Patterico's Pontifications

6/22/2007

Another Stumble for Mr. Anti-Poverty

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 6:26 am

The New York Times — which is still capable of being a pretty good newspaper — reports:

John Edwards ended 2004 with a problem: how to keep alive his public profile without the benefit of a presidential campaign that could finance his travels and pay for his political staff.

Edwards, who reported this year that he had assets of nearly $30 million, came up with a novel solution, creating a nonprofit organization with the stated mission of fighting poverty. The organization, the Center for Promise and Opportunity, raised $1.3 million in 2005, and — unlike a sister charity he created to raise scholarship money for poor students — the main beneficiary of the center’s fund-raising was Mr. Edwards himself, tax filings show.

A spokesman for Mr. Edwards defended the center yesterday as a legitimate tool against poverty.

The organization became a big part of a shadow political apparatus for Mr. Edwards after his defeat as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and before the start of his presidential bid this time around. Its officers were members of his political staff, and it helped pay for his nearly constant travel, including to early primary states.

While Mr. Edwards said the organization’s purpose was “making the eradication of poverty the cause of this generation,” its federal filings say it financed “retreats and seminars” with foreign policy experts on Iraq and national security issues. Unlike the scholarship charity, donations to it were not tax deductible, and, significantly, it did not have to disclose its donors — as political action committees and other political fund-raising vehicles do — and there were no limits on the size of individual donations.

Add this to the $400 haircut . . . and a few other things.

Maybe I was too quick not to count Edwards out.

91 Responses to “Another Stumble for Mr. Anti-Poverty”

  1. What will be amusing is the pretzel logic his followers will employ to justify Mr. Two Americas hypocrisy. When you have 30 million, is two million going to kill you?

    sam (dfd7fe)

  2. For me, it’s not just that he did this, but that he was dumb enough to think he wouldn’t be found out. The key phrase: “as his tax filings show”. I mean, we expect politicians to be duplicitous (well, I do) but I’d like them to be smart about it.

    Too cynical?

    Linus (cc24db)

  3. As a smart tort lawyer, John Edwards “channeled the thoughts” of a four or five year old deceased girl plaintiff for a jury. As I recall he got big bucks for doing that.

    Surely John can “channel the thoughts of the poor” on his way to the Presidency!

    Time to put the Silky Pony back out to pasture permanently.

    Mike Myers (2e43f5)

  4. What will be amusing is the pretzel logic his followers will employ to justify Mr. Two Americas hypocrisy.

    How about this: He’s using corporate America’s standard tools and tactics for achieving policical success. The only reason he’s open to charges of hypocracy is because he claims to be pursuing more than pure profit.

    Is that pretzel logic?

    Phil (427875)

  5. Sorry to be such a cynic, but do you think the NY Times printed this story because they wanted to alert the public to an interesting conflict concerning a major Presidential candiate, or did they print it because it likely benefits Hillary Clinton?

    JVW (b44a2c)

  6. Am I missing something?

    The non-profit wasn’t called a charity, and donations to it weren’t tax deductable.

    Why is this a bad thing for Edwards??

    alphie (015011)

  7. Dunno, alpo. Maybe because he lied about the purpose of the foundation? And, since the cash was clearly used to further his campaign, because he was using it as an end-run around campaign finance limits and disclosure requirements?

    Rob Crawford (240cf9)

  8. Maybe because he lied about the purpose of the foundation?

    Even assuming all of the resources of the foundation have been used in relation to Edwards’ campaign, that doesn’t mean he lied about its purpose.

    If the purpose of the foundation is to “fight poverty,” supporting a presidential candidate whose stated platform is to fight poverty is hardly in opposition to that purpose.

    Phil (427875)

  9. The FEC and the IRS might take a different view, Alphie and Phil. This looks like an end-run around both McCain-Feingold and/or income tax.

    nk (0ebe4a)

  10. “If the purpose of the foundation is to “fight poverty,” supporting a presidential candidate whose stated platform is to fight poverty is hardly in opposition to that purpose.”

    Now that Phil, is pretzel logic.

