out the huge advantage these countries gained by being under the very expensive (To us American taxpayers, not them) American military umbrella. How much did they pay for all that protection that allowed them to grow their economies in peace?

        You go on to write :

        When the US used tariffs and import quotas in the 1980’s to try to keep Japanese cars out of the American market, Toyota and Honda responded by simply moving their factories here—today, most of the Japanese cars sold in America are actually manufactured within the US. In 2009, the German steel industry responded similarly to protectionist sentiments in the US by building a huge production plant in Alabama.

        So here we see tariffs creating jobs for U.S. workers. Let's move on:

        Critics point out that tariffs to keep out cheap imported Chinese products are pointless when it is American companies themselves who are making and importing them. The American corporations do not want tariff "protection" from low-wage unregulated Chinese products—they are the ones who have been flocking to China to make them, and they want to be able to continue importing them back into the US as cheaply as possible.

        Here we see the huge dichotomy between "American" companies and American workers and consumers. Sure, the boys in the boardroom love slave wages and non-existent/unenforced environmental regs. Why wouldn't they? But when we hear the Michelle Bachmans talking about regulation "holding business back", what they really mean is that we should scrap OSHA and the EPA in order to "compete" with China. How is that good for anyone in the long run?

        The kind of tariffs I'm talking about would be applied to nations with lax or non-existent regulations on workplace safety, pollution controls, and consumer protection as well as wages, because it's wrong to let the "free" market decide how much lead paint is "safe" to put on childrens' toys. It's not just about keeping or creating jobs here--it's about wisely using what's left of what was until recently the strongest market on Earth to export what's good about our economy: the right to organize, and the notion that healthy workers and consumers are necessary for a healthy economy.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:29:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't say anything (0+ / 0-)

          I don't create reality, I simply describe it. Alas, reality doesn't care what I want.

          The reality, though, is that the kind of tariffs you describe are simply illegal under WTO, and won't happen. Yopu are precisely correct--the "American" corporations not only don't give a flying fuck about American jobs or workers, but they don't give a flying fuck about America anymore either. They are above nations.

          That is precisely why fighting them at the national level is, now, a waste of time. We must fight them at the internation al level that they now live at.

          If we want environmental and labor protections under WTO, we have no alternative but to force the WTO to write those regulations into the treaty itself.

          •  The words that one deliberately chooses (0+ / 0-)

            to describe reality act in shaping that reality. Don't take my word for that--go read Lakoff, or Orwell.

            As for the WTO, we need to hold it in the same regard that Shrub had for the ABM treaty.

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:45:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  good luck with that (0+ / 0-)

              As for the WTO, we need to hold it in the same regard that Shrub had for the ABM treaty.

              Every nation that has tried to defy the WTO has surrendered abjectly shortly afterwards (including the Shrub).  No country, not even the big mighty USA, is strong enough to face the entire world. Tough talk is easy---reality is not so easy.

              The words that one deliberately chooses to describe reality act in shaping that reality. Don't take my word for that--go read Lakoff, or Orwell.

              BTW, justin case you think I'm some sort of WTO apologist (and that would be too funny for words), you should read my diary series on the history of corporations, here:

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  This doesn't hide the fact that (11+ / 0-)

    the middle class now pays most of US taxes, by far.  Large corporations, by comparison, only pay 3% of their profits in taxes, after they take advantage of all the loopholes Republicans bestowed on them between 2000-2006.

    So I'm more than happy to tell middle class Teahadists two things -

    1  You're paying less tax than than you have since Truman, and

    2  You're picking up the tab to pay for tax breaks for the rich

    In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. - Shunryu Suzuki

    by thenekkidtruth on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:12:07 AM PST

    •  Taxes paid on hourly wages earned are higher than (5+ / 0-)
      what yuppies are paying on the earnings from their investments or their salaries. The working class is carrying the tax burden in this country and always has been.
      •  One thing's for sure........ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thenekkidtruth, socalmonk

        It's a GREAT time to be rich in America!

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:45:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That comment doesn't sound right... (0+ / 0-)

        Are you proposing that hourly wages are taxed at a higher rate than salary earnings?  In all my time doing my taxes and looking at the tax tables, I'm pretty sure that's not true.  The tax code doesn't differentiate between hourly and salary. The rate is simply determined by annual wage earnings, which they both are.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:47:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think he's referring to the fact that (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, TheCrank, socalmonk, schnecke21

          investment income and capital gains is taxed at a much lower rate than employee income---which is why Warren Buffet famously paid less taxes than his secretary did.

          •  Well sure. But those guys aren't yuppies. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            Yuppies work for guys like that, and have watched their investments (401K) disappear, and work 60 hr weeks for a flat salary with no overtime. His "yuppie rage" is misplaced.

            Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

            by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:15:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Payroll taxes, too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socalmonk

            These tend to hurt low-wage-earners (who tend to make up the bulk of hourly employees) disproportionately because of the higher rates of payroll taxes relative to total income. The Republicans made a lot in the fall of this meme that because 20% or so of Americans were exempt from federal income tax, that made this a big class warfare thing, the poor freeloading on the middle class. Far from it: sales taxes are regressive and hurt the poor more than anybody, and have been inflating due to reductions in property taxes and top bracket income taxes the last generation as localities struggle to make up for lost income sources.

            Throw on payroll taxes, the working poor in this country are the biggest payers of taxes in this country, especially when compared to disposable income.

            This is why health insurance and coverage is so critical, and why we have to defend the President strongly on this. Health care inflation is all out of whack with overall inflation and has been for years. It's a game of chicken, even if your employer offers health insurance, when you're really poorly paid, as to whether the premium is worth it if you can't make the rent or buy food or clothes for your kids. The Obama reforms are going to make inroads towards taking this worry off the table for people who are desperate for work and trying to make ends meet, and for that matter people who would, say, like to start a business but can't because they can't self-insure. It's maybe the best thing that has happened for grassroots free enterprise enterpreneurship in this country's history. And the GOP wants to kill it.

            Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

            by TheCrank on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 02:10:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree partially (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              socalmonk

              HCR in some form is absolutely necessary from a business point of view (which is why the corporados supported it). My bitch is with the form it took---I'd much rather see health care run as a public utility, rather than forcing people to pay profits to a privately-owned business for a service that SHOULD be provided by the government as a basic right for allpeople (like water and electricity).

              Oddly enough, the largest employer in the US, WalMart (and THAT should tell us something right there) came out in favor of . .  drum roll . . .  socialized single-payer health care.  Why?  Because they know that health care plan of some sort is utterly inevitable--and they don't want to have to pay for it.

        •  Nope, there are more outs than that. (0+ / 0-)

          Taxes paid on hourly wages earned are higher than (3+ / 0-)
          what yuppies are paying on the earnings from their investments or their salaries.

          "earnings from investments" is probably a swipe at the Long Term Capital Gains rate, which is in fact much lower than the income rate.  "yuppies" probably do not get the majority of their income from LTCG, however.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:30:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The facts: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thenekkidtruth

      The top 5 percent of taxpayers pay more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but report roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.

      Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.

      http://usgovinfo.about.com/...

      If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

      by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:14:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  some more facts . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, ferg, thenekkidtruth

        The top 5 percent of taxpayers pay more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but report roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.

        The top 5 percent also hold more than one-half of the total wealth. Indeed, the richest 10% own about three-fourths (71% in 2010) of the nation's total wealth, and the richest 1% all by themselves own about one-third (38% in 2010) of the nation's total wealth. So by your figures they are seriously UNDER-paying their fair share of taxes.

        As for your stat about income taxes, it is a sleight of hand, since it only considers wage or salary income on which they pay income taxes. But the top 5% don't make most of their money by wage or salary income--they make most of their money from investments and stock/bond payments, which are taxed as capital gains (though of course at a much lower rate). The reason so many super-rich claim very little job income is because many super-rich don't have a job. The super-rich don't NEED jobs, dahling. They don't have to work for a living.

