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Are Low Taxes Exacerbating the Recession?

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Posted on Jul 8, 2010

By David Sirota

As the planet’s economy keeps stumbling, the phrase “worst recession since the Great Depression” has become the new “global war on terror”—a term whose overuse has rendered it both meaningless and acronym-worthy. And just like that previously ubiquitous phrase, references to the WRSTGD are almost always followed by flimsy and contradictory explanations.

Republicans who ran up massive deficits say the recession comes from overspending. Democrats who gutted the job market with free trade policies nonetheless insist it’s all George W. Bush’s fault. Meanwhile, pundits who cheered both sides now offer non sequiturs, blaming excessive partisanship for our problems.

But as history (and Freakonomics) teaches, such oversimplified memes tend to obscure the counterintuitive notions that often hold the most profound truths. And in the case of the WRSTGD, the most important of these is the idea that we are in economic dire straits because tax rates are too low.

This is the provocative argument first floated by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer in a Slate magazine article evaluating 80 years of economic data.

“During the period 1951-63, when marginal rates were at their peak—91 percent or 92 percent—the American economy boomed, growing at an average annual rate of 3.71 percent,” he wrote in February. “The fact that the marginal rates were what would today be viewed as essentially confiscatory did not cause economic cataclysm—just the opposite. And during the past seven years, during which we reduced the top marginal rate to 35 percent, average growth was a more meager 1.71 percent.”

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Months later, with USA Today reporting that tax rates are at a 60-year nadir, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Brookings Institution audience that “the rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing [major] employment issues ... whether it is individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are.”

A prime example is Greece. While conservatives say the debt-ridden nation is a victim of welfare-state profligacy, a Center for American Progress analysis shows that “Greece has consistently spent less” than Europe’s other social democracies—most of which have avoided Greece’s plight.

“The real problem facing the Greeks is not how to reduce spending but how to increase revenue collections,” the report concludes, fingering Greece’s comparatively “anemic tax collections” as its economic problem.

On the other hand, the opposite is also true—as Clinton noted, some high-tax, high-revenue nations are excelling.

“Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere,” she pointed out. “And guess what? It’s growing like crazy. The rich are getting richer, but they are pulling people out of poverty.”

This makes perfect sense. Though the Reagan zeitgeist created the illusion that taxes stunt economic growth, the numbers prove that higher marginal tax rates generate more resources for the job-creating, wage-generating public investments (roads, bridges, broadband, etc.) that sustain an economy. They also create economic incentives for economy-sustaining capital investment. Indeed, the easiest way wealthy business owners can avoid high-bracket tax rates is by plowing their profits back into their businesses and taking the corresponding write-off rather than simply pocketing the excess cash and paying an IRS levy.

In summing up her remarks, Clinton said that this higher-tax/higher-revenue formula “used to work for us until we abandoned it.”

Though she felt compelled to insist, “I’m not speaking for the [Obama] administration,” it was nonetheless a politically bold statement—so bold, in fact, that like all of the other corroborating tax facts it was summarily ignored by politicians and the Washington media. They had their cliché s to promote—and unfortunately, until they let substantive-though-uncomfortable ideas displace conventional wisdom, it’s a good bet that the WRSTGD will continue unabated.

David Sirota is the author of the best-selling books “Hostile Takeover” and “The Uprising.” He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado and blogs at OpenLeft.com. E-mail him at ds@davidsirota.com or follow him on Twitter @davidsirota.

© 2010 Creators.com


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By balkas, July 10, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Everywhere, broadly speaking, there were until very recently, a majority with crumbs and a minority with lumps.
People with lumps always got the lumps and people with crumbs got crumbs.

Solely, because people with lumps, controled the army and bribed people to spy on the ‘lowlife’.

Bolsheviks said no more of that and the people with lumps went ballistic with angst, rage, hatred against this new ‘lowlife’.

The exemplar was not to be tolerated, even if it meant a wide N-war and end of life.

And to this day, the people with lumps have some 900 bases; many warships crusing oceans and have emplaced N-weapons around china and russia.

For there is nothing more these people fear or hate than the good examples.

