Democrats & Liberals Archives

Some Quick Points...

If changes in the tax code are a redistribution of wealth, why did George Bush and the Republicans decide that the wealthy needed more money, and not the middle class? And why did McCain choose to change his opinion about where the money need to go? And finally, if tax cuts are always such great policy for creating jobs, why has the greatest series of tax cuts in history failed to create corresponding job gain, while millions of jobs were created under the tax rates that were higher?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 7:40 AM
Comments
Comment #268457

Stephen,
If the tax code was a redistribution of wealth and America is truely a Capitalistic Society than would it not make more sense to the lowest wage earners more money than the millionaire in order to let the Market decide who gets rich the following year?

No, taxes with all their problems is a method for Government to replenish the National Treasury and influence the Elite and Poor to act a certain way. For example; give a Corporation a tax break that would only allow them to write off their business expenses if they paid their employees a Livable Wage and see how many business might scream, but concede to the wishes of Government.

Additionally, give a Consumer a tax break only if they could prove that with their Livable Wage that they are meeting the Requirements of a Citizens set by Society and see how many Citizens give in to the fact that they need health insurance, etc.

So why the Democratic and Republican Leadership may want to use the Tax Code as Class Warfare during an election, I wonder what Congress would do if a group of Citizens introduced a Bill into the House of Representatives that would require All Politicans pay taxes on any money raised by their party?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 27, 2008 9:01 AM
Comment #268460

Stephen good point because as I read your post I am listening to McCain on CNN promising to further cut taxes on stocks held for a year or more to spur growth and confidence in the stock market. He hasn’t said anything about the 12 billion in debt that has occurred using this borrow and spend strategy the biggest share of the past 30 years. More of the same McCAin just doesn’t get it.

To answer your question it’s not wealth redistribution when the rich get the taxes breaks on the back of the middle class, it’s an economic plan Bush 1 called voodoo economics but is referred to as trickle down economics by the repubs and their conservative enablers. Not letting facts get in the way of ideology still works on the talk radio crowd.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 27, 2008 10:17 AM
Comment #268461

My trouble with trickle down economics is pretty simple: the whole reason we have rich people is that for one reason or another, money accumulates and stays in certain people’s hands rather than circulating evenly. This is a fact of life in a capitalist system, even the best of them. And why not? Those people are often doing things for the rest of us.

However, any economic theory that says, given a progressive tax, that you’ll get more wealth circulating through a system if you cut the rich folks’ taxes more ignores the basic reality that money circulates less from these people than from the middle class. If you’re cutting taxes to stimulate the economy you want to put the money in the hands of those most likely to keep the money moving, rather than standing still.

The other part of the dynamic they miss should also be common sense: ultimately, the money flows upwards. We put the money into the market, which filters up to the companies and the investors in question. Maybe the tax policy takes more from them in the near term, but ultimately, it gives it right back in the long term.

Money inevitably flows up in an economy. If Businesses and upper-income folks were less concerned about getting theirs at everybody else’s expense, they’d probably be better regarded, and no poorer for that. It’s not as if these people were going extinct before Reagan came along.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 10:36 AM
Comment #268462

Business was more Disciplined in the 1950s and 1960s there was a thing called Risk management and more Capitol was put back into the company to increase productivity and efficiency therefore creating a good balance of labor and Management and Business,Inflation in that period was super low and a dollar was strong my Dad’s Business grew tenfold in that period and it was a union shop,the scales shifted in the mid to late 1970s with high inflation And Interest rates combined with the tax rates and stagflation and the new EPA laws put him in bind.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at October 27, 2008 10:56 AM
Comment #268463

>My trouble with trickle down economics is pretty simple: the whole reason we have rich people is that for one reason or another, money accumulates and stays in certain people’s hands rather than circulating evenly. This is a fact of life in a capitalist system,
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 10:36 AM

Stephen,

You are right, but you limit your supposition to capitalism…if I remember right there were dachas on the Black Sea long before the end of the USSR, and if my guess is right, China, etc has the equivalent now. Wealth gravitates to those who want it badly enough to go after it and who are lucky enough to get there first, not to mention those who are willing to go beyond normal means to accumulate it. Most of us really don’t care that they have it…until they start complaining about being picked on. I don’t think there is anything less appetizing than to hear rich people cry about how hard the rest of us treat them. I wonder if those who play the game understand that if one of them wins…stands as ‘king of the hill’ with all the pennies…that wealth will have lost its alure?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 27, 2008 11:05 AM
Comment #268464

Stephen

That is the fundamental question America has to decide upon this week: Does American want to go way left…yes or no.

