Patterico's Pontifications

11/7/2017

How Many Conservatives Are Acting Like Bernie Bros

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am



The candidacy of Bernie Sanders was annoying for many reasons, but one of the most annoying was the fan base known as “Bernie Bros.” Driven by the politics of envy, this group ran around screaming that the top 1% needed to pay their “fair share.” Never mind that the top 1% is already soaked with tax payments, and pays a disproportionate share of federal taxes. The solution for Bernie Bros is always that someone else pays more. In the end, they are driven by a socialistic mind set, fueled by envy: they resent what you have and they want it taken away, even if it won’t help them.

This kind of attitude is awful, right? The politics of envy is ugly and to be avoided, right?

Want to see the politics of envy, Mr. Small-State Republican?

Go look in the mirror. You are the very face of spiteful envy, wanting others to be hurt even if it doesn’t help you.

I wrote a long post yesterday about the elimination of SALT deductions, which is going to slam the professional class in large states to the tune of thousands of dollars a year. I made the moral case for why SALT deductions are good policy, as they prevent one sovereign from taxing money already pledged to another. And I responded to many of the counterarguments — not that anyone really paid attention.

In response, in comments and on Twitter, a bunch of people asked why they should “subsidize” California’s high-tax environment with the SALT deduction.

That claim is wholly illogical, on several levels.

First, since when did Republicans use the language of spending to describe tax relief? The definition of a “subsidy” is “a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.” Allowing me to keep my own money is not a “grant.” It is not money being “paid” by the government. It’s my money. Republicans used to understand this.

But more fundamentally, this “subsidy” argument treats the government as if its expenses are a restaurant bill, that has to be paid when it comes due. Imagine you’re at a restaurant with co-workers. The check comes. That check has to be paid and it has to be paid now. If you start whining about how you didn’t eat the appetizer and ordered one less drink, and you chip in less money, now I am going to have to pay more.

But that’s not how the federal government budget works. Federal taxation, I think we can all agree, is not a pay-as-you-go scenario. The federal government does not compute its costs for the year and then distribute a bill to the public at large based on what the expenses were.

As a result, there is no direct causation between my deduction and your being forced to pay more. Finding an indirect causation — declaring that you have to pay more because I pay less (than the huge amount I would otherwise pay) — depends on a Rube Goldberg chain of events and calculations so long and fanciful that you’ll become impatient just reading the sentence describing it.

Here’s how to calculate the amount of extra tax you suppose you are paying because we have a SALT deduction that benefits higher-tax states more than lower-tax states: you have to calculate the difference between what low-tax states are allowed to deduct (you know you guys have property tax and sales tax deductions, right? Well, include those in the calculation) and then subtract that from what higher-tax states are allowed to deduct (if you live in a state with no income tax, make sure also to subtract from this latter figure the amount that we Californians ought to be able to deduct in sales taxes but (unlike you) cannot deduct because the IRS forces us to choose between state income tax deductions and sales taxes deductions — a choice you, as a member of a state without income taxes, are not forced to make); calculate the savings based on that difference; then assume that lawmakers also calculate that amount and recognize it to be a shortfall in what they could be getting; then assume that instead of simply adding that amount to the debt, they instead decide to adjust rates upward to make up for that shortfall and that shortfall alone; or, alternatively, assume that they raise rates due to a total shortfall of which this shortfall is only a part, in which case you now have to determine what the total shortfall is that motivated them to raise rates, and then calculate the percentage of that shortfall attributable solely to the extra amount they would have gotten from high-tax states over and above what they get from low-tax states (again remembering that many of you can deduct higher property taxes than I can and can deduct sales taxes that I can’t); then you look at the amount that your taxes were raised, and multiply it by that final percentage to determine the amount of extra taxes you had to pay.

Got that? Whew!

All of this depends on 1) lawmakers being responsible in two separate ways: a) not passing shortfalls on to future generations (ha!) and b) adjusting rates, not according to a sausage-making legislative process driven by political concerns, but rather according to a logical process that depends on a sober analysis of budget numbers (double ha!), and 2) reading lawmakers’ minds to determine how they make these determinations.

Here’s the tl;dr version: you are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a higher SALT deduction than you. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

If anyone is “subsidizing” my deductions, it’s future generations, who will have a slightly larger debt.

Guess what? There are plenty of other tax breaks that also add to the debt, and help out people whose family budget is nowhere near as tight as those of urban professionals like myself. There’s the carried interest loophole. Low capital gains taxes. Eliminating the estate tax, as this bill would do.

More fundamentally, the way to deal with the debt is not through eliminating tax breaks. That is peanuts. Entitlement reform is the way to deal with the debt. But somehow, if you benefit from that, I bet you’re all of a sudden not interested in this thing we call “reform.”

It’s also worth emphasizing: SALT deductions are hardly the only “subsidies” (that are not really subsidies) in play here. California, I repeat, is a donor state. We give more to the federal government than we take in — and that is true of other states with big urban areas, like New York and Illinois. And there are plenty of subsidies we fund for the rest of the country. We fund flood insurance subsidies for citizens of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and other flood-prone areas, making it easier for people to build in these areas without paying the full cost of living there, as they would with unaffordable unsubsidized flood insurance. We pay for pork in West Virginia and Kentucky and Wisconsin and countless other places.

That’s real money spent. Subtract all that from the amount you think you are subsidizing us with the SALT deductions.

Some of you aren’t making the “waaaah we’re subsidizing you!” argument. You just believe that there should be a tax system with fewer distortions and loopholes. As I said yesterday: I am with you — as long as my taxes don’t get raised. This government is not responsible enough with its money to demand that I pay more, in the interest of simplification or any other abstract concept. If you want to smooth out and simplify, find a way that doesn’t cost my family thousands of dollars a year.

If your argument is “woe is me, you need to pay more in taxes so that you pay your fair share, Patterico!” then you’re no better than a Bernie Bro. You’re not actually paying more because of me. You just don’t like seeing me get a break. You’re envious.

Don’t be. Trust me: I’m already getting soaked by my state government. And it’s easy for you to say: “well then you should talk to your state legislators or vote them out.” You don’t think I have tried? It doesn’t work. It’s like me blaming you for ObamaCare not being repealed. Don’t whine about ObamaCare to me. If you don’t like it, you really should talk to your federal legislator about it!

There is no reason to put an additional burden on the backs of the already overtaxed middle class in large states. If you’re envious of me that I can deduct more in state and local taxes than you can, well, I notice you’re not quite envious enough to come live here, because that means actually paying tens of thousands in income taxes, property taxes, state sales taxes, and local sales taxes, and so forth. But you can! The “vote with your feet” argument works both ways. If you don’t like the fact that I can deduct SALT in a high-tax state, vote with your feet and come here.

Because I can tell you: I don’t think this thing is going to pass in its present form. Meaning the SALT deductions will remain. If I’m right, you need to either get over your Bernie Bro envy, or come join the party in California, where we pay through the nose in every tax imaginable, but at least we get to deduct a little bit from our federal taxes.

Join us! We have palm trees!

If you don’t want to, then stop whining about a break we get that doesn’t really hurt you, except in a laughably theoretical and unrealistic way. You can get that break too, by the simple expedient of uprooting your entire life and moving here. If you don’t want to do that, that’s not my fault. It’s your choice.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

229 Responses to “How Many Conservatives Are Acting Like Bernie Bros”

  1. When Ronald Reagan was still opposed to implementing state income tax withholding he uttered what was one of the truest statements of his entire career – in Sacto or D.C. He said “taxes should hurt”. Amen and AMEN. Eventually they might actually hurt enough that the lemmings in California decide to go after those causing the pain and make some changes in the Legislature.

    Until then – – suck it up, it’s a tough league.

    And btw – I have lived in California all my life – so am also affected by the deduction disappearing.

    Bill Saracino (ad0096)

  2. Rest assured there will be more chocolate covered ants to swallow.

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. You are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a Social Security disability payment. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

    CayleyGraph (1c63a5)

  4. you are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a higher SALT deduction than you

    this is not true

    failifornia’s failed welfare state and hyper-regulatory business climate impose huge costs on real everyday americans like me all over the country

    it’s priced into so many things we all buy and consume

    but beyond that it’s important to remember

    monies paid in taxes to the failifornian government are not wealth-creating monies

    they do not grow the economy, in fact they stultify it

    by disallowing SALT deductions America can take a bold step towards the kind of fiscal accountability that makes it harder for confiscatory states like California to abscond with capital and knee-cap all of our prosperity

    together we can abolish SALT deductions and restore America to growth and prosperity (except for slurpy torture-turd cage-dweller John McCain’s obstructing everything cause he’s a petty shriveled asshole)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. Our disgruntled host wrote:

    If I’m right, you need to either get over your Bernie Bro envy, or come join the party in California, where we pay through the nose in every tax imaginable, but at least we get to deduct a little bit from our federal taxes.

    Nahhh! I was born in Oakland, lived in Antioch through the second grade, but I’m way better off in the Bluegrass State. A small farm, where my property taxes, which I paid just before All Hallows’ Eve, were a whopping $821.73 (that’s with the 2% discount for early payment) and my Social Security is not taxed by the Commonwealth. I can look out across my land, walk down to the river — I have about 500 feet of river frontage — or cross the old road into the Daniel Boone National Forest.

    On paper, I have a lot less than our host, but I’m happy, secure and at peace with the world. For what more could I ask?

    The Dana in Kentucky (e48a51)

  6. It’s easy. Whom do you like more? Patterico or Steven Mnuchin? Do you want Patterico to keep his money or give it to Mnuchin? Consider carefully, because tomorrow Mnunchin might reach out for your money. You know he’s already eyeing it.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Have to agree with the commenters – Patterico, you are completely wrong on this issue.

