Tax Hikes or Tax Hypes? Both Sides Start The Spin Toward 2020 On Tax Politics

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has reignited the debate over tax rates with her proposal a 70 percent top federal income tax rate. While few Democratic leaders are supporting such a proposal, most continue to criticize the wealthy for not “paying their fair share.” However, data from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the top 20 percent of earners in the country pay roughly 90 percent of the income taxes. When all taxes are considered, the top 20 percent pays roughly 70 percent. What is clear is that both sides are shading data in this debate.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top one percent alone pays 39.4 percent of income taxes. An estimate 44 percent of citizens pay no federal income taxes at all.

On the other hand, Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez-Cortez are correct that we once had such high rates. From 1944 to 1951, the highest marginal tax rate for individuals was 91%. That went up to 92% for 1952 and 1953 and then back down to 91% for tax years 1954 through 1963. It was then lowered to 77% and 70% through 1981. Reagan cut the rate further and it was dropped to 50% in 1982. However, Reagan added taxes on gas and payrolls. Moreover, there are sales and state taxes that have to be considered in tax burden.

What seems clear is that taxes will again be at the center of our political campaign leading into the next election. However, the debate is already becoming largely rhetorical and superficial.

We have had higher taxes and, while I am generally not enthused about tax hikes from an economic perspective, there are reasonable arguments to be made about our rate structure. However, it is also wrong to portray the top brackets of not paying their fair share. One can argue that additional revenue is needed without ignoring that twenty percent of the country is already paying 88 percent of the federal income taxes.

93 thoughts on “Tax Hikes or Tax Hypes? Both Sides Start The Spin Toward 2020 On Tax Politics”

  1. Kurtz, with regard to middle eastern affairs you seem to have a blind eye. That doesn’t present a problem for me but I think it does for you. I am not saying that one side is all good and the other all bad. What I do say is for peace to occur both sides have to be willing to work towards peace and that requires education, peace education. Israel is an open society but the Palestinian society is closed to promoting peace in the education process. Here is an article for you to read which I hope opens your eyes a bit. ( I don’t remember which thread we were discussing these matters on so I picked a thread at random where you posted).

    How Palestinian Schoolbooks Indoctrinate Students Against Israel
    Peace with the Jews is not an option.

    January 9, 2019 David Bedein

    The think tank that I run, the Center for Near East Policy Research, has completed a four-year research activity in which all 364 schoolbooks for grades 1-12 that were published by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the years 2013-2018 were examined. The chief researcher whom we hired to examine the texts used by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools was Dr. Arnon Groiss, a scholar of Middle Eastern studies. The goal of this research project was to check the Palestinian attitude toward the Israeli-Jewish “other” and to the possibility of solving the war with the “other” in a peaceful manner, in the spirit of the peace agreements known as “the Oslo Accords” that were signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1993-1995. The project yielded three studies which demonstrate that Palestinian students are learning that a peaceful resolution of the war with Israel is not an option. Instead, the theme that runs through the PA curriculum is that “Palestine” must be liberated from “Zionist occupation” by way of an armed struggle titled “Revolution [Thawrah],” which involves terrorist actions styled as “self-sacrificing operations [‘amaliyyat Fidaiyyah].”

    You can see this in the context in a PA schoolbook reference in one of the books to the “1972 Munich operation” in which 11 members of the Israeli team at the Olympic Games were massacred (History Studies, Grade 11). Those who carry out such actions are called “self-sacrificing ones [Fidais]” and those among the liberation struggle are called on to liberate the Muslim holy place of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and removing it from the Jews’ sway.

    Palestinian pupils are taught that “struggle for liberation” is not limited to the areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but rather the whole country from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, as Zionist occupation is said to have started in 1948 in what is termed “the Catastrophe [Nakbah]”, and not in 1967. Israel’s pre-1967 territory is termed “the Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1948” (Management and Economics, Grade 11). Pre-1967 Israel is never presented as a legitimate sovereign state nor does it appear on the map where it is replaced in its entirety by “Palestine.”

    Israel’s very name is replaced in PA texts as “the Zionist Occupation” or “the Zionist Entity,” which should be extirpated from the Middle East (History Studies, Grade 12). Cities inside pre-1967 Israel, such as Nazareth, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Beer Sheba and Ashkelon, are transformed by PA schoolbooks into Palestinian cities. Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war and their five-million-or-so descendants are mandated by PA education to return to liberated Palestine and thus the 70-year old “Catastrophe” would end.

    PA schoolbooks present all of the six million Jewish citizens as colonizing settlers motivated by racist sentiments (History Studies, Grade 12), who occupied Palestine, massacred and expelled many of its original inhabitants, and have held the rest “under occupation” to this very day. The illegitimate status of the Jews in the country in the eyes of Palestinian educators is well expressed by the noted absence from the map of cities established by Jews in modern times, or showing them under Arabic names. Tel Aviv’s name is presented as “Tal al-Rabi.“ Eilat appears as “Umm al-Rashrash.”

    Not only is the current Jewish presence in Palestine delegitimized, but PA education denies past Jewish history in the country, as well as their holy places that are presented as exclusively Islamic ones, including the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The Jews’ notions of historical ties to Jerusalem in particular, are described in PA texts as “baseless claims,” “superstitions,” “legends,” “illusions,” and “distorted narratives” (Arabic Language 1: Reading, Grammar, Prosody and Expression – Academic Path, Grade 12) and the Jews themselves are presented as “usurpers” and “invaders.”

    As if this heavy de-legitimization of both Israel’s existence and the Jews’ very presence in the country is not enough, the PA schoolbooks also contain numerous pieces demonizing all Jews within two Islamic contexts: as a people disobedient to, even blasphemous of, God, according to Koranic verses, and as a group hostile to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and the early Muslims in Arabia. The impact of these accusations on the minds of young Palestinians who are relatively religiously-oriented portrays all Jews in Israel in a negative light, even more than their demonization in the context of the ongoing Arab-Israeli war which was launched by the Arab League in 1948. Israel, referred to in the PA texts by the epithet “the Zionist Entity,” is demonized in the context of the “primary sin” of its very establishment.

