Is The US Taxed Too Much Or Too Little? March 31, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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By Greg Mankiw:
Taxes per Person
Some pundits, reflecting on the looming U.S. budget deficits, claim that Americans are vastly undertaxed compared with other major nations. I was wondering, to what extent is that true?
The most common metric for answering this question is taxes as a percentage of GDP. However, high tax rates tend to depress GDP. Looking at taxes as a percentage of GDP may mislead us into thinking we can increase tax revenue more than we actually can. For some purposes, a better statistic may be taxes per person, which we can compute using this piece of advanced mathematics:
Taxes/GDP x GDP/Person = Taxes/Person
Here are the results for some of the largest developed nations:
.461 x 33,744 = 15,556
.406 x 34,219 = 13,893
.390 x 35,165 = 13,714
.282 x 46,443 = 13,097
.334 x 38,290 = 12,789
.426 x 29,290 = 12,478
.373 x 29,527 = 11,014
.274 x 32,817 = 8,992
The bottom line: The United States is indeed a low-tax country as judged by taxes as a percentage of GDP, but as judged by taxes per person, the United States is in the middle of the pack.
Hollywood Dummies- Who Is The Dumbest Matt? March 31, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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Entitled To Your Own Facts? March 31, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
Tony Blankley from RCP:
Frustrating, Stubborn Facts
By Tony Blankley
The late, splendid Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously asserted, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” The senator was wrong. (Of course, for those of us who still believe that objectivity is objective, a fact is still a fact, though the heavens may fall.)
The key word here is “entitled.” In today’s entitlement-crazy Washington, not only do folks believe that about half the country is entitled to other people’s money and health insurance policies, they feel they are entitled to their own facts to support their claim to their own entitlement to other people’s money and health insurance policies.
Not only that, they believe they are entitled to their own facts to describe the character and conduct of their political opponents. The Democratic Party collectively smeared scores of millions of American Tea Party participants as racist, homophobic, violent terrorists in the absence of a single verified fact in support of even one such incident being attributable to a single individual. Nor did their media pals even bother with the word “alleged.”
At a more personal level, two prominent liberal magazines led their readers to believe (as evidenced by multiple reader comments) that in one of my columns last week, I plagiarized Winston Churchill’s most famous speech as my own — despite the fact that I expressly stated immediately before and immediately after the paraphrase that I was paraphrasing Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from June 1940. I even stated that I apologized for paraphrasing his immortal words. New Republic did have the decency to correct that misimpression after I wrote to complain. The other magazine I will leave in its obscurity.
Not only was Moynihan wrong, so was John Adams, who said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. (“Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,” December 1770).
Though he may have been correct technically — the facts cannot be altered in the eyes of God — he was wrong to the extent that the facts cannot be altered in the eyes of the public.
The advocates of the new “thing” that was passed a week ago Sunday and signed into law by the chief executive claimed it would reduce the deficit by $140 billion over the first 10 years. No informed person believes that “fact.” Also, fairly happily, according to Sunday’s Washington Post poll, 65 percent of the public think the new law will increase the budget deficit.
Still, that leaves 35 percent (or close to 100 million Americans, counting the kids) who either believe the incorrect “fact,” think the law will be budget-neutral or are otherwise confused.
So, currently, the fact that it will increase the deficit by at least half-a-trillion dollars (probably much more) rather than reduce it by $140 billion is just 65 percent stubborn. It will be interesting to see, seven months from now, how stubborn that fact will be. How effectively the advocates of the non-fact “communicate” to the people — and how effective the rest of us are — will determine whether it will be more or less than just 65 percent stubborn. And remember, American elections tend to be won or lost on the margin. If 30 percent of the voters are motivated by incorrect “facts” to vote, that may well be enough for them to be the winners — who, as many cynics claim — get to write the history.
Of course, it is not a novelty of our time that there is often a struggle over convincing the public of the truth. As has been said, “A lie is halfway ’round the world before truth has got its boots on.” (Attention liberal journalists: I am not claiming that phrase as my own. It is a loose translation from Virgil’s “Aeneid”: “Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius alium,” which itself was paraphrased by Shakespeare in the introduction of “Henry IV,” Part 2.)
