Just How Stupid Are We?

by on April 19, 2011 · 50 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Economy, Popular

A funny thing happened on the way to the TEA Party anti-tax rallies across the country.  Well, two things, actually:  Standard and Poor’s, the financial market rating agency, essentially downgraded the credit rating of the United States government from “stable” to “negative” for the first time in history.  And the teabagger crowd’s “taxes are too high” whine was turned on its head by a publication that is known for its conservative bent in one of the most conservative locales in all of California.

It’s really more sad than funny.  Sad enough to make one cry about how incredibly ill-informed and gullible our national electorate has become.  In short, how just plain stupid we are.

Federal Income Taxes are at historically low levels

The Standard and Poor’s rating is very significant, and cannot be understated.  It says that U.S. government debt is no longer the investment it’s supposed to be.  U.S.  Treasury bonds (or T-bonds) are the single safest investment in the world.  An investment in Treasury bonds is as good as a guarantee that the money is going to be there in the long term when you need it.  That’s why the interest rate is so low—typically around 2%; because it’s considered an extremely low risk investment.  And as anyone with any kind of basic financial wherewithal knows, the higher the risk involved, the higher the return (or interest rate) on investment.

What S&P has essentially done is throw a damper on all of that.  U.S. Treasury bonds are no longer (at least for now) considered as safe as they’re supposed to be.  And it should be a slap in the face for the no-tax crowd, but it won’t be.  They’re too busy buying the snake oil being sold by Astroturf organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and the Club for Growth.  They’re too mesmerized by the Heritage Foundation’s fantasy that by following their “Path to Prosperity” (Paul Ryan’s budget, which is based on Heritage Foundation projections) they can reduce unemployment by over 2% by 2012, and to 2.8% overall by 2021, which is pure fantasy in and of itself.  The Federal Reserve considers 5% unemployment to be full employment, for all intents and purposes, and the lowest rate achievable to be compatible with price stability and guarding against inflation.

Just as a side note:  Social Security funds are invested in Treasury bonds of a sort.  All money paid into the Social Security Trust Fund gets invested into the U.S. Treasury and earns interest.  A large chunk of the U.S.  debt is, therefore, accounted for by “borrowing” from Social Security.  Which is good and bad, since Social Security investments will theoretically be earning a higher rate of interest in the near future, but bad since it’s only going to serve to increase the U.S. debt due to the higher interest rates.

What will happen if S&P downgrades the U.S. credit rating is that the rate of interest on Treasury bonds will go up.  When the rate on Treasury bonds goes up, the rates for ALL borrowing goes up, as interest rates are generally tied to the Fed rate, affecting the economy in its entirety as it makes it more expensive for all businesses and individuals to borrow money.

Center on Budget Policy and Priorities

And let’s not forget that it was the Bush tax cuts that directly led to the massive increase in the debt and deficit.  According to the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities, the Bush tax cuts accounted for 49% of the budget deficits and debt amongst legislation enacted between 2001 and 2008.  That’s more than any other factor.

So we’re “Taxed Enough Already,” but it was the tax cuts that led us into this crisis in the first place?  Talk about an oxymoron……

But there’s yet another little inconvenient factoid that puts a rather sizeable burr under the Tea Bagger saddle:  According to a story featured prominently in the Orange County Register—hardly a liberal leaning publication—taxes in the United States are at historically low levels.  No, Virginia, we’re not being taxed too much, particularly the richest 2%, who have seen their tax rates reach historic lows.

The wealthiest 400 households in the U.S. pay an effective tax rate of around 16%–“effective” meaning after all of the deductions, with households earning over $1million per year hovering around a 22% effective tax rate.

Effective Tax Rates of the Wealthy

That’s significantly less than the 35% bracket they’re supposed to be in.

It’s the Republican claim that America has one of the highest tax rates in the world, which has the effect of driving businesses out of the country.  In fact, the United States has one of the lowest tax rates in the developed world, with only Australia registering lower on the tax scale as a percentage of GDP.  And the notion that any increase in the tax rates at all will devastate our economy is utterly laughable.

