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Friday Talking Points [182] -- Class Warfare? Hardly.

[ Posted Friday, September 23rd, 2011 – 16:12 PDT ]

Well, let's see what this week brought us all, shall we?

A satellite is falling out of the sky, but it probably won't hit anybody. Probably. I personally got over this fear by listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "It Came Out Of The Sky" (which I heartily recommend, just on general principles).

A Republican audience booed an American soldier actively serving his country in an overseas war. Well, to be fair to the audience, I'm sure if you asked the ones who booed that they'd respond they were merely booing the soldier's self-professed gayness. But still -- a Republican crowd booed a serving soldier. Way to "support the troops," guys!

Larry Flynt has just offered up to a million bucks for anyone who can prove that they had sex with Rick Perry -- "gay or straight" (either is fine with Flynt). One assumes this offer wouldn't include the Texas governor's wife, since that wouldn't exactly be scandalous. Kidding aside, though, that's a lot of money. And Flynt's record on taking down sexually hypocritical Republicans is well-established (after all, what other pornographer can say he forced a guy about to become Speaker of the House to resign from politics?). Had sex with Rick Perry, anyone? Can you prove it? Call the "hotline" at (323) 951-7911. It could be a lucrative phone call!

Speaking of Republican candidates for president, there was another debate last night. Gary Johnson was actually on the stage. Mitt and Rick said mean things about each other. That about sums that up.

Harry Reid is going to force Congress to do something next week, or the government will (once again) be threatened with a shutdown. This is news not for the shutdown threat (which is becoming so increasingly common it barely qualifies as "news" anymore), but because Congress is in a snit over having to work next week, instead of taking the whole dang week off. This is -- to add some perspective -- less than a month after Congress finished a five-week vacation. Must be nice work (if you can get it), since it involves so very little actual "work."

In other words, it was just another typical week of the follies known as Washington politics.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Are you sitting down? Perhaps you should.

We issue this warning because we are about to do something that we don't believe we've ever done before in the four-year history of this column: we are going to hand out a "Most Impressive" award to a Republican. We'll even call it a very neutral Most Impressive Politician Of The Week, so as not to offend anyone.

The winner of the first-ever MIPOTW is Congressman Phil Roe, who hails from Tennessee. Roe, before becoming a professional politician, was a doctor. He was in the Charlotte airport this week, and saw a man collapse in front of him. So he did what any trained person would do -- he immediately administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation. By doing so, he quite likely saved the man's life.

He did not do so alone (there were others trained in CPR present), and he is characteristically modest about his aid (characteristic because real heroes always insist they are not heroes). You can make a case that the guy would be fine even if Roe had turned away from him. But you know what? None of that matters.

This isn't a political award, mind you. It's a humanitarian award. Phil Roe did what he needed to do and was trained to do. If I collapsed in an airport, I would want this guy around -- and I could care less what his political affiliations are. Which is why we're minting a brand-new Most Impressive Politician Of The Week just for him.

Moving along to Democratic awards, we've got to at least give an Honorable Mention to Harry Reid, for refusing to cave in to the Republican House's disaster aid bill. Some congresscritters are hopping mad that Reid may force them to actually work next week, which is all fine and good as far as we're concerned. I mean, seriously, guys, you normally try to link these weeklong vacations to some sort of holiday, but Columbus Day isn't for weeks. What are you calling this particular jaunt back home to raise campaign cash? "End of September Vacation Week"? Sheesh. Harry Reid has shown himself to be a past master at manipulating Congress by holding their sacred vacations hostage, and we try to applaud him every single time he does so. Increasingly, the last days before one of these way-too-frequent vacations is the only time anything gets done on Capitol Hill.

Elizabeth Warren also deserves an Honorable Mention, but we're going to wait to tell you why until the Talking Points portion of the program.

We'd also like to give Larry Flynt an Honorable Mention, just because.

But the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes once again to President Barack Obama. This past Monday, Obama unveiled his ideas for both cutting the deficit and for paying for the American Jobs Act. He "went all in" (in poker terms) on a very simple idea: tax the rich. This idea is wildly popular with the American people, and Obama is right to center his campaign around it, because such a bill is not going to pass this Republican House in a million billion years. Meaning it'll be a dandy campaign issue all of next year, with zero chance that the Republicans will recognize the weakness of their position and pull the political rug out from under Obama by passing what he wants.

Republicans are already complaining about Obama's campaigning. They whine he should be above all that as president. To which we respond: cry us a freakin' river.

It's good to see that Obama has finally realized that standing up and fighting is a good political strategy. It's good to see him as "Campaign Obama" once again. Whether it'll do him any good with the rest of the public remains to be seen, but in the past month Obama has visibly rocked the Republicans back on their heels -- so much so that they're mostly playing defense these days. That is a change for the better, and hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more of it in the weeks to come.

For drawing a line in the sand -- complete with a rare Obama veto threat -- and for taking on this issue head-on and full-force, President Obama is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

This week, we're going to hand out a group award, complete with a call to action. Senator Jeff Merkley won last week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, for coming up with a stunningly good idea -- tell the official congressional "scoring" office (C.B.O.) to look at any deficit-cutting legislation proposed and score it not only on the federal budget, but also on its effect on unemployment and the job market.

To date, only ten Democratic senators have co-signed Merkley's letter. This means that 42 have not. The Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award goes to each and every one of these 42 Democrats who have not yet signed Merkley's letter.

Whatever are they waiting for? Perhaps they need a nudge. If your Democratic senator's signature is not on this letter [PDF download], maybe you should phone them up and ask why.

[You can find contact information for your senators on the Senate's main page, and it only takes a few minutes to call, so why not just go ahead and ring them up?]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 182 (9/23/11)

As was entirely predictable, once Obama stood up for taxing the rich folk a wee bit more, the Republicans fired back with what they think is the biggest weapon in their arsenal for battles like this: screaming "Class warfare!" ad nauseam.

OK, I'll stop feeding into their frame-up by using all the military metaphors, how's that for a start? On a personal level, I would be remiss if I didn't notice that this is one more phrase that may soon be added to the things my initials occasionally stand for (joining "Country/Western" and "conventional wisdom" and... um, well, I guess that's about it).

Ahem. Where was I? Oh, right, class warfaring.

President Obama is well on his way to making this the main issue in next year's campaign (although at times, external events intervene in politics -- so who knows what the race will look like one year from now?). So we're going to devote six-sevenths of this week's talking points to refuting the "CW" claim. We'll even provide a bonus seventh "singing" point right here in the introduction, to make it a clean sweep. Because Huffington Post blogger Rick Horowitz has made the whole thing eminently singable, which is pretty downright funny. From his lyrics (he doesn't say, but I'm assuming to the tune of "That's Amore"):

When you look around and figure that the country's up for sale,
And you fret that K Street cronies have their thumbs on ev'ry scale,
While the worst of Wall Street's schemers never spend an hour in jail:
That's class warfare.

When the riches "trickling down" don't seem to make it to the poor,
And you see the hardship all around, but never see a cure,
If you note the gentle fragrance of a hill of horse manure:
That's class warfare.

Heh. Well done, Rick.

