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TAX CUTS: Time to get rid of this lemon

Letter by Roy Sutherland, Tacoma on Nov. 19, 2010 at 11:05 am with 70 Comments »
November 19, 2010 11:05 am

At the end of the year, the Bush tax cuts will expire. Republicans want to extend those cuts across the board. Democrats want to extend the cuts only for the first $250,000, allowing the cuts to expire on income above that.

The reason these tax cuts are expiring is because when enacted the Republicans were unable to garner enough votes to make them permanent. So we have had this “trial period” for the cuts to see if we like them.

So let’s look at how these cuts have done.

The No. 1 reason for these tax cuts was to “grow the economy and reduce unemployment.” These things can be measured, so let’s look at them.

According to Wikipedia, under the article on “The Economy of the United States”: “The U.S. share of world GDP peaked in 1999. The share has been declining each year since.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in 2000 was 4 percent. Today it is more than 9 percent.

In addition, since these cuts were enacted, our national debt has ballooned. The figure I’ve heard is $4 trillion. Interestingly, the amount of national income that this tax cut has cost us is also around $4 trillion.

To summarize: Since we started test driving these tax cuts, our GED is shrinking, our unemployment has skyrocketed and our national debt has exploded.

I think it’s time to give this lemon back to the dealer.

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Leave a comment Comments → 70
  1. It’s the spending, Roy. Tax cuts generate more revenue, because business has more dollars to invest, in turn increasing the tax base as incomes rise. The R’s are not alone on this, even some Democrats would like to extend cuts for all. If taxes really were beneficial they would let tax cuts expire for all, not just some. Extend present tax rates and at the same time reign in out of control spending.

  2. Another way to put it is that at the end of this year, the Bush tax increases commence. Let’s finally put an end to the evil Bush legacy!!!

    Because, after all, since national income has decreased in the last two years, it only makes sense that in order to increase prosperity we must remove even more income from the economy.

  3. Tbird – if the tax breaks for the rich (and deregulation) were supposed to help the economy, why are we in a depression?

    OH, I know! It’s because the rich are waiting to see if they get to keep their tax breaks. As if 10 years is not enough time they want their entitlement to be made permanent.

    As for spending cuts – who got us into two unnecessary, and very costly, wars? And how come none of the R’s and Tpots in the next congress are willing to serve on the budget committee?

  4. nonstopjoe says:

    Let all the tax cuts expire 12/31/10. That way no group will be favored over another.

  5. aislander says:

    So…all this bad stuff happened with the advent of the tax cuts? Aside from coincidence not proving causation, what was the effect on revenues? Did spending go up more than revenues dropped? Oh, wait: revenues INCREASED every year from 2004 to 2007 (2008’s were virtually the same as 2007), after rebounding from the early 2000s’ recession and the effects of 9/11…

  6. aislander says:

    Speaking of revenues: does anyone believe that this proposed tax increase will increase revenues? If this happens, I guess the devastating result will be blamed on poor old W, since it is HIS tax cuts that were allowed to evaporate…

  7. sumner402 says:

    Tax cuts generate more revenue, because business has more dollars to invest, in turn increasing the tax base as incomes rise.

    Reality disagrees with that steaming pile of talking points and false propaganda.

  8. sumner402 says:

    The republicans wanted the tax cuts to end….let them end.
    After all THEY can do no wrong, THEY are better at running EVERYTHING right, so let them end.

  9. aislander says:

    Politics is the “art of the possible,” and it was possible to get the tax cuts only by agreeing to their expiring in order to stop a Democrat filibuster. Republicans didn’t WANT their expiration; they ACCEPTED it in order to get them passed…

  10. aislander says:

    sum writes: “Reality disagrees with that steaming pile of talking points and false propaganda.”

    Then you must live in an alternate reality, replete with at least one “steaming pile,” since revenues increased all through the Bush administration, as I pointed out above…

  11. And the economy didn’t tank because of the tax cuts. The economy tanked because the housing bubble burst. And that is another thread somewhere on this site.

  12. aislander says:

    Why are we still referring to “tax cuts” after all these years. We are talking about a tax increase, and a huge one…

  13. bobcat1a says:

    Sorry Aislander, but you are wrong. The expiration of the tax cuts was because the Republicans couldn’t show how to pay for them so they had to expire this year. They couldn’t make them permanent by law. It had nothing to do with a filibuster.

  14. donjames says:

    “The expiration of the tax cuts was because the Republicans couldn’t show how to pay for them so they had to expire this year.”

    LMAO! This is a joke… right?

    “They couldn’t make them permanent by law. It had nothing to do with a filibuster.”

    So… you’re saying that even without a filibuster, the Republican congress and president could not make the tax cuts legally permanent because… ?

    This “makin’ it up as we go along” stuff cracks me up. Reminds me of a certain multi-personality resident (hmmm).

  15. donjames says:

    ai, good points as usual.

    Unfortunately our ill-informed letter writer was completely disingenuous in his use of data starting more than two years before the first Bush Tax Cuts, two years before Bush even took office, and more than four years before the second Bush Tax Cuts – while completely ignoring the Clinton recession (2001-2003).

    Nice.

    Further, he completely skips over the low-unemployment years from 2003 to 2008, and somehow makes a connection between runaway spending – particularly the record-setting pace under the last two (democrat-controlled) congresses and this administration – and the Bush Tax Cuts, without offering data to support this rubbish.

    Clearly the letter-writing call has been sent out from CAP.

  16. Bottom line the National debt went from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to $10.0 trillion in 2008 which means that spending far outpaced revenues.

    Thanks W. for two costly wars and other wasteful spending, massive corporate welfajobsre and outsourcing of , and de-regulation, which taken together destroyed the economy.

  17. eagle_beak says:

    Mr. Sutherland, your “logic” makes no sense.
    try reading “the fair tax book” – by neal boortz for a completely different out-of-the-box solutions.

    God bless America and help us keep our country free!

  18. sumner402 says:

    Aside from coincidence not proving causation

    You mean like unemployment going up after the Democrats too over Congress?

  19. sumner402 says:

    Sorry Aislander, but you are wrong.

    EVERY response to her starts that way!

  20. sumner402 says:

    Clearly the letter-writing call has been sent out from CAP.

    The black helicopters are watching you!
    Glen beck and the john birtchers told me they were!

  21. sumner402 says:

    This “makin’ it up as we go along” stuff cracks me up. Reminds me of a certain multi-personality resident (hmmm).

    Aislander is a sock puppet?
    I knew she just made stuff up to look smart but the sock puppet thing…..makes sense.

  22. “Why are we still referring to “tax cuts” after all these years.”

    Because that’s what they were, aislander, tax cuts. And they’re due to expire.

    Your attempt to call this a tax increase is short sighted, revisionist and a lame try at blaming the Democrats for increasing taxes.

    I predict that the whole package will expire, now that Congress is split and likely won’t be able to agree on anything.

  23. sumner402 says:

    Your attempt to call this a tax increase is short sighted, revisionist and a lame try at blaming the Democrats for increasing taxes.

    It’s the GOP propaganda network talking points.
    No one on the right has had an original thought in over 40 years.

  24. No one on the right has had an original thought in over 40 years.

    Which is why we see so many calls for more New Deal legislation from Democrats. Why go back 40 years when you can go back 80?

  25. aislander says:

    bobcat1 writes: “The expiration of the tax cuts was because the Republicans couldn’t show how to pay for them…”

    Two things here: since revenues INCREASED after the effects of the recession and 9/11 passed, WHAT did they have to pay for? And, they had to show THEMSELVES how to “pay for” the rate reductions, because the Dems were sitting on the sideline (the left sideline, of course) saying and doing NOTHING? C’mon…

  26. sumner402 says:

    Which is why we see so many calls for more New Deal legislation from Democrats.

    Could you list those for us, thanks.
    And thank for proving my point.

  27. sumner402 says:

    Keep making things up ais, you’re getting really……good at it.

  28. Roncella says:

    Roy, I guess your smarter than many experts in fixing whats wrong with the economy, maybe Obama could add you to his list of Czars as an economic advisor.

    xring, After 9-11 shoud Bush not have invaded Afg. ?

    Obama and the Dems. have spent more than George Washington to Ronald Reagan did.

    Sumner talk about the pot calling the kettle black, You are all talking points,repeating what others have already said, Go Figure…. ??!!!

  29. Sumner402:

    You misinterpreted my criticism of Democratic policies for an endorsement of conservative policies. You believe that the right hasn’t had an original idea for 40 years, yet you endorse tired old stale left wing policies from 80 years ago.

    It is hypocritical to belittle right wing policies for being out of date, yet endorse left wing policies that are even older.

    Here’s just a sampling of New Deal type policies that are all the rage among left wingers:

    Social Security: maintain or expand the same Ponzi style funding scheme

    Glass-Steagall: reinstate it

    Labor markets: more regulation including minimum and maximum wage thresholds

    Taxes: raise them

    Government spending: increase it

    The poor: give them nothing but rhetoric

    Regulation of nearly all industries: increase it

    Free trade: restrict it

    Inefficient use of farming resources: subsidize it

    Failing public schools: expand their funding

  30. Roncella says:

    bugme, You won’t hear a peep out of sumner now, you gave him facts not just talking points.

  31. bobcat1a says:

    Aislander, I’ll make this simple for you. The Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, later extended by other Acts, required that no cut could last beyond 10 years if it would add to the deficit. Therefore, the Republicans wrote a temporary bill to get around that provision. It had nothing to do with increased revenue; it had to do with increased deficits, which the Republicans have only recently decided is important. Remember, it was Mr Cheney who famously said, “Deficits don’t matter.”

  32. aislander says:

    So, bobcat1, if revenues INCREASED, how did the tax cuts “add to the deficit,” unless SPENDING increased more? It’s a SPENDING problem…

  33. donjames says:

    Another problem with your theory, bobcat (though I will admit, it is a good one) is that the PAYGO statute expired at the end of 2002. You will recall that the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 – the second set of so-called Bush ax cuts – was enacted in 2003, and the same sunset clause was attached to it.

  34. Roncella – No he should not have; at least not with the massive conventional forces that mucked everything up. If you remember the Taliban were defeated by a coalition of Afghan Warlords with the help of US Army Special Forces. Nor should he have installed an outsider as the Afghan President, and attempted to rebuild the country and government in a western image.

    Islander – the tax cuts meant less money coming in while Bush and the Republican were spending borrowing like dunking sailors.

  35. aislander says:

    I am not ego-involved with the label “Republican,” xring, and I bashed them for overspending, just as I did Democrats. But, you are wrong about the “less money coming in” thing. As I am becoming tired of pointing out, revenues increased after the impacts of the recession and 9/11 were overcome. It was–and is–a spending problem…

  36. aislander says:

    So, Polago, let me try to understand. If taxes have been at their current rates for a period of years, and then they go up, that is NOT a tax increase? You’re right about one thing: they WERE tax cuts, but now they are the current tax rates. Put another way, a tax cut is like an alveolar stop consonant, something that does not exist over time, but only for the instant it is employed–think of the sound of “t.” A tax rate is like a vowel, that can be expressed over a length of time. I really shouldn’t have to go to this length to point out the obvious, but based on past conversations, the obvious is something you have a lot of trouble with if it doesn’t suit your ideological purposes. As far as the economy is concerned, allowing these tax rates to expire WOULD be a tax increase…

  37. Yes Islander we all know that Federal Revenue went up after the tax cuts, at least it did until 2007 when Federal Revenues began to decline (as in less money coming in). And some of us also know that the Federal Debt went up even faster, between 2000 and 2008

  38. aislander says:

    2007 revenues were significantly higher than the previous year, and 2008’s were virtually the same as 2007’s. And I know about the debt trajectory, because I have been railing against it for years. I would love to see the federal government adhere to the same accounting standards it imposes on publicly-traded corporations…

  39. the PAYGO statute expired at the end of 2002.

    And the Republicans – in control of the House, Senate, Executive and Judicial branches in 2002 – didn’t vote to extend it.

