Democrats & Liberals Archives

Falsifiability, in Two Senses

Romney says, says he never paid less than 13 percent. Well, now he’s seen fit to tell us that, he could share his tax returns with us, and let us confirm that.

There's nothing that keeps Romney from lying through his teeth to us. He's already lied about the President's cost savings, which Romney calls a theft, despite the fact Seniors saw no change in their benefits. He's lied about how the President carried out the welfare policy. He's lied about what the President said when he was talking about entrepreneurs.

The trick is, though he's lied through his teeth those times, we have documentary evidence to tell us he lied, or at least spoke in deep and reckless ignorance of the truth. His statements could be put to the test.

But when he tells us he never paid less than 13% as a tax rate, see that's a problem to verify. That won't stop supporters of his from buying it, and berating people who don't take his word for it, but it's their choice to have faith that he's telling the truth, absent any evidence.

Long story short, this is a question of falsifiability, in two senses. The first is naturally that Romney could very easily be lying to us, putting out a false report to mislead people. But the second is most important: he's depriving us of the ability to judge the truth value of his statement, yet asking us to take it on faith.

Falsifiability, in the sciences, is the capability of a given claim to be proved true or false on the evidence. A claim isn't truly useful in scientific terms unless you can actually prove it true or false. A recent example of such is the activity at CERN, where they were colliding particles to get glimpse of the now famous Higgs Boson, or whatever nature really had in store for them.

The particle physicist didn't merely randomly search for something there, they had a clear idea of what things would look like without the Higgs, so their examination of the data started from that assumption, and then they looked for the difference from that result, a deviation from the average.

They didn't simply go there, dedicated to the prospect that they would find the Higgs Boson no matter what, they considered the possibility it might not be there.

And, afterwards, they released their data, for everybody else to look at, to confirm if they could, reexamine things. They did the same thing a few months earlier when some strange results showed neutrinos seeming to go faster than light. Rather than keep the data secret and continue to claim they'd found a weakness in Einstein's theory of relativity, they shared it publicly, and sure enough, somebody found the flaw, and the unlikely result was canceled out.

Again and again, we see this in the sciences, with scientists finding strange results, putting them out there to stand up to the gauntlet of peer review, and people either confirming something new and interesting, or reasserting old theory as the new hypotheses turn out false.

I wish there was more of this sense in politics, but then again, being proven wrong carries political consequences. If Romney releases the tax returns, and he does have something to hide, it's a real problem for him. But the real problem for me is that many times, folks like Romney want me to take things on faith, but don't want to satisfy any request for proof, or worse yet, any requirement that they back down when the evidence either isn't forthcoming, or goes against them.

We can't prove Romney's claim false with the information we have, but neither can he prove what he says is true, and for folks outside his party, folks who haven't bought into his campaign, drunk the kool-aid, so on and so forth, that's a problem.

It's a problem I've had before, with a certain Republican President. While Bush was able to maintain, with his supporter's help, that nothing was going wrong, while he didn't have to endure the political humiliation too often of backing down in public, he still never was able to bury the problems that came up during his tenure, and the fact that reality asserted itself regardless of his ability to obfuscate what was happening for many people meant that he convinced a whole lot of people he was doing well, but ended up failing on many fronts anyways. You can't fool mother nature or lady luck, even if you can mislead and hornswaggle the voters.

I believe that Romney will not win the debate on his tax returns by giving us a number we can't prove or disprove. He should have started out being honest with us, recognizing that whether he liked it or not, people were going to judge him and anybody associated with him on their results.

I can't look at what he's doing here, and have high hopes for his Presidency. This man will prize manipulating the rest of us, over doing his job and convincing us that way. He is no less foolish than Bush is, on that count, and probably no less prone to the foolish consistency that Emerson warned us about.

Americans need a leader who understands that he cannot order the sea to withdraw, the tide to stay out. America needs a leader who understands that being accountable is part of the job, and being good enough at the job to be able to prove oneself good in that accountability is not optional.

Romney's doing his best not to be proved an unworthy candidate for President, but in the process, he's just proving himself unwilling to earn his elevation to the highest office in the land the right way.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 16, 2012 8:21 PM
Comments
Comment #350947

Romney paid his taxes legally. People smarter than you and I about these things have checked and I am sure checked again.

That is the truth. Anything else is a lie.

Another truth is that Obama cut $714 billion from Medicare.

This election should be about big issues, not this little crap that is meant merely to make big people small.

You cannot make small people big by making big people small. We should just go beyond these little man accusations. We are better than that.

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2012 9:48 PM
Comment #350950

Sorry, my mistake. Obama cut $716 billion.

This is the applicable paragraph:

“You paid in to Medicare for years, every paycheck. Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for ObamaCare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”


The big issue is who can protect us and make sure we get what we need. Obama has Obamacare, which he says will help, but what he has done, among other things, is rob Medicare to fund his ambitions. Romney wants to reform the system and make it sustainable.

Neither party today has a plan that will sustain Medicare. Which one will produce better results for us is a big issue on which honest people can differ. The idea that instead of talking about this or about jobs or about national security and instead fight about Romney’s taxes or Obama’s transcripts is small indeed.

Posted by: C&J at August 16, 2012 10:01 PM
Comment #350951

Stephen and the rest of the left wing trolls can’t come up with anything good about Obama to say so they have to rely on gutter politics and lies.

Posted by: KAP at August 16, 2012 10:06 PM
Comment #350952

Stephen Daugherty, perhaps you could tell could tell us if this tax percentage was on income which fell under Federal Income tax, or was it tax that fell under Capital Gains tax?

No matter, you must have not received the memo, this is a dead issue and the subject has moved on to Obama’s record, and Romney’s choice for VP.

Sometimes your posts are all over the place; it’s a who’s who of complaints. But since you brought this up:

“Falsifiability, in the sciences, is the capability of a given claim to be proved true or false on the evidence.”

I believe I understand what you are trying to say:

“Have you ever wondered, when you see an assertion along the lines of “The Earth has warmed by 1.62 degrees over the last 100 years,” how anyone could know that? The literature of global warming alarmism is littered with faux precision; the truth, as you might imagine, is that it is very difficult to get reliable data for the whole Earth over a period of decades if not centuries.”

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/08/how-bad-data-contribute-to-global-warming-hysteria.php

Posted by: Frank at August 16, 2012 10:12 PM
Comment #350958

C&J-
Romney doesn’t have to do something illegal to cost himself an election.

You know, he should, if he aims to keep people uninterested in it, just shut up about his taxes. Did he have something to prove? Well, it’s hard to prove without proof, and Romney offers none. He’s worried enough to answer the question with a factual statement, but apparently not confident enough to release his factual back up.

As for Medicare? You’re worse off there. There Romney and Ryan have only people’s incuriosity to keep people deceived. Every fact-checking site, every reporter put on the case has come back with a verdict that says that Ryan and Obama’s plans are not equivalent in effect. To say it is stolen from seniors is dubious: benefits are pretty much where they were, though by way of an exception, we can say they now pay less for drugs and get more.

What does it say about your campaign that you have to lead with a factually disprovable bit of damage control and tu quoque obfuscation in order to try and head off the political controversy of your running mate’s Medicare plan of last year?

Oh, and by the way, you say that neither party has a plan that will sustain medicare, but in fact Obama’s has extended the life of the program, according to the CBO.

Again, you’re put in a position where the claim is falsifiable, and the facts render the claim false.

KAP-
Claim one: that Romney has made a factual statement about his taxes.
Claim two: The evidence that could prove this factual statement true or false on an independent basis rests with the tax returns.
Claim three: Romney refuses to release them.

Leading to claim four:
Romney’s refusal makes it difficult to prove or disprove his claims.

Point out the error. Point out where my logic on the uncertainty this creates is wrong.

Frank-
At his income level, a 13% effective rate would indicate capital gains tax, as income tax is set higher. Of course, that all depends on how quick he sells the asset off. I seem to recall that different rates are charged for those who yank money in and out of capital markets, and those who keep it in the market for long term.

But here’s the thing: we have no idea what his real effective tax rate is, how he structured his finances. He’s just feeding us a number, but a number that has nothing more than what he knows, and we don’t, as his basis for that number.

Very convenient, isn’t it.

As for Global Warming? Please lean over so I can smack the back of your head.

WHACK.

The dumb SOB talked about excessive precision, but most scientific work I’ve seen gives ranges of outcomes, ranges of possible temperatures, and the uncertainties, caused by the inherently chaotic nature of the weather, and the climate by extension.

So, the precision he talks about is an artifact of his own ignorance, at best.

He’s also citing local temperature charts to disprove a global warming trend. That’s something like citing one rain gauge in Katy to disprove that more rain than usual fell in the entire Houston area. It’s a logical mismatch. The rain clouds could pass them by, and dump on downtown.

Listen, folks don’t buy into the theory because its fashionable. Ask yourself who spends more money, those promoting, or those denying. No, people buy into the theory because the tests of that theory are being passed. Or put another way, the behavior we’d expect to see due to another cause is not showing up, while the behavior that would lead us to confirm warming is true is showing up.

Can you say the same about the conjectures coming out of the Climate deniers? It’s not enough to grab local pieces of evidence, or anecdotal evidence, and say, here’s doubt, we must doubt! Whatever theory is supposed to replace Global warming, must explain what it did, and then what it didn’t. If you don’t succeed in that, then Global Warming deserves credibility, and you don’t.

Where’s the unifying theory? Show us what supercedes global warming theory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 12:20 AM
Comment #350960

Stephen, Personnelly I don’t care about Romney’s Tax returns. If he didn’t pay them or failed to file his returns I’m sure the IRS would be hounding him. So lets get with the facts, Obama has nothing to run on so he and all you little Obama lovers have to resort to gutter politics and nit picking. The debt, jobs, and economy should be number one. But with Obama’s dismal record on all the above you and him have to resort to dirt. Write on the issues Stephen, not the dumb crap about someones tax returns.

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 12:39 AM
Comment #350961

KAP,
Romney’s tax returns are fair game. A major part of his platform pushes for tax cuts for the rich. And that’s fine, but he needs to make his case. Is Romney being overtaxed? If he were paying at a higher rate than everyone else, well, that would certainly support his argument. If not, then he needs to explain why he should be able to pay at a lower rate than many Americans, and obtain an even lower rate.

For his 2010 taxes, if the Ryan Plan were implemented, Romney would pay only .82 percent on his various kinds of income. Less than one percent.

The question of taxation is directly relevant to debt, jobs, and the economy. When Bush took office, there were budget surpluses, and a ten year projection of a $10 trillion surplus. Here we are today, after those tax cuts, and let’s just say we aren’t projecting any surpluses. Romney seems to have a very similar agenda to the Bush administration. Is Romney really being overtaxed? Would he use his money to create jobs in America, or would he simply hide it away in a Swiss bank account, or the Cayman Islands?

It’s fair game, KAP.

Posted by: phx8 at August 17, 2012 12:53 AM
Comment #350965

Stephen

Little things like Obama’s transcripts and Romney’s taxes are for the little minds who don’t comprehend the big issues. We are talking about the future of our country and you want to talk about percentage of an individual taxes from ten years ago.

The important issues involve the future, not the past. In the future, does Obama’s taking $716 billion from Medicare threaten the system? Can Romney reforms save it? What will be our security stance toward Iran? How can we create conditions that will get our economy working again and create jobs? Of course the really big issue, do we want to continue to grow government as we did under Bush & Obama, i.e. do we want our country to be more like France or more like America used to be?

Let me address a few specifics of your post -

You give Frank a hard time re global warming, but his point is valid. There is no way to falsify global warming claims in anything less than the long term. If I am wrong, please tell me conditions we could observe in the next five years that would prove the theory wrong. I am not saying that it is wrong, but you chose a specific concept of falsification and on this you overstepped.

Re capital gains - it depends how you get them. Dividends are distributed from firms already taxed at 39.2% (Fed & State). So let’s put this in simple terms. You own a profitable milk business. Your business pays 39.2%. You take a draw of money on which you pay 15% tax. If somebody tell you that you are paying only 15%, are they correct?

Phx8

“hen Bush took office, there were budget surpluses, and a ten year projection of a $10 trillion surplus.” Revenues reached an all time high in 2006, i.e. we collected more than in 2000. If government had remained the same size, we would have had a surplus.

If tax rates were the same today as they were in 2000, we would still be running the biggest deficit in history. This tells us which side of the equation is causing the bigger part of the problem.

I would be willing to go back to the spending and tax levels of 1999. None of you want this. Of course, I think it would be more useful to lower rates and close more deductions. This would distort the economy less and get the rich to pay more, since most poor take standard deductions.

Posted by: C&J at August 17, 2012 6:38 AM
Comment #350968

“I think it would be more useful to lower rates and close more deductions.”

Sounds good. We can lower everybody’s income tax rate and still raise revenue by simply closing deductions.

But, what deductions are you talking about, C&J? Its the question that conservatives don’t want to answer. Better to keep a fairy tale alive.

Posted by: Rich at August 17, 2012 8:05 AM
Comment #350969

KAP-
We ask nothing of Romney that wasn’t asked of Obama and his appointees. We ask nothing that Candidates Obama, Kerry, Clinton (both of them) Dole, and George W. Bush himself haven’t already done.

And you want to talk about gutter politics? When was the last major attack on Obama that actually had some truth behind it?

I have watched as our nation’s creditworthiness, it’s ability to recover from natural disasters, the unemployment benefits that keep its jobless off the curb, a nuclear disarmament treaty, two different attempts to keep the tax cuts limited to middle class Americans who actually need the money, and eighty percent of what the duly elected Congress from 2009 to 2011 passed was obstructed by the Republicans. Their whole schtick is that they’ve been doing the public a service by keeping Obama’s legislation, his policies bottled up. But really, what they’re trying to do is two fold: deprive him of achievements, so they can say he did nothing, and maintain the dysfunctional status quo that came before.

You want gutter politics, well the Republicans are swimming in the sewer, making their delegations number goal winning this election, not resolving the financial crisis, not dealing with the nation’s finances in a way that doesn’t raid the pockets of seniors, the poor, and the middle class, not giving Americans the government they are asking for.

Long story short, I have not seen Republicans do anything honest to earn the Presidency back in the last four years. They have lied, they have sabotaged our government, they have endangered our economy, all so they can rewrite the outcome of the 2008 election.

I have been drowning in a sea of free-floating contempt from the other side since Democrats took over, but I have rarely seen Republicans do much of anything to directly confront our biggest issues. I don’t see any real plan to improve infrastructure, I don’t see any real plan to get America off its dependence on fossil fuels, I don’t see much of any plan to make our manufacturing sector the envy of the world again.

Most of what I see is contempt for what my side is, and what it’s been trying to do. Republicans have become the critics and the spectators, the Comic Book Guys going “Worst. Administration. Evah.” as they indulge a smug sense of superiority about their failed, status quo policies. Meanwhile, the judges the last President appointed gutted campaign finance laws, so now we have to endure a stew of poorly disclosed donors dragging the politics even further into the gutter.

But we’re bad for throwing back some of that negativity, of calling to question Romney’s record, even as the sum total of his campaign for President against Obama is negativity and questioning of Obama’s record, and often without any regard for the truth.

Why can’t you guys take the crap you’ve been dishing. Why can Republicans vet Obama even beyond what reason tells us is appropriate, even beyond what Romney himself has been asked to disclose, but we can’t lay a finger on the facts of Romney’s career as governor or as Bain Capital executive, without folks like you wailing and gnashing your teeth about how far we’ve dragged things into the gutter?

We’re already in the gutter, and you’ve been wallowing in it since I was twelve! Politics on the right has become less and less about real world things, and more about expressing ideology at all costs. That has gotten even worse in the last decade, as George W. Bush racked up a record of failures that required him to basically flamethrow the opposition. I mean, I’ve heard Romney complain about 50%+1 politics, yet I seem to remember that being Karl Rove’s plan for reelection, for a candidate who had failed to get Bin Laden and failed to end the Iraq war properly, for a candidate who was, at that point, underwater on jobs, underwater on revenues, despite the promises from the tax cuts.

I think a President who is on the verge of breaking even on jobs, who helped create them rather than kill them with his policies, who ended the war in Iraq, and got Bin Laden, who has actually done much of what he promised Americans he would do, who has reduced the deficit every year he’s been in office, who has expanded healthcare coverage for Americans stands a much better chance of being re-elected on the merits.

But the merits have never been the test of this President for the Republicans, and that’s what makes me sick. If he does something like, say, kill Bin Laden, he doesn’t get the credit, but instead gets hit over the head for even acting like he was part of the whole thing. Republicans practically behave as if the Navy SEALs just went, between each other “Hey, you want to go out and get a beer this weakend, and oh, Kill Bin Laden for ****s and giggles?”

Republicans say that Obama’s made the economy worse, even as Obama has had the economy recovering since Summer 2009, even as the jobless rate has gone down by two points, and the jobs increased by 4 million. It says something that the worst thing this economy faces, domestically speaking, is a fiscal cliff, imposed by the Republican’s deficit peacockery as the price for not bringing our economy down in flames due to the default caused by a refusal to raise the debt ceiling.

No credit, no gracious acknowledgment that things have gotten better. Your side has done everything it can to make sure that this election will not be waged on provable, falsifiable facts, but instead on a stoked emotional rejection of Barack Obama.

And you dare to tell me that asking for traditional disclosure from Romney, for the facts that would support his assertion, made of his own free will, that he’s been honest and scrupulous on his taxes is me dragging the politics into the gutter.

I want to have a debate on the facts. While it’s amusing to speculate on what Romney could be hiding, the honest truth is, I really do want to know what’s going on with that man’s finances for real. I really do want Americans to see him for what he is.

Romney has done everything to try and avoid being pinned down on what he’s done, on the policies and the corporate decisions he’s been made. My position is, that if he won’t stand still to be vetted, he doesn’t deserve to be president, and the likelihoood is, he would not make a better replacement for Obama, if he can’t even reveal as much about his own financial past as Obama has revealed about his.

Romney is like a used car that the salesman is demanding be bought on his spiel alone, that the salesman is refusing to let us examine. I think Americans, if denied the chance to learn about what Romney did on the fact, should reject Romney as they did that car.

I also think that Americans should look at the facts that Obama has freely disclosed, and invest themselves in four more years of his leadership. He’s been straight with them. It’s not his fault that the other party is so jealous about clinging to power that it’s willing to sacrifice the function of our government in order to get their way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 8:52 AM
Comment #350970

As I said Stephen, I could care less about someones tax returns weather it be Bush, Kerry, Clintons. Obama or whoever else. If they have been honest about them then the IRS leaves them alone. I’m concerned more about the Debt, jobs, and economy so you and your BOO HOOING about tax returns is just a fishing trip. Get over it and get with the real issues, that is what is important.

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 9:22 AM
Comment #350971

By the way Stephen, Democrats need to clean their own closet about tax returns and offshore accounts and tax shelters.

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 9:25 AM
Comment #350972

C&J: “Sorry, my mistake. Obama cut $716 billion.”

So I’m confused. Why are you repeating something you know is a lie? Is this to teach liberals some lesson or something?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 9:31 AM
Comment #350976

Stephen, it’s time you face reality man. ALL of your writings lately are nothing but repeated talking points designed to avoid any and all debate about what Obama has or has not done.
Your entire argument is “Obama right, everybody else wrong, and if Obama is wrong, it’s everybody else’s fault.”

Look, the IRS has not come out and said Romney has done anything wrong, IF they do, then you can say “I told you so.” Until then, the only people who really care are those of you who want something else to dissect and reinterpret in order to score some political points.
IF you guys were really concerned about someone hiding something, the least you could do is afford him the same amount of time you gave Obama.

“Their whole schtick is that they’ve been doing the public a service by keeping Obama’s legislation, his policies bottled up.”

I’m not sure why you can’t understand this, but the election of 2010 was exactly about keeping more government out of our personal lives. We elected them to do this for us.
Like it or not, the left are NOT the only ones who make up the public and your agenda alone does not do the public any kind service.

“deprive him of achievements, so they can say he did nothing”

What leftists see as achievements, others see as tyranny. To be blunt Stephen, your people have no clue in the world about what is best for me and my family. IF you did, you would understand why we elected people to hopefully prevent Obama from forcing even more leftist “achievements” onto us.