Right Wing mythology holds that government spending is the problem.  The only problem.  Taxes have nothing to do with it.  Taxes are too high and we need to cut taxes to grow our economy and get out of the rut we’re in.  And we’re just dumb enough to believe them on face value.  We as a people have bought their story and swallowed the hook whole because it just sounds so good!  No one likes paying taxes, after all, and we’ve been hearing folks like Richard Rider and Grover Norquist tell us that eliminating taxes is the only sure way to prosperity.  And we accept their premise without question because it’s what we want to hear.  It’s the easy way out.

Republicans swept into power last November on an anti-tax, anti-spending message.  They railed against out of control deficit spending, conveniently forgetting to mention that it was Republicans in the Reagan era that invented the concept.  And it’s the most gullible among us that made it happen, as seniors and low information voters turned out in record numbers to vote for their favorite Conservative Don Quixote who promised that they were gonna “save Medicare” from the evil Obamonster, when in fact the plan all along was to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid altogether.

The problem is that the facts are not on their side, but because the facts don’t fit into a nifty little sound bite or catchphrase like “Pulling the plug on Grandma;” because the facts are too much like math and science, and therefore too difficult to easily understand; and the catchphrases and sound bites are so simple and easily digestible, we completely ignore the facts.  We have become willfully ignorant of what is actually going on around us, and we’re paying attention to people who sell us a bill of goods who once in power have set out to destroy the best parts of this country, literally and figuratively.

We are listening to people who claim they’re for small government, but are actually for very, very BIG, repressive government policies that are actively destroying the middle class and sinking our economic viability in the process.

The facts are that the Conservatives are the fiscally irresponsible ones peddling magic beans, and we believe in magic beans.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anna Daniels April 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Terrific piece, Andy! I am mystified that neither our president nor the repugs get it that the majority of Americans don’t want the Bush tax cuts to extend to the wealthiest. The people are not buying the magic beans of tax cuts, the wars, or the attacks upon Social Security and Medicare. AAARGH.


avatar dave rice April 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Excellent writing, Andy. I’m of the belief that the Reps are fully aware that Americans don’t want these devastating tax cuts, they just don’t care. People vote for politicians with the best PR campaigns, and those campaigns are sponsored on both sides of the aisle by those who do want the cuts. Coincidentally, the big spenders are the only ones that actually expect anything out of their purchased politicians once they’re in office, and they get it in spades.


avatar Andy Cohen April 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I’m of the opinion that the voters are just too dumb to know better……especially the voters who lean Conservative with the big ‘C.’ The base that these characters cater to is typically the low information voter that only knows what the TV commercials tell them about a candidate or a particular party’s policies……..or what Fox News tells them.


avatar dave rice April 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Pretty much my point, and in direct support of your original post’s thesis – yeah, for the most part we’re too stupid to know better.


avatar Gary Ghirardi April 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

The big P’s that belong to the Big D’s are just dumb in a different way…that if your burrito comes wrapped in another color it must mean they will get more than a different flavor.


avatar John Lawrence April 20, 2011 at 12:10 am

Obama will certainly let the Bush tax cuts expire in 2012. The good thing is that it doesn’t require any new legislation for them to expire. It just requires doing nothing. The bad thing is that the Bush tax cuts lowered tax rates across the board and not just for the rich so, when they expire, that means that taxes will go up across the board and not just on the rich. Obviously, the Republican House will not initiate legislation that will only let taxes go up just on the rich so there is a bit of a pickle for Obama’s reelection campaign.


avatar Shane Finneran April 20, 2011 at 8:15 am

I also really enjoyed this. Thanks, Andy.

The three charts you include are incredible. Pretty hard to argue with. And it’s all real, historical data — there are no ridiculous assumptions involved, unlike the Republican budget projections.

Makes you wonder why Obama and the Dems weren’t trotting these charts out while they were “trying” to undo the Bush tax cuts. After all, in a land of many dumb-dumbs, pictures speak louder than words…


avatar Ian April 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm


There is lots of misinformation here. Andy gets the facts wrong.

1) The Federal Reserves is buying Treasury bonds, creating false demand for them, in order to keep interest rates low. This is what they call Quantitative Easing.

