February 14, 2008

Obama's message is just too depressing.

Argues Daniel Henninger:
Unhinge yourself from the mesmerizing voice. What one hears is a message that is largely negative, illustrated with anecdotes of unremitting bleakness. Heavy with class warfare, it is a speech that could have been delivered by a Democrat in 1968, or even 1928.

[OMITTED: Henninger's edit of Obama's Madison speech.]

Unease about the economy is real, but Sen. Obama is selling more than that. He is selling deep grievance over the structure of American society....

Whatever else, Barack Obama isn't talking sunshine in America. He's talking fast and furious. People not yet baptized into Obamamania may start to look past the dazzling theatrics to see a vision of the United States that is quite grim and could wear thin in the general election.
So you think people are going to wake up and realize that they're sick of Obama's negativity? I think Henninger means to say that people will eventually perceive left-wing ideology in the rhetoric and, since most of us are not lefties, we'll say we don't want what he's selling. But will we? Or do we buy the mood and the style and wait until after the election to object to the actual policies?

115 comments:

rcocean said...

According to the WSJ if you side with the working/middle class against the rich, that's "Class warfare". If you side with the rich, well thats just "good economics".

And any businessman who supports illegal and legal immigration is a noble internationalist who loves "diversity". OTOH, any working man who dislikes his wages being lowered due to due an increased supply of labor is a nativist, racist bigot. At least that's what the WSJ wants you to think.

ricpic said...

One thing you can be quite sure about is that people are blase about the horrors of socialism until those horrors are imposed. Therefore the answer is no: what he is actually saying will be heard but won't register. When he imposes his egalitarian vision on us the alarm will go off -- too late.

Middle Class Guy said...

Most of us are or have recently turned into centrists or moderates. From people I talk to, there is a good deal of anger at both parties. On the other hand, Obama is the only candidate who represents some change from business as usual. The Republicans self destructed with too many egos this time around. The Democrats only have Hillary and Obama who really mattered. Clinton refuses to document her thirty five years of experience and Obama has very little. Clinton is a walking ethical hazard. Obama has a message that resonates. It is fresh, it is new, and it offers something lacking in politics; hope.

It is all meaningless. Whoever gets into office cannot keep any promises. Real life and real politics sets in. This is something the people forget. They go for the steak, but wind up with the sizzle.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, and McCain's message is all sunshine and happiness.

AJ Lynch said...

It is fair to say Obama and especially Edwards have a similar message....

Edwards said "I made it even though you may have heard my father was just a mill-worker but you can't make it unless you vote for me".

Obama says "I made it even though the system is corrupt and incredibly unfair but you can't make it unless you vote for me".

Sheepman said...

Or do we buy the mood and the style and wait until after the election to object to the actual policies?
I think that's it. There something about Obama that makes many people want to suspend their critical facilities. I saw an interview on CNN yesterday with Eisenhower's grand daughter, a lifelong active Republican who is supporting Obama. When asked about the policy difference she has with him, she essentially said she didn't care, she just feels that he should be president.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken take Obama's message being addressed to people of disability, a laundry list of what he's going to give them ; and not much is addressed to people of ability, from whom it will be taken.

I mention them as a source of sometimes bemused real time commentary 6-10pm EST.

Mostly all outrage all the time, which gets better ratings, however. One must pick and choose.

rhhardin said...

If you side with the rich, well thats just "good economics".

If everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see better.

Economics is the study of such fallacies. Common sense is mostly wrong, once you talk about the whole nation and cause and effect.

If that's also interesting to you, that things could work backwards from what you'd expect, then look into economics.

Der Hahn said...

If everybody stands on their toes, everybody can see better.

It would be more accurate to say that those who lean left believe that everyone would see better if we were all on our *knees*.

Especially since they also tend to believe that they will still be standing.

I think this explains a lot of Obamappeal.

lanolin r fruitbat said...


It is all meaningless. Whoever gets into office cannot keep any promises. Real life and real politics sets in. This is something the people forget. They go for the steak, but wind up with the sizzle.


Wow. That's some trenchant analysis and good writing. What next -- "You know, puppies are really cute"?

Crimso said...

"According to the WSJ if you side with the working/middle class against the rich, that's "Class warfare". If you side with the rich, well thats just "good economics"."

Why take sides at all? Taking either side is class warfare. I refuse to be jealous of someone who has more than I do, just as I refuse to shed Edwardsesque crocodile tears for the poor downtrodden middle class. There are far more important things to worry about.

Bob said...

Obamabotomy.

lanolin r fruitbat said...

Crimso said...

"According to the WSJ if you side with the working/middle class against the rich, that's "Class warfare". If you side with the rich, well thats just "good economics"."

Why take sides at all? Taking either side is class warfare.


The rich are waging war regardless if you take sides or not.

John Lennon was right. "You think you're so clever and classless and free..."

Hoosier Daddy said...

So you think people are going to wake up and realize that they're sick of Obama's negativity?

Well at this point I think people are already thinking negatively and don’t really hear that in Obama’s speechifying. Right now they hear hope and change. The expected excuse of “Bush really screwed things up” will work for about the first year of his administration and then start wearing thin. Of course Bush screwed things up, that’s why you got elected to fix it. That’s when people will be sick of the negativity. Right now he’s just affirming what people are actually feeling and its working pretty darn well for him too.

