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Author Topic: YYYEEEEEAAAAAA!!!!! A new direction
Colin JM0397
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Democrats Offer a New Direction
quote:
By HOWARD DEAN
September 22, 2006; Page A10

We need a Democratic Congress to fight the war on terror -- and to end the war on America's families. Republican policies of the last five years have damaged our economy and failed Americans. Democrats believe strengthening the middle class is essential for a thriving economy that rewards work, provides economic opportunity to all and makes it easier for parents to devote time to their families. An economy that favors the top 1% at the expense of everyone else might be good for President Bush's politics, but a shrinking middle class is bad for capitalism, democracy and America. We need a new direction.

The Republican record on managing the federal budget is dismal. Republicans have turned surplus into debt, hope into lost opportunity; they have become the party of borrow-and-spend. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the total cost this year of the president's tax cuts is $258 billion. This means that even with spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the response to Hurricane Katrina, the federal budget would essentially be in balance if the tax cuts had not been enacted, or if they had been offset as required under the pay-as-you-go rules that Republicans allowed to expire. These economic policies amount to a war on American families:

• Under Mr. Bush and the Republican Congress, incomes today are $1,000 less for the typical household than during Bill Clinton's final year in office; incomes for the typical working-age household have declined every year since the president took office. Black and Hispanic households have fared worse over the same period: Black household income has fallen every year, after rising every year (except for a one-year $60 dip) under Mr. Clinton. Incomes for Hispanic households are down $1,000, after rising more than $7,000 under Mr. Clinton.

• Incomes have fallen because wages -- which provide 75% of income for typical families -- are stagnant for most workers. Under Mr. Bush, wages for college-educated workers increased only 1.3% between 2000 and 2005, as compared to 11.3% during Mr. Clinton's last five years. For the nation's lowest-paid workers, the situation is even worse, as the minimum wage is worth less now than at any time in at least 50 years.

• Health and retirement coverage have declined for most workers and their families, and workers' costs have increased. The share of Americans with job-based health coverage fell over the last five years from 62.6% in 2000 to only 59.5% in 2005, virtually erasing gains in such coverage under Mr. Clinton, when coverage rose from 57.1% in 1993 to 63.6 % in 2000. Workers are also paying more for their coverage. Between 2001 and 2005, the amount workers paid for family premiums grew more than 50%. These factors have fueled increases in the number of uninsured every year under Mr. Bush, to almost 47 million last year -- roughly one in six Americans.

• Retirement coverage has also declined. Only 19% of workers have guaranteed pensions today, compared with 39% in 1980. And under Mr. Bush, retirement coverage, including both guaranteed pensions and 401(k)s, fell almost three percentage points, to just less than 46% in 2004.

• Americans are taking on more debt just to keep up in the Republican economy. Last year, household debt was a record 132% of disposable income. Not surprisingly, home mortgage foreclosures are also up; in March of this year, the foreclosure rate was 63% higher than last year.

• While wages and incomes have slowed, health costs increased, debt increased and retirement coverage declined, the cost of sending kids to college has exploded. Between 1995 and '96 and 2005 and '06, the average costs for a four-year private college rose 32% and for a four-year public college, 42%.

• These dwindling economic fortunes have resulted partly from a decline in unionization, which has been exacerbated by the all-out assault of the Bush Republicans on workers' rights to organize and bargain. From stripping away union protections for whole classes of workers to intervening in labor-management disputes in various industries, Mr. Bush, backed by a Republican Congress, has done more to undermine workers' rights than any president in more than 70 years.

These bleak statistics explain why the overwhelming majority of Americans know our country is moving in the wrong direction -- despite the economic cheerleading of the Republicans. Americans know who has benefited in this economy -- and, for most, it isn't them.

The president's failures in Iraq are also hurting our economy, our country and our ability to fight the war on terror. We are spending $8 billion a month in Iraq -- that's $267 million a day. Consider that for what we spend in three weeks in Iraq, we could make needed improvements to secure our public transportation system; for what we spend in five days we could double the COPS program, and put more police on the streets to keep our neighborhoods safe, or we could put radiation detectors at all our ports.

Democrats offer America a new direction in fiscal policy, for the middle class, and in the war in Iraq. We believe that America should work for everyone:

We will restore honesty in government, starting with the pay-as-you-go discipline in Congress that served Mr. Clinton so well. Balancing the Federal budget will be a high priority with concurrent limitation of spending. We will ease the burdens on middle class Americans and reverse Republican cuts in college tuition aid and health care. We will ensure that a retirement with dignity is the right and expectation of every single American, including pension reform, and preventing the privatization of social security.

