Sunday, November 07, 2010

Imaginary Losses

A debate is underway concerning the federal income tax rate. On January 1st tax rates are scheduled to increase for all taxpayers. Democrats want to keep the current lower rate for those with incomes of $250,000 or less while Republicans want the current lower rate extended for all taxpayers.

"How will you pay for the lost revenue?" asked the interviewer of the Republican politician.

This seemed to me a funny question. How will I pay for having lost the $100,000,000 Powerball lottery?

There really isn't any lost revenue. The tax rate would remain the same. Revenue would increase or decrease a bit based on total economic activity.

A liberal might say that there is a loss of anticipated or hoped for revenue. But can you really lose what you never had to begin with? Apparently liberals think so.

Enough blogging. It is time to lament the losses of my mistress Cindy Crawford and my NBA contract.


Sean Cranley said...

Semantically slice it anyway you want to, the Bush tax cuts, which the Bushites and Republicons in Congress never offset with spending cuts are a huge reason for tremendous national debt run up the national credit card in the last 10 years and for the current budget deficit. Not to mention the off-budget wars for fun and profit, the unfunded Medicare Part D, the Bush Obama TARP and yes the Obama stimulus bill that kept the GOPconomy from going over the cliff.

Considering that the Teabaggers are all up in arms about the national debt, shouldn't we repeal all of the cuts? I think so, anyway. That would shave $1.75 T-TRILLION of the debt over the next 10 years ($1T from <$250K, $0.75T from >$250K).

Seems like quite Righydeologue's dilemma. Which is going to be? Taxcuts or deficit reduction? I prefer the latter, but I'll bet on the sacrosanct former from our new freinds in the House.

Denis Navratil said...

The semantic slicery in this example is being done by the lefties Sean.

Your tax cuts or deficit reduction question presents a false choice. The answer is both. Tax cuts will grow the economy and, like in the Bush years, increase tax revenue. Increase taxes and you will decrease economic activity and ultimately tax revenue. That's why socialism always fails Sean. You are correct that spending was excessive in the Bush years but naturally you don't credit Dems for contributing to the problem. The problem unfortunately was bipartisan. Increased tax revenue will help alleviate the problem but can't fix it. The problem is excessive spending. In order to decrease the deficit we need to curb spending. I think the teapartiers will be helpful in addressing the spending problem.

Sean Cranley said...

Denis you get today's GOPster Gold star for orthodoxy. With new improved brand R you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

AND you get extra credit injecting the word "socialism"! Not there is any truth in your statement in regard to the presence of socialism here or its efficacy elsewhere, but it must be repeated incessantly to make it stick.

Bush's tax cuts didn't increase tax revenues, they increased because we came out of the business cycle recession that occurred in late 1999/early 2000. As a percentage of GDP, revenue actually went down.

The head of the non-partisan CBO agrees with me and disagrees with both Obama and the Republicons:

EXCERPT: "Testifying before the Senate Budget Committee yesterday, CBO director Doug Elmendorf destroyed the case for an extension of the Bush tax cuts in general, and President Obama's proposed extension of just the cuts for income under $250,000 in particular. First, he said, the tax cuts will not help the economy in the long-run. In fact, they'll hurt it. The new debt and the spending cuts and tax increases necessary to retire it will reduce future incomes and gross national product. Let the tax cuts expire, and incomes and the economy will be larger down the road.

But as much damage as he did to Republican confidence in tax cuts as an economic cure-all, he did yet more to the Obama plan, which he estimated would hurt the economy more than the Republican proposal, despite the fact that it would rack up less debt. There were technical reasons for this estimate, and Democrats will angrily question the CBO's model, but that's what the man said."

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, I am certain that it would be just too much to admit that the Bush tax cuts contributed to the end of the 1999 business recession. But it doesn't matter insofar as your admission of increased tax revenues confirms my point that we didn't have a tax revenue problem after the tax cuts. Rather, we had a spending binge that our current president makes look downright miserly by comparison.

I am not so impressed by the CBO's estimates. My guess is that they were probably wrong in their predictions concerning the Bush tax cuts. The reason is that the CBO underestimates changes in behavior that occur after changes in tax policy.

Sean Cranley said...

Denis the tax cut/increased revenue thing was disproved way back in the 80's when Reagan had his big cut and then had to repeatedly raise taxes to keep the deficit from spinning completely out of control.

The notion that the current deficites are Obama's fault and not the result of the tax cuts and the wars and most directly the decreased revenues from the GOPconomy S sandwich he was handed is a ludicrous but useful lie (Outside the reality-based community).

Oh and you forgot to use the word "socialism". The ownership is displeased, 5 demerits.

Denis Navratil said...

Let's end these deficit problems once and for all with a 100% tax rate. Are you with me comrade Sean?

Sean, on a somewhat related note, can you share with me the ways in which you depart from "progressive" orthodoxy?

Sean Cranley said...

"Comrade", "100% tax rate"? Obviously you've run out of rational responses.

First of all, liberals don't have nearly the litanny of dogma that conservatives do. You've heard the "herding cats" thing about us of course, whereas conservatives tend to be more top-down authoritarian, cuz yer all 'bout freedom.

For starters, I own guns and support second amendment rights within reason and with consideration of public safety, although I don't know that that's all that unussual.

I understand that that which is not grown is mined.

I think that one tweak to make social security solvent would be to raise the retirement age. If we're going to live longer, we're going to have to work longer.

I'm skeptical about the viability of rail transit outside major urban corridors.

Although best left up to the woman, I think that a solution to the abortion issue that would be acceptable to probabaly the 80% of Americans in the middle would be to have a cut off point sometime in the second trimester after which the life or health of the mother would have to be in serious jeopardy. How's that for starters?

Denis Navratil said...

Careful Sean, you sound nearly sane. That could get you kicked of KBR.