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Taxing Our Way to Equality


A few weeks ago I promised a discussion on the implications of using taxes to support the increase of almost $1 trillion in the cost of our federal government in the last two years. This discussion addresses only that number. Additional costs to address the shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care are not addressed in this analysis although I plan to do so in the future. My analysis suggests that baring some strange new source of income, federal income taxes would need to be increased by just shy of 100% to provide the needed revenue just to stop the growth in our federal deficit.

It is my intent to remain within the “middle class” in addressing this issue. An accepted definition of “middle class” does not exist. Some consider the center quintile the middle class. That would make 40% rich and 40% poor. I use the definition used by many that the center three quintiles represents the middle class (60% of us). That leads to those with income between $25K and $100K and based on prior analysis published here I used incomes of $50K and $100K as bounds for the analysis.

I did my Quicken analysis on two families composed of a police officer and a teacher living in Lawrence. The first family represented those just starting out with two young children. Their combined income was set at $50,000 (about the average here in Kansas and representative of local salaries). The second family was thirty years along, had doubled their income and their kids were out of the house. The table below reflects their calculated taxes at today’s rates. I avoided the impact of inflation by sticking with current values.

Now, if we commit to funding all the additional revenue to support the Democratic Party adds to our current federal budget the total tax take for the older family increases to $37,980 while the tax take on the younger family does not change. The analysis assumes we handle the increase with changes in rates and not changes in deductions which might affect the younger family.

These numbers can be read many ways. For one, our progressive tax system is working at least for those in the middle class. Two, there is a very broad variation in taxes between the center and the top of the middle class. Three, the tax take on the 53% of us that pay federal taxes is significant. Four, we would be approaching a tax take of almost 40% in direct taxes on a two wage earner family making $100K.

The question I ask those who seem to want to raise taxes to support all the many Democratic Party initiatives is a psychological one. Do we as a society really want to signal our citizens that the reward for thirty years of work is to have any gain achieved reduced by almost two thirds as a result of government tax policy? Sounds pretty steep, but that is the implied result of using taxes to pay for all the added Democratic Party initiatives.

There has been much ado lately about preserving the middle class. My analysis above suggests that the operative meaning of the word “preserving” is that all of us in the middle class will be reduced to pretty much the same standard of living no matter where we are in the earning cycle or what level of contribution we make to the society. Do we really want to do that?



westside_lawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

George, 1. I do not like the idea of raising the marginal tax rates, but the Dems aren't talking about across the board raises. I hear more about raising marginal tax rates on 250k+ earners. This would not alter your analysis. In any case, raising the marginal tax rates will not solve long-term deficit issue. 2. Part of the problem lies with loopholes. Both parties are responsible for not removing those. Lower the marginal tax rates, eliminate all loopholes. Simple. 3. It has been known for a long time now, that Social Security and Medicare are the main (2/3rds of the problem actually) long-term deficit contributors. Reforming them (by raising retirement age for those who are in their 20s and 30s today) is imperative, but both parties are bickering about little bs's here and there and nobody seriously tackles the issue.

I did not come up with any of these ideas myself. This has been public information for many years. Read the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson findings, for instance.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes the Dems are talking about general tax increases. There is no way to fund all the things they want without one. Taxing the rich as proposed barely dents the current shortfall resulting from their "adds" over the last two years.

When the bill for SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care comes due after the next election there will be no choice but to raise taxes on those who pay them. The analysis above while predicated on a rate increase works out the same if we reduce deductions. The only set of deductions to be eliminated that might yield revenue from the 47% not currently paying for the operation of the federal government is to dispense with all the credits and deductions for children.

I agree with the rest of what you wrote and am well aware of the references you make. I am just moving beyond any tax hike on the rich to actually find funding for the costs of all the goodies being sold to the populace. Unemployment benefits cost money. Grants to local government for first responders and teachers cost money. Increased funding for infrastructure costs money. Their list is long and the aggregate costs are quite large.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 2 months ago

It is interesting that over two thirds of that taxes paid by the taxpayers with income of $100,000 was paid to state and local governments and social security/medicare. Only one third was for federal income tax.

Here are some changes that that couple making $100,000 should consider:

  1. Both should make a contribution to Indvidual Retirement Accounts. This would reduce their federal and Kansas income taxes about $3,000.

  2. It the Republicans would pass President Obama's proposed reduction in social security taxes this couple would save $3,100 in taxes. If the Republicans would pass the watered down version, they would save $2,000.

  3. If they would sale their $350,000. home and rent as the couple is doing that is making $50,000 they would save the $5,000. they are paying in real estate taxes. (I arrived at $350,000 by using the current mill rate for Lawrence.)

  4. If they drove less expensive cars they could reduce their vehcile tax by $500. Say the same value of cars as the $50,000 couple.

  5. If they consumed at the same level as the $50,000 couple they would save $300 in sales tax.

Total tax savings $11,900. So, you see, many of the taxes they pay are by choice. They could take these tax savings and invest for their retirement. This will reduce the need to expect the government to provide for their retirement.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Countyresident left a comment on Taxing Our Way to Equality.

Interesting take. Your comment is accurate for the current situation. In order to address the trillion dollar increase in federal expenditures I doubled the federal income tax on each case. The doubling of the tax means that about 50% of the tax on the $100K couple is federal income tax.

The suggestions you make are small change with respect to the taxes on the older couple except for not owning a home. . In calculating the taxes both couples contributed to an IRA ($1K each for the older couple). So in your world the notiuon of home ownership is lost. By the by, if no one pays real property taxes the state and local governments will have to find anothere tax to fund their needs. How about a piggyback income tax?

You totally ducked the issue that almost 60% of the increase in income the older coupled earned as the result of almost 40 years of work goes to the federal government as taxes. if we contribute to just paying for the Democratic adds already made. Don't you think that severe?

If we then start paying for the deficit in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Obama care we would need to double federal income taxes again. That would mean that that lifetime of work would yield only $10K in additional income.

Kind of undercuts any interest in making more money as a two wage earner professional couple. Of course those who earn really high income (very successful or daddy owned the company) will not see that tax increase. They will pay most of their taxes as capital gains taxed at a much lower rate.

Thank you for admitting to the real Democratic Party plan to tax the middle class (mid two quintiles) at rates approach confiscation.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 2 months ago

Here we go again.

You just make things up. You are making predictions that have never been proposed by the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. No one has proposed raising income taxes by one trillion dollars. And I have never admitted to any Democratic Party plan to tax the middle class. I have always advocated that incomes over $250,000 should pay a higher tax. More important, is that dividends should be taxed at the same rate as wages. Instead of the current rate of from ZERO to a maximum rate of 15%.

I have no idea how you get to the idea that 60% of the increase in income goes for federal taxes. Since income increased $50,000 that would mean that federal taxes increased by $30,000. Your example shows the "Total Direct Tax Take" as $28,686. The increase is $22,403. And of this amount, $8,550 is the increase in state and local taxes. As I said before, you just make things up.

By the way, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama care does not add to the deficit.

These are my final words. Now, you can keep making things up without worrying about any come back from me.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 2 months ago

Here we go again.

You just make things up. You are making predictions that have never been proposed by the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. No one has proposed raising income taxes by one trillion dollars. And I have never admitted to any Democratic Party plan to tax the middle class. I have always advocated that incomes over $250,000 should pay a higher tax. More important, is that dividends should be taxed at the same rate as wages. Instead of the current rate of from ZERO to a maximum rate of 15%.

