Archive for Sunday, December 18, 2005

Melting future

December 18, 2005


To the editor:

Imagine, if you will, the United States five years ago at the end of the Clinton administration as a huge $13 trillion snowball with two-thirds of that economic snowball consisting of middle class consumers of goods and services.

Our long history of political stability has been dependent on that same huge middle class that has paid for everything. Consider that the 2 percent at the top pay for nothing because for every million dollars they contribute to Congress, Congress returns them a billion dollars in taxpayer money and allows them to make all the rules. The poor at the bottom pay for nothing because they have nothing.

Now, five years later, the Bush administration has rolled that huge middle class snowball into the Arizona desert. The government has exported almost our entire manufacturing base, along with the jobs and the technology. Most of this has gone to Asia, particularly China and India.

No surprise that huge snowball of middle class consumers is melting away very quickly and along with it the future of America.

Freda Davidson Hickam,



Kookamooka 12 years, 5 months ago

Nope, Pilgrim. Sorry. I won't buy that. When you have an administration in place that systematically dismantles the institution it was hired to run by "outsourcing" and "privitization" then you have our current state of affairs. Have you not been paying attention? Shame.

Think Halliburton!

bisky1 12 years, 5 months ago

freda, what you haven't realized yet is that it's a magic snowball and as it melts it turns the sand to gold and that gold will be given back to the middle class and they will all be moved to the upper 2 percent. so gas up the car and head to arizona to get your gold. geez freda put down the info and pick up a book on economics 101

bisky1 12 years, 5 months ago

kookamooka, when was the deal with haliburton made and who made it?

Stephen Roberts 12 years, 5 months ago

Boy I must be rich and didn't know it. Thank you Freda for letting me know, by the way how do you know about me personally benefitting from the Bush tax cuts? Are you spying on me or stalking me?

I'm sorry I choose to have children, so I am benefitting from the child credit. Also, since the tax rates have been reduced from the Clinton era, my regular tax has gone down. I have somea little stock ( less than $500) but I received dividends and that helps lower my tax.

By the way while you are complaining about the tax tax cuts, there is a tax out there that is getting more people every year. It is called the alternative minimum tax (AMT). AMT was designed to by congress to get more tax from wealthy individuals but it has never been indexed for inflation since its inception. Every year more and more middle class americans are paying or should be paying AMT tax. The wealthy are paying AMT, there normally is no way around it. Unless you do not make any income ( no wages, dividends, business income etc) or their schedule C business throw off huge losses or another way.

I find it hard to believe most people did not benefit from the tax cuts. Look at the artes 10 years ago, all of the rates were higher now they are lower.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Yea, Pilgrim, that emancipation proclamation thing was such a downer for owners/stockholders. I mean, ever since, it's been a downhill slide to make a decent profit. We have no one to blame but ourselves for having to go outside the country to find workers where the proclamation doesn't apply.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Arminius claims this:

"The letter writer claims that the top 2% pay no taxes..."

When this is actually what the writer said:

"Consider that the 2 percent at the top pay for nothing because for every million dollars they contribute to Congress, Congress returns them a billion dollars in taxpayer money and allows them to make all the rules."

No matter how little or much truth is contained in her statement, Kevin's strawman misstatement was itself a falsehood. So much for truth-telling.

bisky1 12 years, 5 months ago

bozo, and this adds truth to the statement? a billion for a million, pretty good return if you ask me. if i was making all the rules i would not make my share of the tax burden so large.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

Hmm....the snowball metaphor doesn't really work - and things go downhill from there.

First, I would note that in the shortterm the author addresses that the economy is (unremarkably) similar. The vastness of the American machine does not change quite so easily. To be sure, every minor difference is magnified in the imagination: e.g., the budget deficit in the Clinton years - thanks to spending restraint (from opposition GOP Congress) and optimum revenue producing growth (whether real or illusory) - was virtually eliminated, whereas the Bush years - from (maybe) recession, economic disruption, and wholly uncontrolled spending (from a governing GOP Congress) - have led to their return with a vengence. Thus, the snowball metaphor is not only inapt but simply incorrect.

