Soaking the Rich

Sorry, Warren Buffett, but extracting cash from the wealthy won’t solve our problems.

In January, as part of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, Congress increased marginal tax rates on higher-income earners to Clinton-era levels while preserving existing Bush-era rates for most taxpayers. 

By boosting rates for the rich, Congress is banking on the notion that tax increases will deliver much-needed revenue for the government without unduly damaging the economy. The bet is that high earners will keep working despite Uncle Sam’s taking a bigger bite out of their income. In the short run, this might well be true. But the longer run is much more complicated.

President Barack Obama started the fiscal cliff negotiations by proposing to raise taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and singles making more than $200,000—roughly the top 2 percent of taxpayers. The president has long maintained that he just wants the rich to pay their “fair share,” a formulation famously supported by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Never mind that the federal tax code is more progressive than most and that millionaires already pay an effective tax rate that’s nearly three to four times the rate paid by the middle class. 

In a November New York Times op-ed piece, Buffett once again called for increasing marginal rates on taxpayers making $500,000 or more, plus a minimum tax on high incomes: 30 percent on taxable income between $1 million and $10 million, and 35 percent on incomes above $10 million. According to Buffett, such tax policies would safely raise revenue from rich people who are unlikely to change their behavior. He writes “So let’s forget about the rich and ultrarich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if—gasp—capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased. The ultrarich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities.”

High-income earners’ response to changes in taxes is an issue that academics have studied extensively. In 2000 University of Michigan economist Joel Slemrod published Does Atlas Shrug?: The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich (Harvard University Press), a book in which he challenged the free market belief that raising taxes on the rich would lead them to secede from the work force, as famously described in Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged.

Since then, economists have tried to refine their understanding of the magnitude of the aggregate labor supply changes— one of the ways people can adjust their behavior in response to higher tax rates. But they have not yet reached a consensus. On one hand, the literature has revealed that in the short run the supply of labor is relatively unresponsive to changes in after-tax earnings. Full-time employees—especially primary earners, who have historically been men—don’t really seem to react much when their taxes go up. They work the same hours at the same jobs even when they get to keep less of their earnings. 

This may be because those male breadwinners don’t have many options. They still have to earn a living to take care of their families and probably can’t shift their income from taxable wages to less-taxed forms such as capital gains. Under these conditions, it is conceivable that the economy would continue to grow and tax revenue would go up even when rates are raised.

On the other hand, you have the work of economists such as Nobel Prize winner Edward Prescott. Using aggregate labor supply data, such as the differences in hours worked among countries with different levels of taxes, Prescott finds that people work more hours when marginal income tax rates are lower, in particular when they are just starting out and when they are nearing retirement. This effect is particularly pronounced in the presence of a generous welfare state that provides benefits for lost revenue. His findings were released in a now-famous paper published in 2004 by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve entitled “Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?”

Gender also seems to matter. Studies have shown that women, and secondary earners more generally, are much more responsive to changes in income tax rates. A 2011 paper published in the Journal of Economic Literature by University of South Wales economist Michael Keane shows that females respond more to higher tax rates on household earnings because they, unlike most men, are willing to leave the labor force entirely rather than simply adjusting their hours. 

Even if higher taxes don’t discourage the efforts of those who are wealthy today, they decrease the incentive for individuals to become wealthy in the future through entrepreneurship, human capital accumulation, and career choices. 

Economists Aparna Mathur, Silva Slavov, and Michael Strain at the American Enterprise Institute give a few examples of such behavioral effects in an article published in Tax Notes in November 2012 called “Should the Top Marginal Income Tax Rate Be 73 Percent?” They write: “Imagine a high school student who graduates in a world where the top marginal income tax rate is more than 70 percent. He may decide not to pursue his dream of becoming a college-educated engineer because the government will take a large share of the returns to his college investment—that is, much of the extra money he will earn because he is a college-educated engineer will be seized by the government, so he may conclude that going to college isn’t worth it. He is worse off because of the high top income tax rate. And so is society, because we now have one less engineer.” 

The authors offer more examples, such as a medical student who decides to become a pediatrician rather than a heart surgeon and an entrepreneur who decides not to expand his business. These examples jibe with a much talked about 2012 article in the Journal of Economic Literature by Keane and Princeton University economist Richard Rogerson. Keane and Rogerson conclude that factors such as investments in education, occupational choice, and business creation and development are more important when thinking about the long-run effects of high marginal rates than most economists had previously realized.

By calling for radically increased taxes on the wealthy, Warren Buffett and his fellow “patriotic millionaires” are creating an environment in which it will be much, much harder to become the next Warren Buffett. Increasing taxes on the wealthiest earners may raise some revenue for the government in the short run, but the long-term costs may be substantial. 

