Repost: Overton Window of the Top Marginal Income Tax Rate in the US

Dec 15 2010 Published by under BikeMonkey, General Politics

This is a repost of something I originally put up at my blog. It is still relevant. It is always relevant.

Sadly, this is probably news to you. Look at it.

it comes from the Wikipedia on the top marginal US tax rates from 1913-2009.

When did our fair country experience wonderful growth, prosperity, expansion of the middle class and overall good economic shit? When did we have recession, division into haves / have-nots and other bad things? hmmm?

dumb ass trailer park republican voters are to blame for this shit.

12 responses so far

  • Matthew says:

    "dumb ass trailer park republican voters are to blame for this shit. "

    I'm not sure this is the point you want to make. Are you really saying that trailer park residents shouldn't vote?

  • BikeMonkey says:

    Are you really saying that trailer park residents shouldn’t vote?

    In what theoretical universe of possible things that I could be saying is it remotely likely that I am suggesting disenfranchisement of anyone? Fascinating that your mind should go there.

    But since it is not obvious to you, I'm not. I'm saying that they should vote in their own financial (not to mention social and vocational) best interest. Voting for politicians (or policies directly via the ballot initiative) that favor shifting the tax burden away from the insanely wealthy (who can afford it) onto those who are considerably poorer is not in their best interest. The notion of trickle down has been utterly falsified and this graph, combined with an understanding of the relative wealth and privilege of the middle versus astronomically wealthy classes and our general economic health, is one way to make that slightly clearer.

    I guaranfreekingtee you that if there was some general polling asking people to report the top marginal tax rate across the past century that the US public would not come even remotely close to matching this graph. Thanks to the Overton strategy.

  • FrauTech says:

    Love it.

    I think your point is pretty clear "dumb ass trailer park republicans" not "intelligent trailer park residents". I come from a long line of trailer park residents and the last Republican, though not a "proud democrat" is "no longer a republican." So trailer parks can still pump out good, thinking people. I'm reposting this graph on my own blog because I think everyone needs to repost this and everyone needs to see this graph. If we were as clever as the neo-cons we'd be fashioning our own left wing movement to show people the truth. It may not get as much traction being generally opposed by all the big media conglomerates and big business, but hey got to start somewhere.

  • Matthew says:

    So, you're not saying that anyone should stop voting. You just think they're dumb because they disagree with you. I get it.

    Isn't it also possible that at least some of the "dumb ass trailer park republicans" are voting based on principles? that some people might consider forced distribution of wealth immoral?

  • BikeMonkey says:

    You just think they’re dumb because they disagree with you.

    Not quite. I think they are dumb because they complain about the economic situation of self and country, vote for the party and policies that are most responsible for that situation and then fall hook line and sinker for the counter-factual arguments ("trickle down", HAHHAHAAHHA; "the insanely rich will stop investing if you tax them a tiny bit more", HAHAAHAHAH, etc) advanced. Also because they can't do math, see next....

    that some people might consider forced distribution of wealth immoral?

    First of all, they do not. Sure you have some really extreme nutjobs who are really for flat tax schemes or no-tax schemes and really mean it. Most people do not in the sense that if you handed them the results of their fantasy no-redistribution world they'd be crying like babies in a trice. not enough of the former to make a difference-what support did Steve Forbes get? Part of the Overton strategy to be sure, but not enough to explain the current and past central tendency

    What you do find more recognizable proportions of people doing is parroting back talking points about "too high quells investment" and "death taxes are so high they will take the family farm/business". So the arguments are not over the mere fact of re-distributing wealth, they are over predictions about the dire things that will occur given an *increase* or failure to support a moderate *decrease*.

    And those predictions are usually falsified. In this case, the points made in this post are far stronger evidence than the political talking points about how minor increases (40% ? Oh, the horrors!!!!!) are going to stop all investment. that's why I mean they can't do math with respect to, say, the odds the estate tax changes proposed will actually affect *their* family farm or business, the vast majority of which are under any of the cutoffs that have been proposed in recent attempts to discuss estate taxation.

  • Neuro-conservative says:

    BikeMonkey -- This chart, I do not think it means what you think it means. Economic growth has coincided with low rates, especially after the tax cuts of the early 20's, early 60's, and early 80's. Even the Clinton tax increases of the 90's were counterbalanced by a capital gains tax cut.

    DrugMonkey -- Why do you let BM troll your blog? His posts uniformly suck.

  • drugmonkey says:

    ...just to entertain your outrage muscles, N-c. We gotta keep you in shape!

  • becca says:

    "Isn’t it also possible that at least some of the “dumb ass trailer park republicans” are voting based on principles? that some people might consider forced distribution of wealth immoral?"
    Of course some people feel that way. I vote for democratic party candidates on the principle that all inequalities in wealth are immoral, and the notion of private property mythical. However, neither I, nor my *exact ideological counterparts* of which you speak, are really going to get what we want with any mainstream political party, are we?

    Neuro-conservative- you may have a point about the 60s or the 80s, but the 20s? Really? How was the great depression a time of economic growth, exactly? I hate to break it to you, but most people don't want a roaring decade followed by soup lines.

    Also, I note that the tax rate was being cut from a top marginal rate of 73% in the 20s; from 91% in 1963, and from 70% in 1980. Right now the marginal tax rate *unprecedentedly low* compared to those periods- how do we know tax cuts would have the same effect they did then? It seems a bit to me like saying "look, cutting an infant's fat intake from 90% to 70% was followed by less obese adults! Therefore, we should cut all infant's fat intake from 39% to 35%, because it will reduce the risk of colon cancer!"
    For one thing, we can't assume that a decrease from 90% to 70% will have the same effect as a decrease from 39% to 35%.
    For another thing, *you* may characterize one outcome as good, but *we* may not care much about it. For example you say we'll get 'economic growth' (e.g. the stock market in the 20s) but that might not up with the outcome we care about (e.g. people having long-term stability in their homes, jobs, and ability to feed their families).

  • BikeMonkey says:

    No, becca, Neuro-con does not have a point about the 80s and early 90s. Reaganomics begat the Bush I dismality. We only came out of it with Clinton due to two factors. One, general confidence (always a HUGE factor in the economy) brought about by a change from failed Repub economic policies and two, the high-tech revolution. This latter was GenX smarts and most certainly had zero to do with the fantastically rich being all [sarcasm]"oh, now we're ready to invest our money since the taxes on capital gains and our top slice of income are acceptable to us"[/sarcasm]. The smart investors saw the high tech booming (again, due to smarts, timing, innovation and NOT tax policy) and they would have jumped on board no matter what tax policy was in play.

    Don't fall for this GOP talking point revisionist history crap.

  • Funky Fresh says:

    I’m not sure this is the point you want to make. Are you really saying that trailer park residents shouldn’t vote?

    Yes.

  • Matthew says:

    I don't understand you guys. I've never voted republican, I have no ties to the GOP but even I can understand the link between taxation and economic health. Hell, even the current administration understands it to some extent. I'm not saying that's the whole picture of economics, but it certainly plays a big role.

    Becca, I agree with you about 2 party politics. My only point js... well, I'll say it again, "You [DM] just think they’re dumb because they disagree with you." That's kinda childish IMO. DM may have legitimate disagreement with some voters, but that doesn't make them stupid.

  • BikeMonkey says:

    1210 billionaires. A biiiiiilllllyon dollars.

    What does a billion $$ mean, anyway?

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