Patterico's Pontifications

2/9/2009

The Political Fallout from the Stimulus

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 am



Will opposing the stimulus pay off for Republicans? Discuss.

145 Responses to “The Political Fallout from the Stimulus”

  1. Yes. Big-time. The “Stimulus” is only 10% actual stimulus and 90% bullshit pork democract 40 year wish-list spending spree. The Dems are like a drunk shopaholic at Macy’s with an unlimited credit card!

    Michelle Malkin has it right by calling it the “Generational Theft Act.” We are so screwing our future generations it isn’t even funny. FDR’s new deal did nothing to end the Depresssion and everything to make it worse. Obama thinks he is the new FDR and this load of crap legislation is going to seriously f*ck-up our economy for years to come.

    Republicans are wise to stay as far away from this piece of sh*t as they possibly can.

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  2. How about not worrying if it will pay off and just do what is right.

    It is right to oppose this plan. We should be reminding Senators Specter, Collins and Snowe of that repeatedly.

    Joe (17aeff)

  3. Reminding hell, we ought to DEMAND they not vote for it and back anyone (besides a dem) running against them if they do.

    GM Roper who wants DRJ back on Patterico's Pontifications (85dcd7)

  4. The Post managed to get in another shot of their smear of Steele near the end of the article. Here is a comment from a NY Times piece on the stimulus bill:

    Formal talks will not begin before the Senate passes its $827 billion version of the plan; the House bill costs about $819 billion.

    The Senate agreement on a scaled-down bill was reached on Friday when three Republicans signaled that they would back the legislation.

    OK

    A “scaled down” bill is $827 billion instead of the $819 billion ?

    I think this will slowly lose air through the next few months. The CBO is already saying that the recession will end this year without the stimulus. I don’t know if Susan Collins will really grow the balls to say no if this bill comes back from conference with all the bad stuff put back in. My hope is that they can stall it until the TARP II bill appears with its trillions of guarantees so that the public can see what they have planned.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  5. “How about not worrying if it will pay off and just do what is right.” I’m with Joe 100%!

    gp (72be5d)

  6. The GOP will do ok if they jettison the RINOs Snowe, Collins, and Spector.

    The Stimulus bill is a fraud and a sham. http://theloosecannonontheright.blogspot.com/2009/02/stimulus-bill-will-fail.html

    The Democrats are desperate to take some Republicans down with them when this Bill doesn’t deliver the jobs and stimulus promised.

    PCD (7fe637)

  7. If the Republicans want to capitalize they need to position this as a “Democrats buying Votes for 2010 and 2012” and stating loud and clear the economy will be improving well before then WITHOUT Gov.t help.

    That way when things improve Repubs were “right” and some undecided voters will rail against the “Debt our Children” will need to pay.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  8. Granted I live in western Washington state, which is slightly to the left of the USSR, but when I talk to people up here the overwhelming opinion is that Republicans are being obstructionist and it will cost them more seats in 2010.

    When I try and point out that even the CBO and Obama’s own economists point out that the stimulus will hurt long term economic prospects they just don’t care. They want something passed and they want it now.

    chad (20cc4c)

  9. Sure, it’ll pay off big-time electorally…but without a few key stops right now, it will be too late.

    With the permanent entrenchment the Dems are going to attempt between now and 2010, there won’t be any way to roll things back – tax brackets can be changed and silenced dissent can be restored, but you can’t take away universal health care, government handouts and infant-like dependency to 50%+, or amnesty to 20 million new illegal aliens Democrats.

    Even if the GOP sweeps Congress in 2010 and takes the White House in 2012, the country may be too far gone to recover without bottoming out in a total catastrophe first.

    It’s not going to be pretty. That’s why it’s all the more important to stop them NOW.

    2Cents (ee090a)

  10. Chad’s a lot closer to the truth than anyone else.

    Remember the budget impasse in 1995, with Republicans in control of Congress? Remember the shutdown? Who got the blame for it in the press: Clinton or Republicans?

    Remember in 1996 when Clinton kept vetoing welfare reform? Who got the credit when it was signed: Clinton or Republicans?

    Opposing the stimulus plan is the right thing to do, but it won’t help Republicans at the ballot box.

    Steverino (69d941)

  11. I think it’s interesting enough to note that the WaPo chose to illustrate that story with a photo of Rush Limbaugh. As for any potential GOP payoff, that will depend heavily on whether the economy bounces back, which it will do by itself, or if the Spendulus pulls an FDR on it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  12. Oh, the caption is nice too.

    Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, shown talking to former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a White House gathering late in the Bush administration, has taken on a leadership role in the out-of-power Republican Party.

    Baracky’s media has its messaging together. I wonder if Steele, Boehner and McConnell, et al are aware of this.

    Pablo (99243e)

  13. I think the Reps have a nice hedge built into their approach to the stimulus. No house members voted for it which set up a nice negotiating position for a very few Reps in the senate to “grudgingly” vote for it but only after they got more tax cuts and cut out a little more “waste” (ie. things that don’t give handouts to businesses)to show their supporters that they can still bring home the bacon.
    Now, if the “stimulus” does work they can claim that they worked in a “bipartisan” manner but hung tough with those crazy spendy spenderson Dems and got some tax cuts into the bill and thus SAVED the economy with tax cuts! Republicans get to always be right! Hooray!
    If the economy tanks they get to say that they tried to hang tough but a few “liberal leaning” Republicans caved in thus setting up America for a hard road ahead! If ONLY the Dems had put in more tax cuts then every thing would have been all right and if the voters will just put Republicans back in charge then they can fix this thing!!! Republicans get to always be right! Hooray!!!!
    No matter who gets to run things over the next 8 or so years somehow I bet that the financial geniuses and their banks and lending institutions etc. who really helped get us all here somehow all manage to come out ahead. Especially the really big, monopolistic, “too big to fail” guys. Somehow, Rep or Dem, lib or con, I bet that baaaad baaaad big ‘ol “socialist” “nanny state” government somehow manages to take care of the big boys.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  14. Try talking nice to the members of the House Blue Dog Coalition or caucus to peel them away when the conference report goes back to the House for another vote.

    DayTrader (ea6549)

  15. Pablo, I live in California, which is slightly to the left of Washington, and I’m not hearing any love for the stimulus plan. As far as the shutdown analogy, we are in the middle of one right now and, again, I’m not hearing any outrage among voters about Republican tactics.

    Sean P (e57269)

  16. The philosophy that the Feds must spend trillions of dollars to raise the country’s reduced economic output to its previous level is absolutely asinine. The only valid role is to stop the bank runs. The US Treasury did an excellent job stopping the system-wide collapse in September, but their role ends there. Do not guarantee bank deposits above what the FDIC insurance says by propping banks up with donations coming from tax dollars. Allow Bank of America to go bankrupt and allow its smarter competitors to take its place.

