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What We Really Can't Afford Is This Kind Of Thinking

This morning, the Boston Globe's Derrick Z. Jackson did what he can always be counted upon to do: parrot the latest liberal talking point. This time, he's pushing the "we can't afford to extend the Bush tax cuts" line.

This is wrong -- just plain wrong -- on two points.

The first is the notion that this isn't a tax hike. Oh, technically, it isn't, as it doesn't require an action to happen; it will just occur. As part of the original deal to get the tax cuts passed, President Bush and congressional Republicans agreed to a "sunset" provision that the cuts would expire this January -- unless extended.

So, yeah, by the letter of the law, it's technically not a tax "hike." But practically speaking, if someone's tax rate goes up after eight years of lower rates, that's a hike.

There's another aspect here. In the midst of the current economic slump, the government is planning on taking a very, very hefty hunk of change out of the hands of the people and dump it into the government's coffers -- and we all know how efficient the government is at "stimulating" the economy. Last time I heard, they were spending around $92,000 to create a single job.

But that's all incidental to the most significant point here: "Repeal a tax cut no one can afford."

Think about that for a moment. The argument here is that we can't afford to let people keep their own money.

Ronald Reagan once described the Soviet attitude towards arms negotiations. "What's mine is mine. What's yours is negotiable." It seems that that attitude has survived the death of the Soviet Union and is now official Democratic policy, now that they hold the reins of government: what's theirs is theirs, what's ours is negotiable -- the question is how much will they let us keep.

That isn't how things are supposed to work. Not in America.


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Comments (31)

Ah, but in Amerikkka, this ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Ah, but in Amerikkka, this is the way of Saul and Soros!

For the life of me I can't ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

For the life of me I can't figure out how such an astute student of economics ended up a mere writer for the Globe. Three trillion dollars over a decade ain't chump change, someone kindly refresh my memory as to how long it takes Barry and his merry band of idiots to spend three trillion dollars.

Earth to Derrick Z. Jackson, it's the spending, stupid. Or more correctly, it's the stupid spending, stupid!

For our friends on the left... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

For our friends on the left side of the aisle: when government sucks money out of the economy (that's the only way government gets money to spend) it reduces the supply of money available to businesses. Business which actually produce things. Which results in capitol formation. Which feeds growth. Resulting in more money being available for everyone, including the governments treasury.

Here's a deal, Congress - y... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Here's a deal, Congress - you don't extend our tax cuts, and we don't extend your term in office.

Derrick Z. Jackson is obvio... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Derrick Z. Jackson is obviously living life in an alternate universe where the economic laws of reality do not bite one in the ass when they are defied.

I can see November from here, and it looks great.

This was probably the idea ... (Below threshold)
Hank:

This was probably the idea all along.
Spend us into oblivion and then you have a compelling argument (for libs) that the tax cuts have to expire to help balance the budget.

Not surprising.

Liberal political power derives from their ability to redistribute other peoples money to their favorite constituents.

And I don't want to forget to say that Derrick Z. Jackson is an idiot.

You have got to watch out f... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

You have got to watch out for the so-called conservative Republican candidates who say, "this is not the time to raise taxes". They all need to be asked, "when is the time to raise taxes"?

Thorazine and a clean up in... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Thorazine and a clean up in aisle 7, please.

Its about high time to stor... (Below threshold)
914:

Its about high time to storm the dum Socialrat's plantation's and vineyard's and take back the spoil's stolen over the last 40 years of liberal political theft.

In Leeward's addled brain, ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

In Leeward's addled brain, it's poor people who come up with the venture capital required to create new industry, businesses and, therefore, jobs.

Yeah, those tax cuts didn't... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Yeah, those tax cuts didn't work. Ummm....and that unemployment rate BELOW 5% was a myth as well.

Dementia is a terrible thing.

He who stalk's behind the ... (Below threshold)
914:

He who stalk's behind the corn and commit's unspeakable acts with the cob's will pull a cob train come November.

Since I cannot utter the depraved name initials will suffice R.L.H.W.

Purchasing votes and power ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Purchasing votes and power is very pricey. And how in the world can Big Brother create and maintain utter dependency if subjects are permitted to keep the rewards of their own efforts--and even ADD to them? Nope. Happy, successful, financially secure people make very POOR slaves to government "largesse."

