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Thread: Boehner Asks Debt Panel to Take on Tax Breaks, Reject Hike

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    Re: Boehner Asks Debt Panel to Take on Tax Breaks, Reject Hike

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    This sounds suspiciously like you're falling for the trap of binary thinking. It is, of course, both. Tax rate * GDP = revenue.
    this is demonstratably incorrect - else, wild swings in the tax rates would have produced some kind of notable swing in revenue. in fact the opposite is true - we have collected more revenue as tax rates decreased in the last 30 years.

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    Re: Boehner Asks Debt Panel to Take on Tax Breaks, Reject Hike

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    In one post you're saying revenue is only a function of GDP, but in this block you're saying it isn't a function of GDP at all, it is a function of the size of government.
    Revenue is primarily a function of GDP, however, it is also a function of the relative size of government. you can tell because both have direct effects - though size's effect is inverse. Growth obviously does the same - though direction can exacerbate both those factors. Tax rates appear to have no direct effect on revenue, as they can swing wildly without significantly altering the amount of money coming in. the largest drop in revenue collection (from 2006-2008) occurred without a single tax rate changing, while the largest drop in tax rates (1982-1986) appears to have produced relatively stable revenue collection.

    Revenue = gdp * tax rate.
    if that were true, then lowering the tax rates would result in an equal and direct lowering of revenue. instead, we have repeatedly seen the opposite; from Kennedy, to Reagan, to Clinton, to Bush.

    We dropped the tax rates like crazy, forcing deficit spending and forcing our safety net to fall far behind the rest of the first world. As a result, the foundations of our society started to fall apart. Investment far outstripped consumption, so the market corrected.
    I would like you to explain how lower taxes destroyed savings?

    We've been around 20% several times. 1945, 1969, 1981, and 2000.
    in 1965 Revenue was 19.7% of GDP
    ... of course, that was after Kennedy had lowered the tax rates.... and so achieving that high would have been impossible under your "revenue = GDP * rate" theory. In 1981 it was 19.6% of GDP, and in 2000 it hit 20.6% after Clinton.... cut taxes.

    What are you talking about? You are saying that not being super rich is "acting stupidly"?
    no, i'm saying that the behaviors that usually cause people to be poor are "acting stupidly". not finishing high school. having kids before you are married. getting hooked on government benefits. choosing not to work full time.

    Using silly characterizations to depict the middle class as greedy while fetishizing the rich is obviously silly
    i'm not fetishizing anybody. but the middle class (and lower class) in America did spend the last couple of decades stupidly consuming it's way into the problems that it is in now.

    [quote Obviously the rich top that chart a million times over.[/quote]

    really? my college roomate was a multi-millionaire. when we moved out in town together, he slept on a mattress on the floor, same as me.

    If middle class people in the US still got the same slice of the GDP that they got in the 60s the median household income in the US would be over $140k/year. Instead it is $44k.
    so? why should I care what people who make more than me get, so long as what I am getting has increased?

    That's the cost of this process of shoveling money into the pockets of the rich you are defending- about $100k per year per household.
    wrong, for the simple reason that we would have been unlikely to have grown to this point by now. equitable redistribution of income around the globe has not exactly tended to produce vibrant, powerful, rapidly growing economies.

    To respond to that situation by trying to demonize the middle class as being stupid for wanting to at least preserve their current quality of life is disgusting to me.
    i'm not demonizing the middle class. i'm attacking American instant-gratification, shop-till-you-drop, i-have-to-live-like-the-people-on-reality-TV, if-it-feels-good-do-it, take-no-thought-for-the-future, living-in-debt-is-just-fine, and if-I-don't-take-care-of-myself-I-am-owed-a-lifestyle-by-others culture. It's not only wrecked us recently it threatens to wreck us permanently.
    Last edited by cpwill; 09-20-11 at 07:34 PM.

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    Re: Boehner Asks Debt Panel to Take on Tax Breaks, Reject Hike

    Quote Originally Posted by Tettsuo View Post
    It's already Obama's economy. But to attempt to place all responsibility for the crash and all debt and deficits incurred on Obama is the height of dishonesty.

    Justify? What do you want me to justify exactly? What results are you referring to? What I know for a fact is that after action was taken, things got better. 2011 is slowing down as the stimulus is running out, which was pretty much expected from everyone.
    As expected you are attempting to make a claim that I never made. Cite for me where I said that the fall was all the responsibility of Obama. Obama was in the Congress that approved the 2008 and 2009 budgets with Obama voting for both. In fact the 2009 budget would not have passed without the Democrats as most Republicans voted against it. Then Obama took office in January 2009 and put the people in charge of the spend the 2009 budget so then whose responsibility is it?

    The stimulus was passed in February 2009 and was intended to stimulate the private sector. That failed miserably. This is 2011 and the economic numbers are a disaster so whose fault is it?

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    Re: Boehner Asks Debt Panel to Take on Tax Breaks, Reject Hike

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    this is demonstratably incorrect - else, wild swings in the tax rates would have produced some kind of notable swing in revenue. in fact the opposite is true - we have collected more revenue as tax rates decreased in the last 30 years.
    We have seen radical swings in revenue and, it's been trending down as we've lowered taxes to some extent. But, again, you're thinking too simply. Neither cutting or raising taxes would always increase revenue. There is an ideal balance for maximizing revenue somewhere on the spectrum. When you're below that, revenue goes down. When you're above that rate, it goes down too. My contention is that around 1999 is when we crossed that point and revenues started falling. That is entirely consistent with the data:

    Federal+Tax+Revenue.jpg

    When you look at the data you should be looking for the optimum point. I think it's pretty obvious where that is- right before the second round of Clinton tax cuts. That means keeping taxes on the rich still lower than they were under Reagan. Shouldn't really be that be of a deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    if that were true, then lowering the tax rates would result in an equal and direct lowering of revenue. instead, we have repeatedly seen the opposite; from Kennedy, to Reagan, to Clinton, to Bush.
    No we haven't. Clinton's second round of tax cuts for the rich and Bush's tax cuts for the rich both correlated with massive drops in revenue as a percentage of GDP. Again, it is about finding the right balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I would like you to explain how lower taxes destroyed savings?
    It's not just about higher or lower taxes. Kennedy, for example, cut taxes primarily for the middle class where Bush cut them primarily for the rich. Those things have different effects. When you cut taxes on the rich, along with the pressure that puts on the budgets of the programs that benefit the middle class, that means middle class people have less money, so they can't save.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    in 1965 Revenue was 19.7% of GDP
    ... of course, that was after Kennedy had lowered the tax rates.... and so achieving that high would have been impossible under your "revenue = GDP * rate" theory. In 1981 it was 19.6% of GDP, and in 2000 it hit 20.6% after Clinton.... cut taxes.
    No, it is still of course GDP * tax rate. That's what a tax rate is- the percentage of the GDP that is collected as revenue. Kennedy cut the top tax rate from over 91% to 77% for the top bracket and cut the middle class tax rates more substantially. 91% is clearly above the optimal point, as were the middle class rates, so GDP went up by enough to overwhelm the decrease in tax rate. That's the definition of being above the optimal rate- cuts would improve revenues. Currently it's pretty obvious that we're below the optimal rate. Revenues have fallen dramatically after the last two rounds of cuts. So, to get back to optimal, we need to increase the rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    no, i'm saying that the behaviors that usually cause people to be poor are "acting stupidly". not finishing high school. having kids before you are married. getting hooked on government benefits. choosing not to work full time.
    We're talking about you and me dude, not some hypothetical poor person you imagine. The middle class. Did you fail to finish high school, have kids before you got married, choose not to work or get hooked on government benefits? Because I didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    so? why should I care what people who make more than me get, so long as what I am getting has increased?
    What we're talking about is how they are dividing up the pie that you create with your work. Are you saying that as long as they increase your income by whatever meager amount, that's fine by you? The average worker's productivity in the US, adjusted for inflation, has quadrupiled in that time, but in the 60s families only needed to have one person work 40 hours to cover all their basic necessities. Today most families have to have at least 2 people working 50-60 hours to cover health care, housing and food. So we're giving the corporate sector about 2-3 times as much of our time, we're four times as productive, and they're giving us less back. Meanwhile, they're getting ludicrously rich off of all that extra productivity. You think that is fair? You just don't care? Or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    equitable redistribution of income around the globe has not exactly tended to produce vibrant, powerful, rapidly growing economies.
    Again, you're falling into that habit of binary thinking. You need to watch out for that. I am saying that if we had the same division as we did in the US in the 60s, each family would have about $100k more per year. That is not with some kind of communist redistribution scheme or something, that's what they would have with the capitalist system we had here in the 60s. There were fabulously wealthy people and poor people and all of that then of course too.

    But, if you want to talk about what systems have worked best around the globe, the answer is pretty obvious. The countries that are beating the US either in terms of quality of life or median income or both are all a couple clicks to the left of us now and one click to the left of where we were in the 60s. Not socialist, but social democracies.
    Last edited by teamosil; 09-20-11 at 08:23 PM.

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