Ugh. This is taking a long time. It's very difficult doing the research properly while I'm underway. Simple pages take ages to load, and sometimes they cut out halfway through.
However, there is one thing right now that I can make a sufficient argument against. I'll follow through with the rest later.
Rough Giraffe wrote:
If Obama wants to raise taxes, we're going to see a significant drop in revenue in the first year.
As it happens, the recent fiscal cliff deal includes an increase in the top rate. If the next year has more revenue from the personal income tax than this last year, I don't want you to ever again claim that cutting taxes increases revenue or that raising taxes reduces revenue without first presenting evidence to BR or myself and getting approval to do so on a case by case basis. Deal? Or do you not want to stake a claim against reality's well
-known liberal bias
? Because I'm getting tired of repeating myself.
It was kind of difficult making heads or tails at first of what you meant by "Reality's Liberal Bias." At first, given the context, I thought you were just talking about some cockamamie idea that it's accepted truth that higher taxes will always result in more revenues, but of course that can't be what you're saying. After all, I think we can agree that if we raised the Federal income tax rate significantly (say, 75% with no exemptions or loopholes), we can reasonably predict that it would have a number of devastating economic effects, which we could reasonably argue would include a significant decrease in tax revenues. Of course, no one is asking for that except Sentios; I don't think anyone who knows anything about economics is actually
advocating that idea. So you must be talking about something else.
Digging into your sources, it seems you took that line directly from Paul Krugman (who himself apparently stole it from Rob Corddry, though I can't find the line he's referencing at the end there), a man whose idea of of a civil discussion is somewhere along of the lines of "I'm right and you're wrong, don't try to argue with me." I'd like to say that that's a joke on my part, but looking back on many of the things he's said
(whereafter he was proven wrong
but did not acknowledge this, nor change his rhetoric) and some of the discourse
he's had with more Right-leaning figures (such as a recent one in which he claimed that all of his opponent's facts were "non-facts
" without presenting anything to really back that up), and given some of the nastier
things he has to say about the opposing viewpoint, I can't see him as anything but a well-spoken Leftist bully whose policy prescription is more often wrong than right.
But enough about Bizarro Santa Claus
Your other sources indicate that if people disagreed with Nate Silver's calculation of Obama's victory over Romney that they were stupid, mathematically illiterate, biased, or irrational.
While all that might be accurate at one level or another, a rather large number---if not the majoriy---of so-called Right-wingers observed that, by the polls, the country was increasingly dissatisfied with Pres. Obama's handling of the economy. They made the observation
that during the 1980 Carter v. Reagan election and
the 1984 Mondale election, many polls predicted that Reagan's opponent would win. But they were wrong, and Reagan won both times. The fact is that most polls and predictions are just that; polls and predictions. It doesn't mean they are always right. Granted, people on the Right wanted Romney to win, and they were extremely disappointed when he lost; myself included. But to say that people are stupid to have thought that he was going to win, or that they hate math, or that they're irrational as a result of that is kind of irrational in and of itself. After all, the left has
been astronomically wrong before.
Hundreds of people made predictions that Obama would win. Hundreds of people made predictions that Romney would win. What do you think would have happened if Romney had been elected? If Nate Silver's prediction had not come true? What would be the probable outcome, and the reaction of the Right? Would it then be "Reality's Conservative
Bias?" Or would the Left say that the election was a farce and Obama should have won, and demanded a recount like in 2000?
Now... I believe the original topic was taxes
. First of all, I'm not making that deal under any circumstances. We can have a discussion on the merits of a certain tax rate, and we can disagree all we like. But I'm not going to put up with someone telling me I can't say something that isn't against the rules to say simply because they're in a position of power and disagree with me saying it. In any case, I'll explain why I made that statement.
As we can see, herein lies the problem with me using "absolute" language that assumes we both know what I'm talking about and are going off the same data. When I made that statement, I was going off of the idea that Obama's Federal tax rate increase was proposed at about 47%, up from 35% (12% increase in taxes) in addition to closing tax loopholes. As it stands, I can't find a source that backs up my idea that it was 47%. I know I heard it somewhere, I just can't find it. So we'll say I was going off of faulty data and made a fallacious argument on the spur of the moment. I was wrong to do so.
The thing is, I generally don't agree with increasing taxes because of the moral and logistical implications that come from making arbitrary decisions on what constitutes a "fair" or "appropriate" tax rate---which remains an argument used by the current President---which then divides us as a nation. That kind of language ("Is it fair
that...") being used by people in power---by people to whom it also applies---is extremely hypocritical and inflammatory. But I know your argument was not about fairness, so I commend you on that.
Your argument seemed to be more along the lines of "we can fix the deficit by raising taxes," which is at the least a fair argument and we can discuss what you think the most optimal rate aught to be.
My argument is more along the lines of "We should first try to fix the deficit by cutting spending, not increasing taxes." That might not be what I said, but, as I have said, I was wrong for saying it.
The point I'm trying to make is that overall taxation is high, and slanted unfairly towards higher-income earners. As has been proven true time and time again, "increased taxation of an activity generally results in less of that activity." And what exactly is an income tax if not a tax on labor and enterprise? Thus, increased taxes on labor and enterprise generally result in less labor and enterprise. Thus, if labor and enterprise suffer due to increased taxation, we can predict that tax revenues will fall.
Furthermore, higher taxes generally create a disparity in business, where taxes become an excessive burden on both large and small businessmen to disproportionate levels depending on what kind of activity that business is engaged in. It creates an atmosphere where the rich have
to work the system to their advantage in order to keep (more of) the money they earn
, and where only someone with the right connections can get tax breaks. People in the lower brackets then see the people on the higher brackets taking advantage of those tax breaks (which are, by the way, completely lawful
) and say they're guilty of "tax evasion," or else say something like "They're not paying their fair share! Raise their taxes!" Therein lies the disparity at the bottom
---that those at the bottom are increasingly perceptive to the unfair tax rates, but they see themselves as the victims (which is one of the reasons why I have problems with a progressive tax rate). And since the lower classes are easier to exploit than the upper classes, that's what happens on an election year when people want to get a leg up on their opponent; they take advantage of public outcry (read: whining). That's why we have people talking so much about the class warfare from the President. It's because he's been using it to his full advantage.
The President learned his politics from Community Organizers. They operate by rallying people towards an imagined crisis and offering solutions. They manufacture victims and link them to alleged aggressors, going so far as to point blame where it doesn't belong. In this way, they're really little more than bullies
If you don't believe me, or you think that I'm jumping to conclusions or something, feel free to call me on it, but I can offer several examples of why this is the case (not solely related to taxation). But it's a different topic of conversation, so feel free also to abandon it if you think it's too much of a tangent. Either way is fine with me.
In any case, my lunch break is almost over, and I need to get back to work. I'll keep working on my response when I have some time.