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January 30, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Revenue-neutral plan is a myth

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Romney/Ryan attempt to explain their revenue-neutral plan, hoping people will believe their story. If elected, they will have to admit the truth of the $5 trillion deficit they will create. Then they will have to sell the reduction or elimination of income tax deductions primarily on the wealthy that they claim will lower the tax rate by 20 percent.

That’s “revenue-neutral”? That could mean the loopholes that allowed Romney to create a tax-free $100 million IRA would go away, or the loophole that allowed Romney to set up a $100 million trust for his sons that will be tax-free to them would go away. Maybe he doesn’t care about those changes, as he already has his.

Do you think that the wealthy people who gave hundreds of millions to his campaign will let him take away their tax deductions? Who will be vulnerable to put up all the tax deductions for the tax-rate cuts? That would be us, the common people who don’t have a lobbyist to represent us. Our elected representatives are certainly not going to lobby for us. They only want our vote on a regular basis while being paid by other people to vote against us when legislation comes up.

Romney/Ryan will continue to sell us the revenue-neutral myth through Election Day, but it is what it is, a myth.

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  1. If revenue neutral is a myth it is well entrenched in American tax reform politics. Don't blame the current users. Blame poltical tax history.


  2. I have big concerns with the Romney plan and what I think Obama would do in a 2nd term.

    Cutting tax rates and ending loopholes 'has the potential' to stimulate the economy, but cannot really succeed with a Congress unwilling to reduce and control spending.

    Government stimulus also 'has the potential' to stimulate the economy, but again, cannot really succeed with a Congress unwilling to reduce and control spending.

    From 2000 to 2008, there was a lot of spending done that we could have done without. During 2008 to 2012, there was a lot of spending done that we could have done without. Bush did not veto much of the spending and Obama did not either.

    Until we get a President that tells Americans the truth about spending and tells Congress 'no' with his veto, backed by the American people, neither Romney's plan nor anything President Obama might try will be very successful.

    We do need to grow the economy, which both men agree on, but unless Congress starts to control spending, whatever extra revenue either plan generates will just be spent.... and that is a big part of the problem.


  3. RefNV

    Oh come now! Must you select a conservative journalist to quote to make a claim that tax cuts pay for themselves? Why not an quote an economist? It's because they're very hard to find. Using your argument I should be shocked, with all this tax cutting from Kennedy to Bush, that we have a National Debt at all.

    "The Bush tax cuts generated more, not less, federal revenues --." This is true enough when you stimulate the economy with $5 trillion in deficit spending. But, as we know the increase in federal revenues did not cover the increase in spending. This was also true in the Reagan administration when income taxes were cut but the National Debt nearly tripled.

    Tax cuts have NEVER paid and will NEVER pay for themselves.

  4. Jim,

    You unintentionally I believe, cut to the root of the problem. Tax cuts 'do' stimulate the economy and increase overall tax revenue ... but Congress always spends all the extra revenue generated and then spends even more.

    The numbers say that when taxes were reduced under Kennedy, Reagan and Bush, the economy did speed up and overall, more tax revenue was generated. Unfortunately, Congress just spend all that extra revenue and more. That's why the tax cuts did not pay for themselves.

    Let me ask you: If President Obama is re-elected and he taxes the wealthy a little more, borrows and prints money for a 2nd stimulus and it does stimulate the economy and brings in more tax revenue, do you think it all will be 'revenue neutral' or do you think Congress will spend any extra revenue generated and more?

    None of these plans, Obama's or Romney's can be 'revenue neutral' UNLESS CONGRESS CONTROLS SPENDING. Whatever plan gets implemented, we've got to stop being greedy fools, and this time, INSIST that Congress cuts and then controls spending.


  5. 80 of the top US CEO's sent a letter to Congress requesting tax reform to reduce US tax rates and broaden the tax base. Are they all wrong? Why?


