“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Is Herman Cain's 999 Plan a Distributional Monstrosity?




This is not Nonsense
Herman Cain


Dial 9-9-9 for nonsense

Oct 17th 2011, 20:52 by W.W. | IOWA CITY ECONOMIST

HERMAN CAIN is riding high in the polls. Among other things, his ascent is based upon a charming sense of humour, rousing oratorical skills, a story of moderate achievement in business, zero experience in elected office, which has allowed him to mould a perfectly zeitgest-matching conservative platform untainted by a record of no-longer zeitgest-matching political decisions, and, finally, the bold, clear proposition of the 9-9-9 tax plan. Now that Mr Cain is having a moment in the sun, what had seemed a gimmicky ploy is undergoing serious scrutiny, and we can expect Mr Cain to get hammered on the details of the 9-9-9 plan in tomorrow night's Republican debate.

Mr Cain touts the simplicity of the 9-9-9 plan, but it is anything but simple. Even after reading about it on Mr Cain's campaign site, I'm still not sure I understand it. I thought I knew that the plan proposed 9% income, sales, and corporate tax rates. But the corporate tax is not a simple reduction in the corporate tax rate, as I had thought, but a value-added-tax on "Gross income less all purchases from other U.S. located businesses, all capital investment, and net exports." Anyway, the 9-9-9 plan is not what Mr Cain ultimately has in mind for American tax policy. It is but the first step of a two-step process to replace most federal taxes with a 30% national sales tax, a version of the so-called "Fair Tax". Why not go directly to the Fair Tax, then? Why the transitional step? Mr Cain's statement doesn't really say, though it does seem to imply that the Fair Tax is at present too unpopular to implement. "Amidst a backdrop of the economic renewal created by the 9-9-9 Plan," Mr Cain says "I will begin the process of educating the American people on the benefits of continuing the next step to the Fair Tax."

Mike Huckabee, a Fox News presenter and former governor of Arkansas, plumped for the Fair Tax during the 2008 race for the Republican nomination and the plan came in for a lot of abuse by economists and commentators across the ideological continuum. Perhaps Mr Huckabee's failure to get far with the Fair Tax explains Mr Cain's choice to campaign on an altogether different tax plan. Perhaps the idea is that he can capture the allegiance of the Fair Tax's many conservative fans while ducking the criticisms of the Fair Tax by pushing a fresh plan with a catchy name implying super-low rates. But this can only work if (a) the media and Mr Cain's competition let him get away with advocating the Fair Tax while running on his transitional plan, and (b) the transitional plan stands up to scrutiny better than the Fair Tax has. And this seems unlikely.

The National Review today ran a blistering critique of Mr Cain's 9-9-9 plan. A selection:

This tripartite scheme makes for a succinct slogan but has little else to recommend it. In particular Cain’s inability to choose between a sales tax and a VAT is puzzling. The two are very similar in their economic effects. The chief advantage of the sales tax over a VAT is that the latter is considered easier for governments to raise, because it is hidden. The chief advantage of the VAT over the sales tax is that it is easier to enforce without stimulating black markets. (Another is that it reduces the risk of taxing business-to-business purchases.) Opting for both as a transitional step means courting the danger of a VAT with none of its rewards: In the first stage, the government would get a new money machine, and in the second it would supposedly destroy that machine and opt for something hard to enforce.The two-stage scheme is self-defeating in another respect as well. The 30 percent national sales tax, whatever its other merits, would be significantly softer on the poor than the 9-9-9 transitional step, since the larger sales tax includes a “prebate” check to all Americans to exempt the basic necessities of life from being taxed, while 9-9-9 includes no similar provision. Leaving aside whether a major tax increase on people at the bottom of the income scale is a good idea, what is the point of first raising their taxes and then cutting them?

In the last debate, only Rick Santorum noted that Mr Cain's plan involves the danger of even temporarily handing the government "a new money machine", a point one would expect to resonate with conservative voters. I expect we'll hear a lot more of this line of argument in upcoming debates. More generally, the fact that Mr Cain apparently believes it is politically feasible to wipe out the entire status-quo federal tax system in order to move to the 9-9-9 scheme, and then wipe out the entire 9-9-9 scheme in order move to a 30% national sales tax seems to me to draw attention to Mr Cain's policy inexperience and dazzling political naivete.

That the 9-9-9 plan would cut taxes on the rich while raising them on the poor led Bruce Bartlett to call the proposal "a distributional monstrosity", a phrase you could imagine Barack Obama using to good effect in a general election. Why would you propose to raise taxes on the poor, making yourself vulnerable to charges of monstrous callousness, when, as the NR editors note, your ultimate plan would only cut them later? Well, you wouldn't, if you knew what you were doing. It requires only superficial examination to see that Mr Cain's 9-9-9/Fair Tax scheme is more an ill-considered, hand-waving improvisation than a serious plan from a serious policymaker. He's winging it, which I supposed makes it all the more impressive that he's been able to wing it all the way to preeminence in a few polls. But now he's made himself a target, and an easy one at that, so I doubt Mr Cain will wing it all the way to the nomination.

176 comments:

  1. I added the video, unrelated to Herman Cain, to focus on the importance of economic growth and job creation along with the reforms advocated by Cain.

    I was initially enthusiastic about Cain, but do not buy into the argument that by reducing taxes on corporations will result in economic growth. Growth follows demand. Huge expenditures in energy infrastructure has so many benefits,long argued and familiar to all readers of this blog.

    Back to Cain, I would like to see him get beyond a powerpoint presentation and into some thoughtful discussions on details. I remain attracted to him but need to hear more from him. I heard him talk about what he will be releasing in the future and saw the yellow flag flutter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. On a technical matter. I am very busy reinventing myself. Some of my posts and most of my comments are being done on an iPhone and I do not have iPhone friendly fingers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. - Cain knows little about foreign policy.
    - He has few specific detailed positions beyond theory.
    - He will pick up little if any Democratic support.
    - There is no simple tax solution for a huge and complex country like the US. That is naive.
    - Cain's sales tax plan means that in my state I will pay 17%. How do you think that will go down with retirees, people on fixed incomes and those that now pay no federal income tax?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another loon funded by the Koch boys.

    It's bizarre; the republicans are having some sort of collective nervous breakdown.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is a monstrosity, no doubt of that.

    Even Mr Cain's primary supporter, here at the EB, says his "Plan" would never pass the Legislature.

    It is just another grab for "More", by the Federal Socialists.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 999 and the Great White Hope. Watching Negro Herman Cain buckdance every night for the adoration of shallow minded white folks who sooner lynch him n speak him and for corporate elites who equal opportunity people fuckers - I don't knowing whether to feel sorry for this self-hating jig or get angry that this 'unfortunate son' could be a product and direct benefactor of civil rights and then spit upon its legacy and the continuing struggle for equality amongst his own people. Its embarrassing.

    But not shocking - the modern Republican Party has a history of promoting self loathing fools since Reagan - from a Black man who openly supported Apartheid South Africa (Alan Keyes) a self righteous Tom who writes tirades about hating light skinned people (Thomas) to fools like Alan West and Herman Cain. The bigger a self-hating Uncle Ruckus handkerchief head - the bigger the GOP pay day.

