## Did Reagan have bigger deficits than Obama?

There’s a graphic making its way across the Internet purporting to show that Reagan’s deficits were bigger than Obamas.

Actually, I can’t tell what the graphic is trying to portray because the resolution is so lousy but it seems to imply that Reagan grew the deficit more than Obama.

Let’s use the White House OMB numbers to tell the truth here.

If you have Microsoft Excel you can follow along!

1. 1) Search for OMB on Google.
2. 2) Click on Historical Tables under the sub menus there
3. 3) Go down to Table 1.3—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-) in Current Dollars, Constant (FY 2005) Dollars, and as Percentages of GDP: 1940–2016
4. 4) Open the XLS file in Excel
5. 5) Go to the bottom of the table and give yourself some space
6. 6) Type in the following row labels: Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama. Put these labels as columns: Deficits, Average/yr, It should look like this:
 Deficit Average / yr Reagan Bush 41 Clinton Bush 43 Obama
7. 7) Next type this code at the intersection of Reagan and Deficit: =SUM(G47:G54)
(this should account for the years 1981-1988 – the years Reagan was in office. Notice we’re using column “G” which converts all the numbers to 2005 dollars)
8. 8 ) For Bush 41: =SUM(G55:G58)
9. 9) For Clinton: =SUM(G59:G66)
10. 10) For Bush 43: =SUM(G67:G74)
11. 11) For Obama: =SUM(G75:G77)
(we’ll use 2009-2011 for our purposes here)
12. 12) You table should look like this:
 Deficit Average / yr Reagan \$(2,338.90) Bush41 \$(1,319.60) Clinton \$(459.40) Bush43 \$(1,985.10) Obama \$(3,861.10)
13. 13) You should be able to figure out the Average per year column. For example: for Reagan you would divide by 8.  Final results:
 Deficit Average / yr Reagan \$(2,338.90) \$(292.36) Bush41 \$(1,319.60) \$(329.90) Clinton \$(459.40) \$(57.43) Bush43 \$(1,985.10) \$(248.14) Obama \$(3,861.10) \$(1,287.03)

Enough said.  Obama is by far the biggest debt giver here.

Here’s a chart showing Receipts, Outlays and Deficits from a previous article I wrote.

## The truth about the rich and loop holes

President Obama made another assertion the other day about the rich getting to write off a bunch of money through loopholes and hiring lawyers.  Last week we examined how the rich do indeed pay their own fair share.

Let’s examine this closer:

Below is the breakdown of incomes (according to IRS 2009 data) and various percentages which I’ll explain in a moment:

 % Taxable income % took deductions % total deductions \$1 under \$5,000 1.56% 4.20% 29.47% \$5,000 under \$10,000 4.25% 5.15% 10.75% \$10,000 under \$15,000 13.21% 7.42% 9.51% \$15,000 under \$20,000 23.76% 10.25% 9.07% \$20,000 under \$25,000 32.13% 13.15% 9.46% \$25,000 under \$30,000 40.72% 17.70% 10.17% \$30,000 under \$40,000 49.88% 25.19% 11.42% \$40,000 under \$50,000 56.98% 37.00% 14.14% \$50,000 under \$75,000 62.74% 49.60% 15.40% \$75,000 under \$100,000 67.61% 66.15% 16.98% \$100,000 under \$200,000 72.52% 84.71% 18.44% \$200,000 under \$250,000 77.07% 94.44% 18.03% \$250,000 under \$500,000 80.60% 96.38% 16.81% \$500,000 under \$1,000,000 84.49% 96.61% 14.55% \$1,000,000 under \$1,500,000 85.79% 96.73% 13.91% \$1,500,000 under \$2,000,000 86.34% 97.16% 13.43% \$2,000,000 under \$5,000,000 86.73% 97.75% 13.28% \$5,000,000 under \$10,000,000 86.99% 98.30% 13.13% \$10,000,000 or more 85.60% 98.48% 14.63%

The first column shows the % of gross income which was taxable for each income bracket.  Notice that the rich don’t get away with much here.  They have little wiggle room to shovel money into some evil shelter to keep it from being taxed.

Next column shows the % of returns which declared deductions.  Again, when the deductions you have can pay for themselves you take them…

The last column shows the % of the total amount of deductions compared to gross income.  Again, even after all the deductions, the rich end up with net income comparable to even low and middle class families.

Bottom line: the rich pay their fair share and over 80% of their gross income is taxable in the end.

## From the archives: Terrorist lights American Flag, self on fire

American Flag: \$15

Gasoline: \$2

Matches: \$1

Lighting your hating self on fire? Priceless!

From here on Flickr.

## Video: Rick Perry Remix

Rick Perry tried to attack Mitt Romney on the issue of flip/flops… it didn’t quite come out the way he was expecting. I couldn’t resist having a little fun with that moment last night. The actual exchange can be found here.

## Ras. Reports GOP Poll: Bachman imploding; Paul losing youth vote; Perry losing seniors?

Rasmussen Reports is out with a new national GOP primary poll.   A previous poll was conducted in August just days after Rick Perry announced his candidacy.

Looking at the detailed demographics here’s what Ras. says:

 20-Sep 15-Aug +/- Perry 28% 29% -1% Romney 24% 18% 6% Bachmann 8% 13% -5% Cain 7% 6% 1% Paul 6% 9% -3% Santorum 3% 1% 2% Gingrich 9% 5% 4% Huntsman 2% 1% 1% McCotter 1% 0% 1% Not sure 11% 16% -5%

The big headline: Bachmann is imploding. Her support across all demographics has basically halved.  Interestingly enough, much of that support seems to be moving to Romney.  (Gingrich’s performance during the debates has also brought in notable support.)

Let’s look deeper at the Male/Female breakdown

 Male – 9/20 Male – 8/15 +/- Female – 9/20 Female – 8/15 +/- Perry 28% 32% -4% 28% 25% 3% Romney 22% 20% 2% 26% 17% 9% Bachmann 9% 12% -3% 7% 14% -7% Cain 9% 6% 3% 6% 6% 0% Paul 9% 11% -2% 4% 7% -3% Santorum 3% 2% 1% 3% 1% 2% Gingrich 9% 6% 3% 9% 4% 5% Huntsman 2% 2% 0% 3% 1% 2% McCotter 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 1% Not sure 9% 9% 0% 12% 24% -12%

Bachmann’s support among women dropped dramatically.  Undecided women are also moving quickly to make a decision.  Both Romney and Perry increased their female prowess while Perry shed the most male votes over the past month.

Next, let’s look at age.  The story here: Ron Paul’s youth vote is disintegrating according to Rasmussen.  (Grain of salt: b/c these polls usually don’t reach younger voters in high frequencies these numbers can vacillate greatly)

 (18-29) 9-20 (18-29) 8-15 +/- Perry 19% 17% 2% Romney 13% 8% 5% Bachmann 9% 5% 4% Cain 13% 5% 8% Paul 10% 29% -19% Santorum 8% 0% 8% Gingrich 12% 7% 5% Huntsman 6% 2% 4% McCotter 6% 0% 6% Not sure 5% 27% -22%

Bachmann gain votes among 30-somethings but the 40+ crowd was not kind to her.

But now, the big question… did Social Security hurt Perry?  Here’s the 65+ demo:

 65+ 9/20 65+ 8/15 +/- Perry 31% 34% -3% Romney 33% 22% 11% Bachmann 6% 15% -9% Cain 3% 3% 0% Paul 5% 2% 3% Santorum 2% 1% 1% Gingrich 6% 6% 0% Huntsman 1% 1% 0% McCotter 0% 0% 0% Not sure 14% 16% -2%

-3% points is well within the margin of error but it was the biggest demo loss for Perry and Romney’s biggest demo gain.  If you add the 50-64 demo to the 65+ crowd Romney saw an increase of 12% and Perry dropped 4%.

Given the ratio of likely voters for older demographics it’s not without the realm of possibility that the vast majority of Romney’s gains and Perry’s losses came in the older demographics.

But I’m more inclined to say that Bachman’s implosion and decreased fence-sitters are the big story here.

Stay tuned.

## Tax Rates, Revenue and the Flat Tax

With all this delightful class warfare underfoot I thought I’d take a gander at the average tax rate which Americans of all incomes pay.  (These numbers are from 2009 IRS records):

 Income bracket Taxable income Ave. Tax Rate Taxes Paid % of taxpayers % of taxes paid \$1 under \$5,000 \$424,220 9.49% \$40,278 7.57% 0.00% \$5,000 under \$10,000 \$3,927,228 9.67% \$379,851 8.86% 0.04% \$10,000 under \$15,000 \$20,542,044 4.13% \$848,075 9.02% 0.10% \$15,000 under \$20,000 \$47,287,524 5.32% \$2,516,274 8.26% 0.29% \$20,000 under \$25,000 \$72,338,786 6.45% \$4,669,410 7.27% 0.54% \$25,000 under \$30,000 \$96,902,697 7.05% \$6,827,564 6.28% 0.79% \$30,000 under \$40,000 \$249,325,250 8.08% \$20,151,883 10.42% 2.33% \$40,000 under \$50,000 \$275,259,782 9.23% \$25,404,304 7.82% 2.93% \$50,000 under \$75,000 \$720,889,762 10.81% \$77,962,073 13.55% 9.00% \$75,000 under \$100,000 \$669,533,805 12.02% \$80,492,622 8.31% 9.30% \$100,000 under \$200,000 \$1,306,333,237 16.25% \$212,290,589 9.80% 24.52% \$200,000 under \$500,000 \$718,621,108 24.54% \$176,322,148 2.32% 20.36% \$500,000 under \$1,000,000 \$280,537,996 28.68% \$80,458,185 0.36% 9.29% \$1,000,000 under \$1,500,000 \$111,652,589 29.34% \$32,755,871 0.08% 3.78% \$1,500,000 under \$2,000,000 \$65,749,557 29.50% \$19,393,235 0.03% 2.24% \$2,000,000 under \$5,000,000 \$158,702,289 29.58% \$46,943,630 0.04% 5.42% \$5,000,000 under \$10,000,000 \$84,805,917 29.03% \$24,617,005 0.01% 2.84% \$10,000,000 or more \$205,554,127 26.17% \$53,790,324 0.01% 6.21%

As we noted previously the rich pay a good portion of all taxes.  Note that the top .01% of taxpayers (those making \$10,000,000 or more) pay more than 6% of the total taxes.

Notice also how high the top effectual tax rates are…  As I noted yesterday, even in a perfect world… this discrepancy of income would exist.

Now, let’s talk flat taxes.  If we took the existing taxable incomes and applied a flat of 11% to the brackets here are the taxes that come out:

 \$1 under \$5,000 \$424,220 \$46,664 \$5,000 under \$10,000 \$3,927,228 \$431,995 \$10,000 under \$15,000 \$20,542,044 \$2,259,625 \$15,000 under \$20,000 \$47,287,524 \$5,201,628 \$20,000 under \$25,000 \$72,338,786 \$7,957,266 \$25,000 under \$30,000 \$96,902,697 \$10,659,297 \$30,000 under \$40,000 \$249,325,250 \$27,425,778 \$40,000 under \$50,000 \$275,259,782 \$30,278,576 \$50,000 under \$75,000 \$720,889,762 \$79,297,874 \$75,000 under \$100,000 \$669,533,805 \$73,648,719 \$100,000 under \$200,000 \$1,306,333,237 \$143,696,656 \$200,000 under \$500,000 \$718,621,108 \$79,048,322 \$500,000 under \$1,000,000 \$280,537,996 \$30,859,180 \$1,000,000 under \$1,500,000 \$111,652,589 \$12,281,785 \$1,500,000 under \$2,000,000 \$65,749,557 \$7,232,451 \$2,000,000 under \$5,000,000 \$158,702,289 \$17,457,252 \$5,000,000 under \$10,000,000 \$84,805,917 \$9,328,651 \$10,000,000 or more \$205,554,127 \$22,610,954

When you add up the totals, taxes collected from individuals amounted to \$866 billion dollars.  In this 11% flat tax model taxes would come in at \$560 billion.

At this point liberals will weep and gnash their teeth for the flailing budget of the EPA to save the snail dart…

But wait!  There’s hope!  The income above is taxable income – that is – income after deductions.

If we took away those deductions and simply went off of what people made (and did away with the hundreds of thousands of hours wasted on tax preparation) behold:

 Bracket Gross income Flat Taxes at 11% \$1 under \$5,000 \$27,218,608 \$2,994,047 \$5,000 under \$10,000 \$92,407,278 \$10,164,801 \$10,000 under \$15,000 \$155,465,805 \$17,101,239 \$15,000 under \$20,000 \$199,017,560 \$21,891,932 \$20,000 under \$25,000 \$225,167,737 \$24,768,451 \$25,000 under \$30,000 \$237,994,230 \$26,179,365 \$30,000 under \$40,000 \$499,879,773 \$54,986,775 \$40,000 under \$50,000 \$483,088,798 \$53,139,768 \$50,000 under \$75,000 \$1,149,068,817 \$126,397,570 \$75,000 under \$100,000 \$990,337,913 \$108,937,170 \$100,000 under \$200,000 \$1,801,446,897 \$198,159,159 \$200,000 under \$500,000 \$905,347,402 \$99,588,214 \$500,000 under \$1,000,000 \$332,037,478 \$36,524,123 \$1,000,000 under \$1,500,000 \$130,149,237 \$14,316,416 \$1,500,000 under \$2,000,000 \$76,148,200 \$8,376,302 \$2,000,000 under \$5,000,000 \$182,986,391 \$20,128,503 \$5,000,000 under \$10,000,000 \$97,493,167 \$10,724,248 \$10,000,000 or more \$240,133,885 \$26,414,727

If you add up the column on the right you get (drum roll please) \$860 billion. Imagine the incredible boost to the economy if we were allowed to keep more of our money on all levels.

Obviously there are implications for those in the brackets who pay less than 11% now… but the harranging over class warfare would effectually be eliminated.

## In a perfect world… oh wait…

I listened to an excerpt of Robert Reich on MSNBC yesterday decrying the inequality of wealth in our country.  Mr. Reich is nonsensical – here’s why.

One of my favorite books is Thomas Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed. On page 52 he lays out a fictitious world where all things are equal – financially speaking.

Everyone earns the same amount of money, everyone spends the same amount money, and everyone saves the same amount every year.  The only difference among the population is that people are born 10 years apart.

Here’s how it plays out over the course of life of the first 6 men on this fictional world:

 Age Annual Income “Subsistence” Annual Savings Lifetime Savings % of world wealth 20 \$10,000 \$5,000 \$500 \$- 0% 30 \$20,000 \$5,000 \$1,500 \$5,000 2% 40 \$30,000 \$5,000 \$2,500 \$20,000 7% 50 \$40,000 \$5,000 \$3,500 \$45,000 16% 60 \$50,000 \$5,000 \$4,500 \$80,000 29% 70 \$5,000 \$- \$125,000 45% total world \$ \$275,000

When the first man in the world retires at age 70 the last man in the world turns 20 and starts working. They all eat the same meals and slave away with an increase of wages and putting money away at the same rate.

As the first man retires he has accumulated \$125,000 or 45% of all the wealth in the world.

Sowell’s conclusion: in a world where all things are equal 17% of the people in the world own almost half of all the wealth.

## Do the rich pay their fair share?

As Obama ramps up to tax the rich we ask: what constitutes a fair tax for the richest among us?

From 2009 data taken directly from the IRS we get the following breakdown of high income taxpayers vs. the rest of us:

 All Taxpayers Make over \$1 Million Percent No. returns 81,890,189 235,649 0.29% Gross Income \$6,777,684,912,000 \$726,910,880,000 10.73% Taxes paid \$865,948,695,000 \$177,700,565,000 20.52%

In other words. Taxpayers who make over \$1 Million a year constitute just .29% (point 29 percent) of all tax returns, account for 10.73% of all taxable gross income and pay over 20% (twenty percent) of all taxes.

Think about it, a group that makes up 3 tenths of 1% of our population pays 20% of the US receipts.  Ummm… that’s seems fair to me.

## Does taxing the rich work? Nope. Here’s the proof.

The Left loves to decry that that “the rich get richer and poor get poorer”.  Their solution is always to tax the rich. Does taxing the rich lead to better income distribution? No, in fact, quite the opposite.

Let’s put this to the test using the latest data from the Census Bureau just released to the public.

One set of data I’m particularly fond of are the aggregate income tables found here.

These data show the % of the income held by each quintile income bracket.  In other words, if you sliced up taxpaying American households into 5 parts – what is the percentage of the total aggregate wealth in each bracket?

Using out trusty Many Eyes tool provided free by IBM we can give you an interactive graph of the same.

Let’s look at the data from 1967 – 2010:

Notice that distribution of income for the wealthiest jumps remarkably in 1993 after Clinton enacted what became known (even in Democrat circles) as the “largest tax increase in history.” The top 5th income bracket (those making over \$100K a year) saw a huge bump in their percent take of all the money. In fact, if you narrow it to the top 5% of earners (those making \$180,000 a year) their percentage jumped 13%!

Zooming in you can see this in action. Click on the last item on the left “Lowest fifth”.

The lowest fifth income earners (those making under \$20,000 a year) saw their percentage command on the economy drop.

Notice that Obama has presided over the largest percentage drop in aggregate income for the poor – since they began keeping records.

So, we know what will happen if we raise taxes again. Fewer receipts and poorer poor among us.