We will dramatically expand support of energy independence in order to generate large numbers of new American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We will have a jobs agenda that includes good jobs that stay in America, a higher minimum wage and trade policies that benefit the global labor force, not just multinational corporations.

We will have a defense policy that is tough and smart, starting with phased redeployment of our troops in Iraq, and shore up our efforts to attack al Qaeda and fight the war on terror. We also will close the gaps in our security here at home by implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations.

We are ready to lead with a thoughtful, fiscally responsible long-term vision. We will reach out to all Americans who value hope over fear and begin moving the country forward again.

Humm, so I, as a middle-class type, am suffering how exactly?
Funny, in NJ I am suffering the most from the Dem controlled state gob'ments sales tax hike and crushing property tax rates.

I just love the gob'mnet definitions of "costs" and "cuts" and all that.
So with the increased revenue, if the cuts hadn't happened, the gob'ment would have more money?

Humm, seems to me many economists as well as the track record going back to JFK show tax cuts lead to more revenue. So, take away the tax cuts, take away the increased revenue. They are not mutually exclusive.

The main problem, Mr. Dean, is many of us don't think the gob'ment needs more money to begin with. You are speaking as if more money would solve all our ills. In 200+ years it hasn't yet, why will it now?

Anywho, there must have been a nice sleight of hand there that I missed becuase I don't see any new direction here. Or am I just too simple to see it?

Balance the budget. That's the one and only proposal here, which is hardly a new idea or direction - although a very good idea... kind of... (good idea in principle, but the way our government works this would lead to more taxes, not fiscal responsibility). Oh, and pulling out of Iraq.

Other than that, what we have here is a buch of vague, superficial fluff which doesn't hold them to any policy or direction.

As bad as the Repubs are doing lately, this business as usual mentality is why the Dems might still not gain control this fall.

Advice to both parties: Grow some balls and quit playing the blame game. Americans know pretty well what's wrong and why. What we are yearning for is some honesty, responsibilty for past errors, real, solid solutions and new ideas, not business as usual.

[ September 22, 2006, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Colin JM0397
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Equal opportunity bashing: GOP Issues

The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders
quote:
President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.

Republicans could reform the budget rules that stack the deck in favor of more spending. Unfortunately, senior House Republicans are fighting the changes. The GOP establishment in Washington today has become a defender of big government.

I am none too happy with the GOP's direction, either.

When art imitates reality: The South Park election episode where the choices were a giant douche or a turd sandwich.

[ September 22, 2006, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Humm, seems to me many economists as well as the track record going back to JFK show tax cuts lead to more revenue. So, take away the tax cuts, take away the increased revenue. They are not mutually exclusive."

But unless the revenue is actually placed into depleted government coffers...

Clinton replenished those coffers in the mid-90s by raising upper income tax bracket rates.

Even the Wall Street JOurnal, which had initially railed against this via the same logic you've cited above, admitted (by 1997 or so) that the tax hikes had indeed balanced the budget (which also has a salutary effect on the national economy (among other reasons, a balanced federal budget isn't at the mercy of foreign debtors and is a very enticing investment for same) but that the economy wasn't suffering from these increased taxes on America's wealthiest -- who are, after all, those who can most afford to pay an extra chunk.

So, in terms of balancing the budget (which is perhaps the only real solid legacy tha Clinton's reign will leave in the history books of future decades), increasing revenue taxes on the upper crust is a method of budget balancing proven effective in recent times, while reducing said taxes has proven disastrously imbalancing in even more recent times.

If balancing the budget is your prime litmus test for obtaining some benefit from our elected leaders, the Democratic tax strategy is more than blame game: it's also a genuinely viable strategy.

Here in the INland NOrthwest, crushing property taxes are manifesting irregardless of the partisan balance of state or local legislatures. Ourt here it's based on a massive influx of money from areas with much higher property values than we have, coupled with an absence of adherance, again from both sides of the partisan fence, to pre-established growth plans.

And health care costs have taken the past 5 years' substantial wage increases in my wife's job and turned them into de facto wage reductions.

We really WERE better off 6 years ago, even though she made almost $10k less then than now.

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Colin JM0397
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Ahh, but Clinton's tax plan didn't just raise the upper brackets. I was making low 20's a year then and felt it immediately when it took effect by having the taxes on my sales bonuses increased by, IIRC, about 30%...

