October 21, 2008

"Al the Shoesalesman Gets a Tax Cut."



Nicely done ad and website with easy to use calculator -- not that I believed the number I was given.

ADDED: This post is red meat lobster for my other readers.

AND: I just rewatched. In the end, Al says, sarcastically, "This is gonna be tough," then: "Obama!" I feel sorry for an older, family man who only makes $20,000 -- and I know this Al is the fictional TV-show character -- but really, is it okay to think of elections in terms of a personal deal for each voter, so that it's obvious that you vote for the candidate who offers you the most money? Quite aside from whether we believe we'll get what we are promised, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with thinking in such self-centered terms? Notice, too, that this idea is out of keeping with the statement Obama made to Joe the Plumber, that Joe ought not just to think of himself but to see the value of benefiting everyone.

111 comments:

miller said...

Why is it that when a Democrat says "I will give the middle class a tax cut" I don't believe it?

Oh, right. The last time that bait-and-switch was tried.

Bob said...

So my curiousity gets the better of me and I hit the link, plug in the data and...

"You will probably not get a tax cut under the Obama-Biden plan."

What a nice indirect way to be told I'll be screwed over! I'm starting to feel all that extra patriotism coming on! Hooh-ah!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bull. If this guy is making 20K WITH 2 dependents a year he isn't paying any income taxes anyway. He should be on welfare with this income.

I suspect he doesn't understand the difference between dependents and the personal exemptions.

How stupid do they think we are? Nevermind. They think we are really stupid.

rhhardin said...

The reason you want everybody paying the same tax rate is so that everybody feels they have a stake in the rate they decide on.

Also, surveys reveal, there's wide agreement across incomes that the most anybody should pay out of their income is 25%.

This harmony is not used, but rather subverted, by offering another choice. Tax the other guys more so you pay less. This works when the ``less'' class is 51% of the population. War is better than peace.

Let me use your venality and short-sightedness to get elected, is the message.

So Obama has a site for it.

Bob said...

This election is truly shaping up as the test to see if the inmates are now running the asylum.

Rich B said...

Al must be a very bad shoe salesman. After all these years.

walter neff said...

Boy, Al Bundy has really let himself go after they cut his daughter’s tits off.

Poor guy.

Bissage said...

By way of Althouse, on the internet, I see gems of such exquisite, hard brilliance that I become stricken and can do no more than bear witness, passive, as my mind whirls at the implications of the purest genius.

Ann Hathaway approves!

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

Hey Bissage, Peggy Bundy is rockin' it as Gemma the biker babe on Sons of Anarchy on FX. She hit this bitch in the face with a skate board for looking at her man. Good stuff.

Lem said...

It's because of people Like Al, roaming loose on the Internet, that we will never, ever ever, rid ourselves of spam mail, Nigerian scams and the Viagra-Cialis scurge ;)

AJ Lynch said...

Anyone here not recognize this is Al Bundy? I rank him in the Top Ten All-Time sit-com actors.

But this is the first time a political party has claimed him as one of their own.

Lem said...

Opps, I think I cought myself on a racist rant.

Did I implied that Obama's Tax calculator is as reliable as a Nigerian scam?

I got stop myself.. before Nov 4 ;)

XWL said...

What dependents? Al is 61 based on numbers given in the series (he was 43 in 1990), and both his children are well past being able to be claimed as dependents (even that child they adopted for one season would be over eighteen, I think, but given they dumped him after one season, I don't think you can count that one, either way).

Using this 1040EZ tax estimator, a head of household making $20,000/yr has a whopping $2100 taxable income after deductions which is paid at a 10% rate in the current tax code, so "Al Bundy" owes $210 if "Gary's Shoes" didn't withhold any taxes throughout the year.

Yet Obama's tax calculator promises "Al Bundy" a $1000 break on his taxes, which can only mean that the government will be cutting "Al Bundy" a check for $790 in Obama's coming worker's paradise. That's one way to spread the wealth, I suppose.

The local nudie bar will appreciate the extra business.

Randy said...

Ann, I think you are right not to believe the calculator as it makes no provision for the Alternative Minimum Tax. Whether or not the annual AMT Relief Act will pass the next Congress is a good question.

Original George said...

Sigh.

"People who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won't actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.....

You can't just cut the payroll tax because that's what funds Social Security..."

"If the government is going to give tax cuts to 44% of American based on their Social Security taxes -- without actually refunding to them the money they are paying into Social Security -- Mr. Obama will have to get the funds elsewhere. And this is where "general revenues" turns out to be a more agreeable way of saying "Other People's Money."

Today's Wall St. J.

Darcy said...

I have been reading about this - that Obama's "tax cuts" are going to hand out "refunds" to people who aren't paying the taxes.

Really depressing.

Bissage said...

(1) ** googles “Sons of Anarchy” **

** makes note on scrap paper **

(2) ** Posts wholly gratuitous photo of Ann Hathaway. **

(3) ** exclaims war cry for our times **

LONG LIVE AL BUNDY!!!1!1!

DEATH TO ZAPPOS!!1!!!1!

RUSH THE BARRICADES!!!!!11!!

Lem said...

that Obama's "tax cuts" are going to hand out "refunds" to people who aren't paying the taxes.

Who is going to find these people - ACORN ;)

Trooper York said...

You have to catch that show. Bikers sex and violence. What more could you want?

Freeman Hunt said...

It says I'm getting just over $1500.

Can I just cut out the middle man and go hold a gun on Bob to get it?

If not, why not? What's the diff?

Freeman Hunt said...

Wait, is the calculator messed up? No matter what income I put in, except for the two highest, I get almost exactly, as in within a couple dollars, the same result.

veni vidi vici said...

"to hell with poverty, we'll get drunk on cheap wine!"

Lem said...

Wait, is the calculator messed up? No matter what income I put in, except for the two highest, I get almost exactly, as in within a couple dollars, the same result.

It is a Nigerian Scam ;)

reader_iam said...

No, I won't provide an e-mail address; I already get enough spam. (And what do you mean by "child care" expenses, anyway? Certainly not **mine**.)And, no, I wouldn't believe the the result anyway: doing so sounds like a sucker bet to me.

jackson said...

Which box do I check to get the pony?

Simon said...
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Simon said...

By the way, my "tax cut" is $1365. I even went out of my way to get the correct figure for our mortgage so that Obama could more accurately lie to me.

AJ Lynch said...

OT

The actor who played Al Bundy tried out for the Oakland Raiders. He was a LB in college.

1jpb said...

You can't just cut the payroll tax because that's what funds social security

Aren't payroll taxes wonderful? Extremely regressive, even more so than a flat tax because payroll taxes stop at about $100,000, then there is 0% tax.

But wait there's more. The surplus of this money is supposedly going into a trust fund (but not a "lockbox") so that folks can count on getting the funds back when they're retired. But, this money is actually completely spent on items in the general budget because we need to subsidize the deficit hole exacerbated by tax cuts for the rich.

So, poor people are paying for today's tax cuts for the rich, and they're getting empty promises in return.

One thing is for sure: you can't call that socialist.

P.S.
Simon,

The fake outrage is silly. BHO's tax cuts are a lot more likely than is McCain's balanced budget in four years.

blake said...

OMG, that really is Ed O'Neill. I didn't recognize him--but then I watched about 5 seconds.

Troop should be outraged they have him on instead of Ian McShane....

Hey, what's a guy who makes $20K/year doing with that laptop?

And, hey, what's Al Bundy doing with a laptop? Since when is scrambled cable porn not good enough for him?

Simon said...
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antiphone said...

"to hell with poverty, we'll get drunk on cheap wine!"

”No weak men in the books at home
The strong men who have made the world
History lives on the books at home
The books at home”

chickenlittle said...

Obama promises me a $500 cut vs $224 under McCain. However, since McCain plans on doubling the child deduction, that's another $7000 less for me under McCain.

I guess it's a no-brainer.

al said...

Son's of Anarchy - good show. Peg Bundy as you've never seen before.

Remember - 6 of the 7 'tax cuts' proposed by Obama are tax credits. Those that don't pay taxes get money back. Wealth redistribution at it's finest.

Chip Ahoy said...

The sun room in my house was filled with workmen replacing a large window when I mentioned seeing All My Children for the first time and remarked to no one in particular that the chick who played the daughter was da bomb.

"CHRISTINA APPLEGATE !" The room of workmen responded in chorus, to complete my education.

Later I mentioned I intended to buy some invisible fishing line for an art project.

STREN ! Rang the chorus.

That the crew was so well unified in these two instances of general knowledge left a lasting impression.

Bob said...