You do a nice job staking out the left’s position. Obama is left of you however. His 2001 video, currently circling the blogshere this morning shows that he probably will take the 5% of Americans who are supporting the other 95% with investment money and jobs and give it to those lucky 45% of Americans who pay no taxes. Let’s see: between food stamps, welfare, free health insurance, medicaid, and now a free check or two annually, it isn’t a bad idea to be “poor” now, is it?

Nah….why educate yourself, sacrifice, try to better yourself, when you can feed at the public trough instead.

Seems like a logical plan to me

Posted by: sicilian eagle at October 27, 2008 11:31 AM
Comment #268466

This welfare charge is the latest attempt to bring Obama down. Where have all the welfare giveaway accusations been all these months? Now we got stories of homeless people with signs for Obama that are as phony as the girl who carved a backward B in her face and said an Obama thug did it.

Seems like everything trick McCain charges Obama with he turns around and does himself. This time it’s class warfare.

Posted by: Schwamp at October 27, 2008 12:01 PM
Comment #268468

Schwamp,

You are right, and don’t forget that much of Obama’s time in Chicago was dedicated to ‘welfare to work’ programs. He actually helped, for a time, for less people to be on welfare. I wonder how many more are there now that conservatives have had their sway on our economy…not only in Chicago, but most other places as well.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 27, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #268469

i don’t think stephen is “staking out the left’s position”, he is asking very simple questions. if tax breaks equal jobs where are the jobs? the next unemployment rate may be very shocking next month, too bad it comes out friday after the election.

so, where are the jobs?

Posted by: bluebuss at October 27, 2008 12:16 PM
Comment #268470

SE - It sounds like you would prefer an “every man for himself” economic plan where if someone falls on hard times, looses a job, or gets sick it’s just too bad and they are on their own. It is a fallacy that everyone who winds up on public assistance does so for their rest of their lives and never does anything to get out of the situation and telling them to “get a job” is all you are offering them. While there are people who take advantage of the system and go out and have babies so they don’t have to go to work but they are a minority of the people in the welfare system.

Most people are only on for a short time while they are between jobs or their kids are too young to be in school and working a minimum wage job will barely cover the cost of day care much less pay rent and bills. I have two small children and to put them both in daycare would be around $1,100/mo a person earning minimum wage earns about $1,200/mo at 40 hours a week. After deductions they couldn’t even pay to have their kids in daycare. Thankfully my family isn’t in that situation.

I see welfare or any government assistance as being in the best interest of the country because, while kids may have crappy parents, they didn’t choose their parents. The children are the ones that will suffer, grow up in dire poverty, get a poor education, and be more likely to turn to crime or to wind up in the same state as their parents. Or it is a family whose breadwinner(s) is out of work temporarily because their job moved to China or India so their owners can exploit the poor in another country to make more money for themselves. These folks will be able to get back on their feet in a short time but if tossed out on the streets the chances of becoming productive members of society goes way down or will take a lot longer. What does society gain from having 3rd world poverty and a permanent underclass?

I think our welfare system is far from perfect and that the “throwing a check at a problem” is imperfect and really trying to solve problems on the cheap but it’s what we have.

SE - what’s your plan? It’s easy to throw stones but it’s hard to solve problems. Do you think we should do nothing? Do less? If so, what do you cut?

By the way, I work for a small company that thanks to being small and flexible we have been able to grow to where we will fall into the group that will be paying higher taxes under the Obama administration’s tax plan. The president of the company is not going to have to fire anyone or not hire new people because of this tax increase. The president of the company is supporting Obama despite the fact that he’ll have to pay a little more in taxes. I personally don’t make anywhere near 250k so my personal taxes won’t go up.

Posted by: tcsned at October 27, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #268472

SE-
If tomorrow, half of WalMart’s customers suddenly decided to go to Target instead, There would be little WalMart could do to forestall financial ruin. While it’s true that investors and investment are a vital part of our economy, they often rely on the circulation that flows through our economy to fund their investments.

Over the course of our history, we have found that the most efficient market system is one where people have the money to spend on other things than just necessities.

My personal feeling is that tax policy should put somewhat more weight on the rich, on the investors. By definition, the rich can afford it, and as long as the taxes don’t get too high, they benefit in the long term, as the average American spends more on the things that make them money.

You can talk about people being lucky if they’re part of that 45% that don’t pay taxes, but I can tell you from personal experience that even mild encounters with poverty don’t make one feel that lucky. You’re under the impression that if we just somehow let these people fall through the floor, the rest of us will be freed to make all the money in the world.

I’d say if that ever happened, you wouldn’t have to bother with calling liberals and Democrats the far left, you’d have a real far left to deal with. Go look at all those banana republics out there, where the rich have had unbridled power, where capitalist economic systems have become parasitic, rather than constructive parts of the local markets.

