Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Top 1% Now Pays More in Tax Than Bottom 95%

TAX POLICY BLOG -- Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the "rich" are not paying their fair share of taxes and disproportionately benefited from the Bush tax cuts.

Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1% of taxpayers paid 40.4% of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1% paid 24.8% of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act (see chart above).

Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1% now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95% of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95% paid 39.4% of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58% of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.

To put this in perspective, the top 1% is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
Some in Washington say the tax system is still not progressive enough. However, the recent IRS data bolsters the findings of an OECD study released last year showing that the U.S.—not France or Sweden—has the most progressive income tax system among OECD nations. We rely more heavily on the top 10% of taxpayers than does any nation and our poor people have the lowest tax burden of those in any nation.

We are definitely overdue for some honesty in the debate over the progressivity of the nation's tax burden before lawmakers enact any new taxes to pay for expanded health care.

44 Comments:

At 7/29/2009 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so what percentage of total income from all sources does that same 1% receive?

 
At 7/30/2009 12:12 AM, Blogger Dave Narby said...

Mark, you know this is a crap argument. But God bless you, you'll keep makin' it!

If you figure out all the other ways they take your money besides income tax (that includes payroll, medicare, etc. and also 'non tax' taxes, e.g. fees, surcharges, tariffs, etc.) then the bottom 99% of 'taxypayers' in total pays much more than the top 1% pays.

 
At 7/30/2009 12:52 AM, Anonymous jrich said...

If you figure out all the other ways they take your money besides income tax (that includes payroll, medicare, etc. and also 'non tax' taxes, e.g. fees, surcharges, tariffs, etc.) then the bottom 99% of 'taxypayers' in total pays much more than the top 1% pays.

This sounds like a wonderful project for you to undertake to actually document that the bottom 99% of 'taxypayers' in total pays much more than the top 1% pays, Dave.

 
At 7/30/2009 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Dave Narby, are you unaware that the wealthy who buy more pay more in sales tax? And they pay more in property taxes? And they pay more in capital gains taxes? And they pay the maximum amount of social security and medicare taxes? And as large stockholders they bear a disproportionate burden of corporate taxes? And that they get zero transfer payments except social security if they even bother to cash the check.

Any idea what fuel taxes on a personal jet run?

Yeah, they make more money because they earn more money. Few people in the bottom quintile ever created a job except those which cater to their unearned, undeserved needs and the money to pay for that is stolen from the rich.

 
At 7/30/2009 1:17 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

What? Social Security is a tax? But we were all assured that it's a retirement program. So, which is it?

The truth about Social Security is that the low wage earners receive more than they pay in and the highest wage earners receive less than they pay in.

In light of this, it seems rather disingenuous to describe it as a "tax" on the bottom 95% of earners.

And Anonymous is corret. The highest earners ALSO pay all the taxes you list and they pay larger amounts.

 
At 7/30/2009 1:21 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

It occurs to me that it's rather precarious to rely entirely on the top 1% for your revenue.

It's entirely possible that they will find quite a lot of disincentive to produce that much wealth since taxes will be increased by 10 percentage points soon as the Bush cuts roll off and the 5.4% health care surtax is added.

Then, who will have to pay for all the free ice cream for the bottom 99%?

 
At 7/30/2009 3:26 AM, Blogger randian said...

It occurs to me that it's rather precarious to rely entirely on the top 1% for your revenue.

California is a very instructive example of your point. High earners are the first to hurt badly in a recession. With CA's very progressive income tax, that's a whole lot of top-bracket income disappearing. The result was predictably disastrous.

Given the incentives at the government level, this was entirely predictable. If you can't meet the budget, you can always squeeze the taxpayers for more, can't you? Look at what the CalPERS pension fund is doing. They're investing in very risky deals right now. If it works, the employee's union does well. If it tanks, the taxpayers will make up the shortfall.

 
At 7/30/2009 5:35 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from Dave Narby: "If you figure out all the other ways they take your money besides income tax (that includes payroll, medicare, etc. and also 'non tax' taxes, e.g. fees, surcharges, tariffs, etc.) then the bottom 99% of 'taxypayers' in total pays much more than the top 1% pays."

Is this an argument for more taxes or less?

 
At 7/30/2009 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so what percentage of total income from all sources does that same 1% receive?

22.8% in 2006.

