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March 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Boehner wrong about taxes, jobs

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I just finished watching House Speaker John Boehner give a speech on CNN. According to Boehner, raising taxes on small businesses would be a mistake.

My only problem with this is that Boehner seems to think that ExxonMobil and General Electric are small businesses.

He further states that President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill were able to work together to lower taxes.

What he forgot to mention was that under the Reagan administration, we more than doubled the national debt and that the following president, George H.W. Bush, had to raise taxes, and that, more than likely, kept him from a second term.

Under President Bill Clinton, we again raised taxes and still managed to create 20 million jobs.

Under George W. Bush, we again lowered taxes, and the world has seen the mess that has left us in.

Even with the lower taxes and two wars, we still were losing 750,000 jobs a month when he left office.

Boehner’s statement that raising taxes will cost jobs is just not true. The only thing it will do is lower the profit margin of big companies.

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  1. Boehner's got it right and so does the GOP Peoples' House. No to all new taxes. Period. End of story. If the president wants to give everything away free, let him find another golden goose to find the do re me. Not American taxpayers.


  2. While this argument over increasing taxes continues, both parties continue to hide from the other half of the equation, which is spending.

    If we leave taxes as they are, raise them on the wealthy and businesses or raise them on all Americans, unless that increase was absolutely huge, it still would not be enough to cover all government spending. Even when the economy was doing much better than it is now, we were running large deficits.

    Nobody in government wants to admit that we cannot afford to pay for everything the government is now doing, even if taxes are raised. Even so, all the talk is about taxes and revenue, and little is about spending.

    Now that President Obama has won re-election, he and Congress should be asked by the media and Americans: Once the economy improves some and taxes are increased and we are still running large deficits, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? WHAT IS THE PLAN?


  3. Once past the rhetoric and usual bloviating in defense of the party of the 1% it's time to look at the situation as it currently stands. The Kabuki dance over Sequestration has already begun. It is effecting taxpayers right now. Anybody with a 401k, or other types of investments is taking it in the neck, as usual. Does this effect the 1%? No. Who it affects is the 60% of the American electorate who WANT TO SEE incomes over the first $250k taxed at Clinton era levels. The GOP "leaders" in the congress don't get it. Their nominee for President got shellacked, there will be a larger Democrat majority in the Senate, and the teabag house, while still in the majority, lost seats. The clock is ticking Boehner; the GOP "owns" sequestration due to their intransigence. To keep their rich benefactors happy, they would allow the entire country to plunge back into recession, hence the current plunge in the stock market. Efforts are allegedly being made to prevent all this from happening, but the FACTS are this: on Dec 31st the Bush era tax cuts WILL expire for EVERYONE. Sequestration will AUTOMATICALLY occur, and EVERYONE WILL SUFFER THE RESULTS. "Republican fingerprints are all over sequestration"....Jim DeMint.

  4. Re Michael. The President will be addressing your comments today. I, like you, hope something is said to allay the fears festering in our Stock Market, and the world markets as well.

  5. First of all lets dispose of the charade that 2% of us are the "job creators". The true job creators are the other 98% who buy goods and services when financially able.

    We've tried this favorable tax treatment for the 2% for ten tax years and it hasn't worked. And our fiscally challenged friends seem to see nothing wrong with borrowing $700 billion over the past ten years to do it. Worse yet, they think we should continue to do it!

    As for those with fondness for the "Peoples' House", digest this. Polls have shown that up to 67% of us, including 40% of Republicans, favor ending Bush tax cuts for millionaires. We shall see if they will do the Peoples' Work.

    The Congressional Budget Office, that many are fond of quoting only when it suits them, has estimated that ending the tax cuts for the 2% will have little material effect on the economy.

  6. Gary,

    While sequestration is important, Americans have got to start looking farther into the future. Let's say sequestration is avoided because the R's in the House sign onto a revenue increase on the wealthy and business, as President Obama wants. We will still be deeply in debt and running huge deficits. What then? What is the plan then?

    The two sides are arguing over what amounts to a 'minor' issue while our financial house burns in the background. The numbers say we cannot grow ourselves out of the financial mess we are in nor can we tax ourselves out. Even a combination of both isn't going to work unless we reduce and then control the government spending.

    Where is the plan to do that. President Obama doesn't seem to have one. The House doesn't have one. The Senate doesn't have one.

    That, to me, is a larger and even more important issue that the tax increase or sequestration.

    In some ways, to allow the sequestration could be a positive because it would do some of the things I am quite sure we all are going to have to do in the future, Unfortunately, it is also likely to hurt many Americans.


