Tag Archives: steve womack

Ken Aden is wrong and Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme

Ken Aden is running for Congress against Steve Womack in Arkansas’ third district. He believes Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme and those who want to cut it are criminals. I was reading on the leftwing blog “Blue Arkansas” about Ken Alden and I got this video clip which is below:

It is my view that the wise thing would be to allow people to invest in personal retirement funds with a portion of the money that is going to Social Security now.

Saving Social Security with Personal Retirement Accounts

Uploaded by  on Jan 10, 2011

There are two crises facing Social Security. First the program has a gigantic unfunded liability, largely thanks to demographics. Second, the program is a very bad deal for younger workers, making them pay record amounts of tax in exchange for comparatively meager benefits. This video explains how personal accounts can solve both problems, and also notes that nations as varied as Australia, Chile, Sweden, and Hong Kong have implemented this pro-growth reform. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

____________________

Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue.

Social Security Demagoguery from Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann: Economically Wrong, Politically Wrong

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Governor Rick Perry of Texas is being attacked by two rivals in the GOP presidential race. His sin, if you can believe it, is that he told the truth (as acknowledged by everyone from Paul Krugman to Milton Friedman) about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme.

Here’s an excerpt from Philip Klein’s column in the Examiner, looking at how Mitt Romney is criticizing Perry.

Mitt Romney doubled down on his attack against Texas Gov. Rick Perry this afternoon, warning in an interview with Sean Hannity that his critique of Social Security amounted to “terrible politics” that would cost Republicans the election. Romney’s decision to pile on suggests that he’s willing to play the “granny card” against Perry if it will help him get elected, a tactic more becoming of the likes of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz than a potential Republican nominee.

And here’s a Byron York column from the Examiner looking at how Michele Bachmann is taking the same approach.

…another Republican rival, Michele Bachmann, is preparing to hit Perry on the same issue. “Bernie Madoff deals with Ponzi schemes, not the grandparents of America,” says a Bachmann adviser.  “Clearly she feels differently about the value of Social Security than Gov. Perry does.  She believes Social Security needs to be saved, that it’s an important safety net for Americans who have paid into it all their lives.” … “She strongly disagrees with his position on that…”

Shame on Romney and Bachmann. With an inflation-adjusted long-run shortfall of about $28 trillion, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme on steroids.

But as I explain in this video, that’s just part of the problem. The program also is a terrible deal for workers, particularly young people and minorities.

Here’s what’s so frustrating. Romney and Bachmann almost certainly understand that Social Security is actuarially bankrupt. And they probably realize that personal retirement accounts are the only long-run answer.

But they’re letting political ambition lure them into saying things that they know are not true. Why? Because they think Perry will lose votes and they can improve their respective chances of getting the GOP nomination.

Sounds like a smart approach, assuming truth and morality don’t matter.

But here’s what’s so ironic. The Romney and Bachmann strategy is only astute if Social Security is sacrosanct and personal accounts are political poison.

But as I noted last year, the American public supports personal accounts by a hefty margin. And former President Bush won two elections while supporting Social Security reform. And election-day polls confirmed that voters supported personal accounts.

I’m not a political scientist, so maybe something has changed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Perry benefited from the left-wing demagoguery being utilized by Romney and Bachmann.

P.S. This does not mean Perry has the right answer. As far as I know, he hasn’t endorsed personal accounts. But at least he’s telling the truth about Social Security being unsustainable.

Related posts:

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 12)

U.S. Senator Rand Paul Speaks at Cato University 2011 Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Sep 6, 2011 http://www.cato.org/multimedia/subscribe.php U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke at this year’s Cato University on everything from national healthcare and the commerce clause to spending cuts and social security reform. Cato University is the Cato Institute’s premier educational event of the […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 11)

Dan Mitchell on Social Security Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Aug 19, 2010 Discussing the troubles facing social security, with Mark Walsh, Left Jab host and Dan Mitchell, Cato Institute. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with […]

Milton Friedman discusses Reagan and Reagan discusses Friedman

Uploaded by YAFTV on Aug 19, 2009 Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman discusses the principles of Ronald Reagan during this talk for students at Young America’s Foundation’s 25th annual National Conservative Student Conference MILTON FRIEDMAN ON RONALD REAGAN In Friday’s WSJ, Milton Friedman reflectedon Ronald Reagan’s legacy. (The link should work for a few more […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 10)

Milton Friedman – The Social Security Myth Uploaded by LibertyPen on Mar 5, 2010 Using Social Security as his prime example, Professor Friedman explodes the myth that the major expansions in government resulted from popular demand. In a speech delivered more than 30 years ago, he directly relates this dynamic to today’s health care debate. […]

Rick Perry’s answer in Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

I really like Rick Perry because he was right when he called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme” which it is. How did he do in the last debate? You be the judge by watching his response above. Rick Perry’s Moment Posted by Roger Pilon Last night POLITICO Arena asked: Who won the Reagan debate? My […]

Cain’s 9-9-9 plan center stage at Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan did steal the show at the Republican debate of October 11, 2011. Take a look at this article below: The Republican presidential debate in Hanover, N.H. (AP) There was one clear winner from Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, based on the simple metrics of name recognition: businessman Herman Cain’s “9-9-9 Plan.” Virtually […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 9)

Sen. Hutchison Speaks at the Heritage Foundation Forum on Saving Social Security Uploaded by SenatorHutchison on Jun 21, 2011 Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered remarks regarding her landmark proposal on entitlement reform, the Defend and Save Social Security Act at the Heritage Foundation’s “Saving Social Security” event. Sen. Hutchison announced that Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 8)

IOUSA Solutions: Part 1 of 5 Uploaded by LibertyPen on Jan 8, 2009 Professor Williams explains what’s ahead for Social Security Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. The Case for (Carve-Out) […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 7)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 7) IOUSA Solutions: Part 2 of 5 Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Personal Accounts Build More Than Just Assets by Andrew Biggs This article […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 6)

Further Reforms to Modernize Social Security — Saving the American Dream Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on May 24, 2011 http://www.savingthedream.org | Currently deep in debt, America’s Social Security program doesn’t look very secure. Today there is a new plan to get it back on track. David John, Senior Research Fellow in Retirement Security at The Heritage […]

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending Uploaded by NatlTaxpayersUnion on Feb 15, 2011 Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, speaks at Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform, NTUF’s entitlement reform event at CPAC, on Feb. 11, 2011. __________________________ I am disappointed in some of the Republicans who do not want […]

Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have the money coming in

I really like Ron Paul and Rick Perry. Only three Republican presidential candidates are worth any money _ campaign money, that is. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have banked millions. But the other GOP candidates are struggling or broke, putting their candidacies in question four months before the first nominating contests take place. […]

Rick Perry says Social Security is a Ponzi scheme

Rick Perry says Social Security is a Ponzi scheme Rick Perry and Mitt Romney went after each other at the debate over this term “Ponzi scheme.” Over and over Rick Perry has said that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and I agree with him. John Brummett asserted,”Rick Perry was last week’s savior, but then he […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 5)

 IOUSA Solutions: Part 3 of 5 Uploaded by IOUSAtheMovie on Aug 25, 2010 The award-winning documentary I.O.U.S.A. opened up America’s eyes to the consequences of our nation’s debt and the need for our government to show more fiscal responsibility. Now that more Americans and elected officials are aware of our fiscal challenges, the producers of […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Trains, Pensions, and Economic Freedom by Timothy B. Lee This article appeared on Forbes.com on August 17, 2011. recently […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 3)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 3) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Personal Accounts and the Savings Rate by Timothy B. Lee This article appeared on Forbes.com on September 11, 2011 […]

Rick Perry’s Ponzi-scheme claim is in no way unprecedented

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney went after each other at the debate over this term “Ponzi scheme.” Janet M. LaRue   Romney’s Ponzi Phobia 9/19/2011 When it comes to Social Security, Republicans should stop treating seniors like the feeble-minded demographic portrayed in commercials written by 13-year-olds on Madison Avenue. It’s like the home security commercial […]

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 2)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 2) John Stossel – Government’s Ponzi Scheme Uploaded by LibertyPen on Apr 21, 2010 A look at the Social Security system. By contrast, Bernie Madoff seems like a shoplifter. http://www.LibertyPen.com Uploaded by LibertyPen on Jan 8, 2009 Professor Williams explains what’s ahead for Social Security ______________________________ Governor Rick […]

Only difference between Ponzi scheme and Social Security is you can say no to Ponzi Scheme jh2d

Is Social Security  a Ponzi Scheme? I just started a series on this subject. In this article below you will see where the name “Ponzi scheme” came from and if it should be applied to the Social Security System. Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! 9/14/2011 | Email John Stossel | Columnist’s Archive Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! There, I […]

Despite Brantley’s view,Social Security really is a Ponzi scheme (Part 1) (jh1d)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 1) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. Max Brantley wants to keep insisting that this will be Perry’s downfall but  think that truth will win out this time around. This is a series of articles […]

Ken Aden: Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme and those who want to cut it are criminals

Ken Aden is running for Congress against Steve Womack in Arkansas’ third district. He believes Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme and those who want to cut it are criminals. I was reading on the leftwing blog “Blue Arkansas” about Ken Alden and I got this video clip which is below:

It is my view that the wise thing would be to allow people to invest in personal retirement funds with a portion of the money that is going to Social Security now.