2) Overall taxes that people pay are not lower. Federal Income Tax is not the only tax we pay, we pay State Income Tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, Gas Tax, etc. You add all these up and Americans are among the highest taxed in the world.

3) The effective tax rate isn’t so much about deductions (it is partly about deductions) as it is about how the tax brackets are taxed. If you make $1 million, and you are in the top bracket you are not taxed 35% on all of it. The first $8,000 isn’t taxed at all, and only the money above $375K is taxed at 35%. This is why the Obamas who made approx. 1.4 million in 2010 paid an effective rate of 27%

4) We have a huge spending problem. If you want to deny that then you are living in fantasy land. A big part of this spending problem is the military industrial complex and the wars we fight around the world.

If you want to talk about facts, get them straight.


avatar Shane Finneran April 21, 2011 at 8:31 am

Ian, Andy’s provided a source of his facts: the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities. Where do yours come from? Uranus? Show us some proof of “Americans are among the highest taxed in the world.”

As for spending on wars, I think close to 100% OB Rag readership agrees with you on that — our country has a problem there.


avatar Ian April 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

Shane, come on, you are smarter than this. Andy’s data only represents Federal Income Tax, which is only one of the many taxes we pay, yet he argues as if the statistics represent total tax burden. It is not “facts”, it is spin, and it is consistent with the tired arguments put forth by the liberal arm of the mainstream media.

This is yet another case of “Figures lie and liars figure”.

A quick google search turned this up: http://www.photius.com/rankings/tax_burden_country_ranks_2009.html

You can add about 10% to the figures in the article just for state income taxes, and that doesn’t include all of the other taxes we pay. http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/443.html

If you want to have an honest debate about our tax code and system (which is clearly broken and needs an overhaul) at least tell the truth about your statistics. I think that it is disgusting that the rich have a lower tax burden than the middle class, but you cannot solve the problem if you don’t understand it.


avatar Shane Finneran April 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

Um, Ian. The link you provided. US rank is #20. You said US rank is #1.

The second link you provided. Compares California taxes with other US state taxes. Completely irrelevant to this article.

Remember Dieter from West German Television’s Sprockets? “This conversation has grown tiresome.”


avatar Ian April 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I didn’t say the US ranked #1, I said we are among the highest taxed int he world, #20 out of 200 countries world wide fits that description. I said that Andy has the facts wrong because his stats only represent Federal Income Tax.

The second link provides evidence that you need to add at least 10 more percentage points to the data that Andy provided, if you want to make a fair comparison, because we are also taxed on the State level here in the U.S. Why is this concept so hard for you to understand?


avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Sorry, Ian, but we’re talking about the developed world. #20 out of 200? You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re comparing the U.S. to places like the Congo, Tunisia, Bolivia, Somalia (which effectively has no government–they live in a state of total anarchy). You cannot compare the developed world to the third world. It’s apples to oranges. Somehow I think you know that.

So take another look at the final chart that I included, entitled “The United States is a Low Tax Country.” You’ll notice that the nations included come from what is considered the industrialized world; they’re more advanced societies.

But go ahead and compare the United States to Malawi if you must. It only serves to highlight the pure ignorance of your argument.


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Your chart only compares our Federal Income Tax, not all of the taxes we pay. It is incomplete data, making false comparisons.

Even if we only compare “developed” countries the US is among the top in total tax burden. And even then, it depends highly on which city and state you live in, in the U.S.


avatar Andy Cohen April 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Typical Conservative response: Deflect, deflect, deflect, misconstrue, and mislead.

We’re talking about the federal budget here, not state or local budgets. But let me ask you this: Did you think that we were overtaxed under Bill Clinton? He RAISED taxes, and the economy thrived…….Bush slashed them to the bare bones, and the economy dropped off a cliff. Which methodology worked better, eh?


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I am not a conservative, and I am calling you out for deflecting, misconstruing and misleading.

You said that “taxes in the United States are at historically low levels”, and go on to use comparisons of US Federal Income tax to Income taxes of other countries, while leaving out any mention of State Income Taxes, and the other taxes we pay. This is classic misconstruing and misleading.

I am pointing out an undeniable fact about your false analysis.

