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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Laffer Curve at work

An Instapundit reader illustrates both the perils of blindly raising income tax rates and the financial pointlessness of many married women working:
After the election, my wife and I are going partial Galt. We’re in California, so our state income tax went up in addition to what’s sure to come out of Washington.

My wife quit her job last week. I increased my participation in a tax deferment plan offered by my employer to bring my taxable income as close to $250K as possible. We’ll be cutting back a little, but the government is going to getting a whole lot less.

My wife’s entire salary barely covered our tax bill – she was 100% slave to the government, while I was a 10% slave. Now she is 100% free, and I’ll be a ~35% slave As a couple, 17.5% of our time is slaving on the government plantation from an astounding 55% previously.

My wife is deliriously happy, our children are delighted to have mom home, the dog gets more walks, and I find not spending money rapturously satisfying. 
Statist theoreticians and bureaucrats never seem to understand that humans always modify their behavior in response to prospective stimuli.  And when they finally do, after failing to achieve the results expected, they usually make the mistake of attempting to forcibly limit human options, thereby falling into exactly the same trap.  And the smarter and more productive the individual, the more his contributions are required, the more likely it is that he will figure out a way to refuse to participate.

Here is a trivially easy prediction.  California will collect less tax revenue than estimated in 2013 despite its newly raised rates that theoretically will cause it to collect more.  Moreover, it will probably collect less than it did in 2012, and its budget deficit will rise.

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170 Comments:

Anonymous Gil-Martin November 25, 2012 7:18 AM  

Hey Vox, economics is boring dude. Please talk more smack about bitches.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 25, 2012 7:29 AM  

The Laffer curve is always used as rationale to never raise taxes, and not as reason that tax increase will raise government revenue, up to a point at which we remain a long way below for those making $250K plus. The rich will do what the rich will do to avoid paying their share of taxes, of course, but expiring the Bush tax cuts and raising top marginal rates will help to reduce deficit.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 25, 2012 7:31 AM  

By the way, the 35% this guy is bitching about is way below the progressive tax level mid 20th century, when the American economy was soaring.

Anonymous Speaker November 25, 2012 7:31 AM  

There have been studies on how much increases in tax rates actually bring in and they point towards that tax increases only bring in about 2/3 of their projected revenue. So for California to raise less revenue 2013 than 2012 would require an exodus of high income earners, or is there something about California I have missed?

Anonymous Mr Green Man November 25, 2012 7:41 AM  

Only three comments until somebody points to the top marginal rates under Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower. It's a shame, Martini, that you missed that we destroyed all competitors for about a decade, and then, once they got back on their feet, the top marginal rate had to come down to escape the late 50s recession.

Further, the things of note today:
1) Capital is even more mobile
2) With English as the lingua franca of the world, Americans no longer even have a corner on serving Americans
3) America is far from the only reasonable place to live
4) Other places are even freer now because they've learned from history

Blogger tz November 25, 2012 7:44 AM  

The take is 20% regardless of rate and breadth through history.

Jim Puplava at financialsense.com has several stories - CA was losing taxpayers at the rate of 2000/wk. That should accelerate, and it was only emmigration.

"Mom" will also have time to look for ways to get some money back.

Some businessmen understand that humans change behavior - Steve Jobs said consumers will understand once we show them, but it is also why Labor is not capital or a commodity nor rational robors. They are human beings and can be stupid or noble, Mises also points this out constantly in his works including his great "On HUMAN Action". Or as JP2 noted in his "Theology of the Body", humans are subjects, not objects, they aren't to be used.

Anonymous Jeigh Di November 25, 2012 7:47 AM  

"The rich will do what the rich will do to avoid paying their share of taxes..."

In my experience whenever someone speaks of the rich paying "their" share, what they really mean is the rich paying "my" share.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 25, 2012 7:52 AM  


the top marginal rate had to come down to escape the late 50s recession.


Top marginal rate was still 70% in 1980. It's now pegged at 35%. In fact, for joint filing couples, top marginal rate is 33% up to $388K, so I'm not sure this guy has done himself or his wife any favors.

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 7:52 AM  

I wonder what the relationship between revenue and spending says about all this. Surely the government would not spend more just because they got more to spend, would they?

That would be senseless, because they are so obsessed with decreasing the deficit.

Anonymous Mr Green Man November 25, 2012 7:53 AM  

What people want now is some certainty. This guy's personal reordering of his life makes things more doable. If you live for the over-leveraged, debt-fueled consumer life, you also die by it.

The reason that things are so terrible under Obama's economic leadership -- it is not that there was a burst bubble, and not that the tax rates will go up -- it is the uncertainty. Having never had to plan, but having only lived his life demanding from the hand of government, knowing in September what your tax rate will be in January vs. knowing on December 31st maybe what your January 1 tax rate will be are really big differences.

This guy is doing the right things: take control of what you can and then minimize your exposure to the vicissitudes of a government of children. Adults would be able to present a plan and run on it, and, if elected, pass it. Mr. Obama is not capable of adult leadership.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 25, 2012 8:00 AM  


In my experience whenever someone speaks of the rich paying "their" share, what they really mean is the rich paying "my" share.


The real travesty is corporate tax rates, which have plummeted obscenely. You could probably let individuals keep every cent over $250K if corporations paid their share. Corporations are truly the rightful heir of taxation, since they make far more extensive use of government structures than individuals. It's gotten to the point that many corporations basically operate within the economy without significant taxation at all.

Anonymous Anonymous November 25, 2012 8:14 AM  

"...so I'm not sure this guy has done himself or his wife any favors"

Don't tell him that, he seems to think he and his wife are wildly pleased with their new episode of grown-up self-determination...

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 8:14 AM  

By the way, the 35% this guy is bitching about is way below the progressive tax level mid 20th century, when the American economy was soaring.

And when the effective tax rate was considerable lower for those in the 35%+ brackets due to the availability and legality of various tax shelters that were made illegal under Reagan's tax reform. You should beware of mindlessly repeating liberal talking points. Moreover, your post assumes that the government should be in the business of extracting the maximum possible amount of wealth from the citizens (tax farming). What is your justification for that?

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 8:21 AM  

The real travesty is corporate tax rates, which have plummeted obscenely. GM

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.


This, effectively, leaves the U.S. with the highest corporate tax rate in the world. In the United States, the corporate tax rate is subject to much debate. Many politicians in Congress demand a reform of the tax code that will lower it, in exchange for the elimination of a number of exemptions and loopholes.

Read more: http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/11865-corporate-tax-by-country.html#ixzz2DEyXyVad
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike

Anonymous rienzi November 25, 2012 8:37 AM  

Stilicho said (referring to a comment by The Great Martini):
" Moreover, your post assumes that the government should be in the business of extracting the maximum possible amount of wealth from the citizens (tax farming). What is your justification for that?"

I'm sure your question is rhetorical, as we all know the obvious answer to that:
"Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state." Benito Mussolini 1932.

Anonymous MikeH November 25, 2012 8:40 AM  

"The real travesty is corporate tax rates, which have plummeted obscenely"

You are way off here Martini. There may be games that massive multinationals play to get their effective earnings down but this does not apply to the small business in anyway. When I ran my own company I found the tax rate to absolutely be onerous enough to slow expansion, hiring and projects in general. In fact, it was one of the barriers that kept the business dependent on bank financing since we could not generate enough corporate profit to ween ourselves from it.

Anonymous Godfrey November 25, 2012 8:45 AM  

I don't think it is about increasing tax revenue at all. I think it's all about punishing the productive. It's about punishing the talented, the industrious and hard working.

Man is full of pride and envy. He’d rather live in a world of misery and poverty than in one which allows his neighbor to succeed.

Everything ultimately comes back to the fallen nature of man.

Anonymous Rantor November 25, 2012 8:55 AM  

The instapundit reader has done the right thing. Quality of life for him and his family has improved and even in a California City, a family should be able to make it nicely on 250K

If he has the opportunity to make millions, then things get different. But if in 2013 the knee in the curve is at 250K, and your doing fine, no need to force the issue and pay more taxes. Increasingly highly paid employees will seek ways to tax shelter gains. Whether through deferring income, pensions or something more exotic.

My only concern with pensions and deffered income is if the depression is as awful as Vox, Prechter, and others predict, all promises of future payment may be void.

Anonymous AdognamedOp November 25, 2012 9:02 AM  

"And the smarter and more productive the individual, the more his contributions are required, the more likely it is that he will figure out a way to refuse to participate."

