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Tell Them They Can, Senator Obama

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin

Never before in our nation's history has the distinction between Constitutional guarantees of equal opportunity and the false perception of guaranteed equal outcomes been so blurred and indeed sullied. Barack Obama has craftily employed a messianic appeal to an ever expanding victim class he seeks to define, one in which he is attempting to corral the middle class in order to direct a majority ire at the "rich."

The Obama plan is to "spread the wealth around" even more than we already do - nearly 40% of Americans are already net income tax redistribution recipients rather than contributors. Yet, those who dare challenge his plans are ironically derided as radical, as well as unsubtly characterized as rascist - now the trump card played to dismiss and then silence objection to a Socialist agenda.

I am growing very tired of being accused of being some sort of racist because I am white and I oppose Barack Obama as well as just about everything that he espouses, including - regardless of ethnicity - those he has chosen to surround himself with his entire adult life.

Many of my students are black. Many of them are Hispanic. Many of them are Asian. Many of them are white. Most of them grew up poor, just like I did.

All of them are American.

And many of them have carried a significant burden that has nothing whatsoever to do with the color of their skin, their level of income or their faith. And this burden has weighed them down with a relentlessness and a ruthlessness that is crippling. And most of them never even knew it. But I know it. I knew it. Because I too carried it.

It's simple. No one ever told them that they can. No one ever told them explicitly that in this country you can do whatever it is that you want to do. No one ever told them. Just like no one ever told me.

Like me, most of them grew up in a household that, when the news was watched and a story covered something negative, the common refrain was "Why do they do that?" or "Why don't they fix that?" or "How can they let that go on?"

They. Never more specific, always implying some level of government or authority or a race or segment of society, and never any specific solution or alternative approach suggested - of course other than "they" should stop and "we" should have more or better.

They. A polarizing, divisive and anger-inducing vagueness suggesting a constant villain (them) and a constant victim (us). It's a common refrain spawned from a mindset which holds constant that someone, somewhere owes "us" or "me" based not on any balance sheet but rather on general anger, resentment and/or envy.

It's a debilitating mindset that implants a subconscious belief that the individual is helpless because various powers that be continue to keep us down.

It's a debilitating mindset that clings to such remedies for the helpless like "hope" and "change" rather than "drive" and "determination."

It's a debilitating mindset that surrenders to the promises of others rather than the engagement of the rights and liberties of the individual.

It's a load of bunk. And it reveals itself most often as a visible large and bitter chip on the shoulders of those ensnared by it. Shackles are less constraining.

No one can stop you from chasing a dream but you. No one. You simply have to identify your passion and natural talents, and develop the skills and talents that are not natural. Then, you have to persevere, overcome obstacles and failures, remain driven through passion.

I ask my students, "What is it that you are up at 2AM in the morning reading about or doing that you don't tell your friends about at parties? That's your passion. That's what you need to be doing. That's the career that you will excel at, where 'work' doesn't seem like work. And when 'work' is fun, when it's what you would spend your time doing anyway, you can't help but be in the top 10-15% of your field. Forget about thinking about what you can do that will make you the most money. Do what you are passionate about. Then the money will come and it will seem almost easy. Chase the money and you will grow to hate all your jobs. Because then you're just going to work. And work sucks. Anyone can get a job. But do what you are passionate about? That's a career, and work won't really seem like work."

And I implore them to follow three things that I say to myself every day:

Blame No One.

Expect Nothing.

Do Something.

Blame No One. No one is to blame for your position in life. The ship is yours to steer around whatever obstacles lie before you in the water. Yours may be different from mine. None of us chose the color of our skin, the time or place of our birth, or even our parents for that matter. We showed up one day with the cards that were dealt us. They're neither all aces nor all deuces, and what the guy next to you has has nothing to do with your hand. Get over it or carry that unnecessary weight around like dragging a boat anchor through the desert. If that is your choice, there is no one to blame but you. So take charge of your own life. You are American, and you have choices because of that one beautiful trump card dealt to you.

Expect Nothing. No one owes you a thing. Just like you did not choose the color of your skin, for instance, neither did anyone else. And if they have a problem with it, let that be their boat anchor, not yours. Because chances are, you cannot change them. So don't let them change you. And if they have more than you, you are not entitled to any portion of it any more than they are entitled to yours. The natural state of man is not wealth, but rather poverty. We are born naked and with nothing. It is what we do well that changes that equation, not an inherent debt owed us at birth. If you walk through life presuming some one or some group owes you, you will live in daily disappointment that what you perceive is owed is never fulfilled.

Do Something. Once you've got your mind right and are no longer blaming others for your condition and stop thinking that someone else owes you more than you have, then it is time do put it into motion and actually do something to create the condition you desire. Thinking is necessary. But thought without constructive action is what constitutes an idle dreamer. And idle dreamers rarely attain what they desire save for the rarest of luck. And failure to attain or progress will eventually land you back to blaming others and expecting those guilty others to settle your imagined debts. Identify you passion and do something to develop it.

You become positive in your pursuits; constructive, passionate and inspiring to others.

We've all heard the phrase "Good thing happen to good people." That's a load of crap little different from blaming and expecting. It's often indicative of a mindset that equates success with luck or blind chance. There is nothing "chance" about it. People surround themselves with like-minded people. Think of the little clicks you have known all your life. The gossipers all hang with the gossipers, the complainers all hang with the complainers, the jokers all hang with jokers, the busy all hang with the busy. Likewise, good people surround themselves with good people.

None of this is by design. It's by gravitation. We tend to gravitate towards people we are like, and we tend to emulate those we are around in one form or another. A good person finds good people gravitate towards them. And good people inspire others to emulate them, just as we sometimes can tend to gripe around gripers or gossip around gossipers - both of these cheap forms of instant - and evaporating - gratification. But when you are a decent human being, you inspire others to do as you do.

You will likely never know that the call you got out of the blue about a job was the result of one of those people who gravitated towards you that you had an impact on. They were talking to someone who knew someone who was looking for something, and you - not someone else - came to mind. You left that mark. just as you mention the name of someone who left a mark on you. A positive mark.

Good things out of the blue just seem to keep happening for some people. Well, there's no luck about it, though it may well seem so because we often never really know how it all started to happen. This is not cronyism. That's something much different. This is about basic decency, about doing the right thing even when no one is looking, about common kindness, compassion and respect, and about the (subtle and outwardly modest) confidence that comes with self-respect.

My students - black or white, Hispanic or Asian, Christian, Muslim or Jew - don't expect this. But it comprises my first lecture on their first day in class. For, if I don't help them 'get their mind right,' then they are just there learning 'stuff' so they can graduate and get a 'job.'

No sir. In this country, they can each chase their passion, each succeed and pursue the American Dream, and each have a fun and rewarding career that they take with them anywhere they may go, not just a job at some company in some place. Once they really learn their trade well and begin thinking on another level of a better way of doing things, they can even start their own company elsewhere or in their own community and become the employer in their community rather than an employee.

I know they can. Because some have done it. And for some, it's because someone simply took the time to tell them that they can. One student chased his passion all the way to Las Vegas, where he now does what he stayed up till 2AM doing when he entered my classroom. He makes six figures in his early twenties and without a bachelor's degree.

That is education.

I do not teach in a public school. I would not join a teacher's union, nor would I ever accept tenure. I work with no massive Annenberg grants once distributed under Barack Obama's co-direction. Nor do I teach with any touted "education reformer" such as Bill Ayers. I would not share a room with let alone accept an education award from Hugo Chavez. In order to achieve that lofty status, I would be required to "reform education" in a manner that indoctrinates students to loathe the American government, plant and fertilize seeds of racial and economic division, and teach students that they can't, but that with a system of government that abandons the US Constitution and models itself more closely after Chavez's Venezuela or Castro's Cuba, that government can for them.

That is, after all, the central theme in Small Schools Network, which was "founded by [William] Ayers and run by Michael Klonsky, a friend of Ayers' and the former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), which was granted $50,0000 while Barack Obama served on the boards of The Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund of Chicago.

I do not oppose Barack Obama because the color of his skin. That is a laughable assertion, whether implied or directly stated. Barack Obama is obsessed with telling people why they can't but for him and the change he will bring about, why they can't because others have more than them, why they can't until he can direct the federal government into a form which redistributes from one group to another.

That is not what inspires people. That is not what elevates people. That is not what breeds success or equality.

That is demagoguery and the cementing of a victim class which requires a villain - in this case the rich and, subtly through absurd charges of racism, the white.

That is demagoguery and the cementing of a victim class which requires a dispenser of justice - Barack Obama and a federal government molded into a form of socialism.

That is demagoguery and the cementing of a victim class which, by definition, requires blaming another class or classes, expecting relief from others, and doing nothing for it in exchange beyond a vote.

This is class warfare and collectivism abetted by racial divisiveness. And the victim of collectivism and class warfare is always the individual and personal liberty, not simply "the rich," with both the suggested victim classes and villain classes beholden to the central distributor.

So yes, those who sell themselves on race, sell others short on race, and seek to divide based upon race get my blood pressure and temperature up a touch. One of the most important lessons learned in Marine Corps boot camp is that all Marines are green. Some are dark green, some are light green, some are shades in between. But we are all green, and we are all brothers; as dependent upon each other as we are there for each other.

It seems to me that Senator Obama could use 13 weeks of Marine Corps boot camp. For Senator Obama seems the only one that brings up race, accusing of racism those who dare equate his self-professed tax concept of "spread the wealth" to Socialism, who challenge him on his friendships with a blatant racist pastor in Jeremiah Wright or with an unrepentant domestic terrorist and self-described Marxist William Ayers, or his (n'er to be released) recorded words of praise for Rashid Khalidi, and the long list of others.

I challenge him on all of these things - as well as education - and I defy him to call me a racist or imply such.

It would be an amusing direct accusation, considering that perhaps my favorite politician is J.C. Watts and my favorite private public speaker is a guy I call Mr. Macho Sauce.

It would be nice if Senator Obama would stop cultivating and exacerbating his required victim class by constantly telling them why they can't and who's keeping them down, and instead embrace the empowering and liberating approach of telling them why - and how - they can.

Yet, instead, Obama supporters are led in chants of "Yes We Can!" But this is in no reference to those chanting, but rather that they "can" get Barack Obama elected President. Not that they "can" fulfill their dreams and ambitions in this nation.

The megalomaniacal is leading them to support another man rather than believe in themselves. He has said that his individual salvation is tied directly to the overall salvation of his people. And he has successfully swooned many of them to believe that their individual success is tied to his success, his election to the presidency.

Tell them they can, Senator Obama. That they can for themselves. Not for you.


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Comments (99)

Bravo! Steve.... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Bravo! Steve.

Awesome and poignant. This... (Below threshold)

Awesome and poignant. This is exactly what Obama is playing on. Hopefully there are still people out there who think, "I can!"

Obama's plan represents the... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Obama's plan represents the same or lower taxes for anyone than the tax structure under Clinton.

I don't get your mock indignation at all.

And yet, in spite of all th... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

And yet, in spite of all the rhetoric of noble individualism, the world's best-functioning societies by almost any measure are those with a European style system of progressive taxation.

The United States is thirteenth in quality-of-life index (10 of the first 12 are European, the other two are Australia and Singapore), 45th in life expectancy, sixth in the legatum prosperity index, not in the top twenty for any measure of student performance, etc.

yeah man, you tell the mill... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

yeah man, you tell the millions of highly qualified IT employees who have trained their indian replacements and are now out of work that "they can". It's just that simple.

Offshoring will go away and your job will come back. If you just believe!

After they kick your face in, then what?

addendum to last post - why... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

addendum to last post - why do you equate "middle class" with victim class? That's almost bizarre. If you make 52K a year or so, this is who Obama's been trying to fight for with the rhetoric of his campaign. What, you think "they can" choose to make 250K? I mean, this is really a bizarre post.

Three Things the Obamedia w... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Three Things the Obamedia will do to depress the Republican turnout and help Obamah

http://hillbuzz.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/three-...

But,

McCAIN WINS!

http://pundits.thehill.com/2008/10/29/mccain-wi...

I hear something eloquenlty... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

I hear something eloquenlty stated just last night:

Dems claim that the Republicans are the "party of the wealthy", right?

So that makes Democrats the "party of the poor", right?

If the "party of the rich" stays in power by trying to keep the wealthy, rich, it stands to reason that Democrats want to stay in power by keeping the poor poor.

Parthenon That's a... (Below threshold)

Parthenon

That's a simplistic approach to measuring quality of life, to say nothing of whatever the definition of best-functioning societies is.

The quality of life Americans have enjoyed has improved significantly in the past three decades as a result of a lessening of the progressive tax rate. GDP has increased dramtically and savings and investment have increased.

However, the true measure of quality of life, and this is where the European modal fails, is in American's absolute safety and security. The amount of investment the US has made in Defense dwarfs that of any European nation. Europeans, on the other hand, enjoy safety and freedom at the expense of the US tax payer.

When the people find the... (Below threshold)
Heh:

When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

Fabulous quote!

It reminds me of this quote by ALEXANDER FRASER TYTLER, LORD WOODHOUSELEE:


A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

Or this one by Jefferson, as told by Senator Jim DeMint (R), and he should know:

Perhaps most importantly, we understand, as Thomas Jefferson understood, that "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/mccain_plan_gives_healthcare_p.html

But Jefferson never said that. There is no such person as ALEXANDER FRASER TYTLER, LORD WOODHOUSELEE.

http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html

Edmund Burke never said "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."

http://tartarus.org/~martin/essays/burkequote.html

And I could go on and on - I literally have a million of them - bullshit quotes. And it is highly unlikely that Franklin ever said that. I could be wrong, but I rarely am. I could take the time to verify it for you but it is something you should learn to do for yourselves, unless you are just interested in being intellectually dishonest propagandists. The internet is full of false quotations and attributions, most of them on right wing websites, but it gets spread around.


Verifying these quotes is a hobby of mine.

I do not teach in a publ... (Below threshold)
Heh:

I do not teach in a public school. I would not join a teacher's union, nor would I ever accept tenure.

If you think Franklin actually said that, no public school would take you you need to be accredited and certified. They actually had standards until conservatives decided and educated populace would never vote them in and keep them in office. Stick to hoam skoolin, bud.

You don't have the right stuff and public education was all Jefferson's idea, stoopid.

Nice work Steve. So... (Below threshold)
Larry:


Nice work Steve. Some of us get it and then there are others:

Just John said, "I don't get your mock indignation at all."

Pity!

I dunno if Benjamin Franklin said it or not, but truth is truth is truth. And if he didn't say it, it is still the truth.

hey parthenon - what do you now about Singapore, other than the quality of life index, the index for which measures, what?

Heh, I guarantee that you a... (Below threshold)
YosemiteSam:

Heh, I guarantee that you are wrong.

You are wrong to think that anyone would put in credence in statements made by an anonymous poster on the internet.

At least the author signed his real name.

Steve,Methinks you... (Below threshold)
Bernard:

Steve,

Methinks you doth protest a little too much. Whenever anyone begins by assuring readers -- I am not a racist--you can usually expect a wave of racist drivel to follow. You don't disappoint. You've thrown in the whole kitchen sink (a la Clinton) from the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" speech to old-fashion McCarthyite guilt-by-association red-baiting.

But then again, you and your fellow right-wing-nut bloggers have cost Maverick the election. So, I suppose thanks are in order. Thanks.

Is Yosemite Sam your real n... (Below threshold)
Heh:

Is Yosemite Sam your real name?

Was Publius the real name of the author(s) of the Federalist Papers?

Mr. Macho Sauce is Alfonzo Rachel. His logic is as much sophistry as Yosemite Sam's, who is a cartoon character, also.

He'll figure it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG4uppI_ttc&eurl=http://www.red-alerts.com/patriotism/alfonzo-rachel-on-hate/

Won't be a conservative for long, unless he's just an opportunist.

BTW Heh, public school was ... (Below threshold)
YosemiteSam:

BTW Heh, public school was not Jefferson's idea.

Jefferson's project was the U. of Virginia. I was there yesterday, as is often the case, and read the plaque that said;. . . if any Stoopid person trys to blame the public school system on me, don't believe them.

I would like to comment on the quaility of life issue. What a joke. Who publishes this trash? What are the criteria? I will answer that question--the criteria are the countries that take the most from the working people and use their hard-earned money to guarantee mediocre to poor cradle to grave services to all-including those who do not work. (I worked for a British company. I noticed when in England that one of the most valued employment perqs was private health insurance. I wonder why?)

heres another ben franklin ... (Below threshold)
peabody3000:

heres another ben franklin quote:

"Those who are willing to trade civil liberties for temporary security, deserve neither."

And I could go on ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
And I could go on and on - I literally have a million of them - bullshit quotes.
~Heh
Too much time on my hands, its ticking away with my sanity...

~Styx

When you put the words into perspective, who gives a shit who said it, as long as it makes sense?

~LaMedusa

I dunno if Benjamin Fran... (Below threshold)
Heh:

I dunno if Benjamin Franklin said it or not, but truth is truth is truth. And if he didn't say it, it is still the truth.

Actually, sparky, evidence to the contrary is already here. Prop. 13 in California. A ballot initiative that California citizens put on the ballot years ago. It's the number one reason why CA is broke and the schools, which used to be the best in the nation are ranked about 48th now.

Warren Buffet told Arne to repeal it but Arne said no, and now he's begging for the Feds to bail him out.

You give people a chance to lower their taxes, they'll take it.They's suffer for it in the long run. Kind of puts your whole thesis on it's head, eh, sparky?

In the 2003 California recall election in which Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor, his advisor Warren Buffett suggested that Proposition 13 be repealed or changed as a method of balancing the state's budget. Schwarzenegger, believing that taking such a step would be to touch a political third rail that could end his gubernatorial career, said, "I told Warren that if he mentions Proposition 13 again he has to do 500 sit-ups." A 2004 Los Angeles Times Magazine cover story that detailed the proposition's damaging effects and advocated its repeal drew heavy criticism from its supporters.

Arne's gone soon. Prop. 13 won't be long behind.

When you put the words i... (Below threshold)
Heh:

When you put the words into perspective, who gives a shit who said it, as long as it makes sense?

It doesn't make sense. It harms the entire state and it harms an entire nation when people vote to put that money in their pocket rather than pay their fair share. There is no free lunch. Maybe you haven't noticed, but libertarianism and free market fundamentalism failed. BIG TIME. EPIC FAIL. His Royal Majesty Alan Greenspan said so. But their is no point in talking to you people. Fortunately, you are an ever shrinking minority of fools.

Blame No One.There i... (Below threshold)
yihdego:

Blame No One.
There is only one candidate that hasn't blamed anyone. Barack Obama.

Take into consideration how much McCain and Palin whine, vote for the person and not the party. There are alternatives to McCain.

Expect Nothing.
Why must McCain bring up he's struggles in Vietnam has credentials for United States of America if he is supposed to expect nothing for his sacrifice for the country. I don't think anyone is believing your pitch Steve.

Do Something.
American's are putting into power Barack Obama. This man isn't wealthy and doesn't have the millions that Clinton, Edwards, Romney, Guiliani, or McCain were dealt with. Its a grass roots campaign built on citizens that decided to do something. Don't mock the victory with rabid accusations of the media elite putting him in power because you are condemning all the people who decided to put a president they wanted into power.

You are beyond fools becaus... (Below threshold)
Heh:

You are beyond fools because if you think Obama's rolling back the Bush Tax cuts to Clinton era levels is socialism, you must agree with the Birchers that Ike was a commie, too. The top marginal tax rate with fewer loopholes during the conservative Republican administration of Eisenhower was 52.38%. You've been hoodwinked, flummoxed and cornholed. Being conservatives, you probably enjoyed it because you just don't know any better.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=213

http://www.toomuchonline.org/articlenew2006/Feb13a.html


But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas.5 Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

DDEisenhower

http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/presidential-papers/first-term/documents/1147.cfm

you would not hear of th... (Below threshold)
Heh:

you would not hear of that party again in our political history.

You are watching Ike's prescient forecast come to pass, ladies. And you don't even realize it.

Tell us all what a liberal/commie/socialist he really was and get in line with the John Birchers. We'll be passing out your requisite tin foil hats aftter the election.

There is only one... (Below threshold)
There is only one candidate that hasn't blamed anyone. Barack Obama.
You're wrong right out the gate there skippy, Obumble has blamed Bush plenty for as Obumble puts it, 'wrong-headed policiies', so you screwed up, roll the dice and try again. Maybe you'll come up with a better lie next time.
For his own problems in the... (Below threshold)
yihdego:

For his own problems in the campaign.

Obama criticized Bush's job in office, thats a big difference from McCain blaming Bush years for the state of his campaign.

I suppose that may have been unclear.

heres another ben frankl... (Below threshold)
Heh:

heres another ben franklin quote:

"Those who are willing to trade civil liberties for temporary security, deserve neither."

17. Posted by peabody3000

That's a good one and quite legit, but I think you may have a word off here or there.

I often catch hell from people on the left and far right, Pauliacs, for trying to explain what I think most of the founders understood and modern scholars have recognized and expressed in academic terms. It is a delicate balance between two competing value sets. Security and Liberty. It is no different in any other question a people of a free and democratic nation much decide. Too little taxation is no better than too much. If you balance the budget primarily on the middle class, they will disappear. It's the classic case of killing the goose who laid the golden egg. You don't have to worry about the super rich. They'll survive and no one is suggesting we string them up and bleed them like cattle.

It doesn't make se... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
It doesn't make sense.

Obviously you didn't get the point of my comment. Maybe you were too busy sifting through your "million" bullshit quotes. You also seem to be fond of words like "fail", similar to jp2, as only he could take words like "libertarianism" and "free market fundamentalism" and lump them together. "His Royal Majesty Alan Greenspan said so." Don't look now, but he is one of the main reasons the economy is failing: Can you say "rate cut"?

"But their is no point in talking to you people." I thought you said you could go on and on... But, you are right. There is no point in talking to people when they are already aware of how little versed you are in what you are saying.

And yet, in spite ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
And yet, in spite of all the rhetoric of noble individualism, the world's best-functioning societies by almost any measure are those with a European style system of progressive taxation.

How long will the famed Nordic Countries keep their their quality of life?


hehEnough with the... (Below threshold)

heh

Enough with the straw men aguments that you are positing here.

You don't know what you're talking about, but you are prolific with your serving up isolated facts without context.

The top marginal tax rate with fewer loopholes during the conservative Republican administration of Eisenhower was 52.38%.

uh huh. What was inflation during that period, Mr. "I have a million quotes like this" genious? What was GDP growth relative to highest marginal rates?

What is the most efficient marginal rate Mr. Flummox? What is the highest marginal rate in history? What was GDP growth during that same time?


Get an informed opinion or go somewhere else.

"It is no different in any ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"It is no different in any other question a people of a free and democratic nation much decide."

May I quote you?

It doesn't make sense."
You're wrong right out t... (Below threshold)
Heh:

You're wrong right out the gate there skippy, Obumble has blamed Bush plenty

Obumble must have looked at the polls. Bush is the most unpopular president in US History.

The Post and "the most disliked president since polling began in the 1930s"

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/11/02/bush/index.html

Look, I hate to put it in these terms but you either come to your senses or you'll come to no good. If he fall flat on his face, you can have the last laugh. I didn't vote for Bush in 2000 but for awhile there, right after 9/11, I thought he might haave had a chance at it. He went another way. Sad really.

Uh oh, another Glenn Greenw... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Uh oh, another Glenn Greenwald opinion via Salon taken as law.

"Heh": "Prop. 13 in Califor... (Below threshold)

"Heh": "Prop. 13 in California...It's the number one reason why CA is broke and the schools, which used to be the best in the nation are ranked about 48th now."

California ranks 48th in PERFORMANCE...but 23rd in SPENDING!

The demise of the California education system was plainly and simply: The California TEACHER'S Union!

California spends MASSIVE amounts each year scrubbing and re-scrubbing the textoobks to make them more "politically correct", and has HUG Union and Administration costs baked into the system

IF Prop 13 is EVER done away with, the State of California will be as well! People will literally flee this State...me among them.

The ONLY cure for education in this country is COMPETITION!!! Naturally, the Teacher's Unions fight the concept of having to be EFFECTIVE in order to stay in business!!

Uh oh, another Glenn Gre... (Below threshold)
Heh:

Uh oh, another Glenn Greenwald opinion via Salon taken as law.

WaPo. He's not really a "liberal". More of an Eisenhower conservative/libertarian


IF Prop 13 is EVER done away with, the State of California will be as well! People will literally flee this State...me among them.

Can't wait. Good riddance. Someone will take you. Try Idaho. I wouldn't try Texas. You may have to move again in a few years. You running out of place to run, son!

Oh yeah,There's al... (Below threshold)
Heh:

Oh yeah,

There's always Alaska!

"Heh" is the epitome of the... (Below threshold)

"Heh" is the epitome of the arrogant Obama voter that has wandered temporarily off the reservation, ignoring all caution recommended by the elite media that operated the incubator from which they come, spouting platitudes and serving up links to Salon as evidence of their bona fides.

Fashioning itself (himself, herself...whatever) as the keeper of all that is worthy of Bartlett's Quotations, heh then condescends to lecture the unwashed on marginal tax rates and the prescience of Eisenhower, a good man he but a President whose economic and fiscal policy was never informed by an Austrian economist (Keynes was the rage then....that's why top marginal rates were at 90%). These poseurs like heh really don't know anything about fiscal policy, but hey (pun intended), throw around a few rebuttals about the provenance of a well known truism and, wow, the world must bow at the font of their economic knowledge.

Regular Wizbang readers recognize pretenders fairly quickly.


You poor guys.Gott... (Below threshold)
Heh:

You poor guys.

Gotta be rough on ya.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch. I really mean that.

;-)

WaPo. </blockquote... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
WaPo.
Oh, that's why your link says Salon.
He's not really a "liberal". More of an Eisenhower conservative/libertarian

And...?

Can't wait. Good riddance.Someone will take you. Try Idaho.

You know this from experience?

Hell no, Yosemite Sam is no... (Below threshold)
YosemiteSam:

Hell no, Yosemite Sam is not my real name. Why would I put my real name out there for nut-cases who lurk on the net to track me down and harass me with phone calls, or worse?

Why would I open myself up, like "Joe the Plumber" did, for Obamaiacs trolls with government resources to dig into my personal business because they don't like what I say?

On the other hand, apparently unlike you, I don't expect anyone to take what I say too seriously.

Too little taxation i... (Below threshold)

Too little taxation is no better than too much. If you balance the budget primarily on the middle class, they will disappear. It's the classic case of killing the goose who laid the golden egg. You don't have to worry about the super rich.


Another gem....the goose that lays the golden egg (BTW, heh, that's in Bartlett's...why not some attribution? If your going to be anal retentive here, at least be consistent and teach by example) is not the middle class.

The vast majority of all taxes are paid by the top 25% earners.....that's the goose, heh. Tell us, how much do you want to bleed them? Put a number on it, Bartlett.

Heh: "Couldn't happen to... (Below threshold)

Heh: "Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch"

actually...it's gonna happen to YOU.

if "the One" does indeed become Prez/King/Chancellor I will transform every aspect of my life. Within 18 months I will go from PAYING $80,000+ a year in taxes to CONSUMING $30,000+ a year. A net $110,000+ swing!

And MANY others will do the same thing.

Yes, my lifestyle will be different. But I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I am draining "The One's" treasury...instead of filling it! And I'll work less...ok, NOT AT ALL! But Obama will provide!!! Praise Obama!!

All very legal, btw. When enough "John Galt"s do what I will be doing, there won't be enough to feed the masses.

enjoy, HEH, I will be buttoned up...except for my forays to town to claim "benefits" and "rights".

People move through ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:


People move through different levels of
poverty
all the time. They have to want to move they cannot give up. People come from all over the world to the USA and they manage to make it.
We are bristling with programs that provide, food, housing and health care for those in need.

You are beyond fools because if you think Obama's rolling back the Bush Tax cuts to Clinton era levels is socialism,

No that not it it is the constant eat the rich the classical class warfare rhetoric.
It is the objective of not using taxes to raise revenue for the function of running government but the constant refrain for spreading the wealth.
Obama has a pattern (he has formed political alliances with Marxist)and his stated goal is for Income redistribution. He never says I am not a socialist he just couches itin good intentions. When his polices start to fail we here about the unintended consequences and large cost overruns.

Heh do the below harm people also.

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents
James Madison


The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe - the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

I hear an argument about ho... (Below threshold)
yihdego:

I hear an argument about how the top 1% pay 60% of America's taxes over and over.

Guess what, they own 60% of the wealth. Don't forget that part when you complain that they are being taxed on their income progressively from the unwealthy.

yihdego , my effective tax ... (Below threshold)

yihdego , my effective tax rate (Fed/State/Local) is well OVER 50%...WELL OVER! And I am NOT rich.

my "problem" is that my wife and I worked hard for decades...saved our money...paid our taxes and donated large amounts to charity.

our "reward" from President Obama would be to PAY MORE! According to him it is "SELFISH" for us to want to keep more than we absolutely need!!

oh, and one more thing...my wife and I have actually managed to put a fair amount of money aside in 401k funds. Now it seems the Democrats want to "protect" those funds by Nationalizing them.

yihdego...you REALLY think all the Dem bullshit about GIVING money directly to those who pay NO TAXES is sustainable? Or even a good idea?

When those NOT paying taxes are in the majority, they will simply use their votes to force the minority to give them MORE STUFF!! And you think THAT is a good idea?

yihdegoThere also ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

yihdego

There also argument "we want money out of politics" we want special interest out. So now if I am the guy your whose pocket your reaching into do you think it going to be in my self interest to influence government? Why not just have 100% of the people pay the same % after all we are all Americans.
SO if you have pay tax rate do you want to pay 15%
You make 1000 a year you pay 150.00
you make 1 Million 150,000

Or every one can by 39.6%
1000 396 USD
1Mil 396,000

Guess what, they own ... (Below threshold)

Guess what, they own 60% of the wealth. Don't forget that part when you complain that they are being taxed on their income progressively from the unwealthy.

And don't forget that that wealth is the primary source of job creation. Or perhaps you haven't lived through an economic cycle with 10%+ unemployment.

As a result of very high levels of unemployment in the mid 1970's Congress finally saw the light and reduced capital gains taxes in 1978. Facing even higher unemployment in the recession of the early 1980's, Congress lowered capital gains rates again.

These capital gains rate tax reductions benefited the wealthy while also creating jobs that lifted the US economy out of a recession.

What is it about liberals that they want to punish the wealthy at the expense of their own job security? Or is it that the liberals complaining about the wealthy have no job insecurity?

Think about Obama voters.

Same bullshit quote. de Toc... (Below threshold)
Heh:

Same bullshit quote. de Tocqueville was a Frenchman so if he said it, which he didn't, so what? Franklin, Tytler, de Tocqueville? Which one was it? No one said it. As Loren Collins tracked it down to the 1950s and usually in LTE and it probably originated in some extreme right wing drivel like a JBS tract similar to those infamous Ron Paul Newsletters.


Each quote can be traced back at least as far as the 1950s, but only with anonymous attribution. Specific attributions, such as those to Tytler, only came later. And, of course, the quotes cannot be found to have appeared together until the 1970s. Each quote has been the subject of authorship inquiries in The New York Times and American Notes & Queries, both of which are notoriously good at verifying authorship of works, but neither of which could provide an author for these quotes.


The Madison quote is different. He never wrote it but it is alleged he said it during the course of debate on an appropriation for French refugees in 1794. This was during the years leading up to the outbreak of the Quasi-war when the proto-parties were just forming. By 1792, a Hamilton coalition and a Jefferson-Madison coalition had arisen (the formative Federalist and Democratic-Republican Parties) so you have to have studied history closely to understand what was in play then. Half the country wanted war with the French, the other half wanted war with Britain. So there was real politicking going on. It's just political rhetoric. If it had been his side... But the Federalists were in power. The appropriation was approved because Jefferson didn't defeat the Federalists until 1800. Washington was in office and although French Refugees at that time were a varied lot, all running from the French revoiution which Jefferson supported, you can be damn sure Washington was in favor of it. I'm home schooled and I taught myself history. You can do it too, but go to a library.

I canif your making ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

I can
if your making 5K and you see someone making 250K what not say someday I can make twice that much money.

as I noted above, when I go... (Below threshold)

as I noted above, when I go from being a tax PAYER ($80,000+ a year in taxes) to being a tax CONSUMER (est. $30,000+ a year) my lifestyle will be different.

First, I won't be working. I'm in my mid-50s, and had planned to work until I was 63 (or a bit beyond). But I'll STOP sometime in 2009 instead. It will take me most of next year to exit the workplace "gracefully"...and "secure" my assets (from those who want to "spread them around").

More importantly: my wife and I WON'T BE CONSUMING very much either (other than EVERYONE'S tax input, of course)

So my net swing of $110,000+ will doubly hurt the economy!!

Why do I, who spent 8 years in the Marines DEFENDING this country, want to DRAIN ITS TREASURY??

Simple truth:
Place a frog in a large container of cold water...and gradually turn the hear up. Result: COOKED FROG!

DROP a frog in a large container of scalding hot water. Result: LIVE frog...'cause it jumps out and saves its life!

I, and others, intend to turn the heat up fast enough that the "frogs" (all of YOU) will jump out of the pan and SAVE YOUR LIVES!

Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' provides the clues...BeJohnGalt.com is gonna be a place to rally...think about it

I want to know what will ha... (Below threshold)
Bush'sdog:

I want to know what will happen to tax deferred investments i.e, 401K, health plans and college accounts?

I hear an argument about... (Below threshold)
Heh:

I hear an argument about how the top 1% pay 60% of America's taxes over and over.

Guess what, they own 60% of the wealth. Don't forget that part when you complain that they are being taxed on their income progressively from the unwealthy.

I think the top 2 or 5% own more like 90% of the wealth. And it is just beyond me that people here are recycling Reagan's trickle down theories. Voo Doo economics. It's 2008, people. That woo was tossed on the shit pile years ago. WTF up.

I'm home schooled and... (Below threshold)

I'm home schooled and I taught myself history. You can do it too, but go to a library.


heh

You're an embarrassment to every home schooled kid I know, which reaches back a few decades.

Recitation of facts and observations, abscent any critical thinking, is the hallmark of today's liberal airhead.

Bush'sdog...the Dems are pr... (Below threshold)

Bush'sdog...the Dems are promising to "protect" our 401k's by SEIZING them! They intend to take them from OUR control (yes, even the ones we have already invested) and place them under Government control.

Personally, I will take every penny (minus taxes and panalties) out of my 401k's and go to Vegas with it, before I will allow it to be "protected" by "The One" and his flying monkeys!

The vast majority of all... (Below threshold)
Heh:

The vast majority of all taxes are paid by the top 25% earners.....that's the goose, heh. Tell us, how much do you want to bleed them? Put a number on it, Bartlett.

On paper (theory) it may look that way. Only a cretin believes it shakes out that way in practice.

Bring back the estate tax, Jefferson's idea, and return us to Clinton era rates. I'd prefer Eisenhower's but I'm a real conservative, the kind that's voting for Obama, or is George Will a socialist now, too?

Recitation of facts and ... (Below threshold)
Heh:

Recitation of facts and observations, abscent any critical thinking, is the hallmark of today's liberal airhead.

Namecalling and misspellings. Persuasive arguments. You're just jealous because I'm smarter than you and angry because you're brain is abscent (sic).

Heh.

I think the top 2 or ... (Below threshold)

I think the top 2 or 5% own more like 90% of the wealth. And it is just beyond me that people here are recycling Reagan's trickle down theories. Voo Doo economics. It's 2008, people. That woo was tossed on the shit pile years ago. WTF up.

Actually, it was Arthur Laffer's theory. Look it up in your one million entry data base, smart guy.

And it was GHWB who called it voodoo economics while loosing a primary to Reagan.

You've yet to answer the questions above about efficiency of lower marginal rates. But go ahead and demagogue away here. You're demonstrating very well what a head full of mush will be throwing the Democrat lever Tuesday.

I would but I'm still laugh... (Below threshold)
Heh:

I would but I'm still laughing at the lugher curve like everyone else.

Um... Jarhead?

Simple truth:
Place a frog in a large container of cold water...and gradually turn the hear up. Result: COOKED FROG!

Total myth.


http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/03/the_boiledfrog_myth_hey_really.php


You probably pay more in taxes than you need to.

That 1030 EZ is pretty complicated, huh?

Between the randroids and the marines you've got all the brain power of the navy here.

Justrand, I'm afraid your r... (Below threshold)
Bush'sdog:

Justrand, I'm afraid your right.

Recitation of fact... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Recitation of facts and observations, abscent any critical thinking, is the hallmark of today's liberal airhead.

But the home schooled airhead has also distinguished himself from the english slang that actually makes sense. Who cares if you know what you are talking about? Just throw a couple of percents and you, too, can prove it's "beyond you" in comprehension without even knowing it. Heh, you can go on and on about absolutely nothing.

You're demonstrating ver... (Below threshold)
Heh:

You're demonstrating very well what a head full of mush will be throwing the Democrat lever Tuesday.

I find that rather amusing since so many conservatives will be throwing it with me.

The "heh" is what we... (Below threshold)

The "heh" is what we are going to get for political dialogue in the next four years if Obama wins.

I'll take 19 for the over/under on heh's age, and $15,000 for the under on his AGI.

Any takers?

You ladies got nothing but ... (Below threshold)
Heh:

You ladies got nothing but "we are as tight as a scrotum in winter" huh?

Well, I know how it is. Nothing last forever, especially 1000 year Reichs and Republican control of the gummint. Another 60 years wandering in the political wilderness.

Adios!

The "heh" is what we are... (Below threshold)
Heh:

The "heh" is what we are going to get for political dialogue in the next four years if Obama wins.

Bwahaha! Considering the YouTube this clown posted as... I don't know what... sophistry is gilding the lily a bit, you'd likely trip over actual substantive political dialogue in the daylight and keep on limping in the wilderness, oblivious as you are now..

"Any takers?"Let's... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Any takers?"

Let's just say he'll never be John Galt. Funny how he said he'll be throwing the switch. Does he even know what he just said? What a moron!

Don't tease us, now. If yo... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Don't tease us, now. If you say "adios", keep your promise.

Heh: "You probably pay m... (Below threshold)

Heh: "You probably pay more in taxes than you need to."

But...but...Obama/Biden says paying MORE taxes is "Patriotic"

And they say you're "SELFISH" is you DON'T pay more taxes!

In fact, you're "SELFISH" if you even THINK about trying to keep more than you NEED!

Obama and Marx...
"FROM each according to his ability, TO each according to his need!"

The "Age of Obama" (aka" the First Reich) is gonna be a wonderful and glorious world. Heil, OBAMA!

Apologies for taking so lon... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

Apologies for taking so long in getting back, gentlemen. As I'm sure every politiphile here knows, errands often get in the way of a good debate.

I sort of expected that any studies that didn't show America being the alpha dog would meet with extra skepticism. But here goes anyway.

HughS writes: The quality of life Americans have enjoyed has improved significantly in the past three decades as a result of a lessening of the progressive tax rate. GDP has increased dramtically and savings and investment have increased.

I assume you mean since the Reagan revolution, and I take issue with several of your points. Average real wages have in fact declined, rather steadily. Contrary to Sean Hannity's best efforts, President Reagan did not even double federal revenues if unadjusted for inflation; adjusted for inflation he barely raised them. Japan's GDP has risen dramatically and the median Japanese is better off than the immediate post-war generation; all that in one of the democratic world's steepest progressive tax system.

On one thing we can agree - the poor American is better off than the median human being, and the median American has little to complain about with respect to his own financial well-being.

However, the true measure of quality of life, and this is where the European modal fails, is in American's absolute safety and security. The amount of investment the US has made in Defense dwarfs that of any European nation. Europeans, on the other hand, enjoy safety and freedom at the expense of the US tax payer.

Hm... absolute safety and security. No country in western or Northern Europe is above the homicide rate of the United States, a rate that the high countries on the list imply is releated at least partly to poverty (or at least the impression of relative poverty), and of course political instability, a problem we thankfully don't have. I'm not sure if I'd call America absolutely safe and secure from unconventional foreign attack - terrorists weren't exactly knocking over the Eiffel Tower seven years ago, were they? - but regarding conventional attack, you have a point.

Larry writes: hey parthenon - what do you now about Singapore, other than the quality of life index, the index for which measures, what?

I know I don't want to live there, in spite of their high life expectancy, quality of life, etc. I don't want to see people get executed for drug offenses, or given jail time for littering. I only listed it as a means of full disclosure, to show that I wasn't trying to pretend that all 12 ahead of the United States were European. Only 10 were.

Anyway, here is the index's methodology:

-Health: Life expectancy at birth (in years.)
-Family life: Divorce rate (per 1,000 population), converted into index of 1 (lowest divorce rates) to 5 (highest).
-Community life: Dummy variable taking value 1 if country has either high rate of church attendance or trade-union membership; zero otherwise.
-Material well being: GDP per person, at PPP in $.
-Political stability and security: Political stability and security ratings.
-Climate and geography: Latitude, to distinguish between warmer and colder climes.
-Job security: Unemployment rate (%.)
-Political freedom: Average of indexes of political and civil liberties. Scale of 1 (completely free) to 7 (unfree).
-Gender equality: measured using ratio of average male and female earnings.

Hello Heh.Share yo... (Below threshold)
ed davis:

Hello Heh.

Share your experience regarding "trickle up" economics.

Any such index is going to ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Any such index is going to be imperfect, but it's glaringly obvious that 1) high job security is not equivalent to low unemployment; and 2) a country with a high divorce rate could very well be better off in terms of "family life" than a country that does not allow no-fault divorce. Domestic violence should be a factor in that particular rating.

But you're right, Hugh is wrong to say that America is somehow safer/more secure than European nations with objectively higher quality of life. I don't understand why this is so hard for so many people: you can be proud of your country while acknowledging that Switzerland is in fact a better place to live. It's not unpatriotic to feel embarrassed about your country's shortcomings (for instance, your poverty rate, or my country's stupid hate speech tribunals) while advocating for its improvement. Sean Hannity would disagree with me, but he's a moron.

Man the left wing Obama win... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Man the left wing Obama wingnuts are out today judging by this thread.

The Left-wing trolls need t... (Below threshold)

The Left-wing trolls need to re-read two things...one a document...one a book.

The document is the Thirteenth Amendment which outlwawed Slavery AND "Involuntary Servitude"

The book is 'Atlas Shrugged'

Putting those two together portends a future where those who CAN...simply stop DOING.

Try forcing someone to THINK.
Try forcing someone to CREATE.
Try forcing someone to RISK what they have in order to give someone else the fruit's of their risk and their energy.

The "fuel" of America is to be comsumed in a glorious bonfire honoring "The One"...with no thought as to what then powers American's engine.

The fact that our glorious MSM will declare WHATEVER happens (massive un-employment, war, famine, pestilence, whatever) as more proof of the wonders of "The One" will NOT make those feeling the consequences feel any better.

I've read Terry Goodkind's ... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

I've read Terry Goodkind's full series; is that close enough?

Seriously though JR, everything Sen. Obama's proposing has been tried before, and it has succeeded before. I think your predictions might be a bit melodramatic.

Hyper, good points. Of course no index is the end-all of human existence. I have a feeling I'd have encountered less resistance had it shown the US at number one, though.

My computer keeps saying 'y... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

My computer keeps saying 'you have mail' and Hussein O keeps promising to send me thousands of dollars. Why is my mailbox still empty?

Ref #44. I also have worked... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Ref #44. I also have worked very hard all my life, and I can agree with what you are saying, up to a point.

That point is the McCain wants to tax my health insurance plan that I have as part of my retirement plan.

Now the GOP loves to protect the hard working people who have made it, so to speak. So why does he want to tax my health insurance? That is a contradiction within itself, isn't it?

Has the economy gone that bad that McCain is also going to raise taxes? According to him wanting to tax my health insurance, the answer has to be yes.

Can anyone explain how taxing retires health plan is going to help anything? Sounds like another example of socialism to me. But I know I can afford it, where the top 2% percent of the income can't afford it. Damn it's hard, but I'll help take care of the top 2%, don't want them to suffer.

People spend too much time... (Below threshold)

People spend too much time pointing fingers and appointing blame when some thing is broken....Time can be better spent by fixing it and moving on....Either candidate is more than capable to be President....Neither will be able to make a big difference..."The Money Has Already Been Spent."...

HB and ParthenonWh... (Below threshold)

HB and Parthenon

When I mention safety, security and quality of life I'm not talking about law enforcement and crime. I'm talking about your very existence.

HB, you say,

But you're right, Hugh is wrong to say that America is somehow safer/more secure than European nations with objectively higher quality of life. I don't understand why this is so hard for so many people: you can be proud of your country while acknowledging that Switzerland is in fact a better place to live.

Of course I'm proud of my country but will neither admit that Switzerland is a better place to live. Both of you miss the broader point, and to borrow your phrase HB, I don't understand why this is so hard for so many people. The United States provides a security umbrella for this entire hemisphere and Western Europe.

The quality of life that both of you guys discuss has a baseline: survival. I'm not talking about law enforcement or social problems specific to certain countries. My point is that Western Europe would not exist were it not for the trillions of US tax payer dollars (and blood) spent to ensure its very existence.

To be blunt, just that money alone would increase the average US citizen's socioeconomic status were it left in the tax payer's pocket and not used to defend other countries.

Parthenon, I'm not going to engage you on the fact of economic growth under Reagan: it happened and arguing wage semantics is useless. The Dow Jones Industrial average was at 850 during the Carter recession Reagan inherited, the highest marginal tax rate was at 70+%, interest rates were at 18% prime, unemployment 10%. Reagan fixed those problems, while rebuilding a defense dept left in disarray by his predecessors.

Can anyone explain... (Below threshold)
Can anyone explain how taxing retires health plan is going to help anything?
Like a lot (or at least some) of people with professional jobs I have pretty good health benefits. Last year my employer kicked in about $12,000 (tax free) for my family health plan. If I purchased that insurance directly, as I did during a time of unemployment, I pay for that with taxed dollars, (other than what I can deduct on my 1040 at tax time). While I certainly wouldn't want to give up that benefit I can see where it is a tax break for those that are better off in the middle class than others. I can't speak for your situation where its part of a pension, but as a whole I can understand why its a loophole that could be addressed.
Hugh, Europe would still be... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Hugh, Europe would still be around were America to adopt some strictly isolationist attitude towards it. While you might believe rhetoric that posits American responsibility for the flourishing of all free people, that is simply not the case--not since the Berlin Wall came down, anyway.

Your government could scale back defense spending without making anybody less safe. Does asymmetrical warfare really require another generation of jet fighters, for example? There is no point in arming for a potential conflict with a power such as China because a) it will likely never happen; and b) if it did happen, there would only be losers in such a conflict.

Atlas Shrugged is actually a horrible book. Ayn Rand wrote a lousy interpretation of something vaguely Nietzschean for an 18 year old audience. Read Blindness by Saramago if you care to understand what it means to be a strong human. Rand only cared about what it means to be stronger, or how to climb to the top of a pile, which in and of itself is a weakling's existentialism.

are we going to allow one m... (Below threshold)
charlie:

are we going to allow one man to highjack everything we hold dear and destroy our nation as we know it. i sure pray not. lets get out in force and vote against obama and for McCain

If history has shown... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:


If history has shown us anything it is not to take anything for granted.
There is no guarantee that the next conflict will be asymmetrical. Most Jets in the inventory are aging and replacing them now results in cost savings. Also the JSF is supported by not just US but 8 other countries so it seems must countries doe not share your optimistic view .

Man was too smart at the turn of the century for war and WW1 happen which was the War to end all Wars until WWII occurred. Nuclear Arsenal made war unthinkable except for the over 80 small and medium size wars countries have engaged in since WWII.

Rockets made guns on planes obsolete until we fought over the sky's of N. Vietnam.
We did not need Armor in Somalia.

If anything military spending needs to increase you never know when the net threat will come so it is best to be prepared.

HBMy comment was n... (Below threshold)

HB

My comment was not very clear regarding timeframe.

The period I was referencing was 1942-1990.

That said I do not agree that my government could scale back defense spending and not make anyone less safe. The US, unfortunately, has to arm itself for conflict in multiple scenarios of which assymetrical warfare is just one.

parthenon, what history boo... (Below threshold)
Larry:

parthenon, what history book are you reading?

Seriously though JR, everything Sen. Obama's proposing has been tried before, and it has succeeded before. I think your predictions might be a bit melodramatic.

Give me two examples from the list of his proposals that have succeeded before, please.

The book is 'Atlas Shrug... (Below threshold)
LMAO:

The book is 'Atlas Shrugged'

As Dorothy Parker said, "'Atlas Shrugged' is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

That's what all Americans need. A second rate romance novel by a third rate pseudo-philosopher and written for teenage boys. I think it's really the rape scene that gets them excited.

"It harms the entire sta... (Below threshold)

"It harms the entire state and it harms an entire nation when people vote to put that money in their pocket rather than pay their fair share."

Oddly enough, you just made our argument for us.

It would stand to reason that one who receives more money from the government than they pay the government is not giving their "fair share".

You've aptly destroyed the argument of those "for" Obama.

"A second rate romance nove... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"A second rate romance novel by a third rate pseudo-philosopher and written for teenage boys."

So much for being "smarter", sock-puppet.

Again and again Hyper compa... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Again and again Hyper compares canada (lemon) to the US (orange). Stating China "may not" be a threat is a pretty big matzo ball to wager on. Plus, most the free world, including canada, actually depend on our strength if they need us. I can go on an on with the leftest screwballs here, but what would be the point? They hate themselves and our country. That is their baseline. ww

Give me two examples fro... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

Give me two examples from the list of his proposals that have succeeded before, please.

Well I don't recall the country going up in flames during the 90s and Clinton-era taxation, for one thing. I seem to remember things going pretty well. For another, universal health coverage seems to be working pretty well for the 40-some odd countries ahead of us on the life expectancy ratings.

Willie, comparing two civil... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie, comparing two civilized countries to one another is not apples vs. oranges. What measure of comparison would you accept as valid for gauging the relative successes and failures of your nation vs. any other? That there are salient demographic/socio-cultural differences between all nations does not count against the usefulness of objective standards of comparison--specifically, the WHO and UN quality of life indices that were discussed above.

Your country has an embarrassingly high murder rate because other countries with high levels of technological innovation and respectable (though imperfect) health care and education have much lower murder rates. That's not something you can reasonably disagree with; it's something that should motivate a rational discussion of the root causes of homicide in the United States. The fact that America is different from, say, Japan, with its low homicide rate, is no reason not to wonder why Japan is a country better organized towards less internal violence; and the fact that America is a better place than Japan in other respects (e.g. diversity, tolerance of outsiders) does not mitigate the homicide rate within the United States. That's but one example. And Willie, no, agreeing with this is not to say that America is a bad place--it is to say that it's imperfect, and could be better. It's not unpatriotic to say so; in fact, it's more patriotic to recognize faults where you see them and to work towards the general betterment of your society, than to pounce on critics as petty nay-sayers.

To do otherwise is to do as Sean Hannity does: to take any criticism of your country as bordering on treason, and to fetishize symbols and mythical meta-narratives rather than looking out one's window to the streets below.

Actually I believe the defi... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Actually I believe the definition of a patriot is one who supports their country AND its policies. Putting that aside, the US has a lot of internal problems and always will. Every other country has as many problems and always will. As a US citizen, I am very proud of my country and what we do to further the cause of freedom throughout the world. I focus on all the good we do. I will leave it to Hyper and your friends to ALWAYS focus on the bad. Self loathing is appropriate. ww

HyperSo let take J... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Hyper

So let take Japan.
Japan does not have high murder rate but they 2x the Suicide rare of the USA and rises every year.
So in society that has a HDI index of 8 compared to USA's 12. Why the higher suicide rate?

Because of the Japanese cul... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

Because of the Japanese culture's underpinnings of honor or death. Their leaders don't like it, but as Americans find out regularly, cultures don't change terribly swiftly or easily.

Self loathing is a... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Self loathing is appropriate. ww

Willie, it's his mediocrity he hates, which I suppose is the same thing. Home is where the heart is and, I too, am proud of this country. What a lot of people fail to realize, is that if we didn't have so many illegal alien criminals here, the crime rate would actually be much less than it is overall. America is a great country, and it's the corruption that needs to be obliterated. Little by little, I believe we can do it.

Willie:A) I don't ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie:

A) I don't dislike the United States, though I obviously have some problems with some of the people calling some of the shots; and
B) If I did dislike the United States, how would that qualify as "self-loathing"?

A patriot defends the principles upon which his or her country was founded. If your country--a flourishing liberal democracy--were to adopt severe restrictions upon freedom of speech, or were to restrict the ownership of firearms to law enforcement officers only, would you still support its policies? Your definition of 'patriotism' misses the mark, Willie.

There would be something wrong with you if you weren't proud of your country. It's an excellent example of a functioning-but-noisy democracy with more proportional representation than parliamentary democracies, i.e. Canada. I never implied that you should not be proud of your country on the whole.

Parthenon <blockquo... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Parthenon


Because of the Japanese culture's underpinnings of honor or death. Their leaders don't like it, but as Americans find out regularly, cultures don't change terribly swiftly or easily.

Their High Suicide rates has more more to due with Japanese recession which hit 90's with 35% jump in 1999 In 2003 even with their economy receiving the rate has still gone up. Now many feel that the rate still is rising because of public reforms to reduce public spending and poor health care for mentally ill.

The truth is HDI index was never meant to be used for 1st world nation. It factors were to be used for developing countries to help target spending. Though it looks at few factors it leaves a great many out.

Sorry hcddbz, I didn't see ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Sorry hcddbz, I didn't see your comment. Parthenon gets it right. Their suicide rate is high for cultural reasons that can be traced back to the warrior dynasties, when a simple mistake at your job would be grounds for cutting your own stomach open with a knife to avoid the much worse fate of living in shame as a f*ck-up. (James Clavell's Shogun is an excellent piece of historical fiction, if you're inclined to learn a little bit about feudal Japan.)

So, is honour-suicide civilized? Hardly. I did stress the point, though, that while America's murder rate is way too high for a civilized country, it succeeds in areas where other countries fail. With Japan, they are incredibly racist and closed off from the rest of the world, which has resulted in the most homogeneous developed society in history. Not a good thing, for genetic and cultural reasons.

LaMedusa, a sad fact of your country is that much of the crime is committed by African Americans. Are they illegal immigrants? No. Are they racially disposed towards violence? Of course not. To address the root causes of crime in your country requires tackling some tough sociological questions. Scapegoating illegal aliens is one possible solution, and the one I would expect you to come up with, but it fails to address the underlying problems of systemic poverty and the gratuitous stratification of wealth.

Sorry hcddbz, I d... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
Sorry hcddbz, I didn't see your comment. Parthenon gets it right. Their suicide rate is high for cultural reasons that can be traced back to the warrior dynasties, when a simple mistake at your job would be grounds for cutting your own stomach open with a knife to avoid the much worse fate of living in shame as a f*ck-up. (James Clavell's Shogun is an excellent piece of historical fiction, if you're inclined to learn a little bit about feudal Japan.)


No if you would read the links in my comments Cultural reason are not the only ones they are multiple issues. 30% of those is due to Japanese health care not providing medicine for the people that need it. The next largest group are pensioners who were relying on Japanese government to take care of them and with recent cut backs are finding it hard to live. Then their is unemployment. Finally we have students taking there own life because of examination hell or bulling.

Until the 90's the Japanese thought they would have jobs for life when that bubble burst it caused them deep issues.

Japanese society has many issues that they are dealing with and the suicide rate has been in steady clime since the 90's. It is something that the Japanese people are constantly surprised at. It also something that they are not so cavalier to dismiss.
My point is not bash Nippon it to show that some statistics does not always tell the entire story of a culture.

LaMedusa, a sad f... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
LaMedusa, a sad fact of your country is that much of the crime is committed by African Americans. Are they illegal immigrants? No. Are they racially disposed towards violence? Of course not. To address the root causes of crime in your country requires tackling some tough sociological questions. Scapegoating illegal aliens is one possible solution, and the one I would expect you to come up with, but it fails to address the underlying problems of systemic poverty and the gratuitous stratification of wealth.

So we have come full circle. Maybe if more effort were put into telling people to relay on themselves instead of waiting for government to fix the issue things would be better. There been government all the various Social Assistance programs. .


it time to stop blaming "RICH WHITE PEOPLE" and become RICH
This is America you could be women born on plantation two years after slaves were free and become a millionaire. In an era where the president after getting blacks to vote for him segregated the federal government. At the same time C. J Walker was building Mansions another Black American was enduring West Point.

Were there lives easy, nope but they worked hard not expecting anything from anyone just doing the job in spite of the pressure to fail.
So more of yes I and less of what can you do for me.

"Scapegoating illegal al... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"Scapegoating illegal aliens is one possible solution,"

That's a good one. Apparently, you haven't heard of all the drug crime that has infiltrated our borders here. But I would expect you to ignore that just so you could use the word scapegoat.

"To address the root causes of crime in your country requires tackling some tough sociological questions."

No, it doesn't. Crime is easy money if you can get away with it; serious cash in an instant if you have the goods. But, hey, let's blame the whites for everyone else's hardship and try to pinpoint the sociological reasons for feeling oppressed and turning to crime. Or, let's call it like it is:

Illegal Alien Crime Wave in Full Swing

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/1665

"In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD's rule against enforcing immigration law."

http://morganwrites.wordpress.com/2008/08/11/the-illegal-alien-crime-wave/

YOU CLEARLY DON'T UNDERSTAN... (Below threshold)
SAME OLE:

YOU CLEARLY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE MESSAGE SENATOR OBAMA IS TRYING TO CONVEY. I CAN CONVENIENTLY SAY YOU ARE A RACIST EVENTHOUGH MAJORITY OF THE STUDENTS YOU TEACH ARE MINORITIES. THERE IS A LOT OF HATRATE IN YOUR COMMENT AND I WONDER IF IT IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR RACIALLY MOTIVATED. I AM SURE YOU HAVE THESE STUDENTS IN YOUR CLASS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO WHERE ELSE TO GO OR NO ONE WILL ENTERTAIN YOUR CLASSIC IF NOT OLD IDEAS. ANY WAY IT IS YOUR OPINION I SUPPOSE BUT HOPE UNDERSTAND THIS IS MY OPINION TOO. I BELIEF IN LOOKING BEYOND THE COLOR OF OUR SKINS, BUT THIS IS AMERICA AND SOME PEOPLE JUDGE OTHERS BY THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, AND I DO NOT SEE THAT GOING AWAY IN THIS COUNTRY.




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