July 11, 2010

"But conservatives need to recognize that the most pernicious sort of redistribution isn’t from the successful to the poor."

"It’s from savers to speculators, from outsiders to insiders, and from the industrious middle class to the reckless, unproductive rich."

94 comments:

Kevin said...

Don't agree. The most pernicious sort of redistribution is from everyone else to the political class.

Seven Machos said...

So it's not Tom and Daisy defaulting on the house. It's Gatsby.

Fred4Pres said...

They used to say the proletariats live in the present, the aristocrats live on the past, and the bourgeois live for the future.

But that was all before compounding interest and six figure debt on us all.

But agree that we are punishing thrifty careful behavior and rewarding the foolhardy and reckless. And yes, many are playing the system.

John Lynch said...

I don't have much to disagree with here. The article's right.

It's not just our laws that are the problem. It's a culture that values borrowers over savers, and consumption over prudence.

Revenant said...

the most pernicious sort of redistribution isn’t from the successful to the poor. It’s from [...] the industrious middle class to the reckless, unproductive rich.

I'm glad to hear that the New York Times has finally come out in favor of abolishing Social Security and Medicare. People age 65+ are the richest age group in the country, and the least productive.

Seven Machos said...

Sadly, Rev, it's just the token conservative.

Lem said...

Its annoying when writers (i do this sometomes but then again I'm not really a writer Am I?) write some big opening and then in the following paragraph they, if not completely, deny everything they said in the opening.

WTF?

John Lynch said...

I usually skip intros anyway. They are usually just a hook and tell you nothing.

Lem said...

and the I read..

But the problem, here and elsewhere, isn’t exactly that we tax high rollers’ incomes too lightly. It’s that we subsidize their irresponsibility too heavily — underwriting their bad bets and bailing out their follies. The class warfare we need is a conservative class warfare, which would force the million-dollar defaulters to pay their own way from here on out.

It kind of makes sense.

Lem said...

And then he put his foot in his mouth.

..whose costs to the federal Treasury are covered by the tax dollars of Americans who either rent or own more modest homes.

..he goes back to the shed again.

The people of the United States are not the people of the United States to "cost" or "make" anything for the federal treasury - asshole!!

Lem said...

Sorry Professor about cursing but .. thank God I think we can honestly say whats on our minds here.. w/o fear or .. we can just say it.

Lem said...

In case after case, Washington’s web of subsidies and tax breaks effectively takes money from the middle class and hands it out to speculators and have-mores. We subsidize drug companies, oil companies, agribusinesses disguised as “family farms” and “clean energy” firms that aren’t energy-efficient at all.

To read this drivel, if I was not an American, I would think the government was being run by a foreign entity. It is the same liberals he aims to defend that have created the monster he now described as our devouring monster.

Did I say this guy might be an asshole?

Flexo said...

The most pernicious sort of redistribution is that which is forced and involuntary, the kind where it is any business of people like Douthat to decide what other people do or do not do with their own money.

And, frankly, most conservatives couldn't care less about what Weigel-clone and probable JournoLister Douthat says about conservatives.

Ron said...

Is Russ' argument centering on the quality and flavor of bandits? "See, the feds are as bad a thief as THESE thieves!"

Russ...not an actual conservative, but he plays one on TV, er the NYT

Lem said...

..that seeks to shrink government by attacking Washington’s wasteful spending.. And sometimes conservative politicians make moves in this direction... House Minority Leader John Boehner, to his great credit, recently floated the possibility of means-testing Social Security.

Notice how liberals are sure to mention, or at least say bipartisanship things about unpopular, politically risky things to the "benefit" of conservatives wanting to do the "right thing"

Its called spreading the risk.. not the wealth.

ASSHOLE!!

Lem said...

I was very happy to hear that David Frum was, at least in some conservatives circles, excommunicated.

We cant afford to have people pretending to be something they are not.

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't see the transfer to the reckless, unproductive rich. But other than that, I agree.