I dont make 250k a year but, in my line of work, I can work 7 months out of the year, collect the rest of the year, and still live large. It's quite easy to work the system these days. I've got it down to a science. And Im past feeling any type of guilt about participating in the economy. I think of it as a form of protest, break the bank..., I'm robbin da hood and it's all good. I might even apply for food stamps if I can swing it.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 25, 2012 9:10 AM  


Moreover, your post assumes that the government should be in the business of extracting the maximum possible amount of wealth from the citizens (tax farming). What is your justification for that?


I'm not making that assumption, just saying that tax increase will not result in revenue increase only at the critical point of the Laffer curve and that evidence that we are at that point is lacking, particularly in light of the fact that a healthy economy has existed before at a far higher top marginal tax rate.

I'm not saying that the function of government should be to push taxation to the limit or that that would be productive.

Anonymous Roundtine November 25, 2012 9:17 AM  

The big cost today is in the payroll taxes on SS and Medicare, plus the government controlled healthcare system. Add in income tax and someone earning $40,000 gross is causing a tax and insurance incidence of $20,000.

Anonymous Roundtine November 25, 2012 9:20 AM  

particularly in light of the fact that a healthy economy has existed before at a far higher top marginal tax rate.

With monster writeoffs, deductions and loopholes. Companies used to pay for lunches and dinners, tax deductible. They gave their employees cars, vacations and other goodies. A lot of compensation was in goods and services instead of cash.

Real estate was a huge tax shelter and the tax reform in 1986, which closed that shelter, helped lead to the 1989 S&L crisis.

Anonymous Krul November 25, 2012 9:26 AM  

I don't really like the way the Laffer curve is used in political rhetoric.

Don't get me wrong; the curve itself is just a description of the relationship between tax rates and government revenue - I have no problem with that.

My problem is that people on the right use the curve to argue that we should lower tax rates because doing so will increase government revenue. Well, why should anyone on the right want the government to have more revenue? The argument assumes that this is a worthy goal. Any agreement with the policy of tax reduction on these grounds is a Pyrrhic victory at best.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 9:28 AM  

particularly in light of the fact that a healthy economy has existed before at a far higher top marginal tax rate.

It was a far higher nominal rate and lower effective rate, although, as someone pointed out above, it has stayed in a fairly tight range near 20% of GDP, which implies that this is near the top of the Laffer curve.

Regardless of which point we are at on the Laffer curve, raising tax rates always affects behavior towards avoiding the increased taxes. The Laffer curve simply shows that there is a point of negative return.

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 10:13 AM  

You tax something, you get less of it. How smart. That 35% marginal tax rate is hurting him so bad.

The marginal tax rate on someone making 50,000 dollars a year is 38.3%. 25% base rate and 13.3% in Social Security taxes and Medicare. I know, I know, YES Vox Popoli IN THIS VERY BLOG has been howling to gut Social Security BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT it is still necessary to PRETEND that a 50 year old paying into Social Security right now is going to get anything but a small fraction of the money being taken from him back.

Don't forget to ignore that capital gains tax rate is obscenely low! Don't forget to ignore that!

But I needn't worry about that? Need I?

Anonymous Praetorian November 25, 2012 10:17 AM  

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=205

Tax collection as a percent of GDP appears to have room to rise about 5% in the absolute "best" (and I use the word advisedly) case. That works out to 750 billion or so. Looking at the debt (understated, of course) this accounts for 3/4 of our burn rate, taking us, in real terms, back to the halcyon days of the mid 2000s, when we were simply fucked, not fucked and on fire.

The situation is hopeless, but not serious.

Anonymous FP November 25, 2012 10:23 AM  

Reminds me of Oregon's measures 66/67 in 2010, a tax on the rich. It brought in less than expected, the 180 million estimate ended up as 130 million. All for the schools of course, which are still broke.

http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-25276-wall_street_journal_on_oregon%E2%80%99s_%E2%80%9Cvanishing_millionaires%E2%80%9D_%28updated_with_res.html

Anonymous Tad November 25, 2012 10:36 AM  

Of course it might also suggest the pointlessness of married men working....

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 10:39 AM  

Come on animals! You are supposed to charge right at me screaming that the 50,000 dollar a year person doesn't REALLY pay a higher marginal tax rate than poor little rich man!

Cause you can't REALLY count social security! Cause he'll get that back! I know, I know, that stupid animal lie that you excreted out of your mouth for decades is a little hard now, with the Republicans screaming to gut social security, but it's not like your ever going to apologize for saying that stupid lie!

SO REPEAT IT AGAIN! ONE LAST TIME BEFORE CONGRESS GUTS SOCIAL SECURITY!

DO IT ANIMALS! DO IT!

Anonymous karen November 25, 2012 10:48 AM  

I figured this out many years ago when I would take on jobs just to get out of the house after being home with the kids all day....every single time I worked, we ended up owing in taxes everthig I had earned and more. It made me feel like a complete fool and so I stopped working outside the home.

Blogger James Dixon November 25, 2012 10:48 AM  

> ...but expiring the Bush tax cuts and raising top marginal rates will help to reduce deficit.

It could. If the government didn't decide to spend the projected revenues, which will never be fully achieved.

> So for California to raise less revenue 2013 than 2012 would require an exodus of high income earners...

Which has been happening for several years now.

> The real travesty is corporate tax rates,

Corporations don't actually pay taxes. They're a cost which is passed on to their customers.

However, I agree that if corporations are to be treated as individuals under the law, they should be taxed as individuals under the law. I.e., at the individual rate, on gross income.

I'd argue for businesses paying no tax and not being treated as people.

> Top marginal rate was still 70% in 1980. It's now pegged at 35%. In fact, for joint filing couples, top marginal rate is 33% up to $388K,

You're completely ignoring state taxes, of course. And the marginal rate was not equal to the effective rate actually paid. Reagan's tax cuts actually increased revenues.

Anonymous VD November 25, 2012 10:52 AM  

Top marginal rate was still 70% in 1980. It's now pegged at 35%. In fact, for joint filing couples, top marginal rate is 33% up to $388K, so I'm not sure this guy has done himself or his wife any favors.

You're forgetting payroll taxes. You can't simply look at income tax rates. Given that the guy is very high income, I would guess that his comprehensive financial planning with his accountant is superior to your quick glance at current income tax rates.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 11:16 AM  

Funny, these Austrian idiots are always quick to point out how revenue will decrease if you increase taxes on the rich but never how it will decrease if you cut spending during a recession or depression. Showing once again that the right (and Austrian economics is an instrument of the far right) is unfortunately, and too often, just a sock puppet for the rich. The only thing really dropping here is credibility.

Anonymous Krul November 25, 2012 11:21 AM  

but never how it will decrease if you cut spending during a recession or depression.

How would spending cuts decrease revenue? For that matter, how would government spending affect government revenue at all?

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 11:26 AM  

More than the usual number of rhetoricians in this post. C'mon guys, you ought to know by now that screaming in all caps doesn't get you squat around here.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 11:29 AM  

Krul November 25, 2012 11:21 AM

but never how it will decrease if you cut spending during a recession or depression.

How would spending cuts decrease revenue? For that matter, how would government spending affect government revenue at all?


Skittles, Krul! Doncha know that goobermint spending is like a skittles-shitting unicorn? When you cut off the flow of skittles, all kinds of magic stops happening in Keynesville.

Blogger Bob November 25, 2012 11:35 AM  

The rich will do what the rich will do to avoid paying their share of taxes,

So will the poor. So will everybody, except for maybe a few brainwashed idiots that really believe that big gpvernment is better government.

By the way, the 35% this guy is bitching about is way below the progressive tax level mid 20th century, when the American economy was soaring.

Do you actually believe all that prosperity was due to high tax rates?

Holy crap. Are you really that ignorant?

I don't know much, but I do know that people just like you have ruined this country.

Anonymous Boetain November 25, 2012 12:13 PM  

Everybody falls into the trap of talking taxes because it is easy to imagine how you could re-conjigger the tax code to make it just right.

Ugly truth #1: tax revenue will be around 18 - 20% of GDP no matter what.

Ugly truth #2: the first action should be immedately getting spending down to 15-18% of GDP. My suggestion: look towards a certain 18th century document. But nobody, except Ron Paul, wants to have that conversation. It's too hard. The little kiddies like Boner and Timmy might start crying.

Anonymous VD November 25, 2012 12:22 PM  

Funny, these Austrian idiots are always quick to point out how revenue will decrease if you increase taxes on the rich but never how it will decrease if you cut spending during a recession or depression.

I'm afraid you are the idiot. Government revenue has a fractional multiplier. What you're suggesting is only possible if it has a multiplier greater than 1, which is an empirically disproven idea. Government revenue does not decrease due to government spending. GDP, on the other hand, will, as any Austrian will tell you.

