Warren Buffett: Raise Taxes On The Rich

In the New York Times:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Here is an issue the President can easily make his. He could of done it last December of course, but it is not too late.

Speaking for me only

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    Obama (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:15:09 AM EST
    just doesn't have the credibility anymore. In December he had to do nothing and wouldn't even do that.

    This isn't the first time (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Zorba on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:15:15 AM EST
    that Buffett has called for higher taxes on the rich.  One of his musings involves what he calls "the Ovarian Lottery."  What would you pay to be born here, rather than in Bangladesh?
    I've had it so good in this world, you know. The odds were fifty-to-one against me born in the United States in 1930. I won the lottery the day I emerged from the womb by being in the United States instead of in some other country where my chances would have been way different.

    Imagine there are two identical twins in the womb, both equally bright and energetic. And the genie says to them, "One of you is going to be born in the United States, and one of you is going to be born in Bangladesh. And if you wind up in Bangladesh, you will pay no taxes. What percentage of your income would you bid to be the one this is born in the United States?" It says something about the fact that society has something to do with your fate and not just your innate qualities. The people who say, "I did it all myself," and think of themselves as Horatio Alger - believe me, they'd bid more to be in the United States than in Bangladesh. That's the Ovarian Lottery.


    He's exactly right.

    You cannot (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:32:58 AM EST
    have at least one functional brain cell, read these two statements, and not realize what deep sh$t we're in. If Webster's ever needed the perfect example for "alternate universe" they've found it.

    Mr. Obama's senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact.

    A story on Thursday reported that the White House is going to begin releasing new job creation ideas each week. **********
    4 years after the blow-up, 2 1/2 years after his election, and this is what we get.

    Getting to be my favorite term.....:words fail."

    Sounds like Gerry Ford and his (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:47:36 AM EST
    Whip Inflation Now ("WIN") buttons.

    And about as ineffectual.

    How about "Beat Unemployment Today"  ("BUT" seems a good acronym for the way this crew of dipsh*ts have handled their job:  always an excuse for why they do nothing for anyone except their corporate masters.)


    how about (none / 0) (#110)
    by DFLer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:48:01 PM EST
    Create Another Job  or CAN

    more likely

    Create One Job  or CON


    Okay, I have a question that no one (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:43:13 AM EST
    seems to be answering:  what good does it do to raise taxes on the rich - much less anyone - if that additional revenue is not going to be spent back into the economy in the form of jobs programs, or other initiatives that will spur demand and get people back to work, but is instead just going to be used to offset the deficit?

    I don't think it does much good at all, and the consequence of doing it, and there being no tangible evidence that it helped is that the anti-tax crowd holds it up as proof that taking from the rich doesn't create jobs or drive the economy upward.

    And how will anyone prove them wrong?

    Here we are, coming up on three years since the economy tanked, and over two years since Obama took office, and all we're getting are ideas - most of which would fit on a t-shirt, as in "I've been out of work for two years, and I didn't even get this t-shirt from Obama - I had to buy it myself."

    Warren Buffet's right that there needs to be more fairness in the tax burden, but all the fairness in the world isn't going to help if the money isn't going to be spent back into the economy.

    Minimize spending cuts (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:50:03 AM EST
    at the very least.

    Minimize spending cuts, (none / 0) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:28:28 AM EST
    of which social security would be one.  Social security benefits offer, in essence, a monthly economic stimulus.

    SS is not "government spending" (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:09:42 AM EST
    It's entirely self-funded, has zippo impact on the deficit one way or another.

    Ironic (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:40:08 AM EST
    how the 'self funding' program is perpetually under attack and 'on the table' for cuts, whereas the completely unfunded Pentagon budget is sacred and untouchable. Can we finally dispense with the myth that funding a program with a special tax somehow protects it from deficit hawks?

    One more time (none / 0) (#104)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:37:00 PM EST
    Cutting social security would have no impact on the deficit.

    The people who want to cut SS benefits, including our darling president, want to do that to avoid raising the income cap on SS contributions.  That is all.


    I never once argued (none / 0) (#105)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:51:21 PM EST
    that SS has any impact on the deficit. My point was that the fully funded program is always under attack. The completely unfunded program is untouchable. Therefore, funding a program through a separate tax does not avoid it being attacked or put on the table. And yet that is the argument I always hear for why SS is funded by a separate tax and not out of the general budget, i.e. to protect it from deficit hawks.

    The federal government is fully self-funding. We might as well just let the federal government fund SS with fiat currency the same way it funds the pentagon, and eliminate regressive SS contributions entirely.


    What is more likely is the (none / 0) (#109)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 05:47:07 PM EST
    government will keep collecting the FICA and Medicare taxes and eliminate the majority of the benefits.

    Offsetting the deficit isn't (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:57:18 AM EST
    exactly a worthless endeavor, it would end how hot the balancing the budget fights are.  It would be easier to argue for direct stimulus via the government literally creating jobs.  It would lead to fewer cuts in Social Security and Medicare being considered, and every dollar they cut out of those programs will come right out of the Main Street economy...that money is a huge multiplier in what is left of our economy.  It would end the meme and the shock doctrine implanted fear that if we tax the rich, it will blow all of us up too.

    It would cool the intensity of the anger out there as this became a shared a sacrifice too.  It might prevent us from seeing riots.



    Especially when... (none / 0) (#39)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:24:22 AM EST
    the increased revenue is used for more war...foreign and domestic, and not to preserve vital spending or get the debt down.

    Ya don't start with tax increases...ya start with disbanding the DEA and eliminating all harmful spending, then ya look at tax increases, and last (hopefully it doesn't come to it) cutting the good spending.

    And another thing, what good is raising taxes on the uber-wealthy when the state just turns around and gives it back in the form of corporate welfare, subsidies, bailouts, and assorted protection racket services?  Cut to the chase, let 'em keep it, and save money on paperwork...why play games?


    "Saving money on paperwork" (none / 0) (#74)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:33:36 PM EST
    got my attention!