        •  So what? It's a good gig, if you can get it. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't begrudge anyone their wealth, if they earned it honestly and if everyone who wants to work is able to obtain the basics of a decent life for themselves (food, shelter, a little extra for a rainy day).  

          If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

          by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:26:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for changing the subject (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thenekkidtruth

            Your point was that the downtrodden oppressed rich pay most of the taxes boo hoo hoo.

            My point was that's because they own most of the wealth--and indeed they don't pay their taxes at the same rate that they own wealth.

            Your point was bullshit.

            If you now want to try to defend trickle-down economics ("if we make the rich richer they'll make us all rich too"), I'm game.  That's an argument you won't win, either.

            •  I didn't think he was changing the subject (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpamNunn

              I thought he was refuting the (incorrect) claims made earlier in the thread:

              thenekkidtruth

              the middle class now pays most of US taxes, by far

              socalmonk

              The working class is carrying the tax burden in this country and always has been.

              •  no, he was changing the subject (0+ / 0-)

                His idea that the oppressed minority of rich people pay more taxes than they should, is baloney-----they pay the most taxes because they have the most wealth, and indeed the level of taxes they pay is actually lower than their level of wealth ownership.

                And when I pointed out that his weeping was wrong, he changed the subject.

            •  So you want to base taxes on... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpamNunn

              .. net worth ?  The guy who draws a well-earned salary of $250,000 running a handful of pizza shops he built from the ground up should pay taxes based on what those shops are worth in total ??

              Or the investor who earns a good living off capital gains should be taxed as though it were a salary ?

              The pizza shop owner would liquidate and go be a regional manager for a major chain.. or would never have taken the risks needed to build those shops. (costing how many jobs?)..

              And no investor is going to put a fortune at risk when "normal" tax rates turn the upside to those investments not even worth risking the down-side (that's why capital gains taxes are relatively low)... again costing how many jobs when the investor pool shrinks ?

              •  yep (0+ / 0-)

                The more money you got, the more taxes you pay.

                And if the pizza shop owner doesn't want to pay taxes, let him sit home and sulk instead.  Someone else will open a pizza shop.  (shrug)

                •  No they won't.. (0+ / 0-)

                  .. not if their income tax is based on wealth, instead of income,,

                  What if they have a bad year.. and he draws little if any salary.. should he still be taxed because of the net value of his company ?  A guy smart enough to build a business, wouldn't do it under those conditions.

                  •  yeah, they will (0+ / 0-)

                    Because greedy people will try to make every dollar they can, and if someone takes his marbles and goes home crying because he can't make ten bucks, someone else will happily come along and do it for six bucks.

                    The oddest thing of all is that the super-rich don't even do it for the money--they already have more cash in the bank than they could possibly spend in ten lifetimes. They do it for the power. The money is just peacock feathers for them--just a way to show off to everyone else.

                    Tax them at 95%, and their lifestyle won't change a shred. They'll just be less able to strut their peacock feathers.

                    •  You don't just "come along" and do these things. (0+ / 0-)

                      Starting, running and building a succesful business takes lotsa work, sacrifice and risk. You state that when a man risks his life savings, and mortages his home to get a business up and running, you'll just shrug your shoulders if it fails, because someone else will "come along" and start another.

                      Now of course there are those who become "greedy bastards" as they accumulate wealth. But there also those who become "lazy bastards" expecting a living to be given to them. I'm not gonna condem everybody on any sort of relief.. why would you condem every wealthy person ?

                      •  alas, though (0+ / 0-)

                        A large portion of the idle rich didn't get their money by working hard. They got it the old-fashioned way----they inherited it.

                        As for the ones who did work hard--their workforce worked even harder.  And gets a lot less for it.

                        But in any case, your entire "I worked hard and started my own business" thingie is just a fantasy, since the economy is dominated by huge global megacorporations who were not founded by any person who worked hard--they were founded by megamergers and buyouts. That Adam-smithian world you are so in love with, no longer exists. The corporados killed it over a hundred years ago.

                        •  Ummmm... (0+ / 0-)

                          .. the guy who struggled getting one shop up and running, eventually owning 5 (and employing dozens) is me...  (sigh)

                          •  alas, you are just a krill (0+ / 0-)

                            Nearly all small businesses are dead in five years anyway. Your piddley little business (and mine too) survives only because the Big Boys haven't bothered yet to buy us out or drive us under. WalMart has put lots more small business out of business than the tax code or minimum wage ever did.

                            In the scheme of things, we simply don't matter---we live short ephemeral lives, and our only purpose is to feed the bigger fish when we die.

                            Like I said, that whole Adam-smithian fantasy world you live in, no longer exists.  The corporados killed it over 100 years ago. And the corporados are not Adam-smithin.  There is no such thing as a "free market" when 1% of all corporations own 83% of all corporate wealth. They are richer, bigger and have more power over people's lives than any government does.

                          •  It might surprise you.. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SpamNunn

                            .. but I don't disagree with most of that post..

                            However, I'm not that jaded. I'll still tell a person.. if they want to take a chance, and work like demon for a few years.. they make a good, secure living. I'm gonna sell this business soon (at a very reasonable price to one of my long-term employees), and then buy a bar in upper Michigan.. bust my butt for a few years and retire comfortably and securely...

                            The Americn dream is still there.. ya just gotta want it badly enough to work for it.

                          •  how CAN you disagree? it's reality. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll simply say again that your success did not come because you worked hard----it came because other people worked hard for you, and you got all the money instead of them.

                            The only good thing about small business owners (and again, I am one) is that they must, by necessity, perform their own management, and so at least do something to earn their keep. The Big Boys, on the other hand, the super-rich at the top, don't do anything at all whatsoever to earn their keep. They perform no management function--they hire managers to do that for them. They are parasites, nothing more. If we took away their stock shares, divided them up equally among every employee or even every US citizen, and elected corporate managers ourselves, nothing would change--except that the idle rich would now have to get a real job somewhere.

                          •  I'm sure how to respond.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. when you assume,and outright accuse me of abusing my employees. I'd have GLADLY offered them a fair profit-sharing based salary, but only if it was TRUE profit sharing.

                            Aside from the fact that the majority of them came and went in less than 2 years (as with any entry level job).. would they be willing to work for nothing when we had an un-profitable week/month/year ?  Would they accept negaive pay if when we went throug a time of loss ?

                            Geez..

                          •  I am simply stating a fact (0+ / 0-)

                            Wages and profits are a zero-sum game. The only way one goes up, is if the other goes down. The only way you make money, is if your employees don't. And vice versa.

                            would they be willing to work for nothing when we had an un-profitable week/month/year ?  Would they accept negaive pay if when we went throug a time of loss ?

                            I'm quite sure they would---if they were part-owners. After all, stockholders do. And unlike most stockholders, employees actually do most of the company's work.

                            But I'm curious--when you have an extra-profitable week/month/year----do you give it to your employees?

                          •  Of course I don't give it to them.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. any more than I'd expect them to pay ME when the company loses money.

                            As for ownership stake for employees.. you can't just GIVE that to them. If they want to buy into the company .. that's fine (and is how I'm puting my long-term employee into a position to eventully own the company)

                          •  of COURSE not (0+ / 0-)

                            Of course I don't give it to them

                            Why the heck should you--it's not like they did nearly all the work for it or anything . . . .

                            Remember what I said before about the zero-sum game? There you go.  They want the money--you want the money. One of us will get it, one of us won't. And since the workplace can't run without the workers but CAN run without the owners, there is only one way that argument can end.

                            As for ownership stake for employees.. you can't just GIVE that to them.

