October 24, 2011

"Taxation is theft when you take money from one group to give it to another, when you transfer the wealth."

"Now, taxation could be accomplished with user fees and, you know, highway fees and gasoline taxes and import taxes. But the income tax is based on the assumption that the government owns you, owns all of your income and provides the conditions on which they allow you to keep a certain percentage. That, to me, is immoral, and the founders didn't like it. That's why the Constitution had to be amended in 1913."

Said Ron Paul on "Meet the Press."

In case you're wondering what David Gregory — NBC's Tim Russert replacement — did with that rich, ripe material: He did nothing, just read his next question on the next topic.

156 comments:

Scott M said...

What should he have done with such rich, ripe fruit?

themightypuck said...

I agree with Paul mostly but you are really splitting hairs to distinguish user fees from taxes. You could just say income tax is a user fee on work.

NYTNewYorker said...

David Gregory did not replace Tim Russert, not even close.

Gregory has single-handedly ruined the last, best news show on broadcast TV.

What a piker.

Skyler said...

It's most likely an apocryphal story, but they say when the first European ships pulled up off the coast of the Americas, the Indians didn't see them. They only saw the long boats rowing to shore and they wondered where they came from. It took some special effort to get them to even realize the ships were there.

David Gregory has never heard such talk before and so it was all blank to him. His mind went into a null space and returned for another question as though nothing had happened, because to him nothing did.

It's pretty radical for a relatively prominent politician to be talking in such terms nowadays.

Ann Althouse said...

"David Gregory did not replace Tim Russert, not even close."

Yeah, that's my point.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

agree with Paul mostly but you are really splitting hairs to distinguish user fees from taxes. You could just say income tax is a user fee on work.

I never thought about it that way, but I guess it makes sense, but only if you assume that you wouldn't otherwise have the right to work.

Hey, what if there were an income tax/user fee on work and the exchange was that if you paid the fee, you got to take advantage of any and all workplace regulations? That is, if you didn't pay income tax, you had nothing but pure contract, no workers' comp, no equal protection, no OSHA, etc. How many people would choose to pay, under those circumstances?

- Lyssa

Brennan said...

Hoo boy. I hope ADM and Boeing are getting what they paid for.

bagoh20 said...

I thought all that was obvious.

If you see a man get robbed, and the thief gives you half to shut up about it, you just might find yourself defending the practice in short order, and soon forget it had any moral component whatsoever.

Quaestor said...

I must agree with NYTNewYorker. David Gregory had an opportunity to explore a point of political philosophy that will be at the root of next year's campaign and he blew it entirely. He's didn't even acknowledge its import with a remark such as "an interesting point Congressman, but we haven't the time etc..."

The man has risen far above his level of competence. NBC under the ownership of General Electric has gone from one degradation to another.

EDH said...

themightypuck said...
You could just say income tax is a user fee on work.

You should be spokesman for the Elizabeth Warren campaign.

MikeinAppalachia said...

"User fees on work" = "Flat Tax"?

Rumpletweezer said...

Little children understand that this is wrong. That may be the chief difference between children and congressmen.

Rumpletweezer said...

David Gregory misses almost every opportunity to ask a follow-up question that moves the dialogue forward. Steve Green over at PJTV gives Gregory the "eyebrow of total disdain" frequently.

Robert Cook said...

I've posted this before:

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Scott M said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

See, now, there's your first problem. Who gets to decide what those are? Do they get them even if it's a proven looser? IE, if you decide government housing is a societal need but, just for argument's sake, the in's and out's of government housing end up as a net loss for both society and the individual, what then?

We could use a lot less "societal needs" and a whole lot more "personal responsibility". I know that you know people exist en masse gaming the system that could otherwise be not only productive and self-sufficient, but have more self-esteem and dignity to boot. What do you propose to do about those people?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Once you’ve determined that “taxation = theft” you are on the long slope to Ronulanism…..

Scott M said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

Do you believe that most of those hereabouts are anti-tax?

Original Mike said...

"In case you're wondering what David Gregory — NBC's Tim Russert replacement — did with that rich, ripe material: He did nothing, just read his next question on the next topic."

Gregory isn't very bright. When a guest doesn't answer a question in the way he expects, it doesn't have an impact on him. He just plows ahead with the next question, even if the previous answer has already negated it.

virgil xenophon said...

Skyler is pretty much on tgt about the psychology of that exchange (or lack of one thereof) I've always been torn, tho, as to whether, as Sklyer says, the entire moral concept of government as between means and ends that Paul holds is so foreign to those engrained with leftist beliefs (e.g., the concept of "wet" being totally foreign to a fish and something not even contemplated) or whether types like Gregory consciously skirt such issues because it would open up a Pandora's box of questions as to the legitimate purposes of government--a conversation leftists would just as well keep hidden from the public, hence the reluctance of lefty news "moderators" to devote any more than a nano-seconds time to the subject and to exclude it from the conversation when at all possible. I've noticed the same technique used by numerous NPR reporters, over the years who immediately move on when cherished long-held leftist dogma is seriously challenged. Because to engage in a discussion at all would mean either agreeing with--nay even acknowledging-- the point made, or, if challenging the point, the necessity of formulating a logical counter-argument based on facts. And being put in the position of publicly being forced to defend leftist positions is to be avoided at all costs--especially when they are indefensible.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Do you believe that most of those hereabouts are anti-tax
I am, as a default position…I think many TEA Party/Conservatives are seen that way, and come off that way.

garage mahal said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Fire teachers until we have enough?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

I realize that Scott M basically said this, but I'll ask: "How do you propose that we determine what "societal needs" are? I think that you and I can strongly agree that taxation funds an enormous amount of things that are not societal needs, even if we dispute what those things actually are.

ndspinelli said...

Howdy Doody Gregory is a shill. At least Russert can look down on Sunday and see his Buffalo Bills winning some games.

Rumpletweezer said...

Robert Cook--

Holmes said that in about 1927. What do you think the tax rates were in 1927 and how many people do you think paid taxes? I don't think Holmes would try to justify what the government at all levels is doing now.

Pogo said...

David Gregory had learned long ago that property was theft.

So he blew a fuse, and erased the thoughtcrime.

Scott M said...

I am, as a default position…I think many TEA Party/Conservatives are seen that way, and come off that way.

I'm not anti-tax at all. I accept that societies require taxes to the government in order to function above the village subsistence level. However, I am completely against any waste of taxpayer money. That can include simple waste, corruption/cronyism, good money/after bad, out and out theft, and tax rates that are too high to accommodate all of the aforementioned, which is my perception of the current situation.

I also agree with the premise that the only way to affect change is to starve the beast otherwise we keep going swirly until it's too late and something Really Really Bad happens.

sorepaw said...

"Three generations of imbeciles are enough"

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Scott M said...

Howdy Doody Gregory is a shill.

Melanist.

raf said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

It does not then follow that any and all taxes, however raised or used, are therefore virtuous.

sorepaw said...

Fire teachers until we have enough?

No, disestablish the teachers' unions, adopt strict separation of education and state, and sell the schools.

If David Gregory went blank after Ron Paul's remark, imagine how a cheaply programmed 'bot will do.

sorepaw said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Who are "we"?

What are "our societal needs"?

And, in the event of disagreement, who gets to decide?

edutcher said...

Lawrence Spivak used to let the reporters do the work because he knew they knew their jobs, only interjecting something himself to help clarify a point.

Russert always struck me as just as big a shill as the rest of his generation.

Robert Cook said...

I've posted this before:

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?


Funny how we were able to take care of "our societal needs" by ourselves before the Lefties came along.

WV "hugent" Somebody like Clint Walker.

Scott M said...

And, in the event of disagreement, who gets to decide?

We will use the vote until we get the guns...

Robert Cook said...

Scott M:

That's "loser, not "looser".

"We, the people" decide how tax revenues are allocated, through the mechanism of our representative government. Is our government as representative of and responsive to "we, the people" as the it should be?

No, of course not. In order to have a more truly responsve and representative government, we need to stringently regulate and restrict corporate financing and lobbying in Washington, and we also need an engaged, informed electorate who are in constant contact with their senators and congresspersons.

Will such necessary changes ever come about? I'm doubtful, but only time can tell.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I am [anti-tax], as a default position…I think many TEA Party/Conservatives are seen that way, and come off that way.

I would call it a necessary evil, at least to some degree. In that way, though, I have no real problem with comparing it to theft in this way: Most would agree that in some circumstances, theft is morally permissible, if it is the only option to provide for true needs. But, if you do that, you have an obligation to only steal the bare minimum of what you need and cannot otherwise get. (Recall Hurricane Katrina- no one disputed that it was OK to loot food, water, medical supplies, or blankets. Televisions, however, were a different story.)

Jay said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs

So it is a "societal need" to take someone making $30,000 to send someone with assets of $30,000,000 a social security check, right?

EDH said...

garage mahal said...
I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Fire teachers until we have enough?



Well, it certainly isn't hiring...

2 teachers union lobbyists [to] teach for a day to qualify for hefty pensions

Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

we need to stringently regulate and restrict corporate financing and lobbying in Washington, and we also need an engaged, informed electorate who are in constant contact with their senators and congresspersons
How about this, we shrink the size and scope of the Federal Government? Corporations seek rent from Washington DC because DC has that power, reduce the power of DC to make or break a corporation and watch K Street evaporate.

bagoh20 said...

"I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?"

Maybe try providing services that the people would be willing to pay for without being forced to with the threat of violence. That's what makes it theft. I would be willing to pay a substantial portion of my income to pay for government services, even some war and some welfare, but nearly half of my income? That requires threatening me with jail. Lovely system.

joated said...

Seems obvious from reading the transcript that Gregory had his questions written down and was going to ask them IN ORDER regardless of the answers given. No follow up. No comments. One wonders if Gregory even listened to the answers his questions evoked.

sorepaw said...

Is our government as representative of and responsive to "we, the people" as the it should be?

No, of course not. In order to have a more truly responsve and representative government, we need to stringently regulate and restrict corporate financing and lobbying in Washington, and we also need an engaged, informed electorate who are in constant contact with their senators and congresspersons.


In other words, the power of government shall be greatly increased, so even more satellites and clients will have a substantial monetary interest in influencing its actions.

This ever-more powerful government shall henceforward be required to become more responsive to those whom Robert Cook deems worthy of responsiveness, and less responsive to those whom Robert Cook deems unworthy of responsiveness.

And achieving these results requires undemocratic means, will Robert Cook mind?

If it requires treating the Constitution like toilet paper, will Robert Cook mind?

sorepaw said...

And *if* achieving these results..

Brennan said...

This is standard David Gregory fare since taking over hosting duties. He has almost no follow up questions at all. It's just the script from the sponsors.

Russert was the NBC News DC Bureau Chief. Gregory might be the 5th man off the bench.

Chip S. said...

The power to tax is the power to destroy.

@RCook--Woohoo! I can quote a famous SC justice, too! That proves what, exactly, about "correct" fiscal policy?

If "we the people" share the clear consensus about taxes and spending that you conjecture, then surely you wouldn't object to requiring unanimity (oh, let's cut ourselves some slack and merely require a 75% majority) in voting to set them at their desired levels.

Otherwise I have to conclude that you're spouting empty talk.

The fact that, under simply majority rule, 50%+1 people can seize the assets of the rest of their fellow citizens--and the adverse consequences of that for the incentives to work and to invest--is one of the oldest problems in political theory.

Robert Cook said...

"I would be willing to pay a substantial portion of my income to pay for government services, even some war and some welfare, but nearly half of my income?"

If you're paying nearly half your income in taxes then either you or your tax preparer is incompetent, or your tax preparer is ripping you off. Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens.

Scott M said...

That's "loser, not "looser".

Ah...a statist AND a typo-nazi. Why does that not surprise me, RC?

Will such necessary changes ever come about? I'm doubtful, but only time can tell.

But your going to cast your lot with the status quo? Tax everyone to the nth degree and hope for the best? I suppose if you throw enough shit at the wall, you'll get some to stick where you want it, but in the meantime, we're staring straight down the barrel of unsustainability re budgets/revenues/etc.

Starve the beast and you, at least, get the informed public as sewer starts to drain. Pain all around, but nowhere nearly as bad is if (when, actually) it all comes crashing down uncontrollably, wouldn't you say?

NYTNewYorker said...

Russert was thought a shill, with Gregory there is no doubt.

Paul Zrimsek said...

At the time Holmes made that famous statement, in 1927, taxes at all levels of government added up to about 12% of GDP. So I figure taxes are somewhere around 1/3 a price we're paying for civilization, and 2/3 a price we're paying for something else.

Peter said...

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Surely, this is a straw-man argument? He's not claiming that all taxes are theft, only that taxation for the purpose of redistribution of income is theft.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens
Not yet, but give Jerry Brown and Obama a chance woancha? Certainly taxes can get to or exceed 40% when you throw in FICA and State and Local Taxes.

And don't forget the surcharges for ObamaCare.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The other conclusion I draw is: the difference between selling civilization and selling anything else is that when you're selling civilization it's OK to charge whatever the traffic will bear.

Robert Cook said...

"In other words, the power of government shall be greatly increased...."

No.

Corporate influence in Washington must be reduced, if not wholly removed, to allow for the influence of the citizenry to hold sway. This increases our power, as we, the people are--or should be--the government.

This is basic civics.

Oligonicella said...

sorepaw --

Who are "we"?

What are "our societal needs"?

And, in the event of disagreement, who gets to decide?"

Please.
Three trite questions with obvious answers. The US citizenry, agreed on needs that are generic such as hiways, and majority vote.

If those were firepower, you don't have much for this exchange.

J said...

Quack quack quack. Economic libertarianism--the preferred political philosophy of...casino operators, liquor distributors. gun shop owners. Paul may at times praise civil libertarian ideas( due process, etc) but his economic ideas are ....mostly worthless.

Paul's typical pseudo-patriotic allusion--ie, the Founders did not have income tax (they did have estate taxes,and tariffs however)--means little or nothing. The FF.s also allowed for slavery (at least in the south). The govt. has grown and citizens are required to help pay for it--and it's more than reasonable for the wealthier to shoulder a heavier burden (and most took advantage of govt. services--such as public schools, and/or the the military).

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Corporate influence in Washington must be reduced, if not wholly removed, to allow for the influence of the citizenry to hold sway. This increases our power, as we, the people are--or should be--the government.

This is basic civics

By “We the people” I assume you mean the SEIU and the AFL-CIO? Again SHRINK government, and the rest takes care of itself.

Robert Cook said...

"He's not claiming that all taxes are theft, only that taxation for the purpose of redistribution of income is theft."

