January 23, 2012

William Kristol: "A Candidate to be Drafted Later?"

He floats the possibility and ends the post: "I notice a new online petition was launched Saturday night to try to produce one possible outcome. It’s at runmitchrun.com."

65 comments:

Pogo said...

If we reanimated JFK, we'd have a bigger conservative than the current pool.

Plus the ladies would swoon.

Unless there was too much of a zombie look to him.

Bob Ellison said...

Pogo, Reanimated JFK would be a blockbuster movie.

Andy R. said...

Newt Gingrich would be a total disaster of a candidate and there is no way the Republicans can give him the nomination because he will drag down the Congressional candidates and destroy the party.

But!

Mitt Romney would be a total disaster of a candidate and there is no way the Republicans can give him the nomination because he will drag down the Congressional candidates and destroy the party.

Chip S. said...

But!

Barack Obama has been a total disaster of a president and there is no way the Democrats can not nominate him despite the fact that he will drag down the Congressional candidates and destroy the party.

Andy R. said...

"Since 8 p.m. EST on January 21, 2,360 Americans have signed!"

Republicans are so fucking funny. Stop being a joke and take this whole picking a president thing seriously.

EDH said...

When it comes to personal lives, Newt and Mitch are inside the Obama opposition strategy wheelhouse.

If you think they'd lay off painting Mitch as a strange cuckold because he's a nice guy, think again.

Andy R. said...

The difference, Chip, is that many Democrats are enthusiastic about supporting Obama and are going to work to get him re-elected whereas Republicans have made it clear that they don't like any of their candidates and don't have a credible candidate to run in the election yet.

Marshal said...

I'm thinking that for about a month Mitch Daniels has been thinking he should have gotten in. A hard target Governor with fiscal success in his background from a state in play. His turn on the not-Romney wheel may have stuck.

Chip S. said...

Andy, maybe those Democrats should start worrying about electability.

President Obama kicks off 2012 even-up on job approval in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll: 48 percent of Americans approve of the job he’s doing; 48 percent disapprove.

Four other post-war presidents started election years with sub-50 percent approval. Only one of them — Richard Nixon won re-election.

Pogo said...

JFK Reanimated

His tagline will be "Ask not when you can die for my country, because it's right now muthafucka!!"

EMD said...

I'm thinking that for about a month Mitch Daniels has been thinking he should have gotten in. A hard target Governor with fiscal success in his background from a state in play. His turn on the not-Romney wheel may have stuck.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Mitch Daniels is a coward.

traditionalguy said...

What the Newt-ron Bomb has shown us is how well an aggressive fighter will do this political season. So yes, Mitch Daniels will do very well too.

But first he better find him a wife who wants to fight with him and not against him.

Newt has already dealt with that problem.

Marshal said...

"Mitch Daniels is a coward."

Perhaps, but surely less so than a blog commenter to judge by your criteria, right?

Chip S. said...

Mitch Daniels is a coward.

Or else he's a guy who's more concerned about the probable toll a campaign would take on his family than he is about his personal ambition.

ricpic said...

Kristol despises the common folk and will work tirelessly to correct their foolishness because THE IN CROWD MUST RULE!

Jay said...

Republicans have made it clear that they don't like any of their candidates and don't have a credible candidate to run in the election yet.


I guess there should be no primaries!

many Democrats are enthusiastic about supporting Obama


Great!

And his popularity is on par with Jimmy Carter's.

And you're posting about "electability"

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo:

Heh good one.

Mr. Kristol:

Please tell us about the last time you were right about anything.

Writ Small said...

Why should we assume that an Obama / Newt matchup would mean the Congress goes Democratic? I've now seen that assertion made several times and by people far more insightful than Andy R.

It seems to me that while Gingrich will likely lose in something approaching a landslide, that doesn't automatically translate into Obama coattails. Gingrich will motivate the GOP base and turn off the independents, but won't those turned-off independents see the polling and know ahead of time Obama is going to win? Why would they doubly reward Obama - given his performance - with more D's in the House and Senate? A big lead for Obama makes the election much more like a mid-term contest where the presidency is a foregone conclusion, and those mid-terms historically go to the president's rival party.