    And when Black conservatives show an ounce of backbone the get the boot - just ask J.C. Watts, Colin Powell and 'Hip-Hop' Mike Steele. Those negroes dared to call a spade a spade after years of being loyal soldiers - and they got shown the backdoor with a foot to the rear.

    ReplyDelete
  7. • UK inflation hits 5.2%
    • Goldman Sachs reports $393m quarterly loss
    • Moody's warns France it may put a negative outlook on its debt rating

    ReplyDelete
  8. All the other losers in the R field - except Paul - only have tax reform plans that tinker at the margins. Cain's isn't perfect, but he's trying to move us towards a tax code that gets the .gov out of the business of dictating the economy through favoritism in tax policy.

    The "too simple for our complex world" crowd makes me laugh. The wonderful "complexity" they are defending is the core issue with our country being upside-down in debt with a leviathan government choking the life out of the economy. With every 1,000 page, omnibus, lobbyist-written bill that gets passed we go deeper down that hole.

    The resistance to major tax reform you hear is the parasites that are dependent on the current system making sure nothing kills their host.

    As expected, the other blow-dried zombies in the GOP field have yet to offer anything coherent. "Simpler and fairer" are the platitudes used by people standing on the sidelines.

    At least Cain has something out there people can react to and wrap their heads around.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In one generation the Super Rich grabbed “absolute power,” killing the middle class American dream.

    Wall Street banks are already dismissing the Occupiers … planning bigger bonuses this year… lifting limits on their license to gamble Main Street deposits in the $600 trillion global derivatives casino … they already spend hundreds of millions lobbying every year … they’re convinced they can defeat the Occupiers with campaign donations in the back rooms of Congress … writing off the fight as another business expense … ultimately expecting the Occupiers will vanish into the cold winter months.

    One citizen. One dollar. One vote. Anything less is failure

    Warning: Don’t be fooled. Occupy Wall Street knows exactly want it wants. The tea party, GOP’s proxy, isn’t fooled. They feel threatened, counter-attacking, worried their role will be lost in the 2012 elections, fearful they’ll lose sway over Republicans, so they’ve got a smear campaign against Occupy Wall Street. Won’t work:

    Amid all the noise surrounding Occupy Wall Street we hear their “one simple demand.” Missed by most outsiders, that demand echoes down through American history, first heard in 1776 in the Declaration of Independence. Earlier the Occupiers voiced their one simple demand:

    “We demand that integrity be restored to our elections. One citizen. One dollar. One vote. Only citizens should make campaign contributions. Campaign contributions by citizens should not exceed $1 to any political candidate or party. Help us reclaim democracy.”

    Yes, one simple demand: “Stop the monied corruption at the heart of our democracy.” That one simple demand echoed over and over. And no compromise when dealing with so fundamental a principle of democracy. Compromises the last generation surrendered America to Wall Street and the Super Rich. Compromise this principle again, and we all lose, destroy America. No compromise. Period.
    -Paul Farrell

    ReplyDelete
  10. "The "too simple for our complex world" crowd makes me laugh. The wonderful "complexity" they are defending is the core issue with our country being upside-down in debt with a leviathan government choking the life out of the economy. With every 1,000 page, omnibus, lobbyist-written bill that gets passed we go deeper down that hole."

    ---

    One here is an advocate of a 3,000 page bill calling for thousands of pages of additional regulations written by unelected tools like Kathleen Sebelius the better to "to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services"

    As though experiments with top down central planning by commissars have yet to be done.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "And when Black conservatives show an ounce of backbone the get the boot - just ask J.C. Watts, Colin Powell and 'Hip-Hop' Mike Steele. Those negroes dared to call a spade a spade after years of being loyal soldiers - and they got shown the backdoor with a foot to the rear."

    ---

    Powell showed his deep committment to Conservatism by endorsing Barrach Hussein Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Paul Farrell knows communists, the unions, and folks like Jamie Rubin in govt institutions like Freddie and Fannie will look out for our best interests.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wall Street's Gullible Occupiers

    There is no mystery where the Occupy Wall Street movement came from:
    It is an offspring of the same false narrative about the causes of the financial crisis that exculpated the government and brought us the Dodd-Frank Act. According to this story, the financial crisis and ensuing deep recession was caused by a reckless private sector driven by greed and insufficiently regulated. It is no wonder that people who hear this tale repeated endlessly in the media turn on Wall Street to express their frustration with the current conditions in the economy.

    Their anger should be directed at those who developed and supported the federal government's housing policies that were responsible for the financial crisis.

    The narrative that came out of these events—largely propagated by government officials and accepted by a credulous media—was that the private sector's greed and risk-taking caused the financial crisis and the government's policies were not responsible. This narrative stimulated the punitive Dodd-Frank Act—fittingly named after Congress's two key supporters of the government's destructive housing policies.
    It also gave us the occupiers of Wall Street.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beginning in 1992, the government required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to direct a substantial portion of their mortgage financing to borrowers who were at or below the median income in their communities. The original legislative quota was 30%. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development was given authority to adjust it, and through the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations HUD raised the quota to 50% by 2000 and 55% by 2007.

    It is certainly possible to find prime borrowers among people with incomes below the median. But when more than half of the mortgages Fannie and Freddie were required to buy were required to have that characteristic, these two government-sponsored enterprises had to significantly reduce their underwriting standards.

    Fannie and Freddie were not the only government-backed or government-controlled organizations that were enlisted in this process. The Federal Housing Administration was competing with Fannie and Freddie for the same mortgages.

    And thanks to rules adopted in 1995 under the Community Reinvestment Act, regulated banks as well as savings and loan associations had to make a certain number of loans to borrowers who were at or below 80% of the median income in the areas they served.

    Research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae (now a colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute) has shown that 27 million loans—half of all mortgages in the U.S.—were subprime or otherwise weak by 2008. That is, the loans were made to borrowers with blemished credit, or were loans with no or low down payments, no documentation, or required only interest payments.

    Of these, over 70% were held or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie or some other government agency or government-regulated institution.

    Thus it is clear where the demand for these deficient mortgages came from.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Deuce: Goldman Sachs reports $393m quarterly loss

    Dig this: 40% of Goldman Sachs' expenses are compensation packages. If I was a running a company and taking a loss, the bonus checks wouldn't be cut that year. At the minimum, they could have shaved a few percent from the bonuses and reported break-even. But no, they report a loss, and so the share holders take the haircut on dividends.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Doug has a point.

    It all goes back to the Central Bank.

    The National Bank.

    The influence that the moneylenders have, on DC politicos, like WJ Clinton and GW Bush.

    The core of the challenge, the political power that unelected bankers wield in Washington.

    It is time to balance the scales.

    Auditing the Federal Reserve, the first baby step in that direction.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As for Herman Cain, a flip flopper of gigantic proportions.

    How could you trust him, Doug?

    November 21, 2010:

    The worst idea is a proposed national sales tax, which is a disguised VAT (value added tax) on top of everything we already pay in federal taxes...In every country that has established a VAT with the promise of reducing their national debt, the VAT has eventually gone up or expanded on top of the existing tax structure. After discovering many of the tax grenades in the recently passed health care deform bill, which is already driving costs up and access down, it would be real easy for an overzealous bureaucrat to insert the language in the legislation “national retail and wholesale” tax.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Read it, for yourself

    Herman Cain, flipping like a flounder on the deck of a boat.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Flip flopping Herman.

