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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Someone Please Explain How Increasing Taxes Will Create Jobs - Part 1

Yes, as the headline says... someone please explain this to me. I'm an economist by nature. I'm conservative. I make about $53k per year. I do NOT want the rich to pay more in taxes, and I do NOT see how taxing the rich more will improve the economy or create jobs. 

President Obama released his $3.8 TRILLION budget today, and, in no surprise, it contained an increase in taxes on the rich. Most of these increases fall under the "Buffett Rule." Perhaps the notion of "taxing the rich" is a nice talking point for Obama. Maybe he understands that middle-class families outnumber millionaires 275-to-1. Maybe he knows that if he keeps making the case that millionaires are these evil, stinking, sneaky people that skirt paying taxes, he can gather enough votes from the middle class to get reelected. Heck, there are approximately 104,000,000 middle-income families and 378,000 millionaires in the U.S. If you had to target a voting bloc, wouldn't you want the middle class on your side? Who cares if millionaires hate you? At 104-million strong, the middle-class voter is whom you should court by turning them against the wealthy.

Let's get some things straight. First, it's a rare case that millionaires pay lower tax rates than the middle class. See our analysis using the CRS study of the Buffett Rule here: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/media-and-half-truths-obamas-biggest.html

Secondly, IRS data shows that millionaires DO pay greater average tax rates than the middle class. See our write-up here (this analysis even shows the average tax rate a teacher pays, and yes, it's below the average tax rate a millionaire pays): http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/01/stopping-lefts-propaganda-with-truth.html

So, now that those facts are out there, let's get back to the original question: how would increasing taxes (and yes, we will even focus on increasing millionaires' taxes) create jobs? My position: it won't.

This write-up will be in two parts. I think there is a lot to say, and I don't want this to get too long. The first part is a quick, unscientific analysis of the Bush-era tax cuts. The final Bush-era tax cuts were enacted in 2003. From 2003 until 2007, the unemployment rate steadily declined until it reached a low of 4.6% in 2007. Again, this isn't scientific; it's a brief analysis. See this figure:


What does this mean? Well, maybe nothing, maybe everything. Keeping with the unscientific theme, and simply looking at the graph, I'd say it looks like the unemployment rate steadily declined after the Bush-era tax cuts were passed (the green rectangle). For those that say, "the Bush-era tax cuts were passed, where are the jobs?" I'd say, "well, we had a LOT of jobs for the four years after they passed; did you forget those?" 

Now, what happened in 2007? Simply: the housing bubble burst, and the economy tanked. No one can prove exactly why this happened. 

Some say:

- Unworthy home buyers were given loans they shouldn't have been given, and these home buyers sucked up homes, decreasing the supply while increasing the demand for homes. This caused housing prices/values to skyrocket which allowed people take out home-equity loans, further putting people in debt. When interest rates began to catch up the demand for houses subsided, prices/values fell, and homeowners went "under water."

- Some say the previous point was propagated by Freddie and Fannie.

- Some say the Federal Reserve kept rates too low for too long, and when The Fed finally started raising rates it did it too quickly. 

- Numerous other theories exist...

Regardless of all these points, no one knows exactly why the economy tanked. There are some facts that do come out of it, however: there is no scientific explanation that is universally agreed upon and, the unemployment rate steadily fell in the 4 years after the Bush-era tax cuts were enacted.

Just as no one can prove why the economy tanked, I can't prove officially that the unemployment rate dropping from 2003 to 2007 was a direct result of the Bush-era tax cuts. I can say, however, that they it did decline during that time, and, in my opinion, I don't believe it's a coincidence. Why didn't the jobless rate remain low after the housing bubble burst? Again, who knows? But in my opinion, in a recession (a very odd economic time), all economic policies tend fall apart regardless of how strong they are, and perhaps the recession could have been worse if it started from a higher unemployment rate starting point.

Why did I bring all this up? Because this is the "what" side of the argument. Tax cuts (for all taxpayers including the wealthy) have created jobs and helped the economy. In part 2, I will explain the how/why of my reasoning using a simple example. 

