October 12, 2011

Michele Bachmann: "When you take the 999 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details."

A well-crafted version of an observation many of us have been making.

Here's what I said in my live-blog of the September 22 debate:
8:15 — Herman Cain, is it just a coincidence that all those 9s just matched up in your 999 plan? Also, if we turn that upside down...
Note that my main point there was not 666 (the "Number of the Beast"). It was that lining up the digits is too cute. How can it be good policy when there's so much evidence that it was concocted to look snazzy? We're expected to respond to the lure of numerology. Good lord!  I don't believe in the devil or have any superstitions about numbers, but I am afraid — legitimately afraid — of people who use or respond to the mysticism of numbers.

This makes me want to check out numerology to see what 9 is supposed to mean. When would a person who believed in numerology choose 9? What about someone who wanted to influence other people who believe in numerology? When would he choose 9? I loathe this sort of superstitious belief system, so I haven't gotten any further than the Wikipedia article on numerology. It says: "There are no set definitions for the meaning of specific digits," but cites an example of the meaning of 9 as "Highest level of change."

Well, Cain certainly is proposing the highest level of change for the structure of federal revenue collection. He seems quite proud of that. Unlike everybody else's proposals his "starts with... throwing out the current tax code." This is not a conservative instinct. It's radical and daring. It seeks to excite us about change. There's some crazy emotionalism in it. Who would buy that? Who would be impressed that the 9s line up so perfectly?

161 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

So Ann, are you a Romney fan now?

ndspinelli said...

We know the professor isn't racist. Maybe she just doesn't like short men? Maybe there's a photo out there of Cain wearing shorts? Whatever..she's got the claws out.

timmaguire42 said...

I don't think it's about numerology. It's about memorability, sloganeering, it's catchy.

There's nothing new or radical about that part--it's done all the time. Usually with words, just happens to be numbers this time.

I don't know what the 999 plan is (the name is so catchy nobody I read has bothered to explain what's behind the name) but you're right to wonder whether sound policy can be built backwards from a catchy phrase.

gerry said...

There's some crazy emotionalism in it. Who would buy that?

Hell, Professor Althouse, you bought Obama.

Scott M said...

I heard this audio this morning and can't believe she actually brought it up in a debate for the POTUS. As far as Bachmann is concerned, I consider yon shark tank well jumped.

Fred4Pres said...

Obviously the 9-9-9 think was to sell the concept. That does not mean such a tax structure is mere numerology.

Throwing out the current progressive tax code has been discussed by conservatives for a long time. By excluding a huge portion of the population from paying taxes (other than some payroll taxes) you create a system that promotes greater and greater entitlements and no incentive to cut them by the voters. Sounds great, let the rich pay, until you realize "rich" is a rather elastic concept and it results in all of us getting poorer as a result.

Acutally it does not throw out the current tax system (and that is one of the criticisms of the 999 plan by some fair taxers). But a proposal that hybrids a flat tax, with a fair tax and a lower corporate tax (because ours is one of the highest in the world), is interesting and worth promoting to get the discussion going about promoting growth. The Eastern European countries all have a low flat tax and low corporate tax and it appears to be working there.

So your sarcastic comments about numerology miss the point, you must recognize that if Herman Cain won it is very unlikely such sweeping change would happen in his first term. It is doubtful it would happen at all, but I think a discussion about it is still a good thing. And I would hope some of it did happen.

This is a starting point.

T J Sawyer said...

It tells us something about the state of American awareness that Ann feels compelled to explain to us why 666 is a "special" number.

virgil xenophon said...

"...Number 9?, Number 9?, Number 9?..."

timmaguire42 said...

ok, I know what it is now. Sounds fine as a general proposition. But 9% is the highest number he can come up with and still be in single digits--which means it probably was arrived at for bumper sticker purposes.

Tank said...

I think Bachmann has proved herself to be a very valuable member of the House of Reps.

I've heard Cain talking to several very friendly radio talk show hosts. Not impressed. He is not the guy.

Andy R. said...

Discussing what one jokey unserious candidate (Bachmann) thinks about the policy proposal of another jokey unserious candidate (Cain).

Is this performance art?

Pastafarian said...

If we assume that business rates and individual rates should be the same, then you're really only talking about the coincidental equality of his proposed sales tax with this one rate.

So it's the equality of two numbers, not 3.

Why should those two rates be the same? Because it strikes a balance between a consumption tax and an income tax. Duh, as Jeremy would say.

And why should individual and corporate rates be the same? To keep high-income individuals from incorporating to minimize their tax if the individual rate is higher; or from shifting their company's income into dividends if the corporate rate is higher. In other words, to reduce shenanigans.

I don't think numerology entered into it. That assumption seems to ascribe some pretty stupid motives to Cain, a mathematician.

I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of this system; but it's not as though it hasn't been thought out and these numbers have just been randomly assigned. The idea here is that the government typically takes in 18% of gdp no matter how high they set the rates. And 9 + 9 = 18. That's for all you law school types out there.

(Assuming that there won't be a double-taxation of gdp going on here by taxing both corporations and individuals. I would have preferred a 4.5-4.5-9 plan, unless there's something in place to prevent wealth created by corporations from being taxed at the corporate level and then again at the personal level.)

cubanbob said...

@Ann next April have the IRS do your tax return with the proviso that the guarantee the return is correct and that if there is any error they will pay the tax due and the penalties. They can't do it (aside from the legal reason) because the IRS itself doesn't fully understand the tax code and you think its a radical idea to junk this monstrosity?

Here is a radical idea, the tax code should be stripped of all it's social engineering components and simply be enacted for the sole purpose of raising revenues and let Congress openly vote on how the funds are allocated. God forbid that members of Congress might actually have to justify on what they are voting to fund.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

"Lining up the digits" is just marketing. It's what the candidates do a this point. Any one paying attention now knows who Cain is, and the hook is 9-9-9.

Rialby said...

It's called Marketing.

Rialby said...

Jinx.

traditionalguy said...

As a rational thinker, numerology has never had any attraction for me.

Herman Cain is not a believer in numerology either. Herman believes in mathematics and marketing.

Both mathematics and marketing are verifiable.

There are not two or three answers in mathematics.

When we see ads for "up to 50% off select items" we know they are tricks. But the ad for 50% off everything in the store is not a trick.

Cain is straight forward and keeps it simple. There are no extra secret word interpretations that allow for the select priesthood to have the only authority.


And the select priesthoods are in a panic. KISS is not their favorite saying.

edutcher said...

Michele Bachmann was very good last night - I shouldn't be surprised to see her numbers go up, but, as I said earlier, I think the idea that we really need to reform the system from the ground up is being borne out daily by the fact that, each time somebody proposes any kind of real reform, the entrenched interests rise up.

Ann Althouse said...

This is not a conservative instinct. It's radical and daring. It seeks to excite us about change. There's some crazy emotionalism in it. Who would buy that?

That was supposed to be GodZero's charm. The planet would heal. The seas would stop rising. He would bring us all together.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

Discussing what one jokey unserious candidate (Bachmann) thinks about the policy proposal of another jokey unserious candidate (Cain).

Is this performance art?


Hatman does his FUD thing for the only "jokey unserious" candidate - GodZero.

Rialby said...

Well, at least Herman Cain doesn't run around talking about taxing millionaires and billionaires that make more than $250k. That would just add to his incoherence and imprecision.

