Paul Ryan and the Tax Man

posted at 8:31 am on October 13, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

In a way, it’s probably good that Joe Wilson wasn’t sitting up front at the Vice Presidential debate this week nor, more importantly, at the various political roundtables analyzing it ever since. Had he been, the congressman would probably have gone hoarse by now from all of the opportunities to stand up and shout, “You lie!” And that has certainly been the overriding theme since the opening moments of the battle between Paul Ryan and Joe Biden. Both sides are claiming that the candidates’ performances were overshadowed by the “fact” that each of them were lying over and over and over. But among all the bones of contention, one of the most fiercely fought has been the exchange surrounding the proposed GOP tax plan put forward by Mitt Romney.

Over at The Corner, Avik Roy digs into a variety of You Lie themes, but highlights the following when it comes to the tax question.

Biden repeated the long-debunked claim that Romney seeks a “$5 trillion tax cut,” when in fact Romney’s tax proposal is designed to be revenue-neutral. Furthermore, Biden claimed that there is a study from AEI supporting his claims. “The American Enterprise Institute study [says that] taxes will go up on the middle class,” claimed Biden. There is no such study. Two AEI scholars, Matt Jensen and Alex Brill, have in fact made the opposite case.

Unfortunately, it’s exactly these sorts of arguments which invite analysts involved in the debate, such as Bloomber’s Josh Barrow, to dive in with their own reading of the tea leaves.

Mitt Romney’s campaign says I’m full of it. I said Romney’s tax plan is mathematically impossible: he can’t simultaneously keep his pledges to cut tax rates 20 percent and repeal the estate tax and alternative minimum tax; broaden the tax base enough to avoid growing the deficit; and not raise taxes on the middle class. They say they have six independent studies — six! — that “have confirmed the soundness of the Governor’s tax plan,” and so I should stop whining. Let’s take a tour of those studies and see how they measure up.

The Romney campaign sent over a list of the studies, but they are perhaps more accurately described as “analyses,” since four of them are blog posts or op-eds. I’m not hating — I blog for a living — but I don’t generally describe my posts as “studies.”

None of the analyses do what Romney’s campaign says: show that his tax plan is sound.

Being one of those annoying people who actually follows the links in stories like these to try to understand the underlying facts, I was only able to conclude that this entire argument is one big, hot mess. Going through the sources provided in Avik Roy’s piece wasn’t exactly a fool proof plan. Matt Jensen’s article doesn’t actually come out and say that the math works on Romney’s plan, but rather envisions a different set of analytical criteria where it might work. These include redefining “the wealthy” down in income by 25% for starters. Alex Brill’s piece is more strident in claiming that the math could work, but the lion’s share of the argument rests on what is effectively the trickle-down theory; when the taxes are cut, the economy is stimulated to to the point where increased revenue from growing economic activity offsets the cuts. He also makes the valid point that the study under discussion didn’t include the taxes in Obamacare as part of the baseline, which tilts the scales in Romney’s direction.

Barrow’s defense acknowledges the latter while mostly ignoring the former, but there may be a reason for that. It seems that many of the people seeking answers on this issue are looking for the cold, hard math: revenues in one column and costs in the other. Basing answers on projections which rely on our ability to predict how hundreds of millions of people will react to any given set of stimuli muddies the waters before we get out of the gate.

I think both sides are missing one important aspect, however, which still relies on behavioral prediction, but should act as a far better argument in favor of the Romney – Ryan argument. Asking us to accept what will happen under a Romney tax plan relies on said tax plan actually being enacted. And a President Romney could not put such a plan in place quickly nor single handed. Congress will have control of that process, and we all know how lightning fast and efficiently that crack team works.

No, the one thing which could make this math work even before any changes are made to the tax code is the simple fact of Mitt Romney being declared the winner of the election next month. Yes, I understand that this argument sounds just like claims that the election of Barack Obama would slow the rise of the oceans, etc. etc. etc. But there’s a difference here. The relative sea level of the planet doesn’t have access to the internet or cable news and acts independently of current events. But businesses around the country have, beyond question, been holding their collective breath in response to the advent of regulatory burdens and the coming toll of Obamacare, leading to stagnation in employment and economic growth. Taking away that threat – which will be the implication of changing White House occupants – could absolutely bring a bunch of capital in off the sideline. And the energy industry – which has been effectively stymied in some sectors – could, by most projections, start putting millions of more people to work in a matter of months once work on the pipeline gets into full gear and the issuing of more exploration permits is on the horizon. Those two factors alone could produce the type of economic growth which would already be more quickly filing government coffers before the tax reform debate even begins.