    MikeD (f572ec)

  11. “How about this: He’s using corporate America’s standard tools…”

    OK – I see your logic. Since others engage in what you feel are immoral or unethical acts, this absolves Edwards when he does the same.

    In your world, two wrongs DO make a right! Except for evil republiKKKans. That just goes without saying.

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  12. Now that Phil, is pretzel logic.

    No it’s not. Federal campaign finance laws are extremely convoluted, so it may end up being a technical violation. But various interest groups (energy, telecom, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, etc.,) set up foundations all the time to support their interests, and these foundations sometimes quite rationally, focus on getting an important advocate elected.

    See also the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for a more general interest group that promotes anti-poverty through influencing elections (in that it tries to make sure the rich get richer).

    Since others engage in what you feel are immoral or unethical acts, this absolves Edwards when he does the same.

    When did I reveal that I felt corporate America is immoral or unethical for utilizing these tools?

    Oh wait, I didn’t. You made that up.

    Phil (427875)

  13. In any case, Phil, Hillary is a woman with balls whose agenda and even motives you might oppose but whose qualifications as Empress of the World you cannot. How can the “Silky Pony” possibly compare to her?

    nk (0ebe4a)

  14. Moral relativism from the right?

    I’m shocked..shocked!

    alphie (015011)

  15. You know it is interesting that the website for the non-profit group isn’t working.
    Center for Promise and Opportunity

    Becky (0fe45a)

  16. Let’s see: The haircuts don’t matter because John Edwards cares about poor people. His lucrative consulting gigs for tax-dodging, Cayman Islands-based hedge funds don’t matter because it helped “educate him about the relationship between poverty and wealth.” His half-acre mansion doesn’t matter because Edwards started an anti-poverty center. A permanent campaign slush fund masquerading as a tax-exempt anti-poverty center doesn’t matter because… well, it just doesn’t.

    How long until this position becomes untenable even to Edwards’ most stalwart supporters?

    BNJ (e1defa)

  17. When did I reveal that I felt corporate America is immoral or unethical for utilizing these tools?

    Oh wait, I didn’t. You made that up.

    Phil – that pretend naivety works well with the Kossacs and most of the Democrat party, but doesn’t wear well around the thinking set. If you avoid the code words, your arguments might get taken seriously.

    Just a helpful tip.

    TakeFive (2bf7bd)

  18. If Bush can pretend to be a military expert, Edwards can surely be a poverty expert, BNJ.

    Unless you saying Democrats are less gullible than Republicans?

    alphie (015011)

  19. Damn! There was no double sonic boom! Get back up there and do it again!

    sam (dfd7fe)

  20. #16 Let’s see: The haircuts don’t matter because John Edwards cares about poor people. His lucrative consulting gigs for tax-dodging, Cayman Islands-based hedge funds don’t matter because it helped “educate him about the relationship between poverty and wealth.” His half-acre mansion doesn’t matter because Edwards started an anti-poverty center. A permanent campaign slush fund masquerading as a tax-exempt anti-poverty center doesn’t matter because . . . well, it just doesn’t.

    That’s right, none of this stuff really matters, assuming you’re choosing between Edwards and a bunch of other people prone to equal excesses — which generally, you are in this political environment. In my opinion, the most boring discussions in politics are about who’s a hypocrite. We’re all hypocrites in politics, to the extent that we make trade-offs, and accept things we don’t like, in order to get things we think are more important.

    When I have to choose between a whole bunch of people who are rich, entrenched in the system, and living excessively, I’ll choose the guy who has done a bunch of stuff for poor people along the way.

    Right now, I’m still hoping for Ron Paul (can’t somach anyone else on the republican side). Other than Paul, out of the current field of likely contenders, I prefer Edwards over Hillary and Obama, and unfortunately, those are my current choices.

    The hair, luxurious living, and co-opting of corporate America’s tactics for success don’t change that equation enough for me to switch. That’s the dillema of living in a republic . . . no matter who you choose, you don’t like something about em. Is that hypocritical? Well maybe, but it’s also the best you can do.

    Phil (427875)

  21. Did Edwards’ outfit keep the cash in a freezer?

    raa (50c18f)

  22. But various interest groups (energy, telecom, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, etc.,) set up foundations all the time to support their interests, and these foundations sometimes quite rationally, focus on getting an important advocate elected.

    You need to buy a better pair of tap shoes, Phil. Even if I grant you that some corporations set up non-profits who advocate for certain people to be elected, those that they advocate are not the presidents of the respective corporations.

    If you refuse to see the transparency of Edwards here, then you’re just a partisan hack.

    Steverino (d27168)

  23. “Even if I grant you that some corporations set up non-profits who advocate for certain people to be elected, those that they advocate are not the presidents of the respective corporations.”

    Hrmm … Haliburton excepted?

    Phil (427875)

  24. Wow, all this speculation from someone who defames
    latimes for shoddy reporting. Are you still running with anything HotAir and Glennuendo fulminate?

    You really have to dig for Dem scandals, even if
    it’s Capone’s vault you seek.

    From TPM;

    “So we checked in with the Edwards campaign. And yep — the campaign confirmed that the paper had turned down the chance to speak to any people directly impacted by Edwards’ programs.”

    Semanticleo (10a7bd)

  25. John Edwards’ “Two Americas:” his own outrageous hypocrisy…

    There really are Two Americas as far as John Edwards is concerned: the one in which he thinks people ought to follow the rules, and the other in which he is not obliged to follow the rules himself.

    ……

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  26. one
    two
    three

    There’s no “there” there

    AF (4a3fa6)

  27. Just want to point out here that Mr Edwards voted for the McCain-Feingold Restriction on Speech Act that he is trying to avoid.

    Dana (3e4784)

  28. Anyway, I thought conservatives worship greed and avarice. Why aren’t ya’ll salivating with entrepreneurial envy at Edward’s success?

    Oh, it’s the way he got his money? Trial lawyers
    and such truck? What if he’d been the founder of Blackwater or Boeing? That way only people’s blood would be the price, not corporate blood,eh?

    Semanticleo (10a7bd)

  29. Thanks AF . . . I really didn’t bother trying to deal with all of the rampant speculation in the Times article, because it was basically exactly what every conservative was going to do with the raw data anyway.

    Many Republicans hate Edwards because he’s incredibly successful and yet he hasn’t turned all “the-poor-deserve-to-be-poor-because-they’re-lazy” like a good newly rich person should. Plus, he’s a plaintiff’s trial lawyer, which is the scariest thing in the world to a lot of rich people — accountability for your actions is a terrifying thing when you can actually afford to be truly accountable.

    Phil (427875)

  30. Oops-a-daisey, hand caught in the cookie jar AGAIN. It’s alright folks, he’s a “liberal democrat”. Nothing to see here.

    Skul (4f20b9)

  31. Hrmm … Haliburton excepted?

    Which corporate president of Haliburton was elected?

    I’d rather have someone who has operated a business than an ambulance chaser.

    Steverino (d27168)

  32. Which corporate president of Haliburton was elected?

    Well, you could argue he wasn’t elected . . .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney

    Phil (427875)

  33. Phil, your Halliburton example is just false. Halliburton wasn’t set up to “park” a politician between elections like the non-profit at issue.

    Second, the problem that many people have with Edwards is that he is an ambulance chaser who has done a lot of harm in his medical malpractice business, and his political ideology is to propose extremely silly and destructive policies.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  34. Phil,

    I dislike Edwards because he’s vain but there are lots of vain people in the world – especially among politicians – so it’s not the reason I would vote against him. If I ever get a chance, I will vote against Edwards because his policies are harmful to both the rich and the poor.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  35. “done a lot of harm in his medical malpractice business, and his political ideology is to propose extremely silly and destructive policies.”

    Any cites? Or just talkin’ out yer arse?