Please share your opinions below. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Link to Part 2: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/02/someone-please-explain-how-increasing_15.html

23 comments:

  1. Tax hikes do not create jobs, they create votes. There is no way in the world increasing taxes will actually do anything to help the economy. In fact, tax increases hurt the economy. I'd love to see a democrat come here and try to explain how tax increases could possibly help.

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    1. I don't quite understand this frame of mind? What Democrat has ever argued that increasing taxes will create jobs?

      The resounding argument from the left regarding taxing the wealthy is that those that can afford to pay more should pay a bit more, and through that increased revenue assist in balancing our budget, paying for policies, etc.

      Whether you agree with that line of action, or increasing taxes on the wealthy, or with how that additional revenue should be used, is what this argument is primarily about. Not about whether taxing the rich will magically create jobs; not once have I seen that as an actual, supported reason for the tax increases.

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  2. Don't know how it will create jobs, but I do know it will take more money out of the pockets of everyone.

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  3. Newt's 4th WifeFebruary 14, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    You aren't gonna get many lib responses here. Facts are the devil to them.

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  4. Tax increase will never create jobs. MOve on to the next subject please

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  5. We have records of when tax rates have been changed, and we have records of employment data. Maybe you should do an actual statistical analysis of the effects of tax rates and job creation. You could look here for someone who has already done it: http://conceptualmath.org/philo/taxgrowth.htm

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    1. Anonymous - thank you for the link but there are a few problems with it:

      1. Some of the bullet points are not true. It claims "In 2001 a tax cut was passed, and another rebate was given in 2008. From 2001 through 2008 the economy grew slower than it did in the preceding 8 while a bubble formed in stocks, housing, and executive salaries. In 2008 the bubble burst, and now the economy in sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression." That is 100% false. Not only did the economy grow (especially after 2003) but government revenues increased to record-high levels as well.

      2. In the charts listed, it only looks at statistically insignificantly short time periods. For example, it claims that in 2001 after the tax cut, growth fell. It does the same for all the years. Is this intentional? Tax cuts don't cause an instant change. Why is the chart intentionally showing the "year of" growth and not the most important thing... the trend. If you look at the unemployment chart above, after the tax cuts were enacted in 2003, unemployment did tick up slightly before decreasing. Tax cuts need to season before the benefits are observed (2003 - 2007).

      3. Just as I claim above,"The first part is a quick, unscientific analysis of the Bush-era tax cuts" the link you provided does the exact same. It cannot prove it's case, it can only try to show a mere potential correlation. The case I listed, that yes, the unemployment rate steadily declined after the Bush-era tax cuts, is true. There is one difference though... the analysis in the chart does NOT show trends. It shows the one year, and it's the year of the tax cut. That is NOT trend analysis.

      4. The chart gives no citation of data. It doesn't even say who did it. It's a website.

      Thank you again. Do you happen to have historic trend data? Also, again, back to the original question: how would raising taxes create jobs? That seems to be keenly avoided in your post. Hope to hear back from you.

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  6. 1. They didn't say that the economy didn't grow from 2001-2008, they said that it grew at a slower rate than it did the previous 8 years. http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/presidents_and_the_economy.html Also, as a percentage of GDP, government revenues weren't record high levels: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    2. Not being the person who made that chart, I have no idea.

    3. I've been looking for a thorough statistical analysis of the impact on income tax rates and employment and GDP for a while, and haven't found much. For the most part, income tax rates don't seem to have much correlation with either.

    4. They link to their sources on the top of the right hand column under the heading "Data Sources." That should have been pretty easy to find. Their link to the tax rates doesn't work, but there's a lot of interesting data here: http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=96679,00.html#_grp8

    You can get a lot of information on unemployment from bls.gov if you're interested.

