December 20, 2007

I want the government to give me more presents.



I would have thought this was a parody attacking Hillary Clinton, but she's Hillary Clinton, and she approved of this message.

(Via Instapundit.)

ADDED: Isn't this like when you get presents from family members and you know they charged it on your credit card?

162 comments:

B said...

Whatever Hillary's strengths are, she'll never be known for being "comfortable in her own skin".

Personal warmth: Zero.

Edgehopper said...

Don't you usually put the name of the recipient on the outside of the envelope? In that case, those are presents being delivered to "Universal Health Care" and "Bring the Troops Home". Given the size and shape of those gifts, probably coffee table books. The one to "Alternative Energy" is probably a book of blown up slides from "An Inconvenient Truth".

SteveR said...

All I have to do to get something from Santa is be nice, not naughty. The return on investment for getting something from Santa Clinton? Not so good.

Does she think people don't know where the money comes from?

B said...

From Jay Nordlinger in National Review Online:

Consider: The last two elections, the Democrats ran possibly the two most dislikable people in the United States. The first time, they won the popular vote, and the second time, they narrowly lost — a difference of a few tens of thousands of votes in one state (Ohio) would have given them victory.

What if they nominate someone likable — meaning Obama — this time?


Go Hillary!

rhhardin said...

It's a very good ad, about the only one where she's personable.

The background belief is that there's money to pay for it all, but it's just not being spent properly ; and she's the one to put it right.

Jason said...

Wow. Who's money is she using to purchase those presents with? Answer: The gift recipients', who may well not want what's in the package.

Some Christmas.

She's not GIVING anything this Christmas. She's not about giving. She's about, in her own words, taking things away from you on behalf of the common good.

I like this woman less and less with every passing day.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Why can't I shake the feeling that it's the "making a list, checking it twice" part she's really looking forward to?

Off to the Island of Misfit Ads with this one.

Balfegor said...

So cackhanded it made me laugh out loud this morning.

But, paradoxically, the total lack of slickness -- the awkwardness and utter transparency on display -- are kind of appealing in their own way. To me, at least.

PatCA said...

Subtext: "We are going to take all your money and your babies as soon as they can walk and raise them ourselves because We are so much smarter than you!"

If the State is Santa Claus are we the elves?

Shockingly clueless, Hillary.

Freder Frederson said...

Wow. Who's money is she using to purchase those presents with? Answer: The gift recipients', who may well not want what's in the package.

Better to get it from the gift recipients than to borrow money from the Chinese and spend it on wars in faraway countries like Bush is doing.

Her husband actually managed to balance the budget and raise taxes while growing the economy (which is supposed to be impossible according to all you conservatives: tax increases=economic disaster).

Ann Althouse said...

Reminds me of when you get presents from family members who are charging it on your card.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Reminds me of when you get presents from family members who are charging it on your card.

That is so perfectly "Arkansas trashy". Bogan, the Aussies call it. If I run for office, I'm going to need you as a surrogate.

Rich B said...

Her Majesty? Can't we just find an island for her to rule, with some tiny little subjects that she can move around?

Christy said...

I'm with PatCA, the Universal Pre-K sent a chill up my spine.

No, actually what sends a chill up my spine is that the Clinton camp is so insulated and oblivious that they think this ad universally appealing.

Ron said...

We must ALL be good, because Hillary would never put a lump of coal in our stockings! Bad Energy Policy, y'know!

rcocean said...

Interesting that the ad says "Happy Holidays" but not "Merry Christmas" and the music is generic "secular" Christmas music. What is it anyway?

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:

BINGO to what you said.

I can't believe Hillary is really using this in a commercial. The Republicans will be glad to add this to their argument that she is a tax and spend liberal. Her camp must believe the country (like California) has reached a tipping point where the majority are now tax-supplicants as opposed to taxpayers.


Down with the PU Foundation who is pushing this stuff hard.

Richard Fagin said...

I saw a news clip on one of the network broadcasts some years ago in which the "man-on-the-street" being interviewed said, "The taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for that. The government should pay for it."

I wish I were making that up.

The Drill SGT said...

The double irony is that whenever you see the plan for any of these new entitlements, the prime revenue source always seems to be "cigarette taxes" which is a hugely regressive tax on poor people.

same thing to a lesser extent when your govenor wants a new public benefit paid for by "the state lottery".

as a fairly well off, non-smoking, non-gambling guy, I should be cheering, but I feel for those that are duped.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm baffled at how anyone on the left can see her as 'right wing.'

Bruce Hayden said...

I'm baffled at how anyone on the left can see her as 'right wing.'

This may come as a surprise to you, but there are those out there who are more socialist and more collectivist than Hillary is.

Kirk Parker said...

"Can't we just find an island for her to rule"

Well, do you know of any islands we hate enough to consign to that fate?

Rich B said...

How about Manhattan Island? Rikers Island? The Islets of Langerhans?

Hoosier Daddy said...

This may come as a surprise to you, but there are those out there who are more socialist and more collectivist than Hillary is.

I don't disagree. I think Edwards is Karl Marx with a better hairdresser. My point was I hear a lot of people saying she's too right wing yet I struggle to find a single conservative thing about her.

The middle class tax cut one was hysterical. The sun will supernova before she would sign any kind of tax cut. Especially when we all have to pay for universal health care and pre-kintergarten.

Bruce Hayden said...

Her husband actually managed to balance the budget and raise taxes while growing the economy (which is supposed to be impossible according to all you conservatives: tax increases=economic disaster).

And how did he almost balance the budget? The answer to this is closely related to why we are having to rotate troops back so quickly to Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, much of the credit for the almost balanced budget comes from the "Peace Dividend", and that came from massive military cuts, including, notably, major cuts in the number of active army divisions.

So, what we had with Clinton, esp. after his party getting trounced in '94, was somewhat the opposite of what Hillary is proposing - any real spending initiatives getting covered by major defense cuts.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hillary always makes me think of this episode of the Twilight Zone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_People

Unfortunately the Little People suffered quite a lot before the ironic comeuppance at the end.

Bruce Hayden said...

The middle class tax cut one was hysterical. The sun will supernova before she would sign any kind of tax cut. Especially when we all have to pay for universal health care and pre-kintergarten.

I think that this does depend on whether it is her calling it middle class, or the reality of what is middle class, which is what the Democrats call the "rich" who apparently need to be taxed more to support the "middle class", which most of us would consider the "poor". And, of course, the really "rich" are left loopholes so that they can avoid the taxes on the "rich" that really fall on those called "rich" but who are really middle class.

The goal, at least of some of the redistributionists is a permanent class of net recipients of government monies. When a big enough class of such people has been developed, the Democrats will have a built in natural majority beholden to them for their survival.

Roger said...

The ironic thing about the economy is that the president is pretty much at the mercy of the the Fed, the US having adopted a primarily monetarist policy some 30 years ago.

Meade said...

Now where did I put the universal lengthening nose on my own face? Oh! Okay. Ah! There it is!

ricpic said...

Middle class taxbreaks? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha........................

Pastor_Jeff said...

"Can't we just find an island for her to rule, with some tiny little subjects that she can move around?"

Wasn't that the backstory to Escape from New York?

Pastor_Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastor_Jeff said...

"Reminds me of when you get presents from family members who are charging it on your card."

Actually it's more like the teenage son who asks for $50 so he can buy his parents a gift -- $20 of which goes towards something Mom & Dad didn't want, and $30 of which Junior keeps for himself.

