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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report From the Tax Day Chicago Tea Party


Today, I was responsible for two high school students at a local charter school. I struggled with the idea of bringing them to a tea party but I was worried that I would indoctrinate into them a political ideology that they didn't ask for. As such, I did something devious and also I approached it in an academic way. First, I gave them a choice. We could prepare and attend the tea party or I had several booklets on things like Credit Default Swaps, Reverse Mortgages, and Options to read. In other words, either they attend the tea parties or they get bored to death. Yes, that was devious but they decided to attend the tea party.

Next, I made sure that they approached it academically. I gave them my high priced camera and instructed them to take as many photos as possible. In preparation, I had them read the top four stories on the tea partieson Real Clear Politics. Two of them are pro and two of them are anti tea parties. I explained that much of the movement started with the rant by Rick Santelli. I also showed them how the movement uses twitter, facebook and other new media to get its message out.

Then, I told them to approach the protest as a reporter and be objective. I told them they needed to answer who, what, where, when, how and why. So, this reporting comes from my day with them.

There was a crowd at the Dirksen Federal Building of several thousand. There was somewhere between three and five thousand in my estimation. One of the most fascinating things about the protest was that the protest became a bazaar of protest groups and activist organizations. At the protest, I met a group of Quakers that are against war. They believe that the federal government spends too much on the military. I had two problems with their platform. First, they couldn't tell me just how much of the budget should be spent on the military. If it can't be quantified, I have a problem with it. Second, they believe that we should enter into some sort of a negotiation with Al Qaeda. Such looniness is extreme and marginal.

There were several other groups. One pushed H.R. 1207, a bill pushed by Ron Paul. This bill would require more scrutiny and transparency of the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul believes we should eliminate the fed entirely and he is a libertarian pol. There was also a group that wants to make the Church of Scientology pay taxes. I didn't know they were even tax exempt. There was even a group protesting Obama's plan to escalate the operation in Iraq. The activists came in all shapes and sizes and they took advantage of the plethora of activists in attendance to get their message out.

The first speaker was Eric "Mancow" Muller of Q101, a shock jock (who once famously got into a vicious on air war with the ultimate shock jock Howard Stern). Next up was Jonathon Hoenig, a frequent guest on Saturday's Fox News business block. Hoenig began by railing at all the big government policies of George Bush. He then moved onto a much longer diatrobe of how those policies have been doubled down under the Obama administration. This is in many ways brilliant because it creates a bi partisan disgust with government.

One other speaker asked for a symbolic gesture. After railing at all the new taxes instituted by the state government, he asked to call (312) 814-2121, the governor's office and say "no more" to new taxes and spending. Not suprisingly, I got a busy signal everytime I tried.

The presence of Ron Paul supporters can't be overlooked. The movement will likely try and be painted as a shill of the Republicans and Fox News. In reality, it is much more a libertarian movement. One of its leaders, Eric Odom, voted for the Libertarian Bob Barr in the last election.

What's even more amazing is that after a near blackout, the tea parties enjoyed near wall to wall coverage today. Every media outlet from Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, righ blogs, left blogs, all had near non stop coverage of the tea parties. Each had their own perspective, and as I said, the next step is a race to define them. Opponents will try and paint it as racist and extremist. The racist label will have some traction. It was hard not to notice that the crowd was nearly entirely white. If the citizens that organized these tea parties, get out on the media, they will likely be effective in defining the movement as ordinary citizens on a grass roots crusade.

Watch the next few days, the media will have near endless coverage of the movement and the next few days will be critical for its definition.

The organizers of the movement call it organic. In other words, it will grow and evolve spontaneously. So far, the only goal should be to continue to grow. The first set had about ten thousand. This one had almost a million people. The next one needs to be at ten million. At that point, it will be a force that will be hard to stop.


Anonymous said...

I live in Taiwan. This was shown on CNN Asia.

Anonymous said...

These kind of headlines don't help.

"Fox News' Hannity to lead one of dozens of 'Tea Party' protests around Ga."

Anonymous said...

I went to the TP in Indianapolis today. It was very good. Attendance in the 5,000 range. Full of well behaved conservatives. Mostly white, middle aged and older. There were a few black that wore signs saying they were proud to be conservative. It was organized by a licensed plumber and his wife. The actor that has become a YouTube hit portraying Thomas Paine was the main speaker. He was fabulous. I felt very comfortable. Glad I went.


Anonymous said...