  6. BTW, one of the signers is GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, the President's job czar.


  7. RefNV

    I don't dispute that federal revenues increased after the Bush tax cuts. I dispute that you attribute that SOLELY to the tax cuts and ignore the effect of $5 Trillion in stimulative deficit spending. The increase in federal revenue did not cover the cost of the federal spending that helped create that increase. The same was true in the Reagan years.

    This isn't "partisan liberal rhetoric not based on any facts". It's conservative arithmetic based on ALL the facts.

  8. @RefNV,

    "The historical tables in the back of the latest "Economic Report of the President" show that the Bush tax cuts generated more, not less, federal revenues -- a phenomenon that also held true for Presidents Clinton, Reagan and Kennedy." (ReFreeman)

    ReFreeman, please kindly point out for all of us in the historical table on the back of White House report where it point to, or reads, the Bush Tax increased revenue.

    Please proceed........

  9. Michael

    Check out my 6:53 AM post.

    My post wasn't unintentional. What I'm saying is there historically are at least TWO fiscal variables involved in rising federal revenues. Taxes are one and deficit spending is the other. Both can contribute to revenue increases, but neither can capture enough revenue to repay the stimulus.

    Put another way, if you hold taxes constant and increase deficit spending you're likely to see an increase in federal tax revenue, but the increase won't cover the stimulus cost. If you cut taxes and spending by equal amounts and everything else is constant you would expect no change in federal revenues because the net stimulus is ZERO.

    You are entirely correct that Congress often increases spending faster than tax revenues increase and that is why you cannot attribute increased tax revenues solely to tax cuts.

  10. The tax code is partially responsible for the country having a few million self self sufficient folks and 300 million struggling to make ends meet. Let Sandy blow it out to sea and start over.
    Inflation creates tax revenue. In the late 1970s and early 1980s bull markets began in stocks, bonds, collectables and real estate. The value of the nation went from 10 trillion to 70 trillion pre crash. Tax revenue piled in along the way. In California where I spent over 40 years property tax revenue exploded. The first million dollar sale in Ca. was in 1977. Today the best properties sell for 100 million bucks or more.
    You can change the tax code any way you desire. You will not get a guaranteed result.

  11. Jim,

    We are on different sides of the ideological spectrum and will vote differently, but I feel we make a similar point. Whether it is government stimulus spending or tax cuts, we really have no way of knowing how effective each is or isn't.... and it is for the same reason.

    Whatever extra revenue comes in from either method is immediately spent by government. For any money spent by the government, at least some of it returns to the private economy, where it impacts growth and job creation.

    I think the government is already too big and intrusive so I do not want to see money directly injected into government with a stimulus package, which is what I feel President Obama will do, if he is re-elected. I would prefer tax cuts that leave more money in the private sector, but I am aware that under Romney, Congress will, as always, be tempted to spend any excess revenue on more government spending. This, in the long run does make our economy larger, but does not nothing to bring spending in line with revenue.

    I think we both realize that if government is not forced to reduce and control spending, neither path is likely to lead to a good outcome.


  12. @RefNV,

    "Try again Jim. Private investment increased each year between 2003 to 2007 which got us out of our recession." (ReFreeman)

    Why did private investment increase from 2003 to 2007? And more importantly, what sectors reported the increase?

    Again, ReFreeman you are leaving out the cause and only reporting the affect.

    And what about the last question on the Bush Tax cut increasing Federal Revenue? You have not pointed out from the White House report that says the Bush Tax Cut increased Federal Revenue. You did reference the White House report.... Did you find it yet? Still looking, Uh? I'll wait.

    Again, when ready, please proceed...

  13. @RefNV,

    "Look up private investment and the historical tables yourself. Then you'll be able to answer your own questions." (ReFreeman)

    I did look up the information, myself. My question to you, again; where in the report does it say the Bush Tax cuts generated revenue?

    You said, the Bush Tax cuts generated revenue, you referenced the White House report in making the statement.

