Taxpayer involvement of Nashville park unclear

Posted Monday, January 23, 2012 7:47 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Gov. Bill Haslam and Mayor Karl Dean were happy to join Dolly Parton on stage, sing her praises, give her birthday flowers and offer their governments’ support as she announced plans to build a water and snow park with Gaylord Entertainment Co. But the mayor and governor weren’t as expansive when reporters started asking exactly what that support would look like.

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Friday, January 27, 2012 9:15 AM
rollergator's avatar

But Brandon, if we keep repeating it, it will eventually be seen as truth - Orwell said so!

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Friday, January 27, 2012 10:08 AM

djDaemon said:
Based on what I'm reading (and have read over the years), the argument that the Bush tax cuts increased revenue is, at best, contentious. Certainly not as cut-and-dry as your statement indicates.

Actually, my statement was cut and dry and only mentioned revenue. Its not refuted by your links talking about revenues as a percentage of GDP as I never mentioned GDP. And my statement is supported by your last link which is a graph showing revenues increasing from 2003 forward. Second round of Bush tax cuts were enacted in 2003 (with the first being enacted in response to the recession brought on after 9/11). Tax receipts based on income are reduced in recessions. And that you bolded the 2009 revenues as a percentage of GDP is interesting. We were/are in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depresssion. Is it a surprise that revenues based on income were lower than at any time since a decade after the GD ended?

But nevermind any of that. No mention of the other things in my post. Cost of tax cuts on non-wealthy being more than those on the wealthy (by a lot). No mention of trillion+ deficits each year. Or 50+ trillion of unfunded promises. Or 15 trillion in existing debt (climbing based on even the most conservative of estimates (which historically are always wrong to the negative) another $7 trillion plus over the next decade). No mention of how taking more money from some wealthy folks is going to do for the economy what pumping 10 or 20 times that amount over the past couple of years has failed to do. Nope. Lets focus on the less than $100 billion per year number. Interesting.

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Friday, January 27, 2012 10:30 AM

GoBucks89 said:
Actually, my statement was cut and dry and only mentioned revenue. Its not refuted by your links talking about revenues as a percentage of GDP as I never mentioned GDP.

Isn't looking at tax revenue as a percentage of GDP more accurate than looking at them as raw numbers? Why wouldn't looking at revenue versus GDP provide context regarding overall economic health?

I didn't mention the other topics because your tax revenue comment jumped out at me as being the most obviously-incorrect (or, at least, disputed) metric regarding the "low taxes on wealthy people (er, I mean, "job creators") = economic bliss, rainbows, and kittens" argument.

And my statement is supported by your last link which is a graph showing revenues increasing from 2003 forward. Second round of Bush tax cuts were enacted in 2003 (with the first being enacted in response to the recession brought on after 9/11).

But that graph shows tax revenue (as a percent of GDP) decreasing to 2003, then increasing to a peak in 2007, before decreasing again to around 2003 levels in 2009. I don't see how this graph supports your argument.

Is it a surprise that revenues based on income were lower than at any time since a decade after the GD ended?

No, but the comment of yours I'm refuting is:

And income tax revenues increased in the years after the tax cuts.

Again, based on what I'm reading here, that's simply not true. Yes, there are periods of revenue growth after the tax cuts were enacted, but the overall trend does not match your claim.

Lets focus on the less than $100 billion per year number. Interesting.

We have to start somewhere, no? If we sit around and say, dammit! Solution A does not completely solve the fiscal problems in the US! Throw it out and come up with something else!, nothing will ever change.

Maybe I don't get it, and I'm missing something. I honestly don't know. But we've heard the "tax cuts on wealthy people will lead to economic prosperity" claim for decades now, and there is little, if any, conclusive evidence that this is true. In fact, there's evidence that suggests the opposite is true.


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, January 27, 2012 11:59 AM

Still seems like a staggering amount of revenue to "pass up"in the hopes that people will use that extra trillion to create jobs in theabsence of consumer demand.


Until you understand how much money we are actually borrowing. Then you realize that $100 billion is NOTHING.


