Let the rich pay

You can see that the real agenda is to grow government and create dependency when you see the resistance to means testing. The constant refrain from our liberal friends is the rich need to pay their “fair share.” Why not get them to pay their share by making them pay for more of their own stuff? Doesn’t it make more sense for fat cats to pay directly, rather than first pass their money through the bowels of bureaucracy?

Some liberals are actively hostile to the idea of letting people take care of themselves. It offends their sense of mediocrity - sorry equality. They want all people to get and suffer the same way. So rather than let people who can and are willing to take care of themselves, they prefer to homogenize us all together and then pass the same gruel to everybody. This is one of the most persistent and pernicious leftist ideas. Our leftist friends hate to admit it, even to themselves, but it is manifest in the opposition to means testing and in the general hostility to differences in general.

There is an interesting nuance in means testing. When conservatives think of means testing, we usually mean that people rich enough to take care of themselves would pay for their own health care etc. When liberals think of means testing, they often mean that richer people will pay higher premiums, but still go through the bureaucratic intestines.

(Obamacare is going to zap the rich in an additional way anyway but making them pay Medicare premiums on non-wage income, but that is another story. We all will pay more under Obamacare.)

As a conservative American, in MY ideal world people would enjoy sufficient wealth and independence to be able to afford life's necessities w/o ANY recourse to government. Government, in my ideal world, is very necessary, but it does not interfere in the day-to-day activities of the people. Rather it sets general rules, supplies security and does some of the big things that people individually or acting in voluntary association cannot do for themselves. I accept and celebrate differences and diversity. Recalling that inequality is a requirement for diversity, equal outcomes was something I have never sought. I want to have autonomy to make decisions in things that affect me directly and let others do the same. In many cases, we can just do it w/o consulting anybody else unless we feel like it. For a long time, I was naive or sheltered enough to believe that freedom was a goal for everybody. Not true.

Liberal world is not like this. In liberal world, people get together to make collective decisions. In liberal world, everybody is consulted about almost everything and they have the right and even the duty to poke their noses into your business ... to make sure you are doing the right things and that results are fair. In liberal world, government is not something that just maintains order and does the big things. In liberal world government directs society, makes sure you are taken care of. I notice that turn of phrase "taken care of" can be used in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is more like when Tony Soprano tells his guys to "take care" of a problem.

I understand that neither my conservative utopia nor the liberal dystopia really exists, but we can clearly see tendencies. I want to take care of myself. I like the decision I make for myself, even if it is "not as good" as the one made for me. My liberal friends may think of that as wrong. Maybe they are right. Maybe I am addicted to freedom. It has been a problem for generations of Americans.

Anyway, I prefer not to be told what to do, even if it is "better" for me. I drink at least two liters of Coca-Cola EVERY day. I have been doing this since I was a kid, now around fifty years. I changed to Coke Zero when it came out a few years ago and I believe that drinking such mass quantities of Coca-Cola products is good for me. Most people I know disagree. I don't care. I also enjoy Big Macs fairly often. Yesterday my supper consisted of a plate of nachos. Is any of that the business of government? My health is my business.

Anyway, let the rich to pay more. It leaves more for everybody else. But is it too much to ask to give them choices?

Posted by Christine & John at December 14, 2012 5:23 PM
Comment #358857
I drink at least two liters of Coca-Cola EVERY day. I have been doing this since I was a kid, now around fifty years. I changed to Coke Zero when it came out a few years ago and I believe that drinking such mass quantities of Coca-Cola products is good for me. Most people I know disagree. I don’t care. I also enjoy Big Macs fairly often. Yesterday my supper consisted of a plate of nachos. Is any of that the business of government? My health is my business.

No it ain’t. Not with Obamacare kicking in it ain’t. It’s now the business of the government. After all, they have to keep you healthy so you can pay for all this free healthcare your going to be getting.
And you can forget your Coke and Big Macs. From now on it’s bean sprouts for you.
Coke? That’s UnAmerican. RC and DR Pepper are the true American drinks:)
The word choice is not in the liberal vocabulary. Unless they’re talking about abortion. Other than that it’s whatever the government dictates.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 14, 2012 7:18 PM
Comment #358859

C/J summed up the liberal world very well. I recall a statement made recently by Doughboy in which he said…”Why should I pay for my mistakes.”

I asked him why someone else should be forced to pay for his mistakes. No Answer.

I suggest that liberals take a more direct tack in getting to the resources of others. Rather than waste time going thru government, they should directly confront their friends and neighbors who they believe have more “stuff” than they do and demand their fair share face-to-face.

I can imagine a situation in which Doughboy confronts a wealthy neighbor and demands that his neighbor immediately write him a check for his needs, wants, and desires.

Rather than thugs roaming the halls of congress and the White House demanding “free stuff”, Doughboy could simply organize a neighborhood gang and roam the streets looking for folks with excess wealth to share with them. They could even unionize to be certain that gang members were being treated fairly by each other. Such a legalized union gang could perhaps demand even more sharing by their neighbor than they could accomplish on their own.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 14, 2012 7:45 PM
Comment #358881


I can’t figure out the Republican’s love for the rhetoric of a loser.

Republicans did absolutely nothing, absolutely balked at the charge that they were doing anything wrong by running the deficits they did.

If they were being perfectly consistent, they would have remained quiet. It would have been a blessed break from hypocrisy, too.

The real reason to complain, is that it gets votes. Unfortunately for Republicans, the memory is fresh of who last balanced the budget (a Democrat), and who didn’t, and Republicans wanting to remind people that they were in there when Clinton Balanced the budget find themselves put in check, at the very least, by the fact that when it was just them and a Republican, they ran wild.

Additionally, blaming Obama runs into the problem that Obama’s first two budget deficits, the 2010 and 2011, both passed before Republicans took over, were actually less than either 2009, or 2012, the Tea Party Congress’ budget.

Republicans are deficit peacocks. They want everybody to know how splendied they are, but it’s really them waving their tails around to look good.

Royal Flush-
Whatever makes you feel like you’re ten foot tall. You need some gratuitous ego-boosting to make up for the fact that your party got its ass kicked, despite your pronouncements.

You want to make it about bribery. Or voter fraud, or whatever else you have to in order to avoid a simple truth: You’ve alienated too many people, befriended too few, and made it very difficult to walk back your poorly advised positions so you can get with the program.

It’s one thing to make people face consequences for their actions. It’s another to allow companies to exploit that in a predatory fashion, or to allow consequences to get so intense that people never recover. The market often overcorrects, just as it undercorrects at other times, and often, with the way things are structured, the people who made the worst and most destructive mistakes escape with relatively little consequence.

A human system must be forgiving, or the whole system can tip over into ruin. The same system, however, must make sure the great suffer with the small, because the mistakes of the rich and powerful can make a lot of people suffer for mistakes not their own.

Or is personal responsibility a duty only for those below a certain income bracket?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 14, 2012 9:20 PM
Comment #358884


I am not talking about getting votes. I am talking about your totalitarian world view. It is not all right with you if the rich pay their own medical bills, is it? Are you for or against means testing benefits? Don’t dodge the question.

You mention Clinton again, yet you refuse to contemplate going back to the levels of government we had during those times. In other words, you reject everything in Clinton except the name.

Re personal responsibility - we conservatives believe it goes for everybody. I know that you consider yourself a victim and hence a perpetual recipient of largess from people like us, but that is not a virtuous or generous thing to be. You should try to change that.

Re Obama - doing really well so far, isn’t he? He promised to get toward a balanced budget; he was even going to stop the seas from rising. How’s that going?

Posted by: C&J at December 14, 2012 9:34 PM
Comment #358909

I’m surprised a Republican would suggest taking the benefits of the rich away. What I would suggest is that they pay as much of their income for their medicare and social security benefits as the rest of us. They’d continue to get the same benefits everybody else did, and the system would be more solvent. Everybody benefits!

And Totalitarian? Tell me you haven’t fallen so low. I don’t tend to call your worldview fascist, do I? Believing some constraints need to be put on people’s behavior doesn’t mean I approve of the full range of possible constraints.

As for refusing to arbitrarily cut 2 trillion dollars from the budget? Look, that government isn’t there as some formality of accounting. We have needs, like infrastructure, economic competitiveness, defense, etc. that need to weighed and considered in a budget. Budgeting should be a practical balanced between meeting the nation’s needs and what we’re willing to pay for that. I don’t go for gimmick policies! I don’t go for useless political symbolism!

As for what you conservatives believe about responsibility? By your own admissions, you believe in putting fewer and fewer obligations on the rich in the hopes that being relieved of the cost of those obligations will hypercharge the markets. You are always looking for some way to boost their bottom line.

Call me back when Republicans stop apologizing to the people who just ruined people’s livelihoods with an oil spill for being “shaken down” when they’ve been pushed into an agreement to compensate those who they wronged. Call me back when your party supports regulating the derivatives market whose misbehavior brought us this close to financial apocalypse. Call me back when David Vitter is booted out of political life for his whoring, just as Elliot Spitzer was on our side.

Call me back when Republican Administrations stop convening secret meetings to cozy up with energy executives.

You can get snide and sarcastic about it, but really, people are getting angrier about seeing executives skate free, having ruin companies and economies, while they get hit by things like mortgage servicers who buy up loans, and then attempt to push people into foreclosure.

As far as the balanced budget went, he promised that in 2008, before the economy collapsed. And the Seas? Loser’s rhetoric again. No, he never promised the promise of King Canute. He did say, though, that he would take measures to try and curb global warming, and one can list the number of things he’s done to decrease emissions, increase efficiency, and get America on renewables rather than fossil fuels.

Our party, at the very least, haven’t put people on our science and technology committees who openly regard global warming as a hoax and a socialist conspiracy, and who regard evolution and the big-bang theory as lies from the pit of hell.

Your problem, I would say, is that you unfortunately see your own moderation writ large among your party members, while the rest of us see a bunch of ill-informed radicals who have no real clue that they’ve pushed things too far.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 15, 2012 12:54 PM
Comment #358920


“I’m surprised a Republican would suggest taking the benefits of the rich away. What I would suggest is that they pay as much of their income for their medicare and social security benefits as the rest of us. They’d continue to get the same benefits everybody else did, and the system would be more solvent. Everybody benefits!”

The rich already pay the same % for medicare as you do, just much more since they make much more.

I am proposing that BENEFITS be means tested. You can still get the rich to pay for you, but they don’t need to get all the benefits. You should be happy. The rich will be paying MORE under my proposal (also that of Bush & Romney, BTW).

Re obligations on the rich - please see above. I am giving the rich MORE obligations. They still have to pay for you but they also have to pay more of their own bills.

My goal is to give more choices and more nuance. In the old world, people could be classed into group. It is harder today. Government works for us and should not be telling us how to live.

Posted by: C&J at December 15, 2012 2:12 PM
Comment #358927

NY Times, December 14, 2012

“Most Governors Refuse to Set Up Health Exchanges

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that more than half the states had rejected its pleas to set up their own health insurance exchanges, dealing a setback to President Obama’s hopes that Republicans would join a White House campaign to provide health insurance to all Americans.

Friday was the deadline for states to notify the federal government of their plans, and administration officials had been hoping that Mr. Obama’s re-election would overcome resistance to the new health care law.

Federal officials said they knew of 17 states that intended to run their own exchanges, as Congress intended.”

Hmmm…I wonder what the other 33 states know and fear that keep them from signing up.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 15, 2012 6:31 PM
Comment #360788

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