                            Sure we can. We outnumber the owners by a few hundred thousand to one. We also already control the entire company--nothing gets done anywhere unless one of us does it. It is a mere legal fiction that the owner actually owns the company---the employees do. Always have.  If you doubt who really runs a factory, then perform a simple experiment----have the owner go on vacation for a month, and see how much work gets done. Then have all the employees go on vacation for a month, and see how much work gets done. That will demonstrate pretty clearly who is necessary, and who is not.

                            Of course I don't expect any corporado to GIVE the company to us.  I expect we'll simply TAKE it.

                            Then the owner can find a job like everyone else.

                          •  Just TAKE the company assets.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. be intersting to see how you go about doing that..

                            As for employee compensation: Paying them exaclty what their labor earns for the company, would be as pointless as charging only total cost of the ingredients for a pizza. No profit.. no company, and NONE of us has a job..

                          •  it's been done before (0+ / 0-)

                            Sometimes politely (as when the British nationalized lots of industries) and sometimes not nicely (as when oil nations nationalized all the foreign oil company assets). It was also done radically (as when revolutions in various countries nationalized the land and gave it to the landless, or nationalized the factories and gave them to the employees).

                            As for employee compensation: Paying them exaclty what their labor earns for the company, would be as pointless as charging only total cost of the ingredients for a pizza. No profit.. no company, and NONE of us has a job..

                            I have no intention of paying them "exactly what their labor earns".  After all, stock shareholders don't get paid according to the share of labor they did---since they do no labor at all.

                            Employees, of course, DO all the labor, and each of them is as important to running the company as anyone else (if you doubt that, then send a few workers home for a month and see how the work goes).  So they'd all get equal shares in their company. (And it is "theirs" just as much as it is yours, by virtue of the fact that it was their work that built it.)

                          •  I've never discounted employee importance.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. you're becoming non-sensical..

                          •  I'm quite sure you do (0+ / 0-)

                            After all, you can't make a single dime without them. I',m also sure you view your machinery and equipment as equally as important, since you can't make a single dime without them either.

                            People, of course, are not equipment--but that's how they are viewed by owners anyway.  They're just an expense, just another thing the owner has to cost out if he wants to make a profit, no different than a computer terminal or a tow-motor or a conveyor belt. For an owner, giving his employees more money makes no more sense than giving his pizza ovens more money.

                            Please note that this is not a morality argument--it simply is the way it is.  It is how every owner MUST treat his employees--because if he doesn't, he loses out to those who do.

                            The difference between equipment and workers, of course, is that workers can organize and fight back.

                          •  I'll respectfully disagree... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. a happy employee is more valuable than training a new one. I'd do anything within reason to retain good, reliable employees.. above and beyond the fact that many were friends bordering on family..

                          •  you are self-deluded if (0+ / 0-)

                            you think that friendship or duty or loyalty win out over economics or livelihoods.

                            As I said, I used to be a union organizer.  I've surprised many a boss who thought his employers were his friends.

                            The economic interests of the employer and the employees are simply not the same, and cannot ever be made to be the same. The only way one gets money is if the other one doesn't.

                            That is the reality.

                          •  They're the same in that.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. without good employees, there is no company... and with no company, there are no employees.

                          •  which is exactly why they should be (0+ / 0-)

                            equal partners.

                          •  Even if one has no personal wealth.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. at risk.. or is less skilled at running a business..

                            You punch a time card for a wage proportionate to your skill/training/seniority.. Just being there does not equate to equal say in the company, nor equal claim to its assets. You have to understand that.

                            Who in their right mind would put their life's savings, and life's work into a comapany, when hiring employees means surrendering it.

                          •  To make sure I'm getting this straight.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. when you hire someone to paint your house.. you're expecting him to tell YOU how the work will be done; tell you what to pay him.. and are prepared for him to take ownership of your house if you disagree ?

                          •  straw man (0+ / 0-)

                            When I hire someone to paint the house, I am not hiring him to make profits for me.

                            Now if I own a painting compnay and hire someone to paint houses to make money for me, then yes, I expect him to have an equal share with me and all the other people in the company as to how the work is done (though I'd be inclined to give the painter more say in that than the secretary or the owner, since the painter is the guy actually doing the work who knows how best to do it), and I expect every share holder to get an equal share of the income or losses. And I fully expect them to take ownership of the company if the employer doesn't agree.

                          •  Sooo... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. let's say you're the painter.. and have saved up enough money to buy a truck, ladders, painting equipment, and want to expand your horizons. You hire two young painters, and put YOUR money (possibly the truck too as collaterall) to bond these young painters, so you can big on large painting contracts. YOU do all the legwork securing a contract; YOU pay these guys out of YOUR pocket until there's adequate cash-flow. You spend lotsa time dealing with potential customers, and negotiating lines of credit at paint suppliers; and making sure perfect records are kept.

                            The painters say... "hmmm, we're doing all the painting".. knock on your door and say, "we out vote you two-to-one" .. "this comany is ours, truck, credit-lines, contracts and all... Go find yourself a job".

                            Is that how it works ?

                          •  And a curious question.. (0+ / 0-)

                            How does the company come into existance at all.. without owners/investors ?

                          •  the companies are already there (0+ / 0-)

                            The only way new ones form now is by budding off of old ones, or through mergers or joint ventures of old ones.

                            After all, nobody can decide one day to go out and borrow a trillion bucks from investors to start their own megacorporate company to compete with Ford or British Petroleum.

                            You are still locked into that whole small-business Adam-smithian world. It no longer exists.

                          •  Budding, merging, joint ventures.. (0+ / 0-)

                            ,, are all based around net-worth and assets.. the stuff the owners OWN. They sell out.. the stock goes worthless, and you taker-overs are standing in a factory with no working capital (they aint comin' back).. no way to keep an inventory.. no lines of credit.. and very soon.. no customers.

                          •  as I said before (0+ / 0-)

                            I have no intention of BUYING their stock shares from them. I intend to TAKE them. So it won't be me who is standing there without any money or assets--it'll be the former stockholders.  I and my fellow employees will have the entire factory and all its assets.  They'll have nothing.

                            They'll have to get a job like a mere mortal.

                          •  If you TAKE them.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. what do you suppose becomes of their value..

                            The ability for a company to secure suppiers, and lines of credit, is based on what the company is worth.

                            And lets not forget the importan life-line of being able to sell corporate bonds... who in their right mind would by bonds in a company whose stock is worthless ?

                          •  the value stays the same (0+ / 0-)

                            The factory still produces shoes or cars or widgets, and they still have the very same value to people that they always had.

                            Oh, you mean its stock value to people who want to buy shares?  Who cares---if they're not in the company and don't do any of the work, they don't deserve any share.

                          •  It does not produce a THING.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. without CASH in hand.. (lemme guess.. at the same time you find a way to claim ownership of shares..you have friends at the bank who will just turn the cash over to you)... it can't insure, or bond, or do ANYthing withoud being financially sound.. including stock the warehouse with raw materials..

                            This conversation is turning bizarre..

                          •  it's only bizarre because (0+ / 0-)

                            you are continuing to view it in a social framework which would then no longer apply.  It's sort of like the deposed King of France looking at the French Republic and asking "but how the heck will you communicate the King's decisions to the people?"

                            Surprise.

                            Sadly, I expect you absolutely will not like anything at all that I would like to do.  Just as the King of France absolutely did not like anything the French Republic did.

                            But, like the French Republic, I have the advantage of not needing your permission.

                          •  and with that, I bid adieu (0+ / 0-)

                            This is a topic that we cannot discuss--we can only talk past each other, because we are literally in different worlds with different interests and goals. There is no resolution to it but to duke it out within the workplace--one of us will win, the other one won't. (shrug)

                            And now I must log off.  Unlike some people, I do all my own work, and have no employees to do my work for me.

