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Conservative Island: Ronald Reagan's head emerging from the sea
"My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I like my job, but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person's income?"–Bill O'Reilly
As we creep toward the oh-so-scary fiscal cliff and peek over the edge, expect far more whining of the sort O'Reilly delivered the last time there was some prospect of taxes increasing on the wealthiest Americans. Republicans have emphasized again and again that raising taxes on the wealthy will have a detrimental effect on the economy. That CEOs facing a tax increase will be less inclined to create new jobs. That the 1% will react to any attempt to collect more of their take by trimming back their companies, or even taking their cash to early retirement somewhere nice and sunny.

Bill's personal warning that if the president isn't nice to him, he might just take his ball and go home, is just one example of the idea at the heart of conservative economics—that the rest of us are utterly dependent on the wealthy; that people like O'Reilly aren't just making money for themselves, they're making money for everyone. That these are damn nice crumbs spilling off their table, and we'd better just shut up before they close down the feast.

There are enough problems with O'Reilly's particular statement that it's hard to take it seriously. No one is suggesting that the tax rate on the wealthiest individuals be moved anywhere near 50%. They probably should, as much higher rates were associated with some of the greatest growth and the most generally healthy economies in the nation's history. But they're not considering it. Instead, the end of the Bush tax cuts would move the tax rate (not surprisingly) back to where it was at the end of the Clinton administration, a time when the economy was strong, the budget was balanced, and the wealthiest paid up to 39.6% on income.

Secondly, O'Reilly's fame, like that of Limbaugh and Beck, came because he was at the center of a wave of talk radio consolidation. Stations that had long broadcast their own content found it much easier and cheaper to simply pipe in the feed from a syndicated broadcast. Easier and cheaper because it took far fewer people. Fewer engineers. Fewer producers. Fewer people working as local on-air talent. Far from providing an employment boom, O'Reilly's wealth was generated by a kind of broadcast black hole, sucking away the jobs of hundreds, even thousands, of local station employees and lining big Bill's pockets with a cut out of each salary saved. It was that ubiquitous right-wing exposure that allowed O'Reilly to make the jump to full time TV talking head where he could continue the same schtick. O'Reilly and his ilk are the Walmarts of broadcast punditry, reducing diversity and eliminating jobs as they funnel customers to a mass-produced product.

But the biggest problem with O'Reilly's threat–and the threat of every conservative who ever longed to go Galt–is that they forgot one thing. A kind of surprising thing. They forgot how capitalism works.  

Markets are moved by a little thing called supply and demand. If the market supports yet another talk show, then someone will probably air the show. And that show will hire construction workers and cameramen, caterers and chauffeurs. If the demand isn't there, the show won't be there. Neither will the jobs.

It's not always that simple. There are breakthroughs that create a market where it never existed before (see Pad, i), and there are industries where other constraints prevent a good synch between production and demand, but over the long term these exceptions tend to be exceptionally rare and very short lived. Behaving as if the employment levels are shaped by generosity and caprice rather than a pragmatic reaction to market demands, shows how badly the "party of business" is disconnected from the facts of business. For O'Reilly's threat to hold, you would have to believe he is uniquely capable of filling up air time, which Bill O himself clearly does believe, but which simply isn't true. Conservative exceptionalism, the kind that elevates the wealthy beyond the rules of the market, is not supported by real world data. Any executive adding and removing employees on a whim is unlikely to stay in business very long.

The same market rules apply whenever someone hints that, because of increasing personal taxes, he might not choose to create a new job. That's fine. He doesn't have to. Because if the demand is there, someone will. A company that refuses to expand in the face of rising demand will be supplanted by one that will. In the real world, jobs are not created or destroyed out of spite. They are created because they fill a need to create something, whether it's objects or information, that the market demands.

Even if you limit the scope of the argument to activity within a single company, the "taxes leads to less jobs" equation doesn't hold true. In fact, there's a counter narrative that has turned out to be a better fit with the data. When taxes are low on the wealthy, then they can directly pocket much more of the money coming in. That means there's less incentive to invest more in their company because they are able to meet their own desires by grabbing a higher portion of a smaller pie. When taxes go up, a wealthy business owner wanting to keep the same level of income has only one choice–grow the pie.

Instead of reducing jobs, higher taxes can actually stimulate the creation of jobs. They don't prevent the accumulation of great wealth, they just expand the base that's needed to support the narrow top of the pyramid. Without any direct "redistribution" in the form of the government taking dollars from one person and giving them to another, higher taxes still act to reduce the gap between rich and poor by providing incentive for real growth rather than simple concentration of wealth.

So as the clouds of Taxmageddon gather on the horizon, don't worry. Increasing taxes are sure to reduce the deficit and slow the widening gap in incomes. They won't reduce jobs. If they do end up cutting into Bill O's salary, or even convincing him to put down his microphone, just take that as a bonus.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The reason that tax increases don't kill jobs.... (7+ / 0-) that the rich have to grow their companies and hire more people to increase their income back to where they want it to be.  They won't cut their way to prosperity. Taxes encourage them to grow their way to prosperity, and everyone benefits as a result.

      The trick is to set the bar just high enough for them to reach it.  Increase taxes by say 5% the first year, then a bit more the next year, etc.  Setting the bar too high, i/e going from 35% rate to say 90% rate, would be overwhelming.  But seriously, when you've enjoyed a nice big tax cut for more than a decade, a few points isn't going to break the bank, and its going to get you invest in your company. The bucks they are shoveling into their swiss bank accounts today will need to be re-invested into their companies to recover that 5% lost to taxes in new growth. That means more jobs.  

      •  The reason that tax increases don't kill jobs. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As a Business Economist and Tax expert that consulted with businesses for over 27 years (retired the past three), I must wholeheartedly agree with your comments, and they do agree with what I personally observed over the 27 years.

        An increase in tax (as long as its not onerous) is not harmful to any well run business nor to the extreme wealthy.  Tax increases do encourage working capital expenditures by our businesses (including human capital expenditures). While taxes should never be one of the main criteria a business owner uses when making a business decision, the tax rates can spur investments that result in more business activity. The overall impact to any well run business (note the use of "well run" is a key factor here) is generally positive..and can result in more jobs or higher pay.

      •  Depend on them? (0+ / 0-)

        If the workers of this country "depend" on the 1% its because the 1% totally set up the entire system we now know starting with the Industrial Revolution. If we had mostly employee owned businesses then we would have a smaller wealthy class or no wealthy class at all. That would lead to less market manipulation and less political manipulation. Sounds like a damn good idea doesn't it?

    •  It was tried in Venezuela. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard, Ahianne

      The Venezuelan oil owners went Galt in a real world example, when management a started lock out at PDVSA. The short version of the story is that one of the owners defected and negotiated with the government to manage all of it.

    •  O'Really is a purveyor of lies. His only (0+ / 0-)

      is as an arrogant purveyor hate and fear. He has lied repeatedly, which have been proven so by the people
      who were at the scenes of what he lied about.

      O'Really is poisoning the senior's mind through his BOSS's TV outlet FUXX NUZZ. The FAUX NUZZ station. No one would hire this fool except FUXX NUZZ. STOP WATCHING THIS CRAP.

  •  Bill O'Reilly should switch to Somali TV. (38+ / 0-)
    "My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I like my job, but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person's income?"–Bill O'Reilly
    Of all the people in the world least entitled to complain about taxation, it is people who have multi-million-dollar salaries ONLY because they work in an industry unique to the U.S.

    In NO OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, are TV bloviators compensated to the degree that the likes of Bill O'Reilly are.

  •  Exactly (16+ / 0-)

    There is unique talent, and e.g., it would be a minor tragedy if your favorite currently active musician dropped out of the industry; BUT - the music industry as a whole will chug along as long as people want music and there are musicians.

  •  perfect (39+ / 0-)

    The absolute best, least emotional, most carefully thought-out refutation of Galtianism I've ever had the pleasure of reading.  It should be required reading in every middle school and high school in America.

  •  Conservatives just want more stuff. (19+ / 0-)

    They should go home, eat falafels and stuff their stuff!

    I think it would be great if O'Reilly went off the air. I hope he follows through with his threat.

    And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

    by TheFatLadySings on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:07:55 AM PST

  •  High marginal income tax rates create more jobs. (12+ / 0-)
    Even if you limit the scope of the argument to activity within a single company, the "taxes leads to less jobs" equation doesn't hold true. In fact, there's a counter narrative that has turned out to be a better fit with the data. When taxes are low on the wealthy, then they can directly pocket much more of the money coming in. That means there's less incentive to invest more in their company because they are able to meet their own desires by grabbing a higher portion of a smaller pie. When taxes go up, a wealthy business owner wanting to keep the same level of income has only one choice–grow the pie.

    Instead of reducing jobs, higher taxes can actually stimulate the creation of jobs. They don't prevent the accumulation of great wealth, they just expand the base that's needed to support the narrow top of the pyramid. Without any direct "redistribution" in the form of the government taking dollars from one person and giving them to another, higher taxes still act to reduce the gap between rich and poor by providing incentive for real growth rather than simple concentration of wealth.

    I think that's true. But also, when marginal income tax rates are high, it encourages people to try to take more income as from sources that are taxed at a lower rate, such as dividends and capital gains from investment.
  •  Funny how CEOs and other stars (27+ / 0-)

    think THEY are the only ones who add value to their corporation.  They are supporting their employees.

    They never, ever think of their employees supporting them and their luxurious lifestyle.  They never think of the labor of others that makes their company stay afloat and bring them obscene profits.  

    Eat the rich is making more and more sense.

    We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

    by Tracker on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:09:41 AM PST

  •  Check (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, skohayes, Ahianne

    Will the revenge layoffs backfire?

    by Mark Mywurtz, currently on top of the rec list.

    Paranoia strikes deep. Into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid. You step out of line, the man come and take you away. - S. Stills

    by ask on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:09:42 AM PST

  •  60 minutes of a test pattern (7+ / 0-)

    O'Reilly evidently thinks that Fox will show 60 minutes of test pattern 5 nights a week, and those radio stations will broadcast nothing but static.  Apres moi, le deluge.

    What would happen, of course, is that some other conservative would fill those slots and all those jobs would continue.

    Which is too bad really,  A test pattern would convey more information than an O'Reilly broadcast.

    A new birth of freedom..

    by docterry on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:10:00 AM PST

    •  Not to mention the Corporate Person (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dougymi, Ahianne

      Actually the Fox "person" just might benefit, financially. They would hire a new talking head, and pay him/her/it far less than it costs to have BillO. Since, as far as I can tell from the Fox viewers I know, the audience simply leaves Fox on all the time they might not lose much in terms of viewership, or perhaps only a small amount in ad revenue. If their newbie is a hit they might even gain some, plus the savings of not paying as much. And the added benefit of encouraging new, younger talent. They would never be brave enough to simply can BillO and take their chances on such a scenario happening, but if BillO forces them to they could well benefit. And not want him back....

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:46:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Entrepreneurs vs. rentiers (8+ / 0-)

    Are these guys REAL entrepreneurs, or just rent-takers?

    Real entrepreneurs would take "uncertainty" and somewhat higher taxes as incentives to innovate.  

  •  An excellent dismembering of the (10+ / 0-)

    "Job Creators" meme.

    Private sector jobs are created by demand, not by people.

    I spent only 13 minutes at the polling place. I got off Scott free. -7.25, -6.21

    by Tim DeLaney on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:11:29 AM PST

  •  Well, yeah. (9+ / 0-)

    Now how come we never hear any Dem politicians stating these simple facts so clearly and articulately? How and why have they allowed the toxic myth of "Trickle Down" to dominate the national conversation and set the agenda for the last 35 years?

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:12:19 AM PST

    •  Because Barack Obama is the first (6+ / 0-)

      Democrat in decades willing to invest time &energy, and risk  baiting Republicans into revealing their toxic agenda.  You have to have a shitload of strength to stand against the battering from both sides.  Obama's long game is simple but difficult:  get reality in the driver's seat, show people why gov't matters, slow America's worship of wealth and increase our commitment to shared values.  

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:07:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is what I hope is true. and said very well. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD, Ahianne, drewfromct

        thank you. To read in gf120581's diary what Bill Kristol said on Fox News this morning was astonishing:

        "It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires," he said on "Fox News Sunday." It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer."
        "Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?" he asked.
        Jerry Brown, too, deserves credit for being willing to stand up against "read my lips, no new taxes," even just for being willing to undertake the conversation, even if his raised taxes are temporary, and even if he had to raise the sales tax, too.
  •  The only folks who would miss O'Reilly and his ilk (0+ / 0-)

    are the myriad inhabitants of the reality-based world enhance their incomes by mocking quoting him.

    The GOP isn't evolving -- they're recalibrating their targets.

    by here4tehbeer on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:12:25 AM PST

  •  Their egos are so humongous that they (5+ / 0-)

    can't believe that other people could step in and do the exact same thing they are doing. It's especially amusing in the talk show business where the Limbaughs seem to get crazier and crazier because they are trying to stay out in front of the thousands of imitators who are constantly trying to cut into their audience.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:12:29 AM PST

  •  Right ! Push back is important though-- (10+ / 0-)

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:12:49 AM PST

  •  Tax is on Income after deductions (10+ / 0-)

    50% of income is taken away by Govt is a blatant lie that often goes unchallenged even by sharp progressives. Oleilly should be asked, the highest rate was 91% under Eisenhower, does that mean that  somebody earning 100k was only taking home 9k? Taxes for individuals is on income after deductions and for corporations on profits after deductions and tax breaks.

    If you are for the death penalty, you do not deserve to be called a "pro-lifer". You are anti-choice. Just to make sure, did you support the war on Iraq?

    by Mysoreback on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:16:01 AM PST

    •  And don't forget (0+ / 0-)

      that those "deductions and tax breaks" include the cost of labor, the cost of paying wages and salaries to their employees.

    •  And only on "adjusted income" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Most of the income for the wealthy never becomes "income" so it never gets taxed at all.  Here are some things that are not taxed:

      - Income earned in retirement accounts
      - Income from municipal bonds
      - Income from master limited partnerships (90% deferred).
      - Income from real estate, offset by expenses

      And those are just easy tax-avoidance schemes for amateur investors.  The pros, like Romney, have shelters in the Cayman islands and Swiss bank accounts.

      Romney's tax rate last year was 11%, but he skipped charitable deductions so the rate would be 14%.  Presumably he will now file an amended return to take it back to 11%.  If you add back in all of the income that the IRS doesn't consider income, he probably paid closer to 5%.  I have no doubt that his total tax rate is less than the 7.65% paid by almost everyone in payroll taxes alone.

      Unfortunately, the middle-class is not hip to all of this tax avoidance.  They have no idea how badly they are being screwed!

      50% -- as if!