I was trying to side-step the... laffer curve, is it, or the Friedman vs. What’s-his-name economics argument – I don’t really care, so shouldn’t have mentioned it to begin with.

Until they can reign in the waste, pork, and rubber-stamp increases, I don't feel they disserve to get any more of my money, period.

Good point on the property taxes. Local governments - as well as federal - these days have shown to be incredibly money-grubbing no matter which party they claim to represent.

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javelin
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Wait, which was the last year we had a balanced budget?
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javelin
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I'll answer my own question: apparently, in 200, we had a "balanced budget" with a 1,836 million dollar surplus. Looks like the last time before that was in 1960, where we had a 791 million dollar surplus.

Quite interesting.

Here's where I got this:

Historical Budget Analysis - Federal Government

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I don't feel they disserve to get any more of my money, period."

I can't fault you there; in fact, I agree.

I was jist sayin' that it takes real $$ now to pay today's bills, not promises of real money sometime in the future.

I was also 'jist sayin' that raising revenues and raising taxes aren't mutually exclusive.

"I'll answer my own question: apparently, in 200, we had a "balanced budget" with a 1,836 million dollar surplus. Looks like the last time before that was in 1960, where we had a 791 million dollar surplus."

We know that after 2000, the surplus was erased largely by tax revision, and only exarcerbated by gross federal spending including a war.

I wonder what factors erased that 1960 surplus? Retrospect cites the guns'n'butter of Nam with eroding our purchasing power, but that says nothing specifically about the federal budget balance.

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javelin
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quote:
We know that after 2000, the surplus was erased largely by tax revision, and only exarcerbated by gross federal spending including a war.
Funny, I thought it was due to a recession, a huge marketplace shift, in addition to tax cuts and gross federal spending.
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kenmeer livermaile
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There *was* a recession. It was already in progress when Bush made those immense tax cuts. He sold it promising revenue-based surpluses that the prevailing economic indicators of the time refused to support, saying that projected revenues would balance things out. Some folks, I understand, actually believed him?

It's what funny what you thought.

I further add: there was no escaping at the time that he was taking a substantial surplus and removing it, plain and simple. I mean, we went from large surplus to large deficit how fast? The Dow Jones recovered from 911 in what -- 2 years?

And so: here we are, with a natioal debt of immense proprtion, and a former surplus that, instead of mitigating the effects of the economy on this massive debt, instead was returned to sender.

After which the USA spent like a drunken sailor. Arguing the impact of the economy on revenues is one thing; noting that the president took the money set aside to pay our bills and did anything but, is another.

In real life, such behavior will get your car repo'd, asn evition notice taped to your front door, and your credot rating trashed.

Good thing politics deal as little as possible with real life.

[ September 22, 2006, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Ivan
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quote:
Humm, seems to me many economists as well as the track record going back to JFK show tax cuts lead to more revenue. So, take away the tax cuts, take away the increased revenue. They are not mutually exclusive.
Although you mentioned that you regreted bringing up the Laffer curve, I feel like I should mention a few things:

JFK's tax cut is really the only example of a "supply side" cut that has resulted in higher revenue, and at the time, the tax rate on the top bracket was something like 90%. IIRC, the plan cut rates accross the board, but the top bracket only fell to like 70%. Of course, at the time these tax cuts (and their results) were explained through simple Keynesian methods. It was only later that Laffer came up with his alternative theory and Reagan sold his 1980 (1981?) cut with it. That tax cut is actually interesting because revenues only began to increase once taxes were increased in 1982, largely undoing the 1980 cuts.

And then, of course, there was President Bush's cut. No real revenue gain there. ;-)

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javelin
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I thought we had record revenue this year? Record, as in "never before have we pulled in this much money", which was then followed by the statement "but of course, we are still spending more than we are making".

Can anyone help me figure out if I'm smoking crack on that one or not? I'm trying to track down where I saw that.

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javelin
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Ah, found it:

Source

quote:
The U.S. government recorded record-high overall and corporate tax receipts on Sept. 15, which was a quarterly deadline for tax payments, the Treasury said Monday.

Total tax receipts were $85.8 billion on Friday, compared with the previous one-day record of $71 billion on Sept. 15 of last year, the Treasury said. Within the overall figure, corporate tax receipts Friday were $71.8 billion, up from $63 billion in September of last year.