                          •  Fare welll... (0+ / 0-)

                            aside from contention, it's been entertaining..

                            I'll just finally ask how one just takes shares of stock?

                            Do you got to every brokerage and force them to print documentaion of ownership that will have any legal standing ? Do you then just send notes to all the small stockholders whose 401Ks caontain that stock and demand that they surrender it ?

                            I mean.. seriously..

                          •  Oh wait... (0+ / 0-)

                            .. I think I get it now..

                            Your world requires a revolution that would wipe-out the stock market, yet still leave enough of the economy intact to support the factory.. and that the engineers, sales reps and accountants wouldn't jump ship... and you'd all go about your maerry way making better livings. Am I close ?

                            That's a string of 'ifs' each of which is more than unlikley,, with a pardox or ten thrown in.

                          •  Just try it. (0+ / 0-)

                            If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

                            by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 07:18:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I run a business, not a commune. (0+ / 0-)

                            If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

                            by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 07:18:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm willing to bet that your employees worked pretty hard too.  Or did you do all the work by yourself?

                            The way to get rich isn't to work hard--the way to get rich is to have lots of other people work hard for you--and pay them shit.

                          •  I feel sorry for you.. N/T (0+ / 0-)
                          •  and I feel sorry for your employees /nt (0+ / 0-)
                          •  You wouldn't, if you asked them N/T (0+ / 0-)
                          •  I used to be a union organizer (0+ / 0-)

                            I surprised lots of owners who thought that way.

                            (shrug)

                          •  part of the reason why you can't conceive of (0+ / 0-)

                            the point of view I am describing (and I mean that literally--it is a complete and utter mystery to you) is that you assume I am talking about you and your fellow small businesses. I'm not.  The small business are just minnows who are barely above mud in the food chain.  They're too piddley to bother with.

                            It's the sharks at the top that I want.  They are the only ones who matter. And your Adam-smithian free-market fantasy simply does not apply to them.

                •  Do you even have a job, Lenny? (0+ / 0-)

                  If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

                  by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 02:36:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have a source for this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thenekkidtruth

      Large corporations, by comparison, only pay 3% of their profits in taxes

      According to the IRS (.xls), the 7,516 corporations with more than $250M in receipts in 2007 paid $282,171,825,000 in Federal income taxes on profits of $1,089,729,861,000.  

      Which is 26%, not 3%.

      While there are some large corporations (GE comes to mind) that pay very little tax, or even get a refund, the overall effective corporate tax rate in the US is around 28%.  Without cherry-picking, I don't think there's a group at the top only being taxed at 3%.

      •  That 3% figure is commonly stated (0+ / 0-)

        I just don't have the time to hunt it all down atm, but I've done so in the past.

        The difference lies in profits which aren't claimed - either hidden using accounting tricks, taking advantage of literally of tens of thousands of Republican loopholes (Aid to Dependent Corporations), or the use of offshore accounts (think Cayman Islands, for instance).

        Only the largest of the large can fully exploit these vast advantages.  The rest actually bring the figure up to 3%.

        In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. - Shunryu Suzuki

        by thenekkidtruth on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 12:42:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It just seems hard to believe (0+ / 0-)

          that these corporations could be hiding more than $8T in profits, by any means.

          •  They aren't hiding it.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thenekkidtruth

            .. the shareholders see it in capital gains, and dividends,, and then THEY pay the taxes.

            •  Confirmed (0+ / 0-)

              n/t

              In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. - Shunryu Suzuki

              by thenekkidtruth on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:18:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  they pay a very LOW rate of taxes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              thenekkidtruth

              on their capital gains. Lower than Joe Blow pays on his shit job at the local fast food place.

              Because, ya know, the idle rich are BETTER than the rest of us.

              (snicker)

              •  They pay low rates.. (0+ / 0-)

                .. on capital gains, because taxing that money as though it were income reduces the upside of puting money at risk, compared to the downside. And justifiably, money LOST in capital investment is fraction of the deduction it would be, if it were treated like income. If capital gains were taxed like income.. nobody invest in anything but CDs.. And companies would have a huge incentive to NOT grow the company's value.

                •  it IS income (0+ / 0-)

                  They live off it, and use it to buy yachts and Lear jets.

                  And like I said before, if the rich fucks don't want to invest, let them take their marbles, go home and sulk.  (shrug)  

                  •  Never said it wasn't income.. (0+ / 0-)

                    .. it's capital gains income..

                    If the investors take their marbles and go home.. the economy screeches to a hault. Those investemnts make up the bulk of any company publicly traded. Take away the traders, and it goes away.. inculding all those jobs and tax revenues (wink)

                    •  if it's income, it gets taxed like income (0+ / 0-)

                      and if the investors all go home, we take over from them. We don't need them anyway. They perform no useful function.

                      Of course, I assume you understand that "owners" and "managers" are two entirely different things. See, the CEOs of a corporation are not the owners--they are paid by the owners to manage the company so the actual owners don't have to get their own hands dirty doing it.  They are just hired help, no different than the janitor--a little more highly paid perhaps, but still nothing more than an employee.

                      The owners of the corporation--the stockholders--do absolutely nothing to run the company. They just hire some schmuck to run it for them.

                      And if the stockholders can elect a board of directors to hire the management team, so can we. Nothing at all changes in the company--except that the absentee owners don't get dividend checks anymore.

                      •  Exactly what is it that you'd take over ? (0+ / 0-)

                        If the shareholders liquidate, there's nothing left. You'd have to go out and raise capital (oops they're gone), secure lines of credit, build and maintain infra-structure...  you can't just assume ownersip and go on about your business..

                        •  the voting shares (0+ / 0-)

                          Right now, corporate management is elected, but by a small subset of the population.

                          The only change we have to make is to elect them by a larger population.  For large multinational corporations, I'd let every US citizen hold an equal share of stock, and we elect corporate CEOs just like we elect sheriffs, governors and Senators.  For smaller corporations, I'd be happy giving all the employees an equal voting share.

                          The way I see it is this: the very definition of "democracy" is "those who make the decisions that effect people's lives are elected by and responsible to the people whose lives are effected".  Corporate stockowners have huge economic organizations that are more powerful and have more direct effect on people's lives than any government does--yet they are utterly unelected and completely non-responsible to the people whose lives they affect. And further, they don't even follow the basic democratic principle of "one person, one vote"---literally, one person with more "shares" than anyone else, can control an entire megacorporation all by himself. They are, fundamentally, undemocratic.

                          So I would make them democratic.

                          •  Good luck finding/keeping investors.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. when the workers in a company can control what happens to their investment.

                            Comapnies are not democracies.. people choose to join their work-force, and can choose not to..

                          •  the workers ARE the investors (0+ / 0-)

                            We don't need the absentee owners.  We can hire a professional management team just like they can. Heck, it could even be the very same team.

                            BTW, Fortune 500 companies don't need investors to raise capital.  

                            Comapnies are not democracies

                            But they are----the people who run the corporations got their jobs by being ELECTED.

                            I simply want to expand the pool of people who elect them.

                            And of course, they SHOULD be democracies.  Anyone who has the power over people's lives that the corporations do, should be democratic. They are larger, richer and more powerful than governments--so they should be under democratic control, just like governments.  Heck, in many ways, they ARE governments.

                            As for the owner's right to undemocratically control people's lives, I have no more respect for that "right" than I do for the divine right of kings. (shrug)

                          •  Your shoulders must be getting tired.. (0+ / 0-)

                            .. shrugging and all..

                            A fortune 500 company EXISTS on investor capital. Show me one that is not publicly traded.. and explain to me what would happen to one if those investors sold out..  egad..

