ChrisWeigant.com

Trump Budget Has No Fairy-Tale Ending

[ Posted Monday, February 12th, 2018 – 18:16 PST ]

The Trump administration released its budget proposal today, and it is nothing more than a bad joke. Or a badly-written fairy tale, perhaps. Like most presidential budget requests, it is going to wind up bearing little resemblance to reality -- that's almost a given -- but even at its most fantastical, they couldn't make the numbers magically add up. Rapunzel lets her hair down, but it turns out to be fifteen feet short of the ground. Sad!

To begin with, the basic Republican budgetary playbook is pretty simple to understand. Here it is in a nutshell:

  • Pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy, all the while believing the fable that "tax cuts pay for themselves."
  • Tax cuts do not wind up paying for themselves; estimated revenue falls far short.
  • "We've got to cut spending to get the deficit under control."
  • Slash funding for any government programs which do not directly benefit the wealthy.
  • At some point in the future, budgets magically balance.

That's pretty much it. It is a transfer of wealth in the wrong direction, and it always has been. In keeping with our fairy-tale theme, it is often called "Robin Hood in reverse," since it steals from the poor to give to the rich.

Trump promised, over and over again on the campaign trail, to eliminate the entire national debt. Not only would he end huge annual deficits, he bragged, but he'd also pay off the $20 trillion we already owed. When this proved to be laughably unrealistic, Trump moved to just promising he'd balance the budget in his first term in office. His first term is now one-fourth over, and what he has actually done is to double our annual deficit. That's pretty par for the course for a Republican in the White House, actually. While many of the inside-the-Beltway chattering class has convinced themselves that "Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility," the reality is that the only time deficits shrink is when Democrats are in the Oval Office.

But what's unusual is that Republican presidents normally put out ideologically-pure-at-heart budget requests that project that the deficit will entirely disappear within the next ten years. They do this by using creative math which shows that their tax cuts will raise lots of revenue, while at the same time assuming fantastical rates of economic growth. If any further savings are needed, then social programs are cut or even zeroed out. Presto! A balanced budget!

Their fairy tale rests on three hills of sand. First, the tax cuts do not increase revenue, they decrease it. Second, the economic growth never appears to the extent that they promise it will. Third, drastic cuts to social programs never pass Congress (at least, not to the extent the fantasy budgets assume).

Trump, though, couldn't make his numbers add up even with all three of these magical incantations. Take just one portion of Trump's budget agenda: infrastructure. Out on the campaign trail, Trump promised he would "rebuild America," making our roads and bridges and airports second to none. He would spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure, and America would be great once again. Now, however, he is actually proposing cutting spending on infrastructure.

It's a "rob Peter to pay Paul" scheme. Trump is spinning a tale of $1.5 trillion being spent on infrastructure, but -- Abracadabra! -- only $200 billion will now be coming from the federal government, rather than the trillion Trump promised. Furthermore, instead of the feds paying roughly 80 percent of big infrastructure projects and the states picking up the other 20 percent, this will be reversed and the states will be on the hook for 80 cents of every dollar spent. Um, yeah... that's going to go down real well with Republican governors, right? Also included in that $1.5 trillion of pixie dust is "private investors," which means a whole lot of tolls and fees paid by normal people to drive on roads and over bridges that used to be free. Adding to this, Trump wants to sell off things like Dulles and National airports in Washington D.C., and other infrastructure projects the government owns (like parkways, for instance).

Democrats were swift to point out, however, that buried in Trump's budget are cuts to infrastructure which add up to $240 billion. So the bottom line is that Trump wants to actually spend $40 billion less on infrastructure. Not exactly the trillion-dollar investment he promised his followers, is it?

Trump's budget envisions deep cuts to federal departments and even deeper cuts to the safety net. Virtually none of these will ever become reality, they are all squarely within the realm of fantasy. Congress isn't going to start slashing spending now, since it just came to an agreement on how to increase spending on both social programs and the military.