That’s the sort of change which will make enacting these types of comprehensive tax reform possible. If you’re arguing from a position of strength, with unemployment falling and more cash coming in to the treasury, it’s a heck of a lot easier than if you have to rely on murky projections of what “might happen” later. Paul Ryan didn’t do himself any favors when he told a reporter that he didn’t have time to go through the math of the tax plan. But I think his argument could be clarified and strengthened by highlighting the effect on the economy described here. That’s why this is the argument which I believe the pundits should be having this weekend, rather than tidying up sums in columns off the AEI study.


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Joe Biden is boorish, churlish, and a liar. It is past time for him and Obama to go…

Khun Joe on October 13, 2012 at 8:50 AM

What a mess (tax law) our elected representatives have created.

JoeHanson on October 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM

So if they cut middle class tax rates, taxes on the middle class will go up? Sounds like a winning argument.

forest on October 13, 2012 at 8:52 AM

What a mess (tax law) our elected representatives have created.

JoeHanson on October 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM

No doubt. It is designed to ensure law makers powers,to incentivize certain behaviors, the ability to pay off their buddies and voters, and to employ the IRS among other things.

CW on October 13, 2012 at 8:55 AM

Paul Ryan is the tax man. He plans to transfer taxes to pay for the federal welfare state. Instead of increasing taxes, the plan is to bleed the rest of government dry until we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us and just the unconstitutional parts the welfare state offers.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

I know I feel like I have been holding my breath since September 08. I reeaaaallly need some fresh air. Come on November.

txmomof6 on October 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

but the lion’s share of the argument rests on what is effectively the trickle-down theory; when the taxes are cut, the economy is stimulated to to the point where increased revenue from growing economic activity offsets the cuts.

History has shown this to be the case. It happened under Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

The second part of the Bush Tax cuts were signed in the second half of FY 2003. By FY 2007, the economy had grown so much that FY 2007 revenues were an amazing 44% BIGGER than FY 2003 revenues.

That’s right. The Bush Tax Cuts led to INCREASED revenues, not decreased revenues, and not just by a little bit, either. A 44% increase in revenues is a really big deal, and that came after the Bush Tax Cuts were put in place.

ITguy on October 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Thanks for this analysis. I’ve been trying to write a rebuttal to my very liberal sister who hates Ryan for his ‘voucher’ plan and has spread around the “$5 trillion tax cut” lie as far as she can (of course she never answers to questions about Obama’s budget!).

The problem I’m finding with the rebuttal is that you have to get so into details of who said what and what their politics are (i.e., Tax Policy Center, whose analysis the Dems use, is not and has never been ‘non-partisan’) that the letter keeps getting longer and longer and more muddied. I had decided that I’d just throw in the towel and give up since I’ll never convince her she’s wrong. Your way is much better! Now I can be better armed for a visit next week.

mathgal60 on October 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

The main study that people used to attack Romney’s plan is the one done by the Tax Policy Center, which has walked back some of its claims that the plan is mathematically impossible because they left out several assumptions

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/10/04/Tax-Policy-Center-Romney-s-Tax-Math-Does-Add-Up-Under-Different-Assumptions

Romney can propose comprehensive tax reform, but whether it can get through Congress is another matter, especially if Harry Rat is still the Majority Leader. But at least you know Romney/Ryan will not be raising tax by leaps and bounds like Barry would to further his redistribution, ObamaCare and to pay for his mismanagement of the economy.

bayview on October 13, 2012 at 9:08 AM

That’s right. The Bush Tax Cuts led to INCREASED revenues, not decreased revenues, and not just by a little bit, either. A 44% increase in revenues is a really big deal, and that came after the Bush Tax Cuts were put in place.

ITguy on October 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

If people have any clue about the velocity of money, then as history shows, of course tax revenues go up when tax cuts happen. Tax revenue comes from income tax. More money in the hands of the people means more income for everyone which means more tax revenue.

But libs are too stuck in believing that the economy is a cookie jar of money, rather than seeing it as it is: a system of flow.

beatcanvas on October 13, 2012 at 9:11 AM

the plan is to bleed the rest of government dry until we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us and just the unconstitutional parts the welfare state offers.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

So you agree that the liberal ideology and their socialist programs are unconstitutional.

