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Nonpartisan Tax Report Removed After Republican Protest 555 555

eldavojohn writes "On September 14th a report titled 'Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945' (PDF) penned by the Library of Congress' nonpartisan Congressional Research Service was released to little fanfare. However, the following conclusion of the report has since roiled the GOP enough to have the report removed from the Library of Congress: 'The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities.' From the New York Times article: 'The pressure applied to the research service comes amid a broader Republican effort to raise questions about research and statistics that were once trusted as nonpartisan and apolitical.' It appears to no longer be found on the Library of Congress' website."
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Nonpartisan Tax Report Removed After Republican Protest

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:11PM (#41859301)

    When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    When you're a conservative nut-job, everything looks liberal.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:12PM (#41859309)

    Seriously, when are people going to learn about the Streisand Effect?

    I would never have heard about this had they left it up. But now, it's gone from "boring tax report" to "the economic analysis that THEY don't want you to know about!".

  • FACTS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ossifer (703813) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:15PM (#41859353)

    Facts don't match my ideology so FACTS MUST BE WRONG!!!

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:17PM (#41859379)

    The Right seem to live in this strange world, where you can change reality by wishing hard enough, or lying hard enough, or by denying evidence and truth hard enough.

    A bit like how Communists and their whacked-out theories about how reality could be changed by willing it so, e.g. the New Soviet Man.

    And a bit like left-wing crazies in academic literary circles with postmodernism; where they deny objective reality, and consider science and reason to be something not to be trusted, because it's invented by powerful people to keep the little man down.

    So what we're really seeing, is right-wing postmodernism; where the FOX crowd deny objective reality, because they see rationality, science and evidence-based-anything as a liberal left-wing plot to repress and hold down Galtian supermen such as themselves.

    In a nutshell, the modern American Right is losing credibility, because enough of them are so split from reality, that they think that simply making shit up, denying the truth, and being stupid will bend the world to their will. Serious right-wing thinkers like William Buckley would have been appalled by the intellectual and moral rot.

    It's tragic and bizarre, but nobody's laughing, because they're dangerous and get into power often enough to cause serious damage, like expensive and pointless wars, massive environmental damage, and yawning inequality.

  • zero sum game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by godrik (1287354) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:18PM (#41859387)

    I never understood that idea that giving a tax break to high salary people will stimulate the economy.

    Usually the reasonning is that since they will have more money, they will consume more and that will help the economy. If you give a tax break to low income people for the same amount of tax dollars, they will use that money as well. They are not going to set it on fire, they will use it in a grocery store.

    Am I understanding something wrong?

  • Re:zero sum game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aicrules (819392) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:24PM (#41859451)
    That's why you give tax breaks to everybody and cut the size of government. Win-Win-Win
  • Re:zero sum game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:24PM (#41859453)

    Giving tax cuts to rich people as economic stimulus has been shown to not be as effective as giving tax cuts to lower-income earner, and the reason's really simple.

    Rich people invest. Poor people spend; many people live paycheck-to-paycheck, so any extra dollar goes straight into consumption, and good, services and jobs. However, for the wealthy, there is too much money chasing too few investment opportunities.

  • by Chirs (87576) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:25PM (#41859467)

    If I give $1000 to a guy who is worth a billion dollars, he may just stick it in the vault and let it sit there.

    If I give $1000 to someone who's living hand-to-mouth, it's going to get spent on food/drink/rent/clothes pretty much immediately.

  • BFD (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:25PM (#41859469) Homepage Journal

    What's the big deal? Everyone knows economics and history are lies straight from the pit of hell.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:26PM (#41859481)

    People prone to "magical thinking" (e.g. the religiously pious), are likely to apply their flawed thinking to other areas, like politics and economics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:29PM (#41859511)
    The conclusion in the report has nothing to do with core conservatism. To a conservative it doesn't matter. The question is if it is the government's responsibility to equalize incomes and wealth. The question is if it right to take so much wealth not for the purpose of running a government and safety, but to subsidize pet projects and re-allocate the money to people or people groups to "help" them. Conservatism points out that spreading wealth around is an issue of the person's own wealth, not the government. It would be interesting to note if the report covers not only the rates, but the types of deductions and how top tax payers take advantage of the deductions. The government can set a high rate, but then try to manipulate behavior by offering incentives (deductions) to behavior that they deem as "good". That is just as immoral as a religious zealot trying to legislate things they hate or like.
  • by aicrules (819392) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:30PM (#41859527)
    But you're not GIVING anybody anything. We're talking about not TAKING as much. Remember, they're taking money from people that is NOT theirs. And decided to give more back to people based on their need turns it from taxing to stealing.
  • Re:zero sum game (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:34PM (#41859575) Homepage Journal

    Rich people don't invest, they spend on luxuries, which has a lower return in terms of jobs and contribution to the GDP.

    Mart

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:37PM (#41859607)

    Non-partisan is just a politically correct way of saying, Lib'rul bias.

    All politicians have their issues, but Republicans are departing further and further into never-land

    It's one thing to argue in generalities, but to directly and blatantly contradict facts - that's something else.

    How do you reconcile a non-partisan analysis that directly contradicts one of your main philosophies? In tune with Romney/Ryan platform of cutting taxes on everyone, increasing spending on military and keeping the good parts of Health Care Act (that cost money), while getting rid of the "bad" parts (that bring in money). And of course all of this will balance the budget somehow.

  • by DavidHumus (725117) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:41PM (#41859655)

    ...-based reasoning, reality will continue to take on an increasingly liberal tinge.

  • by AvitarX (172628) <me@brandyNETBSDwinehundred.org minus bsd> on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:45PM (#41859719) Journal

    To be fair, Romney had one of the better close loopholes proposals I've heard.

    rather than fight about this or that, he wants a cap on deductions. I can't think of a better way eliminate massive deductions without picking and choosing (which is political suicide).

    I think Romney's plan won't work, and I won't vote for him, but I appreciate that small step to a better tax system (his limit was high enough that it would absolutely only effect the upper class)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:50PM (#41859775)

    You try earning money in complete isolation and then claim that it's entirely yours.

    A government has a stake in all business, because all business operates in a society stable and functional enough for it to be viable.

  • by bigtrike (904535) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:55PM (#41859829)

    It's not stealing, you have a choice not to take part in this system. All taxes are going to benefit some more than others.

    You're welcome to move to Somalia where there is no government to take your money or trample on your freedoms. Just don't expect to have the benefits of a stable currency to trade with, a government to enforce contracts, large scale water purification to give you cheap arsenic free drinking water, or even a public police force to keep people from trying to take your property.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:55PM (#41859837) Journal

    In a nutshell, the modern American Right is losing credibility

    The modern American Right is losing credibility because they so completely and thoroughly won that positions more conservative than Nixon's or Reagan's are considered left wing these days. Conservatives have managed to move the political center so far to the right that there are no longer any tenable positions rightward of center.

    Even if the Republican party completely implodes and never elects another official again, conservatives still have the Democratic party, which is well to the right of anything considered centrist anywhere else in the world. Right wingers in the US can choose between two parties. Left wingers in the US really only have one candidate, and she has to get arrested [examiner.com] to get any attention.

  • Re:zero sum game (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:56PM (#41859841)

    There are very few places money can truly be "wasted" other than government programs.

    How about Swiss Bank Accounts and Caymen Island stashes of cash? It does nothing for the economy. Stop pretending these guys are the 'job creators.' Unless your talking about their limo drivers and cooks. Trickle down economics doesn't work outside theory because, in reality, tax rates are not related to job creation and rich people just end up accumulating bigger and bigger piles of cash. This was the gist of the report and why it had to be suppressed.

    If they were true 'job creators' they wouldn't be fighting any attempt to link their excessive tax breaks to actual, you know, job creation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:56PM (#41859847)

    Taxes are an expression of faith and comity and the dues paid as part of citizenship. It's perfectly valid to want lower taxes, and to vote for elected officials or take other steps to change tax rates.

    But taxes themselves, and the services they provide, are never stolen from you. They are exactly the price you have to pay, and the benefit you receive, for living in a democratic country, even if some benefits aren't directly tangible to you right now.

    To call taxes "stealing," when the government is elected by the people, is disgusting and unpatriotic.

  • by farble1670 (803356) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:57PM (#41859853)

    This "stunt" was pulled back in September as a run-of-the-mill decision. Three guesses as to why it was publicized THIS week?

    and the pedophile says: "i molested that little girl back in 2007. i can't believe they decided to bring it up when i applied for my new teaching position."

    why did they bring it up now? to try and keep those liars that are hiding the truth from getting elected? duh.

  • Re:zero sum game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:57PM (#41859859)

    tax breaks.

    to the extremely wealthy.

    of course, our infrastructure is in fine shape, our roads don't need upgrading. neither do our comms infra or any of the other social programs that help raise the overall qualtiy of life for everyone.

    oh, but the infra can go fark itself. it will just self manage. right? that rotting bridge or overpass - we don't need to invest in fixing that.

    the me-generation should have run out of steam, but it only gets stronger as time goes on. no one wants to invest in our own infrastructure or help those who are below what should be a minimum american standard of living.

    but lets give the rich more reasons to not help out. they'll just naturally be good people on their own, right?

    right??

    left to their own devices, they'll steal you blind. this class of people need to be watched more than the worst criminal among us.

  • by El Rey (61125) on Friday November 02, 2012 @06:59PM (#41859877)

    I don't believe these guys believe in anything except:

    If you aren't rich you need to do whatever we say and STFU.

    Freedom means the freedom for us to screw you over because we are rich and for you to be free to do nothing about it.

    The "we're Christian" thing is just a ruse to convince poor people to vote against their self interest.

  • by farble1670 (803356) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:02PM (#41859921)

    The question is if it right to take so much wealth not for the purpose of running a government and safety, but to subsidize pet projects and re-allocate the money to people or people groups to "help" them.

    ... whooooooosh ... both candidates are advocating reallocation. romney wants to re-allocate to the wealthy through top-tier and corporate tax cuts. the report shows, with data to back it up, that this doesn't benefit the economy ...

    "The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution."

  • by jgarry (126205) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:03PM (#41859927) Homepage

    I've been saying it since Howard Jarvis and Ronald Reagan implemented their "tax revolt" at the end of the '70s: any benefit from tax cuts and less regulation is temporary, short-term, and soon overridden by the increased size of the crash after the greedy rich people abuse various economic sectors. That's why there was an S&L crises in the '80s, a housing crash in the '90s, bank and housing crises in the oughts, California schools run out of money. Shoot, does anyone think to check the top tax rates under Eisenhower? Even Greenspan was shocked... shocked! that rich people were greedy, that Objectivism is... oh well, why bother, people just filter it through their biases. Brown and Clinton have the best budget surpluses of their eras, then conservatives have to go and mess it up with voodoo economics.

    Will some psycho please reenact an episode of Criminal Minds with George Will and Arthur Laffer as victims?

  • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:03PM (#41859933)

    I think Romney's plan won't work, and I won't vote for him, but I appreciate that small step to a better tax system

    I know that Romney's plan won't work, because he hasn't given the details (you know, the ones that have the devil in them). I am not saying his plan is bad, I am saying it is at best half-defined and thus hard to evaluate either way.

    Until he gives us some idea of the cap amounts he is thinking of, the non-partisan budget office can't even evaluate his plan. And I suspect that he is keeping it vague, because he knows it won't work

    Is it really too much to demand a specific economic plan (with some numbers) from the president _before_ he is elected? Especially as he makes some significant promises about what his plan would achieve?

  • by peragrin (659227) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:09PM (#41860019)

    No it is one of the major weaknesses of democrats. they won't stand up and start shouting liar.

    The democrats have enough economic strengths that if they started laying out the truth and forcing the republicans to admit their own hypocrisy it could truly be scary. However the democrats won't stoop that low as then the republican's can fight their dirty laundry.

    Sort of like MADD with weapons of political destruction.

    the trick is only one republican has ever lead this country out of a recession.
    However only a couple of democrats have lead this country into recessions.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:17PM (#41860139)

    You want to know what would happen if you attacked that wealth? Eventually no one would be motivated to do the things that being to earn them such wealth. Progress would stop dead. You wouldn't have any of the cool stuff technologically that you have today. Sure there may be an occasional person who comes up with a brilliant idea that advances some sector of industry or whatever, but what you really end up with is a bunch of people who will only do what is need to just get by because that's as much recognition for their work as they get.

