Sunday, August 26, 2012

Miscellaneous 139

1) Duquesne economist, Antony Davies, has crunched the numbers, and, even when you control for inflation and population growth, revenues to the federal government have essentially TRIPLED since the 1950s. He's also shown that, while the average price level has gone up 700% since the 1950s, the average per person cost of government has gone up 3,000%. I mean, I don't know about you but I find that pretty staggering, and for people to try and somehow advocate that this country has a revenue problem and not a spending problem - that seems more than a little off to me (though, yes, I am in favor of revenues being on the table as part of an overall deficit reducing package).............2) It really frustrates me that this country of ours isn't able to adequately support multiple political parties. Great Britain has 11 different parties represented in the House of Commons and Israel has 14 of them represented in the Knesset. The fact that we are STILL solely represented by the disgustingly "connected" and highly corrupted Ds and Rs is utterly dispiriting, I think.............3) Rest in peace, Neil Armstrong....So, I wonder if Chris Hayes feels "comfortable" using the term, hero, to describe Mr. Armstrong. Hopefully, yes, huh?

38 comments:

dmarks said...

And the increase in revenues as a result of Bush's tax cut program for the middle class in the previous decade far outstripped the year to year inflation during that time (sorry, WD)

w-dervish said...

You're apologizing for your delusion on this matter? If so, why not embrace the truth instead of clinging to the fantasy that is supply side economics? Then you'd have nothing to apologize for (on this subject, at least).

Answering the question "How the Deficit Got This Big" the NYT says, "The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions... the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect".

A vote for Romney is a vote for even larger deficits and even more debt. The bush tax cuts need to go! We do not need more tax cuts on top of them, as Romney is proposing. Not unless you want to destroy the middle class and the economy... as dmarks apparently wants to.

dmarks said...

WD said: "A vote for Romney is a vote for even larger deficits and even more debt."

And a vote for Obama with his choice of over-a-trillion yearly deficits and his being on track for increasing the entire national debt by $10 trillion is a vote for what, exactly?

Rusty Shackelford said...



For christ sakes dmarks.Why would you even waste your time responding to that ignorant one trick pony.He never has anything of substance to say...just tax the 2%....give some free stuff to him....put Bush in jail.

He's just a one message fool,best to ignore.

Rational Nation USA said...

I find the whole debate to be so ideologically driven that neither side has a complete grasp on reality.

1) Both Obama and Romney will increase the dept.

2) We need spending reductions that include defense cuts.

3) We need entitlement reform that gives people the incentive to work and save as well as investing in ones own financial security. Not just accept life on the public dole.

4) The tax system needs serious revamping that cuts out the myriad of loopholes, exemptions and deductions that exist in the tax code today. Both Will and I have put out similar plans that would accomplish this.

And yes, as the last rung to stop the free fall of this nation tax rates might just have to be raised.

I don't agree with much of what wd gas to say, but on this issue he makes valid points.

dmarks said...

I suppose Rusty is correct in his summary of what RN inadvertantly called "WD Gas".

The silly "kill George W Bush because he dared to defeat Gore" (by getting more votes on ballots that had real votes on them).stuff is tiresome. But that is a summary of his whole thing in that direction. And you are correct in your summary of his whole economic plan: employ the government to steal from those who create and earn and give it to those who are lousy at what they do. If they even try to do anything.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: The silly "kill George W Bush because he dared to defeat Gore"...

I agree completely. I am tired of your silly lies. If you're tired of them too... stop lying. Problem solved.

dmarks: ...employ the government to steal from those who create and earn and give it to those who are lousy at what they do.

Are you saying this is Obama's or my plan? No matter, neither of us has such a plan. Nobody has ever advocated this plan. This is just another of dmarks' silly lies.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I agree with you on the wars, wd (colossal expenditures that continue to bleed the treasury). But the tax cuts apparently did nothing deleterious to the revenue flow (the increase in revenues from 2003 to 2007 was actually one of the biggest 4 year increases in history) and the recession I personally pin more on Greenspan (with his low interest rates, flooding of the money supply, and creation of a bailout culture) than I do Mr. Bush.......I think that you just have to face it that Bush (just like with any other U.S. President) was essentially a mixed bag.

BB-Idaho said...

Neil Armstrong-hero?
All of that an much more. A decent
human being, topnotch test pilot,
excellent engineer, first man on the moon...and a quiet nice man.
Would there were more....

w-dervish said...

Will: the increase in revenues from 2003 to 2007 was actually one of the biggest 4 year increases in history...

I don't know where you're getting this from. Everything I've read says this is total nonsense. According to the Washington Post, "tax revenue has historically averaged 18 percent of GDP. [However] The average from 2000 to 2007... was 17.6 percent. By contrast, the average during the 1990's [during the years of Clinton's small tax increase] was 18.5 percent".

The Washington Post article also notes "the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that the 2001-2007 economic expansion was among the weakest since World War II with regard to overall economic growth".

If you actually believe voodoo economics works... then why the hell do you support a return to the Clinton rates? Wouldn't it be better to rob from the people less, thereby allowing the job creators to keep more of their own money which they can then use to create more jobs?

Will: I think that you just have to face it that Bush... was essentially a mixed bag.

No, he was one of the worst presidents in all of US history. Almost everything he did was bad.

w-dervish said...

Chris Hayes has said nothing about not believing Neil Armstrong was a hero. I find it quite slanderous of you to suggest otherwise. And, regarding the comments he actually made which you are referencing: I agree with what he said 100 percent.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It was a joke, wd. I'm sure that Mr. Hayes (just like the rest of us) greatly admires Mr. Armstrong.......And as far as the comments that he actually made, he himself must have thought that they were askew because he apologized (and it was actually a decent and heartfelt apology) for them.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And I got my data from the IRS. Tax revenues were 1.78 trillion in 2003 and increased to 2.57 trillion in 2007. That's nearly and 800 billion and 45% increase over those 4 years. Mr. Bush inherited a recession (not to mention the dot com bubble) and, so, yes, of course those early years of his Presidency revenues were on a decline. But the average unemployment rate during his Presidency was about 5%. I wouldn't mind getting back down to 5% again.

w-dervish said...

Will: bush inherited a recession.

Not so. Andrew Sullivan points out that, "The official date of the recession under Bush was March 2001 to November 2001, caused by the tech crash and 9/11. So it started under Bush's tenure". Also, it is important to note that "the fiscal results of the just-finished boom gave Bush a surplus - which he turned into our current massive deficit, by adding $5 trillion to the next generation's debt".

Will: And I got my data from the IRS. Tax revenues were 1.78 trillion in 2003 and increased to 2.57 trillion in 2007. That's nearly and 800 billion and 45% increase over those 4 years.

FactCheck.org says the increase can't be attributed to bush's tax cuts. Making this claim is "highly misleading" according to their analysis. Their conclusion is that, "it is clear [the tax cuts] did not increase revenues".

The increase was due to [1] getting us back to where we were following the recession (which bush did not inherit), [2] inflation, and [3] an increase in corporate tax revenue that was (partially) the result of the expiration of tax write-offs. According to the CBO, "revenue declined when the provisions were enacted and bumped up again when they expired".

Will: And as far as the comments that he actually made, he himself must have thought that they were askew because he apologized... for them.

IMO he apologized because [1] his comments were misinterperted -- intentionally (by some) for political gain -- and nobody would have believed a "if my comments offended anyone" BS apology that Republicans often use, and [2] to protect his reputation and livelyhood.

No apology was actually necessary because he said nothing offensive.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Just like you can't blame Obama for the problems in his administration early on prior to the enactment of his policies, you cannot blame Bush for the economic situation early on in his administration prior to the enactment of HIS policies.............And I never said that the tax cuts CAUSED the increase in revenues (I, unlike you, do not make causal connections based solely on correlational data), just that they did not a create a a dearth of revenue in their wake. Big difference.............Bush is in office for less than two months and the 2001 recession is his fault - LOL.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

From Wikipedia - "The actual burst of the stock market bubble occurred in the form of the NASDAQ crash in March 2000. Growth in gross domestic product slowed considerably in the third quarter of 2000 to the lowest rate since a contraction in the first quarter of 1991." So, while, no, the recession didn't officially start until March 2001, we were certainly headed in that direction prior to it.

dmarks said...

Sullivan is incorrect about any surplus. Checking Obamas's Treasury Department figures, it was solid debt all the way through Clinton and Bush. Clinton at the end ran unusually low deficits... but was never in the black.

What Bush did inherit was $1.6 trillion in fresh debt from Clinton's 8 years of defecits. He chose to make it more than twice as bad, just as Obama after Bush did.

w-dervish said...

dmarks: Sullivan is incorrect about any surplus. ...it was solid debt all the way through Clinton and Bush.

It is a well know fact that Clinton ended his 2 terms with a surplus. The Clinton surplus was the rational bush used for the rebate checks that were issued. bush said there was a surplus because taxpayers had been "overcharged". Come on, dmarks! Everyone knows this! Enough with the feeble attempts to rewrite history.

Will: Bush is in office for less than two months and the 2001 recession is his fault...

I did not claim that the dot com bubble bursting was bush's fault. I only pointed out that it occurred after his presidency began, so he didn't "inherit" it. Also, 9-ll occurred on his watch and due to his negligence, so he is responsible for the hit the stock market took because of the terrorist attack president Gore would have prevented.

I think Bruce Bartlett had it absolutely right when he pointed out that, if bush had continued the Clinton tax and budget policies, we "would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000".

Will: And I never said that the tax cuts CAUSED the increase in revenues (I, unlike you, do not make causal connections based solely on correlational data)...

You strongly implied that the bush tax cuts lead to an increase in revenue. In any case, dmarks IS making that correlation, and you NEVER criticize him with the "I, unlike you" insult.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

"But the tax cuts apparently did nothing deleterious to the revenue flow." Those are my exact words. The implication that you are putting forth is totally in your head.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And he did inherit a significant slowdown that was leading to the recession. 9/11? That occurred 6 months after the recession officially began.

Jerry Critter said...

RN,
You made several very good points...that everyone seems to have ignored.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

He did, Jerry, and I agree with you, him, AND wd that the Defense Department needs to cease being such a sacred cow.

Rational Nation USA said...

Jerry, I am typically ignored because while can be caustic at times, note several recent posts at RN, I carry no water for any ideology, other than Classical Liberalism and common sense. It does not endear me to either the right pr the left, a situation I'm perfectly good with.

Thanks for noticing Jerry, nd I think you get where I'm coming from.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BB-Idaho said...

Bush must have been mistaken when he signed the tax cut package and
announced..""We recognize, loud and clear, the surplus is not the government's money," he said. "The surplus is the people's money. And we ought to trust them with their own money."

w-dervish said...

Will: But the tax cuts apparently did nothing deleterious to the revenue flow. Those are my exact words. The implication that you are putting forth is totally in your head.

They did. As I already pointed out, "tax revenue has historically averaged 18 percent of GDP. [However] The average from 2000 to 2007... was 17.6 percent. By contrast, the average during the 1990's [during the years of Clinton's small tax increase] was 18.5 percent".

Regarding your exact words, you also said, "the increase in revenues from 2003 to 2007 was actually one of the biggest 4 year increases in history". I did not see "which may or may not have been due to bush tax cuts" following that sentence. The implication was very clear and not "in my head".

dmarks: ...the raw treasury dept figures show there was never a Clinton surplus.

You're looking at the wrong numbers! We've been over this before. You think that because Clinton didn't pay off the debt run up by Reagan and GHWB there wasn't a surplus, which is idiotic.

If you look at Clinton's budget (what Clinton spent, and NOT what past presidents spent, and not interest on what past presidents spent), there MOST ASSUREDLY was a surplus. This is an undeniable FACT.

dmarks: Bush proposed his middle class tax package in order to help the economy and to boost overall revenues. Both results happened; so it is reasonable to see a correlation.

The bush tax cuts for the rich depressed revenues and added massively to the debt... as I proved with my previous comments. Revenues only increased due to inflation and increased corporate taxes.

If Obama had repealed the bush tax cuts as his first order of business the economy would be in much better shape now than it is. If Romney is elected and he manages to get his tax plan enacted... there will be a depression for sure.

BB-Idaho: Bush [said] "...the surplus is not the government's money..."

Indeed. Even bush recgonized the fact that there was a surplus. I think it's pretty scary that dmarks delusions cause him to even disagree with his hero. According to dmarks bush was wrong when he admitted there was no WMD and blamed an intelligence failure.

Now we find out that dmarks thinks bush was wrong when he spoke of the Clinton surplus and used it to justify the "refund" he gave!

What is really strange is that dmarks trusted bush completely when it came to invading other countries, but thinks bush is so stupid that he mistakenly thought there was a surplus when there wasn't (according to dmarks).

dmarks must think bush was little more than a highly functioning moron.

dmarks said...

WD lied: "You're looking at the wrong numbers! We've been over this before. You think that because Clinton didn't pay off the debt run up by Reagan and GHWB there wasn't a surplus, which is idiotic."

1) Clinton himself ran up a massive debt also.

2) Interest on outstanding debt is part of a budget.

Do you really think that in a household budget, interest on a mortgage is not part of the budget at all?

Perfect example of you cooking the numbers and leaving out facts which make your case look completely wrong.