P. Rich said...

Obama is the most "liberal" (read socialist) senator in Congress. His message is not new, it is just wrapped in Obama paper. Inside are all the old Leftist views, the ones that have failed in every application since the invention of hair.

Only people who are able to function indefinitely on feelings to the exclusion of critical thought will continue to see him as anything other than an appealing actor. Hillary! is attempting to do exactly the same thing; but the packaging is dirty and worn, and the her stage act is further from the underlying reality.

Paul Snively said...

"The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore says Obama’s tax plan would add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax. In other words, Sen. Obama is a very-high-tax candidate." — Larry Kudlow

Assuming that this analysis is correct, who in their right minds would actually vote for Obama?

fstopfitzgerald said...

Paul Snively said...

"The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore says Obama’s tax plan would add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax. In other words, Sen. Obama is a very-high-tax candidate." — Larry Kudlow

Assuming that this analysis is correct, who in their right minds would actually vote for Obama?


Reality check:

Everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie, including the punctuation.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The rich are waging war regardless if you take sides or not.

John Lennon was right.

John Lennon was rich.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Assuming that this analysis is correct, who in their right minds would actually vote for Obama?

That's easy. People who don't actually have to pay those taxes but the ones who will be the beneficiaries of them.

AllenS said...

Say what you want about Obama and his lack of whatever. I've been noticing something about Hillary!? that is telling and very annoying: Almost everytime she's asked a question, her response is usually "You know..." and then she changes the subject. It really makes Obama seem light years ahead of her in the substance department.

Trevor Jackson said...

"Obama is the most "liberal" (read socialist) senator in Congress."

If you're basing this statement on the recent "rating" done by National Journal, then you don't understand how election attacks work.

In 2004, John Kerry was "the most liberal senator." And in 2016, the Democratic frontrunner vying to succeed President Obama, if he or she is a senator, will be the most liberal senator in Congress.

former law student said...

Obama wouldn't be citing those examples if they didn't resonate with the voters. As a tool of capitalism, Daniel Henninger can't relate.

Some of you guys make me laugh. Did your parents tell you tales about the Socialist Bogeyman to get you to behave? How about the Wicked Witch of the Graduated Income Tax? Hint: What people enjoy in Europe is not Socialism.

the wolf said...

Right now Obama has it made simply because there's no one to debate him on his spend-errific plans. How's Hillary going to challenge him on being a tax-heavy candidate when she's effectively the same?

rcocean said...

The rich aren't "waging war" but they are ceaselessly pressuring congress for lower tax rates, tax loopholes, and trade and immigration policies that benefit them and lower labor costs. The whole point is to make MORE MONEY. And they don't care if these policies hurt the "little people", as long as it HELPS them.

So, if love Bill Gates and George Soros, and like a Federal government that caters to them, then buy into the WSJ "class warfare" propaganda. And of course, you can give yourself a big hug for "not being jealous"

Tim said...

"Or do we buy the mood and the style and wait until after the election to object to the actual policies?"

Not everyone is an idiot. There are eight months between now and election day. Some gullible voters taken with Obama's soaring rhetoric will realize the demagoguery and vote accordingly. Other clueless dolts welcome the demagoguery as their truth and hope for its manifestation in policy. Regardless, Obamamania will cool between now and election day.

"Hint: What people enjoy in Europe is not Socialism."

Some folks think Socialism isn't Socialism. Oh well. We'll always have the willfully ignorant.

lanolin r fruitbat said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

John Lennon was rich


True enough, but he also didn't forget where he came from, unlike a lot of the "screw you, I'm alright jack" types that post here.

Sloanasaurus said...

Reagan got people excited about his philosophy, not about himself. He talked about getting the government out of the way of people's lives and about how the government does a bad job at solving problems. The hope that Reagan inspired was hope in themselves. This made people feel better about themselves and about the country.

In contrast, Obama's positive message is about Obama himself. He demands that we should feel better about ourselves and our country because he Obama - a black man - can be president. However, Obama does not inspire hope in ourselves, he says instead that the government should be doing more to help some of us.

Sloanasaurus said...

According to the WSJ if you side with the working/middle class against the rich, that's "Class warfare". If you side with the rich, well thats just "good economics".

This is ridiculous. Cutting taxes for the rich does not mean "siding with the rich." It would only make sense from a socialist point of view, i.e. - if you assume that the government owns the labor and assets of its citizens. If the government owns us, then yes... cutting taxes favors the rich because the government is letting rich people keep more of the government's money than poor people.

Trevor Jackson said...

"Obama's positive message is about Obama himself. He demands that we should feel better about ourselves and our country because he Obama - a black man - can be president. However, Obama does not inspire hope in ourselves, he says instead that the government should be doing more to help some of us."

Sloan, now I'm convinced. You've never listened to a single one of his speeches.

Crimso said...

"True enough, but he also didn't forget where he came from, unlike a lot of the "screw you, I'm alright jack" types that post here."

Okay, super genius, where did I come from? And where am I now? Here's a hint: where Lennon (and Lenin, for that matter) started and where he ended up was a much, much, MUCH wider gulf than in my case. It apparently really bothers the Marxists that not everybody in the middle class is buying their garbage. All of that jealousy is eating you up. It used to do that to me WRT girlfriends. In high school.

Sloanasaurus said...

now I'm convinced. You've never listened to a single one of his speeches.

