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Forum Post: Tax Cut Maniacs

Posted 7 years ago on Oct. 17, 2012, 11:18 a.m. EST by ThomasKent (131)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The tax cuts mania that Reagan started was an experiment in trickle-down economics that failed miserably. What happened allowed the enough money to be hoarded by the upper income tax brackets that they were able to capture the regulatory, legislative, executive, and judicial branches of our government.

A progressive tax is a tax by which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. "Progressive" describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure, referring to the way the rate progresses from low to high, where the average tax rate is less than the marginal tax rate. It can be applied to individual taxes or to a tax system as a whole; a year, multi-year, or lifetime. Progressive taxes attempt to reduce the tax incidence of people with a lower ability-to-pay, as they shift the incidence increasingly to those with a higher ability-to-pay.

Wiki progressive tax


Definition of 'Progressive Tax'

A tax that takes a larger percentage from the income of high-income earners than it does from low-income individuals. The United States income tax is considered progressive: in 2010, individuals who earned up to $8,375 fell into the 10% tax bracket, while individuals earning $373,650 or more fell into the 35% tax bracket. Basically, taxpayers are broken down into categories based on taxable income; the more one earns, the more taxes they will have to pay once they cross the benchmark cut-off points between the different tax bracket levels.

Investopedia progressive tax


During the 1800s economic thinking in the United States usually conformed to the founders’ guiding principles of uniformity and equal protection. One exception was during the Civil War, when a progressive income tax was first enacted. Interestingly, the tax had a maximum rate of 10 percent, and it was repealed in 1872. As Representative Justin Morrill of Vermont observed, “in this country we neither create nor tolerate any distinction of rank, race, or color, and should not tolerate anything else than entire equality in our taxes.”

When Congress passed another income tax in 1894—one that only hit the top 2 percent of wealth holders—the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Stephen Field, a veteran of 30 years on the Court, was outraged that Congress would pass a bill to tax a small voting bloc and exempt the larger group of voters. At age 77, Field not only repudiated Congress’s actions, he also penned a prophecy. A small progressive tax, he predicted, “will be but the stepping stone to others, larger and more sweeping, till our political contests will become a war of the poor against the rich.”

In 1913, almost 20 years later, the ideas of uniform taxation and equal protection of the law for all citizens were overturned when a constitutional amendment permitting a progressive income tax was ratified. Congress first set the top rate at a mere 7 percent—and married couples were only taxed on income over $4,000 (equivalent to $80,000 today). During the tax debate, William Shelton, a Georgian, supported the income tax “because none of us here have $4,000 incomes, and somebody else will have to pay the tax.” As Madison and Field had feared, the seeds of class warfare were sown in the strategy of different rates for different incomes.

It took the politicians less than one generation to hike the tax rates and fulfill Field’s prophecy. Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, using the excuses of depression and war, permanently enlarged the income tax. Under Hoover, the top rate was hiked from 24 to 63 percent. Under Roosevelt, the top rate was again raised—first to 79 percent and later to 90 percent. In 1941, in fact, Roosevelt proposed a 99.5 percent marginal rate on all incomes over $100,000. “Why not?” he said when an adviser questioned him.

Progressive Income Tax in US History


History has shown us that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. The progressive tax keeps money in circulation by redistribution to the greater economy instead of being hoarded by narrower interests to the detriment of the overall economy as Reaganomics and GW Bushonomics have demonstrated. We are in the greatest recession, middle class incomes have been stagnant for 30 years, official unemployment hovers near 8%, but is actually claimed to be much higher. The government is far better equipped to manage the national economy than the aggregate of individuals who depend largely on investment bankers to manage their finances.

Max Keiser Vampire Banker Hunter part 1


Max Keiser Vampire Banker Hunter part 2




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[-] 5 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Very good post. Taxes are inherently redistributive. Most people have known this for centuries. Why some people appear to have just come to this realization and are somehow offended by it is beyond me.

And progressive taxation is perfectly acceptable policy even according to Adam Smith.

"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, Wealth of Nations.

Somehow the right wing knuckle draggers have turned even Adam Smith into a socialist/communist.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

I don't overlap with you so much these days but seeing as tho' we are both on here at the same time and in keeping with the forum-post & just before I have to go, I append :

pax et lux ...

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Fyi & to follow the above : http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf .

fiat lux ...

[-] -3 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

You must realize that Adam Smith was discarded by the Founding Fathers, right? It appears he is of more influence now than he was then.

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

I wouldn't say he was discarded exactly. At the time, most countries were still very mercantilistic. Smith was more of a visionary. Mercantilism was still the primary economic system across Europe even through the late 1800's. The US govt was financed through tariffs up through the early 1900's.

The Founding Fathers envisioned a mostly Agrarian society and were mainly concerned with securing property rights for this purpose. Jeffersonian Democracy distinguished itself on the idea that farmers were the most valuable citizens to the Republic.

If we were still an Agrarian society today, people living off the land and fending for themselves, the concepts of Jeffersonianism, a very limited government mainly in place to simply secure property rights, might be entirely appropriate. But this is the post industrial highly advanced globalized capitalism and technological age.

Somehow the Libtards and Tea Baggers don't get this. They want to roll back government to 1850 like it's the pre industrialized age again. lol.

[-] -3 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Well really, is there any benefit to growing federal government, other than in its civil service role as equal opportunity employer, especially in light of waste, fraud, and corruption?

What exactly is "Jeffersonian democracy"; how does it distinguish itself? Would you say that the acceptance of aristocracy, corporatism, elitism, to the benefit of financiers, industrialists, bankers, etc., is a higher calling?

What specific benefit do you foresee of expansionist governance? Or of a greater tax obligation as more favorable than a Jeffersonian tariff which you here label as "mercantilism"? Is this mercantilism? Or is this merely protectionism as "good business"? Should governmental legislation favor corporate elitism over the prosperity of citizens?

Agrarian, yes - and these are the little people - but what of the War of 1812; what effect, for example, on those of Canada? What of Marshall? What of the Louisiana Purchase? What of the Alien and Sedition acts? What of "nullification"?

What of the Bill of Rights, is it no longer of any relevance?

Would it not be more accurate to say that Jefferson accomplished far more during his presidency than any of our modern day Presidents?

Do Dems even take the time to laugh at their own bullshit?

[-] 5 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

'is there any benefit to growing federal government, other than in its civil service role as equal opportunity employer' - you're kidding right? Lets start with a few basics. You like clean air and water? Go to a country with a weak government. Drink their water and breathe their air. Then get back to me. Or do you take these things for granted. And just like to bitch about the government because it isn't perfect.

There is no perfect system. Public or private. You think private industry is perfect? Above waste, fraud or corruption? Even if that wasn't wholly preposterous - private industry's goal is the maximization of profits. They will often do so with little regard for societal well being. Even they will do so to the detriment of societal interests. Only the government has the strength to blunt the brute force of the profit motive as it conflicts with societal well being.

We're a highly advanced capitalist society. Do you really believe that a government the size of Rwanda, for example, is appropriate here? The government there is still working on clean water and public education by the way. Because there is no private sector solution for this. Just like there was no private sector solution for saving the auto industry here. Nobody would loan them money in the interim of restructuring through bankruptcy. But the government.
Even if a traditional bankruptcy restructuring would have worked. There was no private sector entity that was willing to put money on the table through the interim of that process.

I'm talking about Jeffersonian Democracy as opposed to The Federalists. Let's be clear. All of the Founding Fathers believed in a limited government. The only difference between the Jeffersonians and the Federalists was a matter of degrees. And many of the Founding Fathers sided with the Federalists on many of the issues of the time. Including Pres. Washington. Because they believed that national/societal interests could be better served in some cases, with government involvement that wasn't strictly prohibited otherwise in the Constitution. It was the Jeffersonians that believed in a more narrow interpretation, with government involvement only as it was explicitly expressed. And it was the Federalists that argued a broader interpretation for purposes of national interests. Both views had strong impacts on our early government.

'Or of a greater tax obligation as more favorable than a Jeffersonian tariff which you here label as "mercantilism"? ' - one of the main features of mercantilism is tariffs and protectionism. I'm not sure what your point is.

'Should governmental legislation favor corporate elitism over the prosperity of citizens?' - no. But I would say there is one party who believes that the advancement of corporate elitism leads to prosperity for individiuals. It's the party that believes that 'corporations are people'. It's the party that believes in trickle down economics. It's the party that believes we should have a government so small it can fit in my vagina and own my uterus. Do Republican's take the time to laugh at this bullshit?

Jefferson was a great Pres. I don't think we have to go back that far though. Teddy Roosevelt and FDR were great too. FDR wasn't elected four times for nothing. Nixon wasn't all bad. He gave us the Clean Air and Water Act and established the Environmental Protection Agency. Something todays Republicans would destroy. Because corporations are angels now and will act against the profit motive in order to ensure they don't destroy common public goods like air, land and water. Reagan was an unmitigated fiscal disaster.
Bush Sr. rightly called it voodoo economics. And his party destroyed him for it.

There are those that would prefer a weaker/smaller federal government. As you weaken the power of government, under the guise of strengthening individual civil liberties, - really. Think about it. The power vacuum that would be created will be filled by corporate elitism. There is no question about it. This is simple common sense. Why do you think the Koch Bros. are such strong proponents of 'individual liberties' and smaller government. Jeesh. It's not that tough. Why do you think the Koch Bros, et al. own the Tea Party now. The Tea Party are just their useful idiots. The Libtards are just a tiny bit smarter than the knuckle draggers. But not by much.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Or of a greater tax obligation as more favorable than a Jeffersonian tariff which you here label as "mercantilism"? ' - one of the main features of mercantilism is tariffs and protectionism. I'm not sure what your point is.

My point is that this is not in any way an apt definition of mercantilism in the sense of a political economy; you have extracted one element - tariffs, a variable at that - and labeled this with a derogatory, "mercantilism" - and it is NOT mercantilism. It is simply one element of international business, which this country, as a sovereign nation has a responsibility to prosperity to impose, as necessary. Corporate profit created by cheap imports should not undermine domestic production; it should not undermine general prosperity. Ultimately they enslave people on both sides of this equation, both foreign and domestic labor.

We are not weakening the power of government to the favor of civil liberties - we are striving to retain our liberties as the Fed destroys them. Do you have any idea at all what you're even talking about?