    Meanwhile, PA textbooks accuse the Zionist entity of perpetrating numerous massacres against Palestinians, assassinating Palestinian leaders, destroying Palestinian villages, causing Palestinian children’s suffering, being aggressive, violating international laws and conventions, maltreating Palestinian “prisoners of war,” confiscating Palestinian land, uprooting trees, causing Palestinian unemployment, limiting Palestinians’ free movement, detaining school students, damaging Palestinian economy, polluting the Palestinian environment, and even endangering Palestinian nutritive security and causing the desertification of Palestine. PA texts ignore any Palestinian terror actions that may have contributed to the creation of this situation.

    The effort of the PA schoolbooks is augmented by the absence of any objective information about Israel and the Jews that would counterbalance it. Nor do the PA schoolbooks refer to the Jewish-Israeli individual as an ordinary human being. Jews are referred to as a hated ethnic group, with all the accompanying connotations of alienation and threat, which makes them a legitimate target for violence. Indeed, using violence against Israel and the Jews is considered by the PA schoolbooks as legitimate (in defense of Islam and its holy places in the country), moral (in light of their perceived inherent evil), and legal (because they are presented as foreign occupiers who act in contradiction to international law, and said to constitute an existential threat to the Palestinian people).

    Peace and co-existence cannot be an option, given the indoctrination of PA schoolbooks. Thus, these new schoolbooks contribute to the perpetuation of war. Indeed, one of the findings of the present study is that such indoctrination has spread to all school subjects, especially mathematics, and it appears as well in purely professional textbooks such as “Small Businesses” and “Management and Economics” of the Entrepreneurship and Business stream and “Entrepreneurship in Business” of the Technological stream.

    We have presented our findings before the U.S. Congress, the Canadian Parliament, the Swedish Parliament, the British Parliament and, most recently, at the United Nations. People who support peace in the Middle East should raise their voices and demand that the Palestinian Authority change its war-oriented curriculum as a precondition to any move towards peace, in accordance with its commitments by virtue of the Oslo Peace Accords which form the basis of the very establishment and operation of the nascent PA. A peace accord without peace education seems futile.

  2. The best schadenfreude of all will be to see the evil 1% as liberals label them collectively decide they’ve had enough, liquidate all their capital and fire everyone working for them. Then just live a life of leisure from their cash holdings while all the complainers go into a meltdown of a crippling economic depression. They will pay no taxes since they have no income. They will not invest any of their own money as they have retired. The federal government would verge on insolvency and a plurality of the population will have nothing to create any economic growth or hire workers.

    Just keep up the class warfare mongering until it finally happens

    1. Envy is deadlier and it is the envious one that proclaims the greed of others. Greed is bad for the person and not necesarily bad for society unless it is an illegal act. I will repeat a better definition of greed.

      “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” __Erich Fromm

  3. Repeat Post From Below

    SHILL’S RESPONSE TO CULT OF THOMAS SOWELL

    Here hated Peter Shill responds to Alan, the aging windbag. Alan is that crabby old boss who waves fingers in the faces of service employees. Many have been fired for failing to recognize Alan’s obvious importance.

    So again, Peter Shill responding to the Cult of Thomas Sowell; Alan’s favorite thinker.

    Alan, I used to read Sowell’s syndicated column. He made good sense in the 70’s and 80’s. But that was a different time. We’re in a new century.

    Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell were relevant in the Reagan era. At that point Great Britain was the sick man of Europe. ‘Too much’ socialism was threatening its future. Britain had to deregulate and return to its capitalist old ways.

    Friedman and Sowell worried the U.S. would catch Britain’s disease; allowing government to expand indefinitely. In the context of the Carter era one might have been concerned. Inflation had been a nuisance throughout the 70’s. Dow Jones averages were stagnant that entire decade.

    Ronald Reagan aspired to bring back the 1920’s Dow. One can understand. In the Carter era a whole generation of Wall Street brokers wanted excitement. They were bored of the 70’s!

    So Reagan deregulated the Savings & Loan industry with assistance from many Democrats including California Senator Alan Cranston. And that jazzed up the stock market.

    A Dow Jones rally was fueled by mergers and acquisitions. High Yield Bonds figured prominently with regards to financing. They were commonly known as “Junk Bonds”.

    Those bonds were enabled by the looting of deregulated Savings & Loans insured by Federal Institutions. The government was unwittingly underwriting mergers and acquisitions! So they shut off the spigot: ‘No more funding for Junk Bonds’.

    The Junk Bond market crashed creating The Savings & Loan Crisis. Said crisis was widely written about during Reagan’s second term. There were gloomy predictions ‘grandchildren would still be paying for The Savings & Loan Crisis.

    By that point in time, the late 80’s, early 90’s, free market economics was coming under question. The Savings & Loan Crisis had been a disaster. No responsible policy maker wanted a repeat.

    But history repeated itself when the Dot Coms crashed. That was followed shortly after by the crash of Enron. That touched off “The Accounting Crisis” as other Enrons revealed themselves. But all was forgotten when Bush invaded Iraq. Funny how that went.

    By then, the invasion of Iraq, Freidman and Sowell were considerably less relevant than the Carter era.

    1. Friedman and Sowell worried the U.S. would catch Britain’s disease; allowing government to expand indefinitely.

      Neither man ever manifested a particular interest in Britain, though they might have used Britain as an object lesson in some of their commentary. Friedman had a comprehensive understanding of what political economy should look like. Sowell has been more of an episodic critic of policies and institutions, but isn’t at odds with Friedman’s understanding in any systematic way.

    2. “Many have been fired for failing to recognize Alan’s obvious importance.”

      What type of garbage are you making up now? Yes, a person as ignorant as you should not hold a responsible position. I would fire you on the spot. You don’t know how to think. Take note, you act and sound like a worthless employee instead of acting like most well functioning employees, some of which start their own businesses and succeed to surpass their former employers. However, it is nice that you recognize me as the employer that is able to run functioning businesses and fire as well as hire people better than you.

