# Jonathan Bernstein Nails the Mad Hatter

Beautiful. (I was thinking the same thing during the debate, but since no one afterward pointed it out, I thought I must have misunderstood.)

Just wondering whether Romney still has his old calculator around. The one from his Bain days. The one that could actually add and subtract! And multiply and divide and perform algebraic, trigonometric and calculus equations, and do amazing other types of calculations too, apparently.

You know. The one that tallied up the funds in that Caymans IRA and in the Swiss and Bermuda accounts and shell corporations.

Better still: Maybe he can borrow a calculator from Brad Malt, his family’s trust-fund trustee and lawyer. Or from that PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant who did his taxes for the last two decades or whatever.

Oh. Wait. He did.

Bev,

Not getting your point.

Remember BDS? Bush Derangement Syndrome? Does MDS beareth speaketh thy name?

You have to click the article I linked to and read it before you read the rest of my post. The post is premised on the presumption that you’ll read that article, by Jonathan Bernstein, in the Washington Post.

A generous alternate reading of his claims would be that “burden” is tax rate, not tax expenditures. Thus, the rate could lower for some, stay the same for others, and revenue could stay neutral after you sprinkle some supply-side magic fairy dust around. Because lower rates always mean higher revenues. (/sarcasm)

@sammy It can’t be MDS as we sufferers from the syndrome call him Willard. I would call it WMD (willard madness disease) or WND (Willard Nuts Disease).

In any case, I have it. It’s reaching half Bush levels.

Jiminy Christmas! It’s not, repeat, not arithmetic, folks.

The economy is a complex adaptive system. That means that you are not going to get linear effects, as a rule. And that means that it is not just arithmetic.

People who claim that it is arithmetic are either not the ones doing the calculations, or they are making assumptions. Probably unrealistic assumptions.

IIUC, Romney is claiming that the share of taxes for each income class will remain the same. In that case, the rebuttal is not, no, you can’t do that. It is, you are reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. In that case, it does no good to quibble whether a certain arrangement is possible.

IMO, Romney is not being straight about taxes. He does not really want to keep the relative shares of taxes the same. He wants to reduce the share paid by the rich. All of this talk about offsetting rate reduction by eliminating loopholes is simply smoke and mirrors. If he were president and a Republican Congress sent him a bill that reduced taxes on the rich with no other features, he would sign it in an instant.

min

just to say that while you are right in general,

calculating that the cost per person per week per year for paying for the 8.6 Trillion Dollar Unfunded Deficit!

is 40 cents per week per year

is just arithmetic.