Freeman, I suggest you rethink your plan

"Can I just cut out the middle man and go hold a gun on Bob to get it?"

Bob has guns, Bob is very good with guns, Bob has used guns at people. Bob is a cheap and tight fisted b*stard. Bob can make a stand against you. The IRS, not so much. Your plan may be more efficient at first glance but your downside will be considerable.

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...

disregard, found them elsewhere

Modika said...

Boy, Al Bundy has really let himself go after they cut his daughter’s tits off.

Poor guy.


Nice, Walter, really nice. My sister had her "tits cut off" too.

Your comment is right down there with McCain's putting "the health of the mother" in air quotes.

Too many jims said...

chickenlittle said...
Obama promises me a $500 cut vs $224 under McCain. However, since McCain plans on doubling the child deduction, that's another $7000 less for me under McCain.


Reduce your AGI by $7,000, quite possibly. Reduce your tax liability by $7,000, no.

AJ Lynch said...

Chip:

Married With Children not All My Children. Slight difference.

Freeman Hunt said...

Bob has guns, Bob is very good with guns, Bob has used guns at people. Bob is a cheap and tight fisted b*stard. Bob can make a stand against you. The IRS, not so much. Your plan may be more efficient at first glance but your downside will be considerable.

So that's the Democrats' angle, is it? They can steal your money and give it to me because they have more guns?

What an interesting approach they have to morality.

Bob said...

Freeman, they will take my money so they MAY give it to you. The MAY will depend on several important factors around your suitability (how much they need your vote being one).

Now my reluctance to just hand over the money plan works until I lose my guns and then my slave to state status is finalized. See how that wealth redistribution plan accelerates when those pesky guns get removed.

This all dovetails nicely. After those milestones come the "Party" phase, the "Comrade & Great Leader" phase, and then finally the "Workers Paradise".

Sloanasaurus said...

Clinton used the tax increase on the rich to pay down debt. If Obama taps out the rich and spends the money on tax credits for the poor, how will the debt ever get paid? Who will Obama tax to pay down debt?

Financial ruin is in our near future. Thanks to fiscal morons like Obama.

MadisonMan said...

Married With Children not All My Children. Slight difference.

Bianca Montgomery is a babe, though. Even if she is a lesbian (NTTAWT).

When someone asks for an email address, always enter either root@127.0.0.1 or root@mouse-potato.com -- either one should resolve to the sender's machine. So the spammer sends mail to themselves.

sloan (welcome back), your list of morons responsible for the US's fiscal predicament is way too short.

MadisonMan said...
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1jpb said...

Simon,

To solve entitlements the government needs to "take over" health care.

We should still have private companies but there needs to be a cohesive framework. Some of the European (and Japanese) models have positive characteristics.

No more dumping unprofitable folks on the government programs. No more health care providers depending on the income from their government patients to, in effect, subsidize the deals they cut with the private health care companies. No more disconnect between the government subsidized folks and the bills their health care providers rack up and charge to the government (you may be surprised to learn that France has an effective way of making these folks "feel" these costs.)

We have the pieces of a solution. But, I don't think we've had enough pain for the professional conservatives and their followers to acknowledge reality. And, of course the health care industry doesn't want change. Hopefully, BHO can sneak in a Trojan horse. Otherwise, we'll need to wait for the current system to really blowup, just like the economy.

Time will tell.

P.S.
A budget is not balanced if it uses all of the payroll surplus. WJC actually achieved balance w/o spending this surplus.

P.P.S.
The blue dog Ds are the most serious budget folks. The Rs are still clinging to "trickle down" and "dynamic budgeting" (as we saw with their recent addition of unpaid for tax extenders on the bailout bill.)

P.P.P.S.
Clinton used the tax increase on the rich to pay down debt.

What did WJC campaign on? [rhetorical]

Christy said...

You can watch Sons of Anarchy on FX Network.com a week after it airs. The last 3 eps now available. Not my normal cup of tea, but I'm finding it irresistible.

Too bummed to think about taxes.

Meade said...

" If Obama taps out the rich and spends the money on tax credits for the poor, how will the debt ever get paid? "

That's easy - by melting down Bob's and Freeman's guns and recycling the metal into coins with President Government's likeness on them to give to the poor so they have their own tokens to cling to, spend, and remind them In Whom We Trust and are supposed to vote to reelect.

AJ Lynch said...

