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With the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 once again set to expire at the end of this year, President Obama on Monday once again proposed temporarily extending them only for families earning less than $250,000 annually. Predictably, his Republican rival Mitt Romney called the return of upper-income tax rates to their slightly higher Clinton-era levels a "massive tax increase" for "on families, job creators, and small businesses."

But while Romney's regurgitation of these tired Republican talking points comes as no surprise, it doesn't make them any more true. Here, then, are 10 things the GOP doesn't want you to know about taxes.

(Click a link to jump to the details for each below)

  1. President Obama Cut Taxes for Almost All Working Americans
  2. Tax Cuts Don't Pay for Themselves
  3. Almost All Working Americans Pay Taxes
  4. The GOP's "Job Creators" Don't Create Jobs
  5. Low Capital Gains Taxes Fuel Income Inequality...
  6. ... But Not Investment
  7. The Estate Tax Has Virtually No Impact on Family Farms and Businesses
  8. Income Inequality is at an 80 Year High...
  9. ... While the Federal Tax Burden is at a 60 Year Low
  10. Which of the $1 Trillion in Tax Breaks Will GOP End?

1.  President Obama Cut Taxes for Almost All Working Americans

Back in April, Bloomberg News correctly reported that "Obama Delivers on Tax Cut Promises as Increases for Rich Blocked." Of course, you'd never know if you listened to Mitt Romney, who claimed that the president "has already raised taxes on millions of Americans, but he won't stop there."

During the campaign four years ago, then-Sen. Barack Obama called for families making over $250,000 a year to return to their Clinton-era of income tax rate of 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent under President Bush. With his stimulus program in February 2009, President Obama as promised delivered tax relief for 95 percent of working families. As Steve Benen noted at the time, it was the largest two-year tax cut in American history. But thanks to the jet-engine decibel level of right-wing rage, a cacophony willingly amplified by the media, that accomplishment was drown out. As the New York Times asked just before the 2010 midterm elections, "What if a president cut Americans' income taxes by $116 billion and nobody noticed?"

In a New York Times/CBS News Poll last month, fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans. Half of those polled said they thought that their taxes had stayed the same, a third thought that their taxes had gone up, and about a tenth said they did not know.
And that was before President Obama and Democrats in Congress secured a two-year reduction in Americans' payroll taxes.

What Americans may also not know if that both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan plan on delivering another windfall for the wealthy even as they hike taxes for working Americans.

Continue reading below the fold.

2.  Tax Cuts Don't Pay for Themselves

In his version of the Republican myth that "tax cuts pay for themselves," President Bush confidently proclaimed, "You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase." As it turned out, not so much.

After Ronald Reagan tripled the national debt with his supply-side tax cuts, George W. Bush doubled it again with his own. (Reagan's performance would have been much worse, had he not raised taxes 11 times to help make up the shocking shortfall.)

This chart shows just how dire the tax revenue drought has become. For those Republicans who claim "tax cuts pay themselves," it's worth noting that federal revenue did not return to its pre-Bush tax cut level until 2006. (While this graph shows current dollars, the dynamic is unchanged measured in inflation-adjusted, constant 2005 dollars.)

As a share of American GDP, tax revenues peaked in 2000; that is, before the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded, the Bush tax cuts accounted for half of the deficits during his tenure, and if made permanent, over the next decade would cost the U.S. Treasury more than Iraq, Afghanistan, the recession, TARP and the stimulus - combined.

Nevertheless, as the Republican Party waged its all-out attack in 2010 to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the GOP's number two man in the Senate provided the talking point to help sell the $70 billion annual giveaway to America's rich. "You should never," Arizona's Jon Kyl declared, "have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans." For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rushed to defend Kyl's fuzzy math:

"There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject."
That may have been a view universally shared by virtually every Republican, but it happens to be wrong.

3.  Almost All Working Americans Pay Taxes

Going back to the 2008 campaign, Republicans have kept up a steady drumbeat that "half of Americans don't pay taxes." That claim is no more true now than it was then.

In 2010, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt urged Americans to "look closer":

With Tax Day coming on Thursday, 47 percent has become shorthand for the notion that the wealthy face a much higher tax burden than they once did while growing numbers of Americans are effectively on the dole.

Neither one of those ideas is true. They rely on a cleverly selective reading of the facts. So does the 47 percent number.

Labeling the 47 percent argument a "distraction" from "who really pays what in taxes," Leonhardt explained:
Even if the discussion is restricted to federal taxes (for which the statistics are better), a vast majority of households end up paying federal taxes. Congressional Budget Office data suggests that, at most, about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes. The number 10 is obviously a lot smaller than 47.

The reason is that poor families generally pay more in payroll taxes than they receive through benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. It's not just poor families for whom the payroll tax is a big deal, either. About three-quarters of all American households pay more in payroll taxes, which go toward Medicare and Social Security, than in income taxes.

(Over the years, the Earned Income Tax Credit has enjoyed bipartisan support from the White House. Among its admirers was Ronald Reagan, who praised the EITC as "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.")