      The question remains: “

      “But that was a different time. We’re in a new century.”

      Peter, why don’t you tell us what is precisely different and why the principles of economics change with the date?”

    3. Ronald Reagan aspired to bring back the 1920’s Dow. One can understand. In the Carter era a whole generation of Wall Street brokers wanted excitement. They were bored of the 70’s!

      That was never an aspiration of Reagan’s.

      1. Absurd,..
        Also, the stock market bubble/ mania of the 1990s far exceeded any excessive, speculative, activity of the stock market in the 1920s or the 1980s.
        If there was a “Greed is Good” decade, it was the 1990s, not the 1980s.

  4. TRUMP’S ADDRESS TO NATION

    This evening Donald Trump used the Oval Office as a backdrop to give the most absurd presidential address this country has ever witnessed. Trump repeatedly demonized Hispanics with tales of rape and murder; claiming if we don’t build his wall every American will be slain if we don’t O D on drugs.

    What made this performance surreal was Trump’s forcibly restrained delivery. One could tell he wanted to shout and beat his fist but advisers warned against. So Trump rambled on instead like a bad actor interpreting comedy as drama.

    Most weirdly Trump wore excessive orange make-up. One imagines it ruined his shirt collar.
    Though said collar was scarcely visibly beneath Trump’s bloated face. Completing this spectacle was Trump’s freshly dyed yellow hair appearing longer than ever. It could have been Phil Spector’s wig!

    In short Trump’s address was a cry for help. Only God can help America survive this buffoon of a president.

    1. ” Trump repeatedly demonized Hispanics with tales of rape and murder; claiming if we don’t build his wall every American will be slain if we don’t O D on drugs.”

      “An obnoxious liar is Peter Shill” __Yoda

      1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/15/harry-reid-lied-about-mitt-romneys-taxes-hes-still-not-sorry/?utm_term=.4bc4e8d7cc04
        Mespo,..
        To paraphrase Harry Reid, “So what, it ( the lie about Romney) worked didn’t it?”
        You have 2 out-and-out propagandists here in these threads who are, to be polite and civil, “factually challenged”.
        It does not take very long to figure out that they don’t give a rat’s *** about whether the material they voluminously crank out is true or not, and there is additionally, a small group of their dedicated flunkies who think that’s just fine.

        1. Tom:
          Propaganda is a two-edged sword. If it goes unchallenged, it works well and the propagandist gets more credibility as he goes. If it’s proven to be the lie it is, the propagandist loses credibility forever. Pointing it out is a moral imperative.

    2. I did not vote for Trump. But I liked his speech. You folks can ignore the border problem. Europe has. We are on the way to Hell in the hand basket. With Hillary in charge things would be much worse already. we don’t need a “sanctuary President”. Build that steel fence now! Use military money to do it.

    1. What you’re missing is that those who actually work are not the ones making more than ten million a year. Those who make more than ten million are the ones AOC wants to pay more for everything over that amount. They are also the people who get their money from stock dividends and outlandish contracts. They pay more in dollar amounts but less in percentage.

      1. Ideas and execution of those ideas produce wealth. A lack of ideas can only produce labor, the value of which is what that labor produces after subtracting the costs.

        Suddenly Bettykath comes along and tells us that ideas and execution of ideas don’t count.

        Betty, explain who should be the winner of Steve Jobs ideas and execution. If not Steve Jobs then consider Bill Gates. If it weren’t for them and the genius’s behind them with tremendous ideas do you really think you would have that computer in front you now so you could write such nonsense?

          1. A lot more than you and they could create a system of producing them cheaper and faster in the Henry Ford model.

            The question you should ask is how many computers would we have from the laborers that work 9-5 and do not have the same motivations of the Steve Jobs of the world? Have you bothered to look at other societies? Russia is failing economically, China steals the IP of others. What have you done? The value of your work product is only the increased value you provide minus the costs. Do you think otherwise?

            The most important element you have in your life is your time. What have you done with your time? What have the rich people like Steve Jobs done with their time? How have you made society better off? How has Steve Jobs done the same thing and while thinking about it consider what you are presently using to communicate to all of us.

  5. I can’t remember where I saw this recently but find me truer words.

    “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

    ― Thomas Sowell,

    I used to love Dennis Miller on his radio show when he would get a liberal and ask them, “What is the fair share, just tell me what is is and then leave me alone”. They would never put a value on fair share.

    1. Jim, that is a great quote I have heard many times but it is very relevant to many of the discussions here. Lefties can’t answer the question.

    2. Jim, you’ve got it wrong. The quote is, “Greed is good”. it was spoken by the Gordon Gecko character (Michael Douglas) in the movie “Wall Street”.

      The phrase is sometimes altered to, “I’ve got mine, you get yours”. And that’s usually uttered with a snarl to someone who isn’t doing as well.

      1. Peter Shill predictably ignores Professor Thomas Sowell, a respected black economist who eschews left wing economic and social talking points. Professor Sowell refused to vote for Hillary in 2016, supporting instead Senator Ted Cruz, and has no positive regard for Pelosi’s liberal, hypocritical ultra-millionaire rants with her divide and conquer communist tactics against Americans

        Pelosi is all about divide and conquer and making her richer by the month

          1. Sowell isn’t a cult leader or a member of a cult. One has to be pretty stupid to make such a remark, but that type of remark about people you disagree with is just a common occurance, Peter Shill. That should make everyone, even those with ideological agreement, shun him, but ignorance is widespread..

            He so happens to be brilliant and backs up almost everything he says with data and fact something you know very little about. He has worked in both the private sector and in government. He started off as a communist but having an open mind he looked at the data and realized what he had been taught was junk without proof. Since then he dealt in significant research and while doing so overturned myths documenting his position with facts and data much of it from the US government.

            1. Alan, I used to read Sowell’s syndicated column. He made good sense in the 70’s and 80’s. But that was a different time. We’re in a new century.

              Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell were relevant in the Reagan era. At that point Great Britain was the sick man of Europe. ‘Too much’ socialism was threatening its future. Britain had to deregulate and return to its capitalist old ways.

              Friedman and Sowell worried the U.S. would catch Britain’s disease; allowing government to expand indefinitely. In the context of the Carter era one might have been concerned. Inflation had been a nuisance throughout the 70’s. Dow Jones averages were stagnant that entire decade.

              Ronald Reagan aspired to bring back the 1920’s Dow. One can understand. In the Carter era a whole generation of Wall Street brokers wanted excitement. They were bored of the 70’s!

              So Reagan deregulated the Savings & Loan industry with assistance from many Democrats including California Senator Alan Cranston. And that jazzed up the stock market.

              A Dow Jones rally was fueled by mergers and acquisitions. High Yield Bonds figured prominently with regards to financing. They were commonly known as “Junk Bonds”.

              Those bonds were enabled by the looting of deregulated Savings & Loans insured by Federal Institutions. The government was unwittingly underwriting mergers and acquisitions! So they shut off the spigot: ‘No more funding for Junk Bonds’.

              The Junk Bond market crashed creating The Savings & Loan Crisis. Said crisis was widely written about during Reagan’s second term. There were gloomy predictions ‘grandchildren would still be paying for The Savings & Loan Crisis.

              By that point in time, the late 80’s, early 90’s, free market economics was coming under question. The Savings & Loan Crisis had been a disaster. No responsible policy maker wanted a repeat.

              But history repeated itself when the Dot Coms crashed. That was followed shortly after by the crash of Enron. That touched off “The Accounting Crisis” as other Enrons revealed themselves. But all was forgotten when Bush invaded Iraq. Funny how that went.

              By then, the invasion of Iraq, Freidman and Sowell were considerably less relevant than the Carter era.

              1. By then, the invasion of Iraq, Freidman and Sowell were considerably less relevant than the Carter era.

                Friedman was an economic historian, macroeconomist, and policy maven. His economic history and important aspects of his macroeconomics remain valid even if you cannot digest them. Sowell (now retired) had a long career as an intellectual historian, policy analyst, opinion journalist, and popular historian. Some of his work was topical, some not. The most salient changes in the political economy since 1975 have been the restabilization of prices and the restructuring of the financial sector. Of course what they’ve said remains relevant. That you don’t understand their work product doesn’t make it irrelevant.

              2. “But that was a different time. We’re in a new century.”

                Peter, why don’t you tell us what is precisely different and why the principles of economics change with the date?

      2. Nope, I’ve got it right. It is a quote from Thomas Sowell. You are just plain wrong.

        As for the Gecko quote. That to is a very true statement. Greed is good. It is the reason humans bother to get up every morning and try to be productive. Greed motivates liberals just as much as conservatives.

        1. No, humans get up every morning to engage in activities to support themselves. The vast majority of people are satisficers and are interested in meeting certain consumption and savings targets, not in hoovering up all the money they can.

          1. I would suggest that “certain consumption and savings targets” would not exist without greed. Why would you have any savings when another might not have any? Greed. Why would you consume unless everyone could consume equally? Greed. Again, this is not a bad thing. It is why people might start a company, invest in someone else, own land or lock their doors when they are not home. This is not to say that greed can’t be used for evil.

            1. I would suggest that “certain consumption and savings targets” would not exist without greed.

              Oh, yes they would.

              Why would you have any savings when another might not have any? Greed.

              No, to distribute your consumption between time periods.

              Why would you consume unless everyone could consume equally? Greed.

              This is a nonsense statement.

              You’re addled by the notion that any sort of aspiration or interest in the realm of material well-being is ‘greed’. Can’t help ya.

        2. Jim, I think we focus too much on greed instead of envy. Greed is either lawful or not. If it is illegal it is considered bad for society or if it is bad for society perhaps laws need to be put in place. People like Peter confuse envy with greed so when Peter becomes envious he suddenly wishes to pass laws to take one’s private property and convert it to his own.

          I think the phrase “greed is good” is not a useful term when talking about societal needs. I believe Eric Fromm may have had a better definition of greed by placing it on a personal level.

          “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

          1. He’s not confusing greed with envy. He’s confusing Ivan Boesky with an ordinary local businessman.

            1. That, DSS, is your opinion. Look around you and look at the trait that is being fed upon, Envy. Create envy and then call your enemies greedy. Was Steve Jobs greedy? I don’t think so but the Peters of the world might wish to have a portion of what Steve Jobs had. They are envious and call him greedy not in an attempt to compete with him but in an attempt to gain a portion of his wealth without working for it.

              Let me repeat Eric Fromm’s definition of greed that you might have missed.

              “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

              Do you have a better definition?

  6. “In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it’s infuriating.”
    -Tucker Carlson
    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-mitt-romney-supports-the-status-quo-but-for-everyone-else-its-infuriating

    The recent monologue by Tucker Carlson showng the hypocrisies of the ultra rich on the Left and the Right continues to provide insightful commentary. The most recent support by J.D. Vance was stunning particularly how he criticized Ben Shapiro and David French

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/tucker-carlson-health-of-nations-markets/

    Congressman Dick Armey had it right when he suggested a flat tax rate decades ago on the heels of the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on March 25, 1981, in a famous essay by Bob Hall and Alvin Rabushka called “The Attraction of a Flat Rate System.”

    1. Flat rate attractive to the rich. Equality is obtained by a flat util tax. However, there is no agreement on the conversion of dollars to utils.

  7. CONSERVATIVES LEARNING..

    OCASIO-CORTEZ CAN’T BE KILLED

    EVERY ATTACK MAKES HER BIGGER YET

    But perhaps Ocasio-Cortez’s most Trumpian political skill is her ability to deflect. Trump was able to portray his left-wing critics as cogs in an elitist, anti-working-class machine. Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez has (often appropriately) characterized criticism of her politics as personal attacks driven by an obsession with her age, race, and gender. (Republicans themselves continue to walk straight into these blunders, as demonstrated when a G.O.P. strategist called her a “little girl” on Fox News last weekend.) She has used her popularity and charisma to effectively grant herself immunity from inaccuracies, big and small. “If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees,” she told Cooper. “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.” Shortly after the interview aired, she took to Instagram to tell her followers that if she’d made any flubs on television, it was because the format was difficult for a novice like herself to master.

