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  1. [Rubin] These are the voices of the perpetually aggrieved on the right who will oppose any deal because their aim is not conservative governance but confrontation and incitement of an anti-Washington base.

    I disagree with Rubin’s spin, but not her facts. Indeed, I have ZERO interest in “conservative governance”. I’m not after power. I don’t care who holds power. I only care that the right thing is done, which in this case means: massive reductions in government.

    Perhaps Rubin is among the voices of the perpetually complacent on the right who will support any compromise because their aim is not to do the right thing but only to gain and hold power (euphemized as “conservative governance”) in Washington.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 11, 2011 @ 1:55 pm - April 11, 2011

  2. “zzzzzzzzz” Oh excuse me, I was just reading more Jennifer Rubin and understandably, fell asleep. In recent years many Republicans have confused complicity with maturity with disasters as results. It used to make me nuts — now it’s just become more of the same and boring.

    Since when is it lacking in maturity, as her vague writing implies, to whine over something worth whining about? This budget fight is a battle worth picking — people who are picking it are right to do so. Let them make noise.

    Hers is the exact type of Republican thinking that got us into this pit we’re in, in the first place — and helped Christine O’Donnell lose to archetypal government creep “profit-off-the-14-trillion-dollar-debt” chronie-capitalist Chris Coons.

    Dan — thanks for the heads up on the pending elections. Always helpful to be thinking about where the ball is headed, so we can all keep an eye on it.

    Comment by Patrick — April 11, 2011 @ 3:07 pm - April 11, 2011

  3. In reality, considering the Republicans only control the house, I’m surprised Boehner got as much as he did. I was also expecting a much more vocal backlash from the Tea Party faction than I’m seeing so far. Good. because they’ll need that political energy for the next phase.

    The 2012 budget fight is going to be much more difficult… and interesting. The Dems are going to did in and say “Look, we gave them most of what they wanted, but that just isn’t enough for them [evil them], and now they’re after [insert govt program here}”. Will be interesting to watch.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 11, 2011 @ 3:19 pm - April 11, 2011

  4. Want to know why we must fix the deficit/debt situation NOW? Because more and more foreigners know a Ponzi scheme when they see one: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110411-703088.html

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 11, 2011 @ 3:19 pm - April 11, 2011

  5. In other words, Democrats and Republicans alike still suffer from the illusion that the budget is a policy struggle just between them.

    It isn’t. When foreign debt holders finally get so disgusted with us that they run from Treasury debt en masse (because who wants to be the last guy holding the bag?), we will all pay the price for our politicians’ self-centered complacency.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 11, 2011 @ 3:23 pm - April 11, 2011

  6. Remembering that humility is something most of us has yet to master, still we can be proud of what we’ve helped to do. As a conservative my voice is being heard; finally I’m able to be a part of changing the conversation around the country… and I like that. Thanks to simple common sense values the die is being recast — it’s no longer all about the president’s Greening of America, or Winning the Future. Because of what conservatism actually represents, each day more folks smarten up to Obama’s one trick act and instead realize it’s time to CUT – CUT – CUT !!!!!

    .

    Comment by Spartann — April 11, 2011 @ 3:51 pm - April 11, 2011

  7. So this group of liberals still want us to do things their way?
    Look at Obamas Govenment Motors….more shoddy..

    what does it mean when govenment motors can’t build a car without the
    steering wheel falling off? Good lord.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/04/10/chevy-recalls-cruze-after-a-steering-wheel-falls-off/?mod=google_news_blog

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — April 11, 2011 @ 4:53 pm - April 11, 2011

  8. OT: Will there be hearings for Government Motors?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/04/10/chevy-recalls-cruze-after-a-steering-wheel-falls-off/?mod=google_news_blog

    Comment by TGC — April 11, 2011 @ 5:00 pm - April 11, 2011

  9. Thanks to Paul Ryan, Mr. Obama is now forced to try and lead from the rear. So come this Wednesday, unless the president’s speech has plenty of details in it, it’s not gonna be worth the air he will inhale giving it.

    Comment by Spartann — April 11, 2011 @ 6:56 pm - April 11, 2011

  10. Allow me to let you in on a little secret: the Republicans don’t care about the deficit. They’re running against Obama/Democrats and have been since he won the election in 2008. ‘Cutting spending’ is a reliable campaign slogan that they use to generate enthusiasm among the base, and no one should be fooled by the negligible amount that is going to be cut, although you very clearly are. Here’s why:

    1. Republicans have been swelling the both the size of government and government spending for decades to the tune of trillions of dollars and millions more government jobs. We’re supposed to think they’ve gotten serious after cutting a few billion, after 30 years of Republican spending sprees on useless stuff like the Iraq war? If you care about spending, you should be insulted at how little was cut.

    2. Republicans prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy above all else. I’ll say it again – these cuts don’t even begin to make up for the tax cut extension that Republicans insisted upon last year, which means that the GOP is still contributing to the deficit. Ignoring this problem doesn’t make it go away; if you’re trying to balance a budget, and the only idea you ever have is to reduce the level of money coming in before you begin making the cuts, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s like deciding to get out of debt by keeping your credit card bills high and quitting your job. It’s quite clear that tax cuts for the wealthy is the goal in and of themselves.

    3. Paul Ryan’s plan is a complete joke that has no chance of getting passed. It starts off by cutting taxes for the rich (surprise, surprise) which leads to an economic boom that America hasn’t experienced since the 1950′s. Oh well, is it that easy? I wonder why 8 years of massive tax cuts for the rich haven’t produced a similar boom. They must need more, I guess, before the wealth can start trickling down. It’s not like the rich would let all their money get evaporated in a housing bubble, the only thing rich people ever do with their money is hire people and open businesses!

    It’s not a serious plan because it destroys Medicare, which is an incredibly popular program that people use every day. The plan is a piece of fantasy for Ayn Rand fans, and even given the opportunity, a Republican President and 75% GOP majorities in both houses of Congress wouldn’t dream of even attempting to put this plan into motion.

    4. This debate about spending apparently hinged on Republican demands to defund NPR and Planned Parenthood. To rank-and-file conservatives, this is really exciting, because rank-and-file conservatives have been trained to hate both organizations by right-wing media. It really hits the G-spot for your rabid tea-partiers because these government-sponsored operations are beloved by liberals, but the amount spent on them is a drop in the bucket. Again – this little ploy was about throwing red meat at the conservative base while avoiding the responsibility of identifying what they wanted to cut by meaningful amounts. Oh gee, the Republicans want to defund NPR? That’s such leadership, what a tough choice for them to make….. yeah right. All they were doing was poking liberals in the eye for their audience.

    5. So, why wasn’t Boehner’s starting point like $500 billion? He’s got enough seats in the house, so why not make a principled stand here and demand that much in cuts? Why should Boehner fear a government shut-down? Conservatives certainly seem to think that it would be great to lay off millions of government workers, so why didn’t he just shut it down? Doesn’t forcing a government shutdown basically accomplish a lot of conservative goals?

    The reason none of this happened, of course, was because everyone knows that cutting $500 billion in government spending would cripple the economy. Pretend all you want that isn’t the case, but that’s why they didn’t do it and that’s why they won’t do it. So they release an economic plan that is completely unrealistic, they go after a few liberal sacred cows, and they cut enough money to mildly pump the brakes on the economic recovery. All of this is purely about politics, about positioning for the 2012 election, and has absolutely nothing to do with balancing the budget and cutting spending. You’re delusional if you still can’t parse the motives behind the GOP’s behavior, but all they did here, all they ever do, is attempt to either recapture power or strengthen their grip on it.

    If you sincerely believe that deficit reduction is a worthwhile goal (which it is), then you shouldn’t allow yourselves to be fooled by this bullshit. But you guys still come running whenever they start going on about the lamestream media or abortion mills, and you keep getting the same results. Don’t start throwing parties in their honor until they actually do something to deserve it, what a concept.

    Comment by Levi — April 12, 2011 @ 8:36 am - April 12, 2011

  11. Ah, the smell of Levi pissing his pants in the morning.

    Sucks to be you, doesn’t it, lib boy? Supporting torture, threatening to torpedo the government unless Kermit Gosnell and his Planned Parenthood ilk get unlimited funding, and making of cowboy poetry festivals a necessary government function.

    Not even Obama is stupid enough to listen to you wingnut progs any more. Wow. No wonder all you can do is scream.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 12, 2011 @ 10:17 am - April 12, 2011

  12. Only an idiot and someone showing deliberate ignorance of economics would equate a tax cut (letting people keep more of their wealth) with a spending increase (taking more money from people and redistributing it.

    I mean you’d have to be a complete moron who thinks that all money belongs to the government and that they give it to people.

    Oh wait… I forgot. Levi has already shown himself to be one such idiot.

    Now hush Levi. Adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 12, 2011 @ 11:39 am - April 12, 2011

  13. Just as a blind pig will stumble across a truffle every once in a while, Levi — in his partisan-hack fury to bash the GOP — stumbles across the truth that these “cuts” are nothing to get excited about. In fact, more of these cuts are turning out to be accounting gimmicks… the $4.9 Billion DoJ Victim’s Fund that was just shifted to next year, and the $10 Billion in earmarks that had already been canceled.

