OK., here’s an interesting fact…

From Jim Flanigan’s column in the L.A. Times today:

On top of that, these public pension plans are quite generous compared with their private-sector counterparts.

But the unions’ case is weak. Traditionally, the rationale was that public employees were entitled to sweet pensions because they weren’t paid all that well. Today, however, public employees are more than holding their own.

The average weekly pay in state government is $966 — well above the private-industry average in California of $805. (Local government workers pull down an average of $850 a week.)

Meanwhile, concern about the future of CalPERS, as well as the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, is mounting. At present, the funds have only enough money to meet 88% of their future obligations because the municipalities that pay into them, beset by their own budget woes in recent years, have deferred their annual contributions.

…emphasis added.

See, this is a problem for me.

I’m a liberal; I believe that government has a vitally necessary role in aiding the weak, feeding the poor, and defending workers.


This is a great indicator of a serious problem. We’re told that we have to raise taxes to keep government from abandoning the poor – and there’s some truth to that.

But while we haven’t been looking, we’ve bought labor peace with the public employees by offering them – not only job security, superior benefits, a great pension plan – but higher wages as well.

And so the middle-class state employees soak up the money that ought to be going to the poor.

Does anyone see why a liberal might have a problem with that?

14 thoughts on “OK., here’s an interesting fact…”

  1. Nonsense numbers. The main point is probably correct but by accident.

    You can’t compare pension amounts in this way without correcting for things like years of service and pre-retirement pay.

    The interesting thing is, people have done these studies, and they also show that public employees get more generous pensions than private sector counterparts—although how they found private sector counterparts for police and firefighters, whose pension and disability deals look very cushy from a distance, I can’t quite figure out. But when I see this sort of numerology on an article, I don’t care whether the author is innumerate, or knows what he’s talking about and deceptive. I flip the page.

  2. bq. I’m a liberal; I believe that government has a vitally necessary role in aiding the weak, feeding the poor, and defending workers.

    That isnt “Liberal” its marxist

    So your not a Classical Liberal after all, like in Austriala, but a leftist Like the Aussi/British “Labor” Party

    But that does mean your what they call a “Liberal” in America, which, isnt really liberal, but leftist.

    Well I doubt we will see you Marching for A.N.S.W.E.R. but it explains your support of the Communist progressive tax, that is … communist, out of the communist manifesto.

    bq. This is a great indicator of a serious problem. We’re told that we have to raise taxes to keep government from abandoning the poor – and there’s some truth to that.

    No truth to that, raise taxes, economy shrinks, and you increase the number of poor, unemployed, misery etc, its automatic and unavoidable.

    There is a point where lowering taxes dont impact the economy all that much, like the level of taxation we fought WWII with. but we need to cut taxes far more to reach that.

    bq. But while we haven’t been looking, we’ve bought labor peace with the public employees by offering them – not only job security, superior benefits, a great pension plan – but higher wages as well.

    While at the same time putting the crushing iron boot on everyone else, stolen dreams and lost oppertunity. and the govt adds insult to injury, buying land forcing the prices of whats left sky high so that only the filthy rich can own land.

    We are close to or past, the point where the govts own more land than the people do. that is an outrage, and again it attacks the poor. once opon a time, the poorest of us owned land, land they used to build a better life, to farm, to have a shop, to pass to their kids. leftism has stolen their land with taxes and artificial scarcity, once again, the leftist knife in the back of the poor is seen.

    bq. And so the middle-class state employees soak up the money that ought to be going to the poor.

    Its worse than that, as ive only barly begun to point out.

    bq. Does anyone see why a liberal might have a problem with that?

    Problems caused mostly by American Liberalism(Leftism) itself !

  3. like the level of taxation we fought WWII with

    The top marginal income tax rate then was a wartime emergency of over 90 percent (that persisted until the Kennedy Administration). That’s not lower than today.

  4. Andrew, but you omit the fact that even the low scales today that pay no income tax, never the less pay a good 50+% tax imbeded in the cost of goods, food clothes.

    America was not taxed at a portion of its GDP or earnings that it is today.

    As for removing the success penalty that is in itself a job killer, because most new jobs come from small shops that pay the individual rate, thats a seperate argument.

    I dont earn enough for any top rate to affect me for example, but when I spend to survive in this world, the cost of the good includes all the taxes associated with it, it pays the income taxes of the workers that produced it, the top rate of the boss, and the tax on inventory, and the property tax of the plant.

    The consumer pays all taxes, he foots the bill, “Tax the rich” = Higher cost for my loaf of bread.

    You went to punish the rich man, but the knife landed in the backs of the consumer, me.

    So try again. im right, the ave joe is paying far more tax than during WWII, and the govt is immense by compare.

    At every turn, when the left attacked the job creators, its the poor that took it up the butt, via less jobs, and higher prices, and even his house is taxed away from him to the point where the poor no longer own them.

    Before the left started on their holy crusade, the poor owned land and homes, and NOBODY starved in America.

    almost ALL the world famines happened in the marxist states, the largest being Maos great leap forward, where communist idiocy starved 27 Million people to death.

    So try again ..

  5. Are you an immigrant, Raymond? I ask because your knowledge of American history is pretty lame. For example, home ownership is at (or very near) an all-time high now. And there’s lots of statistics on hunger in America, and the numbers are clear: much less now. And government expenditures during WW2 were enormous.

    On top of the other terrible crimes of the Communists, they have caused you to become unhinged.

  6. bq. The War Revenue Act of 1899 sought to raise funds for the Spanish-American War through the sale of bonds, taxes on recreational facilities used by workers, and doubled taxes on beer and tobacco. A tax was even imposed on chewing gum. The Act expired in 1902, so that Federal receipts fell from 1.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product to 1.3 percent.

    bq. By 1913, 36 States had ratified the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. In October, Congress passed a new income tax law with rates beginning at 1 percent and rising to 7 percent for taxpayers with income in excess of $500,000. Less than 1 percent of the population paid income tax at the time.

    bq. 1916 Revenue Act. The 1916 Act raised the lowest tax rate from 1 percent to 2 percent and raised the top rate to 15 percent on taxpayers with incomes in excess of $1.5 million. The 1916 Act also imposed taxes on estates and excess business profits.

    bq, Driven by the war and largely funded by the new income tax, by 1917 the Federal budget was almost equal to the total budget for all the years between 1791 and 1916. Needing still more tax revenue, the War Revenue Act of 1917 lowered exemptions and greatly increased tax rates. In 1916, a taxpayer needed $1.5 million in taxable income to face a 15 percent rate. By 1917 a taxpayer with only $40,000 faced a 16 percent rate and the individual with $1.5 million faced a tax rate of 67 percent.

    40,000$ ? 16% ? in 1916 a 50 lb sack of beans was less than 25 Cents ! a person that rich would probably employ 100 workers or own a hotel.

    bq. Another revenue act was passed in 1918, which hiked tax rates once again, this time raising the bottom rate to 6 percent and the top rate to 77 percent. These changes increased revenue from $761 million in 1916 to $3.6 billion in 1918, which represented about 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Even in 1918, however, only 5 percent of the population paid income taxes and yet the income tax funded one-third of the cost of the war.

    bq. The economy boomed during the 1920s and increasing revenues from the income tax followed. This allowed Congress to cut taxes five times, ultimately returning the bottom tax rate to 1 percent and the top rate down to 25 percent and reducing the Federal tax burden as a share of GDP to 13 percent. As tax rates and tax collections declined, the economy was strengthened further.

    Lower taxes = more jobs, get used to this pattern (including the inverse)

    bq. In October of 1929 the stock market crash marked the beginning of the Great Depression. As the economy shrank, government receipts also fell. In 1932, the Federal government collected only $1.9 billion, compared to $6.6 billion in 1920. In the face of rising budget deficits which reached $2.7 billion in 1931, Congress followed the prevailing economic wisdom at the time and passed the Tax Act of 1932 which dramatically increased tax rates once again. This was followed by another tax increase in 1936 that further improved the government’s finances while further weakening the economy. By 1936 the lowest tax rate had reached 4 percent and the top rate was up to 79 percent. In 1939, Congress systematically codified the tax laws so that all subsequent tax legislation until 1954 amended this basic code. The combination of a shrunken economy and the repeated tax increases raised the Federal government’s tax burden to 6.8 percent of GDP by 1940.

    Legacy of smith hawley, teapot dome type crap, but we can forgive em i guess, America and this freedom thing was still kinda new. live and learn.

    However, the 1910-50 marks the rise of the Socialist menace in the world that would beggar whole continents and exterminate 174 Million lives, its a good thing all the consitutional blocks to such madness pretected us from the left, in large part, and America was left as a protector and beacon of freedom to the leftist world of mass death and misery.

    World War II

    bq. Even before the United States entered the Second World War, increasing defense spending and the need for monies to support the opponents of Axis aggression led to the passage in 1940 of two tax laws that increased individual and corporate taxes, which were followed by another tax hike in 1941. By the end of the war the nature of the income tax had been fundamentally altered. Reductions in exemption levels meant that taxpayers with taxable incomes of only $500 faced a bottom tax rate of 23 percent, while taxpayers with incomes over $1 million faced a top rate of 94 percent. These tax changes increased federal receipts from $8.7 billion in 1941 to $45.2 billion in 1945. Even with an economy stimulated by war-time production, federal taxes as a share of GDP grew from 7.6 percent in 1941 to 20.4 percent in 1945. Beyond the rates and revenues, however, another aspect about the income tax that changed was the increase in the number of income taxpayers from 4 million in 1939 to 43 million in 1945.

    Thats still less than half the taxes that the ave joe pays today.

    To put this in perspective, if you earned 50$ a week in the 60’s that was not bad money, you had a house and two cars and the kids saw a pile under the tree at Christmass that convinced Them Santa made one complete round trip from the north pole just for them.

    Federal taxes as a share of GDP reached a postwar high of 20.8 percent in 2000. Higher than WWII !

    But on top of this is an even greater aggragate tax on poor old ave Joe .. State income taxes, sales taxes that just did not exist in any meaningfull level compared to today, property taxes, taxes and fees on his car and fuel, School taxes, county taxes, tax tax tax tax tax.

    Poor ave Joe is yearning for the good old days of the WWII tax rate ! Life was better then if you was poor, you propbaly owned land and a house and the govt wasnt taxing it away from you.

    Not to mention starting a business or shop, the only formality was hanging out your sign in front.

  7. Raymond, your own post points out that taxes were low at the beginning of the Great Depression. Maybe FDR’s tax policy wasn’t perfect, but he hadn’t been given much to work with. We also appear to have under-spent on National Defense during that time.

    Your hatred of Communism, Socialism, and Taxes (which you have bundled together) is not producing any rational argument here.

    Incidentally, GDP grew enormously in the last century (even in constant dollars—you seem also to confuse effects of taxes and inflation). Perhaps all those Federal expenditures actually created useful infrastructure?

  8. bq. Raymond, your own post points out that taxes were low at the beginning of the Great Depression. Maybe FDR’s tax policy wasn’t perfect, but he hadn’t been given much to work with. We also appear to have under-spent on National Defense during that time.

    You overlook the shock effect of tax policy at the time.

    The protectionist policies was to ajust for the economic shock, in time they figured out how to shelter from tax as they inserted more loopholes. cause – effect, action reaction.

    It soon became impossible to run a large shop as a propretership and things moved to corporate structures. all driven by tax, how to get around the &^%%$^%*97 blood sucking tax.

    bq. Your hatred of Communism, Socialism, and Taxes (which you have bundled together) is not producing any rational argument here.

    Prgressive income tax from the communist manifesto, socialism, that mass mudered 174 Million people via the Gulag Progrom and the Purge, that I hate ?

    Are you saying they are disconnected or that I should not hate the most evil idology with the largest mountain of murdered innocents that beggared whole continents and suffered billions under the iron boot. that denies the worth of the indiviual for “the good of society” ?


    Lets see if we can see some simularity in these…

    bq. “The main plank in the National Socialist program is to abolish the liberalistic concept of the individual and the Marxist concept of humanity and to substitute for them the folk community, rooted in the soil and bound together by the bond of its common blood.” -Adolph Hitler, A Study in Tyranny, by Alan Bullock

    bq. “It is thus necessary that the individual should come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole … that above all the unity of a nations spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual… This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture… we understand only the individuals capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow man.” -Adolph Hitler, 1933

    bq. “We are socialists because we see in socialism the only chance to maintain our racial inheritance and to regain our political freedom and renew our German state. We are a workers’ party because we are on the side of labor and against finance. As socialists we are opponents of the Jews because we see in the Hebrews the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods.” Joseph Goebbels, 1932

    bq. “There is the great, silent, continuous struggle: the struggle between the State and the Individual; between the State which demands and the individual who attempts to evade such demands. Because the individual, left to himself, unless he be a saint or hero, always refuses to pay taxes, obey laws, or go to war.” -Benito Mussolini

    bq. “It is the supreme duty of the state to grant life only to the healthy and hereditarily sound portion of the population…. The life of the individual has meaning only in light of that ultimate aim.” -Nazi medical authority, Dr. Arthur Guett

    bq. “Fascist ethics begin … with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position. -Mario Palmieri, The Philosophy of Fascism 1936

    bq. “All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all.” -Vladimir Lenin,

    bq. “Comrades! We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.” -Nikita Khrushchev, February 25, 1956 20th Congress of the Communist Party

    bq. “We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.” -Hillary Clinton, 1993

    bq. “We cant be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.” -President Bill Clinton, USA Today, March 11, 1993, Page 2A

    Perhaps one of the common threads is the disregard for the rights of the individual for the common good of the masses.

    At the heart of the mass murdering leftist idology, the fact that they do not value the rights of the single person.

    bq. The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people. — Justice William O. Douglas

    bq. “The whole of the Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals, It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” — Albert Gallatin, Oct 7 1789

    bq. “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” — Thomas Jefferson

    The American principle of freedom is the opposite, its the rights of the individual that is the focus.

    bq. Incidentally, GDP grew enormously in the last century (even in constant dollars—you seem also to confuse effects of taxes and inflation).

    I confuse nothing, so I state again, as i have proven, ave Joe would be happy to be taxed at a level compared to WWII. it would be half of the aggragate he pays today, where fed tax alone exceeds slightly the total share of GDP of WWII !!

    bq. Perhaps all those Federal expenditures actually created useful infrastructure?

    And what percentage is that ?

    If govt spent non-defense dollars only on things that would bring a return of some kind, the number objecting would be smaller, our investment in roads benifits the economy, and enables the country to generate more wealth, making the future better for everyone.

    Sadly the poor ave Joe is paying a very substantial tax for things that will not benift him, and often are used to destroy his way of life, such as his taxes being used to buy up land after forcing the people off of it, to advance the UN Agenda 21 wildlands project.

    He is being forced to pay for govt schools that do not work, that spend 9,000 per student, he can get his kids a far better education for 5000 bucks, as a rule goverment that collects fees at gunpoint is always inferior to a private enterprise that must compete on price and quality.

    Anyhow, my point is made, fed tax take in 2000, exceeded the max share of GDP taken in WWII.

    In addition is the myrad of other taxes and fees, the hidden taxes in the cost of all goods.

    The poor ave Joe can no longer afford to own land or keep his house, he cant excape the tax vampire that comes after him to take everything he might work for, to prevent him from keeping it, and for things that do not benift him at all, except provide jobs for empire building burocrats who spend most of their day to justify their own existence, in ways that destroy his way of life.

    bq. “The power to tax involves the power to destroy;…the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create..” – Chief Justice John Marshall, 1819.

    bq. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries *by a government*, which we might expect in a country *without government*, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” — Thomas Paine

    bq. The politician attempts to remedy the evil by increasing the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder. — Frederick Bastiat

    bq. It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part. — Benjamin Franklin

    bq. I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which grant[s] a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. — James Madison, 1794

    bq. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. — C. S. Lewis

    bq. The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money. — Alexis de Tocqueville

    The American idea of freedom is that the single person should be as free as possible, that his actions be limited only by the equal rights of others, A man that has the rewards of his labor denied or stolen from him is a slave, what he expends his limited and finite life energy for should not be taken from him, taxing his land and his labor is the same thing as raiding his pantry, and grabbing food right out of the mouth of his kids.

    Im such an Ave Joe, and I see most of what is taken from me at the point of a gun is wasted, and worse, funding efforts of evil leftists that hate my way of life and who state proudly they want to destroy it, and any better future for my kids.

  9. Raymond: “ave Joe would be happy to be taxed at a level compared to WWII.”

    The question is would the ave Joe like the standard of living he had in WW2? I don’t think you’d find many people, besides yourself, who’d trade their standard of living for their grandparents’ even with the higher taxes now. You operate under a total and complete fantasy that these effects are separable, that one can wind a clock back and take out those parts of 20th Century Economic History you don’t like, the taxes, and just shower the (hypothetical) extra money around. At 1928 tax rates, we’d never have had the money to defeat Tojo and Hitler. Care to re-run your analysis in German? And anyone who sees a connection between taxes (imposed by every government since the creation of governments) and Nazi eugenics needs help beyond having his comments fisked in blogs.

  10. bq. The question is would the ave Joe like the standard of living he had in WW2?

    What ? bzzzt you lose, false choice, fraudulent. your redirection is lame and dishonest.

    Once the war was over, and the need for the tax gone, with the tech progress and productivity advance we have made we would be living like kings.

    We are being taxed at double the level of WWII when you add federal plus all the rest.

    And the current war is not the scope or scale,

    We are paying double WWII tax rates and its obscene

    Taking a mans labor at the point of a gun is violence, and evil, a nessisary evil in some part, because without the police and an army he wont long be free, and some, not all, but some infastructure aids in wealth creation and quality of life, anarchy isnt freedom, its the law of the jungle.

    But it also means you better have a damn good reason. at every turn you better be looking that you are not robbing the people at gunpoint for frivolity and evil socialist wealth redistribution schemes that are slavery.

    The world has plenty of leftist hellholes, those that want to live that way can go over there, it would be better if they did instaed of forcing their warmed over blood stained marxist schemes on those that want no part of it.

    It reminds me of a Joke told to me by a mexican friend, “Its bad enough you gringos took half of mexico, but worse, you took the half with all the good roads!”

    You want all your leftoid crap ? try Europe, want more ? North Korea … but leave us alone. We aim to undo the marxist crap creaping in since the 30s, we have had our fill, Enough!

    And we have been doing that since kennedy and Reagan, and more to do and years more effort, but we wont be done untill the overbearing govt is off our backs, our lands are ours again and the Fed has been returned back within the scope of its constutionly limited authority.

  11. Man,

    I think Raymond should shorten his replies. Why would a person with such strong opinions want to rant on a Blog like this that seems to focus on civil back and forth discussion. If Raymond is always ‘right’ as he states, what benefit does he get out of dicussion? As the writing style is not meant to persuade, but to insult, it would seem he’s here for another reason. His use of labeling anything he doesn’t agree with as being wrong, Communist, Socialist, Marxist, Leftist etc. seems to suggest he’s here to ‘teach’ all those who disagree with him a lesson. Obviously, that lesson does not include a brief writing style, nor a civil tone.

  12. Back n Forth is what its all about, Andrew is putting my ideas opinion and conclusions to scrutiny, as well he should.

    Thats what its all about isnt it ? If your data, assertions, conclusions, opinion will not withstand scrutiny, then perhaps they have less value than you thought they did.

    Even in science, its not about concensus, but about withering, sometimes harsh, peer review.

    The lack of that very thing is allowing the global warming fraud to continue as 90% politics (a tax scheme on the west) mixed with Junk Science.

    Ideas must be tested, let darwin rule over them, let the truth be found thereby, and let the weak and the wrong perish.

    Untested ideas, are, well untested.

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