The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service prepared a report for Congress on the impact of the Bush Tax Cuts on the economy.

The report notes the various options of keeping some all or none of the cuts; the impact of these choices is the balance between fostering economic growth and restoring fiscal sustainability. (You can see the full CRS report here).

First, a definition: What exactly are the tax provisions of Bush Tax Cuts (EGTRRA and JGTRRA):

The Bush Tax Cuts
• The 10% tax rate was introduced;
• The 28% rate was reduced to 25%
• The 31% rate was reduced to 28%
• The 36% rate was reduced to 33%
• The 39.6% rate was reduced to 35%
• Long-term capital gains tax rate was reduced from 20% to 15%;
• Qualified dividends were taxed at 15% rather than as ordinary income;
• The “marriage penalty” was reduced by increasing the standard deduction for couples;
• Child tax credit, the earned income tax credit (EITC), and education incentives were expanded.
• Repeal of the personal exemption phaseout (PEP) and the limitation on
itemized deduction (Pease) (both were gradually phased out)

I cannot quantify the last three, but the others — the tax brackets, cap gains and dividends — are easy to understand.

Here are several visual depictions of the circumstances from and impact of these taxes:

>

click for ginormous charts

You should read the full CRS report, as its quite informative . . .

Hat tip Bruce Bartlett

Category: Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

41 Responses to “Bush Tax Cuts: Economic Growth vs. Fiscal Sustainability”

  1. NormanB says:

    So, I guess the subtle ‘teachable moment’ is that the Bush tax cuts have led to the deficit? Correct? Since you aren’t explicit about that I’ll just assume its your position. My reaction: Simplistic Political Bias. Very disappointing.

  2. DL says:

    The important thing is to abstain from making “static” assumptions.

    Assumptions regarding the behavior of people to work, save, invest, run a business, and report taxable income to the IRS.

    Assumptions regarding the propensity of “the rich” to make “campaign contributions” to those politicians willing to introduce tax loopholes.

    And finally, assumptions about what politicians would do if IRS revenues did actually increase.

    “Static” assumptions will produce one set of conclusions; “dynamic” assumptions, quite another.

  3. spencer says:

    No DL, static assumptions have nothing to do with it.

    It is the the historic record he is showing, not a forecast.

    Facts not forecast.

    Tell me Norman, how are the historic facts simplistic.

    Yes, facts do happen to have a anti-Republican bias. That is why people like you keep trying to discredit them.

  4. ACS says:

    Comparing the deficits without comparing the spending is apples to oranges. I know revenues dropped due to the horrid economy but both administrations also went on a spending spree that sure seems way out of proportion to prior recessions.

  5. patrick says:

    jesus christ, where’s the spending chart?

  6. ironman says:

    Here’s a chart showing who, by adjusted gross income, will be the biggest sources of new tax revenue for the federal government, assuming Congress does not act to avoid the expiration of all of the tax cuts from 2003.

    And since Patrick asked, here’s the relevant spending chart…..

  7. VennData says:

    OK, I’ll bite, why didn’t Bush and the GOP cut spending when they made these tax cuts?

    Could it be because 70% of spending of Social Security, Medicare, Defense, Veteran’s Benefits, the guys who caught the parcel bombs and Interest on the National debt?

    So if gov’t spending is $3T and the take is only $2T, how can anyone cut enough to afford these tax cuts?

    Oh but they have a plan… to cut $100B…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/28/politics/main6999250.shtml

    …Sorry, that won’t put a dent in the deficit.

    Oh they could do a Spending freeze…

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-01-26/politics/discretionary.spending_1_array-of-domestic-programs-discretionary-spending-federal-budget?_s=PM:POLITICS

    …Sorry, Medicare and Social Security are just about to explode. That means strangling the healthcare industry and cutting individual’s Social Security drastically. not to mention defense on security and the debt payments? Can’t freeze the debt payments

    Oh but Supply Side economics say tax cuts pay for themselves…

    http://blogs.ft.com/martin-wolf-exchange/2010/07/25/the-political-genius-of-supply-side-economics/

    …they’re 0-2 on that one: Reagan Failed. Bush Failed.

