Monday, September 26, 2011

Even Without the Gaffe

I don't care about the gaffe, really. Beck pointed out that if you're saying something you don't really believe, you have trouble spitting it out -- and apparently he's had trouble spitting this line out twice... but no matter.   Let's just look at what theObama transcript says
When you start saying, at a time when the top one-tenth of 1 percent has seen their incomes go up four or five times over the last 20 years, and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline -- and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more?

Give me a break.

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.
I will say that someone who is actually familiar with the concept of honor would probably not say that they wear it "with" a badge of honor.  Here's my badge of honor.   And I'll wear this other thing somewhere along with it.  Somewhere.
But let's just look at what he's saying here.  So the top 0.01% (which pays a very disproportionately high portion of federal taxes to begin with) has seen their incomes go up 4 or 5 times in the last 20 years.  Let's just take that as a given.

Of course, when you pay taxes at a rate, when your income goes up, you pay more in taxes.  If you were making 50 million and paying 17.5 Million in taxes, and your income goes up 4 times to 200 million ... your taxes then go up to 70 million.  See, you're paying more taxes, too.  So I'm not sure what the issue is with the top 0.01% making more money is except that you don't like it. 

Second, show me where "the folks at the bottom" have seen their incomes decline.  I'd really like to see that data and how this claim was teased out of it.   See, I know how they do it.  They use words to mean things differently than what the words actually mean.  They use relative ideas such as GINI indicies and then substitute "their incomes decline" when the fact is that it's a decline relative to someone else's, which is not the same thing.

And then there's this: and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more?

Well first of all, when we're talking federal taxes, and that is what we're talking ... more would mean more than nothing.  So a buck would be more.   Secondly, who is running around saying that the solution is for the poor to pay more?  Really.  Show me who.  And what they said.   And what dictionary you used to translate it. 

The fact of the matter is that there is an inherent assumption in this whole argument (more than one really, but I'm going to talk about this one because it's core).... That there is no question that the government should be spending what it wants to spend, and that it's necessary to raise more so that we have it to spend (even though I'm convinced that from here on out, without a culture change, the government will spend at least 1.2x  -- or more, right now it's 1.6x) of what it takes in.  From us.

If I ask a billionaire (who pays a 35% tax rate) to pay the same tax rate of a janitor (which is in the 10%-15% range, most nearer the 10%), then I either have to lower the billionaire's tax rate or raise the secretary's.  Since we all know Obama wants to raise taxes 'on the rich' "out of fairness", we can only assume, then, that he wants to raise the janitor's tax rate to 35% (well, plus whatever it takes to get it up to whereever he wants the billionaire's rate, right?).  So there's who's talking about making the poor pay more.   I swear it is better logic than they use to get to his opponents wanting the poor to pay more.

Stop complainin', stop grumblin', stop cryin'.

 You first, Mr. President.

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