January 23, 2012
In Search Of: Fiscal Responsibility
Given all the talk about taxes, I wondered how the Republican candidates plans stack up on the fiscal responsibility dimension, which Jeffry Frieden and I define thus:
[T]rue fiscal responsibility involves a willingness to raise sufficient tax revenue, over the longer term, to pay for the programs the government implements. Fiscal responsibility should not be equated with a small government, but rather with a commitment to pay for the government services provided. ...
... If the nation affirms that enhancing national defense and improving health care for the poor are legitimate goals, fiscal responsibility entails raising the revenue to fund these programs, rather than borrowing for them. (Chinn and Frieden, Lost Decades, 2011, pp. 202-03.)
Here is a summary of the scoring of candidates plans by the Tax Policy Center, as reported by Cooper and Kocieniewski in the New York Times (January 18, 2012).
From the article:
It is not unusual for Republican presidential candidates to call for tax cuts that would expand the deficit: They argue the cuts will spur the economy. But they are now calling for tax cuts in a year in which Washington and many Republicans have been consumed by talk about reducing the deficit. It was only last summer that House Republicans balked at raising the nation’s debt ceiling, citing alarm about high deficits -- a move that brought the nation uncomfortably close to a default and led Standard & Poor’s to lower the nation’s credit rating.
By reducing the amount the federal government collects in taxes each year -- at a time when federal tax collections are already a smaller share of the economy than they have been in more than half a century -- the Republican tax plans will make it harder to balance the budget, said Robert L. Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates fiscal responsibility.
"If the first thing you do is lower revenues by that much by extending all of those tax cuts, then you have a much bigger hole to dig out of to get back to a balanced budget," he said in an interview. "The hole they’re digging, to mix metaphors, is a self-inflicted wound."
The tax picture can be visualized by way of plotting the tax revenue to GDP ratio.
Figure 1: Federal government taxes and contributions to social programs (blue), and current expenditures (red), both as a share of GDP. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BEA, 2011Q3 3rd release, NBER, and author’s calculations.
Note that total tax revenues (income taxes and contributions for social programs) are at very low levels. By way of contrast, expenditures are high, but not that much higher than those recorded during the Reagan Administration. That peak was at the end of recession, so the operation of automatic stabilizers and the defense buildup were important, while the current reading is several quarters into a plodding recovery. One can plot the tax and expenditure series against potential GDP. Then the prior peak in spending to potential GDP was in 1986Q3, several years into the recovery. What remains true is that the revenue to GDP ratio remains very low. And they have been trending lower ever since the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts implemented during the Bush Administrations (EGTRRA and JGTRRA, respectively).
Figure 2: Federal government taxes and contributions to social programs (blue), and current expenditures (red), both as a share of potential GDP. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BEA, 2011Q3 3rd release, CBO, Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update (August, 2011), NBER, and author’s calculations.
Given these trends, it is implausible that any tax cuts of the proposed magnitudes can be reconciled with balancing the budget by way of spending cuts.
Posted by Menzie Chinn at January 23, 2012 06:45 PMdigg this | reddit
I think it is fair to say that Ron Paul, given his druthers, would more than match any reduction in revenues with reductions in spending. Were Ron Paul unleashed, I expect $1t a year would only be scratching the surface, with the real cuts to follow.
It would be perfectly fair to point out that he would have a nearly impossible time getting either his tax cuts or his spending cuts through Congress, but the difficulty of getting Congress to go along doesn't mean his plan is irresponsible. Given our Congress, it might even be a healthy hint the other direction...
Posted by: ThomasL at January 23, 2012 10:21 PM
I think I would have to agree with an earlier commenter who said that while James is an economist, Menzie is a leftist first and an economist second.
An increase in tax rates above these levels would cause tax revenue to decrease, rather than increase.
Try it, and see.
Posted by: Darren at January 23, 2012 10:29 PM
By combining taxes and contributions you obscured the most important fact--our income taxes are far too low. From 1945 to 1980 income taxes averaged near 12% of GDP. Reagan reduced marginal tax rates so much that they fell close to 9%. Clinton increase them back to 12%; and Bush/Obama reduced them again to 9 %(and below). However, on budget expenses have remained 12%(+/-1%)) of normalized GDP throughout. The deficit in income taxes has been financed by borrowing, largely from the Social Security trust fund. But, not only can we no longer continue to borrow from the trust funds, we have to start paying money back as beneficiaries start relying on the trust funds. In the short term, we have to raise income taxes to 12%, simply to cover on budget expenses. In the long term, income taxes must rise above 12% in order to pay back the trust funds.
