Saturday, December 11, 2010


Being of Two Minds

When billionaires say that they ought to be taxed more, I always say, sometimes out loud, "well, go ahead and send in more than you owe to the treasury. They'll take it." I applaud voluntary beneficence; it's the involuntary kind that bugs me.

On the other hand, regarding billionaires, there's always the Chinatown question, reproduced below:

Jake Gittes: How much are you worth?
Noah Cross: I have no idea. How much do you want?
Jake Gittes: I just wanna know what you're worth. More than 10 million?
Noah Cross: Oh my, yes!
Jake Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What could you buy that you can't already afford?
Noah Cross: The future, Mr. Gittes! The future.

Is the future a Bill Gates, for example, can yet produce something we should stop through confiscatory taxes? What about the future Ted Turner envisions?



Let me ask a few questions.

1. Do you think the deficit is problem?

2. Did you favor extending the Bush tax cuts to the top 2% of earners?

3. If so, why?

4. Do you think that tax cuts to the top 2% of wage earners creates jobs?

5. If so, what is the mechanism by which such jobs are created?

6. How are jobs created with after tax dolllars?

7. Do you think that the GOP leadership, having just forced a deal by which the federal government will be deprived of $700 billion dollars over the next 10 years, can even talk about the deficit without appearing to be complete hypocrites whose only interests is protecting the interests of the uber rich?

8. If so, how?

9. Do you believe that the snow job that has caused the rank and file everyday Republican to believe that protecting the interests of the uber rich to the detriment of the country and the detriment of themselves is one of the most masterful in recent history?

I do.


Deficit is a problem. I think lowering tax rates during a depression is a surefire way to get the economy going. Works every time it's tried. Tax rate cuts for all tax payers seems fair to me. Not you? Probably jobs are not directly created by lower tax rates, except for a few here and there, but as we enter a growth period jobs increase. It is a lagging indicator/result. I can't answer #6. Economics is a huge whole in my education. It's not the tax cut which bugs me, it's the increased spending that makes it a bad job. Spending is use of the money. Not taking it in in the first place is not the same thing. No matter what the tax rates are, the revenue from taxes is about 18%. You can talk about raising more tax revenue by increasing tax rates, but that's just static analysis and does not take into account that changes in tax policy, including tax rates, has an effect on business practices and increases in tax rates, which look like they would increase revenue, actually fall far short and have a depressing influence on the economy in general. I don't count not taking in money (tax rate cut) as bad, as increasing the deficit, only actually spending in increases the deficit. If we tax at 18%, we are fooling ourselves to spend at 24%, as we are now due to Democrats controlling the House. I hope that answers 7 and 8. It's not a snow job to engage in class warfare, as you are, or not engage in it, it's just a clash of visions. I want all citizens to have some skin in the game (sorry for the cliche) re income taxes and everyone, in a fair society, would pay the same percentage amount of the rent. That's a flat tax. A consumption tax would be better, but it remains unworkable.
It is a simplistic observation but none the less true, rich people hire people to do work for money, poor people don't. Many of the uber rich, as you use that germanic term, are business owners who do in fact control whether the business is hiring or not. I know it's more complicated than that, but you seem to ignore that basic fact
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