Corporations Have Stopped Paying Their Taxes

Tax time is coming in less than a month. Unless you’re with the 1 Percent, it will cost you. Paul Buchheit on AlterNet:

Corporations have simply stopped paying their taxes, perhaps using the 2008 recession as an excuse to plead hardship, but then never restoring their tax obligations when business got better. The facts are indisputable. For over 20 years, from 1987 to 2008, corporations paid an average of 22.5% in federal taxes. Since the recession, this has dropped to 10% — even though their profits have doubled in less than ten years.

Verizon paid $0We’re in “a golden age for corporate profits,” according to the New York Times. But not a golden age of job creation. In fact, some of the biggest and most profitable corporations are dodging taxes while cutting jobs. The list includes: General Electric, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, Kraft Foods, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, IBM, Chevron, FedEx, Honeywell, Apple, Pfizer, Google, and Microsoft.

More info:
N.J. taxpayers protest corporate ‘dodgers’

UPDATE: Corporations Pay Historically Low Tax Rates While Lobbying To Make Them Even Lower

  1. #1 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 9:09 am

    We’ve been over this before:
    1. in 2009 President Obama passed ARRA. This bill included many tax breaks most notably the 100% depreciation of equipment.
    2. In the time period mentioned above is all post financial crisis. These companies experience losses in their US based financing arms (ever heard of GE Capital?). You don’t pay taxes on losses.
    3. The rest of the world has restructured their corporate tax codes but not the US. In 1990 there were 14 countries with corporate tax rates higher than the US. Today there are none. So if Canada has a tax rate of 15% and the US has a tax rate of 35%, an international company can easily shift income to Canada and out of the US and pay taxes in Canada at a lower rate.

    Get it now?

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 9:20 am

    The problem is enormously profitable corporations dodging taxes, hoarding cash, and eliminating jobs.

  3. #3 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 9:33 am

    All of these companies have IRS offices permanently established inside their corporate accounting departments. All of these companies are audited continuously all year every year. They are complying with the law as Congress wrote it and as Obama passed it. Yes, they are hoarding cash because that is what the law encourages them to do. Yes it drives jobs to Canada because that is what the law encourages them to do.

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    They are complying with the law as Congress corporate lobbyists wrote it…

    Fixed it.

  5. #5 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    Says the man against tax reform.

  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 1:20 pm

    How many times do I have to say tax reform is good, but it can’t be an excuse for lowering rates? Revenue-neutral tax reform does no good.

    • #7 by Bob S. on March 20, 2013 - 1:39 pm

      So you are interested in other people paying more of their money while you pay the same or less?

      You don’t think you should lower your standard of living to help out people but the people who derive income from corporations — through investments, 401(k), pension plans etc such as retirees should have to lower there income?

      Does that correctly capture your hypocritical thought process?

  7. #8 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 1:49 pm

    How about tax reform which increases revenues and lowers rates?

    Canada collects more with 15% than we do with 35%. Or are you going to go Sarah Palin on me again?

  8. #9 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    Source: National Priorities Project

    So here’s the problem. Corporations are contributing less and less revenue to the federal government. Can you get us back to 25% (just to pick a number). Basically triple what they paid in 2011?

  9. #10 by Bob S. on March 20, 2013 - 2:28 pm


    Do corporations get a tax break for buying city, county and state tax bonds?

    Should they?

    Do corporations get a tax break for investing in housing for people with low income?

    Should they?

    How about tax breaks for researching and developing new products or services? Like Medicines?

    Should they?

    Or maybe corporations get a tax break on investing in bonds that go toward construction of hospitals.

    See the problem isn’t the corporations; the problem is the government and people like you.

    You want your pet projects — free/low cost medical, insurance, low/free housing, etc — paid for by corporations…so they invest in those projects to off set their taxes.

    And then you complain they aren’t paying enough.

    How many times have you invested in building houses for people with low income?
    How many times have you invested in a hospital? Or research?

    Have you done anything other then whine how the other guy doesn’t pay enough while you maintain your standard of living?

  10. #11 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 3:16 pm

    Analytically your chart makes no sense and your question makes no sense. You are looking at this ratio of corporate income taxes divided by total Federal taxes. So in your ratio, if corporate income taxes go up by 10%, but fuel taxes go up by 20%, then with your graph the ratio of corporate taxes to total taxes would go down, even though they are paying more.

    You first need to start off with meaningful measures and go from there. Get back to me when you figure it out.

    You also need to realize that corporations are all owned one way or another by someone else. The someone else is usually a state employee pension plan, or someone’s 401K plan, or an insurance company who uses it to pay someone’s life insurance benefits. So every dollar of tax that is paid by a corporation is really paid for by state employee pension plans, your 401k plan, or some widow’s life insurance benefit. Get back to me when you figure that out too.

  11. #12 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 3:38 pm

    Bob S.–

    Could corporations rake in their record profits without the services provided by federal, state, and local governments? The question answers itself. They take full advantage of government, then refuse to pay their fair share.

    I think you’re buying into Big Pharma’s propaganda. The federal government funds 1/3 of biomedical research.

    • #13 by Bob S. on March 21, 2013 - 6:10 am


      What hogwash that they don’t pay their fair share.

      Every time a truck fills up, it pays taxes. Every time a company purchases a piece of land, it pays taxes.
      Corporations contribute through payroll taxes, unemployment insurance and ten thousands of ways.

      You are a hypocrite if you complain about the corporations and have taken a single legal deduction on your taxes.

  12. #14 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 3:50 pm


    I’m sure you know that while upper-income people are invested in the stock market, around 46 percent of Americans don’t trust Wall Street and don’t own stocks or mutual funds.

    I recall CNBC’s Joe Kernen saying that everybody ought to stop complaining about high gas prices and invest in oil company stock. It’s the “let ’em eat cake” argument updated.

    I pay more money to Verizon every month than they pay in taxes in a year.

  13. #15 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    You are only referring to direct investors in the stock market. Would you call little old retired school teachers who are beneficiaries of CalSTRS to be these bad upper income people to which you refer? Anyone who has a simple burial life insurance policy? Your ignorance is infinite.

  14. #16 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 4:26 pm

    You assume that corporations are generous with dividends. They’re not. The nation’s leading companies are simply hoarding cash.

    The 2012 Dividend Sinners: 20 Companies That Don’t Pay Dividends But Should

  15. #17 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    Verizon does not make a profit in the US, so that is why they don’t pay income taxes in the US.

  16. #18 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 4:30 pm

    Funny, because they sure send their monthly bills to the U.S. 🙁

  17. #19 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 4:32 pm

    No I don’t assume that. I know for a fact they are not. That has nothing to do with anything though. Cash owned by corporations not distributed to shareholders are still owned by the shareholders. The shareholders still own the company and everything the company has, including its cash. Many shareholders don’t want dividends as they would rather the company keep it. Many shareholders prefer the company not pay dividends since paying a dividend triggers another tax liability. Either way, the company is owned by the shareholders.

  18. #20 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 4:34 pm

    • #21 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 6:25 pm

      Could be creative accounting. Their revenues are up 8.5 percent, but they are claiming a paper loss.

  19. #22 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    Current retirement plan ownership is 26 percent of all U.S. stocks.

    When we include other institutional owners such as insurance companies and endowment funds, institutional investors as a group now own some $9.3 trillion of U.S. stocks, or 66 percent of the total.

    Individual owners now constitute just 34 percent of the total.

    • #23 by Richard Warnick on March 20, 2013 - 6:27 pm

      I suppose now is the time to cue Willard’s speech. “Corporations are people, my friend.”

  20. #24 by brewski on March 20, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    Only you Authoritarians let your Glorious Leaders speak for you. I let the data speak for me.

  21. #25 by cav on March 21, 2013 - 9:59 am

    I’m not sure I like ‘nested’ comments, but given that’s an option, maybe somebody can explain how it is done. TIA.

    • #26 by Bob S. on March 21, 2013 - 11:03 am

      Hold your cursor over the top right hand corner of a comment and two pop up boxes appear “Reply” and “Quote”

      Reply nests from what I’ve seen and Quote starts a new comment.

  22. #27 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Of course, Richard the Editor ignored the next sentence Romney said:

    ““Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people.”

    I’m sure that was an accident.

    • #28 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 12:31 pm

      That’s the point you were making. Of course, it would be more accurate to say, “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to RICH people.”

  23. #29 by Cliff Lyon on March 21, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Brew, He ignored it because that statement is just as stupid as the statement he was defending.

    Corporations are not people. Can name few reasons Brewski?

  24. #30 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 10:36 am

    He was stating a fact in a fairly inarticulate way. The point remains that corporations are all ultimately owned by people either directly, or through pension funds, etc.

    Are you saying that your corporations are not owned by you and other people?

    How stupid can you be?

    If you are making another point that corporations are not protected by the constitution, then I am sure you can take that up with the ACLU, Incorporated. That might be news to them.

  25. #31 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 12:36 pm

    I understood the point Romney wanted to make. Same point you were making. It’s like saying “the government is all of us” except substituting the word “corporations.”

    But it’s not true. I have some stocks and mutual funds, but I don’t feel like an owner. Same as Bush’s so-called “ownership society.” More like the corporations own us.

  26. #32 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    ” I have some stocks and mutual funds,”

    Whether or not you feel like an owner does not change the fact that any money taken away from those corporations will be reflected in lower values of your holdings.

    It’s arithmetic.

    I do agree that corporate governance should be completely overhauled. For public companies, executives and officers should not be on the Board. The Board’s job is to oversee the officers so there is a conflict of interest for the officers to be on the Board. The Board should hire, fire, based on what is in the best interest of the shareholders and not to enrich the executives. Board members should also be nominated and elected by shareholders, not by the Board itself or the officers. This would go a long way with the issues of compensation and other excesses that take money away from shareholders to enrich the executives.

  27. #33 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    Robert Reich:

    We are the richest nation in the history of the world — richer now than we’ve ever been. But an increasing share of that wealth is held by a smaller and smaller share of the population, who have, in effect, bribed legislators to reduce their taxes and provide loopholes so they pay even less.

  28. #34 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 1:09 pm

    And you want to give more power to these people? Explain that. Explain to me how giving more power to the corrupt and the corruptible will make things any better. You are complaining that the government has been bought by the corporations so let’s give the government more power over our lives. You make no sense.

    • #35 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 5:31 pm

      When did I say I wanted the government to have more power? I want to stop them from cutting our earned benefit programs to avoid taxing the rich.

  29. #36 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    “our democracy is in terrible shape. How soon until big industries and their Washington lobbyists have become so politically powerful that secret White House-industry deals like this are prerequisites to any important legislation? When will it become standard practice that such deals come with hundreds of millions of dollars of industry-sponsored TV advertising designed to persuade the public that the legislation is in the public’s interest? (Any Democrats and progressives who might be reading this should ask themselves how they’ll feel when a Republican White House cuts such deals to advance its own legislative priorities.)

    We’re on a precarious road — and wherever it leads, it’s not toward democracy.”

    Robert Reich

  30. #37 by cav on March 21, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    I think is funny that we’re talking about giving more power to any one. As it’s set up now, ALL of the power lies elsewhere. In fact, the most depressing realization I’ve had during this week of bogus anniversary flagellation is that absolutely nothing has changed.

    If the monsters that rule us decide they want to knick another gazillion $ or gin up another war for whatever reason, there is absolutely nothing any of us can do to stop them.

    If anything, we are even MORE powerless than we were in 1970.