Goatwhacker said...

I hope she's not waiting by the mailbox for her Oscar nomination.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Reminds me of when you get presents from family members who are charging it on your card."

Indeed. That reminds me of Cousin Eddie in X-mas vacation who accepts Clark's offer buym his kid's x-mas presents and then tells Clark to get himself something too. Something real nice.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In other words, much of the credit for the almost balanced budget comes from the "Peace Dividend", and that came from massive military cuts, including, notably, major cuts in the number of active army divisions.

In fairness, he was also was kept in check by a fiscally sane GOP controlled Congress which made certain spending was constrained not to mention cutting the welfare rolls although that condemned millions to starvation. Wait, that part didn't happen, they just had to get a job.

While the economy did grow under Clinton and his tax increases, it has also grown substantially under Bush's tax cuts. The only problem with the latter is the disgusting spending spree he's been on.

Cedarford said...

Amazing. It was toped off by my wife who just ran up hundreds doing Christmas shopping on the weekend looking at elitist, smug Hillary and all the gifts she was to beneficently bestow on the "little people". A wife, who had to drive back when she realized she overspent her budget on some people and had to return stuff so she'd have enough of her holiday budget left for others. And ranting "Like it's her own f*cking money that would pay for her gifts!" (The Althouse credit card parasitic generosity comparison was also a good one).

This, from a gal who thought Hillary running would be so wonderful for women! But Hillary! as gift-giver to some - from the money of others - really stuck in her craw. Or, maybe because the ad showed her basking in the glow of how much she thought she was a wonderful, generous person for doing so.

(And yes, Bush could make such an ad showing him all smug & smiling and handling his gift packages for CEOs tax cuts, Big Pharma Drug Plan, Farm Subisidies, WoT gravy train gifts - but even he isn't as clueless as Hillary! can be at times).

Romney departed so far from the holiday ads. He just starting airing an ad called "Search" on how his form shut down to look for a missing girl in NYC. (She was found due to the pubicity and hospitalized for drug problems.)

I also noticed a link to Boston.com on an article that told the story behind "Search" where Romney detailed his differences with Ted Kennedy back in 1994. Other than abortion, no flip-flopping:

EDH said...

God Help Us. Everyone.

Freder Frederson said...

The answer to this is closely related to why we are having to rotate troops back so quickly to Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's laughable that you blame Clinton for the rotation schedule in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been more than six years since 9/11. Bush has had plenty of time to expand the active duty military (he could have announced reactivating two or three divisions on 9/12/2001 instead of telling everyone to go shopping), but he chose not to until this year (and that hasn't even started yet). Better to pretend that this "war" could be won with no sacrifice than to actually make hard choices.

Ernst Blofeld said...

The middle class tax cut one was hysterical.

That's why I'm voting Democratic. Right after the election, they'll make me rich!

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's laughable that you blame Clinton for the rotation schedule in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Actually I blame him for us being there to begin with. Had he taken a more serious effort in tackling Islamic terrorism rather than bombing Serbia and asprin factories in the Sudan, we wouldn't be in this mess.

jravin said...

Feder - you are wrong. The Big He NEVER balanced the budget or ran a real surplus. If you don't believe me, check the Treasury Dept.'s web page (I forget the URL, don't have it handy) for deficits. The last time the Gummint pulled in more than it actually spent was 1960 or so.

jravin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. Simon said...

The Chinese are paying for our wars?

Great.

Hillary's answer to fix that one would be to start a war with China. After all they are paying for it.

Michael_H said...

That re-distributionist "Christmas" ad would make just as much sense if the Hillary actor was replaced with an actor playing Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez.

Either way, the message and meaning would be the same.

M. Simon said...

Not having enough troops was an advantage. Iraqis got to know Al Q up close and personal. They found out we were the lesser of the two evils.

They also figured we would go home once the violence died down considerably. So what happened? They started taking the initiative.

Now if some one told you at the start of the war that letting Al Q have free reign in Iraq was the key to victory you would have been laughed out of town. And yet that is how it worked.

Our inability or unwillingness to field enough troops was the key to our success.

Pogo said...

The Democratic party platform consists entirely of encouraging people to believe that through government redistribution they will each get more out of the government in terms of services and monies than they contributed.

It's the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. It's a revival of alchemy, where gold is made from base metals. That is, something for nothing, as if the government can create funds ex nihilo, and give them away like Santa. In reality, it's a simple Ponzi scheme.

It avoids the real truth of this world: while individual fortunes can be made by taking from one and giving to another, this eventually leads to the decline of all. Real increases in societal wealth have only ever come through the bourgeouis habits of thrift, hard work, capitalism, and delayed gratification.

That is, adults know that we are Santa, not the Senators or the President. We foot the bill. And any tax burden greater than 30% or so of national income inevitably results in economic decline, no matter how tasty the free ice cream is.

Thomas Prewitt said...

I swear, if I didn't know better, I would have thought this was a Saturday Night Live skit with her as host.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The Chinese are paying for our wars?

Well the Chinese are buying up our debt which yes, means that they are paying for our wars. The kicker is, if it wasn't for wars then it would be for universal health care and universal pre-K.

Interestingly enough there is a lot of hue and cry over foreign acquisition of debt, imagine the cries of racism, nativism and xenophobia if we refused to sell our debt to international bidders.

Its nothing more than a snarky shot because the Chinese have been buying US Treausries even during the Clinton years and all was well.

Freder Frederson said...

The Big He NEVER balanced the budget or ran a real surplus.

I have no idea what you are talking about. The budget surplus was $237 billion in 2000.

Our inability or unwillingness to field enough troops was the key to our success.

So now you are claiming incompetence is actually a strategy. Not only is this line of thinking seriously wrong, but it shows the depths Bush supporters will go to excuse his complete and utter failure.

Balfegor said...

Her husband actually managed to balance the budget and raise taxes while growing the economy (which is supposed to be impossible according to all you conservatives: tax increases=economic disaster).

I'm reluctant to give him (as opposed to, say, Rubin) full credit for the balanced budgets, considering the first thing he tried to do when he gained office was push through a massive increase in government expenditures. Hillarycare, as it happens. His own party wouldn't even go along with that boondoggle, saving us all the expense of a costly new entitlement. Afterwards, he had to struggle against a hostile Congress, which restrained his worse impulses. I think Bush's budget for this year is actually looking pretty good for largely the same reason.

Freder Frederson said...

That is, adults know that we are Santa, not the Senators or the President. We foot the bill. And any tax burden greater than 30% or so of national income inevitably results in economic decline, no matter how tasty the free ice cream is.

And your 30% figure comes from where exactly? It is amazing that you make such a statment yet must know that the current course of tax receipts and spending is unsustainable yet blithely insist that the way to solve it is even more tax cuts and deficit spending.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It is amazing that you make such a statment yet must know that the current course of tax receipts and spending is unsustainable yet blithely insist that the way to solve it is even more tax cuts and deficit spending.

Here's a novel concept, how about we cut spending? That means no new spending programs and start trimming the fat off the ones we have now.

Freder, I understand the need to taxation to run the government but I take issue with the blind acceptance of the need to raise taxes without stringent oversight over what it is being spent on. So if that means no bridges to nowhere in Alaska or Senator KKK Byrd (D-WV) can't install another pork project, turnpike or visitor center named after him, so be it.

The difference between us I think is that I don't look to government as the sole provider of funding every social program under the sun.

