Americans Support Smaller Deficits, Higher Taxes For The Rich

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70 percent of Americans now say that cutting the deficit is an important goal for 2012, with 84 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of Democrats, and 64 percent of Independents rating it as their top priority. However, austerity budgeting is not the way to go, they say. When asked about specific programs, wide majorities almost always favor either increasing spending or maintaining the current level.

No spending cuts, please

Travis Waldron, Think Progress:

On education, for instance, 62 percent favor increases and 25 percent favor maintaining the current level. More than 90 percent favor either an increased level or the current level of spending on veteran’s benefits; and more than 80 percent favor increasing levels or maintaining the current level on college financial aid, public school spending, Medicare, and Social Security. The only program that even gains a plurality of support for reduced spending levels is aid to the world’s needy…

Of course, cutting aid to the world’s needy would do virtually nothing to reduce the deficit. Though Americans think it represents anywhere from 10 percent to one-third of the federal budget, in reality, it makes up less than one percent of federal spending.

By contrast, Americans actually do support one way to reduce the federal deficit: raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Maybe the Washington politicians who think that the government spends too much ought to check in with their constituents.

  1. #1 by cav on June 17, 2012 - 5:34 pm

    I’m conflicted. On the one hand I reject it when those who don’t have retirement, perks, seem to want to drag those who do down to their lowly level. It’s a race to the bottom, new slavery! Envy politics.

    On the other hand, I would gladly raise taxes on the wealthy, do this do that, make them suffer. blah blah. Envy politics with the glove on the other hand.

    It cannot be only because our leadership, after lucrative persuasion or threats, seems to think this is a good idea, and that I do not? Certainly there’s more going on here than simply being a capital C Contrarian?

    I’m settling on the ‘Big Lie’ scenario as it’s being run out by the .01%. It’s all I can do.

  2. #2 by Ronald D. Hunt on June 17, 2012 - 6:30 pm

    The top marginal rate needs to go up to around 45%-55%, capital gains(and by extension carrier interest) needs to be taxed as income. Closing foreign profit deferment loopholes, adding a money transfer tax to dollars taken out of the country.

    A market transaction tax needs to be implemented, 0.025% give or take.

    Redirection of defense spending to domestic purposes(infrastructure, grid modernization, expanded green energy, nuclear(both fission and Fusion), fiber to ever home, electric vehicle grid, transcontinental HSR, etc).

    No more cuts, redirection of spending from one place to another to get a better domestic allocation great, but no more cuts!

    Don’t close down defense contractors convert them to domestic contracts building things to use here.

    Railcars, Rail lines, Bridge parts, HVDC/Super conducting power lines, electric charging stations, etc. Instead of planes and tanks and guns.

    re-examine base locations given improvements in Aircraft range to have fewer world wide bases while maintaining first strike capability.

  3. #3 by brewski on June 17, 2012 - 6:48 pm

    Hahahahahaha!

    I’ve seen how that works out. It’s called Greece.

  4. #4 by Ronald D. Hunt on June 17, 2012 - 7:19 pm

    Greece didn’t do anything I talked about!

    Greeces problem was and continues to be that they don’t control their own currency and are over exposed to the wall street gambling parlors through what remains of their pension funds.

    They lose over 6% of their GDP last year, they are on track to lose more then 8% of their GDP this year, on top of the 12 to 14% of their GDP lose in 2007-2008.

    Greece WAS a solvable problem but conservative economics prevented a real solution from ever being brought about.

    The problems in Europe are wide spread enough that the Euro should have been devalued, and the Central bank should have recapitalized the European banks without such an idiotic fight(This SHOULD be the responsibility of the Central bank no that of individual governments).

    If anyone was actually serious about solving their problems over their they would be negotiating a Euro bond system to interest rates below 7%(around 3% or less would be best), So they governments could reduce their GDP spent on interest each year and move towards real recovery.

  5. #5 by brewski on June 17, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    RDH,
    Your credibility is so low. Greece was running gigantic annual operating deficits long before there were any of your mythical losses from Wall Street. You are just making that shit up.

