May I throw the DUH flag on all the whining about the $250k top bracket? I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that $500k is a number all sides will live with for the 39% bracket.

First, let’s talk history: That top bracket dates back to 1993, and if we inflation adjust $250k of back to 1993, its closer to $400k. Keep that in mind.

Next, if you have ever bought a used car, a Turkish rug, or engaged in any form of haggling, you know that you NEVER start with the actual number where you want to end up.

Instead, you use a number that is your opening gambit. It’s a bid, a feint, a frame to the negotiations. Its where we start, not where we will end up. In terms of the top bracket, I doubt it will be either $250k or $1m.

With $500k, everyone gets a little something to take back to their supporters and declare victory.

The GOP gets to say the held the line on taxes for 95+% of the country, the Dems get to say they finally made the wealthy pay their share, and all the politicians are happy.

~~~

My guess is the top bracket settles out at about $500,000 – What say ye?

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.

66 Responses to “Open Thread: Where Will the Top Tax Bracket End Up?”

  1. Rouleur says:

    …sounds about right to me +/-

    …very surprised if 250 was the final number….

  2. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    $250K is the 4th rail of American politics. $500K has to be some where between the 9th and 17th rails.

    Oy.

    Stick it to the top .01% @ 91% of everything over $500K, with no deductions, for the next 30 years, and we’re talking balanced budgets.

  3. aus-paris says:

    I think you are either close to or actually spot on. Laughed as you were certainly hitting it right with: “all the politicians are happy” as that is what this is all about, right?

  4. Larry says:

    I think it may end up at $ 400K, but in order to achieve that, the Dems would have to agree to cuts in entitlements that go farther than what many of them would like. Medicare eligibility age goes to 67 and full Social Security retirement age goes from 67 to 68 for those born after 1958. But will enough Dems go along with this compromise? And will enough Repubs stomach voting for a tax increase? What happens in the market if Boehner & Obama agree on a compromise that then gets voted down in the House?

  5. Joe Friday says:

    BR: “First, let’s talk history: That top bracket dates back to 1993, and if we inflation adjust $250k of back to 1993, its closer to $400k. Keep that in mind.

    Also keep in mind the $250k proposal is taxable income, meaning total income well over $300k for most.

  6. cfischer says:

    I think you’re giving the politicians too much credit for being rationale and able to compromise. But I hope I’m wrong.

    That said, I still think this is silly. This amounts to what, an extra $10,000 a year in federal income tax for someone making 500,000 a year? I think they’ll be okay.

  7. Joe Friday says:

    Larry,

    I think it may end up at $ 400K, but in order to achieve that, the Dems would have to agree to cuts in entitlements that go farther than what many of them would like.

    Why ?

    Those are not the drivers of our federal deficits & debt.

    Not to mention, we just did over a trillion and a half of spending cuts (austerity which is hindering the national economy), so where’s the equivalent balance in revenue from tax increases ?

    What happens in the market if Boehner & Obama agree on a compromise that then gets voted down in the House?

    Then the tax cuts expire.

    That’s why nothing the Repubs are offering is taken seriously, as they are offering less than what will happen automatically.

  8. znmeb says:

    Who cares what the numbers are or what the politicans say? They’ve utterly failed at time management and don’t deserve our attention.

  9. RW says:

    $400 to $500 sounds about right. And of course rates are marginal so the higher bracket will only apply to adjusted income above $400-500 which, as Joe Friday points out, means gross incomes higher than $500 or so, possibly much higher depending on how the negotiations on deductions flesh out.

    NB: The Republican insistence on entitlement cuts in these negotiations is a logical non sequitur and a dishonor to their office: The four trusts — Medicaid and Medical, Social Security and SS Disability — are funded by payroll taxes, not income taxes, and neither SS trust contributes to the federal deficit as a matter of law and structure. This is Republicans looking to count coup — a trophy to show off to their benefactors and the folks back home who either don’t care or don’t know that the scalp came from someone unable to defend themselves — it is an irresponsible and cruel failure of democratic (small d) governance …it is also cowardice.

  10. VennData says:

    Right above where I sit. Cuz I care about me: how does this tax rate effect VennData. I wrote this comment myself.

  11. Jack Damn says:

    How about $400,000.

    - Obama makes new offer to avert fiscal cliff
    - http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/obama-fiscal-cliff-85211.html

    President Barack Obama has proposed raising tax rates on income above $400,000 — up from $250,000 — as part of a counteroffer to House Speaker John Boehner aimed at reaching a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, according to a source familiar with the talks.