    As to how raising taxes would create jobs, I have no idea. It seems counterintuitive. The only explanation I've heard is that if you want a given amount of money after taxes, you have to earn more before taxes when tax rates are higher. Either way, the explanation as to why should be secondary to a factual analysis of what, otherwise you're letting feelings distort the truth which leads to poor decisions. I suspect that income tax rates have little correlation to GDP or employment, and would also expect that corporate tax rates have a stronger impact on unemployment, but I don't have the statistical background to reach a conclusion.

    It's a frustrating argument, it seems that one side or the other should be able to point to data supporting their position, but no one ever does.

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  7. 1. They didn't say that the economy didn't grow from 2001-2008, they said that it grew at a slower rate than it did the previous 8 years. http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/presidents_and_the_economy.html Also, as a percentage of GDP, government revenues weren't record high levels: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    2. Not being the person who made that chart, I have no idea.

    3. I've been looking for a thorough statistical analysis of the impact on income tax rates and employment and GDP for a while, and haven't found much. For the most part, income tax rates don't seem to have much correlation with either.

    4. They link to their sources on the top of the right hand column under the heading "Data Sources." That should have been pretty easy to find. Their link to the tax rates doesn't work, but there's a lot of interesting data here: http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=96679,00.html#_grp8

    You can get a lot of information on unemployment from bls.gov if you're interested.

    As to how raising taxes would create jobs, I have no idea. It seems counterintuitive. The only explanation I've heard is that if you want a given amount of money after taxes, you have to earn more before taxes when tax rates are higher. Either way, the explanation as to why should be secondary to a factual analysis of what, otherwise you're letting feelings distort the truth which leads to poor decisions. I suspect that income tax rates have little correlation to GDP or employment, and would also expect that corporate tax rates have a stronger impact on unemployment, but I don't have the statistical background to reach a conclusion.

    It's a frustrating argument, it seems that one side or the other should be able to point to data supporting their position, but no one ever does.

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    1. Anonymous - Thank you for writing back.

      1. With regards to the American thinker data, it contradicts our argument. The term "inherited" economy has been in our lexicon recently. When Bush stepped into office, not only did he "inherit" the dot.com bubble burst, but he also had to go through 9/11 which sent huge economic shocks through our economy. Post the Bush-era tax cuts, a great economic expansion existed. To our case, this is what we used as an example above: contrary to the president's plan to increase taxes, decreasing them did see a time of great unemployment figures.

      2. Okay.

      3. Perhaps some of the reason they don't have much correlation is because they change so frequently. Maybe we shouldn't have elections so often :-P

      4. Yah, some didn't work, and I couldn't gather the sources in total. My apologies... it sounds like I'm wrong but the site is also a little messed up.

      True, it is a tough/frustrating argument. We've said it above... this is not scientific. All we are pointing out is that yes, after the Bush-era tax cuts were enacted, unemployment went down. Here is a president that believes that raising taxes is a good thing. How? That's all we are saying... well, in addition to "how," we ask, "when is enough enough?" We think the president should stay on the side of lowering taxes for all.

      I will follow up with Part 2 giving a simple, small, hypothetical example on a micro level of what could happen if he raises taxes on the wealthy. Hopefully, it won't carry through to the macro.

      Thank you again... I'm glad you came to this discussion. I hope you come back.

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    2. The Bush-era tax cuts were followed by a decrease in unemployment, then a very large increase. There was an economic expansion, then a contraction. The income tax rates weren't increased prior to the recent economic downturn.

      It seems that it could be just as accurately stated that the Bush-era tax cuts caused the 2008 recession. Reducing the capital gains tax rate may have lead to an increased demand for investment income. Mortgage backed securities became popular, and investors (and/or rating agencies) didn't pay enough attention to the underlying security of what they were buying. Since investors/rating agencies didn't pay enough attention to risk, loan originators were able to offer loans to people who were poor risks, and sell off the loans so they didn't have the risk. People who were poor risks took loans that they shouldn't have. A bubble forms in the early/mid 2000s, and collapses. But that's just one theory, which I don't have evidence to prove or disprove.