    However, it is typically stupid of him to attack Ryan’s plan given that his president and his party have come up with exactly NONE plans to restore the fiscal balance of the country. It’s always easier to attack someone who actually proposes a solution than to go out on a limb and propose one yourself. Ryan has at least begun a conversation on restoring fiscal sanity, which is far more than his worthless president and party have done.

    Comment by V the K — April 12, 2011 @ 12:03 pm - April 12, 2011

  14. And that is exactly the point, V the K.

    Levi and Obama are both of the same background: self-important brats raised by incompetent parents who made sure to clean up every mess their little child left behind without ever making the little angel raise a finger — mainly because if they did, the little angel would throw a screaming temper tantrum. The fact that Obama called his grandmother a racist shows just how contemptuously he treated them — and how much they kowtowed to their little brat.

    That’s why to Levi, Obama, and the Obama Party, ANY reduction in government spending is a catastrophe. It means they can’t buy what they want, when they want it, and that’s all they care about. We are adults trying to have a discussion with a child about why it’s more important for them to save a part of their allowance to buy things they really need and want than to blow it all on candy and temporary tattoos, when said child has been taught that Mommy and Daddy will just buy the thing they really need and want anyway with sufficient yelling.

    That’s what we are in right now — a temper tantrum of screaming brats like Kermit Gosnell’s biggest supporter Louise Slaughter, racist Loretta Sanchez, the Guam-tipping, Mars-astronaut brain trust that is the Congressional Black Caucus, and Civil War re-enactor Jesse “Baby Daddy” Jackson, along with Levi, all directed at Paul Ryan and the Republican Party.

    That being said, I also tend to be of the V the K mindset that the cuts are peanuts and that the only question is not whether entitlements need to be reduced, but how quickly it can be done.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 12, 2011 @ 12:56 pm - April 12, 2011

  15. Sorry, I don’t think Ryan’s plan is a serious attempt to fix our issues–or conservative worries about the deficit or debt.
    It cuts spending on Medicare etc, and cuts taxes for the wealthy. Cool. So how exactly do you get a balanced budget out of that?

    Comment by Cas — April 12, 2011 @ 1:10 pm - April 12, 2011

  16. Or, significantly reduced debt?

    Comment by Cas — April 12, 2011 @ 1:11 pm - April 12, 2011

  17. Come now Cas, it cuts corporate welfare (your big thing).

    And, since you love the jargon of economics so much, you have heard of the Laffer Curve, right? And Hauser’s Law? From our current position: Spending increases and tax increases are both ways to drag the economy, ultimately lowering revenues and increasing deficits. It follows that conversely, and again from our our current position: spending cuts and tax cuts, when paired together and when the spending cuts are greater (you know – the laws of arithmetic), are ways to boost the economy, ultimately raising revenues and lowering deficits.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 12, 2011 @ 2:02 pm - April 12, 2011

  18. I guess we are supposed to be distracted from the fact that the Obamacrats have no plan; or rather, they do, but it’s the same old BS. 1. Screw the rich. (That’s about $61 Billion in revenues) And 2. Gut defense. (Cut defense in half, that’s about $320 Billion in cuts… of course, we will no longer have any ability to project power anywhere in the world, but who cares? We’ll be perfectly safe, right? Because it’s not like any of our enemies are on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, right?)

    OK, Obamacrats, what’s your plan for the other $1.2 Trillion of the deficit.

    Comment by V the K — April 12, 2011 @ 2:54 pm - April 12, 2011

  19. Hi ILC,
    “it cuts corporate welfare ” Sure– a little, but more to be done there. Also, I do not see how you really get the decreases you want in debt when you cut spending (well that will certainly help the goal) whilst also decreasing taxes (that will not help the goal). I understand the Laffer curve argument, but we are nowhere near the levels of taxation that prompted that little observation (If studies think that tax maximization rate levels are somewhere around 35%, for example, then it behooves Mr. Ryan to explain why he thinks that lowering rates to 25% will result in net zero taxation, especially when higher rates than that in the Clinton years helped bring in lower budget deficits and an occasional surplus). I understand you want to argue for “unleashing the benefits of increased dynamism and incentives to make wealth, etc etc ” but I don’t think that the tax receipts you get from doing this (less taxes in a bigger pie) are going to get you what you want. I can see that less Medicare/Mediaid spending will help thin the herd at the upper end of ages, lessening Social Security payments, but I am hoping that this is an unintended side effect of the Ryan Plan, not a feature.

    As for Hauser’s Law:
    “Zubin Jelveh, writing for Portfolio.com, criticized the Wall Street Journal editorial for failing to adequately separate tax revenues from individuals from other types of tax revenues, such as corporate tax revenues and revenues from social insurance programs like Social Security. Jelveh argued that when these are separated, the percentage of GDP from tax revenues on individuals has been relatively stable but has increased somewhat, the percentage from corporate tax revenues has declined dramatically, and the percentage from tax revenues of social insurance programs has increased significantly. Jelveh’s critique is not aimed at Hauser’s Law itself, but at editorialist David Ranson’s assertion that the Law supports supply-side assertions that selectively raising taxes on the rich will be counter-productive.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauser%27s_Law

    Comment by Cas — April 12, 2011 @ 4:40 pm - April 12, 2011

  20. However, it is typically stupid of him to attack Ryan’s plan given that his president and his party have come up with exactly NONE plans to restore the fiscal balance of the country. It’s always easier to attack someone who actually proposes a solution than to go out on a limb and propose one yourself. Ryan has at least begun a conversation on restoring fiscal sanity, which is far more than his worthless president and party have done.

    You don’t have to tell me that this President is a terrible leader that clearly doesn’t know what to do about the economy. Two years he wanted lots of stimulus, now he’s agreeing to insignificant cuts? That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that he knows what he’s talking about. He’s an awful President and I look forward to his defeat.

    That said, we shouldn’t go around celebrating any old plan that anybody offers up. Ryan’s plan is based on hypothetical situations and absurd assumptions that have no prospects of coming true. I might as well present my own economic plan – Build large spaceships, fly to the moon, and discover a bunch of hidden alien technology that we can bring back to earth and begin reverse engineering! That’s about as likely as additional rounds of tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy bringing unemployment to below 3% in under a decade.

    Ryan’s plan is a joke that only goes to show you not seriously the Republicans take resolving the economic crisis. They offered knowing that it would never get passed and that it would give hard-ons to their base. That’s not the kind of behavior you want to see from your elected officials.

    Comment by Levi — April 12, 2011 @ 7:49 pm - April 12, 2011

  21. I might as well present my own economic plan – Build large spaceships, fly to the moon, and discover a bunch of hidden alien technology that we can bring back to earth and begin reverse engineering! That’s about as likely as additional rounds of tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy bringing unemployment to below 3% in under a decade.

    This makes about as much sense as anything Levi’s offered on economics before.

    Ryan’s plan cuts spending, cuts the deficit, and may actually make sure my Godkids have a country. Is it too optimisitc? Maybe. It’s a heck of a lot better than anything else we have on the table.

    And unlike Levi, it’s grounded in reality.

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 13, 2011 @ 7:44 am - April 13, 2011

  22. Also, I do not see how you really get the decreases you want in debt when you cut spending (well that will certainly help the goal) whilst also decreasing taxes (that will not help the goal).

    Cas, if you can repeat your claims idly hoping to win-by-repetition, then I can repeat mine. But I will add emphasis, hoping it might jog some neurons if you stop for once to actually THINK about something I said:

    you have heard of the Laffer Curve, right? And Hauser’s Law? *From our current position: Spending increases and tax increases are both ways to drag the economy*, ultimately lowering revenues and increasing deficits. *It follows that conversely, and again from our our current position: spending cuts and tax cuts*, when paired together and when the spending cuts are greater (you know – the laws of arithmetic), *[would then have to] boost the economy*, ultimately raising revenues and lowering deficits.

    As for Hauser’s Law: You have once more missed the forest for the weeds. Your own quotation – your own! – makes clear that:

    Jelveh’s critique is not aimed at Hauser’s Law itself…

    The point in Hauser’s law is a point about spending, i.e. about Federal spending as a percentage of U.S. GDP. History shows that, as the U.S. is institutionally arranged, it can’t afford to give more than 19-20% of GDP to the Federal government and, by hook or by crook – by intentional policy, or by exhaustion or election or disaster – will revert to that baseline.

    Now back on Ryan’s plan, and just to bring in some facts – maybe you will stop and ponder them, one never knows:

    [...]

    Let’s unpack the distortions.

    • Deficits and debt. Perhaps the most bizarre complaint is that Mr. Ryan’s blueprint would worsen the U.S. fiscal imbalance compared to current law. So the House Budget Chairman has proposed supposedly hideous cuts to popular entitlements at great political risk for . . . the fun of it?

