ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this
holiday season!

Confusing Republican Tax Logic

[ Posted Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 – 18:06 UTC ]

This is going to be a short article today, because I am back to experiencing computer problems once again. Oh joy!

For the next two weeks or more, the political subject in the spotlight is going to be the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" and the budget and taxes. I'll be returning to this subject again, no doubt, but I had to begin by scratching my head over the main Republican bargaining position on raising taxes. Because -- even by Republican logic -- it doesn't seem to make much sense.

President Obama's position is clear, since it is the one he campaigned upon: eliminate the Bush tax cuts for anyone making over $250,000 a year, but retain them for those making less. I should mention that the whole fiscal cliff thing has many more facets and details, but I'm zeroing in solely on the tax portion of it today. So, Obama comes to the table demanding higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Republicans, on the other hand, are demanding that tax rates stay the same for everyone, even the wealthy, and that they'll consider "raising revenues" by getting rid of "loopholes" and limiting "deductions."

Without getting into numbers, let's assume for the sake of argument that Republicans will put on the table an equal amount to what Obama is proposing. This is where Republican logic begins to break down.

Here is a spokesman for Paul Ryan, explaining that Ryan "opposes raising tax rates because doing so would stifle economic growth and cost jobs." This isn't too surprising, it's Republican orthodoxy. But he doesn't explain how this squares with the new Republican fondness for cutting loopholes and deductions. This will be interesting to watch, assuming some member of the Washington press corps ever wakes up and asks the Republicans about it.

Think about it -- Obama wants to raise taxes on a millionaire by 4.6 percent. Let's say this raises this millionaire's taxes $20,000 (I'm just picking a random number for the sake of conversation). Republicans don't want to raise the millionaire's tax rate at all, but they're going to cut his loopholes and deductions. Let's assume that this means the millionaire pays exactly the same extra $20,000 on his income taxes. Different boxes on his tax form will be filled in differently, and he will be using a different tax table than the Democratic plan, but the net result is the same -- twenty grand more is sent to the federal government.

Perhaps this is all just ideology on the Republicans' part. Perhaps they are so in thrall to Grover Norquist that they have to fudge their tax hiking in such a manner to be deemed ideologically pure. But for whatever reason, the net result is exactly the same to the wealthy taxpayer's finances. So, how, exactly -- using Republican logic -- is this not going to "stifle economic growth and cost jobs"? Their whole financial outlook rests on this bedrock, but why would entering a number in one part of the 1040 form differ from entering the number elsewhere, when the total at the bottom is exactly the same?

It simply makes no sense. The Republicans' bargaining position is that the federal government getting more tax money out of millionaires by raising rates is bad, but that getting the same money by closing loopholes is good. Does not compute.

The only possible reason for the Republican position is that they're trying to hide something. They think they've got an ace up their sleeve. Either they think they can, later on, quietly slip a few loopholes back into the system when nobody's watching, or they are targeting taxpayers below that $250,000 line.

In Republican-speak, this is "broadening the base" -- listen for it when Republicans talk about taxes. Broadening the tax base means getting more people to pay taxes, so (by Republican logic) you can lower everyone's tax rates. Listen to Mitt Romney's rage about freeloaders, this is what it's really about. If Obama says that raising rates on the top two percent will bring in a trillion dollars, Republicans will argue that they can raise that same trillion in other ways -- but I'd be willing to bet that when they actually put a proposal on the table, it's going to snag the middle class in the net as well. Republicans will want to "broaden the base" for this tax hike to include middle class taxpayers, so that the wealthiest won't have to pay as much as under the Obama plan.

That's really the only explanation I can think of for why Republicans are even bothering to fight so hard. Again, maybe it is mere orthodoxy within the party, and maybe they are just picking a fight for the pure politics of it all. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. Maybe they truly believe that hiking a millionaire's tax rate by $20,000 will cause that millionaire to hire less and crash the economy, while cutting the millionaire's deductions by $20,000 will leave him cheerfully hiring people and going about his business. Republicans are capable of such stunning feats of doublethink, as we've seen too many times in the past.

But what I suspect is that when their plan is finally unveiled to the public, it's going to only raise that millionaire's taxes by $10,000 -- and the other half of it will land on ten middle class tax hikes of $1,000 each. Perhaps I'm just being cynical, but that's the way it reads to me. We'll all see, in the coming weeks, whether I'm right or not.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

78 Comments on “Confusing Republican Tax Logic”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    Theoretically, what's important is not just the amount of tax you pay on any particular amount and type of income. It's the incentives you face. If you spend another day working, when you could have been on vacation, and make another $3000 (if you're a millionaire), how much additional tax would you pay? That's what supposedly affects your decision whether to work the extra day. So the Republican position isn't quite as stupid as it sounds.

    Of course, it's worse.

    In Republican-speak, this is "broadening the base"

    That's half of it. But the other part is "increasing revenue through pro-growth tax policy". They're willing to have the government take in more tax money, as long as it comes from the imaginary effects of "reducing the burden on job-creators". That's right: the Laffer curve. Flat-out voodoo economics.