As Ezra Klein explained Monday in the Washington Post:

But when we focus on the federal income tax, we miss all the taxes that low-income Americans do pay. The payroll tax, for instance. And state sales taxes. And lots of local taxes. Indeed, Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning tax policy group, produces a study every year showing the total tax burden for different groups once federal, state and local taxes are taken into account. And when you include all the taxes people pay, then, as you can see in the graph atop this post, it turns out that most Americans do pay taxes, and they in fact pay about as much as the rich.

4.  The GOP's "Job Creators" Don't Create Jobs

For years, Republicans have warned that President Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the top two percent of taxpayers would crush "job creators." As Speaker Boehner protested:

"The top one percent of wage earners in the United forty percent of the income taxes...The people he's [President Obama] is talking about taxing are the very people that we expect to reinvest in our economy."
If so, those expectations were sadly unmet under George W. Bush. After all, the last time the top tax rate was 39.6 percent during the Clinton administration, the United States enjoyed rising incomes, 23 million new jobs and budget surpluses. Under Bush? Not so much.

On January 9, 2009, the Republican-friendly Wall Street Journal summed it up with an article titled simply, "Bush on Jobs: the Worst Track Record on Record." (The Journal's interactive table quantifies his staggering failure relative to every post-World War II president.) The meager one million jobs created under President Bush didn't merely pale in comparison to the 23 million produced during Bill Clinton's tenure. In September 2009, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee charted Bush's job creation disaster, the worst since Hoover.

That dismal performance prompted David Leonhardt of the New York Times to ask last fall, "Why should we believe that extending the Bush tax cuts will provide a big lift to growth?" His answer was unambiguous:

Those tax cuts passed in 2001 amid big promises about what they would do for the economy. What followed? The decade with the slowest average annual growth since World War II. Amazingly, that statement is true even if you forget about the Great Recession and simply look at 2001-7...

Is there good evidence the tax cuts persuaded more people to join the work force (because they would be able to keep more of their income)? Not really. The labor-force participation rate fell in the years after 2001 and has never again approached its record in the year 2000.

Is there evidence that the tax cuts led to a lot of entrepreneurship and innovation? Again, no. The rate at which start-up businesses created jobs fell during the past decade.

The data is clear: Lower taxes for America's so called job-creators don't mean either faster economic growth or more jobs for Americans.

It's no wonder Leonhardt followed his first question with another. "I mean this as a serious question, not a rhetorical one," he asked, "Given this history, why should we believe that the Bush tax cuts were pro-growth?" Or as Mark Shields asked and answered in April:

"Do tax cuts help 'job creators' or 'robber barons'?"
Just days after the Washington Post documented that George W. Bush presided over the worst eight-year economic performance in the modern American presidency, the New York Times in January 2009 featured an analysis comparing presidential performance going back to Eisenhower. As the Times showed, George W. Bush, the first MBA president, was a historic failure when it came to expanding GDP, producing jobs and even fueling stock market growth.  Apparently, America's job creators can create a lot more jobs when their taxes are higher—even much higher—than they are today.

(It's worth noting that the changing landscape of loopholes, deductions and credits, especially after the 1986 tax reform signed by President Reagan, makes apples-to-apples comparisons of effective tax rates over time very difficult. For more background, see the CBO data on effective tax rates by income quintile.)

5.  Low Capital Gains Taxes Fuel Income Inequality...

For years, Republicans have also wanted to slash capital gains taxes. (Newt Gingrich proposed eliminating them altogether.) Predictably, that would only serve to make the very rich much, much richer.

In September, an analysis by the Washington Post concluded that "capital gains tax rates benefiting wealthy feed [the] growing gap between rich and poor." As the Post explained, for the very richest Americans the successive capital gains tax cuts from Presidents Clinton (from 28 to 20 percent) and Bush (from 20 to 15 percent) have been "better than any Christmas gift":

While it's true that many middle-class Americans own stocks or bonds, they tend to stash them in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, where the capital gains rate does not apply. By contrast, the richest Americans reap huge benefits. Over the past 20 years, more than 80 percent of the capital gains income realized in the United States has gone to 5 percent of the people; about half of all the capital gains have gone to the wealthiest 0.1 percent.
This convenient chart tells the tale:

As the New York Times uncovered in 2006, the 2003 Bush dividend and capital gains tax cuts offered almost nothing to taxpayers earning below $100,000 a year. Instead, those windfalls reduced taxes "on incomes of more than $10 million by an average of about $500,000." As the Times explained, "The top 2 percent of taxpayers, those making more than $200,000, received more than 70% of the increased tax savings from those cuts in investment income." It's no wonder that between 2001 and 2007—a period during which poverty was rising and average household income had fallen—the 400 richest taxpayers saw their incomes double to an average of $345 million even as their effective tax rate was virtually halved. As the Washington Post noted, "The 400 richest taxpayers in 2008 counted 60 percent of their income in the form of capital gains and 8 percent from salary and wages. The rest of the country reported 5 percent in capital gains and 72 percent in salary."