So why ?all posters and collumnists i know of eschew this knowledge? Is it for the same reason or cause that their masters avoid this truth?
Probably,but just for a few extra crumbs more?
Or do not know this? tnx

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By MarthaA, July 10, 2010 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Low taxes and high taxes are a false frame, as used by the Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMISTS that resulted from the failed presidency of Richard Nixon and has extended from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and continues to this day with the ilk of Glenn Beck in the Right-Wing EXTREMIST Media Echo Chamber; low taxes that are being replaced with high HIDDEN TAXES are NOT low taxes, and this is what was done by the Conservative EXTREMIST Right-Wing Republicans as a result of Richard Nixon’s failed presidency from the time of Goldwater, through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and this policy and practice continues to be supported to this very day by the false claims of low and high taxes by the Republican Party, and the ilk of Glenn Beck and others in the Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Media Echo Chamber.

This type of practice and policy of Republican Governance is what bankrupted the United States as a nation and resulted in the September 18, 2008 Collapse of the U.S. Economy.

Must the people of the United States continue to dance on the strings of a Dumb Show that is controlled by Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Republicans and their Democratic Party toadies that in the name of lowering taxes commits the country to debt of HIDDEN TAXES that is far higher than what is claimed as that of lowering taxes. 

In the name of lowering our taxes must we continue to let our government, the U.S. Government, continue to borrow and spend money as “high hidden taxes” that will make generations of our progeny poor that have nothing but the hollow promise of the American Dream, while they are forced by American Reality to pay back the Principal and Interest of “high hidden taxes” they have been obligated by their Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Republican Government to make in the name of “low taxes”.

When the claim of “low taxes” is effected by “high hidden taxes”, money borrowed by the U.S. Government that the American People are obligated to pay back as both Principal and Interest, the claim of “low taxes” becomes a reality of “High Hidden Taxes”; “high hidden taxes” for the American Populace to subsidize “low taxes” and capital gain for the minority population of the American Aristocracy.

The National Debt in the following link represents the extent of “High Hidden Taxes” in the United States;—Does the following link represent “low taxes” or “High Hidden Taxes”, that is the question?

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

High Hidden Taxes presented as Low Taxes are not a legitimate solution to Taxation.

Is it nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of “pay as you go taxation” or to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous Hidden Taxes that it takes generations of the American Populace to repay as both Principal and Interest, that is the question?

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By Anarcissie, July 10, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

’... It’s also worth noting that the lowest 40% of income earners, as a result of the “Bush Tax Cuts”, actually paid 0% income taxes. That is on top of an Earned Income Tax Credit for Middle and lower income earners. ...’

And yet the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, at least nominally.  This indicates that taxes may not mean very much.  Or that the rich have ways of dealing with them in such a way as to appear to be paying them while actually extracting them from everyone else.

In the background of this situation, though, is the fact that wealth is being measured in terms of rather mythical units.  For instance, the very wealthy keep most of their wealth in the form of stocks, real estate, collectibles, and other items affected by markets and speculation.  This apparent wealth could vanish overnight.  We don’t know how real it is.  Perhaps they are really going downhill with the rest of us.

Where did you say this handbasket was going?

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By PatrickHenry, July 10, 2010 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

I would like to see those Corporations who enjoy rights of individuals pay the same share of taxes the individuals do.

If those Corporations can pollute our politics with campaign contibutions they can afford to pollute our treasury with their money.

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By balkas, July 10, 2010 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Some of the taxes collected from people was used for war process.
US had been in a war process for ab 200yrs only. And only obtained wholy or partially ab 15% of the planet.

That cannot suffice. US needs at least 40 to 50% of the planet to live in the accustomed style.

US masters of people and wars may be expecting that US can expand for only another 50 or 100 yrs; ergo, now, speedup of this process.

I am surmising that most americans don’t think that this is true. But even 90% wld agree with this analyses, it is likely they cldn’t do much against the war process; even if they sincerely disired to prevent future wars.

It may be to late because tanks, artillery, aircraf, warships, wmd, cia, fbi, army echelons is controled by warlords! tnx

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By Go Right Young Man, July 10, 2010 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

Share of income earned by all tax payers compared to share of income taxes paid (per income) by the wealthiest in the U.S.

