Patterico's Pontifications

1/21/2013

Obama: Social Security and Medicare Are What Make Us Strong

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:03 pm

I read the inaugural address rather than watch it. What dreck. What drivel. Here is what jumped out at me:

The commitments we make to each other: through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

The things that are ruining this country actually “strengthen” us. The extra taxes required, which discourage entrepreneurs from hiring people to expand their businesses, actually “free us” to take risks. Orwell could not have put it better.

Thank God for government’s benevolent hand, without which Americans would not be free to take risks. How did we ever fly the first airplane, or run the first automotive assembly line, without Social Security and Medicare to fall back on?

I feel a Michelle Obama-sized eye roll coming on. Let’s hand the mike to Allahpundit:

The twisted irony of Obama’s presidency, particularly in light of his emulation of Lincoln and Reagan, is that, like them, he does face a momentous crisis that requires leadership commensurate to the moment. He just doesn’t have it in him to lead on it, or maybe he’s too busy with other priorities. An economic rebound in his second term will delay the reckoning with entitlements for a few years longer so his legacy is probably safe in the near term, but if he doesn’t do something wildly unexpected in the next four years to deal seriously with mandatory spending, then his place in history is secure. He’s the guy who expanded health-care entitlements at a moment when Medicare spending was starting to go haywire, the guy who doubled down on the welfare state as the bill was coming due, the guy whose second-term agenda was even more aggressively liberal than his first despite trillions more in debt over four years. You wanted him, America, you got him. Good luck.

Don’t forget: he’s not just the guy who dodged all these tough choices. He’s also the guy who lied to his countrymen about the need to make them.

Boy, this has been a wretched day.

209 Responses to “Obama: Social Security and Medicare Are What Make Us Strong”

  1. I bet the economy does recover, mildly, over time. Will this jerk get credit for that, too, despite all the actions he has taken to prevent it?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  2. It will require 40 years — likely much longer — for this nation to recover from the policies of the Obama administration. “New normal”, indeed.

    navyvet (02dd07)

  3. Jobs drying up? Taxes increased? Insurance premiums higher, and coverage trimmed? But…but…I voted for free stuff!

    The Sanity Inspector (97014d)

  4. so why did he deplete the trust fund even more, with the payroll tax, why did he take 700 billion out of medicare, I must be missing something,

    narciso (3fec35)

  5. Missing – Large numbers of Americans standing up for Liberty.

    mg (31009b)

  6. food stamp’s huge tax increases have pretty well kicked whatever recovery we might’ve had square in the nuts

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  7. Yeah, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are our great shame. What could we possibly have been thinking with such shameful policy initiatives?

    Show of hands: whose parents/grandparents availed themselves of Social Security or Medicare at one point or another? And who here faulted them for their leechiness?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  8. I am happy to debate this with you, Leviticus. Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  9. Do you think they were ill-intended?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  10. Do you think the existence of Medicare “saps our initiative”?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  11. Do you think that the existence of Medicare makes us “a nation of takers”?

    Particularly since the people availing themselves of Medicare at this point – people like my grandparents – spent their whole lives paying into it?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  12. I’m curious.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  13. Leviticus : The real question is why our parents, grandparents & ourselves allowed the government to force us to accept the Social Security & Medicare systems. Consistent small scale lying to the American people by their represenatives and government officials supported by the main stream media. It was correctly identified as a Ponzi scheme from day one. First lie – Social Security would be voluntary and no one would be forced to participate. It went downhil from there,

    Michael M. Keohane (6bf12e)

  14. my favorite part of social security is disabilitah!

    free money no worky bitches

    if you add in food stamps you is living the obama lifestyle, dawg

    may I call you dawg?

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  15. And the revenue from the new Medicare tax doesn’t go to Medicare, it goes to Obamacare,

    narciso (3fec35)

  16. my parents spend their whole lives paying into medicare and died before they got a cent of it

    but our greedy amoral whorestate just pocketed the money and laughed

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  17. “Leviticus : The real question is why our parents, grandparents & ourselves allowed the government to force us to accept the Social Security & Medicare systems.”

    - Michael M. Keohane

    Probably because it allowed them to survive their illnesses. And whatnot.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  18. happyfeet,

    you should get you some reparations

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  19. sorry *spent* their whole lives paying I mean

    i can comment while I eat I am eating and commenting at the same time

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  20. yes i have a legitimate grievance

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  21. Social Security and Medicare are what makes us great.

    This country never won a war until we had Social Security and Medicare. But look at all the ones since then, m’kay.

    they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    They are the shackles that makes us free!

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  22. More legitimate than anyone else who want reparations, honestly

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  23. So what answer do you have to the 100 trillion unfunded liabilities, that is more then one year of the global GDP,

    narciso (3fec35)

  24. Hey, everyone! Steve57 thinks we lost a war at some point!

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  25. 16. Probably because it allowed them to survive their illnesses. And whatnot.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:16 pm

    It is a widely accepted historical fact that no one ever survived their illnesses before FDR was inaugurated at least twice.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  26. you’d think so but no… it is they way it is cause otherwise you create Perverse Incentives

    sometimes life isn’t fair is all

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  27. *the* way it is

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  28. What does that have to do with a strong economy, which should be the point of the fracking exercise,

    narciso (3fec35)

  29. What do
    YOU
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    Two\@ passe out drunk older sisters
    gees
    they are a mess
    mm
    Me bad injun
    me guy
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    me huggum
    me huggum carpet
    me huggum “sorty ur shit out Im huggum carpet”
    Delta Dawn

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  30. Do you think they were ill-intended?

    I don’t care. That’s not the issue.

    Do you think the existence of Medicare “saps our initiative”?

    Yes. I absolutely do. The gigantic intrusion into the free market that Medicare represents saps the ability of the market to keep health care prices in check, and saps the initiative of entrepreneurs in health care to find ways to deliver health services in a more efficient manner. When you divorce the person receiving services from the person paying for them, demand skyrockets, meaning prices skyrocket.

    Do you think that the existence of Medicare makes us “a nation of takers”?

    Particularly since the people availing themselves of Medicare at this point – people like my grandparents – spent their whole lives paying into it?

    I don’t think that’s particularly relevant. It’s the hook that the Government uses to keep the Ponzi scheme going. Even people smart enough to realize that these programs are disastrous are going to want to get their “benefits” because they have always been told they are “entitled” to them — and that will be the case regardless of a) whether they get more out of the program than they could ever have gotten by investing privately, and b) whether they need the money.

    I understand the feeling. People were made promises by irresponsible politicians. But we don’t have the money to pay for it, and I think we would have to raise taxes across the board on everyone by about 50% to have any chance of doing it through “revenues” alone.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  31. 23. Hey, everyone! Steve57 thinks we lost a war at some point!

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:21 pm

    All of them, Leviticus, until Social Security and Medicare made us great.

    Another widely accepted historical fact. We lost all our wars before FDR was inaugurated at least twice because we couldn’t ever hold a successful draft lottery. Everyone would get together on the morning of the lottery and then it would dawn on them; there was no way to do it until someone invented the Social Security Number.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  32. Leviticus, I sense a common thread in your comments about economic issues. You don’t really seem to agree that the market is generally the most efficient way to allocate scarce resources. Have you read any books or listened to any audio material regarding unintended consequences of government involvement in the economy? I’m trying to get a sense of your basic background in reading about capitalism, its relationship to freedom, and the ways that government distorts the market.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  33. A Alphabet slit sis coughs for a better future
    me no queer um her silky hair pee trail
    Sober Bear paws the key rock..
    slowly ..pats tummy
    for fish
    laughs at
    yesterday
    things seemed so funny
    yesterday
    why
    i bee leave in yesterday
    SUDDENleyu..

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  34. 27. What does that have to do with a strong economy, which should be the point of the fracking exercise,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:23 pm

    It has about the same relationship to a strong economy as hacking airstrips out of the Papuan jungle had to do with the invention of the airplane.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  35. Do you think they were ill-intended?

    And as the saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    A greedy, self-centered, self-entitled mentality — which is endemic to human nature and also interwoven with basic feel-good laziness — will corrupt just about anything, including do-gooder programs created decades ago.

    Mark (e66007)

  36. *27 28. What does that have to do with a strong economy*

    And the “that” in the above does refer to the creation of Social Security and Medicare, right?

    Well, my reference to the cargo-cult tribes of PNG hinges on the understanding that it does.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  37. The problem is ‘clean energy’ will not help the economy, otherwise we wouldn’t have needed a little thing called the industrial revolution, the Keystone Pipeline would, but that is anathema to his main green backer, further fracking would as well, maybe some real infrastructure programs, but he’s not interested in that,

    narciso (3fec35)

  38. I never read “The World Is Flat,” if that’s what you’re asking. I took Macroeconomics and Politics of Govt. Regulation (a class solely devoted to regulatory case studies) as an undergrad. Also, Property I and Contracts, but they were light on theory.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  39. Silly Love BarK stabby love things songs

    it isn’t kraftwerk
    wooden legs wash up on shore

    what time is it?…
    What time is it…?I need to Know
    I need to know
    Right now

    pdbuttons (949c1e)

  40. By the way Social Security was initially sold to the American people based on lies. Just like with ObamaCare, FDR spoke with a forked tongue, saying one thing to the American people and another thing to the Supreme Court.

    With ObamaCare, it was whether the penalty for disobeying the mandate was a tax. Obama insisted that it wasn’t, but had his lawyers go into court and tell the Justices that it was.

    With Social Security, the American people were told that the revenue from the payroll tax was being raised for a specific purpose: to finance Social Security payments (or “benefits”). But that created a constitutional problem, because the tax was arguably not for the “general welfare.” So lawyers went to the Justices and argued: “Nah, the payroll tax has NOTHING TO DO with paying Social Security benefits. Why, it’s just a generalized tax for the benefit of the country as a whole!”

    They needn’t have lied, by the way. The Supreme Court simply redefined “general welfare” to encompass taking money from some folks and giving it to others. That’s how a majority of voters can vote for taking your stuff so it can be given to them.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  41. Also, four or five chapters from “The Wealth of Nations.” Required reading at my commie indoctrination camp of a public university.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  42. This is a preview of how feckless and foolish left-leaning sentiment is when it comes to entitlements. When raising the retirement age by an innocuous two years, on top of the innocuousness of 62 years old (ie, hardly doddering old-geezer territory), is controversial and unpleasant.

    It’s another illustration of the lunacy of “if it’s good enough for Greece (or France, etc], it’s good enough for…”

    telegraph.co.uk, June 2012: Workers who entered employment aged 18 will be able to retire at 60 rather than 62, under the decree agreed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

    The decision follows pre-election promises from the new president Francois Hollande to reverse the rise in the retirement age introduced by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010.

    The reforms will cost the state billions of euros a year but can be afforded through higher worker and employer contributions, according to the government. The €1.1bn (£890m) annual cost up to 2017 – €3bn thereafter – will be met by a 0.1 percentage point rise in payroll charges, amounting to an extra €2 a month on the average monthly French net salary of €1,600, it said.

    Jean-Francois Cope, leader of France’s conservative UMP party, called the policy move “madness.”

    “It risks the downgrade of France’s credit rating and at this rate tempts fate,” he said.

    Mark (e66007)

  43. Also, Obama might be gay. Just saying, Mark. You forget to mention that in your last comment.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  44. *forgot.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  45. I honestly think I’d be better off sending you a book by Thomas Sowell than by debating in the comments section of a blog, Leviticus. Happy to do it if you’re willing.

    Anyway, while I’m waiting for your answer on the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare, let me play a fun game. This is a question I asked readers in 2004, which I think is before your time reading here. NO FAIR LOOKING IT UP.

    Let’s pretend that I create a society in which the wealthiest 17% of the population has five times the income of the bottom 17% — and 25 times the accumulated wealth of the bottom 17%.

    Does this society sound “fair” to you?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  46. OK, ignore Mark and talk to me for the time being. You have my attention at this moment.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  47. There are two questions on the table.

    1) Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?

    2) Let’s pretend that I create a society in which the wealthiest 17% of the population has five times the income of the bottom 17% — and 25 times the accumulated wealth of the bottom 17%.

    Does this society sound “fair” to you?

    Answer in any order you like.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  48. Also, Obama might be gay.

    No, Leviticus. He’s bisexual. He’s AC/DC. He plays for the other team, and then switches back again.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Mark (e66007)

  49. “I honestly think I’d be better off sending you a book by Thomas Sowell than by debating in the comments section of a blog, Leviticus. Happy to do it if you’re willing.”

    - Patterico

    You send it, and I promise I’ll read it.

    In response to your other question, I would say “yes” and “the poor will be with you always” and “as long as there’s a decent social safety net, the question becomes less important.” Your hypo sounds like a standard distribution, more or less.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  50. “1) Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?”

    - Patterico

    Yes.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  51. A bipartisan proposal. The first order of business when the House resumes business is that they draft and pass a bill demanding that the WH establish a History Czar for Obama.

    Because from Cairo, when he credited Muslims with inventing Algebra, the arch, the magnetic compass, and all sorts of other things that peoples who predated Islam actually invented until now when I have to listen to this illiterate tell me what he hallucinates made this country great I’ve thought it’d be money well spent to get this guy a tutor if he intends to keep spouting off on the subject.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  52. “You send it, and I promise I’ll read it.”

    - Leviticus

    I mean this sincerely: I wish that I had the rhetorical discipline to just let my yes be yes and my no be no.

    It’s a failing. I’ll work on it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  53. 49. “1) Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?”

    - Patterico

    Yes.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:46 pm

    Have you made contact with extraterrestrials who’ve agreed to sustain it? Because we’ve run out of options on this planet.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  54. You understand that, starting I think a year or two ago, what we’re paying out started to exceed what we take in through payroll taxes, and that gap is only going to continue to widen as more baby boomers retire?

    I guess another way to ask the question is: HOW are these programs sustainable?

    Second question: what do you think causes the explosion in health care costs?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  55. I thought Patrick Henry invented Algebra.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  56. No, he invented Sudoku.

    Lots of people get those two things confused.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  57. Apparently, according to Ed Klein, some of the same historians that found him so awesome, like Beschloss and Doris Goodwin, told him his plans were too ambitious, seeing the example of Lyndon Johnson, he dismissed them, as with most any knowledgeable advisors,

    narciso (3fec35)

  58. “I guess another way to ask the question is: HOW are these programs sustainable?”

    - Patterico

    Increase taxes.

    “Second question: what do you think causes the explosion in health care costs?”

    - Patterico

    If I remember correctly, it’s increased demand (holding supply constant) that leads to increased cost. So, a lot of people getting old, basically? Or do you mean more generally? As in, forcing insurance companies to insure people with preexisting conditions who will cost way more than they ever pay in, thus causing the companies to increase costs on the rest of the pool to compensate? Or something else?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  59. The book I would have you read is “Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell. It is the book which proposes the example I gave above, which you described as a “standard distribution” — but which is actually the distribution you get in one hypothetical society where everybody makes exactly the same amount of money at the same age, and is given the same raises every year, and saves the same.

    It is also the book which proposes this, in a post where you WERE a reader and you took issue with the quote:

    Too often a false contrast is made between the impersonal marketplace and the compassionate policies of various government programs. But both systems face the same scarcity of resources and both systems make choices within the constraints of that scarcity. The difference is that one system involves each individual making choices for himself or herself, while the other system involves a smaller number of people making choices for others.

    It may be fashionable for journalists to refer to “the whim of the marketplace,” as if that were something different from the desires of people, just as it was once fashionable to refer to “production for use, rather than for profit” — as if profits could be made by producing things that people cannot use or do not want to use. The real contrast is between choices made by individuals for themselves and choices made for them by others who presume to define what these individuals “really” need.

    I still believe this concept is central to understand those of us who believe in the market, and Sowell explains it as well as anyone I can imagine.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  60. Ok.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  61. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a d*ck. What I mean is, I have a lot of books in the queue which I’d rather read than Mr. Sowell’s book; but if it was really important to you that I read Mr. Sowell’s book, I’d oblige.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  62. Increase taxes.

    How much, and on whom?

    If I remember correctly, it’s increased demand (holding supply constant) that leads to increased cost. So, a lot of people getting old, basically? Or do you mean more generally? As in, forcing insurance companies to insure people with preexisting conditions who will cost way more than they ever pay in, thus causing the companies to increase costs on the rest of the pool to compensate? Or something else?

    You have the right idea when you talk about increased demand — but what is causing that increased demand?

    What if you were fed through “food insurance” in which you paid a fixed premium, went into a supermarket, and could buy anything you wanted — and price was no object? In fact, prices are not listed. Do you think you would spend more on food than you do now? If everyone were fed this way, would demand increase?

    Government divorces the consumer from the payer and all of a sudden you are demanding everything you want. This is what is happening in health care. Try asking what the procedure you are having in a hospital is going to cost. Is the price listed? Discussed? Does anyone even know? If you ask, they won’t be able to tell you — and then they will ask why you even care. After all, YOU’RE not paying for it.

    This is how demand skyrockets, my friend. And when demand skyrockets? We get a hospital bill that charges us $400 for orange juice. Only it doesn’t charge us, so we’re not outraged. We just point and laugh.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  63. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a d*ck. What I mean is, I have a lot of books in the queue which I’d rather read than Mr. Sowell’s book; but if it was really important to you that I read Mr. Sowell’s book, I’d oblige.

    I appreciate that. It kind of is important to me. For me, it was life-changing in how I looked at markets.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  64. Barry was projecting — revealing his real, authentic side — in today’s speech.


    abcnews.go.com: President Obama made history in his inaugural address today mentioning the word “gay” and the issue of gay rights for the first time in a speech at the presidential swearing in.

    “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said in his address on the Capitol steps after his swearing in.

    ^ He should start promoting the virtues of Americans turning to a different way of life. An alternative lifestyle where breeding is discouraged. And, then, voila! Fewer oldsters in the future to tend to, fewer seniors requiring Social Security payouts. Or however Obama’s twisted, addled, pro-late-term-abortions way of thinking will interpret the advantages (and Green-Earth-friendly nature) of low birthrates.

    Mark (e66007)

  65. 31- This is a revisit of discussions that were held 4.5 years ago. Some people are just not interested in economics, no matter what its importance is to their existence, and its relationship to the history around them.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  66. You want to email your address?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  67. “How much, and on whom?”

    - Patterico

    A small percentage, on everyone. Pay for your services, folks.

    As far as your other point goes, I understand the problem of divorcing services from their costs (via a fixed & capped premium), but I hope it’s not overly rhetorical of me to point out that it was conservatives who hyperventilated over “death panels” when their arose a discussion of refusing certain cost-inefficient services to folks who could not buy them from private providers.

    And beyond that, the fixed/capped premium is as much a problem of the private sector as it is a problem of government intervention in a market.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  68. I have it in the cart and it’s ready to go as soon as I get an address.

    I’ll send you “Citizen K” as well if you want, if you haven’t read it already.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  69. “You want to email your address?”

    - Patterico

    Just did, should be there.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  70. A small percentage, on everyone. Pay for your services, folks.

    How small would this percentage be? How much do we have to raise taxes for these programs to be sustainable?

    As far as your other point goes, I understand the problem of divorcing services from their costs (via a fixed & capped premium), but I hope it’s not overly rhetorical of me to point out that it was conservatives who hyperventilated over “death panels” when their arose a discussion of refusing certain cost-inefficient services to folks who could not buy them from private providers.

    I’m not really interested in a partisan argument. But I do think that government involvement is driving up costs and it’s a fair concern that government panels are going to be the ones doing the rationing instead of people deciding for themselves.

    And beyond that, the fixed/capped premium is as much a problem of the private sector as it is a problem of government intervention in a market.

    How so? Please don’t point to the private sector as it exists now. There is no private sector in health insurance that exists independent of government intervention. The same way that WalMart saves shoppers across the U.S. money every year even if they don’t shop there (because of increased competition), current governmental intervention through Medicare and regulation costs everyone more money even if they’re not in Medicare.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  71. Conservatives “hyperventilated” over death panels due to the desensitization that such a concept causes towards the sanctity of life.
    It sort of completes the Leftist circle:
    They abort the unwanted young, and euthanize the unwanted elderly – in between, you are a slave to the state.
    Once your economic value has diminished to society, you’re put down.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  72. OK, it will be 4-14 business days, and it’s a used copy (they claim “like new”). Actual new copy is way too expensive.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  73. Conservatives “hyperventilated” over death panels due to the desensitization that such a concept causes towards the sanctity of life.
    It sort of completes the Leftist circle:
    They abort the unwanted young, and euthanize the unwanted elderly – in between, you are a slave to the state.
    Once your economic value has diminished to society, you’re put down.

    I think the bigger issue is that other people are making the decisions FOR you.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  74. Patterico,

    I’ll check out a copy from Parish Main. It’s no problem. I believe you.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  75. Unless you already purchased it – in which case, thanks, and I’ll start reading when it arrives.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  76. He should start promoting the virtues of Americans turning to a different way of life. An alternative lifestyle where breeding is discouraged. And, then, voila! Fewer oldsters in the future to tend to, fewer seniors requiring Social Security payouts. Or however Obama’s twisted, addled, pro-late-term-abortions way of thinking will interpret the advantages (and Green-Earth-friendly nature) of low birthrates.