No I actually do listen to his speeches. To me they are words that mean something. To you they are just music.

Trevor Jackson said...

How can you possibly defend a statement like "Obama's message is about Obama" then?

Can you quote me something from one of his speeches where he talks about how awesome he is? He spends most of his time using words like "we" and "us." Does he talk about creating government solutions to problems that exist? Sure. Does he say that government will solve all problems? No. Instead he talks about responsibility and accountability.

Are you sure you've been paying attention?

Middle Class Guy said...

lanolin r fruitbat said...
The rich are waging war regardless if you take sides or not.

The rich are not waging war. They are doing what everyone else is trying to do- protect what they have. I do not know anyone who aspires to be poor. I also do not know anyone who would turn down wealth. We all strive to gain more and be economically secure; keeping more of what we earn.

fstopfitzgerald said...
Reality check:
Everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie, including the punctuation.


Aside from that being your opinion, can you prove this? Is there any documentation, verification, or facts you can provide to back up your personal opinion?


Oh, and that BS, Lennon did not forget where he came from; he was not living in Liverpool was he?

lanolin r fruitbat said...

Crimso said...

It apparently really bothers the Marxists that not everybody in the middle class is buying their garbage.


That's a horselaugh. Actually, The middle class has kind of figured out that the policies of the Bush administration and the conservatives generally have made them something of an endangered species, and they're pissed. That's why just about every poll shows that the Republicans are facing a rejection of historical proportions in November and beyond.

Enjoy the peasants coming after you with the pitchforks and torches, wingers. You've earned them.

rcocean said...

The WSJ is in favor of "tax cuts for the rich" 24/7.

There is a point at which tax rates can be TOO high and discourage the wealthy from investment. But the idea that average citizens should pay 22 percent of their income in taxes (both payroll and income) while a billionaire like Bill Gates should pay the same rate is INSANE.

The only way to justify this kind of policy is to do what the WSJ does, shout "class warfare". Of course when anyone dislikes open borders and cheap labor they shout "bigot and nativist', so at least they're consistent.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Middle Class Guy said...

The rich are not waging war. They are doing what everyone else is trying to do- protect what they have...Oh, and that BS, Lennon did not forget where he came from; he was not living in Liverpool was he?


For some reason, I think when Lennon wrote these lines --

And you think you're so clever and classless and free...

But you're all fucking peasants as far as I can see...


-- he was thinking of somebody just like you.

PatCA said...

The baby boomers will decide the election because they are the biggest bloc. This will change; this might be our last hurrah, of course, as time does its job. http://www.youthvote.org/voter/facts.cfm

But this is like the McGovern campaign years ago. Everyone who loved him thought everyone else felt the same. They didn't.

Crimso said...

"That's why just about every poll shows that the Republicans are facing a rejection of historical proportions in November and beyond."


More of that hope and change stuff, eh? Keep hoping.

"Enjoy the peasants coming after you with the pitchforks and torches, wingers. You've earned them."

How very Che of you. But if you moonbats really are stupid enough to come after me ('cause I'm rich, right?) with pitchforks and torches, well then we can hand out multiple Darwin awards. See, you're really no different from the lowlife thug who lives down the street and makes a "living" breaking into other people's houses and stealing their property. You figure you're owed something so you're going to take it. So bring your pitchforks and I'll bring my 12 ga. 5 shot autoloader and we'll just see how that turns out.

Paul Snively said...

"Everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie, including the punctuation."

Bad news, fstop: the analysis wasn't Kudrow's. Try actually reading the quote without the Pavlovian response to Kudrow's name being in it.

former law student said...

Cutting taxes for the rich does not mean "siding with the rich."

If the pre-W. tax rates were so onerous for the rich they would have voted with their feet and left the country. Instead they stayed, strongly indicating the price of being an American was worth it to them.

This is the first war in U.S. history where the rich are not asked to share the sacrifice. They are not paying with their lives; they are not even paying with their cash. Instead we are on track to run up a trillion-dollar deficit. America can't afford another borrow-and-spend Republican President whose profligacy is driving the dollar to historic lows, and consequently driving the price of oil to historic highs.

lanolin r fruitbat said...

Crimso said...

See, you're really no different from the lowlife thug who lives down the street and makes a "living" breaking into other people's houses and stealing their property.


I think that the Woody Guthrie line about people who steal more with a fountain pen than a gun is probably more apt here....

lanolin r fruitbat said...

Paul Snively said...

"Everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie, including the punctuation."

Bad news, fstop: the analysis wasn't Kudrow's. Try actually reading the quote without the Pavlovian response to Kudrow's name being in it.


Try actually reading what I said.

Clearly, when I said everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie, that was meant to include the stuff he quotes as well.

The point is that Larry Kudlow is a total liar.

Have I mentioned that he's also crazy and a serious substance abuser?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually, The middle class has kind of figured out that the policies of the Bush administration and the conservatives generally have made them something of an endangered species, and they're pissed.

Well thats kind of where you miss the boat. The reason the GOP is floundering is because they pretty much abandoned their core principles over the last eight years. Smaller government, fiscal conservatism, no massive spending. They pretty much disavowed all that. See you see Bush as a conservative but a lot of conservatives don't.

Enjoy the peasants coming after you with the pitchforks and torches, wingers. You've earned them.