Sayyid said...

Oh, come now. What happened here was more likely Cain said he wanted a tax code divided into three equal categories, then went back to the math to figure out what the tripled digit would be. I strongly suspect that if revenues calculated for 9-9-9 were insufficient, we'd be hearing just as much about the ten-ten-ten plan. Or if there were plenty in 9-9-9, it would instead be 8-8-8.

I fail to see how lining those up would necessarily be bad policy, or how it has to be 100% a matter of sloganeering or numerology. It would put up at least some (partly numerological) barrier to a single category of the plan being raised without the others. It results in everyone in the country having at least some skin in the game of federal budgeting. And it increases the psychological-minimum size of a tax increase, which will focus considerations on spending to balance a small deficit.

Mark O said...

Dog whistle. Creepy Sign of the Beast, you're not one of us, stupid point.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, it was also designed to be revenue equivalent to the current system. The 999 plan brings in approximately the same as the current system brings now.

The proof will be in how it plays out to the average voter. Some will be paying more and they will not like it (no one likes paying more regardless of justification). That debate will take a long time, a lot of discussion and I do not see it happening anytime soon. But the debate would be great and if it sets the seeds for reform in the future I am all for it.

Quayle said...

"...Number 9?, Number 9?, Number 9?..

Turn me on, dead man! Turn me on, dead man! Turn me on, dead man!

Sayyid said...

Also, Professor Althouse, I would say that your aversion to the plan sounds suspiciously like numerology as well. "They're equal, that *can't* be good!"

Rialby said...

Think about all of the crazy "numerologists" who have been making millions off of direct response television all of these year... 19.99?? THAT'S 3 NINES IN A ROW! EEEEEK.

Must vote for Obama, must vote for Obama, must vote for Obama.

Craig said...

Go to China and buy a sim card for your cell phone. You get to pick the phone number you want from the list of those available. The price is determined on the basis of numerology. Lucky numbers could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Unlucky numbers are practically free.

Scott M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gutless said...

Ms.Bachmann, Mr. Cain, I've got a digit for you, here's your digit. I've got your digit right here.

Scott M said...

Cain should have just stuck with what his advisers wanted and not changed it from the original 8-6-7 plan. Then, after he wins re-election against Hillary, he will be well-positioned to implement the second, and much more controversial phase, 5-3-0-9.

Paddy O said...

So here's a list of the use of nine in Scripture.

Chief among these is that Abraham was 99 when he was circumcised and given a new name and purpose.

Another way of interpreting the number is seeing 3 as the number of perfect unity, thus 3 x 3 symbolizes the multi-dimensional gathering together of many into one perfect expression.

Or, that which is upside down is put right, and by putting right what was wrong, there is the way forward.

9s are fun!

John Althouse Cohen said...

Cain explained why he chose all 9s in an earlier debate:

“If ten percent is good enough for God, 9 percent oughta be good enough for the federal government.”

So he admittedly crafted his policy based on numerology and superstition. This is definitely someone I trust to lead America out of our economic downturn.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Well, we've already choked on the gnat of the stray illegal alien's kid attending college. And now you're telling me the camel of 9-9-9 isn't cooked to your satisfaction? What's going to be for dinner? Actually I'm thinking he's acknowledging the current fact of tax evasion in an underground economy and wanting to capture some of that revenue. The real question is how well is he going to play with other Republicans? I'd like to see him say that the Simpson-Bowles plan would be a fall back position he could support.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hell, Professor Althouse, you bought Obama."

Okay, I'm getting a little tired of responding to comments like this, but I will say it one more time. I was critical of the emotionalism all along. I didn't buy into the hope and change bullshit. Don't attribute generic reasons for voting for Obama to me. I have explained my reasons too many times. The old posts can be read. If you want to pin this accusation on me, back it up with links to the posts that show me going emotional on Obama. I had sober, rational reasons for my vote. You're free to disagree with those reasons, but don't substituted made-up reasons. Ironically, it is emotional of YOU to do that.

Scott M said...

Is it emotional to capitalize YOU?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Paddy. I did not know there was a Bible verse: "These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!"

John Althouse Cohen said...

I strongly suspect that if revenues calculated for 9-9-9 were insufficient, we'd be hearing just as much about the ten-ten-ten plan.

But the revenues from 9/9/9 are insufficient, according to former Reagan and George H.W. Bush economic advisor Bruce Bartlett.

Bartlett says:

Mr. Cain says [his] proposals, which he would put into effect immediately without offsetting the lost revenue, will jump-start economic growth. He offers no evidence for this assertion; it is simply put forward as self-evident. But the experience of the George W. Bush administration was that cuts in tax rates on the wealthy and on capital gains had no effect whatsoever on growth. . . .

Because so little detail exists, it’s hard to do either a proper revenue estimate or distributional analysis of the Cain plan. It’s obvious, however, that Phase 1 would represent a huge tax cut for the wealthy at a time when federal revenues are at a historical low as a share of the gross domestic product and the economy’s fundamental problem is a lack of aggregate demand.

Thus the Cain plan would increase the budget deficit without doing anything to stimulate demand, because rich people can already spend as much as they want and are unlikely to spend more even if their taxes are abolished.


And even if he changed the plan by increasing the numbers to bring in enough revenue, that still wouldn't explain why we should have such a drastically regressive plan, one that would make the richer much richer and the poor much poorer (as Bartlett explains in other parts of that article). I'm not saying that's necessarily wrong. Maybe that's exactly what America needs. But anyone who thinks so and is trying to gain power to implement such a plan should say so clearly and admit what the results would be.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is it emotional to capitalize YOU?"

It's the emotion known as: too lazy to type out italics tags.

Sorry if that came across as yelling, but is it emotional of you to react to it?

BTW I KNEW I was inviting that.

bagoh20 said...

"This is not a conservative instinct."

That depends on where you are starting from doesn't it?

Cutting someone open is not a healing instinct, but you better damned know when to do it if healing is your aim.

I'm not sure about 999, but I know radical surgery of some kind is needed, and we are getting a lot of holistic crap remedies from most everyone else.

Scott M said...

Sorry if that came across as yelling, but is it emotional of you to react to it?

Yes, but I'm in a good place with my demons.

Ann Althouse said...

@John Cain was asked about that and he said (I think) that if you take into account that his plan would cause an expansion in the economy, it would work out to more revenue.

As George Bush used to say: "Make the pie higher."

caseym54 said...

It wasn't 10-10-10 because someone would liken it to a TV dog.

Hagar said...

The 9-9-9 is marketing, which works well in the pizza business.

The French and Italians do value added tax because it is easy to identify and collect from businesses. Their citizens have no faith or confidence in their governments and so use every fiddle imaginable and then some to avoid paying income taxes.

Under no circumstances will I approve of instituting a VAT here. It is just the easy way out and does not cure the original problem, which is the Government itself.

Pastafarian said...

Again, Althouse: The maximum percentage of gdp that the government captures, no matter how high are marginal rates, is about 18%.

Let's suppose that we want to balance a consumption tax with an income tax. Then we'll divide that 18 in half and we have 9% for each.

But we can't just make this a simple individual income tax because George Soros will then incorporate himself and pay nothing. So we'll set the corporate rate at 9% too.