I would also add transfers from the industrious middle class to the freeloading government employees.

I read a Heritage report yesterday that compared private and public pay and benefits. Part of what is interesting about it is that in terms of pay, public employees in managerial or professional white collar jobs didn't earn notably more than their private employee counterparts (ignoring their much higher benefits). But in the clerical ranks, they earned much more. That DMV clerk earns far more than she would, given her credentials, than she would in private enterprise.

I think that a lot of us are a bit miffed that so much of the Stimulus bill went to giving government employees raises (and was thus counted as "saving jobs"), and that government employees have for the most part not felt the recession as the rest of the country has.

And, of course, the financial problems that most of the states face right now comes from being coopted by their employees. Through the Bush boom, the states and their subdivisions hired a bunch of new employees, gave them all raises, and, worse, cranked up their retirement benefits. Indeed, about the only place left in this country where you can find defined benefit retirement plans is in the public sector. And, somehow, we are all supposed to bail out the states that most egregious in this regard.

Lem said...

David Frum.. he couldn't wait to claim credit for the phrase "axis of evil".

Does he actually believe it?

I would be ashamed to go on TV and say things that undermined the things that put me on the freaking national spot light to begin with.. decency asshole!!

I mean, wahts going here?

This is why regular average folk tune politics out.

David Frum is an asshole.. sorry about the coarse language Althouse.

I feel a Howard Cosell moment coming on ;)

Bruce Hayden said...

Don't agree. The most pernicious sort of redistribution is from everyone else to the political class.

I disagree to some extent. The political class wastes far more money on buying votes than it ever accumulates for itself. If we just gave each of them a million dollars a year, and promised to keep them in office for life if they would just not spend money on buying votes, the deficit would disappear over night. A million dollars a year for everyone in Congress is only about a half a billion dollars a year, out of a trillion plus dollar budget.

The problem, as I see it, is that Congress seems willing to spend hundreds of millions, if not more buying votes, for each thousand dollars that they manage to pocket for themselves.

Lem said...

btw.. I think its only fair that I should clarify should there be any misunderstanding..

My fee is in the mail ;)

bagoh20 said...

Not that the current pyramid schemes our government is involved in are speculation. That's investment in our future, don't you know.

Lem said...

I heard that line..

"My fee is in the mail" and I just cant seem to get it out of my head.. its like a catchy jingle..

By Mennen..

By Mennen is a is a is a kind of catchy. yeaa..

wv : remorms

bagoh20 said...

Without risk taking there is no future. Freaking pundits are all acting like this crap never happened before. Risk taking is self limiting in a free market. The problem is when government policy starts playing with the rules of what is a dangerous but rewarding game, i.e., life for free people.

Eventually you get to where people don't even understand the oldest, most basic concepts. Education is no protection, since it gets infected with the same stupidity.

Lem said...

My fee is in the mail..

I could channel my father and do a sermon on "my fee is in the mail"

First of all "my fee" implies the kind of certitude not found in many christians today..

Waht is our fee? do we have a fee.. do we even know when to charge? when to charge the enemy to confront.

Do we live passive lives.. just blogging along.. not mailing anything?

The internet is a mailing disruption of a many cristians today.. do they pray?

Fred4Pres said...

Lem said...
I was very happy to hear that David Frum was, at least in some conservatives circles, excommunicated.

We cant afford to have people pretending to be something they are not.

7/12/10 1:10 AM


You are a good man Lem.

As for Frum, he is covering for Andrew Sullivan this week at the Daily Dish. As a wise man said, we cant afford to have people pretending to be something they are not.

Lem said...

I want a Cristian that can mail a check.

"My fee is in the mail" that is what is apparent to us today.. but should there be any delay.. waths going to happen then?

Should your fee be delayed in heaven?.. how are you going to stave off the claims adjuster?.. the plumber?.. the nail polisher?

these fees have to be payed!

have you mailed any fees? do you know the wonder of mailing a fee?

