Monday, April 11, 2011

Truth Be Told

In an article titled Imbalanced Budget: Ryan Gives Wealthy A Free Pass, Bruce Bartlett, Ronald Reagan's budget director and among the last of the sensible Republicans, tells it like it is:
.... One would think that a comprehensive budget proposal designed primarily for the purpose of reducing budget deficits and the national debt would put at least some of the burden on the revenue side of the equation. First, it would reduce the need to cut spending so heavily and improve the chances of passage; unless Ryan is only interested in scoring points with the Tea Party crowd, he will need the support of at least some Senate Democrats and President Obama if he wants any aspects of his plan enacted....

..... Conservatives dogmatically believe that taxation is the single most important factor in economic growth, and the lower taxes are the better. But if that were the case, then the late 1990s should have been a period of exceptionally slow growth: Federal taxes averaged 19.9 percent of GDP from 1997 to 2000. In fact, that period was among the most prosperous in American history, with real GDP growing an average of 4.5 percent per year. By contrast, during the last four years, federal revenues have been exceptionally low, averaging just 16.5 percent of GDP. But growth averaged less than 1 percent per year....

.... Distributionally, the Ryan plan is a monstrosity. The rich would receive huge tax cuts while the social safety net would be shredded to pay for them. Even as an opening bid to begin budget negotiations with the Democrats, the Ryan plan cannot be taken seriously. It is less of a wish list than a fairy tale utterly disconnected from the real world, backed up by make-believe numbers and unreasonable assumptions. Ryan’s plan isn’t even an act of courage; it’s just pandering to the Tea Party. A real act of courage would have been for him to admit, as all serious budget analysts know, that revenues will have to rise well above 19 percent of GDP to stabilize the debt.

Sound reasonable? Sound like points worth considering? For that matter, sound like what I've been saying? Or, as Ryan himself tried to pre-insulate himself from reality, merely "lies and demagoguery?"

Or, to put it another way:

(click pic to enlarge)


  1. You could quote Jesus Christ Himself, umm bad example, Moe-hammed, umm RONALD REAGAN RISEN FROM THE GRAVE and it still done' matter.
    Until YOU pay the appropriate Clinton Error Federal Income Tax Rates and FICA, you have weaker legs to stand on than that Steven Hawkins dude.
    and I'll be done payin it in a few weeks, unlike some people I know, like my Daughter.
    and I'd tell you my marginal rate, but it gets complicated, and you'd rend your scrub top(Biblical reference)
    I'm almost willing to forget about the Presidents Nappy Fro'(Really, whats up with that?)and pull the "D" lever for the first time since I pulled it for Al Sharpton in the 2004 Democrat primary, which I voted in, cause "W" was unopposed.
    The Presidens been in his Orifice for over 2 years, he coulda passed his own tax plan if he wanted..
    so don't be blamin Paul Ryan, and don't you hate how Guys lucky enough to still have hair have the WORST haircuts??
    OK, I'm just a little miffed cause a pilot landing at Atlanta-Hartsfield reported someone shining a laser from the Northeast Suburbs, when it was just the sun reflecting off my "Lid"
    Thats "Head".



    At a time when our armies are going around the globe, destabilizing and destroying functional societies, and our Secretary of State is fomenting more of these civil wars, and warning of death and destruction by our army if they don't comply, under the excuse of "bringing democracy," we should take a look at our democracy, for a minute, especially at tax time. In a true democracy, it would be some kind of democratic process that would determine where one's tax dollars went. Because of some very unusual events, a couple of years ago I paid a HUGE amount of taxes, HUGE! Where did the tax money go? Mostly to kill innocent people and destroy their countries, to pay the wages of, and indemnify, huge gambling cartels (mis-named "financial institutions"), and to keep up the payments on the debts incurred for doing these things. Had I been able to say where I wanted my tax money to go I would have said (and let's say I got one vote for each dollar I paid): universal state financed health care paid for from taxes,not by employers, or by insurance companies; infrastructure projects; huge wages for at risk military and police; guaranteed national income (what do you think the minimum wage would be if it could be set democratically? $100/hour?); free childcare; short-fall makeup of newly nationalized "utilities" such as insurance, airlines, gasoline, and other essentials where capital barriers to startup are huge, but competition has only resulted in cartel type non-competitive pricing.

  3. Good thoughts, Tim. One problem is that it currently seems that not everyone who'd have a tax-ratioed vote has the same priorities as you. Your altruism seems ready to be plowed under by the ones for whom greed is the operative word.

    So in your plan, the people who need the most help will have no say at all, and the ones with the most say are the ones that already have the most say, and who seem to care the least about such long-term inconveniences as infrastructure, education, research, or social programs. (Although, ironically, your idea might make such corporations as GE actually interested in paying taxes. On the other hand, why should they? They get all the influence they need via lobbying at a fraction of the price...)


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