Balfegor said...

Hillary's answer to fix that one would be to start a war with China. After all they are paying for it.

I kind of doubt this. I mean, didn't all those people -- Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung, and John Huang -- get convicted of violations of election law for bankrolling Clinton I's campaigns with money from the PRC? That's one reason why, even though both Clinton II and Obama have come out in favour of a bone-headed trade war with China (something Obama's economics advisor, Goolsbee, has counselled against), I'm only worried about Obama doing something like that. Clinton II seems to have a plenty of direct incentive to avoid war with the PRC.

Palladian said...

"It's the economic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. It's a revival of alchemy, where gold is made from base metals. That is, something for nothing, as if the government can create funds ex nihilo, and give them away like Santa."

No, Pogo. Alchemy required a lot of difficult, dangerous work. The comparison of Magical Liberal Happy Land to the alchemists is a slur!

Roger said...

I have no intentions of wading into the discussion of the relationship of tax rates to tax revenues except to note we tend to underestimate the tax burden when we fail consider state and local taxes (property, sales, gas, excise etc). The tax burden on most Americans is considerably greater than the just the federal tax rate. It is highly misleading to use federal tax rates to characterize overall individual tax burden.

Pogo said...

Wealthy nations can easily tolerate the consumption of 30 percent of its economic output by the state, as is currently true in the US, “but once the government take approaches 50 percent, as in many of the nations of northern Europe, economic growth begins to suffer.”
Bernstein WJ, The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World as Created; McGraw-Hill New York; 2004 p. 380.

"the way to solve it is even more tax cuts and deficit spending."
No, no. Not at all; I advise the way to solve it is even more tax cuts and cuts in spending.

AJ Lynch said...

If you want the link to the PU (PEW) Foundation which is agressively pushing govt-paid pre-k in several states, especially those controlled by Democrats, let me know.

I find it a bit uncharitable that s "charitable trust" like PEW has $4 Billion in assets, yet spends only $250 Million or so per year and much of that goes to organized efforts to get we taxpayers to pay higher taxes for more govt programs.

I bet they watched this Hillary commercial and popped some champagne corks to celebrate their progress.

Eli Blake said...

Well, I thought I'd put together a Christmas wish list for the leading Republicans.

For Rudy Giuliani: The keys to Dick Cheney's secret bunker so when he gets another mistress to cheat on this one, who he got to cheat on his previous wife, who he got while he was cheating on his first wife, he can send her someplace secure without having to pay for NY police to give her an escort and bill it to the city agency that helps the disabled. Now he will be able to get secret service protection for the next mistress and bill it to a Federal agency that helps the disabled.

For Mitt Romney: A refund of the tens of millions of dollars of his own money that he's spent just so he can be running second in Iowa.

For Fred Thompson: A Hollywood manual on how to look like he's awake.

For Tom Tancredo (as he makes his exit after never getting anywhere in the polls): A security blanket to keep those big bad illegal aliens away.

For Duncan Hunter: A memory charm so he can forget that he's the only guy in the race who will move up now that Tancredo is gone.

For Mike Huckabee: Some off-the-shelf security underwear to keep those big bad Mormons away.

For John McCain: A way to explain how he's going to run the Federal government in a fiscally responsible way when the first thing he did with his campaign was to spend it millions of dollars into the hole last summer.

For Ron Paul: A way to actually get people to cast their votes online.

Also: For Barack Obama: A hockey facemask and a flak jacket.

submandave said...

This commercial was creepy in the extreme. As if all the "I'm giving you this" wasn't bad enough, when she so brazenly reached out for my kids and future grand kids with her "gift" of Universal Pre-K I could do nothing but shudder. And for the record, it would be just as creepy if one of the Republican candidates seemed as enthusiastic about government indoctrination of America's youth.

MadisonMan said...

Curious that no one complained about the cost of Giuliani's Gift List. Or are we paying for all the safety and security with a tax cut?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The budget surplus was $237 billion in 2000.

Projected surplus. Not an actual surplus. The projections were based on the economic conditions of the previous year 1999 continuing for the next year. As we know in March of 2000 the stock market took a significant dive. The economic collapse of the Dot-Com bubble was seen coming long before it happened in March by many economists. Bush wasn't even inaugurated until January 2001, so we can hardly blame this downturn on him.... well you may try to do so, but it won't fly.

When the market collapsed, the PROJECTED surpluses didn't arrive. It was only the Bush tax cuts and more importantly the reduction of Capital Gains taxes from 25 to the current 5 to 15% that brought the economy back.

PROJECTED isn't the same as actual. I'm on a commission basis in my business. If I spend what I project that I MIGHT earn based on last year's production....I would be an idiot. However, this seems to be the way that Congress thinks. Ergo.....they are idiots.

MadisonMan said...

It was only the Bush tax cuts and more importantly the reduction of Capital Gains taxes from 25 to the current 5 to 15% that brought the economy back.

This is a debateable statement. I'd say the decision to keep interest rates very low, allowing people to spend the equity on their homes (and look how well that's turning out) were at least as important.

vnjagvet said...

With apologies to Trooper Y, these of the lyrics to the song on the ad, Carol of the Bells:

Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold,

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale,

Gaily they ring
while people sing
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here,

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
On on they send ,
on without end,
their joyful tone to every home
Dong Ding dong ding, dong Bong


So it was a Christmas greeting, with the music at least.

But the message left me cold, and apparently, I was not alone.

My wallet was vibrating in my pocket.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Curious that no one complained about the cost of Giuliani's Gift List. Or are we paying for all the safety and security with a tax cut?

I think it's the job of the Federal government to provide for the common defense. I don't think its the job of the government, ie: me as the taxpayer, to provide for universal pre-K and health care and free drugs, and billions in foreign aid and arts endowments, welfare in a nation with full employment or the health care and welfare benefits of illegal aliens.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yes, possibly a combination of low interest rates from the Federal Reserve board helped.

But more importantly, lowering the capital gains rate encouraged people to sell appreciated stocks and real assets that had significant imputed gains that they didn't want to pay 25% on to the Government. By lowering the rate to 5 or 15% people were encouraged to cash in appreciated assets which then released a huge amount of cash into the economy and increasing the velocity of money.

Without this cap gains gift to the public, much cash would still remain locked away in appreciated assets.

If the Dems get their way and increase the captial gains rate, expect the velocity of money to slow way down because people will cease selling and buying assets, tax revenues to be lower (even if the rates are higher) and the economy to tank further driving the dollar down agains the Yen, the Euro and other currencies.

EnigmatiCore said...

Is that the middle class tax cut Bill campaigned on but then just couldn't find? Goody!

MadisonMan said...

Yes, we have been spending the wealth accumulated during the Clinton years during the current President's administration. It's unfortunate for the next president that the wealth accumulated during the present administration is not as large.

You make the implicit assumption (to tank further) that a big correction is coming. I'm afraid you're right. I wouldn't want to be the newly-elected President, getting the blame for the unsound policies of the past 6+ years.

dick said...

That Clinton surplus is so bogus one would think even Freder would understand. We hear in Jan 2001 that there is a surplus of $237B. We hear in Mar 2001 that there is now a deficit. Between Jan and March Bush did not even get his people in office and all the spending was from the last Clinton budget, yet it was Bush's fault that we had a deficit. How under those conditions can you ever claim that there actually was a surplus in the first place?

Buddy Larsen said...