I have no idea how you get to the idea that 60% of the increase in income goes for federal taxes. Since income increased $50,000 that would mean that federal taxes increased by $30,000. Your example shows the "Total Direct Tax Take" as $28,686. The increase is $22,403. And of this amount, $8,550 is the increase in state and local taxes. As I said before, you just make things up.

By the way, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama care does not add to the deficit.

These are my final words. Now, you can keep making things up without worrying about any come back from me.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

George, it is easy to check. Try sources other than Fox. foxy have done such great mud slinging, Said everyone was against the health care act when that was not true. The cute questions and billion dollar ads, the lies and smears. won't change, we need the health care act, it will help American Health Care.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry to confuse you.

The comparison is not between the $50K income and the $100K income today. It is between the $50K income today and how that income would grow to $100K over a thirty year period. I mirrored a family over time. Today while in their early twenties and just out of school/military they make $50K. Thirty years from now with normal expected pay raises they will make $100K. However current tax policy will take $30K of that additional $50K with my first proposed tax increase and $40K with my second.

Your right there is no Democratic Party declared intent to raise taxes on the middle class as I suggested. However, unless the Democratic Party accepts a return to the budget at the beginning of Mr. Obama’s term we will have to do as I presented. We must cut back to the pre-Obama budget or raise taxes to pay for it. The proposed tax on those making more than $250K only pays off about 8% of the already legislated increase.

I have observed before that I do not believe we can make it through this debacle without a general tax increase and changes to our basic social safety net programs. However, I proposed that such an increase be locked in to paying for the promised social benefits under existing programs before being spent on new initiatives.

The projected size of the annual deficit if we make no changes in those programs is another trillion dollars a year in addition to the current trillion dollar imbalance. That is two trillion more than the trillion we currently pay in federal income taxes annually. My note above addressed the impact of that hit.

Several of you seem to want to only address federal taxes. I don’t know about you but I have to pay all taxes. Local and state have grown since Mr. Obama took office. Are you arguing that we can afford to triple federal income tax on the top half of the middle class without regard to the taxes they already pay to state and local governments?

Bottom line! Your either raise taxes as I suggest or you must cut benefits significantly and still raise taxes (just not as much). Because the Democratic Party consistently refuses to cut programs I must assume they not only understand the problem but in the end intend to tax us as suggested.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Last time your presented "argument" you didn't want to consider "other taxes" You claimed poor people didn't pay taxes. II thought you were just being block headed. Glad to see you at least admit that the 99% are paying a lot in Taxes.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

To my knowledge no main stream media has presented such information. The Reps mostly suggest cuts without tax increases. The Dems suggest tax increases on the rich and little or no cuts. WE can get to the Republican position by major and very painful changes in the big four. We cannot get to the Democratic Position without big tax increases. My data comes from various federal government web sites where current cash flow and future SS, Medicare and Medicaid costs are listed. I reckoned Obama care by the size of the cuts proposed to balance it – cuts that will not happen.

I point out that the argument about the extension in payroll tax cuts and unemployment assistance is about just this. The Reps sent a bill to the Senate that extended both for a year and paid for it by cutting programs. The Dems responded with a two month extension paid for by taxing the mortgage providers (as if we have not already hit home owners hard enough). No programs are cut.

WE can kick the can by two months but than the same choice must be faced. Looking ahead I see the tax increases I presented as the consequence of this impasse. That or we default!

Simple question. If we do not increase taxes generally how do we pay for the two trillion dollars in increases needed to balance our annual budget with no cuts??? I never get an answer from you all. I have now provided one! You got a better one???

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

I sure am glad the wars we fought, are fighting, and (if the Republicans other than Ron Paul win the White House) will be fighting didn't and won't add to the deficit. Just those darn Democrats. Even when the Democrats weren't in the majority or in the White House, it is still the Democrats' fault. Uh huh.

George, you are writing as if the Democrats invented the deficit and the debt. That is just silly. Not sure why you are doing this.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

I do not think I am Bea. I do not even think I am addressing the larger deficit at all (except its growth). Frankly it does not matter how the deficit came to be. It matters that we stop it growing. We have had a half a dozen attempts to find cuts to end that deficit to no avail. It is my perspective that the Democrats have blocked those (except for Defense which has been cut). We have had a lot of rhetoric on raising taxes on the rich but the only serious attempt I am aware of was last summer when Mrs. P could not hold her caucus to the task.

We tax or we cut. If no cuts than the tax increase I suggest is the answer. How much tax increase is enough, Bea? If not the $18K per couple (200%) to pay the full bill do we do half ($9K) or maybe 10% ($1K).
I grow weary of all the euphemisms. In plain English how much increase in taxes because the rest must be cuts or we go bankrupt. Of courses we can kick the can as we just did on the payroll tax cuts and let our kids deal with a deficit that will be approaching $25 trillion by then. Would that not be fun??

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

It doesn't matter how the deficit came to be????? Those who fail to learn from history ...

Your comment boggles my mind because these are the same people now saying they are the best to fix the problem (true of both parties, rather than the parties working together, of course.) The Republicans can be trusted to fix this problem as much as Democrats, and that is my point. You just say it is all the fault of the Democrats without considering the context.

I don't have the answer on the exact levels of where things should be taxed and cut, but I believe it will need to be both taxes and cuts, not either / or. We also need to get on steadier economic ground before we attempt massive cuts or taxes. How many more unemployed can we as a nation handle?

The can has been kicked to the point it is now, when we are just barely starting to pull ourselves out of a massive recession. The can is now rolling down a steep hill, and the Republicans are acting like "How did it get down there?" when they fully took part in kicking it down the hill, and at the same time acting like kicking it back up the hill should be a piece of cake (since Democrats are now in the larger seat of power). If only the can hadn't been kicked by past administrations to where it is now, or continue to be kicked by present day Republicans who refuse to let the "temporary" Bush-era cuts end, we might be in better shape.

We needed to pay for our wars under the previous administration. That didn't happen, and we are still paying those bills without having the income to do so. Why is that seemingly okay with you?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

For the love, bea. Of all people on this site, I'd think George is about as non-partisan as they come. He's not blaming the entire deficit on the Dems. He's talking about the recently re-engorged federal government and the subsequent, inevitable, yearly growth of our national debt. Of course the war increased the debt. But the current administration has increased the size and scope of government to unsustainable levels.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry jay, but from previous discussions with George, I disagree with you. This blog entry reads like a complete indictment of Democrats and only Democrats for the current size of government and our current situation. I am all in favor of doing what is necessary to correct our economic situation, but we aren't going to do so by saying one party is responsible. That just puts the ball in the other party's hands, allowing them to continue to do what they did in the past that get us in our present situation.

I mean, at the very least, if only looking at the present, shouldn't there be acknowledment of the debt added due to the perpetuation of the "temporary" Bush era tax cuts without cuts to spending to cover the revenue losses?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"This blog entry reads like a complete indictment of Democrats and only Democrats for the current size of government and our current situation"

Sorry, but no it doesn't. George outlined the topic from the start:

" a discussion on the implications of using taxes to support the increase of almost $1 trillion in the cost of our federal government in the last two years. This discussion addresses only that number. "

Wars are bad. Republicans share in plenty of the blame. But it's this administration that chose to exponentially expand the size and scope of the federal government since '08.