  •  Marginal, not average, tax rate (6+ / 0-)

    Nobody ever proposed a 50% rate on all taxable income. However, it is perfectly reasonable to propose a 50% rate on all income over some threshold.

    The rate is applied to taxable income, so there is still the problem of all the loopholes in the tax code.

    All the whining about changing the highest marginal rate from 35% to 40% makes sense only if you are seriously convinced that ANY tax increase, no matter how small, is an outrage.

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

    by Urban Owl on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:17:07 AM PST

  •  What the wealthy have (8+ / 0-)

    deluded themselves into believing is exactly the sentiment expressed by O'Reilly.

    Here's the truth: if they ALL took their balls and went home, the system would survive. Sure, it'd be a shock for a bit, but Mom&Pops a'plenty would replace Walmart in short order.

    And then you would have a society truly based on merit - capitalism may indeed need a purge every hundred years or so. nothing like the offspring of power brokers to screw it all up (Trump, the Kochs...).

    •  Capitalism does not need capitalists (8+ / 0-)

      A century ago, farmers rebelled against the malefactors of great wealth and successfully set up cooperative farm service organizations and branded sales organizations. Many of the branded sales coops are still the dominant brand (Ocean Spray, Land-o-Lakes, Blue Diamond Almonds etc.).

      The problem with cooperative ventures is that often the children or grandchildren of the people who made these cooperatives work have been talked into cashing out by financiers. One of the coops that was talked into converting to a corporation, Diamond (Walnut) Growers, now Diamond Foods, has had a lot of problems recently. There are fewer kibbutzim as well.

      There are also cooperative insurance companies and banking companies. Cooperative insurers are called mutual insurance companies. Cooperative banks are either mutual (savings) banks (the regulator who allowed Washington Mutual to keep its name after WaMu demutualized was absolutely wrong to do so) or credit unions. Again, there is the problem that regulators do allow executives to persuade members to convert mutual companies to shareholder companies, often to the overwhelming benefit of the executives and no benefit to the members. Only if the company is in financial distress should there be a conversion and then the executives need to all lose their jobs.

      The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

      by freelunch on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:19:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Money isn't the only motivation (6+ / 0-)

    The people who are making obscene incomes aren't motivated only by money. They also relish the status and power of their positions. Even at higher tax rates they wouldn't want to stop what they are doing and give up the status it gives them. Threats to "go away" are a bluff.

  •  Another take (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politik, Miggles, rhauenstein

    Which of us would not want to move into that tax bracket (assuming we could do so with legitimate work, etc., etc.)?

  •  I have long called the Economic Meltdown (10+ / 0-)

    'End-Stage Reaganism™".

    IT's rReagan's policies, coming to their intended fruition.

    Bush was just a half-assed midwife and hood ornament on the whole process.

    This Election was the Refudiation of that whole 40 year nightmare. Nothing less.

    But we're still stuck with a badly damaged economy, with the super-wealthy doing well and the rest of us busting our asses to make the mortgage and put food on the table.

    It is time to redistribute all the wealth the Reagenomics successfully redistributed to begin with.

    Someday I will make that trip to piss on Reagan's grave.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:20:25 AM PST

  •  That Bonus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, DvCM

    would be awesome.


  •  Bill doesn't get this either (5+ / 0-)

    the Galtites were the creators of new and amazing technologies or products, such as Reardon Steel. There are few people that have the talent or ability to do so. BillO ferments right wing hate through his bloviating and "non"-fiction books. There are plenty of people with that particular skill-set that would easily fill his void at a fraction of BillO's Faux News salary and for considerably less than the right wing welfare advance he receives when he "writes" a book.

  •  One point we need to make is that no one pays 39.6 (6+ / 0-)

    percent on their entire income.

    This  is the highest of a series of tax brackets, and they'll only being paying it on, after multiple deductions, income over $250,000.

    So someone making $1,000,000 a year is not going to be sending $396,000 to the government.  

    Since there are multiple factors in play for each taxpayer, I don't know that the actual tax bill would be, but it's  always going to be a lot less.

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:25:03 AM PST

  •  O'Reilly makes 20 million dollars a year. (5+ / 0-)

    He ain't goin' anywhere, 'cause in no other country in the world, could he make that kind of money.  He doesn't want to throw more money in the kitty? Cheapskate.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:25:48 AM PST

  •  Can't believe that Community Organizer (0+ / 0-)

    has turned the country upside down.

  •  I think the point that needs to be made (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tracker, tobendaro, Laconic Lib, offgrid

    is that if they want to take their ball and go home, so what.

    They view themselves as indispensable. They aren't.

    They see themselves as great leaders. They aren't.

    They see themselves as job creators. They aren't.

    I would love for the O'Reillies and the Trumps and the Kochs decide that it isn't worth it anymore. I think there are millions of people who could do better. Much better.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:27:37 AM PST

  •  Demand may shrink in the short term (0+ / 0-)

    I mostly get my news from NPR radio, so understand that caveat.  The report I heard discussed the short-term effects of plunging over the "fiscal cliff" as a loss of about 700,000 jobs and a short recession, but after that, the economy would be on firmer ground than before.  Consider it a correction.  This story implies that there would only be a positive effect of the fiscal cliff.  I don't believe that to be true.

    If we are talking only about raising taxes on the upper range of incomes, then I think the deleterious consequences would be conserably less, and the tax policy would tend to promote less concentration of wealth, which is a good thing.  I am not convinced, however, that it would be a magic bullet that will stimulate demand and reduce the deficit all at once.

    I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

    by ccyd on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:33:04 AM PST

    •  You Need to Purge the Deficit Reduction Obsession (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrWebster, offgrid, Laconic Lib

      If  you take those revenues and pay down the debt, NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

      However, if you take every dollar and reinvest it in infrastructure and jobs, you will get a sizable ROI through increased consumer demand and additional tax revenue.

      Fix the economy first, and the debt/deficit will resolve itself.

      •  The deficit is mostly a revenue problem (0+ / 0-)

        It is not a spending problem, and the way to get rid of it is with a healthy economy, which we don't have -- yet.  I have never been a proponent of deficit reduction at the expense of stimulating the economy.  But as I said above, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans will not solve the problem.  Read my last paragraph again.  There needs to be a comprehensive policy with tax increases on the people who can afford it most being a part, but not the only part.

        I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use -- Galileo Galilei

        by ccyd on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:12:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yep Bill, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    time to pack it in. Clearly you're not appreciated enough any longer when Rmoney can't even push the commies out of office.

  •  Somehow they have to be made to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, Laconic Lib

    understand that it's not their money; it's our money. And, besides that, money is worthless, a mere token of value, much as an inch is a token or symbol of distance.
    Then they have to be made to understand that hoarding money is very disruptive to the economy and all the efficiencies we get from using money to mediate our transactions are lost if we have to return to barter and direct exchange because somebody is artificially constricting the supply.
    Imagine if it were possible to lock up all the letters of the alphabet and force people to rely on the spoken word to communicate. The guy with the key would get to feel powerful. Everyone else would suffer until they invent a new alphabet or writing system.
    In retrospect, we might say that the restriction drove innovation, but it hardly seems necessary to go to such lengths to satisfy someone's ego.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:38:22 AM PST

  •  If the result of raising the marginal tax rates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was the departure of O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Malkin, Doocy, Will, and all the other wingnut bloviators from the air- and soundwaves, that's reason enough alone to raise them.