Income Tax Revenue is still higher than it was when Clinton was president (even though we are now in a recession).


As far as the silly false correlation argument about Clinton raising taxes making the economy improve, while Bush lowered taxes making the economy decline. You have the causal mechanism backwards, and are making the classic liberal mistake of confusing correlation for causation. Clinton served as president during a time of economic prosperity (secular bull market), and Bush served as president during a time of economic decline (secular bear market).

What you are trying to argue is liken to saying that because the tide is high right now, and the line a Hodads is long, the high tide caused the long line at Hodads. Laughable.

avatar Andy Cohen April 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Your first problem, Ian, is that you’re using Wikipedia as your cited source. That’s a big red flag right there that you don’t have any ground to stand on. You are aware, are you not, that ANYBODY can write or edit anything on Wikipedia? It’s not a valid resource. Find us something credible.

Second, I didn’t say it, the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities said it. I’m simply using the information supplied by a credible organization. At least I’m not citing Wikipedia.

And I’m sure the CBPP didn’t include local sales taxes in other countries, either, as it varies from municipality to municipality, province to province, etc., just like it varies city to city, county to county, state to state, etc. here. And the federal government has no control over how much a local government decides to tax it’s residents. All you’re trying to do is muddy the waters and confuse the issue, and it’s not working.

avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

LOL…. now you are just being stupid. The wikipedia link shows the source, straight from the government. Look again.

You are using the data to argue something that it doesn’t represent. It doesn’t represent what you claim, that “taxes in the United States are at historically low levels”.

The data is incomplete and doesn’t represent your claim. If you can’t see that, there is not much else I can do to help you think more clearly.

You can spout off all ad homenims you can think of, but it doesn’t change the fact that your analysis of the data is incorrect (not withstanding the fact that your source provides misleading analysis itself).

avatar Shane Finneran April 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Ian, much of your beef seems to be that the chart comparing US to other countries is only income tax. But that chart is not based on income tax. It is total govt receipts as % of GDP — basically another way of saying the total taxes Americans pay on their total income. See subtitle of chart.

And obviously the charts about federal income tax do not including state taxes. Duh. The point of the charts is that federal income tax burden has come down in recent years.

What is your overall point, anyway? That you think taxes are too high and you shouldn’t be asked to contribute any more money to your country? Okay, gotcha, comprendemos, 10-4. Over and out?

avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Shane, I don’t think that it includes state and local taxes, only Federal receipts. I imagine that the chart would change if total tax burden was represented. I will stand corrected if you can find the full details on the stats.

Also, if you want to argue that Americans are under taxed, I don’t think that Gov. receipts as a percentage of GDP is evidence of that claim. AFAIK, a large percentage of Americans don’t pay any Federal Taxes (granted they don’t account for a large part of GDP???), and that skews the figures to the lower end.

In any case, my argument has been that this data doesn’t represent the idea that Americans are under taxed.

I am not against paying taxes, or even more taxes if what they provide is of value.

avatar dave rice April 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Ian – by arguing the chart strictly on the basis that it doesn’t include varying state and local taxes when comparing to other countries, are you implying that the US is the only country in the world where localities levy taxes that aren’t remitted to the federal government? Not trying to be condescending, honest question here – I really haven’t done my homework. It just seems that if you’re asking the US chart to include federal, state, and local revenues so you can compare it to other countries’ federal receipts alone, it’s only fair if there’s no other nation that allows states, provinces, prefectures, or whatever to collect revenue…again I don’t know, but I highly doubt that’s the case.

avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Yeah…..I try to only use reputable sources and shy away from fuzzy math. I stay away from sources that have a clear agenda, such as the Heritage Foundation, which twists and contorts and lies outright in order to fit a specific message.

Put it this way: If the source is good enough for Paul Krugman (who is a LOT smarter and more knowledgeable than I am), then it’s good enough for me.


avatar Ian April 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Data is only useful if you analyze it correctly. It is not a fair comparison to compare tax burden between countries, and only consider US Federal Income Tax. It is only a portion of the taxes we pay. A fair comparison compiles all of the taxes we pay, and that is now what the data you provided shows.

Talk about fuzzy math…..