Tic Toc Tic Toc . How many years or months til the entitlements bomb goes off and we have Bailout XXIV?

They should offer folks the option with a hard deadline to opt out of social security. That would make Survivor look like a kiddie show.

Bissage said...

Chip was riffing.

Stren fishing line (original) is famous for being highly visible in sunlight, either flourescent blue or flourescent orange, IIRC.

It's also quite possible that there are certain other aspects of Chip's tale that might seem implausable upon closer iscrutiny.

Just saying.

AJ Lynch said...

I think it is true to say there was a surplus reached when Clinton was president but it was not a durable or lasting surplus. It was like the stock market reaching a new low then dropping the next day.

It was more hype than real.

AJ Lynch said...

Is there a reason you want the fish to see the fishing line?

The Drill SGT said...

AJ Lynch said...
I think it is true to say there was a surplus reached when Clinton was president but it was not a durable or lasting surplus. It was like the stock market reaching a new low then dropping the next day.

It was more hype than real.


specifically, it was revenue projections based on the tax revenues before the dot.com market bubble burst in 2001.

for reference to this housing bubble, wiki puts the bubble at:
The Dot-com bubble crash wiped out $5 trillion in market value of technology companies from March 2000 to October 2002.

Clinton had nothing to do with the run up of internet sotcks (Gore createdd it :) and Bush had nothing to do with the burst. So the anticipated surplus and the resultant deficit were artificats of the bubble, not brilliant fiscal policy. Did Bush proceed to run the defict higher with the war, sure. but the switch from surplus to deficit was not just Bush.

Chip Ahoy said...

All My Children ---> Married With Children.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Thanks for the correction.

Rose said...

That is pure BULL - I am cooking dinner and don't have time to find it - but you have to look at who got the tax breaks under Bush - first. A very large number were actually almost completely removed from paying taxes (at the LOW END) - Barack wants to take away that tax cut - right off the bat that is going to UP alot of lower income people's taxes - THEN Barack is looking to a maximum 50% bracket and his guy's say "you'll pay less taxes than you did under Reagan"

REMEMBER the maximum bracket under Reagan was 70%, he lowered it - and when they did that they took away tax shelters... Barack can double income taxes an dstill be telling the 'truth.' He just won't tell you the truth because he knows he can't get elected with the truth.

Someone must have that info in easy reach, and can post it...

ALSO bear in mind, big money, like John Kerry and Al Gore is in trusts, doesn't pay income tax....

gotta run - hope someone has the info.

mcg said...

Notice, too, that this idea is out of keeping with the statement Obama made to Joe the Plumber, that Joe ought not just to think of himself but to see the value of benefiting everyone.

Joe wasn't just thinking of himself. He consistently maintained that it was unfair to raise taxes even on people who made significantly more than he had hoped to make in the scenario he posed to Obama.

Simon said...

1jpb said...
"To solve entitlements the government needs to "take over" health care."

Well, I sure do appreciate your letting the cat out of the bag about where this is going. Thanks for confirming everything that's been said about the loony, quasi-socialist and deeply unamerican future Obama's supporters have in mind.

The liberal modus operandi, ladies and gentlemen: impose big government in a way that creates a problem so massive and intractable that further down the road, you can claim that the only solution is to grow government even more.

Bob said...

Clinton didn't really create a surplus. Clinton cut the military by 40% but was prevented from blowing savings by a Republican Congress. And Clinton prevented the Congress from blowing it on their programs. So divided government meant neither could piss away the surplus. McCain might be wise to mention how divided government kept a lid on spending. And I seem to remember a funny looking fellow by the name of Perot forcing that budget deficit debate. Any chance he might be lurking about?

mcg said...

Clinton used the tax increase on the rich to pay down debt.

No he didn't. He used accounting tricks to pay down the national debt. In fact, our national debt increased every year he was in office. The claimed surpluses were swamped by borrowing from Social Security.

http://www.letxa.com/articles/16

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

IjPB is right. I must finally admit liberals like Obama can magically lower prices on most stuff. We must give them a chance by putting them in office.

Obama will work first on health insurance premiums; he said he can save every family $2,500 per year.

Then he will cut prices on gas, then the BMW 700 series, then Las Vegas vaactions. Tell your kids no Xmas gifts this year but wait til next year when Obama can give them all a free Xbox!

Just give Obama a chance.

XWL said...