All taxation is redistribution of income, silly.

bagoh20 said...

"Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens."

It is if you live in California.

on top of the federal highest bracket I have 11% state income tax, + 8.5% sales tax, + corporate taxes, not to mention all the utility, fuel, and regulatory taxes taken from me and my employees.

My annual income tax bill alone for 2011 will be so high that I could give each of my employees a $10,000 bonus with it, which we would much prefer and I expect it would be much better spent.

That's what just I have to pay, a single man with no kids. Tell me that's fair, or even wise.

Scott M said...

Corporate influence in Washington must be reduced, if not wholly removed, to allow for the influence of the citizenry to hold sway.

Sorepaw answered this already, RC. Reduce the reach and scope of government and the rent-seekers will dry up. We will never be wholly free of them, but if you drastically reduce what the federal government's got it's claws into, you reduce the incentive for corps/incs to waste time and money on them.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

The govt. has grown and citizens are required to help pay for it--and it's more than reasonable for the wealthier to shoulder a heavier burden (and most took advantage of govt. services--such as public schools, and/or the the military
The wealthier already pay the bulk of the taxes NOW, “J”, how much more do you expect them to shoulder? Further, IF they are paying the Piper, they’ll be calling the tune, won’t they?

Scott M said...

That's what just I have to pay, a single man with no kids. Tell me that's fair, or even wise.

It's not fair that you're a single man with no kids. Put your own personal growth on hold for twenty years and be a breeder like the rest of us, you selfish prick.

(lol)

Robert Cook said...

"But your going to cast your lot with the status quo? Tax everyone to the nth degree and hope for the best?"

That's "you're", not "your."

We're not taxed to the nth degree, so that isn't the status quo.

Scott M said...

We're not taxed to the nth degree, so that isn't the status quo.

nth is a variable and can easily stand in for what the current rate is, typomonger.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

We're not taxed to the nth degree, so that isn't the status quo
So until the tax rates meets or exceeds 100% it’s all good?

Jay said...

"Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens."


Your ignorance is rather astounding.

AllenS said...

Robert Cook said...
If you're paying nearly half your income in taxes then either you or your tax preparer is incompetent, or your tax preparer is ripping you off. Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens.

Trying counting all of the taxes you pay. Not only income tax, but all taxes. Property tax, sales tax, everytime you buy a gallon of gasoline (if you drive). In WI the taxes on a gallon of gas is over 50¢.

Chip S. said...

This is basic civics.

At an 8th grade level, perhaps. But that's about it.

Mike said...

David Gregory's mind IS a null space. Let's just say that he's as nimble on his mental feet during a debate as is Obama.

TCB-n-a-Flash said...

David Gregory is turning more and more into a 'gotcha' guy. He doesn't even listen to Paul's answers throughout the interview, and is constantly stating his questions are impermeable facts. Cliche media arrogance. Paul is actually talking over Gregory's head, and Gregory doesn't get it.

John said...

See Bastiat's "The Law" (1845 or so)

He asks why is it morally wrong for us to take an individuals money, time or possessions as individuals.

Yet morally OK if we do it in the guise of government.

John Henry

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


On a related topic, I have to say libertarianism is very badly represented by Dr. Ron Paul. His is a branch of libertarianism populated by the likes of Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard…there are WORSE spokespersons, Micahel Badnarik and Bob Barr. David Boaz won my heart with his article, “Up From Slavery” for very realistic assessment of freedom in the US, and those who complain about it’s Loss.”

Paul Zrimsek said...

If it doesn't matter to your conclusion whether we the people are the government, or whether we merely should be the government, your conclusion is probably based on something other than basic civics.

ic said...

Truth is truth. David Gregory was afraid some of his viewers would catch on.

mightypuck: "income tax is a user fee on work"? User fees are fees for services provided by govts e.g. toll roads, even public libraries. "Work" is not provided by govt., unless you're in communist China circa 1949 - 1990, where you're assigned "work", your pay was determined by a committee. Funny, govt provided "work", but there were no income taxes. Don't go there.

edutcher said...

Robert Cook said...

"He's not claiming that all taxes are theft, only that taxation for the purpose of redistribution of income is theft."

All taxation is redistribution of income, silly.


One can make a very good case defense isn't, silly, but Cook regards all defense expenditure as war crimes.

J said...

Joejoe Nixon, you obviously missed out on US History 101 while finishing your white collar crime degree at Madoff U. Check the facts--current tax rates are still at historic lows (not that that stops the TP hype): under Reagan taxes across the board were about 50%. With BushCo tax slashes for the wealthy (extended by the centrist BO)--capital gains rates are lowest theyve been in decades (pre WWII). But of course truth doesn't stop the Teabagger hype-meister. Now, bring up the Laffer er Laugher curve BS next! A-tard usual

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

under Reagan taxes across the board were about 50%. With BushCo tax slashes for the wealthy (extended by the centrist BO)--capital gains rates are lowest theyve been in decades (pre WWII). But of course truth doesn't stop the Teabagger hype-meister. Now, bring up the Laffer er Laugher curve BS next
They weren’t 50% “Across the board”….”BushCo” didn’t drop the rates BACK to Reagan…Clinton raised them, and Bush and Obama have “temporarily” lowered them from ~39% (Highest) to ~35% (Highest). In the process “BushCo” took MILLIONS off the Tax Rolls and made the tax code MORE Progressive. You might have missed that “J”.

John said...

Paul Zrimsk said:

"If it doesn't matter to your conclusion whether we the people are the government, or whether we merely should be the government, your conclusion is probably based on something other than basic civics."

If we get a group of people together and call ourselves Hells Angels, it is theft if we take you money.

If we get a group of people together and call ourselves "Congress" and take your money, it is not theft.

Why is that? Simply because Congress represents a larger gang or group of people than the Richmond chapter of the Hells Angels?

John Henry

I

Thorley Winston said...

"Now, taxation could be accomplished with user fees and, you know, highway fees and gasoline taxes and import taxes. But the income tax is based on the assumption that the government owns you, owns all of your income and provides the conditions on which they allow you to keep a certain percentage. That, to me, is immoral, and the founders didn't like it. That's why the Constitution had to be amended in 1913."


I wonder how many people read this passage from Ron Paul and realized:

1) Paul doesn’t seem to understand the difference between user fees and taxes.

2) Paul isn’t really against taxation per se, he’s just against the income tax.

3) His mangling of the argument for 1) in order to argue for 2) does more harm than good.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Why is that? Simply because Congress represents a larger gang or group of people than the Richmond chapter of the Hells Angels
Uh-NO, because “Congress” is a LEGITIMATE arm of government, and has the legitimate claim upon your support, willing or otherwise. The Richmond Chapter of H3ll’s Angels is NOT a “legitimate” arm of government or even a “government” at all…I pray you are being facetious here. Or you may be proof that once you buy “taxation = theft” you are on track for Ronulanism.

John said...

Chip S said:

The fact that, under simply majority rule, 50%+1 people can seize the assets of the rest of their fellow citizens-
+++

It would take a bit more than 50%+1 but we could *democratically* reinstitute slavery. Or we could democratically institute pogroms against, say, Mormons.

All it would take would be enough people to vote for a Constitutional Amendment.

All done democratically of course with the Mormons and the group targeted for enslavement having the right to vote on it.

John Henry

Tank said...

Bastiat !

Ah.

One of my heroes.

John said...

Bastiat's "The Law" is available here:

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

John Henry

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

Robert Cook said...
I've posted this before:

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."

