Taxes are low.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 @ 12:45 am | Taxes

You’d think after ten years of the Bush tax cuts we wouldn’t have to argue with people claiming taxes are still high, but we are. You’d also think after the past ten years that we wouldn’t have to argue with people claiming tax cuts are a magic cure-all for the economy, but, yes, we’re doing that too. Sensible conservative (i.e. liberal) Bruce Bartlett is a stickler for reality. There are plenty of numbers in the piece, but this analysis of Republican dishonesty sticks out:

If taxes are low historically and in comparison with our global competitors, how are Republicans able to maintain that taxes are excessively high? They do so by ignoring the effective tax rate and concentrating solely on the statutory tax rate, which is often manipulated to make it appear that rates are much higher than they really are.

For example, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal recently asserted that Democrats were trying to raise the top income tax rate to 62 percent from 35 percent. But most of the difference between these two rates is the payroll tax and state taxes that are already in existence. The rest consists largely of assuming tax increases that no one has formally proposed and that would be politically impossible to enact at the present time.

Ryan Chittum, in Columbia Journalism Review, responded with a commentary that called the Moore analysis “deeply disingenuous.”

In my experience, just about all Stephen Moore analysis is deeply disingenuous. If you’ve ever seen him on Bill Maher, he’s always giggling at his own words, like even he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, ala William Kristol anywhere outside the Fox bubble. Most of the recent debt ceiling conundrum is a product of cynical elites and the people they gladly deceive in order to make sure the rich people they service have a few extra million to brag about at the country club. And by service I mean dick-sucking, obviously.

Yes, our taxes were slashed by GWB, and in the meantime health care costs for families doubled, infrastructure crumbled, college tuition hyperinflated, and, oh yeah, our debt exploded. So no middle class or poor person has had a net gain because of any tax cuts. And now the jackasses responsible are unrepentant and demanding more. As always, they’re willing to say anything, unrestricted by shame or even basic math, to get more money in the hands of bankers and other financial swindlers while ordinary Americans are told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. No new taxes can ever be discussed, yet Americans are expected to see Medicare dismantled and retirement ages raised.

If you can’t tell you’re being conned by this point, you’re in on the con.

-hw

11 Responses to “Taxes are low.”

  1. Dana Says:

    Taxes are high because we think that they’re high, and when asked, we vote as though we think that they are high. Remember how Senator Barack Hussein Obama ran for President, complete with an Obama Tax Cut Calculator on his website, to show you how much you’d save over John McCain’s plan if he was elected?

    But, as a public service, CSPT has a Voluntarily Pay More Taxes link on the sidebar, where you can, if you believe that we are undertaxed, make a donation directly to the United States Treasury! Please, visit the site (you can pay directly out of your checking account or use your credit/debit card), pay the extra taxes you believe you should, and then tell us just how much you contributed, so we’ll all know just how much better an American you are than the rest of us.

  2. Henry Whistler Says:

    “Taxes are high because we think that they’re high…”

    Where’s John Hitchcock and his absolutes? You two are going to get into a brawl one day, what with his democracy-hating and your fiscal relativity…

    “…pay the extra taxes you believe you should…”

    Stunts won’t fix the deficit, Dana. Too bad you guys aren’t serious. And no, your plan to kill Medicare and Social Security and spawn legions of self-sufficient patriots isn’t serious.

  3. Dana Says:

    And when I asked if you remembered the Obama Tax Cut Calculator, of course you do, since you wrote about it here, and said that:

    If every voter who says they’re concerned about taxes could punch their numbers in this calculator, Obama would win 50 states.

    Apparently, lower taxes were important to you before the election; afterward, not so much.

  4. My challenge to the esteemed Mr Whistler « Common Sense Political Thought Says:

    […] by Dana Pico on 5 June 2011, 9:23 am TweetOur good friend Henry Whistler is telling us that Taxes are low. He quotes some article or other, but, basically, he’s telling us that our taxes are too low, […]

  5. Dana Says:

    Mr Whistler wrote:

    Yeah, I said it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Bush tax cuts were a bad idea ten years ago, they’ve bankrupted us for ten years straight with nothing to show for it with the worst market crash since the Great Depression, and they’ll keep sapping us every day down the road they’re in place.