  •  They live in a vacuum. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    I have a brother n law that is really conservative and he already believes he pays 50% taxes. He includes in his taxes SS, Medicare, Cap gains and income taxes. They throw all of them into the pipe and smoke it. When we talk about taxes we are thinking "income taxes" going to 39.5% on the top end. This is also on next taxable income not gross. The increase would apply to "net incomes" over $250k. Not many of us are in those brackets at least not me anyway.

  •  I tried to give my praise, but found I could not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    politik, Laconic Lib

    do it better than this

    The absolute best, least emotional, most carefully thought-out refutation of Galtianism I've ever had the pleasure of reading.  It should be required reading in every middle school and high school in America.
    by richardvjohnson further up the thread.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:40:28 AM PST

  •  A simple question for conservatives (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, tobendaro, Laconic Lib, offgrid

    "Have you ever decided to not start a business, or refused a promotion at work, because you were afraid of paying higher taxes?"

    If the answer is anything but yes, then they admit that taxes aren't really a deterrent to earning more.

    And for my own part, no, I have never known anyone to refuse to earn more because of taxes.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:40:41 AM PST

  •  Typical conservative illogic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, offgrid

    Greegy Bill, opposed to paying taxes because it cuts his income is threatening to quit and have no income as opposed to getting 3.9% less income  amounts earned over $250K from possible Obama tax increases.  It is amazing that O'reilly even got started due to the oppressive Clinton taxation regime.  BTW, where does this 50% figure come from?  

  •  Where's he gonna go? (0+ / 0-)

    Bill, limited choices, bon voyage.

  •  They also don't understand debt (5+ / 0-)

    Debt is the lifeblood that fuels economic activity, expansion and growth. Without it we'd all be living in a stagnant cash or barter economy in our poorly heated hovels, living on turnip stew and the occasional field mouse. There would be no radio show hosts because there would be no radio. Or drive by, for that matter, because there would be no cars, or roads, just a few muddy cow paths between villages. Stupid and cowardly people like O'Reilly wouldn't have a place in society, except at its very bottom. No loofahs, either, except some hollowed out gourd left over by wandering wild boars. Or foxes, but not the news kind.

    Debt is what makes modern economies possible, at the personal, company and government level. There's simply no way around it. Even non-debt forms of capitalization, such as stocks, are ultimately financed by debt, as investors borrow money to buy stock on margin. To be in debt, in big debt, in long-term debt, even in perpetual debt, is not necessarily a bad thing, if for a good purpose, like owning a home whose payments you can afford, or getting an education that will enable to you get employment that will earn you the money to pay off your student loan, or starting or expanding a business.

    Or, for that matter, and to this point, to make possible government investment in national defense, infrastructure and public-private partnerships, that keep us safe and enable and stimulate economic activity and growth, ultimately paid for with increased tax revenue (even as new debt is incurred, in perpetuity). This is how governments can afford to do the things they need to do. Always has been, always will be (I hope). To only do what you can afford to pay for right now, via tax revenues, is to assure economic and national decline. Anyone who doesn't get this isn't fit to discuss economics at any level. Even RW economists agree on this, their beef being with with the level and nature of government spending and the taxes that ultimately pay for it, not with the interim debt incurred to pay for what even they agree government should be doing.

    To quote the father of the US economic and financial system:

    A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. . . . It will . . . create a necessity for keeping up taxation to a degree which, without being oppressive, will be a spur to industry.

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON, letter to Robert Morris, Apr. 30, 1781

    Our national debt after all is an internal debt owed not only by the Nation but to the Nation. If our children have to pay interest on it they will pay that interest to themselves. A reasonable internal debt will not impoverish our children or put the Nation into bankruptcy.

    FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, speech, May 22, 1939

    No nation ought to be without a debt. A national debt is a national bond; and when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance.

    THOMAS PAINE, Common Sense

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

    by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:46:52 AM PST

    •  Exactly. As small business owners, our biggest (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie, Laconic Lib, offgrid

      threat has been banks that won't lend.  Had it not been for the stimulus and piling on debt to keep going, we wouldn't be going.  So as far as we're concerned-- taxes, schmaxes. We'd WELCOME that problem.  

      •  Repubs are for an extract and hoard economy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cactusgal, Laconic Lib, offgrid

        Not a produce and grow economy. If some LW Luntz could come up with a catchy way to say that, we'd be guaranteed electoral majorities for decades. If we could stimulate our economy back to health, raising tax rates on the rich would be the least of their problems as they'd be making even more money. And the only way to do that is through debt-financed investment in the economy.

        The ONLY way to do that. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or fool.

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

        by kovie on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:29:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is the most important deception to expose (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pimutant, MrWebster, Laconic Lib, offgrid

    Not only all this that you say so well, but also the general dynamic that low taxes lead to the stagnation of class, and quality of product. Without progressive taxation the game quickly becomes a rout as the escalating profits provide the means to monopolize. Who could invent a better mousetrap when acme mousetrap has the resources to destroy any startup with price wars. Where's the latest new cola company? They can't exist because Coke and Pepsi have the resources to give it away if they have to, to survive the competition of a start-up. Where's the new starbucks? How can they get off the ground when the behemoth corporation can just open up across the street from the flagship, losing money until the competition dies. Many people have just accepted a new order wherein "entrepreneurs" are just the latest incarnation of some multi-national conglomerate and not the bailiwick of mere citizens. We have to make a push to the average person that the free market is a dead end, an inevitable monopoly, without the sloping curve of progressive taxation. We have to disincentivize as a fundamental attribute of any capitalism, else we all end up with one or two colas, one or two burgers, one or two computers forever. Tax'em and let'em go galt. There are plenty of smart people waiting in the wings, wallowing in our current stagnation at a fraction of their potential, who'd be willing to make millions and happy to pay "more than 50%" in taxes on such exceptional income. This IS the problem of our era, where the class of people who create jobs are only there through ancestry and we've trapped the next generation of innovators in inescapable servitude to them.

  •  If there's a buck to be made (0+ / 0-)

    someone will try to make it.

    Disclaimer: If the above comment can possibly be construed as snark, it probably is.

    by grubber on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:47:37 AM PST

  •  Three Points (5+ / 0-)

    • Conservatives are always making threats about the apocalyptic decline of America, telling Liberals and Progressives if they don't like it, go somewhere else. Their problem is, conservatives don't HAVE anywhere else to go. Any developed country putting their policies into action is in real trouble; any that isn't is a socialist hell hole. For all their complaining, this is about as good as it gets for them.

    • Conservatives are complaining that the poor don't pay enough in taxes, and the rich pay too much. They complain the poor are too dependent on government. There's a simple fix: pay the poor more in wages and benefits, and their taxes will go up automatically. Further, they'll need less help from government. As for the rich, they can always lower their taxes by simply not skimming so much money off the economy and giving themselves million dollar bonuses. Funny how such obvious solutions never come up in discussion.

    • The job 'creators' have created a real problem for everyone. They've actually been very successful in destroying jobs, and the trend is only getting worse. Kevin Drum has the details. So many of the jobs that used to pay decent wages have been automated out of existence, that even an expanding economy isn't going to bring them back. They're just gone. So, the problem for conservatives (and liberals) is how does their ideology translate into policies that help people earn a good living in a world that needs far less bodies to generate the GDP we now have? How does that GDP get shared equitably?

    Sorting out that last point is going to be a real challenge - but it may be irrelevant if we don't address another big problem NOW!