This sounds like a wonderful project for you to undertake to actually document that the bottom 99% of 'taxypayers' in total pays much more than the top 1% pays

The project has been completed by the Congressional Budget Office. As of 2006, the top 1% pays 28.3% of total federal tax liabilities. By implication, the bottom 99% pays 71.7%.

In summary, the top 1% receive 22.8% of the income pie and pay 28.3% of the total federal tax pie.

 
At 7/30/2009 8:28 AM, Blogger Size said...

In summary, the top 1% generate 22.8% of the income pie and pay 28.3% of the total federal tax pie.

 
At 7/30/2009 9:38 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"Comments on markets, economics, manipulation, dirty tricks, skullduggery and other matters pertaining to the greatest crash in recorded history. Prediction: We will be forced to create a new monetary and financial system on or around 2012"...

Geez Dave Narby, you're just a barrel full of chuckles aren't you?

 
At 7/30/2009 10:14 AM, Blogger 1 said...

Consider the following two articles from US News:

Why Income Inequality May Actually Be a Good Sign

November 09, 2007 02:18 PM ET
James Pethokoukis

The Investor Class and Income Inequality

January 31, 2008 01:21 PM ET
James Pethokoukis

 
At 7/30/2009 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Methinks

FDR ran into a little problem with his SS scheme - the Constitution which gave government no power to mandate a retirement fund.

To get around that minor inconvenience he used the Constitutional power of government to tax in order to gain revenue and the expenditure power for distribution. In theory, there is no obligation for the government to pay SS benefits. It can be legally ended and the tax continue. On the flip side, government has no obligation to make benefits consistent with contributions and they don't.

So FICA is a tax. It is also an unconstitutional system of wealth distribution. It was born insolvent and needs to be wiped out. FDR should be burning in Hell.

 
At 7/30/2009 10:44 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"It was born insolvent and needs to be wiped out. FDR should be burning in Hell"...

Couldn't agree more!

I did hear one thing the other night coming from the mouth of long time college football coach Lou Holtz with regards to some of FDR's actions back then though NOT specifically SS...

There was a fear of the communists stirring up the labor pot domestically as was what was happening in Europe...

Apparently there were some very fierce and violent riots (which I vaguely remember from history classes) and FDR didn't want to see the samething happening in the US...

Does that whole scenario ring any bells with anyone?

 
At 7/30/2009 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does the overall tax burden look like if you incorporate all forms of taxation? My guess is that it is still progressive, but much less than what Mark's headline implies...

At a minimum, the fact that it is so da*n difficult to figure out who pays what share of tax (because of all the taxes with different names, etc), that it points to one over-riding argument: that the tax code is too complicated. Apparently, even Charlie Rangel cannot figure it out, and he writes the rules.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574300013592601036.html

One single flat tax makes sense just from the sake of simplicity and to keep people honest. You can ignore the arguments of progressive or regressive codes...because the code is so complicated and stealthy we aren't even able to figure out the answer to that question easily...

 
At 7/30/2009 12:18 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

I am against high taxes and piling on of taxes BUT I think the figures show that wealth is concentrating into fewer people. The U.S. needs to get a better balance on consumption vs. production. If we can export much more then the U.S. middle class will gain in numbers and wealth -- this will be hard to do because of the delusions most of us live under.

 
At 7/30/2009 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Top 1% Now Pays More in Tax Than Bottom 95% "


Isn't that because they have more money than the bttom 95%?

---------------------------

"Few people in the bottom quintile ever created a job except those which cater to their unearned, undeserved needs and the money to pay for that is stolen from the rich."

Stolen from the rich? Don't the rich make money from unnderpaid labor of the people they hire? I know I do. Who is stealing from whom, here? Sure, rich people make jobs - because that is how they make money.

When rich people pay their employees enough to meet their needs, then they can stop whining about the government taking the money to fill unmet needs.

Hydra

 
At 7/30/2009 12:42 PM, Blogger Size said...

Anonymous 10:23,

Thank you for your response. I realize this and agree with you about FDR and SS in general, but the argument that the leftist politicians puts forth is that SS is not a tax.

Also, if they do refuse to stop paying, to which group do you think they will stop paying but will not stop taxing, the bottom 99% or the top 1%? If we factor in the fact that the government has no real obligation to pay out SS, then I think the "SS is a tax" argument is stronger for the higher earners than it is for everyone else.

gettingrational,

I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at, but all the "inequality of income" really tells us is that some people are more industrious than everyone else and that our government does not restrict its citizens from being all that they have the time, motivation, talent and willingness to work hard to be.

If we give government the power to equalize incomes in the population, then all we do is enrich the political class at the expense of everyone else - and increase inequality. But, this time, between the political class and everyone else instead of the most productive and everyone else.

If you want wealth (rather than income) to be better distributed than it is now, you'll have to convince the middle class to stop consuming more than they earn and start saving and investing. I would say the wealth distribution is exactly as it should be as each of us is allowed to make our own spend vs. save decision and the current distribution is a result of that fundamental freedom.

 
At 7/30/2009 12:48 PM, Blogger Size said...

Stolen from the rich? Don't the rich make money from unnderpaid labor of the people they hire? I know I do.

No, you don't. Our labour market is not rigid and does not prevent employees from finding alternative employment. If your employees were underpaid (their pay is below the market rate for their labour), they would have found a better paying job and left. The fact that they haven't either means that they are being paid as much as they are worth or they find other attractive features in their job that compensates for a lower money wage.

 
At 7/30/2009 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me play devil's advocate.

Size: there is some randomness and luck on the right tail of the wealth distribution, and the distribution is not bell-shaped. It is not all about hard work and ingenuity. Hard work and ingenuity can get you so far, but for a small portion of the hard workers group, there is some enormous rewards reaped by just a few...

This is coming from someone on the right side of the tail. I like to think that I work hard and am smart, but I know that there are people who work just as hard or harder and are smarter but aren't making as much money. I also know that there are associates of mine who don't work as hard, aren't as smart who make a multiple more than me.

Maybe a baseball analogy would work well...Hitting a few extra balls out of a 1000 can mean the difference between reaping all the monetary rewards in baseball or an impoverished career in the minor leagues... But in business, its even more pronounced, because I'd say that there are people who theoretically have identical batting averages but some reap many more rewards...

The right tail should reap more rewards, but when it comes to wealth, the distribution is out of line with anything resembling normal. Or maybe the wealthy should pay a higher rate, because they have exponentially more incentive to protect the free enterprise system in this country?

What's wrong with these arguments?

 
At 7/30/2009 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Tax Plan:

Per Household, regardless of marriage, relationship, dependents, etc.

$0 - $40,000 0%
$40,001 - $1,000,000 18%
$1,000,001 - infinity 15%

(Protects the "poor" / middle class. If you made %100,000, first $40,000 is tax free, the next $60,000 you only pay $10,800 for an average tax rate of 10.8%. The really high wage earners need to be spending on goods and services to give people jobs, investing to help businesses and giving to charities. Also, the regressive tax rate would encourage people to work even harder if they have the ability to make more.)

Capital Gains Tax:

Short: 15%
Long: 10%

(We need to encourage people to invest and to move money to its best purpose, not punish people for investing.)

AMT: 0%

Corporate:

$0 - $1,000,000 0%
$1,000,000 - up 10%

(Customers, shareholders and employees get to pay these. I don't think we can eliminate them entirely, but by making it progressive it encourages smaller businesses rather than inefficient large scale businesses.)

Tax on Legislators:

Surplus - Balanced 0%
Deficit 80%

(This would have to be a Constitutional amendment to make sure they don't just strike this. This would ensure that all that pork and big spending plans truly are necessary.)

 
At 7/30/2009 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The right tail should reap more rewards, but when it comes to wealth, the distribution is out of line with anything resembling normal. Or maybe the wealthy should pay a higher rate, because they have exponentially more incentive to protect the free enterprise system in this country?

What's wrong with these arguments?"

What's wrong is the idea that the money doesn't belong to these people. Besides, it wouldn't cost a nickel of every $100 of the top 5% to protect the free enterprise system of this country. You just need strong property rights, strong courts, freedom to negotiate contracts and low taxes to encourage the hard work/risk/ingenuity/stress/time away from family/etc. that is the entrepreneurial spirit behind free enterprise.

 
At 7/30/2009 1:21 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

@ Size,

I think we agree! The shrinking middle class lives more on credit and should be saving more. The middle class' share of income is shrinking because capital is being concentrated into fewer producers that fortify the wide moats that Warren Buffet loves.

 
At 7/30/2009 1:32 PM, Anonymous geoih said...

"What's wrong with these arguments?"

You're simply rationalizing your desire to take somebody else's property, so you can think it's fair. You're jealous of somebody else's wealth, and you're willing to use the force (i.e., the government) to steal it.

