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post #81 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Present some information, other than your opinion, as I have done, otherwise STFU!

Oh, and were you right or wrong about Reagan "doubling federal revenue?" A simple yes or no will suffice, and remember I've already posted the government's own numbers which disprove your specious claim, TYVM.

So it is you that have ignored my posts, every time I prove you wrong, SOP for you.


First, I've really had about enough of your inflammatory tone and personal attacks. I'e asked you before, and now I'm telling you: Stop or I will make it my mission to have you banned.

But, since you insist:

Revenue when Reagan took office was approximately $450 billion.

Revenue when Reagan left office was approximately $900+ billion.


Those numbers vary a bit depending on the source. At worst, revenue nearly doubled. Here is the the data from wiki:

Quote:
Advocates of the Laffer curve contend that the tax cuts did lead to a near doubling of tax receipts ($517 billion in 1980 to $1,032 billion in 1990)....



To be fair though, that doesn't account for inflation.Most of our discussions have not, but it's worth pointing out....

Quote:
However, critics argue that the doubling of revenue is significantly smaller when looking at real inflation-adjusted figures ($1,077.4 billion in 1981 to $1,235.6 billion in 1988, measured in FY2000-dollars)

Either way, revenue went up significantly (as much as 20%) even adjusting for inflation. How did that happen? Because the economy grew, of course. And as BRussell himself answered, tax cuts do stimulate the economy.

Game over, Frank.
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post #82 of 120
OK I couldn't resist checking the numbers myself so here they are.

Revenue growth
Nixon-Ford: 60%
Reagan: 52%
Clinton: 75%
Bush: 40% (that's extrapolating the 8th year)

[edit] Oops, my last post was lost on the previous page, so I'm going to repost it here so it's clear what I'm referring to:

So let me ask you a few questions:

First, the government was taking in more revenues at the end of Reagan's term than at the beginning, say, 1981 to 1988, right? (I looked it up and it was about 600 billion in 1981 and 900 b. in 1988.) And the government is taking in more now (2.5 trillion) than it was in 2001 (2 trillion), right? I think that is the basis for your argument that tax cuts increase revenues, right? (The first table here has those numbers.)

OK, now let me ask you:

1. Does the economy ever come out of recession without tax cuts, or even with tax increases, or does it just stay in recession? If it does go back to growing, even without tax cuts, why?

2. Cinton raised taxes rather than cutting them. How much did revenues grow during the Clinton years - what were 1993 revenues and what were 2000 revenues? Is that more or less revenue growth than Reagan or Bush have had? What about revenue growth during the Nixon-Ford years of 1969 to 1976 - more or less growth than Reagan and Bush's tax cut years?
post #83 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

OK I couldn't resist checking the numbers myself so here they are.

Revenue growth
Nixon-Ford: 60%
Reagan: 52%
Clinton: 75%
Bush: 40% (that's extrapolating the 8th year)

Are those inflation-adjusted numbers?
post #84 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

It only helps growth if the efficiency of the tax payer is greater than the government. This may in general be true to a point, but beyond that point (say for infrastructure or defense -- or any spending that requires a long outlook) the government will by necessity be more efficient...

Basically, let the people have enough freedom to drive short term growth, and use the government to ensure long term sustainability...

Yes, that's a good way to look at it. The invisible hand isn't going to take care of the long-term needs as efficiently as the visible hand of government. On the other hand, I'm willing to believe that many things the government does will harm economic growth - and accept that as paying for civilization. For example, I bet economic growth would be higher if we just let lots of old people die in poverty after they retired, rather than taxing workers.
post #85 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Are those inflation-adjusted numbers?

They are the raw numbers of revenues from the first table here.
post #86 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Revenue when Reagan took office was approximately $450 billion.

Revenue when Reagan left office was approximately $900+ billion.

These appear to be nominal (non-inflation-adjusted numbers).

Using the simple inflation calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/), that 450 in 1980 corresponds to 733 in 1988.

So then we have (900 - 733) / 450 = 48% revenue growth.

This is closer to BRussell's numbers (which now appear to be inflation-adjusted).
post #87 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

They are the raw numbers of revenues from the first table here.

The table doesn't indicate one way or the other. But it does show revenue in 1980 as 517, and in 1988 as 909. If these are inflation adjusted numbers, then the revenue growth is more like 76%.

To be more fair though, we should start in 1981 and end in 1989...so:

599 to 991

Again, if non-inflation-adjusted figures: 65%
post #88 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

OK I couldn't resist checking the numbers myself so here they are.

Revenue growth
Nixon-Ford: 60%
Reagan: 52%
Clinton: 75%
Bush: 40% (that's extrapolating the 8th year)

[edit] Oops, my last post was lost on the previous page, so I'm going to repost it here so it's clear what I'm referring to:

So let me ask you a few questions:

First, the government was taking in more revenues at the end of Reagan's term than at the beginning, say, 1981 to 1988, right?

Yes.

(I looked it up and it was about 600 billion in 1981 and 900 b. in 1988.) And the government is taking in more now (2.5 trillion) than it was in 2001 (2 trillion), right? I think that is the basis for your argument that tax cuts increase revenues, right? (The first table here has those numbers.)

Essentially, yes.

Quote:

OK, now let me ask you:

1. Does the economy ever come out of recession without tax cuts, or even with tax increases, or does it just stay in recession? If it does go back to growing, even without tax cuts, why?

That depends. It can, depending on the depth of the recession and what is going on in general from an economic standpoint (more below). There were some mini-recessions in the 1950s that we came out of, for example. But, the recessions of the 1970s never really saw robust recovery. Clearly the recoveries have been more modest when taxes are not cut.

Quote:

2. Cinton raised taxes rather than cutting them. How much did revenues grow during the Clinton years - what were 1993 revenues and what were 2000 revenues? Is that more or less revenue growth than Reagan or Bush have had? What about revenue growth during the Nixon-Ford years of 1969 to 1976 - more or less growth than Reagan and Bush's tax cut years?

That's all a bit trickier, and here is why: There are two reasons to cut taxes...1) To stimulate the economy and 2) Because it leads to an eventual revenue increase as a result. Clinton decided to raise the tax rate in order to make up for a shortfall of revenue, which itself was caused by a slumping economy. No one would argue he did it to help the economy, correct?

What happened was this: Revenue went up, and the economy recovered. But the economy recovered in spite of, not because of the increases. The fact is that the economy was already starting to come out of recession (which was caused in some part by the Gulf War's ending, the natural business cycle, etc) when Clinton was elected. The economy happened to be in a mild upswing when those tax increases hit the real economy.

Of course, you're going to paraphrase that into "Clinton got lucky." And he did! But then something truly fortunate happened: The tech boom, which had its roots in the late 1990s. This led to situation where higher tax rates happened to coincide with strong economic growth in the late 1990s (now called "the entire decade" by revisionist liberals). The economy was strong enough to endure those tax rates. Gas was $1.00-$1.20 a gallon, just by way of example.

So to answer all of that...yes, it can happen. But don't make the mistake of assuming that all recessions are created equal. There are vastly different circumstances in each of them.
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post #89 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

The table doesn't indicate one way or the other. But it does show revenue in 1980 as 517, and in 1988 as 909. If these are inflation adjusted numbers, then the revenue growth is more like 76%.

To be more fair though, we should start in 1981 and end in 1989...so:

599 to 991

Again, if non-inflation-adjusted figures: 65%

Nah, they're just the raw numbers. If they were in real dollars, it would say so, and it would look a lot different. And I don't see how you can use 9 years for an 8-year period, but massage them any way you like, revenue growth was still not as high during that period as during the Clinton period or other 8-year periods.
post #90 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Yes.

(I looked it up and it was about 600 billion in 1981 and 900 b. in 1988.) And the government is taking in more now (2.5 trillion) than it was in 2001 (2 trillion), right? I think that is the basis for your argument that tax cuts increase revenues, right? (The first table here has those numbers.)

Essentially, yes.



That depends. It can, depending on the depth of the recession and what is going on in general from an economic standpoint (more below). There were some mini-recessions in the 1950s that we came out of, for example. But, the recessions of the 1970s never really saw robust recovery. Clearly the recoveries have been more modest when taxes are not cut.



That's all a bit trickier, and here is why: There are two reasons to cut taxes...1) To stimulate the economy and 2) Because it leads to an eventual revenue increase as a result. Clinton decided to raise the tax rate in order to make up for a shortfall of revenue, which itself was caused by a slumping economy. No one would argue he did it to help the economy, correct?

What happened was this: Revenue went up, and the economy recovered. But the economy recovered in spite of, not because of the increases. The fact is that the economy was already starting to come out of recession (which was caused in some part by the Gulf War's ending, the natural business cycle, etc) when Clinton was elected. The economy happened to be in a mild upswing when those tax increases hit the real economy.

Of course, you're going to paraphrase that into "Clinton got lucky." And he did! But then something truly fortunate happened: The tech boom, which had its roots in the late 1990s. This led to situation where higher tax rates happened to coincide with strong economic growth in the late 1990s (now called "the entire decade" by revisionist liberals). The economy was strong enough to endure those tax rates. Gas was $1.00-$1.20 a gallon, just by way of example.

So to answer all of that...yes, it can happen. But don't make the mistake of assuming that all recessions are created equal. There are vastly different circumstances in each of them.

At least we're talking in terms of relative revenue growth now. And the most obvious comparisons we have: Clinton's tax increases to Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts - don't support your hypothesis that revenue growth should be higher after tax cuts. You can explain it away as a fluke, but then you don't have any examples at all that support your view. If you can find some other comparison that does support your view, I'd like to see it.
post #91 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

First, I've really had about enough of your inflammatory tone and personal attacks. I'e asked you before, and now I'm telling you: Stop or I will make it my mission to have you banned.

But, since you insist:

Revenue when Reagan took office was approximately $450 billion.

Revenue when Reagan left office was approximately $900+ billion.


Those numbers vary a bit depending on the source. At worst, revenue nearly doubled. Here is the the data from wiki:


[/B]
To be fair though, that doesn't account for inflation.Most of our discussions have not, but it's worth pointing out....



Either way, revenue went up significantly (as much as 20%) even adjusting for inflation. How did that happen? Because the economy grew, of course. And as BRussell himself answered, tax cuts do stimulate the economy.

Game over, Frank.

You bet, in fact 100% wrong:

FY 1981 Revenues = $599.272 Billion
FY 1989 Revenues = $991.910 Billion

Multiplier = 991.910/599.272 = 1.65399 (not 2.00 as you claim).

Source, see previous post to GPO website.

