Romanticizing Taxation


#1

** The irresistible temptation to spend other people’s money

**

Contrary to what they say, the fiscal mess did not result from a failure to tax. Our problem is the politicians’ irresistible temptation to spend—other people’s money. If you don’t believe it, have a look at this OMB chart posted recently by Ed Krayewski at Reason. Revenues went up starting in 2004 (after the tax rate cuts) until the Great Recession set in. Spending climbed in good times and bad.

As Ron Hart points out, Bill Clinton’s balanced budget contained spending of $1.7 trillion. "Adjusted for inflation, our federal government would be spending $2.3 trillion today and collecting $2.5 trillion in ‘revenues,’ resulting in a $200 billion surplus. But instead of increasing government spending in line with normal inflation, under Bush and Obama we are spending $3.8 trillion today. Democrats, who believe we have a ‘revenue’ problem instead of a ‘spending’ problem, must also think they have a bartender problem, not a drinking problem."
No kidding. It strikes me as strange to see some Republicans on this site actually arguing for a “balanced” approach and supporting taxes.

Romanticizing Taxation - Reason.com


#2

Geez, with the current "tax and borrow and spend and spend and spend and spend and spend and spend (etc etc) politics in this country, I’m going to develop a bartender problem–because I need to drink to put up with the politicians, and bartenders won’t serve people who can’t pay…


#3

Cut taxes and watch us prosper. Cut spending and watch us prosper even more.


#4

Yeah, I expect to see fiscally responsible politicians make that kind of hard choice and make it stick. They’ll probably ride into Washington mounted on unicorns and pegasii and griffons, wielding Vorpal Pens of Budget Slashing, drive out the slithy toves in congress, and slay the Jabberwocky of spending and frumious bandersnatch of the deficit…

Sorry, CL. Knowing the answer doesn’t help much when the politicians won’t do anything about it.


#5

I agree.


#6

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:1, topic:37448”]
** No kidding. It strikes me as strange to see some Republicans on this site actually arguing for a “balanced” approach and supporting taxes.
[/quote]Possibly because they understand that if we just hacked a trillion dollars off the budget this year, we’d be right back in a recession and depending on how foreign capital responded, might send us spiraling into a depression.


#7

[quote=“CWolf, post:6, topic:37448”]
Possibly because they understand that if we just hacked a trillion dollars off the budget this year, we’d be right back in a recession and depending on how foreign capital responded, might send us spiraling into a depression.
[/quote]What has been passed off as spending cuts is, at best, microscopic. Few have seriously suggested slashing a trillion dollars at one go. No one in the federal government has seriously suggested any kind of real cut at all. Removing still more cash from the hands of struggling families, who have lost income and faced increasing costs just to survive, will not help those families. All it can do is put still more on the dole, and bolster still further the “we can’t seriously cut anything” excuse that cutting will put us in recession.

Soon, those complaining about taxes and spending won’t have to bother any more. They’ll be on the dole and not paying taxes either.


#8

We ought to be hacking the heads off of politicians! (I’m kidding…mostly)


#9

Richman made it very clear as if it really needed to be said at all: We the people have a spending problem. To argue anything else is absurd.


#10

I don’t have to bother. No more taxes for me for the foreseeable future. No dole, either, of course. Single, childless, middle-aged male…

EDIT: I intended to say, no one (tmk) has suggested the*** first dollar*** in reductions in actual current spending: all that has been proposed is reductions in the** rate of increase of future spending**… as if the next congress that comes along won’t just jack that rate right back through the roof again. And people keep sending these same scumbags back to Washington election after election. The political class is going to spend this country into oblivion, and nothing will change that until the people of this country learn the hard way that government is a permanently bad answer to a bunch of temporary minor problems…


#11

[quote=“qixlqatl, post:10, topic:37448”]
I don’t have to bother. No more taxes for me for the foreseeable future. No dole, either, of course. Single, childless, middle-aged male…
[/quote]Yeah. I think it’s hard to get on the dole that way, but there are ways. There are bureaucrats and nonprofit folks who specialize in guiding you to those kinds of resources.


#12

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:7, topic:37448”]
What has been passed off as spending cuts is, at best, microscopic. Few have seriously suggested slashing a trillion dollars at one go. No one in the federal government has seriously suggested any kind of real cut at all.
[/quote]I support some spending cuts and some tax raises. Specifically because I don’t think we can cut that much that quickly. The economy is no longer in recession, so we should stop running much of a deficit. If you can’t get there with only spending cuts, raising taxes is required.

Btw, I base this on the preponderance of evidence that cutting taxes loses revenue and raising taxes increases it. There is little point in getting into a debate with some who like to pretend that over a hundred years of global economic data is just a fluke and cutting taxes this time will totally raise more revenue because Reagan.