Noted.

BobMbx on October 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Paul Ryan is the tax man. He plans to transfer taxes to pay for the federal welfare state. Instead of increasing taxes, the plan is to bleed the rest of government dry until we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us and just the unconstitutional parts the welfare state offers.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Wow, that came out of nowhere. What web sites have you been reading (and obviously believing)?

dirtseller on October 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

What RR and all repubs need to start saying is that the current tax rates will expire on Dec 31st and on Jan 1st the tax rates for everyone, rich and middle class, will go up. There is no tax cuts for the rich coming or going. These tax rates have been in place for 10 to 11 years. No one seems to want to explain that as a defense for the attacks about tax cuts for the rich vs tax cuts for the middle class proposed but not explained by the regime. What is the empty chair’s tax plan beyond empty words.

Kissmygrits on October 13, 2012 at 9:17 AM

How’s it been working out or the ” non- union” middle class for these last 4 yrs?

FlaMurph on October 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

he can’t simultaneously keep his pledges to cut tax rates 20 percent and repeal the estate tax and alternative minimum tax; broaden the tax base enough to avoid growing the deficit; and not raise taxes on the middle class.

I read somewhere a few years ago that the revenue generated by the estate tax barely covers the federal government’s cost of administering the law.

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Biden claims to have privately spoken with Bibi, but the Obama made a public spectacle of snubbing him.

tdarrington on October 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

How’s it been working out or the ” non- union” middle class for these last 4 yrs?

FlaMurph on October 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I’ve heard they’re doing fine.

BobMbx on October 13, 2012 at 9:34 AM

History has shown this to be the case. It happened under Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.

And JFK, too – as well as Israel under Menachem Begin until their socialists came back to power.

honsy on October 13, 2012 at 9:35 AM

***

That’s right. The Bush Tax Cuts led to INCREASED revenues, not decreased revenues, and not just by a little bit, either. A 44% increase in revenues is a really big deal, and that came after the Bush Tax Cuts were put in place.

ITguy on October 13, 2012 at 9:07 AM

There are other good examples: the Coolidge administration, the Kennedy administration, the Reagan administration, and the Clinton administration.

Regarding the Clinton administration, the WSJ had a column several months ago–somewhere I still have it–which discussed what happened during Clinton’s administration. Liberals love to tell us how great the economy was with a 39.6% top marginal rate. But the author of the WSJ article had studied the IRS data from the Clinton years. For Clinton’s first term, tax revenues were steady. Only after the capital-gains rate was reduced from 28% to 20% did revenues skyrocket. Indeed, because individual returns were designed to carve out long-term capital gain income to tax it at a lower rate, you can see how much revenue was attributable to capital-gains taxes and how much revenue was attributable to the 39.6% rate. The capital-gains taxes generated the overwhelming portion of the Clinton-era tax revenue; the income taxes attributable to the 39.6% rate was fairly nominal.

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Paul Ryan is the tax man. He plans to transfer taxes to pay for the federal welfare state. Instead of increasing taxes, the plan is to bleed the rest of government dry until we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us and just the unconstitutional parts the welfare state offers.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 8:56 AM

completely nonsensical.. mindless sophistry..

So adding to defense.. a fundemntal CONSTITUTIONAL mandate… is a

plan is to bleed the rest of government dry until we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us

while cutting and reforming non CONSTITUTIONAL entitlements.. is

we are left without the constitutional aspects of government the Constitution offers us and just the unconstitutional parts the welfare state offers.

taking hallucinagens this morning are we?

I’m on a cocktail of nerve pain blockers and pain killers myself…

but I’ve never seen the pink elephants like you do..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 9:40 AM

I read somewhere a few years ago that the revenue generated by the estate tax barely covers the federal government’s cost of administering the law.

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Perhaps you failed to factor in those death panels which will reduce expenses in medicare, and social security as they kill off the older (thus wealthier) generation and then pounce upon their wealth before their heirs get it.
That agenda is far bigger than you imagine and with an envious, selfish group of folks who as recipients, they already have no problem with the legal taking of innocent life and will be licking their chops at the possibility accepting the lucrative booty from the legalized slaughter.
Obama is not stupid–he knows immorality inside-out and is using it as his best weapon (think of that condom and booing God convention)

Don L on October 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM

He also makes the valid point that the study under discussion didn’t include the taxes in Obamacare as part of the baseline, which tilts the scales in Romney’s direction.