And I bet you don't know where the above numbers you did post come from do you? Yeah, I thought so, so right here before your very eyes, I'll show you where they did come from;

FY 1980 Revenues = $517.112 Billion (Jimmy Carter's next to last budget year)
FY 1990 Revenues = $1,032.190 Billion (George H. W. Bush's first budget year)

Now I don't make up the rules, the federal government does, so for instance;

George W. Bush submitted (or will submit) budgets from FY 2002 through FY 2009 (two terms = 8 FY's)
Bill Clinton submitted budgets from FY 1994 through 2001 (two terms = 8 FY's)
George H. W. Bush submitted budgets from FY 1990 through 1993 (one term = 4 FY's)
Ronald Reagan submitted budgets from 1982 through 1989 (two terms = 8 FY's)
Jimmy Carter submitted budgets from 1978 through 1981 (one term = 4 FY's)

So you see SDW, no one can claim 10 FY's when they only directly affect 8 FY's (for two terms), and no one can claim 5 FY's when they only directly affect 4 FY's (one term), given the standard definitions used by the U.S. federal government in the budgetary process.

Do you understand now? \
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post #92 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

OK I couldn't resist checking the numbers myself so here they are.

Revenue growth
Nixon-Ford: 60%
Reagan: 52%
Clinton: 75%
Bush: 40% (that's extrapolating the 8th year)

[edit] Oops, my last post was lost on the previous page, so I'm going to repost it here so it's clear what I'm referring to:

So let me ask you a few questions:

First, the government was taking in more revenues at the end of Reagan's term than at the beginning, say, 1981 to 1988, right? (I looked it up and it was about 600 billion in 1981 and 900 b. in 1988.) And the government is taking in more now (2.5 trillion) than it was in 2001 (2 trillion), right? I think that is the basis for your argument that tax cuts increase revenues, right? (The first table here has those numbers.)

OK, now let me ask you:

1. Does the economy ever come out of recession without tax cuts, or even with tax increases, or does it just stay in recession? If it does go back to growing, even without tax cuts, why?

2. Cinton raised taxes rather than cutting them. How much did revenues grow during the Clinton years - what were 1993 revenues and what were 2000 revenues? Is that more or less revenue growth than Reagan or Bush have had? What about revenue growth during the Nixon-Ford years of 1969 to 1976 - more or less growth than Reagan and Bush's tax cut years?

... I've been using the correct FY definitions, all the numbers that I've posted are in fact the correct numbers.

See this link for further proof and my reply to the always incorrect SDW;

Budget of the United States Government: Browse

I drilled down from there untill I found the first two tables, that I've used since first posting the link several posts ago.

You go from each president's last budget year to compute the correct increase in unadjusted dollars (those are all actual dollar amounts for each respective FY (unadjusted for inflation)). It is always a delta of either four years (one term) or eight years (two terms).

By the time we have a new POTUS sworn into office, we will be almost 4 months into the new FY, that being FY 2009, all the funding bills for FY 2009 should be signed before the next POTUS takes office.
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post #93 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

The table doesn't indicate one way or the other. But it does show revenue in 1980 as 517, and in 1988 as 909. If these are inflation adjusted numbers, then the revenue growth is more like 76%.

To be more fair though, we should start in 1981 and end in 1989...so:

599 to 991

Again, if non-inflation-adjusted figures: 65%

Which is what I already posted, man you guys are slooooow.
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post #94 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

The "war helps the economy" thing is a myth. A fallacy. It is false (just like the "natural disasters help the economy" thing) and the sooner we put it to rest, we'll be one (baby) step closer to ending wars.

Go to the link(s) I've posted, look at the period covering WWII, it is quite obvious that a wartime economy, of that magnitude, did in fact, grow the national economy, by leaps and bounds. GDP more than doubled in less than five years.
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post #95 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Go to the link(s) I've posted, look at the period covering WWII, it is quite obvious that a wartime economy, of that magnitude, did in fact, grow the national economy, by leaps and bounds. GDP more than doubled in less than five years.

Have you ever heard of the "broken window" fallacy? If not I recommend this book.
post #96 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Have you ever heard of the "broken window" fallacy? If not I recommend this book.

Sorry, I done graduated the 6th grade, but TYVM for your complete lack of understanding when it comes to economics.

[CENTER]
Quote:
Economists of the Austrian School frequently cite this fallacy, and Henry Hazlitt devoted a chapter to it in his book Economics in One Lesson.

[/CENTER]

Ah, the usual suspects.
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post #97 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Sorry, I done graduated the 6th grade

( is that all? )

Lots of people have "graduated the 6th grade" (and higher) without a decent understanding of economics. This board is quite representative of that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

but TYVM for your complete lack of understanding when it comes to economics.

You don't know what you're talking about.


Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Ah, the usual suspects.

And the usual response (i.e., wilful ignorance and ad hominem dismissal).

I guess it's true that, as someone here said..."you can lead a horse to water..."
post #98 of 120
sslarson, the bit about wars increasing growth may be a myth, but I was trying to make a more basic point, that taxes take money out of the economy, which is obviously bad, but that money doesn't just disappear, some of it comes back in the form of salaries, government purchases, etc.
post #99 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

( is that all? )

Lots of people have "graduated the 6th grade" (and higher) without a decent understanding of economics. This board is quite representative of that.




You don't know what you're talking about.




And the usual response (i.e., wilful ignorance and ad hominem dismissal).

I guess it's true that, as someone here said..."you can lead a horse to water..."

... comment.
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post #100 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

Of course they do. Stop spouting such foolishness.

You are clearly delusional...

Our life expectancy is as low as it is now because people don't take care of themselves. Lifestyle diseases make up at least four of the top ten causes of death in this country... and you sit there with your theoretical high mindedness and laugh at MY foolishness...

I don't normally laugh at other people's misconceptions, I smile... right now I am beaming...
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post #101 of 120
Let's move beyond "theoretical high mindedness" onto facts shall we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Our life expectancy is as low as it is now because people don't take care of themselves.

