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I Shouldn\'t...

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I Shouldn\'t...

...but I just can't stop myself.

This is the most ridiculous post ever perpetrated in the Packer Blogoshpere.

PackSmack, smarting after the Packer loss yesterday, decides to take it upon himself to let us all know that, yes, it sucks that the Packers lost, and then proceeds to tell us that, didn't you know? Barrack Obama is a socialist.

Good. God.

I try very hard to keep this blog Packer-specific. (Unlike PackerGeeks or PackSmack - but those are their blogs, so cool) I also try very hard not to veer into politics or religion. But with tomorrows election looming, I feel inclined to lift my voice a bit in response to this drivel from PackSmack.

Look, if you think Obama's tax plan is the wrong way to go, fine. If you think McCain's policies are going to steer this country in the right direction, more power to you. Vote accordingly. But please, for the love of all that is Holy - STOP calling Obama a socialist. The REPUBLICAN administration currently in the White House has practically nationalized the entire banking industry and you're worried about OBAMA bringing socialism? To put it delicately - give me a fucking break.

And for the record, Mr. PackSmack - the Republican party was indeed started in Wisconsin - in Ripon. I knew that without Googling. I also knew the definition of 'socialism'. I suggest reading up a bit on, um, everything before dipping your toe in these waters again.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (70) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mr.Man's picture

Amen.

nc packer backer's picture

When will people realize that the Democrats and Republicans are cut from the same cloth and their mission statement is "Screw The People".

Donald's Designated Driver's picture

Not to defend that dood's rant, but...

Here is the difference between Obama and his political predecessors. His predecessors viewed taxation as a way of raising revenue. Obama view taxation as primarily a way to “evening out” income, and raising revenue is secondary.

Here an an exchange between Obama and Charlie Gibson:
____________________

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
_______________________

The point the two are discussing is that when capital gains taxes are higher, investor simply hold onto stock longer. If no one is selling stock, no one realizes any capital gains, and the government has nothing to tax.

However, Obama doesn't care because higher capital gains taxes are in and of themselves "fairer." Obama would rather have less revenue for the government in order to shrink the percieved gap between the "rich" and the "poor," and make us all poorer in the process. That is what makes him a Marxist.

I'm not a huge McCain fan, but I find all of this denial that Obama is a socialist puzzling. Of course he is a socialist. Some people think that's a good thing. Some people think that's a bad thing. Either way, open your eyes and call it as it is.

packeraaron's picture

DDD - we could go round and round. I disagree (obviously) but I won't turn this blog into Red State or Daily Kos. So long as you're voting, I'm happy.

PackSmack's picture

packeraaron,

So you want to hold me out before all Cheesheads as the "most ridiculous post ever perpetrated in the Packer Blogoshpere" and then heap further insults on me because I said Obama is a socialist? And then when someone else who actually understands what is going on (nc packer backer) lays it out plain and simple, essentially proving the point I made and, thus making your rant look stupid, you got no apology or love for PackSmack? Come on, big guy, where is your bipartisan spirit? I guess you really couldn't handle my actual political blog.

But, whatever. You're a liberal, that's fine. I expect as much from liberals. So if Obama gets elected I am sure you will enjoy sending me part of your paycheck every week, since this is what you support. I'll be waiting for you to put your money where your mouth is.

And if you think that I am just sticking my 'toe in these waters'...I was TEACHING the Constitution, and the dangers of socialism, communism, etc. and the philosophies behind all of them when you were still peeing in your little packeraaron pajamas.

So come on, grow up. Put it in perspective, it's election season. And I am not afraid to stand up for this country regardless of how much shame you attempt to attribute to me. I wear none of it and make no apologies. Your comments say way more about you than they do me.

But, hey, thanks for the web traffic.

packeraaron's picture

No problem PackSmack. Just "spreading the wealth around"

;)

PackSmack's picture

LOL. atta boy.