Bill Clinton gets points for free trade and for working with a GOP congress, but that balanced budget was a chimera--the end of the cold war and the digital revolution 'dot-com' boom helped mightily, but the flip side was AQ's growth thru the 90s, their declaration of war, the sudden revelation of a half-dozen huge Wall Street financial scandals (Enron most notable), and the dot-com bust that presented Bush with a new recession and a new war almost simultaneously as he took office.

Katrina hasn't helped the balanced budget either--but still, even so, with all four of those confidence and budget busts, plus the earmark spree, and now the mortgage bubble, we're still running a deficit amounting to a historically low 1.2% (and falling) of GDP. That's so low it's essentially balanced right now--and at essentially 'full' employment to boot.

The explanation: GDP growth--steady GDP growth. Q3 revised just came in @ almost 5%--and this with a long bond rate @ just over 4%. This is pretty good economic performance, and the Hillary defenders above would have vastly more credibility if they'd admit it.

Bush isn't running in '08, so what's the benefit of the continued goofy-slogan attacks?

Another thing--related to Bill having had a conservative congress to 'make' him--the last time the Democrats ran the big three--house, senate, and white house--we were treated to Carternomics, where you paid 20% for money that was depreciating at 15%, and the only thing growing was the gas lines, unemployment lines, the 'misery index'--and the laughs we were furnishing to rivals and adversaries all over the world.

Roger said...

Buddy Larson (where have you been BTW?): Good points on the economy. And amazing as has economic growth been, a recent CNN poll indicated 57% of Americans think we are in a recession!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yes, we have been spending the wealth accumulated during the Clinton years during the current
President's administration.


Bull crap. Clinton had nothing to do with anything in the generation of wealth. Are you talking about those investments that tanked in the March 2000 stock market crash? If so, the smart people or those with smart advisors made moves to get out in 1999 before the crash, repositioned and reinvested at the lows of 2000-2. Much of the investments and real estate holdings that people had been holding onto for decades because of the high income tax rates and the high capital gains rates were then released to cash to be spent in the economy because the rates were now low.

It's unfortunate for the next president that the wealth accumulated during the present administration is not as large.

Baloney. Wealth is accumulated when you get to keep some of it instead of paying it out in taxes that total up to 40% of your income. Plenty of people have had significant increases in portfolio values since 2000 and have been incented to spend the money or reinvest in companies that can then expand and hire more people. It is a circle. The more times money is spent (velocity) the better the economy as a whole.

You make the implicit assumption (to tank further) that a big correction is coming. I'm afraid you're right.

My assumption is that if we get a Democratic administration that wants to give "presents" to the demanding class at the expense of the productive class by raising taxes, raising the capital gains tax, we WILL see a big economic slow down. My assumption is that politicians don't know their butts from a hole in the ground when it comes to economics. My assumption is that if we get a Democratic administration they will screw us up for at least the next 5 years and send us right back into Carter years stagflation if not worse. When the politicians try to use the economy to give party favors for votes I expect to get royally screwed.

I wouldn't want to be the newly-elected President, getting the blame for the unsound policies of the past 6+ years.

In spite of the refusal to curb spending, having more expenditures because of the Iraq War and not vetoing more spending bills, we have had a supurb growth in the economy in the last 6 years. If you haven't experienced it, then that's your own fault. Get a better advisor and quit looking at your wallet through your BDS.

This is my business and I've been doing it for 20 years.

Henry said...

All the ad needs to be an obvious parody is the right soundtrack:

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, an out-of-space convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be oh so good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Santa honey, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
I've been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, I'm filling my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean a phone
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight

Buddy Larsen said...

hi, roger--yes, it's amazing how much demoralization the major newspapers, broadcast networks, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the slick newsweeklies, and the professoriate can inject into the average person's economic outlook.

The miracle is--and it must mightily frustrate the aforementioned--that we're not all on our knees out in the pasture, praying for the Nov 08 cargo cult to fly in and rescue us.

John Kindley said...

Pogo said: "And any tax burden greater than 30% or so of national income inevitably results in economic decline, no matter how tasty the free ice cream is."

Man, Pogo, I thought you were a libertarian. Churches only ask for 10%, and the government does less good and more harm than religion.

SGT Ted said...

This, from a gal who thought Hillary running would be so wonderful for women! But Hillary! as gift-giver to some - from the money of others - really stuck in her craw. Or, maybe because the ad showed her basking in the glow of how much she thought she was a wonderful, generous person for doing so.

Well, leftists have always confused "theft by Government fiat" with "compassion" and "compulsery taxation" with "giving". Witness BJ Clinton calling taxes "contributions". Isn't that what the Mafia calls their protection racket payments?

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm with PatCA, the Universal Pre-K sent a chill up my spine.

Same here. Like we want a bunch of socialist government workers raising our kids.

If politicos would stop squandering our money, more parents could afford to stay home with their own kids anyway.

Freder Frederson said...

In spite of the refusal to curb spending, having more expenditures because of the Iraq War and not vetoing more spending bills, we have had a supurb growth in the economy in the last 6 years.

The growth of the last 6 years is the result of the fanciful real estate boom where we literally created wealth out of nothing. It makes some of the dot.coms look absolutely rational. Now the birds are coming home to roost on that as that pyramid scheme collapses.

You seem to have an odd definition of productivity. Merely buying and selling stocks, bonds and derivatives doesn't produce anything in and of itself. To imply people who actually work for a living are the "demanding" class and those who do nothing but manipulate money (and often are nothing more than professional gamblers) are somehow more productive and deserve to pay a lower tax rate is just plain insulting.

Cedarford said...

John Kindley said... Pogo said: "And any tax burden greater than 30% or so of national income inevitably results in economic decline, no matter how tasty the free ice cream is."

Man, Pogo, I thought you were a libertarian. Churches only ask for 10%, and the government does less good and more harm than religion.

Pogo was just looking at economic realities. Not just in Europe, but in Asia. Booming economies happen with taxes at 30-40%. When it gets to 50% or more, they bog down.

The problem the US has is a shrinking middle class, exploding bankruptcies, mortgage defaults, and a tremendous acceleration of the concentration of the wealth of the nation in the hands of the few.

Add that those without health insurance (1/6th of working Americans) are growing rapidly, are twice as likely to die in a 10 year stretch than someone with insurance - and the need for vast new investment on 4--year neglected infrastructure, energy independence, we have ample reason to have gov't do what private industry failed at or lacked the profit motive to do in the 1st place.
That means MORE taxes. Especially on the top 1%.
That also serves a social good if massive income inequalities and wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a few are distributed more broadly to make for a healthier, more vigorous democracy.

SGT Ted said...

This is a debateable statement.

Yes, it has only worked everytime it has been tried. The real problem is SPENDING.

mcg said...

Here's a nice hack of this commercial.

mcg said...

Forgot the hat tip.

dadvocate said...

Besides the commercial being worse than weak, your credit analogy is perfect except that if you're a wage earner they're using your credit card and somebody else is getting the presents.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vnjagvet said...

Freder said:

The growth of the last 6 years is the result of the fanciful real estate boom where we literally created wealth out of nothing. It makes some of the dot.coms look absolutely rational. Now the birds are coming home to roost on that as that pyramid scheme collapses.

C'mon, Freder, where does this one come from? Sounds like some of that curmudgeon Krugman's stuff.

I hope there are some economists watching that can shed light on this contention. I am not one of them, but it seems to me that productivity would not be keeping up as well as it has, and inflation would have set in by now were Freder correct in his analysis.