I think this part is irrelevant. Why should Romney have to account for Obamacare’s taxes? As a practical matter, aren’t those “lost” taxes offset by the savings from not creating this huge monstrosity?

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Wow, that came out of nowhere. What web sites have you been reading (and obviously believing)?

dirtseller on October 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Comes from his Ryan Road map. If you were a cognizant individual that was capable understanding numbers then you would know this stuff.

The Ryan Road map reduces the cost of the military by 50% on a GDP basis over time to pay for old people’s early retirements. The Ryan Road map reduces by 60% other aspects of government, such as the judiciary on a GDP basis. In fact, he funds every aspect of the progressive state at full value while squeezing out all the real aspects of the federal government. Of course, being a massive Romney/Ryan fan, you should have read this and known about it.

There are hundreds of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities that go along with the welfare state. These are monies that cannot be collected under the current taxation levels. Ryan’s plan does not solve these trillions, instead, he takes from the rest of government to fund them. The idea that turning medicare into a premium subsidy is going to get rid of the offer more freebies for votes is absurd. The idea that it will change the direction of growth is retarded. It just changes the wording required in bills to increase the payouts.

I sure am glad that people like you argue you are conservative and looking out for the best interest of the United States of America. Without people like you our nation might actually already be on a path to prosperity. The useful idiots for the progressives’.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I’m on a cocktail of nerve pain blockers and pain killers myself…

but I’ve never seen the pink elephants like you do..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 9:40 AM

LOL,

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Obama is not stupid–he knows immorality inside-out and is using it as his best weapon (think of that condom and booing God convention)

Don L on October 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM

any president so profoundly government centric that he would move to crush the conscience provision of religious institutions and force the Catholic Church to sue them, for a Constitutional right…

and risk shutting down the Catholic hospitals and charity groups as they move to prevent the government from forcing them to disobey God.. and fund infanticide..

all just to make sure ONLY the government will provide charity..

I think Obama WANTS the Church to shut down it’s charity groups.. hospitals.. I believe private charity that is large and effective OFFENDS his left wing sensibilities.. all you need to do is listen to what he says..

He sees himself as the only power.. the ultimate lawgiver.. and woe to whom that disrespect his almighty ego trip..

Pipsqueaks like him, deserve to loose power and be relegated to menial professions, like the Brain with Pinky in tow.. every night plotting to take over the world..

and cursing the small minds which don’t recognize his greatness… not like he does..

Never thought we’d ever have a megalomaniac as president.. and we can’t remove him fast enough..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Please see John McCormack (Weekly Standard 10/04/12) and the linked study by Princeton Professor Harvey Rosen for discussion of the weaknesses in the arguments against the tax cut. The math in the tax plan actually does work, relying in small part on an economic growth impact of about 0.3% per year (a small enough figure to discredit or at least trivialize the “trickle down” arguments).

While there is nothing wrong with “invit(ing) analysts involved in the debate” to produce their own studies, “analyses” or blog posts, these should not deter us from pointing out the analytical flaws, data omissions, mendacity or other weaknesses of their arguments. The “cold, hard math” is what demonstrates this, and more analyses based on “cold, hard math” should be encouraged.

So, the Romney tax plan is sound, the VP and other opponents are relying on distorted studies intended to support their arguments rather than to address the facts, and Josh Barrow is in fact full of it.

Upstreamer on October 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM

LOL,

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

so you do have a sense of humor..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I have some questions about the debate. It’s becoming conventional wisdom that Joe Biden excited and energized his base by his rude performance, and yet that Ryan may have “won” or that it was at least a draw. On the other hand, as a conservative, my reaction to Paul Ryan’s performance was frustration and mild demoralization that he couldn’t refute Biden lies or stand up for himself but rather permitted himself to be interrupted and, in a sense, demeaned by both moderator and opponent.

Why can’t WE be energized and excited by EVERY debate? Does this matter to us? Must we always suck up abuse, and is victory determined by how stoically and/or impassively we suck it up? Is this just the natural order of the political universe of which the Romney-Obama debate was a fluke departure thanks to Jim Lehrer? Is it impossible to firmly rebuke out-of-line or biased moderators or rude and braying opponents without fear of total media meltdown and public outrage leading to lynch mobs? Is this what Ryan was so seemingly afraid of? Or was he not afraid, was his strategy to smile and say nothing while he was treated with utter contempt? Was I alone in my frustration?

rrpjr on October 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM

I seem to recall that economic indicators began sinking quite noticeably as soon as it become more and more likely that Obama was going to win, the downward lines on the charts all begin mid to late 2008, even before the election.

