October 3, 2008

Fact checking the VP debate.

FactCheck fact checks:
  • Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
  • Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.
  • Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.
  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.
  • Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.
  • Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.
  • Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

177 comments:

erniecu73 said...

Biden said the US and France had kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon. I commented on that right after he said it, but it seems to have gone over many people's heads. That is simply untrue. I think Joe was thinking of the PLO, but even in that case it wasn't so.

Apathetic Citizen said...

This morning the first thing I heard--the first!--when I turned on Fox News was this question...

"What effect will Sarah Palin's performance last night have on Saturday Night Live?

Mayor Giuliani chuckled an answer.

Facts? Who cares!

Peter V. Bella said...

Today's Chicago Sun Times Cartoon on the debate:

Senator Biden, how many Senators ore in the Senate?

JB: One Hundred.

Governor Palin, name them.

Peter V. Bella said...

ernie,
Biden has said a lot of things that are not factually true. It makes no difference. He is getting a free pass.

TMink said...

"At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases."

Oh, well then tax em out of existance!

Trey

Jenny said...

FactCheck.org has begun to lose credibility. Although time consuming, I've begun to do the research myself.

rhhardin said...

On the debate

Fred Imus to his brother, ``You know what the deal is on foreign policy? You can't see Russia from Delaware.''

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse sometimes you have to fact check the so-called fact checkers. I.e The Tax Policy Institute is called non-partisan when it is primarlily union funded.

Obama will increase taxes on millions of people whether you call them business owners or self-employed consultants or independent contractors and even some high-profile but profitable bloggers.

Plus

Windbag said...

Concerning the tax on "families" making $42K/year, it's a legitimate charge Palin made. Since "family" has be redefined in our culture, any four people living together is a "family" now. Okay, don't like that definition? You and your three hamsters now constitute a "family" of four. Just because the IRS considers a taxpayer single for its purposes, that doesn't mean that the single taxpayer isn't in reality the head of a "family," and in need of a break. Furthermore, how many single people making $42K a year want to have their taxes increased?

rhhardin said...

A flat tax would mean an increase for most, yet is much better economically and politically.

It tends to discourage wasteful spending if voters have to pay your share of it.

Remarkably, people pretty much agree what the tax rate should be, if everybody pays the same rate (about 18% would cover it). Harmony replaces class warfare owing to this underlying agreement.

Which is actually the reason to want a flat tax.

Roger J. said...

Lets see: a six term senator who has run for president twice, is a constitutional scholar some claim, does not know what the VPs duties are with respect to the Senate, and does not know that article one of the constitution deals with the legislature, not the executive. I find that absolutely amazing.

Fortunately for both debaters, facts really didnt make any difference. Debates are about atmospherics.

erniecu73 said...

peter, yes, that seems to be the case

Instapundit is pointing out Biden's gaffe on the role of the vice president as well. Some commenters last night noticed it too. It should count doubly against the Delaware senator. Isn't he supposed to be a constitutional scholar?

Henry said...

The whole back-and-forth on taxes was the most egregiously awful part of the debate in my view.

For middle class families in the 50K income range, federal income tax is simply not that great a burden. If you have a house and kids or other dependents, you may not pay anything Federal tax at all.

The taxes that hit working class families and individuals the most are payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. A big argument about whether Joe Soccer and Mom Sixpack pay $100 more or less in income tax is inane.

Especially in light of the fact that our government doesn't fund itself.

bearbee said...

Biden said the US and France had kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.

Did someone tell Hezbollah? Joe is Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations?

FactCheck.org has begun to lose credibility. Although time consuming, I've begun to do the research myself.

Questioning source and accuracy of everything one reads is frustrating and exhausting and the name Annenberg did give me a seconds pause.

Lorelei Leigh said...

Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

Oh, well, in that case, I guess it's all right.

Furthermore, how many single people making $42K a year want to have their taxes increased?

Not I. And I wonder how even the truth of Obama's vote (increased taxes for singles making $42K and for familes making $90K) bodes for his promise to lower taxes for those making less than $250K?

Quayle said...

Biden also said that global warming is 100% man made, a statement that is scientifically impossible to prove.

In order to be true, Biden would have to be able to prove the negative that other factors (such as those that caused the previous ice ages) are not currently at play.

Scientists are not in total agreement on what cuased the ice ages.

So how can Biden absolutely rule out that those same things aren't causing noise in our current observations?

sammy990099 said...

"Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount,"

So perhaps a correction is necessary. Obama voted for higher taxes on single parent families making as little as $42,000 per year.

SteveR said...

I don't know what their criteria is for calling something a "mistake" versus something misleading or not well stated but there were several things Biden said that were just plain not true, including something as significant as the Afghanistan funding numbers down to his story about going to a restaurant that has been closed for quite some time.


Fact checking Fact Check's fact checking.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It's hard to get too worked about about anything anyone says about Obama's tax plan... both for the reason Henry gave, and because the plan includes a middle-class tax cut which only an utter rube believes will actually happen.

Lorelei Leigh said...

I laughed when Biden was arguing that Article I limits the power of the Vice President to executive power, when Article I (which does mention the VP) is about the legislative branch.

I'm sure he just misspoke, so I don't fault him for that too much. I just thought it was funny. (Roughly akin to Palin referring to "McClellan.")

It's kind of funny that the whole brohaha over the constitutional power of the V.P. came up in the debate. As I recall, the constitution doesn't say very much about the Vice President at all. Biden and the media folks after the debate seem to be arguing for a reigning in of Veep power, which makes me wonder why it's such a big deal if Palin isn't qualified. How much experience do you have to have if your sole role is breaking ties in the Senate?

Apathetic Citizen said...

Bathe in this factless Disney Capra corny sound bite...

One thing...Americans [must] do..is let's commit ourselves just every day, American people—Joe Six Pack, hockey moms across the nation—I think we need to band together and say, "Never again. Never will we be exploited and taken advantage of again by those who are managing our money and loaning us these dollars."

We need to make sure that we demand from the federal government strict oversight of those entities in charge of our investments and our savings, and we need also to not get ourselves in debt. Let's do what our parents told us before we probably even got that first credit card. Don't live outside of our means. We need to make sure that as individuals we're taking personal responsibility through all of this.

It's not the American people's fault that the economy is hurting like it is, but we have an opportunity to learn a heck of a lot of good lessons through this and say, "Never again will we be taken advantage of."

"Thanks, Aunt Sarah! I'm going out to play now!! Can I have a big hug and some hot chocolate chip cookies when I come in?"
"Yes, my little citizen, just you make sure you stay out of the debt puddles!"

Lawgiver said...

I don't remember either of them specifically talking about the poor. They talked a lot about the richest Americans and the middle class but who are the middle class?

Do the poor just move up into the lower-middle class or what?

Rich B said...

Joe's statement that we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon is mind-boggling. You have to wonder just what kind of reality Joe inhabits. The man is dangerously misinformed.

Has factcheck pointed this out?

Nope. Just checked.

Lawgiver said...

"(Roughly akin to Palin referring to "McClellan.")"

I didn't know the general's name either, I had to look it up. But I did find it interesting that Palin tried to put a name to go with the rank while twice Biden just said, "the general." I guess he didn't remember the guy's name either.

lady717998 said...

What about the biggest of them all - that Biden insisted that Obama never said he would meet with Iran without preconditions, which he CLEARLY and verifiably stated during the primary debates? No mention of this? I thought it would be the headliner. Obama continued to push this point in the debates with McCain last week. I don't understand why this issue isn't a bigger deal than it is? Or am I missing something?

MikeR said...

Kind of disappointed in FactCheck. They are focussed too much on fine shades of detail. When I look there, I want to see things like the one that he said McCain voted for it, but he really voted against it.

By the way, I would like the candidates to set aside a place on their respective websites, where they can present the official justification for claims they make. It should make available the original source documents they're relying on. We shouldn't have to guess what they meant. I'm tired of claim and counter-claim; it shouldn't be necessary in this day and age.