    Let us posit two states. Each gets the same per captita federal benefits. Each pays the same federal tax, $10 billion.

    State A keeps state and local taxes low. They pay $10 billion, and receive $10 billion in federal benefits.

    State B decides to increase state and local taxes to the tune of $2 billion. they deduct this amount from the amount that the federal government would have received. Ergo, they pay $8 billion in federal taxes, receive $10 billion in federal benefits, and have $2 billion to waste on pet projects. Seeing this benefit, State A decides they should raise taxes even further, to $5 billion. Now they pay $5 billion to the feds, and $5 billion to the state, but they receive $15 billion in benefits.

    But wait, there’s more. The federal government used to get $20 billion from both states. Now they are receiving only $15 billion. But their obligation for spending has not been reduced. So, they need to cut spending, or run a deficit.

    So, SALT deductions result in a) out of control local spending, and b) federal deficits.

    So why should I support them?

    As has been said many a time, all deductions and loopholes serve one purpose, to defer the tax burden from one group, and intensify it on another. SALT is no different than the mortgage deduction, or any of the other myriad of deductions. It has exactly the same effect – advantaging one group over another. In this case high spending states over the rest of us.

    What I want is universally low taxes for everyone, with no economic of politically distorting loop holes, deductions, or other shenanigans.

    Geoman (a815b9)

  8. That’s where I quibble (just a little) with Patterico. “As long as the crocodile eats me last” is worse than envy.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. <failifornia’s failed welfare state and hyper-regulatory business climate impose huge costs on real everyday americans like me all over the country4

    Produce prices got you down. Try growing spinach in January Michigan.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  10. Mr Speaker Paul Ryan just now on Rush said that the personal exemption is doubling so I guess that’s a tax cut for me and mine.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  11. 10

    Eddie Munster promissory note

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  12. Conservatives acting like Burnie Bros? Those are Bill Kristol and Egg McMuffin who are attacking Ed Gillespie today to throw the election to the leftist.

    NJRob (ca6a12)

  13. Pat, I see your point. There’s not a set revenue number for the federal government to attain and thus giving you (or any particular group of individuals) a deduction does not then raise everyone else’s taxes directly. But I would argue that this is true at the federal government level only, since it can more or less issue debt without ceasing. (Most states and localities must at least pay homage to the concept of a balanced budget.)

    This doesn’t necessarily hold true at the state or local level. At the local level, for instance, there was a Virginia ballot initiative to exempt widows of soldiers killed-in-action from property taxes. So, you could make the same argument and saw that an exemption for someone else doesn’t raise your taxes. Except, if a locality has to make a revenue target for property taxes in order to meet the budget, they have to take into account all of the exempted properties in setting rates. Rates will be higher as more property is taken off the rolls. (This is an issue in areas with large universities, too, especially those that keep buying more and more property for continuous expansions.)

    I will disagree with one aspect of your argument. You state that you find unacceptable any tax plan that ends up with your family paying more. My response is that the federal government has no option but to raise taxes overall while also overhauling entitlement programs and discretionary spending. Take a look at the CBO, GAO, or even White House long-term projections.

    The federal government’s own financial statements for FY2016 https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/finrep/fr/16frusg/01112017FR_(Final).pdf) project that extending current policy for the next 75 years would cause the U.S. to pay nearly 12% of GDP in interest alone by 2090. The fiscal gap (amount spending would have to decrease and/or receipts increase in order to have no change in the current (elevated) debt-to-GDP level) was estimated at 1.6% of the 75-year GDP. That doesn’t sound like much until you notice that the 75-year present-value GDP was $1.3 quadrillion. 1.6% of that means about $21 trillion. In other words, in order to keep the debt-to-GDP ratio at ~75% for the next 75 years, the government would have to increase taxes and/or decrease spending by a present value $21 trillion over that time period. To put that into perspective, the government projects to spend present value of $26.5 trillion for Medicare Part A over 75 years.

    I’m all for smaller federal government. Fewer government agencies and lower entitlement spending would be welcome. But even if this is done, current taxes need to be high enough to pay for the stuff we’ve already bought.

    Virginia SoCon (8eb3c5)

  14. Pretty simple fix. Repeal the 16th.

    NJRob (ca6a12)

  15. produce yes yes Mr. burn in honor of the civil war what the repeal of SALT will surely bring tonight i’m a do a (possibly) tasty civil war dish called “cabbage stew!”

    I’d have it cooking already but i don’t got me no salt pork so I have to run to the store later but i got everything prepped

    the sorry behind this dish is cause back in olden times when people did civil war on each other they’d kill a bunch of people and they’d get super hungry so they’d call a timeout and everyone would have some tasty cabbage stew! This recipe was passed on by the ones what did not get killed so it’s pretty authentic.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. And it turns out the Russian pepperpot met with fusion before they talked to trump.

    narciso (02db6f)

  17. And it turns out the Russian pepperpot met with fusion before they talked to trump.

    and you know sleazy-assed coward John McCain knew all about it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. On paper, I have a lot less than our host, but I’m happy, secure and at peace with the world. For what more could I ask?
    The Dana in Kentucky (e48a51) — 11/7/2017 @ 10:22 am

    How would you like to start an armed lawn care business with me.

    Two words: Leafblower Minigun

    Call it : Behind Every Blade of Grass

    A factfinding mission to Israel seems like a good place to start.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  19. What I want is universally low taxes for everyone, with no economic of politically distorting loop holes, deductions, or other shenanigans.

    Hokay…As a Californian I expect a 90 percent return on my investment in federal oversight.

    What is my ROI under this top heavy bottom feeding plan..10%?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  20. If what Kevin Drum claims is true, you’re going to have to pay higher taxes since this bill has been crafted specifically to punish blue states:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/11/who-gets-a-tax-hike-here-are-the-top-ten-and-bottom-ten-states/

    Your fate is just collateral damage then, and worth it to them.

    Tillman (a95660)

  21. nk

    You may have a point. Mnuchin’s last private sector grab for my money was Suicide Squad. I told my son there were only two things I liked about it and right now all I can remember is Margot Robbie.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  22. Why isn’t Koi-Gate part of this post?

    harkin (b4548f)

  23. Tillman

    They expect blue states to subsidize the fall out from Opioids. Trumps hollow promises must be borne by OPM.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  24. California = 13% of the GBP.

    What sort of leverage could that be in the right hands?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  25. Produce prices got you down. Try growing spinach in January Michigan.
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 11:00 am

    Spinach is way more cold tolerant than Californians.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  26. HTF? GBP s/be GNP ffs..

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  27. The only thing that grows in January Michigan is the mould in your cracks.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  28. 10

    Eddie Munster promissory note
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 11:06 am

    I don’t look at a man’s character

    I look at the fence around a man’s house

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  29. CA and crops……

    Only California could legalize pot and still make black markets more attractive than ever.

    http://fortune.com/2017/11/06/california-marijuana-tax/

    H/t and quote – Instapundit

    harkin (b4548f)

  30. As has been said many a time, all deductions and loopholes serve one purpose, to defer the tax burden from one group, and intensify it on another. SALT is no different than the mortgage deduction, or any of the other myriad of deductions. It has exactly the same effect – advantaging one group over another.

    Yep. It’s generally been structured toward nudging citizens toward starting families and striving for home ownership– while young singles starting out, renting, living together and so on, benefit least.

    As P noted on the other thread, people live in places for lots of reasons- climate and such- besides SALT. But it can factored into decision-making and time of life. Back in the day at a family meeting, when talking over where to park the parents for their golden years, my lawyer brother, who had lived in both Miami and San Diego, pitched the usual closing, and winning, argument: “People move to Florida to die; they move to California to live.” So the folks went West.

    Bitching about SALT wherever you choose to ‘live’ is tilting at windmills. They may be high, low– even non-existent in, say, a Texas town as opposed to a California city, but then, Corpus Christi isn’t La Jolla.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  31. Pretty simple fix. Repeal the 16th.
    NJRob (ca6a12) — 11/7/2017 @ 11:10 am

    I think that was what Seth Rich was working on when he got robbed.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  32. “I don’t look at a man’s character

    I look at the fence around a man’s house.”

    Sort of like many in Hollywood who condemn secure borders and gun forfeiture but have high walls and armed security.

    harkin (b4548f)

  33. Above should read ‘favor gun forfeiture’.

    harkin (b4548f)

  34. Yeah harkin. 25 percent tax on production and another 25 on retail sales..Paul Ryan is proud.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  35. If MJ is any kind of indicator then a price signal will cause people in MI to start growing spinach in their attics, closets and crawl spaces.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  36. Spinach tanks in profitology against pot. I thought all you bankers understood those metrics.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  37. The definition of a “subsidy” is “a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.”

    The CBO explanation of tax expenditures concludes with this paragraph

    Tax expenditures may help to achieve certain societal goals, such as a healthier population, adequate financial resources for retirement, and stable communities of homeowners. At the same time, however, tax expenditures—especially if not limited in size—may encourage overconsumption of goods that receive preferential treatment or subsidize activity that would have taken place without the tax incentives. For example, the tax expenditures for health insurance costs, pension contributions, and mortgage interest may also prompt people to consume more health services than are necessary, reallocate existing savings from accounts that are not tax-preferred to retirement accounts, and purchase more-expensive homes than they need.

    Another example of activity to be considered is profligate taxation and spending by state legislatures which knowingly mask a portion of their theft through exploitation of the Federal tax codes tax expenditures.

    Rick Ballard (a99308)

  38. A # of organic baby spinach $5

    A pound of Strawberry Cough..market price

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  39. spinach is high in oxalates so you don’t wanna overdo :(

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  40. baby spinach is really just for salads btw it’s a waste of money for pretty much anything else

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  41. You bean counters love to muddy the water with your beansh*t.