DaveK's picture

Look up the term refundable tax credit. Obama plans to give 44 million of them to people who pay NO income taxes. Obama calls these "tax cuts" when they are really welfare payments. How do you exactly give tax cuts to people who do not pay taxes? When you tax some people to give checks to others who do not pay taxes then that, my friend, is socialism. I have no problem giving tax cuts to people WHO PAY TAXES but this is absurd. It may be an ugly word that carries some baggage but that is his stated tax policy and it is socialistic.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122385651698727257.html

DaveK's picture

The Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year. The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis estimates that by 2011, under the Obama plan, an additional 10 million filers would pay zero taxes while cashing checks from the IRS.

packeraaron's picture

Even Socialists don't think Obama's a socialist:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obama-chicago-socialist,0,4048540...

(see, I can link to stuff too ;) )

packeraaron's picture

And riddle me this: Carried interest is currently taxed at 15 percent while income tax is taxed at 35. What kind of fiscal sense does that make? None, (and spare me the "a higher rate on carry will take business overseas" cop out) but it's a great way for millionaires to save money on their taxes. Where's your outrage over that? I mean, GOD FORBID we give people making less than 40K a year some money from the government so they can pay a bill or twelve - that's Socialism, for God's sake! But multi-millionaires pay more tax to the country they say they love so dearly? Well, we can't have that...

packeraaron's picture

And yes, that is a big, gigantic Strawman I just constructed. My blog, my rules. :)

DL's picture

The word "socialism" most effectively triggers fear in old white people, who are mostly not voting for Obama anyway. So it got a lot of copy, but I doubt it swung many votes.

And yes I am disappointed in myself for making this the first CHTV post I reply to - I have read and enjoyed this blog all year.

Keith's picture

Aaron, kudos for the above quip, that was priceless.

I hate to even get involved, but it's not like Republicans have been fiscally conservative the last 8 years.

And as for the big, scary word, "socialism," I think the right uses "socialism" and "communist" (among other words) to scare the crap out of people. Incorporating some socialist ideas isn't going to turn America into the Soviet Union. 2008 corporate America is a far cry from the days of Henry Ford. Those at the top don't give a crap about the working class. All they care about is themselves, only they do it under the guise of "maximizing shareholder value."

There is no such thing as "the right way" to do things. In fact, there are likely multiple paths to success. IMO, we should pick a President who is well educated and intelligent, with the ability to serve as the leader of this great nation both domestically and abroad. This idea that we need a President who is "of the people" is ludicrous. My deli slicer is a great guy, but I don't want him running the country.

And btw, I am a registered Republican.

coreyb's picture

Somebody stop the bus and give me my <strong>Packer Blog</strong> back.

although I will admit that "when you were still peeing in your little packeraaron pajamas" was priceless.

packeraaron's picture

Thanks DL. No shame in any posting of your thoughts, regardless of topic. Welcome!

DaveK's picture

Aaron - When you talk about "carried interest" you are essentially talking about capital gains tax. I have no problem raising the capital gains rate once you hit a certain threshold. You could easily tier that so that once you realize a gain of..lets say...over $250K you pay the same rate as the top marginal tax rate on any additional capital gain or 'carried interest'. But, adjusting the capital gains upward or downward does not directly redistribute wealth either way. It simply taxes a particular source of income more or less. That is a totally separate issue then giving rebate checks to people who do NOT pay taxes and you fail to defend the need for doing that. Why can't you close the capital gain 'loophole' but only give income tax cuts to people who PAY TAXES? Why does Obama have to make these tax credits refundable? Why can’t he just give tax credits to people who pay taxes? Because he wants to “spread the wealth”! He thinks it is fair to take $500 or $1000 from one class and give it to another class. Ok – if he believes that then so be it. Run on that. But, don’t prattle on about tax cuts for 95% of Americans when you really mean tax cuts for 51% of Americans and welfare payments for 44% of Americans. Of course, that wouldn’t be so politically catchy now would it?