Working fewer hours is not the only weapon big earners have against increased taxes. For instance, Mathur, Slavov, and Strain note that people can avoid taxes by shifting “income into non-taxable forms such as employer-sponsored health insurance and other untaxed fringe benefits, or they can engage in tax evasion by underreporting income.” While economists have not reached a consensus on the responsiveness of income to the marginal rates for high-income earners, there is some support for the idea that this behavioral effect may be important and therefore costly to the economy. 

The most overlooked cost of raising taxes on the wealthy is that it allows lawmakers to ignore necessary reforms of expensive programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Even at the higher Clinton-era tax rates, there aren’t enough rich people to pay for our current and future spending. Assuming no change to spending patterns, Slemrod and Leonard Burman report in their 2012 book Taxes in America (Oxford University Press) that rates would have to reach 91 percent on top earners to pay our current bills. At those punishing rates, we can kiss economic growth goodbye and say hello to massive tax evasion and much higher taxes for the rest of us.  

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  • Whiterun Guard||

    Who would win in a fight between Veronique de Rugy and a Veronique-de-Rugy-sized-lobster?

  • GILMORE||

    Lobster-Girl?

    mmmm.

    i vote = melted butter. on both.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Exoskeleton. Lobster wins.

  • entropy||

    What about Veronique de Rugy vs. 11 migit Veroniques de Rugy playing iron man football?

  • anon||

    If they're all scantily clad, everyone wins.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Veronique de Rugy wins in 2OT by completing a Hail Mary to herself.

  • Sudden||

    She is the female version of Johnny Manziel?

  • BakedPenguin||

    How about a Veronique de Rugy sized duck versus a flock of duck-sized Veronique de Rugys?

  • GILMORE||

    I vote DeRugy Pâté wins

  • $park¥||

    At those punishing rates, we can kiss economic growth goodbye and say hello to massive tax evasion and much higher taxes for the rest of us.

    Who cares, lets do it anyway. Forward!

  • Sudden||

    Who cares, lets do it anyway. ForwardBend over!

    FTFY

  • mtrueman||

    But the author seems confused. He says:

    ¨The bet is that high earners will keep working despite Uncle Sam’s taking a bigger bite out of their income.¨

    Later he talks of the ¨efforts¨ of the highest income earners. In fact this section of the populace don´t work, they ¨invest.¨ We don´t have to worry about whether or not they stop doing something that has no bearing on their income.

  • Rich||

    The most overlooked cost of raising taxes on the wealthy is that it allows lawmakers to ignore necessary reforms of expensive programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

    Pshaw. Lawmakers don't need any "allowance" to ignore necessary reforms.

  • InlineSkate||

    Warren Buffett doesn't care he already made his fortune. Now's his time to make himself look good.

  • sarcasmic||

    Raising taxes on the rich isn't about revenue. It's about fairness.

    I mean, we all know that the rich don't pay their fair share. How could they? They're rich. If they paid their fair share then they wouldn't be rich, now, would they? So taxes must be raised on them until they are no longer rich. Only then will they have paid their fair share.

    If doing this destroys the economy and makes everyone poor, so be it. It is fairer that everyone be poor than there be rich people to envy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The irrationality and emotionalism of the left is the hardest part to understand. We feel sorry for some--wreck the economy to not really help them. We resent wealthy people or feel guilty for being wealthy--steal rich people's money (while making sure you protect your own). And so on.

  • entropy||

    It's compensatory.

    When people are very vocal about insisting and demonstrating they are one thing, unprovoked, they're usually exactly the opposite. Imagine if someone walked into a room and blurted out "I didn't kill anyone!"

    If you find someone who's constantly projecting their suffering for the sake of others, I would say you've probably found either a raging narcicist or maybe a genuine sociopath.

    Just find some urban eco-nut and listen to them prattle about how much they love nature, and how important nature is to them, and how we have to learn to live in cooperation with nature.

    They live in concrete bunkers with plastic plants and their idea of 'nature' is a thrice a year 45-minute trip to a well manicured artificial park. The "we" is them and the mouse in their pocket. They just assume everyone else must be even worse because they don't even pay constant lip service.

    Drag them out bushwhacking, they will be mortified by everything, complain constantly, squeal often, and if not carefully babysat will probably accidentally kill themselves in stunningly short fashion.

  • BuSab Agent||

    ^This^

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Your insight to, and ability to express the circular reasoning regarding tolerance and fairness is amazing. When you post these, my brain aches. The cognitive dissonance needed to hold these beliefs is bewildering.

