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Fiscal Cliff and Taxmageddon: They’re Coming

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“Taxmageddon” is coming on January 1, 2013. What does that mean? Well, we (US taxpayers) can expect large tax increases. Romina Boccia, James Sherk and Katie Tubb of the Roe Institute at The Heritage Foundation, say:

“The nation is now firmly on track to go over the fiscal cliff in January 2013 unless Washington takes action. The uncertainty leading up to the fiscal cliff – especially Taxmageddon – is already hurting the economy today and, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office, could send the country back into recession in 2013.”

So, just what is “Taxmageddon?” It is a massive tax increase of $494 billion over what we already pay, the largest tax increase ever! And that’s on top of the $502 billion ObamaCare tax, er, mandate, er, tax coming over the next ten years. The average US household will see a tax increase of $3800 in 2013 alone, with higher tax bites in subsequent years. I’ll never understand how having less to spend will have no effect on the US economy, but, hey, Obama’s economic team, his Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has known what’s best, in spite of being wrong every time. According to the most recent CEA report:

“… the economy posted its thirteenth straight quarter of positive growth, as real GDP (the total amount of goods and services produced in the country) grew at a 2.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter of this year, according to the ‘advance’ estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Over the last thirteen quarters, the economy has expanded by 7.2 percent overall,….”

“Growth” and “expansion” are not the same thing. Other than to make President (for life?) Barack Hussein Obama’s economic policies look good, why were the two (completely different) concepts included? Further, nowhere in the CEA report can I find an explanation of what an “advance estimate” is, or that the advance estimate is typically adjusted downward as complete information becomes available.

Sixty percent of the so-called Bush Tax Cuts went to middle and low income taxpayers (the 52 percent still paying income tax), therefore they will bear the majority of the burden. So much for Obama’s promise to not raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000.

Because of the threat of higher taxes, many businesses are currently making preparations by slowing or stopping job creation. Because Taxmageddon will slow job creation and wage growth, Americans of all income levels will bear the brunt of Taxmageddon. But, hey, Obama’s economic team has everything under control.

Boccia’s, Sherk’s, and Tubb’s recommendation: “Congress and the President should show principled leadership by avoiding tax hikes on all Americans and by offsetting defense sequestration with cuts in spending elsewhere.” Will that recommendation be followed? I doubt it. Obama says he will not sign a “fiscal cliff avoidance deal” unless it calls for tax increases.

What are the consequences of these tax increases? No one knows for certain, but the experiences of two countries, Great Britain and France, can provide some idea of what can happen in the US. After all, rich is rich.

  • France: from rt.com, we get this: “The government’s plan to raise the top income tax rate to 75 percent has already sparked rumors in the media that France’s wealthiest people could leave the country to avoid taxes…”  [emphasis mine]   Also, “… while the business community has also criticized a proposal in the 2013 budget to raise the capital gains tax on equity sales, which they argue will scare away investors and hamper entrepreneurs from developing their businesses.” 
  • Great Britain: from Red Alert Politics, we get this: “After sticking it to the rich by pushing top tax rates from 40 percent to 50 percent in 2010, Britain lost two-thirds of its millionaires and £7 billion in tax revenue.” Red Alert Politics continues, “… there was ‘considerable behavioral response’ to the tax increase, the report details how the tax hike stunted economic growth, caused substantial (legal) tax avoidance, and likely made the UK ‘a less attractive place to start, finance and grow a business’.”

Can Obama and his minions learn anything from France and Great Britain? Do people who pay taxes leaving France, and the admission by Great Britain’s own government that raising top income tax rates actually reduced revenue and hurt economic growth mean anything? Apparently not. Obama’s ideology of “fairness” and “social/economic justice” trumps economic reality.

Obama still says, in the name of fairness (a term he will never precisely define) and social/economic justice (another term he will never precisely define), the rich (a term that keeps changing) should pay their fair share (but he never seems to get around to specifically defining an amount or percentage). So, when most of the rich legally avoid paying taxes, and/or take their money out of the US, who will pay a fair share? The middle class (who will then be deemed rich)? Come on, Democrats/liberals/progressives (DLPs), specifically answer the questions. Or do y’all even know the meaning of the word specific? (see definition 3) Obama may know, but he’ll never admit to it.

Here’s a by the way that DLPs may find interesting (but I doubt it). Where will Obama be on January 2, 2013, when all the coming tax increases are finally applicable? Hawaii! Obama’s 21 day vacation will cost us taxpayers only $4 million. That’s OK, since the tax increases will cover Obama’s vacation, but all us taxpayers will be lucky to get any vacation at all.

But that’s just my opinion.

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  • Igor

    The republicans are holding the middle class taxes hostage so they can try to keep big tax cuts for their patrons, the very rich. Middleclass people are fooled into believing that the reps have some interest in their welfare, but it is not so. The reps are financed and owned by the 2% at the very top, and gladly sacrifice the interests of the middleclass to curry favor with the most rich and powerful.

  • Charles Griswold

    What does “(for life?)” mean? Do you hear that Secret Service?

    Obama is SO bad at fixing the economy? Compared to whom? George Whitebread Bush?

    “Obamacare” is a tax? It is manditory health insurance at rates lower than you can get now.

    Conservatives really do live in a world of self delusion.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    Do you know the difference between rumor and fact? Do you? Look at your blurb about France – the proposed tax hike “sparked RUMORS that France’s wealthiest people could leave the country to avoid paying taxes”. (caps mine) RUMORS, Warren.

    And did you actually READ your references about that “two-thirds of millionaires” that left England after they raised taxes? I did – and here’s something I found very interesting:

    In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.
    This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.
    The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.
    It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.
    George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50p top rate will be reduced to 45p from next April.
    Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.
    (boldface mine)

    YOUR reference tried to make it sound like the millionaires left the country to avoid paying taxes. Maybe some did, but if one STUDIES what’s said, a different picture emerges:

    1. 2010 – there were 16,000 millionaires…and the announcement is made.
    2. Sometime around then, the tax hike is announced and 10,000 millionaires ‘disappear’ (OH NO THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!).
    3. Just ONE year later, the tax hike is dropped five percent – FIVE LOUSY PERCENT, but still significantly above what it was prior to 2010 – and (gasp!) 4,000 millionaires magically reappear! It’s MAGIC!

    IN OTHER WORDS, Warren, the millionaires never left. The vast majority of them simply used what were called “tax avoidance schemes” – what we in America call ‘tax breaks’ and ‘deductions’ – to avoid paying taxes. Very, very few people who are living a quite comfortable life choose to uproot their families and move to a foreign nation just because of taxes – and your Scarlett O’Hara claims that the rich are a-gonna leave just because of the taxes (“Oh, wherever shall we go, whatever shall we do?”) are simply smoke and mirrors from the rich who have found that all they have to do is to spend a few advertising dollars to tell YOU that THEY are the oh-so-holy job creators, and that that if YOU don’t cut their taxes, they’re going to leave…and you act like the classic battered wife who is choosing to keep getting battered so you can keep the guy you THINK is providing for you.

    Do you know what happened when we had a NINETY-ONE PERCENT top marginal tax rate in the 1950’s under Eisenhower? Did all the rich people leave? Of course not. They – like the English millionaires above – used tax breaks and deductions to avoid paying so much…and most of those deductions were reapplication of their income back INTO the businesses they owned (like giving raises to their workers). I don’t know if you realize this, Warren, but putting money BACK into business to help it grow is generally considered a GOOD thing.

    Not that you’ll listen – you’re too embedded deep within the fact-free Fox News bubble to be able to read between the lines of what you’re being fed.

  • troll

    …I guess Warren knows who John Galt is

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Hmm… on the Politics homepage we have Warren warning us that the Fiscal Cliff is approaching, while directly above this headline is Kenn advising us that the Fiscal Cliff has already passed.

    Surely one of them is right… but which one? It’ll be fun finding out.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Fiscal Cliff”

    Come to think of it, a good name for a soap opera, like “Twin Peaks.” If we could only get David Lynch to direct it, it would bound to be an instant success.

  • cindy

    Roger,

    I think you should write the sequel to Atlas Shrugged. Zoom in on a mansion with a six foot high lawn, continue through a dirty window to find John Galt and his buddies shuffling around in wrinkled tuxedos wondering who is going to do the dishes and serve the caviar. Meantime back in the world of people they abandoned the working class are living it up with worker run businesses, food and housing and medical care for all and more recreational time than anyone ever imagined possible.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Re: comment # 1, Igor, did you even bother to read the article, especially the part about the so-called “Bush tax cuts?”

    Re: comment # 2, Charles, are you a brother to Clark? Your comment makes about as much sense as he does.

    Re: comment # 3, Glenn, your rant is based upon (1) one word that you say poisions my point about raising taxes, and (2) YOUR interpretation of one of my sources. Yet you somehow manage to ignore other sources, human nature, and economic reality. I again have to ask: Are you for real, or are you here for comic relief?

    You say, “… putting money BACK into business to help it grow is generally considered a GOOD thing.” Please explain to me how raising taxes puys money back into businesses.

    Re: comment # 4, troll, I’ve read the book. Your point????

    Re: comment # 5, yes, Doc, finding out whether Kenn is or I am correct will, indeed, be fun.

    Re: comment # 7, yeah, cindy, just like in the USSR. Let’s see, all the things you cited were promised to USSR citizens. But wait, the USSR collapsed didn’t it?