Blogger RobertT November 25, 2012 12:55 PM  

Despite all the trickle down nonsense, the Laffer curve and common sense makes it abundantly clear that raising the tax rates will not increase tax revenue. And we are not working in a void here. It's possible to view results of actual tax increases and tax cuts.

So why are they raising taxes?

Why are they closing down American energy? Why are they still pushing global warming? Why are they scoping everyone at airports? Why the race war? Why suffocate the medical profession? Why make health care rarer and harder to get? Why death panels? What am I missing? Where is the silver lining?

Time to dump the Republicans. They are nonexistent anyway. But the Libertarians have to do better than they have so far. Good grief, Johnson? Come on Libertarians, get your act in order.

Sinister?

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 1:00 PM  

Yeah, right buddy. I'll trust the government and their "inefficient" spending over private sector hoarding and the magic of a free market going into a severe downturn anyday, even despite your one sided ivory tower studies "confirming" that everything the government does is evil. Wait, I thought you were suspicious of academics and their isolated lego building.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 1:03 PM  

Funny, these Austrian idiots are always quick to point out how revenue will decrease if you increase taxes on the rich but never how it will decrease if you cut spending during a recession or depression.

This reminds me of the time I got hold of Thor's pocket money when we were children. We were playing a game where I gave him a handful of coins, which he then gave back to me, over and over. But then I began handing him fewer and fewer coins.

After a few more passes, I stopped him, counted the coins, and observed that I wasn't getting near as many from him as I had been at the start of the game. That, of course, was not fair; my income had been steeply decreased. The difference must be made up somewhere.

Suffice it to say that I doubled my pocket money that day, all in the name of "fairness".

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 1:06 PM  

Bob November 25, 2012 11:35 AM

The rich will do what the rich will do to avoid paying their share of taxes,

So will the poor. So will everybody, except for maybe a few brainwashed idiots that really believe that big gpvernment is better government.


That brings up a great point. Everyone needs to pay their fair share. We hear this so often repeated, that is has become a truism. I mean, you have a successful business that is employing dozens of people and earning you a nice salary? "You didn't build that", right? Someone else built the infrastructure of the civilized society that allowed you to become successful. You need to pay your fair share for the portion of the trappings of civilization that you are enjoying. All this infrastructure and common defense and public safety and safety net programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, food stamps etc. etc. contribute to a stable, civil society. It is up to every individual enjoying this civil society to contribute their fair share.

And when I look out across this great land, I note one group of people that are manifestly NOT paying their fair share. These are people that take all of these trappings for granted, and profit on the backs of the efforts of others. THESE people need to have their taxes jacked through the ROOF, until every penny they TAKE from society is PAID by them. Can I have an AMEN?!

I am talking about the poor! They take and take and take and never do they produce and contribute enough to come close to paying for what they take! Who do they think they are, profiting off the fat of this great land without paying anything close to enough taxes to offset their consumption? We need to tax the ever livin' sh!t out of these people until they are no longer poor! After all we know from our liberal progressive friends that it is not only possible to tax people into prosperity, it is verily a MORAL GOOD to do so. If only we raise the marginal tax rates high enough on the poor, they will be transformed from the underachievers that they are into productive, happy citizens of this great republic.

And we also know from our liberal progressive friends that, in order to discourage something that is undesirable (such as cigarette and alcohol consumption), it must be taxed heavily to discourage it. Tax the sh!t out of it, and you have less of it. Like supersize sodas for example. After all, what could be more undesirable than being poor? It is no good for the poor person. It is no good for society that must subsidize his underachieving existence. It must therefore be taxed--taxed heavily enough that the poor stop being poor and become productive citizens who pay their own fair share of this great civilization we all enjoy.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 1:07 PM  

Yeah, right buddy. I'll trust the government and their "inefficient" spending over private sector hoarding and the magic of a free market going into a severe downturn anyday, even despite your one sided ivory tower studies "confirming" that everything the government does is evil.

Made to be ruled, I tell you.

Blogger RobertT November 25, 2012 1:08 PM  

Boetain:
"Ugly truth #1: tax revenue will be around 18 - 20% of GDP no matter what."

Not necessarily.

Think cause and effect. The problem is the spending, not the taxes. Bring spending down and taxes will follow. But an even bigger problem is when you elect someone to an office they could hold forever, they want to hold it forever, so they start buying votes with freebies. Or they want to flex their muscles, so they do. Maybe the big problem is term limits. Why did the founding fathers not put term limits in the constitution? It surely crossed their minds. Perhaps they left it out to protect their own involvement?

Perhaps the big problem is human nature. Perhaps VD is right, democracy may very well be self defeating. Everywhere it has been tried, it ended in decadence. Perhaps people just aren't smart enough to govern themselves.

Woe is us.

Blogger RobertT November 25, 2012 1:11 PM  

why is it that over an election cycle, the country gets so far out of equilibrium that our elected officials have to rush right back to Washington to begin passing laws again?

Do we really need all those laws?

Really?

Blogger Michael November 25, 2012 1:15 PM  

@The Great Martini: "... if corporations paid their share."

As you're mouthing progressive talking points, do you somewhere have a definition for what constitutes "their share" for corporations or "the rich"? Or is it just always "more, more, more"?

Blogger IM2L844 November 25, 2012 1:55 PM  

Come on Libertarians, get your act in order.

Non sequitur. Libertarianism celebrates eclectic individualism and is philosophically satisfying to non-conformists in particular. Cat herding comes to mind.

Anonymous Van November 25, 2012 2:27 PM  

Perhaps VD or commenters could recommend a few books for me. I understand the gist of Austrian and Keynesian economics (common sense and magic, respectively) but would like to get more in depth. I'd also like to greatly expand my understanding of the Bible - any good at home Bible study references?

Anonymous Joe the plumber November 25, 2012 2:39 PM  

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy making $250k whining about a 10% rate.

...going to work every day trying to raise 4 kids and a stay at home wife for mid 5 figures salary...the 250k guy can afford to pay a little more; just buy a new car every three years instead of every two..... me.. I got $20 left in the bank at the end of the week. Yeah .. I feel really sorry them.. tell you what... I start having more pasta nights so the rest of you can pay even less on your investment income ... but my advice is pray there is no heaven.

Anonymous realmatt November 25, 2012 2:55 PM  

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?

I hope that's the reason you only have $20 at the end of the week.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 3:04 PM  

Joe the plumber November 25, 2012 2:39 PM
I got $20 left in the bank at the end of the week.


There's the problem right there. You're not taxed heavily enough! That twenty bucks is not yours, you know? You didn't earn it. The government made it possible for you to have a job, and what the government gives, the government can take away again.

Times are tight and everyone needs to make a shared sacrifice. If you have anything left at the end, you need to pitch it in to make a difference. Together we can all tax ourselves into a brave new prosperity!

Anonymous Krul November 25, 2012 3:10 PM  

workingman, have you ever read Super Imperialism by any chance?

Anonymous John the sales clerk November 25, 2012 3:13 PM  

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who actually has money, while I'm going to work every day to support 7 kids and a stay-at-home wife on a low 5-figure salary. "Joe the plumber" up there can afford to pay a little more, seeing as he has $20 at the end of the week and I have none; just have three pasta nights a week instead of two.

Me, I'm spending every dime I make just trying to get by. Yeah, I feel really sorry for him. He better pray there's no Heaven.

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 3:16 PM  

@Joe the Plumber

The people making big money are the ones who are already paying big tax bills -- and you want to be greedy and take even more from them? What is good, fair, or moral about that? What makes you think you have the right to live at someone else's expense?

The government already gets plenty of money in taxes. It just needs to stop squandering precious, irreplaceable resources. And if government can't do that, why should it be given even more wealth to waste? By all means, there are a lot of laws, regulations, and tax loopholes that need to be repealed to level the playing field between small businesses and big corporations. But marginal tax rates being too low is not the problem.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 3:46 PM  

Hey Joe, in all seriousness, here's a better plan. Take that twenty bucks and put an ad in your local "shopper" paper advertising "plumbing services, cheap, evenings and weekends only, Joe @ 555-1212". Borrow tools at first if you don't have everything you need yourself, or price into the quote any specialty tools you might need. Pick up the work that the "big boys" charge an arm and a leg for--after hours emergency stuff, and the jobs that are too small for them to profitably price (leaky toilets and faucets, etc.). Do good work. Build a reputation. Ask for referrals. Schedule 2-3 small jobs per weekend--you can still have time for Sunday afternoon brewskis and football, but you'll have a couple hundred extra bucks at the end of the weekend instead of bitching about the $20 you're left with.

