The Return of Doctor Weird and the “Laugher Curve”

Laffer Curve

Laffer Curve drawn by Vanessaezekowitz (CC).

With millionaire dilettante Ron Johnson confirmed as Wisconsin’s senator elect to the government his own Tea Party professes to disdain, it’s a sure bet we’re gonna be bombarded with a lot of blather about how tax cuts for corporations and the uber-rich are supposed to magically improve employment and erase deficits.  Which is utter batshit lunacy.  But don’t take my word for it — run the numbers yourself.  All within the linked workbook “Laffer Curve Analysis v1″.

Midterms are over; here begineth the real shitstorm: the struggle against Right Wing corporatists and faux populists trying to complete their destruction of the United States.

No, that’s not just the Wild Turkey talking. Haven’t touched the stuff for the better part of a week now.  And though the night terror visions of President Palin’s Interior Secretary Don Blankenship leasing the floor of the House to BP for fracking natural gas and Treasury Secretary Richard Rahn outsourcing the federal minting operations to China have subsided, the daytime terror visions have only grown in intensity. Unfortunately, I can’t write off as fantasy the almost inevitability of Paul Ryan (R-WI) introducing yet another corporate giveaway bill designed to plunge the nation into chaos.

We’re a nation of diverse ethnic origins, religious and lifestyle choices whose existential center lies firmly within the principles of representative democracy. Our primary shared institution has always been elected government and it is within that framework that we negotiate all of our relationships beyond our own home parish.  Without those principles and a government through which to put them into effect we’d be nothing more than a mass of warring feudal tribes. If you think otherwise, I suggest you peruse recent events in Afghanistan or Iraq for a taste of what a total lack of shared non-sectarian institutions can do for a country.

But RepubliCAN’Ts and other Right Wingers have made no secret that they have a chubby to destroy our society’s central shared institution through defunding. Quoth Grover Norquist of the Orwellian-ly named ‘Americans’ for Tax Reform: “I don’t want to abolish government.  I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

He’s like some kind of fatass Dr. Weird with 5 o’clock shadow.

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I always like to remind people that weak central government and free market principles can be easily viewed working perfectly……in fucking Haiti.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      At the end of the day it really is as simple as that. All the arguments can be boiled down to that and for anyone suceptible to persuasion that’s probably all they really need to hear.

      The only additional thing I tried to put in that article was a bit of visibility and interactivity to the real-world #’s. Too often these discussions devolve into a pissing match over whose sources have more credibility (i.e., the “My Dad can beat up your dad” argument). I want people to stand up and take some responsibility themselves.

      My hope was that the one, single person who actually looks at that workbook in the next two years will engage with the facts personally instead of vicariously through some puffed-up authority figure. Maybe they’d feel some actual individual responsibility for the policy decision and vote accordingly. That’s why I demoted my citations of the numerous anti-Laffer economic studies to the end of the piece.

      All the time, however, knowing that is unlikely. Still we trudge on. Hope dies last.

      >Sigh<

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I always like to remind people that weak central government and free market principles can be easily viewed working perfectly……in fucking Haiti.

  • emperorreagan

    I can’t wait to hear how the solution for unfunded tax cuts, unfunded wars, and unfunded entitlement spending is to cut public radio out of the budget and maybe throw in a few more tax cuts.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head yet again. On some level the argument isn’t a rational one, it’s an emotional one: Dynamism (e.g., hope, progress, etc.) vs. Entropy (e.g., conservatism, negativism, refusal to learn,etc.)

      The demography of the States is pretty clear: we’re an aging country. I guess it makes sense that our social values and economic priorities also promote decline. What political strategies or tactics could overcome the rising tide of Thanatos?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatos_(psychoanalysis)

  • emperorreagan

    I can’t wait to hear how the solution for unfunded tax cuts, unfunded wars, and unfunded entitlement spending is to cut public radio out of the budget and maybe throw in a few more tax cuts.

  • Simiantongue

    “I suggest you peruse recent events in Afghanistan or Iraq for a taste of what a total lack of shared non-sectarian institutions can do for a country.’

    I suggest you peruse recent events in Afghanistan or Iraq for a taste of what total non-sectarian institutions can do to a country too.

    Apologies it’s the little anarchist in me, always screaming to get out. Has been subdued again, please continue on your way, nothing to see here.

  • Simiantongue

    “I suggest you peruse recent events in Afghanistan or Iraq for a taste of what a total lack of shared non-sectarian institutions can do for a country.’

    I suggest you peruse recent events in Afghanistan or Iraq for a taste of what total non-sectarian institutions can do to a country too.

    Apologies it’s the little anarchist in me, always screaming to get out. Has been subdued again, please continue on your way, nothing to see here.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    At the end of the day it really is as simple as that. All the arguments can be boiled down to that and for anyone suceptible to persuasion that’s probably all they really need to hear.

    The only additional thing I tried to put in that article was a bit of visibility and interactivity to the real-world #’s. Too often these discussions devolve into a pissing match over whose sources have more credibility (i.e., the “My Dad can beat up your dad” argument). I want people to stand up and take some responsibility themselves.

    My hope was that the one, single person who actually looks at that workbook in the next two years will engage with the facts personally instead of vicariously through some puffed-up authority figure. Maybe they’d feel some actual individual responsibility for the policy decision and vote accordingly. That’s why I demoted my citations of the numerous anti-Laffer economic studies to the end of the piece.

    All the time, however, knowing that is unlikely. Still we trudge on. Hope dies last.

    >Sigh<

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head yet again. On some level the argument isn’t a rational one, it’s an emotional one: Dynamism (e.g., hope, progress, etc.) vs. Entropy (e.g., conservatism, negativism, refusal to learn,etc.)

    The demography of the States is pretty clear: we’re an aging country. I guess it makes sense that our social values and economic priorities also promote decline. What political strategies or tactics could overcome the rising tide of Thanatos?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatos_(psychoanalysis)

  • Ironaddict06

    To tax more or to cut taxes?? Ok say the CO2 bill does pass and all business are taxed at %25. We all know the business’s are not going to end up paying the %25 tax-they will just pass cost of operation on to the consumer. I’d like to see tax cuts that help people that work and tax paying citizens, average americans-such as cuts in investment income-interest, dividends, rents, royalties, annuities and capital gains.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Well, this piece is more about income tax. I haven’t bent my attentions toward the cap and trade thing. At least not yet.

      But you do raise the interesting question of taxes and price elasticity. Running a similar statistical correlation on CPI data and income tax as % of GDP leads to some interesting conclusions.

      https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0z0Wboesi8MZjRjOWNjOWItMGI3ZS00ODY2LWJlZTAtZmY5YzRiZjczOTIx&hl=en

      [Title: Commodities-Inflation Data.xls]

      Turns out that the correlation between consumer prices and income tax is very weak–especially with corporate tax: less than 3%. So if your suggestion is that the increases come primarily from increasing corporate tax, I’m all with you.

  • Ironaddict06

    To tax more or to cut taxes?? Ok say the CO2 bill does pass and all business are taxed at %25. We all know the business’s are not going to end up paying the %25 tax-they will just pass cost of operation on to the consumer. I’d like to see tax cuts that help people that work and tax paying citizens, average americans-such as cuts in investment income-interest, dividends, rents, royalties, annuities and capital gains.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Well, this piece is more about income tax. I haven’t bent my attentions toward the cap and trade thing. At least not yet.

    But you do raise the interesting question of taxes and price elasticity. Running a similar statistical correlation on CPI data and income tax as % of GDP leads to some interesting conclusions.

    https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B0z0Wboesi8MZjRjOWNjOWItMGI3ZS00ODY2LWJlZTAtZmY5YzRiZjczOTIx&hl=en

    [Title: Commodities-Inflation Data.xls]

    Turns out that the correlation between consumer prices and income tax is very weak–especially with corporate tax: less than 3%. So if your suggestion is that the increases come primarily from increasing corporate tax, I’m all with you.