Quakes in Colorado AND Virginia?

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rare Strong Earthquake Hits Colorado
Quake rocks Washington area, felt on East Coast

Even Obama felt the tremors on Martha's Vineyard, just as he was starting another round of golf. Perhaps the Obama administration will this occasion to blame something other than president Bush for his latest approval rating dip to 38%.

"The recent earthquake in Virginia is the reason my approval rating has dropped another point..."

--President Obama,
(sometime in the near future... perhaps? one can hope?)

68 comments:

BenT - the Unbeliever,  August 23, 2011 at 10:35 PM  

If you sell me a car that's a lemon. After two years the car is still a lemon and it's still your fault.

If you ignore home maintenance and breed termite colonies in the basement. It doesn't matter how much time passes, you are still responsible for the rotten walls and cracked foundation.

Before the housing bubble burst when the nation's economy was soaring for the clouds. Pres. Bush should have been socking away money for a rainy day. Instead he instituted policies that not only exacerbated our long-term financial problems, but initiated new expensive programs on our federal debt.

Guess what none of those programs have been cancelled, none of those long-term financial problems have been solved, and they're still Pres. Bush's fault.

ELAshley August 24, 2011 at 8:39 AM  

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are responsible for the housing collapse, and the resultant recession. As I recall, Bush, on numerous occasions, tried to get the Left to shore up the insolvent Fannie and Freddie, but both Frank and Dodd claimed there was nothing amiss; that Fannie and Freddie were not at risk.

Obama didn't cause the collapse. But he has most certainly exacerbated the problem with his war on American capitalism, and the American people.

It won't be Bush's fault that, had or when an earthquake or other natural disaster strikes and causes immense damages, America has no safety net to rebuild and recoup. This country is broke because Obama has put us out on the lip of a financial abyss. Bush didn't, nor would he have signed into law, a stimulus package that did nothing to stimulate jobs or growth. Nor would he have heaped upon the shoulders of the American people a ruinous healthcare law. You think things are bad now? Just wait until the full weight of Obamacare settles on the backs of the American people.

All that is on Obama.

(By the way, call me ASAP. I never received that email you spoke of (Monday), and no one here is being helpful. I need you to open your email and forward me the email in question... assuming you even received it yourself)

Mark August 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM  

Actually, it wasn't a quake at all. It was either Obama's ego collapsing under the weight of all his BS or a 14.5 trillion dollar check bouncing.

ELAshley August 24, 2011 at 10:42 AM  

Or a combination of the two?

Edwin Drood August 24, 2011 at 10:51 AM  

To be fair, Obama inherited earthquakes.

I think we can all agree that Obama would have been a better President if absolutely everything in the world was perfect on his first day in office; just like it was with every President before him.

ELAshley August 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM  

Excellent point, Edwin. No president has entered office with the world already in perfect order. Democrats seem incapable of recognizing this point. If all either party can do is blame the previous administration for all its ills and woes, then no president need ever take personal responsibility for anything-- the next administration will do it for them.

This, to my mind, show a distinct lack of character. No matter which side engages in it.

Edwin Drood August 24, 2011 at 4:35 PM  

Obama complains about the state of our Nation when he took office as if he wasn't a Senator in the majority party just the day before.

Bush on the other hand never mentioned partisan politics in his speeches or made excuses when things didn't go his way.

ELAshley August 26, 2011 at 8:50 AM  

Also, Obama, while campaigning for the job he now holds, called the 4 trillion Bush added to the debt in eight years "unpatriotic"..... far be it from me to question Obama's patriotism [oink!], but he's added 4.5 trillion in 2 and a half years. It's like a poker scene from a western movie...

---

[Says Obama pushing his entire stake to the center of the table...]

OBAMA: "I'll see your FOUR trillion Bush Hawg, and raise you four and a half trillion, you unpatriotic bastard!"

---

If Bush was merely "unpatriotic" for 4 trillion, what does 4 and a half say about Obama? Borderline treasonous?

Jim August 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM  

"the 4 trillion Bush added to the debt in eight years". No, Bush added $5.2 Trillion which I've documented previously. When Bush entered office the the budget delivered a surplus. Therefore, the entire $5.2 Trillion can be attributed to Bush policies (wars, tax cuts, etc.)

Obama has added the Stimulus to the national debt. That's under $800 Billion. All other increases to the national debt are due to Bush policies (wars, tax cuts, etc.). These deficit inducing policies didn't end when Bush left office.

Marshall Art August 28, 2011 at 4:14 PM  

The Bush tax cuts didn't add to the debt and there was no surplus when he took office.

Edwin Drood August 28, 2011 at 5:11 PM  

Jim is taking Bush spending plus interest and inflation and comparing it to Obamas raw spending over two years.

Jim also doesn't pay taxes as he thinks tax cuts are a expenditure. A very wise man once said

"if you're one of the 50% of Americans who doesn't pay federal income tax then STFU about tax rates"

Jim August 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM  

The last Clinton budget was a surplus budget. However, between January 20th 2001 and the end of that budgeted fiscal year, after the first Bush tax cuts, the debt was higher by $133,000,000.

"The Bush tax cuts didn't add to the debt". This is an absurd statement.

"Jim is taking Bush spending plus interest and inflation and comparing it to Obamas raw spending over two years."

Total nonsense. Not even a "nice try".

Debts come from deficits. Deficits come when revenues are less than spending. Bush's deficits were of his own making: tax cuts to lower revenues and wars and medicare part D to increase spending. Obama's are from decreased revenues due to severe recession and increased spending due to severe recession.

"Jim also doesn't pay taxes as he thinks tax cuts are a expenditure."

No, Jim doesn't think tax cuts are expenditures. But they do increase the deficit. Jim pays a lot of taxes, maybe more than you, so I'm certainly not going to STFU.

Marshall Art August 30, 2011 at 2:29 AM  

""The Bush tax cuts didn't add to the debt". This is an absurd statement."

No, Jim. YOU'RE absurd. How can a move that causes an increase in tax revenues add to the debt? I've presented more than one graph and more than one article over the years with info from the CBO, OMB and IRS. Which one of them is cooking the numbers? Some of the spending that went on during his terms, especially that which took place during the periods of Democratic control in Congress, added to the debt. But the tax cuts did not. You continue to make this stupid statement despite facts to the contrary.

"The last Clinton budget was a surplus budget."

Here is a very comprehensive article that dispels the myth of the Clinton surplus. It even provides a list of critiques of the article to which the author responds.

I will head off a possible complaint. The "Surplus Myth" article speaks of misleading numbers of the CBO. This might provoke a concern about using CBO numbers to support the wisdom and positive results of the Bush tax cuts. The difference however, is that the author of the "Surplus Myth" article explains WHY the CBO numbers are misleading while I've not seen any reasonable attempt to show the same regarding the Bush tax cuts. That's because such an argument can't be made. When the IRS shows the same numbers increase in revenues, one cannot dismiss the truth so easily.

Mark August 30, 2011 at 5:58 AM  

This phrase intrigues me:

"increased spending due to severe recession"

I don't know much about economics, I admit, but that phrase seems oxymoronic to me. Perhaps Jim could explain it further.

I don't know about Jim's (and Obama's) world, but in my world, if I'm going through a recession (which, in layman's terms, means a period of less money) I CAN'T "increase spending". The funds used to spend are not present.

Now, if you meant to say severe recession is due to increased spending, that I understand.

I wouldn't say "if you don't pay taxes so STFU". I'd say if you can't satisfactorily explain how increased spending could possibly be due to a severe recession, then STFU.

Edwin Drood August 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

I would revise my comment to "if you don't pay taxes then STFU about raising taxes"

Its funny how every Liberal is a high earning tax paying know-it-all on the internet. In real life they work a Borders and complain how someone with a graduates degree in English Lit can't get a decent job.