And if you're just barely making it with twenty left at the end of the week, you can afford to squirrel away your weekend earnings in a sock in the back of your drawer (or wherever it is out of reach of your wife), and use it to buy more and better tools, and eventually a proper plumbing truck.

Voila! Now you're in business, and you too get to enjoy the pleasures of being bitched at by the underachievers who only have twenty bucks to their name at the end of the week.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 3:50 PM  

Liberal 'tards out in force today, I see. Vox, have you been chumming the waters or something?

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 3:52 PM  

Voila! Now you're in business, and you too get to enjoy the pleasures of being bitched at by the underachievers who only have twenty bucks to their name at the end of the week

Comedy gold DC

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 4:12 PM  

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?

One of those fox news talk radio retards was whining just last week about how it's not really fair to tax people making $250k a year any more because the guy might have 6 kids about to go to ivy league colleges and in that case 250k a year is nothing. So good one there.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 4:14 PM  

The right would rather take away the necessities of the poor and the amenities of the working class than give up any of their luxuries.

Anonymous dh November 25, 2012 4:16 PM  

Despite all the trickle down nonsense, the Laffer curve and common sense makes it abundantly clear that raising the tax rates will not increase tax revenue. And we are not working in a void here. It's possible to view results of actual tax increases and tax cuts.

This is silliness. The Laffer curve is just that a curve - there are points on the curve which will mean that increased tax rates will not increase revenue, and the opposite as well.

But to say that it won't raise revenue is not accurate. It won't raise as much as a straight project would indicate. That's the lesson of the curve. Depending on the specifics, a tax increase may incentivize people and end up a net decrease in revenue.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 4:25 PM  

workingman November 25, 2012 4:14 PM
The right would rather take away the necessities of the poor and the amenities of the working class than give up any of their luxuries.


Damn straight! We're gonna tax those muthas right out of their poverty. It's for the children!

Anonymous stg58 November 25, 2012 4:28 PM  

The right would rather take away the necessities of the poor and the amenities of the working class than give up any of their luxuries.

The luxuries we earned?

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 4:30 PM  

"The right would rather take away the necessities of the poor and the amenities of the working class than give up any of their luxuries."

Why doesn't the left get upset about government waste? If left in the private sector, the money used to pay Solyndra could have bought a lot of kids' lunches.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 4:30 PM  

The right would rather take away the necessities of the poor and the amenities of the working class than give up any of their luxuries.

It would appear that our friends "Joe the plumber" and "workingman" are encountering difficulty in supporting the families they chose for themselves to have, so they would very much like their wealthier neighbors to assist them.

I propose that we should, in fact, redistribute the wealth of those neighbors--and, in return, said neighbors should get regular conjugal access to Joe and Workingman's wives, as well as weekend custody of their children.

I mean, if you intend to make a man into a partial husband and father, he ought at least to get some of the rights in the bargain.

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 4:31 PM  

@workingman

And you clearly have some type of digital device you're using to comment on this blog. Why haven't you sold that and given the money to someone who needs the money?

Anonymous 11B November 25, 2012 4:33 PM  

By the way, the 35% this guy is bitching about is way below the progressive tax level mid 20th century, when the American economy was soaring.

Interesting. If it could be done, I'd trade you the tax rates of the mid 20th century if you would trade me the demographics of the mid 20th century.

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 4:33 PM  

Careful Loki, have you seen pictures of their wives?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 4:37 PM  

Why haven't you sold that and given the money to someone who needs the money?

Not unlike "crystal meth", fifty-dollar manicures, and spinning hubcaps, said device is a "necessity of the poor" and an "amenity of the working class."

You wealthy men have no idea of what it takes to survive in this realm, have you?

Anonymous CatDog November 25, 2012 5:06 PM  

"Perhaps VD or commenters could recommend a few books for me. I understand the gist of Austrian and Keynesian economics (common sense and magic, respectively) but would like to get more in depth. I'd also like to greatly expand my understanding of the Bible - any good at home Bible study references?"

There's a link below with a collection of free books about Austrian Economics and critiques of Keynesian Economics they can be both viewed and downloaded.

http://thephantombloggers.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/some-information-on-austrian-school-of.html#comment-form

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 5:14 PM  

Not unlike "crystal meth", fifty-dollar manicures, and spinning hubcaps, said device is a "necessity of the poor" and an "amenity of the working class."

You guys got welfare shut down to spite the "welfare queens" you dreamed up and you're still not happy. No matter how low you go, it's never enough, there's another vast swath of poor do nothings living large. It's as if every time someone talked of the wealthy they mentioned Swartzman's $3 million dollar birthday party or one of Abramovich's $300 million dollar yachts. You people really are incorrigibly stupid, and you're not even that rich.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 5:22 PM  

workingman November 25, 2012 5:14 PM
You guys got welfare shut down...


Yea...that would have been Clinton, as I recall. One of "your guys" as it so happens.

Talk about incorrigible stupidity.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 5:25 PM  

Oh, great, so then I can put you down as a proponent of the welfare system right Desert Cat? Or are you an idiot?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 5:29 PM  

You guys got welfare shut down to spite the "welfare queens" you dreamed up and you're still not happy. No matter how low you go, it's never enough, there's another vast swath of poor do nothings living large.

Yes. You are next on our list of vermin to be robbed and exterminated. The squeals you make as you are sent through the slaughterhouse will be recorded, printed to CDs, and sold by Sony for $17 per disc. It will become quite fashionable to play in the dining rooms of country clubs worldwide, while baby seal pate is served on the plates plundered from your kitchen.

You people really are incorrigibly stupid, and you're not even that rich.

If fortune favours the stupid, then perhaps you should consider acquiring a massive head trauma. I would consider obliging, but it might damage my new walking stick, which was carved slowly down from a whole tree stolen from the Amazon rainforest. I understand it was the last of its species, so you understand what a pity it would be to get stains on it.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 5:36 PM  

Right "Loki", unfortunately it's the Republicans squealing this time. As for libertarians, who are they again? Maybe you guys can pile on to one of Abramovich's yachts and hope he won't toss you all overboard to make friends with sharks. Just remind him that you subscribe to anything that would make his life easier and increase his wealth. Surely he'll like you then.

Anonymous kh123 November 25, 2012 5:36 PM  

Van;

The Von Mises Institute has quite a bit of free material. Somewhat off-topic from pure Austrian economics, but I found von Mises' Omnipotent Government to have some very concise and logical breakdowns on what socialism/communism is and the attendant economic contradictions that ensue when it's implemented. Still very relevant to today and quite prescient. Some of what von Mises predicted as far as eventual geopolitical outcomes from his Austrian model are a bit utopian, but overall he's very good.

As far as Biblical resources, depends on what area you're looking to study more: Archaeology and historical context, comparative OT/NT or between other religions, eschatology, etymology, apologetics. Am sure others here have a wider range of books and resources to suggest.

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 5:37 PM  

Realmat raves:

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?


So now only rich people should have children? Why don't you try selling that to anyone you f'ing animal.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 5:44 PM  

Right "Loki", unfortunately it's the Republicans squealing this time. As for libertarians, who are they again? Maybe you guys can pile on to one of Abramovich's yachts and hope he won't toss you all overboard to make friends with sharks. Just remind him that you subscribe to anything that would make his life easier and increase his wealth. Surely he'll like you then.

This reminds me of what you mortals call "modern dance": loud, incoherent noise, and a great deal of aimless thrashing about.

Anonymous nordicthunder November 25, 2012 5:45 PM  

"Loki" whoever you are, you are killin' it with the comedy today, gonna have to get more screen wipes

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 5:48 PM  

So now only rich people should have children? Why don't you try selling that to anyone you f'ing animal.

Of course only rich people should have children. They should have all the children of the poor--or, at least, be compelled to pay for their rearing and support, while having none of the enjoyment. Is that not what you yourself are selling?

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 5:53 PM  

workingman November 25, 2012 5:25 PM
Oh, great, so then I can put you down as a proponent of the welfare system right Desert Cat? Or are you an idiot?


There's a nice non sequitor.

Speaking of idiocy and the idiots who continue to support it, why, when the Democrats controlled the White House (Oh Bummer), the Senate (Hairy Read), and the House (Nancy "The Gavel" Pelosi), did they not reverse welfare reform? Why didn't they do what they were voted in to do?

For that matter, when "your people" were in total control, why did they do NOTHING to reverse some of the worst abuses of the Bush era? Why is Guantanamo Bay still open? Why was the Patriot Act reauthorized? Why, oh why did the National Defense Authorization Act become law?!

You see the face that idiocy wears?