    Paperwork counts for a heck of a lot of jobs!  Keep in mind that we are a services economy now, a largely untaxed segment of the economy in states like mine (WA) who rely on sales tax revenue.


    We can pay people... (none / 0) (#75)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:41:57 PM EST
    to play with Leggos if we want, same difference.

    Like I always say, some jobs we don't want and are not productive in anyway...like collecting taxes with one hand and giving it right back with the other...I can think of better assignments for the unemployed...picking up litter, planting trees, grants to make art....anything but the protection racket paper shuffle.


    "Same difference." (none / 0) (#82)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:57:40 PM EST
    I recall an argument from the 60s/70s re the Pentagon budget..."let's just pay people not to build all those weapons!"

    Then there was the much-maligned McGovern plan to just give each citizen (family?) $1000 because they would spend it!  Was that ever hooted off the stage of ideas.  Unearned tax credits did surface later, tho.

    Personally, the paperwork thing just drives me nuts on every front.  From having to hire someone to do my taxes to filling out the healthcare forms over and over and over - much less trying to sort out the billings! - we have turned ourselves into a nation of parttime bookkeepers.

    I can't stand it.


    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:13:57 PM EST
    I know I leave deduction money on the table doing the 1040-EZ dance, but I just can't be bothered with more paper...I hate it too, and will pay the premium to avoid it.

    Paperwork is one of the (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:25:48 PM EST
    biggest costs in healthcare...lots of jobs in that growing sector.

    I dream of being a Canadian on their system...give me a card.  The end.


    Because they will raise taxes on the middle class (none / 0) (#60)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:02:29 PM EST
    in their endless pursuit of deficit reduction. It won't be called taxes but it will be nevertheless- ie the mortgage deduction will go away, the age of medicare will be raised , the benefits of medicare will be cut , the social security benefits will be cuts- those are all essentially tax rises on the middle class and poor - because the payroll tax is paid by every one that works and it is constantly used for other things and then they tell you oops we can't afford to pay that retirement we promised too bad. And worse the payroll tax isn't even on the total income you earn so the wealthy pay even less than the poor smuck that has a job.  

    I will try (none / 0) (#121)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 08:24:00 AM EST
    First let me say that I agree with you.  However there is one advantage to paying down the debt and that is this, the amount we pay in interest matters.  The less interest we must pay on debt the more money we have to spend on those things the government must spend money on, including things which stimulate the economy like medicare and social security.  Of course republicans and/or including president Obama do not see it that way.  To them, all spending cuts are about making sure the rich do not get taxed without first and foremost screwing the poor and middle class.

    Until he starts humiliating his rich friends (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:30:53 AM EST
    Shaming them for the crooks and careless anti-citizens they are, calling them out by name and fortune, then this, IMO, is Buffet salving his conscience.  He is, after all, as big an inside trading scam-artist as any other, he simply cultivates a more humble image.  But make no mistake, it is simply an image.  If he were really that concerned, he has all the power and money to change things almost by himself.

    most of you are missing the point of Buffets op ed (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    His point is why should working at a job subject you to higher tax rates than if you make your money by investing. He pays a lower rate than the most of the workers in his office primarily because most of his income is taxed at 15% the capital gains rate and those that actually work are taxed at 25%. This is the point that shoudl be shouted from the roof tops- and that might make even right wing republicans recognize how much they are getting screwed. Equal taxation rates for all income.

    All he has done is point out that (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:12:25 PM EST
    he didn't take advantage of just writing a check for whatever amount he feels is right.

    He whines too much.


    And, you wonder why (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:59:14 PM EST
    people here regard you as a dunce.

    Not me, but you know, "some people."


    A long-standing... (none / 0) (#90)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:17:52 PM EST
    tax inequity, well said.

    And don't get me started on how come the gambling rate isn't 15% like capital gains...gambling is gambling is gambling, be it horses or stocks or the lotto.


    Real Rich v Well Off (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by D Engage America on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    It is important to notice that Buffett is encouraging the government to raise income taxes on those making over $1 million. This is in stark contrast to the families making $250,000 that the administration wants to raise taxes on. The big difference between these two groups is that people making over $1 million are the "real rich" while people making $250,000 are simply "well-off".

    The reason the administration chose $250,000 as the cut off for being rich is that it invoked the tax levels during Clinton's period of economic prosperity in the 90s. The problem with using these rates is that they were not adjusted for inflation. When adjusted, $250,000 in 1993 is actually about $386,000 in 2011. http://eng.am/qsbKe6

    No one is arguing that families with income over $250,000 are struggling. However, they are not living a life of luxury like the millionaires that Buffett suggests raising taxes on.

    Meow. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:26:39 PM EST
    When that Cat Food II gang of 12 starts cutting those "promises" that America can't afford, I will be looking for the "means-testing" of Social Security and Medicare, both in increased premiums and decreased benefits to affect only the $l million/year group--or as a "compromise" the non-struggling $250,000/year.  Hope Buffett gets his oar in on that one.

    Something tells me that the (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 03:01:56 PM EST
    definition of "rich" will change drastically when it comes to means testing of Social Security and Medicare.

    The non-struggling $250,000/year who is too poor to pay a dime more in taxes will become the non-struggling $20,000 - $30,000/year who is so rich that they will be forced to pay increased premiums  and out of pocket expenses (don't forget that) while receiving decreased benefits.

    The non struggling $250,000 - billions/year cannot purchase cheaper goods when inflation reduces their actual income but the average $30,000/year recipient of SS will be able to find ways to reduce their housing costs, food intake, and do without medical care when inflation hits so that those non struggling $250,000 -  billions/year can maintain their standard of living.    


    Maybe, Warren Buffett (none / 0) (#108)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:41:42 PM EST
    has another NYT op ed scheduled for later this week that picks up on your cogent analysis.   Today being the first of a two part series--now that would dispel my suspicions about his article.

    send your comment to Warren Buffet (none / 0) (#122)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 08:55:37 AM EST
    since he can get an Op Ed printed that people read and the rest of us can not.

    it is too late. (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:15:15 AM EST
    it was too late by last nov., when the house went to the tea party loonies. unless you're suggesting mere publicity stunt efforts, efforts that will die still-born in the house.

    let's be blunt, obama's political skills are sadly lacking, 357.5 dimensional chess and all. at this point, he's also managed to irk the democrats in both houses, who aren't going to risk their necks for him.

    Yep, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:18:49 AM EST
    he had numerous chances to do this and never did it. So even talking about Obama doing it is silly to me.

    just cuz it is too late blah blah blah (none / 0) (#12)
    by seabos84 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:15:04 AM EST
    what does that have to do with reality!

    this is a PERFECT dlc - third way - blue dog - neo lib ploy -- spend the next year jetting around with hot shots like warren ...

    "Lessor of Two Evils"

    "We Need The House"

    "We Need 60 Votes"

    this crap has been working for decades, when you consider how comfy and how well paid the Democratic "leadership" is selling us out -

    BTW - I would HOPE that it would be a colossal failure, but, what I HOPE for and what happens ... ummm.



    still (none / 0) (#123)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:18:27 AM EST
    the congressional democrats will never fight him to the extent they would a republican president making the same proposals.  We may be better off with a republican president.

    Would that Mr. Buffett put his money where (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:18:10 AM EST
    his words are, and would fund real Democrats (or heretical Republicans) in their electoral campaigns against the other rich who are devastating the country.

    But, since Buffett isn't doing that (God forbid he actually spend his money that way), his op-ed is not so much a plea for sanity as it is one rich MoFo p*ssing on the grave of the middle class (and everyon other than his rich friends)while laughing his fool head off at their folly in putting themselves there.  Gloating, in a word.

    Or, he could put me on retainer.  $100k/yr would keep my mouth shut.  He wouldn't notice it - his worth fluctuates by far more in the course of a day just on the daily noise of stock prices and interest rate variation.

    Huh ? (none / 0) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:32:17 AM EST
    He has pulled back donations as the Democrats stopped fighting for Democratic causes.  He has been very vocal about it.

    What is your point, no can offer a economic solution w/o bucking up their fair share ?  That would pretty much end economic op-ed pieces.

    $100k/year to keep your mouth shut ?  You should be in Congress because that's pretty much sums up their take on the rich.  Good to see you fighting the good fight and pi$$ing on the middle class for cash.

    Way to bash a man who speaks out against idiots like yourself who are proud to take money from the rich to keep their mouths shut.


    I said Real Democrats (none / 0) (#47)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:54:23 AM EST
    not Obama democrats - who've proven themselves worthless time and again.  Buffett withdrawing contributions is one thing.  Actively funding insurgent real Democrats - like his fellow rich folks the Koch Brothers do with and for the Tea Party - is another, and that's what Buffett should be doing, if he's serious.

    That he isn't, shows he's just blowing off steam and gloating on behalf of his class.

    As to the rest in your comment, it's not worthy of further response.


    so because someone (none / 0) (#124)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:30:45 AM EST
    doesn't do all things the way you think they should, they should also not say things that should be said?  I have never found a single person, group or elected official who I agreed with on all things.  That doesn't mean that I reject those things they say or do that I do agree with.

    Obama will support incremental changes (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:53:32 AM EST
    to increase taxes on the top brackets.

    First tax reform, probably as part of the Cat Food CommissionII, will change the marginal rate for incomes over $379,150 from the current 35% to 23 - 29%. This would be offset somewhat by raising the marginal tax rate on people in the lower brackets paying 12% instead of the current 10%. Hey they don't have any power so what the heck.

    See how well Obama's incremental change policy will work for those who will help Obama raise $1 billion. Change you can believe in.  

    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#9)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:00:16 AM EST

    Because there are billionaires, the taxes should go up on a family of eight making $250k.

    Instead, you and the Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:03:21 AM EST
    would prefer to eliminate health care and all domestic services for a family of eight making $20k.

    Family of 8? (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:06:13 AM EST
    That's what you come up with? Have you ever considered doing stand-up?

    Already does (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:37:58 AM EST
    Let's get real, that arsenal we call a military keeps all those billionaires in power and rich on the globe, and a family of eight making $250k a year already does pay for it all.  Maybe they should pay more?  The little people that is, we need the rich people untouched so that maybe someday they'll "create" a job.

    Dunno about your work history (none / 0) (#21)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:48:30 AM EST

    Have you ever been hired by a poor person?

    I've never been directly hired (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:02:03 AM EST
    by a rich one either.  Everyone who has ever hired me has been middle class.  I don't have a very illustrious work history though, most of it spent in Wyoming.  Dick Cheney did live by me then at the Polo Ranch.  All he hired though was maids, and I'm sorry but I'm nobody's maid except for these yahoos around here and that's bad enough.  They pay me a lot more around here too than Dick Cheney would have.

    When Dick Cheney got tired of the Polo Ranch he sold it to the CEO of American Standard and probably bought some horrible shack in Jackson Hole :)


    Hey, there you go, thanks (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:51:27 PM EST
    You probably remember, the other day we were trying to come up with a good example of a "Jerk" saying something really stupid, yet believing it to be as clever as arm-pit farting at a Thanksgiving dinner.

    So, when you heard someone telling that idiotic "joke," you remembered our talk and decided to share that info with all of us.

    Thanks for remembering.


    Yep, I have (none / 0) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:16:22 AM EST
    Many people are hired by poor people both directly and indirectly. Poor people require child care, health care, lodging and food. They spend all of their income which goes into stimulating the economy and which in turn pays salaries.  

    I forgot about that indirectly thing (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:54:29 AM EST
    Thank you for the reminder.  When I worked within juvenile probation and also for a County Hospital...then yes, I derived a job directly from the poor and lower classes.

    IOW (none / 0) (#112)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:32:19 PM EST

    In other words, no poor person ever hired you for a good paying full time job.

