Green Room

A friendly reminder from Howard Dean on tax day

posted at 2:48 pm on April 15, 2013 by

I wrote about the following exchange at the time, but Dean’s cautionary candor is especially relevant on this, the dreaded 15th of April:

“The truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich.”

Indeed.  But even if many more people paid a lot more taxes, those receipts still wouldn’t keep pace with Washington’s spend-and-promise rapacity:

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure…When the accrued expenses of the government’s entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit. Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws. In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn’t be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon.

Gallup’s tax day poll reveals that 95 percent of Americans believe they’re either taxed fairly or too heavily.  But if they also continue to abet politicians’ zealous resistance to fundamental changes to save our unsustainable entitlement programs, they’re going to see a lot more “fairness” heading their way — sooner rather than later.  And the status quo safety net still won’t be sustainable.

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He completed medical school,right? Isn’t that proof that he has been educated beyond his intelligence? Why listen to the ramblings of pathetic idiot?

oldleprechaun on April 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Indeed. But even if many more people paid a lot more taxes,

Indeed? Indeed? Really? Is that a euphemism for “Bullshit?”

ExpressoBold on April 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Partially true. The other two thirds of the equation are well known here (that is, back off on onerous regulation and stop the Feds from making fiscal commitments without the means to pay for them); however, it has to start where *everyone* has a equal share of tax commitment. Only then can they begin to see just how deeply the Feds have got the public into the crap regarding spending obligations.

Oh, and the revolving door between Govt employment and lobbying has to be slammed shut. Period. Otherwise, voting a congresscritter out of office is meaningless when he/she knows that there is a lucrative K Street office waiting for them when they leave; or when a Govt employee knows that there is no consequence for poor fiscal management or regulation management because they too have a K Street office waiting as well.

As to this comment:

He completed medical school,right? Isn’t that proof that he has been educated beyond his intelligence? Why listen to the ramblings of pathetic idiot?

oldleprechaun on April 15, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Once in a blue moon, at least Dean (and James Carville too) will speak frankly regarding political matters – extremely rare, perhaps, but it does happen. Compare this to anything that either Reid or Pelosi have ever said; by comparison, for them (and most Democrats, for that matter), you won’t ever hear them complaining about their party, much less hear them ever speak frankly about political issues, ever. Not a reason to let one’s guard down about Dean, but at least give the man a little credit where credit is due.

Wanderlust on April 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Well unfortunately great economic upheavals can cause horrible wars.
I fear for the future.

losarkos on April 15, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I didn’t come up with this logic, but it bears repeating.

The democrats keep trying to hold up the Clinton era tax rates as a prime example that higher taxes result in a stronger economy or at least try to make the case that the economy didn’t implode making them ok.

A quick glance at history will tell you that the economy prospered under Clinton because of tax reforms that were put in place years earlier, but also the rise of the internet opened global trade in a way the world had not seen before. The reason why there was a surplus (on paper) of funds was because of the .com boom and not because of any policies of congress or the President.

Our budgets were also around $2.5 Trillion which is much less than they are today.

So, if the democrats want to return to Clinton era tax rates then we should also return to Clinton era budget spending. Considering that would result in a 30% reduction of the federal budget and actually balance based on 2011 tax receipts, I would actually be for raising my taxes in exchange for massive spending cuts and balancing the budget over night.

We all know that will never happen. The goal isn’t to reduce the deficit, but to seize more wealth for the purposes of spending it on leftist special interest groups and those more deserving than the evil rich.

Pro-tip: The real money isn’t with the wealthy but the middle class. Sooner or later that segment will be squeezed and it will be too late to stop the train.

Flashwing on April 16, 2013 at 4:06 AM


blammm on April 16, 2013 at 9:28 AM


blammm on April 16, 2013 at 9:28 AM

That sound is oddly familiar… although I heard it as YEEEEEEEEHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
It’s very HoDeanian, long may the public remember and the media cringe about it.

ExpressoBold on April 16, 2013 at 1:25 PM

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