Government Spending

Can the U.S. Afford $70 Billion in Tax Relief in 2011?

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What's popularly known as the "Bush tax cuts" expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama wants to keep rates the same (or lower them even) for individuals making less than $200,000 and households pulling down $250,000. And he wants to end the reductions for the group that, using 2005 figures, accounts for the top 2.67 percent of American taxpayers. (Fun fact: the top 1 percent of households pay about 40 percent of income tax receipts.)

The big taxes that would go up include the death/estate tax (currently at 0 percent but slated to jump to 55 percent on inheritances beyond $1 million!) and the top two marginal tax rates, which would go up from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent and 39.6 percent (which is what they were under Clinton).

The Congressional Budget Office says that extending the cuts for the tippy-top income earners will cost $700 billion in foregone revenue over the next decade. Let's call it $70 billion per year then. According to CBS News (I know, I know, not the greatest source), a majority of economists think that extending the cuts are a good idea because wealthy people, who have the most money to spend and invest, are particularly sensitve to tax increases. They are particularly good at finding shelters and new places to stash money in tax-advantaged ways. Incidentally, killing all the Bush tax cuts would, says the CBO, bring in $3.9 trillion over the next decade.

But even ignoring the idea that increases might stymie the crappy economy even more, can the feds afford to leave $70 billion on the table? For god's sake, the total 2010 budget is $3.6 trillion (and that's an estimate; if the past is prologue it will be higher than that.) As it stands, there's $164 billion of stimulus funds tagged for transportation projects that haven't been spent yet, so you could pay for two years plus of a tax-cut extension right there.

Which might explain why the Wash Post is reporting that

a growing cadre of Democrats—alarmed by evidence that the recovery is losing steam and fearful of wounding conservative Democrats in a tough election year—are advocating a plan that would permanently extend tax cuts benefiting the middle class while renewing breaks for the wealthy through 2011, senior Democratic aides said.

Indeed.

All the talk of tax cuts is nice, but it does tend to take people's attention off what really matters, which is spending. Lest we forget, federal revenue has been highly stable since World War II, coming in around 18 percent of GDP despite heroic attempts to increase or decrease that share.

Here's the bad news: Official estimates of spending relative to GDP for the years 2010-2015 average 23.7 percent.

The highest percentage of revenue as a percentage of GDP recorded since 1930? A mere (irony!) 20.9 percent, in 1944. And the same estimates of total federal revenue as a percentage of GDP during 2010-2015? A whopping 17.7 percent.

By all means, let's have a debate over whether the government can afford to let taxpayers keep either $700 billion or $3.9 trillion of their own money over the next decade. But let's NOT pretend that the economy can withstand the government spending 28 percent more than it's taking in over the next six years. Or that looking for change in the back seats of the car is what's going to bring to us fiscal salvation or ruin.

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  1. Are there any links to statistics showing what government revenue as a percent of GDP has been over the years?

  2. “20.9 percent, in 1944.”

    That is astounding. Think about that. I can’t find the relative GNP in 1944 versus now. But we have to be several times richer now than we were then. With 20.9% of what we had in 1944 we were able to build the bomb, field a 12 million man army and fight a two front war and pretty much arm the entire world against the fascists.

    Now with 23% of what we have, which is multiple times more, what exactly does the federal government do? The amount of waste is just mind boggling. It is not like there wasn’t waste back in the day.

    1. Yeah, but we had alot less government bureaucrats…

    2. Now with 23% of what we have, which is multiple times more, what exactly does the federal government do?

      Line lots of well-connected pockets and buy votes.

    3. “Now with 23% of what we have, which is multiple times more, what exactly does the federal government do?”

      I dunno. Half the rate of poverty that existed in 1944? Protect the rights of blacks and women that were trampled on in 1944? Fight wars Republicans got us into?

      1. Poverty rate in 1959 23%. Poverty rate in 1965 before the federal government did much of anything to stop poverty about 14%. Poverty rate in 2008, about 13.2%.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..meline.gif

        The half in the poverty rate occurred almost entirely before the federal government got involved. I have only pointed that out to you about twenty times. And you know it is true. You just pretend that it is not true because you are a dick and you would rather be willfully ignorant and stupid than examine you ideology.

        1. That was the debate version of John just grabbing MNG’s head and slamming it into the wall as hard as he could.

      2. MNG,

        The rights of blacks and women and the rate of poverty is totally unrelated to this stat. As for the wars… wasn’t there some type of scuffle going on around ’44?

    4. Now with 23% of what we have, which is multiple times more, what exactly does the federal government do? The amount of waste is just mind boggling. It is not like there wasn’t waste back in the day.

      It’s even more scary when you consider that we haven’t even really hit the demographic bomb quite yet.

      The Bismarckian/Rooseveltian welfare state was pretty much still in its infancy in ’44. The biggest generation in world history hadn’t even started being born yet!

    5. The government spent way more than 20.9 percent of GDP in 1944. The federal deficit alone was 23 percent of GDP.

      http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..mp;local=s

      SOrry, but Reason needs to get its facts straight on this one. I love Reason, but it still must be factual.

      1. I can’t believe that Nick Gillespie dropped the ball that bad on this one. Am I reading what he wrote incorrectly?

        “The highest percentage recorded since 1930? A mere (irony!) 20.9 percent, in 1944. ”

        Maybe he was talking about revenues as a percentage of GDP? That’s confusing, because the paragraph starts off talking about spending.

    6. Yes we did all that with 20.9% of GDP. But if you are old enough you also remember that the war was the ONLY thing going on. Non-government production was at a virtual standstill. You couldn’t get sugar because it was going to the war. You couldn’t get coffee because it was going to the war. One year they even had iron pennies because all the brass was going to the war. We were still in the Great Depression, but the economists didn’t know it because all the unemployed has been drafted. For the war.

    7. Nick’s 20.9% figure for 1944 is seriously undercounting the pension obligations we were taking on at that time.

      1. I looked at the link. The 20.9 percent figure is government revenue, not expenditure. The deficit that same year was another 23 percent of GDP give or take.

  3. a majority of economists think that extending the cuts are a good idea because wealthy people, who have the most money to spend and invest, are particularly sensitve to tax increases. They are particularly good at finding shelters and new places to stash money in tax-advantaged ways.

    Won’t somebody think of the poor CPAs?

  4. Krugabe!

    What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals ? even very moderate liberals ? legitimate. Mr. Obama’s election would have enraged those people even if he were white. Of course, the fact that he isn’t, and has an alien-sounding name, adds to the rage.

    LEAVE OBAMA ALOOOOOOONE!

    1. shorter Krugnuts. People just won’t do what they are told.

    2. Goddam, Krugman’s a tool. You don’t think MNG could be Krugman, do you?

      1. Same toolbox, different tool.

      2. http://tinyurl.com/2828m48

        Not quite but almost. :p

    3. “If Democrats hold the House, which is still a big if but is starting to look possible, the 111th Congress ? and, yes, Obama’s first two years ? will go down in history as an epic success.”
      -Krugabe on Barack Obama, May 16, 2010

      By that standard, I think that the welfare state’s Me Worry Kid had better start preparing himself for epic failure.

    4. Funny, I seem to remember a lot of liberals with T-shirts and bumper stickers and such proclaiming that Bush was “not my president” a few years ago.

  5. Leftists argue from the position that money stolen from citizens in the form of taxes belongs to the state forever, and that to justify its return to its rightful owners, advocates must demonstrate how they will “pay for” this suspension of government theft. They argue this with a straight face. In an inversion of American legal philosophy, these statist pundits view taxpayers as the guilty party who must prove their innocence to the state.

  6. Re: death taxes. Does one pay the tax on the difference between what was paid for the assets and what they are worth at death, or on the value of assets at one’s death? Someone I was arguing with says it is only “fair” that a farm purchased 40 years ago for $100,000 should be taxed if it is worth
    $5,000,000 when owner dies. I countered with, is it “fair” if the investor paid $6,000,000 five years ago and, due to the real estate crash,
    the land can be sold for only $5,000,000 today. Why a tax of 45% on
    something one has already lost a million on?

    1. If I am not mistaken you pay taxes on the value of the property itself (or the equity you have in the property. I don’t think the heirs get to pay it like a capital gains tax.