    I am only talking about returning to the tax rates of the prosperous nineties and having a decent shot at paying down our debt before interest payments spiral up out of control.

    One of the tax cuts which was put in place by the 2001/2003 tax bills was the increase of the $500 per child tax credit during the nineties, to $1,000 per child. Mr Whistler and his lovely wife had a son, Fletcher Rhys, last November, which means that they were able to claim young Master Whistler as both a personal exemption and a $1,000 tax credit for 2010.

    Mr and Mrs Whistler didn’t have much of a choice when they filed their income taxes: by claiming young Master Whistler as an exemption, they had to take the $1,000 tax credit. Not to do so would have triggered an error message in the IRS computers.

    Well, it seems to me that, since Mr Whistler told us, on December 11, 2010, a month after young Master Whistler was born, he would have been bothered by taking that Bush-increased tax credit, and, since he believes that the “Bush tax cuts were a bad idea ten years ago,” and they’re a bad idea today, he could contribute back that $500 difference to the federal treasury, to, in effect, self-return to the tax rates he thought were better.

  6. Henry Whistler Says:

    Dueling threads? Copied:

    a. Obama did follow through on tax cuts, let’s be clear.
    b. I might remind you that post was in August 2008, before the economy tanked, causing trillions to be added to the deficit via lower revenues, unemployment pay, recovery measures, etc. At the time, merely increasing the taxes on the rich looked like it would be enough.
    c. A stunt is a stunt is a stunt. I’ll gladly pay my taxes at a higher rate that applies to all. Me myself trying to throw in a few extra hundred bucks is practically meaningless. Too bad you still feel like playing games. It’s time to start balancing the country’s books, Dana.

  7. AJKamper Says:

    Man, didn’t I already kill the “Donate extra yourself!” meme? Since we all have a responsibility to pay, why should that responsibility be shunted onto people with a conscience and a belief that government works? It’s a massive violation of fairness, and to extend that would be to let the conscienceless rich reap the benefits of those who care.

  8. Dana Says:

    Mr Kamper, translated: Hell, no, I ain’t gonna pay more unless the gummint forces you to pay more, too!

    If you want to lead, Mr Kamper, lead from the front, lead by example! Make us wicked conservatives squirm in comparison to your generosity.

  9. AJKamper Says:

    I like, Dana, how you have to resort to a translation instead of an actual argument. Yes, you’re right: I’m not going to get others of our means shirk their responsibility by paying less. And this is bad how exactly?
    I’m arguing that I want my own taxes raised, and significantly (my wife’s a physician and I’m a lawyer; our income bracket is pretty high). How’s that for leading by example?

  10. Henry Whistler Says:

    Eh, it’s not really meant to work on you, AJ. Dana knows it has enough Rovian truthiness to it to appeal to his friends.

    What’s most fun about it is that somehow, this becomes a rationale by itself to not raise taxes. Since you and I don’t see much point in plunking down extra dollars ourselves except as a symbolic gesture, um…(wave magic wand)…we shouldn’t raise taxes on (HEY THERE’S ELVIS!!!) everyone?

    Again, this all simply underscores the point that while our country is in need of real solutions, Dana still feels like playing shuffleboard on the Titanic. Yeah, Moody’s is starting to figure that we’re just fundamentally unable to govern ourselves, but LIBERALS ARE HYPOCRITES YAAAAAAAH!

    Too bad we have one crazy party and one party afraid of the crazy party. We could have such a future ahead of us, instead we’re getting a pretty raw deal.

  11. mike g Says:

    These are the guys that spent the previous eight years assuring everybody that government revenues would increase along with tax hikes. When was the last time you heard that old chestnut?