If you want to know why both sides keep the Culture fires stoked, Joe Wilson makes it clear in this release:
Liberals want to control private industry. Let’s take only the most recent events that have occurred as examples.
First, yesterday was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Why? Because liberals are attacking a private company for using its funds to support the traditional family.
Millions of Americans believe in the traditional family, but Americans also believe in free speech. Chick-fil-A can and should be able to support Christian organizations if it chooses, but liberals won’t be happy until all American businesses toe their liberal line.
Then, we have President Obama telling American business owners that they didn’t build their businesses. Why? Because he wants to tax businesses even more than current tax rates to supply his overspending.
Businesses and all Americans benefit from infrastructure and education. But education and infrastructure do not exist without the taxes from our businesses and our citizens either. Instead of tearing down the ideals of the free market, we should be encouraging entrepreneurs and other business owners to hire, grow, expand, and innovate. Because when businesses grow, our roads, our bridges, our students, and all Americans benefit.
So what are liberals telling us? Don’t stand up for what you believe in. Don’t try to take credit for your hard work. That’s apparently the American value system that liberals want, but I reject.
If you reject it too, click here to stand with me against liberals’ disappointing agenda and donate $10, $25 or $50 now.
P.S. We must fight for our businesses and our values.Donate $25 now to the campaign because I will continue to stand for jobs and freedom.
It’s all about separating you from your money. It’s difficult for me to believe that anyone in this universe is foolish enough to think that the way to show support for Chick-fil-A is to send money to Joe Wilson, but apparently this sort of thing works, because both sides keep doing it.
Joe, you lie!
The demonization of liberals on display here by my Congressman is so far beyond any sort of rationality that it’s hard to fathom. Isn’t he supposed to try to get my vote instead of trying to whip up my neighbors into a state of hatred against me?
@ Michael Rodgers – He doesn’t NEED your vote.
But of course, Michael’s completely right. He has every right to expect basic respect and consideration from his congressman, who is way out of line using language that demonizes some of his constituents.
The thing is, Joe is the kind of guy who would give Michael every consideration in person. But since this is the way the stupid, partisan game is played now, this is the way Joe plays it. Joe will never, ever deviate from what he considers to be current orthodoxy in his party.
And the Free Speech red herring! No one is saying Dan Cathy cannot say, or fund, what he chooses. We also choose not to fund Dan Cathy’s choices, or Joe Wilson!
“Joe will never, ever deviate from what he considers to be current orthodoxy in his party.”
A colleague forwarded an interesting posting from the “Being Liberal” Facebook page. I’ll email it to you, Brad.
It details how, by rushing to Chick-fil-a and spending all that money, taking pics of themselves with their smartphones, uploading all those pictures of themselves to social media, the anti-gay crowd was actually pumping a lot of money into pro-gay companies, including Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Visa, and more. And also pointed out that if they were using their computers to post their opinions – well, the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, was a homosexual.
Wonder if Joe supports these businesses?
So, Joe would be civil and considerate in person, but not in public? Does he consider courtesy something to be ashamed of? Does his party? The public persona that he is projecting is not anyone I would like to meet, much less elect!
Karen, I don’t think he makes the connection between his political rhetoric and its impact on real people.
I stood in line for almost 2 hours on Wednesday to buy food at Chick-Fil-A. It was not done as an anti-gay action and everyone I talked to had the same reason for being there. It was not because they were anti-gay, it was in support of Mr. Cathy’s right to freedom of speech about his beliefs. It was in defiance of the attempts by officials in other cities to dictate to Mr. Cathy that because of his beliefs, they would be willing to deny him the right to open one of his stores in their city.
The huge crowd crossed all lines of color, gender, and age. Not once did I hear anyone say they were there because they were anti-gay. Of course some were there because they are anti-gay, to deny that would be ludicrous and unrealistic. However, they kept silent because if they had started any hate speech, they would have been ignored or asked to keep their opinions to themselves.
As to your list of companies Chick-Fil-A buys from, the connection attempt is rather lame because if everyone who is anti-gay were to stop buying or using products made by companies who support the gay aganda, they couldn’t live in this country without being totally isolated. Most if not all understand that simple fact.
Joe Wilson like Barack Obama is a political animal and will never change. He and Obama will take advantage of any situation or issue to beg for money or support. Wilson’s attempt to fill his campaign chest by using what is a freedom of speech issue is disgusting. Relating to a point I tried to make in another post, Wilson is making a tenuous connection between the actual issue and his personal agenda.
