Obama's Pricey Budget is Just a Big Government Political Pamphlet

President ObamaWhite HouseIt's been a while since federal budget proposals by the White House or congressional leaders (individual legislators and independent groups are a different matter) were much more than political pamphlets, so President Obama's proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget continues an American tradition, albeit, a crappy one. At $3.901 trillion, though (up from $3.651 trillion in 2014 and rising to $5.912 trillion in 2024), the president's pamphlet seems a tad on the pricey side. Then again, the all-you-can-eat government it proposes couldn't possibly be done on the cheap, and nobody really expects Congress to adopt the whole package.

President Obama remarked at Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C., "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future," and his expensive pamphlet lays out what he thinks those values ought to be, and how that future should look. To be honest, he seems to think it should look a bit like SimCity, with everything carefully planned and arranged. It includes "45 high-tech manufacturing hubs where businesses and universities will partner to turn groundbreaking research into new industries and new jobs," "access to...high-quality preschool and other early learning programs," "apprenticeships to connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs," and "over $1 billion in new funding for new technologies to help communities prepare for a changing climate today."

Also in the budget is an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, tax credits for child care, and for college loans—all billed as "tax cuts" for "13.5 million working Americans" and the middle class. The cuts/credits would be offset by "closing tax loopholes, including the so-called 'Gingrich' and 'Carried Interest' provisions that let high-income professionals avoid the income and payroll taxes other workers pay."

In his message to Congress, the president bills this all as tax code simplification, but it looks more like shuffling benefits around among favored and disfavored categories of Americans.

And, again, the White House's proposed budget projects continuing increases in federal spending with big deficits (that $3.901 trillion in outlays is based on $3.337 trillion in receipts) at a time when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts that "the gap between federal spending and revenues would widen steadily after 2015...a path that would ultimately be unsustainable."

The CBO's warnings are based on slightly lower federal outlays than those foreseen by the White House, and generally lower revenues. Possibly of interest, the CBO now forecasts lower gross domestic product over the next few years than was originally believed. According to a February 28 report, "From the earlier projection to the more recent, CBO’s projection for potential output in 2017 declined by 7.3 percent." That just might have an impact on resources available to the federal government.

GDP ForecastCongressional Budget Office

Then again, expensive and micromanaging though it may be, nobody really expects the president's budget to be adopted. Josh Voorhees at Slate calls it a "liberal wish list."

But that doesn't mean the federal government looks like it's poised to pass something more realistic.

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  • CE||

    Nothing left to cut.

  • Paul.||

    , "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future,"

    He's right about that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "No, fuck you, cut spending."

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    I'd ask if you had a newsletter but it's the same one sentence every month.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We change the typeface and the emphasis. And the centerfold is different each month.

  • Sudden||

    Different angles of Warty's DOOMCOCK doesn't count as "centerfold is different"

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's SF's political pamphlet, not mine. He's more into cultural issues, like Reason is.

  • Sudden||

    That's why it's entitled Cockmotarian?

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's right. And they regularly publish exciting new martini recipes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Works for the Fed. OK, they have 10,000 sentences, but they never change from month to month.

  • ||

    Ugh, I hate this shit even more now that I'm engaged. How am I supposed to know whether I should get legally married with all this taxing regime uncertainty?

  • ||

    To be honest, with no kids, nicole, I hate to burst your bubble, but getting married is a bad tax move.

  • Pro Libertate||

    In other words, breed. Breed like crazy. Have your own, adopt them.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not my fault if parents choose not to employ cheap labor.

  • ||

    Not in all situations it isn't.

  • ||

    It pretty much is. Talk to a tax expert about it if you need to, but it pretty much is with a few rare exceptions.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I've heard that it's not as stark a contrast as it used to be, but I've been married long enough to admit that I don't know what the status of the marriage penalty is today.

    I wonder if there's a rent-a-deduction market out there, where people let other people claim their kids as dependents?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That sounds like a high risk, low reward type market...

  • Pro Libertate||

    ROI and other primitive, bourgeois concepts have no place in a modern nation like ours.

  • Invisible Finger||

    So gay people wanting to get married are really stupid?

  • ||

    If you consider them to be a two-party high-earning household, they are fucking retarded if they get married (tax-wise). However, as with any marriage (like Brett below), spousal visitation, inheritance, etc. may be worth more than the loss of money to greater taxation.

    But I don't really feel like talking about KULTUR WAR bullshit, frankly.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Käse!||

    This is STEUERKRIEG instead.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yeah, the only exception I can think of is pretty unlikely.

  • John||

    It is Nikki. Episiarch is right. There really is no legal benefit to being married. It just lets the IRS fuck you in the ass harder.

    That was always accepted until the gay marriage issue required enlightened people to believe that marriage was this fabulous benefit only given to straight white people.

  • ||

    If you have a large income differential, you make out relatively well.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Yep, or if one of the two doesn't work at all.

  • John||

    No, you make out worse. Lets say your husband makes $100K a year and you make 20K. If you are single, your 20K is taxes at the lowest rate. If you are married, your 20K is taxed at the marginal rate of income made between 100K and 120K. So you getting married is taxed just like your husband getting a 20K a year raise. And that fucks you on your taxes.

    The only way it doesn't screw you is if one party has no or very little income.