---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

10/24/11 9:53 AM

He also said that three generations of imbeciles is enough. We are already past our third generation of progressive social engineering and policies.

J said...

No,you're wrong again. Until '86 Reagan rates were 50%, after his initial cut of Carter's rate . Check the wikis for a start. The tax slashes were at the end--post 86.Clinton did not raise them to 50% but about to their present level (excepting cap gains--which BUshCo cut to15%).

Moreover , in terms of numbers (GDP, median income, unempl.etc) Clinton's admin. outdid Reagan (Clinton was hardly perfect--de-reg led to many current problems). Not that facts stop the glibertarian blowhard. MURRAY ROTHBARD? Yr kinda guy Joejoe--gold standard, no taxes, regs or rules, nothin' but pseudo-aristocrats and the serfs who work for them

cubanbob said...

garage mahal said...
I wonder how those who claim "taxes are theft" propose we might otherwise finance our societal needs?

Fire teachers until we have enough?

10/24/11 10:06 AM

Limit the vote to net taxpayers and let them decide how much of their money they are willing to pay and for what they are wiling to pay for.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


No “J” you said tax rates were 50% across the board, they were not I merely pointed out your error.

n.n said...

Taxation is a form of involuntary exploitation. As such, it is imperative that its use is limited and responsible in order to mitigate occurrences of progressive corruption.

The founders recognized this and in the preamble to our constitution described general guidelines for its uses:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In the Declaration of Independence they recognized individual dignity. In the Constitution they recognized reasonable compromises in order to establish and develop a society.

In fiscal 2011, the government (federal, state, and local) spent $7 trillion, of which over $2 trillion was derived from the accumulation of debt. The problem is principally budgetary and not revenue related.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Nor is Murray Rothbard a hero of mine, “J”. I find him laughable and naïve. Naïve, in that he, reportedly, cheered when South Vietnam fell, because there was one less state in the world…as IF the replacement of South Vietnam with a Marxist-Leninist Unitary Party State was a cause for celebration. Funny, in that his only “successful” libertarian state is the Irish nation prior to Elizabeth the Great. *WOW* What a an example, the Irish, defeated by those Statist meanies from the United Kingdom, I guess the meanies cheated, and had an oppressive, exploitative state, that allowed militaristic, imperialist ventures…NOT FAIR, says Murray!

J said...

No, you 're wrong again Joejoe Kantor. Under Reagan, after his first cut, and until 86, tax rates were about 50% on the highest brackets. Check the wiki. Clinton did not raise them above 40% or so.

ricpic said...

What difference is there between Gregory's non-response and Althouse's non-response when feminist orthodoxy is challenged? Non-response is a technique for rendering invisible, disappearing if you will those who challenge the dominant orthodoxy, be it statism or feminism.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Why then we agree “J” you merely had posted 50% “across the board” when obviously it was not a 50% rate ACROSS the board…but now we are in agreement about the 1986 rates and the cuts…you do neglect to mention that Clinton increased the rates and the rates have not fallen back to Reagan’s rates of ~28% since Clinton, even under “BushCo”.

J said...

Clinton's upper rates--40% or so-- were under Reagan's 50% on the wealthy so yr wrong. What were they under previous GOP admins? Nixon about 70%. Ike near 90%. Teabugs therefore are the heretics historically speaking. Yr living in MURRAY ROTHBARD-land, JoeJo Geldmeister

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
were under Reagan's 50% on the wealthy so yr wrong. What were they under previous GOP admins? Nixon about 70%


You seem to be wanting a confrontation..

Carter: 70%-top rate
Reagan (1st term): 50%-top rate
Reagan (2nd Term): 28%-top rate
Clinton (1993): ??
Clinton (Post-1994): ~39%-top rate
Bush ’43: ~35%-top rate

So neither Bush ’43 nor Clinton have produced a tax rate lower or equal to Reagan’s. I hope the chart makes that clear and makes clear my point. Now the chart also ignores that the rate was made MORE progressive under “BushCo” than Clinton, “J”.

I’m not sure what you want to fight about “J” or why you want to fight, but if humanly possible I think I shall decline the opportunity to fight with you. It seems to serve a sick and deep seated need and I think it’s best for you, me and Althouse if we just discuss the issues raised.

cubanbob said...

bagoh20 said...
"Our tax rate is nowhere near 50% for even the wealthiest citizens."

It is if you live in California.

on top of the federal highest bracket I have 11% state income tax, + 8.5% sales tax, + corporate taxes, not to mention all the utility, fuel, and regulatory taxes taken from me and my employees.

My annual income tax bill alone for 2011 will be so high that I could give each of my employees a $10,000 bonus with it, which we would much prefer and I expect it would be much better spent.

That's what just I have to pay, a single man with no kids. Tell me that's fair, or even wise.

10/24/11 10:54 AM

Please move your business to Florida. We have no state income tax (personal) and if you are an S Corp you avoid the 5% C corp tax. Property taxes are capped so if you buy now while the market is down you are locked in at the lower valuation. And the sales tax rate is not quit so onerous and we don't have such an overbearing amount of state regulation.

cubanbob said...

Thorley Winston said...
"Now, taxation could be accomplished with user fees and, you know, highway fees and gasoline taxes and import taxes. But the income tax is based on the assumption that the government owns you, owns all of your income and provides the conditions on which they allow you to keep a certain percentage. That, to me, is immoral, and the founders didn't like it. That's why the Constitution had to be amended in 1913."


I wonder how many people read this passage from Ron Paul and realized:

1) Paul doesn’t seem to understand the difference between user fees and taxes.

2) Paul isn’t really against taxation per se, he’s just against the income tax.

3) His mangling of the argument for 1) in order to argue for 2) does more harm than good.

10/24/11 11:37 AM

Apparently you are the one with the comprehension problem. User fees are the same for all, income taxes are variable. Paul isn't against all taxes, only anarchist are. Paul is for limited government and hence limited tax collections and taxes that are levied equally for all.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Re: total taxes - the last time I figured this was back in the early '90s. Wife and I both well employed (Sr. engineer and Jr. banker), house in CA on the SF peninsula, two kids, modest capital gains.
Total tax take was about 42% of income. (And that's just first-order taxes, that we paid personally. I didn't try to account for the bump in cost-of-living due to all the high taxes every merchant in the area was also paying, for instance.)

cubanbob said...

Joe said...
(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
were under Reagan's 50% on the wealthy so yr wrong. What were they under previous GOP admins? Nixon about 70%


You seem to be wanting a confrontation..

Carter: 70%-top rate
Reagan (1st term): 50%-top rate
Reagan (2nd Term): 28%-top rate
Clinton (1993): ??
Clinton (Post-1994): ~39%-top rate
Bush ’43: ~35%-top rate


Joe J is a tard. He/she/it lives in an asylum and doesn't have an income to be taxed.

having had the dubious pleasure of paying 70% income tax at the margins under Carter and finally paying 28% under Reagan contrary to J I did notice the difference in my net worth and available cash. Clinton did reduce my income all else being the same, as if no one wasn't going to notice a rise to 39.6% but still in a time of economic growth that is bearable. Raising taxes in this economy is just plain suicidal.