    Right, because we certainly have a current policy of discouraging infertile couples and whatnot from marrying, for the good of the Almighty State that you small-government conservatives obviously love so much.

    P.S. You realize that the U.S.’s comparatively healthy birthrate (relative to the pains other Western nations are experiencing w/r/t birth rates and tax bases for social services) is largely a result of all the brown people you seem to want to kick/keep out of the United States?

    black vinyl shoes (17b7a5)

  77. Alright. Bedtime. Class in the morning.

    Antitrust Law. The casebook is “Trade Regulation” – yikes.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  78. It’s already purchased.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  79. Sorry guys, a bit hyperbolic for the first comment. (Leviticus’s roommate/friend here, and another hater of both major American political parties, not trying to defend Mr. F*ck Civil Liberties Obama here.)

    To clarify and avoid potential ad hominem, in ” all the brown people you seem to want to kick/keep out of the United States,” by ‘you’ I meant current Republican Party doctrine. But I’ve done some (basic) research on demographics and birth rates in the United States, and, for the most part, our white birth rates are both declining and only slightly better than aforementioned other Western (European) rates.

    black vinyl shoes (17b7a5)

  80. Well, thanks then. Will read when it arrives.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  81. This is way ot, but I am reading over the Manti Te’o tweets and I notice this:

    California
    Los Angeles
    Lennay/ Jennay
    A character named Nikki
    People with the last name Reid

    MayBee (b27ea0)

  82. The idea that we can fund these programs with small tax increases is something that I have dealt with in other posts. It is, unfortunately, a fantasy. But since my other posts didn’t sink in, it’s worth writing another post. It’s not like you’re the only person laboring under this misapprehension.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  83. California
    Los Angeles
    Lennay/ Jennay
    A character named Nikki
    People with the last name Reid

    Really?!

    I have paid no attention to that story.

    Maybe I should.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  84. From Nov. 21: “The worst thing you can do is fool yourself!”

    Patterico (8b3905)

  85. point of order that affects the entire discussion:

    there isn’t going to be any economic upturn, and certainly nothing resembling a recovery.

    businesses are cutting back hours to employees to avoid the Obamacare tax, thus people who have j*bs will be making, and spending, less. many will be looking for another part time j*b to make ends meet, which increases the number of candidates for what few j*bs there are.

    small companies below the threshold are negatively incentiveized to expand, and, even if there wasn’t the specter of Obamacare, why push yourself into a higher tax bracket, especially if you live here in Failfornia?

    the EPA’s war on electricity is succeeding beyond their wildest hopes, which will mean more expensive and less reliable electrical power, also driving up the cost of doing business, as well as raising the power bills of the average person who, as discussed above, will be bringing home less money to pay them.

    then there is the ongoing inflation of the dollar through QE4ever, and the diversion of our food crops into the ethanol boondoggle, the blocking of Keystone, the war on fracking and screw this, i need a drink.

    but, the bottom line is simple: Obamaerica’s Obamaconomy isn’t going to get any better, just worse.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  86. To clarify and avoid potential ad hominem, in ” all the brown people you seem to want to kick/keep out of the United States,” by ‘you’ I meant current Republican Party doctrine.

    Please show where current Republican Party doctrine is opposed to legal immigration by “brown people”. As far as I know, the Republican Party opposes illegal immigration by people of any color. But there is a difference between opposing illegal immigration and opposing any immigration. If you don’t see that difference, then maybe you aren’t smart enough to be in college.

    Chuck Bartowski (ad7249)

  87. Speaking of the defined “Strong”, requiems announced during 2013 for Greece, Spain and Argentina are nearing the point of scheduling.

    Open revolution has commenced in Greece, Spain’s government is teetering and Argentina is beating the nationalist drums of war.

    Meantime, Japan has jumped the line and could sneak in before year’s end. China, market for 20% of Japanese exports, is boycotting and finding vendors elsewhere.

    Among promising contenders, Iran’s inflation rate has topped 70% per month, noises of peril have issued on behalf of the Sauds.

    Peace and Prosperity whereabouts unknown.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  88. 85. Oh bother, Leviticus has a roomie and he’s betrayed us to the Brownshirt.

    I so hate trains without heat this time of year.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  89. 84. I’d say that summary pretty fairly paints the gloom.

    Stall speed with the stick full forward?

    http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/when-you-tax-rich-people-you-get-fewer-of-them/

    Backround info for ingenues:

    http://www.kansascityfed.org/PUBLICAT/ECONREV/econrevarchive/1978/2q78higg.pdf

    Considering the job prospects, how bright can contemporary law students be?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  90. Do you think that the existence of Medicare makes us “a nation of takers”?

    Particularly since the people availing themselves of Medicare at this point – people like my grandparents – spent their whole lives paying into it?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:11 pm

    Leviticus,

    That isn’t Patterico’s point, which is very obvious. So either you’re missing it on purpose or you’re fairly dense.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  91. “1) Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?”

    - Patterico

    Yes.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:46 pm

    Your source for that is what?

    From the standpoint of a younger worker, why would we want to sustain them?

    Gerald A (f26857)

  92. Considering the job prospects, how bright can contemporary law students be?

    after gun control Obama will pivot to jobs Mr. gary

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  93. Ha, my ’94 Camry started first crank and the fan only wailed for 10 seconds.

    Of course, getting squirt up after a week home with the flu(shots or no) is still a battle royale. Hasn’t suffered a good combing in days.

    Let them city kids eat cake I says.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  94. To clarify and avoid potential ad hominem, in ” all the brown people you seem to want to kick/keep out of the United States,” by ‘you’ I meant current Republican Party doctrine.

    Current Republican Party doctrine does not seek to keep brown people out. That is a facking lie. That you are unable or unwilling to differentiate between legal and illegal immigration comes as quite as shock.

    JD (b63a52)

  95. To clarify and avoid potential ad hominem,

    After engaging in exactly that yourself, is quite rich.

    JD (b63a52)

  96. I am happy to debate this with you, Leviticus. Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?

    Comment by Patterico (8b3905) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:08 pm

    Do you think they were ill-intended?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:09 pm

    I am not sure there is a better example of the differences in how both sides think, and approach issues.

    JD (b63a52)

  97. That which will absolutely break us makes us strong.

    JD (b63a52)

  98. Socratic dialogue, is meant to produce understanding, but only if one argues in good faith,

    narciso (3fec35)

  99. Current Republican Party doctrine does not seek to keep brown people out.

    JD

    Other than North Korea and China and a smattering of brutal dictatorships – we are the only country with a militarized border.

    I’m not saying this guy is correct – but Texas Tea Party verbage want helpful for years. Mitt Romney’s horribly disgraceful behavior at the debates blaming perry was the high water mark

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  100. “That which will absolutely break us makes us strong.”

    - JD

    Better to renege on commitments we’ve made to people who’ve paid into the system for years and years?

    Or raise taxes.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  101. How about making reasonable changes that make them sustainable?

    JD (b63a52)

  102. it’s not a contract, we can’t afford it, and our future depends on stopping the spending.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  103. As usual Obama’s lies come in two flavors, he does the ‘look squirrel’ avoiding the real economic circumstances and his part in making them worse,
    and his actions, that have specifically damaged entitlements, the ones I mentioned earlier.

    narciso (3fec35)

  104. Because we once passed something that is still contingent on the legislature, I have no problem with making fundamental and reasonable changes to objectively unsustainable programs. They aren’t promises, they are legislative choices, and highlight the dangers of politicians being too spineless to tell people they have been over-promised.