                          •  no it doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                            The shares just get traded back and forth to determine who owns what.  Virtually no Fortune 500 company uses new stock shares to raise capital anymore. The stock market ceased decades ago to be an investment tool--they are now just casinos. Stock shares are either a way for the idle rich to entertain themselves by gambling their money away on the market, or for CEO's to get obscenely fat compensation packages that they will never spend anyway, just to show off their peacock feathers to everyone else.

                            And as I noted, I don't intend to BUY their shares.  I intend to TAKE them.

                            Then they can go find a job like everyone else.

                          •  And you accused ME of having a fantasy ? N/T (0+ / 0-)
                          •  as I said, it's already been done (0+ / 0-)

                            Sometimes politely, sometimes not.

            •  Dividends are paid from after-tax income (0+ / 0-)

              and capital gains have nothing to do with corporate income taxes at all.

              Yes, shareholders will pay taxes on those items. But what thenekkidtruth was saying is that the corporate taxes collected by the IRS represent only 3% of "true" corporate profits, while if you calculate based on the profits that the corporations report to the IRS, it's 26%...the implication being that the corporations had somehow shielded a large amount of profit (~$8T) from taxation.  Dividends and capital gains would not explain it.

              •  Unless they're literally using illegal.. (0+ / 0-)

                ..accounting methods. That money goes somewhere. And one way or another, it will be reflected in stock value, eventually,,, whether ir be capital on hand, warehouse stock, repaid bonds, capital improvement, comapny expansion...  All of that effects share-value.. hence capital gain tax for shareholders.. and of course some of it is sat on, for strategic (I'm sure you've heard this term), "Profit Taking", and that ends up in dividends.

                •  Illegal accounting (0+ / 0-)

                  might get you a few $ billion.  But $8T across 1.3 million corporations? That implies that they're hiding nearly half their revenue.  Sorry, unless I see that "corporations only pay 3%" claim backed up by a reputable source, I'm not buying it.

      •  "some"? Try "most" (0+ / 0-)

        http://dealbook.nytimes.com/...

        Two out of every three United States corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

        Or this from the GAO report:

        Most companies paid no taxes during the boom

        With corporate tax receipts at 20-year low, the GAO takes a look through the books and finds 94% of all U.S. companies paid less than 5% -- and 61% paid nothing at all.

        Think about this as you sign that check to Uncle Sam next week: More than 60% of all U.S. companies paid no federal tax at all during the boom years of 1996 to 2000, the General Accounting Office reports.

        In 2000 alone, 94% of all U.S. corporations paid less than 5% of their total income in corporate taxes, the GAO said in a report released Friday. Among the largest corporations -- the 1% of all corporations that owns 93% of all corporate assets -- 82% paid less than 5% of their income in taxes.

        And it wasnt just American companies avoiding a bill. About 70% of foreign-owned companies doing business in the United States paid no federal tax in the late 1990s, the GAO said. The GAO report covered 2.1 million returns by U.S. companies and 69,000 foreign-owned companies.

        •  Because... (0+ / 0-)

          they don't make any profit. And most of those not paying taxes are small corporations.

          From the NY Times article you linked:

          The study covers 1.3 million corporations of all sizes, most of them small, with a collective $2.5 trillion in sales. It includes foreign corporations that do business in the United States.

          [snip]

          Either way, the nearly 1,000 largest United States corporations were more likely than smaller ones to pay taxes.

          [snip]

          The vast majority of the large corporations that did not pay taxes had net losses, he said, and thus no income on which to pay taxes. “The notion that there is a large pool of untaxed corporate profits is incorrect.”

          If you look at the 2007 IRS data I linked upthread (more recent than this study, but not materially different) and break it down by size (revenue) of the corporation, it shows that the average Federal tax rate paid was:

          Revenue          % of Corps       Tax rate
          Under $25k 23.7%33%
          $25k to $100k 15.8% 19%
          $100k to $250k 17.0% 20%
          $250k to $500k               13.1% 22%
          $500k to $1M 11.2% 25%
          $1M to $2.5M 9.8% 26%
          $2.5M to $5M 4.3% 29%
          $5M to $10M 2.4% 31%
          $10M to $50M 2.2% 33%
          $50M to $100M 0.3% 33%
          $100M to $250M 0.2% 31%
          Over $250M 0.1% 26%
          Overall 100% 27%

          Note that 91% of all corporations had revenue of less than $2.5M; it stands to reason that most of those not paying taxes fall in this category.

  •  you never hear the Rs ` mention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    In the short-term, the best thing we can do to reduce the deficit is to increase economic growth, not reduce spending.

    disingenuous, at best

    Thank you, Keith Olbermann

    by LivesInAShoe on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:12:15 AM PST

  •  Obama should demand... (10+ / 0-)

    ...that we return to the Reagan tax rates... of 1985.  :)

    "The majority of a single vote is as sacred as if unanimous." - Thomas Jefferson

    by cartwrightdale on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:12:16 AM PST

  •  We're going broke, so we need to make less money. (4+ / 0-)

    We're governed by idiots.

  •  I have never seen taxes go down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem

    no matter what politicians say or promise, my taxes seem to go up every year.  Go figure.

    •  I guess this is the second year you have worked? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      because you got a tax cut in the stimulus for FY 2009.  Otherwise you must be referring to state/property or other taxes.

      It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson

      by Resmuglicrook Investigator on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:41:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently, you're in the wrong bracket. (0+ / 0-)

      Those promises of lower taxes ARE being kept. But the promise was only made to the people with income over $250,000.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:50:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Taxes! Taxes! There I said it! (0+ / 0-)

    I wish more (something!) would be written on what a modest tax increase would do to the situation. Or maybe how maintaining the Clinton era tax rates would have affected debt. I don't know why Krugman won't answer my emails.

    •  Modest Tax Increase??!!! (0+ / 0-)

      We've had a decade of stagnant median wages, and you want to call for a modest tax increase?

      Fine, just make sure that the "modest tax increase" doesn't apply in any way to households making less than US$ 250K a year.  That 250K a year, by the way, is President Obama's threshold to separate the middle-class from the affluent.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:23:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  right on both counts (0+ / 0-)

        Fine, just make sure that the "modest tax increase" doesn't apply in any way to households making less than US$ 250K a year.

        Yep.  Tax the rich fucks.  They've had a free party for the past thirty years--and now it's time for them to pay their bar tab.

        That 250K a year, by the way, is President Obama's threshold to separate the middle-class from the affluent.

        Sounds about right to me.  It would cover something like the richest 10% of the population----and they own more than half of the nation's entire wealth.

        Even if we just taxed the wealthiest one percent (millionaires, basically), that still covers about one-third of the nation's entire wealth.

        •  Way off on your percentages. (0+ / 0-)

          The IRS presumably knows something about the income distribution of the US, and they say differently.

          Top 1-percent Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) break (TY 2008) [3,4] $380,354
          Top 10-percent AGI break (TY 2008) [3,4]  $113,799
          Bottom 10-percent AGI break (TY 2008) [3,4] $5,942
          Median AGI (TY 2008) [3,4] $33,048

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:36:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "income" is different from "wealth" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Habitat Vic

            The IRS figures are for job/salary income.

            Most of the super-rich don't have any job income--they get their money through investment dividends. They don't NEED jobs, dahling.

            That's why the distribution of WEALTH is much more highly lopsided than the distribution of INCOME.

            And that is why raising INCOME taxes on the rich is only half the story----we also need to raise the CAPITAL GAINS taxes to comparable levels. Only then will the super-wealthy be paying taxes at anything like a real-world rate.

            •  figures are based upon tax returns, not "salary" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus
              - The IRS figures are for job/salary income.

              Incorrect. Yes, dividend/interest/capital gains/etc gets entered on different lines on a tax return (and often are taxed at different rates), but they are reported nonetheless. Tax returns are required for all types of income, not just W-4 or 1099.