    He was against a Federal Sales Tax, before he was for it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A miniature "kamikaze" drone designed to quietly hover in the sky before dive-bombing and slamming into a human target will soon be part of the US Army's arsenal, officials say.

    Be all you can be!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Obama's Teleprompter was stolen, and the President is speechless.

    To the thieves: "Thank you from a grateful nation."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Chants of “The people want a new Schalit,” could be heard as Hamas and Fatah supporters waved flags together as part of large scale celebrations.

    ReplyDelete
  23. It is a Schalottery. Grab an Israel soldier and get a thousand back.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yeah, I heard that, 'Rat:
    You'd think he would have thought of that before risking all on 999.

    Doesn't look survivable, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Those 1,047 Palestinians, never a "real" threat to Israel.

    Certainly they cannot pose a threat to Israel, today.
    If they did pose a threat, well, it would criminal to "trade" them away, along with the security that their incarceration ensured.

    Giving lie to the entire justice system, in Israel. One based upon Jim Crow, as evidenced by the exchange rate.

    ReplyDelete
  26. He was right before he was wrong.
    Just got the order backwards.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Evidence, Doug, that Mr Cain is just another entertainer.

    Sound and Fury, signifying nothing.

    He has no core values, as they are applied to governing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have that backwards, Doug.

    He was for limiting government, before he was for expanding it.

    He wants US on the "Road to Serfdom" and you applaud him for it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. One thing that I like the sound of, 111:

    One citizen :: One dollar :: One Vote

    ReplyDelete
  30. With a re-read, you may not have had it backwards, Doug.

    Regardless of my understanding of your comment ...

    Mr Cain is a "Big" government man.

    He favors greater Federal intrusion into everyone's life.

    Of that there is no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Limiting the combined Presidential campaign spending to a maximum of $320 million USD, well ...

    It would certainly increase the power of the established media.

    While limiting their revenue stream.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Outside spending, that not directly tied to the campaigns, it would certainly mushroom.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am beginning to see the widom in a parliamentary system.

    ReplyDelete
  34. ..but that would get as screwed up and probaly worse.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Like McCain Feingold on Turbo.

    ...all in the name of "improving" the First Ammendment.

    ReplyDelete
  36. The current system of funding campaigns is lacking

    ACCOUNTABILITY

    That is the primary problem.
    Secrecy in who is funding the candidates is the real challenge. Not the amounts that are donated.

    That Corporations are considered people, too. Another challenge in the political sphere. One that when coupled with secrecy is a direct threat to a free people.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Doug has a point.

    It all goes back to the Central Bank.

    The National Bank.


    That and the 16th and 17th Amendments put federal supremacy / encroachment on steroids.

    On another note, I like the "one man:one dollar:one vote" meme.

    Since corporations are "people," all corporations can give one dollar to the candidate of their choice. Just like people. Works for me. Everyone gets represented.

    When's the last time anyone at The Bar got the president's ear at a $35,000 a plate fundraiser? I can't seem to recall one myself.

    ReplyDelete
  38. While corporations may be people, gag, they certainly are not citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I never heard the follow-up on Team Obama disabling all methods of instantly monitering where contributions were coming from at their online site.
    ...meaning foreign contributions were welcomed.

    They assured us they would all be checked out "later."

    ReplyDelete
  40. Nor are their stockholders, necessarily, US citizens.

    10 cents of the NYTimes $1.00 contribution, would be from Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
  41. The "fair tax" or VAT is just another way (by far, the best way) of shifting the burden of taxation from the rich to the poor. period.

    That's why the kochs want it, and HC works for the kochs.

    ReplyDelete
  42. There are more than a few US corporations that are foreign owned.

    While some folks change their National alliance, for purely economic reasons.

    Mr Murdock falls into that category.

    The $1.00 donated by FOX News, 15 cents would come from Saudi Arabia.

    Does the Wall Street Journal get to donate a dollar, or does it have to combine its' donation with that from FOX News?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Here's my quibble Rufus. We have been under "progressive" income taxation since 1913. If the goal of that structure was to prevent revolution-grade income and wealth disparity, it has failed. Miserably.

    All new tax increases hammer the middle class, the underclass continues to pay nothing, and the oligarchs continue to avoid anything that comes their way, because the loopholes that get baked in by their servants in congress and the executive. The $35,000 a plate delivering excellent representation.

    Cain may "work" for the Koch bros, but at least 9-9-9 is something. I think the federal sales tax is a terrible idea in the current structure and will only work when the 16th Amendment is repealed, dead, and buried, as per Dr. Paul.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Another error, on my part

    While corporations may be people, gag, they certainly are not citizens.

    That should have been addressed to Bro D-day.

    My apologies to any that may feel slighted.

    ReplyDelete
  45. A federal Sales tax, Bro, would be illegal without the 16th Amendment.

    Without the 16th Amendment the taxes must be apportioned, by population, to each State.

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, ...

    ReplyDelete
  46. DR, I think all of NewsCorp gets to give one whole dollar.

    However, I do dig your litmus test on corporations as "people."

    If you aren't 100% owned by US citizens, you aren't voting. Establish an onerous reporting requirement that verifies the citizenship of each stockholder / employee before your one single dollar can be given to the candidate of your choice.

    PS - no offense taken with the missed ID. Gag is a lot more active than me on the board. I just lurk and jerk.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The "goal" of taxation cannot be income redistribution. The goal of taxation is to fund the government, and fight wars.

    Now, it makes sense that you have to raise your money by taxing those that "have the money." If the top 1% make 40% of the income they will have to pay 40% of the taxes.

    When the "Fox Newsers," and "CNBC'ers" whine about the top 10% paying so much they always leave out the part of them "making so much."

    Taxation is complicated, with many unforeseen effects. Many unknown, unknowns. The best answer is to pick a tax regime that has been successful in the past, and use it. It seems to me that the most successful tax regime, so far, was the one that was in effect prior to GW Bush.

    ReplyDelete
  48. .

    Cain may "work" for the Koch bros, but at least 9-9-9 is something.

    We are presented with a Hobson's choice.

    The current system sucks so let's go with 999, a system that also sucks, but is the only alternative being offered right now.

    Hmmm.

    I've heard Cain talk about his plan under hard questioning. He hasn't a clue. 999 is a marketing tool that upfront sounds simple.
    It is like "Where's the Beef", a marketing tool dreamed up by a marketing guy.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  49. .

    In support of Rufus' last point, Doug Kass, contributor on CNBC and The Street offers this:


    As I wrote in "Thrown for a Loop" over the summer, there is a broken feeling in the way many Americans view their future. The younger the person, it seems, the more the shallowness and despair that exists.

    The primal screams of Zuccotti Park in New York City reflect the economic inequities that have accelerated since the Great Decession of 2007-2009, as well as the outrage associated with past bailouts and too-big-to-fail public policy that is seen as having socialized risks and privatized profits.


    ■The 400 wealthiest Americans have a greater combined net worth than the bottom 150 million Americans.