  7. Re PISCES41. You are correct. The trickle down economic theory has been totally debunked. We are a SERVICE BASED ECONOMY. As for doing the peoples work, that only happens in the house when it kowtows to the rich. These a**hats in the GOP congressional leadership need to pull their collective heads out, and start serving AMERICA'S interests, not the Koch boys, Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson etc. They all backed LOSERS for election.

  8. RefNV

    Private investment remains flat because the recession has left unused capacity in the economy. It won't pick up appreciably until demand absorbs that capacity.

  9. 47% are on food stamps, millions more on other government handouts and they are, according to Weber, "the job creators?" It would be a joke if not for the fact that the parasites, with hands out & whining for more, are gobbling up what the productive produce in such a way as to bankrupt this nation and those, such as Osama Obama, are more than willing to buy their votes in order to stay in power. The day of reckoning is coming and it won't be pretty. Like Greece, Italy, Spain and many other countries, we will see riots in the streets as the USA has little choice but to cut back on the "freebies." That the parasitic class will not like that one bit is a given. If you happen to belong to the productive class, get ready to hunker down in your place of residence and to defend it from the rabble soon to be calling at your door.

  10. Enjoyed the letter, Mr. O'Connor.

    I watched that speech also. And shook my head. The guy don't get it.

    Most people can see why the House of Representatives is so disjointed. Mostly because of various reasons.

    I understand politics are in the way.

    But there really seems to be the simple fact that Boehner really, really needs to grow a pair and confront his caucus.

    He really needs to sit down with them and say, hey, c'mon, guys, even you Tea Party protest types, we just got shellacked in the last election, we can't continue down this road of intransigence, this don't work with, obstruct that, filibuster this, vote this down, block everything crap is simply not going to work, if we don't come up with some kind of forward progress, the entire Republican Party will go the way of velociraptors, we HAVE to show some progress and get something done, I can't go out there any more and say I'm doing the will of the people, because it simply is not true, anyone with at least half a brain can see that, we have to start doing....ugh....COMPROMISE, and not this my way or the highway dog and pony schtick, that's all I gotta say about the mess we're in, everything I say is fact, if what I'm saying is not true, then James Brown ain't funky and King Kong ain't a monkey!

    Kinda long winded there. But you get the point.

    If Boehner don't get some cajones and jerk his Tea/Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives together, they are going to lose a lot more politicians in the coming year because of unpopular, antiquated and downright unfair ideals.

    But don't listen to me, Tea/Republicans. I'd love to watch you blow it more by sticking to policies that the people have emphatically rejected in this last election by a vast majority.

    Only thing I'm going to do is stand well back. I don't want to get hit by Tea/Republican shrapnel when you self-destruct. Because that is indeed what is going to happen you stick to this path you're on now.


  11. ReFreeman,

    Your comparisons cannot be measured using the information you supplied. Apples and Orange my friend.

    This post is for people who read the threading post on this article. Because Mr. ReFreeman refuses to be a balance responder of the numbers.

    We had this disagreement before. Your trying to compare two entirely difference conditions. Your source of reference has no comparing data as to the cause the effect.

    Your the lead responder to this article. Your being called out, again, because you have access to data, but you refuse to expand your areas of truth and only choose information that frames a tiny portion of a large and widening argument. Your assessment and conclusions are incomplete, and to a large degree misleading.

    Your saying, please supply a competing argument? Nope! The challenge is for you stop being a one sided delivery person. You are so close to being a complete honest broken of a competing argument.

    Eventually you will get. And on your own, is how it will come.

  12. ReFreeman,

    "By the way, it's no coincidence that private investment started to fall after 2011 Q2. Why? Obama got in campaign mode attacking business and top wage earners. Current government tax & spend policies suppress private investment and consumers with means from purchasing and you need both in order to grow our economy." (ReFreeman)

    Number don't lie, but liar figure. The logic, the numbers will always be what they are, the source of the numbers has to be true, complete, and in comparison when concluding. You have not been true to your conclusion, it is an eluding premise.

    Cutting and pasting information you cannot explain or believe, information being used to mislead, makes for a false debate. You call it an attack on the messenger, it is a challenge to the messenger to be an honest broker of information. After all, what you are providing is information from selected sources and not information you truly understand. But you place the information as it you know, instead, the argument is with your offerings.

    Your are acting as an instigator. A person who starts a fight, and then steps back and points to one side and says they said this, they said that, but you didn't have anything to do with the conflict. All the time, your throwing the rocks and hiding your hand.

    You can respond to Mr. Jim O'Connor article, but you cannot define the article with an offering of incomplete and unbalance information. Your not an honest broken of information. So let this be the debate.

    Again, number don't lie, but liars figure. Numbers are what you make the numbers to be. It is the source, it is the cause, and the effect. Using all to measure an reasonable and acceptable conclusion. Mr. ReFreeman, your reporting is incomplete.

  13. I don't trust the Tea Party driven GOP or John Boehner getting back stabbed by Eric Cantor when it comes to handling the deficit.

    "Allowing income tax rates to rise for wealthy Americans, and maintaining rates for the less affluent, would not hurt U.S. economic growth much in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday, stepping into a dispute between Republicans and Democrats over how to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff."

  14. Colin,

    Compromise has been and is needed and hopefully we will see some... from both that the election is over. However, you and others should stop using terms like 'shellacked', 'emphatically rejected' and 'vast majority' in connection with this election.

    The election was decided by 2 percentage points in the popular vote. In most of the battleground states, the two people running were separated by single digit percentages. In Florida, 60,000 votes separate the two men. If electoral votes were allocated by % of of the popular vote instead of winner take all, the result would be even closer. The Senate stayed D, the House R.

    President Obama won a close race, but if, 'shellacked', 'vast majority' and 'emphatically rejected' were accurate, the popular vote would have been separated by 10 % or more, the House would have turned Democratic and the Senate would be 75 % Democrat.

    We have a divided country, much as both sides don't want to admit it. We had one before the election and we still have one today. If we had elected officials that would recognize and admit that we are divided nearly evenly, we could get the compromises we need, from both sides.


  15. Vernos,

    The fiscal cliff is much more than taxing the wealthy more. It is taxing the middle class more. It is cutting defense. It is cutting many other social programs. All I hear talked about is taxes on the wealthy. Even if Obama gets that, it does next to zero about all the other parts of the fiscal cliff. What's you best guess about what gets done about the rest of it. AND, if the tax rates are left as they are for the middle class, the defense cuts restored, the cuts to social programs restored, where is the money to pay for all that going to come from? More printing money? QE 10?, more borrowing.

    The financial disaster is still heading our way.


  16. "First of all, out of 6 million employer firms, only 30,000 are large corporations with 500 plus employees. Clearly, a majority of companies are small to medium sized."

    This is incorrect. In 2007, according to the census bureau, there were 18,311 employer firms with more than 500 employees. Let's not play fast and loose with the facts, RefNV.

    "The article is titled "From JFK To Bush, Treasury Swelled After Tax Cuts" written by Paul Sperry."

    You mean the Paul Sperry who convinced Michele Bachmann that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated and taken over our government? That's who you're basing your worldview on? Paul Sperry has called for an investigation into Muslim members of Congress.

    When the CRS did an analysis, they found nothing of the sort.

    "The top income tax rates have changed considerably since the end of World War II. Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the 1970s; today it is 15%. The average tax rate faced by the top 0.01% of taxpayers was above 40% until the mid-1980s; today it is below 25%. Tax rates affecting taxpayers at the top of the income distribution are currently at their lowest levels since the end of the second World War."

    "The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie."

    Correlation is not causation, Ref.

  17. Boehner is drunk every day of his life. That's why he cries all the time. Probably not the best guy to look to for economic advice. Alcoholism killed my mother 30 years ago and contributed to the demise of my father many years ago. I help set up the Westside Regional Drug Court in Los Angeles and worked with substance abusers for many years. Mr. Boehner needs help.

    Strong economic growth leads to increases in tax revenue and a reduction in unemployment. In the current time frame consumption has been muted due to the $20 trillion in losses sustained in the financial crisis. Reduced demand in the developed world has reduced output in the developing world bringing us close to a worldwide recession.

    Taxes have nothing to do with it. We had unbelievably high growth rates in the 1950s when at times the top tax rates were over 90%.

    Currently Americans pay about 24% of GDP to federal state and local governments. This is the lowest in the industrialized world and probably the lowest in recent American history. Has this produced robust growth?? No. Why? The consumer is tapped out and people are starting to pay down debts. Credit card debt is dropping for the first time ever. People are starting the pay down mortgages. This is all money that would've gone towards consumption had the financial crisis not occurred.

    To address Jerry Fink's comments above. A third of the country was getting assistance in the 1960s. It has gone up by 14 points due to the 40,000,000+ retired baby boomers and the recession. Given the fact that over 90% of financial assets; stocks, bonds, Money markets, etc. are in the hands of a few million people it's amazing the welfare statistics aren't much higher.

    Bill Clinton did not create 20 million jobs. All these numbers are nonsense.