    How Tony, Derider, Shrike et al can function in the world is bewildering as well.

  • sarcasmic||

    When you post these, my brain aches.

    You're using it wrong. You're trying to start with premises and arrive at a conclusion.

    You're supposed to start with an emotional reaction, and then work backwards to come up with a rationale.

  • T o n y||

    We all know the poor just don't work hard enough. How could they be? They're poor.

  • ||

    The poor doesn't work productively enough, which has little to do with "hard work".

    If I hoe a row, "hard work" buys me relatively little... but if I invest in a cultivator (and fuel for it), I can get much more work done while not "working harder".

  • T o n y||

    So are the poor just too dumb to make productive investments? Oh no, they can't make investments that will result in future gains because they're poor.

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me a poor person and I'll show you someone who spends everything that they earn.
    Show me a rich person and I'll show you someone who lives below their means.

    Personal choice and responsibility. Not that you would understand simple concepts like that. A ten year old might, but not you.

  • T o n y||

    So increasing wealth inequality is the result of a mass wave of moral depravity in the form of a lack of responsibility, combined with an increasingly tiny minority of people with extreme personal responsibility. Ah why don't we run the country on this theory and see how that works out?

  • Rasilio||

    Define poor.

    See in the real world the general story is that the poor person is too young to have had the time to accumulate the necessary capital to "work smarter" and so they are stuck "working harder". 15 years down the road however they have had that time and generally speaking they are no longer poor.

    Now if you have someone who is making near or below poverty level wages for more than 15 consecutive years, then yes they are stupid.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Not necessarily stupid, but having extremely poor impulse control. My parents are like this. No matter how much money they make, they spend more than they have, so they are continually in crisis mode with maxed out credit cards. Every rainy day fucks them over. Once my mother decides she wants something, she buys it immediately regardless of whether she can afford it or not. While not rich, I am financially secure because when I was young, I posed to myself, "What would my parents do?" and always did the opposite.

  • GILMORE||

    "Who said it was to 'solve problems'? IT FEELS GOOD."

  • rts||

  • Jordan||

    +10 billion

  • ||

    That just went out to all my friends. Awesome!

  • minarchist||

    Rand Paul last night: 'What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith'

    Yep.

  • jb4479||

    I have to disagree somewhat, Robin Hood did not steal from the rich, he stole from the government (the bishop, the sheriff, the tax collectors, etc...)

  • Tim||

    From HOPE to NOPE in just four years.

  • NoVAHockey||

    The hope thing perfectly encapsulates the mentality of losers. Hopes and dreams are for losers. winners have objectives and plans.

  • Sudden||

    Hope is the denial of reality.

  • fish||

    Coffee is for closers!

  • fish||

    I hate to interject another Dorner item but this was too good to not post!

    This years winner in the reason.com "Mother of the Year" contest.

    Dorners mom!

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com.....-standoff/

  • $park¥||

    She wasn't in any danger, what would she have to be upset about?

  • fish||

    True enough....fabulous "Happy Hour" drink and snack specials.

  • $park¥||

    Maybe she's one of those mothers that's thoroughly disappointed with their kid. "There goes my dumbass son."

  • anon||

    I'd be getting drunk too if I had a child that stupid.

    Of course, I'd probably perform the late-late-late term abortion myself long before it got to that point.

  • ||

    But did she have her lorgnette with her?

  • Drake||

    "extracting cash from the wealthy won’t solve our problems."

    That depends on what you think our problems are.

  • grey||

    Economy = Private Capital + Labor

    Taxation reduces private capital and suppresses labor. Most governement entitlement spending further suppresses labor, so we're getting a compound negative impact from both the tax and spend side of government. Isn't this a bad thing, since in an expanding economy we get more competition for labor and thus higher wages, capital accumulation (more evil middle class and rich people), and lower prices for goods or services?

    Please critique.

  • Jordan||

    Spot on.

  • Virginian||

    Bingo. Oversimplifying enormously, but if X is the number of jobs available, and Y is the number of people looking, the best way to get wages to rise is to make X

  • Virginian||

    And the squirrels ate half my comment.

  • Nuked||

    You can't leave us hanging here, finish your comment god damn it!

  • Rasilio||

    Slemrod and Leonard Burman report in their 2012 book Taxes in America (Oxford University Press) that rates would have to reach 91 percent on top earners to pay our current bills.

    Veronique, love your work but this is exactly the kind of weak argument that kills you ability to convince anyone.

    See, I've done a good bit of the math for myself. You could raise the top income tax rate to 100% for all income over $200,000 a year. That is completely confiscate all income over that thereby creating a maximum income and even with the ridiculous assumption that there would be no changes in behavior or negative consequences resulting from this you would not quite close the current annual deficits, you'd get somewhere around an extra $1 Trillion a year in revenues.

    So obviously that book which postulated a top rate of 91% also had very large increases in tax rates on the poor and middle class as well.

    This is the point that must be stressed because saying that you just need a top income tax rate of 91% to "pay our current bills" makes it sound like you could make some small cuts to non essential programs and maybe some modest tax increases for the middle class and then implement a 70% tax rate for the top 2% of wage earners and fix the budget, a program that would sound entirely reasonable to a large swathe of Americans (probably even a plurality of them). The problem is that such a plan would not work, not even in theory to close the deficit.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If we just raise the minimum wage to 0/hr, we'll all be rich.

    Problem solved!

  • Mike M.||

    The real state of our union: since Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 15 million, from 32 to 47 million people.

    An incredible increase of nearly 50 percent! If that doesn't blow you away, I'm not sure what will.

  • Matrix||

    We don't have a spending problem. We have a revenue problem.

    /Leftderp

  • rts||

  • Virginian||

    He's right. You can either have big government, or low taxes. You can't have both. For the last twenty years, the two parties have compromised by keeping taxes low (ish) and spending high.

    Next up: Inflation.

  • grey||

    But if we don't have a large government then we have no society: Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    raise the minimum wage to 0/hr

    What the fuck?

    That's some truly innovative work, there, skwerlz.

    That was supposed to be "$150/hr"

  • anon||

    Funny enough, making the minimum wage $0/hr might actually fix some of our problems.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought you were going down the "from each according to his ability" path.

  • T o n y||

    There's no good reason for libertarians not to recognize the means by which the wealthy "take"--indeed de Rugy does so in this column, but only as an argument for giving in to the extortion. Most of you come to the table assuming every cent in a wealthy person's pocket was earned, and it can only be the case that you are simply biased against the forms of transfer that go to poor people and don't recognize the ones that go to the wealthy (tax favors, etc.)--the latter being far more costly since they result in a vicious cycle of increased wealth inequality and, some theorize, leads directly to large recessions (the state prior to the Great Depression and the Great Recession).

    The goal should be having a less bifurcated society. If the wealthiest are so powerful that they can evade the intent of law and their responsibilities as citizens, then that's as good an argument as any for why we shouldn't tolerate such obscene levels of inequality. A tiny number of very wealthy people (half of whom are Waltons, who did the hard work of having the right DNA) and most everyone else living paycheck to paycheck not only is very unhealthy for the economy as a whole, but is almost certainly not the result of a free and fair matrix of exchanges. There is not an aristocracy in the history of the world that got there by being extra smart and hard working relative to everyone else. They all got there by pillaging by what means were available to them and then producing heirs to the loot.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • T o n y||

    What's it like going through life being a servile apologist for people wealthier than you will ever be?

    I'd rather die knowing that if I erred, I erred on the side of the proletariat. It's just so much more seemly.

  • anon||

    We'd all be much happier knowing that you died a clueless moron just like the rest of your ilk, and patiently await the hour.

  • T o n y||

    Your ideas are dying and a new liberal era is nigh. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Your ideas are dying and a new liberal era is nigh. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

    Yeah, and it will end up looking something like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....n_1836.jpg

  • fish||

    Hey, I'd be onboard if it looked like that! It will probably look more like this!

    http://www.detroittechnohouse......avenue.jpg

  • fish||

    Dude you need to lay off the autoerotic asphyxiation it is really hampering your ability see perceive reality!

  • fish||

    Dude you need to lay off the autoerotic asphyxiation it is really hampering your ability see to perceive reality!

    That was addressed to S o c k p u p p e t.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "What's it like going through life being a servile apologist for people wealthier than you will ever be?"

    I imagine you'll be back with an answer after Obama finishes blowing his load in your cheek.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.13.13 @ 12:15PM |#
    ..."I'd rather die knowing that if I erred, I erred on the side of the proletariat."...

    No shithead, you're not 'on the side of the proletariat'; you're on the side of ignoramuses.
    The proletariat would rather you go fuck yourself and leave them alone so the can make some money, you sleazy turd.

  • anon||

    There's no good reason for libertarians not to recognize the means by which the wealthy "take"

    Stopped reading there. The Derp is strong in this one.

    Tony, do you just copy & paste the bullshit that spews from your fingertips at this point?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The goal should be having a less bifurcated society.

    No, dipshit. The goal should be to mind your own fucking business. If you want to help poor, dig into your own pocket. But keep your goddamn filthy paws out of my pocket. Asshole.