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Keith: I don't think the goal is to turn America into the Soviet Union, but I do think the goal is to turn America into Germany or France.

packeraaron's picture

DaveK - The "need" for doing it? How about the fact that the average wage in America has basically stagnated since the 70's while every conceivable expense has risen exponentially? I have no problem (obviously) with people who don't pay taxes getting money from the government. Will some of it be wasted? Of course. But so is a good chunk of the Defense budget. So is a good chunk of the budget for the Department of Education (which should be eliminated by the way - how's THAT for a "liberal"?)

As for the dual nature of what is said and what is meant in political campaigns, I know you're smarter than that. Either that, or you can kindly find me the politician who ran a one hundred percent honest campaign? I'm a progressive, but I'm a realist for God's sake...

DaveK's picture

Aaron - You want to cure wage stagnation by redistributing wealth through the tax code? Wow. Most liberals just want to raise taxes to grow the size of government. You seem to go even one step further. You truly want to raise taxes and directly turn around and give that money to someone else via the tax code. You may bristle at the word but you are in fact a European style socialist.

packeraaron's picture

Where did I say I "want" it? I just don't see the "Oh My God, the country's going to hell!" in it. But hey, when all you got is "Fear", run on "Fear"...

nc packer backer's picture

I think that the Right and The Left are working together to divide us as a country. Its a strategy that is as old as time. DIVIDE AND CONQUER. The politicians keep us fighting amongst ourselves while they use the country (us) for there own gain. We all need to get a clue. Whoever is in charge is going to fuck everyone (us again). Thats just the way it works until we get a clue and come together to stop it.

DaveK's picture

Come on now Aaron – name calling? Really? I am not a fear monger. I never said this country was going to hell if Obama gets elected. I disagree with him on how he wants to use the tax code to redistribute income. I just pointed out that this is a very unsavory aspect of Obama's tax code policy and it is socialistic in nature. I think the label “socialist” comes with too much baggage and I don’t normally use it but Obama is not that far from European style socialists. The label doesn’t carry as much stigma in Europe as it does here I guess. We seem to be moving towards European style socialism just as Europe (and Canada) has spent the last two years turning away from it. Bottom line is that Obama is going to use the tax code to redistribute wealth. It is factual. You haven’t refuted it but have only tried to justify it. Obama doesn't even deny it. He uses clever rhetoric to smooth it over but when pushed he doesn’t deny that his use of “refundable” tax credits is redistributive in nature. I do enjoy your PACKER blog and I don’t even mind reasonable discussion on politics around an election but I think you went too far in referring to me a fear monger and boil down my arguments down to “fear”. Give me a break…

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"How about the fact that the average wage in America has basically stagnated since the 70’s while every conceivable expense has risen exponentially?"

Is this true? I'd like to see some support for this statement. I'm highly skeptical that every conceivable cost has risen "exponetially." Exponentially would mean that if people were paying $50 per month to heat their homes in 1979 they are now paying $2,500. If they were paying $100 in 1979, in order for them to be paying "exponentially" more they would now be paying $10,000 per month to heat their homes. Color me skeptical.

I'm also pretty sure that food costs have **declined** in the last few decades....

packeraaron's picture

DaveK - sorry for the inference - I was speaking about McCain, not yourself.

And thanks for reading the Packer content as well ;)

packeraaron's picture

DDD - fine - 'exponentially' was for effect. Pretty sure you know what I meant.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"Whoever is in charge is going to fuck everyone (us again)."

Finally, someone who gets it. This is exactly why small less intrusive government is better that big more intrusive government. Both will fuck you, but the small government will fuck you softly.

Keith's picture

Yeah, well the way the Republicans have been spending the last 8 years certainly wouldn't qualify as "small" government.

The Republican party has gone off its traditional course. They're essentially self-righteous Democrats, IMO. If you think a vote for McCain is a vote for fiscal conservatism then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for you.

