Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More bad news for the anti-Obama crowd.

Health care, women on the Supreme Court, and now lower taxes.

Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950 - USATODAY.com


Rich said...

Actually it is good news - read the comments to the article and see that hardly anybody falls for the erroneous and ridiculous assumptions. Not to mention the downplaying of the Bush tax cuts that are being realized... The good news is that the USA Today is showing it is just as trustworthy as the CBO who keeps increasing their healthcare estimates now that the vote is done.

Mpeterson said...

Because blogoverse commentators are more trustworthy than the CBO, the way Owen is a competent interpreter of Adam Smith, say? :^)

I'm happy to let the numbers come out.

And do you have the references for CBO estimate increases? That would be lousy news.

Mpeterson said...

Actually Rich, it looks like the real government is hiring to promote its agenda. You want to go up against *these* guys, I'm with you.


Rich said...

Sometimes the bloggers know more and are more accurate than the suposed "real news". Think Dan Rather and his gimmick to get Bush defeated...

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/11/cbo-doubles-some-health-care-spending-estimates/ Is where I saw the story.

James Dionne said...

The article points out that yes, taxes are currently historically proportionately low but, alas, the current Obama spending levels are at an all time high, meaning we are just borrowing today's money and will pay vastly higher future taxes. The reason we are at a comparatively low tax rate right now is because of the tax cuts that Clinton put in (and W. extended) to stimulate economic growth, causing that huge boom in the mid 90's through 9/11 to 2007. (OK, maybe we went a little too far on that) But Obama, thinking that a return to those higher tax rates will balance his over spending government budget, can't wait for the cuts to expire at the end of 2010. The result will be stagflation, if not inflation, as we print more money to offset the bond debts to China. Trying to pass this as good economic news for Obama is actually pretty funny. I can't believe it's getting so bad that I long for the fiscal restraints of Bill Clinton.

Mpeterson said...

Thanks for the link Rich, but you've lost me as to why this is important.

It says the estimates increased because... well, here:

"Increased costs in discretionary spending would not necessarily offset the estimated deficit reduction. Congress requires most discretionary spending to have available resources under so-called "pay to go" rules."

So, like, nothing as actually changed and the original cost savings are still in place. Are you sure you sent me the right link?

As for erroneous assumptions, maybe you're suffering from epistemic closure? That's going around a lot these days among the Americans for Prosperity and Heritage Foundation crowds. ;^)

Mpeterson said...

Sorry James, I don't believe anyone outside of the AEI has been able to demonstrate that cutting taxes ever really raised revenue... and I'm not sure we have any reason to trust libertarian economics or the projections of Mr. Greenspan after the last few years worth, thanks.

Mr. Bush's tax cuts and the defence budget together are the cause of 90% of the current deficit. Now, if you want to propose the Gingrich Clinton version of working out budgeting, I'm in agreement.

Rich said...

Mark, perhaps you are reading with your left rose colored glasses - from your phrase "...would not necessarily offset the estimated deficit reduction". Congress requires most discretionary spending to have available resources under so-called "pay to go" rules"

That wording alone is good spin - "not necessarily". Care to wager it will offset the deficit reduction? Also, where do you think those "available resources" for pay to go rules will come from? Based on the "new" discretionary spending, do you think anything will be cut?

No epistemic closure here - just the ability to read between the lines and apply basic economimc principles.

Mpeterson said...

Won't take yes for an answer, eh?

I see that you, like Glenn, have developed psychic powers. I'm content to be as cynical as you are, but only as the numbers actually erode. Do you understand how the CBO estimates are delivered to Congress? They act along specific guidelines per congressional request: so, in this case, a Republican asked them to factor in discretionary appropriations of a certain amount and, shockingly, they came back as they did.

But my psychic powers tell me you simply don't want any good news out of Mr. Obama because it'll ruin your fun. :^)

So here's some more:


Rich said...

