Mitt Romney's tax bill under Paul Ryan's budget? 0.82% (Your taxes will probably go up, though)

Paul Ryan wants to kill all tax on capital gains, interest, and dividends -- income you get from owning things, rather than doing a job. Under this plan, Mitt Romney's $21,000,000 in 2010 income would be largely tax-exempt. Only his speaking and author fees -- $593,996 -- would be taxed, and only at 25%, for a net tax of $177,650 on $21,661,344 -- that is, 0.82%.

But don't worry, the government won't go broke if the super-rich are virtually tax exempt. Under Ryan's budget, tax on the bottom 30% of earners will increase. Matthew O'Brien explains in The Atlantic:

It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense -- a point my colleague Derek Thompson has made in incredible chart form.

Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan's Plan (via Reddit)


  1. It’s always amazed me that a person can accumulate so much wealth but not be happy with it, constantly wanting more more more. But when that’s all you’ve done with your life, I guess it’s hard to stop. Or it could be the Larry Ellison explanation that even though he already has more money than he’ll ever need, why should he let someone else have it?

    1. There have been studies that people with more wealth aren’t happier because they spend all their time comparing themselves to their peers. That is, J. Rivington Farnsworth III does not compare himself to a school teacher making $30,000 a year  and thank his lucky stars. Instead, he compares himself to W. Elliott Cherington down the immaculately-tended block and he grows unhappy because the damn Cheringtons have 3 villas in Tuscany and he only has two. 

      Combine that with the American business ethos that says you have more money not because you were extraordinarily lucky or because you were in the right place or because a great-great relative made a savvy business move at the right time, but because you are a hard-nosed, steely-eyed visionary that did everything right and pulled yourself up by your bootstraps without help from anyone. Then money becomes, in a very real sense, a validation of who you are as a person because it is a literal measure of how much smarter and better you are than everyone else. 

      When you put your self-worth into your money and financial status, you’re going to be insecure about having that taken away.

      The Koch Brothers are richer than Jesus but are furious with the new Will Ferrell movie because there’s a couple characters that are obvious parodies of them in the movie and it makes them look bad. They can’t help but freak out because undermining the notion that being rich=better than undermines the entire narrative they tell themselves. If they were just rich because of good fortune, that would mean they weren’t better than everyone else. And then where would they be?

        1. Yes? And many Americans believe this. It shows up in nonsense like the ‘prosperity gospel’ and in the idea that everyone who has plundered a great deal of wealth from society must have contributed a great deal to society.

      1. The Koch Brothers – I guess if I was mega rich and myself & bros title sounded like a pseudo German gay pron flick I too wouldn’t like Will Ferrell having a, ahem, poke at my expense.

      2. Well, they are rich because of good fortune: they inherited the foundation of their staggering pile. As did a lot of the 1%…for every Mark Cuban or Larry Ellison there are the Walton clan or the Cox sisters or any number of other would-be aristocrats.

        The myth of the self-made man is just that, in the overwhelming majority of cases.

        But what I really want o know is if this .82% tax rate made into their debut on 60 Minutes. This was out there yesterday: did the heirs of Wallace, Cronkite and Murrow beat these clowns with it?

        1. “The myth of the self-made man is just that, in the overwhelming majority of cases.”

          I suspect it may have held some value when one could build a house and farm the land to claim it back in the day. But these days, with most working for someone else, it is a pipe dream to keep the rabble docile.

          Craziest thing may be that when the whole thing was formulated it was already fading.

      3. Regarding your first paragraph, I think this works on every level, even for poor working stiffs like me, not only for the super-rich.

        A while ago I was in a certain place for a while and thought I’d get a job for $20,000 or so till I’d move on. Made the rounds, went to job interviews, talked to recruiters, decided to ask for a ridiculous $50k once and see what would happen; I soon found out I was worth well over $80k in that market. And guess what, I still thought I could and should make more; I don’t think I was one iota happier.

        It’s all about expectations.

      4. Funny thing is that using wealth as a measure also has a religious aspect. I think there is a variant of Calvinism out there that says wealth is a indication that you’re part of Gods chosen or something.

        1. It’s not a variant of Calvinism – it is basic to Calvinism, and Mormonism is deeply influenced by Calvinism. 

          (Should anyone want reference, Google it – I’m going to bed.)

          Forgot to say, attached pics are artists’ depiction of wealthy, virtuous John Calvin crusading to rid God’s Green Earth of the filthy, degenerate poor, also known as Worthless Eaters.

        2. It is exactly that, and it is an under reported aspect of American cultural history whose origins would be incredibly useful for people to know today. I was explaining the role Calvinistic “wealth equals blessings from God” to an exchange student from Iraq because he couldn’t understand why all education wasn’t completely free in this country with our vast wealth. I told him our Calvinistic version of Christianity has influenced our view of the role of public good since the early formation of our nation.
          This would also probably explain the Right’s extreme hostility to what they call “wealth redistribution” in all the campaign rhetoric today. The way they probably see it is at some level, they done got blessed by God and now are being asked to give that reward to those God is shunning because of their failings. This attitude deeply pervades even the average person’s view of collective (GASP!)  participation in society for mutual benefit. If people were more aware that this is just a religious view and not some sort of point of fact, we would be able to have a more intelligent conversation about it.

          1. If people were more aware that this is just a religious view and not some sort of point of fact, we would be able to have a more intelligent conversation about it.

            Yeah, because that has all worked out well with other religious views…

  2. This, of course, assumes taxes must rise based on the TPC’s analysis, not on either framework as provided by Romney or Ryan. Romney in particular has pushed for tax breaks for everyone, so one has to assume, at this point at least, that the result comes from the cuts in spending, not a net increase in taxes.

    1. There is only so much spending that can be cut, especially if defence and SS are largely left untouched. Frameworks and promises made by candidates tend to have no grounding in reality.

      1. Sure, but one also has to remember that Ryan’s plan is a 40 year timetable. The concept behind it is a long term turnaround in spending and government activity, and Romney’s plan is based on that same concept and ideal.

        Now, there is legitimate argument concerning how realistic such a long term timetable is, but that’s not what TPC,The Atlantic, etc are arguing.

        1. I’m sorry, but that’s nonsense. See my comment below for part of this: yes, it’s a 40-year timetable, but it’s one that says that after 40 years discretionary spending on everything, including defense, will be less than a third of what it is now. Meanwhile, a third of all discretionary spending is on defense, and Romney and Ryan have both pledged to spend more for the foreseeable future. This is a vision that can only work if government effectively ceases to exist – if the federal government becomes as useless and as toothless as it was 150 years ago. It’s a vision that has no highways, universities, or scientists. It’s for damn sure a vision that doesn’t include the Curiosity Mission.

          And look at other parts of that 40 year timetable: Ryan would replace Medicare and Medicaid with a coupon, one that every year would become less valuable. So after 40 years, America would have no meaningful government health benefits.

          Sure, it’s a 40 year timetable. But you are hiding behind that, and refusing to confront the key question: a 40-year timetable towards what?

          1. A 40 year timetable, starting with increased government, after which point no government will be necessary sounds rather like Lenin, doesn’t it?

          2. Seems to me  40-year timetable is needed because if they did it rapidly people would actually notice that their Medicare (et al)  had disappeared, if you spread it out over 40 years, incrementally, then it’s less obvious. 

        2.  By realistic do you mean feasible/adviseable?

          Western economies are built around a strong central Government taking care of a Lot of infrastructure projects (roads, health, education, police, defense, science, technology, communications) or at least funding and directing private enterprise to do the same. Without central guidance, a Lot less gets done as too many businesses only look at the quarter or year’s growth and don’t value blue-sky R&D or long-term projects at all.

