Taxes

Hillary Clinton: The Rich Are Different Than You & Me; They Don't Pay Their "Fair Share" of Taxes

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during remarks at Brookings Institution (and underscoring that she wasn't speaking for the Obama administration for which she is, well, secretary of State):

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] — whether it's individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms," Clinton told an audience at the Brookings Institution, where she was discussing the Administration's new National Security Strategy.

Clinton said the comment was her personal opinion alone. "I'm not speaking for the administration, so I'll preface that with a very clear caveat," she said.

Clinton went on to cite Brazil as a model.

"Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they're growing like crazy," Clinton said. "And the rich are getting richer, but they're pulling people out of poverty."

More here

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Fairness, like beauty and pornography, is in the eye of the beholder. But Madame Secretary ought to check this out. It's a chart from the NY Times that shows the share of total federal tax burden (in 2006) paid by different income quinitles. Note that the highest quintile is the only group paying a greater share of taxes than its share of income. And grok this:

In 2006, the top quintile of households earned 55.7 percent of pretax income and paid 69.3 percent of federal taxes, while the top 1 percent of households earned 18.8 percent of income and paid 28.3 percent of taxes.

And just to be crystal clear: The tax liabilities being discussed include income, social insurance, corporate income, and excise taxes. More here.

When one group proportionally pay more into a system than others, I wouldn't exactly call that fair. Perhaps what Clinton and the administration for which doesn't speak means is that the rich could always pay more. Maybe, baby, but then just come and say what you mean. There's no reason to go all Joe Montana and that Ziggy greeting card instead of simply stating your preferences, is there?

For more tax facts to make your head explode, just click below:

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  1. What the fuck do the “employment issues we’re facing” have to do with whether the tax burden is fair or not?

    The tax burden is either fair or it is not. It doesn’t get less fair when unemployment is up and more fair when it’s down.

    1. “Fair” is in the mind of the beholder.

      To many liberals, “fair” means “the rich need to share with others less lucky”.

      To many conservatives, “fair” means “paying the same percentage of income in taxes as everyone else”.

      To many libertarians, “fair” means “you personally pay for the services you receive, and don’t expect anyone else to be forced to pay for you.”

    2. With more taxation, the government can dig more holes and fill more back in.

      Shovel ready, Fluffy, Shovel ready.

      1. “the rich need to share with others less lucky”…unless one is a member of, say, the Kennedy family…

        1. Or the Clinton (see RC Dean’s post), Gore, Jackson, or pretty much any lefty political dynasty. It would be a pity, nay, a tradgedy, if they held themselves to the standard they pontificate and espouse. It must be good to be TEAM BLUE; all of the smug they can eat and none of the cost to themselves. How insulating for them and insulting to us.

          1. I picked/pick on the Kennedys because Papa Joe moved the family fortune offshore decades ago. I doubt the Kennedy Kompound has ever been subject to estate taxes when one of ’em croaks.

            1. So noted TLG. The Kennedy Klan simply picked a different flavor and got way more than two scoops in the Progressive ice cream parlor of Hypocrisy, while the riff-raff get their one scoop of vanilla, and the useful idiots get two.

              1. It’s always good to point out the big-league hypocrites… like the Clintons, the centerpiece of this thread.

  2. I would be tempted to ask her exactly how much everyone should pay in taxes, and what principles she used to derive that answer. Then I remembered. She doesn’t have principles.

  3. Clearly, during an economic downturn, we need higher taxes on the “rich”. Herbert Hoover, anyone?

    1. Don’t you see? You’re not thinking like a liberal. When times are hard, the poor suffer the most, so taxes should be raised. When times are good, there’s all this extra money floating around, so taxes should be raised.

  4. Well, the Clintons are quite wealthy. I suggest they lead by example. Make a donation to the Treasury, Hillary. Every year. In the amount you think people as wealthy as you should pay.

    Until then, STFU.

    1. Actually, as Rush Limbaugh was pointing out on his show today. Bill and Hillary are depriving the government a lot of THEIR money via charitable foundations. They get tax deductions for contributions to said foundations.

      Which means they can direct the money where they want to instead of paying it to the government and having it spend it on all those vital services she is so concerned about.

      So she should immediately discontinue doing that.

      And of course, she should also STFU – for the rest of her life.

  5. But you only need 75K per household to live a healthy and happy life. Everything else is just greed and thus belongs to us.

  6. So, her argument is that Brazil is taxing its way to prosperity?

    1. And now Brazil is the liberal’s choice of economic model, instead of Scandinavia? Hint to Hillary: it’s easier to “pull people out of poverty” when you start with nearly everyone in poverty.

      1. It is quite possible that Brazil’s economy is pulling people out of poverty in spite of the tax policy.

        1. No, ever since Brazil’s poverty rates started to decline, I’ve been brushing my teeth 30 seconds longer.

          Prove to me that isn’t the cause!

          1. Obviously it is the cause. Your brushing 30% longer has increased the demand for Brazilian-made toothbrushes.

            1. Cheaply made ones, at that; no wonder they wear out so quickly.

      2. I’m pretty sure Brazil the film is the progressive model, though the conservatives are probably on board with it as well.

    2. Whatever prosperity Brazil is enjoying has nothing to do with any “progressive” tax policy and a lot to do with the fact that a large part of their economy is based on exporting natural resource commodites to China and other Asian countries.

      1. +1

        China is growing faster than Brazil, it’s corporate and personal tax rates are lower.

        Conclusion: lower taxes leads to higher rates of growth.

        Thanks Hillary!

        1. Conclusion: lower taxes leads to higher rates of growth.

          Duh, anyone who’s played SimCity knows that. *wink*

      2. Brazil isn’t enjoying any sense of property for the poor. Those in the favelas are no less poor than they have always been (which is to say goddamn poor). The only leg up Brazil has is that they are 100% energy independent.

        But I will reiterate: Brazil is not seeing some form of economic heyday for the poor. Anyone who says so is clearly full of shit.

        And yes, I have been to Brazil. Multiple times in fact as my wife is Brasileira.

  7. Threadjack:

    Hammer time! Oink oink go the Piigs.

    Fitch Ratings cut Spain’s credit rating on Friday…one notch from AAA to AA plus

      1. Too bad. Poor guy had a screwed up life. Never, ever, ever, let your kids become celebrities.

        1. “Never, ever, ever, let your kids become celebrities.”
          I don’t know, little Ronny Howard turned out alright.

          1. But he’s such a tool…

      2. Died of a Different Stroke.

        1. Too fucking soon, asshole.

          1. I dunno, i think Coleman would laugh at that. Should be the standard for whether something is “too soon”.

            R.I.P Gary.

            (Least now it’ll be easier to not mix him up with Gary Cole. WHOOOOAAAAAAA, too soon.)

      3. He “accidently” hit his head. Yeah, that’s it.

    1. Oh, so when Moody’s or S&P downgrade Spain, the EU claims their biased against Europe. But when Fitch’s does it, it’s kosher? Way to go, EU!

      1. they’re, not their.

  8. Why the fuck is the Secretary of State talking about taxes? I wasn’t aware that was part of her fucking job description.

    I actually thought for a little while that putting Hillary in a non-domestically-focused position would shut her up for a while. Yes, I am an idiot.

    1. I won’t dispute your last statement.

      For the question of Hillary speaking out, I would see two reasons:
      1) Barry O wants everyone on his team to sing the same song. Hillary’s comments are perfectly in tune.
      2) Hillary still is hoping to move back into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday, so she wants to keep making noise on economic issues in a way that pleases her core constituency.

      1. Head -> Desk

  9. economic discrimination is the best kind!

  10. “Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what ? they’re growing like crazy,”

    Correlation, causation, what’s the dif, right Hil? If we’re playing this game, I will chalk Brazil’s growth up to being the home of both Gisele and the Brazilian bikini wax.