The power vacuum created would be filled with corporate elitism? It's already filled with corporate elitism; if it were not we would have tariffs; we would have local and regional economies; we would have jobs. But noooo, you'd rather sit on the couch and say "gimme" while government slowly strangles you in your own poverty.

I don't care about the Tea Party; I don't care about Republicans or Dems - I care about the people of this country. Your allegations of "knuckle dragging" are juvenile. And this thing of common sense that you are referring to, I'm just not feeling it.

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Mercantilism is an economic system. Not a political system. It wasn't a derogatory. Just a statement of fact. Mercantilism was the dominant economic system of the time. And tariffs are a key feature of mercantilism.

The fact that tariffs still exist, although to much lesser degrees, in our capitalist system today as 'one element of international business' doesn't negate the fact that tariffs were a key feature of mercantilism. It's not surprising that elements of mercantilism still exist today since capitalism evolved from mercantilism. And before that fuedalism. But I would agree. Tariffs, or lack thereof, trade agreements, are an element of international business.

Tariffs - 'which this country .. has a responsibility to impose' - most economists, from classical (Adam Smith), and most especially neo-liberal, would disagree. And tell you that tariffs are simply an additional tax that would be passed on and imposed on the consumer.

But I don't necessarily disagree that some degree of increased tariffs might be appropriate. But Right Wing neo-liberal economics is vehemently opposed to tariffs. I don't believe it is necessarily wholly inconsistent with Keynesian economics though . I think a Keynesian argument could be made. Where Keynes believed that macro economic forces (ie: globalization) could overwhelm the behavior and power of individiuals and overrun society at large without government intervention.

'corporate elitism' - is mainly the result of bad campaign finance laws. Corporations are people, money is speech. yada yada. A weakened government, a weakened democracy, a campaign finance system that gives undue power and influence to the wealthy and corporations. Do you honestly believe the Koch Bros. et al, are interested in individual civil liberties? Quite frankly, it's absurd. It's about corporate power over the government. They just wrap themselves up in liberty because the real reason, weakening government so they can grab more power, wouldn't set well with the average folk that they need to go to the voting booth and do their bidding. Much easier to legally bribe Republican representatives whose religion is neo-liberal policy.

'if it were not we would have tariffs' - even under mercantilism there was corporatism. Tariffs were used for political purposes as favoritism. The reason we don't have tariffs is not 'corporate elitism'. It's because of 'free market' economic theory. Because theoretically it benefits consumers. So now, rather than corporations using their power to get tariff protections, they use a perverted campaign finance system to grab their power.

'we would have local and regional economies' - This is predominently the result of the nature of capitalism. Which includes free trade, but that's not all of the story. It also includes capital accumulation and the propensity for monopolies. Capital accumulates. The big get bigger. In order to take advantage of economies of scale. This is an inherent part of capitalism. That's why WalMart is the largest retailer on the planet. That's why Wall Street, 6 banks control half the wealth of the country. The top 10 banks hold 60% of bank assets v 1980 22%. You can see the same thing in almost any industry. The Mom and Pop stores are gone because of the maturation and progression of capitalism. How many individual owned pharmacies are in your town? Or do you have a Walgreens and CVS? How many family owned grocery stores are in your town? Or do you have a few large national chain grocery stores? etc. It's the nature of capitalism.

Adam Smith knew this and was fearful of the propensity for capital accumulation and monopolies. It's only the more recent Right Wing neo-liberal economics that doesn't believe in any government intervention even as it relates to breaking up monopolies. It's the unfettered progression of capitalism. This is only the result of Right Wing neo-liberal economics. It's the Right Wing neo-libs who have turned classical laisezz faire Adam Smith economics into socialism.

Either way, tariffs or no tariffs, the wealthy and corporations will find a way to bend government. Our perverted campaign finance system just makes it incredibily easy for them to do this. And they latched on like leaches to neo-liberal trickle down economics 40 years ago as intellectual rationale. Lately, they spend ungodly amounts of money to tell people how the 'free market' will save them. Wrapping themselves in the flag and liberty and watch the sheeple flock. Republican/Tea Bagger morons. When the very thing that is hurting them the most, the 'free market', trickle down economic bullshit, is the thing they are fighting for more of. The things that only serve to benefit the wealthy, the Koch's et al, and multinational corporations. Because the Koch's et al. have managed to convince people that government is the enemy. And private industry, the 'free market', trickle down economics, is the solution to their problems. And Republican and Tea Party knuckle draggers are, quite frankly, too stupid to see this. Just useful idiots.

I care about people too. Except I know the difference between classical economic capitalist theory and neo-liberalism. And I know that it's Right Wing neo-liberal policies that is hurting the economy. It's neo-liberal policies that have most contributed to 30 years of middle class wage stagnation and the obscene level of wealth inequality. Hollowed out the middle class and has given more and more tax breaks to the wealthy telling us it will trickle down. We have 30 years of experience that tells us otherwise. That no matter what the neo-lib theories say should happen, it hasn't worked. Quite honestly, neo-liberal theory and polices should be collected and burned in a giant national bon fire.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Well... first I'd like to say that we are much in agreement. We disagree on the precise definition of mercantilism which I see as a political economy. Every governing power entity, of whatever form, impacts economy on some level.

When I think of colonial mercantilism, I think of places such as England or Estonia, where only those closest to the seat of power were empowered with access to wealth. This was achieved through the power of guilds, a resultant caste system, the regulation of imports, exports, market access, price fixing, etc. Tariffs are just one element of a bevy of tools that enable those closest to the Crown, and only those close and empowered by the Crown, to gain the access to capitalize.

I'm about to relate a story you already know, but it grants a little insight in terms of my perspective: Fifty years ago America imported no products; it began, believe it or not, with Japanese pajamas which at Christmas time were relatively big sellers. These inexpensive footsie pajamas, promoted by retailers in search of profit, ultimately served to undermine all of our clothing manufacturers. In rural America, the loss of even one single clothing factory had the ability to decimate an entire community because many within that community had built lives on the wealth that had been imported via the factory. This has occurred nationwide; in all communities, we are constantly pressured to reinvent ourselves, our economic logic, and our economies.

Thirty years ago, Germany imported no products; the only foreign item available was a Toyota sedan with a four speed manual transmission and it was not a big seller; not only did Germany restrict that which was less expensive, they also restricted that which was "better" - there were no six cylinder engines or automatic transmissions available anywhere in Germany; in fact, there were many products that were not available.

To this day, Germany has no Walmarts; Germany rejected Walmart in favor of their economy which cannot exist without: a, imported wealth through the export of products, and b, the distribution of that wealth through employment. This is what creates and grows local economy, necessary to a growing population; together the exchange between local economies serves to grow regional economy, and eventually GDP as some whole measure.

The open marketplace weakened competitive ability; we moved the labor force, and manufacturing costs, first from north to south, and then, leaving labor behind, to third world countries. Employees were literally left holding the bag, of local economy, and it was empty.

America's middleclass "wealth," created by industry, is now propped up by very inexpensive products; we funnel this wealth as disposable income to the market, much as the corporation does, in an effort to grow wealth with wealth, but simultaneously that core structure of prosperity through employment, in whatever field, is hollowed - we are but a shell of our former selves and the shell grows ever thinner.

And you know, you can dismiss me as a simpleton; I am a simpleton, in that I believe if one is in search of knowledge we must take it to the source; if we are in search of solution we must seek the source of that which pains us; only there is all revealed; it's about solution as efficiency through precision.

Are tariffs a universal solution? Of course not. But we need to take measures to protect our general economic logic; without which no human, no creature, can survive.

The desire for wealth, and the creation and access to such vehicles of wealth, is not limited to Republicans - Clinton had his NAFTA, Obama has sought to greatly expand Free Trade, and if truth be known, most in positions relative to control of wealth as attorneys, bankers, Wall Street and its investors, etc., are living in metro areas and are now Democrats.

Over the past few years, New York itself has lost 15% of its small business. And I think we need to move beyond this hero worship of a party that is failing our measure to embrace reality - the Democrats are no good, either.

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Yep. I think we agree. Globablization has done more harm than good. But I think we disagree on the solution. I think the solution is education which will lead to innovation. Innovation utimately is the single most important thing to creating jobs. I think you're implying that the solution is going back to tariffs.

The problem I see with going back to tariffs is threefold. One, free trade is bipartisan. Politically, geopolitically, the free trade ship has sailed. It's not coming back. Two, it has strong bipartisan support because free trade is agreed on by most all economic experts as beneficial. Short term not so much. Because our education system hasn't kept up. Three, going back to tariffs/protectionism would be offset by China (and others) cutting off our exports. Setting off a shit storm of trade wars. We're too interconnected economically/financially and geopolitically on so many levels, it won't happen. The ship has sailed. It's not realistic.

The problem is that at the same time we started opening up trade, NAFTA then China, middle class wages began stagnating, partly because of globalization. We should have been ramping up our education system, increasing college graduation rates, in order to train the next generation who would not be able to find blue collar living wage jobs because they were getting shipped to Mexico then China. Which was only masked/offset by the housing boom until the financial crisis. Instead, college graduation rates have been stagnant for more than 30 years, as the cost of college has sextupled. Outpacing even the rising cost of healthcare. Far far outpacing inflation. We never educated more people to be prepared after the blue collar jobs that were lost. If we had - we wouldn't be in near such bad shape as we are now. Other countries have been increasing their college graduation rates and are filling more and more jobs in the 'new economy' because of the lack of a more highly educated workforce here.

We simply haven't handled the transition from a manufacturing based economy to a knowledge/technolgical based economy very well. Actually, we really fucked it up. And this was all before the financial crisis even.

That's why I think ramping up education is the solution. Not bringing back low skilled jobs through higher tariffs. We need to increase college graduation rates. We're already way behind. The only question is who's gonna pay for it. People living on the edge after the financial crisis and recession can't afford it. The middle class has been getting the squeeze for 30 years already. And they can't mortgage their homes anymore to pay for it. Either government invests in getting college graduation rates up, or, we lose another generation of more highly educated workers and fall farther behind. Sorry, but I'm afraid the wealthy are going to have to cough it up in higher taxes. Businesses partnering with colleges and universities for the skills that are needed, opportunites that exist, is also really important. And the government has and is playing a role in this. Because in the short run, retraining and new job skills for displaced workers is necessary for people to fill the jobs where opportunities do exist and there are shortages, ie: nursing. Again, who's gonna pay for this? If not the government, who?