It's pretty obvious Jim doesn't pay taxes so I'm sorry if the tax cuts I want are too expensive you Jim.

ELAshley August 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM  

Clinton's budget was balanced ONLY ON PAPER... with the promises of specific cuts in the budget some 3 to 7 years out; which is typical of Washington. The problem with this, as I've stated before, is one congress cannot tie the hands of a future congress in terms of cuts or spending. As has been abundantly illustrated in the past, every congress has the ability to write their own budgets, and if it gets the president signature it becomes law... even if that law negates previous budgetary considerations. In short, next congress' budget can, and most likely will, negate many of last congress' budget considerations.

Everyone cheered and huzzahed the president (Clinton) for balancing the budget... but it was only balanced on paper, with promises THAT congress couldn't make the next congress keep (and Clinton wasn't the one who 'balanced' it, anyway... he merely signed it and took credit for it. All presidents do this).

What we need is a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.

As for taxes. Excessive taxation inhibits growth. This has been proven time and again. Reduced taxation encourages growth and job creation. Again, proven over and over.

The government needs to step back from the trough, take a look at its bloated a$$, and cut back on the things it is not allowed, constitutionally, to consume.

I don't understand why so many people in this country object to that. When did 'following the constitution' become passe? A matter of trivial importance?

If the country is really this bad off, then we have ceased to be a constitutional republic. We have become something different. We may still look like America (Specifically: the United States of America), we may still TALK like America, but we're daily forsaking the values that MAKE us America.

ELAshley August 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM  

And I hate the expression/idea that "tax cuts are too expensive." This suggests that the government owns my productivity, and deigns to allow me a portion of my sweat and labor.

This idea is wrong-headed at its core, and anti-constitutional. It's downright unAmerican!

I own the wages I earn, minus that slice of pie the government gets to do the work it is constitutionally obligated to perform. The law says they are entitled to (x)-amount of dollars depending upon what bracket my wage-level falls under. The government DOES NOT OWN that money; it is the money we give IT to do the things we have empowered it to do. The problem is government is trying to do far more than the constitution mandates that it do, and it wastes our money to boot! But this is not entirely government's fault. WE have allowed, by our own indifference to the 'goings-on' in Washington, those public servants we call 'elected officials' to believe they are entitled to engineer this nation in a direction THEY desire; regardless of what the constitution or the people it purports to protect, have to say.

Want to know why the United States government spends trillions it doesn't have? The government is too big, and too self-important. It thinks too highly of itself and its purpose. As a result it wastes the money it takes from us by doing things it is not mandated to do, while ignoring many things it IS. The smaller the government, the less waste, and less cost of managing the people's business. It's that simple.

It's OUR money, not the government's. And those jackanapes in Washington need a sharp reminder of that very fact. And if such as reminder is not leveled next November, I honestly believe this nation is done for.

What we are witnessing now, if you'll pardon the play on words, is America's descent into ignominy... into second-rate nationhood.

Jim August 30, 2011 at 10:18 PM  

"How can a move that causes an increase in tax revenues add to the debt?"

There is no proof that revenues increased due to tax cuts. Revenues went down immediately after the 2001 Bush tax cuts. Must have been the tax cuts, right? There is no proof that tax cuts caused or contributed to increased revenues during the Bush Administration. The housing boom/bubble was a much more significant factor.

"Here is a very comprehensive article that dispels the myth of the Clinton surplus."

This article says that the last Clinton budget left a deficit of $133 billion less $38 billion for tax refunds. But it says nothing about the lower revenues collected post tax cut.

What CBO study shows that revenues increased due to tax cuts? Because of tax cuts?

"When the IRS shows the same numbers increase in revenues, one cannot dismiss the truth so easily." The IRS does not say that the revenues are due to tax cuts.

Mark, your last post doesn't display oxymoronic thinking. It exposes your moronic thinking.

Increased spending comes from unemployment insurance payments for extended periods, aid to families out of work, aid to states and municipalities to keep teachers, police, and firefighters working, and the stimulus.

"It's pretty obvious Jim doesn't pay taxes so I'm sorry if the tax cuts I want are too expensive you Jim."

How can it be obvious, ED-afflicted, when I've told you that I do indeed pay taxes? And because of what you just said, I'm now guessing significantly more than you.

"Excessive taxation inhibits growth. This has been proven time and again." No body has proved time and time again that we are being excessively taxed. If the Laffable curve is currect, please provide me ANY documentation of WHERE on the Laffable curve the US economy is.

"When did 'following the constitution' become passe?"

Please cite the case law that makes any of this unconstitutional. Sorry, your say so doesn't cut it.

"The problem is government is trying to do far more than the constitution mandates that it do". See above about case law.

Edwin Drood August 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

Three clues that you don't pay taxes

1. Obama supporter
2. Claim on the internet that you pay more than anyone else.
3. You want the government to do everything for you

Mark August 31, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

"Increased spending comes from unemployment insurance payments for extended periods, aid to families out of work, aid to states and municipalities to keep teachers, police, and firefighters working, and the stimulus.

Obviously, Jim has never had to depend on income from the Government. Unemployment insurance? How much do you think the unemployed get? Those payments aren't enough to even pay the most basic bills, let alone any luxuries. That's not increased spending on the unemployed person's part. That is simply being able to pay some of his most pressing bills.

Same with any sort of monetary aid to anyone. Government pays less than the bare minimum it takes to stay alive.

That will never, never, not in a million years, stimulate the economy.

And you call me a moron. Sheeeesh!

ELAshley August 31, 2011 at 3:18 PM  

Folk like Jim want the achievers in this world to pay for the all the injustices they define as such, so they can feel good about helping the poor without having to lift a finger themselves.

The government, in their (folk like Jim) lexicon, exists to rape the hard working in order to pay the downtrodden to remain downtrodden.

Way to go Jim! You're as much a thief as the man who robs the corner liquor store. For all we like to applaud the theme, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, the simple fact is it's still theft. Whatever your motives, stealing from one class to earn political largesse of another is still wrong; wrong and pregnant with black cynicism.

The sad part in all this is the Left doesn't feel the least bit ashamed by it. They're all fired up to feed the hungry so long as the hungry doesn't show up on their doorstep looking for a handout. Not only are they thieves, they're hypocrites as well.

But none of this addresses the president's plummeting poll numbers.

BenT - the unbeliever,  August 31, 2011 at 5:51 PM  

It's sort of a split personality with today's conservatives. They believe...

a) The American government and country worked better in the past.

b) today's government "exists to rape the hard working in order to pay the downtrodden to remain downtrodden"


And somehow they never see the insanity that today's "hard working" pay less than ever before. Or that yesteryear's government was able to do so much because federal revenues were so much higher (as indexed to inflation). Or even that today's conservative sacred cows would be loony fringe crazy for the founders of modern conservatism.

It is a type of delusion: Tax cuts generate revenue! The hard working are being raped! Liberals are taking over the country!

Jim August 31, 2011 at 11:01 PM  

Three clues that ED-afflicted is an idiot:

1. Refuses to believe a statement of fact from the actual source of that fact.

2. Thinks I claimed something that I DID not claim.

3. Makes straw men out of shit pulled from his ass.

I want a lot from my government. I pay for it and I'm willing to pay for it. I do not want the government to feed me or my family, pay for my housing or car, gasoline, or my satellite TV. I want my government to protect me from enemies, germs, pollution, pig shit, salmonella, and people willing to hurt me to make a profit. I'd like the government to provide for my medical care and I'm willing to pay for that. I'm willing to pay for all those things. And I do (except the medical care at least for another couple of years).

Jim August 31, 2011 at 11:17 PM  

"Obviously, Jim has never had to depend on income from the Government."

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. I once received unemployment for 2 months.