With that as an introduction, let's begin.

 

1
   I'm a warrior for the middle class

We're going to begin with three excellent examples of how to counter the class warfare argument. The first comes from President Obama himself, from a recent speech he gave in Cincinnati. It is indeed heartening to see the president take on his critics in such a direct fashion, and so far he's been showing other Democrats how to do so. This is just one example.

Now, the Republicans, when I talked about this earlier in the week, they said, well, this is class warfare. You know what, if asking a billionaire to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare, then you know what, I'm a warrior for the middle class. I'm happy to fight for the middle class. I'm happy to fight for working people. Because the only warfare I've seen is the battle against the middle class over the last 10, 15 years.

 

2
   Nobody in this country got rich on his own

Elizabeth Warren is the other Democrat out there showing the rest of them how this sort of thing is done. I wrote earlier this weekabout a video of Warren's brilliant framing of the issue to a small group of voters, and it is one of the best examples of Democrats who know how to do this sort of thing that I've ever seen.

It's been made into a a graphic image, as well. Here is Warren's answer, in full:

I hear all this, you know: "Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever." No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

 

3
   Exempt from the social contract?

Paul Krugman took a hand at countering the class warfare argument, and probably makes the most solid case on the economics of the issue (his whole column is worth reading). But at the end of it, he sums up his argument nicely:

Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. [Paul] Ryan has called the deficit an "existential threat" to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy -- who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation's future -- should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.

Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.

 

4
   Do you even know how to read a poll?

This needs to be hammered upon at every possible opportunity. The ideal lead-in would be arguing with a Republican (on some political chatfest, say) who trots out some version of "the American people really want... X."

"You know, the Republicans keep trying to portray the president's deficit-cutting plan as some sort of 'class warfare' or some sort of radical left political position. Nothing could be further from the truth. Republicans are awfully fond of blathering about what, quote, the American people want, unquote. Luckily for the rest of us, there are public opinion polls which actually answer the question of exactly what the American people want. Have you seen any of these polls on this question? Have you? You can pretty much pick any poll at random, and it will tell you that large majorities are in favor of millionaires paying a tiny fraction more in taxes. Democrats are overwhelmingly for the idea. Independents are wild about the idea. Even a majority of Republican voters think it's a good idea. Poll after poll after poll shows exactly the same thing. The president is calling for something that is about as mainstream as any political idea gets in this country. This is not a radical idea. This isn't even a partisan idea among the public. It is solidly within the majority of the American people's mainstream. This is indeed what 'the American people want' and it's there for anyone who knows how to read a poll to see."

 

5
   Pitchforks and torches? Where?

For a laugh, please see this spoof site, which is selling supplies.

"Do you really think President Obama is calling for 'class warfare'? Really? Warfare? Um, do you mind if I ask if you have one tiny shred of evidence to back up that propagandistic term? One recent instance of a crowd with torches and pitchforks in the United States, demanding redistribution of wealth? One instance of even the most minor class violence taking place, since Obama laid his deficit-cutting plan on the table? I mean, you can call it a 'fight' I suppose, since the wealthy have been fighting against paying their fair share for a few decades now -- and winning that fight, for the most part. I guess seeing that the little guy is fighting back a little bit might be disconcerting to some, but calling it 'warfare' is just laughable. A revolution is not taking place in America. There are no reports of rebellion that I've heard. So please, can you stop with the 'class warfare' nonsense?"

 

6
   Disrespecting the troops [part 1]

Or, you can take a completely different tack, and get as downright indignant as possible. The best way to deliver this would be in a seriously "pistols at dawn" tone of voice. I'd pay good money to see some Democrat (Jim Webb, perhaps?) say the following to a Republican.

"I find it seriously offensive for you to sit there and accuse the President of the United States and his political party of waging any kind of, quote, warfare, unquote. Since you seem to have forgotten that our country has brave men and women fighting in real warfare overseas, allow me to remind you of this fact. Is this how your party 'supports the troops'? We are at war, Sir. We have troops in the field who are dying. For you to make the accusation that their Commander-in-Chief is waging warfare against your political party is downright obscene, Sir. You and your party's continued use of the term 'class warfare' seriously disrespects the brave men and women who are currently serving their country, and if you were a decent human being, you would immediately offer them all an apology. Sir."

 

7
   Disrespecting the troops [part 2]

OK, this one is unrelated, but I simply could not pass it by. Ideally, a Democrat would say this immediately after using the previous talking point.

"While I'm on the subject of Republicans disrespecting the troops, what do you have to say to the fact that none of the Republican candidates for president on stage at a debate said the slightest thing when audience members actually openly booed a soldier who is currently serving overseas? That was a complete disgrace, but what was equally disgraceful was that none of the Republicans on the stage offered the slightest word of support for the soldier, or thanked him for his brave service to his country. Does the Republican Party only 'support' troops who fit in with your party's ideology? You really want some sort of political litmus test for which troops are worth supporting and which aren't? 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is history. It's over. You and your party need to get over it, and the next opportunity you get to speak to a man or woman in this country's uniform, you should go over and profusely thank them and shake their hand -- no matter who that soldier is. And if you see anyone disrespecting that uniform, you need to immediately speak up and speak out against the disgrace of booing a serving soldier at a Republican event."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

27 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [182] -- Class Warfare? Hardly.”

  1. [1] 
    eveingeorgia wrote:

    Really enjoyed this, Chris. I really like FTP; look forward to reading it every week.

    Let me know when you get a call to work as a consultant for this White House; I will send you roses.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    eveingeorgia -

    Hah! I will hold you to that promise (in the separate universe where it actually occurs... heh).

    Thanks for the kind words!

    :-)

    -CW

  3. [3] 
    dsws wrote:

    If your Democratic senator's signature is not on this letter [PDF download], ...

    ... with illegible signatures. Here's the list in plain text.

    Senators signing are: Jeff Merkley (OR), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Barbara Boxer (CA), Bernie Sanders (VT), Daniel Akaka (HI), Bob Menendez (NJ), Sherrod Brown (OH), Al Franken (MN), Mark Begich (AK), and Frank Lautenberg (NJ).

    http://merkley.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=0b421d82-53d4-4ac3-bd79-b9828c6bdd25

    It would be a little bit odd for my Democratic senator to sign a letter to a committee that he's on. So rather than asking him to sign the letter, I think I'll just ask him to have the CBO evaluate the jobs impact of JSC proposals. ... and, sent.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    Thanks for the list. My browser was having problem's with Merkley's site, so I had to use the PDF link for the story. I recognized Al Franken's signature, but that was about it...

    Anyway, thanks for doing my homework for me!

    :-)

    One of my senators is on there, but it looks like I'll have to give Feinstein a call...

    -CW

  5. [5] 
    dsws wrote:

    Yw. When you get to be a big-time White House consultant, be sure to hire me as a staffer.

    I use two browsers to get around the my-browser-has-a-problem-with phenomenon, which is all too common.

    Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown are pretty legible, and I figured out a couple others by comparing with the list of senators on senate.gov, but then I gave up and googled up the actual list on Merkley's page.