With that in mind, our President is supposed to be a leader, not a ruler. He is supposed to work with the people we ask to represent us, not expect us to roll over and definetely not tell us and our representatives to bend over.

Face it Stephen, Obama is President and it is his job to represent all Americans, not just those of you who agree with him. He has failed to do that.
Instead, with total disregard for the will of the people in 2010, he passes hyper-partisan legislation by the slimmest of margins. He uses executive orders and lawsuits based on race to divide the people he is supposed to be representing. He openly favors his special interest groups. Etc. Etc.. Etc…

Blame Republicans for everything if you want. Try to deflect with rhetoric and lies about taxes. Continue with persaonl attacks and fear mongering lies about Republicans being racists, killers and hating everybody. Win at all costs has been the SOP of the far-left for years.
But none of that takes away from the fact that President Obama has refused and failed to represent all of us, has refused and failed to work with our representatives, and has refused to acknowledge his failure as a leader.

Posted by: kctim at August 17, 2012 11:06 AM
Comment #350977

“Frank-
At his income level, a 13% effective rate would indicate capital gains tax, as income tax is set higher. Of course, that all depends on how quick he sells the asset off. I seem to recall that different rates are charged for those who yank money in and out of capital markets, and those who keep it in the market for long term.”

Stephen, if Romney had moved investments in quick sales, would he have been blammed for insider trading, since he has been a presidential candidate for the for 2 cycles?

McCain gave 2 years of tax returns 4 years ago, and Obama said nothing. Why is Romney different?

Re/global warming; Stephen, you never read the article or you would have come the the same conclusion as C&J.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2012 11:20 AM
Comment #350979

C&J-
You keep on making that offer, and I keep on rejecting it.

The reason I keep on rejecting it, is that I believe its foolish to base such decisions on symbolism, rather than on the basic needs of our country. If it should happen that the spending needed to advance our economy and govern this nation properly is set at that level, and that the taxes are set just so we hit those revenues, so be it.

But the function of this country, it’s prosperity, the improvement of its fortunes is more important than hitting some arbitrary, symbolic target. Your people have tried this business of governing by symbolism, by gestures you hope will create some effect. What’s come of it is a governemnt that doesn’t function like it should. America needs practical successes, not psychological bushwa.

As for Global warming, you’re wrong. The temperatures not just going to suddenly spike. We’re not going to walk out one day and suddenly Greenland’s melted, and the sea water is lapping at our toes. The climate models can be tested against real world behavior of the system. Things like the way temperatures rise faster in the Arctic, at high altitudes, and at night than they otherwise would. Things like the increase in drought and torrential rain. Things like the way that arctic wind patterns are getting more chaotic, causing weird conditions where record highs coexist with record lows in the continental US.

The models are falsifiable, in the scientific sense. You can tell by observation whether it’s properly describing a natural system. You can’t observe how the interior of a star works, but you can observe the way the star shine, the way its gases behave on the surface, it’s magnetic field. You can’t observe the interior of the Earth directly, but you can model how it behaves based on seismology and physics. In fact, that’s what my Uncle did for a living for Shell Oil.

You can look at the trends of the climate over the last thirty years, use proxy measures to approximate temperature, the way astrophysicists observe the stars by their spectrums, the geophysicists by seismic waves, and determine whether the model actually fits.

You aren’t required to just take these things on faith.

For example, you ask for some falsifiables on warming. Well, in no uncertain terms, global warming is a thermodynamic phenomena. So, what do you do? You add up the other influences, see if they’re anywhere close to generating the observed rise in heat energy. If you can do that, if you can demonstrate that natural forces explain the increase fine by themselves, that’s one falsifiable, one test.

Another test would be to see whether the Stratosphere is getting cooler or not. Carbon Dioxide is good at scattering infra-red waves. On the surface, it means that heat energy rises, because it’s pathway through the atmosphere gets longer. Up in the stratosphere, though, carbon dioxide helps scatter heat way, cooling it. If we were talking simple irradiance, it would warm the stratosphere with the surface.

Yet another test is to look at areas where less heat tends to be retained, like in high altitude, high latitude, and nighttime locations. Logic would tell you that if CO2 is helping to retain heat, these places would warm up disproportionately, or stay warmer when temperatures go up during the seasons. Warmer heights, warmer upper latitudes, warmer nights.

Still another test, at least of the anthropogenic part, is to see whether the carbon dioxide increase has some unusual characteristic. Well, you know how certain isotopes build up in the atmosphere, thanks to radiation converting some of the carbon to another form? (The basis of radiocarbon dating?)

Well, if the carbon that’s building up lacks those isotopes, has a higher ratio consistent with carbon atoms of certain isotopes, consistent with its source being carbon buried for millions of years, that’s another falsifiable. If you’re seeing a CO2 rise that mainly is composed of the natural isotopic mix for atmospheric carbon, you can say its less likely that OUR carbon has the bulk of it.

As for the conditions we could observe to confirm the theory, a sustained trend towards higher than usual temperatures would be your basic tell-tale sign. If temperatures exceed what has been normally been observed on a sustained basis, we’re facing global warming. Variability can only count for so much, and if you’re going beyond what your proxy record indicates is appropriate, well then you have a problem.

As for the capital gains problem?

The corporation is a legal person, separate from you. It’s not your money until that corporation pays it to you, either for your investment or as your salary, or contracted payment. Bain Capital paid the taxes on its income, and Romney on his income. That’s the price he pays, if he’s the sole stockholder, for having that legal person in front of him to take the lawsuits and liabilities instead of him.

As for the Medicare being threatened by Obama’s changes? The CBO basically said it extended the lifetime of the program by nine years. If our testable point here is, did Obama’s changes either harm benefits or hurt sustainability, then the answer is no.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 11:30 AM
Comment #350981

SD, CBO numbers not so good to quote. Garbage in, Garbage out. They only give you numbers based of info you give them. This has been proved over and over and the left continues to quote the CBO when it’s to their benefit.

Posted by: TomT at August 17, 2012 11:43 AM
Comment #350983
Bain Capital paid the taxes on its income

It’s almost cute that you still believe that corporations (or any business) actually pays taxes, not their customers.

Hidden sales taxes are much worse than visible ones.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 17, 2012 11:51 AM
Comment #350984

kctim-
Relax. Let’s start with your first substantive point.

You seem to be dealing with things on a legalistic level. But is illegal behavior the limit of what is distasteful, or worth rejecting a candidate over? There are plenty of scuzzy things people do that they won’t go to jail for, but would make it difficult to get elected or re-elected. The court maintained Obamacare was legal. Do you like it now?

Of course not.

As for the election of 2010 being about keeping people out of our personal lives, we can look at that in terms of two things: did politicians elected or who had their power reinforced in 2010 actually stay out of people’s private lives?

NO. This was the generation of Republican candidates and policy that increasingly intruded on a woman’s constitutionally upheld right to choose, which set such barbarically invasive procedures as the transvaginal ultrasound requirement in place. This is when Republicans essentially decided to interfere with people’s right to vote, by requiring identification other than just a registration in order to vote.

But additionally, on what basis were the private lives of Americans being invaded? Obamacare? Most of that was about how insurance companies treated you. It did mandate insurance coverage, but that mandate is an old Republican idea, in fact an idea that Mitt Romney himself successfully implemented.

2010 was about trying to get back the reins of government by any means necessary, nothing more, nothing less. Most of the fears would be transparently disprovable, if it weren’t for the fact that people are so wrapped up in a heavily biased conservative media, they can’t see their way out.

As for what elected them to do? It isn’t just to mindlessly unfold a predetermined agenda. That agenda could be wrong, could fail to anticipate something important! We don’t just put them up there to carry out a program, we put them up their to exercise the judgement necessary to adapt policy to our real would needs. We did not elect them so they could crash the economy and ruin our credit ratings, and I think a lot of them are going to pay the price, especially now that the author of their unpopular budget is unavoidably stuck out in front for all to see.

As for being elected to represent all Americans? I’d say he’s done more to represent all Americans than many of the tea partiers, elected to marginal, half-and-half districts have done to represent their constituents. Obama worked on multiple occassions, even at political cost, with the GOP. It’s not his fault that the GOP’s response to the 2008 election has been to flood the airwaves with insidious lies about his intentions, and to divisively block four fifths of everything that could have passed.

I will blame Republicans for the things that I can prove they are responsible for. It’s not difficult to prove they’re obstructive when they’re setting records for filibusters and for passing the least amount of legislation in decades. I will blame them for the contents of their legislation. I will blame them for rejecting nearly everything Obama offered, from the beginning, on a party line. Why? Because I can show you the votes.

The question is, will you listen to any of that, or will you attempt to deflect criticism by playing the victim?

Frank-
Insider trading would be moving on information he had before it was publically available, that is, using his knowledge as an insider to either sell before a sell off, or buy before a stock’s value starts rising. He would be in the clear if he merely sold it on account of his wanting to clear his portfolio for a Presidential run.

As for McCain’s tax returns, They actually did make an issue of it, so that’s that for that argument.

And really, are you seriously wanting to follow the example of the last guy to lose to Barack Obama? That sounds to me like a better reason to disclose the forms. McCain did not profit by his secrecy, and nor will Romney.

As for the global warming article, I already indicated the problem. I did read it, and the points are inconsistent with what I’ve read from the actual climate scientists. I have no obligation to change my perspective based on an article that takes a cheap strawman approach to the science. Nobody I know in the climate science community talks about temperatures with the kind of precision he speaks of. They acknowledge the inherent uncertainty of forecasting climate.

I’m not obligated to be persuaded by material that fails to accurately portray its subject.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 12:00 PM
Comment #350986

Stephen: “As for Global warming, you’re wrong.”

Funny how many actual scientists who were once vocal against global warming are coming out in recent years saying they’ve changed their mind based on existing data. But that’s OK. The right wing anti-science crowd just keeps moving forward without the very scientists they used to lean on to claim uncertainty. Who needs them anyway, and how needs science for that matter?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 12:24 PM
Comment #350987

It was never about the science, it was about the fact that Liberals were interested in it. That has become for too many what determines the credibility of information or theory.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 12:38 PM
Comment #350988

SD

Global Warming

The information used for advocating GW is from a computer model. It has very little logical fact. It is a program that is produced to get the desired results. I can write a program that gets the desired results. That is not logically correct and factual concerning the real world. That is the same as any game the kids love to play. The only difference is the kids get to kill someone. The GW people have not reached that level yet. They are slow programmers.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at August 17, 2012 2:27 PM
Comment #350989

Stephen

Big difference between politics and principle.
You assume Romney is distasteful and hiding something simply because he is a Republican. You do not hold liberals to the same standards, you instead go out of your way to break everything down in order to justify to yourself how it’s “different.” Refusing to show one thing isn’t the same as refusing to show another. Your multi-millionaire is better than the other multi-millionaire.
My problem with the ACA travesty isn’t about Obama, it’s about the Constitution and our individual rights. I would be against it no matter who used government to force it upon us.

As for 2010:
The people sent their representatives to DC to deal with the ACA. Equating what those reps do in their own state to what they did on a national level is ridiculous. Using that logic, Republicans can now say the actions of Cali., Ill and NY means Obama is for further infringing on our 2nd Amendment rights.
Fact is, if the people in those states think choice is dependent on freebies or that six months isn’t long enough to get a voter ID, they will vote for liberals.

Yes, stripping away choice is “invading” the private lives of Americans. The mandate may have initially been a Republican idea on a state level, it was never accepted on the national level. In other words, some Republicans accepting the stripping of their rights does not mean all accept it. You will be happy to know though, that Republicans will eventually be conditioned to accept it with this, just as they have been with SS. That is why I am not a Republican.

Conservative media? Yawn! The leftist biggest problem has always been falsely believing everybody agrees with you.
It’s your policies Stephen, not the media.

“we put them up their to exercise the judgement necessary to adapt policy to our real would needs.”

Our views on “real world needs” are different, Stephen. The desires of some vs. the rights of all.

“It’s not his fault…”

We know, it’s NEVER his fault.

“I will blame Republicans for the things that I can prove they are responsible for. It’s not difficult to prove they’re obstructive when they’re setting records for filibusters”

You just don’t get it do you.
You blame them, Republicans applaud them. You blame them for doing what they were tasked to do.

“and for passing the least amount of legislation in decades.”

And constant passing of legislation in an over taxed and over legislated nation is good how?

“I will blame them for rejecting nearly everything Obama offered, from the beginning, on a party line. Why? Because I can show you the votes.”

Which is what they should do. Obama is the President and the President is the leader. An effective leader works with everybody to get things done. An ineffective leader does not. An effective leader brings everybody together to reach a common goal, an ineffective leader expects everybody to come to him to reach his goal. An effective leader blames himself for his failures, an ineffective leader blames others.

“The question is, will you listen to any of that, or will you attempt to deflect criticism by playing the victim?”

I listened and I answered your criticism Stephen. Maybe now you could explain why Obama isn’t such a failure as a leader without blaming someone else?

Posted by: kctim at August 17, 2012 2:35 PM
Comment #350991

Let’s go back to Stephen’s statement:

““Frank-
At his income level, a 13% effective rate would indicate capital gains tax, as income tax is set higher. Of course, that all depends on how quick he sells the asset off.”

Is Stephen Daugherty telling us the liberals would have had no problem if it was found that Romney had made some fast and frequent stock transactions? Are you saying there would have been no accusations of insider trading? Since when has the liberals ever let the truth get in the way of a good lie?

As for your link; it shows a consistent claim by both party candidates and their wives to stick to what the law requires, going back decades. And yet here we are again, listening to the Democrats call for the same old tired claims of releasing tax returns above and beyond the law. And once again the left says, “if you just release xx returns, we will be satisfied”. No you won’t, the reason you go this direction is to keep te discussion off Obama’s failed policies. Get a life Stephen, you sound like a broken record.

“And really, are you seriously wanting to follow the example of the last guy to lose to Barack Obama?”

And why not Stephen; you and Obama have spent the last 4 years blaming the failures of Obama on the presidency of Bush? Are you seriously still wanting to do that?

Re/global warming; SD and AD, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!! GLOBAL WARMING IS COMING AND IT”S GOING TO GET US; NOW

This kind of reminds me of the story years ago, about the Mammoth that was found frozen in ice. It was reported he still had daisies in his mouth when the Ice Age Glacier snuck up behind him and trapped him in ice for thousands of years. Is this how GW is going to get us. You guys on the left are so smart; you are experts on everything, and anyone who disagrees with you is stupid:

“The right wing anti-science crowd just keeps moving forward without the very scientists they used to lean on to claim uncertainty. Who needs them anyway, and how needs science for that matter?”

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 12:24 PM

Stephen is almost correct:

“It was never about the science, it was about the fact that Liberals were interested in it.”


Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 12:38 PM

It was never about the science; but it was about the money. Billions of tax payer dollars in grants for socialist professors and scientists to do “research”; billions of tax payer dollars in Cap and Trade; goals of redistribution of wealth. It never changes; I just wonder how much research would be done on GW if it didn’t involve tax dollars; if no money was given in grants, if there was no talk of Cap and Trade? That would separate the men from the boys; we would see who the real scientist are…you know, the ones that research on their own.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2012 2:48 PM
Comment #350998

Frank:

And what about studies like Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST)? What were their motives for finding that climate change is real?

An important note in relation to your Powerline blog post is that this study found the urban heat island effect to be real but it’s effect on their global estimate of land temperatures was indistinguishable from zero. So, Powerline is wrong, to say the least. They should keep up with the science they are trying to refute.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 4:10 PM
Comment #350999

Looking at this thread I see that the right is working hard to derail the entire topic, but let’s return to it without the BS.

Jack:

Romney paid his taxes legally.

Fantastic. That means he’s got nothing to hide, so he needs to release his returns and provide proof. It’s as simple as that.

Yet he won’t. He has adamantly refused to release more than a year. Which points to him hiding things — and possibly some illegal things. It is also as simple as that.

Saying “trust me” doesn’t cut the mustard. Who is going to trust a politician who says “trust me” yet who won’t lease any concrete proof of his claims when he easily could? Answer: no adult person with a brain in their head.

It’s funny — I’m sitting here trying to imagine what it would have been like if Obama had refused to release his tax returns! Can you imagine the wholesale outrage?! The unending speculations?! The worst case scenarios that would have been painted by the GOP?!
Hahaha! You just KNOW we’d have never heard the end of it!!!

No, let’s cut the crap and get real here folks. Mitt Romney needs to act like he actually wants to become president by releasing his tax returns. Doing so is a long established part of the process so he just needs to get it over with. The fact is, Romney wouldn’t invest in a company with so little info to go on, and the American people shouldn’t invest in a president with so little info to go on, either.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 4:42 PM
Comment #351002

“Who is going to trust a politician who says “trust me” yet who won’t lease any concrete proof of his claims when he easily could? Answer: no adult person with a brain in their head.”

Well, that explains all the votes for Obama even though he wouldn’t release any “concrete proof” of his citizenship when he easily could have.

I’m not even a birther and even I can see the hypocrisy in that statement.

Posted by: kctim at August 17, 2012 5:18 PM
Comment #351004

kctim,
I guess you don’t know, but Obama released his short form birth certificate while he was running for office, well before he won the election. No other person running for president had ever had to produce a birth certificate, but he did so as soon as this became an issue under debate.
So, no hypocrisy — but of course that wasn’t enough for the birthers. Nothing will ever enough for the birthers, because they’re a bunch of crazy people.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 5:38 PM
Comment #351006

Adrienne, as you well know, Romney has released a “short form” version of his tax returns. You got a little, it didn’t prove what you wanted it prove, now you want more.
Wrong when birthers do it, ok when you do it.
Hypocrisy.

In order to be fair though, I would agree that Romney should release his “long form” in a couple of years if he is elected President.

And lets be honest here, you know damn well that Romney could release 30 years of returns and it still wouldn’t be enough for you guys. You would nitpik them to death, just like the birthers do. Nothing will ever be enough for either of you.

Posted by: kctim at August 17, 2012 5:54 PM
Comment #351008

Stephen

You told me why you believe global warming is true. I do not disagree, BTW. But in order for something to be falsifiable you have to specify conditions under which it would be rejected, no matter whether or not you believe they would happen.

When they tested Einstein’s theory 1919 they, they specified conditions under which it would be wrong.

How would we know if it was not true?

Re going back to the level of 1999 - your idea is very liberal. You want government to continue to grow, as you have admitted. That is your philosophy, which means you want to continually raise taxes and expand programs.

Re corporate taxes - Corporate taxes are passed on. They cause prices to rise and they are paid by the owners. Let’s explain. Your firms makes $100 in profit. It pays 35% in taxes, leaving the firm with $65. You collect that $65 in a dividend. You pay 15% of that, leaving you with $55.25. How much of your profit went to taxes?

This is one reason why capital gains taxes are lower.

Adrienne

I assume you paid your taxes legally. Would you like to post them on the Internet. If not, why not?

Some people want to make this election about small things such as Obama’s transcripts or Romney’s taxes. Others want to talk about real subject such as who could better protect Medicare, who can get the economy running better so that people can create jobs, how big should government be and what should we do about Iran? We should not be distracted by the shinny object of things like T&T (transcripts & taxes).

Posted by: C&J at August 17, 2012 6:03 PM
Comment #351009

Adrienne

Re imagining if Obama didn’t release tax returns - you don’t need much of an imagination. Recall that the billionaire Kerry refused to release his wife’s (where all his real money came from) forms. I don’t recall you being surprised or outraged. Beyond that, when Obama ran the first time, he released only seven years. Seven years would take Romney back to 2005. You would never be happy with that, would you?

Posted by: C&J at August 17, 2012 6:10 PM
Comment #351010
Adrienne, as you well know, Romney has released a “short form” version of his tax returns.

Nope. He needs to release more than one year to produce the equivalent of the “short form version.” Obama just asked him today to show only five years, and they’ll stop talking about this. And again, Mittens refused.
Romney felt free to give John McCain twenty three years of tax returns when he was on his short list for VP, yet he can’t give the American people only five years worth of returns?

It now seems pretty clear that something is terribly, terribly wrong with Mitt Romney’s tax returns. No presidential candidate would ever subject themselves to so many weeks of speculation and ultimately so much political damage if they weren’t hiding something TERRIBLY BAD!

You know this and I know this. Everybody knows this — whether they’re willing to be truthful about it, or not.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 6:12 PM
Comment #351011
Recall that the billionaire Kerry refused to release his wife’s (where all his real money came from) forms.

John Kerry was running for president and released twenty years of returns. Teresa Heinz-Kerry released several years worth of financial info — and the Heinz corporation asked her not to release her returns.

Mitt Romney is running for president and has only released a year. Ann Romney has released no financial info at all — despite the fact that we know Mitt has put lots of stuff into his wife’s name.

There is just no comparison here.
The Romney’s are being way too secretive about this. They must be crooked as the day is long.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 6:21 PM
Comment #351013

Adrienne

“Financial information” is not the return. Most of Kerry’s billions came from his wife. Not having her returns was like that old saying, “Besides that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play/”

Re Mrs. Romney - the Romney’s are a happy & trusting couple; they file jointly.

Posted by: C&J at August 17, 2012 6:39 PM
Comment #351014

Seems to me those of liberal/progressive leanings are NOT worried about this country going over a cliff with DEBT, UNEMPLOYNENT, and the ECONOMY in the tank if all they are worried about is someone’s F’n TAX returns. Even if Romney released his tax forms the liberal/progressives would nit pick it to death as Ann Romney has said, even if everything was lawful. The liberal/progressives need to drop the BULLS—t and get with the real issues at hand,”DEBT, JOBS, ECONOMY.”

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 6:48 PM
Comment #351015

“The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project is supported in part by the Director, Office of Science, of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has administered the financial support provided by the Department of Energy (Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231), and is a participating institution. Many of the participants work for Berkeley Lab…

Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California (UC) and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines…”

From Adam Ducker’s link; like I said, unless the U.S. Department of Energy has some other source of income beside tax dollars, their support comes from the American tax payer.

Re/Powerline; why does it not surprise me that you would critique and find Powerline at fault for supplying false material.

What’s the matter Adam; the cat got your tongue on Cap and Trade?

“Looking at this thread I see that the right is working hard to derail the entire topic, but let’s return to it without the BS.” Adrienne

Wrong again Adrienne; it is the left (in this case AD and SD) who cannot resist the opportunity to show us how smart they are. And they are easy…all one has to do is mention global warming and stand back…they will take off with facts and figures, trying to impress us with the pseudo-science knowledge. So Adrienne, it is the left who has taken off with GW and not the right. So you are WRONG AGAIN…

Back to the subject, just for Adrienne… it’s a dead issue and has no merit or interest. Enough said…

Kctim, I see Adrienne bit on this one:

“kctim,
I guess you don’t know, but Obama released his short form birth certificate while he was running for office, well before he won the election. No other person running for president had ever had to produce a birth certificate, but he did so as soon as this became an issue under debate.
So, no hypocrisy — but of course that wasn’t enough for the birthers. Nothing will ever enough for the birthers, because they’re a bunch of crazy people.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 5:38 PM

Well first of all Adrienne, no other person running for president has ever had such a mysterious birth and life. Father from Kenya, raised in Indonesia, SS# from Connecticut, raised on food stamps, went to Ivy League colleges, raised again by his white grandmother who was scared of blacks; even the most ignorant leftist in America would have questions about this guy.

Secondly, could someone please tell me, what the hell is a short form birth certificate? I’ve only ever had one birth certificate and its 70+ years old. I don’t know if it’s short or long, it’s just a birth certificate.

“John Kerry was running for president and released twenty years of returns. Teresa Heinz-Kerry released several years worth of financial info — and the Heinz corporation asked her not to release her returns.”

I don’t think so, show me the facts…It was Teresa Heinz that refused to release her tax forms, she said it was no ones business.

“Mitt Romney is running for president and has only released a year. Ann Romney has released no financial info at all — despite the fact that we know Mitt has put lots of stuff into his wife’s name.”

HELLO, ADRIENNE…ANYONE IN THERE? They met the law’s requirements. Beyond that, it’s nunya business.

“The Romney’s are being way too secretive about this. They must be crooked as the day is long.”

Good grief Adrienne; he is guilty because he is secretive, are you serious?

There has been no president any more secretive about his life than Obama. Wrote a book that was a complete lie, sat under a radical racist preacher but never listened, pays millions of dollars to hide his school records, and would not release his birth certificate until forced to do so.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2012 7:02 PM
Comment #351017

KAP:

the real issues at hand,”DEBT, JOBS, ECONOMY.”

The Romney/Ryan answer on Debt:
Cut all social programs and decimate/end the New Deal safety net for all the average American peons who have built it and paid into it their whole lives: Social Security and Medicare. Do away with NPR, PBS, EPA, the Department of Education, etc. etc. No more “Socialist” government programs bearing the word ‘Public’. Everything must become Privatized in the New Homeland Fascist 1% America.

Will that eliminate the debt? No, but that’s not the point. As Dick Cheney said: “Deficits Don’t Matter.” The point is that the GOP has been trying to kill off the New Deal for decades and screaming about the deficit functions as the convenient excuse for the 1% to turn the clock back to Their Good Old Days in America: The Gilded Era.

The Romney/Ryan answer on Jobs:
More Tax Cuts For The Rich. That won’t create any jobs, but that’s not the point. The point is putting more cash into the pockets of the 1%.

The Romney/Ryan answer on the Economy:
More of the Big Lies of the last Thirty Years: Tax Cuts For the 1%. Deregulation For the 1%. And the eternal promise of some Trickle Down Sh*t that never, ever flushes.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 7:24 PM
Comment #351018

Adrienne are you ok? You sound like you’re loosing it.

Posted by: Whatsamatter at August 17, 2012 7:30 PM
Comment #351019

Frank: “…their support comes from the American tax payer.”

Some of it. Other money comes from the oil industry and Koch money. I’m still just wondering what their motive is for finding global warming to be true. Would their money dry up or their work come to an end if they found it to be false?

“Re/Powerline; why does it not surprise me that you would critique and find Powerline at fault for supplying false material.”

Powerline is citing false information, I’m not sure what your point is.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 7:42 PM
Comment #351020
Adrienne are you ok?

Oh, I’m fine. But the GOP has no new ideas. They’re the party of the Rich, By the Rich, and For the Rich. I’m tired of their tired old crap and I sometimes find it so hard to believe that anyone who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth is actually stupid enough to buy their stale old snake oil.

You sound like you’re loosing it.

Loosing? No. Nor am I losing it, either. I’m simply disgusted — not to mention tired of all the rightwing liars and trolls who populate this blog. There’s no real debate. I think I’m ready take a vacation from all the flinging insults.

So long.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 17, 2012 7:45 PM
Comment #351021

Frank: “And they are easy…all one has to do is mention global warming and stand back…they will take off with facts and figures, trying to impress us with the pseudo-science knowledge.”

I do know a lot about pseudo-science but of course I’m not shocked you think the science of climate change is somehow in that field.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 17, 2012 7:48 PM
Comment #351022

It doesn’t really matter what I think about the science of GW, although I believe it’s all hype and crap.

Before you were born Adam, there was the science of global cooling. We were all told by the same scientist that we were entering another ice age, then it became GW, and now it’s climate change. CYA I guess; if you say climate change, that could mean anything. But like I said, doesn’t really matter. No one is interested in Cap and Trade, it’s a money scam. A redistribution of wealth on a global scale. Obama likes it because he hates America and wants to destroy this country. He is ashamed of America and considers us a colonialist nation and a stealer of all the world’s resources.

We have too many problems to worry about GW. When Romney/Ryan wins in November, one of the goals of the TP is to pull the teeth of the EPA and start producing our own energy. I know that will upset the left, but you know what; it’s the advantage of being in the majority. And conservatives have always been in the majority.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2012 8:07 PM
Comment #351024

First the talk is about Romney’s TAX returns now it goes to GW. Is this the Liberal/Progressives way of deverting the subject away from Obama’s dismal record? Then we have one and sometimes two liberal/progressives ranting and raving about their jealousy of the rich, except when the rich are liberal/progressives then those rich get a pass. Seems to me all the liberal/progressive just want to live in their fantasy world getting their government hand outs and B—CHING.

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 8:57 PM
Comment #351025

tom humes-
You can always compare the results of a model with what actually happens. The models may not be able to predict everything precisely, but it can get close enough for the purpose of simulating climate.

These things can be checked, and if anybody’s so stupid as to try and pull a hoax, they’d be called on it by the scientists in competition with them.

As for hypocrisy? I see hypocrisy in Romney having never been asked to prove his education, much less his citizenship, yet Obama has to prove his bonafides on these subjects.

Meanwhile, Obama complied with the tradition of releasing his tax returns, giving out several years of them, and Romney has said he will just release two years.

We’ve been forthcoming, you haven’t. Why is this double standard appropriate? Why is it that we get criticism every time we try to test the claims of Mitt Romney against something solid and factual, rather than buying his rhetoric wholesale?

You accuse me of holding Democrats to a different standard.

That’s right. A higher one. My problem isn’t that Romney or Bush are Republicans. I could have lived with Bush getting Bin Laden, just as I didn’t complain when he got Saddam. I don’t cheer against my country to get back at my political opponents. If he had found some way to improve the economy, great. If the tax cuts worked as theorized, great. But if these policies didn’t work, I wanted folks to consider alternatives and admit the mistakes!

Romney? I dislike Romney because he seems to be just like Bush in the respect that he is willing to say anything for the sake of negating political disadvantages. Not that it always seems to work. This incompetent campaigner endured one of the longest primary seasons I’ve seen in quite some time, as Republicans basically flipped through their second choices trying to avoid Romney. The only thing that allowed Romney to win was the fact that every other candidate sucked worse.

As for the rest? I don’t think it’s a very efficient point of view to look at politics as if it’s all just reducible individual behavior. When more people get together, there are results that occur that are more than the sum of their parts. A simple one, a constitutional one is the vote of a Congressperson or Senator. By themselves, those votes mean nothing. But in the right committees, in the proper numbers when the votes come, those votes can combine to create a different result.

We put people in Washington not merely to do what they’re told, but to lead us, to perform the professional job of helping to govern the country, with our votes determining whether they keep their jobs.

As for what is a Republican’s fault? Regardless of whether you play the victim or not, I cannot help but blame Republicans for lockstep opposition that takes obvious and deliberate coordination. If Obama has the votes to pass a Middle class tax cut on the numbers, but the filibuster prevents that, who’s to blame? if a policy begun in 2001 started there because the Republicans and Bush wanted it to start, and they’ve opposed changing those policies almost to the death, why should they not be held responsible?

I don’t care to indulge your complex of victimhood here. If the first stimulus does well, but doesn’t do the whole job, and Republicans block follow up measures that could otherwise pass, who’s responsible? If it’s your side who insists on having a showdown on the debt ceiling, and doesn’t relent until the last second, who’s to blame for the situation? Were Democrats pushing equally for that showdown, or was this something the Republican pushed for?

I’m not going to buy into your sense that Obama should be blamed for everything after a certain date. It’s bad logic, and you don’t have the evidence to vindicate your side.

Frank-
I plainly explained to you what insider trading is. Romney would have to have to act on information about the companies themselves that only he as an insider would be able to know about, before that information was released to other investors.

So, where is that particular scenario playing out in your hypothetical? You’re just throwing stuff at me here, and I’m not sure you’re understanding before you’re pitching it at me.

As for the question of the records, it’s a simple equation: 2+5=7. What the hidden question here is, is whether Romney is willing to reveal as much about his financial past as Obama did when he was running for President.

As for Global Warming? No, if it all just death, that would be cheap. No, instead it will be more expensive crops, more expensive water supplies, more expense in moving materials up and down rivers that might either be flooded or running dry, so on and so forth. More energy costs for air conditioning, more medical costs as heat-waves hit places unused to them.

You’re not thinking fractally. You’re not thinking in terms of the hidden dimensions of what weather both costs us and grants us, and how a change in that could alter the balance of our society. You’re just thinking in conspiratorial terms about scientists, who so far as I can tell, aren’t making stupendous fortunes for the most part off this science.

You’re just repeating what the folks with a vested interest in continued fossil fuel extraction are telling the rubes to paralyze policy changes that would be appropriate in the face of the situation.

It’s sad that he only way you can look at the world is to divide in into capitalists who are all good and minding their business, and socialists, who are trying to destroy everything.

To all:

I guess my basic point is that the proper foundation for action is knowledge, knowledge that allows us to test our claims clearly and cleanly. Frank here imagines the hobgoblins of socialism being responsible for these alarming claims. He’s wrong, and provably so. But he doesn’t care.

When people like him govern, when folks are expected to simply believe a claim based on the politics or the social pressures, what we get is a mess of bad decisions.

Our decisions must acknowledge reality, or else their success will be chance.

We look at global warming, and we’re not simply looking at a rise in temperatures. Look at your supermarket bill, how much bread costs, and understand that the drought in the midwest, and earlier a few years ago in Russia were responsible. Also realize that the cost of transporting goods up and down the Mississippi has gone up as the river has run drier.

Think about the lawns you can’t water, the air conditioner you have to keep running and the bill you have to pay for all that. And imagine that getting worse as the decades wear on.

Our systems are attuned to our world functioning a certain way, and whether we have to deal with our climate stabilizing in another mode, or worse, have to deal with a climate that can’t make up its mind, we’ll pay a cost.

I mean, I saw today on my Weather App that today had the warmest low temperature ever recorded for this day. Last year, about this time, my State was undergoing the hottest Summer it, or the rest of the country EVER suffered, with triple digit temperatures every day, and no rain. I can still see the stumps from all the trees that died on account of that heat wave.

I wish it all seemed like a hoax, the product of a few greedy, isolated scientists with an agenda (Can Frank please tell me how scientists are both greedy moneymilkers and socialist provocateurs at the same time? Thanks.)

But real world experience is telling me that something wierd is happening. And I’m not alone.

We’ve had our heads dug into the sand for long enough on all these issues. We have to stop deluding ourselves with our ideology, and practice practical problem solving first and foremost.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 9:05 PM
Comment #351029

Adrienne
“They must be crooked as the day is long.”

What an asinine statement to make.
You have no evidence, not one shred.
Therefore you have no proof.
Therefore you are nuts, crazy, loco


SD
“These things can be checked, and if anybody’s so stupid as to try and pull a hoax, they’d be called on it by the scientists in competition with them.

As for hypocrisy? I see hypocrisy in Romney having never been asked to prove his education, much less his citizenship, yet Obama has to prove his bonafides on these subjects.”

It has already been shown that a hoax has been committed. How many hoaxes have to be done to have you admit it?

Your total support for Obama not matter what is sickening. For a person to spend $4 million dollars to protect his birth, schooling, residence, etc. is a scandal all of its own.

SD is guilty of doing what you accuse the opposition of doing. That is a classic and basic tenet of socialism, communism and all those other left isms.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at August 17, 2012 10:46 PM
Comment #351031

KAP, here is a link you might enjoy. It appears the DHS is falling apart under a sex scandal. Obama has built a house of cards and it is crumbling.

http://michellemalkin.com/2012/08/17/the-liberal-sisterhood-of-the-plundering-hacks/

Stephen Daugherty said:

“As for Global Warming? No, if it all just death, that would be cheap. No, instead it will be more expensive crops, more expensive water supplies, more expense in moving materials up and down rivers that might either be flooded or running dry, so on and so forth. More energy costs for air conditioning, more medical costs as heat-waves hit places unused to them.
You’re not thinking fractally. You’re not thinking in terms of the hidden dimensions of what weather both costs us and grants us, and how a change in that could alter the balance of our society. You’re just thinking in conspiratorial terms about scientists, who so far as I can tell, aren’t making stupendous fortunes for the most part off this science.
You’re just repeating what the folks with a vested interest in continued fossil fuel extraction are telling the rubes to paralyze policy changes that would be appropriate in the face of the situation.
It’s sad that he only way you can look at the world is to divide in into capitalists who are all good and minding their business, and socialists, who are trying to destroy everything.”

And you Stephen have violated every law of Global Warming. You are talking as if the evidence of GW is a hot summer or a drought in North America. Isn’t it true that GW cannot be based on local weather in local areas? Here Stephen, let me quote from one of your own climate change scientist:

“Why is it important to distinguish between weather and climate?

Many people use the words weather and climate as if they mean the same thing. They do not. It is important to understand the difference in order to understand the idea of climate change.

Everyone knows what weather is. It’s what is going on in the atmosphere at a particular place and time. Weather is measured in terms of wind speed, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather changes from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. The word climate refers to the average pattern of weather in a region…

When climate does change, it usually changes slowly. For example, the climate or average weather of Iowa involves cold snowy winters and hot summers. While the specific weather in Iowa varies from year-to-year, the average pattern is pretty much the same today as it was back in our grandparents’ days.

Because the specific weather we experience may be a bit different from one year to the next, a couple of very hot summers, or a couple of very rainy winters, may lead people to conclude that the climate is changing. Of course, rapid climate change might cause such shifts, but it is far more likely that these differences are just natural year- to-year variability. However, because everyone notices a really hot summer, and television and newspapers sometimes talk about climate change in the same story as they talk about recent unusual weather, it is easy to get the two confused.”

http://www.gcrio.org/gwcc/booklet1.html

You Stephen are making the mistake of confusing weather for climate change by making this statement:

“I mean, I saw today on my Weather App that today had the warmest low temperature ever recorded for this day. Last year, about this time, my State was undergoing the hottest Summer it, or the rest of the country EVER suffered, with triple digit temperatures every day, and no rain. I can still see the stumps from all the trees that died on account of that heat wave.”

Other than that, the American people don’t believe this claptrap. It will break SD’s heart when Obama is sent packing, it will further break his heart when the Republicans have control of the House and Senate; but it will send Stephen into the depths of depression when we start drilling for our own energy resources and shut down the power grabbing EPA that has placed the American people in bondage. You see Stephen, it’s great for you to spout your lofty ideals, but America is only one nation of many. The Chinese, Indians, Arab nations, Russia, Mexico, Europeans, and South American nations will never contribute to the Cap and Trade tax, and will never agree to the same restrictions you want for America. So your goals are to destroy America, while everyone else gets a free pass. To top that, it will be the US taxpayer paying for the whole bilge.

Posted by: Frank at August 17, 2012 10:56 PM
Comment #351033

I heard about that H.S thing Frank. Let’s see, we have Holder being sued, the hot tube thing I forget what dept. that was, W.H. leaks of Natonal Securty issues, Biden gaffs, almost 16 trillion in Debt, 8.3% unemployment, and the economy in the tank, and all these liberal/progressives can think about is Romney’s Tax returns and G.W. They give passes to the millionaire Hollywood elites and guys like Soro’s and Maher. We have a millionaire Senate leader who won’t devluge how he made that on his Senator salary, John Kerry who buys a boat and parks it in a different State to avoid Mass. state taxes but that’s ok because they’re Democrats. Charlie Rangle’s tax problems and he gets a slap on the wrist and re elected, go figure. Our Treasury sec. Tax issues which he corrected after being found out. This is just a few.

Posted by: KAP at August 17, 2012 11:35 PM
Comment #351034

tom humes-
Are you talking about “Climate Gate?”

Somebody stole e-mails and dribbled out supposedly incriminating quotes. Virtually every authority that has reviewed the situation has come across with the conclusion that the Scientist did not commit any academic fraud, that what your people did was simply take certain phrases out of context, and read certain others in ignorance of what it really meant.

So, the real hoax was the one perpetrated on your side. In fact, it’s been an ongoing hoax for the past few decades, and it’s called “The Sound Science” movement. Basically, in place of actual, truly sound science, you get sycophantic, public debate confusing stuff in the style of science whose basic function is to provide backing to those wanting to forestall the policy that real scientific research would suggest to be wise.

It says something that some of the same people talking here were alleging in days gone by that Cigarettes were good for you, and did not cause cancer, and were not addictive. Then we learn in the 90’s that not only did the companies know this was BS, but that they had engineered their cigarettes to be even more addictive than they would have been had they just been rolled tobacco.

Some of the same groups that lied on behalf of the Cigarette companies, now lie on behalf of the fossil fuel companies. And you are buying it.

As for my support of Obama? I can show the records that confirm Obama’s birth, and so far as I can tell, you can show no good reason to doubt Obama’s citizenship or the status under which he attended college or law school. You’ve just started with the concept that he must be foreign, that he must be a secret Muslim, or whatever else your impressionable mind has been filled with.