  • Sudden||

    Last year I filed as married, this year I filed as single. While there was a job changed squeezed in back in March (along with the divorce) that increased my income and I think I did claim an additional exemption, I owe money this year (fucking $700 to the feds alone) whereas last year we got a $2k back.

  • ||

    John, flip the differential.

  • John||

    It doesn't matter nikki. Since the tax rate is progressive, you are always better off paying your taxes separately than you are together.

    Yes, you get a larger standard deduction and an extra exemption, but that doesn't always help. The only way being married pays is if one party barely makes any income.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    He should have proposed sooner.

  • John||

    And why are you marrying some guy with no income? What is his nickname? Tripod?

    Seriously, he better have something or he will just bleed you dry. And please God don't tell me he is a fucking musician or worse a drummer. He will bang all of your friends, suck you dry and then demand alimony for the pleasure.

  • ||

    You picked a bad example John, at those income levels the 20k person is actually lowering the marginal tax rate of the 100k person, because at that income level the married filing jointly limits are simply double the single limits. Not to far ahead of that though it stops being double and that is where the marriage penalty can start occurring. I'm paying a marriage penalty right now but its only a couple hundred dollars extra. This is offset from a pure income comparison because my wife's company pays me to be on their health insurance (through HSA contributions in excess of our monthly premium payments).

  • John||

    20K is a bad example Aptheist. But you see what I am saying. Marriage is hardly a tax benefit in most cases.

  • ||

    Wouldn't it really be a tax benefit in most cases since most people aren't making anywhere near that amount of money, even if both of them work?

    I'd be willing to bet there are a lot more 50k/6k split then 100k/100k.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Please remember that the whole 2-worker marriage tax was essentially cooked up to get women out of the workforce after the war so there wouldn't be unemployed killers roaming the streets of America. We even came up with the idiotic "A woman's place is in the home" propaganda effort to keep the testosterone in the workforce instead of the unemployment line.

    It worked for a full generation. Unfortunately, it created a boom of babies that grew up to be the most ignorant, arrogant, and lazy citizens the country has ever seen.

  • Hooha||

    ...until met the people spawned by those citizens.

  • Paul.||

    fabulous benefit only given to straight white people.

    It CAN be a fabulous benefit, if for instance, your spouse works for the Federal government.

  • John||

    Not really. Maybe for insurance benefits I guess. But that is true of any job that has good insurance.

  • Sudden||

    Pension. The only industry left where anyone gets a pension is the public sector.

  • John||

    But the pension doesn't go to your spouse. You have to pay for it to go to your spouse after you die. Most of the time it is a bad deal. Unless your spouse is a lot younger than you or for some reason you figure they will out live you by about 20 years, you will get ripped off.

    If you pay for survivor benefit and your spouse dies first, you don't get that money back.

  • Sudden||

    Unless your spouse is a lot younger than you or for some reason you figure they will out live you by about 20 years, you will get ripped off.

    And in my situation both will happen because I am continually looking at newer models and I will likely die in my early 50s due to negligence, self-abuse, and because I don't want to be around to see how far fucked this world becomes.

    But I'll never work for Uncle Scam or his subsidiaries and will therefore never collect a pension rendering all of this moot.

  • Paul.||

    Not really. Maybe for insurance benefits I guess. But that is true of any job that has good insurance.

    I'm no expert on the depth and range of federal benefits.

    However, someone VERY close to me rushed into gay marriage because she was very concerned that her federally employed partner would fall off a ladder or get hit with a bus, and she'd lose all that sweet federal cheddar.

  • John||

    Your friend is an idiot. If her g/f ever dies, her federal insurance benefits will go with her.

  • Paul.||

    Then what the fuck are the 1138 federal benefits everyone was going on about in the previous thread?

  • John||

    I have no idea Paul. But I can tell you this, if your spouse is a federal employee and they die, you lose their insurance benefits.

  • DarrenM||

    And what are the odds of that?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Mmmmmm, government cheese!

  • Brett L||

    Mine was easy: Do I want my woman and child to get my shit immediately if I get hit by a logging truck on my way to work or should they have to fuck around with judges and bullshit?

    The tax differential was worth way less.

  • John||

    And even that can be avoided by putting your property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. If you have that, your interests in the property goes poof and disappears upon your death and your joint owner now owns the whole thing, no will or probate needed.

    Really, the only reason to have a will if you are not married and don't have kids is if you have some kind of personal property that you don't register with the state like your car that you think your family might try and take a piece of.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    If I'm not married and have no kids, I'd rather my crazy family get the car than the state.

  • John||

    It will never go to the state. That is a myth. If you don't have a will it goes by the laws of intestacy, meaning to your parents equally and if both of them are dead to your siblings equally.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That took me pretty deep into wikipedia.

    I had an estate planner take care of all of this stuff, and I never really bothered to understand the nuances...

    All of my shit is in a trust for the kids, and if I die, they are going to have to jump through all sorts of hoops to get it so they don't turn into lazy assholes.

  • John||

    If you have minor kids, you need a will so your shit goes into a trust. Otherwise, your kids have no way to stop their guardians or their guardians' creditors from taking the money.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The most important thing that the lawyer suggested was keeping the kids from getting the money all at one. That protects them if they marry a gold digger, develop a crack problem, etc.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Although now that I think about it, I didn't include a clause forbidding payment for an education in a bullshit "studies" major.