  • T o n y||

    I want the poor to be able to help themselves. You kind of missed the point. Everyone takes from everyone else's pockets. The rich are just really, really good at it, and libertarians are so inclined to defending the rich that they fail to notice it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Everyone takes from everyone else's pockets.

    The Walton family makes their money by providing goods and services that people purchase through a voluntary, peaceful, mutually beneficial transaction.

    You want to take money from me by putting a government gun to my head; an involuntary, violent, and lopsided transaction. Douchebag.

  • T o n y||

    The Walton family made their money by being squirted from the right loins. And that money would never have existed without taxpayers footing the bill for the highways Wal-Mart ships its goods on or the middle schools its employees occasionally graduate from or the obscenely cushy subsidies in other forms big companies like Wal-Mart all get.

  • ||

    They didn't pay any taxes whatsoever, especially not an estate or inheritance tax. And DEFINITELY not any gas taxes.

    God damn but you are a retarded piece of shit sometimes.

  • KDN||

    They didn't pay any taxes whatsoever, especially not an estate or inheritance tax. And DEFINITELY not any gas taxes.

    To say nothing of the billions in sales tax, corporate income tax, and payroll tax that the company generates every year. Even factoring in the subsidies they get, the sundry governments of the United States are surely making out on the deal.

  • ||

    Yes, because the Waltons were exempt from paying highway and skool taxes.

    Try MOAR harder you disingenuous cunt.

  • grey||

    Tony raises a good point about Walton's loins, the loins are way to free to squirt. Who would not agree that anyone, having accumulated some capital, should not have children.

  • sarcasmic||

    You are the poster child for the inverse relationship between one's understanding of basic economics and the likelihood of them being a progressive liberal.

  • Hopfiend||

    Ok, sweet pea, give us your specific policy prescription to end poverty and reduce wealth inequality. Go.

  • sarcasmic||

    Put the right people in charge and give them unlimited power! Duh!

  • T o n y||

    A more progressive tax system, a more robust social safety net, expanded access to high-quality education and healthcare.

    And guess what, snookums, not a single person will decide it's just all too much and that he doesn't want to be rich anymore, thus we won't deprive society of our most precious commodity, rich people (what collectivists you guys become when we talk about tax rates!).

  • sarcasmic||

    “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

    ― Thomas Sowell

    I see you have taken the first lesson of politics to heart.

  • T o n y||

    But there should be enough to satisfy basic needs, and if there isn't, that's no reason not to try at all and let the top fraction of a percent run off with all the loot.

    Give into extortion! Give into fatalism! A winning political platform if I ever heard one.

  • sarcasmic||

    In poor countries poor people starve. In America poor people are fat. I think they've got their basic needs covered.

  • T o n y||

    Poor people in America (and other wealthy countries) are fat for the same reason they are overly thin in poor countries: bad nutrition. You can be malnourished and be fat. Being fat doesn't mean you want for nothing, it means you want for quality food in a society where everything cheap is made of corn and sugar.

  • sarcasmic||

    Poor people in America (and other wealthy countries) are fat for the same reason they are overly thin in poor countries: bad nutrition.

    There is a world of difference between bad nutrition because you have nothing to eat and are starving to death, and bad nutrition because you make poor choices when buying food.

    Though I would never expect you to understand that distinction. I would expect a ten year old to understand, but never you.

  • T o n y||

    So record levels of obesity is ALSO the result of a mass epidemic of poor choices.

    How did it come to this?

  • ||

    In America poor people are fat. I think they've got their basic needs covered.

    Oh, he didn't mean those basic needs. He meant cars, phones, flat screens, internet, steak, lobster...

    ...you know, equality.

  • ||

    Flat screens are cheap, it's cable that's expensive.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Unlimited healthcare isn't a basic need.

  • ||

    Yep, that's why all those rich French people are abandoning ship.

  • ||

    A more progressive tax system

    So your plan is to steal to obtain your liberal utopia. You have just proven yourself an immoral cunt.

  • T o n y||

    Name a place you'd want to live that doesn't have progressive taxation.

  • ||

    Immoral pig!

  • grey||

    Most high quality education I'm aware of is private. Therefore we must eradicate our poor public educations system and make room for private education. I think everyone would have to agree with Tony on this.

  • Hopfiend||

    progressive tax system, check, most progressive.

    robust safety net, check. Too much but...diff story.

    ed access, so you support school choice? good.

    healthcare, well, we'll see how this works out.

    my issue isn't rich/poor but it is a principled opposition to coercion. My complaint with you people is that you constantly advocate for stealing from others and then intellectually contort yourselves (ala Cirque du Soleil) to justify it, is sickening. You advocate all this nonsense with other people's money with no skin in the game of your own, a sort of benevolence by proxy.

