Paul Krugman: Let’s Go Back To 1950’s-Era Tax Rates

john-f-kennedy

Paul Krugman says America can still prosper even with a 91% top marginal tax rate:

Consider the question of tax rates on the wealthy. The modern American right, and much of the alleged center, is obsessed with the notion that low tax rates at the top are essential to growth.

Yet in the 1950s incomes in the top bracket faced a marginal tax rate of 91, that’s right, 91 percent, while taxes on corporate profits were twice as large, relative to national income, as in recent years. The best estimates suggest that circa 1960 the top 0.01 percent of Americans paid an effective federal tax rate of more than 70 percent, twice what they pay today.

America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share…..yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again.

Someone who might disagree with Krugman, someone who was actually responsible for tax policy in that era, might disagree. John F. Kennedy believed tax rates were too high in the 1950’s and early 1960’s and proposed dramatic tax cuts to spur economic growth and, says Kennedy himself, eventually higher tax revenues (via Mark Perry):

“An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits,” said Kennedy in 1962 during an address to the Economic Club of New York.

Kennedy didn’t get his tax cuts through in 1963, and was assassinated before he could try again, but his successor Lyndon Johnson did get a roughly 20% across-the-board reduction in federal income tax rates through the Revenue Act of 1964. The tax cuts reduced top marginal rate from 91% to 70% and reduced corporate tax rate from 52% to 48%.

The economic impact of the tax cuts was dramatic. The unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in 1964 to 3.8% in 1966, and tax revenues soared from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968.

In other words, the Kennedy/Johnson tax cuts in the 1960’s had exactly the economic impact conservatives say tax cuts will have. And enacting any sort of tax hike now will have the opposite effect. It will restrict economic growth, restrict prosperity and restrict tax revenues.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SigFan

    “And enacting any sort of tax hike now will have the opposite effect. It
    will restrict economic growth, restrict prosperity and restrict tax
    revenues.”

    But it will be “fair” – whatever the hell that means.

  • Davo

    “In Bush’s initial tax cut package (2001), the marginal tax rate was cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. But if lowering the tax rate produces more revenue, why would President Bush have stopped there? Surely, he would have cut the tax rate to 34 percent, thereby producing even more revenue! No—he would have cut it to 33 percent! To 32! No—to 31!”

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Sure, reduce it to the absurd, but there is an economic concept which addresses that, called the Laffer Curve.

    • Harold Stonle

      Tax rates aren’t the reason we have huge deficits and national debt. Let the liberals have thier 1950’s tax rates in return for also returning to the 1950’s levels of SPENDING, especially entitlements like welfare, food stamps, as well as pensions/healthcare for government employees.

  • Guest

    Congress’s non-partisan research service found no relationship between economic growth and the tax rates for the top income bracket. “The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate
    and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth.” http://graphics8.nytimes.com/news/business/0915taxesandeconomy.pdf

    You probably didn’t hear about it though because Republicans didn’t like the truth and suppressed the report.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Congress’s non-partisan research service found no relationship between economic growth and the tax rates for the top income bracket.

      Meanwhile, out in the real world, increased tax burdens slow economic growth, and decreased tax burdens spur economic growth.

      And I can show you white papers from my sources to prove it too, but ultimately I think this is more of a faith-based thing for you than something that’s data-driven.

      • Guest

        Put up or shut up.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Why bother? The economics of Kennedy’s tax cuts (not to mention the Bush tax cuts and the Reagan tax cuts) are verifiable. Economic growth surged and, eventually, so did tax revenues.

          Yet you liberals have been denying the truth of these real-world examples ever since.

          • Guest

            Couldn’t find any, huh? Just because you could find one instance of tax cuts following economic growth doesn’t prove it’s true. There were other tax cuts to the upper bracket that were not followed by economic growth, most notably, the Bush tax cuts.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            actually Bush had some of the highest revenue income during two years of his presidency. What you also fail to note is that the deficit under Bush’s last four years combined is less than any one year under obama

          • Guest

            Since you appear to only get your talking points, from fox news, this should enlighten you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFZ8h2ygIcg. Even more revenue would’ve been brought in had they not cut taxes, basically, so you can’t attribute the tax cuts to causing more revenue.

            What you fail to note is the issue we are addressing is whether tax cuts to the upper bracket effects economic growth. If you really want to address the deficit though. Bush went from a surplus to a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit and it has since come down from a 1.4 trillion dollar peak. So sorry he couldn’t clean Bush’s mess up faster. Who’d a thunk cutting taxes and launching two wars costing almost a billion dollars per day would raise the deficit?

          • hannieBooBoo

            Who woulda thunk that obama doubling the deficit, adding $6 trillion to the debt was a good thing. Only liberal morons would.

          • azulu

            Far from actually doubling the deficit, Obama has actually lowered the deficit by 8 percent. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/05/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-barack-obama-has-doubled-deficit/

            Facts have a well known liberal bias, so it’s understandable why you wouldn’t rely on them and have to make up your own.

          • hannieBooBoo

            Your idiocy is proven once again. It’s time to update your talking points to facts.

            http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

          • Guest

            Wow a link to the heritage foundation, can I link you to the Huffington Post to respond? Heritage misleads by by putting the blame for 2009 budget on Obama. The 2009 fiscal year began October 2008, nearly four months before Obama took office, which is when the debt jumped the most. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_United_States_federal_budget The budget for the entire fiscal year was largely set in place while Bush was in the White House.

            FY 2007: -160,701
            FY 2008: -458,553
            FY 2009: -1,412,688 (final budget under Bush)
            FY 2010: -1,293,489
            FY 2011: -1,299,595
            FY 2012 -1,326,948

          • hannieBooBoo

            You can link to any source you like. The Heritage Foundation used the CBO for data, which will yours use?

          • Guest

            Even if you want to use Heritage’s numbers (which aren’t that different), I explained to you that the 2009 budget falls under Bush’s presidency. So if it went from a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit to a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit, it’s gone down. If you want to deny the facts and cling to your hope that 2009 is entirely Obama’s fault, that’s not my problem.

          • hannieBooBoo

            Hey moron, those weren’t numbers from the Heritage Foundation, they were from the CBO. Try to get past 2009, look at the present and what the failing obama policies will bring.

          • azulu

            Again, even if you use those numbers, 2009 fell squarely in Bush’s column. So if it went from a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit to a 1.3 trillion dollar deficit, it’s gone down. If you want to deny the facts and cling to your hope that 2009 is entirely Obama’s fault, that’s not my problem. http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/whos-blame-massive-deficit

          • jl

            Wrong again. Bush never signed the 2009 budget because it was too high. It was signed by Obama (the only one he’s signed) in March of 2009. That 1.2 trillion number you use is solely on the Democratic congress and Obama’s watch.

          • Guest

            Nice try, even the Cato Institute acknowledges Obama is not to blame for the 2009 budget. http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/whos-blame-massive-deficit

            “The budget for the entire fiscal year was largely set in place while President Bush was in the White House. We can see that Obama is mostly right in claiming that he inherited a mess.”