Revenant said...

Most conservatives opposed TARP, Porkulus, the GM/Chrysler bailouts... i.e., the various transfers from the "industrious middle class" to the "reckless, unproductive rich". Why is this guy talking like this is something conservatives need to START doing?

Methadras said...

This is now the LEM show.

Lem said...

Really Fred?

you are not making that up?

If there were ever two people that kind of were for each other.

Holy Toledo!

Its too good to be true.. I'm going to postpone any celebrations ;)

I'm going away for a minute to check this out.. Please Fred don't do this to frail people like me.. its not fair.

Lem said...

This is from Andrews "the Daily Dish"

"Above is a clip of Dave Weigel and David Frum discussing partisanship in DC and how neither of them fit very well in either camp at the moment"

Frauds usually don't!

Oh Fred thanks.. that was hilarious.. honestly.. listening to the two of them pat each other in the back.. frauds I don't know what else to call it.

At least David owns up to a bit of truth when he says "the thing is .. people dont generally trust news organisations in the first place"..

Anyway I dont have time to listen to the whole thing.. I have a fee to mail.

Lem said...

See wahth happens on the way to the post office?.. you run into a tea party you had not planned on.

A liberal friend comes to tell you about a rumor that Air America is coming back on the air.

All designed to prevent you form mailing the fee.

Now.. You may think this is not the time nor the palace but why are you sitting on and not mailing the fee?

Are we talking about stamps here?

Lem said...

The longer you wait the higher the stamp fee is going to be..

Or did you think stamps came w/o a fee?

Just because you are not mailing our fee dosent mean the rest of the world is not malling theirs.

Its near 10 pm (somewhere around the glove) do you know where your fee is?

Its a simple question to many of us in the fee mailing cause.. but as as we always say "a mailed fee.. is a fee that.. has no cause for alarm" .. a mailed fee is a good fee.. a mailed fee always comes home.

Lem said...

Sorry.. I was channeling that awful brit from Three Weddings and a Funeral, Hugh Grant.

I have never seen anybody play a character more often.

Lem said...

Anyways.. I guess this is the end of the line..

when the bet you can do is Hugh Grant its time to call it a night.

rhhardin said...

WSJ pieces universally have a short final paragraph with some memorable lesson drawn by a sophomore.

NYT pieces' arguments consist entirely of "to need."

The pernicious thing is government programs that distort price signals, which is most of them.

Starting with a progressive tax system.

Lem said...

I woke up bcause I forgot to mention someone.

Kudos a La Reina de España, su Majestad La Reina Sofia.

Presente a los dos campeonatos de Nadal y a el Mundial. Coño.

No esta malo.. La Reina esta de pura racha.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Revenant: Most conservatives opposed TARP, Porkulus, the GM/Chrysler bailouts... i.e., the various transfers from the "industrious middle class" to the "reckless, unproductive rich".

Yes, all the "forgotten" types of redistribution the article mentions are perpetrated by the government, and seem to be the result of moderate liberals trying to appear "business friendly".

Robert Cook said...

The wealthy aren't like you or me...they're bigger hypocrites and thieves than the rest of us.

Of course, it's a truism of human nature historically that the rich flatter themselves that their wealth is God's sign of their special virtue, while their inferiors' lesser good fortune reveals them to be...inferior.

Paul Zrimsek said...

People like Robert Cook, on the other hand, don't need any particular reason to flatter themselves. It's enough that other people be sinners.

edutcher said...

Last I heard, 70% of all millionaires in this country were self-made, so they made something or did something of value to other people during their own lifetime, and not by inheriting fortunes like the Kennedys or Sulzbergers.

Which means they probably created private sector jobs - which is the real offense; that, and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Revenant said...

Most conservatives opposed TARP, Porkulus, the GM/Chrysler bailouts... i.e., the various transfers from the "industrious middle class" to the "reckless, unproductive rich". Why is this guy talking like this is something conservatives need to START doing?

Best answered by the phrase, "We have always been at war with Oceania".

HDHouse said...

awww why take away from the free lunch wing of the republican party? such a downer for them to get hit with that message and for a party that can't stand the truth, let alone bad news, well....

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
Last I heard, 70% of all millionaires in this country were self-made..."

where did you hear that edutcher?..you need to stop reading the walls in the public stalls at Grand Central..ya'betcha.

HDHouse said...

Bruce Hayden said...
".... a Heritage report yesterday that compared private and public pay and benefits. ... in terms of pay, public employees in managerial or professional white collar jobs didn't earn notably more than their private employee counterparts ..."

Is there a comparable job to an IRS worker in the private sector? Or a clerk at Health and Human Services? That's where the logic of the "Heritage Institute" withers and dies on the vine.

Pogo said...

"Is there a comparable job to an IRS worker in the private sector? Or a clerk at Health and Human Services? That's where the logic of the "Heritage Institute" withers and dies on the vine."

a) IRS worker = Corporate compliance clerk
b) a clerk at Health and Human Services = a clerk at any desk anywhere

The Crack Emcee said...

The word they're searching for is "charlatans".

A.W. said...

kevin

that's pretty bad, but so is redistribution at the hands of government, period, becuase then it is adapting the mechanisms of government for what amounts to highway robbery.

The Crack Emcee said...

Bruce Hayden,

"I don't see the transfer to the reckless, unproductive rich."

So, either you've never heard of Oprah, or you think she worked really, really hard to bring us The Secret.

Which is it?

AprilApple said...

Whatever the democrats do, it's to benefit and enhance their power.

Here In CO, both of the democrats vying for the senate seat have to lie in order to trick voters into voting for them. They both claim to want to clean up corrupt Washington, but they both want "single payer" government sanctioned redistributionist tax payer funded health care and they would both vote "yes" on everything Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi write.

HDHouse said...

Pogo said...
"IRS worker = Corporate compliance clerk"


I misunderstood the depths of your lack of knowledge.

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

"In case after case, Washington’s web of subsidies and tax breaks effectively takes money from the middle class and hands it out to speculators and have-mores. We subsidize drug companies, oil companies, agribusinesses disguised as “family farms” and “clean energy” firms that aren’t energy-efficient at all."

He's right. But, the game is also about taking from the producer class (non-union middle class) and giving it to the leisure class.

AJ Lynch said...

Hdhouse seems to believe the average IRS worker is highly skilled so he must be highly paid!

Hdhouse seems to believe the average medicare / social security clerk is highly skilled so he must be highly paid!

Does he really & truly believe that?

AJ Lynch said...

I bet the subsidies to the lazy class are far more than the subsidies Douhat is whining about.

BTW this article marks the final step of Douhat's formal conversion to the psuedo-conservative punditry where he joins Brooks, Weigel, etc.

Pogo said...

"I misunderstood the depths of your lack of knowledge."

Exceeded only by your credulousness.

reader_iam said...

AJ: With regard specifically to what Ross Douthat's writing about in THIS column, pseudo-conservative my ass!!!

Quite frankly, I think that applies more to the kneejerk position you're taking in your comment, friend.

reader_iam said...

IMO, you're doing conservatism a great disservice when you respond like that.

dbp said...

According to, The Millionaire Next Door
The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

By Thomas J. Stanley, Ph. D. and William D. Danko, Ph. D.

Link

"About 80 percent of us are first-generation affluent"

Larry J said...

the most pernicious sort of redistribution isn’t from the successful to the poor. It’s from [...] the industrious middle class to the reckless, unproductive rich.

The bottom 50% of wage earners only pay about 4% of all federal income taxes. Sure, they pay their portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes but if they have children, that can be completely offset by the mis-names "Earned Income Tax Credit." Then there are the millions of people who completely get their income (plus housing, medical care, food stamps, etc) from others and have no legal income at all.