        3. 1. The direction in which one chooses to point the country after the turnaround is important and should be considered. As @Warren_Terra:disqus and the TPC analysis reasonably argue, it looks like the turn that Ryan and Romney want America to make has the country turn off a bumpy road and into a ditch.

          2. The 40 year timetable is indeed stupid. The political/economic/practical concerns 40 years from now impossible to imagine (think of how 2012 looked from 1972). It has people who will not be alive at the end voting to impose a vision on people who are not yet old enough to vote (or not even born yet). And it entirely ignores the practical, political constraints of having 2 year and 4 year terms in the legislature/executive.

          In other words, no matter how you look at their plan, it is stupid. It is able to generate emotional satisfaction among some people though, by sounding like it will really stick to the outside groups said people hate.

    2. Romney is claiming his tax plan is revenue neutral, which is to say that it doesn’t increase or decrease the amount of money coming into the system.  He is specifically claiming not to do what you’re proposing must be happening- ie. reducing tax revenues and making up for it with spending cuts.

      So uh, no.  

      Also, I know of nowhere that he’s ever claimed to lower everyone’s taxes.  Can you point me towards something?  His website certainly doesn’t mention it near as I can tell.

        1. They’re not assumptions.  It can’t be all these things at once.  Either it’s raising taxes on the poor and middle class, or it’s blowing up the deficit.  That’s the only way the math works.

          1. …according to one group that admittedly knows it doesn’t have all the details. 

            Gonna go with the “secret plan to end the war” line then?  

            Romney’s plan, as he’s detailed it, leads to either one of two extraordinarily politically and morally bad outcomes (higher taxes on the middle class and poor, or exploding debt.)  Faced with this reality, you claim there must be some secret behind the plan that we don’t know about that will make all the numbers add up in a way that changes these bad outcomes.

            Yeah, OK.

          2. @Jeff, the reason we don’t have the details is due to the Romney campaign being deliberately coy on what the tax plan is.  The stated reason for this has been he doesn’t wish these details to be attacked.  If his tax policy details are undefendable in public debate, I’m not sure that it’s something that the country wants or needs. 

      1. It’s an across-the-board tax cut, but if you’re making a modest income it’s not your marginal tax rate that’s most important. It’s your deductions, exemptions, and your tax credits that really count – if you’re especially struggling, it’s your Earned Income Tax Credit. These are worth thousands of dollars to everyone who files taxes, and far outweigh a few percent on a few tens of thousands of dollars of gross income.

        Romney claims to seek revenue neutrality, and specifies big cuts in all tax rates – which means huge savings for those with massive gross incomes. To even approach revenue neutrality, all deductions, exemptions, and tax credits would have to go. This would be a huge tax increase for most taxpayers.

    3. The TPC analysis took care to make every assumption as favorable to Romney and Ryan as they could. The problem is that Romney and Ryan declared that exemptions, credits, and spending would be eliminated to keep their tax cuts deficit-neutral – and once you’ve slashed taxes on the wealthy to the extent Romney and Ryan propose, there is no way you can remotely approach paying for the lost revenue by reducing “spending” (a term that includes disbursement of money, provision of services, and tax exemptions and credits) on the rich. The money has to come from someplace, and it can’t come from the rich. Thus, the non-rich will be made to pay for the tax cuts given to the rich.

      I mean, seriously: Mitt Romney is already paying half the effective federal tax rate (including payroll taxes) of the median worker. If you slash his taxes to a rounding error (less than 1%), surely you realize something will have to give?

      Edited to add: my comment says “deficit-neutral”, when it should have said “revenue-neutral”. See Nylund’s comment, below.

        1. And spending on services that benefit the poor and the middle class will be the first things to go when the GOP starts saying we need to tighten our belts, thus increasing costs for these groups.

        2. And the details of those spending cuts are?  Or is it very important that it be a surprise?  Part of the argument that’s been used against very rich companies investing in this economy, is that they don’t like surprises, and Obama scares them.  Can we guarantee that Romney’s choices or his reluctance to name his choices won’t cause skittishness in any circles?

        3. Cutting taxes for the rich, cutting back on “spending” while increasing military expenditures didn’t work for Reagan (tripled the deficit) or either of the Bushes (same results), how exactly is it going to work for Romney?

          1.  Save money on police by declaring martial law, perhaps? Then scrap Medicaid, etc, so that the poor can get on with dying, and reduce the surplus population.

        4. @ Jeff, you forgot to say, “Thank you! I’ll be here all week! And don’t  forget to tip your server!”

    4. “that the result comes from the cuts in spending, not a net increase in taxes”   Those two things are a lot more similar than you think.  A lot of “gov’t spending” is written in as “tax expenditures” (ie, “tax cuts”) into the tax code.

      Mathematically, there is no difference between the gov’t saying, “I will spend $100 to buy that for you,” and “If you buy that for yourself, I will knock $100 off the taxes you owe,” but one is considered spending, and the other a tax cut (and thus, in reverse, a spending cut and a tax increase).  The easiest examples include the Earned Income Tax Credit  (EITC), the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID), and various things involving deductions for children, education, etc.

      Mitt Romney’s plan called for specific cuts and also claimed to be “revenue neutral.”  The TPC tried many ways to make this happen and couldn’t ever do it, but could get somewhat close if and only if taxes went up for the lower 95% of Americans.  (mainly by getting rid of some of the deductions I mentioned above, which one could classify as either tax hike or a spending cut, depending on whether you view “tax expenditures” as spending or tax cuts…but that’s really just semantics.

      One thing to note, Romney said his plan would be revenue neutral, not deficit neutral.  He’s explicitly saying the amount of money the gov’t receives in taxes will not go down. That means, mathematically, if someone’s taxes go down, someone else’s must go up.  Two negative numbers cannot average out to be zero.  Politicians, like Romney, do their darnedest to hide that fact using language like, “closing loopholes” or “simplifying the tax code,” but all of that is just a fancy way of saying, “we’re not going to allow you to make as many deductions so you’re tax bill is going to go up.”

    5. Romney in particular has pushed for tax breaks for everyone, so one has to assume, at this point at least, that the result comes from the cuts in spending, not a net increase in taxes.

      Thankfully Republicans have a terrific track record of getting those spending decreases secured before cutting everybody’s taxes. I mean, anything less would just be downright irresponsible.

  3. At this point I’m completely baffled that nearly half of Americans would vote for these guys. It’s amazing how they’re using gay marriage and abortion to essentially bamboozle half of the nation. 

    1. You must take into account the 60-odd years we used leaded gas.

      That’s the only thing that could explain large numbers of people voting for Paul W. McRomney… ubiquitous lead poisoning.

      1. I thought it was having an autographed photo of Ronald Regan sitting on their night stand right beside their bible…

      2. I seem to recall reading the same about the Romans. The fanciest new thing any roman home could have was lead piping. Meaning that over time the high ups developed low level lead poisoning…

        1. It was worse than that- they used lead-lined bottles to make their wine taste better (Acetic acid (aka vinegar) + metallic lead = lead acetate (“lead sugar,” which is precisely the substance that makes paint chips so damn tasty)).

    2. “I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist.”

      -John Steinbeck, America & Americans

      1. Sometimes paraphrased/misquoted as:”Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires”

        1. The Wobblies? The Haymarket Affair? Not all the poor/exploited in the US have been wannabe millionaires/exploiters.

  4. My favorite bit is that Paul Ryan has pledged to reduce discretionary spending (that is, everything but Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the debt) to 3.75% of GDP by 2050. Right now, it’s 12.5% of GDP. Note that includes military spending, which is currently over 3% of GDP, and which Romney has pledged to significantly increase. So somehow federal spending on education, research, parks, environmental protection, highways, and basically everything else will have to be negative 0.5% of GDP, which is a pretty neat trick.

    For more, see Ezra Klein.

    1. This would, of course, include the SSDI safety net that enabled Ryan to live his life, in his NPS-listed home (for the ownership of which he receives a benefit).

      Pulling up the ladder behind them since they were strong enough to lift it: Romney/Ryan.

  5. That $500k+ doesn’t get taxed at 25%.  Only about half of it does.  The other half is taxed at lower rates.  It sounds as if you’re confusing effective and marginal tax rates.  The Reddit link is clearer.  But Reddit did the math right, so the final number is right.

  6. “My dream is to lead this nation, but to put none of my own resources into its upkeep or improvement”

  7. I am so tired of you poor people complaining about being overly taxed.  These “rich-favoring” rules apply to all!  And all you have to do is be, or become, rich.  What’s the problem?  Don’t you want to pay 0% taxes also? Why do you seek to ruin it for the rest of us, because of your inflexible mindset and parochial interests?

    1. “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

      -Anatole France, The Red Lily

  8. “It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners”

    Of course, in the end, supporters of this plan know that there would be a huge outrage over raising taxes on everyone other than the rich. It is, in fact, a red herring. In the end, conservatives will simply “compromise” and give everyone a tax cut and then wring their hands over now having to kill-off most, if not all, social services, leaving defense intact.

    Mission accomplished.

    1. That actually sounds about right.  I mean when has any fiscal plan actually went to effect as it was originally proposed in the last 20-30 years? 

      It’s a lot like haggling, your have to start off far enough from where you want to be to have some room to negotiate.

        1. True, but he had help from the dot com bubble.  If his presidency had been 4 year later I doubt he would be remembered as fondly as he is now.

  9.  this is so freaking sad. but what’s PATHETIC is most voters are the 30% lowest earners and will be voting this man right into office.

    have fun with that america, & godspeed.

    1. Republicans have a full palette of Jedi mind tricks that fool people into voting against their own interests:
      * “lottery”-appeal: “Once I’m rich I’ll pay no taxes!”
      * jealousy/keeping others deprived: “Why should others have union benefits if I dont?”
      * rural appeal: don’t see many gov’t services, therefore gov’t really isn’t needed.
      * testosterone: the GOP has balls. “I can’t tell people at my bar that I’m a democrat because democrats have pushovers like Harry Reid.”
      * in-group/racist appeal: straight-up “Obama’s not one of us.”  What used to be Southern Dixiecrats have migrated almost entirely Republican.
      * cultural/religious: abortion, prayer, christianity (The ultimate trojan horse.  They do get their sacred religious/cultural totems, but they’re also saddled with the whole republican 1%-enriching economic agenda.)

      There are so many poor and middle class people in the GOP.  Yet none from the “lower orders” really exerts any power.  They’re all caught in the cult of adoration of, and aspiration to be, the rich predators at the top of the food chain.

      1. cultural/religious: abortion, prayer, christianity (The ultimate trojan horse.  They do get their sacred religious/cultural totems, but they’re also saddled with the whole republican 1%-enriching economic agenda.)

        Actually, the Church stands to benefit tremendously from Ryan’s planned impoverishment of society’s most vulnerable. Not only will people turn to faith-based organizations once the starving, dying masses are left with no where else to turn, but the vacuum created by defunded social programs would happily be filled with their religious equivalents (provided, of course, to the recipients’ renewed commitment to the faith). With a renewed measure of practitioners, the Church once again becomes a powerful political force in American politics, which suits conservatives just fine.

  10. The only viable long-term solution is to reduce spending to tax-receipt levels.  Raising or lower tax rates doesn’t really change that tax-receipt level, which tends to stay at about 18% of GDP.

    Government must reduce spending.  Tax rates don’t do much.  Ryan’s plan still spends 20.5% of GDP over the next 12 years.  It’s not like he’s a deficit hawk or anything.

    I’m not a wealthy person but I’ve never been envious of what someone else has.  People need to chill out and get on with life.  You’re not entitled to anything.

    1.  Yeah, we’ll get right on chilling out with crumbling roads and bridges (which impact commerce and public safety), without public education, without caring about the health or safety of our fellow humans. 

      1. I didn’t suggest you forgo those things.  But how do you solve the problem of spending more than you take in?  Options boil down to 1) reduce spending to be in line with receipts, or 2) kill the dollar.  You can’t tax the wealthy and all of a sudden cover all this spending.  Even if you outright confiscated all the wealth of the 1000 richest Americans, you couldn’t balance a single year’s budget.

        Challenge yourself not to fall back on the sad argument of needing government to help all the downtrodden and infirm.  How do we solve the spending problem?

        1. I think we’d be willing to try confiscatory taxing of our 1,000 richest Americans, just to see if what you posit plays out.

          BTW, we certainly “needed” to help the downtrodden and infirm… banks.

        2. The top income tax rate for the wealthy was 90%+ for much of the middle of this century, and is now 35%.  

          30 years ago we stopped taxing the wealthy to a large degree, under the theory that doing so would let them reinvest all that wealth into the economy, cause it to grow, and make up for all that lost revenue.  

          That obviously didn’t happen, because the theory is bullshit, as many of it’s less political originators have now acknowledged.  

          What did happen however, was an explosion of debt, massive income inequality, and a new global upperclass with enough money to buy our government and media companies, and convince people like yourself that taxing the wealthy at the rates we used to tax them would do bad things to the economy.  Oh, and that Obama is a pinko Marxist socialist for wanting to raise that rate from 35% to 38%.

          1. You seem to be implying most of the uber rich actually work for their money….I highly doubt any of the 1%’er’s yearly profits come from actually working, and thus paying that 35%.  It is much more likely they are all paying closer to the standard 15% for capital gains.  When you have that much money it can work for you.

        3. Challenge yourself not to fall back on the sad argument of needing government to help all the downtrodden and infirm.  How do we solve the spending problem?

          Are you implying that we can’t balance the Federal Budget because we’re spending too much on poor people? If so, I think you may be holding that spreadsheet upside down.

          I’d happily take an axe to the projects which make up the lion’s share of discretionary spending, but for some reason it’s hard to get Romney and Ryan to go on record saying they’d like to slash the bloated defense budget.

    2. Please look at your own bloody chart (and remove the parenthesis from the hyperlink, which is misformatted). Yes, the average is 18.1%. But contrary to your claims, the variation is significant: eyeballing it, I’d guess a standard deviation of around 1 in the last seventy years, and far higher in the last twenty.

      During the Clinton Boom (admittedly aka the Dot Com Bubble), tax revenues were over 20% of GDP. This means that (1) such tax receipts are possible without inspiring mass unrest; and (2) you are simply wrong when you claim that tax receipts “tend to stay at about 18% of GDP”.

      I will repeat what I said in a comment above, expanding and slightly rephrasing it: Mitt Romney is a tremendously wealthy man, who has benefited greatly from what this country has to offer. Despite his enormous privilege, he pays about half the federal tax rate a schoolteacher does. His own plan will essentially eliminate his taxes, while raising the schoolteacher’s taxes or expenses. And you apparently look at those facts and denounce people being envious? I’m not calling for the Elimination Of The Kulaks here – I’m calling for Social Democracy. I’m calling for the plutocrats to pay their fair share – to pay at least the same proportion of their income as do sanitation workers. I’m saying they ought not to enjoy their inconceivable wealth free of all responsibilities to the society that made it possible.

      1. Fixed the link, thanks.

        Hey, a flat tax would be great with me.  No argument.  And yes, the receipts do fluctuate, but average 18.1%  Can that average be moved significantly for more than a decade?  I’d say that is incredibly unlikely.  So, how do we bring spending in line?