    Edited from: “Is Alexandra Ocosio-Cortez A Smarter, Socialist Trump?”

    Today’s “The Hive”, VANITY FAIR

    1. OCASIO-CORTEZ CAN’T BE KILLED. EVERY ATTACK MAKES HER BIGGER YET

      Actually, what Nietchze had to say was nonsense. And your wishcasting is pretty funny.

    2. “OCASIO-CORTEZ CAN’T BE KILLED…EVERY ATTACK MAKES HER BIGGER YET”

      Peter, you do realize you sound just like a Trumptard fawning over an immature struck politician drunk with media attention, and you do know she is in her 20s, right?

      1. Estovir, she’s not my congresswoman. I don’t live in the Bronx.

        But the article, from Vanity Fair, notes that even when conservatives attack Cortez it usually backfires in some way. In that regard she could develop an ever-bigger following as right-wing media throws everything at her and fails to kill. By being attacked so frequently, to no effect, Cortez could become bigger than Democrats even want. So Trumpers like ‘you’, Estvir, might do better just ignoring Cortez.

        1. PH, you missed this saint for yours

          Wealthy Democratic donor has second man in 18 months die in his West Hollywood home

          L.A. County sheriff’s lieutenant says ‘it is suspicious that this has happened twice now’

          Police are investigating the second death of a black man within 18 months to occur at the West Hollywood home of influential Democratic donor Edward Buck.

          Authorities say an unresponsive black male in his 50s was found at 1 a.m. in circumstances similar to the July 2017 death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore. Mr. Buck, who is white, was not charged after the first death and is not considered a suspect in the latest discovery.

          “It is suspicious that this has happened twice now,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred told local NBC affiliate KTLA.

          Mr. Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, told reporters the latest individual was partying and taking “some substances” prior to arriving at the Laurel Avenue residence. The dead man was not publicly named.

          Latisha Nixon, the 65-year-old mother of Moore, claims that men arrive at the house to take part in sexual fantasies.- Washington Times

          1. J.M. I never heard of Mr Buck.

            What’s more, KTLA is ‘not’ an NBC affiliate! The Los Angeles TV market is big enough for a Network Owned And Operated station. Said station is known as KNBC.

            Sounds like the Washington Times has no correspondent here. They probably don’t have the budget.

      2. Estovir,…
        She can serve as an inspiration to others in their 20s that upward mobility is still possible in American.
        I’m sure that her Congressional salary is much bigger than whatever she made as a bartender.😊😀

  8. The Supreme Court has been and is the singular American failure – the failure to implement the “manifest tenor.”

    “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    _________________

    – Congress has NO power to tax for redistribution of wealth or individual welfare. Congress has merely the power to tax for “…general Welfare.”

    – Congress has no power to regulate the design, engineering, production, marketing or any other aspect of goods and services created and provided by free private enterprises. Congress has merely the power to regulate the flow, exchange or trade of commerce “…among the several states” to preclude bias or favor by one state over another.

    – Congress has no power to deny the full and unlimited right of individuals to “claim and exercise” or possess and dispose of private property without any form of interference by government, with the sole exception of Eminent Domain, abrogating affirmative action, quotas, forced busing, rent control, fair housing, non-discrimination, etc., etc., etc.
    __________________________

    Article 1, Section 8

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes;
    ___________________________

    Private property is

    “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison

  9. 1) Professor Turley when the tax rates were in the 90% range there were so many deductions that the vast vast majority of the rich paid a lot less.

    2) We could tax the billionaires the entirety of their wealth. In that way we could fund federal expenditures. The only problem is that the billionaires would run out of money and be worth zero before the end of the year came.
    3) Who should we go after next? I guess Ocasio would say the millionaires and perhaps they could help finish out the year but where does that leave the nation?

    4) The nation makes money because it is productive with the Trillions of dollars in private hands and that money is the money that pays ALL the taxes.

    5) Is our tax system totally fair? No, but the vast majority of taxes come from a small percentage of tax payers and the number of people not paying taxes is on the increase.

    6) When there is a tax reduction of course the rich end up with more than the poor but that money returned to the tax payer means more to the poor than the rich. If Peter earns 10 acorns a year and Turley 100 Acorns a year then of course if taxes return 10% of one’s wealth to the poor and 5% to the rich Peter would get 1 Acorn and Turley with a lower tax deduction would still beat out Peter getting 5 Acorns. Peter has a strange way of looking at almost everything, but then again I think we all know that.

    1. “The only problem is that the billionaires would run out of money”.
      In all likelihood, they would run out of the country long before they ran out of money.

      1. I know a few that have. I had this explained to me by a neighbor who was one of those big earners. He spent his time in various locations and he felt that he could give up his citizenship and sell his US homes. That wouldn’t prevent him from spending just as much time in the US living in a hotel or rental at a much lower price saving huge amounts on taxes.

        I would never give up my citizenship to a country worth more than money. But when thinking of policy I have to consider what others would do if the US government decided to target them. NY, Connecticut, Massachusettes, NJ, California and other high tax states are already feeling the pinch and are doing all sorts of things in an attempt to prevent their rich citizens from leaving. That is a tough thing to do and at the same time informs people on their way to riches not to move to those states.

  10. 1. The first order of business in regard to adjustments in tax architecture is to aspire to be neutral between economic sectors in the assessment of , income taxes (of all sorts) and consumption taxes.

    2. Personal income would be defined as the Bureau of Economic Analysis does, but with some adjustments: Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment compensation, veterans benefits, and certain pension disbursements would be excluded from the definition of personal income and interest income would be understood to mean real interest, not nominal interest.

    3. Final sales for tax purposes would be all final sales except rent. No exemptions for groceries or anything else, nor any for select sorts of vendors or customers. Your church gift shop pays sales taxes too. Public agencies pay the sales tax on their purchases as would any other party.

    4. Value-added for tax purposes would be the entirety of an enterprise’s value-added, without regard to the industry or the corporate organization of the entity. Commercial, philanthropic, and governmental corporations all pay the VAT at the same rate.

    5. General income, general sales, and value added taxes would have a single rate of assessment. In re general income taxes, the liability of the payer would be x% of their income, less a general credit for each member of their household. Same marginal rate for every household, but a dramatically different average rate consequent to the dimension of the sum of credits due each taxpayer.

    6. Wherein productive activity has certain externalities, you can attempt to compel the producers and consumers in that market to bear these costs through Pigou levies and vice levies. Ideally, however, Pigou levies, vice levies, and fines would not be revenue sources. Rather, they would be collected in funds and distributed to the public at the end of the year on a per capita or per household basis. Local levies could be distributed equally to each party on the property tax rolls, state funds could be distributed equally to each party filing a state tax return or (if the state has no income tax) distributed to each county on a per capita basis and then distributed to each party on the property tax rolls therein. Federal funds could be distributed to each party filing a federal tax return. The point of a fine, Pigou levy, or vice levy should be to change relative prices, not to raise revenue.

    7. Tariffs are a part of our international trade strategy and have to reflect that.

    8. Financing road construction, amortization of bond issues for road construction, and road maintenance should be done through tolls, registration fees, and motor fuel taxes. The social optimum is approached the more the cost and benefits of an activity are aligned. Ideally, the federal government would place tolls on all long-haul Interstates and then distribute the toll revenue to dedicated funds in each state on a per-acres of macadam basis. In re financing public roads, the federal government can set an excise on motor fuels (whose precise value would be adjusted each year), but fix the federal liability of vendors as $x less what they paid into a dedicated state fund in response to levies enacted by state legislatures. Such a dedicated fund would be defined as one devoted entirely to road construction, amortization, and maintenance. The state’s would have incentive to set up such funds and raise state excises to the level specified in federal law, in order to capture the revenue for themselves. Ideally, the total cost of road maintenance at all levels would be met by this tax.

    9. Property taxes are useful but have the side effect of promoting environmental damage. Ideally, densely-settled urban settlements would be subdivided into zones per the household income or per capita income of each block group therein, with decennial adjustments to zone boundaries. The most impecunious fraction of the settlement would be exempt, a transitional zone would pay 1/2 the standard rate, and most of the settlement would pay the full standard rate. In the countryside, forest and marsh land would be assessed at a conventional value of $0 and arable and grazing land at a value derived from local leasing rates. Philanthropies would owe taxes to local government but then be fully re-imbursed by state governments.

  11. Advocates of political systems in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs permit themselves to enable their authoritarian ways and means by taxing you for what they consider you should blithely accept to be your fair share. While “fair share” is on its surface a harmless term and one meant to politely sway reasonable and accommodating people to be guarded against and loathe to inequities, what always gets lost in the full context of the matter is that taxes are not a fair share when they are appropriated involuntarily under threat of force by government. If the process is not “fair”, neither is the “share” justified.

    Regardless of the fairness issue any taxes raised so long as the federal government is a grossly indebted one should be used only and entirely to retire its debt.

    1. Ron Hoffman,…
      — I did not see Hyphen-Cortez’s interview, but from the summary I saw, she’s already “spent” has the additional, (estimated) $75 Billion per year from the tax hike on Green Projects/ Climate Change.
      Zero for deficit reduction, 100% of it for ” her” project.
      The odds are low that the bulk of revenue raised from tax increases would go to deficit reduction, given that probably 500 of the 535 members of Congress probably “have it spent” already.
      This is why I recently attempted to get some idea from another commentor what kind of tax hike he was proposing, how much – roughly- he expected it to raise, and how he planned to use that additional tax money.
      When I see someone repeatedly ducking those questions, there’s not a hell of a lot of point in even having the conversation.
      This is not an isolated example; probably
      80-90% of taxpayers, PLUS the c.45% of household that pay NO income tax, wlukd be equally clueless.
      Absent an informed, serious, nationwide discussion on taxation/ tax hikes/ deficit reduction, the path of least resistance is similar tax rates and tax revenues, higher and higher spending, and higher annual deficits adding to the total debt.

  12. TURLEY PUSHES RIGHT-WING TALKING POINT:

    THE RICHEST ARE ‘ALREADY PAYING 90% OF TAXES’

    Here’s that passage again:

    “However, data from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the top 20 percent of earners in the country pay roughly 90 percent of the income taxes”.

    On the surface this sounds like the wealthiest are gravely ‘over-taxed’. Like they need relief from concerned Republicans. Nonsense!!

    According to academic Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, since 2009, 95% of the economic gains in America went to the richest 1%. Wikipedia tells us that the richest 1% posses at ‘least’ 40% of the nation’s wealth. While the bottom 80% owns just 7% of the nation’s wealth. In fact the bottom 20% of Americans tend to have ‘negative’ wealth from too much debt!

    There are numerous statistics to illustrate how skewed this country has become with regards to inequality; an issue conservatives steadfastly deny. There are charts showing that CEO compensation has outpaced inflation by leaps and bounds. While wages for hourly workers has scarcely kept pace with inflation. In fact, the Minimum Wage is at an all-time ‘low’ in terms of purchasing power. It peaked in the late 1970’s.

    Taxes collected from corporations used to account for the majority of government revenues. But somewhere in the 1960’s, taxes collected from individuals surpassed those paid by corporations. And that statistic has become more skewed ever since. Among the Fortune 500 Companies today, few if any actually pay corporate taxes. It seems they can always find shelters, breaks and subsidies to avoid corporate taxes.

    Over the weekend I read about a new tax avoidance scheme that’s become very popular among large retailers. They are using lawsuits to claim that local property taxes should be assessed based on the appraisal value of ‘dark stores’ in their area. In other words, if there’s a shuttered Sears store standing dark in the vicinity, then the appraisal value of that store should be used in assessing the value of an active Target store half a mile away. These schemes have become a major threat to the tax revenues of small cities and suburbs. It appears that state legislatures will have to pass laws to prohibit this avoidance.

    One must note that when personal wealth reaches a certain threshold, the money keeps working even if the individual retires. The wealthy can, of course, retain the very best financial planners. So even the ‘lazy rich’ can keep getting richer just by having access to good advice. For this reason we have historically recognized the concept of progressive taxation. The rich can easily pay more because their money keeps working.

    1. http://www.hamiltonproject.org/charts/corporate_tax_revenues_percent_of_gdp_and_of_federal_revenues
      Let’s look at one of the statements made above; “Taxes collected from corporations used to account for the majority of govenment revenues”.
      Then look at the chart provided in the link, which goes back over 55 years to at least 1962.
      It shows corporate taxes as a percentage of giv. revenues at a PEAK of c. 22% in the 1960s.
      It also shows some wild fluctuations in the percentages from one ( relatively) short period to another, and percentages below 10% as of a few years ago. ( the chart does not go through 2018….without backing out of the text, I think it stops c. 2015.
      I doubt that corporate taxes were the majority of gov. rev in the 1940s or the 1950s, either.
      The Depression-Era 1930s might have been a different matter, but this chart is the longest-covered period I’ve found to date without spending time and bandwith downloading pdf files.

      1. Tom, I may not have had my wording as precise as it should have been. But the table on this link largely buttresses my claim that corporate tax revenues have declined dramatically in relation to revenue from individual returns.

        This table goes back to the early 1930’s when those revenues were roughly equal. But collections from individuals gradually pulls ahead and rises at fairly modest pace until about the early 1970’s. Then from the 1970’s onward, collections from individuals explodes in relation to collections from corporations. And it continues that way right up to the present.

        https://taxfoundation.org/federal-tax-revenue-source-1934-2018/

        1. Tom, even your link corresponds with mine. Here’s a passage from your link:

          “At its peak in the 1960s, the U.S. corporate income tax accounted for more than one-fifth of all federal revenues, making it the second most important revenue source after the personal income tax. After the major Reagan-era tax cuts in 1981, the corporate tax has provided less than 12 percent of federal revenues in all but four fiscal years, between 2006-2008 when a booming financial sector generated temporarily high profits and tax revenues” (Source: Congressional Budget Office.)

          Although my language wasn’t precise, my general point was largely true, corporate tax revenues have plunged in relation to revenues from personal returns.

          1. It verifies that the corporate share of the total revenues has declined; what I challenged was your statement that “Corporations used to account for the majority of government revenues”,
            Followed by your claim that it was only “somewhere in the 1960s that taxes collected from individuals surpassed those paid by corporations”.
            There is a difference between “imprecise wording” and making claims that are patently false.
            A “majority” to most people means 50% +, not 22%, which appears to be the peak percentage going back to the esrly 1960s.

            1. One can clearly see there was a turning point where tax revenues from corporations fell off substantially in relations to personal tax collections. And the graph you posted illustrates that beyond any doubt.

              1. I won’t go to the trouble of explaining the difference to you between 22% and 51%, Peter.
                This is an example of why exchanges with you are a f***ing waste of time.

                1. Tom, you are entirely correct. Peter doesn’t respond to me at all which is great because I can make whatever comment I want without having to get into one of those meaningless debates with him where he presents untrue data and twisted opinion. Besides he is worthless.

          2. “Although my language wasn’t precise, my general point was largely true, corporate tax revenues have plunged in relation to revenues from personal returns.”

            Peter, assuming that to be so what is your point? The world and the nation changes. The US spends more and started to spend on entitlements. US industry now has global competition. We used to substantially depend on excise taxes 45.8% and now that has fallen to 3.1%. You seem unable to put your facts together without leaving large holes in your argument.

    2. i agree there are social problems with increasingly lopsided distribution of wealth

      i do not agree a regressive tax is the only or best way to fix that. i am not the one with the answers for this however.

      i do observe that a lot of billionaires are left wing Democrats apparently. it seems to me that the very poor and very rich are often alike in ways that the middle are not; and they often work together in unexpected ways. against the middle which gets smaller and smaller

      1. Mr. Kurtz,
        You wrote that you ” observe that a lot of billionaires are left wing Democrats, apparently”.
        That is correct. And I would add one other point.
        I don’t think I know any billionaires, but I do know a number of people who are likely millionaires or multi-millionaires.
        Some of the most aggressive tax planners/ tax avoidance strategies I’ve seen are practiced by “Limousine Liberals” who are theoretically in favor of higher taxes.
        I say “theoretically”😒, because they mean tax increases for those who are not looking at spending $ Thousands a year on tax accountants and tax lawyers.
        And many of them will take extraordinary steps proposed by the tax specialists to make sure that they’re not affected by an tax hike.

      2. “i do observe that a lot of billionaires are left wing Democrats apparently.”

        Kurtz, true because they believe in that fashion they can have control and talk about fairness as long as their lives are not impacted. It has nothing to do with them being alike to the poor in the fashion I think you mean. Take a look at one of the wealthiest Americans who laments his secretary’s earnings were taxed higher than his. He made sure that he has paid very little tax on his investments over a lifetime (Warren Buffett). At any time he could have paid the federal government the “fair” amount.

        1. Buffet’s secretary is free to take a large portion ( or even all) of her compensation in stock and or stock options, if Buffet and the secretary both feel that strongly that she should pay at a rate no higher than Buffet’s, and probably lower than Buffet’s tax rate.
          That’s one thing that Buffet fails to mention.
          The guy has had tremendous success over decades as a legendary investor….. but he decided to become a political gadfly in his later years, and in that area he does not shine.

    3. According to academic Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, since 2009, 95% of the economic gains in America went to the richest 1%.

