How Washington math ‘works’

This is how Washington works: If Congress does not increase funding by as much as someone wants, that’s a cut. If Congress doles out money one year, but fails to continue to do so, that’s a cut. If Congress stops penalizing people for not buying health insurance, and some of those people choose to not buy it, those people have lost insurance coverage.

That’s why you see news reports heralding the “fact” Medicaid cuts in the current Senate ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill would cost Nevada $16 billion over the next decade, and 200,000 could “lose” health insurance.

That’s why even nuns are calling for ObamaCare to be left alone. Nuns? Didn’t nuns sue because ObamaCare requires them to provide contraceptive coverage?

The local paper quoted one of those nuns as writing: “We have seen early and avoidable deaths because of a lack of insurance, prohibitive costs and lack of quality health care.”

Pay no heed to the fact that studies found “uninsured patients were about 25% less likely than those with Medicaid to have an ‘in-hospital death.’” Or that, “Medicaid patients were also more than twice as likely to have a major, subsequent heart attack after angioplasty as were patients who didn’t have any health insurance at all.”

Insurance coverage does not necessarily equal better health care.

A vote against ending ObamaCare is a vote for keeping it until it collapses and is replaced by single payer. Apparently, four of Nevada’s Washington delegation are already on board.

 

 

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87 comments on “How Washington math ‘works’

  1. Athos says:

    The war is waged for language . Single payer? You can’t call it what it is – socialized medicine, because people might start paying attention!
    And where are our bastions of freedom for free speech ? Why won’t the media point these things out?
    Could they possibly have an agenda?

  2. Steve says:

    So, basically, they voted to talk about it!

    Hmmph, Heller made a safe vote.

  3. Rincon says:

    “Pay no heed to the fact that studies found “uninsured patients were about 25% less likely than those with Medicaid to have an ‘in-hospital death.’” Or that, “Medicaid patients were also more than twice as likely to have a major, subsequent heart attack after angioplasty as were patients who didn’t have any health insurance at all.”

    Thank you for providing a source, Thomas. Unfortunately, the WSJ doesn’t allow viewing the entire article without a subscription. Can someone provide me with the WSJ’s source? These so called facts seem rather unlikely because I cannot come up with any hypotheses as to how these could be reality. Are uninsured patients less likely to die at all or do they more frequently die out of the hospital? And what is it about being on Medicaid that creates a lower success rate? Are the individual doctors less talented? Do they neglect Medicaid patients in violation of the Hippocratic Oath? Or is being on Medicaid stressful on hearts?

    If the implication is that patients paid through a single payer system are treated less professionally than those who pay or don’t pay, then we have to explain by what miracle the patients of almost every other advanced nation live longer than us, even while experiencing the implied grossly deficient health care.

  4. Rincon says:

    According to Politifact, “(Warren)Buffett says that very wealthy people like himself pay lower tax rates than the middle class, thanks to special tax categories for investment income.” They rated his statement true. They also said, “And, in fact, as Buffett says, statistics from the Internal Revenue Service show that the 400 wealthiest taxpayers pay tax rates of less than 20 percent.”
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/aug/18/warren-buffett/warren-buffett-says-super-rich-pay-lower-taxes-oth/

    There are many other sources that agree: https://www.google.com/#q=taxation+of+rich+and+poor

    So much for the soaking the rich myth.

  5. Steve says:

    The way Buffet worded that is important.

    Usually Politifact makes things like this clear but, since the claim was specifically about percentages and not totals Politifact let it go.

    When you look at total dollars paid in taxes, a middle income person would absolutely love to make as much as that really rich person pays in taxes.
    Heck I’d even be happy with 15% of what the really rich person pays for taxes in total dollars!

    Truth is, in total dollars, the rich pay the most. No matter the reason cited by CNN, they pay more and always have.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/12/news/economy/rich-taxes/index.html

  6. deleted says:

    When income taxes were initiated in this country, only the top 1% paid them. And only then on incomes of 1 million dollars or more. The rich hated that. Their complicit “conservatives” in the Congress decided that even the poorest ought to pay, so as to reduce the “burden” on those “poor” Rockefeller types and so it was.

    But, the richest were relentless, soon, what was originally intended to be a tax on ONLY the wealthy was spread out further, so as to relieve those “poor” Carnegie’s and Rockefellers of the “drain” on their piles of money, so even more of the burden was placed on the lower classes.

    Though, originally, marginal tax rates on every dollar stolen…eh “earned” over 1 million dollars was taxed at the 90% rate! eventually, after years of relentless pressure on their servants in the legislature, through many years of republican Congresses, that rate was reduced to nearly nothing. While the poor, and what’s left of the middle class, pay it all.

    All the while, while their minions in office worked their tales off reducing how much they would pay, the richest grew richer, and the rest grew poorer still until today, we have the greatest disparity in wealth and income this country has ever known.

    The time is long past when we have to decide whether it is profitable for the country to continue on this path toward revolution, or whether the rich will realize that it is better to have most of a lot, rather than none of it.

    The clock is ticking but my guess is their greed, knowing no bounds, will laugh until it strikes midnight.

  7. Steve says:

    Patrick, you neglect to mention, back in those days of 90% taxes on only the rich, it was also true that only the rich voted.

  8. Steve says:

    However, in 1913 things were different. Patrick’s 90% is a farce at this point in history.

    http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/readings.nsf/ArtWeb/C82515A4B6B7A24C85257D1B0041C86E?OpenDocument

    In 1913 Congress enacted a top rate of 7 percent and a high exemption that spared all but 2 percent of households entirely. But just five years later, the top rate was 11 times higher. Many of the same lawmakers who voted for the light and narrow tax of 1913 also voted for the heavy and much broader tax of 1918.

  9. Athos says:

    Medicaid. Otherwise known as welfare servicing 112 million people in United States.
    Of course we’re only 20 trillion in debt, so what could possibly go wrong?
    When you spend other peoples money for services that you don’t use, you don’t care about the quality of the service or the price.
    And that’s a recipe for disaster.

  10. Steve says:

    The first federal income tax in American history actually preceded the Internal Revenue Act of 1862. Passed in August 1861, it had helped assure the financial community that the government would have a reliable source of income to pay the interest on war bonds.

    The first income tax was moderately progressive and ungraduated, imposing a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800 that exempted most wage earners.

    The Internal Revenue Act of 1862 expanded the progressive nature of the earlier act while adding graduations: It exempted the first $600, imposed a 3 percent rate on incomes between $600 and $10,000, and a 5 percent rate on those over $10,000. The act exempted businesses worth less than $600 from value added and receipts taxes. Taxes were withheld from the salaries of government employees as well as from dividends paid to corporations

    http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/Web/THM1861?OpenDocument

    Because, Patrick lies.

  11. Rincon says:

    Let it not be forgotten that the percentage of tax rich people pay on their discretionary income is extremely small in comparison, because the middle class spends a far greater percentage of their income on food, shelter, medical care, child expenses, commuting expense, insurance, etc. Taxing someone who is struggling to pay for the necessities at a greater arithmetic rate than the elite is mean spirited in the extreme.

    What I can’t figure out is why Conservatives are so worried that the billionaires and other rich folk don’t have to pay very much tax when you are happy to allow other people to die due to lack of good medical care, happy to have unhealthy children brought into this world due to poor prenatal care (see our infant mortality rates), happy to turn the world upside down on people whose parents illegally immigrated decades ago, etc., etc. And to what end? Does someone worth a billion really have a richer life than someone worth 10 million? https://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/03/09/dont-envy-the-super-rich-they-are-miserable/

    The middle class has essentially been stuck in a megarecession for the past 40 or more years, while the rich have seen megaprosperity. You like that, do you? And your explanation is that the rich deserve it, while the middle class doesn’t? You apparently want this to continue to its logical extreme, because there is no indicator of any kind that it will self correct.

    Quit defending the rich. They are quite capable of defending themselves – or you one of their minions?

  12. Rincon says:

    “Because, Patrick lies.” As I said, mean spirited. Not content to calmly make his contention, Steve cannot consider any possibility of a mistake, misunderstanding or, heaven forbid, that HIS source is wrong. Constant insulting behavior such as this should have been discarded in grade school. Grow up, Steve.

  13. Steve says:

    Nice..you have acknowledged my links are correct and, thereby, the fact (as I stated) Patrick lies.

    And you don’t like it. Get a clue, Rincon.

  14. Athos says:

    “The middle class has essentially been stuck in a megarecession for the past 40 or more years, while the rich have seen megaprosperity.”
    The middle class, with the $30,000 cars (plural) multiple large screen smart TV’s, the computing power unimaginable 40 years ago in their $500 plus cell phones, living in residences with more than one bathroom.
    What vision of utopia do think the middle class should dwell, Rinny? Compared to the rest of the world, the middle class IS RICH! Why do you suppose all these illegals want to come here? Our Welfare system makes a person richer than billions of other humans on this planet. The only way to change that is to lower our standard of living (which is exactly what you want to do to the “Rich”)
    Envy is an ugly way to live, Rinny. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the deadly sins.

  15. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    “In a question-and-answer period following a speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the Georgia Republican said that when the United States “first created the federal income tax, frankly, nobody below a million dollars a year paid anything.”

    I really must stop relying on republicans/conservatives to tell the truth about anything I guess.

    And hair splitting aside, the first income tax imposed after the 16th Amendment was passed targeted what in today’s dollars were almost exclusively millionaires and most other people were either exempt, or so few of the ones who were not “millionaires” existed as to make the statement true.

    It is likewise true that the progression of the income tax followed the trajectory I identified because the richest of the rich (Rockefeller types) felt “put on” because their stacks of useless wealth weren’t growing quite as quickly as they had previously. Shame right?

    And for anyone to suggest that the poor and whatever is left of the middle class aren’t really poor or middle class because some third world country’s citizens aren’t bless with large screen televisions (and of course no large screen television debts) is nonsense. The rich keep getting richer in this country as Pikketty demonstrated, primarily because the wealthiest have so turned the tax system on it’s head, and completely pineapple upside downed it, that it is the poor and “middle class” that are carrying the income tax burden that was originally intended to be imposed on their piles of money.

    Every Western Industrialized country in the world, does better by it’s “middle” class than the US, and of course, NONE of them have the appealing income/wealth disparity that exists in this country and for anyone to claim that acceptable is laughing while the clock strikes midnight.

  16. deleted says:

    And it should read “appalling” not appealing. Unless you happen to be a “conservative” I guess.

  17. Steve says:

    Patrick, there were only two time tax rates were at or over 90% on this country.
    WW1 and WW2.

    You blatantly stated “Though, originally, marginal tax rates on every dollar stolen…eh “earned” over 1 million dollars was taxed at the 90% rate!”

    This is a lie and you know it.

  18. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    Like I said, you have to know your sources and who to trust.

    Some people might try and tell you that the “only 2 times” marginal tax rates were 90% were “WWI and WWII” but then you go to “conservative” websites like “Mises” and they tell you this:

    “Indeed, in 1955, the only people paying 90 percent (actually 91 percent) were those making over $3,425,766 when adjusted for inflation. And these are marginal rates, so they only paid that on any earnings above that threshold.”

    https://mises.org/library/good-ol-days-when-tax-rates-were-90-percent

    Tough to which “conservative” is lying or….lying less (these are conservatives after all)

    What’s a poor boy to do?

  19. Steve says:

    And Patrick doubles down on the lie.
    His latest is from the WW2 tax rate.

  20. deleted says:

    Course Rincon, with some many conservatives out there telling various versions of “their truth”, you have Politifact fact checking Bernie Sanders claim that,during the Eisenhower administration (and through 1961) the top marginal tax rates were more than 90%.

    “We turned to the Tax Foundation’s federal income tax rates history, which documents figures going all the way back to 1913, when the income tax began with the ratification of the 16th Amendment.

    During the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency, from 1953 to 1961, the top marginal rate was 91 percent. (It was 92 percent the year he came into office.)