  40. sumner402 says:

    bugme, I asked you for some of what you called “new deal” policies, and look at that you parroted a list of them.
    What you failed to do is to give me what I asked for, the so called new deal policies that are happening today.
    You brought it up and you failed to explain your self.
    You accuse me of supporting 80 year old policies yet you fail to site examples of them.
    it was a nice try, which is more than your fellow rightwing extremists can ever do.

  41. sumner402 says:

    bugme, You won’t hear a peep out of sumner now, you gave him facts not just talking points.

    Seriously roncella?
    What would you know about facts?

  42. sumner402 says:

    Keep telling that revenue increased lie aislander, someday someone else might believe it.

  43. Sumner 402,

    I see now. You are a troll. I got sucked in. Fool me once….

    I suppose you meant “right wing extremist” in a bad way. You will have to learn some new adjectives. Not everyone who disagrees with your old, tired and bankrupt ideology is a right wing extremist. This may very well be too much for your trollish “brain” but there are more than just “right wing extremists” and “whatever trolls are told to believe” in society.

    I gave you what you asked for. Each of those are happening today. There have been threads on nearly each of those items in the News Tribune this year. I have read op-eds on each of them in papers like this one, the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times, and others you undoubtedly have never read.

    Good bye.

  44. aislander says:

    Sumner402 writes: “Keep telling that revenue increased lie aislander…”

    Sumner. Words mean things. I am tired of being called a liar by a slimy little troll. I asked you to go away until you have something of substance to contribute, but you haven’t done us ALL that favor. Please reconsider…

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

  45. Roncella says:

    xring, I can’t believe you truthfully think that the U.S.. should have done nothiing but depend on some Afg. Warlords to capture or kill the Moslem Terrorists who caused 9-11 to occur.

    You have a blurred memory of 9-11 if you were not proud of the way America came to together as one to fight the Muslim Terrorists in Afg/ where they were training and planning for another attack on America.

    Liberals and many dems. seem to think you can wish the evil murderers away just by being more understanding, and kind to them, giving them the same rights in civilian courts as all Americans get and all the rest.

    Terrorist and Communists, and dictators only respect one thing, Power and Strength. They see the kind, and gentle way as weakness and will act accordingly, causing more violence and murder. .

  46. sumner402 says:

    I gave you what you asked for. Each of those are happening today.

    No you didn’t and no they aren’t.
    Personal and childish attacks aside, I can’t blame you for running from this one, you have stuck your foot into it aislander style and you have no way out.

  47. sumner402 says:

    Sumner. Words mean things. I am tired of being called a liar

    Then stop lying.

  48. aislander says:

    So…you DON’T dispute the “slimy little troll” part.

  49. sumner402 says:

    I don’t stoop to the grade school level that you dwell in aislander.
    Your continued attacks against me show just how desperate you are, your wish for me to ‘go way’ is further proof you simply can’t handle anyone who disagrees with you and your…….mis-information and made up ‘facts’.

    You show yourself to be bankrupt and lets say, IQ challenged, with every post you make.
    Now make some more stuff up, I enjoy pointing it out.

  50. sumner402 says:

    I noticed you didn’t dispute the liar part.

  51. sumner402 says:

    Just so you know aislander it was YOU that used the word ‘liar’ not me.
    Also you will have all next week to make stuff, I will be traveling.

  52. aislander says:

    What was the lie again? Exactly?

  53. aislander says:

    When you accuse someone of lying (that is the same as calling him a liar), who is NOT lying, that makes the accuser the liar. THAT would be you, Sumner. Your last lie was saying that I was the first to use the word “liar…”

  54. bugme, I was fooled too, but now I know it is not worth the time to respond to Sumner 4XX. You can read the posts if you want, but don’t bother responding.

    Sumner 4X1 must be on probation, thus the new Sumner 4X2.

  55. aislander says:

    God, I know, Roll_On, but I hate being called a liar. My early New Year’s resolution is to stop feeding the troll, either version 1.0 or 2.0…

  56. sumner402 says:

    To many to list aislander, far too many to list.
    If you don’t like your miss truths to be called out, then stop making stuff up.

    Your little sock puppet cheering squad is cute.

