In this morning’s NYT, David Leonhardt slices through all of the political wrangling about the tax deal to the heart of the economic matter: “Mr. Obama effectively traded tax cuts for the affluent, which Republicans were demanding, for a second stimulus bill that seemed improbable a few weeks ago.

The two parties got a lot of what they wanted. The Republicans extended the high-end Bush tax cuts; they also put together an estate tax plan they were comfortable with. The Democrats got extended unemployment benefits, and a cut in payroll taxes, along with tax credits for college tuition.

The tax and spend package pleasantly surprised some Democratic wonks:

“Left-leaning policy experts said the package did more to create jobs than they had thought possible after the Republicans’ midterm election victories. Robert Greenstein, Lawrence Mishel and John Podesta — who run prominent Washington research groups that range from liberal to staunchly liberal — all offered praise for the package. Of its estimated $900 billion-plus cost over two years, roughly $120 billion covers the high-end tax cuts and the estate tax cut, $450 billion covers Mr. Obama’s wish list and $360 billion covers the tax cut extensions both parties favored.”

Just as the original stimulus was too small to counteract the effects of the credit crisis, so to, this will be too small to fully do the job for the broader economy. I would have preferred a full payroll tax holiday (6.2%) for the year. And i would also have liked to see a temporary exemption and reduced tax rate for repatriation of overseas monies held by US Companies.

In terms of the stock market, it is likely the assist that Ben Bernanke has been pleading for since Jackson Hole . . .

<

Sources:
In Obama Tax Plan, a Boost for Jobs
DAVID LEONHARDT
NYT, December 7, 2010  
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/business/economy/08leonhardt.html

See also:
Just How Stimulating Is the New Tax Cut-Jobless Benefit Deal? (Economix)

Tax Cuts May Spur Economy, Limit Need to Extend Fed Purchases  (Bloomberg)

Package Would Give Obama Stealthy Stimulus  (WSJ)

Tax deal and spending plan face a hectic finish for Congress (Washington Post)

Category: Politics, 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.

44 Responses to “Tax Cuts vs Stimulus”

  1. ByteMe says:

    Borrowing $900 billion more will just further crowd out lending to private businesses.

    And how will all this work out if the incoming Tea Party-affiliated congresscritters have their way and refuse to increase the debt ceiling?

  2. [...] Did Obama pull off a politically-impossible stimulus plan via his tax compromise?  (TBP) [...]

  3. gd says:

    The episode had more importance as a political event than an economic one. The base turns away, the jackals tighten their circle. I learned the word “reactionary” in 8th grade civics class. It is a useful word in describing American society, and should be used more.

  4. doug says:

    all talk and no legislation, yet. stay tuned. I expect a rushed last minute, gazillion pages long deal with some real choice ‘surprises’ inside.

  5. globaleyes says:

    Tax Cuts are un-American.

    Here’s why:

    They expand the national debt while pleasing a select few. There’s only 1 thing worse than socialism and that’s selective socialism.

    Terrorists like our tax cuts because, combined with war, they push us closer to bankrupcy.

    Our enemies watch our tax policies closely. A balanced budget is our best national security defense.

  6. Tarkus says:

    Can the country afford the tax cuts being made permanent in 2012 as part of the Presidential campaign promises?

    That is the real debate.

  7. wally says:

    “this will be too small to fully do the job for the broader economy”

    One never knows, and timing is all: if this comes just after the nadir and hits a rising economy, it may be enough. After all, it is not just the government that moves the economy; the daily work, plans, initiatives and investments of everybody is an ever-present force to the upside.
    Can we afford it? Of course we can. What we cannot afford is to continue deficits and heavy debt after the economy is stronger… but have we the political sense to see that?

  8. machinehead says:

    What this deal sets up (assuming it’s enacted) is a real-world experiment contrasting two diametrically opposite economic policies: continuing fiscal stimulus in the US via tax cuts, versus austerity and tax hikes in Europe.

    My first reaction is that it’s probably a temporary reprieve for the dollar: US growth prospects just got brighter, while peripheral Europe is locked into a depression which may crack up the euro.

    Ironically, Europe may be unintentionally repeating some of the mistakes the US made in the early 1930s (both candidates in the 1932 presidential election ran on ‘balanced budget’ platforms), while the US might be edging, ever so slowly, toward a German-style 1923 hyperinflation as Bensane Bernanke threatens to monetize the deficit.

    Good luck to both regions — y’all are gonna need it!

  9. number2son says:

    Leonhardt’s piece demonstrates that the elites are completely out of touch with the rest of America. Is the NYT to the corporate Democrats what FOX is to the Republicans? Seems so.

    Fact is, Obama has lost the people who most passionately and effectively supported him until now. Sure, his broken promises on Gitmo, Iraq and Afghanistan, financial reform and meaningful health care reform stung, but this is the tipping point. In his debacle of a news conference yesterday, he finally showed the genuine contempt he holds for his constituents.

    He will not play past this and he will either be defeated in a close primary challenge or trounced in the next general election. Comparisons to Carter are unfair: Carter was a leader with principles. Obama is a calculating opportunist.

  10. Lugnut says:

    So, no one in DC ever intends to pay for anything anymore, huh?

  11. not-affiliated-with-Wall Street says:

    What number2son said.

  12. curbyourrisk says:

    Agreed with the full 6.2% reduction….welcome aboard Barry.

    Can’t agree with temporary exemption to repatriate monies outside the US. For years these companies have been moving jobs over seas and setting up shell companies to hide from the US Government. If we were to due any exemption to repatriate, it would HAVE to come with some requirements….like moving 10-15% (or higher) of their over seas jobs to the US and they must stay here a minimum of 5 years.

    What I would like to see are tarriffs imposed on foreign companies based on salary variance and environmental factors. We should start implementing tarriffs on companies who average pay scale is well below that of the US worker. We should start imposing tarriffs on companies who build their factories in 3rd world countires for the simple purpose of skirting environmental laws. Watch how fast comapnies begin to move their facilities back to the good ole USA when it is no longer cheaper to build over seas.

  13. harrierpark says:

    Forgive the mixed metaphor, but it appears this is the deficit straw that let the bond vigilante genie out of the bottle. A modest rise in interest rates may negatively overwhelm any benefit this stimulus package has for our economy (although because we import oil for our cars and goods for our homes, I fear most of the benefit would be felt overseas).

  14. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    number2son:

    Yup.
    ________________________

    As machinehead says, nothing in the deal provides equilibrium or balance.

    As long as we’re running deficits, there should be no obscenely wealthy Americans. Our public debt is their personal wealth. Corporatists are in full control.

    In terms of the stock market, there is also something bordering on cultural obscenity that the opportunity to profit from the illegitimate transfer of wealth that supports the recent market surge overrides the taint that accompanies participation in Bernanke and Company’s mendacity (especially when there are alternatives). The cultural acceptability of actions without consideration of the ethics or ramifications of those actions is why we’re screwed in the first place.

  15. constantnormal says:

    How many people are approaching the 99 week end of the road?

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2010/12/tax-negotiations-no-help-for-99ers.html

    So long as there are only 2 openings for every 9 applicants, about 78% are going to continue to be out of work.

    Even if one takes multiple minimum wage jobs (and you can be sure that the minimum wage is also in the robber barons cross-hairs), one can only reasonably work about 18 hours per day — actually, less, if there is travel time to get from one job to the next. And if people are requiring multiple jobs to approach their prior level of compensation, this means that the 9 applicants for every 2 jobs picture is a lot worse than that.

    Yves paints a very bleak picture, with the GOP positioning the states for default, possibly in order to ruin the public employee unions (the corporate unions were rendered toothless and impotent long ago, mostly by their own greed and incompetence).

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/12/trojan-horse-in-tax-compromise-gop-plan-to-bankrupt-states-break-union.html

    This was one helluva “compromise”, with not-so-much for the unemployed, and only 13 months of not-so-much, while the wealthy get to keep sucking the life-blood from the middle classes for another 24 months (before their license to steal gets renewed again).

    It takes a certain amount of wealth to create jobs. So long as all of the wealth is locked up in the arms of the corporations or the wealthy, there are going to be no new jobs created. And the only thing that seems likely to spur the unlocking of those funds is the taxation of cash hoards. As if taxes in any form have the chance of a snowball in hell of happening.

    Ireland, move over, we’re headed your way!

  16. call me ahab says:

    “In terms of the stock market, it is likely the assist that Ben Bernanke has been pleading for since Jackson Hole “

    as if the stock market is the most important thing- the only thing (paraphrasing the late great Lombardi)-

    and we keep that levitated- everything fixes itself- right? (and this coming from our top financial genius at the Fed)-

    is it a complete sham?? (when GS, BAC and JPM can have full quarters with zero losses in trading)-

    totally accepted by the financial “dork” types as proof of trading acumen- when common sense would say- “this shit ain’t right”- and far from ok-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWOn1dFmFds&feature=player_embedded

  17. ES says:

    I dont’ agree with a temporary payroll holiday at all. Company hires people based on long term goals and skills fit not some temporary carrot. Payroll tax holiday isan equivalent of Bush sending everybody $600 check, a very short term boost to consumer spending. It does nothing when it comes to creating jobs.
    If we want toc reate jobs we should cut the corporate tax rate so that it is less profitable to outsource. This is pretty much the only thing that will work at this point.

  18. MikeinMass says:

    So, I guess the “deficit” wasn’t that important after all.

    In fact, today’s lead WSJ “editorial” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703296604576005182416429402.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop) made not one mention of the deficit “issue”. They were nice enough to quantify the cost of the unemployment extension ($56b) but did not quantify the deficit hit the tax cuts will have. I suspect it is somewhat north of $56b.

  19. ubnutsagain says:

    @ gd: “The episode had more importance as a political event than an economic one.”

    Exactly.

    Given all that political talk with such a relatively minor amount of incremental fiscal juice, all they’re doing is pissing in the wind … their own wind.

  20. notakid says:

    Now the pack will begin circling this “deal” and I expect a ton of sugar tossed to the pack to win their votes.

    So we toss another couple trillion onto the trash heap.

    It will not help.

    Just a full on exposure of a people without leaders or courage.

    The very first action I always take when I can’t service the debt is to look for another bagholder.

    The actions would be shocking to a sane people.

  21. DeDude says:

    As always in politics it is far from perfect, but better than not doing anything at all. If you wanted to design a rationale and effective stimulus package it would not look like this. But back when they actually had the goal of making a stimulus bill they also came out with something that was full of inefficiencies and waste although it was stimulatory and pulled us out of the free fall. In this case they could not even talk about it as stimulus, but still got some stimulatory elements into it. Until the idiots in this idiocracy stop electing huge numbers of senators and representatives who think it is more important to server the rich than to serve their country we will have lots of wasteful inefficient solutions that fall short. Given the political realities this bill is not half bad. It certainly gives the economy a much better shot at recovery than if nothing had been passed. It also will be getting us a fun performance next year when the tea-baggers try to convince us that they can balance the budget without raising taxes.

  22. rip says:

    Well hey, Now that’s a done deal (Bush tax cuts) the next step is to whack the non-elites with major social security, medicare and medicaid cuts to “balance the elites’ budget”. He “tried”. BS. He sold out.

    Watch and see what a Judas BSO is.

    Need a new kidney via medicaid? Better not live in Arizona. And that’s only going to get worse.

    BANANAMERICA.

  23. DeDude says:

    constantnormal;

    They had to split the time frame of unemployment support away from the timeframe of the tax-levels for the rich. Otherwise they would have faced the same impossible blackmail two years from now. This way the cold hearted sacking of the unemployed will have to be done way before the issue of continued tax-cuts for the rich comes up again. Yes the GOPsters will sack the unemployed in 13 months, but that is inevitable. However, then the democrats will clearly have the moral high ground to block any attempts to continue the tax-cuts for the rich with reference to the previous throwing the poor under the bus “because we cant afford to help them”.

  24. ES:
    Lots of corporations pay no actual taxes. You seem to forget all the loopholes our tax code is riddled with.

  25. Cynic_FA says:

    Learn to take the good with the bad.

    The temporary Social security tax cut could be a great thing if gutless politicians would use it to sugar coat an increase in the social security age. Full retirmenet age is increasing two months a year until it reaches 67 for people who are 67 in 2027. Now is the time to continue this 2 mo/year increase until it reaches 70 in 2045. If the retirement age increase is ever going to pass, it has a better chance when it is sugar coated with a tax cut right now.

    Too bad this would require a politician make an unpopular vote that is good for America…like that is ever goihng to happen. Guttless wonder!

  26. Cynic_FA says:

    @curbyourrisk Says:

    “What I would like to see are tarriffs imposed on foreign companies based on salary variance”

    Curbyourrisk – Strip naked right now! Take off all those cheap made in China clothes you have on, park your cheap Hyundai, and burn your Sam’s Club membership card.

    What I would like to see is for you to pay old fashioned retail for everything you buy, or better yet, go totally green and stop buying anything new. Have a good life!

  27. Livermore Shimervore says:

    Democrats can not be counted on. Republicans can not be trusted.
    Democrats make doing business difficult. Republicans make doing business dangerous.

    btw, those “I’ll oppose Obama no matter his position even if more tax friendly than Reagan” who are predicting a defeat for Obama in 2012 need to check the poll numbers. The Prez is holding steady in the mid 40′s for quite some time now. That’s better than Reagan and a tick or two from Clinton this far into their Presidencies. The Republicans are likely to nominate a hard right candidate like Palin or Gingrich who are loathed by 2/3′s of the indy who decide all big elections. Centrist Repubs are not going to cut it in this Fox “News” vs MSDNC ecology. The same indy block of the electorate who describe themselves as moderate to liberal. Obama needs only to reel in another 4-6% from those centrist indys to get over 50%. What the borrow and spend Republicans have no idea is that they just played into Obama’s hands. A very public swap of sustained relief for middle income earners (80% of the electorate) demanded by Obama in exchange for breaks on wealth that most Americans will never reach — demanded by the Republicans. There’s about a decade’s worth of data now that shows marginal tax relief for the very wealthy has ZERO effect either negative or positive on job creation. That old dog of ‘the job creators’ will be hurt don’t hunt no more as Bubba would say. Where are all the jobs the 01 and 03 Bush tax cuts were to have created? Ultimately middle income voters and centrist indys go with the lesser of two evils who is perceived to be on his/her side. The Republicans did not help themselves here.

  28. Cynic_FA says:

    Build America Bonds left out of the tax deal – Naked Capitalism calls it a plan to bankrupt the states

    Once again take the good with the bad.. A deal to extend Build America Bonds cold be used to sugar coat a mandatory increase in retirment age to 60 (yep, state workers retire 30 and out and many qualify for full retirement at age 51)

    If any extension of BAB or other subsidy for bankrupt states is tied to a mandatory increase in retirement age, we could force the states to solve their worst problem which is unfunded pension obligations.

    Estimates of states’ unfunded liabilities to pay for retiree benefits range from $750 billion to more than $3 trillion.

  29. ES says:

    > ES:
    Lots of corporations pay no actual taxes. You seem to forget all the loopholes our tax code is riddled with.

    I work for these corporations that pay no taxes (they pay 8-10% effective tax). Let me clarify my point – 35% taxes are paid by small businesses that are US based, they can’t outsource, they can’t shelter their income, they can’t use intercompany schemes to avoid taxation. So, the coporate tax is paid disproportionately by US based businesses, which makes it impossible to compete with multinational coporations and destroyes the US based businesses and job market.

    Multinational coporations outsrouces all the jobs and production in order to be able to access the sheltered money. If made corporate tax lower it would decrease incentive for multinationals to play accounting games, it would make US businesses more competetive and it would bring at least some jobs back.
    In the end, it is all about profit margin.

  30. notakid says:

    People that are gaming the end of this system via the old left/right/indie mechanism are fools.

    How can the pugs say that biz are afraid to hire or invest due to uncertainty and then enshrine the same into the 2 year plan of the deal? It seems Obama agrees since he is for this set of b.s.

    See , what a real set of leaders would have done is say to the peeps , LOOK HERE , we do not have the ability to roll these rates back to pre_bush so we are going to make them permanent right now!

    Thus we will not be looking to use this as an ISSUE for the next two years.
    Yeah we know this will hurt our fund raising prospects.

    What we will do NOW is to set about funding this set of rates via spending cuts across the board NOW! Pugs where are your cuts to fund this?
    YEAH, elections have consequences or do they?

    If this is not acceptable then we go with the law as it is currently set.

  31. AHodge says:

    Your trader Pete (and Fast Money crowd) right so far and i wrong
    stocks cant do anything on Package after first shot
    dont thnk any of us expected this much bond bashing
    My explanation?
    mkt actually knew no govt action real bad, meaning also mor QE
    so bonds collapse, $ up
    stocks dont like any including the less QE
    this all ex post BS from me..
    but i still long, and think (hope) these stocks negative effects are one shot
    bonds trough, $ tops

    i note, like some above, this not signed yet. Ds will cave, but R’s maybe not?. Long shot though

  32. DeDude says:

    Cynic_FA;

    The last thing you want to do when jobs are disappearing to automation, is to increase the number of work-hours in a lifetime worth of employment. We do not have enough work and wont get enough work for decades, so we need to retire people earlier not later (so the limited available work can be given to young people). The great benefit of increased productivity and machines doing all the work is supposed to be that then the people can relax and enjoy life instead. All we need to do is to make sure those benefits are not all harvested by the Wall Street banksters, then we can reduce the retirement age and have full employment. There is plenty of money in a 14 Trillion GDP economy, just a question of distributing it more effectively.

  33. grlampton says:

    I think the best guidepost for figuring out the correct thing to do on any given policy is to figure out what Obama and the Dems want to do and then do the exact opposite.

    For example, with respect to the Bush tax cuts, the Dems want to renew them only for people making under $200,000 (couples making under $250,000) and let them expire for the remaining so-called “rich.”

    So what would the opposite of this be? Renew them only for people who make over $200,000 and let them expire for the so-called “middle class.”

    And when you think about it, you realize that is what is genuinely the correct thing to do, what is in the best interest of the country.

    To understand why that is the correct policy, you need to recall that the justification for the Bush tax cuts was supply side economics: you let rich people keep their money because they are the ones most likely to reinvest it in their businesses, or the stock market, or park it in a bank account so the bank can lend it out to someone else who will invest it. This, in turn, will lead to job creation.

    Much as I love the God-fearing, patriotic, all-American middle class, the reality is that they will not invest the money and create jobs. If the goal is job creation, giving them a tax break is a waste of money.

    Then you throw in the cost — ~$700 billion for keeping the tax cuts for the rich in place vs. ~$3 to 4 trillion for keeping them in place for the middle class. It’s not that we can’t “afford” to keep the Bush tax cuts in place for the “rich.” It’s that we really cannot afford to extend them for the middle class, not if you understand the cost-benefit analysis, not if you believe rhetoric coming out of the Bowles/Simpson deficit reduction commission.

    This is the reality. Everything else being said about extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class is blather, concocted for political consumption.

  34. curbyourrisk says:

    @ Cynic: you said “@curbyourrisk Says:

    “What I would like to see are tarriffs imposed on foreign companies based on salary variance”

    Curbyourrisk – Strip naked right now! Take off all those cheap made in China clothes you have on, park your cheap Hyundai, and burn your Sam’s Club membership card.

    What I would like to see is for you to pay old fashioned retail for everything you buy, or better yet, go totally green and stop buying anything new. Have a good life!”

    Ya want to know something…..If we followed with that plan I laid out, wages would rise thanks to the freakin market. Don;t be so quick to make dumb ass comments like that. With rising wages we could actually afford inflation…atleast REAL INFLATION. See many people are so freaking dumb as not to understand inflation. Inflation is not rising prices, it never has been. Inflation is rising wages. ONLY WITH RISING WAGES CAN YOU HAVE SUSTAINABLE INCREASED PRICES; that is people are both willing and ABLE to pay the icnreased prices. When inflation is forced upon us, like what is going now….the market will correct it and prices will once again revert to the fucking norm. I am not going totally green, I am not giving up the Chinese goods (although I would love to) and I don’t drive a cheap Hyundai. I am so sick and tired of people carrying on the whole bullshit story that since everything is made in China prices have to be cheap. Bring the goddamn manufacturing here, allow wages to actually rise for once and things will work. OH YEAH, forcing the debts out into the market and bankrupting a few million peole and some companies (banks included) would be a great start to fixing the REAL PROBLEM.

    I still stand by my view…it’s not all about lower wages that forced American companies to ship all those GOOD PAYING jobs over seas. It is environmental laws. Don’t freak out with your panties in a bunch…I am not calling for environmental laws to be repealed. I am calling for the same laws to be instituted around the world. If you put manufacturing restrictions on here, manufacturing will find a place to go. When you make it restrictive to produce here, we will find a country willing to allow us to pollute thier lands and rivers. Companies will flock to it…add in a few tax breaks and they won’t leave. Give them cheap labor and they just might re-incorporate over seas…How many people here know that Ingersol-Rand is actually an Irish company now?????

    By the, way…not a member of BJ’s Sam’s Club or the Price Club either. And my clothes were not made in China. My shirt was made in Guatemala and the suit I have on right now was made in Italy (not an expensive one either – not all of us can afford to shop like Barry).

    now if you don’t mind, I have to get back to work reviewing the credit risk of a certain Non-American company who would like to import $4 million worth of crap into our country.

  35. curbyourrisk says:

    I expect Barry to come one in 5,4,3…. to correct my view of what Inflation is.

    Either way…it is my opinion and one I stand by.

  36. AGG says:

    A soldier in Iraq carries 45 pounds of gear in 119 degree heat and has seconds to determine if the car speeding towards him carries an expectant mother to the hospital or a suicide bomber. For that, he gets a 1.4 to 1.9% pay raise? A Wall Street banker’s bad bets are covered by the U. S. taxpayer and he gets a million dollar bonus? The concept of “risk/reward” has been turned on its head.

  37. DeDude says:

    Grlampton;

    As long as you ignore the fact that what you are saying has been proven several times to be a load of BS and not work – I am sure it sounds good to you.

    The rich are swimming in money right now and not investing it in any job creating investments. Instead they are “investing” in different types of Wall Street games, some of which are very destructive for the real economy. When you ask businesses why they are not hiring more people the answer is uniformly simple and sensible: “because we do not have more costumers than what we can handle with our current staff”. The only thing that can deliver more customers is if the consumer class gets more money to spend. Then the investor class will have productive things like expanding businesses to invest in, and stop using their money to gamble on commodities etc. Our current problems are in large part due to an imbalance in the income of consumer vs. investor class. There is much more investment money around than there are productive investment needs – so it flows into destructive speculation. What we really need is to tax investment income at the same rates as income from working a job. That would fix the budget deficit and lower interest rates the right way.

  38. ZedLoch says:

    In The Economists coverage of this, they are arguing that the debt doesn’t matter so long as inflation and treasury yields are low.

    I wouldn’t say it “doesn’t matter” but it does give us some space to kick the can down the road at a time when we have little other choice.

  39. curbyourrisk says:

    Zedloch…..first problme is you are letting The Economist polute your mind. Second problem…..NOPE…the first problem is your real lonly problem.

  40. DeDude says:

    The main problem comes when the rate paid on debt is much higher than inflation; in that situation you can drown in your debt (and even faster if you keep accumulating new debt). If the rate paid on debt is lower than inflation then it sort of pays itself off. With a lot of our government debt locked in at fairly low rates some inflation would make life easier for our politician (and a lot harder for small savers and people on fixed income). There are no free lunches and someone will eventually pay for all the deficit spending of the last decade – in the end we will probably, as usual, just pass the hot potato to the end of the line.

  41. Cynic_FA says:

    Whoa Barry, what has happened to your blog participants? Last year the group was 95% bearish and the super bulls got tired of the abuse and left. Now, the group is turning predominantly socialist or leaning hard left. Where are the money men you hang out with? Where are the conservatives; or at least the “Neverr Met a Tax I liked” Republicans?

    @curbyourrisk Says: “My shirt was made in Guatemala ”
    is this some kind of liberal, support the poor Guatemalins who don’t know how to garden? Or, was it really a funny response, cauuse I am LMAO!

    DeDude Says

    “The rich are swimming in money right now and not investing it in any job creating investments.”
    You are right, but got the wrong complaint. Would you please tell Bernanke to take his $600 Billion QE back cause we really don’t have anything productive to do with it. The cash we are swimming in, I think drowning in, is the Trillion $ the Fed has crammed down our throats. Many are speculating, few are building capacity, I am tired of the adrenaline high and would rather see a 30% bear market and some debt destruction to clean up this mess.

  42. Cynic_FA says:

    Don’t put me down in the bear camp though. I had my best quarter since 2007 by liquidating muni’s and aggressive long maturity debt and buying equities.

    When the market tells you “Don’t fight the FED” they mean buy stocks when the Fed is printing money. The bond market heard Bernanke say he is doing QE to push down yields, and the bond market has given Helicopter Ben a giant finger – up 80 basis points on the TNX ten year yield is reminder that the FED ccontrols short term rates only.

    The Bond Vigilantes are coming back!

  43. bear_in_mind says:

    @Cynic_FA — 12/8/10@11:22am: “…state workers retire 30-and-out, and many qualify for full retirement at age 51.” Please do show us the numbers to support your “many” claim. Is that many the number of people in a telephone booth? Seriously, how many cops or firefighters do you know that started at age 21 and retired at 51?!

    @DeDude — 12/8/10@1:04pm: Agreed… but I would bolster your argument by pointing out the eras of the greatest GDP growth and per-capita income increases have come when marginal tax rates were within +/- 20 percent of their all-time highs.