    Federal deficits have increased 259% over the last three years and the Ryan budget starts to repair the damage. It would bring next year’s deficit below $1 trillion, down from estimates of roughly $1.6 trillion for 2011. The false claim that Mr. Ryan would increase deficits and debt seems to be based on a Congressional Budget Office baseline that assumes $4 trillion in new taxes will land after 2012 with the expiration of all the Bush-era tax rates, that the Alternative Minimum Tax will apply to the middle class, and that Medicare physician payments will fall 20% next year.

    No one thinks that baseline is at all realistic, least of all President Obama, so the right comparison is with Mr. Obama’s 2012 budget. Mr. Ryan proposes smaller deficits for the next 10 years, falling to 1.6% of GDP in 2021 versus 4.9% for the White House. According to CBO, debt held by the public falls to 67.5% of the economy a decade from now from about 69% today, while it rises to 87.4% in Mr. Obama’s version.

    • Tax cuts for “the rich.” The Ryan budget outline by design does not provide many tax specifics, aside from an instruction to the Ways and Means Committee to propose a reform plan that would swap lower rates for fewer loopholes and special exclusions. This overhaul is not even a net tax cut—the instructions are to design a reform that is revenue neutral. It would hold tax receipts to their post-World War II average of between 18% to 19% as a share of the economy.

    The liberal claim that this means a tax cut for the wealthy is based entirely on the fact that marginal tax rates would decline, even though the loopholes primarily benefit higher-income taxpayers. At any rate, Mr. Obama’s own deficit commission also favored lowering the rates and broadening the base for a more efficient and competitive tax code.

    [Discussion of how the lefties have falsely represented Ryan's Medicare proposals, also worth reading...]

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 13, 2011 @ 11:41 am - April 13, 2011

  23. (continued) So… What tax cuts, in the Ryan proposal? Where? Laffer Curve and Hauser’s Law aside, why are you even trying to argue with me about something Ryan didn’t propose?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 13, 2011 @ 11:48 am - April 13, 2011

  24. And now for a look at what Obama did propose – more spending (except on defense), and more taxes: http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/13/obamas-solution-to-deficit-spending-obamacare-and-tax-hikes/

    Obama seems to be full of doublespeak. He promised to keep a great deal of corporate welfare – euphemizing it as “investments”. And his tax hikes, he euphemized as “spending reductions” – using the Left’s newly-fashionable Totalitarian logic (that your money isn’t yours, the government owns us all, therefore, anything the government doesn’t seize or withhold from us is government “spending”). But, tax hikes they remain.

    Now, hikes in either spending or taxes are a recipe for sending the economy deeper into trouble. Which means *necessarily and conversely* that from where America is right now, cuts in spending and taxes together would help the economy out of trouble. But I re-iterate.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 13, 2011 @ 5:28 pm - April 13, 2011

  25. 2011 deficit shot up a whopping 15% in its first six months: http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/13/surprise-2011-deficit-jumps-up-15-in-first-six-months/

    But, blame Bush. Even thoough it’s 2011 now, Obama still only ‘inherited’ it! /sarc

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 13, 2011 @ 5:31 pm - April 13, 2011

  26. Hi ILC,
    I understand that you can assert that “*From our current position: Spending increases and tax increases are both ways to drag the economy*,” really I do. However, that was why I said that folks such as your self have to explain how it was that we had a booming economy during the later half of the Clinton years (with occasional budget surpluses by quarter, by the way), with higher marginal tax rates for the wealthy than we have now. Numbers on Laffer Curve maximum tax range all over the map from 25-35-70%. So, by all means reiterate your point, but also feel free to engage with the points I made, which on the face of them do not appear to agree with your assertion. SO, to summarize, I did engage your point, I disagree with it, and ask you to consider the counter-factual of the Clinton years. Feel free to ignore that … again.

    “The point in Hauser’s law is a point about spending, i.e. about Federal spending as a percentage of U.S. GDP. History shows that, as the U.S. is institutionally arranged, it can’t afford to give more than 19-20% of GDP to the Federal government and, by hook or by crook – by intentional policy, or by exhaustion or election or disaster – will revert to that baseline.”
    And the reasons for this observations? Causality?

    In my quote, this stands out for me: “and the percentage from tax revenues of social insurance programs has increased significantly.” So, at the moment, the relative burden of taxation has fallen more on those at the lower end than at the upper end, over time. So, lowering rates for the wealthy, even if “the instructions are to design a reform that is revenue neutral,” to compensate them for their lost subsidy and tax privileges is no panacea, as far as I can tell. After all, the wealthy are compensated for lost privileges with lower taxes, but who is compensating the poor for loss of entitlements? Good luck with selling that to the masses, because the pain will be shared by those at the bottom, not those at the top.

    Also, how does this close the budget gap? We cut spending. And we cut some subsidies and tax breaks to leave tax revenue neutral. That is it. You want to rely on “dynamic affects” of lower taxation and more transparent/efficient playing field. I have sympathy for that later view as you know. I just don’t think that you will be getting the rise in revenue that you think you will, with declining unemployment to 3% anytime soon, Heritage Foundation imprimatur or not… I mean, that is how we are supposed to close the budget gap, right? All those people getting back to work, saving U/E payments, paying taxes when they didn’t before, etc… Are Ryan’s projections a tad…optimistic, in your opinion?
    http://mobile.nationaljournal.com/budget/ryan-plan-pushes-optimism-to-the-outer-limits-20110405
    http://budget.house.gov/UploadedFiles/heritageanalysis452011.pdf

    Comment by Cas — April 13, 2011 @ 6:20 pm - April 13, 2011

  27. However, that was why I said that folks such as your self have to explain how it was that we had a booming economy during the later half of the Clinton years (with occasional budget surpluses by quarter, by the way), with higher marginal tax rates for the wealthy than we have now.

    Actually, the “Clinton years” featured higher marginal rates for EVERY taxpayer, for starters.

    Notice how Cas and the Obama Party play this game. They scream about “tax cuts for the wealthy”, but ignore the fact that, if it were up to them, the bottom tax bracket would be at 15%, rather than 10%, and every other tax bracket would be at least 2% higher.

    Furthermore, despite the so-called “loss of revenue” from the tax cuts, tax revenue exploded, hitting record highs in 2006 and 2007.

    Perhaps, Cas, if you would actually research instead of just repeating your left-wing talking points, you might find sources like these.

    In fact, the balanced budgets of the Clinton years didn’t occur until after a Republican Congress passed and the president reluctantly signed a 1997 tax bill that lowered the capital gains rate from 28% to 20%, added a child tax credit, and established higher limits on tax exclusion for IRAs and estates.

    In short, cutting taxes has been demonstrated twice in the past two decades to result in a massive boom in the economy, increased government revenue, AND significantly lower unemployment.

    And we can go back to Reagan’s and JFK’s massive tax cuts to see exactly the same pattern.

    You don’t understand this, Cas, because you are obsessed with your welfare checks. You don’t understand how private industry and individuals create value and wealth because all you see is less money being available for welfare distribution. Your priority is suctioning as much money as you can out of the economy using “the poor” as an excuse to rationalize it, and you have no concept whatsoever of what that does to the downstream economy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 13, 2011 @ 8:58 pm - April 13, 2011

  28. And let’s add a nice little dose of reality for Cas, what say?

    The United States of America has about 400 billionaires. Moore calls them “400 little Mubaraks.” About half of those have less than $2 billion each, and those with a net worth in the double-digit billions is an exclusive club of about 30.

    Still, as Moore says, “there’s a ton of cash out there.”

    The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.

    Not to mention the damage to industry and the private sector.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 13, 2011 @ 9:41 pm - April 13, 2011

  29. Hi NDT,
    “In short, cutting taxes has been demonstrated twice in the past two decades to result in a massive boom in the economy”
    What two “massive” booms are we specifically talking about, here?
    And pray tell, explain to me the Clinton tax hike phenomenon.
    And again, you just have to go a bridge too far in your argument’s logic, to whit, this pile:
    “They scream about “tax cuts for the wealthy”, but ignore the fact that, if it were up to them, the bottom tax bracket would be at 15%, rather than 10%, and every other tax bracket would be at least 2% higher.”
    Hey dude–Newsflash! I don’t like it, but it is OK for me to do my bit by paying some higher taxes. I have to bear some sacrifice in this mess. I do not believe that spending cuts alone (and revenue neutral tax redistribution) can solve this mess. I just don’t want to do it alone. And the wealthy can bear a bigger share of the burden–sorry, class warfare and all that…

    As for the AT reference, thank you; good to read, and good to engage you on a real issue. I checked out the link it is based on, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/tax-cuts-not-the-clinton-tax-hike-produced-the-1990s-boom

    It is as interesting as much for what it emphasizes, as for what it does not.

