Obama and Reagan: Tax Millionaires

Because I think that the debate over taxes has been going on for a long time, and while continue to go on through the election, we should take a break and chuckle:

Even though this pokes fun at my side, I enjoy a good laugh just as much as the next guy.

But let’s be very clear here as well.  There is simply no reasonable argument that can be made that we have a revenue issue that’s contributing to our nation’s debt.  The problem always has and always will be spending.

Further, the idea that Reagan and Obama share the same economic philosophy is laughable.  Even more so than that cute clever video.  Reagan believed in less government.  He felt that government could not and never could, be the solution.  It was government that WAS the problem.  Obama?  Well, he feels very different.  The more that government gets involved, the better off the people of this nation will be is center to Obama’s thinking.

We simply disagree.  And we can’t compromise on that.  How do you compromise with someone who wants to rob your house?  Is it a moral victory to let him “only take” your TV while you get to keep the rest of your property?

No.

Last, the House Republicans led by the fiscal conservatives are doing yeoman’s work.  Obama and the Democrats know that they have no chance what-so-ever of passing nonsense through the House.  So the aren’t even trying.  The bills they craft are being written in such a way that they HOPE they get through.  If the House were less conservative, Obama’s bill would be even worse than they are today.  But, BUT, I feel my comrades are making two critical errors:

  1. Refusing to add revenue simply on principle.
  2. Missing the opportunity to “cash out”.

First, if we can raise revenue without raising rates simply by making the code easier and removing crazy-ass “loopholes”, DO IT!  For gawd’s sake man, take “W”.

Second, i was very distressed to see all Republican candidates raise their hand during one of the debates when asked if the would reject a plan that had 10-1 spending to tax ratios.  Dude, take the flippin’ deal and push away from the table.  Especially if these guys are offering up Social Security and Medi-X.  In fact, if they let me reform either or both of those programs I’d give on taxes in a second.

Anyway.  Enjoy Obama quoting Reagan!

9 responses to “Obama and Reagan: Tax Millionaires

  1. There is simply no reasonable argument that can be made that we have a revenue issue that’s contributing to our nation’s debt. The problem always has and always will be spending.

    That’s just plain false.

    Debt levels are a function of government expenditures and revenues and economic growth.

    http://lanekenworthy.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/governmentspendinganddebt-figure1-version5.jpg?w=380

    http://www.cbpp.org/images/4-13-11TopTenTaxCharts1.jpg

  2. Debt comes from spending more than you take in. You deal with debt by either cutting spending, raising revenues or a mixture of both. It is politically impossible to deal with debt with just spending cuts or revenue increases. Impossible, even if one is convinced that tax increases alone or spending cuts alone is the way to go. That’s the beauty of our system, it forces people with different ideals to compromise. I can also show you that debt started to increase at the same time tax cuts went into effect. Moreover, those tax cuts helped fuel a bubble economy that did not contribute to increased productive capacity or long term jobs. If more of that money had gone into taxes to build infrastructure and thwarted the bubbles, we’d arguably have a healthier economy now. Revenue levels may have been consistent in the past, but overall the US takes less in tax revenue than any other advanced industrialized state – so it’s certainly possible to increase the percentage, other states have done so.

    • You deal with debt by either cutting spending, raising revenues or a mixture of both.

      I would submit to you that when families find themselves in debt they reduce spending rather than increase revenues. In some cases, they can “push” and dad takes a second job. But typically speaking, that’s not the norm.

      Further, I would suggest that the Federal Government DOES increase revenue every single year. Except in extreme circumstances tax revenues go up. What it sounds like the Democrats want is for that revenue to go up faster.

      I can also show you that debt started to increase at the same time tax cuts went into effect.

      I suggest that this is coincidence.

      Revenue levels may have been consistent in the past, but overall the US takes less in tax revenue than any other advanced industrialized state – so it’s certainly possible to increase the percentage, other states have done so.

      It is possible. It is also questionable that it is good policy.

      • Here’s the graph:
        http://scotterb.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/tax-rates.png

        The correlation between higher debt and lower marginal tax rates is pretty robust (also note how much they fell, and how low taxes on the wealthy are now compared to various points in history).

        I’m not sure what families do is analogous to the federal government, though I know when I’ve been in debt I’ve picked up extra work and sometimes added significantly to my revenues. But the point stands that politically the only feasible way to really handle the debt is a compromise. I submit that’s the only possible solution.

  3. As for Reagan — note that Obama’s plans do not envision increasing taxes to the rate they were during Reagan’s years, and he has called for spending cuts of domestic spending to the lowest level since Eisenhower — smaller government than Reagan wanted (Reagan ran up record deficits, including almost doubling the debt to GDP ratio). Judging Reagan by his actions rather than words, I’d say Obama is more like Reagan than most Republicans running.

    To be sure, of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement becomes an anti-tea party, the left wing of the Democratic party will give Obama the same kind of heat the tea party gives Boehner. Obama could get away with trying to get a ‘grand compromise’ that would have massively cut spending, even if it angered the left — most have no place else to go. But if the left gets a voice, the Democrats may never be able to offer the GOP as good a deal as the one they turned down, and given our system of government neither side can unilaterally get its way.

  4. I may have given you this one before but it truly is a great one about Reagan and loads of fun listening to Limbaugh squirm.

    http://www.starkreports.com/2011/02/04/rush-limbaugh-chats-wme-about-ronald-reagans-legacy/

    • I may have given you this one before but it truly is a great one about Reagan and loads of fun listening to Limbaugh squirm.

      THAT is an awesome piece! Good stuff.

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