    I'm going to put that on my to do list.

  • Brett L||

    Fuck it. My parents are funding a 529 at max speed for my kid to screw Uncle Sam out of as much money as possible. If he wants to be a coffee barista with a Masters in Useless Bullshittery, it won't cost me nothin' and he'll be able to afford being poor.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Käse!||

    Nice.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I have 529s for both kids, but they belong to me. If they try to pull any of that bullshit, I'm taking the 10% penalty and buying a really expensive toy for myself.

  • Paul.||

    I have 529s for both kids, but they belong to me.

    The 529s or the kids?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Both. The kids until they're 18, the 529s forever.

  • exchef100||

    Aren't 529s state specific? I was going to set up a 529 here in NY, but the benefits only kick in if I a) stay in NY for the foreseeable future (no fuckin' thanks) and b) my kid goes to school in NY (no fuckin' thanks).

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    They are state sponsored. If you have a 529 college savings plan, you can spend it anywhere. If it is a 529 tuition plan, it goes to a participating institution. Mine are through the state of PA, and I have never set foot there.

    This should have the answers you seek.

  • Paul.||

    The accent was genius, by the way. NOW I read it correctly.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I got scolded by 2 spanish grammar nazis yesterday, but I think I made the right choice.

  • Sudden||

    I wasn't one of the Spanish language Svorboda, but I will say that the second to last vowel is always the accented one in spanish speech anyhow. It doesn't change how I read your name. It is ply-ah, either way.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Several people have told me that they thought I was a "player" in New York.

  • Paul.||

    It doesn't change how I read your name. It is ply-ah, either way.

    It would only initially as 'ply-ah' to someone who was fluent in Spanish, and didn't grow up on Yo! MTV Raps and Bugs Bunny.

    I speak some Spanish, but I'm nowhere near fluent.

  • Sudden||

    It helps that I knew Manhattan Beach as a fellow denizen of SoCal and espeaka el spanglish mas mejor que otros gabachos.

  • Paul.||

    Ugh, I hate this shit even more now that I'm engaged. How am I supposed to know whether I should get legally married with all this taxing regime uncertainty?

    Kind of sad when government policy and taxation affects such a personal decision.

  • ||

    Well, sort of. I consider that part only a financio-legal decision.

  • ||

    What do you mean, Paul? If the politicians can't use the tax code as a cudgel to encourage and discourage certain behavior, what good is it?

  • lap83||

    If you are questioning whether you should get married on the basis of anything having to do with government, then maybe you shouldn't do it. That's just my opinion though. I think too many people get married with doubts and that's probably what leads to a lot of divorce.

  • lap83||

    And yeah...like others said, the gov't fucks over married people, but divorce is even more expensive.

  • ||

    I'm getting married, but I'm an anarchist (i.e., don't care legally) and I want my money.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future,"

    It is OK if the numbers do not add up, we'll just pay our debts with lots of values and futures!

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Unfortunately, about it.

    It's almost both funny and sad. I'm tutoring a couple of progressive acquaintances on pension finance for a project they're doing for a grad school class. The reaction that they had when they realized the numbers meant something and had to add up was encouraging. The fact that they wouldn't have realized as much otherwise was depressing.

  • ||

    I really like the student loan interest deduction, which phases out if you make more than $75,000/year. Basically saying you can deduct your student loan interst, but only if your student loan didn't help you get a job decent enough to pay it back.

  • Pro Libertate||

    So we're subsidizing people who get unmarketable degrees? What's the point of that?

  • ||

    The world needs more unemployed women's studies majors?

  • CE||

    Future campaign workers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really? Seems like you could get those a lot cheaper.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What's cheaper than somebody else's money?

  • Pro Libertate||

    You got me there.

  • ||

    What's the point of that? Uh...subsidizing people who get unremarkable degrees. You had it on try one. That's literally the point.

    People who are stupid enough to get stupid useless degrees with colossal debt are the perfect candidate for being a government teat-sucker. It is natural for the system to favor them, as the more of them there are, the better it is for the system. This may not all be by direct design, but it gets there regardless. That's the way government works.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Who, me? I oppose the whole business. Fuck social engineering and pouring money down a hole.

  • Paul.||

    I just had "the talk" with my daughter last night.

    I told her that I'd pay for college if, and only if she gets a degree that doesn't have the word "studies" at the end of it.

  • ||

    I would suggest that you also tell her you're only paying if she goes to UW or WS (I assume you can get reduced tuition) or maybe Seattle Pacific (hah!) so that her tuition is low. Kids really don't understand the difference between $50,000/year and $5,000/year. They really don't. But they will shortly after graduation. If she goes to a cheaper school and doesn't get student loans, it costs you far less and she has no debt.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, my kids have several universities to choose from, all in Florida, all public. If they don't like that selection, they're certainly welcome to seek alternative financing options.

  • ||

    To be fair, there are many good state schools not in Florida. You should just set a price limit and let them go to anything that hits the top 100 in US News that is cheaper than that limit.

  • Paul.||

    Kids really don't understand the difference between $50,000/year and $5,000/year. They really don't.

    How true that is. There's a reason for that. And it has something to do with 'skin in the game'.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's truly frightening how much debt someone that young and unmarketable can get into, thanks to this totally fucked up system. No one in their right mind would lend that much to a low-income kid for a house or a car.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Berkeley was $4100 a year when I went. I worked full time every summer and part time during the year, and I actually left with a nest egg.

  • Jon Lester||

    University of Montana is pretty cheap, too, and it's not some me-too institution. You just have to deal with 10 month winters.

    Wouldn't it look better to a prospective employer if someone's degree didn't come for six figures?

  • ||

    Wouldn't it look better to a prospective employer if someone's degree didn't come for six figures?

    Sadly, no.

  • Jon Lester||

    Maybe that's the Peter Principle in action.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Why would it? They'd be more likely to be able to quit.

  • Sudden||

    Might I recommend a community college for two years? I did that, saved money, had a chance to gain discipline and educational interest I wouldn't have had a gone to university directly, and got into a better uni than I otherwise would've straight out of HS.

  • ||

    Sudden's suggestion is a good one, though most teenagers will balk at the idea of going to a community college while all their friends are going to "real" college.

    Kids are fucking stupid, and often have no reasonable idea of what they want to do. They need some time and experience to figure out "hey, I love computers" or "hey, I love cooking" or whatever.

    The best thing a kid can do, in my opinion, unless they are the rare kid who knows exactly what they want to do (and are correct about that) is to take a year or two, don't go to college, and work in various jobs. In various places. Meeting various people. Trying various things.

    Then go to college if what you want to do requires it. But not until then.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't know how other states handle this, but in Florida, once you get out of the CC, you can go to any state university (no guarantee you'll get into your upper college, of course, if your grades suck).

    Because of all of the prepaid plans and Florida's Bright Futures program, there is a massive incentive for kids to stay in-state, which makes it very difficult now to get into UF or even the lesser state schools. But if you do the CC route, you can just transfer right in.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Käse!||

    I figured I would have to pay for it...so I joined the Army. My sister sucked off the family and set my Dad's retirement back by years...

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The GI bill is a good deal. After Vietnam, my dad got his master's in computer science and then his MBA, all on Uncle Sugar's dime.

  • Sudden||

    My sister sucked off the family

    DO NOT INTRODUCE YOUR SISTER TO WARTY!

  • Paul.||

    My sister sucked off the family and set my Dad's retirement back by years...

    Phrasing... phrasing...

  • Sudden||

    Sudden's suggestion is a good one, though most teenagers will balk at the idea of going to a community college while all their friends are going to "real" college.

    My parents played it well. They sent me away to Santa Barbara City College (I originally planned on attending UCSB, but didn't get in fresh outta HS) where I was able to live in a dorm environment with UCSB students and get the collegiate experience. Sure they bore the dorm costs, not cheap by any stretch, but saved considerably on tuition at the same time. After a year in which I had my share of troubles, I went home to finish CC there before transfering up to Davis.

  • Paul.||

    I was able to live in a dorm environment with UCSB students and get the collegiate experience.

    I've seen those videos...

  • exchef100||

    CC or even trade school. Too many people have a stigma about the word trade school. I went the CC route too.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Isn't that a long way off for your daughter?

  • Invisible Finger||

    My dad gave me "the talk" when I was 12.

  • Invisible Finger||

    My Dad's talk went like this:

    I'm not giving you one dime for college, but if you decide to go to college and take a full course load I won't charge you for room and board and I will give you the old car but you have to pay for the insurance.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Great point.

  • Pulseguy||

    If an idea comes up that somewhere down the road causes a contraction of the bureaucracy the bureaucrats will knock it down. If an idea comes up that will inevitably help the bureaucracy/big government folks, then it gets looked at.

    All in all, only ideas that will eventually lead to a bigger bureaucracy ever are considered. And, the bureaucracy grows and grows.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Plus it appears that 25% of student loans aren't for actual going-to-class-even-if-its-just-on-the-web students.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There is no doubt at all that this is true. My kids' friends apparently have bought cars and financed weddings with student loans. No way that would even be possible if the loans were market loans as opposed to whatever abomination they are today.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm sure they'll be allowed to pay it off with government service, as soon as they figure out how the pubsec unions can profit from indentured servitude.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Another inevitability. Indentured servitude for student debtors; slavery for doctors.

  • ||

    You can already pay it off with public service. Become a teacher for a few years, and poof!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just what we need, more bad teachers.

  • exchef100||

    Police officers too. I think their loans are forgiven after 5 years. And they don't have to make a single payment during those 5 years.

  • WTF||

    I love how sucking the government teat is somehow "service" worthy of debt forgiveness.

  • ||

    It's true. You are eligible for a lot more than you reasonably need.
    You don't HAVE to take the entire loan you are eligible, but you can if you want.

    The loan eligibility generally assumes you are taking a full course load and paying full-time tuition, even if you are only going part time.

    It also assumes you are renting a 1 bedroom apartment, even if you have roommates.

  • Restoras||

    It should be the opposite but the tax code isn't about incentives to work, save, invest.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not know, this can make sense. The idea, I guess, is it is developing 'human capital, but those who are doing real well do not need the deduction, success being its own reward. And if a government is going to do this kind of thing I sure prefer them doing it with deductions rather than tax and spending.

