Editor,

Democrat politicians want to spend your money on $6 trillion in entitlement spending on top of the $2 trillion already passed to buy your votes. Their spending plows new grounds by offering a socialist entitlement for a universal government income without means testing.

President Biden says $5 trillion in spending won’t cost anything because it’ll be paid by taxes on the wealthy. But even taxing the rich 100% wouldn’t begin to pay for it and companies will pass increased taxes along to consumers by raising prices and overall inflation. Higher corporate taxes would make companies less competitive in foreign markets which will reduce American employment and wages. Middle class taxes will eventually have to be raised to pay for it and/or it has to be borrowed which will lead to inflation. Government entitlement spending always and every where reduces real economic growth and incomes by misallocating money from inefficient government hands to efficient private sector hands.

Democrats think they can change us into a European welfare state where the government mostly determines how your money is spent. They are wrong. America is a nation of mostly long striving immigrants that will never accept 65% Euro-style taxation to pay for the Democrats’ power grab. Most people realize the Democrats are playing a shill game that lets us party now and pay later. Borrowed money has to be paid back in cash or inflation or both — there is no free lunch.

Ed Kahl

Woodside

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(33) comments

edkahl

Correction - I transposed the words "efficient" for "inefficient" in the last sentence of the 2nd paragraph.

Tafhdyd

Mr. Kahl,

I won't bother replying to your mis-information and right wing baloney in your LTE. I will go straight to the last sentence. Who do you think will pay for the 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut/gift from Trump to the richest 1%? Hint, it won't be the richest 1%.

Terence Y

Taffy, my friend, if you can’t reply to misinformation, it’s because you realize what you claim as misinformation is actually fact and you know you’ll be easily exposed if you contend otherwise. You’ll find that low and middle income folks benefit the most from our great President Trump’s tax plan, so by using deduction (get it?), that means there is no gift to the richest 1% from us “little” folks. Who do you think pays the majority of federal taxes? Not us "little" folks. Look it up. BTW, I think Mr. Kahl’s estimate of 65% is on the low side. By the time you add all the taxes due via Euro-style taxation, it’s probably closer to 70%.

edkahl

Trump's tax reduction lead to more employment, higher incomes and higher economic growth before COVID hit. Biden's tax increase would do the opposite.

edkahl

When Democrats increased taxes by $1.5, who do you think paid that? Consumer did in the form of higher prices, lower incomes and fewer jobs.

edkahl

Correction my correction. The last sentence in the 2nd paragraph should read:

"Government entitlement spending always and every where reduces real economic growth and incomes by misallocating money into inefficient government hands from efficient private sector hands.

Jorg

Ed: Which “European welfare state” are you talking about, and from where did you get “65% Euro-style taxation”? Do you know the difference between average and marginal tax rates?

Ray Fowler

Hello, Jorg

Yes, Ed should clarify his reference to state sponsored welfare in Europe. Painting with broad strokes... the corporate tax rate in Scandinavia is about double the rate in the US. While the highest personal tax rates in those countries compares favorably with the US, the sales taxes in those countries is about four times higher. So, it looks like businesses and citizens get taxed to pay for government programs. Maybe Ed has combined income, corporate and sales taxes to get the 65% number questioned in your rebuttal. I don't know.

Here's something I did not know... Norway is one of the world's wealthiest nations. Good for them. How did they move up in the rankings? Oil. Looks like they have adapted some good ol' fashioned Yankee ingenuity to capitalize on offshore oil production opportunities. Isn't that something that evil, climate denying Republicans would do? Just a thought...

In your "Not enough problems" LTE published earlier this week, you blamed the looming government shutdown on Republicans because you suggested they will not work in a bipartisan fashion to raise the debt ceiling. Of course, you made no mention of Democrats who did not support voting to raise the ceiling. However, with a Democrat in the White House and Democrats with an edge in both houses of Congress, the vote should have been a done deal. Is the party fracturing? As the vote was successful due in part to key Republican votes, it appears your LTE premise was flawed. Your thoughts now?

Tafhdyd

Ray,

Good morning. I won't get into a lot of stuff because I am short on time. The one thing I want to point out is what I think is a simple lapse of keyboard use rather than an intentional slight of hand trick used by the right wing. At the end of your comment you said, " As the vote was successful due in part to key Republican votes, it appears your LTE premise was flawed." and I think you are referring to the vote yesterday for keeping the government open temporarily until Dec. 3rd. Being as your statement comes after talking about the debt ceiling, it looks like the vote for the ceiling was yesterday. The vote for that has not happened yet and the Republicans are talking about opposing it. Why they would oppose it I have no idea other than to act childish. The Dems supported and voted for it during the last administration, and not to support it now shows how far the Repubs have fallen from reality.

Ray Fowler

Yes... thanks for straightening out the carousel of debt ceiling, government shutdown... and as it keeps spinning... the infrastructure package and the human infrastructure package votes. I was trying to follow Jorg's lead re: the government being shutdown. Yes, you're correct... the vote yesterday will keep things going for another coupe of months. I was questioning Jorg's contention that suggests the GOP is the party that exclusively stirs the financial turmoil in DC. This week's chaos shows us there are hands from both sides stirring that pot. Thanks, again.

Jorg

Ray: In Norway, personal taxes are made public, and the ones with the highest income, published in newspapers. I rarely see anyone with taxes higher than some 40%, while the cultural attitude is that those who can afford it, help the less fortunate.

Oil is considered a national treasure, so the resources are owned and controlled by the state, - and revenues spent or invested for the common good, not for personal gain, like somewhere else!

As far as Republican non-cooperation, Mitch McConnell declared that no Republican would vote for an increase in the debt ceiling, - before even debated among the Democrats. In other words, they didn’t want to pay off the debt that they were mainly responsible for! How honorable! I won’t speculate on why a couple of Democratic senators are holding out, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for Republican senators not to do the right thing.

edkahl

If you google it you'll see it runs from 63% to 83% including the very high sales tax.

Ray Fowler

Jorg

You said that you "won’t speculate on why a couple of Democratic senators are holding out... " Maybe because Joe's spending plans are untenable?

Dirk van Ulden

Jorg - I believe that Ed also addressed the VAT which is much higher than anything in the US. Also, the exploration and delivery of the North Sea crude is in the hands of for profit entities which after its cut passes it on to the Government in Norway. It is true that Norwegians have been very careful with spending that windfall and have built up considerable financial reserves. And kudos to them. Also, we are dealing here with a country of a few million inhabitants, mostly homogeneous. Comparing our country with Norway is like comparing Wisconsin with the rest of the aggregated 49 states.

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Jorg,

You are a bad imitation of Forrest Gump. A teller of tall tales , but lacking a heart and lovability. If Europe is so wonderful, why did you leave? Why have they been so dependent on the U.S.? Maybe, like Canada, it's easy to be a socialist or welfare state when the U.S. is providing consumers and protection.

BTW, Alaska has had a Permanent Fund that is similar to the Oljefondet. Guess who had it first.

Jorg

Wilfred: Where on flat Earth have I claimed that Europe is so wonderful? There are as great differences between the various countries as you find between the states here, if not more. But, I am somewhat partial to the Scandinavian countries, for obvious reasons. And what a silly question to ask why did I leave and come here! Norway is certainly not a “socialist welfare” country as you claim, apparently without knowing that, like all Scandinavian countries, Norway is a free enterprise, capitalistic country, yet somewhat more progressively socialized than the US, but certainly not dependent upon the US, as you claim, without having the slightest idea what you are talking about.

And, what difference does it make if Alaska had an oil fund before Norway? So what? Did they claim monopoly on the idea?

Ray Fowler

Oh, c'mon Jorg...

Everyone who frequents these pages has read about your praises for the Nordic model and your boasts about Norway's superior culture, education programs and accomplishments in every human endeavor. So, Wilfred's question is a fair one... if it is as you have described... why leave?

That same Nordic model is characterized by a welfare state and social corporatism. Plus, there's state ownership of large businesses. Norway does not quite enjoy the free enterprise market you have suggested.

Norway has benefited tremendously from its relationship with the US. Just over 80 years ago, Norway had some uninvited guests arrive. The US helped to uninvite them. Then there was the Marshall Plan, and let's not forget NATO. Europe got the best defense money can buy during the Cold War without paying for it.

Maybe a "thank you" to Alaska for the Permanent Fund idea is in order?

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Jorg,

Anyone talking about a flat earth, does not know that Scandinavia is part of the European Continent and puts words into the mouths of others wins the argument. Based on the following quote...

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Mark Twain

Try again after you read what I said. I'll not respond to another childish rant. Should you need help understanding what I said, just ask.

Jorg

Ray: My goodness, how can I respond to all this, short of writing another book? But, let me try. I came over here for a couple of years to practice engineering, and never intended to stay, while my old job in Oslo was kept open. But 2 years slipped into 3, and the rest is history. I established roots here and had a family and a good life, so no complaints from my side.

As far as WWII, don’t forget that it took 500,000 German soldiers to occupy Norway, and towards the end of the war, there were still 300,000 there, badly needed to defend Germany itself, but prevented to leave by actions of the Norwegian underground. Then we have Norwegian saboteurs that prevented Hitler from getting the heavy water he needed from Rjukan for his a-bomb. All-in-all, the end of WWII was a combined allied effort, after Norway had lost 70% of its merchant fleet, and I an uncle, torpedoed outside Brooklyn.

Wilfred referred to Europe in general, not to Norway specifically, and yes, I think we have something to learn from their culture, and the educational system I know from personal experience is, or at least was, superior. Things may have changed since I left decades ago. While there are some businesses owned by government, the enterprise system is just as free as here, except perhaps better protection of workers and the environment, which is something we could learn from.

Ray Fowler

Jorg...

Well, your response explains why you have stayed in the US. Given the relationships you developed here, it makes sense. Re: WWII... German occupation spawned resistance movements all over the European continent and Norway was part of that resistance. Even though German troops remained in Norway until V-E Day, the country was not ravaged by battle. Still, Norway benefited tremendously from US aid and the US commitment to Europe in the decades that followed WWII.

Norway's economy is a mixed economy that combines capitalism and state control. You said that Norway's enterprise system is just as free as here... hmmm... not really... of all the Scandinavian countries, Norway's government is the most invested in state ownership of large businesses.

Jorg

Ray: Norway’s state ownership doesn’t hinder private enterprises from thriving! It is just as easy to start your own company “over there” as it is here. I have many friends in successful private companies, some as owners and gründers. Before I came here, I worked for private companies, - in one I worked with a Holocaust survivor.

And you shouldn’t underestimate the damage done to Norway through the 5-year German occupation, with half the country up north burned down to make it harder for Russia to invade, which they never tried. Nothing like central Europe, of course, but there was a lot of bombing of German installation by the British, some of which hit civilians and private homes. Nightly air raids I remember very well to this day. And a lot of manufacturing plants etc. taken over by the occupants, were sabotaged by the underground, then having to be rebuilt once the war was over.

Jorg

Wilfred: I am really sorry if I upset you. Wasn’t my intention, but thanks for your Mark Twain quote, - I’ll remember that next time I’m tempted to respond to your elevated philosophical input to this site.

Ray Fowler

Jorg

Norway's economy is not the same free enterprise economy found in the US.

I'm not dismissing the the events and struggles of Norwegians in WWII, and you're correct... other parts of Europe suffered greater damage. I was just curious why you skipped over America's post war influence in Europe that benefited Norway.

This is a little bit indelicate... you remember WWII air raids in Norway? Your avatar does not appear to show someone old enough to have independent memories of the war. How old are you? (That's the indelicate part... )

edkahl

If you google it you'll see it runs from 63% to 83% including the very high sales tax

Jorg

Ed: Do you really think you can just add marginal income tax and sales tax, and any other %-age you stumble into, and believe you have the average tax rate? Where’s your logic?

Jorg

Ed: Do you really think you can just add marginal income tax and sales tax, and any other %-age you stumble into, and believe you have the average tax rate? Where’s your logic?

Jorg

Ray: Did you lose track of what we were talking about? We were talking about raising the debt ceiling, where a couple of Democrats are holding out, so far, for reasons I don't want to speculate on.

Jorg

Sorry Ray! I meant Ed, not you! I know you are brighter than that!

Ray Fowler

No problems, Jorg. However, I did err when talking about the financial wrangling going on this week, and Tafhdyd helped get me back on glidepath. I thanked him for that boost about two hours ago.

You can point your finger at Mitch's gang for dragging their feet... sometimes that's deserved. But to insinuate that Dems have not done the same... well, if you believe that, there's a bridge over the East River I would like to sell you... cheap!

I agree with Dirk's comments... someone in Norway is getting rich in the oil business. Ya just gotta know some Norwegians have traded their honed hats for Stetsons and their dragon ships for Cadillacs.

Jorg

Dirk: I agree with what you are saying, but I had to inform Ed that he cannot just add up percentages like he did, adding marginal tax rate and VAT or sales tax and use that as a comparable income tax rate! In Norwegian grade school, you would have flunked math for less than a mix-up like that. Here, multiple choice might have saved him, by lucky chance.

Jorg

Ray: Nothing wrong about people getting rich, not even in Norway, but it isn’t considered OK to flaunt it! While many in the oil industry are getting rather wealthy, they shouldn’t be allowed to run away with it all! The government oil fund is rather substantial, and meant for a rainy day and everybody’s benefit, now at around $250k for each citizen. Oil won’t last forever!

Jorg

Ray: I could even walk before WWII started, and I remember a lot, especially from the last 2-3 years, Gestapo banging on the door in the middle of the night, getting my Dad up, with a gun to his head, lying to protect the whereabout of a neighbor who was selected for execution, together with 11 others, who were found and shot. I'm not at all ashamed of my age, but you do the math.

Ray Fowler

Your story paints a picture of what it was like in the early 1940s... thanks for sharing.

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