So, basically, while it cannot be said without an elaborate proof of some sort that this means that "tax cuts increases tax revenue", I'd say this puts paid to any statement that "tax revenue hasn't increased" during Bush's terms in office. But then again, perhaps this revenue record gets messy when adjusted in real dollars? Doesn't SEEM like it, from my read, but I guess it's possible.

[ September 22, 2006, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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This effect whereby taxes increase in proportion to revenues, is so axiomatic as to be a point laborious. This effect would've occurred without Bush's cuts, and would likely have occurred in much higher amounts.

After all, there are three critical factors:

1) how much revenue is available to be taxed

2) how much of that revenue IS taxed

3) the primum mobile: how much we friggin' spend, period.

"Bills," said the ridiculously-browed alien in Deep Space Nine, "must be paid."

[ September 22, 2006, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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javelin
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quote:
This effect whereby taxes increase in proportion to revenues, is so axiomatic as to be a point laborious. This effect would've occurred without Bush's cuts, and would likely have occurred in much higher amounts.
Not according to a huge number of economists. It's hardly as cut and dried as you try to present. But perhaps, of course, I may be misunderstanding what you are trying to say.

Are you trying to say that revenue would have increased MORE, had tax cuts not been enacted? This is my understanding of what you said, and my original statement applies to this understanding.

[ September 22, 2006, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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javelin
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quote:
The Reagan tax cuts, like similar measures enacted in the 1920s and 1960s, showed that reducing excessive tax rates stimulates growth, reduces tax avoidance, and can increase the amount and share of tax payments generated by the rich. High top tax rates can induce counterproductive behavior and suppress revenues, factors that are usually missed or understated in government static revenue analysis. Furthermore, the key assumption of static revenue analysis that economic growth is not affected by tax changes is di sproved by the experience of previous tax reduction programs. There is little reason to expect static revenue analysis to evaluate the economic or distributional effects of current tax reform proposals much better than it evaluated the Reagan tax program 15 years ago.

Christopher Frenze
Chief Economist to the Vice-Chairman
April 1996

Source
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Are you trying to say that revenue would have increased MORE, had tax cuts not been enacted?"

Ah, the simple is sometimes hard to see, especially when discussing politics and economics.

I am NOT saying that. I am integrating two concepts: one, the mathematical certainty that increased tax rates obtain more income funding from a given revenue than less. That's ther axiomatic part.

The other part is not axiomatic but instead a matter of economic uncertainty and, even worse, my poinion, which is that the stimulation of revenue presumably created by Bush's tax cuts didn't increase enough to counteract the axiomatic loss of tax inflow created by the lowering of tax rates.

I think the state of the budget supports this opinion.

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javelin
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quote:
I am NOT saying that. I am integrating two concepts: one, the mathematical certainty that increased tax rates obtain more income funding from a given revenue than less. That's ther axiomatic part.
If you are saying, given a static GDP, that raising taxes on said GDP will increase the revenue gained through taxes, that's true. But the given is completely wrong, and therefore the statement is useless, IMHO.

quote:
The other part is not axiomatic but instead a matter of economic uncertainty and, even worse, my poinion, which is that the stimulation of revenue presumably created by Bush's tax cuts didn't increase enough to counteract the axiomatic loss of tax inflow created by the lowering of tax rates.

I think the state of the budget supports this opinion.

I refer you to my post on the subject above. We DO have an increase in tax revenue. It's not enough to cover the increase in expenditure, however. That's bad, but it's not what you seem to be asserting. It's not proven that the tax cuts did or did not generate an increase in tax revenue. It is proven that tax revenue has increased. It is proven that the tax revenue increase is greater than that lost by lowering taxes. That's what the report says that I linked to. This, as you like to say, is stating the obvious. What you've stated, so far as I understand it, has merely been wrong.

[ September 22, 2006, 05:35 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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Gaoics79
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Sigh... I wish I could believe a word tweedle dee or tweedle dum had to say. It's all just the same tired hyperbole, whether it's coming from one side or the other. It's boring. I don't believe for one second that the average family is any better or worse off now than they were in 2000... despite the whooplah about September 11 and Bush, has the lifestyle and essential qualities of everyday American life really changed?

People from all classes borrow/finance their way to whatever the heck they want. No one starves, no one does without cable tv and digital surround sound.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If you are saying, given a static GDP, that raising taxes on said GDP will increase the revenue gained through taxes, that's true. But the given is completely wrong, and therefore the statement is useless, IMHO."

