August 7, 2011

Outlawry

Again, as with most of what the GOP establishment peddles as “complicated” and difficult to explain, the “revenue” trap is easy to overcome. Boehner holds a press conference and says “everyone from both parties believes in raising revenues. Republicans do it through a promotion of prosperity and growth: when more people are working, and businesses are burdened less, revenues always increase, as [historical example X and historical example Y] clearly show, and with no room for debate. Conversely, Democrats believe in raising revenue by pushing for ever more confiscatory tax rates on those left in the private sector with capital; and while they will tell you such a program raises revenue, it does no such thing: it merely confiscates existing revenue from the private sector, shrinking it — and in so doing, shrinking the employment pool, and throwing up ever new impediments to the kind of growth that would raise real and, most importantly, additional revenue.

“All ‘revenue’ is not the same.”

That the establishment GOP seems feckless in its attempts to get its message across is part of the Big Government kabuki dance: neither Republicans or Democrats who have become part of the career ruling class have any real desire to shrink government. The Republicans are willing to slow its growth occasionally — and they do believe in lower taxes; but as the Bush years should have taught us, they’re just as willing to spend as the Democrats, because giving gifts with other people’s money — and being praised for it — is the absolute easiest form of cheap grace on earth.

The entire establishment political class is corrupt. And it has declared open war against those Americans still left who believe in fiscal responsibility and a constitutional check on federal powers. Both the establishment Republicans and the Democrats (and their ancillary and parasitic attendants in the media and the inside-the-beltway political machinery) have shown themselves immediately willing to scapegoat the one anti-big government faction willing to insist on making the difficult choices necessary to save the country from the bloated, cynical, complacent pig class who presumes to run it in our name — though never in the way we wish. And that’s because party doesn’t really matter any longer, as I’ve been saying for years now.

What we are witnessing is the ruling class vs. the governed — a fight we among the governed are only really taking up after the ruling class has already gobbled up the allegiance of a huge swath of its quarry by turning them into either clients or dependents (something that would likely never happen with, say, a flat or fair tax, incidentally, which is one of the reasons no serious push for one ever comes out of DC).

The TEA Party is an impediment, one that the professional political class needs to see weakened, if not entirely marginalized. And that’s because the TEA Party is threatening the mechanism of cheap grace, power, and perks these politicians live on.

But what they don’t seem to understand about the TEA Party is that it isn’t an actual party. Instead, it is a mindset, a counter-revolutionary impulse to the counter-revolutionary coup of Big Centralized Government against the founding and framing of this country.

They can’t kill the TEA Party. Because the TEA Party can disband only as a descriptor. The attitude and beliefs that give it its most visible shapes, from time to time — be it as the revolutionaries who broke from a King, or as the Reagan Revolution, or as teh TEA Party — cannot be disgraced or marginalized. Because the attitude and beliefs that give rise to iterations like the TEA Party are the attitudes and beliefs that in a very real sense are this country and, insofar as we really do believe in the words of our own Declaration of Independence, are the beliefs and attitudes shared by all men and women who wish to break free of tyranny and live their lives not as subjects, but rather under a set of natural rights that governments exist solely to protect.

The TEA Party the establishment ruling class is hoping to marginalize and destroy here is a kind of mist: it can disperse and then reappear in new forms, under new names and descriptions, but it is always the same, and it always has the same goals and desires. It is, in that sense, the very atmosphere of this country.

The establishment politicians are now battling a climate. And if they can’t sense the very real dangers of the storm clouds on the horizon, they’re in for an awakening of stunning proportions.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 1:34pm
271 comments | Trackback

Comments (271)

  1. I’m thinking a new and, from the point of view of the ruling class, seditious definition of “raising revenues”, seditious because, again, from their point of view it involves eliminating them, one way or another — since once they are eliminated, revenues will indeed raise upward.

  2. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Meghan McArdle. &c.

  3. The Tea Party needs to hammer taxes. With all due respect to the PowerLine Blog’s contest to visualize the deficit, I think we’re better served with the one thing that people CAN get their minds around: how politicians raise revenue and how it affects them personally. All the fees, licenses, regulations and agency fiats that are taking money out of our economic engine to create a huge federal meat-grinder. Just help folks actually see how “quantatative eaasing” is federal pickpocketing would be a start.

  4. Pingback: Cranky-D » You know who really gets it? Jeff G.

  5. Old man, get some soldiers
    Keep ‘em close at hand
    There’s a fire in the country
    A flame grows in the land
    So guard yourself most carefully
    With military might
    For plants that cannot bloom by day
    Must flower in the night
    — Paul Kantner

    “You’re not going to try those same old cheap moves on me, are you?”
    “No, no – I have some brand new cheap moves.”
    — Ghost Busters II

    “It is during times of crisis that the resemblance between government and organized crime becomes most apparent.”
    — The Shockwave Rider

    BOHICA
    — Military Acronym

  6. How soon we forget history…Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    –George Washington –

  7. Another meme that has been driving me nuts lately is this “demand drives the economy” bullshit. What, the third world is destitute because nobody wants anything?

    Gardens don’t happen because people are hungry. They happen because people plow, irrigate, fertilize, weed and harvest. But most importantly they happen because people have seed left to plant.

  8. Hear! Hear! The Republicans gained — what? 87? — seats in 2010 with the help of the TEA Parties. Not only should we be encouraging TEA Party candidates to challenge Democrats, we should be encouraging them to run in the primaries against Boehner and every one of his RINO cronies. If we can pick up even close to another 87 seats we’ll effectively own the Republican party.

    Meanwhile, I really don’t think the demonization of the TEA Parties will work. I know darn well we aren’t “astroturf”, we’re not “racists”, we’re not “terrorists”. We’re just horrified at the idjits in Washington who want to keep right on spending like madmen no matter what. Call me names, all you accomplish is to make me mad and strengthen my resolve.

  9. Joan

    Here’s one that didn’t make the final cut but I think is very effective.

    And this short one is one of my faves.

  10. Bravo!

  11. Wow. Look at me generating conversation!

  12. Spartacus is on. Couldn’t resist, despite the tivo.

  13. I’m just so disheartened plus I need a hubcap

  14. I can add nothing to what you wrote. I agree with all of it. Hence, no discussion.

    Plus, it’s about time to go to the bar again. Priorities.

  15. Axelrod and their miserable minions in the echo chamber are busy with TEA Party downgrade.

    That’s a direct lie, and Axelrod should be called on it. The President offered no plan. The TEA Party first insisted on just no debt limit increase at all. We then compromised by agreeing to lift the debt limit in exchange for a Balanced Budget Amendment, like 49 of the 50 states and every business and family in America. The Democrats chose to kill the Balanced Budget Amendment compromise plan rather than stop the gigantic expansion of government spending they have instituted.

    The problem is not the people pointing out the problem, the problem is the problem. But I guess when you caused the problem you have to point at anyone else you can.

  16. you got me on a pork rind kick Mr. cranky I been getting the spicy Vallarta store brand kind I forgot they don’t have carbs

  17. Wow. Look at me generating conversation!

    by Jeff G. on Aug 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Mob: ! Hurrumph!

    Bystander: I didn’t see you give the governor a hurrumph!

    PW commenter ( thinks for a minute): Outlaw!

    Seriously, though. I’m waiting to get home to get to a better medium to type (other than my pinkie on the iPhone method that drives the teen wild with my lack of text-Fu) plus Im letting it marinate for a while. Hopefully it will produce steak and not salmonella burger.

  18. This is why I told that one supposed TEA Party organization whose email list I was on to take me off the list when they came out in favor of this deal. All that could come of it was FAIL, and by agreeing to it, the TEA Party groups that did so were cast initially as the “BIG WINNERS” and now, ultimately, as responsible for the aftermath.

    It was a trap from day one. It’s the ruling class trying to demonize those intent on bringing them down.

  19. some beltway wisdumb from kooky roberts:

    COKIE ROBERTS: This group of people in New York [Standard and Poor’s] is actually talking about more government rather than less government, Congressman. In fact, the reason they like France and Great Britain is because they’re parliamentary systems where the majority gets what it wants no matter what.

    And the problem that we have here is the Constitution of the United States of America which actually does require people to come together from different perspectives whether it’s divided government or not. We have divided branches of government under any circumstance

    Link

  20. Yeah but per your own post above, how do you bring down ether ? The sentiment is not going away. Part of the problem IMHO was the start of a caucus by Bachmann usurping the tea party name in the corrupt institution itself. That gave a target for them to demonize. Also, the tea party express and othr tea party organizations. The physical org is a target. But then how do you organize and rabble rouse together without some semblance of…uhhh organization to disseminate the next protest day or next Big Thing? Protests of one don’t get too far. Flash mob? More later when I can get to a keyboard.

    Bachmann did the tea party no favors IMHO.

  21. “as responsible for the aftermath.”

    Tea Party Downgrade

    axeltool

    Link

    john “i have the hat” kerry heinz

    Link

  22. Except that Bachmann kept her promise and didn’t vote for a debt ceiling increase.

    A debt ceiling increase passed, and the credit was downgraded. If anything, the recalcitrance of Bachmann and Paul should give lie to the attempts to pin the downgrade on the TEA Party.

  23. This is Sunday, traditionally a quiet internet day. And I just ran over my hose-end thinger with my mower, shattering, shards of plastic shit everywhere.

    Just glad I didn’t spring for the expensive bronze everlasty model.

  24. ATTN: those of you with some finance / economics in your background.

    The following are two bits from an argument on offer from a cosmopolitan type. Discuss, please:

    The problem with US politics is that we’re electing people based on geographical boarders to try and solve problems that exist without reference to little fake lines between countries. When political systems do not conform to the realities of power in the world, they are rendered impotent. So we get several hundred representatives babbling on about tax cuts and debt ceilings, as if the US government has any sovereign authority over global capital flows. Sorry guys, the game is up.

    And this:

    The point is that we can just end Social Security right now if we wanted to and stop giving out entitlements. But that isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that since the 1800s there has never been any such thing as domestic economie…s, even though there are domestic currencies. The welfare state, alas, was incorporated by capitalist countries in the 1850s in order to create the illusion that domestic governments controlled the financial well-being of their body politick — but it was always banks with nationally minted currencies that ran the show. Backing those currencies, of course, was the given government’s promise to repay its treasury notes. What everybody in the US forgets is that our poor people have running water and eat over 2,000 calories a day because our currency became the default international currency when we loaned out dollars to rebuild all of Europe and Asia after World War II. The world economy is rebalancing itself and no longer needs to even pretend that economies are domestic. This means that people in the US have to come to terms with the reality that they can not afford a $5 starbucks every day and a $30,000 car every three years, with twice-yearly trips to the dentist for their kids, just because they live in the US. As capital power shifts, and it is extending laterally across the world irrespective of territorial boundaries, those luxuries that US citizens think are their rights will suddenly belong to a global elite. So the US economic tanks but the global economy doesn’t — and our old people don’t get social security. Democrats think they can pass domestic laws that will somehow check the power international capital flows, and the Republicans think that the US economy exists in a bubble of isolation.

  25. The establishment politicians are now battling a climate.

    Ain’t the first time. The arrogant bastards.

  26. To tell the truth, I can’t even make sense of that argument.

  27. 27 for 25.

  28. “to try and solve problems that exist without reference to little fake lines between countries”

    so the unfunded liabilities of the us gov’t are an illusion ok prob solved

  29. Some things are just plain wrong.

    We don’t have any control over capital flows? Well, capital likes returns and hates taxes. This is a bit like saying that super low or super high corporate tax rates would have no influence on their decisions.

    The world economy isn’t tanking? Tell that to the world. Their markets would beg to differ.

    And, we’ve had a global economy for a long, long time. Republicans dispute that? Huh?

  30. “What everybody in the US forgets is that our poor people have running water and eat over 2,000 calories a day because our currency became the default international currency when we loaned out dollars to rebuild all of Europe and Asia after World War II. ”

    and here i thought it was because us communities decided build municipal water distribution systems

  31. starbucks is a sometimes food is what I got out of that

  32. Seems both arguments are for one-world economic systems where the USA is downgraded (!) to (deservedly, if you read between the lines, especially the 1st paragraph) 3rd-world status: The Great Economic Equalizing and Flattening, so’s Everybody is Equal.

    Both seem to fit Barack Obama’s grand should-be-how-it-is worldview, since he’s declared we’ll all have to drop down a notch or two (how DARE we set our thermometers on 72°, with these HUGE ?T’s?!).

  33. Waffle House coffee is better than Starbuck’s. That is all.

  34. ralph’s is cheaper and a hell of a lot faster but it’s not as fancy

  35. Dunkin’ Donuts.

  36. Isn’t that “Republicans think isolation” schtick part of the progg code for “R’s don’t like illegal aliens taking their jobs but don’t have a leg to stand on” speciousness? Or I’m not certain about that but it sounds familiar from that angle.

  37. I agree by and large with your assessment here JeffG.

    The only disagreement I would have regards the flat or fair tax concepts. These are being pushed by most of the GOP candidates and leaders; I heard Ryan essentially making the same point about the real fairness of the flat tax as opposed to the Democrats calls for raising marginal rates on high earners.

    And I don’t recall hearing any Rethugs! openly declaring that the “new normal” will require increasing governments modern-era, traditional share of GDP from 10-20% of GDP to 25% of GDP; essentially the arguments made in many of the major European countries in the post-war 1950s, and look where that’s got them…

    To me, that seems like a difference between the parties.

    As many have said, we need a few more election cycles for the Tea Party mindset folks to throw the posers and pretenders out.

  38. uh… what bh just said

    Capital will flow where it gets the most return and the least resistance.

    I don’t even have a degree in economics, but I understand basic business AND human nature.

    For the whining about how Wal-mart ran off the mom-and-pop stores, what gets lost is that people voted with their wallets and moved their own dollars from mom-and-pop to Wal-mart.

    And not all mom&pops closed .. the smart ones, the ones that knew business, had to find another way to compete.

    You want capital to flow into the United States and stay here?

    Get rid of corporate taxes, scrape the thick coat of regulatory barnacles off business hull, get rid of minimum wage laws, streamline or – better yet outsource – permitting processes.

  39. The only disagreement I would have regards the flat or fair tax concepts. These are being pushed by most of the GOP candidates and leaders; I heard Ryan essentially making the same point about the real fairness of the flat tax as opposed to the Democrats calls for raising marginal rates on high earners.

    Ever been brought to a vote?

    That’s what I mean by push. Not talk about it, push it.

    You are the target audience, Bob. You’re too trusting.

  40. [quote]Seems both arguments are for one-world economic systems where the USA is downgraded (!) to (deservedly, if you read between the lines, especially the 1st paragraph) 3rd-world status: The Great Economic Equalizing and Flattening, so’s Everybody is Equal. [/quote]

    yes that is the general point of view. This same person just expounded on this with a lengthy monologue about the super rich people who control the world, and some sprinkling from Marx’s communist manifesto.

    I am still trying to wrap my brain around his explanation of the world financial markets. Clearly I am not as smart as him! ;)

  41. “Republicans think that the US economy exists in a bubble of isolation.”

    so that’s why the stupid party keeps trying to pass free trade agreements

  42. is this krugmann or freidman? their non sense is inter changeable.

  43. If by cosmopolitan type you mean new world order type, sounds about standard.

  44. . . . those luxuries that US citizens think are their rights will suddenly belong to a global elite.

    Funny how there’s no concomitant mention of a global elite insisting on ownership of Chinese birthing rights, ain’t it?

  45. “So we get several hundred representatives babbling on about tax cuts and debt ceilings, as if the US government has any sovereign authority over global capital flows”

    they’re babbling about the balance sheet of the us gov’t. capital flows are independent of that.

  46. …those luxuries that US citizens think are their rights will suddenly belong to a global elite.

    Tell you what, the first Saudi Prince comes to my house to take my air conditioner is gonna get…air conditioned. He can take that to the bank.

  47. “This means that people in the US have to come to terms with the reality that they can not afford a $5 starbucks every day and a $30,000 car every three years, with twice-yearly trips to the dentist for their kids, just because they live in the US.”

    all 330,000,000 of us are locked out. how sad

  48. “This means that people in the US have to come to terms with the reality that they can not afford a $5 starbucks every day and a $30,000 car every three years, with twice-yearly trips to the dentist for their kids, just because they live in the US.”

    As long as I earn the money to do those things, why shouldn’t I expect to purchase them?

    Or is one of my betters in Washington going to expand on that leading my life for me for my own good things again?

  49. You want capital to flow into the United States and stay here?

    Get rid of corporate taxes, scrape the thick coat of regulatory barnacles off business hull, get rid of minimum wage laws, streamline or – better yet outsource – permitting processes.

    Amen, sister.

    In fact, that’s exactly what explained our earlier competitive advantage. We didn’t become the world’s reserve currency because of the Marshall Plan. That merely locked those participating countries into our export chain. (Those countries didn’t do as well as the ones who didn’t participate, btw. The Wirtschaftswunder, for instance, resulted from their finally emulating their earlier victor.)

    No, we became the world’s reserve currency by developing into an economic powerhouse that dwarfed the rest of the world’s economies. Didn’t happen by chance or some clever thing we tricked people into after WWII.

  50. i went to ghetto wal-mart today in panorama city it was scary everyone was mean and surly and ignorant and lots of normal things were hard to find like I wanted a big pack of D batteries and they only had 4-packs and I needed a filing case but they had crap selection and their beach towels were completely ghetto so I still need some of those… I solved my lightbulb problem though – they had a non-ge blue squiggle bulb what will work I think I won’t know for sure til it gets dark

    But it’s a two-story walmart and the cart escalator is wicked cool. A true marvel of engineering.

    but it was no fun walmart shouldn’t put its name on that store because it’s very not-walmart … plus I stopped to look at books and none of the books were in my native tongue, which is fine given that it’s a ghetto walmart but still I never seen that before

    and there’s a mall attached to it – walmart is like the anchor store of the mall… you have to try and picture it. The mall is very very very sketch and also very very depressing – I walked all the way through and there were an insane number of shoe stores with names like “shoe time” and a food court what was wholly untempting.

    But what I did go to what i never been to was a “la curacao” … oh boy. It’s like a chicano best buy/furniture store. Very very festive and loud and flashy – I kind of liked it at first til I saw their crap. Lots of appliances but the wrong size – like depressingly tiny gas ranges where all the burners are touching each other and tiny refrigerators and lots of not-brand brands I can’t even remember. The furniture was downstairs in some kind of basement – that’s rare here – and it was pretty much all crap. The place reeked of poverty and after looking at their toys I wandered a little further back and found out why.

    There’s a huge room in the back for financing. Like a dozen people were waiting in the waiting area and there were cubicles you would go to when it was your turn to meet with your finance person and they had toys for kids to play with while mom and dad waited to finance their depressingly small range or whatever. I walked in there for a bit and just looked at the desks and the faces and took in the whole scene.

    I’m pretty sure I had a look on my face that didn’t reflect well upon me.

  51. Perhaps Jeff, I may be too trusting. Still, flat or fair tax kind of reform is an election issue; it’s something that is implemented after running with it as part of a larger planned legislative agenda.

    It got pushed aside in 2008, the only candidates talking about it seriously going by the wayside. And for all his blather about being a deficit hawk and fiscal conservative, McCain certainly never, ever, spoke of it.

    In fact I’ve heard little of it even as part of the 2010 electoral struggle; but admittedly could have been paying attention to other issues.

    It’s a shame that it wasn’t included as part of Ryan’s budget back in April, a mistake I think since it was part of his Roadmap for America document.

    I’m pretty certain it will be part of the platform of most of the GOP candidates for President in 2012, and probably many of the other national level Congressional candidates. Which will ultimately lead to, at the very least, votes on the matter in Congress.

    But I’ve been known to be too trusting ;)

  52. “I stopped to look at books and none of the books were in my native tongue”

    you should try shopping there wearing an ice tee shirt.

  53. Still, flat or fair tax kind of reform is an election issue; it’s something that is implemented after running with it as part of a larger planned legislative agenda.

    Or, were it a lefty issue, would be pushed and pushed during a time of crisis — say, once credit was downgraded and you were looking to expand the revenue base and stop “tax loopholes” for “corporate jet owners.”

    The lobbyists prevent it. Politicians tease with it, but they’ve never pushed for it.

    I once backed Forbes because of it, though.

  54. I had a professor who used to talk about that, ‘feets. That credit buying a plow or a drill press really changed the world but then credit buying a TV really changed the world, too.

    He liked a pure sales tax with certain productive exemptions because he thought it was the only way to get us silly people to stop buying crap we couldn’t afford.

