Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Sullivan vs. Kain:
Andrew Sullivan, still in thrall with the atmosphere surrounding the Ryan budget plan writes
... past fiscal recklessness makes some cruelty a mathematical necessity ...
... we simply cannot tax our way out of this ...
The math doesn't work.
E.D. Kain responds
... it would be more fun if Andrew showed his work. What math are we referring to?
As I’ve noted previously, you can do a combination of tax increases (not too much, just nudge them back up to Clinton-era rates) and defense cuts and you don’t even have to voucherize Medicare or implement a millionaire’s tax and just like that you have yourself back on the right fiscal trajectory through 2030. (...)
A lot of people are saying things like “The ball is in Obama’s court” and what-have-you. The problem is that the ball has never really left the Republican court. Until Republicans agree to tax increases, why should Democrats agree to spending cuts? Why should Democrats take Republicans seriously at all if Republicans are completely unwilling to repeal the Bush tax cuts?
Just guessing here, but I suspect that Sullivan was never good at math. He rarely ever puts out numbers in his posts. He's gifted with words, but quantitative stuff doesn't engage him.
Funny, I don't see any math on the NYT budget calculator either. Except for simple addition. And it's wildly dishonest.
Apparently, all of the liberal pet tax increase options bring in gobs and gobs of money, with no negative effect on the economy, and all the pet conservative government reduction options have virtually no effect. Very convenient. Leads people in the "right" direction.
On display is classic Marxist philosophy -- where no one adjusts their behavior in response to environmental changes. You can ratchet up taxes on small businesses, but they don't lay off workers. The IRS can force family businesses to liquidate (the "estate tax"), but all the employees of those businesses, and the businesses that depend on those businesses, somehow don't become unemployed. You can have a "bank tax", but somehow the banks don't pass the tax on to their customers or stop making loans. You can have a carbon tax, but raising the cost of fuel doesn't impoverish rural Americans who have to drive a lot. You can dump all of these taxes on millions of people who are just barely able to pay their mortgages, but there's no consequence there. They will still be able to pay their mortgage, and their heating bill, and still have enough money left to buy clothes, go out to dinner, maintain their house and car, and maintain their household. Americans are like undermilked cows - uncomfortable from all that money in their wallets, in need of the kind, soothing squeeze of government to relieve their burden and make everything all right.
Notice how when you click one box, it doesn't change the numbers in the other boxes? As if imposing a carbon tax and VAT will have absolutely no effect on the amount of money that would be raised from "returning tax rates to Clinton-era levels." In the Marxist economic construction that the NYT has codified here, every single thing you do has no effect anywhere else in the economy.
Like making a choice between Beef with Broccoli or the Won Ton Soup.
Liberals like Quiddity and Kain just eat this stuff up. Kain starts with a shred of honesty by admitting that he's just playing around, but by the end you can tell that he really believes this crap. Unfortunately, the NYT static national economic model is a sad reflection of what liberals really believe, which goes a long way toward explaining how the nation is going bankrupt after just two years of liberal control of the government.
The adults can't come back soon enough.
Earlier, jms was holding hands with Kain and now he's holding hands with Andy Sullivan, giving new meaning to "on the other hand ...." But jms is for adult-ery coming back, with, say, Newt or T-Rump, or both?
Sullivan is that curious combination -- a genuinely intelligent fool. Which means that he often confuses himself and provides endless entertainment.