And this will be a lower rate than corporations currently pay. Hell, it would have saved our small corporation about $100,000 this year, and we could have employed a couple more people.

I don't know what's hard to understand about this, and why you'd pretend that Cain is some sort of primitive mystic.

Paddy O said...

@Ann, can you put that verse as a header over your comment sections?

Shouting Thomas said...

Perhaps, Althouse, you should tell us what you think a President out to do, and what requirements you think are needed for him to do those things.

We might not be in agreement.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

you must recognize that if Herman Cain won it is very unlikely such sweeping change would happen in his first term. It is doubtful it would happen at all, but I think a discussion about it is still a good thing

Exactly. The chances of such a complete and total scrapping of the existing effed up system is unlikely for several reasons.

First: there are so many special interests that would fight tooth and nail. Warren Buffet himself has a big stake in keeping the complex tax code that we have now so that he can benefit from selling insurance through financial planner who help people avoid taxes.

Second: As Bachmann said, the devil is in the details. How do you coordinate a flat Federal income tax and a national sales tax with State income taxes, State and local sales taxes, excise taxes, gasoline taxes etc etc etc etc.

Third: to those who say there will be enough revenue or those who say there won't be enough revenue.....I say....who the hell knows. Both positions are based on speculation and "selective" number crunching.

Also....enough for what? The extreme and obscene levels of spending that we are hemorrhaging now?

As I know, from my years as a financial planner, that you can make the numbers say what you want based on the projections and assumptions that you use. What we DO know is that we are spending more than we are taking in as revenues. We are essentially bankrupting the country at this pace of spending.

However, the great thing that Cain is doing is to bring the subject of tax reform seriously into the debate.

vw: epulp... virtual pulp

John Althouse Cohen said...

@John Cain was asked about that and he said (I think) that if you take into account that his plan would cause an expansion in the economy, it would work out to more revenue.

That's exactly what my excerpt from Bruce Bartlett is talking about. As I said in my previous comment, Bartlett points out that Cain conveniently takes this on faith, without giving any evidence.

As Megan McArdle has pointed out, everyone with a brilliant tax plan loves to talk about all the magical pots of money that would sprout up all over the place if only their plans were enacted. That is not a serious response to the revenue question. It's just self-serving hand-waving.

Notice that these aren't left-leaning commentators who are saying this because they're ideologically averse to talking about economic growth. Bartlett is a sensible conservative and McArdle is a sensible libertarian.

traditionalguy said...

Am I irrational? Maybe so. But I fear the Romney administration becoming RINO 3 way more than I fear Herman Cain making some mistakes and correcting them.

The shortage of money to pay Federal Government, Military, and State pensions is going to be worse than the Social security ponzi scheme.

We had better re-start American businesses fast and quit arbitraging on Chinese Trade Deals.
Cain will do the former while Romney and friends will do the latter.

And Romney and his comrade Christy were sly enough to make their bones supporting the Great CO2 is Dirty Pollution scam.

How can we trust such a man not to sell us out like he has done before??

Gerad Hibbs said...

As others have stated 999 is marketing. The 'If ten percent is good enough for God. . .' line is just a fun glib answer. His approach, no doubt informed by his experience with marketing, is designed to introduce complex ideas to the American people. Cain's actual goal is the Fair Tax. Read about that if you want to know his goals. I know this about Cain merely from perusing his website so it isn't esoteric knowledge.

And even then his website, while more extensive, is a shortened version of the Fair Tax book.

These blythe criticisms show shallowness of thinking. You can't loook at debates, where clever soundbites rule, and disqualify a candidate because they understand the limitations of the viewers and necessity of pithiness.

If you want to criticise Cain with any credibility take the time to at least go by his dumbed down website and take a look.

But shouting 'Numerology!!! Eek!!!' is just silliness.

Yes I'm addicted to ProCain and proud of it.

Hagar said...

And of course all this jabber about what the candidates for President will do in office is just that - jabber.

It takes Congress to change the laws, and all the President can do is jawbone Congress.

Though Kurt Goedel is supposed to have seen an interpretation of the Constitution that would allow the United States to be quite legally turned into a dictatorship.

mythusmage said...

In California it would be the 9 9 17.5 tax. Does your state have a sales tax?

Pastafarian said...

JAC, you mean Cain takes on faith the notion that if you tax corporations less, they'll invest more in an effort to make more income than they would have invested in a high-tax environment?

In other words, he just assumes a truism? Tsk, tsk. How crude this Cain fellow is. Just not our class; not on the elite intellectual plane of a sensible conservative like Bruce Bartlett.

AJ Lynch said...

Chris:
FYI- Bartlett defected to the dark [librul] side quite some time ago.

But that said, I commented on another thread that Cain's 999 plan would lead to a drop in tax revenue especially when his plan eliminates payroll taxes.

Curious George said...

"John Althouse Cohen said...
Cain explained why he chose all 9s in an earlier debate:

“If ten percent is good enough for God, 9 percent oughta be good enough for the federal government.”

So he admittedly crafted his policy based on numerology and superstition. This is definitely someone I trust to lead America out of our economic downturn. "

Every time you post here it becomes clearer to me why no one reads your blog. This is a joke. And not even an original one. Second, there is nothing in that statement that indicates that he based it on tithing (giving 10% to the church). Third, tithing has nothing to do with numerology or superstition.

You are a moron.

cubanbob said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
Cain explained why he chose all 9s in an earlier debate:

“If ten percent is good enough for God, 9 percent oughta be good enough for the federal government.”

So he admittedly crafted his policy based on numerology and superstition. This is definitely someone I trust to lead America out of our economic downturn.

10/12/11 11:15 AM

Even if you are right its still a better scheme the the current one. And he is definitely better qualified than the present idiot-in-chief. Now as for revenue neutral, why must any replacement scheme be revenue neutral? The problem isn't insufficient taxing of the productive class, its the spending and borrowing for things government should not be spending on. We need to remove the false assumption that every dollar of federal spending is vital and of equal priority. First we decide how much revenue to collect then prioritize on what we spend.

Pastafarian said...

AJ: "Chris: FYI- Bartlett defected to the dark [librul] side quite some time ago."

Oh, no, AJ, he's just a sensible conservative. Those conservatives that support the Rethuglikkkan party are insensible, by JAC's definition.

ic said...

999 is the Brit's and the rest of the world's emergency no., our 911.
It's China's Emperor's number when they still had emperors, didn't work quite well for them.

The Pagan Temple said...

Michele Bachmann was very good last night - I shouldn't be surprised to see her numbers go up

I would, seeing as how very few people saw the debate, and that was the intention behind it. We get to decide who "won" based on the word of pundits, most of whom I wouldn't trust to help an old lady cross the street.

J said...

This is not a conservative instinct. It's radical and daring

You are correct. Cain's like a black Ron Paul ,just ingested a lot more 'roids and pizza.

John Althouse Cohen said...

it becomes clearer to me why no one reads your blog.

So my StatCounter is lying? Where did those 315,000 visitors come from?

Kurt said...

