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[–] mcwilshire 17 points 76 points (+93|-17) ago  (edited ago)

In 1950, Federal, state, and local revenue were 20.4% of the GDP.

It is now 34% of GDP.

In 1950, combined Federal, state, and local revenue was $63 billion, which is $622 billion in today's dollars, from a workforce of 62 million people.

Today, combined Federal, state, and local revenue is $6.1 trillion from a workforce of 157 million people.

That's almost a 10x increase in government revenue and nearly 4x increase per worker.

So no, taxes are not lower now. Government was much smaller, and taxes were lower.

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/

As far as the top marginal rate, today, for every $100 that the Federal government collects in income taxes, $90 comes from the top 25% of earners. The bottom half chip in $3. That's today, with the current policies. That's not even talking about taxes on corporate profits, capital gains, and inheritance (guess who pays those - hint: it ain't the poor). Tax the rich? Yeah that's already how it works. The top 20% are responsible for essentially all of the government's financial support already.

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[–] HASTAG_GAY_PORN 2 points 8 points (+10|-2) ago 

My rebuttal consists of two words: government pensions. The US employs so many government workers that do literally do nothing and collected $1.2 trillion last year. They need to cut some of these utterly useless bureaucratic agencies because these people are collecting so much goddamn money for doing absolute shit. I'm looking at you TSA, NSA, DEA, EPA. They seriously just hemmorhage money like it's no tomorrow then get paid out the wazoo for their "great public service". Fuck the current bureaucracy. I think the American people would be willing to spend on agencies that actually benefit the people instead of glorified pencil pushers and people killing/spying on them.

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[–] poodog 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

But without the TSA who is going to make air travel a fucking nightmare?!

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[–] Terkan 1 point 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

Or how about that.... useless crappy, F-35 program. Or how about those 2 wars America started. 5 trillion right there. (including of course 20 billion on air conditioning tents in a desert) I'd be happy to have some extra government workers if it means there's some oversight on Wall Street so they don't crash the goddamn economy again and requiring the Federal Government (taxpayers) to pay up and bail them out.
The bailouts were just about as much as the damn Wars.

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[–] idle_voating 2 points 1 point (+3|-2) ago 

Environmental protection and limiting pollution is an important thing to do, and the EPA are a terrible organization to hand the job to. The movement that lead to the formation of the EPA along with the clean air clean water acts was started when a river caught on fire due to all of the crap in it.

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[–] flyawayhigh ago  (edited ago)

My rebuttal consists of two words: No Way. :)

I can tell you immediately that 1.2 trillion in federal employee pensions is wrong. Why? Look at the budget pie chart. There is simply no room for anything even remotely like that number.

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[–] cynoclast [S] 38 points 5 points (+43|-38) ago 

It is now 34% of GDP.

And the GDP is what % larger? 5890% larger. So the portion of it grew slightly, but the size of the pie grew astronomically.

That's almost a 10x increase in government revenue and nearly 4x increase per worker.

I love how you talk about how the worker is paying more in taxes, then go on to say that it's the rich that pay the most. The shift of the tax burden to the working class is right there in your own post.

The top 20% are responsible for essentially all of the government's financial support already.

Well, they should be, because they're also receive a majority of the income. it just makes sense. I say this as a member of the top 20%.

As far as the top marginal rate, today, for every $100 that the Federal government collects in income taxes, $90 comes from the top 25% of earners.

And the payroll tax?:

Typically when politicians fight about taxes, they fight about the income tax. That is to say, they fight about the tax that rich people hate — not the taxes poor people hate.

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[–] ForgotMyName 3 points 30 points (+33|-3) ago 

I can't blame /u/mcwilshire for not bothering, but here are some hints -

And the GDP is what % larger? 5890% larger. So the portion of it grew slightly, but the size of the pie grew astronomically.

You're trying to justify a 75% increase in government overhead in relationship to GDP by saying that GDP increased? How does that make ANY sense? He used percentages rather than numbers in the first place because the whole point is that they'll remain proportional. Regardless of inflation, fluctuation in GDP, etc, those ratios don't lie. Government spending in relation to GDP is up 75%. That's ridiculous.