DaveK's picture

Keith - I agree with you. One reason the Republican brand is so tarnished is that the GOP has not governed as fiscal conservatives. Fiscal conservatives make up a signifigant portion of the GOP and the abandonment of their principles is one reason why Bush's approval ratings are in the low 30's. A large swath of the electorate doesn't really believe either party is 'small' government and thus push it aside as an issue. Does it really matter that Obama wants to dramtically increase the size and scope of government? Not if you also think the other guy will do the same and then it just becomes a matter of you trust more to do it. That is an over-simplification of things but in a general sense I think it gets to core of one of the major problem Republicans have this cycle.

Keith's picture

Dave - Exactly. And a NY Republican like myself tends to lean liberal, because I agree with the Dem's positions on many social issues.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Keith, as I said, I'm no McCain supporter (I'm also no Republican), but if you think there is no difference between Obama and McCain, I think you are wrong.

Obama wants to raise taxes, increase spending, he wants to reinstitute protectionist trade policies. He is far more Jimmy Carter than he is Bill Clinton.

PackerBelle's picture

I'm going to throw my two cents in - and it may not even be worth that.

Obama is not a socialist. All he's doing is getting us back to a progressive tax system. As Warren Buffet says he shouldn't pay a lower rate than his secretary. High levels of income inequality, which is promoted by the Bush and McCain tax cuts, harms economic growth. Why? Because it doesn't matter how low the business tax rate is when people can't afford to buy the goods and services produced.

Obama's tax credit would be for those who either pay payroll taxes or income taxes. And tax credits can encourage work - studies have shown the Earned Income Tax Credit increased work rates in lower income workers. The idea of giving bigger tax breaks to wealthier people is based on supply side economics - which most economists I've talked/worked with say is complete B.S. There are too many holes for it to work. Obama's is more demand side oriented - give people money to buy goods so that they can support businesses. I did my Master's thesis on raising wages and its effect on economic growth and showed that a living wage ordinance (higher wages) is associated with a significant positive effect on the local economy.

So from an economist's POV (mine and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman) Obama's plan is the better one.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

I keep hearing about the huge tax "breaks" for rich people. But then I see the statistics about who actually pays taxes in this country. How can someone argue that high income earners (this is different group than the "wealthy"--you can earn a high salary and not be anything resembling wealthy) are not paying their "fair share." Total pap. It's as if people are under the delusion that somewhere written in the sands of time it is written that appropriate level of taxation for high income earners is 50% or 45% or something and anything less constitutes a "tax break." If you hold these views you need to enroll yourself in the deprogramming center immediately.
(I do note that no one in this tread has dared to touch my first post on this topic.)

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Here is what a "tax break" is: every one in the country pays 20% and you pay %19. THAT is a "tax break." This is NOT a tax break: everyone in the country pays 20% and you pay 35% (instead of 39%). I'me usually a pretty mild mannered guy :) but give me a "break."

packeraaron's picture

DDD - You must have missed my link to the Socialists who say Obama...is not a socialist. ;)

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Touche. Here is an African American who says that Obama is not "black."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/01/22/obama/

It must be true.

packeraaron's picture

Here is a man who says we never made it to the moon: http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread237245/pg1

PackerBelle's picture

DDD, the issue with taxes is that with the Bush tax cuts 90% of benefited the wealthiest 10%. And John McCain's tax cuts will do the same. This essentially concentrates wealth in a small percentage - which is essentially redistribution of wealth also.

The issue is that high concentration of wealth is bad for an economy. A little bit of income inequality is good - it gives people something to strive for. But a lot results in decreased economic growth because a developed country thrives on luxury goods and services. When the majority of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage they aren't going out to dinner, buying HDTVs, etc which hurts businesses which hurts everyone. Want the economy to grow? Make sure people can afford to buy things - that means higher wages for unskilled workers and lower tax rates for middle class households.