  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    I'm using the list on other sites, in comments, to help people realize who hasn't signed yet. It is coming in handy! And, of course, everyone here will be welcome at the CW.com Wing of the White House... in that alternate universe!

    :-)

    -CW

  7. [7] 
    dsws wrote:

    From Representative Mike Capuano's weekly email:

    In the midst of all this continued economic uncertainty, corporations are sitting on the largest amount of retained earnings ever recorded. According to the Federal Reserve’s recent Flow of Funds Report for the 2nd Quarter of 2011, “non-farm, non-financial corporations” are sitting on over $2 trillion in cash and other liquid assets. This is a $500 billion increase in total liquid assets since 2007. Today’s corporate reserves account for over 7 percent of all corporate assets, the highest level since 1963. It’s clear that U.S. corporations are staying on the economic sidelines as millions of Americans struggle to find work.

    America needs these corporations to re-invest in our economy. They have the cash and should use it either directly by hiring or indirectly by investing in their own company. I am not suggesting we should tell corporations how to use their money - but we should provide incentives to get them back in the game.

    That is why I introduced H.R. 3018, The Corporate Assets Should be used to Hire (CASH) Act. The CASH Act would assess a temporary surtax on corporate retained earnings that exceed the average of that corporation’s retained earnings for the prior three tax years. This approach recognizes the need for reasonable cash reserves. My proposal exempts corporations with retained earnings under $5 million and corporations that have been required to increase their cash reserves as a result of federal law or regulation.

    The sole purpose of this proposal is to encourage corporations to use the money sitting on their balance sheets to help put Americans back to work and get our economy moving again.

    * Corporations can easily avoid every penny of this surtax by using this excess retained money to hire people, purchase material, enhance capital assets, pay dividends, or for any other business purpose.
    * All funds collected under this surtax would be available ONLY to reduce the federal deficit and nothing else.

    This is not an attempt to raise revenue - this is an effort to get our largest corporations to use excess cash reserves to help America ’s economy get back on track. Job creation is the key to growing our economy and until the private sector steps up, we will continue to see discouraging unemployment numbers.

    Seems like a measure that could be promoted. Of course, Republicans will never let it pass. But it could be useful as an example of the kind of job-creating deficit-reducing measure they're steadfastly opposed to.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    In a (most likely to end in failure) effort to stay positive, I will only comment on the section that I can comment positively..

    Probably. I personally got over this fear by listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "It Came Out Of The Sky" (which I heartily recommend, just on general principles).

    Kewl song...... :D

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Awww right, Pollyanna Michale has hereby been assassinated..

    Our "Imperious Leader" (Obama, not CW :D) has really done pissed me off now, so here it comes with both barrels..

    I'm a warrior for the middle class

    Gimme a break.. "Warriors For The Middle Class" don't lavish $42K+ jewelry on their wives...

    But it IS interesting..

    Now, the Republicans, when I talked about this earlier in the week, they said, well, this is class warfare. You know what, if asking a billionaire to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare, then you know what, I'm a warrior for the middle class. I'm happy to fight for the middle class. I'm happy to fight for working people. Because the only warfare I've seen is the battle against the middle class over the last 10, 15 years.

    This guy's a legend in his own mind!!!

    President Obama is the greatest thing since frozen pizza!!

    Just ask him...

    Further, let's quote what Obama actually said in that speech...

    If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

    Apparently Obama DOES have a problem with Jewish people...

    Make of that what you will... But I really can't see any "innocent" interpretation of saying "Jew" over "Janitor"...

    Nobody in this country got rich on his own

    "Ya know what's funny? These people don't realize that we pay taxes too."
    -Pete Malloy, ADAM-12

    Warren is so off the reservation, it's not even funny.. The class warfare she initiates totally ignores the fact that the rich ALSO paid the taxes that paid for the fire and police, ALSO paid the taxes for the roads and workers...

    The rich did all that the "common" man did and STILL was able to build up a successful business...

    If the next kid that comes along wants a hunk of the benefits of building a successful business or having a lucrative idea, here's a crazy crazy thought.

    Let him or her EARN it!!!

    Whoooaaaaaa... Whatta concept, eh??

    Exempt from the social contract?

    As has been established ad nasuem, the top 20% pay 80% of the taxes..

    Now, if that is not MORE than their "fair share", please explain to me what is...

    How much should the rich have to pay to make it "fair"??

    Anyone??? Anyone????

    "Buehler??? Buehler???"

    Do you even know how to read a poll?

    Let's let the CBO score how many jobs the "TAX THE RICH" mentality will cost..

    Put THAT into the poll and then we'll see how the numbers shape up, eh??

    Pitchforks and torches? Where?

    For a laugh, please see this spoof site, which is selling supplies.

    That IS a hilarious site.. :D Kudos, Tinsldr2 :D

    Disrespecting the troops [part 2]

    Let me state, unequivocally and for the record, that ANY kind of disrespect towards the troops is completely and utterly uncalled for..

    Politics, orientation, ALL of it ends at the battle line...

    PERIOD.

    Having said that, don'tcha'all think it's a tad hypocritical for the Left to call the Right on this??

    I mean, in my lifetime, it has been the Left who made disrespecting, denigrating and castigating the troops a national past time..

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

    I'm just sayin'.....

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As has been established ad nasuem, the top 20% pay 80% of the taxes...

    Now, if that is not MORE than their "fair share", please explain to me what is...

    How much should the rich have to pay to make it "fair"??

    Anyone??? Anyone????

    notwithstanding that weird "jew" comment where the president was just stuttering, i agreed with most of the rest of your post, but since you had to throw in the 80-20 argument again...

    "I'm your huckleberry."
    -Tombstone

    as McLaughlin might say, the answer is 35% of all positive changes in net worth. no loopholes, no exceptions. next issue!

    i said this last time you threw out that 80-20 statistic, and possibly the time before that: it's three times a lie when applied to "tax the rich."

    at maybe 50k after all my [cough, eye-roll] "merit pay" bonuses, even i am almost in the top 20%.

    that figure does not even include all explicit taxes, much less "hidden" taxes, which the middle class wage-earners pay and the ultra-rich investor class don't.

    it's the percentage of gross income paid by the whole country, not the percentage of what any individual gained. when measured as the latter, it's not only less than 80%, it's often well below 20%... and that's not even touching on the percentage of net worth.

    it draws no distinction between money earned through talent and hard work, and money held in trust for silver spoons who never worked a day in their lives. four! four times!

    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!
    -monty python's flying circus

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 -

    "Not the COMFY CHAIR!!!"

    Heh. Couldn't resist...

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    NYpoet,

    notwithstanding that weird "jew" comment where the president was just stuttering,

    How do you get "jew" out of "jan..."??

    Watch the video of the speech..

    http://storyballoon.org/blog/2011/09/26/obama-jew-janitor-cbc-congressional-black-caucus-speech/

    Obama distinctly and specifically said "jew"...

    It surely was a misspeak..

    But it is also logical to wonder WHY Obama said Jew..

    Especially since it was in the context of talking about millionaires and billionaires, which is stereotypical anti-antisemitism...

    To be sure, it's not an administration ending moment. Just one bone-headed act in a string of bone-headed acts of late...

    But, consider this..

    How would the hysterical Left have reacted if a Republican had "stuttered" in this manner??

    I think we BOTH know what the answer to THAT question is.. :D

    as McLaughlin might say, the answer is 35% of all positive changes in net worth. no loopholes, no exceptions. next issue!

    OK... So you think that everyone should pay 35% of their income as Federal Taxes, no loopholes, no exceptions.

    That would mean that the middle class would pay MORE in taxes than they do now..

    That's a bad thing right??

    As to your explanation, I am sure it's fact on, but it's a tad confusing to me..

    I see something like this:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/SJY-S7joE4I/AAAAAAAAFSo/wrvr-E6MkvU/s1600-h/tax.bmp

    and it's something I understand...

    But let's get past all the mumbo-jumbo and lay it down to brass tacks...

    Do the rich pay more than the middle class and the poor??

    I would say yes... What would you say?

    Should the rich pay even more because they can afford it??

    Again, I would say 'yes'. It's a safe bet that you would also say 'yes'.

    So why not be honest about the argument??

    Right now, the argument consists of

    "This country's economy is in trouble and it's all the fault of the rich because they don't pay their fair sure"

    That's a complete load of hi-grade felgercarb. The rich DO pay their fair share and more..

    This is fact..

    So, why not be honest about the argument??

    "This country's economy is in trouble and the rich should help out and pay more because they can afford it."

    You see, that's pretty much my beef with this who TAX THE RICH agenda as it is now. It is an emotional argument and it's a lie. It requires that the masses disregard the facts and reality and be emotional and hysterical...

    But, as with most emotional arguments, it falls apart once the facts are reviewed in a calm, emotionless and logical manner.

    If the Left is going to make an emotional argument, why not at least be HONEST about it..

    "TAKE ALL THE MONEY FROM THE RICH BECAUSE THEY HAVE SO MUCH AND NO ONE REALLY NEEDS TO MAKE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS A YEAR!!!"

    Now THAT would be an HONEST argument coming from the Left..

    The problem that we, you and I and CW and Liz and David and Matt and DerFarm and Kevin and so on and so on is that our political leaders ARE those RICH people.

    And ya'all want them to make laws that will cost them more money and reduce their wealth...

    Ya'all would likely have better success handing our leaders a gun and ask them to shoot themselves in the foot...

    But I have a solution..

    Convince the Democrat rich to voluntarily put this plan into action... Show those nimrod ignoramuses on the Right and us stoopid people in the middle how great this plan would work...

    I mean, seriously... Isn't it easier to convince the masses that a plan is a good plan if it is a PROVEN good plan???

    What's the absolutely WORST that can happen?? The Democrat rich are a little poorer and this country is a little better off....

    So, speaking as a proud member of the NPA/Independents club, here is my suggestion to the Democratic Party..

    And I make it with the utmost in kindness, sincerity and respect..

    Get their own house in order before they start spouting off what's best for the country. Have the Democrat rich start leading by example..

    If they did that, I am abso-tively positive that the Democratic Party could garner 80%+ of the NPA/Independent vote... Hell, they would likely even earn MY vote..

    But you and I both know that it will never happen..

    Because A}they know the plan is unlikely to work and 2}when it comes to greed, there is no difference between Democrat leaders and Republican leaders.

    Kudos on the Monty Python quote!! :D

    Michale....

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    stated another way:

    if i make 9 million dollars and pay 900k in taxes, and the ten other people on my block make 50k and pay 10k each in taxes, the following two statements are both factual:

    1. i pay 90% of the total taxes on my block, while the other ten people pay 10% of the taxes.

    2. i pay 10% of what i make, while the other ten people pay 20% of what they make.

    therefore, even though i pay nine times as much as everyone else on my block combined, i still pay half the RATE everyone else pays. is this situation unfair to me, or to everyone else?

    taking it one step further, if all the tax rates get cut in half, everyone else keeps an extra 5k, i keep an extra 450k, and we have to fire half the cops and teachers.

    everyone else's 5k goes to tutors and alarm systems, which they now need because the neighborhood isn't as safe and the schools aren't as good. but i don't care, my kids go to private school anyway, and i already have an alarm system and a security guard, so my 450k goes in the bank. since two of my neighbors were a teacher and cop who got laid off, now i pay "92% of the taxes." how awful for me.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, the more I think about Warren and her faux Populism, the more I realize how utterly moronic and self-serving it is...

    First let me point out that Warren is so blatant in her "class warfare" it isn't even funny. See how many times she says "the rest of us"... Classic warfare strategy. Make it an "us vs them" argument. Even if "them" are fellow Americans...

    But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

    So, let me see if I got this straight..

    Richie Rich paid all the taxes that "the rest of us paid" to educate people, pay the people for the roads that were created and pay the people of our police departments and fire departments... He did all that, PLUS he built a successful business that made him rich..

    So, Warren believes that Richie Rich should pay "the rest of us" for paying all the taxes that Richie Rich himself paid as well.. In other words, Warren believes that "the rest of us" should benefit from Richie Rich's success, even though we had absolutely NOTHING to do with it that Richie Rich himself didn't do...

    Now the question I would have for Warren (and all of you) is this. If "the rest of us" should benefit from Richie Rich's success, does that mean "the rest of us" should be penalized if Richie Rich fails??

    I mean, if "fair" is what the Left is all about these days then it would be only fair that "the rest of us" would have to pay some of Richie Rich's bills, if his business fails, right???

    Wouldn't that be fair??

    Of course, it's ridiculous.. Richie Rich assumed all of the risk by himself... It stands to reason that he should get all the benefits as well.

    Now, I realize that when one gets into big business and government subsidized businesses this falls apart.. But I am not talking about THOSE kinds of businesses and neither is Warren. We are referring to your simple hometown business and it's success or failure..

    If ya'all WOULD like to talk about wasteful government subsidies and the like, we can start with Solyndra or ATF's FAST AND FURIOUS program till the cows come home, eh?? :D

    But we're just sticking with Warren and her completely obtuse and self-serving tirade that might work in a perfect world called Utopia....

    But here in the real world, at least in THIS country, people can strive for success, succeed and should not be attacked or penalized for their success...

    Michale.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    stated another way:

    Now THIS makes more sense to me and it allows me to see your point clearly..

    However, it also reminds me of the ten men who pay for lunch every day and divide up the bill evenly. We know how THAT ends up :D

    I agree with you that a flat tax rate is preferable.. I would even go so far as to say that I would likely agree with ANY solution that you come up with... Up to AND INCLUDING having the rich pay more in taxes..

    My only beef (which I spell out more clearly in my Moderated Comment (I forgot to "fix" my links.. :^( hehehehe)) is with the Left's argument..

    The Left's argument is that the rich don't pay their fair share. It's an emotional argument that, like most emotional arguments, falls apart when the facts are examined in a logical and emotionless manner. It's an argument that ONLY works if people are hysterical and emotional. It's an emotional argument because it relies on a very subjective concept of what constitutes "fair"...

    Now, the argument that the Left is REALLY making is that this country's economy is in trouble and the rich should pay more to help out because they can afford to...

    THAT is what the Left's argument really is..