The data indicates that life expectancy (at birth, age 65 and age 75) for all races and genders, in the U.S., has increased (or stayed the same...2004 to 2005) every year* since 1900 and is now at its highest point since being tracked.

*The only exception is life expectancy at age 75 dropped from the year 1998 to 1999 from 11.3 to 11.2 years (hardly worth mentioning), but has gone up every year again since then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Lifestyle diseases make up at least four of the top ten causes of death in this country.

Which four?

1. Heart disease (mainly heart attack)
2. Cancer
3. Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases (emphysema, chronic bronchitis)
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6. Diabetes
7. Alzheimer's disease
8. Influenza/Pneumonia
9. Kidney disease
10. Septicemia

By the way, healthy behavior (or lack thereof) isn't the only indicator of long or short term perspective. Things like pursuing education (short-term trade-off for long-term gains), buying houses (why buy when you can rent), getting married (life-long companionship vs. a series of short-term "hook ups"), raising kids and saving for retirement (something that's been increasing over the last quarter century to its current level of over 50%) are as well.

In fact why would anyone save for anything at all? It is the capitalist (much maligned here and elsewhere) that are the real long-term thinkers, because the capitalist is the one who chooses to defer current consumption (save) in order to accumulate capital to invest in something that will produce a long-term return (or nothing at all...which is a risk they take). He or she is the one who defers short-term gratification in order to build the factory or the piece of software or the office building or the telecommunications network, forgoing short-term income and consumption for the possibility of a longer-term gain.

How would anything (buildings, factories, software, pharmaceutical products, etc.) ever get created if at least some people weren't looking and thinking (much) further down the horizon?

On the contrary, it is the politician who cannot look past the next election (2,4 o4 6 years) and who, in fact, is immediately looking toward the next campaign the moment they get elected. It is the politician who makes short-term promises to secure a short-term gain (the votes to gain power). The very nature of politics is to have a short time horizon. To pledge superficial bandages in order to promote the appearance of fixing deeper, more chronic problems.
post #102 of 120
I'd say 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and thus by their close association 9 (I believe around 1/3 or maybe more of the cases of kidney failure are attributable to diabetes).

Obviously something has to get us all, and obviously not all deaths from these diseases are lifestyle related, but still.

Smoking makes up a good hunk of 1 through 4.
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post #103 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

I'd say 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and thus by their close association 9 (I believe around 1/3 or maybe more of the cases of kidney failure are attributable to diabetes).

Obviously something has to get us all, and obviously not all deaths from these diseases are lifestyle related, but still.

Smoking makes up a good hunk of 1 through 4.

I'd say you're partly right. Certain "lifestyle choices" (e.g., eating, smoking and exercise habits) contribute to some of the things on the list, but to say that any of them are "lifestyle diseases" entirely or exclusively (which is the implication of the other poster) would be wrong too.

But...also...these things are decreasing too. For example, from 1994 to 2004 the death rate from coronary heart disease declined 33 percent. Cancer deaths have dropped for last 2-3 years. Some of this is due to treatment, of course, but some is do to voluntary changes in lifestyle factors that contribute to these diseases and deaths bringing into question the hypothesis that we're all (again the implication of the other poster) so focused on the short term that we're killing ourselves. Certainly there are some people that are terribly short-sighted in their life conduct. No one can deny this. But the suggestion that it is intrinsic to all people is foolish. And, again, overall life-expectancy is increasing.
post #104 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sslarson View Post

I'd say you're partly right. Certain "lifestyle choices" (e.g., eating, smoking and exercise habits) contribute to some of the things on the list, but to say that any of them are "lifestyle diseases" entirely or exclusively (which is the implication of the other poster) would be wrong too.

Certainly that's not the best phrase. They're common chronic diseases


Quote:
some is do to voluntary changes in lifestyle factors

Now, I just replied because I happened to have some knowledge, and I'm really not involved in the argument you two are having. However, you really need to back that little nugget up.

To my knowledge, we are not, as a country, particularly improving on our lifestyle choices. The decrease in the percentage of americans that smoke has stalled the last 4 or 5 years. It's been in the news recently that the rate of childhood obesity has stopped going up, although no one knows if that's real or just a one year blip yet.

I sure as hell hope it's not just a one year anomaly. A lot of resources have gone into trying to get that trend reversed.
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post #105 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

However, you really need to back that little nugget up.

To my knowledge, we are not, as a country, particularly improving on our lifestyle choices. The decrease in the percentage of americans that smoke has stalled the last 4 or 5 years. It's been in the news recently that the rate of childhood obesity has stopped going up, although no one knows if that's real or just a one year blip yet.

I'm not saying that people aren't still making bad choices. Some out of ignorance, some out of laziness. I'm simply saying that, in general, when given correct information, you do see trends of people making better choices.

You mention the smoking decrease has stalled for a few years. Perhaps. But it's also been on a downward trend for the last 30 or 40 years. Is it going down as fast as we might like? No. Has it stalled? Perhaps. But my point was that people (not all), as a general trend (not all the time), do begin to make longer-perspective (sometimes incorrect and imperfect) choices (whether health related, financially related or whatever) in their lives, which the other poster claims they don't.

Do we have other, newer, problems (the ill effects of generations of fast-food consumption for example)? Sure. But, I believe, that many (not all) people will make changes based on the new information they get. I've reduced the amount of fast-food I consume. I drink less "sugar water" than a few years ago. I try to manage my cholesterol. I don't exercise as much as I probably should, but I do try to get some in. I see this exact same kind of thing among many people I know (e.g., giving up the satisfaction of the Big Mac today for an extra week of life down the road )
post #106 of 120
Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in a speech yesterday said the US is f@cked to the tune of $99Trillion. That's $330,000/per person.