        I’m just trying to encourage people to focus on the real problem, which is not how much Romney pays in taxes.

        1.  So, how do we bring spending in line?
          I don’t have all the answers, but I can think of several things that would have a significant impact:
          1. Do away with our current health care system and go to a nationalized healthcare system. We are currently the only industrialized nation without some kind of national healthcare system and we pay twice as much per capita for healthcare as the next closest country.

          2. Stop being the world’s gangster/thug. Cut the military budget 50-75% (we currently spend more on military just about all the other countries combined). Personally, I favor doing away with our standing military and going to a citizen army that is configured to defend the nation. As a duty of citizenship, every person would be required to be prepared to defend the country; basically doing away with the full time military and putting everybody in the National Guard.

          3. Bring back the jobs (tariffs?). We can not expect to spend more importing more than we export forever. Also, bring jobs back would increase the tax base further improving our financial position. While we are at it, lets make sure that the jobs pay a fair, living wage. While the corporate execs will hate not having desperate, powerless people willing to work for less subsistence wages, they might be surprised that when their customers have more money, they will spend more money leading to increased demand and more sales.

    3. The Heritage Foundation?  Really?  They’re so intellectually dishonest that if they said the sky was blue I’d have to take another look at it.

  11. That’s OK, just think of all the jobs they will create with that wealth!

    The taxes for the wealthy have been getting lower and lower since the early 70’s, and yet as their taxes get smaller, the unemployment rate has not gotten similarly lower; if we erase all taxes on the wealthy will unemployment reach zero?  Unlikely.  Even those times in US history when tax cuts for the wealthy helped turn around the economy (Reagan) it was a short term fix and resulted in huge deficits (which leads to other economic problems.)

  12. A man finds an old lamp and rubs it and a genie comes out. The genie says he will grant him 3 wishes but the catch is that whatever he receives from the genie, the person the man hates the most in the world will receive twice what he receives. At first the man protests, but the genie is firm on the matter. So, the man wishes for 10 million dollars. The genie blinks and 10 million in cash appears before the man. The genie says, “the person you hate has just now received 20 million dollars.” The man then wishes for a 20 room mansion by the ocean. The genie blinks and tells the man, “your mansion awaits, and the person you hate most has just received a 40 room mansion.” Then the man picks up a stick and says to the genie. “Take this stick and beat me HALF to death with it.”

    1. Am I the guy who finds the genie in this metaphor? Because for that analogy to work the genie wouldn’t just be granting Romney more stuff than he’s giving me… he’d be hitting me over the head with a lead pipe and rummaging through my pockets.

    2. I sincerely have no clue what this allegory is supposed to mean. Would you care to explain it more explicitly?

  13. Linking to the actual Reddit thread might be nice, since we might actually want to read what they say about the topic.

  14. Lets see paul ryan has been on the government tit all his life.In 13 years as a congressman he has written two bills in 13 years,what a worker.The funny part is one was to rename a post office and the other to lower the price of hunting arrows.

    1. Apparently I went to college with him. Trying to recall if I ever met him, the one guy who comes to mind gave a presentation to a committee I was on, trying to get our votes for his scheme to divert funds from the speakers fund (which had just brought Kurt Vonnegut) to bankroll part of a plush new workout center next to the racquetball courts.

      I can’t say for sure that was him… there were thousands of seemingly identical smarmy pop-collared ferrets at Miami.

      But considering that his official bios report that he worked as a personal trainer in college, that just might have been him.

  15. Don’t forget that once they’ve finished this first stage of The Plan, America will no longer be worth defending and so the military spending can be cut back to just enough to keep up a Praetorian Guard strong enough to defend the Mighty Lord Rmoney from the very people whose taxes fund the guard. Might as well save money and stop bothering with elections too, since clearly the Word of God would have been heard and who can gainsay that? At that point they can drop that stupid social security spending too and Paradise will spread across the land! Win!!!111!

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