    How many times do I have to hear raise taxes as a solution to a problem that government created?

    JD (b63a52)

  105. Better to renege on commitments we’ve made to people who’ve paid into the system for years and years?

    I have looked at the social security acts and see no where is there a constitutional covenant binding all generations to pay for someone elses care

    In fact there is no guarantee that social security is even constitutional or even feasible

    It was born out of scorn by that criminal FDR who shjould have been impeached in his first term

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  106. Thomas Sowell is amazing.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  107. “Yeah, Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are our great shame. What could we possibly have been thinking with such shameful policy initiatives?

    Leviticus, the only shame is that you think that putting words in others mouths, creating strawmen, is a valid argument. Something you share with Obama.

    SPQR (768505)

  108. stupid leechy old people need to learn about extreme couponing and how to plan fabulous staycations I think

    you gonna finish that ramen grandma?

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  109. Ah yes, suckling at the government teat strengthens us.
    And there is no greater stimulant for economic activity than unemployment compensation.
    And no greater threat to freedom than economic subjugation.
    “Put you all back in chains,” indeed.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  110. This is why it was necessary to totally misrepresent the Ryan plan, which didn’t even kick in till age 55.

    narciso (3fec35)

  111. Other than North Korea and China and a smattering of brutal dictatorships – we are the only country with a militarized border.

    Which means precisely nothing. We have a right to control immigration into our country.

    JD (b63a52)

  112. if that’s a militarized border we’re doing it wrong

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  113. Congratulations to EPWJ, who just discoverd that The Social Security Act is a federal law and not an amendment to the Constitution.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  114. Better to renege on commitments we’ve made to people who’ve paid into the system for years and years?

    Such a trite response. As it sets right now, the money a 40 year old has contributed into the system for 2 decades is not there. How is taking more money from people a rational fix for a problem the government created?

    JD (b63a52)

  115. All demand and no supply make USA po’ boy.

    Rodney King's Spirit (951136)

  116. JD,

    I’m not saying any different, but its these things that the left are using to smear us – there is some smoke there and the next debate may gerrymander the country deeper doiwn the road along racial lines –

    All in all thats not good

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  117. food stamp’s huge tax increases have pretty well kicked whatever recovery we might’ve had square in the nuts
    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:03 pm

    – The “payroll tax holiday” should never, never, never have been instituted in the first place; not, that is, unless it was connected to a corresponding decrease in the income tax rate.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  118. Pre EU, you try to sneak into France, through Alsace Lorraine, and see what that got you. Or if you are Guatemalan, get past te Mexican army patrols

    narciso (3fec35)

  119. The “payroll tax holiday” should never, never, never have been instituted in the first place; not, that is, unless it was connected to a corresponding decrease in the income tax rate

    Icy

    We did have a minor but significant uptick in the economy from a free fall to at least a wobbly stabilization by this tax cut – all tax cuts are good

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  120. I’m not saying any different, but its these things that the left are using to smear us – there is some smoke there and the next debate may gerrymander the country deeper doiwn the road along racial lines –

    And that would be different than now? You and Gen Powell are helping them. Your nonsense above about having a militarized border giving legitimacy to the idea we want to keep brown people out serves only to reinforce their lies.

    JD (b63a52)

  121. As a general rule, I avoid “healthy” food whenever possible. I try to eat things with extra fat and lots of additives. This is a conscious strategy that should assure that I keel over before being left to the tender mercies of Medicare after the Obama administration has transformed it into a system that rations care based on a Byzantine formula that purports to measure how many “quality” years of life a patient has left. Moreover, if I consume enough chemical additives, I can save my family some money by arriving at the funeral home pre-embalmed. — John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO

    Neo (d1c681)

  122. A 2% decrease in the payroll tax did not stabilize the economy.

    JD (b63a52)

  123. yes the “payroll tax holiday” was silly but a lot of republicans were on board

    this is because a lot of them are fiscally irresponsible porky porky chris christie republicans

    those ones don’t have what normal people think of as principles

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  124. Show of hands: whose parents/grandparents availed themselves of Social Security or Medicare at one point or another? And who here faulted them for their leechiness?
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:05 pm

    – It isn’t ‘leechy’ to apply for benefits from the program that you were FORCED to pay into.

    When my time comes, I too will avail myself of those programs; not because I think they are such wonderful and efficient systems, but because they took MY MONEY to (supposedly) fund them.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  125. payroll taxes bring in almost 150% or more than income taxes, if you manage your finances – like Romney – its possible to mitigate most capricious income tax increases, but payroll taxes are a 1/6th flat tax on most incomes

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  126. 121.A 2% decrease in the payroll tax did not stabilize the economy

    So we are satying that a major tax cut didnt help the economy? Or was there a lack of financial faith in it as people saw it as a gimmick? or are the revenue numbers going up and the GDP growth ticking up?

    Obama did somehing right – in the most mistaken way, but he did something wonderful and I hope they make it permanenet

    if 1/6th of everyones wages in insufficient to fuel this largess then well – there you go

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  127. leechy grandma suck suck sucking the hope out of her grandkids’ futures

    she can lie to herself all she wants

    but we know the truth don’t we

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  128. if you add in food stamps you is living the obama lifestyle, dawg
    may I call you dawg?
    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:12 pm

    Only if you call your dawg from an ObamaPhone.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  129. Mitch Daniels wrote about the costs of higher education but it applies equally well to this topic:

    Participation in governance also requires the willingness to make choices. “More for everyone” or “everyone gets the same” are stances of default, inconsistent with the obligations of leadership.

    Democrats are perfect examples of this failure of leadership.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  130. obamaphones cause brain cancer is what I heard Mr. Icy

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  131. my parents spend their whole lives paying into medicare and died before they got a cent of it
    but our greedy amoral whorestate just pocketed the money and laughed
    Comment by happyfeet (ce327d) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:15 pm

    – Black comedian George Wallace used to joke about how, due to shorter average lifespans, black people are actually disproportionately served by paying into Medicare and Social Security. It seems that a higher percentage of blacks die before they reach the age of eligibility.

    Racists.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  132. that’s a very sobering point Mr. Icy

    it’s a darwinian ponzi scheme

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  133. “Leviticus : The real question is why our parents, grandparents & ourselves allowed the government to force us to accept the Social Security & Medicare systems.”- Michael M. Keohane
    Probably because it allowed them to survive their illnesses. And whatnot.
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:16 pm

    – It IS a known fact that private health insurance never cures anything.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  134. “How about making reasonable changes that make them sustainable?”

    - JD

    Now you’re talking.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  135. Mr. feets, considering how many times our greedy greedy politi-piggies have dipped into our trust fund, I’d say its a Ponzi scheme against all of us.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  136. “payroll taxes bring in almost 150% or more than income taxes, if you manage your finances – like Romney – its possible to mitigate most capricious income tax increases, but payroll taxes are a 1/6th flat tax on most incomes

    Comment by EPWJ (c5f1fc) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:28 am”

    This does not make sense. Payroll taxes don’t work the way you think, EPWJ. Payroll taxes are calculated on income, if the wealthy adjust their incomes to reduce income taxes, they reduce their payroll taxes as well (not to mention that the payroll taxes in question are capped anyway).