Look at WD. He claims someone has a surplus because he arbitrarily removes from consideration a major part of the debt and spending.

"If you look at Clinton's budget [while lying and forgetting to include a major part of it] there MOST ASSUREDLY was a surplus. This is an undeniable FACT."

Wow. Yes, of course it is a fact that any budget can be made into a surplus if you use accouting fraud and ignore debt and expenditures.

dmarks said...

WD said "What is really strange is that dmarks trusted bush completely when it came to invading other countries, but thinks bush is so stupid that he mistakenly thought there was a surplus when there wasn't (according to dmarks)."

Bush told the truth about Iraq and Afghanistan. As for the budget figures, I am getting these from Obama's own treasury department website. The surplus only exists if you engage in sort of accounting fraud and lie about the budget.

w-dervish said...

A household budget and the budget of a government are not the same thing! If you really think they are: you should march into your boss' office tomorrow and demand a pay cut. Why? Because, according to you, cutting income leads to economic activity that increases revenue. Therefore demanding a pay cut from your boss will actually increase your income!

Interest on the debt can't be included when looking at Clinton's budget... because it wasn't Clinton's debt!

In determining if Clinton ran a surplus I looked at what Clinton collected minus what he spent. I didn't lie (like dmarks) and include interest on money other presidents borrowed.

The surplus only stops existing if you engage in accounting fraud and lie about about Clinton's spending including interest on what other presidents borrowed.

Finally, bush lied about Iraq and Afghanistan.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, you're including the early years of the Bush administration in which he inherited a contracting of the economy and the final year in which we had a recession (and even then you're trying to make hay over a .4% overall reduction). The 4 years immediately following the tax cuts eventuated in a 45% increase in revenues.......And it WAS in your head. I gave you my exact words and just because I didn't shade it to your exact mental needs isn't something that I lose a lot of sleep over. And you know my position (the scientific one) regarding correlational data. You can NEVER infer causality from it (like you do all the damn time; the "Spirit Level", a perfect example).

dmarks said...

It was Clinton's debt, wd. He inherited some debt from others and chose to add to it in a massive way.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

In 1998, the TOTAL national debt went up 113.0 billion. In 1999, it went up 130.1 billion. In 2000, it went up 17.9 billion. And in 2001, it went up 133.3 billion. The only reason that these 4 years showed a surplus was because Clinton and Gingrich raided the Social Security Trust, the Unemployment Trust, the Civil Service Retirement Trust, various transportation trusts, etc.. Yes, the deficit was greatly reduced during the Clinton-Gingrich years but to say that it totally disappeared is probably incorrect.

Jerry Critter said...

Will,
If you want to pick and choose years, let's look at revenue increases after Clinton RAISED taxes in 1993. Revenues increases about 75% between 1993 and 2000.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

A lot of other things happened during the Clinton years besides that 1993 tax increase. There were also spending cuts, trade agreements, welfare reforms, and even a capital gains tax CUT. But I will in fact agree with you that the tax increases up to 39.6% (a significantly less of a tax increase than the 152% increase of Hoover in 1930) did not have the deleterious effect that a lot of the conservatives said that they would.

dmarks said...

Will said: "In 1998, the TOTAL national debt went up 113.0 billion. In 1999, it went up 130.1 billion. In 2000, it went up 17.9 billion. And in 2001, it went up 133.3 billion."

Thanks for revealing the cold hard facts of the constant Clinton surplus. Good riddance to WD, the liar with the black crayon who arbitrarily scribbles out parts of the actual historic budget in order to create a fake picture of what happened to try to make Clinton look better.

"Yes, the deficit was greatly reduced during the Clinton-Gingrich years but to say that it totally disappeared is probably incorrect."

Exactly. Credit where credit is due: under Clinton and Gingrich, the deficit got very low. Fact checking, though, where fact-checking is due: Both Clinton and Gingrich claimed they are responsible for the surplus... but in fact there never was one.

Jerry Critter said...

What is usually said is that Clinton balanced to budget. The operative word is budget. He did balance the budget, but there are other items off budget that still contribute to the national debt so while there was a budget surplus, it was not enough to keep the debt from increasing.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

This usually pisses off both sides but I really like Bill Clinton (I'd certainly take him over his 2 successors). And I also think that he and Gingrich were one of the better political odd-couples of the 20th century (right up there with O'Neil and Reagan and LBJ and Dirksen). I mean, those 2 blankety blanks really rolled up their sleeves and actually got some stuff done (Erskine Bowles was huge in some of those negotiations, I gather).