As for the non-union middle class these last four years? I think my family qualifies, being in the middle of the middle quintile according to the IRS. I don’t think we’ve seen our total family income go up by more than about 3% over that time, which doesn’t even cover the increases in the costs for us to get to work. If my one daughter had wanted to continue figure skating, I don’t think we’d have been able to do it for financial reasons, and the only reason our heads are above water is that we aren’t paying for that.

When the tax increases go into affect on January 1st, between the return of SS to it’s higher level (which I wouldn’t mind so much if I thought I might ever see any of it), the cutting of the child tax credit in half, the reinstatement of the marriage penalty and the loss of the 10% tax bracket, we’re looking to lose about an extra 5% of our AGI.

I don’t think you could say we live extravagantly, we bought a house within our means, such that the mortgage interest and property tax is low enough that it isn’t worth it to us to itemize our deductions. Our “new” car is 10 years old. But even with that, we can’t afford to lose another 5%. I’m already going to have to drop my employer health insurance in January and leave us to rely on Tricare, because they got rid of the lower cost PPO and replaced it with a high deductible/HSA plan which I can not, by law, sign up for because of the Tricare and we can’t afford to spend another 1.5% of our AGI on top of the new taxes. (That’s the difference in my share of the premiums between the old PPO1 and the only PPO they offer now.) I suspect most if not all of the stress-related illnesses I’m dealing with right now are related to worry over this election. If we have to try to survive another 4 years of the Democrats “ruling” us from Washington, I’ll be happy if we can continue to be called working class – I’ll be surprised if either of us has the same job in two years, or even any job.

LibraryGryffon on October 13, 2012 at 10:10 AM

so you do have a sense of humor..

mark81150 on October 13, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I do, just not really finding our current government worthy of laughter.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 10:15 AM

…what good is any tax plan talk if Harry the mortician still holds the Senate leadership?

KOOLAID2 on October 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Biden behaved in his debate with Ryan in the exact way liberals are most terrified of.

No matter how horrible their records are they can’t stand to take their medicine.

Speakup on October 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

But businesses around the country have, beyond question, been holding their collective breath in response to the advent of regulatory burdens and the coming toll of Obamacare, leading to stagnation in employment and economic growth. Taking away that threat – which will be the implication of changing White House occupants – could absolutely bring a bunch of capital in off the sideline.

As the summer of 2012 approached, and the pending election, I have seen my clients holding back in spending. We have work, but it is not robust by any means. Everyone seems to be holding their collective breath.

This July and August our volume of work began to decrease. It was deja vu, shades of 2008 when the business world stopped turning two months before that inglorious election.

Nobody knows what to do to prepare for Obamacare.

Pazman on October 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM

LibraryGryffon on October 13, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Our household situation is similar. My car died this year–we had to get a replacement. I would have loved getting a new car but we can’t afford the payments, so we went with one that’s 9 years old and already had 94,000 miles on it. The company my spouse works for has had four layoffs in the last two years, with no rehires. They’ve shaved the hours the employees can work, frozen pensions and stopped matching 401ks. The remaining employees are also forced to take week long furloughs to cut costs as well. Their insurance plans are the cheapest the company can buy, and I expect them to dump them completely and encourage the employees to go on the government healthcare if Obamacare completely kicks in. The company I work for has had one set of layoffs and recently changed healthcare providers to cut costs. They keep giving us updates on the progress of Obamacare as it affects their policies. I expect them to do the same as my spouse’s company when Obamacare goes into complete effect, leaving us unwillingly on the government dole.

No, the one thing which could make this math work even before any changes are made to the tax code is the simple fact of Mitt Romney being declared the winner of the election next month… businesses around the country have, beyond question, been holding their collective breath in response to the advent of regulatory burdens and the coming toll of Obamacare, leading to stagnation in employment and economic growth. Taking away that threat – which will be the implication of changing White House occupants – could absolutely bring a bunch of capital in off the sideline…

This goes hand in hand with what I shared previously. If Romney gets elected, my spouse can quit, and my family will feel more comfortable about starting our own business in a less hostile environment than we have now. Should Obama get reelected, Obamacare alone would complicate greatly any chance of trying to start a new business. My spouse would wind up staying in the same crappy job until getting laid off as the company cut more corners.