Quote:
Doing deficit math is always a sobering exercise. It becomes an outright painful one when you apply your calculator to the long-run fiscal challenge posed by entitlement programs. Were I not a taciturn central banker, I would say the mathematics of the long-term outlook for entitlements, left unchanged, is nothing short of catastrophic.

Indeed.

Seems like an amazingly dire speech coming from a voting member of the FOMC.
post #107 of 120
sslaron,

your claim is that people naturally have a long term view. they do not -- not fiscally, not for the benefit of their health, not for their mental well being. without government sponsored education initiatives smoking rates, childhood obesity etc would still be as high as they ever were. you certainly have a rosier picture on hand of humanity than the data suggests -- some people will sometimes make decisions about their future, sometimes. it certainly isn't the majority...

you are right in pointing out that some activities of some corporations (and large scale economic players, such as new home builders) *seem* to be meant to better position these corporations for the future, yet invariably on the whole they do not. the pharmaceutical industry, for instance, is on a boom/bust cycle for the benefit of their shareholders. what you perceive as long term outlook is, in the grand scheme of things, an idealized vision of the future that never comes to pass. well managed corporations RESPOND quickly as opposed to anticipating every event in the future -- a quick response is a more stable solution than being able to predict the future perfectly. swings in industry are chaotic, ie especially with producers of consumer products, predicting exactly the demand of goods is all but impossible without a running tally of what is being bought -- good corporations respond, poor corporations settle for a particular track...

human activities are focused on the short term benefits because we CANNOT predict the future. This is instinctual -- in a most perverse way, we seek the immediate pleasure now, because we don't know if it will be there in the future.

as for claims that education is a delayed benefit. this assumes that education prevents us from doing something that would benefit us immediately. it doesn't, education is an immediate benefit. it is the DEGREE which is the delayed benefit, and the shear number of idiots going to college right now are cheapening it because they are following the cultural norm -- in fact, now not going to college is a sacrifice due to the lower social ladder on which you reside during your early twenties... do these people benefit from going to college, possibly. are they thinking about that when they apply? no.
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post #108 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

sslaron,

your claim is that people naturally have a long term view

No it isn't.
post #109 of 120
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

hardee's right, and that's a highly misleading graph, not that I expect any different from a WSJ commentary, which are well-known for their dishonesty about taxes (one example among many).

And what is this "Hauser's law," is it the new "Laffer curve?"

Anyway, those two lines are completely different and putting them on the same graph is a classic way to mislead. It has the effect of making a change in one aspect of tax law (the top marginal rate shown by the top line) look larger than massive changes to overall revenues (the % of GDP shown by the bottom line).

The fact is, different countries do have different revenues as a % of GDP - it's not impossible to have revenues of, say, 30% - or 10% - of GDP. And the US has had different revenue levels at different times, correlated almost perfectly with changes in tax law: revenues decreased from 19-20% of GDP before Reagan's tax cuts, down to 17% after them. Then they went from 17-18% in the early 90s to 20-21% in the late 1990s, sandwiching Clinton's tax increases. Then of course they dropped back down after Bush's tax cuts. Those 2-3% differences are massive, given the size of GDP.

You are correct that different countries do have different revenues as a % of GDP but you also need to remember that other countries discussed do not have both the federal and state systems to contend with. This graph only shows the federal level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Dude, nobody thinks economics is a "science". Not scientists, not economists, no one. It's a volatile blend of statistical analysis, game theory, sociology, psychology, wishful thinking, political ideology, selective readings of history, intuition and, frequently, unacknowledged mysticism masquerading as baseline declarations of "reality."

Confusing economics with science isn't refreshing free thought, it's just a mistake, and the people unwilling to play along aren't "unwilling to think", they're just not persuaded by that kind of sophistry.

Economics is a branch of social science. It is not a "hard" science but then nether are psychology or sociology which must not be sciences at all either by your reasoning.

Perhaps we could have BRussell explain it to us since I believe he is quite the practitioner of one of these soft non-sciences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

Gas went to $4.10 yesterday in my town. If we want a middle class, we need to soak the rich. Period. And it's not "soaking". We simply need to raise their income tax a bit. A second Depression won't help anyone. And it's coming, if Congress doesn't act quick to remove Bush tax cuts and get us out of Iraq.

It is probably coming and the Democrats will hasten it. The lack of true Republicans will add to the pain as well. The government is playing with our currency since it can't keep creating something from nothing. Tax cuts and war has little to do with it and entitlements and spending will have everything to do with it.

Depending upon the source, the cost of the war is between half a trillion to trillion (being generous)

The gap between entitlement costs and estimated revenues is around 50 trillion.

You tell me which you think will do more harm. Our problem is believing the terrorists in any country are going to cause us harm when it is grandma and grandpa boomer instead who will cause the real mass destruction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Here's a list of countries and their federal taxation as a % of GDP. It has the US at 11.25 which doesn't seem right, so I don't know what it's including or excluding, but it shows a very wide range.

It's interesting to me that successful, developed countries invariably have high rates of taxation, whereas no economically successful countries have rates below 10%. They're all places like Sudan and Afghanistan.

I got my figures from this. Look at the second table, which has revenues as a % of GDP over the years.

