Skip to content

Drowning in Deficits

© Matt Wuerker



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Christian Science Monitor: 1920s before the stock market crash 50% if wealth in 1% of the population. 1950s with the G.I. bill EDUCATION: 20% of the wealth concentrated in the top 1%. Today: 32% of the wealth concentrated in the top 1%. Meaning that for our country to survive, all politics and liberal/conservative thoughts, we must have wealth distribution for the good of this country, Fred Thompson.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink
  2. patriotsgt wrote:

    Well I heard recently that the worlds 40 richest, ie Gates, Buffet, Et Al. agreed to give away 50% of their wealth to various charities. They are figuring this will put some 600 billion into the charities market. Now those rich guys don’t sound so bad, do they?

    I know you cynics are thinking “they’re just doing it for the tax write off”, go ahead admit it.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  3. Jonah wrote:

    I think buffet, gates and others are doing it because they are good people at heart and they realize that money isn’t everything. Was it uncle Ben who told spidey “with great power comes great responsibility”?

    But to get back to the topic on hand which is the deficit and whether the people in the highest bracket should keep their bush tax cuts, I think those tax cuts should be repealed and more targeted tax cuts incentivizing job hiring should be introduced. The argument that republicans and a few democrats are making is that these high earners will use those tax cuts to create jobs and the simple truth is that there is no evidence that will happen. Better to use that money to keep teachers and firefighters employed so that children continue to get educated and fires continued to get extinguished.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    patriotsgt: What does this tell you? Exit poll at the election in ’08: Those over 250K who had been promised tax raises by Obama: 41% for McCain. 46% for Obama.
    My son is one of those. He gives zero to charities, and that is what he claims on his tax return. He says “I’m over paid and not paying enough taxes.” Gates and Buffet both came up middle class and both appreciate what they were given (brains). Many more do. Those of us who are waiting for our taxes to be raised will say “oh, well, it was good for eight years, but it wasn’t right.”

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    PatriotSgt, I’ve often mentioned Gates, Buffet, etc. favorably. Several of the frequent commenters of this blog fall into the same category (including me). For most sane people, after a while the blind chasing of money becomes meaningless, and people realize that accumulating money has less reward than giving it away to good causes. History doesn’t remember the people who died with all the toys, it remembers Carnegie, Rockefeller, Nobel, and others who used their money for good.

    For further reading, look up “potlatch economics” (

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  6. patriotsgt wrote:

    Well said all. Just wondering out loud here…
    EBDOUG- how much of the 32% of the wealth is owned by the top 100 eaarners in the US. Does anyone know? If we took them out how does that change things. On charities, I’ve had to cut back this year in how much I give, but still manage to give what I can. I think most Americans try to do just that.
    Yes, I’m for allowing the tax cuts to expire, but..
    I think we need assurances from congress that they will also reduce spending and not waste our dollars. I think all the cuts should expire. They can create some incentive for small/medium business to expand and hire. They can also give back to middle/lower income people in the form of rebate checks if they feel they must. I think everyone should pay at least $10 in Fed tax (icluding the 47% who currently don’t owe any tax and get a refund). If we all do that for the next 5 yrs, we can pay off a big chunk of debt and maybe keep Soc Sec from going bankrupt.
    What do ya say, everybody in?

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  7. ebdoug wrote:

    Meanwhile we have to fight the lies that are being spread, like “the capital gain rate is going to 39%”. Gitner is saying 20% for the top earners. There is no qualification that captial gains will still be indexed as it should be.
    I don’t know exactly what minimum wage is but say it is $7.50 for a 35 hour week. Or $13650 a year. Because of the constant rise in health insurance, every time that person buys someone at the supermarket to keep him/her alive it cost more as the people at the supermarket get health care. Those poor working people need to be exempted from the $10 a person. (they are spending it on lottery tickets anyway which in New York State is (supposed to be) used for education.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Steve wrote:

    Out of curiosity, what percent of income do the top brack of earners pay in tax under the Bush scheme? Here in NZ if you earn over $50k USD, you pay 40 cents on the dollar to the state.

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    Current top tax rate is 35%. When Bush entered office, it was 39.6%, and he cut it to 38.6% in 2001 and to 35% in 2002. The highest it has ever been is 94% (right after WWII), and the lowest in the recent past is 28% (1988 – 1990). Of course, the tax rate is only a part of the equation, since loopholes allow people to keep income non-taxable.

    There is a nice graph and table of this data at

    Friday, August 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    Fascinating that the higher the bracket at the top, the more prosperous as a whole this country is.

    Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink
  11. The funniest thing for me was that when I first saw the comic, the ad to the right of it was Fred Thompson, begging us to help him preserve the Bush Tax Cuts! The juxtaposition was ironic – and hilarious!

    Monday, August 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Permalink
  12. patriotsgt wrote:

    It all comes down to the almighty dollar. No one is immune! LOL

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 6:20 am | Permalink