      1. I would hope to god not. A farm is not a convertible asset like cash. Its a fucking liability until you find someone to buy it and then you pay a capital gains tax on the proceeds. If death tax made you pay on assets as if they were already realized gains, plenty of people would be bankrupt before they could realize any gains and property vultures would be circling hospitals like claims lawyers.

        1. LT, find me ONE EXAMPLE of a farm that was sold because of estate taxes. Good luck.

          1. Alright, bucko, I’ve got you here. A good friend of mine grew up on a dairy farm about 30 miles outside of St. Cloud, MN. It has been in her family for 4 generations (homesteaded in the 1890’s). The farm also includes 400 unattached acres where her dad grows enough feed corn to feed his 80 cows and sell the excess to his neighbors. It is a very well run business. Her dad was the president of the American Dairy Association a few years ago.

            She earned a degree at the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture with the intention of assuming ownership of the farm when her father dies. However, here’s the catch: because St. Cloud has become so developed, the land the farm is on is now worth several million dollars.

            So now, if her father were to leave the farm to her, as has been the family tradition since the nineteenth century, she would have to pay a ton of taxes. So much in fact, that the resulting business model is unsustainable. So while technically this is not an “EXAMPLE of a farm that was sold because of estate taxes” it is certainly going to be one. And true, my friend will end up with a good chunk of cash, but what she really, really wants is to own and operate her family’s dairy farm.

            1. Unless the farm is worth more than $7 million, your friend will owe no estate taxes at all. Perhaps you need to cure your ignorance of the law?

              1. You cannot see that 400 acres of land might be valued significantly more than $7 million? And that farm based estates would be very much asset rich/cash poor entities?

    2. A trip to the re education camp is in order for you.

    3. The estate tax taxes the value of the property on the date of death. For income tax purposes, the beneficiary gets a stepped up basis on property he inherits. That is, if the decedent bought the property for $1M, died when it was worth $5M, then the beneficiary sold it 2 years later for $6M, the beneficiary would owe capital gains tax on only $1M.

      But, in 2010, there is no estate tax and there is no stepped up basis on after the first $1.7M. The beneficiary takes the basis of the decedent.

      1. Sucks to be you if you don’t have the cash on hand to pay the taxes on the family farm…

        1. LT, the Dept of Ag was unable to find a single family farm, EVER, that was sold because of estate tax issues. Farms have a zillion exemptions and don’t owe any taxes until they are worth north of $7 million. Even if these not-very-“family” farms do owe taxes, they are spread out over a number of years at a piddly interest rate.

          1. “Farms have a zillion exemptions and don’t owe any taxes until they are worth north of $7 million.”

            Obviously there would be issues if not for these exemptions.

            1. Like what? That millionaire kids would have to pay some taxes? Cry me a river….

              1. I’m stating a probable cause to the given effect. Property worth millions of dollars does not make one a millionaire until you convert it, you dumb twat and if you don’t want to convert it, you’re stuck with a bill that forces you to.

              2. An tax exemption that benefits a class the left does not favor is a “loophole”, while a tax loophole that benefits a group that the left favors is an “exemption”.

                It would be better to dump things like the estate tax which exists for social engineering purposes and replace it with a simple tax code that applies equally to all and does not require exemptions so as not screw people over.

        2. See the fuck above…

    4. Is it “fair” for anyone to inherit a couple million?

      No.

      Estate taxes should be 99% of anything beyond $10,000 per child and grandchild. Donate it to a charity, or give to the government.

      1. “Is it “fair” for anyone to inherit a couple million?

        No.”

        Prove it.

      2. Thanks. This is all I needed to know.

        1. Estate taxes should be 99%…give to the government or pile it up, soak it with gasoline and, with your last ounce of strength, strike a match.
          I’d choose the last before I’d let Chad and his ilk get his hands on it.
          But hey, that’s me.

          1. Burning a pile of money wouldn’t change a thing. It’s just paper, and you would be impliciting donating your wealth to other cash holders.