  55. Well, he talked about increasing our collective savings rate but I read between the lines.

  56. I like that idea about the exemptions. But thinking about the rates these people were getting stuck with made me feel sad.

    I’m done I think with that walmart. What’s weird is the only other walmart that’s at all convenient is a rich people walmart up the 5 by stevenson’s ranch and it has tons of for reals stores nearby and real restaurants that have real products.

    But it’s no fun cause it’s all boozhy.

  57. “There’s a huge room in the back for financing”

    so what people do in their bedroom is none of our business but what people do with their money is our busyness? me i don’t want to bail out idjiots. failure a really good learning experience.

  58. Think I’m coming down on the “I’ll believe it when I see it side” when it comes to Republicans and actual reform.

    It’s why I’m mentioning public choice theory all the time. I’m concerned that we don’t only have to send better people but we need to figure out how to implement a systemic reform without actually having the representatives in place. So, it’ll have to be some sort of de facto or soft structural change.

    Maybe we need a PAC that buys them super awesome presents every time they do the right thing. Just voted to reduce spending? Awesome, he’s a kick ass Rolex, kid.

  59. “But thinking about the rates these people were getting stuck with made me feel sad.”

    yes we need more money for public education./

  60. Oh… here’s a kick ass Rolex.

  61. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath or anything, but I think there’s a strong possibility that a flat/fair concept of tax reform will have to be part of the so called “select committee’s” solution that was part of the crap sandwich deal.

    It should be, at least, since it was essentially part of the Simpson-Bowles reccommendations that the Prez chose to disregard.

    You’re absolutely right that the Rethugs should work it into any questions of deficit reduction or whenerver the MBM tries to corner them on their “intransigence” regarding tax increases.

    But most of the GOP 2012 field is behind this concept of tax reform, well, except for Mittenz. And it’s hard to tell what he’s for at any given time, besides being the GOP nominee; which he won’t be.

    The flat/fair tax is an idea that’s long overdue, and I don’t think any amount of lobbying payola will be able to keep it under wraps in 2012.

  62. “but we need to figure out how to implement a systemic reform without actually having the representatives in place.”

    we need sumthing like this: say we get the trifecta of all 3 branches 2012.
    pass legislation allowing states to opt out of oversite from epa,doenergy,dotrans,doeducation et al. start taking away the clientel for fed welfare state visavis the states

  63. Pingback: The Climate Of The TEA Party « That Mr. G Guy's Blog

  64. Missed my point….

    Yeah but per your own post above, how do you bring down ether ? The sentiment is not going away. Part of the problem IMHO was the start of a caucus by Bachmann usurping the tea party name in the corrupt institution itself. That gave a target for them to demonize. Also, the tea party express and othr tea party organizations. The physical org is a target. But then how do you organize and rabble rouse together without some semblance of…uhhh organization to disseminate the next protest day or next Big Thing? Protests of one don’t get too far. Flash mob? More later when I can get to a keyboard.

    Bachmann did the tea party no favors IMHO.

    Jeff: Except that Bachmann kept her promise and didn’t vote for a debt ceiling increase.

    A debt ceiling increase passed, and the credit was downgraded. If anything, the recalcitrance of Bachmann and Paul should give lie to the attempts to pin the downgrade on the TEA Party.

    My point is not how the tea party votes.. it is the fact that having a tea party caucus formed in congress which is currently voting more or less in an identifiable lockstep NO!!!!!!! provides the idiots in congress and the MBM a target to blame. If Bachmann had never formed the tea party caucus in the house, the votes of all republicans would be unable to be distinguished via this subset that was created. The tea party supported more candidates than are members, but the caucus is an easy target to demonize. Did congressman X vote due to the tea party caucus or not? Makes the votes themselves more ethereal and hard to be had for target practice.

    At this point, the vote no by Bachmann is irrelevant except that by being a member of the tea party caucus which voted in pretty much lockstep, she has given the jackals a target. Bachmann wanted an easily identifiable way to play herself into the ethereal tea party’s good graces and painted herself in their colors “vote for me I’m tea party.” Might be a good move as a presidential candidate, but it sucks as a tactic for tea party congresscritters. They reared their heads and now the press is playing ‘whack a mole.’ She should never have attempted to bottle the tea party for her own purposes.

    Until and unless the tea party forms a party, the tea party has no business being a caucus in Washington. But it is ideal for a non DC persons to whack at congress and DC from afar. Sarah’s unique standing right now is that she is agitating for the tea party and Washington has no way to blame bad decisions made by congresscritters on her. She is no more and no less than a ‘citizen’ small c and thus unable to be targeted as Bachmann was. How she translates this into her presidential run should be no problem as a presidential candidate also holds no sway over voting in DC. She can command quite a presence and following just by continuing to do as she has as a candidate. Every move Bachmann (or Demint) gives the press something IN WASHINGTON to target. She can bottle the tea party and harness its energy. Bachmann cannot and should never have attempted to do so.

  65. ‘feets, for light bulbs I go to Home Depot.

    Not Lowe’s, because they’ve donated to far-LeftLibProgg causes, and don’t deserve my money.

  66. Yanks and BoSox knotted 1-1 in the 6th, for the lead in the AL east…

  67. I’m glad we’re finally having this conversation. Next it needs to be spawned a million times. Some points:

    -The piece at #25 is correct, if not exhaustive. Especially:

    it was always banks with nationally minted currencies that ran the show. Backing those currencies, of course, was the given government’s promise to repay its treasury notes. What everybody in the US forgets is that our poor people have running water and eat over 2,000 calories a day because our currency became the default international currency when we loaned out dollars to rebuild all of Europe and Asia after World War II. The world economy is rebalancing itself and no longer needs to even pretend that economies are domestic.

    -We’ve been living off a leveraged currency for decades (said JHo again) and it’s upsetting the global balance of trade and power. The proof of the folly of this system is dozens and dozens of trillions of dollars in printed red ink. Money is the problem, folks. Fiat money and the rigged game that is corporate banking and DC’s unrepresentative arm are utterly anathema to classical liberalism. Conservatives are typically dead wrong about this — as goes the assumption, protecting the status quo does not serve capitalism and free markets; it destroys them because the status quo is absolutely neither. It is a centralized Ponzi scheme, a rigged game that cannot and will not balance and shall never stop absorbing personal wealth as long as it is allowed to stand.

    -The notion that corporate taxes are a bad idea is asinine. Personal taxes are a bad idea and again, conservatives have this one dead wrong as well. The corporation is a shield for the individual from the oppression and liability of government. Or should be.

    -A flat tax is as classically-illiberal as any form of personal tax is. A national sales tax is fair, provided it replaces the entire tax code, except that which preferably taxes corporations a flat rate instead. The thing here is personal sovereignty, which yet again, conservatives get backwards, preferring the myth that a corporate tax slows the economy. Of course it doesn’t because taxation is approximately a zero sum entity: raise the same amounts but raise them by means that do not put the individual in harms way or allow politicians to dick around with “fairness” schemes. I think some 2000 pages are about enough of an example, yes?

    -The corporate State has destroyed this country. It’s done this by absorbing representative government and effectively swamping the personal vote. Eliminate the lobby and enact term limits. I’m well aware of the theories against these measures but clearly they do not work.

  68. Josh Beckett does look pretty good tonight. His hook is downright filthy…

  69. I’m in camp dicentra – these losers aren’t gonna stop until they’ve redefined America in terms of government-whore-haves and not-government-whore-have-nots … and the only thing what can stop them is the oops-we-hit-a-wall zimbabwe option, and even in that scenario they can subjugate a largely stupid cowardly loser obamawhore populace for many many many moons.

    And it’s likely that many of the people what can help fight or rebuild would move to canada australia or brazil.

    life is too goddamn short for epic failshittery on an american scale, and one must think of one’s children…

    I’ll stick around though just not in the san fernando valley cause I’m pretty sure the walmart I went to today is the future.

  70. “she has given the jackals a target. ”

    really so the tea party hasn’t been a target since 2009. go play some golf and get back to us.

  71. Stephanie,

    Demint has been a target for quite some time.yet he was able to sponsor 5 little baby Demints. I’d say we need more targets like him.

  72. “Until and unless the tea party forms a party”

    really go play a round.

  73. Any flat tax I back would be a helluva lot better than what we have now. And it’s far less illiberal than a “progressive” tax.

  74. the home depot… is in the sorta ghetto too Mr. serr8d – but yeah that’s where I shoulda gone but I think the blue accent light is gonna work fine … it’s in the socket where the heat lamp in the bathroom is supposed to be – but it never gets cold enough here to use a heat lamp so the last guy put in an orange flood – which blew out shortly after I moved in, which is ok cause it looks like the blue light I put in is kinda fun

  75. nr, Stephanie is cool. You disagree, that’s all. No biggie.

  76. plus it’s squiggly which makes poley barz smile

  77. Bob,

    You takin deliveries Mister?

  78. we shouldn’t worry about the tea party caucus. we should be exposing the scoundrels in the progressive caucus.

  79. You missed my point.

    My point is not how the tea party votes.. it is the fact that having a tea party caucus formed in congress which is currently voting more or less in an identifiable lockstep NO!!!!!!! provides the idiots in congress and the MBM a target to blame. If Bachmann had never formed the tea party caucus in the house, the votes of all republicans would be unable to be distinguished via this subset that was created. The tea party supported more candidates than are members, but the caucus is an easy target to demonize. Did congressman X vote due to the tea party caucus or not? Makes the votes themselves more ethereal and hard to be had for target practice.

    All conservatives are an easy target to demonize. To me, it makes no difference if you have a caucus or you don’t, precisely because, as I said it my post, TEA Party is only a descriptor and will disperse and reform as something else. Too late to demonize it back into the bottle.

  80. I hear you JHo,
    And I realize that originally the Contitution called for corporate taxes only; all perverted as part of the early 20th century amendments that went a long way towards screwing up the balance of our founding document.

    But of all plans being considered, I personally think the flat tax is the least illiberal scheme, since the elimination of loopholes would force corporate entities to pay a more realistic levy on their earnings and would allow the rates to be reduced as low as possible for rank and file individuals.

    I see the wisdom in the system as originally established. But it would be a hard sell to a public that’s been indoctrinated to see redistribution as something usual, customary, and fair.

  81. Discussions of tax rates are meaningless in an environment where GDP = national debt. Unless we are looking to capture all GDP to pay the debt, if so, then what is the point of private enterprise? All resources are the state’s. Which is where we are isn’t it?

    THE question that should be on the table is not how revenues should be acquired by the state, but how much of a state are we willing to fund. If we are willing to fund the state to 100% of GDP, we are not a private enterprise capitalistic system. If it is 60% or 50 or 40 of GDP then the discussion should be how to get down to that size and THEN what funding mechanism are we going to use to accomplish this. Process first then subroutines to accomplish the process.

  82. I agree, JG. But a national sales tax does two critical things, assuming we can never pass all taxation off to the corporate world where it belongs:

    1. It only taxes use of the economy. Not labor, not property, not inheritance, all of which should be reserved as the individual’s fundamental rights.

    2. It eliminates personal liability.

    Either of which doom it in this DC.

  83. ot

    U.S. immigration officials, who for months have insisted that states sign up to participate in a controversial program to identify and deport immigrants who commit crimes, abruptly changed their approach Friday and terminated agreements with nearly 40 states.

    In a letter to governors, John Morton, head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the government was terminating Secure Communities agreements with nearly 40 states, including Arizona, after determining that the federal government does not need the agreement or cooperation of state officials to legally run the program.

    Read more:

    Link

  84. the Constitution called for corporate taxes only

    Absolutely fundamental to personal liberty, in my view, and obviously so.

    I see the wisdom in the system as originally established. But it would be a hard sell to a public that’s been indoctrinated to see redistribution as something usual, customary, and fair.

    Yeh. Our new national religion trumps our need to be free. And productive.

  85. Too late to demonize it back into the bottle.

    No it’s not too late. You just keep calling it racist.

    It’s never too late to demonize white people this is America.

  86. albeit an America with baffrooms bathed in an ethereal blue glow

  87. “Discussions of tax rates are meaningless in an environment where GDP = national debt.”

    only if you don’t want to design the system you want to replace

  88. Whoever wrote that in #25 seems to be a Euro-phile who thinks that br extending that system worldwide that then it will succeed because it will be too big to fail. Got his panties in a bunch over the fall and coming soon failure of the stupidity that is/was the Euro.

    The US downgrade hurts but we can and will get our act together as everything that caused it is a self-inflicted wound. We are starting the process of healing and when we recover that which we had before the injury that is the progressives only legacy, only accomplishment, we will resume our place as the one true light of freedom showing the world the way to the best today and tomorrow actually possible for humans in this world. A real way, not the fairy dust of the progressives.

  89. I understand on the sales tax, JHo.

    Explain to me how putting all other taxes on corporations helps entrepreneurs make money. Serious question. This stuff isn’t my strong suit.

  90. and think of poor Albert he’s been in the army four years… he wants a good time and if you don’t give it him, there’s others will

  91. “the Constitution called for corporate taxes only”

    really citation needed.

  92. “and think of poor Albert”

    oh that bloated blowhard has his global warming scam to tide him over.

  93. All conservatives are an easy target to demonize. To me, it makes no difference if you have a caucus or you don’t, precisely because, as I said it my post, TEA Party is only a descriptor and will disperse and reform as something else. Too late to demonize it back into the bottle.

    But what they don’t seem to understand about the TEA Party is that it isn’t an actual party. Instead, it is a mindset, a counter-revolutionary impulse to the counter-revolutionary coup of Big Centralized Government against the founding and framing of this country.

    They can’t kill the TEA Party. Because the TEA Party can disband only as a descriptor. The attitude and beliefs that give it its most visible shapes, from time to time — be it as the revolutionaries who broke from a King, or as the Reagan Revolution, or as teh TEA Party — cannot be disgraced or marginalized. Because the attitude and beliefs that give rise to iterations like the TEA Party are the attitudes and beliefs that in a very real sense are this country and, insofar as we really do believe in the words of our own Declaration of Independence, are the beliefs and attitudes shared by all men and women who wish to break free of tyranny and live their lives not as subjects, but rather under a set of natural rights that governments exist solely to protect.

    The TEA Party the establishment ruling class is hoping to marginalize and destroy here is a kind of mist: it can disperse and then reappear in new forms, under new names and descriptions, but it is always the same, and it always has the same goals and desires. It is, in that sense, the very atmosphere of this country.

    Guess I missed the point of your post about how the tea party can’t be killed cause it is a mist, then. Cause it seems the mist materialized right in the middle of the big fat establishment ruling class gorging at the government table and didn’t take a courtesy fart. So declasse.

    My point which was supportive of what I thought you were saying is that the tea party is particularly effective because it is the mist. You can’t strike a mist. You can’t battle the mist. It reshapes and reforms. And it should stay as a mist.

    Except that Bachmann bottled that mist and the MBM is doing its best to cork that bottle. In that sense having a centralized/personified mist is a BAD THING.

  94. I think that Stephanie is saying that if the leviathan was placed entirely as a corporate tax tomorrow there would quickly cease to be corporations in America.

    Similarly, if the entire leviathan was payed for with a sales tax tomorrow there would only be a black market within a week.

    We’d all like to see a greatly simplified tax code with payment incurred at that point where we each individually feel it does the least harm. But, that’s not really possible when we spend at this level. Hence, reduce spending before simplification.

    That’s an aspect I essentially like about initially moving to a flat tax. It creates a mechanism where we could finally reduce spending when everyone finally starts making even a rudimentary cost benefit analysis of government before they go out and vote.

  95. The reaction to the credit downgrade began to get lost in an argument about the impact of the Tea Party.*

    the fuck it did, National Soros Radio. America’s faggot president Barack Obama just hosed our credit rating.

    Mission accomplished.

  96. “Except that Bachmann bottled that mist and the MBM is doing its best to cork that bottle. In that sense having a centralized/personified mist is a BAD THING.”

    you’re better off ignoring the mbm. why is having a politician out trying to sell the tea party values a bad thing?

  97. The Fair Tax is my vote. You can dick around with the rates some and the amount that is refundable monthly (the allowance for ‘living’), but it is appropriated monthly and voluntarily. I don’t spend, I don’t get taxed. I spend shitloads and well let’s just say I’d think long and hard about each purchase I made. Which is as it should be.

    It shouldn’t be a question of ‘do I want to make another dollar and generate more taxes’ but a question of ‘do I want to spend a dollar and generate more taxes for it.’ The flat tax leaves the first question as a big turd in the punchbowl. Being industrious and enterprising should not be punished and the flat tax punishes effort.

  98. America needs to fuck off and leave people the fuck alone starting with Americans I think.

  99. As an end state, I’d prefer either a Fair or a VAT to avoid the black market consequences of having all the tax collection loaded up on the end product.

    But, we have to get there, first. I’d contend that a flat tax would get us to that lower spending level the quickest.

  100. The Tea Party needs to dissolve the Republican party, just take it over. Like the Agent Smiths; we need more of these.

  101. sorry and I don’t mean to be impudent but masters of the universe thinking is what got us into this mess I think

    the whole point of America I thought was we agreed to cut that shit out

  102. “Being industrious and enterprising should not be punished and the flat tax punishes effort.”

    no really play more golf

  103. Being industrious and enterprising should not be punished and the flat tax punishes effort.

    I’d rather be punished at 15% than 34-39%.

  104. also ms. Stephanie good luck trying to sell a 29% sales tax to the amuricans

  105. Bachmann bottled a particular iteration, and even then, with the knowledge that the TEA Party is not an actual party, and that what Bachmann, et al were doing were simply representing constitutionalism in the legislature. They go after her and the TEA Party, and the TEA Party re-emerges as something else. In the meantime, they’ll always be attacking the Constitution.

    Pretty soon, people will notice the pattern.

  106. actually where i live 35% including state and county.

  107. I think that Stephanie is saying that if the leviathan was placed entirely as a corporate tax tomorrow there would quickly cease to be corporations in America.

    Similarly, if the entire leviathan was payed for with a sales tax tomorrow there would only be a black market within a week.

    Not really… I’m saying if 100% in effort is taxed at 100% by the government all corporations are belong to the state. And all mom and pop stores and all contractors. Which is where we are right now if we were forced to pay off all government debt tomorrow.

    The interesting thing with a sales tax is that if all money transactions were done with no paper money, the black market would be substantially reduced. All transactions by debit card or some such. Doesn’t eliminate barter, but then neither does a flat tax.

    The question that first must be answered is at what level do we want to fund government. None… that works, but not well and not 100% obviously. Until you identify the parameters of the problem, you should not design the process to address it.

    Approach it as a programming problem. What is the objective? To Fund governmental functions. What governmental functions? X and Y but not Z. How well would Fair Tax do this? How well would flat tax do this? Does either one contribute/harm the cost of doing it over the other? What feedback do you want to encourage? How hack proof do you want the system to be? What is the point at which shrinkage is acceptable on a cost basis?

  108. The Tea Party needs to dissolve the Republican party, just take it over.

    I’ve been preaching that particular iteration. Kind of mist-as-acid-rain.

  109. I thought the goal was 18% of GDP.

  110. “You can dick around with the rates some and the amount that is refundable monthly”

    no politician will use that to throw out free money i’m sure.

  111. sorry and I don’t mean to be impudent but masters of the universe thinking is what got us into this mess I think

    I try to keep on that path, ‘feets.

    How do you mean it though? Which things or thing that we’re talking about would be overly meddlesome?

  112. I’d rather be punished at 15% than 34-39%.

    I’d rather be punished for buying the 100″ Tv instead of the 46″ one. I’d rather be rewarded for saving the difference and not having the government in my pocket before my savings are realized.

  113. “Until you identify the parameters of the problem, you should not design the process to address it.”

    please this bloated bitch called fed gov’t is well known to those who care.
    we’re trying to figure out the least bullshit way of funding said bitch.

  114. Approach it as a programming problem.

    Hmmm, I’d probably have to hire someone.

  115. it’s not which things it’s that we’re having to discuss them at all

    nobody can seriously make the case that the american government isn’t overly intrusive into life, into the economy, into freedom.

    the first and most important thing to do is to tell the obnoxious overbearing slut to fuck the hell off

    after that we’ll fund the cunt’s military and maybe her patent office, but only if she puts out

  116. “I’d rather be punished for buying the 100? Tv instead of the 46? one”

    why where’s liberty in your world view? why is my desire/need taxed higher?

  117. “Approach it as a programming problem.”

    no it is a moral problem. who pays for what. me i want everyone as hairplugs says “to have skin in the game”

  118. the first and most important thing to do is to tell the obnoxious overbearing slut to fuck the hell off

    We do that. We need a way to get many more people to do it. That there is a solution that needs figuring out.

  119. “You can dick around with the rates some and the amount that is refundable monthly”

    no politician will use that to throw out free money i’m sure.

    Yeah and no politician won’t push for 16.25% as a flat rate instead of 16% ‘for the children.’ It’s onnnnnllllly .25%… til it’s the next .25 or .50%. and the next…

    I’m talking about the initial rates and amount that is refundable. To vote to change either, after inception, would be purposefully difficult and dangerous for a pol to do.

  120. the real problem with the “fair tax” is that you have to amend the constitution. the clowns pushing this snake oil don’t talk too much about this topic.

  121. That there is a solution that needs figuring out.

    well that’s just it… it was rallying around this and that flagpole what screwed the pooch to begin with

    the only solution is chopping the nuts off of the government of the goddamn united states of america

    take away his goddamn library card

    it’s not like the bitch didn’t cease to be amusing years and years ago

  122. How do we do that?

  123. “talking about the initial rates and amount that is refundable. To vote to change either, after inception, would be purposefully difficult and dangerous for a pol to do.”

    good luck selling a 30-35% sales tax. you fair tax people are in unicorn fart land.

  124. the first and most important thing to do is to tell the obnoxious overbearing slut to fuck the hell off

    This. We could design a new tax code today to encompass the morass we find ourselves in or we can design for the future and pare it back.

    The current trajectory is unsustainable, why design for it? It’s obsolete. Do you really think, if this all collapses next week, we are gonna pay our debts? Or ever?

    Post apocalypse planning. It’s the future.

  125. the american government is the judge reinhold of the world anymore … used to be cool beans but omg wtf happened

  126. Why should you be “punished” for buying a 100″ TV? If the base tax rate of, say, 15% is the same for all, you’ll benefit from not having bought the 100″ TV by having the difference in price between that and the 46″ to use as you please elsewhere. And the person who chooses to use his or her money to buy the 100″ TV has that much less left of his income to spend.

  127. “How do we do that?”

    start making senators represent their states by allowing opt outs of epa,doedu, medicare et al

  128. NR likes the MBM lies don’t he????

    The FairTax proposal is a comprehensive revenue plan that would eliminate most major federal income and payroll taxes, including personal, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, self-employment, and corporate taxes. On payday, every American would receive 100 percent of his or her paycheck, minus any state income taxes.

    These federal taxes would be replaced by a national retail sales tax. Under the FairTax, the national sales tax rate initially would be 23 percent , with adjustments made to the rate in subsequent years.

    The FairTax is progressive. To make this system fair for low-income Americans, all taxpayers would receive a monthly “prebate,” so no one would pay taxes for consumption up to the poverty line.

    The national retail tax would only be collected on new purchases, making “used” purchases tax-free. Additionally, business purchases would be exempt from the tax, thereby eradicating corporate tax compliance costs currently hidden in retail prices.

  129. Judge Reinhold is 54. Looks pretty good for 54, if you ask me.

  130. Mr. bh I think it’s important that any imagined scheme have as its first priority the castration of the united states government.

    the only reason our little country was ever notable and/or remarkable was cause of her peoples and cultures. Not her fucktarded special needs government.

    Except for the part where we put people on the moon

    that was fucking wicked.

  131. You should think more on that and refine it, nr. There needs to be some sort of greater positive feedback from that state than they currently receive from the federal gov. What will properly induce them to do this? Better put, what would encourage even a scoundrel to do this?

  132. The FairTax is progressive. To make this system fair for low-income Americans, all taxpayers would receive a monthly “prebate,” so no one would pay taxes for consumption up to the poverty line.

    So no skin in the game?

    I’d rather they pay 15% of the very little they make, then receive a rebate up to the poverty line.

  133. that face screams nose job I think Mr. Jeff

  134. Mr. bh I think it’s important that any imagined scheme have as its first priority the castration of the united states government.

    Like nr and I are talking about we need carrots. We need sticks.

    The people we’re relying on to effect this change need some motivation.

  135. “The current trajectory is unsustainable, why design for it?”

    yea the gig for gov’t is tax revenue. so let’s find a system that is equitable and doable under the constraints of having proggs screaming bloody murder whatever we do. most of the fed gov’t can go but it will still need funded.

  136. So no skin in the game?

    Yes, that’s what I’m talking about with the carrots and sticks and GMU econ theory stuff.

    It needs to be applied to voters and representatives.

  137. I need to go smoke a cigarette.

    Not that I smoke anymore.

    That’s metaphorical or something.

  138. jesus christ Mr. bh the american political system produced as one of its most rarefied specimens one Meghan’s coward daddy

    that is a seriously fucked up state of affairs

    we are dealing with a pathology not a system what needs a spot of tweaking

    and you know who I miss is psycho

    I wish he’d left us some kind of bat-signal we could use but he didn’t and you know what

    that was really cold

    nevertheless I wish him well

  139. “The FairTax is progressive”

    that’s what got us into the present situation. plus please describe how you “fair tax” dreamers imagine a scenario where you get 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of states to repeal the income tax?

  140. “You should think more on that and refine it, nr”

    well if i was in wisc i’d write sen. johnson(?the new guy) ask him if he would introduce legislation removing wisc from the perview of say epa. like wisc can take care of its stuff and doesn’t need epa or doedu. epa regs don’t apply to wisc. what an opportunity to get rid of stupid regulation in your state.

  141. Why should you be “punished” for buying a 100? TV? If the base tax rate of, say, 15% is the same for all, you’ll benefit from not having bought the 100? TV by having the difference in price between that and the 46? to use as you please elsewhere. And the person who chooses to use his or her money to buy the 100? TV has that much less left of his income to spend.

    You tax that that thing that you want less of. Why would I want less income?

    Long answer… why should I have to figure out how much a tv costs with post tax dollars? Then you have to impute the cost of the taxed dollars into the cost of the item if you want a true accounting of the cost of the item in a flat tax v fair tax comparison. Plus the flat taxers don’t say what they’ll do with SS medicaid, corporate, estate taxes…

    The choice of bringing home 100/100 dollars and buying a whatever sized tv and investing whatever I don’t spend is much preferable to me than bringing home 85/100 dollars and investing whatever I don’t spend. In both cases I can choose to spend or not, but in the flat tax scenario, I can’t decide to get taxed or not… I want the choice for both. Maybe I buy used instead in which case the fair tax is much much better. And only in the fair tax situation is the opportunity cost recouped. I have my money first. Why the fuck would anyone want to give the government the ability to reach into their pocket first?

    Taxes were much lower before the government ever had the capability to withhold taxes. For a reason.

  142. @141 in addition the senators from texas could work with the senator from wisc to do this re: utility boiler mact

  143. post tax dollars is called money i thought

  144. “Why would I want less income?”

    why do i want to pay 30% sales tax. you folks are high on a theoretical like the proggs.

  145. You tax that that thing that you want less of. Why would I want less income?

    If it’s at a low enough rate, I think we can all get behind it. And again, don’t you want people buying things? Doesn’t that keep the economy moving? Keep people employed? Create new jobs and new industry?

  146. ‘feets, I agree with all that, including the departed psycho. I’m just sayin’, we need a way to get from point A to point B. As long as we lack that, we’ll flounder.

    nr, related, Johnson is great but that will be denied and the feds will still have greater authority until we can figure out how to convince the majority of politicians in DC that there is better rape and plunder to be had back home in their own state.

    I’m not faulting either of you here, nor do I think it’s hopeless. We have the same feelings and hope for the eventual outcome. But, if we’re gonna win this game, we need to figure out how we’re gonna go about it in a nuts-and-bolts, concrete sort of way.

    The left figured it out.

    Can we?

  147. I hate progressive taxation. It is so discriminatory.

  148. “I can’t decide to get taxed or not”

    in the flat tax nirvana you never buy things. well unicorns sumtimes or little debbies but that’s food so you’ll have to file a form to reclaim that money i think form 1040uni-ez

  149. I think we want people creating things

    maybe we should buy them all spirographs and lite-brites

  150. but in the flat tax scenario, I can’t decide to get taxed or not

    I understand that. But in the fair tax scenario, people who don’t spend — and so don’t really help contribute as much to the vibrancy of the economy — are rewarded, while the new “job creators,” those who do spend, are taking the hit.

    I see the point, but I’m just more comfortable right now with a fair tax, because it makes the point directly that everyone is involved. Being a citizen requires a minimum contribution to military, roads, etc.

  151. It’s horrendously progressive if you spend 100% of your income. If you elect to spend 50% of your income it is less progressive. It’s a choice that YOU make. Not that the government makes. Going Galt would be tremendously profitable if you wanted to save for the future.

    The lower end of the system where refundable rebates with no income hits approx 15% of the population. Those that have no income would only get a subsistance lifestyle. They could survive. They want that xbox they’re gonna have to work to earn the dough for it. It ain’t in the rebate. They buy one then, yes, they have skin in the game. Don’t want no xbox, no skin in the game and the other kids make fun of you for not having the xbox.

  152. we need a way to get from point A to point B

    yes but it can’t be contrived

    you say you want a revolution well you know

    let’s blow shit up and start the fuck over

    start by thinking of Barack O fucking Bama as the end stage of American evolution

    and recoil from that idea

    ***

    join us

  153. The other discussion, between income tax and consumption tax, involves undeniably trade-offs.

    Tax income and you discourage work. Tax consumption and you discourage the production of things that pay other people an income.

    Is it a push? Is one better than the other in a “individual incentives lead to a better macro outcome” sense? That’s a twenty year econometric study that we’d just disregard the moment it came out.

    The best one would result in the lowest overall gov spending, so the best one would provide the best political motivation to keep it the lowest. Which would people feel the most? Which would register in their minds the most when it came time to vote?

  154. fair tax person address the amending the constitution angle? if ain’t done right we have an income tax and a sales tax. talk about good intentions leading to mccain hell.

  155. where is Mr. sdferr anyway I miss him when he’s gone unlike Mr. psycho I’ve come to count on him

  156. “It’s horrendously progressive ”

    yes the federal gov’t is involved in every transaction of your life

  157. “join us”

    Well, that’s not how it’ll work. I’ll move to Hong Kong. They do my thing throughout office building after office building and I have a lot to offer for their company’s basketball team.

    You don’t start over. You die. Then your women get raped in public and your children walk around the streets with AKs while chewing that crazy drug nut that turns your feet colors.

  158. yes the federal gov’t is involved in every transaction of your life

    True, and that’s another concern. Purchase tracking by the feds, which with today’s technology is all but certain (hell, lots of stores already do it), is not something I’m at all interested in, for obvious reasons.

  159. Weird typo: turns your teeth colors.

  160. fair tax is an oxymoron

    duh

    you’re taxing my forlorn pikachu ass for a “department of education” … for reals?

    and what books have you read?

  161. I understand that. But in the fair tax scenario, people who don’t spend — and so don’t really help contribute as much to the vibrancy of the economy — are rewarded, while the new “job creators,” those who do spend, are taking the hit.

    I see the point, but I’m just more comfortable right now with a fair tax, because it makes the point directly that everyone is involved. Being a citizen requires a minimum contribution to military, roads, etc.

    Those who aren’t spending are putting their money somewhere… it is being used in other ways. Banks lending it etc. What if I want to make do with a shitty car and house for a few years and save it up and splurge when I’m 60 on a Ferrari and a house on the beach. I can do it under both systems, but I can do it faster under the fair tax system. Compounding and all.

    Hell, I know a guy now who is worth north of $100 million who lives like a miser. Has all his money in trusts and shit. Drives ‘your grandma’s Chevy car.’ He spends very little, but when he does… I saw him put 3 condos on an Amex card once. That was an amusing exchange with the RE agent… “will you take american express? Give me a few minutes and I will.” And when he walked in the door, she thought he was some redneck farmer in his overalls and was kinda iffy about wanting to show him the property.

    Point being… we all spend at some point. I’d rather the government delay getting their juice till I get mine. Besides, how many of those in the bottom 15% would actually be satisfied and never spend a dime more than their refund? They will have to have ‘skin in the game’ at some point. It incentivizes them to get off their asses for ‘luxuries.’ More off ass getting they are, more luxuries they can have.

  162. if you have over 100 million dollars (granted, these are maybe US obamadollars) … do you really need 3 “condos”

    whatever for?

    for income?

    not that I would know but I strongly suspect that that’s not “living the dream”

    that’s just an invitation to pay gratuitous property taxes

  163. Those who aren’t spending are putting their money somewhere

    Not necessarily. They could be putting it in their mattresses.

  164. There are a quite a few intended consequences that a consumption tax would bring.

    One: it would simplify the tax code.
    Two: Everybody who makes a purchase has skin in the game, including my 4 year old grandson when he buys a hot wheel.Lessons can be learned even at that young age.
    Three: The collection mechanism is already in place at the state level.
    Four: The state could collect the monies and pass on a “franchise fee” to the feds to run whatever programs is directly in their purview, like the military, customs and patents.
    Five: It might lead to the repeal of the 17th Amendment.

  165. mr. bh i’m pushing for our more tea party type senators to present legislation at the right moment to take epa’s authority away from their states. you can’t do a full frontal assault with the lunatic left. blow out the supports. opt outs on all fed programs and mandates.

  166. fair tax person address the amending the constitution angle? if ain’t done right we have an income tax and a sales tax. talk about good intentions leading to mccain hell.

    The fair tax would not take effect until the constitution is amended and the federal income tax is repealed (past tense).

    The bill is in the house hopper. I forget what number is attached to it, but Isakson puts it in every year.

    Jeff, why would the government have a clue what you spent it on? The retailer would, but that is all. And they have that now with every transaction in and out of inventory. The government would only be able to see gross receipts by the retailer and the remittance of the 23% to the feds that were collected on that gross.

    Or do you think that the state has a record of every item you purchased now for as to account for their sales tax they collect? They don’t. The retailer, though. Yep.

  167. How do we do that?

    I think it’s called a Sovereign default; the currency devalues to nothingness, a loaf of bread becomes more valuable than a small 1973 Volkswagen, the government is dissolved (hopefully with as much quiet and class as the Soviet Union when it exited stage left) and smaller autonomous regional entities evolve (Georgia and Texas and crap north of Maryland). Then, we re-adopt the gold standard, pick up the pieces and move along. It’s pretty much inevitable at this point I’m thinking.

  168. Jeff, why would the government have a clue what you spent it on? The retailer would, but that is all.

    The government doesn’t have that info now because it doesn’t really need it as a way to exploit or enslave us. But if they can use it that way, they’ll figure out a why, especially if we begin taking away avenues to doing so through favors from lobbyists, looking for loopholes, etc.. Probably to stop terrorism or some such.

  169. I know we say numbers around 18 to 20 % of GDP are conventionally appropriate approximations of where people assume the Fed. Gov’s share ought to be, but may I naively ask why, why these numbers and not some other much lower numbers like, I don’t know, 3% or 8%?

    And in a way, aren’t such numbers — taken abstractly — much like the way the Obama administration thinks of spending on defense? It’s just this number gets us this in our budget or that number that, utterly disassociated from (in the defense instance) the best calculations of the purpose of defense over against the hierarchy of various threats and then spending accordingly?

    So in the aims of the various tax schemes, aren’t we better off beginning at the beginning, trying to figure out at base what the purpose of government should be and for whom (or what, if we want to think of corporations as whats)?

    Heh. Somehow I’m feeling the urge to go re-read Anarchy, State and Utopia.

  170. Here. for more info on the Fair Tax. Mr. Forbes is a board member.

  171. Two: Everybody who makes a purchase has skin in the game, including my 4 year old grandson when he buys a hot wheel.Lessons can be learned even at that young age.

    Lesson: you’re not giving me enough allowance, Dad.

  172. “They will have to have ‘skin in the game’ at some point. It incentivizes them to get off their asses for ‘luxuries.’ More off ass getting they are, more luxuries they can have.”

    that’s nice social engineering but please do tell me your scenario on repealing the income tax in the constitution? you know 2/3 congress 3/4 states.
    ’cause i don’t want to pay a federal income tax and a federal sales tax!!11!!

  173. it’s really sobering when I agree with Mr. serr8d’s #168 as much as I do

    how exactly can the american pooch be said not to be screwed?

    take your time

    I’ll be standing over here with misters S and P

  174. So in the aims of the various tax schemes, aren’t we better off beginning at the beginning, trying to figure out at base what the purpose of government should be and for whom (or what, if we want to think of corporations as whats)?

    Probably. But now we’re moving away from what is really a discussion of pragmatics to a “if I was starting a new country” thing.

    Baby steps.

    I think a flat tax could pass, because the proggs, with their complaints about yachts and private jets and such have given us an opening. If they are really for “fairness” and “paying your fair share” and taking away loopholes “for the rich,” now is the moment to pounce.

    A flat tax makes that point. A fair tax would have that effect — after it killed off industries that cater to the super rich — but not as dramatically, I don’t think. YMMV.

  175. Hmmmph. You’d be better off with Mr. S&W.

  176. You could be right, serr8d. ‘feets can be right, too.

    I look at history though and I sorta figure everyone is gonna get raped about twenty times and their children will get hooked on that scary drug nut I mentioned earlier.

    And, who’s to say it gets better when we rebuild? We’re not gonna be looking at local warlords or some such?

    State of nature sucks. Stabbing and shooting and raping and drug nutting. Then you sleep with one eye open and start it all over again.

    Maybe we should try and figure out a plan that might could result in something better than that.

  177. So in the aims of the various tax schemes, aren’t we better off beginning at the beginning, trying to figure out at base what the purpose of government should be and for whom (or what, if we want to think of corporations as whats)?

    Heh. Somehow I’m feeling the urge to go re-read Anarchy, State and Utopia.

    This. This is what I was saying earlier. Determine the level then determine funding. Could be that we all just need to do is send a check for $1000 each year to fund military and transportation… Well in MY WORLD anyways. Everything else devolves to the states.

  178. I went to France. I hated the French revolution before I got there. I hated it even more after.

  179. “The fair tax would not take effect until the constitution is amended and the federal income tax is repealed (past tense). ”

    ok let’s talk about sumthing closer to the reality of our present situation

  180. Mr. Forbes is a “board member” what just got through berating our S&P pals for having the audacity to downgrade AMERICA’S credit rating.

    sorry stevie but it looks like you might have to get off your faggot ass and actively manage that trust fund for a spell

    I’ll pause the movie while you make the adjustments this is the part where Jacob and Edward agree to disagree anyway so you’re not missing anything

  181. State of nature is bullshit. Like Mickey Mouse. Built for the entertainment value.

  182. I agree with you at #175, Jeff.

    Better to transition into a much better thing that could then remain if we decided or instead get us to whatever end state might then become possible.

  183. “Determine the level then determine funding. ”

    no know how the lunatic left reacts and plan accordingly

  184. 18 to 20% is just an average the same way we point to x% of W25-54 what used to watch that red-headed scientiologist hoochie shake her tits to the fat guy on King of Queens on CBS to the everlasting glory of sumner redstone

    yeesh

  185. The fair tax sounds good until you consider imports. We can’t remove the back-end taxation from overseas manufacturers, so when we slap on 23% sales tax, imported products are priced out of the market.

    It will create jobs in the U.S., then? Not a good thing. Specialization and free trade are what pushes prices down and generates wealth, not the attempt to do everything in one’s own country. Ask India how that worked for them post-WWII.

  186. ot

    i see that the union goons went after verizon’s ceo’s home today. i’m thinkin’ what fun to hire hells angels to go after union thug president’s home. vroom vroom

  187. A fair tax would have that effect — after it killed off industries that cater to the super rich — but not as dramatically, I don’t think. YMMV.

    Why would it kill off industries that cater to the super rich? To them spending a mill is like me spending a thou. I might think on it for a day or two, but I usually pull the trigger. So would they? How many of these folks stay in rooms costing $10K a night when $89 provides a bed?

    NR… the fair tax would not be operable until and unless the income tax is repealed… could never be both or the fair tax isn’t triggered. It’s in the language. They don’t get their foot in the door first.

    ——————-

    Based on the end of the world as we know it (or at least as the Headline and Foxie folks are portraying it) scheming for the after seems the wisest move. The pragmatic move. I’m only listening to my betters telling me it’s doom and gloom. Might as well be proactive.

  188. We must switch from our worthless fiat currency to an asset-based currency. The only way that’ll happen is if the government defaults on it’s debts only; not a total, everybody-gets-raped-and-dies default, but enough of a shock to assure the fall and replacement of the dollar, which is, face it, worthless right now.

  189. “NR… the fair tax would not be operable until and unless the income tax is repealed… could never be both or the fair tax isn’t triggered. It’s in the language. They don’t get their foot in the door first”

    nice idea impractible currently. let us talk about that which is doable in the forseeable future.

  190. let us talk about that which is doable in the foreseeable future

    As Steyn pointed out, if that which is needed is also not doable, then the system itself is the problem.

    And given the perverse incentives that come naturally with governance (playing Santa with other people’s money), only those who are benefiting most from the perverse system are in a position to change it.

    But you all know that already, which is why we’re always over here bitchin’ and moanin’.

  191. Fifth, if you are out of work and panicked, I empathize with you. Take cash you have and bet on yourself. Start a business. Get any job. It will keep your mind off the ups and downs of the market and if you start generating some cash it will make you feel a lot better.

    Get any job.

    Yup.

    This is musical chairs motherfucker and Barack Obama just stopped humming.

    how you like my tea party ass now bitch?

  192. Uggggh. This Hobbit’s got to go pick some pocketses in the morning. Another day, chasing another fistful of worthless dollars~!

  193. McDonald’s offers double-cheeseburgers or whatever they call them for a dollar. That’s like a third of a meal.

    So Asian markets are in another downturn.

  194. I heard if you eat your double-cheeseburger with chopsticks it’s 33% more filling

  195. Chopsticks are hard as hell on the digestion, unless maybe for termites, but they get help from some sort of gut-bug so they shouldn’t get all puffy proud about it.

  196. Sometime, someone needs to explain to me what makes a dollar worthless.

    When I hear the dollar has lost this or that value, I extrapolate backwards and they’re telling me that for their labor they should be able to purchase a Ferrari.

    Doesn’t work that way.

    You’re paid in the same thing you use to purchase. It’s the stickiness over a short term that makes this problematic. Or not making money while inflation hits, in your retirement. Nothing else.

    Imagine this lost purchasing power in real terms. Think with the dollar worth only an earlier nickel your house would be 20 times bigger? Think your retirement fund would be worth that much more?

    No. You’re paid in the same medium that you buy with. There are not two currencies, the one you’re paid in and the other that you buy things with.

    Imagine that you were only paid a nickel per dollar at today’s prices. That’s the exact same thing you’re saying on the other side.

  197. When we talk about moving to a backed dollar, to me, you’re only saying that the fed isn’t very good at it’s job.

    Well, I agree. They’re buffeted here and there for all kinds of stupid reasons.

    They’re not the reason that things cost a lot or you get paid to little though.

  198. Shit, typo: you get paid too little though.

  199. When I was about ten I met two Saudi brothers roughly my age on a train bound for Huntsville Alabama. These boys were crazy proud of their paper currency on account of they showed me a tiny strip laminated crosswise into the paper, a strip of honest to god — or Allah, take your pick — honest to Allah silver metal! This silver metal meant their paper currency had value they said, whereas by contrast, my paper currency with George Washington had all of diddly-squat. I never thought much of Saudi boys after that.

  200. Stupid Saudi brothers.

  201. Yep, but they had oil and I had all of diddly-squat. Now they’ve got palaces and I’ve got Barack Hussein Obama! O lordy.

  202. Now there’s a question for the projecting futurist historians! When will Barry make the splash on the currency? I give it ten years out, max. My other me gives it never years never.

  203. What say you bh? Barry’s mug on the first Trillion dollar bill?

  204. he’s just so uncalled for

  205. Well, the market just dropped more than the static value of QE2 last week, sdferr.

    Figure we dropped about $.9 trillion last week. That certainly helps control inflation.

    Yay! (Yes, that was a sarcastic Yay!)

  206. There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him and his children: it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

  207. You know what chaps my ass?

    Booking a flight from Charleston WV to Atlanta can be had for about $400 bucks…

    Booking a flight from Charleston, WV to Charlotte, NC with a stop in Atlanta can be had for $165… WTF?

    Thanks Delta!

    I can book her nonstop from Charleston to Charlotte for $223 through USAir, but then I have to drive 3 hours to pick her up.

    Seriously. WTF?

    Why does it cost 1/2 again as much to go only 1/2 of the trip on Delta? And it’s the same friggin plane.

  208. Stupid Delta.

  209. Oh, I can get a USAir flight to Greenville, SC for $224. non stop. It’s only 1 1/2 hours away. Oh goodie.

  210. If it matters to anyone here, it was sorta shitty in Asia tonight. Not terrible but still sorta shitty.

    Everything gapped down and then went flat. Europe looks similar but a bit better.

    Our futures are down.

    Good morning, America, time for me to go to sleep.

  211. wake me up when things get started

    when everything starts to happen

  212. Explain to me how putting all other taxes on corporations helps entrepreneurs make money.

    First, it doesn’t. It isn’t supposed to. it’s supposed to remove government from the private sector as much as possible, as was originally intended, so that taxes on individual private citizens trading their labor for survival finally ends. Yes, they can pay the shack off and live on potatoes they grow in the back yard, if they can withstand everybody else around them making as shitload of money in a country finally rid of the parasites who drain off everything and leave us holding the bag on dozens of trillions of their dollars in debts. (That part I don’t think we grasp fully: How is it that the most productive, most industrious, and most progress-centric nation on earth came to owe these vast sums if not by a mechanism that inherently impoverished them just for using the economy? WTF?)

    Second, tax is a zero sum game: just raise this money dime-for-dime away from the private sector and thereby shield that sector from that liability and from the inevitable corruptions of the next generation of asshole congressmen with schemes for “fairness”.

    Third, as for skin in the game, when you buy something you’ll be immediately motivated to scream at your congressman, if not sooner, than if you were paying a flat income tax: Prices go up by precisely the amount of taxes lost elsewhere whether they do so by a corporate tax or a flat national sales tax. That kind of skin in the game I like a lot and I have zero problem letting the market — now free again — decide itself who gets any other skin in the game and if they do at all.

    To answer the question directly, having all your money back in real time instead of in this bullshit, once-a-year, tax-refund way — which is designed for childish thinkers and the politicians that run them and a joke on the American voter and his freedoms — will motivate purchasing just fine. (Yes, I realize you’re talking baby steps and yes, I’m talking constitutional amendment. And yes, I’d take your flat tax in a heartbeat if it were possible and a national sales tax were not.)

    Our bigger problem is that this bullshit economy is rigged from one end to the other. We flatter ourselves when we refer to it as either free or capitalist. Until we grasp that, we’re little fish swimming in a huge sea populated by man-eaters.

  213. The fair tax sounds good until you consider imports. We can’t remove the back-end taxation from overseas manufacturers, so when we slap on 23% sales tax, imported products are priced out of the market.

    It will create jobs in the U.S., then? Not a good thing. Specialization and free trade are what pushes prices down and generates wealth, not the attempt to do everything in one’s own country. Ask India how that worked for them post-WWII.

    Incorrect. In a just domestic trade system, duties and tariffs equalize foreign monetary jackassery, assuming we’re first restored to proper market function ourselves. While specialization and free trade are among what pushes prices down and generates wealth, doing everything in one’s own country is the kernel of American exceptionalism. What, we can’t compete now? I say we’re losing our shit because we’re not doing just that.

    We need to stop seeing one entirely valid fix as being victimized by a myriad of other bad schemes and players. Realize that our monetary system has brought us to the point of low productivity and high costs and that it and Keynesian stimulus economics and rampant taxation on a zillion entities by a zillion means all need to be reformed together.

  214. We must switch from our worthless fiat currency to an asset-based currency. The only way that’ll happen is if the government defaults on it’s debts only; not a total, everybody-gets-raped-and-dies default, but enough of a shock to assure the fall and replacement of the dollar, which is, face it, worthless right now.

    True.

    Problem: The next stage is a global fiat currency. Count. On. It. That handwriting is already on the wall.

    Because, you know, individual fiat currencies resulted in all those messy bubbles and bursts. Kinda like the exact same $&@($ argument that saddled us with the bubbles and blow-outs guaranteed by a fiat dollar and the American monetary cabal.

  215. Problem: The next stage is a global fiat currency.

    The Chinese yuan — it already underwrites the dollar these days.

  216. State of nature is bullshit. Like Mickey Mouse. Built for the entertainment value.

    Not bullshit. Freedom. Yeah, it’s hard, but what we have now isn’t?

  217. So Juan will work for yuans?

  218. Let’s remember that Sarah Palin helped Alaska receive its first ever AAA rating. Wanna know how she did it? She raised taxes. The oil tax mostly. By a lot. That might make some of her fans’ heads explode, but it’s God’s Truth.

  219. Sarah Palin also cut Alaska’s budget during a surplus. And of course, in Alaska, where the resources are owned by the people of the state, a tax on oil company profits is really nothing more than a fee on the oil companies to make profits off of the people’s resources.

  220. our whole little country smells like urine

  221. Re: Dollar value.

    Robert Heinlein had this method during his travels of comparing societies. He would find out the average daily pay for a carpenter, a job that was roughly the same everywhere and the price of a loaf of bread. The ratio between the two would show how rich or poor the society was compared to others.

    This index which was posted at Ace’s would be an equivalent for comparing currencies.

    Re: #219, Needs more lute-fisking.

  222. Owned by the People? Why it’s a right socialist paradise. So hey, if her approach is so good, let us cut spending and increase taxes.

  223. While it’s technically a tax, it’s really royalties. It’s the price they’re paying for the resources they’re taking.

    Which, sterling, they don’t have to do.

  224. Alaska’s Constitution says so. It’s simply how the state decided to divide up money from its natural resources. The companies pay a fee, like a royalty fee, that gets passed on to the citizens.

    As for raising taxes, well, I’ve been told you don’t do that during a recession. So maybe you ought to take your concerns over to, say, Think Progress.

  225. “So hey, if her approach is so good, let us cut spending and increase taxes

  226. Complete fealty to a single political party is destructive. When Republicans tell you that taxes can never be raised ever again and that even corporate loopholes are now sacred, we need to question them on it. People here say over and over that the R-party is corrupt and out of touch – the mere servant class of the billionaires. So when they tell the other 98% of us that something that will ‘slightly inconvenience’ the othe 3% is unfeasible, we need to call BS.

  227. When Republicans tell you that taxes can never be raised ever again and that even corporate loopholes are now sacred…

    When that happens, you be sure to let us know. Meanwhile, the Dow is down 350 pts, and S&P just downgraded Fannie and Freddie. Double dip is not just for ice cream cones.

  228. “People here say over and over that the R-party is corrupt and out of touch – the mere servant class of the billionaires”

    you’re good at making sh#t up

  229. I wanted an ice cream cone yesterday but the stupid rite aid lady said they didn’t take food stamps how is that fair?

    It’s not. I’m an American citizen I have rights.

  230. Natural resources are not the same as things which are created by human agency. They exist and it is one of the basic things done by any government to decide who owns them and how ownership is to be transferred from one entity to another. Socialism has the State taking by fiat the ownership of things which were made by the efforts of humans and owned by them. If Alaska claimed ownership of the wells drilled by a private company then that would be socialist. Selling the right to extract the oil isn’t or a fee per barrel extracted isn’t.

  231. State of nature is bullshit, actually. Albeit useful bullshit. Or, if you prefer, fairy tale, morality play, or even creation myth.

  232. When Republicans tell you that taxes can never be raised ever again and that even corporate loopholes are now sacred, we need to question them on it

    Why? What if lower taxes and more corporate loopholes caused unemployment to drop to 4%? You’d still hate it because ‘business’ still exists.

    Here’s an example for you:

    3 people in a lifeboat. The one guy can catch fish. You and your buddy are too lazy and stupid to catch fish but you have the numbers to overpower the fish-catching guy so you take all of his fish. Your motivation? Stupidness, laziness, and jealousy. Eventually the fish-catching guy dies. Then you and the other stoop die too. Congratulations. You outlived the fish-catching guy by 3 days. Put that on your resume. Ha! Resume. Good one!

  233. Eventually the fish-catching guy dies.

    can i have his food stamps?

  234. Sterling aka elfie aka anime drawer is a fucking imbecile. Objectively.

  235. Picked a great week to go on vacation.

    People who think we were downgraded because we wouldn’t raise taxes are wrong.

    They are essentially telling their boss they need a raise because they can’t afford the payment on their new Porsche.

  236. Actually happy, the fish-catching guy doesn’t die. He catches and eats his fish after dark while idiot1 and idiot2 are sleeping. When the 2 idiots die, fish-catching guy switches to the other white meat.

  237. “People here say over and over that the R-party is corrupt and out of touch – the mere servant class of the billionaires”

    you’re good at making sh#t up

    Not without a grain of truth to it. All the billionaires I know of are big time Democrats. And the GOP does a pretty good job of serving their agenda.

  238. you know who fished in the dark was gollum

  239. My 30-20-10 “progressive flat tax” would work, both intellectually (which is to say culturally) and economically. I wrote about it a week or so ago. It addresses the two main problems of the American income tax code as currently constituted: A intentionally dishonest mind-numbing complexity that is frankly designed to ensnare the citizen who doesn’t have (expensive) legal, political or professional tax representation and a massively skewed inequality as 52% of the citizenry pays 100% of the income taxes. A third, unstated premise is that the code is purposefully skewed to stimulate what professional politicians view as optimal growth, not businessmen.

    On the personal side, you would have no income tax for anyone with one or more dependents earning under $25,000. That is effectively poverty. From $25,001 to $100,000, regardless of dependents, the tax rate is 10%. There is no more EITC and no more child-tax credits. The US government should not positively or negatively reinforce child-bearing/conception decisions. Moreover, the lower middle class now has a stake in our democracy that is more than notional.

    From between $100K and $1.5 million, the rate is 20%. Here, the neat little feature is the end of the mortgage-interest deduction and the end of state/local tax deductions. The US government’s pas-de-deux with stimulating the economy with constant housing activity is predicated on that. The end of an incented push to own real estate is always going to be some version of 2008. Seen another way, social cohesion–or our walk out of 1970s-80s levels of urban crime–is not attributable to a 67% home ownership rate, nor should we be underwriting (or vote-buying) in the real estate industry. Regardless, the MI deduction skews the cost of home ownership artificially lower and fosters crappy decisions regarding debt assumption.

    Over $1.5 million, it is 30%. As in the lower brackets, there is 100% deduction allowance for charitable donations. We also change, or end, distinction between earned and passive income. A private-equity or hedge-fund manager should not get taxed at a lower rate than a secretary, which is the case now. All income is earned/taxed in the fiscal year it is generated. There wouldn’t be capital gains so there wouldn’t be a cap gains tax debate and there would be no death tax for institutions or people you bequeath to. That money has ALREADY been taxed.

    We end the skewing–how high-tax states like NY or Mass have stayed valid is largely a function of the deductibility of their tax bills in Mid-April; MI; tax inequality–yet it remains progressive (the left can’t yell that loud for too long) and most Americans feel strongly that the rich should pay more. It also be damn near revenue neutral while ultimately stimulating growth. There would be some short- to medium-term pain in real estate as prices reset to sustainable economic levels. On the other hand, states would be faced with some stark choices as taxpayers revolt in higher tax states.

    I would think we could retain the tax-deferred nature of 401ks and IRAs; I would sharply expand the amount deferrable, maybe 2x or 3x. You want as much top-line saving and investing as you can have so capital markets aren’t likely to be hurt.

    All in all, we would come face to face with the stark reality of tax-driven costs and benefits while retaining enough revenue to defend ourselves, gather intelligence, maintain infrastructure and administer the debt and state.

  240. you know who fished in the dark was gollum

    He was fond of sashimi if memory serves.

  241. I don’t think gov’t deserves thirty cents of any dollar.

  242. “My 30-20-10 “progressive flat tax” would work, both intellectually (which is to say culturally) and economically”

    give it a few years it goes 40-25-5 then 50-30-2 then…

  243. Pingback: Who Is John At-Fault? « The Camp Of The Saints

  244. Corporate income taxes are even easier to figure out.
    A 20% flat tax on all profits and eliminate all deductions except for charitable. I especially look forward to killing all absurd “investment” tax credits and net operating loss carry-forwards. Let’s reinforce LOSSES via giving you a 100% write-off against profits. Genius!

    You could have a lot of fun with this, you know? A real, real lot.
    Give business–the chamber of commerce is what I’m thinking–a win by getting tort reform passed.
    Then, hold them accountable by getting a real SEC and white-collar crime-fighting apparatus built.
    US equities might trade at a “reality premium” once again, i.e. On the view that if a stock was listed in the US markets, there is a diminshed chance of wide-scale fraud happening there.

    Watch companies expand in and relocate to the US.

  245. 242. You are right. But they get a lot, lot more now. This would set that as the ceiling since you’d probably have charitable deductions and IRA/401K deductions. Also, there has to be a nod to reality as to what is attainable.

  246. That’s a nice plan, roddy — though I think you are wrong about the US government not having a stake in the production of new citizens (and so taxpayers). That is, after all, how society’s replenish, and I don’t see anything wrong with incentivizing such behaviors.

  247. I would be willing to pay 3% more personal income tax…if it was guaranteed to go toward the principal on the debt and there was a BBA capping government spending at 15% of GDP.

    For my grandchildren.

  248. Oh, 248 for 223.

  249. #232
    Not really when you consider that the people that did not live in cities in our countries 1700s were living in a state of nature.Out in the wilderness. Not dependent on government. Which, no doubt, gave them the feeling that they were Americans and not British subjects.

  250. Rusty, I for one, was referring to Hobbes’ claim, embellished by later thinkers. I don’t know what theory of mankind you are looking at, but whatever it is you’re referring to, it isn’t Hobbesian.

  251. I don’t think sterlinggray deserves the time of day from anyone until he addresses Jeff’s response here.

    Who pays corporate taxes in the end, anyway? If corporations aren’t people, why are we income-taxing them?

  252. If people aren’t corporations, why are we income-taxing them?

  253. Nasty, brutish, and short, right?

    Got it.

  254. More the key is man as an asocial being, at least in the point of attack I’d make. Hobbes is simply wrong. There never was such a thing, never such a time, never such a place. But how weird is it, we have to ask, to build a political philosophy on a foundation so manifestly false? Pretty damned weird, I’d submit, and therefore something which ought by rights to make us all very suspicious of what’s going on with Hobbes, and by proxy, all those moderns who follow him.

    What George says, quoting the Doors.

  255. [T]he people that did not live in cities in our countries 1700s were living in a state of nature.Out in the wilderness. Not dependent on government. Which, no doubt, gave them the feeling that they were Americans and not British subjects.

    Wilderness is not the same thing as a State of Nature in the Hobbesian sense. What did the Pilgrim’s do even before they got off the Mayflower?

  256. sdferr beat me too it, I now see.

    In defense of Hobbes, he was writing in the shadow of the Thirty Years War, so it’s hard to fault him for his “nasty brutish and short” perspective.

  257. Wasn’t Hobbes using that to support his argument in favor of Leviathan?

  258. Take a look in the first Chapter of de Cive charles. Where Leviathan is his view of the state, de Cive is his view of the citizen (and has as well Hobbes’ establishment of man’s “rights”, or really, the establishment of modern rights theory in general).

  259. Beautifully written Jeff. It encapsulates everything the MSM yearns to avoid poignantly.

  260. What George says, quoting the Doors.

    And thus, quoting Elias McDaniel.

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  267. “That is, after all, how society’s replenish, and I don’t see anything wrong with incentivizing such behaviors.”

    Seems like more of a state level concern to me.

  268. Seems like more of a state level concern to me.

    Or even further backthan “the state” as a theoretical matter, that is to say, prior to any state, a natural concern as an indication of our bodily selves. We’re all mostly, as naturally physical beings, inclined that way.

  269. “When Republicans tell you that taxes can never be raised ever again and that even corporate loopholes are now sacred, we need to question them on it”

    ‘Cororate loohole’ is just prejudicial terminology for money not owed in taxes usually through specific exceptions cut out to incentivize some behavior or as a compromise required to get a tax rate increase passed.

    And no one refuses your right to question people who want tax cuts or a hard ceiling on tax increases. The problem is when your questions are answered and you resentfully ignore the answers ignoring or rewriting recent history to do so. When your questioning amounts to lies, false accusations, and nonsense it shows up the delusional, disingenuously ignorant, and mendacious nature of the questioning.

    “Shut up, you hate poor people; you’re the new KKK!” isn’t really much of a question after all. Especially after all that hilarious noise about the Bush tax cuts being the key to ending the recession and getting people back to work.

  270. noise about the Bush tax cuts being ->noise about how sunsetting the Bush tax cuts being

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