Patterico's Pontifications


The Power of the Jump™: Pay Some Taxes, Rich People!

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Obama — Patterico @ 11:02 pm

(Note: “The Power of the Jump”™ is a semi-regular feature of this site, documenting examples of the Los Angeles Times’s use of its back pages to hide information that its editors don’t want you to see.)

Page One of today’s L.A. Times says:

From front to back and on nearly every page, President Obama’s new budget plan delivers a stark message: It’s time for the rich to lighten the load on the middle class.

That’s right, rich folks! You’ve been avoiding your fair share of the taxes for far too long! Stop putting so much of the load on the middle class!

Of course, this is nonsense. In 2006, one of the Evil Years of the Bush Administration, the top 10% of wage earners paid fully 70% of federal personal income taxes. The top 25% paid 86%. The top half paid 97%. Numbers were similar for other years.

Now turn allll the way back to Page A14. Here’s the first paragraph you see:

Some Republicans denounced the priority shift in Obama’s budget as class warfare, and the budget is sure to face several tests as it works its way through Congress. Also, some economists warned that higher taxes on the affluent could reduce their entrepreneurial energy and were unfair because upper-income Americans already pay a large share of the government’s total revenue.

Amazing how they always manage to snip the article just before the part that helps undo the false implication on the front page. And the part that sets forth the Republican point of view.

Well, I’m sure it’s a coincidence. Just like all those other times I’ve documented over the years.

26 Responses to “The Power of the Jump™: Pay Some Taxes, Rich People!”

  1. Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
    This is known as “bad luck.”

    — Robert Heinlein

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  2. typical liberal speak, blaming the rich for the creation of the poor. never mind the fact that most of the poor choose to be poor. is that wrong for me to say?. I’ve never seen one person that applied themselves, girded up their loins and worked hard, stay in poverty.

    “opportunities created by our economy” is a mis-statement of monumental proportions. opportunities are created by innovative entrepeneurs willing to take chances with their ideas, and their is no “economy” without them.

    mr. falcone (eed2b3)

  3. Give a poor man $100k and a certificate for a college education and in a couple of years you’ll find that same man, poor, with no education.

    I rail against new taxes for anyone, rich or poor. My buddy, an electrical contractor, was laughing at how the rich were going to get screwed under the Obama Administration. I had to point out to him that rich people are the ones who call him to install electrical service in their buildings.

    Shut him up fast.

    Dan F (3f626c)

  4. @Kevin Murphy: I really need to start reading Heinlein.

    Newtons.Bit (489fda)

  5. My wife, who is a rich nurse, comments on how many other employees in the operating room expect Obama to be seeing to it that their rent and other living expenses will be paid by some mysterious power he has. Even those who own their own homes seem to be deluded about what is possible.

    The economic ignorance of the general public seems to have increased in the past twenty years. Sometime, read a bit from newspapers of the 19th century. Read a speech of Lincoln’s for example. The level of thought and comprehension is radically different from today. Some of you may have the opportunity to read essays by college freshmen. It’s a sobering experience.

    Stephanopolis had Karl Rove on today. Katrina vanden Heuvel was in great form and is usually able to dissemble her radical leftist agenda. Today she was triumphant although she denies that Obama is socialist. Rove and Will agreed that “socialist” is probably not a good term to describe Obama. They didn’t mention that “corporate state” is a better term. We don’t want to mention the term “fascist,” of course, because of the emotional baggage that term carries.

    But this is what we are seeing.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. NB: anyone can benefit from reading Heinlein. I recommend “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

    And if you really want to irritate people, try “Starship Troopers” (not the tiresome movie).

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  7. Dr. K. you are absolutely right. The first thing partisans of ANY party require is ignorance among voters.

    That way, their opponents can be demonized. And items paid for by taxes can be called “free.” Fill in the blank. Left or Right, the political types want voters to be uninformed and voting from emotions.

    And it is always someone else who needs to pay more, the cheaters. Except when they are prospective Treasury Secretaries, I guess.

    Seriously, the majority of my freshman cannot tell me anything about history that is not politically motivated surface material. For example, I had a student recently tell me that Native Americans had always had horses. Whoops.

    Or to name the decade in which World War II was fought. Heck, they cannot identify Winston Churchill’s face.

    And it never, ever occurs to such people that some of the most expensive things in human history were not paid for directly.

    Dr. K., I just sent you an e-mail about the premedical curriculum….

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  8. “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, first as tragedy, then as farce.”

    AD - RtR/OS (0ac8fd)

  9. Eric, what the student omitted is that native Americans had horses 10,000 years ago but they ate them. Ditto for camels. Both were in north America after the ice age but both disappeared shortly after the first humans arrived.

    They weren’t vegans, yet.

    My vegan daughter returned from Spain a meat eater again. She said there are no vegans in Spain. Only rich Americans can afford such foolery.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. Spot on, Dr. K. Kind of like what happened to all the moas in New Zealand when the Maori arrived about 1200 AD.

    I also like the “Native Americans lived in harmony with Nature” canard. Heck, they used to light brush fires to drive herds of mastodons off cliffs.

    And don’t get me started on what we now call the Aztecs.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  11. When I worked in biotech in San Diego many years ago, I had a technician who was a quite religious Indian woman. She took her Hindu faith very seriously, and was a straight up vegetarian.

    Though very polite, she laughed at American “vegetarians.” It takes a lot of work to be vegetarian, she told me. Planning and commitment. She respected vegetarians who didn’t brag about it.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  12. Real Americans Don’t Hate The Rich…

    After the lessons of the ’30s, and the lessons of the ’80s, I’m beyond questioning their intelligence. I question their motives and patriotism.

    In Other Words (540cd7)

  13. I used to believe that liberal policies didn’t work. I now see that they work great, the only problem is that they divide and destroy the country. “welfare” was created to get the black vote, it worked flawlessly, the democrat party gets about 80-90% of the black vote. the exact same thing is happening today with mexicans. the push for amnesty, our refusal to secure our borders. then you have rahmbo taking over the census to re-draw district lines. they are being bred like beef, to be wards of the democrat state. a poor uneducated class of people that the working class as well as the rich will support.

    mr. falcone (eed2b3)

  14. If by “focusing on the middle class” she means KILLING US OFF, then I agree.

    Karen (4e0dda)

  15. NB: anyone can benefit from reading Heinlein. I recommend “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

    And if you really want to irritate people, try “Starship Troopers” (not the tiresome movie).

    Let me add “Citizen of the Galaxy” and “Tunnel in the Sky”.

    Rob Crawford (837ad1)

  16. I had read all of Heinlein by the time I was fourteen. I recommend Roger Zelazny’s “Lord of Light” with the caveat that no other book will ever be as good to you after you have read it. It’s that good. The plus-plus side is that if you have it, you don’t need any other book.

    nk (502275)

  17. I hear this fight over taxes constantly but most numbers make no sense.

    I went to the IRS site to check out statistics on income and tax rate and that did not match what was posted. For instance, I found that people earning more than $10 millions a year would pay a bit less than 20% in income tax on it (quite lower than the 70% mentioned and also contradicted by Warren Buffet’s own statements that his income tax was lower percentage wise than his receptionist see I would have much more left if my tax bracket was that low.

    Some people blame the rich exploiting the poor and others blame the poor for being lazy.
    There are certainly some poor people who are lazy and just want to live off welfare, but what percentage is that? 10%, 50%, 100%? (Consider first that only 30% of those who would be eligible actually get welfare). Having seen myself what you can get (or not) at minimum wage, I wait with baited breath for a miracle answer. Consider the following: “Cheap housing” go for $750 (utilities not included) in a not “so great” Chicago suburbs. Of course, this is not near the place of work. So, you make about $1000/mo and are left with $150-200 after paying lodging. This is supposed to cover food, car/transportation, health insurance and maybe occasional clothing.

    Maybe they can work more? Good luck finding a SECOND job in this economy.

    Look at it this way: if we want cheap labor, we need to make sure people can survive cheaply otherwise we will have to sustain them somehow. And yes, that is taxes.

    Indeed, pay higher prices so they (might) get paid more OR pay higher taxes so we subsidize the businesses who pay less (Walmart method).

    People in China can live on $1 or $2 a day so our workforce is in this case at a disadvantage: we cannot compete on labor cost.

    In the end, it boils down to: What kind of society do we want, how do we get there? (meaning who will sacrifice what to make sure that we get there)

    Nick (562ada)

  18. Nick – Dare we guess what your solution is ? Given that you bastardized the payments by income levels, I can only imagine what your solution would be.

    JD (0d1f38)

  19. I “bastardized” the payments by income level? I was reading from the IRS own statistics at
    I might have misread the file but I don’t think so. Do you have a more authoritative source?

    As for solution, I know that we need to find a middle ground between blaming the rich and blaming the poor otherwise we will just go down with the ship while arguing who did not see the iceberg.

    Nick (562ada)

  20. Who is blaming the poor, Nick?

    The top 10 percent pays approx 70 percent of income taxes. The top 25 percent pays approx 86 percent. The top half pays approx 97 percent.

    JD (0d1f38)

  21. 19 Comment by Nick — 3/1/2009 @ 8:24 pm:

    Nick, solely to satisfy my own curiosity, what is your first language?


    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  22. The difference between Conservatives and Progressives in how they treat the poor:

    Conservatives create incentives for the wealthy to invest in the economy, creating jobs and commerce, which “raises all boats” including the poor. Though truly poor will experience a greater distance economically between themselves and the truly rich, they will be on a higher economic level than their predecessors.

    Progressives destroy economic conditions and drag the rich down as many quintiles as possible to equalize them with the poor.

    The great experiments in Socialism have always evolved into a share-the-misery experience.

    AD - RtR/OS (0ac8fd)

  23. Nick – You appear to be calculating effective tax rates as opposed to calculating the share of taxes paid by income group. Tax avoidance is a legal activity, tax evasion is not. Knowing you are going to be in the highest tax brackets means planning to reduce your tax bite – as Warren Buffet does, presumably with large amounts of capital gains and dividend income, significant charitable deductions, etc. This isn’t rocket science.

    You are talking apples and oranges relative to the earlier comments, but you could derive the percentages in the earlier comments from the table you linked.

    daleyrocks (6dc4cc)

  24. “Progressives destroy economic conditions and drag the rich down as many quintiles as possible to equalize them with the poor.”

    AD – Agreed. Conservative would rather grow the entire economic pie and let everyone benefit rather than confiscating from one end to give to the other for some nebulous concept of fairness.

    daleyrocks (6dc4cc)

  25. “cheap labor”, yet another “unintended consequence” to liberal policies. reasons why employers look for cheap labor, 1) unions, they over inflate wages,and don’t produce in comparison to their wage. and the continued raising of the “minimum wage”. come on, 8 bucks an hour to flip burgers, to round up shopping carts in the parking lot.

    mr. falcone (eed2b3)

  26. […] Editors pretended that the rich were failing to pay their fair share of taxes — while burying the dire economic consequences of soaking the rich. […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)

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