The Big Graph

The NYT ran this graph yesterday, showing the cause of the debt we have and our piling up this century.

A number of thoughts:

First, several policies are placed entirely in the Bush column that should really be shared. Barack Obama owns the wars and the tax cuts now, having continued both. Obama supported TARP and has only expanded Medicare D.

I do think it’s a good illustration of which policies are driving the debt. I’ve been encountering way too many people who think the debt is being driven by stimulus spending or Obamacare. But these are dwarfed by the war and the tax cuts (so far). Still … it’s been 2.5 years. Obama has not stopped any of the policies driving the debt. Blaming Bush can only go so far.

I would also point out that the graph represent eight years of actual spending from Bush against eight years of assumed spending from Obama. But even now, there is huge resistance to cutting spending down to pre-stimulus levels, as all the budget projections assume will happen. Obamacare is supposed to cut spending; but most people are extremely skeptical. And there is no accounting in that tally for unexpected spending, such as from a major natural disaster.

We’ll see how it works out in reality. Bu remember — almost all projected budgets are optimistic.

Second, the biggest contributor to the debt they list is the Bush tax cuts, which currently have the fed a 15% of GDP, eight points below its spending and three points below Cut, Cap and Balance. Ed Morrissey tries very hard to argue that the tax cuts have actually increased revenues. To my mind, it doesn’t work. The tax cuts corresponded to the biggest drop in revenue since the end of World War II. After a brief “recovery”, driven mostly by the housing bubble, we fell back down to revenue levels close to what we were getting 15 years ago. I’m all in favor of keeping taxes low, but the Laffer Curve is not a line. And “starve the beast” never works. On the contrary, it makes the public more receptive to new spending because they are getting it at a discount.

Third, the NYT leaves off the biggest contributor to the debt, which is the economy. I’ll let you argue amongst yourselves who is to blame for that. I think there may be about two people in Washington who bear no responsibility.

Finally, I’m not sure what the point of this is. As I said on Twitter:

Once again, it’s not all Obama’s fault. And once again, the problem is the problem, however we got there.

What matters now is how we move forward. If we need higher taxes to pay for our commitments, we need higher taxes. We do not need higher taxes just because Bush cut them. If we need to cut spending, defense and entitlements are the place to start immaterial of who spent what on whom and why.

Democrats and Republicans don’t get their own separate economies. We’re all in his foxhole together. If Bush fucked things up beyond all recognition, Obama chose to become Presidet under those circumstances and has chosen to do nothing to right the ship so far. He hasn’t knocked as many holes in the hull, yes. But then again, he hasn’t had as much time to. If the Democrats had won in 2010, we might — God help us — be talking about Stimulus IV: the Search for More Debt. And that graph would be even more irrelevant.

How we got here is interesting in an academic and political sense. But right now, I’m interested in how we get out.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    The idiots at the NYT continue to pretend that tax cuts and not the fact these assholes spend more than they take in, and thus helping the talking points of the tax and spenders. If government had not spent more than they had, they wouldn’t have the problems we have now. When someone gets a pay cut, they don’t blame their lack of ability to pay for a spending spree on the fact that the company chose to pay more out in dividends to stock holders instead of paying them more. Not unless they wanted to be laughed at, that is.

    Are you a government employee, directly or indirectly, BTW Hal? It would explain your fixation on the need to keep feeding these junkies more drugs.

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  2. sahrab

    Hal, you like to drive home that Tax Cuts increased the Debt. The problem, your drawing an illogical conclusion.

    Tax Cuts have NOTHING to do with the increase to the Debt, spending is the ONLY mechanism that increases it.

    The Government withheld (taxed) less of the money it collects from the Citizenry. At the time we were in surplus. A little later, the Government increased the amount of spending, without budgeting adequately wheither enough funds were availalbe to cover the increased spending.

    The decreased taxes didnt increase the debt.

    Irregardless this doesnt matter, there is NOTHING to stop you from increaseing the amount of money YOU want to give the government. If you truly are against the tax cuts (this goes for everyone else who feels we dont pay enough taxes) impose your own tax burden and send the additional funds to the Government.

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  3. hist_ed

    One thing I don’t like about the graph are the words: “Iraq, Afghanistan War and Defense” They don’t break out the actual costs of military operations in those two wars with other defense increases.

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  4. Hal_10000 *

    I agree, in part. But the federal government cut taxes under the assumption that explosive .com revenues would continue. It also did not raise taxes once it started a war and expanded medicare. We’re talking about the same equation, just from different sides of the equal sign.

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  5. hist_ed

    Also, the stimulus timeframe is a little deceptive. Wasn’t that spending supposed to be front loaded? I know all the money hasn’t been spent but hasn’t most of it? Not too long ago the Dems were posturing like they wanted that level of spending to be the new normal, which would mean increasing it several times to cover the rest of the time period on the graph.

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  6. Dave D

    Uhh…..

    Bush’s biggest deficit before the 2008 stimulus was 400 billion, right?

    His tax cuts were implemented way before 2008, so those 400 bilion dollar deficits MUST include the net effects of his tax cuts, right?

    bHo’s deficits are predicted at 1.5 trillion+ for the forseeable future, UP from Bushes 400 billion and ON PAR WITH the two years of stimulus under Bush (2008-9) and bHo (2009-10), yet bHo’s TOTAL contirbution to the debt is less than 1.5 trillion total? How the hell can that be true?

    I guess Bush enacted trillions of extra spending in that lame duck period of his? Too funny/sad!

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  7. sahrab

    Also check the timeline. They credit Bush from 2002-2009, what about 2001?