    There are other opinions that say it, but you referenced the White House report. So, where in the White House report does it say the Bush Tax cuts generated revenue?

    Simple question. Can you give a simple answer?

  14. @By El_Lobo,

    "What is being debated here on this thread is whether or not "trickle down economics" actually works." (EL_Lobo)

    EL_Lobo, some people get it, some people don't. You, get it.

    Many are using distortions and misleading statements,...code messages saying the opposite of your post.

    Asking simple questions to complex problems produces a short-circuit effect in those buried in numbers.

    You, El_Lobo, are keeping it simple my friend. Keeping it simple by telling it like it is!

  15. If tax cuts 'pay for themselves', then the ulitmate revenue builder would be for the Government to cut taxes entirely, then borrow money to send out checks defined as 'Citizen Dividends'. Once the public had a strong supply of dependable money coming in, they could afford new clothes, month long vacations, off shore bank accounts for million dollar IRAs and be cable to afford Bass fishing courses in the evening.

    The sales tax revenue from all that purchasing power would wipe out the debt in a few years. That is what the GOP calls economics. Amazing.

  16. @RefNV,

    "Contact Paul Sperry, the author of the article I linked originally in my comment at 3:17am this morning. He was the one who wrote "The historical tables in the back of the latest." (Posted by ReFreeman)

    ReFreeman, you posted the link, you must believe post. If not, why post a link you don't believe or understand. Yeah, you didn't say you don't understand. But you refuse to explain the post, instead, you refer to Paul Sherry, which is another story. For now you are the story.

    Let's widen the question to include,... Do you believe the Paul Sherry report? And if so, tell us where in the White House report does it says the Bush Tax cuts generated revenue. This is not "got'cha" question. Inquiring minds what to know.

    If you do not believe in the links you post, or you do not understand the information attached to them, why provide the links? Why?

    Again, proceed with the Bush Tax cuts question....

  17. Tax revenues go up during times of robust economic growth and inflation. They go down during periods of economic contraction. Globalization, which began about 50 years ago, has led to strong economic growth around the world and inflated prices. This growth has led to dramatically increased tax revenues and an increase in the numbers of super rich and huge problems with wealth distribution.

    That megatrend is beginning to come to a close and worldwide growth is slowing. Going forward entitlements, mainly medical care, will slow growth for decades to come. This will reduce employment around the world and slow the influx of tax money to governments.

    Even though the wealthy own most of the assets in the world they don't pay enough in taxes to cover the hundreds of millions of people who are drawing down on entitlements. Governments are going to have to devise new ways to generate revenue. Large numbers of people in the developed world are basically broke and getting old.

  18. To be fair, few if any politicians have any idea of how a "plan" will work, assuming it is ever implemented.

    The stimulus bill (ARRA) is a classic case in point. Not only did the shovel-ready projects not exist, but only 6% of the funds went to infrastructure projects. In fact, the overwhelming majority (over 60%)of the funds were tax credits or entitlement payments.

    It is probably safe to say that no plan survives the first Congress-person's "adjustments."

    If you look at the number of people that are paying taxes to the federal government and the number of businesses that are paying taxes you have half the individuals and over 70% of businesses paying nothing. This is unheard of since the income tax system was set up decades ago. You have about as many people getting government assistance as you have paying federal income tax. That doesn't work!

    There's trillions of dollars worth of business going on in this country that goes completely untaxed. Vast underground criminal economies in drugs, prostitution and gambling. Foreign corporations doing business is in the United States. Tax loopholes that cost so much money it's almost impossible to tabulate. If people don't want to pay taxes give up the government assistance. If they want Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid pay more taxes. It's as simple as that.

    Taxation, unless it becomes extremely onerous has very little effect on economic growth. Growth comes from greed. People are greedy whether there paying taxes are not.

    Sheldon Adelson's wealth has grown more in the last few years than any other American. He's worth billions. It looks like he's about to get indicted for some type of financial shenanigans. The corruption never ends. He has donated tens of millions of dollars to Republican super PACs and he has benefited the most since Obama took office. You gotta love these guys!

  20. The good news is that Sandy is likely to solve some of our short term problems. If the East Coast is destroyed that will lead to massive insurance payouts and a construction boom. Construction was the industry hit hardest by the recession. If that industry comes back it will add to GDP and the government will get a little more cash.

    My house was destroyed during the Sylmar earthquake. I didn't have any earthquake insurance. I was one of Home Depot's best customers after that mess. That quake which only extended a few miles from the epicenter caused one of the biggest construction booms in LA history.

  21. There is another problem that involves the Congress.

    Every time there is a change in majorities in Congress, there are changes in the "Rules", which favor the majority.

    This has become more and more a way to block the minority from having a voice.

    As we know, Congress has become so dysfunctional and intransigent that compromise and serving the American people is a great big laugh.

    Congress is not about to fix this problem by coming up with a permanent set of rules that would be fair to all sides, and promote compromise. I would add this as a priority along with severely limiting the role of lobbyists in Congress.

    Maybe Congress will have more time to actually work on compromises as more and more responsibility moves to States.

    With Romney comes the removal of all kinds of regulations that are meant to protect the people in general, workers, and the environment which we all depend on for sustaining our lives.

    He would move programs to the states. This means that the only way to finance the programs is through a dole from the Federal government and/or State income taxes.

    A State income tax will be a new for Nevada, added to Federal income tax, sales tax, property tax, corporate taxes for some, and more in fees.

    How will this impact resources?

    Can you imagine what we the citizens of NV will be facing in taxes to build from the ground up what NV needs, rather than it being spread out through the whole country?

    NV will continue to cut 'no taxes' deals for corporations to settle here, increasing the burden on the general population.

    Think about privatization of services, rather than through government. A good example is NV Energy. Is that a good solution?

    And not only NV, each state will have to do the same.

    The politicians in each state will obviously make decisions on what they will approve for the population, regardless of the effect on the population, and the taxes we will pay for these new programs and services.

    I can see us going back to the 50's, at today's prices, as demographics change from one state to another as people begin to move to states that offer lower taxes, more benefits and more jobs, including diversity in jobs.

    Even more towns becoming unable to support the lack of grow or even maintaining even keel, becoming like ghost towns, or stuck in a depressed lifestyle.

    Metropolitan areas increasing to gigantic size, and unemployment increasing all around with stop and go freeway travel that takes 1 hour to go in what should be 20 mins. Think of the price and quantity of gas to sit and go inches at a time in those metro areas.

    How is all of this aided by more and more companies increasing the outsourcing of jobs?

    What a pickle we could be in. We may end up being pickled. :-)

  22. @RefNV,

    Contact the author of the article. I referenced the author in my 3:17am post. You'll need to question him and challenge his numbers directly. Don't be shy. He has an email link on his article." (ReFreeman)

    Ok! So the conclusion is, based on your answer, or non-answer, you could not fine in the White House report where it says the Bush Tax cut generated revenue.

    We are referencing the White House report, per Paul Sperry. The post you offered without any supporting information, suggesting to anyone who reads the post, the information is true.

    So from now on, it can be reasonably assumed when reading anything you post, be it in your words or from a source you reference, your just providing information that you like, and not necessarily true and clear information. Or not information you truly believe, or information you can explain.

    You did Ok except, you pushed your intent on Paul Sperry.

    The lesson,... don't reference things in a leading item unless it can be supported, or compared.

    When you introduce an item, don't run from it.

  23. Many of the posters here, who talk about but don't know economics, are still stuck on Keynes. Just like Paul Krugman. He and it have failed. Hayek, Friedman, Schumpeter, and Mises are the economists for the 21st Century. "If government spending and regulation were the economic answers, Washington DC would have the best public schools in the nation and the prisons in California would be the envy of the world." As we all know neither is the case. Get on board or get left behind.