What about the $3 trillion in revenue that was "passed up"from the non-wealthy over that same time period? And the trillion dollars we borrow every year to fund the federal government's deficit? And the 50+trillion of unfunded promises the federal government has made going forward?


I notice this line of discussion is ignored. This is why I and so many others conclude that the real goal for those who banter the “tax the rich” mantra is WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.

This is common sense. If you are sincerely concerned about “tax revenues” to the government, you would first look at where the real money is at. It is not in the top 1% for a measley $100 billion.


Gonch gets ignored when he talks about “teaching a man to fish.” I get ignored when I saythat EVERYBODY, specifically those in the bottom 45-50% who pay no FEDERAL taxes should have to pay something.

I’ll grant your top 1% when you’re ready to compromiseon the bottom 45-50% who don’t contribute, but still get an equal vote.

We have to start somewhere, no?


Yes we do. It would make sense to start where the real money savings is. That would be Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security.

You don’t start with class warfare seeking anamount (100 billion/year) that is almost 100% less than just THE INTEREST on the debt.

It is a joke designed to fool idiots. If 100 billion SOUNDS like a big number, it must be. Relative to this discussion itis useless and a waste of time.

If you are not willing to concede that REAL cuts in Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security are needed along with a tax policy change that insures EVERYBODY has skin in the game…then you are spewing left wing class warfare propaganda.

I’ll hand you your “rich” on a platter when you have the courage to demonstrate a little intellectual honesty and concede that your focus is not where the REAL MONEY is. Until such time, I’ll opine that your discussion techniques are more of the same that we’ve seen from this president and his political party for YEARS.


Feigning a real concern about "tax revenues" then only championing devisive rhetoric toward the rich, as if they are the source of our problems and the source of the solution is dillusional and/or disingeneous. The politicians and policies you support have created an enviroment where we are arguing over "nothing"...while the real problem areas go unaddressed.

Last edited by Aamilj, Friday, January 27, 2012 12:07 PM
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Friday, January 27, 2012 12:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:
But Brandon, if we keep repeating it, it will eventually be seen as truth - Orwell said so!

In all fairness, I'm pretty sure that's a symptom both sides suffer from.

That's not a right or left thing - that's politics.

----

This conversation could go round-and-round more times that the virtual queue discussions. But I'll never fail to be amazed at how strongly everyone feels about trying to achieve the same goal and how strongly they feel about completely different ways of getting there.


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Friday, January 27, 2012 12:20 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
In all fairness, I'm pretty sure that's a symptom both sides suffer from.

Agreed.

...I'll never fail to be amazed at how strongly everyone feels about trying to achieve the same goal and how strongly they feel about completely different ways of getting there.

I don't mean to suggest that I have all the answers regarding the problem. Aamilj obviously has us covered there.

I'm just questioning the specific logic that, ignoring any perceived moral issues, increasing tax revenue from tje wealthiest among us is not a viable partial solution to the deficit & debt problem.

Last edited by djDaemon, Friday, January 27, 2012 12:20 PM

Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, January 27, 2012 12:26 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

djDaemon said:
I'm just questioning the specific logic that, ignoring any perceived moral issues, increasing tax revenue from the wealthiest among us is not a viable partial solution to the deficit & debt problem.

Worded as specifically as that, I'll agree 100%.

I could substitute "increasing tax revenue from the wealthiest among us" with "making the bottom pick up their end of the slack too" and agree with that statement 100% as well.

Hell, let's do both. Now it's truly 'fair' and no one can complain.

Unfortunately, I don't think it even begins to touch solving the problem. But you gotta start somewhere, I suppose. :)


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Friday, January 27, 2012 1:26 PM
rollergator's avatar

Oh, definitely agree, *everyone* needs to pay their fair share. My contention is that by failing to ask the wealthiest to pick up their end by virtue of the "job creator myth" is ridiculous. Ask any true job creator out there (let's start with Gates and Buffett) - they hire when there are goods and services they produce that are demanded in excess of what their businesses can provide without needing additional labor resources....they're exceptionally smart and wealthy men, and didn't get that way by hiring people "just because there's some excess money lying around."

Addressing revenues from everyone is critical, and so is addressing spending. As an economist, my perspectve tells me we should spend where the greatest multiplier effects mean that our spending helps accelerate the sluggish economy. And we have volumes of data that point us in the appropiate direction.

The hippie in me insists that I point out that creating fewer enemies around the globe might help us cut back somewhat on the staggering "offense" budget. Defending our nation is one thing....being able to defend any of our allies without them even having to pick up a spork in their own defense...that might be excessive. The USSR didn't fall to the mujahideen - it fell because they could no longer afford the overbloated military budgets trying to keep up with Reagan. (Oh, wait, the hippie guy is fading, LOL).

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Friday, January 27, 2012 2:23 PM
birdhombre's avatar

rollergator said:
being able to defend any of our allies without them even having to pick up a spork in their own defense

And don't underestimate the power of the spork. Some of them are bullet-proof.

(Incidentally, Bullet Proof Sporks would be a good name for a rock band.)

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Friday, January 27, 2012 2:27 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
..."making the bottom pick up their end of the slack too" and agree with that statement 100% as well.

I'd also agree.

The only caveat - and this applies to both ends of the argument - is that the increased taxation cannot put a drain on the economy. And I think that's the fear, real or imagined, when it comes to taxing the bottom 50% (or whatever). If that bottom 50% isn't currently spending money due to a lack of disposable income, increasing their tax burden isn't going to help the economy at all. And thus, revenue generated by taxes on the top 50% will also decrease.

I suppose, for me, I'm less concerned about what's "fair", and more concerned with what works. "Fair" can be subjective, while "what works" is less so.


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, January 27, 2012 2:41 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

"What works" is subjective as to what you're trying to achieve...and 'helping the economy' is a pretty ambiguous term.


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Friday, January 27, 2012 3:11 PM

djDaemon said:
Isn't looking at tax revenue as a percentage of GDP more accurate than looking at them as raw numbers?

Well its a different way. Depending on what you are looking to show, I guess it could be a better way. But I never stated that my revenue number was the best or only way to look at the issue.

Why wouldn't looking at revenue versus GDP provide context regarding overall economic health?

This question presupposes that more government makes an economy more healthy. I think if you like big government, it may make sense. But I don't think its true as a matter of pure economics. An economy that had a tax revenue/GDP ratio of 15% with a balanced budget would be healthier than one with a ratio of 20% and a budget deficit. Though one with a higher ratio would be better assuming each has the same deficit (but that assumes that the level of government services -- which also determines deficits -- is correct which you cannot determine from a revenue/GDP ratio).

I didn't mention the other topics because your tax revenue comment jumped out at me as being the most obviously-incorrect (or, at least, disputed) metric regarding the "low taxes on wealthy people (er, I mean, "job creators") = economic bliss, rainbows, and kittens" argument.

I never said anything about low taxes on wealthy people equals economic bliss, rainbows and kittens. Nice straw man though.

For what its worth, I would end the Bush tax cuts ON EVERYONE. I was against them when they were put in place. I am against them now. Politicians use tax cuts and spending increases to influence normal economic cycles (typically at great costs) to help them with election cycles that are not timed well for economic recoveries. And its not clear that they actually make any significant difference. On the "rich," I would end them now. For everyone else, I would phase the cuts out over two years.

I would not renew the payroll tax reduction. Social security is running at a deficit (or at least will be in the next year or so) out to the horizon. Taking money from the system is just a political stunt to gain votes.

I don't have an issue with a millionaire floor tax rate. But I would also institute one for everyone else. Everyone should pay at least 5% of their income in income taxes. If you are going to live here, enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy, benefit from the protection of the military, the court system, government departments, etc., you can help pay the costs of the system. I understand that people pay payroll taxes. But those fund specific programs (which have significant solvency issues of their own). Everyone needs to pay income taxes. And those who actually profit from the income system (with negative income tax rates) need to be weaned off that as well.

Ending the Bush tax cuts on everyone will save about $250-300 billion per year (I have seen varying estimates). That leaves about $700-$750 billion annual budget deficits. Those should come from cuts. I would cut across the board because I don't think we will get there any other way. Its stupid to do so from an economic perspective but I don't see how it gets done otherwise. And that includes defense.

Social security and Medicare are there own problems. Social security is less so because you can work out numbers (based on actuarial calculations that you know are pretty good). We have known about the issue for decades but have only nibbled at the edge of it effectively kicking the can down the road as social security and medicare are the third rail of politics. Medicare is a much tougher issue because costs are spiraling out of control and there is no way to predict what medical advances will hold in the future. No one really wants to talk about that issue. Somehow we need to find a way of getting medical costs down. Right now there aren't any real incentives to do so.

But that graph shows tax revenue (as a percent of GDP) decreasing to 2003, then increasing to a peak in 2007, before decreasing again to around 2003 levels in 2009. I don't see how this graph supports your argument.

This is where is feel like I am in a Twilight Zone episode. Yes the graph shows the income tax revenues as a percentage of GDP. But the purple bars on that chart show that income tax revenues in 2004 were higher than they were in 2003. And 2005 were higher than they were in 2004. And 2006 were higher than they were in 2005. And 2007 were higher than they were in 2006.

My statement was "And income tax revenues increased in the years after the tax cuts." How do the purple bars in the chart you linked not show that to be true?

No, but the comment of yours I'm refuting is:

And income tax revenues increased in the years after the tax cuts.

Again, based on what I'm reading here, that's simply not true. Yes, there are periods of revenue growth after the tax cuts were enacted, but the overall trend does not match your claim.

More Twilight Zone here. My statement was income tax revenues increased in the years after the tax cuts. How does that chart not show that to be true?

We have to start somewhere, no? If we sit around and say, dammit! Solution A does not completely solve the fiscal problems in the US! Throw it out and come up with something else!, nothing will ever change.

Another straw man. Who said anything about a solution needing to solve all of our fiscal problems or it should be thrown out? Seems to me the only thing close to that concept I have seen on this board recently is the Cornell study you cited on the Keystone project to the effect that if someone won't reduce unemployment by at least 0.1%, its not worth pursuing. :)

I agree that we have to start somewhere. At this point though, I think there is a lot of "miracle of the loaves and fishes" when it comes to "taxing the rich." We can pay for more teachers and fireman and fix roads and infrastructure and send more kids to college and fund more arts, etc. But unless we keep the same deficits (which I don't think anyone argues are sustainable), increased taxes on the rich (or anyone else) will only serve to reduce the deficit. We don't get any additonal spending ability from them at this point.

Other issue I have with starting with increased taxes on the rich is that it starts with someone else. As I noted either earlier in this thread or elsewhere, the biggest problem we have right now is too many people want someone else to bear the burden of our fixing our problems. As I indicated above, we all need to pitch in.

Maybe I don't get it, and I'm missing something. I honestly don't know. But we've heard the "tax cuts on wealthy people will lead to economic prosperity" claim for decades now, and there is little, if any, conclusive evidence that this is true. In fact, there's evidence that suggests the opposite is true.

People on both sides of the aisle apparently now except the idea that tax cuts benefit the economy. Otherwise we wouldn't have both sides seeking to extend the Bush tax cuts on the non-wealthy and extend the payroll tax reduction. I agree with you that the evidence isn's strong in favor. But I also don't think that your evidence that they hurt economic prosperity is solid either. There are too many variables that you cannot isolate to make determinations. It becomes like ink blots/cloud formations in which you can find whatever you want to find. Which I why I don't think we should use tax policy to try to influence the economy. Shouldn't be used to influence behavior or reward contributors either. Use it to effeciently and effectively raise the revenues needed to run government.

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Friday, January 27, 2012 3:23 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

<slow clap>

:)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, January 27, 2012 3:26 PM
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Friday, January 27, 2012 4:17 PM

GoBucks89 said:
On the "rich," I would end them now. For everyone else, I would phase the cuts out over two years.

If you're snippy tone is a result of some perceived snippiness on my part, I apologize, as I'm honestly not trying to give off that vibe. Just trying to have a dialogue.

Moving on...
Are you suggesting it's OK to shift the tax burden onto lower earners, but not the other way around? Why is that a better solution than shifting the tax burden onto the higher earners (or, better yet, ending the tax cuts for everyone right now)?