Richest 1%    Income     Taxes

1990           14%      25%
2000           21%      37%
2005           21%      39%

Richest 5%

1990           25%      44%
2000           35%      56%
2005           36%      60%

Source: Treasury Dept. October 2007

-

Much has been said about “Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy”.  But facts are stubborn things (as we see from Treasury Dept. data). 

While tax rates were lowered for everyone the wealthiest actually carried a heavier tax burden after rates were lowered.  The wealthiest, in reality, paid more taxes as a percentage of income.  Not less. - It’s also worth noting that the lowest 40% of income earners, as a result of the “Bush Tax Cuts”, actually paid 0% income taxes. That is on top of an Earned Income Tax Credit for Middle and lower income earners.

Fact:  If you cut taxes to stimulate the economy you will, necessarily, be cutting taxes for those paying income tax.  Which means the Top 50% who actually pay taxes.

Fact: The top 5% of income earners pay roughly 54% of all taxes going to the Treasury.
Fact:  The Top 10% of income earners pay roughly 67% of all taxes going to the Treasury.
Fact: The Top 50% of income earners pay roughly 96.54% of all taxes going to the Treasury.

Source: Treasury Dept. October 2007

The bottom 50% is paying a very small portion of overall taxes, so you can’t give them much of a tax cut by definition. - It’s worth keeping in mind when some people whine about the “richest” getting all the tax cuts.

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By Anarcissie, July 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Don Pelton, July 9 at 12:40 pm:

‘Larry Beinhart floated this idea before Spitzer, I
think:

“Why the Economy Grows Like Crazy Amid High Taxes”
By Larry Beinhart, AlterNet
Posted on November 17, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/106979/’

It makes sense, but it is politically impossible now.  In the period 1945 - 1965 “we” were all one big happy White family, so when the workers got taxed they assumed the money would go to something that would probably benefit them.  That unity was possible only as long as non-Whites stayed in the background as decor and threat and did not try to get a significant share of the goodies.  (Black people, being mostly agricultural workers and domestic servants in 1945, were cut out of Social Security.  Southern legislators were sure all that money would just go to their heads.)  Race was a major structural feature of American society and its psychic space, with the White Man at the pinnacle of civilization.  Even a lowly Hungarian in the steel mills of Indiana could feel that he was participating in the White Man thing, together which much higher-status White men elsewhere.  This feeling of community made it possible to exact fairly high taxes even on the rich.

But the White Man thing fell down in the early ‘60s, and the American consensus fell apart.  And so on….  I can tell you’re bored with this stuff, so I’ll stop.  You can figure the rest of it out yourselves anyway.

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By ardee, July 9, 2010 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

“Let me see if I understand.  According to some the conservative and moderate warnings regarding “Tax and Spend liberalism” has been nothing but hype and lies by really mean people.  But now, with the congress and the white house controlled by democrats and progressives, higher taxes and more spending is not only defended vigorously but, we’re now being told that higher taxes and more spending has always been the goal and the better way to go.

Interesting. “

What I find interesting is that some ( this particular poster chief among them) believe distorting or outright lying about the positions of others will make the lie into the truth.

I imagine that most understand that what is being preached from the left is not what is being done in Washington, and those doing it are certainly not Progressives. But lies are so much more fun than is honesty , especially to the far right for some reason I do not fathom.

Speaking only for myself, I want fair taxation for all classes, I want an end to hedge fund managers netting half a billion a year and being taxed at only 15% ( capital gains only) while workers toil for a damn sight less and pay a damn sight more in percentage of taxation. I want my tax dollars used to better purpose as well. I also want the damn far right to have some respect for truth and honesty but I’m holding little hope for that.

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By Squeeky, July 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

First: Paying low taxes while fighting two major wars is ruinous. Raising taxes would raise hell amongst the population. Increasing taxes is a very significant and emotional event.

I believe that this increase would touch the lives of enough of us that, we might ask ourselves” do I want to pay more to a gov’t who takes my money and spends tens of billions of dollars in afghanistan instead of pumping all that money into our economy?

Perhaps when we all are finally touched by the cost of the war and fraud, we finally protest in unison.

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By G.Anderson, July 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

For each and every expert there is an equal and opposite anti expert.