It’s like I said in another post–I’m tired of holding my breath. I’d like to relax and not feel stressed about our future, especially as we get closer to our senior years. I’m of the age where the Obamacare death panels would just love to say no to every procedure a doctor would request.

theotherone on October 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

my reaction to Paul Ryan’s performance was frustration and mild demoralization that he couldn’t refute Biden lies or stand up for himself but rather permitted himself to be interrupted and, in a sense, demeaned by both moderator and opponent.

Now just how does one do that? Get up and deck Biden? Ryan’s responsibility was to debate within the rules set out. The moderator is there to ensure that both sides adhere but Martha didn’t bother, in fact she joined the debate.

Debating has rules. Each side given X amount of time to answer a question and then a possible point, counterpoint. It is a gentleman’s art of discussion. Martha was having none of that. She allowed 80 interruptions from Biden and threw in 50 of her own (30 to Ryan and 20 to Biden). Biden simply was there to get the Sh** to hit the fan.

Ryan was professional, cool, collected and did all one could possibly do to get his points across. Yes, it would be wonderful if he’d have enough time to call Biden on his lies – but then Ryan would have fallen for Biden’s agenda instead of getting his own points across.

katablog.com on October 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM

With a quick glance as his ranting blog, I’m guessing this is a troll we should ignore. IF one can make sense of it, let me know. I sure couldn’t.

katablog.com on October 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

With a quick glance as his ranting blog, I’m guessing this is a troll we should ignore. IF one can make sense of it, let me know. I sure couldn’t.

katablog.com on October 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Compared to your blog, LOL. You just regurgitate what everyone else says. Wow, look at you, you said the same thing Drudge said. No wonder you have trouble following my blog. It does not repeat what a dozen other of your favorite haunts argue. Look at me, I’m the same as a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i ,j, k and L blogs!

Reminds me of the left. Individuality, as long as you choose to be exactly like we demand you be!

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I’m interested in what would be the revenue effect of discontinuing the federal deductibility of state income taxes. It amounts to the federal government cutting enormous checks to the poorly run mostly democratic states, in the language the democratics use.

slickwillie2001 on October 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Now just how does one do that? Get up and deck Biden?
katablog.com on October 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM

So, you’re saying there’s nothing he could have done short of getting up and decking Biden? There was no other option?

I’m not sure which is more deflating, the idea that we must ALWAYS capitulate to the abuses of the debate format by democrats in collusion with the media, or that we have so little imagination and daring we can’t conceive of a decent and civil alternative within the format.

rrpjr on October 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference

Maybe Ole’ Joe would like to argue with JFK’s statement!

Herb on October 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

time to pay for old people’s early retirements.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 9:47 AM

We should just kill all the “old people.”

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

– John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference

Maybe Ole’ Joe would like to argue with JFK’s statement!

Herb on October 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

“So now you’re Jack Kennedy!”

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I’m not sure which is more deflating, the idea that we must ALWAYS capitulate to the abuses of the debate format by democrats in collusion with the media, or that we have so little imagination and daring we can’t conceive of a decent and civil alternative within the format.

rrpjr on October 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yes. Spineless Repubs.

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I have an ad for the Republicans, just show Biden’s debate behavior and then, at the end of the ad, put, “Do you really want to be governed by the rude and obnoxious?”

bflat879 on October 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Any tax rate analysis that does not examine how that rate effects the economy is stuck in the mud. The Left wants a static economy size based analysis, as they love divvying up pie and can’t entertain the idea that the pie can grow. When they look at a tax rate they project it onto the current economy and set of circumstances and never ask: what is the effect of this tax rate? They always ask: how much income can this tax rate garner from a set-size economic pie?

Lowering tax rates means more money in people’s pockets immediately. That has a fast acting effect that is broad and far-reaching. Couple this through the removal of loopholes, give-backs, kick-backs, subsidies via the tax codes, ‘incentives’ to purchase certain government preferred goods via the tax code, and all the cronyist stuff that is in the tax code, then you get more revenue. Coupled these reduced rates and removal of exemptions is aimed at getting to the net amount garnered by taxation at any given income level. Simplification and reduction of the actual rate leaves more spending money on take-home due to the rate reduction, and more of what is set-aside for taxes is actually garnered in revenue.

