Socialism

The Rise of the Low-Tax Socialists

Today's Democrats want all sorts of new spending, but not the middle-class taxes to go along with it.

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Ronen Tivony/Sipa USA/Newscom

Democrats, under the influence of energetic democratic socialists, have recently begun trotting out ideas for new government spending: Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, expanded Social Security benefits, and free public college are the big ticket items.

Yet when it comes to taxes—the means by which government pays for things—the Democrats have been comparatively quiet. Yes, several 2020 hopefuls have backed new taxes on the wealthy; some of these proposals have even included revenue estimates. But as two economists who analyzed Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D–Mass.) wealth tax observe, it's "not about collecting revenue," but about "regulating inequality." Progressive Democrats don't actually expect increasing the top marginal tax rate will pay for universal health care, not to mention everything else they've proposed.

Sometimes, reporters will ask proponents of new spending how they would pay for their ideas, which is another way of saying, "who would you tax, and by how much?" An increasingly popular answer amongst prominent Democrats is that this is no longer a question worth asking. Finding ways to offset new spending doesn't make any sense, according to Warren. Congressional PAYGO rules, which require new taxes or spending reductions to balance out new spending, are a threat to progressive goals like single-payer health care, says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.). When Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.) introduced a new Medicare for All bill last week, she did not specify how it would be financed. Fiscal math and single-payer don't mix.

Asked about financing the Green New Deal, Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) took issue with the premise of the question, insisting that it was better understood as an investment. "It's not about cost," she said. One recent estimate put the price tag of the Green New Deal as high as $90 trillion. That figure is a cost. Harris and her peers just don't want to acknowledge it.

That's partly because of the pernicious influence of modern monetary theory (MMT), a slightly fringey notion borrowed from academic economists that some Democratic politicians have twisted to mean that deficits never matter, occasionally with the help of MMT's academic proponents. (More on this at a later date.) But, by and large, MMT is just a pretext, an excuse for Democrats to offer the public what every politician dreams of: massive new benefits without any new taxation, or at least none that affects the majority of voters.

Aside from Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, most of today's prominent Democrats are not, strictly speaking, socialists. But they have been influenced by its proponents and its ideas. And in response, they have adopted a partial form of democratic socialism that promotes all sorts of new spending, but not the broad middle class taxes that typically go along with it. These Democrats represent a peculiar, American strain of pop democratic socialism—call it low-tax socialism. It's easy enough to understand the political incentives, but in some ways, it's even less sensible than the real thing.

Consider how taxation works in the Nordic countries that many American socialists describe as their models. Yes, taxes are high on the rich. But as the Tax Foundation noted during Sanders' last presidential campaign, they are also high on the middle class. The 70 percent top marginal tax rate floated by Ocasio-Cortez would apply to income earned over $10 million, affecting only about 16,000 Americans each year. In countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, marginal tax rates of near 60 percent hit earners deep into the middle class. Denmark's 60 percent marginal rate applies to income over 1.2 times the national average, which in the U.S. would hit earners making just $60,000 a year—not exactly millionaires and billionaires. These countries also typically rely on value-added taxes that are inherently regressive, placing a bigger burden on the poor and middle class than on the rich.

The low-tax socialists, or at least those running for office, have tended to sidestep this aspect of the Nordic model, focusing on new spending and new benefits, and implying that the rich—and only the rich—will pay.

The job of a politician is, in part, to read the public mood, which makes this a telling dodge. It assumes that Americans won't go for democratic socialism, or its pared down U.S. equivalent, if it means that middle class taxes will have to substantially rise.

Republicans, of course, have their own version of this ruse, where they push tax cuts without reductions in spending or government services, as if the two aren't really connected. The low-tax socialists of today's Democratic party have thus accepted an essentially Republican premise—that most Americans won't stand for higher taxes, even if those taxes are billed as the price of new government services. In this, and perhaps only this, they are probably right.

NEXT: Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Tweets Golden Shower Video, Later Asks, 'What Is a Golden Shower?'

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  1. How do you know a politition is lying?

              1. What an unwise, and unattractive, latina.

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                1. It’s Victoria’s secret

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                    Yep.”

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                    1. Then Chuck Schumer would be at the bottom.

              3. Would.

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        4. Would.

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  2. deficits never matter

    So, *revenues* never matter? PARTY ON!!

    1. They like to say that government controlled health care saves more than it cost. I’m sure they have something similar in mind for the 90T for the GND.

      1. Indeed, the more you spend the more you save!

        1. Female logic, leading to Rome burning.

      2. “They like to say that government controlled health care saves more than it cost. I’m sure they have something similar in mind for the 90T for the GND.”

        Well, if the GND is implemented as proposed, the cost of power on a unit basis will be a lot higher, but the power will be off. A lot. And you probably don’t have to pay for power when the system is down. So, there you go – a net savings on power cost in absolute dollars…?.

        1. And you probably don’t have to pay for power when the system is down.

          Yes you will.

          1. Thats exactly right. You will have to pay a flat fee regardless, just to pay for the cost maintaining the infrastructure. Not to mention all the other costs (being cold in the winter, hot in the summer, massive reduction in dietary variety which will ultimately cause more disease, etc.)

            Not that any of this matters since we won’t be able to feed most people without fossil fuels, so we’re all gonna die of starvation first anyway.

