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By Gore Vidal

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The Lowdown on Trickle-Down

Posted on Sep 11, 2010
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Bush budgets were good to the rich while running the national deficit through the roof, even before the economic meltdown.

Not like the truth will make a difference for the folks who watch Fox News, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the short-term effects of extending George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and concluded that doing so would be the least effective way to cut unemployment and spur the economy.

The CBO argues that the plan President Obama has now embraced—allowing small businesses to write off 100 percent of their investment costs—is better than the trickle-down policy, but not by much.

A sure-fire way to boost the economy would be direct payments to the jobless and Social Security recipients and/or cutting payroll taxes. Problem is, that plan carries the dreaded “stimulus” label, which these days sends politicians running for cover. —JCL

The New York Times:

With Congressional midterm elections looming, the financial debate in Washington this fall will probably be consumed by one incendiary and expensive issue: whether, and how, to extend the multitrillion-dollar Bush tax cuts.

President Obama is advocating a mixed bag of tax proposals. He wants to extend the cuts for all but the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans and offer businesses hundreds of billions in breaks and write-offs intended to encourage investment and hiring.

Republicans, and a few Democrats, assert that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone, warning that a tax increase right now, even if limited to the highest income bracket, would hurt small businesses and choke off an economic recovery that is already gasping.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 13, 2010 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

boo hoo why cant we all be billionaires. you dont know what poverty is. even as bad as things might be most people that are hurting is because they made stupid choices.

What a crock!  That’s what you hear from Young Republicans whose daddies bought them cars and sent them to private schools and used connections to get them jobs and NOW think they got there are merit.

Yet when a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama comes along and makes it from the bottom to the top on nothing but sheer brain power and ability, they can’t WAIT to shred these guys.  Compare WJC or BO to a George W. Bush, a lazy incompetent frat boy who had it all handed to him again and again.

Yeah, a lot of poor people made incredibly stupid choices: They voted for Republicans determined to rob them, keep them poor, and then tell them it’s their own fault.

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By MarthaA, September 13, 2010 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

That’s Republican and Conservative “tinkle down”.

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By rob, September 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you all sound like a bunch of winers. boo hoo why cant we all be billionaires. you dont know what poverty is. even as bad as things might be most people that are hurting is because they made stupid choices. there are thousands of people who even though broke thet still spend $200 a month or more on beer and smokes. we have been living beyond our means for years. its the govt that got us into this mess. the govt shouldnt be in the home loan business.  the top 10% of earners pay roughly 80% of the taxes. im sure you people dont pay much if any. i pay litterly nothing. you dont have to pay for tax cuts. only congress has the power to tax!!! you dont get it… the problem is spending. whats the most wasteful part of are budget? i know u people would say the military i beg to differ how about intrest on our debt. lets get out of the mid-east and put r troops on our border. lets get rid of dept of education,commerce, energy and thats just a start. wasnt that 787 billion supposed to trickle down to create shovel ready jobs? obama has added more to the debt in 19 months than we did from washinton to reagan. the govt is now going to run healthcare… u believe that how stupid r u.  i helped found sd counties first medical fraud task force years ago. we found that 90% of medical fraud was due to illegal immigrants having know what they did they got rid of the task force. these govt slugs and i mean both parties couldnt run a cool aid stand.this commentary will definetley not be published to much truth

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By JeffPC, September 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are they saying that Rich Americans (top 2%) will not be rich enough to buy stuff they want and invest in the US? 

Or are they saying that the US Gov collects tax money and sits on it? 

I don’t think I understand.

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By waldeck Charles, September 12, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Trickle Down Regonomics is a Third World country concept of Economics. The Repubs love to push it because it looks good on papers for the small risk takers, but always work to confuse the working classes to vote against their best interests for the benefits of the rich. Simply put, it is borrowing from the poor with a promisory note: the rich get richer and the workers get poorer.

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By berniem, September 12, 2010 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Along with the neoliberal, trickle-down lunacy came a simultaneous degradation of the American public education system. “Hey, buddy, you got two tens for a five?”