    Sophistry in an abacus.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  42. Mr. Mnunchin in a nutshell: Bing!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzLHqer_l_c

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. Be sure to have a glazed apple doughnut with that to neutralize the toxins found in green vegetables.

    nk (dbc370)

  44. He went down hard, left in a heap by a crackback block as naked as it was vicious. Pro football was like that in 1960, a gang fight in shoulder pads, its violence devoid of the high-tech veneer it has today. The crackback was legal, and all the Philadelphia Eagles could do about it that Sunday in Cleveland was carry a linebacker named Bob Pellegrini off on his shield.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  45. Well I like the Tarzan film as I mentioned earlier but man from uncle was a good find.

    narciso (bb9088)

  46. saw those at the mariano’s last week

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  47. When Houston played in LA they had to pay LA-Fornia taxes. When LA played in Houston they didn’t presumably pay state taxes on that income.

    All this which state pays and which state benefits isn’t that clear cut to this casual observer.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  48. Mr Puller asked me:

    How would you like to start an armed lawn care business with me.

    Oh, I could certainly get the arms, even though I am currently honoring the Second Amendment by exercising my right to keep and bear arms negatively! Are you in the Bluegrass State?
    As far as ‘lawn care’ is concerned, I just came out of my fields, where I’m working on taming a silver maple infestation. Cut down some more, have them in the burn pit, ready to be turned into carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollution, but it has rained mush of the day, so I’ll not burn it until things dry out a bit.

    The retired Dana (e48a51)

  49. The retired Dana,
    Not to brag, but I’m a member of a gang now. You may have heard of it, it’s called “the AARP.”

    Tillman (a95660)

  50. You are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a Social Security disability payment. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

    More evidence that Republicans have fully bought in to the Democrat line that tax relief is equivalent to “spending.”

    Bernie would be proud.

    Patterico (e680cc)

  51. “All this which state pays and which state benefits isn’t that clear cut to this casual observer.”

    A BDA assessment using Congressional district boundaries coupled with Democrat donor information would provide the information you seek. The strike was much more concentrated with much less collateral damage than the Obamacare strike on entrepreneurs. It looks like Kevin found himself in the wrong place for both.

    Rick Ballard (a99308)

  52. What I want is universally low taxes for everyone, with no economic of politically distorting loop holes, deductions, or other shenanigans.

    Me too, with the exception that this particular deduction is more defensible morally, as I explained in my post yesterday.

    Patterico (e680cc)

  53. It’s easy. Whom do you like more? Patterico or Steven Mnuchin? Do you want Patterico to keep his money or give it to Mnuchin? Consider carefully, because tomorrow Mnunchin might reach out for your money. You know he’s already eyeing it.

    Bingo.

    It seems most in the GOP have made up their mind in favor of the rich guys.

    To hell with this party.

    Patterico (e680cc)

  54. 50. Patterico, I don’t understand your surprise. Who was the last Republican President who helped encourage paying down the debt? After Reagan blew it up, I don’t believe that there have been any.

    Tillman (a95660)

  55. i love tax reform so much

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  56. The way I see it the top 1% and many millionaires have bought these political hacks in d.c. for years. You break it – You own it- Fixing it can be solved by having these heavyweight donors pay for years of mistakes.

    mg (60b0f7)

  57. Slowing or ending the mushrooming debt of states like Cal and Illinois, means ending or capping the deductibility of SALTs. There is no other way. None. Both states have been grossly irresponsible, and hope to reach out for a federal bailout one day. The voters are unable or unwilling to stop it. Ending SALTs will.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (5e0a82)

  58. A-5 Avenger.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  59. Slowing or ending the mushrooming debt of states like Cal and Illinois, means ending or capping the deductibility of SALTs. There is no other way.

    this seems so obvious

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  60. Thinking back on a year ago when Brian Williams sounded as if he had just seen a body float by announcing the defeat of Hillary.
    Great Times.

    mg (60b0f7)

  61. Mr Tillman asked:

    Who was the last Republican President who helped encourage paying down the debt? After Reagan blew it up, I don’t believe that there have been any.

    The last, and only, President to see the national debt paid off was Andrew Jackson, a Democrat. No wonder the left want to take him off the $20 bill.

    Democrats tax and spend like Democrats; the Republicans tax like Republicans, but spend like Democrats.

    The historian Dana (e48a51)

  62. “There are some taxpayers who are losing exemptions, particularly in some high-tax states like New York or California that could conceivably be paying higher taxes. I think that is a mistake. I think tax reform needs to cut taxes for everybody,” Cruz told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

    i’ve never been more certain that harvardtrash ted gets his marching orders from his sacky’s bosses at goldman

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  63. mg wrote:

    Thinking back on a year ago when Brian Williams sounded as if he had just seen a body float by announcing the defeat of Hillary.

    Alas! ‘Twasn’t actually Mrs Clinton’s body, though we might see Donna Brazile’s float by any day now.

    The Dana who understands the concept of schadenfreude (e48a51)

  64. The only thing that grows in January Michigan is the mould in your cracks.
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:11 pm

    If I need Queer Eye for the Pin and Pull Guy I’ll let ya know.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  65. That’s dangerous of Ted, would it invite a primary challenge, especially if the real estate tax deduction got diluted In order to preserve SALT?

    urbanleftbehind (cca87c)

  66. he seems confuzzled about which state he represents

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  67. Patterico: When you asked me, in the comments on the prior post, whether I am “against federal subsidies for flood insurance,” what did you think my answer was going to be?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  68. Yeah harkin. 25 percent tax on production and another 25 on retail sales..Paul Ryan is proud.
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:18 pm

    Yeah what did those stupid kings of Judah accomplish with their dumb flat tax they could figure on the back of an old wineskin?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  69. Spinach tanks in profitology against pot. I thought all you bankers understood those metrics.
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:22 pm

    It seems to me you were suggesting scarcity. People denied a local supply of spinach or abortion might moderate their behavior.

    Like Robert Duvall said in Second Hand Lions

    If you need something, get it yourself. Better yet, do without.

    I’m going to have to tell my mom to mark in my baby book I heard my first dog-whistle today!

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  70. Do state tax returns have deductions for municipal taxes?

    If not, how does this compare/contrast with the proposed elimination of the SALT deductions.

    If California state tax returns allowed for deductible municipal, county, and federal taxes, this would be interesting

    EPWJ (4dc563)

  71. Mr Puller wrote:

    Yeah what did those stupid kings of Judah accomplish with their dumb flat tax they could figure on the back of an old wineskin?

    Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
    38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
    39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”

    Saint Luke the Evangelist (e48a51)

  72. > Do state tax returns have deductions for municipal taxes?

    > If not, how does this compare/contrast with the proposed elimination of the SALT deductions.

    In California, they do not. HOWEVER, in California, most municipalities are not legally independent sovereigns; they are creations of state law and act as subunits of the state.

    So the situation isn’t the same because of the different theoretical posture. Municipalities are creations of the states; states are not creations of the federal governments.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  73. spinach is high in oxalates so you don’t wanna overdo :(
    happyfeet (28a91b) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:25 pm

    That’s why you shouldn’t eat raw acorns. The natives put the paste through several water changes. I think also Poke Sallet.

    Elvis Poke [Sallet] Annie

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  74. The Feds shouldn’t tax income. They should tax a percentage of each state’s budget.

    Dejectedhead (81690d)

  75. 70

    No. I’m saying the ROI on spinach is substantially less.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  76. Oh, who cares about taxes? I got 280 characters!

    I can write iambic pentameter
    In just one hundred forty characters
    But if I had two hundred and eighty
    I’d be greater than Shakespeare . . . well maybe!

    The Twitterphile Dana (e48a51)

  77. Well stAtic analysis’s silly, along with a misunderstood multiplier. I still don’t see any actual calculation of the tradeoffs between revenue and rising income.

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. Aphrael,

    States are also creations of the federal govt; cities, municipalities are created by the states and so on, the argument that one elimination affects the immediate lower level, creates a complicated tier system, where theoretically any reduction or elimination of any revenue structure can be argued as having detrimental effects

    ,

    EPWJ (4dc563)

  79. No the nation is the creation of the states.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  80. And the states are creations of the people. How could it be any other way?

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  81. Patterico is right about this not passing. It STARTS with 48 NAYs in the Senate. It won’t take a whole lot of controversy to block this. The realtors HATE it, and they have clout in the GOP. It gets rid of the personal deductions for the elderly and disabled, not to mention medical care, so it will not be terribly popular with the elderly, and they all vote. In Florida they choose Senators.

    What it really does is lower the corporate tax rate, and cap taxes on LLCs and the like to 25%. The rest of it is eyewash. Look for the corp rate cut to diminish (probably to 25%) and a further drop in the 28% (now 25%) bracket which covers the middle class.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  82. @77. How Lincoln tweeted:

    ..-. — ..- .-. … -.-. — .-. . / .- -. -.. / … . …- . -. / -.– . .- .-. … / .- –. — –..– / — ..- .-. / ..-. .- – …. . .-. … / -… .-. — ..- –. …. – / ..-. — .-. – …. / — -. / – …. .. … / -.-. — -. – .. -. . -. – / .- / -. . .– / -. .- – .. — -. –..– / -.-. — -. -.-. . .. …- . -.. / .. -. / .-.. .. -… . .-. – -.– –..– / .- -. -.. / -.. . -.. .. -.-. .- – . -.. / – — / – …. . / .–. .-. — .–. — … .. – .. — -. / – …. .- – / .- .-.. .-.. / — . -. / .- .-. . / -.-. .-. . .- – . -.. / . –.- ..- .- .-.. .-.-.-

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. you are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a higher SALT deduction than you. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

    Can we just stipulate to the obvious reductio ad absurdum that refutes this argument, so I won’t have to irritate you by actually making it?