    Yes, yes. People would simply lose ALL hope and waste their entire lives just watching TV reality shows. Without the motivation of the remote possibility of getting filthy rich, no one would ever want to think, create, imagine or actually do anything ever again. Yes, sir, Einstein only thought stuff up for the money. No one would ever give to charity, because that would make themselves, you know, less rich. I could go on, but won't because ...

    Jesus, you're fucking stupid.

    P.S.
    And your NFL football example... Seriously? It has *nothing* to do with the progress, ideas and technology in your rant.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:24PM (#41860215) Journal

    But now, it's gone from "boring tax report" to "the economic analysis that THEY don't want you to know about!".

    And the other half of America is going to hear how it's "the lying economic analysis that LIBERALS want to cram down your throat!"

    The Republican Party has created a bubble of alternate facts and alternate narratives.
    It damages their ability to govern and has destroyed their ability to compromise.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:26PM (#41860253)
    One side is obvious, the other is not. The Republicans have indicated that they object to the tone, and the conclusions, but have not indicated if there were any facts or assumptions that they object to. Objecting to the findings and conclusion when the foundation is solid seems more like censorship than debate.

    The cowards haven't even admitted they requested it taken down.
  • What most miss. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garyoa1 (2067072) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:46PM (#41860513)

    See, the thing most miss is that when higher incomes had higher taxes they'd have to look for tax breaks by hiring, diversifying, expanding, whatever.

    With taxes low they can just invest in the stock market. Less aggravation, likely higher (and lower taxaable) income.

    So, the markets bloom, they get richer with no aggravation with hiring, firing, building costs, overhead, etc. While the average guy starves.

  • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Friday November 02, 2012 @07:53PM (#41860571)
    I think you can take a look at just the mortgage interest deduction. It could be argued whether this is a good thing or not (the intent being that home ownership is a good thing). Regardless, removing it would add thousands of dollars to families tax burden which would cause many to have to sell their homes (causing another mortgage crisis). Offsetting the thousands of dollars in lost deductions with a tax reduction would mean the non-home owners would get a big tax cut from what they previously paid which quickly reduces revenue and makes balancing the budget harder.

    We've seen what happens when the housing market gets screwed with. Sadly I think this becomes one of the so-called sacred cows.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday November 02, 2012 @09:12PM (#41861221)

    Eventually no one would be motivated to do the things that being to earn them such wealth. Progress would stop dead.

    We've had 94% income tax in the US. Progress was as fast in that time as it's ever been.

    Think people will play NFL football for $35,000 a year? Not in this lifetime.

    There are piles willing to play college ball for free. If you offered an "open" spot on the Cowboys for a lineman for $10,000 a year, I think you'd get more than 10,000 applicants.

    In short, you are wrong, so massively so, you should see a doctor about your brain damage.

  • 'I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization.'

    - Oliver Wendell Holmes

  • by nomadic (141991) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dlrowcidamon)> on Saturday November 03, 2012 @12:13AM (#41862297) Homepage
    "don't you find equally mockable all those many deluded leftists who seem to possess nothing but a blind faith in government to solve all their problems?"

    You mean that giant mass of invisible strawmen that don't really exist in real life?
  • by terjeber (856226) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @04:16PM (#41867095)

    Wooooosh. You can't re-allocate through tax cuts. Taxation is the government confiscating money from citizens, not confiscating that money is not an act of re-distribution, it is an act of stopping any possibility of re-distribution. Romney, for all his faults, have never advocated re-distribution. What you are essentially saying is that if I am a thief, and I stop stealing money from people, I am in fact giving them money, that's absurd.

    Don't forget, the top earners in the US pay the vast majority of the taxes (at a federal level). The bottom half (the 47 percent'ers) do not pay any federal tax at all, while the top 1% pay more than 10% (top of my head but not far off) of the total federal tax. Please see the word "federal" in there.

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