Chuck66 said...

Somewhere (maybe on AA's blog) someone noted that all the serious candidates are not running or dropped out early. T-Paw (an acceptable version of Romney), Christie (an acceptable version of Newt), Jindl (but I wonder if he is ready for the big show), and a few others.

It seems the less eccentric you are, the less chance you have of remaining in the race for the nomination.

edutcher said...

Daniels will put up something if his party is running the legislature or if there's already a consensus to do it.

He's more follower than leader.

And his street cred as a Conservative may be about to take a major hit as it appears he's coming out for Marketpalce Fairness, which will put him in the camp of the redistributionists.

PS If Kristol's for him, be careful.

Be real careful.

pm317 said...

It is mildly amusing to watch the Republicans flail. Is it possible that the R party is incapable of producing a candidate that is strong enough to go against Obama? And with all a priori information and data points on how his campaign will go against an opponent (of his own party as he did with Hillary and then the R nominee). They should have all his vulnerabilities laid out on a table and a response for each and they can't do that?!!

Here, when I say 'they', it is the set of all Republican 'leaders' who want to become president given the opportunity and that they care about their country.

Chip S. said...

@edutcher--I'd be interested to hear why you think that applying the same retails sales tax rate to all retail sales constitutes "redistribution".

In particular, why is a tax exemption for Amazon not "crony capitalism"?

Henry said...

The difference, Chip, is that many Democrats are enthusiastic about supporting Obama

Zombies are off putting to the rest of us.

Actually, Andy R, I think yours and Chips first posts covered the territory just fine.

edutcher said...

pm317 said...

It is mildly amusing to watch the Republicans flail. Is it possible that the R party is incapable of producing a candidate that is strong enough to go against Obama?

The Republicans want the best candidate they can get, unlike the Demos, who seem to be unable to nominate anyone but a sociopath.

I know this confuses the Lefties, but it's called vetting and it's what you do when you want quality, not just a telegenic face with an empty suit under it the media has to prop up.

Chip S. said...

@edutcher--I'd be interested to hear why you think that applying the same retails sales tax rate to all retail sales constitutes "redistribution".

First of all, some people don't think states should be taxing Internet sales, but, second, one of Daniels' biggest supporters around here, if it were proposed by any one with better Conservative chops than he (Daniels), would be screaming, "redistribution!!!!!", all over the place and claiming how it proves his boy is the only real fiscal Conservative.

Chip S. said...

First of all, some people don't think states should be taxing Internet sales,

I'm pretty sure that the CEOs of UPS and FedEx are among them.

I think that if the starting point were that Internet sales were treated exactly the same as brick-and-mortar sales for tax purposes, then the argument to exempt them would seem pretty unconvincing.

Marshal said...

"In particular, why is a tax exemption for Amazon not "crony capitalism"?"

Amazon doesn't have a tax exemption. A tax exemption negates tax that would otherwise be due. Amazon is not required to collect sales tax in many places under the same rules as all other organizations.

edutcher said...

Chip S. said...

First of all, some people don't think states should be taxing Internet sales,

I'm pretty sure that the CEOs of UPS and FedEx are among them.

I think that if the starting point were that Internet sales were treated exactly the same as brick-and-mortar sales for tax purposes, then the argument to exempt them would seem pretty unconvincing.


The various governments only became interested in taxing Internet sales after they became a big thing.

It's more of a, "Hey, let's see how much money we can siphon off", thing, and it's one of the reasons you have the tax and spend mentality.

Chip S. said...

Amazon is not required to collect sales tax in many places under the same rules as all other organizations.

Congratulations. You win the Pedant of the Day award.

Chip S. said...

The various governments only became interested in taxing Internet sales after they became a big thing.

Sure. One worries about things when they become big enough to worry about.

I understand the suspicion that this is all about getting more revenue, but the logic of collecting sales taxes from internet sales is the same as the logic behind any flat-taxer's goal of lowering tax rates by broadening the tax base.