  • grey||

    Not sure you can call any part of the process benevolent if in the first part you have taxes backed by armed men and the very real threat of incarceration. Need to somehow rephrase to remove benevolence to make it more perfect. I killed one kid to take his liver to give to another dying child, this was an act of the first child being benevolent by proxy. I can't name the exact problem, but it just doesn't work.

  • Hopfiend||

    maybe beneficience by proxy or sugar daddy by proxy

  • entropy||

    Everyone takes from everyone else's pockets.

    That's a justification so you can keep doing it. Everyone does not. You should fucking stop it.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.13.13 @ 12:17PM |#
    ..."Everyone takes from everyone else's pockets."...
    Yes, shithead, that's the reason all 3Bn of us are still trying to share that lichen that Uug found on that rock.
    You've made comments that are ignorant, but this one says your grasp of history and econ is, well, perhaps Head Start level. Perhaps.

  • Virginian||

    Three Meat Chili

    Pack of Bacon
    Pack of Italian sausages, hot.
    3 lbs ground beef.
    1 large onion
    1 can Rotel
    1 can diced tomatoes
    Jalapenos to taste.
    Beef broth to desired consistency.

    Cook bacon, cut into pieces. Cut sausages into pieces, brown. Brown ground beef, season with garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, etc. Throw into slow cooker with chopped onion, tomatoes, Rotel, jalapenos. Cook for four hours on high, or 6-8 on low.

  • anon||

    No beans?!

    Y'all obviously don't know how to make chili up there in virginia.

  • Virginian||

    Well I could choose between putting more meat into the slow cooker, or some beans. I made my choice.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Do you serve this with cornbread?

  • Virginian||

    I'm on the low carb thing, so the only bread I let myself eat is a sandwich at lunch. But I do miss cornbread.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here's what I'm doing for the chili cookoff at work tomorrow.

    1 bone in pork shoulder.
    Several packages of various dried chili peppers.
    Beer and water to cover.
    Into a hot oven until browned and boiling, then drop the heat to 250 overnight.
    Stick in fridge to cool.
    Roast fresh anaheim and poblanos on the grill. Bag to let them steam. Put in fridge.

    That's where I'm at so far.

    Later I'll assemble by cleaning the meat, making a sauce from what's in the pan, clean and chop the roasted peppers, and then make an evaluation.

    I'll probably add a can of tomato sauce and a can of beans. Maybe a can of stewed tomatoes. Cumin and garlic salt to taste.

    So it's going to be spicy pulled pork in a chili sauce with roasted peppers, possibly Americanized with beans and some tomato products.

  • Virginian||

    That sounds amazing. Too much work for me though. I like to walk the line between taste and prep time.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's right. The problem is that the evil rich people control the government and use it to benefit them. What we need to do is give more power to the government so it can control the rich people and corporations that control it. Now if that fails and only gives power to the rich people who control government, try giving more power to the government. If the government fails to control the rich people who control it, give it more power. Now if that fails and only gives power to the rich people who control government, try giving more power to the government. If the government fails to control the rich people who control it, give it more power. Now if that fails and only gives power to the rich people who control government, try giving more power to the government. If the government fails to control the rich people who control it, give it more power. Now if that fails and only gives power to the rich people who control government, try giving more power to the government. If the government fails to control the rich people who control it, give it more power...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Goddammit! You're doing it again.

  • T o n y||

    Government needs to have more power than wealthy private interests. It's pretty simple.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're so dense you make depleted uranium look like chaff.

  • ||

    10/10.

  • entropy||

    Which wealthy private interests?

    The abusive ones are the ones in bed with your powerful government.

  • T o n y||

    So why not let's reduce the power of government and let the private interests do less work getting their way.

  • Nuked||

    Critical thinking. Try it.

  • Sevo||

    Nuked| 2.13.13 @ 5:09PM |#
    "Critical thinking. Try it."

    Uh, this is shithead your addressing. Try getting the average pet cat to count to 5; you have a much better chance of success.
    Shithead's ignorance is compounded by a willful desire to be stupid.

  • ||

    You are a fucking retard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi-JJYnea-M

  • Jordan||

    I see you've just started responding to comments without even reading them.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    It's called reading! Top to bottom, left to right... a group of words together is called a sentence. Take Tylenol for any headaches... Midol for any cramps.

  • Hopfiend||

    well now, you're just being logical.

  • entropy||

    "There's no good reason for libertarians not to recognize the means by which the wealthy "take""

    The means by which the wealthy take is mostly by government coercion. In a private market they cannot take. At worst they can scam but they must trade.

