Tag Archives: Economics

Tax & Debt

“A people willing to vote itself a lifestyle it is unwilling to earn is a people destined for the ash heap of history.”  Anon

The Hard Fiscal Facts

Individual tax payments are up 26% in the last two years

The Wall Street Journal – November 11, 2012

imageWhile the rest of America was holding an election last week, the gnomes at the Congressional Budget Office released the final budget totals for fiscal 2012. They’re worth reporting because they illuminate the real fiscal choices that confront the country, as opposed to the posturing you’ll be hearing over the next few weeks.

The nearby table lays out the ugly details. The feds rolled up another $1.1 trillion deficit for the year that ended September 30, which was the biggest deficit since World War II, except for each of the previous three years. President Obama can now proudly claim the four largest deficits in modern history. As a share of GDP, the deficit fell to 7% last year, which was still above any single year of the Reagan Presidency, or any other year since Truman worked in the Oval Office.

Tax revenue kept climbing, up 6.4% for the year overall, and at $2.45 trillion it is now close to the historic high it reached in fiscal 2007 before the recession hit. Mr. Obama won’t want you to know this, but this revenue increase is occurring under the Bush tax rates that he so desperately wants to raise in the name of getting what he says is merely “a little more in taxes.” Individual income tax payments are now up $233 billion over the last two years, or 26%.

This healthy revenue increase comes despite measly economic growth of between 1% and 2%. Imagine the gusher of revenue the feds could get if government got out of the way and let the economy grow faster.

Now let’s look at outlays, which declined a bit in 2012. That small miracle was achieved thanks to a 4% fall in defense spending, a 24% fall in jobless benefits, and an 8.9% decline in Medicaid spending. Continue reading

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Young People Believe

What Do Young People Believe?

By Howard Hyde – FrontPageMag.Com – November 13, 2012

One of the most remarkable impressions  of election night was seeing, in places like Times Square and the Obama campaign stadium in Chicago, crowds of young people, cheering, laughing, dancing, crying with joy over the result. Since these are the people who will have to live with the consequences of this election the longest, it is worth asking: what is it exactly that they are cheering? What do they believe?

They must believe that their future is bright, that it has been saved from the ravages of the evil, uncaring, racist and homophobic Republicans with that rich, white vulture of the weird cult at the top of the ticket.  Their free education, free student “loans,” and free health care including contraception and abortion services are now secure. The fact that so many college graduates can’t find work today is George Bush’s fault, and that circumstance will soon be resolved by the wise policies of the revitalized Obama administration.

What do they believe about Republicans? They must believe that the 48% of Americans — half the country — hate women, gays and minorities, would force all women to have invasive ultrasounds, gays to be burned next to witches, and blacks sent to the back of the bus if not back to the cotton fields as chattel slaves. They must believe that Paul Ryan wishes to commit a Texas (or is it Wisconsin?) chainsaw massacre upon the entitlement programs that they are counting on and that those programs will now be solvent with no sacrifice required on their part. Continue reading

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Poverty Nonsense

By Walter E. Williams – TownHall.Com – 10/17/2012

Here’s a recent statement frequently suggested by leftist academics, think tank researchers and policymakers: “People were not just struggling because of their personal deficiencies. There were structural factors at play. People weren’t poor because they made bad decisions. They were poor because our society creates poverty.” Who made that statement and where it was made is not important at all, but its corrosive effects on the minds of black people, particularly black youths, are devastating.

There’s nothing intellectually challenging or unusual about poverty. For most of mankind’s existence, his most optimistic scenario was to be able to eke out enough to subsist for another day. Poverty has been mankind’s standard fare and remains so for most of mankind. What is unusual and challenging to explain is affluence — namely, how a tiny percentage of people, mostly in the West, for only a tiny part of mankind’s existence, managed to escape the fate that befell their fellow men.

To say that “our society creates poverty” is breathtakingly ignorant. In 1776, the U.S. was among the world’s poorest nations. In less than two centuries, we became the world’s richest nation by a long shot. Americans who today are deemed poor by Census Bureau definitions have more material goods than middle-class people as recently as 60 years ago. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield give us insights in “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor” (9/13/2011). Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry during the year because they couldn’t afford food. How do these facts square with the statement that “our society creates poverty”? To the contrary, our society has done the best with poverty.

Maybe the professor who made the statements about poverty — who, by the way, is black — was thinking that it’s black people who have been made poor by society. One cannot avoid the fact that average black income today is many multiples of what it was at emancipation, in 1900, in 1940 and in 1960, even though average black income is only 65 percent of white income. There is no comparison between black standard of living today and that in earlier periods. Again, the statement that “our society creates poverty” is just plain nonsense. Continue reading

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