Perhaps what you should look for is this which shows our total taxation and it is not the highest in the world, but is quite high. It is also important to look at DEBT as a percentage of GDP. For every western democracy the percentage is quite high and combined with the coming demographic crash, basically looms as a huge problem. People love pointing at a few select, small nordic countries as example, but are never willing to admit that part of their success is due to not joining the EU, keeping their own currencies at an advantage to the Euro, and also having oil to export to solve a lot of their problems. The United States, for now cannot emulate Norway for example and generate a large trade surplus by having over 50% of our exports be oil.

Back in a bit...

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #110 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

You bet, in fact 100% wrong:

FY 1981 Revenues = $599.272 Billion
FY 1989 Revenues = $991.910 Billion

Multiplier = 991.910/599.272 = 1.65399 (not 2.00 as you claim).

Source, see previous post to GPO website.

And I bet you don't know where the above numbers you did post come from do you? Yeah, I thought so, so right here before your very eyes, I'll show you where they did come from;

FY 1980 Revenues = $517.112 Billion (Jimmy Carter's next to last budget year)
FY 1990 Revenues = $1,032.190 Billion (George H. W. Bush's first budget year)

Now I don't make up the rules, the federal government does, so for instance;

George W. Bush submitted (or will submit) budgets from FY 2002 through FY 2009 (two terms = 8 FY's)
Bill Clinton submitted budgets from FY 1994 through 2001 (two terms = 8 FY's)
George H. W. Bush submitted budgets from FY 1990 through 1993 (one term = 4 FY's)
Ronald Reagan submitted budgets from 1982 through 1989 (two terms = 8 FY's)
Jimmy Carter submitted budgets from 1978 through 1981 (one term = 4 FY's)

So you see SDW, no one can claim 10 FY's when they only directly affect 8 FY's (for two terms), and no one can claim 5 FY's when they only directly affect 4 FY's (one term), given the standard definitions used by the U.S. federal government in the budgetary process.

Do you understand now? \

Yes, I understand you're an intellectually dishonest hack with mean streak.

You can't use FY 1981 because FY 1981 started in October of 1980, before Reagan was even fucking elected. Hello? One really needs to use FY 1980 numbers, then compare them to FY 1989 numbers. And gee, guess what. Revenue approximately doubled. Now if you want to give me shit about the multiplier being 1.8 (or whatever) instead of 2.0, go ahead. We're still talking about a massive increase in revenue with drastically lower tax rates, which is the goddamned point.
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post #111 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

At least we're talking in terms of relative revenue growth now. And the most obvious comparisons we have: Clinton's tax increases to Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts - don't support your hypothesis that revenue growth should be higher after tax cuts.

Uh..yes they do. The data also shows that the economy recovered in spite of Clinton's tax increases. You asked if that could happen, and I said it could.

Quote:

You can explain it away as a fluke,

I wouldn't say it was a fluke, but I also wouldn't say it's typical, historically speaking.

Quote:
but then you don't have any examples at all that support your view. If you can find some other comparison that does support your view, I'd like to see it.

Uh...I have several examples. I have the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts, both of which resulted in more revenue during the following years. On your end, you have Clinton as an example.

However, we really need to then get into what caused the recovery and why it occurred given the higher tax rates. You yourself agreed that large tax increases would hurt the economy, and large decreases would help it. You therefore agree, in principal, that tax cuts tend to benefit the economy. The only question is whether or not the resulting economic expansion produces "sufficient" revenue increases. Since we know that when adjusted for inflation, revenue during the Reagan years (OK Franktrollsergeant...1980-1990) increased 20% even with dramatically lower rates, the answer to the question is clear.
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post #112 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

sslarson, the bit about wars increasing growth may be a myth, but I was trying to make a more basic point, that taxes take money out of the economy, which is obviously bad, but that money doesn't just disappear, some of it comes back in the form of salaries, government purchases, etc.

That's really a silly point. If the amount of money that "came back into the economy" was significantly beneficial (in other words, the tax rate did more good than harm), we raise taxes to much higher levels and not have to worry about it. Of course, you know this is a terrible idea...you said so yourself.



Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in a speech yesterday said the US is f@cked to the tune of $99Trillion. That's $330,000/per person.



Indeed.

Seems like an amazingly dire speech coming from a voting member of the FOMC.

What amazes me is that people like you are willing to post things like this, but you won't address the underying problem: Entitlements.

This, in fact, is where we are really screwed financially. We've promised everyone retirement, prescription drugs, medicare, etc...and the bill is coming due. Of course, no one is willing to address these problems, especially those with liberal political beliefs. We're not going to go bankrupt from tax cuts and wars, we're going to go bankrupt from social security and medicare. We simply cannot afford these programs as they currently exist. We need to both reform then and totally change their funding mechanisms.

I think we should do two things: First, announce a 30 year plan to phase out social security. That way those who are dependent on it will not have a problem, and we can avoid financial disaster. Then, we need to change the funding for both medicare and social security, eliminating the payroll tax and instituting a national sales tax. That would be a start. Now who has the balls to do it?
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post #113 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

What amazes me is that people like you are willing to post things like this, but you won't address the underying problem: Entitlements.

This, in fact, is where we are really screwed financially. We've promised everyone retirement, prescription drugs, medicare, etc...and the bill is coming due. Of course, no one is willing to address these problems, especially those with liberal political beliefs. We're not going to go bankrupt from tax cuts and wars, we're going to go bankrupt from social security and medicare. We simply cannot afford these programs as they currently exist. We need to both reform then and totally change their funding mechanisms.

