The Inequity of it All

Today is my Birthday.

What I want for my birthday is for Liberals to stop thinking with their emotions and be rational, logical adults who aren’t narcissistic, greedy, power mad, 2 years old at heart.

Not going to Happen.

Neither is getting Establishment Republicans and RINOs to stop being narcissists and thinking only of their own agenda and thinking about The American People for a change.

I might as well wish for World Peace at the same time, it’s just as likely.

Strike up a conversation with any taxi cab driver or any fry cook at a roadside diner and the word “inequality” is unlikely to ever come up. That’s not on the list of top concerns for middle class America. It’s also not on the list of concerns for the world’s poor. Millions of people are willing to risk life and limb just to come here and start out at the bottom of the income ladder.

(Don’t the immigrants realize how unequal things are? Yes, they want to live in a country where a poor immigrant can become a billionaire.)

So why is anyone claiming that inequality is our most important problem? Because the chattering class has decided that stoking envy is the only way to energize the Democratic Party. Think about the problems we really do have: runaway entitlement spending, poor public schools, welfare dependency, an overly burdensome tax system and anemic economic growth. In every case the solutions we are debating come from the right: Privatization, school vouchers, tough love, a flat tax and lower taxes on capital.

The left has no solutions, or at least none that anyone takes seriously. So, over the years of the Obama presidency the topic of inequality has emerged front and center. Democratic candidates could rail against the super rich and imply that their high incomes are the cause of everyone else’s stagnating income, without ever saying what exactly they would do about it.

Until Bernie Sanders came along. Sanders actually has a few concrete proposals – including the idea that we should become like Denmark, a high tax welfare state. Once the discussion turns from pure demagoguery to serious conversation, inevitably we are forced to look at what economists have to say. (Warning: it’s not good for Democrats.)

In other words, you can’t solve the problem by taxing the rich. If taxation is your only tool, you have to break again one of Barack Obama’s frequently broken promises and raise taxes on the middle class.

In a Brookings Institution study, Peter Orszag (former chief economist for President Obama) and his colleagues discovered that if you raised the top tax rate from 40 percent to 50 percent and redistributed that money to people at the bottom, the top 1 percent’s share of income would only decline from 16.4 to 15.6 percent. The Gini coefficient (the numerical measure of inequality) would change so little you would have to squint to see it.

Then there is the question of why we have increasing inequality in the first place. Another study by Orszag and current Obama chief economist Jason Furman found that a primary source of inequality among people is inequality among firms. Take a look at the chart below. If you happened to be working for one of the top 10 percent of most successful companies over the past two decades your salary, bonuses and other compensation probably soared. If you have been working for the median firm, your income has probably risen modestly. If your employer is in the bottom half of the distribution, your income has probably been stagnant.

So what can be done about that? The idea of arresting the growth of highly successful companies is silly. But that isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for the left. The problem for Democrats is that Silicon Valley is heavily Democratic. It’s one of the places Democrats go to get mega gifts. My bet is that you won’t hear a peep about inequality among firms in the coming election.

orszag chart

 

SOURCE: KOLLER ET AL. (2015); MCKINSEY & COMPANY

That leaves Denmark. People on the left are fond of citing the Nordic states — Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland — as examples of countries with higher taxes and less inequality. It’s easy to see why. As Matt Yglesias writes

Danish mothers enjoy 18 weeks of guaranteed maternity leave at 100 percent of their ordinary pay. Danish students leave college free of debt. Everyone is covered by a national health insurance system and can take advantage of subsidized child care; plus, thanks to a generous welfare system, Denmark’s child poverty rate is about a quarter of America’s.

So how do the Danes afford all that? With high taxes. As Yglesias makes clear, it’s not just taxes on the rich. The top tax rate in Denmark is 57 percent, about the same as it is in California. If California wanted to become like Denmark, it would basically leave the rich alone. But it would have to sock it to the middle class with effective tax rates averaging from 35 to 48 percent. Then the state would need to pile on with 25 percent value added tax — which is basically a form of sales tax and every bit as regressive. Car addicted Californians would also experience a huge spike in the price of gasoline and a 180 percent tax on the price of a new car!

So how does Denmark keep from looking like Greece? Answer: They believe in privatization, deregulation and free enterprise. Denmark is rated as one of the best places in the world to do business. It scores higher on the Heritage Economic Freedom ranking than the United States does. Unlike the US, public sector unions in Denmark don’t control public services and push up costs with job protecting regulations. For example, a private, for-profit company is currently in charge of 65 percent of municipal fire departments and 85 percent of ambulance services in the country. According to Yglesias:

In Copenhagen … the metro is driverless, the suburban rail network features one-man train crews, and many urban bus lines are run by private companies. These are all kinds of measures that US labor unions would normally oppose….

Øresund Bridge from Copenhagen to Malmö was constructed at a drastically lower price than the United States is prepared to spend to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York even though the Nordic bridge is substantially longer and includes a major train component along with the roadway.

The Danish model is awfully hard to emulate if public sector unions are the backbone of your party.

Finally, there is Yale law professor Stephen Carter’s observation that the word “inequality” was used eight times by the candidates and once by the moderator in the Democratic debate the other night. In every instance the focus was on taxing the rich, not on helping the poor. In fact, the word “poverty” was used hardly at all. Apparently, envy sells better than charity when communicating with Democratic voters.

Yet Carter, himself a bona fide liberal, notes that we don’t really have an inequality problem. We have a poverty problem.

That Democrats ignore it is hardly surprising. When is the last time you heard a Democratic candidate for president talk about the poor in any respect? The last one I can remember was John Edwards and that was eons ago. (Townhall)

And look what happened to him… 🙂

Oh, the inequity of it all.