I agree with those pointing out that 9-9-9 is mostly slick marketing. As Fred4Pres observes, it's mainly an attempt to fuse the "flat tax" with the "fair tax" and it's an interesting proposal in that respect, but as I'm not a fan of the so-called "fair tax," this plan doesn't do much for me, and to hear some of Cain's defenses of it either during the debate or on the morning news talk shows makes him sound just as glib and weaselly in some of his defenses of the plan as any other slick politician, and frankly, that's a turnoff for me. This morning George Stephanopoulos asked him why the audience at the debate, when asked, didn't raise their hands to support a 9% tax in each of those areas, and Cain said they didn't raise their hands because they were asked about each tax separately and not about all three taxes as a whole, and I thought, "Is that really the best you can do?"

wv: quise

J said...

Cain's another Keyes-like libertarian nutjob--no wonder many Alt-tards like him.

But the media people are too cowardly to take him on, since they might seem un-PC.

cubanbob said...

Pastafarian said...

Your comment about Soros is silly. The practical effect is the same as a Sub Chapter S Corporation. Its a pass through and the individual will pay the taxes. Eliminating the corporate income tax is the best idea. It eliminates misallocation of capital on tax avoidance schemes and taxes the pass through profit to the shareholders which is what it ought to be. The class warfare types would love it since there would be no tax deductibility for corporate jets, sky boxes, $400 bottles of wine and big executive paydays among other things. And the shareholders being the greedy bastards that they are won't want to be so generous with perks when the government isn't a partner. And eliminating the corporate income tax eliminates corporate welfare in the for of tax credits as well since there can't be a credit if there is no tax to begin with.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I don't see the point of the constant comments about how "Oh, Obama is at least as bad." We've established that Obama has done a bad job. I readily admit that even though I voted for him, and I think just about all Americans agree with this (other than maybe dogmatic leftists and die-hard Democrats -- and not even all of them). So repeating that is fine and might be useful in the general election, but that's not a basis for choosing the Republican nominee. The challenge facing the candidates isn't just to be at least as good at Obama; it's to be the best person to steer the country in the right direction. If you sincerely believe Cain is that person, fair enough -- make the case for him. But trying to shield him from criticism and rational scrutiny is a nonstarter.

Cynthea said...

Who would buy a plan that includes the Fair Tax? How about tens of millions? Ann, have you really not heard of it? It's too snazzy. It's too many numbers. I think it is a heck of alot better than some sheaf of papers called MY PLAN that the POTUS can't get his own Senate to pass after going nuclear. The Cain plan is a work in progress but I would bet $1000 that it would get more votes than, say, the Presidents budget for 2010, or 2011.

Sheepman said...

Let's make it 10-10-10. The math is much easier.

chickenlittle said...

A phrase seen at a swimming pool:

NOW NO SWIMS ON MON

has what's called C2 symmetry. Rotating the phrase 180 degrees gets back to the same thing.

999 lacks C2 symmetry, giving instead 666, which is a different animal.

chickenlittle said...

Damn, I should waited to get the 69th comment.

J said...

ehe Chkie perp---why Cain's 999 or 666--your kind of game, eh pedo.


Time to cough up your email and HD, joto ("lawyer" heh heh )

Michael said...

Bartlett's argument hinges on the "rich" and conflates, as does our President, millionaires and billionaires. The latter is least likely to be enticed to invest or spend based on a lower tax rate. Not so the millionaire cohort which is both larger and, I submit, more aggressive as an investor class, more willing to take on risk. Bartlett's counter argument suffers from the lack of facts that he accuses Cain of. As an economist he does not let that inhibit his conclusions.

Ann Althouse said...

John Althouse Cohen said, quoting me:

"'@John Cain was asked about that and he said (I think) that if you take into account that his plan would cause an expansion in the economy, it would work out to more revenue.'

"That's exactly what my excerpt from Bruce Bartlett is talking about. As I said in my previous comment, Bartlett points out that Cain conveniently takes this on faith, without giving any evidence."

You're right.

We're in agreement here.

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'm also disappointed with the decline in creativity I'm seeing in the critiques of me. I'm a "moron"? Come on, you can do better than that! You're insulting the blogger's son here, so make it a good insult! And as I said, the assertion that people don't read my blog is easily falsified. What happened to the halcyon days when my critics would come up with articulate, trenchant put-downs like "nothing more than self-centered, me-first, half-assed, infantile analysis," "hardly unique on the left and ... a categorical, dictionary definition of racist," or "the usual half-truth ramblings of the clueless beta male"?

cubanbob said...

@John Althouse Cohen said...

Who the republican candidate will be is as yet unknown. Who will be the democrat candidate is already known.
So if it comes down to the lesser of the two evils instead of the very best republican candidate its still a vast improvement over the democrat candidate. Obama has pretty much done the impossible, he has set the bar so low its hard to find a legally qualified and sober candidate that is less qualified and competent and just so thoroughly wrong on economic policy than he is. A broken clock is right twice a day. Obama has yet to achieve that level of accuracy.

David R. Graham said...

"This is not a conservative instinct. It's radical and daring."

Radical means rooted. Rooted means conservative, nourished by the fundament, stable, efflorescent, like a flower and fruit and plant that grows them from one place again and again.

Revolution means turning back on itself, returning to itself. It too is a metaphor for conservatism.

But joining radical and revolution together is mixing metaphors, which is done by the rootless to sow confusion.

The opposite of radical is loose, unbounded, paralyzed, rootless, drifting. Progressives love the thought of no boundaries and the practice of limitlessness is even more delicious them than the thought.

9 is the perfect number because it always comes back to itself, it is the number of unity: the digits of its multiples sum to nine (2x9=18, 3x9=27, etc.). Indeed, the digits of the product of the multiplication of any number by a number whose digits sum to 9 sum to 9.

No other number has that property of returning to itself, being radical/rooted, at-one-ment.

Each digit has a character (pythmen in Greek, discovered by summing the digits of a number). For example, 8 is the number of degeneration because the sum of the digits of its multiples decrease in size (8x2=16=7, 8x3=24=6, etc.)

Google "casting out nines." Also "Fibonacci Series."

David R. Graham said...

Forgot to mention: Herman Cain is a mathematics major and genius, made his living at it. Malcom Little pointed out that he, like many blacks, have a natural affinity for math. He was right about that. I have personal experience confirming it, more than once.

Fernandinande said...

13013

J said...

Woeee, Graham Ballegy--defending the Cain AynRand program with some HS math--and roots!. Deep ,Byro the LDS- Acidhead.


Cain's a brutal libertarian outlaw. 'Nuff said

Pastafarian said...

CubanBob said: "Eliminating the corporate income tax is the best idea."

Sure, just as long as you eliminate the penalty of double-taxation on retained earnings that forces most small businesses to file as S-corps.

And you make this 0-9-9 plan appeal to everyone to the left of PaddyO and to the right of the people on Wall Street shitting on cop cars. It would appear as though this political neophyte Cain might know something about compromise and forming coalitions.

chickenlittle said...

Putting the number at 9-9-9 instead of 10-10-10 just leaves room for some growth.

Tax and spend liberals should cheer the plan as a start.

edwardroyce said...

"This is not a conservative instinct. It's radical and daring. It seeks to excite us about change. "

Conservatives have been wanting to throw out the tax code for decades. What do you think Ronald Reagan wanted to do? All he could get passed through Congress was a (temporary) reduction in the tax code. For which is still remembered with great fondness by many conservatives.

I hate to point this out but it doesn't seem that you (Ann) really know what conservatism actually is.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You're insulting the blogger's son here, so make it a good insult!

LOL. Are you going to call your mommy?

chickenlittle said...

