Re: Oh Josh!!!!!
- From: Josh Hill <usereplyto@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 08:33:56 -0400
On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 13:37:32 -0400, Kurt Ullman <kurtullman@xxxxxxxxx>
In article <2teub3pmsdctmfk35gffcksbauf38klnjc@xxxxxxx>,
Josh Hill <usereplyto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 09:38:23 -0400, Kurt Ullman <kurtullman@xxxxxxxxx>
In article <c3vtb31d6flh8cc0k2uq469ljr3s6n27sh@xxxxxxx>,
Josh Hill <usereplyto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
The tax cuts were inefficiently targeted to spur economic growth,Of course they did, because they pay most of the taxes. If you
because your figures notwithstanding a disproportionate percentage
went to the rich. From 2001-2005, for example, 19.8% of the benefits
went to the top 1%, those making $518,000 or more. Another 10% went
to the next 4%, those making $205,000 to $518,000. So the top 5%,
those making more than $205,000, received 30% of the benefits.
look at %age of benefit as function of the % age taxes paid and/0r %age
of income earned, you find that those well off actually pay a higher
income tax share than their share of income earned. Top 1% pay 1/3 of
the taxes yet make only 16.% of the money and by your own figures got
only 19.8% of the benefits. 33% of the taxes, 19% of the benefits. YOU
May be right, seem pretty disproportionate to me.
A disproportionate did NOT go to the rich. No matter how many times
you repeat it ain't gonna be true.
Yes it did, Kurt, as the figures show. They got more the benefits -
19.8% for the top 1% vs. 1.9% for the lowest 20%! And you can't hand
wave your way around those grotesque figures. Anyone can read them.
Why is it you absolutely refuse to put these things in context. They
got less benefit than the proportion of taxes they pay. You can't look
at just the gross figures without putting it in some kind of background,
unless you are only thinking about screwing the rich. The top 1% got
19.8% of the benefit, yet they pay 33% of the taxes. If the numbers were
reversed, then I would agree with you. But if you are going to use the
term disproportionate repeatedly, you can't then studiously ignore the
Kurt, I didn't mention it because everyone knows that the rich pay a
larger percentage of income taxes than the poor: that's sort of what
an income tax is all about, isn't it? The thing is, that doesn't alter
the fact that the Bush tax cuts disproportionately benefited the rich,
which is to say that Bush took money out of poor mouths and put it
into rich ones, that his tax cuts worked to increase income inequality
at a time when it's already been increasing for many years. And that
says pretty much everything you need to know about Bush's priorities.
This is a guy who enacts massive tax cuts for our wealthiest citizens
and then vetoes health insurance for children.
We are talking income taxes thus the part about "federal income tax"The question of fairness is harder to answer, but not for the
reasons assumed by the critics. The fundamental problem is that over the
years wehave virtually eliminated taxes for any who could remotely
considered poor, and for much of the middle class as well. According to
a recent study by th Joint Committee on Taxation, 40% of all federal
income-tax returns **Report no tax liability at all**. Emphasis mine.
Bruce Bartlet writing in the June 2004 issue of Commentary.
Unless I'm missing something, he's a disingenuous ass, because the
poor pay taxes up the wazoo -- FICA taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes,
real estate taxes, sin taxes. These are all regressive taxes that hit
the poor and middle class much harder than they do the rich, since
members of these groups spend all or most of what they earn. And I
suspect that most in the middle class would argue with the notion that
they don't pay income tax!
returns". I don't know why you keep talking about tax cuts for the rich
which were all income and then go off on this tangent about all the
extra taxes. BTW: The Earned Income Tax Credit for low income people is
put there specifically to offset the FICA taxes.
Because the only thing that really matters is /overall/ taxation.
Which perhaps is why you can't find figures on it, or at least I
I have yet, BTW, to see figures on how much people pay in /all/Me neither. Mostly because there are so many, and what is a tax? I
Federal, state, and local taxes as a function of gross income. Perhaps
they exist somewhere, but if so, I haven't seen them.
pay alot for my auto license plates in Indiana but no personal property
tax on the car. Michiganders pay pretty much zilch for the plates ,but a
personal property tax.
Yeah, that's a problem. But I don't think it's fatal. You could if you
wanted provide several figures: total payments to the government, then
breakouts of total taxes, total fees and purchases, total fines and
penalties. But really, I think the essence of this is that you want to
look at gross income from all sources including the government and
every penny that goes to the government. Otherwise the figures end up
so quibbled that they no longer represent what one might refer to as
the reality of the pocket.
Also, how do you get an average when there are so many different
ways to figure it. Even within the Indy Metro. Some have city income
taxes, some don't. Some of the counties have an additional part of a
percent taxes on food and beverages, others even within the SMSA don't.
How do you allocate the tax on hotel rooms? Is that to the county or
state that the person inhabiting the room is from or to the county
taxpayers in the area the room is located even though they aren't using
the room and paying the tax.
We're talking about allocating it to individuals, aren't we? If we
can't get it together sufficiently to build a database of tax revenue
from localities (surely they repot total tax revenue?), why not just
examine the expenditures of a statistically valid sample? I can't
believe an economist somewhere hasn't done this.
Actually I would, in the dark recesses of my inner soul posit
that probably neither side has any real idea what is going to happen. If
you look at the "scoring" on both tax hikes and cuts over the past 30
years, they never come close to what happens in reality. The RR tax cuts
were supposed to have falling revenues for the first five years,
according to the models of the Joint Committee on Taxation. The revs
fell only for the first year, and then not as far as the scoring
suggested (actually about 75% of projection) and then started back up.
The projections of income and deficits out more than about 6 months are
not as accurate as weather forecast that far out.
Which being the case, I prefer to listen to the economists (or
occasionally second guess them) on the assumption that, on average,
their projections are better than throwing darts . . .
You have some reason to suggest that is true? If you lined up
all the economists in the world end-to-end they still wouldn't reach a
conclusion. Heck how, other than they agree with you, do you decide
which ones to listen to and which ones you discount?
I'm relying in part on the jelly bean phenomenon here -- have a bunch
of people estimate the number of jelly beans in a jar and the average
of the figures will be remarkably accurate. Of course, econometric
models tend to break when underlying conditions change. There's
something chaotic going on. Schooling behavior, I think. Evolved to be
frustrating for sharks and minnow analysts.
Anyway, as in any endeavor, you have a few genius economists, a few
idiots, a whole bunch in the middle of the bell curve. The most
capable ones do seem to be recognized: Churchill may have complained
about Keynes, but it can't be said that Keynes was ignored. And in the
case of mundane stuff like the effects of tax cuts, I just listen to
non-partisan technocrats like those at the CBO, since they know more
than I do, while gleaning bits of theory from my own reflections and
what I pick up from the likes of Krugman. And I try to avoid the ones
who let their ideological beliefs influence their conclusions.
"Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is
good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."
-- Samuel Johnson
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