The Longest Day

One of the family traditions we have at my house (like watching “1776” on the fourth of July) is watching The Longest Day every June 6th:

TLD is superlative to Saving Private Ryan, and who can knock Iron Maiden for the sound track?

A couple years back I took the family to France and I walked Omaha Beach (yeah, from the water line to the cliffs where the gun emplacements were set up was an incredible distance away), Point Du Hoc (those cliffs were unbelievably high),Sainte-Mère-Eglise, and Caan (Great war museum). Walking that beach was surreal. The cemetery (grounds are impeccable) was a moving experience. The free world owes their very existence in what happened here 67 years ago today:

Sixty-seven years ago, free men of America, Great Britain, Canada, and Poland-in-exile stormed the shores of Normandy into the teeth of Adolf Hitler’s Fortress Europe. The losses at Omaha Beach especially were astounding; over 4400 Allied servicemen died in the assault, and 7500 more were wounded or went missing. Americans made up almost two-thirds of the overall casualties (over 6600). The German casualty figures were never known, but estimates range from 4000 to 9000. But that was just the first day of the Battle of Normandy. By the time Normandy was secured, over 425,000 casualties had been inflicted on both sides, 209,000 by Allied forces. Another 200,000 troops were captured by the allies. The French paid a price, too; over 15,000 civilians were killed in the Battle of Normandy.

I use to know a superior court judge who was one of the Army Rangers that scaled those cliffs at Point De Huc, good judge, he died about 6 years ago, not very many left.

We should never forget the sacrifices made on this day, made mostly by guys just like us. There is a great line penned by Stephen Ambrose, probably the best historical writer concerning this time period, about boys that went from throwing baseballs to throwing hand grenades. They did it because they could, they were there, they did not curse the fates for the timing, but accepted what was required of them.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    That’s because back then liberals where classical liberals. Not the insane communist-lite crew we have in charge of the left today.

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  2. Kimpost

    Not only that, but those were also the days of less hyperbole, where people didn’t accuse the other side of being members of a insane communist-lite crew, just because they wanted 1 percent higher taxes.

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  3. Dave D

    What point do you leftists think that taxation goes from “progressive” to “socialist” to full blown “collectivist”? We are at about 50% already here in the US when you count local/state and federal taxes on an average wage earner, not to mention property and sales taxes. What point is “too much”? I’d say 50% is the extreme tipping point. Also, HALF the people in this country pay NO federal taxes after deductions. What point does that end of the spectrum classify as “progressive” to “socialist” to full blown “communist”, because I’d really like to know…….

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  4. Kimpost

    Tax rates have been much much higher, without having it called socialism.

    What’s up with the need for hyperbole – now? Why the urgency? Who’s trying to fundamentally transform America? Reason suggests – no tells us, that no one is. Nobody is trying to make US into USSR or Cuba.

    Obama is a true believer in free market economy, just like every other US president, going back to as far as I can remember. Thinking he isn’t is ridiculous, and makes discourse impossible.

    We should all recognize that as fact, and then continue to debate differences in policies. Should the marginal tax rate be 35% or 39%? That’s what’s at stake here. It’s not about stopping some kind of socialist agenda, because there just isn’t one.

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  5. CM

    ODS is getting stronger all the time. If he’s not a Muslim or the Anti-Christ, he’s actively trying to ruin his own country. It’s as crazy as it is fascinating.
    You’re totally right Kimpost – it makes reasonable debate/discussion all-but impossible.

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  6. richtaylor365 *

    I’m not sure how a post about selflessness and sacrifice turned into another whine fest about us mean old Americans not giving our savior another chance to save us, how unfair we are to him and that if just given the chance, he has the vision and foresight to make everything rainbows and puppy dogs. Hyperbole? a little bit, that was for your benefit, for the nonsense of equating legitimate criticisms for ODS, which, as far as I’m concerned is a clear sign that you are not interested in “reasonable debate/discussion”.

    just because they wanted 1 percent higher taxes.

    Should the marginal tax rate be 35% or 39%?

    I admit I’m no math whiz, but which is it? 35 to 39 is more than one percent.

    I thought we kicked that tax can around in that other thread. Nobody here is calling Obama the Anti-Christ (talk about hyperbole) but to say that Obama is not anti business or that higher taxes is a good way to go is just nonsense.

    Right now, the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. Look at the bottom of that chart, most of those nations were communist satellite nations 25 years ago, now they are thriving and prosperous and that low corporate tax rate is one of the reasons.

    From the links I’ve posted before, it is clear that nothing good comes from raising taxes. The monies that the government has to work with is sufficient for the tasks at hand, cutting spending is the answer, not raising taxes.

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  7. loserlame

    There is nothing wrong with Cuba or the former USSR. Euros have always praised their free, egalitarian, non-religious regimes, offering free health care and such.

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  8. Kimpost

    :) OK, you got me, it’s four percent (one was marginal tax rate, while the other was just tax rate, though).

    If the most pro-business you can get is one without rules or regulations, with zero taxes, and if such a pro-business scale was linear, then yes, George W was more pro-business than Obama. After all, 35 is lower than 39. But I don’t think it’s quite that simple.

    And remember that Obama has made large tax cuts. Not just by extending the Bush ones, but a large portion of the bailouts were tax cuts. Hardly consistent for a president who’s supposedly a champion for collectivism. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to call him anti-business.

    At the same time I recognize that it is a matter of opinion, and relatvism. And as such I don’t have a problem with your choice of words. It was the Alex-hyperbole that brought me into the thread. “[Insane] communist-lite crew” is pretty way off, isn’t it?

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  9. AlexInCT

    That’s because the communists in general were bad guys then Kimpost. These days there are so many idiots in love with that vile ideology, despite proof of how it always tends to works out , most of them thinking the right people haven’t done it yet. I am also certain that you will find most people of that era hated communism, including the poor fools under it’s yoke.

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  10. loserlame

    Theres proof of OBamas being the anti-Christ all over the Internets, right next to them true-factual global warming facts.

    Defunct Moorewatch aside, I have proof of Thinkers transforming yet another totally harmless post about war into a familiar, rote lament “Pah. Just can’t talk to them Americans”

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  11. AlexInCT

    And remember that Obama has made large tax cuts.

    That mad me laugh.

    Not just by extending the Bush ones, but a large portion of the bailouts were tax cuts.

    Obama didn’t raise taxes like he wanted: Bush cut the taxes. There is a distinction there, even if you people want to pretend otherwise. It is an insult to the intelligence of people that aren’t leftists to say Obama not raising taxes was any kind of a tax cut. And about the only people then that that benefited from those bail outs where democrat constituencies, donors, lobbyists, and campaign coffers, at the state and federal level, so maybe you should call them “targeted tax cuts”. Makes Obama and the democrats sound even better in these word games.

    Hardly consistent for a president who’s supposedly a champion for collectivism.

    Note that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming into not raising the taxes and hammering the economy, and only did so because he was already looking at starting his 2012 campaign.

    I don’t think it’s entirely fair to call him anti-business.

    Of course you wouldn’t. I am sure you agree with Obama that businesses are there to give people jobs and pay taxes, not to make profits for their owners or investors, because profits are evil.

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  12. Kimpost

    I think that very few are in love with communism. I do however think that many people, probably most even, enjoys to live in our typical western style mixed economies.

    Capitalism rules all of our countries, and most of us are fine with that. But we will have to tweak our respective systems – probably indefinitely. There’s a difference between tweaking and seeking socialism.

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  13. Dave D

    You ignored what I said! We pay OVER 50% taxes in the US when you count local/state/sales/property taxes. If 50+% is not the tippping point, then what is? it’s not about “36 vs 38% marginal rates”. It’s about the entire tax picture and the fact that middle class familes need TWO incomes to pay the 50% back to the government to pay for YOUR sides silly social experiements. And it keeps creeping UP!

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  14. Kimpost

    And about the only people then that that benefited from those bail outs where democrat constituencies, donors, lobbyists, and campaign coffers, at the state and federal level, so maybe you should call them “targeted tax cuts”.

    That’s just so… not just over-simplified, but flat out wrong. There were genuine tax cuts in there. Hundreds of billions worth.

    That doesn’t mean that the total package was right. Lord knows the bailouts held plenty of spending too! And besides, the tax cuts were funded by debt. There’s plenty of stuff to argue about there, but not recognizing the tax cuts, that’s just weird.

    I am sure you agree with Obama that businesses are there to give people jobs and pay taxes, not to make profits for their owners or investors, because profits are evil.

    No, I don’t agree with that. But nor do I think that Obama does.

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  15. loserlame

    So how about that D-Day, eh. Tax cuts… sincere Commies, fighting against the brownshirts to defend their free health care, which was financed with low taxes, needing to be defended….

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  16. Kimpost

    @Dave D

    Didn’t mean to ignore you. It’s impossible for me to say where the tipping point is. I can’t give you a number. A lot smarter people than me are needed to address that subject.

    I can however say that the tax rate, as in the entire tax picture, has not increased. If anything taxes have been creeping down for 30 years now.*

    *) As a simplified overall assessment. The rich as well as the poor have benefited more than the middle class.

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  17. Dave D

    (overall) tax burden has NOT been going down. Citing federal marginal rates and saying that middle class America has had tax breaks is dishonest. State and local taxes, property taxes and corporate taxes passed on to consumers have all went up since any marginal tax cut from Uncle Sam was enacted. I consider $4+ gasoline to be a tax since the govenment won’t drill to keep the demand supplied and puts us at the mercy of the ME, for example. My MAIN point is that, if it weren’t for taxes, I’d have about 50% more money to spend and my wife could have spent 100% of her time raising the kids if she wanted to. But this has nothing to do with D-Day and I guess we are dishonoring their memory by quiblling about tax policy?

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  18. AlexInCT

    That’s just so… not just over-simplified, but flat out wrong. There were genuine tax cuts in there. Hundreds of billions worth.

    Can you provide me some examples? Cause I didn’t find any Kimpost. I am being serious. If you can link me a few examples I might reconsider my stance.

    That doesn’t mean that the total package was right. Lord knows the bailouts held plenty of spending too! And besides, the tax cuts were funded by debt. There’s plenty of stuff to argue about there, but not recognizing the tax cuts, that’s just weird.

    Erm, I do not even know how to begin to respond to this Kimpost. The tax cuts were funded by debt? See, maybe you and I differ on whose money it is – I happen to think that since I earned it through my work, it is mine, not the governments, and that people that make the case the money belongs to the government and that they then are being all philanthropic and giving me a break with those tax cuts, are outright assholes – and that’s causing the confusion. But last I checked, the debt you claim “funded” the tax cuts, happened because government spent more than it should.

    As I have often pointed out, I can not tell my credit card company that I have a spending obligation that goes up every month, by ridiculous numbers, no matter what the money I spend is on, and then lay the blame on my employer not giving me a raise, and even worse, withholding that fat bonus I was counting on, or raising my share of the costs of benefits – just to use some examples of why my revenue could temporarily go down – as an excuse for why my payments are short. I would be cut off, and then eventually locked up.