This whole political sphere is only so much kabuki theater, designed to entertain and occupy the minds of both "sides" so that the real powers that be are free to pursue their agenda without much interference. This whole "debate" is bullshit. The die has been cast. The results are baked into the cake. The "rich" will get soaked. The economy will continue to crash, "anyway" (surprise that!) Capitalism will be blamed. World socialist/totalitarian government will be the solution proposed and adopted. What we say about it has precisely nothing to do with the outcome.

Coming to this site, who do you people think is "our guys" anyway? Are you under some delusion that this is a hotbed of Republican fervor? You could not be further from the truth. "Our guys", if there are any, are not in power and won't be. They make too much sense, and they do not serve the interests of the powers that be.

Carry on.

Blogger IM2L844 November 25, 2012 6:02 PM  

Tax the rich
feed the poor
until there are no
rich no more
Tell me where is sanity?

~ Wisdom from Alvin Lee

Fesser had a good post on the cardinal virtues in which he made a distinction between justice and fairness that went something like this (paraphrased):

Justice is that thing that says equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally. Fairness is a concept that complains everybody should be treated as equals regardless of who deserves what.

That's not exactly what he said. I took some liberties with it, but that was my takeaway.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 6:04 PM  

World socialist/totalitarian government will be the solution proposed and adopted.

Need I say it?

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 6:24 PM  

I get the impression that "workingman" hasn't done an honest days work in his life. Nobody I have known who did so was as idiotic as this nitwit. Only pseudo-intellectual academics are this deranged.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 6:26 PM  

Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 6:04 PM
World socialist/totalitarian government will be the solution proposed and adopted.

Need I say it?


Yes yes, led by Your Lordship, no doubt. :P

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 6:29 PM  

So now only rich people should have children? Why don't you try selling that to anyone you f'ing animal. whatever

Only people who have the financial ability to support children should have them. Both for the good of the children and society as a whole.

You deluded twat.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 6:36 PM  



For that matter, when "your people" were in total control, why did they do NOTHING to reverse some of the worst abuses of the Bush era? Why is Guantanamo Bay still open? Why was the Patriot Act reauthorized? Why, oh why did the National Defense Authorization Act become law?!


Right, the Democrats in office now are much further to the right, especially on those issues than they were in the past, which is why it's so laughable to hear idiots on the right malign Obama as a socialist and a communist.

Coming to this site, who do you people think is "our guys" anyway? Are you under some delusion that this is a hotbed of Republican fervor? You could not be further from the truth. "Our guys", if there are any, are not in power and won't be. They make too much sense, and they do not serve the interests of the powers that be.

What you guys are is even worse. Your talking points get co-opted in the service of reactionary elites who use them to brainwash large sections of the American population by tempting them with fantasies about American individualism and free enterprise. That way of life is gone. We live in an era of global, high tech mega corporations, not Joe the Cowboy and Phil the plumber with his plumbing company and 5 employees getting fleeced by government tax rates. You people are used as shills to further the agendas of people who want the benefits of the system you subscribe to but not the costs.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 6:39 PM  

Only people who have the financial ability to support children should have them. Both for the good of the children and society as a whole.

You deluded twat.


Good one stupid, in your ideal world you would be changing the diapers of some of Abramovich's hundreds of kids.

Anonymous Humbug November 25, 2012 6:53 PM  

What with all of their wealth, at some point in human history one would think that the stinkin' rich would be able to buy some effective PR.
Perhaps then most of the masses wouldn't secretly rejoice when the fat cats get a bit more flesh shaved off the belly.

But alas, isn't flaunting it the main reason why wealth is so attractive to those with that propensity?

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 6:53 PM  

whatever November 25, 2012 5:37 PM
Why don't you try selling that to anyone you f'ing animal.


Hey! Knock off the specieist, hominid-chauvinistic language! The correct term is "differently-specied"...monkey boy!

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 6:56 PM  

workingman November 25, 2012 6:36 PM
What you guys are is even worse. Your talking points get co-opted in the service of reactionary elites who use them to brainwash large sections of the American population by tempting them with fantasies about American individualism and free enterprise.


Misidentifying the real nexus of power is why you end up serving the needs of these "reactionary elites" so well yourself.

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 6:57 PM  

in your ideal world you would be changing the diapers of some of Abramovich's hundreds of kids.

That explains a lot. You must be one of Roberto Di Matteo's special houseboys. As the budget gets tighter, your anus gets pounded harder.

No wonder you are so cranky.

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 7:04 PM  

"Good one stupid, in your ideal world you would be changing the diapers of some of Abramovich's hundreds of kids."

If the government ever gains enough power that it no longer needs the pretense of elections -- which is what you leftist imbeciles are working towards -- it's the non-productive underclass that's going to be liquidated first. Isn't it ironic?

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 7:05 PM  

What a laugh you are zen0. When the tension needs to be broken or someone needs a lighter moment, here you are at hand with yet another hilarious and original ass raping joke. With all that time thinking about it how do you ever get around to job-creatin'?

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 7:07 PM  

At a certain point, it becomes unseemly to continue playing with your food. Manners, people.

Anonymous Noah B. November 25, 2012 7:10 PM  

"With all that time thinking about it how do you ever get around to job-creatin'?"

Why would anyone in their right mind want to create a job in the US in this environment? It's cost prohibitive and subjects and employer to tremendous legal risk compared to hiring in most other countries. Much better off to create that new job in Vietnam or Indonesia. Better yet, buy a robot instead.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 7:12 PM  

workingman November 25, 2012 6:36 PM
Right, the Democrats in office now are much further to the right, especially on those issues than they were in the past, which is why it's so laughable to hear idiots on the right malign Obama as a socialist and a communist.


What a relief this must be to the Republicans, to find out that they won the White House after all!

Stilicho November 25, 2012 7:07 PM
At a certain point, it becomes unseemly to continue playing with your food. Manners, people.


Aw Stilicho, if you snag 'em with your claws and fling 'em up in the air, you can pretend they're still alive long after they've expired.

Fine.

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 7:13 PM  

Hey Workingman, your President has a plan

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 7:18 PM  

With all that time thinking about it how do you ever get around to job-creatin'?

What is this obsession with job creation? The government is looking after everyone now.

Oh, and that wasn't a joke. It was a best guess based on your apparent Abramovich obsession, and your tendency to comport yourself as a little whiney bitch.

(Sorry Stilicho, I forget sometimes that when food is completely inedible because it has been contaminated with fecal matter, it is more civilized to just give it to the dog. They will eat anything, but they also have some other unsavory habits.)

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 7:20 PM  

but they also have some other unsavory habits

Yep. They've even been known to lick their own "Workingman".

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 7:21 PM  

I see a lot of passive aggressive behavior, you guys must be "gammas".

Anonymous Stilicho November 25, 2012 7:28 PM  

Pointing out that you are a prol-ish 'tard is not passive aggressive. It is simple aggression. Do try to keep up.

Anonymous Salt November 25, 2012 7:30 PM  

As an aside to California, Pravda has more to say - excerpts -

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.


Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it. He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.


President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda.

Russia lost its' civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once "Land of the Free" remain the United Socialist States of America? Their suffering has only begun.


As to schools, see this and this

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 7:31 PM  

I see a lot of passive aggressive behavior, you guys must be "gammas".

Now, that is amusing. Only on the internet can a guy get punched in the face and kicked in the nuts and call it "passive-aggressive".

Anonymous FP November 25, 2012 7:36 PM  

"Swartzman's $3 million dollar birthday party or one of Abramovich's $300 million dollar yachts. You people really are incorrigibly stupid, and you're not even that rich."

Uh, well at least they pay for their wasteful parties (most of the time). Tell me, have you ever watched Bridezilla? Read the society pages? Trickle down wasteful extravagence. "I want an oompa loompa now!" But hey, at least they got the play princess for a day. Oh wait, thats every day for the average western woman.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 7:38 PM  

You've got to be 13 or so zen0, is Vox your daddy?

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 7:45 PM  

You've got to be 13 or so zen0, is Vox your daddy?

You are mired in puerility. Step your game up. Oh wait, you can't!

Never mind.

Anonymous workingman November 25, 2012 7:49 PM  

punched in the face and kicked in the nuts ... fecal matter ... anus gets pounded harder

...

mired in puerility

Lol man, lol.

Anonymous The One November 25, 2012 7:56 PM  

Tariffs. Not taxes. tariffs.

Anonymous Jeffrey Lebowski November 25, 2012 8:00 PM  

Actually, most of these are my children. Urban Achievers to be more specific.

Anonymous Salt November 25, 2012 8:01 PM  

This is for Workingman

Anonymous Josh November 25, 2012 8:02 PM  

workingman is doing a rather poor job of trolling

Anonymous Revan November 25, 2012 8:09 PM  

"So now only rich people should have children?"