    Before anyone (CM/KimPost) attempts to claim they are only giveing credit for the years that President enacted a Budget, they overlap Bush and Obama in 2009. If this graph was marginally honest they’d allow the same overlap for Bush and Clinton (2001)

    But then if you have an agenda you want to push forward, ignoring data that will weaken your point is the standard procedure.

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  8. Dave D

    One other thing that gnaws at me and is evident here:

    How come when they talk about CUTS, it’s always spread out over 10 years? i.e. “1.6 trillion dollars in savings” is really 160 billion per year over 10 years.

    OTOH, when they talk about revenue and deficits, it’s always annual, except above (since it is negative to Bush) where they appear to cost the effects (in a static manner, devoid of any effect on revenue or the economy, btw) of his tax cuts over a 15 year period.

    These linear-thinking simpleton libtards that create and buy into this crap simply amaze me! If tax cuts INCREASE revenue or are revenue-nuetral, they are still costed out by libtards at the full amount of the CUT.

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  9. Dave D

    I’m on a roll:

    If, say, unemployment goes of 5% during a presidents watch, shouldn’t the loss in revenue of all those lost income dollars AND the amount of unemployment paid to those people be included in the NYT numbers above? Wouldn’t that FLOOR the comparison between Bush and bHo?

    Also, I’m betting that at least HALF of the1.5 trillion for defense/wars is on bHo.

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  10. AlexInCT

    Wait a minute Hal. You are confusing me bigtime now. So your argument for why they need to be allowed to raise taxes now that they have decided to tack trillions in annual deficit spending on bullshit government expansion projects, is that the republicans, whom did the same but even when Pelosi was socking it to them after she took over the house in 2006 never came close to a trillion, didn’t raise taxes when they expanded Medicare and “started a war”? A war BTW that others brought to us I should remind you. Maybe you believe we should have surrendered and avoided the cost.

    WTF man? Are you not able to grasp that they could/should have budgeted accordingly, and that taxes where not necessary if they where willing to cut elsewhere? I get your point that you think republicans where irresponsible in increasing spending beyond income. I agree with it. I hated it when it happened and consider Bush not to be a conservative because he went along with it, if not outright promoted it. But I am flabbergasted how you keep blaming the tax cuts that kept our economy moving for that problem, and then, because you think they should have raised taxes to pay for the war – the one thing our constitution actually allowed them to levy taxes for, and spend money on, I grant you – and Medicare. My take is they where already taking far more than they should have been at that point, and they should have cut elsewhere. Not raised taxes under any circumstances.

    Here is the problem as I see it. Neither party is responsible enough to keep spending on par with revenue stream. There is after all no power and prestige in living within your means and having small government, and even republicans seem to be tempted by that devil. Giving them more revenue, without some real hard guarantees/direction on how those revenues are to be spent, deficit reduction only at this point IMO, as well as a legal obligation – one without loopholes for anything short of national emergencies and defense – to balance their budget and never spend more than they have, is insane. When they raise taxes and then keep spending at close to $2 trillion more than it was before these crooks took over about 3 years ago, and those cuts they promise a decade or more don’t come along, are you going to advocate we give them even more?

    You are basically going along with the crackhead that promises to clean his act up if you but just let him get another hit. You must have a personal stake in this to want to justify this insane shit.

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  11. mikedomi39

    Barack Obama owns the wars and the tax cuts now, having continued both.

    He tried to stop the Bush tax cuts. Republicans wouldnt let him.

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  12. AlexInCT

    That’s a very old trick from the left. It’s so they can lump everything they can think of, including veteran benefits and a slew of other barely defense related costs, and have people like Hal be able to claim that these wars are such a drain. As if it wasn’t money that already was going to need to be spent. In the mean time they have spent somewhere below $1.7 to $2 trillion a year for the last 3 years, on social bullshit that basically amounted to them robbing the tax payer to pay off their voting blocks, but that never factors into the equation as the reason why they are short of money. It’s the evil war and those damned tax cuts!

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  13. AlexInCT

    Leave it to Mike to speak up and make sure we know he is a moron. Saddam and the people that told him they would use the UN to prevent any actions are the ones that brought the war to Iraq. At lieast you where smart enough not to qualify that by pointing out that we went there to steal oil or because Bush had daddy issues.

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  14. sahrab

    So then, if you find the tax cuts that reprehensible, do your part and pay more in taxes than your legally obligated to.

    Until you do, dont bitch about the tax cuts

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  15. CM

    That’s illogical sahrab. It’s perfectly reasonable to pay the required amount of tax but also have an issue with the Bush tax cuts being continued.

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  16. sahrab

    No, its only illogical if your for Tax increases on everyone else.

    You (well not you, but a real citizen) has the ability to do their part, if they truly believe tax increases are necessary, to fullfill the burden they want imposed onto others.

    Not doing so, is hypocrisy.

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  17. CM

    Saddam and the people that told him they would use the UN to prevent any actions are the ones that brought the war to Iraq.

    Saddam invaded Iraq?

    At lieast you where smart enough not to qualify that by pointing out that we went there to steal oil or because Bush had daddy issues.

    Neither of those are required to have legitimate significant issues over that invasion. The fact that you don’t agree (because you’re simply incapable of acknowledging that any view other than your own could be valid) is irrelevant.

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  18. CM

    Rubbish. It’s not hypocrisy to believe that society should be structured slightly differently (or completely differently).

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  19. Miguelito

    I would only support tax increases, if a few things are done:
    1. There needs to be at least a $1 for $1 match in cuts.
    2. Everyone needs to pay taxes. This 1/2 the country doesn’t even pay any net federal income tax crap has to stop. You cannot simply tax the upper income earners and continue the class warfare. At the very least, the “refundable tax credits” crap that allows some to actually have a net gain in refunds must be stopped.