    This economic stimulation bill is junk and needs to be thrown in the trash. As for political fallout – as long as Republicans don’t actually derail passage of this “free money for everyone” bill, opposing it on the fiscal conservative premise is a big win.

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  17. How does anyone in their right mind think that the government spending money it doesn’t have is going to fix an economy that was destroyed by a population that for the last 10 years was on a spending spree with money they didn’t have? Go back and listen again to Peter Schiff and think about today and what he’s predicting is about to happen in the bond market. I’m 68 years old and this is about the scariest thing I’ve seen in my lifetime.

    jwarner (0a2a75)

  18. Mike K wrote:

    I don’t know if Susan Collins will really grow the balls to say no if this bill comes back from conference with all the bad stuff put back in.

    Wouldn’t she have to grow the ovaries to say no? 🙂

    The nit-picking Dana (3e4784)

  19. The economy seems to get worse every day, but that makes it all the more important to see that the stimulus is properly done — if it needs to be done at all.

    Is Obama making a mistake by not make a bigger effort to see that the stimulus bill is a bipartisan effort?

    During the election Obama promised change, specifically change in the way the political system works.

    Wouldn’t a big part of this change be to try to get Republicans and Democrats to work together on a stimulus bill at this critical time in our nations history?

    Stumping along the lines of what Obama has been recently saying amounts little more than I won the election so I have a mandate from the people so we are going to do what I want to do.

    How does that help encourage the Republicans to want to work with Obama?

    All of the elected officials — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — have the mandate of the people that elected them otherwise they would not be holding office.

    Obama’s line of reasoning that he has a mandate also forgets that he represents all the people that did NOT vote for him.

    Although they might not have voted for him he still has a responsibility to them as well to not squander their tax dollars and to not ignore the law makers that they have duly elected.

    http://www.weeklypoint.com/2009/02/09/obama-pushes-for-stimulus/

    Dan D. (6e316d)

  20. Ovaries indeed! I emailed her regarding the bill and received three automated responses from her, one after the other. All were just my own original email sent!

    I think this discombobulation is representative of her own obvious discombobulated thinking re this bill.

    Dana (be9504)

  21. Wouldn’t a big part of this change be to try to get Republicans and Democrats to work together on a stimulus bill at this critical time in our nations history?

    No! No! No! There isn’t time! It must be passed NOW!

    And work together? That’s a cute euphemism for Shut-Up and Get In Line!

    Dana (be9504)

  22. I can’t find anything coming out of the RNC concerning the Republicans who are voting for this bill. I’ve heard Steele critcize the Democrats regarding this stimulus bill but he seems to support the Republicans who are voting for it.

    j curtis (046ae4)

  23. The bottom line is this bill was written by Nancy Pelosi. It now has President Obama’s name on it so he is out peddling it, and it will pass. This is a total disaster.

    Decades from now people will look back at these past 6 months and ask, “What the hell were they thinking?”

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  24. I don’t want to point out the obvious but “How can Republicans be obstructionist” when the Demoncraps control Congress and the WH.

    You can pin it on the Democrats — the whole thing, bad or good but you need to repeat ad nauseum until folks get it.

    Bush lied, soldiers died.

    Obama lies, our taxes are high.

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  25. If they had any backbone, the Republicans should be demanding that the Obama disclose all successful government spending stimulus plans. The silence would be defending.

    Perfect Sense (0922fa)

  26. “Decades from now people will look back at these past 6 months and ask, “What the hell were they thinking?””

    If by decades from now you mean “now” (haw).

    Dems have caved in to Reps and let them load this thing up with useless tax cuts. Reps are letting Dems pork away. Nobody wants to give money to the states which apparently is good but maybe they are worried it will just all go to the equivalent of “Cold Cash” Jefferson 50 different places. It’s a big pile of half measures that neither side thinks will work. The only “consensus” I have seen in the opinionsphere is between all of the “shareholders have to eat it” people who think that banks etc. are going to have to be “restructured”. These people seem to be from various points on the political spectrum (you can tell by where they place most of the responsibility for the mess).
    Can the govt. rescind the first “bailout” and use all the remaining billions for something else that is NOT a war and NOT a tax break? Let’s use that for infrastructure.
    Can we make them start all over again?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  27. What EdWood said.

    With the added opinion that the Republicans are staring into an abyss now. Obama, like a new teacher with an unruly class, naively let them roughshod over him a bit there, but I don’t think he’ll let that happen again. He’s going to both, re-double his efforts to establish a bi-partisan working relationship and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to isolate those Repubs who continue to play politics and games into greater and greater irrelevance. The real dangers and stresses to the GOP are inside the party itself. So many moderates have disappeared now that you guys should wish and pray you had more Specter’s and Collins, not call them and harass them to join the bunch who’re making themselves powerless.

    They’re going to take their “united front” and de facto coronation of Rush Limbaugh into greater and ever greater irrelevance. If ever there was a party needing a true leader that one is it. Rush is not it, and let’s face it neither is Michael Steele. They think they can sit on their hands and watch Obama fail, but that’s not going to happen,because he doesn’t them ultimately and a the end of this they will be on the wrong side of every issue.

    They can’t even dig out the old stand by’s like school prayer, anti-flag burning, immigration control and abortion as they’ve done in the past. As always: It’s the economy stupid.

    Peter (e70d1c)

  28. Perfect Sense
    That would fall under the heading of asking a question of your opponent when you don’t know what they are going to say. (I saw that in a movie).

    It’s not necessarily the data, it’s how you interpret it.

    Looks like Obama is shaping up to be a weak Prez. who is good at networking and delegating but won’t go and kick people in the nuts when needed.

    The Republicans just have to keep saying that everything he does is wrong. Since he won’t take them on people will eventually believe it whether it’s true or not. Then in 2 years instead of spending 3 trillion on infrastructure and all that other wasteful stuff, we can spend it on tax cuts for rich people, multinational corporations, the military, and connected civilian contractors making bank off of our next oil war.
    As the events from the last few days are showing it’s gonna get spent, whether its now by Dems or in 2 years by Reps (who already did their damndest to spend it all, you were too slow Republicans!!!), it’s just a matter of who gets the money now.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  29. by Peter @ 11:41 am

    re-double his efforts to establish a bi-partisan working relationship and use the bully pulpit of the presidency to isolate those Repubs who continue to play politics and games into greater and greater irrelevance.