Ed O'Neill doesn't do so well under Obama's plan. According to the calculator he probably won't get a tax cut (assuming he gets more than $250,000 a year from Married With Children residuals, and given that the show was on 11 years, and is syndicated worldwide, I think that's a safe bet).

AJ Lynch said...

Go Phils - I see a sweep by The Fightings!

Temple, one of my three colleges is losing tonight. No, I don't have three degrees just took me three schools to get one sheepskin.

mcg said...

From that last link, we see that Clinton's best year was FY2000, in which the national debt rose only $18 billion. Not bad, but still positive.

AJ Lynch said...

Las Vegas should give odds on how many bailouts we will have done by the end of 2010.

I am guessing an even bakers dozen so I would put my money on Bailout XIII.

And corrupt insider scum like Pelosi can not make a bet. Not talking about you Nancy, I am referring to the neighborhood loan shark Mike "Knuckles" Pelosi. Every neighborhood has a loan shark right? Even Joe Biden's.

AJ Lynch said...

MCG:

Thanks for the link. Those fing Clintons are such pathological liars.

It is good to know there is undisputed evidence out there like the link you gave.

Yeah Temple just took the lead with 2 minutes to go!

mcg said...

Well I am loathe to defend the Clintons in any situation, but to be honest I think every politician in that era was claiming we were running the surplus.

Pogo said...

It is indeed the beginning of the end. Barack has been able to convince people to vote themselves a share of other people's money.

There's no going back, and the road leads nowhere but ultimate failure.

Shit.

Meade said...

Ask not what size tax credit your government can give to you, ask what more tax size you can give to your government.

Sloanasaurus said...

The current budget will run a deficit even when Bush's tax cuts expire. If enough spending is cut, the budget could be brought into balance. However, Obama isn't planning on balancing the budget, he is going to increase the debt by using any tax increase for welfare payments to the poor.

Who will buy the Treasury notes to cover the ever increasing debt. Maybe China? Most likely rich people. However, the pool of money available to buy Treasuries will have shrunk due to Obama's tax increases. This in turn will bid up interest rates over time, resulting in higher prices effectively eliminating the benefit Obama was trying to give the poor through his tax credits. IN the end the poor will be no better off and the country will be in a lot more debt.

Simon said...
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Simon said...
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Verso said...

Damn, wingnut and lunatic Sarah Palin spent $150,000 on clothes and $5,000 on make-up and hair! Woo!

I suspect that with the country facing a depression, the spending on clothes and make-up will resonate far more with Americans than all this chatter about "socialism" and "spreading the wealth around."

Shit, if that's how the rich spend their wealth, it's pretty clear that it could use some spreading around. A 3.6% take hike on the richest 5% of Americans seems pretty wise when the rich can spend money like Sarah Palin does.

Meade said...

Wait, let me try that again... Ask not what your country can do for you, ask yourself - wouldn't this be a better country if it were France?

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama claims that his "working family" tax credit is being used to offset the payroll tax paid by lower income workers. However, this policy effectively makes social security a welfare program for these lower income workers because their net contributions to the system will be zero.

If lower income workers are no longer paying their share into social security, it means that a future generation can much more easily cut or wipe out their benefits, since they never paid into the system in the first place.

Meade said...

No, that's not it. Let's see... Ask not what country this has become, ask if there's not some nice quiet sanatarium in the country where Verso can be institutionalized.

Meade said...

Eh, alright, one last try... Ask not what's in for you, ask yourself aren't you glad you don't sell shoes for a living?

JAL said...

And Ann is still going to vote for Obama.

Great comments. Thanks.

PJ said...

but really, is it okay to think of elections in terms of a personal deal for each voter, so that it's obvious that you vote for the candidate who offers you the most money?

Excellent question, Professor. This is what drives me nuts about people who ponder what's wrong with Kansas. I think the great majority of people at every income level vote their values over their interests, and I think that is very much to be desired, for the health of the body politic. There should be no rejoicing when democracy reduces to "What's in it for me?"

Pogo said...

A man, a plan, the Internationale, Obama.

Meade said...

Actually... ask not how much it would suck to be a shoe salesman, ask yourself: if I were a shoe salesman making only $20,000/year plus a tax credit of $1000 from Uncle Government, wouldn't it be great if one day Althouse herself were to walk in to my store and say, "Hey, Mr. Shoe salesman, would you like to see my lovely dainty little painted toes?"