If my income is to be redistributed to welfare bitches and I'm supposed to pay other people's child support, whats in it for me? Shouldn't the welfare mamas clean my house and cook my food? Shouldn't the sperminators maintain my lawn, car and provide handyman services? Why should they get a free ride at my expense?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
If my income is to be redistributed to welfare bitches and I'm supposed to pay other people's child support, whats in it for me? Shouldn't the welfare mamas clean my house and cook my food? Shouldn't the sperminators maintain my lawn, car and provide handyman services? Why should they get a free ride at my expense


“Social Justice” I don’t know, please don’t confuse me with one of the Occupy(City) posse….

Cedarford said...

Taxation, in some form or another, has been around since caveman days. People band together, and specialization of skills means that you render fees, tithes, services in kind to the leader, give your hard-earned hunt kill meat to the hobbled guy that makes bone point spears and keeps the fire going and protects the womanfolk while you hunt, and give meat to the woman that cares for your two young kids after the mother was killed in the wolf attack the year before.

It is the basic social contract.

The libertarian is the one who pretends to ignore all those interconnections and pretends that he could leave the tribe if he wanted to and do it all on his own and resents even a scrap of his caveman hunt kill going to others.

On the other hand, the cave tribes abandoned defective babies and old people who didn't contribute anything on snow drifts and outcast the lazy and non-contributors to die an even slower, nasty, and brutal death forced out at spearpoint to unwillingly try to establish their rugged individualist libertarian paradise..
The liberal says the cave tribe has a duty to carry the parasites taxing others from cradle to grave.

The arch rightwinger is the one who says whatever goods and wealth the Leader can grab from others is fine...because in every cave tribe..only the Elite leader creates all jobs and enables all blessings.

Thorley Winston said...

Apparently you are the one with the comprehension problem. User fees are the same for all, income taxes are variable.

No, that’s not correct. User fees are based on the payer’s use of a government service and vary based on how much you use. The more you use, the more you pay. Taxes – whether we’re talking about an income tax (even a flat tax) or some form of sales tax (including the tariffs that Ron Paul supports) – may vary as much as a user fee but their variability is not driven by whether or how much the payer uses a particular government service, it’s driven by earning income or spending it.

Scott M said...

The arch rightwinger is the one who says whatever goods and wealth the Leader can grab from others is fine...because in every cave tribe..only the Elite leader creates all jobs and enables all blessings.

Missing, of course, that a pure libertarian is an arch-rightwinger, second only to complete anarchy on the totalitarian-moderate-anarchy plane, from left to right.

traditionalguy said...

Basic tax policy lesson is that the Income Tax is a barrier to accumulation of new wealth by taking the money from the highest earners at a confiscatory rate.

The low rates circa 15% are the easy street built in for the already wealthy from fortunes inherited and socked away in capital rate taxed investments.

The real wealthy hate any new wealthy crowding them out. So they love recessions which they call shaking outs. That culls the new guys who cannot keep ante upping as their relatively small amount of cash disappears and assets must be let go of.

bagoh20 said...

"Put your own personal growth on hold for twenty years and be a breeder like the rest of us, you selfish prick."

I love that bullshit about breeders not breeding in their own self interest.

So people have kids for the benefit of others. Who exactly are you doing that for? Did anyone say: Hey do me a favor - have some kids for me. Were you thinking of the great sacrifice you were making during the sex? And if someone were to tell you you couldn't have kids, would you feel blessed by that, or deprived?

BTW, I raised someone else's kids to adulthood, and loved it. It was no sacrifice - it's a gift, even without the sex part.

Scott M said...

You did see the (lol) at the bottom, right?

Robert Cook said...

"One can make a very good case defense isn't (redistribution of wealth), silly, but Cook regards all defense expenditure as war crimes."

Legitimate defense expenditures are a valid component of any government's budget, but as we have not fought a defensive war for over half a century, one could argue that most of what we have piled into our war budget these past many decades has been an ongoing boondoggle of criminal proportions. We would be better off fiscally, and no worse off from a defense standpoint, had we spent only a fraction on our military budget as we have spent in the last 60 years.

Moreover, military expenditures are among the most redistributive of expenditures, as corruption and price gouging is endemic, systems rapidly become obsolete and new systems must be bought, and much of the military budget is classified, so we cannot even account for where or how the money is used. War profiteers would be not called that if they were losing money.

Let's see, how many millions of dollars in tax payers' cash, stacked on wooden pallets, went missing in Iraq early on? Oh, wait, it was $12 billion!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/
world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1

http://articles.latimes.com/
2011/jun/13/world/la-fg-missing-billions-20110613

That was certainly redistributed from you and me and everyone we know and to...who?

Every dollar spent (or lost or stolen) on war technology--by definition, for destructive ends--is a dollar taken from productive ends.

bagoh20 said...

I got that Scott. I got no anger about it. I just hear it all the time, and it never made sense to me.

I am a selfish prick though, but I'm just trying to fit in.

bagoh20 said...

"we have not fought a defensive war for over half a century..."

I wonder why, and why anyone would want to wait for that, considering we have found an effective alternative.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"Please move your business to Florida."

I would love to, but my employees all have roots here. I think about it nearly every day. California seems to hate business, and vise versa now. Every business that can make it work, moves ASAP. I intend to as soon as I can, but Florida needs a public works program where your state builds some mountains. Humans should not live on land that flat - it's immoral.

Alex said...

It does not then follow that any and all taxes, however raised or used, are therefore virtuous.

But the $3 trillion spent on the insane BushCheney wars were very virtuous.

Alex said...

Robert Cook's "we the people" means his gang of leftists(unions, anarchists, hipsters) will tell the rest of us how to live and how much we will pay for the privilege of it all.

sorepaw said...

Check the facts--current tax rates are still at historic lows

Historic lows, eh?

Next "J" will be informing us that the Federal income tax rates are the lowest since 1900, the Social Security tax rates the lowest since 1930, and the Medicare tax rates the lowest since 1960.

Scram, troll.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook's 'we the people' means his gang of leftists(unions, anarchists, hipsters) will tell the rest of us how to live and how much we will pay for the privilege of it all."

No. It means the decisions reached by representatives elected by the people who vote. But decisions that are responsive to the voters, you know, "we, the people," and not to those who offer corporate bribe money, gifts, and trips. If those people you sneer at are in the majority, their voices would be heard; if not, then not.

Alex said...

Robert Cook - you see I just don't trust your mob called "the American people" any more then I trust corporate lobbyists. But at least with the lobbyists I know they won't come to steal my home, burn it down and kill me. Your mob would do that.

sorepaw said...

Corporate influence in Washington must be reduced, if not wholly removed, to allow for the influence of the citizenry to hold sway.

Cook denies that he is advocating greatly increased power for the Federal government.

But how does propose to "wholly remove" corporate influence?

Remember that during the oral arguments on Citizens United, the Solicitor General of the United States admitted that McCain-Feingold could be used to ban the publication of books during the run-up to a Federal election.

Now Cook and Cedarford might not mind book-banning... but the rest of us surely wood.

Corporate influence could also be "wholly removed" by banning corporations, by making lobbying on behalf of any private business punishable by drawing and quartering, or by requiring the taxpayers to foot the entire bill for every political campaign (only government-approved candidates need apply).

And all of these measures would require a vastly more powerful government to enact and enforce them.

sorepaw said...

the rest of us surely *would*

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook - you see I just don't trust your mob called 'the American people'"....

So, then, you admit to a hatred of democratic self-government.

Of course, it is the "representative" aspect--we do not have direct democracy but elect those, presumably of sober mind and judicious temperament, who will represent our interests, free from the turbulent passions of the populace at large--along with the Constitution's prohibitions on government power and guarantees of rights to the people--which is intended to mitigate the tyranny of the mob.

