Wednesday, 7/20/11, Public Square

U.S. federal government tax receipts as a percentage of GDP from 1945 to 2015 (note that 2010 to 2015 data are estimated)

Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. It is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living (wiki).

From fiscal year 1946 to fiscal year 2007, federal tax receipts as a percentage of gross domestic product averaged 17.9%.  However, 2009 tax collections, at 15% of GDP, were the lowest level of the past 50 years and 4.5 percentage points lower than Hauser’s law suggests.   The proposition was first put forward in 1993 by William Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment economist, who wrote, “No matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP.”

But current revenue is about 14.5% of GDP (Clinton is the last president who pushed the rate over 19.5%)

What say ye bloggers?  Is Hauser’s law sensible?  If so, how much is the U. S. under taxing each year?


Filed under The Public Square

34 responses to “Wednesday, 7/20/11, Public Square

  1. This is an interesting article. They make the case: To win independents, motivate your base.

    Independent voters are actually closet partisans

  2. There aren’t enough morning hours before it gets unbearably hot. Didn’t someone say longer grass has a better chance of retaining some moisture? 😉 I’m trying hard to keep green growy things alive in the hope that this fall outside will be a pleasant place again.

    • Keep the grass at a minimum of 3″ (longer is better) to retain moisture. It seems to me that the 1980 fall wasn’t all that great, using that year as a comparison as this year seems to be quite a bit like it.

  3. indypendent

    This may be a naive question to ask – but if Republicans are so worried about raising the current taxes on people, then why don’t they at least attempt to create those jobs that they promised when they were campaigning in 2010?

    I mean – wouldn’t more people working mean more tax revenues coming in without anyone’s taxes being raised?

    I’ve yet to hear a single Republican come up with this strategy.

    • They were really busy. Obviously too busy to address jobs — the one area they promised would be their first and most important priority. Like always — they don’t do what they promise but that’s OK because their constituents have amnesia and they forget lots of things while remembering only what they choose to remember.

  4. indypendent

    A Yale Constitutional Professor was on Rachel Maddow’s show last night and they were discussing Obama using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.

    According to this guy, Obama would certainly have that power to but a real crisis would have to be in effect when he did this act.

    In other words – the markets would have to start falling and all hell would have to break loose before he could actually use the 14th Amendment option.

    And like I said yesterday, which I think I did not make myself very clear, is that perhaps this is what Obama needs to do – put his foot down and make the Republicans take us over the cliff – then Obama could invoke the 14th Amendment.

    Any other way Obama would use the 14th Amendment is going to be spun by the Republicans as Obama being a dictator and/or Chicago mob boss (we’ve all heard that before -haven’t we?)

    But, of course, once Obama uses the 14th Amendment the question then becomes will the markets respond favorably to that?

    I like the idea of getting rid of the debt ceiling all together. I mean, what is the use of having a debt ceiling when Ronald Reagan raised it 17 times and still tripled the deficit?

  5. indypendent

    Another way to raise tax revenues would be to make it possible for illegals to become legal citizens.

    Again – wouldn’t that make more sense for these illegals to be paying taxes into the system.

    But we couldn’t have that now could we? I mean, where would those that currently exploit the cheap illegal labor go to make their tax-free insane profits?

    Why, that would be un-American…..eyes roll…

    • A bunch of illegals already pay payroll taxes, including both FICA and income tax. They’ve acquired their job with real a real SS number many times. They don’t file taxes so everything deducted stays right there — no refunds, all too often no claims on the social security or Medicare.

      • indypendent

        I was thinking of those illegals that are paid under the table – knowingly by those employers who want to exploit the cheap labor.

        I suspect my daughter’s SSN was used by an illegal because a few years ago she received a letter from the IRS wanting her to pay several thousand dollars of unpaid income taxes. My kids got their SSN’s in Arizona and when she wrote to the IRS requesting a photocopy of the W-4 that was used in the reporting of those wages the unpaid taxes were levied on – the IRS wrote her back and said to disregard the matter because they determined it was not her.

      • indypendent

        BTW – my daughter never did get that photocopy of the W-4 that was used to get those wages. Is there some privacy law that pertains to this scenario?