It's no wonder Mitt Romney, who thanks to the "carried interest exemption" pays the low capital gains rate for most of income, told Newt Gingrich during a GOP debate:

"Well, under [your] plan, I'd have paid no taxes in the last two years."
6.  ...But Not Investment

Much lower tax rates for capital gains than income earned through labor, conservatives claim, spur investment, catalyze economic growth and fuel job creation. But if that Republican theology isn't true, then the United States has for decades done nothing more than deliver a massive windfall to the wealthiest Americans needing it least. Unfortunately, that's precisely what the data show. As it turns out, lower capital gains taxes increase income inequality—and not investment—in America.

As Paul Krugman recounted, the historically low capital gains rate enjoyed by the likes of Mitt Romney hasn't always been 15 percent. In the not-too-distant past, it reached 39.9 percent and before the Reagan tax reform of 1986 was the same as the top tax rate on income. But successive presidents of both parties lowered the capital gains rate on investment income because they believed, the Washington Post explained, "it spurs more investment in the U.S. economy, benefiting all Americans."

But as Jared Bernstein demonstrated with the chart below, there's no evidence to support that claim.

Bernstein found that that the business cycle, not acts of Congress, drive investment in the U.S.

Hard to see anything in the picture supporting the view that either the level or changes in cap gains taxes play a determinant role in investment decisions.

Remember, the ostensible reason for the favoritism in tax treatment here is to incentivize more investment and faster productivity growth. But that's not in the data and the reason it's not in the data is because investors aren't nearly as elastic to cap gains rates as their lobbyists say they are (more precisely, they'll carefully time their realizations to maximize their gains around rate changes, but that's not real economic activity-that's tax planning).

Reviewing other analyses, Brad Plummer of the Washington Post concurred with that assessment that low capital gains taxes don't necessarily jump-start investment in the economy:
The top tax rate on investment income has bounced up and down over the past 80 years—from as high as 39.9 percent in 1977 to just 15 percent today—yet investment just appears to grow with the cycle, seemingly unaffected...

Meanwhile, Troy Kravitz and Len Burman of the Urban Institute have shown that, over the past 50 years, there's no correlation between the top capital gains tax rate and U.S. economic growth—even if you allow for a lag of up to five years.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, the inspiration for the "Buffett Rule" advocated by President Obama and his Democratic allies, couldn't agree more. As he told the New York Times last year:
"I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone -- not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 -- shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off."
But if lower capital gains tax rates have had little impact on investment, they have had an outsized impact on income inequality in the United States. As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) explained in December:
Capital gains and dividends were a larger share of total income in 2006 than in 1996 (especially for high-income taxpayers) and were more unequally distributed in 2006 than in 1996. Changes in capital gains and dividends were the largest contributor to the increase in the overall income inequality. Taxes were less progressive in 2006 than in 1996, and consequently, tax policy also contributed to the increase in income inequality between 1996 and 2006.
7.  The Estate Tax Has Virtually No Impact on Family Farms and Businesses

The Republican scam over the so-called "death tax" is as bogus now as it was when President Bush first perpetrated it during the 2000 election.  Both Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney want to eliminate the tax—and the billions in annual revenue it generates for the U.S. government—altogether.

As former Nevada Sen. John Ensign griped, "It destroys a lot of small businesses and a lot of family farms and ranches in America," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) groused:

"People who aren't wealthy, who may have built up value in land over generations and many family farms find themselves in situations where they've got to sell the farm in order the pay the taxes."
Sadly for conservative myth-makers, that claim, too, is completely false.

That tax is currently paid by less than a quarter of one percent of American estates each year. Despite Republican mythology to the contrary, the Tax Policy Center reported that in 2009 fewer than 2,700 family farms and businesses owed the tax to Uncle Sam. But thanks to successful Republican brinksmanship, the December 2010 tax cut compromise lowered the rate from 45 percent to 35 percent while boosting the estate tax exemption to $10 million per couple, dropping the number of families impacted to just 40 a year. Now, Mitt Romney wants to make sure those 40 richest estates estimated to now pay the tax each year could keep billions of dollars away from the federal government.

And among those 40 estates would be his own. With President Romney zeroing out the estate tax, his five sons and 18 grandchildren would get a golden shower when their grandparents Mitt and Ann leave the scene. Their payday courtesy of all other American taxpayers could reach $84,000,000, that is, 35 percent of $240 million. (The Romney clan's winnings courtesy of the U.S. Treasury pale in comparison to the billions to be saved by the billionaires who back Mitt Romney and his Super PAC.)

8.  Income Inequality is at an 80 Year High ...

As Think Progress demonstrated (see charts above), historically lower tax rates for the richest Americans did not produce either more job creation or faster economic growth. (In fact, the Bush years produced what Leonhardt rightly labeled as "The decade with the slowest average annual growth since World War II.") But what the conservative cornucopia for the gilded-class does reliably produce is unprecedented income inequality.

A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found a financial Grand Canyon separating the very rich from everyone else. Over the three decades ending in 2007, the top 1 percent's share of the nation's total after-tax household income more than doubled, from 7.5 percent to 17.1 percent. During that time, the share of the middle 60 percent of Americans dropped from 51.1 percent to 43.5 percent; the bottom four-fifths declined from 58 percent to 48 percent. As for the poor, they fell further and further behind, with the lowest quintile's income share sliding to just 4.9 percent. Expressed in dollar terms, the income gap is staggering:

Between 1979 and 2007, average after-tax incomes for the top 1 percent rose by 281 percent after adjusting for inflation -- an increase in income of $973,100 per household -- compared to increases of 25 percent ($11,200 per household) for the middle fifth of households and 16 percent ($2,400 per household) for the bottom fifth.

As economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty documented, income inequality isn't just as it highest level since the Great Depression. The rich, it turns out, have already more than recovered from the impact of the Bush recession which began in late 2007:

They have found that the trends have mostly continued. From 2000 to 2007, incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners rose only about 4 percent, once adjusted for inflation. For the top 0.1 percent, incomes climbed about 94 percent.

The recession interrupted the trend, with the sharp decline in stock prices hitting the pocketbooks of the rich. But the income share of 1 percent has since rebounded. Data that the two economists released in March showed that the top 1 percent of earners got nearly every dollar of the income gains eked out in the first full year of the recovery. In 2010, the top 10 percent of earners took about half of overall income.

9.  ... While the Federal Tax Burden is at a 60 Year Low

During the height of the Republicans' debt ceiling hostage-taking last summer, Speaker Boehner said the road to a compromise was my way or the highway:

"Medicare, Medicaid—everything should be on the table, except raising taxes."
Which purely by the numbers (if not ideology) is an odd position to take. After all, as a percentage of the U.S. economy, the total federal tax bite hasn't been this low in 60 years.

As the chart representing President Obama's 2012 budget proposal above reflects, the American tax burden hasn't been this low in generations. Thanks to the combination of the Bush Recession and the latest Obama tax cuts, the AP reported, "as a share of the nation's economy, Uncle Sam's take this year will be the lowest since 1950, when the Korean War was just getting under way." In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) explained that "revenues would be just under 15 percent of GDP; levels that low have not been seen since 1950." That finding echoed an earlier analysis from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Last April, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded, "Middle-income Americans are now paying federal taxes at or near historically low levels, according to the latest available data." As USA Today reported in May 2010, the BEA data debunked yet another right-wing myth:

Federal, state and local taxes—including income, property, sales and other taxes—consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.

"The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts," says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Or as former Reagan Treasury official Bruce Bartlett explained it in the New York Times:
In short, by the broadest measure of the tax rate, the current level is unusually low and has been for some time. Revenues were 14.9 percent of G.D.P. in both 2009 and 2010. Yet if one listens to Republicans, one would think that taxes have never been higher, that an excessive tax burden is the most important constraint holding back economic growth and that a big tax cut is exactly what the economy needs to get growing again.
10.  Which of the $1 Trillion in Tax Breaks Will GOP End?

Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have promised to slash tax rates and yet still balance the budget by getting "rid of the special interest loopholes, special deductions, lower everybody's tax rates, bring in at least as much revenue to the government." But because neither Romney nor Ryan has had the courage to publicly state which loopholes and deductions they would end, the inevitable result would be trillions in new national debt.

But their cowardice is to be expected.  As the New York Times recently revealed, that trillion dollars in annual tax expenditures is now larger than Uncle Sam's take from the income tax each year. And as the Washington Post highlighted last year, "ever-increasing tax breaks for U.S. families eclipse benefits for special interests"

It's important to understand that much of the estimated $1.3 trillion in annual tax expenditures in 2015 (a figure larger than the entire 2012 budget deficit and equivalent to about a third of the $3.8 trillion in federal spending next year) benefit working and middle income Americans. For example, the home mortgage tax deduction was worth $89 billion in 2011. Tax-deferred 401K accounts cost the Treasury $63 billion. The Earned Income Tax Credit had a similar $63 billion price tag last year.

Yet, as Paul Krugman pointed out in "Pink Slime Economics," the deductions and loopholes are the mystery meat in Paul Ryan's budgetary dog food:

We're talking about a lot of loophole-closing. As Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center points out, to make his numbers work Mr. Ryan would, by 2022, have to close enough loopholes to yield an extra $700 billion in revenue every year. That's a lot of money, even in an economy as big as ours. So which specific loopholes has Mr. Ryan, who issued a 98-page manifesto on behalf of his budget, said he would close?

None. Not one. He has, however, categorically ruled out any move to close the major loophole that benefits the rich, namely the ultra-low tax rates on income from capital. (That's the loophole that lets Mitt Romney pay only 14 percent of his income in taxes, a lower tax rate than that faced by many middle-class families.)

In April, the New York Times put Krugman's question into a handy chart of "Who Gains Most from Tax Breaks":

NOTE: An earlier version of this article first appeared on April 17, 2012.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Royal Manticoran Rangers, Keynesian Kossacks, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You might add this one (20+ / 0-)

    as well, it speaks volumes to the whining "job creators" crying about being taxed too much.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:42:04 AM PDT

  •  You've put in a lot of work (24+ / 0-)

    assembling relevant evidence, thank you!  I only wish the folks we need to reach were more INTERESTED in evidence.

    President Obama gave me a $400/year tax break that I didn't need and didn't want.   On top of a much smaller one that GWB gave me.  I'd rather we funded our safety net and stuff.

    Also, the ACA hasn't cost me an extra dime.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:43:19 AM PDT

    •  Don't forget that the ACA saves money... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...or breaks even at worst. This is something that needs to be remembered, because of the great amount of misinformation relating to the "cost of Obamacare."

      "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

      by newinfluence on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:17:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the media would DO THEIR JOBS and (21+ / 0-)

    correct these Republicans when they talk about "massive tax increases on families" by emphasizing to them about the 250K and under is 98% of ALL Americans and such.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:48:03 AM PDT

  •  if only the MSM disinformation memes could be (7+ / 0-)

    quashed quick every time a lie emerges

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 11:59:46 AM PDT

  •  Another excellent post, John. (9+ / 0-)

    Glad to see your posts on the front page.

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:00:34 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Now, if can get our Democratic leaders to quote this and show it at every oppotunity and...wait for it...ready?...the media.

      Show 'N Tell baby.

      Show it. Tell it.

      Awesome works as usual AA.

      "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

      by wxorknot on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:40:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  11. They maintain the assets that we own (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tundraman, ColoTim, NoMoreLies

    Highways. Schools. National Parks. Yes, we own them. But in order to maintain their value, we have to pay to maintain them.

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:05:53 PM PDT

  •  Repubbed to The Royal Manticoran Rangers (4+ / 0-)

    and queued to Keynesian Kossacks.

    Both parties are beholden to their corporate sponsors. The Democratic Party deigns to throw us a few bones from the table on which to gnaw and squabble over, but it's just kabuki.

    by ozsea1 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:07:59 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful Diary... (4+ / 0-)

    I love a diary that BACKS it up with pretty graphs and links.  Now if we can get it covered...sigh.

    Tipped & Recc'd.

    "What is being noticed is only an indication of what is being done." Albert Einstein 1954

    by tundraman on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:10:11 PM PDT

  •  Number 6... (6+ / 0-)

    Zoom in on that graph and you will see that the investment line has actually flattened.  I would posit that low taxation rates actually discourage investment.  With a higher rate of taxation, one is looking for better return and is willing to take more risk over long term.  When there is very low taxes, one is looking more for capital preservation and is wiling to borrow to get a low return.  The collapse of 2008 was due to derivative investment in mortgages. There, the wealth were able to earn an effective 10% return on a $10 million investment with an insured investment.  That's $850k a year after taxes.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steal."

    by RichM on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 12:21:49 PM PDT

    •  I argued this in 2001 with R Glenn Hubbard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hubbard was Bush's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors from 2001 to 2003 and had a piece in the WSJ (pre Murdoch). I responded via email that it created a disincentive to invest here in Silicon Valley and that we'd see less risk-taking. We ping-ponged back and forth a few times.

      My reasoning- If you're taxed at 35% you seek investments that pay higher returns according to the risk = reward model. Therefore, cutting tax rates to 20 or 15% meant more conservative investments.

      Here in Silicon Valley we have a tradition of innovation and creative destruction (not financial capitalism). Those innovations carry more risk and higher returns. Instead we saw a lot of me-too investments. I actually had an argument with a venture capitalist who was using his fund to buy Cisco stock rather than investing in startups or even late-stage companies

      The decade of 2000-2009 were the lowest returns on record for Silicon Valley venture capitalists - with a net return of 0% after fees. Sadly, I wanted to be wrong, but it turned out I was right.

      Hubbard is now Visiting Scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, proving that being wrong pays!

      •  Wow... (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not an economist, but I play one on blogs :)  I am actually an engineer who looks at complex networks, finds their potential weakness and then applies solutions accordingly.  This is an argument that I have made since the crash of 2008.  The large banks clearly are not interested in banking, but rather in providing financial 'products' based upon an artificial economy.  Low taxes and low interest rates mean that those who have money are more interested in 'living' off it rather than 'investing' in it.  My e-mail address is in my profile.  Would love to have a more detailed discussion if possible.

        'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steal."

        by RichM on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:04:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! I will becoming back to this diary all cycle. (5+ / 0-)


  •  Everything we wanted to know about taxes (4+ / 0-)

    all in one amazing diary!  Thank you for another incredibly well researched diary.

    Tipped, recommended, hot listed and shared on Facebook.  Unfortunately, I am willing to bet that not one of my conservative friends on FB will comment.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 01:02:21 PM PDT

    •  Here is my comment that I posted on FB (4+ / 0-)

      along with the link to this diary:

      Everything you should know about taxes in one extremely well sourced link. I urge everyone to read this, look at the charts, and follow the links to their sources. Become informed.
      Two people have "liked" it, both of them are liberals.  I am waiting for a conservative to comment, but I doubt they will.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 03:38:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel your pain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I keep posting facts and graphics yet the few Conservatives I know on FB refuse to actually read and understand. #heavysigh#

        Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause to ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

        by Purple Priestess on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:12:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No way it is going to happen. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Waaaaay to much information for them.  They like their fix short and sweet.  That is the republican way.  I thought immediatly that I should send this to my pet bagger who tells me repeatedly that he wants this kind of info.  I know damn well he won't read it if I do.

        And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

        by tobendaro on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 07:14:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I knew that too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They only understand jingoism.  It is sad how people have become willfully ignorant and that is what the right wing counts on.

          I have actually countered several of their own posts with facts and figures proving them wrong and they ignore those too.  I am honestly surprised that no one has defriended me yet.

          "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

          by gulfgal98 on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 08:45:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for this...linked some of it during a FB "discussion" with my nephew's dad....ugh.  Much appreciated having all the links.

    by jham710 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 01:46:43 PM PDT

  •  Great work (0+ / 0-)

    you deserve a medal

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 02:29:12 PM PDT

  •  You are my hero. (0+ / 0-)

    Fantastic. Just fantastic.

    Check out my new blog Romney the Liar right here.

    by Yosef 52 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 03:05:43 PM PDT

  •  Fantastic work- thanks! (0+ / 0-)

    Good fodder for some of my redder friends.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 03:05:50 PM PDT

  •  here's why people think they're taxes are higher.. (8+ / 0-)

    cause their wages are stagnant or sliding backwards...cost of living (the basics, utilities, fuel, rent, insurance costs) climbs....most people have not crunched the numbers they just feel broke. like they are doing worse. so they resent paying sales taxes, property taxes (which went thru the roof with the bubble and never adjusted down) and as always, federal taxes.  Obama should use this --

    your taxes are lower than ever -- why do you feel so broke? because while the income of the richest people in this country has gone up 300 (or whatever) percent, yours has gone up less than 2 percent, while the cost of everything keeps climbing. let's tax those rick f**ks and  funnel that cash into job creation so you can get out of the hole you've been in for the last two decades....
    all the dems need to get on the page and say it simply -- just cause it's true, taxes, are down, will get dismissed because people are and feel BROKE and they know it's SOMEBODY'S fault. let's get the finger pointed in the right direction.

    Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

    by marzook on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 03:11:10 PM PDT

  •  Said it before: when people would rather believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rush & the Right Wing Noise Machine, than actually read what their pay slip says, well that says it all really.

    •  never give up, never surrender to stupidity (0+ / 0-)

      I challenge you to think like them and put it into terms they understand.

      The guy complaining about his money not going as far thinks its because of taxes. I'd point out that 20 years ago his job paid more than a fire fighter with better benefits. Why didn't his pay and benefits keep pace with fire fighters?

      Show the lines relative to inflation. His pay dropped and the fire fighter stayed steady.

  •  Increasing taxes on the wealthy CREATES JOBS. (11+ / 0-)

    When taxes are increased on the wealthy, they start looking for tax-deductible ways to spend that money (instead of giving it to the government in taxes). Some of those tax-deductible ways to spend that money would be;
    Expanding their businesses (which is tax deductible, depreciable over a certain number of years and provides a better return than giving that money to the government in taxes) which = creating jobs,
    Investing (we need to get rid of the tax-cuts for overseas investment) which if done domestically = creating jobs.
    Hiring (which provides a better return than the negative return of giving money to the government in taxes) which = creating jobs.
    Businesses and corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash. Increasing their taxes will put money into the general economy, because they will be looking for tax-deductible ways to spend that money (instead of giving it to the government in taxes, from which they get a negative return), and as we all seen under Clinton, IT CREATES JOBS.

    •  It has always been my view (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tobendaro, IdaMena2

      That if we want companies to do reasearch/development, then we should give them big tax breaks for that, with the condition that the jobs be here, that the research be here, and the discoveries be shared for minimal fee.

      Those types of restrictions got us things like bell labs and xerox parc.  And that got us transistors, circuit boards, computers, fax machines, graphical interfaces, etc.

      Those companies didn't do that research out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it because it got them a huge tax break and a monopoly.

      Theres a reason why those died when the monopolies did. They were a huge expense that got them little benefit without those tax breaks

      •  R&D would be tax deductible. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If I remember correctly, taxes on corporations were considerably higher when those R&D tax-breaks were most effective.
        If you want to see some serious R&D, tax the shit out of them (I would even settle for the rates under Clinton), then offer them a tax-break for R&D.
         We’ll have to do like Clinton did, make them choose between giving money to the government or investing in ways that create jobs.

      •  We have R&D tax credits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike Taylor

        But we've allowed many of the tax credits to apply to OFFSHORE lines of business.

  •  ad idea. (4+ / 0-)

    posted this earlier buts bears repeating -

    What we need is a super-pac to come out with an ad calling out Mitt Romney for holding the tax-cuts on the middle-class hostage. You know something that shows pictures of him on vacation jet-skiing, at hamptons fundraisers and his mansions --

    "Mitt Romney has his money in Swiss Bank Accounts and off-Shore tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.  He raises money in the hamptons with millionaires and billionaires. Mitt Romney refuses to release his tax returns. And now he opposes tax cuts for the middle class till he and his friends can get more tax cuts.  Tell Mitt Romney to stop holding our tax cuts hostage so he and his cronies can get more tax cuts"
    President Obama has proposed extending tax cuts for the middle class.
    But Mitt Romney and Congressional Republicans are holding the middle class tax cuts hostage so that Mitt Romney and his billionaire donors can get even more tax cuts. How much of a tax cut does Mitt Romney want for himself to support the middle class tax cuts? We don't know because Mitt Romney refuses to release his tax returns.

    First Swiss Bank Accounts, then corporations in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Now he opposes the middle tax cut unless he gets a tax cut too!
    Mitt Romney - He just doesn't get it. \

    You know the republicans would have released such ads by now. Dems need to get off their high horse about Super-Pacs and get in the game.
  •  excellent summary... unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

    it's more than one sentence long, so will never get picked up by the MSM. But, hopefully parts of it will seep into the grand consciousness.

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:51:16 PM PDT

  •  Tipped and recommended (0+ / 0-)

    I pray this goes uber viral to counter GOP lies. They may outspend us on TV, but they can't stop us on Social Media!

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:56:27 PM PDT

  •  OMG This is monumentally awesome n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:59:12 PM PDT

  •  I will share this on FB and Twitter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess

    but it would be even more useful if it were also posted somewhere other than DKos ... because some people tend to assume that DK links are obviously left leaning, blah, blah, blah ...

    Thank you for putting this together!

    Sarah Palin: The Palin plan is quite simple. My elderly mother (drily): It would have to be.

    by Juliann on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 05:59:39 PM PDT

  •  Well done. Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bookmarking for when I need this info again. And, may I say, it's good to see you on the FP!

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause to ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:09:09 PM PDT

  •  Let's hope the DNC drills this into people's heads (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats: The party of "We The People"

    by DannyB on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:11:51 PM PDT

  •  correction on #3: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...ALL working Americans pay taxes and so do all poor fact, they pay a higher percentage of taxes than everyone else, when you consider things like sales taxes which they pay on all goods as well as utility taxes, taxes on gasoline, etc.

    Unless there's a working American out there who never buys anything (which seems highly unlikely), then ALL working Americans pay taxes.

  •  Very informative post (6+ / 0-)

    One thing however:

    "on Monday once again proposed temporarily extending them only for families earning less than $250,000 annually."

    That isn't quite right.  In fact,  he would be extending the Bush rates for all tax brackets below $250,000 which  would also include lesser taxes for anyone making over that right?  So even if I make $1,000,000 a year,  I will be paying less tax on the first $250,000.

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      I posted something similar in a response above, too. The wording actually comes directly from President Obama's speech(es) today. My guess is that the WH isn't touting this because it steps on the narrative that the GOP is fighting for the rich, and he is fighting for everyone else. It's a strong argument to me that he's fighting for everyone, but hey, as careful as the Prez is, I don't think he framed it like he did today by accident.

      "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

      by newinfluence on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:28:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes too! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Juliann, IdaMena2, lonespark

      Correctly phrased Obama is requesting a tax cut for 100% of Americans...on any earnings up to $250,000. I don't get why I never hear this point on TV. It's only earnings above $250,000 that are taxed at the higher rate.

  •  I have a friend who is a CPA (0+ / 0-)

    A liberal one!   She is taking a course dealing with estates and in it they refer to the estate tax as a "death tax".

    When I'm stupid and incompetent financially, I get calls from collection agencies and higher interest rates. When the 1% are stupid and incompetent financially they get billions from the government.

    by tarminian on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:18:42 PM PDT

  •  Proof tax cuts for the rich are bad (0+ / 0-)

    It’s OBVIOUS that Boehner, Romney and the rest of the Republicans are out of touch when it comes to solving the economic problems facing our country and in fact are the cause of our economic problems. By Romney and the Republicans opposing any tax increase on the rich the deficit goes up which causes more tax revenue to go towards paying out more money to cover the additional cost to the government to pay the interest cost of borrowing needed to make the government function. The rich, those making over $200,000 a year, DO NOT create jobs by getting more money! It is CONSUMERS that CREATE JOBS by buying THINGS! Those making over $200,000 a year ALREADY own most of the THINGS that makes the economy grow! To get money into the hands of those making $18,000 to $60,000 a year is the BEST way to improve our economy because that group of people are the ones in need of purchasing the THINGS, the PRODUCTS, that make our economy grow. The economy is like a piece of pie. The more people who can afford to buy a piece of the pie the bigger the pie you will need. The rich get richer ONLY by CONSUMERS buying the things that the rich sell! The more consumers that you have in the economy the more economic activity you will have! The Republicans have drastically lessen the amount of consumers America has with the Republican caused Depression that America experienced in 2006-2009. President Obama has saved America from this Republican caused Depression that now has deteriorated into a Republican caused Recession that Obama is still pulling America out of, unfortunately without ANY help from the Republicans. Jobs in the private sector are just as good as jobs in the public sector. A person with a job is a consumer. Mitt Romney and the Republicans are TERRIBLE at creating CONSUMERS but are intent at making themselves richer even if it isn’t good for the country in how they do that. Romney and the Republicans ONLY care about themselves! Romney and the Republicans are not the kind of people we need running our country

  •  If only the GOP was interested in evidence... (0+ / 0-)

    ...this diary would shatter their world. For now, you'll just have to know that it was earth shaking for those of us who love charts and graphs. =)

    "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

    by newinfluence on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:24:17 PM PDT

  •  Out of all this very interesting stuff, where's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the "other side of the ledger" stuff? Not penny-ante pissing over tax rates for the filthyrich-improvidentpoor, but where the REAL money is disappearing into the gaping jaws of a school of Vampire Squid? To feed malignant, metastatic tumors that are unconcerned that they will eventually kill their host, because, well, you know, Switzerland, the Caymans, Dubai, places like that? Where with a change of tense, the smirk phrase will be "I got gone, you got gone, so who gives a shit since we're protected and once we're comfortably dead, what are the rubes going to do to us? Dishonor our graves? (They're too, you know, NICE to do even that..."

    You know, trillions for that gigantic privatized thing called the "military-industrial complex?" Or the other trillions in REAL WEALTH that the rest of us are paying out now and will be paying out apparently "forever" to "bail IN" to the serially sunken megayacht that is the "financial industry?" Or how about reining in the idiot consumer economy, from house flippers to mountaintoppers and frakkers to folks who can't go a day without a slab of dead cow to eat?

    This stuff about drowning in the deficit, and the need to pay "our" obligations as we incur them -- that is straight Gilded Age FauxEconomics. What happened to "progressive" thinking," the  kind that FDR practiced, on how a mixed economy actually works? How many times has Keynes got to be proven right?

    If you don't excise and blast the tumors, all the FACTs and CHARTs in the world won't make a tinker's dam's worth of difference in the progress of the disease called "growth."

    But thank you, diarist, for a great effort, and one hopes that many of us will take every opportunity to shout over the asswipes spouting the Red talking points, stop being so goddam polite and "fair," and recognize that we are in a battle for our lives?

    We hold THESE truths to be self-evident:

    We are all in this together, cancer cells and tapeworms as well as healthy tissues and organs, like it or not.

    There is enough of everything that matters to go all the way around the table, if we can just keep the "more equal than others" pigs in suits from taking all but the last chop and the last broccoli spear and the last succulent chocolate chip cookie, and tricking the rest of us into fighting each other over the scraps...


    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:25:30 PM PDT

  •  GOP & Corporate Democrats* don't want you to know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, newinfluence
  •  Republican propaganda fights fact with (0+ / 0-)

    misleading emotion. Just think of the iconic "Keep government hands off my Medicare!" How do you convince someone who doesn't understand that Medicare is administered by the government at a much lower cost than private insurance, that they want government to continue administering Medicare? They have an unnatural fear of government which has proven pretty damn hard to shake.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:40:31 PM PDT

  •  Excellent reference material (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thank you for all the hard work.

  •  Depressing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not the excellent work here, but the level to which we have sunk in this Nation.  The suspended disbelief most Americans have done while listening to the stories told by the Cult Called Conservatism is frightfully amazing.  It makes me quite depressed to be in the apparent 1% who see through the lies/deceit.

    -8.88, -7.77 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:52:25 PM PDT

  •  Awesome work Jon, thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am really enjoying your posts. Glad to see you on the front page.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 06:53:31 PM PDT

  •  i call them "sob creators" for obvious reasons (0+ / 0-)
  •  Nice work, this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Citizenpower, ER Doc

    Thank you.

  •  Bush Tax Cut Jujutsu move for Obama... (0+ / 0-)

    Let the Republican's cry "Obama raising taxes" nice and loud for a few days...

    Then make a big announcement that he's decided to meet the Republicans "halfway": Bush tax cuts for households earning < $250k/year as planned.  Allow the Bush cuts for the rich to expire, BUT THEN apply 100% of that revenue towards additional tax cuts for the middle class.  (sure, we can't really afford it, but better than status quo).

    - Provides economic stimulus the economy badly needs (the hurting middle class more likely to use that money in the short term, and it will likely be spent close to home).

    - Blunts Republican "raising taxes" talking point; makes them oppose a tax cut for the entire middle class -- proceed to beat them over heads with populist cudgel (especially Mitt).


    Member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the Democratic Party.

    by pHr33z on Mon Jul 09, 2012 at 07:44:44 PM PDT

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