Having higher taxes on wealthier people makes sense from a pragmatic standpoint - they can afford it. Most low and middle income households are struggling right now and a higher taxes would kill them. If you make over $250,000 a year in taxable income, that is over $20,00 a month. After one month you are about $400 below the poverty threshold for a family of 4. And you are honestly saying they are paying too much in taxes? Especially when 1 in 5 kids in the U.S. lives in poverty?

We need higher tax revenues. We are fighting two wars, our infrastructure is falling apart, and an economic crisis. So we need more money somewhere and it is either going to come from low and middle income people who can't afford it or people making over a quarter of a million dollars a year who can.

And DDD, Obama is not a Marxist. Marxism holds for no private property and everyone getting exactly the same even without the same level of effort or contribution. That is, Marxism takes everything and redistributes it. Obama's plan is doing what our tax plan is supposed to do - place the burden on those who can afford it. And if you think his plan is bad, compare it to the initial income tax where the top rate was over 90%.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

BB: those are great talking points...but show me some actual facts that support you naked claim that "when the majority of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage." This is a bunch of pap.
Who pay the taxes in this country: well the top 1% pays %40 of all taxes in this country. The top 10% pay %70 percent of all taxes. I just don't see eye to eye with people that think this is "unfair" to everyone else. A flatter tax will be a better more rational democracy. It's easy to have the government filled with well-intentioned busy-bodies ***when someone else is picking up the tab.*** (As just one example, you don't think there would have been more opposition to the Iraq war if **everyone** had to open up their wallet to fund it?)

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

PA: that's a good one. Here's a guy that says that AIDS is a government conspiracy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2QDpBRFVAA&amp;feature=related

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture
packeraaron's picture

al Qaeda collaborated with Saddam Hussein!

http://www.amazon.com/Connection-Collaboration-Hussein-Endangered-Americ...

Hey look! It's PackerGeeks own Stephen Hayes!

;)

PackerBelle's picture

"BB: those are great talking points…but show me some actual facts that support you naked claim that “when the majority of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage.” This is a bunch of pap."

Look at the foreclosures that shows an awful lot of people unable to pay their mortgage. We've lost over 700,000 jobs this year - that means those people are facing severe economic distress. The real value of wages has decreased - people's wages don't go as far as they used to. As of 2007 nearly 1 in 10 families were in poverty, a number that will likely increase. And the largest group in poverty? Kids.

DaveK's picture

PackerBelle - The notion that Bush has made our income tax less progressive is not correct. In 1999, the bottom 50% of wage earners paid 4.00% of total income taxes paid. The last year that data has been released, 2006, the bottom 50% of wage earners paid 2.99% of total income taxes paid. In 1999, the top 10% paid 66.45% of all income taxes. In 2006, that same group paid 70.79% of all income taxes. The income tax code has become more progressive under Bush. Can you admit at least that? Google it if you do not believe me. In fact, the O.E.C.D. recently released a report that the US "has the most progressive tax system and collects the largest share of taxes from the richest 10% of the population."

Now, raising the capital gains rate would make the super rich pay a higher percentage and I would agree to that to a degree. We should increase the capital gains rate to the top marginal rate after you hit a certain amount of capital gain. This is basically what the UK does. That way Warren Buffet’s of the world and hedge fund managers who make their money buying and selling assets would pay a tax rate equal to 99.9% of the people who earn their income via a normal W-2. But, you are talking about a small percentage of people that make a significant portion of their income via buying and selling assets. Plus, when you raise the capital gains rate it actually reduces revenue in the short term because people do not sell their assets to avoid the tax. People would hold on to property and stock longer if they knew they were going to take a 39% hit once they sell it. This is not small thing in regard to the budget. In fact, when they cut the rate in 2003 the amount of revenue raised dramatically increased. So, if your goal is to raise revenue to fund two wars, or reduce debt, or pay for government health care then you are better off temporarily cutting the capital gains rate.