Roger said...

Would someone be so kind as to tell me exactly what income range encompasses the middle class before the tax man comes? That is invariable left undefined.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You seem to have an odd definition of productivity.

oops.... cut my response.

You have a skewed idea of the definition of productivity and what is wealth. Here is a clue...wealth is not income. Wealth is what you DO with the income if you are allowed to keep some of it.

Mom and Pop who have bought or inherited Chevron stock in 1971 at $51 with a split adjusted basis of $3.81 today are not going to sell at 92.40 and pay 25% cap gains in addition to their other taxes. Instead the asset sits unproductive on their balance sheet.

Today, however, they sell the stock and buy a new car, build a room on their house or take a vacation. Thereby creating jobs for the car dealer, the people who make the car, the timber faller who cuts the wood, the lumber mill that makes the 2x4s and the waiter who works at the resort. Productivity!!! Money gets moved around. People buy things creating more jobs.

As to the people who refinanced their houses up to the inflated values...too bad...sorry....bad decision. The speculators, I have no sympathy for and they should lose their investments because they were the prime cause of the housing bubble. Even so, the refinancers and speculators created jobs and goods were moved. Now that the "bubble" has deflated, sure some of those jobs will be lessened or eliminated. This is what corrections are all about. Economics 101. Not a hard concept.

We can't save everyone from their own bad decisions. However, the Dems, like Hillary's little presents, seem to think that we can. Just throw money, tax payer's money, at the problem and ta dah fixed. Oh.... not fixed...raise taxes...spend more money.

Sheesh.. Sometimes it's like arguing with a child trying to explain the simplest things. No wonder the media can take a good economic story and turn it into gloom and doom. People like Freder are either totally ignorant of the most basic economic principles or are so partisan that they WANT to believe the bad because it makes them feel better about themselves.

jeff said...

"Would someone be so kind as to tell me exactly what income range encompasses the middle class before the tax man comes?"

Sure. The middle class ends right at someone who makes $1 more than me. Indexed for any raises I might get, of course.

Roger said...

Freder: how would you explain the nearly 5% increase in last quarterly GDP in light of the housing slow down? (Hint: weak American dollar is making American products cheaper overseas and manufacturers are tooling up to cash in) The economy is much more complex than a sound bite can accommodate.

ricpic said...

Why do I have the feeling that Hillary is pulling all of those goodies out of her ass?

jeff said...

And if Hillary wins the election, the same people complaining about the economy will raise the roofs proclaiming the economy as the best economy ever. Probably before she even gets sworn in.

I think this is a great commercial and it really shows what you are voting for or against in the next election.

Mitch T said...

Wow, a middle-class tax break! I've been waiting for that since her husband promised me one in 1992.

John Kindley said...

"That means MORE taxes. Especially on the top 1%.
That also serves a social good if massive income inequalities and wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a few are distributed more broadly to make for a healthier, more vigorous democracy."

Okay, but what this country needs is taxation based on justice and principles rather than a mere policy preference for more equality. That means no income taxes for anybody. The right principles will naturally lead to more equality. Expand inheritance and estate taxes. That's a just (not to mention economically efficient) tax. (Gift taxes are more dubious, but a hell of a lot more principled than income or consumption taxes, since whether a person pays the tax or not is totally dependent upon whether that person feels he can afford to give away money and freely chooses to do so.) And most importantly enact the Georgist "Single Tax" on the unimproved value of land, which is economically efficient, just, and naturally progressive.

hdhouse said...

I just love all the Yule Tide cheer about "tax and spend" and "Who's money is she using .. ".

Well, let's just think about bombs v. universal pre-k. Now a lot of you just love bombs..they are exciting and they are loud (you also might like a bass drum and cymbals but I digress) and after it goes off you have absolutely NOTHING to show for it. It is gone. Not only is it physically gone but it can't be reused or anything.

Universal Pre-K gives all kids a good chance or a lot of them a better chance and some of them an only chance. It isn't waste because you are helping a kid to better prepare for school and education is the key, the silver bullet so to speak.

let's see...bombs=waste, pre-k=good..hmmm good v. waste....i've thought it over..its a great present.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, it has only worked everytime it has been tried. The real problem is SPENDING.

Sgt, my complaint was the qualifier only in DBQ's original statement. But I agree that the outrageous spending rammed down the public's throat by Republicans for the first 6 years of Bush's reign is the real problem.

Balfegor said...

Would someone be so kind as to tell me exactly what income range encompasses the middle class before the tax man comes? That is invariable left undefined.

I think it depends on age and region. For example, a young unmarried man of 23 earning $100,000 per annum is not middle class -- he is upper middle class. But a 50 year old married man earning $100,000 could easily be middle class. At least as I see it. Similarly, a man earning $200,000 in Kansas City is probably not really middle class, considering the low cost of living. He is probably functionally upper middle class. But a man earning $200,000 in New York City seems middle class to me, in terms of the kind of lifestyle he can afford. To be sure, he still has vast multitudes of poor people below him, but those are just the crushing inequalities of New York. Lastly, entirely apart from income, there's a question of how much wealth and how much debt you have. After all, if two people earn the same amount, but one person is spending it all paying off student debt and the other isn't, are they really in the same situation? And if a man earns $60,000 a year, but that's just skimmed off the appreciation of his investments or interest on his accounts, that's rather different from a man earning $60,000 a year by the sweat of his brow, as it were. Not all of this can get factored into tax assessments, but I think they play into how we conceive of what is middle class and not middle class (and, accordingly, whom we sympathise with).

So to sum up -- I think it's left undefined, usually, because it's hard to delineate a specific range. We know where some limits are -- if you're making $600,000 a year, for example, you're not middle class anymore. But the boundaries are porous.

jeff said...

"Expand inheritance and estate taxes. That's a just (not to mention economically efficient) tax. (Gift taxes are more dubious, but a hell of a lot more principled than income or consumption taxes, since whether a person pays the tax or not is totally dependent upon whether that person feels he can afford to give away money and freely chooses to do so.)"

How do you figure? It's money that has already been taxed.

mtrobertsattorney said...

"Can't we just find her an island to rule with some tiny subjects she can move around?"

I nominate Rat Island in the Aleutians. Both she and the present inhabitants deserve deserve each other.

MadisonMan said...

It's money that has already been taxed.

Maybe not. Back in the early 70s, my mom inherited 100 shares, I think, of Mobil stock. She still has it, except it's split numerous times, and now it's ExxonMobil. The dividends have been taxed. The actual worth of the stock? I don't think that's been taxed.

jeff said...

"Universal Pre-K gives all kids a good chance or a lot of them a better chance and some of them an only chance. It isn't waste because you are helping a kid to better prepare for school and education is the key, the silver bullet so to speak."

Does it? What is the documentation it works? What studies have been done? How do say 10th graders compare to each other with one group havng preK and the other not? How do parents feel about sending their kids off at such an early age ? Will these schools be better run that the current K-12th?


"Well, let's just think about bombs v. universal pre-k. Now a lot of you just love bombs..they are exciting and they are loud (you also might like a bass drum and cymbals but I digress) and after it goes off you have absolutely NOTHING to show for it. It is gone. Not only is it physically gone but it can't be reused or anything."

My uncle, who fought in WWII would take great issue with that statement. Many good things came out of bombs. I would expect many people who have fought in Iraq would have similar opinions. Didn't we have this debate during the cold war? How did your sides slogan go...Better Red than Dead?

jeff said...