The thing about American Liberalism is that it let enough social welfare in the door to prevent people from perceiving the need for more. By intervening early and satisfying the need to prevent extreme poverty, to allow unionization, encourage environmental cleanliness, etc, the left saved the capitalist system in our country from having to face real socialism, in the forms it showed up in more autocratic societies that weren’t so accommodating.

FDR cut the socialists and communists off at the pass.

I think the key in motivation is both to provide people with limits to how long they can remain on such programs, but also ensure that there are businesses and jobs in range of those people which they can aspire to. I mean, if folks in the inner cities have to deal with unemployment and people trying to kick them off of welfare at the same time, what good is the latter motivation for solving the former problem.

The logical plan to me is to acknowledge that the problem of inner city poverty is a multifaceted problem, not the flat-out result of some moral hazard. There are plenty of people who work hard all their lives, yet remain poor, and its an insult to them to suggest that their poverty is a moral failing on their part.

The Republicans have tossed just about everybody they can toss overboard in trying to make their policies float. Yet despite tax cuts that were supposed to improve the job situation, things have only gotten worse.

Americans are beginning to ask: where’s this invisible tiger you keep on selling us the traps for? Sooner or later, they’ll be less fearful of your tiger, and more scared of remaining tied to an economic plan that seems rigged against them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 12:53 PM
Comment #268473

SE-
Speaking of economics, your children must cost you a fortune. Daily Kos is reporting that being part of your “next generation” is going to cost the little fledglings quite a bit of dough.

You know, folks can complain about Democrats buying the election, but Republicans just haven’t been asking the right people for the money.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 1:02 PM
Comment #268475

Could liberal social and economic theories and policies survive if there was no income and payroll tax? No, I think not. Could conservatism survive under the same circumstances? Yes, I know so as the proof is in our countries history.

The U.S. not only survived, but grew and prospered for many decades with no income or payroll tax. How was this possible?

I am not advocating eliminating the income tax but am in favor of a “fair” or “flat” tax system. Not only would individuals be better off, but our entire economy would flourish as we stop tinkering with the tax code to accomplish some insane attempt to establish a new right of “equal results” rather than equal opportunity.

Liberals tell us that we can tax and spend ourselves to wealth. Liberals tell us that we need to “spread the wealth around”…not thru work, education, favorable business climate, more jobs, fair trade, etc., but rather, by changing the tax code to confiscate from those who have and give to those who have not and huge new welfare programs to exceed even those which are failing now.

Performing an abortion on the goose laying the golden eggs is the liberal position. Feeding and nurturing the goose to lay more eggs is the conservative position.

Will the goose survive a dem congress and president working in unison to destroy the very fabric of our national prosperity?

Posted by: Jim M at October 27, 2008 1:57 PM
Comment #268477

SE-
By the way, This is what he actually said on the matter:

You know if you look at the victories and the failures of the Civil Rights movement and its litigation strategy in the Court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I would be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical, it didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf and that hasn’t shifted.

And one of the I think the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change and in some ways we still suffer from that.

In essence, he’s talking about the failure of the civil right’s movement to follow up court decisions with the kind of community organizing and coalition building necessary to redress the economic side of the injustice, to improve the financial well-being of those communities.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 2:02 PM
Comment #268478

If Barack Obama had run as what he has always been, rather than as what he has never been, then we could simply cast our votes based on whether or not we agree with what he has always stood for.

A candidate who spends two decades promoting polarization and then runs as a healer and uniter, rather than a divider, forfeits all trust by that fact alone.

Excerpt from; Obama and “The Left” by Thomas Sowell http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/10/27/obama_and_the_left?page=1

Posted by: Jim M at October 27, 2008 2:08 PM
Comment #268480

This is great…..

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cc65ed650d

Posted by: janedoe at October 27, 2008 2:41 PM
Comment #268482

Jim M-
A person making an argument that a candidate promoted polarization might do better than referencing the beliefs of a Right Wing columnist in order to make that point. Not everybody holds conservative opinion in high regard. Show me Obama actually appealing to such division in his campaigns.

If you can, that is. Even before he ran for elected office, Obama is on the record of having little regard for those who tried to play ethnic groups off of each other.

The Republicans have a bad habit of building off of each other’s imagined picture of Obama, rather than referencing primary source material to determine his true intentions and actions.

As a politician, Obama’s never been a big fan of tribal politics. The funny thing about it is, this opposition would be obvious to anybody who was remotely informed about what his given opinions are. They’d also be obvious if you remembered the time it took black people to warm up to Obama, and the conflict Jesse Jackson Sr. had with him (figurative castrations are generally reserved for rivals rather than allies)

Hell, Obama made his name by his moderate, affirmative vision of Democratic Party Politics. It was his keynote address in 2004 that put him on the map, and he did it by appealing to the country’s common ground.