    • #38 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 5:36 pm

      I hate to agree with this, but you might be right. The Bush administration proved that our government can pursue extremely unpopular (even illegal) policies on behalf of the 1 Percent, and get away with it. The Dems talked about impeachment, but it turned out to be nothing but talk. Now we have a Democratic administration also unafraid to abuse power to serve the 1 Percent.

  31. #39 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    A less powerful government would mean there would be less power to be bought. So a less powerful government would also mean less powerful corporations who own it.

  32. #40 by cav on March 21, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    Perhaps the real debate ought to be just how the power extracted from those whose ‘consent’ is required, those, on whose behalf the entire govt is supposedly contrived, is actually utilized.

    I dare say there;d be little regard for the profits of Halliburton.

  33. #41 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 2:42 pm

    The power gets extracted every time the needs of the people in government is placed above the needs of those who pay for it. Every time a teachers’ union puts teachers’ job security over the needs of children, every time the pension plan of postal workers is put ahead of postal customers, every time the defense contractors are protected ahead of taxpayers.

  34. #42 by cav on March 21, 2013 - 5:14 pm

    Well let’s cherry-pick teacher and postal union workers, and say nothing of the bank bailouts (qualitative easing), and overpriced ‘contractors’ doing what our soldiers could be doing – even if THAT weren’t immoral, illegal and unwise.

  35. #43 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    I already said the banks should have gone into receivership.

    If you are a parent, and your kid has an ineffective teacher, and he or she can’t be let go short of being caught on video molesting a student, then the teacher example issue is a pretty tangible and personal. Also, at the state level, it is public employee pensions, and their ability to be games and manipulated, is what is killing state budgets.

  36. #44 by cav on March 21, 2013 - 6:45 pm

    So you did.

    My crankiness has bridged into the springtime, even against my best wishes.

  37. #45 by Richard Warnick on March 21, 2013 - 9:27 pm


    The teaching profession is under a sustained assault by the right-wing. From 2009 to 2011, the country lost 220,000 teaching jobs. Teachers who kept their jobs saw pay cuts and larger class sizes. Schools are hiring again, but they are rejecting veteran teachers in favor of recent college grads with no experience (and lower salaries).

    Let’s face it, the elite have never liked public education. They want to eliminate it if possible, and they certainly won’t raise taxes on the rich or corporations to pay for it!

  38. #46 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    I and all my siblings are all 100% products of California public education from K through Bachelors degrees. My mother taught in California public schools for 30 years. So there I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for good teachers. But not all teachers are good. Some teachers aren’t. Some people become teachers for reasons other than that they love to teach or are good at teaching. There is no reason to treat these people with protection as though they are different than anyone else who isn’t good at their jobs. Also, the pension formulas are out of whack and allow some people to retire long before the rest of us consider normal retirement age. They have another 30 years to live and they can make more from their pensions than they did working. The formulas allow game playing with a practice known as pension spiking which the unions protect the right to game play. Your sermon on assault on the profession has no merit and is just another blah blah blah from someone who doesn’t get arithmetic and doesn’t have a kid stuck with a teacher who should be doing something else. Nothing you said is true and certainly none of it was convincing.


  39. #47 by brewski on March 21, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    How do you like those annual pension amounts, for as long as you live…. take those numbers times and number of years you will live times the number of retirees and you will find out why California is a basket case.

    There is no assault on teachers. You just don’t understand arithmetic.

  40. #48 by Richard Warnick on March 22, 2013 - 8:49 am

    California is a basket case because of Proposition 13.

  41. #49 by brewski on March 22, 2013 - 8:57 am

    Yeah, that must be it. Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with public employees getting millions in retirement.

  42. #50 by brewski on March 22, 2013 - 9:15 am

    By the way, what is your alternative to Proposition 13? If someone bought a house in parts of LA in 1960 for $20,000 that house could now be worth close to $2 million. Should these elderly residents have to sell their houses and move out of state just to pay property taxes?

  43. #51 by cav on March 22, 2013 - 9:18 am

    ‘…the banks should have gone into receivership.”

    But, they did not.

    Instead of busting unions outright, they might have been tweeked. Then, as for all of the really hideous and costly rips of tax-payer money, including economic support for our idiot congress, where is the sacrifice? There ain’t none.

    Reality is often complicated, sometimes even subtle. Many (most?) people don’t want to have to deal with that.

  44. #52 by brewski on March 22, 2013 - 9:26 am

    They tried to tweak things in California and the Guidos said fuck you.

  45. #53 by cav on March 22, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    Not familiar with these ‘Guidos’ of which you write. Could you flesh that term out just a little?

  46. #54 by Richard Warnick on March 22, 2013 - 12:18 pm


    “Guido” is a “Jersey Shore” reference. If anyone else used it, brewski would say it was an ethnic slur.

  47. #55 by brewski on March 22, 2013 - 12:50 pm

    I’ve never seen Jersey Shore, but I did live in Joisey and heard people in Joisey use it often. Even Italian Joisey-ites would use it to describe other Italian Joisey-its. Yes it is an ethnic slur, used tongue in cheek in this case. But Richard said he doesn’t like all old white people, and he wasn’t kidding.

  48. #56 by Richard Warnick on March 22, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    That doesn’t make sense. I’m 60 and Caucasian.

  49. #57 by cav on March 22, 2013 - 5:05 pm

    Me? I’m both racist and ageist – always on the look-out for a new slur.

  50. #58 by brewski on March 22, 2013 - 6:29 pm

    Of course it didn’t make sense. You said it.

  51. #59 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 9:35 am

    Another day, another mind-blowing fact about the staggering difference between the haves and the have-nots.

    Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average between 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation), according to an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston for Tax Analysts. During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071, Johnston found.

  52. #60 by Bob S. on March 26, 2013 - 10:15 am


    So when are you going to start giving away some of your money to close that income inequality?

    Won’t ask when are you going to protest the government’s deliberate inflationary policy — whole ‘nother subject.

    But you constantly whine about ‘the haves’ when you are well above the poverty line (didn’t you say about 30K?) — you could give 25% of your money away and still be above poverty line.

    Wouldn’t $7,500 a year make a difference in someone’s life?

  53. #61 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 10:43 am

    Bob S.–

    Why don’t you ask me to bring about world peace too, as part of my new career as a do-gooder at large?

    I suppose it’s nice of you to have so much confidence in someone you’ve never met. I too tend to assume good things about people until proven otherwise.

    But I don’t have the resources to do anything about income inequality. That’s what makes me one of the 99 Percent.

    • #62 by Bob S. on March 26, 2013 - 10:49 am


      Nice strawman argument. I’m not asking you to affect the entire world. Just one or two people.

      Are you saying that helping one person is beyond your ability?

      • #63 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 11:25 am

        Anyone who works for a living knows money doesn’t grow on trees, as my parents used to tell me. I give what I can afford to charity and non-profit organizations.

        Members of the 1 Percent and big corporations can afford far more, and yet nothing is being asked of them. Instead, politicians are trying to give them even more tax breaks while cutting earned benefits for the middle class.

        • #64 by Bob S. on March 26, 2013 - 2:16 pm



          What a LIE.

          They pay the majority of taxes. They provide BILLIONS in charity.

          I ask you to give a couple thousand and you won’t. YOU don’t want to ‘lower your standard of living”.

          • #65 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 3:23 pm

            Washington politicians have put the rich and corporations on a virtual tax holiday, while raising taxes on the middle class. Meanwhile, our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling while 12 million Americans remain unemployed.

            You think charity is going to turn the economy around? 🙁

            I mean the REAL economy. Not the financial sector.

  54. #66 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 11:22 am

    Bob S,
    Richard is the classic liberal hypocrite. He wants other people to give, just not him. He wants other people to lower their carbon footprint, just not him. He wants other people to make a sacrifice, just not him.

    From what I have been able to discern, Richard had some kind of emotional breakdown a few years ago and as part of that breakdown he has thrown his emotions behind Marxism.

    On this site he has specifically praised Marx and the Communist Manifesto which, among other things, advocates:
    1. Abolition of property in land
    2. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State
    3. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport
    4.Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State

    I asked him when he was going to give his house and car to the State and he then denied ever saying he supported Marxism, right after he said he did. So he also seems to be suffering from amnesia, dementia, and hallucinations.

    • #67 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 11:29 am

      I do my part. If everyone else did as well, then America would be a better country. How is that hypocrisy?

      Anyway, you guys have obviously run out of logical arguments regarding policy. Ad hominem is all you have left, apparently.

  55. #68 by cav on March 26, 2013 - 11:58 am

    Once again brewski hauls his ad homs out – smack dab in the middle of a situation where there’s more than plenty of that hypocrisy flack to drown him in. Who could imagine?

    Marx, Engles, had way more going on that do the idiots we’ve too often chosen (or settled with anyway) as our representatives.

  56. #69 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    Explain to me how praising Marx and then lying about it later is doing your part?

    How am I a hypocrite?

    • #70 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 12:06 pm

      Your premise presupposes that what you say about me is correct. But it’s not. In fact, it never is.

  57. #71 by cav on March 26, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    Bob S is pestering Richard about the slice of his ‘wealth’ he’s given to the less fortunate still. I’m only supposing your voluntary wealth redistribution in the mode Bob suggests is greater still, or you’d have no room to talk. Right?

    • #72 by Bob S. on March 26, 2013 - 2:20 pm

      Nope Cav,

      I give but not to the extent I’m asking Richard. Because I’m not the one pushing income redistribution.

      I’m just asking Richard to live the values he wants to vote everyone else into supporting.

      HE could voluntarily give more – he choices to not to.

      He could help one person — he choices not to.

      In the mean time he castigates people paying the majority of the taxes, providing millions if not billions in charity as not doing their fair share.

      I give to charity. I ask others to examine their values and do what they can to support it.

      I don’t want to vote money out of Richard’s pocket or anyone else. That is a choice they should make.

      Richard selfishly chooses not to live the values he espouses.

  58. #73 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on March 26, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Well, you are wrong about all the time, that much comes through Richard.

    Sort of a Curly to the truth of Moe are you..

  59. #74 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    How am I a hypocrite? Tell me.

    • #75 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 1:32 pm

      You called me a hypocrite. I don’t do name-calling. You’re just wrong.

  60. #76 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    You told me you would rather drive to and fro Price rather than take the train since that is too inconvenient for you. That is the point. It is too inconvenient for you, but yet you jump up and down and scream that others, not you, need to change to save the planet. Identifying you as a hypocrite is not name-calling, it is not ad hominem. It is Truth.

    • #77 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 5:14 pm

      Here’s an idea. Let’s make it convenient through enlightened government policy for everyone to help maintain an inhabitable Planet Earth.

      Your theory that individuals acting alone can do everything is part and parcel with the right-wing YOYO society – “you’re on your own.”

  61. #78 by cav on March 26, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    I’d rather be 6′ tall and live on a ranch. That I’m not, makes me a hypocrite.

    Be that as it may, as the wealth accumulates to a smaller number of hideously selfish folks, who have little problem circumventing support of the infrastructure that enabled their positions, those below are shoved lower and lower. The middle has crowded the lower, the admin class now crowds the middle. Only the top, tiny cluster are doing better – and HOW!

    So, it’s not just Richard who see the problem here. And calling him out for hypocrisy is a diversion from the real problem of money accumulating only to those ‘Blessed’ souls who’ve made it their pursuit to grab it ALL – and how we might be addressing that!

    I get that Bob is suggesting it start in the heart of each individual, using Richard as the foil, but, somewhere regulation and laws need to be re-done, that this can be corrected – without going so far as to bedevil and demonize those who find themselves on the short end of the stick – or perhaps even those who’ve succumbed to that greed thing.

    It’s just gonna take a slew of courageous lawmakers. I ain’t holding my breath.

    • #79 by Bob S. on March 27, 2013 - 6:23 am


      Given the government is continuing to print money, it is easy to point out the fallacy in your argument.

      Wealth isn’t a ‘zero sum game’. I can get wealthy, you can get wealthy, everyone can get wealthy and no one has to get poorer in return.

      I agree there are problems with the government and corporations/rich people interaction but Richard consistently misses what Brewski says.
      There is an easy way to reduce the opportunities for the corporations/rich to take advantage of the system.

      Reform the tax code.
      Remove the incentives that companies and people use to game the system. Richard complains that the rich aren’t doing enough, not paying enough.
      But they give more money as a raw number and a percentage to charities then he and those like him do.

      That reduces their tax liability because the system rewards those who give charitably.
      Remove the incentives for investments in green energy; solar, renewable, etc — people invest in those and get rewarded with lower taxes because the people like Richard push for those investments.

      Make a flat tax — everyone pays 10,12.15, 30 percent — I don’t care what the number is but everyone pays the same percentage. NO deductions, no breaks, nothing.

      Then the influence of corporations and rich people are greatly reduced.

      Thanks for getting the point I’m trying to make with Richard but it goes beyond that.

      It goes to the entire attitude of voting away other people’s money/rights.
      It goes to the basics — how should we, as a country, help others.

      Richard thinks he is being compassionate because he cares about the poor (per his definition) and tries to make others do what he thinks they should instead of living the principles he espouses.

      Using the guns of the government to feed the poor isn’t compassion, it is tyranny.

      Using the guns of the government to make banks give loans to those who are unlikely to pay them back isn’t compassion; it is tyranny.

      Richard wants to be a compassionate tyrant — using the votes of those who think like him to reshape the country in his image. He could be like Gandhi instead — leading the way by his example.

      He chooses not to do that.

      And that makes him a hypocrite.

  62. #80 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 6:07 pm

    There is a reason why cars are popular, why driving is popular and why Richard prefers to drive to and fro Price. It is because cars and driving is convenient, flexible and relatively cheap. In Europe they tax gas to make it $9/gallon and they live in much more dense cities and towns and the distances they travel are much less. I have yet to hear any liberal American leader advocate $9/gallon gas. Public transportation is popular in the East Coast, Bay Area, SLC, etc. There is no way it makes any sense to defy the laws of space and time to make public transportation work in most of the US outside of the highly concentrated pockets. Another part of the trade-off is one of lifestyle to abandon the single family home. Few places (Portland) have taken this concept on.

    Your analogy is a poor one about being 6 feet tall and living on a ranch. I trust you know that is self evident.

    • #81 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2013 - 9:05 pm

      I’d really prefer to live near my work. But there is a job shortage and Bush made the value of my house go down 40 percent, so I’m stuck with driving.

  63. #82 by cav on March 26, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    I don’t wish to argue about what is self evident.

  64. #84 by brewski on March 26, 2013 - 11:11 pm

    I don’t wish to argue about piss poor analogies.

    Bush didn’t make the value of your house go down 40%. Greenspan made your house go up by 40% and then back down to where it was before. That’s how bubbles work. They go up, then they go down. Greenspan had a lot to do with it. Bush had pretty much nothing to do with it. Besides, Barney Frank thinks you need to “roll the dice” a little more. Go talk to him about how that works out.

    • #85 by Bob S. on March 27, 2013 - 6:25 am

      And don’t forget the deliberate inflationary policy of the Fed — supported by every administration — of pumping fiat currency into the system.

      Inflation is a slower and more subtle way of doing what is happening in Cyprus.

    • #86 by Richard Warnick on March 27, 2013 - 8:53 am

      So-called “Ownership Society.” First administration to have net job losses since Herbert Hoover. Nonfeasance of financial sector watchdogs. Bush’s Great Recession. Bailout for Wall Street and not Main Street.

      Everybody knows that Bush decimated the economy, and when Republicans call it the “Obama Economy” we just laugh. The rate of inflation is 2 percent. If you’re worried about inflation, Glenn Beck has some gold to sell you!

  65. #87 by brewski on March 27, 2013 - 9:26 am

    “Everybody knows” translates to mean “Richard’s feelings”.

  66. #89 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on March 27, 2013 - 9:27 am

    Why would they pay “taxes”? They own the government right down to the moron you all elected as president, check that, moron fascist killer.

    Now we have other morons unaware of their disability making excuses for their elected moron, and blaming the entities that arranged the sham with the elected morons help.

    Yes! It IS a nation of morons, being led by morons, who also happen to be the life support system for “terror” both actively now in Syria, and in more subtle way in following their dear leader so much, they are free of any perception of the domestic terror the asshole precipitates.

    Stick a fork in our ass, we’re done, and Richard? You are a greasy baked piece of burnt meat lying at the bottom of the broiler.. Geezus already, how many more of the Bill of Rights doi we have to lose under this usurper before progressives wake up, that their ideology is DEAD, and it’s unburied corpse in stinkin’ up the place..

  67. #90 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on March 27, 2013 - 10:00 am

    After 13 years of unmitigated lies and deception, you would fling some dumbass poll on us?

    Get real, look out your window and visit with people, and quit hanging out with the progressive morons that you hang with, maybe you will get a clue.

    • #91 by Richard Warnick on March 27, 2013 - 10:10 am

      Ah, so you want to “unskew” the polls? How did that work for Romney?

  68. #92 by cav on March 27, 2013 - 10:14 am

    ‘Piss Poor’ = the ultimate outcome of trickle down economics.

  69. #93 by Bob S. on March 27, 2013 - 10:17 am


    Inflation numbers have been deliberately manipulated like so many other government statistics (can any one say “unemployment”?)

    Keith Fitz-Gerald: Short version? The CPI is a joke. Every American knows that in reality it’s far higher than that based on what they feel in their wallets every day. Even my 8-year-old son, Kazuhiko, was asking me yesterday why the Lego set he’s been saving for is now $33 instead of the $22 he initially spotted a few months ago.

    My research suggests inflation is really running between 9% and 12%, which is more commensurate with what we all feel in our wallets every day. As for whether or not inflation has actually peaked, that’s a tough call best left to those who deal in “official” numbers – and believe me when I tell you that I’m saying that with all the sarcasm I can muster.

    The government has changed how the Consumer Price Index is calculated – never mind leaving out some of the most basic necessities (food, gas) that are going up — to something that includes ‘substitution’

    But the Boskin critics note several reasonable exceptions to those biases. The Boskin Commission suggests that when customers substitute one good for another, the CPI should treat those goods equally. If Dana orders a hanger steak instead of his beloved filet mignon because the hanger steak is cheaper, Boskin argues that the hanger steak prices should be compared with previous filet mignon prices. It’s all beef, right? But critics of the Boskin report point to areas where substitution is so price-driven that consumers are pushed out of the category altogether. What happens when the consumer gives up steak entirely and switches to chicken? (Or to use a scarier example, goes from some health insurance to no health insurance?)

    That deliberately and knowingly under reports the rate of inflation.

    And this isn’t a new problem either…that last link is from 2008.

    So you can keep simply regurgitating what the media tells you but the truth is that inflation has increased.

    • #94 by cav on March 27, 2013 - 11:55 am

      Bob S.

      “Hold your cursor over the top right hand corner of a comment and two pop up boxes appear “Reply” and “Quote”

      That’s simple enough. Thanks for the tutorial.

      I’m gunna abuse it – just watch.

    • #95 by Richard Warnick on March 27, 2013 - 12:30 pm

      Inflation is driven by consumer spending. Consumer spending, despite low interest rates, is in a slump because 12 million Americans are out of work and real estate values are in the proverbial toilet. Therefore inflation is as low as it has ever been in my lifetime.

      Like I said, if you are worried about inflation Glenn Beck has some gold he wants to sell you.

      Where are the “unskewed” inflation figures?

      • #96 by Bob S. on March 27, 2013 - 1:11 pm


        I can abuse the reply feature also…there is a limit and I’ve hit it a couple of times.


        the unskewed inflation rate is around 8 to 10 %
        This weighting results in a 2011 average annual inflation rate of 8 percent as measured by the Everyday Price Index, compared to a mere 3.1 percent from the CPI. (The unweighted EPI inflation rate for 2011 was 7.2 percent, as reported in the last issue of the Economic Bulletin.)

        Please tell me, if you can, how the fed can continue to pump money into the economy and not create inflation — especially since consumer spending is increasing.

        The Census Bureau reported today that US consumers spent $421.4 billion in February, which set a new record high for monthly retail sales, both in nominal dollars and in inflation-adjusted dollars (see chart above). Adjusted for inflation, retail sales in each of the last three months starting in December have exceeded the pre-recession record high for retail sales of $417.7 billion set back in November 2007, the month before the US economy officially went into a recession.

        • #97 by Richard Warnick on March 27, 2013 - 2:56 pm

          Paul Krugman:

          [T]he inflation-and-soaring-rates crowd has been wrong, again and again, year after year, yet seems completely undaunted in its certainty that it possesses The Truth. You might think that someone, at some point, would have a creeping suspicion that he might be working with the wrong model. But it never seems to happen.

          Of course, if you keep warning about inflation year after year, eventually you will be correct. But does that make up for all the years you were wrong?

          Gold price seen lower in 2013 as investors’ demand drops

          Fun reading: Fred Hiatt Bemoans the Fact that We Are Unlikely to Get an Economic Crisis to Advance His Agenda

          Of course the needed change in policy is the opposite of what Hiatt is pushing. We need larger deficits to generate the demand needed to boost the economy. That is because the private sector doesn’t generate demand just because we want it to. There is no source of private sector demand to replace the $1 trillion in annual construction and consumption demand that we lost when the $8 trillion housing bubble collapsed.

  70. #98 by cav on March 27, 2013 - 1:21 pm

    What I think we need is a ‘Meta’ button that over-rides all other comments and establishes a ‘New ‘Reality’ altogether.

    I believe It’d have the support of many a republican fantasist.

  71. #99 by brewski on March 27, 2013 - 10:31 pm

    You have no idea what you are talking about.

    The government changed the method it uses to calculate inflation in 1980. If the same method were used today as was used before 1980, the rate would be close to 10%.

    The official rate today is a fraud.
    If you don’t know that or see that then that is your limitation.

    “Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. – As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

    Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

    John Maynard Keynes

    As for gold prices, gold was $300 10 years ago. It is $1,600 now. Oil was $20/bbl 13 years ago. $95 now. Wheat is way up. Corn is way up. Real estate is in another bubble now.

    The price for all hard goods are way up.

    I would call that inflation fueled by the Fed and not by consumer demand.

    • #100 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 10:18 am

      I’m old enough to remember when 10 percent inflation was a real problem in the 1970s. Banks were paying 12 percent on certificates of deposit, President Gerald Ford was handing out WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons, and the government was begging consumers to curb their spending habits.

      Inflation is practically nonexistent today. A 24-month CD is paying 0.5% interest. Why is the right so obsessed with this? Contrary to what some believe, the CPI does count food and energy prices.

      • #101 by Bob S. on March 28, 2013 - 12:07 pm


        the CPI includes it but the rate of inflation does not include food and energy in its calculation.

        The Core CPI or CPI-U doesn’t include food and energy. That is what is primarily used.

        And back in the 70s, the government (strangely to say under Nixon/Ford/Carter) was more responsible – it wasn’t pumping out billions of dollars every month, it wasn’t running the deficits we are.

        How can gold cost $300 per ounce then and nearly $1,600 and it not be inflation?

  72. #104 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    If the government had not changed the “method” by which it calculates CPI, it would be 10% today. The 2% figure is a fraud.

    • #105 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 2:05 pm

      So you say. But I pay attention to the news, and 10 percent inflation would be major news – just as it was in the 1970s.

      The CPI was adjusted to account for changes in the products we buy. For example, forty years ago the standard car didn’t have air-conditioning.

      Brief summary of how we got here. I complained about the corporate tax holiday, then Bob S. said I was a hypocrite because I’m not offering to solve the nation’s economic and fiscal problems all by myself using my own relatively meager resources. Then brewski said the fact I drive back and forth to Price instead of taking Amtrak (which has an inconvenient schedule, and would double the travel time and the expense) proves I am a hypocrite. I replied to the effect that I would like to find a job closer to home, or sell my house up north and move to Price, but thanks to the Bush administration wrecking the economy I’m stuck. Then Bob S. complained, somewhat irrelevantly and out of the blue, about fiat currency and inflation. I thought this was a weird comment because inflation is running at 2 percent (basically nonexistent). If you’re worried about inflation, I wrote, Glenn Beck has some gold to sell you! So now we’re arguing about the CPI and the price of gold. 🙂

  73. #106 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 3:54 pm

    I answered conclusively your uneducated and partisan comment about corporate taxes:

    We’ve been over this before:
    1. in 2009 President Obama passed ARRA. This bill included many tax breaks most notably the 100% depreciation of equipment.
    2. In the time period mentioned above is all post-financial crisis. These companies experienced losses in their US based financing arms (ever heard of GE Capital?). You don’t pay taxes on losses.
    3. The rest of the world has restructured their corporate tax codes but not the US. In 1990 there were 14 countries with corporate tax rates higher than the US. Today there are none. So if Canada has a tax rate of 15% and the US has a tax rate of 35%, an international company can easily shift income to Canada and out of the US and pay taxes in Canada at a lower rate.

    Get it now?

    As for inflation. It is not what I say. It is what lots of people who know about this stuff say.

    And you of all people should recognize why the government might have wanted to lower the “official” reported inflation number:

    From the San Francisco Chronicle, “Government’s economic data misleading, he says,” May 25, 2008, by Sam Zuckerman:

    “In the 1990s, for example, Republicans wanted to make changes in calculating inflation along the lines recommended by a special commission, including more use of quality adjustments. By lowering the official inflation rate, such changes promised to reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and other federal programs.

    “[Katherine] Abraham, the Clinton bureau [of Labor Statistics] commissioner, remembers sitting in Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s office:

    “’He said to me, If you could see your way clear to doing these things, we might have more money for BLS programs.’”

    • #107 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 4:25 pm

      Here’s what I get. Corporate profits are at an all-time high, and corporate taxes are low. In some cases, zero or even negative.

      I’ll assume for the sake of argument that all the tax dodging is legal, but no matter how you look at it the 1 Percenters are enjoying good times while people who work for a living face challenges nobody has seen since the Great Depression.

      As for inflation, it’s at 2 percent. Practically nonexistent. Because the consumer economy is still on life support. Because the middle class is still broke.

      WIN buttons remain an obscure collector’s item. And you haven’t answered my question, maybe because you don’t know the answer any more than I do. Why is the right so obsessed with inflation, when there isn’t any?

  74. #108 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Paul Krugman: On The Curious Persistence Of Inflationary Obsession

    [P]retty obviously, the great majority of people who spend their time watching financial news and reading financial blogs operate in an intellectual universe where the surpassing evil of deficits and the imminence of vast inflation are just what everyone knows; year after year of low interest rates and failure of inflation to take off — which must have cost people who believe this stuff a lot of money — makes no dent in that certainty.

    It’s an interesting phenomenon. I don’t think it’s just a product of the usual propaganda efforts from the right. There’s something about the deficits! inflation! story that evidently resonates with a lot of people no matter how often and how badly the worldview fails in practice…

    More recently, Krugman asked the interesting question: Why Don’t We Have Deflation? The answer is even more interesting. It has to do with Protracted Large Output Gaps (PLOGs) and “sticky wages.”

  75. #109 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 5:01 pm

    AEI’s James Pethokoukis: Is the US government wildly understating the inflation rate? No, it isn’t

    Now, extraordinary claims should require extraordinary evidence. So the burden is on the inflation hawks here. As it is, the Labor Department has specifically and thoroughly rebutted many of the criticisms of the CPI, including charges that when the price of steak rises, the Bureau of Labor Statistics swaps it out for cheaper hamburger. Or that Social Security payments are indexed to a CPI measure that doesn’t include food or energy.

    In particular, critics question how the BLS currently a) assumes consumers will purchase the cheaper of two types of products, and b) takes into account, for instance, that a $1,000 computer today is a whole lot more powerful than one 15 years ago. Those are just two of the modifications the BLS has made over the years in how it measures inflation.

    But what if BLS still calculated inflation the way it used to back in the 1970s? The agency studied that exact question in 1999, and found the new approach gives only a modestly lower inflation reading…

    …In fact, there’s considerable academic literature suggesting that Washington continues to overstate inflation rather than understate it, such as this paper by Robert Gordon of Northwestern University

    …One final reality check — especially clarifying if you believe Washington is intentionally cooking the books — is MIT’s Billion Prices Project, which uses an algorithm to track prices online, including most of the products and prices found in the CPI. It has inflation running at less than 2% over the past year:


  76. #110 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 5:29 pm

    “Here’s what I get. Corporate profits are at an all-time high, and corporate taxes are low. In some cases, zero or even negative.

    I’ll assume for the sake of argument that all the tax dodging is legal, but no matter how you look at it the 1 Percenters are enjoying good times while people who work for a living face challenges nobody has seen since the Great Depression.”

    I explained this already:
    1. in 2009 President Obama passed ARRA. This bill included many tax breaks most notably the 100% depreciation of equipment. These tax breaks in Obama’s 2009 bill caused much lower taxes to be paid in 2009-2011 in particular. Most of this has ended.
    2. In the time period mentioned above is all post-financial crisis. These companies experienced losses in their US based financing arms (ever heard of GE Capital?). You don’t pay taxes on losses. You keep pointing to 2009 in your sources. This phenomenon has also mostly passed by 2012.
    3. The rest of the world has restructured their corporate tax codes but not the US. In 1990 there were 14 countries with corporate tax rates higher than the US. Today there are none. So if Canada has a tax rate of 15% and the US has a tax rate of 35%, an international company can easily shift income to Canada and out of the US and pay taxes in Canada at a lower rate. This effect is permanent and growing. I have suggested this be fixed and you said no. You have no one to blame but yourself.

    Please tell me what you don’t understand about this.

    • #111 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 6:37 pm

      What I don’t understand is the shameless greed of the 1 Percent. Can you explain that?

      • #112 by Bob S. on March 28, 2013 - 7:02 pm

        Sure Richard,

        Look in the freaking mirror !!!
        You don’t want to ‘reduce your standard of living’ to reduce the thing you complain about !!!

        You accuse them of greed but they pay more income taxes then you do.

        Look in the mirror and ask why you won’t reduce your standard of living but want to force others to pay even more in taxes — when will they pay enough to satisfy you?

        Probably never. You aren’t happy with what they pay, with what they give — yet you admit you don’t want to reduce your standard of living.

        Who is greedy? YOU ARE.

        • #113 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 7:19 pm

          You’re missing the point by not miles, but astronomical units. The point is fairness in taxation. My tax rate is higher than Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s. In absolute dollar terms, I actually pay more than a number of giant, highly profitable corporations.

  77. #114 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    If I’m not allowed to use AEI as a source then neither are you.

  78. #115 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 6:26 pm

    I guess we’re playing Calvinball rules: ” Any player may declare a new rule at any point in the game. The player may do this audibly or silently…”

  79. #116 by cav on March 28, 2013 - 6:38 pm


  80. #117 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 7:16 pm

    I will take that as your capitulation on substance.

    • #118 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2013 - 7:20 pm

      Tell me you understand that even AEI doesn’t agree with your 10 percent inflation theory. 😉

  81. #119 by brewski on March 28, 2013 - 9:11 pm

    Of course they are part of the documented Gingrich conspiracy to lower SS benefits. And you are on their side. How’s it feel to be in the same bed as Newt and AEI? Pretty cozy?

  82. #121 by cav on March 29, 2013 - 10:55 am

  83. #122 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    So where is the provision in Obamacare to fix that? If you don’t fix the provider costs and you only mandate that everyone have insurance, you have done nothing other than making sure that everyone pays too much. No costs have been lowered and nothing has been saved.

    During the Obamacare negotiation process, it was briefly suggested that there be an excise tax on cosmetic surgery. The AMA objected to Pelosi so she dropped the idea. So if that can’t get done then what makes you think the cronyists are going to be able to lower prices on any providers?

  84. #124 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    You have to at first understand what inflation is and what it is not. Do you know what inflation is? Do you know what a stable value of a currency means? I don’t think you do.

    A stable currency has a more or less stable unit value to all other things. Inflation means the nominal delcine in the purchasing power of the unit of currency. Not the real decline. This is a huge difference. The all other things does not mean just consumer goods. Consumer goods can get cheaper in real terms due to being outsourced to China, increases in productivity, etc. That is not a nominal drop in prices that is a real drop in prices.

    If you look at other items being traded out there in the world and look at how they are priced relative to a unit of US currency you will see that the US unit is worth much less vs oil, land, grains, metals, and also other currencies. So if one unit of currency is worth much less than everything else, but the “consumer prices” are stable, then what does that tell you? It means that the real price of consumer goods has gone down too at the same time the currency has gone down, giving the impression that things cost the same. They don’t cost the same, they cost less and the currency is worth less too.

    The way to examine this is to price goods not in terms of dollars but in terms of each other. If clothes cost less in grain terms and Swiss Franc terms but the same in dollar terms it means that the value of the dollar is also worth less of grain and Swiss Francs. So just because the clothes cost the same in dollars does not mean that the currency has a stable value.

    • #125 by Richard Warnick on March 29, 2013 - 1:04 pm

      Nice job of trying to change the subject. Is there 10 percent inflation, or are you going to walk that statement back?

  85. #126 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 1:26 pm

    Sorry I made the effort to try to educate you. I won’t make that mistake again. I will try hard to keep all arguments partisan, emotional and devoid of data or evidence since that is all you understand.

    No I won’t walk that statement back. The value of the currency has declined dramatically. The evidence is overwhelming.

    Keynes was right.

  86. #127 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    Consider an economy in which all prices are in equilibrium. Now, imagine doubling the stock of money by magically doubling the numbers on all pieces of currency and all bank account balances. All price tags must be simultaneously doubled to keep relative prices and the purchasing power of each person’s (nominally doubled) money balances the same, and thus to keep the economy in equilibrium. Prices must rise in proportion to the quantity of money.

    • #128 by Richard Warnick on March 29, 2013 - 2:05 pm

      So, in Economics terms, you are claiming that demand is always proportional to the quantity of money, and somehow the elasticity of supply is stuck at zero?

      That’s not true.

      The perception of a straight linear relationship between the money supply and inflation is not backed by theory or practice….

      Here’s where you might have gotten it wrong:

      The major component of the monetary base is bank reserves. These reserves form the asset backing of the money supply, but are not the money supply itself.

      Or as Michael Moore put it so memorably:

      America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands.

      Middle-class consumers are tapped out. And that’s why inflation remains at 2 percent, even though corporations and the financial sector are sitting on mountains of money!

  87. #129 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 4:26 pm

    “in Economics terms, you are claiming that demand is always proportional to the quantity of money,”
    No. You missed it.

    “The major component of the monetary base is bank reserves. These reserves form the asset backing of the money supply, but are not the money supply itself.”
    I didn’t say this.

    “America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands.”
    Completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    “Middle-class consumers are tapped out. And that’s why inflation remains at 2 percent, even though corporations and the financial sector are sitting on mountains of money!”
    The 2% number is a myth. Each dollar unit is worth far less vs entire classes of items including grains, metals, fuels, other currencies, land, etc. That is called nominal decline in the value of each unit of currency vs everything else. The CPI misses this entire phenomenon.

    Your quotes illustrate that you didn’t understand what I said.

  88. #130 by Richard Warnick on March 29, 2013 - 4:38 pm

    The inflation rate is the annual percentage increase in the price of goods and services. From Investopedia:

    Definition of ‘Inflation’

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling. Central banks attempt to stop severe inflation, along with severe deflation, in an attempt to keep the excessive growth of prices to a minimum.

    Investopedia explains ‘Inflation’
    As inflation rises, every dollar will buy a smaller percentage of a good. For example, if the inflation rate is 2%, then a $1 pack of gum will cost $1.02 in a year.

    Most countries’ central banks will try to sustain an inflation rate of 2-3%.

    Good news for Alan Simpson: Cat food is still 99 cents.

  89. #131 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 4:48 pm

    Thank you for showing that you don’t understand.

  90. #132 by Richard Warnick on March 29, 2013 - 5:03 pm

    Look. If you are correct, even using your own special definition of “inflation,” then this graph ought to show a 10 percent decline in the value of the U.S. dollar versus other major currencies since last year.

    Source: OANDA Historical Exchange Rates

  91. #133 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    No, because the decline already happened before then. Look at the 10 year chart.

  92. #134 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 7:57 pm

  93. #135 by Richard Warnick on March 29, 2013 - 9:22 pm

    And the one-year graph for Swiss Francs shows appreciation of the U.S. dollar.

    You are claiming a 10 percent “inflation” rate.

  94. #136 by cav on March 29, 2013 - 9:35 pm

    I always liked this graphic reflecting bank exposure:

    It’s a slow scroll, but oh, so enlightening.

  95. #137 by brewski on March 29, 2013 - 10:23 pm

    So you admit that over the last 10 years, that the US dollar has dramatically devalued against the swiss franc, euro, canadian dollar, aussie dollar, all metals, all grains, all fuels, all land?

    That’s my point.

    As for this year in isolation, currencies devalue based on expectations of the printing of money and not at the same time of that printing. So the devaluation relative to other items has been going on for a long time and the dollar is so low now vs other assets that only looking at this year is after the fact.

    If you expect a snowstorm to hit your house you buy a shovel before it hits. So the sales of shovels goes up before the storm, not after it. If you don’t understand expectations then you don’t understand economics.

  96. #138 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 8:13 am

    I don’t know about the last ten years. However, if for the sake of argument we adopt your definition of “inflation” and say it was 10 percent over a ten-year period, that would be less than an average 1 percent inflation rate.

    Buy gold if you think inflation is a problem. Glenn Beck is selling.

  97. #139 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    “I don’t know about the last ten years.”
    If you don’t know that the value of the dollar has devalued against every other major currency in the world by 40% – 50% then what you are admitting is that you have no clue what you are talking about and have no standing in this conversation.

    Why don’t I just proclaim I have never listened to a piece of music but I still think it sucks. You are replacing opinion for knowledge. You are Sarah Palin.

    • #140 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 3:19 pm

      The current inflation rate is still 2 percent, not 10 percent. Hand-waving about devaluing the dollar isn’t relevant.

  98. #141 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    By the way, your math is wrong too.

    Since those other currencies have their own inflation rates to deal with, if the dollar devalued by 10% compared to them over 10 years it would not mean our inflation rate was 1% per year. It would mean that our inflation rate was 1% greater than their inflation rate each year for 10 years.

    But since we have devalued by more like 40-50% over 10 years vs them, that means that we have had inflation 4-5 points over their inflation each year for 10 years. So if they have had 3% inflation on average, then ours has been close to 8% on average. Thank you for confirming my point.

  99. #142 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    “The current inflation rate is still 2 percent”
    No it isn’t.

    “Hand-waving about devaluing the dollar isn’t relevant.”
    I don’t have wave, Sarah. I leave that to you. I use evidence.

  100. #144 by cav on March 30, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    “At first blush, their motivation here is straightforward: it could cost them money. But given America’s one percent already has so much, and so little redistribution is on the table, they’d have to be exceptionally greedy to have such a strong reaction to even broaching the inequality discussion. Of course that’s possible, but the history of debates around inequality as surveyed in Branko Milanovic’s wonderfully readable book suggests another explanation. The rich don’t like inequality talk because, by its very nature, it involves making moral judgments about the way the rich live their lives into a topic for public discussion.

    In the book’s first essay, “Unequal People,” Milanovic runs down the earliest modern economic theories about whether inequality is good for economic growth. The difference between early theories wasn’t, as we think today, whether or not you thought inequality was something that happened as a consequence of a roaring economy: it was whether, essentially, the rich are good people or not.”

  101. #145 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 3:44 pm

    What Zack Beauchamp characterizes as “the moral anxiety of the wealthy” is simply that sociopaths don’t like being called out by their victims.

    Sociopaths never apologize. They are never wrong. They never feel guilt. They can never apologize. Even if shown proof that they were wrong, they will refuse to apologize and instead go on the attack.

    …If a sociopath is presented with a collection of facts, documents and evidence showing that he lied or deceived, he will refuse to address the evidence and, instead, attack the messenger!

  102. #146 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    What is your point in continuing to quote a Newt Gingich designed number created to lower SS benefits that has already been documented to be a fraud?

    • #147 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 5:00 pm

      Sorry, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is not in the “fraud” business. Your claim is just plain nuts. As I said before, I remember 10 percent inflation in the 1970s. It was front-page news. If it were happening now, the cable channels would be on it 24/7.

  103. #148 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    Yes, you are correct. You and Sarah Palin are both sociopaths.

    • #149 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 5:02 pm

      But isn’t that attacking the messenger? 😉

  104. #150 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 6:27 pm

    If the messenger is wrong then pointing out that the messenger is wrong is not attacking the messenger.

    • #151 by Richard Warnick on March 30, 2013 - 9:39 pm

      I just don’t understand the right’s obsession with inflation when it’s practically nonexistent.

      Jonathan Chait attempts to explain: Why Conservatives Abandoned Monetarism

      I don’t think conservatives have all adopted hard money views out of conscious cynicism. Rather, it’s a familiar psychological process. Their understanding of monetary policy is shallow. Their understanding that economic growth is the key variable impacting their return to power is keen. They’re going to be attracted to an argument that tells them that any measures to boost growth, whether fiscal or monetary, will have dangerous side-effects.

  105. #152 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 10:23 pm

    “when it’s practically nonexistent.”


    50% devaluation vs the Canadian dollar is not “nonexistent”.

    70% devaluation vs oil is not “nonexistent”

    100% devaluation vs wheat is not “nonexistant”

    You are a sociopath, and that was not attacking the messenger.

    I am not sure why you linked that article. Everything I have posted on this topic would be things Milton Friedman would agree with. It was Greenspan who fucked things up. Greenspan was 180 degrees opposite of Friedman. That is what I have been saying all along. Your link agrees with me.

  106. #153 by brewski on March 30, 2013 - 10:37 pm

    “I just don’t understand the right’s obsession with inflation”

    There is much you don’t understand. You yourself said:
    “I don’t know about the last ten years.”

    That is about the truest thing you have ever said.

    If you are a creditor, and someone owes you a million dollars. You hate inflation since when they pay you back later they will be paying you back a million dollars that will be worth less.

    If you are a saver and you have cash, then you hate inflation since your million dollars in the bank is worth less each day.

    If you are a debtor then you love inflation since you get to pay your creditor back in later years in dollars that are worth less that when you borrowed.

    “I remember 10 percent inflation in the 1970s. It was front-page news. If it were happening now, the cable channels would be on it 24/7.”
    The government changed the way it calculates the number. The number would be 10% today based on the 1970’s method. This is fact. You are just plain ignorant as well as nuts. The only reason it isn’t on the cable channels 24/7 is because the idiots on the cable channels like Maddow wouldn’t know a calculator if it bit her in the ass.

  107. #154 by cav on March 31, 2013 - 8:48 am

    You must admit though brewski, many of us had been habituated to just that sort of mechanism over the years. That the bankers all of a sudden want to protect their pay-back at the levels we’re seeing, is something of a new development.

  108. #155 by Richard Warnick on March 31, 2013 - 8:55 am

    Is the government lying about inflation?

    Answer = NO. The reason we know this is because of the MIT Billion Prices Project, as I mentioned above. It’s an index of online prices. BPP provides an independent check on the CPI.


  109. #156 by Richard Warnick on March 31, 2013 - 9:29 am

    I think Jonathan Chait may be right. The right-wing is suddenly whining about nonexistent inflation as a tactic to discourage politicians from pursuing economic recovery measures that might hurt the Republican Party’s electoral fortunes.

    Deficit spending and the inflation rate were both higher during the Bush administration, even as job creation languished and the poverty rate rose. All that was happening even before Bush’s Great Recession and the crash of the financial sector. Not a peep from the right back then.

    I don’t think this is going to work. Exit polls in the last election indicated more voters blamed George W. Bush than President Obama for the state of the economy.

  110. #157 by cav on March 31, 2013 - 9:38 am

    More voters blame Bush, AND the congress people, the courts, and all of the ‘time-bomb’ plants of previous administrations who, for reasons of their own, have decided that ‘The Republic’ is a more lucrative option for themselves than ‘The Democracy’.

    IOW: Money is doing the talking and the .01% have the preponderance of it.

  111. #158 by brewski on March 31, 2013 - 12:19 pm

    ” nonexistent inflation”

    ” economic recovery measures”
    I don’t see any economic recovery measures.

    ” Not a peep from the right back then.”

  112. #159 by Richard Warnick on March 31, 2013 - 3:44 pm


    IMHO 2 percent inflation is practically nonexistent.

    For viable economic recovery measures, see the Back to Work Budget of the Progressive Caucus.

    Find me a link from 2001-2008 which has a right-winger complaining about inflation during the Bush administration. And frankly, your sudden concern for COLAs is commendable but belated.

  113. #160 by brewski on March 31, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    We’ve been over this before. If they used the same method as was used in your example of the 70’s the rate would be 10%. Fact. Are you thick?

    Your lack of concern for COLA’s is offensive.

    • #161 by Richard Warnick on March 31, 2013 - 5:23 pm

      So when did you come out against “chained CPI”? I don’t remember.

      • #162 by brewski on March 31, 2013 - 9:51 pm

        I am in favor of giving me back all of my contributions and my employers’ contributions over my lifetime, plus interest. I trust me more than I trust the central planners to look out for my interests.

        • #163 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 8:55 am

          So you really want to abolish Social Security and Medicare, yet at the same time, with faux indignation, you accuse the government of cooking the books on inflation to chip away at COLA?

          This is like the Republicans in the 2010 and 2012 elections, cynically posing as defenders of Medicare while planning to eliminate it.

          • #164 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 12:51 pm

            I was speaking of SS, not Medicare. Yes, I do want all the SS contributions made by me and my employer over my entire working life, plus interest. You would be far better off as well. Why are you against your own interests?

            For an average-wage-earning, two-income couple turning 65 in 2010, the couple will have paid $600,000 in lifetime Social Security taxes and will receive only $579,000 in lifetime Social Security benefits.

            As for Medicare, you are contributing 1/3 of the benefits you will receive. It is not in your interests for this system to implode. Why are you in favor of implosion?

  114. #165 by Richard Warnick on March 31, 2013 - 5:10 pm

    This guy on Yahoo! Answers was obviously trolling, but he hit a nerve with some right-wingers.

    Why is inflation so much lower under Obama than Bush, is it a conspiracy against Ron Paul?

    Ron Paul and his followers have been predicting, incorrectly, for over 30 years, hyperinflation. The average rate of inflation under Bush was about 60% greater than it has been under Obama. Why is inflation so much lower under Obama than under Bush?

    Of course, the replies he got were all about un-skewing the supposedly rigged BLS inflation numbers. Just like Romney and the “un-skewed” poll numbers last year.

    I know from experience that people who believe in deep dark conspiracy theories are hard to reason with. But I think the MIT numbers conclusively prove that the CPI-U is correct at 2 percent.

  115. #166 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 1:22 pm


    You don’t understand what Social Security does. First of all, it’s the last defined-benefit retirement plan available to most middle-class Americans. Pension plans have almost ceased to exist. The 401(k) experiment has been an abysmal failure. Interest rates on savings accounts are pathetic. 60% of workers have less than $25,000 saved for retirement.

    In addition to retirement income, Social Security provides survivor benefits and benefits for the retiree’s spouse and children.

    Disability benefits are an important function of Social Security. A 20-year-old worker has a 3-in-10 chance of becoming disabled before reaching full retirement age. Family members of disabled workers also can receive money from Social Security.

  116. #167 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 3:27 pm

    “You don’t understand what Social Security does.”

    It is a bad idea to tell someone that they “don’t understand” when they know a whole lot more than you do. Yes I understand the disability portion of SS and that is valuable. But that does not at all change the math that I will put far more into SS than I will ever get back and that for the vast majority of people today SS will be a giant negative IRR investment. So if you had let me keep all of my lifetime contributions and I could have saved those over my lifetime in safe government bonds, and bought my own disability policy, I would be far far far better off. It is a giant wealth transfer program from the current and future generations to older generations. Our parents really scored big.

    You just don’t understand.

    Pretty much everything else you said is totally pointless or irrelevant or supports my point.

    • #168 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 4:14 pm

      You can’t possibly know that you will put in more than you get back, that’s the point! Social Security is the best insurance policy you’ll ever have.

      • #169 by brewski on April 1, 2013 - 5:28 pm

        You don’t understand the concept “actuarial net present value”. Look it up.

        • #170 by Richard Warnick on April 1, 2013 - 10:01 pm

          Still ROFL because you were oh-so-concerned about COLA for a program you want to abolish!

  117. #171 by cav on April 1, 2013 - 3:28 pm

    Bill Gates walks in to a crowded University Ballroom stuffed full, shoulder to should with yer rank and file, run-of-the-mill, everyday workers, and the average annual income for the entire crowd doubles.

  118. #172 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 7:20 am

    Giving me all of my money back is far preferable to forcing me into a negative IRR investment. Why are you against your own interests?

    • #173 by Richard Warnick on April 2, 2013 - 9:12 am

      My interest is in having a decent society to live in. I’ve lived in places where the streets are full of beggars, and we’re lucky America isn’t like that.

  119. #174 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 9:48 am

    So being forced into a negative IRR investment is your idea of a decent society?

    We will all be begging in the streets soon under your plan.

  120. #175 by cav on April 2, 2013 - 9:59 am

    Employees are simply expenses that must be minimized.

    • #176 by brewski on April 2, 2013 - 10:48 am

      That’s what the Japanese Treasury Minister said “old people should hurry up and die”.

    • #177 by cav on April 2, 2013 - 11:19 am

      And he’s so different from Bowles / Simpson?

      They’re everywhere, and need to be worked over with the ‘chainsaw of ancestral respect’.

  121. #178 by cav on April 2, 2013 - 10:02 am

    That’s Ceasar’s money. It only came to you when you did His work.

  122. #179 by cav on April 3, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    We know that “elite” media jobs often require long, unpaid internships which effectively weed out anyone who’s not at the very least upper-middle class, and as with everything else this is by design, not by accident.

    The elite, and effectively the mainstream media as a whole, has been completely annexed by the oligarchs. Sure, they’ll let some ostensible progressives on the cable news channels but that’s only to sell advertising, not to affect change.

    The less a topic is discussed by the media, the more likely it is that said verboten topic is actually the problem. That’s why cutting social security gets so much airtime while lifting the cap on social security taxes gets none. The solution will be ignored.

    Of course, when I write ‘elite’ in most cases one may just as easily substitute the word ‘oligarch’.

  123. #180 by brewski on April 3, 2013 - 4:18 pm

    I agree with 85% of that, but I would add that even the fake progressives also did long unpaid internships, come from wealthy mommies and daddies, have never had a real job in their lives and send their next generation of little privileged elites to prep school. Look at the backgrounds of Maddow, Klein, O’Donnell, Hayes, etc. These people are all from the oligarch class. None of them grew up in the hood or had to mop floors or flip burgers.

    I would also say that it isn’t just the media unpaid internships. It is also the government unpaid interns from oligarch families who end up being staffers and influencers. The whole media-government industrial complex of both parties is being run by children of oligarchs. The progressives adopt leftism as just a marketing strategy to keep people voting for them. It is not something they ever want to affect their lives. Even the most strident progressives still drive their single passenger cars back and forth to Price.

  124. #181 by cav on April 3, 2013 - 6:23 pm

    I think Richard might just not actually rank up there with the ‘most strident progressives’, as he was a republican up until not that long ago.

    And it needs to be remembered a ‘leftist’ in ‘the Behave State’ would be way right of center in Denmark or much of the rest of Northern Europe.

    Otherwise – right on.

  125. #182 by brewski on April 3, 2013 - 6:49 pm

    All of Richard’s positions now are strident lefty positions. He has no positions that resemble anything close to conservative, his protestations notwithstanding.

    Denmark has lower corporate tax rates. Denmark does not grant citizenship for anyone who happens to be born in Denmark under all circumstances. Denmark has school vouchers which parents can choose to use at private schools.

    So much for evidence.

  126. #183 by cav on April 3, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    Ok. France, fer goodness sake.

  127. #184 by cav on April 4, 2013 - 7:52 am

    And in Richard’s defense. the Democratic Party seems to have gone far enough to the right to actually embody only what was GOP policy back when he was a Republican. With the GOP now so far right that Hitler wouldn’t recognize them.

    As for any Progressives of the FDR mind-set, we’re still here, but the media and their owners can’t afford column inches or screen time for any but their own.

  128. #185 by Richard Warnick on April 4, 2013 - 8:25 am

    Of course, it’s not about me. I’m just a guy with opinions like everybody else. It’s the issue that matter, IMHO.

  129. #186 by cav on April 4, 2013 - 9:58 am


    And establishing something of a Hundredth Monkey that will be visible over the heaps of money that so often block us from the view of those we’ve hired to work the public’s will.

  130. #187 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on April 4, 2013 - 10:32 am

    Um; reminder to cav in his blind beating of conservatives…Who is it drone murder terrorizing brown people in sovereign foreign lands?

    If you keep supporting obama I see dementia in your futures progressives, the cognitive dissonance bells should be ringing…I am wondering if another assault mop up of Palestine by israel. and a bombing of Iran will wake you out of it.

    We’re living Pat Robertson’s dreams of apocalypse under this president.

  131. #188 by obama's jack booted truncheon wielding goons on April 4, 2013 - 10:34 am

    Defending Richard’s points cav, is like keeping the floor dry in the rain using cheap paper towels. After a while you just let the water go where it goes, down the drain.

  132. #189 by brewski on April 4, 2013 - 10:56 am

    You’re just a guy with opinions. I’m just a guy with evidence.

    • #190 by Richard Warnick on April 4, 2013 - 1:17 pm

      You missed the point as usual. The point is, it’s not about us. Egoism is out of place on a mere blog.

      • #191 by brewski on April 4, 2013 - 4:50 pm

        It is not about us, but it is about people. The authoritarian lefties want to limit the choices of parents. Authoritarian lefties want policies which will lower employment. Authoritarian lefties want to limit free speech. So it is not about us. And it is about all of us.

  133. #192 by cav on April 4, 2013 - 1:23 pm

    I only beat conservatives in hopes of creating examples that the weak-kneed and often criminal democrats might themselves begin to quake.

    My complaints are about injustice, fraud and such, be they the products of the GOP, or anyone else. I’d never suggest only conservatives are capable of such failings. In fact, conservatives may come out looking relatively good if the dems don’t become more responsive to the greater public (whatever that’s supposed to mean). None of them should be so easily and apparently purchasable as to so completely discredit even the idea that we’re supposed to be running a democracy here.

  134. #193 by brewski on April 4, 2013 - 5:11 pm

    I’m pretty disappointed that no party can put together a platform based on some pretty simple principles that I don’t think are conservative or liberal or right or left. They will just make people’s lives easier:

    1. The tax code should be very simple and fair
    2. Parents should be able to choose where their children go to school, regardless of income
    3. We should pollute less
    4. Abortion should be legal up through the end of the first trimester. Adoption should be encouraged.
    5. Having a gun is like having a car. You should have to take a test to show you know how to operate one safely.
    6. Government has a fiduciary responsibility to use taxpayers’ money wisely and prudently.
    7. Government officials and employees should not be allowed to accept anything from anyone including meals, sports tickets, golf games, airplane trips, etc. Zero.
    8. Government officials and employees must all be subject to the same laws as all other citizens.

    Let’s call it the 99% Party.

  135. #194 by cav on April 4, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    We can “elect” someone who governs from the very far right like George Bush did or we can elect someone who governs from the moderate to center right, like Clinton and Obama, but never someone from the left. Progressive policies and beliefs are DOA in American Politics because money controls the entire show and money’s not backing progress.

  136. #195 by brewski on April 5, 2013 - 3:54 am

    Lefty positions lose at the polls everywhere outside of Northampton, Mass.

  137. #196 by cav on April 5, 2013 - 8:23 am

    Really, it’s neither left or right – more like our overlords sinister plan. Promote the educated, charismatic young black man who speaks articulately and promises change, transparency and hope for the 99%, thus exciting millions of Americans, young and old to get out and vote only to have said educated, charismatic young black man turn out to be just another figurehead for the 1%, Wall Street, the banks, the war machine and the multinational corporations.

    But hey…it was historic.

  138. #197 by brewski on April 5, 2013 - 8:44 am

    Cav, you must be a racist. You violated the Cliff/Glenden rule.

  139. #198 by brewski on April 5, 2013 - 8:57 am

    More evidence Obama is one giant fail:
    “Job growth falls sharply; many workers drop out of labor force”

    “the labor-force participation rate tumbling to a 34-year low”

    • #199 by Richard Warnick on April 5, 2013 - 11:03 am

      I thought you were pretending to be non-partisan today. Don’t both major political parties share responsibility for the lousy economy? For example, didn’t austerity budgeting and ‘public sector layoffs hurt the recovery?

  140. #200 by brewski on April 5, 2013 - 11:59 am

    The data that Obama is a fail is not partisan. It is totally objective.

    I don’t see any austerity budgeting going on. Every year Federal spending is more and more. There are no cuts.

    The states is where the layoffs are, and that is due to skyrocketing employee pension plans, employee healthcare, and medicaid. So more money is being spent. No austerity, just waste.

    Obama is president, he said he was different than everyone before him, he said he would lower our premiums by $2500, he said he wasn’t going to have any lobbyists in his administration, he said he would change Washington, he said the Obamacare negotiations would be on CSPAN, he said he would eliminate all ineffective, duplicative and wasteful programs. So his failures are not due to my partisanship. They are simply due to his failure alone.

  141. #201 by brewski on April 5, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    Fisker Automotive Gets $529 Million Government Loan To Build Electric Cars

    and then…

    Fisker announces massive layoffs

    Haven’t we heard this story before?


  142. #202 by Richard Warnick on April 6, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    And the part brewski left out, purely by accident I will assume:

    Fisker raised $1.2 billion from private investors. The “massive layoffs” consisted of 160 employees.

    In 2009, the DOE awarded Fisker a $529 million loan as part of an Obama administration program to finance advanced vehicle development. Fisker used $193 million of the loan…

    …But the DOE froze its credit line partly due to Fisker’s delays in launching the Karma. The last payment from the DOE came in May 2011, government records show.

    I read recently where somebody said, “Government has a fiduciary responsibility to use taxpayers’ money wisely and prudently.” This seems to be an example.

  143. #203 by brewski on April 6, 2013 - 6:18 pm

    So how does that make any of it better?

    How is this wisely and prudently?

    How are you a conservative?

    $193 million of your money was loaned.

    160 employees was 75% of the entire company’s workforce.

    Sounds unwise and imprudent to me.

  144. #204 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2013 - 12:42 pm

    What’s $336 million between friends? 😉

  145. #205 by brewski on April 7, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    I still don’t see how taking taxpayer money and lending it to any for profit private business is a wise or prudent use of taxpayer money. Especially in this case where this company had never built a single car ever before and had never earned one dollar of revenue. That is called reckless lending which is how you people got us into this mess.

  146. #206 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    I don’t see how giveaways of our public lands to the oil & gas industry, and $7 billion a year in tax expenditures that benefit fossil fuels, are prudent either.

  147. #207 by brewski on April 7, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    Do two wrongs make a right?

  148. #208 by brewski on April 7, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    Your link is actually pretty accurate in its description of tax provisions. It’s editorializing on some of them doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Nevertheless, I would be happy to get rid of any “special” tax provisions for oil companies along with getting rid of all the other “special” provisions in the tax code at the same time. The only special provision in the tax code that I can justify from a social goodness point of view is the charitable deduction. All the other ones should go.

    It should be pointed out that in the scheme of things $7 billion per year is infinitesimal compared to other shit in the tax code and in the regular budget. Not that that makes it any better, all that crap should go. But it is pretty damn small compared to all the other corrupt crony-ist waste. Compare $7 billion to the size of all farm subsidies, water subsidies, and it looks pretty small.

    • #209 by Richard Warnick on April 7, 2013 - 4:18 pm

      And $193 million looks comparatively small too. Especially when you put it into context with the other electric car investments that proved more successful. BTW this was a Bush administration program.

      With an investment of $7.5 billion, Bush and Congress underwrote $25 billion in loans that’s translated directly into the Leaf, the Volt, Ford’s electric Focus, the Think City, and Tesla and Fisker’s leap from paper to plant. Now, almost five years later, we have mass-market electric cars…

  149. #210 by brewski on April 7, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    $193 million to one start up private for profit company is not small.

    Bush was a liberal. Big government, subsides, gimmes, Statism. He is you.

  150. #211 by Richard Warnick on April 8, 2013 - 9:16 am

    We were all tired of waiting for corporate America to finally decide we could have electric cars. Did you see the documentary, “Who Killed The Electric Car?” (2006)?

    We can thank Toyota for coming up with the Prius hybrid, otherwise Detroit would still be offering nothing.

  151. #212 by brewski on April 8, 2013 - 9:22 am

    Yes I saw it.

    So you are a central planner.

    Did the government need to give Toyota a taxpayer loan to come up with the Prius?

  152. #213 by Richard Warnick on April 8, 2013 - 1:49 pm

    The Japanese government often subsidizes their auto industry. The Prius was apparently an exception.

  153. #214 by brewski on April 8, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    Central Planner,
    If the Japanese taxpayers want to subsidize their private for profit corporations, let them. That does not mean we need to use taxpayer money to loan to private for profit corporations.

  154. #215 by Richard Warnick on April 8, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    I was at the dentist today, forced to watch Faux News Channel because I didn’t have the remote. I saw this Lou Dobbs idiocy firsthand.

    Fox News is using the struggles of Fisker, an electric carmaker that received federal loans, to claim that the government only picks “losers.” But just one week prior, the network declared Tesla, which received loans from the same program, a “success story.”

  155. #216 by brewski on April 8, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    I don’t want the government to be picking anyone. The government shouldn’t be loaning money to Tesla either.

  156. #217 by Richard Warnick on April 9, 2013 - 9:41 am

    You have to admit that fossil fuel technology has an enormous advantage over green technology in government subsidies, not to mention infrastructure and market share. Therefore it’s a good idea for government to get involved.

    Look at this from a national security perspective. Investments in carbon reduction will pay off in terms of a survivable climate.

  157. #218 by cav on April 9, 2013 - 8:10 pm

    Jesus Richard, I sure hope it wasn’t a root canal.

  158. #219 by brewski on April 10, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    So what you are saying is that the government is heavily involved already by giving lots of subsidies to fossil fuels, so the government needs to get more involved to give more subsidies to green energy. So we need more government involvement to offset the existing government involvement. A solution only a Central Planner could come up with.

    How about not having any government involvement at all in either industry? No subsidies, no cronyism, no corruption, no bundlers.

  159. #221 by brewski on April 10, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    So your idea is to have a labyrinth of competing subsidies?

    What was that you were telling me about how much you like free markets?

    • #222 by Richard Warnick on April 10, 2013 - 6:01 pm

      I mentioned that much of our infrastructure is built on the assumption of relatively cheap fossil fuel prices. Also the green economy lacks infrastructure – for example, the power grid doesn’t serve areas where wind power is most available.

      Therefore, it is necessary but not sufficient to eliminate the outright subsidies for fossil-fuels. Thought that was obvious, but maybe I need to repeat it a few more times.

  160. #223 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 8:54 am

    The current rate-payers are paying for the current grid. If a wind project needs transmission lines going to those places, then the rate payers can pay for those too. Have you ever stood up before the public service commission or public utilities commission and asked them to raise rates to pay for a new project plus transmission? I have. The first critics are liberals who show up and argue against the wind projects saying the higher rates will hurt the poor. Yes, liberals kill green projects. Upisupism.

    • #224 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 11:38 am

      I guess the evil liberals will suffer along with everybody else when climate change alters our way of life.

  161. #225 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 1:06 pm

    Yes. The stupid liberals need to get a grip on the fact that transmission lines cost money, projects cost money, smart grids cost money, higher prices encourage conservation. Stupid liberals are the best friend coal ever had.

    • #226 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 3:04 pm

      You’ve identified the problem. We need money to rebuild our infrastructure to accommodate renewable energy production. Where’s it going to come from?

  162. #227 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    Wrong. This is how lefties always miss the point. They think of things in terms of checkbook accounting. I need money for something so where can I get it. That total ignores the entire human behavioral part of it. Like morbidly obese people who go to their doctor for Lipitor but they don’t want to talk about diet and exercise.

    I’ve identified the problem. Carbon based fuels of all kinds are too cheap. We need to make dirty fuels much more expensive. That will eliminate the need for all green subsidies since dirty alternatives will be more expensive and green energies will be relatively cheap. Can’t get that message past the lefties at the PUC hearings.

  163. #229 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    5 Juicy Tax Breaks That Corporations Enjoy That the Public Can’t Touch

    When corporations fall on hard times and lose money in a given year, those losses cannot only be used to fully offset any taxes they owe that year, but they are allowed to carry those losses into the future for up to seven years, reducing their taxes when good times return.

    …Corporations can use future tax savings to recoup their losses and replenish the savings drained during the bad year. Human families get no such benefit.

  164. #230 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    If you personally lost $50,000 in one year and then made $50,000 the next year, in total you would have made exactly $0 over the two years. So you would have no money at all. Zip. So should your personal taxes be $10,000 in year two putting you in the hole by $10,000?

    • #231 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 5:24 pm

      The point is that taxes work differently for human persons and corporate “persons.”

  165. #232 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 5:39 pm

    Yes, corporate earnings are taxed twice resulting in a marginal 59% rate.

    • #233 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 8:56 pm

      Playing the world’s saddest song on the world’s smallest violin.

  166. #234 by brewski on April 11, 2013 - 9:10 pm

    No, just an explanation as to why money is leaving and jobs are leaving. No violin, just unemployment thanks to you.

    • #235 by Richard Warnick on April 11, 2013 - 9:25 pm

      Oh the tax holiday for the rich and corporations isn’t good enough? That’s right, Obama shut down some control towers at the airports their private jets fly to. No wonder they’re sore.

  167. #236 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 9:39 am

    You still don’t seem to appreciate the difference and the importance of marginal tax rates and total taxes paid.

  168. #237 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 9:41 am

    A primer on the effect of taxes:

    A Modest Proposal for My Students

    APRIL 12, 2013 by SANDY IKEDA

    From class discussions I’ve had with various students over the years, I gather that only a few of them favor radical income redistribution, such as complete equalization of incomes. Most believe though that it’s fair to tax “the rich” at a higher rate than “the poor” and that the poor should really get some form of income subsidy, because the rich probably got that way owing not just to hard work but perhaps also to socioeconomic advantages (e.g., stable home life, good education). Moreover, they think the effects of progressive taxes are revenue neutral—that is, the total amount of income earned stays pretty much the same.

    So in the spirit of experimental economics, which is all the rage in college economics courses these days, I thought I might try a little experiment with one of my classes this spring.

    The Experiment

    There are about 21 students in my intermediate microeconomics class. The average score on their midterm exams was 71 out of 100 possible points. Thus, the total number of points the class earned as a whole was 1,491. The highest score was 101.5 (the exam included a bonus question) and the lowest was 44.

    I give letter grades according to the following table:
    A: 90–100
    B: 80–89
    C: 65–79
    D: 55–64
    F: 54 and below

    So a class average of 71 translates to an average letter grade of C. There were 3 As, 5 Bs, 8 Cs, 3Ds, and 2Fs.
    As a lesson on the effects of redistribution on incentives, I’m thinking of proposing the following “progressive tax” on grades:

    71 to 80 taxed at 20 percent
    81 to 90 taxed at 30 percent
    91 and above taxed at 40 percent

    (These rates reflect, in a simplified way, the current United States tax code.)

    For example, my top scorer, the one who scored 101.5 points out of 100, would be taxed 20 percent, or 1.8 points, for the first 9 points above the mean; 30 percent, or 3.3 points, for the next 9 points; and 40 percent, or 4.2 points, for the last 11 points. Thus, her total tax bill would be 9.3 points, leaving her with 101.5 – 9.3 = 92.2 points. My student who failed with only 44 points (with 55 needed to pass) would then receive those points as a subsidy, giving him44 + 9.3 = 53.3 points.

    The next-highest scoring student received 94 points on the midterm. His tax would be calculated as follows: 1.8 and 3.3 points as with the highest scorer, plus 1.2 for the 3 points he earned above 91, giving him a total tax of 6.3, leaving him with a score of 87.7 points. These points would be redistributed to the next-lowest scorer, who got 50.5 points.
    That student then would have a total score of 56.8 points.
    This system would continue for every other student in my class, half of whom would be taxed, the other half of whom would receive a subsidy.

    The Results

    With respect to the best and worst performers, the tax/subsidy would not change their letter grades: the former would still get an A, the latter an F. But in many cases, perhaps most (I haven’t actually done the calculations for everyone), there would be a change of grade. For instance, the next-highest performer would go from an A (94 points) to a B (87.85 points) while the next-lowest performer would go from an F (50.5 points) to a passing grade of D (56.55 points).

    If any of them complained about the proposal’s fairness, I would point out that innate differences in intelligence, drive, and discipline unfairly create gaps in performance; “the smart” probably went to better high schools and had other socioeconomic advantages that were also driving the unequal outcomes, even though the rules were the same for everyone.

    I would then ask my students, if I actually implemented my progressive tax scheme on their midterms, to give a general prediction of (1) the amount of effort they and their classmates would devote to studying and learning the material covered in the second half of the course and (2) the total number of points the class would earn and the mean score on the final exam. Would these figures go up or down?

  169. #238 by Richard Warnick on April 12, 2013 - 10:23 am


    Premise is wrong. It’s not about “fairness,” it’s about the ability to pay. Nobody in Washington cares about fairness.

    Corporations and Wall Street benefit far more from government services than the average American citizen. Yet they continue to enjoy a tax holiday.

    Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
    1955 . . . 27.3%
    2010 . . . 8.9%

    Individual income and payroll taxes as a percent of GDP
    1955 . . . 9.3%
    2010 . . . 12.2%

    Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of GDP
    1955 . . . 4.3%
    2010 . . . 1.3%

    Individual Income/Payrolls as a Percentage of Federal Revenue
    1955 . . . 58.0%
    2010 . . . 81.5%

  170. #239 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 10:45 am

    I will remember that the next time you use the word “inequality”.

    • #240 by Richard Warnick on April 12, 2013 - 10:57 am

      Ayn Rand collected Social Security benefits. Remember that.

      • #241 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 1:42 pm


        • #242 by Richard Warnick on April 12, 2013 - 1:52 pm


          • #243 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 4:52 pm

            No it isn’t.
            She would go to jail if she didn’t pay her SS taxes. So under threat of incarceration she paid her SS taxes.
            So your point is that she shouldn’t receive her SS benefit as some matter of principle?
            The only thing that is self-explanatory is that you are a loon.

  171. #244 by cav on April 12, 2013 - 11:35 am

    My ability to pay is directly connected to this ‘lock-box’ or that, SS or the Highway and infrastructure upgrade and maintenance fund – since caring for the aged and infirmed, replacing bridges, sewers and that sort of thing has become quaint and passe’, whatever money that has accumulated to those efforts may just as well go instead into the pockets of the plutarchs.

    What the hell. I’ll be dead.

    • #245 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 1:44 pm

      We have one Federal government.

  172. #246 by Richard Warnick on April 12, 2013 - 11:45 am

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. My beef with inequality is not mainly a “fairness” argument.

    The problem with extreme inequality (like we have now) is that it means concentrating the wealth in too few hands. This undermines democracy, and causes the financial sector and the “real economy” to part ways – the former becomes a bubble-and-crash prone casino, and the latter languishes due to low wages and reduced consumption.

  173. #247 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 1:42 pm

    “Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of Federal Revenue”
    Meaningless ratio
    Under this ratio if Federal Revenues from gas leases go up 300% and corporate taxes go up 200%, then you think that somehow corporate taxes have gone down when they have not.

    “Individual income and payroll taxes as a percent of GDP”
    People live much much longer now than in 1955.
    Expected number of years after 65:
    1955 = 4
    2010 = 14
    So it would be stunning if the cost to pay for your earned defined benefit did not go up by 300%

    Corporate Taxes as a Percentage of GDP
    1955 . . . 4.3%
    2010 . . . 1.3%
    Reflects the millions of corporations who elect to pay taxes on the owners’ individual tax return. Ask Cliff Lyon how this works. This is not a reflection of lower taxes paid, just on which return they are paid.

    “Individual Income/Payrolls as a Percentage of Federal Revenue”

    So all of your statistics are either meaningless or reflect something other than what you think they reflect.
    I will send you a bill for my tutorial services.

  174. #248 by Richard Warnick on April 12, 2013 - 1:55 pm

    Anyway you look at it, it’s a tax holiday for the rich and corporations.

  175. #249 by cav on April 12, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Incorporate and that could be you coming out of the surf and to your chair on the beach.

  176. #250 by brewski on April 12, 2013 - 4:53 pm

    “Anyway you look at it”

    Except the way which includes knowledge and facts. So not the Richard way.

  177. #251 by cav on April 12, 2013 - 7:53 pm

    “The role of federal spending during W.W. II has some relevance to recent debates about how how to cure the recession that has lingered after the 2009-2010 crash. And, held up against the experience of the Roosevelt years, the argument that low taxes are the way to end an economic collapse is ludicrous. This is not a matter for debate; it is absolutely certain that it was not tax cuts that brought the nation out of the Great Depression. The rapid recovery from the Depression during World War II took place at time when the top marginal income tax rate was raised to 88 percent and then, in the last two years of the war, to 94 percent—the highest rate in American history.”

  178. #252 by Ronald D. Hunt on April 13, 2013 - 12:33 am

    We can bring all that tax haven money home and taxed real fast.

    We reissue the currency, a 1 to 1 re-issuance, bring the money to a qualified bank in the United States to exchange your dollars for the “New Dollar”, one year from the re-issuance date any funds that have not been exchanged have the same value as monopoly money!

    All debts are automatically converted to new dollars on a 1 to 1 basis.

    After this is finished we set a target inflation rate of 25% and over 4-5 years lower it to 12%, making it very expensive to hide money abroad, also makes it very expensive to sit on money, forcing the rich to actually spend/invest their money as opposed to sitting on it. The British currency worked this way from 1955-1970ish timeline.

  179. #253 by brewski on April 13, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    “The British currency worked this way from 1955-1970ish timeline.”

    Which happens to be the timeframe when British economy was in decline, culminating with the Winter of Discontent of 1978.

    Which of course gave us the heroine of Margaret Thatcher.

    • #254 by Richard Warnick on April 14, 2013 - 4:04 pm

      They’re holding street parties to celebrate Thatcher’s death. Let that be a warning to all politicians who devote their careers to helping the 1 Percent at the expense of the the rest of us.

      • #255 by brewski on April 14, 2013 - 6:12 pm

        They would be holding their parties in Russian if it wasn’t for her. She was elected three times and was the longest serving PM in 150 years. So much for your data-devoid theory of the 1%.

        I take it then that you agree that the State should own all means of production as well as all land.

        Remind me again how you are a conservative?

  180. #256 by Ronald D. Hunt on April 14, 2013 - 3:01 pm

    heroine, funny name for the crazy that invented the population tax, sold off the publics hard built enterprises for pennies on the dollars, increased their unemployment rate, and smashed unions who had a very sound beef with their pay raises being a 1/3 of the inflation rate by the prior government!

    It wasn’t the inflation rate that lead to the thatcher government it was hysteria about how to control it, by paying for the lower inflation rate on the backs of a particular group of people.

    And to be clear even after thatcher, the year to year inflation rate was still around 7%. She is now almost universally reviled by the British, as they are able to look back at the results of what she did, and see for themselves how much they lost.

    The day after her death, “Ding Dong, The witch is dead” jumped up the charts in Britain to third most popular piece of music. And people all around Britain held parties celebrating the death of that evil women.

  181. #257 by brewski on April 14, 2013 - 6:19 pm

    The popular opinion of the lefty rabble in the street is no reflection on facts and history. The whole ding dong crap is ironic considering Thatcher was elected three times, never lost a general election, was the longest serving PM in 150 years and the only female PM ever. So much for facts and history. As for selling off “the public’s hard built enterprises”; bullshit. Those were all private enterprises and were nationalized by the pinkos. Then the pinkos ran them into the ground and made the entirely unprofitable and poorly run. They made shit cars and shit phone service and pretty much shit everything else. So when it was time to sell them they weren’t valued the same as a well run private company. Thatcher had no reason not to sell them for the highest price possible, so if they received a low price then it is because they were only worth a low price.

    Which part of an IMF bailout and which part of the Winter of Discontent don’t you understand? They were Greece on their way to becoming Cyprus. Those idiots dancing in the streets now should be on their knees thanking her for saving their country. They are an embarrassment to themselves.

  182. #259 by brewski on April 15, 2013 - 10:52 am

    From your link:

    “Trade unions certainly needed the Thatcher treatment in terms of both accepting the rule of law and the need for responsibilities alongside their rights.”

    “trade unions were a proper target. By the late 1970s, a handful of trade union leaders in effect co-ran the country, the beneficiaries of the failure of successive governments to bring free collective bargaining into a legal framework. This despite the fact that they could not deliver their members to agreed policies, and the third year of an incomes policy had collapsed. On this question, the Labour party was intellectually exhausted and politically bankrupt;”

    “Mrs Thatcher capitalised on a moment of temporary ungovernability that, to her credit, she resolved,”

    So basically your point is that the pre-Thatchers were total loons and she was the only one who could and did save the UK from those loons, but her follow-on policies were too market-based.

    As for blaming her for the condition of the UK today when she left office 23 years ago, that means I get to blame Clinton on anything I want to until 2024.

    Nevermind the reckless monetary policy by the Bank of England under the Labour Government as well as by the Fed as being responsible for the mess of today.

    One should give credit to her that the UK is not in the Euro mess.

  183. #260 by Ronald D. Hunt on April 15, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    Ohh yes, she fixed the governability problem, but her economic platform was a train wreck.

    Like Reagen she made the economy temporary better and hide the failings of her poor economic policy with easy credit.

    Real growth was barely 2%, while wages improved slightly, the cost of housing/rent skyrocketed, and unemployment persisted throughout her rein.

    Now their electric company is mostly own by Dubai, and the “market power” she sold people turns out to be a basket of lies. There pensions all live at the by your leave of companies with “British” in the name but are primary owned by foreigners, And BP isn’t the only example of how “well” these companies are run.

    The recession in 2007-8 was as much built by her as it was built by raygun and Clinton here. Allowing the banks to operate free of regulation or from things as simple as leverage requirements. both our Nations had bloated financial sectors as a result of foolishness from legislative policy.

    “that means I get to blame Clinton on anything I want to until 2024.”

    He signed the gram beach billy act of 1999, until that is fully undone by all means. Of course rayguns own deregulation of banks contributed to the overall effect, so he owns some of this credit as well.

  184. #261 by brewski on April 15, 2013 - 2:12 pm

    “her economic platform was a train wreck.”

    Don’t tell me that you want the State to own all means of production and all lands too?

  185. #262 by Richard Warnick on May 13, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    In the past twenty years, corporate profits have quadrupled while the corporate tax percent has dropped by half. The payroll tax, paid by workers, has doubled.

  186. #263 by brewski on May 13, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Why is that?

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