    Ironically enough, if the Left would MAKE that argument, they would have a lot more NPAs and Independents on their side... Myself included..

    As long as the Left tries this hysterical and emotional argument, it is doomed to failure..

    That's my only point...

    We are (likely) in complete agreement on the solution...

    We simply differ on how the argument is being made...

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    if i make 9 million dollars and pay 900k in taxes, and the ten other people on my block make 50k and pay 10k each in taxes, the following two statements are both factual:

    1. i pay 90% of the total taxes on my block, while the other ten people pay 10% of the taxes.

    2. i pay 10% of what i make, while the other ten people pay 20% of what they make.

    So if I were to say that you don't pay "your fair share" in taxes, that would be a completely bogus and inaccurate accusation, wouldn't it??

    therefore, even though i pay nine times as much as everyone else on my block combined, i still pay half the RATE everyone else pays. is this situation unfair to me, or to everyone else?

    "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is."
    -President Bill Clinton

    :D

    You see my point??

    "Fair" is such a subjective term that it really cannot be applied in the "Stick It To The Rich" argument..

    In your example, it would be ludicrous for anyone to claim that you don't pay your share of taxes...

    Throw in the word "fair" and all of the sudden you have an EMOTIONAL argument, not a logical argument..

    Michale.....

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    How do you get "jew" out of "jan..."??

    basic phonology. if you close your mouth in the middle of a vowel without immediately stopping the air flow, you end up making a long U sound. try to stop saying supercalifragilistic and it comes out as supercow. presumably we don't believe in bovines from the planet krypton, but i'm just guessing.

    "Fair" is such a subjective term that it really cannot be applied in the "Stick It To The Rich" argument..

    that's a good point. it gets into the philosophy of what money is and what it represents. in a market economy someone who's born rich has a huge power advantage over someone who isn't, not just in raw cash or investment ability, but in education, social networks, prestige, opportunity and access. is that advantage "fair?" who knows? it's just the way things are. with all those advantages, someone who's very rich generally has to be a complete screw-up to stop being very rich, even if taxes are high. is it the job of government to give everyone on both ends of the income spectrum a real chance at success or failure? i'm not sure.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    try to stop saying supercalifragilistic and it comes out as supercow.

    Supercal..... and supercow.... are phonetically similar enough that one could sound like the other.

    Juuu and Jaaan are not phonetically similar and it's simply not possible that one could sound like the other.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree...

    Regardless, it definitely hasn't helped Obama's standing with the Jewish bloc of voters. What with Obama's hanging Israel out to dry (the UN veto threat notwithstanding) and the loss of NY-9, it's clear that there is a very good chance that the Jewish Bloc is likely to desert Obama and the Democrats en masse...

    is it the job of government to give everyone on both ends of the income spectrum a real chance at success or failure? i'm not sure.

    IMNSHO, it's the job of the government to level the playing field as much as possible while not treading over the line that is interference in the free market economy..

    The problem, as I see it, is Democrats (in general) want a level playing field, to the exclusion of all else.. In your neighborhood of 10 people (as cited above) you have 9 million dollars and the other 9 have 50,000 dollars each. Democrats want to take your 9 million and re-distribute it to the other 9 people so that everyone has the same amount, regardless of whether or not it is earned or deserved.

    THAT is the Democratic Party's idea of "a level playing field"...

    I think we can all agree that that is simply wrong...

    Everyone has the same opportunity to succeed as anyone else.. Maybe not the same level of success.

    Is that fair?? Probably not. But one of the very first things we learn growing up is that life ain't fair.. It's those who accept that and STILL strive to succeed who are the truly successful ones.

    Those who wallow in self-pity and develop a the-world-owes-me-a-living attitude become Democrats.. :D

    Sorry, low blow... :D

    Seriously, though. The "have nots" of this country that the Democratic Party champions?? Many of them are "have nots" because they did not want to make the sacrifices necessary to be one of the "haves"... It's their CHOICE, either consciously or unconsciously to be exactly what they are.

    Oh sure, there are the exceptions. Those who really are the "Jobs" of this country....

    "God looked down upon Job and said, 'There's just something about you that pisses me off.' "
    -Tim Daly, THE PERFECT STORM

    But those people are the rare exception...

    "Fair" should not be the yardstick that we, as Americans, should strive for.. Because anyone, with the right mindset and attitude can overcome "unfair" any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    We had a guy who turned a little computer shop in his garage to the largest multi-national company in the country, fer chreest's sake!!

    THAT is what is America is all about...

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Below is an excerpt from a fictional novel that explains taxes and economics in a manner that I understand...

    It's long, but I think it says perfectly how things should work. At least, it makes sense to a knuckle-dragger like me. :D

    Aside to CW.. If there are copyright concerns, please feel free to yank this....


    "MANY PEOPLE WILL object to the nature of your proposed tax plan. A really fair plan is
    progressive," the senator went on. Predictably, he was one of the survivors, not one of the new arrivals.

    He had the mantra down. "Doesn't this place rather a high burden on working Americans?"

    "Senator, I understand what you're saying," Winston replied after taking a sip from his water glass. "But
    what do you mean when you say 'working' Americans? I work. I built my business from the ground up and, believe me, that's work. The First Lady, Cathy Ryan, makes something like four hundred thousand
    dollars per year--much more than her husband, I might add. Does that mean she doesn't work? I think
    she does. She's a surgeon. I have a brother who's a physician, and I know the hours he works. True, those two people make more than the average American does, but the marketplace has long since decided that the work they do is more valuable than what some other people do. If you're going blind, a union auto worker can't help you; neither can a lawyer. A physician can. That doesn't mean that the physician doesn't work, Senator. It means that the work requires higher qualifications and much longer training, and that as a result the work is more highly compensated. What about a baseball player? That's another category of skilled work, and nobody in this room objects to the salary paid Ken Griffey, Jr., for example. Why? Because he's superb at what he does, one of the--what?--four or five best in the entire world, and he is lavishly compensated for it. Again, that's the marketplace at work.

    "In a broader sense, speaking in my capacity as a mere citizen instead of a Secretary-designate, I object strongly to the artificial and mainly false dichotomy that some people in the political arena place between blue-collar and white-collar workers. There is no way to earn an honest living in this country except by providing a product or a service to the public and, generally speaking, the harder and smarter you work, the more money you make. It's just that some people have greater abilities than others. If there is an idle-rich class in America, I think the only place you find them is in the movies. Who in this room, if you had the choice, would not instantly trade places with Ken Griffey or Jack Nicklaus? Don't all of us dream about being that good at something? I do," Winston admitted. "But I can't swing a bat that hard."

    "Okay, what about a really talented software engineer? I can't do that, either. What about an inventor? What about an executive who transforms a company from a loser to a profit-maker--remember what
    Samuel Gompers said? The worst failure of a captain of industry is to fail to show a profit. Why?
    Because a profitable company is one that does its job well, and only those companies can compensate
    their workers properly, and at the same time return money to their shareholders--and those are the
    people who invest their money in the company which generated jobs for its workers.

    "Senator, the thing we forget is why we're here and what we're trying to do. The government doesn't
    provide productive jobs. That's not what we're supposed to do. General Motors and Boeing and
    Microsoft are the ones who employ workers to turn out products the people need. The job of
    government is to protect the people, to enforce the law, and to make sure people play by the rules, like
    the umpires on a ball field. It's not supposed to be our job, I think, to punish people for playing the game well.

    "We collect taxes so that the government can perform its functions. But we've gotten away from that. We should collect those taxes in such a way as to do minimum harm to the economy as a whole. Taxes are by their very nature a negative influence, and we can't get away from that, but what we can do is at least structure the tax system in such a way that it does minimum harm, and maybe even encourages people to use their money in such a way as to encourage the overall system to work."

    "I know where you're going. You're going to talk about cutting capital-gains taxes, but that benefits only the few, at the cost of--"

    "Senator, excuse me for interrupting, but that simply is not true, and you know it's not true," Winston chided brusquely.

    "Reducing the rate of tax on capital gains means the following: it encourages people to invest their money--no, let me back up a little.

    "Let's say I make a thousand dollars. I pay taxes on that money, pay my mortgage, pay for food, pay for
    the car, and what I have left I invest in, oh, XYZ Computer Company. XYZ takes my money and hires somebody. That person works at his job like I work at mine, and from what work he does--he's making
    a product which the public likes and buys, right?--the company generates a profit, which the company shares with me. That money is taxed as regular income. Then I sell the stock and buy into another company, so that it can hire somebody else. The money realized from selling the stock issue is capital gains. People don't put their "money under the mattress anymore," he reminded them, "and we don't want them to. We want them to invest in America, in their fellow citizens.

    "Now, I've already paid tax on the money which I invested, right? Okay, then I help give some fellow
    citizen a job. That job makes something for the public. And for helping give a worker a job, and for
    helping that worker make something for the public, I get a modest return. That's good for that worker I
    helped to hire, and good for the public. Then I move on to do the same thing somewhere else. Why punish me for that? Doesn't it make more sense to encourage people to do that? And, remember, we've already taxed that investment money once anyway--in actual practice, more than once."

    "That isn't good for the country. It's bad enough that we take so much, but the manner in which we take
    it is egregiously counterproductive. Why are we here, Senator? We're supposed to be helping things
    along, not hurting. And the net result, remember, is a tax system so complicated that we need to collect billions to administer it--and that money is totally wasted. Toss in all the accountants and tax lawyers who make their living off something the public can't understand," SecTreas concluded.

    "America isn't about envy. America isn't about class rivalry. We don't have a class system in America.
    Nobody tells an American citizen what they can do. Birth doesn't count for much. Look at the committee
    members. Son of a fanner, son of a teacher, son of a truck driver, son of a lawyer, you, Senator Nikolides, son of an immigrant. If America was a class-defined society, then how the heck did you
    people get here?" he demanded. His current questioner was a professional politician, son of another, not to mention an arrogant son of a bitch, Winston thought, and didn't get classified. Everyone he'd just pointed to kvelled a little at being singled out for the cameras.

    "Gentlemen, let's try and make it easier for people to do what we've all done. If we have to skew the system, then let's do it in such a way that it encourages our fellow citizens to help one another. If America has a structural economic problem, it's that we don't generate as many opportunities as we should and can do. The system isn't perfect. Fine, let's try to fix it some. That's why we're all here."

    "But the system must demand that everyone pay their fair share," the senator said, trying to take the floor back.

    "What does 'fair' mean? In the dictionary, it means that everyone has to do about the same. Ten percent
    of a million dollars is still ten times more than ten percent of a hundred thousand dollars, and twenty times more than ten percent of fifty thousand. But 'fairness' in the tax code has come to mean that we take all the money we can from successful people and dole it back--and, oh, by the way, those rich people hire lawyers and lobbyists who talk to people in the political arena and get a million special exceptions written into the system so that they don't get totally fleeced--and they don't, and we all know that--and what do we end up with?" Winston waved his hand at the pile of books on the floor of the committee room. "We end up with a jobs program for bureaucrats, and accountants, and lawyers, and lobbyists, and somewhere along the way
    the taxpaying citizens are just plain forgotten. We don't care that they can't make sense of the system
    that's supposed to serve them. It's not supposed to be that way." Winston leaned into the microphone.

    "I'll tell you what I think 'fair' means. I think it means that we all bear the same burden in the same
    proportion. I think it means that the system not only allows but encourages us to participate in the
    economy. I think it means that we promulgate simple and comprehensible laws so that people know where they stand. I think 'fair' means that it's a level playing field, and everybody gets the same breaks,
    and that we don't punish Ken Griffey for hitting home runs. We admire him. We try to emulate him. We
    try to make more like him. And we keep out of his way."

    That pretty much sums up my knowledge of how taxes SHOULD work.. :D

    Michale....

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    What is it with our leaders these days??

    We have the NC Governor saying that we should suspend elections..
    dailycaller.com/2011/09/28/new-audio-nc-governor-struck-serious-tone-on-suspending-congressional-elections/

    Another former Obama official advocating "LESS democracy".....
    tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/94940/peter-orszag-democracy?page=0,0&passthru=MGU3YjMxNDdlN2UyMjM2MTNhZGZjNDE2MjE2NjE2Nj

    Me thinks that Democrats are getting a tad worried, eh??

    Michale.....

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    michale,

    with respect, as far as i know i'm the only jew in the room, and i'm no huge fan of obama, but that's still just poo, i mean just plain silly. no wait, i did mean poo.

    also with respect, the point of view that the people who make more money and have more power largely deserve it because they earned it, is not very far from social darwinism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism

    the idea that everyone who's rich deserves it and everyone who isn't doesn't is a gross oversimplification of a very complex truth. yes, some rich people work hard and work smart. some also lie, cheat, steal, exploit and gain by harming others. some are just incredibly lucky, or some combination of the three. further, a large part of one's ability to succeed is determined by the contributions of one's forebears.

    don't get me wrong, i am by no means advocating the far other end of the spectrum, that we're all equal and should be compensated only according to our needs. but there at least ought to be some reasonable middle ground.

    many people work just as hard, are just as smart, but for whatever reason aren't quite as successful. fairness may be subjective, but that's no excuse not to at least try for it, to throw up our hands and give up on ever trying to be more fair. much less to just assume that it exists already, because every single person deserves and is entitled to everything they currently have (or don't have).

    no matter what your fictional president says, a progressive tax rate is not a punishment, it's an extremely modest balance against the nearly automatic power of money to make more money, independent of any appreciable difference in talent or diligence. even from 1946 to 1962, when the top tax brackets were an astronomical 91%, the richest of the rich still found ways to get richer.

    further, capital gains are not all airplanes and microchips, they're also enron, countrywide and bernie madoff. XYZ has lots of money but is not hiring anyone, at least not in this country, and not for the lack of qualified applicants. tom clancy is full of it.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    with respect, as far as i know i'm the only jew in the room, and i'm no huge fan of obama, but that's still just poo, i mean just plain silly. no wait, i did mean poo.

    Yea, like I said, we'll have to agree to disagree..

    However, with regards to Obama/Democrat support amongst jews dropping like a rock. That is based on facts..

    yes, some rich people work hard and work smart. some also lie, cheat, steal, exploit and gain by harming others. some are just incredibly lucky, or some combination of the three. further, a large part of one's ability to succeed is determined by the contributions of one's forebears.

    And some people who are poor are that way because they lie cheat steal, exploit and lose because they got caught at it...

    But here's the thing.

    We don't penalize ALL poor people because some are that way, right? In fact, we go out of our way to mostly ignore those kinds of poor people so as not to tarnish the whole group, correct?

    So, why is it that we want to penalize rich people? Why do we paint the whole group with the brush of the few who lie cheat steal, exploit and gain by hurting others??

    don't get me wrong, i am by no means advocating the far other end of the spectrum, that we're all equal and should be compensated only according to our needs. but there at least ought to be some reasonable middle ground.

    I completely agree. There ought to be some reasonable middle ground.

    But going on as the Democrats have the last few years surely isn't it..

    CrapCare is a perfect example.. MORE people are now uninsured than before CrapCare became the law of the land. Insurance premiums have risen 9% since CrapCare became the law of the land.. Jobs are being moved to China because of CrapCare..

    Everything that has been promised about CrapCare has proven to be wrong..

    The Porkulus is another example... Remember the stimulus that was supposed to keep unemployment under 8%?? Where is it now?? 9.2% and rising??

    Yes, there has to be a reasonable middle ground..

    But no one has seemed to find it yet... And Democrats simply propose more of the same. The same over-played and under-performing methods that have gotten us where we are today..

    no matter what your fictional president says, a progressive tax rate is not a punishment, it's an extremely modest balance against the nearly automatic power of money to make more money, independent of any appreciable difference in talent or diligence. even from 1946 to 1962, when the top tax brackets were an astronomical 91%, the richest of the rich still found ways to get richer.

    That's because those who write the laws gave the rich (themselves) loophole after loophole after loophole..

    And now, once again, it's the rich who want to re-write the laws.. Do you think they have suddenly found religion and will actually write laws that will make themselves poorer??

    further, capital gains are not all airplanes and microchips, they're also enron, countrywide and bernie madoff. XYZ has lots of money but is not hiring anyone, at least not in this country, and not for the lack of qualified applicants.

    No, XYZ is not hiring because they need something BESIDES money to do it. Something that is sorely lacking in today's economy..

    Stability. Stability and confidence..

    Say you are the president and CEO of XYZ.. You have 9 million dollars that you can use to hire 3 new workers...

    But you also know that, if the government hits you with a whole bunch of new taxes and regulatory conditions, you are going to NEED that 9 million dollars or else your company could go under...

    So, you do what any reasonable businessman would do... You hold onto that money and DON'T hire any more workers until the tax/regulatory environment is better defined and less murky..

    And who is to blame for the murky tax/regulatory environment??

    Three guesses. First two don't count...

    tom clancy is full of it.

    Hay now!! Let's not be sayin' things we can't take back!! :D

    Michale....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, XYZ is not hiring because they need something BESIDES money to do it. Something that is sorely lacking in today's economy..

    I can also point out that XYZ is not hiring because CrapCare is making it much more expensive to hire employees...

    Which dovetails nicely in with the point I made previously about how the Democrat's actions are causing the very problems that they claim they are trying to fix...

    A fine example of a causality loop.

    7of9:The Borg once traveled back in time to stop Zephram Cochrane from breaking the warp barrier. They succeeded, but that in turn led the Starship Enterprise to intervene. The Enterprise assisted Cochrane with the flight the Borg were trying to prevent. Causal loop complete.

    Ducane: So, in a way, the Federation owes its existence to the Borg.

    7of9: You're welcome.
    -STAR TREK VOYAGER, Relativity

    :D

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    However, with regards to Obama/Democrat support amongst jews dropping like a rock. That is based on facts...

    do you have any data to support a direct correlation, or was the president's support among jews already dropping like a rock before stuttering became an ethnic slur?

    i suppose it's appropriate that on the jewish new year we have a discussion of politics and american jews. we're three times as likely as the average american to have postgraduate education, second only to asian indians, and our fourth most holy day is the tuesday after the first monday in november. in other words, when it comes to politicians and their promises, we do our homework.

    what that says about the president i think you can figure out for yourself. seriously, do you believe that as a group we are more likely to be swayed by a speech gaffe or by a pattern of policy decisions?

    "I'm oftentimes asked, What difference does it make to America if people are dying of malaria in a place like Ghana? It means a lot. It means a lot morally, it means a lot from a -- it's in our national interest."
    george w. bush

    So, why is it that we want to penalize rich people? Why do we paint the whole group with the brush of the few who lie cheat steal, exploit and gain by hurting others??

    i didn't paint all rich as liars and cheats, nor all poor as victims. i just mentioned that some are rich due to various combinations of privilege, luck and unscrupulousness to burst the myth that the rich are where they are solely because they earned their way there. that's just not true.

    nor is it true that a slightly higher tax rate is necessarily a punishment. in my view it's not a punishment at all, it's an obligation. just like people with big yards in fancy neighborhoods have to have all that ground landscaped, the people with the biggest bank accounts have the responsibility to contribute a slightly higher percentage of what they gain, regardless of how they gain it.

    And now, once again, it's the rich who want to re-write the laws.. Do you think they have suddenly found religion and will actually write laws that will make themselves poorer??

    nope. you're right, there's no reason to believe that warren buffett or any other mega-rich person ostensibly begging for higher taxes would not simply find loopholes in any new law as well. it wouldn't take a "donation" for him to contribute what he claims is his share. as a colleague of mine pointed out, buffett could just re-structure his business, pay himself a salary and then pay regular income taxes on it instead of capital gains.

    Say you are the president and CEO of XYZ.. You have 9 million dollars that you can use to hire 3 new workers...

    ...and you can hire twelve equally competent new workers in india or eastern europe for the same price. maybe thirteen after the healthcare legislation, but that's really not a large part of the problem. stability and confidence are one thing, but as long as labor is globalized without an economic policy that lets us be competitive, no CEO can reasonably justify hiring american.

    And Democrats simply propose more of the same.

    as do republicans. mitt romney is john kerry in an elephant suit.

    which brings me back to my initial point about american jews on this rosh hashana. as a group, we can generally add the data up over time, and tell the difference between a politician who's genuinely trying to help and a politician who's trying to seem like he's trying to help, regardless of which political party he's from.

    tom clancy is full of it.

    Hay now!! Let's not be sayin' things we can't take back!! :D

    heh heh heh, feel free to wish me a happy new year.

    "that's my story and I will stick to it"
    -sanford clark

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    do you have any data to support a direct correlation, or was the president's support among jews already dropping like a rock before stuttering became an ethnic slur?

    Good point.. And you are correct. There is no correlation between THAT specific slur/stutter and the drop in jewish support.

    But I never really claimed there was. I believe I said that it just came at a bad time, what with support dropping already due to the perception that the Obama administration is hanging Israel out to dry and the loss of NY-9...

    But, since you ARE jewish, I would really be interested in your thoughts on the Israel situation. If you don't mind my asking..

    do you believe that as a group we are more likely to be swayed by a speech gaffe

    I think that if such a gaffe laid bare an inclination towards Anti-Semitism, that jewish voters might take that into account.

    i didn't paint all rich as liars and cheats, nor all poor as victims.

    And not many people here do either...

    But the fact is, the Left as a whole, try to paint ALL the rich with the Enron/Kenneth Lay brush...

    And that's just wrong...

    nope. you're right, there's no reason to believe that warren buffett or any other mega-rich person ostensibly begging for higher taxes would not simply find loopholes in any new law as well. it wouldn't take a "donation" for him to contribute what he claims is his share. as a colleague of mine pointed out, buffett could just re-structure his business, pay himself a salary and then pay regular income taxes on it instead of capital gains.

    Exactly..

    All these people begging for higher taxes is just a political agenda.

    If they really WANTED to pay more, they would do so voluntarily..

    How do I make a contribution to the U.S. government?
    Citizens who wish to make a general donation to the U.S. government may send contributions to a specific account called "Gifts to the United States." This account was established in 1843 to accept gifts, such as bequests, from individuals wishing to express their patriotism to the United States. Money deposited into this account is for general use by the federal government and can be available for budget needs. These contributions are considered an unconditional gift to the government. Financial gifts can be made by check or money order payable to the United States Treasury and mailed to the address below.
    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

    http://www.fms.treas.gov/faq/moretopics_gifts.html

    See how easy it would be??

    The fact that these yahoos open their yap w/o paying the extra shows me that they are simply full of political BS...

    heh heh heh, feel free to wish me a happy new year.

    Here are my most sincerest and bestest wishes for a happy new year to you and yours... :D

    I still can't get over how young you are.. I always pictured some suave silver-haired gentleman (60+) in a smoking jacket and an ascot sitting in front of a huge fireplace with a snifter of brandy.. :D

    Funny how our minds work, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    But, since you ARE jewish, I would really be interested in your thoughts on the Israel situation. If you don't mind my asking..

    the israel situation in general, or this week? how many hours do i have to answer? because my family has always been supportive of israel, i made sure early on to inform myself all about the rationale for zionism and the history of its existence. the mythology surrounding the reality is a subtly different story, but there are two vastly different narratives surrounding some of the same facts. the relative sanity of any version of these narratives depends entirely upon whom you ask.

    back when the iraq war started, i was in new york marching because i thought it was a bad idea. but when i started to chat with a lady walking down fifth avenue with me, she just transitioned seamlessly from the iraq war to bashing israel, and i was like, what??? it's more complicated than that!

    thus, israel policy was perhaps my first inkling that maybe the u.s. left weren't necessarily any less closed-minded and dogmatic than the right. as the past decade has taken shape, i've seen a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy in the works. as lefties in europe and the u.s. have ramped up the hatred of israel, israeli policy has drifted further and further to the right.

    in a little over a decade, the israeli left has gone from near dominance to practical irrelevance. a state that was once extremely considerate and forgiving in spite of being widely hated, the government seems to now consider our own behavior as a nation irrelevant to our survival. as much as u.s. society has changed over the past couple decades, i think israel's has changed even more.

    now of course the ever-evolving arab narrative is that israel has always been this way, taking whatever land we please from whomever stands in our way. it's an obvious fabrication and factually disproved, but netanyahu has done nothing of substance to quell the perception. palestinian leadership have been awful for everybody including palestinians, but most palestinians are not terrorists, they're just regular people who want to live and work like everybody else.

    and again we come to the question of how one ought to define fairness. i can understand the urge to say if they're not going to be fair to us, why should we bother trying to be fair to them, but that's part of our moral center. it's part of our sacred duty to always try to treat others fairly, no matter how unfairly they might wish to treat us.

    I still can't get over how young you are.. I always pictured some suave silver-haired gentleman (60+) in a smoking jacket and an ascot sitting in front of a huge fireplace with a snifter of brandy.. :D

    that was a compliment, wasn't it? thank you. in fact i tend to look even younger than i am, because i'm short, slight and have big eyes, kind-of like a hobbit. :)

    drink-wise i tend to prefer beer:

    http://youtu.be/6amlgpzMM58

    although, as it happens, one of the women in the video is named brandy. she took off and married some guy in seattle, but that as they say is another story...

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    That's a pretty accurate assessment of the Israel situation in general and I pretty much agree with it, in it's totality..

    I still think the best solution to the Middle East is the one I proposed before.

    Egypt donates the Sinai to become Palestine. Egypt also relinquishes total control of the Suez and enters into a joint control agreement with Palestine. Syria and Jordan pay the costs involved in terra-forming the Sinai and creating several costal cities that would boost tourism dollars for Palestine. Israel is to provide technical assistance in the transformation process and the US guarantees the security of the new nation. Once the terra-forming process is well underway, the country will become the Palestinian's "Israel" and any who choose to immigrate may do so... Those who do not "chose" will be forcibly relocated.

    Think of it as a modern day real life "Terra Nova" (decent show, as long as it doesn't go 'Land Of The Lost' silly.. :D)

    The West Bank and Gaza will be annexed by Israel and the State Of Israel will become whole.. Jerusalem will become a "state" unto itself much like the Vatican is. It will be administered by a religious Troika with Christian, Jewish and Muslim representative. A "congress" of sorts will be created made up of equal representatives from the three major religions that claim Jerusalem as their religious center or whatever...

    This plan has many advantages, not the least of which it puts those countries who are the actual cause of the conflict (Egypt, Syria and Jordan) in the position of fixing their mistakes.. These countries "lose" a bit, but they gain stability. The biggest winner in this would be the Palestinians because they get a shiny new country complete with beach front tourist hotspots.

    But ya know what?? I don't think this plan would work even though it's the fairest plan possible..

    Because this plan allows Israel to continue to exist..

    I agree with you that many Palestinians just want to live free and in peace.. Unfortunately that belief is sorely tested by the fact that Palestinians elected a terrorist organization to represent them..

    Any sympathy I might feel for the Palestinians is tempered by the fact that they chose terrorism over peace.

    My opinion is formed from the outside looking in. I am not jewish nor can I claim that I have "many jewish friends".. I may, it's just not that important a distinction with me. :D But I have worked with the Israeli military on many joint ops and training so my opinions are (obviously) formed by these contacts..

    And those opinions are very simplistic and black/white. And have been posted here ad nasuem, so please forgive the redundancy.. :D

    The Palestinians lose all moral and ethical high ground by resorting to, condoning and/or not actively opposing the terrorism..

    As long as Israel is not committing terrorism herself, she has a complete blank check to respond to the Palestinians in whatever manner she sees fit.

    That's the sad truth of the region...

    that was a compliment, wasn't it? thank you. in fact i tend to look even younger than i am, because i'm short, slight and have big eyes, kind-of like a hobbit. :)

    More of a Frodo than a Bilbo I would say... :D

    drink-wise i tend to prefer beer:

    http://youtu.be/6amlgpzMM58

    although, as it happens, one of the women in the video is named brandy. she took off and married some guy in seattle, but that as they say is another story...

    You had me at 'beer'..... :D

    Michale.....

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