    Good God. You have to love wordplay like this. Hitler in your coffee, anyone ?

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  30. Peter, how can Obama “redouble” nothing?

    SPQR (72771e)

  31. Obama could add black russian caviar to the menu, along with black truffles. That’ll win over those evil Republicans who are concerned about government waste.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  32. Good God, the Obamatons are delusional.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  33. I want my unicorn.

    JD (c6800b)

  34. My car needs gas. Hop to it bitches.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  35. Peter, it is a highly partisan spending bill.

    It was your candidate who promised to ‘transcend’ party politics. The stimulus bill is a sham of special-interest spending filled with huge amounts of thank you cash for DNC supporters.

    Own your mistakes, ok ?

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  36. Gallup’s polling of today (h/t Gallup) shows that the American people disapprove of the Republic performance at a 58% clip.

    While that is certainly much lower than Republicans are used to now that George and 70% disapprovals are gone (except you guys, y’all kept the faith!!), it places them far below the approval/disapproval numbers of the President and the loathsome Dems in Congress. The poll also notes 80% of Americans think it’s important to pass a stimulus bill.

    Certainly, leadership is more than following a poll, but methinks the writing is on the wall. Obama appeared bipartisan, he altered the bill, the American people wanted it, and republicans opposed it.

    So what’s the over/under on Dem Senate seats come 1/11? 62? 63? 65? Nah, 65’s crazy.

    timb (a83d56)

  37. Def.: Unicorns are the means by which Socialists attract voters and secure power while transfering wealth into their own bank accounts.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  38. I mean, seriously, “de facto coronation” of Limbaugh? It’s the left that’s doing that! Obama made him an issue, the left keeps attacking him, hell, newspapers are using his picture on completely unrelated stories!

    They’re delusional. Or so lock-step in synch with the Democrat talking points it’s indistinguishable.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  39. timb – Polling also shows that only 37% of Americans are in favor of the stimulus bill as it stands, so what does that tell you, and Obama’s approval ratings have dropped to 59%. Honeymoon’s over cupcake!

    Your droning about Republican irrelevancy is meaningless. Your Messiah is in over his head and drifting. Letting Pelosi and Reid handle his first major piece of legislation was an unforced rookie error and ir’s biting him in the ass. Russia, Iran, North Korea and others are testing him on the foreign affairs side and all you can do is drone about Republicans? You are a pathetic wanker. Obama has created his own problems here.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  40. SPQR — polls that make The One look bad are non-polls. The only polls that matter to the likes of timmah are the ones that confirm their bigotries.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  41. I wonder which Leftist website started pushing the Gallup numbers, as I have seen similar comments to timmah’s showing up on several sites this afternoon. Interestingly enough, the numbers are only in reference to the parties as it relates to the “stimulus” plan. I have seen nothing that suggests that the Congress as a whole’s ratings have increased from their single digit/low teens ratings, when they were way worse than President Bush, who was the worstest most evil person EVAH!

    JD (c6800b)

  42. Certainly, leadership is more than following a poll,

    Dude, if you really valued this trait you’d support Bush. That was one thing he didn’t do: cater to the latest polls. It’s like growing a pair — something Obama has yet to do. A failed community organizer can only do so much.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  43. timmah, Peter and HawHawEd, why don’t you tell everyone here what H.I.M. has done right since his coronation?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  44. Letting Pelosi and Reid handle his first major piece of legislation was an unforced rookie error and it’s biting him in the ass.

    Yep. And if life were fair, Obama would be nowhere near the White House.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  45. As always: It’s the economy stupid.

    And you can trust Petey on this one: he knows how to speak stupid.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  46. daleyrocks, I can answer that. Obama hired a racist preacher to speak at his bloated D.C. affair. He made sure that while the Rev. Wright-wannabe spouted divisive racial comments, all pre-Inaugural focus was on Rick Warren.

    So much for the 47% who didn’t vote for Chosen. And wasn’t this supposed to be a landslide win? Anti-Bush and everything.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  47. Yes. Obama wants Republican support in case the economy does not improve, so that he is able to spread the blame about. Thus opposition to the bill forces Obama to take responsibility if the bill fails. And if the economy improves, Obama will take credit for it, whether the Republicans support it or not. In sum: there is no upside for the Republicans to support the bill, but there is an upside if the Republicans do not support the bill and the economy either remains the same or weakens.

    Mike (b38929)

  48. VN – Well, timmah’s all about numbers today and Pelosi’s got that humongous 10% favorable rating. So I’d say handing off the stimulus bill for her to stuff down everyone else’s throats was another boneheaded move on Obama’s part.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  49. “Mr President, what is your plan for this situation?” “You folks write up a plan and I’ll put my name on it.”

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  50. The one thing most historians agreed upon regarding Obama’s first 100 days is not to allow himself to get rolled by the old bulls in Congress. They looked at what happened to Clinton during his 1st term, and it resulted in congressional majorities for the GOP in both houses for the first time in 50 years. Clinton got rolled, and now Obama dutifully follows. They’ve learned nothing, apparently.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  51. Well, timmah’s all about numbers today and Pelosi’s got that humongous 10% favorable rating.

    Yes, I noticed his frequent preoccupation with poll numbers biased poll numbers.

    Vermont Neighbor (ab0837)

  52. Couldn’t they talk about anything that Obama has done right?

    Where did they all go?

    Bueller?

    Bueller?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  53. Hope & Change = Fear & Loathing

    Dmac (49b16c)

  54. Couldn’t they talk about anything that Obama has done right?

    #1 – He’s a good speaker.

    #2 – He’s African – American.

    #3 – Repeat the first two.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  55. “timmah, Peter and HawHawEd, why don’t you tell everyone here what H.I.M. has done right since his coronation?”

    Give him a little time D-rocks, it’s only the first month, let him get some things going and see how they play out and maybe some of it will work fine. You won’t acknowledge it if they do of course because that’s not how the “cons are always right about everything all the time” game is played. As people here keep saying it’s all about the narrative right?

    My fave thing that comes to mind is that he has lifted the gag rule on Planned Parenthood clinics. I can understand why it was imposed but I’m glad it’s gone. Compared to having to deal with the economy though that is just a little culture war gesture. Unfortunately it’s looking like he is going to be too weak to get anything other than a sort of money grab of half measures out of Congress (some pork-ola fer a Dem and a tax-break for a Rep, continue till the money is gone). So cheer up Big D. It’s looking more and more like you were right about O not being ready for prime time.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  56. I have an honest question for everyone:

    Aren’t pork projects a more effective way of injecting money into the economy than, say, tax cuts or direct stimulus checks? It seems like pork-money will at least be spent somewhere, whereas money saved through tax cuts will either be hoarded by fearful consumers or used to pay off credit card debt.