"Maybe not. Back in the early 70s, my mom inherited 100 shares, I think, of Mobil stock. She still has it, except it's split numerous times, and now it's ExxonMobil. The dividends have been taxed. The actual worth of the stock? I don't think that's been taxed."

It's also not money. Should she hold on to them and you inherent them, they still wont get taxed until you sell them, at which point you will pay the tax she would have.

John Kindley said...

"It's money that has already been taxed."

Not if you eliminate the income tax.

Note that by infusing some justice and principles into the determinations of what can be taxed, rather than letting Congress make up whatever percentage of your life and labor they're going to take from you this year, you automatically limit what government can spend. Maybe then they'd think twice about splurging on bombs and locking people up for non-violent drug offenses.

jeff said...

"at which point you will pay the tax she would have."

Or not. Someone who understands tax law can correct me. I think you would then end up paying the capitol gains tax based on what the original cost was vs what you sold them for.

Balfegor said...

Many good things came out of bombs.

Yes -- my grandparents are no longer the subjects of the God Emperor of Japan!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Or not. Someone who understands tax law can correct me. I think you would then end up paying the capitol gains tax based on what the original cost was vs what you sold them for.

Yes. If you bought stock in the XYZ company for $10.00 and hold it for longer than a year it is long term cap gains on the gain over your orginal cost basis when you sell it. If the XYZ company went to $200 a share (with no splits) then you have a gain of $190 per share to pay taxes on. The income/dividends have been taxed as they were paid. Until recently the tax was 25% and many people refused to sell....at 5 or 15% it is more attractive to take the gain and use it somewhere else.

If you hold onto the stock until you die (under current estate laws) the heirs get a step up in basis to the $200 per share cost and then IF they decide to sell they pay cap gains on the basis price of $200 or cap loses on that basis if the stock goes down.

Same principle applies for Real Estate in regards to capital gains except there may also be recapture of depreciation taken over the years. Confused yet?

In the case of my CVX example the stock split several times so the cost basis of the stock is lowered by the percentage of the split. EX. $10.00 stock does a 2/1 split. You have two shares worth $5.00.

Jimpithecus said...

Universal pre-K???? The quality of public school education is the reason we homeschool our kids in the first place. Universal pre-K is just more of the same, only worse!!

SGT Ted said...

Universal Pre-K gives all kids a good chance or a lot of them a better chance and some of them an only chance.

No it doesn't, unless the Pre-k kid comes fromqa crackhouse. But, then it wouldn't need to be universal.

Children who are raised primarily by a (non-crackhead)parent for the 1st 5 years of their life do the best. Preschool chldren tend to have less developement in social skills.

One of the studies, by Stanford University and University of California researchers, is to be presented Friday at a conference in Washington, D.C.

The researchers collected data on more than 14,000 children nationwide, conducted interviews with mothers and teachers, visited classrooms and assessed student achievement.

The other study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, was published in the fall edition of American Educational Research Journal.


That study was based on 770 children and consists of observations at home and day care, reports from mothers and teachers and standardized test results.
According to the Stanford and UC study, children who spend more than six hours a day in center-based care outside the home showed poor social skills. It is especially pronounced among middle and upper-income children.

Researchers noted social detriments such as "diminished levels of cooperation, sharing, motivated engagement in classroom tasks and greater aggression."

"A lot of preschool staff are underpaid and overworked. After six hours, the quality of activity may get sort of petered out," said Bruce Fuller, a Berkeley sociologist who co-wrote the report and who questions whether the state can launch a large-scale, high-quality preschool program.



Besides, here in California our schools are in the crapper. Giving them our children even earlier is a bad idea.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey, go easy on hdhouse, people--he's just channeling Patty "Osama the Daycare Provider" Murray.

SGT Ted said...

Universal Pre-K is a jobs program for the Teachers Unions.

ricpic said...

I for one don't want to suck on Hillary's tit. In fact, if she ever pulled that thing out in my presence I'd run screaming into the night.

John Burgess said...

The difference between Pre-K and bombing the kids?

Bombing kills them quickly.

Pre-K kills them slowly by rotting their brains, sapping their souls, and making their parents even more poor through increased taxation.

Fred Drinkwater said...

I just reread P.J. O'Rourke's "Parliament of Whores". Right there at the end of Ch. 1 (IIRC) he explains the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Not to spoil it for anyone, but... the Demos are Santa Claus.

AJ Lynch said...

The ad also proves the Clinton campaign is tone-deaf to voter sentiment. Voters have proven they are fed up with pork (like that "fed up with pork"?) and the pork-laden bills that Congress is always trying to get passed.

This tone-deafness proves the Clintons ain't very brilliant anymore.

Buddy Larsen said...

The subprime bust indeed sucks but the alternative to bubbles is to try (emphasis on "try") to regulate them out of the economy.

Taxation, regulation, and litigation, the three pillars of the Democratic party, will if given free rein for sure solve ALL the problems created by dynamic growth.

Dynamic growth helps almost everyone almost all the time (and whoever misses out today gets another chance tomorrow), but to the socialist sensibility the whole shebang is just too messy and since the accumulation of private property creates too many people too free of the state, they'd tax, regulate, and litigate away as much of it (the private property) as they could, whether they had any need for the money or not.

But there'll always be a need--even if as often happens the beneficiary of the solution would have been far better off left with the problem, and his own head and hands to solve it with.

Buddy Larsen said...

...of course, he might not be able to solve it if the economy is stagnant--so, we're back to jump street on who and who doesn't really want an upwardly-mobile society. Those darn elections keep the socialists from straying too far from the growth ideal--but--

Theo Boehm said...

I left commenting here not long ago mainly because of the insane trolls.  The insane trolls are mostly gone, and I'm back, at least until the next Maxine/Lucky virtual pair show up again.  I never minded Maxine, but little did I realize what was really going on.  The comments have taken a dramatic turn for the better, so I just can't stay away.

Anyway, while I was away, I made this campaign poster for Hillary.  I think she should cultivate the Protectoress image, something like Freyja evoked in that poster.  More calm, Olympian, thoughtful gestures would go a long way toward allaying people's fears.  Do you think she should or could pull this off?  My wife thought it completely missed the mark, and it in no way could represent Hillary.

*    *    *    *    *

As it is, she seems in that disturbing video like the crazy aunt you had as a kid and never liked.  You know the one who was a real estate agent who had that phoney laugh, and always acted like she was selling you a condo.  She gave you expensive presents you didn't like or need, and they were always wrapped in gold foil paper to remind you how much she spent.

God, these family Christmas parties were awful!

What you really wanted to do was go shoot the breeze with Uncle Rudy, who had a million great stories.  He used to sit on the big leather chair in the den with a cigar and a highball, but mom wouldn't let you go in there because his bad habits were not a healthy influence.

These Christmas parties were really awful!

Zeb Quinn said...

Universal Pre-K is a jobs program for the Teachers Unions.

Exactly. A big wet sloppy kiss and valentine to the NEA, one of the Democrat party's most fervently loyal and biggest constituent groups.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for coming back, Theo. I'm glad you appreciate the work I (and my kind assistant) have put into troll-fighting.

Trooper York said...

Dust Bunny Queen, you could be a CPA. The capital gain tax will not be realized until you have a sale which is termed a "taxable event."
Of course you realize that for Hillary, breathing would be a taxable event.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"As it is, she seems in that disturbing video like the crazy aunt you had as a kid and never liked."