But even with all of these fantastical spending cuts, Trump's budget still doesn't add up -- even using secret and magical Republican math. At the end of 10 years, Trump's budget would still be running large annual deficits. Republican presidential budgets are always supposed to have (as a sort of sub-plot) the fantasy story of balanced budgets in the far future, but Trump's didn't. In other words, Rapunzel's hair came up short, and the handsome prince couldn't rescue her in the end.

Even using magic GOP math, Trump couldn't get his budget to add up. This doesn't matter very much since Trump's budget has already been pronounced dead on arrival in Congress (by members of both parties, it bears pointing out). In the real world, where math is actual math (and not wishful thinking), what is going to happen is pretty clear. Trump's tax cuts are going to cause revenues to shrink, while Congress will be spending more money for the next two years. Economic growth will likely not match the wildly optimistic targets Republicans are hoping for, shrinking revenues even more. At some point, we'll face an economic downturn (like a stock market crash, for instance), and the situation will get even worse.

The fairy tale Trump told on the campaign of balancing the budget in four years lies in tatters. Even using fantastical assumptions about spending and growth and revenue, Trump still can't even balance his mythical budgets in ten years' time. What appears more likely at this point is that Trump may in fact see the largest annual deficits in all of American history. Obama began his term with the $1 trillion-plus deficits he inherited from George W. Bush. Obama ended his term in office with deficits under $500 billion a year. Trump's already pushed that back to $1 trillion a year. Given three more years of his "leadership," we could be in for never-before-seen deficits of $2 trillion a year. If Trump gets us entangled in a war, this could even go higher.

So it's pretty easy to see why Republicans love to pull the wool over their own eyes and believe their fantasy stories. It's so much easier and nicer than facing reality, after all. A Republican presidential budget is supposed to be a bedtime fable to lull Republicans to sleep, in this scenario. But even Trump's own budget doesn't have the proper fairy-tale ending. The deficit dragon wasn't slain, and the budget didn't live happily ever after. In other words, it's a pretty poor offering from the storyteller-in-chief.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

58 Comments on “Trump Budget Has No Fairy-Tale Ending”

  1. [1] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: But even Trump's own budget doesn't have the proper fairy-tale ending. The deficit dragon wasn't slain, and the budget didn't live happily ever after.

    While it might not be a "proper fairy-tale ending," it has escaped no one with basic sight that indeed "the Emperor has no clothes."

    It's all a con; he never did. :)

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    The thing that has to take hold is the recognition that Republicans are fiscal maniacs or fiscal idiots or fiscally irresponsible -- something reflective of reality versus the false conventional wisdom that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility.

  3. [3] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Well I think one thing that has to happen is that the DEMS need to stop being so passive when it comes to letting the republicons spend like drunken sailors and do a better job of calling them on their fiscal conservative BS.

    Salon has a great read on how the republicons have been playing their game...

    https://tinyurl.com/ycx8uk98

  4. [4] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Paula - 2

    I think you should change the or's to and's.

  5. [5] 
    neilm wrote:

    It is a transfer of wealth in the wrong direction, and it always has been.

    But, but ... "the producers" ... "the rich pay almost all the taxes" ... "socialism!!!" ... "class warfare" ... "all lives matter" ... "telling it like it is" ... "we can be rich someday" ... "well the rich are on our side" ... "baby killers" ... "Hillary!!!" ... "dark people killing us" .... "we'd better get out and vote Republican"

    It is the same as it ever was. The sheep are given talking points "producers" to deflect the short term realization that the top 5% are getting all the increases in wealth, then the propaganda kicks in on the social issues to get the big rip off away from the front pages, then the fear and hate kicks in to get the sheep to the polls.

    This is an existential battle between the educated and the fearful ... we aren't going to assuage the fear, so we'd better get the educated out to vote.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    TODAY'S EPISODE OF: THERE'S A TWEET FOR EVERYTHING

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.

    10:38 AM - 7 May 2015

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/596338364187602944

    It was always a con.

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    TODAY'S FINAL EPISODE OF:
    THERE'S A TWEET FOR EVERYTHING ~ ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    How can Ted Cruz be an Evangelical Christian when he lies so much and is so dishonest?

    6:03 AM - 12 Feb 2016

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/698115252844634112

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think you should change the or's to and's.