    Dave (445e97)

  84. yes yes you have to do your polk salad a special way for so you don’t get sicks

    purslane is super-high in oxalic acid too, but you can use a lil here and there without doing anything special on it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  85. Thank you DCSCA for @83. That’s the first time I laughed in a week.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  86. The poison is different but the preparation is similar: Boiling and changing the water. But if spinach and abortion is scarce it’s a miracle herb.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  87. yes yes miracle herb fix you right up

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  88. I need a guy to run spinach into Cali. They’re really xenoherbiphobics out there. The money’s good though.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  89. i’m in

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  90. > States are also creations of the federal govt

    No. In American political theory, states are independent entities created by the people, and the federal government is a creation of the states.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  91. Be sure to have a glazed apple doughnut with that to neutralize the toxins found in green vegetables.
    nk (dbc370) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:35 pm

    So every cop car should carry some like Narcan?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  92. Aphrael, no I disagree with the notion that states are independent. They are subject to congress, they can have their powers limited, see reconstruction.

    EPWJ (4dc563)

  93. Well I like the Tarzan film as I mentioned earlier but man from uncle was a good find.
    narciso (bb9088) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:43 pm

    The books are better but you may get triggered, bwana.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  94. Zas opposed to John carter, what went wrong?

    narciso (d1f714)

  95. Dind’t I just brief you on the mission statement?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  96. Are you in the Bluegrass State?

    The retired Dana (e48a51) — 11/7/2017 @ 12:54 pm

    Well, I’m about 120 miles S SW of Bowling Green. I think that I can weld a pintle on a three point hitch. just musing for now.

    No relation to moi, but interesting

    Middle English pintil, from Old English pintel (“penis”), from Proto-Germanic *pint- (“protrusion”), from Proto-Indo-European *bend- (“peg, tip, protruding point, edge”), equivalent to pin +‎ -le. Cognate with Middle Low German pint (“male member, penis”), West Flemish pint (“tip”), Norwegian dialectal pintol (“penis”).

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  97. Welfare tranquility, defense, the general blessings, all that.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  98. AP has called Virginia for Northam.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  99. They are subject to congress, they can have their powers limited, see reconstruction.

    Yes, after rebellion, subjugation and occupation. Not seeing a lot of that coming up.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  100. So “pinprick” is a tautology?

    nk (dbc370)

  101. To hell with this party.

    It is fairly easy to set up a new party in CA, and the ballot qualification is MUCH easier that way than as an independent.

    I’d like to see a “Federalist” Party, in the sense of the Federalist Society, aimed at devolving most government to the states, should they wish to take it up, and returning the federal government to its enumerated powers.

    Given the way the GOP has made itself noxious in California, a new right-of-center party might have some legs. Especially if you’re talking about more autonomy for the state.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  102. You are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a Social Security disability payment. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

    The Social Security Trust Fund accounting gimmick is being depleted faster. At some point this will lead to an increase in FICA taxes.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  103. Let’s simplify this further.

    Suppose 8 years ago the Democrats added a 10% surtax on income over $1 million. Now, the GOP wants to repeal the surtax.

    Is this a tax break for the rich?

    Is it taking money from the other taxpayers and giving it to rich people?

    Is a tax cut that benefits everyone across the board fairer?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  104. At the risk if dounding like Karl Rove circa 2012: “It’s the AP, Mr. M”

    urbanleftbehind (cca87c)

  105. It’s everybody now. It’s not close.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  106. Another crushing blow for the establishment Gop. Virginia makes the booshes look their lousy selves.

    mg (60b0f7)

  107. Bill Kristol assures us bush/romney toady ed gillespie’s an avowed white nationalist and i believe him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  108. Gillespie refused to embrace Trump’s populist agenda and he lost an election he could have easily won.

    Let the GOP establishment take note, their instincts are a prescription for disaster, their calls for more restrictions on legal gun ownership only serve to disarm good gjuys and arm criminals and terrorists. Gun grabbers empower outright thugs at the expence of the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves.

    And GOP candidates wbo lack the basic intelligence and manhood to stand up, look voters in the eye, and call out their Democrat oppoments don’t deserve our votes. The GOP establishment is thoroughly bankrupt, and no longer worth the power anb piss to blow them to hell.

    Gillespie lost because he didn’t have the balls to do what it takes to win. Which can be said of nearly every GOP candidate in the 21st Century.

    ropelight (3dc687)

  109. Sounds to me like Gillespie did embrace Trumpism, but people didn’t think he really meant it.

    kishnevi (125429)

  110. All boosh toadies will be tied to one of the top five worst presidents of all time. His miscalculation of China is killing us. His two wars killed too darn many good people. He was a economic disaster as a president, and 9-11 happened on his watch. He stunk as a leader, so he delivered obama and Trump.

    mg (60b0f7)

  111. Yes, because the unwashed masses are just yearning for a hard-right loudmouth party. Virginia didn’t vote for TRUMP, either — against Hildebeast — why should anyone think they want an ersatz Trump for Senator?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  112. Gillespie probably lost because there are enough morons saying things like “I’d rather have leftist governor than some RINO! It will wake up the sheeple!” Or some such craziness.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  113. Point is he did worse than trump or cuccinell

    narciso (d1f714)

  114. Senator Governor

    Kevin M (752a26)

  115. bushe’s are tiny people of poor character

    and Pappy Bush will grab your daughter’s ass and do his special boosh-fondle on it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  116. e

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  117. that’s an e with a strike through it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  118. The race against Allen was squeaker

    narciso (d1f714)

  119. Prediction: If the GOP loses the House (and likely the Senate), the GOP will blame Trump and he’ll be packing before the end of January 2019.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  120. I got a check for a dollar from the IRS.

    Overpayment.

    Exactly one dollar.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  121. “Melania and I have been awed by your ancient modern wonders.”- President Donald J. Trump addressing the Korean Nat’l Assembly.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  122. Can’t wait to see what the interest is going to be on that one once they figure out they made a mistake.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  123. Compounded daily.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  124. So the house conjured a thing out of Dr. Moreau, but they trump is the problem, but they have spent a year on the grishenko squirrel.

    narciso (d1f714)

  125. No, wait, It was American Express.

    Well, that’s a load off.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  126. American express doesn’t have a SWAT team.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  127. nk

    Help me out, brother. I’m trying to Koine term.

    Hylos Kaiodeimia.

    Do you know what I am saying?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  128. how would the GOP even know if it lost the senate

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  129. The strike was much more concentrated with much less collateral damage than the Obamacare strike on entrepreneurs. It looks like Kevin found himself in the wrong place for both.
    Rick Ballard (a99308) — 11/7/2017 @ 1:15 pm

    That’s why I’m a casual observer. I’m in the Green Zone.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  130. lmao, happyfeet.

    mg (60b0f7)

  131. 50. Patterico, I don’t understand your surprise. Who was the last Republican President who helped encourage paying down the debt? After Reagan blew it up, I don’t believe that there have been any.
    Tillman (a95660) — 11/7/2017 @ 1:23 pm

    Did Cheney tell him Ghaddafi’s daughters were living in the debt?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  132. Nope. Say it in English and I’ll translate it for you.

    nk (dbc370)

  133. @106. Rove’s still waitin’ for Ohio to come in for Romney.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  134. So the wrong lizard got elected in Virginia? What this country needs is a good old-fashioned revolution. The trouble is that the people who deserve a decent government are too busy working and taking care of their families to start one.

    nk (dbc370)

  135. 100 – “AP has called Virginia for Northam

    Reminds of that story that the Hillary campaign insisted on a agreement from Trump’s camp that the loser MUST call the victor (no matter who wins, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to concede the presidential election within 15 minutes of the AP declaring a winner.

    She didn’t have the guts to face her own supporters and sent Podesta out to tell everyone to go home, wait and see but at least she honored the deal she thought was meant for a different loser.

    harkin (b4548f)

  136. Luke 5:37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
    38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
    39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”
    Saint Luke the Evangelist (e48a51) — 11/7/2017 @ 2:55 pm

    In Monterey, California, about 120 miles from San Francisco, a company called Ambrosia recently commenced one of the trials. Titled “Young Donor Plasma Transfusion and Age-Related Biomarkers,” it has a simple protocol: Healthy participants aged 35 and older get a transfusion of blood plasma from donors under 25, and researchers monitor their blood over the next two years for molecular indicators of health and aging. The study is patient-funded; participants, who range in age from late 30s through 80s, must pay $8,000 to take part, and live in or travel to Monterey for treatments and follow-up assessments.

    Inc

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  137. Shades of Countess Bathory. Some Pope did it, too, I think.

    nk (dbc370)

  138. nk

    Son of burn dread

    I think we need something besides phobias. Agoradeimia. Homodeimia. Hydrodeimia. Deimia Pirate Robert.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  139. “The trouble is that the people who deserve a decent government are too busy working and taking care of their families to start one.”

    That’s one of the main reasons the Tea Parties didn’t involve trespassing, illegal campgrounds and mountains of garbage for someone else to clean up (AKA Occupy). They’re too busy taking care of themselves to demand someone else do it.

    harkin (b4548f)

  140. A widespread feeling is that the 1% own Congress, and, in addition, policies are set that are for those in big urban centers. So the argument that, say, New York subsidizes the rest of the country is hard to believe. The actual power in the country is a balance of things that most folks don’t have much impact on, like where corporate/finance HQs are. If 90% of them are in the usual liberal big cities, you can reasonably assume that they win on the big issues, such as trillions for Wall Street. Sure, military contractors or pharmaceutical companies and HMOs have a lot of power, but they aren’t in left behind parts of the country.

    This feeling is not limited to Bernie Bros. Populism is the only realistic hope people have to change the two parties at this point. It may be ugly or crude, but the voters have found that the urbane guys wearing $5,000 suits don’t seem to care about the working class.

    Donaldo (95053d)

  141. Gillespie refused to embrace Trump’s populist agenda and he lost an election he could have easily won.

    So what is your theory here, ropelight: people who would have voted for Gillespie had he taken a more populist turn instead voted for Northam? Or is it that people who would have voted for Gillespie had he more closely embraced Trump just stayed home? I thought I read earlier that turnout today was thought to be higher than four years ago. How does that square with the theory of a bunch of missing Gillespie voters?

    JVW (42615e)

  142. Gillespie probably lost because there are enough morons saying things like “I’d rather have leftist governor than some RINO! It will wake up the sheeple!” Or some such craziness.

    Maybe the citizens of the Old Dominion happen to like the festive face tattoos of various MS-13 members roaming about their state.

    JVW (42615e)

  143. Maybe we’ll need to expedite some salvadoran ex military, nudge nudge. Vogel the lieut. Gov did as well as cuccinelli. The reality is northern Virginia has tupoleved the state.

    narciso (d1f714)

  144. No. I’m saying the ROI on spinach is substantially less.
    Ben burn (b3d5ab) — 11/7/2017 @ 3:25 pm

    I trust you have heard about comparative advantage ie

    Those who can MD

    Those who can’t DO

    Those who can’t DO reduce subluxations

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  145. 144, the most recent celeb crimalein of the Commonwealth was smart enough to: 1) not tatt up; and 2. Take out a Muslim victim

    urbanleftbehind (cca87c)

  146. Narciso at 145, that could end up being like Special Order 40; once the job is done they start something even worse.

    urbanleftbehind (cca87c)

  147. Yios — “Son” as in IΧΘΥΣ (when the Ypsilon is followed by an Iota, the Ypsilon is not asprated to Hy)
    Pyrophobias — “Fear” of fire. Accent on the i. Sorry, it came in first in the language race.

    There is no word deimia. Only Deimos, the god of terror. Maybe he did not like his name taken in vain.

    nk (dbc370)

  148. *aspirated*

    nk (dbc370)

  149. You mean 66, well they dealt with the zombie infestation, (blades usually plays lefties)

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. @86 happyfeet

    IMPORTANT: a similar plant named “hairy-stemmed spurge” is poisonous. Click here for more information.
    Purslane is a succulent annual trailing plant that grows in many countries because it thrives in poor soil. It can be eaten as a cooked vegetable and is great to use in salads, soups, stews or any dish you wish to sprinkle it over. Purslane is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart attacks and strengthens the immune system.

    I think Madea has grandbabies named DePurative and Febrifuge.

    I tend to like Moss Roses better but they are both Portulacas..

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  151. Trump tweets from the Far East: “Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for.”

    Put it in gear: VA-rooom… ba-TRUMP-a. Brake to full stop.

    Put’er in reverse: VA-rooom… ba-TRUMP-a.

    “D’Ed skunk in da middle of da road; d’Ed skunk in da middle of da road…”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  152. how would the GOP even know if it lost the senate

    When fresh turtle soup is on the menu and served in the Senate dining room again, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  153. Chris Donavon @ Chris Donovan

    Trump is the FIFTH President in a row to have his party lose BOTH the VA & NJ gubernatorial races in his first year in office.
    Winners:
    2017: Dems Northam/Murphy
    2009: GOPers McDonnell/Christie
    2001: Dems Warner/McGreevey
    1993: GOPers Allen/Whitman
    1989: Dems Wilder/Florio

    Three most recent all won re-election.

    harkin (b4548f)

  154. purslane also flowers splendidly and notwithstanding a harsh south texas sun

    it pots readily or can be used as ground cover to great effect

    this is why the humble purslane is renown as “the potted and/or gound cover plant what gives you kidney stones if you eat too much but nevertheless flowers splendidly”

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  155. States are made up like Derry, ME.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  156. it’s turtles all the way down Mr. DCSCA

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  157. So “pinprick” is a tautology?
    nk (dbc370) — 11/7/2017 @ 5:21 pm

    Was that the guy who stepped on his pin pushing the rock up the hill.

    Also needle-****.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  158. Oh Mr. Feet, you will be distressed: Danaca Roem, first openly transgender state legislature candidate ousts 25 yr GOP incumbent in Virginia. “Well! I do declare!”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  159. 4, unless you are discounting due to Perot

    urbanleftbehind (cca87c)

  160. oh dear

    trannies ascendant and an explosion of the black death in the same week

    however shall we cope

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  161. Patterico: When you asked me, in the comments on the prior post, whether I am “against federal subsidies for flood insurance,” what did you think my answer was going to be?

    That you oppose them. I believe you to be principled. The next step in the analysis, though, is recognizing that this is a subsidy that California helps pay for, as a donor state. These so-called subsidies run both ways.

    I think tax cuts are quite different from spending but I think it is necessary to do a whole post to thoroughly explain why.

    You still have not addressed my primary point. You have addressed it as a constitutional matter, but that is not how I raised it. I raised it as a moral matter, and as a matter of how two sovereigns act. You have not really addressed the former at all, and you address the latter from a view of federal supremacy alone, while I see the states as the more original and true sovereigns, which granted limited powers to the federal government.

    But I am most interested in the moral issue.

    Patterico (c3ae4b)

  162. Did MS 13 put up a candidate for VA I heard they’re really big there?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  163. No representation without decapitation.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  164. American express doesn’t have a SWAT team.
    Steve57 (0b1dac) — 11/7/2017 @ 6:37 pm

    If they did would they tell you?

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  165. Bud fox said they did have hitmen.

    narciso (d1f714)

  166. Maybe the citizens of the Old Dominion happen to like the festive face tattoos of various MS-13 members roaming about their state.
    JVW (42615e) — 11/7/2017 @ 7:08 pm

    NOVA Hispania?

    Which is fine, just leave the Conquistadores at home.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  167. *aspirated*
    nk (dbc370) — 11/7/2017 @ 7:26 pm

    My MIL switched from Catholic to GO but I don’t know if they aspirated her.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  168. I think the citizens of Virginia saw an Establishment GOP (insincerely?) adopt Trumpism, and decided that a Democrat who sincerely upheld Democrat positions was superior.

    BTW, Northam did deviate from Democratic positions about MS13: he did promise to sign any law that swatted down any Virginia attempt to become a sanctuary city

    kishnevi (4db2c4)

  169. Use this post to talk about Virginia results.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  170. Yes and we’ll how sincere that promise was, about as real as mcawfuls.

    narciso (d1f714)

  171. You do know aspiration probably killed Reagan. Alzheimer’s patients who live long enough lose the gag reflex, and aspirate food or other foreign matter, resulting in pneumonia resulting in death.

    kishnevi (4db2c4)

  172. Narciso,you notice I said Democrat positions and Trumpian principles.

    kishnevi (4db2c4)

  173. You do know aspiration probably killed Reagan. Alzheimer’s patients who live long enough lose the gag reflex, and aspirate food or other foreign matter, resulting in pneumonia resulting in death.

    My mother, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, avoided that. When she lost the ability to swallow, her caregivers were careful to give her water and fruit juice drop by drop and she lingered on morphine for a month.

    nk (dbc370)

  174. My mother died as a direct result of pneumonia, but her lungs were a long term problem and she was deep in dementia, so it’s not possible to say if she aspirated or simply caught a lung infection from something else. It’s a bittersweet thing to know I was holding her in my arms when she died, trying to help her cough up some mucus. And she probably had no idea who I was because of the Alzheimer’s.

    kishnevi (4db2c4)

  175. Aren’t I a cheerful fellow tonight?

    kishnevi (4db2c4)

  176. I’ve been feeling snakebit all day, myself.

    nk (dbc370)

  177. 10. Pinandpuller (16b0b5) — 11/7/2017 @ 11:03 am

    Mr Speaker Paul Ryan just now on Rush said that the personal exemption is doubling so I guess that’s a tax cut for me and mine.

    It’s a tax cut for people under 65 who do not currently itemize deductions, particularly if they do not have children (personal exemptions disappear) and are not in one of a number of special situations (like using up their deductible in a catastrophic medical insurance policy.)

    Sammy Finkelman (69aa73)

  178. 111. kishnevi (125429) — 11/7/2017 @ 6:10 pm

    Sounds to me like Gillespie did embrace Trumpism, but people didn’t think he really meant it.

    But it still cost him votes – even pretending to, did.

    What I’m interested in is finding out what went on in Westchester County where the Republican(and one-time candidate for Governor) lost his re-election campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (69aa73)

  179. @ Patterico, who wrote:

    That you oppose them [federal subsidies for flood insurance]. I believe you to be principled. The next step in the analysis, though, is recognizing that this is a subsidy that California helps pay for, as a donor state. These so-called subsidies run both ways.

    Yes, and I oppose them in either direction. Why don’t you?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  180. I oppose them
    Pinandpuller (16b0b5) — 11/7/2017 @ 8:30 pm them, too.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  181. Beldar, sorry. I if it only it were more woke.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  182. And @ Patterico, who also asked:

    I raised it as a moral matter, and as a matter of how two sovereigns act. You have not really addressed the former at all, and you address the latter from a view of federal supremacy alone, while I see the states as the more original and true sovereigns, which granted limited powers to the federal government.

    But I am most interested in the moral issue.

    I do not see this as a “moral” issue, that is to say, an issue of right or wrong of the sort that Emmanuel Kant studied. But using his categorical imperative, I would say that I am indeed willing to universalize the principles to others that I would prefer be applied to myself. I do not think the taxes that the Texas Legislature has decreed that I should pay should become a deduction against my federal income tax, regardless of whether they are property taxes, sales taxes, or — should Texas ever adopt one — a state income tax. I likewise think that the taxes that the California Legislature has decreed that you should pay should become such a federal tax deduction either. I am for decoupling the two entirely, so that each sovereign functions independently and isn’t trying to game or influence the other. I do not think that living in a high-tax state gives anyone grounds to insist upon the continuance of a federal tax deduction of any sort. I’m generally opposed to deductions — and were it up to me, I’d also happily ax the charitable deduction while we’re about it, and I wouldn’t keep the mortgage interest deduction even as capped.

