Patterico's Pontifications

11/3/2008

Obama: Taking “Chump Change” from the Rich

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:00 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Barack Obama sat down Saturday for an MTV interview that covered a wide range of topics, including how he will spread the wealth to lower-income Americans by taking “chump change” from the rich:

[MTV News staffer] Sway: Our next question is from Matt from Iowa: “If your desire is to spread the wealth around, what incentive is there for me to try to work hard? If I am only going to get more taken away from me, the more money I make, why wouldn’t I just slide into a life of relaxation and let rich people take care of me? And a lot of people are asking similar questions, and I wanted you to specify. What does this mean exactly?”

Obama: What is amazing to me is this whole notion that somehow everybody is just looking out for themselves. I mean, the fact is, we just talked about student loans. When young people who have the drive and the skill to go to college can’t afford to go to college, how do you think we pay for scholarships or loan programs? That money doesn’t grow on trees. It’s got to come from somewhere, and the attitude that I have is that, if we want to grow our economy, the way it grows is from the bottom up. You don’t just give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. What you do is make sure the tax code is fair. I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans, but in order to pay for that, I’m going to take the tax rates back to what they were in the 1990s for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. Now for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, if they are paying 2 or 3 percent higher in taxes, the notion that they’re somehow going to stop working, or that this young man is going to not want to be successful, that just doesn’t make any sense. Back in the 1990s, we created more millionaires, more billionaires, because the economy was growing, everything was strong, at every income bracket, people were doing well. So this idea, that somehow everybody is just on their own and shouldn’t be concerned about other people who are coming up behind them, that’s the kind of attitude that I want to end when I am president.

Sway: Just out of curiosity, for those that are being taxed that are making more than $250,000 a year, how much difference would it be from how they are being taxed today?

Obama: Well, right now, they are getting taxed at 36 percent. Under Bill Clinton in the 1990s, they were being taxed at 39.6 percent. You are talking about a 3.6 percent difference, and for the average person who is making half a million, a million dollars, now people like you Sway, that’s chump change, that’s nothing. But it could make a big difference for that young person who is trying to figure out whether they can go to college or not, if we could give them more of a break or more scholarships or grants to go to college.”

Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.

The college tuition issue is also interesting. I wonder if Obama thinks college tuition should be paid by loans or scholarships, as if it’s impossible for average Americans to save for college costs. I doubt there are many Americans who can afford Columbia and Harvard, but there are many other choices that people can afford if they work and save and are allowed to keep their money.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out that Obama’s “chump change” tax increase works out to $9,000 more in taxes for a family making $250,000. That’s $9,000 a year those families won’t be able to save for their children’s college education. It’s not small change but it shows Obama thinks Americans are chumps.

— DRJ

120 Responses to “Obama: Taking “Chump Change” from the Rich”

  1. Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.

    Is that somehow different from what we’re doing now?

    gab (b372e1)

  2. If 39.5% was a good enough top tax rate for Ronald Reagan, it ought to be good enough for today’s “conservatives” too.

    Unless you guys think Ronald Reagan was a Socialist.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  3. Comment by snuffles — 11/3/2008 @ 11:04 am

    The 39.6% rate was during the Clinton Administration.
    The top Income Tax Rate at the end of the Reagan Administration was 28%!

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  4. Don’t forget that, since Obama wants to eliminate the Social Security tax cap, people who make over $102k per year will also be hit with another 6.2% in taxes on their income (plus their employers being hit with another 6.2%).

    North Dallas Thirty (efe6ff)

  5. Have you ever noticed how people who carry on about “chump change” don’t seem to…ah…be willing to just open up their wallets to demonstrate that it is no big deal?

    If Obama simply said: You know what, I need to lead by example. So I will personally donate three times the tax increase that so concerns some people to the American Red Cross to demonstrate that we all need to help one another…

    No, he wants other people to give more. By law, not preference.

    Ditto with TdJ. I think he should send evidence to Patterico of a PayPal donation to a nonpartisan charity of 1500 dollars, up front, to show how willing he/she/it is to help out others.

    It’ll never happen.

    Besides, pot is spendy…and talk is cheap.

    Oh, and AD? “History…is bunk” is TdJ’s phrase. Don’t confuse him/her/it with facts.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  6. Comment by Eric Blair — 11/3/2008 @ 11:18 am

    I’m sorry, having a short-term memory issue here.
    Please remind me who we’re talking about: “TdJ”?

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  7. The Shoplifter’s Excuse: “Best Buy/Wal-Mart/Borders are huge. It’s just small change to them”.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  8. Comment by Techie — 11/3/2008 @ 11:28 am

    When Shariah is instituted, there will be very little shoplifting (and almost no recidivism).

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  9. But it’s Chump Change You Can Believe In!

    Official Internet Data Office (6c7d18)

  10. It’s pretty amazing the MTV, for crying out loud, is the only news organization to ask this man a tough question.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  11. gab,

    The theory is that the government taxes its citizens in order to spend the money on projects for the public good. There is an element of socialism in that but, in my view, it is qualitatively different than taxing in order to redistribute money from one person to another. I concede that the welfare state and the Earned Income Credit opened the door on direct redistributions, but Barack Obama wants to go even further.

    So I stand by my statement that “In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.” Obama thinks the American public is ready for more give-and-take, and it seems the taking half agrees.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  12. If I remember one of his books correctly, Obama does not think “college tuition should be paid by loans or scholarships”. He thinks college should be funded like public education through high school currently is, meaning free at first glance. It’s a right.

    And Did Obama just point to the Dot-Com Billionaire Bubble as evidence that 90’s economic policy was working?

    roy (7a7bfb)

  13. Fox Opinion Dynamics Poll now reports:

    “Obama’s lead among those who say they have already voted has almost disappeared. He has a 1-point edge–just 48-47 percent–in this latest poll, down from a 52-43 percent lead previously (Oct 28-29).”

    Official Internet Data Office (6c7d18)

  14. Nobody here makes more than $250,000, so why do you care?

    chicken marsala (326f88)

  15. Official Internet Data Office,

    I’m not sure that helps McCain but I guess it’s a moral victory.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  16. Patterico said,
    “The college tuition issue is also interesting.”

    It is interesting, but not surprising: to the progressive radical, any means to get our youth onto their campuses is worth a try. Making the attainment of their campus’ credentials a guaranteed, subsidized ‘right’ would be quite a win for the Prog Movement.

    Quite a win indeed.

    It’d put them on a pedestal above other campuses, like, say, the Marines’ or a state’s National Guard Reserve, by providing academe’s campuses with a reliable stream of incentivized inductees supported by annual infusions of public monies.

    And all mandated by new laws: In the “Wars of the Campuses” this de facto award of primacy to only academe’s theatres and awards would institutionalize the subordination of every competing institution in our nation’s once-pluralistic meritocracy under their new master, Academe.

    Churches, Free-Masons, families, local fire-houses, civic volunteer groups, corporations, non-profits – in fact, all cellular civic campuses in America – should rankle at the idea of this Federal favor.

    So, it does not surprise me at all to see Obama stressing college campus induction. Just like his “spread the wealth around” comment to Joe the Plumber, his idolization of college credentialing reveals deeper, hidden plans.

    steveaz (dc2228)

  17. hummmm,”chump change” verses no change-how much is enough, and when does the right hand be come aware of what the left hand is doing?

    mousie (b2f970)

  18. Nobody here makes more than $250,000, so why do you care?

    LOL…..do you plan not to succeed in life, marsala?

    Tell us, what mindset do Obama supporters have, that they know they never get promoted, run their own company, or achieve great rewards in their workplace? Is it an admittance of their own stupidity and incompetence, or of simple shortsightedness?

    Second, as numerous sources have pointed out, in order to fund all the promises that the Obamamessiah has made, that threshold is going to have to come down considerably.

    North Dallas Thirty (efe6ff)

  19. AD: TdJ is Troll du Jour…our friend sniffles. I mean snuffles.

    But you can use to describe any of the astroturfers on this site. Mind you, there are Obama supporters who post here who are not trolls. I am dissing them. I am dissing TdJ types, who add nothing to the discussion, and often don’t bother to think before they post at all.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  20. Nobody here makes more than $250,000, so why do you care?

    Comment by chicken marsala — 11/3/2008 @ 11:53 am

    Perhaps someone here _works_ (or, if Obama is elected and enacts his tax policy, “worked”) for someone who makes more than $250k/year.

    Or perhaps that “chump change” now going to the gummint _doesn’t_ go to throwing a party that would require catering, musicians, DJs, etc.

    Or maybe even one of those evil corporations are both feeling the pinch of the economy because they sell “luxury items” and those “luxury items” are supported after market by the work of outside contractors. So, both the economic pinch and tax increases cause said corporation to reduce their spending on that item which means development from the outside contractor gets axed.

    See the pattern here?

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  21. I might be missing something but I don’t see what a student loan has to do with raising taxes. A student gets a loan and then, over time, pays it back with interest. Presumably, the interest should cover the cost of the loan and the payment and interest should replenish the funds to be given to the next student.

    Or, is his plan to take my money and give it to someone else to go to college without paying me back? I already have that plan, it’s called my own three kids.

    ThreeSheets (c3439e)

  22. Oh, and as for making more than 250K, I know a certain junior senator from Illinois who makes more than that. And whose wife complains how hard it is to make ends meet, pay for private school, pay off college loans, etc.

    But I doubt that they will pay more taxes. RHIP, after all. That is for other folk.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  23. Nobody here makes more than $250,000, so why do you care?

    First off, these days it’s $120,000, not $250,000…

    Second, it’s because while we might not now, would would like to in the future still be able to keep some of it.

    Third, the BIGGEST hit will come when Congress (as they have said that they want to) eliminates pre-tax contributions to 401(k)s, and removes the Corp. tax deduction for employer fund-matching.

    When those go away, why bother putting into a 401k? Why not just toss it into a CD or such? When THAT happens, the stock market will TANK because the market has come to rely on that constant flow of money.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  24. Comment by Eric Blair — 11/3/2008 @ 12:06 pm

    Thanks, Eric. I must have missed the original reference. Appreciate the up-date.
    Q- Can a TdJ actually be determined to have brain-wave activity?

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  25. Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.

    DRJ, with all due respect that is simply baloney. This is the same misguided and distorted myth the Right has been pushing this whole election season and frankly I’m just sick of the whole truckload of Horsepucky. Obama is not a socialist and he’s not a Marxist, he is an American and one who values the power of wealth creation for all levels of economic strata. This idea, this old tired tedious tiresome broken down debunked idea of wealth going to the wealthiest is really over and done. Look a the markets, look at the all encompassing right-wing, Reaganomic, trickle down ideology that has DOMINATED the economic landscape in this country, more or less for the past 25 years and the negative and ruinous effects it’s had upon the middle and working classes, in the heartland of this country as money and wealth has concentrated itself in the top single-digit percentages of the most wealthy. Observe the crippling effects of full throttle government acquiescence to the private sector and superficial unenforceable oversight and deregulation. Is anyone really paying less for phone service? Gas or anything really other than plastic crap and questionable sometimes fatal food ingredients from China? Look at the long term effects it’s had on the very fiber of the nation as a whole.

    This idea that someone making a quarter of a million, or half a million, or even a million dollars having to pay a few percentages more on taxes is a wrong or un-American, or a sign of encroaching governmental anything is ludicrous to the extreme.

    The greatest post-war expansion of the economy took place in the 90s, with millionaires and Billionaires created at a staggering clip due to the explosion of IT and the web, real tangible skills and assets, not illusory Real Estate pipe dreams and stock market ponzi schemes (now in severe moribund trajectory), through a combination of smart private and public sector symbiosis. It’s both ironic and instructive, that the free market ideology of Reaganomics would reach it’s peak of effectiveness and wealth creation under Clinton a Democrat who’s tax levels Obama will match. And the next wave is coming and it’s called Energy tech or Green technology, and the right can either get ready for it and reap the fabulous rewards, or they can bitch and moan about “socialism” and a few measly percentage points more in taxes. Personally, if the right doesn’t want to take part in that, I could give a flying toss and most people will agree with me as Democrats and liberal centrists will be the engine and drivers of that wave of wealth, the same way they were the leading edge and drivers of the IT explosion and Silicon Valley innovation, because they have the imagination and the drive, to get on with it and to not bitch about a coupla percentage points and get on with the job of creating a vibrant new industry that will create wealth in the hundreds of percentage points. Really, guys, go ahead and sit out an Obama presidency and fire people and close your businesses, those folks will come and work for democrats in the heartland and the industrial states and it’s just more wealth for those who aren’t sitting on their hands and cutting off their noses to spite their faces. The ones happily paying 3.6 % more on their damned taxes and reaping the rewards.

    And next presidential election Obama and Democrats will break even more fundraising records.

    And I have to tell you, at this point trickle-down and free market fundamentalism is beginning to sound as antiquated and reactionary as the aristocrats and clergy in the time of Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press (true arrogant elites), who complained and vexed over the common folk being allowed access to books and knowledge, because their limited brains wouldn’t know how to deal with it and dangerous decentralizing ideas would spread and all along it was a thinly disguised and reprehensible ploy to keep people ignorant, easy to manipulate, and in desperate servitude to a fear of the church as an actual manifestation of God.

    And guess what? The wealthy Right are not a manifestation of God, and the people don’t need them to be allowed to trickle-down anything on them for their own good, whether that be knowledge or wealth.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  26. Wow. Thanks for taking the time to write that out, Peter. Good stuff!

    truthnjustice (3d65f9)

  27. Three Sheets,

    The first question at the MTV link – the one right before the portion I excerpted – concerned student loans. I’ve reprinted it below but the short answer is that Obama wants to take tax money to pay for other people’s children to go to college through a $4,000 annual tax credit. That money won’t be repaid by the students and thus it’s a redistribution from taxpayers.

    Here’s the student loan question and answer:

    Sway: The first question is from joi0924, and she’s from San Antonio: “The young people today cannot afford to go to college because of the cost of tuition. What are your plans as our next president when it comes to making it easier for young people to attend college?”

    Obama: Look, this I can relate to. I went to college having to take out student loans, went to law school having to take out student loans. Michelle took out student loans. When we got married, I think together our total loan payments every month was more than our mortgage when we bought a house, and that lasted for about 10 years. And I meet students — I think the average student is taking out $25,000 to $30,000. That’s a huge burden, especially in a time when wages and income are not going up. So here is what we want to do: increase the Pell Grant program, eliminate banks as middlemen from the direct loan program — they’re taking out billions of dollars in profits — take that money, apply that to increasing the number of loans that are out there and reducing the rates, and then what I want to do is provide a $4,000 tuition credit for every student, every year, in exchange for national service. If they participate in Peace Corps, working in their community in some fashion, obviously joining the military. We are going to make sure that they can afford their college tuition. And in certain areas, like teaching, where we really need teachers, especially in math and science, and nursing, where we really need nurses, we will potentially provide them with even more than that in order to get the high-quality teachers and nurses that we really need.”

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  28. Someone is in line for a crushing awakening.
    But, with his present detachment from reality, and complete lack of historical knowledge,
    I’m sure that when reality bites, it will be no more noticed than the bite of a mosquito.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  29. Peter,

    Capitalism works. Socialism doesn’t.

    That some people think capitalism is more heartless than socialism does not rebut those basic facts.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  30. I would like to mention that we already have the ability as citizens to make personal gifts to reduce the public debt of our government.

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/gift/gift.htm has the statistics and information.

    How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
    Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it is a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

    Attn Dept G
    Bureau Of the Public Debt
    P. O. Box 2188
    Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

    If you look, the amount donated per year hovers between 1 and 2.6 million. Essentially nothing.

    If anyone thinks they are not being taxed enough, there you go.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  31. DRJ, that wasn’t the point.

    First of all, what Fox says means is that–based on what people say about their early votes already cast–McCain is 1 point behind. Why is that significant? Based on the Fox numbers, the early voters favored Obama by 9 as of October 29, but since then favored McCain by 8, yielding a net +1 for Obama among all early voters so far. The tide is now coming in for McCain, as the Undecideds finally choose him.

    Furthermore, it’s even possible to win the Electoral College with that that kind of number (-1), if it persists.

    Official Internet Data Office (6c7d18)

  32. In response to DRJ’s #27 comment…

    It is hard that Obama and his wife had large student loans (as did the Mrs. and I), but he seems to overlook the part where those loans led him to make nice sums of money and Michelle to make $316,000 per year at U of C Hospital. The system worked.

    Moreso, is he unaware that every time the government subsidizes student tuition payments through scholarships, etc, the schools simply raise tuition?

    ThreeSheets (6518e7)

  33. That some people think capitalism is more heartless than socialism does not rebut those basic facts.

    For Progressives, it is all about feelings; facts are irrelevant.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  34. I might not have been clear. What I mean in 32, is that there is no reason to take my money (that I plan to use for my own kids’ education) and give it to someone else. The current plan worked for the Obama’s and no reason it won’t continue to work for others.

    There seems to be a belief, mostly on the left, that people are entitled to whatever they want without paying any cost. Yes, student loans can be onerous, but it is a sacrifice you pay to advance yourself (as the Obama’s did).

    ThreeSheets (6518e7)

  35. I agree, ThreeSheets. I was probably too anxious to expand on the student loan discussion so I didn’t read your comment as carefully as I should.

    I also think there is a tendency for people to overspend when they borrow money to pay for things, whether it’s for college educations, cars, houses, or even just going to restaurants. It’s easier to spend when you don’t have to take it from your wallet or your bank account.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  36. Official Internet Data Office,

    Thank you for coming back to clarify that. This is obviously my day for misunderstanding things, and that is good news.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  37. #35 DRJ, I finally agree with you: (it happens)

    I also think there is a tendency for people to overspend when they borrow money to pay for things, whether it’s for college educations, cars, houses, or even just going to restaurants. It’s easier to spend when you don’t have to take it from your wallet or your bank account.

    If we the tax payers have to help pay for these “Tendencies” in the form of bail outs, shouldn’t there be regulation?

    Oiram (983921)

  38. Look folks you and I are not economists and even if we were we could not figure out this mess. We all know that figures can be made to say what ever the person doing the figuring wants. Fact is the Republicans have had many many years to create a viable economy and they haven’t. The economy is in horrible shape, our deficits are astronomical, jobs are missing or low paying and we all know this. Never mind the spin, just look around and ask if you are happy with what you see. If you are then vote for McCain because his policies are just more of the same. If not vote for change. And if you really think McCain is different just remember the same folks cheering for McCain were cheering for Bush three months ago. Same old wine just in a new bottle.

    Think of yourself as an owner of a business who hired a manager and now sees sales and profits are dropping. Dont accept excuses. Promises to do better. Attacks on replacement managers. Just fire the manager and hire someone else. Its really just that simple.

    And on this matter of raising taxes on the top earners. We heard the same thing when Bill Clinton was elected how this would cause a recession and it didnt. If you go far back enough the same thing was said about child labor laws.

    And one point further, if you want to realize how much BS is being thrown by the McCain camp, who in their right mind would really argue that higher income taxes for the top earners is the same as Socialism and Marxism? See? its all just something to scare you into voting more money for the wealthiest while you are struggling to meet your daily expenses. Its been done for years and its a bit like convincing the peasants the king needs more cake and they should pay. They are trying to fool you and its so obvious but they cant spin reality so just look around and decide if you like what you see and then act accordingly.

    VietnamEraVet (543dfe)

  39. Capitalism works. Socialism doesn’t.

    A bit simplistic DRJ. Does Capitalism work in China? Sure it creates wealth, but has it created a free society? No, it has not. By all definitions China is still a repressive tyranny with no freedom of expression, the press, religion, assembly and a terrible human rights record.

    And what is Socialism? At the very low bar set by the Right during this campaign it seems to mean readjusting the tax rate to what it was during the 90s and doing something about a broken down Health care monstrosity that is bankrupting people and businesses both big and small.

    Is socialism what’s practiced in Sweden, Norway, Denmark? Because those countries have the highest standard of living and healthiest and best educated populations in the world, and last time I looked IKEA, Ericsson, Volvo (owned by GM btw) and Volvo heavy industries and aerospace were doing quite well.

    Or did you mean Soviet Communism by “socialism.” which obviously was a tyranny and not socialism at all, but a totaltarian oligarchy.

    So, socialism, perhaps you mean England or Spain or France or Germany. All countries with very healthy economies and Germany, because of it wise and sober regulation of it’s banking and finance industry is not so effected by the meltdown taking place in this country.

    But it’s so easy to throw that word around isn’t it? How is it any different than Joe McCarthy or the suppression of the union and labor movement in the early part of the 20th century, when wages went up, draconian work weeks were scaled back and the health of workers was given real attention beyond the bottom line of industry and mining etc… and the wealthiest and most robust middle and working class in the history of the world was created and beat Hitlerism and Japanese monarchism/nationalism and plutocracy and the US became the standard bearer for prosperity and human rights.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  40. Look a the markets, look at the all encompassing right-wing, Reaganomic, trickle down ideology that has DOMINATED the economic landscape in this country, more or less for the past 25 years and the negative and ruinous effects it’s had upon the middle and working classes, in the heartland of this country as money and wealth has concentrated itself in the top single-digit percentages of the most wealthy.

    This is simply a lie. Here is an explanation and the comparison is interesting:

    the top 5% of income earners begin at $166,000 per household. The top one percent begins at $333,000.

    The US has the most progressive income tax in the world. Go to Europe and see the wealth there that is handed down in families and is narrowly held. The difference here is the upward mobility and that is what Obama will kill.

    Envy seems to be gaining traction as a political tool. It will pull the whole edifice down and we will all be equally poor. Then you will be happy.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  41. Ah yes, Change. That magical panacea.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  42. Umm…many people would argue that higher income taxes for top earners is socialism…especially when the stated reason for those higher taxes is to spread the wealth around. That is the definition of socialism: those who have are taxed so that those who have not can be given that money, in an effort to make everything “fair.” I’ll admit, it’s an admirable goal, and in fact one that can work in small scale communities of maybe a couple dozen. The problem is that, on a large scale, such as a country, wealth redistribution acts only as a disincentive. There’s no point in working to better your position, whether you’re at the top or the bottom; if you’re at the top, it’ll just be taken away from you, and if you’re at the bottom, it’ll just be given to you. I’ll repeat it one more time: it’s an absolute fallacy to state that “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” The rich don’t steal their wealth from the poor; that’s simply ludicrous. EVERYONE gets richer, relatively speaking. Economics is not a zero-sum game. Thank you, and good day.

    Chris (6733a5)

  43. China, a “Capitalistic” society?

    Haha.

    Those very “healthy” EU economies?

    Financial crisis: UK bank bail-out: The key points
    The Treasury has today unveiled a multi-billion pound package in an effort to restore confidence in the banking system.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/3156699/Financial-crisis-UK-bank-bail-out-The-key-points.html

    German State-Owned Banks on Verge of Collapse

    The German government has had to bail out state-owned banks with taxpayers’ money after their managements recklessly gambled away billions on subprime investments. But if a state-owned bank were to go under, the consequences could be disastrous for the whole economy.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,536635,00.html

    But, all is skittles and beer in Peter’s brain, because “Europe” is a magical far-away land of perfection. If only us ignorant, uncivilized Americans would recongize and heed the words of our obvious beeters.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  44. that’s “betters”

    Techie (62bc5d)

  45. Capitalism does not exist in China to any degree that inconveniences the ruling, authoritarian, Marxist elite.
    That private property, and private business is tolerated to the degree it is, is to relieve the social pressures of a country that has seen hundreds of millions of people move from the countryside into the cities, and the desperate need for the government to find employment and housing for them, which they are incapable of doing.
    The largest industrial empires within China are owned by the leaders of the Chinese military – many Chinese trading companies here in the USA, can be traced directly back to the PLA.
    It is crony-capitalism in all of its’ worst aspects. It has no relationship to the economy we have here, or have had anytime in our existence.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  46. The top Income Tax Rate at the end of the Reagan Administration was 28%!

    I stand corrected!

    No wonder the federal debt began to skyrocket under Reagan after 40 years of bi-partisan work to reduce it.

    Speaking of $9000 being “chump change,” here’s Sarah Palin talking about her Troopergate firing of Walt Monegan in the Sept. 22 issue of The New Yorker:

    “It was a job that was open, commesurate in salary pretty much — ten thousand dollars less” but she added, Monegan hadn’t wanted the job, so he left state service; he quit.

    Seems like Sarah Palin believes $10,00 is chump change, too.

    Small world.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  47. Snuffles gets called on his errors, so he tries to change the subject.

    Why do we bother?

    Techie (62bc5d)

  48. I’m a free marketeer, but I have to say some of the arguments on this blog are really pushing the limits of fairness. Why is it that a lower/middle class family is presumed to spend their tax savings / refunds on “a monthly movie”, but the wealthy family is cutting into “their children’s college education” to fund it?

    $750/year could just as easily cover basic dental care for the $50K/year family, or be saved up to fund most of the cost of an Associate’s degree from a community college. Meanwhile, a family making $250K/year probably has the basics like education well covered, and a $9K/year increase in taxes is more likely to come mainly out of luxury spending. Not that this makes it OK to redistribute wealth, but if you can’t make your point without distortions and sophistry, maybe you shouldn’t be making it.

    roy (91a62c)

  49. Does Capitalism work in China? Sure it creates wealth, but has it created a free society? No, it has not. By all definitions China is still a repressive tyranny with no freedom of expression, the press, religion, assembly and a terrible human rights record.

    Amusingly, you ignore the fact that China was, for decades, Communist. Capitalism is MAKING China a more free society, but it has to work against lots of stuff there before. Those human rights records?

    Those didn’t suddenly become horrible AFTER they started leaning capitalist.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  50. “Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.”

    Peter – You are perfectly free to be tired of the above statement, but it is basically what Obama said to Joe the Plumber. Everybody is better off when you spread the wealth around and help the people behind you. Ranting about it doesn’t change the substance you door knob.

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  51. I stand corrected!…sniffles

    You have been corrected/spanked so much, it is a wonder that you could even think about sitting.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  52. Oiram,

    I’m a conservative, not a libertarian — although I was a libertarian in my younger years. I think regulation is inefficient but I don’t oppose it per se. My problem is with all the things that go along with Democratic regulatory systems such as excessive spending (and I know Bush has overspent. I don’t like that either), increasingly progressive taxation, and redistributive goals that purport to help people but don’t actually help them.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  53. “Does Capitalism work in China? Sure it creates wealth, but has it created a free society? No, it has not. By all definitions China is still a repressive tyranny with no freedom of expression, the press, religion, assembly and a terrible human rights record.”

    Peter – Back to your old disingenuous self aren’t you. Wouldn’t China have to change some laws to allow for freedom of the press, expression, religion, etc. That they haven’t is separate from allowing parts of their economy to operate on a capitalistic system. Why don’t you try to reason that out before you embarrass yourself with another stupid analogy.

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  54. AD – She’s here for her unrequited, self-loathing McCain love. She can’t help it.

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  55. increasingly progressive taxation, and redistributive goals that purport to help people but don’t actually help them.

    Comment by DRJ — 11/3/2008 @ 1:10 pm

    And here’s what I want to know from all the people who purport to support taxing the rich to help the poor:

    At what point to the poor go from “requiring help” to “helped”?

    IOW, by what metric can we consider “helping the poor” to be successful?

    CW Desiato (614aa7)

  56. Obama is one step away from the American Socialist Party’s call for not only a minimum salary (beyond just a minimum wage) but also a maximum salary.

    Icy Truth (0466e6)

  57. VietnamEraVet,

    The economy is in horrible shape, our deficits are astronomical, jobs are missing or low paying and we all know this.

    Assuming you are who you say you are (I have my doubts), here are some factoids:

    1. What was the unemployment rate during the so-called recovery year of 1940 under FDR? Answer: 14%.

    2. What was the unemployment rate at the height of the “Reagan recession” in September 1982? Answer: 10.8%.

    3. What is the current unemployment rate? Answer: 6.1%.

    Please forgive, but I’m trying to figure out how you’re getting from A to B vis a vis a “horrible economy?” Another question: what’s the current inflation rate compared to what it was under Jimmy Carter? Google it and you’ll be surprised.

    Furthermore, and most importantly, would you mind telling us all when you last saw a soup line or migrant camps in your town?

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  58. Techie, well covered. And thank you so much for saving me from writing out a tedious comment on the economic realities of UK and the Euros, especially Germany since they have that ‘safe and risk averse’ reputation which as you show has been exposed as hugely false in recent years. The euro may eventually fall to parity with the US$ and the Euro nations will perhaps have to revive their national currencies in order to ‘print’ themselves out of the current malaise if the impending euro rate cut doesn’t do the job. Currency folks here already know the Euros have no equivalent to the Fed to provide a money supply surge. Therefore, only the various individual central banks would have the capacity to sally forth to save the day. I don’t prognosticate such things, only observe gathering clouds and set out profit gathering devices.

    allan (28999c)

  59. #45

    It is crony-capitalism in all of its’ worst aspects. It has no relationship to the economy we have here, or have had anytime in our existence.

    I agree with you AD actually, and yes, let’s talk more about crony-capitalism…

    Peter (e70d1c)

  60. Sorry, about bringing this up and all, DRJ, but, if a middle class family attempted to send their kid to Harvard, the only money the family has to come up with is the room and board, because Harvard now covers the tuition of the matriculating middle and lower class kid. Many other schools do as well, so this tuition tax credit could really help out middle class who want to be investment bankers.

    Also, it seems to me Obama’s tax credit, which is an amazingly awesome idea, will help those people cover room and board OR will replace the amount the richy rich folks would have saved for their kid.

    Though, reading you bunch of “free market” believers get all worked up over the return of the ’90’s is kind of funny. I remember how impoverished all the rich people were then. Why, poor Rush Limbaugh couldn’t even that third wife AND a Gulfstream until George let him the money he “earned.”

    Lastly, and completely off-point but funny, did you see how all the nice banks Hank Paulson gave our money to (really Chinese Communist money….where did they get that money if capitalism is the only thing which encourages wealth) have decided, rather than loan it to people and businesses, that they would rather use it for bonus pools for their impoverished executives?

    Capitalism at its finest? Sure thing, boys, markets are always rational and self-correcting (except when they’re run by corrupt oligarchs seeking to keep every last dime….noblesse oblige indeed).

    timb (a83d56)

  61. Mike K:

    the top 5% of income earners begin at $166,000 per household. The top one percent begins at $333,000.

    Jeez…the NRO? If any magazine has suffered a greater fall from any semblance to its stated founding goal and mission, that is it. And it’s indicative of the poverty of intellect and rigorous allegiance to traditional conservative values that has basically infected all of the right, to their own detriment.

    That being said, as usual, it is vastly disingenuous to point to income levels as a percentage of the population. What I was referring to was accumulated wealth. I don’t have the number handy, but the changes in the accumulation of wealth in the last 20 years are staggering. (I’m at work and can’t find a good source right now.)

    Peter (e70d1c)

  62. 56, Yes, but Obama and his Democrat cronies will always be above the published maximum salary.

    PCD (7fe637)

  63. What is the current unemployment rate? Answer: 6.1%.

    Hell, you want to wofk in fast food or a motel there’s plenty of low paying minimum working poor jobs w/ no healthcare.

    The “Free Market Fundamentalism/Trickle down/Republican capitalism” of the last 25 years has seen to that.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  64. But, how are you going to get to that money, peter, if not by income taxes? Even if the wealthy had squirrled away all untold numbers of Scrooge McDuck money bins, you can’t get to it (yet) by taxing income and capital gains.

    Also, what percentage of the GDP are you saying is locked away in the Money Bins, as the robber-barons light their cigars with $100 bills?

    Techie (62bc5d)

  65. work

    Peter (e70d1c)

  66. Prove it, pete.

    Also, you’re so-called “working poor” jobs are currently being held by the ~20 million or so illegal immigrants.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  67. timb,

    At most schools, the Ivy League free-ride covers applicants with family incomes up to $60K or less per year. After that there is graduated assistance up to $180K a year. This money comes from Harvard’s huge endowment and mega-investment vehicle, but colleges like Harvard that have disconnected the cost of education from the obligation to pay it have pushed tuition prices higher and higher. There is no longer any relationship between what it costs to go to colleges like Harvard and what a Harvard degree is worth.

    Further, the fact that Harvard is doing great doesn’t help the thousands of other colleges and the millions of students who attend those colleges. In other words, the new system is just a newer version of class warfare except instead of the rich and AA applicants winning the Harvard lottery, it’s a new class of lucky lower-income “elites” who get to go there. How does that help America?

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  68. I wonder if Obama’s loan program would put any limits on who qualifies for the loans, other than the family’s financial status.
    Would students need to have certain grades, or certain SAT scores, for example? Or would he just have the government fund all comers?

    MayBee (37070f)

  69. Daleyrocks,
    Capitalism is the best system for dynamic, pluralistic societies. I think. But, for monolithic, tribal ones – not so much.

    If you are a Columbia-graduated social engineer (or a budding dictator) who is striving to dominate a particular social subsidiary in a diverse nation (ie. a “market,” a “gender,” or a “race”), then pluralism, and the statistical uncertainty it forces on your research and on the risks you take, is your primary impediment.

    Pluralism gums up your figures and it makes you look bad. Most of the socialists I know don’t like it. At. All.

    It’s what made America great, and It’s the first thing they want to tinker with.

    steveaz (4b0c7b)

  70. You qualify if you do community service, especially if you do it on one of the forthcoming collectives.

    Icy Truth (0466e6)

  71. Peter, accumulated wealth correlates with age. Income is what most people measure when discussing tax rates and incentives. The trust fund people are all voting for Obama because they know that their money is safe, probably in The Cayman Islands.

    Your comments about NRO are your opinion, not facts.

    Meanwhile, a family making $250K/year probably has the basics like education well covered, and a $9K/year increase in taxes is more likely to come mainly out of luxury spending.

    Now, here is the essence of socialism. The wealthy have enough so we will take the rest. This is just another way of saying “From each according to his ability.” The problem is that socialism doesn’t work. We are now seeing this in medical schools. In the days when I graduated, everyone was planning to go out and start a practice, open an office and it was up to us how much money we made and how hard we worked. One of my fellow surgery residents had inherited a fortune from his parents who had died in an accident. He actually drove a Rolls Royce to work at the County Hospital. When he finished his training he went to work for Kaiser. The salary was well below what most of us thought we could earn but it wasn’t an issue for him. His hours were limited and he had a lot of time off.

    Today, the medical students I teach know that their incomes are capped by the government and HMOs. My niece, with two degrees and excellent grades, chose to go to nursing school in Chicago because she did not want the student loans and her salary as a nurse with a BS would be almost as much as a new primary care MD. What is the reaction of today’s medical students? The are concerned about working hours and time off and all assume they will work for a clinic of some sort. Many of them do not plan to work full time. And of course about 56% of them are women.

    This is just one example familiar to me. They are also no longer voting Republican. Self employed people, like doctors used to be, are the base of the Republican Party. That no longer includes most doctors. They are employees and they do not put in the hours we did. I don’t blame them because their incomes are controlled.

    Not that this makes it OK to redistribute wealth, but if you can’t make your point without distortions and sophistry, maybe you shouldn’t be making it.

    Comment by roy

    The sophistry is in describing socialism and calling it something else.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  72. Obviously money doesn’t grow on trees but Obama’s answer is to force people to share their money. In other words, it’s fine to take another person’s property as long as you don’t take too much.

    It’s not just taking a person’s property, it’s forcing them to spend their time working for the benefit of others.

    There’s a word for that…

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  73. Oh, and you have no choice but to work for the benefit of others — the threat of violence is used to ensure that you do.

    Damn… now what was the word for that?!

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  74. I’m surprised by the response to a National Service Tuition Credit. It’s essentially a GI Bill “in advance,” which is really a better deal, in that you get a college-educated person repaying their credit with service, rather than paying for the college of someone who had served before.

    The GI Bill was not only a great way to reward those who had served, but it was an essential part of unprecedented upward social mobility.

    Lemmy Caution (39bd5c)

  75. #49

    Those didn’t suddenly become horrible AFTER they started leaning capitalist.

    Never said they did, I just find it fascinating that the two co-exist quite effectively. And I would go as far as saying lack of human rights seems to improve capitalism in their case. Near slavery working conditions. Zero worker rights. Anyone have a problem with it you’re fired. Try and organize? Say hello to your new jail cell and slave detail.

    Overall, I just think it is incredible important that a distinction be made between an economic system and a political ideology. Along with a distinction between tolerance and extremism.

    Capitalism is not a Utopian panacea, anymore than Socialism is.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  76. The GI Bill was not only a great way to reward those who had served, but it was an essential part of unprecedented upward social mobility.

    So much of what America became after WW II was due to the GI Bill. Farm kids becoming doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, writers, journalist so and so forth the value and quality of life in this country was raised immeasurably.

    It’s crazy, how many times I’ve read the obituary of some amazing individual lately, who was able to go to college and do what he did thanks to the GI Bill.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  77. The GI Bill was a response, not only to the draft, which took several years away from men in the war and the 50s and 60s, but to the threat of massive unemployment when the huge conscript armies of WWII were demobilized. The GI Bill gave a lot of them something to do until the job market came back. It turned out to be a huge boon but the present push to send poorly prepared students to college in hopes they will discover motivation is a vain quest. Graduation rates in six years are now below high school graduation rates.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  78. Of course it’s not utopia, Peter. No one has ever said that capitalism is perfect. And I agree that we can make a clear distinction between politics and economics. The point I keep coming back to is this: since nothing will ever be perfect in this life, we must use what has been shown to work the best in the world we have. Capitalism has been shown, by history, to be that system; socialism and communism have failed time and again.

    Chris (6733a5)

  79. Mike K,

    You make some good points, but either misunderstand or misrepresent mine. Let’s say, hypothetically, that families making $250/K start paying $9K more per year in taxes. Forget what the taxes are to fund for now; maybe it’s for handouts, maybe it’s for national defense, whatever. What do you think that family will do in response? Are they going to spend less mainly on things like education, or mainly on luxuries?

    My claim is that it’s mainly luxuries, and that it’s obvious enough that it’s mainly luxuries that anybody who suggests it’s mainly education is probably being dishonest. I also claim that we shouldn’t be dishonest.

    If you have some logic or evidence that contradicts that claim, I’ll take it seriously. As it is, you’re attacking a strawmarx.

    roy (7a7bfb)

  80. Obama’s grandmother has died.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  81. My claim is that it’s mainly luxuries, and that it’s obvious enough that it’s mainly luxuries that anybody who suggests it’s mainly education is probably being dishonest. I also claim that we shouldn’t be dishonest.

    First of all, people making $250,000 in one year aren’t necessarily making it every year. You can’t assume they are living some luxurious lifestyle. You don’t know how long they’ve been making that money, what they’ve had to invest to get to that point, or how long they think they’ll earn it.

    People have fixed amounts they have to pay for their mortgages, property taxes, insurance, car payments, and any other loans they may have (whether it’s a boat, a partnership buy-in, whatever). So just cutting out expenses because of a change in the tax code isn’t that simple.

    People also have education to save for or pay for, as well as retirement to save for. College is expensive, as is retirement, and you know when you make $250,000 you won’t be getting financial assistance. You have to save that money on top of all your other bills.

    I don’t know what constitutes a luxury to you, but the people I know that make $250,000/year are working hard, trying to save for their kids, and not floating around on yachts and lighting up Cuban cigars.

    MayBee (37070f)

  82. Why do we bother?

    Just a suggestion – don’t. Please, no more feeding of the Trolls.

    Dmac (e30284)

  83. Obama’s grandmother has died.

    I’d heard. A sad loss for him and his family, and my sympathy and condolences go out to him and her family and friends.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  84. I think I’m stating to hate this man.

    Karen (ce69ff)

  85. #75:

    I’ll wager that you never visited China, let alone lived there. You know nothing of the culture, let alone the workings of society.

    There are NO private property rights. As long as you don’t make any political statements, you are pretty much left alone.

    Slave wages? Really? When compared to the standard of living here in the US, maybe so. But when you cannot afford a car (a Mazda 6 is about $35,000 and the tag for it is another $10 K in Shanghai), and all you can basically do is rent, the cost of living is quite inexpensive.

    On a family salary of $200/month NET (taxes do not kick in until around 4500 RMB/mo, or about $700/mo)which is fairly typical for multinational corporations paying factory workers, you can feed the family for less than $40/month and manage to meet all the basic requirements. Health care is what you can afford, but it is not expensive. Cell phones are dirt cheap (calls are about 1.8 cents/minute with no contracts).

    Oh, and one of the BIG emerging problems for Chinese companies is that workers are beginning to become more mobile – you don’t like where or whom you are working for, you find another job. Like most people, the individual will not tolerate too much BS before they leave.

    Dr. K (fe18de)

  86. Comment by Scott Jacobs — 11/3/2008 @ 3:23 pm
    Thank you so much, Scotty. You are a true American. And a friend.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  87. MayBee,

    Thanks for the well thought-out response. I’ll admit I overlooked the fact that making $X one year doesn’t necessarily mean making that much every year. Professional athletes, for instance, can have good salaries but short careers. I know many creative people, like writers and painters, see their income in spurts. And you’re right that these families have money going in a lot of different directions, not all easy to change. But the question is, what would they change?

    I’ve been talking about how to fairly describe the impact of a tax hike, and while all the exceptional cases are important, I don’t see any justification for emphasizing the exceptions over the typical. Typically, income is similar from year to year. By my horse sense, typically, $250K/year leaves enough for luxuries — if not yachts and cigars, then vacations and posh cars — that there’s no need to cut into college savings to pay a $9K tax hike.

    So why is the tax hike portrayed as cutting into college savings for the $250K/year family, but the tax cut/credit/handout goes to luxuries for the $50K/year family?

    roy (7a7bfb)

  88. I’d really like a reckoning of where all those stimulus checks a year ago went to.

    I’d say it’d be a perfect test case for who puts what money where.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  89. Typically, income is similar from year to year. By my horse sense, typically, $250K/year leaves enough for luxuries — if not yachts and cigars, then vacations and posh cars — that there’s no need to cut into college savings to pay a $9K tax hike.

    As I said, paying for the car is a fixed cost as long as there are car payments. Remember this is a tax HIKE. They are already paying a lot in taxes, and you don’t know their disposable income.

    So why is the tax hike portrayed as cutting into college savings for the $250K/year family, but the tax cut/credit/handout goes to luxuries for the $50K/year family?

    I don’t know exactly who is portraying it that way, but part of it is, as I said, the $250,000/family isn’t going to be able to rely on help with tuition and would probably like to avoid a loan. They have to save the money if they want to pay for college. Maybe they will put their child through a private university. Have you looked at tuition lately? Every penny counts.

    The $50K/year family is going to have more help, even with the system the way it is now.
    As for whether they’d buy luxuries– we don’t know. I’d say that’s how the stimulus checks were marketed to us- that people would go out and buy! to stimulate the economy.

    The point is, it really shouldn’t be up to the $50K family to assume the $250K family is just spending their money on vacations and therefore won’t miss it— and should hand it over to them.

    You don’t know. You don’t know what people want to do with their money. As long as they are working for it, they shouldn’t be told they are making too much for their own good.

    MayBee (37070f)

  90. roy wants to focus on the luxury spending and posh cars, rather than the fact that taxes, and the American system in general, were not designed to take from one by force of law, to give to another. It is pure unadulterated class warfare.

    JD (5b4781)

  91. MayBee – It is making a disingenuous arguement. Patterico used that example to give a real world example of what this redistribution will amount to for the recipient.

    JD (5b4781)

  92. By the way, it is racist to oppose any of Baracky’s redistributionist or collectivist policies, and I therefore denounce and condemn myself and the rest of you.

    JD (5b4781)

  93. You are racist, JD.
    And you probably wallow in luxury.

    MayBee (37070f)

  94. Further, the fact that Harvard is doing great doesn’t help the thousands of other colleges and the millions of students who attend those colleges. In other words, the new system is just a newer version of class warfare except instead of the rich and AA applicants winning the Harvard lottery, it’s a new class of lucky lower-income “elites” who get to go there. How does that help America?

    Comment by DRJ — 11/3/2008 @ 1:55 pm

    Uh, I attend college and Obama’s plan certainly would help me…whereas you seem to be excited to help Sallie Mae. You tell whose Harvard degree says more about him: middle class Obama or upper class swell George Bush.

    Allowing kids to attend college (and Harvard is first among many, see Davidson) when they have the ability, rather than if they have coin, is a better policy decision.

    My alma mater cost 8,500 for my senior year and I was able to borrow the last 3,000 (which was paid back within seven years). Now, it costs 25,000 and most kids have to borrow tens of thousands in private and public loans to pay it back. Since wages have not risen significantly in the last 20 years, these kids borrow 700% of what I borrowed and are expected to pay it back within ten years, despite the fact the real wages have not risen!

    Now, if you’re like my boss, a happily wealthy attorney, then you can pay cash for your kid’s school. Now, who has the leg up upon graduation? The kid with the 21,000 in debt or the kid whose parents were lucky enough to pay it all?

    My friend, contrary to conservative, THAT is class warfare. It establishes a benefit which does not reward merit; it benefits family wealth.

    Obama’s plan will help even that playing field by reducing the crushing debt these kids graduate with.

    PS the AA comment is beneath you.

    timb (80e2b7)

  95. I love you too, MayBee.

    JD (5b4781)

  96. 😉

    JD (5b4781)

  97. MayBee,

    You continue to make good points, and I agree with your conclusions, but you and I are discussing two separate aspects of the issue. I’m either not writing well enough to make my points clear, or not reading well enough to recognize how they’ve been countered. Maybe next Internet. At any rate, none of my comments above are intended to defend Obama’s plan or his misleading descriptions of it.

    For the record, I’ll be paying a little bit more under Obama’s tax plan, and I spent my stimulus check on car repairs.

    roy (91a62c)

  98. Being one of the people who will be directly affected by Obama’s plans to let the Bush tax cuts expire, remove the cap on FICA ($92,000?) as well as the extra tax rate on income above $250,000, as well as the requirement to provide health insurance for all of my employees, I can tell you what will happen if my income shrinks:

    Fewer meals out (sorry, restaurant industry)
    Fewer vacations (sorry, travel industry)
    Paying my kids to mow (sorry, landscaping industry)
    Keeping my car longer (sorry, auto industry)
    Not going to the movies (sorry, entertainment industry)
    Cutting my kids’ hair (sorry, beauty industry)
    Growing more in my own garden (sorry, grocery industry)
    I have been poor. I educated myself, spent frugally, and worked my way out. I provide vital services to my state (that no one else could or would do.) I now employ about 20 people, although I would be quite content to stay home and tend to my family, home, and church. Maybe it will be cost effective for me to do so soon. Millions of this country’s most productive citizens will choose not to put in all the long hours, grow the business, or donate to charity if it’s not worth the trouble.

    spudmom (44c5a5)

  99. I provide vital services to my state

    Is there anyone posting here that isn’t a ward of the state?

    snuffles (677ec2)

  100. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out that Obama’s “chump change” tax increase works out to $9,000 more in taxes for a family making $250,000. /i>

    If any of you think that it’s possible to save this country without raising taxes on someone……. your out to lunch.

    Now, who should pay it?

    Those under $250,000 or those above?

    Who makes up the bulk of the people that are purchasing the items that give those people $250,000 per year?

    Once again if you think it’s the people who make more than $250,000……. your out to lunch again.

    $9,000 being paid by a small business owner (after deductions lets remember) and not by someone making under $250,000 could make the difference between that person being able to purchase the items being sold or not.

    Our economy could hinge on this……. it did in the 90’s…….. and we see it’s necessity now in the millennium.

    Chump Change could be the difference in the $250,000 crowd’s client’s ability to afford their product.

    Think about (you probably wont)

    Oiram (983921)

  101. TdJ writes:

    “…Is there anyone posting here that isn’t a ward of the state?…”

    And if that isn’t a straight line, I don’t know what is. I can’t wait for JD, AD, Dmac, and Icy Truth to see that one.

    Eric Blair (a723e0)

  102. $9,000 being paid by a small business owner (after deductions lets remember) and not by someone making under $250,000 could make the difference between that person being able to purchase the items being sold or not.