    It states that: “The evidence is persuasive that the tax increase probably slowed the economy compared to the growth it would have achieved.” It grudgingly admits that the Clinton tax hikes led to real growth, and it is intellectually honest to say that it cannot determine if the tax hikes actually hurt the economy:
    “In the four years following the Clinton tax hike (from 1993 through 1996):

    * The economy grew at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent in inflation-adjusted terms;
    * Employment rose by 11.6 million jobs;[3]
    * Average real hourly wages rose a total of five cents per hour;[4] and
    * Total market capitalization of the S&P 500 rose 78 percent in inflation-adjusted terms.

    These statistics indicate a solid, but not spectacular, performance in the overall economy. Job growth was strong, as one would expect coming out of recession. Real wage growth remained almost non-existent, and the stock market performed well. But the real question is this: Altogether, did the economy perform better, or worse, because of the tax hike? The data from the period do not provide a clear answer.”

    So what is the evidence for “slowed growth”? The fact that it picked up higher, in the second part of Clinton’s Presidency, together with the claim that it was because of the tax cuts at that time.. That is the evidence for the claim?

    Notice that the author asserts that 3.2% is crappy growth, and that one should expect better, given that one is coming out of a mild recession. One piece of evidence that he could have used to support his position would be to compare the recovery with previous recoveries–that should be a slam dunk, right? It should be less, since we had this massive tax hike, right? But he doesn’t. Why do you think that is?

    “after 4 years of the 1980 business cycle US GDP was 9.1% above its previous peak, in the 2000 business cycle the equivalent figure was 9.5%, after 4 years of the 1973 business cycle US GDP was 10.0% above its previous peak, and after 4 years of the 1990 business cycle US GDP was 10.5% above its previous peak.”
    http://ablog.typepad.com/key_trends_in_the_world_e/2011/01/average-economist-predictions-for-us-gdp-would-mean-only-09-annual-average-growth-over-business-cycle-to-end-2011.html
    Correct me, by all means, but that doesn’t look like evidence to support the first of two central claims raised by your author (and by inference, you).

    In any case it is instructive to check out what the Heritage Foundation said at the time, in 1993. Any guess as to what it is going to say?:
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1993/05/why-higher-tax-rates-on-income-will-slow-growth-cost-jobs.

    [I cleaned up the text from the original archive site jumble, for readability] “CONCLUSION Raising tax rates on income is the most economically damaging element of the Clinton plan. There is little reason to expect that the higher rates would generate much, if any, additional revenue. By contrast, there is every reason to believe that higher rates on income would fuel new government spending, increase the budget deficit, depress savings and in vestment, destroy jobs, boost tax shelters, punish families, and hinder America’s international. competitiveness. Notwithstanding these serious drawbacks to enacting higher tax rates on income, the Clinton Administration seems determined to push forward, apparently believing that lower- and middle-income taxpayers will acquiesce to tax increases on their own in comes if they think that wealthier taxpayers are being punished even more. This calculation may work politically, but it will mean only harm to the American economy ”

    That didn’t happen. So, Heritage got it wrong. Why did it get it wrong. They repeated conservative dogma; it didn’t happen the way they said it did, even though the historical “benefits” apparent to the 2008 report were evident at the time.

    The Clinton tax cut. I will grant that Heritage has a point to make here–lower taxes made investment a better bet. But, it is an open question (and the author acknowledges this) as to how much is the tax cut (and tax raises by the way) contributed to this, after all, the Internet technological revolution was under way.

    “The explosion in venture capital activity cannot be credited entirely to the cut in capital gains tax rates, as the cut fortuitously coincided with technological developments that gave rise to the Internet-based “New Economy.” However, the rapid development and application of these new technologies could not have occurred at such a rapid clip absent the enormous investment flows made possible largely by the reduction in the capital gains tax rate. ”

    It can be argued that the tax cut actually helped fuel the Internet Boom and bubble, causing the bust that subsequently followed…

    Finally, it is a mighty tax cut that did all this: “According to Treasury’s original estimates, the 1997 tax cut was relatively modest, amounting to just 0.11 percent of GDP in its first year and 0.22 percent of GDP by its fourth year. In 2007, the fourth-year effect would be roughly equivalent to a reduction in the overall tax burden of about $30 billion.
    Despite its modest size, tax cut advocates had high expectations for the tax cut’s effects on the economy because the reduction in the capital gains tax rate was expected to unleash a torrent of entrepreneurial and venture capital activity. They were not disappointed.”

    Even if put aside the idea that the information revolution might have been the central cause of the growth of the later half of the Clinton Presidency, and let us embrace your claim to its fullest extent, don’t you notice one thing missing from the tax cuts that Clinton’s administration enacted?

    He didn’t cut marginal tax rates for the wealthy. He cut capital gains taxes. Even if we agree with you (and it is not clear from the evidence that we should), the tax cuts are directed to capital acquisition/investment and entrepreneurial endeavour, rather than to income, per se. That doesn’t appear to support your contention about the economy killing aspects of tax hikes.

    I agree–too high a set of taxes can hurt the economy–but I do not think we are there, and the evidence you offer concerning the impact of the Clinton tax hikes on the economy is far from convincing.

    Comment by Cas — April 13, 2011 @ 10:45 pm - April 13, 2011

  30. And, as expected, Cas goes diving into the weeds to avoid the forest.

    One piece of evidence that he could have used to support his position would be to compare the recovery with previous recoveries–that should be a slam dunk, right? It should be less, since we had this massive tax hike, right? But he doesn’t. Why do you think that is?

    Do enlighten us, obfuscating one.

    “after 4 years of the 1980 business cycle US GDP was 9.1% above its previous peak, in the 2000 business cycle the equivalent figure was 9.5%, after 4 years of the 1973 business cycle US GDP was 10.0% above its previous peak, and after 4 years of the 1990 business cycle US GDP was 10.5% above its previous peak.”

    Now let us enlighten you as to the timeline of the “1990 business cycle” you are touting as “proof” of your tax-hiking economic cure.

    The committee had waited to make the determination of the trough date until it was confident that any future downturn in the economy would be considered a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in July 1990. The committee noted that the broadest measure of economic activity — gross domestic product in constant dollars — had finally surpassed its previous peak by the third quarter of 1992. Only by December did the overall pattern of economic activity appear to be strong enough to warrant the determination of the trough date.

    In short, the economy had already recovered and was accelerating by the time Clinton even got close to taking office, much less pushing through his tax hike. And, as Heritage made clear, the effect of the tax hike was to slow down and weaken the recovery that was well under way.

    In short, Cas, you’re ducking and dodging once again because you can’t answer the basic FACT my sources pointed out above: after the Bush tax cut, we saw government tax revenues hit record all-time highs from BOTH corporations and private individuals. You didn’t want to answer that point, so you went running off after another weed.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 12:43 am - April 14, 2011

  31. Hey dude–Newsflash! I don’t like it, but it is OK for me to do my bit by paying some higher taxes. I have to bear some sacrifice in this mess. I do not believe that spending cuts alone (and revenue neutral tax redistribution) can solve this mess. I just don’t want to do it alone. And the wealthy can bear a bigger share of the burden–sorry, class warfare and all that…

    Then cough up 40% of your income, Cas, like you’re demanding the rich do, and voluntarily contribute it to the government. Stop making excuses and put your money where your mouth is. You want to hike taxes, hike your own taxes and pay up voluntarily. After all, you are the one who is blabbering and spinning that people shouldn’t save money and should instead spend everything.

    And don’t try that “they can afford it” scheme. There are people poorer than you are, so they should be the ones who dictate what you can and can’t afford and what you should be forced by law to give to them. That’s what you’re doing with “the rich”, and you should be forced to follow your same rules.

    Suddenly I expect no more of that particular weed to come up.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 12:48 am - April 14, 2011

  32. NDT,
    “And, as expected, Cas goes diving into the weeds to avoid the forest.”
    “In short, the economy had already recovered and was accelerating by the time Clinton even got close to taking office, much less pushing through his tax hike. And, as Heritage made clear, the effect of the tax hike was to slow down and weaken the recovery that was well under way.”

    It always amuses me when you do exactly what you accuse your interlocutor of doing!
    Dude, you ignore the other recoveries! Knock yourself out, but for goodness sakes look at the bigger picture. By all means, NDT, correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn’t your claim apply for any normally shaped recovery, given what you say? What makes the Clinton recovery any different?

    Further, your own original source doesn’t see this as a big deal:
    “In January 1993, the economy was entering its eighth quarter of expansion after the 1990-1991 recession. The recession had been relatively mild by historical standards, with a net drop in output of 1.3 percent. Yet even at the start of 1993, the economy was operating below capacity.”

    So, no talk of “acceleration” or “rip snorting growth”, just a “steady as she goes” staid recovery. After all, the Heritage article’s position would be even stronger if it could make the claim that you would appear to want it to make–namely, the Clinton tax cuts hindered growth that was, what, greater than what Clinton got after the tax hike, or accelerating at a faster rate than before the Clinton tax hike, or …? Or something else like that you might believe… But the article doesn’t make that/those claim(s). Do you know why? Because what you point to is a function of recoveries in general. The whole point of recoveries is that they have positive growth–I guess that movement from negative to positive growth could be called an acceleration–you know… -1% then 0% then 0.5% then 1% then 2% then 3% and so on. Your claim applies to every recovery, as far as I can tell. And that means the compounded rate of recovery four years out is still better then many other recoveries, tax hike and all, and NDT–that does not support your position. Sorry dude. Simply, I do not buy your premise.