    I think you have grounds to be angry at your state’s high level of taxation. I think that should avail you and Californians nothing at all, however, in arguing before Congress that the particular kinds of taxes your high-tax state imposes upon you should continue to get the preferential treatment they’ve gotten in the past. Treating all states fairly in this regard is what is morally imperative in my opinion. And I await your answer for why it’s more “moral” for Congress to maintain a tax preference that benefits only some states.

    Among the powers granted by the People of the States to the federal government is the right to impose an income tax. The Sixteenth Amendment provides:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration

    The political legitimacy and wisdom of such a federal income tax has been debated and bounced back and forth between Congress and the SCOTUS, before finally being resolved at the national level. The national political legitimacy of the federal income tax has therefore been expressly established. My Texas forebears got to vote for the state legislators who ratified the Sixteenth Amendment. Neither they nor I, however, had a thing to do with the ratification of California’s constitution, nor the election of its legislators or executives. To the extent that high-tax states have chosen to become high-tax states by imposition of state income taxes, that’s their business, but it’s no basis for special tax breaks for their residents. What, are we supposed to be sympathetic and agree to subsidize their high-tax regimes because we feel sorry for how badly they govern themselves? No. I see no morality or equity or fairness or anything else to support your argument.

    Rather, your argument depends on saying that there’s something special — something that entitles high-tax state residents to a special federal income tax deduction — for state income taxes. You insist that these are the “same dollars” and that it’s somehow unfair for the “same dollars” to be taxed by two different sovereigns. With due respect: That’s a word game. Your successive highway robber analogy presumes that highwaymen are supposed to be bound by consistency to respect one another’s tolls. But since when have highwaymen or taxing authorities ever been honorable or consistent or respectful of anyone?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  183. Erratum (#188): That sentence ought have read: “I likewise do not think that the taxes that the California Legislature has decreed that you should pay ….”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  184. you are not paying an extra cent because of my ability to take a higher SALT deduction than you. At most, we’re both adding to the debt. You’re adding to it, and I’m adding even more to it.

    If you’re adding “even more” to the national debt, or contributing even less to the national tax revenues — either way is not something you’re entitled to continue doing indefinitely because you’re from a state with high taxes. Whether it’s viewed as reducing the increase of the national debt or reducing tax revenues, you’re getting a federal tax preference based on the state in which you live and its local tax policies. I don’t think that’s a proper basis for Congress to grant or continue federal tax preferences.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  185. Do you think it would be okay for Congress to just come out and say, “Hey, we think California and New York residents are really getting socked hard with their high state and local taxes. Let’s cut their citizens’ tax rates across the board to be five percent lower than residents of the other 48 states pay.”

    Would that be “moral”?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  186. We do it with the foreign income tax credit. In point of fact, if I understand it correctly, income tax paid to the foreign government is deducted dollar for dollar, not from the taxable income of the taxpayer, but from the tax amount (that would otherwise be) owing to the IRS.

    nk (dbc370)

  187. kishnevi (4db2c4) — 11/7/2017 @ 8:52 pm

    Nancy, I forgot to swallow?

    Pinandpuller (30e3d8)

  188. If that was an inopportune time for a flip comment then I apologize gentlemen.

    Pinandpuller (30e3d8)

  189. Aren’t I a cheerful fellow tonight?

    kishnevi (4db2c4) — 11/7/2017 @ 9:32 pm

    I guess I don’t qualify as cheerful most days out of the year. You should see the first aid kit I carry around. First aid kits. I have my backpacking kit, my car kit, and what I call my chainsaw kit. That fills a Craftsman tool box.

    Bad things are going to happen. It’s not good to walk around thinking they won’t. One of my proudest moments in the Navy, perhaps my proudest, is when the evaluator during COMPTUEX out of the blue told me to perform basic first aid on one of my Sailors. And I did. And the evaluator said, “Your officer knew what to do.”

    Our crew was battle group ready.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander,_Strike_Force_Training_Pacific

    Later when I was the evaluator I always made it a point to test the Sailors on first aid. Especially the O’s. Not really an area of concentration for intel, which was my specialty. But all Sailors should know it. Like damage control, or how to handle a rifle.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  190. Cheerful, aren’t I?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  191. And a pistol.

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/1688186/mahan-jagman.pdf

    Petty Officer Mayo deserved better.

    http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=80612

    The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the
    NAVY AND MARINE CORPS MEDAL posthumously to

    MASTER-AT-ARMS SECOND CLASS MARK A. MAYO
    UNITED STATES NAVY

    for service as set forth in the following

    CITATION:

    For heroism while serving at Naval Station Norfolk Security Detachment, Norfolk, Virginia on 24 March 2014. While performing his duties as Chief of the Guard, Petty Officer Mayo was alerted to a suspicious individual walking towards USS MAHAN (DDG 72) on Pier 1, Naval Station Norfolk. Petty Officer Mayo pursued the individual up the brow of the ship while both he and the Quarterdeck watch-standers directed the individual to stop and provide identification. Failing to comply, the individual approached the Quarterdeck, attacked and disarmed the Petty Officer of the Watch. After boarding the ship, Petty Officer Mayo realized that the Petty Officer of the Watch no longer had control of her weapon. With complete and total disregard for his own personal safety, Petty Officer Mayo immediately placed himself between the Petty Officer of the Watch and the assailant. While fearlessly engaging the assailant and shielding the Petty Officer of the Watch, Petty Officer Mayo was fatally wounded. His exceptionally brave actions saved the lives of four watch-standers and ensured the safety of the entire crew of USS MAHAN (DDG 72). By his courageous and prompt actions in the face of great personal risk, Petty Officer Mayo prevented the loss of lives, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

    For the President,
    JONATHAN W. GREENERT
    Admiral, United States Navy

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  192. Amazing how directing an individual to stop and provide ID doesn’t always work. But a firearm will.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  193. 123. DCSCA (797bc0) — 11/7/2017 @ 6:31 pm

    “Melania and I have been awed by your ancient modern wonders.”- President Donald J. Trump addressing the Korean Nat’l Assembly.

    That means that, even by today’s standards, they are wonders, because he doesn’t know how you would go about building them again. Certainly, he never could have built them. Trump Tower maybe. What would have been the world’s tallest building (in Chicago) until the September 11, 2011 attacks forced him to cancel those plans. But these things? He’s awed.

    Sammy Finkelman (69aa73)

  194. “Melania and I have been awed by your ancient modern wonders.”- President Donald J. Trump addressing the Korean Nat’l Assembly.

    The words of another dumb dumb dummy who obviously had no idea what he was saying:
    “On small step for man, One giant leap for man-kind.”

    CFarleigh (5b282a)

  195. And apparently the Kurds were still sold out under McMaster and tillerson how does that happen.

    narciso (e7d4a8)

  196. 178. nk (dbc370) — 11/7/2017 @ 9:21 pm

    y mother, fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view, avoided that. When she lost the ability to swallow, her caregivers were careful to give her water and fruit juice drop by drop and she lingered on morphine for a month.

    When my father was in NYU medical center , in 1998-9, and he had edema, the doctors, for no good reason, were afraid he couldn’t swallow properly (because that’s not why you get “water in the lungs”) and they didn’t give him water, for days and weeks, and I would take a tissue and make it wet, and my father told me “A glass is better” and I should have gone against the doctors even more.

    They did a tracheo- something where they punch a hole in your neck – this silences you, or makes your voice into a whisper and I think you need to cover it up – and gave him a food tube.

    He lived a long time with an infection (which he got because they put on the air conditioning while he was dressed in very flimsy hospital clothes after a somewhat minor operation in November that was not a success because the surgeons didn’t know what to watch out for in terms of nerve damage. He got the serious infection, because, you know something, you do get infections from cold, because the body shuts down the production of antibodies in such cases. And you know something else – antibiotics are always useful even in the case of a viral infection, because the body is always combating something and this takes off some of the pressure. Their knowledge is great, their practical experience with the exact same thing very valuable, but their thinking is often abysmal. And that’s what you’ve got to look out more.

    He got better and worse until they stopped doing blood transfusions in March (sometimes blood transfusion would probably have some pathogens in it) but after they stopped doing the blood transfusions, on the grounds, I think that the red blood cell count could go lower before they needed to bring it back up (they were never doing the blood transfusions to treat the infection, but it did have an effect, with the good results outnumbering the bad about 2-1 – there is probably some enzyme or vitamin in whole blood) and he deteriorated till his kidneys failed in the middle of May.

    Because of the infection, and the prevention of swallowing he lost muscular control over hiis tongue, because any muscles not used are cannibalized.

    What happens in Alzheimer’s is different.

    Sammy Finkelman (69aa73)

  197. alerted to a suspicious individual walking towards USS MAHAN (DDG 72)

    What kind of moron tries to attack the crew of a combat vessel docked inside a naval base?

    Was the guy drunk/drugged?

    Dave (445e97)

  198. Yes, and I oppose them in either direction. Why don’t you?

    Because of the moral argument, which you finally addressed in another comment. Let’s go to your comment 188. I had hoped to skip straight to the very brief part of that comment where you finally get to the moral argument, but I can’t let this go, so I’ll save the moral debate for a different comment:

    And I await your answer for why it’s more “moral” for Congress to maintain a tax preference that benefits only some states.