      Ultimately, I would say enough is enough when the government is able to pay for its obligations that it has acquired over the decades. I am looking forward to part 2 tomorrow.

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    3. Anonymous - yes... in the 4 years following the Bush-era tax cuts, unemployment decreased steadily (to me, the steady decrease shows their efficacy).

      I don't believe it would be accurate to state that the tax cuts caused the recession. I stated above, "Why didn't the jobless rate remain low after the housing bubble burst? Again, who knows? But in my opinion, in a recession (a very odd economic time), all economic policies tend fall apart regardless of how strong they are, and perhaps the recession could have been worse if it started from a higher unemployment rate starting point." It's not a get-out-of-jail free card, but I haven't seen a single economist or case that says the tax cuts did. Like I said, recessions, bursting bubbles, etc. tend to throw all economic policies out of whack. Based on unemployment and economic data for the 4 years after the cuts, I think the case is stronger that they helped the employment situation than the case that they caused the recession.

      With regards taxation, if we taxed all millionaires at 100% (well, 1 they would stop working) but assuming we taxed their current incomes at 100%, we would raise nothing close to the deficit. Of course, that's a big IF and IF we did that, production would absolutely tank. We cannot keep taxing. Taxes are elastic. The best way to raise tax revenue is to lower taxes...

      For Part 2, again, it's nothing special. It will be just a simple (perhaps anecdotal) hypothetical situation that is being created for the point and for debate. If you're read through this blog, you have probably realized we are about insightful, thought/fact-backed debate. We are conservative, but respectful of all opinions, especially if they are backed (like you did posting the links you did). I hope you do stick around, and your opinions are always welcomed and will be respected.

      Thank you again.

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  8. It seems intellectually dishonest to say that the tax cuts caused the result that supports your opinion, while saying it had no effect on the result that doesn't support your position. During the economic expansion of 2003-2007, there was an increase in household debt. Some portion of that increased debt was used for spending, which increased GDP.

    Here's an article on the effects of the capital gains tax cut on housing: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1945273

    That the best way to raise tax revenue is to lower taxes is a statement that, in my opinion, would benefit greatly from supporting evidence. The Laffer curve seems reasonable to me. If, as an example, the top income tax rate were set at 101%, I think most people would agree that it would discourage people from having income that would be taxed at that rate. The more difficult thing to show is what the peak value of the Laffer curve is. If we're below that peak, lowering tax rates wouldn't increase tax revenue.

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  9. Evening,

    I've been a bit short on time over the last day and a half, and don't quite have so much even now. So I may have to come back to this another time tomorrow/another day in the week.

    One thing I do want to point out though is that I don't believe I've ever heard anyone say that increasing taxes will create jobs. In fact I think both sides universally agreed that increasing taxes across the population is a bad idea during a recession; which is a major part of why the 'oh-so-evil' Bush-era tax cuts were extended.

    However, there-in lies the emergence of the 'tax those that can afford it' mentality; which avoids increases on middle/lower classes as they recover through the economic crash that I think we can all agree hurt them more than it hurt the wealthy.

    That line of thought of course is what has lead to this discussion; with opposition emerging in accusations that it is class warfare, unfair, and/or will hurt job creation.

    The biggest point being stressed, is that typically conservatives believe that cutting taxes will create jobs (none I’ve heard on either side have ever argued increasing taxes will create it).

    That said, there really is no substantial evidence that cutting taxes increases job creation.

    The very same graph you used as a sort of reference for your argument also shows that unemployment decreased steadily after 1993, despite Clinton's major tax increases. In fact, unemployment steadily decreased year after year from 1993 at 6.9%, to 2000 at 4.0%.

    While, just as for your case my analysis isn’t scientific, it does stand to support the point that there is just far more that goes into determining our unemployment rate and how it recovers than our taxes. And thereby my main point being that tax rates simply have no direct, substantiated effect on unemployment rates, and furthermore to say it does with any kind of absolute certainty is misleading (not that you have, but there certainly are many that do).

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    1. Good evening RKen!