I guess none of these people send their kids to school, drive on the highways, get any coverage from the police and fire departments, or do anything at the cost of the rest of us. No wealth distribution going on here. Move along.

bagoh20 said...

Some comments here seem to indicate that there is a belief that a successful person upon achieving wealth should immediately get a job working hard for minimum wage so as to not let being wealthy have any advantages.

reader_iam said...

Bullshit.

AJ Lynch said...

Reader:

Here is my position. I don't care for govt programs but if we must have these govt programs, allow everyone to feed at the trough. Even if they are millionaires!

I am tired of govt programs that are limited due to some pols's idea of middle class income or "the rich".

Where this thinking by Douhat is going is to put income limits on socisl security and medicare programs. Do you think that is appropriate Reader? Require 100% of Americans to pay in 15% of their lifetime earnings and then when they hit 65 tell some "sorry you are too well off- life's a bitch and you should have spent more of your money instead of saving it".

Got it my friend?

AJ Lynch said...

Reader:

And furthermore [heh], if we scrapped most of our wealth redistribution schemes including the mortgage interest deduction, we could take the money saved and give every adult [over 30 years old] $1,000 per month and the budget impact would be zero.

That is the kind of reform and fairness and consistency I'd support. And it would rid us of the 24/7 whining self-interest dependency groups.

reader_iam said...

I would be 100% fine with scrapping the mortgage interest deduction and similar redistribution schemes. But I am more of flat-taxer myself--I'd keep it pretty low and even be OK with a reasonable personal allowa but I'd do it across the board and apply it to EVERYTHING--W-2, bonuses, investment income, any incoming income stream. No tilting in any direction.

AJ, anything that's done to SS is going to affect us. They're talking about raising eligibility to age 70, for example, and that's just now. (I expect that age to rise in the future, and well before I hit 70 in 20 years). I think that's a foregone conclusion, no matter what I like or do not like. And I've paid into social security, too (actually, I have paid in both halves of SS for more than half of my adult working life--adult working life defined as 18 and over, and my husband for all but 10 years of his, so I don't say that lightly).

And I didn't buy a home I couldn't afford, much less a SECOND home or INVESTMENT home I couldn't afford, and I'm not walking away from mortages and debts. I didn't speculate, stupidly or not, and then decide to walk away because it's not such a great investment anymore.

I mean, c'mon the hell on.

DADvocate said...

I don't see the transfer to the reckless, unproductive rich. But other than that, I agree.

I would also add transfers from the industrious middle class to the freeloading government employees.


Amen.

It's more like the termporarily rich or pretending to be rich. Government employments are becomeing a burden to society. By its nature government produces little. We have too many people involved in this government activity.

Class factotum said...

So it's not Tom and Daisy defaulting on the house. It's Gatsby.

Yep. See this story: http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/article_eba91897-c45d-535d-a9d4-52a699b86eae.html

Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.

More than 1 in 7 homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars is seriously delinquent, according to data compiled by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lenders. About 1 in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.

Although it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment.

"The rich are different: They are more ruthless," said Sam Khater, CoreLogic's senior economist.

garage mahal said...

First Climategate scientists are vindicated, and now now this. Not a good week for zombie lies.

AJ Lynch said...

Reader:
"AJ, anything that's done to SS is going to affect us. They're talking about raising eligibility to age 70, for example, and that's just now.."

Reader - what annoys the hell out of me is the deficit commission is stocked with the same DC insiders who got us into this mess led by longtime reublican senator and blowhard, Alan Simpson.

For once, I'd love to see a Beltway commission led by people like you Reader or Seven or Palladian or Bruce Hayden.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage said:
"First Climategate scientists are vindicated, and now now this. Not a good week for zombie lies."

Haha yeah right and I predict Senator Alan Simpson and the deficit commission will find him 100% blameless for the rampant spending in the last 30 years.

Comrade X said...

Not a good week for zombie lies.

A commenter on this very site was crying during the Obamacare debate that he couldn't afford diabetes supplies for his daughter and needed my help. 3 months later he was bragging about the 3 new Trek bicycles he bought for his family.

Cedarford said...

But conservatives need to recognize that the most pernicious sort of redistribution isn’t from the successful to the poor. It’s from savers to speculators, from outsiders to insiders, and from the industrious middle class to the reckless, unproductive rich.

That is a great line by Ross Douthat.
And he is right.
Until brainless conservatives who ideologically extol hedge fund owners, Wall Street bankers, and taxpayer insured and taxpayer debt-fueled waterfront property McMansion speculators - Consrvatives will always get pinned with the "tools of the rich" not champions of the middle class label.

Hating Obama does not mean pining for the return of the Bushies and the immense domestic damage that crowd did to the middle class.

edutcher said...

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
Last I heard, 70% of all millionaires in this country were self-made..."

where did you hear that edutcher?..you need to stop reading the walls in the public stalls at Grand Central..ya'betcha.


That's where you get your info, obviously.

YA BETCHA!!!!

FWIW to those who can actually stand the truth, it's closer to 80%, according to Reader's Digest.

Pogo said...
"IRS worker = Corporate compliance clerk"


I misunderstood the depths of your lack of knowledge.


As usual, Pogo is more than right. Most people would cringe if they knew who was actually working on their tax returns. If you remember who the Deadheads were, that was how a lot of them financed their year on the road.

traditionalguy said...

Redistribution from the savers to the vote buying government rulers using hoax and scam taxes for "Windmill Power" to be sold by their accomplices is called hyper inflation.

AJ Lynch said...

The WSJ had an article last year on a mortgage re-do for a guy in California.

He had owned his home for almost 40 years, was a retired state prison guard and owed more than $400K in mortgages. He claimed he re-financed the home and spent some of the money on his late wife's medical bills.

Bottom line is the bank/ govt redid his mortgage into like a $100K reverse mortgage so he gets to stay there forever until he dies and has no mortgage payment. And the tax law was amended in 2007 so he has no tax liability on the forgiven debt of $300K or more. Pretty sweet deal for that guy huh? Talk about free money!

How many others are there like these? Deals like this don't match up with what Ross Douhat claims is out there.

Anthony said...

I agree -- this is where I think the TEA Party needs to go. Maybe it is the libertarian in me, who believes that government will simply direct the money in the end to well connected persons.

c3 said...

House;
I misunderstood the depths of your lack of knowledge.

Rather than snark, rebut.

On the face of it Pogo seems pretty dead on. Do you know what a corporate compliance officer does?

jimbino said...

Let's not forget the redistribution from the poor to the rich and from the Black and Brown to the White that takes place in our National Parks and Forests and in our public universities.

c3 said...

As for Mr. Douthit's column. I like his thoughts and i generally agree with his sentiments in this piece but I also worry about dis-incentivising/penalizing risk.

We need risk takers.

Now having said that risk takers need to understand and experience the consequences of their risk. That goes for the home-owner who bought more than he/she could afford with a no money down balloon loan and for a Wall Street firm that bet too much on CDO's.

SteveOrr said...

The people of the United States are not the people of the United States to "cost" or "make" anything for the federal treasury - asshole!!

The mortgage subsidy is a scrap from master’s table. Quit fighting over scraps.

The US Treasury shouldn’t use us like an ATM. It does anyway. Don’t hang that on Douthat. He’s all for lowering taxes. But we should lower taxes across the board, not pick winners with targeted tax breaks.

The government pumps up home prices so that the average citizen looks wealthy on paper. When some folks complain that govt subsidies lead to artificially high prices, the left accuses us of wanting to evict "homeowners". The right accuses us of wanting to raise taxes.

If we have a need for more home buyers, just let home prices fall.

I don't see the transfer to the reckless, unproductive rich.

Google Casey Serin.

garage mahal said...

