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Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 54
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, the deficit this year will be around 100 billion less than last year (or is it "less than expected this year"?) Either way, it's going to be less. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe spending has gone down. In fact, everywhere I've heard it reported, the reason for the shrinking deficit is that tax revenues are up. Now this is a pretty amazing fact considering Bush's tax cuts. How do you all make sense of this?

Is this vindication that tax cuts fueled the economy which raised tax revenues, as conservatives predicted? Or was it just low interest rates? A weak dollar spurring more exports?

Whatever the cause (I'm sure it's several at once), it can no longer be claimed that tax cuts necessarily lead to higher deficits. It is POSSIBLE to have lower taxes and lower deficits even while increasing spending. YOU CAN INCREASE TAX REVENUES WHILE CUTTING TAXES AT THE SAME TIME. No more argument, folks, it's a demonstrable fact--cuz it just happened right before your eyes.

Did anyone else notice?
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 155
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Check out
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1821&sequence=0

for historical info on budget deficits since 1962.

The projected deficit for 2005 is $325 billion, the third highest deficit of all time. As a percentage of GDP, it's 2.7%, the third worst since 1994, or the 17th worst of the last 43 years (I picked the last 43 yeasrs because I only have data going back to 1962).

Either way, the deficit is not exactly low, especially given the current growth of the economy.

Also, what tax cuts were added this past year? I thought most of Bush's tax cuts went into effect in 2001, and the deficit is $450 billion WORSE now than it was then.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1248
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 02:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If I recall correctly, after Clinton's "Deficit Reduction Act of 1993" was passed, which mainly taxed the wealthy more, the deficits were reduced to the point that a surplus was realized in five years. Now we celebrate the third highest deficit in history because it is less than last years? OK, but pardon me if I am less than impressed.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 05:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Let’s get our history straight on this, folks. As David’s link points out, Bill Clinton---remember, one of those alleged tax and spend liberals---inherited budget deficits in the $200-300 billion range. Under his presidency we see these deficits gradually reduced to the point that by 1998 we’re running at a government surplus (the first since 1969) that builds to over $236 billion by 2000. Just for emphasis this is under Clinton. Irony alert: from a budget deficit/surplus perspective the Clinton years look like the very definition of “fiscal conservatism”.

Enter W. and his tax cuts. By 2003 and 2004 we’re running the two biggest budget deficits in our nation’s history.

So now, the current deficit looks like it will be less than anticipated, which as Dan points out means it will be the third biggest in history instead of the biggest or second biggest. And we are to believe that this is evidence that W.’s tax cut plan is “working”?

Just another Republican smoke screen served up in this day when the truth plays second fiddle to political spin.

As a PS, the observant might note from David's link that while revenue did indeed rise from 2003 to 2004, revenues in 2004 were a bit more than 7% less than in 2000---the high water mark for Clinton's budget surpluses.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 741
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 12:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Holy crap, are you guys kidding me? You're blaming the less than stellar economy of the last few years on Bush's tax cuts? Have you ever heard of a thing called 9/11 that might, just might have affected the economy just a little bit on it's own? Or was that just a Republican smoke screen too? Or does your seething hatred for W force you to blame everything on him? Never mind, don't answer that.
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 156
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, you've succinctly stated the conservative viewpoint, but I think I can do it in fewer words:

"President Bush is the cause of all good news, 9/11 is the cause of all bad news."

I'm sure someone, somewhere, is saying that 9/11 caused Hurricane Dennis, but Bush's tax cuts reduced the severity.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 742
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, so now 9/11 didn't affect the economy. I got it. It's all Bush's fault just like everything else. Bush's cronies blew up the twin towers too, right? There never were any airplanes! Am I getting better at this?

I'm not saying Bush is the best President we've ever had, but this blame Bush for everything crap is getting pretty tiresome. I'm sure you guys will get your way eventually and we'll have another tax and spend liberal in the White House and we can continue our trend into socialism, just the way you guys seem to want it.
 

David Lewinnek
Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 158
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, in your first message on this thread, you wrote, "You're blaming the less than stellar economy of the last few years on Bush's tax cuts?"

In your next message, you try to debunk the myths that 9/11 didn't affect the economy and that Bush's cronies blew up the twin towers.