"shouldn't there be acknowledment of the debt added due to the perpetuation of the "temporary" Bush era tax cuts without cuts to spending to cover the revenue losses?"

No, because that's not the subject here, nor does such effect the gross inflation of an already bloated bureaucracy by this administration.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Hi Bea, I do not see it your way. Running up deficits is just like this blog. Every day somebody wants something that costs money and every day they have no thought as to how to pay other than somebody else. The country has experienced a major shock. Available revenue has declined. Most rational people would direct resources at that which most people agree is the most important. We have thrown money at every idea (good and bad) for years Fast tgrains really could wait.

I guess it make you feel superior to claim that the wars caused it all. The wars were agreed to by Congress. The costs are legitimate. Perhaps they all should have thought more carefully Most of our costs (most as continuing appropriations) are not on military expenses. Once again we just generate new programs without regard as to how to pay for them. Lastly all our elected officials bribe people and businesses to do things by giving them goodies or allowing them to avoid taxes.
When you try to pin the tail on a given party you lose me. There is enough blame to go around. The immediate problem of stopping the hemorrhaging does not require blame. It requires action. Cut or raise taxes. Most successful countries coming out of crises avoid blame and try to move on. Blame leads to the battle of Kosovo – over and over again!! How much Bea, and who pays! The rest is cuts. You either destroy the incentive to earn more or you must cut a great deal.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

You just say stuff. "Every day somebody wants something that costs money and every day they have no thought as to how to pay other than somebody else.". OMG what a crock. There are plenty of families, working people and political sides who worry and come up with ways to pay.
To dismiss the ten years of war as not part of the debt is delusional. To dismiss the Bush tax cuts as not part of the deficit problem is delusional. I do not dismiss those little things, and I don't dismiss the 'congressional habit of borrowing from tomorrow for a pork burger today.

I do think Congress is pretty dodgy, but both sides of that aisle, No winners on hauling the pork. to claim otherwise is just false. A falsehood, much repeated, but still false. Porky little repubs. and porky little dems. But your numbers aren't square. and your reasoning has as many loop holes as a billionaires tax return.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

George, where are you seeing that I am saying we don't need to make massive and serious cuts? Where?

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

I am reading it in to your trying to find fault. To get the current accounts balanced we must cut or pay and blaming people is a wasted effort. What are you suggesting - we tax Republicans a lot more because in your opinion they caused the wars. Well, kid. any tax based on our current tax system will do eaactly that so why make an issue about it... The only war really effecting our current accounts is the one in Afganstain that on e is Mr. Obama's

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Why not read it in the words I actually use instead. It isn't about blaming "people," it is about finding the cause of the systems and regulations and laws and tax cuts and yes, over spending. Blame helps us find causes, just as you are "blaming" the current administration for the current situation.

You are completely stretching on the "tax Republicans" thing. Congress -- made up of votes by Democrats and Republicans -- started the war. We shouldn't have cut taxes during that period. We should have paid for it at the time. All of us, even independents. I am making "an issue" out of it because we cut taxes during a time of war, and those cuts were mostly beneficial to those at the top wealth brackets.

Since paying the interest on our debt is adding to the debt, actually past wars are effecting our current accounts. However, I agree that we should be paying for wars now being fought. So what do you think, Republicans going to allow Obama and Democrats to raise taxes in order to do so?

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago


I despair of ever being able to communicate with you.

I did not dismiss the taxes paid by the less affluent. I pointed out and again point out that they pay no federal income tax. Since the entire issue is about federal income taxes and the operation of the federal government your comments are at best a distraction.

The reference to not paying for something was related to calls for government action that costs money. This forum is replete with those demands. Individuals (and our state) tend to live within their means or pay real penalties for not doing so. I never discounted the cost of the wars. That cost is not over. We must now deal with the soldiers and his family. You are another player with the notion that I owe all that I have to the government and it gives me back what it thinks I need (like JIMOI). We were running an annual deficit of about $250 Billion counting the wars in the last year of Mr. Bush’s term. With the Iraq phase down (Bush’s plan also) that would have dropped to near balance. Mr. Obama did not have to up the budget by a trillion (not counting the efforts at jump starting our economy).
If you disagree with my point that to pay for the trillion dollar shortfall (when our annual federal income tax payment (personal taxes) is about a trillion) we will have to double FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. The numbers I then presented flow from that fact. Do you have other facts or are you PART of the lazy hoard on here that never gets past somebody’s talking points.

Talking point number 1: Bush did it!

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Fact, you just say stuff without it being true, your statement "You are another player with the notion that I owe all that I have to the government " That is not true, that is a lie,LIE, about my stand and my words. Lie. You might feel that is how I feel. Your fevered imagination leads you to lie. You lie about even your own arguments. Your claim, how anyone who doesn't want to strip education, training, housing, programs and infrastructure have no ideas or even cares about paying for it. If anyone disagrees with your "understanding" they are "lazy" . It is lazy and false of you. You keep you eyes closed, you type without hearing. You present a bunch of hooey. Fact. Most of your arguments are based on really stupid remarks about how others think or don't think. What a bunch of lies. Half of the discussion people have with you, are, "I didn't say that" wasting time, unspinning your careless lies. Then you carelessly accuse someone of being lazy, not wanting sound financial policy, of not hear your truth. Well present better argument, not based on fevered imagining that people who don't agree with you are just not getting it, they are just not agreeing with your denigrations and actual lies about what they have said. The art of denigration is not argument.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Someone needs to grow up. And learn proper English, for the love of God. A twelve year old's grasp of grammar doesn't pair well with what was already an immature, immaterial rant.

Gotalife 6 years, 2 months ago

Agree jaywalker. Pace very quickly escalates the rant into a panic. You can tell when Pace is losing the argument, that's when the typos and improper use of English explode into a frenzy of half senseless dribble and personal attack. Now watch for the attack on me.........wait for it...........wait for it.........

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Fixing that part of the equation is accurate, The wealthiest pay an average of 17%.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

A men: Hard to do when that part of the equation contributes so much to party coffers. And don't come back with the corporation bunk. They give almost eually to the parties.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

This is for jay, as well as george.

Wars aren't just "bad," they are expensive. They also add to an already bloated defense budget, one that the current administration must cover.

So where specifically is this bloat since Obama took office outside of the stimulus tax cuts and spending? Perhaps if we lay it out to show what areas of the government have grown only under the current administration, then we can discuss why those thiings should or should not be cut. I don't see them, so this is your chance to educate me.

Also, if paying our bills is the discussion, why again don't the "temporary" Bush-era tax cuts count toward not bringing in enough to cover our bills? I just don't get that.

I'm not disagreeing that we need to make cuts and most likely raise taxes. I'm just not seeing this all as a problem caused by the current administration.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"So where specifically is this bloat since Obama took office outside of the stimulus tax cuts and spending?....... I don't see them, so this is your chance to educate me."