    Greece’s problem is not being in the Euro. Their problem is that they run huge deficits year after year and can’t devalue their way out of it. Not being able to devalue your way out of your deficits is not the primary problem. That is like saying not having a saw to cut your arm off when you have gangrene is the problem. When having gangrene in the first place is the problem.

    All of your “suggestions” would be suicide. My favorite one is the capital restrictions. Capital restrictions are the stuff of Zimbabwe and other desperate countries where capital is fleeing the country for a reason. So you want more reasons for capital to flee the US and then infringe on people’s liberty from doing so. Nice suggestion Chairman Mao. What next, re-education camps?

  6. #6 by brewski on June 17, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    Richard,
    Your chart is pretty funny. What is shows is that most people don’t really know where money comes from to pay for various programs. The top 2 items are pretty much entirely paid for at the state and local level. So more Federal spending on education and public schools is like saying we should have more Federal spending on trash collection and dog catching.

  7. #7 by cav on June 17, 2012 - 7:59 pm

    The Greeks have nothing to teach anyone. Nothing. Greece is also one of the convenient receptacles for the bundled toxics that have been accumulating for the past several years. And for that there needs to be punishment of the sadistic austerity variety.

    And, yes, I just made that up.

  8. #8 by brewski on June 17, 2012 - 8:22 pm

    ” it is important to point out that education in America is primarily a State and local responsibility, and ED’s budget is only a small part of … total national education spending”
    US Department of Education

  9. #9 by Ronald D. Hunt on June 17, 2012 - 9:48 pm

    “Your credibility is so low. Greece was running gigantic annual operating deficits long before there were any of your mythical losses from Wall Street. You are just making that shit up.”

    Their deficit was 3.83% in 2001, entry into the Euro slowly pushed there deficit upwards from that point. This is barely above the inflation rate and would have been manageable to get back down.

    Loses to their pension funds started in 2005, which further made worse the situation.

    Europe much like us have a problem of these corporations and wealthy people using games to avoid paying taxes in the place where they made their money.

    Barriers to moving value around to hide income from the tax man have got to end. We will NEVER get our economic house in order otherwise.

    The Euro is a bold example of bad thinking gone worse. The idea of many different banking systems being held to the same currency which each having its own economic zone with its own separate and noncontiguous ups and downs is stupidity on a grand scale.

    The central bank simply can’t deal with each banking zone separately without favoritism, or meaningfully have a wide economic policy to control the currency given the wide range of regulatory regimes across the the EU member states.

    If one area blows out that central bank can’t simply just recapitalize that banking zone and provide specific rates to just that zone, The EU central bank has to make policy for the EU as a whole and given the disjointed environment that is, It simply is not possible.

    The failure of Greece is the failure of the model under which the Euro operates nothing more.

    The Central bank couldn’t recapitalize the Greek banks at the time when they needed it because the economic consequenses to the rest of Europe from the much lower rates required todo that would have had a negative effect else where greater then the positive in that one place.

    The Non-Euro EU members are preparing large recapitalization packages for their banks as we speak, UK is using around $164 billion pounds for this.

    Really what the Failure of Greece tells is that a common currency requires a common banking system.

    If Europe wasn’t ready for that step of creating a common banking system they should have never made the step of a common currency.

  10. #10 by cav on June 17, 2012 - 10:03 pm

    George Papandreou warns of ‘make or break’ moment for eurozone

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18476324

  11. #11 by brewski on June 17, 2012 - 10:21 pm

    “Their deficit was 3.83% in 2001″

    You make me laugh. Tell me you are kidding. Please. Please try to do some homework before embarrassing yourself with your ignorance.

    2004 December – European Commission issues formal warning after Greece found to have falsified budget deficit data in run-up to joining eurozone.

    “Really what the Failure of Greece tells is that a common currency requires a common banking system.”

    No. What the failure of Greece tells us is that a common currency requires a common government fiscal authority.

    You are good at getting things half right and half wrong. But 50% is an F.

  12. #12 by Ronald D. Hunt on June 17, 2012 - 10:44 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Greece

    “An error very frequently made in press reports is the confusion of the discussion regarding Greece’s Eurozone entry with the controversy regarding usage of derivatives’ deals with U.S. Banks by Greece and other Eurozone countries to artificially reduce their reported budget deficits. A currency swap arranged with Goldman Sachs allowed Greece to “hide” $1 billion of debt, however, this affected deficit values after 2001 (when Greece had already been admitted into the Eurozone) and is not related to Greece’s Eurozone entry.”

    Yet again conspiracy nonsense.

    “Greece’s corporate tax has dropped from 40% in 2000 to 20% in 2010. For 2011 only, corporate tax will be at 24%. Value added tax (VAT) has gone up in 2010 compared to 2009: 23% as opposed to 19%.”

    We can see part of the problem right their. Cut the tax rates and watch the deficit go up. They are suffering from the same supply side bs we are.

    And further…

    “Greece suffers from very high levels of tax evasion. In the last quarter of 2005, tax evasion reached 49%, while in January 2006 it fell to 41.6%.The Tax Justice Network has said that there are over €20 billion in Swiss bank accounts held by Greeks. The current Finance Minister of Greece, Evangelos Venizelos, was quoted as saying “Around 15,000 individuals and companies owe the taxman 37 billion euros”. Additionally, the TJN puts the number of Greek-owned off-shore companies to over 10,000.”

    We can see that lowering their taxes did not lead to a decrease in tax evasion!!! What a shocker!!!

  13. #13 by Richard Warnick on June 17, 2012 - 11:45 pm

    Greece? Really, just another victim of Goldman Sachs.

    Greece Scammed By Goldman While Trying To Meet EU Financial Terms

    All of which has nothing to do with the fact that it’s easy to reduce the federal deficit. Simply let the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts For The Rich expire at the end of the year.

  14. #14 by cav on June 18, 2012 - 8:44 am

    Very illuminating article Richard. Thanks

  15. #15 by cav on June 18, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Romney family’s dressage horse-related tax deductions last year exceeded median U.S. household income

    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2012/06/16/romney-familys-dressage-horse-related-tax-deductions-last-year-exceeded-median-u-s-household-income/

  16. #16 by brewski on June 18, 2012 - 11:15 am

    So Greece actively lied to the EU about its deficit and used GS to help it hide its lie. In the process Greece got scammed by GS. Bad karma I guess. Nevertheless, that does not change the fact that Greece had a much larger deficit than reported. Their government was going out of its way to hide its structural deficits.

  17. #17 by cav on June 18, 2012 - 1:06 pm

    No, no, The government and the banksters only hedged their bets, hiding massive amounts of arcane banking products and their toxicity in retirement accounts real estate and the like, all the time copping gargantuan bonuses and then blame individuals, the masses, the 99%, for not avoiding it. Finally, conjuring up punishing austerity mechanisms as icing on the cake. The ROI WILL be recouped!

    Anything more would be SOCIALISM!

  18. #18 by cav on June 18, 2012 - 1:09 pm

    Social(mac)ism sans (mac) has again triggered the bullshit moderation mechanism that Cliff should be ashamed of!

    TIA

  19. #19 by brewski on June 18, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    Cliff, Glenden and RDH are all censors at heart.

  20. #20 by cav on June 18, 2012 - 2:31 pm

    No, no, The government and the banksters only hedged their bets, hiding massive amounts of arcane banking products and their toxicity in retirement accounts real estate and the like, all the time copping gargantuan bonuses and then blame individuals, the masses, the 99%, for not avoiding it. Finally, conjuring up punishing austerity mechanisms as icing on the cake. The ROI WILL be recouped!

    Anything more would be SOCIAL(mac)ISM

    Fixed it m’own self. How absurd.

  21. #21 by brewski on June 18, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    From Richard’s link:
    “There are a few qualifiers that come in to play on this issue. Americans will always support tax increases as long as they are on someone else.”

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