    And I couldn’t help but notice that NO commenters even remotely addressed the questions I raised. (or did I raze them?)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    Brilliant!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Warren –

    Please explain to me how raising taxes puys money back into businesses.

    (1) On a smaller scale, most of those taxes find their way into government-paid workers, who then spend the money at businesses owned by the rich…and they get important infrastructure work done in the process.

    (2) On a LARGER scale, the rich face a choice. They can either pay the taxes, OR they can pour enough of their income back into the business (which is, as you should know, tax-deductible) that it takes their income (at least on paper) down to a level where they show little enough income that they pay far less in the way of taxes.

    So which do most of them do – pay taxes, or put the money back into their businesses? Hm?

    NOW, Warren, are you going to claim that putting money back into businesses is somehow bad for the economy?

    AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, explain to us why it was that during most of the 1950’s, when we had NINETY-ONE PERCENT top marginal tax rates for the rich, not only did they not go broke or leave the country, but they still got richer? Why did America’s economy boom with those incredibly high tax rates? Surely you realize, Warren, that according to Conservative Holy Dogma, that ninety-one percent top marginal tax rates SHOULD have driven us back into a Great Depression. Why didn’t it?

    Here’s a hint: the answer’s in this very comment.

  • Igor

    @8-Not: did YOU even bother to write the article or is this another of your famous plagiarisms?

  • Clavos

    On a LARGER scale, the rich face a choice. They can either pay the taxes, OR they can pour enough of their income back into the business (which is, as you should know, tax-deductible) that it takes their income (at least on paper) down to a level where they show little enough income that they pay far less in the way of taxes.

    So which do most of them do – pay taxes, or put the money back into their businesses? Hm?

    You forgot shipping it offshore, which is even better in terms of savings, and which many prefer.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I think you’ll find that most wealthy people are not manufacturers and can’t just ‘ship their businesses offshore’.

    You may also be referring to people who will simply ‘ship their wealth offshore’ like a certain Republican presidential candidate did. But you know what, Clav? Right now, ONE family – the Walton family – has more wealth than the bottom 40% of American citizens. Maybe you think that’s a good thing, but I sure as hell don’t.

    But here’s the more salient point – it doesn’t much matter if someone is just keeping their money stateside or in the Caymans or in Swiss banks, because if they’re not SPENDING their money, it’s not doing the American economy much good. So if they’re not going to spend their money anyway, and if they’re so craven that they can’t cough up an extra few pennies on the dollar in the form of taxes to the country that has benefited them so greatly, then we’re better off without them – let them go.

    But you know what, Clav? If the decade of the 1950’s are any indication, the great majority of them will avoid paying greater taxes by pouring more money into their businesses…and that’s a good thing. I’d rather bet on history repeating itself instead of paying heed to the fears of OMG-the-Holy-Job-Creators-will-desert-us Chicken Littles of the modern ‘conservative’ segment of the population…particularly since there’s precious little evidence that a 4.5% tax hike has EVER caused a mass exodus of the wealthy.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Clavos –

    Speaking of Wal-Mart, you do realize that a significant percentage of their workers are on Welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid?

    In other words, YOU and I and every other taxpayer is subsidizing Wal-Mart with billions of dollars every freaking year because their owners – a family that has more money than the bottom 40 percent of ALL Americans – are too damn stingy to pay them anything approaching a living wage.

    Adam Smith – the father of capitalism – said everyone should be paid a living wage. Here’s his quote:

    “Servants, labourers and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society. But what improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconvenience to the whole. No society can surely be ?ourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged.”

    Today, YOUR people would call him a commie pinko socialist.

    Anyone who freaks out over a lousy 4.5% hike in taxes on the people who can most afford it, who are wealthy beyond the dreams of Midas, well, we can do without such people. Let them go. But we also need a government strong enough to demand that everyone – including every single one of the 2.2 million workers at Wal-Mart – be paid a living wage. Once that is done, THEN you can cut taxes…because then the need for Welfare and Medicaid will be much less.

  • Clavos

    You may also be referring to people who will simply ‘ship their wealth offshore…

    I am indeed, and a lot more of ‘em (including some who aren’t all that wealthy) are doing it. Have you ever visited the Caymans, Glenn? I have; the sheer number of “banks” there is astonishing — as many as 50 in a modest two or three story building.

    Here’s another thing: you’ve mentioned more than once how rich the Waltons are, but you never even think of all the people making serious money off the grid, who individually aren’t all that rich, but collectively account for hundreds of billions, even trillions, according to various reports. I’m speaking of tradesmen who give discounts for cash payment, mechanics, dentists, physicians — even lawyers who work “off the books,” and millions and millions of “little people” doing the same on a more modest level.

    From the Christian Science Monitor:

    Perhaps the biggest surprise about America’s shadow economy is its size. Long associated with colorful street hawkers in the developing world, the shadow economy makes up a larger portion of the economies of countries like Greece (25 percent) or Mozambique (more than 40 percent) than it does in the US. But because America’s economy is so much bigger, its shadow economy amounts to nearly 8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP); in the ballpark of $1 trillion, estimates Friedrich Schneider, an economics professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. That’s bigger than the GDP of Turkey or Australia.

    From an article in Salon, an online magazine with a liberal POV:

    The standard estimate of the current size of the shadow economy in the United States ranges from around 8-10 percent of total GDP; in 2010, an amount equal to around $1.4 trillion. (emphasis added)

    Of course, none of that money is taxed. Add to that the personal funds kept overseas, and corporate funds sent away for the same reason, the total of which if taxed, would likely pay down the debt in short order, but if the government keeps on raising taxes, the shadow economy and funds shipped overseas will only continue to increase.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Again, the ones who are so craven that they would leave America over a lousy 4.5% tax hike – up to the SAME rate we were at in the biggest fiscal boom in our history – are probably people we can do without.

    Besides, your own comment provides the proof of what I’m trying to point out – these people (including your boys’ presidential candidate) are already keeping their money overseas. They’re ALREADY showing what they think about America. It is my point that yes, they can make more money TODAY by moving their money overseas, and the ones for whom that is important have already done so.

    Come to think of it, Clavos, weren’t these OMG-the-sky-will-fall Chicken Little anti-tax-hike arguments the SAME arguments the Republicans were making before Bush 41 and Clinton raised taxes? And what happened then?

    What happened then, Clavos? Did the rich people desert America? Or did America’s economy BOOM just like it did in the 1950’s (when the top marginal tax rate was 91%)?

    History, Clavos – and fairly recent history at that. History shows that a modest tax hike – and it is a MODEST tax hike – does NOT result in the worst fears of Chicken Little. As then, so now.

  • Clavos

    Umm, Glenn: Are you not paying attention? Did you not see and read the clips about the shadow economy? You’re hung up on the rich; these days the MIDDLE CLASS is also tax dodging, and they number in the millions — to the tune of over a trillion dollars a year!

    Ask around the city where you live; you will easily find any number of tradesmen and even some professionals who will discount services to you for cash payment.

    No comment?

  • Clavos

    As then, so now.

    Are you really that naive, Glenn?

  • Clavos

    HAH!!

    Now, even the media is beginning to advocate that the people not pay their taxes!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    #17 – “these days the MIDDLE CLASS is also tax dodging“. REALLY???? You mean the middle class has just started tax dodging NOW???? STOP THE PRESSES!!!! The middle class is tax dodging now!!!!

    Sounds silly? It’s every bit as silly as does your implication that people are tax-dodging any more now than before. BTW, Clavos, I’d really like to see you show me that trillion-dollar reference, because the high end on the reference I found says half that, and isn’t limited to just the middle class. Also from the same reference:

    The Obama administration wants to increase the IRS budget from $12.1 billion to $13.3 billion in fiscal 2012 and add 5,000 IRS agents. About $240 million would go for “new, revenue-generating tax-enforcement initiatives aimed at closing the tax gap,” according to a Treasury Department budget request. The measures would reap an estimated $1.3 billion in extra annual tax revenue by 2014.

    But House Republicans voted to cut the IRS budget by $600 million in fiscal 2012. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told lawmakers that the proposed GOP cuts would cause tax collections to fall by $4 billion because they would require slashing the agency’s enforcement budget.

    We’ll lose $4B by ‘saving’ $600M. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like good math to me.

    ===================================

    #18 – I said “History, Clavos – and fairly recent history at that. History shows that a modest tax hike – and it is a MODEST tax hike – does NOT result in the worst fears of Chicken Little. As then, so now.

    You replied, “Are you really that naive, Glenn?

    So would you care to show me a case in history where a lousy FOUR-POINT-FIVE PERCENT increase in taxes has resulted in the kind of Chicken-Little fears you’ve bought into?

    Really, Clavos, is it that I’m naive? Or is it that you’ve listened to the fear-mongers for so long that you can’t tell the difference between history and what they want you to believe?

    ===================================

    #19 – REALLY? You use an editorial by a staff writer for the Washington Times (and who also works for the Drudge Report) to imply that the media as a whole is “beginning to advocate that the people not pay their taxes”???? That’s something I’d expect of Warren, but not of you.

    AND if you’ll read the article with a critical eye, you’d see the same false premise the conservatives have used before, that of comparing the federal budget to a household budget. I addressed the fallacy of that premise in this article.

  • Clavos

    I’d really like to see you show me that trillion-dollar reference…

    I linked it…um, them — there are two.

  • Clavos

    Saying the media is starting does not imply “the media as a whole,” or anything else but exactly what it says.