If by "rich" you mean "people who can afford to take care of the kids themselves without help" then yes, only rich people should have children.

Blogger Bill Moody November 25, 2012 8:17 PM  

@Great Martini - stop revealing your ignorance about Laffer Curve. No one knows the point at which government revenues drop, but we are almost certainly above the rate that will produce maximum gov't revenues. When capital gains rates were decreased to current rates, total revenue from capital gains increased. Likewise, when JFK lowered rates in 60s, revenue soard.
Now as to the highly progressive rates in mid-twentieth century - the 25% rate is the effective tax rate, likely higher than the average tax rates with highly progressive rates. For example, lowest rate of 17.7% in 1950 kicked in at $4,000 which was just about the median household income. The highest rate kicked in at $400,000 or about $3.7 million in 2011 dollars!
Moreover, in the 1950s, there was infinitely less government regulation. It costs to pay all the additional bureaucrats who gum up the economy with all their rules which increase the cost of doing business BEFORE tax.

Anonymous Revan November 25, 2012 8:26 PM  

In 1950 there was also far less competition because all their industrial rivals were trying to rebuild after WWII

Anonymous Van November 25, 2012 8:50 PM  

Thanks for the suggestions. Kh123, I'm looking to expand my knowledge/understanding of Christianity in general. My experience is the same others here have commented on - so many denominations are a shell of Christianity; in some cases contrary to the true word.

Blogger Rob November 25, 2012 9:01 PM  

Run a scenario and the numbers don't seem to be correct on this anyway. Wouldn't know the exact situation but you can get close. Say the Husband makes $275,000 and the wife makes $50,000. Then you move from filing as Married to Filing as Head of Household:

Looking at only at Federal and CA State tax, as all other would remain equal no matter what happened on the election or how much money you make, as far as I understand (Social Security capped at ~$100k, property taxes are not dependent on income).

Scenario A: Total Income $375,000, Total Tax (State+Fed) $114,380.49 = 35.19%

Scenario B: Total Income $250,000, Total Tax $86,822.49 = 34.73%

So that is a reduction of .47% effective tax rate.

This, of course, does not include any deduction of any kind which I am sure were not calculated here, as the Median federal EFFECTIVE tax rate of individuals even in the top 1/5 of earners in the U.S. is only 10.8% in 2010. My point in general, is all of this is servery overstated. But hey, random "fact" on the internet are compelling, right?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 25, 2012 9:05 PM  

You guys got welfare shut down to spite the "welfare queens" you dreamed up and you're still not happy.

"You guys" That is how you started out, next it will be "you Jews" or you Christians" Keep making a name for yourself "workingman". I'll let the history books sort it out while your putrid self rots in the hell that is this world as the buzzards hover over your dying body.

Anonymous asdf November 25, 2012 9:06 PM  

Actual changes to tax rates from this election are pretty minimal. So if this story was true then it was pretty much the same before the election. Their decision to "Go Galt" would make just about equal sense either way. Obviously the election changed nothing, they just want an excuse for the wife to stop working which she should have done anyway.

Blogger rcocean November 25, 2012 9:07 PM  

Its amazing how the wealthy have so many "Sophisticated" arguments on the why they shouldn't pay their fair share of tax. They who have should bear the biggest burden. Period.

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 9:12 PM  

My point in general, is all of this is servery overstated. But hey, random "fact" on the internet are compelling, right? Rob

Maybe you missed this statement in the scenario:

We’ll be cutting back a little, but the government is going to getting a whole lot less.

27,588 less. Whole point of the post.

Its about better quality of life, not how many fiatsos one makes.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 9:18 PM  

Its about better quality of life, not how many fiatsos one makes.

Precisely. Those who try to make the case that this is a mistake, based solely on the dollars and cents, completely miss the whole point of what those dollars and cents are supposed to be buying.

At some point, and especially with increasing marginal tax rates, one may calculate that they are getting fewer "quality of life" units in exchange for their units of labor provided. Never mind the bucks--those are only a medium of exchange.

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 9:22 PM  

Its amazing how the wealthy have so many "Sophisticated" arguments on the why they shouldn't pay their fair share of tax. They who have should bear the biggest burden. Period.
rcocean




Well that settles it, then. What happened to equality? shouldn't Everyone share the burden equally? You know, one man, one vote, etc.

Blogger Desert Cat November 25, 2012 9:24 PM  

What I meant to say is that keeping those units of labor within the household results in a higher quality of life for the family than attempting the exchange.

Especially since units of labor performed within and for the benefit of the household are enjoyed by the family as a...get this...ENTIRELY TAX FREE benefit!

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 9:28 PM  


Only people who have the financial ability to support children should have them. Both for the good of the children and society as a whole.

You deluded twat.


That wasn't what I quoted. Animal. Also including other mouthy animals. Here is what I quoted.


Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?


The other animal, not zen, is clearly saying that a person who enters a skilled trade, a plumber, but doesn't become wealthy, well then, he shouldn't have a family. And if he does, don't go complaining about problems paying for a family if you aren't rich. Only rich people have the right to have families. Even skilled tradesman should starve and barely be able to feed themselves, much less children.

I must say, throwing a skilled tradesman under the bus to Darwinian extinction is quite impressive for even a Conservative animal.

America provides much opportunity for rich people to rave about the opportunity they give to skilled workers to work till they die and have no children so rich people can have a slightly larger bonus check. That is indeed all the "lower born" are good for. All they deserve.

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 9:36 PM  


Why would anyone in their right mind want to create a job in the US in this environment? It's cost prohibitive and subjects and employer to tremendous legal risk compared to hiring in most other countries. Much better off to create that new job in Vietnam or Indonesia. Better yet, buy a robot instead.


Not in Europe though. Because the citizens in Western Europe have it better than Americans now.

But, we are better than Vietnam and Indonesia! Say it with me!

"America, we are better than a third world hell hole!"

"America, we are better than a third world hell hole!"

"America, we are better than a third world hell hole!"

"America, we are better than a third world hell hole!"

Be proud.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 9:38 PM  

Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?

Only rich people have the right to have families. Even skilled tradesman should starve and barely be able to feed themselves, much less children...America provides much opportunity for rich people to rave about the opportunity they give to skilled workers to work till they die and have no children so rich people can have a slightly larger bonus check. That is indeed all the "lower born" are good for. All they deserve.

To derive the latter meaning from the former passage, you must be drinking some very interesting beverages indeed.

Anonymous Joe the plumber November 25, 2012 9:39 PM  

Noah B "The people making big money are the ones who are already paying big tax bills -- and you want to be greedy and take even more from them? What is good, fair, or moral about that? What makes you think you have the right to live at someone else's expense?"

Well .. you sound like a wise young man to me ... As a percentage of my income I pay a more than many...and take no handouts from anyone.

Realmatt .."Somehow I am supposed to care about some guy who decided to enter a trade in which he wouldn't become wealthy unless he starts a successful company but started a family anyway?"

The lord saw it in his wisdom to grant my wife and me the 4 at once ...being the master of the universe does not mean that he doesn't have a sense of humor... you live with your actions.




Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 9:43 PM  


To derive the latter meaning from the former passage, you must be drinking some very interesting beverages indeed.


Funny thing, my words appear to have been extremely edited. Maybe the reason why you can't understand what I'm saying is because you refuse to hear what I am actually saying.

Is it traumatic to hear the voice of one of the lunatic animals you admire so being, perhaps, a little to honest?

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 9:45 PM  

you live with your actions.

Assuming, of course, that you cannot compel others to fund them.

Anonymous Loki of Asgard November 25, 2012 9:52 PM  

Funny thing, my words appear to have been extremely edited.

Even funnier is that a cursory examination reflects that these were your words exactly.

But do please continue. Your frantic gyrations are amusing.

Anonymous Josh November 25, 2012 9:59 PM  

Its amazing how the wealthy have so many "Sophisticated" arguments on the why they shouldn't pay their fair share of tax. They who have should bear the biggest burden. Period.

Why?

Anonymous zen0 November 25, 2012 10:07 PM  

Not in Europe though. Because the citizens in Western Europe have it better than Americans now.

Seeing as how you are concerned about economic opportunities, how do you reconcile your statement economically? The only country with less unemployment is Germany. Third world hellholes have more like an unemployment rate of Spain.

More delusions?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 25, 2012 10:12 PM  

"Why?"

I think Josh, if there were Angels in capitalism there would not be the devils of communism. There are no Angels. And the dualistic thought of man shall be wiped clean as they mount their horses and draw their swords.

Anonymous The Prophet November 25, 2012 10:24 PM  

Loki of Asgard ---

You have forgotten words of the one true God..."it is easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than it is for the rich to get into heaven."