 

What’s Fair?

DC: Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore: ‘Obama wants to make everyone equally poor’

Economics writer Stephen Moore says President Barack Obama’s obsession with fairness will make everyone poor.

“Fairness is a good principle but should not be put ahead of growth,” Moore said in an interview with The Daily Caller about his new book, “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America,” released Tuesday. “There’s nothing fair about making everyone poor.”

What’s wrong with fairness?

Fairness is a good principle but should not be put ahead of growth. There’s nothing fair about making everyone poor.

When the president talks about fairness, what does he mean? And what would the consequences of his conception of fairness be?

Obama wants to make everyone equally poor. You have to create wealth before you can redistribute it.

What do you say to those who say that America boomed in the 1950s when the top tax rate was 90 percent, so therefore raising taxes on the rich won’t inhibit strong growth?

In the 1950s we were the only game in town and overall taxes were much lower. Now we are in a competitive world where everyone is cutting tax rates except for us. This is a reason businesses outsource jobs.

This is not a “Leave it to Beaver” fantasy 1950’s anymore. And Obama is not Ward Cleaver and Michelle is not June Cleaver.

But there is an Eddie Haskell, Timothy “The Tax Cheat” Geithner. He’s out front on the “tax fairness”.
But don’t worry, Obama is already leading from behind on this one too and all I want to do is hide BEHIND the sofa from the terror that awaits… 🙂

Thomas Sowell: If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.

The point here is not to ask where Stephen Moore was when we needed him. A more apt question might be:

Where was the whole economics profession when we needed it?

Where were the media?

For that matter, where were the Republicans?

Since “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” was published in October, there was little chance that it would affect this year’s election.

But this little gem of a book exposes, in plain language and with easily understood facts, the whole house of cards of assumptions, fallacies and falsehoods which constitute the liberal vision of the economy.

Yet that vision triumphed on election day, thanks to misinformation that was artfully presented and seldom challenged.

The title “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” is an obvious response to liberals’ claim that their policies are aimed at creating “fairness” by, among other things, making sure that “the rich” pay their “fair share” of taxes.

If you want a brief but thorough education on that, just read Chapter 4, which by itself is well worth the price of the book.

A couple of graphs on Pages 104 and 108 are enough to annihilate the argument about “tax cuts for the rich.”

Hidden Money

These graphs show that, under both Republican President Calvin Coolidge and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, high-income people paid more tax revenues into the federal treasury after tax rates went down than they did before.

There is nothing mysterious about this. At high tax rates, vast sums of money disappear into tax shelters at home or is shipped overseas.

At lower tax rates, that money comes out of hiding and goes into the American economy, creating jobs, rising output and rising incomes.

Under these conditions, higher tax revenues can be collected by the government, even though tax rates are lower.

Indeed, high income people not only end up paying more taxes, but a higher share of all taxes, under these conditions.

This is not just a theory. It is what hard evidence shows happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations, from the days of Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

That hard evidence is presented in clear and unmistakable terms in “Who’s The Fairest of Us All?”

Another surprising fact brought out in this book is that the Democrats and Republicans both took positions during the Kennedy administration that were the direct opposite of the positions they take today.

As Stephen Moore points out, “the Republicans almost universally opposed and the Democrats almost universally favored” the cuts in tax rates that President Kennedy proposed.

Such Republican Senate stalwarts as Barry Goldwater and Bob Dole voted against reducing the top tax rate from 91% to 70%. Democratic Congressman Wilbur Mills led the charge for lower tax rates.

Fear Of Facts

Unlike the Republicans today, John F. Kennedy had an answer when critics tried to portray his tax cut proposal as just a “tax cut for the rich.”

President Kennedy argued that it was a tax cut for the economy, that changed incentives meant a faster growing economy and that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

If Republicans today cannot seem to come up with their own answer when critics cry out “tax cuts for the rich,” maybe they can just go back and read John F. Kennedy’s answer.

A truly optimistic person might even hope that media pundits would go back and check out the facts before arguing as if the only way to reduce the deficit is to raise tax rates on “the rich.”

If they are afraid that they would be stigmatized as conservatives if they favored cuts in tax rates, they might take heart from the fact that not only John F. Kennedy, but even John Maynard Keynes as well, argued that cutting tax rates could increase tax revenues and thereby help reduce the deficit.

Because so few people bother to check the facts, Barack Obama can get away with statements about how “tax cuts for the rich” have “cost” the government money that now needs to be recouped.

Such statements not only promote class warfare, to Obama’s benefit on election day, they also distract attention from his own runaway spending behind unprecedented trillion-dollar deficits.

http://www.amazon.com/Whos-Fairest-Them-All-Opportunity/dp/1594036845

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Redistribution

Now this is Redistribution:

An alarming data point from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee: More Americans are being added to food stamps than are finding jobs. The data is detailed in this chart, provided by the committee:

As the chart shows, between April-June 2012 (the most recent three month block for which government data is available), only 200,000 jobs have been created while 265,000 individuals have been added to the food stamp rolls. Additionally, in that time period, 246,000 workers were awarded disability.

Another chart shows that the last three month block is part of a larger trend. The chart, also from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, shows that “Workforce Shrinks Since January 2009 While Millions Sign Up For Disability And Food Stamps.”

As the chart shows, since January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, the net change jobs has been negative (-1.3 million), while 5.7 million workers and dependents have been awarded disability and a whopping 15.1 million have been added to the food stamp rolls.