  24. @RefNV,

    "Longtimevegan writes in another letter comment post "Challenge the core of their argument using their own words and their information.You continue to challenge them, within reasonable limits, if your not satisfied with the answer." (ReFreeman)

    I fully understand the entire post we are discussing.

    What's happening now is, you have been challenged to core of everything you post. The discussion is about you, and what kind of message you are sending out. I called them coded messages.

    You have built up some credibility with your previous post. Numbers you have posted, I agree with the majority of the time.

    However, you never give the full picture. You present conclusion but not the cause. You present as if you understand and agree, but now we all know your just copying and pasting.

    Look, I asked you one simple question. A question, had you answered correctly, would have solidified your credibility as a numbers person. You failed my friend. Like a bully, you were challenge and you turned tail and ran.

    Now, you want me to resource, and explain your position. Now that's funny!

    You were given an "out":
    "Don't reference things in a leading item unless it can be supported, or compared."

    You refuse to take the out, instead you double down.

    Let's state your new position...again:

    "So from now on, it can be reasonably assumed when reading anything you post, be it in your words or from a source you reference, your just providing information that you like, and not necessarily true and clear information. Or not information you truly believe, or information you can explain."

    I understand the percentage of revenue, and impact of the Bush Tax cut using reliable respected acceptable sources. You too should know, had you known, you would have said so.

    You know a little about numbers, but you cannot interpret all that you post from others sources, nor do you believe much of what you post when you directly reference others.

    You throw out many numbers without clarifying the position. Either stand by what you post, or state the reason for the information.

    There is nothing wrong with being wrong. I have been pull up in the past on my post and I came back with a reply to the correction.

    Again, When you introduce an item, don't run from it.

  25. Enjoyed the editorial. Does anyone ever notice that the Tea/Republicans always and forever resort to using catch phrases, slogans, nonsensical terms, and meaningless word groupings to make it sound like they are doing something...when in fact they are doing nothing at all?

    Romney and Ryan fit perfectly in that world.

    First you had "voodoo economics," then "supply side economics," then "trickle down economics."

    Now, enter Romney.

    First it's "trickle down government." Which is nonsense. It actually means nothing. It's just two words that have no correlation to each other thrown together to make them sound like they know what they are talking about, but actually have no clue. The more important thing is to snow the voters out here. Just throw them together and pound out some kind of attributes that don't mean anything nor have any basis in fact. But the main thing is keep saying it. Make it sound legitimate. The way they think is, hey, it works for Fox News, why not politics?

    Then Romney comes out with this "revenue neutral" crap. It sounds more like a gearshift drive in his automated car elevator. There is no such thing as "revenue neutral." And when he tries to explain it, marrying it up to his non-existent, not based on math plan, it makes even less sense. Because it is without a doubt that Romney goes to extraordinary lengths not to tell us the specifics of it. Sort of like his Federal Income Tax returns.

    "I can't tell you what's in it. Because if I did you wouldn't vote for me. I stand by what I said before. Whatever it was I said, I stand by it."

    It won't end with Tea/Republicans, people. Why? Because that's all they got. They play on emotions and frustrations only. Because they have NO plan whatsoever than to go back to the Bush scorched earth policy that only caters to the rich. And start a war with someone. Anyone. Just start it. Then make up excuses why later.

    When I vote on November 6, I intend to move this "government" forward and "trickle down" Romney's back, thereby putting all his plans in reverse, not "neutral," and ensure that Romney thrives off of his own "revenue," and not mine.

    There. Throw that crap right back. More reasonable though. Mine makes more sense than the garbage the Tea/Republicans spew.

    Obama/Biden 2012! AND a Democratic Party majority in both the House and the Senate!

  26. @ColinFromLasVegas,

    "There. Throw that crap right back." (ColinFromLasVegas)

    That is exactly what you do my friend. Challenge the unreasonable and the bullies.

    President Obama wins re-elections by 6 to 8 points.