    So like spencer says, the data does not favor the GOP. That’s why they don’t argue with data. They argue with rhetoric and fanciful thought experiments.

  8. cfischer says:

    > Yes, facts do happen to have a anti-Republican bias.
    Oh god, how true.

  9. machinehead says:

    Figure 5 of course assumes that spending is not cut. VennData is right that $100 billion of cuts is chickensh*t. The bloated ‘defense’ [read 'global military empire and foreign war'] budget needs to go on the chopping block too, for hundreds of billions in savings.

    But that’s something which neither faction of the bipartisan War Party is willing to discuss: the stone-cold fact that America’s loss-making military empire is bankrupting it.

    Let the red ‘n blue partisans keep slinging feces at each other in the toddlers’ political sandbox. Neither wing of our corrupt political duopoly has the slightest incentive to reform it.

    Facts are not kind to conventional-wisdom Depublicrats, whether of the faux-liberal or faux-conservative stripe. If you can stand by silently while president George W. Obama massacres families with drones, you need a conscience transplant as well as a course in GAAP accounting.

  10. willid3 says:

    some wanted to see spending per year (though i don’t know if it also includes Iraq or Afghanistan since a lot of the funding for those were off budget from 2002-2009)

    * 2011 United States federal budget – $3.8 trillion (submitted 2010 by President Obama)
    * 2010 United States federal budget – $3.6 trillion (submitted 2009 by President Obama)
    * 2009 United States federal budget – $3.1 trillion (submitted 2008 by President Bush)
    * 2008 United States federal budget – $2.9 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)
    * 2007 United States federal budget – $2.8 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)
    * 2006 United States federal budget – $2.7 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)
    * 2005 United States federal budget – $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
    * 2004 United States federal budget – $2.3 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
    * 2003 United States federal budget – $2.2 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
    * 2002 United States federal budget – $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)
    * 2001 United States federal budget – $1.9 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)
    * 2000 United States federal budget – $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)
    * 1999 United States federal budget – $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)
    * 1998 United States federal budget – $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)
    * 1997 United States federal budget – $1.6 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)
    * 1996 United States federal budget – $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

  11. inthewoods says:

    @willid3 To your point, I believe the Bush budgets didn’t include most of the war budgets – so they’d be, I’m guessing significantly increased.

  12. Kralizec says:

    It seems good that we judge the goodness of fiscal sustainability on a case by case basis, fiscal sustainability being good only if the activities sustained are good. Human beings do not desire the good of their parasites if they are aware of them as such, nor do they think of themselves and their parasites as participating together in some greater, cherished whole that ought to be sustained. Fiscal sustainability, an abstraction, seems similar to health, another abstract good that is really good only in some cases. If chiropterologists told us that vampire bats would have healthier, longer lives with improved oral hygiene, I think most of us would not, for that reason, begin brushing bats’ little teeth. To those who regard many of the activities of the “federal” government as supportive of parasitism, the prospect of those activities being fiscally sustainable must be disgusting on a grand scale.

  13. Anyone who believes the federal budget is not “sustainable” does not understand Monetary Sovereignty

    Anyone who believes the Debt/GDP ratio indicates the federal government’s ability to pay, or anything else, does not understand this Meaningless Ratio.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  14. Kralizec says:

    VennData, if we can safely trust the Americans’ government’s figures for its own annual receipts, the record of “federal” receipts looks pretty good, at least for those receiving them.

    Federal Government: Current Receipts (AFRECPT), Annual, Percent Change from Year Ago

    It appears that in 1982, the combined effects of a severe recession and a tax rate cut did no worse than to bring the growth rate of “federal” receipts just below 0%. Thereafter, “federal” receipts grew every year, through 2000. In 2001 and 2002, an ongoing, severe stock market crash, the destruction of the World Trade Center, the abject terror that followed that attack, and a difficult recession, and a tax rate cut combined to bring growth of “federal” receipts to -2% and -8%. But thereafter, “federal” receipts grew every year, through 2007. The peak rate of growth in receipts, 13% in 2005, was far greater than any seen during the presidencies of Reagan, GHW Bush, or Clinton, despite the “federal” tax rate increases that occurred in the years following the rate cuts of the early Reagan years.

    I am not saying the growth of receipts was good, although it does seem it must have been good for someone. I’m just pointing to the obvious circumstance that receipts grew for many years after each rate cut. Please do not embarrass us both by telling me that time passed before the growth began. Of course it did.

  15. NormanB says:

    In looking at all of the ‘hisorical facts’ Obama and the Democrats said that by Sep 2009 the unemployment rate would be 8% and dropping. That was what all of their Democratic economic experts (ah, I remember the smarmy Jared Bernstein being his old cocky self but we haven’t seen him since) said. So, with their facts it just hasn’t worked out. Boo Hoo. But, their rejoinder is that. “We didn’t know how bad Bush left things for us (of course they forget that in his last two years the Dems held House and Senate majorities) so its still their fault.” No my Democratic friends, what it showed is that you didn’t know how to read the ‘historical facts’. In fact, internally you said, the hell with theory, we want to spend, spend, spend and spend some more which if you really look at history that’s the Dems answer to everything. Squirm, I say.

  16. victor says:

    Why are the Rep’s fighting so hard to keep the tax cuts for the rich when, ironically, the super rich are predominantly either flat out liberals (think Soros, Kerry, Harman, Kohl..) or heavy contributors to the Dem’s (Buffett, Gates, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall Street). If the super rich Dem’s or leaning Dem would voluntarily increase their taxes, we wouldn’t have a debate now; just look at Kerry: all he had to do was to move his foreign built yacht from RI to Ma and voila! needed taxes are flowing into Ma’s coffers. A goodly part of the rich (not super rich) are small business owners which both parties court and support. I am soliciting rebuttals, please…

  17. number2son says:

    It continues to astound me that the cost of Bush’s wars is still largely ignored.

    From the wikipedia article on the waste of these wars:

    Indirect and delayed costs

    According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen.[9][10]

    [Joseph] Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has stated the total costs of the Iraq War on the US economy will be three trillion dollars in a moderate scenario, and possibly more in the most recent published study, published in March 2008.[11] Stiglitz has stated: “The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion. Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions…Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.”[11]

    Long-term health care costs

    A recent study indicated that the long term health care costs for wounded Iraq war veterans could range from $350 billion to $700 billion.[14]

    Full article:
    http://bit.ly/7bssz9 for the full article.

    As of this moment, the costs for both wars is now over $1.1 trillion and counting:
    http://www.costofwar.com/

    And if you like your data in tabular form:
    http://bit.ly/lp0P4

    And here’s a 2008 report from CBO on DoD funding for these wars (a PDF):
    http://bit.ly/9StLVU

    Why this doesn’t have the Christine O’Donnells of the world’s collective panties in a bunch is all you need to know about the hypocrisy of the tea baggers.

    Rand Paul Drinks Tea, Turns Into Hawk?
    http://bit.ly/afAw1r

  18. Kralizec says:

    Looking at figure 3 and especially figure 4 above, I’m reminded of a thing some of the Americans began saying decades ago, that no matter how much money the Congress have, they will always spend more. If the information in figure 4 is any on which we may safely rely, the great tendency of the Congress is not only to spend more than they have, but to spend so much more as to keep the Americans’ debt running ahead of economic growth.

    The Americans have been making the same, strained arguments to each other for as long as I can remember. They “prove” that this or that expenditure is the real cause of the deficits. They make or deny obvious points, such as that tax rate increases will tend to increase receipts (as they surely will in the short run) and impair economic growth (as they surely will, if profitable investment has anything very much to do with economic growth).

    Long repetition has induced boredom, and familiarity has bred contempt. The Americans have made an engine for taxing and spending each others’ income to the point of ruin, but the problem is that they’re taking so long to do it, and–oh, the boredom meanwhile! If they would finish the job, the survivors could teach their case as an example for avoidance and move on to different arguments.

  19. number2son says:

    It continues to astound me that the cost of Bush’s wars is still largely ignored.

    From the wikipedia article on the waste of these wars:

    Indirect and delayed costs

    According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen.

    [Joseph] Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has stated the total costs of the Iraq War on the US economy will be three trillion dollars in a moderate scenario, and possibly more in the most recent published study, published in March 2008. Stiglitz has stated: “The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion. Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions…Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.”

    Long-term health care costs

    A recent study indicated that the long term health care costs for wounded Iraq war veterans could range from $350 billion to $700 billion.[14]

    Full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War

    Here’s a report from the Congressional Research Service from Sept. 2, 2010 that gives the latest figures on the costs:

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:jntJFM8VIE4J:www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf+war+costs+iraq+afghanistan&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjwlYSd7nh_oXNZw8hx1YOXkELzPE8mhkd1B_KwsASOmhGAJQIJxtCoJS7ql3dJc0nT4BAf467TI6hVD1P2LrObj5lUP8-lmokUvYPby-QQ4ngq9jyoNws7pNQ0dEp9hYj65M2Y&sig=AHIEtbRtb2bzxxuquEzMgsO5y5ardLRLcA

    As of this moment, the costs for both wars is now over $1.1 trillion and counting:
    http://www.costofwar.com/

    And if you like your data in tabular form:
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0933935.html

    Why doesn’t this have the Christine O’Donnells of the world’s panties in a collective bunch? Patriots indeed.

  20. Concerned American says:

    I hate reading over and over how Bush cut taxes. IMO he raised my taxes more than any one person ever has. He did that by raising the maximum amounts I had to pay Social Security tax on. Before Bush I has a nice little bonus every year. That nice little bonus diminished greatly under Bush. That was more I couldn’t spend or had to go into to debt to spend each year. Thank You one more time for being SOOO GOOD to Main St. Mr Bush. I will leave the wars alone for now. But people are going to the polls in droves to put these thieving Republicans back in to save us all. We are beyond help.

  21. inthewoods says:

    @Concerned American I can’t find any reference to Bush raising the cap on Social Security – can anyone point me to a reference?

  22. Joe Friday says:

    NormanB,

    “So, I guess the subtle ‘teachable moment’ is that the Bush tax cuts have led to the deficit? Correct? Since you aren’t explicit about that I’ll just assume its your position. My reaction: Simplistic Political Bias. Very disappointing.”

    And wrong.

    According to the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the current federal budget deficits as well as the future projected federal budget deficits, are OVERWHELMINGLY as a result of the massive drop in federal income tax revenue as a direct result of the numerous rounds of tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

  23. Joe Friday says:

    ACS,

    “Comparing the deficits without comparing the spending is apples to oranges. I know revenues dropped due to the horrid economy but both administrations also went on a spending spree that sure seems way out of proportion to prior recessions.”

    No.

    Overall, spending is NOT the problem. The drop in revenues because of the “horrid economy” is secondary to the drop in revenues as a result of the numerous rounds of failed tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate. Overspending is only a problem in specific areas like two wars that were unpaid for as well as the entire Military Industrial Complex, and Corporate Welfare including the prescription drug plan for the pharmaceutical industry.

  24. A growing economy requires a growing supply of money. Deficit spending is the federal government’s method for adding money to the economy. Those who understand Monetary Sovereignty know that the federal deficit and debt are far too low.

    If you do not understand the implications of Monetary Sovereignty, you simply do not understand economics. Period. If you want to learn, go to: http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/monetarily-sovereign-the-key-to-understanding-economics/

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  25. ACS says:

    Please Joe go peddle your partisan nonsense elsewhere. Revenue did not drop after the tax cuts until the economy went south. Spending is exactly the problem and it doesn’t matter what the spending is on, warfare, welfare or anything else. Both parties are addicted to spending money we don’t have. Do you seriously believe taxes raised on anyone can pay for the commitments and promises presidents and Congress have made?

  26. ancientone says:

    Wow. I am continually amazed at the ignorant drivel shouted by Republican apologists who seem to live in an alternate reality………..the lack of reality in many of their comments would be comical, if so many voters didn’t also believe such garbage. A society that can’t discern real causes of problems has no ability to fix them, and America today seems to fit that description pretty well. Very depressing.

  27. Joe Friday says:

    ACS,

    “Please Joe go peddle your partisan nonsense elsewhere.”

    Just can’t handle the truth, eh ?

    ~

    “Revenue did not drop after the tax cuts until the economy went south.”

    Both the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Treasury DISAGREE with you.

    ~

    “Spending is exactly the problem…”

    Both the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Treasury DISAGREE with you.

    ~

    “Do you seriously believe taxes raised on anyone can pay for the commitments and promises presidents and Congress have made?”

    Of course.

    From the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office:

    1998 – $069 billion SURPLUS
    1999 – $126 billion SURPLUS
    2000 – $236 billion SURPLUS
    2001 – $128 billion SURPLUS

    with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 TRILLION.

    As Fed Chairman, Greenie testified in front of the U.S. Congress that we were “in danger” of paying off the ENTIRE federal debt before 2012.

  28. Greg0658 says:

    Concerned American Says to us in here then inthewoods Says to CoAm @ 11:41am about concerns over FICA taxes taken from the check … I’m responding in questioning form .. is it feasable thru computer accounting methods to have CoAm pay 75% and the business pay 25% (to keep the doors open) and imho that would be illegal

    http://blog.accountingcoach.com/fica-matching/

  29. ACS says:

    Let’s continue Joe Friday ( “just the facts”, that cracks me up):
    Federal Revenue & Spending (billions)
    2001 1991 1863
    2002 1853 2011
    2003 1783 2160
    2004 1880 2293
    2005 2154 2472
    2006 2407 2655
    2007 2568 2729
    2008 2524 2983
    2009 2105 3518

    The original tax bill was passed in 2001 but it wasn’t until 2003 that the entire range of cuts were in place. Revenue rose from 2003 to 2007. George W Bush was one of the worst presidents of all time but not for cutting taxes and should have been impeached for several other things he did. Bill Clinton’s budget has nothing to do with our current situation. I agree there are selected areas where taxes can and should be raised but we have long passed the point where we can tax the country to solvency. Thanks to the profligacy of Bush and Obama, spending will have to be cut and the sooner it’s done the easier it will be.

  30. The sooner spending is cut, the sooner we can return to recession, and if we cut spending enough, we can head straight to depression.
    .
    ACS said, “. . . we have long passed the point where we can tax the country to solvency.
    .
    There never is a time when the country can be taxed to solvency. The federal government is monetarily sovereign, and so neither needs nor uses tax money, nor can it ever be insolvent. If, like ACS, you don’t know what “monetarily sovereign” means, go to: http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/monetarily-sovereign-the-key-to-understanding-economics/
    .
    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  31. Joe Friday says:

    ACS,

    “The original tax bill was passed in 2001 but it wasn’t until 2003 that the entire range of cuts were in place.”

    So ?

    The federal budget went from surplus to deficit in 2001 because of declining federal income tax revenue as a direct result of the tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate. It just got worse in later years as more rounds of failed tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate were enacted.

    ~

    “Revenue rose from 2003 to 2007.”

    Because a corporate tax cut expired.

    Once again, when federal income tax rates are cut, federal income tax receipts decline. When federal income tax rates are raised, federal income tax receipts increase.

    ~

    “Bill Clinton’s budget has nothing to do with our current situation.”

    Of course it does. You claimed that increasing taxes could not effect the federal budget deficits. President Clinton proved that wrong.

    ~

    “Thanks to the profligacy of Bush and Obama, spending will have to be cut and the sooner it’s done the easier it will be.”

    Once again, the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office DISAGREES with you.

    You simply cannot get there from here with spending cuts as the problem is the decline in receipts as a direct result of the numerous rounds of failed tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

  32. Joe, what is a “failed tax cut”? Similarly, what is a successful tax cut?

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  33. Joe Friday says:

    Rodger,

    Pretty straightforward stuff here.

    * As to your query of “what is a ‘failed tax cut’?”:

    If those that propose and enact a federal income tax rate cut proffer and predict that it will result in increased federal income tax revenue, that it will stimulate the national economy, that it will spur the expansion of business activity, and that it will spur the creation of jobs, yet instead federal income tax revenues plummet, the national economy declines, business activity declines, and all that increased was federal budget deficits & job losses, then that is an across-the-board objective failure.

    * As to your query of a “successful tax cut”:

    A) The independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently examined eleven different proposed forms of stimulus, and “tax cuts” came in dead last at number eleven as being the least stimulative.

    The only “successful tax cut” that I’ve witnessed are those that are targeted and incentivized.

  34. How about this tax cut: FICA?

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  35. TacticalMan says:

    Bush didn’t “cut” taxes. His legislation reduced tax rates. Tax collections increased each year after 2003 through 2008. Additionally, the amounts subject to Soc Sec/Medicare taxation increased from roughly $70k to $100k while in office so that added$4590 to my tax bill in 2008. Secondly, the huge uptick in the deficit is mainly caused by increased spending ($3.9T in 09 vs. $2.9T in 08)
    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/hist.html
    The average tax raised per person in Western Europe and the US is roughly equal at about $13k and yet their tax rates are roughly 52% on average vs. 32% (all taxes). How is that possible all you non-dynamic scoring commentators?
    The simple statement is that the higher the taxes, the more dependent on govt favors we become.

  36. Joe Friday says:

    Rodger,

    Technically, by definition, FICA is not a “tax”. Even more so after President Clinton signed the ‘Social Security Independent Agency Act’ in 1994.

  37. Joe Friday says:

    TacticalMan,

    “Tax collections increased each year after 2003 through 2008.”

    Because a corporate tax cut expired.

    Once again, when federal income tax rates are cut, federal income tax receipts decline. When federal income tax rates are raised, federal income tax receipts increase.

    ~

    “the huge uptick in the deficit is mainly caused by increased spending”

    False.

    The independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office DISAGREES with you. The overwhelming majority of the current federal budget deficits as well as the overwhelming majority of the future projected federal budget deficits are from the decline in federal income tax revenue as a direct result of the numerous rounds of failed tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate.

  38. Joe,

    Cute squirm. So how about eliminating FICA, which you differentiate from a tax, though it looks like a tax, walks like a tax and quacks like a tax? By the way, do you know what “monetary sovereignty” means?

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  39. Joe Friday says:

    Rodger,

    I wasn’t attempting to be “cute”.

    A) By definition, a “tax” is a compulsory levy upon income. FICA is voluntary, you can opt out.

    B) Why in the world would I want to eliminate FICA ? Not only is Social Security THE most popular and successful federal program in history, it is more financially sound today than it has been throughout most of its 75-year history.

  40. Joe, you asked, why eliminate FICA?

    Apparently you enjoy paying 7.65% of your salary to the federal government, and do not think this is a drag on the economy. Also apparently, you do not think forcing employers to pay a like amount is not a drag on business.
    .
    And since you do not know what MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY is, you think FICA supports Social Security. It doesn’t, but you have to understand monetary sovereignty to understand why.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  41. Joe Friday says:

    OH KAY