Here are some of the reports on the Tea Party from 2 big newspapers. Both unfavorable. This is not looking good,0,5379706.story?page=2

Anonymous said...

10 Republican Tax Day lies:

1. President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses.
2. The estate tax devastates small businesses and family farms.
3. 40% of Americans pay no taxes
4. Tax cuts always increase revenue.
5. The GOP is the party of fiscal discipline.
6. Ronald Reagan was the greatest tax cutter of all time.
7. FDR caused the Great Depression, or at least made it worse.
8. Obama's cap-and-trade plan will cost each American family $3,100 a year.
9. Obama's tax proposals will undermine charitable giving.
10. The rich pay too much in taxes already.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous! I'd love to see your evidence for any of your so-called lies. Here's mine for how at least some of them aren't lies.

10 Republican Tax Day lies: The tax day tea parties weren't a republican movement. They were a conservative movement. Anyone who pays attention knows there is little or no conservative representation in our current political body.

1. President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses. It's true that most small business owners won't get a tax increase, because most small business owners don't make over $250,000. It should be stated, however, that, by making $250,000 the threshold for "shamefully rich", it creates a disincentive to ever become that successful. It should also be stated that, in order to create jobs for more than just themselves, a small business owner would need to be making something close to that $250,000 mark to afford paying out a second (or third or fourth) salary each year.

2. The estate tax devastates small businesses and family farms. I don't know enough about this to comment on it intelligently. Do you have any links to prove it?

3. 40% of Americans pay no taxes I can prove this is, in fact, true:

"During 2006, Tax Foundation economists estimate that roughly 43.4 million tax returns, representing 91 million individuals, will face a zero or negative tax liability. That's out of a total of 136 million federal tax returns that will be filed. Adding to this figure the 15 million households and individuals who file no tax return at all, roughly 121 million Americans—or 41 percent of the U.S. population—will be completely outside the federal income tax system in 2006.1 This total includes those who pay no tax, and those who pay some tax upfront and are later refunded the full amount of the tax paid or more." 4. Tax cuts always increase revenue. Has anyone ever claimed this? I've never heard it. Link please.

That said, tax cuts CAN increase revenue: but it won't necessarily always be true. If it were, you could reduce taxes to zero and increase revenue. Obviously, that's not true.

5. The GOP is the party of fiscal discipline. Guilty as charged. That's why they lost the 2006 and 2008 elections. They spend like drunken sailors. Unfortunately, the short-sighted GOP voters who voted the bums out didn't realize that their replacements, the Democrats, would make them appear miserly by contrast.

6. Ronald Reagan was the greatest tax cutter of all time. I'm not sure this has ever been said by anyone on the right, either. Link?

He did, however, cut the top tax rate from 70% to 50%, and there is some evidence to show that his tax cuts improved the economy.

Note that the same article gives the counter-argument to that, and shows once-again how the GOP isn't very fiscally responsible when they're in power. It is the fact that both political parties show little or no fiscal restraint that is the origin and animus of the Tea Party protests.

7. FDR caused the Great Depression, or at least made it worse. I don't think anyone has said that FDR caused the great depression. However, there is considerable evidence to show that his policies extended the depression for as much as 7 years longer than it needed to have gone.

It is also apparent to anyone paying attention that Social Security (part of FDR's "New Deal") is a Ponzi scheme that isn't sustainable in a country where the working population will soon be outnumbered by the retired population. It should never have been enacted as a permanent program, in my opinion.

8. Obama's cap-and-trade plan will cost each American family $3,100 a year. This number is made up, but it's probably close to the truth. It is a fact that cap and trade will hit the coal-generated and natural-gas-generated electrical plants the hardest of any industries it is targetting. It is a fact that those companies, facing new government tarrifs for producing the pollution that they cannot help but produce (as there is no existing technology to capture that pollution and keep it from being pumped directly to our lungs, including the so-called "clean coal" carbon sequestration; there is no working, existing carbon sequestration plant on this planet). Since we get 62% of our electricity from coal and natural gas, and since those companies running these plants will pass along these losses to their customers in the form of higher rates, we can safely assume that rates will go up.

Here's the messy part. Obama wants to move to "green energy", namely solar and wind. Both of these are good things, which we should add in moderation to our energy portfolio. However, his massive investment in these technologies will come from taxpayer dollars. The vision behind such a massive investment is that it will create newer, better, more efficient technologies, and find a baseline, allowing for mass production and eventually lower costs. It's a good idea in principle. The only problem is that it could be applied to any of our technologies, and should be applied to all of them, not just the ones that are popular right now. Coal's too dirty? Research it until it isn't. Nuclear is too costly, or the waste is problematic? Research.

Ultimately, there is no magic fairy dust that will let us become emission-free overnight. Maybe someday we'll find something that will do it, but for now, we need to analyze the technologies available RIGHT NOW, and choose the best one. That technology is nuclear, right now. That said, we should still spend money to research promising alternatives like solar and wind and whatever fairy-dust fantasies our native geniuses can dream up.

All solutions will have a cost, though. And adding a tax on carbon emissions is going to raise that cost to the consumer. I don't know that it will be $3100 a year, but it might be.

9. Obama's tax proposals will undermine charitable giving. Again, I don't know enough about this to comment intelligently. I did read an article about some New York fellow named Joel Berg complaining that the rich should be forced by the government to give to the "correct" charities that are "good" (as determined by him, apparently). That doesn't come from the Obama administration, obviously, but I can't say I'd be surprised if they agreed with him.

10. The rich pay too much in taxes already. This is pretty arbitrary, but the obvious response to it is "How much do you think they should pay?" To put it another way, "How much should the government take from them, under threat of jailtime, in order to provide services for the 41% of Americans that don't have to pay anything?"

What number do you find fair? 50%? 70%? 100%? At what point do the rich leave the country to go earn money somewhere else, taking the jobs they provide and the wealth they inject into the economy with them? I'd wager it would come somewhere before 100%, but it seems to me that the people, like you, who complain that it's a lie that the "rich already pay too much in taxes" would be more than willing to take every penny these folks earn and give it to the people you happen to favor at the moment, instead.

Where is the incentive for these people to keep earning money if the governement takes everything from them? Where is the incentive for the no-tax-paying folks to earn anything if the government gives them everything they need? What do you think would happen to our country, if everyone decided that the government should just do everything for everyone, and no one should have to work for a living?

Obviously, such a government would just force people to work, to pay for all the expenses that the lazy people are racking up by wanting all their needs provided for. Personally, I can't wait for the government to tell me I have to go work at the fish-packing plant because that's what I've been assigned to do. I'm also looking forward to the day that they come to your door with your assigned job.

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion. I just hope you occasionally contemplate the inevitable results of your socialist utopia. Communist Russia tried it. If government-provided-everything worked, I think their country would have survived Reaganomics just fine. But that's just my opinion.


Anonymous said...

Lie#1: President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses.

As CNN concluded in October, "fewer than 2% of small business owners would pay more under Obama's plan." But in case there was any doubt about the Republicans' deception on the point, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center quickly put it to rest:

Out of 34.7 million filers with business income on Schedules C, E or F, 479,000 filers fall into the top two brackets, according to an analysis of projected 2009 filings by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The other 34.3 million - or 98.6% - would be unaffected by Obama's proposed rate hike.

Lie #2: The estate tax devastates small businesses and family farms.

This Republican scam over the so-called "death tax" is as bogus now as it was when President Bush first perpetrated it eight years ago.

But as the Washington Post explained, under President Obama budget, 99.76% of estates would pay no taxes whatsoever:

The estate tax is scheduled to disappear in 2010, only to be resurrected the following year at its 2001 level, when it applied only to estates worth over $2 million per couple at a rate of 55 percent. In fact, no one expects it to return to that level -- although letting it do so would be a far more rational response to the current crisis than the Lincoln-Kyl approach. Rather, President Obama has proposed holding the tax at this year's level: an exemption of $7 million per couple, with a 45 percent rate for amounts beyond that; this would cost $484 billion over 10 years. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has endorsed this solution, with indexing for inflation. This would hardly be punitive. At that level, 99.76 percent of estates would incur no tax whatsoever. Those who owe would pay, on average, $2.25 million less than they would have paid at the 2001 exemption level. Why in the world should these folks get more of a tax cut?

Why? Because even in a time of national economic calamity, the Republican Party remains committed to dramatically shifting the tax burden away from the wealthiest Americans. (And unfortunately, Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and nine other Democrats are aiding and abetting that transfer by supporting a lower tax rate of 35% for estates starting at $10 million per couple. The price tag? $250 billion.)

Last week, the Tax Policy Center quantified just how few family farms or small businesses are actually impacted by the estate tax proposals under consideration:

We estimate that under the Obama proposal, 100 family farms and businesses would owe tax. (We define such estates as those where farm or business assets are valued at under $5 million and comprise the majority of estate assets.) The Lincoln-Kyl proposal would cut the number to 40. Even under current law, fewer than 2,700 family farms and businesses would owe tax.