I love how you talk about how the worker is paying more in taxes, then go on to say that it's the rich that pay the most. The shift of the tax burden to the working class is right there in your own post.

sigh. No, he didn't do this. He said that it averages out to a 4x increase per worker. He never claimed that each worker is actually paying that increase. Obviously who is actually paying it will be determined by tax law, however, an average increase of 4x / worker is still completely ridiculous. I don't care if only the top 1% are covering that increase. Where is all of that extra money going?

We have massive problems in our government with respect to spending. The entire way budgeting works is fundamentally broken - use it or lose it. There is zero motivation for anyone to find any savings. Cronyism, kickbacks, and "consultant position" type corruption are rampant. All of this ignores the ridiculous pension system and how unbelievably easy it is for abysmal employees to remain employed. Government spending has long since surpassed any sort of justification. We desperately need to clean house.

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[–] mcwilshire 20 points 12 points (+32|-20) ago 

I can't even respond to this it's so incoherent, sorry.

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[–] flyawayhigh 2 points 2 points (+4|-2) ago  (edited ago)

Also note the year chosen:1950.

1950 was the very beginning of the best years of shared American prosperity.That is no accident by the unnamed source of these deceptive facts. The source of this data is MANHATTAN INSTITUTE

Notice too the mathematical slight of hand. The first part uses GDP percentages, the second part uses current dollars -- in other words, it completely ignores inflation. Is it an accident that two opposite systems are used to make these points?

A more reasonable numerical analysis would pick a few dates throughout the amazing period of growth, and of course, to use consistent mathematical methods . If that were done,we would find that the size of governments in terms of GDP ratio stayed about the same. Then, we would have to go back to the drawing board and look for other factors -- tax cuts, increasing wars, consolidations, international trade policies, etc. :)

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[–] fuckingkike ago  (edited ago)

And the payroll tax?

The payroll tax is partly a prepayment on income tax, and it is supplanted by corporate and estate taxes at higher incomes. The rich rely less on their payroll salaries and so pay a smaller proportion of their income in payroll taxes. Not really a big deal unless you're trying to be sensationalistic.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/images/Figure-2-Final_13.gif

The total effective tax rate is really what's important because it describes the net takehome income relative to total earnings.

Edit: taxes relative to total increase in net worth would also be a very good metric.

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[–] voative 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

We also led the world in exports in the 50's - 60's

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[–] mcwilshire 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

That was easy when China was a rice paddy and Europe and Japan were smoldering ruins.

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[–] flyawayhigh 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Comment Rating: DECEPTIVE.

  1. Information directly pulled from Koch brothers think tank Manhattan Institute. Just search the text in the comment,and you will see for yourself.

  2. Comment fails to cite the source. Unless we believe the person making the comment came up with all this nifty and specific information on the fly, and just happened to produce the samepoints of the Manhattan Institute, it is safe to say we found the source.

  3. 1950 is before all of the great strides in growth and standard of living across the board. A better comparison would include a few dates actually during the period.

  4. Blatant and grotesque math tricks. The GDP point includes inflation as a factor, but the growth in revenue portion does not.

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[–] mcwilshire 1 point 1 point (+2|-1) ago  (edited ago)

Information directly pulled from Koch brothers think tank Manhattan Institute. Just search the text in the comment,and you will see for yourself.

You mean historical budget data which you're free to corroborate or challenge based on more reliable sources if you believe they exist...

Comment fails to cite the source. Unless we believe the person making the comment came up with all this nifty and specific information on the fly, and just happened to produce the samepoints of the Manhattan Institute, it is safe to say we found the source.

As cited: http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/

1950 is before all of the great strides in growth and standard of living across the board. A better comparison would include a few dates actually during the period.

I'm using the same year as OP's article.

Blatant and grotesque math tricks. The GDP point includes inflation as a factor, but the growth in revenue portion does not.

... that's because the percentage of GDP is 1950's revenue as a share of 1950's GDP, and 2015's revenue as a share of 2015's GDP... what would you have me do? If I inflation adjust both 1950's revenue and GDP to 2015 dollars (a pointless exercise), the percentage remains the same. It's still 20.4% of GDP.