    I gave you two (count ‘em, two) linked sources for the estimated (which is the only means of measuring it at this time) size of the shadow economy; there are dozens more — google it.

  • Clavos

    So would you care to show me a case in history where a lousy FOUR-POINT-FIVE PERCENT increase in taxes has resulted in the kind of Chicken-Little fears you’ve bought into?

    First of all, It’s not a “fear” on my part; I fully understand why people are doing all they can to avoid paying taxes when the government is on an insane spending binge while it threatens to tax the hell out of us.

    I particularly resent Mr. and Missus Prez spending $4M of my moey to vacation in Hawaii next month. Nobody but me pays for my vacations, and nobody but they should pay for theirs, and that goes for every other government employee and CEO or company officer in the private sector — Nobody’s vacation should be paid for by anybody but themselves — N.O.B.O.D.Y.’.S.

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Simply put-President Hussein Obama WON the election almost soley on the platform that the rich whould pay their fair share in taxes.

    Boehner’s refusal to face reality and his arrogance in refusing to acknowledge that fact are an embarrassment to us here in Ohio… you know the state that gave Obama the election (despite Karl Rove)

  • Baronius

    Warren has a weird kind of Cassandra thing happening. He writes about serious things in a way that makes it impossible for us to take them seriously.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    1 – I still don’t see anything in your references that says the middle class is dodging taxes to the tune of $1T – which is what you claimed, remember.

    2 – You’re still listing ZERO evidence other than your own opinion that a 4.5% tax hike on the rich is going to get them to desert the U.S. On the other hand, I’ve presented you two solid examples where they didn’t. Can’t you do better than just presenting an opinion?

    3 – You resent the president spending $4M on a vacation. Sorry, but the president and his family can’t just take a flight using coach to where he grew up in Hawaii, and he can’t tell the Secret Service to take a hike. Or didn’t you realize this?

    If you want to gripe about something, gripe about the fact that Dubya took over one thousand days (that’s almost three YEARS) of vacation – one of which was five weeks long! Here, educate yourself:

    Calls to the Eisenhower and Truman Libraries reveal that those Presidents were not on vacation for more than 1,020 days. Eisenhower was on vacation for 456 days during his 8 years in office. When asked on whether President Herbert Hoover’s vacation days could be over 500 for 4 years a historian at the Hoover Library said, “No chance. Everyone agrees he was a grinder – he was the kind of guy for whom a vacation was rare – his vacation days were less than 50.” Hoover was in office from 1929 to 1933. Frequently Hoover either drove himself on brief trips or was driven by a military attachment or took the train.

    President Obama was on vacation for 26 days during his first year in office (2009). Ronald Reagan spent 42 days on vacation during his first year in office (1981). President George H.W. Bush was on vacation less than his son, 40 days, in 1989, his first year in office. President Obama was on vacation less in his first year in office than the previous three Republican Presidents.

    No President since Reagan was on vacation less than Bill Clinton. Presidents Clinton and Carter vacationed the least of any of the last seven chief executives.

    And read the next paragraph very carefully:

    All Presidents point out that work is being done on vacation. FDR’s Presidential Library included the following note with their information on President Roosevelt’s vacations: “It should be noted that no sitting modern president, including President Roosevelt, can ever take “a vacation.” Simply being away from the White House does not constitute a vacation. In President Roosevelt’s case, even while relaxing at Hyde Park, Warm Springs, or on a fishing cruise, he received mail, reviewed dispatches, signed and vetoed legislation, met with political and world leaders, and delivered press conferences and speeches. During wartime, his periods of true relaxation were even fewer.”

    Ah, but I forget! Obama’s just SO TERRIBLE! Never mind that he’s cut the deficit by 8%, held government spending growth to the lowest level since Eisenhower, kept our tax burden to the lowest level since Truman, kept our corporate tax burden to the lowest level since Nixon, ended one war, got bin Laden, AND kept us from sliding into another Great Depression, oh, no, Obama’s just SO TERRIBLE!!!!

    Good grief!

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Let’s compare a few Tax rates by president
    Eisenhower-GOP-($200,000+) 91%
    Kennedy-Dem-($400,000+) 77%
    Johnson-Dem-($200,000+) 70%
    Reagan-GOP-($212,000+) 70%
    Reagan-GOP-($106,000+) 50%
    Clinton-Dem-($250,000+) 39.6%
    Bush-GOP-($311,950+) 35%
    Obama-Dem-($379,150+) 35%

    Compared to GOP heroes Reagan at 50% and Eisenhower at 91%… well draw your own conclusions

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Jet, as I am being reminded by Glenn’s silly comments on the Bradley Manning spiel he has posted on this site, facts and reality don’t play well with true believers!

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Indeed Chris-they’re trapped in the alternate world of Fox News.

    Warren criticizes the cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation but doesn’t want us to know that George W. Bush spent at least $20 million taxpayer dollars just on flights to his ranch in Crawford.

    The right wing has been outraged at the four million dollar plus price tag for Obama’s family Christmas vacation, and they constantly hold Bush up as an example of how thrifty a president should be when going on vacation.

    The problem is that W. wasn’t thrifty. He was the most expensive vacation president in US history. Not only did Bush spend more days on vacation than any other president, but he used Air Force One more often while on vacation than any other president.

    During Bush’s two terms, the cost of operating Air Force One ranged from $56,800 to $68,000 an hour. Bush used Air Force One 77 times to go to his ranch in Crawford, TX. Using the low end cost of $56,800, each trip to Crawford cost taxpayers $259,687 each time, and $20 million total for Bush’s ranch flights.

    If cost of the flight was the only expense involved to taxpayers Bush’s vacations would still seem rather economical, but there is more, much more. Unlike the Obama’s $4 million Christmas vacation price tag, which includes the cost of everything from transportation to accommodations for the First Family, the White House staff, and the White House press corps, Bush’s numbers only include the cost of flying the president to Crawford. The cost of transporting and accommodating staff, media, friends and family is not included in Bush’s vacation numbers.

    In response to growing criticism that the president was on vacation too much, the Bush administration adopted the Karl Rovian tactic of scheduling, “work events,” while the president was in Crawford so that they could claim that President Bush’s vacations were working vacations. During his infamous pre-9/11 August vacation, the AP reported that, “Using the ranch as a base, he will promote White House initiatives in Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and San Antonio.”

    Bush’s “working vacations” cost taxpayers a small fortune in travel costs because President Bush and his staff would make day trips on Air Force One all across the country in order to counter the criticism that he was on vacation too often. For eight years, Bush essentially used Air Force One as his personal vacation taxi service.

    What was also not counted in Bush’s Air Force One mileage total were the vacations where Bush flew to Crawford from Camp David such as the following via Media Matters:

    In a December 27, 2001, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun-Sentinel article (accessed via Nexis), national correspondent Jeff Zeleny reported “[a]fter spending Christmas at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, the president and first lady boarded Air Force One to travel to their ranch near the village of Crawford.”

    And on December 26, 2007, The Associated Press reported that Bush took “Air Force One to fly from his Maryland mountaintop retreat to his Texas ranch here to see in the new year.”

    FactCheck.org was writing about the anonymous chain emails about Obama’s travel costs and noted in July that the stories about Obama’s travel expenses are, “part of continuing pattern of false and misleading claims about the travels of the president and the first lady,” and that Obama used Air Force One less in his first two years in office than George W. Bush did.

    That same pattern of false information about Obama’s travel costs relative to Bush’s is also rampant on right wing blogs, websites, and Fox News. The cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation is a good example of how right wing media can take a small fact like vacation costs or the number of Americans paying taxes in a single year and build an entire misinformation campaign around it.

    The total cost of Obama’s Christmas vacation may be $4 million, but George W. Bush spent exponentially more taxpayers dollars, because he used Air Force One for political purposes in an attempt to distract the public from the amount of days that he was spending on vacation. In flights alone just for himself, George W. Bush spent five times more money flying just himself to Texas than Obama is spending on an entire Christmas vacation.

    It is likely that the Bush administration spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on vacations, but the false outrage machine is on overdrive due to one Obama Christmas vacation.

    By not including the cost of everything, the Obama bashers distorted the numbers to make it appear that Obama was lavishly spending taxpayer dollars on vacations, but a look inside the numbers reveals that nobody knows how to waste taxpayer dollars quite like the GOP.

  • Clavos

    Once again, the taxpayers should NOT be on the hook for any president’s (or congressman, or ANY OTHER government employee) vacation expenses, regardless of party. Bush spent like a drunken sailor, for which reason, he forfeited his right to call himself a Republican and should have been summarily tarred and feathered and run out of the party: not only on his vacations, but on wars and everything else. Every single one of the presidents in my lifetime has cost us a fortune for their freaking vacations, and it’s time it stopped, especially when they are about to tx the living crap out of everybody, not just the rich.

    Bah humbug. I hope Santa skips the entire government, especially congress, come christmas.

  • Clavos

    Glenn: From my #15:

    Perhaps the biggest surprise about America’s shadow economy is its size. Long associated with colorful street hawkers in the developing world, the shadow economy makes up a larger portion of the economies of countries like Greece (25 percent) or Mozambique (more than 40 percent) than it does in the US. But because America’s economy is so much bigger, its shadow economy amounts to nearly 8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP); in the ballpark of $1 trillion, estimates Friedrich Schneider, an economics professor at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. That’s bigger than the GDP of Turkey or Australia.

    And:

    The standard estimate of the current size of the shadow economy in the United States ranges from around 8-10 percent of total GDP; in 2010, an amount equal to around $1.4 trillion. (emphasis added)

    And who are the “shadow economy?”

    From my first link in #15:

    There are two informal economies, says Saskia Sassen, a sociology professor at Colombia University in New York. “You have a poverty kind of informal economy, and you have an informal economy that feeds into the high end,” she says. These are creative professionals such as freelance designers and performers. It’s the first group, however, that’s much larger in terms of manpower, she adds. (emphasis added)

    And from Salon:

    A day laborer waiting on a street corner for a morning’s worth of work hacking brush. A sweatshop employer paying less than minimum wage and skimping on overtime. A woman running a day care center out of her apartment. Drug dealers, sex workers, unlicensed street food vendors. A plumber who deals only in cash or a farmer who trades food for help with the harvest.

    What do they all have in common? They’re part of the “shadow economy.” Also known as: the underground economy. Pick an adjective, any adjective: informal, gray, black market, under-the-table, hidden, unobserved. There are many different names for the realm where taxes aren’t paid, labor laws are ignored, and cash is king. But on at least one point most observers agree: the shadow economy, in the U.S. and abroad, is growing.

    You obviously didn’t read my sources.

    There are dozens more as well. Google it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos #30 –

    Once again, the taxpayers should NOT be on the hook for any president’s (or congressman, or ANY OTHER government employee) vacation expenses, regardless of party.

    Really? How much did the American government spend immediately after and in and the years since the Kennedy assassination? And what did that do to the social fabric of America? And presidents whose last name aren’t (or would not have been) Bush, Bush, Kerry, and Romney can’t afford out-of-pocket to rent Air Force One to fly SAFELY to wherever it is that they’re taking their family on vacation.

    You’re entitled to your opinion, but – as I pointed out how the House Republicans are going to cost America $4B by ‘saving’ $600M – sometimes the cost is well worth it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos #31 –

    So WHERE in what you posted does it say that $1T worth of tax dodging is due to the middle class? I know you continually point out that I’ve got a reading comprehension problem, but I don’t see ANYthing there that excludes the wealthy from that $1T ‘shadow economy’.

    And I notice you still haven’t provided any historical evidence that a measly 4.5% tax hike has ever resulted in anything approaching what Your Friendly-Neighborhood-Denizen-from-Deliverance Warren called ‘Taxmageddon’…whereas my examples of BOOM times came during times when taxes DID include that extra 4.5%…and then some!

    You provided opinion, but no historical evidence. I provided two examples of historical evidence…and I can provide several examples of times where Very Low Tax Rates did absolutely squat to help the American economy, too. Not that historical evidence means anything to the Chicken Littles of the Republican Party (and IIRC you’re not a Republican, so please note that I did not label you as a Chicken Little – even though you’re buying hook, line, and sinker into their fears).

  • Clavos

    So WHERE in what you posted does it say that $1T worth of tax dodging is due to the middle class?

    Did you not read what I posted? What class do “day laborer waiting on a street corner for a morning’s worth of work hacking brush. A sweatshop employer paying less than minimum wage and skimping on overtime. A woman running a day care center out of her apartment. Drug dealers, sex workers, unlicensed street food vendors. A plumber who deals only in cash or a farmer who trades food for help with the harvest.” belong to, Glenn? They are all part of the shadow economy. Sorry, but you really DO have some kind of comprehension problem.

    And what class do the kinds of people mentioned here (also posted previously) in bold belong to? Here, I’ll help you: THEY BELONG TO THE EFFING MIDDLE CLASS, GLENN! “You have a poverty kind of informal economy, and you have an informal economy that feeds into the high end,” she says. These are creative professionals such as freelance designers and performers. It’s the first group, however, that’s much larger in terms of manpower, she adds. (emphasis added)

    And if you had read the articles from whence these excerpts came, you would have seen that they describe the shadow economy as being people from the middle class (see excerpts above), and the $1T estimate as being the current value of shadow economy activities.

    I’ve seen enough in my daily life to know that there is a very real “shadow” economy; I can get services from car repair to dental and medical work on a discounted cash basis any week day here in Miami, and both articles indicate that the y are available in practically any US city.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I suggest YOU go back and read the articles. Why? The ‘shadow economy’ consists essentially of two components – employees and EMPLOYERS. From the Salon reference:

    Flocks acknowledges that one driving force in the growth of the shadow economy has been the desire of employers to avoid profit-cramping requirements like worker’s comp, payroll taxes, minimum wages and overtime. But the difference now is that employers can easily get away with doing so, because no one is minding the store.

    and

    But what’s different now is that there has been a real erosion of the traditional employer-employee relationship. Employers are much more mobile and are using many different tools to make sure that they don’t actually directly employ workers.”

    And just in case you wanted to claim it’s only small-time employers, here’s this:

    A former Wal-Mart employee has filed a class-action suit against the retail giant for forcing employees to work without pay – sometimes by locking them into the stores – after their shifts had ended. Maria Gamble of Farmingville, N.Y., is filing suit on behalf of 20,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees in New York state who claim that they were denied pay for overtime hours worked.

    That’s 20,000 employees, just in New York! And this is hardly the first time they’ve been caught doing so.

    And as for locking employees into stores to get unpaid work out of them – wasn’t there a fire at a Bangladesh factory last week where the workers were locked inside? Yep! And this factory supplied Wal-Mart, too!

    But anyway, so much for your “the article refers only to the middle class” scheme. It refers to wealthy employers too.

    And I notice you STILL haven’t shown us any examples of a moderate tax hike resulting in mass exodus of rich people and/or their money – in fact, you’re being quiet about it. Wonder why?

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Re: comment # 10, Glenn, you say, “(1) On a smaller scale, most of those taxes find their way into government-paid worker…” Are you citing that world famous US government that is very, very efficient, and never, ever wastes tax dollars? You also say, “… they can pour enough of their income back into the business….” You continue, “… can pour enough of their income back into the business (which is, as you should know, tax-deductible) that it takes their income (at least on paper) down to a level where they show little enough income that they pay far less in the way of taxes.” Same comment as above. Glenn, do you even think about what you are typing?

    Re: comment # 14, Glenn, you cite Adam Smith. You offer this Smith quote: “It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed and lodged.” If you believe that, then you should have no problem specifically defining “equity” in terms of “fair share.” Again, I have to ask: do you even think about what you are typing?

    Re: comment # 23, Clavos, you say, “… Nobody’s vacation should be paid for by anybody but themselves — N.O.B.O.D.Y.’.S.” Well said!

    Re: comment # 24, Jet, you say,”Simply put-President Hussein Obama WON the election almost soley on the platform that the rich whould pay their fair share in taxes.” Can I then expect you, who I presume voted for Obama, to specifically define “fair share in taxes?”

  • Clavos

    The ‘shadow economy’ consists essentially of two components – employees and EMPLOYERS.

    Wrong there are two different phenomena being discussed at that point. The wal-mart stories have nothing to do with a worker selling his services at a discount for cash on the street, or a doctor offering me a substantial discount if I don’t use my insurance and pay in cash which is what I have been talking about, not what some employer is doing to his employees — that’s a totally different issue.

    I know you’re not stupid, Glenn, but sometimes (and this is one such) you ARE really dense.

    As for the exodus of rich people’s money, it’s been going on for years what do you think the Swiss bank thing is all about? And the Cayman Islands? The Marshall Islands? Lichtenstein? There are places all over the world where Americans hide their cash from the IRS, and have been since long before you or I knew anything about it — since there has been an income tax, in fact.

    And then there are these folks:

    An estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of taxpayers cheat on their returns.
    A recent report by the Commerce Department found … a 37 percent increase in unreported income from 2000. In a separate report, the Internal Revenue Service looked at both unreported income and improper deductions and concluded that Americans shortchanged the government by $345 billion in 2001 – an amount almost equal to the projected federal budget deficit for 2007.

    The I.R.S. report concluded that proprietors of small businesses, investors and farmers cheated the most. Workers who had 99 percent of their wages reported to the government and taxes withheld from their paychecks were the least likely to cheat (But for 30 to 40 percent of those, only because they can’t!). Mr. Everson acknowledged that the estimate is probably low … The biggest single revenue loss came from proprietors of unincorporated businesses … who shorted the government an estimated $68 billion in 2001. (emphasis added)

    Noticed the bolded type: exactly the types of workers most present in the shadow economy, according to the two links I posted earlier.

  • http://brokebackmountaintribute.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I finally figured out why he likes Warren so much-In contrast Clavos almost sounds reasonable!

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    And, in the same vein as vacations, Obama’s “fiscal cliff” defenders/commenters will want to look at this site. And they won’t even be there! How many more Chfristmas trees will we taxpayers have to pay for in Hawaii?

  • Baronius

    A couple of problems in the article:

    First, the $494 billion includes Obamacare, according to the Heritage Foundation.

    Second, since the CEA report was released, GDP has been revised upward for third quarter.

    Deeper problem – If you want to argue that the President’s trip to Hawaii proves that he isn’t taking the budget negotiations seriously, feel free. But don’t argue that $4 million has an impact on the budget. Our debt is 4 million times $4 million. If we balanced the budget right now, we could pay off our debt by the presidents forgoing annual vacations for the next 1,000,000 terms.

    Deeper than that – The jab at Obama as president for life serves no purpose in this article except to make it look like the work of a crank.