    Semanticleo (10a7bd)

  36. Can anyone explain to me why the vast majority of these tax exempt foundations exist? As far as I am concerned all should be taxed rather than allow such abuses. If you doubt this just check out the activities of groups like the Ford Foundation.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  37. It’s a scam. Huffington paid about $700 in taxes the year she had to disclose her earnings. She has her “foundation” pay for all her expenses, house, clothes, cars, etc. It’s joke.

    sam (dfd7fe)

  38. Semanticleo, I see your fascination with the alimentary canal continues. Do me a favor and obsess on someone else’s.

    Meanwhile, on John Edwards’ blog is this article defending Edwards’ bizarre economic beliefs which would be hilarious were it not so completely frightening that a candidate for President for a major party believed it. It is analogous to Kuchinich’s belief in chemtrails.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  39. “It is analogous to Kuchinich’s belief in chemtrails.”

    Or pheramones ‘from yer arse’.

    Semanticleo (10a7bd)

  40. I’m far from an Edwards supporter, but this is a lame article. On to fly swatting:

    Maybe because he lied about the purpose of the foundation?

    Uh….no. The purpose of the charity is drawn very broadly. Check out the 990, available at Guidestar.org (ya gotta register, but it’s free). It’s purpose is to, among other things, “make America stronger.”

    This looks like an end-run around both McCain-Feingold and/or income tax.

    Nope. (1) As long as the funds weren’t spent for electioneering, no problem. It was doing public policy and maybe some lobbying (different from electioneering for IRS and FEC purposes), so no problems. (2) Contributions aren’t deductible, so there are no income tax issues.

    Even if I grant you that some corporations set up non-profits who advocate for certain people to be elected, those that they advocate are not the presidents of the respective corporations.

    The 501c4 did policy. There was a related PAC to advocate for Edwards. It seems to be on the up-and-up.

    jpe (c62fe4)

  41. JPE,

    I certainly hope an accomplished lawyer like Edwards could manage to set up a legal foundation but, to me, that’s not the point of this post.

    The point is that Edwards looks like a manipulator and a hypocrite when he uses a foundation ostensibly benefiting the poor as cover for his Presidential election campaign.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  42. When I have to choose between a whole bunch of people who are rich, entrenched in the system, and living excessively, I’ll choose the guy who has done a bunch of stuff for poor people along the way.

    What’s all this stuff Edwards has done for poor people?

    Gerald A (6b39c1)

  43. We’re all hypocrites in politics, to the extent that we make trade-offs, and accept things we don’t like, in order to get things we think are more important.

    I see. Living in a mansion, working for hedge funds, getting $400 haircuts is the price he has to pay to eliminate the “two Americas”. Or something like that.

    Gerald A (6b39c1)

  44. The Times article didn’t accuse Edwards of committing any crimes, you just had to wait until near the end to read those paragraphs. The article would be standard treatment for a conservative, all the innuendo and insinuation up front before saying it’s a close call at the end. Take it up with the editors Progs.

    It does add on to his reputation as a hypocrite at a time when it’s not needed.

    BTW, Phil’s choice of Ron Paul and Edwards as candidates – could’ve knocked me over with a feather!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  45. What do you want Edwards to do, Gerald?

    Talk like a rube and cut some weeds?

    Work for you?

    alphie (015011)

  46. That wouldn’t help poor people either, alphie.

    Pablo (99243e)

  47. While being sleazy and certainly elitist there isn’t anything illegal about Edwards foundation use. I’m watching all of these “hits” on his campaign closely though because they aren’t coming from the right, it’s Hillary thinning the herd on her way up. Looks like she’s going to make him defend every single thing he’s ever done, said or even thought and she’s already drawn blood.

    Buzzy (7417f4)

  48. Alphie,

    I don’t know about talking like a rube (some non-Southerners might say he already does that), but I think it would do John Edwards good to mow a few lawns.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  49. Phil Said:

    When I have to choose between a whole bunch of people who are rich, entrenched in the system, and living excessively, I’ll choose the guy who has done a bunch of stuff for poor people along the way.

    Phil chooses Dick Cheney?

    The Cheneys donated just under $6.87 million to charity from the stock options and royalties from Mrs. Cheney’s books. That left about $1.9 million in income on which the Cheney’s owed $529,636 in taxes.

    Now, I’m not saying that just because Edwards donated less to charity that he’s a bad person. But if the principals were reversed, I suspect Phil would.