    First of all, the idea that $250K is some magic number below which people can’t afford things and above which people are living in luxury is just a testament to the power that is Obama’s rhetoric. That number could be any number and we’d be getting the same argument- that people being asked to pay more can surely afford it. That number *will* be another number, because the numbers Obama is throwing out now don’t add up.

    We can’t pay for all of Obama’s proposals on the backs of the few high-wage earners in this country.

    As for me, I’d be happy to see no new tax cuts and no new tax increases. Let people pay what they have been paying, and let the new President decide how to best utilize that money.

    MayBee (37070f)

  103. Roy- I’m sorry we are having trouble communicating.
    I understood you to be saying that people making $250K/year will be giving up luxuries rather than losing money they’d otherwise pay for education.

    I’m saying you just don’t know that. You don’t know what their budgets look like. Imagine having two kids at USC, Stanford, or even the University of San Diego. If you are paying that kind of tuition, you have already given up a lot of luxury.
    I don’t agree with your statement as I understand it, but it is a shame you’ve decided not to continue to try to help me understand what you are saying.

    MayBee (37070f)

  104. In case you have not figured it out, everyone who pays taxes will see a tax increase.

    What do you thnk the odds are that the Democrats will allow the 2001 tax cuts to expire?

    Dr. K (fe18de)

  105. What do you thnk the odds are that the Democrats will allow the 2001 tax cuts to expire

    I think the fact that they’ve always talked about them as “Bush’s tax cuts” and talk about them expiring as a “return” to regular rates is a pretty good indication of their intentions, Dr.K.

    MayBee (37070f)

  106. So, they are planning a tax increase. Allowing a low rate to expire by inaction is certainly the same as raising taxes.

    All I know is that my tax bill will go up.

    Sounds like a tax increase to me.

    Dr. K (fe18de)

  107. Comment by Eric Blair — 11/3/2008 @ 5:34 pm

    I’m too tired to be a ward of the state.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  108. timb,

    I see you’ve made up your mind on this subject so there’s no point discussing it further. So instead I’ll bet you (no money, just in theory because I don’t bet online) that within 1-2 years after a $4K/year tuition tax credit passes the Congress, average annual college tuition will increase by at least that much, especially with the Ivy League and elite private colleges.

    As for AA, do you believe it’s inappropriate to state that a race-based diversity policy exists in college admissions? Because it sounds like that’s what you think … and if so it’s a preview of the next 4 years if Obama wins.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  109. Comment by DRJ — 11/3/2008 @ 6:37 pm

    Looking at the history of Fed. student funding v tuition increases, I would say that whatever the Feds give, the Universities will suck in at a rate of 150% – particularly the Ivy’s.

    Another Drew (7e15a8)

  110. “…Is there anyone posting here that isn’t a ward of the state?…”

    Let me guess … Bellview Hospital for the Criminally Incompetent and Completely Delusional?

    If all of Baracky’s tax increases were going to needed and Constitutional governmental services, I would not find it so objectionable. Funding national defense, essential services, etc …

    As is, it is a scheme to collectivize our economy, and a big voter-buying scam. Not at all surprising that Oiram is buying.

    I think the fact that they’ve always talked about them as “Bush’s tax cuts” and talk about them expiring as a “return” to regular rates

    But they are going to cut taxes, and have a net negative spending policy, paid for by closing corporate loopholes and taxing the holy hell out of people that actually pay income taxes.

    JD (5b4781)

  111. What snuffles, timb and the rest of the Obama trolls do not realize, because snuffles et all maintain their ignorance despite my attempts to enlighten, is that while the top marginal rate is lower under George Bush than Bill Clinton, the effective tax rate among the top 1% is actually higher under George Bush than Bill Clinton because of eliminations of many tax shelters.

    The idea that the “rich” are paying less under George Bush is a fraud that Democrats repeat even when they know better.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  112. Glenn Reynolds reports that Obama instructed his aides to study FDR’s first 100 days in order to prepare for his transition.

    I guess more of Obama’s ignorance is on display given that he seems not to realize that FDR prolonged the Great Depression by many years with his misguided governmental programs.

    It should frighten people that Obama takes guidance from the example of FDR given the reality of FDR’s dishonesty to the American people.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  113. timmah – As Mr. T said, I pity the fools, including myself, who had to borrow and work to pay their way through college and grad school.

    Where was my free ride dood?

    Where was my bailout?

    You and I and the Obama’s were victims, timmah.

    Oh, the humanity!

    We need change and we need it now!

    ATTICA ATTICA ATTICA ATTICA ATTICA

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  114. Peter and snuffles – So your solution is to add a wealth tax in addition to an income tax to make sure everything is absolutely positively fair according to the Betty Crocker Good Government Rulebook of Progressive Fairness?

    daleyrocks (60704b)

  115. So why is the tax hike portrayed as cutting into college savings for the $250K/year family, but the tax cut/credit/handout goes to luxuries for the $50K/year family?

    Comment by roy

    Maybe experience ? There was a lot of exposure to New Orleans refugees after Katrina. That was an education for many. Lots of plasma screen TVs, for example. A friend of mine’s daughter lives in Boston. The people who owned the condo across from hers, donated it for refugees from NO. They were good, Globe reading, liberals so they decided to be good citizens. After 6 months, they thought the refugees should move on but they couldn’t get them out. How did they solve that problem ?

    They cancelled the cable TV.

    I know anecdotes are not statistically significant but there are lot of similar anecdotes.

    I’m paying 40 thousand a year for a daughter at a state university (Arizona) from a retirement income of about 250K. Fortunately, most of my income is tax exempt. I might even benefit from Obama’s misguided plans but I’m concerned about the country and my kids’ futures. She is the fourth kid I’ve educated so the fund ran out a few years ago.

    If I’m lucky she won’t want to go to medical school.

    Roy, your topic still suggests that you think the government still has the rights to anyone’s income. To repeat, America has the most progressive tax system in the world. Why ? The Social Democratic countries that Obama wants to emulate figured out that it doesn’t work.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  116. “What you do is make sure the tax code is fair. I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans, but in order to pay for that, I’m going to take the tax rates back to what they were in the 1990s for people who are making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.”

    Go ahead. And the people that make the big bucks will just raise the prices of their goods/services accordingly, and the middle class will still end up paying.

    Your proposed plan will accomplish exactly the same thing that tinkering with tax rates has accomplished in the past: zippo.

    The only way that the middle class or any other class is going to get relief from federal taxes is if we reduce REAL federal government expenditures.

    And, somehow I doubt if that’s in the cards if we have a Dem president and both houses of Congress have Dem majorities.

    Dave Surls (dd7dbb)

  117. Obama’s plan certainly would help me

    DRJ’s question was what would help America, not what would help you.

    JD (5b4781)

  118. I don’t think the word “ward” means what snuffles thinks it means.

    daleyrocks (47d048)

  119. #83 Scott Jacobs:

    I’d heard. A sad loss for him and his family, and my sympathy and condolences go out to him and her family and friends.

    You’re a true gent Mr. Jacobs.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  120. You’re a true gent Mr. Jacobs.

    God damnit, keep your voice down! I have a reputation to uphold!!

    :)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)


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