    ■The top 1% of Americans possess more wealth than the entire bottom 90%.


    ■In the Bush expansion from 2002 to 2007, 65% of the economic gains went to the richest 1%.



    It's the Government's Fault

    The Kass article is a little long but some of the charts provided are interesting.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  50. And the Government can begin to find a solution, starting by limiting the power of the Federal Reserve.

    That bank is at the core of the government's challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Referencing Q points, perhaps the Federals should be taxing wealth not income.

    It would a more financially equitable.

    ReplyDelete
  52. It would BE more financially equitable

    ReplyDelete
  53. Rufus II said... The "fair tax" or VAT is just another way (by far, the best way) of shifting the burden of taxation from the rich to the poor. period.

    You tax what you want to go away. That's why I always vote for more and more cigarette taxes. A VAT tax makes consumption go away. An income tax makes jobs go away. I'd rather be a nation of producers than consumers.

    ReplyDelete



  54. ... with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued,


    Intent goes to motive -

    Their intent is for the Federals to circulate the notes, as they would be an educational tool.

    Their intent is to educate, not render the note unfit for circulation.

    That is a determination made by the Federals, who must then prove the intent of the overprinting was to make the bill unfit for circulation.

    Which it's certainly not.
    The intent is, arguably, Public Education.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Teresita, a VAT makes Everything go away. Jobs, Consumption, Profits, you name it.

    On the other hand, there is absolutely NO evidence that a higher income tax on the richest makes jobs go away. In fact, the periods of our highest growth have occurred during the time of our highest marginal tax rates.

    ReplyDelete
  56. No, the "Best" solution, a Federal Property Tax.

    Tax real estate and equities.

    Personal property, above a $25,000 "floor". This "floor" would keep our impoverished seniors safe.

    If you want to encourage employment, do not tax it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. That the entire tax system penalizes labor and employment, is obvious.

    As was stated, you discourage what you tax.

    Do not use income as the basis of taxation, but wealth.

    Much more equitable, than taxing incomes.

    ReplyDelete
  58. The "goal" of taxation cannot be income redistribution. The goal of taxation is to fund the government, and fight wars.

    Now, it makes sense that you have to raise your money by taxing those that "have the money." If the top 1% make 40% of the income they will have to pay 40% of the taxes.


    We are in total agreement here.

    The current dynamic of "borrow and spend," starting with Reagan, distorted what taxpayers were getting for "their" money.

    All the wars and welfare they could handle at half the price. Until now. Nobody is willing to do less of either.

    I like this from John Robb at Global Guerillas.

    "The reason for Wall Streets claim? In reality it was pure short sighted greed, but at the time it was argued that smart decision makers on Wall Street could allocate capital better than tens of millions of American households. It's only in retrospect that we know how wrong that argument was not only false, but the opposite. Wall Street, and the rest of the global financial system that replaced it, was simply another form of central planning. The result of this central planning was a little different than we saw in the Soviet Union. In our case, Wall Street just gambled it away and spent it on lavish lifestyles (complete with the arrogance to claim they actually earned it).

    What was the US government doing while incomes flat-lined? Like most governments, it was on a march to centralize and expand control, but it was argued as an attempt to ensure positive outcomes. We now know that this couldn't be done in a huge dynamic economy without slowing, damaging, and distorting the very economy it was meant to improve (think in terms of how endless student loans drove rapid tuition inflation). In our case, the government kept growing, but borrowed the money for its expansion from Wall Street. It borrowed and borrowed until it became so indebted its now at risk of default. "

    ReplyDelete
  59. .

    In the Kass article I posted above he seems to think it is the governments fault that we are in the mess we are in. On this stream alone some seem to agree with him (at least for those policies pushed by the "other" party). Some blame our Byzantine tax code. Others blame big business. While still others focus on the FED as the primus punti.

    I can agree with all of these arguments. However, while each is essential none is sufficient by itself to explain our current problems. It was all of these factors as well as many others including 'we the people' that brought us to the current economic funk.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  60. The best predictor, however, is the price of gasoline.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Now, the good news, such as it is, is that the lower nat gas prices in the U.S., coupled with higher transportation/shipping costs are starting to play a role in bringing "some" manufacturing back to the U.S.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Of course, Q.

    There is a plethora of causes, mixed in with the effects.

    There are some causes against which incremental progress can be readily and easily made.

    For there to be an audit of the Federal Reserve, by Congress, would not be the end of reform, but the beginning of ACCOUNTABILITY.

    It's a politically possible and groundbreaking move, especially for the President.

    Minting a couple of trillion in platinum coin, a one time "shot across the bow" of the Banks and a "shot in the arm" to the economy.

    It's politically approved, already. Existing law allows it.

    While I'd support reforming the tax code, it is not politically possible. Not at the current time, nor soon.

    The balance of trade deficit, a major challenge to US.
    Oil from Venezuela and Persian Gulf and consumer products from China are the major concerns.

    The oil could be replaced by Home Grown Energy. Within a workable timeline, if there were the political will to complete the task. There is none.

    As for China, the Congress cannot come to terms with the Currency Manipulation legislation, passed in the Senate, now being tabled in the House.

    No current solutions are politically possible concerning the balance of trade deficit.

    ReplyDelete
  63. If we can expand on our lead in biofuels (and, maintain these low nat gas prices,) and rapidly work toward Europes "electrified" rail model, while worldwide shipping, and Chinese industries/consumers depend on higher, and higher, prices for oil, and coal we Might be able to pull ourselves out of this mess.

    ReplyDelete
  64. .

    Do not use income as the basis of taxation, but wealth.


    Sounds a bit 'third way' and Fabian to me.

    Gates and Jobs deserve the wealth they have accumulated.

    The problem comes down to the definition of 'income' in our tax code. Un-earned income is an oxymoron. All income should be taxed at the rate for earned income.

    At least Jobs and Gates contributed something to society in the form of technology and jobs. What does a bank contribute when it barrows from the government at 0% thens turns around and makes 2% for basically shuffling paper?

    Money for nothing and the chicks are free.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have played down any possible "large" contribution nat gas might make to our overall transportation fuel problem, But this cheap nat gas, if it can be sustained at all, is a powerful force for good when it comes to the manufacturing/chemicals part of our economy.

    ReplyDelete
  66. .

    We've argued about the coins before rat. No sense starting in again.

    Arguing for a bad idea because it is the only thing that 'can' be done right now is like arguing for 999 because it is the only tax solution currently being offered by anyone.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  67. .

    I said 'tax solution'.

    I should have said 'tax alternative'.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  68. There are many problems with trying to tax "wealth." The majority of the wealth of the "Very Rich" is very fungible, and transportable (the Kennedy Trust Fund is, I believe, in Bimini?)

    The property that the tax man Can get to is John Q. Public's house, and John Q. has probably had about all of that he's going to put up with. I don' thin' it will work.

    ReplyDelete
  69. They would have their wealth, and get to eat it, too.

    The patrons of the EB have, almost to a man, endorsed the concept that the Federal Government holds ultimate title to all the land in the country.

    The land is the Natural Heritage of the People. It is the Government that ultimately guarantees title.

    The same holds true for the equity markets.

    Perhaps the same effect could be had by changing the definitions of "income".

    I'd support making ALL income equally eligible for taxation , regardless of source.

    If income is going to be taxed.

    But for myself, I know for a fact, having small business owners act as an agent of the government, collecting taxes from the workers, is a detriment to business creation.

    There is absolutely no doubt of that.

    ReplyDelete
  70. 999 cannot be done.

    Even if it were a viable, neigh, perfect solution.

    It'd never get passed through the legislature and the courts. Not within the next five years, at least.
    ObamaCare is proof.

    Minting the coin is doable.
    It is legal
    It would be, admittedly, very political.

    ReplyDelete
  71. desert rat said... The patrons of the EB have, almost to a man, endorsed the concept that the Federal Government holds ultimate title to all the land in the country.

    Me and Melody don't, we're Amendment Ten girls.

    ReplyDelete
  72. It is, though, almost an election year.

    When politics reign supreme.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I thought of that, Ms T, when I wrote it.

    "man" was used as an idiom, of course.

    What does to a man mean?

    Unanimously, without exception,

    as in "The committee voted against the proposal to a man".

    This expression, first recorded in 1712, uses man in the sense of “everyone.”

    It continues to be so used despite its sexist tone.

    ReplyDelete
  74. The best argument for taxing wealth instead of income is that it takes income in order to create wealth. Income, cash from operations, is the lubricant, the "working" part of capital. Taxing income is a parasitic relationship; it is like extracting blood. You can get away with it to a point but you always weaken the host. Real estate taxes are a good example of the positive affect of wealth tax as it forces the best use of the property. Any wealth tax should not tolerate tax-exempt properties or any form of charitable trust. The vast majority of these trusts are utilized by left leaning custodians. A 100% death tax on wealth with exemptions for spouse and minor children would create some very interesting economic consequences, some good, some less so.

    ReplyDelete
  75. The Occupation Forces are focusing upon Mr Bernanke, while he is in Boston.

    Calling for an "Open Dialog", they are.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Let's simplify the tax system first with 9-9-9 or some iteration that looks like it, then if there are problems, we will solve them. The way the tax code works now is antithetical to a growth economy.

    ReplyDelete
  77. .

    The best argument for taxing wealth instead of income is that it takes income in order to create wealth.

    Where is the starting point that you begin measuring?

    Some of the biggest wealth machines we have seen started in garages with a few $ thousands gathered from friends.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  78. Exactly, Q.

    There was no measurable wealth. They'd have been paying no taxes.

    Not the 15% of the subsistence wages they paid themselves, in the beginning.

    Not encumbered by the expenses required by reporting workers incomes to the Federals, as they expanded.

    No, those entrepreneurs would have been working in a tax friendly environment, until they sold stock in their enterprise, or had ...
    ... earned enough income that they had created taxable wealth

    ReplyDelete
  79. .

    Any wealth tax should not tolerate tax-exempt properties or any form of charitable trust.

    I have no problem with charitable trusts and in them keeping all of their original principle; however, I agree any income derived off of that principle should not be tax exempt.

    There is a bit of cynicism in Buffet's push for higher tax rates on the rich when in fact much of his wealth is stashed in a tax-exempt trust.


    .

    ReplyDelete
  80. Deuce: The best argument for taxing wealth instead of income is that it takes income in order to create wealth.

    The best argument against taxing wealth is that wealth can be hidden very easily, but income has an audit trail. Income is earned in the public sphere (employers, stock markets), but wealth is private. Instead of the IRS agents getting 1099's they'll be snooping around in your back yard.

    ReplyDelete
  81. desert rat said... It is, though, almost an election year. When politics reign supreme.

    Iowa primary is Jan 3, 2012. If New Hampshire insists on going first, and moving their primary forward into December, then this is an election year too.

    ReplyDelete
  82. .

    There was no measurable wealth. They'd have been paying no taxes.

    I have no problem with that as long as they have no income.

    15% subsistance wages? 15% on what? If it is negligible, I wouldn't have a problem with it. It it is offset by legitimate and legal expenses, I would have no problem with it.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  83. .

    ... earned enough income that they had created taxable wealth

    Mere semantics rat. If in your definition wealth = earned income, why are we even ahving this discussion.

    I was arguing about accumulated wealth, wealth on which taxes have already been paid, wealth as I understand your initial argument that was legally accumulated over time but which you would now retroactively tax.

    As with Deuce' argument,it's a mater of tax me now or tax me later.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  84. .

    I have to laugh at the times I have been accused of being a scoialist on the blog.

    The proposals being put forth here to tax wealth (as I understand them) are straight our of the Fabian Society playbook.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  85. 15% of their income, even at subsistence levels, the FICA taxes.

    Everyone pays those.

    Though there is a partial tax holiday on part of that, now. But when Steve Jobs was in the garage, they were paying the Federals 15% of what they paid themselves.

    Even if they did not pay other income taxes.

    The compliance costs and responsibilities, of tax collecting for the Government, are substantial. Those responsibilities and the probable civil and possible criminal penalties for poor performance as a tax collector, a real detriment to job creation.

    ReplyDelete
  86. LILLY, Pa. — Thirty-five windmills at a western Pennsylvania wind farm have been silenced at night since a bat that belongs to an endangered species was found dead under one of the turbines.

    ReplyDelete
  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  88. desert rat said...
    Those 1,047 Palestinians, never a "real" threat to Israel.

    Certainly they cannot pose a threat to Israel, today.
    If they did pose a threat, well, it would criminal to "trade" them away, along with the security that their incarceration ensured.

    Giving lie to the entire justice system, in Israel. One based upon Jim Crow, as evidenced by the exchange rate.



    Another thread...

    another vile disgusting comment....

    ReplyDelete
  89. No one time capital gains taxes, but an annual tax upon the assessed valuation.

    ReplyDelete
  90. .

    Rat you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    You talk about taxing wealth. Define your terms. What are you calling wealth.

    If you define wealth = earned income as in your last post we've got nothing to argue about.


    The compliance costs and responsibilities, of tax collecting for the Government, are substantial. Those responsibilities and the probable civil and possible criminal penalties for poor performance as a tax collector, a real detriment to job creation.

    As if anything would be any different under whatever it is that you are suggesting as an alternative.

    Like your position on the coins, it is illogical if it starts out based on false assumptions.

    Simple can have either a positive or a negative connotation.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  91. Well, Q, you object to paying taxes upon wealth, that was bought with after tax income.

    That is what property taxes are.

    Eliminate the income tax, institute a wealth tax.

    It'd balance out.

    A lot of that wealth was accumulated tax free.

    boobie's farmland stands as example.

    With his estate planning designed to avoid taxation, as boobie would often tell us.

    He avoided doing the "best" thing and did not sell his property, in an effort to avoid capital gains taxes. So he did not buy the RV that he said he wanted.

    If he had to pay an annual Federal tax on that land, there'd be incentive to be economically active and productive, not "out of the market".

    The Federal tax code is promoting the making of detrimental (to the greater good) economic decisions, in an effort at avoiding Federal taxation.

    We need to get those assets moving, not locked into non-revocable living trusts.

    This is part of a greater program, to be sure, with the goal of providing equity in searching the balance of personal wealth and government expense that best serves society.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Income is a dynamic force. It creates other economic activity. It is the basis of the multiplier affect. Wealth can be either dynamic or static. Taxing wealth forces the owner to put it to greater use or selling a portion to pay the taxes. A 100% wealth death tax allows the user to enjoy all the fruits of his labor for his entire life. I am sure that Steve Jobs would have surrendered most if not all of his for another year of healthy life. Such a tax would create tremendous opportunity for younger workers.

    All taxes are confiscation of someone' property for its use by others. Confiscating it from the dead is not much different that taking a dead man's boots and coat. He is not going to need them where he is going. More and more people are environmentaly concious. Recycling wealth is like turning over frost broken plants in the garder. Just call me Chauncy,

    ReplyDelete
  93. Small family properties could prepay the 100% tax with insurance policies.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Wealth is measured in property, Q.

    Real estate, equities and personal property.

    Those are what should be taxed.
    The results of income, rather than the income itself.

    It is harder to hide the real estate from the tax man than the income that was used to purchase it.

    The "Breaking Bad" tv series exemplified that, in the episode when the chemist bought the car wash, to clean his cash.

    ReplyDelete
  95. .

    No one time capital gains taxes, but an annual tax upon the assessed valuation.

    Assessed valuation of what?

    What do you do when a person's net wealth is cut in half, not based on anything they did but on government, business cycles, or Wall Street actions? Do they get a credit against future wealth creation?

    If not you have the weird situation of a person losing half his wealth in whatever was the current bubble then when he earns a little over that lowered base he gets taxed for it.

    Or is this plan strictly for businesses or the people you identify as wealthy? What about their wealth in those same bubble.
    Some of the banks have had their "wealth" cut by half or in some case more. Trillions have been lost by the public and Wall Street. Do they get a free ride.

    Again it gets back to a definition of wealth and now 'assessed valuations'.

    If you are arguing that one sector of society be affected by the wealth tax and not all of us, all you are doing adding to the Byzantine tax code we already have.

    If you are arguing it applies to all of us, what do be do when the bubbles burst, take a year off and go to the beach?

    .

    ReplyDelete
  96. .

    Small family properties could prepay the 100% tax with insurance policies.

    I have no problem with the current estate tax rules as they seem a reasonable compromise.

    I disagree with you suggestion that there should be a 100% tax. An insurance policy forced on a person to avoid the penalties imposed by a confiscatory tax is in its self a tax.

    The difference now you have two entities benefitting, the government and the insurance companies.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  97. .

    The argument that a tax on wealth, if wealth includes property, is a simplification is ridiculous.

    Has anyone gone through the process of arguing their assessed property taxes?

    I have.

    Believe me it's not fun. But it is time consuming.

    H.R. Block can change their name to Property Assessments R Us.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  98. .

    Real estate, equities and personal property.

    Those are what should be taxed.
    The results of income, rather than the income itself.

    It is harder to hide the real estate from the tax man than the income that was used to purchase it.



    Talk about adding to the bureaucracy at all levels. Good lord.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  99. .

    Recycling wealth is like turning over frost broken plants in the garder. Just call me Chauncy,

    Sorry, Chauncy.

    There is taxing and then there is confiscation.

    As you said, all tax is a confiscation of wealth by by someone for the use of others.
    True enough, but how much is enough?

    You can argue that the term "how much" is a relative term.

    What I can't grant you is that the confiscated accumulated wealth of the nation should eventually end up in government hands for them to distribute in a manner they percieve (another relative term) to be in the best interest of the nation, picking winners and losers along the way, is a good thing.

    Recent experiance has shown it doesn't work.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  100. You could make it voluntary. Tax me now or catch me later.

    ReplyDelete
  101. .

    Those who argue against capitalism in general should refocus their animas on the individuals that actually created the problems.

    As Doug Kass asked, "Why havn't there been indictments" "Why aren't some of these guys in jail instead of enjoying multi-million dollar bonuses."

    Although affected more than most, it wasn't only the little guy who has been hurt.

    Capitalists of the World Unite

    .

    ReplyDelete
  102. .

    You could make it voluntary. Tax me now or catch me later

    Chauncy. Chauncy. Chauncy.

    :)

    .

    ReplyDelete
  103. It would be interesting for entrepreneurs to give their children the best possible education and teach them how to make money, instead of spending dad's.

    ReplyDelete
  104. A 100% estate tax would just change estate planning.

    Transfer before death, avoid the tax.

    If the family is not dysfunctional, an easy deal.

    You're correct, Q, a tax upon wealth would have draw backs, difficulties and new techniques developed for avoidance.

    But ...

    The objective of the effort was said to be ...

    ... JOB CREATION ...

    Removing the tax collection responsibilities from employers would, without doubt, lead to greater entrepreneurship and the attendant job creation, all across the land.

    It is the Federal "Regulation" that is most taxing to comply with, for any entry level entrepreneur.

    ReplyDelete
  105. .

    Transfer before death, avoid the tax.

    Wouldn't be allowed to happen if there was no tax on the transfer. Otherwise, what would be the benefit of tax.

    The objective of the effort was said to be ...

    ... JOB CREATION ...


    It would definately create more jobs, IRS, assessors, tax consultants, lawyers.

    It is the Federal "Regulation" that is most taxing to comply with, for any entry level entrepreneur.

    May be true for start-ups but you would merely be adding more regulations and expense for existing business. The 'excuse of the day' for existing business not to create jobs is too much regulation.


    You guys sort it out, I gotta take the dog to the park.

    .

    ReplyDelete



  106. The defendant, Gholam Shakuri, identified by the Justice Department as an operative of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, is actually a "key member" of the Muhajedeen -Khalq, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.

    The agency did not explain the group’s possible motive but left the implication that the plot was a bogus scheme meant to frame and ostracize Iran.

    It said Mr. Shakuri, who is at large, had last been seen in Washington and in Camp Ashraf, the group’s enclave in Iraq. "The person in question has been traveling to different countries under the names of Ali Shakuri/Gholam Shakuri/Gholam-Hussein Shakuri by using fake passports including forged Iranian passports," Mehr said.

    ReplyDelete
  107. lordy, a "wealth tax" what is this the Roman Empire?

    I can see it now, Federal agents everywhere punching little numbers into computers calculating, assessing everyone's wealth. Then there is that poor little old lady sitting on her wealth, her house and her little pile of savings paid for with taxed income but now with no income paying the wealth tax.

    It reminds me of when I was down in Costa Rica reading a Yachting magazine and folks from California were bitching that California was charging them property tax for their property, their boat, that wasn't even in the USA.

    Hey Duece, the income from your Costa Rican properties - are you fulfilling your legal obligations and reporting it to the IRS?

    ReplyDelete
  108. Fuck you Ash, Mind your own business. You have no idea what I own or where I owni or if I own anything. I may be living out of a 92 Buick station wagon for all you know.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Well, that would explain the "posting from an iphone" bit. :)

    ReplyDelete
  110. …and it could be a boosted iPhone.

    ReplyDelete
  111. The swap was welcomed by leaders and diplomats around the world, including US President Barack Obama, who was "personally pleased" that Shalit was reunited with his family, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

    While on a visit to Libya, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also hailed the end of "a long ordeal" for Shalit.

    She also expressed hope that Ilan Grapel, a US-Israeli dual national held in a prison in Egypt, would also be released, amid reports that a deal involving Egyptian prisoners in Israel was close.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Some protestor on WS was complaining that someone boosted her $5,000.00 Mac. Someone also stole all their "kitchen" money.

    Sounds like easy pickin's down on Wall St. these days. Been up to the "Big Apple," recently, Deuce?

    ReplyDelete
  113. The Israeli unconcerned that some of the killers that were released had killed US citizens.

    (Reuters) - The United States has concerns about some of the 477 Palestinians Israel freed on Tuesday in exchange for an abducted Israeli soldier because they killed or injured U.S. citizens

    "As a matter of principle, the United States opposes the release of individuals who have been convicted of crimes against Americans," ...

    "We communicated our position to the government of Israel after we became aware of specific individuals who were identified as part of this release,"
    he added.

    The White House said President Barack Obama is pleased that Shalit has been freed and he wants Israelis and Palestinians to take steps toward resuming peace negotiations.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Re-invention, it's a wonderful thing.

    Transition and Redefinition

    ReplyDelete
  115. Lawyers for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect are arguing against his continued commitment at a Missouri prison facility.

    In a court filing late Monday, Jared Lee Loughner's attorneys write that his forced medication to treat bipolar disorder has violated his rights and that there's no evidence that he can be made mentally fit for trial in the next four months.

    ReplyDelete
  116. "a wealth tax"?

    Hard to believe this is the Elephant Bar.

    ReplyDelete
  117. No anon, it's not.

    Not in the face of the massive theft by fraud that was perpetrated on Wall Street.

    Re-invention, it's a wonderful thing.

    Transition and Redefinition

    ReplyDelete
  118. Yes, rat, it is.


    :)

    ReplyDelete
  119. The territory between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush has been the main arena for the U.S. intervention that followed the 9/11 attacks. Obviously, the United States had been engaged in this area in previous years, but 9/11 redefined it as the prime region in which it confronted jihadists.

    ...

    The Iranians tested their strength in Bahrain, where Shiites rose up against their Sunni rulers with at least some degree of Iranian support. Saudi Arabia, linked by a causeway to Bahrain, perceived this as a test of its resolve, intervening with military force to suppress the demonstrators and block the Iranians.

    ...

    The origins of the uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad are murky. It emerged during the general instability of the Arab Spring, but it took a different course.


    Rethinking the Region

    ReplyDelete
  120. Sam, you are a wonder!


    Stratfor says

    We also missed the fact that given the weakness of the opposition forces in Egypt
    — something we had written about extensively —
    Hamas would not see an opportunity to reshape Egyptian policies.

    The main forces in the region, particularly the failure of the Arab Spring in Egypt ...


    Read more: From the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: Rethinking the Region | STRATFOR

    ReplyDelete
  121. In the meantime, check out our cheat sheet on what to watch for in tonight’s debate.

    * Cain as marked man: The hardest thing in politics, as in life, is to find a second, successful act. While Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, is still riding a wave of momentum, hard questions have begun to be asked about his policies — from the now famous “9-9-9” tax reform plan to his dearth of experience (or hard and fast positions) on foreign policy.

    ...

    * Perry’s last, best chance (again): By dint of the $17 million he raised (and the $15 million he still has in the bank), the Texas governor will keep getting second (and third and fourth) chances to make a good impression with Republican primary voters.

    ...

    * Mormon mention?: Talk of religion has been largely absent from the debates to date and Romney likes it that way. But the confluence of Nevada’s sizeable Mormon population — 7.5 percent — and the recent controversy over Richard Jeffress’ comments (and his ties to Perry) suggest that tonight may be the night where religion makes a more than a passing appearance.

    ReplyDelete
  122. If Mr Perry were to even think a question referencing religion was going to ccme his way ...

    All he'd have to say ...

    I know Thomas Jefferson ...
    He's a friend of mine, and like he says ...

    I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

    He could always edit Tom a tad

    I never will, ... admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.

    Invoking Reagan and Jefferson, the crowd would love it.

    Even if it leaves rufus cold.

    ReplyDelete
  123. It just riles up his white cracker guilt.

    ReplyDelete
  124. He could even write it on his hand.

    ReplyDelete
  125. The Torah is the source of Bebe's guidance on the hostage exchange, 'Rat.
    They gotta make an effort to get every Israeli back, dead or alive.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Mr Perry, like crib notes.

    He does not show well in this debate format. Which was foretold, as I recall, by those that had seen his performances, and the lack of them, from Texas.

    Little matter, as there is no National Primary.

    Mr Perry will do "Fair to Midland", in New Hampshire.

    Win in the Carolina pines

    Then we'll see what shakes out in Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Cain said he might release 300 from gitmo depending on the circumstances!
    That should raise enough shit to bury 999!
    ...not to mention Hermie, himself.
    Sweet while it lasted.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Oh!?

    You mean, Doug, it's like a...

    ... Rule? ...

    You get to stab your friends in the back, to free a fellow tribe member?

    Endangering not just themselves, but US and others, tambien.

    Tribal Hedonism and Cultural Schizophrenia.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Whats wrong with a graduated one size fits all tax (in each income group) with no gimmicks or deductions?

    ...except homes, which would be phased out gradually over time.

    ReplyDelete
  130. It gives comfort to the parents of every Israeli who must serve in the IDF, to know that every effort will be taken to return their loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Do the back seats of that 92 Buick station wagon fold down?


    Just wondering

    ReplyDelete
  132. If you are not watching the debate on CNN, you are missing a barn burner

    ReplyDelete
  133. We will debate anything here at the EB. There is no such think as a fair tax. That we can agree on.

    ReplyDelete
  134. ..and melody getting the seats down is not the problem, keep them propped up is the issue.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Can't get the video but got the live blog. Thanks, Deuce.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I'll watch it on line as I did the previous one.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Romney and Perry are going to get to ear biting in the clinch.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Doug said... It gives comfort to the parents of every Israeli who must serve in the IDF, to know that every effort will be taken to return their loved ones.

    They should try the Shalit Diet that Hamas came up with on the next batch of one thousand Jihadi assholes they stockpile for the next soldier that gets kidnapped.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Deuce said... We will debate anything here at the EB. There is no such think as a fair tax. That we can agree on.

    Sure there is, it's called a tariff, and the Founding Fathers used it to fund the Federal Government back in the day before we started sending our jobs to China.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Don't confuse efficiency with fairness.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Perry is an arrogant asshole.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Bachmann looks good as well does Gingrich. Cain lost ground. Santorum is a pussy and is done. Paul …egh!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Former Mexican President: Cain’s electric fence like putting "Water with crocodiles" on border...

    Say, there's an idea.

    They're wasting time in the Nevada debate dicking around with Yucca Mountain questions. Who gives a fuck about Yucca Mountain?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Deuce said... Bachmann looks good as well does Gingrich. Cain lost ground. Santorum is a pussy and is done. Paul …egh!

    Bachmann looks good because she's got a cute set of Navy officer's dress whites on. Santorum's plan is to get more religion in government, but deport anyone named Jesus. Perry is a crybaby. Looks like Cain and Newt will come out the winners because no way the tea party will vote for a pro-socialized medicine Bob Dole clone with magic underwear.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Gingrich is the winner on this debate.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Santorum should drop out. Cain will not win. Perry would not carry one Northeastern state from North Carolina and north.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I'm not watching, but, wouldn't it be a hoot if Gangrene ends up winning this thing? The nomination, I mean, not the debate.

    If you squinted your eyes, just right, you could almost see it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  148. Paul made an interesting statement, cutting the defense budget is not cutting defense, Now the pandering to Israel begins, but not Ron Paul. He wisely states that Israel would be better off without US foreign aid. Amen to that.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I could picture Gingrich as well.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Bachman's voice is grating. She wouldn't carry any southern state with that accent. Newt is the smartest guy up there. Paul has not said anything that isn't true.

    Cain is, is, is ballsy, I'll give him that.

    How can you not like him? I have been around and reported to CEOs all my life. Cain is a CEO.

    NEWT!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  151. 12:55 a.m. Opposition research. You are referring to Obama right?

    ReplyDelete
  152. Didn't watch, but it sounds familiar.
    Newt has won the last several, only folks heavy into denial cannot see why so many of us loathe Perry, and Cain, all else aside, is a likeable SOB. He'd be my SOB if I could be convinced he hasn't already self-destructed with 999 and Gitmo.
    Not hard at all to see why he did well in business.

    ReplyDelete
  153. ...and EVERYONE wishes for the magic that could overcome that of the underwearer.

    ReplyDelete
  154. "Who gives a fuck about Yucca Mountain?"

    Who gives a fuck? WTF???

    By far the biggest nuclear threat to this country is all that waste spread around the country at every nuke site.
    Extremely vulnerable to multiple threats.
    We (esp Dems, specifically Reid) insist on perfection, when in fact most any halfway decent, secure, permanent site would be thousands of time safer then the disaster in waiting that are all those spent fuel pools.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Also, not hard to see why he kept "moving on." ;)


    Great date, lousy mate.

    ReplyDelete
  156. The Shalit diet for the 1001 scumbags would be a human atrocity worse than the holocaust.

    ...at least in the MSM, and here and there in the blogosphere.
    So to speak.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Exsez,
    Lousy date, lousy mate.
    Rufus passed her a Rufie.

    ReplyDelete
  158. desert rat said...
    The Israeli unconcerned that some of the killers that were released had killed US citizens.



    Damned if they do, damned if they dont...

    Rat's constant hatred of israel comes thru on every post.

    Dearest Rodent,

    Please on behalf of all Jews worldwide..

    Please go fuck yourself and your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  159. "Overall in fiscal year 2011, immigration officials said, 396,906 individuals were removed. Of these, 216,698, nearly 55%, had been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. That's an 89 percent increase of criminals from three years ago, the enforcement agency said."

    Bush ten times worse than Obama!

    Just like Tex of the compassionate heart would be.

    ReplyDelete
  160. "The percentage was even higher for some regions. In the sector that covers Houston, Beaumont and Corpus Christi, Texas, about 74% of the 20,450 removals were of people with criminal records, said Gregory Palmore of the agency's Houston office."

    That's a no brainer:
    After Bush and his boyfriend jailed the agents for doing their job, who could not feel the chill?

    ReplyDelete
  161. Deuce said...
    Paul made an interesting statement, cutting the defense budget is not cutting defense, Now the pandering to Israel begins, but not Ron Paul. He wisely states that Israel would be better off without US foreign aid. Amen to that.


    Just as soon as America stops aid to the arabs and islamic jihadist nations of the world, and stops transferring a trillion dollars a year from oil to them as well...

    As for "pandering"?

    The GOP aint "pandering" to Israel, it correctly understands that the current American administration funds hezbollah, hamas, moslem brotherhood and a whole host of Israel hating nations and groups and seeks to correct the insane USA policy of supporting jihadists both domestic and overseas.

    ReplyDelete
  162. ""All told, this administration has deported nearly 1.2 million people, leaving a wake of devastation in Latino communities across the nation," Joanne Lin, ACLU legislative counsel, said in a news release. "These record-breaking deportation numbers come at a time when illegal immigration rates have plummeted, the undocumented population has decreased substantially and violent crime rates are at their lowest levels in 40 years."

    Lin also said the deportations represent "uncontrolled, unwarranted" spending of taxpayers' money by the Department of Homeland Security, of which the immigration agency is a part."

    Truly devasting policy for all involved.

    We all suffer when felons, rapists, child molesters, drug pushers, and drunken manslaughterers are removed from the neighborhoods.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Doug: By far the biggest nuclear threat to this country is all that waste spread around the country at every nuke site.

    How about we ship all of it to Maui, Doug? Stick it out there at the end of the Hana Road. That way it's not spread all around the country at every nuke site. After all, the Federal Government exists to make decisions on what state gets all the garbage from the other states, and besides, Hawaii's only got, what, four electoral votes? Nevada's got six. Those two extra votes might put the 'Pub over the top.

    Did I mention I was a Tenth Amendment fangirl?

    ReplyDelete
  164. WiO: The GOP aint "pandering" to Israel, it correctly understands that the current American administration funds hezbollah, hamas, moslem brotherhood and a whole host of Israel hating nations and groups and seeks to correct the insane USA policy of supporting jihadists both domestic and overseas.

    Blame it all on Carter. He made the deal in 1978. We rent the Sinai desert from Israel for $3 billion dollars a year (which they won by conquest in 1967 and defended in 1973), and then we pay Egypt $1.8 billion dollars a year to take it back. And China gets the interest.

    ReplyDelete
  165. .

    Whats wrong with a graduated one size fits all tax (in each income group) with no gimmicks or deductions?

    ...except homes, which would be phased out gradually over time.



    What?

    You only have a few more years on that mortgage of yours, Doug?

    .

    ReplyDelete
  166. My, my, my!

    So much cynicism abounds around here!
    I could repeat Deuce's answer to Ash regarding whether it is any of your business, but I do not intend to sink to such levels of incivility.

    I can swear that it has virtually nothing to do with my personal circumstances, beyond the education I have gained in my good and bad experiences with real-estate/home ownership.

    It's that immediately eliminating the deduction on existing homeowners would not only start a whole new wave of losses and foreclosures and further tank the economy, but would also be about as politically popular/feasible as the first 9 in Cain's 999.

    Not to mention that it represents a retroactive change in plans, a taking of sorts, for all existing mortgagees, as you imply.

    ReplyDelete
  167. "Did I mention I was a Tenth Amendment fangirl?"

    Clearly a case where the good of all overrides Harry's selfish concerns.
    It's all gotta go to one place, if we're serious about safety, and Nevada was chosen on serious grounds.

    Maui and Nevada may be indistinguishable in many ways, but as appropriate climate and geology for Nuclear storage goes, Nevada wins hands down.

    ReplyDelete
  168. .

    My, my, my!

    Jeez, Doug, lighten up.

    I was joking. Next time I'll remember to add the smily face.

    .

    ReplyDelete