“A total of 46,670,373 Americans are now on food stamps,” according to the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee. “The food stamp program has doubled in size since 2008 and quadrupled since 2001.”

And the government program isn’t cheap: “Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $770 billion over the next decade.” (Weekly Standard)

Round Two:

In remarks this morning to the Clinton Global Initiative, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed a radical idea: a global tax on elites around the world.

“One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country,” Clinton said to laughter from the audience. “You know I’m out of American politics, but – (applause) – it is a fact that around the world, the elites of every country are making money.”

Clinton continued her rift on the rich. “There are rich people everywhere. And yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries.”

The secretary of state suggested that the rich around the world do not give back to their communities. “They don’t invest in public schools, in public hospitals, in other kinds of development internally,” said Clinton.

She continued, saying that it is up to foreign leaders to make the change. “And so it means for leaders telling powerful people things they don’t want to hear,” Clinton said.

“It means being transparent about budgets and revenues and bringing corruption to light. And when that happens, we shouldn’t punish countries for uncovering corruption. We should reward them for doing so. And it means putting in place regulations designed to attract and protect investment.”

Clinton’s boss, Barack Obama, has made raising taxes on the rich–at least, raising taxes on wealthy Americans–a centerpiece of his reelection campaign. (weekly standard)

Wanna know who the 1%er’s are Globally?

What for it… AMERICANS!!! 🙂

So the old double whammy!

Fascinating how that worked out!

An American Express/Harrison Group survey found:

According to the survey…

– 67% grew up in a middle class or poorer household.
– 85% made their wealth in their lifetime.
– 76% describe themselves as “Middle Class” at heart.
– 3% is the sum total of their assets that they inherited.

“This is the triumph of the Middle Class,” says Jim Taylor, Vice Chairman of the Harrison Group. “Even when older, the [One Percent] don’t lose the degree with which they see themselves as the repository of the Middle Class. That means hard work. That means the value of education. That means the value of family and luck.” (http://blogs.barrons.com/penta/2012/05/07/who-are-the-one-percent/)

See also: http://www.financialsamurai.com/2011/10/12/who-are-the-top-1-income-earners/

So the Liberal meme, especially about Romney, isn’t true. But if you had half a brain cell you knew that already. But believing it is heresy on the Left. The 1% aren’t just rich kids who inherited their money and robber baron assholes who exploited their employees like slave master in Ancient Egypt building the Pyramids.

But as I have said repeatedly, the truth doesn’t matter to Liberals. Perception does. Perception is reality. Reality is to be denied, debunked or discredited in their heads and they want it to be in yours.

Rich people are the root of all evil. Government is the Fountain of that’s Good.

Republicans are Evil. Democrats are Good.

Earning your own money- Evil. Earning someone elses money- Good.

It’s that simple. 🙂

P.s.

 

The National Business Group on Health this morning released their annual survey of employer health insurance policies.  The survey found that health insurance costs are expected to rise another 7% next year.  In addition, a majority (60%) of firms “plan to increase the percentage of the premium paid by employees in 2013,” while sizable numbers of firms plan to increase in-network deductibles (40%), out-of-network deductibles (33%), and/or out-of-pocket maximums (32%).

Candidate Obama repeatedly promised premiums would go down by $2,500 — and would go down that amount by this year.  Yet while candidate Obama promised that premiums would go DOWN by $2,500, they actually have gone UP by nearly as much — from $12,680 in 2008 to $15,073 in 2011.

What’s more, even though candidate Obama promised that “you will not have to change plans,” today’s survey found that the number of firms able to keep their pre-Obamacare coverage has decreased yet again.  Fully 57% of firms said they had no health plans with “grandfathered” (i.e., pre-Obamacare) status, and only about one-quarter (27%) were able to keep any portion of their coverage from before Obamacare’s passage – just two short years ago. (Freedom works)

But remember, if you live in reality of what is, you just wanna throw grandmas under the bus and off the cliff!

You have to live in Liberal fantasy land where they are always right no matter what reality says and everything is kumbuya utopia, or at least it will be once they completely and utterly crush you under their boots and make you do everything they want when they want because they want. 🙂

Oh, and it’s all Bush’s fault… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Rhetorical Reality

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” —  Ben Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” — Ben Franklin.

Then Liberals want to attack him for being a greedy, selfish, SOB. 🙂

A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.“– Ben Franklin

And ignorance is much prized by the Left.

“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”— Ben Franklin

USDA has an agreement with Mexico to promote American food assistance programs, including food stamps, among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America.

The goal, for USDA, is to get rid of what they see as enrollment obstacles and increase access among potentially eligible populations by working with arms of the Mexican government in America. Benefits are not guaranteed or provided under the program — the purpose is outreach and education.

Some of the materials the USDA encourages the Mexican government to use to educate and promote the benefit programs are available free online for order and download. A partial list of materials include English and Spanish brochures titled “Five Easy Steps To Snap Benefits,” “How To Get Food Help — A Consumer’s Guide to FNCS Programs,” “Ending Hunger Improving Nutrition Combating Obesity,” and posters with slogans like “Food Stamps Make America Stronger.”

When asked for details and to elaborate on the program, USDA stressed it was established in 2004 and not meant for illegal immigrants.

Aka, “It’s Bush’s Fault so don’t blame me” and “oh, no, we aren’t targeting Illegal immigrants (at the same time that Obama is wanting to close 9 border crossing stations).
So advertising free food in Mexico is NOT going to encourage more illegals. 🙂

“If you talk to economists, they will tell you there are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do — one’s unemployment insurance, the other’s food stamps, okay?”