Saving Social Security with Personal Retirement Accounts

Uploaded by  on Jan 10, 2011

There are two crises facing Social Security. First the program has a gigantic unfunded liability, largely thanks to demographics. Second, the program is a very bad deal for younger workers, making them pay record amounts of tax in exchange for comparatively meager benefits. This video explains how personal accounts can solve both problems, and also notes that nations as varied as Australia, Chile, Sweden, and Hong Kong have implemented this pro-growth reform. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

____________________

Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue.

Social Security Demagoguery from Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann: Economically Wrong, Politically Wrong

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Governor Rick Perry of Texas is being attacked by two rivals in the GOP presidential race. His sin, if you can believe it, is that he told the truth (as acknowledged by everyone from Paul Krugman to Milton Friedman) about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme.

Here’s an excerpt from Philip Klein’s column in the Examiner, looking at how Mitt Romney is criticizing Perry.

Mitt Romney doubled down on his attack against Texas Gov. Rick Perry this afternoon, warning in an interview with Sean Hannity that his critique of Social Security amounted to “terrible politics” that would cost Republicans the election. Romney’s decision to pile on suggests that he’s willing to play the “granny card” against Perry if it will help him get elected, a tactic more becoming of the likes of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz than a potential Republican nominee.

And here’s a Byron York column from the Examiner looking at how Michele Bachmann is taking the same approach.

…another Republican rival, Michele Bachmann, is preparing to hit Perry on the same issue. “Bernie Madoff deals with Ponzi schemes, not the grandparents of America,” says a Bachmann adviser.  “Clearly she feels differently about the value of Social Security than Gov. Perry does.  She believes Social Security needs to be saved, that it’s an important safety net for Americans who have paid into it all their lives.” … “She strongly disagrees with his position on that…”

Shame on Romney and Bachmann. With an inflation-adjusted long-run shortfall of about $28 trillion, Social Security is a Ponzi scheme on steroids.

But as I explain in this video, that’s just part of the problem. The program also is a terrible deal for workers, particularly young people and minorities.

Here’s what’s so frustrating. Romney and Bachmann almost certainly understand that Social Security is actuarially bankrupt. And they probably realize that personal retirement accounts are the only long-run answer.

But they’re letting political ambition lure them into saying things that they know are not true. Why? Because they think Perry will lose votes and they can improve their respective chances of getting the GOP nomination.

Sounds like a smart approach, assuming truth and morality don’t matter.

But here’s what’s so ironic. The Romney and Bachmann strategy is only astute if Social Security is sacrosanct and personal accounts are political poison.

But as I noted last year, the American public supports personal accounts by a hefty margin. And former President Bush won two elections while supporting Social Security reform. And election-day polls confirmed that voters supported personal accounts.

I’m not a political scientist, so maybe something has changed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Perry benefited from the left-wing demagoguery being utilized by Romney and Bachmann.

P.S. This does not mean Perry has the right answer. As far as I know, he hasn’t endorsed personal accounts. But at least he’s telling the truth about Social Security being unsustainable.

Related posts:

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 12)

U.S. Senator Rand Paul Speaks at Cato University 2011 Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Sep 6, 2011 http://www.cato.org/multimedia/subscribe.php U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke at this year’s Cato University on everything from national healthcare and the commerce clause to spending cuts and social security reform. Cato University is the Cato Institute’s premier educational event of the […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 11)

Dan Mitchell on Social Security Uploaded by catoinstitutevideo on Aug 19, 2010 Discussing the troubles facing social security, with Mark Walsh, Left Jab host and Dan Mitchell, Cato Institute. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with […]

 

Milton Friedman discusses Reagan and Reagan discusses Friedman

Uploaded by YAFTV on Aug 19, 2009 Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman discusses the principles of Ronald Reagan during this talk for students at Young America’s Foundation’s 25th annual National Conservative Student Conference MILTON FRIEDMAN ON RONALD REAGAN In Friday’s WSJ, Milton Friedman reflectedon Ronald Reagan’s legacy. (The link should work for a few more […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 10)

Milton Friedman – The Social Security Myth Uploaded by LibertyPen on Mar 5, 2010 Using Social Security as his prime example, Professor Friedman explodes the myth that the major expansions in government resulted from popular demand. In a speech delivered more than 30 years ago, he directly relates this dynamic to today’s health care debate. […]

 

Rick Perry’s answer in Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

I really like Rick Perry because he was right when he called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme” which it is. How did he do in the last debate? You be the judge by watching his response above. Rick Perry’s Moment Posted by Roger Pilon Last night POLITICO Arena asked: Who won the Reagan debate? My […]

 

Cain’s 9-9-9 plan center stage at Republican debate of October 11, 2011 (with video clip)

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan did steal the show at the Republican debate of October 11, 2011. Take a look at this article below: The Republican presidential debate in Hanover, N.H. (AP) There was one clear winner from Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, based on the simple metrics of name recognition: businessman Herman Cain’s “9-9-9 Plan.” Virtually […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 9)

Sen. Hutchison Speaks at the Heritage Foundation Forum on Saving Social Security Uploaded by SenatorHutchison on Jun 21, 2011 Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison delivered remarks regarding her landmark proposal on entitlement reform, the Defend and Save Social Security Act at the Heritage Foundation’s “Saving Social Security” event. Sen. Hutchison announced that Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 8)

IOUSA Solutions: Part 1 of 5 Uploaded by LibertyPen on Jan 8, 2009 Professor Williams explains what’s ahead for Social Security Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. The Case for (Carve-Out) […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 7)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 7) IOUSA Solutions: Part 2 of 5 Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Personal Accounts Build More Than Just Assets by Andrew Biggs This article […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 6)

Further Reforms to Modernize Social Security — Saving the American Dream Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on May 24, 2011 http://www.savingthedream.org | Currently deep in debt, America’s Social Security program doesn’t look very secure. Today there is a new plan to get it back on track. David John, Senior Research Fellow in Retirement Security at The Heritage […]

 

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending

Republicans need to tackle runaway entitlement spending Uploaded by NatlTaxpayersUnion on Feb 15, 2011 Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, speaks at Moving Forward on Entitlements: Practical Steps to Reform, NTUF’s entitlement reform event at CPAC, on Feb. 11, 2011. __________________________ I am disappointed in some of the Republicans who do not want […]

 

Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney have the money coming in

I really like Ron Paul and Rick Perry. Only three Republican presidential candidates are worth any money _ campaign money, that is. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have banked millions. But the other GOP candidates are struggling or broke, putting their candidacies in question four months before the first nominating contests take place. […]

 

Rick Perry says Social Security is a Ponzi scheme

Rick Perry says Social Security is a Ponzi scheme Rick Perry and Mitt Romney went after each other at the debate over this term “Ponzi scheme.” Over and over Rick Perry has said that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and I agree with him. John Brummett asserted,”Rick Perry was last week’s savior, but then he […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 5)

 IOUSA Solutions: Part 3 of 5 Uploaded by IOUSAtheMovie on Aug 25, 2010 The award-winning documentary I.O.U.S.A. opened up America’s eyes to the consequences of our nation’s debt and the need for our government to show more fiscal responsibility. Now that more Americans and elected officials are aware of our fiscal challenges, the producers of […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 4) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Trains, Pensions, and Economic Freedom by Timothy B. Lee This article appeared on Forbes.com on August 17, 2011. recently […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 3)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 3) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. This is a series of articles that look at this issue. Personal Accounts and the Savings Rate by Timothy B. Lee This article appeared on Forbes.com on September 11, 2011 […]

 

Rick Perry’s Ponzi-scheme claim is in no way unprecedented

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney went after each other at the debate over this term “Ponzi scheme.” Janet M. LaRue   Romney’s Ponzi Phobia 9/19/2011 When it comes to Social Security, Republicans should stop treating seniors like the feeble-minded demographic portrayed in commercials written by 13-year-olds on Madison Avenue. It’s like the home security commercial […]

 

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 2)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 2) John Stossel – Government’s Ponzi Scheme Uploaded by LibertyPen on Apr 21, 2010 A look at the Social Security system. By contrast, Bernie Madoff seems like a shoplifter. http://www.LibertyPen.com Uploaded by LibertyPen on Jan 8, 2009 Professor Williams explains what’s ahead for Social Security ______________________________ Governor Rick […]

 

Only difference between Ponzi scheme and Social Security is you can say no to Ponzi Scheme jh2d

Is Social Security  a Ponzi Scheme? I just started a series on this subject. In this article below you will see where the name “Ponzi scheme” came from and if it should be applied to the Social Security System. Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! 9/14/2011 | Email John Stossel | Columnist’s Archive Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! There, I […]

 

Despite Brantley’s view,Social Security really is a Ponzi scheme (Part 1) (jh1d)

Social Security is a Ponzi scheme (Part 1) Governor Rick Perry got in trouble for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and I totally agree with that. Max Brantley wants to keep insisting that this will be Perry’s downfall but  think that truth will win out this time around. This is a series of articles […]

Brantley: Republicans will pay for opposing tax increases

Today on the Arkansas Times Blog Max Brantley asserted:

 A growing number of polls show Republican voters think their representatives in Congress are too extreme — opposing any tax increases — and have not done enough to work out the debt ceiling problem.

Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack don’t need no stinkin’ polls.

I do not think that the American people want their taxes raised right now. That may be contrary to what President Obama thinks though. In the article, “Myths of Tax Cuts for Rich, Spending Cuts for Poor,” published on May 3, 2011 by Brian Riedl, the case is made that the rich pay a higher percentage of the total taxes than they have in a long time. He notes, “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the richest 20 percent of taxpayers now shoulder a record 86 percent of the federal income tax burden. By comparison in 1981 it was 64 percent and in 2001 it was 81 percent.

Below is the complete article:

Conventional wisdom becomes dangerous when it contradicts analysis and evidence. On the federal budget, for example, we’re told that the rich are evading their fair share of the tax burden while the poor are seeing their spending slashed.

These assumptions have consequences. The president’s deficit commission — which maintains that everything is on the table — left the $638 billion federal anti-poverty budget virtually untouched. Others assert that finally soaking the rich will close the budget deficit.

Basic government data reveal this conventional wisdom to be flat wrong: Anti-poverty spending is at record levels. The rich are shouldering more of the tax burden than ever. The federal budget is more redistributive than ever.

First, let’s examine taxes. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the richest 20 percent of taxpayers now shoulder a record 86 percent of the federal income tax burden. This is substantially higher than when Ronald Reagan took office (64 percent) and even higher than when George W. Bush took office (81 percent).

How could the tax code become even more progressive after President Bush’s tax cuts? Imagine an income tax cut that reduces Montgomery Burns’ tax from $95,000 to $85,000 and Homer Simpson’s tax from $5,000 to $0. Mr. Burns saves more dollars, but the Simpsons see a larger percentage reduction in their taxes. As a result, Mr. Burns goes from paying 95 percent of the combined tax burden up to 100 percent.

This happened with the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Although Mr. Bush reduced taxes for wealthy individuals, he also cut the lowest income tax bracket by one-third and doubled the refundable child tax credit — taking 10 million low-income families off the income tax rolls. In fact, the poorest 40 percent of households now pay zero income taxes, and many actually receive checks from Washington on April 15.

Examining all federal taxes — including corporate, payroll and excise taxes — doesn’t significantly change the story. In 1980, the richest 20 percent financed 55 percent of all federal revenue. Today, they finance a record 69 percent. In that time, the portion of all taxes paid by the top 1 percent has doubled. The portion paid by the bottom 40 percent has dropped nearly in half.

The data are clear. Nearly every year, the federal tax burden tilts even further toward upper-income taxpayers. Seekers of a more progressive tax policy should answer two questions: If 86 percent of the income tax burden is not enough, how much should the top 20 percent of taxpayers pay? And if the bottom 40 percent paying no income taxes is not sufficient, what is?

The flip side of the “tax cuts for the rich” mantra has been “spending cuts for the poor.” Again, the official government data flatly contradict the conventional wisdom.

According to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, federal anti-poverty spending has soared from $190 billion in 1990 to $348 billion in 2000, and to a staggering $638 billion this year (all adjusted for inflation). The growth since 2000 has been particularly remarkable in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (470 percent), food stamps (229 percent), energy assistance (163 percent), child care assistance (89 percent) and Medicaid (80 percent).

These expansions have been bipartisan: Mr. Bush — unfairly derided as bad for poor people — became the first president to spend more than 3 percent of the nation’s income on anti-poverty programs. President Obama then pushed it above 4 percent. In fact, since 1990, anti-poverty spending as a share of national income has expanded as fast as Social Security, Medicare, defense and education — combined.

So why the perceived “spending cuts for the poor”? Because anti-poverty spending increases (as large as $60 billion annually) occur automatically, and therefore go largely unnoticed. Yet any lawmaker proposing to shave even $1 billion off that growth is loudly attacked for “declaring war” on the safety net.

Missing is any broader context. Also missing is serious engagement with Robert Rector’s research displaying the ineffectiveness of much of this spending.

Washington faces enormous budgetary problems, including trillion-dollar deficits and the exploding costs of Social Security and Medicare. A lack of redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor is not one of those problems.

Brian Riedl is the Grover M. Hermann fellow in federal budgetary affairs at the Heritage Foundation