Chip Ahoy said...

Biden also said Cheney was worse than Emperor Palpatine, the worst VP in galactic history. Or something.

Biden also said, and this is why we love him so, that he warned Bush about recognizing elections on the West Bank which were actually elections held in the Gaza Strip. West Bank, Gaza Strip, same difference.

But we neglected to talk about fashion. In my view, 100% of funerary black is too somber and formal for such a light hearted occasion as VP debate. The only relief was Biden''s delightful light blue tie, which is actually, and don't go hate'n on me for this, a Bush innovation. It's true. Go back to photos of the first years of his first term and see for yourself. I recall remarking on this at the time that it was evidence to the axiom one shouldn't let their wives dress them. I sensed Laura's hand in picking out all those light blue ties. Since then, and only since then, pale blue has been all the de rigeur. But Biden's blue tie last night worked well. It set off his eyes and softens his overall look, which was sharp with his immaculately tailored suit. He could have used a pocket handkerchief, preferably but not necessarily one that matched. On the other hand, a black skirt and jacket worn by Palin doesn't work for me. Too severe. Overly harsh.

Simon said...

Of course, had you listened to NPR's fact checking this morning, you wouldn't have heard about any mistakes Biden made... I love NPR, but I do wish they'd drop the conceit that they're anything but liberal talk radio.

MarkW said...

Biden also said that global warming is 100% man made

Yes, he did. It's unfortunate that Palin didn't respond something along the lines of,

"You know, Joe, not only is that ridiculous, but it beautifully illustrates how this has become an article of faith rather than one of science. It's absurd because we know with certainty that there is a great deal of natural variation in the climate. Ever heard of the Ice Age? Or the Medieval Warming Period? Or the 'Little Ice Age' that ended only in the 19th century? Any changes caused by man would be on top of natural variations, and there's nothing close to scientific certainty what portion of the climate changes we've seen in recent decades are man made and what portion is not."

Quayle said...

What about the biggest of them all - that Biden insisted that Obama never said he would meet with Iran without preconditions, which he CLEARLY and verifiably stated during the primary debates?

In the primary debates, Obama said he'd meet Ahmadinejad without any preconditions.

Then in the Presidential debates, Obama scoffed at McCain that Ahmadinejad isn't even the supreme leader in Iran.

Biden echoed that same point last night, that Ahmadinejad isn’t even the top leader (you dopey person that thinks he is.)

So putting it all together, it is even worse than we first thought: Obama is willing to squander the prestige and power of the Presidency to meet second tier leaders without preconditions.

Simon said...

"Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases."

That's a very carefully-parsed factcheck. It's true that under Obama's tax proposals, taxes will not go up for many individuals or businesses. That's not the complete picture, however; Obama's tax proposals take no account whatsoever of his spending proposals, and once they're factored in, it becomes clear that whatever Obama says he's going to do on taxes, the fact is that he will either welsh on his promises or raise taxes on everyone. Given his history of serial mendacity, either is possible.

Lorelei Leigh said...

I didn't know the general's name either, I had to look it up. But I did find it interesting that Palin tried to put a name to go with the rank while twice Biden just said, "the general." I guess he didn't remember the guy's name either.

I noticed that too. I almost wonder if Biden did know the name but didn't correct her in order to avoid a cheap shot. Or maybe he really didn't know. Given the other mistakes highlighted here, it's possible that he didn't.

My main point was that neither mistake was all that important. Both of them simply misspoke, Biden on the articles of the Constitution and Palin on the general in Afghanistan. Of course, only one of those mistakes got pointed out on the cable news channels I watched last night.

The Drill SGT said...

lady717998 said...
What about the biggest of them all - that Biden insisted that Obama never said he would meet with Iran without preconditions, which he CLEARLY and verifiably stated during the primary debates? No mention of this?


Lady, Biden was trying to thread the needle like all fackless politicans now that he has changed sides on the issue.

he answered:BIDEN: Can I clarify this? This is simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say sit down with Ahmadinejad.


I went to the Obama question last night. It was:

"Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?....."

"I would," he answered.

while showing a picture of Ahmadinejad and Assad on the screens in the room.


so Biden and Obama want to weasel out of that calling it untrue.

Floridan said...

MarkW: It's unfortunate that Palin didn't respond something along the lines of,

"You know, Joe, not only is that ridiculous, but it beautifully illustrates how this has become an article of faith rather than one of science. It's absurd because we know with certainty that there is a great deal of natural variation in the climate. Ever heard of the Ice Age? Or the Medieval Warming Period? Or the 'Little Ice Age' that ended only in the 19th century? . . . ."


Do you really think she's capable of coming up with something like this off the top of her head? So far there's no evidence of it.

Trumpit said...

The right-wing nutcases are out in force this mourning sharing their breakfast with us (cereal mendacity). What couldn't it be Capt'n Crunch?

The flat tax nuts, the man-made global warming deniers, & some nerdy legalistical dude who is a damnable defamer, repeatedly calling Obama a liar, hoping fervently that his BIG lie sticks.

These are the sad, but unstrangely true facts about this mourning's pathetic bunch usual suspects.

Terri said...

The one thing that Biden continuously says that really makes me gag is "my town" or "my people", making it seem like he's still living in Scranton. Both of my grandfathers were coalminers. They lived in central PA. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was the "big city" from which they got their television signals. My brother still lives there. Biden is so far removed from "small town" Scranton, it is a joke. If you judge all the candidates by "degrees of separation" from the middle class, the one who is closest to it would be Palin. The others, like all career politicians, don't even know how to navigate around a grocery store anymore. So I wish Biden and Obama would quit talking like they are "homies" of the middle class. They aren't, and they have no desire to be either.

Trooper York said...

Hey I had steak and eggs this morning? Medium rare with the fresh red blood oozing out to tip my lightly buttered toast.

Trooper York said...

With Bacon on the side. Crispy bacon.

Simon said...

I wish C-SPAN would fact check their callers when they make blatant false statements. A caller after the debate said she had decided to vote against Palin because how could she cut funding for the special olympics, which of course is a lie as even TP admits. One misinformed voter with no critical thinking skills is bad enough, but given a megaphone to mislead and poison the minds of other voters with no critical thinking skills... Oy vey.

Roger J. said...

Simon: I listened to the same segment--it was an outright assault on Gov Palin with no pretense of objectivity.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"cereal mendacity"

LOL.

My breakfast this morning consisted of a pot of coffee as it usually does. If you wash the coffee down with food, the food just soaks up the coffee and slows the absorption rate.

Simon said...

Roger, I agree - I was shocked by how one-sided it was. The closest that it came to criticizing Biden was his creative accounting over Afghanistan funding vs. Iraq - they said it was creative accounting and was technically true if you parse very finely what he actually said. Biden mislead the audience, and NPR didn't care; when Palin made a similarly creative statement about Obama's tax vote, they raked her over the coals. The media hasn't been neutral for a long time, but what's been shocking since 8/29 has been how nakedly and aggressively partisan they have been.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The only relief was Biden''s delightful light blue tie,

Palin wore red high heel peep toe shoes :-)

Apathetic Citizen said...

Whilst contemplating Gov. Palin's fashion choices listen to SEC commissioners in 2004 laughing as they discuss easing debt restrictions on banks. (Click on the audio link at the left side of this NYT story.)

It's like the Space Shuttle Challenger launch.

"A lone dissenter — a software consultant and expert on risk management — weighed in from Indiana with a two-page letter to warn the commission that the move was a grave mistake. He never heard back from Washington."

Go at throttle up, America.

former law student said...

Biden said the US and France had kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon... I think Joe was thinking of the PLO, but even in that case it wasn't so.

Wikipedia seems to say it was the PLO that the Multinational Force (US, France, and Italy) kicked out of Lebanon -- at least 14,000 PLO members.

An agreement was reached later in 1982, and American, French, and Italian peacekeepers, known as the Multinational Force in Lebanon, sent more than 14,000 PLO combatants out of the country in August and September.