“Why is that?” he said. “Because those folks who receive those resources must spend them. And they’ll spend them almost upon receipt. Most economists with whom I talk believe that those with significant discretionary income, that that’s not the case.”–House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

Unemployment and Food Stamps stimulate the economy. So obviously we need even more of it. 🙂

And the persistent 8%+ unemployment and 1/7 of the US population on Food Stamps is good for us. We should be happy.

Government is here for you. 🙂

“USDA does not perform outreach to immigrants that are undocumented, and therefore not eligible for SNAP.” (RELATED: USDA buckles, removes Spanish food stamp soap operas from website)

Tell, me another fairy story, grandma…

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families bill incentivized states to create welfare-to-work programs, trying to transition Americans from government dependency to financial solvency.

In 1996, Republicans forced through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) bill, also known as welfare reform (and embraced by President Clinton for political reasons). It incentivized states to create welfare-to-work programs, trying to transition Americans from government dependency to financial solvency. But states quickly acted to poke holes in that legislation, calling the following activities “work” for purposes of the statute: bed rest, personal care activities, massage, exercise, journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss promotion, participation in parent-teacher meetings, or helping friends or family with household tasks and errands.

This was idiotic. So in 2005, Congress closed the loophole, over the objections of then-Senator Obama.

Now, Obama has walked back the 2005 legislation, using his Department of Health and Human Services to unilaterally waive those work requirements. “This Administration is unbelievable,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Green-lighting new regulations to change bipartisan welfare reform without consultation from Congress is an outright abuse of the federal government’s system of checks and balances and an insult to American taxpayers.”

A high-ranking Republican staffer commented, “Only someone with a religious faith in government would change the rules such that ‘journaling’ now qualifies you for welfare assistance.”

But this is Obama’s new definition of work: anything that allows you to receive government assistance. After all, welfare, unemployment benefits, and all other payouts forward the economy, according to our magnificent president.  (Ben Shapiro)

Being on the Government dole stimulates the economy. And boy is it over-stimulated!

More people go on SSI disability than get hired for jobs. So the “private sector is doing fine” 🙂

Thomas Sowell: There was a time, within living memory, when the achievements of others were not only admired but often taken as an inspiration for imitation of the same qualities that had served these achievers well, even if we were not in the same field of endeavor and were not expecting to achieve on the same scale.

The perseverance of Thomas Edison, as he tried scores of materials before finally trying tungsten as the filament for the light bulb he was inventing; the dedication of Abraham Lincoln as he studied law on his own while struggling to make a living — these were things young people were taught to admire, even if they had no intention of becoming inventors or lawyers, much less president.

Somewhere along the way, all that changed. Today, the very concept of achievement is de-emphasized and sometimes attacked. Following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard has made the downgrading of high achievers the centerpiece of her campaign against Sen. Scott Brown.

To cheering audiences, Professor Warren says, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You build a factory out there, good for you, but I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate.”

Do the people who cheer this kind of talk bother to stop and think through what she is saying? Or is heady rhetoric enough for them? People who run businesses are benefitting from things paid for by others? Since when are people in business, or high-income earners in general, exempt from paying taxes like everybody else?

At a time when a small fraction of high-income taxpayers pay the vast majority of all the taxes collected, it is sheer chutzpah to depict high-income earners as somehow being subsidized by “the rest of us,” whether in paying for roads or the educating the young.

Since everybody else uses the roads and the schools, why should high achievers be expected to feel like free loaders who owe still more to the government, because schools and roads are among the things that facilitate their work? According to Elizabeth Warren, because it is part of an “underlying social contract.”

Conjuring up some mythical agreement that nobody saw, much less signed, is an old ploy on the left — one that goes back at least a century, when Herbert Croly, the first editor of The New Republic magazine, wrote a book titled “The Promise of American Life.”

Whatever policy Herbert Croly happened to favor was magically transformed by rhetoric into a “promise” that American society was supposed to have made — and, implicitly, that American taxpayers should be forced to pay for. This pious hokum was so successful politically that all sorts of “social contracts” began to appear magically in the rhetoric of the left.

If talking in this mystical way is enough to get you control of billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money, why not?

Certainly someone who claimed to be part Indian, as Warren did when applying for academic appointments in an affirmative action environment, is unlikely to be squeamish about using imaginative words in a campaign.

Sadly, this kind of cute use of words is not confined to one political candidate or to this election year. The very concept of achievement is a threat to the vision of the left, and has long been attacked by those on the left.

People who succeed — whether in business or anywhere else — are often said to be “privileged,” even if they started out poor and worked their way up the hard way.

Outcome differences are called “class” differences. Thus when two white women, who came from families in very similar social and economic circumstances, made different decisions and got different results, this was the basis for a front-page story titled “Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do'” in the New York Times.

Personal responsibility, whether for achievement or failure, is a threat to the whole vision of the left, and a threat the left goes all-out to combat, using rhetoric uninhibited by reality.

AMEN

Yea, because hearing both sides of a presidential campaign is unnecessary when Obama is running for a second term.

That’s political discourse in AMERICA 2012.

NOVEMBER IS COMING

 

The Shell Game

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget will forecast a $901 billion deficit for next year, falling far short of his goal to halve the deficit in four years.

The budget, an outline of which was released by the White House Friday night, will show a higher deficit this year than in 2011, up from $1.3 trillion to $1.33 trillion.

So that’s 3 strikes and hopefully he’s out! What a Turkey!

Wonder if this one will go down 96-0 like last years.

Mind you the US Senate that hasn’t passed a Budget in 1, 018 days has already telegraphed that it has no intention of passing a budget this year anyhow.

So this is largely an exercise in campaign BS. Which is all we’ve gotten since January 20th, 2009 anyhow.

The full blown still-born cow of a budget comes out Monday. I’m sure it will bloated, class envious, have lots of flashy fake or useless “cuts”, and totally political. What else would you expect.

“We will talk more before the end of the month on what corporate tax reform would look like,” the official said on Friday, confirming that it would include a call for “lower rates.”

Facing a potentially tough presidential re-election challenge this November, Obama will propose cutting the rate following the release of his 2013 budget plan on Monday, February 13, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record.

While he spent a big part of his January speech to Congress criticizing businesses for moving jobs overseas, Obama said that “companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world.”

So what do you wanna bet it’s going to be very selective and very “democratic”. 🙂

You do it my way or else. Or he’ll propose all new taxes to make up for it, disguised as something else or some other Orwellian turn of phrase.

Typically with this White House “tax reform” means bend over you’re about to get a massive enema!

Gene Sperling, director of Obama’s National Economic Council, has told reporters that the president will be laying out “principles” for corporate tax reform close to the budget release.

Obama’s corporate plan will also include a new minimum tax on foreign profits earned in low tax countries – an unpopular idea in the corporate community. (yahoo)

“principles” eh…This should be good… 😦

Ann Coulter:Having given up on pillorying Mitt Romney for plundering his way to vast wealth — because, unfortunately, it isn’t true — the Non-Fox Media seem to have settled on denouncing him as a rich jerk.

Liberals are disgusted by people who made their own money, as Romney did at Bain Capital. But they admire ill-gotten gains, which is how John Kerry, John Edwards, Jon Corzine, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt and innumerable other spokesmen for the downtrodden amassed their fortunes.

Democrats are very proud of the rich, patrician FDR — who inherited all of his money and then launched a series of federal entitlements designed to bankrupt America 60 years later.

JFK also inherited his wealth, from a father who made his money as a bootlegger and stock manipulator. (In their defense, both went on to create jobs for bartenders and prostitutes.)

Kerry is in a special category of the gigolo. He acquired his fortune by marrying someone, who married someone, who inherited the money — leading Kerry’s children to refer to Teresa Heinz Kerry as their “step-money.” In what can only be described as luck, Kerry’s first wife was also an heiress.

I’ve been diligently searching for the shrieks of horror from the media over John Kerry’s tax returns when he ran for president eight years ago, but I can’t find anything. (Although I did find a reference to Kerry’s having served in Vietnam. Anybody else hear about that?)

Even when Kerry refused to release his wife’s tax returns in order to avoid the humiliation of revealing his allowance, the press was demurely silent.

John Edwards made well over $50 million by shaking down hardworking doctors with junk science lawsuits — as the New York Times has since admitted. The highlight of his sideshows was when he channeled unborn children in front of illiterate jurors.

(In the Democrats’ moral universe, the unborn have no right to life, but they’re perfectly acceptable as witnesses for the plaintiff in a malpractice suit.)

Democrats were overjoyed with Wall Street financier-turned Democratic politician Jon Corzine. It was just three years ago, in 2009, when President Obama was hailing Corzine as one of the “best partners I have in the White House.” Today, prosecutors are trying to find out what Corzine did with hundreds of millions of his customers’ money.

The media do everything they can to avoid looking into these mountebanks when they are active politicians. Then, when they’re out of office, the NFM summarily announce that they always knew the Democrats were sleazeballs, and why are we still talking about them?
It’s never a good time to talk about Democrat plutocrats until it’s way too late to talk about them. With Corzine, we’ll have a window of three seconds to talk about his financial shenanigans. He’s innocent until proved gui — Convicted! — What? You’re still burbling about that guy?

Liberals will be carrying on about Richard Nixon until we’re all long dead. Why has the time passed for them to really examine the man who was their vice presidential candidate only eight years ago and was desperately seeking the presidential slot four years ago?

Until we hear ferocious denunciations of FDR, JFK, Kerry, Edwards and Corzine, liberals have no business criticizing Bain Capital.

Maybe some people are irrationally offended by the rich, but Democrats aren’t. It’s the party of George Soros, Goldman Sachs and Nancy Pelosi!

The six wealthiest senators are all Democrats, half of whom married or inherited their money. Some other multimillionaire Democrats are:

• Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the second-richest senator after Kerry, who inherited his money.

• Dianne Feinstein of California, the sixth-richest senator, who married her money.

• Maria Cantwell of Washington, a bogus dot-com multimillionaire who cashed out before the stock crashed.

• Claire McCaskill of Missouri, the ninth-richest senator, who failed to pay taxes on her private plane until she was caught last year, and who married her money.

Meanwhile, with few exceptions, Republicans either made money on their own or they don’t have it. It’s no accident Democrats oppose a tax on wealth, of which they have boatloads, but strongly support taxes on income, which they typically do not have.

Democrats don’t hate the rich; they are the rich, luxuriating in fortunes acquired by inheritance or marriage, fleecing the taxpayer, trial lawyer hucksterism or disreputable money manipulation. Their contempt is reserved for those who engage in honest work for a living, whom they accuse of “greed” for wanting to pay the government a little less.

As I have said many times before, I believe the greediest people in this country are Liberals. Period.

See: https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/greed/

So get out your Salt Mine, because here comes another Budget from Dear Leader! Can you take it?

Political Cartoon by Mike Lester
Political Cartoon by Eric Allie
Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson

 

Responsibility

Despite endless talk of spending cuts and fiscal restraint in Washington over the past year, lawmakers continued to act as though the government doesn’t spend nearly enough.

They introduced 874 bills in the House and Senate that would have boosted annual federal spending by more than $1 trillion if they’d all been signed into law, according to an analysis done for IBD by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

In contrast, lawmakers offered up just 215 bills to cut spending last year that would have reduced federal outlays by about half a trillion had they all been signed into law.

The analysis also found that for every dollar in cuts, lawmakers in the House proposed nearly $3 in spending hikes, and in the Senate $1.40 in hikes.

“Even at a time of massive deficits, Congress is still mostly occupied with pushing ideas to expand government spending,” said Demian Brady, senior policy analyst at the NTUF, which has been tracking spending bills for more than 20 years through its BillTally project.

Brady notes that a big chunk of the spending tab comes from proposals by liberals in Congress that would transform the nation’s health care into an entirely government-run “single payer” system. Absent those single-payer bills, the net effect of all the legislation introduced would be close to a wash.

The analysis also found a shift, at least, toward more spending cuts. “We are seeing more and bigger cut bills,” said Brady, “and a smaller ratio of increase to cut bills than in last Congress.”

That could change, however, should Democrats succeed in winning back control of the House in November.

The NTUF analysis found that congressional Democrats are by far the biggest spenders. Last year, 692 spending-hike bills had either all or majority Democratic sponsorship. Republicans, in contrast, sponsored just 126 such bills.

At the other end of the spectrum, GOP lawmakers introduced 172 bills that would have cut federal spending, compared with just 33 such bills offered up by Democrats.

Even if few of these bills were likely to make it all the way to the president’s desk, they are a sign of the ongoing pressure in Congress to boost spending, budget experts say, since there is far more time and energy spent on proposals to expand government than to shrink it.

It’s one reason budget caps have typically failed to hold in the past, and why proposed spending cuts often fail to materialize, these experts note.

For example, presidents routinely offer up dozens if not hundreds of programs they think should get the axe — President Clinton’s 1995 budget had 115 of them — but few ever got acted upon and many show up on target lists year after year.

And in the past 50 years, annual inflation-adjusted spending on domestic programs — education, transportation, the environment, etc. — has declined just six times; and five of those years occurred during the Reagan administration.

(and in California they want to spend $100 Billion dollars on a High Speed Rail that is a pure boondoggle–it used to be $10 billion when proposed- in a state with Budget deferrals, required reimbursements and related debt now total nearly $40 billion.)

As a result, spending on these programs as a share of GDP has climbed by more than 26% since 1962. That doesn’t include spending on entitlement programs, which has seen its share of the economy nearly triple over those years.

Defense spending, in contrast, is not nearly as immune to spending cuts — the Pentagon’s annual budget was cut in 19 of the past 50 years. And even with the recent buildup, defense spending as a share of the economy is about half what it was in 1962.

When President Obama introduced his budget last year, he made it clear that spending cuts were a critical part of getting federal deficits under control.

“All of us agree,” he said referring to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, “that we have to cut spending, and all of us agree that we have to get our deficits under control and our debt under control.”

But unless that message sinks in on Capitol Hill, it’s not clear that real, deep spending cuts will ever actually materialize. (IBD)

Because the lead Drug dealers (the drug: money) won’t cut themselves off. They have to pimp themselves and pimp others to keep their supply going.

And the others want to be pimped.

So the drug addict pimps the drug dependent and the drug dependent pimp the drug addict.

Cut the other guys “greed” but don’t you dare cut mine!

My drug dealer is ok, it the other guys jerks that need to be defeated.

And people like me who want to the whole thing to stop are shut out as “whackos” “racists” “morons” “stupid”.

Disparity Part II By Thomas Sowell

One of the ways of trying to reduce the vast disparities in economic success, which are common in countries around the world, is by making higher education more widely available, even for people without the money to pay for it.

This can be both a generous investment and a wise investment for a society to make. But, depending on how it is done, it can also be a foolish and even dangerous investment, as many societies around the world have learned the hard way.

When institutions of higher learning turn out highly qualified doctors, scientists, engineers and others with skills that can raise the standard of living of a whole society and make possible a better and longer life, the benefits are obvious.

What is not so obvious, but is painfully true nonetheless, is that colleges and universities can also turn out vast numbers of people with credentials, but with no marketable skills with which to fulfill their expectations. There is nothing magic about simply being in ivy-covered buildings for four years.

Statistics are often thrown around in the media, showing that people with college degrees earn higher average salaries than people without them. But such statistics lump together apples and oranges — and lemons.

A decade after graduation, people whose degrees were in a hard field like engineering earned twice as much as people whose degrees were in the ultimate soft field, education. Nor is a degree from a prestigious institution a guarantee of a big pay-off, especially not for those who failed to specialize in subjects that would give them skills valued in the real world.

But that is not even half the story. In countries around the world, people with credentials but no marketable skills have been a major source of political turmoil, social polarization and ideologically driven violence, sometimes escalating into civil war.

People with degrees in soft subjects, which impart neither skills nor a realistic understanding of the world, have been the driving forces behind many extremist movements with disastrous consequences.

These include what a noted historian called the “well-educated but underemployed” Czech young men who promoted ethnic identity politics in the 19th century, which led ultimately to historic tragedies for both Czechs and Germans in 20th century Czechoslovakia. It was much the same story of soft-subject “educated” but unsuccessful young men who promoted pro-fascist and anti-Semitic movements in Romania in the 1930s.