Mark mixes up two subjects. The government has greater expenses during a recession because it PAYS unemployment, PAYS funds to state and local governments and the other things I mentioned above. That's where I was explaining why deficits increase during a recession.

Next, of course all of the above payments have a stimulative effect. The alternative is no money for the unemployed to spend. And if they aren't spending, the economy is worse off. Since they have little or no other source of income, they MUST spend what they government gives during the recession. The multiplier effect of a dollar of unemployment is something like 1.76. That is the there is a $1.76 dollar stimulus effect for every $1 of unemployment the government pays out.

So yes, you are a moron.

"Folk like Jim want the achievers in this world to pay for the all the injustices they define as such, so they can feel good about helping the poor without having to lift a finger themselves."

STRAW MAN. Never said that, never advocated that, don't believe that. I am an achiever. I want to pay what's necessary for the government to provide me and my fellow citizens the services we want and require.

"The government, in their (folk like Jim) lexicon, exists to rape the hard working"

Proving conclusively that EL believes that only people making over $250,000 a year work hard.

Marshall Art September 1, 2011 at 1:29 AM  

Wow! According to Jim (actually according to whomever provides his "facts"), we should all go on unemployment. Just think of the stimulative effect if for every dollar received generates 1.76!

But I believe the gov't doesn't "pay" us our unemployment benefits. The merely redistribute them from the employers that pay it. I don't know what percentage, if any, the gov't (meaning, we the taxpayers) contribute to the unemployment fund. In any case, I believe the employers paying that tax would prefer to hire people who would be productive rather than to lay off and pay for those who can't find work. Just a hunch on my part.

I wonder how many cars or new suits or vacations Jim paid for during his two months on the dole. Before my current job, I spent quite a bit longer and I can tell you that I bought no luxuries, and only spent on necessities. That's hardly stimulating to the economy. Sure, the grocer, the mortgage company, the utilities, and some medical visits were paid for, but now that I am working, I can take my family out for dinner on occasion, go to a movie or two, buy some new clothes AND save some dough which has a far better stimulative effect than before.

"There is no proof that revenues increased due to tax cuts."

It only happened for Bush and three other presidents. In other words, the same phenomena of increased revenues took place every time tax rates were cut. Even Clinton cut some (cap gains or corporate tax rate---I don't recall which) which enhanced revenues.

"Revenues went down immediately after the 2001 Bush tax cuts."

This was due to the state of the economy at the time being in decline. The 2001 cuts were part of a move to decrease rates incrementally. The fact that it wasn't stimulative compelled the 2003 cuts, which were greater.

There is also a simple explanation for why a tax rate cut might lead to an immediate drop in revenues in the first year. Less is deducted from businesses and incomes without the benefits of that reduced deduction having had ANY time to take effect on spending and investing. It's not a freakin' mystery. But the following year and one can already understand that people and businesses have more money to spend and the stimulative effect can no begin to take place. Subsequent years see this effect compounding and revenues rise more from the enhanced productivity allowed by people and businesses being allowed to keep more of their money. It's elementary stuff.

Marshall Art September 1, 2011 at 1:39 AM  

"Increased spending comes from unemployment insurance payments for extended periods, aid to families out of work, aid to states and municipalities to keep teachers, police, and firefighters working, and the stimulus."

This is stupid. It's no more than taking a bucket of water from one end of the pool and pouring out in the other end of the same pool. It stimulates nothing to tax people and give them the money back later.

Jim wants proof of this:

"Excessive taxation inhibits growth. This has been proven time and again."

...but all he need do is imagine how much he could get done in his life if his taxes were 75% of his income. Now imagine how this would affect every business under the same pressures. Then, imagine NO taxes taken and everyone is able to keep every dime they make. How much different would your spending choices be? To pretend that the rate of taxation has no effect, or, that the effect it has should be borne at all in order to pay for what Jim believes is required and wanted by all is ludicrous.

Marshall Art September 1, 2011 at 1:49 AM  

Ben,

Could you be snarkier, please. Better yet, come up with a more distorted framing of today's conservatives...

"It's sort of a split personality with today's conservatives. They believe..."

Nothing like what you pretend is true. Much of what we dislike about libs of today is not new stuff. They've been doing such for a long time. FDR, LBJ, Carter...now O'Bummer. Same shit, new shitter. Yet, what we like about conservative philosophy has been shown to be the most beneficial every time it's been tried.

However, point "b" isn't so far off:

"b) today's government "exists to rape the hard working in order to pay the downtrodden to remain downtrodden""

How often have we heard O'Bumble speak of the wealthy paying their fair share, or crap about corporate jets and the like? And can we forget his belief that there is some point at which one can earn too much? And for what reason does he want to continue raising taxes on the wealthy, but to provide for more programs that wouldn't be necessary if he'd pull his nose and the nose of the federal gov't out of the private sector?

The real delusion is the delusion that liberal policy (fiscal, social or foreign) is beneficial for the country at all, or even that it is better than conservative policy.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM  

There's Jim, decrying the rest of us of lifting up "STRAW MEN" while lifting and shaking his own like some perverse witch doctor.

Why should the government pay anyone unemployment benefits? Where in the constitution does it obligate the government to pay anyone for being out of work?

Jim said: "I want to pay what's necessary for the government to provide me and my fellow citizens the services we want and require."

Good for you Jim. The problem, however, is you're asking the government to provide you with something you obviously can't pay for yourself, and you're asking your government to force your neighbors to make up the difference for something they may not even want. You want the government to provide you with services you "WANT" [whether or not it's within the governments purview to provide such] and require [whether or not it is government's constitutional duty to do so].

If you want these things Jim, go out and earn the money to purchase them. Because what you've just described in this: You want something-- but don't have enough money to buy it yourself --so you demand that the Mayor send police to my house to dig through my wallet to make up the difference. You want government to do with impunity what you'd be arrested for.

Jim said: "Proving conclusively that EL believes that only people making over $250,000 a year work hard."

Proving you're ignorant, and so far up Obama's butt as to make no difference between what you he think.

I work hard... barely scraping by. More bills, seemingly, than I have cash for. I had to purchase a semi-new car at a 17% interest rate, because without viable transportation I'd be homeless. I have almost NO disposable income. Near every penny I earn has a name, and it's not "Fun/Blow money" I can afford a movie every other month. I can afford a couple lunches out every couple of weeks provided they're under 8 bucks each.

If I made 250k a year I might THINK I WAS rich. I'd certainly be more frugal with that amount. American's are downright WASTEFUL with the money they earn. If I made 250k a year I wouldn't purchase a house for 600k! I wouldn't buy a Hummer, or a BMW. I wouldn't eat out every night of the week, or take extravagant trips.

Americans are financial gluttons! Even the very poor among us waste whats given them! And it is not governments job to insure your standard of living beyond safe food, safe drinking water, and a sound economy that will allow us to provide all the rest of those things we think we NEED, or want.

You have NO RIGHT! NONE WHATSOEVER! TO DEMAND I PAY FOR ALL THE THINGS YOU THINK YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO!

It is government's job, in broad strokes, ensure a stable, law imbued, social structure for the citizens of this country in which to live and thrive. It is to provide defense for our borders, and provide for the "general welfare" of everyone; not just your own private Idahoans. 'General Welfare' does not mean providing food stamps, unemployment, welfare checks, or free health care to every single citizen. Social Security? A Scam! Ponzi scheme! UNCONSTITUTIONAL! A piggy bank for governmental thieves!

The filth that spews from your sick twisted philosophy-stained lips is nauseatingly apparent, Jim. You want something for nothing. And you want me to pay for it. You, sir, are lazy, ungrateful, severely lacking in pride, and seemingly devoid of integrity. You've abandoned God and turned instead to worship at the altar of the U.S. government.

Where's your entrepreneurial spirit!? Did you ever have one!? What's happened to self-reliance in this country? If the power should ever go out... and not return... what the fuck would you do!!!?????

YOU'D DIE! Because you can't do SHIT for yourself!

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

If the Left cared anything for stimulating the economy it should have, instead of spending nearly a trillion of democratic pork projects (AKA "Stimulus"), given every mortgage holder in America $75k, with the stipulation that at least 60% of that would go to pay down their mortgages. THAT would have stimulated the economy. Instead, Obama and his godless, self-absorbed cronies squandered 800 billion plus U.S. dollars.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM  

"instead of spending nearly a trillion of democratic pork " should read.... "ON democratic port..."

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM  

Pork...

typos abound when I get angry.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM  

GREAT analogy, MA!

It's like "taking a bucket of water from one end of the pool and pouring out in the other end of the same pool. It stimulates nothing to tax people and give them the money back later."

If it were explained any simpler folks like Jim would be compelled to take up sucking on a pacifier.

Oh! Wait! He's already trying to do that! And make you and I pay for it!

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM  

"taking a bucket of water from one end of the pool and pouring out in the other end of the same pool. It stimulates nothing to tax people and give them the money back later."

And there is your basic misunderstanding of economics.

Money and the economy grows when it moves. Not when it's standing still. Moving a large chunk of revenue from the wealthy end of the pool to the poor end will abso-damn-lutely stimulate and grow the economy as the money moves back to the wealthy end. That's how banks work. That's how Wall Street works.

And the best taxation schemes mean is taking a little bit of money from each of those transactions. From the big pipes between different Wall Street companies in the deep end of the pool you can take a cup. And from the pipes between the shallow end you take a pipette.


And historical data shows that taking less from the pipes between the transactions in the deep end of the pool generates less new wealth and economic growth than instead moving a big chunk of money to the shallow end of the pool.

Edwin Drood September 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

Simply moving money around doesn't make it grow. I think you just made that up. Money grows when it is combined with labor. If I loan someone 100K to build a house that money will be combined with builders labor and the labor needed to repay my loan with interest. If the government showed up and took my earned interest then whats the point of making the loan in the first place, none.

Simply giving money away to people doesn't grow anything, because the stuff they buy is putting money into the pockets of the manufacturers who have to pay it out again as taxes. They essentially manufactured for free, next time don't bother.

Edwin Drood September 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM  

Really what Bent said was the dumbest thing I've read all day, if moving money made it grow then why are we not in a economic boom right now. Get you head out your ass and realize you can't deficit spend your way to prosperity.

Marshall Art September 1, 2011 at 1:53 PM  

Now, gents. We don't need to get too nasty, except for the fun of it. :)

But it's not the movement of money that stimulates, but between whom the money is moving. Growth and expansion occurs by virtue of the efforts of the private sector, not through the interference of the gov't. Any activity by the gov't purported to be in the interest of stimulating the economy is artificial stimulation because it can't be sustained. If stimulus doesn't work, as we all now know with complete certainty that it doesn't, the answer for those in favor of such is more stimulus. At best, it only provides what little help there might be only as long as the gov't stimulus continues. Once the pouring in of tax dollars stops, so does the economic activity.

The private sector, however, is self-stimulating if left unfettered by burdensome taxation and regulation.

I was just reading of a local business from which I often pick up freight. The owner was saying that he has one employee who spends half of his time dealing specifically with gov't regulations. This makes that employee half as productive as he could be without the regulations at all. Is this a call for eliminating all regulations? Of course not. But it illustrates an all too common complaint and is another example of how the federal (and also state and local) gov't confound the ability of a company to prosper. This interference affects hiring and wage levels.

Another issue that has been getting lots of attention is the job situation in Illinois, where I live (so far), and how it ranks as one of the tops states for job losses (if not THE top state). Tax increases is a major contributor to this trend as companies are looking at neighboring states with better deals for doing business. The concept of business friendly policy is not debatable. When states, as well as the federal gov't, relax the burdens under which businesses formerly operated, they benefit by maintaining the business they already had as well as attracting businesses from other, less friendly states, and new start-ups, too. On the federal level, it's the reason companies move operations overseas. No stimulus can correct this. No gov't spending can convince a company to do otherwise.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 1, 2011 at 3:40 PM  

"Any activity by the gov't purported to be in the interest of stimulating the economy is artificial stimulation because it can't be sustained."

So when a community development block grant comes into an area and pays for 50 houses to be built all those construction jobs and houses disappear when the block grant runs out?

Or maybe you mean all the money we pay to Boeing and other defense contractors is a phantom and Seattle is actually a wasteland?

It doesn't matter if money comes from the government or the private sector goods exist and continue to exist. Services are rendered and will continue to have been rendered.

Government spending can replace private spending and especially in a recession can stimulate economic activity that primes the pump for increased private sector spending.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 1, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

"If I loan someone 100K to build a house that money will be combined with builders labor and the labor needed to repay my loan with interest. If the government showed up and took my earned interest then whats the point of making the loan in the first place, none."

Because outside of your transaction to the home builder there will be a house worth $100,000, which will increase property values and personal wealth for the homebuilder and property taxes for the community. There will also be about $100,000 spread among building tradesmen and building suppliers, stimulating economic activity in the community and increasing sales taxes and prosperity in the community, which will in turn be reinvested in the community. Your $100,000 investment goes much further than your single transaction and generates more wealth than just the interest returned to you.

That's why infrastructure spending is good during a recession and unemployment aid is even better. For every $100,000 in aid to the jobless you create $176,000 worth of wealth and economic growth in a community, as the jobless buy food and haircuts and pay light bills...and even buy the occasional hamburger.


"because the stuff they buy is putting money into the pockets of the manufacturers who have to pay it out again as taxes. They essentially manufactured for free"

What you're saying would be true if manufacturers had a 100% taxation rate on their profits. Let's try not to drift so far away from reality, huh? Most manufacturers pay between 7%-15% in taxes and fees.

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM  

"Tax increases is a major contributor to this trend as companies are looking at neighboring states with better deals for doing business."

This is a nifty type of extortion that today's large corporations practice. Threatening to leave a community if they don't receive tax breaks and regulation waivers.

We have some of the same situations in our area. A large power plant wanted to open, but they said they would only consider the county if they got property tax breaks for 20 years. So now we may get this power plant, but it's going to be the workers and other businesses in the community paying for the required road upgrades as the power plants employees increase congestion. And when the coal dust in the air causes more cases of childhood asthma, it'll again be the people of Early County paying for hiring more staff at the county health department. And when the fish die off in the Appalachicola River well isn't that why we waived all those waste disposal regulations?

But hey 500 new jobs for the county and a new McDonald's because of the increased traffic...and what was once a pristine rural country area is now crowded with little revenue and decaying infrastructure and polluted natural resources.

But low taxes for coal plants and government regulations out of the way. Yippee!

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 4:16 PM  

"So when a community development block grant comes into an area and pays for 50 houses to be built all those construction jobs and houses disappear when the block grant runs out?"

In many cases, yes. And not just when GOVERNMENT grants run out. Example: Company receives a government contract to build [whatever]; company hires more employees to fulfill the job; government contract runs out and is not renewed; company cuts lays off employees to a level that reflects the contracts still in effect. So yes, when block grants run out, so also, in many cases, do the jobs they created.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

"Government spending can [only] replace private spending" if the economy can sustain the amount of spending above and beyond the current level of government spending. But while in the midst of a recession, with inflation looming large, wages suppressed, the cost of food [living] up, and the average American (to say nothing of the poor) struggling to make ends meet... government can only tax and levy such a people so far before the wellspring of government spending dries up. Government spending can only replace private spending if government levies can be raised without breaking the backs of the people government is trying to put to work.

Private spending on jobs will always be the better solution long-term. Which means government needs to get out of the way of small, medium, and big business. By all means, impose some regulation-- so long as it's understood that the more government piles on regulations the less willing businesses of ANY size will be willing to expand their operations, i.e.; create jobs.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 4:33 PM  

"This is a nifty type of extortion that today's large corporations practice. Threatening to leave a community if they don't receive tax breaks and regulation waivers."

That's not extortion at all. It's the right of any business owner to seek the best possible environment in which to grow his business.

This mindset of 'extortion' comes, so it seems to me, from the view that private business owners, in reality, are merely serfs to the government... it's their obligation to bend over and let government have its way with the financial fortunes of their private businesses.

ELAshley September 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM  

The same goes for large corporations. After all, what was good for Jeffery Immelt's GE should be good for every other corporation out there. GE didn't pay ANY taxes last year, and yet he's got a cushy post with the current occupant of the White House.

How's about a little integrity from the man at the top?

Jim September 1, 2011 at 9:55 PM  

"I believe the employers paying that tax would prefer to hire people who would be productive rather than to lay off and pay for those who can't find work. Just a hunch on my part."

Here's a hunch for you. Let's give all businesses a 5% tax rate so they can hire all the people they want. To do what? Make widgets for which there is no demand? Nobody is going to hire people unless there is a market (demand) for their product.

"I bought no luxuries, and only spent on necessities. That's hardly stimulating to the economy."

Very, VERY telling. New suits, vacations, cars and luxuries are stimulating. Groceries, the mortgage, the utilities, and some medical visits are not.

THAT's why we can't tax the wealthy more? Paying the yacht maker stimulates. Paying the baker does not.

"The fact that it wasn't stimulative compelled the 2003 cuts, which were greater."

And then of course there was the housing boom.

"but all he need do is imagine how much he could get done in his life if his taxes were 75% of his income" Who would deny that level of taxation has an economic effect? Your example is like saying "you can drive to the store at 200 mph or 3 mph." Nobody can deny this would have an effect of gas consumption, car wear and tear, oh and public safety.

Nobody has YET demonstrated where on the Laffable curve the US economy exists. Love to see it, though.

"If you want these things Jim, go out and earn the money to purchase them. Because what you've just described in this: You want something-- but don't have enough money to buy it yourself --so you demand that the Mayor send police to my house to dig through my wallet to make up the difference. You want government to do with impunity what you'd be arrested for."

The level of absurdity here is sky-rocketing.

I guess if I made a few more bucks I could buy a tank. Or a road. Or a bridge.

"The filth that spews from your sick twisted philosophy-stained lips is nauseatingly apparent, Jim. You want something for nothing. And you want me to pay for it. You, sir, are lazy, ungrateful, severely lacking in pride, and seemingly devoid of integrity. You've abandoned God and turned instead to worship at the altar of the U.S. government. "

You are apparently incoherent and delusional. I want something for nothing? I just said I'm willing to pay for what I want. Lazy, ungrateful, lacking in pride? I've worked full-time for over 36 years years and paid taxes in every one of those years. I've abandoned God?

It is you who bears false witness against his neighbor. Thank God we live in different states. Apparently mental as well as geographical.

Your hatred is palpable. Your bitterness is pitiable.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 1:40 AM  

"That's why infrastructure spending is good during a recession and unemployment aid is even better."

I don't know about the unemployment aid situation at the time, but the infrastructure, "shovel ready" gov't stimulus of the FDR period did nothing to bring about lower unemployment or a better economy before the breakout of WWII. Obama, even adjusting for whatever you like, has spent far more and gotten far less, or at least no more. None of that has anything to do with instilling confidence in those sitting on piles of money wondering what crap will be thrown at them next. If Barry would get out of the way, things will improve immediately.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 2:13 AM  

"Here's a hunch for you. Let's give all businesses a 5% tax rate so they can hire all the people they want."

Here's a hunch for YOU, Jim (actually not a "hunch", but an actual fact): Let's give all businesses the assurance that no tax hikes will take place for the duration of Obama's term. That'll give them a year and a quarter knowing they can go to work without having to worry about tax implications. Let's add to that. Let's totally trash that trash commonly referred to as Obamacare and strengthen that confidence with the knowledge that their health care costs won't bankrupt them. I've got one more for now: Let's lift all moratoriums and other roadblocks to oil refinery, exploration, drilling and extraction, so as to create a positive effect on oil prices so that businesses won't be spending so much to move goods about, which have helped prices on those move up to pay for it. Do that, and employers forced to be productive with five people instead of the ten they used to have can rehire those five people and the other five can see their kids again.

"Very, VERY telling. New suits, vacations, cars and luxuries are stimulating. Groceries, the mortgage, the utilities, and some medical visits are not."

Yes it is very telling. It tells me you don't know squat. When folks are not working and relying on unemployment checks, they are paying bills they would be paying no matter what, though they may take more effort to turn off lights, not take as long in the shower as they used to, and buy only that which they must have in terms of food, household products, personal care items, such as soap, toothpaste, etc, and even buy generic versions, rather than personal favorites. Everything they do is on the cheap because they only have that unemployment check rather than an actual paycheck that is usually larger. You think this stimulates anything? Think of your local grocer. Does it sell only the staples, or does it offer a host of things that people buy when they are flush, such as chips, soft drinks, wine, paper towels (some folks will use cloth and wash them rather than buy paper towels). People make due with less and the stores they patronize now have smaller profits as a result. Now the store has to to figure out how to get by on less income. They cut their costs and maybe even lay off people. Or perhaps they stock less on their shelves meaning that the vendors are now profiting less.

And that family on unemployment may start to consider darning their socks instead of buying new when the toes poke through, and other such measures. What of the Target stores that sell that kind of stuff? Are unemployed people buying new CDs and DVDs? Not likely. I gave up bowling. One less guy paying a weekly fee, buying beer, eating greasy burgers, considering new equipment. There is no stimulative effect through spending of unemployment checks. If this were so, then more unemployment should be more stimulative.

"THAT's why we can't tax the wealthy more?"

No, it's not. But thanks for asking an irrelevant question. Taxing the wealthy more, however, won't do a damned bit of good. Historically, higher taxes on the wealthy does NOT improve revenues to the federal gov't. It might the first year, unless there's warning, but afterwards, the wealthy will either take their money out of the economy and shelter it where they can, or there will be fewer wealthy people to tax, as those on the cusp will fall off, and those seeking that level will be inhibited by the higher taxes. You CAN, however, send your excess dollars to the IRS and they happily accept every dime. Make sure you have no more than what is needed for the very basics, or you will be a complete hypocrite. And tell all the rich lefties you know to do the same thing. Start with Matt Damon and Warren Buffet.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 2:14 AM  

"
"but all he need do is imagine how much he could get done in his life if his taxes were 75% of his income" Who would deny that level of taxation has an economic effect?"


You apparently do, Jim, because you insist the wealthy should pay more. All levels of taxation has the same affect relative to each level. So, if you only raise it 1%, it has that much more detrimental effect on the economy.

"Nobody has YET demonstrated where on the Laffable curve the US economy exists."

It's irrelevant where we are on the Laffer curve. What's relevant is the effect on the economy at this time if we end the Bush tax cuts instead of making them permanent. Making them permanent, which means no change in the tax rates from what they are now, would give businesses some level of confidence as far as being able to plan with regard to tax implications. That's huge for a business. Just ask any business that is threatened by ending the cuts.

But more importantly, tax rates are only part of the issue. Right now, federal spending and things like Obamacare are of greater impact on the economy.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 2:19 AM  

"I guess if I made a few more bucks I could buy a tank. Or a road. Or a bridge."

All those are legitimate governmental concerns, some state and local, some federal (tanks). But you know damned well those aren't things to which Eric was referring. Funny how lefties will demand things like others paying for their health care and when right-wingers object they bring up roads. Talk about absurdity! Here's more:

"Your hatred is palpable. Your bitterness is pitiable."

There is no hatred except for stupidity in those who should know better. That would be you, Jim. Such stupidity provokes bitterness in those who must contend with it. That would be us. But it's all directed at bad ideas and ideologies, so don't get all feodor on us.

BenT - the Unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 2:49 AM  

"Funny how lefties will demand things like others paying for their health care and when right-wingers object they bring up roads."

And again with the straw men.

Liberal want everyone to pay for everyone's health care. It's wholesale buying on a countrywide scale. With the attendant price cuts such mass purchasing will bring.

Private healthcare costs 15%-20% in administrative fees. That means for every dollar you pay for medical insurance you only get $0.85 in prescription drugs back.

Medicare has admin fees of 4%. The VA has admin fees of 7%.

The two health care systems rated best for patient outcome and quality of service and affordability in the US are again Medicare and VA Care.

But you keep living in your fantasy land and when you turn 65 opt not to use medicare and try to pay for your own medicine. You'll die broke and early and the rest of us may be able to move to a more sane system.

BenT - the Unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 2:58 AM  

"not working and relying on unemployment checks, they are paying bills they would be paying no matter what..."

Explain this bit of magic reasoning.
How can unemployed people pay bills when they have no money? Explain your "no matter what".

Lets imagine someone unemployed for more than a year without unemployment aid.

How long could you continue to pay your light bill? How long could you pay for health insurance? How long could you pay for food?

Would you gracefully starve to death, or would you turn to crime, or would you riot in the street?

Unemployment aid prevents crime, starvation, disease, and economic disaster.

BenT - the Unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 3:05 AM  

"FDR period did nothing to bring about lower unemployment or a better economy before the breakout of WWII."

So why aren't you advocating for a stimulus the size of our WWII expenditures? If that's what it would take to break our current recession then why aren't conservative out there shouting, "We need to tax the upper incomes at 90% and spend it on our country like the did in the 1940's!"

Imagine a program of government spending equivalent to our WWII buildup focused on domestic projects. Every school in America renovated to the highest standards with the latest hi-tech tools for education, high-speed fiber optic cable internet wired to every home, and 200-mile-per-hour bullet trains speeding across the plains from Chicago to LA, eight lane interstates, a renewed NASA leading the globe in space exploration and industrialization.

No republicans today are more focused on tax cuts for people so wealthy they would make Croesus puke.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:12 AM  

"don't get all feodor on us."

urk! i had forgotten about him.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:13 AM  

"Liberal want everyone to pay for everyone's health care."

And they don't care whether 'everyone' wants to pay for it or not, they'll just steal it.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:15 AM  

"Private healthcare costs 15%-20% in administrative fees."

Wait til you see what government bureaucracy ends up costing.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:17 AM  

"die broke and early"

We're ALL-- liberals, conservatives, you and me alike --going to die early because of health care rationing.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:37 AM  

"Lets imagine someone unemployed for more than a year without unemployment aid...

[and all the stuff in the middle]

...Unemployment aid prevents crime, starvation, disease, and economic disaster."


It's a very compassionate argument, and I don't entirely disagree. However, it is not government's place to support everyone who loses his/her job. Unemployment aid... fine. Give them 12 weeks. That's plenty of time to find, or create for themselves, a job.

The problem here is not the right's seeming lack of compassion, but the left's apparent lack of a sense of personal responsibility. It is not the government's job to see that ANYONE is gainfully employed. It is not government's job to see that everyone has healthcare. It's not government's job to see that everyone has electricity, or food on the table. THAT job is too big for government, and will bankrupt the country just trying to do it.

The only reason government-- or more specifically, politicians --engage in job creation at any cost, is to appear to be doing something to affect the lives and fortunes of the American people. They do it to get reelected... to keep THEIR jobs.

But there is such a thing as personal responsibility, even if the left has abandoned requiring it of us. Hey! Here's an idea! Let's get MTV to do what it does best and reshape our culture and attitudes! Let's see shows about teenagers being responsible; denying themselves the latest bling, smartphones, and hedonistic over-indulgences! Let's see teenagers saving for that rainy day they just KNOW is going to come. Let's hear teenagers talking trash to each other over friends and family mooching on their efforts to provide themselves a secure financial future.

Do that, and in ten or fifteen years we'll have a sea-change of attitude about taking personal responsibility for our own lives. Perhaps government will shrink and begin to cost less. Let's invite God back into our culture and encourage more personal charity... the kind that REALLY works.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

We "conservatives [aren't] out there shouting" for government to emulate FDR because FDR's policies did nothing to end the depression. If anything, his policies prolonged it. Massive spending to get out of a period of depressed economic growth didn't work then, and it hasn't worked now.

"Imagine a program of government spending equivalent to our WWII buildup focused on domestic projects. Every school in America renovated to the highest standards with the latest hi-tech tools for education, high-speed fiber optic cable internet wired to every home, and 200-mile-per-hour bullet trains speeding across the plains from Chicago to LA, eight lane interstates, a renewed NASA leading the globe in space exploration and industrialization."

Oh, I can imagine it with no trouble at all. But government can't do this without beggaring the entire country. Primarily because government over-regulates and over-mandates... it get's in the way of innovation, and has no ear for compelling competition. Cronyism is the greatest waste of taxpayers dollars, and the larger the government the greater the cronyism.

REPUBLICANS are focused on insuring there is an America for our children to know and love in the future. The way Democrats are seeking to spend; doubling down on Obama's failed policies, America will collapse under the weight of its debt. And sooner than anyone realizes, or is willing to admit.

Now, Republicans are just as guilty as democrats in getting this nation to the edge of the financial abyss, but only Democrats [as a political movement] are seeking to continue this present vomitous endeavor... as dogs returning to their own vomit. Republicans at least, and a very few democrats, are trying to put the brakes on our careening toward the cliff's edge. But Democrats?

"FULL THROTTLE! PEDAL TO THE METAL, AMERICA! THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT'LL STOP THIS CAR FROM GOING OFF THE CLIFF!!!"

BenT - the Unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

"And they don't care whether 'everyone' wants to pay for it or not,"

There are problems so large and so costly that the most cost effective solution is to spread the cost over the entire population. Fire protection.

In the 1800's there used to be private fire protection services. You would buy a plaque from your local service and affix it to your house. If there was a fire then the local fire engine would put out your fire. If you didn't have service tough luck.

After the Chicago Fire of 1871 people realized that basic fire protection was a service that everyone needed, because someone not having coverage could lead to a disaster for everyone else.

Guess what healthcare is the same way. People without health insurance raise the cost of health care for everyone else. When someone without insurance walks in to a hospital they get treated. Hospitals can't turn them away. But the cost of their treatment gets passed along to everyone else. They also clog up emergency rooms. The leave preventative problems untreated until they are expensive emergencies.

Spreading the cost of healthcare over the entire US population would actually reduce the cost. This isn't imagination, every other first world nation has better health care satisfaction from their population and dramatically lower costs than the US.

"Wait til you see what government bureaucracy ends up costing."

We don't have to wait. medicare and VA have been around for decades so we know what government healthcare programs can cost for administration. 4% and 7% respectively.


"We're ALL-- liberals, conservatives, you and me alike --going to die early because of health care rationing."

Let's face facts that we already have health care rationing. You can't go out and get all the healthcare you want. You're limited by your current insurance and financial funds. The same thing happens to Medicare and VA patients. Doctors at some point for the terminally ill can no longer offer cost effective treatment. So let's kill this lie that American healthcare isn't already rationed.

Some other countries ration or limit health procedures, but the key fact is...some don't. So when your conservative blowhard talks about Canada or the UK's scary healthcare rationing remember Japan and France that don't ration health care and whose costs are still half of America's with better patient outcomes and better overall health. The US can structure its health care plan as we want.

The biggest factor in the US's long term debt is health care costs. Because of the promises our government has made to our seniors current and future. So the problem has to be tackled. If we ignore it than eventually the federal government will have a monstrous debt problem that destroys our country. Obama care may not be the best plan or most successful option, but we have to start working on this problem now.

So far as I can tell conservatives have three plans.

1) ostrich head in the sand "America's health care is the best in the world and doesn't need to be changed."
2) lord of the flies "It is not government's job to see that everyone has healthcare. It's not government's job to see that everyone has electricity, or food on the table.'
3) soylent green "America will collapse under the weight of its debt." (so let's just stop doing medicare and education and scientific research and environmental protection and food safety)

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 10:39 AM  

"Give them 12 weeks. That's plenty of time to find, or create for themselves, a job."

How can you find a job when no one is hiring? Today's monthly jobs report spells it out. The private sector isn't hiring and the public sector has shed even more jobs than the private sector. In this economy right now 12 weeks is not enough to find a job. I can sorta see why you have this distorted idea, because where we live in the Wiregrass has not been as harshly decimated as this recession as other parts of the country.

Some cities in California have lost 1 out of every 4 jobs. Places in the midwest and northeast have been hit almost as hard. Those places simply have no jobs available for all the people out of work.

And when you have no job it's a might difficult to create a job beyond lawnmower or lemonade stand.

Your idea of personal responsibility is to withhold your hand when someone falls down so they'll learn to stand up faster.

"Let's see shows about teenagers being responsible..."

And here we come again to the fantasy land that conservatives create about everyone else.

Today's generation knows more about credit, debt and personal finance than your generation. College students are much less likely today to accept credit cards than their predecessors 15 years ago.

When surveys the majority of young couples say they want to wait until after marriage to have children, and they are practicing birth control to ensure it.

Young couples in their 20's are less likely to get divorced after six months than newlyweds in their 30's, 40's or 50's.

But hey, don't let the facts get in the way of your preconceived notions of "today's young people."

BenT - the unbeliever,  September 2, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

"But government can't do this without beggaring the entire country."

We don't have to look far back in our own history to see that this is patently false. After WWII America built a million miles of highway, sent another million GI's to college, built thousands of schools across the nation, and constructed public works like the Hoover Dam on a size never seen before in history. Oh yeah, and we also created an industry to send a man to the moon.

America did it. And we paid for it, with reasonable taxes across all portions of our economy.

We could do the same thing today, yes it might take longer because we have new appreciation for the value of our environment and the needs for worker safety, but we could still build a high speed railway across the country from the East coast to the West. We could renovate and upgrade all those schools built in the 1950's.

Your pessimism and cynicism are a continual disappointment. When did the party of American exceptionalism become the party of doomsayers and fatalists?

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 11:22 AM  

Ben,

You're doing a lot of apples to oranges comparisons. Apples to apples would be today compared to FDR before WWII. I'm not keen on killing off any percentage of the workforce in order to improve the economy or unemployment numbers. Nor is it necessary.

I'll be shotgunning a bit here, but I'll not make the type of assumptions that you've been making.

Regarding health care, your comparisons to private and public versions, such as the VA and Medicare are also apples to oranges. Insofar as admin costs are concerned, I looked at a few sites and present this portion from one that sums things up nicely:

"Single-payer advocates often claim that the U.S. private sector health care system is wasteful, spending far more on administrative costs than do government-run single-payer systems. According to single-payer advocates David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, "Streamlining administrative overhead to Canadian levels would save approximately $286.0 billion in 2003, $6,940 for each of the 41.2 million Americans who were uninsured as of 2001."

Yet comparisons of private sector administrative costs with those of government are misleading. Many government administrative expenses are excluded in such comparisons, such as what it costs employers and government to collect the taxes needed to fund the single-payer system, and the salaries of politicians and their staff members who set government health-care policy (the salary costs of executives and boards of directors who set company policy are included in private sector administrative costs).

But even if the U.S. would save money on administrative costs by switching to a single-payer system, the savings would prove temporary. The main cause of rising health care costs is not administrative costs, but over-use of health care. A single-payer system would not solve that problem. Indeed, it would make it worse."


The end there is a point to remember regarding the main cause of health care costs. I would add that the compulsion doctors feel for over-testing in order to prevent the possibility of being sued for not doing their job, that is, for not being perfect, is another over-use of the system. Gov't sponsored systems also induce a sense that it doesn't matter how one lives or acts, any consequences are covered. Paying out of pocket promotes a sense of one being responsible for one's health so as to reduce costs. And I've always felt that while I don't disagree with the philosophy of not turning away patients based on ability to pay, all patients should be billed for services rendered even if they take the rest of their lives to pay in tiny increments. Some payment is always better than no payment. And rich liberals could always set up a charitable organization that would use donations, which would most likely come from conservatives, to help pay down the medical debts of the poor.

Jim September 2, 2011 at 11:30 AM  

"You think this stimulates anything?"

"Think of your local grocer. Does it sell only the staples?"

A dollar spent is stimulus whether it is bread or a soda. Your supposition that only spending on "luxury" items is stimulating shows you have a poor knowledge of economics. You're removing entire segments from the economy. Stimulus: Cokes, yes. Bread, no. Lemonade, yes. Milk, no. Air Jordans, yes. Keds, no.

"There is no stimulative effect through spending of unemployment checks."

You are wrong on this.

"If this were so, then more unemployment should be more stimulative."

It is stimulative. As Ben and I have pointed out. Unemployment dollars have a 1.76 multiplier.

"Historically, higher taxes on the wealthy does NOT improve revenues to the federal gov't."

Your data to support this comes from where? In the 50s the top rates for the wealthy were up to 90%. We had revenue to build the interstate highway system, our nuclear arsenal, etc. and the economy boomed.

"Make sure you have no more than what is needed for the very basics, or you will be a complete hypocrite."

Newest winger talking point and completely idiotic.

"All levels of taxation has the same affect relative to each level."

This is false. If that were the case, the Laffable curve would be flat. Wouldn't it?

"That's huge for a business. Just ask any business that is threatened by ending the cuts."

The number of businesses threatened by a 4.6% marginal increase is very, very small. The people affected most by this would be the lawyers and hedge fund managers who make millions and don't hire people.

During the higher tax rates under Clinton, the US added 22.7 million jobs. Under Bush with lower tax rates, the US added 5.8 million jobs. This destroys your argument.

"But you know damned well those aren't things to which Eric was referring."

I stated that I was willing and able to provide my family with the things that we want and need as a family and that I'm willing to pay taxes for the things that I want from my government.

Where do you get this idea that wanting the government to provide services that individuals can't is asking for something for nothing?

"It is not the government's job to see that ANYONE is gainfully employed. It is not government's job to see that everyone has healthcare. It's not government's job to see that everyone has electricity, or food on the table. THAT job is too big for government, and will bankrupt the country just trying to do it."

It is the governments job to provide for the common welfare. Healthy employment levels is good for the entire economy and benefits all Americans. Good health for Americans benefits all Americans. For the government to create and enact policies that will improve employment, health, education and defense is SPECIFICALLY called for in the Constitution.

"But there is such a thing as personal responsibility."

Yeah, we know. So have you stopped praying to God for help? Where is your personal responsibility? Personal responsibility to you means if someone can't find a job after 12 weeks, they can eat dirt. You think that everyone getting help or needing help is a welfare queen.

ELAshley September 2, 2011 at 11:37 AM  

Liberalism / Democrat Party:

The Proverbial Ostrich: Head in the sand about Obamacare and government's ability to financially tend our every wound. The liberal belief that more spending will save an already financially crippled nation from bankruptcy.

