I Want Your Money

There is a difference in philosophy between conservatives and liberals when it comes to creating wealth. Liberals think wealth is a gift from the government to individuals. A social program that costs x dollars and a tax break of x dollars are identical things, because they think that all wealth belongs to government. Whether you earn it or not is just a matter of accounting technicalities or political generosity. Conservatives know that wealth belongs to people. Those who earn money give some to government so that it can do things we prefer not or cannot do ourselves. But it is our money.

This fundamental disagreement about the nature of wealth is at the bottom of a lot of other disagreements. Wealth is the creation of human beings. A resource is potential wealth but does not become wealth until somebody does the work of making it so. Wealth is also often subjective. We all value things differently. That is the basis of commerce. So there is no “fair” price for anything. There is only the price that someone is willing to pay voluntarily. Government’s role is to create conditions of stability and rule of law that allow the people to create and enjoy wealth. This includes general rule of law, enforcement of legitimate agreements, but does not entail taking from some merely to equalize outcomes for others. We should have a strong commitment to equality under the law, but none whatsoever to equality of outcomes.

We have a very well developed tradition of charity in America. Americans are generous and they share their wealth with people who have not done as well in life. We have even determined, as a people, that government has a role in helping facilitate sharing of wealth. But there is a big difference between that and believing that government has the right to mange individual wealth. It is still OUR money which we give to the government to accomplish our goals. It is not the government that lets us have some of its money.

As I have repeated many times, I love government and think it is so precious that we should use it sparingly. It is also important to remember that governments are the creatures of the people, not their masters. A lot of things are none of government’s business. Most of our lives our private and should stay that way.

I was worried last year. We seemed to have gone off the deep end with this intervention and equal outcomes idea. Fortunately, we have come around right again to a large extent. Whether you support them or not, we can thank the tea parties for bringing us back to our senses.

BTW - if you have not clicked on the link up top, do it now. It is a very funny video.

Posted by Christine & John at August 26, 2010 09:37 PM
Comments
Comment #306908

That has to be the least informative video I’ve seen since a Fox News piece.

Anyway, it’s easy to win an argument when you are speaking for both sides. You told me what my fundamental beliefs are. Thanks. You weren’t close, but it suits your purpose.

The conservatives want my money just the same as the liberals. They just want to give it to different people. For instance, they don’t mind spending trillions of dollars for ‘defense’… especially when the defense is defending their corporations rights to do business. They don’t mind regulators keeping players out of markets, but want no money spent on regulators watching what’s going on with the companies who have carved out nice fat pieces for themselves.

I know you’ll disagree with my opinions, but since I’m doing the talking here, I get to tell you what conservatives want. Since I’m now a ‘socialist’ to you, I suppose I can label your side as feudalists.

BTW, you’ve almost got the American people to serf level. Congrats, GWB et al. We can start bringing the manufacturing plants back home when labor is reduced to accepting Third World wages. Not much further to go!

If you are going to liberal policies with socialism then I can certainly equate conservative policies with feudal social policies. Let them eat cake!

Posted by: LibRick at August 26, 2010 10:24 PM
Comment #306910

C&J,

You stated many of the facts correctly, but with one little misconception. Individuals create wealth, but not individually. They create it collectively. John D. Rockefeller did not create his personal wealth solely by working very hard and generating massive productivity, he worked collectively, and using both legal and illegal means, amassed a large sum of it for himself.

The issue about price is as simple as what someone is willing to trade for it and as complex as a Harvard contract law department.

What our government does is serve the people it represents. It is a creation to allow expression by the people of what is fair and what isn’t. It’s a political construct designed to be a safety valve of redress and guard against tyranny.

Liberals understand that fairness is not defined by someone who holds a piece of paper in his hand and shouts, “These are the rules, therefore, I deserve everything. Tyrants did this, often in collusion with church, claiming divine rights. Wealth that is made using the protections and benefits of a society owes itself to that society. Noblesse Oblige, if you like.

It could be why we were called a liberal democracy, in fact.

Posted by: gergle at August 26, 2010 10:27 PM
Comment #306912

Under feudalism, the state controls the means of production and commerce is heavily regulated. The state established “fair” prices for basic good. Skilled workers belonged to guilds that controlled markets to make sure their members had higher wages. I know leftists hate it, but this is a lot like socialism.

I know that all intelligent Americans reject socialism and Obama is not a socialist. He is, however, an interventionist. What worries me is the idea that somehow government has first claim on the income of the people and/or that government should equalize outcomes.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 10:33 PM
Comment #306914

Gergle

As I wrote, Americans are generous people. People give away and share their wealth. We are not “economic man” that just maximizes profit. But it should be our choice.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 10:35 PM
Comment #306917

C&J,

People aren’t all that generous. Hoover failed at that concept and proved your ideas wrong.

The phony Socialist argument is really silly. There has never been a threat of socialism, not even under (AAAAAAAHHHHH!) FDR. If FDR had failed to respond to desperate Americans by providing at least the perception of relief, then we might have seen socialism. Being unresponsive to the plight of the poor is the biggest threat to capitalism.

When the difference between the wealthiest incomes and the poorest becomes too distorted, it is a sign of the failure of “markets” to work. JD Rockefeller or any other magnate just isn’t worth what they sometimes seem to believe they are. It isn’t socialism to recognize this distortion and act to correct it. Robbers often feel smarter than the rest of us, and for a time they may hold much more wealth than their victims. That doesn’t make them icons of piety or capitalism.

I worried more about Socialism when Bush was in office than I have ever worried about Obama.

Posted by: gergle at August 26, 2010 10:48 PM
Comment #306918

“I was worried last year. We seemed to have gone off the deep end with this intervention and equal outcomes idea.”

C&J show some examples of what had you worried about equal outcomes and intervention last year. This appears to be just conservative drivel with little to justify it. Be specific.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 26, 2010 11:13 PM
Comment #306919

Gergle

I understand the need sometimes to equalize some wealth. It is always difficult, however, and not particularly just. Even often masquerades as justice.

The problem is that idea that some people seem to have that equality of outcomes is natural and that everything else must be to some extent unfair.

If we have diversity of inputs and of individuals, we will get a diversity of outcomes. This approaches a tautology.

I am not saying that you are arguing this point, but many have this assumption in mind. You hear it stated implicitly in the argument that the rich benefited from paying lower taxes and now it is time they “paid back”.

Like most people, I dislike anybody richer than I am. I know that many people will protest that they are not like that, but most are. But I don’t like the redistribution much either.

I know some rich people and some poor people. The poor are not more virtuous or less greedy. They are not deserving of the money that the rich have earned. The days when “the poor” did all the work and the rich lived off their labor are passed. Today that poor (the lower 20%) tend to work very little and pay almost zero tax, while the rich (top 20%) work long hours and pay most of the taxes. Robin Hood would be out of business in the modern U.S. and we should not pretend that old situation continues.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 11:15 PM
Comment #306921

j2t2

Just after Obama was inaugurated, there was lots of wild talk about government doing everything for people. Just go find a speech by Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank and you will hear it. They wanted big changes in how Americans related to government. Most Americans didn’t.

I am glad that the excitement and passion of early 2009 has cooled. I don’t think we should get passionate about government programs in general.

The government’s role is to create or maintain conditions where the people can create wealth and make choices for themselves. Government should not try to do this for people, nor should equalizing outcomes among individuals or groups be among its priority goals. I think that many people forgot that in 2009. If I am mistaken about that and it was just “conservative drivel” I apologize and I am surprised that we seem to have no significant difference of philosophy.

Posted by: C&J at August 26, 2010 11:24 PM
Comment #306927


“Today that poor (the lower 20%) tend to work very little”

Pure propaganda. Visit your local sweat shop. I’m sure there is one near you. Visit WalMart at 1:30 in the morning and see all those lazy low wagers lying around, not working.

Since she has 37 hours this week, she has to go in from 6 am to 9 am tomorrow. No overtime for her. One day she may have to work 16 hours and the next day 2 hours. She has worked there two months, making vinyl windows. Most days she comes home exhausted, with a new cut or bruise. Every evening she studies for her GED. She is a typical lazy minimum wage worker trying to raise three kids. Sixty dollars a week is deducted from her pay for a family health care plan with a $5,000 deductible.

She is a friend of mine and I am proud of her and you can shove your propaganda.

That is how the rich owner earns his millions.

Posted by: jlw at August 27, 2010 03:04 AM
Comment #306929

jlw

You see people working at Walmart, some of whom are in the lowest 20% of the income. Of course, you don’t see people who are not working. What you have is “availability bias”. Statistics show that the lowest 20% works significantly fewer hours than the top 20% or any other of the quintiles.

You can see this on the chart about halfway down the page. It makes sense when you think about it. You make more money when you work more. In America, we never developed a significant class of “rentier” i.e. people living off income of land or simple control resources w/o doing any work.

Re working hard for low wages - most of us have done that. one week I worked 82 hours loading cement bags that each weighed 94 lbs. After you do that for a while, you move up. Your friend is doing the right thing getting her GED. When she gets that and if she continues to work hard, life will improve.

As I have written before, I did a analysis of my income from the time I started to work until now. Adjusted for inflation, my median income is slightly below the U.S. figure. I figure by the time I retire I will be a little above. I am well off now, but I have been a lot poorer. Over the working life, it evens out.

BTW - if your friend is working 37 hours a week, she is working less than the standard work week. Why would she get any overtime?

Posted by: C&J at August 27, 2010 08:29 AM
Comment #306932

C&J sometimes the arrogance and and know-it-all attitudes in your posts are subtle, and sometimes it just shines like a beacon. I had to shut my eyes on this one.

Posted by: womanmarine at August 27, 2010 08:58 AM
Comment #306936

Womanmarine

What can I say. When the facts clearly shine through, they might be too bright for those who don’t like them.

Have you not noticed that everybody who writes on this blog has a “know-it-all” attitude. That is why we write and it is what is expected.

This blog gets something like 1500 page views a day. Most people don’t write. My guess is that those who don’t have such attitudes just read. Maybe they are smarter, but we need the writers and the writers should believe what they write.

Posted by: C&J at August 27, 2010 09:10 AM
Comment #306939

Womanmarine:

I love the imagery of shiny bacon!:)


I like eating bacon, too!!!

Posted by: gergle at August 27, 2010 10:06 AM
Comment #306940

the working poor are not lazy and i know i am one of them… i work 50 hrs a week at my regular job and 20-30 at my part time job…i take home approx 45% of my income…

C&J your post show a huge lack of understanding and a definite bias to poor working Americans.
the biggest chunk taken from me every check is insurance,then taxes.

Posted by: john in napa at August 27, 2010 10:23 AM
Comment #306942

C&J,

Sweeping generalizations, opinions based on limited experience and telling the folks you want to possibly debate what their positions already are, make it difficult to take your post seriously enough to respond.

Why not ask what us “liberals” what we believe is the role of the Federal goverment in regard to the economy?
Why not ask us “liberals” what our opinions are on various government programs and the effects on the American economy?

At least you’d get varying opinions and thoughts on the matter. We don’t march in lockstep with a party, movement or news organization. We think for ourselves.

Or you can just parrot what FOX NEWS tells you is our position.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at August 27, 2010 11:05 AM
Comment #306945

Perhaps we simply need to move the poor to Iraq or Afghanistan. American government still seems to believe it can buy loyalty. Maybe if we just moved those poor lazy slobs overseas, we could have stability in foreign lands and a welfare state in one pop.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082606776.html?hpid=topnews


This is the myth of stability in Iraq, Vietnam, and now Afghanistan and Pakistan. The arrogance of wealth often creates in people the belief they can buy anything. Of course, it’s true that you can always find someone to “sell” you whatever you want in exchange for cash. But the issue of whether you get what you think you are paying for is quite another.

It is the arrogance of wealth that sees poverty as laziness and one’s own wealth as industriousness. The truth is that it is power vs. weakness and education vs. ignorance that are the main issues that divide between wealth and poverty.
Wealth is the ultimate dominance symbol. Much like the phallic erections of high rise buildings or the Washington monument.
Most historians think Washington would have been appalled at his D.C. monument.

Sometimes when men think with the part of anatomy associated with these symbols, they do and say dumb things, like sink billions of dollars into a bottomless pit.

Posted by: gergle at August 27, 2010 11:51 AM
Comment #306948

Why should anyone want either extreme:

  • Extreme # 1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed (which we have seen plenty of lately).
  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; tries to disguise envy and jealousy as demands for equality; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

Like the video said, the voters can “make their voices heard” and that is still “possible today”.
Both true.
But most likely, not by repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, greedy, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 90% re-election rates.

By the way, on the subject of taking other people’s money, how many of you think this regressive tax system is fair, and that making the regressive tax cuts permanent is fair?
The current federal tax system is effectively REGRESSIVE due to:

  • numerous tax loop-holes and ridiculous complexity which makes it ripe for abuse (mostly, tax loop-holes for the wealthy);
  • capital gains and some dividends are taxed at 5% to 15% (which also mostly benefits the wealthy);
  • capital gains are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes, but not labor income (which also mostly benefits the wealthy);
  • income above the cap ($94,200 in year 2006, $97,500 for year 2007, … , $106,000 for 2010) are exempt from Social Security taxes.
    This is how Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., pays a lower percentage of income to federal taxes (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who paid 30% in federal taxes on an income of $60K). Warren Buffet told Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” that the U.S. tax structure is unfair. Warren Buffet performed an informal poll in his office, where the average tax rate was 32.9%, compared to his 17.7% percent, citing that as evidence that “the tax system has tilted toward the rich in the last 10 years”.
    |
    How can that happen?
    |
  • The top federal income tax bracket on $60K (in year 2006) was about 20% (or 18.33% after standard deductions and exemptions);
  • Social Security tax is: 2 * 6.2% = 12.4% (on the first $94,200; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Medicare tax is: 2 * 1.45% = 2.9% (there is no cap on Medicare; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Total Social Security and Medicare tax rate is: 2 * (6.2% + 1.45%) = 2 * 7.65% = 15.3% (the employer pays half of the Social Security and Medicare tax, but it really comes out of the employee’s income; the employee really bears this cost; also, the self-employed pay the entire 15.3% themselves);
  • therefore, the maximum percentage of federal taxes on $60K of payroll could be as high as 31.0%.
    For example:
    Tax = [($60K - $5150 personal deduction - $3,300 for standard exemptions) * 18.33% tax rate] + ($60K * 15.3% Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 for Social Security & Medicare) = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $18,631 = 31% of $60K (which is a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ?
  • However, Warren Buffet’s secretary paid 30% in 2006 (1% less than the potential 31% above) in total federal taxes on $60K income (see above), which is probably because of a 401K deduction, and/or some other deduction (e.g. a charitable donation).
  • Even if the employer’s 50%/50% contribution for Social Security and Medicare are excluded, the secretary’s Tax is:
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 / 2 for Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $14,401 = 23.4% of $60K (which is still a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ? No, it isn’t, and Warren Buffet agrees it is not fair.
  • Whatever sort of tax system the voters have, they should ask to see the tax-curve across all income levels, because many tax-payers are not aware of the clever schemes being used to heap the highest percentages onto the middle-income group, and lower the tax percentages for the wealthy (such as the current regressive tax system).

  • ___ Total Federal Taxes (Income Tax + Social Security + Medicare taxes:____
  • 35% |——————-o-o—————————————————
  • 33% |—————-o——-o————————————————
  • 30% |————-o—————-o—————————————— = (30% total
  • 27% |————o—————————o——————————— federal tax for
  • 24% |———-o————————————-o———————— secretay making $60K)
  • 21% |———-o———————————————-o—————
  • 18% |———o—————————————————————o = (17.7% ; Warren
  • 15% |——-o—————————————————————— Buffet’s total
  • 12% |——-o—————————————————————— federal taxes on
  • 09% |——o——————————————————————- $46 Million in 2006)
  • 06% |—-o———————————————————————
  • 03% |—-o———————————————————————
  • 00% |ooo———————————————————————-
  • ____$0__30K__60K__90K_120K_150K_180K_210K_240K … . $GROSS INCOME

HHMMMMMMMMmmmmm … what a fascinating coincidence that the highest percentages paid in total federal taxes fall upon the middle-income class, eh?