    If you want halfway decent growth over the next few decades people need more disposable income. Wages are going to have to go up, medical costs and education costs are going to have to come way down. People are paying $250 billion a month for medical care and kids are expected to pay $250,000 to go to a good school. Education costs are sucking the blood out of the young and medical costs are shrinking everybody's wallet. You can do whatever the hell you want with tax rates it's not going to change this.

    Medical costs and education costs are the new 90% tax rate.

  18. President Obama is a lame duck. Speaker Boehner and the GOPeoples' House will beat him down every step of the way over his extreme left wing policies.

    We're going to see how a president who wins reelection by the smallest margin ever by waging the dirtiest campaign ever gets trampled down by the opposing party.


  19. "Compromise has been and is needed and hopefully we will see some... from both that the election is over."

    Mr. Casler et al:

    Not from Boehner and the GOPeoples' House. Not an inch. You keep thinking the opposite and I'll keep telling you not just NO, BUT H-E-double hockey sticks NO.


  20. All this talk about taxes is much to do about nothing. So few people pay substantial income tax to the federal government that it's barely worth discussing. The only tax that would raise a substantial amount of money is some type of national sales tax or consumption tax. Raising or lowering the federal tax rates might pay for a few hemorrhoid operations for the seniors but other than that it will accomplish nothing.

    our economy is and always has been consumption driven. Consumption and exports comprise 80% of the economy.

    We will do about $700 trillion worth of GDP over the next 40 years. $500 trillion of that will be domestic consumption. That's where the money has to come from if were serious about getting the debt under control and covering Medicare and Medicaid.

  21. Carmine... What exactly are Obama's extreme left wing policies?

  22. "armine... What exactly are Obama's extreme left wing policies?"

    Raising taxes during a recession [to start].


  23. Carmine.. We haven't been in a recession for years. Let's keep this out of the realm of phantasmagoria and in the realm of reality.

  24. "Raising taxes during a recession..." a mistake? Oh yeah?

    Raising taxes during the Great Depression was one of the great actions of leadership by FDR that invigorated the economy, created working class incomes and helped win WWII.

    Highest Marginal tax rate vs. year:
    1930 25%
    1934 63%
    1937 79%
    1943 88%

    Notice that at the time of the stock market crash, highest income tax rates (25%) were close to those created by George W. Bush.

    Notice that FDR continued to raise income taxes during WWII, unlike W. Bush who borrowed money fund the most expensive American war yet, Iraq; more expensive than WWII in 2012 dollars.

    Carmine: you ignore history, a common tactic among conservatives to win debates.

    Great letter - an observation of history, like evolution, both of which are highly disliked by 'conservatives'.

  25. Carmine,

    If the GOP refuses to compromise, President Obama will be able to blame anything negative that happens going forward on GOP obstruction... and he will, even if the cause is something else.

    President Obama barely won re-election, but he did win. Increasing taxes on the wealthy will not crash the economy or help it much. It's a feel good publicity stunt to make people who hate the wealthy happy. The GOP should let him raise the taxes so it can be shown that doing that is not a solution to our financial problems.

    There is a time to stand your ground and a time to give a little. The GOP tried 'telling' the American people that Obama's policies would not work while blocking most of them. Americans did not buy that in large enough numbers to defeat a man with a terrible economy.

    I'll say it again...doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is.....


  26. Even if you keep tax rates exactly when they are going forward revenues as a percent of GDP are going to fluctuate. An economy is very dynamic. Revenues go up during inflationary bubbles and times of robust growth and they go down during recessionary periods.

    The rates themselves are just a small piece of the pie.

    The point is our current tax structure is not generating enough money to maintain a strong defense and cover the liabilities of 147 million Americans seeking assistance.

    If you look at the people in this country that are the super high income earners. The amount of income tax they pay is in the teens. It was that way when top tax rates were 90+ percent and it's that way now. There are so many loopholes in the tax code that changing the rates accomplishes next to nothing. The whole thing needs to be thrown into the trash.

  27. Mr. Freeman is absolutely correct. You can't get enough income tax out of the wealthy to make a difference. What you need is an onerous death tax. The net worth of this country is something in the neighborhood of $55 trillion. A handful of people own most of it. A good solid consumption tax coupled with a steep death tax would go a long way towards reducing the "Gini coefficient" and creating economic stability.

  28. SunJon,

    RefNV is correct. As the last election showed, many Americans really don't have a big problem with asking the wealthy to pay higher taxes.... but, and it's an important but, we cannot look to that as a solution to what is wrong financially.

    We spend so much on Defense and Social programs that even if we confiscated every dollar the rich had, we could not pay for everything government now does.