I thought protesting and boycotting something was the most pure form of free speech.
Most the people that will respond with their ducats are the same ones that will be giving anyways. It gives people an excuse to cut a check.
He has already in for another 4 years after his primary win. Emails are next to free anyways. Might as well take a chance on a flier.
Kathryn, maybe someone ought to tell him. It’s worse than having a piece of spinach caught in your teeth.
4 years? Try 2-year term.
“if everyone who is anti-gay were to stop buying or using products made by companies who support the gay aganda, they couldn’t live in this country without being totally isolated.”
“Most if not all understand that simple fact”
Hmmm, I take a more cynical view on that.
Interesting that you met so many people there to support free speech. Too bad that wasn’t reflected in media coverage, at least that I saw.
So Joe doesn’t want me to spend $25 dollars at Chick-fil-A? Instead, he wants me to spend $25 at Joe Wilson?
What do I get in return for that $25 that I spent on Joe?
Answer: Nothing. It’s $25 dollars wasted.
Forget it Joe! I’ll spend the $25 that you want at Chick-fil-A.
Joe is the most irrational politician that I know. Oh, I forgot about Jim Demint!
In other news,dog bites man.
“Interesting that you met so many people there to support free speech. Too bad that wasn’t reflected in media coverage, at least that I saw.”…Rose
Therein lies the rub. In every event where a social or political issue is involved, the media will always, I repeat, ALWAYS seek out the ones who are willing to make the most outrageous comments or reinforce the perception of the other person’s view. The media is not interested in the mundane or non-controversial aspect of the news coverage.
As the old adage goes, “if it bleeds, it ledes”. Why bother to change at this point?
I’m with Ralph. If anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be helping him eat $25 worth of fried chicken, waffle cut fries and delicious milkshakes.
Of course $25 doesn’t buy as much fast food as it used to. Thanks a lot Obama, Geithner & Bernanke.
Does anyone really think Joe Wilson came up with the above release?
Just like the pitch that went out after his “You Lie!” moment, this was concocted by his political advisors, who are always on the prowl for new ways to fleece the flock.
Wilson almost certainly signed off on it, but there are a handful of way-behind-the-scenes folks who are handsomely paid, likely with a share of whatever efforts such as these bring in, to dream up these divisive little schemes. It’s all part of how the game is played, unfortunately.
So you stood in line for two hours to support a fast food founder’s right of freedom of speach against gay marriage; but note that anyone who expressed an anti-gay opinion at the “event” would have been asked to leave or keep their opinions to themselves?
Nothing about you personally, but when logic gets this contorted, the conversation is almost always about civil rights – or more precisely the desire not to grant them to the “other”.
I support marriage between any two mature people who want to publicly and morally support the centrality of the family as a social unit forming the bedrock of society. Since a marriage of convenience isn’t a marriage at all, and since some people are clearly not going to marry a life partner of the opposite sex, how is it not beneficial for society to support and recognize gay marriage?
I guess I simply do not support special rights of able body and minded people.
@Bart “It was not because they were anti-gay, it was in support of Mr. Cathy’s right to freedom of speech about his beliefs. ….. they kept silent because if they had started any hate speech, they would have been ignored or asked to keep their opinions to themselves.”
Am I understanding you correctly to mean that at the event you attended for the purpose of supporting free speech, you would ask someone to keep their opinions to themselves.
Seems a bit ironic.
I like Joe Wilson, but he’s not my congressman anymore. And, because of the ethnic and idealogical makeup of my county, it will be even easier for him to be re-elected now that we’re gone. AND, because they moved us to Clyburn’s district, he’s even more likely to always get re-elected. So neither one of them requires a RED CENT from me to get elected! (And you know what? I bet Jim Clyburn loves Chick-Fil-A.)
Inflationary governing didn’t start with Obama! Of course, Bush did leave us with a deep Recession, so I guess he done right by Silence.
“However, they kept silent because if they had started any hate speech, they would have been ignored or “asked” to keep their opinions to themselves.”…Bart
Talk about contortions. What part of would have been “asked” to keep their opinions or “hate speech” to themselves and “denying” them the right to express themselves can you not understand?
Would you have accepted what you consider “hate” speech acceptable in your presence and not ask the person to stop or ignore them? If you say you would allow them to continue or give the person the benefit of an audience, that I find difficult to accept.