Again, this is basic civics.

AllenS said...

Robert Cook said...
Moreover, military expenditures are among the most redistributive of expenditures, as corruption and price gouging is endemic, systems rapidly become obsolete and new systems must be bought

Yeah, what's wrong with you right-wingers? We should still be using blunderbusses.

AllenS said...

We could have whipped the Krauts and the Japs even if we had just used blunderbusses. But, no. NO! We had to use more expensive wasteful weapons to accomplish what could have been done on the cheap, thereby saving taxpayer money.

sorepaw said...

It means the decisions reached by representatives elected by the people who vote. But decisions that are responsive to the voters, you know, "we, the people," and not to those who offer corporate bribe money, gifts, and trips.

But, as Cook envisions things, only the influence of corporations on government is to be banned.

Not the influence of non-profits, unions, or pressure groups not affiliated with profit-making business.

Why not?


If those people you sneer at [leftists, anarchists, union members] are in the majority, their voices would be heard; if not, then not.


At the present time, Leftists, Left-wing "anarchists," and members of labor unions, either, in the private or the public sector, all taken together, form a distinct minority of the American electorate.

Would it therefore be appropriate for a majority to vote for members of Congress who, in turn, pass legislation that strips all Leftists, Left-wing anarchists, and union members of their right to vote, and confiscates all of their property for the "public good"? And for the majority of the voters to vote for a President who will sign such legislation, and nominate Supreme Court justices who won't find fault with it?

Would this be a gross and unconscionable violation of the unalienable rights of the Leftists, Left-wing anarchists, and union members ?

Or would it be simply the result of a decision process exquisitely responsive to (a majority of) "the voters"?

cubanbob said...

bagoh20 said...
"Please move your business to Florida."

I would love to, but my employees all have roots here. I think about it nearly every day. California seems to hate business, and vise versa now. Every business that can make it work, moves ASAP. I intend to as soon as I can, but Florida needs a public works program where your state builds some mountains. Humans should not live on land that flat - it's immoral.

10/24/11 3:34 PM

Mountains are overrated if you are broke. Besides they lose some of their appeal if seen every day. With all that you can save in a no state income tax state, you Will have enough to take an annual vacation to a mountainous area. Besides if you like the ocean, the ocean here is warm enough to go swimming in without a wet suit. I like California. I wish it would go broke already not only as a cautionary tale for the rest of the country but like a drunk, there isn't a recovery until he hits bottom. Until the state bottoms out there will be no recovery for it and no purging of the noxious progressive mindset that has brought the state down.
In business your first loss is your best loss. A California purged of the toxicity is imperative for the US.

sorepaw said...

So, then, you admit to a hatred of democratic self-government.

So-called Progressives have very little regard for the judgment of ordinary voters.

This is why they want unelected bureaucrats to decide so many things.

And where Progressives have very little regard, those farther Left have no regard at all.

sorepaw said...

Legitimate defense expenditures are a valid component of any government's budget, but as we have not fought a defensive war for over half a century, one could argue that most of what we have piled into our war budget these past many decades has been an ongoing boondoggle of criminal proportions.

Not one defensive war? Not even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11?

Even when it is not the product of outright corruption, there are many serious problems with military spending (a prudent observer might take these as a good reason for keeping the rest of what the Federal government does to a minimum...).

And no sane person would defend every major US foreign policy decision made over the past half-century (for instance, what was the rationale for training Fascist military officers from Latin America, or for kissing up to China by pretending that the Khmer Rouge was the legitimate government of Cambodia, or for continuing to provide funding for the United Nations?).

But such rhetoric as Cook is employing suggests a firm belief on the part of the speaker that the United States has actually deserved to be conquered by several other countries during the past half century.

cubanbob said...

Thorley Winston said...
Apparently you are the one with the comprehension problem. User fees are the same for all, income taxes are variable.

No, that’s not correct. User fees are based on the payer’s use of a government service and vary based on how much you use. The more you use, the more you pay. Taxes – whether we’re talking about an income tax (even a flat tax) or some form of sales tax (including the tariffs that Ron Paul supports) – may vary as much as a user fee but their variability is not driven by whether or how much the payer uses a particular government service, it’s driven by earning income or spending it.

10/24/11 2:00 PM

Tell me again how user fees are variable and are on a case by case basis. Your implication that because Ron Paul isn't in favor of income taxes he is therefore a phony because he isn't against general revenue taxes to fund legitimate core functions of government. Now perhaps one can argue on the merits of a head tax to pay for the general core government functions, he hasn't made that argument as far as I know. His argument is that a substantial amount of what government spends money on and does isn't constitutionally permissible and therefore shouldn't be done and hence shouldn't be paid for in general and certainly not from taxes on income that basically punishes work.

Robert Cook said...

"Would it therefore be appropriate for a majority to vote for members of Congress who, in turn, pass legislation that strips all Leftists, Left-wing anarchists, and union members of their right to vote, and confiscates all of their property for the "public good"? And for the majority of the voters to vote for a President who will sign such legislation, and nominate Supreme Court justices who won't find fault with it?"

I think this would be a violation of the Constitution.

Robert Cook said...

"Not one defensive war? Not even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11?"

Nope.

Alex said...

I think this would be a violation of the Constitution.

Why? According to you 50%+1 voting to confiscate the wealth of the top 1% is fine.

Alex said...

Robert Cook subscribes to the paleocon view that because America is surrounded by oceans, it can't be attacked. Thus, any war America is involved in must be imperialists by it's very nature. 9-11-01 just doesn't jive with his world view.

Robert Cook said...

"Why? According to you 50%+1 voting to confiscate the wealth of the top 1% is fine."

Where have I said anything to that effect?

cubanbob said...

AllenS said...
We could have whipped the Krauts and the Japs even if we had just used blunderbusses. But, no. NO! We had to use more expensive wasteful weapons to accomplish what could have been done on the cheap, thereby saving taxpayer money.

10/24/11 4:21 PM

Compared to an all out invasion of Japan the A Bomb was pocket change. Now if FDR had listened carefully in 39 and had the A Bomb program on full tilt from 39 on wards we could have had the bomb by late 42.
He could have nuked Adolph and Tojo in late 42 or early 43 and the war would have been won on the cheap so to speak. Heck with the Krauts so far to the east at that point we could ended the war in such a manner that we could have avoided the Cold War and the Korean War and perhaps even the Vietnam War. Democrats always screw things up in the end.

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook said...
"Would it therefore be appropriate for a majority to vote for members of Congress who, in turn, pass legislation that strips all Leftists, Left-wing anarchists, and union members of their right to vote, and confiscates all of their property for the "public good"? And for the majority of the voters to vote for a President who will sign such legislation, and nominate Supreme Court justices who won't find fault with it?"

I think this would be a violation of the Constitution.

10/24/11 4:49 PM

And so is the progressive state that FDR and LBJ put in place until. The Supreme Court found fault with FDR until he had enough judges to say it didn't. Its just a question of the judges are. As long as the Constitution is a living document you run the risk of turning it in to a Night Of The Living Dead document. The best way to interpret the constitution is that of a contract and stick to the text as written and to the extent interpretation is needed only to the most obvious logical conclusion from the the text and not from piles of of dubious precedent.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook subscribes to the paleocon view that because America is surrounded by oceans, it can't be attacked."