Lord of the Flies: Dividing the nation into two warring camps; the Left hefting spears and hunting down pigs to plant heads on spikes, the Right holding up the conch, symbol of democracy and equality-- it's their heads the hunters wish to plant on spikes. Crushing the "conservative" Piggys beneath the crushing weight of the boulder of unsustainable debt and spending... never mind the fact that Piggy wasn't himself a 'pig'. The hunters were the genuine 'piggies' demanding everything in tribute to their social class and restructuring. And how did the book end? The hunters, intent on murder, chasing Ralph across the island and to the beach where (surprise, surprise!) an adult miraculously appears wondering what "game' the boys are playing? The 'hunters' were playing MURDER. The other kids were playing "STAY ALIVE".

Somehow, I don't see an adult arriving anytime soon to save us from our folly.

[Thanks for bringing Lord of the Flies into the argument. You've given me a reason to dig that book out of my boxes for something to read while on vacation.]

Soylent Green: Obamacare 'death panels' deciding who deserves care, and who, by virtue of their advanced years, are relegated to misery and death. The Left, content to cannibalize the very economic structures required to sustain growth in this country (the 'evil' rich) in order to feed an ever-growing population of government dependents. The politically connected getting more powerful while everyone else feeds their gluttonous rule; while the 'worker/slave class' is forced to do without; to, in an sense, starve.

Sounds more like Soviet Russia, this Utopia the Left wishes to create. [Perhaps I'll dig out Sir Thomas More as well]

Who knew movies and proverbs could be so instructive?

Yeah, I know how to read too...

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 11:44 AM  

Regarding the VA and Medicare, I know of a guy trying to get treatment for his leg from the VA. He struggled to get what was needed and the last I heard, is still waiting and likely not going to get his leg fixed up. He wears a massive robot-like shoe. And my 85 yr old mother always talks about what she can and cannot do according to the dictates of Medicare's policy for coverage. And a third example of gov't health care, that which deals with American Indians, is a horror story.

Moving on....

"How can unemployed people pay bills when they have no money? Explain your "no matter what"."

First of all, my comment was a response to the goofy notion that unemployment checks stimulate the economy. My "no matter what" was in regards to on what such people are spending their money and whether that stimulates the economy as well as a working person with a good wage does. Whether working or on unemployment, certain expenditures remain, such as utilities and groceries.

"Lets imagine someone unemployed for more than a year without unemployment aid."

Let's do so. Imagine idiots living as if nothing bad will ever happen in their lives. We see this now. Before I was laid off, I had built up a decent fund for the possibility and it put off the need for using retirement money for a year of my two year ordeal. How many people can say they've done even that meager move? How many more would if they knew there was no safety net?

Unfortunately not enough. But the fact is, unlike how YOU'D like to spin it, conservatives favor aid to the truly needy, but after doing what Dennis Miller calls, separating the helpless from the clueless. The clueless are those who bring about their own hardship by irresponsible choices.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 12:03 PM  

One other thing, conservatives have developed plans to deal with health care costs in from a more real world perspective and as in the case of Paul Ryan's proposal, none of it would affect people moving into the Medicare system in the next few years or those currently there. So there's compassion as well as real thinking involved in conservative responses to this issue.

And another apples to oranges comparison is US health care compared to other nations, especially those with a socialist system. Ours is indeed best as far as outcomes if the such is compared one to one. But they are not. Infant mortality, for example, is not judged in the same manner. Any sign of life is a live birth here. Size of the infant factors into the decision there, whether the child is breathing or not. I read one piece that gave a number of kids born who were only about the size of a man's hand. In the period in question, something like 49 of 52 such children survived as a result of our health care system. In the UK (or maybe Sweden--I don't recall which country they used), they'd all be dead because they wouldn't bother treating such children. They wouldn't even be considered alive. This is the case in most European health care systems.

Also, outcomes are based on the number of people who might actually get treated or have the surgery they needed, not those who died while waiting. Our system counts a person from the time they first sought diagnosis of their ailment until it is resolved of they die from it, from beginning to end.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

Jim,

"A dollar spent is stimulus whether it is bread or a soda."

You define "stimulate" in a far different and less specific manner than more thoughtful people. I don't regard maintaining a business merely to prevent going out of business as stimulating the economy. When consumption is such that a business is making more profits than the previous year and can hire and expand, THAT is stimulating the economy. Simply getting by isn't. It certainly hadn't been for me while I was on unemployment.

"It is stimulative. As Ben and I have pointed out. Unemployment dollars have a 1.76 multiplier."

If this is true, then more people on unemployment will get us out of this recession. I'd LOVE to stay home again!

"Your data to support this comes from where? In the 50s the top rates for the wealthy were up to 90%. We had revenue to build the interstate highway system, our nuclear arsenal, etc. and the economy boomed."

First of all, I don't have the time to re-research the info that would dispel you notion. Secondly, the federal gov't did NOT have the expenditures it does now. Thirdly, more wealthy came into existence when tax rates were lowered. More wealthy means more revenue. When Bush cut the tax rates, it created more people who were taxed at the highest rates, brought in more revenues, AND resulted in an even greater percentage of revenues being paid by the top earners.

""Make sure you have no more than what is needed for the very basics, or you will be a complete hypocrite."

Newest winger talking point and completely idiotic."


Not new or idiotic. If you think the wealthy and achievers should be "paying their fair share", then I say your share should result in your being no better of than the rest of us, if "fairness" is really a lefty concern. Why should you live better than me? If you have more money than you need to live at the same level as I'm living? Be consistent. The reality is that I have no problem with YOUR success and am sincerely happy for you. I don't want your money, I want my own. I don't want you to care for me because you might earn more than I do, I'll take care of myself.

Marshall Art September 2, 2011 at 12:30 PM  

continuing....

""All levels of taxation has the same affect relative to each level."

This is false. If that were the case, the Laffable curve would be flat. Wouldn't it?"


Please read my comments in context. You responded to my point regarding the impact of high tax rates. My response was that raising rates a little as opposed to a lot only mitigates the negative impact on the taxpayer, but the negative impact still exists. Thus, all levels of taxation, that is, the impact of the rate increase, has the same affect at each level, only to the degree that level of increase is capable of impacting the taxpayer.

"The number of businesses threatened by a 4.6% marginal increase is very, very small."

I see. So it's OK to screw some people because it ain't very many being screwed and they can take it better than the rest of us? And of course, your not being among them is all the better. Typical. Let others pay for what you want.

"During the higher tax rates under Clinton, the US added 22.7 million jobs. Under Bush with lower tax rates, the US added 5.8 million jobs. This destroys your argument."

I doubt this. Show your sources. And keep in mind that you conveniently leave out the dot.com boom, whereas you made sure to speak about the housing bubble explain Bush's good revenue increase. Also typical.

"Where do you get this idea that wanting the government to provide services that individuals can't is asking for something for nothing?"

Both in your demanding more taxes from the wealthy and your ideas of what services the gov't should be providing. Together we get "you're asking for something for nothing".

more later...

Jim September 2, 2011 at 4:12 PM  

"Thus, all levels of taxation, that is, the impact of the rate increase, has the same affect at each level, only to the degree that level of increase is capable of impacting the taxpayer."

If that were true then the Laffable curve wouldn't be the shape of a rainbow. It would be the shape of your pee stream, always downward (unless you pee in bed). The Laffable curve suggests that there is an optimum level of taxation level for the economy. Your curve suggests the optimum is no tax. Guess that's about right for you, huh?

"So it's OK to screw some people because it ain't very many being screwed and they can take it better than the rest of us? And of course, your not being among them is all the better."

I pay AMT. I don't consider that being screwed. I don't like it, but it's the law and it helps cut the deficit.

Regarding added jobs: "I doubt this. Show your sources."

OK, how about the Wall Street Journal. BTW it shows that jobs grew three times as much in four years of Carter than eight years of Bush 43.

"And keep in mind that you conveniently leave out the dot.com boom"

Left it out? How did I leave it out. And how in the world did we have a dot.com boom under the confiscatory tax rates during the Clinton era?

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