Anonymous Godfrey November 25, 2012 10:33 PM  

I's all about punishing the productive, the talented, the industrious and hard working.

Man is full of envy. Since his pride doesn't allow for him to see himself as he is, he’d rather live in a world of misery and poverty than in one which allows his neighbor to succeed.

If you're too stupid to build, then destroy. That is the moronic mantra of our age.


Anonymous Godfrey November 25, 2012 10:37 PM  

The little man hates the productive because they remind him of his own shortcomings. He hates them because they dare to succeed and in so doing show him the truth about himself.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 25, 2012 10:39 PM  

OT, but I was in Sizzler tonight. They have lots of Hispanic customers and they were playing traditional Christmas songs in English.

This suggests a strategy to defeat the "secularists (you know, the ones who make lots of noise about the holocaust etc.)"

Just get Hispanics to assert their right to Christian culture ...

Blogger IM2L844 November 25, 2012 10:42 PM  

Maybe the reason why you can't understand what I'm saying is because you refuse to hear what I am actually saying.

Or, maybe, it's because you are allowing your emotions to dictate your reasoning and consequently you're not actually saying anything reasonably substantive.

Blogger goldNRulz November 25, 2012 11:10 PM  

You are clueless.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 25, 2012 11:16 PM  

The little man hates the productive because they remind him of his own shortcomings. He hates them because they dare to succeed and in so doing show him the truth about himself.

This is the fun stuff, Let's break it down.

"The little man hates the productive". The little man part kills me. I know a lot of 'big men" who hate 'bigger men" because they have more, but poor wittle me a straw boy with only a tow sack to keep my wittle straw body together and don't care because all I need is my sack.

Most people are fools and never had a critical thought so they spout cliques and think themselves wise.

Blogger goldNRulz November 25, 2012 11:27 PM  

Corporations do not pay taxes consumers do.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 25, 2012 11:27 PM  

Loki of Asgard ---

You have forgotten words of the one true God..."it is easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than it is for the rich to get into heaven."


Then we get this jewel of knowledge. Tell us "Prophet" what is the real meaning of the eye of the needle and put it all in context.

I can hear In the distance the rumbling of angels rushing about readying their swords to do battle with the evil one, oops, I mean the evil other people

Anonymous whatever November 25, 2012 11:29 PM  


Seeing as how you are concerned about economic opportunities, how do you reconcile your statement economically? The only country with less unemployment is Germany. Third world hellholes have more like an unemployment rate of Spain.


Fortunately they have national health care, so if they get sick they won't be left to die.

Anonymous Frank Brady November 25, 2012 11:32 PM  

Workingman (or more probably someone acting on his behalf) wrote:

"Yeah, right buddy. I'll trust the government and their "inefficient" spending over private sector hoarding and the magic of a free market going into a severe downturn anyday, even despite your one sided ivory tower studies "confirming" that everything the government does is evil. Wait, I thought you were suspicious of academics and their isolated lego building."

You are proving, again and again, that it is possible to be both stupid and evil. No further proof is necessary. Perhaps you should leave before you hurt yourself?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 25, 2012 11:48 PM  

Fortunately they have national health care, so if they get sick they won't be left to die.

The whole point on national health care is to let people die, not to save them while the cooperation's suck the average tax payer dry.

None shall pass, please move away black knight, I need to cross that bridge over that little ditch with my imaginary horse.

Blogger goldNRulz November 25, 2012 11:53 PM  

Go sell it to your union boss, crazy does not fly here.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 26, 2012 12:10 AM  

You are clueless.

Corporations do not pay taxes consumers do.

Go sell it to your union boss, crazy does not fly here.


The thread winner. Not only did he not say anything much in three posts, no one knows who he is saying it to.

Vox this is great place to hang out, I get much amusement here, thanks.

Blogger Duke of Earl November 26, 2012 12:14 AM  

The camel and the eye of the needle was a proverbial saying indicating that something was impossible. Indeed, Jesus then told his disciples that what was impossible for men was possible for God.

There have been stories that "the eye of the needle" was a small gate, but there's no evidence that such a gate existed.

It really has no bearing on this discussion, except that to show that your bank balance doesn't make you acceptable to God.

Anonymous Noah B. November 26, 2012 12:19 AM  

"Fortunately they have national health care, so if they get sick they won't be left to die."

Sure -- which means they'll be put onto a waiting list for treatment indefinitely, then eventually have their organs harvested and sold to the highest bidder, and finally, either be euthanized outright or just left in a hospital room to die without treatment, all sanctioned by a panel of bioethicists. Sounds like a big improvement to me.

Anonymous rycamor November 26, 2012 12:23 AM  

whatever November 25, 2012 9:28 PM

The other animal, not zen, is clearly saying that a person who enters a skilled trade, a plumber, but doesn't become wealthy, well then, he shouldn't have a family. And if he does, don't go complaining about problems paying for a family if you aren't rich. Only rich people have the right to have families. Even skilled tradesman should starve and barely be able to feed themselves, much less children.


It leads one to ask, perhaps, why it is that a skilled tradesman can't make a living in our current economy. Three possibilities come to mind:

1. Increased supply of skilled labor.
2. Lowered demand for skilled labor.
3. Both.

Now what set of circumstances would lead people to need less plumbers, or for there to be a greater supply of plumbers than there is demand? Could it be that the comfortably wealthy "middle rich" class is shrinking or at least worried about shrinking due to taxes, a business-unfriendly government, arduously inane business regulations, and a failing economy, thus less willing to spend money on repairing their 3500-square-foot houses?

Or could it be that a greater supply of immigrant labor has flooded the market? A supply fueled by decades of government foolishness because big businesses (note: not the businesses owned by the middle rich, but the truly national and supranational corporations) want a steady supply of cheap labor, and leftist politicians want a steady supply of cheap votes?

Or could it be that economic overdevelopment for the previous decade, fueled by bad government/banking economic choices caused a greater supply of plumbers, which is now not needed since new home construction is at a standstill and houses sit abandoned and unrepaired in the following economic holocaust?

Skilled tradesmen are exactly the people who need the "middle rich" to exist. The skilled tradesman has been sold out by the elite rich and his government, not the comfortable middle rich.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 26, 2012 12:49 AM  


I would guess that his comprehensive financial planning with his accountant is superior to your quick glance at current income tax rates.


I'm sure that's probably true, though I wouldn't discount the possibility that he's just trying to strike a blow to Obama due to general butthurt over the election loss. Since that post has its share of strange rhetoric, I'm just trying to figure out how much reason there is versus obstinacy. Since the new tax plan will only raise taxes on income over 250K, it's not like he has to get it below that cutoff or else be put in a higher bracket, so basically what he's saying is that he's just not interested in any taxed income over the quarter million mark. Unless he's practicing some kind of voodoo, that means he and his wife are going to earn less (by her quitting her job, of course). My point about joint filing is actually bogus, since even a single married individual can still file a joint return.

Then, there's the part about his wife being a 100% tax slave. Funny, and rhetorically effective, but dumb, since what he means is that she's paying most of his tax bill so that he doesn't have to.

Just to show how invalid that point is, note that he averages her 100% enslavement with his 10% enslavement and comes up with 55%, while if you figure it this way, he pays her tax bill, which is, say 5% of his income, making his total tax burden 40% of his income, average that with her 0% enslavement, and we come up with 20% So it's all kind of ridiculous.

Anonymous Outlaw X November 26, 2012 1:07 AM  

Just to show how invalid that point is, note that he averages her 100% enslavement with his 10% enslavement and comes up with 55%, while if you figure it this way, he pays her tax bill, which is, say 5% of his income, making his total tax burden 40% of his income, average that with her 0% enslavement, and we come up with 20% So it's all kind of ridiculous.

I don't know enough about his situation, but if the equivalent of my wife's income was all taken up in taxes, I would rather have her home with the children and live a more simple life. I believe he came to realization that he never saw before, no matter the reason. I think people are waking up and the credit cards are being cut up and there are people very afraid of that.

I am certainly not any kind of economic genius like Krugman and will never win a Nobel prize in anything, but I understand this mans thinking. Maybe he is like me and remembers a much simpler time and the simple life and has found it again. I don't know. I think economics are just numbers that never take into account the human spirit.

There are many things I do not know, but at least I know I don't know.

Anonymous The Great Martini November 26, 2012 1:52 AM  


There are many things I do not know, but at least I know I don't know.


There are probably many other things that you don't know that you don't know. I don't know. You know?

Anonymous Outlaw X November 26, 2012 1:57 AM  

There are probably many other things that you don't know that you don't know. I don't know. You know?

No I don't.

Blogger Spacebunny November 26, 2012 4:53 AM  

The lord saw it in his wisdom to grant my wife and me the 4 at once ...being the master of the universe does not mean that he doesn't have a sense of humor... you live with your actions.

Was this a naturally occurring quadruplet pregnancy or was IVF involved?

Anonymous Jesus H. Christ, aka your fucking Savior. November 26, 2012 5:00 AM  

"Ahh, Sunday. Another relaxing day of strip poker with Mary Magdalene and Mother Theresa.
Mmm, I wonder what that smell is?"--Jesus H. Christ

Anonymous FP November 26, 2012 6:30 AM  

A classic from zero hedge:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/entitlement-america-head-household-making-minimum-wage-has-more-disposable-income-family-mak

"a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year."

Anonymous zen0 November 26, 2012 7:28 AM  

On taxes and liberty in Colorado Springs (On Topic)

Volunteerism trumps taxes: Colorado Springs residents rally together to provide city services after recession

Residents put a rein on government, and as usual, the poor do not contribute to the public good, even though they have enough for pot, liquor, and lottery tickets.

Anonymous Michael Maier November 26, 2012 8:47 AM  

Well the classy trolls have shown up today, haven't they?

Great article, zen0.

You filthy animal, you.

Anonymous whatever November 26, 2012 9:21 AM  


A classic from zero hedge:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/entitlement-america-head-household-making-minimum-wage-has-more-disposable-income-family-mak

"a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year."


It's interesting, and by that I mean a stupid and obnoxious lie, that "Medicaid and CHIP" is valued at 16,000 dollars a year. Are those wacky "researchers" using the cost for non-employer provided insurance? Maybe we should also double the "value" of the employer provided insurance for the 60,000 a year person. Because "cost" and "value" are the same, right? Yes, yes, I am aware that Americans have decided that those who don't have jobs should pay twice as much for health care or die, but that doesn't make the "service" provided twice as valuable.


Sure -- which means they'll be put onto a waiting list for treatment indefinitely, then eventually have their organs harvested and sold to the highest bidder, and finally, either be euthanized outright or just left in a hospital room to die without treatment, all sanctioned by a panel of bioethicists. Sounds like a big improvement to me.


A stupid lie, but a nice story. I had to wait four hours to receive a few stitches in an American "no line" hospital once that wasn't that busy. And received lousy care that seemed to revolve around jacking the price up as much as possible. So maybe you should stop talking about your experiences in American hospitals as if they happened in a country with national health care.

Especially the talk about the organ harvesting vultures. That's very, very American.

Anonymous whatever November 26, 2012 9:27 AM  



Now what set of circumstances would lead people to need less plumbers, or for there to be a greater supply of plumbers than there is demand? Could it be that the comfortably wealthy "middle rich" class is shrinking or at least worried about shrinking due to taxes, a business-unfriendly government, arduously inane business regulations, and a failing economy, thus less willing to spend money on repairing their 3500-square-foot houses?


No. It may surprise an animal like you, but less than 3% of the population does not in fact provide 99.9999999999999999999999% of a plumbers business. It turns out, in a situation so impossible that you would be amazed to see it even on TV, that the 95% of the population that is not rich by any standard provides the vast majority(ie +70%) of a plumbers work. This is as amazing as it is obvious.

Anonymous whatever November 26, 2012 9:29 AM  

So in short, the reason a plumber is having problems is because the 95% of the population that gives him most of his business is being crushed into the ground.

Blogger Desert Cat November 26, 2012 9:46 AM  

whatever November 26, 2012 9:29 AM
So in short, the reason a plumber is having problems is because the 95% of the population that gives him most of his business is being crushed into the ground.


Congratulations, Captain Obvious.

Anonymous Susan November 26, 2012 10:29 AM  

Most entertaining thread I've read in quite a while. Thanks Loki!
Reminds me of Bane and Nate taking on I think it was, ChucklE and the dead horse of WWII.

Good times.

Anonymous RedJack November 26, 2012 11:53 AM  

Susan,

You mean the dead horse of "Could the Axis have invaded the contenetial US?

Good times.

It is interesting seeing both sides talk past each other. I would wander in, but the show is so entertaining that to derail it would be a shame.

Anonymous E. PERLINE November 26, 2012 1:51 PM  

So the Instapundit contributor feels that he's a "wage slave" at $250,000 a year. I know income tax payment drives salaries down quite a bit, but does this guy know what it takes to pay an employee $250,000 a year? If he works for a govenmnent agency, 'nuff said, the government can print whatever money it wants to, without regard for reality.

But if it comes comes from some private company, and the employee works 240 days per year, he actually earns $1,041 per day! If he's in sales does he sell a truly huge amount of product for that money? If he's a dermatologist, does he operate on a huge amount of patients?

What kind of business is the Instapundit contributor in? I'm an old man and every once in a while I need a reality check.

Anonymous Susan November 26, 2012 2:42 PM  

RedJack, I don't like to specifically name the dead horse because I am afraid that, like Beetlejuice, it could erupt again. I still have bruises acquired from the last beatdown.

Can't beat the comedy relief of this blog.

Anonymous rycamor November 26, 2012 6:56 PM  

whatever November 26, 2012 9:27 AM

Now what set of circumstances would lead people to need less plumbers, or for there to be a greater supply of plumbers than there is demand? Could it be that the comfortably wealthy "middle rich" class is shrinking or at least worried about shrinking due to taxes, a business-unfriendly government, arduously inane business regulations, and a failing economy, thus less willing to spend money on repairing their 3500-square-foot houses?


No. It may surprise an animal like you, but less than 3% of the population does not in fact provide 99.9999999999999999999999% of a plumbers business. It turns out, in a situation so impossible that you would be amazed to see it even on TV, that the 95% of the population that is not rich by any standard provides the vast majority(ie +70%) of a plumbers work. This is as amazing as it is obvious.


Well for one thing your snarky hyperbole just destroyed your own point, because if they only account for such a small amount of a plumber's business, how can taxing the hell out of them make any real difference to alleviate said problems?

But anyway, there are far more people with a 3500-square-foot house than just the 3% making what I guess you would consider "the wealthy". I know "middle rich" was vague, but I generally think of it as anyone making it into the six-figure bracket (per family), which I believe is a sizeable percentage of the USA. I live in a 3500-square-foot house myself, although I don't need to make 6 figures because we live in the country and keep costs down.

Be that as it may, the economic effects are the same. As Zero Hedge is pointing out again and again, both ends of the economy are squeezing the middle. Anyone who isn't receiving government aid and who actually has to work for a living and pay for all of life's necessities out of his own pocket is being pinched, and the common enemy is not that guy making just a little more than you, or even making 3 times what you make. It is the super elite who can pretty much do what they want with their government cronies, and those at the bottom who get dwellings, healthcare, and food for life without lifting a finger. With each cycle of the economy those two ends get a bigger piece of the pie. It shouldn't take an amazing amount of obvious to figure out that we can't sustain this course.

Anonymous whatever November 26, 2012 10:32 PM  


But anyway, there are far more people with a 3500-square-foot house than just the 3% making what I guess you would consider "the wealthy". I know "middle rich" was vague, but I generally think of it as anyone making it into the six-figure bracket (per family), which I believe is a sizeable percentage of the USA. I live in a 3500-square-foot house myself, although I don't need to make 6 figures because we live in the country and keep costs down.


84% of households made less than 100,000 a year in 2003. So, first of all, your definition of "rich" is indeed a small set of Americans. And does not provide the majority of a plumbers income.

HOWEVER, your definition of "rich" is also wrong. It includes households where both wife and husband work full time and must work full time and it also includes households with very low savings and households who derive less than 5% of their income from capital gains. In fact, many households included in your definition of "rich" are all three.

You just define "rich" in a way that you are rich. Well you aren't. Is that clear? You delusion is annoying and causing problems for others so knock it off. A good working definition of small-time rich is "never have to work a day in their life again if they don't want to". But that is just small-time rich. But it is a real definition that people who aren't desperately trying to have themselves included in "the important people club" would actually agree with.

Your mental problem is that you want to imagine that you are "rich". You are not. Thinking that way may make you feel better, but you are not. Period. And the real rich would throw you under the bus.... oh wait, that was twenty years ago.... I meant to say the real rich HAVE thrown you under the bus. You just keep babbling hysterically. It must be the blood loss from the stumps that used to be your legs.

NOTE:
94% of households had income of less than 150k in 2003.

NOTE 2:

Well for one thing your snarky hyperbole just destroyed your own point, because if they only account for such a small amount of a plumber's business, how can taxing the hell out of them make any real difference to alleviate said problems?


Severe blood loss can lead to permanent brain damage.

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