Why Are These Two Things Different?

Ethan Gach

I write about comics, video games and American politics. I fear death above all things. Just below that is waking up in the morning to go to work. You can follow me on Twitter at @ethangach or at my blog, gamingvulture.tumblr.com. And though my opinions aren’t for hire, my virtue is.

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21 Responses

  1. James Hanley says:

    I find it interesting that the author notes that since those loans are net positive income (profit) for the government, they should reduce their profit. I get where he’s coming from with that, but I don’t think it’s anything like the gimme that he thinks it is. Personally, I kind of like my government doing at least one thing that shows some direct ROI!


  2. Will H. says:

    Well, quarterly estimates are the rule for taxes, and you have to have a minimum of 90% of all taxes owed paid by the end of the year, or they will come out and wrack you. I meant that figuratively, but Lord knows, they’ve changed just about everything else by now, so they might really be doing that nowadays.

    Republicans have this thing about charging fees for government services. I don’t really agree with a lot of it, because certain things people should have access to regardless of their ability to pay.

    I think the ‘starve the beast’ thing went out right along with ‘compassionate conservatism.’ It’s just so 20th century. Matter of fact, ‘compassionate’ might just be a euphemism for ‘blow money.’Report

    • Ethan Gach in reply to Will H. says:

      Has any Republic Republican presented a budget recently that wouldn’t increase the debt in exchange for lower taxes?Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to Will H. says:

      The IRS are pretty decent about it, but speaking as a sole proprietor, avoid filing your quarterlies and they will make your life a living hell.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Knew a guy whose business got audited for having an “entirely too complicated” tax return…(it looked suspicious). He spent a couple of days trying to figure out what the IRS wanted, then finally just tossed them everything he had (hundreds of megabytes), and said “You find what you want.” Months and months of work later, they gave him a couple thousand. Turns out he had overpaid.

        That was one sorry auditor — figured he’d make a quick bounty and move on.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to Kimmi says:

          I’ve been audited twice.   I make enough charitable donations to set off their rules engines.   The IRS was really decent about it, both times.   When I was first setting up my corp, I didn’t understand the quarterly system as well as I thought I did and ran afoul of them.  They weren’t nice.Report

  3. trizzlor says:

    I think you’re conflating “fiscal conservatism” which is an economic strategy, and “Starve the Beast” which is a political strategy. The economic strategy dictates that government should be spending on as few services as possible while the political strategy hypothesizes that politicians are not required to wait for that spending to get cut before they can slash taxes.

    Keeping student loan rates low perpetuates a government service, so it’s wrong on principle even if it starves the beast. Really, the same goes for any government program; you could similarly ask why Republicans are against Medicaid or SCHIP, another program that also starves the beast. And the answer is that the end-game is spending cuts, Starve the Beast is just an intermediate tactic.Report

    • Ethan Gach in reply to trizzlor says:

      But why shouldn’t those who support cutting taxes also support loan forgiveness for those with government debt?Report

      • clawback in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        You might as well ask why they support low taxes, but constantly (and wrongly) carp about the half of the population that “doesn’t pay any taxes”.  The people with student debt, and low-income people who they believe pay no taxes, are not “job creators”, so tax cut voodoo doesn’t work on them.Report

      • trizzlor in reply to Ethan Gach says:

        Because they’re against redistributive spending first and foremost: cutting taxes ostensibly let’s you keep more of what you earned, forgiving loans let’s you keep more of what you were given.Report

        • Will H. in reply to trizzlor says:

          I believe the way that works in practice is that the interest from student loan debt is deductible.
          The principal is repaid in present dollars, worth much less than dollars of years-gone-by.
          So it is actually a money-making gig.Report

  4. Tom Van Dyke says:

    Konczal blows it here.  I’d rather not “invest” in womyn’s studies grads or community organizing majors. You can’t lump all higher ed together as wealth-creating.  Some majors will do just the opposite.

    In fact, I’d rather roll the dice on a Solyndra.  At least that was just throwing the money away, in that blissful Keynesian way.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      no, you’d rather subsidize rapists than women’s studies grads.

      Sorry, Did I hit a nerve?

      Maybe that one was a bit below the belt.

      I ain’t a feminist like you maybe think — but you gotta give ’em credit for dreamin’.

      Phillipi, WV. and fuck off about community organizing not making money.

      How much money does GASP save us a year?? It’s probably over a million dollars, easy.Report

      • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kimmi says:

        “As someone who teaches humanities in an expensive private liberal arts college, I like to keep abreast of the trends in the job market for my students. This useful chart from the Chronicle of Higher Education takes US Census data and breaks out the median income for graduates depending on their major. As you might expect, some of the tastiest salaries come from the toughest subjects. Petroleum engineering majors earn $120,000. Brown jobs really do rule. Ecology majors on the other hand get a little more than one third of that: $44,000. And remember: that isn’t a starting salary; it’s the median income for all the people in the field up to age 65. Stuffing envelopes for Greenpeace does not often lead to great things.”



        • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          Yes, destroying the planet has always been profitable. This isn’t news.Report

        • Here’s one side note: I happen to know a lot of dudes in the petrochem business, and I know a lot of dudes in the tree-hugger biz, having been one myself.

          Net, the petrochem folk have done more to reduce damage to the environment than the tree-huggers have.  Orders of magnitude more.

          I don’t malign their goals, here.  Just their methodology.  We’re not going to go back to living off of nuts falling from the trees.  If you can’t have a comprehensive and practical plan for agribusiness and energy… mostly energy… you’re fighting battles that might be worth fighting, but you are doing very little for the war.Report