Based on Scout’s and Mark’s past comments, it would have been very likely that both if confronted with it would get in the face of a “hate speech” offender and demand they “shut up” and take their vile somewhere else.
“4 years? Try 2-year term.”
2 years. of course you are correct. Sorry about that.
Of course $25 doesn’t buy as much fast food as it used to. Thanks a lot Obama, Geithner & Bernanke.
Inflation has been low for years. That’s not the economic problem we’re facing at the moment. If anything inflation is too low. What is the biggest concern in joblessness. Friday’s jobs report underscored what the problem is – state and local governments continue to shed jobs. That is a drag on the economy and continues to slow down the recovery. With interest rates at essentially zero for the federal government to borrow isn’t it high time we did just that and use the proceeds to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure? This is econ 101 stuff folks. No way borrowing at zero % is a bad thing when we need stuff repaired and updated. Especially with 8.254% unemployment.
” This is econ 101 stuff folks”
What grade did you get in that class?
If you are borrowing money to pay for jobs, where do you get the money to pay the salaries next year? Borrow again? And what about the year after that? Borrow some more?
You can’t borrow your way to prosperity. Eventually you have to pay it back.
Doug, just for the sake of argument, the money comes from growth.
And everyone who can’t afford to pay cash for a house — which is almost everyone — borrows their way to prosperity. It’s called a mortgage, and homeownership is most Americans’ greatest wealth builder.
I’m not agreeing with Bud here; I’m just disagreeing with you and your blanket dismissal.
This is what’s wrong with the ideological model in this country. Some people want to insist — just to use this one issue — that it is ALWAYS wise to increase spending, even when it means increased borrowing. Some people want to insist that it is NEVER wise to do that, and ALWAYS harmful.
Neither proposition is true. Sometimes such actions are called for. Other times not.
You can’t borrow your way to prosperity. Eventually you have to pay it back.
Doug, here me loud and clear on this. OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO PAY IT BACK. I never, ever, said you continue this forever. This is what we do NOW. When we approach full employment and inflation begins to heat up THEN you run government SURPLUSES to pay down your debt. That was the big mistake of the Bush years. He cut taxes when the economy was doing well and that resulted in huge deficits. Now when we need to run deficits the debt is so large it creates a scary situation. But it is better to borrow NOW when interest rates are zero to do the things we will need to do anyway. This really is a no-brainer.
Brad has it right. This proves that even a blind squirel sometimes stumbles onto an acorn. 🙂
Doug should enjoy this… right after I typed the above, I ran across an ad that took me to this item headlined, “The 5 Dumbest Things You Can Do If You Owe Too Much Money.”
The part Doug would like comes from Dumb Thing No. 3: “When you’re in debt, often the worst thing you can do is take on additional debt that can often cause your situation from go from bad to worse.”
And indeed, that is often, although of course not always, one of the worst things you can do. I think, though, that we can say it is almost ALWAYS true when you “owe TOO MUCH money.” The key is knowing how much is too much.
Doug – “If you are borrowing money to pay for jobs, where do you get the money to pay the salaries next year? Borrow again? And what about the year after that? Borrow some more? ”
Brad – “Doug, just for the sake of argument, the money comes from growth.”
Steve – What growth? Brad’s saying that the growth will be constant. If it’s not constant, where does the money come from?
We saw where the “everyone should be able to own a home” mortgage fiasco led us.
When Brad digs a whole he can’t get out of, he calls for a bigger shovel.
Just the facts… Goberment at lowest level in 45 years.
Steven’s not paying attention to a word I say. That’s because, like most people, he has been trained to think only in terms of ideological absolutes. He thinks there are only two kinds of people in the world — those who ALWAYS think X is a good idea, and those who ALWAYS think X is a bad idea.
But reasonable people don’t think either way.
Doug asked where the money would come from in a second year. The answer would be growth — that’s what the person who borrowed to pay the payroll for a year was anticipating. Sometimes that will be a wise investment, because the growth will materialize. Other times, that will just create deeper debt — those “other times” being the ones when the growth does not materialize.
This are not complicated concepts. But too often, even smart people have trouble grasping them, because they think “always choose A, and never choose B” is a viable way of looking at the world. And it is not, when speaking of issues that don’t have a fundamental moral element.
For instance, if “B” is genocide, you should never choose it. But we’re talking about things that are not moral choices. They are simply economic ones. And sometimes it’s wiser to pick A; other times to pick B. And you know what else? It’s often not at all clear which is best to choose at a given time, however confidently the ideologues assert their preferred options.