No reason to maintain a static GDP. Irrelevant variable in this instance. Crucial variable in this instance is simply the tax rate. Higher tax rates yield higher percentage of ANY given GDP.

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javelin
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quote:
No reason to maintain a static GDP. Irrelevant variable in this instance. Crucial variable in this instance is simply the tax rate. Higher tax rates yield higher percentage of ANY given GDP.
And yet, 30% of 1,000 is less than 30% of 2,000. Getting it now?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Um, jav, I got it long ago. IN fact, I referred to the phenomenon in my previous statements on the subject:

After all, there are three critical factors:

1) how much revenue is available to be taxed

2) how much of that revenue IS taxed

3) the primum mobile: how much we friggin' spend, period.


It was, in fact, the first of my 3 principles.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"And yet, 30% of 1,000 is less than 30% of 2,000. Getting it now?"

Are you saying, dude, that, like .30 times 1000 is smaller than .30 times 2000?

I dropped out of high sachool but I DID learn how to multiply.

The obvious is being worked over way too hard this week. Did it do something bad?

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javelin
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Didn't seem like you were connecting the dots:

quote:
The other part is not axiomatic but instead a matter of economic uncertainty and, even worse, my poinion, which is that the stimulation of revenue presumably created by Bush's tax cuts didn't increase enough to counteract the axiomatic loss of tax inflow created by the lowering of tax rates.

I think the state of the budget supports this opinion.

As always, if there has been a misunderstanding, I apologize for contributing to it.
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LetterRip
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javelin,

Increased revenue in any particular quarter is almost certainly not related to a tax cut. Recognizing profits are very flexible especially for corporations. Profit resulting in a tax liability is generally only recognized when there is some benefit to doing so such as 1) some special one time window such as a loophole in tax code where a recognized profit can be taxed at a substantially reduced rate 2) in anticipation to a long term tax rate increase 3) in response to a stagnant stock.

If you look at the Sept 2005 corporate tax reciepts it was due to a one time exemption for repatriation of earnings in that year.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2005/08/giegerich_on_on.html

Presumably it is a similar one time deal that is resulting in this year.

So there appears to be no causality between the income tax cuts, nor capital gain cuts and the record reciepts.

LetterRip

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Richard Dey
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I still don't think that Dean's points of order are going to rally enough support to overturn both houses of Congress -- not with gas prices falling. Will the voter forget the price-gouging of the last few years? They already have.

This is the electorate that will jump in the car to snap up a bargain no matter how much gas costs.

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kenmeer livermaile
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So far, in the phone surveys I've done, I detect a fair amount of swing vote swing toward the Dems.

I also get the impression that voters who think of themselves as 'independent' are the largest chunk of voters.

"a) The other part is not axiomatic but instead a matter of economic uncertainty and, even worse, my poinion, which is that the stimulation of revenue presumably created by Bush's tax cuts didn't increase enough to counteract the axiomatic loss of tax inflow created by the lowering of tax rates.

I think the state of the budget supports this opinion.

b) As always, if there has been a misunderstanding, I apologize for contributing to it."

Normally, I prefer to toss aside apologies. Not because I doubt the apologist's sincerity but because I prefer a rough-and-tumble wherein players lick their wounds not the other's egos. But considering recebt trends in inane tit-for-tats in which tats are interchangeable called tits et vice versa depending on how they suit the mood or purposes of certain parties, I think it best for all that I accept your apology graciously and offer my sincere thanks for the spirit of its offering.

Yes, I was connecting the Legos; I was simply following different economic blueprints than the ones you seem to prefer. (In modern economics, especially as impinged by electoral politics, most fiscal architecture gets torn down and rebuilt before the structure is completed. [Wink] )

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kenmeer livermaile
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Hmmm.... further gleanings from polls. Gas prices do get low scores on "What issues do you want your senator to address?"

Seems the most consistent high scorers are: war in Iraq, health care, social security, and illegal immigration.

Dems are gaining ground on the Iraq issue, obviously. They've usually led on SSI and health care. This leaves illegal immigration as the Reps' strong suit.

Gay marriage is dead i the water as a conservative rally point. Abortion is firmly in place on the public moral compass: opinions on that seem set in stone.

I hink the single strongest plus the Reps may have now is the recent trend for Bush to stop speaking like a war-mongering, self-righteous jingoist, and begin speaking moderately as befits the spokesperson for the globe's reigning superpower.

If Bush can keep his mouth trimmed for the next 6 weeks, the Reps might not do so badly... if the bad news fallout of the past 5 years' ineptitude doesn't drown them.