I'm thinking more like a cross between Beth Jarrett in Ordinary People and Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate but, of course, without the charm.

Henry said...

There are two bugs in "Universal Pre-K." First is the fact that the government already funds a Pre-K program called Head Start. It is occasionally expanded to cover more households, but is still targeted toward the poor.

"Universal" means that working single people get to fund the Pre-K schooling of upper-class married people with kids.

The second bug is that for most middle-class kids, Pre-K doesn't do much. It's hard to track down the scientific studies on this subject, because most studies focus on the high-risk kids. For good reason. Kids in poverty do benefit from pre-K programs.

But no-risk kids don't. Remember, these are the kids to be covered by the "universal" program. Whatever edge such kids get on their peers disappears within a year or two of full-time schooling.

Expand Head Start? That might be doing something. Universal Pre-K? That's just another middle-class entitlement, another program where the people who vote decide to vote themselves money.

Beth said...

I never minded Maxine, but little did I realize what was really going on.

Huh? Wha'd I miss?

Palladian said...

Yeah, Beth, I was wondering the same thing.

rcocean said...

We need to form a board of inquiry.

Pogo said...

I never minded Maxine, but little did I realize what was really going on.
Sooooo ...was Maxine really Hillary?

Or maybe Bill?



"Little did I realize?
I've written papers on 'Little did I realize.'
I've taught classes on 'Little did I realize.'"

Professor Jules Hilbert
Stranger Than Fiction

vnjagvet said...

Henry:

I think of Universal Pre-K a bit differently than you do. I see an element of providing Pre-K so more children become socialized to government schools at an earlier age.

So long as it is optional, I have little problem with it. If it is compulsory, as is elementary and secondary education today, I would be suspicious its purpose is to control who goes to school with whom at a much earlier age.

Diversity is a wonderful thing, so long as it is not coerced.

Kirk Parker said...

Henry,

"Kids in poverty do benefit from pre-K programs."

Yes, but didn't some significant studies show that the effect was transient?



And I'm with Beth--did I miss some great High Noon of the Trolls?

Buddy Larsen said...

Obama's Christmas ad is just as warm, crisp, and lifting as Hillary's is creepy, manipulative, and depressing.

And I say that as someone who'd rather see Hillary in the general, all else equal--which all else isn't, as the campaign with Obama in it might just be a good one for the country, while the campaign with the Clinton syndicate in it is certain to be not.

Chip Ahoy said...

*claps gleefully*

Joseph said...

We all know what this really is: Hillary Clinton's attempt to channel a Martha Stewart vibe to counterbalance Obama's Oprah effect.

The only problem is that Hillary blows it when she tries to fake spontanaity near the end (Now where did i put universal pre-K? ... ... AH! THERE it is!).

Michael said...

Hey Palladian, got any tips on the stock market, or perhaps the lottery?

Your prescience is remarkable.

Oh, and here's some others I found while digging up Palladian's poster:

Mao, Lenin, Marx, Hillary
Hillary wants open borders
Hillary and Lenin

Stephen Snell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Snell said...

I'm by no means an Althouse insider, but I inferred in Maxine's comments--taken as a whole--an undercurrent of substantial malice.

Patm said...

The Clinton "surplus" was never a reality - it was a "projection" that was blown out of the water at 9/11.

And the GAO said there was a 30 % difference (to the negative) between what the Clinton's said and what was real. Please. I voted for Clinton the first time and even I have come to realize that he was an 8 year illusion.

Chip Ahoy said...

A poster of Hillary must capture her unique sense of misanthropic altruism. Or is it altruistic misanthropy?

Theo Boehm said...

Submitted for your approval:  A comfortable West Los Angeles housewife with time on her hands.  Someone with dubious mental abilities and a colorful past living in a scruffy corner of Southern California.  Thanksgiving is over.  The Christmas rush has begun.  A time for family and festivities.  Yet these two sad and lonely people seem to have vanished together.

What connected them, the comfortable housewife and one of life's losers?  Could it be the ellipses they used?  The short, pithy and often cockeyed non sequiturs?  The repeated comments carefully timed to disrupt the conversation?

One insisted there was nothing at all to psychiatry and therapy, the other seemed to be a low-I.Q. adult with non-verbal learning disability.  Some thought it was a brilliant act.  Was it?  Does reading the transcripts give you the feeling of a keen and contemptuous intellect lurking behind the mask?  How did the actor know to play this so well?  Was the Los Angeles housewife's insistence on debunking psychological therapy an ironic inversion by someone well versed in the field?

What did these two have in common?  Was it training in psychology or psychiatry? Was it an IP address?

These are some of the questions.

There may or there may not be answers in the Trollight Zone.

Gavin said...

At least we know she won't be givin anyone cigars this Christmas. That's Bill's job.

jfm said...

This ad raises a few questions:

Are we, the American people who are receiving these gifts, supposed to be adults or children?

What happens if we don't like the gifts?

Can we return them?

Will Miss Hillary get mad if she finds out we returned them?

hdhouse said...

Some posters on this board are the best advertisements for mandatory pre-k programs I can imagine.

She didn't say her pre-k program was compulsory. Head Start really does work. It isn't a bon-bon to the teachers unions...and is it any wonder why the GOP, with their anti-education drivel, doesn't get their vote? Do liberals accuse the republic(an)s of making perpetual jobs for the bomb maker workers - in case you fail to miss it we spend more money on bombs than on Head Start.

I guess the real question here is why does the GOP hate kids?

Pogo said...

why does the GOP hate kids?

Do you still beat your wife, hdhouse?

TMink said...

Hey HDH, I hope you are well. I must disagree with your position that universal need not mean compulsory. From dictionary.com I got these definitions, they are the first definitions, and I did not edit them.

1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience.
2. applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure.
3. affecting, concerning, or involving all: universal military service.
4. used or understood by all: a universal language.
5. present everywhere: the universal calm of southern seas.


While Senator Clinton may not have intended to imply that universal pre-k would be compulsive, I think that she did indeed make that implication.

And I think it is within her political philosophy of health care and other tax payer funded programs to assume that she does indeed intend both health care and pre-k to be compulsory.

Trey

Henry said...

Kirk -- I don't know all the research, but what I have tracked down seems to say this:

At risk kids (those from impoverished, messed-up homes) really benefit from Head Start.

For all other kids, the benefits of Pre-K education are transient.

So HDH, my question for you is this -- why does pre-K need to be universal? Why should middle- and upper-class kids be eligible for a government program that doesn't help them in any way?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

in case you fail to miss it we spend more money on bombs than on Head Start.

There is no point in spending money on Head Start if our children are in danger of being blown up by terrorists. First things first you know. :-)

Head Start IS a good program because it is voluntary and relies heavily on the participation of the parents. When my daughter went to Head Start, I did too. When parents participate they can see what is going on and if they don't like the direction the program is going, they can stop going.

Mandatory pre-school is just another way for the government to further indoctrinate our children and remove them from the influence of the parents. In some cases, this may be a good thing. But in most cases it is just further intrusion of the Big Nanny/Big Brother government into our lives. Not to mention that any Government program is cost inefficient and never ever comes in under budget. More taxes for the unwanted presents under the tree!!

Freder Frederson said...

Mom and Pop who have bought or inherited Chevron stock in 1971 at $51 with a split adjusted basis of $3.81 today are not going to sell at 92.40 and pay 25% cap gains in addition to their other taxes. Instead the asset sits unproductive on their balance sheet.