  • T o n y||

    Well there's more coercion and fraud in the private market than you can shake a stick at, and there would certainly be far more with less government preventing it. But yes I was referring to using the levers of government to gain favors, and my point is that libertarians seem to only care about this when poor people are allegedly doing it--despite the absurdity of the premise that poor people have more influence over government than wealthy interests.

  • sarcasmic||

    Wow! False premises! Outright lies! Men of straw!

    That post has got it all!

    You ain't KING OF THE DERPS for nothing!

  • grey||

    My new Washer and Dryer promised to wash and dry clothing. They did, nobody told me it wasn't instantaneous. FRAUD.
    I got a business loan, they gave me money, I paid according to the contract. I needed the money to grow my business. COERCION.
    I purchased a car with a warranty. It never broke down. MORE FRAUD.

    Is there some evil world of commerce that I never come into contact? I don't buy, borrow, or invest with companies or people that cheat or coerce me. The only coercion I encounter is that of government. I cannot buy a casket from my neighbor, I must buy it from someone with a license, why?

  • sarcasmic||

    Is there some evil world of commerce that I never come into contact?

    Profit is theft! Therefore whenever you do business with someone and they make a profit, you were cheated! Likewise if you make a profit you are committing fraud!
    As far as coercion goes, there are no choices! Nothing is voluntary and everything is forced! So whenever you buy something you were somehow coerced into it by advertising, peer pressure, or some other capitalist plot!

    See? Every business transaction starts with coercion and ends in fraud!

  • grey||

    Except somehow a business transaction controlled by the State is without fraud and coercion. By that measure, North Korea is free of fraud and coercion, it's people are happy and the most free in the world. To a lesser degree than Korea, Europe is free of fraud and coercion, but not yet completely, some small measure of free market activity remains and so its citizens are still under the two boots of capitalism: Fraud and Coercion. I hear socialist applause everywhere, I understand now!

  • Jordan||

    my point is that libertarians seem to only care about this when poor people are allegedly doing it

    Lies. Fuck off.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Which is why, of course, libertarians whole-heartedly supported the bailouts... Right?

    This must be your first time conversing with libertarians, correct T o n y?

    It is my understanding that most libertarians derive their views from the non-aggression principal. It doesn't matter who (rich or poor) use the gov. as an instrument of coercion - it is always wrong. You seem to believe that giving more power to the government would result in the rich making less use of it for coercive means. How? Would a larger government yield a higher proportion of moral Top Men?

    A smaller gov. - particularly if it were restricted to enforcing individual rights (no, health care and education are not rights) - would, in my opinion, reduce its utility as a coercive interest by any party. As it is, the government is large since so many assume it is a legitimate government duty to coerce. They only get mad if the coercion doesn't benefit themselves or their vested interests.

  • T o n y||

    Blah blah blah bailouts.

    Stop bellyaching about welfare and defending every cent in the pockets of the wealthy on the false premise that the poor take and the wealthy make by virtue of their poverty or wealth alone, and then I'll be open to being convinced that you actually proportion your grievance correctly.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Please cite where I have done any of that which you accuse me of doing. Feel free to search Reason archives... Welfare is wrong - both corporate welfare for the rich and welfare programs for the poor. There is no "proportioning" about it.

    I have no idea if the rich or poor benefit more from gov. coercion. Frankly, I don't care. Less gov. coercion (i.e., smaller gov.) is the only plausible solution either way.

    By the way - did you actually read more than the first line of my comment?

  • Sevo||

    Being Waterboarded| 2.13.13 @ 7:43PM |#
    "By the way - did you actually read more than the first line of my comment?"

    Uh, this is shithead your addressing. Try getting the average pet cat to count to 5; you have a much better chance of success.
    Shithead's ignorance is compounded by a willful desire to be stupid.

  • ||

    There's no good reason for libertarians not to recognize the means by which the wealthy "take"

    There are so many logical inconsistencies within that paragraph I'm not going to waste my time pointing them all out.

    Sufficed to say, you are an idiot.

  • grey||

    I have heard this said before, unchallenged on MSNBC. So, I am very interested to know how the wealthy are perceived to take? I wish to know the logic.

  • sarcasmic||

    You start with envy. It isn't fair that some have more stuff than you. Then you work backwards. Since you can't get rich in an honest manner, how did they? It couldn't have been honest. Besides, profit is fraud. It's stealing from workers or stealing from customers. I mean, it's not fair that someone is paid ten dollars to produce fifteen dollars worth of value, or someone pays fifteen dollars for something that cost the seller ten. Both cases, even though everything is done voluntarily, are instances of force and fraud. Thus the wealthy take from the poor.

