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Old 07-08-2011, 05:25 PM  
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"Soak the rich" is pure folly

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The Folly of Soaking the Rich
July 3, 2011 6:50 P.M. By Mario Loyola

The chart Andrew Stiles referred to Friday (from an earlier post by Veronique de Rugy) shows only the start of how counterproductive it is to increase taxes on the wealthy. As a result of lower tax rates on the top income earners, not only do they pay a much larger share of all taxes, but they pay much more taxes total — and revenue to the government has increased. This is because lowering taxes on the rich creates more rich people and richer rich people. The federal government gets much more revenue if you impose a 40 percent tax on a large number of very wealthy millionaires than if you impose a 70 percent tax on a small number of less wealthy millionaires.

Every tax has a “revenue-maximizing” point well short of 100 percent. If a tax is set higher than its “revenue-maximizing” point, overall tax revenue to the government will decrease. This is the basic theory behind the Laffer Curve, which states that when taxes are zero percent, revenue to the government is (obviously) zero, but when taxes are 100 percent, revenue to the government is also zero, because by taxing all the income of a particular group of people, you kill all economic activity in that group, so you’re left with nothing to tax. Between those two extremes is a curve whereby revenue to the government rises as you increase taxes from zero percent, but begins to fall as you approach 100 percent taxation — that’s the Laffer Curve.

Arthur Laffer and Ford Scudder explore this phenomenon at length in their brilliant series The Onslaught from the Left. In keeping with what Veronique pointed out, they write, in Part II of the series:

In the year Ronald Reagan took office (1981) the top 1% of income earners as reflected by the Adjusted Gross Income of all tax filers paid 17.58 % of all federal income taxes. Twenty-five years later, in 2005 the top 1% paid 39.8% of all income taxes, representing a greater than doubling of the share of tax payments made by this group.

But even more to the point, from 1981 to 2005 the income taxes paid by the top 1% rose from 1.59% of GDP to 2.96% of GDP. In addition to the huge rise in the percent of GDP paid in income taxes by the top 1% of income earners and the more than doubling of the share of taxes paid by this group was the huge absolute increase in real taxes (2005 dollars using the GDP price deflator [in other words, adjusting for inflation - ML]) from 1981 through 2005. In 1981 total tax payments from from the richest 1% were $98.84 billion, while in 2005 the top 1% paid $368.13 billion in taxes; that’s a 288% increase in 25 years. In rough numbers, that means that each of the richest 1% of filers in 1981 paid a little over $100,000 in 2005 dollars, while in 2005 each filer on average paid over $288,000. And remember that’s inflation-adjusted dollars.”

This astonishing statistic is explained by a simple fact. As a result of reducing taxes on the rich, the rich got much richer — so much so that they wound up paying nearly four times as much total tax (and nearly three times as much tax per rich person) as when taxes were higher.

This also reveals the truth behind the increased income inequality that liberals love to cite as their chief evidence against supply-side economics. In fact, as Laffer explains in Part I of the Onslaught from the Left series, the poor have gotten richer — just not as quickly as the rich have. “The increasingly unequal distribution of income during the era of supply-side economics has resulted from the poor increasing their income at a rate that has not kept pace with the phenomenal gains in income the rich have experienced — not from the poor getting poorer.” He goes on to show that in fact, lower taxes rates have led both to higher income among the bottom 50 percent of income earners and lower total taxes paid by that group.

Most important of all, of course, is the fact that when the rich get richer, they invest more money in the economy, thereby stimulating economic growth. Democrats generally can’t stomach the rich getting richer, even when it means everyone is better off. But you’d think they would at least propose tax policy that increases government revenue. Alas, they so want to punish the rich that they are even willing to lower government revenue in the process. — Mario Loyola is director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the new of the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...h-mario-loyola

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Old 07-10-2011, 10:06 AM   #46
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You asked me the question, so you'll need to specify.
I think it's so cute when you do this, banyon. And I bet you think it makes you look clever.

Tell me, how is it you can dispute something I say and not be prepared to explain why you are challenging my assertion? Don't give up your government job, buddy. You wouldn't last a week in the real world.

Here you go:

IRS enforcement activities bring in record revenue for 2006By Jenny Mandel jmandel@govexec.com November 21, 2006

The Internal Revenue Service boosted the revenue it gained through enforcement of tax laws by $1.4 billion in fiscal 2006, sharply increasing the number of individual and business audits conducted.

In a statement accompanying fiscal 2006 statistics, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson stressed that enforcement numbers have rebounded since the late 1990s. Enforcement had reached a low in 1999 after a series of hearings on the use of aggressive collection tactics, and passage of the 1998 IRS Restructuring and Reform Act.

Overall revenues from enforcement increased nearly 3 percent in fiscal 2006, to $48.7 billion from $47.3 billion the previous year.

Collections of taxes that filers have agreed they owe but did not voluntarily pay rose by $1.6 billion to $28.2 billion, representing a 6 percent increase over fiscal 2005 levels. The IRS used document matching, in which elements of returns are compared to centrally reported data such as payroll information and dividend amounts, to gain another $3.3 billion in revenues for fiscal 2006, marking a more than 6 percent increase over the previous year's $3.1 billion.

The IRS reported a drop, however, in audit-linked collections, from $17.7 billion to $17.2 billion in fiscal 2006, and attributed the change to a significant bump in last year's total due to a large settlement action on a tax scheme called "Son of Boss."

Everson stressed that the number of audits being conducted increased, with 6 percent more individuals being audited in fiscal 2006 than the previous year. This included a 23 percent jump in the number of face-to-face audits.

"If you earn more than $100,000 or you're a millionaire, you're a lot more likely to be audited these days than just a few years ago," Everson said, noting that audits of those making more than a million dollars rose almost 33 percent last year, while those making more than $100,000 were audited 18 percent more than the previous year.

S corporations, a category that includes some small companies, had a 34 percent increase in audits, while partnerships jumped 15 percent. Audits of large companies dipped 2.2 percent, while those of certain small businesses remained stable.

Audits of charitable organizations also rose significantly, according to the statement, up 43 percent over 2005 levels.

Everson said taxpayer services have not been sacrificed because of the renewed focus on enforcement activities, citing numbers that show stable levels of customer satisfaction and usage of Internet and toll-free resources, and an uptick in the use of online tools like e-filing and refund status checks.

Stakeholders including the National Taxpayer Advocate, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the National Treasury Employees Union have questioned IRS moves to close some taxpayer assistance centers, though, contending that service concerns have not been addressed.

The fiscal 2006 figures show that while enforcement staffing increased by almost 5 percent over the previous year, to 21,185 people, it has yet to return to 1999 levels and remains below the 25,215 level of 1997.

In response to the IRS figures, NTEU President Colleen Kelley highlighted workforce concerns. "Productivity increases are terrific, and IRS employees are to be commended for the work that they do; however, you cannot get blood from a stone," Kelley said. "IRS will only make significant progress toward [collecting the full measure of taxes owed] if the administration asks Congress for more resources for frontline staffing in the 2007 fiscal year."

Kelley also urged the agency to abandon plans to outsource some debt collection. Earlier this year, Everson testified before lawmakers that agency employees could do the same work at lower cost, but he has said the agency does not have sufficient staff to carry it out.

An October projection suggested the outsourcing initiative may run into financial troubles during its trial phase, which is slated to run through the end of 2007.

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cf...id=35540&sid=6

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http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=8116&type=0
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:09 AM   #47
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Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Is Curbing Deficit
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: July 9, 2006WASHINGTON, July 8 — An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.

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Graphic: Mixed Signals On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year's levels and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago. The rising tide in tax payments has been building for months, but the increased scale is surprising even seasoned budget analysts and making it easier for both the administration and Congress to finesse the big run-up in spending over the past year.

Tax revenues are climbing twice as fast as the administration predicted in February, so fast that the budget deficit could actually decline this year.

The main reason is a big spike in corporate tax receipts, which have nearly tripled since 2003, as well as what appears to be a big increase in individual taxes on stock market profits and executive bonuses.

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that corporate tax receipts for the nine months ending in June hit $250 billion — nearly 26 percent higher than the same time last year — and that overall revenues were $206 billion higher than at this point in 2005.

Congressional analysts say the surprise windfall could shrink the deficit this year to $300 billion, from $318 billion in 2005 and an all-time high of $412 billion in 2004.

Republicans are already arguing that the revenue jump proves that their tax cuts, especially the 2003 tax cut on stock dividends, would spur the economy and ultimately increase revenues.

"The tax relief we delivered has helped unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America and kept our economy the envy of the world," President Bush said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.

Democrats and many independent budget analysts note that overall revenues have barely climbed back to the levels reached in 2000, and that the government has borrowed trillions of dollars against Social Security surpluses just as the first of the nation's baby boomers are nearing retirement.

"The fact is that revenues are way below what the administration said they would be a few years ago," said Thomas S. Kahn, staff director for Democrats on the House Budget Committee. "The long-term prognosis is still very, very bleak, and the administration doesn't have any kind of long-term plan."

One reason the run-up in taxes looks good is because the past five years looked so bad. Revenues are up, but they have lagged well behind economic growth.

The surge could also evaporate as quickly as it appeared. Over the past decade, tax revenues have become much more volatile, alternately soaring and plunging in the wake of swings in the stock market and repeatedly defying government projections.

Nevertheless, the short-term change has been striking. At the beginning of the year, the Congressional Budget Office projected that this year's deficit would be $371 billion and the White House Office of Management and Budget put the figure at $423 billion.

Corporate tax payments are expected to exceed $300 billion, up from $131 billion three years ago. The other big increase is an extraordinary jump in individual taxes that were not withheld from paychecks, usually a reflection of taxes on investment income and executive bonuses.

The jump in receipts is providing Mr. Bush and Republicans in Congress with a new opportunity to assert that tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are working and that Congress should make them permanent.

Pat Toomey, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative political fund-raising group, said: "The supply-siders were absolutely right. All the major sources of revenue have grown, especially in areas where we said they would."

But budget analysts, supporters and critics of Mr. Bush alike, cautioned that this year's windfall would do little to improve the government's long-term budget woes.

Government spending under Mr. Bush continued to climb rapidly this year, more than twice as fast as the economy. Spending on the war in Iraq has accelerated, to about $120 billion this year.

Far more ominously, the nation's oldest baby boomers will be eligible for Social Security benefits in just two years. Conservatives and liberals alike predict a huge escalation in costs of Social Security and Medicare over the next several decades.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/wa...on/09econ.html
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:10 AM   #48
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #49
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I hear crickets.

Meh.

I enjoy overkill... ONWARD!

Revenue collections hit record high in April
Government spending also at an all-time high

Federal revenue collections hit an all-time high in April, contributing to a further improvement in the budget deficit for the year.


Releasing its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Thursday that through the first seven months of this budget year, the deficit totals $80.8 billion, significantly below the $184.1 billion imbalance run up during the first seven months of the 2006 budget year.

So far this year, tax revenues total $1.505 trillion, an increase of 11.2 percent over the same period last year. That figure includes $383.6 billion collected in April, the largest monthly tax collection on record.

Tax collections swell in April every year as individuals file their tax returns by the deadline.

For the first seven months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, revenue collections and government spending are at all-time highs.

However, the spending total of $1.585 billion was up at a slower pace of 3.2 percent from the previous year.

The difference in the growth of tax collections and spending is the reason for the narrowing deficit.

The Congressional Budget Office said that it now expects the deficit for all of 2007 to total between $150 billion and $200 billion. That would be a significant improvement from last year’s deficit of $248.2 billion, which had been the lowest imbalance in four years.

The federal budget was in surplus for four years from 1998 through 2001 as the long economic expansion helped push revenues higher. But the 2001 recession, the cost of fighting a global war on terror and the loss of revenue from President Bush’s tax cuts sent the budget back into the red starting in 2002.

The administration’s budget sent to Congress in February projects that the deficit will be eliminated by 2012 even if the president achieves his goal of getting his tax cuts made permanent. They are now due to expire in 2010.

However, critics say the improvement in the deficits will be only temporary with deficits expected to balloon again with the higher Social Security and Medicare payments needed as 78 million baby boomers retire.

While Bush sought to make entitlement reform the centerpiece of his domestic agenda in a second term, his proposals to bolster Social Security with personal savings accounts has gone nowhere in Congress.

White House Budget Director Rob Portman said the surge in tax revenues over the past two years was directly related to the economic rebound spurred by the Bush tax cuts. He said Congress should reject efforts to roll back the tax relief.

“With strong economic growth and spending restraint, we can continue to reduce budget deficits and balance the budget as the president has proposed,” Portman said in a statement.

For April, revenue receipts totaled $383.64 billion while spending totaled $205.97 billion, leaving a surplus for the month of $177.7 billion.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18595849/
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:27 AM   #50
banyon banyon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mad Crapper View Post
I think it's so cute when you do this, banyon. And I bet you think it makes you look clever.

Tell me, how is it you can dispute something I say and not be prepared to explain why you are challenging my assertion? Don't give up your government job, buddy. You wouldn't last a week in the real world.

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It certainly doesn't make you look clever.

Clearly you didn't understand the importance of my earlier question, as you've given nominal numbers only. The price of butter is at an all time high too. That's because our money is only worth a fraction of what it was a century ago.

So, to hold your hand and walk you through it (as usual), the inflation adjusted and pct of GDP numbers look like this:

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfa....cfm?Docid=200

PCT of GDP (in attachment)

Inflation Adjusted

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Old 07-10-2011, 10:28 AM   #51
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High Taxes? Actually, They're at a 60-Year Low

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...n7326720.shtml

(AP) WASHINGTON - Taxes too high?

Actually, as a share of the nation's economy, Uncle Sam's take this year will be the lowest since 1950, when the Korean War was just getting underway.

And for the third straight year, American families and businesses will pay less in federal taxes than they did under former President George W. Bush, thanks to a weak economy and a growing number of tax breaks for the wealthy and poor alike.

Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13 percent lower than they were in 2008, the last full year of the Bush presidency. Corporate taxes will be lower by a third, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The poor economy is largely to blame, with corporate profits down and unemployment up. But so is a tax code that grows each year with new deductions, credits and exemptions. The result is that families making as much as $50,000 can avoid paying federal income taxes, if they have at least two dependent children. Low-income families can actually make a profit from the income tax, and the wealthy can significantly cut their payments.

"The current state of the tax code is simply indefensible," says Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. "It is hemorrhaging revenue."

In the next few years, many can expect to pay more in taxes. Some increases were enacted as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. And many states have raised taxes because unlike the federal government they have to balance their budgets each year. State tax receipts are projected to increase in all but seven states this year, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

But in the third year of Obama's presidency, federal taxes are at historic lows. Tax receipts dropped sharply in 2009 as the economy sank into recession. They have since stabilized and are expected to grow by 3 percent this year. But federal tax revenues won't rebound to pre-recession levels until next year, according to CBO projections.

In the current budget year, federal tax receipts will be equal to 14.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, the lowest level since Harry Truman was president. In Bush's last year in office, tax receipts were 17.5 percent of GDP, just below their 40-year average.

The lack of revenue, combined with big increases in spending, means the federal government will have to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends this year. The annual federal budget deficit is projected to reach a record $1.5 trillion.

Lawmakers from both political parties vow to tackle the nation's financial problems. Republicans in Congress promise big spending cuts, and Obama says he wants to reshape corporate taxes, closing loopholes to pay for lower overall rates. Few in Washington, however, are calling for big tax increases, at least in the short term.

"America's tax system is clearly broken," Donald Marron, a former economic adviser to Bush, told the Senate Budget Committee at a recent hearing. "It fails at its most basic task, which, lest we forget, is raising enough money to pay for the federal government."

At the request of The Associated Press, The Tax Institute at H&R Block compared 2008 and 2010 tax bills for families at various income levels, showing how their taxes have changed since Obama took office. Taxpayers are filing their 2010 tax returns this spring, while 2008 was the last full year that Bush was president. The scenarios assume that each family had the same income, filing status and number of dependent children in both years.

Income tax rates remain unchanged. But many taxpayers are seeing their bills drop under Obama because of more generous tax credits for college students, working families, homebuyers and the working poor. Many of the changes were enacted as part of the big economic stimulus package passed in 2009.

Congress also extended Bush-era tax cuts through 2012. Lawmakers let Obama's Making Work Pay tax credit expire at the end of 2010, but they replaced it with a one-year cut in Social Security payroll taxes that is already showing up in workers' paychecks.

Some scenarios:

A married couple with two young children and a combined income of $25,000 will pay no federal income taxes for 2010. Instead, they'll get a payment of $7,085 up from $6,700 in 2008. The larger payment comes mainly from a more generous Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides subsidies to the working poor. They will also get a $1,000-per-child tax credit. The example illustrates how complicated tax returns can be, even for low-income families, said Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block.

A married couple with two children, including one in college, and a combined income of $50,000 would pay no federal income taxes, instead getting a payment of $734 from the government this year. However, they did better in 2008 when they netted a $1,234 payment from the government. That's because Obama's Making Work Pay credit was worth less to them than the Bush-era economic stimulus payment they received in 2008.

A single person making $50,000 while paying interest on a student loan would have a 2010 tax bill of $5,325 a $63 decrease from 2008. The difference is due to an inflation-based increase in the standard deduction and personal exemption.

A married couple with two children, including one in college, with some modest investments and a combined income of $200,000 will see their federal income tax bill drop by $780, to $28,496. Their tax bill is lower than in 2008 largely because itemized deductions are no longer limited for high-income families.

-A rich couple with two kids in college, larger investments and a combined income of $1 million will see their taxes drop by $6,740, to $277,699 in 2010. Their tax bill is lower than in 2008 because they were able to defer a larger portion of their income to retirement accounts, and because itemized deductions are no longer limited for high-income families.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...n7326720.shtml
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
Really what we need is the BS spedning to be cut. I am not talking about SS, Medicare or Defense. I am talking about the cumulative effects of the pet projects, etc., that end up costing us billions.

The fact is the cumulative effect of politicians on both sides buying votes has finally caught up with us. The choice to focus on medicare and SS and the like is to generate fear and what not. That fat is what I am talking about. The bloated bureaucracy. The total amount of waste per $ spent. Excessive staffs. Excessive perks. The programs that fly low on or under the radar. The pandering to the SIG's. Excessive and bloated regulatory committees, etc.

While no single 1 of those instances will amount to much, the combined total is a lot.

All we are hearing is about cutting spedning in general and raising taxes but otherwise doing business as usual.

Do we really need a DHS?
Do we really need a Dept. of Energy?
Do we really need a Dept. of Education?

Or can those be rolled up and streamlined into other parts of the government if not cut out right? I'm not trying to pick on the Obama's but a classic example just in a nutshell is when you look at how many assistants the 1st Lady has. She has 43. 43! Nancy Reagan had 3. that can go all the way donw the line to the staffs of congress.

When a business gets in trouble the first thing it does is cut the fat and look for synergies in the effort to streamline operations and maximize productivity per $ spent on overhead. The Obama and Democratic answer to essentially maximize profit does not involve cost cutting. It is to just tax more so they can continue to spend more.
really, pete?

have you read the news lately, or read the threads right here in dc?

dems agreed to roughly 4 trillion in cuts as part of the debt ceiling deal...

is 4 trillion not a spending cut?

in your efforts to demonize the big o and dems in general, you're ignoring reality...

aren't they bad enough without having to make up stuff about them?
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:08 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
really, pete?

have you read the news lately, or read the threads right here in dc?

dems agreed to roughly 4 trillion in cuts as part of the debt ceiling deal...

is 4 trillion not a spending cut?

in your efforts to demonize the big o and dems in general, you're ignoring reality...

aren't they bad enough without having to make up stuff about them?
Senate Dems also want to burden us with large tax hikes and not deal with the ObamaCare debacle......long way from getting any real movement. Careful what you buy.....dems are focused on cuts that wont even begin to impact till 5-8 years out. The cuts have to be immediate impact or its all smoke, mirrors, and bullshit.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:27 AM   #54
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Senate Dems also want to burden us with large tax hikes and not deal with the ObamaCare debacle......long way from getting any real movement. Careful what you buy.....dems are focused on cuts that wont even begin to impact till 5-8 years out. The cuts have to be immediate impact or its all smoke, mirrors, and bullshit.
senate dems may want to diddle little boys, but as i understand it, the deal under consideration now calls for spending cuts of 2 trillion and no tax increases...

as to how long it will be for the impact isn't it better to get cuts of that size now and then work on getting them made effective sooner?

2 trillion in smoke and mirrors is a good start, imo...
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #55
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:35 AM   #56
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senate dems may want to diddle little boys, but as i understand it, the deal under consideration now calls for spending cuts of 2 trillion and no tax increases...

as to how long it will be for the impact isn't it better to get cuts of that size now and then work on getting them made effective sooner?

2 trillion in smoke and mirrors is a good start, imo...
Well, then you should look a bit deeper....http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...S4H_print.html
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:41 AM   #57
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Well, then you should look a bit deeper....http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...S4H_print.html
that article is from two days ago, things have changed...

isn't there a thread about the new developments in the negotiations, or did i read it on al jazeera?
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:42 AM   #58
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that article is from two days ago, things have changed...

isn't there a thread about the new developments in the negotiations, or did i read it on al jazeera?

Has the senate dropped this proposal?
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:54 AM   #59
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Has the senate dropped this proposal?
i'm not sure what individual senators are saying, but it's my understanding that the current deal under consideration by the republicans calls for 2 trillion in reductions with no tax increases...

if the deal is struck by the leadership, i'm sure they'll get enough votes in the senate...

aren't there a few repub senators who might vote for this deal too?

it wouldn't take that many dems to pass it in the senate, i would think, even if there is opposition...
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:56 AM   #60
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Tax revenues are at record highs.
Not in real terms, as has already been pointed out to you repeatedly.

But no, it's the value of the blethering propaganda soundbyte right?

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