Paul Krugman is a notoriously bad source of information. He consistently gets the facts wrong, and spins the data to fit his dogma. He has a long history of this, and nothing demonstrates it more clearly than his call (in 2002) for a government facilitated housing bubble to pull us out of the bursting of the internet bubble.


avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Riiiiigghht……a Nobel Prize winning economist and Professor of Economics at Princeton University (that’s one of the elite universities in the world, you know) is an unreliable source.

Sorry, Ian, but I’m gonna take his word over yours every single time.

Wow…….just wow!


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

That is why you consistently get the facts wrong. You rely on unreliable and dishonest sources rather than good logic.

Tell me what you think about Milton Friedman? He won a Nobel Prize in Economics, also. Do you agree with him?


avatar RB April 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

This pie chart is incorrect and political black magic. Total government revenues went from $3,586 B in 2001 to $4,841B in 2008 (35% increase ) and income tax revenues went from $1,428 B in 2001 to $1,924 B (35% supply side increase since rates went done). Tax revenues did not add to the deficit, spending beyond reasonable revenue increases by both parties added to the deficit.

How can you decrease taxes by 49% (an undocumented and an unreasonable number) yet increase revenues by 35%?


avatar Shane Finneran April 21, 2011 at 11:49 am

“political black magic” … is that like “voodoo economics”?

in any case, a new formula has come to mind:

unsourced data + incomprehensible argument = useless comment


avatar RB April 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Here is my source…sorry I meant to link it.
Revenue up 35% …. all we need now is to know how that 49% tax decrease voodoo economics number was constructed.



avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Compiled by this guy.

Not exactly a reputable source. But thanks for playing anyway.


avatar Shane Finneran April 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

LOL, he looks like a used car salesman! Googler beware!


avatar The Mustachioed OBecian April 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

So am I right in concluding that the author is not refuting that his stats presented are based on federal income taxes alone? It doesn’t require a link to anything to sustantiate whether that’s the case.


avatar Andy Cohen April 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Well, we are talking about the federal budget here. But just for giggles, here’s a chart detailing corporate taxation over the same period:

Corporate Tax Rates are Historically Low (this takes you to a whole list of nifty charts and graphs)

Hard to dispute when you’ve got companies such as GE, Bank of America, Exxon/Mobile, Citigroup, Chevron, and Goldman Sachs effectively paying no taxes last year, yet each reported billions in profits. So please tells us, where are the jobs again?


avatar RB April 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

As for were the jobs are, there is one place were jobs are being created and money is being spent without restraint. If you want a job go to were the money is……Washington DC.


avatar mr fresh April 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

the total number of executive branch civilian employees in 1982 under Reagan: 2.77 million, or 11.9 per thousand people in the general population.

the total number of executive branch civilian employees in 2010 under Obama: 2.65 million, or 8.4 per thousand people in the general population.

and, yes, there are always more people employed around the nation’s capital. always have been. even when your hero Herbert Hoover was president

avatar dave rice April 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Just because the guy declares himself to take a partisan stance in the opening sentence of his webpage doesn’t mean he’s not unbiased in his analysis, does it?

Oh, it does?

You sure?

Okay. Damn…


avatar bcsy April 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

there are a few patches of misinformation and misinterpretation of information in here. Though I absolutely oppose tea party silliness, I also tire of the misinformation perpetuated by all sides of the argument. I believe that often, as in this case, information is not intentionally misrepresented to further one’s agenda, it is simply the product of incomplete analysis. Unfortunately, other times, it is wholly intentional.


avatar Shane Finneran April 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

To bscy and the other doubters, I still challenge you to find a legitimate source of contrary data.

If you think federal taxes haven’t gone down for Americans in recent years, prove that’s not true. And if you think something about state taxes somehow negates the federal decline, show where you’re getting that information.


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 1:26 pm

You are missing the point, still.

It is a fact that Federal Tax rates have gone down in recent years because of the Bush Tax Cuts.