 
At 7/30/2009 1:49 PM, Blogger 1 said...

"I think the figures show that wealth is concentrating into fewer people. The U.S. needs to get a better balance on consumption vs. production."...

I just knew this sort of comment would surface, hence the reason I posted those articles from US News...

Regardless of which sort of tax plan we end up with (progressive, flat tax, etc) it won't matter until something is done to dump the 'socialist entitlements'...

 
At 7/30/2009 2:34 PM, Blogger QT said...

gettingrational,

I wonder why the U.S. savings rate just hit a 20 year high?

 
At 7/30/2009 2:44 PM, Blogger Size said...

What's wrong with these arguments?

I believe you made two arguments:

The right tail should reap more rewards, but when it comes to wealth, the distribution is out of line with anything resembling normal.

What defines "normal"? If someone is abnormally beautiful, they reap many more rewards in society. Should we normalize their beauty by scarring their faces and bodies such that their rewards are also normalized? If not, why not? Should I not pay my top performers what I think they're worth to me but what you arbitrarily decide they are worth?

Or maybe the wealthy should pay a higher rate, because they have exponentially more incentive to protect the free enterprise system in this country?

Actually, the less wealthy have more incentive to protect the system because it is what gives them opportunity to become more wealthy and creates the jobs upon which they rely to feed their families and build capital. Once people are wealthy, they have a lot more options and can re-locate or pay for private security much more readily. Without the collective paying to protect them and the investment made out of motivation to become wealthier, the less wealthy are significantly worse off. That's as good an answer as I can give because "protecting the free enterprise system" is vague. A progressive tax rate to "protect" that system also destroys it by destroying incentives.

I can make further observations that some people are born with more talent and some with more talent AND beauty (so unfair). Some people are born at the right time, in the right place and some equally talented people are not.

The question is, what do we do about it? We can allow the politicians to set an arbitrary standard of "social justice" and force everyone to submit to this singular view - an unconstrained view. Or we can say that there is nothing we can do about unequal luck and beauty and preferences and we accept that the world will never be the same for everyone no matter what we do - a constrained view.

It's worth noting that the unconstrained view seems to always lead to more poverty overall.

I like to think that I work hard and am smart, but I know that there are people who work just as hard or harder and are smarter but aren't making as much money.

Because they are doing something that people find less economically valuable.

I also know that there are associates of mine who don't work as hard, aren't as smart who make a multiple more than me.

When I used to work for large institutions, I often felt the same way. Each time I discovered that I was either merely full of myself.

 
At 7/30/2009 2:51 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

@ QT,

What is the source of your information and what is the definition of saving? A 20 year high would be good but the last 20 years have been dismal for saving.

@ QT, Old business, In a previous argument you stated that China's share of the U.S. imports was only 16% but it share of the trade deficit is over 80%. This is based on the Bureau of Economic Analysis BEA, trade figures for May, released on July 10,2009.

 
At 7/30/2009 3:03 PM, Blogger QT said...

Should have said 15 years: U.S. savings rate hits 6.9

WRT the "shrinking middle class", do you have an authoritative source such as the BEA to back that up?

 
At 7/30/2009 3:39 PM, Blogger QT said...

16.1% is from the U.S. Census Bureau.

I have to assume that you are referring to this press release from the BEA: Trade figures for May; Note: Total U.S. trade deficit $26 billion in May; trade deficit with China listed as $17.5 billion; ie. 67%; April figures are 28.8 b and 16.8 b respectively ie. 58%. Don't see how you are arriving at 80% from these figures?

 
At 7/30/2009 4:04 PM, Blogger Size said...

I often felt the same way. Each time I discovered that I was either merely full of myself *or management got wise and fired or demoted them*.

Sorry, I got happy with the "send" button

 
At 7/30/2009 4:40 PM, Blogger QT said...

Getting Rational,

"May exports of $123.3 billion
and imports of $149.3 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $26.0"

If Chinese imports were 16.1% of total imports as they were in 2008, total value of May imports from China would have been 24 billion dollars while U.S. exports to China would total 6.5 billion. ie. 24 - 6.5 = 17.5

Also consider that many of these chinese goods are used as components in U.S. made goods ie. car parts, upholstery fabric, etc. benefitting U.S. companies. The profit margin for the manufacturing sector is usually extremely low (ie. 5-8%)

 
At 7/30/2009 7:16 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

@ QT,

You are correct that China's share of of the U.S. trade deficit is "only" 58% for May. According to the Economic Policy Institute China's overall share of the 2009 trade deficit is 83%. Both of these figures are absurd and unsustainable except for the current administration's thirst for credit to enable new welfare programs. This is not free trade or even international trade and will destroy the U.S. economy and never result in a large middle class in China.

 
At 7/30/2009 9:57 PM, Blogger QT said...

Gettingrational,

"According to the Economic Policy Institute China's overall share of the 2009 trade deficit is 83%."

For other posters: Economic Policy Institute source cited but not provided.

Read the fine print. What they are looking at is non-oil goods only rather than all imports (goods (oil & non-oil) & services). EPI is excluding data to tell the story that they wish to tell pretty much what I had guessed. Judging by the rest of the far-left content on this website, slice & dice data mining is about what one would expect.

The U.S. trade deficit is the sum of all exports less the sum of all imports including goods, services, oil etc. The whole anchilata.

As Lou Reed would say:
"Don't believe half of what you see and none of what you hear"

 
At 7/31/2009 9:31 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

@ QT,

No matter how YOU slice and dice the trade data your defense of China's massive U.S. dollar trade surplus is bizrre. 58% of the overall trade deficit (all of the world's other countries combined only account for 42%). 83% of the goods and services deficit is proof that China is managing trade, on both the import and export sides, with ferocious independence from competition.

 
At 7/31/2009 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, top earners take home more money, but they also pay a proportionally higher share of taxes, even after rolling in FICA, that stop once one earns more than $106,800/year.

FICA and excise taxes remain regressive, but corporate and income taxes remain progressive. All four combined yield a progressive tax structure as well.

For the past 30 years, most income gains went to the top 20% of income earners. Combine that with a progressive tax structure, and it's no surprise that the top few percent are paying a larger absolute share of the taxes.

For 2006 (last year CBO published data on this), the top 1% earned 18.3% of before tax income, but took home 16.3% of after tax income - the difference went to the increased tax rates that they pay.

Have a look:

http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/taxdistribution.cfm


Historical table on tax rates:
http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2009/effective_rates.pdf

 
At 7/31/2009 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry! Links to CBO data truncated off the page. Here they are again. they are split onto multiple lines, so I'm afraid you'll need to recombine them:

http://www.cbo.gov/publications
/collections/taxdistribution.cfm

http://www.cbo.gov/publications
/collections/tax
/2009/effective_rates.pdf

 
At 7/31/2009 3:31 PM, Blogger QT said...

"your defense of China's massive U.S. dollar trade surplus is bizrre"

Where did I do that? I just said that your numbers did not match the BEA and that the "trade deficit" from EPI was not the trade deficit at all but excluded all services and oil. In other words, it was massaged data.

"83% of the goods and services deficit"

Wrong. The this is not goods and services trade deficit but a goods excluding oil deficit to make a case for manufacturing being hurt by China although "goods" can be virtually anything not necessarily manufactured items so there is clearly some political spin here.

Average annual income in China in 2004 was $4,325.00 in rural & urban areas ($7,392 in urban areas only). Somehow, you expect that a third world county is going to consume the same amount as one of the wealthiest nations on the planet and the largest market in the world.

Does it ever occur that most of U.S. manufactured goods are destined for advance economies where the citizenry have high disposable income ie. like the one directly north of you?

China is a communist country. To say that China is managing its trade is obvious. Communism by definition is government ownership of the means of production. China only started loosening restrictions on private businesses under Deng Xiaping back in the 1980s and still lacks basic property rights. Is it any wonder that China like many other countries holds U.S. treasuries to stabilize their currency? If they decide to divest these holdings, it certainly could devastate the U.S. economy however at present, they do not seem to be inclined to do so.

What I am saying is that Chinese mercantilism is wrong-headed and that the balance of trade does not matter any more today than it did back in the time of Adam Smith. I am asking you to look at the total amount of exports and imports and imagine the millions of jobs that are created by trillions of dollars in imports and exports rather.

To put the trade deficit in perspective, consider the following back of the envelope calculation. Using May's trade data, let us say that the total trade deficit with China in a year is 12 x 17.5 b = $210 billion. This year's projected federal deficit is $1 trillion dollars. Around Washington, $210 billion is chump change.

Have a good day.

 
At 7/31/2009 3:38 PM, Blogger QT said...

Anon.,

To avoid broken links, here are easy lesson for HTML. HTML is a simple programming language used to format text on webpages and create links.

 
At 7/31/2009 7:47 PM, Blogger QT said...

gettingrational,

My posts have not invalidated your concerns. My concern is that your arguments have not been supported by credible numbers or documentation.

When you make a claim in argumentation, you have to be prepared to provide source data to back up your position.

We have very different concerns. I can appreciate that the rise of China creates a great deal of anxiety. Your concerns about China are shared by many.

What changed my view on this subject was a video on the Teaching Network that looked at potential productivitiy gains in India and China comparing them to Germany and Japan after WWII. Based upon currect rates of growth, China and India are projected to surpass the U.S. as the largest economy by mid to late 21st century although growth rates are seldom linear.

These rates of growth are largely due to potential productivity gains rather than mercantilist trade policies. China and India are catching up just like Germany and Japan did after WWII. This does not mean that China will attain the same standard of living as the U.S. or that U.S. standards of living will necessarily fall. The U.S. remains the world's leading innovator and an economic powerhouse despite the recent downturn. China by contrast has many challenges like an aging population, social unrest and pollution. Just feeding the population and providing clean drinking water are major challenges.

When I realized that productivity was driving these growth rates, I realized that I could either get upset about it or not. Either way, it would not change the outcome. There are the things we can change, and those beyond our control.

 
At 7/31/2009 9:37 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

@ QT,

I have given you trade figures from the BEA via the U.S. Census and Dept. of Commerce. I asked you to define savings and you did not reply. Oh well, you then quoted figures for China only accounting for 16% of U.S. imports but you neglected to give readily available figures that China accounts for almost 60% of the trade deficit.

You frequently bring up competition, productivity and innovation as your philosophical base of discussing economics. When China is mentioned you withdraw your underpinnings because China is disadvangted and the U.S. is soiled morally in your mindset. Please don't insert these personal false underpinnings because you obviously have not read "The Wealth of Nations". Further the hundreds of millions of Chinese that might ascend to middle class never will because "free to choose" will not be allowed by party cronies and foreign apologists uch as you.

 
At 8/01/2009 10:17 PM, Blogger QT said...

gettingrational,

"I have given you trade figures
from the BEA via the U.S. Census and Dept. of Commerce."

No, you provided squat. No links; no references; dick all just rhetoric. I had to try to track down your sources through searches of my own. No help from you, buckaroo.

"I asked you to define savings and you did not reply."

Why do I have to define the U.S. savings rate which is established by the U.S. government. At present, I do not sent U.S. public policy nor statistical definitions. Look up the definition yourself. If you don't accept my source. that's fine; you are perfectly free to Google search it yourself to satisfy yourself and counter the argument. Just like I challenge your numbers when they are wrong...you can vet my numbers and challenge them.

"the U.S. is soiled morally"

I respect the U.S. and find this phrase wholly offensive. What does morality have to do with economics or anything else. All I am saying is that the U.S. is a highly successful, very wealthy nation which has a higher consumption level than most of the world let alone a developing nation. This doesn't make China morally superior to the U.S. Poverty is not a virtue but evidence of years of totalitarian socialism.

What I would like to understand is where you are coming from on this issue. Not some second hand information that you have gleaned from a website but what your concerns are as related to your industry or what you are seeing.

I am not trying to diz you or dismiss your concerns nor apologise for China. I simply don't share your level of angst regarding the rise of China and I would like to understand your perspective. Is that so inconceivable?

Get over the indignation that someone has dared to question you. That's what argumentation is about. You make a claim and someone asks "what makes you think that?"

If you provide a logical argument and solid evidence to support your claims, I am perfectly willing to accept the argument. So far, you have not presented a compelling case.

 
At 8/01/2009 10:31 PM, Blogger QT said...

"but you neglected to give readily available figures that China accounts for almost 60% of the trade deficit."

No, I posted this information to refute your claim that the trade deficit with China was 80%:

"Trade figures for May; Note: Total U.S. trade deficit $26 billion in May; trade deficit with China listed as $17.5 billion; ie. 67%; April figures are 28.8 b and 16.8 b respectively ie. 58%."

I am not willing to let you off with straw men or bogus numbers.

 
At 8/01/2009 10:50 PM, Blogger QT said...

gettingrational,

Just a reminder. Originally, I asked you to substantiate your claim that the middle class in the U.S. was shrinking. Instead, the subject was changed to China.

Although this has led to an exchange of ideas, the initial post remains unanswered.

 

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