        I assumed if something was done on your SSN, that you had the right to know who was trying to use your number.

      • During the 18 months I served on a federal grand jury we were presented many cases where social security numbers were used without the true holder’s knowledge. I can tell you those who do the using are often indicted and face the federal courts. I have no idea about the true holder of the number and their circumstances.

        We were told children’s ss numbers are the most frequently used because they’re inactive and there’s less chance of the user being found out. Parents are asked to put their dependent children’s ss numbers on their tax returns but evidently there is no cross checking to see whether those numbers are being used anywhere else, and that’s about the only time a child’s ss number is ever used until they’re well into their teens and might look for that first job or enter college.

      • indypendent

        Thanks for the info….fnord.

        My daughter was quite upset to think the IRS was after her for taxes on wages she never earned.

        But I do have to give the IRS credit (yes, the government did do its job) in the way they handled this situation. Once she contacted them, they must have known what they were dealing with and gave her written proof that she was off the hook.

        I imagine they see this kind of thing happen often?

  6. I didn’t get to watch, but imho, he is correct. The question becomes just how bad it has to get to be a crisis where politically the 14th Amendment can be used without impeachment following. I’m still a bit bothered by the language in the provision as to the extent of the Executive’s power to act unilaterally. I don’t think it’s as broad as others, and could add to the misery rather than resolve it.

    • indypendent

      That’s my thinking also. If Obama is forced to use this option, then he needs to be sure it is not going to be a beacon for the Republicans to paint him into some political box – and with the election coming – that is exactly what the Republicans want to happen.

      After all, they have all made it their stated mission to make Obama a one-term president.

      Isn’t it telling that when proclaiming mission of tearing down Obama, these same folks never talked about how to resolve our country’s problems.

      Partisan politics is a cancer that will eat everything in its way.

      • They have no ideas. Everything they talk about — and that’s when they’re forced to say something more than criticisms of President Obama — goes back to Reagan, and the Bush duo. They scream ‘cut taxes’ at the tops of their lungs. They ignore the effects. The ignore the fact that taxes are the lowest they’ve been for 60 years. Same failed policies is all they’ve got.

  7. I’m not able to even begin to understand how anyone could justify crashing the world’s economy as a political maneuver. It’s easy to understand the Republicans don’t want the economy to improve and have high hopes they’ll be elected because it hasn’t. But to send America back into a deep recession, to have a negative effect on everyone world wide? No comprehension here.

    • indypendent

      I cannot comprehend that either – but then again the Republicans still proudly parade their bithers around – don’t they?

      I think people lose all sense of right and wrong when they are constantly worshiping that Golden Idol of Money-Money-Money for Me-Me-Me..

  8. indypendent

    Speaking of Republican birthers – have you heard the latest conspiracy theory that Obama manufactured this Aug 2 default date as a ruse to enhance his biggest fundraising for his big birthday bash?

    Wow…..what else can be said about this much nonsense…

    • Yes, I did hear this. I hardly am surprised any longer at how outrageous they can be. Just another example of not being able to talk sense to a person / people who aren’t sensible thinkers.

  9. indypendent

    Did you also hear how the report of Michele Bachmann’s history of migraine headaches was leaked by The Daily Caller – which just so happens to be Tucker Carlson’s website. Imagine that – a Conservative Republican out to take down one of their own.

    I am no fan of Michelle Bachmann and I hate her narrow version of Christianity, but in this case I do give her credit for facing this controversy head on (no pun intended).

    I do think a candidate’s health history should be a factor in an election but the way this was done, leaves me to thinking that the good ol’ boys of the GOP are not happy with their little Michelle. But don’t they love her when she is demonizing Obama at every turn?

    But it was also interesting to hear one news reporter state that alot of liberals are coming to Michelle’s defense. I do hope Michele Bachmann has the grace and good conscience to acknowledge the liberals who are defending her in this and she needs to pin the blame on exactly where it belongs – her fellow Conservative male Republican.

    • She is a woman and the GOP has made their opinion of females perfectly clear. That’s another thing I don’t comprehend — women voting GOP.

  10. FDR tells the truth about the leaders of the modern Republican party. Somehow, in 1936, he foresaw what would be happening NOW.