  • ||

    Someone who is doing well may not need more education, but that's because they already paid for it. Or took out loans to do so. It really doesn't make any sense.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think the idea is to induce people into undertaking the education by lessening the sting of any resulting debt, but it would not extend to people doing really well because the idea the sting on them is not bad.

  • ||

    So you're repeating Hazel's point: that it's to take the sting out of debt taken out by people who aren't going to do well after taking out the debt.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, the idea is 'who are not doing well' more than 'who aren't going to do well,' but yeah, it is like means testing any benefit.

  • ||

    It's not, though, because you incur the loan before you get the benefit.

    You get the tax deduction as you pay the loan back. That is, after you've made all the decisions about your education, and after you have your newer, better job (or not, as the case may be).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Knowing the benefit is out there as an option could factor in making the decision.

  • Paul.||

    I think the idea is to induce people into undertaking the education by lessening the sting of any resulting debt

    That's the trap. It induces people to educate themselves for the sake of education, not with a result in mind.

    It incentivises people to take on MORE debt in dodgy areas of education which may not result in a job.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Maybe, but that seems like a pretty small moral hazard, I think most people would rather make a lot of money than be able to take a nice deduction on their taxes.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I think most people would rather make a lot of money than earn a lot of money.

  • Paul.||

    I think most people would rather make a lot of money than be able to take a nice deduction on their taxes.

    I agree with this in a generalized way. It's how they get there that the moral hazard rears its head.

    Hell, even in the lefty occupy movement, the 'student debt forgiveness' wing complained bitterly that they couldn't find a job making enough money to pay off the debt.

    The question is this: How have the choices within the education pathway become so untethered to the prospects of employment?

    When NPR interviews a woman with a French Literature degree and SIX FIGURES of student loan debt-- who eventually went to school (presumably racking up more debt) to become a nurse... clearly there was a disconnect going on. I say that IS the moral hazard we're seeing.

  • Sudden||

    It incentivises people to take on MORE debt in dodgy areas of education which may not result in a job.

    But if we don't subsidize womyn's study majors, where are womyn's study majors going to work if not the university teaching other womyn's study majors?!?!?!?!

    The progressive logic is always so circular. Its "plants love brawndo because brawndo has electrolytes that plants love" written in fluffier language and prententions about microagressions.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think very few people do or would major in women's studies regardless.

  • Sudden||

    Womyn's studies is generic filler for any degree of little substance (my own PoliSci included).

  • ||

    $75K isn't "doing really well" in many parts of the country. I doubt you could afford to buy a condo in SF on that salary. Maybe on a 30 year FHA loan, you might. But those are supposed to be for poor people who can't afford to make a down payment.

    Plus it makes the marginal tax rates really high.

  • ||

    Point being, as you go up the income ladder, not only do you pay higher rates, but you start disqualifying for all sorts of deductions and credits (i'll add the retirement savings contribution to the list here). So the effective marginal tax rates are acutally higher than they seem.

    I can see why a lot of people don't want to let go of the home mortgage interest deduction, since it is the one thing that bends the marginal tax rates down as you move up. If you can get into a house and start deducting interest, then you can push yourself back down into a lower tax bracket.

    Of course, interest is still money you can't spend, but at least you get the pleasure of enjoying your house out of it. Given the marginal tax rates, every dollar of house enjoyment only costs you about 0.5 dollars in real income.

    it's the same issue as ObamaCare.
    Only instead of being incentivized to earn less so you can get a healthcare subsidy, you're incentivized to spend your money on a bigger house - cause you're not really going to get to enjoy your money anyway. May as well spend it on something you enjoy right?
    Might

  • Paul.||

    The question that always comes to my mind is what happens on the edges? You make $74,900 a year... do you avoid getting a bump to $75,300?

    It's like all the healthcare regulation. You get subsidies if your hospital is under a certain amount of beds. Therefore it becomes a disincentive for hospitals to expand the number of beds and provide more healthcare, because they lose the subsidies.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But the hospital are ripe for cheap mergers because they can't expand yet a hospital already too big for subsidies can buy them since the damage was already done.

    IOW, it's a nice incentive to shrink the number of hospital operators. Government's way of getting charties out of the the hospital business.

  • WTF||

    It's already happening, most of the smaller charity hospitals are being bought out by bigger healthcare entities.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yep, Obama is just trying to speed it up. Those pesky Catholics.

  • Paul.||

    Yep, Obama is just trying to speed it up. Those pesky Catholics.

    Don't get me started...

  • Restoras||

    People getting degrees that don't result in greater income and upward mobility isn't developing human capital, unless by human capital you mean making more people slaves to debt.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Is cannon fodder considered human capital?

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Käse!||

    human resources.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, 75,000 is well over the median income.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future,"

    It is OK if the numbers do not add up, we'll just pay our debts with lots of values and futures!

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future,"

    It is OK if the numbers do not add up, we'll just pay our debts with lots of values and futures!

  • Brian D||

    Futures futures is where the real investors put their money!

  • ||

    Derivatives, baby. We'll pay them with derivatives.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No, no, only evil market speculators use those.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Wow, that comment was certainly not worth threepeating. Mea culpa.

  • Brett L||

    Welcome to the squirrel hour. At 3PM they get a 4 minute break, but your comments are queued.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "the budget is not just about numbers, it’s about our values and it’s about our future,"

    Or, "The numbers just don't add up."