        2. And you probably don’t have to pay for power when the system is down.

          Have you never seen what happens to water rates, when you are forced to conserve, due to a drought?
          “You’re using less, so we have to charge you more”.

        3. Man, you are either young or incredibly naive.

      3. They like to say that government controlled health care saves more than it cost. I’m sure they have something similar in mind for the 90T for the GND.

        That’s why they keep framing climate change as an imminent threat to the very existence of human life. How much would you spend to keep humanity from being wiped out? Nothing is worth more than existence itself! Ergo, no cost for (supposedly) stopping climate change can ever be too high. No matter what dollar projections you come up with, it’ll be worth it!

        1. plus there’s the multiplier effect, but only if we’re still alive

        2. Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty. Federal finances are different from local government finances, or from your finances.

          Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

          Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

          Even if federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

      4. We’re shredding the budget, but we’re making up for it by shredding in volume!

      5. They never allow for the increased costs that will result when users don’t directly pay. Which is exactly why we have higher cost health care now – employer paid health insurance.

        Have a pain? Don’t feel so good?

        Run to the doctor. After all, it’s only a copayment? Right?

  3. I believe all saw recently where in Sweden 30k /yr will get you a 60% rate.

    1. Yeah but those earning near $30k are getting a hell of a return on the taxation whatever measly amount over $30k.

  4. Politicians not being specific about how they would pay for their ridiculously insulting ideas that their sycophantic followers will defend?

    Shocking.

  5. So, they can stop taking income taxes from our paychecks? Or are they clinging to that weird theory that the government has to steal part of our income to “sop up excess money”?

    1. MMT proponents believe that income taxes just limit inflation.* It is a version of the “government spends money smarter than you/me do.

      (* I personally think MMT is completely insane.)

      1. So PB is taking a break from kiddie porn to puke up his opinions here again.

        1. Fuck you, you redneck liar.

          I hate liars as much as I hate rednecks.

          1. “I hate liars as much as I hate rednecks.”

            Man, looking in a mirror must be something you avoid at all costs. Pretty sure you’ve posted here once without lying, turd, but I missed it.
            Pay your bets, and then go die; make the world a better place.

  6. That’s partly because of the pernicious influence of modern monetary theory (MMT),

    MMT was insane when Dick Cheney got behind it and is insane now.

    1. Agreed, but in their defense it did not occur after quantitative easing and the economic downturn. There are reasons why that is, but at face value they can make this argument.

    2. Why do you disrespect Reason’s property rights after they banned you? They said “we don’t want you here.”

    3. Sarah Palin is smarter than this. Even she went away when told.

  7. I glad the author mentioned that Republicans also like to cut taxes and increase the deficit. The truth is the American people like the programs that government provides. The approach has been cut the taxes and then cut spending, but the latter never happens. As a result people never see the link between the taxes and services. This make it easier for Democrats to sell the idea of new programs. Why should new programs cost any more than the programs we have now. We can not pay for new programs the same way we don’t pay for the present programs.

    If we had a more realistic link between taxes and services, people could better understand and value the service. So I suggest we raise some taxes, explain what services are funded by the taxes, and then let people decide do they want cut the taxes or do they want to cut the services.

    1. explain what services are funded by the taxes

      Ah, there’s the problem. Not even Obama could get that explanation thing down!

      1. He explained it quite clearly; You will save $2,500.00 per year on your health insurance.
        You can’t get clearer than that.

        Of course, it was a bald faced lie, but it WAS clear.

    2. “The truth is the American people like the programs that government provides”

      Citation needed.

      1. The person who argues in favor of maintaining the status quo with regards to social programs seems to always win national elections. See: Trump, Donald.

      2. You seriously need a citation for “everybody likes free lunches”? As long as it’s the government providing it rather than the taxpayers, it’s free!

      3. Citation needed.

        Look out your window.

        1. All I see is a Brazilian getting a golden shower.

          *scratches chin*

          1. He said window, not mirror.

    3. If we had a more realistic link between taxes and services, people could better understand and value the service.

      The the government stopped providing those services, and people had to buy them individually in the market, the link between outlays and services would be understood toot sweet.

      1. ding, ding, ding

    4. Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty. Federal finances are different from local government finances, or from your finances.

      Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

      Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

      Even if federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

      1. So can Venezuela. How’s that working out for them?

  8. Young Socialists Should Consider A ‘Phase-in’

    Continue the old, familiar rules of free enterprise and private property to those with existing investments in their educations, careers, businesses, and financial assets ? while adopting more radical, egalitarian ideas for new entrants to the economy. In a matter of 20 years, a capitalist society can be painlessly transformed into a mostly socialist utopia. Today’s 40 or 50 or 60 year olds can continue to live under the old rules and ultimately retire and die, and today’s 20 year olds will be left to live in the society their new rules will have created. It is not as impractical as it may sound.

    I suspect this idea will never be implemented (for a variety of reasons), but it’s worth a quick read.

    1. “…and today’s 20 year olds will be left to live in the society their new rules will have created.”

      Pining for the good, old days when toilet paper was available!

      1. “Half the time there’s no shit; and the other half there’s no shovel!”

      2. “Pining for the good, old days when toilet paper was available!”

        To be fair, the drastic reduction in food will help with the toilet paper and water shortages.

        1. Not so sure about the water part; they’re gonna need something to thin the nettle soup with.

    2. Yeah, the Fabians workshopped that idea 100+ years ago. Snoozer!

    3. Won’t work once the disaffected unemployed youth realize the oldsters have all the money.

      1. And no makes the products or grows the food they need. Early American history is full of examples. In the first year, when the gardens were community owned, half the Pilgrims starved to death.

  9. So the basic premise of MMT is that printing money will magically not lead to hyperinflation?
    Yeah this is stupid.

    1. That is not the premise of MMT. MMT proponents say “Hey, print and spend money, then set taxes high enough to suck enough money out of the economy to limit inflation.” So the idea is that taxation isn’t seen as a way to raise revenues but as a way to ensure that you don’t have mass inflation. At a high level, this probably works.

      However, in my mind, this comes with all sorts of unseen costs. Essentially you are driving the economy centrally in two ways- one by choosing who to fund, and two by choosing who to extract inflationary dollars from. If you are just dumping more money into health care than it can produce, then you get inflation. So you need to tax that excess money out of health care…This whole theory smacks of perpetual motion machines. Why will writing a check to an industry while handing it a large bill at the same time suddenly increase production?

      Ultimately, when MMT is treated at a high macro level of general accounts, it seems attractive. But when you get to the micro level it breaks down as you have politicians trying to manage outlays for their cronies.

      1. MMT wouldn’t work, even a high level (I presume you mean of taxation).

        Let’s say the government tries to pay for lots of shiny new things by injecting $1T of new currency into the economy while simultaneously trying to suck it out through taxes to fight inflation. First, that fundamentally misunderstands the difference between wealth and money. Second, if you know that the dollars you receive are going to be taxed at a high rate (effectively making them worth less), then you are either a) going to demand more of them to offset the decreased value, raising prices; b) immediately hide those dollars in tax shelters or spend them in ways that avoid taxes, thus keeping them in circulation, devaluing the currency, and raising prices; c) if it gets really bad, demand compensation in forms that are harder to tax, i.e. create a gray or black market.

        MMT might, *might*, seem like it would work when you are just looking at equations on a whiteboard or working through an idealized thought experiment. In reality, though, it requires an impossible level of government control, targeting, and enforcement to deal with pesky things like the way people actually respond to incentives.

        1. There is absolutely nothing that will ‘fail’ about MMT if all you are opposing it with is a fiat money system. Govt owns its money. MMT just points out that govt can choose to distribute it through either fiscal policy (direct spending/taxes) or monetary policy (banks/central banks/private loans). The entirety of the nonsense that govt must be the one that restrains itself by eliminating fiscal policy as a means of distribution is an attempt to ensure that banks retain a monopoly ove rthe distribution/creation of that govt money.

          The only thing that can undermine MMT is true commodity money. Surplus stuff that is not consumed but is instead monetized. But that is anti-debt money that only has very limited uses in a debt-money world

          1. Thing is dollars are a commodity (cue article about how every country’s central bank is the regulating mechanism against each other’s forms of currency more than their own) which is where (as best as I can understand it anyway) MMT really has its downfall- it isn’t a (mostly) closed system where the country is mostly self-sufficient. If you are trading elsewhere (either dollars or goods), the velocity of money matters, and other countries can’t really make good valuations of the accounting shenanigans that may all tally up in the end, but at different points in time.

            I mean it could work as long as the amount of money floated isn’t a significant portion of GDP, but that is really hard to trust, especially against countries having a significant debit load to begin with.

      2. This is exactly right. MMT is very accurate re how money and liquidity is actually created now. Money is created – out of thin air – by making loans or running deficits. It is drained by paying off loans or collecting taxes. The 19 century model of taxes funding govt spending – or govt deficits being the only thing that creates inflation – is a relic from Say’s Law, commodity money, and the theory (not practice) of the gold standard.

        But it’s not a perpetual money machine. It is merely money that is disconnected from the workings of the economy. Just like banks and central banks and fiat money.

        And none of it has to do with hyperinflation which is not at all understood by those who constantly point to it as the imminent problem. Hyperinflation is NOT inflation at all. It is the destruction of the existing money system – without a new system in place – by some form of repudiation of the debts of that system. The price changes of stuff is merely what happens when limited amounts of surplus stuff suddenly face both use-demand and monetary-demand.

    2. Near as I can understand it, the original rationale was that during the Great Depression, with unemployment at 25%, printing money to hire the unemployed for the CCC etc was not inflationary because it only soaked up the unemployed, it did not increase demand for the currently unemployed. Seems to me that would only apply when the government enforced a minimum wage to prevent normal market adjustments, but I am no econ 909 fantasist.

      And even if that rational were correct, it has no bearing on today’s 4% unemployment market.

      Like Keynesian stimulus, which was justified on the basis of being timely, targeted, and temporary; and then applied late to projects which required years of planning, to every “shovel ready” project under the sun, never expired when good times came back.

      1. s/currently unemployed/currently employed/crap.

    3. Yeah this is stupid.

      Stupid and beyond. It ventures into the denial of reality.

  10. “Rise of the Low-Tax Socialists” — worst horror movie title ever.

    1. Given the prevalence of low-information (i.e. leftist) voters, it could also be the scariest movie ever.

  11. How about the “Ken Shultz Comedy Hour.”

    1. Or “Libertymike Goes to Roxbury”

      1. He’s been to Roxbury, and unlike Carol King and Canaan, he doesn’t want to go back.

    2. Howard Schultz:coffee::Ken Shultz:comedy

    3. “An Evening With Mike M”

      1. “Just how fat is Weigel, you ask? Even ENB wouldn’t fuck him!”

      2. How long does it take to give everyone a sweet nickname, and does it happen before or after the main event?

        1. While you are chained to a radiator Mike M, in between bites of tuna fish and castor oil, yells out the names of anyone affiliated with Reason.com past or present, and you have ten seconds to come up with a suitable nickname or you lose a toe.

          1. “Radley Balko? I SAID RADLEY BALKO!”

            “Umm…umm…Sadley..No Soul Glow?”

            *devious laugh, followed by a tuna belch*

            “This little piggie goes to…*blood curdling scream* my collection.”

    4. “Gary Johnson vs Just Say’n”

      1. “NAZI CAKES YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!”

        1. “Permanent Base in Afghanistan”

      2. Better to have OCA in charge because Gary won’t tell us who he will bomb.

    5. “Mad Libs With OBL”

      *shudders*

      1. “There is nothing more _____ on a cold winter day than Reason writing about _____ while Trump _____, as the country ____ Handmaid’s Tale.”

        #StillWithHer
        #_____Jello
        #NonBinary_____

        1. If an albino chick is Celtic or Nordic and has a thick mane with a tall, lithe frame, you assertion, up-thread, would be right.

  12. Carbon taxes would be the most unequal tax ever proposed and would disproportionately impact the middle class and lower classes…….

    1. No, because the carbon taxes would only be charged to business entities, and we all know that they never pass expenses on to their customers.

  13. deficits never matter

    They don’t, at least in the US.

    Maybe someday they will. Good luck predicting what day that is. Everyone predicting it for the last 50 years has been wrong.

    I am completely in favor now of spending ourselves silly. Shattering the world economy is the only possible way to get people to take debt seriously. And if it doesn’t shatter, then what have we lost?

    1. Nobody will give a shit if WE shatter the worlds economy-it will never be OUR fault

    2. Seems like there was a few people who cared during the Great Recession. Funny how they can go through such a crisis and still manage to try and blame capitalism. I guess I’m out of date but what was their excuse for jacking healthcare that was suppose to become affordable?

  14. “taxes?the means by which government pays for things”

    taxes?the means by which government punishes and burdens adversaries

    FTFY

  15. One of the common complaints / queries on many fora is why EU prices are so much higher than US? They don’t realize that the US is one of a very few countries which do not include taxes in prices. EU prices do, and that tax is generally 20% or more.

    OT — I sometimes wonder how EU businesses cope with different tax rates in different countries, but one universal price. I suppose the difference between, say 20% and 25% is not that great.

    It is also telling that all those EU socialists love them some hidden VAT. The closest the US has gotten is income tax withholding and SS payroll tax, which most workers never even notice.

  16. These countries also typically rely on value-added taxes that are inherently regressive, placing a bigger burden on the poor and middle class than on the rich.

    Funny how egalitarian Nordic countries rely on these “regressive” taxes. One begins to wonder if the so-called regressive value-added taxes are possibly better and more fair than the fundamentally immoral income tax system.

    1. All taxes are immoral. There may be advantages to a VAT tax, but morality is not one of them.

  17. Free shit ain’t free if somebody has to pay for it, dumbass. Now where’s my goddamned free unicorn?

  18. I’ll take “low tax socialists” over Drumpf any day.

    More bad economic news: Family Dollar will close nearly 400 stores

    At a certain point it will be easier to list the businesses that aren’t failing in this Drumpf economy.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #UnbanPalinsButtplug

    1. Dipshit. Family Dollar is closing because Democratic inflation has turned them into Two Dollar stores.

      1. Psht…like OBL would know. He shops at ritzy “5 Below” like a millionaire

      2. I’m sure Amazon played no part in this ^_-

      3. Family Dollar is hurting because their customer base is shrinking as they all got good-paying jobs in the steel industry.

        1. Now that is good parody

  19. Taxing and spending are how politicians reallocate entitlement to consume.
    MMT proposes that merely by printing money, new wealth is created, and the only effect of taxation is to avoid inflation.

    Can you say Zimbabwe?

  20. Don’t worry, these socialist politicians will suddenly remember to tax the hell out of the middle class one way or another after they pass their agenda. They promise low taxes now to get to a point where their policies can become law.

    1. Socialist policies generally result in the middle class being liquidated.

    2. Yeah, DeBlasio is going for a congestion tax which will hit those billionaire uber drivers, waiters, waitresses, security guards and students in the city.

    3. Oh, I think they’ll keep their promises not to place the burden on the middle class. And we all agree that the middle class is people making less than $40,000 a year, right?

  21. “Aside from Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, most of today’s prominent Democrats are not, strictly speaking, socialists. But they have been influenced by its proponents and its ideas. And in response, they have adopted a partial form of democratic socialism that promotes all sorts of new spending, but not the broad middle class taxes that typically go along with it.”

    True; they advocate for national control and direction of the means of production, while pretending there is private ownership so that the owners can be taxed and excoriated as the evil rich.

    You know who else was a proponent of national socialism? Look up how that turned out, if the results of the last numbered war are still available online.

  22. Has anyone else noticed that Clinton, Warren, Booker, and the other Soros-ites are all wearing purple lately? Really makes me think.

    1. Purple is the color of royalty and we are the unwashed peasants.

      1. Do you know why purple is the color of royalty? Because snails.

        1. I was going to say because Prince

          1. Both are correct

    2. They’ve been doing that for a couple years now.

      Color revolutions are all the rage among global socialists

    3. Mardi Gras bro

    4. Socialist Purple is 180 degrees across the traditional color wheel from yellow… The Lib Party color. Amusing.

  23. Why tax when you can just print money. Hey, it’s worked out great every time before, right? Fact is, two thirds of the federal budget goes towards entitlement programs and half of the other third goes to the military, so you are left with about 16% to play around with, given that nobody dares to cut the other 84%. No amount of raising taxes or rearranging the budget is going to come close to covering the progtards’ wish list

  24. Technological global socialism with open borders awaits.

    1. Techno-eugenic global socialism.

      How else are our, inherently inferior, betters supposed to live forever?

      1. National borders will be wide open, but neighborhood borders will be protected by high walls and armed guards.

        The populace, at large, will of course be disarmed

        1. Well, some neighborhood borders will.

  25. Surely we can all agree that it would be really nice if MMT were valid. We wouldn’t want to, for example, waste our lives trying to impose provincial moral strictures on other people via economic policy while calling ourselves freedom-loving libertarians.

    1. Surely we can all agree that it would be really nice if MMT were valid.

      But it isn’t. It would wreck the global economy if attempted at the scale required to pay for the democratic socialist agenda. Like, Great Depression-level wreckage, if not worse.

      1. We’ve already wrecked nearly every economy on the globe by trying austerity (thankfully the US avoided the worst of it by, ta da, not doing so much austerity). So other than those two solutions, assuming that human political will is up to the task, what alternative do you propose?

        1. 1) I reject the notion that austerity alone caused recessions in Europe. There are so many endemic problems with the economies of Europe that you can’t pin them on relatively small reduction of government spending.

          2) I reject the notion that the economic downturns of the last decade are, by and large, anywhere even approaching what would happen under MMT. The exceptions are places like Venezuela and maybe Greece.

          3) Here is one alternative – don’t enact policies that will cost tens of trillions of dollars while simultaneously violating basic rights, working at cross purposes to the stated goals, and making people materially worse off.

          1. Or shorter: everything Tony said is soft headed bullshit, and Tony should immediately commit suicide.

        2. And Venezuela is printing so much money they fly it in by the plane load but they can’t afford to buy basic medical supplies.

          1. Eh, Venezuela doesn’t really meet the criteria since it is not monetarily sovereign what with owing a bunch of money to the US and others. Their problem is that they are not independent, with their prosperity or lack thereof therefore relying on the price of oil (a folly practiced by many a private company as well).

            1. VZ is in fact a currency sovereign (Bolivar or some offshoot due to massive inflation).

              1. Will the US take bolivars when it wants its money back?

            2. “Relying on the price of oil”

              Nope. That has little to do with it. It’s the socialism. Period.

              You’re just regurgitating Media Matters talking lints again.

            3. “Eh, Venezuela doesn’t really meet the criteria since it is not monetarily sovereign what with owing a bunch of money to the US and others. Their problem is that they are not independent, with their prosperity or lack thereof therefore relying on the price of oil (a folly practiced by many a private company as well).”

              Neither are we “independent”, you pathetic imbecile.

        3. If you want a broad-brush outline of the policies that I can practically live with, given the political constraints (even if they aren’t my preferred approach), how about

          – Eliminate all itemized deductions, allow for a generous refundable income tax credit, and tax all remaining income with a slightly progressive set of brackets ranging from 15 – 25%, trying to match historical federal tax revenue as a function of GDP with is usually around 18%.
          – Eliminate all corporate tax breaks and enact a flat corporate tax on all profits at something like 20-25%.
          – Switch all existing entitlement programs to a simple, means-tested cash payment system with benefits that fade out gradually with income (basically the refundable tax credit above plus something to keep those who can’t work out of abject poverty). Barring that, move to a voucher-based program.
          – Gut all federal regulations that can’t be shown to have a direct positive impact on consumer safety or market competition
          – Prohibit, with a Constitutional amendment if necessary, any use of taxpayer funds to reimburse the creditors of any private firm or corporation
          – Set up a market in carbon credits

          1. – Decriminalize all drugs at the federal level
            – At the state level, eliminate most occupational licensing, move to a system of education vouchers, eliminate anti-competitive policies like certificates of need, decriminalize all drugs, and vigorously prosecute excessive use of force by police using the same standards as would be used in the trial of any other civilian.

            I mean, just off the top of my head.

            1. good stuff

            2. eliminate most occupational licensing

              You mean ALL I think.

              1. eliminate most occupational licensing

                Like I said, work within the realm of the politically feasible. It’s going to be tough to totally eliminate licensing in professions where people’s lives really can be on the line, like medicine. Even I’m reluctant to move that far in a single bound. But meaningful reform might be possible.

            3. Oh, I almost forgot. Shutdown all overseas US military bases with the possible exception of Korea (but even then), repeal the War on Terror AUMF, and ammend the War Powers act to require a separate AUMF for deployments in unique theaters, based on both geography, the enemy being fought, and the goals of the action. No more blanket AUMFs.

            4. Please keep on, and with the fine-brush!

            5. Nothing about public schools or drivers licenses?

              Fuckin’ slaver!

          2. “Eliminate all itemized deductions,” that’s just semantics. It isn’t income to be taxed if it’s a cost of doing business, is it? Why they separated itemized deductions from COGS is beyond me though.

    2. “…trying to impose provincial moral strictures on other people…”

      You seem to have misspelled “reality” as “moral structures”, shitbag.

  26. Also we’ve seen that austerity is a proven disaster, and insofar as MMT is the opposite of austerity, it has that going for it.

    1. Austerity seemed to work just fine in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile the anti-austerity crowd is slipping into recession

    2. Where is this “austerity”?

      No one has cut spending this century other than Obama (Budget Control Act of 2011) and it barely touched social programs.

      The Bushpigs spent like drunken sailors (my fave McCain quote). Trump has spent more each year with no cuts.

      1. Europe, parts of Asia.

        1. And Greece could have ditched the Euro/EU, gone back to the Drachma, print all they wanted MMT style, and no one would have loaned them a dime anyway because no one wants to be repaid in an unstable currency (same problem Venezuela has).

          1. The problem with Europe, of course, is that it is too loosely confederated. Any individual state can’t do MMT since the European central bank controls the Euro. But they’re not aligned strongly enough to have a full European plan. We could have told them that we tried a similar thing at our founding and decided it was better to be more unified rather than less.

            1. “The problem with Europe, of course, is that it is too loosely confederated.”

              That’s actually the opposite of the problem.

        2. Tony|3.6.19 @ 12:43PM|#
          “Europe, parts of Asia.”

          Quit waving your arms, shitbag. Specifics.

      2. That wasn’t even austerity. Austerity is making revenue and expenditures match. Hasn’t been done since the .com boom. Before that God knows.

    3. It took me a minute but Tony got “austerity” from lefty boards and what the EU forced on Greece and their severe budget cuts.

      Greece is recovering nicely by the way.

      1. Took long enough. And only three bailouts.

    4. Austerity – real austerity, as in a drop in government spending of 10s of percentage points of GDP – has in fact been accomplished on a few occasions, most notably after World War II. Despite the warnings of complete and utter disaster, the economy boomed.

      It’s almost as if major economic trends are multi-causal…

    5. When was paying what you had money for ever a disaster? Name an economic disaster as bad as those like the great depression and recession that we’ve had since the fed was born and mucking around (established. 1913)? The truth is recessions have gotten worse.

    6. except that no one has really tried austerity yet, since Jefferson

      1. Jefferson cut spending so much he was able to repeal all internal taxes

  27. it’s “not about collecting revenue,” but about “regulating inequality.”

    And there you have it: they live in kindergarten and worry about life being fair with no regard to wealth earned by skill or even inherited from someone who earned it by skill.

    They hate success. They hate property. They hate America.

  28. “Today’s Democrats[/global socialists] want all sorts of new spending [and totalitarian power], but not the middle-class [] to go along with it.”

    Fixed it for you

    1. Your Bushpigs were just as socialist as Democrats are.

      Medicare Welfare Part D, TARP to banks, downpayments for homes, AIDS support for Africa, NCLB, Iraq War, Spying on Americans.

      I know you GOPers want to forget Bush and soon trump but some of us won’t.

      1. “just as socialist as Democrats are” — Now that’s quite an assertion. I cannot even remember the last time a Democrat founded their arguments on the Constitution or the Republic and every-time they are cornered on it try to cherry-pick words out of context to support their “socialistic” plan. Yes, the GOP members most certainly could do a heck-of a lot better but “just as socialist”? I don’t think so.

        When the Democrats start campaigning on the premise to abolish Medicare, Welfare, and Subsidies – I just may switch parties. Sorry, I just don’t see that going on today.

    2. Your Bushpigs were just as socialist as Democrats are.

      Medicare Welfare Part D, TARP to banks, downpayments for homes, AIDS support for Africa, NCLB, Iraq War, Spying on Americans.

      I know you GOPers want to forget Bush and soon trump but some of us won’t.

      1. jfc get some new material

        1. He’s looking for more kiddy porn sites.

  29. The mmt pusher in Chief isn’t even an economist, he’s a trader. And the economists that are into it only claim there is no downside as long as workers/resources not currently allocated. Even if the assumption is granted could you trust the government to judge?

    1. if it’s true that debt doesn’t matter why hold it to only 20T? Why not 200T?

      1. they are truly arguing that. actually they are saying get rid of middleman. fuck borrowing it, just print it. just require banks to add zeroes to government accounts. at which point why tax?

        1. Which might make sense if the government were super small and libertarian. We’re already doubling the money supply every 11 years, it seems like a smaller government could just use that printed money to fund itself.

          Of course, the politicians always have excuses about why the need more money and more programs, so it wouldn’t take long for the whole thing to collapse.

  30. Why am I developing skepticism about the premise that it was the right thing to do to give women the vote?

    I know there are some brilliant and honorable women out there but exactly how is it the 66% Democratic congresswomen can introduce such stupidity and actually get support of such stupidity?

    Maybe its just me that hears the phrase, “It doesn’t matter how much it costs” from Women on a daily basis.

    1. before the 19th amendment they were generally allowed to vote in local and state elections, but not for congress and the presidency. seemed like a nice compromise. a good would now would be you cannot vote in a federal election if you get back more transfers than you put in through federal taxes. don’t include social security for the elderly as that was sold as self funded retirement program people pay for.

      1. Total would support that.

        WOW! Female households out-do every other factor of Welfare.

        Its kind of ironic that they also receive more college degrees/education than males.
        I guess education DOESN’T equal employment in the female sector.

        Welfare Recipients by Gender/Race/Origin
        Female Households 50% on Welfare
        Black Population 41.6% on Welfare
        Hispanic Population 36.4% on Welfare

        Non-High School Graduates 37.3% on Welfare
        Unemployed Population 33.5% on Welfare

        https://www.census.gov/ newsroom/ press-releases/ 2015/ cb15-97.html

        1. Incentivize single motherhood, get single mothers

          1. Who are notoriously loyal to daddy gov

            1. ^LOL “daddy gov” – well put.

  31. WHO CARES ABOUT DEFICITS IF THE PRINTING PRESSES ARE STILL WORKING?!?!? TAXES ARE ONLY THERE TO PUNISH THE RICH!

    1. One point to be made about printing money – It’s Taxation “equally” across the board through hyperinflation.
      Funny no one seems to blame our wild inflation after the Great Recession on “Quantitative Easing”.
      Actually it probably taxes the poor worse since wise rich people tend to invest in other items besides the US Dollar.

      1. But government told me inflation was low! So what if we’ve doubled the money supply since the GR.

  32. Cutting. Taxes. Doesn’t. Cost. Any. Money.

    Stop it.

    That is all.

    1. Just keep pounding your head on your desk until it starts to make sense. Debt happens when you spend more than you take in.

      It’s only basic arithmetic, so it should take a lot of pounding.

      1. Tony|3.6.19 @ 3:34PM|#
        “…It’s only basic arithmetic, so it should take a lot of pounding.”

        That’s funny coming from someone incapable of finding the answer to 2=2.

        1. 2=2 is a symbolic tautology. It was Descartes, I believe, who said that all math was tautology.

      2. Debt happens when you spend

        Yes, it does, but what does that have to do with taxes?

      3. Just keep pounding your head on your desk until it starts to make sense: Increasing marginal tax rates does not always increase revenues.

        1. Citation please.

  33. The Louisiana Purchase was a bargain for America. Maybe we can bring down the deficit by selling Boston. Is the EU looking for an outpost in North America? This would free up Brussels for the indigenous people there.

    1. Add Western CA to the list of *for sale*. They hate our Constitution (the USA) anyways so let them be governed by foreign powers. The only downfall is we’ll have to add another $8B for a border wall or more because the socialistic minded (Mexicans Ring a Bell here) are constantly looking to conquer “better” places with their “stupid” beliefs that theft is a moral right.

      The profession of Criminal minds is to find the next Victim to bleed dry.

  34. Notice the correlation between the inability to think our budgeting and minority status. Strong, no? And yes, I am counting Pocahontas as a minority.

  35. There is something that the democrats will not tell the voters especially the voters they are trying to get to vote for them. They will never tell them that before they can give them anything that first the politicians have to take it away from the people that earned it. The more they given the more the politicians have to take. Not only the more the politicians have to take but they have to take from more people. Sooner or later those who have been on the receiving end wind up having what they have been given taken away and given to another. But there some that will not have to give but will receive and those will be the politicians. Just look at all the socialists countries around the world and through out history the ruling has not had to surrender anything yet they get all that they need and want. Just remember socialism “IS NOT equal suffering”. Just look at Venezuela for a current example of that. Maduro President of Venezuela it has been reported tried to ship 20 tons of gold out of the nation but was prevented. He needed a retirement plan since he may not be president much longer.

    1. I often ask my leftist friends if it bothers them that the Castros are/were billionaires. The usual response: “A little.”

    2. Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty. Federal finances are different from local government finances, or from your finances.

      Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

      Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

      Even if federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

  36. My wish is that the democrat/progressive/socialist/communist party is totally destroyed.

    1. ^Second that; Then perhaps it could be the Libertarians vs the Republicans main party players and at least Congress could debate just how strict the Constitution is vs whether it even exists as a Supreme Law or not.

  37. These countries also typically rely on value-added taxes that are inherently regressive, placing a bigger burden on the poor and middle class than on the rich.

    I’m gratified to see this spelled out here since VATs are seen by many so-called libertarians as good alternatives to income taxes.

    Tax is theft be it on income or on consumption. Look around the world and witness VATs in operation. In many countries they drive vote buying by politicians even more so than income taxes by way of exemptions for special interest groups. They also have a habit of going up and never down, unlike personal and corporate income tax rates. They are also combined with high personal and corporate income taxes; they are not used as an alternative.

  38. Any thinking person knows the middle class would get clobbered by higher taxes if we give them these “free” benefits.

    1. Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty. Federal finances are different from local government finances, or from your finances.

      Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

      Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

      Even if federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

  39. low tax? you mean like AOC, just printing more money?

  40. One recent estimate put the price tag of the Green New Deal as high as $90 trillion. That figure is a cost.

    Nah. That figure is an unattributed estimate, struggling under a load of ideological baggage.