So, we have a jolly seven-month public match over both economic and political theory — and the honest facts — with the advocates of the monstrosity that we dare not call by its name. (Last week I quite upset more than 800 digital “commenters” at the Huffington Post — and thousands of other friendly, if often obscene and contemptuous, e-mailers — because I used the word “socialism” to describe a government-designed, -taxed, -deeply regulated and -mandated program that will hire 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure we enjoy the benefits the federals require we pay the government to receive.
We’re in for quite a brawl. (Note to Democratic Party talking-points drafts people: I am using the word “brawl” as a metaphor.) I am not calling for violence against your dainty selves, so you can come out from pretending to be trembling under your desks and bask in the physical safety of debating Republicans, conservatives, Tea Party folks and other fine Americans. After all, when was the last time you saw thousands of us filthy-rich, middle-aged, paunchy white guys from gated communities riot? (With the possible exception of the first day of the 30-percent-off sale for Bermuda shorts at the country club golf shop. “Where are the 40s?”)
Come out, come out where ever you are, my little pretties. We want to debate the facts, not duck your mud balls. What are you afraid of? Admittedly, the truth may hurt you — but only metaphorically. And, as the phrase goes, the truth will set us (even you) free
Well, DUH March 31, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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A French-Obama Lovefest March 30, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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This joint White House presser has so far been nothing but a love-fest between Obama and the visiting French head-of-state.
Sarkozy has so far said Obama is “very easy to work with,” commended the U.S. stance on Jerusalem settlements, and spoken of how happy he is for Obama and the United States that health-care reform passed.
And the feeling seems mutual. As Mark Knoller tweeted, “Intercepting a question for Sarkozy, Obama insists “I listen to Nicolas all the time – I cant stop listening to him.”"
Figures, doesn’t it?
Common Sense March 30, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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The strangest thing about Obama’s gargantuan, trillion-dollar-plus new health-care entitlement is the timing.
Not only are we running $1.7 trillion annual deficits and scheduled to nearly double the $11 trillion debt in only eight years — and watching the logical end to an entitlement state in Greece’s implosion — but we are witnessing the meltdown of almost every government-run program imaginable: Medicare is broke; the Postal Service is insolvent and cutting back Saturday service (but probably not a commensurate one-sixth of their budget); and now Social Security spends more than it takes in.
So is this frenzied effort to expand government, widen entitlements, raise taxes, and borrow more money some sort of nihilistic urge to achieve a universal, cradle-to-grave, redistributionist entitlement state at about the same time the entire system goes bankrupt?
Constant campaigning, photo-ops, fluff interviews, adulatory essays in the corrupt media — all this can give a one or two point plus in the polls. But the reasons the bumps are transitory and followed by net losses after a week or two is that the public now realizes we are broke. When Obama announces yet another give-away or entitlement, the public equates that with spending more money we have just borrowed, and suspects that this can no more go on than can the spree of the giddy shopper who maxes out a dozen credit cards, oozing wealth and confidence, before the tab comes in and financial destruction follows.
More Leftist Fantasy March 30, 2010Posted by Cory Franklin in Uncategorized.
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From Eugene Robinson about the Michigan plot:
Most of the groups that posed a real danger, as the Hutaree allegedly did, have been infiltrated and dismantled by authorities before they could do any damage. But we should never forget that the worst act of domestic terrorism ever committed in this country was authored by a member of the government-hating right wing: Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction — the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day — and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies — is calibrated not to inform but to incite.
Gee maybe I missed something but 3000 people were killed in one day in an act of domestic terrorism that had nothing to do with the right wing.
just yesterday 40 people were killed in downtown Moscow that had nothing to do with right wingers.
Keep ignoring where the real threat comes from worldwide where there are thousands being trained. Focus on a couple of kooks from Michigan – do it at your own peril