We were attacked in 1941 by Japan, and Germany declared war on us. As these were nation states with powerful militaries, we responded appropriately by fighting a war in defense of ourselves and of the western democracies that were under attack at that time.

We were also attacked in 2001, but by a small band of criminal hijackers. They represented no nation or military power, and thus our invasion of Afghanistan, where they were encamped, but from where they swiftly fled, made no sense from a self-defense point of view--as Afghanistan's government was not involved and could neither then nor now mount a military attack against us--and our invasion of Iraq, who had nothing to do with 9/11, even as tangentially as having harbored men who were involved, was a purely criminal act of aggression on our part.

gutless said...

When "societal needs" includes Federal funding of a Finnish sports car company one might understand why a default position of No Taxes and rebuild from there makes sense.

Love said...

So I guess that when we take a trip to the local grocery store, we would pay some kind of toll each trip, there and back?

How about cross country? Ten, twenty, maybe a hundred separate tolls to accommodate each different state's needs?

And of course when we call the police, ambulance, or other assistance we would have to have a check or credit card available for when they show up?

How about travel via air? Do we handle our own security or do we pay the TSA for each scan?

Etc., etc., etc.

Ron Paul is out of his mind.

Love said...

Alex - 9/11 was a "war?"

Love said...

Scott - "We could use a lot less "societal needs" and a whole lot more "personal responsibility".

Easy to say if one is able to provide.

What is it you and some others here have so against helping those who cannot help themselves?

I'll bet 99% of you consider yourselves Christians yet you appear to not understand the most basic precept of what your savior taught.

When you tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, maybe you should first make sure they have boots.

AllenS said...

Having a conscience never won a war, Mr. Cook, you have to kill.

John said...

Hey Love,

When you go to the supermarket, you do pay a user fee for the roads.

It is collected by the gas station every time you fill up.

It is not a perfect user fee but at least it is a step in the right direction.

Some areas are talking about putting a GPS on your car and charging a user fee based on how many miles you drive.

A user fee is voluntary or largely voluntary. Don't like paying for the roads? Stay home.

Me, I think taxes should be replaced by user fees to the maximum extent possible. National Parks, for example, should be fully funded by the people who use them.

John Henry

John Henry

John said...

Love said...


What is it you and some others here have so against helping those who cannot help themselves?
++++

I suspect that many of us do.

Do you? How much of your income do you contribute to charity each year? What percent? Do you tithe like the Bible recommends?

(It is a rhetorical question, no need to answer unless you want)

Many of us are willing to give significant amounts to help others. What we are not willing to do is to take it by force (taxation) from someone else to give others.

It's only charity if you give your own money.

Otherwise STFU about it.

John Henry

wef said...

"Taxes are the price we pay for civilization."
---Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


Servile Cook, you servile lewinsky, remember O.W. Holmes II, is also the fellow who said,

"We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

blah, blah, blah

Robert Cook said...

Here is an excerpt from an article by Michael Lind in today's Salon.com discussing the manifold failures of our Iraq war. This passage illustrates how ruinously redistributive of our wealth war spending really is:

"Remember the Bush administration’s assertions that the Iraq war would pay for itself? On March 27, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz told the House Appropriations Committee that Iraqi oil would pay for the costs of the war: 'We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.' In a press conference on Oct. 2, 2003, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted: 'The bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis—from oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investment—as well as some contributions we’ve already received and hoped to receive from the international community.'

"This was yet another unforced error by the neoconservatives, the most blundering foreign policy elite in American history. Apart from the more than 4,000 Americans killed, the more than 30,000 Americans maimed, and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who lost their lives or have been wounded, a conservative estimate of the costs of the war puts it at $1.2 trillion, although Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes estimate that the long-term costs, including medical treatment for veterans, may exceed $2 trillion. David Leonhardt of the New York Times put this into perspective, back in 2007:

"For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public health campaign — a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives.

"Combined, the cost of running those programs for a decade wouldn’t use up even half our money pot. So we could then turn to poverty and education, starting with universal preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old child across the country. The city of New Orleans could also receive a huge increase in reconstruction funds."

new york said...

You can keep the middle class happy with a job, a place to live and a television, but the upper 1% got too greedy and now in America we have 24 million people without full-time work, 50 million people who can't see a doctor when they're sick and 15 million homeowners whose mortgages are higher than the value of their house. The intellectual shenanigans of the far right are no longer relevant. The middle class is marching in the streets of every city in this country. Yesterday in Albany, the police refused the mayor's request to arrest peaceful protestors. The people now have the power that was rightfully theirs all along.

Bruce Hayden said...

NY - Don't know where to start.

First, the middle class is not marching. They marched at the Tea Party rallies. The people marching are not the middle class, but mostly a left-liberal fringe. You just have to look at them closely and see that they do not represent the real middle class of this country. Stopped by several different encampments, including one this weekend in D.C., and there isn't a whole lost of diversity.

The problem wasn't caused by your fictitious 1%, but by our government, and the Democrats have been out in front there. Dodd and Frank were able to push the banks into making loans to people who could never afford them, and then were in charge of the legislation that was supposed to clean up the mess, but exempted the big financial institutions that caused the mess in the first place. And, remember that Fanny and Freddie, which were making those toxic loans, were sinecures for out-of-power Dems (like Raines, Gorelick, etc.) who paid themselves six and seven figure bonuses to make these bad loans.

And, if you want to really see where the recession is coming from, just look at the size of our federal government since Obama took office - rising from about 19% of GDP to 24-25%, much of it paid for by massive borrowing.

So, now the Washington, D.C. metro area has taken over from the San Jose area as having the highest income. Tens of thousands of federal workers now earn over $150k a year (and would likely earn even more if their salaries were not capped by Congressional salaries). And that doesn't even include the lobbyists there, who often earn much more (and many of whom are former members of Congress or of the Executive Branch). Not surprising that 1/6 of those employed in D.C. is an attorney.

The very Dems who are trying to jump on board the OWS movement are the ones who created most of the problem in the first place.

Bruce Hayden said...

If you actually look at the demographics of the "1%", for the most part, they aren't the wall street bankers. Rather, they are doctors (mostly highly specialized ones), lawyers, and small business owners.

The highest percentage there are the doctors, and I personally do not begrudge someone making a half a million a year (which is a bit above what it takes to be in the top 1% of income earners) who spent 4 years undergrad skipping parties to get top grades, 4 years of med school, and then maybe 5-9 years of residency to get trained in the types of specialties that pay this sort of money. And, I am quite happy to pay that sort of money for anyone operating on my brain or back.

Let's compare that doctor to the usual OWS protester. Which one was more likely to get stoned or drunk as an undergraduate? Which one was more likely to take O-chem and P-chem? (and then do all the extra credit, so they would have a chance at an A). Which one was out protesting at 22? And which one was earning not much above a living wage working 80 hour shifts into their early 30s? You get the idea.

The reality is that most of the 1% have worked far, far, harder to get to the place where they make that sort of money than those OWS protesters are ever going to work. The protesters are just trying to take money and wealth from those who, by and large, worked very hard to get it, because they, themselves, are too lazy to do the work themselves.

Bruce Hayden said...

BTW - 50 million who can't see a doctor when they are sick is as bogus a number as anyone can invent. As everyone else probably knows here, emergency rooms cannot turn people away. Maybe make them wait, but not turn them away. And, the original 45 million used to justify ObamaCare turned out to include some 15 million illegals and 15 million who could afford health care insurance, but decided to spend the money on other things, such as drinking, drugs, and partying, in the case of the slacker generation.