McCain didn't recognize the President of Spain by name -- that's why he refused to commit to meeting with him.

Obama will tax the profits of sole proprietors the same as the wages and salaries of employees. I think some people think his tax proposal applies to gross business income, not net.

Additionally, Biden distorted a sentence from McCain's article on health care for the American Academy of Actuaries. Here it is in context:

I would also allow individuals to choose to purchase health
insurance across state lines, when they can find more affordable
and attractive products elsewhere that they prefer. Opening up
the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide com-
petition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would
provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by
the worst excesses of state-based regulation. Consumer-friendly
insurance policies will be more available and affordable when
there is greater competition among insurers on a level playing
field. You should be able to buy your insurance from any willing
provider—the state bureaucracies are no better than national
ones. Nationwide insurance markets that ensure broad and vig-
orous competition will wring out excess costs, overhead, and
bloated executive compensation.

Mixalhs said...

Re: Spain. It was clear that McCain thought Zapatero was the name of a Latin-American dictator. It was misleading of Biden to say he wouldn't meet with Spain for that reason. But McCain can't backtrack because it reveal his ignorance (or his momentary loss of memory)

Trumpit said...

Yes, Biden's poor debating skills were in evidence by letting that airhead, Palin, blame the financial crisis on those meany "predatory lenders" instead of 8 years of failed Bush economic policies. Another 4 years of McBush - "no pain no gain" Palin would be an unmitigated disaster for this country of ours.

I'm starting to think McBush picked Painlynne to make it clear that he would be the man in charge and that we would not have a repeat of a VP like Cheney, the real power pulling the strings behind the throne. No one seriously believes Painlynne would be a competent, effectual president. We've had an incompetent clod for president for 8 years; we can't afford another monumental blunder foisted on us by the Rethuglican party. Can you imagine the Clarence Thomases they'd pack on to the Supreme Ct.?
Oh dear, that would be a real nightmare.

avwh said...

If Palin had made ANY of the more outlandish mistakes (Hezbollah kicked out of Lebanon, Iraq spending per month more than Afghanistan cumulative, Obama never said he'd meet w/o preconditions, etc.) that Biden did, the MSM would be ALL over it.

Since they were made by good ol' Joe instead, and Palin did OK (no misstatements to the degree of Biden's), the MSM's reaction to the debate now is "nothing to see here, just move along".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Trumpit:"Palin, blame the financial crisis on those meany "predatory lenders" instead of 8 years of failed Bush economic policies"

You are an economic idiot.

former law student said...

It was clear that McCain thought Zapatero was the name of a Latin-American dictator.

He might have been thinking of Viva Zapata Twentieth Century Fox, 1952, starring Marlon Brando, Jean Peters, and Anthony Quinn, with the voice of Fred Flintstone playing Pancho Villa:

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century. -- imdb.com

Trumpit said...

A humane God wouldn't have us put up with a cretinous ignoramus like you, Dust Unfunny Queen. QED, God does not exist, expect in feeble minds like yours.

Proof # 1,000,000,000 that there is no God worth wasting a moments time on.

HokiePundit said...

So if Biden gets the first and last words during the VP Debate, it's only fair that Palin be criticized first and last by FactCheck, right?

Palladian said...

"The right-wing nutcases are out in force this mourning sharing their breakfast with us (cereal mendacity). What couldn't it be Capt'n Crunch?

The flat tax nuts..."

I hate breakfast cereals with too many flat tax-nuts. I'm not a big granola fan. And Cap'n Crunch shreds the soft palette.

"These are the sad, but unstrangely true facts about this mourning's pathetic bunch usual suspects."

I'm sure you're in mourning after Palin's strong performance last night.

Palladian said...

"Proof # 1,000,000,000 that there is no God worth wasting a moments time on."

LOL. Trumpit, you're the most amusingly batshit insane psycho ever to grace Althouse's comments section.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Mixalhs said...
Re: Spain. It was clear that McCain thought Zapatero was the name of a Latin-American dictator. It was misleading of Biden to say he wouldn't meet with Spain for that reason. But McCain can't backtrack because it reveal his ignorance (or his momentary loss of memory)

10:42 AM



This is really interesting because according to a few leading Spanish newspapers that weighed in the issue when it first came to light, the interviewer was convinced that McCain knew exactly about whom she was asking. The left newspapers saw it as a way to punish Zapatero for pulling out of Iraq, while the center-right newspapers saw it as a sign of further Spanish international insignificancy under Zapatero.

I can provide links if necessary.


PS: my openID LJ login won't work anymore in here...for some reason.

Michael said...

“Palin’s final quote was from Ronald Reagan, warning that without vigilance, ‘You and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.’

In fact, Reagan was not warning about a general lack of vigilance about freedom, he was warning what would happen if Medicare was enacted.”

OldManRick said...

Biden also said that global warming is 100% man made, a statement that is scientifically impossible to prove.

But it's easy to disprove the statement that Global Warming is 100% man made. Simply look at warming in periods of time when there was minimal input from mankind. If there is no warming without man, than man is 100% the culprit; if climate change is the rule, as it has been in the past, then man's input is not 100% of the cause.

Given the historical record, and given the recent drop in global temperature due to the absence of sunspots in the current solar minimum, it is likely that mankind and CO2 has a very slight (if any) impact on global temperature.

We should first look to that big bright thing in the sky that, somehow, is always there during the warm day and never around during the cold night.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

I certainly enjoy strumpit's usage of proper names: In one short paragraph alone: "McBush" "Painlynne", and "Rethuglican." Extraordinarily juvenile, even for a lefty, Trumpit--or should that be strumpit? You must have over a thousand posts on DU. Nicely done.

ElcubanitoKC said...

and yes

erniecu73 = me

Michael said...

Terri said..."The one thing that Biden continuously says that really makes me gag is "my town" or "my people", making it seem like he's still living in Scranton."

C'mon, you gotta have something better than this.

Palladian said...

Cubanito!

Michael said...

Palladian: Palin says being gay is a choice.

When did YOU make that choice?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Palladian said...
Cubanito!

11:21 AM


¡Para servirle y a mucha honra!

Lorelei Leigh said...

and yes

erniecu73 = me


I thought that was you.

Michael said...

One of the things that I don't understand about McCain's "tax credit" that could be used to purchase insurance anywhere you want is this:

If you have a pre-existing condition or have lost insurance due to illness...does this "tax credit" guarantee an insurance company will accept you?

Anybody want to take a wild guess?

ElcubanitoKC said...

lorelei, what could have possible given it up?

Joe said...

"At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases."

Oh, it's okay then.

* * *

I agree with Henry that the middle class tax issue it absurd. My non-payroll taxes are absurdly low. Beyond that, how it is "fairness", as Biden put it, to stick it to anyone who is successful? Wouldn't fairness, by definition, be to implement a 15% flat tax for everyone with only standard deductions for dependents (with none of that blind/old crap)?

Yeah, a political non-starter, but I really do believe there should be a 5% minimum income tax for everyone.

Michael said...

Joe: Several hundred thousand businesses represents about 5%.

Everybody here keeps screaming about how our unemployment rate is only about 5% (although it's approaching 6-7% at present) as if that's spectacular.

Any reason you're suddenly upset about a comparable figure?

Michael said...

Joe: "..a 15% flat tax for everyone with only standard deductions for dependents..."

A flat tax would be horrible for the middle class.

*Here are countries that currently have a flat tax...anything jump out at you?

* Bulgaria [21]

* Albania [22] [23]

* Flag of the Czech Republic Czech Republic[24]

* Estonia [25][26][27]

* Georgia [28][27]

* Guernsey [29]

* Kazakhstan [30]

* Iraq [34] [35] [36] It is not clear how effectively the Iraqi tax is being collected in practice.