The targets have been different in different countries but the basic story has been much the same. Those who cannot compete in the marketplace, despite their degrees, not only resent those who have succeeded where they have failed, but push demands for preferential treatment, in order to negate the “unfair” advantages that others have.

Similar attempts to substitute political favoritism for developing one’s own skills and achievements have been common as well in India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka and throughout Central Europe and Eastern Europe between the two World Wars.

Such political movements cannot promote their agendas without demonizing others, thereby polarizing whole societies. Time and again, their targets have been those who have the skills and achievements that they lack. When they achieve their ultimate success, forcing such people out of the country, as in Uganda in the 1970s or Zimbabwe more recently, the whole economy can collapse.

Against this international background, the current class warfare rhetoric in American politics and ethnic grievance ideology in our schools and colleges, can be seen as the dangerous things they are. Those who are pushing such things may be seeking nothing more than votes for themselves or some unearned group benefits at other people’s expense. But they are playing with dynamite.

The semi-literate sloganizing of our own Occupy Wall Street mobs recalls the distinction that Milton Friedman often made between those who are educated and those who have simply been in schools. Generating more such people, in the name of expanding education, may serve the interests of the Obama administration but hardly the interests of America.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. —George Orwell

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever. —George Orwell

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
—George Orwell

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
—George Orwell

And my own Contribution: FEAR IS HOPE 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Whine & Cheese Tuesday

Heard this one before: “My plan says we’re going to put teachers back in the classrooms, construction workers back to work,” (government union and union employees– the more they are back to work the more union money he can collect) President Obama said at a campaign event today. “Tax cuts for small businesses, tax cuts for hiring veterans, tax cuts if you give your workers a raise –- that’s my plan.”

“The Republicans plan, Obama says, boils down to this: ‘Dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.'”

Gee, where’s throwing grandma out in the streets, off a cliff or eating dog food?

Kids starving?

Let’s Kill Kenny?

FEAR IS HOPE

Vote for me, the other guy’s an asshole!

Or better yet, he came up with government Health Care before I did! (Romney!)

“We’ve decided, let’s let them do the right thing one more time. We’re going to give them another chance to do their jobs by looking after your jobs. So this week, I’m asking members of Congress to vote. What we’re going to do is we’re going to break up my jobs bill. Maybe they just couldn’t understand the whole thing all at once. So we’re going to break it up into bite-size pieces so they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation,” President Obama said at a campaign stop in Asheville, NC.

Congress = Republicans. The Democrats who voted against the thing and sunk it don’t count. But we’ll give them another shot at doing everything we want them to do. Namely, SPEND EVEN MORE MONEY! especially on Union members.

Meanwhile, the Senate Democrats can pass the Constitutionally required budget in over 900 days.

But it’s all the other guy’s fault, he’s a heartless asshole, you know. 🙂

The OCCUPIERS

It just gets better and Better, doesn’t it Comrade?  🙂

The revolution will be corporate-sponsored! That’s according to Harrison Schultz, an Occupy Wall Street organizer who also happens to be a “business intelligence analyst” at a publicly traded company. On a limited-access email list shared by Occupy protesters, Schultz wrote of a ”Corporate Funded Revolution,” calling it “a revolutionary plan.”

Despite protesters’ occupation of a New York City park and their stated goal of ending corporate influence — particularly of Wall Street — in government, e-mails emerged Monday showing Schultz and other anti-corporate organizers were a little more corporate than they like to let on.

“My scheme is to commodify any traffic I manage to successfully drive to the occupywallst.org site, open it up and sell it as advertising space to corporations…,” Schultz allegedly wrote. “A Corporate Funded Revolution is a contradiction in terms, its practically an oxymoron. Something we’ve never considered before. It’s a revolutionary plan…”

Orwell, anyone?

Or better yet, an Occupier Barbie and Slacker Occupier Pot head Ken!! (with optional Nazi Gear)

Occupier Bratz Dolls.

Maybe there’s an App for that! 🙂

Or maybe we should just go after the kids some more:

In response to protest organizer Kelley Wolcott’s open request to “coordinate” a “family day,” another mailing list member offered up socialist literature for use during the festivities.

“I have a story book called Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature, with stories ranging from Dr. Seuss to Bolshevik sponsored ‘Fairy Tales for Worker’s Children,’” Nicolas Moselle Allen wrote. “Let me know if you would like this!”

A publisher’s blurb for “Tales for Little Rebels” introduces the book by noting that “[r]ather than teaching children to obey authority, to conform, or to seek redemption through prayer, twentieth-century leftists encouraged children to question the authority of those in power. Tales for Little Rebels collects forty-three mostly out-of-print stories, poems, comic strips, primers, and other texts for children that embody this radical tradition.”

NYU Press describes one of the “tales” this way: “In 1912, a revolutionary chick cries, ‘Strike down the wall!’ and liberates itself from the ‘egg state.’” In another, written against a 1940 backdrop, “ostriches pull their heads out of the sand and unite to fight fascism.” A third tale, set in 1972, tells the story of “Baby X,” who “grows up without a gender and is happy about it.” (DC)

Van Jones, The former “Green Czar” and self-admitted Communist: “We should let the spirit of this movement co-opt the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the whole country. It’s the best thing in America right now,” Van Jones said about the Occupy Wall Street movement. (RP)

Viva La Revolution! 🙂

I am in fact recently returned from OWS HQ in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan — a magnificent little isle. It’s run by this one-percenter (as opposed to us, the noble 99 percent) named  “Mayor Bloomberg,” who feels just sick about how rich he is, so he’ll only accept one dollar a year in mayoral salary. Proving that you get what you pay for. Over the years, he has banned everything from clergy at 9/11 ceremonies to smoking at city parks or beaches to trans fats in restaurants. But if you’re an unhygienic anarchist costing the city untold sums in police overtime while camping out for a month, serving dirty-fingernail gazpacho without a food-service permit , and pinching a loaf on a squad car, then hey — his casa es su casa!