    Hyperbole Alert.
    As for 40% taxation, you avoid the issue: I am willing to pay more–hey, Clinton level taxes on my income; and I want the wealthy to do the same (pay Clinton level taxes). How that comes down, in your mind, to me paying 40% on a much lower level of income then the wealthy, lord only knows, given your fevered imagination.

    To break it down some: –if I had the nominal income of $300,000, I would be willing to pay 40% taxation. Why? Because I get a whole ton of goodies being wealthy in this country with tax breaks and subsidies, and even without them goodies, my disposable income would enable me to live quite comfortably, thank you very much. On the other hand, 40% of $10,000 is a different kettle of fish. Try living on that level of annual disposable income. It is one reason why I like a progressive tax structure. You don’t.

    At the moment, the Ryan Plan asks for sacrifice from the lower end, with nothing being asked of the wealthy. You are OK with that; I am not.

    Comment by Cas — April 14, 2011 @ 2:32 am - April 14, 2011

  33. Frankly, the Fair Tax seems a better way all around, coupled with a very low (10%) flat tax with only a very small number of credits and exemptions. People buy more, they pay more taxes. Simple as that. Easier to collect. Easier to calculate. And very fair. And unlike the progressive tax system, it wouldn’t punish people for being productive and reward them for being shiftless.

    Comment by V the K — April 14, 2011 @ 9:42 am - April 14, 2011

  34. Dude, you ignore the other recoveries! Knock yourself out, but for goodness sakes look at the bigger picture.

    Nice try, Cas, but as you’ve shown, you don’t even believe in including all recessions and recoveries in your “bigger picture” because they are “not the same”.

    “The brilliance of Harding’s response to the 1920 recession is that he did, and the failure/tragedy of Hoover and Roosevelt’s response to the 1930.” You cannot get it through your head that I do not think these are similar cases. They are not the same kind of depressions, so what government needed to do in each case needed to be different. One size solution does not fit all categories.

    You bullshitted yourself into a corner with your claim that the Clinton tax increases were responsible for growth that was well under way three years before they were even passed. Now you’re trying to spin your way out of it by insisting that other people don’t see the “big picture” and need to compare historic business cycles — even though you have baldly asserted that historic business cycle comparisons are invalid because they occur under different circumstances.

    You are cherry-picking. You are running around from weed to weed trying to pull focus away from the forest standing in front of you because the forest — tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher — is inconvenient to your predetermined conclusion that tax cuts are evil because they take money away from the government and give it back to the private sector that earns it in the first place.

    You will not get this through your thick skull, Cas: every single welfare check you receive is taken from someone else’s earnings. Period. You cannot increase welfare without raising taxes.

    Or perhaps you WILL get that through your thick skull, but want to obfuscate as much as possible by whining about “the poor” rather than stating bluntly that you believe more money should be taken from other people who work for it to give you fatter welfare checks without having to work at all.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 12:09 pm - April 14, 2011

  35. To break it down some: –if I had the nominal income of $300,000, I would be willing to pay 40% taxation. Why? Because I get a whole ton of goodies being wealthy in this country with tax breaks and subsidies, and even without them goodies, my disposable income would enable me to live quite comfortably, thank you very much.

    Bullshit, Cas.

    You don’t want to pay 40% now; what should make us think you would pay then? You’d just keep making excuses just like you are now.

    Tell us why you can’t pay 40% of your income now, Cas. Bring out the reasons. You want to pass judgment on how much money other people get to keep, you have to play by the same rules. You want to insist that the government is the best place for other peoples’ money, you have to explain why it isn’t for yours. You insist that other people don’t need the income they have, you have to explain why you do. You insist that other people shouldn’t be given tax cuts because they’ll just save it; you better be spending every penny and not saving anything, and you’d better be spending it on “approved” and “necessary” items instead of any sort of luxury.

    Come on, Cas. Live under your own ideology. Or was that not the plan? Did Cas, just like its Obama Party heroes Rangel, Kerry, Geithner, Sebelius, and McCaskill, plan to put all these taxes and rules in place and ignore them?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 12:18 pm - April 14, 2011

  36. Short version: Cas feels entitled to other people’s money.

    Comment by V the K — April 14, 2011 @ 12:26 pm - April 14, 2011

  37. NDT,
    “You are cherry-picking.” You keep doing what it is that you accuse others of doing. You don’t actually engage in answering any of the points that I have raised, NDT. Further, you shift your line of attack, once I do answer your assertions: “trying to pull focus away from the forest standing in front of you because the forest — tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher —”

    You quote back a claim I made from a different context, , AFTER we had had a discussion of in what ways they were different. So, are you saying that recoveries do not share , um, …economic growth–because that is a characteristic that all recoveries share, by definition.

    Your original claim was something about “acceleration” in recoveries in business cycles, and how Clinton’s tax hikes were bad, bad, bad…. You CLAIM that Clinton was a dud case (in some ill-defined way, you haven’t clearly explicated)–OK, get off your bum and show me that was in fact the case, dude, given the evidence that I have shared with you. Engage the issue, rather than fling crap around.

    At the moment, this stands as a deeply ironic statement: “is inconvenient to your predetermined conclusion that tax cuts are evil.” One could say that the evidence and argument I offer, are currently “inconvenient” to your “predetermined conclusion” that tax cuts are the right remedy in our current situation.

    Ultimately, you are reduced to making snide comments: “You will not get this through your thick skull, Cas: every single welfare check you receive is taken from someone else’s earnings. Period.”

    Yes, I must be on welfare, because,… well, because the long-distance “NDT Vulcan Mind-Meld” ® ©™ says so. That is not a rational argument, NDT.

    NDT, #35 is just embarrassing. “Tell us why you can’t pay 40% of your income now, Cas.” I guess the implied argument I put forward before was unclear: to whit, pulling 40% out of someone making a lot of money still allows them to live comfortably (at much greater than subsistence level of existence), whilst doing so, from someone who is poor, makes it well-nigh impossible for them to make even the basic threshold of disposable income necessary to buy the subsistence level of resources.

    I guess you feel this way about anyone who prefers a progressive as opposed to flat or regressive tax structure. As for reasons why I prefer a progressive tax structure–if this is more than crass rhetoric, check out what Adam Smith had to say:

    “The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”
    Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776),Book Five: Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth. CHAPTER II: Of the Sources of the General or Public Revenue of the Society. ARTICLE I: Taxes upon the Rent of House.

    I guess you think Smith is a bum as well, at least on that issue.

    Comment by Cas — April 14, 2011 @ 1:05 pm - April 14, 2011

  38. Pretty much, V the K.

    In Cas’s and Obama’s world, the only way you can get money is by taking it from others. Ergo, if someone else has more money than you do, they took it from you.

    This is where the divorce of the country from agrarianism takes a rather interesting toll. No one would seriously argue that a farmer who takes a bog field and makes it prosper somehow stole its output from his neighbors, nor would they insist that his neighbors are entitled to stroll into said field and take whatever they want because their fields didn’t do as well. Yet when it comes to money, Cas and Obama seemingly both have no problem making those exact arguments.

    Part of it, I think, is that neither truly understands or even wants to engage in the process of wealth creation. They want to live in the adolescent fantasy where someone else pays the bills and provides them with trinkets.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 1:20 pm - April 14, 2011

  39. NDT, #35 is just embarrassing.

    For you, yes.

    Now let me demonstrate why you continue to keep making a fool out of yourself via your hypocritical class warfare by highlighting the appropriate words in your rejoinder.

    I guess the implied argument I put forward before was unclear: to whit, pulling 40% out of someone making a lot of money still allows them to live comfortably (at much greater than subsistence level of existence), whilst doing so, from someone who is poor, makes it well-nigh impossible for them to make even the basic threshold of disposable income necessary to buy the subsistence level of resources.

    Every single one of those highlighted phrases is a) flexible and b) subject to interpretation.

    So that’s the game we play with class warfare addicts like you. Define your terms and live by them. You are once again spinning because you don’t want to explain why you are so eager to give other peoples’ money away and pass judgment on how much is enough for them to keep when you won’t abide by the same rules yourself.

    Let’s pull up a nice example. Charles Rangel screams for “the rich” to pay more in taxes, but when it comes to his own, insists that his tax burden is too great for him to pay on his millions, and therefore he shouldn’t have to pay it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 1:39 pm - April 14, 2011

  40. NDT, exactly. Obama and his supporters have the mindset that “the economy” consists of spending. Spending… what? Money gotten from where? Oh, somewhere. “Obama money… Obama’s stash.” (Quote from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19v5Kjmc8FI ) Just print it. Or tax it. Spend, tax, spend, print, print, if people don’t like the printing then go back to tax again, but whatever you do, KEEP SPENDING! SPEND MORE!