    SPQR (768505)

  137. and nothing good will come of it Mr. Icy

    mark my words

    happyfeet (ce327d)

  138. “You send it, and I promise I’ll read it.” – Leviticus
    I mean this sincerely: I wish that I had the rhetorical discipline to just let my yes be yes and my no be no.
    It’s a failing. I’ll work on it.
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:48 pm

    – Just wanted to point out that Finkelman isn’t the only one that talks to himself on this blog.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  139. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a d*ck.
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 11:00 pm

    – You should apply to be the ghostwriter for the president’s memoirs. You already have a title.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  140. “How much, and on whom?” – Patterico
    A small percentage, on everyone. Pay for your services, folks.
    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 11:11 pm

    – Ah yes. I remember those heady days of 2009, back when President Obama was trying to sell the American people on the virtues of the Affordable Care Act by telling us that NOBODY was paying their “fair share”.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  141. but he did something wonderful and I hope they make it permanenet

    It was not wonderful, it was irresponsible.

    JD (b63a52)

  142. “black vinyl shoes” appears to have been sniffing himself in a closet with no windows.

    Either that or Leviticus’s sweat-socks are getting to him.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  143. So we are satying that a major tax cut didnt help the economy? Or was there a lack of financial faith in it as people saw it as a gimmick? or are the revenue numbers going up and the GDP growth ticking up?

    A 2% payroll tax cut was not a major tax cut, on even your planet. It wasma gimmick, an irresponsible one. The rest of your questions are not relevant.

    JD (b63a52)

  144. “How about making reasonable changes that make them sustainable?”

    - JD

    Now you’re talking.

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:51 am

    The Left is 100% committed to ensuring this does not happen.

    JD (b63a52)

  145. Know who REALLY “did something wonderful”?
    David Bowman, when he plopped all of the monoliths into the atmosphere of Jupiter, which turned it into a new sun, which in turn melted the ice cap on Europa and allowed the creatures underneath to evolve into something even more wonderfuller.
    THAT’S who!

    Icy (ebf4df)

  146. Other than North Korea and China and a smattering of brutal dictatorships – we are the only country with a militarized border.
    Comment by EPWJ (c5f1fc) — 1/22/2013 @ 6:52 am

    – Whatever. Just so long as it keeps the Joos where they belong . . . in Persia.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  147. A 2% payroll tax cut was not a major tax cut, on even your planet. It wasma gimmick, an irresponsible one.

    JD

    2% is a large amount when it is out of 12.4% tax – its nearly a sixth.

    Tax cuts, to me, are not irresponsible, I dont find them that way – its the spending that is.

    I’m not saying Obama did it illingly, knowingly, or Reaganly, he did it to stretch his credintials beyond credibility – which they were all ready there

    SPQR I was wrong but social security brings in a huge amount of taxes nearly 80% of the Income taxes

    Cutting it a 6th is the equivalent of cutting 150 billion from 2011′s 1,091 billion in income tax receipts. That would be the equivalent of cutting the top rate to 28% from the current 35% so that 2% is a huge number as it is flat on non progressive

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  148. It was not wonderful, it was irresponsible.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 8:23 am

    I am wondering why a tax cut is bad

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  149. It was a choice to not make people pay 2%, a part of the portion that funds SS, OASDI. If you think that is responsible … It was not cut 1/6th, no matter how many times you say that.

    I am sure that there is a lot that makes you wonder.

    JD (b63a52)

  150. Icy
    We did have a minor but significant uptick in the economy from a free fall to at least a wobbly stabilization by this tax cut – all tax cuts are good
    Comment by EPWJ (c5f1fc) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:25 am

    – Tell that to all of those misguided souls that spent their payroll tax savings, creating said “uptick”, without planning for the smaller income tax refunds they received as a result of having less income withheld.

    BECAUSE there was no corresponding reduction in income tax rates, these people in essence fooled themselves into stimulating the economy with ‘extra’ money that they didn’t really have.

    Some of those people found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they had spent their payroll tax savings on products (cars, rent-to-own, cellphone plans) with long-term contracts and were counting on their ‘normal amount’ of tax return money to help pay for them.

    A situation that, in addition to demonstrating the basic ignorance of a large percentage of the populace, is also nothing more than a variation on the payday loan scam — with the federal government playing loan shark.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  151. payroll taxes bring in almost 150% or more than income taxes, if you manage your finances – like Romney – its possible to mitigate most capricious income tax increases, but payroll taxes are a 1/6th flat tax on most incomes
    Comment by EPWJ (c5f1fc) — 1/22/2013 @ 7:28 am

    – Thank you for reinforcing JD’s point.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  152. For a person earning 50,000 annually, this gigantic hugely wildly effective “tax cut” that EPWJ is praising increased their take home pay by $19.23 every other week. While failing to fund SS in a commensurate amount.

    JD (b63a52)

  153. JD

    2% is a thousand dollars a year

    38 dollars a week,

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  154. BECAUSE there was no corresponding reduction in income tax rates

    I dont see why any tax cut is bad

    maybe I’m just not getting it, taxes regardless of what box on my w2 they come out of – comes out of my paycheck

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  155. 38 x 52 = 1976

    JD (b63a52)

  156. sorry I meant 38 * 26 in your example wasnt it 19 * 26 but I see you corrected it but I am sorry for my mistake

    so small tax cuts dont count though?

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  157. I think our taxes are waaay tooo high

    I’ll take any cuts – from anyone

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  158. 95. I am happy to debate this with you, Leviticus. Do you think Social Security and Medicare (leave Medicaid out of it for now) are sustainable?

    Comment by Patterico (8b3905) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:08 pm

    Do you think they were ill-intended?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 10:09 pm

    I am not sure there is a better example of the differences in how both sides think, and approach issues.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/22/2013 @ 6:39 am

    On top of which, JD, that’s clear evidence that the program was not well-intended.

    The response indicates that the people who planted and protect this entitlement hand grenade in the federal budget did so completely irresponsibly. With no concern for the future and no thought to how to make it work. Since then they’ve moved on to other create other major entitlement programs that follow the same format.

    These things aren’t part of any social safety net. They were created first and foremost, and as Leviticus demonstrates quite consciously, as a testament to their own goodness.

    Leviticus, do you always consider it “well intentioned” to make promises to people like your grandparents just for the purpose of publicly preening about how well intentioned you are? With no concern whatsoever about whether or not it’s even possible to keep the promise? Since obviously keeping the promise, i.e. making it work, isn’t even at the top of your list.

    66. A small percentage, on everyone. Pay for your services, folks.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/21/2013 @ 11:11 pm

    Be honest for once, Leviticus, you don’t want to raise taxes on everyone to pay for their services. You want to raise taxes on everyone to transfer wealth to someone else in the form of social security payments.

    I realize this is a futile hope, given that you think the primary purpose of Social Security and Medicare is so you can knowingly make empty promises to people in order to feel great about your intentions.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  159. Please show where current Republican Party doctrine is opposed to legal immigration by “brown people”. As far as I know, the Republican Party opposes illegal immigration by people of any color. But there is a difference between opposing illegal immigration and opposing any immigration. If you don’t see that difference, then maybe you aren’t smart enough to be in college.

    What? There’s a difference between legal and illegal immigration? Geez, I never knew…

    I’m just saying many Republicans also support/promote massive deportation of illegal immigrants currently in the United States (of course, Obama’s deportation numbers are the highest of any administration to date, I believe). And if such deportation policies were enacted, especially without a huge reworking of immigration policy leading to a similarly huge expansion in the amount of people we let in legally, the birthrate here in the United States will suffer. A lot.

    So, sure, start attacking the “alternative lifestyle” of gays and painting it as a scapegoat for low birthrates down the road. But it is the potential policies of your party that would have a much larger effect. (To be fair, many Republicans seem to be realizing this is a losing issue, and, as with all good politicians – of any party – smart enough to know how to win and slimy enough to do anything to win, are changing course slightly.)

    And, if you can’t refrain from attacking me right off the bat, maybe your lackluster personality shouldn’t be allowed to post on a message board that (I thought) prided itself on a higher level of discourse. Guess I might have been wrong ’bout that.

    black vinyl shoes (17b7a5)

  160. so small tax cuts dont count though?

    Good of you to finally admit that it was not a large tax cut, and played no role in stabilizing the economy.

    And I would argue that it isn’t a tax cut at all. It was a fiscally irresponsible gimmick to reduce payments to SS at a time where payments Exceeded revenues in 2010 and 2011, and will permanently do so by 2015. Whether they do in between 2012-2014 will depend on the economy.

    JD (b63a52)

  161. I dont see why any tax cut is bad
    maybe I’m just not getting it, taxes regardless of what box on my w2 they come out of – comes out of my paycheck
    Comment by EPWJ (c5f1fc) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:37 am

    – Because it wasn’t a cut in how much you owed them, it was only a reduction in how much they initially withheld.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  162. I’m just saying many Republicans also support/promote massive deportation of illegal immigrants currently in the United States

    Eek. They broke our laws. That does not mean we are scared of brown people, which was the basis of your original claim.

    And, if you can’t refrain from attacking me right off the bat

    That is precisely what you did.

    JD (b63a52)

  163. Ooh, squee! JD has a new “bestie”.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  164. Because it wasn’t a cut in how much you owed them, it was only a reduction in how much they initially withheld

    ????????? Fica taxes??????

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  165. Does Chippendale’s hire straw-men?

    ‘Cuz new guy seems to like playing with them.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  166. OASDI are only a portion of those taxes, EPWJ.

    JD (b63a52)

  167. JD, Icy,

    okay did or did not this 2% decrease affect people’s take home pay?

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  168. The payroll tax is the funding mechanism for social security, good allah, you’re insufferably dense to realize what is going on.

    narciso (3fec35)

  169. narcisco,

    no, they would use any tax dollars – I’m dense I admit, but again personally, I dont agree with any entitlements except for those who have suffered loss in the service of their fellow Americans.

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  170. Okay, I’m handing off the whacking stick. Someone else smack the piñata for awhile.

    Icy (ebf4df)

  171. Narciso – But you have to compare it to Reagan’s $35 trillion SS tax increase.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  172. daley – thats true – today if Reagan hadn’t compromised the rate could be 8% in the 1st 10,000

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  173. Sorry, I forgot about that, daley.

    narciso (3fec35)

  174. on the 1st ten thousand a family making 50,000 would have a tax bill of 800 before Reagan

    Post Reagan, 7,500

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  175. Oh sweet baby Allah

    JD (b63a52)

  176. Reagan was teh debble!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  177. thanks for the conversation everyone – I appreciate your time and energies

    EPWJ (c5f1fc)

  178. 159. And if such deportation policies were enacted, especially without a huge reworking of immigration policy leading to a similarly huge expansion in the amount of people we let in legally, the birthrate here in the United States will suffer. A lot.

    So, sure, start attacking the “alternative lifestyle” of gays and painting it as a scapegoat for low birthrates down the road. But it is the potential policies of your party that would have a much larger effect. (To be fair, many Republicans seem to be realizing this is a losing issue, and, as with all good politicians – of any party – smart enough to know how to win and slimy enough to do anything to win, are changing course slightly.)

    And, if you can’t refrain from attacking me right off the bat, maybe your lackluster personality shouldn’t be allowed to post on a message board that (I thought) prided itself on a higher level of discourse. Guess I might have been wrong ’bout that.

    Comment by black vinyl shoes (17b7a5) — 1/22/2013 @ 9:57 am

    So in other words, we could secure the border. But our failure to do so isn’t a result of the impossibility of the task, but a deliberate and cynical policy on the part of liberals to alter the political landscape.

    Please explain why I should be concerned about the high birth rate of an illegal fifth column.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  179. Fortunately El Commandante Obama has constructed his own de facto deportation policy in addition to his de jure policy.

    It’s called the Obama economy.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  180. Paul Ryan says Obama is shadow boxing a strawman again. Leviticus and others may be interested in this.

    No one is suggesting that what we call are ‘earned entitlements’, entitlements you pay for, you know, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, are putting you in a ‘taker’ category. No one suggests that whatsoever. The concern that people like me have been raising is we do not want to encourage a dependency culture. This is why we called for welfare reform. This is what welfare reform in 1996 was. This was what the new rounds for welfare reform we’re calling for do, which is to increase social mobility, economic opportunity, self-responsibility, those kinds of things. But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs. And I think when the president does kind of a switcheroo like that, what he’s trying to say is we are maligning these programs, that people have earned throughout their working lives. And so it’s kind of a convenient twist of terms to try and shadowbox a straw man in order to win an argument by default, is essentially what that rhetorical device is that he uses over and over and over.

    Ryan’s right about Obama’s strawman, yet he does not address what happens when we live long enough to take out much more than we have ever paid into Medicare and Social Security through payroll tax. And nobody ever wants to mention the words Social Security Disability payouts which have skyrocked in our bad economy and also often involve people such as children who have never paid a penny into the system.

    elissa (adfeba)

  181. Black vinyl shoes
    I beg to differ. Legal or illegal immigration does not influence birth rates of American citizens, therefore they are irrelevant.

    What influences birth rates are wealth, taxes, availability of jobs, cost of living, housing and it’s location whether it be urban, suburban or rural areas, child friendly or not, level of education, type of jobs of parents or of prospective parents. But what makes the birth rates go up or down are influenced by two factors, Government policies that make child rearing an expensive proposition and how the media/academia influenced society to view parents of more than x number of child as abnormal.

    Now, about immigration and birth rates, here is the deal. Legal immigrants who went through the hoops to become green card holders like me or American citizens will go through the same questions I posted above and will decide on economic and societal matters on how many children they can afford whereas illegal immigrants with tacit and often, with open support by politicians, church officials, media personalities and such have been encourage to have more children in order to get more financial support from the government as well as having anchor children to provide them with an easy way to get citizenship.

    PS. I am a Filipino at birth and I have brown skin and for many of us Filipino legal immigrants, lumping us with illegal immigrants is an insult to us who came to this country legally and that includes every man, woman and child from Asia and Central and South America. We know the cost of illegal immigration is usually passed down to us and to those people who are waiting for their immigration visas back in our native lands.

    Wil (4c284b)

  182. Thank you for your comment here, Wil. My Peruvian ancestry (now US citizen) colleague feels the same way you do and is very vocal about it.

    The immigration “debate” is fueled with straw men, too.

    elissa (adfeba)

  183. I suspect the majority of legal immigrants share Wil’s view.

    JD (d420da)

  184. I challenge you to write a single post about Obama without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.

    I have huge problems with his leadership and policies, yet I do not hate him as much as you do. Does that mean I’m not a “real Republican” or just not your particular type (who I think are responsible for f?!$king up the party, perhaps irreparably)?

    Dry Powder (3d5492)

  185. You’re wrong, Dry Powder. Now apologize like the good Republican you claim to be.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  186. Dry Powder — I don’t hate Obama. There are people I hate (granted, very few) and I don’t feel anything like that about Obama. Not saying it can’t happen, just that it hasn’t.

    htom (412a17)

  187. It would appear Rico is shining a flashlight into the darker corners.

    The vermin is scurrying to distract, confuse and divide.

    Leviticus, you keep wretched company.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  188. DryPouter is just lying now.

    JD (b63a52)

  189. True American

    “…but then that is exactly why those images haven’t been shown.”

    That and the fact that nearly everything with Breitbart’s fingerprints on them is VERY likely to be a fabrication.

    The guy was a pathological liar and crank and the world is better off without him. MUCH.

    True American

    “P.S. You guys are doing great on using the Amazon search box to the right. Special thanks to whoever ordered a nice camera recently.:”

    MOOCHER

    Those are examples of what “dry powder” had to say under a different name.

    And it is glossing over it’s lie that it got called out on previously. It just went back to the you are a hater and part of the problem BS.

    JD (b63a52)

  190. Michelle’s eye roll explained.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  191. i hate obama more than going to the mall

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  192. P.S. You realize that the U.S.’s comparatively healthy birthrate (relative to the pains other Western nations are experiencing w/r/t birth rates and tax bases for social services) is largely a result of all the brown people you seem to want to kick/keep out of the United States?

    Since you were addressing a posting of mine from last night, and came up with a non-sequitur (since my point was based on many people’s prevailing assumption that the gay/lesbian crowd tends not to reproduce, certainly in a traditional way—which isn’t necessarily accurate), I can only say you’re projecting your own biases onto others.

    You remind me of a big-time liberal I know, who adores Obama and who (as is the case with Barack and Michelle—first in Chicago and now in DC) sent his own precious kids not to public schools in LA — where the children of lots of “brown people” are enrolled and predominant — but to private schools.

    Limousine liberalism — in all its infinite glory — is a wonderful, beautiful, heart-warming, touching and noble thing to behold.

    Mark (e66007)

  193. 184. I challenge you to write a single post about Obama without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.

    I have huge problems with his leadership and policies, yet I do not hate him as much as you do. Does that mean I’m not a “real Republican” or just not your particular type (who I think are responsible for f?!$king up the party, perhaps irreparably)?

    Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/22/2013 @ 4:05 pm

    I’m going to have to (possibly) break with the others on this point because I’m perfectly willing to impugn Barack Obama’s character, integrity, honesty, etc.

    Not only am I willing to do so, but I’ll cite every shred of evidence Obama himself gives me to support the fact that he is a serial liar who has demonstrated a complete lack of character.

    I knew he and his WH were lying to me about Benghazi, for instance, within hours. Particularly about the video BS when it had already been reported that the Cairo protest had been organized by groups demanding the release of the Blind Sheik. Complete with CNN video.

    But they continued with their execrable lies through Obama’s pathetically dishonest UN speech, long past the time it was remotely believable. They kept denying the obvious. In fact the WH insisted there was “no evidence” that the obvious had in fact taken place. When even at the time there was plenty of evidence.

    But they had a campaign to win. So they lied. And how were they trying to win that campaign? By accusing Mitt Romney and Lyin’ Ryan of being bigger liars than they were. Which goes to character.

    And I can go back to the 2008 primary:

    The New Republic – End of the Affair Barack Obama and the press break up

    (In case you don’t know it, TNR is left of center.)

    August 13, 2008 | 12:00 am

    …Reporters who have covered Obama’s biography or his problems with certain voter blocs have been challenged the most aggressively. “They’re terrified of people poking around Obama’s life,” one reporter says. “The whole Obama narrative is built around this narrative that Obama and David Axelrod built, and, like all stories, it’s not entirely true. So they have to be protective of the crown jewels.” Another reporter notes that, during the last year, Obama’s old friends and Harvard classmates were requested not to talk to the press without permission.

    As Clint Eastwood and Bill Clinton said at different times Obama was a hoax being perpetrated upon the American people.

    All politicians should have their character, integrity and honesty questioned. Their chief defining characteristic is gall. If Obama is the one politician whose character, integrity, and honesty can’t be questioned then you’re not just the wrong “kind of Republican” you’re no kind of Republican at all. You’re just completely in the tank.

    They come at it from a different perspective than I do, but not even leftists believe Obama’s character, integrity, and honesty are above question.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  194. 184. I challenge you to write a single post about Obama without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.

    When he gives me a reason to, I will.

    JD (b63a52)

  195. Ah, Gabe Sherman, is the author of that piece, and his adoration for Obama, doubled down specially three weeks later, he’s been Roger Ailes’s Captain Ahab for three years now,

    narciso (3fec35)

  196. I challenge you to write a single post about Obama without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.
    Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/22/2013 @ 4:05 pm

    I challenge Obama to go through a single day without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.

    Icy (157b9f)

  197. “I challenge you to write…about Obama without impugning his character, integrity, honesty, etc.”

    Just so you all know B4 the insurgency launches, if I hear those words, or words to that effect, I’d better see a wry grin leaking across your face.

    You risk being dropped in your tracks.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  198. Civility they insisted;

    http://minx.cc/?post=336802

    while suggesting the Tea Party and/or the NRA be declared a terrorist organization,

    narciso (3fec35)

  199. Narciso, that’s too much hate for me! Can’t you ever say anything good about CBS News?

    Racist.

    Steve57 (4c041b)

  200. Well Sheryl Atkinson is almost redeeming the brand, on Benghazi, almost.

    narciso (3fec35)

  201. Moreover, Sharyl is sorta hot.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  202. Sharyl Attkisson is all kinds of hot.

    Icy (157b9f)

  203. But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs.

    Free K-12 education is not earned, so I suppose it’s a “taker’ program. But it doesn’t matter.

    The key distinction between what’s a problem and what’s not a problem i =s if program is means tested, especially after first getting it.

    Social Security used to be somewhat means tested. It had a “retirement test.” They got rid of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (976d9e)

  204. 202. You seed thru me. Entirely edible.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  205. Better to renege on commitments we’ve made to people who’ve paid into the system for years and years?

    Or raise taxes.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 1/22/2013 @ 6:53 am

    How much do you propose to raise taxes by? Or do you not do numbers?

    Gerald A (f26857)

  206. 206. When Bernie Madoff said there’s no money we locked him up. When Sadaam said its all gone we hung the bastard.

    When the government says “We can’t pay”, we hold a gun on the neighbors’ kids.

    That’s morality folks.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)


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