    I don’t know the specifics of the stimulus package (it seems like no one does) and I don’t have any economic training, but it seems like a rational outlook, at least if the idea is to get money circulating again.

    Leviticus (e494ea)

  57. Leviticus, the question is not whether the money will be spent, but whether or not the money will encourage the cascade effects.

    Paying money to Planned Parenthood for buying condoms does not encourage others to choose to invest money in their own interest.

    Obama’s own economic advisor has written a paper on the “multiplier”, ie., the factor by which different expenditures create subsidiary economic effects. And her own work shows that these kind of pork projects are ineffective.

    SPQR (72771e)

  58. Saving and paying off debt are bad things? Just because someone saves money does not mean that the dollar in question is lost to the system. It is another dollar available to the institution from which to lend, no?

    JD (c6800b)

  59. My fave thing that comes to mind is that he has lifted the gag rule on Planned Parenthood clinics.

    Good! So now they’re going to report statutory rapes?

    Or isn’t that the “gag rule” you’re talking about?

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  60. A few points, Leviticus:

    1. When government spends money, where it gets spent is determined by political power. The more money government spends — money that it has to take, one way or another, from the people — the less free the people are to control their own lives.

    2. Paying off credit debt (or mortgages) would be a good thing when there’s a credit crunch. It would put more money at the hands of lenders, giving them more to loan out.

    3. Unless people are hoarding cash by stuffing it under their mattresses, the money will be in circulation. Money in savings accounts, investments, etc. is still money that’s moving around.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  61. I agree with Rob (#60, 2:15 pm) especially on point 1. The other problem with government “stimulus” (i.e., pork) is that when government spends money so much of it gets siphoned off by the bureaucracy every step of the way (without really providing any marginal return) that what finally trickles down to the economy is far less than what would get in via a tax cut. And as Rob mentions, it becomes the politicians choosing winners and losers rather than allowing the market to do so.

    JVW (fa4697)

  62. Aren’t pork projects a more effective way of injecting money into the economy than, say, tax cuts or direct stimulus checks?

    Only if you accept the premise that the government is better at allocating cash resources than the consumers.

    It seems like pork-money will at least be spent somewhere, whereas money saved through tax cuts will either be hoarded by fearful consumers or used to pay off credit card debt.

    The only way that tax cuts can be “hoarded” is if people stash their money in their mattresses. People putting their money into the bank allows the banks to put the money to work by lending it, or allows the banks to build up reserves and prevent runs on the bank.

    People paying off credit cards frees their future income to be allocated to something else, and it keeps the banks solvent.

    So, even tax cuts will be spent somewhere, and probably more efficiently than the pork money.

    Steverino (69d941)

  63. I’m thinking the Obama supporters are suffering a form of post-coital letdown, when they’ve realized the guy they climbed into bed with isn’t nearly as good as they imagined.

    Steverino (69d941)

  64. “the less free the people are to control their own lives.”

    OK Rob Crawford but why don’t you just come out and say “businesses” because really you are talking about businesses. I suppose the x-grand the government gets from me every year in income tax or social security tax gives me less money to spend and thus less “freedom”. Taxes are a very very old form of social control. But there are arguably many more laws (not all bad) that make us all less free that haven’t got much to do with taxes or fees.
    Arguments about the government giving us “our” freedom really mostly seem to be coming from businessmen. Why not just say that and then make the case that taxes are too high on businesses and that somehow making them much much lower will get banks to lend businesses money again.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  65. EdWood – Why do you assume that he was only speaking of businesses?

    JD (c6800b)

  66. “businesses” because really you are talking about businesses.

    OK, so let’s say that he agrees with your assumption – so what? Are you suddenly saying “booga, booga, evil/bad business! Capitalism = bad; government = good!” And if that’s the correct take on your comment, name one recession that was abated via massive gov’t spending and/or tax increases.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  67. BTW, a quick shout – out to Leviticus, one of the few folks from the left (also Aphrael) who come on here to debate the issues honestly and without snark, rancor and/or usage of talking points and strawmen. Congratulations, please consider posting more often when you have the opportunity.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  68. First step in getting a payoff from opposing the dreadful mistake, is of course, to oppose it.

    Larry Sheldon (86b2e1)

  69. EdWood, I guess you have had a different experience from me, but I have never felt compelled to purchase something from a business — that is to say, I have never believed that purchasing a Ford was mandatory when I wanted a Chevy or eating at McDonalds when I really wanted Burger King. On the other hand, my taxes have gone to support (for example) Planned Parenthood when I have wanted nothing to do with them.

    JVW (fa4697)

  70. OK Rob Crawford but why don’t you just come out and say “businesses” because really you are talking about businesses.

    Actually, I was specifically thinking of my own paycheck. I trade a limited resource — my time — to my employer for cash. Then government comes along and takes a big wad of that cash. Effectively, government is forcing me to work for the benefit of other people.

    There’s a word for the state of affairs when other people decide who benefits from your work.

    As for businesses — who makes up businesses? People. Close to where I live there’s a little strip mall with four or five stores. They’re all locally owned — no chains — and likely their owners are in them 12 or more hours a day. Those people are offering services and goods (including some decent barbecue) to others; aren’t they doing a good thing?

    Arguments about the government giving us “our” freedom really mostly seem to be coming from businessmen.

    Government doesn’t give us our freedoms; it can only impose upon them. Our freedoms are inherent in our existence as human beings — whether you call them “God-given” rights or “natural” rights. And I really don’t get the “mostly coming from businessmen” part — is that a problem? Are they really the ones making most of the arguments in favor of liberty?

    Why not just say that and then make the case that taxes are too high on businesses and that somehow making them much much lower will get banks to lend businesses money again.

    Well, I wouldn’t make that argument, because that’s not my argument at all. My argument for lowering corporate taxes goes like this:

    Businesses do not actually pay taxes. They (properly) treat taxes as a cost of doing business and build those taxes into their pricing. Thus, it’s their customers who pay corporate taxes, whether those customers are other businesses or the final consumer. Lowering corporate taxes would lower the costs of doing business, and either increase the money businesses have on hand for making capital improvements (including hiring) or allow them to lower their prices. Most likely it would do a combination of the two, which means lower prices and more jobs.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  71. Oh, and I understand that the impetus for government laying claim to the benefits of my work comes from my fellow citizens. I think those citizens who demand I work for their benefit are sleazy low-lifes. I’ve never (in my adult life) demanded anyone else ever pay for my hobbies, so why does the “stimulus” bill include money for dog parks, frisbee golf, and so on?

