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One of the real surprises of the past few days is the revelation that the right wing really does believe an awful lot of what they say.  And they really are in opposition to math and cold hard facts.  And this opposition really does lead to disastrous results (for them, and for all of us when they're in charge).

It's been fun to laugh at just how shocked Romney and Fox News were when their bubble could no longer keep out the arithmetic saying they lost.  We always knew that large numbers of the GOP base were being fooled by the right-wing politicians and media, but it was (to me at least) something of a revelation to find that the politicians and pundits actually fooled themselves as well.

It's time to push harder on the GOP's aversion to facts and math.

And one of the best places to push is the economic report by the Congressional Research Service, which uses facts and math to show that cutting the taxes of the rich doesn't lead to economic growth.

It's easy to assume that Republicans' wanting to cut taxes to "stimulate the economy" and thereby "increase revenues" is just a smoke screen to give more money to the rich and screw the poor.  It's the sort of story that clever, selfish wealth units dream up to justify exploitation.

But what if they've actually fooled themselves into believing that it's true?

I mean, wouldn't it be great if we could make everyone better off financially just by taking less money from some people?  If we really could get more money to the government by taxing less and leaving more money in all our pockets (including the rich), I'd be on board.  After all, only someone who was bitter, envious, and/or stupid would want to tax the rich if that really meant that there would be less money for government, for the working class, and for the poor.

They really believe that this is the world we live in.  It's a bit sad and a bit frightening to realize that they're not just trying to con the common people; they actually believe it.

This is why the most important thing we can do right now is push facts and arithmetic.  And make people realize that right wingers have lost their ability to face math, and that they are living in a world of willful denial.

The Congressional Research Service report uses data, statistics, and all that stuff that Nate Silver used to predict the outcome of Tuesday's election.  And the facts say that having the wealthy pay more taxes won't inhibit economic growth and it will decrease the deficit.

But the GOP doesn't go for math.  They already "know" that the data and arithmetic are wrong, so they forced the report to be withdrawn.  

The GOP doesn't go for math.  Romney and Ryan (who were supposed to be the numbers guys) were shell-shocked when Tuesday went exactly the way the math said it would.

The GOP doesn't go for math.  They really think they can cut taxes 20%, not mess with deductions for the middle class, and still have the same amount of money coming in.  They really believe this!

For the good of our country, it's time for us to stand up for math.  Stand up for data.  Stand up for facts.

And we can start by pushing for the fact that cutting taxes on the rich doesn't stimulate economic growth.

Originally posted to Physicalist on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:24 PM PST.

Also republished by The Royal Manticoran Rangers and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When the rich are only paying about 15%, (16+ / 0-)

    which is to say keeping 85%, just how much more of a break is it possible to give them? It should be obvious from just this mathematical fact alone that further increases in what they get can only be of marginal effect. Unless we just flat out grant them some more money over what they have "earned".

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:30:50 PM PST

    •  effective income tax rates since 1979 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ball park have been between 19% and 24%.

      SO of course getting income from cap gains is great with that 15% statutory rate. IMHO this incentivizes market speculation and overseas investment.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:34:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "It is difficult to get a man to understand some- (11+ / 0-)

    thing when his job depends on not understanding it."

    For Rs who are politicians and pundits, their jobs do depend on "not understanding it". But also, I know several otherwise-intelligent Rs who can nevertheless not be convinced by evidence and argument on issues that Ds support. We're not going to convince anyone whose tribal identity is predicated on being Republican.

    I don't think that wonkish arguments could work ... but everyone has a sense of fairness. When Romney said that his own tax rate was 14% - and sounded proud of it - tht really got to people, shocked them. We can talk about economics in simple fairness terms ... I hope we do.

  •  I attempted a dialogue with two friends, (7+ / 0-)

    very disappointed republicans, focusing on the nature of their fear about the Obama re-election. Both women have masters' degrees, one is very wealthy and one middle class. One is under 40, the other 80. Neither is socially conservative and both are kind, loving people.  They are certain that the Obama economic policy of raising taxes on the wealthy will crush our economy, along with the big demon of 'regulations'.  Both were incredibly rigid and uninterested in any other perspective and frustrated with me that I didn't  'get it'.  They blamed Obama for the slow growth of our economy and dismissed as irrelevant the stated objective of McConnell to make the defeat of Obama the number one Republican objective: "he's only one guy".

    Another friend attempted to join in the discussion asking a few pointed questions and was just ignored.

    Needless to say, the dialogue didn't last long.  

    The 'shift' is hitting the fan.

    by sydneyluv on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 05:44:30 AM PST

    •  Bush did all the right things to boost the economy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fixxit, NoMoreLies, BlackSheep1

      to their mindset:  He lowered taxes on the "job creators" drastically, he embraced deregulation (remember all the food issues like mad cow and salmonella), he even ignored regulations he couldn't kill.  Finally, he had two wars, and from Republicans we know that the depression was fixed by war and war alone.
      So the question is, why didn't he leave a booming economy?
      I think the deregulation and the low taxes were job killers.  Lower regulation means you are not spending dollars on compliance which means fewer jobs.  And low tax rates encourage removing capital from companies, which is exactly what has happened.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people, and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel. Abraham Lincoln

      by Nailbanger on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:39:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Although there has been much said (11+ / 0-)

    recently about the RW bubble, note that the very wealthy ALWAYS live in a bubble.  There are always 'learned', 'witty' people ready to tell them what they want to hear; namely that their great wealth is due to their wonderfulness and not some rigged criminal racket.  It has always been so.  It has just been a bit more on display recently.  

    The very rich should be assumed to be mentally ill from their isolated condition.  A disproportionate number of them are sociopaths with Romney being a prime example.  For my perceptions he may as well have hung a sign on his neck warning people.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:28:26 AM PST

  •  Here are a few facts (18+ / 0-)

    1.  The GDP growth rate has been trending down since the 1970s.
    2.  The wealth gap has been growing since roughly the 1970s.
    3.  Worker productivity has been trending up in this time period.
    4.  The income of workers has hardly increased at all in this time period, and the small increases have been more than negated by rising costs of health care.

    Conclusions:  Workers have been producing more wealth for the last 40 years without getting any benefit from their efforts.  The economy has become a system of transferring wealth from workers to the rich.  Isn't this the real redistribution of wealth?

    In addition this system has harmed the entire country in that it has diminished the overall strength of our economic engine.  If this continues, in the long run the greed of those in the top few percent of wealth who want to keep their taxes down (not all of them want this, but those who do own many member of congress) will destroy this nation.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:29:38 AM PST

    •  This is really the issue. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orinoco, otto
    •  Increased income diaparity decreases demand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:36:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Additionaly (0+ / 0-)

      GDP growth is reliant on 4 things;

      !) Resources
      2) Energy
      3) Population growth
      4) Productivity

      1-3 have become problematic, leaving productivity as the prime driver of the 4, of GDP growth. Now you know why certain folks wanted worker productivity decoupled from wages.

      Expanding Americas renewable energy portfolio, and transition to space based resources can tip the balance back into a more vigorous mode, more like the 1934- 1970 era. 5-8%

      Right now we cant expect much more than 3 to 3.5% GDP growth.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 10:02:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I never hear anyone talk about... (8+ / 0-)

    is the stimulative value of the spending that has to be cut to pay for these tax cuts. If the stimulative value of spending that is cut is greater than the stimulative value of the tax cuts, then the tax cuts have a net depressive affect on our economy.

    •  Right-job creation requires investment (0+ / 0-)

      tax cuts for the wealthy dont lead to investment in jobs. SO the return is negligible or worse.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:56:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no evidence (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox, Chi

      that tax cuts are stimulative. In fact, an historical case can be made that says high taxes are stimulative.  That makes sense since Government spends all the money it takes in, in fact borrows more to spend, and that raises demand.

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

      by johnmorris on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:39:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree we need to push on the facts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, fixxit, otto

    But we have to realize that a lot of people live in their alternate reality and don't want to be bothered with the facts.  Winning them over is going to be difficult, and some of them we will not win over.  Hopefully, we can maintain enough democrats and independents that can be persuaded by facts to cobble together a majority.

    We also need a strong PR effort for the facts, like the Republicans have with Luntz.  Maybe Clinton could be our main PR guy.

  •  What's funny is that wealthy Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    don't actually buy into the GOP's science denialism.  See this data point, for example.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:17:08 AM PST

  •  the math has already been done (7+ / 0-)

    To pile on, that math the GOP is so averse to is not a calculation using potential, extrapolated, or presumed data. This has been proven with the thirty year history of cutting taxes for the wealthy. In every instance, those cuts have delivered the results that our side predicted, and failed to deliver any of the benefits their side predicted. Just like their experiments in deregulation, abstinence-only sex ed, the War on Some Drugs, and military adventurism.
    This is not only math, it is recent, observable, verifiable history.
    It is time to not only rub their noses in The Math, but in history, and in their own pathetic record of wrongness.

    R-Money/R-Ayn, the ENRON Ticket, is not a campaign; it's a hostile takeover bid.

    by kamarvt on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 08:09:02 AM PST

  •  We have to change the meme of "raising taxes in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    any regard is always bad" and make people understand that taxes are not evil.  We all benefit from a strong and expanding government and we must have incoming revenue to have a just and fair playing field.  

    I support taxes increases across the board, except for the poorest of Americans.  The rich should pay the more and the most and I also feel that this line in the sand of 250,000 is too high.    If you are making over 100,000 per year, and the average citizen is making but 40,000 then you are in the upper middle class bracket and taxes are a part of paying your part to society.  I personally think we should look at anything over 100,000 for an individual, as being a part of higher taxes.

    •  I dont really want to raise taxes on the uner rich (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, Chi

      But I want a 70% top incomerate, Pre 1986 TRA type shelters and deductions, targeting emerging tech and markets like Solar wind HVDC supergrid, renewable storage.

      Effect tax rates for the top bracket have been mostly between 20% and 22% over 30 yrs. I want the wealthy to have an opportunity to pay the same effective rates, if they invest in America.

      If they want to invest in Market speculation or in overseas business, I want them to pay. Cap gains at 33% would change the landscape real quick.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:43:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simple question about supply side (7+ / 0-)

    I ask this-

    Justify supply side economics.  

    Let's say that you are a business owner.  You are making a decent profit, and you are paying yourself a decent salary.  There is demand for your product, and you have the right number of staff to meet the demand.  

    Let's say that the government gives you a tax cut.  Okay, business owner, can you think of any reason you would hire more staff?  

    Seriously.  Can you think of a good business person who would unnecessarily hire employees when there is no new demand for the product?  


    by otto on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:28:51 AM PST

    •  I want to give huge deductions and exemptions to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      otto, SoCalJayhawk

      corporations and the rich.

      For going to space and building space based Industries to utilize space based resources.

      Go get an asteroid......

      For building wind turbines in the US.

      For building 30 giga watts of renewable pumped hydro storage.

      Similar to Lincolns Land Grants to the railroads , 1866 to 1896 3 of 6 continental railways were built with the help of landgrants. This built the infrastructure that gain access to coal, steel, minerals and metal that helped win WW2, Thats right Lincoln helped win WW2.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:49:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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

      suppose this entrepeneur owns a hotel, a tavern and a widget factory. he is doing very well, he is wealthy by most measures. Obama raises his taxes 15%.

      what happens then?

      his kid's private schools are harder to pay for. his ski vacations in Gstaadt are harder to pay for. his yacht maintenance is more onerous.

      what does he do?

      he expands his operations to increase his revenue. he attempts to get back to the comfort level he had enjoyed previously. he wants to be able to show his face and hold his head high down at the country club. he is a bigshot and he has the resources to expand so he does it - he adds a restaurant to his hotel.


      more jobs. more opportunity. now he is looking for a cook and a waitress. and there is new construction at the hotel.

      yes, what i am saying is that raising taxes on a certain income segment of society increases growth. i think that this is blindingly obvious.

      Any man can stand some adversity. If you really want to know a man's character, give him power. Abe Lincoln.

      by maskling11 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:52:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Under the right circumstances (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LookingUp, Roger Fox

    It's conceivable that tax increases could stimulate the economy.  Particularly if the very wealthy move their money from the higher taxed, less productive savings vehicles to a more productive and higher employing investment.

    From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. -Immanuel Kant

    by Nellebracht on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 12:17:27 PM PST

    •  not conceivable, but reality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Higher tax rates lead to less income disparity, in other words the working and middle class families dont get taxed out of the economy they are engaged in the economy and they get to keep what they earn.

      Recent study by BL&S showed 58% of job creation has been in companies with 500+ employees. Traditionally companies of 50 employees or less have generated 60% of new jobs. Today its 28%.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:05:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  just finished Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    and it addresses some underlying reasons for the bubble the right insists on living in.  If you haven't read it, i humbly suggest giving it a go.

    I'd kinda' hoped Tuesday would've been a bit of a wake-up call for the right to join the rest of us in the land of reality but...

    If the right chooses to stay in their bubble then their best course is to obstruct.  The US knows dems totally kicked butt on Tuesday so dems need to get some serious work done between now and '14 & '16.  it won't matter to the majority of low info voters dems don't control the house and the current fillibuster rules require a super-majority, which dems don't have, to hurdle.  The right's best short term option is to obstruct and spin it as dems not being serious or loafing about.

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 12:42:46 PM PST

  •  While the report from the CRS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, johnmorris, NoMoreLies, Chi

    was nice, I already knew that high taxes do not curb growth and, in fact, they do the opposite.  I remember good economic times from the 1940s & 50s when the top rate was 91% and the 1960s when the top rate was 70%.  

    My salary didn't suffer until two years into the Reagan second term when, during the savings and loan meltdown, I was downsized along with 47% of the personal of a very profitable subsidiary of the now defunct Mercantile Bank Corp. of Texas in preparation of them placing it on the market for cash.

    I was able to find work at 47 after a 14 month drought but at a 45% salary reduction.  Still, during all that time I kept my kids in college and hung in there until I retired in 2004.

    Low taxes aren't the solution, in my experience, they are the problem.  Supply Side has never worked, not one time anywhere in the world.  Not ever.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by bobski on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:36:51 PM PST

    •  Recent study said low taxes lead to increased (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      income disparity which leads to reduced demand, which contracts the economy.

      And dont get hung up on statutory tax rates, effective rates on the top income bracket were between 19-24% from 1979 to today, Statutory rates went from 70% to 28% to 39% to 35% today.

      The 1986 tax reform act removed many shelters, deductions and exemptions for things like domestic investment.

      The right likes to call it leveling the playing field, which actually leads to economic instability.

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

      by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 02:57:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just to say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox, NoMoreLies

      me too. Project Engineer at Triland Development when Sunbelt S&L was seized. I was unemployed for 29 months, fed the wife and kid on what was supposed to be my savings. Haven't retired yet at 70. Rack the top rate back to 91. That's my opinion.

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

      by johnmorris on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:53:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  70% is my minimum (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Though we would to repeal the 1986 Tax Reform Act, bring back those shelters, deductions and exemptions, and use them to target emerging tech and markets like Solar - especially wind and HVDC, pumped hydro storage and solar thermal storage, HVDC supergrid and smartgrid.

        Add 6 more brackets at the upper end, lower end brackets 8% 10%, for household income under 55k. 12% up to 7k0-80k.

        70% is my minimum for a stable economy, I would not vote against 91% with the right tax breaks for domestic investment.

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

        by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 05:59:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  i think any right winger will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tell you that government cannot create jobs.

    so ask your right wing friend if decreasing military spending by 50% will destroy jobs. i think we can all agree that it will - goodbye lockheed-martin, raytheon. goodbye to the shipbuilding jobs on the coasts.  goodbye body armor manufacturers, military boot manufacturers, goodby electric boat co. and boeing. mcdonnell douglas, etc. etc. Your right wing friend will not like this idea even a little bit!

    and yet, we will never use 90% of the war toys we manufacture. in 30 years we will hire some other company to dispose of unused bullets and bombs. we will employ people to salvage ships and planes that never approached a combat situation. not once, not ever, not one time.

    So this defense spending is 90% Keynesian - we all pay for war toys that will never be used. it's like the classic Keynesian example of hiring one crew to dig a hole and then hiring another to fill it back up. but with the war toys we don't fully comprehend that that is exactly what we are doing.

    my point is this: even the right wingers are secretly Keynesians, and they don't even know it.

    Any man can stand some adversity. If you really want to know a man's character, give him power. Abe Lincoln.

    by maskling11 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:11:02 PM PST

  •  Doesn't matter whether they believe it's true (0+ / 0-)

    or not.  Either way, our job is the same. If we know it to be false, we tell people so.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:10:30 PM PST

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