Texas Officially Makes The Universe Ageless

I’m reaching for the low hanging fruit here, mostly because we haven’t had a new headline here in a while, so here we go.

Texas Officially Makes The Universe Ageless

I don’t think anyone here is going to get too excited about this, but maybe we can twist it to talk about the US auto industry or something in a few replies.

66 Responses to “Texas Officially Makes The Universe Ageless”

  1. shcb Says:

    Wow, telling kids they should explore all the possibilities, that is scandalous. Just one more reason for vouchers.

  2. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    That damn science again? If we can’t trust it for the climate, it can’t date the universe either?

  3. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    See, this is like when knarly get upset when 9/11 gets tied in the Queen being a lizard person.

    If you take article. Global warming and intelligent design are both conservative talking points. We’ve debated the one here quite a bit and it keeps on going. However the age of the universe is one of those really well established and pretty precise things.

    This again goes to the ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ problem. Better get those kids some vouchers so they can have less science and more Bible study.

  4. shcb Says:

    I’m all for more science and math at the expense of volunteerism and environmental religion. I’m also for a more competitive atmosphere and better discipline, teaching the word of God religion is best handled in Sunday school but it shouldn’t be completely dismissed either. Legislating a complete ban on an idea or ideal is just as bad if not worse than legislating only one idea or ideal is correct. It seems to me teaching the strengths of evolution versus the weakness of creationism would be a good scientific discussion; and would ultimately make the case for evolution stronger. I grew up going to religion classes every Wednesday night and science classes every day, but religion was discussed in school, science won out for me.

    From what I have seen in these discussions is for the most part conservative “talking points” are mostly to let both sides of the story be told.

  5. NorthernLite Says:

    “Conservative Talking Points” are generally created to confuse the public to support Conservative ideology, regardless of what’s good for the country or mankind. Often they appeal to the lowest common denominator. Luckily, most aren’t buying that bullshit anymore and with the Internet it’s easy to research facts for oneself.

    They do still pick a few suckers though…

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    The Queen is not a lizard person! (She’s just starting to look like one because of her age.)
    God save the queen.

  7. shcb Says:

    Well, NL’s response was silly in an Enkyesk sort of way; let’s see if we can salvage something from it. At what point does something become a talking point? I think by definition, when a common point is sent to group of people from a central location. To stop calling this the “war on terror” for instance; but it can also be changing a company slogan. Now that has been expanded to include just using the same language as someone else, unfortunately I think we can blame Rush for that.

    Ok, one of my patented analogies, I meticulously document my gas mileage for a period of time and then start using Ajax brand fuel additive. After another period of time I document a 15% increase in fuel economy, exactly what the company advertises. So being the kind of guy that likes to tell people stuff I start telling all my friends about this wonderful product, at some point someone will say I am just a shill for the company and am just repeating the company line. Well, I suppose I am, but that is because I have found what they have said to be true and constructive. In the clinical sense I’m not speaking talking points because no one from Ajax has asked me to say these things. Is the company wrong? Not from what I have seen. Should I shut up and keep my findings to myself? I suppose I could, but I don’t want to. It would make that one fellow happy, but he works for Cogswell Cogs and I have found their fuel additive to not work very well. I have the data to prove it.

    Now of course so much of what we talk about in politics isn’t that cut and dried, some of it is a matter of taste, substitute your favorite flavor of ice cream above. And so much of it can’t be quantified because the moment was fleeting and we don’t have a parallel universe to see what would have happened if an alternative would have been tried, all we can do is point to similar situations, and then how similar that situation becomes subjective. I don’t know, just some idle ramblings.

    Hardly a post goes by that Enky doesn’t tell me to STOP listening to and reading the people I find credible, JBC thinks I have a mental problem, at one point everyone here thought I was under the control of Dick Cheney personally. I think it is an interesting study to see people who are attached to a group that prides itself on being free thinkers and proponents of diversity wanting so desperately to legally stop people from speaking their minds.

    As so many conservative pundits have said in the past :-)

  8. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    Eh, I still think my initial point is valid. If that article had not mentioned GW we’d have collectively just shaken our heads at Texas.

    “I grew up going to religion classes every Wednesday night and science classes every day, but religion was discussed in school, science won out for me.” is fine.

    What my problem is, is that the people in Texas who want to stack the deck vs. science are winning out. But then again, I’m not someone who just sees science as another way of thinking about things, like most religious folks are.

  9. shcb Says:

    I too am logical enough to maintain a clear line between scientific evidence and belief, whatever that belief might be, many religious folks aren’t.

    Let me move this is slightly different direction. You kind of touched on federalism, I like the idea that if Texas wants to teach a little religion with a little science that should be their prerogative, and if New York doesn’t, that is ok too, if for no other reason than those of us that don’t live in either place can study the results from afar without the consequences of their actions. Now of course there are limits in polite society on both ends of that spectrum, we’re just talking about that gray area in the middle. In this case I would even go so far as to say the people in upstate New York may have a different set of sensibilities as those in the city. How local do you think these decisions should be?

  10. enkidu Says:

    actually shcb, I ask you repeatedly to try some other venues for information. Your steady diet of AM hate radio, rush, fauxnews and right wing web sites make you spectacularly ill informed on most of the important issues that face us in 21st century America.

    I don’t go to Pravda for my info and only read the wiki article on the communist manifesto [meh, not so bad, not good, but considering the era where these ideas came from, not so Absolute Utter Evil] after you claimed it was our bible or what we libs ‘believed’ in or some such similar nonsense.

    No one wants to take away your first amendment right to make a fool of yourself.

    What can you say about Texas… just as right wingers look at California and shake their heads, anyone left of shcb looks at Texas and does the same.

  11. shcb Says:

    In all fairness, if you look at the Fox news pieces, they are usually, maybe 70% of the time, reprints of other news feeds. Many times they even have a link to the original story. I read plenty of other stuff but I have Fox front and center on my Igoogle home page so that is the first place I see things.

  12. NorthernLite Says:

    Did you guys know that the difference between capitalism and socialism is 3%? Yup, changing a tax rate from 36% to 39% will give you a socialist society, crazy eh?! I just learned that on Fox News.

  13. shcb Says:

    good to hear you’re finally catching on, listen more often and you may become almost logical.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

  15. enkidu Says:

    After decades of handing the rich more and more tax breaks, having the tax rate rise just 3% and BOOM, we are all Karl Marx.

    This beard sure is scratchy, comrade.

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    Slim chance of even 36%, USA remains safely capitalist under Obama. http://www.intrade.com/index.jsp?request_operation=trade&request_type=action&selConID=575696

  17. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah, apprently the tax rate was 39% from 1993 to about 2001. Does anyone remeber how the economy performed during that period? And what about the period from 2001 – 2009, how did that work out?

  18. enkidu Says:

    Why that first time period was the Clinton presidency, have you forgotten? It was the longest, strongest most sustained economic growth of the modern era. Sure, by the end of it, the .com bubble had burst, but the foundations for growth had been laid and the fed budget actually huge a big surplus! Why, you would have to be a complete moran to screw up the world’s strongest economy after such a huge period of growth and innovation.

    That second era was the bush years, where income growth was flat or negative for most folks, but the rich were given huge tax breaks (3%! ;-) We had the worst terrorist attacks on US soil ever (9/11, anthrax etc) the most stunning failures to protect Americans ever. We then whipped the Taliban’s ass but let the perp go and quickly pulled out to invade Iraq so as to stop the spread of those WMDz! Mission accomplished! no WMDs! woot! Economically things couldn’t be worse, as Hoover2 presided over the near collapse of the world financial markets due to his buddies (with some Dem help) deregulating everything they could get their rotten paws on. Unemployment skyrocketed and house prices plummeted. We were led by an incompetent frat boy with a bush league intellect and a partisan slant to everything. Epic fail. Beyond epic.

    The new era has begun with the election of Barack Hussein Obama (I mean seriously after 9/11 if you had told anyone that in late 2008 we’d elect a guy who had the middle name of Hussein, you would have been laughed off the street or worse. Yes that is just how badly the bushies f!cked up). The competence, intelligence and consummate political savvy of Barack (and his team, tho the team not so much) is already inspiring confidence in the USA and the world. Together we can face these challenges and usher in a new day for planet Earth. Transparency in gov, competence, addressing health care costs, total global nuclear disarmament, securing markets with judicious oversight and regulation, better environmental policy, better energy policy, spending on infrastructure, education and jobs. The wingnuts will rant and rave, promise violence, scream about the socialism! or the communism! the fascism! (make up your tiny minds) but in the end the extremists will be marginalized and forgotten.

    Yes, the road ahead will be bumpy, the next year or two will be bad, but the future is bright as science and reason, faith, hope and humility lead the way to a better tomorrow. Yes, we can. And yes, we will.

  19. shcb Says:

    Economists generally think that about one third is the limit for the top marginal rate so upwards of 40% will certainly be detrimental to an economy, of course the other half of the equation is spending. Determining whether an economic system is socialistic is probably more determined by how that tax money is spent. But I think it is a fair statement to say you are crossing a line at 40%. I heard once many months ago that the way that 39% is structured it is really an effective 51% but that was so long ago I don’t remember the details. It was way before the election.

  20. enkidu Says:

    shorter shcb:
    got that you dumb libs? 39% is an effective 51%!
    socialism also!

  21. shcb Says:

    Well, what can I say, you guys haven’t shown much skill at analysis.

  22. NorthernLite Says:

    Actually I think my analysis of you is spot on:

    You’re a redneck hillbilly (I don’t mean that in an overly bad way) whose world view is based mostly on 19/20th century logic. You’re unable to think for yourself – you get most of your thoughts from biased opinion-based sources and when people present you with facts to the contrary, you call them “liberals” or “socialists” and think that that somehow makes you superior ’cause it makes you feel good inside when you use those words. You hate “Arabs”, “gofers”, “Obama” and conceivably anything else that is brown in colour. You’re an older feller and inside your mind you’re still fighting old battles.

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    Hey have you guys been following the “personal letter” story between Obama and Medvedev? Apparently these two are becoming very trusting of each other and are developing a pretty close relationship. They’re working towards cutting each countries nuke stockpile by half to about 2000 warheads each (which is still ridiculous) but this is a very nice change from the past years where it was all about more weapons, missiles, tension, wars, etc.

    You guys have a really great president at the helm right now and I’m so glad you elected him.

  24. shcb Says:

    Well, you’re right on a couple points, wrong on most. But I was talking more about the analytical aspects of analysis. For instance, in this case all blame or credit is being placed on who the president was at the time, and that is fine for sport but for an adult conversation you have to include the makeup of congress as well. And this is just the very, very first level. There are many, many levels that would have to be analyzed. Remember, not a penny gets taxed or spent without congressional approval. Now there are things the president can do to change public policy without congressional approval and those rightly fall into lap of the president, for better or worse. But to say this president or that was in power when this or that happened so we can conclude… is not critical analysis, it is just emotional venting. And by and far that is all you guys do, which is fine, you don’t go to a comedy show expecting to hear a lecture on dysentery, you just need to be aware of what you are going to hear before you buy your ticket.

  25. J.A.Y.S.O.N. Says:

    The Federalism question is a good one. I always find it a fine line between that and the notion that our system is also supposed to protect minority groups from ‘the tyranny of the masses.’

    In this particular case I have to opt for the later. The problem I see is that there is a desire to ignore an established scientific fact to create a false sense of doubt and give a sense of false scientific credibility to a religious belief system, which ultimately is rooted in personal faith; because Fundamentalist Christians in that state are ultimately afraid that their religion ‘can’t take a punch’ so to speak.

    That’s not something I feel is fair to spend the taxpayer’s dollars on.

    What was more troubling to me was this issue of Texas being such a large purchaser of school books that ‘Texas edition’ books might become the norm for the rest of the country, because there is not enough money in it for the publishers to run two different versions. If that is true, then it’s a problem to me because it has a negative impact on people outside of Texas. If Texas choice is going to effect book publishing for the rest of the country, then part of the Texas state budget should be a fee on every book to offset printing the other versions for the rest of the states.

  26. enkidu Says:

    39 is not equivalent to 51
    that isn’t skewed analysis, it is fact
    perhaps it is a liberal fact in that it contradicts wingnut math, but that is reality

    I think that Obama will push for world nuclear disarmament.
    Queen Noor from Jordan was on a cable news show the other day talking about Global Zero, a movement to abolish nuclear weapons entirely. A noble cause.
    also related to nukes, there was an author on the daily show last night who wrote a book about Uranium. He threw out a statistic that the US alone has spent over 6 Trillion dollars (not sure if that is 6T 2009 dollars or 6T spread out over 70 years) developing nuclear weapons.

    as to texas
    Please keep your (insert religious text title here) out of my classroom
    Please keep your (insert religious text title here) out of my wife’s womb
    Please keep your (insert religious text title here) out of my life

    With so many wacked religions to choose (shcb, not chose) from I would prefer that you just keep it in your temple, church, synagog, mosque or whatever. The other wonderful thing about religion is: each of them has the One True Way, and all the others religions are subhuman ignoramuses (stretching it a bit there for effect, but close enough on a global scale). Joy!

    If you want religious instruction for your child, go for it. But you pay for it. You have the money for private school? Good for you, but I am not paying for it. If you volunteer to take your child out of the public school system, then don’t whinge about having to keep paying your taxes.

    classroom = science instruction
    church = religious instruction

  27. shcb Says:

    I agree with you guys for the most part on the main thrust of the article. I think the thing that bothered me the most was that a state, one step away from federal, is micro managing education to that level, that was why I asked about federalism. I didn’t really think the wording made it sound like they were going to hold seminary classes in the science room. I don’t have a problem with at least raising the question, especially in older kids, say high school maybe middle school. But this isn’t real high on my priority list.

    I just think if the parents are religious and are teaching their kids creationism and the kid goes to school and the teacher says “by law we can’t talk about that in the classroom” the kid, being a kid, will be much more intrigued with creationism than if the teacher says “good question, let’s see if creationism makes more sense than evolution” or heaven forbid opens the possibility that there may be a third possibility. Isn’t that what science is all about, discovery?

  28. enkidu Says:

    Tell you what, if you folks want to teach the (insert name of religious text here) in the public schools, why don’t we also have atheists and evolutionary biologists teach in the church/synagog/mosque/temple? At tax payer expense, of course.

  29. shcb Says:

    because churches are private institutions.

  30. enkidu Says:

    So if you don’t want public institutions intruding on your private institutions.
    Why in the world would it be ok for private (in this case religious) institutions to intrude on your public (school/science) institutions?

    btw – i just checked my calculator, 39 not equivalent to 51

    question – if a tax rate of 39% is teh Socialism! (what were the tax rates under ronnie raygun again?), would a tax rate of 38% be rip snortin laissez faire capitalist pig dog nirvana? or does it have to be 0?

  31. shcb Says:

    Upper marginal tax rates when Reagan came into office were 90%

    About 25% would be about right, especially in this economic climate, maybe 30% during prosperous times

    I don’t know how to answer your first question, it is kind of a why is there air question (to blow up volleyballs)

  32. enkidu Says:

    During Reagan’s tenure, income tax rates of the top personal tax bracket dropped from 70% to 28% in 7 years,[10] while social security and medicare taxes increased.

    from wiki

    wrong yet again dear wwnj

    So is 70 the new 90?
    hell if 38 is equivalent to 51, then your wingnut math can do anything!

  33. shcb Says:

    You’re right, I was thinking of something different. I was thinking of the story of Reagan telling a Democrat that while he was an actor he was in the 90% bracket and the Democrat looked at Reagan and said “really?” Reagan said “yes! Really! I was paying that much” the Democrat looked at Reagan and said “I didn’t think you were that good of an actor” Reagan laughed and laughed at that.

    They were 70% when he took office, they were 90% from ’51 to ’63.

  34. shcb Says:

    I think the way the tax was effectively increased was the point the upper marginal tax rate is calculated from is also lowered, so a person paying this tax will be paying a higher rate on more of his money. I’m not sure of this, it was a long time ago.

  35. shcb Says:

    I’ve been looking into it a little more, it may have been Obama’s plan to reinstate of the phase-outs on personal exemptions and itemized deductions.

  36. enkidu Says:

    You know, I read your 4/3/09 3:12 comment and took off for the weekend thinking: wow, that must be the first time I’ve ever heard a wwnj admit he was wrong about, well… anything!

    Then I come in on Monday and see your next two posts and I just have to shake my head at you shcb.

    This chart shows tax rates for the last century or so.

    Most interesting is the fluctuating taxable income over #. How many people were making 5 million during WW2? How many were making $500,000 in 53, in 67? (probably more in 67). This is way too narrow a slice of data, but interesting to see the rates grow and shrink over the years. We can’t keep spending so much more than we are taking in and there are only so many ways to reverse the trend.

    One observation from the data in that link is that Rs tend to lower the $# at which you reach the top tax %. For example in 1988 the tax tax rate was 28% (the majority of RR’s tenure it was above above 50% btw) but the income rate at which you reach the max taxation rate was all the way down to $29,750!
    median household incomes for 1988 was $27,225
    To me this works out to more than half the people in the US paying the max income tax rate. Tax more people a higher % than they would have been paying… genius! then triple the national debt give rich people more tax breaks and viola! catastrophe

    38% is not equivalent to 51%
    70% is not 90%
    wingnut math is just wrong wrong wrong

  37. shcb Says:


    I assume I saw the same chart and I was struck by the same dynamics of how many people were being taxed at 5 mil in the 1940’s? I didn’t really break it down the way you did but I’m sure you are probably right. Without doing all that analysis I too was amazed at the way those numbers have been manipulated over the years, and of course the rhetoric to go along with it I’m sure. As I said it has been many months since I heard those figures so maybe I am wrong on the 51%, that number just sticks in my head, but it was a lot more than the 3% face value NL had quoted. As you pointed out Obama’s plan is similar to other times in history where the top rate was reduced to include more people except in those times the rate came down as more people were added to the roles, in this case the rate goes up as the upper limit goes down. Think how much the increase is going to be for the people who are just under $250,000 when they get hit with the double wammy.

    What I think is funny, is even though I may have been off a little on some numbers I had forgotten more about this issue than you or NL ever knew.

  38. enkidu Says:

    you really have no clue

    here is a review of how progressive income taxation in the US works

    lets say that the income tax rates for the top two brackets are 33% and 36% and these rates are for income under $200,000 and $250,000 (a hypothetical with just two brackets, I am simplifying by not addressing any smaller brackets and taxation %s, as there are usually a few steps to these kinds of taxation schemes). Thus if you make $200,001 you are taxed at 33% for the first $200,000 and 36% for the remaining dollar. Your additional taxes for the $1 over $200k are a grand total of $0.03. Say you earn $500,000. You are taxed at 36% for the first $200k and 39% for the additional $300,000. Your taxes would be $72,000 + $117,000 = $189,000 for an effective aggregate tax rate of 37.8%. The difference in taxes the additional 3% of the higher bracket would be $9,000.

    There you have it ladies and gentlemen! The difference between the cost of capitalism and teh socialism in this example is $9000 for someone making $500,000, a change for Richie Rich of less than 2% of his total income. That the right wing in America is bandying about charges of socialism, marxism, fascism, veganism or leftofjohnbirchism is beyond reprehensible.

    It’s ridiculous.

    38% is not equivalent to 51%
    70% is not 90%
    back here in Reality, those numbers aren’t even close

  39. enkidu Says:

    screwed up my numbers in there
    it is 33% and 36%
    $66,000 + $108,000 = $174,000

    I meant to make a Obama wants to increase your taxes by 3% scenario, but it just got too long. The point stands that the additional taxes going from 33 to 36% are just $9000 for Mr Rich: an increase in taxation of less than 2% of his total income.

  40. shcb Says:

    You were doing well there for a while, your example isn’t perfect as you said but let’s look at it. In the first place why does it matter to this discussion what percentage of the man’s income the increase represents? You just can’t seem to get past the politics of envy.

    Now the statement was the “effective rate” is 51%, the reason we use the modifier “effective” is because we are comparing the effect of the change if only the top marginal rate were to change. We aren’t changing the actual percentages, we can’t do that.

    So let’s use your numbers, at 33% and 36% the tax is 66k +108k = 174k and at 36% and 39% it is 72K +117k = 189k just like you said. But the statement is saying what would happen if nothing else changed but the top marginal rate. So what we are concerned with is what percentage of 300k (the wages of the top bracket) would it take to make the difference of the additional taxes of both brackets. 189k-66k = 123k or 41%

    Now let’s use the same formula for someone making 250k, 33% of 200k is 66k, 36% of 50k is 18k for a total of 84k. 36 and 39% gives us a total of $91,500. 91,500 minus 66k is 25,500 and 25,500 is 51% of $50,000.

    For someone making $250,000 the 39% tax bracket represents a 51% EFFECTIVE tax bracket when compared to what he is paying now. Using your numbers.

  41. enkidu Says:

    your math is wrong

    If the rates in our two tier example are 33% on income up to $200k
    and 36% on income greater than $200k
    then if Mr Rich earns $500,000 he pays $174,000 ($66k + $108k)
    the total effective tax rate is 34.8%
    ($174,000 / $500,000 = 34.8%)

    since I was going to do a Obama tax plan scenario, lets use the same numbers, but bump the top bracket +3% (socialism!)

    again we have 33% on income up to $200k
    and now 39% on income greater than $200k
    then if Mr Rich earns $500,000 he pays $183,000 ($66k + $117k)
    the total effective tax rate is 36.6%
    ($183,000 / $500,000 = 36.6%)

    an “EFFECTIVE” tax rate of 51% for Mr Rich would mean his top bracket would have to soar to 63% (33% on 200k plus 63% on 300k is $66k + $189k = $255,000 or 51% of Mr Rich’s income of $500,000)

    envy? no. mathematics.
    something the nuns clearly never got thru your skull

    38% is not equivalent to 51%
    70% is not 90%
    back here in Reality, those numbers aren’t even close

    This is why I find mockery of wwnj bullshit like this so much more satisfying: his math is a jumbled mess, but since he has mixed and matched the numbers to suit his a priori “I iz smart, libs iz dum” wwnj will strut away from this ‘debate’ thinking he ‘won’. your ‘formula’ is crap.

    right wing bullshit needs to be laughed, shouted, or just plain ignored out of the public commons.

    enough is enough

  42. shcb Says:

    my math isn’t wrong, you either don’t understand it or you choose to ignore it. Then we’re just back into your ole rhetoric.

  43. shcb Says:

    By the way, your math isn’t wrong either as far as it goes it is just irrelevent to this conversation.

  44. enkidu Says:

    raising the upper bracket 3% simply is not equivalent (or whatever gibberish you would like to use) to a 51% tax rate
    51% of $500,000 is $255,000

    your formula is nonsensical
    it makes zero sense to subtract the lowest rate $# from the new high rate $#

    look lil ricky, you can’t seem to stop your rhetorical flourishes like “politics of envy” (laughable), so please, spare me the electrons and stop clutching your pearls and whimpering when everyone to the left of you (a big majority of the US and the world methinks) finally says “enough is enough, that is just bullshit”

  45. shcb Says:

    Actually there is something wrong with your calculations, you just conveniently ignored the 33 to 36 bracket increase.

    Of course it makes sense, this just proves you aren’t very skilled at analyzing things, doesn’t mean you’re stupid or anything it just means it is a skill you don’t posses. What I find amusing is JBC thinks I am the one that is brain damaged because my observations don’t match his and yet I consistently use better reasoning skills than most anyone here. Skills, that doesn’t mean I am more intelligent, it is just a skill.

    Now the next observation that is going to be interesting is to see how long you beat this 70%-90% horse. I admitted my mistake and clarified it within minutes, but you will never let it go. I have shown the justification for the claim that this is a much larger tax increase than 3% but you will never concede a point, so at some time in the future both these points will simply become facts on Lies.com just like Bush lied. Pure propaganda my fiend, pure propaganda.

  46. shcb Says:

    Now oddly enough this effective rate drops if the jump off point for the upper marginal rate is lowered even though the taxpayer’s liability is greater. I could explain why but you need to catch up first, it will just confuse you more.

  47. enkidu Says:

    your ‘formula’ is nonsensical
    the ‘math’ works (in a simple, 2+2=4 kind of way)
    but the your inputs don’t have anything to do with one another

    my example still stands if you raise the first 200k 33% rate to 36%
    but my example was more of a ‘Obama has promised not to raise the taxes on anyone making less than $250k’ broadbrush, and my math works (I didn’t use 250k because I wanted nice easy round numbers for the sake of simplicity)

    shcb would like to change my example, np:
    36% on income up to $200k
    and again 39% on income greater than $200k
    in this shcb modified example, Mr Rich earns $500,000 and
    he pays $189,000 ($72k + $117k)
    the total effective tax rate is 37.8%
    ($189,000 / $500,000 = 37.8%)

    sorry lil ricky
    37.8% is not 51%

    my 9 year old solves more complex word problems than this…
    so tell me shcb:
    if Mr Rich earns $500,000 and
    he pays $189,000 in total taxes
    what percentage is he being taxed at?

    any answer other than 37.8% is incorrect

  48. shcb Says:

    I don’t have my spreadsheet in front of me but the 37.8 % sounds correct as is 51% for 250k and 41% for 500k. your 37.8 is simply an average and my 51% and 41% is an equality. If you have 3 apples and 2 oranges you have 5 pieces of fruit the same as if you had 2 apples and 3 oranges. This is the same as saying the rates of 33 and 36% in relation to the rates of 36% and 39% are the same as 33% and 51% for 250k and 33% and 41% for 500k, it is just a way of making it easier to see the net result of changing two things at once, it of course is also more dramatic, just as NL and you have underplayed this tax increase, this tactic overplays it. It is the way the game is played. The big difference is NL’s statement isn’t complete, the 51% figure is at least complete and equal to the net effect.

    No to be truthful someone would have to also analyze those lower brackets as well, if they were to be lower that would have to taken into consideration as well or it would be as deceptive as NL’s statement.

    To answer your last question, your answer is one correct answer, there are several more equally correct answers.

  49. shcb Says:


    your answer would be correct if it was properly phrased, as is it is not correct since there are several percentages used.

  50. NorthernLite Says:

    So what’s going here? The ‘right’ lost it’s war on science so now it’s going after math? lmfao

  51. NorthernLite Says:

    Hey I heard the alphabet was created by some pot-smoking liberal hippy from California…it’s complete bullshit!

  52. shcb Says:

    just checking, does anyone here understand what I am saying? A simple yes or no is fine if you don’t want to get any more involved than that.

  53. enkidu Says:

    shcb, your ‘formula’ is nonsensical

    Mr R. Rich earned $500,000
    even under the shcb requested 36% and 39% ‘shcb tax plan’ (which is more taxation than the 33% 39% the obama plan suggests), Mr Rich pays a grand total of $189,000 which is 37.8% of his income.

    37.8% is not 51% and it never will be

    Please explain how your ‘formula’ works.


    if you had two brain cells to rub togther you might try arguing that the 38% plus all the other taxes Mr Rich has to pay (lets say none of his income was long term capital gains, which is currently taxed at 15% iirc?) and it might start approaching 51%, but no, you are all in on your goofy ‘formula’.

    OK so lets try your $250,000 example for Richie’s brother, Sorta Rich

    under the current two tier hypothetical case
    Sorta Rich would pay 33% on $200,000 and 36% on $50,000
    $66,000 and $18,000 for a total tax of $84,000
    $84,000 / $250,000 = 33.6%

    now lets use the shcb scenario (which taxes an additional 3% on the lower 200k – above what the obama-like plan is suggesting btw)
    Sorta Rich would pay 36% on $200,000 and 39% on $50,000
    $72,000 and $19,500 for a total tax of $91,500
    $91,500 / $250,000 = 36.6%

    socialism, also!

    under the obama-like 33% 39% two tier hypothetical example above, Sorta Rich’s effective tax rate would be 34.2%

    it is as if there is a blind spot that you just can’t see the truth
    ingesting all that partisan ‘information’ has a corrosive effect on higher brain functions or something… fascinating if it weren’t for the fact that there are millions of bds sufferers wandering about armed and dangerous (and dangerously ill-informed)

  54. enkidu Says:

    my math is simple and direct

    your math you take the product of two tax rates and then subtract the smaller of a different rate and compare that percentage to something that crawled out of rush dimbulb’s ass

    here is one more example:

    Very Rich (Richie and Sorta’s cousin) earns $1,000,000 each year (again ignoring the 15% ltcg tax rate and other factors and just sticking to our hypothetical two tier example).

    Very Rich is taxed $66,000 on his first $200k just like everyone else (33%)
    then he is taxed at the higher obama-like plan rate of 39% for the next $800,000. This is a rather large sum of $312,000
    in total $378,000
    you are familiar with how decimal places work right?
    Can you see where I am going with this?
    37.8% effective tax rate

    this post
    makes almost no logical sense
    can you please come down off your mountain and tell us how your magic works?

    because when you increase a 36% tax rate by 3% in the real world it only goes up to 39%, not 51%

    I suppose math really does work differently over in the Wingnutoverse!

  55. enkidu Says:

    ahem, I meant to say the sum of the products of two tax rates

  56. shcb Says:

    Enky, we’ve already established you are incapable of understanding this, I’m just curious if anyone else is, and if they are if they will risk taking my side. When Rosen and his guest discussed this before the election they spent maybe 20 seconds on this and it seemed so elementary that it really didn’t need the level of detail we have gone to here for the tens or hundreds of thousands of listeners to at least understand the concept. At this point I’m just wondering if I’m not explaining it right.

  57. knarlyknight Says:

    I just noticed this thread hasn’t died yet. Good grief.

    Enk is not “incapable of understanding this” . He probably sees no possibility that a rational reason exists for making an effort to understand “this”. I can sympathize with that sentiment.

    However, in the hope of possibly learning something new, I suspended my similar bias and re-read your posts (especially “this” one: http://www.lies.com/wp/2009/04/01/texas-officially-makes-the-universe-ageless/#comment-145029 ) and learned that there is an entirely new meaning to the term “effective tax rate”, one that I have never heard anywhere else. (The mind boggles at the hypocrisy: you accuse Enk of not getting past “the politics of envy” because he simply noted a standard and utterly conventional measure of the percentage of additional tax would be taken from a person’s total income, and yet you are so hung up and brainwashed by your politics as to enlist a completely unconventional and unheard of definition for “effective tax” in order to make a mathematically correct but intellectually misleading representation of a marginal tax rate change as being comprised of other progressive tax rates.) To what end? A fundamental economics principle is that people make decisions about how much to work (earn) based on the marginal tax rate. No-one would have the slightest inkling to consider the wwnj’s newly defined effective tax rate as you (or Rosen’s guest) has conjured up. There is no rational economic basis to do so. Seems that Enk was right. So for this discussion, I’d say it is far more sane to stick with the conventional definitions of effective tax.

    To be sure, I checked wiki and they have the usual suspects “marginal effective tax rates” , “average effective tax rates” and various misc. others such as to account for elimination of deductions etc., but they do not have one quite so clever as you have presented. You claim to have heard it on Rosen? Maybe, but it sounds more like something dreamt up by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney after a few too many drinks.

    Google the term “effective tax rate”, and read a few definitions, or a bunch. While you are there, don’t miss the article about Fox News on March 30, 2009 misrepresenting America’s corporate tax rate as 35% when in fact the effective corporate tax rate (using a normal person’s definition of the term) is, after accounting for various generous deductions, somewhere in the 24% or higher range. Weren’t you on this same tired old corporate tax rates are too high kick yourself a little hile back?

    What I also learned (not starting from a familiarity with US taxlaws) is that America’s top marginal federal rate has been 35% since 2003 and it doesn’t seem to be changing in 2009, if that’s correct then what Obama’s plan does is adjust tax income brackets to which these rates apply, and add targetted tax credits and deductions etc. to lower taxes payable for middle and lower income people; without actually adjusting any statutory tax rates in each bracket. So while the hypothetical discussion about Obama lowering the top marginal tax rate was fun, ahem, it is irrelevant because it isn’t happening. What might be happening (?) is the Bush tax cuts for high income earners will be expiring in 2010, so then the top marginal tax rate will go back up. Maybe by then no-one will be making that kind of money anyway so it’ll also be irrelevant;-)

    Also found this interesting, in light of the bouncing top marginal tax rate table covering 1913 -2009:

    Hauser’s Law is a theory that states that in the United States, federal tax revenues will always be equal to approximately 19.5% of GDP, regardless of what the top marginal tax rate is. The theory was first suggested in 1993 by Kurt Hauser, a San Francisco investment economist, who wrote at the time, “No matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP.” In a May 20, 2008 editorial, the Wall St. Journal published a graph showing that even though the top marginal tax rate of federal income tax had varied between a low of 28% to a high of 91% between 1950 and 2007, federal tax revenues had indeed constantly remained at about 19.5% of GDP.[21]

    from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#Year_2008_income_brackets_and_tax_rates

  58. knarlyknight Says:

    There is now a third peer reviewed paper about WTC collapses appearing in a scientific journal , Open Chemical Physics Journal and the first two have yet to be contested in any serious manner (i.e. they are not countered by a similar peer reviewed paper) so their conclusions stand as the authoritative science). Description of the new paper here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705295677/Traces-of-explosives-in-911-dust-scientists-say.html?pg=1

  59. shcb Says:


    If Enky understands what I am talking about but just rejects it for (fill in the blank) reasons then he should say so, but he keeps saying he doesn’t understand it, he even pointed to the spot you did and asked me to explain it. (btw how do you guys do that?)

    There are of course different ways the analyze the same set of data, usually depending on what question you want answered, that is the reason we have a P&L report and a balance sheet, they are using the same information, just organizing it in a different way. Simply taking what a person paid in taxes into what they made is fine for giving you something of an average of the taxes, although average isn’t the right word. But there are other ways as well. You made the statement:

    A fundamental economics principle is that people make decisions about how much to work (earn) based on the marginal tax rate

    If that were the subject of the discussion wouldn’t taking all the other factors; lower brackets, deductions, subsidies etc and pushing them into the upper bracket make sense?

    In this case the main reason for using this method (as I said earlier) is because the left is making the false claim that the upper rate is only going up 3% (technically true but deceptive) so we are just responding in kind and taking all the increases and pushing them forward (technically true but slightly less deceptive).

    My main thrust through this odyssey was to show that I was correct, then we can debate the validity.

    By the way, aren’t you doing the same thing with your analysis of the corporate tax? There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is appropriate.

  60. shcb Says:

    One last thing Knarly, the percent of GDP of taxes has been 21 percent or so for decades, and now we are going to raise taxes in a bad economy so that number will worse in both directions. That is moving the wrong way.

  61. enkidu Says:

    I ‘understand’ your ‘formula’, but it isn’t right to take the sum of the higher of two sets of two tax rate products and then subtract the smaller of the first products and subtract it from the larger sum and then compare to only part of the input income.

    You are conveniently leaving out parts of the equation to pump the numbers (and I will note no where close to 51%)
    your 2+2+4 math works, but the ‘formula’ is bunk

    My math is simple and direct.
    A person pays taxes.
    Under plan A he pays X amount.
    Under plan B he pays Y amount.
    compare the two

    You heard it on hate radio, so it must be true, but you can’t explain it, yet I am just incapable of understanding such wisdom.

    no where in this discussion of a simplified hypothetical tax system have you talked about marginal rates or other more inclusive measures of tax. You even capped EFFECTIVE here and there for emphasis. I’ve even held open the door for your escape route (that a person pays other taxes, state, local, sales, etc) but i am just going to slam it down on you a few times as you try to slither past (why? we are only talking about my hypothetical two tier simplified tax system, so trying to drag those other taxes in isn’t part of the original discussion)

    the tax brackets are all creeping upward (meaning you have to earn more money vs last year to get into the next higher bracket) probably pegged to inflation by law?

    and don’t try to sneak that 911truther stuff in here ;-)

    I like what Joe Biden said: it’s patriotic to pay your taxes.
    dear right wing America, please stop whining about the top bracket paying 3% more in taxes. thanks! (or move to some ultra-right-wing-sh!t hole like Slovenia or someplace keen in New Europe, buh bye!)

  62. knarlyknight Says:

    There is no rational reason for tossing aside the time honored convention of the effective tax rate which effectively presents the true overall tax paid by a person with a new one that artificially presents the marginal tax rate as exhorbitant. Except, of course if someone is pandering to brainwashed folks with an agenda on that issue.

    Enk, tax brackets might be pegged to inflation or some measure of such, or may be set by any other arbitrary measure. Maybe phone your representative, I’m sure they’ll get right back to you ;-)

    As for the 911 stuff, don’t you see the irony? Just like shcb’s unique Rosen-esque wingnut new definition for “effective tax”, the government and its agencies’ convoluted story about why the three towers exploded and melted into themselves (in a historic first time ever event) is not backed up by any peer reviewed papers in established scientific journals (that’s ZERO, zilch, nada) yet there are now THREE peer reviewed papers in established scientific journals presenting sound and astonishing conclusions that the towers DID NOT fall as the government would want you to believe. And unless there is a contrary scientific paper, such as there may be with global warming issue for example, then the scientific conclusion can only be that a form of highly explosive thermite was used in the demolition of WTC 1, 2 and 7.

  63. enkidu Says:

    hehe knarls, I was clearly yanking your chain on the 911 truth stuff

    the main reason i can’t quite believe these guys could pull off a massive scam like that is their almost complete and utter incompetence in nearly every other area. On the other hand Sy Hearsh is reporting that Cheney ran an ‘extra legal’ assassination ring… any word on how many domestic hits? Perhaps Paul Wellstone came under their tender mercies? Or that NSA whistleblower whose plane had an unfortunate malfunction just before he was due to ‘sing’?

    Just asking…

    I bet shcb clutches his pearls and totters off claiming victory over the clearly inferior intelligences he has to deal with at such a scurrilous web site. No explanation of why he is pimping the tax rate numbers will be forthcoming (or at least one that makes any logical real world sense).

  64. knarlyknight Says:

    The technical term for what you describe is “Cheneywhacked”.

    Careful what you say here Enk, or Lefty will be back to stink up everything and warn of the impending illuminaty take-over of the new world order a la Alex Jones and he’ll be posting more disgusting links like this guy and caliming that he’s the next puppet president for the Bildebrgh group:

    Paul Wellstone’s dath was sad, and there have been so many similar instances over the past 8 years where “difficult” people for the established order have accidents or be harassed out of existance by random criminal acts (i.e. actions against from the wilderness’s Michael Rupert.) Accidents are accidents, and random acts of violence happen, but statistically it appears way out of whack with death rates for regular folks.

    Here is a single example: http://www.legitgov.org/minot_afb_nukes_oddities.html

  65. knarlyknight Says:

    The topic is fascinating, but I don’t have time to get into it (other than I’m going to refresh m memory about what Paul Wellstone was investigating when his plane crashed) Although this does look like a promising article I doubt I’ll finish reading it. Land of the Free

    The judicious tone of “How Free?” will undoubtedly disappoint leftists. Freedom House bends over backwards to give the authorities the benefit of the doubt. Other countries have recalibrated the balance between freedom and security in the face of terrorists who want to inflict mass casualties on civilians. America’s recent sins, however, are minor compared with those of its past. Newspapers have published highly sensitive information without reprisals. Congress and the courts have repeatedly stepped in to restore a more desirable constitutional balance.

    But the verdict on the Bush years is nevertheless sharp. “How Free?” not only details and …

    Government whistleblowers have repeatedly been punished or fired—even when they have been trying to expose threats to national security that their bosses preferred to overlook. Richard Levernier had his security clearance revoked for revealing that some of the country’s nuclear facilities were not properly secured. Border security agents have been punished for pointing out that the border is inadequately monitored, and airport baggage-handlers and security people for pointing to weaknesses in the security system. The Office of Special Counsel, which was established to enforce laws designed to protect the rights of such people, is widely regarded as “inept and even hostile to whistleblowers”.

    from http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?STORY_ID=11332246

  66. enkidu Says:

    shcb – I’ll put you down for “too stupid to understand”

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