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Articles about the work of Bob Herbert

Means-Testing Social Security
futureofcapitalism.com

This idea of means-testing Social Security, which we have been covering here, really has the potential to mix up the usual sides. Today Bob Herbert, a left-of-center New York Times columnist (call the squad squad, as Safire used to say), criticizes would-be-speaker-of-the-House John Boehner: "That's Mr. Boehner, for you — always willing to stick his neck out for the elite. When it comes to policies of particular concern to ordinary individuals and families, however, his generosity of spirit and passionate willingness to help vanishes. He believes, for example, that Americans who are at least 20 years away from retirement should be unable to receive Social Security before they are 70, and that Social Security benefits should be means-tested."

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Bob Herbert on Inequality
futureofcapitalism.com

In today's New York Times, Bob Herbert has a column bemoaning the prosperity of the prosperous:

This hyperconcentration of wealth and income, and the overwhelming political clout it has put into the hands of the monied interests, has drastically eroded the capacity of government to respond to the needs of the middle class and others of modest income.

Nothing better illustrates the enormous power that has accrued to this tiny sliver of the population than its continued ability to thrive and prosper despite the Great Recession that was largely the result of their winner-take-all policies, and that has had such a disastrous effect on so many other Americans.

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The Rich Get Poorer
futureofcapitalism.com

Those income inequality statistics from the IRS about how the rich got richer in 2009, cited in the Bob Herbert New York Times column mentioned here, turn out to be bogus, Bloomberg News reports, via TaxProf:

Two people were found to have filed multiple W-2 forms that made them into multibillionaires, an agency official said. Those reports skewed statistical wage tables, released Oct. 15, and made it appear that top earners in the United States had seen their pay quintuple in 2009 to an average $519 million each. The agency today released corrected tables that showed the average incomes of the top earners, in fact, declined 7.7% to $84 million each.

Oops. It'll be interesting to see whether the Times corrects Mr. Herbert's column, or whether Mr. Herbert changes his opinion, based on the new data.

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Sowell Versus Herbert on Taxes
futureofcapitalism.com

Thomas Sowell:

What are called "tax cuts for the rich" have been reductions in high tax rates under four different administrations, including the Democratic administration of John F. Kennedy. In each case, going all the way back to the 1920s, the reduced tax rates have led to increased tax revenues for the government.

"The rich" have ended up paying both a higher total amount of taxes and a larger share of all taxes than they did before what were called "tax cuts for the rich." The reason is very straightforward: high tax rates that people don't actually pay do not bring the government as much revenue as lower tax rates that they do pay.

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Infrastructure Bank
futureofcapitalism.com

From Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times:

Senator Kerry will introduce legislation next week to create a federal infrastructure bank — officially, the American Infrastructure Financing Authority — to provide loans and loan guarantees to large, essential infrastructure projects. The loans will be seed money used to leverage other sources of funding.

"These are strictly loans — not grants — for commercially viable projects," the senator said. "The federal government does no more than 50 percent of the loan. We expect that to leverage $600 billion or so in infrastructure investments over time."

Mr. Kerry said the initial cost to the government would be $10 billion.

Read More...


Means-Testing Social Security
futureofcapitalism.com

This idea of means-testing Social Security, which we have been covering here, really has the potential to mix up the usual sides. Today Bob Herbert, a left-of-center New York Times columnist (call the squad squad, as Safire used to say), criticizes would-be-speaker-of-the-House John Boehner: "That's Mr. Boehner, for you — always willing to stick his neck out for the elite. When it comes to policies of particular concern to ordinary individuals and families, however, his generosity of spirit and passionate willingness to help vanishes. He believes, for example, that Americans who are at least 20 years away from retirement should be unable to receive Social Security before they are 70, and that Social Security benefits should be means-tested."

Read More...


Bob Herbert on Inequality
futureofcapitalism.com

In today's New York Times, Bob Herbert has a column bemoaning the prosperity of the prosperous:

This hyperconcentration of wealth and income, and the overwhelming political clout it has put into the hands of the monied interests, has drastically eroded the capacity of government to respond to the needs of the middle class and others of modest income.

Nothing better illustrates the enormous power that has accrued to this tiny sliver of the population than its continued ability to thrive and prosper despite the Great Recession that was largely the result of their winner-take-all policies, and that has had such a disastrous effect on so many other Americans.

Read More...


The Rich Get Poorer
futureofcapitalism.com

Those income inequality statistics from the IRS about how the rich got richer in 2009, cited in the Bob Herbert New York Times column mentioned here, turn out to be bogus, Bloomberg News reports, via TaxProf:

Two people were found to have filed multiple W-2 forms that made them into multibillionaires, an agency official said. Those reports skewed statistical wage tables, released Oct. 15, and made it appear that top earners in the United States had seen their pay quintuple in 2009 to an average $519 million each. The agency today released corrected tables that showed the average incomes of the top earners, in fact, declined 7.7% to $84 million each.

Oops. It'll be interesting to see whether the Times corrects Mr. Herbert's column, or whether Mr. Herbert changes his opinion, based on the new data.

Read More...


Sowell Versus Herbert on Taxes
futureofcapitalism.com

Thomas Sowell:

What are called "tax cuts for the rich" have been reductions in high tax rates under four different administrations, including the Democratic administration of John F. Kennedy. In each case, going all the way back to the 1920s, the reduced tax rates have led to increased tax revenues for the government.

"The rich" have ended up paying both a higher total amount of taxes and a larger share of all taxes than they did before what were called "tax cuts for the rich." The reason is very straightforward: high tax rates that people don't actually pay do not bring the government as much revenue as lower tax rates that they do pay.

Read More...


Infrastructure Bank
futureofcapitalism.com

From Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times:

Senator Kerry will introduce legislation next week to create a federal infrastructure bank — officially, the American Infrastructure Financing Authority — to provide loans and loan guarantees to large, essential infrastructure projects. The loans will be seed money used to leverage other sources of funding.

"These are strictly loans — not grants — for commercially viable projects," the senator said. "The federal government does no more than 50 percent of the loan. We expect that to leverage $600 billion or so in infrastructure investments over time."

Mr. Kerry said the initial cost to the government would be $10 billion.

Read More...


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Bob Herbert

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