Lie #3: 40% of Americans pay no taxes.

This canard, too, has been in circulation since last summer. Parroting right-wing papers including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the McCain campaign argued, "Obama raises taxes on seniors, hard working families to give 'welfare' to those who pay none." While Sean Hannity and Rudy Giuliani echoed the "welfare" charge in January, on Monday, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer kept up the drum beat, deeming Obama's middle class tax cuts a "moral problem" when "50% of the country gets benefits without paying for them."

Alas, they do pay for them. As FactCheck among others noted, Republican conveniently ignore sales, excise and most of all, payroll taxes. Starting with the first dollar they earn, virtually all American workers pay the 6.2% Social Security tax (on income up to $97,000) and another 1.45% for Medicare. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center concluded, "three quarters of filers pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes."

That millions of hard working American families pay no income taxes is due in large measure to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Created in 1975, the EITC "a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families" that results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit when the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities detailed in 2005, the EITC has not only been extremely successful in reducing poverty, it has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. None other than Ronald Reagan called it, "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."

As a new Gallup poll released today suggests, the American people seem to agree. In the wake of the new Obama tax cuts, Gallup found, "more say low-income Americans paying fair share of taxes."

Lie #4: Tax cuts always increase revenue

Thanks to supply-side snake oil salesman Arthur Laffer and his magical Laffer Curve, conservatives have been peddling this myth since the age of Reagan. Tax cuts, which GOP doctrine now claims is the universal cure-all for surpluses and deficits, male pattern baldness and erectile dysfunction, are at the center of every Republican economic program. As John McCain put it during the campaign, "tax cuts, starting with Kennedy, as we all know, increase revenues." And in February, Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison offered the purest statement of Arthur Laffer's fantasy:

"Every major tax cut we've had in history has created more revenue."

As it turns out, not so much. The claim, as ThinkProgress neatly summed it up, is empirically and historically false:

The notion that cutting taxes somehow - magically - increases government revenues is a myth that won't die. "The claim that tax cuts pay for contradicted by the historical record," reported the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which showed that revenues grew twice as fast in the 1990s, when taxes were raised, than in the 1980s, when taxes were cut. called a claim like Hutchison's "highly misleading" and stated the obvious fact that "we can't have both lower taxes and fatter government coffers."

Lie #5: The GOP is the party of fiscal discipline.

Back in February, AP reporter and John McCain donut server Liz Sidoti wrote of beaten and battered Republicans trying to find their way back from the political wilderness in a piece titled, "GOP tries to restore image of fiscal discipline."

Of course, that would constitute a return to a time that never was. Far from the deficit hawks of Republican legend, the modern Republican Party from Reagan forward devastated the U.S. treasury, leaving mounting debt and hemorrhaging red ink for as far as the eye can see. As it turns out, U.S. national debt tripled under Ronald Reagan, only to double again under George W. Bush. As this eye-popping chart shows, under recent Republican presidents the debt exploded as a percentage of GDP, interrupted only by the all-too-brief fiscal sanity of the Clinton years.

"Reagan," Dick Cheney once famously declared, "proved that deficits don't matter." Apparently, that rule only applies when a Republican is sitting in the Oval Office

Lie #6: Ronald Reagan was the greatest tax cutter of all time.

Through thick and thin, this hagiography of Ronald Reagan is central to Republican identity. But as Steve Benen rightly noted, it is President Obama whose stimulus plan delivered the largest two-year tax cut in history. And as it turns out, what Saint Ronnie giveth, he also taketh away.

As predicted, Reagan's massive $749 billion supply-side tax cuts in 1981 quickly produced even more massive annual budget deficits. Combined with his rapid increase in defense spending, Reagan delivered not the balanced budgets he promised, but record-settings deficits. Even his OMB alchemist David Stockman could not obscure the disaster with his famous "rosy scenarios."

Ultimately, Reagan was forced to raise taxes twice to avert financial catastrophe (a fact John McCain learned the hard way from Tom Brokaw last October). By the time he left office in 1989, Ronald Reagan nonetheless more than equaled the entire debt burden produced by the previous 200 years of American history.

Lie #7: FDR caused the Great Depression, or at least made it worse.

Desperate to change their miserable present, Republicans are traveling back in time to rewrite the past. Despite the easily debunked claim (for example, here and here), Republican leaders including John McCain and Mitch McConnell still insist FDR made the Great Depression worse. Others, such as Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH) went so far as to blame FDR's programs launched four years after the 1929 stock market crash for causing it in the first place:

"When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression," Austria said. "He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history."

Of course, that's not history. As Jonathan Chait documented in his devastating demolition of conservative propagandist Amity Schlaes' revisionist attack on the New Deal, FDR slashed unemployment by more than half and largely restored industrial production and GDP growth even before the onset of World War II. Only when Roosevelt wavered in the face of conservative pressure in 1937 did his New Deal temporarily falter.

Lie #8. Obama's cap-and-trade plan will cost each American family $3,100 a year.

Having failed to either block President Obama's middle class tax cuts or to successfully demagogue his proposals for upper income and estate taxes, the Republican leadership turned to a new scare tactic. John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and at least 17 other Congressional Republicans falsely claimed that Obama's proposed $650 billion cap-and-trade system constitutes a $3,100 a year tax on every American family. As Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) put it:

"The Democratic budget is proposing a national energy tax which according to studies at MIT could pose a $3,128 burden on every working family in America."

But as MIT professor and co-author of the study Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals John Reilly pointed out, the research "has been misrepresented in recent press releases distributed by the National Republican Congressional Committee." As he wrote in a letter to John Boehner:

"The press release claims our report estimates an average cost per family of a carbon cap and trade program that would meet targets now being discussed in Congress to be over $3,000, but that is nearly 10 times the correct estimate which is approximately $340. [...] Our Report 160 shows that the costs on lower and middle income households can be completely offset by returning allowance revenue to these households."

For his part, Boehner responded by insisting he would stand by his discredited talking point. As they show time and again, the utter falsehood of a statement is no barrier to Republicans repeating it.

Lie #9. Obama's tax proposals will undermine charitable giving.

In his budget, President Obama has proposed raising $318 billion over the next decade by trimming wealthier taxpayers' deductions for charitable giving to 28% from its current 35%. Predictably, Republicans (joined by some Democrats) forecast an apocalypse for donations to charities. As John Boehner ominously warned:

"It will also deliver a sharp blow to charities at a time when they are hurting during the economic downturn."

But as Bloomberg and The Chronicle of Philanthropy each reported, Obama's proposal for 2011 would likely have little to no impact on charitable giving. As Bloomberg noted:

Not necessarily, say tax and philanthropy experts. They say altruistic or religious motives outweigh tax-shelter considerations among such donors, and cite previous limitations placed on deductions for high earners that they say haven't hurt donations.

Among those previous limitations, as OMB director Peter Orszag among others recalled, was the same upper income 28% deduction during Ronald Reagan's first term. As Orszag told reporters on February 26th, the record shows that "what drives charitable contributions is overall economic growth."

Ironically, what might have a more serious impact on charitable giving is Republican plans to scrap the estate tax. As then CBO head and later chief McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin wrote in a 2004 study by the agency:

Furthermore, the estate tax provides an incentive to make charitable contributions during life. The paper finds that increasing the amount exempted from the estate tax from $675,000 to either $2 million or $3.5 million would reduce charitable giving by less than 3 percent. However, repealing the tax would have a larger impact, decreasing donations to charity by 6 percent to 12 percent.

Lie #10: The rich pay too much in taxes already.

While 60% of Americans in recent Gallup polls believe upper-income people are "paying too little" in taxes, it is an article of faith among Republicans that the reverse is true.

In one variant of this argument, Arthur Laffer claims Barack Obama will have to raise taxes on lower and middle income Americans because "it cannot be done at the high end because those people can get away from it." That assessment echoes George W. Bush, who similarly argued in 2004, "The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." (They are right in one sense; thanks to the GOP's gutting of the IRS in the 1990's, by 2007 the amount of federal revenue lost to fraud and unpaid taxes catapulted to $300 billion.)

Leave it to Bush's former flunkie Ari Fleischer to make even more comical Tax Week plea on behalf of the nation's bedraggled wealthy. The top 10% of taxpayers, Fleischer argued, are "supporting virtually everyone and everything" and "their burden keeps getting heavier." As he put it:

"It's also what's called redistribution of income, and it is getting out of hand."

Oh, it's gotten out of hand all right, just not in the direction Fleischer claims.