Posted by: bmz at January 24, 2012 04:36 AM
"...fiscal responsibility ... Jeffry Frieden and I define thus:
[T]rue fiscal responsibility involves a [b]willingness to raise sufficient tax revenue[/b], over the longer term, to pay for the programs the government implements. Fiscal responsibility should not be equated with a small government, but rather with a commitment to pay for the government services provided. ..."
Don't let this definition pass without thought. Consider that at the end of 2011 the total public debt outstanding was 100% of GDP. Now according to Menzie's definition "fiscal responsibility" is not reducting the debt to a managable level but "a willingness to raise sufficient tax revenue." If at the end of 2012 our debt to GDP ratio is 200% of GDP, how many of you would still agree with Menzie's definition of "fiscal responsibility" as the willingness to raise tax revenue to 200% of gdp?
Posted by: Ricardo at January 24, 2012 05:56 AM
There are a lot of "just do stories" that can be told about Figure 2. Menzie recited a couple.
One that he missed is that tax revenue exploded after the '03 Bush tax cuts. The slope of the revenue line is by far the steepest of any period of sustained, increasing tax revenue.
Using my calibrated eyecromiter, it appears that, if we had somehow avoided the '07 recession, we would have had a balanced budget in '09.
I think that this is an inconvenient truth for the "just so story" the Menzie tells in his book.
Posted by: Buzzcut at January 24, 2012 06:15 AM
Don't give Bush credit when it is not due. He was the one who killed the golden goose. Obama has just been breaking all the goose eggs ready to hatch.
Posted by: Ricardo at January 24, 2012 06:22 AM
Buzzcut, growth flattened in 2006-2007, not 2007-2008. I also printed this out and took a ruler to it, your eyecromiter is wrong. Finally, basing any argument on "if only the business cycle hadn't peaked like it always does" (i.e. "if only this time was different") is fundamentally stupid.
ThomasL, your faith in our position on the Laffer curve, which even the Chicago economists have abandoned, is touching.
Posted by: jtf at January 24, 2012 07:06 AM
The growth rate in tax revenue needs to exceed the growth rate in spending, pure and simple. Show us the plans on either side of the aisle that accomplish that.
I am not a Ron Paul fan, but he does make a valid point in that whenever moderates or conservatives suggest a cut in the growth rate of government spending, progressives and the media label the cuts as "draconian".
The point is that the public has been brainwashed into swallowing a cut in the growth rate of spending as equivalent to a reduction in the level of spending.
A redcution in the growth rate of spending is not a actual cut in spending.
Posted by: tj at January 24, 2012 07:41 AM
In my opinion, the hard reality facing the US and most other OECD countries is that most countries cannot afford their current level of government spending, especially given our outlook for a continued decline in Global Net Exports of oil.
However, I suspect that most OECD countries that are running deficits will curtail their borrowing only when they can't afford to borrow at market rates, leaving central banks as the "lender" of last resort.
While I agree that there will be attempts to increase revenue via higher tax rates, I suspect that these attempts will be largely futile.
Posted by: Jeffrey J. Brown at January 24, 2012 08:30 AM
Darren: An increase in tax rates above these levels would cause tax revenue to decrease, rather than increase.
Try it, and see.
We have tried it, three times in recent memory. Reagan cut taxes and deficits soared. Clinton raised taxes and we had surpluses. Bush cut taxes and, again, we had record deficits. Obama is continuing the Bush tax cuts and we continue to have big deficits.
Note that not one single Republican voted for the Clinton tax increase. They universally declared that that the tax increase would destroy the economy, just like you today. They were wrong.
You can argue causes and effects, but history does not support your simple narrative.
Posted by: Joseph at January 24, 2012 08:45 AM
Darren: There once was a time when conservatives believed in balanced budgets. At that time, I guess I was a rightist? If you want to ascribe to me malleable titles like that, it's fine with me. I would just say that you have a very time-specific, context-free definition of "leftist" in your lexicon.