    Seems we have more than a few examples (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:35:14 PM EST
    of the uber-rich hiring people at very low wages and refusing to pay them for the hours worked. The Whitman's and the Walton's come immediately to mind.

    I have done work for poor people and have always been paid for the work that I did. Same the Whitman's and the Walton's don't emulate them.  


    Edit (none / 0) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:36:19 PM EST
    Should read

    Shame the Whitman's and the Walton's don't emulate them.

    Since Federal taxes (none / 0) (#13)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:24:30 AM EST
    don't actually fund anything, they merely remove money from the economy, this idea won't do a thing to fix the economy.

    If Obama really wants to do something to fix the economy, a big if, then a better idea would be to substantially lower taxes on the middle class and poor. An even better idea would be to accompany such a tax cut with a large spending increase to make up for the enormous loss of spending that followed the housing bubble collapse.

    But if feel-good measures that do nothing are the best we can hope for from this president then I guess this one is as good as any.

    This misunderstands (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:50:45 AM EST
    that the current climate in DC is such that if taxes are not raised, then spending will be cut.

    IT is better to raise taxes on the rich than cut government spending.


    Where has Obama (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:53:37 AM EST
    ever said he will increase spending if only he could get a tax increase on the rich? Every statement on the subject I have seen from Obama has been to the effect that he would like revenue increases and spending cuts at the same time in order to reduce the deficit.

    Democrats (none / 0) (#34)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:13:40 AM EST
    have been losing this battle for a solid 30 years now. It's time to embrace the reality of how the federal government really funds itself, instead of continuing the pretense that it must borrow and tax in order to keep spending. If Democrats do not embrace reality they will continue to lose this battle, i.e. spending will be cut even as taxes on the rich are lowered.

    Federal Taxes (none / 0) (#17)
    by PatHat on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:41:32 AM EST
    don't fund anything? That's a surprise to me. I thought it funded the military, the various federal bureaucracies and tons of other stuff.

    Enlighten me.


    It's not that it doesn't fund anything, it's (none / 0) (#20)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:46:10 AM EST
    that it isn't required to raise revenue to fund anything.

    It was a surprise to me (none / 0) (#24)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:51:01 AM EST
    too when I first came to that realization, since I too had accepted the conventional wisdom that federal taxes fund federal spending.

    But the federal government is the sole legal issuer of US dollars. It funds all its spending by creating dollars and spending them. When it taxes it does not need or require that money for spending. It is simply removing that money from the system.

    Consider this: How would the federal government ever be able to tax (or borrow) money to fund its spending if it hadn't already spent money into existence for it to tax (or borrow)? If the federal government does not spend first, there would be no money for it to tax (or borrow)! Therefore taxation cannot possibly fund spending. Spending actually funds taxation as the government is always taxing back money that it previously spent.


    Then what are (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:44:44 AM EST
    Those are examples (none / 0) (#27)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:55:10 AM EST
    of how the government spends dollars that it creates.

    You can't just (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:03:51 AM EST
    have the government print more money - if there is nothing backing that money, that leads to inflation.

    From the link:

    In fiscal year 2010, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion, amounting to 24 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While the level of 2010 expenditures -- as a share of GDP -- exceeds those of recent years, the composition of the budget largely resembles the patterns of recent years. Of that $3.5 trillion, almost $2.2 trillion was financed by federal tax revenues. The remaining $1.3 trillion was financed by borrowing; this deficit will ultimately be paid for by future taxpayers.

    Not worth chasing your tail with this one :) (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:06:41 AM EST
    I know (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:15:31 AM EST
    But thanks for reminding me.  :)

    Spending fiat money into existence :) (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:18:55 AM EST
    Reminds me of that song.....Oh Oh Oh it's magic...ya know...never believe it's not so :)

    Then where does (none / 0) (#38)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:22:54 AM EST
    money come from, oh wise one?

    Once again the wise one will tell (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:27:36 AM EST
    you that the only way a fiat currency derives any worth what so ever is from its ability to charge and collect taxes.  Ours isn't doing so well lately in that department :)

    You didn't answer (none / 0) (#43)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:29:37 AM EST
    my question. Where does money come from?

    Where does the tax money come from? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:37:05 AM EST
    From the people.

    Where do the people get it?

    From their employers, from their investments.

    And where do employers get the money they pay their employees?  Where do the corporations get the money they pay out in dividends?

    From the people who pay them for their goods and services.

    And where do they get the money from?  Oh, wait, we've already covered that one.

    It doesn't take long to realize that we're all working with the same amount of money - when I get it, I get to add money to my account, and the entity or person that paid it to me gets to subtract it.  I have more and someone else has less - in the exact same amount.  Nothing's changed.

    So where does the money come from?  

    Hint: the answer is not that it comes from taxes.


    The worth the money represents is the same (none / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:06:41 PM EST
    though when the money is printed.  Keep in mind the average lifespan based on history for a fiat currency is 40 years...before it morphs into something that really gets its economy into trouble, then it usually has to be retooled somehow.

    The central bank raises interest rates to control inflation and it prints money at times to attempt to prevent deflation because deflation creates a lot of chaos and instability, some people like to call that volatility though.

    Creating more currency also has destabilizing aspects to it too though,it has repercussions that are felt throughout an economy, ripples just like throwing a rock into water.  Some are desirable and some not.  As Stiglitz pointed out before QE2, quantitative easing can address deflation worries and scares but when the U.S. does it it blows up commodities, starts starving the poor of the world, and creates currency wars as suddenly all currencies pegged to ours inflate.  Inflating currency inflates their debt, so they print more money attempting to devalue their currency....and then that props our currency up and we have to print more money again and at that point it just becomes stupid....or a race to the bottom as some have said.  During all this rippling too, many different entities within the economy will become instantly inflated or deflated and cause a lot of chaos, or what some people like to call volatility :)  I don't know where the end is in such currency wars the way that our global economy is structured now.