Obama’s spent two decades promoting understanding. He appealed to a middle class, racially diverse constituency. He became a Senator in what had been a relatively moderate to red state. He didn’t rise all that time by being like a Black Panther.

But I guess if he’s black, then that means he must be a product of black politics, and be a divider rather than a uniter because of that. Is that what you’re getting at?

No, what we have here is a man of uncommmonly unique perspective who has found a new middle ground in politics that appeals across the board, from ghettoes on the East Coast to whitewashed picket fences in the midwest to farmlands in middle America. His constituents are broadly ranged. His politics aren’t radical in anything except their moderation.

But saying that, admitting that, obviously won’t help your party win an election.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 2:52 PM
Comment #268483

Stephen

Here in liberal Massachusetts, being on the dole is a generational thing. Now, three generations of families in Lawrence, Lowell, Fall River, New Bedford..all collect on a weekly basis.

Brought to you by Kennedy, Kerry and Frank. Add
Barry to that mix,and watch out!

I am tired of seeing recipients buying a roast with food stamps while the Eagle buys hamburg helper.

My personal view on taxes is that there should be a national sales tax instead of an income tax. Say you are in that 1% and you want that big fat diamond…well pay the state tax and fed tax and you can have it.Want that 5mil house? No problem, 1% please. Me thinks this is the fairest way.

Don’t worry Stephen, McCain still has time to pull this out,so the conversation is moot

:)

Posted by: sicilian eagle at October 27, 2008 2:54 PM
Comment #268484

Jim M,
With McCain and the RNC refusing to share the Wealth they are basically saying to their Advertisers, Costumers, Employees, and Investors that they do not matter while asking the same people for a tax break. Now how smart is that?

Yes, the Democratic Party does have their flaws, but telling me as a business person that I must be limited to X number of Costumers because you would rather hide you money in a jar and bury it than work the system so every American can become economicaly viable and financially independent is a very serious flaw in the Trickle Down Theory of the Republicans. So, please rest assure that Obama is being nice about wanting to raise the top money makers taxes only by 3%.

For if I had my way, those business owners who have not given their employees at least a $3.00/hr raise over the last 8 years would be taxed the 90% of their gross income as their grandparents were in the 60’s and 70’s. May be than McCain and the RNC would grow up and start being responsible citizens in charge of building a better world.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 27, 2008 3:10 PM
Comment #268487
I am tired of seeing recipients buying a roast with food stamps while the Eagle buys hamburg helper.

Eagle,
If this is all the sudden an issue, let’s hear what Obama has to say on it. I don’t believe he is all about standing up for sad sacks. What has McCain said about welfare reform? Nothing?

Posted by: Schwamp at October 27, 2008 3:42 PM
Comment #268488

Stephen wrote; “But I guess if he’s black, then that means he must be a product of black politics, and be a divider rather than a uniter because of that. Is that what you’re getting at?”

Last time I looked Stephen, Thomas Sowell, the writer of the article I linked, was also a black man. Here is his impressive biography;

Thomas Sowell’s Biography

Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. As with many others in his neighborhood, he left home early and did not finish high school. The next few years were difficult ones, but eventually he joined the Marine Corps and became a photographer in the Korean War. After leaving the service, Sowell entered Harvard University, worked a part-time job as a photographer and studied the science that would become his passion and profession: economics.

After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University (1958), he went on to receive his master’s in economics from Columbia University (1959) and a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago (1968).

In the early ’60s, Sowell held jobs as an economist with the Department of Labor and AT&T. But his real interest was in teaching and scholarship. In 1965, at Cornell University, he began the first of many professorships. His other teaching assignments include Rutgers University, Amherst University, Brandeis University and the University of California at Los Angeles, where he taught in the early ’70s and also from 1984 to 1989.

Sowell has published a large volume of writing. His dozen books, as well as numerous articles and essays, cover a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college. Moreover, much of his writing is considered ground-breaking — work that will outlive the great majority of scholarship done today.

Though Sowell had been a regular contributor to newspapers in the late ’70s and early ’80s, he did not begin his career as a newspaper columnist until 1984. George F. Will’s writing, says Sowell, proved to him that someone could say something of substance in so short a space (750 words). And besides, writing for the general public enables him to address the heart of issues without the smoke and mirrors that so often accompany academic writing.

In 1990, he won the prestigious Francis Boyer Award, presented by The American Enterprise Institute.

Currently Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, Calif.

Posted by: Jim M at October 27, 2008 3:45 PM
Comment #268496

mcfly quote, oops, mccain quote today “i will create millions of jobs through tax cuts that spur economic growth”. really? how? just saying these things doesn’t make it so, and we have 8 years to prove it.

Posted by: bluebuss at October 27, 2008 5:15 PM
Comment #268497

SE-
Like I said before, It’s not much use beating up people for sticking to government assistance if you don’t have jobs to compete for.

I don’t know what prices are like in Massachussetts, but down here in Houston, it’s a good day when the ground beef is two bucks a pound. Ground beef can get expensive. Who knows, you might be able to afford a roast if you’re not trying to buy the hamburger and the helper toegether. The roasts sometimes can be pretty cheap.

As for taxes? I think the last thing you need to do in an economy is tax goods. Republicans complain about income tax, but forget the time when our nation’s government essentially ran itself on protectionist tarrifs and customs duties.

Also, have you ever run into anybody who refused a six figure or seven figure income on the basis of higher taxes?

Jim M.-
My mistake: Liberal and Black. Now you’ll notice, Colin Powell’s politics were mainly unquestioned so long as he remained allied with the Bush Administration, but his appreciation by Republicans varied inversely with the distance he put between himself and his old boss. Then, when he endorsed Obama, suddenly, as Rush said “It was all about race”.

Sowell seems a smart guy, and he might be right on certain things, but he’s got the sort of views that qualify him as a safe black man for the Republican party.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 6:00 PM
Comment #268501

Democrats want to tax the rich, redistribute the wealth, and spend our way out of the economic doldrums. It won’t work. Senators Barack Obama and Harry Reid, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disdain supply-side tax incentives. But Sen. John McCain wants to reemploy them as a recovery tool. McCain is right, and now is the time for the Republican party to call for sweeping tax cuts that would reduce marginal rates by half for businesses, individuals, and investors. Yes, it would be bold. But no bolder than Reagan in the 1980s, Kennedy in the 1960s, or Mellon in the 1920s.

Read more about how; “This eclectic policy mix reignited economic growth, and it ushered in a three-decade prosperity boom that revived free-market capitalism.”

Link: http://townhall.com/columnists/LawrenceKudlow/2008/10/24/reagan__friedman__keynes?page=1

Posted by: Jim M at October 27, 2008 7:07 PM
Comment #268508

Jim M-
We’ve had the mother of all supply side incentives, and the economy’s response has been “meh”. More of the same is supposed to produce an enthusiastic response?

The Republicans have held on to tax cuts for so long because they constitute the one method of economic manipulation that is ideologically available to them. But they have basically ridden them into the ground.

Why am I supposed to suddenly be converted by this pundit you offer up? I don’t have your love of the Republican echo chamber, nor do most people anymore. The question here is can you justify the logic of dumping money in the ranks of the folks who are best at keeping it as a means of getting it into the hands of those who need it most.

Let the middle class and poor get their hands on some of the money, for heaven’s sake, before they do what they always do: send that money on to the rich, on to big businesses and small alike.

People will pay off their credit cards, buy some of the products of our big businesses, perhaps put a down payment or something on the new, more fuel efficient car.

The Republicans have had their chance to bring prosperity to the working class and middle class. They’ve failed. People are going with the Democratic economic plan.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 27, 2008 8:13 PM
Comment #268513

bluebuss

so, where are the jobs?

China, Mexico, India etc. etc. etc. Anywhere the corporations can avoid fair wages and benefits.

Posted by: RickIL at October 27, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #268538

I found this, but can’t remember where, so can’t link.

>Obama’s remarks came in a long interview on civil rights and Constitutional law with two other law professors on the Chicago public radio station WBEZ in 2001. (The full transcript is here, and audio is here.) Sunstein argued that Obama is discussing redistribution in a relatively narrow legal context: The discussion in the 1970s of whether the Supreme Court would create the right to a social safety net — to things like education and welfare. He also noted that in the interview, Obama appears to express support for the court’s rejection of that line of argument, saying instead that the civil rights movement should aim for the same goals through legislative action.

“What the critics are missing is that the term ‘redistribution’ didn’t man in the Constitutional context equalized wealth or anything like that. It meant some positive rights, most prominently the right to education, and also the right to a lawyer,” Sunstein said. “What he’s saying – this is the irony of it – he’s basically taking the side of the conservatives then and now against the liberals.”

The first mention of redistribution, which does not appear on the YouTube clip, comes when Obama discusses a 1973 Supreme Court ruling finding that there is no right to education.

“One other area where the civil rights area has changed… is at the state level you now have state supreme courts and state laws that in some ways have adopted the ethos of the Warren Court. A classic example would be something like public education, where after Brown v. Board, a major issue ends up being redistribution — how do we get more money into the schools, and how do we actually create equal schools and equal educational opportunity? Well, the court in a case called San Antonio v. Rodriguez in the early ’70s basically slaps those kinds of claims down, and says, ‘You know what, we as a court have no power to examine issues of redistribution and wealth inequalities. With respect to schools, that’s not a race issue, thats a wealth issue and something and we can’t get into.”