By the way, a factual statement or some chain of logic might be a useful contribution to the discussion. In particular, there is no empirical evidence at all that we are on the far side of the Laffer curve (except in the fevered imagination of the Heritage/CDA simuluation I cited).
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at January 24, 2012 08:53 AM
We HAVE a fiat money system with floating exchange rates. When the govt spends it creates money. When the govt taxes it destroys money. The govt does not need revenue. Taxes serve to give money value and limit aggregate demand; not to give the govt revenue to spend. The fiscal responsibility you talk about applied to the pre 1971 gold standard. Why can't you over educated egghead professors get this?
Posted by: markg at January 24, 2012 09:09 AM
Dr. Laffer is a friend of mine. Even he says that we are not on the far side of the Laffer curve. He supported Clinton's fiscal policies.
Posted by: JLR at January 24, 2012 09:49 AM
"Finally, basing any argument on "if only the business cycle hadn't peaked like it always does" (i.e. "if only this time was different") is fundamentally stupid."
Scott Summers would disagree with that.
Look, I don't disagree that the housing bubble was going to pop eventually. But was it a law of nature that it was going to pop precisely in Q407? I don't think so. Luck alone could have delayed it to '08, or '09, or whatever.
So my calibrated eyecromiter needs recalibration? I too printed out Fig. 2, and drew trendlines for revenues and expenditures. Balance appears to be in Jan. '09.
Posted by: Anonymous at January 24, 2012 10:18 AM
As a more casual observer I think this is an important topic. I've been watching the R debates and it's kind of odd, after all the caterwauling about the deficit, that nobody (except Paul, I guess) gives even a rats ass about the debt or deficit. Defense spending? Spend more! We gotta bomb Iran! Medicare? Repeal Obamacare and restore the Medicare cuts! Tax cuts? Pay for themselves with magic fairy money!
So why not bring that up on an economics blog? It's pretty clear that tax cuts will not be paid for, and there will be spending increases. If we elect a republican president.
Posted by: random worker at January 24, 2012 11:14 AM
Anonymous aka Buzzcut: Who is Scott Summers?
Posted by: Menzie Chinn at January 24, 2012 12:38 PM
"I think it is fair to say that Ron Paul, given his druthers, would more than match any reduction in revenues with reductions in spending. Were Ron Paul unleashed, I expect $1t a year would only be scratching the surface, with the real cuts to follow.
It would be perfectly fair to point out that he would have a nearly impossible time getting either his tax cuts or his spending cuts through Congress, but the difficulty of getting Congress to go along doesn't mean his plan is irresponsible. Given our Congress, it might even be a healthy hint the other direction..."
It would completely fail as well. For all those tax cuts, the cuts would negate them decreasing demand, causing a even bigger transfer to the wealthy, who would be liquidating at will to profit from deflation while the banks fail and the middle class savings are destroyed. The whole thing would fall like a anvil in street. Paul would be outed as a Ashenazi he is and the truth of "paleo-libertarianism" reveiled.
You don't seem to understand is the problem of current tribe of wealth inequality. It leads towards failure and government overspending.
Posted by: The Rage at January 24, 2012 02:02 PM
tj I am not a Ron Paul fan, but he does make a valid point in that whenever moderates or conservatives suggest a cut in the growth rate of government spending, progressives and the media label the cuts as "draconian".
The same could be said of conservatives when Democrats propose cuts to the military. Suddenly we hear all about a "hollow Army" and all that BS.
And what about all those retired Tea Party types that are demanding Medicare "reform" for everyone else except for themselves? Look what happened to the Democrats when they cut $500B in pure Medicare waste in order to support universal health insurance for everyone else. "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!" Look at the programs that are driving the long run deficit; it's almost entirely support programs for the same greedy geezer Tea Party voters who have the leisure time to protest runaway government spending! Apparently cognitive dissonance is also a function of the aging process.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at January 24, 2012 03:13 PM
Its interesting that President Obama suggested in his State of the Union speech that corporate taxes should differentiate between domestic and offshore labor inputs... In effect, such a policy would erect US tariffs on foreign manufactured goods.
Looks like we are escalating from monetary inflation to mercantilism in an effort to work our way out of our credit bubble. State sponsored capitalism seems to be looming just as it did in the 30's 40's and 50's. Do the multinationals have enough juice to prevent this kind of legislation? Any thoughts?
Posted by: MarkS at January 24, 2012 06:55 PM
The IMF's latest fiscal monitor paints a surprisingly positive view of the Eurozone crisis. Fiscal consolidation is now well underway, with Eurozone cutting back a full two percentage points of GDP to deficit levels. The US also made progress. Perhaps, Europe has turned the corner.
Check out the second chart in this youtube video:
Here is the full pdf report from the Fund:
IMF Fiscal Report
Posted by: Greg at January 24, 2012 08:09 PM
No Menzie, a balanced budget is not what you seek, since you are far more enthusiastic about 'taxing the rich' than cutting spending.
When you are interested in cutting spending to the same % of GDP as it was during the Clinton years, then we'll see.
there is no empirical evidence at all that we are on the far side of the Laffer curve
Oh really? Then why are states with high income taxes (CA, NY, MA) losing tons of people to states with low income taxes (NV, TX, FL)?
Among US states, population gain and loss is pretty well corelated to state income taxes and business friendliness rankings.
Like I said, a leftist first and an economist second.
Posted by: Darren at January 24, 2012 08:52 PM
ut history does not support your simple narrative.
Actually, your facts are completely wrong. On top of that, you seem to think income is the only component of deficits, rather than income+spending.
Oh, the Clinton surplus was due to the Republican congress, btw. As well as the tax CUTS on capgains in 1997.
So you think surpluses in 1999 were due to tax increases in 1993 but not tax CUTS in 1997?
No wonder leftism is a haven for the intellectually inadequate (aka Joseph).
Posted by: Darren at January 24, 2012 08:55 PM
I love it how Joseph attributes 1999 surpluses to tax increases of 1993 but not the closer-in-time tax CUTS on capital gains in 1997.
Then again, if leftists were interested in facts, they would not be leftists. Heh.
Posted by: Darren at January 24, 2012 08:57 PM
Now according to Menzie's definition "fiscal responsibility" is not reducting the debt to a managable level but "a willingness to raise sufficient tax revenue."
Like I said, some people are leftists first and economists second.
Posted by: Darren at January 24, 2012 08:58 PM
I don't know where the idea that unlimited spending can always be paid for with tax increases came from but it is actually not leftist; it is not even Keynesian or from the Laffer curve. It appears to come from the mythological Cornucopia of Rome and Greece, but I doubt even the ancients actually took it seriously. Only based on modern "logic" has the idea been considered seiously as a basis for government policy.
Posted by: Ricardo at January 25, 2012 06:18 AM
It sounds like you are saying that the right complains about cuts in the level of spending while the utopians on the left complain about cuts in the growth rate of spending.
The issue that most folks have with the $500B medicare cut is the way 'the team' used accounting tricks to sell obamacare as revenue neutral.
Posted by: tj at January 25, 2012 06:18 AM
The alternative view is to look at how much revenue we are raising (taking into account that it will increase when the economy recovers - without increases in existing tax rates) and spend only that amount. That would of course require that government programs be reviewed and eliminated where they are not effective. Start with the Depts of Education, Energy, Transportation and Labor.
Then we can move on to reform those open-ended promises we call entitlements.
Posted by: Rich Berger at January 25, 2012 08:12 AM
Obamacare was not sold as "revenue neutral" but as reducing the future rate of growth of medical spending, something the nonpartisan and respected CBO agrees it should do. Ironically, one of the main ways it is supposed to do that has been strongly attacked by GOPsters in Congress, the cost control board...
Probably a waste of time even bothering responding to an ideological ranter like you (just how frequently do you accuse people of being "leftists"?), but:
California has the seventh highest population growth rate of any state. New Hampshire is 32nd on that list, the only state besides Alaska without income or sales taxes. Another income taxless state, South Dakota's rate is the same as the national average.
There is probably a weak negative correlation between population growth and tax rates by state, but there are many other factors involved in this. And this is no response to the argument about the Laffer curve. In any of those states, if you cut the tax rate, revenues would fall. The rates are all too low to be on the far side of the Laffer curve. Most studies suggest you have to be up around 60-70% tax rates before you get on the other side of the curve where cutting rates raises revenues, and the US is nowhere near that anymore, although between 1940 and 1964, the top marginal rate was over 90%, a period during which the US economy grew more rapidly than since 1987, when the top rate has never exceeeded 40%.
Oh yes, the 97 tax rate cuts did probably increase revenues slightly, those are a special case, but the Clinton income tax rate increases were still in place, which had been loudly forecast to plunge the US into recession. Instead, the economy steadily grew after they came in, with this growth being the main reason for the surpluses in the late 90s, not the tax increases themselves, much less the 97 tax cuts. Overall, many people way overexaggerate the effect of the tax code on aggregate growth rates.
Posted by: Barkley Rosser at January 25, 2012 09:20 AM
BTW, I am strongly in favor of major tax simplification. But I do not harbor any illusions that it is going to result in some massive increase in growth rates, despite the ongoing propaganda spewed by many proponents of various extreme versions of such schemes. We did a major tax simplification in 1986, which I supported, but there is little evidence that it did doodley-squat to raise the aggregate GDP growth rate of the US.
OTOH, it is possible to have a tax system so messed up that simplifying it will both raise revenues and help the growth rate. The obvious example was the flat tax implemented in Russia in 2001 by Putin. But then, prior to that there were locations in Russia where the tax rate exceeded 100%. Really. I shall not bother explaining what goes on when that is the case, although the historical record is well known (hint: think move to barter economy and massive bribery of tax officials).
Posted by: Barkley Rosser at January 25, 2012 09:23 AM
This is one funny thread. Reality, we don't need no stinking reality, we've got ideology on our side and 2000 was so far ago we can't remember what last worked. Deficits allow the households of the US to act like hedge funds and make the carry on the current payment of future tax receipts. This works great until the carry return falls to zero (too much capital will get you there,) or the market becomes convinced that the households won't repay the non-carry portion of the trade. We seemed to have hit both of those conditions, and the virtuousness of this has reached zero. So creating the belief that we will actual collect those previously paid out tax receipts is necassary to restoring the virtuousness of this activity. One question though, How do you folks propose to pay for those 2 free wars?
Posted by: Frank in midtown at January 25, 2012 09:36 AM
I am the only shareholder of my business and my business income is taxed at 35%. Then, I decide to take my after-tax corporate income and pay it to myself as a dividend. The government says I have to pay another 15% tax on my business income. That means my effective tax rate is 50%.
Now, Obama wants to increase the tax rate on dividends to 30%. If so, I will pay 75% of my business income in taxes.
Shareholders are owners of the firm, it doesn't matter if there is 1 shareholder or a million. The income from the business they own is taxed at 35% before dividends are paid and again at 15% after they are paid.
Why not set the corporate rate at 0% and tax dividends at 50%? Or 75% as Obama favors?
At the same time, interest income for my corporation is deducted before taxes. So interest income should be taxed as normal income.
Easy solution - Set the corporate rate to 0% and tax dividends, interest income and capital gains at normal rates unless they are held by a pension fund. If held by a pension fund, defer all taxes until the income is paid as a benefit.
If it was not sold as revenue neutral then why all the accounting gimmicks to get the CBO to score it as such?
Posted by: tj at January 25, 2012 12:00 PM
"Anonymous aka Buzzcut: Who is Scott Summers?"
It's Scott Sumner.
Posted by: Buzzcut at January 25, 2012 12:18 PM
tj- Get an accountant. Take all profits as your income. Bonus it out at the end of the year. It is what I did when self incorporated. It is what I do now for my small corporation. Why the heck are you paying yourself dividends?
Posted by: steve at January 25, 2012 12:45 PM
math 65% not 75%. Steve - it was an allegory.
Posted by: tj at January 25, 2012 01:09 PM
tj It sounds like you are saying that the right complains about cuts in the level of spending while the utopians on the left complain about cuts in the growth rate of spending.