    (Anyone remember when WW II ended again?)

    They rated his statement as true by the way.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/nov/15/bernie-s/income-tax-rates-were-90-percent-under-eisenhower-/

  21. Athos says:

    Kennedy took the rate from 90% to 75% spurring economic growth. Reagan dropped it much more launching the biggest economic boom in my lifetime.
    Why is it you statist see only the rich gaming the system? How much a gaming the system do you think is done through welfare ranks?
    Crickets.

  22. Steve says:

    It took several years to pay for the war, Patrick…or do you really think bonds were paid instantly?

    Furthermore, that tax rate was on ghosts, since no one was in the bracket, it was totally ineffective.
    The effective rate was %70 in the 1950’s

    Moreover, as bonds were paid down the marginal rates were lowered to %70 and remained about there for top earners for much of the 50’s 60’s 70′ and 80’s until (As Athos points out) Reagan lowered them in 86.

    And to top all this off, revenues remain rather stable over the course of the last century though during the 90+ tax rate years, those revenues were the lowest of any period in US history.

    Taxes too high = low revenue, taxes too low= low revenue.

    You really want to kill this country, Patrick and your lies don’t change one whit of reality.

  23. deleted says:


    Back in the 1950s, when the top marginal tax rate was more than 90 percent, real annual growth averaged more than 4 percent. During the last eight years, when the top marginal rate was just 35 percent, real growth was less than half that. Altogether, in years when the top marginal rate was lower than 39.6 percent — the top rate during the 1990s — annual real growth averaged 2.1 percent. In years when the rate was 39.6 percent or higher, real growth averaged 3.8 percent. The pattern is the same regardless of threshold. Take 50 percent, for example. Growth in years when the tax rate was less than 50 percent averaged 2.7 percent. In years with tax rates at or more than 50 percent, growth was 3.7 percent.”

    “As Linden put it, “these numbers do not mean that higher rates necessarily lead to higher growth. But the central tenet of modern conservative economics is that a lower top marginal tax rate will result in more growth, and these numbers do show conclusively that history has not been kind to that theory.”

    https://thinkprogress.org/chart-since-1950-lower-top-tax-rates-have-coincided-with-weaker-economic-growth-122fbab69661

  24. deleted says:

    What a coincidence that, shortly after Kennedy’s “remarkable” income tax rate decrease (all the way down to 75% at the top end) income inequality began apace.

    And continued with each attack by “conservatives” (read: Koch brothers and their ilk) on their “poor” burden which resulted in other “conservatives” doing all they could to help them at the expense of the rest of the country, until this:

    “In 1928, the top 1% of families received 23.9% of all pretax income, while the bottom 90% received 50.7%. But the Depression and World War II dramatically reshaped the nation’s income distribution: By 1944 the top 1%’s share was down to 11.3%, while the bottom 90% were receiving 67.5%, levels that would remain more or less constant for the next three decades.

    But starting in the mid- to late 1970s, the uppermost tier’s income share began rising dramatically, while that of the bottom 90% started to fall. The top 1% took heavy hits from the dot-com crash and the Great Recession but recovered fairly quickly: Saez’s preliminary estimates for 2012 (which will be updated next month) have that group receiving nearly 22.5% of all pretax income, while the bottom 90%’s share is below 50% for the first time ever (49.6%, to be precise).

    This gap continues to grow and will not end, while the richest are laughing at the ticking of the clock.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/05/u-s-income-inequality-on-rise-for-decades-is-now-highest-since-1928/

  25. Steve says:

    Before 1986, many wealthy people would make real estate investments, even if it didn’t provide a profit. This is because the IRS considered real estate to be a depreciating asset. Despite the fact it usually increases, they amazingly considered every property to depreciate at a rate making it worth 0 in 27.5 years. If a wealthy lawyer or doctor earned $100,000, but they owned a rental property worth $275,000, they could deduct $10,000/year in losses, even if they broke even on it. Now their taxable income would only be $90,000. If the lawyer owned 10 such properties, their taxable income would be 0 according to the IRS. Reagan closed this loophole in 1986
    No one paid the top tax rate in the 50’s. Growth is not revenue.
    But, since no one paid the top tax rate and the 50’s are such a great example of how things should again be, then;

    The post-Civil War period, from the 1870s through World War I, saw the strongest economic growth and standard of living increases in US history for all classes. Yet, for most of this period there was no income tax on anyone. Using Patrick’s logic, we should correlate prosperity with no income tax.

    There were few public welfare programs in the 50’s. No Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Entitlement programs spent between 3-5% of GDP in the 50’s, vs about 17% now. Using Patrick’s logic, we should correlate lack of welfare with the 1950’s prosperity.

    Regulations were far fewer in the 50’s. No OSHA, EPA or discrimination laws. Entire federal departments like Transportation, EPA and Education didn’t exist. According to Patrick’s logic, less regulations should be responsible for the 1950’s prosperity.

    And, speaking of Patrick, the one who abhors a “bumper sticker” response….you peeps seem to love them.
    http://memepoliceman.com/examining-the-90-tax-rate/

  26. Rincon says:

    “The middle class, with the $30,000 cars (plural) multiple large screen smart TV’s, the computing power unimaginable 40 years ago in their $500 plus cell phones, living in residences with more than one bathroom.” Gee, do you think having the woman of the house working made some small difference? Easy to raise the living standard without raising wages when you double the work force. Even with wives not working, I saw many families in my old neighborhood raise 3, 4, 5 or more children while still having a new model car and a nice house in the suburbs. Most in the middle class today could not accomplish that. As a matter of fact, I saw many lose their homes in the recession when one spouse lost their job.

    Do you dispute the figures that economists agree upon? https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2016/09/15/u-s-household-incomes-a-49-year-perspective

  27. Rincon says:

    Again I ask, why is it so important that the rich get to keep a greater part of their discretionary income than the middle class? After the first 10 million dollars or so, they are no longer making a living; they’re engaging in a hobby. Why should I care if their hobby money is someday taxed at a greater rate than someone else’s food money?

  28. Steve says:

    Read, Rincon. Read.

    The more you try to take, the more people figure out ways to keep.

    Taxes too high= low revenue, taxes too low = low revenue.

  29. Rincon says:

    “Kennedy took the rate from 90% to 75% spurring economic growth. Reagan dropped it much more launching the biggest economic boom in my lifetime.”

    Because of vastly increased federal spending and lower tax revenues, our national debt nearly tripled in Reagan’s 8 years. I can’t think of an easier way to goose the economy. As for the growth rate under Kennedy: https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth-annual.

    By your own reasoning then, you must consider the Bush Administration, a dismal failure and the Clinton years a resounding success. I think I see some data cherry picking going on around here.

  30. Rincon says:

    BTW, according to Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, 96% of the money spared from taxation by the home mortgage deduction was enjoyed by the top 20% (Time 7/31/17 p.30). Have to be sure these poor rich folk can afford to buy a home, don’t we?

  31. Rincon says:

    “Taxes too high= low revenue, taxes too low = low revenue.” The statement alone is obviously true. What is not obvious is what your conclusion from it is. If you’re saying that raising taxes here from the present level would create less revenue, then explain why Australia is so successful with tax rates much higher than ours. The same applies to many other countries.

  32. Steve says:

    It’s all about Hauser’s law. Revenues move relative to tax rates but they tend to move very little over the years.
    Over the century the income tax has become ingrained in the US, revenues have moved very little. Revenues have shown a clear decline when tax rates were too high in WW1 and WW2 and into the early 1950’s when people had a lot of really amazing deductions. See earlier post and links.
    Suffice to say, no one paid the 90% rate in the 50’s. No one.
    Todays wealthy do employ dedicated tax lawyers though they don’t have it as good as those days in the 50’s. As for other countries, I bet they have some really good loopholes the wealthy use on a regular basis. The higher the rate, the bigger the reward for finding a loophole.
    Reagan closed one of the biggest in 86…see earlier posts and links.

  33. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    The evidence is clear for anyone wanting to see; the higher the tax rates are on the people with the most, the better off the country as a whole is. This evidence is the same for every Western country.

    And it’s odd that, with absolute none of the wealthy paying the top marginal rates, that they constantly object to those high rates to the point that their minions in the legislature are constantly working to bring those rates down.

    You hear much the same complaint from the businesses who poison our air and water; “of course we’d never dump poison in the air and water, but let’s get rid of those “superfluous” laws that make that illegal because….well “liberty and natural rights” and all.

  34. Steve says:

    Spin, lies and redirect.

    It’s all Patrick has now.

  35. deleted says:

    “Denmark
    Contrary to its famous advertising slogan, Disneyland may not be the “happiest place on Earth.” According to studies conducted through the Blue Zones Project, that distinction belongs to the tiny country of Denmark. How is this possible when the Danes pay the highest taxes in the world? What they get in exchange for their money includes complete health care coverage and educational expenses. The government also spends more money on its youngest and oldest citizens per capita than any other country.

    Read more: What Countries Get For Their High Taxes http://www.investopedia.com/slide-show/countries-high-taxes/#ixzz4o0G5hQHh
    Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

  36. deleted says:

    Sweden
    A model of the modern welfare state, Sweden boasts high taxes that pay for a variety of social programs. These include retirement pensions, sick leave, parental leave, universal healthcare and childcare, and education through to college level. When all the taxes are added together, the highest rates approach 80% of individual income. Despite this, most Swedes are quite content with what they get in exchange for their taxes. Like Denmark, a relatively small population of about 9 million people allows for efficient benefit distribution and management by the government.

    Read more: What Countries Get For Their High Taxes http://www.investopedia.com/slide-show/countries-high-taxes/#ixzz4o0GJnqTh
    Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

  37. deleted says:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/11/among-developed-nations-americans-tax-bills-are-below-average/

    “We wondered how Americans’ tax bills compare with those of people in other countries. While cross-national comparisons of tax burdens are complicated and tricky, most research has concluded that, at least among developed nations, the U.S. is on the low end of the range.”

  38. Steve says:

    Gotta love the cherry’s picked by Patrick expounding memes spread by the various occupy “sources”

    Note how the topic jumps from income tax to overall tax.

    When you follow the links, the Patrick picked cherry’s become blatantly obvious.

  39. Athos says:

    It’s true that when Mom enters the workforce, there is more disposable cash for the family. It’s also true that the divorce rate skyrocketed around this same time. Coincidence?
    Welfare increased from nothing pre-’66 to 109,631,000 whom the Census Bureau says were getting benefits from means-tested federal programs — e.g. welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012.
    And the latest figures I got were 112million on Medicaid, a welfare program paid by us poor working stiffs (or put on the books for our kids to pay).

    As to Denmark and Sweden being such bastions of utopia, I say, give them a few more years to subsidize all those lovely immigrants they’ve taken in, and talk to me about their great government provided healthcare!

    The difference between the ’50s and today is what I call the “morality factor”. I feel the Left doesn’t really believe that Health Care is a basic right more than they have a “right” for someone else to pay for their health care. Just like someone else should pay for their school debt. And the home they bought for 5times yearly income with 100% financing should be paid by someone else(greedy banks, or the government).

    It all boils down to taking personal responsibility for you and yours. And quite frankly, there are quite a lot of us that are getting tired of busting our butts to pay for people that feel it’s their right to take our money. You fellas should read “Atlas Shrugged” but I warn you, it will hit close to home.

  40. Rincon says:

    “Hauser’s Law” appears to be somewhat controversial, as shown below, yet it’s inherent weakness should be obvious. 1) According to Wikipedia, “From fiscal year 1946 to fiscal year 2007, federal tax receipts as a percentage of gross domestic product averaged 17.9%, with a range from 14.4% to 20.9%. For those without a calculator, 20.9 is almost 1 1/2 times as great as 14.4 (45.1% greater). What Hauser’s law really states is that when revenues fall ridiculously low or become unacceptably high, Congress adjusts revenues within a very broad range. Your conclusion about “Hauser’s Law” is very likely a reversal of cause and effect.

    As for the experts, “Economist Mike Kimel, writing for the Angry Bear website, has stated that Hauser’s Law is misleading as it sweeps large differences under the table. He wrote that tax revenue is higher in the years following a tax increase and lower in the years following a tax cut. He defined the time periods 1951-1953, 1967-1968, and 1991-2001 as “tax hike eras”, and 1953-1967, 1969-1991, 2001-2010 as “tax cut eras”, and points out that tax revenues increase in “tax hike eras” and that tax cuts lead to lower revenues.[8]

    Zubin Jelveh, writing for Portfolio.com, criticized the Wall Street Journal editorial for failing to adequately separate social insurance taxes from other types of tax revenues (such as income tax and corporate tax revenue). Because social insurance taxes go directly into the Social Security trust fund, revenue that is not earmarked for pension checks has actually fallen over the last 50 years. Jelveh points out that the main reason for this decline is a dramatic decline in corporate tax revenues, from more than 5% of GDP to less than 2%. Jelveh uses these facts to critique editorialist David Ranson’s use of Hauser’s Law to argue that raising tax rates on the rich will be ineffective at raising revenue.[9]

    Journalist Jonathan Chait has written in The New Republic that “swings are fairly dramatic” through U.S. history for tax receipts as a percent of GDP. He stated that the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations received “massive” extra revenues as the result of tax increases while the George W. Bush administration tax cuts lead to a “massive” drop in revenues. He labeled the idea of static, flat revenues as a “scam”.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hauser%27s_law.”

  41. Rincon says:

    Your point about other countries is well taken, deleted. Somehow, Hauser’s law seems to fall apart when it crosses the national border.

  42. Rincon says:

    Expect more people on welfare and Medicaid in the future, Athos. In 1968, the minimum wage was $10.55 in 2012 dollars. We were a bit more generous then, especially when you consider that individual productivity was about half then of what it is today. While the minimum wage has dropped, medical costs have skyrocketed. It’s a no brainer that many in the lower and lower middle classes cannot realistically afford the costs of today’s medicine.

    You said that the difference between the ’50s and today is the “morality factor. That’s true, but in a way different than you described. Conservatives have managed to change the morality of our nation. A two week course of penicillin could have been sold for a year’s wages in 1950 or so, but nobody charged anything near that amount. The same can be said about many life saving drugs discovered over the years. Back then, it would have been considered shameful to gouge patients who had no other choices. Today, it’s the norm, vigorously defended by Conservatives.

    The sad thing is that what Conservatives defend as capitalism often isn’t even close. Show me an MD with an empty waiting room. Even the dregs of the profession have more patients than they need. It’s called artificially limited supply. News flash: Capitalism doesn’t work when supply or demand are manipulated. Although there are pockets, there generally is very little competition in medicine. Another way that our health care system is noncapitalistic: The customer usually has no reasonable way of comparing costs prior to delivery of care.

    I can understand advocating capitalism, but I cannot understand Conservatives who defend a system that is so very far from that ideal.

  43. Steve says:

    And yet, over the course of 100 years, revenues in the USA have remained very stable while income tax rates have varied wildly.

    As for Patrick’s comments, moving the goalposts to growth and then to overall taxes makes any comparison a total sham.

  44. Rincon says:

    I’ve made my point, Steve. Ignoring it will not make it go away..

  45. Steve says:

    Your stuff picks specific times and portions with carefully chosen starting points.

    Nothing to ignore. You are cherry picking.

  46. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    A very nice piece about a country with nearly 1 trillion dollars in savings. A socialist one at that. Based off a small (relative to the US) natural resource that is utilized for the benefit of the citizens in the country, rather than for the exclusive benefit of a few thieves.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/

  47. deleted says:

    For a state like Nevada, with it’s small population, but incredible mineral wealth, which belongs to the state and it’s citizens, it’s odd that so little of that wealth ever trickles down to the average citizen.

    Norway is merely on example of a state (although Norway has a significantly larger population, and a significantly small reserve of natural resources than a Nevada does) which has used it’s natural resources to actually benefit it’s citizens.

    In this country though, there is a state which has followed, to at least a limited extent, the examples this socialist country set and that is Alaska.

    Since the discovery of oil, Alaska established a fund which distributes a yearly dividend out of, to each of it’s citizens. That’s every man woman and child, each year. Recently the dividend has amounted to around $2000 tax free money.

    Can’t think of a good reason why a Nevada has been so bad with it’s finite resources, and so cruel to it’s own citizens, that the same hasn’t been done here before. Course, with the amazing amount of gold and other minerals still remaining, there is no reason why it can’t change. Other than that some “conservatives” would rather the mostly foreign mining companies hauling our natural resources back to their countries, and their shareholders get it that is.

    https://www.marketplace.org/2016/03/12/economy/alaskas-annual-dividend-residents-adds

  48. Athos says:

    “Capitalism doesn’t work when supply or demand are manipulated.” And the current health care system we have in place is heavily manipulated, rinny.
    3rd payer systems don’t work and are not even in the same universe as capitalism. As to welfare, how much of my tax dollars actually get to the “needy” after going thru the government maw? It’s an evil system that enslaves the very people that it’s intended to “help”.

    Some help! Make me a dependent, living sub standard, and watch me die.

    No thank you.

  49. Rincon says:

    The question of course, is how someone who makes it to say, age 95 can be expected to afford his health care without a third party.

    Yes, welfare as practiced today is bad news. The question remains though, what to do with people who experience economic catastrophe.

    Deleted’s point is well taken. Conservatives prefer third world economics whereby a few strongmen garner all of the mineral resources for their own benefit.

  50. Steve says:

    “Deleted’s point is well taken.”

    YUP!
    Sure is.

    When you don’t have a leg to stand on, change the subject! (That is the only “point” Patrick has here)

  51. Athos says:

    “The question of course, is how someone who makes it to say, age 95 can be expected to afford his health care without a third party.” That is not a question I want the Masters in DC to answer. Ask Charlie Gard’s parents if government 3rd payer system works.

    “The question remains though, what to do with people who experience economic catastrophe.”

    Placing that responsibility on Washington DC politicians does not work. Or maybe you could cite some examples where the top down solutions of government elites has worked in the past?

    “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” No truer words were said by Ronny Reagan.

  52. Rincon says:

    Your thoughts are entirely negative, Athos. Do you have any real ideas or do you advocate having our citizens die in the streets?

  53. Rincon says:

    BTW, I hope your philosophy extends to the Department of Defense.

  54. Athos says:

    Citizens dying in the streets? As opposed to dying in the VA hospital?
    Why do you lefties see only two ways to view a problem, your way or the mean old nasty conservative way?
    I remember when families took care of one another. And if that wasn’t enough the communities and local churches help take care of people.
    But there’s too much Christianity involved in that for you, isn’t there?

  55. Rincon says:

    Ah yes, just like third world countries. It amazes me how many Conservative “answers” are already being done the third world. When you call yourself a Conservative, you’re not kidding! The problem is that families and communities often DIDN’T take care of each other as is the case in third world countries today. And that was in a day when people died quickly and medicine was cheap. It was also in a day when there was frequently a caretaker at home, when most mothers didn’t hold jobs other than that of homemaker. That can’t be done today since life has become more expensive (think college and medical care) and the billionaires have soaked up our gains in productivity.

    It probably doesn’t occur to you that SS, Medicare and Medicaid were created in response to existing societal problems. Your idea is a pretty good system for some richer suburbs, but might be a little trickier in West Virginia and Mississippi. One advantage though: It would also insure that our billionaires remain protected species.

  56. Athos says:

    “It probably doesn’t occur to you that SS, Medicare and Medicaid were created in response to existing societal problems.” These were created and implemented in accordance with the Communist Manifesto. They are the mother of all Ponzi schemes cooked up by Uncle Joe’s best friend FDR.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about 3rd world countries but people are dying RIGHT NOW waiting for the VA to schedule their operations.

    And it just may surprise you to know that W.Va and Mississippi take care of one another when the chips are down. It’s called A FAMILY, and it’s what families do because they love one another.

    But of course, it’s much easier to let the government do it (unless you’re in New Orleans when a Category 5 Hurricane is coming and you’d rather die waiting for that nit wit Mayor to save you instead of walking across the bridge to live.

  57. Rincon says:

    I’m sure it’s all happy endings in your dream world.

    Life expectancy in Minnesota: 81.1
    Life expectancy in Mississippi: 75.0

    News flash: Rich people live longer than poor people. Families are great, but they’re hardly a limitless resource.

  58. Athos says:

    You don’t have a family of your own, do you, rin?
    I’ve read that about you liberals.

    The family is the basic building block of society.

  59. Steve says:

    Australian Northern Territory life expectancy 75.7

    hmmph.

    Since you insist on taking rural areas and treating them as though they are the whole USA

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3302.0.55.001Main%20Features22013-2015?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3302.0.55.001&issue=2013-2015&num=&view=

  60. Rincon says:

    “Australia’s first major report into alcohol consumption in more than a decade showed 11.8 per cent of all deaths in the NT were attributable to grog in 2010.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-31/nt-tops-statistics-nationally-for-alcohol-related-deaths/5637984 The exception does not make the rule. For another exception, note that the life expectancy for Native Americans in Montana and South Dakota is less than 70. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/usa/life-expectancy-native-american.

    Of course, there’s no need for us to believe in any of this because Conservatives will not acknowledge for example, that the rest of the civilized world lives longer than Americans do in the first place. Apparently, it doesn’t fit in with their American superiority paradigm. It appears that, to Conservatives, statistics are irrelevant.

    My family situation is irrelevant, Athos. As Steve would say, you’re misdirecting.

  61. Steve says:

    “The exception does not make the rule.”

    But

    Rincon wrote
    “Life expectancy in Minnesota: 81.1
    Life expectancy in Mississippi: 75.0”
    https://4thst8.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/how-washington-math-works/#comment-73305

    So these two states are the whole USA but the NT is NOT representative of Australia.

    Got it.

    But there is one thing becoming abundantly clear in this comparison fest, no matter what the country, the wealthiest areas all have the longest life expectancies and the poorest areas have the lowest life expectancies.

    It isn’t that the USA has bad health care. It would appear we have an entitlement problem. By keeping people on welfare, we create more poor people who don’t live as long as those not on welfare.
    Here’s one of a lot of these things.
    https://thinkprogress.org/poor-peoples-lives-are-getting-shorter-6ba9ff74f5e4

  62. Athos says:

    The reason for the relevance of your family situation rinny, is how the Charlie Gard of England case affected me as a father and I would dare say affected anyone who is a father.

    The decision as to whether that little boy gets the medical attention should not be made by bureaucrats. You are familiar with this case I want you? It’s possible that you’re unaware that $1 million was raised to get this boy the treatment he need but the government prevented it ( and would not have cost the taxpayer anything)

    And the major difference is that there is no HMO that I am aware that Wood send armed men to my door to get me to comply with their desires.
    You can’t make that same claim with the government, can you?

  63. Rincon says:

    “Britain’s courts, backed by the European Court of Human Rights, have refused permission, saying it would prolong his suffering without any realistic prospect of helping the 11-month-old child.” https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/24/parents-of-uk-baby-charlie-gard-end-legal-battle-over-treatment.html The operative word is SUFFERING.

    Does it even occur to you that Charlie may have been in agony while his parents were refusing to admit defeat? I have a few patients with the same issue. The family wants us to treat a goner that is suffering. Are they doing it for the pet or themselves? These are very hard on us doctors and you can bet it’s hard on the so called bureaucrats. My problem isn’t that perhaps the “bureaucrats” made the wrong decision (and they might have for all I know), but that you are so radically opinionated that you won’t even admit a possibility that the “bureaucrats” could have been right despite your profound ignorance of this situation.

    Should the government get involved if one person is torturing another? No question, but what if the torturer is too distraught to recognize their torture by prolonging life at all costs? You accuse the “bureaucrats” of intentionally neglecting this child, while I accuse you of possibly advocating his continued torture. If I’m ever in that state, I wish to hell that someone would not only let me die, but I wish they would put me down – PLEASE! Life at all costs is the byproduct of warped religious beliefs.

  64. Athos says:

    We’re not talking about a dog, rinny. We’re talking about flesh of my flesh, The miraculous product when two people love each other get married and have a baby and decide to raise them in a family. ( Western civilization)
    You ignorant self righteous ass! A dog? I would do whatever I had to do, sacrifice my own life, to give my progeny life.
    But then again I forget. To you and your ilk. Charlie Gard is just medical waste that needs to be disposed with the rest of the medical waste in hospitals and clinics all across America every day.
    And just to be perfectly clear, there is no bureaucrat anywhere that loves my children more than I do. The only being loves our children more than my wife and I is God himself.

  65. Athos says:

    And as far as the state putting YOU down, you might want to watch what you wish for!

  66. deleted says:

    Rincon:

    I guess this goes down as a victory for you.

    Man did that set some people off.

  67. Rincon says:

    Note that Athos made no mention of suffering. I suppose to him, that’s irrelevant. He’s obviously a life-at-any.cost kind of guy. A religious zealot. Can’t reason with that.

  68. deleted says:

    But, to your credit Rincon, you continue to try even with those who either aren’t able or willing.

    And the Charlie Gard case is sad as are the deaths of millions of others that die because they have no one ready to make them a political tool. Just think if these conservatives actually cared enough about the millions of humans, around the world without access to healthcare, to actually make THAT a political cause. And these are people that have a real chance of survival and all it would take would be a couple tens of dollars per life, to save them, and where are those compassionate voices on the right then?

  69. Athos says:

    Well aren’t you two sad sacks a pair of clueless human beings. Two things are readily obvious: One neither one of you have children and two neither one of you have spiritual guidance. But I guess that’s just par for the course for marxist.
    For your information you put dogs down with compassion , not children. Especially not your own child.

    And in the Gard’s case, they had $1 million donated by God-fearing people (not by the government) for their son to get treatment. And the government still denied them the opportunity to give their son a chance at life .

    How do I know it was God-fearing people that donated the money? Because you Marxist always look for the government to be there, and you’d rather have other peoples money rather than your own ( you know, the rich) take care of any inconveniences.
    As of children needing medical attention throughout the world: why is it a conservative’s always donate three or four or five times to one as compared to you liberals?

  70. deleted says:

    Never met, heard of, or read about a conservative that believed another actual human being was worth caring much about. Shoot Ayn Rand and her minions told the world that even parents had no of ligation to their own kids and could sell them like property if they wished, and could also let them die the minute they were born (some ode to their “pro-life” stance undoubtedly)

    Heck, most far right wing “God fearing” lunatics you hear about mostly, would have this country starve children so as not to “interfere” with other conservative “God fearing” corporations (Hobby Lobby maybe) “rights” to sell them the food that liberals keep wanting to give them so as to keep them alive.

    Tell a conservative in this country today that the children and women in Iran, or N. Korea, or Venesuela are dying of starvation, and that we can save them by sending American food to those folks and stand back while they call you some silly bumper sticker slogan.

  71. Rincon says:

    “For your information you put dogs down with compassion , not children.” So we let children suffer, but not dogs. Sounds loony to me.

    In case you haven’t figured it out, most people who put their pets to sleep do it for the benefit of the PET. With children, it’s all about misinterpreting the Bible, as they so often do. It says, Thou shall not kill”, which means murder, but obviously not self defense, for example. There is only one commandment: The Golden Rule. That wouldn’t permit allowing a child with no hope to suffer for a long period of time.

    “And in the Gard’s case, they had $1 million donated by God-fearing people.” I never said anything about cost, so you’re replying to something that was never said, but still fail to mention suffering. See Steve. He’ll tell you all about deflection.

    “As of children needing medical attention throughout the world: why is it a conservative’s always donate three or four or five times to one as compared to you liberals? You mean like when Conservatives insist on cutting foreign aid or reducing money for Medicaid – or throwing 20 million or so people off of their insurance? Yeah, real compassionate.

  72. Steve says:

    See that?

    It is as I said.

    debunktion and denial

    No discussion.

  73. Athos says:

    So how much food do you personally send to Iran, or N. Korea, or Venesuela, little p? Or is your solution to send men with guns to take my food and send them? Or Hobby Lobby’s food? Marxist hypocrisy is all the same. Like Warren Buffet stating the rich should pay more, while he pays million$ to accountants to pay the least amount!

    And please don’t ever let me get in the way of you feeding “the starving children” with your own money and food. You can set up shop right next to Catholic Services. They’re in all the neighborhoods that need help, providing beds, food, and spiritual nourishment.

    Maybe you’ve heard of them?

  74. Athos says:

    Rinny, I was under the impression that you were an adult, not a child. Silly me! Let me give you the simplified version and see if you can follow along-

    The Gard’s had a 10% change of saving their son (a human being) people donated money to have the procedure done ($1million worth of caring gifts – and not done by threat of government force) and the all knowing socialized medicine bureaucracy forbid them from doing it under penalty of law!

    If your puppy was suffering and dying and had a 10% chance to live, and money was no object, are you telling me you’d rather put down your adorable little puppy dog, than give it a chance to live?

    What sort of animal are you, rinny?

    And for the record, “You mean like when Conservatives insist on cutting foreign aid or reducing money for Medicaid – or throwing 20 million or so people off of their insurance? Yeah, real compassionate.”

    Foreign aid that goes to the Rulers and never gets to the people intended to help? Yea, I say cut that!

    Reducing money for medicaid? How bout the fact that 74,550,529 individuals were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in the 51 states reporting May 2017 data? Almost 1 in 4 Americans are on the welfare dole but that’s not enough for you? Just who do you think is gonna pay for all of this? YOU???

    Health insurance is NOT HEALTH CARE! No one is denied health care service in this country. The insurance is for responsible adults who wish to pay for this service. You must be confused with the 10s of millions that saw their health insurance premiums skyrocket with even higher deductibles (go ask your parents what a deductible is) as a direct result of President Pinocchio’s lies. (ØbamaCare)
    And please don’t forget about all the business owners that shut down because they couldn’t satisfy ACA guidelines. Along with all the new part time workers.

    Now THAT is what I call compassion, Marxist!

  75. deleted says:

    Like I said, never met, heard of, or read about a “conservative” that cared a wit about anyone else. Ayn Rand minions who say that even parents have no responsibilities toward their own children, much less anyone else’s. And like I said, this apparently applies the moment after they are born (“pro life” and all) at that point, they can be tossed (gently I’m sure) out on the street to fend for themselves cause….natural rights and all.

  76. deleted says:

    “Am I my brothers keeper?”
    -“No”
    -conservatives

  77. Athos says:

    Am I my brother’s Master? (Cause you’re just too stupid to know what’s best for you!)

    Yes

    Marxist

  78. deleted says:

    “Am I my brothers master”?
    -conservative “Bible/word of god” aka Ayn Rand

    “Am I my brothers keeper”
    The word of God

    “No”
    -the word of conservatives

  79. Rincon says:

    Thanks for addressing the suffering part, Athos. Makes for a better discussion. I am, and I suspect most of are ignorant of the details regarding this baby’s prognosis. This is probably because the story would be much less controversial and therefore less interesting if the media gave us the most crucial information. I am certain that the prognosis for living some kind of reasonable life is near zero. I also know that it would have been super easy for baby Gard’s doctors to just let him go across the ocean and be off their hands. There’s only one reason for them to go to the trouble of fighting this: That they would never forgive themselves if they didn’t. Beyond that, I do not know.

    As for foreign aid and Medicaid, I do not advocate wasting money, but this thinking also applies to the Department of Defenseand, just as I do not advocate eliminating the Department of Defense because of their bloated budget, I also do not advocate eliminating Medicaid nor foreign aid. Fixing the problem makes more sense than deserting those in need.

    “No one is denied health care service in this country.” This is true and it means that health care in this country has been socialized for many decades. Obama tried to see to it that since all people received the guarantee of health care if needed, that all paid into it. Conservatives preferred the form of welfare whereby the young and healthy with few assets needn’t bother paying anything at all, but could still receive service subsidized by the older, unhealthier ones. That’s pretty close to socialism, except that socialism requires all to pay in, whereas Conservatives advocate a class of people who pay nothing at all.

    As for “all” of those businesses that shut down due to ACA, some others sure sprang up in a hurry to take their place, since we have full employment – at least in my area.

  80. deleted says:

    No one is denied healthcare service in this country?

    Not only is that false, it’s also true only to the extent that emergency rooms can’t refuse to accept people who need ACUTE care because the big bad gov’ment requires them to.

    Try and go to an emergency room and get insulin as a diabetic because you can’t afford to pay the $1000 a month that you need to in order to keep living, and see what they tell you.

    I guess so long as you were an infant, who went into a diabetic coma, and were living in a country that had socialized medicine, so some far right wing lunatics could pretend they cared about you, maybe they’d “volunteer” to pay the millions of dollars for a lifetime supply so long as they got to go on the news and condemn a system that has no problem providing their citizens with insulin at no cost.

  81. Athos says:

    Both you losers aren’t worth a bucket of warm spit.

    And you totally deserve each other!

    Thomas, can’t we get a better class of troll for this site? Or is this all there is from our current Leftist society?

  82. deleted says:

    Like most rightees, you’re “best” when you dealing with echo chambers where your every craven word is greeted with affirmative mumbling bumper sticker response.

    May I suggest you return there to your….clan?

  83. Rincon says:

    Sorry top be a bother. I’ll stop replying to you./

  84. Steve says:

    oooooh…

    so sensitive

  85. Barbara says:

    Athos –

    Is it possible for a man to harden his own heart to the extent that it becomes psychologically impossible for him to ever desire change?

    “Being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness and greediness” (Eph. 4:18-19).

    “For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie” II Thessalonians 2:11

    It certainly is not our prerogative to determine who such individuals may be, but it is also our prerogative to understand that they do exist.

    Once presented, if the love of the truth is in them, they will come to it on their own.

  86. Rincon says:

    A hardened heart? What ever happened to “bleeding” heart liberals? Apparently, it’s the Conservatives that have become bleeding hearts. I was correct in saying that the media, especially the Conservative propaganda machine, intentionally left out some information in order to make this story more controversial – unless, of course, one considers the Economist to be part of the liberal propaganda machine.

    According to the Economist (7/29/17 p. 48), brain dead Charlie apparently never had a valid offer to treat him in the U.S. Michio Hirano offered to treat, but had ,”…been offered to examine the baby months earlier, but had not done so.” In addition, “…on July 24, the court heard that, after seeing scans of Charlie’s brain, Dr. Hirano said he was no longer willing to carry out the treatment….” So Charlie’s chance to receive heroic treatment was a chimera in the first place.

    This is the best example Conservatives can find of a heartless socialized medical system? Big deal. Only a flaming ideologue would insist on artificially keeping a brain dead vegetable alive (against God’s will for those bible thumpers in the crowd) at tremendous cost, while denying funding for say, polio, malaria, or guinea worm eradication, which would save millions of lives and eliminate tons of suffering at reasonable cost. It seems that Charlie isn’t the only one who’s brain dead.

  87. Rincon says:

    There is one possibility that may have existed. If some hospital was willing to take Charlie’s case, just to keep him uselessly “alive”, at no cost to taxpayers, then the courts should have let them knock their socks off. A refusal by the court, in this situation, would be hard on the parents, but Charlie couldn’t care less – literally. It would, however, make the state complicit in allowing a death that could have been prevented. This is something governments around the world do daily, but in most cases, it’s by omission as with failing to fund lifesaving measures, something Conservatives frequently support.

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