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April 17, 2012

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Extraneus

In a large company I used to work at, we did an employee opinion survey every 18 months and analyzed the heck out of the data, scrutinizing managers whose departments' employee morale wasn't stellar, taking some out of their jobs, etc.

One question, always on the survey, was "How satisfied are you with your current compensation?"

This was the question that allowed us to figure out which departments were the dumbest.

iqvoice

Look for Obummer to call for the extension of the payroll taxcut--- but only for "the poor", not for those of us that actually pay federal income taxes. More pandering to the underclass.

NK

TomM-- you read my mind. This morning I read the earlier thread comments last night about taxes. It's time for you TomM to lead us on a JOM tax seminar. This 'survey' is a good start. Of course most people in the USA are 'satisfied' with Income taxes. The USA has extremely progressive Federal Income taxes -- almost 50% pay no income taxes (if they work they do pay payroll/medicare taxes), and the extremely high income take advantage of the very low 15% Cap Gains rate -- look at 'Bam and Buffett, those rich guys are very comfy paying 20% in Fed taxes. So the only people who get slammed are idiots like me who earn everything as income and bank Cap Gains without realizing them. The current tax system needs to be competely re-worked. Becasue of the major changes in the world economy since the mid-90s, the 15% Cap Gains rate is no longer justified for all Cap gains (sorry Mel R.). Too many cap gains are structured that way for the tax rate, not to reflect risk assumption. Also, the extreme rich should lose credits/deductions for muni bonds and other favored investments. In exchange, tax rates on income should come down to 25% max for extreme rich, and 20% for the rest of us, plus the middle class have to pay 20% as well-- all these taxes are going to pay for middle class soc sec and medicare, so they need to contribute. Bottom line total Fed Tax haul has to get to 19% (now 15%)of GDP and Fed spending has to fall to <20% (now 25%) of GDP. Those are my very general thoughts, take it away Tom M, Mel R Rick Ballard et al.

Porchlight

A lot of people are too dumb to notice that their refund exceeds the amount they pay in. Sorry to be blunt but I think that explains most of it.

Even a smart liberal I know protested when I told her that almost half the country pays no Federal income taxes "yes they do, the government takes it out of their check!"

Ignatz

-- all these taxes are going to pay for middle class soc sec and medicare, so they need to contribute. Bottom line total Fed Tax haul has to get to 19% (now 15%)of GDP and Fed spending has to fall to <20% (now 25%) of GDP.--

So the proper role of the Republican party is to be the tax collector for the welfare, state?
Hmm. And people wonder why HCOAB is my write in candidate?

Gabriel Sutherland

Well if those polled are anything like Democratic strategists on television, anytime you ask them about "income tax rates" they hear "sales tax, income tax, medicare tax, social security tax, property tax, use tax, gas tax, excise tax, dividend tax, capital gains tax" and any others I may have missed.

Since this occurs whether it is on a news channel, a national network, a business channel, I would have to presume it would even occur on the Tax Channel where all they talk about are taxes.

Melinda Romanoff

Wow, I don't know where, or where to find the time for that matter, to cover that.

NK

Ig-- for 25 years after Reagan's marginal tax rate cuts in 1981, the fed tax haul averaged 18+% of GDP and spending 20+ of GDP. Right now because of the loss of 6 Million jobs Fed payroll taxes are way down, and Cap Gains (until the last 2 quarters) have been dead, and will continue to be low because no residential real estate gains for the rest of our lives. So the fed tax haul has to get back to "normal" that means getting rid of Obamacare and EPA regs to boost job payroll taxes and rationalizing the Tax Code. Spending? Cut Cut Cut as fast as possible. That's my take.

Appalled

Speaking as a tax practitioner, I get annoyed with the 50% number, because I find it substantively untrue. Everyone who gets a paycheck) does pay in payroll tax (which is a tax based on income -- which is an income tax definitionally, even if it is not calculated on the 1040). Since a large part of the payroll tax stops after an individual starts making six figures, it is also a regressive tax.

NK

MelR-- come on-- have a go at it tonight after the Blackhawks game-- it's fun to ponder things like--- well the future of the Republic.

jimmyk

The NYT propaganda machine today pushes Saez-Piketty's work on U.S. inequality. They say higher taxes don't affect growth, but somehow all those Euro countries have GDP per capita 20-25% below the U.S. A real head-scratcher, as TM would say.