I know full well how the CBO works - it takes a very narrow view and like a child who needs to be told every step to brush their teeth (turn on the water, put toothpaste on the brush, etc.) has to be told what to factor in.

So, Mark you were perfectly content with all of Bush's war estimates? I assume you still believe Miller Park will paid off on time and the tax discontinued. How about all those TIFs in West Bend - still thinking those are going to meet projections? I can only assume you believe the high speed rail will pay for itself - because the Doyle administration said so... Like I said, its history and basic economics that control my opinions on estimates, not who is in office or blind faith statements. I certainly don't treat harsh economic issues as "fun".

You might want to clean your glasses when reading - that rose color on them is definitely skewing your opinions.

Mpeterson said...

We must be talking past each other.

My point was that the CBO only provides estimates as asked for.

A Republican asks the CBO for an estimate that included discretionary spending, and you believe it's results are more likely than an estimate based on the President's use of PAYGO?

I think this "rose-colored" glasses thing is a pretty nice rhetorical flourish for someone who has only studied economics on Owen's blog and whose geo-political insight depends on high school civics courses taught by the coach and a trip to Cancun. ;^)

... yes yes, it was all rhetorical.

It's embarrassing when you suggest I haven't actually seen the "real" world or that I'm refusing to see what's in front of us. There are plenty of things we can disagree about without your insulting my obvious lack of education and experience.

I'm sorry we don't see eye to eye about the CBO estimates. Hope might be blinding me, but I've been waiting for 30 years to see if we could navigate the country without corporations running the government. I am afraid we won't make it...

On the other hand, my taxes are lower this year and the unjust and unfair tax cuts for George Bush's "base" will go off line soon enough.

Rich said...

When the CBO is asked to consider discretionary spending that should have been factored in in the first place, yeah, I will trust those numbers more.

I think the embarrassment you talk of should be pointed back at your blindly following whatever statistics justify your "hope". Corporations will continue to run the country - especially as the government owns more and more of them (like GM) or has its fingers in them like Wall St.

Insulting your lack of education? Hardly. But it surely does not take a PH.D to realize that this country is in an economic world of hurt. From the local up through the federal - and uncontrolled spending at all levels isn't going to help.

Your taxes may be lower, something I doubt if you factor in all your "fees", but you are on borrowed time and it isn't that far off.

Mpeterson said...

Well, that's what I mean... I agree with most of what you've said... except you have it backwards: it isn't the government that's the problem. We have *recourse* to changing the government. The Ballot box can do that. The problem is that we've allowed corporate power to take over the government as a proxy and we have no recourse to changing that. Changing corporations requires a fat wallet -- and right now, the wallet has replaced the ballot box as the mans of controlling this political system. As long as while corporate interests control legislation and buy legislators... and convince people that they're actually the good guys, we'll remain means to the continued concentration of wealth. -- which you seem to approve of. Why is that?

Until people wake up to this little fact, and look at the real target, nothing will change. You're giving me cause to believe that maybe it does take a PhD to figure this out... although it was pretty clear to me by the time I was out of junior high.

Rich said...

It is not something I am ok with, and you are wrong that we can't do anything about it. There are two ways to handle it. First the ballot box takes care of it as well. Vote out those that are for stimulus. Vote out those that are for bailouts. Vote out those that give more and more power to the unions (who are equally as much to blame as corporations). Voter apathy, however, is working against us on that one. Second, you can refuse to patronize those same companies that have the control. A small amount of research by the public can give them what they need there.

When the democratic process and true, free enterprise is allowed to work, I think we can finally fix this.

Mpeterson said...

Well there you go.

I only disagree with two things you said: your view that unions are as culpable as corporations (some of them might almost get into the same category, but we could figure out how culpable they are), and the idea that a free market will work (since I've never seen one and am deeply suspicious of those governments under which "free markets" were imposed.)

But that is a theoretical complaint: we can still do the best we can.

Otherwise, I agree with you.

See? We need our own political party.