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:48:06 AM PST

  •  Well said! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, offgrid
    The same market rules apply whenever someone hints that, because of increasing personal taxes, he might not choose to create a new job. That's fine. He doesn't have to. Because if the demand is there, someone will. A company that refuses to expand in the face of rising demand will be supplanted by one that will. In the real world, jobs are not created or destroyed out of spite. They are created because they fill a need to create something, whether it's objects or information, that the market demands.
  •  Is there a Papa John's boycott yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Not that it would be hard to give up. There are so many local pizza places everywhere. Here we have several. Pizza Heaven is incredibly good and uses locally grown veggies. There's another local place where you can get good gluten free pizza. And yet another that has wood-fired pizzas. So skipping the uber-cheap crappy Papa John's and supporting local businesses seems like a no brainer.

  •  Don't let the door hit you on the way out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Boy, these rich (mostly white men) are so bitter and angry. If you want to shut down your business and close the doors, fine. There will be another person or company who will take over.

    I am so sick of these entitled fools believing that they will get away with this. It's crazy.

    And, I for one, would not miss Bill

    Starting to feel lost again in America

    by lostinamerica2711 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:01:18 AM PST

  •  Three words, Bill: MARGINAL TAX RATES!!! Nobody (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner, Matt Z, offgrid

    is going to take 50% of your income, asshole, society is just going to use 50% of your income above a given rate, say $1,000,000.

    For fuck's sake, I think that if Democrats really tried to explain marginal tax rates to the population, we would win hands down.

  •  The tax rate on the rich was 91% under President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Eisenhower.  How prosperous was the country then?

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:01:59 AM PST

  •  I have been shouting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the Galtists to go ahead and take their balls home.  Plenty of people waiting in line for their chance to become billionaires.  Lets get some progressive business owners the chance to work the market.  

    Everyone! Arms akimbo!

    by tobendaro on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:03:30 AM PST

  •  reagan the great (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, RUNDOWN, offgrid

    communicator started the era of bigotry and con zealotry, he was the first to focus on the term welfare queen when starting his campaign of divide and conquer to win elections, the right may think he is a hero, myself, he was just another old angry white man who couldn't deal with the real america, things haven't changed much since reagan left office but there is always hope.

  •  It's time for government job creation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, RUNDOWN, offgrid

    and direct stimulus to the economy.

    One thing you can count on when it comes to the 1% is the fact that they're greedy.   If they're playing blackmail with their corporations' money to further a political agenda, they're also not growing.  

    If the federal government enacts a high quality, focused plan to directly create jobs and promote stimulus, you can bet the fat cats will jump on board.

    But we can't count on these morally bankrupt corporate "leaders" to help get our economy back on track. It's not going to happen.

    We have to prime the pump ourselves.

    "Mitt Romney is Dick Cheney with more charisma"

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:08:29 AM PST

  •  A subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    close to my heart:

    It's the DEMAND, Stupid!

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:09:39 AM PST

  •  Florida, Ohio and Nevada! (0+ / 0-)

    To keep the momentum going, we need to take State positions in 2014 (The Rove strategy).  Most important on the list should be the Governor and Sec. of State of Florida and Ohio.

    How can you get a presidential turnout in an off election year.  Promise to never make people wait in 6 hour long lines to vote!  Promise to increase the number of days to early vote, promise to increase the number of hours per day, promise to increase the locations to early vote by 20 fold.  Promise an average wait time of no more than 10 minutes.

    Vote out Rick Scott and John Kasich, Jon Husted

    Nevada, how could the president win by 66,379 votes and the Dem Senator lose by 12,134?  Cross party voting?  Looking at the numbers I do not believe so.  I think the culprit was single candidate voting.

    Obama 528,801 Romney 462422 Total 991,223 Diff 66,379
    Sen/D  444,337 Sen Rep 456,471 Total 900,808 Dif 12,134

    So 90,415 people who voted for president did not vote for a senate candidate.  Thats 9.12% of voters.  Looking above The Republican senate candidate only received 5951 fewer votes than Romney, less than a 1.3% decline.  The Democratic senate candidate received 84,464 fewer votes than Obama, 16% fewer votes.

    So out of the 90,415 fewer votes for the senate race, Dems took 93.4% of the vote loss.

    While some of this may be the result of cross ticket voting, I believe the vast majority is due to single candidate voting by Dems.  The second race on the ticket is not getting consideration, let alone lesser positions.

    The Dems have to work much harder on voter education if they expect to win Congress and state offices.


  •  It's a MEASELY 4.6% increase (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, offgrid

    on income over $250,000

    And less than 1% in America earn $250,000 or more.

    On The Newshour this past Friday, even David Brooks agreed with Mark Shields that it's ridiculous for the House GOP to use this MEASELY 4.6% increase to obstruct good governance.

    I almost fell out of my recliner!

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:12:11 AM PST

  •  Screw Bill O'Reilly. Do Democrats care about (0+ / 0-)

    the huge tax increases getting ready to hit the rest of us?

    Married couples with children will be especially hard hit by the combination of:

    a) higher tax rates (the lowest bracket goes up by 50%, from 10-15% of taxable income)
    b) elimination of the so-called marriage penalty adjustments
    c) 50% reduction in child tax credits.

    And that's without expiration of the 2% payroll tax break.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:14:13 AM PST

  •  Great post! (0+ / 0-)

    A lot of the loudest voices bemoaning the ill effects of taxing wealthy people seem to come from those whose participation in true enterprise is marginal (like O'Reilly).  Running numbers and moving money around, as most venture capitalists and people working on Wall Street do, is not the same thing as creating or running a business.  The number of people who seem to think otherwise is at least some evidence that many of the so-called masters of the universe are living off of someone else's sweat -- whether it be their parents, or people whose money they are paid to invest.  

  •  Taxes need to be raised on all of us (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and the rich and the super rich need to pay more.  I suggest a tax that only goes down when the deficit goes down.  The more you make the higher your share until  the deficit comes down.  Also, no fair hanging onto vast sums of investment capital as it is now.  Invest it or it gets taxed as passive  wealth.  Most people seem to resent taxes, I think taxes are necessary to run a modern society and therefore they sustain us much more than we think.  We are all in this together and we settled this question in the election, at least for these four years.

  •  Nice analysis. (0+ / 0-)

    Why can't we just say, "go ahead and leave; someone else will take your place."

    Much, much simpler.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:18:25 AM PST

  •  "No one is suggesting . . . " (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whirlaway, Laconic Lib, offgrid

    " . . . that the tax rate on the wealthiest individuals be moved anywhere near 50%."

    I am. Sixty percent marginal rate on personal income over $250,000 and household income over $450,000. There's luxury, and then there's gratuitous luxury. We don't need to encourage the latter with a coddlesome top marginal rate.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:21:02 AM PST

    •  How about this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      offgrid, Throw The Bums Out

      A special rate (say 50%) for all income that is above (10 * median income) of the previous year?

      If the median American income is 50K, then this bracket kicks in at 500K.

      Don't want to be in that tax bracket?  Then help raise the average Americans' income level, and you will automatically be in the lower brackets!   Note that, if you increase their income by 10K, your tax bracket expands by 100K.  What a sweet deal!

      (-7.75,-5.64) Bush to the rich: "I call you my base". Obama to the rich : "When you do well, America does well".

      by Whirlaway on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:34:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Krugman Blog Post Addressed This Issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, offgrid

    Citing research, he suggested that the optimal top tax rate for revenue before you would see job creators go all Galt would be 70%. We should all bookmark this as this subject is at the heart of conservative economic bullshit.

  •  Labor creates all wealth. Full stop. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:33:32 AM PST

  •  Excellent essay. This is reason why Papa John's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stupidity will fail.  Papa John's cuts back hours to punish his workers for ObamaCare.  Problem is that fewerr employees produce fewer pizzas, customers have to wait longer to get their pizza, or in some cases can't even reach you because you don't have enough employees covering the phone.  Thus, customers faced with longer waits for Papa John's or unable to reach his pizza place will seek out someone else, who will send them pizzas that will arrive faster, and in Papa John's case, probably taste better.  He suffers from the same hubris as Billo, the belief that he and his product are not replaceable, that some pizza entrepreneur will not be willing to pay their employees healthcare and make good pizzas.

    Let's see how long it lasts.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:33:36 AM PST

    •  Well, my demand will be lower (0+ / 0-)

      What is it about running a chain of pizza restaurants that pushes people to economic lunacy?  

      Pizza is one thing where lots of local and franchise vendors are still viable alternatives.

  •  O'Reilly sounds like sthing (0+ / 0-)

    from Alice in Wonderland or Gulliver's Travels.

  •  Democracy Isn't For Wimps (0+ / 0-)

    I can't stand listening to the bellyaching from right wing nut jobs who keep insisting that Christie, Sandy, Democrat voter suppression, etc. are responsible for Obama's "squeaker" of a win. Hence, my open letter to them, Democracy Isn't For Wimps.


    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:37:45 AM PST

  •  A brilliant economic synthesis from Mark Sumner (4+ / 0-)

    And he should be roundly congratulated.

    One of the truly unsung heroic elements of the years of the Clinton boom and balanced budget period of the 1990s was the supreme sacrifice made by members of the Democratic House, many of whom knew that in drafting that budget plan in 1994, they were staring at the demise of their own political careers. One doomed House member was to become Chelsea Clinton's future mother-in-law.  

    It is astonishing that many years afterwards, the GOP still tries to take credit for that period of golden surplus, when in fact they had nothing to do with it.  It was that successful budget passage, at an enormous political sacrifice, in which the wealthy were called upon to pay a truly fair share of their lucrative incomes that, was at the core of the Clinton success.

    For decades, the GOP's other reality has made of Ronald Reagan, whose policies in fact, being unchecked by a Republican Congress under Reagan acolyte George Walker Bush (his father had the wisdom to call Reagonomics "Voodoo-Economics") directly led to the near-collapse of the United States in 2008, a sort of patron saint.  In this other world, Reagan created growth and all Democrats who followed him as Chief Executive, have attempted to suppress his supply-side trickle-down impetus "success formula," unless otherwise held in check by a GOP House.

    But nothing could be more breathtaking in its untruth.  Yet, until the great majority are made to understand at last that Ronald Reagan was never anything more than the plastic mold, as cast by one of his TV sponsors, General Electric, for the merciless raid upon the last of America's resources by plutocrats at the expense of everyone else--until in fact Reagonomics is ever henceforth viewed as voodoo-economics--there shall never be economic renewal for the many.

    First and foremost, President Obama must stick to his guns: the wealthy must now again pay their fair share.  Then let that "Explainer-in-Chief" Bill Clinton deliver a series of nationally televised town-hall meetings, held in different locations spanning the breadth of the country, again commenting upon just why it was that his administrations were noted for growth, surplus, and balanced budgets.  Former President Clinton, perhaps more than anyone else, knows all too well that trickle-down in fact means a collecting-up for the most avaricious of plutocrats, who in fact care nothing for the economic health of their own country.

    •  Can't rec this enough (0+ / 0-)

      You hit several nails right on the head with one blow.

      Bill Clinton is the perfect person to take this to the people. I sure hope that he does, as soon as his voice comes back from giving so many great speeches during the campaign.

  •  Excellent post. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennifer poole, offgrid

    This is important stuff because it goes to a talking point that  the right has constantly repeated, that higher marginal tax rates will have an negative impact on employment.  This hits it on the head:

    The same market rules apply whenever someone hints that, because of increasing personal taxes, he might not choose to create a new job. That's fine. He doesn't have to. Because if the demand is there, someone will.
    The sad thing is that most political reporters show no interest in absorbing basic economics, even accounting, to the point of understanding that what is being repeated over and over by republican candidates is just bunk.  Not only do the personal tax rates have nothing to do with job creation, but if a business person were to act as if it did, he would likely put himself out of business.
  •  The Rs & rotten Ronnie belong in hell (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:04:33 AM PST

  •  Clarity! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks so much for making this clear to me in a way I can repeat to doubters...

  •  Love the photo, looks like Cthuhlu rising... (0+ / 0-)

    ... or sinking?

    Hats off to MCS!

  •  Thank god this awful election is over (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, jennifer poole

    because now we can have great writing like this on the front page again, without it being buried by 900 nontroversies about what Mitt did today written by you-know-who.

    You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

    by kenlac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:25:07 AM PST

    •  I rec'd, for the first half of your comment (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not even sure who you mean by "you-know-who," but I was just thinking myself how great it will be to have our now very well-honed (and paid!) front page writers time and support to expand their focus some.

      •  I'm not sure what the rules are for calling out (0+ / 0-)

        front pagers, but there's one in particular who I feel drags down the overall quality of the site with trivial writing and posting about (just a guess here) 30-40% more stuff than any other front pager.

        I left the name off because I didn't want the thread to automatically get derailed into a debate about that front-pager's merits. But I feel the contrast between the meat of this diary and the junk food of those other offerings was significant enough that I had to note it somehow.

        You can call it "class warfare" -- we call it "common sense"

        by kenlac on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  plenty of good truthtellers could fill oreilly's (0+ / 0-)

    air time, but can they do it with that certain certitude and simplicity that authoritarians need to ease their irrational fears and enjoy judgement with absolutes

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:46:45 AM PST

  •  Minor note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Apple didn't create a market with the iPad, it was another example of exploiting a demand that's already there.

    The reason the iPad was so successful was that it was an overgrown iPod/iPhone and given the success of that it meant there was a base of people who already knew how it worked and could start using it right away.

    (And the iPod didn't create a market either: it wasn't even the first MP3 player on the market for quite some time.)

    Everyone had been expecting tablet computers for years, and there were examples out there already (hell, the iPod looks the same size as the PADD from Star Trek, and it first appeared on television in 1987). When the iPad came out there were already other tablets available, but what gave iPad the edge was, as I said, leveraging the success of the iPod plus the fanaticism of Apple fanboys to launch it, which guaranteed they'd sell a few hundred thousand units and create buzz even if the thing was a piece of crap.

  •  Threats to quit doing... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what you do as a rich person are empty threats.

    If you quit, someone else with come in and do the job better and cheaper.  That's business.  That's American Capitalism.  One person is not irreplaceable.

    In fact, I invite all rich people to stop working and let someone else do their jobs.  But I know you won't because then the secret will be exposed that -- really -- you are just like anybody else.

  •  Marginal rates... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevvboy, TheCrank

    These plutocrats don't pay the top rate on all their income. They pay the same rate I do on the first $70K: 15%. They don't get to the 35% rate until they hit $388K. And even then, it's taxable income, not gross.

    Tax tables

    Most people have no understanding of the tax code, and the wealthy use this to their advantage when they whine about taxes.

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

    by happy camper on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:55:10 AM PST

  •  "I am rich, motherfuckers, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    offgrid, Mark Sumner

    and not only does that mean I get the best of everything and have complete freedom in my movements and actions, but also you must worship and admire me and for god's sake do NOT criticize you or I will stop being rich, which is the only reason you have any crumbs from my table at all."

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:57:43 AM PST

  •  Yes, Bill, it is (0+ / 0-)

    Even though it's not really half your income, the "country" is all of us. Your defense and security and the economy that props up your ability to get to work and earn money requires some of your money to make it so you can keep making that money. "Government" is another word for "Civilization". There are, yes, good governments and bad governments. That should be the question, not whether we have no government. And government must be supported by taxes, otherwise the alternative is outright confiscation. That is, essentially, the only way historically governments are funded. A progressive taxation system is the most politically stable one because it does not create income inequality (either by the confiscatory system of statism/communism, or the anarchy of 'drowning the government in a bathtub' that is the no-tax philosophy of the GOP).

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

    by TheCrank on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:02:44 AM PST

  •  Thanks for pointing out the backwards incentive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jennifer poole

    The argument that jobs are created by lowering the tax rate on a business that files its taxes as an individual has always seemed to me like a sign error.  I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that the higher the tax rate, the less valuable profit is, and therefore the more likely a business will hire more people instead of simply hoarding excess revenue.  I don't know how strong that effect is, but it at least calls into question an argument that Republicans have been allowed to treat as axiomatic for far too long.

  •  The Whining Wealthy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not sure when it was Bill O made the comments you are referring to... I've been recently amused by the number of hospitality industry ceos—including Papa John's John Schnatter—who are threatening to hit their workers in the wallet when Obamacare takes effect. I wonder if these guys realize they need customers to keep buying homes like this:

    Another moron:

  •  great stuff. thanks, Mark. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  The creepy "Job Creators" are also "Job Killers" (0+ / 0-)

    They have to be taught that the majority of Americans are the real wealth creators who, when they prosper, create the economic climate that really creates the environment where jobs grow.  The so-called "Job Creators" are the current equivalent of feudal lords who aggrandize themselves and in reality are nothing more than parasites.

  •  Curious how the right maintains two (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    completely mutually-contradicting mythologies.

    The first is an unshakable belief in the innate power and responsibility of the rugged individual, utterly self-reliant.

    The second mythology is a belief in the indispensable power of the Galtian "job-creators", without which the vast majority of a dependent population would languish without work.

    They never bother to explain how both can be simultaneously true.

    It may be that the authoritarian personality types (high dominance, followers and weak-followers) require both beliefs for a psychological equilibrium. Unconsciously, the statement of follower-types goes something like this - "I need to believe I'm the captain of my ship, but I also have an overpowering need for security and reassurance from a dominating Daddy-figure".

    Perhaps the belief in self-creation cancels out the psychic distress engendered by the humiliation of dependency.

  •  Well, we tried NOT taxing them (0+ / 0-)

    based on the assurance that all those record profits would trickle down to the rest of the country in no time.  Really, any day now.  There's something trickling down onto the 99% but it's not money.

  •  Win-Win Situation (0+ / 0-)

    So, if we raise taxes on the wealthy, not only do we close the deficit, but I'll stop having to hear BillO talk?  

    Where do I sign?

  •  Many industries - likeO'Reilly in entertainment - (0+ / 0-)

    are largely a zero-sum game. If there was no Walmart, there would be Target, Sears and smaller retailers. Most businesses don't create jobs unless they are doing something particularly innovative, they simply move the money around differently. And mature industries largely seek to eliminate jobs by creating greater efficiencies.

  •  The O'Reilly Scarecrow..if he only had a brain (0+ / 0-)

    If there were to be a 50% tax bracket, half of Bill's income would not be going to the federal government. It's a progressive tax rate. Only part of Bill's income would be taxed at 50%. After all the deduction that people in Bill's income level have access to are taken, even less of their income will be taxed.
    Bill, and others like him, need to stop lying to the public. Bill, and others like him, need to stop being takers, and start being players; constructive players in our economy.
    I'm sure Bill sees himself as one of the "job creators". "Don't mess with us, or we'll fire someone's ass on your behalf", they say. Let him be reminded that the real job creators in your little kingdom are the 47%ers who listen to your show every day. If not for them being the empty bin for you to fill with your trash talk, you wouldn't have a job. They Built It, You Didn't!

    I knew she was the gal for me as soon as she laid her eyes on me. Right on me shoulder, she did. Popped the buggers right out her head, and laid em on me shoulder. She's a sweet heart, that gal.

    by glb3 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:59:03 AM PST

  •  Never heard class war called conversative except.. (0+ / 0-)

    An interesting term.  In America, the term "class war" and its associated terms are dicey, and not to be used.  In the minds of many people, America is seen as a vision of a classless society, and such terms are unacceptable in political discourse in popular culture.  

    The idea that there exists a small class of people who are responsible for the generation of wealth (and thus only deserve that wealth) is a staple of class hegeomny which really began to spread far starting in the Reagan years.  It has infected business schools, the business press, self help ideas for small business, seminars, etc. For years, the publishing industry turned out books in praise of the economic Supermen know as the CEO.

    Me, I am doubtful of this idea that markets will always and naturally fill some demand.  This is the rationale that was used by the apologists of Jim Crow apartheid then and now.  Open markets will allow full economic and social freedom of Southern black people because the markets will produce a restaurant open to black people because somebody would profit by such a place.  

    This is view  also does not take into account crony capitalism in which essentially markets get perverted and restricted by elites using forces outside the market.  

  •  I guess the rich really aren't like you and me. (0+ / 0-)

    When we get a salary or wage cut, we start thinking about increasing our work hours or getting a second or third job.  

    But when they get a cut in their net, they start threatening to stop working altogether.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Join the site, then the group at

    by rhutcheson on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:48:59 AM PST

  •  Tax Cuts and Jobs (0+ / 0-)

    I have argument your point endlessly. Thank you.

    However, there are some exceptions to it.

    For example, if a firm wants to expand later out of the owner's profits today, then a federal income tax increase will reduce that. The reason we don't see this effect at large is because it is irrational for most firms to hold lots of extra cash on a normal basis. Certainly those that can finance.

    But I think it probably is true that at the level of a very small business, an owner might want to save up and hire or invest later. That is one of the reasons why Obama doesn't want to raise taxes on small business.

  •  Preposterous GOP argument. Let's kill it. (0+ / 0-)

    They argue that if the really productive members of society have to pay higher taxes, they will lose their incentive to be as productive.  This is rediculous on its face.  In fact, the less they get after taxes, the harder they will work, and keep working, to make whatever figre they are after.  Proof?  Look at the current situation. You have all these dot com billionaires wasting their time building multi-million dollar yachts and multimillion dollar palaces rather than tending to work and being productive.  If Bill Gates only had $500,000 rather than $50 Billion, he would still be hard at  Microsoft.  And there are more like him.  I once asked a billionaire acquaintence if he would have worked less if he knew he would only have made half as much.  "No," he said.

    Incentives only work over a fairly small range, and I believe there are studies that verify this.  The rest is boodle.  So if you want economic growth, increase taxes on the rich and spend it hiring lower income groups.  Oh yeah, and raise the minimum wage $2.  

    Romney: Wrong on GM. Wrong on bin Laden. Wrong on tax cuts. Wrong on austerity. Wrong on Medicare. Wrong on Social Security. Wrong on the 47%. Wrong on FEMA. Wrong for America.

    by SGWM on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:05:57 AM PST

  •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

    I've been using these arguments for years, and it's nice to see them all in one compact diary.

    It would also be nice to be able to actually have this debate with a conservative, instead of wasting all my energy explaining that the recession wasn't caused by people on food stamps and that taxes are actually the lowest they've been in generations.....


    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:05:36 PM PST

  •  I think I read somewhere (0+ / 0-)

    that Applebee's is joining the growing list of conservative businesses that are going to lay people off because Obama won.

    I actually think this might be a good thing - can we get rid of O'Reilly and Applebee's??

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:21:36 PM PST

  •  Quick! Raise taxes before Bill renegs on quitting (0+ / 0-)

    his show. Heck, if we had known it was that easy to get a blowhard like him to shut up, it should have been the #1 priority on Democrats agenda instead of healthcare reform. Remember, Bill, a promise is a promise.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:38:21 PM PST

  •  As such, it's nonsense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    You need to distinguish between the CEO's salary and the financials of his employer.  (You'd think the "corporations are people" crowd would get that, but nooooooooooo.)

    If CEOs are basing their business decisions on their personal tax situation (as opposed to the bottom line for their business -- which for most businesses is not really that much affected by corporate taxes) then they're obviously using their employers as their personal ATMs and have no business continuing in their current jobs.

  •  The Greatest Economy the World Ever Saw (0+ / 0-)

    I remember that time when America created the most dynamic economic engine the world had ever seen. A man could go to work for a decent living wage, with benefits like health care for him and his family, raise his kids , buy a house, take a vacation every year, send his kids to college and then retire in dignity with a good pension. We made the greatest technological advancements in history without subsidizing the research and development of corporations with taxpayer dollars, and raised the standard of living more than ever since the caveman crawled out from his cave.

    It was the period after WWII.



    That's right.  Ninety Percent.

    Now, don't think that the Millionaires and Billionaires actually paid that to the Government.

    Heck NO!  They instead, decided to NOT take the loot.  Er, loot the place.  They had a real incentive to invest in America and American workers.  Those Job Creators.  

    Today the incentive is to TAKE THE LOOT and create jobs in other places like China, Brazil, India, Philippines, Sir Lanka, etc. in order to make as much PROFIT as possible without any regard for the country or people that live here.

    Then Ronald Reagan became President.  Tax cuts for the rich.  Deregulation.  Demonization of public workers. Take a look around.  Welcome to Reaganomics, the end result.

    How's that trickle down thing working out for us?

    •  And another point to your post... (0+ / 0-)

      the CEO's now  earn approx.  380x's the average pay of the company employees!

      In 1980- the rate was about 42x's.

      So, the CEO's and stockholders make shit tons of money and the worker gets screwed.

      FORWARD! Obama/Biden 2012

      by Esjaydee on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:41:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The investor class pay 5% -- not 50% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Sumner

    Everyone, please understand, and correct the clueless.  The wealthy, if their income comes primarily from investments, pay closer to 5% than 50%.  That's because most of the earnings for the wealthy don't get taxed at all.  Here are some things that are not taxed:

    - Income and capital gains in retirement accounts
    - Income from municipal bonds
    - Income from master limited partnerships (90% deferred).
    - Income from real estate, offset by expenses

    The wealthy typically make most of their wealth from capital gains, which are taxed at 15%.  But that tax only occurs when a stock is sold.

    Now consider that the wealthy shelter many of their investments inside retirement accounts where they pay no taxes.  And since the bottom 50% in this country own only 2% of the wealth, this perk is primarily for the wealthy.  For example, the Romneys have a retirement account worth about $100 million.

    I sometimes hear people talk about how unfair it is that Romney pays 14% while middle class workers pay a higher rate.  Please understand that Romney doesn't pay close to 14%.  When you add back in all the income that isn't actually considered income, and then the Cayman Islands tax shelters, I can just about guarantee you that he pays closer to 5%.

    And I'm sure O'Reilly also has lots of investments and has stuffed lots of money in his retirement account.  My guess is his actual tax rate is close to 5% as well.  But remember, he's not a moocher -- he's a job creator.

  •  If BildO goes (0+ / 0-)

    They'll just replace her with Sarah Palin. That might be a better market decision for them anyways, considering how easily manipulated people are by their "gotcha" journalism.

  •  Does O'Reilly know what a "score" is? (0+ / 0-)

    He states that his corporations employ scores of workers.  A score is a count of 20.  So his corporations could possibly empty a total of 100 people at most.  How many corporations does O'Reilly own?  What do those corporations do?  Are they all just "shell" companies used to hide his income?  I wonder what the products of his so-called corporations are.  I wonder if his corporations are even incorporated here in the U.S.  

  •  The Republicans seem to be fond of the 50's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    America was prosperous in the 50's so let's bring back some of the tax rates from the 50's.

    Anyone who makes less than $3 million a year is taxed at the current rates. Every penny over that is taxed at 90% (or more).

    This will take a lot of the money out of politics and will help rebuild America's parks, roads, and bridges.

    Taxing corporations is a little more complex because we don't want to put people out of work. We can at least force corporations to publicize their political contributions.

  •  this is part (0+ / 0-)

    There are enough problems with O'Reilly's particular statement that it's hard to take it seriously. No one is suggesting that the tax rate on the wealthiest individuals be moved anywhere near 50%.
     but some are saying 70% but you are right 39.6 is not bad given in some european countries you pay 60% plus vat taxes taht you don't see

  •  We Should Add... (0+ / 0-)

    ... a special clause to the tax code taxing radio / TV pundants that pass off opinion as fact at 90%. They get a 70% tax credit if all their news stories are backed by actual, provable facts.

  •  If you rich quit you companies you make room for (0+ / 0-)

    new people in to start up and existing companies to get bigger. The best way for not to pay taxes is to leave.

  •  O'Reilly, or anyone else who is doing well, (0+ / 0-)

    and who feel they are being taxed too much, might give their government credit for having a legal system that facilitates their wealth accrual, the taxpayers who finance that system, and the fact that they are living comfortably, if not royally.

  •  exceptionally crazy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It never ceases to amaze me the level of hypocrisy and narcissistic bullshit that falls out of the mouths of the Republicans,  let us review, they adhere to the philosophy of an emotionally disturbed atheist(Ayn Rand) while draping themselves in the mantle of Christian morality then proclaim with righteous fervor their undying love of free market economics while crushing any real innovation and competition,  with so many of them holding degrees in business I wonder if any of them have ever read Wealth of Nations, let us not forget about their love of country while systematically destroying it at every turn, voter suppression,  gerrymandering,  dismantling of the educational system, civil rights in addition they talk about freedom while simultaneously creating the largest police state in history.

    •  An example close to [my] home: (0+ / 0-)
      then proclaim with righteous fervor their undying love of free market economics while crushing any real innovation and competition
      Here in Florida, Duke energy, hand in glove with Rick Scott [R], is working furiously to gut solar power.  In the Sunshine State, they want to get rid of solar power!

      The solution?  Tax the bejeebers out of the companies that rely solely on fossil fuels while continuing, even enlarging, the incentives given to companies that provide renewable energy.  Then sit back and watch as Duke and other fossil fuel providers invest in renewables.  Finally.

      Will our government rise to the challenge and work toward giving us a future by raising taxes on those that want only to maintain the status-quo [which is taking us to hell in a handbasket]?  Stay tuned.

      The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

      by twocrows1023 on Sun Apr 05, 2015 at 06:32:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you forget the stagflation of the 1970's (0+ / 0-)

    where businesses where contracting or not investing in future growth especially in agriculture where they where killing off the next generations of chickens because the cost of doing businesses exceeded what they could make so they cut investment and downsized rather than expand to grow their business.  and most business don't grow by adding capacity but buying up the competion and not having to compete very much

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