8-8-8 would be a worse choice because as an aside it tends to infinity.

David R. Graham said...

The number 9 has powerful sub-conscious draw because it expresses fundamental structure. Cain knows that. Its root is three 3s. 3, too, has powerful sub-conscious draw because it also expresses fundamental structure (three point lecture, three point article, etc.). To confirm the power of the sub-conscious draw, observe the fact that it aroused Althouse and these many commentators. Cain has achieved his purpose, he pulled interior torrents up to public view and discourse.

chickenlittle said...

@J: Thanks for another clue!

Curious George said...

"John Althouse Cohen said...
it becomes clearer to me why no one reads your blog.

So my StatCounter is lying? Where did those 315,000 visitors come from?"

M-O-M

And if people are reading they aren't interacting. Those stats anyone can see.

In any event this response does not address the major issue at hand, that you make some idiotic case because you don't recognize a joke, and you don't understand "10% to God" is a reference to tithing and not based in numerology or superstition.

J said...

That so, chkie "lawyer"snitch boy?We'll see what the CA statebar say s about yr "lawyering" puto.

Spread Eagle said...

Unlike everybody else's proposals his "starts with... throwing out the current tax code." This is not a conservative instinct

Well, true, as a general proposition, conservatism would say move slowly and cautiously in making change. But, that said, every conservative I know and know of agrees the tax code and the IRS needs to be scrapped and redone in a completely different and much simpler way.

And, no, Althouse, I don't remember you going after Obama in 2007-2008 the way you are going after Cain now. It was obvious to some of us back then that Obama was unqualified, vacuous, and would be a disaster.

Cain, meanwhile, is intelligent and accomplished in ways that Obama wasn't and still isn't. But Cain is a political neophyte, which sometimes shows. Some of us see an upside to that. He has the intelligence, life experience, and overall moxie to remedy that. In fact, you can see him growing in that respect right before our eyes.

As for his 9-9-9 idea, I take it as a proposal, not necessarily intended for complete adoption in its present form, but thrown out to show the kind of change he believes has to be made, and to get the conversation started about it.

Curious George said...

"Spread Eagle said...

As for his 9-9-9 idea, I take it as a proposal, not necessarily intended for complete adoption in its present form, but thrown out to show the kind of change he believes has to be made, and to get the conversation started about it." Exactly right. It is impossible to argue the details of any tax plan in the brief period that debates allow.

cubanbob said...

Pastafarian said...
CubanBob said: "Eliminating the corporate income tax is the best idea."

Sure, just as long as you eliminate the penalty of double-taxation on retained earnings that forces most small businesses to file as S-corps.

And you make this 0-9-9 plan appeal to everyone to the left of PaddyO and to the right of the people on Wall Street shitting on cop cars. It would appear as though this political neophyte Cain might know something about compromise and forming coalitions.

10/12/11 12:21 PM

Eliminate the corporate tax and you eliminate the double taxation. The distribution (dividend) is taxed once, when its passed on to the shareholder. Retained earnings wouldn't be taxed unless God forbid the democrats pass a wealth tax or a mandatory minimum required distribution. The shareholders would pay the income tax on the dividend or the capital gains on the sale of the stock.
The anti-BIg Banks crowd ought to love this since it encourages most businesses to become auto-financing to large extent and inevitable it encourages growth since usually the best investment a business can make is investing in itself and investment drives employment. new plant and equipment that increases the value of the company is a definite yes from the shareholders, spending on fancy jets for the executives and diminishing profits that could either be retained and increase share value or passed through as dividends, that isn't rocket science.

As for forming coalitions maybe the neophyte Cain might be on to something

Jenner said...

If he was trying to use numerology or superstition to sway voters, certainly he would have used 888. Everyone knows that 8 is the most auspicious number.

I don't see anything radical about dumping the tax code. It's terrible. It is the epitome of unintended consequences.

That seems to be perfectly in line with conservative principles.

J said...

Libertarian-pagan sockpuppet aka Byro going crazy again ,AA (check the IPs--dozens from Sac area). Need to moderate to keep the scumbags like that out.

Flat-taxers are about like flat-earthers (got that DBQ?). Were Cain white they'd call him a bigger Randian than RonPaultard.

Jenner said...

And if we're getting all "mark of the beast" here, then let's spend some time analyzing this name "Cain." Certainly there's something very, very dangerous in that name! Oh my God, he's the anti-christ and it's been right in front of our eyes the whole time!

virgil xenophon said...

Cuban Bob is firing on all cylinders today in both of his posts so far. The Utopian wish of all small businessmen is to not have to make every decision based not on the economics of it, but on the tax implications of it. As it is today, ANY small businessman has to have his CPA and his Attny ready at hand in his hip-pocket advising on everything from purchase of toilet-paper for the employees rest-rooms to major expansion decisions.

Unfortunately Congress loves to use the tax code for cheap social engineering. Lets say the govt decides, in its collective wisdom, that it "needs" $100 million of "affordable" (read: "subsidized") housing built. If it does it itself thru a government entity approx 35-50% of the funds will be siphoned-off in overhead admin expenses, leaving only 50-65 million worth of bricks & mortar actually produced. OR, if it wants 100 million of bricks and mortar it will have to appropriate 150-135 million of actual dollars in terms of cash outlays. IF, however, tax-credits are used as a carrot for the pvt sector, ALL the overhead will come out of the pockets of the pvt individuals who build the units and they will be built a) MUCH more efficiently and quickly and b) the taxpayer will actually get $100 million worth of real bricks and mortar. So Congress will fight HARD against ANY plan which takes major cheap (relatively speaking) "public-policy" decision-making power that the tax-code provides away from Congress and relegating much economic decision-making to the pvt sphere strictly on the basis of economic utility. Most "affordable" housing now extant would a) never have been built under Cains plan or, b) if done solely by a govt entity/authority be even MORE hideously expensive than it already is because of assoc.overhead incurred by the government agency which would be tasked to build the housing.

Seven Machos said...

J. -- I truly believe that with a proper regimen of medication and intense psychiatric care you can become a minimally functional citizen again. However, I don't think you are going to beat your murder rap.

What's important, though, is that one day you'll be able to come to grips with the reality that you killed a nine-year-old child in cold blood.

Titus said...

I like the more crazy Bachmann. She sounds normal in these debates...boring.

jrberg3 said...

"There's some crazy emotionalism in it."

Crazy emotionalism???? Huh?

virgil xenophon said...

I should say also that I am wary of ALL "flat-tax" plans as long as the income tax is still legal. This is because the rationalization for a "low" flat tax is the elimination of all "special interest" deductions/"loopholes." It should be remembered that the reason high tax rates in the 70-90% range were bearable to the avg citizen was because it applied to so few because of all the deductions. Remember the days when one could deduct the interest on one's car loan from one's gross income? And the same for credit cards, etc. And when all medical costs above 1.5% of AGI were deductible? Such deductions meant that the numbers of people to whom the top rates applied were relatively small. But once eliminated what will happen? I'll tell you. As sure as the sun rises in the east a few years after imposition of the flat tax--whatever number it is--it will be judged "insufficient" and there will be strong moves in an inevitably free-spending Congress to raise them. But will the deductions then be reinstated to off-set the rise in rates? Surely you jest. Such calls will be labeled as the "selfish" desires of "special interests" while a rise in rates across-the-board will be labeled "fair to all." So, a few years down the road, we will have the worst of both worlds--the old high rates, but none of the off-setting (but now long-gone) deductions which makes them bearable for the middle-class.

J said...

Herman playin'.... 5-card!


Three 9's mutha-f-ers, that izz three of a kind. Three number nines, takes the table, y'all.

Or maybe it's three card monte.

deborah said...

Maybe McArdle is one of Cain's advisors:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17796?in=17:31&out=76:50

J said...

False accusation time, eh Nachos perp. Serious crime for you (and for whoever else said it--and I know who your snitch pal is too...chckie, Troop ,their acidhead pal Byro).

Bookmarked. You're going to pay me Nachos joto, as is your snitch [es]. And ...you're probably covering up one of your crimes, aren't you satanist

Seven Machos said...

J. -- I feel pity for you. Really, I do. I hope that your lawyer is able to convince the appellate panel in your to let you stay near your family in Arizona rather than return to a Missouri prison hospital.

Freeman Hunt said...

He told me that the candidate talked about 666, that number, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.

Patrick said...

Come on now. next thing you know people will be saying Astrology is not scientific.

Patrick said...

Choosing a slogan like
9-9-9 Jobs-Jobs-Jobs is light years more effective as a vote getter than "we must have a balanced budget amendment"

Patrick said...

Symbolical systems. If you choose one your unconsciousness will flower around it. Your dreams and your everyday musings will start to explain themselves to your through your system. So choose wisely. God Geometrizes.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think the number 4 is more attractive than the number 9.

I'm going to push the 4-4-4 plan.

4 more years of Obama?
4gettaboutit!
4: extra four = extra revenue!

My plan is better in line with the state of wisdom and reasoning within the republic.

Seven Machos said...

J. -- If you stay on the medication your doctor prescribes, you can end up doing some good in society. Even though you killed six people in Tuscon. Schizophrenia is a serious medical condition but you can improve. Just like Gabrielle Giffords.

Freeman Hunt said...

How about the 1-2-3-5 plan?

We use prime numbers (and a robot machine) to conjure the spirit of Optimus Prime, who is very powerful and also a truck. He was smart enough to be the President of shape-shifting robots, so he will be smart enough to solve all of the problems of mere humans.

Freeman Hunt said...

Face it: Nobody running has a solid plan. Obama obviously doesn't; he's a total failure. Now we have all of these GOP people with various goofy plans. Granted, any of them would be better than Obama, but is there anything terrifically impressive?

I say no.

Politics has become a high stakes version of The Gong Show. ]

Rialby said...

From Amity Shlaes on the most greatest Democratist president evah!!!:

At some points Roosevelt seemed to understand the need to counter deflation. But his method for doing so generated a whole new set of uncertainties. Roosevelt personally experimented with the currency — one day, in bed, he raised the gold price by 21 cents. When Henry Morgenthau, who would shortly become Treasury Secretary, asked him why, Roosevelt said that “its a lucky number, because its three times seven.”

Seven Machos said...

One isn't prime.

J said...

You're the Loughner here, Machos--Ayn Rand, Hitler ,the occult, NRA, anti-immigration. Right up yr alley, dreck.

Cain's using gambling lingo--thats what it is. A cheap hustle. Trifecta, y'all.

Seven Machos said...

J. -- It sounds like you have a long way to go. You won't even admit your own identity. But I have hope.

Freeman Hunt said...

One isn't prime.

Damn. Then it's not going to work.

Seven Machos said...

Freeman -- There are arguments that say that one is prime. You could counter that your opponents don't understand mathematical theory at the level you do.

J said...

you have a long way to go, Nachos, little sodbuster pagan. Like out to CA for trial, puto. Criticism of yr new man Cain bothers you, peasant? sad. Maybe I putsome of Miss Bachman's people on you too, wicca scum.Not that I agree with her policies--but she hates occultist swine. As do most real conservatives--not pagan glibertarian frauds such as you.

Nachos peasant, don't even pretend to do mathematical foundations either (1 was considered prime by many classical thinkers..ie divisible by one and itself. A bit too deep for you, perp)

Freeman Hunt said...

Good idea. It could be argued that one is the optimus of primes. Thus its necessity in the plan.

Freeman Hunt said...

The belief that one is not prime is akin to gay marriage opposition.

Roger J. said...

I'd like to think that the issue is tax structure rather than numerology--seems to me that those mistaking those issues really dont understand the larger issure; eg, an equitable and simplified tax structure.

would it pass? not at all--too many accountant and tax lawyers who would be put out of a job. But kudos for Mr Cain for putting it on the table.

Seven Machos said...

J. -- One and itself is redundant for one. Therefore, it does not meet the definition and is not prime. Anyway, I think you should not represent yourself at trial, competent or not. That's my advice as an attorney.

I also heard that you don't believe that Gabrielle Gifford is alive. She is. But the nine-year-old is dead.

RB Miller said...

Herman Cain's plan is clarifying in that it gives us that Reaganesque simplicity. Simple is not necessarily simplistic.

Quite the contrary, the Cain Plan is "Uber Supply Side Economics". If we really are believers in Supply Side, Liberty (less government), and putting money into the pockets of the productive and Investor Class...this is the plan for the United States.

Cain's plan will free up American Economic Dominance by:

1) No Capital Gains or Dividend Taxes...which frees up people to truly invest in America, which creates wealth and jobs.

2) Flat taxation on income...which allows individuals who have succeeded to be more likely to start new businesses and or, more likely to take discretionary income and invest it in great American companies.

3) Low Corporate Taxes and Death of Loopholes and current Tax Code...... put every American business on a level playing field by having a flat tax and elimination of the Government picking winners and losers.

econus.blogspot.com

Pastafarian said...

J, a prime has two distinct divisors, one and itself. One has just one divisor, so it's not prime by definition.

Number theory doesn't allow for crazy wicca satanist mormon opinions.

But Freeman's Optimus Prime plan can still work. You don't need one, Freeman, you can do this without one.

virgil xenophon said...

The sad truth about the present income tax system is that its very complexity is in large part all about attempts to be "fair." One doesn't depreciate a race-horse (a multi-billion dollar industry) at the same rate as, say, a drop-forge, due to their very different useful lives. As such, any attempt to "simplify" the present code will--in large part both as a practical matter and by definition--make it inherently largely "unfair" while attempts to be "fair" by definition add to its complexity.

BJM said...

Who would be impressed that the 9s line up so perfectly?

Bench testers?

Shanna said...

So my StatCounter is lying? Where did those 315,000 visitors come from?

Nepotism? (Sorry, couldn’t resist :)

As for the tax plan, those rates will steadily go up and it will just be worse for everybody. We would be better off flattening the income tax and making it less complex (ie, getting rid of all the ‘credits’ that are basically just welfare).

Also, ha at the '867' joke.

Scott M said...

Also, ha at the '867' joke.

:)

You had to read through the whole thread to dig that one out this late in the day.

J said...

many traditional mathematicians said 1 was prime, and it fits the definition for prime: divisible by one and itself.

It was only recently-- 100 years or so ago--that the "new math" said it was not prime. Either way the topic's too lengthy and complicated for comboxes, especially Alt-tard comboxes

Nachos the hayseed-- you better call a lawyer, liar (for that matter--making false accusations--all we have to do is call the state bar,and yr gone--that is if you are an attorney..you sound like ordinary AA tweeker-pagan-scum--probably like a used car salesman, if that)

Shut these freaks up, Miss Hunt--the christian duty

Seven Machos said...