If your child needs an expensive operation but you owe Mastercard a buttload of money do you simply say “sorry son, we just can’t afford to go deeper into debt. You’ll just have to die. But we will miss you”. That’s the situation we face in our economy right now. We need that expensive operation and borrowing rates have never been lower. So let’s get on with it.
Sometimes EVEN genocide (on a small scale at least) is the better option among really terrible choices. Take a ship captain who must make the horrible decision of flooding the engine room in order to save the ship. Perhaps a few good men will die but the ship will be saved and many others will live.
Brad – Why the nice answer to Doug this time for the exact same question I’ve posed to you several times about making long-term commitments using one-time money. Am I just being unreasonable? Maybe if “unreasonable” is just another term for “fiscally responsible”.
Do you buy a new car because you get a one-time bonus allowing you to afford this month’s payment? I think I’ll run out and buy a Ferrari, I can come up with the payment this month, next month not so sure.
I’ve been trained in the world of finance, not write it as I want people to believe. Brad you state you’re not a numbers guy, that you can’t even use TurboTax without having your head spinning… so why would we take your financial advice?
@bud – So we’re talking about life or death situations here? Or are you just trying to add hypothetical drama to the conversation?
Let’s make this simple:
You borrow $1 million dollars to create 10 new jobs.
At the end of year 1, you have a $1 million dollars of debt.
Year 2 comes along. You need another $1 million. You also need to start paying back the million from last year (or just let the debt grow).
Are you suggesting that the original $1 million is going to create both enough money to fund the ongoing $1 million salaries plus pay for the current $1 million is salaries?
If this theory works, why wouldn’t you just borrow $10 trillion dollars and give everyone in the country a job paying $1 million dollars per year?
When you borrow money for a mortgage, you are trading your future earnings based on your skills for the opportunity to take on the risk of paying it back. The bank gets interest to cover your risk. You are buying an asset on a payment plan. Funding government jobs is not buying an asset. This would be like borrowing money to pay a landscaper $200 a month to mow your lawn.
In the case of the government, the future “earnings” aren’t earnings – they are tax revenues. The only way to pay back borrowed money is through future tax dollars. And when you have already committed trillions of dollars of future tax revenues to money that has already been spent in the past (and a trillion more added to the debt this year), please tell me where you will find the money to pay back more debt?
The economy will not be fixed until government spending is brought under control. Bush didn’t do it and Obama didn’t do it. I doubt Romney will do it either. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. If we let it get worse in 2008, we would have been able to get back on track sooner.
Hypothetical drama? Do kids not get sick for families who are in debt? What family wouldn’t go even deeper in debt to save their child? Seems like conservatives are ready to let millions of Americans continue to rot away merely because of the prospect of more debt. Even though that debt is essentially intererst free.
But this isn’t really even that kind of choice. With a well thought out infrastructure program and a bit of aid to the states to hire cops and teacher we can have it both ways. The revenue stream resulting from this initial burst of new spending will easily be made up with huge increases in tax receipts as folks head back to work and spend money in the economy. All those “job creators” who are currently sitting on trillions of dollars will now find it useful to build new factories and hire more workers. That is when interest rates will rise. But Uncle Sam will only have to pay back the zero interest treasury bonds. What a bargain! We stimulate the economy, build a new and efficient infrastructure and all for 0% interest. What are we waiting for?
When you don’t have the money to pay back Mastercard for that operation, what happens?
When the U.S. does not have the money to pay back its obligations, what happens?
Here’s what happens – using Social Security as a prime example – The payroll tax rate was only 2 percent in 1937, the first year Social Security taxes were levied. It did not surpass 6 percent until 1962. Now the tax is 12.4 percent. And for the first time, a retiree today will likely get less back than what he put into the system.
That’s how a government that borrows against the future works. Eventually, you can’t meet the obligations.
Doug, your point is valid ONLY if you run deficits year after year. I agree that that is wrong. That is where Bush went wrong.
But Obama is not facing the same situation that Bush did. He’s dealing with a huge unemployment problem. Any attempt to balance the budget now would only make matters (including the deficit) worse. Granted the federal government does not following this prescription. They have tended to run deficits even when unemployment is low. That’s how we get into so much financial trouble. But IF we could run deficits when unemployment is high AND surpluses when it is low our economy would hum along quite nicely.