The problem with Obama is the math. You are just not going to pay for all his new spending and tax cuts for “95% of Americans” by taxing the top 5% more. It is good politics but the math just doesn’t work and it is going to make it very hard to govern when his choice will be to scuttle some programs he promised or raise taxes on a broader segment of the country.

packeraaron's picture

DaveK - there you go again (hmmm where have I heard that before...;) ) You say: "You are just not going to pay for all his new spending" - did you type that with a straight face? After the last 8 years?

PackerBelle's picture

Since some of this got cut off, I'm re-posting.

"BB: those are great talking points…but show me some actual facts that support you naked claim that “when the majority of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage.” This is a bunch of pap."

Look at the foreclosures that shows an awful lot of people unable to pay their mortgage. We've lost over 700,000 jobs this year - that means those people are facing severe economic distress. The real value of wages has decreased - people's wages don't go as far as they used to. As of 2007 nearly 1 in 10 families were in poverty, a number that will likely increase. And the largest group in poverty? Kids. The sad thing is, the picture is worse when you use a relative poverty measure rather than the massively flawed absolute measure we have now.

Apparently you haven't been paying attention to the news. It's full of stories about seniors not being able to afford medication, or who may need to go back to work due to their 401(K) tanking. It talks about how the fuel prices have raised the price of everything and the strain it has on finances.

And as of 2001, the top 20% of the people had over 80% of the wealth in this country. And the top 1% owns approximately 1/3. And that was in 2001 and most economic studies have shown more concentrated wealth over the last 7 years.

DaveK, I agree that all of Obama's plans aren't feasible right now. However, making it easier for the majority of American's to get by will go a long way towards turning the corner economically. Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman has been very positive about Obama's programs - including tax credits for new jobs, helping lower and middle income workers, and trying to get kids health care. Regarding the capital gains taxes, no one is going to sell stock now anyway because the market is too low! And if they do sell now, there likely aren't many capital gains anyway because the market has tanked. But what Obama's plan does it get money into the hands of those who have a higher marginal propensity to consume - meaning they spend a higher percentage of additional income. This leads to a larger positive impact on the economy. Let me give you an example, if you give someone making $100,000 a year $2000 in a tax cut they aren't going to spend the full $2000 because they don't need it to survive. Now imagine splitting the $2000 between four people making $25,000 a year. Most (if not all) of the $2000 will get spent and when you add the multiplier effect in the effect of giving money to people who make less is much greater than that of giving it to someone who makes more and doesn't need it.

Also, your statistics are misleading because it doesnt' discuss concentration of wealth. It isn't more progressive if the share of wealth increased by more than the share of taxes.

And none of this addresses the fact that Obama is neither a socialist or a Marxist. As someone who has studied both Norway (socialist democracy) and communist Russia I can attest to that.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Let me ask this question again: show me some facts that demonstrate that that “when the ****majority*** of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage.” You are telling me that more than %50 of Americans can't buy food? Bullshit. The question is not "should we help people who are struggling. That's a cheap strawman argument. Point out where someone is saying we should increase taxes impoverished children.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

PB: (1) Learn the difference between "wealth" and "income." Here's an example: Arianna Huffington is disgustingly wealthy. She pay little to no income tax because he does have a real job.

(2) please respond to my very first post (12:30) re: socialism. The point isn't that Obama favors a progressive income tax its that he would rather the government take in less revenue in order to stall the prosperity of the perceived "rich." It has nothing to do with revenue raising and everything to do with his idea of "fairness."

packeraaron's picture

OK - let me make this clear - all of you who think Obama is a Socliaist/Marxist - We are going to wake up on January 20th living in an entirely different country. That is a fear-based reason for being anti-Obama. And it is bullshit. We'll 'survive' 4 (probably 8) years of Obama. And we'll still be a free, capitalist nation. Unless you think Obama will change the Constitution and transform the United States into a Marxist state, in which case you are truly cracked and no amount of Packer football will save you.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"Let me give you an example, if you give someone making $100,000 a year $2000 in a tax cut they aren’t going to spend the full $2000 because they don’t need it to survive."
You bet your ass they will spend it all because the reason they earn that salary is that they racked up $130k worth of debt to earn advanced degrees.

packeraaron's picture

Unless, of course, their mommy and daddy paid for their schooling like 90 percent of the guys I meet in Private Equity. ;) And 130k is nothing if your bonus at the end of the year is a couple million...

