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Benjamin Landy
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Dave, As you point out, the Piketty-Saez income share data is pre-tax, and does not account for transfer payments. However, the outcome and my conclusion remain the same. According to the CBO document you linked to, "The equalizing effect of transfers and taxes on household income was smaller in 2007 than it had been in 1979." And even though the total size of transfer payments increased, the proportion benefiting the bottom quintile fell from over 50 percent in 1979 to around 35 percent in 2007. The rest went primarily to the elderly, in the form of Social Security and Medicare. Overall, the tax code also became less progressive over the 28-year period examined in the CBO report. Your point, therefore, is well taken, but the story remains the same. It is, if anything, overly optimistic.
Paul, "Per capita" means per capita. And that's not how the math works. Annualized growth in this graph means the author took the average of Q1 to Q1 growth for each year of each presidency. So dividing Reagan's number by 8 and Obama's by 3 is redundant. I made two versions of this graph myself, one with inflation and one without; both are broken down into national defense and human resources growth. You'll be interested to see that the projection for a two-term Obama presidency actually has even less growth than in the graph above.
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Joe, does AI refer to the Adobe Illustrator format? You may use the graphic with proper citation. Benjamin
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Jun 20, 2011