      Peter, he’s a lapsed law professor with no chops as an econometrician. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    4. One must note that when personal wealth reaches a certain threshold, the money keeps working even if the individual retires. The wealthy can, of course, retain the very best financial planners. So even the ‘lazy rich’ can keep getting richer just by having access to good advice. For this reason we have historically recognized the concept of progressive taxation. The rich can easily pay more because their money keeps working.

      No, its not for that reason, Peter. The progressive rate structure is conditioned on the observation that the marginal utility of an additional dollop of income declines as your income increases.

      People with assets may consult financial planners, but they’re more likely to consult financial analysts, investment counselors, or trust officers. It’s doubtful many of their clients beat the market for long, at least beat the market consistently enough to justify the fees they pay the analyst.

      1. “It’s doubtful many of their clients beat the market for long, at least beat the market consistently enough to justify the fees they pay the analyst.”

        That tells one that they should keep the prices charged by their analysts down.

  13. Tax policy just changed in 2017, so we should give it several years to evaluate before thinking about more change. The area needing attention is spending priorities. In a growing economy, finally favorable to workers, we should be looking for reasonable ways to cut income support programs, and encourage financial independence. Transferring some welfare programs/services out of government to the non-profit sector is a major opportunity, as it can be shown that the non-profit sector is able to form much more personalized, effective client relationships than huge bureaucracies. With modest tweaks to corporate and estate law, we could unleash a burst of growth in human development-oriented non-profits (HumDevs).

    The main change to 501(c) law would be to create a new non-profit entity, the HumDev, allowed to build up equity value that can be traded. This would give the founders of HumDevs a reward system for building quality brands with excellent service stats, and allow them to have process innovations recognized by the Patent system, and licensed out for income.

    On the Estate Philanthropy side (a major funding source for HumDevs), tax law could be tweaked to give advantage to gifting a HumDev, for instance, allowing IRA distribution gifting to HumDevs tax free, as well as zeroing out state-level Estate Tax for such gifting.

    The playbook of the neosocialists is old and tiresome, trusting big bureaucracies to manage “soft-touch” challenges such as human development. Moderates and conservatives should be developing a private-sector alternative that reaches out to offer individuals self-improvement opportunity everywhere needed. The way to win this intellectual battle is to force neosocialists to explain why big government is the best provider of human development sevices, compared to sleeker, more-responsive private-sector alternatives. The way to lose this battle to to dig our heels in around the status quo as the best the economic system can do to develop human capital — that would be a forfeit.

  14. But no one will say what the fair share is, or how it is measured, or who gets to determine what’s “fair”.

    1. One thing you can do is to quit distributing benefits to favored sectors and penalties to all other sectors.

      1. A way to do this would be to end deductions and exemptions in the assessment of personal income taxes. Instead, the liability of the household would simply be x% of your income less a general credit for each member of the household.

      2. In regard to corporation taxes, we might explore replacing complicated levies on net profits with a simple levy on equity. Companies would issue to the federal treasury each year a stock-dividend equal to 1% of outstanding shares. The treasury is debarred from voting the shares. If the company is publicly traded, the Treasury sells the shares at an opportune time on the exchanges. If the company isn’t, it holds an online auction for the shares.

      1. Screw all that nonsense it automatically becomes overhead and is passed on to the consumer but if not that’s the fault of the business for being suckered. The only taxex paid come from the consumer aka The End User.

        Just go to an end user tax and ditch this nonsense. The Consumer then decides how much to spend and on what. But I wouild give one and one only deduction to everyone. A Cost of Life deduction for each man, woman, and chilld simply because what right does the government have to take from the citizens what they need just to exist?

        The rest is BS.unless your talking foreigners or whatever and the GD VAT is the absolute worst. We already pay VAT and that gets passed on tot he consumer.

        But the Socialist Regressive by any name including RINO’s won’t do that because the main reason for the Income Tax is controlling the population.

        1. Screw all that nonsense it automatically becomes overhead and is passed on to the consumer

          No, the economic impact would be apportioned between the consumer and the company’s stakeholders.

    2. FF Sierra,..
      – From a political/ candidates’ perspective, the most expedient proposal is a tax hike only on “the wealthy”, raising, say, an extra $100 Billion a year, and proposing that it be alloted in the following manner:
      $90 Billion of the $100 Billion would reduce the deficit, $90 Billion of it for additional spending on Social Programs, $90 Billion of it for increases Defense/ Veterans Programs, etc.
      It’s easier to “sell” that kind of “tax policy” to the voters than one might think.

      1. Until you figure out that’s only one third of the debt load so all you did was piss off the people who buy those T Bills to begin with. 20 Trilllion is 20,000 of your ‘it’s only 100 billion. Are you sure your name isn’t Alexandra?

      1. The one thing missing from this discussion is what should the government be spending? And that is exactly the way the political class wants it.

        1. Olly,..
          As you probably know, the federal government budget is $4.4 Trillion for the current fiscal year.
          That’s “what they’re spending” and it will inevitably
          climb higher year after year.
          Increased spending on “Entitlement Programs”…..Social Security, MediCare, MediCaid, etc. …..probably account for over 50% of gov. spending.
          Those programs are, and have been, the fastest growing part of federal spending.
          We enjoyed an extended period of exceptionally low interest rate for nearly a decade, which masked the “normal” or average rate of servicing the total federal debt.
          Given total debt of over $20 Trillion, the increase in interest rates will mean that a larger and larger share of the federal budget will go to just paying interest on the debt.
          If that interest expense currently accounts for c.5%? of the total federal spending, it’s likely to double in the coming years, given both the growing size of the debt, and higher rates.
          The “wall” and government shutdown have been mentioned here; it does not seem to me that the debate over the c. $5 Billion requested for funding is primarily an economic debate.
          Because of the size of the total federal budget, it’s like a family that has a monthly spending budget of $4400, and increasing that total spending an extra $5.00 to $4405.
          It seems to be more of a political football, with the “tough on illegal immigration” side v. “the sanctuary city” crowd that is apathetic about illegal aliens.
          Anyone, back to your point, it’s be a good idea for people to “look under the hood” to see how much is being spent, and where it’s going.

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