NK

Appalled-- didn't you read Tom M's post? he HIGHLIGHTED INCOME taxes to emphasize that exact point. His post is not only "substantively" true, it is completely true.

Steve

to be fair, if a person is taking all of their spare income and investing it in a startup business, their tax rate is going to be very low.

AliceH

Also, Appalled, there's the matter of EITC which in some number of instances results in not only offsetting 100% of Fed Inc tax paid, but also 100% of payroll taxes paid, and then some extra.

Ignatz

NK,
I'm saying whether 20 or 25% of GDP is being sucked out of the economy by the Feds on top of state and local taxes, we are living in a welfare state either way.
If the great goal of the "conservative", "limited" government party is to ensure we have a merely very large leviathan welfare state slightly smaller than the very, very large leviathan welfare state the Dems wish to crush us with, that is close to no choice at all and by definition will never return us to a reasonable level of governance or government.

I know, I know.

I love ya', Appalled, even a smart liberal.
===============

matt

it's the boiling frog analogy. The government raises the temperature of the water slowly with sales taxes and excise taxes and use taxes and cigarette taxes and employment taxes (imagine! being taxed for being employed)until we don't realize that over 50% of our income goes to taxes in a state like California.

Steve

How do we have any choice other than to raise taxes? Sure it is not right to take money from the working and give it to the idle. But the alternative, a huge debt burden that causes a financial and social collapse is a pretty important thing to avoid.

Appalled

NK --

There's a point where no amount of caveats really save the point. Which is that, somehow, the poor are not paying taxes to the US government. Yes, they are.

Alice H:

That's a fair point -- but not in TM's post. It's so much easier to say 50% of the world is not paying income taxes, that it is to take FICA into account, and bump that number down 30 or so percent.

I do not like this talking point -- it is not honest. (Frankly, I wish they would just get rid of FICA, and wash it all into income tax.)

NK

Ig-- Starting in 1991 from Perot's infomecials and Concord Coalition's pete peterson, I learned Fed spending ultimately comes down to Soc Sec/Medicare, and now debt payments. You want less than 20% GDP spending?, fine I'm for that-- get the voters to outlaw Soc sec/medicare. Honestly, what's the chance of that?

Charlie (Colorado)

to be fair, if a person is taking all of their spare income and investing it in a startup business, their tax rate is going to be very low.

No it's not.

If someone is taking their spare income and investing it, then thy do it with after-tax income. There's no deduction for money spent on investments.

And if someone with a startup business isn't taking money out but reinvesting it, it's never income.

Steve

I would favor a national sales tax over raising taxes on the wealthy and businesses. And the sales tax advantage that Amazon has should be ended. A buyer in a state should have to pay sales tax on purchases no matter the state location of the seller.

jimmyk

Steve, the alternative is cutting spending. Not even an absolute cut, just making the growth rate lower. If that "can't be done" we are in big trouble. But of course it can be done, and the Republicans had better not get squishy about it.

Charlie (Colorado)

How do we have any choice other than to raise taxes?

Oh, that's easy: don't spend the damn money.

NK

Appalled@9:56-- sorry I don't buy it. words have meaning, and people should only say what they mean -- 'feelings' is a bunch of bullcrap. Outlaw FICA-- Hmm?, Ok lets outlaw FICA AND SOC SEC, let people actually save for their own retirement. Fair?

Charlie (Colorado)

And the sales tax advantage that Amazon has should be ended.

Because, after all, "no taxation without representation" is just a silly slogan.

AliceH

Appalled: Thanks. Of course EITC is not relevant to TM's post because I thought he was perfectly clear about the scope being Federal (not State, not city) Income (not payroll, not sales, not excise) Taxes.

I made the point to correct YOUR statement that "Everyone who gets a paycheck does pay in payroll tax". You were inaccurate, not Tom.

jimmyk

If someone is taking their spare income and investing it, then thy do it with after-tax income. There's no deduction for money spent on investments.

Which is why investment income should not be taxed (again).

And if someone with a startup business isn't taking money out but reinvesting it, it's never income.

According to the IRS it is (to the business), as far as I know. Can you explain?

NK

Charlie@1000: Bingo-- let's elect people who can run the country on 3 TRILLION DOLLARS/year. That's not a hard thing to do-- only our political clas 'EFF it up..

Annoying Old Guy

Steve;

What about "spend less"?

Ignatz

--You want less than 20% GDP spending?, fine I'm for that-- get the voters to outlaw Soc sec/medicare. Honestly, what's the chance of that?--

Well if no one advocates it presumably it would be zero.
If someone were to advocate it presumably it would be some number greater than zero.
I guess if you think that the United States of America is so pitiful that it can't even accomplish what Chile did then you're right; let's limp along with a welfare state which creates dependency and alters the social contract fundamentally and ensures the Federal government will always be an amoeba seeking to engulf us and our rights.

Steve

"... What about "spend less"? ..."

Great idea. Only the democrats, that is 50% or more of the country, think that government spending is good for the economy.

Pofarmer

"According to the IRS it is (to the business), as far as I know. Can you explain?"

Deductible and depreciable expenses.

Steve

"... Because, after all, "no taxation without representation" is just a silly slogan. ..."

The sales tax is paid by the buyer, in the state they live in. There is nothing unfair about Amazon withholding sales tax and sending the money to the state of the buyer.

NK

OldGuy-- in the Bush/Repub budgets up until FY 2007, if you back out the Iraq/Afghan supplemental spending, total spending was <20% GDP. get spending back under 20% GDP, it becomes easy to rationalize taxes at 19% GDP-- with LOWER marginal rates and fewer exemptions deductions. FIRST THING-- cut spending $700 BILLION/YEAR.

Ignatz

--(Frankly, I wish they would just get rid of FICA, and wash it all into income tax.)--

Absolutely.
Not only should 50% of the people not pay to defend the country or the myriad other crap the Feds waste money on; their neighbors should also pay for their 'pensions' and healthcare.
If the wagon's getting hard to pull the solution is simple. Put more people in the wagon?

NK

Ig-- believe me I share your frustration. that's why Ryan is my hero-- he's smartly working choice into Medicare-- then it will be Soc Sec-- that will ween under 55 people from the Stalinist one size fits all welfare state.

AliceH

that will ween under 55 people from the Stalinist one size fits all welfare state

Speaking as someone closing in on the "55 and over" group, I truly hope there are voluntary opt-outs worked into those post-"one-size-fits-all" programs.

Rick Ballard

You guys are missing Gallip's observations regarding BOzo's own goal on the Buffet Tax:

Perhaps because of the slow economy, or because of recent discussion of the "Buffet Rule" and President Barack Obama's related interest in shifting a greater proportion the nation's tax bill to high-income Americans, low-income Americans have grown increasingly discontent since 2009 with the amount and fairness of their own taxes. However, there has been no comparable shift in middle- and upper-income Americans' views.

BOzo is stirring the prog resentment, envy and greed pot so fast that the contents are splashing all over the Dems.

BTW - The correct link to the poll methodology is available at the bottom of the page at Gallup - TM's link is broken. The methodology implies an MOE of around 7.3 for the <$30K subgroup if the respondent distribution accurately reflects the general population. That's a bit large for actual conclusions.

NK

Even Bloomberg News has to acknowledge the economy is going NOWHERE. This summer 'Bam is running with $4+Dollar gas, 8% food inflation, 8%+ Unemployment, flat incomes and an insane TRILLION DOLLAR ANNUAL Fed deficit. Goodbye 'Bam.

jimmyk

Deductible and depreciable expenses.

If a business reinvests its profits, I'm pretty sure those funds are still considered income subject to (business) tax, after depreciation expenses. It does postpone the income tax on dividends, capital gains, etc.

Pofarmer

Uhm, spending money on the business foregoes profits. It's not like after tax money from a pay check. The profits aren't tallied until all the expenses are done. It's the gross/net thingy.

NK

Po-- correct-- but Steve's initial assertion referenced the 'home' business which mucks up the whole 'legitimate business expense' thingy, which determines if you can use pre or post income tax dollars for investments in a home or side business.

Pofarmer

"If someone is taking their spare income and investing it, then thy do it with after-tax income. There's no deduction for money spent on investments."

You are kind of mixing and matching terms here. If a sole proprietor, has, say, a job getting a paycheck, and a side business, it is not one or the other, all the money made from either the job or the business, all goes into one kitty, so to speak, so, it's possible for expenses from a side business to cut income to the point that they will get tax money back, or limit tax liability.

jimmyk

It may be different for small businesses or farms, but corporations only get to deduct interest and depreciation. I think they may have been temporarily able to expense investment as part of some stimulus gimmick, but normally they can only depreciate or amortize the expense.

NK

Jimmy/Po-- dreaded IRC and accounting terms -- 'Hobby Loss" and "going concern."

jimmyk

To clarify, I'm talking about investment--purchases of capital goods, not deductible costs like materials, labor, etc.

Steve

What I would like to understand better is the tax advantage a foreign national has compared to a US citizen when investing in a business in the US.

Two individuals invest an equal amount in a US business. Two years later the business has done well and both investors sell their stake. The US citizen investor pays a capital gains tax. The foreign national does not have to pay US capital gains taxes. Over time the foreign national investor is able to accumulate more investment capital than their US counterpart.

Pofarmer

Purchases of Capital goods are either depreciable or wholly deductible, depending on the amount.

NK

I was told there would be no tax accounting on this Blog.

jan

Everyone always forgets about single taxpayers---and there are a lot of them and they pay federal income taxes on anything over about 9800.00 plus payroll taxes

Pofarmer

"Everyone always forgets about single taxpayers---and there are a lot of them and they pay federal income taxes on anything over about 9800.00 plus payroll taxes"

What's to forget? I was single, I paid taxes, then I got married and I still paid taxes? I've filed tax returns since I was about 12 years old.

GMAX

This will probably send KK into a spittle flecked rant. Stand your ground is a liberal idea:

To date, Democrat governors who have either signed a stand your ground bill into law or at least refused to veto it include, “Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Brian Schweitzer of Montana, John Lynch of New Hampshire, Brad Henry of Oklahoma, Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Janet Napolitano of Arizona.”

And here’s the kicker folks—California, one of the most staunchly liberal states in the union, is a stand your ground state.

GMAX

Did we finally clarify is 15% was less than 28%? I know math is a bit hard for some...

Jim Ryan

Making 60K and having two kids and a mortgage, I pay hardly diddly squat in federal taxes. I'm freeloading off of rich people. Thanks for the army and roads, rich people! Suckers!

Steve

"... And here’s the kicker folks—California, one of the most staunchly liberal states in the union, is a stand your ground state. ..."

that is very interesting to know. Democrats should be encouraged to advocate for more gun control laws. That way they can waste a lot of political capital.

The thing is however ... The 2nd amendment should be repealed. It should be up to states to prohibit or legalize gun possession. If NYC wants to ban all guns it should be allowed to.


AliceH

You're welcome, Jim. It's nice to put a name to my Federally-compelled largess.

NK

JimRyan-- you know what-- if the Congress cuts spending to <20% of GDP, fixes the credits/deductions in the IRC, then you and everybody else with a $60K income, a mortgage and 2 kids in college can keep on paying payroll taxes and diddly income taxes. If we keep spending at 25% of GDP, we're all doomed.

Pofarmer

"The thing is however ... The 2nd amendment should be repealed. It should be up to states to prohibit or legalize gun possession. If NYC wants to ban all guns it should be allowed to."

There's a process for that, have at it.

NK

Steve-- aside from the fact that the 2nd Amendment will never be repealed, I grew up and work in NYC and understand that the NRA has been right for 50 years-- citizens with guns isn't a problem, hardened criminals using guns is a problem. Address the problem; bans are just an excuse not to address the problem. (Rob C will be proud of me!)

Jim Ryan

AliceH, I believe ideal justice would require you and I to pay the same absolute amount in tax. As a practical matter the feds need more money than that would allow, so you need to pay more. So, call it "practical justice," for lack of a better term, to have you and I pay the same percentage: a flat tax. That would work (if we trust the calculations of the flat tax advocates.) It would also be "progressive" in that the richer you are the more you'd pay (though it wouldn't be a progressive rate schedule.) Now, to have a progressive rate schedule, such as the one we have now, is not warranted by any kind of justice or practical consideration (but in fact highly impractical and unjust.) And to call for an even more progressive one is a non-starter.

By the way, you may take comfort, Alice, in the fact that I take it in the shorts when it comes to my Virginia state taxes.

Oh, and how much does out federal income tax system take out of the economy in shear waste (IRS bureaucracy and tax accounting)? I've heard $50 - 75B.

GMAX

Dont expect me to support an attack on repealing the right to bear arms. You might try the DummyUnderground, they are real naive and may love your idea...

Steve

"... There's a process for that, have at it. ..."

Anything that enhances states rights, conservatives should support. Our nation, as a 50 state union, is over.

NK

Steve-- I'll say this-- if there were no 2nd amendment? even NY State would NOT ban guns. It's complicated why, but it wouldn't-- the Blue State SYG laws is evidence of that.

NK

PS: likewise, if Roe were overturned-- NO state would completely ban abortion in all circumstances.

Cecil Turner

I do not like this talking point -- it is not honest.

Oh, nonsense. If we use your "honest" approach, we can't discuss the fact that ~50% of Americans have no skin in the game when it comes to the largest source of federal funding. (And hence could be expected to find "services" a more compelling determinant than "tax rates" when assessing government.)

henry

At the local level, the Dems are running against Walker on pledges of higher taxes.

The two leading Democratic candidates for governor would try to roll back some tax decreases approved by Gov. Scott Walker for corporations.

Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk would also seek to remove tight caps on local property taxes approved by Walker and GOP lawmakers in the state budget in June. A spokesman for her primary opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, also criticized the caps Monday, though he stopped short of promising to loosen them.

I think Steve would vote for either of those two.

Steve

"... I grew up and work in NYC and understand that the NRA has been right for 50 years-- citizens with guns isn't a problem, hardened criminals using guns is a problem. ..."

I think it is more effective if people move to states that support their POV. If you want low taxes and everyone being strongly encouraged to care for themselves, move to a state where that attitude is prevalent. In NYC the overwhelming majority want high taxes and strict gun control. I say let them have it.

Steve

"... I think Steve would vote for either of those two. ..."

the fact is the republicans are having a hard time holding their majority in Wisconsin. States rights. If the voters in Wisconsin want to vote a terrific governor out of office, go right ahead. Overtime republicans can move to Indiana or something.

Jack is Back!

ICYMI:

Heritage Foundation's take on the 2013 Tax Bomb

The Libs and Dems are already poo-poohing it by saying it will never happen, that Obama and Congress will keep the Bush Tax Cuts and the Payroll Tax holiday, etc. etc. And some are even saying that the Supremes will cancel ObamaCare and all those taxes - so don't worry:)

AliceH

"By the way, you may take comfort, Alice, in the fact that I take it in the shorts when it comes to my Virginia state taxes."

I'm in Missouri; My state tax RATE is higher than yours, though with exemptions/credits, I think it ends up being a lower taxable baseline. Well, for you - not much difference for me given I don't get the family discounts.

Jack is Back!

Does Beth Meyers have this person on the short list for Mitt?

Lots of chatter talking her up.

iqvoice

Dear Appalled: remember that the payroll tax AKA social security, is nothing more than a transfer payment system.... that is highly weighted to benefit the poor. So the poor pay a little, and get back a lot.

(Of course, unless you are a civil servant, it is actually your employer who pays all of these taxes, but we'll ignore that.)

Tom Maguire

I saw Pikkety-Saez on the front of the Times Business Section, which means their run has nearly peaked; it's over when they make the cover of People.

Big pushback from Burkhauser, and eventually the popularity of Mad Men will remind people that back in the era of high tax rates, the high-flying talent was compensated with perks, not pay. Subsequent changes in the tax code (Jimmy Carter and the 3 martini lunch) eliminated the company car, company country club, company apartment, and so on.

So now we see total compensation in the individual IRS filings and not the company expenses, and we see it rising. Hold the front page!

NK

JiB-- you raise a very interesting point about Booosh tax rates and Dem voters. Bush put a poison pill in his 2003 deal with the Dems, yes, there is a sunset, but the sunset applies to everyone's rate, plus the higher exemptions from taxes for working low income, plus accelerated depreciation. All sunset together-- the Dems don't have the ability to pick off higher income earners-- they have to make a deal on everything, otherwise their own voters taxes go up the same 10% rate, plus working poor have to start paying income taxes again. Guess what -- 'Bam/Schumer want just that becasue they want an Imperial DC collecting 3 TRILLION in taxes. Dem voters DON't want that- Heh

NK

TomM@1147-- thanks for chiming in. I glanced at the link you provided. I'll study it tonight, but one thing even Burkhauser doesn't raise -- mass immigration 1966-2008. Immigrants, even immigrant taxpayers, are overwhelming low income. That skews the mean and median--plus mas imigration has suppressed working class and youth income. So native Americans are doing better than the mean and median, and immigrants are here voluntarily. The 'Stagnation' camp is cleverly blurring that distinction (native v. immigrant) which makes a significant difference.

Gabriel Sutherland

NK: The "Bush Tax Cuts" are the "Obama Tax Cuts" now. Obama renewed them for two years. The sunset clause is still there and yes, without a vote to extend them again or break it up into passable pieces(sheya! Right. /Wayne's World voice), rates are going to go up - for everyone.

The Democrats plan is very simple to follow. They just never, ever say this. They want the Feds to spend as much money as possible - Krugman says it's basically "free" -- Ezra Klein agrees without question - because the Feds can just borrow the funds. Treasury will keep on floating bonds because global capital markets are reluctant to buy anything else that is sold in US dollars. All the net exporting nations have all those excess US dollars. What are they going to buy? US real estate or US Treasuries?

Democrats are only talking about tax rates because the long term is certain doom without revenue increases and spending decreases. But they aren't going to run on cutting spending.

jimmyk

True about immigration, NK. But that raises the more general question about volatility and mobility. I'm going to have to look at Pikkety-Saez to see if they address it. But if people are moving in and out of these deciles or of the 1% over time, then it makes no real sense even to talk about inequality in those terms.

Ben Franklin

" In NYC the overwhelming majority want high taxes and strict gun control."

Steve is having a little fun with y'all, dontcha know?

NK

GabeS-- you are correct sir. Dems-- they want higher rates for everyone because they want MORE MONEY-- it's the source of their power, it's their drug.

AliceH

If the Obama tax cuts of 2009 (what?) are allowed to sunset, what would the capital gains tax revert to?

For some reason (possibly due to lack of actual effort), I'm only seeing income, payroll, business investment tax details.

NK

jimmyK-- you too are correct sir. 1966-2008 mass immigration REALLY skews the PEOPLE who are in each quintile/decile during the time you look at. The 'inequality' debate is a sham without factoring in and fuly accounting for mass immigration.

Ignatz

In other economic news;
Barry proposes spending $52billion on commodities cops a week after laying out his plans for more fracking cops.
Brilliant.

NK

Cap gains go to 20/18% depending on 'long-term' -- same as the Clinton/Gingrich 1997 deal.

NK

Ig/Mel R-- I too see Il Duce Barry read an announcement cracking down on 'commodities speculators'. great-- that business goes to London and Hong Kong now. 'For Rent' signs go up all over Chi Town and Tribecca. What a dick he is.

Danube of Thought

Great Wisconsin news via Hot Air from PPP/Kos:

"One more item of note – a Public Policy Polling poll for DailyKos has Walker upby between 5 percentage points (against Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett), 7 points (against former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk) and 12 points (against state Senator Kathleen Vinehout) among likely voters, reaching at least 50% against all 4 Democrats. In the same poll, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is up 46%-40% on Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell. The partisan split of that poll was 37% independent, 32% Republican and 31% Democrat, which roughly mirrors recent Rasmussen Reports likely-voter partisan splits in Wisconsin."

NK

DoT-- our Wisc expert Henry addressed that last night. It will be a close recall election-- decided by turnout, but Scott should get by. If 2 Repub State Senators lose, the Repubs get the State Senate back in November. Do I have that right Henry?

Ben Franklin

"The individual health mandate surely passes constitutional muster under settled judicial principles. The Constitution’s Commerce Clause grants Congress the authority “to regulate commerce ... among the several States.” The Court's precedents establish without question that Congress may regulate intrastate economic activities that Congress (not the Court) reasonably concludes have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. The existence of such congressional authority is especially clear when the challenged provision itself is part of a comprehensive legislative scheme that regulates interstate commerce."


http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/102685/conservative-defense-obamacare-affordable-care-health

Ah. There it is. Interstate/intrastate. Nice.

NK

Interstate/Intrastate-- Meh. In 10 weeks, the SCOTUS will answer the question. Personally, I think the SOTUS invalidates the mandate and everything else, except for Medicaid. We'll see, patience Dana.

Appalled

Cecil:

Oh, nonsense. If we use your "honest" approach, we can't discuss the fact that ~50% of Americans have no skin in the game when it comes to the largest source of federal funding. (And hence could be expected to find "services" a more compelling determinant than "tax rates" when assessing government.)

The discussion of the income tax causes people to develop a false impression that the lowly paid do not pay taxes and somehow need to have their tax burden raised to pay for federal entitlemens ans uneemployment compensation. But, funny, the taxes paid through payroll deduction funds medicare and social security and uneemployment compensation.

Color me unimpressed, CT...

NK

Appalled says-- "But, funny, the taxes paid through payroll deduction funds medicare and social security and uneemployment compensation." NOT TRUE. the tax money is all fungible, nobody has an individual soc sec or unemployment account. In fact-- under Obama/Pelosi/reid 40% of ALL SPENDING is BORROWED through increase of the public debt. So low income TPs are NOT paying for their OWN entitlement transfer payments, they are being transfered from high income taxpayers.

Ben Franklin

Well, NK a lot of us think the ACA should be invalidated. It was a piss-poor single-payer imposter. My bet is that the Corporatist Jurists see that as well. It's too much of a giveaway to Pharma and Ins Co's for it to be stricken.

AliceH

NK@12:22 Boy is my face red! Of course you have posted that at least a dozen times in the last few days. No clue at all why I blanked on it today. Thanks for not taking advantage of an easy target, i.e. for not snarking at me!

NK

Dana-- we'll see. But frankly, I really doubt any of the SCOTUS Justices see the world through the balance sheets of Pharma and Insurers. in fact-- they don't. Next point.

NK

Alice-- snark? moi?
non, ce n'est pas possible .....

henry

If 2 Repub State Senators lose, the Repubs get the State Senate back in November. Do I have that right Henry?

I haven't run through those numbers in a couple weeks, but they look ok. As far as I can tell two senate seats are at risk (one resigned due to family issues, the other is in a fickle district). Redistricting changes things in November -- a couple Dems aren't running for re-election because of it. So plus 1 today, at least plus 1 after November, and plus 2 or 3 after 2014.

Danube, the Dems have a primary in three weeks -- they will poll lower now than after. Walker is likely +2 with 2% undecided AFAICT.

NK

Henry-- you are the man. can you start a wisconsin blog called Henry!-- it would be much better than that nitwit Althouse. I think she's a nice lady and all, but a nitwit.

Tom Maguire

Hmm, this paper looks at exec compensation from 1936 to 2003 and quashes my Mad Men theory:

22 One explanation for lower levels of pay in earlier decades is that executives may have received a larger fraction of compensation in other forms of remuneration such as pensions and perquisites. However, a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the value of these benefits is too small to account for the increase in the level of pay from 1950 to the present. For example, assume that an executive in 1950 was entitled to an annual 20-year pension of $2 million (which would be worth about $.85 million per year if he retires in 15 years and the interest rate is 5 percent), was given a new house worth $2 million every 10 years, and receives memberships to clubs and other perquisites worth another $100,000 per year. These benefits are worth a total of $1.15 million, which would raise average compensation in 1950 to $2.1 million. Even under the extreme assumption that the value of pensions and perquisites had dwindled to 0 by the 1990s, average compensation would still have been twice a high in the 1990s as in 1950.

Historical Trends in Executive Compensation
1936-2003
Carola Frydman* and Raven E. Saks**
November 15, 2005

OK, I will now resume my three martini lunch...

Strawman Cometh

Rush, paraphrase: "Obama, Pelosi and all these .. are Green energy speculators"

Genius.

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