    These people are clueless. The real economy isn’t driven by spending, it’s driven by production and trade. Under-spending is actually a good idea (it is how you form real capital). But they don’t know a thing about any of that.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 14, 2011 @ 1:41 pm - April 14, 2011

  41. Your original claim was something about “acceleration” in recoveries in business cycles, and how Clinton’s tax hikes were bad, bad, bad….

    Actually, Cas, THIS was my original claim.

    Furthermore, despite the so-called “loss of revenue” from the tax cuts, tax revenue exploded, hitting record highs in 2006 and 2007.

    Perhaps, Cas, if you would actually research instead of just repeating your left-wing talking points, you might find sources like these.

    “In fact, the balanced budgets of the Clinton years didn’t occur until after a Republican Congress passed and the president reluctantly signed a 1997 tax bill that lowered the capital gains rate from 28% to 20%, added a child tax credit, and established higher limits on tax exclusion for IRAs and estates.”

    In short, cutting taxes has been demonstrated twice in the past two decades to result in a massive boom in the economy, increased government revenue, AND significantly lower unemployment.

    And we can go back to Reagan’s and JFK’s massive tax cuts to see exactly the same pattern.

    Instead of engaging with those FACTS, which were provided to you in that very post, you decided to spin off and try to argue that comparisons of the “four years following the 1990 business cycle” were needed to prove that, quote, “the Clinton tax hikes led to real growth”.

    I then pointed out, again with links, that a) the 1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes and b) that you had previously disdained historical comparisons of business cycles because the circumstances were “different”.

    And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher. Three years after the Bush tax cuts, which liberals screamed would permanently lower Federal revenues, Treasury receipts were breaking record high amounts.

    Do you understand that, Cas? Despite cutting the tax rate, tax receipts vastly increased. And yet, in the past two years, despite massive government spending, tax receipts have cratered.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 1:58 pm - April 14, 2011

  42. Under-spending is actually a good idea (it is how you form real capital). But they don’t know a thing about any of that.

    Worse, they are actually outright hostile towards saving. Indeed, both Obama and Cas speak disdainfully of anyone who would save money, and indeed refuse to give tax cuts to people because they would just save it.

    Cas and Obama are both completely and implacably hostile to any sort of private capital or wealth accumulation. If you have money, they both believe that means the government didn’t confiscate enough of it from you.

    Their mentality is truly a witch’s brew, equal parts jealousy at other peoples’ success and an almost sociopathic need to make people dependent on them. I seriously believe that Obama is of the mind that he can control more people if he makes them completely dependent on the government.

    This is a self-defeating system, as the Soviet Union showed. But I have no intention of living through the fifty or so years it will likely take such a system to collapse.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 2:11 pm - April 14, 2011

  43. Affluent, tax-exempt trustafarians demand higher taxes on other people.

    Comment by V the K — April 14, 2011 @ 2:23 pm - April 14, 2011

  44. Oh, that’s not even the scariest thing I’ve seen yet today, V the K.

    This is (emphasis mine).

    Under the Obama tax plan, the Bush rates would be repealed for the top brackets. Yet the “cost” of extending all the Bush rates in 2011 over 10 years was about $3.7 trillion. Some $3 trillion of that was for everything but the top brackets—and Mr. Obama says he wants to extend those rates forever. According to Internal Revenue Service data, the entire taxable income of everyone earning over $100,000 in 2008 was about $1.582 trillion. Even if all these Americans—most of whom are far from wealthy—were taxed at 100%, it wouldn’t cover Mr. Obama’s deficit for this year.

    In short, Cas and Barack Ding Dong Obama are insisting that the key to ensuring their manic spending and handouts don’t go careening off a cliff is to soak the rich — even though taking every ounce of income from every individual who makes over $100k per year is not sufficient to close ONE year’s budget deficit.

    Again. Obama’s budget goes over just in one YEAR more than the entire annual wealth of every single person in this country who makes over $100k.

    This is where the delusional black Marxist and his followers like Cas run off the rails. They couldn’t close this country’s budget gap for just this year alone if you allowed them to live out their fantasy and confiscate every single dime of income of a person making $100k or more.

    And that is just Federal; it doesn’t even cover the additional $100 billion or so that the states are in deficit, not to mention the innumerable municipalities like San Francisco that are looking at hundreds of millions of dollars in deficits.

    Thirty years of liberal control of education, and this is what you get — people like Obama and Cas that are completely and utterly incapable of comprehending basic, obvious mathematics.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 14, 2011 @ 5:02 pm - April 14, 2011

  45. As I said, NDT, people who can do math are not part of Obama’s base.

    Comment by V the K — April 14, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - April 14, 2011

  46. NDT,
    ““In short, cutting taxes has been demonstrated twice in the past two decades to result in a massive boom in the economy””
    What two “massive” booms are we specifically talking about, here? In comparison to what other booms?

    “Furthermore, despite the so-called “loss of revenue” from the tax cuts, tax revenue exploded, hitting record highs in 2006 and 2007.”
    “Three years after the Bush tax cuts, which liberals screamed would permanently lower Federal revenues, Treasury receipts were breaking record high amounts.
    Do you understand that, Cas? ”
    From your source for this claim, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/washington/09econ.htm
    “Democrats and many independent budget analysts note that overall revenues have barely climbed back to the levels reached in 2000, and that the government has borrowed trillions of dollars against Social Security surpluses just as the first of the nation’s baby boomers are nearing retirement.

    “The fact is that revenues are way below what the administration said they would be a few years ago,” said Thomas S. Kahn, staff director for Democrats on the House Budget Committee. “The long-term prognosis is still very, very bleak, and the administration doesn’t have any kind of long-term plan.”

    One reason the run-up in taxes looks good is because the past five years looked so bad. Revenues are up, but they have lagged well behind economic growth. ”

    That does not support your claim, dude.

    On the up side. for 2007, “Federal deficit shrinks due to record tax collections.” So that is good. Except, that was at the tail end of the speculative bubble that went pop, right? So, I grant you your record receipts in 2007. So, 2008 must have been a record year for tax receipts, right NDT? Right? How were receipts the following year? Care to guess?
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/90/Revenue_and_Expense_to_GDP_Chart_1993_-_2008.png
    ‘Nuff said. If the run-up is tax policy driven, then explain why 2008 wasn’t tax policy driven. And why 2003, 2004 were not fabulous years, as your framework of “lower taxes = greater revenue” would suggest it should.

    “1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes.”

    I pointed out that this does not fit with the pillar of your evidence you cited to say Clinton’s tax hikes were bad. I notice you don’t address this “inconvenience.” So, what is it that you believe–your claim that growth before the tax hikes (oh, excuse me, the economy continued to grow after them–fancy that–what say you?) negates the fact that this boom did better than others, in this time frame. But the economy continued to grow after them, as well. But you give not a shred of evidence to support your claim. Your evidence from the Heritage Foundation supports me on this dude, more than it does you!

    And not a single change in the marginal tax rate for the wealthy in this Clinton administration time frame, after 1993.

    Did tax cuts in ’97 on capital gains help some–I already said, I think they could have helped in a specific way, but again, your source respects the idea that he can’t really say for sure what degree of apportionment is best–because we were in the middle of the Information Revolution. How much was just historic economic change, how much tax cuts on capital gains–who knows. The economist you cite is unsure–but you are very sure. I remember, you are never, ever wrong.

    I don’t expect you to engage with me on the substance of what I say, NDT, (or even on the substance of the Heritage Foundation report you originally trumpeted, and now run from), or even the substance of your other sources you believe support your position. As I have hopefully made clear, your argument and the evidence you offer is not that great, nor your defence of it, and you have little to say about what I say, in response to it.

    Comment by Cas — April 14, 2011 @ 6:23 pm - April 14, 2011

  47. You know, Cas, I was wondering how long it would take you to fall into the usual trap when arguing about the Clinton economy that ensnares mindless partisans like yourself.

    On the up side. for 2007, “Federal deficit shrinks due to record tax collections.” So that is good. Except, that was at the tail end of the speculative bubble that went pop, right? So, I grant you your record receipts in 2007. So, 2008 must have been a record year for tax receipts, right NDT? Right? How were receipts the following year? Care to guess?

    Remember the quote you stated previously, Cas?

    Democrats and many independent budget analysts note that overall revenues have barely climbed back to the levels reached in 2000

    Which was, oddly enough, at the tail end of the speculative bubble that went pop.

    You could not be more blatant with your hypocrisy and cherry-picking, Cas. You insist that one year is rendered meaningless because it is “at the tail end of (a) speculative bubble” while comparing it to a year at the tail end of a speculative bubble.

    And better yet, for all your whining about “reliable sources”, what you cited as examples for one specifically caution against partisan quotations and indicate they are not reliable — and yet you quoted the “staff director for Democrats on the House Budget Committee” as a reliable source.

    What you’re making clear, Cas, is that you are neither intellectually consistent or honest. You lay down rules, conditions, and the like, then blatantly refuse to follow or be bound by them yourself.

    Instead of engaging with those FACTS, which were provided to you in that very post, you decided to spin off and try to argue that comparisons of the “four years following the 1990 business cycle” were needed to prove that, quote, “the Clinton tax hikes led to real growth”.

    I then pointed out, again with links, that a) the 1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes and b) that you had previously disdained historical comparisons of business cycles because the circumstances were “different”.

    And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher. Three years after the Bush tax cuts, which liberals screamed would permanently lower Federal revenues, Treasury receipts were breaking record high amounts.

    My argument has been consistent, strong, and fact-based throughout. You have presented nothing but irrelevant assumptions and cherry-picked quotes, establishing requirements and rules in one post that you then break at your convenience in the following.

    Your strategy is to push irrelevance after irrelevance in the hopes of frustrating your opponent and making them give up, Cas. It’s nothing more than the whining and tantrums of a child, and unfortunately, we are stuck with doing the job of raising you that your parents either were not competent or didn’t care enough to do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 15, 2011 @ 1:07 am - April 15, 2011

  48. Hey NDT,
    “My argument has been consistent, strong, and fact-based throughout.”
    Right,,,, Let us take one example, …

    Of course, that is why when you say:
    ““Furthermore, despite the so-called “loss of revenue” from the tax cuts, tax revenue exploded, hitting record highs in 2006 and 2007.””
    we look at the evidence you present…

    So, is your claim even vaguely CONSISTENT with the article YOU cited as evidence? Is it partisan hackery? Inquiring minds want to know:
    ““Democrats and MANY INDEPENDENT BUDGET ANALYSTS note that overall revenues have barely climbed back to the levels reached in 2000,… One reason the run-up in taxes looks good is because the past five years looked so bad. Revenues are up, but they have lagged well behind economic growth. ””

    (Answer: No. not even vaguely…)

    And it is really obviously a total crock of a claim for 2006, when dispassionate observers look at the actual statistics, for example, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/90/Revenue_and_Expense_to_GDP_Chart_1993_-_2008.png.

    What is your take on the information for 2006, NDT? Again, any evidence to support your CONFIDENT claim of “record tax receipts” for 2006?

    (Answer: No. not even vaguely…)

    Right, dude–”consistent, strong, and fact-based throughout”. As you make absolutely clear–you are never, ever wrong. But hey, its all good…

    According to you, pointing out you are wrong on a central claim, that then appears to undermine your central tenet of faith is “nit-picking.” OK, I am nit-picking.

    “Your strategy is to push irrelevance after irrelevance in the hopes of frustrating your opponent and making them give up, Cas. It’s nothing more than the whining and tantrums of a child, and unfortunately, we are stuck with doing the job of raising you that your parents either were not competent or didn’t care enough to do.”

    Maybe your fans from the peanut gallery will cheer you on, and speak to the wonderful aesthetic qualities of your argument herein; or claim that you are wonderfully right, herein. But, from where I stand, I think you need to look deeply into that mirror yourself, dude.

    Comment by Cas — April 15, 2011 @ 3:02 am - April 15, 2011

  49. And off Cas goes into the weeds again.

    And it is really obviously a total crock of a claim for 2006, when dispassionate observers look at the actual statistics, for example, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/90/Revenue_and_Expense_to_GDP_Chart_1993_-_2008.png.

    An interesting thing about that, Cas; what was your previous statement on 2007?

    So, I grant you your record receipts in 2007.

    But if one looks at your graph, Cas, one sees that 2007 is LOWER than 2000, the year to which you are comparing 2006 and screaming that your graph “proves” it is lower.

    The reason why is simple. I am referring to record tax receipt and revenue amounts. You could not find a source that contradicted that, so you found a graph that doesn’t report receipt and revenue amounts and tried to use that as “proof” that my revenue and receipt amounts are wrong.

    Your graph is reporting tax receipts and expenses as a percentage of GDP. What happened is very straightforward; GDP during the Bush years grew faster than the amount of tax revenues collected, which would decrease the percentage of GDP that tax revenues represented even as tax revenues were climbing. The year 2007 demonstrates that; as even you were forced to acknowledge, tax receipts hit record amounts despite the fact that your graph “shows” 2007 as being a lower year than 2000.

    Your argument, Cas, is that because tax revenues were at a lower percentage of GDP during the Bush years than they were during the Clinton years, that they must be smaller in amount. Anyone who recognized that GDP GREW year over year during the Bush administration would instantly recognize that mathematical fallacy; even if revenues had not increased at all, the percentage of GDP would have fallen because GDP was growing.

    In short, Cas, you are a mathematical idiot. But we already knew that.

    Instead of engaging with those FACTS, which were provided to you in that very post, you decided to spin off and try to argue that comparisons of the “four years following the 1990 business cycle” were needed to prove that, quote, “the Clinton tax hikes led to real growth”.

    I then pointed out, again with links, that a) the 1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes and b) that you had previously disdained historical comparisons of business cycles because the circumstances were “different”.

    And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher. Three years after the Bush tax cuts, which liberals screamed would permanently lower Federal revenues, Treasury receipts were breaking record high amounts.

    You then tried to quote a partisan source, breaking your own rule that partisan sources were not reliable information, tried to claim that my news sources were not reliable, breaking your own rule that sources like the AP or news organizations were reliable, and insisted that years at what you claimed was the end of a speculative bubble were not valid for comparison while you yourself were touting the year 2000, which was clearly at the tail end of a speculative bubble, as a valid comparison.

    My argument has been consistent, strong, and fact-based throughout. You have presented nothing but irrelevant assumptions and cherry-picked quotes, establishing requirements and rules in one post that you then break at your convenience in the following.

    Your strategy is to push irrelevance after irrelevance in the hopes of frustrating your opponent and making them give up, Cas. It’s nothing more than the whining and tantrums of a child, and unfortunately, we are stuck with doing the job of raising you that your parents either were not competent or didn’t care enough to do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 15, 2011 @ 11:43 am - April 15, 2011

  50. Your graph is reporting tax receipts and expenses as a percentage of GDP. What happened is very straightforward; GDP during the Bush years grew faster than the amount of tax revenues collected, which would decrease the percentage of GDP that tax revenues represented even as tax revenues were climbing.

    NDT +1.

    It’s surprising that one should have to spell out the following, but apparently one does… Having government be a high percentage of GDP is bad. When the government jacks up rates and crushes the life out of the economy, then government is the only growing thing left, and you see government (on both the spending side and the revenue side) being a high percentage of GDP. Bad!

    Having government be a low percentage of GDP is good, the lower the better. When government gets itself out of the way of production and trade – as, for example, by lowering tax rates – then people will produce and trade. The economy grows, the pie gets bigger and bigger, the government GAINS revenue even as it becomes a LOWER and lower percentage of the economy. That is good. That is what any sane person should want.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 15, 2011 @ 5:58 pm - April 15, 2011

  51. NDT,
    Time to put a stake through the heart of this claim:
    “““Furthermore, despite the so-called “loss of revenue” from the tax cuts, tax revenue exploded, hitting record highs in 2006 and 2007.””

    You point out a problem with my use of stats–it doesn’t say what I would like them to say, because it talks of % of GDP. Well done. So, one for you. However, before you and ILC get too excited about that “+1″, let us break this 2006 year down.

    NDT claims “record” tax receipts.Checking http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy05/pdf/hist.pdf, we see that in 2000, tax receipts were 2,025.2 billion. In 2006 they were2,205.7 billion, and in 2007 they were 2,350.8 billion. NDT looks right.

    “The reason why is simple. I am referring to record tax receipt and revenue amounts.You could not find a source that contradicted that…”

    Not so fast grasshopper.

    A little further down, when one looks at these receipts in CONSTANT 2000 DOLLARS, we see the following–in 2000, tax receipts were 2,025.2 billion. In 2006 they were 1952.6 billion, and in 2007 they were 2,040.3 billion. I guess, if you want to include inflation (GDP deflator of 12.96% from 2000 to 2006) it looks like a record. It ain’t, when one looks at this in real terms.

    “And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher.”

    Apparently not always the case, when we look at things in real terms, NDT.

    “You then tried to quote a partisan source,” Dude, it was your source I quoted from! And this bit: “MANY INDEPENDENT BUDGET ANALYSTS” from the source you provided continues to escape you. By the way, where did you get the claim for 2006 being a “record year”? It is nowhere to be found in the 2006 source you cite. Maybe they were more reticent about calling a nominal increase in taxes a real tax receipt record.

    So, insults or no, are you still going to stick by your “record tax receipts” claim for 2006, NDT?

    Comment by Cas — April 15, 2011 @ 8:05 pm - April 15, 2011

  52. PS. I also withdraw the claim about 2008 tax receipts that I made at #46. 2008 tax receipts in real terms were 2,112.6 billion (2000 dollars)

    Comment by Cas — April 15, 2011 @ 8:10 pm - April 15, 2011

  53. I think this is the point at which we just start laughing at the screaming red-faced brat Cas as it stomps its feet and cries, desperately looking for any weed it can find to avoid looking at the forest.