    40 years? (none / 0) (#67)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:15:37 PM EST
    A few days ago you told me 27 years. I really have no idea where you get that changing statistic and what you think it proves.

    You know what's more destabilizing than creating currency? Not creating enough.

    Very few currencies are pegged to the US dollar today. The Chinese renminbi is the only one of consequence. If it were to inflate that would drive down the US trade deficit, which is supposedly a good thing. I don't see the problem.

    I have never said anything in support of quantitative easing.

    Instantly inflated and deflated? Which is it? Causal link, please.


    You are right sorry (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:22:28 PM EST
    27 years average lifespan....ours is at 40

    I suspect (none / 0) (#72)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:29:22 PM EST
    that 27 year figure comes from the fact that the eurozone was begun in about 1998 when eurozone currencies were all pegged, which is 27 years after the Bretton Woods peg was ended by Nixon and all those currencies became full fiat.

    But that proves nothing because the eurozone countries voluntarily gave up their fiat currencies in order to join the euro. They didn't blow up. I really have no idea what you think any of this proves.

    And you still haven't answered my question: Where do you think fiat money comes from?


    It's history...and it's of the sciences (none / 0) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:59:29 PM EST
    History, arithmetic ;), and science matter unless you are someone who thinks everything can magically be solved by just printing more money, or a member of the Christian Right, or the tea party....and with those people such forms of education are only for those who desire to remain perpetually ignorant.  Everyone else is brilliant compared to those boring history, math, science idiots.

    There is nothing (none / 0) (#85)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:03:29 PM EST
    magical about money creation. It is well established that the government creates fiat currency. It does not pray to any gods causing the money to magically appear. That may be the preferred method for rainmaking in Texas, but it is not how the federal government creates money.

    We haven't had anything backing our (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    money since we went off the gold standard, so there goes that argument.

    So, here's a question for you: with deficits at high levels, why is inflation still so low?  Why are interest rates on government-issued instruments near zero?

    When is it better to borrow money - when it's less expensive or more expensive?  I'd go with "less expensive," which is why it makes more sense for the government to borrow more, cheaply, and spend it into the economy, into the hands of people who will keep spending it.

    The people have been so brainwashed by the "government budget is like a household budget" and "government's maxed out its credit cards," the media cooperates in delivering that message, and before you know it, the powers that be have the people right where they want them.

    It's just criminal, in my mind.


    Why would you borrow now (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by waldenpond on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:39:03 AM EST
    Hmmm... borrowing cheaper makes sense for a household, but the govt is not a household.  Why would it borrow now when it could print for free right now with little effect on inflation?  It can print even more money and go after the speculators that are creating commodity inflation and negate an upward push.

    The federal government (none / 0) (#50)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    just can't print more money and "poof!" all the problems will go away.  Otherwise - they would have done that.  

    That is Econ 101.


    No one has said that it's (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    "the" answer, only that it is "an" answer.  An answer to a very specific set of circumstances and conditions, and designed to shift the momentum from downward to upward.  As the spiral moves up, the government can pull back.  It's a tool, it's available, and it's both stupid and foolish not to use it.  

    Obama's stimulus was the equivalent of putting a 1/2 tank of gas in a car that needed a full tank to get where it needed to go.  Now, as the car is sputtering along, he wants to siphon what's left of the gas out of the car, drain the oil, remove a couple of tires, and call on those who have no cars and no gas to put the car on their backs and carry it along.  All the while knowing that (1) it doesn't have to be this way and (2) having the cash to repair the car and fill it with gas is really a push of a button away at his command to Treasury.

    No one's advocating reckless fiscal policy, other than Obama and his band of Deficit Hysterics.  Maybe it makes sense to you to impose needless sacrifice on millions of people - sacrifice that isn't going to solve the real problem - but it doesn't make sense to me, and there is a long, long list of economists, who I assume were able to pass Econ 101, who don't think it makes any sense either, which is why they've been advocating the need for the government to spend more to get the economy moving.


    They would have to at least (none / 0) (#51)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:26:30 AM EST
    spend that money for our problems to go away, not just print it.

    But I never said spending would make all problems go away. There are issues with too big to fail banks and underwater mortgages that still have to be sorted out. But increased government spending is a sine qua non of economic recovery.

    Citing 'econ 101' carries no weight with me. You know who wrote one of the most widely used econ 101 text books? Greg Mankiw, right wing deficit hawk. Deficit hawkery is econ 101.


    Deficit spending (none / 0) (#33)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:09:08 AM EST
    is the government printing more money. And yes you can have the government print a lot more of it when the economy is in the terrible shape that it's in. We are miles and miles away from the inflation barrier.

    The part you bolded is simply incorrect. It's the conventional way of phrasing things, but the federal government does not actually tax or borrow in order to fund anything. It funds itself by spending fiat money into existence, then taxes and borrows a portion of that money back in future years. There would be no money in existence for it to borrow or tax if it hadn't already spent it into existence first.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 10:16:59 AM EST
    I will take the expert opinion of the CBPP on this one.

    The Bush tax cuts in a nutshell (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:51:02 AM EST

    ...a better idea would be to substantially lower taxes on the middle class and poor.

    Now close to half of all households pay no income tax at all.


    Bush lowered taxes (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:58:32 AM EST
    more for people making over $311k than he did for anyone else. The rich got the biggest tax cut. I replied to you about this last week.

    Depends how you slice it. (none / 0) (#77)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:43:17 PM EST

    Unlike folks at the lower end of the income spectrum, none of those over $311K saw their income tax rate liability reduced to zero.

    A higher income individual saw a smaller percentage decrease in income tax liability.  A lower income saw a bigger percentage decrease with many going to zero.

    IIRC, the top 50% of all income got a smaller dollar reduction than the bottom 50%.


    Only people living (none / 0) (#93)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:23:37 PM EST
    in abject poverty earning less than $7k saw their federal tax rate move to zero. Your point really is ridiculous.

    If (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:48:56 PM EST
    anybody doesn't pay taxes in this country it's your conservative red state welfare brethren. Those states guys like you like to hand out welfare to while taking it from the liberal states who actually pay their taxes.

    congratulations warren, (none / 0) (#65)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:15:22 PM EST
    you've displayed, publicly, just how ignorant you are. what do you think happens to those tax dollars, they go into a shoebox, never to be seen or heard from again? no, they don't, they get spent, almost immediately. right back into the economy, creating the ripple effect that churns $1 into $3 dollars.

    granted, those tax dollars might not get spent how you wish (and me too, for that matter) they would, but they do, in fact, go right back into the economy, of this there is absolutely no question whatever, among those with at least half a functioning brain.


    The ignorance (none / 0) (#71)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:26:13 PM EST
    is entirely yours, my friend. But you are in good company, so don't feel too bad.

    Federally taxed dollars disappear from existence. For years the federal government used to simply shred all bills it received as tax payments, although apparently today they make some effort to sort out the good ones and recycle them.

    Government spending creates money out of nothing, and federal taxation sends money back into nothing. We have a fiat currency. That's how it really works, whether you like it or not.

    The same thing happens with money created by the Federal Reserve. When it conducts its open market operations, it creates money out of thin air in order to buy assets. When it sells those assets back into the market, the money it receives in payment is wiped off the books and ceases to exist.

    When Europe switched to the euro, all of its existing fiat currencies disappeared out of existence entirely. Do you think France keeps all those old francs lying around somewhere just in case?


    You pay your taxes in cash? (none / 0) (#73)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:33:00 PM EST
    How do they "shred the bills"?

    I don't pay my taxes in cash (none / 0) (#80)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:51:16 PM EST
    Most people don't these days. But in the past when it was more common for people to pay their taxes in cash the government just shredded the bills. Literally shredded them in a paper shredder. The only reason they stopped doing that I'm told is they felt they could save a little on printing costs by recycling some of the better bills they received, but I'm not positive about that.

    I know it's difficult to fully grasp the idea that federal taxation simply destroys money. It took me awhile to grasp that fact too. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. As the monopoly issuer of US dollars the federal government always has an infinite stock of money on hand. The reason this doesn't create inflation is because that money is simply a stock held by the government, it is not money actually in circulation. Only money in circulation matters. Therefore any money that you pay to the federal government has no practical existence. It goes back into an infinite stock of money and is no more real than any other dollar within that infinite stock.

    Another way to think about it, which nobody here has even attempted to rebut, is to consider where does the money come from that the government borrows and taxes? If you think about it you will see that there could be no money for the government to borrow or tax if the government hadn't spent that money in the first place. Therefore it is impossible for taxation or borrowing to fund government spending. That's the key point I want to make, so I repeat it a lot. The federal government is entirely self-funding. That's the essence of a fiat currency. It borrows and taxes for purposes other than funding, because it has no need of anyone's money to fund anything.


    Please link (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:02:33 PM EST
    To something that says the federal government used to collect tax payments and then shred the cash they received.

    Here's a link (none / 0) (#91)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:19:23 PM EST
    that shows how every paper dollar the US government received is destroyed.

    But this is just an illustration, not my key point, as 'shredding' only applies to paper money.

    The key point to understand is that taxation and borrowing do not fund federal government spending. The federal government is self-funding. Taxation and borrowing serve other purposes. If you really want to know more about that, I recommend this link.


    Ok (none / 0) (#95)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:29:36 PM EST
    I know they destroy currency that is old.  But please provide a link that shows how the US government collected taxes and then destroyed that particular money, which was your original statement.

    It's the same money (none / 0) (#96)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:33:25 PM EST
    Read the link. It clearly states that the federal government shreds all paper money it receives. That would necessarily include tax payments made in cash. As far as the government is concerned it's all old money and they shred it.

    All righty, then (none / 0) (#100)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:00:10 PM EST
    {head, desk}.

    As I said (none / 0) (#102)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:10:35 PM EST
    it wasn't a major point. I don't know why you felt the need to obsess over it.

    The substance of my position is and remains that the federal government is self-funding and does not need or use taxes or borrowing to fund its spending. Taxation and borrowing do have a purpose, but funding spending isn't it.


    Gimme a Break (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:39:20 AM EST
    Any idiot knows we need to increase taxes on the rich.  

    Where the plan fails is our current Congress is made of people who will be increasing their own taxes to make that happen.  Anyone that thinks well-to-do politicians are going to increase their own taxes to get the rich needs to lay the crack pipe down.

    Democrats had a chance to raise those taxes if they did absolutely nothing, nope, they went out of their way to extend the tax breaks to the rich that were adopted by republicans.  Got that, both parties have gone out of their way to decrease taxes for the rich.

    Ain't gonna happen.

    All of the GOP (none / 0) (#52)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:28:08 AM EST
    Candidates lined up and said they would not accept a 10:1 cuts/tax increase deal.

    The House will not increase taxes.

    The House will not approve a stimulus package.

    Those are the facts here on the ground.  What does Obama do from this point out that would make those here happy.  Now I understand that we like to hear a politician yell and be angry and whatnot, but that doesn't make an ounce of difference here because the GOP position becomes more entrenched the more it is attacked.

    So then what?

    obviously nothing (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:39:00 AM EST
    There's just nothing poor Obama can do, he's as helpless as a turtle on its back, there is simply no way, in a free country, with all the tools of imagination and creativity and technology available, that he could ever sell to the American people something their honorable and wise congress would not approve of.  

    Jaysus, man, first off, you explain clearly and concisely to the American people the REAL situation we are in.  You explain just what the hell money is, how it is created out of thin air as all fiat currency is, how this currency serves as game pieces in the economic game almost all of us have to play, and you lay out just how the game became rigged by a few incredibly wealthy and overly powerful people at the top.  You follow this up with your PLAN, one that is rational and generous and humane, one that does not operate from the idea that money is a living creature for whose return we all must pray and make blood sacrifices.  This plan must employ people by the millions, doing necessary work all around the country, infrastructure, energy, education, you name it, and then you go sell that plan it hard and fast.  You talk PAST the Repubs to the people, you use humor and self-criticism and you never stop selling.  Your opponent, fortunately, has a rhetorical starting point of "We're helpless, there's nothing we can do, not even the government that creates money can do anything, only the magical private sector can, but they won't either, there's just nothing we can do, blah blah blah..."

    If you can't beat that extremist, irrational, empty argument from the right, if you really can't, then I can only conclude you are incompetent and/or share more in common with the right than you do a huge segment of your supposed own party.


    hear hear Dadler (none / 0) (#64)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:11:38 PM EST
    And obviously Obama can't beat even an extremist irrational argument from the right and so we should make sure he is a one term president because he is only doing us tremendous harm by agreeing with them.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#87)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:11:46 PM EST
    This is worn-out record, Congress isn't to blame, Obama is not to blame, no one is.  Well except for the other side, they are definitely at fault, no matter your party affiliation.  

    If they/we spent a tenth of the energy we spend deflecting, spinning, and blaming, on solving, the economy would be grand.  And instead of blaming, the idiot politicians could spend their time competing for credit.

    That was the Bush II mantra, from Iraq to Katrina, no one could have predicted anything, therefore the grand level F-ups really aren't their faults, and there isn't much they can do.

    And good point, Dadler, the President should 'never stop selling'.  I would add that he should never frame arguments using the competitors talking points.  He does have one thing no one else in this country has, the power of veto.  Something TR referred to as a big stick.  It wouldn't hurt for softly mention this next time he's 'negotiating'.


    Let's break it down (none / 0) (#97)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:45:19 PM EST
    "Jaysus, man, first off, you explain clearly and concisely to the American people the REAL situation we are in."

    Done. Repeatedly.  By Obama and the dems and everyone else on the other liberal side of the liberal talking heads on TV.  Next

    "You explain just what the hell money is, how it is created out of thin air as all fiat currency is, how this currency serves as game pieces in the economic game almost all of us have to play, and you lay out just how the game became rigged by a few incredibly wealthy and overly powerful people at the top.  

    OK. That is going to take more than just a sound bite and in addition, the concepts are ridiculously complicated.  There is no easy way to boil complex financial markets into a concise message in that way. This is nearly impossible to do in practice, but it too has been tried repeatedly.  Still haven't read what makes the GOP in the House disappear but I have hope!!!!

    "You follow this up with your PLAN, one that is rational and generous and humane, one that does not operate from the idea that money is a living creature for whose return we all must pray and make blood sacrifices.  This plan must employ people by the millions,  . . ."

    [Sigh] yeah.  Nothing that makes the GOP which has vowed never to vote for any of the things in a plan of the type you'd suggest go away.

    Like I said.  No one has any REAL solutions or path forward for the problem.


    he is only limited by the length (none / 0) (#115)
    by NYShooter on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:55:43 PM EST
    of the leash he so willingly offered up his skinny little neck for.

    That's the problem I've got with you, ABG. Every potential road to victory you present as if there's a republican guard, armed with a 50 cal, standing there, making it impenetrable.


    Nobody is afraid of Obama, he scares no one. How those Washington politicians must feel nothing but contempt, and maybe pity, towards this self defeating loser.

    Having watched some really powerful people operate, I tell you it's a thing of beauty. Those politicians must be salivating in their imaginations thinking of what they would do if they had the weapons the American people handed "O."

    Don't tell me that's wishful thinking either. If any of the great politicians in our history, FDR, LBJ, JFK, or even Bubba, entered the oval office with what we gave Obama, you know where we'd be now? Mitch McConnell would be squatting on his haunches, raising his hand and asking permission to go pee pee.  Paul Ryan, sitting on B. Clinton's lap, would be saying, "tell us that story again, uncle Bill, please, please. You know, the one where a small little group of traitors tried to steal the country for the benefit of a tiny group of insane cannibals, and making life miserable for 99% of the people. C'mon uncle Bill, start with the part where the Black `n White Knight of logic, reason, intelligence, and goodness outsmarts that diseased gang of fart smellers disguised as politicians, and calling themselves the Pee Party."

    A little imagination, a little leadership, mix vigorously, and watch Heaven being formed.

    "Obamaaaa, you coulda been a somebody"


    Is this the new Obama (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:19:44 PM EST
    talking point? "I can't do sh*t about the economy, so, re-elect me!"?

    Obama continued talking point (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    Administration officials, frustrated by the intransigence of House Republicans, have increasingly concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes, housing policy and other issues. link

    Do you see the word jobs in the ideas to be advanced? Me neither. All I see is Obama continuing to concentrate on shifting funds from the poor and the middle class into the coffers of his savvy friends who will in return contribute heavily to his reelection campaign funds.


    Obama could do a lot more (none / 0) (#98)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:45:49 PM EST
    but he is limited by the congress.

    So that would be a "yes"? (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 02:05:33 PM EST
    It's a great one too (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:02:49 PM EST
    when it comes to other Dems being able to latch onto that message and ride it to a win with him too, you know....build a team that people would vote in to actually change things.  But Obama doesn't want to change anything in a way that would make his base happy, building that team would literally make his life even more difficult because what if the winners all showed up and really wanted to do the things they campaigned on?

    poor poor President Obama (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:00:00 PM EST
    such a victim.  No other democratic party president has ever had to deal with one house of congress being held by the other party.  Why is it much worse than when he had both houses of congress filled with democrats in veto proof majorities.  That was was a ball buster, can you imagine what it must be like to try and get something done NOW???

    For once (none / 0) (#53)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:32:41 AM EST
    you and I are more or less in agreement. Hence my proposal to cut taxes on the middle class and poor. It's a win, as it will stimulate the economy and show up every Republican who votes against it as a hypocrite.