I don’t wish, however, to harsh the OWS mellow, as we who are pretending it’s still the sixties like to say .

I also made new friends, like Spooky the Anarchist, a masked-up willfully homeless con artist who was charging tourists to have their picture taken with him, and who described the scene as a “homeless man’s dream camp,” which afforded him everything from free food to free clothing. Then there was Sid the Nazi, an obscenity-spewing white supremacist who had also found common cause with the grab-bag of fellow grievance groupers. Sid explained to me how there’s been a lot of America-approved genocides, from Nagasaki to the American Indian, but when someone like Hitler does the Jews wrong — everybody starts crying about it. Not that he’s admitting Hitler did anything to the Jews. Nor that it was wrong. That’s what the Jewish-controlled media wants you to believe.

But even Sid the Nazi had his fill of his fellow protesters, when getting handed all the commie literature — an affront to good taste, and to Hitler. (Old rivalries die hard.) Of course, Spooky and Sid the Nazi and commie literature make for much inconvenience for the scads of leftoid apologists trying to pretend that OWS is about something that it’s not. As do hard poll numbers, such as New York magazine’s report that over one-third of the attendees believe the U.S. government is no better than al Qaida.

Yes, plenty of greedhead Wall Street types abused the hell out of the system, and caused our country great pain. Nobody can honestly dispute that. Likewise, plenty of people are hurting (some of them my friends and family), and understandably want somebody to blame. But what is this particular protest about? From my experience, I learned that it’s primarily about overeducated, underemployed twentysomethings who are frustrated they haven’t found their dream jobs as documentary filmmakers in the worst economy in several generations, all while amassing 100 grand in student loans. Perhaps they should instead occupy the NYU admissions office, or better still, question their choices and keep their fingers crossed for a rebound. (Things must not be too dire, however, since several protesters I spoke with had quit their jobs to join the movement.) But instead, they’d rather blame JPMorgan Chase for everything from their eczema to their poor Wi-Fi connectivity, so that they can play bongos in the park while pretending their permanent disaffection is about credit default swaps, if they even know what those are.

And this is the larger problem with their movement, as it is with so many movements, truth be told. Movements seek to generalize, and to patch over specifics. To make the complex simple. To find convenient fall guys, and a universal theory of everything. So that if I bought a Mercedes when all I could afford was a Toyota, or bought a $900,000 McMansion when all I could really afford was a townhouse, it must be Lehman Brothers’ fault, not mine. (Matt Labash)

Thomas Sowell:

Like so many people, in so many countries, who started out to “spread the wealth,” Barack Obama has ended up spreading poverty.

Have you ever heard anyone as incoherent as the people staging protests across the country? Taxpayers ought to be protesting against having their money spent to educate people who end up unable to say anything beyond repeating political catch phrases.

It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.

I hate getting bills that show a zero balance. If I don’t owe anything, why bother me with a bill? There is too much junk mail already.

Radical feminists seem to assume that men are hostile to women. But what would they say to the fact that most of the women on the Titanic were saved, and most of the men perished — due to rules written by men and enforced by men on the sinking ship?

If he were debating Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich could chew him up and spit him out.

Whether the particular issue is housing, medical care or anything in between, the agenda of the left is to take the decision out of the hands of those directly involved and transfer that decision to third parties, who pay no price for making decisions that turn out to be counterproductive.

It is truly the era of the New Math when a couple making $125,000 a year each are taxed at rates that are said to apply to “millionaires and billionaires.”

On many issues, the strongest argument of the left is that there is no argument. This has been the left’s party line on the issue of man-made global warming and the calamities they claim will follow. But there are many scientists — some with Nobel Prizes — who have repudiated the global warming hysteria.

With professional athletes earning megabucks incomes, it is a farce to punish their violations of rules with fines. When Serena Williams was fined $2,000 for misconduct during a tennis match, that was like fining you or me a nickel or a dime. Suspensions are something that even the highest-paid athletes can feel.

Most of us may lament the fact that so many more people are today dependent on food stamps and other government subsidies. But dependency usually translates into votes for whoever is handing out the benefits, so an economic disaster can be a political bonanza, as it was for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Don’t count Obama out in 2012.

Politicians can solve almost any problem — usually by creating a bigger problem. But, so long as the voters are aware of the problem that the politicians have solved, and unaware of the bigger problems they have created, political “solutions” are a political success.

Do people who advocate special government programs for blacks realize that the federal government has had special programs for American Indians, including affirmative action, since the early 19th century — and that American Indians remain one of the few groups worse off than blacks?

I hope the people who are challenging Obamacare in the Supreme Court point out that the equal application of the laws, mandated by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, is violated when the president can arbitrarily grant hundreds of waivers to the Obamacare law to his political favorites, while everyone else has to follow its costly provisions.

People who live within their means are increasingly being forced to pay for people who didn’t live within their means — whether individual home buyers here or whole nations in Europe.

Regardless of how the current Republican presidential nomination process ends, I hope that they will never again have these televised “debates” among a crowd of candidates, which just turn into a circular firing squad — damaging whoever ends up with the nomination, and leaving the voters knowing only who is quickest with glib answers.

Have you noticed that we no longer seem to be hearing the old familiar argument that illegal aliens are just taking jobs that Americans won’t do?

Fascinating…

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok