Ed Schultz Showing His Ineptitude (98% Myth)

Ed Schultz continues the lie that the Bush tax-cuts only effect the top 2% of income earners. Let me tell you something. I have been diagnosed with MS, and my first bout with it was bad. Now, I like to say I’m 95% healthy and ready and raring to work. Yeah! Try and find a job right now. My wife has been blessed to just cover us. Ask her if the Bush tax cuts affect her or not…

I’d venture to say that most Americans who became parents in the last decade know Schultz’s claim is glaringly inaccurate for a specific reason — the child tax credit, which doubled to $1,000 per-child annually under the Bush tax cut of 2001. And helpfully indeed for those of us who aren’t wealthy, the child tax credit extended across all income brackets.

We are far from the top tier of income earners. NewsBusters continues:

“Unless Congress votes to extend the tax credit, the maximum amount will revert back to $500 for tax year 2011, and the number of families eligible for that amount will be much less as tougher eligibility standards that existed prior to EGTRRA (Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act) will go back into effect,” writes Eric Fox at Forbes.com.

As described by Erik Erickson yesterday at RedState, the Bush tax cut of 2001 was “George Bush’s version of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan” —

However, instead of creating a bunch of temporary government jobs and subsidizing the expansion of government, it cut tax rates, increased the child tax credit, increased the standard deduction for married couples, and increased contribution caps for a variety of savings programs. The result? The recession ended in November of 2001. (Source)

But, September 11, 2001, happened as the economy was recovering and throughout 2002, the economy grew at an anemic rate. The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 revved up the 2001 tax cut package and cut taxes again on dividends and capital gains.

The result?

Under George W. Bush’s ‘tax cuts for the rich’ the rich paid more in taxes in 2005 than any time in the prior 20 years. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal noted, thanks to George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, the richest one percent went from paying 25 percent of all income taxes in 1990 to 39 percent in 2005. The richest 5 percent went from paying 44 percent of all income taxes in 1990 to paying 60 percent of all income taxes in 2005.

… More crucially, after the 2001 initial tax cuts, the annual growth rate went from 0.3 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent in 2002. By 2004, GDP growth was the highest in 20 years. (Source)

Likewise, after the 2003 tax cuts, the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since World War II. Let me repeat that: the Bush economic program created the lowest unemployment level ever. In fact, economists liken it to full employment given the demographic composition of those who were left on the unemployment line.

Class Warfare — Hillary Clinton (CATO Article Added)


Statists, Statism — Labels & Obama

Is Hillary Clinton Ignorant about Geography, Fiscal Policy, or Both?

Hillary Clinton recently opined that Brazil was a great role model for the idea of soaking the rich with higher tax rates. She didn’t really offer evidence for that specific assertion, but Politico reports that she did say that “Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they’re growing like crazy.”

I’m not sure if “growing like crazy” is an accurate description, particularly since poor nations normally have decent growth rates because they start from such a low baseline.

But let’s excuse that bit of rhetorical excess and focus on the really flawed portion of her remarks.

Contrary to her direct quote, Brazil does not have the “highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere.” It may have the highest tax burden in South America. And it may even have the highest tax burden in all of Latin America, but its overall tax burden of about 24 percent of GDP is slightly below the aggregate tax burden in the United States.

I suppose I should issue a caveat and say there’s a very slight chance that the recession has temporarily pushed U.S. tax receipts as a share of GDP below the Brazilian level, but that isn’t apparent from the IMF data. Moreover, there’s no doubt that the tax burden in Canada is significantly higher than the Brazilian burden.

So Secretary Clinton either was unaware that the United States and Canada are in the Western Hemisphere, or has no clue how to read fiscal statistics.

But let’s suspend reality and assume that Brazil has a higher tax-to-GDP ratio. Would that somehow be proof that Brazil is a role model for class-warfare taxation? There is no precise definition of that term, to be sure, but high tax rates on the rich presumably are a necessary component of any class-warfare system. Yet Brazil’s top tax rate is 27.5 percent. That’s not exactly a low-rate system such as Hong Kong, and it’s 27.5 percentage points higher than the zero-percent rate in the Cayman Islands, but it also happens to be significantly lower than the 35 percent (soon to be 39.6 percent) rate in the United States. If that’s class warfare, sign me up for the Brazilian approach…..

….(