    NyPOET is spinning in his PROW grave... :D

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    goode trickle: Salon has a great read on how the republicons have been playing their game...

    https://tinyurl.com/ycx8uk98

    Wow... two Santa Clauses. This seems to keep working decade after decade because the GOP keep their pathetic ilk seething in their hatred about "the others." They whine about crime and the poor when they and their ilk have higher rates of crime and are poor. They're too busy wanting to stick it to "the others" while never recognizing the fact that it's them.

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    So Trump's budget, like all presidential budgets, has nothing to do with what the actual budget will be.

    So what is the purpose of this article?

    Is it that as long as people are being fed and pay attention to the distractions then business as usual can continue?

    Cue the theme music from Entertainment Tonight....

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    As for the Robin Hood in reverse-

    "Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore riding through the night.
    He robs from poor and gives to the rich.
    Stupid bitch.
    Stupid bitch.
    Stupid bitch."
    -Monty Python's Flying Circus

  12. [12] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-6

    Trump is The Once and Future Con.

    DH-

    Are you ever going to update that websiite you own and link to?

  13. [13] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CW-

    You make such a strong case that I suggest you upgrade "rob Peter to pay Paul" to "rape, strangle and dismember Peter to pay off Paul."

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    I will get to it eventually. But it was updated a little so that people can sign up for 2018. The rest of the information is still relevant for anyone capable of understanding the premise and applying what they learned to the present day as the song remains the same.

    And I seriously doubt that the lack of a further update is what is holding back One Demand. When it was new, when the name changed and when it was updated it was still ignored.

    And in my opinion it was and is ignored because it actually provides a solution to the problem which the Big Money interests that control both CMPs would prefer not be solved because they would rather exploit the problem than solve it.

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    And in my opinion it was and is ignored because it actually provides a solution to the problem which the Big Money interests that control both CMPs would prefer not be solved because they would rather exploit the problem than solve it.

    SO dead on ballz accurate, it's scary!!!

  16. [16] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    You Dems/Libs all think wealth is "distributed", (with the implication being that it's MAL-distributed.)

    Wealth has not been "distributed" since the last 'manna-from-heaven" episode.

    Wealth cannot even BE distributed until it is first PRODUCED! The reason you cannot comprehend any of this is because you think of money as being wealth. Money is not wealth. Wealth is the potatoes and the grain and dairy products my neighbors produce, it is the vehicles produced in TN, and the oranges and grapefruit grown in CA and FL, and the steel produced wherever.

    After wealth is produced, it can be exchanged for money, and then the gov't can confiscates part of it and distribute (or re-distribute) that, but until you guys grasp those alien concepts, you'll NEVER understand how the real world works.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    but until you guys grasp those alien concepts, you'll NEVER understand how the real world works.

    A-frakin-men to THAT!!! :D

  18. [18] 
    neilm wrote:

    Arizona Senate Passes Bill To Allow Tax Payments In Bitcoin." There is a popular theory that fiat currency derives its value from the fact that you have to use it to pay taxes: There is nothing intrinsically valuable about the green pieces of paper that we call dollars, but if U.S. citizens always need dollars to pay their taxes, then there will always be demand for dollars.

    Arizona is starting to be the Cuckoo State - home to the best conspiracy theories.

  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:

    TheStig
    12

    Trump is The Once and Future Con.

    Yes, sir. There's a reason I call him "Benedict Donald."

    Orange is the New Orange. :)

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [16] has just discovered the concept of fungibility - i.e. why currencies make markets work more efficiently.

    Fortunately the rest of the world discovered this a few thousand years ago.

    But since CRS is the poster child for Dunning-Krugers, he thinks he has special insight nobody else here has.

    Sad!

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    18

    Arizona is starting to be the Cuckoo State - home to the best conspiracy theories.

    Remember "Jade Helm"?

    Right-wing conspiracy theory bullshit... where keeping them stupid and afraid is the name of the game. :)

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    Hey CRS, here is some reading for you. I made it an infographic to help with your comprehension level.