    If people are so interested in those things, why can’t they pay for them from their own resources?

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  72. The Republicans are just as much to blame as the Dems for this frightening place we find ourselves in: Ten Trillion at Risk

    Short term, they look good. Long term, they are doomed, we are doomed.

    Patricia (89cb84)

  73. Mike K wrote:

    I don’t know if Susan Collins will really grow the balls to say no if this bill comes back from conference with all the bad stuff put back in.

    Wouldn’t she have to grow the ovaries to say no?

    Comment by The nit-picking Dana

    I’ve never figured that out. All I know is that she and Olympia and Arlen all have ovaries and they caved to The One. I would think it would require something generating testosterone.

    The point about spending and stimulus has to do with something called the accelerator principle. I learned about it when I took an economics course in college. That is what made me a Republican as I was a Stevenson Democrat as an 18-year-old. A dollar injected into the economy is used to stimulate multiple transactions. Government spending is a bit like breaking a window. You could say that breaking that window stimulates a job for the fellow who fixes it. At the end, however, you have an intact window and nothing else has changed.

    Use that dollar to make a tool of some sort. The person who uses that tool, makes something else, which is used by another person, and so on. The difference is that more goods or services exist in the end than with the broken window.

    Robert Barro, a Harvard economist, has calculated that government spending, even when it is not wasted, has an accelerator of about 0.8 or less. At the end, it creates only about 80% of the goods and services it takes to generate that dollar. The money that will be spent by this bill is not sitting in some vault waiting to be used. It has to be borrowed. Last week’s T-bill auction showed that interest rates will rise when this big auction comes along. That means that the huge spending will raise the cost for YOU to borrow money, say for your mortgage.

    How does that help you or me ?

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  74. I just tried to listen to Baracky. When he told me that government is the only thing that can solve this crisis, I puked a little in the back of my mouth, and turned him off. Good Allah.

    The politics of fear will not have a place in my Administration. Hope! And, change! B fucking S.

    JD (c6800b)

  75. What I got from Barack’s little fear mongering speech tonite is that he will be drowning some baby kittens if Congress does not enact the single largest non-budgetary pork barrel spending bill in the history of our country. Because ONLY government can fix this.

    JD (c6800b)

  76. A MUCH simpler stimulus: Eliminate the FICA tax for the rest of 2009.

    In 2006, the total FICA take was $838 billion. It would be around $7-800 billion for March-December 2009.

    Benefits:
    1. Since half of this is a tax on the employer, eliminating it for the rest of the year would reduce layoffs AND spur spending.

    2. Only working people get anything.

    3. The working poor get nearly all their deductions back.

    4. The rebate naturally tops out at incomes about $100K, so “the rich” get only a limited amount.

    5. Not much place for special interests in this. Sorry Congressman, no pulled pork.

    Of course, maybe we don’t NEED a stimulus, but if we do, why not a REAL SIMPLE ONE that most people will think fair.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  77. You’re operating under the illusion that this has anything to do with businesses or people that are currently working, Kevin.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  78. 5. Not much place for special interests in this. Sorry Congressman, no pulled pork.

    Well, there’s your problem. If the “solution” doesn’t involve giving government more power, then it’s simply unacceptable.

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  79. I am interested in seeing the transcipt of Baracky’s fear mongering tonite. The government is the only one that can fix this?!

    JD (c6800b)

  80. Kevin, this is basically the Republican alternative and we can’t have that.

    Helen Thomas just asked BHO about “so-called terrorists.” She has her priorities straight.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  81. Lukewarm opposition will be the death of R electoral chances, cuz if the US is to be a kleptocracy, then the people will rationally vote for the best crooks, not the second best.

    ras (20bd5b)

  82. Helen Thomas is the crazy aunt in the attic who somehow escapes once a month – and she looks and sounds a lot like Gollum. My preciouuuuus!

    Dmac (49b16c)

  83. Baracky called on the asshats from HuffPo at his presser, inquiring about Bush admin prosecutions, SHOCKA. No earmarks? No pork? Good Allah, he is serially dishonest.

    JD (c6800b)

  84. I wonder whether Emp will find this or not.

    Matthew 25:14-30 (New International Version)

    The Parable of the Talents
    14″Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

    19″After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

    21″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    22″The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

    23″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    24″Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

    26″His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

    28″ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    Footnotes:

    1. Matthew 25:15 A talent was worth more than a thousand dollars.

    To me, that says you get what you work for and don’t get what you don’t work for. And redistributing wealth is antithetical to Biblical teaching.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  85. Interesting, isn’t it, John, that Christ makes the guy who accuses his boss of being a cheat and a thief the villain of that story?

    Rob Crawford (b5d1c2)

  86. It is informative, indeed, Rob.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  87. Perhaps it is time to coin a new term in the English language …

    </Barackry – the offence of repeating continuously unrealistic economic pronouncments. Usually in political situations.

    Named for the 44th President of the United States, Barackry was used to get President Obama elected, and then throughout the first few months of 2009, until even the major media could no longer bring themselves to broadcast it.

    Classically demonstrated by “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”, while this Bill was mostly pork, the less than 20% that could be considered as actual stimulus was spread out over years …

    Barackry eventually proved to have paradoxical value, in that it lead to a popular revolt and to subsequent Bills which only contained stimulus provisions.

    Well ? We can but Hope, for such Change, can we not ?

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  88. #56 – The best thing for individuals is to save money, pay down debt, collect their wealth. The note coming from parts of government encouraging people to spend money to “stimulate” the economy is sick.

    Wesson (3ab0b8)

  89. “You’re operating under the illusion that this has anything to do with businesses or people that are currently working, Kevin”

    Well, no, but I am operating under the assumption that it SHOULD be.

    “Kevin, this is basically the Republican alternative and we can’t have that.”

    Oddly, it seems to be the Keynsian solution as well. That old rightwinger, can’t ahve that!

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  90. Did I make Emp run away? Where is the response to my quote?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  91. “To me, that says you get what you work for and don’t get what you don’t work for. And redistributing wealth is antithetical to Biblical teaching.”

    – John Hitchcock

    Really? What about Matthew 19:21? What about James 1:27? And (just for the hell of it, since we’re talking about government redistribution) what about Matthew 22:21?

    Leviticus (b05a99)

  92. Leviticus – I am going to apologize, in advance, for being mean to you tonite. Your brethren have been particularly mendoucheous the last few days. I am doing my best to only direct my less than civil responses to those that deserve them, but just in case, wanted to apologize, in case I let one slip.

    JD (c6800b)

  93. OT: On the drug issue from days back ….

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7869709.stm?lss

    Obama über alles!!!!! (48dd5e)

  94. This household, for the next year (365 days), will purchase only items of necessity. If our president wants tax revenue he will need to look other places. He will need to raise taxes to derive benefit from my money. I will deprive this government of every dime I can and that means the less I spend the less companies will have to pay taxes.

    EART (9d1bb3)

  95. Last week’s T-bill auction showed that interest rates will rise when this big auction comes along.

    And they are counting on inflation so they can pay off at least some of this debt in inflated dollars and start the whole cycle over again.

    Oh wait, we started already! Fannie Mae Loosens Refi Rules

    Patricia (89cb84)

  96. Matthew 19:21, when taken in context, speaks of what someone will be willing to give up to follow the Lord. It is not about the poor or wealth redistribution. It is about being willing to relinquish all for God. There is a big difference.

    28Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother[f] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

    James 1:27 discusses true charity and has nothing to do with wealth redistribution. True charity differs a great deal with modern understandings of charity in that true charity comes from the heart first and not just the wallet.

    26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    Matthew 22:21 must be read in context as well.

    Paying Taxes to Caesar
    15Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

    18But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

    21″Caesar’s,” they replied.
    Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    22When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

    Note verse 18. Also note that a denarius had 2 portraits, one of Caesar and one of “god”. The whole intent of the Pharisees was to trap him with a “when did you stop sinning” question and Jesus did not fall for the trap but turned it back on them, calling them on their hypocricy.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  97. Hey I’m going to give Leviticus props to for his questions, comments tonight. Straight up questions about a difficult situation deserve straight up answers–to the best of our ability.
    That’s what civil discourse is about.

    On the other hand, mendouchery gets called out, and should be called out.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  98. Leviticus, did I adequately answer your question?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  99. ” I am going to apologize, in advance, for being mean to you tonite.”

    – JD

    You haven’t been mean (to me) yet. I’m not too worried.

    John Hitchcock,

    In re: Matthew 19:21 – while I would agree with you that that’s the intended “moral of the story” (so to speak), the fact remains that Jesus couched devotion to God (in this case) in terms of a willingness to give to the poor at one’s own expense. That doesn’t seem to support the statement that redistribution of wealth is “antithetical” to Biblical teaching.

    In the same vein, I would argue that James 1:27, while not explicitly advocating redistribution of wealth, certainly exhorts us to look after the needy… feasibly by redistributing our wealth, if that’s what’s needed. I would also argue that while there are instances where it’s unwise to read a passage of Scripture too literally, there are also instances where it’s unwise to not read a passage of Scripture literally enough.

    Finally, in re: Matthew 22:21 – whose face is on the dollar?

    Leviticus (b05a99)

  100. Did anyone catch how Obama casually admitted — only when he was asked — that excessive debt is what caused this recession? Obama then said, first we have to end this recession by spending hundreds of billions more, and then we’ll cut spending and reduce debt.

    The One is utterly convinced of the magical power of government to fix a debt-plagued economy by spending our way to prosperity with borrowed money. The invincible ignorance is frightening.

    Bradley J. Fikes, C. O.R., who wants DRJ back! (0ea407)

  101. I fear that Americans will pull their heads out of their asses and realize that their US currency is pretty paper that has no intrinsic worth.

    And since the perceived value of the rest of the world’s currencies stem from the idea that some value has been assumed of the worthless US paper with pictures of buildings and dead presidents on it…

    If trillion dollar special interest gifts don’t sink the currency, then why not just give a million dollars to each US citizen? We could all live high on the hog!

    j curtis (22be74)

  102. Leviticus, I suspect where we are differing is the chosen definition of “wealth redistribution.” I assert charitable giving is not wealth redistribution. It is giving of yourself for the needs of others but that does not make it wealth redistribution.

    Regarding taxes, I am not advocating the approach that nobody pay taxes. But in particular with Matthew 22:21, it wasn’t a dollar that was shown but a denarius. And a denarius had two faces on it. “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” specifically spoke to that. Since the coin had both on it, who did the coin belong to? So, what a dollar looks like is irrelevant to that passage, if you follow what I’m saying.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  103. Those very few economists speak out.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  104. “I assert charitable giving is not wealth redistribution. It is giving of yourself for the needs of others but that does not make it wealth redistribution.”

    – John Hitchcock

    Again, I see where you’re coming from – from the perspective that “wealth redistribution” is something governments do, regardless of the wishes of the people to whom to wealth “belongs”. So what you were originally arguing was that the idea of the government redistributing wealth was antithetical to Biblical teaching.

    I was arguing that since charitable giving is the transfer of wealth from one who has to one who has not, it falls under the literal definition of “wealth redistribution”… and that since charitable giving is most certainly not antithetical to Biblical teaching, neither is “wealth redistribution”. But if you bring the idea of the government into the matter, I would have to say I don’t know the relevant passages of Scripture well enough to say one way or the other.

    Anyway, I’m not sure how old you are, but I’m a young ‘un, and people my age don’t perceive phrases like “wealth redistribution” the same way as people who lived through any part of the Cold War. That might (or might not) explain some of the difference in our respective definitions.

    As far as the denarius goes, I (sorta) picked up on what you were getting at. I was saying that while the denarius had a representation of Caesar on one side and a representation of God on the other, the dollar has only a representation of Uncle Sam – and that the confusion there must have been in the case of the denarius does not exist in the case of the dollar (that is, in regards to whom we are to render it when the Rendering Hour is upon us).

    Leviticus (ceb0e1)

  105. The big question is how will Obama’s and the Democrat-led Congress’s spendthrift stimulus package affect the following, per below?

    If Americans’ gung-ho consumerism of the past several years finally has hit a wall — and it remains dazed for some time to come — and, in turn, fewer cargo containers loaded with stuff (or junk) are required from China, which consequently will mean fewer incoming bucks from the PRC to, in turn, finance our debt, what will the Transpacific tango, if you will, be like in the future?

    http://www.lastampa.it, 2-9-09:

    Unofficial estimates reckon that Beijing, through all kinds of funds in the People’s Republic and Hong Kong, now holds up to $1.9 trillion of U.S. bonds, perhaps well over 70 percent of China’s reserves, plus funds from many financial institutions. As the total external American debt is about $4 trillion, China holds about half of America’s external debt.

    In a rational move following the explosion of the American financial crisis, China should have cut back its exposure to American bonds. That is what many European countries did. China, conversely, has in the past few months increased its exposure to American bonds by buying more.