    They're willing to have the rich pay more taxes, but only if we do it by making them richer, by having them pay less taxes. Look, the richest 1% of the richest 1% can already afford anything they can think of to buy. So if we give them more money, they'll just have it sitting around earning interest if they buy a bond, or dividends if they buy a stock, or royalties if they buy some mineral rights, or tribute if they buy a country. Whatever it's called, it all comes out to the same thing: more income. By giving them more wealth, we ensure that they'll have more income for us to tax. Unlike those ne'er-do-wells in the middle class, who'll squander it on things like groceries and tuition.

    As I've paraphrased it before, they're willing to let the poor pay more, as long as the rich pay less.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lemme ask ya'all something..

    What's WRONG with making sure the middle class and lower class pay some taxes??

    I mean, seriously.. The entire Left is in LOVE with the phrase "their fair share"...

    And yet, the Left simply refuses to even consider making the lower and middle class pay taxes...

    Talk about not making any sense...

    Michale
    056

  3. [3] 
    Hawk1983 wrote:

    Ah, the Laffer curve that economic concept that only the luna right appear to believe in. The concept might have some merit when top marginal tax rates were 70% but by the time you get down to the Romney end of the scale (sub 15%) diminishing returns are likely to be well underway. More tax cuts just equals less revenue for public goods... Our political opposition here in Australia play along to the same song sheet with the talking points. They always keep on about revenues were better under them, yet they still haven't acknowledged that a global down turn has even occurred.

  4. [4] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It simply makes no sense. The Republicans' bargaining position is that the federal government getting more tax money out of millionaires by raising rates is bad, but that getting the same money by closing loopholes is good.

    Your first mistake, Chris, is looking for sense from a Republican proposal. :)

    What I believe is going on here is the same thing that's been going on for the last 30 years- the wealthy looking to get massive benefits from the government through lobbying and influence.

    The belief seems to be that eventually we have the money and the marketing power to make the country believe anything we want them to believe ...

    - Lazy people are the problem ...
    - Tax cuts for the rich lead to economic growth ...
    - We're all going to die if we go over the "fiscal cliff"
    - The deficit is the problem, not the economy

    It reminds me of that bet in Trading Places which happens over and over again. If we give Karl Rove $100 million, he can win us this election. And he didn't. But if we keep at it, the belief is that they will eventually win. And they have over the last 30 years.

    The MO is always the same.
    1. Produce a threat ... fiscal cliff, too big to fail, weapons of mass destruction, the education gap, lazy people, the end of the world, etc.

    2. Propose a solution which benefits some large corporate lobbying benefactors- In this case, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fix the Debt, and a CEO roundtable group- who step forward and use the "scare" opportunity to try to leverage more benefits for their organization.

    Create hysteria. Use hysteria to push 1% agenda. Repeat.

    What crappy solutions have we gotten from these tactics?

    No Child Left Behind, The Iraq War, deregulation of the financial industry, tax breaks for the rich (supply side economics), the repeal of campaign finance reform, and the list goes on ...

    It's all quite shameless though. Look at the recent CEO marketing campaign. What a load ... They have the gall to keep trying to sell us that the policies which created the debt problem are the solution.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/11/27/when_did_fix_the_debt_become_protect_bush_tax_cuts/singleton/

    Now maybe, just maybe ... we've seen this enough that we're not buying it anymore.

    But the people behind this bet are not giving up. As usual they're doubling down on their PR (read propaganda).

    -David

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    And what happens to your theory if Obama extends all the Bush tax cuts... AGAIN?? :D

    Michale
    060

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem is ya'all overlook the most simplest and basic..

    If you have a teenager who is completely and utterly irresponsible with money (ya'all with kids know what I am talking about) is the solution to give them MORE money!!???

    Of course not..

    This country could take every last penny from the top 1% and it STILL wouldn't be enough..

    The problem is NOT the lack of money..

    The problem is that politicians simply don't know how to USE the money wisely..

    And ya'all want to give the Democrats MORE money!!????

    Once again, talk about making NO SENSE whatsoever...

    Michale
    061

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    61 comments, in less than a week!?

    Do you plan to take the month of December off, or what?

    Don't answer that!

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And what happens to your theory if Obama extends all the Bush tax cuts... AGAIN?

    I don't believe my theory ever said anything about Republicans and Democrats.

    Bill Clinton signed financial deregulation.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the monied interest were able to buy Democratic support. We already know Republicans are in the bag for them. I think it's still an open question as to how much Democrats are going to fight.

    This country could take every last penny from the top 1% and it STILL wouldn't be enough.

    Huh? No one wants to take every last penny from them. Just have them pay a similar percentage as working people.

    Why should we continue to give them special benefits when it clearly doesn't benefit the country?

    The problem is that politicians simply don't know how to USE the money wisely.

    The problem is that corporations see government's primary role as supporting them.

    This is why deficits are fine when the money is going into corporate coffers.

    This is why bailing out banks is ok, but somehow social security is bad.

    This is why private healthcare and a mandate is ok, but public healthcare is not.

    This is why deregulating the finance/education/you name it industry is ok, but public schools or any public institution for that matter, is bad.

    As long as corporations are able to take a cut off the top as middlemen, it's ok. The minute anyone suggests that giving to the top doesn't trickle down, it's class warfare.

    It's a massive corporate marketing tactic, Michale. Designed to get you to buy into something that is only going to be good for a few people.