But, according apparently to NY, this is the fault of the 1%, who were just too greedy.

I do find this point of his hilarious, given that ObamaCare was created to solve this supposed problem. But almost two years after it passed, the economy is worse, and apparently, the problem has gotten even worse too. Go figure. The government decides to rearrange some 1/6 of the economy, and both the economy and the problem supposedly being solved get worse.

Jay said...

now in America we have 24 million people without full-time work, 50 million people who can't see a doctor when they're sick

Hilarious.

Do you really even believe the nonsense you're writing?

Jay said...

Robert Cook said...
Here is an excerpt from an article by Michael Lind in today's Salon.com discussing the manifold failures of our Iraq war. This passage illustrates how ruinously redistributive of our wealth war spending really is


Obama's "stimulus" equaled that of the Iraq war spending.

How did that turn out?

Jay said...

Love said...

I'll bet 99% of you consider yourselves Christians yet you appear to not understand the most basic precept of what your savior taught.


The savior did not "teach" that money should be given to government in order to "help" your fellow citizens.

Though I do love watching you separation of church and state lefitsts invoke Jesus to try and garner support for your idiotic political views.

E.M. Davis said...

I'll bet 99% of you consider yourselves Christians yet you appear to not understand the most basic precept of what your savior taught.

When you tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, maybe you should first make sure they have boots.


And yet conservatives give at least 30% more in charity than liberals do, even though they on average make less. Hmmmm ...

E.M. Davis said...

-as Afghanistan's government was not involved

Oh, brother.

Robert Cook said...

"Obama's 'stimulus' equaled that of the Iraq war spending.

"How did that turn out?"


I guess the stimulus plan "equaled" the Iraq war spending if you consider $787 billion "equal" to between 1.2 and 2 trillion dollars.

That aside, what's your point? In a response to my statement that all tax expenditures were redistributive, someone doubted that--contra historical reality--war spending could be considered "redistributive," and the quoted passage displays just how "redistributive" it is.

If you look at the article I link to below, it shows that Obama's stimulus package did have some positive outcomes, including via tax cuts for Americans and through extension of unemployement benefits for the long-term unemployed. However modest were the positive outcomes achieved--and many economists felt that much more money should have been allocated for the stimulus to have achieved significant recovery--at least the monies were spent on domestic needs.

To the contrary, all our squandered trillion(s) in Iraq has merely destroyed a country, killed and maimed hundreds of thousands, (including American soldiers), rendered others widowed or orphaned or childless and millions of Iraqis homeless...all for nought. It was a terrible, criminal, catastrophic waste.

And it redistributed the fuck out of your tax dollars and mine, from us and into the hands of war profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater and their ilk.

http://useconomy.about.com/
od/candidatesandtheeconomy/a/
Obama_Stimulus.htm

Jay said...

To the contrary, all our squandered trillion(s) in Iraq has merely destroyed a country

Yes, it was better under Saddam!!!

You are not serious or sane.

I guess the stimulus plan "equaled" the Iraq war spending if you consider $787 billion "equal" to between 1.2 and 2 trillion dollars.


Except Obama and the Democrats spent more than $787 billion.

Note:
As President Obama prepares to tie a bow on U.S. combat operations in Iraq, Congressional Budget Office numbers show that the total cost of the eight-year war was less than the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic-led Congress in 2009.

According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations.

The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion.


Oh well, like I said, you're not serious or sane.

Bruce Hayden said...

If you look at the article I link to below, it shows that Obama's stimulus package did have some positive outcomes, including via tax cuts for Americans and through extension of unemployement benefits for the long-term unemployed. However modest were the positive outcomes achieved--and many economists felt that much more money should have been allocated for the stimulus to have achieved significant recovery--at least the monies were spent on domestic needs.

How about if we limit ourselves to economists who voted for McCain instead of Obama? How many of them do you think believe that the recession would be worse if we hadn't had such an activist domestic policy under Democrats running Congress and the Administration?

Yes, former Enron advisor, Paul Krugman has long been a proponent of a much bigger fiscal stimulus. But, I suspect that a bulk of the American people realize by now that he is a partisan hack before being an economist. And, yes, probably ditto for the apologist that you seem to be relying on.

The reality, that anyone can see if they look at the graphs and figures, is that federal expenditures have soared by some 5-6% of GDP and the deficit and borrowing by better than a trillion a year, since the Dems took Congress in 2006 and Obama the White House in 2008. And the apparent result is the deepest recession of the last 70 years.

So, you can blame it on Bush, Halliburton, etc. as much as you want, but the figures do not lie - massive federal spending and borrowing increases, resulting in record unemployment.

And, to put a perspective on your claims about the war in Iraq being the cause of our financial problems, just graph defense spending, along with total federal spending, as a percentage of GDP over time, at least since the end of WWII. We have half the ships and half the army divisions that we had when Clinton entered the White House. And, apparently, even that is too much. The reality, if you look at the graphs and the numbers is that defense is really down over time, as a percentage of GDP, but much of the rest of the federal government has exploded. But, you would never know this if you uncritically accepted the received wisdom from the DNC and MSM parroted to us by Cook.

Bruce Hayden said...

Also, Cook, if you want to talk about redistributing monies, let's talk about where all the money has gone that was supposed to go into saving our economy. TARP funds for GE, GM, Chrysler, and AIG (to protect Goldman Sachs, known for primarily contributing to Democrats since at least the time of FDR). Much of the Medicaid money in Stimulus I going to unionized government employees and their grossly overgenerous pensions. Much of the green energy money going to political cronies - such as Kaiser in the case of Solyndra, Pelosi's brother's company getting a recent $3/4 billion loan guarantee, and, yes, the biggest recipient of all - GE again, whose NBS/MSNBC unit became an arm of the White House press room after the election of Obama.

We have crony capitalism run amok, and you want to change the subject back to the Bush Administration and Halliburton. But, I would be interested to see a comparison between what GE and Halliburton have received from our federal government, from all sources, since Obama took office. My guess is that the ratio would be at least 10-1 in favor of GE.

Spin all you like, but the shelf life on your misinformation has expired.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Umm...Bruce, no...I'm not changing the subject back to Bush or Halliburton...you are just afflicted with tunnel vision.

My point is that all expenditures derived from tax revenues--in other words, all government spending--is redistributive. All taxation involves redistribution of wealth. Edutcher took issue with the idea that "defense" spending was redistributive of wealth; I presented information that showed just how redistributive it is.

(Of course, it's ludicrous even to assert any kind of tax spending is not redistributive: it involves collecting money from the citizenry and allocating it on various expenditures. Unless all that money is going right back to the taxpayers, it's being redistribued elsewhere.)

I'm also not claiming the war in Iraq is "the cause of our financial problems," although it certainly squandered money that could have been far better and more productively spent here at home, rather than killing people and fucking up a country for no reason. Again, I'm just providing an illustration of how (and how much) it has redistributed our wealth.

(And yes, Jay: Iraq probably was better under Saddam, although eventually it may evolve into a better place for its people than it was and is today. However, it's not our place to invade other countries in order to "make things better for the people there,"--even assuming that's why we invaded Iraq, which it wasn't.)

Actually, our financial problems were caused by the recklessness and criminality of and the fraud perpetrated by our banks and financial institutions.