    I find it disgusting that leftists continue to make the ludicrous claim that the tax cuts caused any shortfall, anyway. In the long run they result in higher revenues. Our problem has been since the days of Reagan and his tax cuts, that whenever tax cuts have served to stimulate the economy and increase government’s increase of revenue by X, the politicians, usually in one party, but during the Bush years in both I concede, take government spending up by 1.5 X. That’s the problem S-P-E-N-D-I-N-G. Not letting earners keep more of the “government’s or people’s” money. Yes, that last one was a direct jab at the idiocy of thinking government should be guaranteed income at the expense of the productive. Fuck that.

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  19. CM

    Um no, the actual climate change science discussion takes place largely within the published literature.
    It’s widely reported on the internet though. Just like the nutjob climate change conspiracy theories and copius lazy accusations of fraud.

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  20. CM

    These days there are so many idiots in love with that vile ideology,

    What a completely ridiculous thing to say. Honestly, how do you expect to be taken even remotely seriously saying such rubbish?!

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  21. CM

    I’m not sure how a post about selflessness and sacrifice turned into another whine fest about us mean old Americans not giving our savior another chance to save us, how unfair we are to him and that if just given the chance, he has the vision and foresight to make everything rainbows and puppy dogs.

    I guess I should have realised that posting somethng like:

    And nobody cared whether individuals were conservatives or liberals.

    would be like a piece of cheese to a mouse (Alex). Apologies. I was genuinely trying to put things into perspective. I should have realised that was impossible, as some people seem to have to run everything through their ‘Blame Liberals’ filter. That’s the sad state of things.

    for the nonsense of equating legitimate criticisms for ODS, which, as far as I’m concerned is a clear sign that you are not interested in “reasonable debate/discussion”.

    It’s absolutely possible to have legitimate criticisms of Obama without resorting to ODS. It’s nonsense to suggest otherwise.

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  22. CM

    I thought we kicked that tax can around in that other thread. Nobody here is calling Obama the Anti-Christ (talk about hyperbole) but to say that Obama is not anti business or that higher taxes is a good way to go is just nonsense.

    I haven’t seen evidence that Obama is anti-business. Or, more accurately, for all the cherry-picked ‘evidence’ that someone can put forward to show that he is anti-business, you can find a cherry-picked equivalent set of facts and figures to show the opposite (e.g. the American Thinker piece I’ve linked to a few times). Like most things, cherry-picking is largely a waste of time and is pointless if we all want to be objective. And why wouldn’t we want to be objective?

    Right now, the US has the highest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation. Look at the bottom of that chart, most of those nations were communist satellite nations 25 years ago, now they are thriving and prosperous and that low corporate tax rate is one of the reasons.

    I haven’t compared the methodology, but another study just released (carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers) says there are 5 countries with higher rates than the US (Japan, Morocco, Italy, Indonesia and Germany).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-14/u-s-companies-pay-world-s-sixth-highest-tax-rate-study-finds.html

    The reporting of the study also says:

    President Barack Obama has asked Congress to lower the 35 percent corporate tax rate and remove tax credits and deductions to make up for the forgone revenue.

    From the links I’ve posted before, it is clear that nothing good comes from raising taxes.

    I concluded that it depends on the circumstances. And what one considers ‘good’.

    The monies that the government has to work with is sufficient for the tasks at hand, cutting spending is the answer, not raising taxes.

    That’s obviously your opinion. Others can obviously legitimately disagree. But as taxes aren’t being raised, the point is kinda moot.

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  23. CM

    (from same link):

    The report doesn’t take into account accelerated depreciation and other timing incentives built into the U.S. tax system, and that makes the difference between the U.S. and other countries look bigger than it is, said Martin A. Sullivan, a contributing editor at Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization in Falls Church, Virginia.

    “Although it is contrary to the authors’ purpose, the study overall shows U.S. multinational tax burdens are not much different than tax burdens of multinationals in other major economies,” he said in an e-mail.

    A March 31 report by the Congressional Research Service, using different methodology, found that the U.S. had an effective corporate tax rate of 27.1 percent in 2008. Other industrialized countries had an average 27.7 percent effective rate, using a weighted approach that adjusted for the size of the economy, and a 23.3 percent rate with an unweighted approach.

    The other REALLY important factor is the tax that is actually paid….
    General Electric, paid no federal tax for 2010 despite $14.2 billion in worldwide profits. No criticism here over that it seems. Apparently if you’re a welfare recipent you can be criticised for utilising the system for a few grand a year, but when you’re a corporate giant there’s a sense of ‘good on them’.

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  24. Miguelito

    Actually, a change from 35% to 39% is not a 4% increase but an 11% (and change) increase. If your tax went from 10% to 20% would you call that a 10% increase, our a doubling of your tax bill?

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  25. CM

    The Obama administration is preparing to inject an unpredictable new variable into its economic policy clash with Republicans: a plan to overhaul corporate taxes.

    Economic advisers have nearly completed the process initiated in January by the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, at President Obama’s behest. That process, intended to make the United States more competitive internationally, has explored the willingness of business leaders to sacrifice loopholes in return for lowering the top corporate tax rate, currently 35 percent.

    The approach officials are now discussing would drop the top rate as low as 26 percent, largely by curbing or eliminating tax breaks for depreciation and for domestic manufacturing. Final options have not been presented to Mr. Obama, but officials aim to unveil a single proposal or a set of alternative plans as early as May.

    So far, administration officials have been encouraged by support among business leaders for the tradeoffs needed for rate reduction. Whether that survives the legislative process in Congress is another matter.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/corporate-taxes-enter-debt-debate/

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  26. CM

    Tax cuts championed by congressional Republicans and that were adopted during the presidency of George W. Bush were extended in December 2010 for two years under President Barack Obama. While some economists say the tax cuts were needed to give the economy a kick, the Congressional Research Service said that the Bush tax cuts, with a 10-year price tag of $1 trillion, played a substantial role in the nation’s annual deficits.

    Then there’s the recent economic downturn, which also played a role. And the nation is still engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with billions of dollars flowing out to pay for them. These began during the tenure of Bush, a Republican, and continue under Obama, a Democrat.

    The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities posits that just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 “and will account for $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs.”

    That’s deficits, but it applies to the debt (formed by cumulative and mounting deficits), says the center. The “Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies,” the center noted on May 20, 2011.

    On the conservative side, Brian Riedl, lead budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said “one could cherry pick” any number of spending or tax policies and blame them for the entire debt problem. Unlike the liberal think tank, he said, “one could have just as easily singled out Social Security and Medicaid (combined cost: $13 trillion), Medicare and net interest costs ($13 trillion), or discretionary spending ($15 trillion) for blame.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/jun/06/national-republican-congressional-committee/republican-group-says-rep-ron-kind-and-other-democ/

    That’s the problem – anything can be ‘proven’ with cherry-picking. Finding a truly balanced assessment is very difficult.

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  27. Jim

    No, the problem is the idea that taking less of each American’s paycheck is a more substantial role than the actual spending in regards to deficits.
    The Constitution greatly limits the government’s reach in regards to what it should do with money. It also originally limited how it could *make* that money. Why? Because of what we are seeing right now. Give a teenager a credit card, then tell them if they max it out, they can simply force their parents to increase their limit. What do you think will happen? 9 times out of 10, the same thing that happens when you tell the U.S. government the same thing.
    Blaming the American people for not forking over *more* of their money is blaming a one-legged man for not hopping faster in the Olympic time trials. There is only *so much* people can do before they collapse under the weight of oppressive taxes and government regulations.
    Why is it that the government is not held to the same standard of any other business? It’s because *they can’t go out of business*. They have a monopoly. If my bakery starts charging customers more money because my overhead is too high, they stop buying things, and my business folds. It is up to me to find intelligent ways to cut spending *before* raising my prices, lest my entire business go bankrupt from lack of sales. We ask (demand) that the Federal government do the same thing *in accordance with the Constitution*.
    In the end, opinion is completely irrelevant in regards to spending/taxing and what is causing the problem. The only thing that should matter is keeping in line with the U.S. Constitution. Period.

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  28. Kimpost

    :) OK, four percentage points then. I used lazy and commonly used language instead of focusing on being mathematically correct. In my defence, this is how lazy people discuss percentages pretty much all the time. Unemployment going from 10% to 9% is regarded as a 1% drop, not a 10% drop.

    In our lazy world we basically need to check the context to determine if the messenger (in this case, me) means percentage points or an actual percentage.

    Incidentally, I would avoid calling a raise of my marginal tax rate, from 10% to 20%, a “doubling of my tax bill”.

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  29. Kimpost

    The tax cuts were funded by debt? See, maybe you and I differ on whose money it is – I happen to think that since I earned it through my work, it is mine, not the governments, and that people that make the case the money belongs to the government and that they then are being all philanthropic and giving me a break with those tax cuts, are outright assholes – and that’s causing the confusion.

    You’re arguing a separate point. From a budgetary point of view the government needs taxes for revenue. Lower a tax rate, and you lose revenue, (unless the lowered tax rate is projected to grow the economy accordingly).

    Fairly non-controversial, isn’t it?

    Now, if raising taxes is right or wrong, as you are discussing, is another matter entirely. If you were asking me, I would base my answer on the size of the raise, on the targeted group, and on its perceived necessity. In an ideal world there would be no taxes. But defence, infrastructure, police, education and health care do not pay for themselves – and I want all of these things (and more) guaranteed by some form of government (fed, state or local).

    I find it disgusting that leftists continue to make the ludicrous claim that the tax cuts caused any shortfall, anyway. In the long run they result in higher revenues.

    Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. While it’s important not to have too high taxes, it’s also true that zero taxes lead to zero revenues.

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  30. Kimpost

    Can you provide me some examples? Cause I didn’t find any Kimpost. I am being serious. If you can link me a few examples I might reconsider my stance.

    Sure. Note that you don’t have to agree with all or even any of them to acknowledge their existence.


    – The Making Work Pay Tax Credit

    - American Opportunity Credit

    - ARRA and the Additional Child Tax Credit

    - First-Time Homebuyer Credit

    ARRA and the Earned Income Tax Credit

    - Energy Incentives for Individuals in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

    - Tax Exemption for Unemployment Benefits in 2009

    - Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases

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  31. CM

    At times of crisis (particularly when it comes to health) people take on extraordinary debt. So do governments.
    People shouldn’t be artificially conflating extraordinary recession spending with general overall spending. Sure you can certainly include healthcare reform in ‘general overal spending’, but not the efforts to ease the hurt of the recession.

    All this talk of the US being on the edge of socialism is just ridiculous nonsense. I see Romney is pushing this line as well.
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/02/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-us-only-inches-away-ceasing-be-fr/

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  32. AlexInCT

    You’re arguing a separate point.

    No Kimpost. I am pointing out that you are either stupid or purposely pretending that out of control spending, and not the idiotic notion that government should have a right to spend whatever it wants and then tax the pheasants, is the reason for the deficit and debt we have. You might be fine with being serfs to your new nobility –government – in return for neither freedom nor security, but I am not.

    From a budgetary point of view the government needs taxes for revenue. Lower a tax rate, and you lose revenue, (unless the lowered tax rate is projected to grow the economy accordingly).

    Which the economy has consistently done after tax cuts, while you continue to ignore the fact that when revenue was raised by X, the politicians raised their spending, mostly on social programs to buy votes, by 1.5X. You do understand basic algebra right?.

    The left’s fixation with hiking taxes isn’t about revenue anyway, it is about the stupid notion that they – government – should be correcting the social injustices of the world, or as candidate Obama told Joe the Plumber, “Spreading the wealth” and then using whatever part of that money the élites don’t need to pay for their royal lifestyles, to buy votes from the stupid peasants, by selling them the stupid lie them they are now just that much closer to getting their needs met from cradle to grave. A damned lie that eventually leads to them running out of other people’s money and the whole hous of cards imploding.

    I am done arguing this here, BTW. It’s obvious that the facts don’t concern you much.

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  33. AlexInCT

    At times of crisis (particularly when it comes to health) people take on extraordinary debt. So do governments.

    And then, when they can not deal with it, they face the consequences. Consequences that for people can vary but are brutal. But for the poor people of those governments its even more brutal. We ignore this reality at our own peril. Ask the Greeks how that perpetual crisis spending and that extraordinary debt is working out for them. Shit ask any EU member. Cause that bitch is gonna have consequences.

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  34. CM

    (overall) tax burden has NOT been going down. Citing federal marginal rates and saying that middle class America has had tax breaks is dishonest. State and local taxes, property taxes and corporate taxes passed on to consumers have all went up since any marginal tax cut from Uncle Sam was enacted.

    According to the Tax Foundation, a pro-business group that studies tax policy, the total federal, state and local tax burden has been falling — not rising — in recent years. Every year, the group computes a national figure for all levels of taxation as a share of national income. The data shows that the tax burden has fallen modestly in recent years, from 31.2 percent in 2006 to 27.2 percent in 2011.

    And as we concluded recently, the U.S. tax burden isn’t just hovering around a historical low — it’s also low compared to other advanced industrialized nations. In a 2006 international comparison, 25 nations had a higher percentage of taxes compared to GDP than the U.S., while just four — Mexico, Japan, Korea and Turkey — had a lower percentage.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/02/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-us-only-inches-away-ceasing-be-fr/

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  35. CM

    Alex you really need to calm down. For someone who likes to whine about personal abuse you sure do resort to it often. And for someone who strives so hard to make their own views seem sincere, you certainly don’t return the favour (seriously, suggesting that people want to be ‘serfs’ is just ridiculous).

    I am done arguing this here, BTW. It’s obvious that the facts don’t concern you much.

    Looks to me that you’ve never been challenged on any of this rubbish before and you’re finding it all increasingly difficult to defend. When it gets to detail you resort back to generalisations.

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  36. CM

    But for the poor people of those governments its even more brutal.

    Aren’t they just “stupid peasants” anyway?

    I don’t see anyone here arguing that there aren’t consequences of going into debt. We’re pretty much arguing how/why it happened.

    How would it have been different under McCain? It would be great to get your thoughts on that.

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  37. Kimpost

    @AlexInCT

    I am done arguing this here, BTW. It’s obvious that the facts don’t concern you much.

    No worries, mate. I’m not forcing anyone to participate. I just wish you could see that people with differing opinions don’t necessarily have a disregard for facts.

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  38. richtaylor365 *

    I go away for the day and you guys blow up my post {sigh}

    I haven’t seen evidence that Obama is anti-business

    I guess you are not looking very hard (I know, another one of those not to be trusted sites like The American Thinker). try googling “Obama’s war on business” or “Obama anti business” and see what happens.

    but another study just released (carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers) says there are 5 countries with higher rates than the US (Japan, Morocco, Italy, Indonesia and Germany).

    The CATO study is much more current, but I say the US has a high corporate tax rate and you reply with ,”But, it’s not the highest”, like that negates my point entirely.

    President Barack Obama has asked Congress to lower the 35 percent corporate tax rate and remove tax credits and deductions to make up for the forgone revenue.

    And if he does it (not just blows smoke about it) then good on him but do you really believe for a second that Obama wants to lower taxes, any taxes? i think we have mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    But as taxes aren’t being raised,

    And why do you think that is? Since we all can agree that Obama would like to make those that can afford it to pay a little more (or are you going to say that this is conjecture?), “spreading the wealth is good for everyone”, remember?

    No criticism here over that it seems

    You have not been paying attention, we have discussed this, more than once.

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  39. richtaylor365 *

    I guess I should have realised that posting somethng like:

    And nobody cared whether individuals were conservatives or liberals.

    Your intent was not lost on me, I got it.

    It’s absolutely possible to have legitimate criticisms of Obama without resorting to ODS. It’s nonsense to suggest otherwise.

    No one is suggesting otherwise, but It’s absolutely impossible to have a discussion/debate when ODS is thrown out so cavalierly when legitimate criticisms are mentioned.

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  40. richtaylor365 *

    That process, intended to make the United States more competitive internationally,

    Interesting, a lowering of taxes would make us “more competitive internationally”, which means that as of now we are not competitive internationally so a tax cut is needed, kinda what I have been saying all along, giving more credence to my CATO link.

    As I said, if he does it then I will applaud him for it.

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  41. Kimpost

    And if he does it (not just blows smoke about it) then good on him but do you really believe for a second that Obama wants to lower taxes, any taxes? i think we have mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    I seriously do believe that Obama, like most others, don’t want taxes to be high. Why would he? Why would anyone?

    I hear the argument of Obama wanting to crash the economy to further his ultimate goal of turning United States into a fully fledged communist state, which is silly, as I’m sure you would agree. If mountains of evidence points towards something, then it’s at Obama being a typical free market driven, democracy principled, western style middle of the road politician. Perhaps he’s slightly left of centre, in US politics, and slightly to the right in reference to Europeans, but I can’t see evidence of a single radical bone in the guy.

    When he says that he wants to lower the corporate tax rate I believe him. I believe his financial advisers think they should be lowered too. But I also think that he might believe that the lowered tax rate should be financed somehow (other than just praying for revenue increases from projected growth). Perhaps by a higher tax rate somewhere else, which makes things harder, since such a move would immediately paint him as a tax hiking collectivist.

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  42. CM

    I completely agree with Kimpost’s general response. In terms of the specifics:

    I go away for the day and you guys blow up my post {sigh}

    Partly my fault. I didn’t for a second think that anyone would think it was appropriate to turn it into a conservatives versus liberals thing. That was kind of my point. More fool me. Obviously there is no inappropriate place to discuss how insane current lefties are.

    I guess you are not looking very hard (I know, another one of those not to be trusted sites like The American Thinker). try googling “Obama’s war on business” or “Obama anti business” and see what happens.

    I worded that appallingly. What I really meant was that I don’t see any objective assessments concluding that he’s anti-business. Any analysis that does reach that conclusion requires a whole lot of stuff to be ignored. Cherry-picking, essentially. Where are all those American Thinker stats in that analysis? Ah, I’ve just checked the date – he’s being called an “anti-business President” only a matter of months after being sworn in. And it seems to completely ignore the context of what he faced when he started, even though it was obviously of fundamental importance when assessing this issue. Is there any evidence that McCain would have done anything differently? Obama was largely picking up where Bush left off.

    As best I can tell, Obama loathes the profit motive

    Obama thinks high CEO pay spurred the economic dip

    I’m sorry but you can’t consider that an objective assessment. That’s just being silly. Again, if the problems are all so obvious, why the need for hyperbole?

    The CATO study is much more current, but I say the US has a high corporate tax rate and you reply with ,”But, it’s not the highest”, like that negates my point entirely.

    All those reports seem to be from this year. What difference does a few months make in terms of effective tax rates?
    Um, no I certainly did not just reply with that. I’m not sure why you’d even try to say that I did. Look at the two quotes before I said “The other REALLY important factor is the tax that is actually paid….”

    And if he does it (not just blows smoke about it) then good on him but do you really believe for a second that Obama wants to lower taxes, any taxes? i think we have mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    So what he actually does isn’t even important? What? How does that work??! That’s just bizarre. I mean I realise that if he did it because it was ‘forced’ on him then you guys wouldn’t give him one iota of credit, but when he’s actually initiated this……sheesh, that’s the very definition of a tough crowd.

    You have not been paying attention, we have discussed this, more than once.

    Obviously. Or it was before I arrived. 99% of what I read here is that “x is the current administration’s fault”. No partial blame, no qualification, no hesitancy. An oil company pays no corporate tax in the US, and yet apparently it’s more important mock those who dare to question their profits.

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  43. CM

    I find it disgusting that leftists continue to make the ludicrous claim that the tax cuts caused any shortfall, anyway. In the long run they result in higher revenues. Our problem has been since the days of Reagan and his tax cuts, that whenever tax cuts have served to stimulate the economy and increase government’s increase of revenue by X

    Can you find a reputable economist that agrees that reducing tax raises government revenue? The ones I can find suggest it’s nonsense.

    Look what tax cuts did to employment and GDP after both the Clinton and the Bush tax cuts:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-the-gop-didnt-learn-from-the-bush-tax-cuts/2011/05/19/AGXlyHLH_blog.html

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  44. CM

    Sorry, but a belief that Obama is trying to destroy the United States via a socialist takeover is batshit insane, and is completely and utterly consistent with a bad a case of ODS. It’s as batshit insane as suggesting that the moon landing was faked, that 9/11 was an inside job, or that climate change is a hoax. Nothing cavalier about that diagnosis.

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  45. CM

    As mentioned in the articles, it’s far more complicated than just the corporate tax rate. It makes sense that it’s more of a formula. It seems that they think that changing the formula can make the US more competitive, but they might not have to give up on revenue.

    As I said, if he does it then I will applaud him for it.

    That’s great. Of course you’ve already heavily qualified that by saying you think he believes in the opposite, even though it appears that Obama himself has initiated this….

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  46. balthazar

    I’m sorry CM, when did you move to the US and start living here and therefor are more qualified than actual americans to comment on what they actually see and feel about their president. Thanks for shedding light on the issue for us and making me realize every issue we have with OUR president is OBS. Sometime you are an arrogant prick that knows no equal.

    I have seen my whole cost of living increase, and its has a direct correlation to some of the policies this administration has implemented, mainly their energy policy. The uncertainty about future drilling, natural gas production and coal use causes speculators to drive up prices.

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  47. richtaylor365 *

    Of course you’ve already heavily qualified that by saying you think he believes in the opposite

    And you don’t? Seriously, an honest appraisal here, given how just about every (not all but most) good thing he has done as president was against his wishes (and what he campaigned against) but had his hand forced, and the literal mountains of evidence out there that he would like to raise taxes (and please, for the love of god, don’t fall into your usual pattern of asking for links, you are a smart guy and should be able to remember the hundreds of times he has put himself on record), do you really believe that any tax cuts that he is forced to implement that his heart is in it?

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  48. richtaylor365 *

    Sorry, but a belief that Obama is trying to destroy the United States via a socialist takeover is batshit insane, and is completely and utterly consistent with a bad a case of ODS

    And if that was your only starting flag for throwing that ODS card down then i would agree with you, but lately, you have been going to that well about as often as the race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton go to the race card. I doubt anyone here thinks Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the US but that does not give him a pass for implementing policies that will have the same effect, that whole “road to hell paved with good intentions” thingee.

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  49. richtaylor365 *

    As mentioned in the articles, it’s far more complicated than just the corporate tax rate

    Yes, those that lack the political will or don’t have their hearts in it will say that, but it’s really not. Lowering the corporate tax rate (which if you look at my CATO chart will see that the old Russian satellite nations have done and look at their economies now) will not only make our companies more internationally competitive but it will spur job growth, his number one bugaboo right now. It will also increase sales which WILL bring in more tax revenue, as we have seen over and over. Ryan’s plan called for lowering the corporate rate and eliminating tax breaks and loopholes (more evidence that Obama would rather cut off his left nut then go along with this since Ryan was singing that song first).

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  50. AlexInCT

    What a completely ridiculous thing to say.

    Why? Because it is true and it then makes people like you, that can’t even tell they are in love with that stupid ideology, mad? Remember communism is an imperial ideology masquerading as a populous-friendly economic one. You may think you do not like or agree with what it usually ends up being in practice, but when you buy into the big government should provide a social welfare thing for everyone at the expense of those that make, you are basically a collectivist. Or are you one of those that really believes there is a big distinction between communism and socialism in the end, and are insulted if someone points out those are semantics about how your political class will rape the people, at best?

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  51. AlexInCT

    Alex you really need to calm down. For someone who likes to whine about personal abuse you sure do resort to it often.

    Sticks & stones may hurt my bones, but weak arguments like yours just excite me, CM. Methinks you are just desperately projecting here as well. The only whining, along with an astounding immunity to any kind of logic or facts, I see, is from you.

    And for someone who strives so hard to make their own views seem sincere, you certainly don’t return the favour (seriously, suggesting that people want to be ‘serfs’ is just ridiculous).

    The only comment I can make to this is to laugh at you. I am trying to make my VIEWS seem sincere? I am debating facts and logic, occasionally with a logically reasoned opinion when evidence isn’t directly available, and certainly not views. I do not much care to elevate people’s views to the same level as those, because views are basically opinions, and opinions are usually like assholes: they stink. What’s next from you? I am going to get told like some other nut once did that the truth is relative to the beholder?

    And yes, I consider any people that give up their freedoms in return for the mirage of social security, to be nothing but serfs of the state. This country was formed by people, and became great precisely because those people, understood that whatever the state can give you will require it to take twice as much from someone else – the amount it pays you and then some to pay for the bureaucracy – and maybe you simply have a hard time grasping that concept, but it is a fact that whenever governments have controlled people’s access to their goodies they can, and have, used that as a weapon to force the people into servitude. In fact, the argument that the state should be able to simply raise taxes on me, whenever the politicians insane spending habits cause the books to go into the deep red, and that tax cuts that allow me to keep more of my own money are hurting the poor state, not just infuriating but downright vile. It smacks of the attitude serfs have towards their landlords and his demand for more for less, or even nothing.

    Looks to me that you’ve never been challenged on any of this rubbish before and you’re finding it all increasingly difficult to defend. When it gets to detail you resort back to generalisations.

    Better people than you have tried and come away just as beaten up as you and your buddy Kimpost have. You may believe you are winning these arguments, but I have it on good authority most people reading this are laughing their asses off at you two and your tripe.

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  52. loserlame

    I work among peasants, and I suffer with them. What I don’t see are any nobles actually hanging out with them. i’m still waiting for my free health care and I’m also not getting paid enough to get by.
    Where are the noble thinker masses how feel our pain actually fixing it. A one-time $2000 tax break would fix my ass big time.
    A check with Michael Moores name is nowhere to be seen amongst the proles. Seems to have been a one-time thing of his, to reach out to the proles….

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  53. loserlame

    Nowhere did say the de facto science discussion takes place on the Internets, I maintain that whatevers on the Internets and sounds good is accepted as proof by those who want it to be proof, as evidenced by online non-discussions awash in them solid, reputable Internets links.

    So how about that D-Day?

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  54. loserlame

    Aye, D-Day was long, and stuff, but do you remember all them Bushitler tax fiddles?? Our money that he used to search for oil in Iraq and elsewhere? Them was long days, like them long walks folk took to the showers at Auschwitz. Fortunately, feeling, knowing folk across the globe felt our pain. Still do.

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  55. AlexInCT

    No way loserlame! Letting you keep more of your money would help you out more than all this other expensive government programs we can’t afford but guarantee us all “free whatever” nonsense you can only get when you decide to become an unemployed ward of the state?? who would have thunk that.

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  56. Kimpost

    Better people than you have tried and come away just as beaten up as you and your buddy Kimpost have. You may believe you are winning these arguments, but I have it on good authority most people reading this are laughing their asses off at you two and your tripe.

    Seriously, Alex from Connecticut. What happens in you when you decide to write shit like this? :)

    Look, I know that most people here are much closer to your views than they are to mine. Which is both fine and understandable, this site is conservative leaning, after all. And I’m new here. So you obviously win the popularity contest. I do however think that you would become even more popular, if you toned yourself done a notch, in some regards. I think I have seen enough of you guys to determine as much.

    Oh, and if I make people laugh, then I’m OK with that too. Spreading joy is a good thing, isn’t it? ;)

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  57. sahrab

    i cant figure out if loserlame is kidding, trolling or suffers from an error in mistranslation between english and his first language

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  58. AlexInCT

    Seriously, Alex from Connecticut. What happens in you when you decide to write shit like this? :)

    People nod in agreement with me?

    Look, I know that most people here are much closer to your views than they are to mine. Which is both fine and understandable, this site is conservative leaning, after all. And I’m new here. So you obviously win the popularity contest.

    Oh you err greatly thinking this is a popularity contest sir. The left believes in popularity uber alles, but most people here are hardcore thinkers.

    I do however think that you would become even more popular, if you toned yourself done a notch, in some regards. I think I have seen enough of you guys to determine as much.

    Hard to do when you continue to present facts and have them completely ignored or the thread taken on a tangent by people that are not happy with what I had to say, not because it is false, but because it is true and they don’t want it to be so

    Oh, and if I make people laugh, then I’m OK with that too. Spreading joy is a good thing, isn’t it? ;)

    I think CM beats you in the humur spreading department, since you at least try harder to actually not ignore all the facts.

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  59. loserlame

    And I feel this thread has turned into yet another dim, rote “the US this, the US that” hijacked by two familiar experts from abroad.

    D-Day? Sure

    adopted during the presidency of George W. Bush tax cuts played a substantial role in the nation’s annual deficits engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with billions of dollars flowing out to pay for them. These began during the tenure of Bush, a Republican, The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities posits that just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 “and will account for $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019 “Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

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  60. Jim

    Ok, this question is asked in all due honesty:
    When 50% of the country does not pay a federal income tax and many of these people actually get a tax refund or welfare or some other form of government aid, and this aid is basically taken against the will of those who produce, what do people on this board call that form of government?
    We are looking at a system that currently takes 50% of small business owners’ income. What % is considered inside the norms for a strong Capitalistic society and where is the tipping point? Would the government have to take 100% for most people here to consider a slide towards socialism? 90%? Again, I am serious. I’m trying to ask these questions without a vicious bent and I honestly want to know what the average person considers the threshold. Again, not for full blown capitalism or socialism, but even just leaning one way more than the other. How much money can you take from entrepreneurs for the purpose of funding national programs (spreading the wealth) and still be considered pro-capitalism?

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  61. sahrab

    My liberterian leaning take: the system has to be equal. The exact same tax breaks and burden should be spread accross all of those who are subjected to, and benefit from, the results of the taxes.

    Someone with a higher income doesnt use the national infrastructure any more than someone with a lesser income. You could argue they use it even less, as they tend to pay for infrastructure out of their pocket instead of relying upon the public “goods”.

    But as well, those with lesser incomes should not be subjected to a burden without recieving the same perks as those with higher incomes, since they pay into the same system.

    There also has to be a realization that Businesses as an entity pays NONE of the burden. Any additional taxes that are levied against businesses are passed upon the consumers of their goods as a cost of business (bottom line). This isnt hyperbole, this is reality.

    A realistic and perfect example of how this burden is passed onto the consumers is Petroleum (using that instead of Gas or Diesel). There are tax burdens that are incurred from the moment the raw material (Crude Oil) is purchased and sent on its way to the final product at the pump. From import taxes, transportation taxes (registration fees, tolls, fuel bill to haul it), refinery costs (cost of the equipment, electric bill to run the equipment, cost to maintain the equipment), environmental fees (passed onto the consumer) to the actual Taxes that are levied at the pump.

    How much of these do you think Exxon pays for all of this? You had better answer None if you want to get it right. All of these fees are paied for by us, the consumre, in the form of $4.00 per gallon.

    While the fuel example maybe a simplification of business taxes, it clearly shows the failure of ANY administrations Tax Policies when it comes to businesses.

    I do not know if no taxes for business is the answer, but your naive if you think any business is going to eat a cost without recopuing it from the consumers.

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  62. CM

    Why? Because it is true and it then makes people like you, that can’t even tell they are in love with that stupid ideology, mad? Remember communism is an imperial ideology masquerading as a populous-friendly economic one. You may think you do not like or agree with what it usually ends up being in practice, but when you buy into the big government should provide a social welfare thing for everyone at the expense of those that make, you are basically a collectivist. Or are you one of those that really believes there is a big distinction between communism and socialism in the end, and are insulted if someone points out those are semantics about how your political class will rape the people, at best?

    To say that I’m in love with communism or socialism is just patently absurd and unsupported by fact. I think all ideologies are as bad as each other – they reduce everything to binary and they don’t reflect reality. They attract weak people who crave simple answers to try and make sense of everything.
    No I’m not insulted because the accusation is just mindless nonsense. You’re typing words but they have no meaning. If a blind person said my shirt was ugly I wouldn’t be insulted by that either.

    You two should just get a room and clear this sexual tension. ;)

    Given his extreme hatred of people who think differently to him I’d be mindful of turning my back. During AND after…..

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  63. CM

    Are you actually a 10 year old boy?
    Or is this all just a big comedy act?
    I don’t see any other alternatives……

    Perhaps we don’t cut the mustard because we weren’t at ground-zero when jokes were invented. ;-)

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  64. CM

    Thanks for shedding light on the issue for us and making me realize every issue we have with OUR president is OBS.

    You seem to have missed the part where I said that wasn’t the case.

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  65. CM

    And if that was your only starting flag for throwing that ODS card down then i would agree with you, but lately, you have been going to that well about as often as the race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton go to the race card.

    Well I disagree strongly.

    I doubt anyone here thinks Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the US but that does not give him a pass for implementing policies that will have the same effect, that whole “road to hell paved with good intentions” thingee.

    Which Obama policies will destroy America? Honestly, don’t you think ‘destroy’ is a little bit extreme?

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  66. CM

    Asking for evidence of a statement which strikes me as questionable is frowned upon here? Really?? Why? What’s wrong with asking people to support opinions that they’ve put forward as fact?

    And you don’t? Seriously, an honest appraisal here, given how just about every (not all but most) good thing he has done as president was against his wishes (and what he campaigned against) but had his hand forced, and the literal mountains of evidence out there that he would like to raise taxes (and please, for the love of god, don’t fall into your usual pattern of asking for links, you are a smart guy and should be able to remember the hundreds of times he has put himself on record), do you really believe that any tax cuts that he is forced to implement that his heart is in it?

    At the end of the day none of us really know what his heart is in, so it’s speculative. But I think he realises that if the economy sucks then that’s not good for the country (let alone his popularity and ability to lead). I think first and foremost he’s a pragmatist, as opposed to an ideologue. So if he sees something as a good idea, he’ll probably go with it.
    Can I ask if you knew about his plans to significantly reduce the corporate tax rate when you posted the claim that the US had the highest rate in the world?

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  67. CM

    Yes, those that lack the political will or don’t have their hearts in it will say that, but it’s really not.

    Um, yeah it is. Political will or not.
    That’s why they’ve explored the willingness of business leaders to sacrifice loopholes in return for lowering the top corporate tax rate, That’s why they’re discussing whether they should drop the top rate as low as 26 percent, largely by curbing or eliminating tax breaks for depreciation and for domestic manufacturing.
    It’s a formula in every country. More complicated that simply “the corporate tax rate”. Hell, the current system taxes only about half of business income, because many enterprises, particularly small ones, are organized to pay taxes under the income tax code for individuals. So the rate is only relevant to the other 50% of business income. That’s a perfect example of how it’s not the be-all and end-all yardstick.
    Looking at the KPMG study, I’m not the sure CATO have accurately represented it. The KPMG study has pages and pages of commentary talking about how a combination of methods are used in each country to tax business (which has been my point). Nothing about that in the CATO assessment. The KPMG study looks at both direct tax rates and indirect tax rates (it’s even in the title), however no mention of that is made by CATO. They’re ignored half the study. Which is important, because when you factor in indirect tax rates, things change. The US has 0%.The OECD average is over 18%.

    CATO also states:

    With state-level taxes on top, a federal corporate rate of 20 percent would put America at about the OECD average

    But the OECD average direct corporate tax rate is 26% according to the study. (The average indirect rate is 18%).

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  68. CM

    All three! Kimpost and I know loserlame well from the old forums. He plays a character. That, and he asks for money. All that character does is mock positions that nobody has even remotely put forward. He’s a one-trick pony who was banned at least once (possibly twice) at MW forums for constant trolling. He’s pretty much the same as Alex (however I get the impression that Alex isn’t playing a character *shudder*).

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  69. CM

    The KPMG study I linked to above (via this link below) looks as the effective tax rate…

    What differentiates this paper from other studies is that it looks at the effective
    tax rate for corporate income tax (i.e.
    the actual corporate income tax paid by
    the case study company in relation to its
    pre-tax profits) rather than the statutory
    tax rate.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-14/u-s-companies-pay-world-s-sixth-highest-tax-rate-study-finds.html

    The study is here:
    http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/paying-taxes/pdf/paying-taxes-2011.pdf

    The statutory rate of corporate income tax is often not a good indicator of the
    rate of tax paid. This is because tax rules
    require adjustments to the accounting
    profit to calculate the taxable profits.

    They explain in more detail, with examples, on Page 30.

    But even then, as noted in the Bloomberg piece:

    The report doesn’t take into account accelerated depreciation and other timing incentives built into the U.S. tax system, and that makes the difference between the U.S. and other countries look bigger than it is

    And the other study also looked at the ‘effective’ tax rate too:

    A March 31 report by the Congressional Research Service, using different methodology, found that the U.S. had an effective corporate tax rate of 27.1 percent in 2008. Other industrialized countries had an average 27.7 percent effective rate, using a weighted approach that adjusted for the size of the economy, and a 23.3 percent rate with an unweighted approach.

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  70. Kimpost

    When 50% of the country does not pay a federal income tax and many of these people actually get a tax refund or welfare or some other form of government aid, and this aid is basically taken against the will of those who produce, what do people on this board call that form of government?

    Seeing that this seems to be the norm, or close to it, I would probably call it “a standard western democracy”. The focus on federal income taxes is disingenuous in my opinion. There are plenty of other taxes, state and federal, allowing for pretty much everyone to contribute.

    And I don’t know about the “against the will of those who produce”. It’s your system, chosen by you, through elections.

    We are looking at a system that currently takes 50% of small business owners’ income. What % is considered inside the norms for a strong Capitalistic society and where is the tipping point? Would the government have to take 100% for most people here to consider a slide towards socialism? 90%?

    Seeing how the norm of western democracies seems to be just like that, I would suggest that 50% is well within the bounds of capitalism. But a percentage isn’t everything, and evaluating the system based on such, isn’t really doable. Using many more meters, The Heritage Foundation publishes a yearly Index of Economic Freedom. It places US in the top 10 for 2011. On a global scale of things, you guys are pretty free – and capitalistic.

    Again, I am serious. I’m trying to ask these questions without a vicious bent and I honestly want to know what the average person considers the threshold. Again, not for full blown capitalism or socialism, but even just leaning one way more than the other. How much money can you take from entrepreneurs for the purpose of funding national programs (spreading the wealth) and still be considered pro-capitalism?

    Depending on the circumstances, I guess I believe you can take quite a lot. As I regard the leaning as being the norm or western democracies, I would say that there really is no meaningful leaning towards one or the other. I don’t accept the premise that a 25% tax rate is less capitalist or more socialist than 24%. It’s much more complicated than that.

    Further more I think that societal safety nets not only enslave people by requiring taxation, but also protects their freedoms, by ensuring certain minimal living conditions. After all, how free would we really be without a police protecting us from crime? Or without a defence protecting our borders?

    – Taxes = theft = infringement of freedom.
    – Police (payed for by taxes) = security = enhancement of freedom.

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  71. AlexInCT

    To say that I’m in love with communism or socialism is just patently absurd and unsupported by fact.

    OK, you are just enfatuated with that whole rigamarole.

    Given his extreme hatred of people who think differently to him I’d be mindful of turning my back. During AND after…..

    Actually I only hate people that think they can use the government to steal from me. Other than that, I pretty much am a live & let live guy.

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  72. AlexInCT

    Are you actually a 10 year old boy?
    Or is this all just a big comedy act?

    Neither, but I am starting to think you are an even bigger idiot than I though you were at first.

    I don’t see any other alternatives……

    Of course you don’t. you don’t know better. You aren’t even smart enough to realize you are a collectivst and are looking down on those of use that don’t like that insanity.

    Perhaps we don’t cut the mustard because we weren’t at ground-zero when jokes were invented. ;-)

    No, you don’t cut the mustard because you seem immune to facts, logic, or reason, and react kind of like a vampire when presented with garlic, holy symbols, or splashed with holy water, when those facts don’t fit your narrative.

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  73. AlexInCT

    Seeing that this seems to be the norm, or close to it, I would probably call it “a standard western democracy”.

    Until they run out of other people’s money that is.

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  74. richtaylor365 *

    And I don’t know about the “against the will of those who produce”. It’s your system, chosen by you, through elections.

    Come on Kimpost, declaring that someone is taxed enough already somehow means that one is against capitalism? Now you are sounding just like what you and CM accuse Alex of being, we have a good system (capitalism) but we can make it better and we certainly don’t want to make it worse but complaining about taxes does not mean that we want another form of government.

    I would suggest that 50% is well within the bounds of capitalism.

    And that is where you and I (and probably most here) differ, I don’t consider 50% “within the bounds”, that infers some middle area, 50% (which I pay know, factoring in state and local taxes) is straddling that tipping point, it is about as high as I am willing to accept and prefer that it be lower but won’t stage demonstrations or form any secret societies if it does not go higher.

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  75. richtaylor365 *

    Asking for evidence of a statement which strikes me as questionable is frowned upon here? Really?

    ?

    See, that is the whole point. Without trying to be hyperbolic, you have got to be the only person on the planet that needs more evidence that Obama wants to raise taxes. There are probably hundreds of google annotations linking Obama and raising taxes, he has said it dozens of times on the campaign trail, to Joe the plumber, every speech concerning the economy, in his SOTU addresses, he has never been ashamed of his view that ” sharing the wealth is good for everyone”, yet, when I say that Obama wants to raise taxes, you seem incredulous, that is what’s incredulous to me. everyone knows this but you.

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  76. CM

    See, that is the whole point. Without trying to be hyperbolic, you have got to be the only person on the planet that needs more evidence that Obama wants to raise taxes. There are probably hundreds of google annotations linking Obama and raising taxes, he has said it dozens of times on the campaign trail, to Joe the plumber, every speech concerning the economy, in his SOTU addresses, he has never been ashamed of his view that ” sharing the wealth is good for everyone”, yet, when I say that Obama wants to raise taxes, you seem incredulous, that is what’s incredulous to me. everyone knows this but you.

    Clearly I am having issues moving from MW forums to this place. At MW forums it was a given that if you were going to claim something, you’d have to provide solid evidence. Not, for example, just a link to a heavily biased blog.

    ‘Sharing the wealth’ is about allocating resources. It happens whoever is in power. Our centre-left party is a ‘share the wealth’ party, but they didn’t raise taxes during their recent 9 years in power. Obama is looking to re-work the formula on US business taxes, which will mean the direct tax rate drops significantly.

    If he wanted to raise taxes, don’t you think he would have found a way to do while the Dems had all the power. If he didn’t do it in that first 2 years, he’s never going to do it. As I understand it, you’re paying the same tax rates as in 2007/2008, if not less. Additionally, the stimulus was one third tax cuts and tax credits (and as part of the legislation extending the Bush tax rates, Obama added billions more in tax cuts and credits).

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  77. richtaylor365 *

    Not trying to over simplify things but it might be location. We here in America hear every( almost) speech he makes, whether it be at the GM plant, on the campaign stop, or schmoozing with the press on the WH lawn, a constant, and I mean constant from his first days in the Senate until now, has been that the rich need to pay more taxes (and the very definition of rich changes almost monthly). So we get bombarded with it. To think that anyone would be fuzzy about where Obama stands on taxes is beyond ludicrous, yet you are unsure on the matter, I’m speechless, and it begs the question of how much to do really follow what goes on here? And that is not a slam, first off its not my style, but second, I really would not expect someone who does not live here to follow along like we do.

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  78. richtaylor365 *

    Honestly, don’t you think ‘destroy’ is a little bit extreme?

    OK, fair enough, that was not the word I would of preferred, how about “detrimental”?

    But, TBH, not addressing the debt problem, not fixing medicare and social security, a destruction of our way of life as we know it is altogether a probability.

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  79. CM

    Jim this is exactly the same discussion as were having with you in the last 4 pages or so of this thread only 2 months ago (and by the way, to those who weren’t on MW forums, 4characters is now calling himself loserlame):

    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/4768/P225/

    Balthazar came in (Post #268) with his silly “FACT that 47% of the US workers end up PAYING NO TAX WHATSOEVER”

    Actually, apparently about 38 percent of households have zero or negative income tax liability, but they still pay other federal taxes. And that would have been the same had McCain been President.

    However, being exempt from income tax does not mean you’re exempt from federal taxes. Everyone who works is liable for payroll taxes, contributions to Medicare and Social Security that come out of every paycheck. There are also excise taxes on some goods and services, most notably the 18.4 cents per gallon tax on gasoline. The Congressional Budget Office found that earners in the lowest quintile, where most of those with no income tax liability fall, shouldered 4.3 percent of the payroll tax burden in 2005 and 11.1 percent of the excise taxes. Their effective tax rate (which is calculated by dividing taxes paid by total income) in those categories, according to the CBO, was in fact significantly higher than the rate of the top quintile, although that top one-fifth of the population had a much higher effective tax rate for individual and corporate income taxes.

    Over the last 30 years, rates have fallen more for the wealthy, and especially the very wealthy, than for any other group. At the same time, their incomes have soared, and the incomes of most workers have grown only moderately faster than inflation.

    So a much greater share of income is now concentrated at the top of distribution, while each dollar there is taxed less than it once was.

    Focusing on the statistical middle class — the middle 20 percent of households, as ranked by income — underlines this point. Households in this group made $35,400 to $52,100 in 2006, the last year for which the Congressional Budget Office has released data. That would describe a household with one full-time worker earning about $17 to $25 an hour. Such hourly pay is typical for firefighters, preschool teachers, computer support specialists, farmers, members of the clergy, mail carriers, secretaries and truck drivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Taking into account both taxes and tax credits, the average household in this group paid a total income tax rate of just 3 percent. A good number of people, in fact, paid no net income taxes. They are among the alleged free riders.

    But the picture starts to change when you look not just at income taxes but at all taxes. This average household would have paid 0.8 percent of its income in corporate taxes (through the stocks it owned), 0.9 percent in gas and other federal excise taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. Add these up, and the family’s total federal tax rate was 14.2 percent.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

    As Kimpost says, it’s much more complicated than single tax rates. Or even just tax rates.

    I consider myself in favour of capitalism. I just believe that it has significant problems and needs constant attention. There is nothing ‘natural’ about it – it’s a man-made system. But I believe in democracy much more than I believe in capitalism, so if your country wants to get more capitalistic, or less capitalistic, then that’s entirely up to you. If you can convince enough moderates that there is too little capitalism, and that explains many of the big issues facing your country, then you should see things moving in the direction you want. But presumably you’ll only be able to convince people if your arguments are able to be supported with good evidence, and match up somewhat with their reality.

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  80. CM

    When Republicans rail against the 47% figure, they’re railing against features like the EITC. What is the EITC? It’s a refundable tax credit that rewards work and offsets the burden of payroll taxes for low-income payers by returning a fixed percent of income up to a maximum credit based on factors like number of children. But the EITC is a Republican creation. It was enacted in 1975 under President Ford (a Republican), and expanded numerous times over the last 35 years by Republicans. President Reagan (Republican) expanded it in 1984 and 1986. President Bush (Republican) expanded it against in 1990 and added supplemental credit for families with more than one child. President Clinton expanded it for childless claimants in 1993. President Bush (Republican) expanded it again in 2001.

    Today this $50 billion program is one of the largest component of our welfare system. But rather than appear on the budget (or in the news) as a spending program, it appears as tax relief, and the headline we see is “How the Other Half Lives: No Federal Taxes!” Do you see what’s happening here? Both moderate and conservative pols are reluctant to announce new spending programs for fear they will look like socialists. So they execute spending programs through the tax system. As a result, more and more Americans appear to be paying no federal taxes!

    This is not to say that Republicans were wrong to expand tax credits for low- and middle-income families. On the contrary, wages have grown painfully slowly for many Americans since the 1970s while payroll taxes have crept higher. The EITC is an easy way to mitigate the burden of payroll taxes for low-income Americans while rewarding work. Rather, Republicans are in the strange position of having eroded the tax base with credits for decades, and now they’re complaining that not enough Americans are paying taxes.

    America’s political/entertainment climate has scared politicians from announcing welfare programs as spending programs. So instead, many of them appear in the budget as tax relief. One inevitable result is that fewer Americans today appear to be paying taxes.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/04/gop-hypocrisy-on-the-47-that-doesnt-pay-taxes/38919/

    There is also the issue of ACTUAL taxes paid.

    Because higher-income people are understating their income,” Joel Slemrod, a tax scholar at the University of Michigan, says, “We’ve been overstating their average tax rates.”

    http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/04/13/business/Tax_Noncompliance.pdf

    For those interested, here is an interesting piece about inequality…it’s a book review of:

    “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class” By Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson

    [

    T]he book’s greatest strength is its easy command of political science data, which sets it apart from most of the other studies of inequality that have been released. Perhaps the most shocking study the authors cite comes from Martin Gilens, a political scientist at Princeton University. Gilens has been collecting the results of nearly 2,000 survey questions reaching back to the 1980s, looking for evidence that when opinions change, so too does policy. And he found it—but only for the rich.

    “Most policy changes with majority support didn’t become law,” Hacker and Pierson write. The exception was “when they were supported by those at the top. When the opinions of the poor diverged from those of the well-off, the opinions of the poor ceased to have any apparent influence: If 90 percent of poor Americans supported a policy change, it was no more likely to happen than if 10 percent did. By contrast, when more of the well-off supported a change, it was substantially more likely to happen.”

    In part, this is because politicians began to need money more than they had before, as the costs of campaigns started skyrocketing. The predictable outcome? Both parties have been relying more on wealthy donors and less on labor unions.

    http://www.democracyjournal.org/20/the-hood-robin-economy.php?page=1

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  81. CM

    But, TBH, not addressing the debt problem, not fixing medicare and social security, a destruction of our way of life as we know it is altogether a probability.

    To what end? Aren’t medicare and social security liberal programs? Why destroy your own programs? What would the point of destroying what you’d created? What is the motive?
    I think the debt problem is arguable. We’ve all got substantial current debt problems. These are unique times (or as Jon Stewart said: ‘these are hard times, not end times’). Our centre-right government is borrowing hand-over-fist. Everyone agrees it’s not sustainable. However when times come good again (as they always do), the debt issue will subside. The Dems are also agreeing to cuts aren’t they? Just not to the extent that the Republicans want.

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  82. CM

    No problem, I can take that as you mean it (if only Alex could take lessons…). In some ways I think it gives me an advantage – on most issues I have no inherent ‘dog in the race’. I’m also able to avoid bombardments of things that may or may not be true. There seems to be a lot of rubbish put forward…this compares the tax plans of Obama and McCain at the last election:
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/taxes.asp

    I think the reality is quite different from the campaign rheotic, and the propaganda. I’m one who firmly believes that actions speak louder than words. Especially when it comes to politicians. And from what I can tell (by what has happened with tax – the Bush tax cuts would have expired automatically at the end of 2010, so even if he let them expire it would hardly be a question of “enacting” a new tax increase, and by what is proposed) Obama is much more a pragmatist than a ‘taxes must rise’ person.

    I think the context of the times (and what he inherited) and the advice he’s taken also means that what he ‘wants’ has probably changed significantly since the campaign (and prior to that). There’s probably nothing more sobering than finding yourself in the position where you actually have to make decisions.

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  83. richtaylor365 *

    To what end?

    unintended consequences, if you keeping charging things on your charge card, running up debt without squaring things, your end will be bankruptcy (or jail) it was not your intended end, but there you are.

    Why destroy your own programs?

    It is not the programs that will be destroyed but our quality of life, as I said above.

    These are unique times (or as Jon Stewart said: ‘these are hard times, not end times’).

    I wonder if Jon factored this in:

    Unfunded U.S. Entitlement Debt Reaches Record $61.6 Trillion: Report
    —–
    Breaking down the $61.6 trillion figure amounts to $534,000 per U.S. household, the report said,

    Closer to “end times” then I would like.

    The Dems are also agreeing to cuts aren’t they?

    Well, if you mean sending the Obama budget, with it’s increase in spending, to ignominious defeat 0-97, then yes, they have agreed (in principle) to cuts, but nothing they will submit their names to.

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  84. richtaylor365 *

    That snopes link was misleading. Obama did want to raise cap gains taxes:

    http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/would_raising_the_capital_gains_tax_rate.html
    (yes, this would only effect those with high incomes, even more evidence of my statement earlier that Obama wants to squeeze the rich), and dividends :

    The top tax rates on qualified dividends are scheduled to jump from 15 percent to nearly 40 percent on January 1, 2011—just one of many reasons the Bush tax relief should be extended. Without an extension, dividend payments will be taxed at a far higher rate than capital gains, distorting how companies return value to their shareholders—penalizing companies that pay out dividends. Dividend-paying stocks are owned disproportionately by seniors, which means that many retirees will have to live on smaller incomes

    Obama is much more a pragmatist than a ‘taxes must rise’ person.

    Agree, even though it is against his nature, political longevity trumps ideology.

    In some ways I think it gives me an advantage – on most issues I have no inherent ‘dog in the race’

    Makes sense. I appreciate both you and kimpost for being level headed and keeping us on the straight and narrow, but that does not obviate my need to occasionally dismiss some non sequitor with “foreigners”:)

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  85. Kimpost

    @richtaylor365

    Come on Kimpost, declaring that someone is taxed enough already somehow means that one is against capitalism?

    I wasn’t questioning American popular support for capitalism. I was merely addressing the point Jim made on “against the will of those who produce”. Clearly the American electorate is fine with some elements of spreading the wealth around. Otherwise you wouldn’t have it.

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  86. richtaylor365 *

    I wasn’t questioning American popular support for capitalism. I was merely addressing the point Jim made on “against the will of those who produce”.

    Alright, but it sounded like ,”Since you voted for those guys, you should accept what they do once in office”. Part of what makes a democratic republic work is keeping their (those we do elect) feet to the fire. holding that sword of Damocles over their head with the threat that if they do not do the people’s bidding then their position is tenuous.

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  87. loserlame

    Heres some good news:

    One of the things which could boost the number of millionaires worldwide, including in Russia, is devaluation of the U.S. dollar, economists say. “The dollar will continue to devaluate due to the serious budget and debt problems the United States is facing. Huge social pressure on the budget will force the American government to increase the volume of currency emission to keep all of its obligations. Obviously, currency expansion would decrease the purchasing power of the dollar,” Sapunow said. “But this process would be gradual. Nobody is interested in a sharp collapse of the dollar, because the dollar is a reserve currency in many countries and it is the main currency in international trade. The purchasing power of the dollar may decline to 20 to 30 percent by 2020, which would spur a growth in the number of dollar millionaires worldwide,” he continued.

    Death to America finally happens, thanks to true Cold War tovarish (comrade) Russia, all people are rich, and Obama will have been the architect of it all. But, no –

    “Future millionaires could earn their capital in traditionally highly-profitable sectors of the Russian economy, such as oil and gas

    CO2 alert. America would be poor, but still gas up at the pump to drive their SUVs to McDonalds 3x daily..

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  88. loserlame

    Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Moscow Higher School of Economics (HSE) found that 60 percent of the population in Russia has the same real income it had 20 years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed, and some even became poorer. HSE’s research found that income inequality between the late 1980s and the late 2000s in Russia has grown eight times faster than in Hungary, and is five times greater than in the Czech Republic. At present, the Gini coefficient, a statistic that determines income and wealth inequality worldwide, is twice more in Russia than in Sweden, and equivalent to those in Iran, Turkmenistan, Laos, Mali and Nigeria.

    Theres no equality in Sweden

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  89. Jim

    The focus on federal income taxes is disingenuous in my opinion. There are plenty of other taxes, state and federal, allowing for pretty much everyone to contribute.

    The focus on federal income taxes is of extreme importance because of Constitutionality.
    Based on the Constitution, originally, there *were no* federal taxes. Currently, Fed taxes are highest. Based upon the Constitution that was originally laid out, Fed taxes should be the lowest, then state next, and highest should be city taxes.
    This is because The Fed was supposed to have very *little* power. The Founding Fathers knew that the more power you gave the Fed, the more power it would take.

    And I don’t know about the “against the will of those who produce”. It’s your system, chosen by you, through elections.

    Keep in mind, because of our form of government, anything done will always be against the will of those who lose. The question is the severity involved. 51% of the people could decide to tax the top 49% of the nation at 100% and I’m willing to bet that even though it passed into law, it would be against the will of those making money. (At least most of them.)

    Seeing how the norm of western democracies seems to be just like that, I would suggest that 50% is well within the bounds of capitalism.

    This is one of the problems as I see it. The “norm” is not always a good ruler. When the norm keeps sliding towards one side or the other, it has a tendency to change definitions that should not be changed.

    Further more I think that societal safety nets not only enslave people by requiring taxation, but also protects their freedoms, by ensuring certain minimal living conditions. After all, how free would we really be without a police protecting us from crime? Or without a defence protecting our borders?

    To go back to the city/state/Fed point earlier: societal safety nets are not the Constitutional function of the Federal government. Period. If society wants a safety net, it should be implemented at the city or state level. The reason being that keeping it within the city is the best way of ensuring the system abuse is kept to a minimum, and the best way of ensuring the funds go to those who truly need them. The power of the People was originally meant to be in the hands of local powers and authorities. Police forces, fire dept, etc, are a *local* phenomenom. Protecting our borders is a Federal issue, you are correct, but only if the border states do not step up and do the job.
    In reality, much of the original “safety nets” were provided by churches, charities, and neighbors/family members. (much, not all, sadly.) But the more government has stepped in, the more society has stepped out. For two reasons: 1) why do the job if it is “the government’s job” and 2) the higher taxes go, the less money people have to *help* people.

    As a final point that touches on most of my post: I believe *American* conservatives have a much different view of “capitalism” and “socialism” than the rest of the world. Our basis is the Constitution of the United States. We see *any* departure from this set of laws as a slide away from capitalism, and that is most commonly (but not always) socialism. I think this is where a lot of the disagreement comes into play. Most Europeans, and some left-leaning Americans, do not see a “mixed-system” as a shift towards socialism, but rather just one of many homogenized systems. Nearly all Constitutionalist Americans see *any* mixing of the Constitution as a dilution of Original American ideals, mainly Capitalism. (If you live in the tropics, 50 degrees F seems unbelievably cold. But those living in Canada walk around in shorts in that weather. It’s a matter of perspective, in a way.)

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  90. loserlame

    But inequality in Sweden and Europe remains far more benign, than, say the US, because they have free health care for the poor and stuff.

    China has no capitalists. It doesn’t even have many white people. Whats going on there?
    Is anyone going to criticize them over anything?

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  91. loserlame

    sahrab, on a side note, MW was initially to be about internationally tested and therefore proven champion of the poor, Michael Moore, until he decided to retire pretty damn rich and leave the poor behind (so far).

    MW started to feel the effects of global warming as virtually every post there was feverishly diverted into, and ended in, a pedantic, lecturing monologue over, you guessed it, AGW, and the overall culturelessness of the US, by three international experts, strumming one song, over and over and over. Kumbaya.

    MW is dead, suffocated, and Michael Moore is still rich

    “Theres no sin in asking for a handout. Unless you’re American. DEATH TO YOU ALL LOL!!!!”

    – M. Gandhi

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  92. balthazar

    CM I love how you spam out a thread constantly so the people you insult cant reply directly to your posts.

    CM you really need to stop replying to posts 3+ times in a row. No one can reply when you do shit like that. I believe Jim set up the quote tunnel max at 7.

    And as to your asshole comment about 47%, IT IS TRUE since the post was about INCOME TAXES, not ALL taxes. 47% of the population of the us does NOT pay income taxes. A significant portion of those actually get credits from the government and therefore actually have their yearly income increased when they file their taxes. Man your an asshole sometimes. And have really no fucking clue how shit works here.

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I actually felt dirty when taking the tax credits from the Fed, I had no choice though really as I was a LCpl in the Marines at the time with 3 kids, we actually needed the money to have a place to live. Ive since then paid back whet i took 100 fold. Too bad more people of the 47% dont feel like that.

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  93. AlexInCT

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I actually felt dirty when taking the tax credits from the Fed, I had no choice though really as I was a LCpl in the Marines at the time with 3 kids, we actually needed the money to have a place to live. Ive since then paid back whet i took 100 fold. Too bad more people of the 47% dont feel like that

    If I may be so bold baltahzar, I think you brought up something incredibly important here that we should actually think hard about. Americans used to be ashamed of handouts like this, because it meant admitting they either had screwed up somehow, or simply were in a situation beyond their means, neither of which was accepted as an excuse back in the day. Dependence on government was a last chance thing, and many wouldn’t even do it when it was do or die.

    Personally, and especially when you have paid in a ton already, or eventually pay back far more like you have done, I have to say people should be encouraged to use these services when in desperate need. But the problem is that today the majority of these people perpetually living of these programs, not only don’t feel any shame about it, but actually feel entitled, and are pissed they are not getting far more, without anyone expecting anything from them either. That’s a decline in morality directly tied to the concept of a social state where government simply provides for the lazy class, and a sure fire way to create a big enough voting block that eventually will sink the economy as we are seeing happen now.

    The biggest mistake the Bush made with his tax cuts program was to allow so many, not only to have any financial obligation when taxation is the issue, but to actually reap a reward they didn’t earn, at the expense of others, simply because they exist, have no shame, and are quite comfortable doing nothing while others pay for them. That’s human nature these days. The less capable and lazy they are – and I make the distinction between those incapable by choice, and those simply dealt a shitty hand in life from which there is no recovery – the more likely they are to feel entitled to other people’s money.

    That’s my major bone of contention with the whole “War on poverty’ concept. It’s been going for over 5 decades, has cost over $15 trillion, and we have more people considered poor today, than we did when it went live. If you are one of those hucksters that holds their political appointment by virtue of this voter block however, I guess this is a major victory.

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  94. CM

    OK, you are just enfatuated with that whole rigamarole.

    Infatuated with the rigmarole of communism? WTF does that even mean?

    Actually I only hate people that think they can use the government to steal from me.

    As if we needed any more proof that you’re an ideologue. Money is of such monumental significance to you that you actually hate people that believe that society should be structured differently. That’s really very sad. It can’t be a very nice life hating so many people for having a different opinion than you about the allocation of resources in your society.

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  95. CM

    Nowhere did say the de facto science discussion takes place on the Internets, I maintain that whatevers on the Internets and sounds good is accepted as proof by those who want it to be proof, as evidenced by online non-discussions awash in them solid, reputable Internets links.

    I thought you were trying to equate the legitimacy of the arguments: Obama being the anti-Christ is as legitimate as climate change theory.

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  96. CM

    When I said “to what end?”, I was meaning “why would they do that?”.

    if you keeping charging things on your charge card, running up debt without squaring things, your end will be bankruptcy (or jail) it was not your intended end, but there you are.

    I don’t think that’s a great analogy. Economies are so intertwined that national debt isn’t the same as personal debt. If you go bankrupt how many people in your street are economically affected at all, let alone seriously? That’s not to say that the debt of nations isn’t to be taken seriously, or that I think think government’s need to live within their means as a general rule.

    It is not the programs that will be destroyed but our quality of life, as I said above.

    I’m trying to work out why some people believe Obama wants to destroy America (or your way or life, or however you want to define it). If he’s doing it so obviously, there must be an intent. But why the intent? How will he gain out of it? How does going down as the President who ruined the country benefit him? What does the theory say on that?

    I wonder if Jon factored this in:

    I’d assume his attitude would be the same. Still not ‘end times’. Or even remotely close. That doesn’t mean there are aspects of the country that shouldn’t be concerned, it’s more about maintaining a proper perspective. But then I know you know that, you were just throwing it out there.

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  97. richtaylor365 *

    Sorry I missed this from the other day, this post is getting so big and unwieldy, hard to keep up.

    Ah, I’ve just checked the date – he’s being called an “anti-business President” only a matter of months after being sworn in

    Exactly, to make an impression so soon, you really have to have your heart in it, and he does. But here is one that is more current, from a guy who’s picture is in the dictionary under the word “entrepreneur”, more cherry picking?

    So what he actually does isn’t even important?

    Who said that? where have I even implied that? Of course, actions speak louder than words, that is why I said that if he actually did it (not talk about it) then I would applaud him. In my book he would get even more credit because he is fighting his own ideology.

    I mean I realise that if he did it because it was ‘forced’ on him then you guys wouldn’t give him one iota of credit, but when he’s actually initiated this……sheesh, that’s the very definition of a tough crowd.

    You got that part wrong, at least with me. Knowing his bent to tax rich people and rich corporations more, for him to lower taxes, knowing how his teeth must ache doing it, shows me this he is willing to put the welfare of the country above his own ideology, a true sign of character.

    Obviously. Or it was before I arrived.

    Could be, it might have been before the move.