    China did so for a number of reasons. It is a way to bolster its investment: China already had over a trillion dollars in U.S. bonds, and a drop in the value of the dollar would mean a drop in the value of its reserves. China also did so to gain greater voice with the U.S., since with so many reserves, the U.S. should pay attention to China and its many political requests. There was also the competition with Japan, as Tokyo signaled that it would step in and buy U.S. bonds if China stepped back.

    Besides the Chinese holdings in U.S. bonds, Japan also sits on over a trillion in bonds. In all, about three-fourths of U.S. debt is in the hands of China and Japan, with a few hundred billion more scattered around Asia.

    There is an Asia dollar as there are petrodollars and there were Eurodollars. But unlike the petrodollar, which is just a convenient tag for exchanges with reserves that are ultimately accumulated in Western banks, the Asia dollar stands for a strong economic and financial relationship between East Asia and America. Beneath it, there is a growing flow of goods, commodities, and investments on both sides of the Pacific. In other words, the traditional dollar no longer exists, and in its place there is already the dollar+yuan+yen. It is a triple action without Europe as a whole or as individual European states.

    The crisis, it seems, will further marginalize the E.U. and the European countries from these growing transpacific ties….At the end of the day, if all U.S. external debt is in Asia, America only needs to find a financial solution with China and Japan to sort things out.

    Mark (411533)

  106. #72
    I like all your arguments Rob Crawford, especially the one about how Government can only impose itself on our freedoms.

    However
    “Businesses do not actually pay taxes. They (properly) treat taxes as a cost of doing business and build those taxes into their pricing.”
    No, they decide how much to build into pricing based on what the market will bear, the rest is “profits” that they don’t get to keep but have to benefit from indirectly like the rest of us (good roads, military, cops etc.) So their taxes are not necessarily all transferred onto the consumer.

    “Lowering corporate taxes would lower the costs of doing business, and either increase the money businesses have on hand for making capital improvements (including hiring) or allow them to lower their prices.”
    Yes, or… lower corporate taxes would allow corporations to raise the pay of their CEO to 300 million dollars a year plus bonuses, or invest heavily in high risk securities and all the other garbage that everyone seems to be about to lose money on all so that the corporation could make money without actually producing anything or hiring anybody.

    Somebody has to pay for all the infrastructure that helps businesses conduct business (roads, military, cops, hospitals, etc.) If a corporation is shipping more products and hiring more people then it is using those public good more (including intelligent efficient individuals perhaps educated in public universities). Therefore their higher tax rates (up to a point of course) reflect their greater use of those goods. I have no problem with more successful companies paying more to maintain the infrastructure that they are using more to help create that success.

    EdWood (358783)

  107. EdWood, have you heard of “Road Use Tax?” Not trying to be snarky, but as a former OTR driver, I know a little bit about road use tax. Trucks are taxed on the diesel fuel used just like cars. Trucks are also taxed on the total miles driven in each state. I had to keep a log that showed the mileage from state to state for that purpose. The more road usage a company consumes, the more taxes it pays already.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  108. “I had to keep a log that showed the mileage from state to state for that purpose.”

    John – How many logs did you actually keep?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  109. Rob Crawford is a bright guy, a good thinker. I have seen him at other sites, and on those few times that we disagreed, he was probably right those times too.

    JD (c6800b)

  110. John Hitchcock
    Yeah, it’s one thing to talk about how things are supposed to work and another to have to deal with how things are. When I talk about the topic of taxes with businessmen and listen to how MANY different “Fees” and “licenses” etc.etc. they have to pay and pay for I am completely appalled.

    EdWood (358783)

  111. Pat, what’s the statute of limitations regarding this particular pleading of the fifth? 😉

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  112. “Yes, or… lower corporate taxes would allow corporations to raise the pay of their CEO to 300 million dollars a year plus bonuses, or invest heavily in high risk securities and all the other garbage that everyone seems to be about to lose money on all so that the corporation could make money without actually producing anything or hiring anybody.”

    HawHawEd – Your problem is focusing on the corporations that screw up and overpay their top execs or make bad investments and then make the news. You assume that all companies are alike and therefore evil. They don’t all act the same, dumbass.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  113. I haven’t been in the cab of a rig since 98 and haven’t driven OTR since 94, but I can say I never drove from OK City to Norfolk, Va in 24 hours. Really. Never did that. That would’ve been a comic-book violation.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  114. Regarding multiple comic-books.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  115. I have no problem with more successful companies paying more to maintain the infrastructure that they are using more to help create that success.

    This assumes that access to resources is the key to success, i.e. a tragedy of the commons.

    Let’s say you & I both own apple pie bakeries. I have a robot slicer that uses 99% of each apple I buy. You have a robot slicer that uses only 50% of each apple.

    With my lower apple costs, I am more successful than you as a business.

    Why should I pay more taxes to maintain the road to the apple farm than you, based upon that success?

    Your bakery actually uses the road more, because you need more apples to make up for the waste.

    Adriane (6cae82)

  116. Hey, daley, I got a kick out of the “HawHawEd” business. Are you making the reference I think you are, from WWII?

    Eric Blair (ec334b)

  117. “Your bakery actually uses the road more, because you need more apples to make up for the waste.”

    Adriane – No, because you can make more product for the same input you generate more traffic or customers for the output. It evens out, doesn’t it?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  118. Daley, you’re switching targets in your math problem. The more efficient business generates less traffic for the same amount of pies. The output traffic is the same amount for the same amount of pies. The input traffic is greatly reduced.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  119. Eric – No, I’m not talking about Lord Haw Haw. Ed frequently starts off his posts after getting ripped apart with Haw Haw and then pretends it was nothing, just a flesh wound.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  120. I saw someone refer to the dirty little socialist wanker as the Wizard of Uhhhhs. I like that one.

    JD (c6800b)

  121. Come to think of it, the same amount of pies produces reduced output traffic because the byproduct (waste) goes out as well and there is a great deal more waste going out at the inefficient plant than at the efficient plant.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  122. Well, daley, the guy is kind of a mouthpiece for a particular regime….

    You guys always give me a chuckle with your Ultimate Cage Fighting wordplay.

    Much appreciated.

    And yes, JD. I’m a racist and I denounce myself.

    Eric Blair (ec334b)

  123. “You assume that all companies are alike and therefore evil. They don’t all act the same, dumbass.”

    That’s right Big D which also means, as in my example above, that all corporations just don’t use their hard earned cash to hire more people, expand, and lower their prices as explained by Rob Crawford. In other words they don’t all act the same do they Dumbass?

    EdWood (358783)

  124. I think that Hacks has given himself a triangle choke and an arm bar, and has tapped himself out.

    JD (c6800b)

  125. John – Not if you compost. I stand corrected otherwise. Good point. My apologies Adriane.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  126. “You guys always give me a chuckle with your Ultimate Cage Fighting wordplay.”