Well, that plus the principle of neutrality of taxes with respect to type of economic activity.

Jess said...

Amazon is not required to collect sales tax in many places under the same rules as all other organizations.

Congratulations. You win the Pedant of the Day award.

Why pedant? Back in the olden days - say 1990 - if you bought something mail order from a company in a different state, you didn't pay sales tax unless they had a physical presence in your state.

Kirk Parker said...

Chip S.,

"In particular, why is a tax exemption for Amazon not 'crony capitalism'?"

Probably because it's not. It's not a "tax exemption for Amazon" in the first place, because (a) it's not a tax exemption, (b) it's not at all exclusive to Amazon, it applies to everyone--large or small--selling and shipping products from one state to another. Amazon happens to have a wee bit of an actual business presence in my state (WA) and guess what--they charge me WA sales tax every darn time!

Interestingly enough, there is an answer to your "why", even though the rest of your question is somewhat mis-stated: it involves this funky old antique collectable called The Constitution but I don't really have time to go into it now; you should google it or something...

Marshal said...

"Chip S. said...
Amazon is not required to collect sales tax in many places under the same rules as all other organizations.

Congratulations. You win the Pedant of the Day award."

Since they qualify under the same rules as everyone else it isn't at all crony capitalism. The rules they qualify under were written long before internet sales were understood as a possibility. As with much law you can fairly say it was shortsighted, but not at all intentional.

So we'll give you the Poseur Award for intentionally missing the point and hoping insults substitute for thought.

Chip S. said...

Dear Althouse Lawyers,

I hereby forswear all further use of metonymy in this thread.

Happy now?

Jay said...

"In particular, why is a tax exemption for Amazon not "crony capitalism"?"


Because "crony capitalism" as properly understood involves steering money from the Federal Treasury to your political supporters in ways that a) are not transparent; b) not objective or fair; and most importantly c) with no real expectation that said money will ever be repaid.

A "tax exemption" is none of those things.

Giving a "loan" to GM or these green companies is crony capitalism.

A "tax exemption" is not.

Chip S. said...

So if the MPAA lobbied successfully for movie studios to be exempt from the corporate income tax that wouldn't be crony capitalism by definition.

Fine. Define it any way you want.

Amend my comments to change "crony capitalism" to "rent seeking."

Now what?

Marshal said...

Jay,

I disagree with everything you wrote. A reduction of tax is the same as a gift. There's no difference between writing a check or collecting less. If there's an entity specific exemption it is crony capitalism.

What's the difference between what you describe and Nancy Pelosi getting Obamacare waivers for campaign donors?

edutcher said...

Democrats aren't enthusiastic about GodZero.

Some are still hypnotized, and the rest are realizing what a disaster he is.

Marshal said...

Chip,

No one changed the rules to benefit internet sales generally or Amazon specifically. Nor were the original rules drafted to intentionally Amazon or internet sales generally.

Crony capitalism requires a quid pro quo of some sort. There isn't one in this case. There is an unfairness because of the way society and the tax codes evolved. That's not at all the same as crony capitalism or rent seeking.

Maguro said...

@ChipS - Your beef in this case isn't with the politicians or "crony capitalism", but with the Supreme Court. They're the ones who told the states they couldn't charge state sales tax on remote sales. Believe me, the pols would love to soak Amazon and Ebay if they could.

Chip S. said...

Marshal,

The original question was whether Daniels's support for the "Marketplace Fairness" proposal was a basis for calling him a "redistributionist."

My question was why it was "redistributionist" to want to tax all retail transactions at the same rate within a state. The allusion to the issue of "crony capitalism" was intended as a way to turn the question around, and ask what basis there would be for exempting internet sales from taxation if they were already taxed. A valid argument against Daniels's position ought to be able to address that point, IMO.

I'm not claiming that the status quo is the result of explicit choices. What I'm saying is that choosing to continue the status quo now that internet sales are a big deal is indeed a conscious policy.

