The stupid, it burns

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on February 26, 2013

So, as part of my other job that must-not-be-named I found myself over at Mother Jones, reading this article by David Corn. There’s far less to the article than Corn would have you believe. Corn attempts to make a lot of hay out four non-committal sentences in an interview House Speaker John Boehner gave back in 2011 after the sequester had been passed.

This is not about that article, but about the denizens of the comment section attached to the aforementioned article.

After one undoubtedly right-wing commenter not-so innocently asked “but haven’t we just had a tax increase,” the alternative reality of the left came down in full force. Instead of simply acknowledging that yes, we just had a tax increase but it’s not enough, the rich still have too much money, we get:

No, Dave. The Bush tax cuts--which added over one-and-a-half trillion dollars to the deficit and benefited mostly the mega rich--expired. We need tax revenues to bring down the deficit. The best people to handle the burn are the ones who got the richest from the Bush cuts over ten years and did nothing with them but send jobs overseas, speculate wildly on the stock market and crash our economy, practice business leveraging, which destroyed jobs, and parked their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us did.

Set the super-paranoid class warfare aside for a moment and let’s focus on a couple of the supposed factual statements. First, the “cost” of the Bush tax cuts to the government, even by the left’s own bean-counters was only $955 billion over 10 years. But what’s being $545 billion off when there’s vitriol to be spewed.

Second, how exactly does allowing a lower tax rate to expire and rise to a higher one, not a tax hike. My comment:

"But haven't we just had a tax increase."

"No, Dave. The Bush tax cuts ... expired."

So, if you were paying less taxes before and now you're paying more, that's not a tax increase? Because...


Reality-based denizen:

Because we have just relinquished tax cuts to return to normal tax rates.  That is restoring tax rates, not raising them.

My response:

So, if we went back to pre-JFK era tax rates where the top marginal rate was over 75 percent, that wouldn't be a tax hike either because we'd just be "restoring" tax rates.

The only way to ever have taxes raised would be to set a rate that would be higher than they'd ever been before in recorded history. Anything short of that is "restoring" earlier rates.

You're like a bunch of 14-year-olds playing word games.

And that’s the logic of the denial of the fact that tax rates just went up. My paycheck is smaller this year than last not because I’m in the $400,000+ income bracket, but because the 2 percent FICA tax “holiday” expired. Did my taxes go up? Not according to these geniuses, but however they want to describe it, I’ve got less money in my wallet because of it.

Reality-based denizen:

Matthew Hoy:  "So, if we went back to pre-JFK era tax rates..."

So, I am the one playing word games?

I don't like having my taxes increased any more than you but I understand what just happened and I can explain it in rational terms even if I don't like it.  Taxes didn't go up- the temporary reduction expired and they returned to pre-stimulus levels (for the working class anyway).  Tax cuts for the wealthy for the past thirty plus years were permanent so if theirs go up, that will be an increase.

Only one of the two tax reductions resulted in destroying the economy.  Can you guess which one?  Of course you can't because there is no irrational answer that is a correct answer.

My response:

Matthew Hoy:  "So, if we went back to pre-JFK era tax rates..."

RudyTwoShoes: So, I am the one playing word games?

That's a hypothetical. Saying that if your tax rate goes from "a" to "a+2" isn't an "increase" because it was "a+2" 11 years ago is contorting the meaning of increase into something that it is not. That is a word game.

Just out of curiosity. Which tax increase "resulted in destroying the economy?"

Follow the link if you like, but briefly it’s the Washington Post fact-checker giving Obama’s claim during the 2012 election that the Bush tax cuts caused the recession Three Pinnochios. It would’ve been five Pinnochios had the parties been reversed.

Finally, there was some brief back-and-forth with an individual I can only guess is still suffering from a serious case of Bush Derangement Syndrome and should be institutionalized.

The Bush tax cuts were never permanent. They were an executive order--

My response:

First statement is true. Second one is false. The president can't change tax rates by executive order.

The idiot:

And yet, he did with some help from Darth Cheney and friends.


And I can assure you that that jackass votes—probably early and often.

4 comments on “The stupid, it burns”

  1. Love the blog!

    One thing-

    Isn't the whole idea that the "tax cuts cost ____" fallacious to begin with? For one, revenue to the government increased after the cuts were passed (as it always does) and secondly, the projection for how much they cost the government is based upon the assumption that the economy would have performed the same without the cuts. If the economy performs the same regardless of tax rates, then why do we need to do anything at all to the tax code?

    I'm sick of hearing that the Bush Tax Cuts have anything at all to do with the debt or deficit. The government doesn't pay for tax cuts. That's like saying a movie that doesn't break even actually paid people not to watch it.

    1. Yes, that's fallacious. Feel free to search the site for "static scoring" and I'm sure you'll see some posts where I've addressed the idea.

      It's something I've gotten into before, but in this situation I was merely interested in holding them to even their own flawed assumptions.

  2. To rant a little more-

    Is it not revealing of their mindset to consider tax cuts a government expenditure? It's as if they think our money is the government's money and we should be thankful that they "pay" us by allowing us to keep any of it.


Load More...


February 2013



linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram