The rent is too damn high

I have an idea.  Let all debates about taxes begin with these facts:

But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

 Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. More than 85 percent of households with earnings above $25,000 paid less in total taxes than comparable households in 1980.

Lower-income households, however, saved little or nothing. Many pay no federal income taxes, but they do pay a range of other levies, like federal payroll taxes, state sales taxes and local property taxes. Only about half of taxpaying households with incomes below $25,000 paid less in 2010.

Or this cartoon (via Daily Kos):

So, a return to slightly higher rates won't even be close to Eisenhower-era socialism.

5 thoughts on “The rent is too damn high”

  1. John, I have a solution to all this non-sense.
    For Republicans: the argument against increasing taxes on the rich has mostly to do with notion of job-creation. ( how many?  So, to solve that, why don't they increase the taxes on the rich to whatever the administration wants, and then create a major tax break for every employee they have hired. And that should take care of that argument.
    For Democrats: they can't live too long in denial ( All these social programs/stimuluses are not sustainable. Something's got to give.
    When the bipartisan debt reduction commission came back with their recommendations they were all ignored. (  To me, those recommendations need to be put back on the table and that should be starting point.

  2. BN,

    was talking about tax rates relative to the Eisenhower and Reagan eras.  Not the "bipartisan debt commission"  narrative as the paradigm of reasonableness you seem to buy.

  3. I guess we can use Carter's tax rates as a starting point. I understand the overall point: we paid higher taxes rates in the past. I'm also not opposed to going back to those rates, let alone back to pre-Bush taxes.
    My side-point was related to the overall context of this discussion: fiscal cliff.  Is this is a revenue or spending problem? Depending who you ask, you get anywhere between 99% revenue issue to 99% spending issue.

  4. I don't have the answer to the fiscal cliff business.  People like entitlements, as they call them now, because they get stuff done–life, healthcare, etc.  It's money well spent because people spend it, they don't save it.  This is not the case for tax cuts on upper earners.  It's not like they're waiting for a tax cut to buy groceries.  But, again, not an expert on this.

  5. Given that it is impossible for a monetarily sovereign country to run out of money, I have to wonder what "unsustainable" means in the context of "[a]ll these social programs/stimuluses [sic] are not sustainable." All that can happen is that we might not have the real resources to provide goods and services in exchange for the money we give through SS or we might not have enough medicine and doctors (to simplify) to provide services to MediCare recipients. But "having" the money is a nonsensical concept for a government that, depending on how you want to look at it, either "has" unlimited money or neither "has" nor doesn't "have" money. In either case, the well cannot run dry, save for idiotic and anachronistic political choices, such as the debt ceiling.
    And Federal taxes ARE too high, as evidenced by the persistent slump in aggregate demand, unnecessarily high unemployment, and under-utilization of productive resources.
    Perhaps it would help to answer the following question, and then think through the implications:
    Can U.S. Treasury checks bounce?

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