Jay said...

There's no difference between writing a check or collecting less.

Actually, there is a huge, wide, very, very vast difference.

In one instance the money flows to the individual, in the other, the money flows from the individual to the state, to the politically connected without review or often public knowledge.

If there's an entity specific exemption it is crony capitalism.


By specific entity do you mean the Internet?

X said...

Chip, jurisdictions cannot impose taxes outside their jurisdictions. That would be taxation without representation.

Jay said...

What's the difference between what you describe and Nancy Pelosi getting Obamacare waivers for campaign donors?


Um, because an Obamacare waiver is purely arbitrary while having no sales taxes on Internet retailers is sanctioned through the legislative process?

Jay said...

Chip S. said...
So if the MPAA lobbied successfully for movie studios to be exempt from the corporate income tax that wouldn't be crony capitalism by definition.


No. That would be called lobbying.

I'm flabbergasted that people are equating a bureacrat at the DOE who's wife used to work at the firm giving a "loan" to a company (without which said loan the company would not exist) with having a piece of legislation travel through the legislative process.

Chip S. said...

From the link kindly provided by edutcher:

Indiana government officials and the nation’s largest online retailer have reached an agreement to begin collecting Indiana sales tax on Internet purchases.

Indiana will become the fourth state to reach such an agreement with Amazon.com, but Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said he wants federal legislation to address the online sales tax issue.


This is the basis for my treating the collection of state sales taxes from Amazon as legally permissible.

Jay said...

As a point of reference:

A business owner can be comfortable that the mere selling of products over a website or by a catalog and shipping them to a state (by the U.S. Postal Service or common carrier) will generally not trigger a sales tax collection obligation because such activity does not constitute a physical presence. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that such activities do not create nexus in 1992 in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (504 U.S. 298).

Kirk Parker said...

Chip S.,

Are you asking for advice??? If so, I'd say to focus on improving the substance and let the figures of speech fall where they may. (For starters, how about X's statement: "Jurisdictions cannot impose taxes outside their jurisdictions.")

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Believe me, the pols would love to soak Amazon and Ebay if they could..."

Amazon and EBay don't pay the state sales tax, we, the consumer does.

Chip S. said...

@KirkP---

First, the desirability of collecting sales taxes on internet transactions can be discussed independently of current law. That's one of the ways laws get changed.

Second, what the SC decided in 1992 will not necessarily bind any decision it might reach in a new case brought in a time when internet sales are huge compared to what mail-order sales were back then.

The legal issue, presumably, is determining what jurisdiction an internet sale takes place in when the buyer and the seller are in two different states.

The economic issue is what tax policy makes the most sense. That's the issue I was trying to discuss.

Marshal said...

"Jay said...
There's no difference between writing a check or collecting less.

Actually, there is a huge, wide, very, very vast difference."

The choices we're evaluating are 1) giving someone $5 or 2) telling them that since they owe you ten they only have to pay 5. There's no difference in substance.

You seem to be trying to tie this back to the specific example. I'm not. I'm saying a true tax exemption (Amazon's circumstance is not a tax exemption) can be crony capitalism.

Jay said...

I'm saying a true tax exemption (Amazon's circumstance is not a tax exemption) can be crony capitalism.


Ok, so like the tax credit for buying a Chevy Volt?

Jay said...

The choices we're evaluating are 1) giving someone $5 or 2) telling them that since they owe you ten they only have to pay 5. There's no difference in substance.


Well, not really.

See, big agribusinesses get hundreds of billions in subsidies, and green companies get billions in "loans"

Amazon did not by any measure get "billions" in a tax exemption.

There is both a difference in substance and principle.

Marshal said...

Jay,

Yes. It's common for State business development groups to offer "incentives" in the form of property and income tax exemptions/discounts (or loan guarantees, or myriad other methods) in order to lure a particular business to the jurisdiction. All of these are crony capitalism.

Marshal said...

"See, big agribusinesses get hundreds of billions in subsidies, and green companies get billions in "loans""

Crony capitalism takes many forms, that one business or industry gets one type and another something else doesn't really matter other than to note that one got more. It's hardly surprising that even among favorites some are more favorite than others.


"Amazon did not by any measure get "billions" in a tax exemption."

I've already Amazon isn't an example of crony capitalism. I'm disputing your characterization that a tax exemption can't be crony capitalism.

Kirk Parker said...

Chip S.,

Now we're getting down to meat of what you're trying to say; thanks!

But I do have to ask--are you a Living Constitution guy or something? Because when I read the Commerce Clause, I don't see anything in there about volume of sales or share of business.

Chip S. said...

KirkP--What part of the Commerce Clause prohibits the Congress from enacting a law that specifies in which state a taxable retail transaction shall be deemed to have occurred when the buyer and seller are in different states? What part of it would make it unconstitutional for the federal government to require a seller to collect the relevant state's sales tax and remit that revenue to the appropriate state?

BJM said...

This is not going to happen, an outsider off ballot or a brokered convention is a pipe dream as many states have laws governing primaries and delegates.

I think Andy R is right, no Republican can be elected in the face of overwhelming media opposition...they will Bork any candidate the GOP stands.

Many of us are focusing on state and local races for election and education boards and keeping the US House and taking the Senate.

Obama can make appoinments up the whazoo, but he has no power of the purse, the only way to stop expansion of government is to defund budgets.

BJM said...

@edutcher

The various governments only became interested in taxing Internet sales after they became a big thing.

Not quite, Pols only became interested after they overspent their budgets into the red and are desperate for revenue.

Were revenues rolling in and public coffers fat, Internet taxation wouldn't be on their radar because they know how unpopular it is and that voter push back is likely.

Kirk Parker said...

Chip S.,

Sorry, now it's my turn to be too cryptic for understanding. The aspect of the CC I was referencing was that such power is reserved to the federal government, there's no way for Indiana to compel a Washington company to collect and remit Indiana sales tax.

My problem with your quote:

"...any decision it might reach in a new case brought in a time when internet sales are huge compared to what mail-order sales were back then."

is that it makes it sound like mere volume of business might trump an honest reading of the Constitution. Does that help clarify things?

Chip S. said...

KirkP:

In Quill Corps. v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court ruled that a business must have a physical presence in a state for that state to require it to collect sales taxes. However, the court explicitly stated that Congress can overrule the decision through legislation. (Wiki)

It is precisely such federal legislation that Mitch Daniels--and so, by extension, I--was talking about.

Chip S. said...

To clarify, I'm not saying that I knew about that provision at the outset of this thread. But it now seems that the comments implying the clear unconstitutionality of any such system of tax collection were wrong, and the entire SC discussion was a sidetrack.

It also seems as if the SC wasn't fully confident in the reasonableness of the distinctions it was drawing in that case.

LilEvie said...

Aren't taxes supposed to be related, even tenuously, to some type of service provided by the state: police, fire, schools. If Amazon has no presence in Indiana, which services do they use?

Or do taxes just mean: Amazon's making money, we need some.

mccullough said...

Absent one of the main four candidates getting ill or dying or having a major scandal, there's no chance of another candidate getting in. It' Romney or bust for the Republicans.

Chip S. said...

Aren't taxes supposed to be related, even tenuously, to some type of service provided by the state: police, fire, schools.

Yes. Those things are provided to the people of Indiana, and financed in part through sales taxes on the items they purchase. When there's an untaxed vendor of those items, some of that tax revenue is lost. So Indiana can do some combination of these things:

1) cut spending
2) raise the sales tax rate on in-state purchases
3) raise revenue from other taxes, such as income or property taxes

Even if you like option 1), you might prefer reducing the other taxes and taxing internet sales a little bit. Or you might not, b/c you just think it's a good idea not to tax internet sales for some reason.

Astro said...

I guess Kristol is concerned that the conservative base isn't thrilled with the sack of Mitt that the establishment GOP is promoting? It's been a long time since I cared what Kristol wrote, or thought.