Couple this with reduction in regulation and you get lower overhead cost to businesses, which means higher amounts left in their revenue stream to spend on expansion and hiring.

You want an economic boom? Cut the tax rate, simplify the tax code, and remove regulatory regimes and their overhead cost. Businesses cannot and should not be the enforcer of government policy via regulations and the tax code: let government pay for this stuff directly if it so very helpful to do. Give everyone the up-front cost of government and not foist nice things to do upon the private economy. Pay for your own damn good ideas and justify their cost up-front, not via the bureaucrat forcing the individual and businessman to do your legwork for you.

ajacksonian on October 13, 2012 at 1:46 PM

josh barro injected a little twist

enough to avoid growing the deficit; and not raise taxes on the middle class.

we take in 2.5T or so. So that’s the number that Romney is talking about…generating 2.5T in other ways that are more fair to the average person and chop chop to the lobby for self-interested groups

i’m sure that mitt believes that this will increase revenues…but the Spending is the Problem

do the Left think that barry’s 3.6T per year boondoogle is going to continue.

of course the answer is yes, and if Mitt gets elected, then day after day, week after week, month after month…the left/press will shriek about every dime ‘taken away’ from barry’s VISION

r keller on October 13, 2012 at 2:35 PM

or that we have so little imagination and daring we can’t conceive of a decent and civil alternative within the format…

rrpjr on October 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

…powerfully delivered. That would have been the only effective counter to Biden’s bluster and lies.

Cleombrotus on October 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM

We should just kill all the “old people.”

davidk on October 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

How said that? Old people have skills. Old people can earn their own money. Old people should have been saving for retirement on their own by over producing rather than over spending. Old people should be paying for their health insurance on their own with their own wealth. Old people should be buying market based disability insurance.

Because they are not required to have this God Given Responsibility as it should be, but instead, liberty is replaced by government wealth transfers, they chose instead to abort the next generation to the tune of 53 million babies, about 30 million more workers if you cannot calculate that out on your own. Instead they spent their life earnings as they got it and frequently then some, on the Federal level to the tune of 16 trillion dollars along with an additional 210 trillion dollars of unfunded wealth transfers. Instead they miseducated their children. Instead they spend their time misanthropically saving the planet by shutting down the industry that would pay for better lives for everyone.

Its not about getting rid of them, it is about making them earn their way through life.

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I checked this guy Barro out and he 1) appears to hate Mitt Romney and 2) is a conservative along the lines of frum, brooks and noonan. When was the last time we saw an article by Thomas Sowell or any serious conservative highlighted at ha? Why do we constantly see stuff from wack job squishys and liberals?

I think all those here who are not squishy’s and pretend conservatives know that answer.

peacenprosperity on October 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Now that I think about it, I would easily bet that the times david brooks has been referenced at ha over the past several years is at least 50 to 1 over Thomas Sowell. Now how can a website claim to be conservative when people like brooks, frum, noonan and the strange little person barro cited above are prominent sources? I would bet that in the last 2 or 3 years andrew sullivan has been cited 10 times that of Thomas Sowell.

peacenprosperity on October 13, 2012 at 4:24 PM

peacenprosperity on October 13, 2012 at 4:24 PM

It’s about stirring the pot and site traffic.

rrpjr on October 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

When was the last time we saw an article by Thomas Sowell or any serious conservative highlighted at ha? Why do we constantly see stuff from wack job squishys and liberals?

I think all those here who are not squishy’s and pretend conservatives know that answer.

peacenprosperity on October 13, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Perhaps the Editors assume we are already reading Thomas Sowell et al., and think we ought to know what the rest of the public is perceiving as “conservative comment” so that we have some degree of inoculation.
Forewarned being forearmed, sort of thing.

However, to answer your first question, try this one.

AesopFan on October 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

AesopFan on October 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I think it is more a fact that the Site is no longer Conservative, but Republican first, liberal fake libertarian second, everything else last…

astonerii on October 13, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Just a little bit of coincidence, but Sowell showed up in a thread later today about the interior department.

burt on October 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM

AesopFan on October 13, 2012 at 5:23 PM

we ought to know what the rest of the public is perceiving as “conservative comment” so that we have some degree of inoculation.

That seems to be the problem with the pretend conservatives around here, they think this blog is being moderated by conservatives when we’ve got a squishy from the peoples republic of minnesota and a greenwhich village hillary voter calling the shots.

peacenprosperity on October 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM