No slick lawyers, or income tax experts can get you out of a national sales tax. It’s so much on the dollar on every luxury you buy. Then, if you like to live in luxury, the poor fellow knows you are paying for it and he will even encourage you to buy more so it will help out the government. November 2, 1924 Will Rogers
This morning’s post was about closing tax loopholes so I thought I would continue with that thread this afternoon. I am one that believe that a significant amount of our taxes should be raised with a national sales tax. As Will says in the above post it will almost assure the “poor fellow knows you are paying for it”. That is if we can keep the friends of the rich otherwise known as the “Grand Old Party” from filling the sales tax with giant loopholes for planes and such. And that is a giant “if”.
Taxation is about all there is to Government. You know, people don’t want their taxes lowered near as much as the politicians try to make you believe. People want just taxes more than they want lower taxes. – November 2, 1924 — Will Rogers
It seems that much that drives my radical-right friends is the adamant conviction to prevent someone from getting something they haven’t worked for. This belief drives much of their feeling of social conservatism. They would rather deny ten people adequate food than to give it to someone who is gaming the system. People gaming welfare seem to be their number one enemy to be destroyed at almost any costs.
I myself am a fiscal conservative so in a different way I too want to prevent someone from gaming the system to obtain any degree of underserved wealth. In that regard I am not that different from the radical right. But, the major difference is that I have compassion for those suffering for something they have almost no control over. I am willing to accept that when I help some in need there will be a minute few who will game the system. Innate greed seems to assure that possibility.
I want to come down just as hard of those who game the Medicare, Medicaid, and other welfare systems as my radical right friends. Where we differ almost completely is at the other end of the game. That is those who game tax laws to keep from paying their fair share of taxes. My radical-right friends seem to almost celebrate those who can get out of paying taxes by whatever means possible. Since almost half of those in our present congress are millionaires they themselves are probably taking advantages of numerous tax loopholes.
During the recent budget talks the Democrats want to go after the tax loopholes that many in the upper 1% use to keep their tax rates lower than those who clean their houses. The Republicans in congress seem to be as much against that idea as they are for going hard at those on the other end of the wealth spectrum. They say closing loopholes is raising taxes and they will not have anything to do with that. To me, and I believe most sensible people, see closing loopholes as a way to get the super-rich to pay their fair share. It is not raising taxes but simply getting them to a level they should have been all along.
It will be interesting to see if any thing resembling agreement on this issue will come from the congress. I am for keeping people from gaming the system at both ends. They should be spending as much of their political capital at the top end of the wealth ladder as we do at the bottom end.
But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….
Schizophrenia—an impairment in social cognition which is associated with paranoia and social isolation.
Paranoia, which is a major symptom of schizophrenia, is a mental condition in which the person often loses touch with reality. Here is some of what Wikipedia says about this condition:
Paranoia is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. (e.g. “Everyone is out to get me.”) Making false accusations and the general distrust of others also frequently accompany paranoia. For example, an incident most people would view as an accident or coincidence, a paranoid person might believe was intentional.
I don’t know about you but if someone were to give me this description without a name I would say this clearly describes the people who are currently attempting to hi-jack the Republican party. Before I go any further I want to make it clear that I am not saying that everyone who wears the Republican mantel are paranoid schizophrenics. In fact I am sure the vast majority who wear that label are not. But I am also sure that many of those who are attempting a hostile take-over that party are indeed paranoid about many things.
I just finished watch a town hall meeting that John McCain had recently in Arizona and some of the questions and speeches made there were down right disturbing! People were calling him all kinds of nasty names. They were wagging their fingers at him (that seems to be a signature of the tea party folks) and telling him he was dead wrong about immigration. Their solution it seems was to basically gun down anyone who is an “illegal alien” on the Arizona streets if they refused to self-deport. Many of their words started with “Those people” and ended with some paranoid action. I was surprised how Mr. McCain maintained his composure. When one person in the group stated that “all we have to do is take away their welfare checks and all those illegals will go back to where they came from!”, Mr. McCain correctly pointed out that the vast majority of undocumented are not on welfare. Then he made the statement, “you are entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts”. Nice comeback John.
I’m sure that many in the GOP are as frightened of these new players in their party as are the rest of us. But those now lamenting moderate Republicans must remember that they are the ones who created this Frankenstein. They unleashed him in order to try to win some seats in the 2011 house. I wish they had thought it through before cuddling up to the Tea Party radicals.
So, what are the options for the majority who make up the GOP? There are really only two; 1) Abandon it, 2) Reform it. Obviously the easiest is just to abandon it and call yourself and independent. That is what so many of the 18 – 29 year olds did in the 2012 election. They left in droves. Reforming it will take a lot more effort. It is just very hard to put the genie back in the bottle.
I will finish of with saying that yes the Democrats also have a radical fringe in their party. The difference is that the Democratics generally keep their crazies locked away in a rubber room somewhere in the far back of the house where as the Republicans gave their radicals the key to the front door….
If I was a President and wanted something I would claim I didn’t want it. For Congress has not given any President anything he wanted in the last 10 years. Be against anything and then he is sure to get it. – 5 May 1923 – Will Rogers
I can’t understand why each president seems to have to learn this lesson on their own. But, I think President Obama finally gets it. If he wants something to happen the best thing he can do is to remain quiet about it. Mr. Boehner is constantly harping that the president is not involved enough in the legislative process but what I think he really means is that he wants to know what the president is for so he and all the other sheep in the GOP led house can line up against it.
I imagine it is hard sometimes to put together a list of what you are against. Especially for those House Republicans. They just get lazy on occasion and don’t want to do the work to make up their own “against” list. That is when they insist that President Obama do it for them. A perfect example of that is the immigration reform plan leaked by the White House. It was certain to be “DEAD ON ARRIVAL” before it even left the White House door.
I am waiting for Mr. Obama to evolve into the next phase of Will’s strategy. I expect that soon he will come out with a list of things he is against. If he is good at it the conservatives will want to get everything on that list into law as soon as possible. But the secret is to make sure that Mr. Boehner and company are convinced that he really is against them. Mr. Obama is a pretty smart guy so I pray that he get good at this game so we the people might be able to get something good from the 113th congress. But in reality I kind of doubt anything productive will come from that bunch….
But, I’m just a simple guy so what do I know……
Source: Top G.O.P. Donors Seek Greater Say in Senate Races – NYTimes.com.
The effort would put a new twist on the Republican-vs.-Republican warfare that has consumed the party’s primary races in recent years. In effect, the establishment is taking steps to fight back against Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations that have wielded significant influence in backing candidates who ultimately lost seats to Democrats in the general election.
I am glad to hear that the not-so-radical in the GOP are declaring war on the Tea party. It’s about time. Maybe a nudge toward the middle will finally happen. But then again this could be just one radical right organization battling another? Given that Carl Rove is one of the leaders of this new group I suspect it to be the later. But, even then I would prefer Mr. Rove’s tactics over the Tea Party’s any day so more power to you Mr. Rove. I hope you put them back in the closet where they belong.
I certainly hope that this new-found wisdom in the GOP leadership is more than skin deep. They need to move more into the mainstream of American life if they hope to succeed as a party in the future. They need to understand that some of their principles, like those of the Democrats, are currently on sinking sand. They need to at least make some adjustments and then move on from there.
While I applaud them being fiscal conservative they have also to understand that a rising tide raises all ships. They have to occasionally come out against the power elite and for the common man. Until everyone has a chance at a living wage prosperity will never return to this country. They have to understand that true power in our democracy resides in our citizens and not in the one-percent who controls most of the wealth and gets most of the current benefits from our capitalist system.
When they realize these facts they will once again be a party for more of us in the mainstream of life. They have to consciously move from the radical fringes to convince us that they are serious about becoming relevant in today’s world. In the end I am pretty skeptical that that will happen with this latest tiff within the party but who knows? I was a Nixon and Ford Republican; it would be nice to be able to come back to the party of my beginnings.
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I saw this cartoon. Thanks Gary Varvel for the laugh. And an Indiana guy at that.
I know the GOP is desperate to rebrand their party into something with a broader appeal. But for some reason the Democrats just don’t seem to want to cooperate in that endeavor.
Source: G.O.P. Pulls Back on Immigration, Not on Guns – NYTimes.com.
Changes to gun laws, he said, have no such support. “They will have a rough row to hoe,” he said. “I have some donors who own gun stores who said they can’t keep stuff in the store.”
According to gun rights people and the NRA that represents them there is no need to change anything. Everything is fine just the way it is. Having a few kids killed in a class room and a few more killed in a movie theaters and shopping malls is just the collateral damage we have to pay so they we can go hunting and target shooting on the weekends. Everything is fine the way it is. More…
When I heard the title of this post I couldn’t help but LOL (laugh out loud). That seems to be a very fitting phrase now days. Now before my Republican friends hit me on this I am talking primarily about those folks in DC and not in the hinterland, and all of the rest of the country is the hinterland when compared to them. But I will admit that some of my GOP friends aren’t smiling much since President Obama was re-elected.
All you have to do is to look at any of the interviews with the Tea Party folks and all you see are grimaced faces; not a smile amongst them. All they seem to want to do is pick a fight with most anybody who disagrees with them on absolutely any topic and that includes all those “moderates” within their own party as well as absolutely every Democrat that has ever lived on this earth. Let’s face it, that Tea Party bunch is absolutely the gloomiest people on earth right now.
As Rare As
There have been many quotes around the words ”as rare as”. Let’s spend a few frivolous minutes looking a some. God know we need some frivolity in our lives right now:
It seems we hear a lot about how the Republicans say they can’t vote for this or for that because they must “follow their principles”. The trouble with all this is that they don’t want any government so blowing up the system IS following their principles.
Their hero told them that “government is the problem”. But what is a country without government? That condition is called “everyone for themselves”. Is that what we want for our country? I think not; at least for 99% of us.
Is there really anything except shutting down government that can pass through a GOP controlled house of representatives now days? Are they really so head strong on eliminating their own jobs? That would be a first for any government employee wouldn’t it?