Where are you getting this stuff? Where does anybody but you talk about the affect of Bush's tax cuts on the economy or of 9/11 on the economy? Does your web browser show a different thread than mine?
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 743
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's called sarcasm David.

IMHO 9/11 is the major contributing factor for the turndown in the economy over the last few years. Bush's tax cuts have helped the economy turn around at the expense of the deficit. If the tax cuts are allowed to continue they will, as stated in the original post, help the economy continue to recover and continue to reduce the deficit. Many of you will disagree with me on this, and that's fine. That's the beauty of living in a free country, you're free to believe what you want as long as it doesn't harm others.

My sarcasm meter started gaining when I read your line "I thought most of Bush's tax cuts went into effect in 2001, and the deficit is $450 billion WORSE now than it was then. because you made it sound like in 2001 the only thing that happened to affect the economy were the tax cuts, and they were the source of the downturn in the economy.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I won't argue that 9-11 caused some economic problems, but it siginificance is frequently overstated. I really doubt that we can borrow our way of hugh deficits. The "supply side" / "voodoo" economic theory was blown away by Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and now Bush II. While the deficits may eventually fall after a huge tax cut, given enough time, they are always accopanied by huge defifits.

OTOH Bush I and Clinton raised taxes and we came out of a recession and eventually produced a surplus.

The bottom line is that for voo doo economics to work, we have to be on the right side of the so-called Laffer Curve. Cutting taxes and seeing revenues fall while raising taxes and seeing revenue rise tells us that we are on the left side of the Laffer Curve where if we need more revenue, we should raise taxes.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 744
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 06:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The key to reducing the deficit with tax cuts is something that politicians of recent history just can't understand, reduced spending. Unfortunately this is where both major parties fail miserably.

I honestly can't believe my ears when I hear anyone say they are ok with raising taxes, unless you are a recipient of some of the billions in pork barrel spending. There is no need to raise taxes, there is only a need to reduce pork. We still pay too much in taxes as it is, even after the cuts.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 747
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 08:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are you sure it isn't the $200 million/day occupation of Iraq? Perhaps that has something to do with our spending increase?

Oh, that's right! I forgot that September 11 started the war in Iraq, it was not Bush. So W. is off the hook again. That's Good. I'd hate to see such an intelligent man be blamed for something so patently idiotic and short-sighted.

Besides, Everyone knows that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are really the same guy. They all look alike to me, because they all wear towels on their heads and talk funny. So if we invade Iraq, then the trrrishts won't ever attack anyone ever again.

I'm really glad this plan is working SO well, and I really feel a whole lot safer these days. Can't you see how well it's working? We're WINNING! ...and it isn't costing us a dime. No wonder the deficit is shrinking.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 278
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anyone who believes that they are not paying enough taxes have always been free to write the Treasury a check. Put your money where your mouth is kind of thing.

If on the other hand, you think you are paying enough but want some other guy to poney up more, then I say lead by example.

BTW...when you start taking more than 50% of my earnings, I stop earning so much and I pay less taxes.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1251
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 11:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When we quit borrowing the money that we refuse to collect in taxes, you can complain about the tax rates being too high. Otherwise we are are all on a form of welfare to be financed by our children and grandchildren.

Let's hear everybody's suggestion about cutting expenses. Don't forget to provide numbers so we can judge how effective the suggestion is in real life as opposed to just spouting ideological blather.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 745
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you would like to see pages upon pages of places to cut without cutting a single "necessary" service of government, check out Citizens Against Government Waste. Make sure to check out the Congressional Pig Book.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1252
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow! 4.7 billion in a 2 trillion budget! Right. . . .
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 746
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 12:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's fine Dan, if you can't look at the information without being a condescending @$$ then I'll just bow out of the conversation. I tried to give you some food for thought and you had to IMMEDIATELY try to find something wrong with it, instead of looking at all the pork listed and thinking about how your tax dollars are being wasted.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1253
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, with that obviously biased site's information, even if accurate and its "pork"
totally eliminated, it would barley scratch the surface of what needs to be done to balance the budget.

That horrible "tax and spend Democrat" Clinton balanced a number of budgets by, gasp, raising taxes mainly on the wealthy! "W" lowered taxes on the wealthy only to see the surplus vanish and create deficits larger than his father's.

And now we celebrate a deficit that will be lower than the overblown administration estimates yet the third highest in history. . .

Voo Doo economics is a scam.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 747
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 02:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

C'mon Dan, do you seriously mean to tell me that you don't believe Clinton caused the "recession" (really just an economic slowdown, but still)? You don't actually believe the nutjobs that say Bush caused it just a few months into his first term? How can you look at that with an open mind and believe it to be true? He hadn't even introduced his budget before the "recession" started!

I ain't buying it. I guess maybe I'm just stupid compared to all the "economists" on this board, but it seems like common sense to me that when you tax the rich harder than the rest it removes much of their incentive to invest in new businesses to make the economy grow. Higher taxes = less growth = slower economy. Just like what happened at the end of Clinton's term. If the rich aren't investing they aren't hiring the middle class and poor, and everyone loses.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1255
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't recall mentioning the recession at all. It looks to me that you are creating a strawman.

Remember that both Clinton's adminstrations passed without a recession. The recession that followed was artifically induced by Greenspan by increasing the discount rate in each of twelve consecutive months. ( note that we are in, what, the ninth consecutive discount rate increase now)

Can you explain the record economic expansion (almost twice Reagan's record expansion) that followed Clinton's "Deficit Reduction Act of 1993" which was passed without a single Republician vote. Remember they promised a severe recession / depression if the wealthy
were taxed at a higher rate.

Remember higher tax revenues means that the goverment has to borrow less which frees money for private economic expansion which means a better economy. This is a more potent means of warming the economy compared to showering the wealthy with borrowed money. Borrowed money has to come from somewhere. Would you rather the government borrow it or private enterprise?
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 279
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sorry Dan but I disagree with everything you have said and choose to not debate the issue with you.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1256
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Considering that you disagree with everything I said, it is understandable that you are reluctant to debate the issue.

I like your user name too!

Dan Listermann
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 748
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2005 - 11:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's truly hopeless Ron, these guys like Dan have been brainwashed by the MSM and are blinded by their undying love and loyalty to all things Billy Bob. I give up too. I can't reason with someone who sees paying more taxes than we already do as a good thing.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1257
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 01:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It is good to see that you can still tow the party line, Mike.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 06:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A little light reading for anyone who is actually interested in what people who think about this stuff for a living think about the current trends in US fiscal policy:


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1022-26.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3377795.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3430565.stm

http://www.brookings.edu/views/articles/20041201orszaggale.htm
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 749
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, we don't register with any party in WI, we just register to vote. So I can officially say I'm not a registered Republican. And if I had to register with a party I'd be registered independent.

That being said, I'm not towing the party line at all. I have said in the past and I will repeat that I voted against Kerry as much so or more than I voted for Bush. I would have voted third party if it wouldn't have been a wasted vote to ensure Kerry didn't get elected. That was my first priority in the last election. Well actually my first priority was trying to get the anti-free speech anti-gun Feingold out of the Senate, but that didn't happen.

I firmly believe big government is bad. I believe capitalism is good and socialism is bad. I believe in the Constitution and the Founders. And while both major parties are bad when it comes to those issues, the Dems are worse. That's why it may sound like I'm touting the GOP line, but in reality I'm just lashing out at the people in this country that are trying to lead us into a Socialist failure of government.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 280
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 02:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, you see what you want to see. Sorry to disappoint you but my user name has absolutely nothing to do with you. BTW, remember how I defended your personal choice to not advertise on HBD against all the attacks you had? That just goes to show that I don't have any personal animosity towards you.

Mike, like you are I not a Democrap or a Puglican. They are just two sides of the same coin. It is strange though watching the head of the coin call the tails names and vice a versa.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3428
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I can't reason with someone who sees paying more taxes than we already do as a good thing.

I guess there isn't much point for me to argue with Mike and Ron, either. I think our income tax rate should be up around 60% or so.

Way to go, Dan! I agree with you 100%.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 282
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 04:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay Chumley, so a guy works hard, makes $75k per year (2x per captita income) and pays the Govt. $45k of that. That leaves him $30k to pay state taxes, county taxes, sales taxes, the mortgage, feed his family, buy a car, pay for his kids college, pay medical expenses and save for retirement and maybe have a vacation just once a year.

Uh, the math don't work.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 3430
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Seems to work in Europe.
 

Mike Huss
Advanced Member
Username: Mikhu

Post Number: 750
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 04:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Remember Ron, Chumley is pro-Socialism, so he would expect not to have to save for retirement under his plan. The government would just take care of him at retirement by taking more money from the "rich" in higher taxes.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 283
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, the math still does not work. We are not Europe and their unemployment rates would be unacceptable to us.
 

Joseph Listan
Advanced Member
Username: Poonstab

Post Number: 748
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 05:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Since when does allowing the wealthy to keep more of their money AUTOMATICALLY invest that money into new businesses and thereby create jobs?

This economic "law" is a lot like saying "you save up to 90%". The number zero falls within "up to 90%".

I think the wealthy are just as likely to "invest" in a foreign vacation, a second or third or fourth home, a big-ass boat, ski trips, expensive college tuition for their kids, jewelry, etc. Most of that doesn't drive the economy in any significant way, because they are still a very small segment of the economy. Note the use of the word "significant" here. If the entire middle class bought one extra DVD this year, it would probably have more impact (disclaimer: I have no data to back this up, I'm just illustrating a point about numbers of spenders, vs. amounts spent)

Giving people more of their money is NOT proven to guarantee increased spending, nor does increased spending necessarily help the economy, especially when you are only favoring 2% of the population.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 284
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 05:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe you are on to something here.

You could confiscate the entire wealth of the "rich" and that would run the Govt. for about 45 days.

You DVD example shows where the money is - the middle class. You want to solve the deficit spend? Want Govt provided health care et al? Well, the middle class is where the money for that comes from. Always has and alway will because there is there the bulk of the population is economically.

And that is why Chumley's math doesn't work.
 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 08:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ron,

Your last statement flies in the face of historical evidence on at least two counts. Clinton's tax increases largely left the middle class alone and increased taxes on the rich. By doing so he managed to reverse a long trend of deficits and produced a budget surplus that lasted for four consecutive years (that's slightly longer than 45 days and it only required some additional taxation on the rich, not their entire wealth).

Also, your analysis of the role of the middle class is pretty much flawed. While the middle class certainly is where the bulk of the population is in this country, it is not where the bulk of the money is. The top 20% of all income earners in this country historically account for about 50% of all personal income. The middle three quintiles combined account for more like 44% of all income. The bulk of the people may fall in the middle class, but the bulk of income belongs to the top income earners. Middle class may be where most of the people are, but upper class is where most of the money is.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 285
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Publius, show yourself and then we can talk.
 

Ron Siddall
Intermediate Member
Username: Listerdister

Post Number: 286
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

From a House study.

"Conclusion
A review of the changes in the structural deficit since 1992 reveals much less impressive deficit reduction than does the conventional measure. When the effects of the business cycle upswing and special technical factors are accounted for, the deficit reduction due to policy changes outside of defense are nil. All of this policy improvement in the deficit situation results from cutting discretionary defense outlays below their nominal 1992 levels. Furthermore, all of the 1993 tax increase has been used to finance additional domestic and entitlement federal spending increases. Since 1995, the more recent progress in fiscal 1996 is due to faster than expected revenue growth and slower outlay growth, especially the savings due to Congressional actions to restrain spending. This more stringent approach to domestic discretionary appropriations by the new Congress has resulted in further progress on reducing the structural deficit in 1996.


Christopher Frenze
Chief Economist to the Vice-Chairman"

Yep, I remember Clinton gutting defense. I also remember that the Democrats lost the House in 1994 and that it was only after that that surpluses began to be talked about because up until that point, Clinton was talking about deficits going on until as far as the eye can see.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 56
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - 09:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never said that the deficit was small--hey, we're coming out of a recession, fighting a war, and we've been attacked on our homeland, who would expect it to be small?

All I said was that it is now impossible to claim that decreases in taxes necessarily lead to decreases in tax revenue. That's it. And it's not debatable, because it's a fact. I guess that's why no one is debating it, and instead talking about deficits going all the way back to the 60's.

BTW, Yes, this is one of the biggest deficits, but this is also one of the biggest budgets. As a percentage of the GNP, is this deficit really the third biggest? I'm too lazy to look it up.

Clinton's tax increase didn't lead to a stronger economy. The "stronger" economy was a product of both the growth that began in the 80s and the "dot com" Internet boom. And Clinton was able to skim off this boom (bubble) and give us a projected surplus. However, it is a fact that the economic downturn began before he left office. 9/11 made it worse. But the dot com bubble was bound to burst.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1258
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Friday, July 22, 2005 - 03:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ron, the "study" you cite was from 1996 after The GOP took control of the House and before the surpluses. It was NOT a product of the non-partison CBO. It was a product of a GOP controlled committee. IIRC no Democrat signed on to it. It was sort of like when the Pharo was replaces and the new one chisled over the now gone Pharo's names from all the monuments. The GOP desperately needed to explain how they ALL could have been so WRONG about the "Deficit Reduction Act of 1993." Remember the severe recession / depression that was supposed to happen. It took the form of an incomparable expansion that only ended with twelve straight increases of the discount rate by the Fed and some talking down by the incoming president.

Can you guys at least admit that the GOP predictions in 1993 were 180 degrees wrong?
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, July 22, 2005 - 06:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan,

Clinton may very well have been the happy recipient of fortunate economic circumstances, but one important fact must be pointed out. Clinton’s surpluses were not merely projections, they were actual budget surpluses that are part of the historical record.

For the record, when it comes to the economy it is my opinion that we as a nation tend to be too quick to praise the president when the economy is good and too quick to condemn the president when the economy is bad. I personally find it hard to believe that an economy as large as ours can be controlled by actions of the president (particularly when most presidents know doodly squat about economics). If you’re looking for a single person to praise or blame, I have always felt that the chairman of the Fed has a whole lot more to do with the state of our economy than the president does. Let’s also not forget that the federal budget must be passed by congress so it would appear that the executive and legislative branch should share praise or blame for the state of the economy or at least that part of it that is related to our federal budget.

That said, however, I’ve gotta ask a question or two. Say, for sake of argument, that a sitting president introduces, pushes for and gets passed a “deficit reduction act” that involves a tax increase as well as a decrease in spending (god, what a brilliant idea as to how to reduce deficits, I’m surprised the republicans haven’t figured this one out yet being the fiscal conservatives they’re supposed to be). Say, for sake of argument, that after this act passes and its mandates are put in place that deficits are actually reduced. Wait, no, they’re actually eliminated and replaced by surpluses. In these circumstances wouldn’t you say that this president might deserve at least a little credit for the state of the budget (let’s leave the larger economy out of it for now)? Conversely, suppose a sitting president advocates large tax cuts as well as policies that lead to large increases in spending. Would it be wrong to blame this president for the large budget deficits that such a combination of policies is bound to lead to?

In closing, I would never (and haven’t) argued that it’s impossible to have revenue increases and tax cuts happen simultaneously. There are far too many variables in our economy to ever assume that any two of them must always move in the same or opposite directions simultaneously (except when it’s painfully obvious). Wasn’t too long ago that economists held such a view about inflation and unemployment. Wasn’t too long ago that that notion was blown out of the water. The big question about tax cuts and revenues is did W’s tax cuts cause the increase in revenue (see your opinion above that Clinton's policies were not responsible for the boom of the 90's, but other factors were)? That, after all, is what the republicans have claimed since Reagan was in the white house. From what I’ve read so far, the jury is still out. The economic pinheads are still trying to figure out where the projected (the fiscal year isn’t over yet) revenue increase is coming from. That, in itself, is a good indication of the complexity of our economy. We seem to be getting some additional revenues and nobody really knows why.
 

Nathan Eddy
Junior Member
Username: Nathan_eddy

Post Number: 57
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 08:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Publious,

I acknowledged that there could be multiple factors involved in the current revenue increase. However, every time tax cuts have been tried, a stronger economy has followed. Stronger economy = more tax revenue. I think it would be foolish for anyone to dismiss them for political reasons (not that you're doing this).

As for giving Clinton credit, yes tax increases and cuts in spending can decease the deficit (did he REALLY decrease spending? I thought every budget has been successively larger.)

There, I give him credit. But given that we are now in a situation where a decrease in tax rates has coincided with an increase in revenue, it follows that deficits can be reduced WHILE cutting taxes. Thus, Clinton's tax increase was unnecessary, and the economy would have been even better if he hadn't raised them. It's even possible that the recession which started in his term could have been lessened to some extent.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1261
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 08:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan, how much revenue did the expansion cost us this time? A trillion dollars in national debt?

Here is something to ponder. The deficits balloned after the Reagan and Bush II tax cuts before revenues started to climb again.

Some like to say that revenues doubled under Reagan. They don't like to admit that revenues also doubled under Carter but Carter did it in a single term. Even adjusting for inflation, Carter easily beat out Reagan's performance.

Clinton's unprecidented expansion ( two full terms - longest in history by far ) actually paid for itself halting the rise in national debt. He did this with what, a tax increase mainly on the wealthy. The EXACT OPPOSITE that Voo Doo economics predicts.

Oh, the recession did not start DURING Clintons's term. A slow down in expansion started later in his term which coincided with Greenspan's 12 consecutive months of raising the discount rate. The recession started at the beginning of Bush II's term.
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 05:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathan,

I believe that Dan is correct. Our most recent recession (though apparently a mild one) is generally referred to as the "early 2000's" recession and I've seen at least one report that claims it began in 2001. If you've got a source that claims it began during Clinton's term please post it.

As for:

"However, every time tax cuts have been
tried, a stronger economy has followed.
"

I just do not believe that is true. Reagan cut taxes, there was a recession that started in 1987 during his second term. George II cut taxes, do you really want to claim the economy now is stronger than it was in the 90's when the DJIA was running amok and routinely producing annual gains in the double digit range?

Then we have:

"it follows that deficits can be reduced WHILE cutting taxes"

That's actually a true statement. For example during the Reagan years there were years when the deficit decreased. Here's another statement that is true: in the last 25 years, presidents who have pursued policies whereby tax cuts are offered in an attempt to stimulate the economy have NEVER achieved a balanced budget. That said, I'd point out that IMHO, reducing deficits just isn't good enough. We currently have over 4 trillion (that's a 4 followed by twelve zeros boys and girls, an amount of money that's pretty much unfathomable) dollars in public debt. And, as one of the links I have previously posted in this thread points out, we have developed a national mentality whereby deficits are routinely accepted as "business as usual". As other links I posted above point out, this just can't go on. Any deficit, no matter how small adds to our already massive public debt. My cynical side strongly believes that politicians who blow sunshine up our skirts by offering budget deficit decreases as good news are playing on a possible general ignorance about the distinction between "budget deficits" and "total public debt".

We'll finish with:

"Clinton's tax increase was unnecessary, and the economy would have been even better if he hadn't raised them.

So what you seem to be saying is that the policies of a president who presided over budget surpluses and a vibrant economy would have been better if only they were more like those of presidents whose policies gave us record deficits and the occasional recession.

I will be gracious and suggest that your opinon in this regard is somewhat presumptuous.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 1269
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 01:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dick Cheney is quoted as saying "Reagan showed that deficits don't matter anymore." If you read any of Reagan's speeches from the 1976 campaign, you might believe that he is spinning in his grave.

OTOH, Reagan's lowest deficit was about double Carter's highest.

What is the annual interest on almost eight trillion dollars?http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm About $320,000,000,000?

I love the late Sen. Dirkson's comment,"A billion dollars here, a billion dollars there and pretty soon you are talking real money."
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 03:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Blatantly stealing from this week's cover of Newsweek:

Iraq +
Katrina -
(Steadfast pledge to stay the course on tax cuts)

Anyone care to speculate now on what this year's federal deficit will look like?
 

Pthirus pubis
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 05:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Odd how much the voice of "Publius" sounds so much like another poster in this thread.

Grammar, syntax, sentance structure, use of abbreviations and emphasis...

Eerie similarities... donchya think?
 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 03:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nice try, pubis, but I can assure you that I have posted under but one name in this thread.
 

Pthirus pubis
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 02:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Exactly. One name and one psuedonymn.
 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Pubis,

You have apparently failed to fully grasp the concept of "one".
 

Publius
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Besides,

The vast distance between the obvious superiority of my intellect and your own defies measurement.
 

Pthirus pubis
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - 06:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, you've got me there, Publius.

You're brilliance is blinding, and certainly, even a cursory review of your posts in this unworthy venue cannot fail to greatly expand one's conciousness and vocabulary.

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