    Which is why I begin many of my posts with Haw haw.
    The posters here are funny sometimes!

    EdWood (358783)

  127. Now, if you will excuse me for the evening, I am going to go dream about blowing up some pubic schools. Apparently Baracky thinks that is what we do.

    JD (c6800b)

  128. I’ll bring the marshmallows.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  129. JD – I thought that was the liberal pretzel knot strnglehold of death, rarely seen in the light of day. Reportedly no liberal has ever witnessed the phenomenon, believing it to be a myth of rabid war mongering extremist homophobic misogynistic neocon blogs.

    Jim, bring in the camera while Marlin interviews the witnesses. We’ll try to preserve this one for the record.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  130. Daley, your comment reminded me of this exchange from the television show of my youth:

    “Republicans protect their young. So do Liberals with Mutual of Omaha!”

    Seriously, I loved the “Wild Kingdom” when hapless Jim Fowler darted the cougar and then had to poke it with a stick to see if it was asleep.

    It wasn’t.

    The general them of “Wild Kingdom” was: “While I stay in the safety of the helicopter, Jim will wrestle with the anaconda in the river below.”

    Good times.

    Eric Blair (ec334b)

  131. You assume that all companies are alike and therefore evil.

    I’m assuming nothing of the sort. Companies aren’t good or evil they just do what they do which is make money. I just think they should pay for things that everyone needs like the rest of us, up to a point, as I said above.
    I am bitching about the ones in the news though. It’s true.

    EdWood (358783)

  132. #107 Leviticus:

    Again, I see where you’re coming from – from the perspective that “wealth redistribution” is something governments do, regardless of the wishes of the people to whom to wealth “belongs”.

    A valuable insight. You are right: those of us who had anything to do with the Cold War think of “wealth distribution” more properly as “forcible wealth distribution,” ie, involving the threat of governmental force to make it happen. And I am purposefully not using the prefix “re-” in this instance, because when the government becomes involved, it tends to seek equality of distribution on many levels~including the primary level where the wealth is actually generated.

    Charitable wealth redistribution, OTOH, can also be thought of as a form of voluntary discretionary spending: where the charitable donor is actually purchasing something of value to themself, rather than being robbed at gunpoint by the government.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  133. Leviticus, let me quote you “… to give to the poor at one’s own expense.”

    That’s charity.

    Redistribution is someone (call them A) taking someone else’s money (B), and giving it to a third party (C).

    In practice, A takes a hefty cut.

    BTW, I have a friend who got into publishing last year. ~70% of his costs are taxes and government fees. Granted, he runs an extremely lean operation.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  134. One wonders id JD can even spell Keynes?

    Or, if he’s too busy screwing the little guys to know his lovely “private institutions” aren’t lending ANY money.

    Seriously, do you keep up with the news, JD, or are you forever thinking up ridiculous non-sequitors and entertainingly obtuse names for other commenters…

    timb (a83d56)

  135. One wonders id JD can even spell Keynes?

    The irony of this sentence abounds.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  136. How exactly am I screwing the little guy, timmah? Let’s be clear. I want specific examples. You asserted this, so you must have evidence.

    JD (c6800b)

  137. I think Timmah likes you, JD. I mean really, really likes you.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  138. Are you invoking Freud, Dmac?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  139. Yes – but sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  140. No, they decide how much to build into pricing based on what the market will bear, the rest is “profits” that they don’t get to keep but have to benefit from indirectly like the rest of us (good roads, military, cops etc.) So their taxes are not necessarily all transferred onto the consumer.

    If a business simply takes the difference as profits, where does the cash go? For privately-owned companies, the cash ends up as income for the owners where it is taxed. For publicly traded companies, they declare a dividend for their stock owners — largely pensions and institutions, but also private individuals. When private individuals receive those dividends they’re taxed.

    And if a company refuses to reduce its prices in the face of falling costs, they’re going to lose business to other companies. If ten businesses pocket the tax reduction and the eleventh passes half along as reduced prices, where are the customers going to go? Where would you go?

    Yes, or… lower corporate taxes would allow corporations to raise the pay of their CEO to 300 million dollars a year plus bonuses, or invest heavily in high risk securities and all the other garbage that everyone seems to be about to lose money on all so that the corporation could make money without actually producing anything or hiring anybody.

    Why do you care? Is it your money?

    In any case, what happens to that money? CEO pay is taxed. Investment income is taxed; if they consistently lose money, then they’ll (or, at least SHOULD) go out of business.

    And, again, there are very few companies that can exist without producing things or services people want to buy. Those companies should be allowed to go out of business, as they’re not generating any income.

    Somebody has to pay for all the infrastructure that helps businesses conduct business (roads, military, cops, hospitals, etc.) If a corporation is shipping more products and hiring more people then it is using those public good more (including intelligent efficient individuals perhaps educated in public universities). Therefore their higher tax rates (up to a point of course) reflect their greater use of those goods. I have no problem with more successful companies paying more to maintain the infrastructure that they are using more to help create that success.

    I’ve never found the “they use it more, they should pay more for it” argument to be compelling. For one thing, there are already taxes like that — taxes on fuels are intended to pay for road maintenance and construction, so if you use more fuel, you pay more for their maintenance.

    For another, that argument quickly breaks down. Middle class folks like myself are barely a burden on the police; I’ve never been arrested, or ticketed, no one in my family has ever been arrested, etc. Why are we expected to pay more for services we do not “use”? Shouldn’t the cost of the police fall more heavily on people who need more policing?

    Heck, the one time I’ve needed an ambulance, I was billed for it!

    Finally, I don’t see how a business can be considered to be “using” public infrastructure in any higher volume than a like-sized collection of individuals. A company-owned semi doesn’t take up any more road space than a private owner-operator, and a companies pay property taxes, water and sewage fees, etc.

    I have no objection to taxes per se, I just don’t see how we benefit from having some of the highest corporate taxes in the developed world.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  141. Rob Crawford is a bright guy, a good thinker. I have seen him at other sites, and on those few times that we disagreed, he was probably right those times too.

    Naw. Odds are you were right.

    (Thanks for the compliment!)

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)

  142. Companies aren’t good or evil they just do what they do which is make money. I just think they should pay for things that everyone needs like the rest of us, up to a point, as I said above.

    They do, and would even if there were no corporate taxes. Companies are “the rest of us”. They’re made up of, owned by, run by, run for, and serve people.

    People are the sole engines of the economy. Companies (corporations, to be particular) are simply means of organizing people.

    Rob Crawford (04f50f)


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