Well remember all of us are gun toting wingers. So you bring your pitchfork sonny. Lets see how it stands up to my .12 gauge.

Hoosier Daddy said...

America can't afford another borrow-and-spend Republican President whose profligacy is driving the dollar to historic lows, and consequently driving the price of oil to historic highs.

So does this mean we can afford a tax and spend Democrat president? So rather than a trillion for Iraq it'll be a trillion for universal health care and day care and my taxes shooting up to the 40% mark to pay for it?

Seems like a lose lose to me.

Middle Class Guy said...

Never bring a pitchfork to a gunfight.

The government has stolen more with a pen than with the whole military. All those social welfare bills that helped no one. the war on poverty that kept the poor in poverty. And every other ridiculous financing of failure they created. They stole our tax dollars and wasted them.

Lowering taxes further only does one thing. Keeps the government from wasting more money of frivolous utopian schemes that only generate votes and nothing else.

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

So rather than a trillion for Iraq it'll be a trillion for universal health care and day care and my taxes shooting up to the 40% mark to pay for it?

But it won't be a mere substitution, but a delay with interest compounded. In four years we'll be forced to spend 5 trillion somewhere in the Middle East, because the Left deferred payment on the hard choices so they could go back to partying like it was pre 9-11. Another Clintonian break from history

And of course, we'll be the "bad guys" again for being responsible enough to confront reality. Seems to be a pattern that keeps repeating: Carter -> Reagan, Clinton -> Bush, Obama -> ?

Fen said...

The WSJ is in favor of "tax cuts for the rich" 24/7.

Can I get a definition of the "rich" real quick? What income bracket?

Fen said...

This is the first war in U.S. history where the rich are not asked to share the sacrifice.

No one is being asked to sacrifice. "The Marines are at war, America is at the Mall".

Without a news media, would you even know we are at war?

Middle Class Guy said...

Fen said...
Can I get a definition of the "rich" real quick? What income bracket?


Any income bracket that pays taxes. Like the middle class, who Clinton raised taxes on when he called them the rich.

MadisonMan said...

Lowering taxes further only does one thing. Keeps the government from wasting more money...

No. The government just borrows money that it doesn't get through taxes. At least that's the way the current Republican administration works.

Crimso said...

"This is the first war in U.S. history where the rich are not asked to share the sacrifice."

Really? Right off the top of my head (and admittedly with no research to back it up) I would argue the Mexican War might have been the first. But then that would depend upon the meaning of "share the sacrifice."

Sloanasaurus said...

This is the first war in U.S. history where the rich are not asked to share the sacrifice. They are not paying with their lives; they are not even paying with their cash. Instead we are on track to run up a trillion-dollar deficit. America can't afford another borrow-and-spend Republican President whose profligacy is driving the dollar to historic lows, and consequently driving the price of oil to historic highs.

This is a typical lie perpetrated by the emotionally driven Obama supporters. It's not a rational argument, its an argument rooted in a desire for equality at the expense of freedom.

The truth is that the "rich" now pay more of the total pot of income taxes than they did prior to Bush's tax cuts. Moreover, it will be rich people - the children who become rich - who will pay for the deficit because the defict is paid for by taxes and taxes are mostly paid by rich people.

Oil prices are high because demand has gone up and supply has gone down, not because the government is running a deficit.

Blah Blah Blah

Henry said...

"This is the first war in U.S. history where the rich are not asked to share the sacrifice."

In the U.S. Civil war, a rich draftee could hire a substitute.

Crimso said...

"who steal more with a fountain pen than a gun"

What about those who steal more with a pitchfork than a gun? In any case, taking something that is legally and unquestionably mine can be attempted by the Marxists just as well as the rich. In fact, how can you dispute that Marxists have as their goal the taking of private property? I'm quite certain there are rich people out there who are not in fact trying their damnedest to stick it to the poor. Are there any Marxists that don't want to take what I own?

Sloanasaurus said...

Really? Right off the top of my head (and admittedly with no research to back it up) I would argue the Mexican War might have been the first. But then that would depend upon the meaning of "share the sacrifice."

I guess along those lines the "rich" didn't sacrifice in the Civil War either since you could sell your draft spot.

Obama is rich. He hasn't served in the military either.

Crimso said...

"So rather than a trillion for Iraq it'll be a trillion for universal health care and day care and my taxes shooting up to the 40% mark to pay for it?"

And when that happens watch how fast I quit my job, go on welfare, and quit paying taxes at all. And as a professor at a state-owned school, believe me when I tell you that the decrease in standard of living will not be great.

Sloanasaurus said...

Are there any Marxists that don't want to take what I own?

Crimso, you don't get it! An Obamaite believes that the state already owns rich people's money. So Obama isn't actually taking it he is just letting people keep less of the government's money.

Chris said...

It does sound sort of paradoxical to say that Obama has a lot of negativity, since he's all hope-hope-hope. But I think it actually makes a lot of sense: his message is that we should be depressed about the way things are now, and that's why we need his hope. Whether that'll work depends on how depressed we really are now. In 1980, we were all sufficiently depressed that even Carter said we had a malaise; Reagan's hopefulness appealed perfectly to a depressed feeling about the status quo.

Crimso said...

Oil prices are high because demand has gone up and supply has gone down, not because the government is running a deficit.

Arguing economics with a Marxist is like arguing astrodynamics with a flat-earther.