Later in the interview, Obama seemed to concur with conservative and mainstream liberal scholars on the court’s more modest view of its powers:

“Maybe i am showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but you know, I am not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts,” he said. “You know the institution just isn’t structured that way. Just look at very rare examples where during he desegregation era the court was willing to, for example, order … changes that cost money to local school district[s], and the court was very uncomfortable with it. It was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out, you start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that is essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time. The court is not very good at it, and politically it is hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So i think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts, I think that as a practical matter that our institutions are just poorly equipped to do it.”

Posted by: Marysdude at October 28, 2008 8:47 AM
Comment #268553


The redistribution of wealth to the wealthy began With the election of Reagan. George Bush and the Republicans with help from Democrats just expanded the program.

The real question is why did liberal Democrats abandon progressive policies and the working class?

Liberals, when they take over, will redistribute some wealth back down the ladder but, never in such a way that might offend their bankrolling masters. Example, If Obama’s universal health care plan was a significant detriment to the industries profits, they would go after it with a vengence, like they went after Hillary Clintons plan in the 1990’s.

Two years from now, progressives should be prepared to abandon the liberals, let them be the Republican lites that they are, and begin the revival of the Progressive Party.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2008 12:38 PM
Comment #268554

Marysdude,
Able to create and build a Mega Business model that would crush all competition out of existance while still meeting the needs and desires of the citizens using only the Common Knowledge and Common Sense of an American Layman Citizen, I have to object with your idea that Obama is speaking of theoretical law.

For why I have grown up to respect and understand the need for “We the People” to govern “We the Corporation” though the Debate of Labor and Management due to the Ignorance of the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s. At war with an enemy that believes as the Republican Party does, I have to ask the question if Management needs a new political party to debate Labor on how America goes about building a better world seeing that the McCain/Palin ticket wants to limit the number of economically viable and financially independent customers that my stockholders and business can have.

Because able to show that the Trickle Down Economics missed its opportunity to stop the Investors of Society from losing trillions of dollars over the last year by simple increasing the average Labors pay by $3.00/hr and allowing the Corporation to take a $120.00/wk tax deduction. I am torn between breaking a promise I made with My Peers of the 70’s and demonstrating to the Non-Believers of Man why the Courts of the Land and the Powers-that-Be convinced the Community Elders to run around telling everybody why the Sky is the Limit.

For if every Citizen is a Human (and that is questionable) than how can any Civil, Political, and Religious Leader claim that it is ok to allow the Rich to exploit the Labor of the Poor given the fact that one is Human before they become a Citizen?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 28, 2008 12:49 PM
Comment #268555

>If Obama’s universal health care plan was a significant detriment to the industries profits, they would go after it with a vengence, like they went after Hillary Clintons plan in the 1990’s.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2008 12:38 PM

jlw,

Why would they waste their money now? What if Obama is not elected? When Obama is elected and he sends his plan to the House for consideration will be when the big gun’s hammer falls…if Obama has a strong program, and now that people have some information, and if Congress has enough progressives in it, and if…if…if…we might get a health program that is fair and works. Nothing in this life is guaranteed, not even a good national health plan.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 28, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #268587

Stephen writes; “Let the middle class and poor get their hands on some of the money, for heaven’s sake, before they do what they always do: send that money on to the rich, on to big businesses and small alike.”

Let’s see how that works Stephen. Increase the corporate tax rate by 10% and I am sure you will agree that the consumer of that product will pay an extra 10% in the cost of the product.

The increased corporate tax of 10% is then forwarded to the politicians in Washington. They will skim off at least 2% and then, under your scenario, send 8% back to the consumer of their choosing (and it won’t be the middle class).

Now, the consumer has a net loss of at least 2% and you say this will lift the boat of the middle class. Please explain.

Or…we could eliminate the tax on corporations and pass on the 35% or so to the consumer in lower prices, in increased production, in more jobs. Under the “Fair Tax” the middle class would reap tremendous rewards unlike the socialist program of Obama that just has more folks chasing fewer dollars.

Posted by: Jim M at October 28, 2008 4:48 PM
Comment #268627

Jim M-
You’re using arithmetic where calculus might be better called for.

First, many corporations get out of paying taxes for the most part, so the effective tax rate is bound to be somewhat less.

Second, any rise in prices will still carry with it its own supply and demand issues. The person who doesn’t raise their prices might get a lot more business, and with the middle class employing the tax cut, you’ll see the money heading where its welcome. Business might see an uptick in their proceeds.

