Thursday, December 9, 2010

Obama's Anger Management Technique

It's rare that you can post a political spoof, in which both sides of the spectrum can actually laugh, and nobody would consider it a "cheap shot." But I think this one qualifies.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street delivers the eulogy for Obamanomics:

Does President Obama like or loathe the two-year tax deal he has struck with Republicans? It was hard to tell from his grudging, testy remarks Monday and yesterday, but perhaps that's because he realizes he is repudiating the heart and soul of Obamanomics as the price of giving himself a chance at a second term.

In accepting the deal to cut payroll and business taxes and extend all of the Bush-era tax rates through 2012, Mr. Obama has implicitly admitted that his economic strategy has flopped. He is acknowledging that tax rates matter to growth, that treating business like robber barons has hurt investment and hiring, and that tax cuts are superior to spending as stimulus. It took 9.8% unemployment and a loss of 63 House seats for this education to sink in, but the country will benefit.

LAST ADD: The most aggravating element of the current tax debate, is the phrase "how are we going to pay for these tax cuts." Pay for them? PAY for them? It's not your fucking money, government! There's no "paying" for something that doesn't BELONG to you in the first place!

Plus, the media keeps referring to these as the "Bush Tax CUTS" or the "Bush Era Tax Cuts." Funny, because when Bush cut taxes, I never recall the media harping on the "Clinton Era Tax Raises" or the "Clinton Tax Raise".

The current tax rates, are just the current fucking tax rates. That's all. Think of tax rates like the thermostat in your home. If you think it's too cold, and you have the votes, turn up the heat a bit. If you think you can save money and be a bit cold in the house, turn it down just bit.

It's not more complicated than that.

There is no magically perfect tax rates, nor any "correct" tax rates.


  1. At the gym last night CNN was on and it could not be changed. So if I watched that was it.

    The shills for BHO at CNN kept calling this "tax cuts for the rich".

    They have no substance.

  2. Czabe,
    For almost 10 years, I thought the Bush tax cuts were 'tax cuts for the wealthy'. Yet now during this debate, extending them for the middle class is the left's mantra. So, they are now admitting the Bush tax cuts were for everyone? Hmmm?
    If BHO and the rest of the left really believed tax increases would help the economy, then they should have fought this. They didn't, showing the conservatives have won this debate. But the conservatives need to keep debating this issue, and not assume everyone has learned something. When they get control of the House, they should immediately get rid of the estate tax, cut other tax rates, and defund Obamacare. MAKE HIM VETO THAT. And they should do this monthly.

  3. Where to begin? First off, nothing government does or doesn't do with taxes is going to end the recession. The economy is based on only one thing: supply and demand. If the demand for goods goes up, then hiring will begin again. If not, here we stay. My company isn't going to hire me back if there is not enough work to go around just because there is a tax break involved (unless it can make money by hiring me back). And the idea behind the stimulus was to create demand while trying to improve the country's infrastructure and keeping unemployed people afloat.

    I'm also getting sick of hearing how people don't get anything back for their taxes. You get plenty back. You get security in the form of military, police and fire, you get infrastructure, you get financial insurance if you lose your job or your bank folds and you get medical insurance if your funds run out. Whether or not how efficient government spending is can be debated, but continually saying you get nothing out of paying taxes is just wrong.

    Last thing. All I heard from Republican candidates this fall was how out of control the deficit was. Wouldn't letting the current "tax rate" expire help to cut into that deficit? You know, the one that is paralyzing job creation? They are just making the dems look like the fiscally responsible ones. Something I never thought I would see.

  4. agreed czabe, the only way taxing someone less adds to the defecit is when there has been too much money spent in the first place. If everyone had government jobs and the taxes were decreased then maybe the statement would be accurate, because then the end result is the government having to pay their workers less (which i think it the overall goal of the progressives anyways).

    cramer: defecit occurs when the sum of money falls short of an amount required. So the two ways to fix it are to SPEND LESS or increase the income, which the govt does through the taxes. I will conceed that raising taxes in the short run will probably help with the defecit. Unfortunately taxes are to the country, what the rake is to a casino. In some communities that have casinos, if the rake is too high eventually the patrons will run out of money, and then the casino will eventually lose money. In order to keep the country going some taxes are necessary but when they are too high they will remove money from the economy, unless you consider handouts and entitlement programs injecting money into the free market system.

    I also think there is a big difference between state & local taxes compared to federal taxes. Of course the military is necessary along with federal roadways, but local taxes are used for fire, police, etc. So when people try to say that federal taxes are needed for firemen when they are actually being used to fund additional unemployment, welfare, planned parenthood, etc. I have problems with that.

  5. Yes, but where do you think local governments get their money when there is a budget shortfall? Through a loan from the state which comes from a grant from the feds.

    My point is that if you run on a platform that the deficit is out of control and then turn around and argue keeping a tax rate that is too low, well then it is not about the deficit after all.

