Brummett: Rich not taxed enough (Real Cause of Deficit Pt 8)


John Brummett in his article Obama’s pitch-perfect excuse for liberalism,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 18, 2011 notes:

He proposed hitting the wealthiest twice.

First, he would let their Bush tax cuts expire — this after he caved to the Republicans on this very point in December. He appears to be trying to atone, declaring, “We cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.”

“Refuse” is not one of those usual wiggle words.

Then Obama would cap our top earners’ itemized tax deductions so that they cannot continue removing ever-increasing slabs of income from taxation through itemization while poor folks remove only shards through the standard deduction.

Republicans accuse Obama of “class warfare.” But they declared that war already. Obama is merely engaging on the side under siege.

This country once taxed its tip-top incomes with a 91 percent marginal rate, using the proceeds to fund two races it would gloriously win — on nuclear arms and to the moon…

This was the best thing about Obama’s speech: It aspired to be more than an incremental version of modern Republicanism. It aspired to be altogether different from modern Republicanism.

Brummett brings up the past when at one time we have a tax rate of 91% for the richest people in the USA. What Brummett does not tell you is that when that tax rate was lowered then tax revenues went up. 

The real cause of the debt is entitlement spending!!!!!

Brian Riedl is the author of the article “The Three Biggest Myths About Tax Cuts and the Budget Deficit,” (Heritage Foundation, June 21, 2010), and the next few days I will be sharing portions of his article.

Before coming to Heritage in 2001, Riedl worked for then-Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Rep. Mark Green (R-WI)., and the Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. Riedl holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin, and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University.

Entitlement Spending Dominates Spending Growth. Even within spending, the cause of rising long-term deficits can be identified. Between 2008 and 2020:

  • Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid costs are set to increase by 2.6 percent of GDP, and
  • Net interest costs are projected to rise by 2.8 percent of GDP. (See Chart 5.)[15]

This 5.4 percent increase explains nearly the entire increase in the budget deficit by 2020. Even that assumes that Congress will not reverse the modest reductions in the Medicare growth rate that are supposed to partially offset the costs of the new health care law.

If these four costs simply remained at their 2008 percentages of GDP, then the 2020 projections would show revenues at 18.2 percent of GDP, spending at 21.1 percent of GDP, and the deficit at 2.9 percent of GDP—close to the historical averages.[16] The long-term budget deficit problem is an entitlement spending problem.

This can be shown another way. Over the next decade, the annual cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and net interest is projected to surge from $1.6 trillion to $3.5 trillion. This nearly $2 trillion budget increase will dwarf the budget increase for defense ($314 billion) as well as the extensions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 ($98 billion) or less than $250,000 ($306 billion).[17] Thus, the vast majority of deficit expansion will come from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and net interest.

Rising Spending Will Be Responsible for 100 Percent of Increased Budget Deficits by 2017


I am doing a series on famous Arkansans. Here is the 4th part on Wayne Jackson who grew up in West Memphis.

Elvis Presley “Suspicious Minds”

EIN – Tell me about your company ‘Sweet Medicine Music’?

W.J – I’ve been a songwriter since I was a kid and I’ve been playing my trumpet since I was 11. I love writing songs so I formed a publishing company called “Sweet Medicine Music.” We had a major success back in 1999 with Amy Grant’s version of ‘Christmas Can’t Be Very Far Away’ which I wrote with Roger Cook.

You know, I’ve come a real long way from when my parent’s house used to back up to a cotton patch and I practised my trumpet – since I thought that it was the only way I knew that might get me out of there.

EIN – What have you been up to recently, have you been busy?

W.J – I sure have. Firstly, I have just completed writing book two in my autobiographical series, “In My Wildest Dreams”. The first book “Across The River To Memphis” dealt with Memphis in the 1960s, including my first glimpses of Elvis. The second book in the series, “The Memphis Horns” deals with Memphis in the 70’s, Stax and even more glimpses of Elvis. Both books are very entertaining and, although not history books, they give lots of information and stories that you won’t find anywhere else!

In the recording studio last year I spent time with Neil Young. We made a record called, “Prairie Wind” and a movie by the same name. I had a ball. Then you might have seen us on Saturday Night Live on TV where we performed some of the music from that movie! Wow, if you saw the show you know how much fun we had. And this year I wrote the horns for Tony Joe White’s new CD, “Uncovered.” I know that you’ve met Tony – & let me tell you that he is as funky as always and he inspired me to do my very best work! I can’t wait for you to hear it!

(EIN Note: Neil Young’s ‘Prairie Wind’ CD on gets the review.. “With Wayne Jackson of the soulful Memphis Horns…Neil Young has previously released a lot of albums in different musical styles, but Prairie Wind feels like a homecoming, and ranks with his very best”)

EIN – It’s great to know you’re still working as hard as ever & with such great performers. What a wonderful history you have.

W.J – I tell you what it has been wonderful, it’s been great times – I don’t have any complaints! I have some pretty good friends.

Please let me say hello to all the fans of Elvis in Australia & New Zealand and let me say that Elvis was truly a wonderful young man and they would have loved him personally had they met him.
Wayne Jackson was interviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN, September 2002/2006.

Copyright Elvis Information Network 2002/2006.

Click to comment on this interview

Right: Wayne Jackson & Andrew Love. The Memphis Horns still funky after all these years.NOTE: For more information about Wayne Jackson’s autobiographical books, discography, historical journey & photos go to his website “Sweet Medicine Music”.There you can also find out about how to purchase Wayne’s handwritten sheet music of the legendary horn parts to his classic songs, including ‘Dock of the Bay’, and ‘Suspicious Minds.’
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