    The problem, my friend, is the undue influence of money on our government.

    Maybe instead of a "no raise taxes" pledge, politicians should be required to sign a "no money from lobbyists" pledge :)

    -David

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    61 comments, in less than a week!?

    Do you plan to take the month of December off, or what?

    Ya'all should be so lucky! :D

    Michale
    064

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I figure I can forgo food for the next couple months..

    Gods know I could afford to drop a couple 20-50 pounds.. :D hehehehehe

    Michale
    065

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    It wouldn't surprise me if the monied interest were able to buy Democratic support. We already know Republicans are in the bag for them. I think it's still an open question as to how much Democrats are going to fight.

    Agreed.. I am guessing hysterical lip-service is all we'll see from the Democratic "leadership"..

    Maybe instead of a "no raise taxes" pledge, politicians should be required to sign a "no money from lobbyists" pledge :)

    Yea, I believe Obama made a similar pledge back in 2008..

    I think it lasted no longer than it took the paint to dry at the White House... :D

    Michale
    066

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Maybe instead of a "no raise taxes" pledge, politicians should be required to sign a "no money from lobbyists" pledge :)

    i think that's a wonderful idea. in fact, the president made that pledge in 2008 (then broke it practically before the ballots were counted). there's nothing wrong with corporations per se, and in fact i think our country would benefit from lower taxes on corporations themselves... but the top executives and investors in those corporations need to pay income tax on ALL their income, including capital gains, trust funds, etc. etc. etc., and the rate of taxation needs to be progressive in fact, after all the deductions and manipulations are counted.

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW
    maybe they are just picking a fight for the pure politics of it all

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner. Aside from the facts that limiting deductions is a much weaker form of tax increase that is easier to get around, this is essentially what they are doing (imo). You can't run an election campaign and have your TV network out everyday talking about how evil/socialist/un-American (etc) the President is that then be seen to agree with his number 1 policy that he campaigned on!

    Michale,
    If you want to see which party has used Governmental money more efficiently be my guest. Democratic Presidencies have a history of creating considerably more jobs than Republicans. Need I remind you the last President to hold a surplus (Linton, C)? Or the President who kicked off the spending and deficits (Eagan, R)... Or the party who bloated the military to laughable proportions? Or the party with many unfunded wars? The list goes on.

    David,
    Great posts. This was a good point: I don't believe my theory ever said anything about Republicans and Democrats. in that it amazes me that the right-wing of Americans are able to sell people that Democrats are 'left-wing' when they have never governed as such.

  14. [14] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Yea, I believe Obama made a similar pledge back in 2008.

    Then why did the corporate/lobbyist money shift decidedly for Romney in the last election?

    If Obama is the "corporate standard bearer" why is so much time spent demonizing him as the second coming of Lenin?

    I'd argue that it's because he's trying to balance the needs of both sides. Unfortunately, drunk with power and used to getting everything they want, the lobbyists and marketeers are waging war against even this.

    -David

  15. [15] 
    dsws wrote:

    No one wants to take every last penny from them. Just have them pay a similar percentage as working people.

    Problem is, we're just talking about income tax. Poor people pay a higher percentage of their income in payroll tax, sales tax, and so on. Income tax is the only progressive component of the system. It has to be more progressive than taxes overall.

    But I'm not on board with the premise that everyone should pay the same percentage of income. Why income, rather than wealth? The slogan "have them pay a similar percentage" sounds nice, but it would make just as much sense applied to wealth, while giving a radically different result. An argument that equally well supports two diametrically opposed positions is an argument that has nothing to say about the issue, at best.

    I say taxes should be collected so as to cause the least harm. This does require a way of comparing harm to one person with harm to another person, which is never going to be absolutely cut-and-dried. But people are not all that different from each other. We can empathize, not perfectly but adequately, with everyone. (If we choose to. We usually don't, but this paragraph is about what we should do.)

  16. [16] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Well if you want to go real left, you could argue that the tax rate should be linked to the benefits to society obtained by that job. So a job which greatly benefits society (Doctors, Nurses) would be taxed a a low rate and one which offers very little to no benefits to society (Stock Trader, Investment Banker) taxed at a higher rate. Unfortunately the practicalities of this (and the fact it would mean a bunch of rich guys who push money around would be asked to pay more tax, which they don't like) make it pretty much impossible to implement as it would just result in endless arguments about where a position would fit. For example, where would an internet blogger/writer fit on this scale ;)?

    So the solution adopted by most societies has been a progressive tax system, which relies on the ideal that a person obtaining a higher salary HAS in fact benefited more from society and IS benefiting more from society than a person on a lower salary. For example, the Army is considered an important resource in protecting your country (except in America, where it's agenda includes poking it's finger all over the world) so a wealthier person should pay a higher share towards it's costs because they have a higher value to lose - just like they would pay a higher premium on insurance to protect their wealth.

    The current income tax system (all taxes) in America is progressive except when you get to the top 2%, where it actually drops due to the favourable tax treatment they have received over many years. All Obama wants to do is 'fix' this to make it actually progressive once again, so that the average top 2% earner is paying more income tax than the average top 5% earner (once more).

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Just have them pay a similar percentage as working people.

    Good point, dsws. I should probably reword to reflect that what I really mean which is a more just and fair tax system which is not geared primarily towards those at the very top.