    Most want a strong defense, don't want to cut social programs that the poor really need and also don't want to pay higher taxes themselves. That's the problem.

    Both parties offer simple, but unworkable solutions. For Obama and D's, it's tax the rich and business. For R's, it's cut taxes on everybody. Both are complete and utter nonsense as an overall solution to our financial problems.


  29. "In 1965, the tax rate for the top wage bracket was 70% but yielded only 7.1% of GDP in tax revenue. When the tax rate was lowered to 28% in the 1980's, tax revenue increased to 8%."

    Again, correlation does not imply causation, Ref.

    "Clinton in 1997 reluctantly signed a GOP tax bill that cut the capital-gains rate to 20% from 28%. The result? Tax receipts from capital gains ballooned as stock and other capital investment more than tripled. Between 1996 and 2000, "the increase in capital gains revenues accounted for a little over 20% of the total increase in federal revenues," former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett said."

    You have it backward, Ref. Investment in the stock market was driven by the dot com bubble, not by the slight drop in the capital gains taxes. The stock market boom fed the capital gains revenues, not the reverse.

    Between 1991 and 1996, the DJIA doubled, under the existing capital gains rate. Investment and revenue continued to increase after the rate was dropped, but not in an appreciable rate. Finally, while the DJIA closed at 11722 in 2000, the bubble burst and the DJIA was at 7702 in 2002.

    It's clear the increase in capital gains revenue had everything to do with the boom in the DJIA.

  30. When reading ReFreeman...

    I'm reminded of what the President said of Mitt Romney in Rolling Stone Mag.

  31. Listen to the house leader. If Mr. O. does not engage him and actually engage in TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION, we will have four more years of the same sour economy.

  32. Having read some comments stating that Obama "barely won" reelection, some facts are in order:

    First up, did everyone blogging here vote? Reason I ask is that 93 million eligible voters DID NOT VOTE AT ALL! Sad commentary on this country's apathy.

    Turnout was was below levels in 2008 and 2004. Eligible voters increased by 8 million, but 5 million fewer votes were cast. Address the topic presented in the Opinion section, but know this: the election is OVER. It needn't be addressed further.

    Democratic turnout was 28.8% which is not good, but Republican turnout was only 27.2%, even worse. This election was, from the beginning, supposed to be close, and it was.

    Electoral vote score was 332 for Obama and 206 for Romney. A very comfortable margin. For those who think the electoral college should be abolished, and popular vote only should determine the result: Obama won the popular vote by over 3 million votes. Romney had over a million fewer popular votes than McCain in 2008. So it comes down to this: no more squealing and whining about Obama "barely winning" reelection. There is no such thing as barely winning; either you win or you lose, unless you're playing soccer.

    You deniers can Google the facts stated above; my sources were Wikipedia and the Bipartisan Policy Center. If I get flak, it doesn't matter; MATHEMATICS IS A PROVEN SCIENCE, not wishful thinking.

  33. Carmine 10:01. Shhh. Don't tell them. See how long it takes them to figure it out. Four years more?

  34. Michael,

    I have no problem with cutting defense spending and using that money to "nation build" here, not on some foreign soil. We spend more than multiple nations combined protecting the military-industrial-complex who manufacture antiquated armaments. The wealthy have put the screws to the middle class and it's about time they try to repair the disparity they've created. We've had similar situations prior to the Great Depression, and once again, as a whole, the leaders of this nation have learned squat from our history. The last time I checked Grover Norquist wasn't a president, emporer or king of any nation, yet he dictates policy to a number of clowns on "The Hill" who might as well signed his pledge in blood, because they've given their souls to him over a 4% increase.

    We keep repeating failed policies that bring us to war, recession and/or depression.

  35. Vernos,

    You can repeat the same thing over and over again, but the mathematics of it don't change. Tax the wealthy and businesses more as Obama and the D's want. Cut defense spending as Obama and the D's want. We still spend way more than we bring in and spending is still a big part of the problem.... and NOBODY, not Obama and the D's or the R's want to deal with it.


  36. roslenda...

    Perhaps you & Carmine should start a ' weblog!
    Don't forget to call Sharron Angle for advice;
    your concern about all things 'illegals' and being hysterical about it publicly is one of her areas of expertise.
    Vaya Con Dios!

  37. Michael

    This country spends 52% of it's GDP on "defense". I would ask you; "defense" against what? Iraq: a war premised on lies and faulty intelligence. Finally over. Afghanistan: a war, in it's infancy, that was meant to remove the Taliban and Al Quaida from the country. It accomplished that goal long ago, including the liquidation of Bin Laden. Why are we still there? Because Pakistan allows the Taliban and AlQuaida to rest and recuperate at will. Blow Pakistan off the map. Easy solution. Who cares about Afghanistan? You? Me? I don't think so.

