Who do you think is Responsible for the ~$20 Trillion Fed Debt?

vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

John Hinckley Jr gets my ground zero blame, can you guess why? Off to the garden...later...

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haydayhayday

Keynes and those who follow him believing that there actually is something called a free lunch.

Multiplying, multiplying, multiplying....

What's not to like?

Hay

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sunflower_petal(5a)

I believe that Congress approves the budget.

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haydayhayday

"I believe that Congress approves the budget."

And, who is it that sends the people to Congress?

"Keynes and those who follow him believing that there actually is something called a free lunch.

Multiplying, multiplying, multiplying....

What's not to like?"

Hay

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labrea_gw

That's not entirely correct Hay but rail away!

The economic Consequences of Peace would tell us more about Keynes than snipes!

20 Trillion look, at War and the support of others wars this includes war on drugs & war on poverty!

Roads are good I walk or use subways but taxes to pay for those roads had better be in place! Tx and regulate tax & regulate!


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haydayhayday

When you're sitting down, figuring out your families net worth, do you subtract out your portion of the national debt from your assets?

Roughly $60,000 per person?

Nah, me either.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Hay

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haydayhayday

"That's not entirely correct Hay but rail away!

The economic Consequences of Peace would tell us more about Keynes than snipes!

20 Trillion looks at War and the support of others wars this includes war on drugs & war on poverty!"

I don't know what you're trying to say.

Speak slowly and enunciate your words very clearly and I'll be happy to discuss it with you.

Hay

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sunflower_petal(5a)

If you think that my elected officials are actually representing what I want ... think again!

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labrea_gw

Ah now gutter snipes.



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haydayhayday

"Ah now gutter snipes."

Of course, we don't need to discuss anything. That works, too.

Hay

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Shoot, yawl are making it too complicated, it's just as simple as the butterfly effect which was set into motion by Hinckley wounding Reagan about 3 months after he was sworn into office. Many of you remember those daze, yes? Reagan was getting nowhere with his previously labeled by his veep, voodoo economics plan of huge tax cuts. The demo congress and even the sane repubs that lived back then knew it didn't add up and that the trickle down would be stuck up on top and the future budget deficits would explode.

But on that fateful day a Superhero was born on the operating table. Reagan recovered from being an inch close to death and immediately became a cross between a resurrected Jesus and John Wayne. No longer a B movie rated caricature of himself and with the star struck populous praising his every move the congress relented and throwing caution to the wind they passed Reaganomics with their fingers crossed..... I cried a bit seeing what disastrous effects lay in our future...

...and now you know the best of the story...thanks a lot John.

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foodonastump

He's free, maybe he can redeem himself.

(oh no I didn't!)

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Works for me, vgkg.

Kate

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

As a post note to all of this there was a brief moment when we had a chance to correct our credit card ways of running the nation when the budget was finally balanced at the end of Bill Clinton's 2nd term and the fed debt was holding steady at ~ $6 Trillion. But of course "W" and Cheney blew it wide open with their new tax cutting and keep on spending agenda. The fix was in, live for today and the future be damned....and here we are again with trump and total repub control gearing up for more tax cuts (esp for the rich as per usual), more acceleration of debt, and soon the interest alone on the debt will eat us alive with no way out. We will soon be officially fiscally damned and declaring bankruptcy (trump's favorite way to solve his problems) doesn't work well on a national level. So as Hay would say, eat, drink (a lot), and be merry.

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Kathy

'Fiscal responsibility' are words mouthed by GOP while they give themselves tax cuts and, yes, spend on a credit card...the same with 'jobs' a word they tack onto the title of every bill....

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sunflower_petal(5a)

"when the budget was finally balanced at the end of Bill Clinton's 2nd term and the fed debt was holding steady at ~ $6 Trillion. But of course "W" and Cheney blew it wide open with their new tax cutting"

So if tax cuts for the wealthy are the cause of the deficits then obviously we can fix them by raising taxes on the wealthy?

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haydayhayday

The more you tax me, the less I work.

The less I work, the fewer taxes you get.



Hay

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haydayhayday

True or False?

"GDP is the sum of Consumption (C), Investment (I), Government Spending (G) and Net Exports (X – M): Y = C + I + G + (X - M)"

True.

"Well, then, Hay, if the government spends more, we get more GDP, right? Especially with all that multiplying."

.....


Hay

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Oh, well, Hay--when you quit producing your billions annually because someone might tax you, don't worry. Plenty of eager beavers coming along behind you who are willing to work hard and accept 1 billion less a year if they can get ahead of you and earn only 9 billion/yr. rather than 10 billion/yr.

I assure you, you won't leave a hole long in the billionaires' club.

Kate

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woodnymph2_gw

Agree that G W Bush and Cheney were the ones who really blew it. We did not need to invade Iraq. And the tax cuts for the rich certainly put the final nails in the coffin....

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haydayhayday

"....willing to work hard and accept 1 billion less a year if they can get ahead of you and earn only 9 billion/yr. rather than 10 billion/yr."


If you couple a high tax with a generous "entitlement" program, who would do the work? Who would want to do the work?

I confess. Not me. Where do I sign up?

Hay

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cait1

BO - The national debt grew
the most dollar-wise during his two terms. He added
$7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase, in seven years. This was the
fifth-largest increase percentage-wise.

W - added the second-greatest amount to the debt, at $5.849 trillion. But
this was the fourth-largest percentage increase out of all the
presidents. Bush increased the debt 101 percent from where it started on
September 30, 2001, at $5.8 trillion.

FDR - increased the debt the most percentage-wise. Although he only added $236
billion, this was a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt
level left by President Hoover.

Woody - President Wilson was the second-largest contributor to the debt
percentage-wise. He added $21 billion, which was a 727 percent increase
over the $2.9 billion debt of his predecessor.

So the country does the worst under dem presidents. But we all know that.

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vgkg Z-7 Va(Z-7)

Woody and FDR had war expenses to pay off and they did (unlike "W"). When Carter left office the fed debt was less than 1 trillion and had been maintained under 1 trillion for decades before he came to office. How did we keep it manageable like that you ask? We raises taxes to pay our bills because our previous leaders were fiscally sane back then. Reagan got the snowball rolling with his voodoo, the intoxication of tax cuts and credit card spending is a hard voodoo spell to break. That tingling sensation we feel today are the pins being pushed in deeper. The Romans ate, drank, and got merry too...until the end.

eta : this growing debt insanity sometimes make we wonder if our leaders know that the end is near so why not enjoy the time we have by going nutz with our American Express credit card to hell. It's either that or our leaders have brain damage resulting in suicidal tendencies.

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chijim

Whistling In The Wind

Economics, Politics, Religion and Esperanto

The Mythical Laffer Curve

Conservatives everywhere condemn the use of tax increases for fear
of the Laffer Curve. This is the idea that if taxes are too high, people
will lose the incentive to work and therefore revenue will actually
decrease. It is most famous for its counter-intuitive argument that a
tax cut could increase revenue. Unfortunately there is little or no
evidence to support this claim. History clearly shows that cutting taxes
does not increase revenue. The Laffer curve is a political idea used to
justify tax cuts for the rich. It is not based on sound economics.




Standard Laffer Curve

Most economists know the Laffer Curve isn’t true. An IGM survey of economists found that not a single one of them agreed that a tax cut will increase revenue. They all agreed that there was little or no supporting evidence.
As David Autor said: “Not aware of any evidence in recent history where
tax cuts actually raise revenue. Sorry, Laffer.” Or Kenneth Judd: “That
did not happen in the past. No reason to think it would happen now.” It
is rather politicians who use the Laffer Curve to defend polices they
already had. Despite its abandonment by all main economists, it is still
clung to by a small group more driven by ideology than evidence


.
A Just As Valid Laffer Curve With The Peak At 70%

There is very little evidence behind this theoretical concept. It is a
purely hypothetical idea without any backing evidence. Let me repeat
that, there is no proof it is real. Its supporters argue that if taxes
are 0% revenues will be zero (obviously enough) and if taxes are 100%
then revenue will also be 0% (as no one will have an incentive to work).
From this a curve resembling the one above is drawn. However there is
absolutely no reason why it would be a smooth curve with the peak in the
middle. Rather it could rise continuously before dropping off rapidly
at the end (see below).


Tax revenue rises before sharply dropping off near 100%

Or it could be a bunch of random squiggles as these “Neo-Laffer Curves” show.


Neo-Laffer Curve



Another curve equally valid as the standard one as it has 0 revenue at both 0% tax and 100%

Conservatives argue that if taxes are too high then people will avoid
he tax or simply not work. Most advocates abandon any pretence of
studying the facts. Instead they claim taxes are too high at any rate.
For example Reagan cut taxes from 70% to 50% because he argued taxes
were too high and we were the wrong side of the Laffer Curve. Taxes were
cut from 50% to 35% for the same reason. Now some people argue that 35%
is too high and if we cut some more revenue will still rise. It soon
becomes clear that conservatives argue taxes are too high no matter what
the tax rate is. Their solution to every problem is to cut taxes. In
their world we are permanently on the wrong side of the Laffer Curve.

There are numerous flaws in the argument. For example a 100% tax rate
is essentially communism. While it is a terrible economic system it is
one where tax revenue is still above 0. Another example is during
war-time. Taxes were crushingly high, yet people still worked as hard as
ever. After the Second World War America’s highest tax rate was 91%
(albeit for a tiny number of extremely wealthy people), yet America
still went through a unprecendented economic boom.

Conservatives who subscribe to the Laffer Curve usually are full of
praise for the rich. Yet the Laffer Curve describes entrepreneurs as
quite lazy. It presumes that some will not bother earning 100 million is
they can only keep 50 million of it. Why would the supposedly most
imaginative, innovative, hard-working and entrepreneurial people give up
so easily? It ignores other motivators such as fame, respect and the
thrill of success itself. Most millionaires have more money then they
could ever spend, yet they don’t retire. That’s because money for its
own worth isn’t important, it is the challenge and thrill of making it
that drives them. All humans have a desire for success at everything
they do and this is what drives them. If you don’t believe me, note how
so many millionaires end up giving away their money. Why would someone
work so hard only to give their money away?

If the rich won’t work unless they are incentivised, then what hope
do the poor have? If a millionaire lacks incentive, why should anyone
work for minimum wage? The truth is that working is an essential part of
our culture. It defines who we are. Even if we didn’t need money we
would still work. Not working is as socially acceptable as not talking.
People will work hard at something they enjoy regardless of the money.
For example this blog requires an enormous amount of work for no pay,
yet I still devote enormous amounts of my time into it, because it is
something I love doing. Even if the money is terrible people will still
work.

You could even argue that higher taxes mean people will work harder.
For example say your bills are 100 and your income is 100. Then say
taxes go up so your income is now 90. You could either cut spending
(though this is unlikely as most spending is unavoidable, rent and
electricity for example or you may be accustomed to a certain standard
of living). So instead you work extra hours to bring your income back to
100. Even Adam Smith argued that there was a backward-bending supply
curve (this means that at a certain point a person has enough money and
will work less if their wage increases). In this case higher taxes would
increase labour supply.

Warren Buffett denies taxes
have ever stopped people from making money. “ have worked with
investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when
capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a
sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain.
People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them
off.” This is because no matter what the tax rate, people will always be
richer by working more.

Attempts to measure it are difficult due to its vagueness and the multitude of taxes that affect the economy. Among economists
the average laffer curve is estimated to be at 70%. This means that
taxes have to be over 70% before cutting them will raise income. Seeing
as no country collects 70% of its GDP in taxes, this essentially means
the theory is useless. Diamond and Saez estimate you could raise income tax in America to 76% before the Laffer Curve would take effect. Even the Reagan government’s own Treasury Department)
denied the existence of the Laffer Curve. They estimated that only 10%
of the tax cuts would be replaced by increased revenue. That was the
best case scenario. The worst case was that the tax cuts would decrease
long run economic growth.
The Laffer Curve is not economic theory, but rather wishful thinking
on behalf of conservatives who want an excuse to cut taxes for the rich.
Cutting taxes leads to less not more revenue. This piece of common
sense is acknowledged by economists but still clung to by delusional
politicians.

https://whistlinginthewind.org/2012/09/07/the-mythical-laffer-curve/

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haydayhayday

All that posting is from a blog of someone. Who's that someone? Someone. Anybody can blog.

I'm supposed to take it seriously?

Really?

The Laffer curve as presented by real economist is not meant to be precise. It's to illustrate simply the concept.

The concept?

At 100% tax rate, railing aside, you're not going to be getting many people to show up at work. At 0%, you're not going to be getting much revenue. Can anyone seriously doubt that? Seriously?

And, if you start at the bottom of the hill and climb up, in order to get back down to the bottom, you're going to have to go back downhill at some point. That's mathematics. You doubt that?

That's the concept.

A nice picture to sum up the concept:

If the blogger shows up around here, I'm happy to talk. If YOU want to find a point to discuss, I'm happy to talk.

Hay


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haydayhayday

I don't know where we are on the Laffer Curve. I'm not arguing that at all. We may very well be able to get more tax revenue with an increase in the tax rate.

I think we actually would. I'd bet that way.

But, I'd also bet that raising taxes decreases the incentive for anyone to work as a general statement. The curve is smooth.

The curve addresses tax revenue. Just that. It does not address issues like whether the government, by taking an increasing amount of our life's work, is going to be giving us increasing satisfaction. If you believe that, talk to a Venezuelan.

Hay

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haydayhayday

If people are free to move, then not only will they be inclined to not work as much with increasing tax rates, but the very best will leave the country. Taking their large earnings with them.

You doubt that?

Talk to the Beatles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_exile#Famous_tax_exiles

"Famous tax exiles[edit]

Bad Company moved to Malibu, California, in 1975 to avoid what Mick Ralphs described as "ridiculously high tax in England".[1]

David and Frederick Barclay live on Brecqhou, one of the Channel Islands, located just west of Sark, and give their address as Avenue de Grande-Bretagne, Monte-Carlo.[2]

John Barry, the composer of 11 James Bond films, moved to the United States in 1975 where he resided until his death in 2011.

Shirley Bassey started living as a tax exile from the United Kingdom in 1968, and was unable to work in Britain for almost two years.[3][4] She currently lives in Monte Carlo.

Marc Bolan relocated from the United Kingdom to Los Angeles in 1973 due to the UK's income tax, staying there until relocating to London in mid-1976.

David Bowie moved from the United Kingdom to Switzerland in 1976, first settling in Blonay and then Lausanne in 1982.[5]

Michael Caine moved to the United States in the late 1970s to avoid the 83% tax on top earners that existed in Britain at the time. He spent several years in the United States before returning to Britain.[6]

Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker spent 1979 in Australia to avoid taxation on their previous year's income.[7]

Noël Coward left the UK for tax reasons in the 1950s, receiving harsh criticism in the press.[8] He first settled in Bermuda but later bought houses in Jamaica and Switzerland (in the village of Les Avants, near Montreux), which remained his homes for the rest of his life.[9]

Marvin Gaye first relocated to Hawaii from Los Angeles to avoid problems with the IRS in 1980. Later that year, Gaye relocated to London following the end of a European tour, then moved to Ostend, Belgium in February 1981.[citation needed] He recorded his final album Midnight Love (released in March 1982) while living in Belgium.[10]

Stelios Haji-Ioannou who was quoted as saying: "I have no UK income to be taxed in the UK." Source: David Leigh, Monday, July 10, 2006, The Guardian.

Guy Hamilton, the director of four James Bond films, became a tax exile in the mid-1970s when he was originally hired to direct Superman (1978). Because of the U.K. tax laws, he could remain in the United Kingdom for 30 days a year. As a result, fellow Bond director John Glen has directed five films in the franchise.

The band Jethro Tull moved to France from Britain in 1973, and while there, attempted to produce a new double album, but abandoned the effort.

Tom Jones also moved to Los Angeles for tax purposes following the election of Harold Wilson as British prime minister in 1974, who put income tax up to 83% for top earners.

In 1978, the members of the band Pink Floyd spent exactly one year outside of the United Kingdom, also for tax reasons.

In early 1970s, some members of The Rolling Stones used trusts and offshore companies to avoid payment of British taxes. According to a 2006 article in the Daily Mail, their holding company was in Holland, where there is no direct tax on royalties, and there were also offices in the Caribbean. The article also says that "they have been tax exiles ever since - meaning they cannot make Britain their main home" and that "The Rolling Stones have paid just 1.6% tax on their earnings of £242 million over the past 20 years."[11] The article also suggests that other performing artists have adopted the same financial arrangements.

Cat Stevens became a tax exile from the United Kingdom in 1973 for one year, living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America.[12]

Rod Stewart left the United Kingdom and made his home in Los Angeles in 1975 to avoid the 83% tax on top earners that existed in Britain at the time.

Gérard Depardieu, formerly a French national, became a tax exile, taking up an official resident of Néchin, Belgium, on 7 December 2012.[13] Then on 15 December 2012, Depardieu handed back his French passport,[14][15] and on 3 January 2013, was granted Russian citizenship.[16]"

Hay

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Ziemia(6a)

Thanks chijim for adding all that. Wish I could like it 'more'. As far as the tax rate reaching 100% ---- we are so far away from that. Especially as it adds little to the conversation.

Important 'landmarks' to this journey are: Reganomics, Clinton's impact on taxes and debt, spending in subsequent years until the Great Recession of 2007/2008. How long did it take this country to recover from the Great Depression?

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haydayhayday

"As far as the tax rate reaching 100% ---- we are so far away from that"

The ill effects of raising tax rates show up ahead of 100%.

Hay

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haydayhayday

"Important 'landmarks' to this journey are: Reganomics, Clinton's impact on taxes and debt, spending in subsequent years until the Great Recession of 2007/2008."

Poor Reagan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

Reagan and the military, you all want to say?

What's that got to do with Japan, the highest on the list of countries ranked by Debt/GDP ratio. At least twice that of the USA? Reagan, Military?

Japan is at the top.

Then there's Greece. Reagan, Military?

Jamaica? This is getting absurd.

Lebanon? OK, maybe the military plays a role.

Italy?

Portugal?

Ireland?

I blame Reagan. I don't why, but I do. Somehow.

Hay

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bry911

The Laffer curve as presented by real economist is not meant to be precise. It's to illustrate simply the concept.

To say that the Laffer Curve is presented by a real economist is not quite accurate. To say that there is even such a thing as a Laffer Curve isn't quite accurate. The Laffer Curve has been around since before there were really economists, in fact, it predates the math to establish it.

Laffer was given credit for popularizing an idea that has been around since the 1400's. The idea being - if tax benefits are fully separable from work then at 0% and 100% no taxes are generated. Since at 0% and 100% there are no taxes collected there must be a percentage that establishes a maximum tax.

For the Laffer Curve to be defeated we only need to incentivize work. Simply making some tax benefits available to workers and not available to non-workers defeats the Laffer Curve. Its base assumption is separation of work and benefit. Mathematical models have shown that we can get to 100% tax almost linearly by tying benefits to work (this is just a model and while informative doesn't necessarily have to be 100% correct).

Additionally, Laffer Curve was meant as a model to maximize taxes and not work, while the extrapolation is logical, it may not work in reality. For the economists who support the curve we typically see something above a 70% tax rate.

The curve that Chijim posted is typically what we think of as the most appropriate Laffer Curve. But again we are mostly guessing. Accurate mathematical models have been all over the place, from 10% to 90%, the above curve is simply the most common (and it is by far the most common). For those wondering how something can be accurate and not the same, to model economies we use different assumptions, the models are accurate given the assumptions.

Finally, if we look back over U.S. history at GDP increases and U.S. GDP compared to world GDP, we get some pretty compelling evidence that the U.S. economy can support a pretty hefty marginal tax rate, something above 70%.

All this might make people think I am for higher taxes. I am not, I am for informed debate.

In the end, higher taxes do have one consequence that we can see. Higher tax rates has a bigger effect on innovation than it does on work. We know the U.S. labor force can maintain high levels of productivity at high levels of tax but we also know that higher taxes disincintivizes innovation. When we reduce taxes our technological advances skyrocket, while that might not seem important when people still have needs, technological advances do actually flow through the economy. Many of us can remember when the computers we are using today were not really affordable to us. While innovation and efficiency improvements might be made for profit, they make life better for everyone.

Now in reality the national debt has become too large to ignore. While I don't like taxes we only have two options to control our debt. We either need a great inflation that will destroy lots of U.S. wealth (too much of which is paid for by older generations) or we need to eliminate the national debt with taxes. I tend toward fiscal conservatism and lower taxes, but I am not sure how we keep inflation low and pay down the debt without higher taxes.

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Kathy

Bry...I agree....we can either tax and spend or borrow and spend...

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bry911

In the end, I think we have a problem with consumption. More specifically I think we have a problem with leveraged consumption. As a whole, Americans buy too many things we can't afford, and pay for that with debt.

Why we think Washington is going to do any differently is beyond me. We aren't fiscally conservative, why would we expect our representatives to be?

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haydayhayday

It's a concept.

It's valid.

Call it what you want, nitpick it to death, but the fundamental concept is there.

Hay

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bry911

Call it what you want, nitpick it to death, but the fundamental concept is there.

Yes, the concept has always been there. In fact, it was the overriding economic principle as to why slavery wasn't necessary.

But just knowing the line exists doesn't help a lot if we don't know where it is. This is like saying a land mine is buried somewhere in the south. Well as useful as that knowledge may seem, knowing exactly where it was buried would really be a lot more useful.

If you support the Laffer Curve do you also support the idea that the tax rate should be 70% since that is what the Laffer Curve most commonly shows it should be?

ETA: At heart the idea of the Laffer Curve is just saying that people work better when they are rewarded for their work.

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haydayhayday

"At heart the idea of the Laffer Curve is just saying that people work better when they are rewarded for their work."

OK, we agree.

No need to add anything more.

Hay

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don_socal

For Hay...




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jodik_gw

"Who do you think is Responsible for the ~$20 Trillion Fed Debt?"

Sorry... it was me; I left the lights on. ;-)

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haydayhayday

Thanks, Don.


Say, kids, you know what day it is?

"Missed the Saturday dance
Heard they crowded the floor
Couldn't bear it without you
Don't get around much anymore"

I get around a lot.

No way I'd miss a Saturday dance.

Bye for now.

Hay

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