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By elgordo, September 12, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

most of u people are clueless. govt spending out of control is the problem. public sector jobs wouldnot exist without the private sector. there r a few things that r definetly true. if voting really made a difference it would be illegal. democrats love poor people and they love keeping them that way. the govt is business and its number 1 job is to expand expand and confuse. lets stop arguing about who is paying what when it comes to taxes. this class warefare is bullshit…. the issue is the expanse of gov’t they r into everything and do anything well. i cant believe we are passed a health care scam. it will run like the war on drugs. 80% of drugs r coming across our southern border. they have been doing a real good job there. govt got into the business of guaranteeing everyone has a home look what happened there. wake the hell up everyone.

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By Fat Freddy, September 12, 2010 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Taxes. Nothing but a distraction. Do you think taxes are the reason people are parking their money in 1.25% 5-year Treasuries? If so, you are part of the problem.

Investors do not trust the markets; any of them. They know that everything is manipulated and controlled by the government and the TBTF institutions. In fact, the TBTF has become the government. Sure, these investors will take your money and stick it in an ETF, but they won’t put any of their own money in them. Everything is over-leveraged and everyone is engaging in accounting control fraud to cover it up. Everybody on Wall Street knows it, but you won’t hear a whisper of it in the MSM. That might cause “panic”. The only “answer” we get is, more of the same of what got us in this mess.

I was just reading an article on the Pier One shops in Atlantic City. Very high end shops. The property is owned by a company called Taubman. They own several high end retail and office commercial properties. The news was, that they had defaulted on the loan on the Pier One property. They turned it over to their creditor, BoA. The loan was for $135 million, but the property is valued at $54 million. How do you get a loan to value (LTV) of over 250%? The interesting thing is, Taubman will be paying dividends to shareholders at the end of this month. 1/3 of their properties have LTVs at over 80%. Far beyond any reasonable ratio, but yet they continue to make money. This is just the tip of the iceberg. They are not the only ones. All of the REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust) are in the same boat.

All of this talk about taxes, bailouts and Stimulus is meant to be a distraction for the “common man” to hide all of the collusion, manipulation and fraud that is taking place. This has led to huge amounts of uncertainty within the investment community about what is going to happen within the next 3-5 years. That’s why investors are sitting on Treasuries and cash reserves. Something is going to have to give. The problem is knowing where and when. It is possible that Treasuries themselves could pop. Now that would be interesting. wink

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By zenzerozone, September 12, 2010 at 6:45 am Link to this comment

The money garnered through tax cuts only benefits those who have money in the first place, the increased wealth is just horded and gains zero movement within our economy to benefit the people on a multitude of levels. Tax cuts will not salvage the still faltering economy with will aid it from the ground up is a Living Wage Act.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 12, 2010 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

Republicans ALWAYS say tax cuts for millionaires are not only the best, policy, they are the ONLY policy.  It doesn’t matter if times are good, times are bad, America is prosperous, America is in recession, employment is up, employment is down—CUT TAXES FOR MILLIONAIRES TO MAKE THINGS BETTER!

And it never works.  ALL of Bush’s tax cuts did NOTHING to stimulate employment.  Throughout his 8 years unemployment rose steadily to the roughly 8% level and in the 20 months of Obama’s Presidency it’s risen to just under 10% (I know, that’s the nominal rate, not the real rate).  The RISE in unemployment has slowed, but not stopped.  Hell, I got caught in it myself in the spring of 2009.

I find it amazing that the GOP policies were like they took a sledge and broke our legs.  Then the Dims came along and tried to use band-aids to fix them.  But that didn’t work so now the GOP is coming back and saying that to fix it, they need to hit us in the legs again with that sledge hammer.

And the damn fools believe them!

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By moonraven, September 11, 2010 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

The only thing that trickles down—and it will soon become an avalanch—is poverty.

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By Big B, September 11, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Yet prez Barry, and the Clintonian scum that he covorts with still think that tax cuts are going to magically create (good paying) jobs.

Barry is as hard to figure out as was his predessor W. Is he an elitist that believes no amount of corporate welfare is ever too big? or is he just another fucking idiot?

I think that, just like W, and slick willy, and ronny ray-guns, he is a mixture of both.

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By thedonkeyedge2, September 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

Great post. We need to reinforce the fact that the Republican’s brand of trickle-down economics has failed this country and lead to the virtual meltdown of our entire economic system in 2008.

I point out why trickle-down economics doesn’t work and why the rest of us are just feeling trickled on.

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