          • mickey_moussaoui

            nonsense

          • Guest

            Since you could provide no facts or evidence to back up your claim while I could, I accept your constructive admission that I am right on the issue.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            since you get your talking points from comic books you fail to recognize that excessive taxation during a recession does little to build an economy and even less to build revenue. You have already proven you have no grasp of history or economics…only Marxist drivel

          • Guest

            Excessive taxation during a recession? Taxes have only gone down since Bush. Since you couldn’t provide any support for your arguments besides ignoring reality and name calling, you have proven you have no grasp of reason or logic, only blind stupidity! Thank you for constructively admitting that.

            You couldn’t provide any evidence that letting the tax cuts for the upper bracket expire would hurt the economy and result in declining revenue, while I could link to a study showing there was little relationship between the marginal rates of top bracket and economic growth, I thank you for additional constructive that your argument has no evidentiary weight besides talking points. Thank you.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            The economy has gone down significantly under obama. This is obama’s economy not Bush’s. GDP growth is under 1%.
            You could take everyones money away and it wouldn’t cover one year of obama’s excessive spending.

            Stop making excuses for his incompetent leadership.

          • Guest

            The economy has gone significantly down under Obama? The economy was losing 818 thousand jobs a month when Obama took office. The last 25 months have seen job growth. Stop living in a fantasy world.

          • LibertyFargo

            The “job growth” number is a farce. The overall economy has LOST jobs. Any “growth” in jobs added still hasn’t gotten us BACK to the number of workers in the workforce from 2008.

            It is like saying I have 10 employees in 2000 I lay off 5 of them in 2008. Two of them keep looking for jobs and get full time jobs. Two get 2-3 part-time jobs, and one takes early retirement after 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.

            The current Obama Admin math says… “look, we created 4 jobs!” Failing to take into consideration that 5 were lost and 2 of the 4 are “under employed!”

            What is touted as “Hey looks it was 9.1 and now it is 7.8!” Doesn’t tell the whole story. The U-6 number (which counts, under employed & people who have just LEFT the workforce and stopped pursuing a job) closer to 14%! Blame what you want on an inherited recession but it is intellectually dishonest to say “Jobs are up under Obama.”

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/10/11/obamas-real-unemployment-rate-is-14-7-and-a-recessions-on-the-way/

          • Guest

            That still doesn’t mean he hasn’t turned it around. If a company was losing billions of dollars a month and new management comes to turn it profitable again, would you really argue that since they haven’t recovered all the prior money it somehow is ‘farce’ that they are making money now?

            If you want to the slight of hand and compare unemployment in January 2009 to unemployment, under employment, and discouraged today, than you have to use the same measuring stick to compare it to. Any way you calculate the unemployment numbers, all those varying measures of unemployment say it has gone down. http://www.factcheck.org/2012/02/whats-the-real-jobless-rate/

          • LibertyFargo

            I’m not saying the numbers haven’t gone down. U-6 has also dropped. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that Stimulus Spending “created” all these millions of jobs.

            If we take a step back and look at ALL the numbers from the last 30-40 years we see economic issues (recession) hugely affected by Clinton-era federal housing policy (housing bubble) and the federal mandates and safety nets for banks (encouraging bad lending… not a result of “not enough regulation” but bad mandates/regulations).

            Bush, to his fault in my opinion, was not “conservative” enough but was a moderate big-gov’t Repub. And did little to reform our spending habit domestically. You don’t even HAVE to argue the “un-funded wars” to see that Bush wasn’t a conservative spendthrift.

            And then, coming out of the “Bush recession” we have this ridiculously slow ‘recovery’ which has taken longer than necessary because of a bloated federal wallet fully of dollars only really worth $.075!

            “Shovel ready jobs” the GM “bailout” (a.k.a. pay the unions and screw the other shareholders), it could be argued, actually kept any natural market recovery artificially slow.

            http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/091012-625211-obama-plan-to-meddle-in-economy-wont-fix-anything.htm?p=full

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            You cannot pretend as though higher tax rates have no impact on economic activity.

          • Guest

            You cannot pretend that this issue is simply about tax rates. It’s solely about the upper bracket.

    • HG

      Az,

      If more money in the pockets of the top income bracket via tax breaks doesn’t appear to correlate to economic growth, then why the hell did Obama “invest” so much taxpayer money with people in the top income brackets in an effort to stimulate economic activity?

      • Guest

        What “investments” to only those in the top income bracket would that be? Seems to me their rate has stayed steady at 35%, not that that’s what they are actually paying. http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

        • HG

          Az, the stimulus spending spree Obama went on and the bailouts. You really needed me to point that out?

          • Guest

            Yes, please point out how the stimulus was only a handout to those in the upper tax bracket. It consisted of tax credits for individuals and small business, medicaid costs, education and job training for those who lost their jobs, unemployment benefits, money for highways. None of those seem like programs directly targeted to those in the upper tax bracket. http://projects.nytimes.com/44th_president/stimulus

          • HG

            Many small business owners are in the upper tax brackets.
            I didn’t say all stimulus went to the top income bracket but enough of it did to ask the question why if it doesn’t stimulate economic growth.

          • azulu

            You said “why the hell did Obama “invest” so much taxpayer money with people in the top income brackets in an effort to stimulate economic activity?” Just because a some of the wealthiest are small businesses and benefited from the stimulus doesn’t mean he “invested so much taxpayer money.” A lot more aren’t. You’re just guessing that a lot of small business owners fall into the top marginal bracket. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jul/27/stephen-hayes/so-called-wealthy-are-actually-small-business-owne/

            Even if it did benefit some, it also benefited all the small business owners who did not fall into that category. If it’s given to all equally, you can hardly accuse Obama of signaling out one particular group for aid.

          • HG

            3 billion to GE is no small amount. Why did GE get so much of our money if it doesn’t result in economic growth?
            Quit playing naïve and step up AZ. You know good and well many upper income bracket taxpayers received stimulus money.
            Fact is, more money in the hands of ALL Americans, including upper income taxpayers, encourages spending, investment, expansion, ei,. economic growth. Only a fool would try to deny that fact.

          • azulu

            I didn’t claim they didn’t receive any aid. First, 3 billion out of 800 billion isn’t much of statement about the stimulus in general, especially since it’s not like the CEO’s pocketed that money. It went to keep GE functioning and it’s thousands of lower income workers employed. You’re deluding yourself that just because some people in the top bracket benefited from the stimulus that he therefore “gave so much money” to the top income earners. Since a bulk of the money went to programs that benefited he population generally and the unemployed, you’re argument is patently without merit.

            And are you really attacking Obama for investing in the upper class? (Not that I agree with that assessment). If so, then you should be more than happy to see any money or tax breaks afforded to them revoked.

          • HG

            Not attacking, AZ. Pointing out it contradicts the ridiculous claim liberals keep parroting about upper income bracket taxpayers getting tax cuts doesn’t help the economy. It’s an absurd and ludicrous position to take.
            Next.
            I love how taxpayer money given to GE helps all the people it employees and hires. Don’t disagree. You libs like to call that trickle down. You know, where upper income people keep more money and then use it for investment and business so that it benefits all those it trickles down to.
            The only difference between what you libs do with taxpayer money and what conservatives do, is this; We want taxpayers to keep more of their own money and spend it or invest it as they see fit. You libs want more taxspayer money so you can spend it or “invest” it as you see fit.
            That’s it.

          • azulu

            Again, your basic argument is that because some money went to the upper income bracket that therefore it was giving a ton of money to the upper bracket. It’s not true. You couldn’t provide any evidence that a bulk that a ton of money went to people in that bracket besides conjecture while I gave you a link detailing where all the money went. You extrapolate from conjecture that because some in the bracket benefited that that was therefore a main aim of stimulus. The stimulus spread a wide net and it’s not surprising people in all brackets would benefit. I’m sure some people used their Bush tax breaks to get an abortion. Even though it was probably a small amount of how the billions of dollars were spent, would you therefore also believe that Republicans gave a bunch of money to get abortions by the same extrapolation you do here? Again, your logic because that some money went there it some how translates into a statement about the overall priorities are aims is meritless.

            Instead, you go off on a tangent that conservatives believe people should be able to keep their money which is wholly irrelevant to whether Obama gave a ton of money to the upper income bracket.

            Until you provide evidence to counter the a sufficiently large percentage of the stimulus was given to those in the upper bracket to make a statement about the stimulus in general, you’ve lost. I provided you a link showing that the stimulus funds were spread widely across the population while you’ve only provided conjecture.

          • HG

            You not only don’t understand free market economics, you don’t understand my argument. Acutually, I think your just avoiding it.

            Pull your head out of your Az and admit that more money in the pockets of upper income brackets does encourage economic activity.

          • Guest

            Our argument was about why you thought Obama gave so much money to upper the upper bracket. I provided evidence that the bulk of the stimulus went to those who were not primarily in that bracket. Instead you now want to argue about what the best way to stimulate the economy is which is totally irrelevant to the issue of whether the stimulus was a handout to those in the upper bracket.

            My evidence: Chart delineating where all the stimulus went.

            Your evidence: Irrelevant tangnet into why we should put money back into the pockets of people.

          • HG

            Wrong. Read your comment I responded to dumbAz.

          • Guest

            “Az, If more money in the pockets of the top income bracket via tax breaks doesn’t appear to correlate to economic growth, then why the hell did Obama “invest” so much taxpayer money with people in the top income brackets in an effort to stimulate the economy.” You tried to argue Obama made a concerted effort to give money to those people when in fact in gave money much more to other brackets to save the economy.

            Withdrawn point about editing.

            My original post was about tax rates for the upper bracket on the economy. Discussing whether tax cuts in general stimulate the economy is irrelevant to that issue.

          • HG

            You argued tax cuts for upper income brackets don’t correlate to economic growth. Our President gave billions of taxpayer dollars to corporations and businesses in an effort to stimulate economic growth.
            I didn’t edit anything. I can’t, I don’t sign in.
            Just admit tax cuts, like stimulus spending, puts more money in the pockets of upper income taxpayers and that results in economic activity which encourages economic growth.

          • Guest

            Yes, I was wrong about editing apologies. But it doesn’t change the fact that you were trying to argue that Obama was giving a lot of money to the upper class through the stimulus to help the economy which wholly mischaracterizes where the bulk of the stimulus money went. Our President made a concerted effort to spread the stimulus effect widely, not just the upper class, and the issue here solely concerns the top marginal rate.

            If you no longer want to argue that somehow because the stimulus also tangentially benefited the wealthy Obama somehow conceded they should maintain their historically unprecedented low rate, I provided you a link to a study showing there was no relationship between the upper marginal rate and economic growth.

            So to recap

            My evidence: Studying show little relationship between economic growth and the top marinal rate.

            Your evidence: Conjecture

          • HG

            You ever notice how every debate you attempt results in you trying to re-frame your opponents argument?
            You keep ignoring my point. It doesn’t matter how much of the stimulus went to the those in the upper income tax brackets. The fact is some of it did. We can argue about how much but it wont change the fact that Obama gave stimulus funds to those in the upper income tax brackets as a means of encouraging economic growth, hence the term “stimulus spending”.
            Admit that more money in the pockets of those in upper tax brackets stimulates the economy. If you can.

          • azulu

            I don’t admit that. Again, just because money also went to the upper bracket doesn’t mean it necessarily lead to economic growth. Again, I provided a study showing that there was little relationship between the upper marginal rate and economic growth and the best you could provide was the stimulus which conjecturally and tangentially effected those in the brackets stimulated the economy also lead to economic growth that therefore the benefits they received did in fact lead to economic growth. Just because something is true of the whole doesn’t it true need not be true of all parts.

          • HG

            Why give stimulus dollars to the upper tax bracket payers if it doesn’t stimulate the economy?

          • azulu

            So you want to again reargue the issue about whether the overwhelmingly large bulk of the stimulus did not go to the upper tax bracket? Your expecting an insane amount of precision to expect not one dollar of an $800,000,000,000 stimulus would not go into almost all brackets and it’s indisputable that a vast majority of it did not.

          • HG

            You’re too funny DumbAz. When you can argue without having to reframe my argument, feel free to come on back. You just got your Az handed to you in this thread. You’re welcome.

          • azulu

            I never reframed my argument that there was no relationship between the upper marginal rate and economic growth. Go back up to my original post, I’ve never wondered from. Nor undermined that (hey, we have something in common!). I provided a study showing no relationship and the best argument you could provide was conjecture about the upper class getting a small part of the stimulus somehow proves that wrong. You lost the “nobody dies for lack of health insurance” and no want to pretend you won here as well without providing a single piece of evidence to prove me wrong.

            Azulu: 2
            HG: 0

  • Davo

    Shorter version of Rob’s economic analysis:
    Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Or, it could just be that tax cuts, when implemented, actually work in a verifiable way.

      • Guest

        After running away from a bear, I found a rock on the ground. Not seeing the bear after finding the rock, I can conclude that the rock I found keeps bears away in a verifiable way as I no longer see any bears after finding the rock.

        After Kennedy tax cuts, economic growth. Since there was economic growth after the Kennedy tax cuts, I can conclude that the tax cuts caused economic growth in the verifiable way that the economy grew after the tax cuts.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Of course, it isn’t just the Kennedy tax cuts is it? It happened after the Coolidge tax cuts. And the Reagan tax cuts. And the Bush tax cuts.

          How many times do you have to jump in a lake before you conclude that water is wet.

          • Guest

            You can pretend that all tax cuts lead to economic prosperity you like, but it’s not true.
            – 1925 tax cuts. Followed by market bubble, stagnating wages and the 1929 stock market crash and the great depression
            -1981 tax cuts. Economy sank deeper into recession for two years
            -1987 tax cuts. By 1990 growth declined into 1991’s recession
            -2001. Afterwards the economy grew slower than it had preceding eight years and then the 2008 recession occurred.

            Moreover, we aren’t talking just about tax cuts in general, are we Rob? Nice try, conflating the issues though. We’re talking only about letting it the rates return to what they were during robust economy in the 1990s. If you’re such a fan of post-hoc arguments, if the economy was great under Clinton’s tax rates, surely it will great now as well, right?

            Still can’t find any studies showing a connection between the top marginal rate and economic growth, huh? Just faulty reasoning and cherry picking?. Gotcha

          • Guest

            How many times do you have to peddle the argument that tax cuts inevitably will jump start the economy before we realize it’s not strictly true?

  • WOOF

    What happened in 1964 was huge economic stimulus. The War on Poverty and the War on Vietnamese peasants. PBS, NPR, Peace Corps, Vista ,all kinds of educational training, model cities, transportation infrastructure spending.
    A Keynesian festival.

    “from 1963 when Lyndon Johnson
    took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were
    felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped
    from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent, the most dramatic decline over such a
    brief period in this century.”[25] The percentage of African Americans below the poverty line dropped from 55 percent in 1960 to 27 percent in 1968.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Please, poodle, the impact of those programs weren’t felt until well into the 1970’s.

      • Guest

        Do you have proof that the tax cuts were felt immediately but the social programs took almost a decade to take effect?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Of course. The impact of changes in tax policy are felt the moment they’re implemented. Americans end up with more money in their pockets, and begin to react differently. Social programs, on the other hand, take years to set up and the impact is much less immediate.

          This is just common sense.

          • Guest

            Even Reagan didn’t believe that. I believe the the catch-phrase was “trickle down.”

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Of course Reagan believed that.

          • Camburn

            Reagan also stated that Capital Gains taxes and wages should be taxed at the same rate as capital was useless without workers, and workers would have no jobs without capital.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Perhaps Reagan is right, I’ll stipulate to it for now, but I doubt very much that he would have been for raising taxes on investments dramatically to achieve that parity.

          • Camburn

            “That was during the years 1988 to 1990, as a result of the Tax Reform Act of
            1986 — a law championed by President Ronald Reagan.” Wages and capital gains were taxed at the same rate during this time.

  • matthew_bosch

    We can raise taxes, but relatively, the rich will stay rich, put the middle to low income individuals will become poorer as the producers retreat from the market to avoid taxation.

    What are the indicators for market improvement over next decade?

  • Davo

    I can’t remember my history textbooks that well. Did America collapse into a Socialist dictatorship during the 1950s? I mean, if Obama’s a socialist for increasing the top marginal tax rate from 35 to 39%, gosh, I can only imagine what it was like for the 20 years when that rate was over 90%. Did Eisenhower’s Czars allow ANY ownership of private property during that era?

    • DogTheHunger

      Davo – Read my previous post. No one paid the top rate at the end of the day. Hello?

    • Harold Stonle

      Davo i will make you a deal. Let’s go back to the tax code/rate/laws of the 1950’s like you want; and in return, you also allow us to go back to the SPENDING (especially entitlement program spending) levels of the 1950’s as well. fair ?

    • banjo kid

      $100,000 was a high earnings back then and the rates only applied to that over $100,000 . I almost was in the tax bracket one time .

  • Davo

    For the majority of the 20th century, the top marginal tax rate was over 70%. How did we build ANYTHING in such a socialist nightmare?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The question, is how much better off would we have been had the burden of government been lower?

      Quite a bit, I think. Look at the “Roaring 20’s” which were the result of significant reduction of tax burdens enacted by the Coolidge administration. Then look at the Great Depression, which was the result of a recession deepening when Herbert Hoover decided to react to it by implementing higher taxes, trade protectionism and an aggressive round of government stimulus spending.

      I’m sorry that the reality of history doesn’t match with your ideological preferences.

      • Guest

        It appears that you’re being inconsistent, Rob. When economic growth is high under high taxes, your argument is it would’ve been much better off under had taxes been lower. But when economic growth is low after tax cuts, you argue it would’ve been much worse without the tax cuts. Your reasoning switches depending on whether it matches the results you want to save the presumption that the lowering the highest income tax bracket’s rates spurs growth.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          No, I’m being entirely consistent. Lower tax burdens always promote a more robust economy, but there are always other factors as well. For instance, a good deal of the economic growth in the 1950’s had to do with the rise of the automobile and the building of the interstate commerce system.

          • Guest

            I didn’t say your conclusion has changed, I said your reasoning changes to save that conclusion. If tax cuts are preceded by economic growth, you reason that it it simply must be because of the tax cuts. But when the economy’s robust despite high taxes or the economy doesn’t jump start after taxes, then suddenly there’s other factors dragging the economy down that are to blame.

        • Harold Stonle

          We’re looking at the wrong side of the equation. Raise the tax rates to 100% on incomes of 35,000 and up. Still won’t matter. Now look at the federal SPENDING in 1950 vs. 2012. Especially on entitlements, bailouts, welfare, pensions, etc. That’s so drastically different that it’s shocking and scary.

      • Slippery Pete

        Rob, FDR did that & price floor. Go read a book. Rob what is your economic educational background? did you go to college?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Actually, I have studied the economic policies of that era extensively. I’d recommend The Forgotten Man by Amity Schales.

          FDR, ironically enough, actually mimicked most of Hoover’s economic policies, only more so. If you look at FDR’s first campaign he spends a lot of his to,e hitting Hoover on excessive spending, if you can imagine that monstrous bit of hypocrisy.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            The Schechters voted for FDR.

      • Tired of Idiots

        Rob you and Davo are idiots as the tax rate can be 70% but it’s the tax breaks-exemptions that lowers the tax rates. That’s why few people want a flat tax.

    • Harold Stonle

      Haven’t we already covered this ?

      1. there were so many superfluous deductions and loopholes that the ‘rich’ actually paid LESS than they do now
      2. spending by the federal government for things like welfare, food stamps, and pensions for government employees; was a mere fraction of what it is today.

  • True Economist

    We do not need tariffs, what we need to do is send Unions to China – BAM problem solved as the cost of production would skyrocket. I guess Unions, Union leaders & Union members are not worthless :)

  • Neiman

    How is it fair or even just to penalize people for working hard and earning more money than their neighbor? How is it fair or just to say to those that have failed to invest the time and energy to succeed that, they do not have to pay a fair share of our costs to operate government?

    To answer Davo’s usual inane, asinine question: Obama is not a socialist just for wanting to raise taxes, he is a socialist because he wants the federal government to control every aspect of our lives, by wanting to rob the people of their hard earned money to redistribute that money to a lazy, non-working class of people, he is a socialist because he denies our even having any unalienable rights at all, as he undermines the Bill of Rights, because his is a godless America, not just without God, but the state being an enemy of private religious beliefs. I could go on, but just raising taxes alone to infinity is not what makes Comrade-Chairman Obama a Marxist and a petty Dictator in the making.

    • Davo

      Top marginal tax rates throughout the Obama administration have been 35%. For the entirety of the Nixon presidency, they were 70% (throughout Eisenhower’s, they were 91%).

      But yeah, Socialism!

      • Neiman

        Little Davey, let me try this on your level: I said tax rates were NOT the only factor making Comrade-Chairman Obama a Socialist. Try a remedial reading course ASAP!

        • Davo

          Neiman: You stated that Obama “wants the federal government to control every aspect of our lives, by wanting to rob the people of their hard earned money to redistribute that money to a lazy, non-working class of people” and I stopped reading because you are either insane or disingenuous, and I discussions with people in either category are pointless.

          • Neiman

            That is because you hate the Truth, it makes you uncomfortable. It is your Lord Obama that complained about our Constitution because it did not allow for such redistributive justice. Don’t go away mad Davey, just go away.

    • DogTheHunger

      Geez Neiman – nice post. Funny, the only guy supporting your positions (less the religious dogma) that actually spoke on these principles, lived the principles and voted for non-marxist principles was some guy named Ron. Last time I checked – you hated him and his followers. Guess you’ve come around – or are you still just as phony a Neocon as before?

      • Neiman

        First Dog breath, I never said I hated Ron Paul.

        Next, if you read any of my comments and were even a little bit honest, you would have to admit I said I agreed with many things he represented as principles, if not in actual implementation.

        Next, it is his extreme libertarian position on moral anarchy with no government role in establishing some minimal limits on aberrant, destructive immoral human behavior that I mostly reject.

        • DogTheHunger

          Ok – I now understand. You are against individual liberty and freedom even if it doesn’t affect anyone – positive or negatively – but those who chose it there type of liberty or freedom.

          • Neiman

            Throughout all human history every society, even quite uncivilized ones have established certain laws to restrain the base impulses of man and the exercise of their amoral/immoral liberty at the expense of another man’s liberty. Our Founding Father’s knew this, thus the Bill of Rights and if you examine the laws of our original states and the federal government and their insistence upon the idea that our Constitution was only made for a moral/religious people, you would know that they side with me or I with them actually, that laws are established among men.

            “”An equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.” -Thomas Jefferson

            “[The] best principles [of our republic] secure to all its citizens a perfect equality of rights.” –Thomas Jefferson

            “Natural rights [are] the objects for the protection of which society is formed and municipal laws established.” -Thomas Jefferson

            You may not exercise your rights at the expense of mine, which are why laws are established among men and that means laws which restrain some of the more gross base impulses of man.

          • DogTheHunger

            You must not be understanding what’s being said in your above quotes. They are talking about protecting rights – natural rights. This includes choice my friend – a choice can be seen as good or bad – but nonetheless a choice to be protected. A moral society is indeed valued – but it still falls on individual responsibility and their own CHOICE. As these quotes simply point out nothing of taking the choices of citizens away – whether they approved of them or not. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else – they are to be free to make those choices.

          • Neiman

            That is the whole point, many, many moral choices hurt others, from individuals to society as a whole and for self protection society must pass laws against such immoral conduct. Abortion murders babies, so a woman’s so-called right to choose abortion is not harmless, it ends the life of a helpless, innocent child and without benefit of a trial or a defense they suffer capital punishment. So, society has always, until your side kicked God out of our affairs in 1962, made abortion by all involved a criminal act. Homosexuality harms those directly involved morally, physically and spiritually, it harms those in their immediate sphere of influence, if harms the family, marriage and as the family is the foundation of a stable, prosperous society, it harms society. Each immoral act must be viewed in the light of how it harms others and denies them their rights, their liberty.

            If you set a fire in your own house, it may be your choice, but it kills all in the house and that is why America is falling into the abyss.

          • DogTheHunger

            Neiman – my side kicked God out? Not sure what you’re talking about. You can’t legislate morality – You’ve got absolutely no argument for your position that “government” needs to write laws for morality purposes. The founders NEVER EVER stated that – or even referenced that. The stated it would be necessary for a just and moral society – but that has many, many meanings – not just sexual or family related. You are wrong in your argument. However, they also never stated nor intended “God” or the Superior Being to be removed from government – they simply meant not state mandated. You see – government is the problem in both cases – that’s why the founder left it up to the citizens NOT the government. In this argument you are your own worst enemy. You want to legislate morality (abortion, same-sex, etc,) on one hand – and not (keep God in) on the other. This is precisely why government wasn’t to get involved with individual liberty and choice. Nothing more or less. Government isn’t the fix unless it gets out of morality all together.

          • Neiman

            Try reading the Declaration of Independence, our national charter, which set forth the goals the Constitution was meant to achieve and it made reliance upon Nature’s God an absolute necessity, as He was the sole Guarantor of our Liberty.

            Liberals/Libertarians/Atheists, all are of the same immoral cloth and it was they via Hugo Black and later Earl Warren that kicked God out of the public square asserting the lie of Separation of Church and State, while the Bill of Rights told Congress to keep their hands off religion, it never asserted that religion was prohibited from influencing our laws.

            I demonstrated clearly why your moral anarchy means you can enjoy your liberty while denying me my liberty to be free from your immoral conduct. That is why I reject Paul and all your Paulites, you are totally immoral in your views of society and are so anti-government, you prefer sex in the public square and drugs in school and dead babies all over the place in some false sense of what our Constitution is all about.

          • DogTheHunger

            Dude – you are clueless. How can you NOT be free from my moral anarchy if it’s not affecting you directly? Causing you harm ? Libertarian pushed God out? I don’t think so. As far as Ron – he’s a church going Christian with Christian values that he promotes everyday through his honestly, sincerity and are his core values. You are an angry, resentful and clueless. Nothing can stop an idea who’s time has come, not government nor army. If the “organized” Christian faith – hadn’t been blowing it out their asses the last 30 years and standing for what they believed – you wouldn’t be making this an issue. Freedom didn’t drop the ball – people like you did..

          • Neiman

            The point my intellectually challenged distant acquaintance is, your moral conduct does affect me and everyone else directly in one way or another and always in the negative.

            Ronnie can call himself a Chrysler New Yorker Sedan, that doesn’t make it so. If he subscribes, as he does, to allowing moral license, licentiousness unrestrained he is a libertine, not a libertarian.

            You are losing the argument and now call me angry, resentful and clueless, while you are actually describing your own negative nature.

            The real truth merges, your hatred of Christ and the Church. Yet, there is a kernel of truth in that, we Christians, caught up in the materialism of America and becoming lazy in our faith, have in many ways allowed the evil you represent to have full reign in this land. Although, you did have Satan on your side tempting everyone in ways to satisfy their many lusts.

          • DogTheHunger

            Give me a break. The idea that you must live a “christian” life – or you’re an anarchist – his just completely ridiculous, false and a bastardization of the Deceleration of Independence and constitution. BTW – who said I’m not a christian? Moral license? That’s God’s domain little man – not “man” nor “government”. Hello? Satan on my side? You are the one preaching the hate and “morality” and the “religious right” is what has destroyed anything resembling the GOP. I’m not losing the argument here – I’m the one standing firm on principle and the foundations of the country. A moral people are needed to keep the republic – NOT GOVERNMENT laws dictating religion NOR moral activity. That’s the facts buddy – you can try to spin it all you like – but you are a very large part of the problem. You are no better than the progressives you rage against – as you are demanding government laws to push your morality onto others. You indeed are clueless and you make that point very clearly, I’m just pointing it out.

          • Neiman

            I hate debating people like you that deliberately lie.

            I have never suggested government dictate moral activity, only restrain horn dogs like you from inflicting your perverse lifestyle on me and my family.

            I am sorry you have lost the debate, but you chose to defend a moral anarchist and moral anarchy and the Founding Fathers would reject your libertine attitudes. They honored God and they passed many laws that restrained the base impulses of man.

            You cannot prove any hate on my part, you are projecting your own Paulite hatred for everyone that does not worship him at the Ron Paul altar you have built.

          • DogTheHunger

            What pervasive lifestyle am I inflicting oh great Liberal ? No, the founding fathers understood the importance of a moral people – but morality is not solely sexual. What laws did they pass to restrain the impulse of man? And if they did – is that not legislating morality? Yes – you sir DO hate – it’s obvious. You are also claiming I’m not christian and because RP is a christian – and he leads by example through his faith – not throwing a 4 year old temper-tantrum like YOU are because you think some how someone else’s morals will damage yours. You’re a sad man, very sad hypocrite to be exact.

          • Neiman

            When you decide to stop lying and stop acting like a child, get back to me. Until then crawl back in your hole please.

          • DogTheHunger

            Cat got your tongue? You can’t respond because you’re clueless and have been called out for being clueless and you tell me to crawl back in my hole. You’ve apparently ran and hid into your hole. Where does it state anywhere in the deceleration of independence or constitution for “morality” to be legislated? You’ve claimed I’m not christian – which is false. You claimed your morality needs to be protect by law, I mean you’re an incredible joke as you have nothing but emotion for your baseless, false, misunderstood best position. You’ve been spanked so hard you’d probably best stay in your little hiding hole so i don’t embarrass you anymore.

          • Neiman

            I am tired, just stopped by now to shut down.

            You are a joke, you won nothing, you know nothing and you are a waste of my time. I invested, actually wasted, a lot of time with you to no avail.

            Everything you said above is a lie in the first degree and such dishonesty is a waste of my time. My Lord you can’t even spell Declaration, you do not capitalize Independence or Constitution.

            You must be a child of 10-11 years old, you are sounding a lot like a little girl or at least effeminate and a waste of time. Learn to debate honestly or leave people alone, you are a joke.

          • Guest

            Pouting about someone acting like a child while you go on a rants based on emotion and a total lack of thought besides I’m right so if you disagree you love Satan or whatever. Look at your own comments on the thread before telling others that they are acting like children.

          • Neiman

            Pouting, rants and etc are based on your own immaturity, it is not in my nature. I simply have no interest in your half-assed opinions.

  • Just the Facts

    Government has never created a job as all government does is redistribute wealth thus making the citizens less productive & poorer. We will see violence not from the tax-paying citizens but from the government entitlement parasites. Look to Europe for proof!

  • DogTheHunger

    Almost no one actually paid those rates – there were massive loopholes.

    • Flamejob5

      I’ve read that from several different sources as well.

    • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

      And many of those loopholes have been closed since then, so there would be massive actual tax hikes. But the richest people are also the most mobile. Raise taxes high enough, and after they move, the taxes they pay will be zero.

    • banjo kid

      If I remember correctly it was on income over a hundred grand that those rates applied .

      • banjo kid

        Still to high and un needed .

    • Harold Stonle

      you’re right, but the loopholes and deductions are not the powerful “bumper sticker” answer that will open people’s eyes. The catchphrase to use on libs with short attention spans is, “OK, let’s return to 1950’s tax rates, but return to 1950’s levels of entitlement spending too”.

  • Flamejob5

    The highest progress to the standard of living in world history occured during the 19th century when there were virtually no taxes on private property. But i’m sure that’s just a “coincidence” to some.

    • Guest

      In the later part of the 19th century yes very much growth, but if you look at history this was also the Gilded Age. Our actual largest period of growth was 1941 to 1972 and taxes were much higher during that time period than they are today.

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        Those are like facts, huh?

        • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

          Even the ones that are like, wrong?

      • Flamejob5

        The fundemental distinction in the overall standard of living between 1800 and 1900 is astounding, but from 1901 to 2000, while still impressive, pales in comparison relatively. Most later inventions were “feeding” off of the big inventions of the 19th century such as electricity & steel. Unfortuately, the last few decades the stagnation level has reached 18th century and prior levels which in my opinion has more to do with the combination of increased regulations and taxation at all levels of government – local, county, state & federal.

        • Guest

          There are a lot of factors at work here. The first half of the 19th century was innovative but little in comparison to the later half of the 19th century, especially in the last 40 years. Much of this has to do with technological revolution and the process of making it easier to form corporations. However there are also many negatives with this era, child labor, sixteen hour work days with only Sundays off, half of Americans living at or below the level of poverty, and the horrors of unsafe workplaces, unhealthy products, and a general lack of security for most Americans. It is hard to quantify numbers for economic growth back that far but mind you the 20th century to now brought us massive economic growth, the automobile, air travel, television, the Internet, sky scrapers, electicity in most all American homes, and the list could go on and on. Numerically on record the time period I gave has been regarded by most economists as the era of greatest economic growth on record. I agree we need to role back regulation but there is also a requirement for regulation in the market place. The importance is quality not quantity, markets do not regulate themselves as we saw in the housing market in the 2000s. This age of unregulated markets, next to zero taxation, that results in utopian success for everyone has never existed in reality.

          • awfulorv

            Sorry to burst your bubble but the Democratic controlled Congress was doing oodles of regulating during the housing run up. They determined how much banks could charge, who they were to lend to, areas they would lend in, and who would buy the shaky mortgages when the deeds were done. They even had a favorite color, or colors, of the buyers. Without their meddling there would not have been, as there was none in Canada, a housing, and financial crisis.

          • Guest

            This is nonsense, the Democrats did come into control in the Congress until 2007 after 12 years of nearly unbroken Republican rule. There was a whole lot going on before this and the bubble in the market had been growing drastically in the decade leading up to this. Unfortunately this bubble was a bunch of crooked banking practices, and was not real economic growth. And this whole idea that Obama has been raising taxes like a socialist is ridiculous. Up to this point he his administration has cut taxes to record lows. As a matter of fact where it stands now federal tax collection as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been since 1950.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            “12 years of nearly unbroken Republican rule”

            I don’t blame you for not wanting to put your name on this piece of tripe. Can you name any 12 consecutive years since WWI where the Republicans held majorities in both houses of Congress, or one year where Republicans held sufficient votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster? *crickets*

            The Dems held majorities in the Senate from 1959 to 1981, the period when the housing bubble was started. They held enough seats to overcome a filibuster 14 of those yrs.

            From 1955 to 1995, Democrats held control over the House. So, from ’59 to ’81, the Dems held both houses and occasionally, the White House. Billy Jeff Clinton, Janet Reno, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank all lent their voluminous wind to help inflate that bubble.

            Tell us again about “nearly unbroken Republican rule”. The housing bubble was a well documented, wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party, whose members resisted Republican efforts to reform it, before it was too late..

          • Guest

            The period I was talking about was the last twelve years, this is when the bubble took off, like you said before that the dems were in control housing prices went up at a much more moderate rate and banking was much more sound. Think rather than commenting on emotion.

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            “The period I was talking about was the last twelve years” Yes. What you called the “12 years of nearly unbroken Republican rule”.

            Oh, then you were just wrong. Nancy Pelosi lead the House from 2007 to 2011. That’s four of the last 12 yrs. Harry Reid has been in control of the Senate for about the last six years. That’s half of the 12 yr. period you bleated that “Republicans ruled”. And then Barack Hussein Milhous Obama has been president for the last four.

            In what passes for your mind, are Pelosi, Reid, and Obama Republicans? Stop hitting the rum cake and start thinking before you bleat. Your projection (and utter ignorance) are both duly noted.

          • Guest

            Genius read above, this was written about when talking about when the democrats took office in 2007. The twelve years previous to that corresponded with the deregulation of the financial sector and the bubble in the market.

            Look we can sit here and finger point with partisan talking points or check reality. Many of the positive regulations passed by the dems which distorted the market needed reform, but also if you look at the rolling back of regulations passed after the great depression this caused massive problems and led to corrupt practices, perverse incentives, and damaging practices in the financial sector. In all the evidence I have seen the second is stronger since that is when the massive bubble developed. Sticking to partisan talking points destroys the entire discussion and will prevent us from finding an intelligent way forward.

          • Flamejob5

            Concerning corporations, i believe the majority of the negatives resulting from that era (all era’s really) begin first with a cozy, developing corporate relationship with government. Much of the wealthiest of the wealthy in the business world actually despise true Capitalism and prefer fascist Corporatism instead which picks winners/losers in today’s manufactured, fake market. Here is where you’ll find the majority of anti-free-market “regulations” designed to stifle competition and create many these goliath monopolies. Most are nothing more than creations of the State. The links below concern our current President, but really it’s been the same story for ages.

            http://www.cnbc.com/id/49726054

            http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cid=N00009638

            Would many of the negatives you listed occurred if it wasn’t for “regulations” which stifled competition and allowed these corporations to become as unnaturally large as they did? In some instances (especially in new & sparsely populated geographic locations) i suppose so temporarily in some cases but in more established areas prob not so much. If government action would have protected employees and allowed more competition i believe we would have seen overall better working conditions in more areas as businesses would naturally have to compete over acquiring people’s time & labor. …but what did we see from government instead? Decades of inaction (no regulations) on behalf of protecting employees with actions (regulations) towards protecting select corporations. It took the private formation of Unions to overcome what the corporatist government intentionally refused to do – which it’s most essential duty is to protect one individual from injuring another. (Although today’s Union has evolved into becoming essentially worthless towards helping its members (and non-members) and more about supporting & protecting upper union management & power – in addition it acts towards manipulating wages and natural supply/demand forces.)

            But i digress, i have no love affair with even legitimate Industrial-based Capitalism. I support the more honest form which is primarily Agrarian-based which is also precisely why the mid-western state economies are in better condition than the rest of the states.

          • Guest

            I agree corporations basically controlled government. During most of the late 1800s the government most definately was on the side of management when they came into conflict with labor. But now the question is is how do you prevent corporatism from happening. Even today when you talk about economies of scale many corporations would be beyond the law of increasing marginal returns but they continue to grow to drive out competition, lobby congress, and now with bailouts too big to fail is a real thing in their minds. Corporatism contributes to both sides significantly and if you include unions there is no real large difference in funding between democrats and republicans.

            I think without these regulations the atrocities of the gilded age would have continued. Regulation ended child labor, the horrors written about in Upton Sinclair’s the Jungle, instituted the forty hour work week, established work men’s comp, and the list could go on and on. More importantly in what you said is that it actually took government regulation to break up the large monopolies of that time period. Without government actually stepping in against corporations in the Progressive Era this would have continued. If you look merely at competition the purpose of a business is to make profit so economically they have every motivation to not pay their workers well or produce a safe work environment. Today this is why the jobs are going overseas. The wealth did not trickle down in the Gilded Age or after the Reagan tax cuts.

            Like I said though this is all in theory. We never have had economic libertarianism, non corporatism, or an unregulated economy. By degree in per civil war America it was closer to this but this was not a time period characterized by massive economic growth. And even then you had tariffs, centralized banking for much of the time, and internal improvements among other things. I don’t know exactly what you mean by an agrarian economy. Jefferson ran on that in 1800 and it had already became outdated by the end of Jeffersons presidency in 1808.

            And what would be your solution to corporatism would you be willing to limit campaign expenditures so politicians don’t have to pander to those who give them money. How about this unions and corporations can’t contribute to campaigns. Only individuals can, their donations cannot be anonymous, and they are capped at a certain dollar amount. We can complain about how special interests control Washington so why not actually do something about it, unless we do something about it the special interest groups will continue to control most actual legislation.

          • Guest

            Nevermind the ag comment I didn’t read Midwest although even I’m the Midwest the economy is diverse.

            I do agree with you on corporatism but now how to stop it and provide a proper balance in government.

          • Flamejob5

            Personally, I believe the best method to contain rampant corporatism today is to begin by defunding it. In otherwords, no bailouts or discriminatory funding/subsidies.

            The most dangerous power on earth is the marriage of the American Congress to the printing presses within the Federal Reserve. (which is neither “Federal” nor a “Reserve”) The “Reserve” is where Santa and all his elves get their presents from to dole-out in exchange for gifts received for return favors. – courtesy of you, me and our childrens’ children’s labor. This bank is why they don’t even have to listen to everyday citizens anymore and is the source for the disconnect.

            We had one anti-corporatist/union/central bank individual-liberty-minded presidential candidate running on the platform of the restoration of States Rights and ending the Central Reserve system that’s sucking the life out of humanity, but, thanks to corporate-owned media (go figure) there was a barrage of petty, emotion-based social issues manufactured and promptly nationally distributed for everyone on both sides of the isle to “discover” something to dislike about him when he briefly became a threat to the entire establishment during the primaries. …all in order to deflect from his biggest strength which is his knowledge of economic issues – which happen to be the most pertinent issues threatening our liberty today.

            I’ve considered the idea you’ve suggested above and i’ve heard similar ideas elsewhere. I believe corporations would simply get around the idea by instead privately giving “perks” to all their employees who could prove they financially contributed towards whichever chosen politician(s) the board members gave their stamp of approval. i also do not like the idea of transparency when it applies to private citizenry. Some people out there are crazy passionate when it comes to politics and being on a long list of “enemy” donors may not be an ideal situation for some.

            I recommend addressing the fountainhead – End the Fed!

            Oh, an Agrarian-based economy is simply an economy of which the primary source of capital stems from agriculture. That doesn’t mean there is no industry or manufacturing sector whatsoever, but only that Ag is the primary means of production. It also happens to be, via nature itself, the most decentralized economically & thus politically. What does that equate to? It means that less people rely upon each other & temporary government politicians for their sustenance and more upon themselves & immediate family/villages.

            The problem i see with industrial capitalism is that there are simply too many people relying upon other people in order to survive. This close-knit, collective scenario only invites fascism & socialism into societies.

            I thought Bejamin Franklin summed it up nicely:

            “There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, as the Romans did, in plundering their conquered neighbors. This is robbery.

            The second by commerce, which is generally cheating.

            The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.”

            ~ Benjamin Franklin

          • Guest

            I actually read a book by Ron Paul this summer and listened to his farewell address twice. The most thought provoking thing to me in the
            book is how he talked about how inflation is like a tax on the poor because wages never keep up and how quantitative easing is a tax on all of us who have saved. On the other end however if we were on a gold or silver standard we would have constant deflation and this would discourage investing. Also up until the bailouts the Fed was not bailing out corporations. The majority of corruption happens on the fiscal side compared to the monetary side. One plus for the Fed is prior to it our nation had been in recession half of the time and the market has been much more stable. I think however if we have central banking it should be be truly nationalized like the first and second bank of the is in the earlier part of our nations history. Why should profits go to international bankers rather than back to the state like The Bank of North Dakota? Maybe this could help reduce the tax burden we have to pay as Americnas.

            On finance reform I don’t see corporations legally forcing employees to donate money one way or another. Nothing in public policy is ever perfect but I think this potentially do a lot of good.

          • Guest

            When listening to Paul I thought a lot about James Madison and what he said about the necessary and proper clause and what he said about the meaning of general welfare as states in Article 1 Section 8. I forget the number of the Federalist paper I think it was 47. What he said is that if you allowed a loose interpretation of the necessary and proper clause to promote general welfare the government can basically do whatever they want as long as someone thinks it will help. Also he said general welfare was merely mentioned as an introduction to Congress’ stated powers in the Constitution. In reality he said it was not meant to have much legal force. Interpreting the Constitution in this way would make many actions of corporations lobby congress for unconstitutional.

  • $8194357

    I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
    Ben Franklin

    Or can communist/muslim ideology take one down without
    His turning it over to its destruction?
    “Unless the Lord builds the house…
    they who labor…….labor in vain”………

    When did the leftist legal jihadist/ACLU Democrats
    kick God out of the public arena?

  • ML_EngageAmerica

    While this worked in the 60s, the standing tax policy and economic climate were a day and night difference from today. Simply cutting taxes will not solve the problems at hand.

    What we need is meaningful tax reform. The amount of time and money that goes into tax compliance and the amount of revenues lost to partial loopholes are both staggering. America needs meaningful tax reform and simplification. This is the only option if we desire a true turn-around.

    • Harold Stonle

      Tax reform is immaterial. We need SPENDING reform. if we want to compare todays tax rates to 1950 tax rates, we also have to compare the STARK and drastic difference of 1950’s federal gov’t spending compared to today. it’s staggering and frightening, and the real source of the problems.

  • Spartacus

    Let’s try raising taxes for a year on those that claim raising taxes stimulates economic growth and leave the tax rates as they are for the rest of us. If those that favor higher taxes are right, then after the year is up the economy will show significant improvement and settle the argument once and for all.

  • Yogibare

    There are only limited choices in this so-called fiscal cliff dilemma: we can raise taxes to cover the spending; we can cut spending to fall into line with revenue; or a combination of the two.
    The lines are pretty much drawn on both sides
    Since spending cuts rarely if ever happen, the tax increase option is the most likely outcome. Government does not exist to limit itself. The Democrat Party will not give up its purchasing power of social gifts to the 50% of the population; we saw what happpened on Nov. 6.

  • rodney

    First thing I’ve heard Krugman say that made a little sense. He’s “evolving” because he has to to save face.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Krugman is a jellyhead and should never be taken seriously

      • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

        Yeah, but look at the wonders he did advising Enron!

      • azulu

        Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prizes in Economics: 1

        micky_moussaoui’s: 0

        • Spartacus

          Since the Nobel committee decided to turn their prizes into oxymorons 25 years ago you’re stating that Mickey is more qualified to discuss economics than Krugman.

          • azulu

            Typical Republican Response. Explain away the facts you don’t like with ad hominem arguments.

          • Spartacus

            First you’d have to come up with a valid fact. My statement is much more valid than yours.

  • banjo kid

    Lets do that because you could buy a weeks groceries for $20 bucks and you never had to think about filling the tank it cost 20 cents a gallon yeah! lets go back to the early 60’s and late 50’s I would even like the 3 bucks an hour I made then

  • Camburn

    The National debt and the rate of increase of the National debt have been the largest hindrance to economic growth since 2002. Our economy changes over time, and the period of higher economic growth occurred when Federal spending was at approx 19.5% of GDP and revenue was 19.4% of GDP.
    Now spending is 23% of GDP and revenue is 14.7% of GDP, a very large disparity.
    We need to reduce spending and increase revenue.
    We are lucky to have low interest rates at this time.
    And as anyone who is in business knows, when revenue will not even pay interest on debt…….you are doomed to failure.
    We have time to correct this imbalance, but that time is running out.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The revenue drop off wasn’t the result of tax cuts. It was the result of an ugly recession. And we are going to cure that with big tax hikes on investments?

      Do you realize how silly that sounds?

  • Camburn
  • Harold

    If you’ve ever sized up Krugman its obvious the man suffers from a mental illness and should be evaluated and treated for this illness.

    • Davo

      Mental health maladies aside, let’s limit the focus to his actual arguments.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The 51 percent that re-elected Obama will soon receive a lesson in economics:
    the renewed recession, soaring unemployment, declining tax revenue, and
    record-shattering deficits that those foolish tax increases will produce.

    • America

      410,000 people lost their jobs last week. This number will be revised up, as it usually is. Welcome to obamanation, the decline of what used to be the greatest country on the planet.

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        Merika, you don’t have a clue about what those job numbers actually represent, do ya?

        Why did you change your screen name?

    • banjo kid

      Ohio food stamps have already cut 50 bucks a month from them so they get what they voted for .

  • Harold Stonle

    I’m conservative, and I will embrace the 1950’s tax rates wholeheartedly if We reduce federal SPENDING (especially entitlement programs) to 1950’s rates as well.

  • Harold

    15% tax a point of purchase for every american, with medical and food exempt, thats a fair tax, but it takes the power out of the hands of our politicians who grant tax favors to those of us rich enough to buy their votes for those tax breaks. When the repubs and dems are serious about tax reform we’ll have a national sales tax, and no more need for the IRS, yes even Donald Trump will no longer be able to write off that learjet and have to pay the sales tax on it at the time he bought it. But don’t hold your breath for change, because politicians like to be bribed by the wealthy through donations to their reelections then actually creating a fair tax for all americans.

  • awfulorv

    There were loop holes everywhere during those days, though. Seems to me if you built housing, either apartments or single family, your income was sheltered.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gino.washington Gino Washington

    So why are these taxcuts not helping our economy now? Different time periods have different circumtances.

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