As for the Fair Tax? As I understand it, it’s a sales tax, which is by definition passed on to consumers, by definition regressive, and by definition more punishing on the middle class and the poor than on the rich who, save much more of their money rather than spend it.

In short, it’s a bad deal for those who don’t make the kind of money Boortz does.

Of course, that’s before you put the prebate into the equation. Except this prebate does two things: It makes the tax a de facto progressive tax, which defeats the point of getting rid of it in the first place, and it redistributes wealth, which is what you’re accusing us of doing.

Why not just save the trouble, reform and clean up the progressive tax? Oh, that’s right, y’all see it as the work of the liberals, despite the fact Republicans where the first to create the income tax.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2008 8:42 PM
Comment #268634

Stephen:

Adjusting the taxcode is not necessarily a redistribution of wealth.

What is socialistic is increasing taxes on one class of citicens, and giving those tax revenues to another class of citicens that currently pays no federal income tax. This is 40% of current taxpayers.

So, when Obama says he is lowering Federal incomce taxes on 95% he is not. Close to half of those taxpayers pay no federal income tax.

We are in a word of hurt when over 50% of taxpayers pay no income tax. In that event there will be a majority with no skin in the game on the income.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at October 28, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #268640

What’s wrong with the redistribution of wealth? The redistribution will happen regardless. The question is whether the wealthy want it to happen peacefully or violently. The wealthiest people in this nation should be thanking Obama for proposing a tax increase on them in order to quell the anger from the middle and lower classes towards them.

Posted by: Tom at October 28, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #268662

The rich get richer, but their numbers shrink…the poor get poorer, but their numbers increase…the only beneficiary is Wal*Mart.

Class warfare or the caste system, either way, BAD is in our future unless something is done. Conservatives are incapable, so what’s left?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 29, 2008 4:29 AM
Comment #268693

Craig Holmes-
Socialism? Or maybe capitalism that’s better in line with common sense. This is a consumer economy, yet Bush and McCain essentially treat the problem as one of investors and businesses not having enough money to hire new workers.

I’ll tell you what happens when you just hand that money to those people: they save it, or plow it back into profits that mainly go into the hands of those who save it.

The trouble essentially is, business has essentially worn people down in terms of the growth you can squeeze out of them. With the efficiencies of the modern computer era already in hand, consumers drowning in debt, and the credit providers finally hitting or exceeding their limits, you’re seeing us paying the piper on years of excess.

If we’re going to give folks a tax cut, who do we give it to? Those who aren’t having the problems, or those who are? Rather than go for trickle down economics, let’s just directly hook up the people were looking to help with the money. If you folks actually believe all that rhetoric of folks knowing better what to do with their money than the government, why not trust that the Middle Class might know better what to do with its money, rather than take the elitist position that they’re all a bunch of rubes whose money must be managed by big business?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #268736

Stephen writes; “If you folks actually believe all that rhetoric of folks knowing better what to do with their money than the government, why not trust that the Middle Class might know better what to do with its money, rather than take the elitist position that they’re all a bunch of rubes whose money must be managed by big business?”

Well, I don’t know if I am one of “you folks” or not, but I do believe that most folks, whatever class, know better what to do with the fruit of their labor and their capital than government.

A common error made by liberals and socialists is believing that all wealth belongs to government to dole out to the chosen ones. This fallacy began with the Pilgrims when they decided upon a socialists form of government and they nearly all starved to death. Fewer and fewer were willing to do the work to provide for the community and their very existence was imperiled.

Wisely, they decided to allow each person to keep what they grew for themselves and the colony soon prospered.

When I was in China in 1988 I visited a province that was experimenting with some capitalism whereby the farmers were allowed to keep what they produced in excess of the mandated government allotment. This province was thriving compared to much of the rest of the country where such experimentation was not being allowed.

Today, we see much more capitalism in China as it was found to work to the benefit of all. Our socialist Mr. Obama and his willing followers wish to make the same old mistakes that have proven to fail every time they were tried. Oh, I know, they just want a European form of socialism where government only confiscates half of what is earned. I read the London Times and other leading European papers on a regular basis and their form of socialism is bending and breaking under the yoke of government already and there are calls for more taxation on a regular basis to support all the entitlements in place with calls for even more. Unemployment in the EU far exceeds ours and interest rates are higher as well.

Socialism sounds good to those who wish to live off the sweat of others, but it is a system doomed to failure.

Posted by: Jim M at October 29, 2008 6:52 PM
Comment #268739

>Socialism sounds good to those who wish to live off the sweat of others, but it is a system doomed to failure.
Posted by: Jim M at October 29, 2008 06:52 PM

I’m certainly not in favor of Socialism, but when you speak of failure, please remember those words when it becomes apparent that Capitalism ain’t doin’ so well either…perhaps a Social Capitalism???