More fact free analysis. Try looking at the data. There are lots of examples of non-defense programs taking huge cuts...not cuts in growth rates, but absolute cuts. For example, in 2006 the "education President" cut federal education spending by 14.6%. In that same year recreation and culture spending by the federal govt was cut by 6%. Bush cut health spending on disease control four years in a row. Great idea in the age of AIDS, swine flu and avian flu. Again, these are cuts in absolute dollars, not cuts in growth rates. The very few years in which DoD budgets were cut, the cuts were miniscule by comparison and almost all of those cuts occurred in the first few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
As Barkley Rosser said, the CBO did not say Obamacare was revenue neutral. The CBO said that it saved roughly $100B over the first 10 years and quite a bit more ove the next 10 years. But conservatives are in kind of a box here. If they claim that the $500B in Medicare savings are not real, then they must also concede that their efforts to whip up seniors over Medicare cuts were dishonest because according to their own argument there really weren't any cuts. Talk about arguing in the alternative! Sorry, can't have it both ways. The opponents of Obamacare are either lying about the ephemeral nature of the Medicare savings or they lied to seniors about the Administration gutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Either way, the GOP apologists lied.
You might want to rethink your example of the corporate tax rate and unearned income. If you think it all the way through you will see that you are making two simultaneously inconsistent arguments.
Posted by: 2slugbaits at January 25, 2012 02:15 PM
Absolutely flabbergasted that anyone would argue with the self-evidently reasonable claim that society should pay for the services it demands from government. But here we are ... once again considering candidates who promise more tax cuts while promising increases in government services ... and decrying the level of government deficits and debt. Have we really become so stupid that we cannot see the absurdity of their positions?
Posted by: MarkOhio at January 25, 2012 04:38 PM
Probably a waste of time even bothering responding to an ideological ranter like you
Translation : Barkley is not accustomed to facing facts.
California has the seventh highest population growth rate of any state.
California : More people leaving than moving in :
Whatever little increase is fed by illegal immigration.
New Hampshire is 32nd on that list, the only state besides Alaska without income or sales taxes.
You really went out of your way to avoid mentioning the bigger states like TX, FL, WA, and even NV that would refute your weak anecdote about NH (which still draws people from high-tax neighboring MA).
Posted by: Darren at January 25, 2012 11:22 PM
Now it sounds like you are saying that when the left makes a cut ($500B Medicare) that it does no harm to society because it simply squeezes the waste out of the system, but when the right makes a cut, there is no reduction in waste, so cuts from the right flow directly to a loss in welfare for society.
As you like to say, you can't have it both ways.
My initial point was that the average voter has been brainwashed by Big Brother to see a cut in the future growth rate in spending as a cut in the level of spending.
Posted by: tj at January 26, 2012 06:08 AM
Those are percentage rates, so the fact that NH is next to "Taxachusetts" is all the more significant in its low rate of population growth.
Again, the question was the Laffer curve, and your tale of migration does not respond to that at all. Typical "change the question" nonsense answer by you. Sure, rising populations will tend to increase revenues somewhat, but not enough in general to offset the hard fact that cutting tax rates at the state or local level tends to reduce tax revenues, which is the issue at hand.
As for population growth, indeed there are many factors involved, with studies showing tax rates pretty far down the list. At the top is job growth, but others that influence the list, and your little list in particular, are climate (people like warm weather) and the one you stupidly brought up, immigration from abroad, which has to do with proximity to borders.
So, duh, TX and FL are both warm and receive large amounts of illegal immigration, while SD and NH are cold and do not. Duh. WA is sort of a wash, with mixed climate (but not too cold, which is what many do not like), although not as much proximity to sources of illegal immigration.
So, please stop strutting about proclaiming your love of irrelevant facts that appear to support your ideological ranting. You just continue to add to what a fool you look like the more you persist with these silly irrelevancies only vaguely related to the actual issue at hand. This is typical of people like you who persist in denying the hard reality that in general pretty much everywhere in the US, federal, state, local, you will fail to increase revenues if you cut tax rates, period.
Posted by: Barkley Rosser at January 26, 2012 10:11 AM
"I am the only shareholder of my business and my business income is taxed at 35%. Then, I decide to take my after-tax corporate income and pay it to myself as a dividend. The government says I have to pay another 15% tax on my business income. That means my effective tax rate is 50%."
I'm no accountant, but is that how math works?
Posted by: Anonymous at January 28, 2012 10:47 AM
The math may be wrong (actual effective tax rate is 44.75%) but the principle is sound, no? Why do we tolerate this system of double taxation where the combined taxes are so high? And now there are proposals to make them even larger?
Posted by: Anonymous at March 2, 2012 03:03 PM