    Deepest problem – This article is essentially correct. We’re headed toward something bad, and we can’t even be certain what (and companies hate uncertainty).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    First off, you’re asking me to ignore what the article plainly said – so you and I aren’t about to get any closer on this issue.

    Second, look at what you said:

    As for the exodus of rich people’s money, it’s been going on for years what do you think the Swiss bank thing is all about? And the Cayman Islands? The Marshall Islands? Lichtenstein? There are places all over the world where Americans hide their cash from the IRS, and have been since long before you or I knew anything about it — since there has been an income tax, in fact.

    So it’s been going on when Reagan slashed taxes, and it’s been going on for over a decade that we’ve had under the Bush tax cuts…which tells me that it’s NOT the tax cuts that stops it!

    And in any case, that does NOT prove your point since our two biggest boom times came during times of higher taxes. You can’t get past that point, Clav – it doesn’t prove that high taxes equals prosperity, but it sure as hell shows that high taxes don’t hinder prosperity, either! The Holy Right-Wing Job Creators didn’t desert America in the 1950’s during 91% tax rates, and they didn’t desert America in the 1990’s during the 39.5% tax rates…but you’re Absolutely Sure they will.

    Based on what? Your opinion. Not on historical record or evidence, but upon your opinion.

  • Clavos

    First off, you’re asking me to ignore what the article plainly said

    No, I’m asking you to read the entire article with intelligence. It’s talking about two different things: people who go out on their own, solicit work for a low rate and cash payment and then don’t declare that cash to the IRS, thus avoiding paying taxes on it. and people who work for an employer like walmart who exploits them, underpays them, and even locks them in sometimes to force them to work.

    See the difference? Not the same people, not the same activities — not the same thing, is it Glenn?

    Based on what? Your opinion. Not on historical record or evidence, but upon your opinion.

    No, Glenn. Based on what the IRS and other government agencies say about the percentage of people who cheat on their taxes and based on the fact that one such way is to park your money out of reach of the IRS. The IRS says 30 to 40% of all taxpayers cheat, and you somehow think that the rich aren’t among those 30-40%?

    Glenn, stupid people don’t usually get rich, although I’ll grant you that some rich people only inherited their money, they didn’t make it, and some of them could be stupid.

    I’m not sure how keeping your money out of the government’s greedy, wasteful hands is “deserting America,” it’s cheating on your taxes, which is a crime but “deserting America?” Puleeze.

    Whatever.

  • Clavos

    Can I then expect you, who I presume voted for Obama, to specifically define “fair share in taxes?”

    Yeah, I’m wondering that myself in light of the fact that the top ten percent are already paying 71% percent of total income tax paid, and yet they are only making 48% of the earnings.

    Makes me wonder: what exactly is “their fair share?”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos #42 –

    No, Glenn. Based on what the IRS and other government agencies say about the percentage of people who cheat on their taxes and based on the fact that one such way is to park your money out of reach of the IRS. The IRS says 30 to 40% of all taxpayers cheat, and you somehow think that the rich aren’t among those 30-40%?

    And that disproves my point about our boom times in the 1950’s annd 1990’s how?

    #43 –

    Yeah, I’m wondering that myself in light of the fact that the top ten percent are already paying 71% percent of total income tax paid, and yet they are only making 48% of the earnings. Makes me wonder: what exactly is “their fair share?”

    And the last two times you pointed that out, I replied that when they have 100% of the wealth, they’ll pay 100% of the taxes.

    Clavos, one – ONE – family has more wealth than the bottom 40% of the American people…AND that ONE family uses a heck of a lot more of America’s infrastructure than any other ONE family in America – or in the world, for that matter. Comparing percentage of income to percentage of taxes paid doesn’t tell the the whole story. What other family uses as much of America’s roads/airwaves/air traffic control/shipping lanes! and let’s not forget all the federal diplomatic ‘assistance’ and military might that enables all that to flow freely from third-world nations to here!

    This doesn’t even address the fact that the American taxpayer is IN FACT subsidizing their business by providing food stamps and Medicare for a significant percentage of their workers because the Waltons are so damned stingy that they can’t pay a living wage!

    So when you start pulling your “we’re-being-so-unfair” percentages out of your hat, next time be sure to add in just how much of America’s infrastructure those rich people are using – especially those who refuse to pay their workers a living wage! When I use as great a percentage of America’s infrastructure as the Waltons do, then and ONLY then should I pay as great a percentage of my income as they do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius #40 –

    Well said – I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ve taken up for the conservatives on quite a few occasions (as have a few other BC liberals), but it’s rare that I’ve seen a BC conservative hold their own to account. I’m under no illusion that you’ll change sides, but it’s still nice to see you hold your own to account. A lot of politicians could learn from what you did.

  • Zingzing

    I wonder, clavos, if your number includes the amount of social security and Medicare taxes we all pay? Does it? I doubt it. And remember income tax is only one form of tax, the lower classes pay much more tax than you seem to be saying (although you’re not saying it, you’re just leaving all that out and hoping no one notices). Revenue is revenue, and the individual income tax accounts for less than half of the total tax revenue. Your numbers look far less impressive when you look at the entire picture, not just the one bit. Or maybe you’re just gullible, I dunno.

  • Clavos

    Clavos, one – ONE – family has more wealth than the bottom 40% of the American people.

    Good for them!! (well, actually, just Sam and a couple of his boys; the rest are only rich by accident of birth)

    This doesn’t even address the fact that the American taxpayer is IN FACT subsidizing their business by providing food stamps and Medicare for a significant percentage of their workers because the Waltons are so damned stingy that they can’t pay a living wage

    I doubt the Waltons asked for the government’s help. their employees can always go work elsewhere if they aren’t happy. I’d be willing to bet plenty of them are just glad to have a job — no thanks to their president and his government sycophants.

    What other family uses as much of America’s roads/airwaves/air traffic control/shipping lanes!

    Which they pay plenty for. Having worked in the transportation business for thirty years, I can tell you that commercial trucks, ships and airplanes pay LOTS of taxes: road taxes, port taxes and fees, and landing fees and airport taxes.

    …especially those who refuse to pay their workers a living wage…

    Which has no bearing on how much taxes they pay, and is therefore a non sequitur in this discussion.

  • Clavos

    No, zing SS and Messycare are payroll taxes and weren’t part of the original discussion. I’m not gullible and the only government I seek to deceive is the Mexican one, and it only because it’s such good sport and so easy. I do, however, take every US deduction I can, and pay a former IRS agent a fair sum to find me all that apply — all within not only the letter, but also the spirit, of the law.

    As you point out, I never said the rich pay more of ALL taxes, and I was only discussing income tax because that’s what whomever started (I don’t remember — or care) the discussion mentioned.

  • Zingzing

    Fine, clavos. But it’s still a very deceptive statistic that I’m sure the top 10% is happy to see every time it comes up.

  • Baronius

    Glenn – “I’ve taken up for the conservatives on quite a few occasions (as have a few other BC liberals), but it’s rare that I’ve seen a BC conservative hold their own to account.”

    Bull. Or, at best, confirmation bias. Clavos and I are arguing over the federal government’s role in education. Dave and I disagree on more things that we agree on. I’ve rarely written a complimentary comment on one of Warren’s articles, and I’ve criticized Kenn over his sources. I called out Dan(Miller) so harshly when he spouted birtherism that I think I drove him from the site. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m far more interested in accuracy than in changing anyone’s mind, and that means I’ll call out anyone when they’re factually wrong.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Baronius, you’re one of the Politics regulars I respect the most, even though we disagree about most things – and even though IMO you went off the rails a bit during a large portion of Obama’s first term.

    In recent weeks, though, I’ve noticed a return to top form. It’s good to see you back in the saddle.

  • Baronius

    A lot of people were making a lot of factually incorrect statements on this site over the past four years.

  • Dr Dreadful

    No change there then. :-)

    It just seemed to me, B, that you were often uncharacteristically irascible with more lapses from the rational than is your custom.

  • Baronius

    You’ll be happy to know that I’ve also stopped beating my wife.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Glenn, I couldn’t help noticing that neither you nor Jet could or would specifically define “fair share.”

    I have also noticed that you always have a negative comment about the “rich,” as in your comment #14. Do I detect a note of jealousy? After all, no one prevented you from becoming “rich.” And, I’m sure that if you were as rich as, say, Sam Walton, you would certainly pay your “fair share.” Well, guess what. There is nothing that prevents you from paying directly to the IRS whether your’e rich or not.

    Re: comment # 40, Baronius, you say, “Deeper than that – The jab at Obama as president for life serves no purpose in this article except to make it look like the work of a crank.” Well, that “jab” had two purposes: to point out (1) that Obama is running the US economy (into the ground) as if he were some African country “president for life,” and (2) Obama’s complete disregard for the US Constitution.

  • zingzing

    “Obama is running the US economy (into the ground) as if he were some African country ‘president for life’.”

    no, that was bush that ran it into the ground. obama’s trying to pull it out with a how that’s either too big or too small, depending upon your perspective. as for your “president for life” junk, whatever. you only make yourself look a fool.

    “(2) Obama’s complete disregard for the US Constitution.”

    just your interpretation of it as it applies to your fantasies… you don’t make a good point by being ridiculous. hitler did things like that. see? i’m saying you’re hitler.

  • zingzing

    a hoe, obviously.

  • Baronius

    Warren, if that’s what you mean by “president for life”, ok. But you should know that there’s a recent tradition of accusing US presidents of not being willing to step down. It probably goes back a lot longer than I remember, and Andrew Jackson would probably still be in office if his health had held out, but the 22nd Amendment established the 2-term rule in 1951. I recall the nuttier elements saying that Clinton would refuse to leave, then Bush (although it was usually Cheney who would be the villain in the story). It’s an absurd accusation. When you say “president for life” that’s what it sounds like you mean.

  • Clavos

    I don’t think it’s deceptive at all. You say the lower classes pay lots more tax than income tax, and that’s true, but the rich also pay those taxes and sometimes at a much higher rate, because their houses are more valuable, so they pay more property tax, they drive high end cars so their tag taxes are higher, they employ house servants and must pay payroll taxes for them (and yes, I am aware that some people don’t pay those taxes, which puts them in the: — shadow economy!) etc.

    I still think the FairTax is a much better means of taxation than the shit mess the government’s come up with over the years.

  • Clavos

    #59 addresses zing’s #49.

    Disculpen.

  • http://rwno.limewebs.com Not the liberal actor

    Re: comment # 58, Baronius, you say (concerning my “president for life” remark), “It’s an absurd accusation.” You may be correct, but Obama’s recent actions may make the accusation not so absurd. After all, actions speak louder than words. Refer to sources here, here, here, here, and here. None of these sources directly address the 22nd amendment. But does Obama’s demonstrated disregard for the US Constitution somehow exclude the 22nd amendment? Please explain why Obama would abide by this amendment while disregarding other amendments and the original Constitution? Do Obama’s actions give me cause for concern?

    Re: comment # 56, Zz, you say, “… you only make yourself look a fool.” And you refer to me as Hitler. But you offer nothing but your opinion to back up your assertions. Well, my opinion is just as valid as yours. In fact, probably more so since I offer sources that helped form my opinion. So, after reading the above sources, who looks both foolish and like Hitler now?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Bull. Or, at best, confirmation bias

    Certainly not the former, but perhaps the latter. I’ll give you that one.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Warren, it can be argued that Obama is in fact staying true to his oath of office by at least some of the actions you cite.

    For example, there is a case to be made that the Defense of Marriage Act is itself unconstitutional, and that by refusing to enforce it, Obama is fulfilling his undertaking to uphold and defend the Constitution.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Not to mention that the military, the Secret Service and other organs of government also swear to uphold the Constitution. Were Obama actually to attempt to stay in office, those worthy gentlemen and ladies would be at a crisis point whereat their loyalty to the head of state would collide with their loyalty to the Constitution.

    However, the Constitution states that nobody can occupy the presidency for more than two four-year terms. Therefore, in the eyes of the law, come January 20th, 2016, Obama will no longer be the President and federal agencies will not have any obligation to him. If he refused to leave office, he would be an illegal usurper, and the machinery of government would act to remove him – by force if necessary.

    Obama knows this. And so do you, you inveterate drama queen.

  • Zingzing

    “And you refer to me as Hitler.”

    That was the point… It was a silly statement based on nothing.

    “In fact, probably more so since I offer sources that helped form my opinion.”

    That Obama is acting like a president for life? Please, whoever me your sources. Or that Obama has a complete disregard for the constitution? Those are both very hard to prove, and I don’t think you parroting some other right wing nut constitutes are “source,” does it? (no, it doesn’t, in case you were wondering.)

    “So, after reading the above sources, who looks both foolish and like Hitler now?”

    You have a god-given talent for missing the point… Go reread that last paragraph of 56 and see if you can get it.

  • Baronius

    Warren – I think the President is bending the heck out of the Constitution. All WH occupants do, but this one’s worse than most. But he will never, ever, ever, stay past his welcome.

  • Clavos

    He has a welcome???

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    He did, once upon a time, Clav, when we still believed in hope & change.

  • Zingzing

    We have elections, clavos, in this spot in time and space called reality. The first time out, the American people rolled out a welcome mat and struck up a fucking band, if you’ll notice. The second time around might not have been quite so emphatic, but it was still over pretty damn quick. So he was welcome here. And in the rest of the world as well, except for communist china, which is rather odd, given the right’s story… The right’s grasp on reality has been slipping for years, and I guess you’re not immune, clavos.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Democracy at work.

    It’s surely encouraging some people are believing in it.

  • Clavos

    I guess you’re not immune, clavos.

    Wrong, zing. There’s nothing wrong with my grasp on reality.

    I’m just contemptuous of your president is all.

  • Zingzing

    “the rich also pay those taxes and sometimes at a much higher rate, because their houses are more valuable, so they pay more property tax, they drive high end cars so their tag taxes are higher”

    Not sales tax, or any other kind of blanket tax. As for property tax, the poor mostly rent, so they pay the property tax of their landlords (and as anyone can tell, a mortgage gets you a lot more house than renting does). And before you go talking about the stupid poor for renting instead of buying, think about what just gutted our economy. As for the tag taxes, are they 10 times as high? I think not. I’m not touching your “house servants” thing, because it disgusts me, but I guess it does give people jobs. Maybe if you consider paying tax accountants a tax upon the rich, you might be able to make the math come out somewhere close to just this side of ludicrous, but the poor and middle classes shell out more than enough to stay right where they are, while the income divide in this country keeps widening. That’s not a positive thing, and I dunno why anyone would think it is. It’s the same with the corporate structures where the execs make X00 times what the average employee makes, and then they wonder why they failed? Was it hostess that gave their execs millions in bonuses while failing by gutting their employees retirement funds? If not, it was some company, not that it’s a unique story. And not that it’s unique to corporate structures.

    The richest top 5 or 10 percent of this country is mostly made up of people who are good at one thing: money-grubbing. If the rest of this very creative nation could somehow find a way to creatively grub the money off the money-grubbers, I don’t see how they could look at it with anything but respect.

  • Zingzing

    “I’m just contemptuous of your president is all.”

    I’m afraid you’ll have to deal with it for a while. It’s about time the right started acting as if bound by reality instead of fantasy, which I think your question is a symptom of. Maybe you were just being dramatic, but it looks the same as crackers to me.

  • Clavos

    Throughout history successful people in any endeavour have been envied and hated by the proles. Apparently amerika the pretend land of the free and home of the brave is no exception.

    Today, land of the whiners and home of the indolent is a much more accurate description.

  • Clavos

    Neither dramatic nor crackers, zing. Just a reference to my own opinion of the poser.

  • Clavos

    the right started acting as if bound by reality instead of fantasy…

    Are you “bound by reality,” zing?

    You just accept whatever “reality’ serves you up, and when finished shuffle back, saying, “Please, sir may I have some more?”

    You must have really liked GWB, then, zing, because he was as much reality as a heart attack, which is pretty much the effect he had on this place.

  • Zingzing

    By “reality” I mean not paranoid fantasies. Although I admit I may have found w to be a nightmare.

  • Zingzing

    “Throughout history successful people in any endeavour have been envied and hated by the proles.”

    Sometimes they’re envied, sometimes they’re hated, but rarely for the same reason.

    “Today, land of the whiners and home of the indolent is a much more accurate description.”

    This is why you’ll have a hard time winning elections. Do you really view those with less than you as such? Dig your grave, bigmouth.

  • Zingzing

    Or maybe you should point those words towards corporate America, since that’s where all the bailout money went. Or maybe you should point those words at the rich, since they’re whinging about losing their huge tax breaks. Or maybe you should point those words at yourself, since things aren’t going your way as they have for so long, and since you’re the one whining in the face of possible change.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Throughout history successful people in any endeavour have been envied and hated by the proles.

    And throughout history, too great an income equality has almost always led to increased social unrest…and the most successful nations in the world – the ones with the highest standards of living – are mostly ones with the least degree of income inequality.

    But I get it – who gives a tinker’s damn about the poor people, it’s all their fault anyway. Instead, bow down and worship the Holy Job Creators like all Real Conservatives do….

  • Baronius

    Zing – That last comment of yours was completely wrong. The truth is, no one’s paying the taxes that keep this country’s benefit machine working. But if there is one parasitical class in the US that takes what they haven’t earned and controls our fiscal policy, it’s not the top 1%, it’s the bottom 40%.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    But if there is one parasitical class in the US that takes what they haven’t earned and controls our fiscal policy, it’s not the top 1%, it’s the bottom 40%.

    Riiiiiiight. Yep, we got all those poor peoples’ lobbyists up there on K street chipping away at Paris Hilton’s hard-earned money! That’s why since 1980, the top 1%’s share of the income and total wealth have skyrocketed, while that of the rest of us has stayed stagnant or has fallen (see here).

    Yes, if ONLY the poor people would stop doing things like voting for their own best interests – and they should also stop restricting poor people like Sheldon Adelson to the point where he’s forced to spend $150M of his own money just to be able to make his voice heard over the din of poor people casting their votes…

    …yes, if only the poor people would shut up and get back to work instead of voting, all of America would magically get better!

  • troll

    Baronius – maintaining a vibrant lumpen proletariat is a cost of doing business…a major social cost of choosing the capitalist model

  • Baronius

    Glenn, just because an idea is outside your paradigm doesn’t make it wrong. You’re thinking of crony capitalism as the only problem. But shake up your thinking a little. Imagine I were describing a different society in any period of history other than this one. There’s a group of people who get money, housing, food, education, and medicine from the state’s coffers. You’d be calling them nobles and chasing after them with a pitchfork. We just happen to be the only society wealthy enough to try to create a class of idle rich at the financial low end.

  • Dr Dreadful

    That’s true, Baronius, but in other periods of history the people who lived at the expense of the state did so because they controlled the state.

  • Clavos

    By consistently voting Democratic, (and getting them to do so was the goal of the party when it began to set up the entitlements) those people, to a significant degree, DO control the state, Doc.

  • Igor

    Baronius, did you really say “…a class of idle rich at the financial low end.”?

    Does that, then, require a class of lazy poor at the financial high end?

    My head is spinning.

  • zingzing

    baronius, your second-to-last comment was completely wrong. the truth is, every dollar of benefit money becomes more than a dollar in the economy, without which, the rich would not be rich. while for every dollar of money the rich earn, lots of it goes into tax shelters, or off-shore. the rich are the vampires of the american economy, not the other way around, and we could deal with losing them far more than they could deal with losing the rest of us.

    clavos, the poor do not control the state. they only get what they get because if they didn’t the state would fail and they’d have some heads off. so they’re given just enough to survive on, which means they’re too busy doing that to get truly riled up at their situation, while the rich, the real masters, laugh it up. (and don’t forget that if your money is worthless, it doesn’t matter how much you have piled up.)

  • zingzing

    why does the right despise the poor (“indolent whiners,” says clavos; “parasites,” baronius calls them,) so much? and why are you so defensive of the uber-rich?

    the uber-rich can take care of themselves, no? they benefit from this society in huge ways. yet, the idea that the poor would try to access the benefits of living in a society is viewed as so very wrong. i wonder why we even formed any societies at all? not that mutual protection or mutual benefit or any of that matters.

  • Baronius

    I’m not despising the rich or the poor, old or sick people, taxpayers or non-taxpayers. I’m suggesting that the thinking being expressed in recent comments is narrow in its assumption that the rich are taking and the poor are giving. I don’t typically think in terms of rich and poor – wealth and earnings are different concepts, and earnings vary across the life cycle – but if you’re going to cast things in the rich/poor terms, then you’ve got to address the fact that the rich are mostly “costing” the government money by not giving, but the poor are costing the government money by collecting. But we’re all taking more than we should, collectively.

    I’m not trying to protect the uber-rich. I just hate bullying. The kind of anti-rich populism that’s being done on this thread smacks of bullying.

  • Clavos

    @#90: Well said, Bar.

    The kind of anti-rich populism that’s being done on this thread smacks of bullying.

    QFT

  • Clavos

    Do you really view those with less than you as such?

    Some I view that way have less than I, true; but in that remark I was thinking more of the masses of middle class people currently welcoming and participating in Obama’s class war and population-dividing tactics. They are his pawns and don’t even realize it (some probably do realize, but they support him); and they likely won’t until the country is well and truly rent asunder.

    There are more than 300 million guns out there, zing, and not a few are assault weapons. If this bitterness and acrimony goes on too long, I believe the guns will come into play. It’s only a matter of time.

    I am really looking forward to 2016, when we will finally be rid of that Machiavelli in the White House.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #91, 92

    With all due respect, we’re witnessing a rather new phenomenon on American political/social scene: a contempt of the rest of us by the rich, a kind of contempt that was not only un-American but downright unheard of in our past. It may be difficult to trace the beginnings, but the Reagan era of deregulation, mergers & acquisitions, the times when America was forced to compete with other economic powers and seek a cheaper labor pool abroad, certainly qualifies. In the sixties and early seventies, the ratio of the CEO’s pay to that of the rest of the labor force was reasonable and justifiable. Today it’s astronomical, for which reason it is neither.

    You haven’t commented on my “silver lining” article. No matter. It still behooves you,
    however, to listen to a short segment of Mike Huckabee’s interview of David Frum (as per link). Although it falls short of making this very point as overtly as I have done, its all there nonetheless if you care to read between the lines.

    In any case, I don’t necessarily approve of bashing the rich that you both speak of and consider the greatest offense. Still, I thought this post may be go some way to restore the proper balance.

  • Baronius

    “With all due respect, we’re witnessing a rather new phenomenon on American political/social scene: a contempt of the rest of us by the rich, a kind of contempt that was not only un-American but downright unheard of in our past.”

    Huh? Who says there is? And who says it’s new? I’m not disputing either point, but I can’t think of a reason to believe that either one is true. (I guess that means I am disputing them. Eh. You know what I mean. I just don’t see a reason you’d say either.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That is certainly not one of your best comments, Baronius. The immediate impression that sticks out: dancing on the point of a needle.

    How many angels are there? Are you one of them?

  • Deano

    Machiavelli? Seriously? If you are referring to Obama, he’s done a piss poor job of being Machiavellian. He survived the election primarily on the back of a decidedly underwhelming GOP performance, with the thickest set of morons to ever chase a presidency as his opponents.

    Obama wasn’t stupid, but he was far from Machiavellian – he moved to the centre on most policies, loathe though the right is to admit it. He successfully leveraged the many, many groups the GOP seemed suicidely focused on alienating (i.e. women, immigrants, anyone with an income below $200,000 per year etc.). With the current state of the economy, all the GOP had to do was forward a policy direction based in reality and commonsense, rather then psycotic rhetoric, and you would have pulled enough centralist swing votes to pitch the election in a different direction.

    If the Republicans had fielded a candidate that moved to the centre and effectively refused to cater to the far-right nut job segment of the party, Obama would have been a one-term president.

    They didn’t…please stop whining about it. Stupidity lost the election not Machiavellian design.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I have to agree with Deano, Clav. You’re certainly giving Mr. Obama too much credit, more credit in any case than he deserves.

    There’s much to be said for the force of understatement.

  • Zingzing

    “The kind of anti-rich populism that’s being done on this thread smacks of bullying.”

    That’s rich. The rich have the slickest ride they’ve had in half a century, and when the country hits hard times, it’s not the rich, but the poor that should be expected to bare more of the burden? Please. The rich have had it their way for so long, and it did not work. Start producing if you want to keep your kickbacks.

    Really, if you gave money to someone only to watch that money disappear, would you say that was a good investment? No, you wouldn’t. It’s not bullying, it’s common sense. If the rich had anything other than self-interest riding on it, they’d absolutely agree. This economy runs on consumerism, and you’re eager to fuck over the consumer? Good fucking luck, dimwit.

  • Clavos

    Deano, he’s got you convinced he’s just short of inept and stupid; he’s neither. He’s got the Republicans and the rest of the country convinced we’re headed for a “fiscal cliff” that will destroy us all and the country in the bargain if we don’t give him the more than $1 trillion in new taxes he’s demanding, and everyone’s staring up at the sky, waiting for it to fall.

    Machiavellian.

    With no small amount of Pied Piper thrown in.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Now that’s interesting!

    Baronius said:
    We just happen to be the only society wealthy enough to try to create a class of idle rich at the financial low end.

    Then Dr Dreadful said:
    That’s true, Baronius, but in other periods of history the people who lived at the expense of the state did so because they controlled the state.

    Then Clavos said:
    By consistently voting Democratic, (and getting them to do so was the goal of the party when it began to set up the entitlements) those people, to a significant degree, DO control the state, Doc.

    That reminds me of a certain hopeful phrase by Lincoln:

    …that government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people, shall not perish from the earth. (caps mine, of course)

    Oh, silly, silly me for thinking that we should encourage everyone to vote….

  • Clavos

    Did anyone say anything about discouraging people from voting? Perhaps in that special, unique comment thread inside your head, Glenn?

  • Dr Dreadful

    If you take out that last non sequitur sentence, Glenn does actually hit a very ironic nail right on the head here, Clav.

    (And yes, I chose every word in that second clause very carefully!)

  • Igor

    @96-Deano: good comment, very astute.

  • Clavos

    (And yes, I chose every word in that second clause very carefully!)

    Please, Doc, ya didn’t have to draw me a picture.

    Just sayin’

    Sigh.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Preemptive strike, Clav…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clav –

    Did anyone say anything about discouraging people from voting? Perhaps in that special, unique comment thread inside your head, Glenn?

    It’s interesting that a politically-aware conservative from Florida should have to ask that question, especially considering what happened with the voting lines this past election….

  • Clavos

    I’m well aware of what is alleged about the lines in Florida, and in fact, as a member of moveon.org (betcha never woulda guessed that, eh Glenn?), I was asked to and did sign a petition to Ricky Scott to do something about the early voting meltdown. I even posted a poster about it from moveon on Fb.

    So what’s your point? We weren’t discussing that before now was my point.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    *after being digitally slapped silly, mumbles* “um, no, I didn’t see that coming at all” *then sheepishly crawls under the keyboard*

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    You’re in danger of getting lung cancer, Glenn, what with all the things you’ve literally and figuratively been told to put in your pipe and smoke today…

  • Clavos

    For Glenn, Jet et alia.
    So much for your vaunted 91% tax rate.

    An excerpt:

    …the top marginal income-tax rate in the 1950s was much higher than today’s top rate of 35%, but the share of income paid by the wealthiest Americans has essentially remained flat since then.

    In 1958, the top 3% of taxpayers earned 14.7% of all adjusted gross income and paid 29.2% of all federal income taxes. In 2010, the top 3% earned 27.2% of adjusted gross income and their share of all federal taxes rose proportionally, to 51%.