  41. Why doesn’t the Democratic Party left wing want to tax the middle class? Because the middle class don’t have any money left, is why. Conservatives are going to have to make peace with two facts they don’t like:

    1. The U.S. government needs new spending priorities, and much more money besides.

    2. When government needs money, the only place it can get it is from people who have money. For now, in the U.S., that means from the tippy-top of the upper middle class, and up from there.

    Conservative, and don’t like that? Get to work figuring out how to drastically shift U.S. wealth and income downward. If you can’t figure out how to do that without government, then the nation is going to use government to do it.

    If you’re sitting there thinking conservative control of government is going to prevent that, you are reckoning without the fact that a massive younger generation that has been getting systematically short-changed is about to weigh in. On balance, they will be less conservative. Way less conservative.

    1. I don’t think you understand conservatives at all — They want U.S. Wealth to *justly* represent a VALUE created for society. To a conservative wealth is determined by, “Its only WORTH is what someone else will pay for it.”

      I was en-lighting just recently to the very foundation the ‘left’ holds when it comes to wealth by watching videos of the ‘left’ and ‘right’ argue about wealth inequality. It became very apparent that the left believes wealth is reflective of ‘power’ (i.e. Forcing) struggles instead of by Value.

      I find the belief that whoever has the bigger gun (power) has the most wealth rather disturbing and certainly wouldn’t want to live in such an environment and certainly wouldn’t lobby for it.

      1. I understand conservatism well enough to understand there isn’t much left of it in U.S. politics. So-called movement conservatism is nothing of the kind. It is radical, nihilistic, ideological, and without a trace of regard for the role of experience in guiding politics?which is the impulse at the very heart of real conservatism.

    2. Stephen Lathrop|3.7.19 @ 3:23AM|#

      Why doesn’t the Democratic Party left wing want to tax the middle class? Because the middle class don’t have any money left, is why.

      The European middle class has even less, but the European governments still manage to tax the crap out of them.

      1. A fair point, D-Pizzle.

        If, European style, the money taxed away from the middle class in the U.S. were returned to them in benefits they absolutely would have had to spend money on anyway, such as health care, that would alter the case. Seems like that’s what the new left is proposing. The notion seems to be that doing it that way could save the middle class money, instead of costing them.

        1. “The notion seems to be that doing it that way could save the middle class money, instead of costing them.” — Whats funny is the lefts belief that “benefits” are “free” by adding “experience in guiding politics”.

          Whereas, “guiding politics” yields exact 0-consumer goods (i.e. benefits) and in the summation of such beliefs lies the idiocy of saying

          “consumer goods” + “bureaucracy” < "consumer goods"

  42. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  43. I’m late to the party but didn’t Suderman say on the most recent podcast how he doesn’t care about government spending?

  44. How many times does it have to proven that you can;t have the 1% pay for everyone else’s free stuff. There are not enough 1%ers and not enough money AND they won’t put up with it. They’ll leave.

    We have record revenues. We have a spending problem. The silver lining of the shutdown was that it highlighted that we don’t need this much government.

    1. Suderman does not understand Monetary Sovereignty. Federal finances are different from local government finances, or from your finances.

      Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

      Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

      Even if federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

      1. Spamming this same post repeatedly throughout the thread doesn’t make it any less stupid.

  45. wreckinball, that threat that the wealthy will leave has long since been hollowed out by the fact that so many of the rich have already sent their wealth elsewhere. Lefties, who don’t think the wealthy have been using their capital to help the U.S. economy anyway, will happily tell them, “Good riddance, go visit your bank account. We’ll settle for your real estate.”

  46. Oh, and you are delusional about the shutdown. It ended the instant it became inescapably evident that the loss of even part of the government was about to wreak havoc. That took about a month. It would have happened much quicker if everyone hadn’t been expecting an end to the shutdown at any moment along the way.

  47. Let’s factor out the equation:
    “Low-tax socialists” =
    “Low-tax on middle class socialists” =
    “Eat the rich socialists” =
    “A regime of destructive envy”

    This is the way the world ends,
    the world ends, the world ends,
    not with a bang nor a whimper,
    but with a snarl of envy.

  48. Hey, why tax? We can just print the money we need, can’t we?

    1. Yes. That is the difference between federal financing and local government financing.

      Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

      Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

      1. *facepalm*

  49. As far as taxes go, as long as government is running the show, everyone will get screwed one way or another. Who ever thought that politicians are smart or intelligent must have been on some kind of bender. They have yet to prove it.

  50. My 2 go tos lately with lefties has been:

    Okay, so you want all this stuff… You’re down with 60% tax rates starting at $30K a year like in Denmark right? Because that’s the level of taxation it ACTUALLY takes to pay for all this shit.

    AND

    You’re cool with living in a house that’s half the size right? And a car that costs half as much? Etc. Because take home incomes in Europe are less than half what they are in the USA on average, and our economy would end up like theirs with their economic system.

    Lots of people are just blind sided by the fact that I say “Sure, fine, let’s do it!” and then proceed to explain how Europe ACTUALLY is, not their idealized version of it. When I ask them if they still want to do it, they tend to be a lot less enthusiastic judging from their body language, even if they won’t always actually say it out loud.

  51. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  52. “You can have everything you want and it will cost you nothing!”

    You used to at least have to try to be a little subtle to sucker the public. I doubt we’ve reached peak Idiocracy, but we’re well on the way.

  53. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
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