That small business is struggling is simply a consequence of the recession. Small business has a harder time weathering storms because they lack the economies of scale and resources of big business. It's because of the recession. It's lack of demand. We're in a downard tailspin. Despite the small reductions in unemployment. Because of lack of demand. Demand is lacking, more workers are layed off and small business closes down, which leads to decreases in demand again, ad infitium. Until something causes that cycle to be broken - government. According to Keynes, which I happen to agree. Or we can continue to have a long hard slog of it.

I don't think the Dems are perfect. But the Repubs are batshit crazy. For the past 40 years they have been increasing military spending/putting us into war. Without paying for it! Not only do they not pay for it - they keep lowering tax rates. That's a double whammy to the debt. They still believe in trickle down economics, and that 'growth' will pay for their military spend and tax cuts and it never has! It's exploded the debt. Now they want to blame it on the poor and working poor. Quite frankly, it's morally despicable. They plan to descimate the social safety net and education funding (!!!), and again (!!!) increase military spend and give $250k tax breaks to the wealthy! wtf!! That's the Paul Ryan budget which House Republicans voted for unanimously. I don't give a shit what Romney says. His math doesn't work. Every economist on the planet has laughed their asses off at his budget. He's not the leader of that Party. Paul Ryan is the intellectual leader and we know what his plan is and we know what the House Republicans want. It's the Ryan Budget. They'll just have a willing participant with Romney in the WH because the Batshit Crazy that is the Republican Party yank him around like a puppy on a leash.

Romney even said it! He will pay for his tax cuts and military spend with 'growth'. He's gonna pull 12 million jobs out of his ass and pay for his lower tax rates which cannot possibly be offset by eliminating loopholes because there's not enough loopholes to cover it, and increase military spend and 'growth' is going to take care of it. The 12 million jobs he pulls out of his ass. And reduce the debt. Only little problem with this is we've been doing tax cuts for 40 years since Reagan and it doesn't work!

“How we would carry them out would be lowering the tax rate across the board, and then making up for that both with additional growth and with putting a limit on deductions and exemptions, particularly for people at the high end.” - Mitt Romney

The only only only time we ever reduced the debt was by increasing tax rates. After WWII when the debt was at a similar high level it is now, the top marginal tax rate was increased to 90%. That debt came down after 30 years. Clinton increased taxes modestly after Reagan tripled the debt and the debt was starting to come down. There were projected surpluses when Bush Jr. got into office. Then he fucked everything up again. Went to war, didn't pay for it, instead - cut taxes again, and the debt skyrocketed.

Again, they're the Party that believes in neoliberal economics as religion and supply side policies, even when demand is the problem. It's absolute stupidity. And a government so small it can fit in my vagina. That they've let the Jesus Freaks/Christian Evangelicals and social conservatives drive the bus - that should be the first clue that something is very wrong with their economic plan. The billionaires are paying for the gas and they've let the Jesus Freaks drive the bus. That's the only way they can pass their batshit crazy economic policies.



[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

We don't agree, that's it in a "nutshell". Unless we're educating children with an ability to access wealth without working, and in the investment of that wealth as future security, education will not solve the problem of a lack of employment. Not everyone is college material, up to half our minorities don't even finish high school, and not everyone wants employment in an educational field.

So.... "Neoliberal" is an Obamacrat disease, too. In fact, it appears they are sicker than the republicans were.

There's nothing really wrong with being a heterosexual Jesus freak, especially when we consider that they are a majority that is relatively harmless.

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

You don't believe that more than 30% of our citizens have the capacity to graduate college? When other OECD countries have graduation rates double ours?? Wow. Just wow.

'not everyone wants employment in an education field'. - Again. Wow. The market is what the market is. There will only be so many blue collar jobs available. There won't be a choice except get a college degree in order to have a good living wage job. The alternative will be really low wage service jobs that can't be outsourced. And there will only be so many of these as well. And with an uneducated work force, wages for those lower level or unskilled jobs will be driven down.

The shift in the economy from manufacturing to knowledge/technology requires education. You don't get to not 'agree' with it. It's a fact. Not agreeing with it is simply not accepting reality.

Holy theocratic nation state! Are you kidding me?! Evangelicals and other Jesus freaks are absolutely dangerous. They want to turn our country into a theocracy. They want to impose their religious views on the country in a fevered attempt to legislate their religous beliefs. Using government as a tool to do the job that their churches can't.

"The proper role of religion is to appeal to the conscience of the individual, not the coercive power of the state. " Sen. Edward Kennedy

"The separation of church and state can sometimes be frustrating for women and men of religious faith. They may be tempted to misuse government in order to impose a value which they cannot persuade others to accept. But once we succumb to that temptation, we step onto a slippery slope where everyone’s freedom is at risk." Sen. Edward Kennedy

They just adopted a national platform to overturn Roe v Wade by Consitutional Amendment. Harmless huh? The vast majority of people don't want this. Only the Republican Evangelicals who are driving the bus. They used to be a fringe group on the back of the bus. Now they're doing the driving. Yanking Romney around by the leash. Who'd be 'delighted' to sign a Constitutional Amendment that would ban abortion.

You think this is harmless? Wow. Yeah. We definately disagree!!

And Pres. Obama's no neo-lib! Shit. Half the country thinks he's a socialist simply because he wants to see slightly higher/more progressive taxation. That's definately not a neo-liberal policy. And his economic stimulus was Keynesian. Practically the exact opposite of neoliberal. People think he's a socialist for that too. Half this country is so fucked in the head it's not funny. Anything that isn't neo-liberal/supply side economics/tax cuts for the wealthy is socialist/marxist/communist.

And you want to go back to tariffs. You might as well go back to believing in tooth fairies. Tariffs, tooth fairies. Neither one is going to happen.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

You may be correct in thinking we won't go back to tariffs. If that is true, the US is doomed. While I agree with your characterization of the evangelical right, I have to say, yes, Obama is a neoliberal. Whether you realize it or not, when you use those terms,"innovate" and "educate", you are just repeating neoliberal talking points. One cannot advocate free trade without being a neoliberal. The fact that the right sees Obama as a socialist merely speaks to the ignorance of that group. Neoliberalism is an economic system, as is mercantilism, as you correctly pointed out. Neither are, in and of themselves, social systems. Obama supports certain social issues of the left, but when push comes to shove, on the economic issues, he is a globalist-neolib. The one activity, or category of activities that generates the most real wealth is manufacturing. Most all of those educated individuals serve that end, directly or indirectly. When people speak of Keynes, few seem to realize that he expressly cautioned against trade deficits. Something he described as "leakage". Many economists like to describe themselves as "Keynesian", but conveniently leave out that aspect of his theory. http://www.examiner.com/article/in-defense-of-keynes-aggregate-demand-pump-priming-leakage

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Free trade is entirely bipartisan. That would make every politician a neo-liberal. That would make Adam Smith a neo-liberal. One aspect of neo-liberal policy does not a neo-liberal make. Is Pres. Obama not gone as far left as I would prefer? Yes. But that doesn't make him a neo-lib. This is the result of a Congress, a country, gone too far right. He's a freaking socialist for suggesting modest tax increases and Keynesian stimulus. That's not neoliberal. It's the political environment that he couldn't do more. For shits sake. He could hardly get one modest stimulus passed in this environment gone neo-lib mad.

And btw, 'educate' and 'innovate'. That's called human progress. I don't think the neo-libs get to claim human progress as their own.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

4 main definers of neolibs/cons

  • Bombs
  • Let the banks run wild
  • Free open trade with slave labor nations
  • Easy money policy
[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Let's not mix our neos. He's no Cheney. I'll admit he's no FDR either. But we have to work with what we've got don't we.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Sadly, you are quite correct on your assertion that free trade is bi-partisan. Not to quibble, but Adam Smith has gotten a little bit of a bad rap on the issue of tariffs.(see the link below) In the cases of von Mises and Hayek it is well deserved. Also, of course, the term for those of that era would be "liberal economics" since the term neoliberalism ("new liberalism") was the revival of the failed system of the past. Here's the catch. While Obama released about $700 billion into the economy in the form of stimulus,in the same year the US had a $700 billion trade deficit. 700 in-700 out. No wonder it wasn't more effective. http://adamsmithslostlegacy.blogspot.com/2010/07/view-on-smith-on-protection.html

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Outstanding points. Another reason the stimulus should have been much larger.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

No... I agree with you on Roe versus Wade and I agree with you on the Christian Right as politicized for self purpose; I support Roe versus Wade, not on moral grounds, but because I was there to witness the effect in a world without it - it .wasn't pretty

My only point, my best point, if there is any point... is that tech is already here and has been for some time; if education is the answer than it must be in rather particular fields because there are fewer and fewer options available to those seeking improvement through education.

Not everyone is college material; a full 20% don't even graduate high school; those that promote education are employed in education - what do you tell children? What path would you choose if you were of high school age? What career path appears most promising?

Are we all to become doctors, lawyers, bankers, investment brokers?

We need jobs, and choice, for those you wish to educate and for those you are unable to educate.

Tariffs, by the way, are absolutely necessary if you wish to retain green jobs. And if you wish to protect car manufacturers from South Korean and Chinese imports, or any other item we manufacture.

The problem is that most of you people have no interest in employment.

As for "socialism" we only part ways on issues of taxation; we have been engaged in this discussion for months now; when I hear what I need to hear, you will hear what you want to hear. Because I am not opposed to socialism and neither are the American people.

The choice is yours. But if you do not rein in the "neos" in Congress, of any persuasion, to give me what I want, then you absolutely will not gain anything at all for your efforts.

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Roe. Whew. Thanks for clearing that up.

The blue collar jobs that were lost were replaced with construction/the housing boom. Those people need to be retrained.

Yes. Tech has been here. But it's bigger than just 'computer programming' or doctors and lawyers. It's engineering, robotics, healthcare, energy. All things that require an education. Candlemakers used to be in hot demand 200 years ago. They're just not anymore. And neither are low skilled workers whose jobs are in China now.

The reason college grads can't find a job now is due to the recession. Many chose fields of study that simply aren't in demand. It might be fine to have a Liberal Arts degree when the economy is booming and there are more jobs than applicants. A Liberal Arts degree will still get you a job. Then they train you. But not in an economy that is struggling out of recession. Where there are more applicants than jobs.

Sure there are those that simply aren't going to make it in college. I'm not suggesting that it's for everyone. But surely we can do better than 30% college graduation rate. Because just like candlemakers. The jobs simply won't be there otherwise.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Higher education should be affordable, if not wholly free, I don't disagree.

In terms of "engineering, robotics, healthcare, energy" it has been my experience that those who incorporate a manufacturing element, and not just an engineering function, require and employ far more engineers, robotics specialists, etc. They employ tens of thousands and attract people of all fields with various skill levels. I want these jobs in the US.

You know there's another aspect of this that many never consider and that is that many of the products that we use in our day to day lives can be improved. But they're not improved because we don't manufacture them, nor are we able to competitively enter the market place. The Germans are leaving us far behind... because they are improving their products.

Look around, simple things... oil burners, boilers... swimming pool apparatus and equipment... toasters... on and on; none of these products have been significantly improved in over fifty years. Call me simple minded - I am simple minded - but in my opinion, we are not seeking to improve, because we are not manufacturing. I know, in reference to even simple mechanical products, we can do much, much better than these items present foreign manufacturers offer us.

We've been discussing these things for over thirty years and now they wonder why people are unemployed or why they drop out of high school or they opt out of college. There can be no equal opportunity in a world without opportunity; we're getting very tired of being paid lip service as Congress continues to expand Free Trade and we suffer the humility of having to pay doubly through tax dollars.

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

'Higher education should be affordable, if not wholly free'. I think so too. Too bad Republicans only want to destroy public education at all levels and privatize it. So we can have 'choice'. Like Walmart for most and Bloomingdales for a few others I suppose. Now that's some kinda crazy shit.

Innovation has a home country bias. Later, as it's perfected, it may move to a lower cost producer. If we improve education, increase college graduation rates, increase innovation - this will keep manufacturing going here. But it has to be a continuous cycle of innovation. As one innovation matures and the manufacturing moves, there needs to be another innovation to take it's place in manufacturing. Your point about 'improvements' to existing products. I don't disagree. But this is ultimately a form of innovation. Germany, and many other European countries have higher high school and college graduation rates than the US. Surely this has an impact on 'improving their products'.

'we are not seeking to improve, because we are not manufacturing' there may be some element of truth to this. But the profit motive is pretty strong. I think education has more to do with it.

Longer term, Chinese Communist state run capitalism is simply not sustainable. There will be more labor unrest there. Wages will have to rise. As workers get more pay, they will get more power. Perhaps even democracy will break out eventually.

And manufacturing won't ever go away completely. There's still lots of manufacturing here. It just will be playing a smaller role than it used to. And being replaced with demand in fields that require a college degree.

It's not just me saying this. Many many academics and other experts have known this for many years. If you google it, you'll find academic papers about it going back decades.

Honestly, read the Stiglitz article above to start with.

and btw - to your much earlier point about Walmart, I feel the same way. Any city/country (Germany) that can stand up and kick those sick bullies to the curb, I think is wonderful.

[+] -5 points by Grimreaper2 (-318) 7 years ago

Sorry. Most people know no such thing. For 99% of human history taxes have NOT been redistributive. Why are you making claims about things you obviously know nothing about?

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Holy hell you're stupid. Let's start with some simple examples.

Ancient Greece levied taxes on the wealthy for war and public works. That's redistribution.

Ancient Egyptians paid a portion of their crop yield to the Pharaoh to sustain the Empire. The larger the crop yield, the more that was paid. That's redistribution.

If I have 1 kid and you have 4 kids, I'm paying for your kids public education. That's redistribution.

Do you have the largest real property in town, being assessed the most real estate taxes? If not, someone else is paying more for your kids education than you are. Someone else is paying more for the library that you use. Someone else is paying more for local public works than you are. You are getting a disproportionate benefit from these things. That's redistribution.

Does the firetruck come to your house and spray water on it just for the hell of?

Quite frankly, your stupidity is frightening. I'm not even spending anymore time on this. You're a complete moron.

[-] -1 points by DavidMD (-7) 7 years ago

They do not come any dumber than what you are.

[-] -3 points by Grimreaper2 (-318) 7 years ago

Yes that is redistribution of a sort. That is different is that isn't what is being discussed. Redistribution by reds is a whole different animal. And that is what is being proposed. Let me know if you need help understanding what I just posted.

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

'Redistribution by reds is a whole different animal' - What does that mean? What's a 'red'?

What was being discussed was progressive taxation. Yeah. I'm not sure what you're talking about.

You said - 'For 99% of human history taxes have NOT been redistributive' - which is just completely wrong. The only question is whether they are regressive or progressive. But it's always redistributive.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

that's all the two party candidates can say

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Bush Tax Cuts Explained


How Bush Tax Cuts Blew Up the Deficit and Debt


Top 1% Tax Cut Greater Than 99% Income


Voodoo Economics Bush Tax Cuts


[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

There is no greater example of trickle down than what the Fed has been doing the last 3 years. Literally giving trillions to the banks to do with it as they please. Its fucking up the entire globe, and yet no one wants to cover it.

That is what a centrally planned planet looks like.

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Trickle down from the Federal Reserve is routinely reported by Max Keiser.

Max Keiser on Enemas of the State


[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Trickle down from the Federal Reserve is routinely reported by Max Keiser.

Max Keiser on Enemas of the State


[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

No, I realize that its all over the interent if you look in the right spots, and Max is a good spot to go to.

Im saying its mum in terms of politics.

[-] 0 points by Justoneof99 (80) 7 years ago

Reagan started??? You begin with a false premise and end with an incorrect conclusion.

The tax cuts of the 1920s:

The share of the tax burden paid by the rich rose dramatically as tax rates were reduced. The share of the tax burden borne by the rich (those making $50,000 and up in those days) climbed from 44.2 percent in 1921 to 78.4 percent in 1928.

The Kennedy tax cuts:

Just as happened in the 1920s, the share of the income tax burden borne by the rich increased following the tax cuts. Tax collections from those making over $50,000 per year climbed by 57 percent between 1963 and 1966, while tax collections from those earning below $50,000 rose 11 percent. As a result, the rich saw their portion of the income tax burden climb from 11.6 percent to 15.1 percent.

The Reagan tax cuts:

The share of income taxes paid by the top 10 percent of earners jumped significantly, climbing from 48.0 percent in 1981 to 57.2 percent in 1988. The top 1 percent saw their share of the income tax bill climb even more dramatically, from 17.6 percent in 1981 to 27.5 percent in 1988.

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Reagan tax cutting stands out.

Why Tax Cuts Hurt the Economy


How Reaganomics Destroyed the Middleclass


Reagan first cut taxes and then had to increase them.

Soon after taking office in 1981, Reagan signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in the postwar period. The 1981 bill also made certain business deductions more generous. In 1986, Reagan lowered individual income tax rates again, this time in landmark tax reform legislation. As a result of the 1981 and 1986 bills, the top income tax rate was slashed from 70% to 28%. Despite the aggressive tax cutting, Reagan couldn't ignore the budget deficit, which was burgeoning.

After Reagan's first year in office, the annual deficit was 2.6% of gross domestic product. But it hit a high of 6% in 1983, stayed in the 5% range for the next three years, and fell to 3.1% by 1988. So, despite his public opposition to higher taxes, Reagan ended up signing off on several measures intended to raise more revenue. "Reagan was certainly a tax cutter legislatively, emotionally and ideologically. But for a variety of political reasons, it was hard for him to ignore the cost of his tax cuts," said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together "constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime," Thorndike said. The bills didn't raise more revenue by hiking individual income tax rates though. Instead they did it largely through making it tougher to evade taxes, and through "base broadening" -- that is, reducing various federal tax breaks and closing tax loopholes.

Reagan on Taxes


What People Forget About Reagan


Kennedy on Taxes


The 1920 Depression


The Great Crash


Tax cuts give tax payers money to invest. Savings accounts are earning less than 1%. Brokerage accounts are risky and have no FDIC-type protection. The small investors are naked. This economic environment, following Harding,Coolidge and Hoover, has been recreated by laissez faire Reagan and Bush government policies, incompetence, deregulation, corruption, and fraud.

Bernie Sanders on Class Warfare


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

If you really want to fight "Trickle Down," "Tax Cut Maniacs," you have to understand them/it first. The Beast

The "Beast" is the Milton Friedman, some Nazi science, Chicago School of Economics, Lewis Powell Memo, ALEC, RW thinktank, concoction. "Shock Doctrine."

The Beast didn't fail, DID NOT FAIL! It succeeded phenomenally!!

It was never meant to repair and enhance the general economy, or subsequently improve the well-being of the general society. The opposite, so it did not fail.

This is Class War.

[-] 3 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

ok. What do we need to know?

I've seen some of Naomi Klein's videos. The class warfare theme has been lurking in the background for over a century. That Republicans are accusing Democrats of waging class warfare in the 2012 election seems ludicrous in light of their voter suppression strategies being exposed in Pennsylvania and Florida.

The Tax Cut Maniacs seem to have forgotten that Republicans invented the income tax in the 19th century. Are they now trying to exterminate it? These new age Republicans are going to end up with huge negative budget numbers when the tax cut ends up going out of the country. Shouldn't the tax cut be conditional upon domestic investment?

During the Great Depression both the Republican president (Hoover) and the Democrat president (Roosevelt) had high-end tax brackets above 70%. Roosevelt's high-end tax bracket was higher than Hoover's. That's the way to go. You could depend on FDR and the Democrats. The country might benefit from a tax bracket above 90%. Think bigger.

The finance sector has turned into a jungle with interest rates on savings accounts south of 1% and brokerage accounts without FDIC protections. Small investors face extinction.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

“ok. What do we need to know?” Old Machiavellian practices still in play.

Our rich elite loved the Gilded Age, deeply resented the populace push back, took various measures to remove and suppress any future retaliation, and enjoy it’s massive resurgence with impunity and entitlement, today.

By incorporating the Republican Party the elite added a political party to their army of lobbyists, lawyers, media and banksters to apply undue influence on our government and the public to their benefit. Accusing the Dems of “waging class warfare” is a specious tactic to counteract factual charges that they are effectively waging class war on the 99%, and retain impunity. Any perception of impropriety or ludicrousness is trumped by counter attack overkill.

These elite have shed any real regard or allegiance to country, replacing it with an insatiable acquisition of wealth, unmitigated greed. But they speciously show their regards by advocating “freedom and liberty.”

The “financial sector” from Main street to Wall Street serve as apparatuses, casinos and deliver systems for the overall redistribution of wealth to the Elite, 1%. And by hoarding this wealth, restricting employment, and influencing government they preempt most public insurgency. Except during elections, where the public still has the ability to go to a ballot box and retaliate, [should they choose to do so]. But they're working on that, too.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

There's one org that is willing to do something about this situation, and they've got the ability to distribute information to the masses.


[quote] Our politicians do not serve us; they serve the multinational corporations that pay them. It's time to change that. Let's end the corporate takeover of our government. [end quote]

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

We need to remove the money. That will require a massive education campaign.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

It's not like you have a choice.

The militant take-over of both your government, and your constabulary is at full tilt.

The only hope in that department is the wising up of some members of the lower ranks in the military.

It's now or never, people. What will you tell your children when they are born into slavery again?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

As long as they have the ability to freely starve or freeze to death any way or place they choose, the RepubliCons will call it liberty and freedom.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Time to reclaim the English language then.

Direct democracy, and civil disobedience is the path we need to focus upon.


[-] -3 points by zewa55 (-6) 7 years ago

Sorry, but we don't need more taxes to fund studies like why monkeys throw poop and how cow farts are killing us. There's a s-load of waste out there that needs to be fixed. The gubment should not be a jobs program.

We're so tax progressive now, other countries are avoiding doing business with us. If you can't see that, you aren't seeing the whole picture.

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Progressive taxation? Where? Show us your proof. Tax rates are at their lowest levels and the least progressive they have ever been in over 100 years.

If other countries are avoiding doing business in the US it's not because of taxes. On a weighted average effective rate basis, the average corporate effective tax rate, which is approximately 25%, is in line with other OECD countries.

Is the CBO wrong when they say that corporate taxes paid as a percent of profits are at their lowest levels in 40 years? While corporate profits are at a 60 year high. Is the CBO wrong when they say that corporate tax revenue to the government as a % of GDP is at historic lows? Down from 6% of GDP in the 1950's to 2% of GDP.

Is the CBO wrong about all of this? Jeesh! If you have some better information that conflicts with the CBO you better call them quick! And get them straightened out! No wonder everythings all fucked up. The CBO didn't get zewa55's input on their tax revenue analysis!

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Epic fail. On so many levels.

First -

The Atlantic article attempts to prove that the US has a more progressive tax structure than other countries. And the author, by his own admission, is unable to do so.

He says 'For the reason I just gave, this does not prove that the US tax system is more progressive than anybody else's'. Because the 'share' of taxes paid by any particular socio-economic group does not prove progressivity. The author states this directly. The author and I both understand this. Evidently you do not. That when the largest socio-economic group (ie: the middle class) is financially healthy, the more financially healthy, the larger their 'share' of the total will be. You clearly didn't even comprehend this article.

Further, I stated that our tax rates are the lowest and least progressive they have been in over 100 years. I did not say they were any more or less progressive than other countries.

Second -

The reason article - again, this compares the US to other countries. Of course our tax structure is more progressive than Europe. Because Europe has a regressive structure. So of course by comparison the US is going to look like it has a progressive structure.

You fail again.

Third -

The Daily Caller - right wing rag, but I'll comment anyway just to show how stupid you are. Whoops sorry. I can't even get past the title of this stupidity.

'America has industrialized world’s most progressive income tax, says The Tax Foundation'.

We've already covered this above. Even funnier. There is no serious economist on the planet who believes 'The Tax Foundation' is a reliable source!! lmao. You have got to be kidding me!

I'm not even going to waste my time with that last article.

Everything you site as proof is total crap. Your proof that US tax rates are progressive is that European tax structures are regressive. Yeah - you're a fucking idiot.

Between 1930 - 1970, for most of that period, the top marginal tax rate was 90%. Then lowered slightly in the late 60's to 70%.

Our tax rates today are the lowest and least progressive they have been in over 100 years. Done. You fail.

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

So do you think the money from tax cuts would go into your savings account where it would earn south of 1% or into your brokerage account where you could lose all of it because you didn't know or understand the risk?

The higher taxes may provide grant money for undergrads, grad students and post grads. Higher taxes would also fund anything the private sector won't do, which provides value to the nation such as the construction of large tracts of $50K houses and manufacture of $2K green automobiles.

[-] -1 points by zewa55 (-6) 7 years ago

We don't need any more grant money. We've promised too GD much and it's time to put the brakes on and start paying it back. That includes YOU. Not just some other person, because you think you're entitled to a free ride.

We have a debt of $50,000 for every person in the United States. Those are government numbers: www.usdebtclock.org

There's no "value" unless people buy things on their own without having to be cajoled by artificial inducements and subsidies. Sorry, we're in a global economy and we're losing the competition. Central planning doesn't work and it has never worked... or didn't you get the 10 zillion memos on that subject yet?

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

"We don't need any more grant money. We've promised too GD much and it's time to put the brakes on and start paying it back. That includes YOU. Not just some other person, because you think you're entitled to a free ride."

Me? Just how were these tax cuts supposed to work? A tax cut is a reduction in taxes. The immediate effects of a tax cut are a decrease in the real income of the government and an increase in the real income of those whose tax rate has been lowered. By definition, the tax cut wasn’t just a free ride. It was analogous to giving the free ride, plus spending money to the free riders in first class seating with no strings attached to spend at the casino, while coach class had to pay higher fares. The tax cut mania projected higher revenues.

Depending on the original tax rate, tax cuts may provide individuals and corporations with an incentive investments which stimulate economic activity. Politically Conservative opinion-makers have theorized that this can generate additional taxable income which could generate more revenue than was collected at the higher rate, although this view is almost universally rejected by economists. The longer term macroeconomic effects of a tax cut are not predictable in general, because they depend on how the taxpayers use their additional income and how the government adjusts to its reduced income.

Wiki Tax cut


Obviously, the higher revenue didn’t happen. It is easier to make money with currency speculation, short selling, investments overseas and money laundering. The would be investors are waiting for the new tax rates and Obamacare to be settled before they invest their tax savings into the economy.

The way the debt is paid back is by taxation. No gimmicks, smoke, mirrors, sleight of hand, or loop holes should be buried into the new tax code. The tax laws should be even more progressive. Thirty-five percent tax rates for the top tax bracket is not high enough. Mitt Romney plans to create 12 million jobs in the middle class, so they can pay the brunt of the tax bill.

Why not tax 99% above $100,000? FDR once said government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob. For example, Mike Bloomberg, third-term mayor of New York City spent $100 million of his own money to win the election by nearly 21,000 votes. He maneuvered the City Council into repealing the two-term limitation to allow his re-election. He also used his wealth to usurp the existing legal term limit.

2009 NewYork City Mayor General Election


Mike Bloomberg has an estimated $25 billion net worth today, an increase of approximately $20 billion in 10 years. Hypothetically, a 4% annual return on investments in the bond market for $25 billion would be equivalent to $1 billion. Interest rates in the bond market are typically higher than 4%. Ninety-nine percent tax on $1 billion would still leave $10 million annual income, which still is a lot of money for 1 year.

Wiki Michael Bloomberg


The effect of campaign financing has transformed the democracy into an oligarchy. The vast number of millionaires and billionaires and their ability to manipulate public opinion has replaced government of the people, by the people and for the people with politicians for sale. Why haven’t the wealthiest among us created jobs in this country instead of participating in anti-egalitarian political aggression? They truly may not know how to actually create jobs, only how to make money. Since the country is going broke, the government should consider the 99% tax bracket a solution in lieu of tax cuts.

The ever-escalating national debt will hit and then surpass the size of the entire U.S. economy this year -- an ignominious distinction previously achieved by the likes of Japan, Italy and Greece.

1) The Top 1% Owns 40% of the Nation's Wealth:

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz points out the richest 1% of Americans now own 40% of the nation's wealth. This disparity is much worse than it was in the past, as just 25 years ago the top 1% owned 33% of national wealth. How much does the bottom 80% own? Only 7%.

2) The Top 1% Take Home 24% of National Income:

While the richest 1% of Americans take home almost a quarter of national income today, in 1976 they took home just 9% -- meaning their share of the national income pool has nearly tripled in roughly three decades.

3) The Top 1% Own Half of the Country's Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds: The Institute for Policy Studies illustrates this massive disparity in financial investment ownership, noting that the bottom 50% of Americans own only 0.5% of these investments.

4) The Top 1% of Americans Have Only 5% of the Nation's Personal Debt:

Using 2007 figures, sociologist William Domhoff points out that the top 1% have 5% of the nation's personal debt while the bottom 90% have 73% of total debt.

5) The Top 1% Are Taking In More of the Nation's Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s: Not only are the wealthiest 1% of Americans taking home a tremendous portion of the national income, but their share of this income is greater than at any other time since the Great Depression, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities illustrates in this chart, using 2007 data.

Top 5 facts about the richest 1% in the USA


"We have a debt of $50,000 for every person in the United States. Those are government numbers: www.usdebtclock.org There's no "value" unless people buy things on their own without having to be cajoled by artificial inducements and subsidies. Sorry, we're in a global economy and we're losing the competition. Central planning doesn't work and it has never worked... or didn't you get the 10 zillion memos on that subject yet?"

The economy is in trouble because the middle class salaries are not high enough to buy the products the country makes. We don't need globalization. Americans invented most of the stuff running the modern world: telegraphs, telephones, television, airplanes, electronic computers, atomic energy, Internet, space travel, personal computing, stem cells, synthetic biology, genetically modified agriculture. Alexander Graham Bell, Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, et al didn't start out as millionaires and then started inventing stuff. Many Architecture, Engineering, Science and Technology students need grant money and financial support to keep America moving forward.

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

They should study why people would vote for the Republican candidate.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Here's the real picture. The lower 90% received just 3% of the increase in income over the last 40 years.


[+] -4 points by Grimreaper2 (-318) 7 years ago

The government is not more capable of managing the economy.

[-] 5 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

So you're an Anarchist/Libertarian.

What flavor do you prefer? Rothbard, Tucker, Hayek, von Mises, other?

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Neither is Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan, Citi, BofA, Wells Fargo, et al or Jed Clampett. What the banks might do is make a profit borrowing from the Federal Reserve at the lowest interest rate and lending that money to their customers at a higher interest rate. Nothing is clever or magical about that.

Jed is a Millionaire


It's really interesting that Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt, using the excuses of depression and war, permanently enlarged the income tax. Under Hoover, the top rate was hiked from 24 to 63 percent. Under Roosevelt, the top rate was again raised—first to 79 percent and later to 90 percent. In 1941, in fact, Roosevelt proposed a 99.5 percent marginal rate on all incomes over $100,000.

Did the country experience more growth under this taxation because the Government could redistribute the wealth into the economy for the benefit of national objectives rather than have untaxed wealth focused on private efforts much smaller in scope? The New Deal was clearly the most ambitious legislative program ever attempted by Congress and an American President. Progressive politicians saw their wildest dreams come alive. The Great Depression created an environment where the federal government accepted responsibility for curing a wide array of society's ills previously left to individuals, states, and local governments. This amount of regulation and involvement requires a vast upgrading of the government bureaucracy. An armada of government bureaus and regulatory agencies was erected to service the programs of the New Deal. Collectively, observers called them the "alphabet agencies." While the CCC, CWA, and WPA were established to provide relief for the unemployed, the New Deal also provided a program intended to boost both industries and working Americans. The National Industrial Recovery Act contained legislation designed to spark business growth and to improve labor conditions. The National Recovery Administration attempted to create a managed economy by relieving businesses of antitrust laws to eliminate "wasteful competition." The NRA, like the AAA for farmers, attempted to create artificial scarcity with commodities. The hope was that higher prices would yield higher profits and higher wages leading to an economic recovery.

Would our economy be in better shape if Obama and our other recent presidents had been American History majors?

To avoid charges of SOCIALISM, the NRA allowed each industry to draw up a code setting production quotas, limiting hours of operation, or restricting construction of new factories. Once the President approved each code, pressure was put on each business to comply. A PROPAGANDA campaign reminiscent of World War I ensued. Firms that participated in the NRA displayed blue eagles reminding consumers of a company's apparent patriotism.

To enlist the support of LABOR UNIONS, the NRA outlawed child labor, set maximum hours, and required a MINIMUM WAGE. The greatest victory for labor unions was the guarantee of the right to collective bargaining, which led to a dramatic upsurge in union membership. Unfortunately, the NRA did little to improve the economy. The increase in prices actually caused a slight slowdown in the recovery. Workers complained that participating industries found loopholes to violate minimum wage and child labor obligations. When the Supreme Court finally declared the NRA unconstitutional in 1936, many had taken to calling it the "National Run Around."

Perhaps Roosevelt's most significant "Alphabet Soup" creation was the Tennessee Valley Authority designed to electrify rural America by harnessing natural resources. Similar projects on Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers would create thousands of jobs and provide renewable hydroelectric power and flood control throughout the Midwest.

The government blazed other new trails by creating the TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY in May 1933. The geography of the Tennessee River Valley had long been a problem for its residents. Centuries of resource exploitation contributed to soil erosion and massive, unpredictable floods that left parts of seven states impoverished and underutilized.

Funds were authorized to construct 20 new dams and to teach residents better soil management. The hydroelectric power generated by the TVA was sold to the public at low prices, prompting complaints from private power companies that the government was presenting unfair competition. Soon FLOOD CONTROL ceased to be a problem and FDR considered other regional projects.

There seemed to be no end to the alphabet soup. The SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) was created to serve as a watchdog on the stock market. The FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY (FHA) provided low interest loans for new home construction. The HOME OWNERS LOAN CORPORATION (HOLC) allowed homeowners to refinance mortgages to prevent foreclosure or to make home improvements. The UNITED STATES HOUSING AUTHORITY (USHA) initiated the idea of government-owned low-income housing projects. The PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION (PWA) created thousands of jobs by authorizing the building of roads, bridges, and dams. The NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION (NYA) provided college students with work-study jobs. The NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD (NLRB) was designed to protect the right of collective bargaining and to serve as a liaison between deadlock industrial and labor organizations.

FDR's Alphabet Soup


Obviously the Republicans have been spent many sleepless nights for 70 years since Franklin Roosevelt's death to attack, rollback, confound, undermine and kill the New Deal to the extent the extinction of organized labor began with Reagan, the extinction of Glass Steagall began with Bill Clinton, while preservation of tax cuts for the rich survives even though there are no secure financial services that guarantee a safe modest return on investment. Typical interest rate on high-yield savings account today is about 1% while 30 years ago the interest rate was about 8%. This scheme of lowest interest rates on savings forces capital into riskier investments without FDIC protection.

Max Keiser Report Fraud on Wheels


Max Keiser Report on Fraud & 60 Orgasms


[+] -6 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Tax itself can be debated in two forms as to constitutionality but progressive tax is both unconstitutional and highly prejudicial, and none of this redistribution that everyone supports ever occurs; all is corruption in the sense that 95% of the taxpayer obligation is imposed without our consent.

If we were taxed at but a total of 10% , the ratio of that which is spent to spur economy, to that which is privately horded as wealth, would outweigh that which we currently receive of government.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

"Tax" is the payment or compensation for goods and services rendered, and the price of a civilized society.

"Redistribution" is the funneling of wealth from the 99% by Republicon and Wall Street criminals to their 1% Big$ Bosses!!!

[-] -3 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

As you may or may not know, Supreme Court judges rarely venture any further into the mind's of our nation's nation-builders than the Federalist papers; Hamilton here appears as a "Federalist," a proponent of big government: he is Washington's mouthpiece; Washington/ Hamilton on plenary powers/ the "General Welfare", i.e., taxes:

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America."

James Madison, author of the "Virginia Plan," a Federalist, America's greatest political student, possessed of the mightiest pen:

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

Franklin on "redistribution":

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

Although ideas changed over time, it is yet very difficult to take their words "out of context" to use to our own self-purpose. Because they wrote to posterity; Washington himself, most succinct, every word is precisely placed.

Washington on change:

"[W]e ought to deprecate the hazard attending ardent and susceptible minds, from being too strongly, and too early prepossessed in favor of other political systems, before they are capable of appreciating their own."

You Sir,

Are a traitor to your country and to countrymen everywhere.

As is our present government.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

FUCK You! you stinking pile of crazy shit!!!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Areas where our current welfare are prevalent prove that our current way of dealing with poverty is an abissmal failure.

How to turn it around is a good discussion. I personally think that education is the way out.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

REPUBLICON and Big$ hostage taking are wholly and entirely to BLAME!

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

We can talk about who it to blame endlessly.

The discussion of what is the answer, what are the policies/societal changes needed is probably a more productive use of time.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

NO, we can't!

REPUBLICON and Big$ hostage taking are wholly and entirely to BLAME!

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

So after you got rid of them, then what would you do?

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago

Your thinking realistically you cant do that on these forums

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

haha, I know, did you see the borderline dictator regime he proposed?

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago

yeah the one that is a few post down

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

What would you do? is the real question.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

A) I would legalize drugs. The black market drug trade leads to a lot of bullshit in communities, and leads to a lot of people going to jail as well.

B) Education. Education on all things, from career skills to overall career advice. Education workshops opened up in previously abandoned buildings. And create some sort of reward system for bringing in more people to the workshops, to encourage spreading the word.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Legalize all drugs, tax and regulate, treat abuse through the health care system, not the penal system.

Education overhaul. Remove Texas and religion; and return thousands of banned books and subsidized college to our once great educational system. Make the base compensation package for teachers equivalent to the highest in Congress. Establish a new R&D department to evaluate the worlds education systems and share accordingly.

Remove private money from government, establish instant runoff elections, include multiple parties, prosecute crimes against humanity, nationalize Wall Street, end offshoring and tax havens, label RW Hate radio and Fox Lies XXXX and regulate accordingly, crack down on RW militias, ban assault weapons and drastically restrict weapon ownership, unionize all labor, include a labor cabinet seat and establish labor lobbies, establish "livable wages." mandate healthy fastfood and clearly warning label unhealthy foods and products. Institute an automatic $10,000 fine for striking a pedestrian or bike with a car, "Manhatan Project" for alternative energy. etc

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Is there an existing government with a labor cabinet seat?

Your plan is anti-fascism since you take the lobby from Corporations. I wonder if there has ever been a government with a strong "labor Base" that started wars?

BTW you need a special license to buy or own an automatic weapon in the US. We don't really have any crime committed by assault weapons.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

You're out of "reply" buttons. Re: below.

I'm not a teacher, I'll remind or provide prompts, the learn'n is up to you, do it.

Corrections are another thing:

Hitler and his fascist Nazi Cult exploited the disgruntlement of Germans at that time (even to the point of manufacturing it), just like RepubliCons do here, today.

Labor Unions never even made it to 40% and compared to the ever-increasing executive wages/salaries, corporate profits and capital gains, the labor that created all this wealth has received pathetically paltry compensation and has been stagnated since the 70s. And to add insult to the injury of being excluded from the wealth their toil created, added benefits have be stolen and discontinued. OSHA regulations were stripped in the first months of the Bush-Cheney regime.

So nearly everything you posted below was wrong.

Research before you post!

[-] 2 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

You posted: Make the base compensation package for teachers equivalent to the highest in Congress. Well How much will that cost??? Seems like you could do some research on your Platform and make it a new string. You plan probably about 1,038,K High School Teachers, 1,656,K K-seconardy teachers, 642K = 3,336,000 * $200K = Total Dollars of $667.2 Trillon a year for teachers. (2010 survey)

Is that what you got? Or Didn't you do your Research? I guess you have never worked in an office...or been a teacher. Your statements seem inflated or not well explained. Sure we have a competition in laxity in our government regulators...BUT we still have OSHA.

Here is a List of 15 Cognitive Errors/Cognitive Stitortions that might help you explain your Ideas better. Remember we all have Biases that cloud our Writing.

I would also suggest you create bullets when you present your Platform in a new Post...It helps organize your ideas and get your Points across.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago


Aurora theater shooting.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

Well we are on the same side... I just don't get much info from your text. I suppose Germany has a Labor Cabinet seat and has started wars. I'm just not sure what you are saying and I don't know the history. Fascism certainly capitalized on the complaints of Labor in germany...in rising to power...and seemed to have the position that they must expand to deal with economic woes...

But really you have to be impressed with the Rise of Union power in the US to gain safety and wages across the USA. It was a fight of Capital against Labor. Labor finally won safety and benefit. But in the end Wages were higher than they should have been and pensions seem higher than they should ahve been. But ....benefits and safety were apporpriate.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Out of replies and maybe you mind.


If criminal Big$ Mobs were "too big to fail" then Teachers are Too Important to Shirk!!!

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Wow....You are quite the fascist arent you?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

No, the fascist drift to the Right requires corrections. Righties find that harsh.

RE original question: Republicons have held back, dammed up, decades of progress. When we remove the Cons, and blow the dam, progress will rush until "things" get back to normal again!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Fascsism is a perversino of right and left, because while it requires no laws for the very top, it requires the gov protect them (like the bankers running wild) and the gov bury their competition in regulations.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Can you imagine what our world would be like today if retarts like you inhabited colonial government? We'd probably be on our hundredth coup by now, living in the rubble of nationwide destruction, of that which had once been ours.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago


[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

So you are against helping the poor, because the 1%'rs from 240 years ago said as much?

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Yes, because your definition of helping the poor is funneling the money of working class people into the hands and coffers of corrupt governance; the poor as reliant and dependent on corrupt governance will always be poor; it's merely an effort to enrich those connected to the party.

If you were truly interested in helping the poor you'd create a non-profit to do precisely that. And you have an entire world of resources directly in front of you, at the end of your fingertips, to do that.

So, what's it all about, Alfie?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

"your definition of helping the poor is funneling the money of working class people into the hands and coffers of corrupt governance; the poor as reliant and dependent "

Nah. I don't believe that. That's you kying to paint me in an extreme way so you could feel good about the selfishness and greed you must exhibit to support the soulless policy you push.

Face it Progressives believe "we are in this together" and don't conservatives believe "you're on your own".

Progressives believe in a hand up, not a hand out. We want all people to have equal opportunity. And any money required should never come from middle class. It MUST come from the 1% and the big corps.


[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

I'm already paying 45% of my income in tax; I am on my own, and therefore "self-ish."

You need to face it: the Progressive movement had to gather kids about them to empower themselves; those kids have no concept of what your "we're in this together" even means.

If you were truly in this, "we're in this together," you wouldn't be here stumping for dollars - you'd be distributing them.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

You resort to more personal attacks because you lack facts to back up your argument.

How do you know how much dollars I distribute?. And why would you say I'm stumping for dollars?. I ain't.

Make some sense and refrain from getting personal you know nothing about my personal life and it just ain't relevant.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Because you are... all politics is economic at the core. In a world where resources are represented in dollars, "we're in this together" must ultimately boil down what to the Left has labeled as "redistribution, and not of the wealthy who are empowered to legislate, but of those in the middle who are saddled with an AMT which this Congress has steadfastly refused to address, and to the comfortable working class whose economic position is already rather precarious.

I can break this all down logically for you, but who has the time? And I think most are simply tired of the conversation.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

You just know what you are talkin about.

I would simply submit that conservatives have redistributing the wealth of the middle class to the wealthy for 3 decades.

It's time to take our money back.

Why would any middle class person disagree with that.?

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

And you suspect, what? That the Fed is going to lower our taxes? Has Obama lowered our taxes?

All these young people whom you extracted this dedication to your just society from will suffer personally later in life for not taking care of business now. And the generation that follows, if they are not completely enslaved, will do everything in their power to correct this deficiency. Or families will not survive.

Try taking this kumbaya stuff to Alaska, try it on there in the fall, see what happens in winter. And if it doesn't work there, it won't work anywhere.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Pres Obama has lowered annual taxes on middle class families an average of almost $4k.

And cut taxes 18 different times on small business.

So you claim the progressive policy (which you have gotten wrong, & misrepresented) will some how hurt people years in the future?

Sounds like just more fear mongering. You just don't want to help any one.

Are you against Social security & medicare for the elderly like Romney/Ryan?

What about health care for all? Is that gonna hurt us later on?

[-] 0 points by marvelpym (-184) 7 years ago

Looks like that $4K is going away though, no matter what.


"will cost a typical worker about $1,000 a year, and two-earner family with six-figure incomes as much as $4,500"

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Yeah I read thearticle so I saw the quotes you cut n pasted. But you haven't answered why you think the repubs did it.

I never believe lying repubs. They never seem to have objections to tax cuts for the wealthy.

And if they cared about SS they wouldn't be trying to destroy it with privatization. They would also eliminate the payroll tax cap.

Why do repubs only work for the 1% & against the 99%?

[-] -1 points by marvelpym (-184) 7 years ago

Why did they oppose it? Because Obama wanted it.

Why is Obama not pushing for its renewal?

Do yourself a favor and don't believe either party.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

You think I'm gonna believe what you tell me to, just cause you command it?

LMFAO. You think very highly of yourself.

I can't speak for Pres Obama but I think he has a tax plan in mind that will help the middle class (as this one did) and include some wealthy increases.

So maybe he figures hewill give it back in some other way whilerestoring SS funding payroll deductions

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Why did the repubs resist this tax cut?

[-] 0 points by marvelpym (-184) 7 years ago

i said a lot of people thought it wouldn't do much good. read the article. it's all there, including the Dems who want it to expire.

"The payroll tax holiday was intended to be temporary and there is strong bipartisan support to let that tax provision expire," said Sen. Orrin of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. "The continued extension of a temporary payroll tax holiday has serious long-term implications for Social Security and, frankly, it's not even clear that it has helped to boost our ailing economy."

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Do you remember the battle Pres Obama had with repubs when he wanted this tax break?

Why did the repubs resist this tax cut?

What do you support?

[-] -1 points by marvelpym (-184) 7 years ago

A lot of people though it wouldn't do much good. Looks like more do now

Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, a senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said he thinks there is evidence that the tax cut helped the economy. But, he added, "I'm not sure that it met expectations."

Pelosi, Geithner, etc. looks like everyone's going to let them go. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I support lower taxes. Not a popular thing to say, but someone has to say it :)

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Would you mind pointing us to that tax law that has lowered our taxes? Because I'm not feeling it; either is anyone else that I know and I know thousands of people, hundreds that I interact with on a daily basis. Point me to that tax law, so that I might inform the people, because poor people nationwide could use that hidden 4000 bucks that the Fed has failed to tell us about.

The progressive agenda will hurt young people in the future, yes. Because at this age they should all be dedicated to promoting self and family; the life of the working and middle classes is precarious at best; if not approached with dedication and determinism, they and theirs will not survive; the problem is that you are far too selfish.

We can understand the need of second and third generation wealth to distance themselves from Daddy's business, and decry his work ethic, but the voice of your agenda drowns out the real issues of people nationwide; at the moment, you're kicking them when they're down.

My feeling on Social Security is that it has been so frequently threatened by corrupt governance that young people have come to regard its survival as tenuous at best; delete it - refund every dime we have ever paid, with interest, and delete it. One more time: if you are unwilling to secure it, delete it.

Medicare? You're joking right? We have presidents who continually seek to reduce our benefit, while simultaneously our doctors flee. In the future, the American working class will have no healthcare; the middle class will struggle with the 2 or 3000 dollar a month insurance payment, while our tax dollars are subverted to the healthcare of those on the other side of the border.

You want to help OWS reduce corruption and improve governance? Leave them alone so that they might self-promote core American values.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

You think OWS is against SS & medicare? LOL. I don't think so. That is you and your republicans.

Ss & Medicare are excellent programs doing just fine. Only minor tweaks required for decades of solvency.

So times are so tough our young people can't be responsible for their fellow man?

Wow. Like survival of the fittest? Where have I heard that before.? hmmmmm. Paul R ayn Rand?..............SATAN?????

Sorry that's not the America I know. The America I knowderives strength in numbers. Progressives= "we are in this together" Conservatives= "you're on your own"

That's just vacant and self destructive, can't buy into that greedy selfishness.

[-] -3 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

No one should can, or should, accept responsibility for their fellow man that is incapable of caring for himself; how is such a proposition even possible?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Aaaaah so it's ok for you to take from the govt. But no one else.

I understand.


Peace. Good luck in all your good efforts.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Most people care for others.

THAT is when America is strongest. You got it wrong.

I'm sure you and family have benefited from govt help. Everyone has, weather SS, medicare, gi bill. whatever.

Peace, Good luck in all your good efforts.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

We've benefited, yes. But we contributed far, far more, than any benefit ever derived of government.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Why don't you care about other people?

[-] -2 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Why should I care about other people? Do you think these recipients of your tax dollars even know who you are? Do you think they'll remember you at Christmas time? I mean, get real. I don't give a rat's ass about anything non-existing, and if you don't know them, do not meet them, do not see them, that's exactly what these people are - non-existing. You're asking us to be charitable in a way that is essentially impossible. Actually what you're asking for, is a greater Federal bank account. And we're saying, NO.

Setting this aside, though, I think there are any number of ways that young adults can lend aid to others through charitable organizations, and I don't have a problem with that.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Of course I've taken care of elderly family, disabled family, uneducated family, disadvantaged. and so on. Of course. If I didn't I would be inhuman.

For those people who are not my family I support that we as a people as the family of humanity help all our fellow citizens. No middle class tax increases for this. Only tax increases on the wealthy.

What would happen to those people who can't help themselves under your plan?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

It don't know and I don't care; helping all of our fellow citizens has never been a personal goal, or a personal concern: if that's what you're into, have at it. Start a charity, start a non-profit, become a minister, because that's what they do. But don't demand that others share in your effort to aid others through use and misuse of their tax dollars.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

So what happens to the people who can't take of themselves?

Disabled,? Elderly,? uneducated? Disadvantaged? oppressed?

Kick 'em to the curb? Send 'em up the mountain? fuck 'em?.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

You know something, I don't believe you will be caring for anybody because I don't believe you are capable of caring for anybody. But YOU should take care of these people, because obviously you feel it's your responsibility.

On the other hand, if you would prefer to beat them, send them over a cliff, or have sex with them, that's fine by me.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

What should happen to the people who can't care for themselves.

kick to the curb.? Sent into the mountain? fuck 'em?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

Review human history; what happens to the poor?

And this is why young people should strive to be un-poor. And they can't do that when surrounded by leaches saying you must share what you have; if they did, who would strive to achieve?

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

The purpose of tax is to support government. The government is supposed to provide for the common defense, promote general welfare, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Citizens should feel obligated to pay taxes as acts of patriotism.

Free markets are not perfect. Manipulated markets are even less so. Assuming income comes from market activity, an individual’s income has a degree of uncertainty. And just as random forces may cause flooding and drought, storms, extreme winds, snow fall, extreme heat that require government intervention. The economy and markets are subject to random forces that cause concentrations of wealth and poverty that need government intervention to regulate.

Imagine how excessive concentrations of wealth can affect the economy, laws, and politics in an egalitarian society. Money must circulate throughout the economy. The flow of money is analogous to blood circulation. Blood carries oxygen. Money carries the economy. Hoarding money has undesirable effect of taking it out of circulation, creating economic deprivation and poverty. An economically healthy society ensures its wealth is optimally distributed. The government is tasked with promoting general welfare, and domestic tranquility. The optimal redistribution of wealth maintains the economy.

The progressive tax creates tax levels for different income gradients. The historical record for progressive tax brackets reveals a healthier economy when there was a 90% tax bracket. Obviously something has gone wrong with the lower tax brackets, the assumption that tax cut savings would be invested into the general economy, and it would raise the national standard of living.

Jed is a Millionaire


Amendment XVI (Ratified February 3, 1913)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Bankzilla Too Big to Fail


Who killed Glass-Steagall?


[-] -3 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

If our tax was truly progressive it would also tax those on the bottom; it does not. Nor do they feel obligated.

And I do not feel obligated to pay federal and state taxes; in fact, I consider it un-American to pay taxes.

You have plagiarized: "to provide for the common defense, promote general welfare, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." It wasn't taxes that were created for this purpose - it was the federal CONSTITUTION which, as you know, no longer exists, thanks to politically minded courts.

The Constitution is not a mandate to tax; it is a mandate to afford some maximum freedom and limit taxation.

Federal tax and spend is out of control; get a grip, and while you're at it, get a job. Because you should be putting your money where your mouth is.

[-] 2 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

Welcome to the 20th century. The Constitution was amended many times. The 16th amendment made the income tax Constitutional in 1913.

The financial requirements of the Civil War prompted the first American income tax in 1861. At first, Congress placed a flat 3-percent tax on all incomes over $800 and later modified this principle to include a graduated tax. Congress repealed the income tax in 1872, but the concept did not disappear.

After the Civil War, the growing industrial and financial markets of the eastern United States generally prospered. But the farmers of the south and west suffered from low prices for their farm products, while they were forced to pay high prices for manufactured goods. Throughout the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, farmers formed such political organizations as the Grange, the Greenback Party, the National Farmers’ Alliance, and the People’s (Populist) Party. All of these groups advocated many reforms (see the Interstate Commerce Act) considered radical for the times, including a graduated income tax.

In 1894, as part of a high tariff bill, Congress enacted a 2-percent tax on income over $4,000. The tax was almost immediately struck down by a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court, even though the Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Civil War tax as recently as 1881. Although farm organizations denounced the Court’s decision as a prime example of the alliance of government and business against the farmer, a general return of prosperity around the turn of the century softened the demand for reform. Democratic Party Platforms under the leadership of three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, however, consistently included an income tax plank, and the progressive wing of the Republican Party also espoused the concept.

In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.

16th Amendment US News


After the Civil War, nearly all the wartime taxes—including the nation's first income tax—were repealed and the federal government relied mostly on the tariff for revenues. It provided the government with more than ample peacetime income. In 1882, the government had revenues of $403 million, but expenses were only $257 million, a staggering budget surplus of nearly 36%. The reason the tariff was so high was, ostensibly, to protect America's burgeoning industries from foreign competition.

Of course, the owners of those burgeoning industries—i.e., the rich—were greatly helped by the protection, which enabled them to charge higher prices and make greater profits than if they had had to face unbridled foreign competition.

But the tariff is a consumption tax, which is simply added to the price of the goods sold. And consumption taxes are inherently regressive. The poor, by definition, must spend all of their income on necessities and thus pay consumption taxes on all of their income. The rich, while living in luxury, bank most of their income and largely escape these types of taxes.

As the vast surpluses piled up in the Treasury, the political pressure to institute an income tax on the rich grew steadily. In 1894, with Democrat Grover Cleveland in the White House and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, a federal income tax became law. The new tax, however, was very different from the Civil War income tax, which had exempted only the poor. The new one hit only the rich, imposing a 2% tax on incomes above $4,000. Less than 1% of American households in 1894 met that income threshold. Needless to say, the tax was attacked in court, in a 1895 test case called Pollack v. Farmers' Loan & Trust. The case turned on the definition of a "direct tax," which the Constitution requires to be apportioned equally among the states according to population, something obviously impossible with an income tax. The court split 4-4 as to whether the new income tax was constitutional. One member of the court, Justice Howell Jackson of Tennessee, was absent because of illness (and died less than three months later). But with the case drawing enormous public attention, the court agreed to reargue it and Justice Jackson rose from his deathbed to hear it. Jackson was known to favor the income tax and it was assumed that it would now be upheld 5-4. But one of the other justices switched his vote (the opinion is unsigned and we don't know by whom or why) and it was voted down 5-4.

The income tax was dead. But the pressure to tax the incomes of the largely untaxed rich only increased, especially as the Progressive wing of the Republican Party grew in strength under Theodore Roosevelt. By the time of the administration of President William Howard Taft (1909-13) the pressure was becoming overwhelming. One representative suggested simply repassing the 1894 tax bill and daring the Supreme Court to overturn it a second time.

That idea horrified Taft, who revered the court. He feared that it would weaken its position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. He came up with a brilliant, very lawyerly, alternative: He proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize a personal income tax, while meanwhile imposing a tax on corporate profits. In the early 20th century such a tax was, in effect, a tax on the rich. As the corporate income tax is technically an excise tax, there was no constitutional problem. Taft's solution was implemented and in 1913 the 16th Amendment was declared ratified, just as Taft was leaving office. The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and the strongly Democratic Congress promptly passed a personal income tax. It kicked in at 1% on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7% on incomes over $500,000. But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones—a feature of the tax system ever since. Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged. As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes. It's a bit as if corporations were owned by Martians, otherwise untaxed, instead of by their very earthly—and taxed—stockholders.

This has had two deeply pernicious effects. One, it allowed the very rich to avoid taxes by playing the two systems against each other. When the top personal income tax rate soared to 75% in World War I, for instance, thousands of the rich simply incorporated their holdings in order to pay the much lower corporate tax rate. There has since been a sort of evolutionary arms race, as tax lawyers and accountants came up with ever new ways to game the system, and Congress endlessly added to the tax code to forbid or regulate the new strategies. The income tax act of 1913 had been 14 pages long. The Revenue Act of 1942 was 208 pages long, 78% of them devoted to closing or defining loopholes. It has only gotten worse.

The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided to claim that the rich are not paying their "fair share." Warren Buffett recently claimed that he had paid only $6.9 million in taxes last year. But Berkshire Hathaway, of which Mr. Buffett owns 30%, paid $5.6 billion in corporate income taxes. Were Berkshire Hathaway a Subchapter S corporation and exempt from corporate income taxes, Mr. Buffett's personal tax bill would have been 231 times higher, at $1.6 billion.

Just as in the late 19th century, the tax code is now hopelessly arbitrary and unfair. It requires a complete overhaul.

Short History of Income Tax by Jonathan Steele Gordon


Historically, income taxes became necessary because of war and excessive concentration of wealth. The recent series of tax cuts must have been designed to shield the concentration of excessive wealth during war time under a set of patriotic values strangely different from those held by government a century earlier. Consider the economic deterioration of the past decade the tax cuts and the current scheme of tax brackets may have done more harm than good.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 7 years ago

You know this is interesting except for one minor detail and that's that the 16th Amendment was never ratified; everyone in America knows it. Regardless, a law is not "law" unless it is empowered by the approbation of a majority. I fully support tax revolt, you fully support "gimme," call it "war."

[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 7 years ago

So don't sue somebody.

The 16th Amendment supersedes sections in Article I regarding taxation.

Amendment XVI (Ratified February 3, 1913)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 grants the federal government its power to impose taxes: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

The above section is limited by Article I, Section 2, Clause 3: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States….

And Article I, Section 9, Clause 4: No Capitation, or other direct Tax, shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration….

As contemplated by the Founders, direct taxes were required to be levied according to the rule of apportionment while indirect taxes were required to be levied according to the rule of uniformity. Thus, anytime Congress attempted to impose a direct tax; it was required to apportion the tax among the States according to the rule of apportionment.



February 03, 1913

On this date, the states of Delaware, Wyoming, and New Mexico approved the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratifying it into law. The amendment empowered Congress to impose an income tax on individuals and corporations. During the House debates of S.J. Res. 40, Members had debated the merits of collecting income taxes. Representatives Sereno Payne of New York and Samuel McCall of Massachusetts argued that income taxes should only be levied to raise revenue during times of war. Congressman Ebenezer Hill of Connecticut also worried that the tax could be unfairly levied on constituents in poorer states: “We are ready to vote for an income tax to meet any emergencies which may arise…and to stand by the Government in time of war; but do not ask us…without consultation with our people at home, to put this burden on them in addition to one already severe because of local expenditures… ” Representative William Sulzer of New York, a supporter of the tax, said, “I have been the constant advocate of an income tax along constitutional lines… I reiterate that through it only…will it ever be possible for the Government to be able to make idle wealth pay its just share of the ever-increasing burdens of taxation.” After a brisk debate on July 12, 1909, lasting for five hours, the bill passed 314–14, with 1 voting “present,” and 55 not voting. The 16th Amendment was the first change to the Constitution since the passage of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed African-American male suffrage, 43 years earlier, in 1870.

16th Amendment Ratification

http://artandhistory.house.gov/highlights.aspx?action=view&intID=286 [right click]