    So if the top marginal tax rate has fallen to 35% from 91%, how in the world has the tax burden on the wealthy remained roughly the same? Two factors are responsible. Lower- and middle-income workers now bear a significantly lighter burden than in the past. And the confiscatory top marginal rates of the 1950s were essentially symbolic, very few actually paid them. In reality the vast majority of top earners faced lower effective rates than they do today.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    You’re in danger of getting lung cancer, Glenn, what with all the things you’ve literally and figuratively been told to put in your pipe and smoke today…

    Yes, time was here in Washington state we could get Twinkies but no marijuana, but now we can get marijuana but no Twinkies.

    And thanks to you (and Clavos) for the criticism – I do need it and appreciate it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    But the question is, can you show us a time when a measly 4.5% hike in tax rates resulted in financial ruin? I’ve pointed out twice when we had higher tax rates, and both of those times (one of which was not so long ago) we had a national boom.

    And according to nationalmemo.com/suddenly-americas-top-corporate-leaders-are-shunning-tea-party-extremism/ (the software filter wouldn’t let me post it as a hyperlink) it’s not just us liberals pointing this out:

    – Fred Smith, CEO of Federal Express and a former economic advisor to Senator John McCain…denounced as “mythology” the notion that raising the top rate would damage the U.S. economy.

    – Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT&T, the nation’s largest telecom company, told Business Week that higher taxes and more revenue must be part of any budget agreement.

    – So did Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs.

    – And so did a group of defense industry executives from companies such as United Technologies, RTI International, and Northrop Grumman.

    – David Langstaff, the CEO of TASC, at a Washington press event organized by the Aerospace Industries Association, a defense lobby, said income tax rates “need to go up some…. This is a fairness issue – there needs to be recognition that we’re not collecting enough revenue. In the last decade we’ve fought two wars without raising taxes. So I think it does need to go up.”

    Clavos, I know you may feel it’s not fair that the rich pay more taxes…but it is also not right and not fair that so many of the rich pay a lower percentage of their income than you or I do. It is not right that Romney paid only 13.9% taxes – capital gains income tax is not taxing the same money multiple times, it’s taxing the interest made on that money, the profits made on that investment.

    It is not right that the Republicans should demand that the lower classes – the ones who are least able to afford to pay a 35% tax rate – should be expected to pay that rate while defending 15% tax rates on capital gains income.

    And when it comes to fairness, while it may not be fair that Joe Millionaire has to pay a few percent more, he’s still a millionaire, and his kids can still get the best health care, go to the best colleges and be able to start out much higher on the corporate rung, whereas Miss Wal-Mart Check-Out Lady would happily pay that extra few percent if she were a millionaire, too. But instead, she worries about feeding her kids, making sure they have clothes to eat and a dry place to sleep. Making sure they go to the very best colleges and starting out high up on the corporate rung is a very, very distant dream.

    It’s like the CEO of FedEx and former McCain economic adviser said: it’s simply “mythology” that raising the top tax rate would damage the nation’s economy.

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  • Igor

    The rich in America have failed by their own standards.

    For years they’ve been telling us that they are the “job creators” and so they need more money and power in their hands. But that is exactly what the Bush administration did and the Rich failed to produce jobs.

    Therefore, we must revoke the big tax breaks to the rich, as well as any bailouts.

  • Clavos

    The thing is, you guys; if we took ALL the money ALL the rich own we wouldn’t even begin to pay off the country’s debt; this “tax the rich” thing is a strawman. That’s why it bothers me that that man is targeting and focusing on the rich; I sincerely believe he’s trying to create a large schism in the american population; to what end, I don’t know, but nothing good comes to mind.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    The key isn’t to get the rich to pay off the nation’s debt – it’s to get them to pump their income back into their companies rather than socking their profits into the bank or taking them offshore. When given a choice of whether to pay the taxes or putting those profits back into the company, they’ll almost always choose the latter…and that’s a good thing for everyone, don’t you think?

    And if it were such a bad idea, I really don’t think the CEO’s above would have spoken out in favor of it.

    To address your point about the country’s debt, no, we’re not trying to use their money to pay off the debt and you know it – that’s a strawman of your own. We’re trying to either get them to use their money to grow their companies (and therefore not pay their taxes), or they can pay their taxes and we can help rebuild our infrastructure. How can this possibly be a bad thing?

  • Igor

    Glenn is right: raising rich peoples taxes will drive money out of their mattresses and into the economy, where it will do some good.

  • Clavos

    When given a choice of whether to pay the taxes or putting those profits back into the company, they’ll almost always choose the latter…

    True as far as you stated it, but you oversimplified it by leaving out their third choice of avoiding paying the taxes AND keeping possession of their money.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I sincerely believe he’s trying to create a large schism in the american population

    Then perhaps someone should tell him there already is one.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    They can only do so by (1) finding enough deductions that they won’t have to pay, or (2) taking their money outside the country, or (3) engaging in tax fraud.

    If they do the first, then that’s good, too. Our history in the 1950’s-1970’s and the 1990’s shows that not enough will do the second to really matter (because our tax revenues did not fall when the taxes were raised), and those who do the third care more about a few more cents on the dollar than about not committing felonies and doing jail time.

    Your turn.

  • Igor

    American companies are using tricks to cause an enormous loss of corporate taxes to foreign countries. Usually this is a simple scheme that routes profits through a wholly owned shell in a foreign country so that taxes there fall under the Foreign Tax Allowance (FTA). Through that simple device Chevron, Exxon and Valero have reduced their US corp taxes to zero. An announcement over the weekend revealed that Google has saved $2billion on US taxes last year with that trick.

    That’s a loophole worth closing, but Boehner and McConnel and Paul Ryan will not close that loophole.

    The huge bribes that large american companies have paid to politicians in the form of “campaign contributions” has paid off handsomely for those companies.

    But it will destroy the USA by undermining it’s finances.

    Over the weekend the US BLM was busy auctioning off leases for shale oil lands in California, which will be another tax boon for Big Oil because California (alone among oil jurisdictions) charges NO extraction tax for oil.

    While phony patriots in the republican party purposely look the other way, the USA is being robbed blind thru the cooperation of foreign governments and our over-privileged corporations.

  • Clavos

    Then perhaps someone should tell him there already is one.

    True. And mostly generated (or at least exacerbated) by the present administration…

    because our tax revenues did not fall when the taxes were raised…

    Nor did they rise commensurate with the increases…

  • Dr Dreadful

    True. And mostly generated (or at least exacerbated) by the present administration…

    No, mostly generated by money. The widening chasm between rich and poor is nothing new: it’s been a major political issue for at least the last 20 years.

  • clavos

    The widening chasm between rich and poor is nothing new: it’s been a major political issue for at least the last 20 years.

    And Obama has been assiduously stoking the fires his entire time in office…

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    And Obama has been assiduously stoking the fires his entire time in office…

    Good.

  • Zingzing

    I was just thinking about directing clavos to Mel brooks’ “French revolution” bit of history of the world pt 1, but then I thought about the conditions that spurred the American revolution… When you see all the power and money shifting towards one class, you’d better get a little nervous either way. Clavos seems worried that the majority of this country is bitching too much, and he should be.

  • clavos

    Clavos seems worried that the majority of this country is bitching too much, and he should be.

    I agree, but obviously for entirely different reasons. I could say my concern is that this country, which appears at this time to be extraordinarily fragile and and in ill health fiscally and psychologically, is in danger of being rent asunder irreparably, but if that were to actually happen, it would probably be a good thing for the rest of the world.

  • troll

    so…when the rebels get close to D.C. do you think Obama will use his chemical weapons?

  • Doug Hunter

    Zing, while the shift to global corporations and the astronomical salaries and wealth of their heads and owners certainly creates imbalance, the numbers hide much of reality.

    No attempt is made to quantify government benefits, which have grown immensely, as part of wealth. A person with ‘zero’ net worth in this country has a guaranteed SS pension, disability insurance, low income insurance that provides medical care and food stamps if he is unable to pay, and the list goes far beyond that. I haven’t put a pencil to it, but that has to be worth quite a bit.

    I’m not disputing your point, just pointing out a major flaw in our measurement system that everyone seems to simply ignore… one of the reasons people don’t accumulate personal wealth for a rainy day is because the government does that for them.

  • Doug Hunter

    #128

    Haha, fat ass lazy americans aren’t gonna peel their eyes off the screen of a smartphone/tablet/computer long enough to do shit. This country is far, far from revolution. Getting nookie in some tent on Wall Street between college classes so you can have some ‘experience’ to tweet about your way to get a student loan from the company you just protested is far from a revolution.

    Revolutions require fighters… ha. Our kids our taught absolute fear and avoidance of physical violence at all costs, that government should have the sole monopoly on force, starting in preschool. The boys are feminized to where those that don’t end up gay can’t even have the sperm count to produce children. If you resist in any way you’re labeled defective and drugged into submission. (you’ll notice the military focuses on rough areas where education is weak to get it’s warriors) We’re trained to be ants in a colony and that’s what we’ll be, ants don’t attack the queen or the drones or question why they are over them, ants just gather resources for the greater good, a living sacrifice for the colony.

  • Cindy

    Yeah, more violence and tough guy stuff is what’s needed. Fuck you, Gandhi! What do you know about revolution? And fuck your peace and love bullshit too, Jesus. We need real men who like to pick veins from their teeth.

    (Hmmm…I wonder if Gandhi was gay?)

  • Cindy

    The boys are feminized to where those that don’t end up gay can’t even have the sperm count to produce children.

    And fuck women, who the hell would want to act like them? Damn pussies. Well, they are good for some things though.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I’ll be glad when this Mayan nonsense is over so that we can go back to adding the suffix -gate to everything instead of -mageddon.