    There will be a reckoning of the debt crisis, win lose or draw. If the House of Representatives doesn't pass measured, equitable and fiscally responsible budgetary measures, sequestration is the default mechanism, PUT IN PLACE WITH "BIPARTISAN" SUPPORT! It was a booby trap piece of crap legislation agreed to by a punk congress (both sides) and by a "super committee" doomed to failure from the beginning due to intransigent political posturing ON BOTH SIDES. Blaming the President is an easy excuse; the CONGRESS SHALL PASS A BUDGET AND SUBMIT IT TO THE PRESIDENT. This hasn't happened for a long time and sequestration is THE END GAME RESULT of Congresses own failures. Taxing the wealthy is only a prelude to the ultimate reconciliation of the issue. Until this is done, nothing else will matter.

  38. "The 5 years prior to lowering the capital gains tax rate in 1997 the government tax revenue from cap gains averaged 2.44% as a percent of GDP. The 5 years after lowering the cap gains tax rate tax revenue from cap gains averaged 5.06%."

    This is not just inaccurate, it shows RefNV doesn't know how to read a table.

    Ref, please answer the following.

    A) What is the total amount of GDP from FY1998-FY2002.

    B) What is total amount collected in capital gains from FY1998-FY2002.

    Do the math, cite your sources, and I'm willing to bet you it will be nowhere near 5% of GDP.

    Then do the same calculation with FY2003-FY2007 and explain to me how the capital gains as a percent of GDP DROPPED even after the capital gains rate was lowered in 2003.

  39. Gary,

    Those are facts but so are these: Obama won the popular vote by a couple of percentage points. The swing states were won by single digit margins. Florida was decided by about 60,000 votes. Obama did win and that cannot be denied. Did he crush Romney? Hardly. Is their a mandate for Conservatives or Progressives when the House and Senate stayed essentially the same. I don't think so.

    We have a divided nation, about 50/50 or as close to that as you can get.


  40. Michael

    Obama won by 3 million popular votes; percentage points be damned. Obama had a better campaign strategy, a better ground game, and an enthusiastic base that turned out to actually vote. He also had a MESSAGE that resonated with voters of ALL ethnic and gender backgrounds. Mittens played to his "BASE"; RICH WHITE FOLKS that can't get over the swing in demographics, and their subtle racist opinions. THEY LOST. If you read one of my previous posts, you saw that 93 million folks didn't vote at all! The nation is not even close to being divided "50 - 50". Most people in this country had no say or chose not to exercise their right to vote. The 93 million eligible voters who DIDN'T VOTE AT ALL have no say in the way this country is run. They should remain silent and disenfranchised. It was their choice. They should shut the f*ck up.

  41. Re Freeman. You are correct. My bad and I stand corrected. My only saving grace is we DO lead the world in expenditures on national defense. Thanks for correcting me. Where I got that initial percentage? I JUST DON'T KNOW. Cheers.

  42. In 2011, more than half of total discretionary budget spending was on defense.

  43. Re Freeman and Kevin Sandoval.

    The proportion of DISCRETIONARY spending on "defense" is 52%, not GDP. All other discretionary spending is 48%. Kevin, and myself are correct on this point.

    Referenced source: Peter G. Peterson Foundation in the Nov 11th issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Thanks Kevin for straightening me out on that!

  44. Gary,

    We can't know what the 93 million people who did not vote think. Probably very little. Of the people who did vote, the race was pretty close.


  45. Can anyone explain this?
    Clinton tax rates..the whole enchilada including tax rates for earners below $250,000 were the Great god Clinton's tax rates..which supposedly Boomed the economy
    Bush lowered tax rates..Notice "Bush Tax Cuts"
    Now..the "Bush tax cuts" end and the Clinton tax raises go into effect ..and it is the End of the World..-->off the cliff<---
    WHY does this cause the economy to collapse?
    Why not let Clinton's tax rates simply go back into effect for everyone?
    Is it because Obama and the democrats are not willing to bet on "tax increases" being a magic cure and are only..revenge on the rich?
    As for Boehner..he is rational..He is saying that if Obama gets his simple tax raise..nothing else happens..
    Boehner wants Tax Reform..closing loopholes will soak the rich..and he wants entitlement reform..neither of which will happpen if he caves on the "tax the rich" mantra..which is a simple slogan..not policy. A teacher of mine once said "Beware of simple answers to complex questions" and Obama does not address the ccmplex..Obama is master of the..Simple Slogans that work so well..