* Kyrgyzstan [29]

* Latvia [27]

* Lithuania [38][27]

* Macedonia [39] [29]

* Mongolia [40]

* Montenegro [41]

* Mauritius [29]

* Romania [27]

* Russia [42][27]

* Serbia [43]

* Slovakia [27]

* Ukraine [44][27]

Pogo said...

'Fairness', for the left, means you don't "own" any of "your" income.

The government is the origin of all profit, so it gets to decide how to "redistribute" it (for it believes there is some nefarious method of maldistribution to begin with).

In this way, 'fair' is birthday party cake, evenly divided. You know, from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

And yet they are repeatedly surprised to find that this method always always always winds up shrinking the size of the cake.
________________________

Michael said: "Any reason you're suddenly upset about a comparable figure?"

This can be translated as "If you want to make an omelet, you have to be willing to break a few eggs.".

Pogo said...

"Here are countries that currently have a flat tax...anything jump out at you?"

Yes; they learned the evils of communism.

Sadly, a flat tax without Western enlightenment principles does not guarantee success.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm surprised that neither Simon nor Ann has gone ballistic on Biden's Judicial Phlosophy.

in summary: when I came to the Senate, I looked at qualifications, now that I have matured, I have learned to be ideological

BIDEN: Yes, I can. When I got to the United States Senate and went on the Judiciary Committee as a young lawyer, I was of the view and had been trained in the view that the only thing that mattered was whether or not a nominee appointed, suggested by the president had a judicial temperament, had not committed a crime of moral turpitude, and was -- had been a good student.

And it didn't take me long -- it was hard to change, but it didn't take me long, but it took about five years for me to realize that the ideology of that judge makes a big difference.

That's why I led the fight against Judge Bork. Had he been on the court, I suspect there would be a lot of changes that I don't like and the American people wouldn't like, including everything from Roe v. Wade to issues relating to civil rights and civil liberties.

And so that -- that -- that was one of the intellectual changes that took place in my career as I got a close look at it. And that's why I was the first chairman of the Judiciary Committee to forthrightly state that it matters what your judicial philosophy is. The American people have a right to understand it and to know it.

But I did change on that, and -- and I'm glad I did.


I'm pretty disgusted by that approach

bjm said...

Millions of small businesses file under Subchapter S and they are the engine of job creation and American ingenuity.

Since the Dems screwed the credit pooch and if small business owners can't shelter a portion of their capital, just where does Obama think these rich business owners will get capital for expansion or innovation??

This is class warfare at it's stupidest.

ElcubanitoKC said...

A flat tax alone is not a magic bullet of any sort. But a flat tax accompanied by other measures can be really effective. For example, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine had very solid economic growth rates in 2007. That is a very relative measure given the size of these countries, but imagine those results here.

Lorelei Leigh said...

I'm surprised that neither Simon nor Ann has gone ballistic on Biden's Judicial Phlosophy.

in summary: when I came to the Senate, I looked at qualifications, now that I have matured, I have learned to be ideological


I thought this was strange, too. I was especially surprised that, of all the things he did on judiciary, he brought up his opposition to Bork. I thought that was odd.

Then again, perhaps he's trying to subtly tell those women who might be thinking of voting for McCain that Obama will use a litmus test for judges, when it comes to abortion.

Simon said...

Trumpit said...
"Can you imagine the Clarence Thomases they'd pack on to the Supreme Ct.?"

No, actually. I have the same problem with this prediction as I do with Althouse's prediction that McCain wants to select more moderate judges than some of us want him to. Even if we suppose arguendo that McCain wants to nominate a Thomas clone or a Scalia clone, I cannot think of anyone who meets the bill. These people don't appear from thin air: the pool of potential nominees can be delineated. Essentially, the pool is the federal judiciary and academia, both of which shrink rapidly when you account for age, jurisprudential philosophy and political reality (the chances of a white male being appointed next are close to nil). Who do you have in mind?

Michael said...

Pogo, Your comments are really cute, but why are you so obsessed with 5% of businesses paying more taxes?

I never heard you whining about the 5% unemployment rate?

You've never owned a business have you?

Jim said...

Let's not forget:

- Biden's attempted weasel on the meeting without preconditions that Obama didn't mean Achmedinijad: Obama's own website says he would be willing to initiate presidential level negotiations without preconditions. Dinner Jacket is the president of Iraq...The mullahs aren't. FAIL

- Biden claimed that he walks down to Katie's Restaurant all the time to hang out with regular folks. One problem: Katie's Restaurant closed 20 years ago. FAIL

- Biden claimed his clean coal comment was taken out of context. View the YouTube video for yourself. He flat out lied. FAIL

- Other commenters have already pointed out his lies/misstatements about Hezbollah, Palestinian elections, ignorance of the Constitution with regard to the Vice Presidency, comparative funding levels of Afghanistan v. Iraq, etc..

One thing Axelrod's AstroTurfers were so hyped up in the comments last night during and after the debate was Biden's "command of the facts"...

It's easy to have command of the facts when you're just making them up off the top of your head.

On the matter of stylistics, even the most liberal in-the-tank-for-Obama pundits have admitted that Palin soundly won those as well.

Biden's Debate Performance? EPIC FAIL

Michael said...

"A flat tax alone is not a magic bullet of any sort. But a flat tax accompanied by other measures can be really effective."

Finally...a rational comment.

Simon said...

The Drill SGT said...
"I'm surprised that neither Simon nor Ann has gone ballistic on Biden's Judicial Phlosophy."

Alas, Biden's record in this area is wearily familiar to me, and I suspect even more so for Ann. That said, while (IIRC) she's indicated in the last couple of years that the inquiry should focus primarily on qualifications, she opposed Bork at the time, and my recollection is that she signed a letter from numerous lawprofs opposing the nomination.

Pogo said...

"Your comments are really cute, but why are you so obsessed with 5% of businesses paying more taxes?"

You are completely nonresponsive.
Go away.

Henry said...

Biden echoed that same point last night, that Ahmadinejad isn’t even the top leader (you dopey person that thinks he is.)

There was a point, it seemed to me, where Biden and Palin were competing to see who could say "Ahmadinejad" the most times in a row without mispronouncing it.

That made me laugh. Homework was done. Test was passed.

former law student said...

Fairness', for the left, means you don't "own" any of "your" income.

"Fairness," for the right, means that every additional dollar that Bill Gates earns is as significant to him as it is to the guy bagging fries at McDonald's.


Since the Dems screwed the credit pooch

Those damn Democrats and their reluctance to regulate financial markets! Stop me before I demand free markets again!

Note that during the 6.5 years of a Republican Congress and a Republican administration, no increased banking regulation got out of committee. Only Nancy Pelosi's bill, introduced last year and passed this year, increased oversight of Fannie Freddie.

Simon said...

ElcubanitoKC said...
"A flat tax alone is not a magic bullet of any sort. But a flat tax accompanied by other measures can be really effective."

The problem with a flat tax is that it's an extremely unfair tax. It rests on the flawed assumption that $1=$1, but that doesn't hold once you remember that a dollar is a unit of exchange not value. One dollar does not have the same value to every taxpayer; dollars only become equivalent regardless of income above the cost of living. To fairly administer a flat tax, it wouldn't be flat at all: you'd have to have a cost of living deductible, which would necessarily vary wildly depending on where you live. Unless you're willing to accept an immensely complicated tax code to sort out the mess - the very dragon we're trying to slay - that makes it wholly impracticable at the federal level, although it might work at the state level.

AJ Lynch said...

Where is Alpha Liberal today?

Last night, I offered to bet him that the Iraq vs. Afghan funding claim was wrong. I did not see the debate and thought it came from a liberal blog like Daily Kos.

Alpha was sp glad to inform me that it was Biden who made the claim. Alpha did not have the balls to take the bet. God forbid he try to back up his sorry excuse for a VP candidate.

Perhaps Slow Joe should now be called Full of Crap Joe.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Simon, or you could revise it every few years. That is what Estonia has done. They are gradually reducing it and they revise it often.

Simon said...