    The kind of middle-class tax cuts... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:50:36 AM EST
    ...that would be necessary to really make a difference would be, as you have suggested before, huge.  As in eliminate them for those making under $65,000 a year, and forgive me if I have gotten your number wrong.  Also, unemployment is so profound and getting worse, that you have a giant segment of the population who would, in effect, get no benefit from a tax cut as they have no pot to p*ss in to start with.  Without an emphasis on jobs, confidence will remain low, unemployment will grow, and the dollar will be worth sh*t, and tax cuts will benefit fewer and fewer people.  You HAVE to give your people purpose, you have to employ them for the sake of employing them, because that is all the future holds -- we know we can't create "profitable" jobs as the rate the population grows, we cannot exploit everyone for a buck. The profit is in another currency altogether.  Social currency, the kind that keeps countries secure. But we both know Obama is not going FDR on us, so you're probably right that this is our best hope for hanging on by a thread right now, and yet even this seems a pipe dream with the corrupt class that controls things.

    Sure (none / 0) (#63)
    by Warren Terrer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:07:26 PM EST
    I support spending stimulus above all else as the best way to start creating those jobs.

    The $65k figure is a ball park estimate. It might have be higher.

    Yes the unemployed may not get much from any tax breaks. But people on unemployment and social security currently have to pay federal income taxes in spite of their low incomes. It would help those people a lot if they didn't have to pay 15% of their income back to the government just so the government can erase that money from existence.


    If you're Obama, (none / 0) (#61)
    by itscookin on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:05:00 PM EST
    you take a bus trip and a vacation on Martha's Vineyard because there's nothing else you can do. But impotency doesn't get one re-elected.

    Obama (none / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:49:57 PM EST
    loses reelection because he doesn't even try.

    exactly! (none / 0) (#99)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 01:49:56 PM EST
    Now I understand that we like to hear a politician yell and be angry and whatnot, but that doesn't make an ounce of difference here because the GOP position becomes more entrenched the more it is attacked.

    right again, ABG

    plus, Obama can't possibly "yell and be angry and whatnot" because the GOP and the media might call him an angry black man


    you are right though (none / 0) (#129)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:13:44 PM EST
    Obama can't do anything about what is going on.  He is not capable, which is why I thought it was idiotic for the DNC to select him as the nominee.  
    We need a different president. I am almost certain that there is a republican running who is both more liberal and more capable than Obama.  When we figure out who that is we should all vote for that person.

    Hey Warren, I've got some news you can use! (none / 0) (#54)
    by coast on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 11:33:07 AM EST
    I know I'm no $600 - $1,000 hr accountant like you have working for you Warren, but I've got some news for you - you don't have to raise taxes in order for you and you rich friends to pay in more to the government.  See the government has made it easy for guys like you - those that don't think they pay enough in taxes - to give back to the government that gives you so much.  Its called The Bureau of Public Debt.  You can write a check to them anytime and that payment goes to reduce the public debt.  Could it be that easy you ask - Yes!  And better yet, if you made a payment in 2010 you could have listed it as a contribution on Schedule A.  Good lord this can't be true you say - but it is!

    Honestly, how many really believe Warren pays his accountants and lawyers good money for him to pay the maximum tax that he possibly could pay?

    If he and his rich friends wanted, they could have been paying all they wanted to the government in addition to the supposedly low taxes they are currently paying.  Fact is he is about as two-faced as you can get.  

    only an idiot (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 04:51:40 PM EST
    would do as you suggest.  You follow the rules and  keep your money and use it for good if possible.  No one's contribution alone will solve the problem.  Only changing the rules for everyone will solve the problem.

    Warren Buffett's NYT op-ed, (none / 0) (#66)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 12:15:27 PM EST
    was less impressive the more I read.  Yes, it was nice to hear that, at least, one billionaire (mega rich, as he terms it) is up for more taxes.   But, the skeptic in me wonders if  the exquisite timing and underlying purpose of this opinion piece can be found in his last paragraphs: "Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country's finances.  They've been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $l.5 trillion.  It's vital, however, that they achieve far more than that....."   "Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can't fulfill.  Big money must be saved here.  The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues...."

    Despite Buffett's willingness for less coddling and more taxes, there may be less here than meets the eye:  A Cat Food II guy, softening his advocacy with unlikely taxes on the mega rich ---with Buffett's priorities set forth: cut the governmental promises and then turn to revenues--fine by me, if you can get away with it.  

    Enough with Warren Buffet! (none / 0) (#107)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 04:07:39 PM EST
    He just made some money.  He's not smart.

    And his ilk have ruined this country.  Where's the anger?

    Uhhm (none / 0) (#113)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:08:47 PM EST
    Warren Buffett made billions because he is very smart.

    The fact that you are rich doesn't mean that you are evil just like not all evil folks are rich.

    Some of the best people I have met have been very good human beings.

    I understand that it's easier to compartmentalize if you stereotype though.


    one would hope . . . (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 09:29:07 PM EST
    Some of the best people I have met have been very good human beings.

    LOL (none / 0) (#125)
    by sj on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    And maybe they were even women.  I bet some of his best friends are women.  

    Unfortunate typo (none / 0) (#127)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 11:33:12 AM EST
    I type way to quickly and make mistakes often.

    From politico (none / 0) (#114)
    by diogenes on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 08:41:32 PM EST
    "Though the tax rate  for Americans earning a gross adjusted income of $1 million or more averaged 24.4 percent, up from 23.1 percent in 2008, that's still lower than the 28.5 percent rate they paid in 2002 when President George W. Bush was in office.
    And, the data show, the 235,413 taxpayers who reported earning seven digits or more in 2009 took in a total of $726.9 billion

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60717.html#ixzz1V9T3xiTY"

    So ALL of the millionaires paid 180 billion.  If you taxed all the millionaires at 100%, you'd get another 580 billion.  That hardly balances the budget in this era of multitrillion dollar deficits.

    split it (none / 0) (#131)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 05:00:24 PM EST
    let's say we tax them until we have squeezed 3 billion out of them.  That would pay for a hell of a lot of low income workers to get back to work.