Posted by: Marysdude at October 29, 2008 7:26 PM
Comment #268765

“A common error made by liberals and socialists is believing that all wealth belongs to government to dole out to the chosen ones.”

Jim M this is more a common misconception by far right extremist than a common error made by liberals. No one wants taxes higher than they have to be. No one enjoys paying taxes. But no one enjoys burying the future generations in debt either. No one wants the elderly, disabled and survivors thrown into the streets.

Had the conservatives and corporatist been more fiscally responsible the past 30 years the tax hikes would not be needed. Unfortunately they have left us in a very serious financial condition much like the last time they were in power, just before FDR. Those that gained much while supporting these failed policies should do the right thing and pay their fair share. At least pay as much as the middle class percentage wise, thats not unreasonable is it?

We have been living under extreme conservative corpocracy for the past 7 + years and the borrow and spend and war policy imposed upon the American people by the conservative corpocracy has failed us. 12 trillion dollars in debt. How do you propose to whittle this debt down so that we don’t impose this debt upon our children’s grandchildren.

The American people have seen the results of the taxes cuts and war policy of the current conservative corporacy administration that you seem to support and we have seen that system fail us. McCain proposes more of the same, why?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 30, 2008 12:46 AM
Comment #268825

j2t2 writes; “Jim M this is more a common misconception by far right extremist than a common error made by liberals. No one wants taxes higher than they have to be. No one enjoys paying taxes. But no one enjoys burying the future generations in debt either. No one wants the elderly, disabled and survivors thrown into the streets.”

So this is what you think the liberal socialists are about…paying down our national debt? Hardly j2t2, have you not listened to what they advocate? Read Obama’s website about all the new spending programs he advocates. Vote for the man if you must, but please, understand what you are voting for.

marysdude writes; “I’m certainly not in favor of Socialism, but when you speak of failure, please remember those words when it becomes apparent that Capitalism ain’t doin’ so well either…perhaps a Social Capitalism???”

I am glad to hear that you don’t favor socialism. Even Perfect Socialism (which is impossible) would not begin to compare with our imperfect capitalism. That scoundrels, thieves, and crooks can be found in capitalism is hardly surprising. Let’s clean up our capitalist system rather than follow Obama into socialism.

Posted by: Jim M at October 30, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #268840

Jim M, SE and all you others that have NO CLUE about socializm and throw that label around quite freely.
Nowhere is Barak’s plans even closely related to socializm.
Socialism calls for the government OWNING the businesses and allowing the WORKERS to RUN the businesses.
This whole “redistribution of wealth” “issue” is as bogus as the rest of the smears and mud that McSame has been throwing around lately
“He wants to redistribute “YOUR” wealth” Mcsame Froths at every campaign stop, yet I doubt if many in his crowd are making over $250K per year so it would NOT be THEIR wealth.
But that is why he is screaming — it would be HIS and HIS BUDDIES wealth that would be hit and golly gee after 8 years of having the Middle Class get THEIR wealth REDISTRIBUTED UPWARDS they really don’t want off the Government Dole now do they???
(Tax subsidies and tax breaks are being on the dole)
I think it ironic that someone else made sterotypical smears about people on welfare, when we have Oil Companies and Agribusiness on the Govt dole for DECADES — but I guess that is ok eh?
We are NOT “sliding toward socializm” by going with Barack’s plan — far from it — but telling the truth would not create the climate of fear that is the only play in McSame’s book at this time.

I am getting so tired of hearing John Mc sounding like an angry old man and not offering any reasons to vote FOR HIM — listen to his speeches!! He only offers fear of the other guy — he GIVES ME NO REASON TO VOTE FOR HIM — HE OFFERS NO PLANS FOR THE FUTURE, NO HOPE, NO NOTHING EXCEPT MORE OF THE SAME, AND THE SAME AIN’T WORKING (UNLESS YOU HAVE 5 HOUSES AND 13 CARS I GUESS)

Posted by: Jim at October 30, 2008 1:43 PM
Comment #268848

>Let’s clean up our capitalist system rather than follow Obama into socialism.
Posted by: Jim M at October 30, 2008 12:43 PM

Even the mccain himself is backing off on the ‘socialist’ slander…you should wise up as well…remember the last president to balance the budget? Remember the last president that, if given a little more time, would have started paying down the debt? AHHH! If that’s Socialism, give me some more.

Obama’s plan should create jobs, jobs and paychecks pump money into the economy, a flourishing economy raises all boats…to me it’s a win-win, to you it’s a lose-lose…I hope I’m more right than you…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 30, 2008 2:24 PM
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