    So let me break down the problem with your most recent weed, Cas.

    1. The numbers you are citing are located on page 26, Table 1.3.

    2. The numbers you are citing for 2006 and 2007 are labeled as “estimate”.

    3. That is because you are citing the FY 2005 budget, which was issued in 2004.

    In short: You are using an estimated number generated in 2004 to claim that the numbers provided you from 2006 and 2007 based on actual receipts are wrong.

    So Cas, not only are you a mathematical idiot, but you can’t even keep the difference between estimated and actual straight.

    Again, instead of engaging with those FACTS, which were provided to you in that very post, you decided to spin off and try to argue that comparisons of the “four years following the 1990 business cycle” were needed to prove that, quote, “the Clinton tax hikes led to real growth”.

    I then pointed out, again with links, that a) the 1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes and b) that you had previously disdained historical comparisons of business cycles because the circumstances were “different”.

    And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher. Three years after the Bush tax cuts, which liberals screamed would permanently lower Federal revenues, Treasury receipts were breaking record high amounts.

    You then tried to quote a partisan source, breaking your own rule that partisan sources were not reliable information, tried to claim that my news sources were not reliable, breaking your own rule that sources like the AP or news organizations were reliable, and insisted that years at what you claimed was the end of a speculative bubble were not valid for comparison while you yourself were touting the year 2000, which was clearly at the tail end of a speculative bubble, as a valid comparison.

    And now you’ve capped it off with this latest screaming fit where you are quoting estimated numbers from 2004 to prove that actual numbers collected in 2006 and 2007 are wrong.

    My argument has been consistent, strong, and fact-based throughout. You have presented nothing but irrelevant assumptions and cherry-picked quotes, establishing requirements and rules in one post that you then break at your convenience in the following.

    Your strategy is to push irrelevance after irrelevance in the hopes of frustrating your opponent and making them give up, Cas. It’s nothing more than the whining and tantrums of a child, and unfortunately, we are stuck with doing the job of raising you that your parents either were not competent or didn’t care enough to do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 15, 2011 @ 10:45 pm - April 15, 2011

  54. Meanwhile, let’s remind everyone how Cas’s biggest cheerleader Pat gushes over Cas’s arguments.

    I also liked the way you handled a poster who a) argues points that you didn’t make; b) goes rabid while doing so; c) refuses to correct his errors and blames it on some logic that even a two-year old wouldn’t subscribe to; and d) uses the same type of logic to refuse to answer your question. I get the same many times with this poster.

    Now let’s watch Pat come running in here to defend Cas, making snide remarks about how my being “provincial” and “black and white” means I don’t understand the fabulous nuance by which Cas made 2004 estimates more valid than 2006 and 2007 actual numbers, and then threatening to go tell on me to Bruce and Dan about how I’m “harassing” and “bullying” Cas.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 15, 2011 @ 10:57 pm - April 15, 2011

  55. NDT,
    “let’s remind everyone how Cas’s biggest cheerleader Pat gushes over Cas’s arguments….about how I’m “harassing” and “bullying” …”

    Oh, I can see how that previous dust-up must have stung! As for “bullying” and “harassing” I understand you like to be an attack dog. It is your style. You don’t like being called on it, but that, as they say, “is life.”

    So, I went back and checked things. Thank you for the heads up–you were right again. I mislead myself by not carefully checking the source I used.

    “And I also pointed out that you were dodging the original point – tax cuts demonstrably increase private sector growth and, in doing so, drive tax revenue even higher.”

    The problem is that your claim is vaguely worded. It is unclear what you actually mean by “drive tax revenue even higher.” That is, should real tax revenue growth as you understand it be somewhat proportional to real GDP growth? If so, what degree of proportionality?

    Receipts in 2006, in 2000 adjusted dollars are 2037.1 billion, whilst in 2000 they are 2,025.5 billion, or 0.57% growth in real terms. Its an increase that took 6 years to get back to 2000 levels. Tax receipts grew by 4.7% in real terms for the 2001-2006 period. That is after two tax cuts. Meanwhile, real GDP grew by 15.8% from Q1 2001 to Q4 2006. Expenditures grew by 23.4% in the same period in real terms. That does not look like great evidence that supports your contention that ” tax cuts drive tax revenue even higher.” Tax revenue went higher, but its a whopping big change in GDP to get such a small increase in revenue, generated by your Laffer effect. Meanwhile, we went from budgetary surplus to budgetary deficit, and the % GDP of receipts fell from 19.8% of GDP in 2001 to 18.4% in 2006 (after dropping to 16.3% in 2004, a year after the second tax cut.

    So, should we see this as support for your point of view? I remain unconvinced. I will continue our conversation tomorrow.

    Comment by Cas — April 16, 2011 @ 2:27 am - April 16, 2011

  56. NDT,
    It is clear that I cannot support a counter-claim as regards “record tax receipts” as you have kindly showed me. However, in the course of our conversation, you have said a couple of things that warrant comment.
    1. “I then pointed out, again with links, that a) the 1990 business cycle had dropped, then gone well back into recovery growth YEARS before any of Clinton’s tax hikes and b) that you had previously disdained historical comparisons of business cycles because the circumstances were “different”. ”

    You won’t acknowledge this, but as I said before you do not want to recognize that these are different circumstances. Fine. As for the first point, let us look at it in detail. Why should it matter, NDT. According to the model you have in your head, tax hikes should damage the economy—that was the refrain of conservatives, including the Heritage mob, back in 1993, when they were enacted, a point I raised earlier. The issue can be framed as you have done so—tax cuts good—lower taxes, and they produce more revenue. But it can also be framed as the corollary—a test of whether tax hikes hurt an economy. And, in that case, the Clinton experience is an “inconvenient truth” so to speak. Because, it shouldn’t make any difference when Clinton’s tax cuts came in—after all, according to your theoretical framework, they should have WRECKED THE ECONOMY. They didn’t. You might want to think about how that result fits within your framework.

    Where would you like to compare the Bush and Clinton administration performances? If not at the bottom of the troughs, then when? If the bottom of the trough for Clinton was 1991-I and for Bush, it was 2001-IV, and you don’t like the bottom of the trough, where? Why not two years out for both? So that would be 1993-I and 2003-IV. Go out four years. That would be 1996-I and 2006-IV. Now, in real terms, we get:
    Stat Clinton Bush
    GDP +8.5% +9.9%
    Receipts +17.5% +22.3%
    Outlays +3.3% +11%

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/pdf/hist.pdf
    http://forecastchart.com/chart-gdp-inflation.html
    By all means use other sources if you prefer to check my results.

    So, it looks like in this comparison, the extra GDP growth helped explain the growth in receipts. Though it also was helped by a large differential in spending as well. With two large tax cuts as well, it is clear that Bush was using a Keynesian strategy in this period of time.

    When you look at the six years from trough to 1996-I and 2006-IV, the picture looks like this:
    Stat Clinton Bush
    GDP +11.6% +14.3%
    Receipts +20.5% +0.6%
    Outlays +4.1% +25.6%

    So, again, Bush’s Keynesian approach is pretty obvious.

    You don’t want to look at the first four years, because, there were already two years of growth before the tax hikes. I wondered about this, so I went back to compare the first two years. A comparison of those first two years looks like this:
    Stat Clinton Bush
    GDP +4.6% +3.9%
    Receipts +2.6% -0.2%
    Outlays +-3.9% +8.0%

    What is interesting is that the Heritage Foundation felt that the impact of the 2001 tax cuts would be felt almost immediately (as they also said with the Ryan Plan), with higher tax revenues (starting in 2003) and lower national debt. http://origin.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2001/04/The-Economic-Impact-of-President-Bushs-Tax-Relief-Plan, visited 17 April 2011. 9-11 (and Medicare Part D) created the need for expenditures, so that helps explain part of why debt rose, instead of fell (increased expenditures). But, even with additional tax cuts, tax receipts fell in both 2003 and 2004, when compared with 2000 & 2001 peaks. The bottom of the trough for the recession was 2001-IV. Surely, we should be seeing much higher tax revenues by 2003, or 2004 at the latest? 2005?

    So, what we have, when we compare the two early parts of the recoveries, is the curious result that tax cuts were not immediately effective in getting the kinds of results that the Heritage Foundation (and you) said that we could expect to find. I grant that real GDP growth was better for most of the range in the Bush recovery than it was in the Clinton recovery, for the period I have surveyed. But then again, the Clinton recovery went on longer. One reason why it did, is that tax hikes put a lid on economic growth, slowing things down, ensuring that there was not a repeat of the earlier causations of recessions, namely: when accelerating inflation results in the Fed raising interest rates, slicing private investment and consumption, killing economic growth. As for the 1997 tax cuts—it can be argued that these helped fuel the technological speculative bubble that helps explain the eventual burst and recession in 2001.

    Comment by Cas — April 17, 2011 @ 3:44 pm - April 17, 2011

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