    Deduction of SALT does not benefit “only” some states. It benefits all states, in different ways. This is part of what irritates me about your position: you act at times as though the SALT deduction does not benefit low-tax states at all — and you just said it in black and white. And that is not true. I have not studied the tax regimes of every state, but this I know: they are not funded by fairy dust. They are generally funded by some combination of state income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes — all of which are federally deductible (although not all can be deducted by folks like me who have to pay both income and sales taxes).

    So you ought to retract your statement that the tax preference benefits only some states. It benefits all states — more specifically, the citizens of those states — but it benefits some more than others.

    The notion that a tax break benefits some people or areas more than others does not strike me as a particularly persuasive reason to eliminate it. So we’re left with two arguments:

    1) It encourages higher state taxation by making it easier on the citizens of states that tax more, and

    2) It creates distortions

    I do not like to repeat myself, and I have addressed #1 many times. To repeat: California subsidizes other states in many ways as well. However, understanding that, I think these would both be good arguments — were it not for the moral/structural argument that is the first point I made in my original post. But for that issue — which I will get to in the next comment — I would say that since we’re all against subsidies, I’d be for getting rid of the deduction. But not in a way that hikes my tax bill. So rates have to be lowered, because I’ll be damned if I am paying another red cent to a federal government that already wastes 100s of billions of dollars and proposes to cut not a single dollar from a budget adding to a $20 trillion deficit.

    Now, on to the moral argument. Finally.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  199. Rather, your argument depends on saying that there’s something special — something that entitles high-tax state residents to a special federal income tax deduction — for state income taxes. You insist that these are the “same dollars” and that it’s somehow unfair for the “same dollars” to be taxed by two different sovereigns. With due respect: That’s a word game. Your successive highway robber analogy presumes that highwaymen are supposed to be bound by consistency to respect one another’s tolls. But since when have highwaymen or taxing authorities ever been honorable or consistent or respectful of anyone?

    This is the first and only time you have addressed my key argument, and with due respect, it’s clear that you’re trying to impatiently brush it aside. I won’t let that happen without comment. It may be uncomfortable to address my best argument head on, but that’s what debate is about. It may reveal your position to be less obviously true, but again, that’s what debate is about.

    First, you mischaracterize my argument, saying that my claim is “somehow unfair for the ‘same dollars’ to be taxed by two different sovereigns.” Actually, you’re not paying attention to my claim, which is more specific: it is unfair for the same dollars to be taken by two different sovereigns. The money the feds tax is already pledged to the state, and vice versa.

    Other than that, your only word on the subject is basically to flex political muscle. All of a sudden, all discussion about what is right flies out the window, and we’re left with this: we have the power to take your money, and so we will. And we’re not interested in talking about the morality of it. It’s just happening, bub. Put up your hands and empty your wallets.

    This is actually your argument. I’m not being unfair. I just quoted it but I’ll quote the relevant part again:

    Your successive highway robber analogy presumes that highwaymen are supposed to be bound by consistency to respect one another’s tolls. But since when have highwaymen or taxing authorities ever been honorable or consistent or respectful of anyone?

    You’re asserting raw political power to rob me and brushing aside questions of morality as regards this argument (not the Constitution, which you’ve addressed; not arguments about subsidies, which you’ve addressed — but simply the morality of taking money already pledged to another sovereign). There’s no need for it to be consistent or explainable in rational terms. We do it because we can. End of story.

    If that is going to remain the entirety of your argument, then fine. It’s a fight. May the best man win. I don’t think your position is going to prevail. Ted Cruz has already come out on my side (post to follow shortly) and I don’t think you have the votes.

    If you have something besides “it’s moral because we can, and extortionists don’t care about your feels” then certainly lay it on me. But it’s a little frustrating that it took so long to get you to the point where you address my first and best argument, and then you misstate it and wave it impatiently aside.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  200. It’s a bittersweet thing to know I was holding her in my arms when she died, trying to help her cough up some mucus. And she probably had no idea who I was because of the Alzheimer’s.

    Maybe, kishnevi @ 179 but your should take comfort in knowing she felt the love and warmth of your embrace at the time she needed it most.

    crazy (d99a88)

  201. Do you think it would be okay for Congress to just come out and say, “Hey, we think California and New York residents are really getting socked hard with their high state and local taxes. Let’s cut their citizens’ tax rates across the board to be five percent lower than residents of the other 48 states pay.”

    Would that be “moral”?

    I wpuld not support that. But under your “extortionists do what extortionists do” principle I guess that’s fine.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  202. Wisecrack aside, why would you not support it?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  203. I also don’t understand your distinction between the same dollars being taxed and the same dollars being “taken” by two sovereigns. The latter is grammatically impossible.

    I believe what you are actually objecting to is having the federal definition of taxable income based on your pre-(state)-tax income rather than your post-(state) tax income. That’s the effect of the deduction.

    Different taxing authorities each set their own definitions. That was what I meant by my comment about highwaymen not respecting each others’ criteria. You’ve instead twisted that into my defending highwaymen.

    I disagree that it’s only “moral” for the federal government to consider your post-(state) tax income whether that’s post-state income tax, post-state property tax, or post-state sales tax. I don’t think you have any right, moral or otherwise, to insist that only your post-state tax income be considered as part of your taxable income for federal income tax purposes.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  204. I don’t think you have any right, moral or otherwise, to insist that only your post-state tax income be considered as part of your taxable income for federal income tax purposes.

    Exactly.

    Dave (445e97)

  205. What kind of moron tries to attack the crew of a combat vessel docked inside a naval base?

    Dave (445e97) — 11/8/2017 @ 7:36 am

    The kined of moron ho takes on Petty Officer Mayo.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  206. Sorry for the typos.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  207. as they prevent one sovereign from taxing money already pledged to another

    But the two sovereigns are providing different services from one another. Fed’l is taxing you to pay for national defense, state is taxing for Highway Patrol, county for sheriff, city for 911. YOu can no more declare your earnings “pledged to another” than you can deduct from the electric bill what you paid to the gas company, or from Union 76 what you spent at Ralph’s.

    If you were complaining about being double-taxed to pay for a Federal Dept of Education, or tolls being levied on roads already built, you’d have a point.

    furious (0c46fb)

  208. I’m going to deduct from my car payment the premiums I pay to insure it. ‘Cause I’m already pledged to Progressive.

    furious (0c46fb)

  209. I think even many conservatives are tiring of conservative intransigence. It’s not just primordial self interest that drives them. It’s also fear of change and the unknown outcome that can’t be certified by all the voices of unity..meaning conservative unity.

    They tend to be myopic like engineers. The big picture eludes the microscopes field of view. It’s not a wide-angle lens they’re using. I think Patterico is shocked by that recognition.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  210. Our esteemed host wrote:

    Deduction of SALT does not benefit “only” some states. It benefits all states, in different ways. This is part of what irritates me about your position: you act at times as though the SALT deduction does not benefit low-tax states at all — and you just said it in black and white. And that is not true. I have not studied the tax regimes of every state, but this I know: they are not funded by fairy dust.

    When I filed my form 1040 for tax year 2015, I discovered that, thanks to my mortgage interest payments declining, the standard deduction was the better option for me. Living in lower-taxed-than-the-Pyrite-State Pennsylvania, my state and local income taxes, plus property taxes, plus diminished mortgage interest came out to less than the standard deduction. And we were hardly poor, filing on a (low) six-figure income.

    Pennsylvania’s income taxes are a flat 3.07% rate, and local payroll taxes were 1%. At least in my experience, the state and local income tax rate being lower that that with which you are afflicted did not help me in filing my taxes, though it surely helped me by having more money in my paycheck.

    The state and local taxes deduction helps individuals in those states with inflated prices and costs of living, in that it lifts the dollar amounts of everything, including salaries and wages, above the standard deduction for a greater percentage of people, but that is help based not on real value but on prices on paper.

    What, I wonder, would my eight acres of land, with 500 feet of frontage on a major river, be worth in southern California? I’m sure that I’d have had to have paid far more than the $75,000 I spent here (that includes a livable, but still fixer-upper house).

    The whole country has seen episodes of the (sort of) reality show Flip or Flop, and been astounded by the prices absolutely unlivable dumps in California command, a quarter of a million for a 1,500 ft² house full of garbage and infested with termites and black mold. Out here in flyover country, we just shake our heads at those things, and wonder how on God’s earth any middle class family — much less a working class one — can afford your prices. The state and local tax write-off may apply in every state, but it’s clear that it is primarily a benefit to the high-tax, high cost-of-living states, and you are getting a tax break for your inflated prices.

    The state-and-local tax write off does, as you said, benefit all states, but in different ways. When it comes to New York and Illinois and California, it is a federal benefit to subsidize inflation.

    The Dana who isn't an accountant (e48a51)

  211. Our rather unhappy host wrote:

    You’re (Beldar, that is) asserting raw political power to rob me and brushing aside questions of morality as regards this argument (not the Constitution, which you’ve addressed; not arguments about subsidies, which you’ve addressed — but simply the morality of taking money already pledged to another sovereign). There’s no need for it to be consistent or explainable in rational terms. We do it because we can. End of story.

    Well, yes, that is an accurate description of what the Pyrite State is doing to you; the rules set by the federal government will be applicable to all. While you are always on the losing side in California’s elections, you are still part of the polity which has chosen very high state income taxes and helped inflate prices well above what would be considered real value in other parts of the country. The state and local tax write-off is, in effect, the more-realistically-priced states subsidizing California’s inflation.

    Is that harsh? Of course it is, but it’s also truthful. There will never be a taxation system which is fair to everybody, and that would be true if economic conditions were equal all across the fruited plain. Because they are not equal, all sorts of other unfairness creeps in. Someone’s ox will always get gored, because, as you put it “raw political power (exists) to rob (you) and brush(es) aside questions of morality as regards this argument.” That raw political power exists over all of us, and our oxen get gored as well, though in different ways.

    The Dana who believes in federalism (e48a51)

  212. > What, I wonder, would my eight acres of land, with 500 feet of frontage on a major river, be worth in southern California?

    Can’t be done. The Los Angeles River was paved over. The Tijuana river does not have privately owned land abutting it. The Colorado, I suppose, could be done, but it’s kinda not what we think of when we say “southern California”.

    But you can get eight acres of desert land with no structures on it for $120,000 in Hemet. (https://www.landwatch.com/Riverside-County-California-Land-for-sale/pid/27868309)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  213. Our somewhat aggrieved host wrote:

    You’re (Beldar, that is) asserting raw political power to rob me and brushing aside questions of morality as regards this argument (not the Constitution, which you’ve addressed; not arguments about subsidies, which you’ve addressed — but simply the morality of taking money already pledged to another sovereign). There’s no need for it to be consistent or explainable in rational terms. We do it because we can. End of story.

    OK, what is morality in taxation? The Framers believes that the federal government should not have the power to tax people as anything other than individuals, meaning that Bob Gates and Patterico and Stinky Feet would all pay the same dollar amount. That’s moral, right, in that everybody is being treated exactly the same.

    But wait, Mr Feet cannot afford to pay the same dollar amount as Mr Gates, him barely scraping out a living in that dilapidated Airstream trailer in which he lives. Isn’t it immoral to tax away every last euro he has, to make his taxes the same as those of Mr Gates, even though Mr Gates will laugh about the pittance he owes?

    So, that leaves the income tax. We can tax everybody the same percentage, and, if that means we are taxing everybody differently in dollar amounts, at least their income is being treated the same; that’s moral, right?

    Except, of course, the same problems apply. Taking 25% of Sammy Finkelman’s income will create a much greater hardship for Mr Finkelman’s family than 25% of Warren Buffet’s income will do to his family; isn’t that immoral?

    So, we create personal exemptions and the standard deduction, to help the lower-income people by exempting the cost of living from income taxation; that ought to make things moral, right? Except that the cost of living varies greatly, so the personal exemption and standard deduction doesn’t quite cover the basics for our Philadelphia physician but is far higher than what I need in this poor area of the Bluegrass State; that’s immoral!

    Yeah, I’m pretty verbose, so I’ll simply note that the same arguments have been used to justify the horribly-named ‘progressive’ income tax structure. Property taxes have always seemed immoral to me, and the estate tax is completely unjustifiable . . . except that a lot of people can, and do, justify it, all on moral grounds.

    Why do you think some (mentally deficient) people yearn for the dictatorship of the proletariat? They understand that nothing is fair in life.

    The philosophical Dana (e48a51)

  214. 8.28 acres of ‘desert’ land, with no buildings on it, for $120,000? The land is zoned heavy agricultural, but it would obviously require a major investment in irrigation to put it to that use, and the whole thing looks like it’s ready for another of California’s famous brush fires. I’d have to build a house — what’s that there, a couple hundred grand? — and, of course, Yo no hablo español.

    The Dana who owns a small farm (e48a51)

  215. Of course, my land seems to have come with at least five feral cats and two opossums that eat on my porch.

    The Dana in the Bluegrass State (e48a51)

  216. The land in question, I’m sure, comes with a full supply of rattlesnakes.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  217. Is it developed with electric and water (existing well or local)?

    Otherwise it’s comparing apples to pomegranates.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  218. I’m sure that Elaine would be absolutely delighted to have rattlers on the property.

    Of course, I’m sure that we have snakes here as well; we just haven’t seen any yet. We can sometimes hear the coyotes in the Daniel Boone National Forest at night.

    The Dana with critters (e48a51)

  219. 201. “On small step for man, One giant leap for man-kind.”

    It sounds poetic but Neil Armstrong said that wasn’t heard right and it actually was: (intended to be anyway)

    “On small step for a man, One giant leap for man-kind.”

    Sammy Finkelman (69aa73)

  220. Yeah. That was my point.

    CFarleigh (094b61)

  221. Will address this tonight. Short on time this morning.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  222. I also don’t understand your distinction between the same dollars being taxed and the same dollars being “taken” by two sovereigns. The latter is grammatically impossible.

    I believe what you are actually objecting to is having the federal definition of taxable income based on your pre-(state)-tax income rather than your post-(state) tax income. That’s the effect of the deduction.

    Yes, of course the same dollar cannot literally be taken by two different sovereigns. But there is a conceptual way in which something like that is happening.

    Imagine that instead of reaching into your pocket, the two extortionists have you line up stacks of dimes. You have one hundred dimes, and extortionist A tells you to set them up in stacks of 10. You do, and he takes one of the stacks.

    Extortionist B tells you to line them up in stacks of 10 as well. “Rather than taking stacks, I like to take one dime from each stack of 10.” You line up your nine remaining stacks, and he takes one from each stack. Then he says: “Where is the last dime.” You say: “What do you mean? I have only nine stacks.” He says: “You started out with ten. I want a dime from the stack you started out with.”

    You say someone else has it. So he takes another dime from one of your stacks of nine.

    Yes. Literally he did not take one of the dimes the first extortionist took. The actual dime he takes will be a different dime, possibly with a different date and mint mark, a different state of cleanliness, and a different amount of wear and dirt.

    But in a conceptual sense, he took one of the same dimes you gave the first extortionist. And in this world, where money is most often measured by numerical symbols on a computer screen, and the reality behind those symbols is a binary code reducing to a universe of ones and zeros, the conceptual is supreme.

    So yes, I believe there is a sense in which it is indeed the same money.

    But if that explanation somehow seems like mental trickery, let’s put it a different way. There is a tax base (defined as the universe of income you receive that is subject to taxation) and then the taxes (defined as the money actually paid out of that tax base). And my issue is not that the same dollars serve as the tax base for two different sovereigns. My issue is that the sovereigns each include in their tax base, money that is already part of the taxes pledged (whether it has already been paid, or will later be owed) to a different sovereign.

    Now, granted: some commenters have (in their mind cleverly) tried to analogize this to money paid to private businesses. For example, commenter “furious” says above: “You can no more declare your earnings ‘pledged to another’ than you can deduct from the electric bill what you paid to the gas company, or from Union 76 what you spent at Ralph’s.”

    To fully explain why I think this analogy doesn’t work would probably require an entirely separate comment or post for me to explain it correctly. The short answer is that government is not just another “business” and the things it does are not just another “suite of services” that are on offer, the way any business might offer you a suite of services. The key difference is this: you choose to give money to a private business like the supermarket. By contrast, the government indeed resembles a highway extortionist much more than it resembles a private business. There is nothing whatever that is voluntary about the payment of taxes. Ultimately, if you fail to pay them and get caught, men with guns will appear at your door to forcibly throw you into a cage. There is nothing voluntary about it.

    I don’t much care if you agree with some or all of what government does. If you are taking Bus A downtown to switch to Bus B which will run you to the City Park, and some guy with a gun hijacks Bus A and demands to be driven to the City Park, you might like where you are going — but that doesn’t really make it “voluntary,” now does it?

    And I thought that aphrael’s rather amazing insight was that disallowing SALT deductions really creates a rather unique situation: in which two different government sovereigns, each with the ability to initiate force against me, are each extorting payments from me that are based on a tax base of money that is, in part, only theoretical — not because I used part of it voluntarily to obtain services, but because part of the tax base has already been extorted from me in the form of taxes, or extortion, by the other entity.

    And that strikes me as wrong.

    Different taxing authorities each set their own definitions. That was what I meant by my comment about highwaymen not respecting each others’ criteria. You’ve instead twisted that into my defending highwaymen.

    I promise you, most sincerely, that I never intended to twist your words. I took care to state that I thought I was being fair. I am disappointed that you think I wasn’t. So let me try to see where I misinterpreted you. You said:

    Your successive highway robber analogy presumes that highwaymen are supposed to be bound by consistency to respect one another’s tolls. But since when have highwaymen or taxing authorities ever been honorable or consistent or respectful of anyone?

    To me, that sounded like a defense — or at least a description of the taxing authority that acknowledges that it really doesn’t need to be honorable or consistent, that it never has been, and that I shouldn’t expect it to be. You seem to say you didn’t mean it as a defense, and I’ll accept that. I suppose, then, that you mean it instead as a description: this is how it is.

    But I have been arguing about the way it should be. I was attempting to force everyone — at least anyone who defends the concept of taxing the same dollar that another sovereign also demands — to morally justify the state of affairs in which we find ourselves. And I haven’t seen that from you, Beldar. Instead, I find a description of the taxing authority as not caring about honor or consistency or respect.

    If that is your only response to my request for a justification, then I really don’t think I was being unfair to say that, in essence, you are making a sort of “might makes right” argument.

    I disagree that it’s only “moral” for the federal government to consider your post-(state) tax income whether that’s post-state income tax, post-state property tax, or post-state sales tax. I don’t think you have any right, moral or otherwise, to insist that only your post-state tax income be considered as part of your taxable income for federal income tax purposes.

    That is, with all due respect, an assertion but not really an argument. You are simply couching the issue in rather traditional terms and declaring that you don’t think it’s immoral. But why? Why should a sovereign be able to pretend that you have a tax base of x from which to draw tax dollars, when in reality you have a tax base of x-y, where x is what you started out with, and y is what another sovereign extorted from you.

    This is what I am looking for. And it’s why I spent a long time writing this comment.

    And why, rather than leaving it as a comment, I am turning it into a new post — to make it more prominent, to open up discussion from more people, and to make sure Beldar does not miss it.

    Comments here are closed. Take the discussion to the new post.

    [UPDATE: edited to remove a misuse of the word “normative.”]

    Patterico (115b1f)


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