Truly no offense, bea, but educate yourself. The federal government under Obama has grown almost 12% and for his FY2012 he's included another 15,000 government positions. Consider what it's costing to ramp up and staff the bureaucratic nightmare that is Obamacare. The IRS has grown by close to 50%. Of course there are a lot of other factors over the decades that have made the budget what it is today. Adding exponentially to it wasn't wise, particularly during these economic times. Countries in which the government spends heavily to create jobs—such as France and Germany—do not enjoy higher employment rates. In fact, countries with greater government spending and larger public-sector payrolls have higher unemployment.
We'll pay for the wars in time. Those end up fixed costs. Once the government grows, it doesn't get smaller. Those costs go on forever.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

You must be young. I suggest you grow up. Start by learning the differenec between opinion and fact. Opinion can not be a lie!

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Just my opinion you are careless and lying when you ascribe views and values to my name that are the opposite of what I said. When you say, you think something, that is opinion, when you put your goofy nonsense on my name. That is a lie. Try that kind of nonsense on your spouse. I am pretty clear. Your opinion stops when you lie about what I stand for. If you think you can just make up nonsense and lie about how I think or stand and then beg me to accept it as your honest opinion, no thanks.
i don't mind different opinions, you can believe what you want. That can be a basis of argument. But no, it isn't a matter of opinion when you make false claim, that I want to spend without paying , I want you to give all your money to the government, when you call me lazy, I can tell when some jackal is using my name to create false debate.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

You are learning. I have opinions and you have opinions. We are entitled to them. Now if you could graduate to eliminating the "name calling" s- ome might acll that bullying - we would make further progress.

Any comments on the factual content related to current and possible future tax impacts?

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

What a bunch of hooey, We both knew we held different opinion. I sure didn't learn that from your sidestepping. I didn't like you making up what opinions I held. I called you on it. Ride your dime, I ride mine. In case you missed it in your flurry of accusing me of wanting you to give all your money to the government, of not having any plan to pay for programs or the baseless reference to "lazy" . I found your figures contorted, your reasoning spacious.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) says… This is for jay, as well as george.

Wars aren't just "bad," they are expensive. They also add to an already bloated defense budget, one that the current administration must cover.

So where specifically is this bloat since Obama took office outside of the stimulus tax cuts and spending? Perhaps if we lay it out to show what areas of the government have grown only under the current administration, then we can discuss why those things should or should not be cut. I don't see them, so this is your chance to educate me.

Moderate Responds. Who said I like wars? Be nice if we did not have them. Seem to have been many in my life time. Not all were started by a single party. Most have been paid by debt. Whatever the current imbalance is the Iraq war no longer contributes significantly to the current imbalance. The decision to make the war in Afghanistan a "nation building" exercise is costing a lot on the current budget – those are Mr. Obama’s Costs. Be consistent not ideologically. Stop trying to mix the current accounts imbalance with then long term debt problem. You either do not understand the difference or are using it to confuse people. I did not say bloat Bea. Stop putting spin on the issue. Go to the OMB or IRS web sites and note that our current accounts are out of balance. By a trillion dollars a year. They were out of balance by less then 250 Billon when Obama took office. I am not addressing one time expenses like "bail outs" and stimulation activity. I am addressing the year after year costs reflected in that imbalance. If you want to see where it comes from feel free to track it down. I don't care!!! Whatever it is we have to pay for it or cut it!!! The Dems seem to ignore its existence or try to imply that taxing the rich will cover it – it will not. The Repubs are using it has a claw to demand major restructuring of social safety net programs that would only be required and effective if those currently on the programs were impacted significantly. There are many long term fixes that will bring them into balance. There is no fix that will avoid having to repay the trust funds for what the government borrowed to pay for wars and social programs. In all my recent discussions I am talking only the current accounts deficit. We can make no progress on the long term until we get our annual deficit in line. Now that annual deficit will grow after 2013 when the cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obama Care raise their ugly heads.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

I didn't say you liked wars. (?) I responded to jay's calling them "bad." I'm also not being ideological or partisan, hence my saying that not just Democrats are to blame. Both parties are. Obama was handed the Afghan war. Those costs were already there.

George, you are not taking into account that the imbalance is largely due to lower funds coming in because of the economic collapse. Obama isn't spending that much more, but rather, that much less is coming in that previously made up more of the difference. Either way, even before the economy crashed, we were spending more than we were bringing in. Yes, it needs to stop.

Sorry you don't care!!! where the expenses are coming from. I do. How are we to have an idea what to cut if we don't know what expenses are new, are necessary, or are pork? You are the one claiming that the Obama administration has added so much to the budget. Have they? I see less coming in. You are the one claiming that expenses have gone up to the tune of $1 trillion a year, so I am asking you to support that claim. The Dems are hardly ignoring the deficit.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

So Bea, stop trying to conceal the fact of the current accounts deficit. Stop trying to put blame on one group over another for its existence – although Mr. Obama’s 2012 budget certainly would have made it much worse – that is the one the Senate (Democratic control) rejected out of hand. . Stop making like the world will be wonderful if only we tax the rich. There is pain ahead. If you continue to use blame to try to apportion that pain you will reap the whirlwind I dislike spin. The only thing I have said is that we need to either tax people to pay for that one trillion (will be more than that in a few years - closer to two) or cut programs. There is absolutely nothing partisan about that statement. I would really appreciate it if both parties would focus on that.
I am an independent. I voted for Mr. Obama because the Republicans lacked a rational program and Mr. Obama (lacking detail) promised one. I am heading into another election where then Republicans continue to lack a program (lousy leadership) and the Democrats are hiding from the problem or blaming everybody and the pet dog. My vote goes to he/she that cleans up their act and offers leadership in addressing our problems. Leadership is not proposing programs that reward a given parties constituents at the expense of the rest of us. Leadership is sharing the medicine. IMHO that also includes a careful review of what we are doing to prioritize it both in terms of ROI and in terms of honoring commitments. You certainly have your voice in such an effort just as all the rest of us should. We are all in this not just the long time Democratic Party players!!

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

George, please quit accusing me of doing things I've never done. I absolutely have never tried to conceal the fact of our current deficit. Never. I'm not sure why you are claiming I have. I'm also NOT trying to place blame on one group over another. That is my point of saying it isn't JUST the Democrats. Both parties are to blame. And we should look at who and, more importantly, what is to blame if we ever hope to fix the problem.

Yes, we should look at what is to blame. Ignoring the direction of the bullets coming at you to just focus on the bullets hitting you is to ignore future harm.

As I keep saying, it will require both cuts in spending and increase in taxes if we ever hope to right our economic ship. I believe you are wanting to find something in my statements that just isn't there. Please stop doing that. I am a fiscal conservative by nature (I live below my means so that I may save for my eventual and hopefully joyful retirement), but a registered Democrat because the social agenda of Republicans bothers me greatly. That doesn't mean I am blind to the follies of the Democratic party and I have never voted a straight ticket in my life.

I am not saying Republicans are only to blame for our current position. It would be impossible for just one party to mess things up this badly all by themselves. It takes both parties working in orchestrated disharmony to do this. I would love to see a rational, fiscally conservative but socially concious party come to the fore. I don't see it happening.


George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Sorry Bea but Mr. Obama made the Afghan war way more expensive. I realize you are not trained in the business of war but you really should make an effort to understand if you intend to engage. Mr. Bush instigated what I will call a whack-a- mole program in Afghanistan. It uses fear and termination to control the size and capabilities of your enemy. It is relatively inexpensive and is conducted by small numbers of regulars in the dark of night

When you move to Nation Building the scale and complexity of military operation escalates many fold. Now you have to put large number of boots on the ground (expand the military) to hold territory to provide security for the nation you are trying to create. You must also provide big time resources for the institutions of that expectant nation. Mr. Obama caused his own problem with this one. Yes, Mr. Obama did inherit a mess. Revenues are down. Glad you admit it since you were trying to blame that on the Bush tax cuts in one of our past exchanges. The solution to that is exactly what Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama did – stimulate the economy. That said you can only do that so long before you start to impact the economy negatively with looming deficits and possible tax increases. What you do not do is expand programs like Ameri-care or Pell grants or Obama Care that produce little or no short term relief. He did. Now that I understand what you mean by parsing the annual deficit – I agree. When we get to the point of deciding what to cut and what we must have and must pay for with tax increases we need to know that. Right now we need to agree to do that. Neither party has shown the leadership to get that done. Both parties have put forward their own versions of how to do it - it being different). Independent groups have also made recommendation but they have been largely ignored.

Of course Bea, you are only going to suggest your idea – cut Defense more. Others will have theirs – cut Obama care. We either compromise or nothing happens. The one wild card is that somebody gets total control and can dictate the cuts (at least for a while). That is fine by me, too, as long as there is honesty in what is planned and it is shred with the voters. Pabulum followed by the abolishment of the safety net should not be the approach. I suspect this is the approach we are going to pursue.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes, Bea, I am blaming the current administration for the current accounts imbalance. The president proposes the budget – that is his job. The only costs he inherited were the costs of phasing down Iraq and servicing the debt which is way down because money is so cheap. The one he did propose would have aggravated the deficit substantially and was rejected by his own party.

Leadership would have been a budget that could be responsibly shown to end the deficit in a year or three by adjusting our priorities as well as stimulating the economy. Compromise would be required. Some cuts would have had to be made to democratic initiatives in return for support from the Republicans. I should note that the Congress, (with little fanfare - we were focused on the payroll tax issue) did produce a budget that started to decrease the deficit last week. More could be done but a start was made.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

You continue to just pull stuff out of ... the air (putting it nicely). Why are you doing this? I am trying to have a conversation, and you make crap up. You claim I would only suggest Defense cuts? You just made that up completely out of the blue. Absolute nonsense. Yes, it is an part of the budget that should be cut, but it is far from the only place. Also, you are incorrect (again, putting it nicely) when you say I have ever previously claimed the deficit is only because of Bush-era tax cuts. I never said that. EVER. Otherwise, back it up with evidence.

Stop trying to say what you thiink I will say and quit making up what I never said. It is beyond frustrating. The Bush cuts have added to the deficit. They are not the sole cause.

I appreciate that the costs of nation building are expensive. Gee, ya think? You seem to suggest that nation building was never part of the program until Obama came along. Silly.

Now, you do bring up Pell grants. How much did that add to the deficit? $36 billion over 10 years. With a $1 trillion a year deficit, you take away the Pell grants and you have -- a $1 trillion a year deficit. Do you really think that is what is going to cut the deficit in any meaningful way?Oh, and those grants that help make for an educated nation -- the higher grant amounts being given is being financed by ending subsidies to private banks to make student loans. I realize you aren't trained in the accounting of the national budget, but you really should at least look at the budget and where the money is going before you attempt to engage (see how easy it is to be condescending?).

While I do think our defense budget is bloated beyond anything any of us need, I do think we need to make cuts in virtually all areas of the government. Got it!

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Hi Bea

Well, I guess my mind is drifting - I am getting old. But I do remember (can find) an interchange where you were very set on Defense cuts. Glad to hear you have expanded your views.

No we were not in Nation Building in Afghanistan before Mr. Obama decided to do that.

Yes I brought up Pell Grants and other things. Those were adds that need not have been made at that time. They add up. So does Nation Building. I really do not want to spend the time to ferret out all the ads. If you keep insisting I will and will publish them. Just where am I putting words in your mouth. You have repeatedly targeted Defense. What is wrong with that? I agree there are things that can be cut. What else did I put in your mouth – I don’t think I did?? So we raise taxes ten percent and cut programs (whatever ones we do) to a total of $800 billion. Great! We then raise taxes on the rich to pre Reagan rates and add another ten percent on everyone (including the 47% who pay none) and direct the resources toward minimizing the cuts in the big three. We defer the entitlement aspects of Obama care until we have made good on the promises made for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. We cut all pork to include targeted initiatives to selected Democratic or Republican constituencies as a run up to the election (fat chance)! .

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Given that defense is a huge part of our government's expense -- far more than any other nation and almost more than most nations combined -- then yes, I am all in favor of large cuts there. That hardly means those are the only cuts I would be interested in as you claim. Your suggesting as much is a perfect example of you putting words in my mouth. The other being that I said the deficit is all because of Bush tax cuts! If I ever said such a thing, I would have needed to be stoned -- and I don't get stoned.

As I've told you in the past, I agree that all who aren't unable for whatever reason to work or are the poorest of the poor should have some skin in the game. I would actually sign on for much of the rest of what you propose. I just feel we should look at what is to blame, so we can attempt to avoid the same in the future.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

Just my two cents here, but rising health care costs are another war......or atleast they really hurt the budget, just like those two unwise conflicts. Rising health care costs are the largest reason for increased entitlement spending. And of course high unemployment and underemployment are a factor in lower tax revenues.

I agree that raising the graduated tax rate on income over 250k is the right thing to do, but it is not going to solve the budgetary problem. Health care reform needs to be reformed, and we also have to be more protective of American Industry and jobs. Until we have politicians with enough will (or a concensus of voters) we will not see things get better until we hit rock bottom.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

I honestly believe we are trying to do that (both parties). The problem I see is how. I am afraid that a lot of those costs actually buy medical care.

Yes there is FWA but we are and will continue to chase that. I doubt we will ever end it or reduce it substantially.

We have trouble attracting people to be doctors. Cutting their incomes considering the years and cost required to become a doctor does not seem rational

We can use more "pares" but our insurance system currently seems to discourage that. That will save some money and ease the doctor shortages but could end up creating a two tier medical system.

After that there is rationing. Do you want to be the politician who tells grandma that granddad should just die rather than receive an expensive procedure that might extend his life by several years or a procedure routinely provided to someone younger? “

Britain rations under the NHS. Then rich go elsewhere for expensive denied procedures and the middle and poor die. Are we ready for that?

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

I like the Herman Cain 555 health care proposal. Five days off, five pills, and five bowls of chicken noodle soup. This is what he said on SNL.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) replies… “Given that defense is a huge part of our government's expense ….”

Moderate Responds. Obviously I am not putting words in your mouth you do target defense. What I did try to do was to point out that what you perceive as a “fat target” is not shared by many others and what they may perceive as a “fat target” you would find offensive. That is all. You have made that in to a big issue. It really is a BFO.

I will say again about the “blame game”. You have opinions as to what caused the large deficit. There are others who have very different opinions who may not agree with you. To the extent we spend many cycles finding blame (and probably polarizing ourselves further) we will not take action and the deficit will continue to grow.

Frankly, letting the deficit grow is fine by me. We will not have to take cuts in our paid benefits or see our taxes raised. I know we are a target. I just want the target base expanded if we are going to do anything at all. We will be dead before we get to the state of Greece.

I might point out that there are many independents that are growing weary of the “fault finding”. I want action and frankly I do not see the action being different no matter who was at fault for how we got here.

Again I say, if you pin the tail on for example “Bush's Wars” then what do you do different? Does that mean that our veterans should pay for the deficit – kind of like what happened after Vietnam?

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Why attempt to place "blame"? Put simply, it means we learn from the past. If we don't look at the past, we will repeat the same mistakes. You know this to be true. What do we learn by seeing how the Bush era tax cuts added to the deficit? Well, we should learn not to have massive tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy during a time of war ever again. If the people who were in charge at that time (Republicans) say they would do the same thing all over, then where are we to turn if we are saying that we can't afford what the party in power now (Democrats) are doing?

What you call "blame" I call looking at the causes of the problem in order to avoid doing the same again. Of course, the Bush era tax cuts are just a part of the problem and far from the entire enchilada. What we do learn from them is that we really should pay (future tense) for wars when able to do so as we move forward Especially elective wars, when we have not been attacked. That is why looking at past situations is worth while, so we can learn from the mistakes and, hopefully, avoid them in the future.

Hope that clarifies my position for you. Merry Christmas.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

We agree the Congress and Senate have a horrible history of not funding programs. I disagree, the cost of the wars and the failed economic policies of Bush are not important. I disagree that Obama is to blame for the current economic environment, I think he is offering real solutions. I want the job bill to pass. I think the Health care bill will save this country money and it's people money and should be stronger. I think the credit card reform was crucial in families finding ways out of debt.
I say this country needs to work together. While I blame Bush, the wars, corrupt Congress and Senate, greedy and manipulative corporations and a frighted population manipulated by ads and fear mongering . I do not think blame and hate is the road to recovery. But I don't think lying about them is the way to forgive or overcome their cost. I dislike the "let us not discuss Bush's role or the costs of the wars". That seems a bit bizarre.
We need to work together, to find compromise. I do not agree with your idea that policies or programs to remedy the jobs crisis are a bad thing. I believe the rampant foreclosures of homes is a cancer. I think families need homes and housing stock is being needlessly destroyed. Empty houses decay. Hard to get a job without an address or the right education. I do not agree the programs to promote recovery or support families are worse problems than the corrupt financial environment. I don't agree the wealthiest are paying a fair share. I do not think the wealthiest getting tax breaks is the best way to create jobs. I think education and tax equality are the two challenges the country needs to face. I think education and tax equality will promote jobs. I think the Bush tax cuts and the decades of tax loop holes and special interest policies are a major factor in destroying working families and the economy.
You seem to think programs to support education, health, housing are bad, I think they are important solutions. Let us raise the taxes on the wealthiest to a normal level and pay for them.
I do support schools, libraries, transportation, environmental protection. I don't support killing those efforts and losing infrastructure in the name of smaller government. I think cutting those programs helps creates conduits for the wealth of working families to be moved to the portfolios of the wealthiest. I do not live or pay taxes to support the wealthiest, I live, work and pay taxes to support my family, my community, my community is real big. You don't like big government. unless we need an army, unless we have a pandemic, unless a corporation decides it is cheaper to poison everyone down river than dispose of the waste properly. There are reasons we have police, there are reasons we regulate practices, There are reasons we have law. We need an effective government. We need to return to a government for the people. not for the corporations or the richest.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago


My original post is about the cost to do what you want to do. QED

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

And I answered what my opinion was. Or are you just typing, trying to get the last word. I was impressed you claimed you didn't know what someone meant by "rich person" or "middle class worker" You claim you don't know what they mean, they were not specific enough for you. So what happens, doesn't fox use those terms any more? Oh yeah, job creators. Doesn't mean what it sounds like. Is there a special Fox dictionary?

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) replies…

Why attempt to place "blame"? Put simply, it means we learn from the past. If we don't look at the past, we will repeat the same mistakes. You know this to be

Moderate Responds

Your example is exactly what I am worried about. A group of citizens will see that as a primary contributor. Another group will see excessive social programs as the problem. Some groups will see fighting wars as a problem. Some will see federal intrusion into all sorts of places as the problem.

The same battle we fight every day will be fought again. My mythical Miss Jones from Kindergarten just is not there to “fairly” adjudicate the issues. We will have the big battle of the experts to no useful outcome

The only lesson from all of this is to not spend more than you take in. The Bush tax cuts were legally imposed. The budget (except for the wars) was balanced. Mr. Obama (and you) wants more federal expenditures. Taxes must be raised to do that. Honesty requires we admit that and act accordingly. But not everyone wants to pay more. So around the May pole we go once again.

Bea, this has gone on all y life – what makes you think we are any different today?

The same battel we fight every day will be fought agfain. My mythical Miss Jones from K just is not there to adjudicate the issues

Sunny Parker 6 years, 2 months ago

Obomba keeps screaming ''pay their fare share". Maybe all the welfare recipients should pay taxes on those ebt cards....

Jimo 6 years, 2 months ago

"Thank you for admitting to the real Democratic Party plan to tax the middle class (mid two quintiles) at rates approach confiscation."

This from a fellow who keep insisting on his "Moderate" take!

Indeed, George, you routinely just make things up. I swear you must be Mitt Romney.

Not only do you create an imaginary tax increase from Obama, the biggest tax cutter in American history, but you seem incapable of applying facts to your "real world" examples. Just a sample:

A. The non-inflation rewards of a couple over 3 decades isn't doubling their income. The fact is such a couple would be lucky to break even. In real (inflation adjusted) terms, over the last 3 decades a middle class couple would be lucky to gain much at all. Given that every day a new headline screams the evidence from study after study, it is jaw-dropping that you could make such an enormous foundational error in your "analysis." Compared with an even earlier generation, this 3 decade couple is demonstrably less well off at their stage in life then when the gov't pursued nakedly pro-middle class policies and taxed wealth heavily. This couple isn't overtaxed -- it's underincomed.

B. You completely ignore how little the average middle income couple would gain over time relative to the increase in GDP, the vast majority of which (a) would not exist but for the efforts of the typical middle class couples everywhere but (b) would be mostly pocketed by the wealthiest of the wealthy. Three decades ago (1980) the average 1%-er made 12.5x the median income. Today, the average income of the wealthiest is 36x the income of the median household. In return, that 1% is allowed to spend unlimited secretive amounts of money to get gov't to adopt anti-middle class policies that impoverish the very couples you "study."

Jimo 6 years, 2 months ago

C. You completely ignore what taxes buy people. What is the value of having a guaranteed minimum retirement income regardless of life's events? What is the value of having a fairly simple and straight-forward single-payer health insurance provider over the golden years when virtually everyone incurs 99% of their health expenses? Does it occur to you that your $100k couple--let's call them Harry & Louise--may be burdened by misfortune and failure? You forgot about that time when Louise lost her job and couldn't find another for 2 years. Or when Harry was diagnosed with cancer but gov't existed to force his insurance provider to pay for his treatment at the gov't-subsidized hospitals by gov't educated doctors and nurses. Or the fact that Louise has early-onset dementia and will have to stop working early, in advance of her statutory retirement age and will need to fall back on gov't assistance once they've exhausted their savings. Or that Harry & Louise bought their first home (whose capital gain the IRS allows to be rolled over tax free) with an FHA loan. Or that Harry & Louise were able to send their kids to college despite the skyrocketing expenses because the gov't both directly subsidizes higher education and indirectly provides financial assistance to students. And on and on and on....

D. You ignore the fact that a not small portion of the $100k couples' taxes come from lifestyle choices they make. What's more, virtually every $50k couple in America pays property taxes; they just pay them indirectly as rent if they do not "own" a home. Adding $5k in "hidden" property taxes to the $50k couple nearly doubles your understated tax burden for them.

E. Of course, picking couples comprised of a gov't employee (a police officer) and a gov't employee (a teacher) really is quite the petard-hoisting moment. Why? Because the $50k couple--let's call them Cody & Tawanda--just got notices from their gov't employers: budget cuts have forced them to be laid off. No worries for them: they soon won't have to pay taxes at all!! Meanwhile, Harry & Louise have seniority and won't have to interrupt their careers (until Louise's health situation forces her to quit).

I could go on but the point should be obvious that you're still true to form: dreaming up magical scenarios that let the wealthy and powerful off the hook and pit one middle class person against the other for the crumbs. Whatever the Koch Bros. pay you to post propaganda, it's excessive.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Jimo, if you were not so much of an ideologue you might begin to grasp what I wrote.

  1. It is the same couple thirty years later. Inflation would eat into the gains but more than likely (given their postulated role) they would keep pace. That $100K would actually be closer to $120K meaning because of inflation they would pay even more taxes. But, the issue of whether society properly allocates resources is different from the implication of fully funding the annual deficit. I just avoided inflation as it complicates the analysis and only makes the level of retention lower.
  2. Now, since I postulated the gain one can assume any reason for it. It could be because middle class people did great things or it could be because the evil 1% allowed it to happen. Does not matter. They doubled their income and got heavily taxed for doing so.
  3. By the by, the couple is middle class in both instances.
  4. Bottom line. Due to our tax policy if a couple doubles their income in numbers as shown our tax policy will allow them with no tax increase to keep only 55% of what they gained. If we pay for the trillion dollar annual shortfall in our budget by a tax increase they will keep only 38% of what they gain. If we chose to pay for the coming shortfall in Social Security, Medicare, Obama Care and Medicaid with an income tax increase they will keep only 24% of the increase after taxes.
  5. That is fact. Whether we will chose to pay for the annual deficit and the shortfalls in those programs with tax increases is still open for debate. If we simply choose to cut all the programs and not raise taxes then we remain at a 55% level of retention (current tax policy).

Deal with the facts not with egalitarian notions of redistributive economics that you so seem to embrace. Were you successful in your endeavor the couple would fare even worse? And JIMO nothing in m y analysis lets the rich off the hook - nothing!!!

Jimo 6 years, 2 months ago

Other than making sweeping assertions, at what point do you address the errors of yours I kindly documented? Just how many tens of thousands of words do you plan to spill on this page before actually addressing others in a civil manner?

Oh that's right - if George Lippencott is known for anything (besides his knack at making up "facts") it's his steadfast insistence in posting transparent falsehoods usually invented out of whole cloth, refusing to acknowledge errors, and then getting testy with those who won't let him wiggle out of his propaganda.

This is exactly why people dislike your "discussions" George: (a) you avoid addressing criticism seriously, (b) refuse to see mistakes even where they are documented to you in detail, (c) avoid the actual substance of criticism, and (d) refuse to deal with others in a civil manner. I would add: a strange tactic of throwing up a mountain of bluster thinking that distracts attention from the fact that you haven't kept to the point.

Pointing out facts does not make myself or anyone an "ideologue" but selectively picking evidence and assembling scenarios that crumble upon the most simple inspection does in fact make one an ideologue -- that'd be you, George. But then, just as the Devil cannot conceive of Good, so an Ideologue sees nothing in contradiction but the cunning stratagems employed by other ideologues to ensnare the fellow (that'd still be you) who sees so clearly what no one else can see.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Round 2 Jimo If the $100K income couple rented their federal and state taxes would be about $2.5K higher. That makes the percentage they pay even worse if we chose to fund all the shortfalls with tax increases under our current tax policy.

I am glad that you and County Resident have a thing against people owning homes. If we did not how would our local governments (dependent on property taxes) survive. Think!!!

Greed is a very unbecoming thing.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually it would be even worse - I forgot the deduction for interest. They would pay no property taxes but would pay about the same in an increase in federal taxes because of lower deductions. The doubling and trippling postulated would wipe out any gains from thirty years of work.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago


Bully, bully bully

I have addressed to the best of my ability all your comments that I can understand. I do not know how to address general comments about middle class workers or rich people. How about some specifics on what you believe I have failed to address in your opinion so I can respond more cogently

My analysis IMHO stands unchallenged in substance. If we chose to fund all the unfunded elements of our annual budget to the tune of a trillion dollars using our current tax system we must double the federal income tax take. If we additionally chose to fund the unfunded liability in our social safety net programs for retirement and medical care we will have to triple the tax take. Those are round numbers.

Nothing you have written to date to the extent I understand it challenges that reality. If you want to debate other things use your own blog.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Pace Opined: And I answered what my opinion was. Or are you just typing, trying to get the last word. I was impressed you claimed you didn't know what someone meant by "rich person" or "middle class worker" You claim you don't know what they mean, they were not specific enough for you. So what happens, doesn't fox use those terms any more? Oh yeah, job creators. Doesn't mean what it sounds like. Is there a special Fox dictionary?

Happy Holidays

Well, as I explained in the Blog, there is no definition for "middle class" so no, I don't know what was meant by the use of the term in the context used. We also have problems identifying the rich. Some use the top 1%. Some use those with incomes over $250K. I have seen no actual definition for those with high net worth but little taxable income. So, again, I cannot respond meaningfully to a general comment like that. I define those terms when I use them.

Now, if you want to make general observations about the world, fine. If you attack my opinion than I just may respond - forever!!

I consider most of the comments I have received not germane to what I wrote about. They are not necessarily inaccurate but complaining about middle class advancement does nothing to address the consequences of using federal income taxes to pay for all our annual deficits.

Yes, I know Mr. Obama has not suggested that. But, unless we cut things that is the only recourse. I am all for taxing the rich (I use top 10%) at the pre-Reagan rates. Unfortunately that will not even begin to close the annual deficit. Mr. Obama has also not talked about program cuts so we will have to see what approach we use.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

As long as you quit making up silly things and saying they are my stands. I have little interest in your figures and reasoning as I find the figures funky and your reasoning spacious. In argument you do not respond to valid points and make personal attacks. Be more careful, quit putting your words on my name. Especially words which are perversions or the opposite of what I said or stand for. You should be fine.. You should feel free to babble. I am a strong advocate of freedom of speech.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey, kid - I asked you for specifics. You’re back with generalities.

I sure would like to see an example of your non spacious ( I think you mean specious) reasoning and non-funky figures.

By the by, If my perception of what you stand for is wrong - just what do you stand for?

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

I will be real specific. You made multiple and very specific claims about what I thought or stood for, using my name and I called you a liar. Your lack of honor in discussion does not encourage me to give you any credit for wanting honest argument. Your perception wasn't just wrong, it was lies.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago


If you want to be treated respectfully you must do so for others. Your lack of specifics suggests that I did not do what you alledge.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

I did address the issues until you suddenly started to claim bizarre and silly thing using my name. I then said for you to stop. You actually should apologize and admit that nothing I wrote supported your remarks. That is all I have addressed since. That is all I will discuss. You do not deserve to be taken seriously on issues until you attempt some honesty in argument. You suggest I don't deserve to be treated respectfully unless I ignore your personal remarks. I will just keep responding on the remarks that pertain to my words, my name until you do something other than sides step. It was not a matter of opinion, it was a lie. I don't expect you to treat others with respect because you don't treat your own words with respect.

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

George, you are talking about how the pie is sliced. Would you agree that how we slice the pie is not as important as growing the pie?

People are sensitive about taxes now more than they would be if the economy was booming. Government debt is way too large and is unsustainable. The government borrows and spends far too much money. The government is way too big and tries to do too much far outside the scope it was designed for. The pie will not grow if this continues. Money left in the private sector does orders of magnitude more good than being spent by the government. We've had a decade of stagnate growth to prove it.

In 34 years, we went from the very bottom of the great depression to putting a man on the moon. The government didn't grow the US economy that produced the wealth that made all this possible. Private business did. In 1946, the size of the US government (spending) was cut by 75% and instead of a huge depression / calamity, the country boomed. There is a reason for this. People should become familiar with this reason and not vote for the politicians who don't get it and want to continue on the road to ruin we are on.

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

I would argue that the huge decrease in government spending did more to sustain the boom than anything. Since whatever resources the government consumes must first be taken from others, even if the government were to get lucky and create a few jobs, it would still come at the expense of others. It doesn’t matter if the government taxes, borrows, or prints the money. In each case real resources are transferred from the private economy to politicians who have no way of intentionally doing anything economically useful with them.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely. Growing the pie would lead to jobs (need some legislation to have them here). It could easily lead to more tax revenue eliminating the need to address the existing annual deficit. (That may be what Mr. Obama is hoping will occur)'

We still have the big three shortfalls facing us as future major annual deficits. We need to figure a way out of that dilemma. If the pie grows enough we may avoid that bullet two. Otherwise a short term dedicated tax on everybody would seem appropriate along with reforms to the programs to make them sustainable long term.

usnsnp 6 years, 2 months ago

Several points. Who payed for the interstate highway, government or private, who payed for the dam that generates electricity for Las Vegas, government or private etc. How many people know that unemployment payments are subject to Federal and State taxes.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Your point is?? Clearly many of us pay a great deal in taxes to provide that. How much more??

seriouscat 6 years, 2 months ago

A Christmas Message from America's Rich

Asked if he were willing to pay more taxes in a Nov. 30 interview with Bloomberg Television, Blackstone Group LP CEO Stephen Schwarzman spoke about lower-income U.S. families who pay no income tax.

“You have to have skin in the game,” said Schwarzman, 64. “I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

This incredible statement gets right to the heart of why these people suck.

Why? It's not because Schwarzman is factually wrong about lower-income people having no “skin in the game,” ignoring the fact that everyone pays sales taxes, and most everyone pays payroll taxes, and of course there are property taxes for even the lowliest subprime mortgage holders, and so on.

It’s not even because Schwarzman probably himself pays close to zero in income tax – as a private equity chief, he doesn’t pay income tax but tax on carried interest, which carries a maximum 15% tax rate, half the rate of a New York City firefighter.

The real issue has to do with the context of Schwarzman’s quote. The Blackstone billionaire, remember, is one of the more uniquely abhorrent, self-congratulating jerks in the entire world – a man who famously symbolized the excesses of the crisis era when, just as the rest of America was heading into a recession, he threw himself a $5 million birthday party, featuring private performances by Rod Stewart and Patti Labelle, to celebrate an IPO that made him $677 million in a matter of days (within a year, incidentally, the investors who bought that stock would lose three-fourths of their investments).


"An ordinary person who has a problem that needs fixing puts a letter in the mail to his congressman and sends it to stand in a line in some DC mailroom with thousands of others, waiting for a response.

But citizens of the stateless archipelago where people like Schwarzman live spend millions a year lobbying and donating to political campaigns so that they can jump the line. They don’t need to make sure the government is fulfilling its customer-service obligations, because they buy special access to the government, and get the special service and the metaphorical comped bottle of VIP-room Cristal afforded to select customers.

Want to lower the capital reserve requirements for investment banks? Then-Goldman CEO Hank Paulson takes a meeting with SEC chief Bill Donaldson, and gets it done. Want to kill an attempt to erase the carried interest tax break? Guys like Schwarzman, and Apollo’s Leon Black, and Carlyle’s David Rubenstein, they just show up in Washington at Max Baucus’s doorstep, and they get it killed."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/a-christmas-message-from-americas-rich-20111222#ixzz1hl82FWJW

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok. Tax the rich

Who do you consider the rich?

How do you, propose to get at their money?

How abort taxiing wealth in Addition to income?

You realize tat the Democratic Party wants to increase the taxes on those with income above $250K about 4% - not very much

The Republicans want a flat tax that would reduce taxes on the rich by about 5%.

Anybody out their proposing what you seem to suggest?

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago


What bizarre and silly thing using your name have I written? I have asked you that repeatedly and you just keep responding with accusations and defamation. Clarify your self or get off my blog.

Thank you George Lippencott

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

"Pace...You are another player with the notion that I owe all that I have to the government ... "

I suggest if you post a public blog and then pass personal remarks on any responders who argue with your facts or reasoning, expect some of them will correct your assertions.You have made statements asserting my stands are the opposite or a perversion of what I actually said. You , neither apologized or acknowledge you did this. You denied you did this. I see you do it to other posters. It is a type of bullying I am not tolerant of. Don't post nonsense and say that is my stand. If you do not wish to suffer such corrections, either don't post nonsense and claim they are my stands or don't post public blogs.

George Lippencott 6 years, 1 month ago

Is that what I am guilty of? Yes, I said that and I believe it. My opinion and I owe you no apology. Your collective posts here and elsewhere suggest that you believe that or something a kin to that.

So rant on. You will get no apology. The longer you rant the more I am beginning to enjoy the distraction.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

I did not give you the time to list more of your nonsense. It is your opinion that someone somewhere has that and other stands and even that opinion is very silly,, but it is a plain lie for you to put that nonsense on my name.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Do not fear facing your fault. thank me.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

You must surround your self with weak people, if it is a surprise and shock to you for someone to stand up for their own name.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Side stepping and pretense isn't sarcasm.

George Lippencott 6 years, 1 month ago

I went back through all of your contributions. I find these shortcomings Many lack specifics – hard to respond Many are unrelated to this blog – yammer on Many are just name calling - silly Many put word in my mouth – tit for tat??

I do not know what you think I wrote but all the blog did was list the implications on federal income tax take if we use it to pay for the deficits. That had nothing to do with Bush or Obama or Congress. It had nothing to do with party politics as neither party have suggested what I propose. Note: the rich would also see their federal income taxes doubled and tripled – although that would still leave them paying very little as a proportion of their income.

I did not address the poor. I did not address the causes of the deficit as I see little utility in doing so - just a big fight. I did not argue that government services are undesirable. I did note that when it comes to increases in the trillion to a several trillion we spend on such services today, there are many who want more without acknowledging that somebody will have to pay – I include you in that set!

Now as far as your impact on me see my new blog!

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Now you admit that you claimed a stand for me, first you denied that. I called it a lie, they you said it was a matter of opinion. No, you are lying about what I stand for. Different .

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