    Of course, keeping 1/2+ of the population happy by thinking that someone else is the one footing the bill is how so many politicians stay in power, so it’s not likely to happen.

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  20. sahrab

    And here come CM, not “understanding” (didnt take you to long)

    Not going to get into a CM Death Spiral with the concept, heres’ my final response to you on it.

    If you feel the taxe cuts were inapropriate, then dont benefit from them.

    doing so is hypocrisy

    If you feel taxes need to be increased, then prove it by increasing your own taxes

    not doing so is hypocrisy

    If you feel others should be taxed higher, yet not have to face an equal burden

    you are a hypocrite

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  21. CM

    And here come CM, not “understanding” (didnt take you to long)

    I never said any such thing.

    If you feel the taxe cuts were inapropriate, then dont benefit from them.

    doing so is hypocrisy

    No it isn’t.

    If you feel taxes need to be increased, then prove it by increasing your own taxes

    not doing so is hypocrisy

    No it isn’t.

    If you feel others should be taxed higher, yet not have to face an equal burden

    you are a hypocrite

    Doesn’t make sense. If they are taxed higher then they don’t face an equal burden.

    Anyway, none of this makes someone a hypocrite. Does disagreeing with those against the Iraq war make you a hypocrite if you didn’t subsequently fight in that war?

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  22. balthazar

    Ahh CM you NEVER disappoint, Again with the tired old “i dont understand” or purposefully misinterpreting meme. Its good to know that all is right with the world. Well your world that is.

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  23. CM

    Defending ideological stupidity again Balthazar? What a surprise! Yep, same old Balthazar. Adding precisely nothing of substance yet again.

    Hey, if you don’t like it, you can just do what JimK suggested and fuck off.

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  24. Hal_10000 *

    Exactly. This is what I mean by saying that the spending they pin on Bush already happened but what they pin on Obama is projected. Very optimisically, iMHO.

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  25. AlexInCT

    I have to admit that I thought, against my better judgement and with reservations, that while not perfect, the republicans had come up with a genius way to get the people at the low income end to finally feel like they where taken care off when they passed that bill that basically made 50% of Americans not only no longer pay taxes, but get money back from government. However now that I see how because they don’t have to pay squat and get money from others handed to them that they have lost all shame and simply demand more free shit, I want it gone. Freeloaders will never feel they are taking enough already from others, and always feel they are entitled becasue they have been told so. Fuck that.

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  26. AlexInCT

    No Mike, what Obama wanted wasn’t to stop the Bush tax cuts, he wanted to RAISE taxes on the people that create jobs. Of course, if we go by the members of the Obama administration’s own actions, that probably meant taxes on everyone but the demcorats, whom seem to feel they don’t need to pay the very taxes they shaft us with. And the plan from these collectivists seems to be to do whatever does most damage to the economy, whether on purpose or simply because of the st00pid. I am now convinced of it after the last 3 years.

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  27. CM

    that basically made 50% of Americans not only no longer pay taxes, but get money back from government.

    That’s a fallacy, as we’ve discussed previously.

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  28. CM

    BTW the could the person who is trying to reset my password please stop because every time you try to do it I get an email. I’m getting sick of deleting them.

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  29. Mississippi Yankee

    Are you a government employee, directly or indirectly, BTW Hal? It would explain your fixation on the need to keep feeding these junkies more drugs.

    I’ve wondered that for quite some time Alex. Glad you asked it. I’m sure it will be answered in 3…2…1

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  30. Biggie G

    I’ve always wondered about that. It seems like they are double counting. Also, how can 1 trillion in projected HCR only account for 152 billion in deficit additions. If we were running a deficit already, any new spending would add to it completely with no additions in revenue.

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  31. Rann

    Yes, there is a point, and if you weren’t so busy being butthurt you might see it.

    Just because you got smacked on the nose with a rolled up newspaper because you wouldn’t stop piddling on the carpet doesn’t mean we’ve stuck you in a box on the side of the highway.

    Even discounting the fact that you are still a member of this site with the right to speak your mind, someone is attempting to abuse the site features to either silence or harrass you. (Insert “it’s understandable why this happens” jab here.) They are abusing the site in an attempt to abuse you, and while you can be annoying enough that it’s tempting to excuse the one, the other abuse would still remain.

    Both are wrong and the perp needs to be called on it at the least.

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  32. CM

    Now I’m just interested to see how far they’ll (or you’ll) take it. Looks like they’re done for today. Let’s see if they can beat 52 tomorrow.

    Just because you got smacked on the nose with a rolled up newspaper because you wouldn’t stop piddling on the carpet doesn’t mean we’ve stuck you in a box on the side of the highway.

    LOL. That’s pretty good.
    Actually I took that as an invitation to tell people to fuck right off if they start bitching and whining about the usual lame-ass shit. And that’s what I’ll do from now on. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Guess I had some weird idea that disagreements could be discussed civilly. How naive was I huh.
    No worries. Onwards and up…um…downwards.

    Even discounting the fact that you are still a member of this site with the right to speak your mind, someone is attempting to abuse the site features to either silence or harrass you. (Insert “it’s understandable why this happens” jab here.) They are abusing the site in an attempt to abuse you, and while you can be annoying enough that it’s tempting to excuse the one, the other abuse would still remain.

    Both are wrong and the perp needs to be called on it at the least.

    Gosh, so gracious. Shall we dance?

    Actually it IS completely understandable. I don’t condone it, but it’s understandale. There are some posters who obviously dislike me intensely, and who wouldn’t think flaming an email account was childish and pathetic. I can narrow it down some, but I’m still left with a handful.