@bud – We’re talking about business and jobs, you’re the only one talking about dying children.
Using bud’s logic of interest free debt, we should all run down to the local car dealer and take out one of those 0.0% car loans… because it’s interest free.
That’s a lot of money to spend with payment based purely on speculation. What happens if we can’t pay it back, does the country file bankruptcy? What happens when China demands their money, do we just put the printing presses on overtime causing hyper-inflation? There’s an old joke which fits your idea of spending… “I can’t be out of money, I still have check blanks”.
There are 12.8 million unemployed right now. To drop that number by a million would cost about $50 billion dollars.
Why not cut foreign spending by that amount?
There is no plan for spending to NOT have signifiant deficits built in for at least the next decade.
You keep missing the point – if you are already way over your head in debt, taking on more debt doesn’t provide enough growth to cover the debt you already owe. Those trillions of dollars have to be paid back before you can get to your new debt.
Bush’s war combined with massive consumer debt built up following the Internet bubble created this environment. A fix has to include cutting spending.
“Using bud’s logic of interest free debt, we should all run down to the local car dealer and take out one of those 0.0% car loans… because it’s interest free.”
….and if we are in dire need of transportation to survive.
You can’t just take half of Bud’s logic for your analogy.
“You keep missing the point – if you are already way over your head in debt, taking on more debt doesn’t provide enough growth to cover the debt you already owe. Those trillions of dollars have to be paid back before you can get to your new debt.”
Seems to me the crux is on the type of growth you stimulate with your new debt. How can you know “taking on more debt doesn’t provide enough growth”. If we are talking about borrowing for jobs that update infrastructure, for example, updated infrastructure can then be the seed for much more growth in other areas – and that point, we don’t necessarily have to have the money to fund those jobs the next year (your perennial question) since once the infrastructure is updated those jobs won’t be needed anymore, yet the growth that the new infrastructure stimulated will potentially provide new employment for those workers.
You say we will be in dire straits if we borrow more – yet we are in pretty dire straits already. Don’t borrow more = definitely be in dire straits. Borrow more = maybe stimulate growth to get out of it.
Why is this even a question?
“Based on Scout’s and Mark’s past comments, it would have been very likely that both if confronted with it would get in the face of a “hate speech” offender and demand they “shut up” and take their vile somewhere else.”
FYI I rarely get in anybody’s face and demand anything. I would have found a far more non-confrontational way of dealing with it. Certainly if I was in a public place at an event where the purpose was to celebrate free speech, asking them to not share their opinion would not have been the method I chose. I might have tried to civilly express my disagreement with them; I might have tried to engage them in a conversation on why they felt that way and provide counter examples. Or I might have simply left their presence. But I am absolutely certain, I would not have gotten in their face and demanded anything.
@Scout – “….and if we are in dire need of transportation to survive.
You can’t just take half of Bud’s logic for your analogy.”
I see, you’re in agreement with bud that the only solution is to spend our way out of debt.
If I’m broke, and in need of transportation the last thing I’m going to do is go down to the dealership and buy something that’ll put me even further into debt. I’ll use other means of transportation, be that public, taxi, hitchhiking, rent as needed, etc.
@Scout – ” Borrow more = maybe stimulate growth to get out of it.”
Maybe not stimulate growth and put you even further into debt. That’s the other side of the coin.
What happens when the lender calls the note? How much federal land do we turn over to China when they want their money?
If we are already overspending revenues by large amounts, do you really think there is some magic bullet that the government can fire that will provide 5 or 10 times the return on investment?
The right solution is to cut spending significantly, raise some taxes, suffer the pain of resetting the economy to match reality, and then recovering over time. Doing more of the same just delays the inevitable and will make the downside risk even greater.
Do you have any real world examples of cases where a person or company was deep in debt and then took on even more debt to save itself? Normally when an entity reaches that point, it goes through restructuring/bancruptcy first – shedding jobs, giving creditors pennies on the dollar, selling assets.
The U.S. economy is like Sears/K-Mart right now.
The United States is not Sears/K-Mart. That is an absurd statement.
Everyone needs to stop whining and start lifting. That’s the American way.
I think the US economy is more like Costco than Sears/K-Mart… because at Costco you can return anything years later and get a full refund. That television you bought back in 1980, take it back and trade it in on a 2012 model. Don’t worry about who eats the costs of the 2012 model, it doesn’t matter because you’re getting a new television for free.