  • MrSaturdayNightSpecial||

    It's cause your not one of the "Top Men". Numbers arent important, just what feels right.

  • CE||

    "the gap between federal spending and revenues would widen steadily after 2015...a path that would ultimately be unsustainable."

    But it's clearly not unsustainable right now, so spend away!

  • Sudden||

    If only there were spending provisions of a particular piece of legislation that went into effect starting in FY2015 that we could identify.....

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A comment independently overlapping Bo Cara?

    Oh, well. Bo can't be wrong all the time.

  • Brett L||

    So now that Tulpa was caught sockpuppeting, who do we compare Bo to?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    How about Lavender Tony, or is that redundant?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's ok everyone! He's figure out how to pay for it all!

    Obama Seeks $100 Billion in New Taxes on Multinationals

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    The changes, included in his budget plan for fiscal 2015, would affect digital goods, deductions for "excessive" interest and so-called hybrid arrangements that can lead to income that isn't taxed in any country, according to the budget. Obama also wants to make it tougher for U.S.-based companies to move to other countries.

    Ah, the 'if I just beat my spouse harder, she won't leave me' approach. Should definitely work.

  • ||

    First go after the foreigners and immigrants. Then go after multi-national companies.

    Don't worry, they'll get to the rest of us eventually. Their hunger is insatiable. I foresee the eyeing of 401ks and IRAs before Obama's term is up.

  • John||

    It is free money. And there is never enough free money to satiate someone. No one has that kind of self control.

    You are totally right, when they get done robbing the foreigners and immigrants and Americans who have the nerve to do any business abroad, they will move onto the 401Ks and then the university endowments and eventually to people's personal property.

    This is what happens every time these people get in power. They blow every penny they get and giving them money just makes them want more.

    They will steal everything and leave this country looking like Haiti if no one stops them.

  • ||

    That's what's coming, John. They're hiding everything they can, stealing as much as they can on the margins, but it's not enough. Eventually they will take anything they want...because it's there, and because they can.

    This is what government is, what is always becomes, and what you get even if you start with minarchy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's another option, too. A traditional one. It's called conquest, rape, and pillage. Let our economy get bad enough and our military remain relatively strong, and that alternative will occur to one of these jokers at some point.

  • John||

    That is what revolutionary France, Nazi Germany and the USSR did. So that is not out of the relm of possibility.

    One of the many ironies of the millions of them about the Bush years, is that for all of the screaming about "no blood for oil", had Bush been a Prog and invaded Iraq and confiscated its oil as a "liberation tax" using it to fund universal healthcare or some other Prog pony, the progs would have given a seig heil and declared him the greatest American President of all time.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The more authoritarian our government becomes, the more they fuck up the economy and can't play monetary shell games, the more likely something like that will happen. Does it really seem that great a leap to, say, the annexation of Venezuela or even Mexico?

  • ||

    Because of the very edifice of liberal anti-imperialism (and I'm not saying I disagree with anti-imperialism), any sudden turn to militarism will be very, very difficult. Not saying it's impossible, but one of the core foundations of TEAM BLUE is anti-imperialism. The foreign adventures they always support are always "humanitarian" or "stabilizing", etc. I know these people can be found turning on a dime all the time, but that's a tough sell at short notice. There would need to be a concerted effort to morph TEAM BLUE into a more explicitly fascist TEAM than it already is for that to take place. I don't see it happening fast any time soon.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think something more would have to change, so I agree with you there, but the foundation is being laid. And, especially with the left, there's some serious separation between reality and what they want, and are told, to believe.

    "We're liberating Venezuela from right-wing death squads!"

    And a right-wing authoritarian could skip any such handwringing and just point to realpolitik as a justification.

    As crappy as things are now, we don't really know about bad economies anymore. If that happens, all bets are off.

  • ||

    I agree, ProL. If we get to gas lines or food shortages or anything even approaching that, I have no idea what will happen. I would hope the people would turn on the politicians like a pack of hyenas but you never know.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Remember, I get to control the sugar and coffee, you the drugs and tobacco, when we get tossed into the camp.

  • John||

    That is a good point Episiarch. Also, the Greens are so insane, they will take bankruptcy in the name of Ghaia.

    That said, for all of the talk about being against "imperialism", the Progs love the idea of UN rule. They were perfectly fine with the UN creating what amounts to a colony in Kosovo and Bosnia. They are totally fine with the IMF shitting all over the sovereignty of smaller nations in the name of enlightened rule.

    I think you are correct in that they would be unlikely to accept something as crude as Pro and I describe. But couch it in the right language and do it for the right proclaimed reasons, and they would buy in. Hell, just call the money you take "an international development tax" and make sure they get the money and I bet the Progs would buy in.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Everyone on the far left I know hates the IMF as a tool of capitalist imperialism, and the support for the creation of those 'colonies' you're talking about was trying to stop ethnic cleansing going on.

  • John||

    They wouldn't hate the IMF if they forced countries to do policies they like.

    And yes "stopping genocide" was the stated reason. First, that was a lie in the case of Kosovo and happened after the genocide had already occured in the case of Bosnia.

    Second, Progs love colonialism. It just has to be done for the right reasons. What Clinton and the UN did to Serbia in Kosovo is no different than what Russia is doing to Ukraine right now.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Team Blue is not anti-imperialist; they're only anti-someone-else's-imperialism.

  • John||

    No Pro Liberate, it doesn't. And anyone who thinks the Progs would object to such a move, provided the money went to the government, is fooling themselves.

  • John||

    That is why I don't save a lot. I save some. But I would rather have hard assets I can hide. I have no faith that my 401K will be there when I retire. They want to steal it so bad. You can see it in their eyes. 401Ks have so much money. They drool on themselves when they think about it. And there is so many ways for them to get it. They could just make it illegal for me to withdraw it. They could put punitive taxes on it when I go to use it. They can steal it and they don't even have to crudely come and take it.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    401K's don't have money. They have assets. The value you see on your statement isn't really there until you sell. That's not to say that some sort of wealth/property tax is out of the question.

  • Idle Hands||

    My parents have been saying that for years, even before this regime. Used to think they were crazy, now not so sure I could actually see them saying it now:
    "Noone needs that much money to retire."
    This shit actually scares me more than anything else.

  • John||

    The thing is that government officials will always lie in a crisis. They will swear that there is no plan to seize assets or shut down bank withdrawals right up until the moment they do it.

    If you wait until the crisis happens to get your money, you are screwed.

  • Sudden||

    They'll start by taxing capital gains on Roth IRAs and go from there.

  • Rhywun||

    I don't see how this happens without ending in a civil war of some sort.

  • Invisible Finger||

    401K was a scam from the get-go. "Defer you taxes until you retire."

    Yeah, when I retire my tax rate will be higher so you can grab more.

    It wasn't a bad deal when companies matched a percentage but hardly any of them do anymore. (I'm sure there are some fractionally-reserved businesses that still do.)

  • Brett L||

    Welp. Looks like I'm putting a huge down payment on my next house. That will be large enough and out far enough to have a well, gardens, and even some livestock. The wife can have a nice new car and whatever else it takes to bribe her into that.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    Too bad your home is blighted. We'll have to give that to someone who'll pay more taxes on the land.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I foresee the eyeing of 401ks and IRAs before Obama's term is up.

    He already had Bernanke doing that by stealth with unprecedented QE.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I foresee the eyeing of 401ks and IRAs before Obama's term is up.

    He is building FEMA camps to lock all white people up first.

  • John||

    8%

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Are you 10 years old or something?

  • ||

    Assclown deserves nothing but ridicule and the derision a 10 year old would provide.

  • ||

    What is it with the 8% thing lately?
    Is this a meme I am unaware of?

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Shrikey posted a link to an article about declining support for Obamacare repeal and someone (Fluffy?) noticed in it that only 8% would keep Obamacare.

  • Paul.||

    Why do white people get all the benefits of three hots and a cot?

  • John||

    "Taxes on Multinationals" is another way of saying "taxes on international trade". I can't think of a better way to bring economic growth than taxing and discouraging international trade, can you?

    Obama views the economy as a collection of people and institutions to be looted. He has no understanding and doesn't care to understand how the economy works or how to make things better. He just wants to loot and give the money to his supporters.

    That, ladies and gentleman is the Chicago way.

  • WTF||

    Fortunately this has no chance of getting out of the House.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Wait a minute, there is this part:

    "Obama wants to dedicate the revenue from the international changes to lowering the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent."

    That does not seem like a bad tradeoff to me.

  • Restoras||

    I don't see that passing the Senate, do you?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, the budget itself is not going to either.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama wants to dedicate the revenue from the international changes to lowering the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 35 percent.

    You omitted an important detail.

  • John||

    I will just leave this here.

    8%

    LOLOLOLOL

  • Jon Lester||

    I guess our "values" include corporate subsidies that dwarf defense and entitlement spending, and using USAID to enable undemocratic regime change.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What? Nothing but nothing dwarfs defense or entitlements.

  • Calidissident||

    I suppose if you included monetary policy it might, but definitely not on the fiscal side.

  • Jon Lester||

    I was going by a Facebook meme that probably has exaggerated numbers, and maybe this does, too, but it's too damn much, and of course, much of the defense budget basically is corporate welfare, by any other name.

  • Tony||

    Weren't we supposed to have an inflationary death spiral? What happened to that?

    How do you guys go on believing things that are demonstrably untrue, day after day?

  • Brett L||

    How much did your food and gas cost in 2007?

  • Tony||

    I don't pay attention to those things.

    Where's the hyperinflation I was promised?

  • WTF||

    I don't pay attention to those things.

    "If I don't see it, it isn't happening, I can't hear you LALALALALA!"

    The 'Tony' sockpuppet is turning into a parody of itself.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Wingnuts make shit up like that.

    See also THEY ARE COMIN TO TAKE OUR GUNS AWAY! too.

    Now they are making shit up about confiscating 401K accounts upthread.

  • WTF||

    I'm gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don't rule the night. They don't rule it. Nobody does. And they don't run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  • John||

    8%

    I am sure they won't for the 8%.

    LOLOL

  • Sudden||

    At some point, if and when inflation does begin picking up and continued deficit financing of the elderly and poor can no longer be funded by the fed buying bonds (read: creating money), they will begin looking earnestly for new revenue sources.

    Some of the simpletons on the left may look towards wealth taxes, of which 401k assets will be considered part of the wealth. A completely stupid idea because those assets can't be liquidated into actual money to pay said tax without others having the capital to buy them. It would be death spiral time for the global economy the day that happened.

  • MrSaturdayNightSpecial||

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ffI-tWh37UY

    She must have been talking about something else.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Where's the hyperinflation I was promised?

    Probably the same place all the created or saved jobs are.

  • Tony||

    And what's your macroeconomic vision for creating more employment? Let me guess, tax cuts for billionaires!

  • tarran||

    That's right Comrade Tony, we must hurt the evil rich, even if it leaves us all poorer.

    The nice thing about Chritianity is that when superstitious fools like you embrace it, they are exposed to commandments to practice humility. The religion you proselytize has no concept of hubris.

  • Tony||

    So yes? Tax cuts for billionaires is your sole employment plan? Also, less regulation?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    And what's your macroeconomic vision for creating more employment?

    Telling people to find something useful to do. If they get state permission for the work and the terms.

    I mean, after all, we're all in this together.

  • Tony||

    Telling people to find something useful to do.

    I almost admire the balls it takes to bitch about means taken to solve the unemployment problem while having absolutely no plan of your own, or seemingly any concern for getting a plan.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.4.14 @ 9:52PM|#
    'I almost admire the balls it takes to bitch about means taken to solve the unemployment problem while having absolutely no plan of your own"

    While you should admire balls, since as a moral midget you have none, your lie about having no plan won't fly here, asshole.

  • Brian||

    I should be ashamed, shouldn't I?

  • tarran||

    Tony,

    The inflation already is happening. It's called quantitative easing.

    The price increases which mass media refer to as inflation, which no doubt is what you are asking about is already occuring in some sectors (eg. food, stock market).

    Inflation-caused price increases occur when people with the newly printed money bid up prices of goods/services/investments they wish to purchase. In this case, the money appears to be pouring into the stock market, washington DC real estate, the national security state (although the monopsony in that sector makes it pretty unique), crystal power alternative energy, the education sector, the medical sector and, of course food.

    The price increases, however, are tempered by the fact that the economy continues to contract due to a variety of factors, and in a contracting economy, there are always a surfeit of input factors that allow buyers to get what they want cheaply.

  • John||

    And as soon as it stops contracting, we will get stagflation again.

    All of this shit happened in the 1970s and these people were totally discredited. But they never go away. They always come back.

  • Paul.||

    "you are the very people that got us into this mess, and now you assure us that you're the only people who can get us out of it."

  • Jordan||

    THIS^

    Debt deflation is still occurring. And the Fed is powerless to stop it. All they've done is blow the next bubble in trying to stop it.

  • Paul.||

    I don't pay attention to those things.

    Clearly.

  • Jordan||

    Most Austrians didn't predict hyperinflation. But you know what they did predict, that you Monetarist and Keynesian clowns missed? The Housing Bubble.

  • Paul.||

    You know what else the Austrians predicted?

  • Tony||

    And nothing else, ever.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|3.4.14 @ 10:04PM|#
    "And nothing else, ever."

    Wrong. The Austrians predicted the collapse of socialism and one in particular was aghast at the predicted (and correct) murderous path of your fave economic system.
    And it happened just that way, you slimy asshole.

  • Brian||

    "45 high-tech manufacturing hubs where businesses and universities will partner to turn groundbreaking research into new industries and new jobs,"

    On, that's what's missing: hubs.

    Yeah, we should get on that.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "It's been a while since federal budget proposals by the White House or congressional leaders (individual legislators and independent groups are a different matter) were much more than political pamphlets"

    And in this case that pamphlet should be in the form of a Little Red Book that the faithfull party members can carry around with them at all times to demonstrate their fealty to the Democratic Peoples Republic.

  • creech||

    A 6.8% increase in the budget. Did average wages go up by that much?
    No Way. It's also 4 times what the increase in Social Security was as the feds touted low inflation to the seniors. It must be because the government is doing such a great job with all its programs. It must be because the government needs to spend even more for all those valuable programs invented twenty or thirty years ago and which haven't solved a problem yet because of the evil Teathuglicans?
    Hey, we need to spend $300 billion more so bankers and lawyers and lobbyists can travel on Amtrak from NYC to Washington ten minutes quicker!

  • juliajuliee309||

    my buddy's step-sister makes $74 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for 8 months but last month her payment was $14180 just working on the internet for a few hours. site here....
    http://www.Works23.us

  • Paul.||

    At least someone around here is working.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I wonder what his buddy's step-sister invests in?

  • Not an Economist||

    Since the Senate budget chairperson has already said she (?) is not going to submit a budget for FY15, this is solely a political document designed to get votes for the Democrats in the upcoming elections. Everything in the budget must be looked at with that in mind.

  • Erasmus vs. Luther||

    I'm watching Eraserhead...needed to focus on something more coherent.

  • kenezen||

    Because of the expendatures and creation of failed programs and the confusion created, We are coming into a crossroads of excessive and irrevocable federally created Socialism. There will be a reason for Emergency which may be the ambition to create circumstances of Execute office acceptance of power derived from a State of declared Emergency under our Constitution.

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