    The good news for you all is that I’m away for a few days now. So make sure you enjoy yourselves. Knock down some hippys, feed that tire-fire, and see if you can’t run some of them Muslims out of town.

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  33. InsipiD

    Right, and I bet their IP is logged and he’ll know who did it. Always the #1 reason not to mess with things on the internet: your IP is logged, and somebody knows how to find out who it was.

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  34. HARLEY

    oh, well still sales taxes account of only a small percentage of their cost of purchase.
    these people still get back thousands, every year. They think , that they still pay no taxes, sales tax on non-big ticker items, do not register wth them.
    so, we re back to , they do not pay taxes, when its all said and done.

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  35. Rann

    I’m just as annoying as you are.

    You’re really not.

    50 attempts thus far.

    Okay, is anyone else having this happen to them? That is either a really dedicated troll or we’ve got some sort of site error or general attack going on.

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  36. Kimpost

    If I had to guess, I would think that’s it’s (or was, if it doesn’t happen again), someone anonymous who’s just lurking around. I don’t think anyone of us regulars would try.

    If it happens again, I’ll drop JimK a message, so he can check the logs.

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  37. JimK

    I think it’s a previous member that drove us ALL batshit crazy. My email has been blowing up with crazy, disjointed letters coming from multiple accounts, but all in the same style and referencing the same shit.

    Not sure how to stop this person though. the IPs change, and I can’t ban whole huge chunks of the internet. I’d like to say they’ll get bored and go away, but it’s been what, 6-7 years?

    Sorry, folks. When I had all the security stuff on the site, everyone complained that they couldn’t get in, register, etc. Convenience has a price, and sometimes it;s dealing with persistent trolls in their manic phases.

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  38. Dick Fitzwell

    Let me preface this post by saying that I think that Bush should bear a lot of the blame for the situation we’re in. But I think that throwing tax cuts in with the costs is dishonest at best.

    I hear people say all of the time, “Yeah but he slashed revenues and didn’t match that with a cut in spending, therefore the tax cuts drove us deeper into debt.” This kind of faulty logic is being repeated by politicians, “news” programs, bloggers….(hey take it easy).

    Even if revenues decreased under the Bush tax cuts, viewing that as a cost is wrong. If my boss cuts my pay and I go deeper into debt it’s because I spent more money than I earned. My pay cut does not cost me anything. DIRECTV’s premium package costs me money. Eating at Ruth’s Chris costs me money. A third vehicle costs me money. Bringing in less revenue is not an outlay. If you think differently, you are mixing columns in your ledger.

    Let’s say that I finally paid off my mortgage last month and I am relatively debt free (taking into account the things I have already budgeted for and can afford, i.e., utilities, TV, cell phones, insurance…) I no longer have to pay for a house or cars or the kids’ tuition. Then my boss tells me that my monthly salary will be cut by the exact same amount that I was paying on my mortgage.

    How long will it take for me to go into debt?

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  39. mikedomi39

    Saddam and the people that told him they would use the UN to prevent any actions are the ones that brought the war to Iraq.

    I would go with the people who actually dropped the bombs on iraq are the ones who brought it. I really don’t want to go thru this again, but there was almost no link from Iraq to 9/11 at all.

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  40. mikedomi39

    No Mike, what Obama wanted wasn’t to stop the Bush tax cuts, he wanted to RAISE taxes on the people that create jobs. Of course, if we go by the members of the Obama administration’s own actions, that probably meant taxes on everyone but the demcorats

    Those who create jobs? Well, we did NOT raise taxes on them, and I still dont see that many more jobs from these supposed job creators. Obama did what the R’s wanted him to do, it hasn’t worked yet, but the problem is still all his fault.

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  41. mikedomi39

    1. There needs to be at least a $1 for $1 match in cuts.
    2. Everyone needs to pay taxes.

    Agreed. You need to have some skin in the game.

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  42. balthazar

    No it isnt a fallacy, your IDIOCY on this subject knows no bounds. it is a FACT that 48% of the us does NOT PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. Yes they DO pay other taxes but the DO NOT pay Fed income tax.

    Please shut the fuck up since your too fucking stupid to get that thru your fucking skull.

    AGAIN THEY SAID FEDERAL INCOME TAX YOU DUMB FUCK.

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  43. hist_ed

    I think it’s a previous member that drove us ALL batshit crazy.

    He can’t fling his poo directly anymore so he has to resort to indirect poo fllinging?

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  44. hist_ed

    I have to say I agree with CM. Being in favor of raising taxes but not volunteering to send in extra money is not hypocrisy.

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  45. hist_ed

    Whenever this little nugget has been dicsussed, responsible people always qualify with the words “income taxes” or federal taxes.

    There are no federal sales taxes (or property taxes). This also excludes social security “contributions” which hit the poor and middle class much harder than the wealthy (all to pay checks to the wealthiest age group in America-how progressive). Of course, we were told by FDR and every democrat since then that SS is a independent system and that the money they take are not taxes, so excluding them seems fair.

    And years ago I was one of those people. When I was a full time student and then suddenly a full time dad (my ex went bat shit crazy and I had to rescue our daughter), I made very little money. I had a couple of years with income under 10k, zero income taxes and every April the federal government cut me a check (about $2500 if I remember correctly).

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  46. Poosh

    but there was almost no link from Iraq to 9/11 at all.

    … and? … Bush etc never said there was a link. So that’s really a meaningless statement.

    QUE QUOTES TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT of Bush and Rice! YAWN.

    Apart from a totalistic grand narrative link, where tyrannies and illiberal countries breed terrorists. Which is true. And it is what Bush etc argued.

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  47. hist_ed

    Let’s not forget that we’re likely talking about one idiot here, not with conservative or libertarian thought.

    But what about the environment he is in? People need to be careful what they say. Rhetorical attacks on libertarian websites (and within libertarian websites) can lead to unforeseen consequences. Those that engage in such rhetoric must admit that they are partially responsible for the actions their words ignite.

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  48. Poosh

    Surely CM is consistent in that he wants the more hard-working, gifted, and richer to be taxed more, whereas because he earns less, he doesn’t see why he should pay more than the rich?

    Were he RICH, however, and moaning about the tax cuts being extended, and he DID NOT pay extra taxes of his own free will, THEN he would be a hypocrite.

    But if he isn’t ‘rich’, him wishes to pay less tax than the rich is consistent.

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  49. Poosh

    Claiming a “tax cut” is a ‘cost’ to the economy is a classic piece of manipulation and allows certain sorts to make inroads into dominating certain elements of the structure of language, for their own political ends; the invocation of tax cuts being a cost, is sinister and should be guarded against. This tactic is clever, in that it is intuitive to some. “That rich banker is paying less in taxes than he did last year, his tax cut is costing the economy!” Of course, it’s designed to cement the disgusting notion that the government ‘has money’ whilst trying to push out of our perceptual horizons the truth: that governments do not generate money, they only take it, via force/violence (tax) from others. Obviously the truth-value of the concept of a ‘tax cut for the rich’ is actually that the government is taking less of the money they earned, than before – which was and still is disproportional (unequal) to the rest of the populace.

    It ‘costs’ the economy in that the government is forced to look elsewhere to fund X and Y programs/services which do not generate money themselves. But the deliberate implication, false obviously, is that the rich who receive tax breaks are somehow taking money away from the collective: where they are really just being forced to give less of the fruit of their labour to a collective.

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  50. AlexInCT

    Those who create jobs? Well, we did NOT raise taxes on them, and I still dont see that many more jobs from these supposed job creators

    You must have missed all the other shit they have been up to then Mike. The outright attacks on the private sector – the exception being the mega corps like GE that hand democrats oodles of money and own propaganda outlets like PMSNBC and NBC – and the hostility of these government types towards anyone that thinks their business should make them a profit is disgusting and not even concealed anymore. Small business owners are looked at and treated like ATMs for these government types, whom feel they should control everything. Also, don’t forget the elephant in the China shop – Obamacare – which all by itself has caused practically every small businessman I know and talk to, to conclude they are better off not hiring new people, or even closing shop and retiring, because they simply fear Obamacare coupled with Obamamania to tax them more, are going to make their enterprises not worth it.

    The job problem right now is that these idiots are not even smart enough to grasp the concept that government can never create jobs that produce wealth, but it sure as hell can impede anyone else trying to do that. And the current bunch of collectivist that have wasted trillions larding their buddies, donors, lobbyists, and campaign coffers while focusing solely on keeping their public sector voting block safe from the economic implosion the idiotic lending policies they forced by law on lenders have created, at the expense of the private sector employees and businesses, are hell bent on creating a command economy where government is the sole institution allowed to pick the winners and the losers. Fuck them and that.

    Here is a news flash: I am certain that if they had raised taxes on these people that we wouldn’t have unemployment hovering in the high nines (more like 22% if you include everyone looking for real work, not part time stuff, or not even bothering to look anymore) but over 10%. So was Obama. That’s why he backed off his crazy idea then before the 2010 elections, and why he is so hell bent in getting that passed now, because he hopes people will forget he did that before the 2012 elections.

    You envious types just don’t know better.

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  51. Dave D

    This also excludes social security “contributions” which hit the poor and middle class much harder than the wealthy (all to pay checks to the wealthiest age group in America-how progressive).

    Uhhh…..SS was not designed to be an equitable redistribution for all. It is a government reitrement plan that includes EVERYONE. Equal pay in (beyond a certain minimum wage) for equal benfits. Progressives LOVE the word “equal”. Get a clue……

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  52. CM

    Well for a start I’m not sure being rich means you necessarily work harder than anyone lese. Or that you’re ‘gifted’.

    But anyway, I generally favour a progressive tax system.

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  53. CM

    Who are you arguing against? I never said it was anything different. But, as usual, when you start to look into the detail of the talking point it sure loses a lot of steam, as you’ll remember well from the linked discussion.
    And many people want to try and say “50% of us don’t pay tax” which just isn’t true.
    http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2010/apr/28/allen-west/west-says-nearly-half-americans-pay-no-taxes/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

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  54. Dave D

    But anyway, I generally favour a progressive tax system.

    The bottom 50% pay NO federal taxes. How can you get more “progressive” than that? Sheesh……

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  55. mikedomi39

    Apart from a totalistic grand narrative link, where tyrannies and illiberal countries breed terrorists. Which is true. And it is what Bush etc argued.

    Thats the justification? Wow thats weak. Then why didnt we invade Iran instead of iraq? The theocracy there breeds terrorists, and at a much higher rate than saddam was in 2003.

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  56. mikedomi39

    “That rich banker is paying less in taxes than he did last year, his tax cut is costing the economy!”

    I dont think they are saying that. I think they are saying that the lower taxes mean less revenue.

    that governments do not generate money, they only take it, via force/violence (tax) from others

    First…You equate taxes to violence? thats a stretch. Second, smart government spending can generate money for the private sector. NASA in the 60’s, for example.

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  57. mikedomi39

    Here is a news flash: I am certain that if they had raised taxes on these people that we wouldn’t have unemployment hovering in the high nines…but over 10%. So was Obama.

    Even though he said the reason he gave in to the R’s was that he was worried who would be hurt when the unemployment benefits were’nt renewed? And also, do you think the amount of an increase they were talking about (I beleive it was 3 percent) would have that much of an impact?

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  58. JimK

    First…You equate taxes to violence? thats a stretch.

    Really? You clearly haven’t thought about this. What happens when you don’t pay your taxes?

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  59. mikedomi39

    I thought about it for about 10 seconds which is as long as i had to. If I dont pay my taxes, no one comes and burns my house down or breaks my legs.

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  60. JimK

    Well now you’re being deliberately assholish and obtuse.

    You know goddamned well you get charged with a crime. And when you decide not to show in court, a warrant is issued. And if you decide to ignore that, men with guns from the government come and get you, and when you get convicted and go to prison, other men with guns keep you there.

    Do I believe that all government is conducted at gunpoint, as hardcore libertarians often say? No. But criminal enforcement is just that. You don’t pay your taxes, and the government will do a form of violence upon our person. In some cases, literal violence.

    Second, smart government spending can generate money for the private sector

    Forgot to mention: I totally agree with this, and would even use the same example. NASA used to return big money to the country for every dollar invested.

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  61. mikedomi39

    You don’t pay your taxes, and the government will do a form of violence upon our person.

    Jim…I am NOT trying to be deliberatly assholish at all…especially when talking to the person who runs this site. I love coming here. When someone uses the word “violence”, I dont think of being charged with a crime. I think of some form of physical assault. Also, I like paying my taxes. I get some good things from doing that. There is a price to pay for being a citizen. I can deal with it.

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  62. Poosh

    I am not placing any judgement upon it, or saying violence should not be used. But YES, obviously, tax – in fact almost ANY government action – is wrapped up in violence (or even a form of domination if you want to go that far).

    As Jim pointed out, in a much better way (which begs the question why I should attempt to change your mind, as it might not be possible), if you don’t pay your taxes etc etc, violence WILL be applied to you, at some point down the line. What do you think a prison is? it’s the act of stripping you of your freedom and taking you – by force (violence) – into somewhere you do not wish to be. It barely matters if you suffer damage to your flesh, violence and those who have MONOPOLY on legal violence are directing you.

    It doesn’t even have to be a tax issue. The law in the UK is that you must wear your seat-belt or you are fined. The end game of that law (a good law I think) is that if you don’t pay your fine, at some point violence might be used against you, if you resist, or try to attack or outrun those who come to take you to jail, for example. Obviously that is a very unlikely situation for not wearing your seat belt but I hope you can see how violence is an underlying force in something as innocent as a seat-belt law.

    Violence, force, the threat thereof is implicit in most things related to government. As Jim said, THINK about it. Think about the implications of everything. Being charged with a crime IS an act of violence (not illegal violence). The party that has been given the monopoly of use of violence in exercising the legal right to force, violence, punishment, what ever you like are the police. How the police are directed is tied to the democratic process etc.

    Even a vote, if you want to go this far, has an underlying suggestion of violence. Your intuition tells you that is silly – but again, think about it. You’re saying that you think the party you choose should pass certain kinds of laws, and those laws must be enforced. How are laws enforced? What happens if someone breaks one of the laws that the party you voted for passed, with your consent? Down the line, if someone persists in resistance, legal use of force/violence will be used on them. This is about implications, and this is why the act of voting, at least I believe, should be seen as something to not take lightly, as you are asked – whether you might not know it – to use power and violence over others who do not agree with you.

    The entire democratic process is entwined with the logic that this is preferable to us simply returning to a state of nature where ‘might is right’ and people get killed. This is analogous to Hobbe’s scenario where the people of old transferred the monopoly of violence to a sovereign to take them out of the bloody state of nature.

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  63. HARLEY

    MIKE have you ever seen a IRS SWAT team in action… you know the ones the kick in doors armed with full autos and shortbarrel shotguns?

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  64. balthazar

    Because you INSIST on lumping other taxes in with your argument that 48% of the US doesnt pay fed income tax. Noone said they dont pay OTHER fed taxes, we said they dont pay FEDERAL INCOME TAX.

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  65. Rann

    Actually, just to expand on all that, government is by its very nature a form of violence. It is, in any form, essentially saying “We pay the people that have the weapons and if you break the laws we’ve made we’ll use them if we deem it necessary.”

    Now. This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are a lot of people that, by nature, will only not do horrible things if they’re sufficiently afraid of getting in trouble for it, whether it’s via law or religion or just public shame. We know this, even a public school history class is enough to give you a sense of how humans will behave when there is little to no organized law enforcement. There really does need to be someone in the room willing to smack the kid who’s bullying the other kids if just saying “No” doesn’t work, and to be big enough and strong enough to get away with it.

    So obviously we will tolerate a certain amount of this “organized and waiting violence”, because even though we trade at least that much freedom for that much security, it allows us more freedoms by significantly decreasing the worry that we’ll be killed just for speaking our mind or being unpopular or just being there, among other things. The problem begins to come when the big guy who’s supposed to be keeping an eye on the bully starts getting REALLY big and starts seeing everyone as a potential bully, and starts thinking, hey, to prevent that, I’ll start getting things really organized around here, tell them where to sit, what to do, what the rules are…

    Similarly, taxation is theft. Simple, to the point, let’s not quibble or pretty it up, the government takes this money from you whether you want to give it or not, whether you use the services it provides or not, and if you don’t we go back to the whole “they can make you” thing. We will, however, tolerate a certain amount of theft. We just will, because we understand that there are certain things that need to be done and the government can’t do them for free. So it’s theft, but it’s a semi-consensual form of theft, so oh well. The problem comes when the government says “Hey, a dime isn’t really enough for what I’m doing. I’m going to start needing a quarter. Wait, make that a dollar. Wait, just go ahead and give me your lunch money.” And then you see him heading into the arcade down the street…

    So, here we are, the government’s turned into a bigger bully than the bullies used to be, but he expects you to be grateful and you’re the bad kid if you stand up to him. And oh, damnedest little thing… now that the government’s busy doing accounting on all the money he took from you and eyeing you and your friends to make sure that you follow the rules, somehow he just doesn’t seem to have as much time for fending off bullies.

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  66. Monolith

    Not really surprising though. Which is depressing in itself. Pretty sad advert for conservative/liberatarian thought.

    This is such a douche bag statement. Not really surprising though. Why the fuck are you even here then? And no, it wasn’t me flaming your account, which was a douche bag act to begin with. But fuck man, what do you think happens when a conservative/libertarian posts on PuffPo or Media Matters? Don’t be an asshole. That quote reminds me of how chicks argue.

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  67. AlexInCT

    Even though he said the reason he gave in to the R’s was that he was worried who would be hurt when the unemployment benefits were’nt renewed?

    Did you just ask me to believe a pathological liar that’s constantly in campaign mode and not bothered with facts’ lies? I sure hope not.

    Mike, maybe Obama should have worried about those unemployment benefits when the democrats where not writing the spending bill – the one we haven’t been able to get 2 years going now back before the 2010 elections. Or maybe when they where ignoring the economic situation and the lousy job market while pushing government healthcare takeover, Cap & Tax, and other such insane god damned collectivist schemes we have no money to pay for or that stand to siphon a huge chunk of the private sector GDP yet again. Heck, maybe he should have worried about that when he funneled close to a trillion to democrat operatives, lobbyists, friends, donors, their voter block working for government, and their own campaign coffers, under the guise of a “stimulus”.

    Fuck, the man had hundreds of opportunities to not need to raise taxes, and yet, every fucking turn, he and the demcorats did exactly what would make them have to raise taxes to cover the insane new wasteful spending. Spare me the faux concerns.

    And also, do you think the amount of an increase they were talking about (I beleive it was 3 percent) would have that much of an impact?

    The amount wouldn’t have mattered a bit, because the end result would have been to spook investors. Today it was your 3% number, tomorrow it will be some more. It’s about the fact that taxes would start going up again. After all, once the president was set to just boost spending then boost taxes, why would anyone then deny him the next time he came calling for more?

    BTW, I have a problem making people that already pay north of 70% of the tax burden (anyone making over $250K, Obama’s own line in the sand, one I am sure he is going to violate sooner than later) being asked to pay a penny more until they make people that currently don’t pay federal taxes pay more and they guarantee by law that government will live with a balanced budget. Until then fuck them.

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  68. balthazar

    Its still shitty, as the largest share of the debt under bush is the fucking tax cuts. Thats horseshit. How about listing the fucking programs that use that money instead. Listing a tax cut as a deficit is dishonest as all hell.

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  69. Kimpost

    I honestly don’t quite get what some of you are saying. A budget still has positives and negatives, doesn’t it? Tax cuts need to be financed, either by spending cuts or by growth. If you advocate one without the other, you need to borrow money. I. e. you build deficit.

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  70. balthazar

    Incorrect, you have to finance SPENDING. Tax cuts do not need to be financed. If you take in LESS you spend LESS.

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  71. Kimpost

    OK, so it’s just about semantics then… Would you have liked that particular part of the graph better if the Bush tax cuts were called “cost because of a failure of cutting spending, while reducing revenue”?

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  72. balthazar

    I would perfer that they put actual programs that werent paid for yes. Then people could see what the government is actually spending the money on yes.

    And its not semantics. Its the blatant idea that its the governments money first, and the people who actually earn it second mentality, that gets us into these problems in the first place.

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  73. AlexInCT

    Then why didnt we invade Iran instead of iraq? The theocracy there breeds terrorists, and at a much higher rate than saddam was in 2003.

    At the time I thought we should have done both, Mike. I think they didn’t because it was a tough sell. You do remember the UN – especially the Frenchies and Ruskies that had sweetheart deals with Saddam for that oil we where going there to steal – and the left’s reaction to the WH pointing out the need to deal with Iraq, whom had been completely and utterly ignoring the condistions of the 1991 cease fire agreement, so you can imagine how they would have gone bonkers if they had picker Iran, or both, to go after.

    If they had however, I bet you all that trouble in Iraq would have been a lot shorter as nobody from next door would have been arming and encouraging the murderers that fought for so long. Instead by dealing with Saddam and shifting Iraq into our columsn, they hoped to just put Iran in a squeeze box, with troops in A-stan on one side and tropps in Iraq on the other, and so far that has had very mixed results. For one it has made the Iranians want a nukeeven more, so they could disregard the geopolitical consequence of this boxing effect, and double down on their efforts to light the entire world on fire.

    Looks like team Obama sure as hell liked the strategy though, cause they are keeping at it.

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  74. AlexInCT

    Well for a start I’m not sure being rich means you necessarily work harder than anyone lese. Or that you’re ‘gifted’.

    Ah Ok, so you are envious of the people that just get the luck of the birth draw in life and are born to people that did work hard to get rich? Or are you talking about crooks like Al Gore that created a big lie to enrich themselves?

    Man you collectivists need to worry less about what other people have and why, and worry more about working to make your own wealth.

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  75. Rann

    OK, so it’s just about semantics then…

    No, it’s about a core difference in perception.

    The idea that spending needs to be financed comes from the idea that when the citizen makes money, that money belongs to them, and any money taken from that by the government is a necessary evil.