You are the one projecting on the opposition what you do yourself.

Frank-
Violated every law of Global Warming? If you were trying to impress anybody by sounding scientific, you should have known that the study here would be Climatology.

But it’s not a law, simply a definition. Climate is weather’s regular patterns averaged over a few decades.

If I were only saying that one year, or two years were out of whack, that would be one thing. But the stuff I read says we’ve been seeing warmer years than we should be since 1998, with the record years all bunched up in recent times. If you were truly familiar with sources I trust, you would know that the figure is that something like most of the last ten years occupying the hottest years in recorded history, on the global stage.

This is not just this year, and last year, and I only use those as examples of how bad it’s getting.

This is the problem with your inane “sound science” movement. most of you aren’t familiar enough with the actual science to do anything but make the people who actually know the field facepalm in aggravation. You talk of laws of global warming, and I’m going like, this isn’t Sir Isaac Newton here, and the definition of Climate isn’t like Newton’s third law of motion or Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion.

So, do me a favor here: show me the real theory that explains the warming of the last thirty years, warming that occured even when the sun shone dimmer on the planet. Show me the explanation for all the things I spoke about to C&J as being the means to test global warming and its causes. Because without that, and with the kind of evidence you’re bringing together, you don’t have a case. All you have is a bunch of misdirected paranoia.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 17, 2012 11:55 PM
Comment #351037

SD

You did it again. “Your people”. Why can’t you learn? It is not my people. I am beginning to believe you have shit for brains. You keep tracking all the garbage that you get fed and you cannot accept that there are people that don’t think your way or believe your way and that they have a great ability to think for themselves. Why cannot you accept that? I know it is difficult to be an Obama believer and accept what other people believe and think. But it is what it is and it happens by the millions. Your way of thinking and believing is not gospel.

It has more holes than a ton of cheese. You will even argue that it is not just cheese but a certain kind of cheese that you can argue about. Kinda like holy cheese. You might even argue that the cheese I speak of is not Wisconsin cheese but an international cheese.

This is the type of argument you put forth. Junk.

And once again quit the “your people” crap. I am not angry. I just don’t like lumping me with “your people”.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at August 18, 2012 12:31 AM
Comment #351047

For those saying liberals would rather talk about taxes and global warming than real issues, I’ll remind you all that at least once per month I write about the economy. So what does the right do when given the chance to talk about this important subject? Does it jump at the chance to debate such a substantive topic? No, not so much.

I write a post based on verifiable economic indicators and reports and I weigh in on what I think is the overall trend in the economy. From the right I get the usual round of “This is all spin! Obama failed!” which they said on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and continue to say here in this thread today. Also they say, “The economy is worse now when than when Obama took office!” They swear, “It’s still getting worse!” Neither is true, but they work so very hard to convince themselves and others that it is.

So when I see the right in this thread complain about the subjects that liberals want to write about I can only laugh and shake my head. Sometimes I wonder if the right on this site believes the things they write or if they’re just an ongoing study in self parody.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 18, 2012 9:19 AM
Comment #351048

Adam

In economics, no cause and effect is really verifiable. That is why we have so many arguments. Economics is not science.

I never say that the economy is worse than when Obama took office. I believe it would have been much better today if Obama policies had been better. He is a poor leader who doesn’t have even a basic understanding of how the free market economy works.

Posted by: C&J at August 18, 2012 10:04 AM
Comment #351052

I am at the Villages in Florida and listening to Ryan. What a great guy, he is electrifying. The seniors are so excited about the Romney/Ryan ticket. I will tell you this beyond any doubt; the Republicans now own the issue on Medicare and SS. The left has been claiming this for 40+ years and now seniors are understanding who really supports Medicare and SS. They also understand Obama stole $716 billion from Medicare to prop up his obamacare. It is theft and we understand it is redistribution of our tax dollars. Romney will win Florida. Spin all you want, but the villages encompass 3 counties and I know what we believe, because I am neighbors with these people.

Posted by: Billinflorida at August 18, 2012 10:38 AM
Comment #351058

Adam, I’ve given you my opinion numerous times on the economic outlook under the Obama admin. IMO he could have done better if he focused more on jobs and the economy instead of Obamacare. His stimulus and bailouts are questionable, especially when we the tax payers still have a small stake in GM. At 8.3% unemployment and Harry Reid holding up any legislation the Republican controled house send to it is dispicable and I would say that no matter who had what. Maybe the things are bright where you are but here in the rust belt they ain’t so great.

Posted by: KAP at August 18, 2012 12:00 PM
Comment #351059

tom humes-
Look, I can’t distinguish the policy you support from that of a standard Republican. You might be disgusted by being lumped in, but I can’t see you actually disagreeing with most of their points. At least I’m not insisting that you’re a Republican, merely that it’s not terribly useful to make an ideological distinction based on your stand on the issues, especially as the Tea Party takes over.

You’re also picking what is to my mind one of the most useless, least dynamic arguments: the argument to the other guy that they are the scum of the Earth. Somebody has to have a serious crisis of identity to accept that.

Oh, it must feel marvelous to confront us, knowing in your heart that you’re confronting evil, and it probably does a good job of preventing you from straying into certain heresies.

The trouble is, your target doesn’t share your perspective. They think of themselves as the good guys, and all your insults and nasty comments do is just convince them that you are the bad guy.

Got that?

That’s why I don’t succumb too far to the temptation to just whale at you in return. What would that change? Who else would that convince? At the end of the day, I’m looking to change minds, to support those who might be wavering in the face of the usual vicious assaults from the other side. That is why I rely on facts, because I can hand that fact to a person who might be wavering, either towards or away from my side, and build something real in terms of an alternative theory of a given situation.

You say my arguments are full of holes, but your arguments often lack facts, period, so your arguments tend to be big holes in and of themselves.

I can’t say I respect your methods. You just show up, tell me I’m a terrible arguer, tell me I’m wrong, but you don’t do what I would do, and dissect the argument you were referring to. It’s, not in so many words, you telling me I’m wrong and expecting me, even with my pre-existing beliefs, to take your word for it and just concede the argument, I don’t know, on how awesome you think your own arguments are.

Why should I buy into you on that? For all to long, people on your side of the political spectrum have taken your policy prescriptions for granted as the truth, and anybody who dissented was just wrong.

But now you need to sell it, and you don’t have the humility to condescend to defending your argument on a basic level.

C&J-
Look, if you’re going to argue that no economic policy is verifiable, even partially, then we have no reason to disparage one system over another. That argument even makes communism a valid system.

But in the real world, while you cannot scientifically test economic propositions, you can enact them, and then get at least a partial observation of how things actually work out.

Your trouble there is that many of your systems haven’t worked out as well as advertised. So, either you chance things with the vagueness of non-empirical economics, which renders the final claim you intend to promote meaningless except on emotional grounds, or you embrace empiricism, and face up to the failure of your policies to perform.

Billinflorida-
Ryan’s budget keeps those cuts, so by logical extension, Ryan’s a thief, too. Thank you very much, goodbye! :-)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 18, 2012 12:12 PM
Comment #351060

Stephen

Economics is not a science. That doesn’t mean you cannot look at broad experience. It just means that you cannot say that x input produces y output. It is more like the study of history than that of physics.

Lots of things that “should” work in economics just don’t. That is why we need to mix in lots of experience.

We also have the problem of change. When we consider the Obama failure, we are not saying that NOTHING he did worked. What we say is that what he did was not as good as it could/should have been. And in the net effect, he may have done no long-term good.

Re communism - after many years of looking at it, it clearly produces poor results economically. But the biggest arguments against communism are moral. It is just not moral to kill and enslave people.

Posted by: C&J at August 18, 2012 12:29 PM
Comment #351062

SD

I have to take a vacation from WB. SD is so out of tune. Everything he says appears to be what are you talking about routine.

Adrienne

What can a person say. She is hateful.

All others on the left, I SHALL RETURN.

Maranatha

Posted by: tom humes at August 18, 2012 1:24 PM
Comment #351074

C&J-
I know it’s not all that scientific. But what I would like to see is more attention to what you could call the empirical elements, and less concentration on what could be called conjectural or philsophical elements.

The Laffer Curve, in other words. None of its conclusions have been proved, yet it shows up in policy again and again, failing to actually develop stronger economies and supercharged tax bases that reduce deficits, or prevent them.

I would not say that it’s wrong to be conservative, but the digression on Laffer’s tangent has made a mockery of the term fiscal conservative, because nothing of the real balanced budget actually gets conserved. It’s not careful if you know it will increase the deficit, or at least upset balances.

tom humes-
Hopefully, you will return able to discuss things, not just proclaim them and expect agreement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 18, 2012 7:05 PM
Comment #351075

Stephen

There are not that many truly “empirical elements” in economics. In fact, this is the persistent failing of the discipline. Many keep on thinking they have it figured out and then they hit the next wall.

The Laffer curve is as valid as any other of the big ideas in economics. We know that raising taxes by X produces revenues of X - Y, we just don’t know what Y will be. We also know that cutting taxes by X will will result in revenues losses less than that cut. Again, we don’t know how much. Economics is not a science.

We don’t exactly know how much a cut in taxes stimulus economic activity. Circumstances differ. Taxes work like an expense. If you tax investment, you get less of it, again nobody knows exactly how much less.

We know that firms and individuals make decisions based party on taxes. When I studied finance, we were always cautioned to include tax consequences. Some investments that made sense pre-tax would be rejected post-tax.

So what do we know for sure? A tax rate of 100% will stop all economic activity and result in zero revenue. A tax rate of 0% will result in lots of activity but also zero revenue. Someplace in between is an optimal rate, but nobody can identify it and it will change as conditions change. Again, not a science.

Posted by: C&J at August 18, 2012 7:58 PM
Comment #351076

Stephen

I would add a point of ideology. I do not believe the goal should be to maximize revenue. Government should take in just enough revenue to support its legitimate functions and not more. Politicians will always be able to figure out “good” places to spend money if they have it, just as the drunk always has a good reason for that next drink.

Posted by: C&J at August 18, 2012 8:00 PM
Comment #351080

C&J-
I’m not talking about acting like you’ve figured it out. Quite the opposite. I’m talking about acknowledging the danger in buying into the “just as valid as anything else” argument. While economics is a human factors fraught discipline, it is still a practical one, so we do have the opportunity to act, and then see what works. We don’t have the certainty the sciences have on certain subjects, but we do have an avenue to determine right from wrong.