Put another way, suppose the average cost of living in your town, Smallville, is $29,000 per anum. You make $30,000 p.a. and your neighbor makes $100,000. You have $1000 disposable income while your neighbor has $71,000 disposable income; it doesn't take an economics degree (or even math skills) to work out that $1 is proportionately a great deal more valuable to you than it is to your neighbor. Of course, it isn't as simple as looking at income, either: your neighbor has to move to Metropolis for work; his income remains the same, but in Metropolis, the cost of living is $99,500. (Why a rational actor would move instead of quitting is beyond me, but for purposes of illustration, let's suppose your neighbor isn't bright.) Now, $1 is proportionally worth more to you than to your erstwhile neighbor, even though he makes much more money than you.

Jim said...

fls -

Your comments are so disingenuous as to defy description. Democrats don't allow a bill to committe because they threaten to fillibuster it, and somehow that's a Republican failure?

Even Bill Clinton said that the Democrats were at fault. He said both he and the Republicans tried to get greater oversight, but the Congressional Democrats fought them. You need to take a few more lessons Chairman Mao on how to rewrite history if you want to pretend that no one else remembers how things actually happpened, you're clearly not up to the task.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

ElcubanitoKC, I don't think it'd work. You'd have to either come up with some way to account for cost-of-living, which would be a blizzard of paperwork, or accept as a matter of political justice that the poor should pay a much higher amount of their income - that is, a higher percentage of the total utility of their income, even if not the dollar amount - than the rich.

Pogo said...

"every additional dollar that Bill Gates earns is as significant to him as it is to the guy bagging fries at McDonald's."

See what I mean?
former law student finds the very hard and unmodifiable fact of unfairness in the human condition as a problem the government must and can solve by confiscating from Bill and giving to Toby.

Once he has taken all of Bill's wealth, it is gone. And so he goes after the next rung down, and the next and the next. Until there is no one left to to take from, but many hands extended waiting for their slice.

Conservatives recognize that capitalism is the only method by which any measure of poverty has been relieved in the history of the world.

The only method.
And still they bitch.

former law student said...

Democrats don't allow a bill to committe because they threaten to fillibuster it,

Do you have any citation for this theoretical fear of a hypothetical filibuster? Filibusters can be overcome, of course. McCain didn't push very hard, by the way. His sole effort towards fannie/freddie reform was one entry in the Congressional Record a year and a half after Hagel introduced it.

jim did give me a giggle by linking to a McCain campaign ad.

Joe said...

Michael, you missed my point. If the goal of a tax code is absolute fairness, then you're talking a flat tax with exemptions or, at most, a gradual progressive tax. Only an idiot would argue that fair taxation is to create a tax code so "progressive" that only a small percentage of the populace actually pays any significant taxes at all.

* * *

In 2004 29.3 non-farm small businesses filed returns. 300-600 thousand small businesses is 10-20%, not 5%. Since most small businesses fail, most of the rest make little money, that 10-20% represents those successful businesses that are employing the bulk of employees who work for such enterprises (as I have for most of my adult life.)

Regardless, the argument Biden used was that this was fair and dismissed it. In reality, this is just an arbitrary cutoff that sounds good in sound bites. (And is high enough to exceed the threshold of congressional pay.)

ElcubanitoKC said...

Simon, you make great points. Yes, we should take into consideration cost of living fluctuations in this country which are as wide as the country itself. I should have probably had given it a bit more consideration, but I still think some sort of form of flat tax (call it "ondulated") could work. You could adjust it by region. Now, it would really interesting to see the effects of that in domestic migrations.

Jim said...

re: fair taxation

We sussed this out in the comments the other day....

If you want true "fairness" in a tax system, it's hard to do better than a federal sales tax which excludes food and clothing items under $100; eliminate corporate taxes (which only get passed to consumers in the form of higher prices anyway); and taxes on investment income...

It's 100% progressive. People on subsistence living would pay pretty much nothing since almost all purchases would be tax-exempt, while buying a million-dollar yacht will definitely cost you a pretty penny.

It pretty much eliminates the IRS, the complicated tax code, the need for tax accountants, tax attorneys, tax-advantaged savings accounts and complicated plans required to obtain them, etc. It would cost next to nothing to implement as almost (if not every) state already collects sales tax, so the mechanisms are already in place.

It would encourage a higher savings rate, lower prices to the consumer, and either slow or reverse the flow of jobs overseas by companies looking for more favorable tax treatment. (I would argue it would create massive new quality jobs as the US would immediately become a more favorable business environment than any other 1st world country in the world.)

It's also completely transparent to the taxpayer. If the government wants to raise or lower taxes, they can't hide it by creating loopholes, etc. - it's a straight up or down change in the tax rate which everyone can see (which is why Congress will probably never pass it).

I haven't even begun to touch the long list of benefits, but no matter which side of aisle you're on it should be something which you can get behind.

former law student said...

former law student finds the very hard and unmodifiable fact of unfairness in the human condition as a problem the government must and can solve by confiscating from Bill and giving to Toby.

My early Christian training keeps surfacing, I apologize. Are you equally exercised about our government's recent practice of confiscating from our children and giving to Halliburton and Blackwater?

In terms of fairness to Bill Gates: Obviously Bill Gates is getting sufficient bang for his tax buck because, though he could live anywhere on the planet, he chooses to live in the United States.

Jim said...

fls -

The McCain campaign ad was the easiest place to find the video clip, but I'm glad you got a giggle out of being proven a complete liar by Bill Clinton.

We already went over the fillibustering the other day when you tried to peddle the same craptastic fantasy that Republicans were responsible for what Democrats took money hand-over-fist for doing. Look it up, I'm not going to do the homework for you again.

Quayle said...

On what moral or equitable basis can anyone say to a man that just made a large amount of money on some transaction, "you don't deserve that - give it to me"?

Make your case for "fairness".

Or would you argue that it is fair and just for one man to work and another man to reap the benefits.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Now, $1 is proportionally worth more to you than to your erstwhile neighbor, even though he makes much more money than you.

So what?

Quayle said...

"My early Christian training keeps surfacing"

Where in the sources of your Christian training did Christ ever say that his teachings were supposed to be implemented by a government?

I recall him saying that his kingdom was not of this world, and that the kingdom of God was inside each person.

From this I conclude that charity is a person, indivual choice.

Further I conclude that those that say they are being charitable by using the power of the state to carry out thier so called charity, are knaves and liars.

The fact is that we don't really individually care about the poor in America. We say we do, but we don't.

We only want to give them enough food and money to keep them from burning our cities down.

But we don't really care, because the one equal and scarce commodity we each have (i.e. time) is not used to help them.

Michael said...

Pogo, I repeat: "Your comments are really cute, but why are you so obsessed with 5% of businesses paying more taxes?"

Can't com up with an answer can you?

And you've never owned a business have you?

Simon said...

Paul, Quayle - Everyone agrees that the tax burden should be distributed fairly across the population. The question is what constitutes such a fair distribution. I don't think that it is just or fair to take someone who works two jobs and must still choose between eating and getting their medication, and someone whose most consequential choice of the day is between taking the Humvee or the Lexus, and levying the same dollar amount of tax on them both. I don't think you'd find many people who thought that a fair system, and I think you'd find few people who'd say that both were paying the same tax in anything but the most blindly literal sense.

With that said, you should keep in mind that if I had my way, the total number of federal activities requiring funding (and thus the tax burden to distribute) would drop like a stone.

Simon said...

Quayle said...
"Where in the sources of your Christian training did Christ ever say that his teachings were supposed to be implemented by a government?"

Exactly. This is such a silly point that the left uses - "Oh, Jesus would have supported welfare." Well, maybe - but Christ at most instructed his followers to help the poor, not to force their neighbor to help the poor, which is the upshot of government programs.

former law student said...

Look it up, I'm not going to do the homework for you again.

The dog must have eaten Jim's homework. I checked all four web pages google found -- nada:

Results 1 - 4 of 4 from althouse.blogspot.com over the past month for jim filibuster OR filibustering. (0.25 seconds)

Sep 15, 2008 -
Althouse: "What's happened to John McCain? He's running the ...
I'll filibuster FISA Unfortunately, the media is the willing accomplice. ...... Obama needs a Jim Carville type of guy in his campaign. ...

16 hours ago -
Althouse: Live-blogging the VP debate.
I'd rather listen to Joseph Biden filibuster than listen to people talk about .... 1 gulp of Jack for every punch below the belt to Joe
Biden (who, Jim ...

Sep 28, 2008 -
Althouse: "No solution to a problem can be more elegant than the ...
... Democrats filibustered) but they didn't try enough to find out if they would filibuster. ..... Jim Gust - WOW...and yet another wingnut joins the fray! ...

Sep 14, 2008 -
Althouse: Some people say America wants change. But what makes you ...
He's already thrown one under the bus (Jim Johnson), but the other remains there . - Combine the Countrywide collapse (which Jim Johnson had an integral part ...

former law student said...

would you argue that it is fair and just for one man to work and another man to reap the benefits.

Bill Gates is not working in a vacuum here. If he feels his tax burden is unfair, let him move to Albania and enjoy the benefits of the flat tax. But, because that would mean giving up the benefits of our legal system, our educational system, our infrastructure, etc. etc., I suspect he'd rather not.

former law student said...

Where in the sources of your Christian training did Christ ever say that his teachings were supposed to be implemented by a government?

Quayle argues that Christians can abandon all their principles when it comes to government. Pretty radical; Quayle might be a godless Communist.

Ken said...

Fact check passed over several serious Biden errors. We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon? Not a small error. Or the business that disappeared 15 years ago, a victim of Bush's policies. Or the flat out errors - which the cruelly neutral lawyer missed - about the constitution (go to Reynolds for links.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I don't think that it is just or fair to take someone who works two jobs and must still choose between eating and getting their medication, and someone whose most consequential choice of the day is between taking the Humvee or the Lexus, and levying the same dollar amount of tax on them both.

Has anyone been arguing otherwise, or is this a transatlantic difference in usage? "Flat tax" here means a tax that increases with income at a constant marginal rate-- not a poll tax.

Michael said...

Ken, Both parties made factual errors, but I think the bottom line is this: Biden has more experience and articulated his responses in a more organized manner.

I watched the debate with a group of friends, both Democrats and Republicans, and the biggest complaint from everybody was Palin's constantly diverting away from the crux of the actual question.

Everybody, myself included, felt she did much better than in her interviews, but not answering the questions directly was a mistake.

I don't think this helped her credibility and probably made many feel she was merely repeating scripted lines she had memorized.

Bart DePalma said...

Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.

Actually. Palin is speaking about combat troops.

We reinforced the support troops to supply the Iraqi military operations and that is the small overage which currently exists.

The combat troops are the ones in what is left of harm's way in Iraq and the troops Obama is speaking of withdrawing.

Michael said...

quayle: "Where in the sources of your Christian training did Christ ever say that his teachings were supposed to be implemented by a government?"

Well, maybe not exactly, the Bible certainly makes it fairly clear that he put pressure on people (governments included?) to help his fellow man.

I can't imagine Jesus excluding government from such assistance, if anything he would recognize the fact that governments would have considerably more to contribute than individuals.

Synova said...

Exactly. This is such a silly point that the left uses - "Oh, Jesus would have supported welfare." Well, maybe - but Christ at most instructed his followers to help the poor, not to force their neighbor to help the poor, which is the upshot of government programs.

The Epistles, where Christians are often taking up collections and sending them to other churches, or even trying full communism within the group, make it pretty clear that people were only supposed to give what they felt motivated to give. The couple who... were they struck dead?.. for with-holding some of their wealth were punished for lying to God about it, not for not giving everything they owned. Apparently they were going for the public acclaim about what fabulous people they were and how much they cared. In another place, people were chided for not sending on what they had pledged to those expecting the help.

Other than that, there is reference to true orphans and widows that should receive help from the church... the distinction between widows and orphans who had family and those who really and truly had no one, was important.

People who pledged their wealth to God and then didn't help their own family or parents were soundly chastised... and I think that was Jesus in the Gospels who did that, and not Paul or some other Apostle.

There is a feeling, and it's encouraged by Welfare, that people shouldn't have to take care of their own families. What a tragedy if someone has to support their own parents!

No, I REALLY don't think that Jesus would have supported welfare. Charity, certainly! And I don't think that the notion of a required "tithe" to be used to care for the poor is contrary to His teaching... but if someone wants to make claims about what Jesus would have supported I'm pretty sure that the "needs test" would make the most die hard Libertarian very happy.

Michael said...

I posted this earlier, but can anyone explain how a $5,000 "tax credit" will allow an individual or family to purchase insurance...considering the actual cost of decent insurance?

My wife and I pay $4,800 a year in additional supplemental payments, even while covered via a major corporation's coverage, and that doesn't deal with dental.

I also don't understand how such a plan would help those who can't even get insurance because of pre-existing conditions, poor health or age.

Would insurance companies be forced to provide coverage?

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

One way to address your equity concern is to give everyone a tax credit of say $2000 per person but only if the person actually had that much tax withheld.

Jim said...

fls -

Are you sure you and Michael aren't the same person?

You both lose arguments, then a couple days later raise the same exact arguments anyway as if you weren't proven to be either completely mistaken or flat out lying when it came up the first time.

This just happened a couple of days ago, so unless you're suffering from sever short-term memory loss I call bullshit on you pretending not to remember the conversation.

Doubling down on the dishonesty: the preferred methodology of all Axelrod AstroTurfers evidently...

Jim said...

michael -

Now I'm sure you and fls must be either the same person or have studied the same AstroTurfing manual.

You've asked this question before, and I've answered it before. My family pays less than $5K per year for health insurance, and I'm self-employed with no discounts.

As I also explained to you at the time, it would be even lower if Democrats hadn't blocked the ability of self-employed people to be part of "group plans" because they wanted to keep using healthcare as a campaign issue rather than actually doing something about it.

If the Democrats weren't so partisan on the issue, my family's insurance would cost half of what it does. So thanks for part of the problem....

Do you just have a set list of "questions" that you run down? What happened, did you get to the end of the list and have to start over again?

Jim said...

michael -

if anything he would recognize the fact that governments would have considerably more to contribute than individuals.

You're twice wrong here:

1) Leave the theology to people who actually practice a Christian faith which you either don't or don't actually understand. Your ignorance of the teachings of Jesus with regard to governments and people's proper relationship is so embarrassingly off-base that I couldn't begin to address all the ignorance on display in a reasonable length post.

2) You have a typical Leftist understanding of government: namely that "it" does anything separate from individuals. Individuals form governments and the government can't "do" anything unless they take money from individuals to do it. Further, the "government" can't do anything unless the individuals who comprise it decide that it should.

So it's just plain ignorance to say that "governments do more than individuals". Individuals can just easily act through private charities, churches, chambers of commerce, etc. Only a Leftist would assume that the only way to accomplish collective goals is through the auspices of an ever larger bureaucracy.

AJ Lynch said...

Jim : here is a great example of how regulations increase insurance premium costs: the Senate bailout bill mandated insurance companies provide benefits for mental health coverage in all insurance policies.

These mandates drive up the cost of insurance premiums!

Michael and FLS are incapable of grasping this cost concept.

Roger J. said...

Jim: Michael probably does not remember that Jesus said my kingdom is not of this earth..and Romans thirteen tell Christians it is their duty to obey the civic authorities..Those two jump out at me, and am a lapsed, unchurched backedslider!

Roger J. said...

And apparently Michael has not read Tocqueville's democracy in america about charity and self action.

Michael said...

Roger: Tocqueville hung around with with Jesus?

SGT Ted said...

Trumpit said...
"cereal mendacity"


My Post Toasties lie all the time!

Obama?Biden supporters have no room to complain about liars.

Michael said...

Jim, You know no more about Jesus than me.

And your silly comment that "Only a Leftist would assume that the only way to accomplish collective goals is through the auspices of an ever larger bureaucracy."

Is just nothing more than the standard right wing mantra which has been disproved time and time again: The current administration being the latest example.

You're pompous religious commentary is based on nothing more than your "beliefs" which are based on a book that was written by at least 40 different people over an expanse of about 15 or more centuries...so it's really a tad difficult to assign an "exactness" to what Jesus thought or did not think.

I find the use of what YOU think Jesus thought to bash "welfare"...rather un-Christinlike...especially considering there are many kinds of "welfare" relating to many kinds of situations.

Michael said...

Roger J. said..."Michael probably does not remember that Jesus said my kingdom is not of this earth..."

How do YOU know he said it?

Synova said...

So, Michael, is it really a tad difficult to assign an "exactness" to what Jesus thought or did not think. or is it the Bible certainly makes it fairly clear that he put pressure on people (governments included?) to help his fellow man.

Hm?

Or are you going to claim, again, that Jesus was a community organizer?

Synova said...

But seriously... you don't think the Bible is any sort of accurate so why even bring it up?

Oh yeah, to pummel Christians.

If you don't care what Jesus thought about anything, why should we care what you claim He thought about anything?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Synova said...
But seriously... you don't think the Bible is any sort of accurate so why even bring it up?

Oh yeah, to pummel Christians.

If you don't care what Jesus thought about anything, why should we care what you claim He thought about anything?

2:14 PM


Amen

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Now, $1 is proportionally worth more to you than to your erstwhile neighbor, even though he makes much more money than you.

So???

Life isn't fair.

Michael said...

Synova said..."But seriously... you don't think the Bible is any sort of accurate so why even bring it up?"

It's as "accurate" as anything written by (and edited) by as many as 40 people over a period or 15 or more centuries can be.

Why can't you just accept and admit the fact that much of what you say you "know" is based on pure "faith?"

There's nothing wrong with having "beliefs," it's acting as if those who don't share the same beliefs have to be wrong.

former law student said...

We kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon?

Biden simply misspoke: he said we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, leaving a power vacuum filled by Hezbollah.

You both lose arguments, then a couple days later raise the same exact arguments anyway as if you weren't proven to be either completely mistaken or flat out lying when it came up the first time.

Pity that jim can't provide links to these devastating refutations.

Leave the theology to people who actually practice a Christian faith which you either don't or don't actually understand.

The only thing Christian about some people's faith is the name on the building. Would Jesus recognize them as His own?

former law student said...

Life isn't fair.

So why bitch about repealing W.'s tax cuts for the top 5%?

Michael said...

Dust Bunny: "Life isn't fair."

Did Jesus say that?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So why bitch about repealing W.'s tax cuts for the top 5%?

The top 5% will get along just fine. Many of them will just move out of the country or move their businesses to a more business friendly environment.

I don't like it because it will be detrimental to the economy as a whole, cost people their jobs and raise the cost of goods across the board.

I also don't like it because it reeks of class warfare and socialistic principals.

Buy....hey if it makes you feel good to stick to the rich guys at the expense of the US economy. Go for it. My husband and I are self employed and can be very flexible with our tax deductions. :-)

Nichevo said...


Blogger Palladian said...

"Proof # 1,000,000,000 that there is no God worth wasting a moments time on."

LOL. Trumpit, you're the most amusingly batshit insane psycho ever to grace Althouse's comments section.



No shit. As below,


Blogger Roger J. said...

I certainly enjoy strumpit's usage of proper names: In one short paragraph alone: "McBush" "Painlynne", and "Rethuglican." Extraordinarily juvenile, even for a lefty, Trumpit--or should that be strumpit? You must have over a thousand posts on DU. Nicely done.

11:09 AM
</i

These wordplays in constant use with respect to people's names, especially those of perceived enemies, are a well-known tic of schizophrenics. Finely played, sir!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Did Jesus say that?

Maybe.

Do you know?

Michael said...

Synova - You can't represent Jesus as your savior and being just...without accepting the fact that he probably felt that those who could...should.

As to the community organizer tripe: GOOD GRIEF...are you STILL in that bullshit argument against Obama?

And why do you think Jeusu roamed the countryside giving speeches and sermons about helping your fellow man...but had absolutely nothing to do with actually "organizing" others to help out?

Your argument is so silly it's laughable.

Michael said...

Dust Bunny: You and others appear to know exactly what Jesus said.

Did he say it?

Or was it just YOU being selfish?

Michael said...

Dust Bunny Says: "The top 5% will get along just fine. Many of them will just move out of the country or move their businesses to a more business friendly environment."

Really?

They'll just pull up stakes and move out of the country because of that 5%, huh? (That's funny)

As for moving their companies out of the country...you're a tad late with that argument. (That's funny, too)

*Have you ever read the Wall Street Journal?

Palladian said...

"Doubling down on the dishonesty: the preferred methodology of all Axelrod AstroTurfers evidently..."

Michael is not an "AstroTurfer". "Alex" is the "AstroTurfer" in the Althouse comments. Michael is an "AssholeTurfer". They're much more common, and work for free.

Synova said...

The only thing Christian about some people's faith is the name on the building. Would Jesus recognize them as His own?

Well. When the disciples complained about some other group doing things in Jesus name and they felt they shouldn't be allowed to do so, Jesus told them to let them be.

And Michael doesn't answer the fact that I mentioned specific (if not exact, with verses, etc.) examples and instances of what the New Testament actually says that may apply to welfare and charity.

There is a lot of room to discuss what any of those things mean or how they ought to apply to our lives, but it's not a lame-O "What would Jesus Do?" sort of projection of our modern values on any given situation.

Or idiocy such as "Jesus was a community organizer".

Or trying to say that you *think* he simply *must have* at some point tried to convince government to take care of the poor. Because going through the "What Would Jesus Do" filter that really means "What I Think Is Right according to My Own Values" that he simply *must* have, at some point, told people that Rome ought to do more for Main Street Nazareth.

It's not as though the NT is silent on what Jesus or the early Christians felt was their responsibility to the poor in their midst. It's not like you *have* to make it up.

Joe said...

McCain's $5,000 "tax credit" for medical while taxing medical benefits is one of the dumbest proposals I've ever heard pass the lips of a politician. It's one of those things that makes us all dumber ever time it's uttered.

(And from a tax standpoint, this whole tax credit thing has gotten out of hand. I still think there should be a bare minimum tax, but you certainly shouldn't GET money back from the government. That's just stupid. As an FYI, you can game this quite easily.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dust Bunny: You and others appear to know exactly what Jesus said.

I have no idea what you are talking about. I also have no idea what Jesus said or didn't say. You must have me confused with someone else. Try to pay attention.

I'm agnostic. Never read the New Testament** and could not care less about anything religious unless people try to shove it in my face.

** I did read the Old Testament in my college studies pertaining to folklore, evolution of legends and respect to archeology of the middle east.

Michael said...

What would Jesus say about this?

McCain Campaign's Ad Spending Now Nearly 100 Percent Devoted To Attack Ads
By Greg Sargent - October 3, 2008, 2:51PM

The McCain campaign has now shifted virtually 100 percent of his national ad spending into negative ads attacking Obama, a detailed breakdown of his ad buys reveals.

ElcubanitoKC said...

FLS, Biden ALWAYS misspeaks. I don't call him Crazy Uncle Joe for nothing.

The US haven't as much as scratched Hezbollah since...well, ever.

The power vaccuum in Lebanon existed since before the appearance of Hezbollah. In fact, one could argue that even before the onset of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975, there was de facto a power vaccuum that allowed the PLO and other similar organizations to act like Hezbollah acts now, as a state within the state. It had happened in Jordan as well, prior to the 1970 Black September. The situation worsened considerably in the early 1980s, prompting the Israeli invasion, and then the UN mission of which the US marines assasinated by Hezbollah were part. Don't forget that this was the first major operation for Hezbollah.

The withdrawal that really empowered this group, was Israel's in 2000. Israel moved out of Southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah moved in. It didn't happen because the US and France, and the rest of the 1980s UN mission left.

Michael said...

Bunny: "I'm agnostic."

No guts, huh?

ElcubanitoKC said...

And to tie it all in, the fact that Biden doesn't know this, is unforgivable. He was in Congress before, during and after the Lebanese Civil War. He should know.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As for moving their companies out of the country...you're a tad late with that argument. (That's funny, too)

You're funny. You don't think that a corporation can change it's corporate location to another State or another Country? It's called reincorporation and happens all the time. Bermuda is nice.

*Have you ever read the Wall Street Journal

Duh. I subscribe and write it off on my taxes too. lol

Michael said...

ElcubanitoKC - Give it up. Whining about what you consider Biden errors is a waste of time.

Right now it's the "economy, stupid."

Why not explain how a $5,000 tax credit will buy insurance or guarantee coverage.

Now, THAT would be interesting.

Michael said...

Bunny asks: "You don't think that a corporation can change it's corporate location to another State or another Country?"

Uhhh, yeahhhh.

But I think it's been an ongoing strategy for quite some time.

Been in a coma?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why not explain how a $5,000 tax credit will buy insurance or guarantee coverage.

Now, THAT would be interesting.


It won't.

Joe said...

"Render unto Ceasare that which is Ceasar's and unto God that which is God's."

Matthew 22:21

Synova said...

You can't represent Jesus as your savior and being just...without accepting the fact that he probably felt that those who could...should.

Just by who's standards?

If you don't work, don't eat?

Or maybe the admonitions in the Epistles that seem to be in response to people who went for the "lets all pool our resources" and started taking advantage?

Taken as a whole the bible seems fairly consistent... you're expected to work... you're expected to take care of your own family, marry your brother's widow, and not foist those people related to you off onto the charity of others. The poor were certainly meant to be helped. Alms given. And the wealthy were not to be valued over others.

But to take this and insist that "just" means welfare anything like we've got now ignores the truth that God does understand our human weakness and "just" is not served by producing a system that leads people to believe that they should not be required to support their parents!

Egad.

Henry said...

What would Jesus say about this?

How blest are those who hunger and thirst to see right prevail.

Michael said...

ElcubanitoKC - You find this bit about Biden "unforgivable," but that Palin thinks Russia might invade Alaska...interesting?

Or that she doesn't know what she reads?

How about unemployment going UP for the 9th straight month?

Any of that register with you?

ElcubanitoKC said...

You are telling me to give this gaffe up but when you foam at the mouth by one made by Palin or McCain your autism kicks in and it's impossible to shut you the hell up. You should be more medicated.

Palladian said...

"You should be more medicated"

Yes, let's get Dr Kevorkian to phone in a prescription.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Actually, idiot, despite the decline the unemployment rate is holding steady at 6.1%. Find me a source to the contrary.

ElcubanitoKC said...

And, yes, I find Biden's mistake unforgivable because he pompously reminds everyone who he is, and where he has been for almost 40 years.

And there you go, foaming at the mouth again...You need a muzzle and a leash.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Palladian said...
"You should be more medicated"

Yes, let's get Dr Kevorkian to phone in a prescription.

3:05 PM


I have his number.

Joe said...

michael, having run my own company and worked most of my adult life for small companies that fall in that 5% (I argue 10%) category--they may not move, but they may, and have, outsourced (sometimes out of the US, sometimes with local contractors), have cut benefits and have laid people off.

You simply cannot tax a company and not have some negative consequences (we accept some of those, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.)

(Incidentally, what bugged me the most when running my own company wasn't income tax, it was payroll taxes: FICA and Medicare. It especially irritated me that the combined [self and company] amount I was paying into Medicare was enough to cover a health insurance plan [yes, I even priced one out at our local health care monopoly.] Doing inventory and depreciation for the county property tax was also very burdensome and I was a small company--it must be a nightmare for any company of significant size. The last irritant was EIC. Thank God I didn't have to give anyone an advance on that--what a headache.)

ElcubanitoKC said...

Oh, yeah, and it's not "what I consider" Biden's mistake. IT IS Biden's mistake. You simply can't ignore history.

Synova said...

Oh, and you're supposed to let the poor people go through your fields after harvest and collect the grain that got missed, and not chase them off.

I suppose a modern equivalent would be the poor who pick up cans, wash windshields or sell trinkets, and return airport carts for the dollar deposit.

We're not supposed to run those people off or try to keep them out of sight, even if they clutter up our tidy, modern lives as we rush to work in our very expensive and stylish shoes.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Ah, he's googling the facts...predictable.

Quayle said...

Here is this year's version of the annual letter sent out to all Mormons in America, by the First presidency of the Church.

"Political Participation, Voting, and the Political Neutrality of the Church"

"As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future."

"Latter-day Saints as citizens are to seek out and then uphold leaders who will act with integrity and are wise, good, and honest. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties."

"Therefore, in this election year, we urge you to register to vote, to study the issues and candidates carefully and prayerfully, and then to vote for and actively support those you believe will most nearly carry out your ideas of good government."

"The Church affirms its neutrality regarding political parties, platforms, and candidates. The Church also affirms its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues."

Sincerely yours,

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The First Presidency

Joe said...

Quayle, you know darn well that if you run the letter through the Mormon secret decoder ring it says who to vote for!

former law student said...

It's called reincorporation and happens all the time. Bermuda is nice.

Fine. Let the taxpayers of Bermuda bail them out.

mccullough said...

If Obama and McCain were serious about tax proposals they would both propose eliminating itemized deductions for individuals and substitute it with the standard deduction.

Only 28% of individual tax filers itemize (mortgate interest, state and local taxes, charitable contributions).

If Obama cut out all the deductions, he wouldn't have to raise income tax brackets. But the non-profits in this country would get out the torches and pitchforks, even though the "middle class" wouldn't be affected. (If we agree that the middle class are those in the 25% to 75% on the income level).


Why should the tax code

Roger J. said...

MIchael: You were the one that asserted you knew what the Christ's view of government responsibility was; I only quoted scripture.

You really need to get smarter, son. But given your limited intelligence isnt going to happen. You are really an embarassment to the many intelligent lefties out there. Take your ritalin and go to bed.

AJ Lynch said...

Re non-profits aka charitable organizations.

They will be hurting when Obama raises taxes on the affluent by 30%or more.

Less money in your pocket means less money to give away.

mccullough said...

AJ Lynch,

Paradoxically, it's when the tax rates are raised that charitable giving goes up. People apparently have the attitude that it's better to give it away than to the government when the government stands to make more.

Nonetheless, there's no reason the government should subsidize the top 28%.

mccullough said...

AJ Lynch,

Paradoxically, it's when the tax rates are raised that charitable giving goes up. People apparently have the attitude that it's better to give it away than to the government when the government stands to make more.

Nonetheless, there's no reason the government should subsidize the top 28%.

Synova said...

Subsidize?

Not taking your money away is a subsidy?

Michael The Magnificent said...

Synova: Subsidize? Not taking your money away is a subsidy?

You're talking to lefties, here. You're presuming that "your money" belongs to you.

vbspurs said...

I think my favourite fake-fact was Biden asking people to follow him to Katy's Restaurant, or to the Home Depot.

Katy's apparently closed down in 1993, and someone called all the Wilmington Home Depots -- no one claimed to have ever have seen him there.

But THAT isn't a lie!

Cheers,
Victoria

EDH said...

In fact, Reagan was not warning about a general lack of vigilance about freedom, he was warning what would happen if Medicare was enacted.

Part and parcel.

Joe said...

One other point about tax fairness: shouldn't the standard of fairness be based on benefits received? In reality the middle class receives that vast bulk of federal benefits across the board.