    99% of what I read here is that “x is the current administration’s fault”

    And you think that is peculiar to this blog?

    and yet apparently it’s more important mock those who dare to question their profits.

    I don’t know what you mean here. I believe (could be wrong) that Alex wrote a post criticizing between the heavy petting going on between Immelt (CEO of GE) and this administration, with nefarious implications. GE was a major player WRT political contributions, then he gets this real cushy government appointment. Now as a GE stockholder, I can speak from experience what an absolute atrocious job Immelt has done with this company, they have not made money in years. Now regarding this quarters win fall, the point I made was companies (like individual investors) can write off losses to balance out on the gains. Here in America the individual can write off 3 grand worth of stock loses each year to counter what ever capital gains he earned. Corporations can do the same thing, if they make 10 bucks in profit and can show 10 bucks in losses (or write offs) then they owe no taxes. GE lost a ton of money in it’s GE capital division. Now if anyone can prove that GE is getting special treatment and having their tax liability written off, then release the hounds and start that audit, but my guess was that they did everything proper and had sufficient losses to counter any profit made in the quarter.

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  98. CM

    The snopes piece points out early on that Obama would push capital gains on dividends up to 39.6% while McCain would keep it at 15%.
    Are you saying it’s misleading because it doesn’t describe who would be most affected and how? Not sure there was any intention to do that, in which case it wouldn’t be misleading.

    even more evidence of my statement earlier that Obama wants to squeeze the rich

    But the piece you’ve quoted suggests that the group it would disproportionately squeeze would be seniors, as opposed to the rich. (Unless seniors are just a component of ‘the rich’?)

    Makes sense. I appreciate both you and kimpost for being level headed and keeping us on the straight and narrow, but that does not obviate my need to occasionally dismiss some non sequitor with “foreigners”:)

    I don’t want to overplay any sense of ‘advantage’ though. You’re all clearly much more knowlegeable about me on all American related issues. And have a lifetime of anecdotal evidence and personal experience. Rather than considering it an ‘advantage’ it’s probably more accurate to call it a point of difference. And I’m heavily reliant on on-line sources.
    I appreciate being kept on the straight and narrow. I’d like to weed out as many of my dumb narratives as I can. Can’t do that in places where most people share my general opinions, or have the same life experiences. Those places tend to reinforce both the accurate and inaccurate ones). My years of hanging out at MW forums did alter my thoughts/opinions on a number of issues, including gun-control and immigration. Not sure I’ve done any 180 degree flips on anything major, it’s more than I can see that the other side of the argument sometimes makes as much sense. And I can see why someone with a different opinion could sincerely hold that opinion without being an idiot or moron or evil.

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  99. CM

    MW started to feel the effects of global warming as virtually every post there was feverishly diverted into, and ended in, a pedantic, lecturing monologue over, you guessed it, AGW, and the overall culturelessness of the US, by three international experts, strumming one song, over and over and over.

    That is complete and utter bullshit and you know it. Climate change was pretty much confined to only two threads over many years, neither of them started by the “three international experts”. Outside those threads you would be miles ahead of anyone else in terms of bringing it up.

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  100. CM

    CM I love how you spam out a thread constantly so the people you insult cant reply directly to your posts.

    CM you really need to stop replying to posts 3+ times in a row. No one can reply when you do shit like that. I believe Jim set up the quote tunnel max at 7.

    Ok, point taken. I do tend to overdo it, usually because I hate the thought that I’d said something that I can’t support with decent evidence. The other issue is the time difference – often there will be many points made overnight that I’ll want to respond to in the morning. But I have no intention of trying to restrict people from replying to what I say. I’d always prefer people to respond.
    On this occasion I also thought it might be helpful (since Jim brought up the stat) to bring across some of stuff I posted when we discussed this stat it only a few months ago.

    And as to your asshole comment about 47%, IT IS TRUE since the post was about INCOME TAXES, not ALL taxes. 47% of the population of the us does NOT pay income taxes. A significant portion of those actually get credits from the government and therefore actually have their yearly income increased when they file their taxes. Man your an asshole sometimes. And have really no fucking clue how shit works here.

    Which was my ‘asshole comment’? Where did I claim that it wasn’t true that 47% of people paid no federal income tax? My points are about seeing the stat in context. You were the one in the original discussion who tried to claim that they paid no tax whatsoever (because “get everything back in one way or another, thru the earned income tax credit, or child tax credit, whatever”). Are you disputing any of the detail within the context I posted (taken from MW forums), or that context is relevant?

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  101. CM

    If I may be so bold baltahzar, I think you brought up something incredibly important here that we should actually think hard about. Americans used to be ashamed of handouts like this, because it meant admitting they either had screwed up somehow, or simply were in a situation beyond their means, neither of which was accepted as an excuse back in the day. Dependence on government was a last chance thing, and many wouldn’t even do it when it was do or die.

    Personally, and especially when you have paid in a ton already, or eventually pay back far more like you have done, I have to say people should be encouraged to use these services when in desperate need. But the problem is that today the majority of these people perpetually living of these programs, not only don’t feel any shame about it, but actually feel entitled, and are pissed they are not getting far more, without anyone expecting anything from them either. That’s a decline in morality directly tied to the concept of a social state where government simply provides for the lazy class, and a sure fire way to create a big enough voting block that eventually will sink the economy as we are seeing happen now.

    The biggest mistake the Bush made with his tax cuts program was to allow so many, not only to have any financial obligation when taxation is the issue, but to actually reap a reward they didn’t earn, at the expense of others, simply because they exist, have no shame, and are quite comfortable doing nothing while others pay for them. That’s human nature these days. The less capable and lazy they are – and I make the distinction between those incapable by choice, and those simply dealt a shitty hand in life from which there is no recovery – the more likely they are to feel entitled to other people’s money.

    Would most people consider tax credits to be handouts?

    Focusing on the statistical middle class — the middle 20 percent of households, as ranked by income — underlines this point. Households in this group made $35,400 to $52,100 in 2006, the last year for which the Congressional Budget Office has released data. That would describe a household with one full-time worker earning about $17 to $25 an hour. Such hourly pay is typical for firefighters, preschool teachers, computer support specialists, farmers, members of the clergy, mail carriers, secretaries and truck drivers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Taking into account both taxes and tax credits, the average household in this group paid a total income tax rate of just 3 percent. A good number of people, in fact, paid no net income taxes. They are among the alleged free riders.

    Most of the people getting tax credits (which creates the 47% figure) aren’t lazy or less capable. They aren’t ‘living off these programs. They are the people working in middle-class jobs. You should read this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/business/economy/14leonhardt.html

    Congressional Budget Office data suggests that, at most, about 10 percent of all households pay no net federal taxes.

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  102. Kimpost

    @Jim

    The focus on federal income taxes is of extreme importance because of Constitutionality.

    I understand the importance of constitutionality, but I wasn’t arguing in that context. After all, you wouldn’t be much happier if you were living in a state with a 90% tax rate, would you?

    The question is what any level of government should provide for.

    This is one of the problems as I see it. The “norm” is not always a good ruler. When the norm keeps sliding towards one side or the other, it has a tendency to change definitions that should not be changed.

    Definitions do change, how would we ever be able to stop that from happening? Remember that even the Constitution has changed (been amended) over the years.

    Society, at any given moment, decides what the safety net currently should entail. We have other needs today, than we did 200 years ago, or even 50 years ago.

    As a final point that touches on most of my post: I believe *American* conservatives have a much different view of “capitalism” and “socialism” than the rest of the world. Our basis is the Constitution of the United States. We see *any* departure from this set of laws as a slide away from capitalism, and that is most commonly (but not always) socialism. I think this is where a lot of the disagreement comes into play. Most Europeans, and some left-leaning Americans, do not see a “mixed-system” as a shift towards socialism, but rather just one of many homogenized systems. Nearly all Constitutionalist Americans see *any* mixing of the Constitution as a dilution of Original American ideals, mainly Capitalism.

    That’s actually an interesting point. You might be on to something here. If Americans do link constitutionality to capitalism, as wrong as that may be, it’s natural that they also would regard unconstitutional moves as the antithesis of capitalism, namely socialism.

    All of us (western democracies) are living in mixed systems, with some variations. But our systems are all capitalistic and free market oriented, at their core. Capitalism dominates, and most of us are happy with that.

    Check the following table, with a selection of a few familiar countries. Substantial differences, yet all very much capitalistic.

    Tax revenue as percentage of GDP (from the Heritage Foundation)

    Sweden 47,9%
    France 44,6%
    Germany 40,6%
    United Kingdom 38,8%
    New Zealand 34,5%
    United States 26,9%

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  103. sahrab

    Talk about simplification

    Balthazar started this subthread talking about being a bonecrusher and getting credits that may/may-not have added to his income. Was this a “Handout” … loosely could be defined as one, but at least Balthazar was working and paying into the system. He wasnt a complete negative drain on the collective pool.

    Alex then replies about the change of attitude thats come about with accing “Government Cheese”. There used to be a definitive stigmata with bing “on the Dole”.

    Welfare should be/is intended to NOT be a sole source income. For whatever reason, and theree are many, the Government (using Tax Payer funds) has become the source of income for many. What needs to happen, put a limit on Welfare, bring it back to a system to assist and not a system to subsidize. For those who recieve tax credits, they can not/should not recieve more than they pay into the system.

    Balthazar doesnt state he took out more than he put in, but i grew up Military Poor. The military has many programs for the families, but the reality is the Military life is not easy. It understandable why a Lcpl would take advantage of the Tax Advaantages that are afforded him.

    But then i see a big difference betwen someone paying into the system, and taking advantage of it, than a single mother of 8 getting a 200k house given to them solely on her ability to spit kids out of her cooter.

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  104. balthazar

    The issue is that you constantly change the argument. Back in the MW forums the post was about income taxes. Which IS the highest portion of taxes that people pay, everyone pays sales taxes, state and local taxes (if applicable) and those making more actually pay more of that tax as well. Since they tend to buy more etc.

    As to the posts earlier, yes i did get more back than I actually paid in federal taxes. About 4k worth. THATS why I felt dirty, if it had been capped at not paying any taxes due to my income I probably wouldnt have felt that bad, the fact that I paid my rent for 6 months with other peoples money is what made me feel dirty.

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  105. loserlame

    Americans used to be ashamed of handouts like this, because it meant admitting they either had screwed up somehow, or simply were in a situation beyond their means, neither of which was accepted as an excuse back in the day. Dependence on government was a last chance thing, and many wouldn’t even do it when it was do or die.

    I’m old-fashioned. This is why I came here, asking for a handout from those ordinary people who care, and who write endless reams about their caring, and support those who also claim to do so and have the means to fix things (Michael Moore comes to mind)
    No taxes on charity, no bureaucracy, no landfilling paper forms to peruse, just folks looking out for a fellow neighbor, regardles of race, creed, color. I’ve done it, myself. and it feels okay.

    But now I’m supposed to rely on government.

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