    The idea that tax cuts need to be financed comes from the idea that when the citizen makes money, that money belongs to the government, who can take as much or as little as they deem necessary.

    That really is it, ultimately. The money the government takes in taxes is not supposed to belong to them in the first place. In theory we accept them taking it because they are supposed to give us back necessary services in return. So yes, if all the government was doing was building roads and maintaining an army, then maybe, MAYBE you’d have a point that tax cuts would have to be financed somehow, because we need roads and an army. But when they’re taking enough of our money to pay people to have shrimp run on treadmills, to find out whether people like to have sex, and the feasibility of weaving cheese into shirts, then no, tax cuts do not need to be financed, because they’re clearly taking way too much of our fucking money in the first place.

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  76. Dick Fitzwell

    I still find graphs like this disingenuous not only because I believe that that tax cuts do not add to debt, but because there are no mentions of Obama’s extension of the tax cuts and how much of that “cost” from these cuts he is responsible for (though the WH graph does mention $250 billion). Same goes for the wars. If we were to spend another $3 trillion on these wars would you hold Bush responsible for that spending? If so, why? He can’t do anything about it now. The graph should list some spending from the tax cuts (*shudder*) and wars under Obama’s name.

    Look, if you want to go on about how Bush spent too much money you’ll get no argument from me. I would still like to hear a good argument on how letting the taxpayers keep more of their money actually costs them money.

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  77. AlexInCT

    No, it’s about a core difference in perception.

    The idea that spending needs to be financed comes from the idea that when the citizen makes money, that money belongs to them, and any money taken from that by the government is a necessary evil.

    The idea that tax cuts need to be financed comes from the idea that when the citizen makes money, that money belongs to the government, who can take as much or as little as they deem necessary.

    THIS! ^^

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  78. Kimpost

    That’s nice and all, but how should that difference manifest itself when it comes to budgetary discussions? A tax cut may be the right thing to do, but if it has a negative affect on revenue, then why shouldn’t it be counted? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

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  79. mikedomi39

    But YES, obviously, tax – in fact almost ANY government action – is wrapped up in violence (or even a form of domination if you want to go that far).

    Even a vote, if you want to go this far, has an underlying suggestion of violence. Your intuition tells you that is silly – but again, think about it. You’re saying that you think the party you choose should pass certain kinds of laws, and those laws must be enforced. How are laws enforced? What happens if someone breaks one of the laws that the party you voted for passed, with your consent? Down the line, if someone persists in resistance, legal use of force/violence will be used on them.

    Actually, just to expand on all that, government is by its very nature a form of violence. It is, in any form, essentially saying “We pay the people that have the weapons and if you break the laws we’ve made we’ll use them if we deem it necessary.”

    I apologize, but all of this sounds ridiculous to me. you are critizing how government (almost ALL forms of it) works. It alomost sounds like you are advocating for anarchy.

    You vote, a party (or parties) wins. they get to make the law. Thats how it works. There is no violence unless you break the law. And even that takse a few steps. I’m sorry but I don’t see how being charged with a crime is somehow an act of violence.

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  80. Poosh

    I think we both said it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    I think you are finding this difficult because you are seeing violence as blatant open, ME HULK SMASH! SMASH! sort of violence.

    You say “there is no violence unless you break the law” – but reread what you yourself wrote:

    “There is no violence unless you break the law. And even that takes a few steps.”

    The implication is, if you do not follow “the laws of the tribe” or whatever legal force is present, steps will be made to control you, to try and make you comply -and if there is failure to make you comply or alter your behavior, there will be a resort to physical violence, or worse.

    Do you not think, taking an autonomous individual, with his own mind, and then placing him in a prison – removing his autonomy and various parts of his individuality – is an act of violence? or force? of holding power over someone? Even if this man eventually decided to not resist and went without protest? The threat of violence is no less violence. None of us are saying this notion – in and of itself – is bad or negative, we’re just saying we should be honest about what is going on.

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  81. Rann

    A tax cut may be the right thing to do, but if it has a negative affect on revenue, then why shouldn’t it be counted?

    Because the revenue is not the government’s to spend in the first place. They’re not entitled to it. That’s the point.

    The other part of the point is while we will give them part of our money for the sake of providing necessary services which only a large organized body can provide, they have decided they are entitled to not only that amount of money, but extra money over the top of that to do what they want. And they do not feel they have to justify to us why they’re taking this money, they just take it and then give it to whoever they feel like, usually in the form of buying votes in one manner or another, and if we don’t give them our money to do this, we are threatened. We do not like this.

    It’s really pretty easy to grasp as a concept if you don’t have a basic ingrained viewpoint of “Well they’re the government, I’m sure they know what’s best.”

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  82. Rann

    I apologize, but all of this sounds ridiculous to me. you are critizing how government (almost ALL forms of it) works. It alomost sounds like you are advocating for anarchy.

    You just stopped reading when you got to something you could get all huffy about, didn’t you? Considering that the paragraph directly below what you quoted is me pointing out how government is still preferable to anarchy.

    Just looking for something to feel self-righteous about? I’m guessing the music started playing in your head again while you were writing that post.

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  83. Poosh

    I have no idea how he doesn’t understand. Jim alone explained it quite clearly. Two further attempts did not help. Perhaps he is just not rational.

    “The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see.” – Ayn Rand

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  84. Kimpost

    Sure, but again. This was in the context of financial analysis. The revenue that wasn’t the governments to spend in the first place, was not replaced by cuts in government or carried by economic growth. The financial impacts of tax cuts, as well as for tax hikes, are relevant, regardless if taxation is theft or not.

    I think you are making a philosophical argument, more than a financial one.

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