    Hoystory (de9da0)

  50. Why doesn’t he call it The Human Fund and have done with it?

    Paul Zrimsek (65a110)

  51. Hoystory, tell us any of the policies Cheney has championed that have helped the poor.
    Fo the same for Edwards (and remember he was a Senator once).

    Edwards is a bit sanctimonious and not entirely what he claims to be. Cheney is simply a corrupt schmuck who’s not too bright.
    You associate yourself with Cheney’s anger and insecurity. Like him you’re the intellectual underdog. You respect bullies more than teacher’s pets.
    WTF this has to do with considerations of policy I don’t know, but I wouldn’t vote for someone out of spite. It could get people killed. In fact, it has:

    In November, after the election, CentCom commander Gen. John Abizaid rejected the notion of a so-called surge, saying that he “met with every divisional commander, Gen. Casey, the core commander, Gen. Dempsey” and asked them if bringing “in more American troops now, [would] add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq and they all said, ‘No.'”
    Indeed, Bush fired Gen. Casey, in large part because he neglected to tell the president what he wanted to hear.
    And yet, here we are, just a few months later, watching Bush brag about how his policy followed the advice of the generals — which is “what you want your President doing.” Please.
    If Bush wants to reject the advice of top military leaders, that’s his prerogative; he is regrettably the Commander in Chief. But he really needs to drop this I-listened-to-our-military schtick.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  52. AF – Since Bush told Steve Benen of TPM why he fired Gen. Casey according to your quoted material, does Steve also have the inside scoop on the U.S. Attorney firings or farce that the Article 32 hearing on Haditha are becoming?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  53. Thread hijacking does not change what a shallow hypocrite Edwards is.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  54. “Since Bush told Steve Benen of TPM why he fired Gen. Casey…”
    Why not ask Gen. Shinseki?

    CAMP PENDLETON — A staff sergeant testified Thursday that he was ordered to destroy grisly pictures of women and children killed by Marines so that the images would not be part of a statement being prepared for an investigative officer and a magazine reporter.
    The testimony by Staff Sgt. Justin Laughner, taken under a grant of immunity, is the first evidence suggesting that any Marine officer may have engaged in a coverup in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.
    Other testimony has suggested that officers made only a superficial review before deciding that the deaths were combat-related and thus no war crimes investigation was required.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  55. “shallow hypocrite”
    as opposed to Bush who’s a deep one?

    AF (4a3fa6)

  56. The point is that Edwards looks like a manipulator and a hypocrite when he uses a foundation ostensibly benefiting the poor as cover for his Presidential election campaign.

    It was a think tank. Nothing I saw of the org’s primary documents suggests that it was a charitable NFP designed to give designed assistance. I’ll agree, though, that there’s grounds to be suspicious that it was a way to keep the campaign team together and to develop ideas to be used on the stump.

    While being sleazy and certainly elitist

    If Edwards wore anything other than a flannel shirt, I’m sure you’d think it elitist. And if he wore that, I’m sure you’d call it pandering. He can’t win for retards like you.

    jpe (b25e0c)

  57. AF – In the first Article 32 hearing to be completed the hearing officer recommended that the charges against Lance Corporal Sharratt be dismissed. In the second Article 32 hearing, the hearing officer recommended that the criminal charges be dismissed and an administrative charge of failing to obey an order be pursued against Captain Stone. Murtha’s 0-2 so far.

    Shinseki departed after his four year term was up, but you can keep spinning that however you want it.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  58. Policies? You want policies? Well, there were the Bush tax cuts that removed hundreds of thousands of the working poor from the tax rolls altogether. The Wall Street Journal referred to these people as “Lucky Duckies” and earned columnist Paul Krugman’s ire for doing so.

    But why are “policies” at issue here?

    I thought we were interested in helping the poor — and the Cheney’s last year gave more than $6 million to help the poor and Edwards created a shell organization to further his political career in the name of helping the poor and didn’t actually do a whole hell of a lot to actually help the poor.

    Why is it more admirable in your eyes for someone to champion “policies” (read: taking my hard-earned money by force) to help the poor than someone who gives money to help the poor out of the goodness of their heart?

    Hoystory (de9da0)

  59. Bush’s tax cuts?
    You’re a real jackass aren’t you?.

    The Bush administration and Congress have scaled back programs that aid the poor to help pay for $600 billion in tax breaks that went primarily to those who earn more than $288,800 a year.
    To offset the loss of the tax revenue, the administration has amassed record federal deficits and trimmed social spending.
    The affected programs — job training, housing, higher education and an array of social services — provide safety nets for the poor. Many programs are critical elements in welfare-to-work initiatives and were already badly underfunded.
    A six-month Detroit News investigation showed that as a result of the withering government assistance, working poor and destitute Americans are increasingly likely to be placed on waiting lists for help, receive reduced services, or be denied service entirely.
    The News, after interviewing scores of people across the United States and examining thousands of pages of federal and state financial records, determined the loss of services cost many poor Americans more money than they saved from the tax cuts.
    In many cases, the poorest lost services and got no tax cut at all.
    The analysis of the three Bush tax cuts is based in part on estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
    The poorest 20 percent of workers, who earn on average $16,600 annually, will get a tax break of $250 this year, which is less than 2 percent of their income. That amounts to about 68 cents a day.
    By comparison, the richest 1 percent, with average incomes topping $1.1 million, will receive $78,460 in tax cuts this year. That is nearly 7 percent of their income.
    For the poor, inequities of the Bush tax cuts are further exacerbated by the long-standing disparities in the Social Security tax, which has increased nine times since 1977.
    Earnings are taxed for Social Security at a rate of 6.2 percent on income up to $87,900. But there is no Social Security tax on income above that amount. For America’s poorest workers — those who struggle to make ends meet — every dollar is subject to the Social Security tax.
    The richest 10 percent, who make on average $288,800, will pay less than 2 percent of their income for Social Security.
    In fact, while most workers pay into Social Security all year, millionaires — who pay less than half a percent — would be finished paying it by the first four weeks of the year.
    For taxpayers who earn more than $87,900, it amounts to an estimated $85 billion break.
    Meanwhile, the Bush tax breaks for the richest 10 percent this year alone will total $148 billion.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  60. On Shinseki.
    just read.

    AF (4a3fa6)

  61. Just exactly who are these “poor” you are talking about, AF? Are they talented, educated hardworking people who contribute to society and the progress of the human race?

    nk (0ebe4a)

  62. AF – That Detroit News piece is a real laugher, internally inconsistent and without any intelectual honesty, sort of like your posts. Didn’t those tax cuts result in an increse in tax receipts as planned AF, something you loony libs said couldn’t happen? Do you know which income groups actually pay the bulk of our taxes in this country AF? Gee, with all those program cuts, where did the deficits come from if tax receipts were climbing?

    Shinseki – Old news, nice spin, thanks for playing.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  63. AF, the Detroit News piece intentionally ignores the fact that receipts from the highest income levels has been increasing as both a percentage of income and as a percentage of total receipts. The amount of taxation being borne by the upper income levels has been trending higher, not decreasing as the article and you wish to falsely imply.

    None of your thread hijacking has anything to do with the post of course.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  64. What I want to know is: can I set up an anti-poverty foundation and keep the money, too? Because frankly I am getting tired of always being a broke ass sumbitch, you know?

    B Moe (6e5626)

  65. Wow, AF. I think you might have some anger management issues there. Last I checked, I hadn’t resorted to namecalling.

    That Detroit News piece is a hoot. It says something about the current state of journalism that it appeared in the news pages and not the opinion pages. All of their “analysis” was provided by the Center on Budget Policies and Priorities. — while it’s described as non-partisan, it’s left-wing liberal in its outlook. (Look no farther than its encouragement to: “Read Washington Post Columnist
    Steven Pearlstein’s profile of the Center:
    ‘A Powerhouse for the Poor’)

    Anyway, I’ll respectfully ask my question again in the hopes of getting an answer that doesn’t involve juvenile namecalling:

    Why is it more admirable in your eyes for someone to champion “policies” (read: taking my hard-earned money by force) to help the poor than someone who gives money to help the poor out of the goodness of their heart?

    I anxiously await a well-reasoned, thoughtful response from you, AF.

    Hoystory (b9390a)

  66. Hoystory, tell us any of the policies Cheney has championed that have helped the poor.

    How about the policy of pulling 6.87 million dollars out of his pocket and giving it to them?

    Pablo (99243e)

  67. This outrage of yours might be a bit more credible it you had expressed similar outrage over the far greater and much more harmful and disgusting antics of Bush Co and Cheney.. How come I have not seen a blog about Cheneys latest attempt to set himself up as a fourth branch of government unaccountable to anyone by himself?

    Charlie (04c679)

  68. Ah, the classic “you’ve no credibility because you didn’t post on my outrage”.

    Dude, that was considered lame a decade ago.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  69. If you just dropped in from Mars and read the bleatings of the Bushies you might think the real problem with this country is that the rich dont have enough money..
    Here is something to ponder or I should say discredit because it doesnt fit into your agenda..

    During the five years from 2000 to 2005, the US economy grew in size from $9.8 trillion to $11.2 trillion, an increase in real terms of 14%.

    Productivity – the measure of the output of the economy per worker employed – grew even more strongly, by 16.6%.

    family incomes

    But over the same period, the median family’s income slid by 2.9%, in contrast to the 11.3% gain registered in the second half of the 1990s.

    Even for those with jobs, the fruits of economic growth have been more unequally distributed within the labour market.

    The incomes of the top 20% have grown much faster than earnings of those at the middle or bottom of the income distribution. The income of the top 1% and top 0.1% have grown particularly rapidly.

    From 1992 to 2005, the pay of chief executive officers of major companies rose by 186%.

    The equivalent figure for median hourly wages was 7.2%, leaving the ratio of CEOs’ pay to that of the average worker at 262.

    In the 1960s, the comparable figure was 24.

    Oh you want sources so you can accuse them of Liberal loonie bias?? Its the BBC…Ah yes the always anti American BBC.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5303590.stm

    Charlie (04c679)

  70. True story: Less than two hours ago a homeless-looking lady approached me on the street and asked: “Can you spare some change?” I gave her a dollar. She said …: “Can I have one more dollar?”

    AF and Charlie, you have no right to live off the sweat of others. They may grant you a gift. But a gift is not an entitlement. You want to be the richest man in the world? Invent a better computer operating system.

    nk (0ebe4a)

  71. Hey AF.. maybe you are fellow Air Force like me?? I read that post on Shinseki. Well that is what our beloved Commander in Chief means when he says he listens to the military.. He listens and if they disagree with them he fires them..!!

    I challenge anyone on this post to tell me if Clinton or ANY liberal or Democrat had done exactly what Bush has done on Iraq and just about any other issue you name, all of you and the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Sean Hannity etc would not be screaming your opposition and outrage. I can honestly say I would be so tell me who is putting politics before country? I respectfully await your spin..

    Charlie (04c679)

  72. NK who the hell ever said anything about living off the sweat of others? That is not what this is about at all.. Dont listen to that bullshit propaganda. the issue is far deeper..

    Charlie (04c679)

  73. One one more thing NK,, its very commendable of you to actually reach in your pocket and give a “homeless looking” lady a full dollar!!! and I just cannot justify her insatiable greed to actually ask for two!! What is this world coming!!

    Charlie (04c679)

  74. No, Charlie, it’s not commendable at all because it was the mere indulgence of my whim and nothing else. I do not feel that I fulfilled any duty. Is that the deep issue you were talking about?

    nk (0ebe4a)

  75. I respectfully await

    First time for everything, I guess…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  76. Charlie, evidently your memory is poor – President Clinton justified the intervention against Serbia over Kosovo on the basis of a genocide in Kosovo that wasn’t happening.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  77. “AF and Charlie, you have no right to live off the sweat of others.”

    Well goddamn, there goes my stock portfolio,

    AF (4a3fa6)

  78. Charlie – Is that median family income number in the article you pasted pretax or after tax. The difference could be significant.

    Did we make a focus on income distribution a national priority and I missed the memo or is that just a liberal talking point? Are you suggesting we need government intervention to regulate everyone’s income Charlie, because that’s what it sounds like when you hype stats like that?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  79. Money only buys so much government influence, daley.

    If a majority of Americans think better income distribution should become a national priority, it will become a national priority.

    Seeing as the Paris Hilton tax break bill failed to pass, and Bush’s tax breaks aren’t going to be renewed when they expire soon, I’d say income distribution is indeed now a national priority.

    alphie (015011)

  80. Wow, and here I thought the primary purpose of income taxes was to pay for the operations of the government!

    daleyrocks (906622)

  81. Then you have no objections to raising income tax rates to cover the budget defecit then, daley?

    alphie (015011)

  82. Let’s redistribute alphie’s money first.

    Pablo (99243e)

  83. Who says we have to pay for the operations on a current basis – isn’t that the first rule of the democratic party?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  84. “Did we make a focus on income distribution a national priority and I missed the memo…” – DaleyRocks

    Quite obviously you did, DR. This tribulation that the country has been forced to endure for the last seven years has seen the MOST RAPID and UPWARD redistribution of wealth in the history of the country.

    So you’re right, Bub, you missed the memo. It came out about seven years ago – back when we had a balanced budget and “were in danger of paying the debt down too quickly.”

    REMEMBER??? Sure you do! That was before your guys started “creating their own reality” and screwing up the world.

    You’d better get with the program, DR. The country is on the Highway to Hell. And we all know who’s driving.

    Thank God there’s only 26% of ya left!

    Brent Mack (ca66f3)

  85. In general, people who support income distribution are those who don’t have much money (because they believe they are entitled to more than they earn) and politicians (because they want to oversee the redistribution).

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  86. Mack, you’re obviously confused. Someone else brought up income distribution as a bugaboo.

    Does anyone control income distribution? It sounds like it from your perspective.

    Me, I believe that I earn 100% of each paycheck but that as a citizen of this country I am required to pay into a system of taxation established by our representative government primarily to pay for its operations.

    The fans of the income redistribution arguments seem to believe that 100% of everyone’s paycheck belong to the government and that they’ll tell you how much you can keep after they finish figuring out how much social engineering they want to accomplish. Seems like a much different perspective.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  87. Brent, if by “the MOST RAPID and UPWARD redistribution of wealth in the history of the country” you mean that wealth is being transfered from the poor to the rich, the census and tax data demonstrate the falsity of your claim.

    Robin Roberts (6c18fd)

  88. Mack – How do you propose controlling the front end of the equation, what people earn before taxes. Are you suggesting that the government regulate wages or are you just going to rely on the tax system to do your dirty work for you?

    You haven’t even presented a case for why you think uneven income distribution is inherently a bad thing either. Have you thought your positions through?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  89. […] at Patterico’s Pontifications, he’s got a pretty good, long comment thread regarding this story on John Edwards I highlighted on […]

    Democrats’ poverty conundrum at Hoystory (f2fa8b)

  90. ROBIN HOOD stole from the rich and gave to the poor JOHN EDWARDS steals from the rich and poor and keeps it all your typical liberal demacratic trial lawyer

    krazy kagu (484aa9)

  91. It’s amusing to me how members of the party least concerned with fighting poverty and most concerned with personal gain at any cost are so quick to bash those who even bring up the subject! So what if a successful person (on either side of the aisle) wants to pay $400 for a haircut?
    I wonder if not seeing trees for the forest is a trait shared by the preponderance of conservatives. (Well, it’s actually obvious… :-) )
    With absolutist statements like [daleyrocks]”income redistribution arguments seem to believe that 100% of everyone’s paycheck belong to the government” are, of course, ridiculous.
    All we have to do is look back to the real job growth we enjoyed under a Democratic president (who, btw, was a centrist, not a liberal) to see that opportunity does not have to be in the form of wealth redistribution.
    It’s unfortunate that mainstream conservatives do not have the gumption to *really* research the slogans and sound bites handed to them by the ilk of Karl Rove (junk mail marketeer).
    For example – in this incomplete piece, Edwards is bashed for saying his primary focus is poverty but he is also looking into the Iraq war.
    For some people, it’s possible to work on more then one thing at a time. :-)

    ConSlayer (6b6ec4)


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