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Mittens In Comparative Perspective

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A useful chart from Plumer. For further context:

Romney has said he was unemployed. He’s right. He actually does nothing to earn most of his income. He’s just in possession of a giant pile of cash. He pays some people to do stuff with that giant pile of cash so it earns a rate of return. And because we are ruled by horrible people who think the lives of the 1% are more important than everyone else, the tax rate on any money that pile of cash earns is much lower than it is on the money earned by people who actually work.

And while this is both inequitable and makes no sense in terms of “free market” economics, he would pay even less under his own plan.

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  • Malaclypse

    And because we are ruled by horrible people who think the lives of the 1% are more important than everyone else

    Lest anyone thing this might be hyperbole, Tyler Cowen, Reasonable Conservative Economist:

    For a given level of income, if some are moving up others are moving down. Do you take theories of wage rigidity seriously? If so, you might favor less relative mobility, other things remaining equal. More upward — and thus downward — relative mobility probably means less aggregate happiness, due to habit formation and frame of reference effects.

    Cut through the bullshit, and this boils down to the simple idea that rich people’s happiness counts more.

    • TT

      Not just their happiness, but their lives as well.

      • Malaclypse

        Cowen did not go quite that far, IMO. That’s what makes him So Fucking Reasonable.

    • Why, I dedicate my life to making the comfortable more comfortable and the afflicted more afflicted! It’s the American way!

      Just the other day, I exposed a kid with the flu to anthrax. Just my small part in the American dream.

    • wengler

      Habit formation for the rich may include expecting a new luxury car every year.

      Habit formation for the poor may include expecting to eat every day.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Well, one has to cut one’s coat to fit one’s cloth. Providing one has some cloth that is.

        • Malaclypse

          Madame Defarge tells me that, if one lacks cloth, one can always knit.

  • c u n d gulag

    After well over 200 years, the Tory sympathizers are still strong.

    If they can’t get a King, or a Dictator (yet), they at least want some sort of aristocracy.

    After all, how do you know what you’re missing unless someone lords things over you?

    And if you win Powerball, well then, you’ll know how to act!

    • Malaclypse

      And if you win Powerball, well then, you’ll know how to act!

      Yes. Yes I will.

  • Pith Helmet

    He’s just in possession of a giant pile of cash.

    Where might one procure one of these large piles of cash if one were not born with one? I think I might like to have one.

    • This is America, Pith Helmet. You don’t need to be born with a giant pile of cash to have one.

      For instance, you could be born with a great, big pile of cash and turn it into a giant pile of cash.

      • Bart

        We are truly blessed with so many conservatives having been born on 3rd base.

    • Fats Durston

      Where might one procure one of these large piles of cash if one were not born with one?

      Haven’t you been paying attention, Pith? Take a huge bunch of small piles of cash away from people who’ve been saving them. That’s how you get your giant pile of cash.

  • HonorableBob

    Romney legally earned his money. Paid taxes on his money. Now, it’s somehow “inequitable” that he has money.

    Where is the outrage over Buffett, the Kennedys, Soros and all of the rich Democrat donors?

    ??

    C’mon…at least make the attempt at ‘fairness’.

    • Malaclypse
      • Walt

        Republicans know their place, Malaclypse. Why can’t you?

      • Slocum

        Spite voters don’t care solely about their own interests, nor are they bothered by how “the left talks as if they know what everyone’s best interests are,” an argument you often hear from the whiney right. What bothers spiters is that the left really does know what’s in their interests. If you’re miserable, you don’t want to be told what’s best for you by someone who’s correctit’s sort of like being ^^^ occupied by a foreign army with good intentions. You’d rather fuck things up on your own, something you’re quite good at, and bring others down with you.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Chill, dude. Someone has to do it. Those forelocks don’t tug themselves, you know.

    • The more you attempt this sorry little dodge, the more obvious it becomes that you have absolutely no answer to the Democrats’ critique of the tax code.

    • c u n d gulag

      Do you ever read the responses to your idiotic, talking point-filled comments, Dishonorable Bob?

      I’m not the first one to tell you that the problem is an outrageously low tax rate on investment income, and a higher rate on income from work that actually does something.

      Sitting by your pool, drinking the Mai-tai’s your cabana boy brings from your bar, while reading the Wall Street Journal to look for new opportnities to make money is not work.
      And, except for cabana boys, maids, nanny’s, and drivers, doesn’t produce an jobs.

      And that applies to everyone:
      Romney, Soros, the Kennedy’s, the Bush’s, Buffett, etc. And others of the top 2%, regardless of their party affiliations.

    • DrDick

      The fact that the theft (which is how he actually acquired that money) was legal (owing to the fact that people like him make the laws), in no way makes it right or moral.

    • Bighank53

      C’mon, remember when the right used to say, “The more you tax something, the less there is of it?” Remember? Funny how no matter how much wreckage is piled up by fraudulent “investment” the shortage has to come out of labor’s hide.

    • Captain Splendid

      Where is the outrage over Buffett, the Kennedys, Soros and all of the rich Democrat donors?

      It’s nowhere, as they’re not currently running for President.

    • Where is the outrage over Buffett, the Kennedys, Soros and all of the rich Democrat donors?

      How well I remember the savage infighting of the 2012 Democratic primaries, when Warren Buffett and George Soros went at it tooth-and-nail while the Kennedys sat gloating on the sidelines.

      Buffett, who didn’t make a big media splash at all by complaining about the low effective tax rates on millionaires, and Soros, who was mostly interested in Europe, but did mention at Davos that he agreed with someone named Obama about raising taxes on the rich, adding “I’m a rarity in the hedge fund community,” dominated the national conversation such that only a few fair and balanced news outlets even bothered with the staid, boring Republican primaries of that year.

    • Where is the outrage over Buffett

      Yeah, you libtards! How come you never hear anyone bringing up Warren Buffet’s taxes?

      • You mean the notoriously reclusive Sage of Omaha, who never grants interviews?

        • That’s the one. How come there aren’t any prominent Democrats who talk about whether he pays enough taxes?

        • Davis X. Machina

          Shit, I thought he meant the Key-West-parrot guy… boy is my face red.

      • David Hunt

        Yeah! We should even make such a big deal about his taxes that some sort of Rule should have his name attached to it. That would satisfy the Conservative wealth-worshipers.

        Oh, wait…

    • mark f

      It is a bit galling to think that rich people like Warren Buffett and Mitt Romney pay a much lower percentage than I do. Reacting emotionally on the seemingly dry and bloodless issue of marginal tax rates, as nearly all of us do, I am inclined to conclude that Romney pays plenty of taxes, but Buffett ought to pay more.

      • Malaclypse

        You can’t make me click on Powerline. Those mangoes will be rotten.

        • DrDick

          And toxic.

          • Davis X. Machina

            Toxic Mangoes. Great band name.

            • Malaclypse

              Fresh Fruit For Rotting Mangoes was a great album.

              • Uncle Kvetch

                Oh, pshaw. Everybody knows it was a total ripoff of Never Mind the Mangoes.

                • Malaclypse

                  I don’t see how you fail to comprehend that Never Mind the Mangoes is completely derivative of Kick Out The Mangoes.

                • Uncle Kvetch
                • mark f

                  I like music with a story by guys who can play. That’s why I’m listening to Mangophenia.

                • Malaclypse

                  Their only good album was The Mangoes Sell Out.

                • It was twenty years ago today!
                  Sergeant Mango taught the band to play!

    • Warren Buffett is outraged enough for the both of us, chum.

      And Mitt Romney is people too, my friend!

    • wengler

      Keep fucking that chicken, Bob. Your betters might see you and gift you the right to wipe their ass.

    • Murc

      Romney legally earned his money. Paid taxes on his money. Now, it’s somehow “inequitable” that he has money.

      The mere fact that someone did something legally doesn’t make it moral or right. I have no particular objection to people earning great big piles of cash. I’d like a great big pile of cash! I’d take off my clothes and roll around in it, Scrooge McDuck style.

      It is inequitable that Romney pays taxed on his kingdom at a far lower rate than people who are far poorer than he is.

      And frankly, I’m not convinced he “earned” that money. He acquired it legally, certainly. Acquiring a huge pile of cash by looting other companies is not behavior I’d like to see encouraged.

      Where is the outrage over Buffett, the Kennedys, Soros and all of the rich Democrat donors?

      As far as I know, all of those people support reforming the tax code such that people like themselves pay a far more equitable share of their income as tax. Why, pray, should any of us be outraged by that?

    • NBarnes

      ‘earned’ is a word that has a moral loading. If you wanted to say that he acquired the money in a legal fashion, I’m pretty sure we could all agree on that. But earned it? Reasonable people can disagree on the virtue involved in Romney’s approach to money gathering.

  • Bart

    Last night on the News Hour viewers were informed that because he had no wages or salary, Romney paid no Medicare tax. That fact could be worked into Dem attack ads on tax fairness.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I don’t understand these words. Everybody knows that the only taxes that exist in the United States are federal income taxes, which proves that we have a highly progressive tax code.

      • wengler

        I am part of the 53 percent!

    • Linnaeus

      Hey, Romney doesn’t need Medicare. Why should he have to pay for it? Just so he can help support the aged and nonproductive? Pshaw!

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