You're saying that the tax cuts increased revenue. I don't think it's quite that simple (and the data seems to agree with me), but for the sake of argument, I'll agree. Now, if that's the case, your suggestion of immediately ending the tax cuts for the "rich", while waiting to do so for everyone else, seems to indicate you're a proponent of supply-side economics. Again, I've yet to see any indication, throughout history of from data supplied by the theory's proponents, that supply-side actually works.

I would...

For the most part, I agree.

...the purple bars...

I've always been under the impression that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was a more accurate indicator, as it takes into account economic activity. Your previous GDP-related comment indicates that GDP also takes into account deficit. I was not aware that was the case, and instead was under the impression that GDP was simply a measure of all the goods and whatnot that we, as a group, produced.

Another straw man.
...the Cornell study you cited on the Keystone project to the effect that if someone won't reduce unemployment by at least 0.1%, its not worth pursuing.

It's a straw man fight! To the death!

We don't get any additonal spending ability from them at this point.

No, but as you said, it still helps.

...too many people want someone else to bear the burden of our fixing our problems. As I indicated above, we all need to pitch in.

I couldn't agree more. And as I mentioned in reply to one of Gonch's posts, so long as increased taxes doesn't put a drag on the economy, I'm all for them. However, it seems like a logical conclusion that increasing taxes on the majority during a recession would place a pretty huge drag on the economy, which decreases taxable income on the wealthier. That's a vicious cycle.

Otherwise we wouldn't have both sides seeking to extend the Bush tax cuts on the non-wealthy and extend the payroll tax reduction.

While I agree that people want to extend the tax cuts, I don't think it's because people really think it'll improve the economy. Sadly, I think it's just because people want more money, and their representatives want to get it for them. Which is a whole other problem altogether.

Which I why I don't think we should use tax policy to try to influence the economy.

Let's assume that taxing the top 2% at 45%, and taxing everyone else at 35% would generate adequate revenue, which, when combined with reduced spending, would balance the budget. Let's also assume that this proposal would also result in an economy that hums right along, would you still be against the imbalanced tax?


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, January 27, 2012 5:47 PM
rollergator's avatar

I think when even the, ummm, "progressives" (LOL) say there's a need to cut spending, and even the "conservatives" agree we need some form of increased revenues - then we've made more progress here on CoasterBuzz in a week than they've made in 20 years on Capitol Hill. ;)

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Friday, January 27, 2012 6:11 PM

We have made progress when EVERYBODY can agree that just "taxing the rich" is not a solution. Now if we could convince the masses to laugh at (and certainly not vote for) the politicians who throw this out here as if it is a meaningful solution. Any solution that does not involve EVERY elgible voter to contribute is but a political ploy. This works in both directions.

Questions...if you presently pay ZERO federal taxes...what could possibly convince you to vote for a politician who asks you to pay your fair share in Federal taxes...even 5%? If you currently use government subsidized credit cards to take Sea World Orlando trips, what could possibly convince you to vote for a politician who asks you to work for your subsidy? If you are currently enjoying week #70 of unemployment benifits, what could possibly convince you to vote for a politician who asks you to work for those benifits?

The system is broke folks. And everything we are talking about is a dream. There is no way the 45%-50% of folks who are licking the teet in one or more of these government subsidation programs (and I consider allowing ANYBODY to pay ZERO taxes a subsidy) is EVER going to vote for the good of the country over their own self-interest. And there is certainly no way the politicians (mostly from one party...but certainly plenty of crossover too) who get lifetime pensions, limos, hot chicks, etc in DC are goingto piss off the very constituents that give them this lifestyle. If I could marry 3 times, ask my wife to swing, AND STILL have a decent chance of being president...you think I'm going to give that all up by asking Jethro in Missourri to stop going to Sea World on food stamps?


We've made progress in getting this discussion beyond measley $100 billion per year nonsense to look at entitlements/spending that MUST be addressed. But it really does not matter. As long as we are arguing about $100 billion as if it matters, the politicians have won the day. Even the smartest among us is incapable of understanding how big the difference between a billion and a trillion is. You could confiscate everything the top 1% owns...and we would still be heading for economic catastrophy.

We can't afford health care for everybody. We can't afford full pensions for government workers. We can't afford Social Security (as presently designed) for everybody. We can't afford 2 years of unemployment benifits for everybody. We can't afford credit card subsidies for Sea World. We can't afford to loan millions to "green energy" dreams that have yet to prove profitable. We can't afford to turn down capital pipeline expenditures that other countries willingly want to contribute. We can't afford multiple wars all over the globe.

We can't afford ANY of this anymore, but we keep borrowing and pretending we can. And we used to be able to pull ourselves out of tight situations. But that was not today when nearly half, or greater, have ZERO incentive to vote the country's benifit over their own.

Every dollar borrowed delays a painful fall. A fall we will ALL take together. 1% or 99% be damned. We will ALL suffer.





Last edited by Aamilj, Friday, January 27, 2012 6:20 PM
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Friday, January 27, 2012 7:44 PM

I wonder when the country finally hits this point?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li0no7O9zmE

(Ok, we're already past that point, but we're out of kids and back at the bank...)

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Friday, January 27, 2012 9:22 PM

djDaemon said:
If you're snippy tone is a result of some perceived snippiness on my part, I apologize, as I'm honestly not trying to give off that vibe. Just trying to have a dialogue.

I do not think that I used a snippy tone. If I did, I apologize. It wasn't my intent. And from my perspective, the discussion was civil.

Moving on...
Are you suggesting it's OK to shift the tax burden onto lower earners, but not the other way around? Why is that a better solution than shifting the tax burden onto the higher earners (or, better yet, ending the tax cuts for everyone right now)?

No. Nothing I have suggested indicates any type of shifting to lower earners. Its the opposite actually. Unless I am missing something.

You're saying that the tax cuts increased revenue. I don't think it's quite that simple (and the data seems to agree with me), but for the sake of argument, I'll agree.

I have a request: can we just drop the increased revenue and GDP ratio discussion? Its tangentially related to what we are talking about and its just a distraction.

Now, if that's the case, your suggestion of immediately ending the tax cuts for the "rich", while waiting to do so for everyone else, seems to indicate you're a proponent of supply-side economics. Again, I've yet to see any indication, throughout history of from data supplied by the theory's proponents, that supply-side actually works.

I merely proposed phasing in the elimination of the Bush tax cuts on everyone else as a way of making it easier for everyone (other than the rich who would lose their tax cuts this year) to adjust to the increased taxes. Ending all of the tax cuts immediately would be fine.


I've always been under the impression that tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was a more accurate indicator, as it takes into account economic activity.

Please see my request above relating to increased revenues and GDP ratio issues.

Your previous GDP-related comment indicates that GDP also takes into account deficit. I was not aware that was the case, and instead was under the impression that GDP was simply a measure of all the goods and whatnot that we, as a group, produced.

GDP doesn't take into account the deficit per se. However, any government spending is included in it in terms of buying goods and services. So to the extent there is a deficit, I guess you could say its included in GDP (at least to the extent the deficit was created by the government's purchase of goods and services). Not sure if that is clearer than what I said earlier.

And as I mentioned in reply to one of Gonch's posts, so long as increased taxes doesn't put a drag on the economy, I'm all for them. However, it seems like a logical conclusion that increasing taxes on the majority during a recession would place a pretty huge drag on the economy, which decreases taxable income on the wealthier. That's a vicious cycle.

Are you saying that tax increases (at least on the lower income levels) would have a negative impact on the economy but tax reductions (on those same income levels) would not have a positive impact on the economy? Not sure why it would work one way but not the other. And at higher income levels as well (at least to some degree). But maybe that is not what you are saying.

While I agree that people want to extend the tax cuts, I don't think it's because people really think it'll improve the economy. Sadly, I think it's just because people want more money, and their representatives want to get it for them. Which is a whole other problem altogether.

Same question above applies here with respect to impact of tax increases and tax decreases.