    • The real truth is that the Republican Party hasn’t changed that much since 1936 with regard to their talking points. Oh yes they’ve become more populated with crazies but they’re still saying the same words.

  11. Another Republican comes out and clearly states the party stance on females. If you don’t ‘get it’ yet, take a close look at the legislation they concentrate on, and listen to them speak. The GOP is dead set on pushing their anti-woman agenda.

    Excerpts from an email by Congressman Allen B West (R-FL):

    “Look, Debbie . . . let me make myself perfectly clear . . . you are the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. . . You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!”

    Does he think this is the manner adult gentlemen behave?

    • indypendent

      I just got back on here and was going to post what I heard Debbie Wasserman-Shultz told Andrea Mitchell about this Allen West.

      Did you know that Allen West is one of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’ constituents?

      I did not know that and from the face Andrea Mitchell made, I don’t think she knew this fact either. I’ve been trying to figure out how this is possible. Doesn’t one have to live in the district they are running for the office?

      Back to Allen West’s rude behavior – just do some research into this guy and there are numerous things that jump out and make me go WTF…

      • Constitutionally, no; the candidate must only be a resident of the state. That said, many states have the resident of the district requirement, but it would appear Florida does not.

      • indypendent

        Thanks for the info……6176

        It does seem wrong, though, for someone to represent a district when they are not even a resident – but I’m sure that was a factor in the election.


    Take a look at this wiki page. Does this mean our country’s founders never intended for “In God We Trust” to be on our money? Or at minimum Benjamin Franklin didn’t have that in mind. I’ve always wondered what God thinks of having His name on our money, and I’ve concluded He would liken it to a graven image since money is held in such high regard by so many and not be so happy about the whole idea.

    • indypendent

      Alot of these Far-Right Religous Republicans love to have the never-ending debate about how our Founding Fathers were all such Fundamental Christians and they wanted God in every aspect of life.

      But I have to wonder – if that is true, then why did the use the word ‘Creator’ instead of God alot of times?

      And why were they adamant about that guaranteed right of freedom OF religion.

      I have never seen a Far-Right Religious Republican admit that if there was no freedom of religion -then their Christianity religion would not be guaranteed either.

      But I’ve noticed the people who are so the loudest complailners about freedom of religion are the Far Right Christians who want ONLY their religion to be recognized.

      I assume we’ve all heard about Herman Cain and his latest statement that he believes people have the right to ban mosques being built .

      Just imagine the uproar from these very same people who support Herman Cain if the word Baptist church, or Catholic cathedral, or Pentecostal church was substituted for mosque.

      Damn……all hell would break loose and Satan would be nowhere in sight

    • indypendent

      When will our Far Right Wingers get it through their heads that all families – not just the heterosexual white male and white female with 2.5 children all with blonde hair and blue eyes – should be encouraged and cherished?

      I know of several families who are not even blood related and yet they are a real family.

      Rather than fighting about who does not have the right to marry and have families, let’s encourage all families.

      And to start on that endeavor, why don’t the Focus on Family Gang get after their precious Republicans to start creating those jobs they promised when they ran for election in 2010.

  13. indypendent

    Look who’s fundraising off his rude behavior. Please note in this article Mr. West told Huffington Post that he apologized to Debbie Wasserman-Shultz but accorrding to Rep. Wasserman-Shult – no apology has been heard nor seen.
    So is West lying to Huffingtonpost?

    Hmm……a Republican fundraising off his rude behavior, now where has that been done before . Oh yeah, that’s right, Joe Wilson from SC shouted out during the SOTU address and called Obama a liar.

    Hmm, West said he has apologized but yet the target of his rude behavior says he has not apologized. I wonder if Joe Wilson will call West a liar?

    Republicans must take people for fools to think this type of behavior is acceptable.

    But the partisan Republicans love it when their bullies throw their weight around on the playground. but I wonder how they will feel when that bully gets his ass handed back to him?

    I know, I know……these partisans will play the victim card. You know, it’s the liberal media out to get them.

    Isn’t it a shame that rupert Murdoch is having his own troubles or I suspect Fox News would be in 24/7 demonization mode to help West and his fellow bullies to feel good about themselves.