            1. The smartest thing Chad ever said. Of course, the bar is low.

            2. An estate is assets, not money. Burning your assets is a reduction of real wealth from existence.

      3. That’s bullshit. If I’m lucky enough to have saved up that much money after decades of hard work, why on Earth should anyone other than my kids reap the benefits? You’re already sucking out huge percentages of my hard-earned wealth on a regular basis.

        Screw that.

        1. Chad’s posts always bring to mind the phrase “the banality of evil.”
          That might be a bank-shot Godwin, but so be it.

          1. Evil is as evil does.

            I know this is mostly sock-puppetry, but that kind of thinking in the real world really pisses me off. What’s the difference between the government and a guy stealing me blind?

            1. What really pisses me off is that those folks believe they are occupying some kind of moral high ground.

              1. Even rhetorically that doesn’t make sense. Isn’t a society where I can support myself in my old age and where I can provide for my family after I’m gone superior?

              2. They think they occupy the high ground morally and intellectually.

                Liberals are sick.

      4. And Chad continues to say hes really not a socialist.

        1. whats more revealing is that sentiment of the statement. Its not even the governmet needs more money and this is the best way to get it. Hes ok with them donating the money away. Its that he hates the fact that someone could inherit that money. He would rather punish someone for no other reason than due to his hatered and jealousy. He can;t stand that someone else would get that money. When is hatred towards those who are more monetarily successful than yourself going to be considered bigotry?

          1. Envy is a more evil, vicious emotion than greed. Greed can be fraudulent, but greed can also be constrcutive. Envy is almost always destructive as it is about pulling others down rather than building yourself up.

      5. “Is it “fair” for anyone to inherit a couple million?”

        Yes, it’s a voluntary exchange.

      6. Is it fair that a child recieves a nice new toy for his/her birthday.

        Is it fair that a child is given new cloths to wear.

        is it fair that a child is given a $20 allowance to spend on what he/she wants.

        is it fair that a parent says in a legal document that a child can have the farm when the parent is done with it.

        how can you justify taxing one an not the others chad? should we be taxing all gifts we give our children? is it unfair that one child gets a new toy and another gets nothing? should the government for the sense of fairness correct this?

        all of those gifts that the parents give thier children have monetary value. the child paid nothing for them. by your reasoning Chad we should be taxing all of them, after all it’s only fair.

      7. Is it “fair” for someone to rob their neighbor?

        1. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

          Religious principle like that Commandment not to covet your neighbors things? Or all that talk about not being envious within the Bible.

          Good thing we have separation of Church and state so those religious principles and them damn right wing tea baggers are kept out of the equation. Right fellow libertarians? Right?

          Most if not all Marxist ideas are basically just opposite Bible thinking, after all, Marx said his goal in life was to dethrone God and destroy capitalism.

          Obama sat in a Church that taught liberation theology for 20 years, liberation theology is nothing but marxist Jesus and rejected by the Catholic Church. Can you say Sandinista or Hugo Chavez boys and girls?

      8. Is it “fair” for anyone to inherit a couple million?

        It absolutely is.

        1. When my kids use that line “its not fair” I tell them life is not fair and anyone who tells them it is, or should be, is a God damn communist control freak.

      9. Chad, a few questions,

        1. Is it your property?
        2. Is it your money?
        3. Is it your inhereritance?

        If the answers are no, it is none of your business or anyone else’s.

      10. Chad, a few questions,

        1. Is it your property?
        2. Is it your money?
        3. Is it your inhereritance?

        If the answers are no, it is none of your business or anyone else’s.

      11. Yeah. People shouldn’t be allowed to decide where the money they worked their entire lives for goes when they die.

        It all belongs to government.

        Chad, you really are a fuckwad.

      12. Estate taxes should be 99% of anything beyond $10,000 per child and grandchild. Donate it to a charity, or give to the government.

        What’s the difference between donating to a charity and donating to family?

      13. Life is not fair, and the government does not exist to make it so. FOAD. HTH. HAND.

      14. Cash holdings are only part of an estate and in the overwhelming majority of cases, not even close to the biggest part. So, in Chadworld, if your grandma leaves you her house, or your dad leaves you his muffler repair shop you suposed to hand those over to the government?

        It is an injustice to prevent someone from leaving their assets to their rightful heirs. “Fair”, in the way you are using it, is a corrupt term that twists any virtue out of the word.

  7. creech:

    The Federal Estate tax is NOT a capital gains tax. It is a tax on the net value of an estate after deductions for the cost of operating the estate. It is government confiscation, pure and simple. In addition, because charitable bequests are NOT taxed, the estate tax encourages removing capital from productive use.

    1. Jesus, really. I’m screwed then. I’ll just tell the parents to sell everything before they die.

      1. I’m sure they already have that covered. These evil twats will get theirs (ours)

      2. I’m sure there’s an estate tax attorney, like Bill Gates’ father, who, for a fee, will structure their estate so as to minimize the tax due on their deaths.

        And, interestingly enough, the opinions, always in favor of continuing the estate tax, of estate tax attorneys like Bill Gates’ father are quoted and/or voiced in the media as though they were disinterested public spirited citizens.

        “See, how can you be in favor of abolishing the estate tax, when millionaires like Bill Gates’ father is in favor of keeping it?”

        1. Or Warren Buffet?

          Who just happens to own life insurance companies that will be more than happy to sell you policies that will help you minimize the estate tax bill.

    2. Well, then I’ll just spend everything over the limit on “wine women and song” and my kids.

      Isn’t the estate tax harmful to philantrophy? Say I have three kids and want them to get a $1million after tax. With an estate of $10 million, I can leave $7 million to charity under the no estate tax scenario. With a 45% tax, I have to leave $1.8 million to each kid pre-tax so they net a million, leaving only $4.6 million for charity.

      1. You get to deduct charitable bequests before calculating the taxable estate. So, if you have an estate of $10M, donate $7M, you are only taxed on $3M.

        1. Right, and if the estate tax kicks in at $1million, my estate will pay tax on $2million and the net to each of the three kids is less than a million.
          So I won’t give $7 million to charity, I’ll give less so that each kid nets out at $1m. As I said, estate tax tends to reduce charitable bequests.

      2. It’a feature, not a bug.

    3. How about “selling”/giving any outstanding assets to family before death?

      If I sell my farm to my child for $x and transfer all of my liquid assets (stocks/bonds/cash and such) in to his name before my death, would he be legally responsible for paying any sort of estate taxes?

      If not, why is this not the default actions for everyone as a means to escape these fucking immoral ass estate taxes?

      1. I’m guessing the IRS would not consider this an arms length transaction and would value it at fair market value against your lifetime gift exclusion.

  8. The fact that the democrats are even contemplating raising taxes in the midst of a severe recession reveals their ideological hypocrisy.

    The entire economic argument for the stimulus rest of the Keynesian model and the Keynesian model says that during a recession you cut taxes and increase government borrowing while during an inflationary period you raise taxes to pay off what you borrowed.

    A true Keynesian would be horrified at the idea raising taxes in a recession because the Keynesian model says that would be absolutely counter productive.

    Yet, here the democrats are, planning on raising taxes and only belated wondering if it would politically disadvantageous to do so.

    This rather conclusively proves that the democrats do not formulate policy based on a coherent economic model. Instead, they pick and chose the model du jour depending on which model allows them to control the most GDP.

    1. I’ll give you a two year extension on the tax cuts if you give me something sufficient in return.

      What are you offering?

      How about new spending of $2 for every dollar in tax cuts, on programs of my choice?

      Are you willing to compromise?

      1. WTF!? Stupidity!?

      2. Spend $2 and then cut your revenue by an additional $1 for that. That sure sounds revenue neutral.

        1. I haven’t complained about short-term deficits, now have I?

          You guys have, and therefore I can hold you to a deficit-neutral standard.

          1. How about you compromise with me?
            I want a 20% tax cut and 50% spending cuts. So I’ll settle for 10% and 25% over next two years instead. Deal??

    2. They Democrats fucked themselves. It is almost like George Bush knew they were going to be in power in 2011 and left a little time bomb in his office on the way out. If they don’t cut taxes the economy is going to crater even more and they will get the blame. If they do cut taxes, they will admit to the world that their whole line about “Bush’s irresponsible tax cuts” was nothing but unmitigated bullshit.

    3. Yes and Keyneseanism also calls for cuts in government spending in times of economic expansion to pay down the debt they ran up due to deficit spending during recessions.

      When was the last time any of these so-called Keyneseans ever called for spending cuts except for their perpetual harping about cutting the military?

    4. They’re using the union model.

      When I worked in construction the union would raise dues when times where bad claiming too many guys not working were not paying in. They promised to lower the dues when the work picked up. And of course that never ever happened.

  9. No tax cuts should be extended. If you REALLY want to insist on extending some of them for a year or two, please come up with a deficit neutral plan to do so.

    Thanks for your time,

    Chad

    1. Easy, I’d begin the phase out of social security starting tomorrow, refunding it by slashing half of the departments in government and tell the states they’re now funding their own transportation networks, schooling and healthcare.

      1. So now the states have to increase taxes tremendously….what problem have you solved exactly?

        1. I live in a state that can manage its own outlays in an efficient manner, therefore I am better off.

          1. And when it has to spend twice as much on roads, schools, and health care, it will “manage” by raising your taxes by about the same amount as the feds cut them.

            1. Doubtful that costs would go up proportionatly by decreasing the level of bureaucratization.

              1. And the least necessary programs would be cut.

              2. The cost of funding roads at the federal level cut be slashed by getting rid of the Davis-Bacon Act – a purely political giveaway to labor unions that has been going on since the 1930’s

                Every construction project is essentially forced to use higher cost union labor.

                Lots of states and cities have the same sort of thing going on.

                In fact we could save lots of money by outlawing any sort of requirement to use union labor for anything.

                And even more by outlawing labor unions for all government empolyees.

    2. a deficit neutral plan

      I can help you with that, Charlie Brown.
      Spend less.

    3. Chad, keep the tax cuts and let the pols figure out how to make do.

      Then make a single tax rate so everyone has skin in the game.

  10. The Congressional Budget Office says …

    Not to be too persnickety, but tax & revenue estimates come from JCT, not CBO

  11. For some reason, “deficit neutral” as conceived by our progressive brethren only means maintaining/increasing government revenues. Spending reductions are completely beyond the realm of possibility.

    1. Wrong. Most progressives would slash the DoD budget in half immediately if they could.

      1. You’ve had over a year and a half. Not my problem you made your bed with War Dems.

        1. Hey Hey!
          Obama!
          How many troops,
          Won’t be coming home to momma?

          Hey Hey!
          Barack!
          How many troops,
          Are gonna die while you talk?

          Hey Hey!
          Obama!
          How many troops,
          Won’t be coming home to momma?

          1. BTW, in just 6 years Malia can join the volunteer army. 5 if her parents sign a paper. I trust our Dem war president is steering her in that direction.

            Hey Hey!
            Obama!
            How many troops,
            Won’t be coming home to momma?

            Hey Hey!
            Barack!
            How many troops,
            Are gonna die while you talk?

        2. You can’t turn the titantic on a dime, especially with people like Brown, Nelson, and Snowe at the helm.

      2. Wrong.

        Nothing liberal constitutes progress.

        You are a liar – as usual.

      3. Where are you going to get the other $800B in deficit?

      4. Please link to a quote by a Democrat currently in Congress stating that s/he favors halving the DoD budget. Thanks.

      5. Okay. So this year’s deficit would be a mere $1,100,000,000,000 rather than $1,500,000,000,000.

        You seem to be confused about what significant cuts actually mean.

        I’d cut the defense budget by at least 1/3 and see from there what else needs to be cut (cut the fattest fat first, then go back over it to see where the next most efficient cuts would be). Then I would be a big boy and look at the other $2.3 trillion in the fucking budget and cut 1/3 from it too.

        It’s fucking amazing that progressives actually believe that if we rid ourselves of the military completely, all of our budget woes would be magically gone without touching anything else.

        1. “It’s fucking amazing that progressives actually believe that if we rid ourselves of the military completely, all of our budget woes would be magically gone without touching anything else”

          They don’t actually believe it.

          They just hate the military and want to cut it. Any and all rationalizations for it will do at any point in time.

          1. “All of our budgetary woes”? Nope.

            About half.

            I’d cut ag subsidies, too. I’d also raise taxes quite a bit, and expand spending on many things.

      6. What a brilliant plan! And, just for my own clarification, unemployment will increase by how much?

        Only the most ideological progressives and willfully blind conservatives fail to recognize that the military is the government’s largest jobs program.

        1. And outside of combat troops and their direct support, every single military job is nothing but a jobs program.

          When only 1/5 of the military is actually used for fighting in military actions while the rest administer shit, there is something deeply wrong with the facilitation of the military.

      7. Wrong. Most progressives would slash the DoD budget in half immediately if they could.

        Of course they would Chad because its actually mandated in the Constitution. Its no secret neo-liberals hate the Constitution and the military.

    2. I’m not sure what they intend to do once they’re controlling 100% of GDP and still need to raise spending. Fortunately, I’ll be living somewhere else by then, or not at all.

  12. And when it has to spend twice as much on roads, schools, and health

    See?

  13. Most progressives would slash the DoD budget in half immediately if they could.

    Go for it; and then dump the Education Department into the ocean. Repeal Davis-Bacon.

  14. How about new spending of $2 for every dollar in tax cuts

    That should help.

  15. I agree that spending is a big issue, but if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, I’d rather see spending stay as it is, if necessary, than see tax rates not come down.

    In stock terms, the market will give you a high p/e ratio if you have lots of growth–it isn’t how much you’re spending, it’s how much revenue you’ll have in the future to cover your costs.

    So, yeah, spending matters–gotta keep your costs as low as possible. But if you’re gonna have all that spending, you better have the revenue growth in the future to cover it. And the way our tax system actively discourages growth and investment is fundamentally irrational.

    No matter what we do about spending, we shouldn’t be discouraging economic activity and growth so aggressively.

  16. Is it “fair” for anyone to inherit a couple million?

    DRINK!

    1. I see, those complaining it won’t be fair to extend the cuts only to those making under a certain figure are somehow doing something those who say it isn’t fair to cut taxes on inheritance are not.

      1. Can anyone give me a translation? Thanks.

        1. Translated:

          Fuck the rich. Gimme gimme gimme.

  17. if I had to choose the lesser of two evils, I’d rather see spending stay as it is, if necessary

    I understand your point, but I’d be a lot less worried if I thought any of the clowns currently in charge of the checkbook actually understood the difference between “investment” and “expense”.

  18. I see, those complaining it won’t be fair to extend the cuts only to those making under a certain figure are somehow doing something those who say it isn’t fair to cut taxes on inheritance are not.

    Engrish prz.

    1. Oh. I see PB already put in the call.

  19. “The Congressional Budget Office says that extending the cuts for the tippy-top income earners will cost $700 billion in foregone revenue over the next decade.”

    Let me see if I understand this…Not expropriating money and property from citizens in the form of taxation is a “cost” to the government.

    By that logic, the local mafia is suffering a “cost” because it is not shaking me down for protection money.

    Seriously, doesn’t it turn logic on its head to suggest that any private income or wealth we have is a “cost” to the government to the extent the government does not take it from us as taxes — as if personal wealth is a privilege the government graciously permits to us?

    Nothing more clearly illustrates the mindset of our government than to describe taxes not collected as a “cost.”

    1. Fair enough, but if you spend money but don’t pay for it with taxes, are you “not expropriating money and property from citizens in the form of taxation”? Sure you are: you’re just changing the time and place you do so

  20. First,

    Is this Chad dude retarded? If so, I don’t want to make fun of a retarded guy.

    Second,
    It’s good to know that the government doesn’t waste money at the same time it’s contemplating force to take more of it. That would unacceptable if that were to happen.

    1. Clearly not. He spends his income on art rather than cheap shit from China. What retard would do that?

      However, it does suggest that he’s an insufferable prick and someone should implement a ZPG policy on his balls with their foot.

  21. The rich argue that more money will be spent if they have more. The truth is the rich spend most of the time finding ways of saving money. Remember when we used to get upset about the rich and their tax attornies?

  22. I have a way to save the economy.Let’s sell uit to the rich. Count the ways the rich are being handed the power. Congress gives them billions through the Bush Tax Cuts. And the Supreme Court lets them use it to buy power.

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