#13

Naw, you pretty much gotta hire a lawyer… (jk, I don’t know about that and I’m not planning to find out)

I’ll be okay. I have family, a place to garden, and I can hunt. Both vehicles are older and I own them outright. Since I have nowhere in particular to go, maintenance shouldn’t be an issue. It will set me back twenty years (except in actual age, of course, dadgummit!!), but it won’t actually cause me any harm. I just won’t be able to make any of those *evil *profits for a long time… and until the political climate changes, I won’t be interested in performing any labor that results in taxable income. Why should I?


#14

Heh, Ace of Spades pretty much sums up my feelings here.

EDIT: Got me some marshmallows, got me some sticks…


#15

[quote=“CWolf, post:12, topic:37448”]
I support some spending cuts and some tax raises. Specifically because I don’t think we can cut that much that quickly. The economy is no longer in recession, so we should stop running much of a deficit. If you can’t get there with only spending cuts, raising taxes is required.

Btw, I base this on the preponderance of evidence that cutting taxes loses revenue and raising taxes increases it. There is little point in getting into a debate with some who like to pretend that over a hundred years of global economic data is just a fluke and cutting taxes this time will totally raise more revenue because Reagan.
[/quote]Wouldn’t you like to see an actual spending cut someday? What do you think about our spending problem?

Just so you know, I’m not arguing about whether tax cuts increase or reduce revenue. Revenue isn’t the problem. Government spending more than it receives in tax revenue is the problem. Spending is the problem.

Contrary to what they say, the fiscal mess did not result from a failure to tax.

– Richman

Did you follow the facts presented about taxes and spending, surpluses and deficits here Ron Hart: Let’s get fiscal | trillion, spending, fiscal - Opinion - The Orange County Register as well as the summary in the OP?

In preparation for appearing on CNN, I read the Congressional Budget Office reports, which are like Ambien in ledger form. To sum up: We have made promises and increased spending to a level that we cannot sustain, and this must be addressed. Aside from more than** $16 trillion in debt, now 100 percent of our GDP**, it is estimated that with Medicare and Social Security we have $99 trillion in pending, unfunded obligations.
Emphasis added.

The ‘fiscal cliff’ is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for 90 percent of Americans, resulting in more than $500 billion in new taxes. Most sane economists agree that this will spark another recession. On the bright side, just to kick the can past the election road, the sequestration agreement (for whatever that is worth in Washington) says they have to cut $109 billion in expenses. Half of the cuts must come from entitlements, worrying the dependency-addicted Democrats, and half from our Defense Department, which concerns the trigger-happy Republicans.

In short, the “fiscal cliff” will play out like most political events. Politicians will do what they do best: kick the can down the road. They will probably let us go off the “fiscal cliff” so they can magnanimously “save us” from what they created. It will be more like a fiscal bungee jump, with some mishmash of agreements that preserve their jobs and sweep government growth under the table.


#16

What’s frustrating is how painfully simple is the solution: Democrats need to accept that we can’t afford their welfare state, and Republicans need to accept that we can’t afford their military state. Imagine how low we could make taxes if we cut the budgets for both the welfare state and military spending in half. And imagine what that would do for the economy. Richman is right: no one can take Republicans seriously on their spending reduction rhetoric until they’re willing to entertain serious cuts to military spending.


#17

I won’t pretend to be an expert on military spending (there is, of course, fraud waste and abuse rampant in the procurement process; it’s part of the government),and how much we need or what can and should be cut, but military spending isn’t (to me) what kills the republican’s credibility on fiscal issues: it’s all their welfare spending-- medicare part d, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, both stimulus packages, the republicans backed all of it.

I’m feel relatively certain that there are places where defense spending can be reduced without compromising readiness or effectiveness, but that will never happen, because the places where it could happen represent political payoffs to the cronies of powerful politicians. This is a bipartisan problem that congress has no intention of ever doing anything about. They enjoy being treated like medieval princes far too much for that.


#18

[quote=“J.Anderson, post:16, topic:37448”]
What’s frustrating is how painfully simple is the solution: Democrats need to accept that we can’t afford their welfare state, and Republicans need to accept that we can’t afford their military state. Imagine how low we could make taxes if we cut the budgets for both the welfare state and military spending in half. And imagine what that would do for the economy. Richman is right: no one can take Republicans seriously on their spending reduction rhetoric until they’re willing to entertain serious cuts to military spending.
[/quote]I’d be happy to see them willing to entertain serious cuts of any kind.


#19

It is almost impossible with all of the people who are dependent on those funds. For every law past an industry grows up around it. Those receiving their livings from the industry have a huge incentive to keep the gravy train going while the average tax payer may save a few dollars a year.

The military industrial complex has an even greater incentive because it makes billons of dollars a year. Truth be told it is a revolving door of politicians and CEOs that robs the American People of their wealth. The same goes with the banking industry. The game was figured out long ago and it is their job to keep the American people ignorant of the facts by controlling their education and the media they consume.


#20

Don’t give the American public a pass on this, either. By and large, they want to remain ignorant. Politicians are only telling Americans the lies that they want to believe badly enough to ignore all the evidence that what they are hearing is lies.