  12. Molesworth says:

    Next, if you have ever bought a used car, a Turkish rug, or engaged in any form of haggling, you know that you NEVER start with the actual number where you want to end up.

    If you take the argument and apply it to typical real estate transactions, generally you split the difference.
    So, BHO starts at $250k. Reps start at $1m. That would make it $375k.
    I’ll say between $375 (because it’s the halfway point-$400k (rounder).
    Or maybe less, because BHO may just want a taste more for the Reps being so…oh what is the word?…well, let’s just call it “obstreperous” his first term.

  13. Molesworth says:

    Sorry, it would make it $625k to split the difference. Wish you had an edit function.

  14. Jack Damn says:

    Via Reuters:

    Boehner aide says fiscal cliff offer “cannot be considered balanced” but is “step in the right direction”.

    Futures up nicely so far tonight: http://i.imgur.com/mAOIF.png (30-min SPX futures).

  15. slowkarma says:

    The “cliff” negotiations have resulted in my formulating several more “Rules of Life.”

    -When somebody starts talking about what’s fair, keep your hand on your wallet.
    -You can’t tax your way to a balanced budget, because there isn’t enough money. (See “France.”)
    -You could theoretically cut your way to a balanced budget, but practically, it’s impossible. (See “AARP.”)

    $400,000? That’s about right. Not that it will make any practical difference.

    another Rule of Life: “When somebody starts talking about what’s ‘fair,’ it won’t be.”

    I think $400 might be close. I’d personally prefer to go over the cliff.

  16. slowkarma says:

    The “cliff” negotiations have resulted in my formulating several more “Rules of Life.”

    -When somebody starts talking about what’s fair, keep your hand on your wallet.
    -You can’t tax your way to a balanced budget, because there isn’t enough money. (See “France.”)
    -You could theoretically cut your way to a balanced budget, but practically, it’s impossible. (See “AARP.”)

    $400,000? That’s about right. Not that it will make any practical difference.

  17. davebarnes says:

    The real money is in letting ALL the Bush43 tax cuts expire.
    If you fell guilty, then set the limit at $100K.
    And, shitcan the mortgage interest deduction over the next decade.

  18. 4whatitsworth says:

    What will the top tax rate be.. I am not an accountant but here is how I see it ordinary income tax 39.6% + 3.8% Obama Medicare + if you are lucky enough to live in California 7.5% that brings your tax bill to 50.9% so congratulations your new tax rate comes very close to the number of people who pay no tax at all. Then everything you do with your money will be taxed again and everything that the government does that you like they will charge you for roads, parking, public parks, after school programs etc you need to pay for.. so much for land of the free and home of the brave. What will the top threshold be I suppose 500K fuck the rich look how well that worked in Detroit and throughout history.

  19. super_trooper says:

    $500k makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
    But let’s get facts into the picture. How many make more than $500k a year? How much more in revenue does that mean for the government? How would that compare to $250k?

  20. Frwip says:

    Trade a tax rate lower than 39% for the tranche above $250,000 for a higher tax rate, say 44%, for income above $1,000,000.

  21. Joe Friday says:

    4whatitsworth,

    but here is how I see it ordinary income tax 39.6% + 3.8% Obama Medicare + if you are lucky enough to live in California 7.5% that brings your tax bill to 50.9%

    You’re adding up tax BRACKETS. Nobody pays the tax brackets.

    I think I need to start using a short-cut acronym. Let’s see:

    YAUTB. NPTTB.

    Why is it so many people are so confounded by simple basic marginal taxation ?

    I am not an accountant

    Dat’s fer sure.

  22. catclub says:

    yes, just what I was thinking. heck, there could be brackets at $1M/yr and $3M/yr

    I am amazed at the math ignorance of the tax writing committees. How about a progressive formula, with monotonic increase with income. Why is this so far outside the realm of possibility? Too sensible?

  23. Frilton Miedman says:

    Uh-oh…wealthy job creators are going to flee to Belize so they can live free of tyrannical taxation, just like McAfee did.

  24. gman says:

    The real question is cap gains! The oligarchs own this nation so expect their rate to stay at 15%.

  25. changja says:

    So…where do the current negotations leave capital gains and dividends? Are they also going to follow the 500k tax bracket limit or change completely? At this point, I would just wish they simplify the damn system and get rid of deductions all together. The paperwork is driving me crazy now.

  26. Syd says:

    I wonder where the rates on capital gains and dividends are in this.

  27. bonderman says:

    What no one seems to focus on is waste. Government spends other peoples money–that makes it easy. “Give the rubes something they weren’t expecting and they’ll be happy.”

    Surely, within the largest organization in the free world, there are some savings to be had.

    Obama’s first Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates suggested cutting our defense budget 50%. Considering we spend more than the next eight or ten countries COMBINED, it shouldn’t be a stretch to think we can make a considerable saving in that one department alone.

    But as the game is currently played, Congress and the Executive don’t make points saving money. Until we tell them that saving money is our priority, life will continue as before.

    Look in the mirror. The real problem is us. We need to demand change and show we mean it by not reelecting the same bozos.

    It really is that simple. Once a few Congressional scalps have been taken, the rest will get the new religion, but not before.

  28. Tulips says:

    I think it is ‘fair’ that anyone who makes more money than me should pay more in taxes; therefore, raising the tax rate on those making $500k+ is just fine.

  29. victor says:

    I propose we go back to the year 2000 federal tax take and federal spending as a % of GDP. They were roughly 21% and 18.5% respectively, thus an enviable surplus of some 2.5% of GDP. Today’s numbers? 17% revenues vs. 24% spending with a gaping deficit of some 7%.

    So if you want a surplus again in 2013 get a 4% of GDP revenue increase out of Boehner. That’s only $640 B: some from taxes and, I say mostly from a growing economy by waving a magic wand. Now get 5.5% of GDP spending reduction out of Obama or some $880B also by using that magic wand. And do this before X-Mas and make sure that years 2014 and beyond also stay in the black.

    Source: http://www.deptofnumbers.com/misc/debt-revenue-and-expenditures-as-a-fraction-of-gdp/

  30. bear_in_mind says:

    I like the ring of $425K for the top income tax rung. Don’t get me wrong, I think it should be more like $200K, but something’s gotta give to allow Boehner and the TP’s an opportunity to save face.

    Also, wondering if we might see Obama stick to the the $250K number… but apply it to increasing the salary cap for SSA contributions?!

    Think about it… moving the SSA cap to $375K would add a long-overdue boost to the SSA fund and recoup the ‘free ride’ the Top 5 percent have enjoyed for the last 25 years.

  31. cheese says:

    what is your obsession about this? seriously! barry, c’mon now……..i thought you always argued that tax rates don’t matter when considering investments…….

    now you want to pretend like it matters?

    you must be a closet jets fan.

    that’s ok………btw…i like them too.

  32. Melvis says:

    The whole cap gains tax is not very well explained in the media. The reason it is less is because in most cases it is taxing inflation. For example: An item that was purchased ten years ago now sales for double so it has capital gains of 100%. However the replacement cost of that item is the same as the new sale so if fact there was no real gain in purchasing power yet the government wants to tax the fictional gain. This government also has a huge hidden tax on savers by paying them at least 2% below inflation. A person with a million in the bank in CD’s was earning almost 5% several years ago for a total of $50,000. Five year CD rates etc. have been manipulated lower to yield only 1.41% so the difference is now 3.59% for a hidden tax of $35,900 on a million. And now the piddly 5 year CD which earns only 14,100 per year will also be taxed an additional 3.8% for Obama Care no matter your tax bracket. They play us for suckers. Fortunately about 1/3 of my assets have been converted into a Roth IRA and another 1/3 is in long term quality MUNI’s earning 5 to 6%. I will do everything in my power to keep the final third of my assets from earning more than 400,000 grand be year by sitting on gains. I have about 5% in gold and may increase that percentage. People don’t realize one cold hard fact. Since I am going to be taxed 3.8% on my rental income, a letter is going out to my renters immediately after the holiday passing this cost onto to them. It is always the little guys who ending up getting hurt. Many of you on the forum want to soak the rich with out realizing that it is going to come back in a big way to bite you. People like me are pissed off and feel under appreciated for the jobs we create. This whole envy thing is unAmerican and must stop.

  33. Expat says:

    Who cares where the top bracket is? It will make no real difference to those earning over ten million.

    The real issue here is how both parties have managed to shift the debate on what “rich” is so far to the right. We hear arguments over how $500k is peanuts or how some parts of the country are more expensive than others. We hear about how a million bucks doesn’t go very far any more. Well, fuck all of you overpaid whiners.

    The median US household (yes, household, not individual) income is about 49k. Half the households in America earn less than that. That is reality in America, not some country club after dinner debate about marginal tax rates making you cut out one of your three vacations to Barbados.

    Sure, $250k doesn’t seem like much when you “need” private schools in Manhattan, a house in the Hamptons, ski lodge in Vail, and reservations at Le Bernardin. Well, I guess that is what government handouts are for.

  34. philipat says:

    Allowing for inflation, a figure around USD 450K would essentially restore the Clinton tax rates, which might make Dems feel cool. And it isn’t too onerous? Now, let’s talk rates on “Un-earned Income” where most of the gravy is poured. Oh, and Corporate tax evasion?

  35. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    “Well, fuck all of you overpaid whiners.”
    ____________

    Sometimes, you just have to repeat something — just to make sure it sinks in AND for the sheer lyrical beauty of it. Shakespeare couldn’t have said it better, Expat.

  36. BusSchDean says:

    What he said….>>>> Expat

    Last week I asked the employees of a food services company (the type that provide food service to universities, institutions, etc.) if they get time off for the holidays. They get a letter that lets them file for unemployment as they will be off for almost a month. OK. I get that they cannot get a month off paid. Then I asked if they accumulate any vacation days. They said yes, one hour for every forty hours worked. So, with the holiday off, if they are lucky enough to get a full schedule for 48 wks and never get sick they get six vacation days a year. I did not ask their hourly wage.

  37. Greg0658 says:

    I triple down what ExPat said @0323.. and will add back office 5THpressroom blather for financial data mindsets .. the jetset crowd (+ MIC wars) what do those industries do to the cost of the millions of gallons of gas per day – regular everyday working folks have to pay at the pump? a Tax.*
    remiss to not consider volume discount – tho I don’t think so – not any more – not after DeepWaterHorizon

    *roundNround kickbacks – just gotta love the OpSys – or go crazy .. kids I don’t know what occupation to push you towards – its a limbo contest @present

  38. CSF says:

    Boehner caves in at 500K and Obama makes a minor concession on entitlement spending: inflation calculations or retirement ages. They make a vague promise about “serious discussions” next year concerning everything else.

    Will it happen this week or after Jan 1st? The market is signaling that there’s no real hurry.

  39. gordo365 says:

    I agree with Philipat – the rich don’t care about income tax. Can we eliminate carried interest etc?

  40. CSF says:

    The press is whispering that Obama will offer 20% on cap gains and dividends, and 45% top rate on inheritance tax with 3.5 million exemption. These sound like numbers the parties could agree on. So it all comes down to some minor tweaks to income tax and entitlement spending.
    1) The parties are miles apart in rhetoric but pretty close in policy.
    2) The fiscal cliff is only an opening act in a multi-year play.

  41. Low Budget Dave says:

    I am with Petey and Expat on this one. The opening bid should be the same tax rates and the same brackets we had under Eisenhower.

    In 1954, the 92 percent marginal rate (Income over $400K) decreased to 91 percent under Eisenhower. The maximum tax on long-term capital gains was 25 percent — a rate that remained in place for a decade.

    Every digit that the GOP wants Obama to come off those rates, they should have to propose some alternate means to raise the same amount of money.

  42. rd says:

    I think it will end up at $500k, but it is still all just political theater. The real money is in the capital gains and dividend tax rates which are not in the headlines.

    The AMT was probably picking up much of the money that would be collected under the new tax rate anyway. We found that most of the Bush tax cuts never materialized for our family because the AMT stepped in every year and picked up much of the supposed savings since our income is derived almost exclusively from working.

    If you want to hear real squeals of anger and pain, simply subject dividends and capital gains to the ordinary income rates in the AMT. When something like that is on the table, then we will know that the Democrats are serious. At the moment it is unconscionable that passive income is taxed at a highly preferential rate compared to income from actual work.

  43. Lukey says:

    Looks this morning like it will be $400,000. But what does it matter? That gets you even LESS revenue (than $250K) as the President is pushing another round of “stimulus” (read “more spending”) and we have the joke that Obamacare pays for itself about to explode in the American people’s collective (pun intended) face. So the deficits (within a year or two) will be bigger after this tax increase than they were before. Then what do we do?

  44. Melvis says:

    in reply to ” At the moment it is unconscionable that passive income is taxed at a highly preferential rate compared to income from actual work.”

    Many forms of passive income such as royalties, rents, and interest etc. are currently taxed at regular earned income rates. Dividend income is taxed at a highly preferential rate to help prop up the stock market.

    Cap gains though is taxed at a different rate to reflect the fact that taxes were already paid on the invested capital and that inflation is annually reducing the real value of any profit that will eventually be realized. Maybe things could be tweaked so that there were different rates for different holding periods with anything over ten years being at 15% while things that have been held on one year taxed higher.

    One last thing. The real whiners here seem to be those that resent and envy anyone who makes more money then they do. Human nature I guess but really ugly.

  45. AHodge says:

    yes-a nice round #
    they may dicker over it
    end up somewhere between 400-700
    rudy already told me there was give on the r side for this
    but not all the way to 250

    rd is right–or to put in econospeak
    if there was ever an argument for promoting savings/investment
    by distorting preferences in favor of unearned income
    it goes out the window with near zero interest rates, and huge excess capacity

  46. jeffers5 says:

    BR: I think you’ve missed the Big Picture here.

    This debate has been framed, politically, as Rich vs. Poor. We heard that throughout the Presidential campaign and we see it spelled out clearly in the comments above. However, that’s a false choice and one that will likely not lead us to an effective solution.

    I submit that a commonly held American value is that each generation believes it has an obligation to leave the country in better shape (we’ll leave the details of “better” undefined for now) for the next generation. On that basis, I suggest that we reframe the debate as a generational challenge: How will the baby-boom generation insure that public liabilities are adequately funded and the range of services more complete than those that were given to them?

  47. Joe Friday says:

    Lukey,

    Looks this morning like it will be $400,000. But what does it matter? That gets you even LESS revenue (than $250K)

    About $600 billion less revenue, about a trillion down from 1.6 trillion.

    the President is pushing another round of ‘stimulus’

    Good.

    At least that’s addressing the real problem.

    we have the joke that Obamacare pays for itself about to explode in the American people’s collective (pun intended) face.

    I hate to break it to ya, but the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office calculated that the ACA LOWERS federal deficits, and that’s with applying zero to some of the savings that medical actuaries know will occur.

  48. Joe Friday says:

    jeffers5,

    I submit that a commonly held American value is that each generation believes it has an obligation to leave the country in better shape (we’ll leave the details of ‘better’ undefined for now) for the next generation. On that basis, I suggest that we reframe the debate as a generational challenge

    Except the problem was not caused by any generational issues, it was legislative.

    This debate has been framed, politically, as Rich vs. Poor. We heard that throughout the Presidential campaign and we see it spelled out clearly in the comments above. However, that’s a false choice and one that will likely not lead us to an effective solution.

    To the contrary, the problem was caused by tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the Rich & Corporate, yet the Republicans want everybody else to pay for it.

    There’s your “false choice”.

  49. 4whatitsworth says:

    @Joe Friday,

    Yes I know how the tax code works. This is common knowledge for anyone who reads their tax return. At this point we are all guessing and my guess is that the top tax rate will be 50.9% (for someone who lives in California) and the top tax threshold will be 500K.

    This is not going to raise hardly any revenue this is just symbolism for the new America they are going to need to cap deductions/remove the payroll tax cut etc and I am not sure what the threshold will be on that but I do know that is going to take money from the people who earn it and give it to our bloated government.

    I am unfortunately in the top tax bracket and one of the ways I got there was to increase the compensation with performance. For example a sales person who makes commission may get comfortable at some compensation level say 100K so we pay a greater % in commission after their quota is met. This provides the incentive for the performers to continue to work hard. What do you think would happen if we had a “progressive” compensation plan that worked like our tax code for our people where as they performed they received a smaller % of compensation?

  50. tippet523 says:

    What truly matters is how many deductions get eliminated. I know my 35% bracket ended up at 25.2% the last few years. If they want more revenue they need to eliminate some of these ridiculous deductions.

    I feel I pay a lot of taxes but clearly we are not collecting enough revenue to cover the spending. if taxes were raised to cover the deficit then people would actually be concerned about spending.

  51. AHodge says:

    FYI
    obama by the FT at 700AM
    sees and raises the rate hike bracket to $400k
    your $500 k lookin good
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d478bd92-4872-11e2-a6b3-00144feab49a.html

  52. constantnormal says:

    What makes anyone think that the top rate will end up at 39%? I can easily see Obama caving on that, bringing it down … but so long as the tax rates on money made from ownership (capital gains, dividends) is lower than the tax rates on work, the money pump is still in operation, emptying the wallets of the middle classes into those of the 1%-and-up.

    And anyhow, rates mean pretty much nothing, our taxes are determined by deductions and credits, to a far greater degree than tax rates.

    If we want to have actual tax reform, tax every dollar of income the same, regardless of how it was derived, and get rid of ALL deductions beyond a minimal standard deduction so that we don’t add insult to injury by taxing people who don’t earn a living wage … then we could get by with a far smaller tax rate than we have today, potentially the mythical flat tax …

    Of course, that system does not exist in this partition of the space-time parallel reality …

  53. James Cameron says:

    > My guess is the top bracket settles out at about $500,000 – What say ye?

    That the administration and Obama in particular swore up and down in speech after speech during the campaign that they would never budge on the $250K number . . . that after the election the administration and Obama regularly informed us that they held all the negotiating cards with Republicans, who would eventually relent . . .

    But that was then . . .

  54. rd says:

    James Cameron:

    Obama doesn’t report to Grover Norquist, so he will be able to tweak the number up in order to cut a deal.

    Boehner could lose his job over even a $1 million threshold since he reports to Grover.

  55. Chad says:

    I’m hoping Obama back tracks to a new number of $100k, so I can see the “TAXES IS STEALING!!!!! ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!” peoples’ heads explode.

  56. Lukey says:

    ACA lowers the deficit? Yes, because, as we know, this President is “fiscally responsible.” On what planet is the CBO known as the “gold standard” for accurate fiscal predictions?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/264695-report-health-laws-costs-continuing-to-grow

  57. James Cameron says:

    Incidentally, here’s what America thinks on this issue:

    “An overwhelming majority of Americans — 69 percent — continue to support raising taxes on all income above $250,000 a year, with even a majority of Republicans supporting such a deal. Only 45 percent support reducing government benefits “for people like you,” with 48 percent opposed.

    http://goo.gl/0AQdI

    Why? Because that’s the number that was etched in stone by the administration during the campaign as being all but sacrosanct, whatever the “well, now we’re in the negotiating phase” arguments being rolled out now.

  58. rd says:

    Melvis:

    It is pretty hard to justify a 15% capital gains tax rate instead of 35%+ rate based on inflation eating into profits in an era of <4% inflation – holding times measured in decades would be needed to make the two equal. If they want to account for inflation, then simply raise the cost basis for inflation before calculating the profit. I think that would be eminently fair and would also encourage long-term investment instead of flipping for quick profit. It would also eliminate having to account for short-term vs long-term capital gains – why should something have a tax discount of over 50% just because it was held onto for one extra day?

    Similarly, the cost basis may have been taxed previously, but it would often have been taxed at the preferential capital gains rate, so that huge discount keeps multiplying. The cost basis doesn't get taxed again and can be deducted as a loss if money is lost.

  59. $666K – you do all realize that the world ends Friday?

  60. wally says:

    “…you know that you NEVER start with the actual number where you want to end up.”

    Obama has got to be one of the worst negotiators in the history of the Presidency. He cannot break the habit of negotiating against himself.

  61. rj chicago says:

    Lest I remind EVERYONE who has posted here – we have 16.5 TRILLION in debt that is to be paid. The numbers discussed here are drops in the ocean!!! Wake me up when this nightmare is over please!!!!

  62. Joe Friday says:

    Lukey,

    ACA lowers the deficit?

    Indeed.

    The healthcare actuaries agree with the CBO.

    On what planet is the CBO known as the ‘gold standard’ for accurate fiscal predictions?

    Their track record is light-years ahead of the American RightWing.

    As to your link, Douglas Holtz-Eakin is a RightWing hack that’s been debunked over and over again.

    But hey, if you’re gullible enough to fall for the propaganda, be my guest.

  63. StatArb says:

    @ Joe Friday

    ” CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period—about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate for that 10-year period ”

    http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage%20Estimates.pdf

  64. victor says:

    Tax increases over a relatively low threshold favor the rich and hurt the poor, don’t we all understand this elementary notion? If our economy grew at a decent clip all we’d have to do is slow down the rate of spending. But for a growing economy you need a growing population and the return of manufacturing, right? Now guess who consider that anathema. Anyway, natural gas and tight oil on private lands wont quite carry that day on their own but will allow us to limp along.

  65. Joe Friday says:

    StatArb,

    Yes, the deficit reduction in the latest estimates is even larger than the prior estimates.