Well maybe taxes are too low, unless your having trouble paying them. Or are among the 1.6 million American’s about to file bankrupcy in 2010.

Maybe that’s because the value of their pay check is at an all time low too.

Lets add to this that the bulk of the jobs that haven’t been shipped over seas, are in service industries that don’t pay too dam well.

Yes, maybe Brazil is doing well, to Clinton. But I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that they have ways around, some of our problems that don’t call for new taxes, like using lots of methanol, that they grow locally.

So, if you doubt me, Ms. Clinton go ahead and get President Obama to raise taxes to the ceiling, and see what happens. Maybe that’s the only way you will understand.

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By balkas, July 9, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

In US there are some 330 mn people, but only ab 5 or 6 ‘jews’ who know economy.

But when it comes to doctoring, at least 10 mns americans understand and can do the doctoring.

When it comes to waging wars of aggression and later carrying on an occupation, only the congress with help from WH can understand such wars, including knowing when the win wld come and why US got there in the first place.

On the other hand, deburkhaing women or letting them wear shorts; winning their hearts and minds for holliwood, only one general at a time knows how to that.

And mcchrystal was not interested in seeing their legs or faces at all, so he had to go.
He knew, i educe, that burkha wearers wld never ever win the hearts and minds of most americans even if they wld dress like american women, let alone wearing face masks.

Petraeus, if he was watching afgh’n must have learned by now that he can win a heart here and there, but not the mind here and there. Or he cld win a mind or two, three, but not one heart.

So, he’ll say the hell with all that and will get a fuller war going.
No more easy wars. Invasions of Iraq and afgh’n were easy invasions, but now petraeus and WH wants real war.
If for no other reason [cause, rather] than for the cosa nostra wish to teach others what it is like opposing the cosa nostra.

However, the biggest prize is always land. Permamently owning parts of afgh’n had been every generals dream since alexander’s days.

And, folks, if u think US masters of war came to leave, i say u’r mistaken!
They may leave. but only after taliban obtains wmd. tha’s the only langauge any warlord understands and pays heed to! tnx

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By Hulk2008, July 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Let’s face it.  Anybody who “likes” high taxes or runaway spending is smoking some brand of unreality.  All sides use way too much vituperative and not enoubn cooperation. 

IF (bigger and bigger IF) we could all learn to get along again as fellow Americans, then Yankee ingenuity would come up with solutions——probably tough ones but workable and realistic ones.

Let’s try not beating up on each other and pointing fingers.  Let’s figure out what caused all the financial woes and vow to stop doing whatever those things are.  Let’s figure out what it will take to climb back out of the abyss and start doing it. 

Lack of national unity and purpose are probably as much to blame for problems as anything .... and I don’t mean jingoist “patriotism”.  One of the first things to realize is that we the US cannot bully our way back to prosperity.

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By ThomasG, July 9, 2010 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

David,

“The Worst Recession Since the Great Depression” was created by Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMIST Republican “practices and policies of governance” that resulted from Nixon’s failed presidency and extended from Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and continues to this day with the ilk of Glenn Beck and the Right-Wing Media Echo Chamber that resulted in deindustrialization, financialization, off shoring, outsourcing, and mercantilization of the U.S. Economy that was then supported by Credit and “Borrow and Spend Governance”.

When the bill came due on September 18, 2008, the U.S. Economy collapsed and privatized Capitalism that created the mess was bailed out at public expense by social capital.

It is a false frame to reduce the complexity of the destruction of the U.S. Economy, that extended from Nixon to the present, as a single issue and imply that a single issue will remedy the problem even though lowering the tax rate on the wealthy was in great part responsible for the destruction of the U.S. Economy.

What is always left out of the dialogue about lowering the taxes that led to the September 18, 2008 Collapse of the U.S. Economy is the Right-Wing Government inflating the economy by buying its own Treasury Bonds and selling its own Treasury Bonds on the World Market to finance “Borrow and Spend Governance” without concern for when the bill would come due, hiding lowered taxes in borrowed money. 

The bill has now come due with the September 18, 2008 Collapse of the U.S. Economy and we must not pretend that all that happened did not happen, and that even if it did, it is too complex to understand or prevent, so the only thing left to do is ignore the problem and wait for the next serial edition of the same “Dumb Show”.