    Now remember, humanity discovered that money is a proxy for wealth thousands of years ago, so don't be reading this and thinking you need to tell us all about it - for the rest of us, this is elementary school stuff.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03078/the_history_of_mon_3078442c.jpg

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    Remember "Jade Helm"?

    I'd forgotten about that one - they had the Texas National Guard shadowing the U.S. Military in case Obama was going to usher in our U.N. overlords or something like that.

    The right wing are out to lunch and have taken the gullible with them. Let's hope the lesson that the young people in this country are learning is that education and voting are important.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    The right wing are out to lunch and have taken the gullible with them. Let's hope the lesson that the young people in this country are learning is that education and voting are important.

    Yea... THAT is what ya'all said in Sep/Oct of 2016... Guess what happened next??

    I made ya'all GORGE on humble pie, crow and sour grapes... :D

  25. [25] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [20] has just discovered non sequitur reasoning, which the rest of the world discovered much MORE than a few thousand yrs ago!

    The function of money in making markets work more efficiently is its basic function, that of being a "medium of exchange" and has ZERO to do with its 'fungibility'. There is no such thing as 'Non-fungible money'. Non-fungible money couldn't even serve as a 'medium of exchange'!! The very concept of non-fungible money represents egregiously simplistic and fallacious reasoning. I don't know if it's 'Krunning-Dugars', but it's for damn certain 'Simpleton-Neilms'.

    I definitely do "have a special insight nobody else here has", but it ain't the fungibility of money - more like common sense.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    neilm [20] has just discovered non sequitur reasoning, which the rest of the world discovered much MORE than a few thousand yrs ago!

    Oooooooo puulleeeeeze........

    Neil discovered 'non sequitor' reasoning a long time ago.. I can pinpoint for you the EXACT day...

    9 Nov 2016... :D

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    23

    I'd forgotten about that one - they had the Texas National Guard shadowing the U.S. Military in case Obama was going to usher in our U.N. overlords or something like that.

    Correct... except it was the Texas State Guard. The Texas Army National Guard actually had some members who were part of the military drill... and laughed their asses off at the gullibility of the right-wing sycophants and the Alex Jones entertainer of Austin utter nonsensical conspiracy bullshit:

    1. First, Jones invented theories surrounding an otherwise routine military exercise.

    2. The theories were repeated by characters like Gohmert, Cruz and Abbott, thus mainstreaming what ought to have been merely the mad ramblings of a talk-radio carnival barker.

    3. Then, Jones quoted the politicians as insiders and top-level officials, which projects to his audience a patina of authenticity and legitimacy to the original theory.

    4. Return to #1 and repeat.

    This is where the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has landed: backstopping ludicrous tall tales marketed by a known flim-flam artist who's earning a fortune by cynically exploiting the naïveté and paranoia of his listeners.

    https://www.salon.com/2015/05/20/how_alex_jones_deranged_jade_helm_conspiracy_became_an_unstoppable_monster/

    That about sums it up... very nicely too. Have y'all ever noticed how all the bullshit has one thing in common? They tell their gullible minions that they're "insiders."

    Oh, they're "insiders" alright... deep inside the bubble with their heads up their proverbial asses.

    The right wing are out to lunch and have taken the gullible with them. Let's hope the lesson that the young people in this country are learning is that education and voting are important.

    Right you are, sir, and it's going to get more painfully obvious; let's just hope it's sooner rather than later. :)

  28. [28] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [22]

    Re Money being a "proxy" for wealth. The concept is ludicrous. "Proxy - a person or thing which acts for another", (Websters New Collegiate).

    You can't eat it, so it ain't much of a "proxy" for food. You can (normally, but NOT invariably) EXCHANGE it for food, which is why it's referred to as a "medium of Exchange". It's (under only normal circumstances) a MEASURE of wealth, but NO RATIONAL PERSON would describe money as a PROXY for real wealth, (normally defined as goods/services capable of being consumed.)

    But don't let that dissuade YOU from doing so. That "no rational person" thing sort of grants you license to keep right on keeping right on!

  29. [29] 
    Paula wrote:

    [4] TS: I think you should change the or's to and's.

    You're right!