But when you are comparing tax burden between countries, you cannot only consider Federal Income Tax, you have to consider all of the taxes paid. Most of the other countries on the list only have one Income Tax. We have two.



avatar JEC April 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

A piece worthy of the compliments – adding to the oxymoronic economics – some months ago a “Prosparity Report”, a ranking of the countries considered (by their residents) to be the most prosporous – the U.S. ranked tenth – but the top five are the highest taxed countries in the world. A quality society requires support. I’m sure the Teapartiers understand this – it’s clear they don’t want a quality society – Teapartiers aspire for the gutter.


avatar Frank Gormlie April 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

Andy, thanks for helping to ‘hold the fort’ while we were dodging tornadoes in Georgia. We’re back and full of energy – the right-wing and all those corporate tax-dodgers better watch out now!!!!


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 21, 2011 at 6:52 am

These TEA partiers think that their 50 to 60k incomes put them in the wealthy catagory. They will get a wake up call when they have to pay half of thier yearly income on a new knee or something. That’s where we’re going if we follow(swallow?) the Ryan plan.2.8% my ass.


avatar Andy Cohen April 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Alright, Ian……you asked for it, you got it!

Here’s Krugman again with a chart from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), showing taxes from all levels of government for the G7 (that’s the 7 biggest economies in the world) as a % of GDP:

Our Low, Low Taxes

Since I know you won’t actually click on the link, here’s what it says: In the U.S., taxes as a percent of GDP (remember, this is taxes at all levels of government) is roughly 33%, just barely ahead of Japan, ranking the United States 6th behind, in order: France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, and Canada.

France is at rougly 49% of GDP, and Germany–arguably with the strongest economy in the world right now–is 44% of GDP.

But carry on with your fiction if you must.


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm


The link doesn’t work, so I cannot comment. And even though tax as a percentage of GDP isn’t really what we are debating, I would consider 6th in the world “among the highest”.


avatar Andy Cohen April 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Fixed. It works now.

And it’s not 6th in the world, it’s 6th among the G7. We’re comparing the seven largest economies in the world. And yes, taxes as a percentage of GDP is EXACTLY what this discussion is all about.


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Tax as a percentage of GDP is an even worse barometer than average tax rate for arguing that Americans are under taxed.

I am amazed that you think that 1/3 of GDP is insufficient.


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I found some more charts that are interesting. Don’t quote me on the validity of the sources.

The first one is Federal Revenue as a percentage of GDP:

The second is Federal State and Local as a percentage of GDP:


avatar Ian April 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I have a feeling you are not going to like the sources of these historical charts of gov revenue to GDP, but if you can find one you feel comfortable with (I can’t find any better ones), I would like to see how the raising and lowering of tax rates effects this ratio.

From these charts it seems like changes in tax rates are less significant than economic conditions and actual GDP.


avatar RB April 23, 2011 at 7:25 am

It is interesting that five bankrupted systems were produced with higher taxes.
Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Ireland are in trouble because of spending not taxes.
It is also interesting that the Scandinavian countries support their social systems with North Sea oil and a ‘drill baby drill’ economy.


avatar Gary Ghirardi April 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

How smart are you Andy Cohen? Or are you on the Rag to shore up the quick sands? An argument for fair and balanced taxation certainly makes sense on the surface but with the bulk of Federal taxes supporting an increasing militarized economy, should we not expect increased Federal revenues to support this growing economic sector? Is that what progressives and Democrats are ready to support? It seems yes if we don’t demand some civil reciprocity for new training and jobs that don’t equal up to more military expeditions in the now laughable chorus of peace making. No one seems to buy this anymore outside the 48 plus territories. I hope that there are some people willing to stop burring their heads in the oil rich sands but I think not. The numbers churning does not address systemic illnesses in the U.S. economy while looking again for short term prosperity to silence the edgy middle-class that constitute more voters than the upper 5% who are banking the bucks. I think Americans are less stupid than unwilling to face the truth behind their prosperity, because they know perfectly well where it stems from.


avatar Rick Ward aka mr.rick April 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

It sure was a waste of time reading all the comments posted on this subject. It’s like arguing religion or something. All of the states don’t have income taxes (here in TN we don’t) so maybe we could make a long story even longer by fussing over numbers. The truth is this: Generally speaking, Those with money don’t want to give any up. They think their money will insulate them from the ills of the world. It might work for a while.


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