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DocLightning
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The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:53 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/opinion/16blow.html?_r=1&hp

This is an interesting article because it puts together some numbers that actually prove an important point: low taxes for the rich do not correlate with strong economic times. In fact, the opposite is true.

It doesn't matter what you think will happen, it matters what does happen. What actually happens is that taxing the wealthy at a fair level (like pre-Bush) tends to correlate with strong economic times.

Quote:
But the spurious argument that cutting taxes for the wealthy will somehow stimulate economic growth is not borne out by the data. A look at the year-over-year change in G.D.P. and changes in the historical top marginal tax rates show no such correlation.

So given that I just wrote two checks for about 40% of my gross income this year, I wonder why someone who makes $10M a year only has to pay 35%. Well, I know why: because those same people have a fair amount of political clout.

In fact, we could close the budget by $70Bn just by eliminating those Bush tax cuts. And the best part of it is that it wouldn't affect me one bit... or anyone who makes any less than I do.

I do wonder what the GOP wants. I'm beginning to think that they want to turn the United States into India.
 
lowrider
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:02 am

1. Its an op-ed piece, not to be confused with fact.
2. The author does not in any way address how he knows that the tax rates are a leading indicator, as opposed to a lagging one.
3. The article clearly starts with a conclusion, and then proceeds in search of facts to support it. Data manipulation 101: if a straight line is the desired result, only plot 2 points.
4. The article completely neglects all other government interference in the economy, as well as all other factors that affect the economy.

The author has simply picked a few data points, and attempted to correlate them. If this were reported on Fox News, there would be 8 threads screaming about how horrible Fox is already.

[Edited 2011-04-16 19:03:13]
 
Confuscius
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:56 am

There are two major political parties in the U.S. A tax and spend party, and the other is a tax cut and spend party.
 
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seb146
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:24 am

Quoting lowrider (Reply 1):
Its an op-ed piece, not to be confused with fact.

Don't let the facts the piece is based on get in the way. Just concentrate it is an op-ed piece in NYT and that negates it all, right? Facts only mean something when FOX reports it?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:08 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 1):
1. Its an op-ed piece, not to be confused with fact.

It is an op-ed piece that is based on a fact.

Quote:
2. The author does not in any way address how he knows that the tax rates are a leading indicator, as opposed to a lagging one.



Because it is obvious from the shown data without statement. The majority of crashes have followed such tax cuts.

Quote:
3. The article clearly starts with a conclusion, and then proceeds in search of facts to support it. Data manipulation 101: if a straight line is the desired result, only plot 2 points.

That is how articles are written. You start with a conclusion, you give your supporting evidence, you restate your conclusion.

Quote:

4. The article completely neglects all other government interference in the economy, as well as all other factors that affect the economy.

Such as? Care to list them?
 
lowrider
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:41 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Because it is obvious from the shown data without statement.

No, its not. He claims a relationship between two factors without directly demonstrating it, or excluding any others.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
That is how articles are written.

Thats how op eds are written. Articles start with the facts, the proceed to conclusions.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Such as? Care to list them?

I don't know that I could come up with an exhaustive list, but there are a things such as changing regulations, fluctuations in the currency market, fluctuations in the commodities market, conflicts and wars, the rate of defaults on mortgages, levels of personal debt, world confidence in the dollar, so on and so forth. All of these and many more affect the US economy, levels of employment, types of employment available, economic growth, inflation, and wage levels. The tax rates are merely one pebble on the balance scale. Every pebble matters, but only someone who is complete ignorant of macroeconomics, or someone who wants to deceive others, would attempt to tie the entire economy to a single variable. This is cherry picking data to make a political point.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 6):

I don't know that I could come up with an exhaustive list,

But you side with those claiming that there is a positive relationship between the tax cuts and economic stimulation.

Quoting lowrider (Reply 6):

No, its not. He claims a relationship between two factors without directly demonstrating it, or excluding any others.

I you read the article, and it is obvious you did not, he does not claim a relationship. He claims a LACK of a relationship.

See, it is the Right's contention that decreasing taxes on the top 2% of earners will somehow stimulate the economy, and so if they make a claim like that, then in any reasonable discourse (which this is not), it is incumbent on them to prove their positive claim.

They cannot because no data exist to support that claim. This doesn't prove that they are wrong, but it does prove that they are talking out of their collective anal orifices.
 
PPVRA
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:03 pm

In good economic times, incomes rise, and therefore more taxes are paid. This is particularly true of the wealthy, whose income is far more volatile than the average person. Likewise, in bad economic times, losses are common and therefore less taxes are paid.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:04 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 8):
Likewise, in bad economic times, losses are common and therefore less taxes are paid.

Those top 2% are earning tons of money.
 
PPVRA
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:06 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
So given that I just wrote two checks for about 40% of my gross income this year, I wonder why someone who makes $10M a year only has to pay 35%. Well, I know why: because those same people have a fair amount of political clout.

That's not why, actually. The reason is that many wealthy people pay taxes through other, legally separate entities, and that's not the case with me and you.

That's why Warren Buffet is lying yet not really when he says he pays 16% or so. He is not telling the whole truth.
 
474218
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:07 pm

"Tax the rich, tax the rich". Make them pay there fair share!

51% of the people pay nothing. Think of all the revenue the government would have if that 51% paid their fair share!
 
lowrider
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:02 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
But you side with those claiming that there is a positive relationship between the tax cuts and economic stimulation.

Way to cherry pick that quote. Why don't you demonstrate how any of the things I listed don't impact the economy.
To be accurate, I side with those that claim if you leave money in the hands of individuals, who earned it, they will make better use of it than the government will. Some economic stimulation will result, but that is not the primary objective. In the opposite case, however, it is true that people can't spend, invest, or save, what you take from them.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
I you read the article, and it is obvious you did not, he does not claim a relationship. He claims a LACK of a relationship.

I did. A negative correlation is still a relationship.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
See, it is the Right's contention that decreasing taxes on the top 2% of earners will somehow stimulate the economy, and so if they make a claim like that, then in any reasonable discourse (which this is not), it is incumbent on them to prove their positive claim

The top 2% already pay a disproportionate percentage of the total tax bill. There is no evidence that making their burden even more disproportionate will improve the overall economy. Furthermore, it is not incumbent upon the top 2% to do so. Their money is their property, and should, to the maximum extent possible, be left with those who own it.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 7):
They cannot because no data exist to support that claim. This doesn't prove that they are wrong, but it does prove that they are talking out of their collective anal orifices.

There is no data that shows that taxing the top 2%, 5%, or 10% at some obscenely high level will stimulate the economy either. If that was the case, we should have seen tremendous economic growth under Ford and Carter.

But as I said, economies are more complicated than just tax rates. All taxation discourages economic activity, it is just a matter of degree. Unfortunately this is the system we are stuck with. Tax code largely comes down to a philosophical view of private property and how the government should be funded.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
I wonder why someone who makes $10M a year only has to pay 35%. Well, I know why: because those same people have a fair amount of political clout.

No, the can just afford better accountants.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:19 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 11):
51% of the people pay nothing. Think of all the revenue the government would have if that 51% paid their fair share!

Nothing in federal income tax. maybe (I thought it was more like 45%). That doesn't mean thay pay nothing at all though.

That said, if you think that those people paying their "fair share" would make a bigger difference than higher rates on the richest few percent of people in the US, you are either deficient in math or have no real sense of the massive inequality of wealth distribution in our country.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:16 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the accepted model amongst economists to cut taxes in recession and raise them during good times (which never happens since that would be political suicide)? Or did my economics teacher lie to me?

And as a new voter, what am I to believe?? I see many people and their sources saying cutting taxes works, and many others saying raising them is best. All "proof" of one system is countered by "proof" that the other system works... don't economists have a good idea on what works? What should I believe?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:39 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 10):

51% of the people pay nothing. Think of all the revenue the government would have if that 51% paid their fair share!

Does it make sense to tax someone receiving government assistance? That seems like a waste of money.

In fact, they do pay sales taxes and other taxes. But those 51% of people make a tiny percentage of the money. Those top 2% could account for as much as 20% of income Retiring the Bush tax cuts would close the budget gap by $70Bn. Hardly a small number.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 13):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the accepted model amongst economists to cut taxes in recession and raise them during good times (which never happens since that would be political suicide)? Or did my economics teacher lie to me?

In this case, the top 2% are not in a recession. In fact, those people are getting richer.
 
Superfly
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:51 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
Does it make sense to tax someone receiving government assistance?


That 51% isn't on government assistance. Many claim to be non-profit status and are exempt or rewarded with tax breaks for simply popping out babies.
Also, unemployment benefits is taxable income. Those receiving unemployment is about 9%, not 51%.


Perhaps we should be taxing nations that take advantage of us. Perhaps a tariff on goods from China. Rich oil baron sheiks that we fight wars for should pay for these wars and not the US taxpayer.
 
474218
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:19 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 14):
Does it make sense to tax someone receiving government assistance? That seems like a waste of money.


Then why do they tax my Social Security checks?
 
baroque
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:08 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
two checks for about 40% of my gross income this year

40% of your GROSS income?? I guess that depends on what expenses you have but assuming you have practice expenses that is a bit surprising.

My eyes usually glaze over when Americans start on about taxes (mostly because they are on about their unwillingness to pay them) but that statement is an exception I would like to understand - well try to understand.   
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:33 pm

Quoting lowrider (Reply 11):

The top 2% already pay a disproportionate percentage of the total tax bill.

That is true. They pay significantly less, dollar-per-dollar, than the rest of us poor schleps.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 17):

40% of your GROSS income?? I guess that depends on what expenses you have but assuming you have practice expenses that is a bit surprising.

40% of my gross. My fed tax rate is 35%.
 
baroque
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:07 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 17):

40% of your GROSS income?? I guess that depends on what expenses you have but assuming you have practice expenses that is a bit surprising.

40% of my gross. My fed tax rate is 35%.

Does that mean I need to contact you as to how to run my business with expenses at only 5% of gross income?   or   - not quite sure which!!
 
ALTF4
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:53 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And the best part of it is that it wouldn't affect me one bit

Ah, and that is ALL that matters!

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 13):
And as a new voter, what am I to believe??

Believe whoever pays you the most, just like Doc does, above.

Or believe the people I believe, who actually do not give me any direct monetary benefit - you know - they aren't bribing me to vote for them. Both sides have their flaws (hey, hey, all you liberals who claim none of us can see faults in their party, look at what I just said!)
 
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DocLightning
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:41 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 20):

Believe whoever pays you the most, just like Doc does, above.

??? who is paying me?

Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):

Does that mean I need to contact you as to how to run my business with expenses at only 5% of gross income?

I'm going to make some changes to my business to alter the way in which I deduct my commute. Could save me $15K in taxes next year.
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Perhaps a tariff on goods from China.

So that everything we buy will cost even more? Do you think rampant inflation will be good for Americans?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 15):
Rich oil baron sheiks that we fight wars for should pay for these wars and not the US taxpayer.

How do you suppose we charge them? And even if we could make them pay, all they will do is slap the cost onto the cost of a barrel of oil. So, you'll still end up paying for the wars.

Be careful parroting Trump, who has no grasp on global economics.
 
lowrider
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:17 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
They pay significantly less, dollar-per-dollar, than the rest of us poor schleps.

That is irrelevant, unless you are trying to attach some moral judgement to how one is taxed. In total dollars, they still pay a disproportionately high percentage of the nation's total tax bill.

Stated differently, if citizens are supposed to be equal before the law, the tax law should treat us equally. I have said in the past that I would support a flat tax rate with no loop holes, exemptions, or deductions. 10% is usually the number I throw out, although I am not firm on that.

[Edited 2011-04-18 12:22:46]
 
windy95
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:13 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
I'm going to make some changes to my business to alter the way in which I deduct my commute. Could save me $15K in taxes next year.

Why not be a good liberal and put your money where your mouth is and just keep paying the higher rate for your social programs and "change" you can believe in. Why use loopholes to reduce your payments? You want everyone to pay a higher rate but you still use loopholes and writeoffs? Hypocrisy?
 
ALTF4
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:09 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
??? who is paying me?

Oh, I'm just using the same argument people are using against Paul Ryan's budget plan. See, people say he is reducing taxes for rich people. No, he's just not raising taxes. If that means he is reducing taxes, by the same logic, you are getting paid to vote for people who will not raise your taxes, since they are giving you money (in the sense that Ryan is 'giving rich people money' but giving them tax reductions, which just aren't increases) if you vote them in.

Convoluted, sure - but we use that sort of argument against things like Ryan's budget proposal, so I thought it would be accepted in other ways too.

(please note the hint of sarcasm - not much - but some. I was not seriously suggesting you got a check in the mail for voting for somebody, but through the logical hoops I posted above, which people use already when it comes to tax breaks/increases/changes, you sort of are)
 
baroque
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RE: The Pirates Of Capitol Hill

Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:21 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 19):

Does that mean I need to contact you as to how to run my business with expenses at only 5% of gross income?

I'm going to make some changes to my business to alter the way in which I deduct my commute. Could save me $15K in taxes next year.

I am going to need a bit more help than that, bearing in mind that my commute consists of walking down one flight of stairs to my labs!  

More seriously, presumably you are not counting practice overheads when you calculate your gross?

Back in the high and far off times, depreciation times on major items of equipment were usually over 10 years. But now it seems the electronics on most major equipment is not going to be maintainable beyond about 10 years. Computers and their limited life as first line items are a major determinant on all this. I guess the taxation authorities are going to need to catch up with modern "engineering".

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