  46. ReboRobert..
    You are sooo right! You can raise the rates on "the rich" all you want..including death tax but the wealthy have stables of accountants and attorneys to shelter them..and theirs..
    The tax code has been written by and for the rich over many years..and the rich pay nothing..
    Boehner is a sly Republican and he says..Close the Loopholes..
    But the Democrats are whining for 39% of GE's $000 income in 2011 (after deductions)

  47. ReFreeman, said,
    I'll only conclude that you agree with me. We need to close tax loopholes that benefit mainly top wage earner and large businesses then lower the tax rates as recommended by Simpson-Bowles and the Republican plan.

    Longtimevegan said,
    "My preference would be to eliminate unproductive deductions, unproductive exemptions, and lower the taxrate for all Americans proportional and balanced."

    So I'm glad we agree on something. Very good Longtimevegan!! (Posted by ReFreeman)

    Your Republicans ran away from Simpson-Bowles. Your guy, Paul Ryan couldn't get out of the room fast enough. Your guy, Paul Ryan voted against the final recommendation on Simpson-Bowles.

    Simpson-Bowles did not get out of the room because of your guy, Paul Ryan, and the other House Republicans on the commission voted against Simpson-Bowles. To have the proposal sent to Congress for a vote, 14 out of 18 members had to vote yes. That didn't happen, because in the end only 11 members supported it.

    So don't say Simpson-Bowles and (House)Republicans in the same sentence.

    And don't reply saying the President ignored Simpson-Bowles. Another false claim by your Republicans. Paul Ryan and the House Republican stopped Simpson-Bowles from making it to Congress for vote.

    So, Mr. ReFreeman we don't agree based on your incorrect claim.

  48. "Carmine,

    If the GOP refuses to compromise, President Obama will be able to blame anything negative that happens going forward on GOP obstruction... and he will, even if the cause is something else."

    Mr. Casler et al:

    If you think President Obama will change, you're wrong. The GOPeoples' House got slickied by President Obama in term one, it won't happen in term 2. Let me repeat for you and the others who still have compromise stars in your eyes: Barroom brawl, knock down drag out, no holes barred fight the entire second term.


  49. "Carmine.. We haven't been in a recession for years. Let's keep this out of the realm of phantasmagoria and in the realm of reality."

    You must have been smoking that marijuana long before Colorado and Washington legalized it.


  50. Carmine says,

    "If you think President Obama will change, you're wrong. The GOPeoples' House got slickied by President Obama in term one, it won't happen in term 2. Let me repeat for you and the others who still have compromise stars in your eyes: Barroom brawl, knock down drag out, no holes barred fight the entire second term." (CarmineD)

    I'll book your action, Bet!

    The President "will get" a majority of House members to compromise. LTV

  51. Reading through the comments, I notice all the Tea/Republican Party tactics are at play.

    The two most notable are these...

    First is they point out that we should extend the tax cuts for the rich because the amount of money the rich would end up paying won't help anything. I say no. That's not the issue. Of course it's not the cure for all the economic ills of America. The issue is they NEED to pay their fair share of taxes.

    The other issues to get us out of the economic issue are separate from that. Those will be addressed later. NOW, it's the tax cuts for the rich. It's a start.

    Second is that when you start talking about taxing the rich, the right wing echo chamber goes into overdrive and starts pointing fingers all over the place. Somehow equating defense spending, Social Security, deficit spending, Medicare, Medicaid and transvaginal ultra sounds are all inexplicably interlinked somehow.

    Here's a fact. It's end game time, Tea/Republicans.

    The Former President George W. Bush Jr. Tax Cuts For The Rich, The Filthy Rich, And The Obscenely Filthy Rich are coming to an end.

    In the interim, President Obama is urging the House of Representatives to vote a bill into law for those earning below $250,000.00 that they continue with their tax cuts, but not those over. Simple fix since the Senate has already approved that measure.

    The President is in the driver's seat. Speaker Boehner makes a move to do nothing? That will spell that he could care less, along with his entire stupid political party, for the plight of the middle class of this country. Speaker Boehner will signal to not only America, but the entire world, that he intends to hold every single one of us hostage...all so those tax cuts stay in place.

    If that happens, the tax cuts everywhere expire. For everyone.

    Like I say, President Obama has played silly stupid games with Tea/Republicans for years now. He's been the one offering compromise. Even when he shouldn't.

    Now, it's coming to an end to the silliness.

    He's been popularly elected to do his job. And if he has to end up grabbing a two by four and whacking Speaker Boehner repeatedly in his thick skull to get him to do something, then so be it. Get ready for some lumps, Speaker Boehner.