    Wealth is a great example. Capital gains is another great example.

    However, in order to even get to these details, there has to first be majority consensus that a system which benefits a disproportionate few is even the problem.

    Cue conservative corporate-fueled rage about some other thing ... :)

    -David

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Unfortunately the practicalities of this (and the fact it would mean a bunch of rich guys who push money around would be asked to pay more tax, which they don't like) make it pretty much impossible to implement as it would just result in endless arguments about where a position would fit.

    Good lord, yes.

    For example, where would an internet blogger/writer fit on this scale ;)?

    Hahahahahah. Much higher than a corporate shill reporter in my book!

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Then why did the corporate/lobbyist money shift decidedly for Romney in the last election?

    Considering the results, it's likely they didn't.. :D

    Michale
    065

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW ... a good sign Obama is still willing to fight ...

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/politics/fiscal-cliff/

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democratic Presidencies have a history of creating considerably more jobs than Republicans.

    To be more accurate, Democratic Presidencies WITH Republican Congresses...

    I am also constrained to point out that Democratic Presidencies WITH Democratic Congresses create considerable MORE DEBT than Republicans..

    As the here and now readily attests to..

    Michale
    066

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Considering the results, it's likely they didn't.. :D

    So are you admitting then that money typically wins elections?

    I thought you didn't believe this. At least this is what you've said in the past when arguing that Obama should take public funding.

    On the flip side, this should be relatively easy to check. My guess is that SuperPACs spent far more on Romney. And that Obama may have had an edge in money for his personal campaign. But in the final couple months, the money went pretty big towards Romney.

    Unfortunately, don't have the time to look up the stats now.

    -David

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    BTW ... a good sign Obama is still willing to fight ...

    Correction.

    Obama is still willing to SAY he is willing to fight...

    Whether he actually DOES or not... Well, he doesn't have a good track record on that.. :D

    Michale
    067

  24. [24] 
    michty6 wrote:

    To be more accurate, Democratic Presidencies WITH Republican Congresses...

    I am also constrained to point out that Democratic Presidencies WITH Democratic Congresses create considerable MORE DEBT than Republicans..

    You would be wrong in your constrained assumption. Sorry to blow your rhetoric with facts once more, but the largest increases in the US debt in the last 50 years were in 1983 (15%), 1986 (13.9%) followed by 2010 (12.5%) and 1985 (12.3%). As you can see, and as I mentioned, the explosion of the US debt happened under Mr Reagan with a Republican Senate.

    Here is a list of the few Presidents who have actually decreased federal debt, see if you can spot something funny about their party affiliation: Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman.

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Obama is still willing to SAY he is willing to fight.

    It looks an awful lot like he is taking his case to the people.

    And if this interests you ... Why not help him then by putting pressure on the opposition?

    -David

  26. [26] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Or to be more accurate, in the context of this discussion:

    Tax decreases passed/continued, US deficit sky-rockets = All Republican Presidents + Obama 1st term

    Tax increases passed, US deficit decreased = All Democratic Presidents*

    * Obama may still yet fall into this category. He is trying, Republicans are resisting because they are the party serious about cutting the deficit LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    It looks an awful lot like he is taking his case to the people.

    And if this interests you ... Why not help him then by putting pressure on the opposition?

    I don't get why he is doing this. It seems like a waste of time to me. If Republicans actually listened to what the people wanted, taxes would already be increased on the wealthy by now... People support it 60-40, just from the exit polls (some polls have this higher). I mean that isn't even close. That's the equivalent of a super-majority in politics!

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michy.

    "Of course, you can PROVE that, right?? Oh that's right. I forgot.. You were absent the day they taught Law at Law School."
    -Tom Cruise, A FEW GOOD MEN

    :D

    Michale
    070

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It looks an awful lot like he is taking his case to the people.

    And if this interests you ... Why not help him then by putting pressure on the opposition?

    Cuz I don't want to look ridiculous, holding my wee wee when Obama caves.. AGAIN... :D

    You seem to have blind faith in your president.

    I do not...

    Michale.....
    071

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I don't get why he is doing this. It seems like a waste of time to me.

    There is some truth to this. And it gets to why Republicans don't have to listen ... because there exists a Republican support network ... both monetary and media.

    Think about it like this ... which is more amazing, the fact that 52% of voting Americans rejected corporate Romney or the fact that 49% voted for a guy that no one likes.

    The propaganda machine which conservatives have put in place is nothing short of amazing. It can convince people Obama is a Muslim, it can convince them Romney is a likable guy, it can convince them there's a liberal media and that things like tax breaks for wealthy people are a good idea and they'll trickle down.

    This is the environment in America. There is no liberal media. The media here is largely a vehicle for corporate press releases.

    In many ways, I feel like we live in a country like Egypt, where the majority of opposition communication is underground, face to face, and through social media between people rather than in any of our major media outlets.

    So perhaps Obama is trying to build some grassroots pressure. That's what I work to do anyways ... encourage everyone I know to keep it up on politicians of all varieties.

    What happens then is that maybe ... just maybe ... the media will take notice. This is what happened with Occupy Wall Street.

