The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana

Here:

The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism.
The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana.
The 39.6% rate of the 1990’s = socialism.
Everything else = down the memory hole.

That Obama fellow sure is soaking the rich, isn’t he?

137 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Stuck says:

    The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana.

    Capitalist Nirvana

    More like Tea With Mussolini

  2. 2
    Dave C says:

    That picture has got to be worth at least several thousand words.

  3. 3
    SpotWeld says:

    Remember, he isn’t soaking the rich.. he’s "pulling down the rich to make everyone equally poor".

    Bah

  4. 4
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    And how long will it take Republicans to ignore the fact that they cratered the economy and instead blame the 4% increase in taxes for decreased revenues?

  5. 5
    Comrade Stuck says:

    David Shuster just bended over Tucker Bounds on Limbaugh and the current state of GOP FUBAR. It was embarrassing to watch, and oddly satisfying.

  6. 6
    ericvsthem says:

    I showed this information to a group of wingnuts at work last year, wondering how they’d respond. They blamed the high top tax rates under Republican administrations on 1) Democratic controlled Congresses, and 2) necessary due to recessions created by Democratic administrations.

  7. 7
    nylund says:

    OK, so presidents who had higher top tax rates than Obama include Ike, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan*. Commies, every last one of them.

    (*for six of his eight years in office it was higher).

  8. 8
    Incertus says:

    Graphs have a liberal bias.

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana.

    To be fair, the rich will still doggedly insist they are getting soaked. Flip on a little Bill O’Reily and listen to him rail at the deadbeat Subway worker earning $14k / year that gets off scott free without paying the government tab.

    I mean, 35% is an enormous amount of money, particularly when you’re making well into six figures a year.

  10. 10
    calipygian says:

    If Obama is a socialist, I guess that makes Reagan and his 50 percent marginal rate goddamn Karl Marx

  11. 11
    valdivia says:

    Not to repeat myself (the David Brooks thread) but the idiots do not understand how the tax system works. Teh Stupid, no peak there either. For confirmation see here.
    And here.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    Flip on a little Bill O’Reily

    No.

    $14k / year that gets off scott free without paying the government tab

    The appropriate term is “lucky duckies.”

  13. 13
    bayville says:

    The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism.

    Actually, I think 40 % is the "socialist" break even point. Conservatives are using the Burkean technique of rounding up.

  14. 14
    JenJen says:

    It’s truly as if the entire nation needs to go to American History Rocks! School.

    This is looking more and more to me like reminding people that Ronald Reagan wasn’t the first president ever ever ever, or something. Having grown up in the 80’s myself, I had to go through a bit of re-education the last few years.

    "Nixonland" is a good start for the Required Reading List, of course. Is there anything similar out there about the Reagan Years?

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    Not to repeat myself (the David Brooks thread) but the idiots do not understand how the tax system works.

    These are also the same people who think 100 people at a tea party is a mass movement, but 50,000 at an anti-war protest is insignificant. The simple fact of the matter is that when they chant that the education system is failing in this country, they are speaking from personal experience.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    @JenJen: Nogo. History also has a liberal bias.

  17. 17
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Why is Tom DeLay on my tv?

  18. 18
    valdivia says:

    @John Cole:
    ROLF. Ain’t that the truth. It is incredible to me these people do not get what the marginal tax is and how it works.

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    Obama is just trying to recreate the social-ist state that existed under his big government, tax the rich, Marxist mentor: Reagan

    Damn you calipygian – the phone rang while I was typing.

  20. 20
    Skullduggery says:

    Coincidence that the two biggest financial crises in the past century were preceded by tax rates below 40%? Probably not direct causation, but maybe a third variable explains both (e.g. wealthy increase their power, restrict gov’t taxes and oversight, PROFIT, crash)?

  21. 21
    Les Miserable Fulcanelli says:

    @John Cole: I’ll bet those "lucky duckies" would rather be earning enough to have to worry about paying 39.6% in federal income taxes as opposed to what they earn now. Amazing.

  22. 22
    bayville says:

    @valdivia
    I heard Kudlow promoting that same lawyer story today as well.
    That would be Larry Kudlow – the forever bullish, former Bear Stearns economist, Reagan Deputy Budget Director, NRO dope and future Connecticut Senate candidate.
    Either Larry is dishonest or he too doesn’t understand marginal tax rates.

  23. 23
    Martin says:

    So, who wants to break the news to everyone complaining about lucky duckies that the solution to that problem is simply a higher minimum wage?

  24. 24
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Wow, I just had some really inspiring news.

    My niece, who started a Republican debating group in high school – and who is now a college senior majoring in philosophy/religious studies – just took part in the largest civil disobedience action on climate change in American history. She said the highlight was blocking the power plant gates.

    There is HOPE ! ! !

  25. 25
    BDeevDad says:

    @Dennis-SGMM: They already started. Didn’t you know the rich were preparing for the Obama taxes in June of 2008 and that’s why the economy sucks.

  26. 26
    That One - Cain says:

    Obama should announce that he’s going back to the Reagan era tax rates. That should throw wingnuts into a tizzle snizzle.

    cain

  27. 27
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole: Damn. Why do I always lose?

  28. 28
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    As has been said on other threads, I would happily pay more taxes if it meant universal health care, right now my boss pays $1,600 per month for me and him. Someone the other day said that thier company was paying $20,000 per month for 16 employees, that is utterly outrageous. When are people going to get a clue that if you take that HUGE burden OFF the shoulders of small business then the small businesses are going to THRIVE. I have said this time and time again, the fact that the most powerful country in the world simply dismisses health care as some sort of "welfare" is criminal, when you are spending billions upon billions on defense and weaponry and yet your citizens are starving because they have to keep up their health insurance premiums it is f**king criminal. When will you people buy a f**king clue? Oh and soc ialismn means a) a 40 hour work week b) six weeks paid vacation c) paid health coverage, man that is so radical how will it ever work? Yeah right.

  29. 29
    gizmo says:

    The wingnuts who are complaining about Obama’s initiatives seem to be overlooking the fact that greedy capitalists stand a better chance of making lots of money if we can get the banks and the budget under control, as Obama is trying to do. Complaining about a few percentage points in the tax rate is penny wise and pound foolish. Once the economy is stabilized, the investor-management-entrepeneur class stands to profit handsomely.

    Wish we didn’t have to spend so much time elaborating on the obvious…..

  30. 30

    Can we please not help blur the true definition of "s0ciali5m?"

    S0ciali5m is the absence of private property or private production. It is government ownership of the bases of commerce and finance.

    It is not about taxation schemes.

    The point of the top post is well taken, but this isn’t about s0cial5m. Never has been.

  31. 31
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    First Delay, now Jim Cramer and Harold Ford Jr are on my tv.

    Why do I do this to myself?

  32. 32
    Davis X. Machina says:

    What the chart shows is an increase over time in godliness!

    The godless state has no business presuming, by progressive taxation, to deprive the elect of the outward signs of their election, and especially no business trying to improve the state of the reprobate. This is worse than useless — it is blasphemy.

    The elect prosper because a merciful God could not allow them to live in uncertainty about their election — their possession of the good things of this world, and their ability to compare their condition to that of the reprobate is a divine gift — one meant to assure them of their blessed state,

    The reprobate also provide the elect with objects upon which to practice acts of charity, but since salvation is through faith, not works, and bestowed gratuitously from the beginning of all time regardless of merit, this isn’t strictly necessary. In fact, any attempt to extort salvation by performing good works is also blasphemous.

    Further, the preterite damned need to have the salutary spectacle of the elect, and their own fallen condition, before their eyes always to remind them that the judgments of the the Lord are righteous altogether.

  33. 33
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @BDeevDad:
    The rascals are always one jump ahead of us.

  34. 34
    JenJen says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: ‘Cause you’re just like me. Tom Delay: "I don’t have to wonder if Obama’s policies will fail. I KNOW they’re going to fail!"

    Anyone have a chart outlining Tom Delay’s history of getting stuff right?

    C’mon over, Rusty. I’ve got beer.

  35. 35
    4tehlulz says:

    IKE = CHE

  36. 36
    Alan says:

    Jim Cramer is the last person Mathews should have on his show telling us that Obama has to watch the market to make his economic policy. Keeping the friggin market overinflated over the last ten years is part of the reason we’re in this mess. Cramer needs to crawl under a rock and stay there. I don’t give a rats ass about his investment banker friends. They should all be hung from the rafters over the exchanges’ floors.

  37. 37
    valdivia says:

    @bayville:

    I vote for he does not understand it, he being a tool and all. Too much blow maybe?

  38. 38
    Alan says:

    Now Mathews has McCain on railing against earmarks. Sorry McCain the corruption is not earmarks. It’s having lobbyists help write laws which help enrich the groups they lobby for.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @JenJen:

    A beer sounds like a good idea.

    I’m gonna watch da Bulls until Olbermann.

  41. 41
    amorphous says:

    @valdivia: I saw that this afternoon, and I didn’t know whether to slam my head into the wall, cry, or just sigh and go about my regular business. After a couple of minutes, I sighed. This, coupled with Hannity’s "Oh how can we have climate change global warming when there’s a blizzard on the east coast" idiocy that I saw before I could change the channel makes me realize that we are all fucking doomed.

  42. 42
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Why is Tom DeLay on my tv?

    Is he broadcasting from prison?

    Why the hell not?

  43. 43
    Alan says:

    Henry Blodget certainly knows all about giving bad advice. The only difference, Cramer didn’t have to spend any time trying to rebuild his reputation. CNBC was more than happy to put him back in front of a camera.

  44. 44
    valdivia says:

    And in the meantime polls keep confirming ‘socia lism’ is what the people want.

  45. 45
    valdivia says:

    @amorphous:
    my preferred mode of coping: head.hits.desk. but by now I am totally immune to it because it happens everyday when I read Teh Stupid. If it was early enough I might just get a drink, but I am really trying not to become a lush until I hit 50 or so. All this to say: I know how you feel.

  46. 46
    bayville says:

    Cramer at his best

  47. 47
    calipygian says:

    These are also the same people who think 100 people at a tea party is a mass movement, but 50,000 at an anti-war protest is insignificant. The simple fact of the matter is that when they chant that the education system is failing in this country, they are speaking from personal experience.

    These are the same people who think Obama is the threat to the Constitution yet cheerled an administration that tried to suspend the first and fourth amendments in the name of "anti-terror operations", as well as violate the hell out of Posse Comitatus.

    Why the fuck should we listen to any "conservative", especially those who commit Constitutional Bukkake at places like the Corner?

  48. 48
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Dave C:

    That picture has got to be worth at least several thousand words.

    Ordinarily, yes. But thanks to Comrade Obama’s Commie-Ass Fascist Porkulus, it’s only worth 285 words. Only more Tea Parties can save us now.

  49. 49
    Napoleon says:

    @valdivia:

    And in the meantime polls keep confirming ‘socia lism’ is what the people want.

    So 16% of people apparently think Obama did not inherit the financial mess? There are some real crazies out there.

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    Need a good reason to not watch the news tonight? Neko Case’s new CD came out today. Screw the news.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    miss wild whiskers says:

    Can we put that on some billboards?

  53. 53
    valdivia says:

    @gbear:
    I know her voice and her work with the New Pornographers ( a fav band of mine). I am going to download it now.

    @Bubblegum Tate:
    the same 16% that loves Rush?

  54. 54
    Genine says:

    Soci alism? I really wish Republicans would acquaint themselves with encyclopedias. But then encyclopedias contain knowledge and that’s like kryptonite to a republican these days.

  55. 55
    Gus says:

    Now I get why Coolidge makes Republicans hard.

  56. 56
    Mike in NC says:

    Why is Tom DeLay on my tv?

    Now that a Dem is back in the White House, Tommy the Cockroach is no longer a disgraced criminal. He’s now a respected elder statesman. Ask Chris Matthews.

  57. 57
    Napoleon says:

    @gbear:

    I heard an interview with her in the last week (I had never heard of her before). I think it was on Bob Edward’s radio show.

  58. 58
    Laura W Darling says:

    @JenJen: (I think we broke the puppy stalking thread page! It won’t refresh and the recent comments column reflects what it did an hour ago – frozen in time. Do you think "they" are on to us? Perhaps evidence is being gathered as we drink our beer and wine unsuspectingly and gawk lustfully at KO’s massive head?)

  59. 59
    JenJen says:

    @Laura W Darling: Shhhh… manuevers have begun. The snow in Berlin is gray. Repeat, the snow in Berlin is gray. Copy?

  60. 60

    IIRC, median income in this counry is $48K, now what you do is look at 15.7% FICA/SS on every cent. Then toss on 5-9% sales tax on most of it, then….

    Uhhuh.

  61. 61
    Laura W Darling says:

    @JenJen: The electric trains run on time in Chinese restaurants.
    Hairy-Armed Girl Out

  62. 62
    HyperIon says:

    @John Cole:

    The appropriate term is “lucky duckies.”

    I was in Fla recently seeing my family. While dining with my 31 year-old nephew, I noticed that he said several actively stupid things during the evening. (It appears he is listening to rightwing radio…which is not easy to avoid in central Fla.) Ranted incoherently about climate change. Was surprised that the Oscar statue was NOT made of solid gold!

    He eventually got around the Mexican folks who sued a US rancher for big bucks for kicking one of them while holding them at gunpoint waiting for the Feds. He was ignorant of the outcome but outraged that they could/would use OUR legal system against US. When informed that $80K was awarded, he muttered "I wish I were an illegal alien."

    This young man has a trust fund and continually benefits from the largesse of his parents: free vacations, free cars, free education. Yet he thinks he’d do better as a Mexican trying to cross the southern border. Actually he doesn’t "think" at all. He just mouths off.

  63. 63
    JenJen says:

    @Laura W Darling: KO’s massive head, nuthin’. I hear he also has a bubble-ass. I am for serious. Over.

  64. 64
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    Obligatory Daily Show clip

    My favorite line? "They want the tax rates to go from 36% to 39%. In what 3% does that turn it sociali$t?"

  65. 65
    gbear says:

    @Napoleon:

    She’s been all over the place doing interviews. She was great on NPR’s ‘Sound Opinions’ last weekend.

    Parts of this new album were recorded in a barn that had baby robins nesting in the eaves. I just got to the last (15th)track on the CD and it’s 30 minutes of the sounds coming from a marsh near the barn at night. I may avoid putting this on shuffle-play, but it sure hits the spot on this cold MN night.

  66. 66
    Napoleon says:

    @JenJen:

    I hear he also has a bubble-ass. I am for serious.

    I saw him standing in a shot once on TV in a dark suit (which obscured his outline somewhat) and he appears to be fairly bulky.

  67. 67
    AnotherBruce says:

    That’s why I think that Obama should be jacking the top income tax bracket up to pre- 80s levels which was 70%. If they’re going to be WATBs over this, let’s give them a reason.

    Now there’s sockalism you can believe in.

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    valdivia:

    And in the meantime polls keep confirming ‘socia lism’ is what the people want.

    Except in the South (go to Full Crosstabs after linking).

    If only there were some way we could have both freed the slaves and let the South secede …

    .

  69. 69
    valdivia says:

    @gbear:

    I am listening to it now, great great. I love the color of her voice.

  70. 70
    freelancer says:

    Why the fuck should we listen to any "conservative", especially those who commit Constitutional Bukkake at places like the Corner?

    I hope to christ you intended to mean seppuku.

    NRO doesn’t have enough respect for the document to do the other thing to it.

  71. 71
    Wilson Heath says:

    @ Chuck Butcher, well spotted on the regressive taxes. The $14k minimum-wage lucky ducky ain’t so lucky after all. Payroll taxes top out at $90k an individual a year right now. And this isn’t for prepaid services. There’s no lock-box. This is money for the general fund. In other words, this is a tax on income where the effective rate decreases with the more money that you make. Or a tax with a zero rate if you don’t earn wage income but only investment income. Like a hedge-fund manager.

    And while the Reagan socialist/communist/Stalinist rates are being discussed, I bring a motion to the floor to abolish the capital gains tax preference. Income is income and it isn’t more virtuous if you didn’t lift a finger to make it. If we want to encourage savings, enhance IRA’s including increasing the total limits on contributions of post-tax dollars — that will be a better savings and retirement vehicle as only 6% pay capital gains rates. I’ll let you guess where those folks sit on the economic food chain. This is a holdover of Victorian-era trust accounting that should die a quick death.

  72. 72
    valdivia says:

    @JGabriel:

    maybe they will do that now? be their own country and stop taking our tax dollars.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    @HyperIon:

    When informed that $80K was awarded, he muttered "I wish I were an illegal alien."

    Proper response: "Yeah, I wish you were too."

    .

  74. 74
    JenJen says:

    Nobody could have predicted that apologizing to Rush Limbaugh would become even easier!

    I’m Sorry, Rush

  75. 75
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Skullduggery, similar causation. If the rich are getting a tax cut they are also getting a regulatory cut, and that produces a bubble as everyone jumps into the ponzi romper room.

  76. 76
    Montysano says:

    @Napoleon:

    I saw him standing in a shot once on TV in a dark suit (which obscured his outline somewhat) and he appears to be fairly bulky.

    Just like Al Gore and Michael Moore, but not at all like Rush or Zombie Jerry Falwell.

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    I heard an interview with her (Neko Case) in the last week…

    I hugged her once. The New Pornographers were performing at Warsaw in Williamsburg, and invited the audience on stage to dance during the encore. And at the end we all pretty much hugged Neko on our way off-stage, even though she had a cold.

    .

  78. 78
    valdivia says:

    @JenJen:

    priceless.

  79. 79
    Wilson Heath says:

    @ Hyperlon
    Flash back completely triggered of some trust fund Republican whiner who wrote a column in my college newspaper. Poor little thing had to pay taxes on the trust fund distributions that were paying her tuition. (I’m not sure I could call it "paying for her education" based on her column.) She asked why she shouldn’t just go on welfare. Poor little rich girl.

  80. 80
    JGabriel says:

    @JenJen:

    Shhhh… manuevers have begun. The snow in Berlin is gray. Repeat, the snow in Berlin is gray. Copy?

    That sounds like some sort of Isherwood/Auden Weimar era gay code thingy.

    Obligatory – Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    .

  81. 81
    JGabriel says:

    Moderation.

    What is it, too many links? What’s the limit?

    .

  82. 82
    Krista says:

    Obama should announce that he’s going back to the Reagan era tax rates. That should throw wingnuts into a tizzle snizzle.

    You should send that suggestion to Rahm Emanuel. The sheer joy of getting to say that and then watching the wingnuts’ subsequent headsplosions would probably send him skipping down the halls of the White House in utter glee.

  83. 83
    Montysano says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    Why is Tom DeLay on my tv?

    I’ve done a complete 180 since BO was sworn in: I hope Delay and Rush and Cantor and the whole dreary bunch get lots of face time on the teevee and have plenty of opportunity to offer a contrast to the sane, calm, articulate Obama. I think it’s possible that the GOP is well on their way to being nothing but the 15%-20% lunatics.

  84. 84
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Napoleon, I have to say, if I had one of these high paying gigs, I’d eat myself into personal porkulus. No problem. Uni and Foie Gras until I couldn’t eat any more. So I have a hard time really getting down on anyone doing the same, no matter what political stripe.

    Just me. An atheist to whom food is probably a religion.

  85. 85
    JenJen says:

    @JGabriel: Whatever. Take your over-the-top hatred of John Cole’s parents’ puppy-stalkers elsewhere, please. We’re in the midst of operations, if you don’t mind.

  86. 86
    chuck says:

    I really love how the Republicans are spinning middle class tax cuts: With scorn, calling it "welfare". Then saying the beneficiaries of Obama’s tax cuts don’t pay any taxes anyway.

    So we more or less have one or more of three responses that a normal person might give:

    1. "Which is it?"
    2. "You think I don’t pay any taxes?"
    3. "So that’s who your tax cuts were really for. Not me."

    I mean really, how do they otherwise spin their current scorn at tax cuts. Are they really going back to the supply-side well of "jobs creators"? Really?

  87. 87
    JGabriel says:

    JenJen:

    Take your over-the-top hatred of John Cole’s parents’ puppy-stalkers elsewhere, please.

    Is that what was going on? Puppy-stalking? I see that I wasn’t so far from the truth!

    Although my original post was in perplexity – not hatred (Auden’s one of my favorite poets) – I am now OUTRAGED at the harassment of innocent puppies and their John Cole parents!

    .

  88. 88
    Ash Can says:

    @JenJen: LOLZ!

  89. 89
    JenJen says:

    @chuck:

    I mean really, how do they otherwise spin their current scorn at tax cuts. Are they really going back to the supply-side well of "jobs creators"? Really?

    Seems clear to me that they’re dipping from the Voodoo Econ well , yeah. Again, time to educate Americans on how, like, that didn’t work, and stuff. And it’s maddening to me that the Chris Matthews of the world let the likes of Tom Delay get away with repeating it, too.

  90. 90
    JenJen says:

    @JGabriel: You could always start a blog.

    A quick perusal of GoDaddy shows that the URL "StopColeFamilyPuppyStalkingNow.org" remains available. But not for long, I assure you! (Pssst LauraW… initiate Operation Snausage NOW. Over. Copy?)

  91. 91
    jcricket says:

    I bring a motion to the floor to abolish the capital gains tax preference.

    I second this motion.

    Fundamentally, the rich will always complain about higher taxes, as will the banks complain about more regulations, for the same reason that teenagers complain about curfews and the rules you place on them.

    The difference is that no one listens to whiny teenagers. We say, "this is for your own good" and "I’m in charge, that’s why".

    We need to adopt the same attitude with banks, Republicans and rich people.

  92. 92

    @chuck:

    supply-side well of "jobs creators"? Really?

    yes.

    and punishing success

  93. 93
    Laura W Darling says:

    @JenJen: The sun’s binding energy is reflected off of the moon and provides us light to pick our Snausages.
    Copy.

  94. 94
    JenJen says:

    @Chuck Butcher: As Nicolle Wallace wrote, "When we turn on the television and see this gifted young leader scolding us and sending the successful and prosperous people of this country to detention, many of us scratch our heads."

    So there ya have it. "Detention." She went on "Hardball" today and everything.

  95. 95
    JenJen says:

    @Laura W Darling: The Aspens are turning, for their roots are connected. Over.

  96. 96

    […] John Cole on the difference between socialism and capitalist nirvana. […]

  97. 97
    JasonF says:

    @nylund:

    OK, so presidents who had higher top tax rates than Obama include Ike, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan*. Commies, every last one of them.

    The standard talking point I always hear from my friends on the right is that there were so many loopholes pre-1986 that nobody really paid anything close to those top rates. Which is probably true, to a point, but nobody ever goes on to tell me what rates they did pay.

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    JasonF:

    The standard talking point I always hear from my friends on the right is that there were so many loopholes pre-1986 that nobody really paid anything close to those top rates. Which is probably true, to a point, but nobody ever goes on to tell me what rates they did pay.

    Nor do they ever tell you when those loopholes were closed. Hint: they weren’t.

    .

  99. 99

    @JenJen:

    She went on "Hardball" today and everything.

    I saw it, my rationality is still in pain. The foam in my beard has now dried, though.

    Oh loops got closed much farther down the scale and FICA/SS went up, like a lot. Don’t forget, because it’s supposed to be dedicated, that particular tax doesn’t show in the % paid by income groups for running govt even though it is used. Lies and lies.

    We have one of the lowest effective tax rates on the wealthy in the world and take a look as what UBS is in trouble for.

  100. 100
    Napoleon says:

    Gerson’s column in the WP today is entitled "How Obama will Bleed the Rich Dry".

    I will not post a link since I refuse to click on links of bozo’s like him, but it is on the WP home page.

  101. 101
  102. 102

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    Cynicor says:

    Hmmm. You think it’s better to talk about going back to Reagan-era tax rates? Or to refer to this as the "Bush tax increase?"

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    […] Steve Benen, John Cole has a chart that puts Barack Obama’s economy-destroying tax cuts in their proper […]

  110. 110
    David says:

    Something else to consider when discussing the proposed marginal rate with dissenters, and this is very important: Obama himself is not raising the top rate, he’s simply letting the tax cuts for that bracket expire. The Republican congress on the early 2000s wrote this feature into the tax cuts because it went through the budget reconciliation process, which was the only way they would have been able to pass the tax cuts. So Obama isn’t raising taxes at all from the counter factual tax cuts standpoint.

    Also, see Nolan McCarty, an eminent political scientist, for a good explanation on Obama’s tax plan.

  111. 111

    […] 8, 2009 Chill out. And try to get some historical perspective (from John Cole): The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism. The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = […]

  112. 112

    […] I see that John Cole has created a graph with this […]

  113. 113
    Gimme a break says:

    Just one more detail –> the top 400 richest people in America paid in 2006 an average federal income tax bite of 17%

    You can look it up at the socialist Forbes.com:
    http://www.forbes.com/2009/01/.....icans.html

  114. 114
    ChicagoGuy says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that when they chant that the education system is failing in this country, they are speaking from personal experience.

    I disagree, I don’t believe they are speaking from personal experience but from personal achievement after decades of refusing to adequately fund public schools universally so that they can, selectively, funnel the same money towards the small handful of districts in affluent areas. This is the problem with basing the majority of school funding on local property taxes and allowing direct donations to specific schools/districts.

  115. 115
    wfaulk says:

    Something is wrong with your graph.
    It appears that from the start through 1996, each bar represents two years, and every other bar is labelled with an election year. Then what, by the existing pattern, should be labelled 2000 is labelled 1998. And then it goes back to every four years, now in non-election years.
    Somewhere in there are two bars that stand for 1 year a piece. The logical conclusion would be ’96 and ’97. But a more accurate assumption might be that a mistake has been made.
    Can you correct?

  116. 116
    Jacob says:

    Added a bottom line to the graph separating Republican and Democratic presidencies. Couldn’t fit in the names though.

    -Jacob

  117. 117
    Jacob says:

    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/2479/graphp.jpg

    [img] tags didn’t take in my last post for some reason.

  118. 118

    […] Posted in Daily life, Government at 1:00 pm by LeisureGuy John Cole of Balloon Juice has a useful graph in this post: […]

  119. 119
    Chuck says:

    Here is an article that demonstrates that high top tax rates result in economic growth and prosperity. In a nutshell when the top tax rates are high to avoid paying the tax the wealthiest leave the money in the companies which leaves the companies adequately capitalized resulting in growth. Low top tax rates results in the wealthy taking the money out of the companies to gamble in such adventures as OTC derivatives. High top tax rates don’t increase tax revenues but they due persuade profits to be plowed back into the real economy. http://www.alternet.org/workpl.....age=entire

  120. 120
    Paz says:

    This is a great graph for long term perspective. It’s sad how few people realize the fact that we used to have 90% income taxes in the highest bracket.

    For some perspective on the other side of the coin: The argument against the Obama policies is not simply about the top individual marginal tax rate, but it’s also about a host of other proposals that have similar tone (e.g., increasing capital gains rates, reducing/eliminating certain deductions, etc…). The other thing is that people are being grouped into the category of "Rich" if they make more than 250k per family, which is not even close to making sense in some parts of the country. I realize that is a different argument, but those are some of the things that people are upset about.

    Another key argument, and I would strongly agree with this one, is that this is really bad timing to even be talking about increasing taxes. There is absolutely no good reason to talk about it now… he could (and should) table any talk of tax increases on anyone until the economy recovers. It just does not help anyone if many people who may pit the bill on the higher income brackets are looking at some major losses in this environment (realized or otherwise) have to think about higher expenses in the coming months/years. This hurts confidence and it hurts our economy.

    At the end of the day, as long as Republicans/conservatives and Democrats/liberals continue to just point fingers at each other and to focus on the negatives, we’re all doomed. The sooner we all realize that both sides of the isle love this country and want it to succeed and that it’s not about socialism versus capitalism, but about putting our heads together in finding the best way to come out of this mess, the better off we will all be.

  121. 121
    Jeffrey Yasskin says:

    I wonder if you could extend that graph back to 1900. Although I agree with your conclusion, I believe you’ve been slightly disingenuous by starting where you did.

  122. 122

    […] John Cole posted this graph recently. […]

  123. 123
    mclaren says:

    Jeffrey, if you extended that graph back to 1900, you wouldn’t get any more information. Because there were no federal income taxes prior to 1913.

    That’s right — before 1913, the wealthy paid no tax. At all.

    Paz — the claim that if someone makes more than $250,000 they’re not rich is beyond ludicrous. Someone who makes $250,000 a year is in the top 2% of earners in America. Or, to put it another way, such a person makes more than 98% of the population.

    It’s safe to say that someone who makes more than 98% of the population of America is rich.

    There’s a perfectly good reason, Paz, for talking about raising the capital gains tax now and raising the top marginal income tax rates and raising the inheritance tax and raising every other possible kind of tax right now. The reason is that the income distribution in America has gotten more tilted toward the wealthy than at any time since the 1920s.

    You can’t do democracy when you have an income distribution with only a few superrich and most of the people dirt-poor. When that happens, you get Mexico, owned and controlled by 35 superwealthy families and inhabited by many millions of poor people who starve.

    You want to wait until America turns into Mexico, Paz? So tell us, when should we start talking about raising taxes on the rich? Should we wait until we turn into Brazil? Should we wait until we turn into Mexico? Should we wait until 7 oligarchs control the entire country, as in Russia?

    When should we start talking about raising taxes on the rich, Paz? If not now, when? If not us, who?

    I keep having flashbacks to that scene in the movie Aliens where Ripley looks at the people around the conference table and says, "Did IQs drop sharply while I was asleep?"

  124. 124

    […] thin, thin line between socialism and capitalist nirvana. Seriously. I understand the theory that lower taxes will encourage more investment, and that […]

  125. 125
    Joe says:

    It’s socialism because the proposed tax hikes now are going toward income redistribution, not balancing the budget or even more wasteful spending.

  126. 126

    […] same fucking tax was 50% under Reagan.  In fact, take a look at this graph from John Cole’s Balloon Juice.  It’s pretty instructive.  Newt and his ilk complained vociferously then, and they are […]

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Rod says:

    Truth is the economy cannot be revitalized without redistribution of wealth.

    If the masses cannot spend on the products the corporations are selling, there is no financial movement. Taxing the wealthy (2%) to alleviate the rest (98%) generates more disposable income in that 98% which in turn creates a spending market.

    This was true before the boom of credit. Credit just carried the momentum of this trend as the bottom (98%) had their spending power reduced to increase the tax cuts for the wealthy (2%). Without proper real flow of wealth, an economic crisis is inevitable. Credit only creates a false market that will inevitably dry out.

    People need to learn to live within their means and government needs to make sure that the services provided to its citizens are properly and equitably funded.

    True equitability means, the additional wealth after your basic needs are met. Wealthy people have a larger pool after their basic needs are met and therefore should be taxed higher. Period.

  129. 129
    Eddy says:

    What income brackets are these rates for? Are these income taxes at all? Very little information to work with here.

  130. 130

    […] Top Margin Taxes Don’t Prevent Recessions March 16, 2009 John Cole recently posted a very informative graph of the top tax rates since 1920. I added to that red lines to indicate depressions and recessions […]

  131. 131

    […] The data used for this chart are from John Cole’s  Balloon Juice Blog, “The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana.” […]

  132. 132
    Peter says:

    I’d like to see what the top bracket was in each of those years.
    If the brackets were different this really isn’t comparing apples to apples. It could be worse, it could be better but why hasn’t anybody questioned this?

  133. 133
    trent says:

    I appreciate your table. Thank you.

    As a Conservative, I do not think it is President Obama’s proposed top marginal tax rate that is the concern for most Conservative or the reason that free market proponents have used the term "socialism" to describe his ideas and approach.

    It is the very large increased size of the federal budget, President Obama’s ideas of tax credits for Americans who do not pay taxes and the looming much, much larger tax increases to pay for the enormous spending currently proposed. At some point we will have to start actually paying for this spending, and who will pay for that? The same top 10% who pay 70% of all taxes now. This is the opposite of Reagan’s "starve the beast" that the Left despised.

  134. 134
    Ken says:

    @Incertus: Reality has a liberal bias. :P

  135. 135
    Lousy Canuck says:

    […] 39.6%. This of course to the crazies that make up the GOP is socialism, because Republicans completely forget everything that came before Reagan. (Seriously, check that out — it peaks at like 93%!) The plan also included reducing taxes on […]

  136. 136

    […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism. The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana. The 39.6% rate of the 1990’s = socialism. Everything else = down the memory hole. (tags: politics usa tax) […]

  137. 137

    […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana (tags: tax history united-states finance politics) […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana (tags: tax history united-states finance politics) […]

  2. […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism. The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = capitalist nirvana. The 39.6% rate of the 1990’s = socialism. Everything else = down the memory hole. (tags: politics usa tax) […]

  3. Lousy Canuck says:

    […] 39.6%. This of course to the crazies that make up the GOP is socialism, because Republicans completely forget everything that came before Reagan. (Seriously, check that out — it peaks at like 93%!) The plan also included reducing taxes on […]

  4. […] The data used for this chart are from John Cole’s  Balloon Juice Blog, “The Thin Line Between Socialism and Capitalist Nirvana.” […]

  5. […] Top Margin Taxes Don’t Prevent Recessions March 16, 2009 John Cole recently posted a very informative graph of the top tax rates since 1920. I added to that red lines to indicate depressions and recessions […]

  6. […] same fucking tax was 50% under Reagan.  In fact, take a look at this graph from John Cole’s Balloon Juice.  It’s pretty instructive.  Newt and his ilk complained vociferously then, and they are […]

  7. […] thin, thin line between socialism and capitalist nirvana. Seriously. I understand the theory that lower taxes will encourage more investment, and that […]

  8. […] John Cole posted this graph recently. […]

  9. […] Posted in Daily life, Government at 1:00 pm by LeisureGuy John Cole of Balloon Juice has a useful graph in this post: […]

  10. […] I see that John Cole has created a graph with this […]

  11. […] 8, 2009 Chill out. And try to get some historical perspective (from John Cole): The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism. The 2002-2008 rates of 35.00% = […]

  12. […] Steve Benen, John Cole has a chart that puts Barack Obama’s economy-destroying tax cuts in their proper […]

  13. […] Cole posted this graph a few days ago. See that column on the far-right edge? That’s where Obama proposes the marginal […]

  14. […] John’s graph sums up the myth about increasing marginal rates on taxes quite well: […]

  15. […] as John Cole noted, these poor downtrodden people with six-figure salaries (and not even the folks making […]

  16. […] Stalinist Paradise 2009 March 4 tags: taxes, Eisenhower, Truman by Jamelle Via John Cole is this graph showing the “Top Tax Rates, 1920 to […]

  17. […] a little context on the top tax rates, check out the graph at Balloon Juice. As John Cole said, “The 2010 proposed rate of 39.60% = socialism. The 2002-2008 rates of […]

  18. […] John Cole on the difference between socialism and capitalist nirvana. […]

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