    "Republicans are fiscal maniacs AND fiscal idiots AND fiscally irresponsible"

    Much better!

  30. [30] 
    Paula wrote:

    [4] TS: I think you should change the or's to and's.

    You're right!

    Republicans are fiscal maniacs AND fiscal idiots AND fiscally irresponsible.

    Much better!

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    FBI: We Told White House About Rob Porter Three Times Before He Resigned

    John Kelly claims he axed the staff secretary immediately after learning of domestic-abuse allegations. The bureau’s director just called that into question.
    __________

    FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday contradicted the White House timeline of how it handled—or didn’t—domestic-abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter.

    During a Senate intelligence hearing on Tuesday, Wray testified that the FBI informed the White House as early as March 2017 about at least some of the findings of a background check on Porter as part of his security-clearance application.

    During an exchange with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Wray was asked whether the bureau's background investigation and its findings could affect Porter's security clearance for working in the White House.

    “I can’t get into the content of what was briefed,” Wray initially said.

    Wyden pressed: “Were they informed?”

    Wray responded by laying out a timeline of the FBI’s actions that is fairly damning to the White House’s public declarations about the way they handled the situation.

    “What I can tell you is that the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July, that is—soon thereafter we received requests for a follow-up inquiry, and we did the follow-up, and provided that information in November,” Wray said.

    https://tinyurl.com/y8zgxfbj
    __________

    The FBI regrets to inform you that Trump and his White House personnel are liars. Interesting how the truth will out when under penalty of perjury.

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    Justice for Gemmel Moore? Family wants answers in escort's death at Dem donor's home
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/13/justice-for-gemmel-moore-family-wants-answers-in-escorts-death-at-dem-donors-home.html

    Apparently Black Lives *DON'T* matter when the death is at the hands of a Democrat donor...

    Dumbocrats :^/

  33. [33] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm [5]

    "The top 5% are getting all the increases in wealth".

    Regardless of who is getting whatever "increases in wealth" are being produced, whether it be the rich, the poor, the tall, the short, the greedy or the generous, I'm guessing it's going to be whoever makes the most valuable contribution toward the creation of those increases, as decreed by the marketplace (law of supply and demand), would it not?

    Or do you think that somehow whoever does get those raises has somehow rigged the market, in order to steal the increases from some other person or group?

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Or do you think that somehow whoever does get those raises has somehow rigged the market, in order to steal the increases from some other person or group?

    It's all racism!! It has to be racism!! Or maybe sexism!!

    Yea!! Sexism and racism!!

    Dumbocrat Party staples!!! :D

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/02/13/democratic_group_warns_party_on_midterm_messaging_136262.html

    Meanwhile, while Dumbocrats concentrate on their deluded fantasies..

    The GOP is making it so they own the mid-terms.. :D

  36. [36] 
    neilm wrote:

    Or do you think that somehow whoever does get those raises has somehow rigged the market, in order to steal the increases from some other person or group?

    Remember when Romney was embarrassed that his tax rate was lower than his secretary?

    Capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate than income. This is because the rich have bought politicians to pass laws that are good for the rich. Corporations do the same thing. It is only the regular American who doesn't have a politician, lobbyists, and a bucket of cash tilting the system in their favor.

    Also, economics is rife with "winner take all" situations, and so it is not unusual for steep differences in remuneration based on small differences in value. That is why we have a progressive tax system.

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    Re Money being a "proxy" for wealth. The concept is ludicrous. "Proxy - a person or thing which acts for another", (Websters New Collegiate).

    Websters is using a 1990 definition of proxy. In current business terms it means an alternative signal.

    Thus having a lot of money is a proxy for wealth - and one that most people accept. If you don't equate money with wealth you are welcome to send me all of your money, but I'll bet your pedantic nitpicking will disappear when it comes to your own money.

  38. [38] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS [28]

    The ALLCAPS don't make you convincing, they make you come across as somebody who emits spittle when they can't cope with reality.

    Are you that uncle that everybody in America is worried will come to Thanksgiving?

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    Second U.S. judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA program

    (Reuters) - A second U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump’s decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation.

    https://tinyurl.com/yal9f7fa

  40. [40] 
    neilm wrote:

    It's all racism!! It has to be racism!! Or maybe sexism!!

    Who was it that said Michale doesn't understand economics in depth?

    Oh, yes, Michale did ;)

  41. [41] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    38

    *LOL* :)

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm guessing it's going to be whoever makes the most valuable contribution toward the creation of those increases, as decreed by the marketplace (law of supply and demand), would it not?

    No.

    A random billionaire's 10 year old kid probably made more money last year than most Americans do in their lifetimes.

    While s/he was at school.

    I have relatives whose young kids earn more than most Americans I know.

    Care to rethink?

  43. [43] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm My [28]

    I NEVER do anything "allcaps". That post had 11 words capitalized out of approx 165. Sorry if it offends you. I only do it 'cause I don't know how to italicize, and it's therefore the only way I can think of to emphasize. Maybe someday when my grandkids come for a visit, I'll get 'em to teach me.

    Your [42]

    Rich folk's kids getting subsidized money from family members is not comparable to what normal people actually earn from the sale of their time and talents. That's just more non sequitur on your part.

    Your [37] (My pedantic nit-picking)

    I'd cheerfully send you all my money if I thought it would straighten out all your many mis-comprehensions ABOUT money, but I consider that to be a lost cause.

    Right this moment "all my money" would be $66 plus a handful of change in the ashtray of my car, and that's only because about 45 min ago I cashed the $60 check that a neighbor gives me monthly for renting my pasture for her horse. I'm pretty much a credit card guy who never has much money.

    I have a modest stock portfolio, and my house, and a 7yr-old Toyota, but not enough money to talk about, however, if you let me know when you get your mind wrapped around the reality of what money and wealth really are, let me know, and I'll send you "all my money". Try to do it around this time of the month, 'cause I'm sending it postage collect, and if I haven't just cashed my pasture-rent check, it likely wont be enough $ to cover the postage.

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    Your [42]

    Rich folk's kids getting subsidized money from family members is not comparable to what normal people actually earn from the sale of their time and talents. That's just more non sequitur on your part.

    My cousins were left millions by their grandmother when she passed. The invested it wisely. They are doing very well (Horse Farms in Portugal sort of well). They don't get taxed on income but capital gains - this is very good for them, as not only do they not have to work, the money they get is taxed at about 1/2 what it would be if they earned it.

    They are the first to admit they are lucky and haven't done much, beyond having the right family. Yet they earn many more times my income (not that I care, good luck to them).

    Why would you call them productive and deserving of their wealth when even they don't?

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sorry if it offends you.

    It doesn't offend me, it just makes me think you are getting hysterical. Don't be the hysterical guy, we already have one of those (who cut/pastes screeds in bold and goes wild with exclamation points, all caps, etc.).

  46. [46] 
    neilm wrote:

    Right this moment "all my money" would be $66 plus a handful of change in the ashtray of my car, and that's only because about 45 min ago I cashed the $60 check that a neighbor gives me monthly for renting my pasture for her horse. I'm pretty much a credit card guy who never has much money.

    Yet you were talking about your $300K investments recently and how they had been eroded by inflation. Hmm.

  47. [47] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm Your [36]

    No, I don't remember that Romney episode. Actually, I think it was Warren B., the "Oracle of Omaha" and his secretary.

  48. [48] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm Your [47]

    No money whatsoever currently in my investment acct - only stocks and a single Gov't bond. Those assets all obviously have a (fluctuating) current market value expressible in monetary units, but they are all currently 'real wealth', not 'money'!

  49. [49] 
    neilm wrote:

    No money whatsoever currently in my investment acct - only stocks and a single Gov't bond. Those assets all obviously have a (fluctuating) current market value expressible in monetary units, but they are all currently 'real wealth', not 'money'!

    You know you're being really picky here. Whatever you need to get thru the day, as Michale always reminds me ;)

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    CRS - regarding italics, bold, etc.

    There is a tips page on this site's FAQ:

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/faq/#FAQ09

  51. [51] 
    neilm wrote:

    Actually, I think it was Warren B., the "Oracle of Omaha" and his secretary.