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Yes. I'm afraid of people who have shitty statitist policies based up their own squishy concept of "fairness." Yes. I am afraid of that. I guess that makes me a **chicken**. Bawk bawk. (Now don't you feel smug and superior by getting me to admit I'm a chicken.)

PackerBelle's picture

"Let me ask this question again: show me some facts that demonstrate that that “when the ****majority*** of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage.” You are telling me that more than %50 of Americans can’t buy food? Bullshit. The question is not “should we help people who are struggling. That’s a cheap strawman argument. Point out where someone is saying we should increase taxes impoverished children."

When prices go up it becomes harder to buy the same basket of goods. That means it is a struggle to maintain your standard of living when your real income falls. So anyone who hasn't seen their income go up significantly are therefore are struggling to buy food, pay their mortgage, etc because everything costs more now than it did even six months ago.

And wealth and income are very similar. Wealth is wages, dividends, other income as well as property (whether stocks, land or whatever). But wealth generages income. If you have land you gain income by renting it or by using it as collateral for loans. If you own stocks you get dividends. Heck, even if you just have money in the bank you earn interest. And wealth is taxed. If you own property you pay taxes. If you inherit money (i.e. wealth) you pay taxes.

And Obama doesn't favor a progressive tax in order to "stall the prosperity of the perceived “rich" but rather to make sure that the people paying taxes are those who can best afford it.

And I'm still waiting for evidence how higher taxes for people making far more than the median income is going to hurt those people in any significant way or hurt the economy in general. Especially given that a lot of evidence suggests decreasing income inequality will actually stimulate the economy.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

They didn't.

PackerBelle's picture

"You bet your ass they will spend it all because the reason they earn that salary is that they racked up $130k worth of debt to earn advanced degrees."
No they won't. People have done studies and it has shown that the marginal propensity to consume decreases and income rises.

packeraaron's picture

DDD- not trying to be smug. But this "the sky is falling!" from the Right (not you, I know - but the Right) is ludicrous.

PackerBelle's picture

"Yes. I’m afraid of people who have shitty statitist policies based up their own squishy concept of “fairness.” "
But you aren't afraid of people who use supply side economics despite the fact that the evidence shows it doesn't work?

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

Let me ask this question a third time: show me some facts that demonstrate that that “the ***majority*** of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage."

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

“You bet your ass they will spend it all because the reason they earn that salary is that they racked up $130k worth of debt to earn advanced degrees.”
No they won’t. People have done studies and it has shown that the marginal propensity to consume decreases and income rises.

Yes. Trust me on this one: they will. And beside, are you suggesting that we should just tax the shit out of people to the extent that they have less money for savings?

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"And Obama doesn’t favor a progressive tax in order to “stall the prosperity of the perceived “rich” but rather to make sure that the people paying taxes are those who can best afford it."

This is simply wrong. Read my first post from yesterday. It's not about raising revenue.

PackerBelle's picture

"Let me ask this question a third time: show me some facts that demonstrate that that “the ***majority*** of people are struggling to fill up their car, buy groceries or pay their mortgage.”
"
From Paul Krugman's Op-Ed "Feeling No Pain", "That Census report gives a snapshot of the economic status of American families in 2007 — that is, before the financial crisis started dragging the economy down and the unemployment rate up. It’s a given that 2008 will look much worse, so last year was as good as it will get in the Bush years. Yet working-age Americans had significantly lower median income in 2007 than they did in 2000. (The elderly, whose income is supported by Social Security — the program the Bush administration tried to kill — saw modest gains.) Meanwhile, poverty was up, and health insurance — especially the employment-based insurance on which most middle-class Americans depend — was down."