    If this country truly wants to get back into the black taxes are going to have to be raised and programs are going to have to be cut. It's as simple as that. The most discouraging thing that happened was when Simpson and Bowles' debt commission report came out and all these congressmen couldn't run away fast enough. It's time to grow up and take our medicine like men. And extending these cuts, excuse me, the current tax rate says that we are willing to push this deficit onto our children and their children.

  6. jpdramer and Dale...

    The process isn't quite as simple as that, although the casino rake is getting closer. Lowering tax rates on a group of people that pay a high amount of taxes indeed reduces the amount of money the government takes in in the short run.

    But the desired outcome here is that keeping that money in the private sector will spur more consumption, which will create more jobs (increasing the tax base) and create more wealth for those who already have jobs serving that consumption (increasing taxes payed by the current tax base).

    Taxes spent on employing people that serve the public and procuring durable goods for the governments use also accomplish this, but the overarching bureaucracy tends to sap efficiency and reduce the economic impact of increased taxation.

    Whenever people bring "The Rich" or "The Poor" into a debate about taxes, the intent is to put aside logic and instead play on fear and hate as a means to the end. Explain to me the mechanism by which my paying more taxes will lower the deficit and benefit all Americans and I'm on board. Tell me that I have to pay more because "The Rich" need to lower the deficit isn't going to get it done.

    The argument is cleverly posed as to avoid actual action. Freezing government pay is a gimmick... I'm ok with it, I didn't get a pay raise last year either and my 401K match was suspended. But that's a drop in the bucket.

    "Which programs would you eliminate?" is the accusing question. I have a few in mind, but that's not helpful. How about "Which programs don't need a budget increase and which can do with 10% less?" Or whatever gets us closer. It can't all be done in a year or two... but continually putting off the problem until later isn't gonna help. But making people unhappy doesn't get politicians re-elected. So, frame the argument as WE vs THEY.

    Should people who are very well off pay more taxes? They already do, percentage wise and quantity wise. Can they pay more? Sure, they can pay more until the tax rate is 101% of their wealth. Does it bring in more money to the government if they do? Debatably No. Debatably, but there is strong evidence that we are at the point of dimishing returns. Estate tax? Let them pass it all to their heirs, it's going to get spent and taxed, almost as sure as the sun rises. If you want info about the positive effects of lowering inheritance tax, look up Swedens results. it's my personal opinion that people that come into a sudden large sum of money spend some of it right away, and the rest of it over the next several years. Easy money gets spent.

    I've gotten a little off track, but my original point is, tell me how you are going to cut the deficit with the tax increases if you want more money. I've heard too many times in the last two years about new spending in a program, but it's ok because it isn't going to cost anything because they closed a corporate tax loophole. Actually, you found money and spent it... it every cent spent is a cost. It's not a revenue issue, they keep finding more... it's a spending issue.

    Finally... I live in Maryland, and we are projected to have a 2 to 3 Billion dollar budget deficit next year. We have the highest average income in the country and the 4th highest taxes. How on Earth can we have that much tax income and still have that big a deficit? Political inneficency, arrogance, and incompetance. It's ok though, I'm sure they'll raise my taxes to cover the shortfall.

  7. Lazarel, I think you put it better than I ever could have. You also forgot a couple of things that would make Maryland (or Wisconsin, where I live) run a deficit. First of all, unemployment doubled in the last two years. I personally am affected. That means that my household is being taxed on about $40,000 less income the last two years. And since I'm collecting unemployment, the state has to pay my weekly claim until someone hires me or it runs out. And that doesn't include people that have taken pay cuts to keep their jobs thereby lowering their tax take from them. So states are taking in less and paying out more for that. Secondly, there has been a cost of living increase. Even if they hold salaries even or cut them, they still have to pay more if they contract jobs out, buy road salt, provide health insurance etc. And if they cut jobs, they'll have to turn around and pay them unemployment as well.

    I don't doubt there is graft and earmarks and political favors involved in running a deficit, but there are also some legitimate cost increases that should be taken into account.

    By the way, it is nice to see a civil political discussion with thought provoking commentary for a change.

  8. Agree with the civil discussion regarding politics. However, this is more of a semantics issue. Unlike many of the talking heads/political pundits, I don't believe our federal government has deficits because of a revenue problem, rather we have deficits because of a spending problem...and it's been happening far, far too long.

  9. I feel unworthy of commenting with all these self proclaimed Economics PHD's up in here. I just wanted to say the vid was funny. ;)

  10. Czabe, couldn't have said it better myself!

  11. If the so-called "tax cuts" (or lower tax-rates, whatever...) will be so good for job stimulus, then why are we in a 10% unemployment rate right NOW? These "rates" have been in place in one form or another since 2001. I am no economist, but I am a realist. Something has to give, and the deficits are not going to go away by simply keeping things the same.

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