  57. Roncella – Those same Afghan War Lords kicked the Russians out with some help from us. And were well on the way to doing the same for the Taliban and El Queda, again with help from us. So with some economy of force we could have accomplished our goals, and had a stable Afghan government (at least as stable as it has been for the past few centuries), and it would have cost us a lot lss in terms of money, lives, and international opinion.

    PS: Communist Russian and China used this same tactic quite effectively under the Nome de guerre of ‘Peoples War’.

    Terrorists respond best to their own defeat and are embolden by our inept occupation of Muslin Countries.

  58. Roncella says:

    xring, read my previous post again. You missed all the points I made about why what America did by invading Afg. was absolutely correct, in stopping many Muslim Terrorists in continuing to train and plan more attacks on America.

    Again I repeat Muslim Terrorists Communists, Dictators, Socialists only respect Strength and Power.

    They see leaders that appease and bow and apoligize as being weak and easy to fool.

    There are many examples of this happening throughout history.

    Right now America is being tested by No. Korea, Iran, Seria, Russia, China.

    If those countries get the idea America is weak and easy to to fool they will get more and more agressive with aquiring neclear weapons and assisting the Muslim Terrorists fighting Americans in Iraq and Afg both.

  59. sumner402 says:

    Man, the talking points roncella, give it a rest.

  60. sumner402 says:

    Some truth for you aislander.
    I know how much you hate the truth and I’m sure you will not bother to to read this and if you do, you will only whine and cry about where it came from but the truth is there and you will of course deny it.
    http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/10-republican-lies-about-bush-tax-cuts

  61. Roncella –

    -“capture or kill Moslem Terrorists who caused 9-11” Osama Ben Lauden is still alive and well due to the ineptitude of US Military leaders and the former Commander in Chief.

    -We, the American People came together; it was the White House, CIA, and the Pentagon that failed. Any by invading and occupying Moslem Countries we lost the aid and support of almost every Moslem country that had supported us in the First Gulf War.

  62. Roncella says:

    xring, Here is a news bulletin for you. The muslim terrorists hated America and Israel long before we invaded Aft. or Iraq.

    One of the Dems. Hero President Clinton had a chance to have O Sama killed and refused to give the order !!!!!

    That was before 9-11 ever happened.

  63. You said it yourself Roncella “before 9/11″ thus before we ‘decaled war on terrorism.

    To have ordered OBL killed before he had acted would have been to order an assignation, which is against U.S. law to either order, or to carry out.

    And Muslim terrorists also hate Israel and most other western nations.

  64. sumner402 says:

    One of the Dems. Hero President Clinton had a chance to have O Sama killed and refused to give the order !!!!!

    Another right wing lie.
    Don’t you ever get tired of the lies roncella?
    What is it about being a far right wing tool that makes you people tell such untruths all the time?
    Were you not raised to tell the truth and that lies were bad?
    What happened?

  65. bobcat1a says:

    “…you truthfully think that U.S. should have done nothing but depend on some Afg. Warlords to capture or kill the Moslem Terrorists who caused 9-11 to occur.”

    Roncella, remind me, when did WE capture or kill Osama Bin Laden , Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Mullah Omar? Oh right, we got distracted, pulled most of our resources and invaded Iraq.

  66. xring said: To have ordered OBL killed before he had acted would have been to order an assignation, which is against U.S. law to either order, or to carry out.

    If it is against US law to carry out an “assignation”, then I presume you supported Bill Clinton’s impeachment?

    Hint: look up the word “assignation” before you answer.

  67. Roncella says:

    Bobcat, One of your hero’s President Obama, has been President for about two years now.

    Obama stated OSama was in Afg. not Iraq when running for President reading from one of his many tele-prompters, and thats where he would be zeroing in on him. What Happened Bobcat its been about two years now and still no one has found or killed or captured OSuma yet, How Come ???

  68. Oops misspelled word – I ment to say “assassination”

  69. aislander says:

    bugme: I am quite familiar with the meaning of the word “assignation.” The “g” is pronounced, by the way. This calls up some interesting memories of a woman well-lettered enough to use that word to describe what we were doing…

  70. aislander says:

    This all happened before the shanghaiing of the word “cougar” as a descriptive for an experienced older woman, but it would have applied…

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