If big tax cuts have a big downside, and don’t show much of an upside, there should be a great deal of countervailing evidence applied in a situation before we once again try the idea. Something else has to make that tax cut more effective, because on its own, neither tax cuts successfully improved the American economy or job situation. In fact, where the recession preceded Obama’s stimulus Bush and Reagan’s tax cuts preceded their recessions.

We can’t wait simply for what we can be sure of, but we can’t waste time applying solutions that have not worked. one more tax cut on top of the huge tax cut will not make the employment situation any better than the record amounts of cash corporations and the wealthy have. What people are really waiting for, is the recovery of the consumer economy, and one of the reasons why that economy remains weakened is that while in other recessions, unemployment remained relatively low, this one saw a huge spike, as businesses across the country folded for lack of credit.

It’s time to admit that middle class jobs are the biggest part of this.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2012 12:04 AM
Comment #351085

Stephen

Romney and Ryan are not offering tax cuts. They want to reform the tax system in order to make is simpler and more effective. If you lower rates while at the same time eliminating many deductions and loopholes, you make it easier to pay taxes, easier to plan and easier on the non-rich. It is the rich who get most benefit from the complicated tax system, since they can hire people to figure it all out. I am certain that people like you and I are not taking advantage of all the tax breaks because we don’t know about them. Uncertainty creates stagnation.

“It’s time to admit that middle class jobs are the biggest part of this.” This is exactly what I have been trying to talk about and what Obama has been avoiding. We want to talk about jobs and the economy. You guys want to distract with individual tax returns or immigration or pranks in HS. Obama was on the radio last week. He doesn’t have time to meet his own jobs council or work on that problem at all, but on the radio he was answering tough question like, what was his favorite food or what workout music did he like the most.

Obama is making this campaign about small things. Indeed let’s talk about how to create conditions where people can create jobs.

A simpler tax code would indeed help create jobs, since people would know better what to do. An energy policy that truly was all of the above would help too. Simple good managment in the WH would be great.

Posted by: C&J at August 19, 2012 7:32 AM
Comment #351087

C&J-
Not offering tax cuts. Even though every good analysis of the tax plan says that the rich will pay less, while the middle class pays more?

Your problem here is that you have to support people whose only recourse to promote otherwise unpopular policy is to deceive.

As for what questions Obama has to answer? Tell me, is it’s Obama’s fault that those interviewers wuss out on their questions? It’s another in a long line of false controversies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2012 10:40 AM
Comment #351089

Stephen

The “very good” analysis, the one Obama uses, makes lots of assumptions that are not justified. Romney talks about cutting deductions. Deductions benefit mostly the rich.

Romney has not specified which deductions. This is political,I admit. It would give Obama too much room to demagogue hypothetical. On the other hand, Obama has no detailed plan at all, so let’s agree that we will compare details of the plans when we see them.

Until that time, the idea that we would reduce deductions and simplify the tax code to make it more effective is a better idea than the Obama plan to do nothing but raise taxes.

Re Obama - “is it’s Obama’s fault that those interviewers wuss out on their questions?” YES, absolutely yes. Obama chooses those venues. You have too options, either Obama is trying to avoid the big issues by choosing the outlets he does, or Obama is even dumber than Biden. Which is it?

Posted by: C&J at August 19, 2012 10:50 AM
Comment #351118

C&J-
This is the kind of reasoning that bugs me, that prompted this article I wrote: Sure, you’re allowed to claim that Obama’s assumptions are not justified, that the deductions removed will help shift things towards the middle class, etc, etc. etc.

Any evidence of this? Any plan whose math we can examine? Nope, more unprovables.

As for being demagogued? Let me get this straight, your problem, though you believe these policies to be right, is that you’ll be criticized for whatever you present? Well, pardon me, but if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! You’ve demagogued everything Obama has offered. You have even gone beyond criticizing what is there, to invent new policies that you claim are Obama’s!

In the meantime, in the absence of your phantom policies, the imagination is free to run unchecked as to what the policies actually would be, and on the details alone that you offer, fact-check sites have no choice but to rate Obama’s criticism of your plan true.

In other words, Obama is still getting to bash your policies, all you get to do is claim he’s wrong, with no inconvenient details to prove otherwise.

So, if you really think about it, all you’re really doing is hiding from possible public disapproval, and dodging any facts that might help Obama successfully win an argument against you on the merits.

That’s not the behavior of folks who have the courage of their convictions, much less defensible policies. That’s the behavior of those who are trying to run out the clock and use difficult to prove emotional arguments to persuade people.

As for whether it’s Obama’s fault the people wuss out on substantive questions? Yes. I know you folks want to blame him for everything, but if they wanted to, local news operations could challenge the President, or at least ask him decent questions. That’s more the vapidity of the media outlet at work than any force on Obama’s part just to throw him softballs.

As for choice of venues, what, you want him just to frequent ruthless right wing media outlets who’ll ambush him?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2012 6:12 PM
Comment #351119

Stephen

Obama’s programs are unprovable.

When the stimulus was passed, Nobel Prize winners Paul Krugman and Joesph Stiglitz said it was necessary and maybe too small. On the other hand, Nobel Prize winners James Buchanan, Edward Prescott and Vernon Smith said it wasn’t worth the money. The problem is that we cannot measure the counter factual - what would have happened absent the policy or if a different policy had been implemented. (Good recent book on this, BTW, called “Uncontrolled”)

” Let me get this straight, your problem, though you believe these policies to be right, is that you’ll be criticized for whatever you present?” Yes. That is why I say that when Obama provides details, we can ask Romney to do so. Obama is even more a coward, since he is already implementing policies he does not understand or will not explain in detail.

Re Obama’s choice of local outlets - he knows what kind of questions he will get. He probably dictates them in advance. He is a lightweight and he knows it.

Posted by: C&J at August 19, 2012 6:25 PM
Comment #351125

C&J-
Congratulations. In your logical gyrations, you’ve essentially crippled your own ability to claim that Obama’s policies failed on any logical grounds.

If his programs are unprovable, they are also undisprovable.

Now that’s not my logic, that’s yours. My logic is that the success of his programs can be determined by the empirical evidence, though not in a perfectly precise scientific way. My claim is that the growth, job recoveries and other factors that the CBO and other independent, non-partisan economists and economic organizations have reported and attributed to the Stimulus prove that the policy was worth undertaking.

As for the rest?

Obama has a record, has a long list of policies he’s implemented, a list of success and failures that fill in for whatever vagueness might be there in his campaign promises.

Romney has no record, at least none he’s willing to share with us with complete candor. Either he’s trying to avoid looking too liberal to his base, or too outside the pale to voters in the center.

I’ve had some rhetorical and public relations training, given my degree path, and I have to say that my natural response to somebody demagogueing my position is to rebut what they say. Got that? There is a treatment for the disease of being gainsayed.

Now either your man is too incompetent a campaigner, or too radioactive in substance, or worse yet, too fricking snobby in his sentiments to be able to bear having to explain himself. One way or another, this will stop nobody from criticizing him, and will only deprive Americans of substance on which to discuss and debate his qualifications.

And in depriving people of substance to discuss his qualifications, he will have done the public a disservice. This election is not about Romney, it’s about the public good, and if he can’t think beyond himself towards that public good, he doesn’t deserve to be president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2012 9:55 PM
Comment #351127

Stephen

If I have science, I rely on it. When I do not, I rely on experience. It seems to me, given the poor results, that the Obama stimulus was a failure. I cannot prove that any more than you can prove the contrary. Like most things in life, we will need to use our judgement. We need to let the American people do the same. That is why we should talk about the economy and not about taxes or which workout music Obama uses.

“his election is not about Romney, it’s about the public good, and if he can’t think beyond himself towards that public good, he doesn’t deserve to be president.” The same goes for Obama re public good, but maybe it IS about Obama and what he has done to America. We should also talk about that and not about Obama’s favorite food.

Posted by: C&J at August 19, 2012 10:12 PM
Comment #351146

C&J-
Americans want to know, if they are going to let him decide how we manage our money, how Romney manages his. The point of all this disclosure we’re asking for is to put Romney to the test, but Romney won’t let himself be put to the test.

He’s not willing to trust the rest of us to think for ourselves.

Part, though, of thinking for yourself is learning to discern what the evidence supports, and not merely relying on appearances. People can become convinced the world works one way when it doesn’t

Most economists believe the stimulus worked. Meanwhile other surveys and other evidence shows that tax cuts did not improve the employment situation even in the best of times.

I don’t really see the point in being anti-empirical when it comes to practical matters, matters in which you have actual results to compare things with.

As for what reporters talk about, that’s their responsibility. To put it anywhere else is to mislay the reporter’s responsibility. I don’t want my politicians making the decision of what’s news.

Which brings me back to my objection about Romney. I don’t believe he’s hot enough **** to merit people taking the man on faith. We need to know just how allergic the man is to handling the responsbilities society gives him. Can that be any plainer?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2012 12:04 PM
Comment #351151
Americans want to know, if they are going to let him decide how we manage our money, how Romney manages his.

No, *SOME* Americans, meaning mostly those looking for a way to fish for some information to attack him, want to know.

If you are correct, he won’t get elected. Simple as that. Whining about it for the next 3 months is simply absurd… Last time I checked, tax returns were private information and as citizens I think we have the right to decide if and when they are released, not anyone else. You can decide not to vote for him for not releasing them if you want, but I am guessing you wouldn’t have anyway…

BTW, if you switch that logic around to Obama’s transcripts, or some other information that his opponents think should be released, you will see how idiotic your ‘logic’ is…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2012 12:17 PM
Comment #351242

Stephen

Romney evidently manages his money very well, since he has a lot of it and he donated his entire inheritance to charity.

Many of us inherited more than Romney and did not do as well.

Most of the people calling for Romney’s tax forms don’t even understand their own. You want them so that you can mine them to show that he is rich. It didn’t matter to you that Kerry was probably richer than anybody who has ever run for presidency and did not disclose the real sources of his vast wealth. But now Romney bothers you.

Posted by: C&J at August 21, 2012 4:32 PM
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