Simon said...
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Simon said...

JAL said...
"And Ann is still going to vote for Obama."

We must each do what we believe best, to the extent we can determine it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Notice, too, that this idea is out of keeping with the statement Obama made to Joe the Plumber, that Joe ought not just to think of himself but to see the value of benefiting everyone.

See, he doesn't just want to give us progressive taxation, he wants to give us progressive values. People like Bob, who make good money, will be expected to have admirable, elevated values like concern for others. People like me, who make less, will be expected to have moral compasses of twittering apes, willing to sell our votes to the highest bidders.

Therefore, Obama doesn't hate the rich, he just thinks that the non-rich are a bunch of craven thieves. I guess we'll find out soon if he's right!

Bob said...

But when Bob politely declines to play along doesn't the wheels start to come off? Say Bob decides to go John Gault and sits off on the economic sidelines. Because he is kinda rational and realizes "less is more" in Obamaland. Just saying that others may have tread this road before and the success has been what for those countries? But the failure would be down the road wouldn't it?

Now of course Bob hasn't actually been any less admirable in times previous to the 2nd coming. That he preferred charity to the state for helping the needy.

Revenant said...

Quite aside from whether we believe we'll get what we are promised, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with thinking in such self-centered terms?

Maybe, but that's how most people think. That's why we're steadily moving towards a situation in which the majority of Americans don't pay income tax.

John Lynch said...

$20k a year isn't middle class. Sorry, if the term middle class is to have any meaning at all there has to be something on either side.

The middle class tax cut rhetoric from Obama is bogus. From McCain it's mostly bogus.

Raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. Monetarists and Keynesians agree on that. But that's going to happen. It makes me sad.

ricpic said...

War is better than peace.

rh stumbles into the truth.


A man, a plan, the Internationale, Obama.

A man, a plan, a banana, Obama.

Daryl said...

Obama wants well-off people to share and he wants poor people to be stuck to the government teat.

When a hurricane hits, he wants people to look to the government (to HIM) for help.

He prefers the failed New Orleans attitude to the successful Houston attitude.

In any case, just because Obama promises something doesn't mean you'd get it. He has a massive, top-secret, deeply unpopular agenda to enact, don'tyaknow.

Pogo said...

Daryl's right.

And that loss of initiative, that overwhelming dependence on the government for direction, has killed off entire civilizations.

New Orleans lost the bulk of its people; this didn't happen in Houston or Des Moines.
Rome fell in part due to the decay and indifference brought by bread and circuses for the non-working poor.

Whither the Incas?
Where have all the Soviets gone?
See how the mighty Britons have fallen, from Churchillian heights to the dole's basement.

But sure, vote for free money.
It's free!

Bissage said...

(1) AJ, Stren is supposed to be invisible to the fish. A buddy of mine used it but I didn't because I found its "fluorescence" to be . . . disquieting.

I did slightly better, fishingwise, but he thought the difference in line had nothing to do with it, FWIW.

(2) I should add that I very much enjoy Chip's riffing.

Bissage said...

Free money?

Frankly, I can see an upside.

LINK.

HONK.

SqweEEek

HoNnk.

SQqweeeeKk.

Freeman Hunt said...

But when Bob politely declines to play along doesn't the wheels start to come off? ... Just saying that others may have tread this road before and the success has been what for those countries? But the failure would be down the road wouldn't it?

Sure, but that'll be beyond the upcoming election AKA the distant and irrelevant-to-bureaucrats future. Plus, after they take the guns, they can always send any would-be John Galts, or their families, off for "re-education" to ensure that they behave properly and have no double plus ungood thoughts.

Now of course Bob hasn't actually been any less admirable in times previous to the 2nd coming. That he preferred charity to the state for helping the needy.

That's no good to the libs. They didn't get to decide where the money went, so it doesn't count. And they didn't get to use it to buy votes, so it doubly doesn't count. (Plus, charity doesn't go to people, like me, who aren't poor but who Obama expects to be driven entirely by envy. I'm expected to have low, base values, and therefore cannot be expected to care about charity.)

And further, charity is more efficient than government--it might actually work! Now that would be a real disaster for candidates like Obama. How can we be expected to come to depend on the government for everything if a bunch of meddling do-gooders are successfully helping people out? Obviously this charity business is entirely out of keeping with the Great Progressive State and should be quashed.

rhhardin said...