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hobsen
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Keep up the reporting, KL. Unlike most of the rest of us, you actually talk to a broad enough range of Americans to get an idea where the country is headed.
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Jesse
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"no one does without cable tv and digital surround sound. "

I have GOT to stop hanging out with so many no ones.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Today, after 6.5 hours talking to Montanaans about the senatorial race between Conrad Burns (R-incumbent) and Jon Tester (D) as well as 5-6 hours in the past week, my impression is that Burns is out and Tester is in, although not by a big margin.

But it's close.

As for Dubya, only hardcore party-line Republicans stand up tall for him. 'SOmewhat approve' is the consistent rating of someone obviously Republican, and a fair number of these say somewhat disapprove.

Note: when someone picks 'war in Iraq' and 'health care' as the top 2 of 9 topics they wish their senator to address in DC, one can be sure they're pro-Dem. Innaresting.

'Jobs abd economy' walk both sides of the aisle.
'Reirement & social security' perhaps lean a bit Repub (which is interesting since it's a *welfare state* issue.

NO one's talking about the environment.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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What we have in office currently are Democrats with a strong national security policy and an abhorrence for national healthcare.

What we need in office are true fiscal conservatives. I would put larger odds on a Republican government rediscovering fiscal conservatism than on a Democrat government discovering fiscal conservatism for the first time.

Now that is not to say that Democrats taking the Senate or the House would be a bad thing. If we cannot vote lucid spending policies into office, we can sure manage to induce deadlock.

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Everard
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"What we have in office currently are Democrats with a strong national security policy and an abhorrence for national healthcare."

*Blink* What?

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard -

To be Republican in my book is to espouse strong national defense, personal freedoms, and fiscal conservatism. The current administration seems to be espousing a strong national defense, but seems to lack any fiscal conservatism at all. I am less than impressed on the 'personal freedoms' front as well.

As far as I can see, the Bush Administration is far more Democrat than Republican, even though they do claim the title 'Republican'. The next thing you know, they'll be pushing for national healthcare [Wink]

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Everard
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Well, personal freedoms has always been more of a democrat platform, at least in our life time, and fiscal responsibility has been as well.

So maybe you are confused on definitions?

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Personal freedom has not been on the democrat platform since the Universal Sufferage amendment was passed. In my lifetime, the Democrats have been all about removing personal choice!

One of the big Democrat platform points is 'National Healthcare'. That does not give personal freedom to anyone; they have the requirement to pay for (and thus use) the government health plan. Another big issue is gun control - again, we see the Democrat platform removing freedoms.

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Everard
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Alternatively, we see the republican party trying to ban abortion, trying to restrict freedom of religion, trying to restrict sexual conduct, promoting the loss of civil liberties such as those garunteed by the fourth amendment, restricting access to courts, restricting access to voting booths, restricting use of language in the public arena, etc.

The republican party has always been for enforcing morality on individuals who do not agree with the "majority" morality, in our lifetimes.

Now, we can argue about what personal freedom means... but to me, it means the ability to live my private life as I choose. Economic liberty I look at as vastly different then personal freedom. With that perception, the republican party has consistently been the enemy of personal freedom, over the last 40 years.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard -

That's true enough. The problem is that the Democrat party seems to actually accomplish some of what it preaches. The Republican party seems to put on a good show with no real result. An example would be gay marriage. I have yet to see a ban passed at the Federal level. On the other hand, try carrying a gun in Maryland. Try owning an 'assault weapon' anywhere. Try putting your social security payments into a private account.

Barring the present Administration, the Republican party's restriction of personal freedom is the boogey man that the Democrat party trots out at every election. Of course when it turns out that the Republican boogeyman is nothing but sheets on a wooden frame, the Democrat party is already managing to effectively restrict personal freedoms, albeit in a slightly different category of our personal lives.

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Everard
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"Barring the present Administration, the Republican party's restriction of personal freedom is the boogey man that the Democrat party trots out at every election. Of course when it turns out that the Republican boogeyman is nothing but sheets on a wooden frame, the Democrat party is already managing to effectively restrict personal freedoms,"

I even disagree with that assessment. A lot of what reagan accomplished was restricting the personal freedoms on people who don't have boatloads of money, and aren't christian.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Everard -

I'll bite. Like what? [Smile]

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TommySama
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Didn't he create the FCC? If so, glaringly obvious example right there, drake.
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