Some people believe that one of the reasons the payroll tax cut didn't have a very big impact is because many people used it to pay down debt rather than going out and buying stuff. In the long term, that is a good thing but not good for short term economic stimulus (or politicians facing elections in the near term).

Let's assume that taxing the top 2% at 45%, and taxing everyone else at 35% would generate adequate revenue, which, when combined with reduced spending, would balance the budget. Let's also assume that this proposal would also result in an economy that hums right along, would you still be against the imbalanced tax?

I don't think I have ever stated that I was against any imbalanced tax. You can have a flat tax (without deductions/exemptions that are used by politicians to influence behavior and reward contributors and in the process creating enforcement/collection costs) that has progressive rates. Thats why I would propose (based on our historical tax system).

That being said, I am not sure why a single rate flat tax isn't the best approach from a matter of fairness. If you make 10 times as much as I do, why is it unfair if you pay 10 times the taxes that I pay? Why do you need to pay more than that for it to be fair? Is there some kind of evidence that you use more than 10 times the government services?

Some argue that you can afford to pay more. But why is that relevant? At that point, you would be able to pay more for just about anything than I do. So why wouldn't we force you to subsidize my clothes, food, housing, car, etc.? Why limit it to taxes? And with the reduced cost of everything I buy, I will be able to buy more things and that will be good for the economy, right? The only thing that may suffer is the French aircraft manufacturer that you can't otherwise buy (and less Middle East fuel) so the author you cited a page or two back should be happy. :)

But I understand that as a matter of history, we have a progressive tax system. And I don't see that as changing. So I would go with a progessive flat tax system.

Long way of saying that I would not be against such an unbalanced tax. Though I think your "economy that hums along" is a loaded statement that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and its difficult because of the nature of economics (and the complexities of various issues that affect the economy which cannot easily be isolated to be able to say what is making the economy hum and what is not).

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Friday, January 27, 2012 9:30 PM

rollergator said:
I think when even the, ummm, "progressives" (LOL) say there's a need to cut spending, and even the "conservatives" agree we need some form of increased revenues - then we've made more progress here on CoasterBuzz in a week than they've made in 20 years on Capitol Hill. ;)

The problem on Capitol Hill and the White House is that democrats are not the problem. And republicans are not the problem. Democrats AND republicans are the problem. Only in DC can the folks who brought us the economic disaster of a generation (and both parties played big parts in driving us to where we are now) be hired to fix it. I suspect that if you go into your boss and tell him/her that you have good news and bad news (the bad news being that you caused the company to lose a ton of money and the good news being that you know how to fix it), your butt would be on the curb before the words "and the good news is" could ever leave your mouth.

I hope that at some point the rest of us can move beyond the political theater that is politics at the moment to give both parties the boot. Republicans don't lose when democrats win elections. And democrats don't lose when republicans win elections. Democrats and republicans lose when neither party wins elections. Though I am losing hope at this point.

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Monday, January 30, 2012 4:42 AM

To be fair, I'm in favor of ending the Bush tax cuts on everybody. Let them expire across the board. My only problem with milking that 50% that doesn't pay taxes is, as someone mentioned earlier, it's likely to be more of a drain on the overall economy than a boost to the revenues. Asking people who, for the most part barely make enough to get by if they aren't on some kind of assistance already is like trying to draw blood from a rock.

There was a fantastic Daily Show clip a couple months back that examined what taxing that bottom half would generate in revenues. If you took 50% of their entire net worth, you'd generate a whopping $700 billion. Which we'd then promptly blow on funding a war for a year or something like that. The damage done to the economy by removing any kind of spending power from half the population would be disastrous.

GoBucks89 said:
That being said, I am not sure why a single rate flat tax isn't the best approach from a matter of fairness.

Because to make it work, you'd need to tax everybody around 17%. That means increasing the tax burden on the poor and middle class 2-3 times what they currently pay while knocking a few percent (millions of dollars) off of what the top earners pay. A flat tax might be more achievable in a country that didn't have such wild financial inequality, but in a system where 70% of the money resides with 10% of the people, a flat rate just isn't sensible.

Last edited by CP Chris, Monday, January 30, 2012 4:44 AM

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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