Payroll taxes don't fund Social Security. They're general revenue just like another other government income.

The point of all Federal taxes is to keep you from spending what they take, so that they can spend it instead or use it to buy back debt. In either case, the money is instantly returned to the economy.

If it were not returned to the economy, the money supply would fall and strangle the economy.

Thus, in particular, payroll tax income goes right back out the door the same as any other tax revenue.

The government can't save money for that reason. It would choke the economy if it tried.

The same is true for private savings, if everybody tries to do it at once. Somebody has to be spending what is saved at all times.

Steven said...

John Rawl's A Theory of Justice can be summarized as stating the only reason to tolerate the existence of the rich is to milk them for the poor.

Said theory is the basic intellectual underpinning of the economic theory of the entire non-socialist left.

It accordingly should be absolutely no surprise that Obama, like any other progressive, tells the rich about their duty to sacrifice their milk and to the poor about how he's going to provide free milk. That's what all calls for "econonmic justice" mean.

rhhardin said...

Trickle-down economics, however, is not about handing out free milk.

The ditch digger with a shovel earns less than the ditch digger running power equipment.

The power equipment comes from capital.

Capital is extra money.

The rich have extra money.

That's trickle-down. It's not about dimes falling from the pockets of the rich.

Meade said...

You would say, "Why yes, yes I would like to see your dainty painted toes," and she would start trying on shoes - stylish shoes - expensive stylish shoes - stylish expensive shoes that cost more than one whole month of your shoe salesman's salary. Each. Apiece. Per shoe.

After ringing up her sale and handing back her credit card, you would carry the myriad boxes of shoes to her car - a spiffy little European sports job with leather everything and then you would gently close the trunk and hold open for her her car door as she enters.

"Say, ahem, Ms. Althouse, I understand you're a famous blogger and a well-to-do noted constitutional law professor published in all the finest constitutional law journals. You must have a substantial income and a significant amount of wealth to, uh, you know, spread around... and I was wondering, as a minimum wage shoe salesman with two dependent children who go barefoot even in the fall, though you might call it autumn, and even in the wintertime, though you might call it Florida..."

"Yes?"

"Well, I was wondering..."

Key turns. Finely-tuned engine fires up, hums.

"Yes, shoe salesman? Spit it out. Raise your game and ask your question. Don't make me get out my sledgehammer. Time is wasting - I have hungry blog smokers waiting impatiently for me to roll them another post."

"Well, I just thought you could..."

"You thought I could just what, shoe salesman?" Opens her state-of-the-art laptop to check email.

"I thought, well, I was hoping... you could..."

Now completely out of patience, the professor gives the shoe salesman a sharp glare while simultaneously hitting the lock all doors button and digital power window closer tab thingy. European motor car slowly begins to creep away from curb with a puff of exhaust as the shoe salesman finally screw up enough courage to mutter, "I... I was... I was hoping you could... tell me... WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR."

And then the shoe salesman notices, just as the finely-tuned European automobile hesitates before easing into traffic -- the purple bumper sticker against the silver background:

"CRUEL NEUTRALITY: AIN'T IT A BITCH"

Shoe salesman coughs, drops head, quietly turns to go back inside to wait for one more sale.

Henry said...

If a guy makes $20,000 a year, I don't mind if the income tax goes negative. I do wonder about any plan that incentivizes debt. The next commercial will have Al the Shoesalesman saying "honey I took out another mortgage and now we're really raking it in from the Feds."

But I digress.

According to O's calculator I'm in line for somewhere between $1500 and $2300 cash back. This is idiotic. I'm already in the top quintile.

I already pay less in income taxes than payroll and property taxes.

I should not be getting a tax cut.

Harsh Pencil said...

Why didn't Obama visit his Grandma sooner? He just uses people. In fact,

A Ma bores user Obama.

Freeman Hunt said...

Trickle-down economics, however, is not about handing out free milk. ... It's not about dimes falling from the pockets of the rich.

Well put.

JAL said...

IIRC "charity" doesn't work for libs. They don't practice it to the same degree that the lower and middle class moderates and conservatives do.(MC, while it may include the $20K guy, also includes, upper level, the $250K guy.)

Look at the candidates' tax returns ... the Obamas started giving significantly more when his hefty profits from the books (?why?) started to show and with his elevation to national office --and as his presidential aspirations were perking more closely to the top.

Biden's record is just sad.

But more than that the record is that conservatives are historically more likely to give to "charity."

And people of faith are more likely to suppport charitable work than the secularists.

As for attitude -- we have a friend who just got back from some more disaster relief work in Texas. (Did you know there is still disaster relief work going on in Texas? They had a disaster a few weeks back. You didn't remember? You mean it isn't on the FRONT page of every newspaper still? Mmmm..... )

Lots of trees down still, lots of mosquitos. And snakes.

Said friend also went with a team to the Katrina area. He says the difference in attitude of the people was significant. In Texas you were wanted for the assistance you could give to the work they were doing. In the Katrina situation you were the answer.

My dad was Dick the Electrician. Self employed, comfortable lower middle class. Depression age person ("Men jumped out of windows.") FDR (disliked him intensely) was The President. He would have choked to find out that the president was pushing socialism on America to "help" him. Which I believe was the reason he choked on FDR.

Joan said...

This video says, quite directly, that Obama is bribing poor people to vote for him. He's buying their votes with the promise of tax "cuts".

The two problems with this view are 1) there's no guarantee you'll ever see that money and 2) it presupposes that a little extra cash in your pocket is more important than the Supreme Court, national security, the integrity of the military, a healthy economy (tariffs, anyone? No thanks), abortion policy, and any number of things that have much more profound affects than an extra $20 a week.

BJK said...

Am I the only one who's going to point out that Al Bundy's vote is essentially meaningless in this Presidential Campaign?

Married With Children was set in Chicago; I think we can safely say that Illinois will be voting for Obama.

Peggy Bundy's family in Wanker County, Wisconsin, however are still "in play."

rhhardin said...

Well put.

Another classic formulation for not giving away free stuff from the rich is that extra money is seed corn. You don't eat the seed corn no matter how evolved your sense of fairness.

The rich are the ones with the seed corn. They consume very little of what they own.

Freeman Hunt said...

Another classic formulation for not giving away free stuff from the rich is that extra money is seed corn.

We need more conservative politicians explaining the concept of capital to people. I think that most people have very little exposure to running a business and don't understand the importance of this. Heck, I bet most people couldn't define capital if you asked them.

kengoodsmith said...

"Quite aside from whether we believe we'll get what we are promised, isn't there something fundamentally wrong with thinking in such self-centered terms?"

Isn't that the essence of the Democratic Party's message (which you've now subscribed to with the end of your cruel neutrality)? The accusation of "tax cuts for the rich" when an across the board reduction in (progressive) tax rates occurs, the "it's only fair" explanation of why the top earners' percentage rate must increase (trying to hide the extent of the increase through increased payroll taxes, diminishing exemptions and deductions with income, etc.) and virtually all the set Democratic speaking points are all reflective of the cynical hope that you can convince a majority to vote with you if you promise to treat them more favorably than the minority. At it's extreme, it leads you to tax the top 49% and hand the proceeds to the bottom 51%. Even the Joe the Plumbers are explained away as "aspirational"--i.e. they don't want to raise taxes on the upper end taxpayers because they hope to be one someday. No one conceives that it might be appropriate to oppose Obama's proposed tax increases only because one perceives that it's not necessarily--GASP--"fair" to jack the taxes of higer income taxpayers--who already pay a disproportionate share of taxes while utilizing disproportionately fewer government resources just because you can.

blake said...

Bob Dole doesn't want freeloaders in his basement!

Freeman Hunt said...

Bob Dole doesn't want freeloaders in his basement!

That should be an anti-socialism commercial. It shows some guy just getting back to the house after leaving work. He's relaxing a bit, flipping on the TV, whatever. Then someone yells, "More pizza!" The working guy sighs, gets up, flips off the TV. He walks across the kitchen and opens the basement door and yells down, "What kind?"

Cut to the basement where a bunch of grown lay-abouts are strewn around the messy room. Two are playing on a video game console while the others watch. One yells, "Pepperoni. And we could use some new games down here too." The man upstairs, beaten, says, "Okay," and trudges off to fulfill the requests.

Voiceover intones, "You work hard. Some in the government would like you to work hard to support those who won't. They call it 'social justice.' Does that sound like justice to you?"

blake said...

Freeman, that's positively hate-speech.

To suggest that people should have to work in exchange for what they want?

You're some sort of racist, aren't you.

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