    Or something like that. Trust your feelings. Ignore logic and reason. It will all make sense.

  • Loki||

    Warren Buffett and his fellow “patriotic millionaires” are creating an environment in which it will be much, much harder to become the next Warren Buffett.

    As far as Buffett is concerned, this is a feature, not a bug. He's got his, so fuck everyone else.
  • The Late P Brooks||

    The goal should be having a less bifurcated society. If the wealthiest are so powerful that they can evade the intent of law and their responsibilities as citizens, then that's as good an argument as any for why we shouldn't tolerate such obscene levels of inequality.

    Robespierre, is that you? Do you have enough juiceboxes out there on the barricades?

  • T o n y||

    Bloody revolutions are generally how extreme levels of wealth inequality end. As fine a tradition as that is, a slight increase in the income tax and a slight rise in the minimum wage would seem to be preferable, and is the extent of what anyone is asking.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.13.13 @ 5:17PM |#
    "Bloody revolutions are generally how extreme levels of wealth inequality end."

    No, shithead, they usually just usher in the next one.
    You're truly a stupid shit, so I'll give you until tomorrow to cite one (1) revolution that did anything close to your claim for longer than 10 years.

  • ||

    Bloody revolutions are generally how extreme levels of wealth inequality end.

    Um, fuckstain, you do realize we have all the guns, right?

  • T o n y||

    And why do the revolutions happen? Because everyone in the society knows that the wealthy didn't get that way by hard work and being smart; they took what they have. When you have enough wealth, that becomes increasingly easy.

    Well, everyone but pathetic little wealth apologizing weasels called libertarians.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y| 2.13.13 @ 5:18PM |#
    "And why do the revolutions happen? Because everyone in the society knows that the wealthy didn't get that way by hard work and being smart; they took what they have."

    See above shithead.
    You'd be lying except you're too stupid to know facts, so this is just random bullshit.

  • grey||

    less bifurcated society = good Soviet Man

    responsibility as citizens = my labor is for the State

    obscene levels of inequality = accumulation of capital is bad for society (I should not save a bag of grain to plant or lend next year - if I do lend it, I should lend it without interest)

    The longer I spend at reason, the better my reading comprehension.

  • fish||

    less bifurcated society = good Soviet Man

    responsibility as citizens = my labor is for the State

    obscene levels of inequality = accumulation of capital is bad for society (I should not save a bag of grain to plant or lend next year - if I do lend it, I should lend it without interest)

    The longer I spend at reason, the better my reading comprehension.

    You left out:

    laboring under the kind, guiding hand of the vanguard = T o n y

  • grey||

    You're right, I did forget that lacking any individual initiative to work for someone else's gain, that I might need a person to point a gun at me to make me work.

  • Roderick||

    Sienna. I see what you mean... Edna`s c0mment is cool... on tuesday I got Smart ForTwo from earning $9836 this-last/5 weeks and a little over ten-k last-month. it's certainly the nicest-job I have ever had. I actually started 8-months ago and right away started making a nice at least $84, per-hour. I follow this website, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • Sevo||

    Sort of OT, but only sort of:
    "SF restaurant pays back wages, fines"
    "No worker in San Francisco should be forced to work for less than minimum wage," Herrera said. [...] "They only gave me three hours on my paycheck, but I worked 9 (a.m.) to 9 (p.m.) - 11 hours because I got an hour for lunch," she said.
    The woman said she quit in 2010 after her bosses wouldn't let her take more than two weeks off to deal with a child care issue involving her young son."

    Some "force". Given that Herrara is at least as willfully stupid as shithead, and a politico besides, it's not surprising he has no concept of what the term "force" means.
    Anyhow, it's an odds-on bet that the company is going to employ fewer people (got that, shithead? minimum wage = fewer people employed), won't sponsor more immigrants from China, and may well not employ anyone.

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    Nicest chat and chat Iraqi entertaining Adject all over the world
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  • Thomas4||

    upto I saw the bank draft saying $4084, I didn't believe that...my... brother had been actually receiving money in there spare time at their computer.. there friends cousin haz done this 4 only fourteen months and as of now took care of the morgage on there apartment and got a great Jaguar XJ. go to, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • دردشة بغدادية||

    Nicest chat and chat Iraqi entertaining Adject all over the world
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  • ||

    He gave a 500 million to charity, he caused a boom in laptops and cellphones, and he was responsible for creating 20 million high-tech jobs, now the media is trying to take away Zukerbergs tax saving loopholes. Some want him crucified for being too clever.

  • شات صوتي||

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