I'm uncertain what makes up the $13 trillion in this snowball. It certainly not GDP, which is only estimated in the third quarter of '05 to be $12.6 trillion. (first quarter '01 at $10 trillion)

As far as "exporting our manufacturing base.," I can only presume the author has been reading too much propaganda. Manufacturing, as an employer, is in decline everywhere - the U.S., Europe, Japan, Mexico, and China. Indeed, the world is well on its way to an employee-less manufacturing base. Why this would be a problem in the longrun the author does not tell us.

"middle class that has paid for everything." How's that? The top 10% of earners pay 66% of taxes. The top 25% (which includes some well-off, upper middle class) pays 84%. The middle class helps round-off the balance but does so only by its vast numbers not by the size of their checks.

"the 2 percent at the top pay for nothing because for every million dollars they contribute to Congress, Congress returns them a billion dollars in taxpayer money and allows them to make all the rules." Of course, this is mathematically impossible. The top 2% pay about 47% of income revenues. So for the author's statement to be true adjusted to a mere $1 paid for every $2 received ratio, the Treasury would need to disburbse $800 billion back to the wealthy. How the government would manage even this task is unclear.

As far as "making all the rules," I believe it is indisputable that the wealthy carry more weight than the average taxpayer (although not necessarily more weight if adjusted for the amount of tax they pay). That said, it is also unclear how much 'rule making' they do. Starting with the massive marginal tax rate cuts of the Reagan administration, the tax rates on the upper 1% have been cut from 70% to 28%, yet during this time the share of taxes paid by the upper 1% has climbed from 19% to 28%. No matter how you cut it, that's some serious tax bills for the upper, upper crust. And not exactly what you would expect from those who make "all the rules."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

My reading comprehension is fine, Kevin. Your rephrasing of what she actually said was unnecessary unless you intended to distort her message. You may very well disagree with the factuality of her statement, but it's dishonest and lazy to change her statement to something else in order to make your "counter" argument easier.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

You can disagree with the statement she actually made all you want, but changing her statement before you begin your critique deserves exactly the criticism you're now spinning hard to reject.

blessed3x 12 years, 5 months ago

Just another example of factless talking points. The left will believe anything their fanatical leaders tell them.

Personally, I'm the sole wage earner for a family of 5 making $46,000/year. Under the Bush tax cuts my tax returns have more than tripled. Way to go "W"!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

When your kids are grown, ask them if they would say "way to go" when the multitrillion dollar chits that are currently paying for our deficits get called in by the Chinese, who by then will be the only ones who can afford to buy the greatly diminished supplies of oil. And they'll be further screwed because Dubya and his oil buddies sabotaged any efforts at developing alternative energy sources or conservation plans, and global warming will mean most of our coastal cities will look like New Oreans, and our most productive agricultural areas will have become desert wastelands.

Will the chintzy little tax refund he bribed you with look so good then?

blessed3x 12 years, 5 months ago

"Will the chintzy little tax refund he bribed you with look so good then?" -Bozo

So you're admitting that the left has lied when they state that only the rich got tax breaks?

As for the global warming comments, don't you find it funny that many of the countries that DID sign the flawed Kyoto Treaty have now backed out or are not following the set guidelines because they spell economic disaster?

As for the Chineses investing in America, I agree that it is bad news, but how is it Bush's fault. Foreign investors have always sought good investments in a strong American economy, and, yes, the American economy is VERY strong right now.

As for the lack of oil, DRILL ALASKA!!! Some reports have stated that there is 20 years of oil independence under the Alaskan tundra, plenty of time to implement alternative fuel cars and not retain indepence on an unstable middle east.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

The wealthy didn't get all the tax refunds, but they got most of the tax breaks-- enough so that it's clear that the breaks you and other middle-class wage-earners got was a bribe to quell the criticism of the massive deficits that have resulted.

Most signatories are still following the Kyoto Protocols, even though by themselves they will have minimal effect on global warming-- these are countries that understand the value of leadership. And if you think reducing greenhouse gasses is an economic disaster, just wait till global warming wrecks its irreversible disasters on you, and more likely on your kids and grandkids.

Between the trade deficit and the federal budget deficit, claims that the economy is doing great are nothing but cheering on the smoke and mirrors. The only thing that will turn that around are policies of fair trade and true energy independence through conservation and development of sustainable sources.

The six-month supply in ANWR will be nothing more than a nice gift to Dubya's friends in the oil companies, who will likely sell it to Asian countries as they do most of the oil presently coming out of Alaska.

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