I think we kind of need to balance out the post from this morning with a quote from Will Rogers.
Money was appropriated in the hope that it would trickle down to the needy. Herbert Hoover was an engineer. He knew water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will find the driest little spot. So money was appropriated for the top in the hope that it would trickle down to the needy.
But he didn’t know that money trickled up! Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands. — November 27, 1932 - Will Rogers
I’ll bet you guys who claim you know at least a little about history thought that David Stockman from the Reagan administration invented the term “trickle down”? But as you can see it was President Hoover that coined that dog just More…
source: Romney: Obama won by giving “gifts” to voter blocs – Political Eye – CBS News.
In a phone call with his presidential campaign’s financial backers, Mitt Romney today said he lost the election to President Obama because of the “gifts” Mr. Obama gave to certain constituencies, like young voters and Hispanics, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“The president’s campaign,” he said, “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”
It seems that Mr. Romney is pretty much a run-of-the-mill politician. He wants to blame his defeat on everyone else but himself. In his mind he ran a perfect campaign so it must have been something else that caused him to lose. In his case he wants to blame it on “gifts”. More…
source: Nonwhite voters and changing values make 2012 election pivotal – Los Angeles Times.
The 2012 election marked the point at which a new American electoral coalition solidified its hold on politics, one built on the country’s growing nonwhite population and on cultural changes that have given younger voters of all races a far different outlook on political issues from that of their elders.
It is still not clear just who made up the majority that swept President Obama into a second term and seemingly muted the Tea Party’s power in today’s politics. But it is obvious that the $1 billion spent by the 1% had little effect on who won elections. It is obvious that the common people, many of color, gained power from this election cycle. More…
Source: Boehner’s GOP Problems Complicate Deficit Negotiations – ABC News.
House Speaker John Boehner is about to begin another attempt at a grand bargain deficit reduction deal with President Obama, a high wire act in which he will be buffeted by demands from the White House as well as from House Republicans
It looks like total gridlock may again happen coming out the gate of the new year. Mr. Boehner in some of his words seemed to say that he was open to compromise but soon took those words back after some in his party chastised him. The sign of a real leader is someone who leads, sometimes even in opposition to some in his party. He does not bend, especially to the least common denominator of his party.
I was up until almost 3:00am last night watching the returns and speeches. Being one to pretty much get up when the sun comes up I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I hope to make that up with a longer than usual afternoon nap. So forgive me for any typos on these very unusual write and immediately posted words. Here is what I brought away from the past twenty-four hours. More…
Religion and politics together!! Boy am I asking for it. But, thank heavens I am not going to be talking about abortion (I have done that more than enough lately). Maybe I am going to talk about how Evangelicals seem to make up the majority of the Radical Right? Nope, not going to talk about that either… The thing I want to talk about that they have in common is the practice of exclusion. More…
source: Rice: World is ‘chaotic and dangerous’ with a weak USA – USATODAY.com.
Although Rice, who served under President George W. Bush, praised the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, she offered the delegates no political red meat. Unlike virtually every other speaker of the night, she did not mention President Obama or his office….
However, she was regarded by most observers as too moderate. She’s called herself “mildly pro-choice” — anathema to many in the Republican Party’s conservative base who still suspect the sincerity of Romney’s stated opposition to abortion.
Rice also is out of step with many Republicans on immigration; she has called the failure of President George W. Bush’s plan for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants one of her biggest regrets.
Just a quick aside to make sure you see the Dave Granlund cartoon above. It needs no explanation!
I see that the outlying political super pacs otherwise known as the ultra-rich-radical-right are now hitting on Obama because it looks like the government might lose up to $40 billion in the bailout of General Motors. They claim that it is typical of him to throw away all our tax dollars. But I look at the other side of the coin.
We have lost more than $150 billion in revenues with the tax give-aways of the Bush administration. The main logic behind those tax breaks was that if we tax the “job creators” less they will have more money to hire more people. It is amazing that some, including Mr. Ryan, are still using that rhetoric almost twelve years later. Where are all those jobs that they are supposed to use their additional wealth on? They just didn’t create them; instead they, like Mr. Romney, put the money into their off-shore accounts.
Getting back to the so-called waste of bailing out GM. Since the banks were in a total melt-down at the time it would have been likely that GM and Chrysler would have gone out of business if the governments of Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama had not stepped in. That would have meant millions more would have been added to an already swelling unemployment number. I’m just a simple guy but spending $40 billion to save millions of jobs makes more sense than giving the super-rich more tax breaks with no effect on the economy. I’m sure there are those among the GOP spinsters who are trying to figure out a way to change my mind about this but I think, even though I am a simple guy, I will know enough to see through those yahoos words.
I also hear the stories around just why GM stock is so low right now and that is because all the big money funds are waiting for the government to dump their shares at a discounted rate so they can then jump in and make a windfall profit when it moves to its true value. If I was Mr. Obama I would just keep the stocks to spite those guys. After all what’s another $40 billion to the already exploded deficits? But that is another story for another time I guess.