    -David

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Cuz I don't want to look ridiculous, holding my wee wee when Obama caves.. AGAIN... :D

    Yet you'll go out on a limb (or should I say wee wee) for Romney ... quite possibly the most detestable candidate in American history :)

    -David

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    David,
    One correction to your post. Romney's share of the vote is going to end up (rounded) to the deliciously ironic number of 47%... (Obama's around 51%)

    One thing to bare in mind is that if there was no electoral college system it is likely this margin would be much greater. Under the rules of your election, Obama won 68% to 32% which is a fairly convincing thumping. There are unopened avenues to increase the popular vote that the Democrats didn't use (eg. applying their Ohio GOTV resources to CA/NY where turnout was awful this election).

    Otherwise you are spot on. Republicans don't listen and don't care. For months and months and months and months they harped on (agreed) that this was an election of 2 stark choices. Then, when their choice resoundingly lost, they decided 'screw the people, our beginning stance for negotiations is our plan that was soundly rejected by our democratic system'.

  33. [33] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Sorry I meant 62-38%

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is some truth to this. And it gets to why Republicans don't have to listen ... because there exists a Republican support network ... both monetary and media.

    The only media support that Republicans have is FoxNews. And even THAT is not reliably right...

    What other media outlet supports the Right??

    Michale
    073

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Yet you'll go out on a limb (or should I say wee wee) for Romney ... quite possibly the most detestable candidate in American history :)

    Hindsight is always 20/20... :D

    Michale
    074

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yet you'll go out on a limb (or should I say wee wee) for Romney ... quite possibly the most detestable candidate in American history :)

    Didn't ya'all say the EXACT same thing about Bush??

    I am sensing a pattern here... :D

    Michale
    076

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is going to be a short article today, because I am back to experiencing computer problems once again. Oh joy!

    "Luke.... You don't know the power of the Dark Side."

    :D

    Michale
    077

  38. [38] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I am sensing a pattern here... :D

    Me too. Why do conservatives keep running worse & worse candidates?

    A private equity Wall Street guy four years after Wall Street crashes ... really?

    The only media support that Republicans have is FoxNews.

    Please ... ClearChannel and Gannett and NewsCorp (Wall Street Journal and many other outlets in addition to Fox) are reliably conservative. And the other outlets are all owned by big corporate media companies who fear offending other big companies (read: potential advertisers).

    So you have conservative media and corporate entertainment media. Where do you hear any actual liberal commentary?

    Typically, on the Internet.

    If you see a liberal on TV, they are typically a comedian. Why? Because in order to get the joke, you have to already believe. Comedy doesn't usually persuade anyone.

    -David

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Comedy doesn't usually persuade anyone.

    And yet, the most respected newsman on the Left is....

    Jon Stewart....

    Go figger... :D

    Michale
    079

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And yet, the most respected newsman on the Left is ... Jon Stewart.

    Absolutely ... you know why? Because there aren't any liberal "newsmen" in the mainstream media. And there's only a few actual newsmen.

    What mostly exists are corporate anchors who read what's put in front of them or right-wing pundits.

    Where in the news for example do you hear any talk that the deficit is not really the problem?

    Answer: Only on the fringes. And maybe Paul Krugman from the NY Times.

    Where, by contrast, do you hear "deficit, deficit, deficit, deficit"?

    Answer: In the corporate media.

    -David

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    So you have conservative media and corporate entertainment media. Where do you hear any actual liberal commentary?

    NBC

    CBS

    ABC

    MSNBC

    etc etc etc

    And, as CW points out, Fox News et al can't even TOUCH the big 3 when it comes to exposure...

    So, the MSM that IS the Main Stream Media is reliably Left Wing.. IE In the bag for Democrats and Obama...

    Actually, the priority is OBAMA, DEMOCRATS and LEFT WING...

    The evidence to support this conclusion is overwhelming to those who actually are not enslaved by Party Ideology/Dogma...

    Speaking of Dogma.. Hilarious movie!! :D

    Michale.....
    080

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    So, basically, you have FOXNEWS (along with a few Radio/Internet/Print organizations) lined up on the Right..

    Everything else pushes the Obama/Democrat/Left Wing agenda..

    In that order...

    Michale....
    081

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Absolutely ... you know why? Because there aren't any liberal "newsmen" in the mainstream media. And there's only a few actual newsmen.

    Oh bull crap...

    The vast majority of journalists are liberal...

    This is documented fact...

    And they slant their "reporting" to serve the Obama/Democrat/Liberal agenda...

    Michale
    082

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    It was reported yesterday that over 10k troops will remain in Afghanistan past the 2014 deadline..

    Where are the denunciations from MoveOn???

    Where are the anti-war rallies from Code Pink??

    Where are the hysterical cries of "WAR MONGER!!!" and "WAR CRIMINAL!!!" from the Left in general???

    {{{chhiiirrrrrpppppp}}} {{chirrrrrrrrrppppppp}}

    Non-existent..

    Cricket City.....

    And yet, you claim that the MSM is not in the bag for Obama/Democrats/Left Wing????

    How you come to that conclusion is a mystery to me...

    Because there is conclusive, unequivocal and over-whelming facts and evidence that says otherwise..

    Michale
    083

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://sjfm.us/temp/benghazi1.jpg

    Looks like NO ONE was stifled over Benghazi.... :D

    Michale
    084

  46. [46] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Where are the denunciations from MoveOn???