Median incomes dropping means that the bottom half of househopds saw their income decrease. So at least half the country is making less than it did before.

So income is down mean people have less money to purchase goods. Yet out of pocket medical costs have increased over 5%-10% per year since 2000. So with less income they are having to pay more money. In August 1 out of every 417 homes recieved a foreclosure notice. About 10% of families are living in absolute poverty. If we had an accurate poverty threshold or used a relative poverty threshold it would be much higher.

Unemployment is over 6%, real wages are falling, forclosures rates are increasing, health care costs are rising and you are trying to pretend that the average household isn't hurting?

"Yes. Trust me on this one: they will. And beside, are you suggesting that we should just tax the shit out of people to the extent that they have less money for savings?
"
They will not. See "On the Concavity of the Consumption Function" by Carroll and Kimball (1996). I don't say tax the shit out of them, but claiming that we shouldn't raise taxes on them because it would be unfair or harm growth is not consistent with the data.

PackerBelle's picture

"This is simply wrong. Read my first post from yesterday. It’s not about raising revenue.
"
Nor is it about stalling the prosperity of anyone. It is about making sure that everyone can afford a basic standard of living, even if it means someone else has to pay more taxes.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

PB: So 1 in 417 (0.2%) people can't afford their mortgage? How does that compare to the over 50% that you have been claiming?

Also, Obama admits that **nobody** is better off when capital gains taxes are raised. He **admits** that much. The only effect is that it makes people actually need to sell property worse off.

packeraaron's picture

On a side note - I've had several new Packer posts up today. How about opining on some of them as well, oh Political Packer Pundits? :)

PackerBelle's picture

"PB: So 1 in 417 (0.2%) people can’t afford their mortgage? How does that compare to the over 50% that you have been claiming?"
I never said that one piece of evidence proved it. That is also just for that one month. Forclosure rates have been increasing and it doesn't count the people who are having to give up other essentials (such as health care) in order to pay their mortgage.

Actually, the fact that median income decreased while prices increase shows that people are struggling to make ends meet. It is simple math. Decreased income + increase prices = less ability to pay for a basket of goods and the typical basket of goods for a family includes food, mortgage, health care, etc. And have you tried paying for college lately? Where I went to college tuition is increasing $2000 a year. It was just under $30,000 when I started in fall of 2002. It will be about $50,000 this year. And I've seen similar trends at the public univerity where I got my M.S.

"Also, Obama admits that **nobody** is better off when capital gains taxes are raised. He **admits** that much. The only effect is that it makes people actually need to sell property worse off."
Actually, the government is better off because it gets more revenue. If people need money they will sell stocks regardless of the tax rate, just like people aren't going to give up well paying jobs just because they are going to pay higher taxes.

And I'm still waiting for some evidence that Obama's plans are going to create significant hardships for anyone or harm the national economy.

PackerBelle's picture

"On a side note - I’ve had several new Packer posts up today. How about opining on some of them as well, oh Political Packer Pundits?"

I'm an economist so economic issues are a passion. Will try to post about another passion, the Packers, when I get back from voting.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"Actually, the government is better off because it gets more revenue. If people need money they will sell stocks regardless of the tax rate."

No. Read the Charlie Gibson bit above. You are just wrong. It's not about revenue.

Donald&#039;s Designated Driver's picture

"And I’m still waiting for some evidence that Obama’s plans are going to create significant hardships for anyone or harm the national economy."
Strawman. You are the one alleging hardship. Not me. I am waiting for evidence that keeping the tax rate steady on the top 40% of income earners is going to result in massive forclosures, starving children, dogs and cats living together, etc.

packeraaron's picture

So neither one of you can prove your points to the other. Brilliant.

:)

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