As the Center for American Progress noted, the Bush tax cuts delivered a third of their total benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans. And to be sure, their payday was staggering. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities detailed, by 2007 millionaires on average pocketed $120,000 from the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Those in the top 1% stashed an extra $45,000 a year. As a result, millionaires saw their after-tax incomes rise by 7.6%, while the gains for the middle quintile and bottom 20% of Americans were a paltry 2.3% and 0.4%, respectively. (Another CBPP study demonstrated that the Bush tax cuts accounted for half of the mushrooming deficits during his tenure in the White House.)

And as the New York Times revealed in 2006, the 2003 Bush dividend and capital gains tax cuts offered almost nothing to taxpayers earning below $100,000 a year. Instead, those windfalls reduced taxes "on incomes of more than $10 million by an average of about $500,000." As the Times revealed in a jaw-dropping chart, "the top 2 percent of taxpayers, those making more than $200,000, received more than 70% of the increased tax savings from those cuts in investment income." So it should come as no surprise that the income share of the 400 richest Americans doubled over the past decade.

There is, of course, one final GOP meta-myth for Tax Day. Despite their best efforts to portray Republicans as the best economic stewards for America, the record clearly shows that the stock market and the economy over all almost always do better under Democratic presidents.

Enough evidence for you?

mike volpe said...

First of all, pointing out Republican lies after a post about Tea Parties is out of place. that said, I will take them one by one.

First, 2% of small businesses is still small businesses. No. Second, taxing the most successful small businesses trickles down to other small businesses. What do you think will happen when the small businesses that are taxed more have less money to invest back in their own businesses? It will mean that other small businesses have less business as well.

I don't really care who is affected by the estate tax. The idea that your death should be the subject of a tax goes against every principle that this country was founded on.

About 40% of the people pay no federal income taxes. President Obama runs the federal government. It matters not whether or not they pay state taxes, sales taxes etc. He wants to give a tax credit to someone that doesn't pay any taxes to the federal government.

The GOP is NOT fiscally discipline but they are compared to the Democrats currently running the government.

I don't know if Reagan was the greatest tax cutter but his cutting of the top marginal tax rate to 28% lead directly to an economic expansion that lasted until 2007.

I don't know how much cap and trade will cost but forcing technologies onto the market before they are ready for mass appeal will cost people a lot of money. Period.

Charitable deductions will be lessened and so of course charitable giving will go down.

Paying any amount in taxes is too much so of course. The wealthy pay about half their income in taxes. That's not liberty. That's working for the government.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I think a debate on Republican policy that led to our current mess is entirely appropriate for tax today - or for that matter any day.

You didn't read my post properly and haven't addressed the direct evidence I have presented for each point. You have been selective in what you want to talk about and, as usual, replied with a set of right-wing talking points.

Your lack of debating skills are surprising force who clearly considers himself so well informed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with paying as little tax as possible for everyone.

What i don't agree with is tax cuts that are skewed towards the wealthy so that in PERCENTAGE TERMS they benefit for than the middle and lower class.

Isn't it clear that the wealthy hold the power and tilt things for THEIR benefit not the benefit of the country?

The case detailing Bush tax cut DISPROPORTIONATELY benefiting the wealthy is clear.

mike volpe said...

That's because your comment is very, very long, and full of citings like CNN, think progress, and other selective studies that you cite. Frankly, it is very unlikely that you yourself wrote it. I directly responded to what you said in the beginning.

You didn't actually counter anything I said, which frankly was a lot shorter.

Anonymous said...

So you cannot counter cited facts.


mike volpe said...

I did cite facts, you are the one cherry picking often biased studies that back up your point of view. There's a big difference between a study from Think Progress and a fact.

Anonymous said...

No you didnt.

mike volpe said...

"No, you didn't."????

Well, when my opponent is reduced to third grade tactics that is an inherent admission that I have won the debate.

"No, you didn't"

That's it. That's the best argument you have.

Come on, you're better than that.

Anonymous said...

No I am not actually,

I made a bet with my friend that I could get this post to 15 comments or greater by simply contradicting you.

Thanks for the money!

You ideologues are easy.

mike volpe said...

Do you think that anyone will believe you?

First, you jumped in late. Second, 15 comments isn't that much. Third, everyone that reads this knows I love to argue and so it isn't my ideology but my lover of arguing that you are taking advantage of. Fourth, only someone really childish and with way too much time on their hands would make such a bet.

More likely, you are making things up as you go along.

Anonymous said...

As are you to appear as if you are in the driver's seat when actually I am.

Playing you like a fiddle.

Thats 18 comments.

lets get to 100.

mike volpe said...

It's my site, so let's make it a 1000. Play me like a fiddle till we reach four digits.