      It is true... no democrat has ever said that raising taxes on the rich. My point with the title is pretty simple: president Obama wants to create jobs... president Obama wants to raise taxes (yes, on the wealthy). So, with that, I'm basically saying, "wait, what... how will you create jobs by raising taxes?" I want to say, "um, hey boss, you say you want to do create jobs, and how exactly will increasing taxes will fit in to this?" Some say they aren't related... I think the opposite is true.

      With the "tax those that can afford it" mentality, you probably know but I'm vehemently against that for numerous reasons. Without getting off on a tangent, they are:

      1. I am a firm believe in flat taxes. Why should one group pay a greater rate than the other. Just because a doctor chose to become a doctor for his personal reasons (let's just say, sure, for the money) why should he have to devote a greater percentage of is income to the government? How is that fair. Those that say, well the poor can't afford it act like incomes are accidental. I think we should all have the same bill... 10%, 15%, 20%, whatever. Go out and earn your income, just know the bill is the same for all. That, to me is fair. Under our current system, if after the choice is made, the government then determines, you pay this, and you pay that, how is that fair?

      2. I absolutely do not want to give the government the power to determine what is an income level that people should live with. I think that is way too much power for a president, congress, etc to have. Let the individual have the freedom to determine what he thinks he needs to make.

      3. I don't like the power progressive rate taxes puts in the government with regards to gathering votes. I've written about this extensively. The government can change people's behaviors, spending habits, income habits, etc. with a tax rate. That is wayyyyy too much control for the gov't to have in my opinion.

      Okay, back to basics.

      I do believe that cutting taxes do create jobs. I am a firm believer that removing money from the economy (and giving it to a very inefficient government for that matter) does not help the economy whatsoever. How would removing money from the hands of Americans help the economy? Again, as I have stressed, I cannot prove scientifically that tax cuts create jobs. But, as an economist, I can use models, hypotheticals , etc. as cases for example. I cannot deny thought what happened with regards to unemployment after the Bush-era tax cuts were enacted... but yes, I cannot prove them.

      With regards to employment during the Clinton era, this blog post by Ph.D economist J.D. Foster claims that the Clinton tax increases were not the cause of the "Clinton Boom" rather the GOP-led tax cuts of 1997 were the true cause of the boom. See the article here: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/tax-cuts-not-the-clinton-tax-hike-produced-the-1990s-boom

      There is far too much to paste, but a couple highlights:

      "According to Treasury's original estimates, the 1997 tax cut was relatively modest, amounting to just 0.11 percent of GDP in its first year and 0.22 percent of GDP by its fourth year. In 1997, the fourth-year effect would be roughly equivalent to a reduction in the overall tax burden of about $30 billion.

      Despite its modest size, tax cut advocates had high expectations for the tax cut's effects on the economy because the reduction in the capital gains tax rate was expected to unleash a torrent of entrepreneurial and venture capital activity. They were not disappointed.

      Continued...

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    2. Foster continues...


      In 1995, the first year for which these data are available, just over $8 billion in venture capital was invested.[5] Venture capital is especially critical to a vibrant economy because high-risk/high-return investment permits promising new businesses to blossom, rapidly spreading new technologies and new ideas into the marketplace and across the economy. Such investments, when successful, generate returns to investors that are subject primarily to the tax on capital gains. By 1998, the first full year in which the lower capital gains rates were in effect, venture capital activity reached almost $28 billion, more than a three-fold increase over 1995 levels, and by 1999, it had doubled yet again.

      The economy averaged 4.2 percent real growth per year from 1997 to 2000--a full percentage point higher than during the expansion following the 1993 tax hike (illustrated in the graph above). Employment increased by another 11.5 million jobs, which is roughly comparable to the job growth in the preceding four-year period. Real wages, however, grew at 6.5 percent, which is much stronger than the 0.8 percent growth of the preceding period (illustrated in the graph below). Finally, total market capitalization of the S&P 500 rose an astounding 95 percent. The period from 1997 to 2000 forms the memory of the booming 1990s, and it followed the passage of tax relief that was originally opposed by President Clinton."

      The summary is long too, but it does make the case that the growth seen after the tax cuts by and large trumps the growth of the tax increase era.

      Even with all this, it's still hard to actually prove what causes what. I tend to agree with Foster, and of course, I'm reminded of the original question of "how would raising taxes create jobs?"

      Regardless of his or my education, neither Foster nor I can definitely prove our case of tax cuts cause better employment. I think Foster does a great job, but that's all I can leave it at.

      Thank you again, sir. Hope to hear more soon.

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    3. So it looks like the 1997 capital gains tax rate cut lead to a bubble in the stock market, followed by a crash. Interesting. You may be on to something here.

      As far as a flat tax being fair, fairness is an interesting concept. I think it could also be argued that having each citizen pay a set fee (dues, if you will) could also be considered fair. Each citizen lives in the US, and benefits from doing so.

      The drawback to such an arrangement, it that it takes some set amount of money (or alternate source of resources like a farm) to not die. The less money you make, the higher percentage of your income has to be dedicated to not dying.

      Ultimately, a progressive tax system is social engineering, for better or worse. In order to motivate people to produce, we give the opportunity for increased profit, and this has worked really well for society. The risk is that as the divide between rich and poor increases, and the middle class shrinks, the possibility to increase one's financial standing decreases. Historically, societies with a small wealthy class and a large poorer class haven't done so well. A well designed (which is a major qualifier) progressive tax system can help prevent that from happening.

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  10. Anonymous – Thank you for your comment.

    I never claimed the cap gains tax rate cut lead to a bubble in the stock market, and neither did Dr. Foster

    Why would a fee be fair? I don’t see how a tax rate that is flat for everyone isn’t the fairest way to go. If you have a flat rate, it has nothing to do with not dying. Why can’t the government say to all, “go and work… we simply take 10% or 6 minutes of every hour of what you work and make.” No one seems to address that.

    To me, the concept of social engineering is very very dangerous. The government swaying (controlling) people through taxation ultimately creates a dangerous situation of quasi-slavery. Yes, it sounds extreme, but someone has to say it. To look at two people and charge them different rates for which they receive the same roads, military, gov’t services, etc not only is unfair, but it allows the gov’t to control how and what people do. Why would you want to live in that kind of situation? Progressive taxes are not the way to create wealth. First, it’s unfair. Plain and simple. Secondly, we NEED wealth inequality. Having people have different assets, wealth, etc. would only kill the value wealth holds. If we all had the same after tax income, the same goods, the same houses, etc, we would see no value in anything, and therefore we would lose our incentive to ever strive for better things because nothing would be “better.” Ultimately, this kills production and nothing would get made. A smaller amount of progressive taxes hurts incentive in a small way, and a larger amount hurts incentive in a large way. We need taxes to be fair and flat. Let people make decisions for themselves, tax them equally, and watch them either keep the fruits of their labor, or bask in their failure… both of which are great for keeping incentive up.

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    1. While neither of you claimed that the reduction in the capital gains tax lead to a bubble in the stock market or housing market, Dr. Foster did link the reduction in the tax to the increase in the stock market "Finally, total market capitalization of the S&P 500 rose an astounding 95 percent." What happened after the astounding rise? Is it your belief that the late 90s increase in the stock market was unrelated to the 2000 stock market crash?

      Why would a fee be fair? To paraphrase you, to look at two people and charge them different amounts for which they receive the same roads, military, gov't services, etc...

      I agree with you that we need wealth inequality, in my opinion, it's what motivates individuals to work hard. In an economic environment where everyone receives the same amount regardless of their output, the optimal solution for an individual to maximize their personal benefit/effort ratio would be to do nothing.

      The drawback to watching people either keep the fruits of their labor, or bask in their failure, it that it leads to a number of people basking in their failure. If you look at societies that have had a large percentage of poor people, and a small percentage of successful people, it tends to get ugly. Progressive taxes work to limit this.

      I suppose it's a bit of a philosophical difference. I can respect the position that it is "right" to let people succeed of fail on their own. I disagree, and feel that, as a society, we have some degree of responsibility for the welfare of others. In my opinion of an ideal society, successful individuals would, of their own free will, provide for the needs of the poor. As a representative government, the US has decided to take some responsibility for doing so, which is consistent with Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

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    2. Anonymous - thank you for writing back and sticking around to share your opinions.

      I don't have much time now, and I hope to get to this later, but I wanted to give my opinion on your last paragraph.

      I do agree that society should take care of itself as a whole, after each person takes care of themselves using their individual liberties. I actually completely agree with you here: "In my opinion of an ideal society, successful individuals would, of their own free will, provide for the needs of the poor." My objection comes in when the government does this. Taxing everyone at the same flat rate is fair while taking people at different rates forces people to do this. I would be 100% happy if we all had the same rate, and as far as taking care of the poor... voluntary work, donations, etc were all done on each person's own free will. The fact that the government uses progressive rates to take more from some takes away their right to choose if they do or don't want to help. As bad as it might seem that some people might not want to help, it is their right to chose to do so or to not.

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    3. I would like to say that it's has been an enjoyable change to find a reasonable discussion of political issues that focuses on the issue and not personal attacks.

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    4. Anonymous - thank you for the kind words. Yes! This is what we are all about. We are a conservative blog, and we don't hide it. There is one difference that we want to have as a platform (I say we because more than one person owns this blog): we are respectful of all views, regardless of how we disagree with them.

      We obviously disagree with many views on the left, but, by engaging in thoughtful debate, leaving out the insults and all that, we can maybe learn something from each other. Who knows, maybe both sides can come together here and open each other's eyes. Even if that happens, sometimes the best part of it is just seeing why the other side feels the way he/she does. That's what I think we need in this country, and that's why we exist.

      With all that, I must ask, have you seen our Reader's Posts? In keeping that this is a people's blog (more like a bulletin board) we have these for people to write whatever they want, whenever they want. Take at look at the post instructions: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2011/12/readers-posts-our-open-forum-blog.html

      If you are interested in ever writing, great! If not, that's cool too. If you scroll through our blog history (we've existed since the beginning of November) you will see about ten of them. They have been great reads and the writer expresses his views and defends his positions in a thoughtful forum. It's great for people who want to express themselves but don't have the time to keep up a blog.

      Either way, I hope you do come back. Your opinions will always be respected by the admins, and we promote (though yes, we do not stifle speech) respectful debate. Hopefully you pass us on and more opinions of either side can join in. Thanks again!

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  11. Hi all,

    Great exchanges with talking points on each side. I don't think raising taxes - on anyone - is a good idea. But, then again, I'm not an economist, so I 'did my own homework.' I looked into our history - our worst case scenerio... the Great Depression.

    This is what I found, in just a few minutes of research.

    'For those that haven't seen this, here's the highest bracket tax rates from 1925-1945, including the depression years of 1930-1940.Raising tax rates didn't shorten the depression back then, nor will it shorten it in the future. It's been tried.'

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/11/tax-rates-during-the-great-depression.html

    http://radioviceonline.com/looking-back-at-the-great-depression-tax-rates-and-more/

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/11/understanding-f.html

    As I said, I'm no economist... that said, today about 1/2 of our citizens pay zero in federal income tax. Many recieve refunds for monies never paid in. Our 'social saftey nets' suck up most of the tax reciepts - before anything else gets paid.

    We cannot 'tax and spend' our way out of this mess and I see tax increases on 'the rich' having a negative impact on our entire economy. Business owners take risks, to acquire wealth. Many businesses fail - and those owners are left holding the bag, but still they try. That's their business and none of the Gov.s

    If taxes on those succesful businesses are raised, they will, as LME said, be forced lay off employees - or - they'll be forced to raise prices to cover their new cost of doing business.

    Either way, the economy suffers.

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