And why should Mom and Pop expect to pay less tax on income that they have not earned (that they just inherited) than they earn from working at their regular job. In your world (and unfortunately the world we all live in), a highly skilled craftsman, surgeon, or inventor, someone who actually produces a product and earns (and spends) his income from a paycheck pays a higher percentage of his income in taxes. $150,000 earned from making precision machine tools spends exactly the same as $150,000earned from the proceeds of a hedge fund that is manipulating mortgage rates. The former is much better for the economy yet the latter is subjuect to a much lower tax rate.

The reason people don't sell their stocks when capital gains rates are 25% is because they are always being promised lower rates. If they knew they would always be taxed the same as ordinary income, they wouldn't hold onto them, waiting for the next Republican administration.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And why should Mom and Pop expect to pay less tax on income that they have not earned (that they just inherited) than they earn from working at their regular job.

First of all the gain on an appreciated asset isn't income.

Second, why should the government get a bite of the gain at all? A gain that may have been just happenstance or was engineered by the hard work of the owner?

I know why you think so. It is to punish the hard work and success of the busines owner, the asset owner and take their gains to distribute to those who are not as hard working or who are a drain on society.


In your world (and unfortunately the world we all live in), a highly skilled craftsman, surgeon, or inventor, someone who actually produces a product and earns (and spends) his income from a paycheck pays a higher percentage of his income in taxes.

I produce a product. I produce wealth for my clients by appreciating their portfolios and reducing their estate and income taxes.

And I agree with you. Why should the person who makes more income from their job be taxed more than the gains from appreciated assets. I also take it that you agree with me that the person who makes $150,000 shouldn't be taxed more (percentage wise) than the person who makes $35,000?. Why should the hard work of the 150,000 earner be taxed at 33% while the earner at $35,000 is taxed at a much lower rate or not taxed at all.

Same thing.....isn't it? If you say no, then it is apparant that it is really all about punishing the successful, redistibution of income and class warfare.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And why should Mom and Pop expect to pay less tax on income that they have not earned (that they just inherited) than they earn from working at their regular job.

First of all the gain on an appreciated asset isn't income.

Second, why should the government get a bite of the gain at all? A gain that may have been just happenstance or was engineered by the hard work of the owner?

I know why you think so. It is to punish the hard work and success of the busines owner, the asset owner and take their gains to distribute to those who are not as hard working or who are a drain on society.


In your world (and unfortunately the world we all live in), a highly skilled craftsman, surgeon, or inventor, someone who actually produces a product and earns (and spends) his income from a paycheck pays a higher percentage of his income in taxes.

I produce a product. I produce wealth for my clients by appreciating their portfolios and reducing their estate and income taxes.

And I agree with you. Why should the person who makes more income from their job be taxed more than the gains from appreciated assets. I also take it that you agree with me that the person who makes $150,000 shouldn't be taxed more (percentage wise) than the person who makes $35,000?. Why should the hard work of the 150,000 earner be taxed at 33% while the earner at $35,000 is taxed at a much lower rate or not taxed at all.

Same thing.....isn't it? If you say no, then it is apparant that it is really all about punishing the successful, redistibution of income and class warfare.

Buddy Larsen said...

I agree w/ DBQ --efficient allocation of investment capital is a vital function --it's how markets are served, and jobs are created. Yes, financial people sit in offices and don't get their hands dirty. So let's shoot them.

MadisonMan said...

I produce wealth for my clients by appreciating their portfolios

That's a mighty fine portfolio you have!

Freder Frederson said...

Why should the person who makes more income from their job be taxed more than the gains from appreciated assets. I also take it that you agree with me that the person who makes $150,000 shouldn't be taxed more (percentage wise) than the person who makes $35,000?.

Well, the way our tax system is set up, people who make $150,000 and $35,000 are taxed the same. That is, they each pay the same rate on their first $35,000 of income.

That is how a progressive income tax system works (of course you should already know that). It is not unreasonable that someone who makes much more should have to pay a higher percentage on their income above a certain level. I can make all kinds of arguments why this should be so from the simple fact that higher income people are less likely to be burdened by regressive taxes (e.g. sales, Social Security), that as income rises each dollar is worth less to the individual, to the argument that those who derive the greatest benefit from the society should contribute the most to it.

Regardless, the effective tax rate for upper income people, when all taxes are included, is probably not significantly different than that paid by middle income people.

Freder Frederson said...

I know why you think so. It is to punish the hard work and success of the busines owner, the asset owner and take their gains to distribute to those who are not as hard working or who are a drain on society.

Well no, I want it to balance the budget, stop borrowing money from China, build roads, repair our crumbling infrastructure, research alternative fuels, invest in basic research, improve the environment, restore our coastal wetlands and do all kinds of other things that private industry is incapable or unwilling to do.

I don't want to punish anyone for hard work or success, any more than I consider myself punished because I have taxes taken out of my paycheck.

Buddy Larsen said...

''That's a mighty fine portfolio you have!''

"Thanks, glad you appreciated it!"

Trooper York said...

Bluto: Okay, Shorty, from nows on the world is gonna be double taxed. Triple taxed. Quadruple taxed. Over taxed. Exercised taxed. And, thumb taxed.
(Popeye, 1980)

Buddy Larsen said...

How do we stop borrowing money from China? Deny the Chinese access to our open treasury auctions?

That's capital control, it kills trade, and starts wars.

Better to just have fewer treasury auctions. Three ways to accomplish that--raise taxes (may or may not raise treasury receipts--depends on the amount of damage to the economy), or cut spending (needs doing at any rate), or push the Laffer curve out a tad and cut some of the economic drag--like for instance the corporate tax, which is just passed on to consumers anyway and is thus in the aggregate regressive.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Projected surplus. Not an actual surplus. The projections were based on the economic conditions of the previous year 1999 continuing for the next year.

Exactly. Not to mention that the Clinton admin played alot of games with the numbers to get that projected surplus.

MadisonMan said...

Fen, you are too restrictive in your statement. Every administration plays fast and loose with economic projection numbers and their effect on the budget.

Roger said...

Late to this party, but HD proclaims head start really works--In fact, after 40 years, there is no consensus about its effectiveness--For every Ypsilanti study showing it works, there is a study showing it doesnt. I don't expect HD to know the literature, and he clearly doesnt. There is NO consensus that head start produces any but a possibly transitory effect that disappears later.

houston_queer said...

"She didn’t say her pre-k program was compulsory."

Excuse me hdhouse, but Hillary has long been a critic of school choice.

"Some posters on this board are the best advertisements for mandatory pre-k programs I can imagine."

Ah, yeah, maybe a Freudian slip, hdhouse?

"Do liberals accuse the republicans of making perpetual jobs for the bomb maker workers…"
No, liberals accuse Republicans of starting wars for profit.

Why do democrats hate school choice? Why do they insist on indoctrinating other peoples children. Is it that, because of their lifestyles and beliefs their fertility rate is lower (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/17/INGEJL45D11.DTL), and they need to propagate their collectivist beliefs through other peoples children? It’s shameless, and they need to keep their hands off the youngsters.

Fen said...

Fen, you are too restrictive in your statement. Every administration plays fast and loose with economic projection numbers and their effect on the budget.

Fair enough, my statement should have been more general. Point remains though - the math behind Clinton's projected surplus is suspect and not useful for this discussion.

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