    1. Did some googling around, but no luck on finding Brazilians’ tax avoidance rate. Probably pretty high.

    2. I will chalk Brazil’s growth up to being the home of both Gisele and the Brazilian bikini wax.

      It’s definitely the source of my growth.

    3. Hmm. Wonder that Greece’s tax/GDP rate is in the eastern hemisphere.

  11. I did not have sexual relations with that man, Joe Sestak.

    1. Are you sure? The way he carries that jacket over his shoulder makes him plenty available.

  12. The funny thing is, if you ask someone how much the rich should pay (and actually get them to respond with a percent) – the fair share advocates usually pick a number BELOW what the rich already pay. The ones that have fallen for that trick will never give you a percentage – it is always more than now.

  13. I think we need a special 100% tax on politicians and their spouses getting Speaker Fees, Book Deals and Cattle Future Profits, since that is what the Clintons make money off of

  14. I would be interested to see what the numbers for share of taxes versus income are by state when the state taxes are included.

  15. By including “insurance, corporate income, and excise taxes,” this post gets closer to a fair evaluation than almost every other Libber/GOP submittal on the matter.

    Now, if somebody will just fold in property taxes and sales taxes, we will finally have a meaningful analysis of the tax burdens.

  16. Most people who earn the big bucks through starting businesses were not successful in their first few attempts. The Google, Facebook, etc businessmen with early success are rare. Business starters often have to wait until their late 40s or early 50s to see their entrepreneurial skills gain traction. I doubt advocates, like HRC, of raising taxes on high income people consider this.

  17. She is such a fucking moron.

    Brazil is a lot closer to third world than we are, which means that temporary incremental growth is a lot easier. Ditto, by the way, China. Incidentally, what about your precious European example? Hmmm?

    Also, you twat, the “rich” are paying almost all of the federal taxes now. So fuck you very much.

    1. “Almost?” So, you admit you haven’t paid your fair share yet.

    2. She is such a fucking moron.

      I thought she was fucking a moron. Of course, she stopped that after Monica.

      1. She stopped it before too!

  18. GDP per capita: Brazil $10,200, U.S. $46,400
    GDP per capita, rank: Brazil 105th, U.S. 11th
    Unemployment rate: Brazil 7.4%, U.S. 9.3%
    Population below poverty line: Brazil 26% (2008), U.S. 12% (2004)
    Share of nationwide household income or consumption, lowest 10%: Brazil 1.1%, U.S. 2%
    Share of nationwide household income or consumption, highest 10%: Brazil 43%, U.S. 30%

    1. There were similarly disastrous numbers found when Bill Maher recently claimed that Brazil had “gotten off oil”.

      But numbers rarely convince someone enamored with an idea. It’s like convincing a sports fan that their favorite team sucks.

      1. Bill Maher is a strange bird. He sometimes has brilliant insights and sometime — sometimes he is just plain idiotic.

        I loved his film Religoulous by the way.

  19. Cee U Next Tuesday Hillary

  20. More up-to-date and detailed info about income and tax shares:
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/26361.html
    via http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com…..es_28.html

  21. Perhaps Madam Secretary should read the latest on Brazil from the Economist:
    http://www.economist.com/world…..d=16167612

  22. On the home page of CNN.com right now is a poll related to this. The question is “Hillary Clinton says the rich are not paying their fair share. Do you agree?” Currently 70% agree, 30% disagree.

    Given that CNN.com readership is fairly centrist, I find those results depressing. I don’t believe that we have any chance at turning back the current hypergrowth of the state, folks. At this point, I am inclined to just brace for its eventual collapse, and try to position myself to come out of that OK.

  23. The biggest distortions of the income tax probably do not occur at the top of the income ladder, but down in the lower-middle.

    If you have a choice between a nice, cushy office job that pays $30K or $40K, and a tough, dirty outside job that pays $50K or $60K, you might have a hard choice in a flat tax environment, but, once you hear that you will pay a substantially higher progressive tax for the higher-paid job, that may drive a bias in favor of the lower-paid-but-nicer job.

    Progressive taxes are okay, but they should probably skew towards much higher incomes — “millionare” taxes — and be a lot flatter in the mid-range. Trouble is, that would probably bring in substantially less revenue.

    1. The goal of progressive taxation is not income equality, i.e. make the rich less rich – it is about stopping the potentially rich from becoming rich. It is about entrenching each class where it already is. So if you work hard, start a business or work in a high paying profession, but don’t come from a privileged background – good luck to you; but the government certainly isn’t working in you favor.

      If you are a stinking wealthy trust fund baby, well, what’s the difference between 35% and 45% of your marginal dollars of earnings – they’re not taxing you’re wealth, only your income.

    2. Yep. It’s my firm belief that the hipster lifestyle is enabled by the combination of progressive taxation and government benefits for folks in the lower tax brackets.

  24. The Chicago-On-The-Potomac Machine wisely chooses to release this morsel on the day before a three-day weekend when it will be overshadowed by the death of Gary Coleman. (coincidence?)

    WASHINGTON (AP) ? Forced to disclose backstage political bargaining, President Barack Obama’s embarrassed White House acknowledged on Friday that it enlisted Bill Clinton to try to ease Rep. Joe Sestak out of Pennsylvania’s Senate primary with a job offer.

    The admission left many questions unanswered, however, and Republicans weren’t ready to let the issue rest. For Obama, the revelations called into question his repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals. And for Sestak, it raised questions why he ever brought up the offers in the first place.

    Seeking to quiet the clamor over a possible political trade, the White House released a report describing the offer that was intended to clear a path for Sen. Arlen Specter to win the Democratic nomination.

    Presidential Counsel Robert Bauer rendered his own verdict in a two-page report that said there was no improper conduct. No one in the administration discussed the offer with Sestak, Bauer said. The report did not say what, if any, contacts or promises the White House had with Specter on the matter. It also did not reveal whether Obama was aware of the former president’s role.

    1. Article II, Section 4:
      The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

      ***Note the word Bribery is in there***

  25. What is often left out is the TOTAL amount of taxes that Americans pay. I’m not even in the top tax bracket, and I pay
    25% Fed
    15.3 SS + Medicare
    5% state
    9% Sales tax
    + property tax, gas tax etc

    So we are at about 65% of income right now going to taxes, if I made a bit more, it would be over 70 fucking percent. How is that too low again???

    The real question is how with the governmt taking almost 70% in taxes why do our services fucking suck so bad??? There shouldn’t be a pothole in America.

    1. Is anyone aware of an apples to apples study comparing the total amount of taxes paid by Americans to the totals of other industrialized nations?

      1. Well, there is this
        http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0522/032a.html

        Which I think shows how uneven the burden really is (assuming the numbers are correct)

        Also

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

        http://images.forbes.com/media…..ending.pdf

        1. Thanks. The Wikipedia entry is pretty enlightening. I’d really like to see a comprehensive study which takes into account things like property taxes, fuel taxes, and the like. I suspect that when those “hidden” taxes are included in a comparison, U.S. tax levels probably begin to resemble those on the high end of the European tax systems.

    2. Er, sales tax is not applied to your entire income, is it? And those numbers add up to 54%, not 65%.

      1. Ahh, I stand corrected, 55, not 65. Also remember a LOT of things have extra taxes. Phones, gas hotels, alchohol etc.

        And sales tax is applied to most of it. What do you do with your income if not buy things? Sure you might save it for a little bit, but then you buy things with the savings right?

        1. A large part of my income is spent on rent and non-taxable food and stuff. Also insurance, utilities and such that are not taxed at the sales tax rate.

          1. It’s true that utility payments aren’t “taxed”, but have you checked the portions of your payments that go to ‘assist’ those who ‘can’t afford X service’ and to various government ‘fees’ and ‘surcharges’?
            Taxes? Mandates? Who cares?

        2. Regarding your SS/Medicare taxes as taxes can be a bit iffy, too. Remember in principle you’re suppose to get it all back, and then some, when you retire.

          When people try to run those numbers it ends up that if you’re roughly median income or below for your lifetime, IIRC, the SS/Medicare is a net negative tax (i.e. benefit) over your lifetime, while if you’re above it is indeed a net positive tax.

          1. Pretty sure a working definition of “tax” is:
            “value taken from you under coercion”
            Whether the powers-that-be return some or all of it (or more, if you’re among the favored rent-seekers) seems irrelevant.

      2. True. Figuring out what your tax burden is through sales tax is tricky.

        Simply speaking, if I spend 100% of my income on standard consumer goods, one could say that it would be a 9% (you guys live in low sales-tax states!) tax on my income.

        But many things we spend our income on don’t have a sales tax, but almost every transaction we make is taxed somewhere.

        I don’t have a sales tax on my house payment, but I pay property taxes.

        I don’t pay sales tax on my cell phone, but I pay other “taxes and fees” on that bill which amount to about 20%; I pay a gas tax when I fill up, and so on.

  26. KEN ROGULSKI: Why are you here?

    WOMAN: To get some money.

    ROGULSKI: What kind of money?

    WOMAN: Obama money.

    ROGULSKI: Where’s it coming from?

    WOMAN: Obama.

    ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get it?

    WOMAN: I don’t know. His stash. I don’t know. I don’t know where he got it from but he’s giving it to us, to help us. We love him. That’s why we voted for him. Obama! Obama!

    Here’s how another woman responded to Rogulski’s questions:

    ROGULSKI: Did you get an application to fill out yet?

    WOMAN: I sure did. And I filled it out, and I am waiting to see what the results are going to be.

    ROGULSKI: Will you know today how much money you’re getting?

    WOMAN: No, I won’t, but I’m waiting for a phone call.

    ROGULSKI: Where’s the money coming from?

    WOMAN: I believe it’s coming from the City of Detroit or the state.

    ROGULSKI: Where did they get it from?

    WOMAN: Some funds that was given by Obama.

    ROGULSKI: And where did Obama get the funds?

    WOMAN: Obama getting the funds from… Ummm, I have no idea, to tell you the truth. He’s the president.

    1. LOL

      I’m here to gets me some MONEY!

      1. Whatever happened to the woman who was convinced Obama would be putting gas in her car and paying her mortgage? Is she sitting in the driveway, wondering why strangers are asking a realtor questions about her kitchen appliances?

  27. President Barack Obama’s embarrassed White House acknowledged on Friday that it enlisted Bill Clinton to try to ease Rep. Joe Sestak out of Pennsylvania’s Senate primary with a job offer.

    So, they admit they arranged for someone to offer him a job in exchange for dropping his Senate bid. And their defense?

    No one in the administration discussed the offer with Sestak, Bauer said.

    Jesus, that’s it? Arranging for a go-between to make an illegal offer doesn’t get you off the hook, you idiot. It just adds a conspiracy count to the indictment.

    They’ve already admitted the central element of a federal crime: they tried to arrange for a candidate to drop his campaign in exchange for something of value. It should be game over for this administration, right there.

    1. I agree. I remember when Clinton was on trial there were people arguing over what “high crimes and misdemenors” meant. In this case they do not need to do this. The very word bribery is actually in Article II, Section 4. Read the Constitution, it is in there.

    2. RC,

      When a firing squad executes Major Nidal Malik Hasan (the Fort Hood shooter) for the valid federal crime of treason, we can discuss other federal crimes.

    3. I smell something in the water.

    4. I told you guys that the Clintons and Obama were the same devil. No way does Bill step in if not to save his creation.

      1. Obama completely going down in flames and not running for reelection would benefit Hillary more than anyone else…so I’m not sure Bill’s interests are aligned with Obama’s on this matter.

        But I doubt this is going to be THAT big of a deal in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, it should be, but AP hasn’t even put it on their top 5 news feed yet (if they ever will), when they had 2 items on Rand Paul’s Civil Rights Act comments last week at one point.

        This is going to blow over just like the Bush administration’s illegal (but complicated) activities in the US Attorney firing scandal did.

    5. They’ve already admitted the central element of a federal crime: they tried to arrange for a candidate to drop his campaign in exchange for something of value. It should be game over for this administration, right there.

      Just like it was game over for the Bush administration when they admitted violating FISA?

  28. My marginal tax rate:

    33% federal income tax
    11% state income tax
    15% combined social security and Medicare taxes (includes employer / self-employed portion)
    5% general excise tax

    So, at roughly 2/3 of income before all the other miscellaneous taxes and fees are thrown in — say, 3/4 of income stolen when all is taken into account. Remind me again why the heck my tax load isn’t fair enough?

  29. Make a donation to the Treasury, Hillary. Every year. In the amount you think people as wealthy as you

    I have an alternative plan. Buy Treasury Bonds and “retire” them yourself; toss them in the fireplace and burn them.

    And pat yourself on the back for being such a good American.

    1. No need to buy T-bills — burning regular dollar bills would as effectively transfer money into the federal coffers.

  30. It should be game over for this administration, right there.

    Ha ha, good one, R C.

  31. “Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what ? they’re growing like crazy,” Clinton said. “And the rich are getting richer, but they’re pulling people out of poverty.”

    There’s only so much of this horseshit a guy can stand, and this goes way over the line. This is almost worse than the refrain that “at least people in Cuba have free healthcare”.

    Brazil has mad, crazy poverty. We have ‘relative poverty’ and even the people in this country with poverty have much greater access to wealth than do the people living here, or here.

    And to think the other day I was thinking to myself that I much prefer Hillary in the role of Sec. of State: She’s got a much more finite, targeted role dealing with wonky foreign policy issues, instead of sitting around an office within an institution dealing with domestic issues where she can think up random shit to legislate.

    Sorry, Hillary, thanks for playing. Go directly to Jail, do not pass Go.

    Oh but wait! Somehow the condition I show in my reference pictures will be blamed on the lack of government, so one could conclude that even the Brazilian’s aren’t taxed enough.

  32. how much income is rich? I’m trying to figure out where we need to cap government employee pay.

    1. Whatever we pay our public servants, it’s not enough…

  33. NOTHING makes my blood boil like a guy like Joe Biden, who has never held a job in his life, telling me that I need to give more of my income to him so he can waste it in the name of patriotism.

    The most patriotic thing you can do (you can argue giving your life in combat, but I won’t) is to make money. I own a business, I work hard and make money. The money I make goes to buy goods and services and helps others to make a living. The more money I make, the better off society is. The more I keep, the better off society is.

    Fuck you, Joe Biden. The fact that you have run the government into the ground for the last 30 years is not my problem, and I don’t see why I should bail you out. I’d not give a dime to this fucking government if I could.

  34. I guess I just missed the part where Hillary called for Tim Geithner to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for failure to pay his taxes.

    1. About two weeks ago, the ATM gave me a brand-new $20 bill. It was the first one I’ve seen with Timmy’s signature on it, so I took a red pen and wrote “Tax Cheat” above his signature before I spent it. I’m sure I’ll be learning the error of my ways in a re-education camp soon.

      1. Oooh! Good one!

  35. Where are all of our resident lefties? I figured they’d be here by now, to give us the precise definition of “fair share” and the mathematical formula for calculating it.

    1. Silly.

      In leftyspeak, “fair share” always means more than at present.

      1. To elaborate, in leftyspeak, “fair” means: “I want your stuff if you have more than me, because I’m sure your gains are ill-gotten!”

  36. So this is the change you resident lefties voted for?

  37. “Maybe, baby, but then just come and say what you mean.”

    Lol, that’s why you’re awesome, Nick.

  38. My theory is that it goes back to the marxist labor theory of value, and the idea that the capitalists extract “surplus value” from workers. The liberal (as opposed to socialist) viewpoint that capitalism is a necessary evil, that must be made “humane”, results in the conclusion that wealthier people should be paying more – in order to counter-balance the “surplus value” they are stealing from the poor. Progressive taxation is sort of a way of partially rectifying what they see as the economic injustice of capitalists extracting surplus value in the form of profits, without completely upending the market system.