J. -- One is not prime because it is not divisible by two distinct things. I think that once the medications kick in and after the heavy sedation wears off, you'll be able to appreciate this mere definitional fact.

At any rate, I hope your trial goes well. God speed to you, and may you have forgiveness one day from the bereaved as well as the serenity your troubled soul must desperately, if inchoately, desire.

Delayna said...

Hagar:

There is a vast gulf between a retail sales tax and a VAT tax. Having (or proposing) one is not the same as having the other. Many states have a retail sales tax. I know of none with a VAT tax

Matt said...

Seven Machos
From here.

Although the number 1 used to be considered a prime (Goldbach 1742; Lehmer 1909, 1914; Hardy and Wright 1979, p. 11; Gardner 1984, pp. 86-87; Sloane and Plouffe 1995, p. 33; Hardy 1999, p. 46), it requires special treatment in so many definitions and applications involving primes greater than or equal to 2 that it is usually placed into a class of its own.

So J is correct on the historical point.

Delayna said...

I am trying not to come off snarky with this, but the criticisms I have most often heard (by people who claim to have done their homework) of the Fair Tax is (1) that it is a VAT--it isn't, the tax is collected only at the retail level, and (2) that we will have income tax as well--we won't, the Fair Tax would not go into effect until the 16th Amendment is repealed.

I am just a dumb arts major, but I can understand this.

If you hear a commentator declaiming with great authority about the Fair Tax being a VAT, or that the Income Tax will still be in effect, they are either wrong or they are lying.

Re the 9-9-9 plan: yes, the tax rates could be voted up. The tax rates we have now can be voted up. No difference--except with the 9-9-9 plan raising taxes on the eeeeeeevilllll rich means raising your own taxes.

PS--I have heard Cain in an interview explaining that the 9-9-9 plan is an interim tax system to help the economy recover until the Fair Tax can be implemented. I have no idea if he could get enough support to pass it. Neither does anyone else :-)

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- Is the world flat? Because that's what people used to think.

Do insects spontaneously generate? Are the primary elements of the universe earth, fire, air, and water? Is there a giant ocean above the sky?

You think about all those questions, dude. You do your awesome Internet research at places like Math World.

And then you get back to us with these critical answers. We'll be waiting. As long as it takes. Okay, Little Buddy?

Delayna said...

...actually...

The more I think about it, the more our current tax system resembles a VAT--because even though there is no line item in the register receipt for Federal sales tax, everything you buy includes the corporate income tax (and the employers' OASDI) of the company you bought it from.

If you consider a single loaf of bread, you have the taxes of the company that sold the farmer the seeds, fertilizer, and fuel, the farmer's taxes, the mill's taxes, the baker's taxes, the trucker's taxes, and the store's taxes.

How much of what you spend on that loaf is actually the cost to produce it, and how much is taxes?

You are paying that on top of the taxes you already pay.

Matt said...

Seven Machos

I'm guessing you only interpret comments by what you think they mean?

Note I used the word historical. In that regard historically a lot of things we know now not to be scientific fact were in their day scientific fact. The world was considered flat by many at one time. But that was obviously incorrect. The number one used to considered prime [by some] but we know that is not the case now. Skipper....

sorepaw said...

False accusation time, eh Nachos perp. Serious crime for you

What are you going to do, J?

File an anonymous lawsuit?

Good luck with that.

Seven Machos said...

So what's your point, Matt? That people used to be wrong about stuff?

Great, dude. That's awesome. The really fascinating thing is that you looked up in Math World or whatever the fact that people used to be wrong. You know, a long time before that, people didn't even know how to count. Is that in Math World, too? You got some citations?

cubanbob said...

virgil xenophon said

Thanks! The problem with the various social engineering schemes through the tax code is besides diminishing the political accountability is that more or less its a form of a command economy. If a command economy really worked the USSR would be alive and well and would be a raging success and we would all be proud card carrying communists.

Eliminating the corporate income tax would generate tremendous investment funds for small businesses to invest in their business and having the retained earnings encourages banks to lend to Small business. Every small business owner is an investor, an investor in his or hers business. And no legal investment will normally yield the return your own business will yield. It is the natural inclination of a business to expand and to the extent government policy discourages investment and adds a regulatory burden retards growth and employment. And most of private sector employment in the US is by small business.

Big business would also benefit first from increase in sales to small business, second to the increased numbers of employed people and by not having the government subsidizing perks and big paydays and instead bulking up the capitalization of the firms and the pass trough dividend stream to the shareholders such as your 401K or your state or municipal retirement plan.

Fred4Pres said...

Ann, enjoy

ken in sc said...

In Asia, 777 is is the super best number.

sorepaw said...

9-9-9 is obviously a marketing formula.

Nothing wrong with that, per se.

I'd like to see some deeper analysis of what Cain is proposing. I tend to prefer a flat(tened) income tax over a national sales tax, and Cain apparently wants to move toward a pure national sales tax. But there are arguments in favor of going that way.

Meanwhile, I can't take Bruce Bartlett seriously in 2011. Bartlett is to libertarian-leaning conservatives what Robert Bork is to social conservatives. He's so bummed out by a bad experience (in this case, by the willingness of the Dubya administration to tolerate or encourage profligate spending) that the only matter he still deems debatable is how quickly we're all going to get to hell in our handbasket.

A key indicator of Bartlett's lack of seriousness (as well as his overall lapse into despair) is his presumption that Federal government spend will remain at its present percentage of GDP indefinitely—or rise as a percentage of GDP indefinitely. He doesn't defend most of the spending, he glumly assumes it's inevitable.

Bartlett's presumption is troubling because no tax proposal is worth much by itself. Federal spending has to be cut, sharply. There's no way around that now, unless we all want the USA to turn into a much bigger edition of Greece or Spain.

Besides, if a basic reorganization of Federal taxation is deemed too radical, what about significant changes in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid? What about significant reductions in the power of public employee unions? What about getting the Supreme Court to stop crossing out "privileges or immunities"?

In today's world, it's the purported progressives who are shouting that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Must Be Preserved, Now and Forever. Again, it's the "progressives" who don't want to see AFSCME or the NEA suffer any loss of special privilege. And they're pretty much the same people who want the first clause of the 14th Amendment to stay crossed out.

deborah said...

So, Fred, I guess Freeman was wrong...lol

Seven Machos said...

In ancient times, the prime number shitting bear started with one.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The really fascinating thing is that you looked up in Math World or whatever the fact that people used to be wrong.

Just as some day in the future people will look back at the global warming fanatics and /facepalm at how wrong they were. Right?

I was also taught that 1 is a prime number.

Kids today are taught that cow farts are killing the earth.

Go figure.

Carol_Herman said...

This doesn't work for her!

As to the 9, 9, 9 ... It translates into NO, NO, NO, in German.

And, when people figure out he's looking for a 9% tax! (Tripled). I think he's not gonna fly!

If anything, Blacks are gonna get even more furious with white folk.

Oh. And, religion isn't going to win at the ballot box, either!

Ya know, after November 2012's election ... there's a pretty good chance republicans will be asked "That's the candidate you ran?"

Of course, they never have had to explain McCain.

Or even figure out that Dubya BOMBED.

Matt said...

Seven Machos

If you don't get the point then no one will be able to explain it to you.

Suffice it to say it's called an interest in history. You wouldn't understand that, apparently. Go back to your TV wrestling matches....

chickenlittle said...

it [1] requires special treatment in so many definitions and applications involving primes greater than or equal to 2 that it is usually placed into a class of its own.

Same with hydrogen among the elements. Odd that.

chickenlittle said...

deborah said...
So, Fred, I guess Freeman was wrong...lol

Actually, that may be unprecedented.

Seven Machos said...

Matt -- I am aware that at one point one was considered prime. Then, for some complex mathematical reasons, people who spend their days doing math decided that one is not prime.

Your history lesson was and remains totally pointless. If we were here talking about how there is space above the earth, would you feel compelled to investigate at Universe World and report back here that at one time it was common knowledge that a huge ocean was above the earth?

chickenlittle said...

Carol_Herman wrote: If anything, Blacks are gonna get even more furious with white folk.

That presupposes that they're already furious with "white folk." And why would that be? Unemployment? So is that "white folks" fault? I wonder what Herman Cain would say about that one...Oh well, I suppose it doesn't matter in your little "I despise all Republicans" scenario.

deborah said...

True dat, chick.

Carol_Herman said...

Hey, chicken little, if I "dispised" republicans I'D TELL YOU SO!

What does it take to get the MORONS here to understand they are NOT setting the agenda!

They are, however, LOSING.

They keep picking this ... even though NO ONE IS TAKING THE GOP "LIST" seriously!

Yeah, Herman Cain, it seems has "moved to the top" of the PIZZA PIE list!

Keep it up.

There hasn't been a serious political opponent out there, yet, who can really beat Obama!

As to Herman cain ... I doubt Blacks are so stupid they'd think ... "HEY HE'S BLACK" ... so we'll order one of those, instead of Obama.

Did something as crazy as this occur in 2008? Yup. The gigolo McCain got to be the nominee.

He lost. At the end of the day when it all got counted up ... McCain received 47% of the vote.

I guess this time out ... the nominee will probably do worse.

Which will satisfy the pubbies who own the country club.

It seems "the big money" ... and the "big boys" ... see an advantage in letting the Tea Party go and exhaust itself.

Then? There'll be blame all around the table.

While the bumper sticker? It soulc still read: "Funny Underwear Man, and the Pizza Guy."

How will the democraps play their cards? (They're the ones who are scared. They're the ones who fear losing their seats. And, Pelosi is no help to them, either.)

Where has all the talent gone?

Erik said...

Testing

The Crack Emcee said...

I didn't buy into the hope and change bullshit,...I had sober, rational reasons for my vote.

It is/was impossible to have had "sober, rational reasons" for voting for Obama.

He spent 20 years in a racist church, claimed he never heard a word. Yeah, and Bill Clinton never inhaled or touched that woman, Monica Lewinsky. This one, alone, indicates the requirement of some extreme rationalizing to overlook, but let's take a gander at more of the landscape:

Right after selling "The Secret," Oprah pops up singing, He's A Real Nowhere Man for a black guy with no record of having done anything, ever, but play dirty to wreck things and, in 2004, give a good speech at the Democratic National Convention. Behind "Sexy Sadie" stood only Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Father Pfleiger, and Bill "Just a guy in the neighborhood" Ayers (and his lovely blood-spattered bride) as The Mystery Man traveled the country telling us he wanted to redistribute the wealth.

Everybody behind him started behaving in strange ways, like a black woman declaring he'll pay her mortgage and buy her gas as teachers indoctrinated their students to sing songs, etc., that led many (myself included) to deduce we had a political cult on our hands, evidenced by (amongst other things) the media embracing and protecting him, layering him in halos (seen any of those this election cycle?) and declaring him "brilliant," while calling anyone "racist" who'd dare question him.

And, since you brought it up with this post, there was the Obama/Hillary/Saul Alinsky/Satan connection.

All of this was out BEFORE the election, but you still thought, "You know what? This Obama guy, he's swell,..."?

Sorry, Ann, but I still don't buy your "sober, rational reasons" defense, and anyone who does is about as gullible as one can be.

I have never met/seen/heard of a cultist who admitted to being one. Tom Cruise, John Travolta - two members of "the world's most dangerous cult" - but you'll never hear them, or anyone else, say so. Because no one wants to admit they were had. They were stupid. They bought into a lie.

You, Ann, can keep on trying to sell the equivalent of "Your call is very important to us,..." but there's no way you can dress it up as the truth:

We were ALL there.

You got took.

Erik said...

Let's see . . .Obama wants to increase tax rates on "millionaires" and "billionaires" earning above $250,000per year. Gee, that's a pretty round number. Well, I'm sure there is some profound policy paper, probably authored by a gaggle of Nobel-prize-winning economists, explainnig how that number reflects wise public policy. Similarly, Harry Reid wants to increase tax rates on those actually earning $1 million or more. Hey, an even rounder number! Well, again, I'm sure his choice had nothing to do with sound bites. I just wish AA would stop with the endless harping on how Obama and Reid are basing policy proposals on numerology. It's getting old, you know?

Don said...

Its kind of funny how Cain gets everybody to project so much. Numerology? Sounds like somebody is a little anxious about all those math equations showing up in the law journals for the last 30 years. Seriously, if anyone is really interested in how Cain sees the 9-9-9 plan as a step to the Fair tax just read his web site:
https://www.hermancain.com/999plan

David R. Graham said...

"Symbolical systems. If you choose one your unconsciousness will flower around it. Your dreams and your everyday musings will start to explain themselves to your through your system. So choose wisely. God Geometrizes."

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Thank you. Heraclitus, Euclid and Spinoza would strongly concur. I also.

Jane said...

"Added Laffer: "Mr. Cain’s plan is simple, transparent, neutral with respect to capital and labor, and savings and consumption, and also greatly decreases the hidden costs of tax compliance. There is no doubt that economic growth would surge upon implementation of 9-9-9."

Laffer also said that "such a system provides the least avenues to avoid paying taxes, yet also maintains the strongest incentives for work effort, production, and investment." 

gadfly said...

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan says he “loves” presidential candidate Herman Cain’s signature “9-9-9″ tax plan.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ann, enjoy [link]

Wait...

So instead of my plan conjuring Optimus Prime, it would conjure a number pooping bear?

It's like I'm Obama all the sudden.

Writ Small said...

Ann Althouse said. . .

We're expected to respond to the lure of numerology. Good lord! I don't believe in the devil or have any superstitions about numbers, but I am afraid — legitimately afraid — of people who use or respond to the mysticism of numbers.

That may be the dumbest criticism on the 9-9-9 plan I've yet seen. Just wow. Talk about emotionalism.

Saw Laffer on Special Report tonight voicing his support for the plan. Didn't realize Ryan was on board, but I'm not surprised.

Did everyone forget Steve Forbe's presidential run in 1996. He popularized the flat tax then and provided a blueprint for how a businessman can make a run at the presidency - one that Cain seems to be following. Is Steve Forbes not conservative?

Cain's Federal reserve answer: fine to criticize. Cain using numerology to sell his plan? Someone needs some sanity-restoring sleep, I think.