    Where is anything from MoveOn in the mainstream media?

    Where are the anti-war rallies from Code Pink??

    Where is anything from Code Pink in the mainstream media?

    You keep telling me that there's a "liberal" media, but I don't see any liberal advocate media. Not like a Fox. Not like a ClearChannel. Not like Gannett.

    Where is MoveOn's radio network? Where are unions in the media? Where is this liberal media that you keep pointing to?

    Looks to me like it's owned by a bunch of corporations.

    -David

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where is anything from MoveOn in the mainstream media?

    Where is anything from Code Pink in the mainstream media?

    Exactly!!!

    When Bush was POTUS, the MSM reported on these organizations DAILY..

    Where is MoveOn's radio network? Where are unions in the media? Where is this liberal media that you keep pointing to?

    That's because no American want's to hear a bunch of whiney elitists go on and on about how bad America is...

    But on the TV waves, the MSM owns the day with their wall to wall Obama/Love coverage...

    Michale.....
    085

  48. [48] 
    akadjian wrote:

    When Bush was POTUS, the MSM reported on these organizations DAILY.

    Hahahahahah ... daily?

    Hmmm. As usual your exaggerations seem a bit ... how should I say it ... unbelievable. I don't think they ever get much press in the MSM. Not that they're particularly great examples of the "Left" anyways.

    That's because no American want's to hear a bunch of whiney elitists go on and on about how bad America is.

    I think you're losing any semblance of rationality, Michale. You can't even seem to remember your Rush Limbaugh talking points.

    It's professors and the media who are elitists. Union members are greedy socialists who are out to destroy American capitalism.

    Get it straight!

    :)
    -David

  49. [49] 
    akadjian wrote:
  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:
  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Susan Rice is extraordinary. Couldn’t be prouder of the job that she’s done.”
    -President Barack Obama

    "You're doing a heck'uva job, Brownie"
    -President George Bush

    Notice anything errie'ngly similar???

    Michale
    088

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Hmmm. As usual your exaggerations seem a bit ... how should I say it ... unbelievable. I don't think they ever get much press in the MSM.

    Seriously!???

    Were you ASLEEP during the Bush years??!!???

    Tell ya what... GOOGLE "Abu Ghraib" and then come back and tell me that it never got "much press"....

    It's like 2000 thru 2008 never happened, I shit you not!!

    Michale
    089

  53. [53] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No one wants to talk about Benghazi?

    Because it's tiring trying to figure out all the crazy conspiracy theories in your head.

    BTW- I had a thought this evening. If the Obama team were smart, they'd link the GOP proposals to Romney.

    I would say something like, "The country already voted against the Romney plan ..."

    Because in a sense, that's what the GOP is doing. They lost the election and then turned around and proposed the Romney plan.

    Right now, Romney's name is almost synonymous with Wall Street and losing and I think nothing could be better than to continue his wonderful legacy :).

    -David

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Because it's tiring trying to figure out all the crazy conspiracy theories in your head.

    Hay, YOU brought up Benghazi when you said that FNC got stifled over it.. :D

    I simply pointed out that Benghazi is STILL an issue, even MORE of an issue now..

    Ya'all always compliment Susan Collins (R-Maine) for being independent from the GOP group-think..

    “I continue to be troubled by the fact that the United Nations ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign.”
    -Susan Collins (R-Maine)

    Lemme guess.. NOW Collins is just your typical conspiracy-theorist Righty, right?? :D

    I would say something like, "The country already voted against the Romney plan ..."

    Yea, cuz THAT worked so well for the GOP after the Great Dem Shellacking Of 2010, right? :D

    Right now, Romney's name is almost synonymous with Wall Street and losing

    Only around here. :D

    Michale
    090

  55. [55] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Only around here. :D

    Nah. Even Republicans want nothing to do with him.

    Truth be told, I don't think they ever really liked him. He just had a lot of money. And they thought he could beat Obama.

    I would bring up every time Republicans try to propose the Romney plan.

    I continue to be troubled by the fact that the United Nations ambassador decided to play what was essentially a political role at the height of a contentious presidential election campaign.

    She's just towing the party line. Here's the funny thing though. Notice how she doesn't seem to be able to say why she was troubled.

    She just plays the same Fox News innuendo card.

    Doesn't state any evidence.

    What came out of the meeting with Ms. Rice that they didn't know before? I couldn't find anything because no one will give any specifics.

    Just Republican politicizing and innuendo disguised as "worried and concerned".

    Poor John McCain. Reduced to cheap shots. Seems like he's still bitter after also losing too. Remember when he stood for something? It's a shame too because I used to like McCain. Now looks like Collins is headed down that path too.

    -David

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Nah. Even Republicans want nothing to do with him.

    Assumes facts not in evidence..

    She's just towing the party line. Here's the funny thing though. Notice how she doesn't seem to be able to say why she was troubled.

    Like I said, when Collins does or says something the Left likes, she is the cat's meow...

    When she says something the Left doesn't like, she is "toeing the party line".. :D

    It's a shame too because I used to like McCain. Now looks like Collins is headed down that path too.

    You mean that you liked when McCain stuck it to his fellow Republicans. Now that he is doing something the Left doesn't like (sticking it to Obama, their "lord and savior") he is no longer liked by the Left...

    What came out of the meeting with Ms. Rice that they didn't know before? I couldn't find anything because no one will give any specifics.

    Oh, there are PLENTY of specifics out there..

    You just don't like what they specify...

    Rice lied. Pure and simple. Obama lied. Pure and simple..

    Now, under a GOP POTUS, that's a cardinal sin to the Left...

    Under a Dem "lord and savior"???

    Not so much...

    Michale
    092

  57. [57] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Really? What about all the people dumping Mitt after he blamed his loss on "vote buying"?

    “When you’re in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging,” Lindsay Graham

    “I don’t know if he understood that he was saying something that was insulting,” Carlos Gutierrez

    See how many Republicans mention his name these days ...

    I'd use the Romney plan every chance I could get.

    Oh, there are PLENTY of specifics out there.

    Where? Seems you don't seem to be able to cite any either.

    You just keep repeating the same BS.

    I think this would be an interesting fight.

    The irony is wonderful too. Republicans playing politics over what they perceive as Democrats playing politics.

    -David

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    You just keep repeating the same BS.

    AKA The Facts..

    That's the problem..

    Anything that shows Obama in a bad light, you immediately assume is "BS"...

    You simply cannot believe that Obama scrooed the pooch..

    Michale
    093

  59. [59] 
    akadjian wrote:

    AKA The Facts.

    Still no specifics on Susan Rice though ...

    Yunno what this makes it look like. It makes it look like those Republican Senators never had any intention of working to confirm Susan Rice.

    In other words, they lied when they said they wanted to meet with her to give her a chance to explain herself.

    In other words, they knew exactly what they were going to say after the meeting before they even went into the meeting.

    In other words, what a bunch of sore loser d'bags.

    Republicans once again betting that they can control the media narrative rather than trying to work together.

    -David

  60. [60] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "In my party, compromise cannot be seen as analogous to treason, which it has been recently." - Jon Huntsman

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still no specifics on Susan Rice though ...

    She lied...

    The CIA issued a report stating that Al Qaeda was involved..

    Rice said it was a spontaneous protest that got out of hand..

    These are the FACTS ya'all claim you want. Yet, when they don't fit the agenda, they're ignored..

    Obama Admin frak'ed up.. Before, during AND after Benghazi..

    It's really that simple...

    In other words, they lied when they said they wanted to meet with her to give her a chance to explain herself.

    And your evidence of this is.....?????

    Republicans once again betting that they can control the media narrative rather than trying to work together.

    As opposed to Democrats who's idea of "working together" is "My Way Or The Highway"... :D

    Michale
    094

  62. [62] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW, Michale. If you don't believe me, here's an interesting question. How come Republicans aren't attacking Hillary Clinton?

    I'm going to give you the one reason why ...
    1) She is politically popular while Susan Rice is a relative unknown

    Benghazi ... pure ... politics

    -David

  63. [63] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And your evidence of this is.....?????

    Before meeting with Rice McCain appeared conciliatory and open to her nomination.

    After, he went back to the Fox News repeated attack.

    Now, if McCain could show me something specific from the meeting with Rice that might have changed his mind, I might be more likely to believe him.

    But he didn't. He just repeated the innuendo and suspicion.

    Therefore, it seems more likely that he had this in mind all along.

    Elementary, my dear Watson ... :)

    -David

  64. [64] 
    akadjian wrote:

    "while they aren’t planning on disarming anytime soon, several activists told TPM that they’re cautiously optimistic that Democrats are heading into battle with the right goals and the leverage to obtain them."

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/liberals-back-away-from-ledge-as-democrats-approach-fiscal-cliff.php

    The best words here are "while they aren't planning on disarming anytime soon ..."

    This is what needs to happen. Groups need to hold not just Obama but all politicians accountable. And continue to do so

    -David

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Before meeting with Rice McCain appeared conciliatory and open to her nomination.

    In other words, McCain was willing to give Rice the benefit of the doubt.

    That doesn't sound to me like McCain, how did you put it?? "lied when he said he was willing to give Rice a chance"...

    Therefore, it seems more likely that he had this in mind all along.

    Before meeting with Rice McCain appeared conciliatory and open to her nomination.

    These two statements contradict each other..

    Now, if McCain could show me something specific from the meeting with Rice that might have changed his mind, I might be more likely to believe him.

    You are slamming McCain for LACK OF TRANSPARENCY!!???

    REALLY!??? :D

    Michale
    095

  66. [66] 
    michty6 wrote:

    David,
    Whenever Michale gets on his Fox-induced rants about Benghazi just post this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUz3pIPmTY

    I don't think I could sum up my views on this any better than this 1 minute 30 second clip.

    And btw there is a MASSIVE other reason to why the Republicans don't want Rice to be SOS. Here is a clue in the form of 2 names: John Kerry, Scott Brown.

    And I completely agree. I have actually praised McCain considerably on here many times. He used to be a principled man who stood up for what he believed in, even when it was not popular in his party. Compared to Romney, well... You can't compare them. But since he lost in 2008 he has lost every piece of respect I had for him. Instead of being principled, he has towed the party line at every opportunity including voting against bill that HE FIRST PROPOSED and voting against policies that he ran on in 2008 - all in the name of Republican obstruction. The Rice Crusades he is on now is just an extension of this.