    1. I think that is the modern rationalization, but the notion that the rich are inherently sinful goes back centuries before that. (cf the Biblical “It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”).

      And, in fairness, in pre-capitalist times, the very rich – the nobility, not the bourgeiosie – did get their money by stealing it from the poor.

    2. Actually, labor theory of value traces back to Smith and Ricardo. Marx hardly invented that – he merely adopted what was a pretty standard theory in political economy – and then twisted it into the theory of exploitation.

      1. The Labor Theory of Value goes back to Smith, but the “Surplus Value” concept (I won’t call it a ‘theory’) is Marxist in origin. It was Marx who argued that all profits derive from paying workers less than the full value of their labor.

        1. No. Surplus value was necessary in classical economics to explain capital formation, not just in Marxian polemics.

          The fundamental flaw in LTV was the necessity for a numeraire – the differentiating point between the value of labor “necessary” for production and the total value (with the remainder being “surplus”). Sraffa supposedly solved this conundrum, but no one in modern econ cares. Not that utility theory in labor markets is much better; there just isn’t much interest in understanding the foundation.

          1. Ahhh, I see.

            That makes Marx and even worse thinker than I thought he was.
            So what part of Das Kapital is original work?

            1. Well, if nothing else, you have to appreciate Marx’s jibes at Malthus.

              Actually, Marx had the only viable explanation of the business cycle up to Keynes. Also ultimately wrong, but no one else had a better theory.

      2. Well, I was being loose with terminology anyway, but in any case, the LTV is now recognized as erroneous, by everyone except Marxists.

      3. Well, I was being loose with terminology anyway, but in any case, the LTV is now recognized as erroneous, by everyone except Marxists.

  39. These discussions always strike me as nonsensical.

    To be rich is to have wealth, not income. Show me some charts of wealth versus taxes, and then we can talk about whether the rich are paying their fair share.

    Might be interesting to discuss the fair basis of taxation as well – upon what basis should everyone’s tax bill be calculated?

  40. The biggest canard is Hillary aligning herself as not being rich, when not only does she live in a multi-million $ home in New York, but the Clinton’s net worth is >$100 million. Give me a break, Hillary.

  41. For those of you who thinks the government wastes all of your money – please take a more nuanced view. I work at a nonprofit that gets federal funding to expand employment training, and we are required to document EVERY HOUR we spend in an Excel spreadsheet, stating how much time was spent on each task. We have to submit reports every month on progress, and a local government member sits on our board to oversee our activities. It’s a pain in the ___, but I respect their desire to ensure tax money is spent most efficiently in order to uplift society. And in case you think my nonprofit is mooching off the government, note that i’m earning far less now that someone with my skills and abilities would earn in a similar private industry job, but I choose this because i want to help. Anyway, the point is, PLEASE don’t assume all government tax dollars are immediately wasted on pointless projects, that is a silly generalization. There is waste but there is also efficiency!

    1. I’m willing to bet that you think nearly every dollar on defense is wasted or inefficient.

      You might also want to explore the difference between efficiency and efficacy.

    2. Actually I would say this is proof of waste.

      They’re asking you to waste time (and money, as time is money) writing up spreadsheets, and are paying somebody to sit and oversee how you use your time and spend your money.

      Not-for-profit can be some of the most rewarding work in the world, I’ve been there and done it, but the paperwork if anything should be cut back to raise efficiency, not increased to prove it.

  42. Alright, let’s tax the rich more.

    Hillary, open your wallet!

  43. Shouldn’t everyone that is on TV pay a tax on the incremental value they receive by being on TV? Every TV personality gets paid to do their job, but they themselves receive additional value by being on the public airwaves and building public recognition. Easily the value of the recognition is equal to the salary received for the appearance.

    Shouldn’t the tax rate they pay reflect these additional values they are receiving?

    Should the rate be double their current rate?

    Since they receive so much value and advocate positions with broad reaching impact, wouldn’t it only be fair that they are affected proportionately?

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