A provocative new video from the folks over at Americans for Limited Government promoting a new project focused on economic liberty and free market policies. It’s very well done, if perhaps a little on the long side. Watch:
All American Blogger points out that the original inspiration for this video above actually comes from Paul Harvey — the “Rest of the Story” guy from 1965. Here is is:
The report also broke down today’s millionaires by occupation and former occupation if retired. Managers make up the largest group, with 17%, followed by educators (12%), corporate executives (7%), entrepreneur/business owners (6%) and attorneys and accounts.
h/t – Gateway Pundit
First lady Michelle Obama has joined her husband’s bandwagon to hit the rich and spread the wealth, questioning how well-off families can feel good if others are struggling.
To about 300 supporters wealthy enough to pay $300-$10,000 to attend the mid-day event, the first lady said, “If a family in this country is struggling, we cannot be satisfied with our own families’ good fortune.”
She also rapped the rich, as has her husband. “Who do we want to be?” Obama asked. “Will we be a country where success is limited to the few at the top? This country is strongest when we are all better off.”
Fundraising in Cincinnati, Ohio as her husband raised cash in Florida, she also said that the change President Obama offered in 2008 “does not come easy.” And she added, “change is slow, but we will get there,” according to a pool report of the event.
Didn’t Michelle come from humble beginnings? Then why is she lecturing Americans on a country where “success is limiting to the few at the top?”
This reminds me of a small portion where David Mamet is explaining how the irrational is defended by the left. He gives an example of taxes and jobs:
Here is an example. President Obama, in a speech in July 2010, declared that the Government should be ready to support Green Business—that if anyone wanted to create these jobs, the Government would be there to help.
What was the help? He was offering rebates. But what are rebates but tax cuts?
To suggest that giving back (to approved entities) some of the money drained from them in taxes, and to characterize this as “help,” is like a mugger pausing in administering his beating and characterizing this pause, to his victim, as assistance.
If, as President Obama announced perceptively, cutting taxes creates jobs (as it does; as anyone not blinded by theory knows: when taxes are raised, businesses close), then why not cut all taxes?
This inconsistency is ignored only by those who benefit from it (the administration), and the confused (Liberals).
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture(New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 113.
This nugget is from Forbes Magazine:
Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the president’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.
Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.
We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffett keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income. So I assume the tax rate Obama refers to is from her own earnings.
Insofar as Buffett (like Mitt Romney) earns income primarily from capital gains, which are taxed at 15 percent (and according to Obama need to be raised for reasons of fairness), we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay an average tax rate above fifteen percent. This is easy to do.
The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffett’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.
We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation.
I have nothing against Debbie Bosanke earning a half million or even more. Buffett is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.
From the Wall Street Journal:
President Obama was right about his audacity, if not always the hope. Six months after he agreed to a bipartisan extension of current tax rates, he is now insisting on tax increases as part of the debt-ceiling talks. At his press conference yesterday he repeated this demand, as well as his recent talking point that taxes are lower than they’ve been in generations. Let’s examine that claim because it explains Washington’s real revenue problem—slow economic growth.
Mr. Obama has a point that tax receipts are near historic lows, but the cause isn’t tax rates that are too low. As the nearby table shows, as recently as 2007 the current tax structure raised 18.5% of GDP in revenue, which is slightly above the modern historical average. Even in 2008, when the economy grew not at all, federal tax receipts still came in at 17.5% of the economy.
Today’s revenue problem is the result of the mediocre economic recovery. Tax collections in 2009 fell below 15% of GDP, the lowest level since 1950. But remarkably, tax receipts stayed that low even in the recovery year of 2010. So far this fiscal year tax receipts are growing at a healthy 10% clip, so the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) January estimate of 14.8% of GDP is probably low. We suspect revenues will be closer to 16%, but even that would be the weakest revenue rebound from any recession in 50 years, and far below the average tax take since 1970 of 18.2%.
But what about the liberal claim, repeated constantly, that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 caused today’s deficits? CBO has shown this to be demonstrably false. On May 12, the budget arm of Congress examined the changes in its baseline projections from 2001 through 2011. In 2001, it had predicted a surplus in 2011 of $889 billion. Instead, it expects a deficit of $1.4 trillion.
What explains that $2.29 trillion budget reversal? Well, the direct revenue loss from the combination of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts contributed roughly $216 billion, or only about 9.5% of the $2.29 trillion. And keep in mind that even this low figure is based on a static revenue model that assumes almost no gains from faster economic growth.
After the Bush investment tax cuts of 2003, tax revenues were $786 billion higher in 2007 ($2.568 trillion) than they were in 2003 ($1.782 trillion), the biggest four-year increase in U.S. history. So as flawed as it is, the current tax code with a top personal income tax rate of 35% is clearly capable of generating big revenue gains.
CBO’s data show that by far the biggest change in its deficit forecast is the spending bonanza, with outlays in 2011 that are $1.135 trillion higher than the budget office estimated a decade ago. One-third of that is higher interest payments on the national debt, notwithstanding record low interest rates. But $523 billion is due to domestic spending increases, including defense, education, Medicaid and the Obama stimulus. Mr. Bush’s Medicare drug plan accounts for $53 billion of this unanticipated spending in 2011.
The other big revenue reductions come from the “temporary” tax changes of the Obama stimulus and 2010 bipartisan tax deal. CBO says the December tax deal—which includes the one-year payroll tax cut and the annual fix on the alternative minimum tax—will reduce revenues by $196 billion this year. The temporary speedup in business expensing will cost another $55 billion.
One online post puts it thusly:
To put it simply though: we don’t have a tax revenue problem, we are spending way too much. The stats show this perfectly. In 2005 we generated $2.1 Trillion in taxes, and had $2.5 Trillion in federal spending. In 2010 we saw almost $3.5 Trillion in expenses, yet collected almost the same in taxes. These are official numbers from the White House, and not some partisan made up numbers.
We are spending way too much than what we take in, and we need to cut the excess bloat in our government. We need a much flatter and simpler tax code than what we have currently. The solution is simple: we need to spend less than what we earn.