    Actually, I think you are right - it was Buffet. Romney paid 14% on his millions for similar reasons.

  52. [52] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm your [44]

    I WOULDN'T call your cousins 'productive. Clearly, their inherited capital is whats productive. But capital (savings) clearly IS productive, probably far more productive than most unskilled labor. Whether the cousins are or ar not "deserving" represents a value judgement I prefer not to make.

    The fact that capital gains are taxed at lower rates represents society's collective judgement that it is to our collective benefit to encourage savings and investment, plus the fact that savings, unlike humans, never retire and consequently do not need a pension or medical care.

    Re your [50] I likely couldn't figure out this site's FAQ, especially since I don't know what FAQ is, but I'll strive to hold the caps to a MIN - er, I mean a 'minimum'!

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    Remember when Romney was embarrassed that his tax rate was lower than his secretary?

    Remember when you actually had FACTS to support your arguments rather than just Party slavery and bigotry??

    Once again, you attack the guy with the -R after his name, when it was a guy with a -D after his name.. :^/

  54. [54] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm Your [49]

    Yeah, I am indeed being "real picky" (not to mention pedantic) in striving to differentiate between 'exchange units' (money) and 'real wealth' (potatoes, equities,
    factories and appendectomies, {that last one a proxy for 'services'}), and I have a valid (though futile) motivation for doing so.

    As a professional 'hobby' economist, I learned years ago that the inability of most people (and ALL Dems/Libs) to realize and understand that difference is what leads them to drawing so many totally fallacious conclusions about how the real world actually works.

    Economic policy analysis is totally impossible for folks who recognize no difference whatsoever between society's medium of exchange (money) and it's real wealth (the potatoes, equities, factories and appendectomies).

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    CRS,

    If you want to use italics, here's how..

    Put a LESS THAN I GREATER THAN before your italicized text and a LESS THAN /I GREATER THAN after the italicized text...

  56. [56] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Michael

    Thanx, but I don't understand that bold-face thing between the word "than" and the word "greater"? Is that just a capital 'I'?

    Actually, I see no problem with using capitalization for emphasis, but I'm such a nice guy that I regret offending Mr. Hypersensitivity (although I don't give a damn about Ms. Hypersensitivity, she doesn't merit any damns)

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Thanx, but I don't understand that bold-face thing between the word "than" and the word "greater"? Is that just a capital 'I'?

    Yea, it's an I and to end the italics is a /I....

    Actually, I see no problem with using capitalization for emphasis, but I'm such a nice guy that I regret offending Mr. Hypersensitivity

    Yea, I comment like I talk.. If I am going to EMPHASIZE a word spoken, then I'll capitalize it written...

    I have learned to ignore when the snowflakes get offended because I know that it is SOLELY based on their Party slavery and bigotry and has nothing to do with facts or reality...

    (although I don't give a damn about Ms. Hypersensitivity, she doesn't merit any damns)

    Oh, don't get me started there..

    ANYONE who has to research someone's private life and attack innocent family members as a response to political differences is a LUSER of the highest order and doesn't merit ANYTHING other than a kick to the curb....

    See what I did there??? :D

  58. [58] 
    Kick wrote:

    I have learned to ignore when the snowflakes get offended because I know that it is SOLELY based on their Party slavery and bigotry and has nothing to do with facts or reality...

    The only one you're fooling with that comment is yourself; you have learned nothing and ignore nothing and even create "something out of nothing" when no one ever said it and it doesn't exist except in your active imagination. The biggest "snowflake" on the board is, in fact, you, and you wouldn't recognize "reality" if it lived on your face. :)

    ANYONE who has to research someone's private life and attack innocent family members as a response to political differences is a LUSER of the highest order and doesn't merit ANYTHING other than a kick to the curb....

    But enough about Trump. Trump too shall pass.

    See what I did there??? :D

    Yes, you continued to lie about other posters you know little about as you constantly do and then morphed into whiny little bitch snowflake victim because you sure know how to dish it up, but you can't take it. :) *LOL*

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