“I see, you’re in agreement with bud that the only solution is to spend our way out of debt.”
Well I didn’t say that, at least not in the post you were referencing, but don’t let what a person actually says keep you from drawing whatever conclusions you like. Whether I agree with Bud or not, I can understand what he is saying and recognize when it is distorted – which is what I was pointing out.
“If I’m broke, and in need of transportation the last thing I’m going to do is go down to the dealership and buy something that’ll put me even further into debt. I’ll use other means of transportation, be that public, taxi, hitchhiking, rent as needed, etc.”
Then it sounds to me like you and Bud would be in agreement, because if you have those alternate modes of transportation available to you, then you don’t meet the criteria of being “in dire need of transportation”, in which case nobody would recommend you run down to the dealership no matter what the interest rate is.
I’m pretty sure we could go back and forth indefinitely but I’m not sure it would further the conversation.
1) The national debt
The national debt is obscenely high, yes. And it seems to be even higher when presented as a percentage of GDP because … GDP is lower nowadays than it ought to be. But, and this is crucially important, our national debt is in dollars, which means that we could print our way out of it tomorrow. Of course we won’t do anything of the kind. The main reason I’m pointing this out is to say that your analogy to Sears/Kmart is (as Mark Stewart said) absurd.
2) The US bond market
As bud has said, our US government can borrow money for nothing. People are thrilled to by US bonds (bonds that are backed by US currency) for nothing.
3) Business and Growth I
Business takes money and turns it into more money. Obviously, this is FAN-TAS-TIC!. The government is kind of like a real estate agent, who makes money when buyers and sellers transact. More transactions means more money for the government, and less transactions is the situation we’re in now.
4) Unemployment and Infrastructure
The analogy to use is “it’s winter on the family farm” not “families should tighten their belts.” Government should spend money now, when corporations aren’t, becuse infrastructure projects are cheaper now and help businesses work their magic later, when they’re ready. Businesses are not ready now, because there’s no demand. If I’m paying someone anyway (unemployment), I’d rather (and they’d rather!!) have them work (building bridges, etc.).
5) Business and Growth II
OK, when you buy a house and lock in an obscenely low interest rate over a long term, what happens? Your payment seems very large for a few years but then slowly (because your income grows substantially while your payment remains fixed) this payment that initially seemed large becomes (and seems) small. When we grow our US economy, we will grow (Hoo-ah) our way up so that our debt that seems large now will seem small later.
“If we are already overspending revenues by large amounts, do you really think there is some magic bullet that the government can fire that will provide 5 or 10 times the return on investment?”
I really don’t know, Doug, but I think we should at least be open to the possibility. I think we should be considering all options instead of rejecting things out of hand without even thinking about them.
I’m not good with specific examples and I’m not saying this is the answer – just saying we have to consider everything. I know that Paul Krugman would say that pre-WW2 military spending pulled us out of the great depression – but I don’t know enough really to know if that is sound – I suspect you wouldn’t agree. I know that he also would say that the course you recommend (“The right solution is to cut spending significantly, raise some taxes, suffer the pain of resetting the economy to match reality, and then recovering over time.”) is what they are trying in Europe right now and it is not working.
I also wonder if comparing the economics of countries and corporations is sound.
But I don’t really know. I’m just saying we have to consider everything.
Yes, borrowing should always be approached with skepticism. Even when the cost is free (0%). One way that our government could borrow less is for it to raise revenues.
The way to raise the most revenues with the least damage to our economy is to return to Clinton-era tax brackets for the highest remunerated and Bush-era tax brackets for the lowest remunerated.
People who receive the highest remunerations suffer far less marginal disincentives to work than people who receive the smallest remunerations. (See Megan McCardle’s post “When It Comes to Taxes on the Poor, the Supply Siders Are Right” at The Atlantic and also Paul Krugman’s post “Whose Incentives?” at his blog at NYTimes.com.)
@Scout – Your right, as long as it’s other peoples money being spent, you and bud won’t complain. But as soon as that hand reaches for your pocket you’ll push it away.
The real job creators are the middle class. See the National Jornal for info about it in the “Too Hot for TED: Income Inequality” talk.
The U.S. economy is like Sears/K-Mart right now.
That is absolutely false. The U.S. economy is unique in that it can and does serve as the soul entity that can be used to impact the economy at large. It has many tools at it’s disposal to do so. It can reduce interest rates through Fed policy, adjust spending and taxes to reflect the needs of the nation. Plus it has the power to set tariff rates and even foreign banks through the bully pulpit. It can even use the military (although I would be opposed in most instance to do so). So to suggest the US economy is in any way, shape or form the same as K-Mart is simply false.