              And Odysseus is right that there is a big gap between the top 1% of individual tax returns, whose AGI (after deductions) is $380K, versus the top 10% that starts at $114K.  I would point out that these are for individuals.  If looking at households, the numbers bump up a bit as you head lower.  For example the median wage earner makes $33K in the US yet the median household income is $51K.  Why?  Middle and lower class income earners are more likely to be in a household where the spouse works as well.  At the high end its less likely that the other works, or less likely that its an equal level of income.

              You're right about the unequal distribution of wealth.  Throw in that many of the "near wealthy" have most of their net worth tied up in primary residence and somewhat illiquid IRA/401K accounts, and its clear who the real investor-speculator class is in the US - the top 1% and higher.

              •  I will defer to those figures (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Habitat Vic

                An interesting thing leaps out at me: if the top 10% have average incomes of only $100k-ish, and if the top 10% also own 70% of the total national wealth, then it becomes apparent (1) what a huge amount of wealth is owned by the very top of the top, the wealthiest 1% or even 0.5%, and (2) what an insignificant amount of wealth is owned by the bottom 90%.

                Our distribution of wealth is akin to that of a banana republic.

  •  only tax cuts can save us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem

    and tax holidays.

    anything else is outmoded, antiquated, vestigial, obsolete.

    Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazado - Hector LaVoe

    by mightymouse on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:20:35 AM PST

    •  "and less government" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      "Less taxes".

      "Smaller government".

      "Less taxes".

      "Smaller government".

      The wingnuts sound like a broken record.

      The fact that their "trickle-down" policies have never worked, ever, anywhere, doesn't seem to bother them.

      •  hey, the era of big government is OVER (0+ / 0-)

        it's history, man ...

        Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazado - Hector LaVoe

        by mightymouse on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:57:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  says you (shrug) (0+ / 0-)

          The reality is that the era of the big-government welfare state is about to expand again, even further than  the last time--and it will be the corporations who will push most for it. They have no choice.

          The corporados only make money if they can SELL their crap--and the only ones who can BUY enough of it to keep them profitable are the workers. Billionaires buying second and third yachts or Lear jets aren't enough to keep the economy going--the real spending that keeps the economy going are the billions of plain ole ordinary working people spending their paychecks on food, shelter and clothing. And when those people don't have the income anymore to buy those things, corporate profits all vanish.

          The problem is illustrated by a story, perhaps apocryphal, told about UAW founder Walter Reuther. One day, the story goes, Reuther and Henry Ford were touring a newly-built experimental Ford factory that was completely automated and had no workers. As they walked along the assembly line where automated robots busily assembled Fords, Henry Ford turned to Reuther and triumphantly asked, "Well, Walter, how do you plan on getting these robots to go out on strike?" And Reuther shot back "Well, Henry, how do YOU plan on getting these robots to buy cars?"

          Currently, the corporados are trying to avoid the situation by separating the two sets of workers---they are trying to produce their products in low-wage havens like China, and sell them in high-wage areas like Europe and the US.  Alas for them, as they are finding out, that situation simply isn't stable--inevitably the wages equalize, and they are right back where they started.

          Itis inevitable that wages, globally, will rise, a lot, in the very near future. It is also inevitable that, as automation and outsourcing continue to eliminate jobs and drive the "normal" unemployment rate higher and higher, there will be a massive increase, globally, in the welfare state to provide people with income whether they have jobs or not.

          That, of course, will not be done out of the humanitarian goodness of the corporate heart--it will be doe out of their naked greedy self-interest. They simply cannot continue to make profits if nobody has any money to buy their crap.

          And that is why the entire "less government free market" philosophy will be rejected, soon.  It is no longer in the economic interests of the corporados--their very economic survival now depends on getting more money to the poor and middle classes.

          •  I'm just funnin' ya (0+ / 0-)

            Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrazado - Hector LaVoe

            by mightymouse on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:34:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but there is a serious point to be made (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mightymouse

              It's the whole supply-side view that is over--it no longer serves the economic interests of the wealthy elite. It will die--and it is the corporados themselves who will kill it. That is one reason why the Repugs are in decline (another reason of course being that the Repug Party has been taken over by culture-war nutters, and fundamentalist theocracy is very bad for business).

              When it comes to raw naked economic self-interest, it is the Dems who are telling the corporados what they want to hear, not the Repugs.  While the Tea-Party Repugs preach American-nationalist protectionism, the Dems want to pass new free-trade agreements and restart the Dohan Process to expand WTO's authority. While the Tea-Party Repugs want to eliminate the welfare state, the Dems want to preserve it and try to expand it. The Repugs no longer support the corporate agenda--the Dems do.

              That, I suspect, is why the majority of corporate contributions went to Dems in the last election cycle, not to Repugs--a very very rare instance of corporados backing the losing side. The corporados know which party is acting in their interests and which party is not.

  •  For the Taxed Enough Already crowd, it is not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, PatriciaVa

    about the individual tax bite, but the complicated tax filings that most in that group have to cope with.  Tax reforms that end having to file may well placate them, even if more revenue is raised.

    They have a right to be concerned, by the way.  Non-business owners who are not wealthy should never have to file, even to recieve tax benefits directed at families.  With any individual income tax, employers must do collection and payment anyway - so taxing wages and profits at the business level rather than at the individual level for all but the wealthiest taxpayers should be preferred by everyone, not just right wing-nuts.

    •  I file schedule A, and (0+ / 0-)

      I can do my taxes on the back of an envelope in 15 minutes.  Then it takes me like an hour to fill in all the lines on the forms I have to file.

      The Republican motto: I've got mine. Screw you.

      by leu2500 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:51:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Canada's Conservative gov't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    supercereal
    ... cut the Goods and Services tax by 2% a couple of years back.

    Now we're running record deficits ($50 billion a year... I know, I know, chump change compared to you Yanks!) and no one can seem to figure out why!

  •  Grover Norquist is close to getting his wish (3+ / 0-)

    With revenues this low and debt this high, what "choice" do we have but to gut "discretionary" spending on social programs.

    Not impressed with Obama here.  He's played right into their hands.  No wonder he isn't taking Social Security off the table.

    2011 is going to be even more fun than 2010!

    Woo-hoo!

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:22:36 AM PST

    •  We'll have to gut EVERYTHING (0+ / 0-)

      If (general) revenues are a bit more than $1 trillion then all we can afford (in the general budget) are (1) the $0.4 trillion in interest on the national debt, (2) the $0.7 trillion for Dept. of Defense and (3) with the change left over other bits of defense (CIA, DoE, etc) in other departments, and Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court.

      I think I can predict what American's response to so draconian a budget will be.    

      The Republican motto: I've got mine. Screw you.

      by leu2500 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:49:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Revenue vs GDP is mostly steady (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, hmi

    Tax rates have continually dropped, but at the same time the receipts vs gdp has largely stayed the same suggesting a weak or non-existant link between the two.

    Chart of tax receipts vs GDP for 1934-2015

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/...

    In 1955, the % of GDP was 16.5%. The top tax rate was 91%, and the bottom rate was 20%.

    In 2005, the % of GDP was 17.3%. The top tax rate was 35%, and the bottom rate was 10%.

    Looking at the Bush years (2000-2008), the tax receipts are in line with every single other administration post-war. The 2009-2010 years on the only years where we see a drop.

    •  depends on which columns you use (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      denise b, leu2500

      on the data you referenced, on-budget receipts as a percent of GDP have been steadily declining, covered up by a steady increase in off-budget receipts (mainly social security building up the trust fund).

      I think the two need to be kept seperate.  The general tax receipts are declining and are one major cause of the deficit.  Social security receipts grew as payroll taxes increased and boomers hit peak earning years - and will now start to decline.  Fortunately, the trust fund is segregated from the general fund and will fund social secuirity payments for at least another 25 years, even without a "fix".  At least, that's the theory.