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By Don Pelton, July 9, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Larry Beinhart floated this idea before Spitzer, I
think:

“Why the Economy Grows Like Crazy Amid High Taxes”
By Larry Beinhart, AlterNet
Posted on November 17, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/106979/

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By Anarcissie, July 9, 2010 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

The Reagan-Bush theory was “borrow and spend” and later “print and spend.”  I believe this has now been adopted by the Democrats.  So, who needs taxes?

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By Go Right Young Man, July 9, 2010 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

tdbach, - “If one needed more proof of your fantasy-trumps-reality take on things, it’s right there in the other part of your comment: “One if by land; two if by sea! High taxes are coming! High taxes are coming!’”

-

If we wish to understand all sides of an issue we must authentically listen.

There is never a need to reinterpret my words.  I always mean what I write and write what I mean.  I did not, for example, write that higher taxes are coming.  I clearly wrote how more and more democrats and progressives are talking up the belief in higher taxes and more spending. - Perhaps you have not read the above article we are commenting on?

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By balkas, July 9, 2010 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

People of eons ago knew how a deer, fish, bear, dog behaved.
They knew when cucumbers, carrots, apples were ready for eating.
In short, they knew their economy and cld predict how it wld behave.

But in those days there was no money by which to steal from people; get rich; stay rich by protection from hired guns.

And with rise of that evil, no one can understand economy and ?everybody understands how to get rich and thus control others by simmply managing the money.

And if this simplicity does not elucidate the concept of economy, make my day and render it simpler and clearer.

No, money is not first caue of evil; it is the second cause of evil; falling in love with gods may be third cause of evil.

Count all the others; preferably while drinking wine or taking drugs. No, it’s not bush; he’s a mere effect; nevertheless, a cause as well, but very tiny one.
Ab me? Well, i was like bush many moons ago also!

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By Go Right Young Man, July 9, 2010 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

tdbach, - GYRM “Got a good link (that’s not to a National Review article, but to an IRS or other .gov site)?”

-

I no longer supply links.  I no longer do the research others will not do for themselves.  I do, however, often cite where my facts are derived from.  In this case the IRS.

We all have to make an effort.  You’ll have to do as I have and research the IRS yourself.  IRS data supports the fundamental fact.  Cutting taxes raises productivity which raises revenue going to U.S. Treasury.  It always works.  Just as spending Treasury monies always lowers the holdings in the Treasury.

-

It remains fascinating that democrats and progressives have, for years, denied the notion of Tax and Spend.  Those ideas, we were told, were the lies and hype from “Those Bad People”.

Only now those same democrats and progressives, many right here on this Web space, passionately argue that more taxes and more spending is the only “intelligent” way to govern.

-

Now that we clearly see who has been less than honest there is but one question remaining.  Have progressives and democrats been less than honest for many years or, are they being less than honest now about the “intelligent” way to govern?

I contend that those who find themselves Left of Center have been less than honest in order to get elected.  I may, however, be wrong in this.

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By tdbach, July 9, 2010 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

Mr. Sirota: Good article, good point – and I usually find you disagreeably far to my left.

Mr “Go Right”: That lower-taxes-mean-more-tax-revenue meme is pretty tired and lame. I’ve yet to see the data that you guys so confidently assert is there. Got a good link (that’s not to a National Review article, but to an IRS or other .gov site)?

If one needed more proof of your fantasy-trumps-reality take on things, it’s right there in the other part of your comment: “One if by land; two if by sea! High taxes are coming! High taxes are coming!” Since when did the philosophical musings of a cabinet member become the harbinger of policy? Enacting policy takes political will, which Democrats notoriously lack; philosophical musings are as easy as posting comments in Truthdig.

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By Anarcissie, July 9, 2010 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

There seems to be a fundamental disagreement about the facts here.  Spitzer’s article can be seen at http://www.slate.com/id/2245781.  It is somewhat more fact-based than Sirota’s.  However, Spitzer concludes (correctly, to go by what I see here already) that people will simply dismiss the facts and move quickly to recite their favorite ideology.

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By V, July 9, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You think your taxes are being used to ‘fuel repairs of the infrastructure, which enables the services we expect from our system, namely; police and fire, repairing of roads, education of our children, assistance to those in need (a measure of a nation) as well as others that we all can list’.