  67. [67] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Good lord ... back to the same Michale.

    McCain didn't state anything different that happened during the meeting to change his mind.

    This makes it look all along like his plan was to meet, listen, and regardless of what was said, continue with the Fox News attack.

    McCain has nothing but what he had before the meeting.

    Kind of like you. Still no new specific details from anything Susan Rice actually said. Just innuendo and attack.

    -David

  68. [68] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Here is a clue in the form of 2 names: John Kerry, Scott Brown.

    Yeah, I'd thought of that. But is there any guarantee they'd nominate Kerry?

    BTW- That Tom Ricks video is fantastic. Isn't it amazing how Fox treats people who destroy their arguments?

    This is why they have to bring "liberals" on their network like Alan Colmes so they can make the conservatives look stronger. No wonder people who watch Fox think the arguments are so good. Because they only see conservative pundits fighting with straw men.

    -David

  69. [69] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh I get the feeling the the Bill O'Reilly v John Stewart debate won't get much play on Fox. Imagine showing their main guy getting smashed by a comedian of all people!

  70. [70] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Imagine showing their main guy getting smashed by a comedian of all people!

    Something you should know about us here in the U.S., michty. The average comedian has more knowledge here than our news :)

  71. [71] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW- It's also the reason why Rush and other conservative pundits have paid people as call-in users :)

    The entire thing is a fraud. Because apparently he can't handle real call-in users

    -David

  72. [72] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The average comedian has more knowledge here than our news :)

    That's because US politics (read: one party in US politics) is a complete gold mine of material, much more so than any other country - so to not keep informed comedians would be missing out on so much entertainment!

    Rush is amazing, you should read the blogs of his shows they are hysterical. He literally, no exaggeration, told his audience the day before the election 'it will be a Romney landslide' and then the day after the election was saying 'privately, ask anyone like my brother - I was not confident and thought he might lose'. Translation: you audience members are so stupid I just tell you what you want to hear everyday, even if I don't believe it myself!

  73. [73] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The average comedian has more knowledge here than our news :)

    They have to - American politics (one party in particular) is such a gold mine of lunacy that they'd be crazy not to keep up to date and pass on all that material! Other countries have much less crazy in their politics, so aren't as entertaining...

    The entire thing is a fraud. Because apparently he can't handle real call-in users

    You should read the blog transcripts of Rush's show btw, hugely entertaining! The election predictions were amazing. The day before the election he said 'Romney landslide'. The day after he said 'even though I said Romney landslide, I never told anyone privately this - ask my brother or anyone who knows me - I was genuinely worried'. Translation: you audience members are so stupid I just tell you what you want to hear and you're so stupid I can even tell you I am doing this and you won't care! Lol.

  74. [74] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Translation: you audience members are so stupid I just tell you what you want to hear and you're so stupid I can even tell you I am doing this and you won't care! Lol.

    Here's a few things I believe about Rush though ...

    1. Rush is a very smart guy
    2. Most people misunderstand the purpose of his show
    3. The purpose of his show is to teach the principles for fighting against power first proposed by people like Saul Alinsky and provide examples that people can easily use.
    4. All of this, however, is ironically not in the tradition of fighting against power, but in a conservative tradition of defending power.

    I never realized this until I read both material from 60s radicals and books from folks like Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter. Their goal is extremely different, but the tactics they preach are very similar.

    Discuss ...

    -David

  75. [75] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I don't know. I wouldn't say he was smart, I'd say he was clever - in a devious clever sort of way. His agenda is more ego-based and exists to make more money for himself off of people believing his nonsense.

    I don't know about 'principles for fighting against power' since he doesn't actually advocate doing anything - he just spews the rhetoric and hopes that the rest will take care of itself. I would imagine he has influence over very few politicians (but it wouldn't surprise me if he did). Where his influence can clearly be seen is with the media and Fox News. If you follow Fox News and Rush you will see that they are very similar in their stories and conclusions. Both feed each other and a bunch of stuff on Fox comes from Rush first. It is quite amazing to see...

  76. [76] 
    ninjaf wrote:

    I would say something like, "The country already voted against the Romney plan ..."

    Because in a sense, that's what the GOP is doing. They lost the election and then turned around and proposed the Romney plan.

    I find myself yelling this at the teevee whenever I see the Orange Crayon, or any other Republican, offering their "plan."

  77. [77] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yes exactly. The problem is that Republicans expect Democrats to 'compromise' about issues that WERE JUST DECIDED AT THE ELECTION lol.

  78. [78] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Where his influence can clearly be seen is with the media and Fox News.

    Yep. And that is where certain entertainment spectacle tactics from 60s liberals designed to get the media to pay attention to things they otherwise wouldn't normally pay attention to have been co-opted and productized for the corporate age. This is partly why so many of them think that they are actually fighting power (in the form of 'big government') when they are typically protesting for those already with the most power. It really is quite an odd thing to see - especially when you have friends who have been sucked into it. It's almost like a religious conversion they go through where suddenly they are a different person. I've seen both and the parallels are striking.

    -David

Comments for this article are closed.