Surely, it’s only a coincidence, eh?

By the way, even Warren Buffet agrees that the tax system is regressive and unfair (www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/30/watch-warren-buffett-cal_n_70455.html). Study the total federal tax on gross income (before a myriad of tax-loopholes). Also, capital gains are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes and are taxed at a much lower 5%-to-15% than most Americans pay. That’s how Warren Buffet paid 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006, while his secretary paid 30% in total federal taxes on a salary of $60K. Warren Buffet did a survey of his employees and most (if not all) were paying a considerably larger percentage of their income to federal taxes than his 17.7%.

While Democrats have had the vast majority in Congress all but 12 of the last 78 years, BOTH Democrats and Republicans have had ample opportunity to fix many things.
But they haven’t.
So why reward incumbent politicians in either with re-election?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 27, 2010 12:50 PM
Comment #306957

womanmarine

light dispells darkness

gergle
“There has never been a threat of socialism, not even under (AAAAAAAHHHHH!) FDR.”

If you believe what you put in writing then you don’t consider the nearly 70 members of Congress who have signed on as having a socialist line of thinking as a threat. So I understand what you said, but I highly disagree with it.

If you have a degree from higher education I now know it is not in History, Government or Economics.

Posted by: tom humes at August 27, 2010 02:37 PM
Comment #306964

C&J absurdly wrote: “Liberals think wealth is a gift from the government to individuals.”

Truly a clueless comment on many levels. 10’s of millions of liberals work for wages and salaries in productive jobs - clearly refuting your comment. Second, liberals do not view government assistance as a gift, but, an obligation of service by the government in return for previously paid taxes, and only when the needy are made so by events beyond their control.

The truth is, there is absolutely NO difference between conservatives and liberals on this issue of government’s obligation to fund individuals. The difference between them is ONLY in determining WHICH individuals should benefit, the wealthy, or the needy, for example. Liberals believe government obligation extends to the needy and where appropriate for economic conditions, to the wealthy investor class as well. Conservatives believe government obligation is NOT to the needy who should never have become needy in the first place, but, to the wealthy capital holders, in general and IN PRACTICE, whose needs underwrite economic activity (as if consumers weren’t an integral part of economic activity.)

I remain convinced that Republicans voted for the Rx Drug extension to Medicare, NOT out of duty to seniors and people in need, but, as part of a strategy to bankrupt the American government even sooner, forcing the government’s abdication of its Medicare contract with its citizens, all the sooner. Which, of course, as we now see, is playing out in just that fashion. Conservatives truly don’t believe in the American people or even the integrity of the nation - they believe in maximizing personal gain, and with wealth, that can be accomplished in any nation, America doesn’t need to be the home of their money or their family should it fail.

Your entire argument is based on the false premise that under Democrats, government tax revenues are doled out to individuals, and implies that under Republicans, tax revenues collected ARE NOT doled out to individuals, which of course is ludicrous on its face. ALL government revenues circulate through the private sector and the hands of individuals, regardless of whether conservatives or liberals are in charge. Which individuals are recipients is the only difference, foreign or domestic, wealthy or indigent, and both camps funnel enormous funds to the corporations - that is a blatant fact and reality.

Of course, in effect, Democrats are no better. They serve power and elections, first and foremost, just like Republicans, and that is why the Public Option never had a chance during the health care reform process. They literally sacrificed the nation’s economic future and the solvency of the U.S. government, for votes, wealthy campaign contributions, and power for 2 more years.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 27, 2010 04:44 PM
Comment #306966

“Just after Obama was inaugurated, there was lots of wild talk about government doing everything for people.”

The wild talk was from the repubs/conservatives C&J. Once again be specific, you made the claim “I was worried last year. We seemed to have gone off the deep end with this intervention and equal outcomes idea.” yet have not shown anything that would back up what I consider to be “conservative drivel”. Were it so prolific one would think it would be easy to find many specific comments from Obama and others.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2010 05:18 PM
Comment #306968

She is a friend of mine and I am proud of her and you can shove your propaganda.

That is how the rich owner earns his millions.

Posted by: jlw at August 27, 2010

I am proud of her as well jlw and am very willing to help those who are willing to help themselves improve their financial circumstances. I call that a hand-up, not a hand-out. I would guess that most of us writing and reading here started with a low paying job and worked our way up. And, that is one of the things that makes America a land of opportunity. Hard work, paying attention to our education and skills early in life, heeding the advise of those who have made it up the ladder (our parents and mentors for example) learning from our failures so we don’t continually repeat the same mistakes, being careful with credit, not having more children than we can support, and much more (that is within the ability of most people) will almost guarantee a good life in this country.

It should be clear to everyone that our labor is our property and thus enjoys protection under our constitution. I am guaranteed the right to barter with my property and labor and use it in whatever way I wish that doesn’t violate existing law. I offer my labor to another and that person either accepts or rejects my offer. To say that I am being cheated by low wage offers is not correct. My recourse if I want more for my labor is to increase its value to someone.

Or, I can join a union and collectively bargin with others for the value of my labor. But, it is never my right to demand that my government use its power to extract from my employer higher wages for me individually. The wage payer also has constitutional rights regarding his/her property.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 27, 2010 05:41 PM
Comment #306969

Mr. Remer writes, “Conservatives truly don’t believe in the American people or even the integrity of the nation…”

That comment is utter and profound nonsense. I simply can not understand such an ignorant comment coming from the pen of Mr. Remer who usually writes balanced, considered and thoughful opinions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 27, 2010 05:57 PM
Comment #306970

Royal Flush, what if I used the word Republicans, instead. There record is very clearly in support of my statement.

The majority of conservatives support the GOP. Ergo, if the statement is true of Republicans, and it is, then it also applies to the majority of conservatives.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 27, 2010 06:30 PM
Comment #306971

Mr. Remer asks, “Royal Flush, what if I used the word Republicans, instead. There record is very clearly in support of my statement.”

I would never say what you said about any mainstream political group. I may disagree with liberals or some dems but would never question their love for the country they call home.

I witness this love for country everywhere I go. When our nation is harmed we all grieve. When our warriors die in our defense we all cry. When our flag is raised we all salute, even in our national sports arenas.

Sorry Mr. Remer, but no amount of political disagreement will ever convince me that we are not all honorable in our love for country.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 27, 2010 06:44 PM
Comment #306977

I guess the multi-trillion dollar bailout of the financial industry, where the wealthiest have the greatest concentration of interest, was just a minor detour from the conservative mantra of no unearned handouts or income redistribution. Hands off my money, but take my debts.

I watched the link in the article. It was, quite frankly, surreal to see Ronald Reagan ranting against Democrats on spending and the national debt when it was he who ran record deficits and tripled the national debt.


Posted by: Rich at August 27, 2010 08:10 PM
Comment #306978

What a revelation Rich. I didn’t know presidents had the power of the purse. Whoduthunkit? When did that change?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 27, 2010 08:14 PM
Comment #306979

What a revelation Rich. I didn’t know presidents had the power of the purse. Whoduthunkit? When did that change? Well flushed they have this little thing called the veto.

Posted by: Jeff at August 27, 2010 08:44 PM
Comment #306980

The ability to come to consensus on what something is worth is what creates wealth.

When Dark Market transactions make it difficult to verify what an asset is worth (as is the case with many toxic assets the banks are saddled with), that destroys wealth.

When the average consumers forbears to invest because they either see they won’t get a positive return, or are afraid to get eaten alive by the sharks in the financial water, that destroys wealth.

When government is paralyzed in dealing with a dramatic shortfall in aggregate demand, and the nation is forced to get used to a more impoverished economy, that destroys wealth.

When businesses don’t innovate, only figure out new ways to commit financial chicanery to bulk up executive stock options, that destroys wealth.

Productive, sustainable creation of value is the name of the game, and Government, the individual, and the corporations can all play parts in creating wealth, or destroying it. Thus the need for laws, and the need for moderation in those laws. Thus the need for creativity in business and finance, and the need for moderation of such. Thus the need for better deals and better conditions for the average person, and the moderation of what they can get.

It’s a great big network of relationships, and we shouldn’t oversimplify things to suit some political dogma that thinks that handing anybody pure freedom equates with ensuring better use of that liberty. Sometimes, people corporations, and (especially) even government need to be told no.

And sometimes, sometimes, they all need to cooperate towards the end of redeeming this sorry system we have now, because in the long run, the rich will be more secure in their prosperity, and the other classes better able to aspire to better lives when this stops being a system which parasitizes the many for the sake of the few.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2010 09:03 PM
Comment #306985

Well Jeff congress has this thing called override.

Posted by: MAG at August 27, 2010 10:59 PM
Comment #306987

Tom Humes,

Show us the list. I call BS.

Posted by: gergle at August 27, 2010 11:50 PM
Comment #306988

gergle

What are ya talkin about? What list is in your mind? And what is the topic, subject and BS. Looks like you have taken the wrong aim.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 12:04 AM
Comment #306989

gergle

If you are talking about the socialists in congress, then here is where you can find it.

www.dsausa.org


Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 12:15 AM
Comment #306992

Tom Humes,

Didn’t find it there.

You said:

If you believe what you put in writing then you don’t consider the nearly 70 members of Congress who have signed on as having a socialist line of thinking as a threat. So I understand what you said, but I highly disagree with it.

I called BS. You apparently don’t have any cards in your hand.

Again. BS.

Posted by: gergle at August 28, 2010 12:58 AM
Comment #306994

Royal Flush said: “I may disagree with liberals or some dems but would never question their love for the country they call home.”

That is of course, your choice, RF. Doesn’t change the FACT that the parties and their incumbents place a higher priority on elections, lobbyists, wealthy special interest donors, and partisan warfare, than the good of the nation and the people. How the hell do you think we got to a 14 Trillion dollar national debt from 5.65 trillion in 9.5 years? Love of nation and tax paying Americans? BullSHIT, I say, and reiterate, BullSHIT!

There is belief, and there is reality. Your belief in this matter has no relation to the reality. Believing politician’s rhetoric inexorably leads to this kind of complete disconnect between reality and unreal belief.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 28, 2010 02:25 AM
Comment #307000

Isn’t it strange how facts from the right are so hard to come by. Wild accusations filled with misinformation half truths and outright lies are the norm for the right wing. Why should anyone believe anything these “boys who cried wolf” say?

Yet using the “if I say it three times it is true” rule they still fool the movement followers. I use to wonder how the German people in the ‘30’s were so easily lead down the path of Nazism but after seeing the onslaught of propaganda by the conservative movement the past 3 decades I no longer wonder why good people are so easily lead by bad ideologies.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfThree

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2010 09:57 AM
Comment #307002

The 400 American families with the highest incomes have seen a dramatic decline in their effective tax rate since 1992. The decline has been especially steep since 2002. The Figure compares the effective tax rate – the portion of income paid in taxes – of the country’s highest income households to that of all households between 1992 and 2007, the last year for which data are available.

The top households saw their effective tax rate decline almost 10 percentage points, from 26.4% in 1992 to 16.6% in 2007. By comparison, the average household saw effective tax rates decline less than one percentage point, from 9.9% in 1992 to 9.1% in 2006, also the last year for which data are available. The change in tax rates over time shows that while the United States still has a progressive tax system in which those with higher incomes pay higher tax rates, it is a lot less progressive than it used to be.

As the top 400 households saw tax rates fall sharply, they also enjoyed a level of pre-tax income growth that far outpaced the median household. EPI President Lawrence Mishel addressed this disparity in the recent economic snapshot, Where has all the income gone? Look up. Adjusted pre-tax household income grew just 13.2% between 1992 and 2007 for the median family of four, but surged 409% for the top 400 households. In 2007 the median household income for a family of four was $50,233, while the 400 households at the top of the income range had an average annual income of $345 million.

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 10:50 AM
Comment #307003

Socialists in Congress


Democratic Socialists of America’s Progressive Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives

Taken verbatim from the Internet web site of the Democratic Socialists of America

“The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International (also in Francais and Espanol). DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics…

“We invite you to support the campaign by adding your name to the list of signers of the Pledge for Economic Justice. In conjunction with the Campaign DSA is working with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a network of more than 50 progressive members of the US House of Representatives…

“The Progressive Caucus of the US House of Representatives is made up of 58 members of the House. The Caucus works to advance economic and social justice through sponsoring legislation that reflects its purpose. The Caucus also works with a coalition of organizations, called the Progressive Challenge, to bring new life to the progressive voice in US politics.”


Executive Commitee

Rep Bernard Sanders (VT-AL), Chair
2202 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4115, Fax: 202-225-6790
bsanders@hr.house.gov
sanders@igc.apc.org
http://www.house.gov/bernie/

Rep Cynthia A. McKinney (GA-04), Co-Chair
124 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-1605, Fax: 202-226-0691
http://www.house.gov/mckinney/

Rep Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Co-Chair
2134 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6416, Fax: 202-225-0373
pdefazio@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/defazio/

Rep Maurice Hinchey (NY-26), Co-Chair
2431 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6335, Fax: 202-226-0774
hinchey@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/hinchey/

Rep Major Owens (NY-11), Co-Chair
2305 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6231, Fax: 202-226-0112
Major.Owens@Mail.House.Gov

Rep Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-12)
1221 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2361, Fax: 202-226-0327
http://www.house.gov/velazquez/

Rep Lane Evans (IL-17)
2335 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5905, Fax: 202-225-5396
http://www.house.gov/evans/
mailto:mailto:eda.robinson@mail.house.gov?Subject=Cong. Evans’ Website

Rep Maxine Waters (CA-35)
2344 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2201, Fax: 202-225-7854
http://www.house.gov/waters/


Staff Coordinator


Bill Goold
202-225-4115
213 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington D.C.
20515

The Full Membership

Rep Earl Hilliard (AL-07) 1314 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2665, Fax: 202-226-0772
http://www.house.gov/hilliard/

Rep Eni Faleomavaega (AS-AL) 2422 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-8577, Fax: 202-225-8757
http://www.house.gov/faleomavaega/
faleomavaega@mail.house.gov

Rep Ed Pastor (AZ-02) 2465 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4065, Fax: 202-225-1655
edpastor@mail.house.gov
http://aspin.asu.edu/~pctp/pastor/pastor.html
http://www.house.gov/pastor/

Rep. Lynn C Woolsey (CA-06) 439 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0529 Phone: 202-225-5161, Fax: 202-225-5163
woolsey@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/woolsey/

Rep George Miller (CA-07) 2205 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2095, Fax: 202-225-5609
George.Miller-Pub@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/georgemiller/

Rep Nancy Pelosi (CA-08) 2457 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4965, Fax: 202-225-8259
sf.nancy@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/pelosi/

Rep Fortney “Pete” Stark (CA-13) 239 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5065, Fax: 202-226-3805
petemail@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/stark/

Rep Henry A. Waxman (CA-29) 2204 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-3976, Fax: 202-225-4099
http://www.house.gov/waxman/

Rep Xavier Becerra (CA-30) 1119 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0530 Phone: 202-225-6235, Fax: 202-225-2202
http://www.house.gov/becerra/

Rep Julian C. Dixon (CA-32) 2252 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0532 Phone: 202-225-7084, Fax: 202-225-4091

Rep Esteban Edward Torres (CA-34) 2269 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0534 Phone: 202-225-5256, Fax: 202-225-9711
arcoiris@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/torres/

Rep Maxine Waters (CA-35) 2344 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2201, Fax: 202-225-7854
http://www.house.gov/waters/

Rep George E. Brown (CA-42) 2300 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-6161, Fax: 202-225-8671
talk2geb@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/georgebrown/

Rep Bob Filner (CA-50) 330 Cannon House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-3461, Fax: 202-226-4169

Rep Diane DeGette (CO-01) 1404 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4431, Fax: 202-225-5657
http://www.house.gov/degette/
EMAIL LINK

Rep Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL) 1424 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-8050, Fax: 202-225-3002
http://www.house.gov/norton/

Rep Corrine Brown (FL-03) 1610 Longworth House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 225-0123, Fax: 202-225-2256
http://www.house.gov/corrinebrown/

Rep Carrie P. Meek (FL-17) 401 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0917 Phone: 202-225-4506, Fax: 202-226-0777
http://www.house.gov/meek/

Rep Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23) 1039 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-1313, Fax: 202-226-0690
mailto:hastings@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/alceehastings/

Rep Cynthia A. McKinney (GA-04) 124 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-1605, Fax: 202-226-0691
http://www.house.gov/mckinney/

Rep John Lewis (GA-05) 229 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-1005 Phone: 202-225-3801, Fax: 202-225-0351
http://www.house.gov/johnlewis/welcome.html
EMAIL LINK

Rep Neil Abercrombie (HI-01) 1233 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2726, Fax: 202-225-4580
neil.abercrombie@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/abercrombie/

Rep Patsy Mink (HI-02) 2135 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-0917 Phone: 202-225-4906, Fax: 202-225-4987
http://www.house.gov/mink/

Rep Jesse Jackson (IL-02) 313 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-0773, Fax: 202-225-0899

Rep Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) 408 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-8203, Fax: 202-225-7810
mailto:luisg@mail.house.gov

Rep Danny Davis (IL-07) 1218 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5006, Fax: 202-225-5641

Rep Lane Evans (IL-17)
2335 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5905, Fax: 202-225-5396
http://www.house.gov/evans/
mailto:mailto:eda.robinson@mail.house.gov?Subject=Cong. Evans’ Website

Rep Julia Carson (IN-10) 1541 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4011, Fax: 202-226-4093
Rep.Carson@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/carson/

Rep John Olver (MA-01) 1027 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5335, Fax: 202-226-1224
john.olver@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/olver/

Rep Jim McGovern (MA-03) 512 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5759, Fax: 202-225-6101
james.mcgovern@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/mcgovern/

Rep Barney Frank (MA-04) 2210 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5931, Fax: 202-225-0182
http://www.house.gov/frank/

Rep John Tierney (MA-06) 120 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-8020, Fax: 202-225-5915 http://www.house.gov/tierney/

Rep David Bonior (MI-10) 2207 Rayburn House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2106, Fax: 202-226-1169
http://davidbonior.house.gov/
david.bonior@mail.house.gov

Rep Lynn N. Rivers (MI-13) 1724 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-6261, Fax: 202-225-3404
http://www.house.gov/rivers/
lynn.rivers@mail.house.gov

Rep John Conyers (MI-14) 2426 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5126, Fax: 202-225-0072
jconyers@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/conyers/

Rep Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02) 1408 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5876, Fax: 202-225-5898
Thompsonms2nd@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/thompson/

Rep Melvin L. Watt (NC-12) 1230 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-1510, Fax: 202-225-1512
melmail@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/watt/

Rep Donald Payne (NJ-10) 2244 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-3436, Fax: 202-225-4160
http://www.house.gov/payne/

Rep Jerrold Nadler (NY-08) 2448 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5635, Fax: 202-225-6923
nadler@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/nadler/

Rep Major Owens (NY-11), Co-Chair
2305 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6231, Fax: 202-226-0112
Major.Owens@Mail.House.Gov

Rep Nydia M. Velazquez (NY-12)
1221 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-2361, Fax: 202-226-0327
http://www.house.gov/velazquez/

Rep Charles Rangel (NY-15) 2354 Rayburn House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4365, Fax: 202-225-0816
http://www.house.gov/rangel/

Rep Jose E. Serrano (NY-16) 2342 Rayburn House OfficeBuilding, Washington, DC 20515Phone: 202-225-4361, Fax:202-225-6001
jserrano@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/serrano/

Rep Maurice Hinchey (NY-26), Co-Chair
2431 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6335, Fax: 202-226-0774
hinchey@mail.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/hinchey/

Rep John LaFalce (NY-29) 2310 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-3231, Fax: 202-225-8693
http://www.house.gov/lafalce/

Rep Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) 2311 Rayburn House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4146, Fax: 202-225-7711
http://www.house.gov/kaptur/
Rep.Kaptur@mail.house.gov

Rep Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) 1730 Longworth House Office Building , Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-5871, Fax: 202-225-5745

Rep Stephanie-Tubbs-Jones (OH-11) 2365 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-7032, Fax: 202-225-1339
http://www.house.gov/stokes/

Rep Sherrod Brown (OH-13) 328 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-3401, Fax: 202-225-2266
http://www.house.gov/sherrodbrown/

Rep Elizabeth Furse (OR-01) 316 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-0855, Fax: 202-225-9497
http://www.house.gov/furse/
rep.elizabeth.furse@mail.house.gov

Rep Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Co-Chair
2134 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-6416, Fax: 202-225-0373
pdefazio@hr.house.gov
http://www.house.gov/defazio/

Rep Chaka Fattah (PA-02) 1205 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4001, Fax: 202-225-3127
http://www.house.gov/fattah/

Rep William Coyne (PA-14) 2455 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2301, Fax: 202-225-1844
http://www.house.gov/coyne/

Rep Carlos A. Romero-Barcelo (PR-AL) 2443 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-2615, Fax: 202-225-2154 http://www.house.gov/romero-barcelo/

Rep Robert C. Scott (VA-03) 2464 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-8351, Fax: 202-225-8354
bvassar@mail.house.gov

Rep Bernard Sanders (VT-AL), Chair
2202 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4115, Fax: 202-225-6790
bsanders@hr.house.gov
sanders@igc.apc.org
http://www.house.gov/bernie/

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 10:54 AM
Comment #307004

gergle

I don’t need any cards in my hand. You can call anything you like BS. So what? The facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 10:57 AM
Comment #307005

Tea Party movement self-identifies as the champions of fiscal conservatism and uses libertarianism as a key part of its sales pitch—but leading young fiscal conservatives on Capitol Hill like Paul Ryan and Jeff Flake were not among the congressional caucus’ members. Instead, with few exceptions, the current Tea Party Caucus reads like an all-star list of congressional Wingnuts, following in its founder’s footsteps. Here’s a sample:

• Paul Broun (R-GA)—the first congressman to compare Obama to Hitler—one week after the election.
• Trent Franks (R-AZ)—called President Obama an “enemy of humanity”
• Steve King (R-IA)—said that “al Qaeda, and the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11” if Obama were elected.
• Louie Gohmert (R-TX)—compared homosexuality to bestiality and necrophilia in a debate over hate crimes on the House floor.
• Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)—screamed “baby killer” at Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) after the health-care bill vote on the House floor.
• Lamar Smith (R-TX)—told students that “the greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession or even another terrorist attack…The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias.”
• Joe Wilson (R-SC)—“You Lie!”

This is just a partial list of their greatest hits, recited more or less from memory. But if you’re looking for more substantive evidence of the schism, here’s something to consider: Seven of the 12 co-sponsors of the Birther Bill are charter members of the Tea Party Caucus. Only one member of the House GOP leadership, Mike Pence, decided to join, while John Boehner and Eric Cantor notably declined the honor. Utah freshman Jason Chaffetz explained his opposition via Twitter: “The more you try to put structure around the tea-party, the more compromised it will become.” And interestingly, while Tea Party affiliation was an asset in the closed GOP Florida primary for Marco Rubio, now that he’s losing ground against Charlie Crist in the general election, he’s not saying whether he’ll affiliate with the proposed Tea Party Caucus if he gets elected to the Senate.

This caucus controversy comes on the heels of a week in which the Tea Party movement has been forced to confront its demons in public for the first time.

After the NAACP condemned the Tea Party’s lack of condemnation of racist signs in their midst, Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams responded with a blog post in which “colored people” asked President Lincoln to renounce emancipation because freedom was too hard. New York City-based African-American Tea Party leader David Webb subsequently announced Williams’ expulsion from the Federation on Face the Nation. The Iowa Tea Party Patriots put up a highway billboard comparing President Obama to Hitler and Lenin (replicating posters I’ve seen at Tea Party rallies in the past). After the inevitable outcry, the billboard was taken down. Most recently, Andrew Breitbart claimed his latest scalp of liberal hypocrisy only to have it be revealed that USDA employee Shirley Sherrod’s speech was taken unforgivably out of context, causing backtracking—and just maybe some needed soul searching—all around

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 11:18 AM
Comment #307006

All I can say is your wingnuts are worse then ours.

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 11:21 AM
Comment #307008

Tom Humes,

Your inability to back up things you claim speaks for its self, as does your apparent inability to read English. Nothing you have posted backs up your claim of socialist congressmen. I suggest you re-read it with a dictionary and style manual at hand. You apparently cannot distinguish between the DSA and the Progressive Caucus.

Thanks for demonstrating that your statements are full of BS.

Posted by: gergle at August 28, 2010 11:50 AM
Comment #307010

gergle

You are in looney toons ville on this one. The socialists are also members of the progressive caucus.

You need to make sure whereof you speak before you castigate a statemnet as BS when it is cut and dried. The people I listed are socialists. Now you can go back to your denial and BS rally.

Also there is nothing to distinguish between the progressive caucus and DSA. So punch your ticket and ride the rails.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 12:06 PM
Comment #307011

gergle

I forgot one item

“Your inability to back up things you claim speaks for its self, as does your apparent inability to read English. Nothing you have posted backs up your claim of socialist congressmen.”

I didn’t say it, they said they were socialists. I just repeated what they said!! How much more backup do you want? Bernie Sanders even switched to the Socialst Party and He is the head socialist in congress. If a person says he/she is a socialist, I believe him/her.

My abilities to do anything is not your business; stay out of it.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 12:14 PM
Comment #307012

Mr. Remer writes; “Love of nation and tax paying Americans? BullSHIT, I say, and reiterate, BullSHIT.”

Fine Mr. Remer, you may live in your hell while I prefer the higher ground. With such venomous comtempt showing in his comments for all Americans, I wonder from where VOID will find anyone up to Mr. Remer’s standards.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 01:22 PM
Comment #307021

There is a difference in philosophy between conservatives and liberals when it comes to earning money. Liberals talk about cutting taxes as though it were a gift from the government. A social program that costs x dollars and a tax break of x dollars, to a liberal are identical things. Their assumption is that all wealth belongs to government, whether you earn it or not is just a matter of an accounting technicality. Conservatives disagree. Conservatives think that wealth belongs to the people and that those who create wealth give some to government so that it can do things we don’t want to or cannot do for ourselves.

David
I believe there is a moral difference between government not taking money from someone in taxes and government giving resources to someone from tax money. Do you agree?


If the government taxes cost me only $100 instead of $200, I am not the recipient of a government program. I am just keeping more of the money I earn. If the government gives me $100, I am a recipient.

Many liberal pundits talk about tax cuts v government benefits as thought they were equivalent. They say that government GAVE money to the rich by not taxing them. No matter what you think of the politics, this indicates an attitude that this wealth belongs to the government.

I believe in progressive taxes because they are efficient ways to raise revenue. I don’t believe in them because they are “fair”

J2t2

You can see the promises in every Obama speech. This is the change he believes in. In the clip included, he thinks America should say “thank you” for what he has done. It is just so pervasive that it is impossible to miss. Democratic legislation in the past years has expanded the scope of government. Luckily they faced a resistance from the people.

But if you don’t believe that government should expand and instead should limit itself to traditional duties, i.e. get smaller, I apologize for calling you a liberal. If you believe that, how do you think liberals and conservatives differ?

Rich

Government runs the central banking function and this is something we have reserved for government since 1913. The financial system is a type of infrastructure that must be maintained by government. Saving it was not an attempt to “bail out” individuals. In any case, most of the TARP money lend to financial institutions has been paid back with interest. That is the kind of government intervention we can believe in.

Stephen

Again, you are speaking mostly as a conservative. A reasonably transparent & predictable market is a requirement for prosperity. It is hard to invest now because we are not sure what government will do.

J2t2

Re Nazis

“More than two decades ago, Internet pioneer Mike Godwin made the observation that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” That principle has since become known as Godwin’s Law and remains-unfortunately-relevant today. Readers of my most recent Web chat got a real-world example of Godwin’s Law in action when one participant, fed up with people yammering about the wonderfulness of their iPhones, made a passing remark about “Mac Nazis.” I replied by writing that it’s always a mistake to make that comparison unless you actually think that the people with whom you disagree hold Hitler in high regard. (In a follow-up e-mail, she pronounced herself chastened and apologized.) So I’m going to use this week’s e-mail to offer a simple reminder: No matter how stupid you may think other peoples’ views on smartphones, computers or other topics are, don’t use the N-word if you don’t mean to equate them with the losing side in the European theater of World War II. Instead, please stick to such less-polarizing insults as “morons,” “fools” and “dupes.”

— Rob Pegoraro, Consumer Technology Columnist”

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 03:15 PM
Comment #307027

C&J as usual I agree with parts of your post but not with some. You have framed the debate as government’s job is to just take your money and give it to someone else and it’s much more completed then that. Unemployment is an insurance that we all pay in to as is SS medicare etc. If you don’t believe in those programs that’s fine that’s what debates are for. How much should we tax? and what should we use tax money for? Nobody on the right will answer that question. They just point fingers and blame the other side.

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 03:36 PM
Comment #307030

C&J wrote; “If the government taxes cost me only $100 instead of $200, I am not the recipient of a government program. I am just keeping more of the money I earn. If the government gives me $100, I am a recipient.”

That is exactly correct and describes the difference between normal brain function and mental disorder.

As I stated earlier, our labor is our property and thus protected by the constitution. Our labor and the fruits from its employment does not belong to government but rather to us individually. We, as Americans, have made an agreement to fund a government with limited powers. We made no such agreement that government owns our labor (property).

The liberal/socialist gang would have us believe just the opposite, in that, the fruit of our labor (property) belongs to the state.

And in fact, this is basically what the TEA party movement is centered upon. It’s not a new concept in America, it is defined in our founding documents. The rights of ownership and use of private property are cherished and protected in this land…so far!

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 03:45 PM
Comment #307034

The liberal/socialist gang would have us believe just the opposite, in that, the fruit of our labor (property) belongs to the state. We don’t say that you do. Just more B.S.

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 04:00 PM
Comment #307036


There are two ways for conservatives to find out what the progressives believe in and how they would change things.

One way is to listen to conservative pundits and the spin they apply.

The other is to actually listen to and watch progressives.

How many conservatives do that? I listen to and watch the conservatives and what they advocate. On occasion, I even agree with them.

By the way, although Glen Beck had every right to stage his revival a few inches from the site of Martin Luther King’s famous speech, he could have been more sensitive to those who cherish that site as hallowed ground.

Although Roosevelt was not a socialist, there was a conservative Democrats/corporate owners plot to overthrow his government and replace it with a fascist regime. It didn’t lead to much and many claim it was a figment of imagination, but there is often a grain of truth in every imaginaton, even in the imaginations of conservatives.

According to some of the conservatives here, conservatives fear everything not conservative and hate nothing or nobody.

I heard one rhetorical conservative politician say something like—-America is at a crossroads, Americans must decide if we are going to be a Christian Nation or a Godless nation. What does that mean? It is saying, if you are not a Christian then you are Godless.

There is one proclaimed atheist in Congress and no doubt he is just the tip of a massive iceberg, plotting the destruction of Christian Conservative America. Enemies, plotting their destruction, hiding behind every agenda.

The Republican Party plays the rhetorical tune, God And Country, and conservatives dance the jig. While the Democratic Party plays the rhetorical tune, One Of These Days, that keeps the progressives in the fold.

When Wall Street traders looked up at the twin towers and occupants crumbling into dust. In one eye you could see the horror of the moment reflected. In the other eye, the reflection was of gold bars, oil barrels and dollar signs. Ain’t That America?

The socialist revolution will not occur until after the socialist agenda is purged from our laws.

Posted by: jlw at August 28, 2010 04:15 PM
Comment #307039

Jeff

I take what i think is a moderate approach. Bush grew government too much. Obama is bloating it even more. Let’s go back to the size of government spending (as % of GDP) we had in 1999. After that we can talk about fine tuning.

I believe in many of the programs of government and I love government. But it is difference in dosage that often makes a life saving medicine into a deadly poison.

Some problems cannot be solved by government. I was watching some people in New Orleans complaining about lack of government help. Five years after Katrina, they are still in trouble and the woman on TV said - w/o laughing - that it could be another 10-15 YEARS before they got back on their feet. Government cannot solve that one. It might be that it cannot be solved at all and we just have to tolerate it.

Re SS - it needs to be revamped and reorganized. When it was set up in the 1930s, conditions were very different. We cannot maintain it at the levels that exist today. I like SS and wish that I would get what they promised when I retire, but I don’t think that is really possible.

Re the state - I don’t think most liberals believe that state owns our labor, but their programs often behave to that end. When you can call a tax cut a “giveaway” as some do, it indicates that attitude.

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 04:23 PM
Comment #307046

“I don’t think most liberals believe that state owns our labor, but their programs often behave to that end.” C&J

I don’t see any difference. My guess is that if libs in congress were to propose a bill for government to confiscate all assets and wealth and redistribute it equally among all Americans many on the left would cheer. And, I am sure they could find something in our constitution to justify it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 05:21 PM
Comment #307048

Tom Humes, your logic is laughable. Lindsay Graham, John Warner, and the two Republican Senators from Maine have worked with Democrats on a number of issues, as has John McCain and many other Republicans on common objectives. Does that make these Republicans Democrats or Liberals? Of course not. The fact that the DSA works with the Progressive Democratic Caucus in Congress on some common objectives, does not make the Progressive Caucus members of the socialist ideology or Party, any more than Republicans working with Democrats on common objectives makes them liberals and Democrats.

As usual, you offer sophistry instead of sound logical argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 28, 2010 05:23 PM
Comment #307049

Royal

I think that most liberals just have not thought through to the end what their plans would create.

They have a commitment to equality, which they often define as equality of outcomes independent of inputs. That makes sense to children and people who have not thought much about it. That is why when you come up with actual examples, they tend to deny that is what they want.

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 05:25 PM
Comment #307051

C&J asked: “I believe there is a moral difference between government not taking money from someone in taxes and government giving resources to someone from tax money. Do you agree?”

It is a false structured question, C&J. ALL government revenues get spent on individuals in the private sector, whether it be spent on executive salaries for Goldman Sachs, executives of BP or Haliburton in the form of tax cuts or bailouts, or subsidies for Corn Farmers and their worker’s paychecks, or, spent on a family whose breadwinner lost their job in the Great Recession via food stamps or extended unemployment benefits. ALL government spending fills the pockets of people in the private sector, regardless of its nature.

So, NO. I don’t agree with your sophistry attempt to create a difference between spending on the military which benefits the spouse and children of the soldier, or spending on NASA which goes into the pockets of hundreds of private sub-contractor in the private sector, or spending on the extension of unemployment benefits for a laid off worker. It all goes into the private sector and to private citizens one way or another. Increasing amounts of it are ending up on the private sector of foreign citizens in foreign lands - a very troubling trend to say the least, in the form of trade deficits and foreign aid and international military misadventures. But, it all goes to private citizens.

Lowering taxes benefits some private citizens more than others. Increasing taxes benefits some private citizens more than others. The converse is also true. Taxes, cuts and raises, are just another selective way of distributing government revenues amongst select groups of persons in the private sector. King George tried taxing New World colonialists who simply didn’t have the money to pay those taxes, and put them in debtor prisons or exacted other punitive measures, and he got a revolution which he lost.

Americans believed their taxes should be spent on the needs of the their own in the Americas, not on the Aristocrats and Court favorites, back in England. Well, they got what they wanted. We now tax ourselves and spend much of it on our own people’s needs, just as the colonialists envisioned as a just change from being taxed for England’s benefit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 28, 2010 05:44 PM
Comment #307052

DRR

Call it whatever tickles you. These people signed on as socialists. They are the ones who said what they are. Do I doubt them? No!! Their actions speak for themselves. A member of congress who did not sign on, but works with those socialists,is not of a group of socialists who claim to be socialists. If you signed on as a Baptist I would consider that you changed your line of thinking in order to do that. But since you are Bhudist, I expect you to do things the way you believe. The bottom line on this item is that 65 people have signed a document saying they are practicing socialists. Likewise the progressives. Some are signed on as progressives and socialists, and some are signed on as only one of the two. They make the choice, I don’t.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 05:48 PM
Comment #307053

C&J writes; “They have a commitment to equality, which they often define as equality of outcomes independent of inputs.”

True enough. They often confuse the statement…”All men are created equal” with something else entirely.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 05:58 PM
Comment #307057

“ALL government spending fills the pockets of people in the private sector, regardless of its nature.” DRR

Perhaps I misunderstand your meaning of “private sector”. There are millions employed by government and their wages account for considerable spending. While they are private citizens, they do not work in the private sector.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 06:25 PM
Comment #307059

Tom Humes, you continue to illogically conflate the DSA with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They have different names because they represent different organizations with different ideologies and agendas, with only some overlapping policy agreements. Just as the Republican Caucus has some overlapping policy agreements with Jewish organizations regarding Israel. Doesn’t make the GOP a Jewish organization or all Jewish people Republicans.

Your conflation is pure sophistry and partisan bullshit scare tactics having no basis in reality or fact. Thank you for the opportunity to point this out.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 28, 2010 06:39 PM
Comment #307060

I will correct Mr. Remer’s statement above.

ALL government spending fills the pockets of (some) people in the private sector and all people in the public sector while All government debt empties the pockets of only (some) in the private sector and none in the public sector.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 28, 2010 06:40 PM
Comment #307063

Royal Flush said: “Perhaps I misunderstand your meaning of “private sector”. There are millions employed by government and their wages account for considerable spending. “

Yes, and the spending of these government employees goes to private sector goods and services providers, not to mention their non-government employee families who depend upon their government salary. It all goes to the private sector, one way or another. It all generates private sector economic activity. It is such an obvious fact, that like the air we breathe, it goes unnoticed until the supply is cut off.

I live in largely rural county of Texas with only 1 very small city in it. County population is 114,000. New Braunfels, the small city has (2007 est.) 51,804 people. Hundreds of workers have been employed on road widening and maintenance in our County as a direct result of the Stimulus bill passed last year. And they are still working on most of these projects. They are employed by private contractors with contracts with the government (state and federal) for this work. The stimulus effect on our County’s economy has been in the millions over the last year. My daughter was able to get a job at a new McDonald’s at the height of the unemployment recession, in part because of these millions of dollars flowing through our County’s economy that otherwise would not have.

All government revenues and spending end up flowing to the private sector. Which persons in the private sector, and in what income groups they belong, is a difference between the Democratic and Republican philosophical ideology.

Funneling tax dollars to American based corporations, (subsidies or bailouts), or cutting taxes on wealthy investors in these corporations, which take jobs and projects overseas for profits, benefits far fewer Americans and segments of America’s and generates far less American economic activity than funneling tax dollars into road construction, bridge maintenance, energy R&D, and efficiency projects here in the U.S., for example. Democrats were for the Stimulus for American based infrastructure spending, and Republicans were opposed. Democrats proposed a Small Business Assistance bill, Republicans opposed it while Republicans were for bailing out the MegaBanks and did. Republicans opposed the finance reform bill, and opposed the Stimulus bill. Democrats were for these. Republicans paid for nation building in Iraq, Democrats are putting that responsibility in the hands of the Iraqis.

These are substantial dollars and cents differences between the two parties. Democrat’s policies have clearly put more money into the hands of the poor and middle class segments during this recession than Republicans would have. Republicans are insisting on more deficits by keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, while Democrats insisting that the wealthiest should now pay more taxes to offset Recession fighting spending.

It is a clear ideological and philosophical difference which translates into real dollars and cents benefits or deficits for various segments of our population and income classes. Republicans logically have to obfuscate these differences if they hope to win the popular vote. And that is precisely what they are doing with the NY Mosque non-issue, and lying about Democrat’s intent to raise taxes on the poor and middle class in allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.

If the simple empirical facts of economic approach were all voters had to vote on in November in this sluggish economy, Democrats would win by a landslide. But, of course, politics is not about empirical facts, it is about sophistry and misdirection and persuasion and dissuasion, on both sides. Hence, November’s election outcomes remain a matter of speculation and guesswork.

In the short run, Democrats have benefited working Americans vastly more than Republicans would have ever considered doing. But, in the long run, Democrats refused to reform health care inflation, and that poses an even greater threat to America’s future than even the Republicans doubling of the national debt from 2001 to 2009. Both sides are in the business of sophistry, and that is why I advocate voting out incumbents regardless of party, to get their attention, and force them to change their priorities and requirements for getting reelected.

If the two parties continue to war with each other, our nation will surely fail economically and culturally. We voters have to force them to work together and stand by effective long term solutions to our nation’s greatest challenges, regardless of which party holds the reins of power. VOIDing Incumbents can accomplish that.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 28, 2010 07:15 PM
Comment #307078

David

Royal explained some of what I am saying.

Not being taxes, IMO, is very different from getting money from the government unless you believe government has a prior right to all income. If indeed you believe government owns the earnings, then there is no difference.

It is the old saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned” They are indeed the same from the accounting points of view IF you are talking about the same person doing both with his/her own money.

But in the case of the government we are not talking about spending in all cases. NOT taxing someone is NOT government spending, unless, as I wrote above, you believe all the income belongs to government and they let you keep some of their money.

I know I said this five ways, but this is the bottom line.

If you believe people earn money, then you cannot believe a tax cut is the same as government spending.

If you believe government has prior rights to all earnings (and lets people keep some) then you can believe that government spending and not taxing are the same.

It truly comes down to the philosophical difference.

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 08:07 PM
Comment #307084

C&J Most of what your saying makes no sense. It’s not a black or white issue.

Posted by: Jeff at August 28, 2010 08:20 PM
Comment #307095

Why sign on a a socialist if they are not a socialist? The answer is simple. They are socialist. Now what is hard to understand about that?

I cannot be more clear. Good nite.

Posted by: tom humes at August 28, 2010 09:19 PM
Comment #307097

Jeff

It is black and white/yes or no/binary when talking about that one attitude. I recognize the need to tax and the right of the government to do it. But I also recognize that the government, by taxing, is taking money from citizens and by not taxing it is, well, not taking the money. But it is not GIVING anybody any money simply by not taking as much away.

IMO it is the fundamental difference between a subject and a citizen. In old monarchies, feudal states and modern communism/fascism, the “subject” owes everything to the ruler, who then gives him something back. In the democratic system, the government owes everything to the citizens, who decide how much to government should get.

It often can work similarly in practice, but the distinction is important, just as it is important that a man is innocent until proven guilty in our system, whereas he is guilty and must prove his innocence in some others. It often produces similar results, but the distinction is important because it says a lot re the citizen’s or the subject’s relationship to the rulers.

Posted by: C&J at August 28, 2010 10:31 PM
Comment #307104

“You can see the promises in every Obama speech. This is the change he believes in.”

Jeez guys you are getting as bad as Tom with the guilt by association approach to conservative conspiracy theories.

What does promises in a politicians speech have to do with the “I was worried last year. We seemed to have gone off the deep end with this intervention and equal outcomes idea.” Making a promise all of a sudden is the same as equal outcomes? I do not see where Obama has once said he favored equal outcomes (conservative code for socialism) but instead it seems he is trying to level the playing field. This is a substantial difference between the two.

Look either Obama has said enough to have gone off the deep end or not. I am asking for a few of the many you allude to instances where Obama has promised equal outcomes. You keep sending me off in different directions but have not produced any examples of this, I am beginning to think you are part of the misinformation, half truths and outright lies machine of the conservative movement propaganda machine as you have no basis in fact for your accusation.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2010 11:38 PM
Comment #307105


The minimum wage is one of the primary redistribution of wealth laws. I look forward to the elimination of this law. I think it will put pressure on all wages, making all workers more equal and more frugal. It will create a domino effect. The fact is that everyone who works for someone is paid to much. Another fact, We are moving into a new world in which workers need employers more than employers need workers.

Posted by: jlw at August 28, 2010 11:55 PM
Comment #307106

I believe Republicans have done more to subvert capitalism in the last twenty years than any socialist has ever dreamed of doing. It wasn’t successful Democratic Party efforts that caused a crash so bad that people were talking about the end of Capitalism.

The key here is that Republicans will not enforce the kinds of laws that allow people to have implicit faith in the operation of the market. You can talk all you want to about how the market can solve all problems, but if reality apparently doesn’t agree with you, folks are going to rebel against your idea.

The bitter, stupid irony of all this is that the Republicans are continuously mislabelling Democrats as socialists, and blaming the left for any problem in the economy, even as their own policies do much more effective work in convincing people that corporations are evil and the rich not to be trusted.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 29, 2010 12:04 AM
Comment #307115

jlw said: “The minimum wage is one of the primary redistribution of wealth laws.”

Absurd, on its face, except for those who, if born 75 years earlier would have supported child labor, women textile sweat shops of sexual intimidation, and the importation of Chinese slave labor to build railroads. My respect for your opinions just dropped a notch, jlw, not that you care. The minimum wage, paltry as it is, is an anti-exploitation law put in place by people with a sense of morality, ethics, and humanitarian treatment of one’s fellow human beings willing and able to work for their living.

But, thank you for revealing your fidelity to Lord of the Flies philosophy and embrace of the very society Charles Dickens despised and held up to the light for decent people to respond to, with Minimum Wage laws, anti-child labor laws, and laws outlawing indentured servitude, banning company stores, and women’s grueling and inhumane textile sweat shops of the pre-Depression era.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2010 01:38 AM
Comment #307116

j2t2, they can’t back their sophistry up with facts and quotes in context, but as long as voters buy what they say uncritically, why should they feel any compelling interest in doing so. Integrity is not one of their revered qualities. The steady deterioration in American education is fertile soil for expansion of such sophistry and deceptive political currency.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2010 01:42 AM
Comment #307119

C&J wrote: “Conservatives know that wealth belongs to people. Those who earn money give some to government so that it can do things we prefer not or cannot do ourselves. But it is our money.”

I have read of conservatives actually getting into legal trouble costing them far more than taxes, for refusing to pay taxes, insisting that it is their money, not the people’s money.

I have also read of a conservative suing the government to recapture their portion of the taxes paid on some program that tax payer refused to fund.

Both stories highlight the folly of your argument, C&J. Once legislation is passed to levy taxes, that portion of taxes owed belongs to the commonwealth, not the tax payer. Ownership has a definition, and tax payers DO NOT own the money Congress levies as taxes owed. That portion of one’s income then belongs upon its due date, to the commonwealth of American people, not the individual tax payer, anymore.

Many conservatives have no facility with language to discern your use of the words “our money” as meaning the commonwealth. Too many literally interpret your words as “their own” money, and being forced to pay it against their will, then, by that false definition, leads them to conclude the government is stealing their money from them, which of course, is patently false a priori, and by definition of taxation in our Constitution of which Amendments are a part.

Which in turn, by this sophistry that taxes belong to the tax payer wage earner and not the government commonwealth, leads to the destructive conclusion that American government is the enemy by the likes of Timothy McVeigh and Nichols, and many others who have gone ‘postal’ over the idea of government like the conservative who flew his plane into a federal building in Texas last year.

Republicans are fueling such dis-education and misinformation for political purposes and harm our nation for their own personal career ends. Voters have every right and should use their vote to hold their representatives accountable for the taxes they pay and how those taxes are spent. If they don’t use their vote to do so, on their own representatives, then that is their legal but counter-productive choice.

Republicans DOUBLED the national debt, and in so doing doubled the taxes all Americans will have to pay going forward to pay down that debt which is now at unsustainable levels and still growing faster and faster. Republicans had the duty and obligation to monitor the effects of the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and didn’t, setting up the mortgage and mega-banking disaster that brought our economy to its current state.

Using the word conservatives instead of Republicans is just another political ruse to evade the fact that conservatives and Republicans are interchangeable when it comes to holding Republican majorities and presidents accountable.

Finally, some of this is changing. Tea Partyers are attempting to use the anti-incumbent vote within the Republican Party to hold Republicans accountable on fiscal matters, ( and a whole bunch of other ones). Progressives are having the same chilling effect on the Democratic Party, by intimating they won’t be showing up at the polls to vote Democrat in November.

There is an anti-incumbent movement growing in this country and it is the last best hope of the American people getting control of their representatives and the destructive government practices they foster and oversee. Time is running out, though, and that movement had better grow twice as fast as it is, if our future is to be saved from the hands of Democratic and Republican incumbents and their wealthy special interest puppeteers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2010 03:20 AM
Comment #307120

Tom Humes, you couldn’t be more obtuse and uneducated on the topic of differing groups having some common cause overlap despite their differences. Like I said, Republicans being pro-Israel, doesn’t make Republicans Jews, though some are. And being pro-Israel doesn’t make Jews Republicans. They are distinctly differing groups with very different reasons for existing and very differing agendas, but, these facts do not prevent the two different groups from having some common ground on some policy issues.

Obtuse. Yes, a word that definitely applies to your Good nite comment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2010 03:24 AM
Comment #307123

j2t2

All the enthusiasm for Obama seemed to me to be an enthusiasm for bigger government. It seemed like they were going to bother me more. Activists seemed to be in the ascendant. The group rights/civil rights folks seemed to be coming back with their stronger affirmative action. In short, it seemed to me like a 1970s redux. That is what worried me. Fortunately, I was wrong and the people quickly reverted to their more moderate character.

I don’t know how you find this so hard to understand. In 2004, after the Bush victory and the increase of Republican power, didn’t that worry liberals?

I don’t want the country to move left in the sense of bigger government, more entitlements, more emphasis on group rights or just more activism. That is my opinion. Obama seemed to be moving in those directions. That is why I didn’t vote for him and why I will vote against him next time. I suppose that is why some people voted FOR him.

It is really very simple. I do not like in general the vision articulated by liberals and I work against its realization. That does not mean I cannot find common ground with liberals on some, maybe most issues. But it means I don’t like their policies as much as I like those of the conservatives.

Equal outcomes is not my code for socialism. Again it is very simple. Equal outcomes means equal outcomes. In the U.S. we have diversity. Diversity will produce unequal outcomes. If each time we find inequality we made a federal case about it, it is a problem. The Obama justice department has been more aggressive in pushing equal outcomes than the Bush justice department was. I do not think that is a good idea. I particular dislike the idea of “disproportional impact”. I also don’t care is some people make more money than others. I depends on what they do.

Your premise seems to be that there is no difference between conservative and liberal the policies differ, otherwise we would not have political debates. What about difference is so hard to understand?

You want specific examples of a general idea. Let me give you my few priorities. I think the Federal government should be generally smaller. I think it should not involve itself much in society’s decisions. Government has no business regulating associations, for example. I don’t think it has any duty to work toward equality of outcomes. I think it should regulate commerce, but as little as possible and ONLY to maintain efficiencies, specific health & safety and protections of contracts. I don’t think unions should receive any special recognition (card check for example is very bad). I don’t think the health care bill as it is now envisioned is fair or workable. I think much of the stimulus was wasted.

Now if you think Obama agrees with me, we have no worries. If liberals like what I like, I was wrong about them. Of course, then I wonder why they bother me.

David

Re taxes - yes they get in trouble for not paying taxes and bragging about it. Democrats (like Rangel, Gietner, Blogo etc) just don’t pay taxes but keep it secret.

I understand that government will and must tax. But if you pay taxes, you are giving your money to the government. If you give less in taxes, you are NOT getting a gift from the government.

We are talking in circles, but consider a smaller commonwealth. Say there are ten of us who decide to go out to eat. I don’t have much money, but you like me so you buy for me. You pay $20. I pay nothing. Now what if the restaurant cuts prices, so that it only costs $10. Should you give me half of your “benefit”?

You and I pay into a general fund. That is correct and the money mixes and no longer is “ours.” But if we decide to put less into the general fund, it is not a gift to the payers.

Posted by: C&J at August 29, 2010 09:10 AM
Comment #307134

j2t2

What is this “guilt by association”? I don’t use that as a platform and I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theory. None of my writings show that. That isn’t even a red herring. It is a flat out lie.

Posted by: tom humes at August 29, 2010 11:17 AM
Comment #307137

Better a socialist then a bagger.

Posted by: Jeff at August 29, 2010 11:29 AM
Comment #307146

Although I’m a bit late, I’d like to add my $.02:

One way to look at the relationship between taxpayer and government is as a contract. The taxpayer promises to pay a certain amount in taxes and the government promises to provide certain services. It is understood that to a certain extent, the taxpayer’s earnings are dependent on certain government services. If taxes are lowered, but services remain constant, the taxpayer is in effect receiving a “gift”. The gift is not the tax cut, but rather the unpaid services. The service providers are paid either from borrowed money or they go uncompensated. The contract between taxpayer and government is voluntary (elected representatives make tax law and there are no restrictions on emigration.)

I think it is important to point out a certain fallacy inherent in the conservative philosophy: Monies paid in taxes are not “lost” if Congress spends them appropriately. They are merely converted into government run services. You may disagree with the wisdom of certain services, which is fine, but the place to voice your disagreement is the ballot box.

Going back to the original question, does government own people’s earnings a priori? I think the answer is that the government only deserves tax money that justifiably compensates it for the services it provides. Beyond that, taxes are a gift to the government bestowed by the taxpayers. Here’s an example: if the government is running a large surplus and it cuts taxes thereby reducing the surplus, then the government is giving money back to the taxpayers that the taxpayers rightfully own (ie it’s not a gift). If the government is operating at a level budget and balances a tax cut with cuts in spending then the government is giving money back to the taxpayers (ie not a gift). However, if the government with a level budget cuts taxes and does not reduce its spending (ie services are paid with borrowed money) then the “free” services are indeed a gift to the taxpayer.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 01:33 PM
Comment #307151

Bravo Warped Bravo !!!

Posted by: Jeff at August 29, 2010 01:53 PM
Comment #307156

Mr. Remer writes, in defense of his statement that all government spending goes to the private sector, the following;

“It all goes to the private sector, one way or another. It all generates private sector economic activity. It is such an obvious fact, that like the air we breathe, it goes unnoticed until the supply is cut off.”

What is apparantely not an “obvious fact” for Mr. Remer in his comments is that all government “revenue” must first come from the private sector.

Will Mr. Remer argue that taking money from the private sector, funneling it thru government bureaucy with all it’s indisputable waste and mismanagement, generate more “private sector economic activity” than leaving it with the private sector to spend?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 03:15 PM
Comment #307162


What the taxpayers should be demanding is not cuts in social programs or military spending per say, but far better management and accountability instead.

Posted by: jlw at August 29, 2010 04:06 PM
Comment #307163

WR wrote; “I think the answer is that the government only deserves tax money that justifiably compensates it for the services it provides.”

That statement is ignorant on so many levels. Do we pay taxes because government “deserves” it? Hell NO… we pay taxes because we must. If any of you pay your taxes because it makes you feel good and your government deserves it I will call you a liar. If you must insist that government deserves your taxes go ahead, by my guest, and pay as much as you like above what you legally owe.

“Justifiably compensates”…is a nonsense notion. Both you and I could argue that some conpensation is not justifiable? What then, those services go unpaid? Justifiable is not a legal term or a tax term. Congress doesn’t justify anything it does in regard to taxes. Justify means to make just, doesn’t it? Are any tax and spending bills passed with 100% approval by congress? Of course not and simply because they become law doesn’t involve justice…just votes.

Show me the tax and spending bill that includes justification. And please, don’t confuse justification with purpose. We argue daily on this blog about our trillions in debt. Who would wish to argue that all that debt is justifiable, or instead, the results of political stupidity, greed, pandering and abuse. Will our children, grand children and even great grand children believe the debts we ran up were justifiable? What services were rendered to them?

With WR’s logic one could as easily argue that all wars are justifiable. Hardly!!!

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 04:08 PM
Comment #307166

Warped

It is a good analysis.

The problem comes with payers versus receivers. Almost half of Americans pay no net incomes tax, yet they receive benefits. It is always dangerous when you can get to use other peoples money and can coerce them into paying more.

Those who advocate higher taxes generally fall into two groups. The first small group are those who are so rich that they don’t care. They are already giving away most of their money (and getting tax deductions for that). The second group are those that don’t expect to pay much more themselves and want to show their “generosity” by giving away (and getting) somebody else’s money.

IMO taxes should bite EVERYBODY. I believe taxes should be progressive, because that is how we can pay. But when someone advocates a tax increase, he should be expecting some personal pain for the expected gain.

I pay property taxes in a couple of southern Virginia counties. My land requires almost no services, but I don’t mind paying those taxes because they are low and I depend on the general prosperity of the community. There is a kind of implicit social contract, as you mention. If they doubled or tripled my land taxes, I couldn’t afford to keep it and they would drive me (and my money) out of the county. There is a fundamental need for reasonableness. I don’t think it would be right if the local politicians decided I had too much money and they wanted me to pay more because of that.

Posted by: C&J at August 29, 2010 04:32 PM
Comment #307169
Do we pay taxes because government “deserves” it? Hell NO… we pay taxes because we must.

Could you define “we pay taxes because we must” and explain it without relying on my idea that government deserves it?

Look, here’s an analogy:

Let’s say Harry has $200 and is interested in drinking milk, so he signs a contract with Tim, the milkman, to have a gallon of milk delivered every week for $5. Tim deserves $5 for his milk. The same relationship exists between us and the government. If we don’t want to buy milk anymore, we wait for the contract to expire and we don’t sign another one (we elect a Congress that won’t spend money on milk). If the contract has not yet expired, and Tim let’s Harry buy milk for only $4 then the $1 difference is a gift from Tim to Harry.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 04:44 PM
Comment #307175

WR…does Tim have a gun to Harry’s head, he’s charging too much? Mike, Tim’s competitor sells milk for $3/gal. And, Joe, Harry’s neighbor doesn’t drink milk. Is Joe required to pay part of Harry’s milk bill?

To answer your question…Does anyone pay taxes they don’t have to pay?

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 05:01 PM
Comment #307178

I missed your comment the first time C+J,

The problem comes with payers versus receivers. Almost half of Americans pay no net incomes tax, yet they receive benefits. It is always dangerous when you can get to use other peoples money and can coerce them into paying more.

Although there may be a danger on the horizon if the trend continues, it is not yet a problem because there are many people who pay substantial taxes but no income tax (ie they pay sales tax, payroll tax etc).

IMO taxes should bite EVERYBODY. I believe taxes should be progressive, because that is how we can pay. But when someone advocates a tax increase, he should be expecting some personal pain for the expected gain.

I agree 100%. I don’t think there should be a 0% tax bracket. Everyone should pay something, even if it’s 0.5% or whatever. I’d even suggest a nominal flat tax rate of some sort even though it’s regressive. Every voter needs to have some sort of stake on both sides (Revenue and Expenditures) of our budget making decisions.

I pay property taxes in a couple of southern Virginia counties. My land requires almost no services, but I don’t mind paying those taxes because they are low and I depend on the general prosperity of the community. There is a kind of implicit social contract, as you mention.

I assume your talking about your tree farm here. Unfortunately, property taxes are not scaled well with consumption of services. Those Southern Virginia communities are probably just dividing their expenses across every acre of private land (ie they are taking the mean). Unfortunately, many properties fall below the mean and others fall above it.

There is a fundamental need for reasonableness. I don’t think it would be right if the local politicians decided I had too much money and they wanted me to pay more because of that.
True enough, taxes are never supposed to be punitive. If taxes doubled or tripled in a certain community there must be some dramatic reason (like the formation of a metropolis, I bet the taxes on 19th century farms in Brooklyn were a bit lower than the taxes in the urban jungle today. There are a lot more services in 21st century Brooklyn than in 19th century Brooklyn). Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 05:07 PM
Comment #307180

RF, I guess were talking about two different things. I’m talking about why we empower the government to levy taxes. We didn’t have to (in fact the Articles of Confederation didn’t give the Federal government taxation authority).

In any case, yes Tim does have a gun to Harry’s head. Harry signed his contract before milk prices dropped so he owes Tim the $5. If he doesn’t pay up, then Tim can take Harry to court, when the judge sees the contract Mike’s milk prices are irrelevant.

Your example of Joe doesn’t exist for the types of services I’m talking about. Joe’s presence in the United States means he is consuming those services (ie the military & the courts). The only way for him to stop consuming those services is to leave the country, likewise emigration is the only way to eliminate your US tax obligation.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 05:18 PM
Comment #307181

WR, I answered your question, how about taking a crack at mine…

“We argue daily on this blog about our trillions in debt. Who would wish to argue that all that debt is justifiable, or instead, the results of political stupidity, greed, pandering and abuse.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 05:19 PM
Comment #307184

WR writes; “RF, I guess were talking about two different things.”

Nope, but now that I have asked questions you can’t answer you have changed the parameters.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 05:29 PM
Comment #307189
We argue daily on this blog about our trillions in debt. Who would wish to argue that all that debt is justifiable, or instead, the results of political stupidity, greed, pandering and abuse.
(emphasis mine).

The simple answer to your question is this:
Not me, and probably nobody would ever with to argue that all that debt is justifiable. I agree with you that it is a tragedy that posterity will have to pay for our services because we don’t have the courage to either raise taxes or cut spending. If you read the final paragraph of my original comment, you will see no discussion of justifying debt; only the sentiment that the labor of government employees deserves to be compensated.

WR writes; “RF, I guess were talking about two different things.”

Nope, but now that I have asked questions you can’t answer you have changed the parameters.

Like it or not, I have always commented on this post with respect to whether or not the government deserves to tax us or not. I had not considered any Ring of Gyges arguments until you brought it up. From C&J’s comment, I don’t think they were trying to make any such argument either. From what I read from right-wingers is that the government deserves nothing for the work/services; I am similarly arguing the contrary. Just as much as you feel robbed by taxes, a judge would feel robbed if she was not compensated for her work; just like how Tim would feel robbed if he delivered milk to Harry, but did not received the $5 that Harry promised.

In any case, I’ll answer you questions on that topic. I admit to you that I am a flawed man. Like everyone, I am tempted by immorality. If tax laws were not enforced, I wouldn’t pay my share of taxes. Likewise, if contract law was not enforced, then Harry wouldn’t pay Tim the $5 that Tim deserves; Harry would ditch Tim and buy milk from Mike instead.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 06:56 PM
Comment #307190

Operating from the assumption that using government to redistribute wealth is unjust, here’s one more question for everyone to ponder:

Would a government operating with zero revenues (ie zero taxes), but still providing services with either borrowed money or conscripted/forced labor be considered one that is redistributing wealth?

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 07:07 PM
Comment #307192

C&J wrote: “Almost half of Americans pay no net incomes tax, yet they receive benefits.”

Everyone in America receives government benefits. The wealthiest receive more government services than the poor. Their wealth demands far more government services. The poor have no need for the SEC, FDIC, Patent and Trademark offices, and myriad other government services to include the courts to safeguard wealth and investments and valuable property.

There is an old saying, you can’t get blood from a turnip. True enough that the poorest in America pay no net income taxes. They do pay however, an enormous percentage of what income they do have in taxes and fees, federal, state, and local, unlike the wealthiest who pay a much smaller percentage of their income in taxes and fees, despite their benefiting form vastly more government services than the poor.

My daughter received a paycheck from IHOP last week for $114 gross pay for 53 hours worked ($2.14/hour base wage). She earned $267 in tips, all reported. She is making less than minimum wage at $7.17 per hour per hour worked. From those earnings, the government received $57 in withholding, OASDI and Medicare. She is poor, barely able to make her car and insurance payments and pay for tuition and books at her Jr. College, for half-time classes. Now she is having to take out her first student loan due to a minor car accident which forced her to pay a $1000 deductible which ate up her January tuition and books earnings and savings.

But, she has the right perspective on all this. She will get a student loan at slightly less than 4%, insured by the government, with interest paid by the government until she graduates or leaves school. Without her federal government, she might well have had to drop out of school or ask for handouts from her parents or others.

She doesn’t mind paying the taxes she does. She is aware of the many rights, freedoms, and privileges she enjoys in America which so many others aren’t even aware of availing themselves of. She is thankful for a government that will help her pay her way through school to a more independent financial income level with more choice and opportunities which greater income provides. She will be an R.N. when done. She is both a tax payer, a poor person, and recipient of government benefits to include clean drinking water, good roads to commute to work and school on without damaging her vehicle and a non-profit student loan among many others.

After she is an R.N. with more income, she will avail herself of a host of other government benefits insuring her savings, providing protections for her 401K and perhaps stock and bond investments from the unscrupulous, and the courts which will protect the deed of her property when she buys her first home. That is how our government is structured. The more wealth one has, the more government services one will tap in the course becoming more wealthy. And our progressive tax system reflects that increasing usage of government benefits as one’s wealth increases.

She was taught not to resent paying taxes. The benefits both warrant and justify paying taxes as a prideful civic duty. What she is learning to resent is the enormously wasteful and counterproductive spending exercised by the collective of politicians who lie their assess off about working for fiscal sanity and responsibility over use of tax dollars, and absolutely refuse to deliver on those promises when elected or reelected, as they direct taxes to repay wealthy special interest campaign contributors and legal blackmailing lobbyists in legislation, instead.

She now proudly displays a vote out incumbents sign on her rear car window which she paid for herself. I think she has a very healthy set of priorities, one which I know she shares with millions of other fellow Americans.

Everyone in America should pay taxes according to their ability to do so in order to keep their government, their nation, and their future solvent, in order to insure the continuation of the benefits and services of government necessary and vital to our American way of life and history of increasing liberty and prosperity.

In the last 100 years, enormous liberties have been secured for American people, freedom from world wars in the 1980’s, freedom to vote by women in the 1920’s, freedom from employer exploitation in the 1930’s with the minimum wage, children’s freedom from employer exploitation from the 1930’s through the 1960’s, and the liberty of the vote by non-white persons, the right to bathroom and eating facilities for all persons in America all across America, the right to basic public education.

Acquiring such increases in liberties for a people is not easy, nor without costs raised by those who fight against such increases in freedom and rights, even decades past their being legally established. But, over the long run, we are all living in a society which makes progress toward the fulfillment of the ideals set out in our Declaration of Independence and the preamble to our U.S. Constitution.

Our government is not the enemy of the American people. Our government is the strength and backbone of our united American way of life. Our political system, however, is rapidly becoming the enemy of the people legally sanctifying political lies to the people, compromising the independence of the freedom and obligation of the press, and forcing politicians to compromise the will and needs of the American people collectively in deference to the wealthy campaign donating special interests and wealthy legal blackmailing of lobbyists.

Our government is not our enemy. Our two party dominated political system with all its corruptions by money and power interests is the enemy of the collective people of the United States, pushing the future of America into an early grave.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 29, 2010 07:15 PM
Comment #307193

WR, thanks for the good response and for clarifying your thoughts. You wrote; “From what I read from right-wingers is that the government deserves nothing for the work/services.”

I am a conservative but please don’t ascribe such feelings to me or most other cons. Anyone who works should be paid, public or private. I would argue we have too many on the public payroll but that’s debatable.

As for government services, if congress approves by legislation then they must be paid for…by someone, at some time. I would argue that just like too many on the public payroll, government provides too many services for individuals. Our founding documents are not about government providing services for individuals. It is clearly spelled out in those documents what government should provide and is considered necessary for the welfare of the nation as a whole.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 29, 2010 07:20 PM
Comment #307196

RF, herein lies the problem; liberals believe rights come from the government, but our rights come from God.

I do not believe politicians ever count the cost. They are so used to spending someone else’s money, and they have lost all touch with reality. The left cannot and will not ever be able to understand the anger of these Tea Party conservatives over this unending spending.

Posted by: Beretta9 at August 29, 2010 08:03 PM
Comment #307197
Anyone who works should be paid, public or private. I would argue we have too many on the public payroll but that’s debatable.

As for government services, if congress approves by legislation then they must be paid for…by someone, at some time.

I’m glad to see we mostly are on the same page here. The government deserves to be compensated when it provides services. Whether or not it should be providing those services is a different question for a different time. I don’t think the government should have spent money invading/occupying Iraq, however when the bills for the war come, I don’t quibble and say “but it’s my money”. I understand that part of the bargain of a country with a democratic (small d) legislature is that sometimes there will be spending that I don’t agree with.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 29, 2010 08:04 PM
Comment #307202

David

My point is that it is easy to demand more if you are not footing the bill. That is dangerous to the stability of a society.

I also am not sure “the rich” get more in services from government than “the poor”.

As I have become better off, my draw on the public services has actually decreased, as I pay for more of the things myself that I used to get from the state.

Some of the things you mentioned are the infrastructure of wealth creation. It is difficult to know who is the end beneficiary.

Anyway we (C&J) paid more in taxes last years than I earned (even adjusted for inflation) in the first years I was working, so it would have been impossible for me to have paid more in taxes when I was poor.

As I wrote, I believe we need taxes and they need to be to some extent progressive, but the poor get a good deal in our government if you compare contributions. I don’t have a problem with this in general. It is good to help the poor to some extent, but it is hard to see how the system exploits the poor when they get more than they pay in.

What I disagree with is the idea of redistribution for its own sake. Government is redistributive by nature. We should not try to make it more so. Programs should makes sense. It is useful for government to help your daughter get educated and become a more productive member of society. It would not be useful just to give money because she didn’t have much.

Posted by: C&J at August 29, 2010 09:53 PM
Comment #307210

“What is this “guilt by association”? I don’t use that as a platform and I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theory.”

Tom your list of members of the progressive caucus refers to this group of representatives as “Democratic Socialists of America’s Progressive Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives”. You conveniently leave out the political party each member has declared affiliation with. I started looking and have determined that none of these people have declared affiliation with the DSA party but have declared affiliation with the Democratic party.

It is like saying your comments are like those of many repubs therefore you are a repub, yet you deny being a repub. It seems to me that not only are you are seeing conspiracies where there are none you are actively trying to create conspiracy theories by suggesting the Progressive caucus is affiliated with the DSA.

“None of my writings show that.”
Yes they do, these are your writings.

“That isn’t even a red herring.”
True it is not a red herring.

“It is a flat out lie.”
I assume Tom you are referring to your attempt to associate the progressive caucus members with the wrong political party and I would say it is more a propaganda technique but to each his own.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 29, 2010 11:00 PM
Comment #307214

C&J said: “My point is that it is easy to demand more if you are not footing the bill.”

Poppycock. Corporations foot the bill and it has no diminishing effect on their demand for public tax dollars and favored treatment. Your comment is not backed up by anything in reality. It reflects an ideological opinion with no basis in fact.

C&J said: “I also am not sure “the rich” get more in services from government than “the poor”.

It would get in the way of your ideological opinion causing cognitive dissonance, wouldn’t it?

C&J said: “As I have become better off, my draw on the public services has actually decreased…”

First, the anecdote proves nothing about the general rule. Second, I suspect you just haven’t analyzed objectively the benefits which you receive well beyond those of a poor person. Got a pension or retirement fund? All the government enforcement agencies which prosecute abusers of such funds benefit you, and not a poor person. Got savings? FDIC and the FED help protect those. Got stocks or investments in stocks? Securities and Exchange Commission helps safeguard those investments. Camp out at national parks? Department of Interior provides safety and security in those parks. Travel more than a poor person? FAA, Dept. of Interior, and a host of others all insure your travel will be safer and more convenient. Got health insurance and visit doctors more than a poor person? Your medical caretakers likely are available to you as a result of government sponsored and backed student loans.

You obviously have not objectively considered all the myriad benefits and services you receive and participate in which poorer folks do not avail themselves of or do so at a lesser level. Then there are all the consumer protection services provided by federal authorities. The more you consume, the more you avail yourself of those government services and benefits. Everything from your lawn mower to your food and tree fertilizer are insured as quality products by a host of government services and benefits.

Americans are not encouraged, oddly, to become aware of the myriad benefits and services they employ and receive in the course of becoming more prosperous in America. Trademarks, patents, and corporate formations and contracts are all activities engaged in by wealthier folks on an ongoing basis, protected and assured by public servants in our government. I have one decades outdated patent on the records in government. How many does John Deere have, or Warren Buffet’s businesses? Vastly more participation in government services and benefits than I employ or receive.

If all this real world information is not enough to change the opinion you provided, then cognitive dissonance with your ideological views is at play. I call it partisan blinders, for short. All party supporters have to don them to protect their sacred Party beliefs from being invalidated by real world evidence and information.

Encouraging is the fact registered independent voters outnumbered either registered Dems or Reps, during the last two election cycles. Proof that cognitive dissonance can be overcome by those wishing to undertake the task of comparing their political party beliefs with real world data and evidence.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2010 02:06 AM
Comment #307215

C&J wrote: “What I disagree with is the idea of redistribution for its own sake. “

I have never heard of anyone in America who espoused the belief that government should redistribute wealth regardless of need or merit. Helping poor parents who are poor for no reason, or some reason, of their own making, aside from any religious or moral justification, in some measure statistically for the majority, helps their children experience parity with their peers, which is a pre-condition for getting educated and aspiring to a better life than their parents through education and work. This story has been told in hundreds of thousands of movies and books in American history. But, more importantly, it is verified by sociological and psychological research into preconditions for learning, cognition, and adaptation to a child’s cultural norms.

C&J wrote: “Government is redistributive by nature. We should not try to make it more so. Programs should makes sense. It is useful for government to help your daughter get educated and become a more productive member of society. It would not be useful just to give money because she didn’t have much. “

On each of your points here, I entirely agree. And polls show this agreement is is commonly held by a majority of Americans, liberal and conservative.

What is an important issue is government giving money to those who already have much, and lobby and bribe politicians for ever more. Many defense contractors are a primary example of why America spends more than 3/4 of a trillion dollars per year, many hundreds of billions more than is necessary to defend and protect American interests.

How we manage the poor in America is important. How we manage the wealthy and powerful is equally, if not more so.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 30, 2010 02:23 AM
Comment #307238

j2t2

Why do you make this so difficult?

These people signed on as a variety of associations. The one I happen to list was the DSA. These people with a clear mind signed their names to be affiliated with DSA. They are also may be affiliated with the progressive caucus or the GLBT caucus or the black caucus or other caucuses. All I am saying is that by signing onto the DSA they have announced they are socialists. And you want to deny there are any socialists in the democratic party? There are some in the republican party that are too cowardly to sign on. Are you denying that these people are socialists?

A man checking out of the grocery store line was asked whether he wanted plastic or paper. The man responded that it didn’t make any difference because he was bi-sackual. The man did not say bi-sexual, he was sure in his wording that he was bi-sackual. Well those who signed onto the socialist have made a proclamation that they are socialst. Clear and simple. Yes they are other things too. But when a person is specific in the calling, then one should believe what they are proclaiming.

Posted by: tom humes at August 30, 2010 11:52 AM
Comment #307241

China Fortifies State Businesses to Fuel Growth

Here’s an article from the NY Times I found very interesting and you may also. It has meat in it for every political persuasion about state vs private enterprise.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/world/asia/30china.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 30, 2010 12:53 PM
Comment #307244

Thank’s for the link RF.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 30, 2010 02:49 PM
Comment #307246

You’re welcome WR. I visited China in 1989 and saw the results of the experimentation with some private ownership and partially free enterprise in one of the provinces. The results were so dramatic in this trial that soon it became common across the country.

Now, it would seem from the article I linked, that government has reigned in private ownership in what they call their strageic industries. Today, it is working well for them. Tomorrow, who knows. Central planning has been tried witout much sustained success in many nations. Perhaps China will become the exception, but I doubt it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 30, 2010 03:14 PM
Comment #307257

David

I think a poor person is more likely to use camping at national parks. When I was poor, I camped on public lands. Now I tend to be in hotels.

I think there is also an important distinction between investment and consumption. The things you mention are often confusing these things. If government helps secure investment, it is increasing its future income. The person who can safely invest will presumably make more in the future and be taxed more.

I understand that I have a little problem with “the poor”. I view being poor as a transient category. You are poor while you are starting out. You are poor if you have exceptional bad luck. There is nothing wrong with being poor for a time. Most of us were poor and many of us may be poor again. Poor is a temporary condition for most Americans.

I don’t like “THE poor”. If you are poor your whole life, you have to ask why and maybe change your behaviors. SOME people have so many problems that they will always be poor. But most of the habitually poor have bad habits that cause their condition to persist.

I am in favor of helping the poor, but there are differences between the investment and the consumption. I like to help the poor invest in themselves, improve their education, obtain the tools they need. I don’t like to just transfer money. The difference is whether or not we can reasonably expect that our “investment” will result in the “poor” person becoming a net contributor.

I know you will say that everybody agrees with that, but do they? Really? I wish they did, but lots of liberals don’t care for this type of formulation. They believe there are victims in society that have a special call on our money.

Bad things can happen to good people. They get up and make progress and that is why they don’t become victims.

Posted by: C&J at August 30, 2010 05:29 PM
Comment #307275

HHHMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm … no one in this column wants to discuss the REGRESSIVE nature of the current tax system?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 30, 2010 08:00 PM
Comment #307277

C&J,

Bad things are happening to a lot of people, that are a result of the perpetuation of these 10 major abuses.

Not only because some people are lazy and selfish.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.


Posted by: d.a.n at August 30, 2010 08:08 PM
Comment #307279

D.a.n.

The tax code is generally progressive. You can find exceptions

But 17% of Warren Buffet’s income is more than 100% of yours or mine. The richest half of Americans pay almost all of the Federal income taxes.

Posted by: C&J at August 30, 2010 08:25 PM
Comment #307328

“The richest half of Americans pay almost all of the Federal income taxes.”

Well, they own everything. Lets put this into perspective. According to the Fed, in 2007, the net worth of the top 1% accounted for 34.6% of the total net worth of the US. The top 20% accounted for 82.1% of US total net worth. The figures are even more dramatic when just financial net worth is considered. The top 20% accounts for 93% of all financial assets.

Posted by: Rich at August 31, 2010 10:40 AM
Comment #307344

I wonder if the top 5 richest in congress pay their fair share of income taxes of which 3 of the top 5 are Democrats.

Posted by: MAG at August 31, 2010 02:17 PM
Comment #307404

Rich

Then your problem is with income distribution, not taxes.

Posted by: C&J at August 31, 2010 09:16 PM
Comment #307408

C&J

Bad things can happen to good people. They get up and make progress and that is why they don’t become victims.

The only problem with this is what it says:

If you are poor for very long, you are bad.

..and I’m not poor, so I am good.

Actually, neither statement is true.

Some Bad people are rich, and some good people are poor. Wealth is not an indication of morality.

You don’t like the term poor, as though it doesn’t exist, or is only temporary. Mounds of research has shown that some poverty is generational. It’s more than “bad habits”.

I understand your sentiment and frustration at some people who have horrible socialization, appear lazy, and seem to lack morals who are sometimes so messed up they are completely dependent on social services or family members.

Are you advocating that we kill off these people? They are people after all. Some of them are criminal, many have been in jail. Should we just lock them up for life?

What is your solution? Pretend they aren’t human? Perhaps put out propaganda that they are rat like people? Round them up into ghettos?

It seems to me you haven’t thought this out very well.

Posted by: gergle at August 31, 2010 09:35 PM
Comment #307414

Gergle

I frankly don’t know what to do with people who remain poor and troublesome because of bad habits. I figure it doesn’t do much good to enable them to keep those bad habits in relative comfort.

It is probably best to change the incentive structure. And we need to recongize that some problems cannot be solved and some people cannot be helped. I would give the minimum safety net.

One of my (John’s) habits that drives Chrissy crazy is that I talk to street people. There are different kinds. Some people have hard luck and will probably get off. Others are crazy. They really cannot take care of themselves, but our system doesn’t really allow other solutions. Some are boozers or drug takers. But some are just “street people”. They don’t mind that lifestyle in comparison to other options, like working.

I would add that our economy has grown in such a way that makes it difficult for the casual worker or boozer to get along. I used to be in the Longshoreman union. Many of my co-workers were boozers, but it didn’t matter very much. They could work in between boozing. In the 1970s, cargoes were containerized. No longer could a guy work a couple days at a time. Some of these guys were really hard workers, but not consistent. There is no place for such guys anymore. The habits that didn’t hurt much in the less organized economy do not work anymore and people have to change with those changes.

Re rich and poor - most people are neither. I am not saying that poor people are bad. I am saying that being poor generally results from bad habits and choices. We do poor people no service if we pretend otherwise. They need to change their habit and choices. We (as a society) should make this as easy as we can, but we should never allow the easy excuse of being a victim.

IMO - one of the best anti-poverty programs has been military service. It can give kids from poor backgrounds (not talking only about money, but also families with poor habits) both the discipline they need and a good start in life. With all the educational benefits these days, it is a good deal for anybody starting out and not knowing which way to go.

Posted by: C&J at August 31, 2010 10:49 PM
Comment #307420

C&J,

One of the things I remember from reading the Merck Manual years ago (I was interested in medicine) was that in the psychology sections it included a caveat against judging people with different values than mainstream.

My sister chose to stay home and raise her children even though she had a degree in teaching and had been teaching for a while. Her children are nearly grown. Our mother was divorced not long after we left the house. She had no skills and found it difficult to find jobs that paid well.

I wonder what will happen to my sister if such circumstance befalls her. She has medical issues which probably make her unemployable. Was she lazy or unskilled? Did she have “bad” habits?

Some people simply do not value the precepts of discipline and hard work you value as “good”. I sometimes observe and wonder about people who literally “kill” themselves working too many hours and taking on too much stress. I don’t think those are particularly good choices.

The words you choose show a bias. I’m not sure it’s a good bias. It values money highly. Perhaps our society needs to adapt to the reality of some people not being in the middle of the bell curve. Perhaps the bias could be less dollar centric and more people centric.

Posted by: gergle at September 1, 2010 12:20 AM
Comment #307436

C&J said: “I am saying that being poor generally results from bad habits and choices.”

If only human behavior, psychology, sociology, and culture could be rendered that simple. Simplicity is precisely what is wrong with Republican philosophy on this issue. It is an uneducated and simple minded approach to judging people, their lifestyles, their capacities, and their choices.

Human behavior, individually, in groups, and in culture, is far more complex than what you espouse. And then there are the organic factors, genetics, environmental conditions, and brain injuries of a wide ranging nature from the unnoticeable and non-impeding, to the serious and debilitating. The U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and VA have been forced to learn a great deal about this in the last few years.

An impoverished homeless Veteran of the Iraq war with TBI might come across you on the street in a few years only to have you judge him a derelict and product of bad choices to dismissed as having little worth to our society and nation. That would be a real shame, C&J, and ironic with a capital I.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2010 07:56 AM
Comment #307437

C&J wrote: “They [Democrats] believe there are victims in society that have a special call on our money.”

You mean like the 4 out of 5 people applying and being rejected for every job available today? I am not a Democrat. But, I do believe those made jobless who are applying in earnest, DO have a special call on the society that unemployed them through mismanagement of our economy. I believe those whose jobs have been made obsolete but have families to support, should receive assistance in retraining and avoidance of poverty while retraining for jobs that are available. Workers do not choose to export their jobs overseas, or have their jobs automated in the middle-aged part of their life. Wealthy special interests make those choices.

Society has an obligation, not to these unemployed workers out charity. They have an obligation to these unemployed workers to insure the viability of our economy and to avoid the costly consequences of too many in that society seeking a way of life outside the socially acceptable means and ways. There is a vast underground economy and blackmarket economy in our nation costing society enormously, because that society made no provisions for those folks to secure employment and means through legal avenues.

Enlightened self-interest is what dictates that society assist those with a desire to make their living in legal and acceptable ways, before they are forced to adapt to socially unacceptable and more expensive ways to society of making their living.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2010 08:11 AM
Comment #307469

As most are aware, credit card companies must now reveal how many years it will take to pay off the balance on the card if one pays just the minimum payment. I like this new addition to my statements. It hits one squarely between the eyes just how much credit costs over extended periods of time.

One of my credit card statements reveals a startling number of about 15 years to pay off the balance with the minimum payment. The statement then reveals a payment amount that will pay off the balance in 3 years. Fortunately for me, I have the ability to pay enough each month to pay off my card in about 2 years.

Here’s an interesting math question.

If the US government received a credit card statement on its debt, and paid just the minimum payment, how many years (decades or eons) would it take to pay it off? And, what would be the payment required to pay it off in 3 years?

Pencils ready….GO.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 1, 2010 01:45 PM
Comment #307476

RF, outstanding parallel between Congress and the credit card companies statements.

My calculator indicates any attempt to pay off the national debt in three years would crater our economy, cause all foreign debt holders to call in their notes, and create a world wide disruption of markets that only BRIC might survive in the end.

The deficits have to be halted. My calculator indicates the following:

Revenue less spending = zero = and end to deficit spending. No way around that equation. Revenue is in it. Spending is in it. There is no way to get to zero without both included.

Common sense and an Econ 101 memory tells me that in a sluggish economy as we have now, the only way to approach zero deficits is by raising taxes on those who can easily afford them without any loss of quality of life, but, only by as much as can be removed from the capital investment markets without impeding capital demand. Right now, there is close to two trillion dollars in capital earning next to nothing and no place to go because of a lack of demand for capital growth caused by uncertainty and lackluster consumer demand, and a recessionary housing market. Good time to raise taxes but, only by an amount of cash capital sitting on the sidelines waiting for a more robust economy.

Then we have the spending part of the equation. Winding down Iraqi operations was a good move in that direction, without increasing Afghanistan operations by an equal amount. Some savings there. There is somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple hundred billion in the defense budget that can be pared back without compromising our national defense. Another good move being discussed and shaped. Getting the TARP funds and Auto bail out funds back from the corps is a good start.

But, all these and other measures pale against the spending elephant sitting in the center aisle of Congress: Health care cost inflation and its effect on the Medicare/Medicaid program creating monumental deficits as far as the eye can see. The answer is not force ill-health and suffering upon the American family as a cost containment measure by ending these programs. The answer is to address directly the root causes of health care cost inflation, first and foremost. If that can be arrested, we buy quite a few more years of time to address other spending reforms in these programs and many others. Easy to say, politically excruciating to do. But, it must be done. Democrats dropped the ball on that one. Republicans wouldn’t touch that ball.

To cut spending meaningfully, the Democrats and Republicans have to be forced to grab that ball with both hands, not fighting for it, but hammering out and agreement in which direction to throw it where it will do the nation’s fiscal standing and future the most good for the most Americans, present and future. And there’s the rub.

A growing anti-incumbent movement amongst voters is the only avenue to force the parties and politicians to address this spending issue and resolve it. The corporate donors and lobbyists are certainly not going to allow their puppets to grab that ball and run with it. We are talking about removing trillions of tax dollars from flowing through the hands of the private sector providers in cutting health care inflation costs. No. The elected puppets will not be permitted by the health care industry to go down that road.

Only the voters can force them down that road by killing their reelection advantage based on the wealthy contributors and lobbists of the health care industry. When the voters withhold their incumbent votes until spending is brought into balance, the politicians will find their strings to those special interest puppeteers magically cut, and a new found freedom to tell the voters, they will get that spending cut, and right quick, will follow. It will follow in order to win those anti-incumbent voters back again, and increase their odds of getting reelected from 40 or 50% back up to the 80 to 90% level they were used to.

But, it is first up to the voters to reduce the reelection rate down to a coin’s toss chance to give their representatives the proper motive and incentive to do the hard work that our future demands.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 1, 2010 02:52 PM
Comment #307607

I have to give it to the billionaires. How they manage to get republipawns like C&J to trumpet their cause still eludes me. How do ultra-rich libertarians like Koch and friends get ordinary Americans to not just vote against their individual best interests but come and trumpet the ideology to make the ultra-rich richer on websites like this, it’s a thing of wonder. I guess C&J can hang on to the hope that someday, they might make money the old fashioned way, just like David Koch, and inherit it. Maybe the hope of multi-millions of inherited dollars is all they need to stoke the fires of Republipawnism?

Posted by: Taylor at September 2, 2010 09:49 PM
Comment #308323
C&J wrote:d.a.n , The tax code is generally progressive.
False, due to:
  • numerous tax loop holes (not to mention tax cheats)
  • Social Security and Medicare exemptions for capital gains, dividends, and interest income.
Therefore, the federal tax system, overall, is REGRESSIVE.

The federal income tax tables alone are progressive, but the federal tax system, overall, is REGRESSIVE.

C&J wrote: But 17% of Warren Buffet’s income is more than 100% of yours or mine. The richest half of Americans pay almost all of the Federal income taxes.
So what ?

What, of any importance, does that prove?

So, if we should follow your statement and position to it’s logical end, then we all should be paying an EQUAL AMOUNT, instead of an EQUAL PERCENTAGE, eh?

If so, then that position belongs in Extreme # 1 catagory:

  • Extreme # 1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism and freedom to explore and wallow in every manifestation of unchecked greed (which we have seen plenty of lately).
  • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; tries to disguise envy and jealousy as demands for equality; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

How is this regressive tax system fair, and how is making the current regressive tax cuts permanent fair?
The current federal tax system is effectively REGRESSIVE due to:

  • numerous tax loop-holes and ridiculous complexity which makes it ripe for abuse (mostly, tax loop-holes for the wealthy);
  • capital gains and some dividends are taxed at 5% to 15% (which also mostly benefits the wealthy);
  • capital gains are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes, but not labor income (which also mostly benefits the wealthy);
  • income above the cap ($94,200 in year 2006, $97,500 for year 2007, … , $106,000 for 2010) are exempt from Social Security taxes.
    This is how Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S., pays a lower percentage of income to federal taxes (e.g. 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006), than his secretary (who paid 30% in federal taxes on an income of $60K). Warren Buffet told Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” that the U.S. tax structure is unfair. Warren Buffet performed an informal poll in his office, where the average tax rate was 32.9%, compared to his 17.7% percent, citing that as evidence that “the tax system has tilted toward the rich in the last 10 years”.
    |
    How can that happen?
    |
  • The top federal income tax bracket on $60K (in year 2006) was about 20% (or 18.33% after standard deductions and exemptions);
  • Social Security tax is: 2 * 6.2% = 12.4% (on the first $94,200; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Medicare tax is: 2 * 1.45% = 2.9% (there is no cap on Medicare; on the gross income, before any deductions);
  • Total Social Security and Medicare tax rate is: 2 * (6.2% + 1.45%) = 2 * 7.65% = 15.3% (the employer pays half of the Social Security and Medicare tax, but it really comes out of the employee’s income; the employee really bears this cost; also, the self-employed pay the entire 15.3% themselves);
  • therefore, the maximum percentage of federal taxes on $60K of payroll could be as high as 31.0%.
    For example:
    Tax = [($60K - $5150 personal deduction - $3,300 for standard exemptions) * 18.33% tax rate] + ($60K * 15.3% Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 for Social Security & Medicare) = [($51,550) * 18.33%] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $18,631 = 31% of $60K (which is a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ?
  • However, Warren Buffet’s secretary paid 30% in 2006 (1% less than the potential 31% above) in total federal taxes on $60K income (see above), which is probably because of a 401K deduction, and/or some other deduction (e.g. a charitable donation).
  • Even if the employer’s 50%/50% contribution for Social Security and Medicare are excluded, the secretary’s Tax is:
    Tax = [$9,451 ] + ($9,180 / 2 for Social Security & Medicare)
    Tax = $14,401 = 23.4% of $60K (which is still a higher percentage than Warren Buffet’s 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million).
    Is that fair ? No, it isn’t, and Warren Buffet agrees it is not fair.
  • Whatever sort of tax system the voters have, they should ask to see the tax-curve across all income levels, because many tax-payers are not aware of the clever schemes being used to heap the highest percentages onto the middle-income group, and lower the tax percentages for the wealthy (such as the current regressive tax system).

  • ___ Total Federal Taxes (Income Tax + Social Security + Medicare taxes:____
  • 35% |——————-o-o—————————————————
  • 33% |—————-o——-o————————————————
  • 30% |————-o—————-o—————————————— = (30% total
  • 27% |————o—————————o——————————— federal tax for
  • 24% |———-o————————————-o———————— secretay making $60K)
  • 21% |———-o———————————————-o—————
  • 18% |———o—————————————————————o = (17.7% ; Warren
  • 15% |——-o—————————————————————— Buffet’s total
  • 12% |——-o—————————————————————— federal taxes on
  • 09% |——o——————————————————————- $46 Million in 2006)
  • 06% |—-o———————————————————————
  • 03% |—-o———————————————————————
  • 00% |ooo———————————————————————-
  • ____$0__30K__60K__90K_120K_150K_180K_210K_240K … . $GROSS INCOME

HHMMMMMMMMmmmmm … what a fascinating coincidence that the highest percentages paid in total federal taxes fall upon the middle-income class, eh?

By the way, even Warren Buffet agrees that the tax system is regressive and unfair (www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/30/watch-warren-buffett-cal_n_70455.html). Study the total federal tax on gross income (before a myriad of tax-loopholes). Also, capital gains are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes and are taxed at a much lower 5%-to-15% than most Americans pay. That’s how Warren Buffet paid 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006, while his secretary paid 30% in total federal taxes on a salary of $60K. Warren Buffet did a survey of his employees and most (if not all) were paying a considerably larger percentage of their income to federal taxes than his 17.7%.

While Democrats have had the vast majority in Congress all but 12 of the last 78 years, BOTH Democrats and Republicans have had ample opportunity to fix many things.
But they haven’t.
So why reward incumbent politicians in either with re-election?

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress (who perpetuate these abuses) with 90% re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at September 12, 2010 11:03 AM
Comment #309665

http://zfacts.com/p/318.html
Check the facts on this chart to see who made the deficit rise in the last 30 years . True Obama added ,but look where it started . I remember when Reagan tripled it and no one was complaining then .
I think the name should be GIVE ME YOUR MONEY with a Uncle Sam holding a gun

Posted by: Joe at October 4, 2010 11:37 AM
Comment #309802

I am new here, and you guys can argue over a lot of things.
now to let you know iam a conservative, i always have been one.but i will not get into the reasons why, or why some of you are the way you are.

but i want to start by stating that we all know the national debt is 13.6 trillions dollars, and seeing that the government has had only 2 years with a budget surplus of 2 billion each.

one in 1969 and one in 1999, how does one pay off our debt?
do we tax the rich 100% and take every thing they have? because i know they don’t have enough to come close to pay it off.

and if we take all of there money, what will become of the business they own, will it go under, and will the people employed still get a check?

a question is always asked, how many poor people create jobs? if we dont have the rich because we strip them of there wealth, who does the creation of jobs and wealth, the government?

there are many people on the left, who argue, that government is suppose to help people who cannot help them selfs.

well i know your think conservatives don’t want to help anyone. but we do, we just don’t want those receiving help to come to expect it, or demand it.

since we have created a society of people who feel it government role, to provide, theses services have only to have them rise in cost since there creation.

it was President Johnson who said, if we would let ourself’s be taxed a little more, ,we could solve hunger, poverty.

well it has not happen, there are more poor now than ever, and people are demanding more all the time.

in 2015 the interest on the national debt will reach 800 billion. thats more than we spend on defense.

how does a country that continues to promoted more spending get out of it financial troubles.

i dont see it by creating more spending and promising people more things, because they themselfs cant pay for.

the government currently gives people money, food, and a place to live, part of its social programs. now we have moved into medicine. which is more spending.

whats is next?

i have heard now people want to push for free college next.
and if that is to become law in the future what is next?

what will be the next big social handout, to the public? and where will the money come from.

its truly amazing that in America, we are moving towards a socialist style of government, although there are those that say we are not. but the evidence is there, you can see it and hear it in this forum. people are demanding from government.

and at the same time we are demanding. Britain, is moving away from government programs, and starting to shed some of its socialist structure, while we , “AMERICA” press forward towards,a government controlled structure, of guarantees for everyone.

Posted by: Strato at October 6, 2010 04:23 AM
Comment #309883

I won’t go over your whole post there Strato but I will answer 1 simple question for you that Conservatives fail to understand.

Wealth in the hands of the rich DOES NOT CREATE JOBS!!! PERIOD!!! To create jobs you need wealth in the hands of the people so they can spend it. Only money beings spent creates jobs… nothing else. Extra wealth in the hands of the rich does not create more Jobs. If you don’t understand the concept of supply and DEMAND then you are a complete and utter fool.

Posted by: maharat at October 7, 2010 02:08 AM
Comment #309884

Wanted to add one more thing… Tea Party face girl Palin has to be the biggest SOCIALIST in all of Politics. Alaskan Oil money for it’s residents?? If your going to call anyone a Socialist then Palin needs to be @ the top of all lists.

What hand-outs has Obama given to the people of the US? The only hand-outs were to THE WEALTHY in the Wall Street Bail-outs that were started under a REPUBLICAN administration. There has been NO hand-outs to the American people.

And if you think that medical care is only for those who can afford it then you are a sad human being.

Posted by: maharat at October 7, 2010 02:19 AM
Comment #309902

This movie sounds like a real Oscar winner. I’m surprised this movie didn’t portray Obama as a monkey or talk about him being a Kenyan. It’s just more right wing BS.

Posted by: Diane H at October 7, 2010 10:14 AM
Comment #310198

@ maharat…

well on my first comment to this blog ,it seems that i have encountered and individual who is emotional. being emotional is truly a sign of no real thinking. emotions are not a basis for solving problems.since you have chosen to insult me, instead of trying to put forth a reasonable thought for you conjecture, shows you have no real thought on your part.

what i did state in my first post were some true facts:

the US. government is in debt 13.6 trillion dollars {fact}.
that only 47% of people who file taxes ,pay any income tax {fact}
the other 53% of filers pay NO TAX AT ALL!
of that 47% as of 2008 ,people making over 410,000 a year paid 40% of all taxes {fact}
while the poorest of people pay only 3% of the tax revenue{fact}

this is IRS DATA! above

currently the dollar has a value of about 4 cents, this is based on the creation of the federal reserve which was created in 1913, as of 2008 it took $21.57 to equal the value of the dollar of 1913, which leaves the dollar at about 4 cent……

the US government does not have a revenue problem. it has a spending problem.

NOW TO PUT YOUR COMMENT INTO THE TRASH CAN…….

WEALTH IS CREATED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR, IT IS NOT CREATED BY GOVERNMENT, WHEN A GOVERNMENT JOB IS CREATED, YOU MUST HAVE A PRIVATE SECTOR JOB ,TO PAY FOR THAT GOVERNMENT JOB.

WEALTH HAS TO BE CREATED BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, WHO WISH TO INVEST IN SOMETHING. AND INVESTING REQUIRES CAPITAL(MONEY), AND THOSE PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE A RISK, TO START A BUSINESS.

RISK IS HIGH, BECAUSE THE FIRST YEAR IS THE HARDEST, AND MANY BUSINESSES GO OUT OF BUSINESS IN THE FIRST FEW YEARS.

MONEY IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE!!!

HOW DO YOU GET THAT MONEY IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE, DOES IN APPEAR LIKE MAGIC IN THERE HANDS, DOES IT FALL FROM HEAVEN, OR FALL FROM GOVERNMENT?

JOBS HAVE TO BE CREATED, FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE TO A CHECK, TO SPEND AND KEEP THE ECONOMY RUNNING.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND!!!!
IT SEEMS YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PREACHING TO ME.

THERE IS NO SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR ANYTHING ,IF YOU DON’T
HAVE A BASE TO START FROM…….

UNDEREMPLOYMENT IS AT 9.6% ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL, AND WORST IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY………

BUSINESS OWNERS DO NOT YET! KNOW IF THERE TAXES ARE GOING UP.WHICH AS LEFT THEM WITH THE SENSE OF UNCERTAINLY ABOUT OUR ECONOMY. THEREFORE THEY ARE NOT HIRING AND HOLDING THERE MONEY.

with the (FACT) that 40 % of all taxes are payed by the rich( which you want to call them evil and greedy). and now you seek, too steel more of there wealth, to pay, for this government idea, of everyone is to be taken care of, from cradle to grave

free health care, free housing, food stamps, and those who want free college.

there are more than 40 million people on welfare now, more than in its history,and those people do not produce. you can have compassion, you can stomp your feet in support for them, or hold your breasth, till you turn blue.

but when you continue to promote the poor as being good and noble, and hold them on high with praise,and seek to destroy those that are better off, and have the things better for themselves plus a way of creating more wealth through business creation, then you will only succeed in destroying, America, everyone in it.

currently this is Washington’s message to the private sector:

“we are going to regulate YOU to death”
“we are going to tax YOU to death”
“you are rich evil greedy, and no good”
“but will you please create some jobs”


BY THE WAY.. THE DEATH TAX (55%), IF DEMOCRATS GET THERE WAY..

this is an insane message to people who can create jobs.

taxation is used to generate revenue, that’s its only purpose. it is not to be used as a tool ,by government to get even with people ,because they have more. and this is one of the evils of our government, which pits one American against another.

MONEY IN OUR WORLD IS NOT A ZERO- SUM GAME, JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE MAKES 30 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ,DOES NOT MEAN HE STOLE PARTS OF IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

I HEAR ABOUT THE SIN OF GREED A LOT, FROM THOSE ON THE LEFT.
THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER SIN, ITS THE SIN OF ENVY, ENVY OF THOSE WHO HAVE MORE THAN YOU. BUT YOU NEVER SPEAK OF THAT.

THERE ARE THOSE THAT CRITICIZE THE TEA PARTY.

THE TEA PARTY IS A MOVEMENT THAT HAS NO SOCIAL AGENDA, they have spoken only of taxes and spending.

there message stop taxing people to death, and stop spending my money irresponsibly.

examples of government spending 823,000 in the stimulus plan ,to teach African males to wash there genitals.

money spend to study cow farts or the DNA of grapes.

PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON SAY WE DONT PAY ENOUGH TAXES, AND SOME MAKE TO MUCH, LIKE HILLERY CLINTON SAYING IT.
YET SHE TRAVELS AROUND THE WORLD AND PLEDGES AMERICAN TAX PAYER DOLLARS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES ALL THE TIME. AMERICAN NEED TO PAY MORE TAXES, BUT THE GOVERNMENT GIVES AWAY OUR MONEY, THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG.

i could go on and on….

who is the fool?

i see it in you, because you have no concept, of how things work…….

your (Energy) is in how you can get what you think is yours, and get (EVEN) with others. you have a lot problems with your thinking, and its going to cause you trouble for the rest of your life, thinking someone else stole from you and someone owes you………..

Posted by: Strato at October 11, 2010 01:29 AM
Comment #310737
WEALTH IS CREATED BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR, IT IS NOT CREATED BY GOVERNMENT, WHEN A GOVERNMENT JOB IS CREATED, YOU MUST HAVE A PRIVATE SECTOR JOB ,TO PAY FOR THAT GOVERNMENT JOB.

1st. Re-read my post. I did not say GOVERNMENT creates wealth (Although I’m sure Haliburton and others would disagree. They love that government contract money that CREATES JOBS!!!). So I have no idea where your pulling that from. What I said is wealth in the hands of the people is what creates jobs. Jobs are NOT CREATED by a little extra money in the hands of the already wealthy. A business man does not open more job positions just because he saved some money from taxes. If he does he is an idiot. He opens up more job positions if DEMAND for his business increases. How do you get increased DEMAND? A population with more money to spend is how. Not MORE tax breaks for the already wealthy and who are already NOT PAYING THEIR TAXES by using tax shelters. Funny how over the last 8 years of Republican rule and the Bush Tax breaks that jobs left the country even faster. Kinda debunks the whole tax breaks for the rich creates more jobs don’t you think? They had it for 8 years and we lost more jobs than ever.


the US. government is in debt 13.6 trillion dollars {fact}.
that only 47% of people who file taxes ,pay any income tax {fact}
the other 53% of filers pay NO TAX AT ALL!
of that 47% as of 2008 ,people making over 410,000 a year paid 40% of all taxes {fact}
while the poorest of people pay only 3% of the tax revenue{fact}

You have to take the debt and compare it to the GDP to get a real feel of things. WWII the national Debt was @ 120+% of the GDP. WWII caused the debt to shoot up, starting in 1942, and reach 30% higher relative to the country’s wealth than it is today. The economic stimulus of that government spending pulled us out of the great depression and into high gear. We are CURRENTLY in 2 Wars. Currently the Debt is about 93% of the GDP.

What, you don’t think business owners should have to pay higher taxes when they make use of the countries/Government infrastructure, laws and workforce to create their wealth? Hell yes they do.

Now what does this have to do with OBAMA? Or should the movie be renamed REGAN AND BUSH (REPUBLICANS) WANT YOUR MONEY? Regan Tripled the debt and Bush was not far behind. How about you stop being a Hypocrite.

Again and again I can ask you, WHAT DOES ANYTHING YOU HAVE POSTED HAVE TO DO WITH OBAMA which this right-wing nut job film is targeted at? You’ve posted FACTS that go all the way back to 1913… damn. Yea, it’s all Obamas fault. Just because you post facts does not mean you are correct in where to lay the blame.

Let’s go back to your comments on regulations… 1st. Show me 1 company that has in your words been ‘REGULATED TO DEATH’. You can’t because it is a false statement. I CAN point out to you where non-regulations or poor regulations have caused the deaths of many people. Just go back to the food scares a few months ago for starters. We can go way back from there and fill this board with the examples.

JOBS HAVE TO BE CREATED, FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE TO A CHECK, TO SPEND AND KEEP THE ECONOMY RUNNING.

What came 1st, the chicken or the egg. You gotta have people with money in their hands to spend BEFORE you create jobs. If there is no DEMAND then there is no need to SUPPLY. So my point remains intact. MORE WEALTH IN THE HANDS OF THE ALREADY WEALTHY DOES NOT CREATE MORE JOBS no matter how you try to spin it.

I HEAR ABOUT THE SIN OF GREED A LOT, FROM THOSE ON THE LEFT. THERE IS ALSO ANOTHER SIN, ITS THE SIN OF ENVY, ENVY OF THOSE WHO HAVE MORE THAN YOU. BUT YOU NEVER SPEAK OF THAT.

Yes, when I see corporations that already make billions in profit ship jobs overseas so they can save a few dollars and collect even more wealth then they are greedy and evil. The hoarding of excessive wealth is considered a mortal sin by Christianity you know…

And, no it is not ENVY. I don’t need 40 billion dollars in my pocket to be ‘happy’.


MONEY IN OUR WORLD IS NOT A ZERO- SUM GAME, JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE MAKES 30 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ,DOES NOT MEAN HE STOLE PARTS OF IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE.

Yes it does. How about he PAY HIS EMPLOYEES more money instead of paying for another Golf Club membership. Or his 5th house in Boga Bogo… lol. How about he gives back to his employees AND HIS GOVERNMENT THAT ALLOWED HIM TO LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE HE CAN MAKE THIS WEALTH. I work for a corporation where the execs get 20 million dollar bonuses and the employees get maybe a 25 cent cost of living increase. No joke. They have to post the bonuses for top execs.

Here chew on this… In 1970, CEO salary and bonus packages were typically about $700,000 - 25 times the average production worker salary; by 2000, CEO salaries had jumped to almost $2.2 million on average, 90 times the average salary of a worker, according to a 2004 study on CEO pay by Kevin J. Murphy and Jan Zabojnik. Toss in stock options and other benefits, and the salary of a CEO is nearly 500 times the average worker salary, the study says.

So, yes, they stole the money from their work force instead of paying them their fair dues.


SUPPLY AND DEMAND!!!!
IT SEEMS YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PREACHING TO ME.

THERE IS NO SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR ANYTHING ,IF YOU DON’T
HAVE A BASE TO START FROM……

I’ll return the comment to you. You don’t get it do you. If I have a bag of rocks to sell I won’t be able to make any money if there is not people that have money to buy the rocks from me. Pretty simple concept that you fail to grasp.


with the (FACT) that 40 % of all taxes are payed by the rich( which you want to call them evil and greedy). and now you seek, too steel more of there wealth, to pay, for this government idea, of everyone is to be taken care of, from cradle to grave

No, their wealth is created on the backs of their employees. Without them they have no wealth and have no business. I seek them to give back to their communities that gave them the schooling, a stable country, a great economy and such that provided the atmosphere to allow them to become wealthy. Is that too much to ask? Don’t think so.

THERE ARE THOSE THAT CRITICIZE THE TEA PARTY.
THE TEA PARTY IS A MOVEMENT THAT HAS NO SOCIAL AGENDA, they have spoken only of taxes and spending.
there message stop taxing people to death, and stop spending my money irresponsibly.

Now that is a laugh… You need to do a little more reading. Here is some for you.

In New York, Carl Paladino, the tea party-backed Republican candidate for governor, caused a furor among Democrats when he said over the weekend that children shouldn’t be “brainwashed” into thinking homosexuality is acceptable

In Colorado, GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck has tried to deflect questions about his stance against abortion rights.

In Nevada, Senate candidate Sharron Angle, a Southern Baptist, has called herself a faith-based politician. She opposes abortion in all circumstances, including rape and incest, and doesn’t believe the Constitution requires the separation of church and state.

Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta, said his research shows tea party activists are overwhelmingly conservative Republicans. Rather than an outside alternative to the GOP, he said, the tea party is a movement from within the Republican Party’s most active members.

“My feeling has been that social issues were always an important component of the tea party movement all along,” Abramowitz said.
———————————————
I could go on and on about your comments and how silly some of them really are but I figure your doing a good enough job of it by completely missing my point and spewing out a bunch of ‘FACTS’ that have absolutely nothing to do with Obama or the pretense of this movie that we are posting about.

Posted by: maharat at October 20, 2010 01:44 AM
Comment #310838

the only thing i get out of your comments are……..

somebody did me wrong………

now somebody going to pay……….

and i am going to have the government be my instrument of revenge……..

good, luck………

because the money is not there anymore…………

Posted by: Strato at October 21, 2010 11:35 AM
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