Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Debate with Liberals over Taxes, Spending, and the Debt

When one of my old high school buddies posted (Facebook) his liberal philosophy to increase the taxes on the wealthy, I felt compelled to intervene with the results of my model (posted over the last several days). My model says that by increasing the taxes on the wealthy from 35 to 39.6%, it will result in 200 billion dollars more in federal tax revenue, but 700 billion dollars less in consumer spending, and the federal deficit will continue to increase. In other words, taxing the wealthy and obtaining more tax revenue does not help the federal deficit and it could cost millions of jobs by slowing consumer spending. Here were some arguments from my liberal friends about my model results.

First, they accused my model of being inaccurate because it incorporated my conservative biases. I assured them that all the data in the model was from government sites such as the census bureau and the bureau of economic analysis. I told them I will not only post the entire model, but I will post the calculations – this is something that other pundits refuse to do. I explained that I have nothing hide. I have no agenda because I am not paid for my work.

They next claimed that my model did not represent the real world. However, they indicated their judgment on the subject was a real world analysis. This argument had me dumbfounded because if 20+ years of historical data is not real, I do not know what is real. History is real, judgment is fiction. I would have liked to have gone back further on my model data, but the availability for some data variables was nonexistent.

They were skeptical about my model, which they should be. They did not think I used enough variables. I explained a good model does not necessarily correlate to the number of variables used. I also asked if they were just as skeptical of models used by climate scientist whose results show global warming is happening (another liberal philosophy they adhere to). To this I got no response. They also seemed to be skeptical about my background and my qualification on the subject of economic analysis and creating an accurate mathematical model. I provided them with my background, but off course they provided no background on their qualifications to argue the opposing point of view on this subject.

One argued that they heard on the radio, from an unknown pundit, that tax relief for the rich does not result in more consumer spending, but it results in more consumer savings. I had to explain that even money saved in banks, mutual funds, and stocks, can trickle down. It allows banks to loan more money and for healthy companies to buy more goods and services and even buyout other struggling companies. At this point, I was warned that my tone and word choice was offensive. I apologized because that was certainly not my intention. But still I got no answer to my questions.

I was called unreasonable because I called their left wing sources (the NY Times, NPR, Huffington Post, MSNBC, etc.) drivel, but I explained I do not use right wing sources (Fox News, the Weekly Standard etc.) either in my reasoning. But I am the unreasonable one. In the debate, for some reason, Beck was called evil, but one idea they brought up was from Alan Grayson. So, let me get this straight, I was offensive, Beck is offensive, but they brought up philosophies from the least civil congressman in the past several decades.

Their opinions and judgment were obviously formulated from what they read and watched. They had no unique ideas of their own. They had the philosophy that all writings and models that agreed with their positions were right and the converse point of view was false. I never gave them my view on taxes, but they assumed I was for giving the wealthy tax breaks. In fact, I believe in a fair tax and giving everyone tax relief. I never said my model was right, I merely asked that they be as vigilant when evaluating all models, even those that agree with their philosophy. After all, as I explained further, that although my views on many conservative issues are the same as Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck – but how we got to the same conclusion is vastly different. And more times than not I disagree with the path they have taken to draw the same conclusions.

My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

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