Fen said...

and consequently driving the price of oil to historic highs.

That seems counter-intuitive.

I know the war isn't about "Blood for Oil", but the Left believes it [esp young Obama voters]. And, without missing a beat, they'll play their "Its The Economy, Stupid" bumper-sticker...

You guys do realize that oil is the lifeblood of a vibrant economy?
Seems like you want it both ways: a vibrant economy that feeds your selfish interests, while maintaining this false moral superiority - the resources needed to create that economy shouldn't be defended with the use of force.

Maybe I've got it wrong. Can some one please explain that disconnect?

Fen said...

Are there any Marxists that don't want to take what I own?

Even worse, they want to turn you into their indentured servant afterwards. I'm reminded of Muscovites burning their own furniture to survive the winter because all the lumber resources were diverted for the Politburo to build their dachas on the Black Sea.

rcocean said...

Quotes from that great "communist" and "nativist" Theodore Roosevelt:

"We stand equally against government by a plutocracy and government by a mob. There is something to be said for government by a great aristocracy which has furnished leaders to the nation in peace and war for generations; even a democrat like myself must admit this. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with "the money touch," but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers."

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities."

former law student said...

Oil prices are high because of supply and demand

True to a certain extent. Since W. was inaugurated, the price of crude has gone from 25.77 euros to only 65.12 euros. This reflects the fall in the dollar from 1.06 euros to 0.68 euros. The fall in the dollar reflects the government and trade deficits that W. is doing nothing about. Eventually foreign bond holders will cut their losses and quit buying US govt. debt instruments. Then all hell will break loose.

We desperately need a fiscal conservative in the White House, instead of a fantasist like W.

michael farris said...

For what it's worth.

What makes me uneasy about Obama. There are effectively three candidates still standing (okay, Hillary's staggering from the punches she's been getting but she's not down yet).

Obama is the only one that makes me think he's insulting my intelligence. McCain and Clinton can both be grating, irritating and tiresome in their respective ways but they don't talk down to me the way Obama does.

Fred said...

news flash: I've never seen America at a lower point. You have to talk about the problems in order to solve them. Lying to yourself is only going to make the problem worse.

Holly said...

While I think it's sad and silly to quote John Lennon about anything - it's 20 years since he died and at least 30 years since he had any political relevance - I take issue with Middle Class guy. Lennon wasn't just not living in Liverpool; he was living on the Upper West Side and his wife was leasing an extra apartment in which to store her furs.

Lennon was an exceptionally talented musician and songwriter. Period finished. There is no reason, and there is no excuse, to take seriously any of his political or philisophical opinions.

Fred: America's been at much lower points before. Lots of stuff happened before you were born and just because you weren't around to witness it doesn't mean it was better than today.

Tim said...

"No. The government just borrows money that it doesn't get through taxes. At least that's the way the current Republican administration works."

MM, your scope is much too narrow there, as every Administration since the Democrat Administration of FDR has borrowed against the future, albeit some more than others, but I'm not sure there is a partisan correlation, esp. after one controls for entitlement spending.

Hoosier Daddy said...

MadisonMan saidNo. The government just borrows money that it doesn't get through taxes. At least that's the way the current Republican administration works.

Isn't that the way every administration works? Did we cease selling US treasuries during Democrat administrations?

rcocean said...

Fred:

The problem is the seasoned citizens.

They've never had it so good, and don't care about the future. We're on the Titanic and very few people want to change course, everyone is too busy drinking champagne and talking about non-issues like Gitmo and evolution.

Middle Class Guy said...

What part of voluntary military don't you understand? Anyone can join. It is not mandatory. Just because wealthy kids supposedly do not join is no reason to criticize. Maybe some of you should look in the mirror- did you serve?

The military is a choice. There is no draft to buy or scam your way out of. BTW, Bubba was not rich, he avoided the draft, and beat the system. So you better criticize your patron saint first.

William said...

McCain, Hillary, Obama all offer change. What makes Obama's change more change than the change of Hillary or McCain is that the change is executed a young, black man. As the fortune teller foretold, the medium is the message. Obama foretells that people who vote for him have transcended America's sad racial history. People who do not, have not. I'm no Lennon scholar, but didn't he write a song called Taxman and wasn't the lower tax rates in the USA part of his motivation for moving here.

terrye said...

Obama is a rich man. The woman who introduced him to America, Opra Winfrey is a billionare who just bought her own network. These are not po' folks who are being kept down my d' man.

And Fred, if you think this is a low point you must be about 12 years old. I think the problem with Americans today is that they have had it so good for so long, they don't even know what an honest to God bad time looks like.

Holly said...

Lennon did not write Tax Man - that was Harrison.

fred said...

sure. Obama is depressing. What is sunshine and light is McCain trying to convince us of his terrific conservative record and values and why we ought to stay in Iraq a long long time so our grandchildren can get a chance to go there and fight between the sunnis and shia.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama wants change.... back to the 1970s.

nathan said...

Anyone's message is better than the crap we have had for the past 7 year.
If you don't like the "hope" message, it ap[peals because of the Despair Bush has given us.

Why do so many of these comments assume Obama stands for socialism? If he does, show us where! Health "? that is govt insurance not socialized medicine...govt insurance is what insures your bank account and your social security and medicare.

The govt is so caught up by corporate interests that there is no way ever that we are going to become socialistic...just scary or dumb talk from people who perhaps ought to know better.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why do so many of these comments assume Obama stands for socialism? If he does, show us where!

Obama believes that the government should use violence to take money from wealthy americans and give it to less wealth americans. How is this not socialism?

Fen said...

If you don't like the "hope" message, it appeals because of the Despair Bush has given us.

Bush hasn't given us a "despair" message, his critics have.

Are you one of those "tired" of a war thats had no direct impact on your daily life? Full of despair because of the propaganda the media has been spoon-feeding you? Would you even know we were at war if not for the media? Do you have nightmares that global warming will destroy your city?

Ernst Blofeld said...

The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore says Obama’s tax plan would add up to a 39.6 percent personal income tax, a 52.2 percent combined income and payroll tax, a 28 percent capital-gains tax, a 39.6 percent dividends tax, and a 55 percent estate tax.

That's about right. 39% was the top income tax rate before the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in a year or two. The 52.2% rate probably includes the employer match to SS; individual + match works out to about 15%, but it also phases out past about $100K. The cap gains tax rate quoted is also about at the Clinton era rate.

Rich B said...

I notice that fstopfitzgerald has not responded to the request to demonstrate that Larry Kudlow is a liar. If you look at the Kudlow/Moore statement quoted, it's just a simple recital of what the tax rates will be if the Bush tax cuts expire.

Since I couldn't bear to call FSF a liar, I will conclude that he's stupid, or perhaps lazy.

Fen said...

McCain trying to convince us... why we ought to stay in Iraq a long long time so our grandchildren can get a chance to go there and fight between the sunnis and shia.

More lies spreading "despair". What McCain said was that we will have a presence in the region for generations, much like we did in Germany in Japan after WW2.

I really should have gone into sales. I never realized people were so easily manipulated with falsehoods.

MadisonMan said...

should use violence to take money from wealthy americans and give it to less wealthy americans.

Isn't this what the war in Iraq is doing? Taxing the wealthy and giving it back -- as salary -- to the less wealthy?

(Assumption: soldiers skew towards lower incomes. I think that's a good assumption since they're young).

rosi said...

On the other hand, Obama is the only candidate who represents some change from business as usual.

Yeah, but does he represent a change for the better? I'd rather continue the status quo than make a change for the worse.

A lot of what Obama says reminds me of the '70s. I remember the '70s, they were not a good time.

medaura said...

Wow, a lot of Leftist douchebags are posting comments here...

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

"On the other hand, Obama is the only candidate who represents some change from business as usual."

Yeah, business like usual such as individual rights and free enterprise. His speeches are full of resentments against such things, and if he can bamboozle Congress (with the help of his sugar daddy George Soros) into perverting such rights and freedoms in the name of "getting even" or "fairness" or "bringing the country together", he will likely do it.

PatCA said...

"I think the problem with Americans today is that they have had it so good for so long, they don't even know what an honest to God bad time looks like."

Very true. Those who lived through tough time, like WWII or the Great Depression, are all almost gone. Life is so good here that politicians have to make things up to complain about. It's all boiled down to "ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you." Where's mine?

John Stodder said...

I think what Henninger is picking up is nothing more than the normal politician's trick of creating a crisis in the listeners' minds so he can position his or her election as the solution. As Middle Class Guy suggested, John McCain will do the same thing. Obama and McCain will talk about two different crisis paradigms. The only time presidential candidates don't campaign from a negative perspective is when they are running for re-election (Reagan '84, Clinton '96). Then it's all about the miracles they've accomplished, or, as they would put it, "we have accomplished together."

Even a very Democratic congress will get cold feet if Obama's proposals require a significant tax increase. It's one thing to campaign against a candidate who says he might raise taxes. It's another to campaign against one who voted for a tax increase. It's a kiss of death, even in this supposedly more liberal area. OTOH, has anyone added up what McCain's promises in terms of military and security spending might cost taxpayers? I suspect that no matter who is elected government is about to get much more expensive.

I hope we're not in for another round on Althouse of ad hominum attacks, by the way. It's literally idiotic -- meaning the act of a subnormal IQ, a drooler -- to make a statement like "everything Larry Kudlow writes is a lie..." You disagree with him, fine. One might like to hear why. But no serious person (and I realize that doesn't include the maker of that statement) believes he has an integrity problem.

There are a thousand other blogs where that kind of lameness is applauded. Here it just makes people's eyes roll. Nothing to do with ideology by the way. It's just stupid to argue your position by saying so-and-so is a liar, so his points can be ignored without further consideration. And most of the commenters here don't do stupid.

F15C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

Obama is a rich man.

He's so rich, he and his wife just finished paying off their student loans a couple of years ago, according to the NYT today.

I doubt he's Hillary Clinton "I just spent $5 million out of my personal stash" rich, however. Or John McCain "Cindy's dad owned the Anheuser-Busch distributorship" rich.

Freder Frederson said...

That's about right. 39% was the top income tax rate before the Bush tax cuts

Which of course is the lie.

39% is the top marginal rate. It is not on all income and completely ignores deductions and credits. As for social security taxes, those are only on the first $100,000 or so of earned income.

So he is lying. Absolutely and completely. And unless he is a complete moron, he is doing it blatantly and deliberately.

Blake said...

(Assumption: soldiers skew towards lower incomes. I think that's a good assumption since they're young).

Heritage is the only group I know of that actually analyzed the the demos. Median and above-average income brackets are over-represented, according to them.

Fen said...

Yah, most of the enlisted in my unit were middle/upper middle class. And most the officers were Annapolis grads from military families.

Sloanasaurus said...

OTOH, has anyone added up what McCain's promises in terms of military and security spending might cost taxpayers? I suspect that no matter who is elected government is about to get much more expensive.

Actually, I haven't heard McCain say anything about spending more money. He just points out that he is right about how we defend ourselves and Obama is drastically wrong.

Also McCain wants to cut all earmarks. That equals $20 billion per year.

Freder Frederson said...

Median and above-average income brackets are over-represented, according to them.

Well, which is it? They are not the same thing.

I'll buy that the demographic around the median household income (currently $47,000 per year) is over represented in the military, because until very recently enlistment required a solid high school education for the most part.

Fen said...

Or GED. But most the enlisted guys in my unit had two years of college under their belt.

Fen said...

"A nice-sounding bill called the Global Poverty Act, sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a global tax on the United States. The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.

...In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning “small arms and light weapons” and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child."

http://thelineishere.org/?p=94

/via Instapundit

Middle Class Guy said...

In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty...



Nothing like advocating the impossible. There is no such thing as eradicating poverty. There will always be poor people, just like there will be wealthy. Eradicating poverty is a canard that the Democrats have used for years to waste tax dollars.

Welfare and food stamps did not eradicate poverty. It was a racist program to keep people in their place, a perpetual state of poverty. Ending poverty is nothing more than a utopian pipe dream by bong smokers.

Fen said...

I'll buy that the demographic around the median household income (currently $47,000 per year) is over represented in the military, because until very recently enlistment required a solid high school education for the most part.

I'm not sure where you're going with this "demographic". My father owned his own law firm, made over $100k per year, mother stayed home to raise us, in the most affluent neighborhood in Dallas [Highland Park]. Yah, my background and education was above average in my unit, but not by alot. I'm just saying these comparisons are kinda useless - people don't join the Marines for financial gain.

Middle Class Guy said...

...people don't join the Marines for financial gain.



People don't join the military for any gain. People who JOIN the military come from all walks of life, just like people who join the Peace Corps. or that massive failure, Americorps. of course no one would ever dare question their backgrounds or motives, now, would they?

rosi said...

He's so rich, he and his wife just finished paying off their student loans a couple of years ago, according to the NYT today.

That doesn't mean much. Student loans are just about the lowest interest rates you'll see this side of buying real estate. There is very little incentive to pay them off early, especially if someone has other higher-interest debt (credit cards, car loan, etc).

Regarding military economic backgrounds- I don't have the study handy, but I did see a fairly extensive survey a while back (2005-2006, IIRC) that proved that the combat branches (infantry, etc) were largely composed of people with middle-class-and-up backgrounds, by a significant margin.

Cedarford said...

Sloanasaurus - This is ridiculous. Cutting taxes for the rich does not mean "siding with the rich."

Yes it does when, as warren Buffet notes, total taxes on rich guys like him on net earnings are 16 cents out of each dollar he makes, while his secretary pays 34%, and his plumber pays 29%. Worse, Buffet notes that his discretionary income, what he has after paying the necesstities and taxes, is 80 cents out of each dollar he makes while his secretary has about 40% of her money left, and the plumber 35%.

It would only make sense from a socialist point of view, i.e. - if you assume that the government owns the labor and assets of its citizens. If the government owns us, then yes...

No, Sloanasaurus ignores the regressive nature of government fees and taxes and FICA caps that structures the whole tax system so the middle class id fucked out of far more of their income on each dollar they get than the rich or very poor.

cutting taxes favors the rich because the government is letting rich people keep more of the government's money than poor people..

It goes past that, gov't is now set up to transfer gov't money - give huge subsidies, welfare, pork and preferential business tax and trust deals - to the rich that the middle class does not enjoy.

****************

Sloanasaurus echoes the lie always said when wealth concentrates in the hands of the few and is taken from the working people in the process of creating a true Latin American - style plutocracy:

The truth is that the "rich" now pay more of the total pot of income taxes than they did prior to Bush's tax cuts.

Of course they do, though they are taxed less on each dollar they make as wealth is transferred by cheaper labor into more profit that in greater and greater proportion, goes into the pockets of a small Owner/largescale investor Class.

That is what is called a no-brainer, Sloanasaurus. It's like extolling the noble sacrifice of Nicaragua's Samoza when he and 3,000 of his friends took in 90% of the country's wealth and earnings and munificently "shouldered" 60% of the taxes that the 4 million Nicaraguans had to caught up. What a fine, charitable plutocracy - they were! Paying so much more in taxes than those peasant types!

I'm a Republican, fairly conservative, but spare me the bit about the noble rich, who pay 20 cents out of each dollar on taxes and fees when upper middle class people with wages stagnant for most of Bush's sorryass reign pay 45% of each dollar and are told by the owner elites that we best work harder because plenty of Chinese, Indians, Mexicans want our jobs and will work cheaper and only our rich masters will be left to pay larger taxes on their larger wealth to keep "our heroes fighting the evildoers".

The exploitation is so obvious even the dumbest of Bush-backers should fathom it's been going on everywhere. Buffet is right. Bush, the WSJ on the other hand lie their asses off to suck up to the wealthy Owner/Investor Class.

Crimso said...

"Buffet is right"

No, Buffet is horribly wrong. If he really believed his own rhetoric (which I strongly doubt), he'd do the right thing and pay his secretary 10X what he's paying her (as a start). How can he look at himself in the mirror when he is so clearly a part of the problem he seems to believe exists? Oh, that's right. He's a hypocrite. I guess all you Marxists are right. Rich people are evil. Or at war with everybody else.

As an aside, if I make 60k/yr (and before all of you serious Marxists start sharpening your pitchforks, I'll point out that having been in my current job for 8 1/2 yrs, my salary has nearly doubled; but this was after 5 yrs for a B.S., 2 yrs for an M.S., 5 yrs for a Ph.D., and 6 yrs as a post-doc, all of which averaged out to about the poverty level, and my parents didn't pay for my education) does that make me upper middle class? If so, then I worked my ass off to get here, and I will take extreme measures against anyone who tries to steal what I have rightfully earned. Nobody handed it to me (nor did the evil rich try to take it from me).

Fat Man said...

We have more than 8 months until the general election. Won't these gasbags get pretty tiring by then?

Ernst Blofeld said...

Kudlow is a liar because he accurately pointed out the marginal tax rate and the payroll tax that Obama is likely to support? Uh, OK.

Income tax (39.6% max) + SS tax (12.4%, including employer match) + Medicare (2.9%, including employer match) + unemployment (around 0.8%) =55.7%. Knock off a few percent for the dropout of the SS tax past $100K and it's pretty close to a 52% marginal rate. Not to mention state taxes.

John Lynch said...

Jimmy Carter. Popular, likeable, but a downer.

Sloanasaurus said...

No, Sloanasaurus ignores the regressive nature of government fees and taxes and FICA caps that structures the whole tax system so the middle class id fucked out of far more of their income on each dollar they get than the rich or very poor.

You are also ignoring the regressive nature of government benefits. A lower income person gets far more value from government as a percentage of their income than a wealthy person.

Also, You say the rich grabs money from the poor through their employment of low income workers. Sure - you are right. Some laborers in the US have lost their jobs because China can make the same products much cheaper. But, many others have benefited and gained jobs because of it. A rich person couldn't care less if a shirt costs $50 or $10, but a middle class worker does and the simple fact is that consumer goods are far cheaper today than they were 25 years ago.

If it wasn't for chinese workers, only rich people would own cell phones.

MadisonMan said...

Won't these gasbags get pretty tiring by then?

Are you talking about politicians, pundits, or the local commentariat? :)

Re: My comment about income skewing low for soldiers. It was meant to address their income as soldiers, not the income group they came from before enlisting. My assumption is that incoming soldiers don't make a lot of money as soldiers -- and are therefore lower-income -- because they are at entry-level incomes. I've not actually investigated the starting salaries of army grunts (that's my disclaimer).

Blake said...

Well, okay, but that's sorta meaningless in the context of wealth distribution.

former law student said...

A lower income person gets far more value from government as a percentage of their income than a wealthy person.

Really? I think any old Dick with a lot of Halliburton shares got more value from the Bush administration than Cindy Sheehan did.

Fen said...

My assumption is that incoming soldiers don't make a lot of money as soldiers -- and are therefore lower-income -- because they are at entry-level incomes. I've not actually investigated the starting salaries of army grunts (that's my disclaimer).

If you do, don't forget to add comparables for housing, energy consumption, 3 meals a day, medical and dental care, clothing allowances, etc. My SSGT brought all this up when I complained about it, and it does add up.

That being said, it comes up short for 1st-termers who get married. One of the reasons the commandant cautioned new enlisted against it.

former law student said...

That being said, it comes up short for 1st-termers who get married

And later, too. My cousin-in-law, a 20 year enlisted man, ran a small business with his wife to make ends meet. Even so, for them, eating at a restaurant with table service was an unaffordable luxury. They thought it was a special treat when we took the family to a steakhouse.

Fen said...

Not surprised. One of the reasons I didn't re-enlist was because I wanted to find a wife and settle down. Being deployed away from home 9 months out of the year is lethal to any marriage, no matter how good. Your cousin is lucky he's not divorced.

Ernst Blofeld said...

Cheney didn't get anything out of his Halliburton shares. They were all contributed to charity.

As far as the military goes, they recruit mostly from the square middle of the middle classes. They are generally prohibited from taking the lowest performers in the bottom 20% of the armed forces qualification test and those without a high school degree, though they can get waivers. Those are disproportionately from the lowest income groups. The top 20% in income enlists less often as well, so the tails of the distribution are more or less truncated.

It's pretty common for a guy from a middle class background to do a hitch or two in combat arms for some adventure, then go on to do other stuff.

Crimso said...

"Really? I think any old Dick with a lot of Halliburton shares got more value from the Bush administration than Cindy Sheehan did."

Sheehan was a nobody (would that she could be again) prior to her son being KIA (thanks to Bush and Dick). Now she's somebody. Dick was very much somebody before Casey Sheehan was even born. Guess if you define "value" as "exploiting my son's death to the point that my own family is disgusted with me" then she certainly has profited far more than Dick. This is apparently not the way you define it, but others have a more realistic view of the situation.