Fred Hiatt has outdone himself this morning. He’s assembled a panel of “experts” to whine about Obama “bleeding the rich” and the first one to weigh in is Jim Cramer:
As someone who can expect a real shock when I get an Obama-shredded paycheck the moment his plus-$250,000 tax levy kicks in, I can’t be thrilled. Only the brain-dead like to take a pay cut for doing the same job. I probably won’t get paid for my work until July, with my current salary going to fund an immense expansion of the federal budget ordered by the man I voted for.
If there’s one person I’d like to see go Galt it’s Jim Cramer.
Greg Mankiw and Michael Scherer’s the “universally respected” Douglas Holtz-Eakin show up to whore themselves — as economists are wont to to do — as well. Mankiw ends:
President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes at the top to further cut taxes at the bottom has one rationale: using the coercive power of the state to “spread the wealth around.” In addition to the obvious disincentive effects, the policy raises deep philosophical questions. If one citizen of a nation can lay claim to the wealth of his more productive neighbor, shouldn’t poor nations have the right to lay claim to the resources of richer nations such as the United States?
Because a 35% top tax rate is a Randian paradise but 39% is a philosophical problem.
read the comments… people are really fucking angry and don’t want to hear any of these rich assholes whining about their increased taxes and are reframing it as ‘what do you have against rebuilding the country you destroyed’ vibe. a true populist revolt brewing, seems to me…
After years of condemning Canada as a socialist nightmare, these economists must be terrified that people might do some research about it on their own.
Canad has a lot of rich people, too. For most of the last century there was a greater division of wealth than here in the US. I doubt that is still the case.
I didn’t hear any of these bloviating assholes saying boo when their taxes were lowered more than the rest of the US people’s–apparently, asymmetric reduction is wholly fair. But if it’s an asymmetric increase, well that’s class warfare.
Anyone who whines about class warfare is just hoping you’ll unilaterally disarm.
Of course, the reason for lowering the taxes in the first place wasn’t greed, it was trickle down. Lower taxes bring in more revnue. Well, how did that work out. Now, rather than admit it is pure greed, they start yelling socialism.
We can do that? I then lay claim to Bill Gates’ wealth. I could use a spare billion or two.
Fucking retarded pimps.
What the heck happened to Greg Mankiw? He seemed like some sort of real economist, then he spent a year with the Bushies and now he’s Sean Hannity. Cheney must have some serious mojo.
It’s an “academic discipline” largely populated by whores.
Awww my heart really bleeds for Cramer and his cronies. Not!
They have no clue at all to how people have to survive on a lot less. They have no clue what it is like to wonder if your salary will be there on a day to day basis. They have no clue what it is like to pound the pavements for 9 months to get a job when the salary is gone and you have to provide for your family.
So Obama’s proposed 39% top marginal rate makes him (along with Clinton) a socialist? Fine. Then can we all agree that 50% Reagan was a Trotskyite and that 90% Ike was a Maoist?
Argh. I said the "s-word". Oh all-mighty spam filter, please forgive me!
I hope these guys keep it up. When this whole "pity the poor rich guys" thing started up, I thought it was a joke. Do they really think there’s a groundswell of public sympathy for people who make a quarter of a million dollars a year as personal income? That we’re going to be sorry because some of that more than a quarter of a million is going to have a marginal tax increase? I mean come on – we’re not even talking about this being on people who have a quarter million or more in assets. We’re talking about annual income here.
Yeah, good luck with that when we have 8% unemployment and the folks who are viewed as largely responsible for this mess are people like Jim Cramer and his buddies. They’re lucky this is America, because around here we frown on getting torches and pitchforks and gutting the rich bastards when they drive our country into the ground. Though by the way they’re crying you’d think that a 4% marginal increase on income was worse than a mob grabbing the torches and pitchforks and storming the banks to take it out of their hides.
The whinery has redefined "productive," much to the discredit of that fine word. By their lights, a bank CEO is more productive than a family doctor practicing in Appalachia, Jim Cramer is more productive than a single mom working two minimum wage jobs, and a derivatives trader is more productive than a teacher. Shame on the first person who suggests that "productive" has become shorthand for "I got mine, so fuck you."
That has always been the reason the right screams this, because it causes the Dems to take making a more socially and economically equal society as a goal off the table, which is the lefts single strongest issue/
Every taxpayer in this country is giving somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars to back up AIG’s hedge fund operations, to make good on the guarantees they made. It was an entirely unregulated industry with no implicit or explicit government guarantees. They will not tell us where our money is going to, that’s a secret. Although a big chuck of it is going to Goldman Sachs, who coincidentally employed the fellow who designed the give-away. And that’s just a piece of what’s going on.
This is beginning to sink in to me, and I’m stunned.The only reason there isn’t rioting is the people who disseminate the news are mostly well to do whose interests coincide with those getting the money. So the spread a fog, by pointing as much attention to the horrible indignity of people who are already lucky enough to be employed and making salaries at the high end of forgoing some of the tax breaks they got under a Republican administration.
The good thing is that all he has to do to restore this balance in the tax code is to do nothing-just let the Bush tax cuts expire. The Clinton rates did not stop these people from doing exceptionally well in the 90’s.
Maybe he should have got Matt Taibbi a panel of “experts”.
He seems able to debate the facts and not resorting to personal attacks.
Taibbi on Limbaugh: Abrasive, Divisive, Fat, Pill-Popping Idiot
Because he knows what he is talking about.
MATT TAIBBI: It was a plastic turkey.
AMY GOODMAN: Was it actually plastic?
MATT TAIBBI: Yes. Apparently it was a plastic turkey.
AMY GOODMAN: It was plastic?
MATT TAIBBI: Yes. That was actually reported in the — in another part of The Nation, in the daily outrage column online. But, yeah it was a plastic turkey, apparently. Which is even funnier. The famous shot where he’s holding the big turkey, apparently that’s a plastic turkey.
Here is the NY Times correction
It is totally unfair to characterize Rush Limbaugh as anything except an almost too empathetic fellow, never once resorting to sarcasm or scornful dismissal. He is, as we all know, a man whose crushing need for bipartisan amity all but forces him to reach out the hand of friendship to liberals at all times.
Also, he’s never had a problem with Oxycontin, and 400 pounds is pretty svelte for some species, such as elephants and whatever breed of cat Tunch is.
How long do you suppose it will be before Fred Hiatt offers Jim Cramer a full time job in the WaPo Editorial section? He’s white, he’s male, and he’s been wrong about pretty much everything to do in his supposed field of expertise the last 18 months.
People like Fred Hiatt and his panel of whining assholes need to be publicly castigated and ridiculed for as long as it takes for them to either grow the fuck up or GTFO altogether. When they start wailing about having to pay a few extra bucks in taxes — especially at a time when the government is as far in the hole as it is even while it needs to step up and create the employment that the private sector can’t right now — it makes me want to hit them hard enough to make them STFU. I happen to live in a household whose income is secure enough (for the time being, at least) that we’ll likely be paying more when W’s tax cut sunsets. Guess what, Fred Hiatt, Jim Cramer, and all you other pathetic, simpering pants-pissers, it’s not that fucking much, this country is fucking worth it, and my family can fucking afford it. We’ll still have a roof over our heads, tasty and nutritious food in the kitchen, clothes that both look good and keep us warm, and a few other goodies besides. In other words, we, unlike these professional drama queens, are honest enough to acknowledge that we’re doing fine, and are damned thankful for it, especially at a time when so many of our fellow citizens aren’t as fortunate.
Jesus H, to hear these fucking hothouse orchids carry on about having to pay a lousy few percentage points more off their huge fucking incomes (which are a damn sight higher than my household’s, mind you), you’d think they were being rousted in the dead of night and driven from their homes, having their bank accounts appropriated wholesale by the government, and walking outside to find their Maseratis up on cinder blocks with the engine block gone and all their prize roses dug up.
Children whine and cry about trivial things because they don’t know any better — reasoning with them and giving them a little time to grow up works wonders. When highly privileged middle-aged men do it, however, the time for reasoning and patience has long since passed. Unlike the aforementioned children, these shopworn asswipes have no fucking excuse whatsoever, and it does my sense of justice and basic human decency good to see that the general public, as a whole, is not inclined to let them get away with their shitty behavior.
Point well taken, although being dead wrong for only eighteen months would make Cramer "the kid" among WaPo editorialists.
Putting aside the fact that Limbaugh is all of the things Taibbi says there, what the fuck does Matt Taibbi have to do with the Washington Post’s ridiculous panel of "experts"? Are you trying to make some sort of comparison here, as if the scale of what is being discussed is even remotely equivalent? You are mentally damaged.
And honestly, if these conservative douchebags are going to complain about the onerous tax burden, perhaps we should really make it onerous. Make the marginal rate 70% and watch them squeal.
The thing that strikes me most is their utter, unconscious lack of patriotism. The country’s fucked, and these shits are worried about marginal tax incentives for the wealthy. They ultimately have no faith in the country, in any motivations other than greed and naked, short-term self-interest, and no desire to make any sacrifices to make this a better place. Sacrifices are only for "loser" homeowners, autoworkers and military families. This country cannot survive if its elites are like this, so I hope the lot of them go Galt. What people often fail to realize is that a tax policy that takes a bite out of the rich has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff. The folks that are motivated by something other than money (think of the Florida banker Obama invited to the non-SOTU) will not care about the tax issues as long as the taxes are not totally debilitating to the operation of the business, and a 39% rate is nowhere near that. Businesspeople who can be deterred by this minor tax increase are either in a questionable business or really hate what they do. This is a real litmus test, and I think Obama knows it. The comforting thing is that most people making more than 250K voted for Obama, so Fred’s little kaffeeklatsch probably isn’t a representative sampling.
Tim on Wisconsin
To be fair, Cramer can’t "go Galt." That was reserved for people who were actually good at their jobs. Cramer would be one of the ones left behind, although he doesn’t have a transparently bad last name that would only be acceptable if it came from a Dick Tracy writer. Something like Jim Clueless or Jim Investmentdestroyer would be better.
where are all the John Galts who are refusing to work more right now because they think the current 36% rate should be 32% ?
or, is there a line, a threshold, between 36% and 39% the crossing of which compels people to threaten to "go Galt"; and how does economics explain that threshold ?
@georgia pig: That kind of shocks me, too. We have so much we have to pay for- crumbling infrastructure, two wars, the social safety net, education, health care, job training. I’m a single guy- I shouldn’t have gotten a tax cut this year, but I did anyway. I should probably be paying 2-4,000 more a year as is.
Would I like it? No. Will I send extra money in to the IRS if it is not required of me? No. But if my taxes were raised, would I pay them? Of course. And I wouldn’t work any less hard. Things need to be paid for.
I don’t like spending money on dental work or car repairs or vet visits or buying a new vacuum cleaner, either, but I do because it needs to be done.
I think the Left is in danger of turning into the echo chamber of the Right during the Bush administration. Anyone that says anything even remotely critical of Obama is considered heresy and therefore must be coming from the extremist fringe. We’re not just talking about income taxes and capital gains here. Do you seriously believe that cap and trade doesn’t amount to a huge tax increase on average Americans? And you don’t think the "wealthy" are already calling on armies of tax lawyers to avoid paying the higher tax rates that Obama is calling for? All of this squeezes the middle class.
Now, I make a bunch of money and I’ve still got a damn job so I shouldn’t complain, however because of the economy, I’ve seen my income go down by 25% this year. Good crap, but if I have to pay an extra $1000 or so in taxes I WOULDN’T NOTICE IT. The $40K that I have lost I notice. Republicans are the party of stupid.
@Olliander, Armies of tax lawyers? Hey, look at that, you’ve just come up with a new way that letting the tax cuts expire is going to create jobs!
Did he not do even a marginal bit of research during the campaign? Wasn’t raising taxes on high earners a key Obama goal? Is Cramer as bad at picking presidents as he is at picking stocks?
There’s a real debate on cap and trade, but it isn’t how you’re framing it. There’s actually two positions among Democrats:
1. "The senators also want their states to get a chunk of the windfall from selling the credits – $646 billion over 10 years by Mr. Obama’s estimate.
"We should ensure that revenue generated by a cap-and-trade system goes back to the consumers, states and industries that are most affected by the changes," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat.
2. But Mr. Obama wants to spend about two-thirds of the money on tax cuts for low- and middle-income families to soften the bite of higher energy prices expected to result from the cap-and-trade law."
3. The Republican position, those who have one, is this: cap and trade, with 100% of revenue generated back to consumers. Obama wants 1/3 to go to clean energy investment.
Framing this so simply is just incorrect. There’s a real debate here. No one is shutting down debate. You have to have a defensible, specific position, though.
It’s a common blindspot.
I went to a church for a while – didn’t fit, didn’t stay, but while I was there I got some deep insights.
There was the social gathering at one member’s house where the people present went on and on about how they were all middle class. The lowest income (other than my household) was a quarter million. The highest was half a million. They agreed there were some wealthy people in the church, but it wasn’t them.
There was the women’s group my wife went to where they were challenged to live on less for a year. One woman drew gasps when she told everyone she was going to try to do on "only" an amount that was half again my salary – only taking one trip to Europe, for example. (I made about 20% more than the national median income, just for reference.)
When you can own more than one house, when you can consider making more than one leisure trip each of which costs more than the owners of most small (1-10 employee) businesses earn in a month, you are not middle class. If you are in the top 10% of earners and you are still middle class, either your viewpoint is skewed or you do not have a free society.
You know, this is what scares me the most, more than any financial decline, etc. The pursuit of material wealth seems to have so completely supplanted any other motivation, e.g., national pride, honor, whatever, that I really have doubts we can pull out of this. The irony is that much of this evolution has been spurred by a political party whose members ostensibly espouse "traditional values" (to be fair, some conservatives like Larison recognize this). Ultimately, the reason you tax rich people more is because they have the money. Like it or not, the fate of a nation does rely on its elite members, and it seems like a lot of our economic elites would rather live in a banana republic than the "good ol’ USA" they’ve mythologized. I guess it’s some sort of weird psychosis, some attempt at validation, but I don’t see how you can be proud of being a member of an elite that expects homeless people to be utterly destitute (e.g., without cheap cell phones) before they deserve help, or has no problem with crumbling public infrastructure. I remember an interview with a German around the time of Katrina, and will always remember her saying that the difference between a typical German reaction to such an event and the American reaction is that the Germans would be profoundly embarrassed as a nation that they were so inept in responding. Do you think the Galters would be happy if we gave them a shiny medal that showed they paid that extra 4%?
joe from Lowell
his more productive neighbor
Everyone who’s ever put on a mop to the floor of a McDonald’s for minimum wage in the past 50 years has been more genuinely productive, done more to create wealth and jobs and material well-being, than every executive at Lehman, Bear-Stearns, City, BoA, and Merrill-Lynch who’s received $1 million or more in compensation in the past eight years, combined.
This is why "Bittergate" never worried me. The elitism inherent in conservative economic ideology is so overwhelming that there is no way some poorly chosen phrases about why people vote the wrong way was ever going to make a difference.
Hey, Cramer: who’s the nation of whiners now?
I’m certainly no defender of the right-wing, but isn’t one of the main components of their complaints that only the top brackets are having their taxes raised, while those under the $250,000 limit will have their tax load reduced? I think it’s reasonable to question the merits of only targeting a certain group to pay more, while the majority will pay less.
If everybody received a proportionate increase, this goup would have much less of a leg to stand upon, IMO. As it now stands – and as I understand it, which may be incorrectly – I think it is not the percentage size of the increase that matters as much as the fact that only a select group is having their rates raised.
Yeah, I know if I start earning over $250K net I’m just going to be so emotionally hurt by paying a slightly higher tax rate on the portion of my income above $250K that I’ll hardly have any incentive at all to work and I’ll just go move to Somalia or Democratic Republic of Congo where the reach of the fedrul gubmit is much more limited.
That’s why we’ve all trashed Geithner around here. It’s also why I’ve written that I think the stimulus package was too small and included too many tax cuts. And why I wrote that the whole bipartisan approach to the stim package was a mistake.
I hate to be a prick, but you really strike me as a moron.
Squeeze this, wingnut.
@J Bean: I’m in the same boat. I notice when I get laid off (not yet), or that my wife’s income went down 25% last year (she’s all commission sales). If our taxes went up 3%, I wouldn’t really notice. And it wouldn’t go up that much in this scenario.
Oh, and if for that 3% I get roads that aren’t crumbling, friends that aren’t in danger of bankruptcy due to healthcare costs, and maybe even some better healthcare options for my family, I’ll fucking take it.
Republicans are grabbing on to a serious anchor if they think opposing a 3% top marginal tax rate increase is going to win them friends and converts.
The WaPo guys are bitter because President Obama is cracking down on off shore/Swiss accounts and they can’t talk about it without exposing themselves as tax cheats.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
@Olliander: Really, that would have sounded better in the original HowlerMonkey.
Xenos wrote: Canada has a lot of rich people, too. For most of the last century there was a greater division of wealth than here in the US. I doubt that is still the case.
Using 2006 data, Canada currently has a Gini coefficient of 30 – third lowest in the G7 – compared to a G7-highest 36, held by the United States.
The top 20% in Canada has an average after-tax income of $75, 400 CD, as against the US average of $86, 857 USD. It’s when we look at the top 2% that the Americans really show the Canucks how the game is played.
I don’t know where you’re getting your data. The US Census says and shows that the US Gini for the past decade has been between .45 and .47 (2007 was .46, down from the 2006 high of .477, but according to the Census report a statistically insignificant change from that high.)
I see your point, but the actual situation is more blatant than the subtlety you think you see.
It would be a more valid point, were it not that past cuts were also disproportionate. As others have noted, it’s OK if the rich get greater cuts than other classes, but not OK if the reverse is true? Not in my book.
Pssst. George Bush is not president anymore. You can let go of the resentments of 2003 now.
He was a right-wing whore long before he joined the Bush administration.
That is a good point Kirk – I’m afraid that during my current nine year hiatus from the US in my paternal homeland of Canada I have become rusty on some of the details of the Bush administration’s earlier initiatives.
I believe the cuts were 2% for those who paid Income tax saving a 3.5% cut for the $250,000+ers. Nonetheless, everybody who paid some level of income tax received a reduction in their taxation rate, whereas the current Obama initiative reduces the majority’s rate while raising that on the highest level.
I don’t have much sympathy for the plaintive cries of Socialism! shrilly reverberating in the right-wing echo chamber, but I still believe they raise a valid criticism when the note that only one group is being targeted for an increase.
BTW, the gini data I quoted was taken from here. Like an idiot I mixed-up the 2006 date from the chart above the G7 gini coefficients, which is data from 2000. It does show a US level of 36 at the dawn of the century FWIW.
"Because a 35% top tax rate is a Randian paradise but 39% is a philosophical problem."
In order to communicate more effectively, that should be MARGINAL, not top.
Everyone I work with took home more money this friday than normal. If I heard someone bitch that they took less I’d want to beat them on general principle.
And there is the underlying false assumption….that if you make more money than your neighbor, then you must certainly be more productive than your neighbor.
Does anyone ever ask these assholes what they will be paying in taxes compared with eight years ago? 30? No, they don’t.
Does anyone ever ask Jim Cramer how many jobs he creates? No, they don’t.
Limbaugh's Pilonidal Cyst
I was wondering the same thing. If CNBC would give me a chance I could give bad stock advice for a lot less money than they pay Cramer
Limbaugh's Pilonidal Cyst
I was trying to fix the my previous post but the editor wouldn’t let me. My part begins after Malveax asks if Cramer understood Obama’s tax cuts
This coming from a group called Balloon Juice?
Come on now. Educational grants are easy to get, you should look into it.