Second sentence should be: The US government, not the US economy ….
If the government prints dollars to cover the debt, what happens to the value of the dollars already out there?
If it’s that simple, why doesn’t the Treasury print one $10 trillion dollar bill and pay off the debt?
The absurd thinking is the idea that when you are deep in debt with no plans to begin cutting that debt any time in the next decade, that the right idea is to go even deeper into debt to get you out of the hole.
I’m not against funding infrastructure. Why can’t that funding come from existing revenues being spent on non-essential programs?
Instead of more debt, why not look prioritizing spending? Do we need another multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier instead of roads?
Do we need the TSA more than we need schools? Do we need the IRS more than we need investment in technology and energy?
The problem with government is that the lack of accountability allows for inefficient spending that never ends. Once the funding starts, the results don’t matter.
As I said earlier, taxes need to be raised. But only if the spending is cut as well. That’s how you get out of a hole. Congress has no track record for spending only what they take in.
Whatever revenue increases are put in place will be spent and more.
Steven, what makes you say something like that? I mean, really — why do you assume that the people proposing something don’t want to pay their share?
Is it because that’s the way YOU think? Let’s hope not. Because that’s a pretty lousy way of approaching citizenship…
So all those tools the government has at its disposal – how’s that working out? The government creates bubbles in the economy with its attempts to rein in the free market. If you like booms and busts, the Fed is your hero.
To what Doug just said: “As I said earlier, taxes need to be raised. But only if the spending is cut as well.”
Sounds like a deal to me. But you’re going to have a selling job getting Eric Cantor and his crowd to go along. You might want to start with the five GOP House members from SC, since they are in full two-year-old, hold-their-breath-until-they-turn-blue mode — only cuts, not tax increases.
Brad, because they all but state that they’re for spending the money as long as they don’t have to pay for it.
Hey I’m just stating what I’m reading here and seeing on the news. They support spending, but scream when their taxes are increased. When you’re broke, you don’t go on spending sprees… I don’t know why you can’t understand this concept. This country is way past broke, we’re at the point where we’d happy if someone upgraded us to broke.
Steven’s question is fair. It’s very easy to push the responsibility for fixing the economy onto the people who are already paying the bulk of the taxes.
How much more would you, bud, Scout, Michael, and Mark personally accept as a reasonable tax increase today?
I’ll chip in an extra 2% of my income. Will you?
Brad are you willing to make cuts to some of the largest money sucking federally funded programs? I’m talking Medicaid, Medicare, welfare of every form, and other social programs?
I love your concrete analysis and willingness to debate. I agree that printing our way out of debt isn’t wise. I agree that shifting spending from less-essential to more-essential (such as from unnecessary defense spending to infrastructure spending) is a good idea. And I agree that we need more accountability and less waste in government spending. I share your concern that when the boom times come, our representatives in government won’t focus on the debt when they absolutely should.
Absolutely. I’m not even going back to see what we’re paying for. If Doug’s up for paying for it, I’m sure I will be.
And no, the question is NOT fair. It’s grossly insulting.
Steven says, “They support spending, but scream when their taxes are increased.” Really? When did any of the people here — the ones you’re addressing with this accusation “scream when their taxes were increased.” I don’t think I’ve seen any of these people even mildly complain about tax increases.
Doug – I’ll go 5%, if everybody’s goes up 5% and we see a 5% across the board cut of 5%. That’d be a net 10% increase.
If the US is broke, then why is the interest rate on US Government bonds (which are backed by our own currency, which we can just print, print, print) practically zero?
Brad – Do you read your blog? bud is all for the “rich” as he calls them paying in more than their fair share for every tax imaginable. But I don’t see him volunteering to have his share increased. That’s to be left to those who make more than he does.
Brad, who pays for borrowing and spending more money? How has the borrowing we’ve done over say the past 5-10 years worked out for us? I don’t recall a year in the past decade where the national debt decreased.
Steven, what are your plans for cutting “Medicaid, Medicare, welfare of every form, and other social programs?” So I can see whether I agree.
I notice you don’t mention Social Security specifically, although I guess you include that within “welfare of every form, and other social programs.”
That’s the only one I’ve studied with an eye to making solvent, and I know what I would do. It would involve both tax increase and cuts, and the program would still accomplish its mission and be solvent. (More on that in a separate post, when I get an hour to write it.)
Show me plans for doing the same with the other programs, and I’m with you.
Doug and SD2,
Your issue is with, as Brad said, Eric Cantor generally and with our nearly all of our US House Representatives specifically. President Obama wants to raise the top rate by less than 5%; Rep. Cantor et al are the vehement opposers, regardless of how much spending cuts Pres. Obama would include.
You know, if the country were a corporation we would have filed bankruptcy and had our assets liquidated by now.
Brad – 20% across the board budget cuts for all social programs would be a good start. Strict regulations on recipients with limits to what they can receive.
As far as Social Security, I view it as a retirement plan for those who have paid into the program. If you haven’t paid a dime in, you can’t take a dollar out. You get out what you put in.
Cruel or not, nature’s way of handling things is correct. Survival of the fittest. I’m tired of my tax dollars supporting the living slugs we have in this country who don’t contribute to anything positive to society but are the first to hold out their hands for everything they think they’re entitled to.
I sent you a video link a few weeks ago about the reporter outside the social services building, which was right next to the job service building. The people they interviewed were there to “get their check”, not to fill out a job application. I say screw ’em, let’s see how long it takes them to fend for themselves rather than relying on Uncle Sam.
The Social Security issue that Congress kicks down the road even today should have been addressed as Brad did with his Rotary contribution. SS should have been addressed 20 yrs ago. It wasn’t. But there is no reason not to start now.
Increase the absurdly low contribution cap (the best solution would be to remove it entirely and reset the rate much lower for all). Then increase the age to collect benefits one month each fiscal year. Yes, this will lead to more people obtaining disability payments early. That’s fine; they probably need them.
Then I would cancel the F-35 fighter program for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. And use half of that trillion dollars to reduce our national debt. If we are looking at China as our strategic foe, getting our financial house in order now is more important than staying 20 steps ahead of them militarily.
Yeah, but the F-35 is way cool.
Shouldn’t coolness be a factor?
Sorry. After a discussion of money goes on for a certain amount of time, I have trouble staying serious…
I’m busy writing ADCO stuff today, but I’m going to try to write my post about how to fix Social Security tomorrow. If I write it really fast, my attention span might be able to handle it.
South Carolina needs higher taxes. So, yeah, Steven, I will pay more in taxes – as soon as the Legislature repeals 388 and resets our tax base to a functional, rational three-legged stool.
Hoo-ah to that. I’m all for it. Comprehensive tax reform, baby!
Let’s figure out what it costs to provide the services SC needs, and pay for it in a rational manner for a change — not according to the squeaky, whiny wheel principle.
Mark Stewart is right on SS: abolish the contribution cap and reduce the rate.
I hope when you write about Social Security you separate it into two parts:
providing for widows & orphans (needs based), the disabled (need to fix the fraud and waste here), and the destitute.
giving back a guaranteed amount to those who paid in.
I’m fine with Mark’s proposal: Remove the max, drop the rate, and increase the age gradually.
My preference would be an option to pay X% (say 5%) for the widows, orphans, disabled and be done with it. Let me take care of my own retirement.
One other waste: the Social Security death benefit of $255 that goes to a surviving spouse. Eliminate that altogether. $255 isn’t going to make a difference and it’s just more bureaucracy to track.
You can have your 388 repeal but I want a repeal of the hospitality tax. All that is is a slush fund generator to reward well-connected entities.
“Let’s figure out what it costs to provide the services SC needs”
@Michael – Who sets those bond rates?
Are you saying that this country isn’t broke? Why then are we borrowing money from other countries to just be able to provide basic services or face government shutdowns every other year. Maybe we should just pay off our creditors to keep them off our back.
Our creditors are not on our back; it’s the exact opposite; they’re begging us to take on more loans becuase they know we’re good for it.
One problem with removing the cap and reducing the rate is you’re going to have a handful (bud) screaming about the billionaires getting $20,000 monthly SS checks (even though they likely paid in millions).
But reducing the maximum contribution would be a no brainer.
@Michael – So Greece isn’t asking for or hinting that we should consider repayment? And they’re willing to loan more money that they also don’t have. Maybe I should go borrow a credit card from someone who has just filed bankruptcy.
It’s not Greece lending the money. It’s Germany, and the other more solvent members of the Euro.
The charts at the bottom of the page are interesting.