A commenter on this very site was crying during the Obamacare debate that he couldn't afford diabetes supplies for his daughter and needed my help. 3 months later he was bragging about the 3 new Trek bicycles he bought for his family.

Really.....who? Link?

reader_iam said...

You know what? I'm going to say something radical here.

I don't give a shit whether someone's self-made or not if, in the end, due to careless speculation and blind faith in bubbles, you end up on the short end of the payoff stick and start walking away from your obligations because they're not great investments anymore, leaving others to pick up your slack.

You're still an asshole. You're still taking advantage. You're still spitting in the face of those who keep plugging away and expecting "other people" to suck it up.


So there.

reader_iam said...

that should be "...and you're still expecting..."

Henry said...

For once, I'd love to see a Beltway commission led by people like you Reader or Seven or Palladian or Bruce Hayden.

That's quite an image.

Go get a job, you feckless parasite. Here's your harpsichord."

reader_iam said...

Harpsichord?

Henry, I'm specifically, especially objecting to people walking away by choice. What's your problem with that?

reader_iam said...

Seriously, though. I don't get the harpsichord reference and am intrigued. Why a harpsichord?

reader_iam said...

That's what *I* call interesting imagery. A harpsichord. Dang, I'm no expert, but I'd be surprised if you could get even a mediocre one in pretty bad shape for under $1,000 bucks or so, and then you'd have to spring for repairs, I'd assume.

That's even before you take into consideration how many people know how to play one.

jamboree said...

You know, it's not redistribution from the rich to the poor. It's redistribution from the middle class to those who know how to game the system - not "the poor".

Case in point: Section 8 housing vouchers enrich not the poor, but a class of quite rich, taxpayer-bilking slumlords.

"The Poor" maybe pay a little less than market rate for their apartments - say an apartment would get $650 on the open market - the Section 8 will pay $500. The landlord, meanwhile, "officially" charges the taxpayer $1600 - for an absolute shit apartment in the worst possible area of town.

There's got to be some markup for paperwork and risk, but not 150%.

Tell me, what's compassionate about serving a slumlord?

Meanwhile the only way the poor are truly helped is by having their friends and family live there under the radar - because the government, of course, has forbidden this market correction and limits the amount of people allowed.

reader_iam said...

Maybe I'm not thinking of the right kind of harpsichord. Probably not.

Henry said...

Sorry to be abstruse, Reader. It was Palladian that put me in mind of the harpsichord. I had this image of people forced to enjoy the consequences of their own actions and, simultaneously, baroque music. My comment was an appreciation of A.J.'s proposal, not snark.

Comrade X said...

Really.....who?

some talking-point regurgitating moron with a stupid nick. I don't remember much except for the lack of self-awareness.

Methadras said...

Oh yes, because redistribution from the productive to anyone else who really isn't productive is okay? Fucking seriously?

Roux said...

And from the citizens to the political insiders and their pals.

AST said...

What did they think would happen when the government started subsidizing low mortgage rates? They're always yapping about unintended consequences when an environmental issue comes up, but they tinker with the national and world economies with never a question of how they might screw it up.

Remember stagflation? Get ready.

Stan said...

The tax code used to recognize basic fairness -- you earn interest, you add it to your income; pay interest, you subtract it from your income. Then the political class decided that interest should be treated differently when you pay it rather than receive it. So they limited the deduction to home mortgages. And then they limited the amount of the mortgage.

And now? The screw job from the political class is being dscribed as a freebie for the rich. This is nuts.

dick said...

Revenant,

I am retired and on Social Security and Medicare. Cancel it if you want but first pay me all the bucks I had extorted from me over the 45 years I paid in - and at the max rate for 25 of those years and also at the max rate paying both employer and employee side for the other 20 years. Then you can cancel it all you want. I had insurance extorted without my having a choice for all those years and was legally promised a return on that insurance when I retired. Either honor the insurance or pay back the premium withheld. I don't care which but one or the other should hold.