  52. "Carmine, the Repubs can dig ther heels all they want, they are in a position they can't win. "

    Contraire. GOPeoples' House are in the cat bird seat. They have nothing to lose.


  53. "The President "will get" a majority of House members to compromise. LTV"


    Best laugh I've had so far yet in this Obama's second term.


  54. Carmine:
    I live in a very small corner of the world where people work hard, pay their bills and generally have weathered the econommic storms since 2008..
    This week I have been told of 2 layoffs, 3 bankruptcies and ..3 small business closing their doors..
    Obama..Oaama Obama..
    If this is a fluke in my small world..Ok..but if it is a trend..then...we are in big trouble..

  55. "By the way, it appears you've kind of lost it a little. I suggest you read about the seven stages of grief over loss."

    Ironic. You and others like you accused me of that before the election. Elections determine the presidents, the fight after the election determines history.

    The US got "fluked" on Nov 6. Time for the GOPeoples' House to fight back.


  56. 'GOPeoples house'...

    Would that be that dilapidated old thing with the 90% unfavorable rating?


    Best laugh I've had so far yet in this Obama's second term.

  57. Personally, I hope the House tells Obama that if he wants to extent the Bush Tax Cuts, he has to either keep them as they are or end them all together. If those making less than $250K will still get a tax break, then so should I. If I don't, neither should they. $250K is not a lot. I spend $6000 a month on my mortgage, another $4000 on vehicles and my RV payment, and I spend around $3000 a month eating out and traveling with my family to Socal. I can only save around $50,000 a year and if my taxes go up, I won't be able to save anything or I'll have to cut back on my lifestyle. Why should I have to suffer just because others are suffering? Why all the haters for those doing well? If they don't do something, I'm poised to move my corporation off shore and go to the 0% tax bracket, pay for everything with corporate debit cards and establish dual residency abroad as many of my contemporaries have done. My accountant is actually the accountant to many lib Hollywood celebrities that make 100 times more than me and they all set-up NV corporations to cash their checks so that they don't have to pay CA taxes even though they live in CA 99% of the time and only visit Vegas to visit their accountant. These same folks then set-up off shore corporations though my accountants attorney and create trusts that will never be taxed ...LEGALLY! In other words folks, you're not sticking it to the "rich", only those who get a paycheck, win the lottery, or get a lump sump of money. This is the truth. Sorry if it offends. "They" will never close these loopholes because "they" are also millionaires and have the same trust - Corps set-up.

  58. "You lost"

    I wasn't running.


  59. "'GOPeoples house'...

    Would that be that dilapidated old thing with the 90% unfavorable rating?"

    That's it. It's called character. An attribute most lack.


  60. Do the math. Obama won by less than a 2 percent amount over Romney. GOPeoples' House has a 12 percent approval rating. Who's better liked?


  61. Carmine,
    "Do the math.Obama won by less than a 2 percent amount over Romney.GOPeoples' house has a 12 percent approval rating.Who's better liked".

    You forgot to mention that no matter what the percentage is or are.The winner is still the winner,which is Pres.Obama.It dosen't change anything. The numbers speak for themselves. The end result is what counts.

    If a team wins a basketball game by one point.It dosen't matter if you think personally that the team that lost is a better team. The fact remains that they won, even if it was only by one point.As was the case of former Pres.G.W.Bush who won the 2000 election by 500 plus votes in Florida.Which was the deciding state to give Bush the election back then.

  62. Carmine, comparing apples and oranges: "Do the math. Obama won by less than a 2 percent amount over Romney. GOPeoples' House has a 12 percent approval rating. Who's better liked?"

    >>"President Obama's job approval rating reaches 53%: Rasmussen poll for Nov. 11"

  63. Sam:

    Presidential races are not sport events. The governent is divided, almost exactly as it was before the election. No party got a decisive victory. We're exactly at the point we were before the election. Now, it's up to the President to lead and build bridges and alliances with the GOPeoples' House to move the country forward LIKE HE PROMISED. Republicans aren't rolling over for him. They don't have to. American voters didn't give the president a mandate.


  64. In the only poll that counts, Obama got 50 percent to Romney's 48 plus percent. That's a 2 point lead, @ 120 million votes cast, that's about the size of a rounding factor.


  65. Jim, you exemplify the problem. Representative Boehner is the MAJORITY leader--he has the support of the majority of Americans, legal voters, citizens. Attacking him, his platform, and proposals will not help get anything accomplished. Listen to what he says and try to work with him. Sour-faced Senator Reid is also attacking instead of communicating, two-way communication.