I think we should do two things: First, announce a 30 year plan to phase out social security. That way those who are dependent on it will not have a problem, and we can avoid financial disaster. Then, we need to change the funding for both medicare and social security, eliminating the payroll tax and instituting a national sales tax. That would be a start. Now who has the balls to do it?

No one has the balls to do it. The closest we've probably come in my lifetime, or ever will, was the 94 Freshman class. Those days are long gone, as the old conservative stalwarts are even embracing the entitlement trap. Congrats, lefties, you've "won" the argument- not on merits mind you, but by (in a very Bush-war kinda way) slandering and maligning people who don't want to buy votes with public funds. Some pathetic politicians just can't stomach being called "mean-spirited" and "hateful" and the like, even when it is being done for purely political purposes.

There are not going to be cuts in government for one reason- Pelosi, Schumer, and crew will run out when cuts are proposed and say that anyone who wants the cuts "hates the (young, old, poor, minority, etc.) Just look at the fucking Veterans Bill and how that was spun by the lefties. (the same people that scream about their patriotism being questioned, BTW)

In the end, we're all going to end up with nothing, in our drive to have everyone else pay for us to have everything. It's really disgusting that this country has been dragged down into this entitlement nightmare. But hey, it's dependency the left wants, and it's what we've gotten. And once amnesty arrives (another new voting bloc right off the showroom floor) look for the entitlement budget to double or more. Hide and watch.

So many on this board assume that someone will always be there to pull the wagon and pay the tax, no matter how high it goes. If entitlements and giveaways are the way to go, why bother with that silly "work" crap, if all it is going to do is make me a target of serial tax raisers?

This is what is so sick about the Long March... the main goal is to ride the producers into the ground, demonize them in the process as greedy, and then claim that "they need to contribute more so that you can have free stuff." That is exactly what is coming out of the Democratic leadership.

You CAN soak the rich. Right before they are forced to lay you off to stay in business. \
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post #114 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

And the most obvious comparisons we have: Clinton's tax increases to Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts - don't support your hypothesis that revenue growth should be higher after tax cuts.

Uh..yes they do. The data also shows that the economy recovered in spite of Clinton's tax increases. You asked if that could happen, and I said it could.

No they don't - the revenue growth was higher after Clinton's tax increases than after Bush's or Reagan's tax cuts.

Quote:
I wouldn't say it was a fluke, but I also wouldn't say it's typical, historically speaking.



Uh...I have several examples. I have the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts, both of which resulted in more revenue during the following years. On your end, you have Clinton as an example.

What you don't have is an example of higher revenue growth after tax cuts than tax increases.

Quote:
However, we really need to then get into what caused the recovery and why it occurred given the higher tax rates. You yourself agreed that large tax increases would hurt the economy, and large decreases would help it. You therefore agree, in principal, that tax cuts tend to benefit the economy. The only question is whether or not the resulting economic expansion produces "sufficient" revenue increases. Since we know that when adjusted for inflation, revenue during the Reagan years (OK Franktrollsergeant...1980-1990) increased 20% even with dramatically lower rates, the answer to the question is clear.

SDW, you need to tell me that you understand this point, because it's the crux of this issue: Revenues always grow, because the economy grows, the population grows, inflation occurs, etc. Showing that revenues grow after taxes are cut is not sufficient to prove that those tax cuts caused revenues to grow. It's like giving your kid vitamins at age 5, measuring their height again at age 7, and then saying vitamins made them grow. I hope you'd agree that you can't do that, you have to compare them to kids who did not take vitamins. That's why I'm asking you to show me where taxes were cut and then revenues grew more than when taxes were raised, because the clearest examples we have don't show it.
post #115 of 120
Well SS will eventually have to go. That much is for sure.

Phased out? Probably the most sensible thing. Just tell anyone born after X year, "You'll continue paying, but you won't get anything out."

Shorter term some other fixes could be implemented:

1. Raise the eligibility age
2. Means-base disbursement of benefits

These will help us get the albatross off our backs...in about two (maybe three) generations.

Next eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. Replace them with tax deductions (or direct subsidies for those who absolutely need them) for medical insurance premiums.

In fact the whole medical insurance thing could dramatically cleaned up and streamlined by simply making premiums tax deductible for everyone and eliminate the things that lock medical insurance to an employer. Make it more like car insurance or home owner's insurance. My employer doesn't provide these for me, I just buy them directly.

You will unleash massive competition among insurance companies for people's business (like currently exists for, home and life insurance). Oh also stop restricting entry into the insurance business so more competitors will come in and start giving the big, fat, happy, sloppy and lazy incumbents a serious run for their money, driving new levels of productivity and cost reduction.

And then there's general welfare and warfare spending.

The warfare spending is pretty straightforward. Stop launching expensive invasions into foreign countries. Bring all of our troops and equipment home. Close all foreign bases. Return to a policy of non-interventionist, armed neutrality (NOTE: for those too dumb to realize it...that is not the same thing as isolationism). That should probably reduce the cash spending by about 50% and debt spending significantly.
post #116 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

No they don't - the revenue growth was higher after Clinton's tax increases than after Bush's or Reagan's tax cuts.

So? All recessions are not equal. We've been through this.

Quote:

What you don't have is an example of higher revenue growth after tax cuts than tax increases.

That's an impossible thing to demonstrate, because of the fluid nature of the economy itself. In other words, we'd have to try and approximate what revenue growth would have been without the tax cuts or increases. I don't think that can be done with any degree of accuracy.

Quote:

SDW, you need to tell me that you understand this point, because it's the crux of this issue: Revenues always grow, because the economy grows, the population grows, inflation occurs, etc. Showing that revenues grow after taxes are cut is not sufficient to prove that those tax cuts caused revenues to grow.