Man, get our head out of the sand. None of what you mentioned is happening. Clearly, you’re ignoring the fact infrastructure is crumbling, police and fire are being laid off because states and counties invested badly in CDOs, children are not being educated and a record 40 million are on food stamps while the US shovels 3 billion dollars in “aid” to Israel and spends tens of billions per month on useless wars of imperialism all the while the US debt amount in in the HUNDREDS of trillions and we’ll see the debt ceiling breached (AGAIN) in under six months.

Yet you, and others, feel that what we need is higher taxes so that more of this fiscal irresponsibility can continue?

Idiots and/or sheep.

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By Go Right Young Man, July 9, 2010 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

Anecdotal evidence and progressive studies are interesting, however, IRS data clearly illustrate that lower individual income taxes raises revenue to the treasury. 

Raising corporate tax rates pushes business’ out of the country.  Jobs are then lost.  Lowering corporate rates draws business into the country and job growth follows.  No nuance needed. All very fundamental.

-

On another related subject: 

Let me see if I understand.  According to some the conservative and moderate warnings regarding “Tax and Spend liberalism” has been nothing but hype and lies by really mean people.  But now, with the congress and the white house controlled by democrats and progressives, higher taxes and more spending is not only defended vigorously but, we’re now being told that higher taxes and more spending has always been the goal and the better way to go.

Interesting.

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By kalpal, July 9, 2010 at 5:15 am Link to this comment

Once again you will hear complaints that the issue is being confused by inconvenient facts.

Somehow Americans have been bamboozled into imagining that lower taxes are the path to utopia or nirvana. Even though we have ample evidence that this is not true, the same old lies about lower taxes keep being repeated by the same old liars and some new ones also.

My question is why is it possible to lie so baldly and boldly to Americans without being called on it?
I suspect that it has something to do with our inadequate educational system which studiously sidesteps critical thinking.

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By badger_stripe, July 9, 2010 at 4:37 am Link to this comment

High taxes encourage product development. Look at a $1m bet on a product that has a 50:50 chance of making 20% profit. (Say no-risk investments are paying 5%.)

If Daddy Bigbucks is paying 20% in taxes, he only loses $150k for sitting there clipping coupons.

If Daddy Bigbucks is paying 80% taxes, he loses $750k if he does nothing. He can risk an additional $250k, and if the product works, then he can break even with no further risks.

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By ardee, July 9, 2010 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

While there seems little point in blaming one party or the other for our economic slide there is one little fact that seems worthy of mention; the record for deficit spending was set by Reagan and broken by Bush 43, both republicans. I think Bush had the harder task as he started with a balanced budget and a surplus, give the man his due folks…..

But, despite the facts above, one must really blame both political parties for a lack of backbone and honesty in ducking the central issue, as this article intimates. Citizens have an obligation to the govt. just as our govt has an obligation to its citizens.

Taxes are the fuel that repairs the infrastructure, enables the services we expect from our system, namely; police and fire, repairing of roads, education of our children, assistance to those in need ( a measure of a nation) as well as others that we all can list.

At the same time our govt has dramatically misused our taxes in several ways thus setting up our antipathy towards paying them. If we came to our sense and departed Iraq and Afghanistan, stopped garrisoning troops all over the world, refused to continue spending money on the war machine, money which doesn’t return to the economy nearly as much, as the article notes well, and as does that which we spend on such a list as I noted above, we would have more than enough to fully fund more necessary items, like health care and hot meals in schools, etc. Shall we dream on?

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By Pauline Mott, July 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Finally, someone has the balls to tell the truth - low taxation does not promote a healthy economy or a healthy nation. But from what I have read, the idea of taxation to even the playing field is not acceptable to the average American. As a Canadian, I pay high taxes but I can see the results - a social safety net that removes the fear of lifes vicissitudes- a freedom that promotes a positive outlook and is reflected in our belief that the government and the people must treat everyone with respect and reach out a hand to help those in need. I am constantly shocked and appalled by the mean spirited attitude of Americans towards their fellow citizens. They seem to have no idea of social responsibility or of living by the golden rule - do unto others as you would be done by.

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