Two points about the economy and future taxes. Larry Summers, fat tax and food stamps. Dumb and dumber

 Larry Summers is smart. Smart enough to know which side of the bread is buttered.  He will not break ranks from the big government approach, as it continuously feeds him. Here he jumps on the “more taxes equal a better life” argument, including running some questionable numbers and adding carbon  tax to the mix.

 Summers, now the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard, began a recent talk to tax economists with a warning: “It’s immensely important that the U.S. not fall off the fiscal cliff,” he said, referring to the combination of nearly $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take place in January. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, has projected that the U.S. economy will fall into recession if all of the “fiscal tightening” occurs next year.

Much of the debate about the fiscal cliff concerns whether to allow the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush to expire for the top income taxpayers. Noting that the top income tax rate was 90 percent when Dwight Eisenhower was president and that President Ronald Reagan cut it to 50 percent, Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, said “it’s hard to believe that raising the top tax rate to 39.6 percent — where it was under President Clinton — will do grievous damage to the economy.”

Turning to the mathematics of the tax increases on married couples making more than $250,000 a year, Summers said that raising some $850 billion from the highest-income taxpayers in an economy that will generate more than $200 trillion in domestic income over that same period is “not a scale of cosmic significance.”

Advocating a return to Clinton-era income tax rates for the top earners wasn’t the only tax policy Summers addressed. He also challenged the nation’s top tax economists to reflect on two types of so-called “corrective” taxes that will provide what economists call “positive spillover effects” because they have beneficial effects on the broader economy.

At a time when damage to New York City caused by superstorm Sandy appears to be at least tangentially related to climate change, Summers asserted that it’s shocking that the United States has the lowest-priced energy in the world. “Why aren’t we talking more about raising taxes on carbon and energy?” he asked.

Although the Obama Administration doesn’t intend to introduce a carbon tax, the debate has begun anyway. Economists from the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the International Monetary Fund, and Resources for the Future debated the merits and challenges of implementing a carbon tax at a joint conference earlier this month, while the CBO released a report explaining how to offset a carbon tax’s impact on low-income households.

What do you do that the government doesn’t believe it has the right to tax?  That is the question isn’t it?  Healthcare, work, gas, heat, energy, food, clothing and retirement. It wants it all and we are simply standing by wondering what in the hell is going on!

Why is Obama’s people wanting to increase food stamps?  Food stamps equals dependency, dependency equates to loyal voters.  Reason magazine has gives its opinion.

 More Americans Will Use Food Stamps For Thanksgiving This Year Than Ever Before

…Usage of food stamps among low and no-income families has spiked since the collapse of the U.S. financial system four years ago. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, has increased 70 percent since 2007. And economists have warned that usage of food stamps won’t go down until unemployment improves.

More here.

The most recent number for total food stamp beneficiaries is about 47 million people.

There’s no question that the crap economy significantly gooses the number of people qualifying for free or reduced-price food.

But it’s also the case that the increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistace Program (SNAP) is in large part due to the expansion of who qualifies. Under Barack Obama’s stimulus spending, the number of people getting food stamps increased from 36.2 million in 2009 to to 42.2 million in 2010 – just a year later. As the left-leaning folks at the Economic Policy Institute put it back then:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last year widened eligibility for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance so that more adults without dependents could qualify. The Recovery Act also increased benefits, providing additional relief to some of the country’s poor individuals and families…

So what happens when government gets in the middle of everything?  A part time second tier nation.

There are already 8 million Americans working part time who want to work full time. It seems likely that number will skyrocket once Obamacare is implemented.

An Obamacare supporter is as stupid as the Democrats who passed the legislation in the first place:

When my better half told me that her boss was thinking about cutting all full-time employees to part time in order to avoid the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act insurance requirements (for full-time employees), my initial response was, “Surely the federal government wouldn’t have allowed such a blatantly obvious way of getting out of the requirement.” But that turned out to be false.

In fact, major names in the service/hospitality industry (e.g., Denny’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse) are already in the process of going to a part-time employee schedule for all employees. Thus, as a very possible consequence of the short-sightedness of the Affordable Care Act legislators, more people will be working two jobs to make ends meet.

Yet acquiring a second part-time job may be an impossibility for a large number of service/hospitality employees. Most part-time employees in this industry do not work full eight-hour shifts in a day. Rather, they work five to six days a week for four to six hours at a time during the busiest hours. Thus, it may not be possible for part-time workers to work more than one job, because the days they will be available to work will have been constrained by the part-time job they are trying to supplement.

Part time for us, not for the likes of Summers who will rake in the money until he decides he doesn’t.

… After a one year sabbatical, Summers subsequently accepted Harvard University’s invitation to serve as the Charles W. Eliot University Professor, one of twenty select University-wide professorships, with offices in the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School. On October 19, 2006, he also became a part-time managing director of the New York-based hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co. for which he received $5 million in salary and other compensation over a 16-month period.[51] In 2006 he was also a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons which reviewed the work of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

One solution I support is hitting entertainment professionals in the wallet.  Jamie Foxx comes to mind.  Net worth is reportedly 85 million.  Let’s take half and use it for some program or to pay down the debt.  Who is with me?!  I say if you don’t “produce” a tangible good, then your tax should be fifty percent or higher.  So who cares if Brad Pitt clears ten million instead of twenty a film?

Matt Lauer makes twenty-one million a year.  A year!! Who needs twenty-one million dollars?  A talking head?  What kind of medical care could a veteran get with half of Lauer’s salary?  We could take ten million, break that in half and give it to twenty injured soldiers returning home. We could build special housing for those in wheelchairs, prosthetics for soldier injured in battle.  (Come on Matt who doesn’t want to give for the good of those who gave so much to their country?!)  Heck, let’s tax him at ninety percent.  Let’s get into this class warfare the right way!  Tax the rich liberals who support Obama and his high taxes.  Protect small businesses.

Now that’s a good idea.   And I’m sure if we took half of Jamie’s income he’d still believe Obama was the second coming…wouldn’t he?

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