    •  nice cherry-picking there (0+ / 0-)

      In 2000, the % of GDP was 20.6%

      That shows the problem in a nutshell. The Bush Tax cuts were 3% of GDP. (20% of GDP to 17% of GDP - massive cuts.) If you cut revenue by 3% of GDP from a balanced budget, you get a big deficit.

      With the Clinton tax rates, you get about 20% of GDP as revenue.

      With the Bush/Obama tax rates, you get about 17% of GDP as revenue.

      That fact, plus Medicare inflation, is the budget problem.

  •  Raise income taxes (0+ / 0-)

    And target every cent received towards deficit relief.  I have been paying taxes since the early 70s and it is clear that income taxes are lower than they used to be.  Other taxes and fees have made up some of the difference, but this country is NOT overtaxed, far from it.

  •  Not to nit pick (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, karma13612, hmi

    but the headline should read Federal Tax Revenues Lowest Since 1950. As it stands it sounds like you are talking about tax rates in the headline. And that would be quite a stunning thing since tax rates in 1950 were much, much higher.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:26:13 AM PST

    •  agree, I noticed that slight difference in (0+ / 0-)

      wording also.

      I didn't say anything since I'm not as well versed in the taxes and tax revenue and historical revenues, etc.

      thanks for pointing that out!!

      We are not a 3rd world country. But, we are certainly no better than 3rd rate in areas like healthcare, education, telecommunications, quality of life.

      by karma13612 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:28:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  nothing like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct
    running a country with double the population, just over 154 million in 1950, over 308 million by census estimate (final numbers not out) a much larger military in terms of arms and munitions, responsibilities, etc., a more complex world, and running on the infrastructure built when grandpa was a kid but if it was good enough for grandpa, its good enough for the grandkids.  Cut anything, but don't touch grandpa's social security, medicare or his guns.  The rich are soaking up all of that money which they weren't in 1950, but who cares?
  •  Not only the lowest in 60 years in the US, (0+ / 0-)
  •  Forget the facts we want fantasy (2+ / 0-)

    Government and taxes are bad I tell you.

    We don't need to pay fire fighters, police, EMT's teachers and soldiers.

    If they were productive they would be working for private industry.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:27:00 AM PST

    •  Do you believe that a Working Class American... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that has shouldered stagnant or negative real wage growth over the last decade should pay higher taxes (fed + state + city)?

      Think about it.  A private sector cashier has seen stagnant wages for over a decade, and city governments, over the last year, have imposed higher taxes on this disenfranchised group so that certain government workers can continue to get the annual wage hikes they have been promised?

      Then, some Dems wonder why the poor, in increasing numbers, are opting for the GOP.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:31:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You assume this means raise all taxes apparently. (0+ / 0-)

        Cashiers will not be in the top few tax brackets and I don't think you would see any progressives asking to raise taxes on these lower brackets. In fact $250K is not the group I want raised.  I think we need a new top bracket starting somewhere in the $400K - $750K range that is jacked  back up to at least Nixon rates(74%) if not Eisenhower rates(91%). And non-ira type capital gains should pay the same rate.  Plus close all corporate tax loopholes so all profits are up for taxing. Working for a living should be at least as honored as sitting on your butt waiting for the dividend check to arrive.  This would drop CEO salaries out of the stratosphere and give companies a reason to reinvest in themselves instead of their executive leaches.

        I also see by your past posts and byline you like to build up NAFTA supporter Bob Rubin.  He is a bit Grover Norquist/supply sider for my tastes, but it at least explains why you would want to muddy the waters about how progressive tax brackets work and gin up some outrage about raising anyone's taxes.

        It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson

        by Resmuglicrook Investigator on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:52:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, the Poor don't need to pay higher Sales Tax? (0+ / 0-)

          Just asking.

          I applaud President Obama for, so far, apart from the regressive cigarette tax hike, not raising taxes on the working poor.

          State and city governments, even those governed by Dems, not so much.

          Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

          by PatriciaVa on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:00:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do pay a higher effective % of Sales Tax, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PatriciaVa

            But, the poor SHOULDN'T pay higher sales tax.  You are correct that sales tax is a regressive flat tax and hits all incomes the same on the money they actually spend.  For poor people that is ALL their money and for richer people that don't spend all their money, they pay a lower effective sales tax rate, simply because not all their income is spent, and therefore not all of it is Sales-taxed(just like social security gets no revenue from income over 107K).

            Sorry if I misread your earlier post, but it seemed to argue against any tax increase based on a false assumption of FEDERAL tax brackets.  If you were focusing on regrissive flat taxes by lower government authorities, i totally took it the wrong way.

            It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson

            by Resmuglicrook Investigator on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:35:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm. IIRC, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    the national debt was relatively modest then too.  Wonder why that would be...

    The Republican motto: I've got mine. Screw you.

    by leu2500 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:27:30 AM PST

    •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

      The national debt in 1950 was about the same as it is now (1950 94.2% of GDP, 2010 93.4% of GDP). Some of the things that were different were; we had fairly low unemployment, a high rate of growth, a trade surplus and high rates of union membership. We grew our way out of the debt. By 1980 it was down to 33% of GDP. Everything they are telling you about economics is wrong. "They" includes most prominant Democratic Economists like Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. Balanced budgets cause recessions.

      "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:41:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    will still insist that it's all because the government is bloated and wasteful.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:31:52 AM PST

    •  Foreign Aid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      According to an article appearing in the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, the U.S. props up the Mubarek dictatorship to the tune of over $2 billion a year.  A billion here and a billion there, pretty soon we are talking real money.

      There is no public discussion in the U.S. about the massive military aid spent to prop up repressive regimes in hopes of 'convincing' the dictators to stop brutalizing the opposition.  

      Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

      by arlene on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:50:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Egypt has for years (0+ / 0-)

        been rewarded for their detente with Israel, and viewed as a stabilizing force in the mideast. Only Israel receives more financial and military aid.

        This has been going on since before Mubarak.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:15:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm confused... (0+ / 0-)

        prop up repressive regimes in hopes of 'convincing' the dictators to stop brutalizing the opposition.

        Are you talking about Egypt, or Israel?

        "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

        by libdevil on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 12:51:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tax rates or tax revenues? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi

    two different things: our tax revenues are low because of the drop in income and other economic activities that are taxed.  You can have the same rate on income and get less revenue.

    I expect our revenues will rebound as the economy rebounds, and then we'll want to raise taxes, at least on the richest, maybe everyone, to maintain our spending.

    Nobody ever bombed a pro-life office.

    by Inland on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:35:51 AM PST

  •  In defense of Paul Ryan... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, ferg, leu2500, hmi

    He did warn us that our current tax rates are unsustainable.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:37:58 AM PST

    •  Republicans do this all the time. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm absolutely amazed by how often Republicans speak the naked truth.  Their words simply mean exactly the opposite from what they intend.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:32:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Foolish consistency (0+ / 0-)

    If Mr. Obama tells us that deficit spending is really "investment," then I suppose the Republicans are justified in characterizing lowered taxes the same way. The advantage for both claimants is that they then get to say that one cannot expect immediate results from "investments."

    It's worth also remembering that those "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy," at least in their continuing form, were calculated to contribute only something like a 5th of the so-called "middle-class" tax cuts. For taxes to make any significant "comeback," we'd likely have to cut that middle-class cut as well (fantasies of soaking the rich and corporations aside).

  •  Obviously (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socalmonk
    We need to tax the peasants more!

    <Snark>

    You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

    by Edge PA on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:38:14 AM PST

    •  The "peasants," the American working class, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Edge PA

      have always carries a higher tax burden than the middle class. When the wealthy, with the help of the middle class, sent all the production jobs overseas, those jobs took all that tax revenue with them.

  •  lowest taxes, HIGHEST DEFICIT... hmmmm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500

    what do these two thing have to do with each other?  well if you ask a conservative... the answer is absolutely nothing.

    "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

    by KnotIookin on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:40:34 AM PST

  •  Spending is at a high as pct of gdp (0+ / 0-)

    since end of world war 2.

    Typically in recessions, government spending increases as percent of gdp, and government receipts decrease as a percent og gdp.

  •  In the '50's Corporations paid taxes, now despite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socalmonk

    ...their loud complaints about corporate tax rates, many pay little to no taxes,leaving a large portion of the tax burden on the individual.

  •  Yes, but in 1950 the federal (0+ / 0-)

    government still catered to the ruling elite.  Since the advent of universal suffrage, freedom of information and civil rights, the federal government is in the hands of the great unwashed, all those people who don't own stocks and bonds and are properly forced to work in the workforce.

    The reason they have to be forced to work is, because if they're not coerced, they're not going to keep the financial leisure class in the style to which they have grown accustomed.

    I really don't think it was planned that way.  It just turned out that by letting the private sector control our money, it became possible to discriminate and deprive the undeserving virtually unnoticed by the watchdogs of human and civil rights.  Whatever wasn't provided was just an unfortunate consequence of there not being enough money.

    Money, money ever where, but not for the young, the poor, the elderly or recent immigrants.  And as those groups continued to grow in size, the size of the financial leisure class got smaller and smaller.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:48:00 AM PST

  •  And of course not one mention... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    of simply raising taxes on the top 5% of the people will resolve this issue today.

    Why in the hell doesn't anyone poll raising taxes on the wealthy in order to close the budget deficit? I'll tell you why, because overwhelmingly people would say hell yea...

    Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

    by laughingriver on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:51:33 AM PST

    •  Won't work (0+ / 0-)

      Taxing ever dollar of income over $200k at 100% wouldn't even get you $1T of the $1.5T you need to close the deficit.

      In 2008, total income over $200k was just under $1.6T; of that, somewhere between 20-40% has already been paid in taxes.

      •  but (0+ / 0-)

        taxing every dollar of income over $250k AND cutting defense spending by 50%, would.

      •  Nope, its 2.4 trillion (0+ / 0-)

        if you just use the over 200k numbers, its 4,278,471,968 using the over 100k number where around the 130k mark is where you get to the top 5 %...

        Here is the link,

        http://www.irs.gov/...

        They also pay nowhere near 40%, mostly less than 20% after deductions and credits.

        Also note that is just income tax and does not even tough the other 5 trillion in income in this country from other sources, there is about 12 trillion in total income, if we just taxed it at a real 30% we could easily close the budget deficit and pay down the debt to the public without cutting a single thing, the fact is after you factor in social security and pension payouts from the federal government and states, we end up in reality only taxing national income at a little over 10%...

        Fox News, The triumph of stupidity over reason.

        by laughingriver on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 03:26:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's every dollar (0+ / 0-)

          Your $4,278,471,968 figure assumes you tax every dollar of people who make over $200k, not just the dollars they make that are over $200k.

          I'm not sure what you mean by "5 trillion in income in this country from other sources".  What other sources?

          And by "after you factor in social security and pension payouts from the federal government and states, we end up in reality only taxing national income at a little over 10%", are you suggesting that these payouts should be subjected to income tax? Wouldn't that be the same as a reduction in benefits?

  •  Because rich people sure need that extra yacht (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    While the 99ers can go to hell.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:56:45 AM PST

  •  Gee, I thought it was because no one is (0+ / 0-)

    making any money?

    But we also can't ignore that current tax policy -- in particular, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- have brought tax revenue to their lowest levels in six decade

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:06:20 AM PST

  •  Rates are only half of it. (0+ / 0-)

    The rates or the top brackets are too low, but that is only half of it. The loopholes are the problem.

    Corporate tax rates, OTOH, are quite high enough, the entire problem is in the loopholes.

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:51:15 AM PST

    •  indeed, corporate tax rates are irrelevant when (0+ / 0-)

      they don't pay taxes anyway:

      http://www.reuters.com/...

      Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said.

      The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

      •  Yeah, that's loopholes. (0+ / 0-)

        And an overuse of loopholes, really, from a selfish-interest viewpoint.

        Those guys are the posterchildren for tax reform.

        Corporations are people; money is speech.
        1984 - George Orwell

        by Frank Palmer on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:07:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it should also be pointed out . . . (0+ / 0-)

          that the super-wealthy and the corporations are also very diligent about evading taxes, by shuffling wealth around to overseas tax havens etc--things that the average taxpayer can't do.  So not only do the rich pay less taxes on their declared income than they should be paying, but their declared income is often much less than their real income, and they pay no taxes at all whatsoever on the difference.

  •  And Total Fed Debt as a Percentage of GDP (0+ / 0-)

    follows the same pattern as taxes revenues as a percentage of GDP.  Coincidence?

    Just saying...

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:53:51 AM PST

  •  OOO OOO Pick Me...Pick Me!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg

    I know...Let's lower taxes!!!

    And cut SS.  That will help.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:58:01 AM PST

  •  Distribution of Income Effecting Tax Revenues (0+ / 0-)

    It is not only that the rich are paying less taxes on their earnings, the big elephant in the room that no one seems to what to discuss is that the income that is being taxed is also much smaller due to the lopsided distribution in income. Never have average Americans had such a small percentage of total earnings. Lowering the tax rates on higher incomes creates even larger deficits today due to the fact that the rich have captured so much of earning, then it would have back when the tax rates were much higher and the rich recieved a smaller percentage of earnings.

    If the rich continue to capture more income while at the same time maintaining or even lowering their tax rates at some point we will not be able to pay for a First World government. The rich dream that it will be the end of all social services, but it will also be the end of America's military might that they depend on as a means to grab even greater wealth from the rest of the world.

  •  "we also can't ignore" (0+ / 0-)

    Wanna bet?

    "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." RIP Senator. We miss you.

    by libdevil on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 12:46:40 PM PST

  •  GOP are completely unserious about the deficit (0+ / 0-)

    I caught this tidbit from the WaPo story on the deficit projection:

    In response to the gloomy forecast, Republicans led by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) called for a balanced-budget amendment that would cap federal spending at 20 percent of the economy, significantly lower than the current 25 percent of gross domestic product. It would also prohibit tax increases unless approved by two-thirds of lawmakers in both the House and Senate.

    Have we had a single balanced-budget proposal from any of these people? No. If you want to suggest modifying the Constitution -- and defying the Founders' intent (since they didn't put it in there, it clearly wasn't part of their intent, right?) -- then I suggest a first step would be proposing an actual balanced budget showing exactly where you'd cut programs.

    Because otherwise, it's either a deliberate Trojan Horse designed to destroy our functioning Federal Government -- just look at how the states have fared in the recession under balanced budget restrictions --  or it's a complete piece of political grandstanding.

    Either way, advocating a balanced budget amendment is a proposal from an unserious person.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:51:43 PM PST

  •  More Tiers (0+ / 0-)

    We need to educate people on what a progressive tax rate means, and add more tiers.

    We have different tax rates for different incomes which people do understand. What they do not understand is what happens when people go to a higher tax bracket. I ask, do you want to pay a higher tax on every dollar? Or just higher on the amount over $xxx,xxx? They will get the right answer every time when asked that way.

    The daily floggings will continue until morale improves.

    by Tuba Les on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 04:15:10 PM PST

  •  Well, the problem is Obama ignored it... (0+ / 0-)
    And for doing that alone he really does not deserve to be reelected.  We can have a real Republican in there pushing Republican taxes, not a fake one.  

    Does anyone even care anymore if Obama is reelected?

    by Asak on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 07:13:48 PM PST

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