What in the world would mak... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

What in the world would make someone espouse a political philosophy that says, "Take more of my money (and anyone else you think has too much) and give it to anyone you deem should have it. I have unquestioning faith that you'll do the right thing and I promise to publicly berate anyone who questions your judgment."

Oyster, that wouldn't be so... (Below threshold)

Oyster, that wouldn't be so bad. But I've noticed that most of the advocates aren't that interested in having their own taxes go up -- and never volunteering to go first.

J.

"...someone kindly re... (Below threshold)
John S:

"...someone kindly refresh my memory as to how long it takes Barry and his merry band of idiots to spend three trillion dollars..."

About 20 months.

Letting the tax cuts expire is a great idea. Republican Congress extends tax cuts in January. Obama vetos. Unemployment rate hits 20 percent before 2012 election. Great politics for the Republicans. Unless the food runs out sometime in 2011, then the unemployed may exercise their Second Amendment veto on Washington, D.C.

FDR raised taxes and invest... (Below threshold)

FDR raised taxes and invested in the middle class, and the economy improved. Bill Clinton did the same, and the economy improved. Discuss.

Not to worry, the... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Not to worry, the coming VAT will take your minds off the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

And just as an added bonus, it'll piggyback the income tax.

Double good.

I think I just figured out ... (Below threshold)
John:

I think I just figured out why liberals don't like to be labled tax and spend liberals.... anyone paying attention can see it's Spend and Tax Liberals. I don't know why they don't just wear the lable with pride. I also don't understand why nearly 50% of american households pay no income tax. There is a tremendous amount of revenue there that no one wants to go after, even if it was a very small percentage for low income earners, why shouldn't everyone participate (say over 10,000 per year single, 20,000 married). It's easy to keep voting for this non sense when you're not paying for it.

Uh, jim xj, unless I'm mist... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Uh, jim xj, unless I'm mistaken the Great Depression lasted all through FDR's term and w/o the war would have continued. We'll never know what things might have been like in say, 1937, if he didn't tax like hell. Without his CNC performance during the war, I doubt he'd be remembered as fondly as he is.

Clinton, IMO, gloried in the small business boom created by Reagan-era growth/tax cuts, drastic cuts in top rates which expanded investment. Clinton/Dems '93 hike might have slowed a little what might have been an even better economy for him--of course, that's conjecture. But even Clinton isn't stupid enough to raise taxes during a major recession.

Yes, Brad, we will never kn... (Below threshold)

Yes, Brad, we will never know for sure, just like we'll never know for sure how the economy would be if Reagan had actually invested in programs for the poor and middle class. So we make the best guesses we can. And the best guesses from the most expert guessers indicate that FDR and Bill Clinton's policies benefited the economy.

And Clinton raised taxes when he came in, at the tail end of Bush I's recession. Which according to supply side voodooeconomics should have flattened growth, if not sent us back into a recession. instead the opposite happened. Isn't that interesting? it's almost as if supply-side economics doesn't actually work, it just benefits the rich at the expense of the rest of the country. Imagine that.

jim xj-While you a... (Below threshold)
Brian the Adequate:

jim xj-

While you are entitled to you own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.

Clinton took office after the recession was over and left office early in the next recession.

So if there was a legitimate cause and effect argument to be made, Clinton era policies would have to be blamed for ending the growth Clinton inherited from Bush the Elder and causing the recession that Bush the Younger inherited.

Obama is following the FDR path, inherit a bad situation and then work like all get out to make it worse with policies that only work on paper. Go look up the unemployment by year during 1932-1941 and you will see clearly that the Depression was ended by World War II, not the New Deal.

To be really kind about it,... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

To be really kind about it, it's a hell of a stretch to credit Bush the Elder with the economic boom of the 90s. And anyway even if you want to give him credit for it, he did raise taxes in 1990, right? Not "new" ones, granted, but "old" ones were increased to reduce Reagan's deficit.

Brian, ok if you're going t... (Below threshold)

Brian, ok if you're going to split hairs about the end of the Bush 1 recession, sure. That's right.

You are then wrong to state Clinton left office "early in" a recession. The crash didn't happen until Bush was in office.

But if you're claiming that Clinton's policies "ended the growth" that occurred during the Bush 1 administration - by having 8 years of unprecedented growth *and then* a small recession???

By that logic, that would mean ***Bush 1*** was guilty of "ending the growth" that occurred "at the end of" the Carter Administration, for following Reagan's policies for the 10 years after Carter.

And as for blaming FDR, for low unemployment - you may remember that what happened before FDR came into office was a little thing called the Great Depression. So saying he didn't immediately get unemployment back to pre-Black Monday levels, is like saying a doctor failed because the patient isn't doing a triathlon right the day after he almost bled to death.

At least you admit that WWII helped. And how did it? Why, it was by putting nearly every single poor and middle-class American to work, **while raising taxes on the wealthy**. So in other words, it was just a continuation of FDR's policies.

Jim, one simple question: ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Jim, one simple question: Explain how removing money from the economy will make it go faster?

jim xj-You are such ... (Below threshold)
donw:

jim xj-
You are such an advocate and a believer that taxes elimate recessions and create jobs, then tell us where the line is drawn on tax rates, please?
If you philosophy works then everyone would be employed as soon as everyone's tax rates hit 100%.
Kind of like Pelosi's claim that unemployment benefits are the fastest way out of a recession. So when unemployment hits 100%, the recession is over and everyone is gainfully employed?
We'll be waiting!
Also, please inform the public where the money comes from that government uses to create these millions of jobs.

FDR raised taxes a... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
FDR raised taxes and invested in the middle class, and the economy improved. Bill Clinton did the same, and the economy improved. Discuss.

Don't come on this site without source, dumbass.

Sure, the marginal rates under Clinton were raised, but so did the taxable level:

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php

Iwogisdead, if you've been ... (Below threshold)

Iwogisdead, if you've been at this site for anything like a reasonable amount of time, you should be able to search this very site and find my citations. By this point they're probably tattooed inside your own ass - just turn your head and you should see them.

But just so you won't whine and declare victory, here's what "bill clinton tax policies" turns up in the Google:

http://www.kellysite.net/taxes.html

Scary Deficit Forecasts For Clinton Years Fade As Tax Revenue Grows

It Rises Faster Than Outlays, Thanks to '93 Budget Bill
And a Steady Economy

Where has the federal deficit gone?

When Bill Clinton was elected president four years ago, the government was hemorrhaging red ink at a rate of almost $300 billion a year, and forecasters saw little improvement in the offing. Today, his budget office estimates the fiscal 1996 deficit at just $117 billion--the lowest in dollar terms since 1981, the year Ronald Reagan took office.

Measured as a share of the total economy, the U.S. deficit this year will run only about 1.6%--smaller than the deficits of Japan, Germany, Britain or, indeed, any of the world's advanced nations except Norway.

Clearly, a stronger-than-expected economy has a lot to do with it. The tax increases in the 1993 deficit-reduction package that Mr. Clinton pushed through get credit as well. And, to a lesser extent, so do the spending cuts engineered by the Republican Congress...

For the current fiscal year, ending Sept. 30, collections now are expected to be $97 billion higher than the $1.356 trillion the Congressional Budget Office projected 3 ½ years ago as Mr. Clinton was taking office. That is about 7% more.

By the CBO's analysis, just over half of the $97 billion increase beyond projections is due to tax boosts in Mr. Clinton's 1993 antideficit plan. The rest is due to a variety of factors.

And this is from the wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton#Presidency.2C_1993.E2.80.932001

He also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, a subsidy for low-income workers.

So then you say:

Sure, the marginal rates under Clinton were raised, but so did the taxable level

And?

Are you claiming this means Clinton didn't raise taxes? Since more money was taxed according to all sources, what point are you attempting to make?

You are such an a... (Below threshold)


You are such an advocate and a believer that taxes elimate recessions and create jobs, then tell us where the line is drawn on tax rates, please?

Sure. That line is drawn when it doesn't work anymore. Which is well below 100%.

I think returning taxes to where they were under Bill Clinton would be sufficient. Perhaps to slightly higher, since we are in a recession and spending is frozen.

Also, please inform the public where the money comes from that government uses to create these millions of jobs.

Sure! It comes from printing presses.

Now, please inform the public as to why tax cuts for the wealthy is *Certain* to produce more jobs - since the wealthy will probably hold onto it rather than spend hiring people *if there's no purchasing demand in the economy*.

"Sure! It comes from ... (Below threshold)
John S:

"Sure! It comes from printing presses."

That's a novel idea. Give us 1,500 percent inflation and we'll forget all income taxes.

If you want %1500 inflation... (Below threshold)

If you want %1500 inflation, just vote for someone who'll continue Bush's policies. You probably will anyway.




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