July 23, 2012

"This election is about values. It's about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we want to build."

Says email I just received from Elizabeth Warren (the Harvard lawprof and candidate for one of the seats in the U.S. Senate that do not represent my state). The Democrats are fundraising. I don't give money (to any political cause), but I do get the email.
Mitt Romney and the Republicans believe in an America that says, "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own."

We believe in an America that pays it forward -- that puts the conditions in place so that the next kid can get ahead, and the kid after that, and the kid after that.
So that's how the Democrats are talking to each other right now. I thought you should know.

When did Romney ever say "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own"? And Obama just put out an ad attacking Romney for making a "false attack" by quoting something Obama said word for word.

But let's be fair. Warren doesn't say Romney said "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own," but that he believes in an America that says "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own." But when did America ever say that? Who's accused of thinking like that?

Now, the Democrats purport to "believe in an America that pays it forward," which sounds odd to me, because it seems that the Democrats have plunged us into debt that they expect the next generations to deal with. It's more billing it forward.

But, anyway, I see the phrase "pay it forward" has its own Wikipedia page:
The expression "pay it forward" is used to describe the concept of asking that a good deed be repaid by having it done for others instead.... [T]he creditor offers the debtor the option of "paying" the debt forward by lending it to a third person instead of paying it back to the original creditor.
Hard to think about that in connection with a government that is taking on debt, not paying debt. But I suppose Warren must mean that citizens who are successful should give money to the people who are not yet successful, via the government, which will somehow channel the money properly to the "kids."

The Wikipedia article has a good "history" of "pay it forward." I liked this from Robert A. Heinlein's "Between Planets":
The banker reached into the folds of his gown, pulled out a single credit note. "But eat first — a full belly steadies the judgment. Do me the honor of accepting this as our welcome to the newcomer." His pride said no; his stomach said YES! Don took it and said, "Uh, thanks! That's awfully kind of you. I'll pay it back, first chance." "Instead, pay it forward to some other brother who needs it."
And this from Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine":
How do I thank Mr. Jonas, he wondered, for what he's done? How do I thank him, how pay him back? No way, no way at all. You just can't pay. What then? What? Pass it on somehow, he thought, pass it on to someone else. Keep the chain moving. Look around, find someone, and pass it on. That was the only way....
The idea seems to apply to private, voluntary charity — not taxing and spending. Romney gives plenty to charity — more than Obama, in fact, both in dollars and as a percentage of his income. It's an inspiring concept but there's something creepy about using in the context of acquiring votes to achieve political power for the purpose of redistribution of the wealth.

So: "This election is about values. It's about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we want to build." Yes, it is!

50 comments:

Astro said...

I wish I had the contract to supply the straw that Warren uses for creating her straw-man arguments. She must go through tons of the stuff.

Michael K said...

Ms Warren wants YOU to pay it forward. She will rest on her Cherokee laurels.

Old Dad said...

Elizabeth Warren an idiot. "Pay it forward" indeed. Warren and her colleagues have promoted spending and debt that will land squarely on our kids, and they'll be "paying for it" for their entire diminished lives.

She's a liar, and a fool, and go straight to hell.

Matthew Sablan said...

I don't understand trying to make it sound like Romney is some hoarding schemer. His charitable givings of his money and time alone are clear that he is willing to, personally, give others his. So, the slander just doesn't work.

campy said...

Who's accused of thinking like that?

Every republican who ever lived.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah something creepy this way comes when Fauxcahontas is on the warpath.

As a good Mormon, Romney tithes or gives more to his church. He gave away all the money he inherited. He's served in numerous positions without pay (the Olympics Committee Chairmanship).

If Little Chief Bullfeathers, pride of the 1/32nd Cherokee tribe wants to match charitable giving and "pay it forward" records, bring it on. Otherwise squaw woman should shut up.

chickelit said...

Elizabeth Warren wrote: This election is about values. It's about what kind of people we are and what kind of country we want to build.

I believe that she got ahead and got special breaks based in part on dishonesty, so I don't want much to do with "her kind of people." Before that scandal broke I had more respect for her stance and view and at a minimum I thought they carried more weight. But she wrecked her credibility and will continue to do so by doubling down on the future. Scott Brown seems like a much better representation of Massachusetts values.

Pettifogger said...

Mathew Sablan says: "I don't understand trying to make it sound like Romney is some hoarding schemer. His charitable givings of his money and time alone are clear that he is willing to, personally, give others his. So, the slander just doesn't work."

It works with all Democrats, and it works with all Democrat-fellow-travelers, because that's what they want to believe. Whether it will work with enough independent voters is what the election will determine.

I work with people whom I believe to be intelligent and thoughtful. Yet they seem likely to vote for Obama. I am worried.

Jay said...

Mitt Romney and the Republicans believe in an America that says, "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own."

Right!

I mean, it isn't like Romney's company created multiples of millionaires or anything! He kept it all for himself!!

leslyn said...

I believe it. And I believe it's true of those who want him elected.

Why else have a 15% tax rate on dividends and capital gains?

leslyn said...

I believe it. And about those who are paying for him. Why else keep dividends and capital gains taxed so low?


If Romney is elected, PACs will become charitable deductions. They're already masquerading as "educational" "nonprofits."

traditionalguy said...

The Progressive Marxists are going full bore after what's left of the Bourgeoise's savings accumulated during the Reagan Revolution's salad days of capitalism.

They see our saved money as stolen money belonging to the State that actually made earning it possible.

Like the property owning Jews in the early days of the Third Reich, who could leave it all behind and escape or await the final solution, we are being threatened to PAY IT. The Occupy Wall Street group are Rohm's SA Brown Shirts awaiting the signal to riot and steal.

Obama and Warren are together the leaders of that hostile fifth column dedicated to our destruction, after which they likely plan to finish off the Jews living in Israel for escaping from them back in the 1930 and 1940s.

Chip S. said...

Elizabeth Warren running on "values" is like Jimmy Carter running on "competence".

Superdad said...

My biggest problem with this statement is that it assumes we're starting over. We don't have to "build" America; a generation of men of incredible intelligence and the ability to see beyond the world they knew and into a world they knew was possible already did that. Our challenge is not to build something new. Our challenge is to preserve what we have - perhaps tweak it where necessary; but the major construction is done

Christopher in MA said...

Why else keep dividends and capital gains taxed so low?

Perhaps people like to keep the money they've earned through wise investments rather than have it confiscated to fund Liawatha's army of parasites.

But do go on, leslyn. Perhaps you'll have the courage to answer the question no other lefty on this blog ever does: exactly what is the maximum percentage of taxes someone should pay?

Penny said...

Fiscal Conservatives, can surely be shamed into "paying it forward"

...right about the same time that Libertarians embrace a new law

...that Democrats can no longer think about ways to spend other people's money

Penny said...

Missing PUNKTUATION, you say?

Ha ha

No chit!

...just as long as we can agree to share the last of our toilet paper.

edutcher said...

Lizzie gamed the PC system and thinks nobody is worth anything without government.

Just like Commandante Zero.


And she's right. The election is about whether we want her values running the country.

Chip S. said...

Why else keep dividends and capital gains taxed so low?

Taxes on dividends are not low when the corporate income tax is taken into account. The US is neck-and-neck with Japan for the distinction of having the highest corp. tax rate in the world.

Penny said...

Some get hemorrhoids.

Some get headaches.

Penny said...

I assume that Libertarians cock their guns.

:O

Original Mike said...

"When did Romney ever say "I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own"?"

Yeah, that wasn't Romney. It was garage.

Freder Frederson said...

But when did America ever say that? Who's accused of thinking like that?

Ann Althouse, j'accuse.

EMD said...

We believe in an America that pays it forward

Actually, the believe in debting it forward, but whatever.

Gavin Buckley said...

Good Lord I hate this insipid populist bollocks. Why do Democrats (and I say this as one...) insist on this line of electioneering? And always paired with doomsayer statements about scary rich men who are funding campaigns - with nary a blink when Warren Buffet coughs up another billion dollars. Koch Brothers/Sheldon Adelson = Bad. Warren Buffett/George Soros = Good. It's so transparently silly.

Even today Andrew Sullivan (who has to be a fully paid-up Obama campaign member by now?) is peddling this same John Edwards Two America's pish as well. And thsi from someone who not only claims he's a real conservative, but that Obama is just like Reagan.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/the-secret-economy-of-tax-havens.html

Jay said...

leslyn said...

I believe it. And about those who are paying for him. Why else keep dividends and capital gains taxed so low?


Of course you "believe it" you're one of the dumbest people on the Internet.

For example, you seem utterly incapable of understanding that dividends and capital gains belong to the people who earned them. And raising taxes on them does not do any good or increase revenue.

So thanks for participating.

DCS said...

I'm going to do the Cherokee chop in honor of Fauxcohantas.

edutcher said...

Freder Frederson said...

But when did America ever say that? Who's accused of thinking like that?

Ann Althouse, j'accuse.


Until they priced themselves out of existence, the union slugs said it all the time.

hawkeyedjb said...

As long as we're making things up and attributing them: "Elizabeth Warren and the Democrats believe in an America where your children are debt slaves, or tax slaves, or both." Elizabeth Warren said that. Well, anyway she believes it. Same thing.

jr565 said...

You didn't pay that forward.
Somebody else made that happen.

Joe said...

We believe in an America that pays it forward

She's a liar. She represents a party which believes in robbing the future of my children to pay for their excesses now. They are also stealing my retirement. The Democrat party is completely and utterly corrupt. (The Republican party is only mostly corrupt.) I honestly believe we are close to the the time when regions of this country need to seriously consider calling an end the the United States.

jr565 said...

Gavin Buckley wrote:
Even today Andrew Sullivan (who has to be a fully paid-up Obama campaign member by now?) is peddling this same John Edwards Two America's pish as well. And thsi from someone who not only claims he's a real conservative, but that Obama is just like Reagan.


Including Andrew Sullivan when talking about conservatives is a lot like using Benedict Arnold when talking about revolutionary patriots.

Jay said...

Yes, and here are the values at play:

In the last three years 2.6 million Americans have gotten jobs while 3.1 million have started on SSI disability.

The choice is pretty clear.

Dante said...

Democrats believe in borrowing compassion from the next generation of workers, for their current view of morality. It's an amazingly arrogant concept, to take part of future generation's productivity to pay for the values of people today. Maybe people will someday think "It's a moral tragedy to make people dependent on the state, as it takes away their self determination." Who knows what the next generation will value? Or maybe they will say "Thank you so much for taking my productivity for all those dead people. That was a really good use of my work."

On the other hand, someone owns those obligations on future workers. Perhaps they think all this spending is a good thing. They get to capture increasing amounts of obligations from people who aren't even born yet. Like Teressa Heinz Kerry, who likes to invest in tax free municipal bonds.

Michael K said...

"For example, you seem utterly incapable of understanding that dividends and capital gains belong to the people who earned them. And raising taxes on them does not do any good or increase revenue."

She also does not understand, evidently, that the tax on dividends and capital gains is double taxation since the income tax was paid on the money to be invested before it earned any gains.

Chip Ahoy said...

I did not know until now what 'paying it forward' means.

I guessed a different idea of me paying things for kids and that does make sense. I think fairly everyone who reads that email will form an idea similar to the idea I formed, since I'm so obviously normal like a hump on a bell curve.

She's mis-communicating there because it does not fit the definition that we all now know. It's a phrase that sounds good. I can hear people using the phrase and feeling virtuous by saying it.

Taxing today's youth to pay today's retirees is paying it forward . Hahahaha. Suckers.

I heard a another phrase last week that lodged, I've thought it now a hundred times. I read it. "Darken the sky with criss crossing payments" and call it anything but what it actually is, tax. That's the art being practiced.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Zrimsek said...

If she's now calling high taxes a matter of "paying forward", is she abandoning the claim that they're a matter of "paying back"?

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Spaulding said...

How come the welfare and EBT recipients never have to pay it forward?

What kind of America do THEY believe in?

Big Mike said...

That's an interesting concept. Except that I always felt that it was the liberals who believed in "I've got mine and the H*ll with the rest of you." The limousine liberals, anyway.

Hagar said...

"They're already masquerading as "educational" "nonprofits."

So, which party has got the most and biggest of these, and who wrote the statutes they are incorporated under? Which party thinks that success in elections depends on "educating the masses," etc., and so just naturally looks to find ways to do so at the "masses'" expense?

Dante said...

"
She also does not understand, evidently, that the tax on dividends and capital gains is double taxation since the income tax was paid on the money to be invested before it earned any gains."

I was under the impression the double taxation implication was on account of corporate taxes + taxes on dividends. I don't see how it directly applies to capital gains.

(word verification hotasur)

PaulV said...

Dante, Capital gains reflect future expected earnings and dividends that will be taxed

Q said...

We believe in an America that pays it forward -- that puts the conditions in place so that the next kid can get ahead


As long as that kid is (or pretends to be) a member of an Approved Racial Minority Group. Native American, for instance.

Robert Cook said...

"...but that he believes in an America that says 'I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own.' But when did America ever say that? Who's accused of thinking like that?"

Ha! That's the foundational belief of right wing extremists and free market fundamentalists! (In other words, the present-day Republican Party.)

Clyde said...

Well, Fauxcahontas was correct about one thing: This WILL be an election about values and what kind of a nation we want to be, and for those of us who aren't Democrats, that means being a responsible one.

She shouldn't feel too proud about getting that part right, however, since even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Rusty said...

leslyn said...
I believe it. And I believe it's true of those who want him elected.

How are jobs created?

Why else have a 15% tax rate on dividends and capital gains?


As an incentive to invest?
But what do I know I'm just a blue collar worker.

Nathan Alexander said...

"...but that he believes in an America that says 'I've got mine, and the rest of you are on your own.' But when did America ever say that? Who's accused of thinking like that?"

Ha! That's the foundational belief of right wing extremists and free market fundamentalists! (In other words, the present-day Republican Party.)


You have stated your misapprehension extremely well. If you ever achieve the ability to think abstractly, perhaps you will understand why your viewpoint is so far off from reality.

Until then, I guess you can continue getting your entire political philosophy from bumper stickers.

Peter said...

In my experience, it's invariably takers and users who call those they take from "stingy" (because they really deserved more, of course).

It does take a strange twist of logic to insist that it is the giver/payer who is "stingy" and the taker/recipient who is generous.

Perhaps it's just the art of being graciously generous with other people's money that causes takers to assume that generousity lies with them (because they'd give, if only they had something to give).

And perhaps it also goes without saying that whatever was taken or given is (and can never be) enough.