Well, you've admitted that tax cuts benefit the economy, which in turn benefits revenue, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Quote:

It's like giving your kid vitamins at age 5, measuring their height again at age 7, and then saying vitamins made them grow. I hope you'd agree that you can't do that, you have to compare them to kids who did not take vitamins. That's why I'm asking you to show me where taxes were cut and then revenues grew more than when taxes were raised, because the clearest examples we have don't show it.

What you're saying is we need a "control group" so to speak. That's really impossible. We do know, however, that tax cuts generally help economic growth, and tax increases generally hurt it. Again, you yourself agreed several posts ago. You also pointed out that economic growth affects revenue positively. So again, I'm not sure what the problem is. Perhaps it's a matter of perspective. I agree that cutting taxes for express purpose of raising revenue is not a good idea. However, when the economy is slumping, we can cut taxes to help without destroying long term revenue growth. In fact, revenue will actually grow. Is that a reasonable statement?
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post #117 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So? All recessions are not equal. We've been through this.

Yeah the Republican created recessions are more equal than others. Four truths Good. Two truths Bad.
post #118 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Yes, I understand you're an intellectually dishonest hack with mean streak.

You can't use FY 1981 because FY 1981 started in October of 1980, before Reagan was even fucking elected. Hello? One really needs to use FY 1980 numbers, then compare them to FY 1989 numbers. And gee, guess what. Revenue approximately doubled. Now if you want to give me shit about the multiplier being 1.8 (or whatever) instead of 2.0, go ahead. We're still talking about a massive increase in revenue with drastically lower tax rates, which is the goddamned point.

This is done for all presidents, simply because, the previous FY is at time = 0, when Reagan submits his first FY budget that is year one of his FY budget string. So FY 1981 is Carter's last FY budget, that is relative to Reagan's first budget year which was FY 1982.

So in Reagan's first budget year what do you propose the government use to define GDP and revenue growth. Certainly not FY 1982, because then Reagan would not have any revenue or GDP growth. In your example you use FY 1980, Carter's next to last FY budget, so you want to claim Carter's last FY budget year For Reagan? How is that possible, since Carter submitted his 1981 budget to congress, and before Reagan took office, congress passed all spending bills for FY 1981, Reagan had zero impact on the FY 1981 budget process, thus it is year zero, with respect to Reagan's 8 subsequent budgets.

Man, I can't believe I'm even having this discussion. Seriously.

By your math your FY delta is nine fiscal years (1989 - 1980 = 9), so under your seriously flawed logic, each two term president is able to claim nine FY budgets, when in fact they only submit eight FY budgets,

So Reagan submitted FY budgets from 1982 through 1989, 1989 - 1982 = 7. oops, we need another FY budget to compare Reagan's revenuse and GDP growth.

Hmm, which additional FY should I choose, or as a matter of fact, what the U.S. federal government uses, there is only one choice, year zero of Reagan's budgets, which occurs immediately before Reagan's first FY budget, thus that FY budget must be taken from the last FY budget of the previous office holder, in this case it was Carter, and his last FY budget was FY 1981.

So now, lets check the math, 1989 - 1981 = 8. So now tell me how many years did Reagan serve as President, and how many FY budgets did he submit to congress? I'll give you a few hints, it wasn't seven years, it wasn't nine years, and it certainly wasn't ten years (your own number from previous posts for claiming Reagan "doubled" federal revenues).

I'd say something really mean at this point, but your own ability to never understand has always spoken volumes.

Note also that you've backed away from your previous number (i. e. 2x), which includes FY 1980 through FY 1990, therein you steal one FY from Carter's budgets and one FY from Bush's (41) budgets. What a n00b.
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post #119 of 120
(edit: not going to bother)
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post #120 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

So? All recessions are not equal. We've been through this.

Doesn't it worry you that you always have to come up with an external "fluke" explanation (the recession was worse, there was a dot-com bubble, etc.) for why your hypothesis never works?

Quote:
That's an impossible thing to demonstrate, because of the fluid nature of the economy itself. In other words, we'd have to try and approximate what revenue growth would have been without the tax cuts or increases. I don't think that can be done with any degree of accuracy.

That's what those experts try to do, and they don't agree with you.

Quote:
Well, you've admitted that tax cuts benefit the economy, which in turn benefits revenue, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

What you're saying is we need a "control group" so to speak. That's really impossible. We do know, however, that tax cuts generally help economic growth, and tax increases generally hurt it. Again, you yourself agreed several posts ago. You also pointed out that economic growth affects revenue positively. So again, I'm not sure what the problem is. Perhaps it's a matter of perspective. I agree that cutting taxes for express purpose of raising revenue is not a good idea. However, when the economy is slumping, we can cut taxes to help without destroying long term revenue growth. In fact, revenue will actually grow. Is that a reasonable statement?

Because it doesn't make sense, and the evidence doesn't support, the idea that you could stimulate the economy enough to make up for what you used to stimulate it. From what I've seen, the consensus is that you could perhaps lose 90% of the revenues you used to stimulate the economy, rather than 100%.

My view (well not my view, but based on what the experts say):
Cut taxes by $10 billion
Extra economic stimulation produces $1 billion extra revenue beyond normal revenue growth
Lose only $9 billion rather than $10 billion in revenues

Your view:
Cut taxes by $10 billion
Extra economic stimulation produces $11 billion extra revenue beyond normal revenue growth
Lose no revenues, and actually gain $1 billion
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