“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Can China Teach Washington and the Democrats, Capitalism?

Here is the Democratic Idea to help

Minimum-Tax Fix May Cost Buyout Firms, Hedge Funds $48 Billion

By Ryan J. Donmoyer and Alison Fitzgerald Bloomberg

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said he will propose a $48 billion tax increase on executives of hedge funds and private-equity firms to help pay for curbing the alternative minimum tax this year.

The New York Democrat said the proposal would more than double the tax rate on so-called carried interest, the compensation that executives at buyout and venture-capital firms, as well as real estate and oil and gas partnerships, receive for managing investments. It also would require hedge- fund managers to pay tax on income they defer in offshore accounts, he said....

The Chinese Way:

China Says Economy Grew 11.5%

Published: October 24, 2007
BEIJING (AP) -- China's sizzling economy grew 11.5 percent in the third quarter, surging ahead despite official efforts to cool the boom. China's growth rate put the nation on track to overtake Germany as the world's third-largest, according to data reported on Thursday.

The growth rate from the same period a year earlier exceeded forecasts but was below the 11.9 percent reported in the previous quarter. China's economic growth was driven by a double-digit surge in exports and soaring investment in factories and other fixed assets despite repeated increases in interest rates this year.

Growth for the first nine months of the year was 11.5 percent, the same rate recorded for the first half of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported.

"The domestic economy is maintaining fast development," bureau spokesman Li Xiaochao said at a news conference.

The communist government wants to maintain rapid growth to ease poverty but worries that a runaway expansion and overspending on real estate and other assets could ignite a financial crisis.


  1. Charlie Rangel may not have noticed that there is an ongoing real estate and financial crisis in the United States so let's punish the evildoers on Wall Street. I wonder what will happen?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. The last time we looked at this subject it seemed to me that the "carry" was earned incomed, taxed as capital gains.

    The idea that different types of income are really different and should be taxed differently, I have always opposed.
    Then again I think that progressive taxation violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Law not applied equally to all citizens.

  4. Brother D-Day The Other Day:

    "Wiping the world's ass with Expendable American Youth for a Secure and Prosperous Partnership and Global Good Times."

    Baby, I want that bumper sticker. (I'll sleep with it under my pillow.)

    Re: Voting for Hillary

    Oh, yes, indeed. This is the Spite and Malice Vote, Brother. Moving beyond the Principled Protest of the Ron Paul Vote straight to Punishment of the Party that is principally, though not alone-ly, responsible for our Kosovo With Body Bags, which it no wise would have sat quietly, much less enthusiastically, for under a Democratic administration.

    Yes, yes, yes, Brother. A vote for Hillary is a bit of pure anti-GOP viciousness that I can appreciate. Why let others do it for me, when I can do it myself?

  5. The Law not applied equally to all citizens.

    Sounds like someone didn't get his government cheese.

    The tax code has a bazillion pages of unequal treatment. Plus about a million other laws. Robbing Peter to buy Paul's vote.

  6. I go against the orthodox republican grain in some of these financial matters. I don't want to live in a society where you have a castle on the hill and a slum below. There is nothing better--it's great--than to be young and have something creative to do that you believe in. But now I pull and play the 'age card'--you can't take it with you, and when you are up against it, the whole 'get' business seems really silly. Like Pastor Braun says(my pastor) so far I haven't seen the estate follow the deceased to the other world. I'm a conservative old fart, particularily in manners, but I ask, and I throw it out, what would be wrong with saying, you can have so much, x, and not a dime more, and leave it at that? At that point you got to weave baskets, read, or help out at the hospital, or something? just askin'

  7. Exactly, raymond.

    The entire System that has been developed is organized theft and redistribution.

    As to my piece of Governmental cheese, been a long time since I got any. I keep payin' for yours.

    Just one of the reasons moving "off shore" looks more and more appealing.

  8. I'm so conservative, I would never, ever, vote for a woman I know to be a criminal.

  9. And what pisses me off so much about the current crew running Moscow, Idaho is they say they are 'democrats'. What's that anymore? These people don't give a shit about the common man, they are exclusivists, they have theirs, and fuck you, if you are anyone else. Where is the good democratic party of old, the party of the common man? I might actually vote for such a party if it existed. The local republicans come closer. Farmers, merchants, home builders, people that do stuff.

  10. Puts you with about half of the US voters polled, bob.

    The other half of the voters don't give a damn, about that.

  11. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran, the United States on Thursday designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and its elite Qods force a supporter of terrorism.

    A senior U.S. official said in total Washington had slapped sanctions on more than 20 Iranian companies, banks and individuals as well as the defense ministry, in a bid to pressure Tehran to halt its nuclear program and curb its "terrorist" activities.

    "This is a very substantial measure taken by the administration today. We have decided to take this measure as we believe that Iran is continuing its proliferation and its terrorism activities," a senior Bush administration official said in a conference call.

  12. Lebanese troops opened fire on Israeli aircraft for the first time since the August 14, 2006 cease-fire that put the Israel-Lebanon war on temporary hiatus. Cease-fires don't end wars, peace treaties do. The Korean War, for example, is still on, there's just been a very long cease fire. The first Gulf War and the Iraq War were the same conflict, with a cease-fire in effect between 1991 and 2003.

  13. Where, Ms T, were those Israeli planes?
    Were they in Israeli airspace, or Lebanon's?

    If Russian planes were over LA, we'd shoot 'em down.

    If Iranian planes were over Baghdad, we'd fire on 'em.

    If the Israelis are over Lebanon, those nasty Lebanonese have some gall, to shoot at 'em.

  14. "Where is the good democratic party of old, the party of the common man?"

    Do we not have a country run by thoroughly common men, bob?

    Whoever said that that the common aren't as interested in rackets as their betters? The French?

  15. And by God, these bastards that are running the city government, there is not one of them, not one, that would actually put on the uniform of the United States of America and do the hard work of defending the country. But we are giving them 'a run for their money' come November.

  16. This is funny, the Israeli sell technology for high performance aircraft, developed together with US, to the Chinese. The US then cuts Israel out of the aircraft development loop.

    Now the Chinese are selling the aircraft to the Iranians.

    All in the name of profit, foreign trade and jobs. For both the Israeli and Chinese, at differing times.

    Gotta love it. What goes around, comes around.
    Cosmic karma bitin' 'em in the ass.

  17. "...there is not one of them, not one, that would actually put on the uniform of the United States of America and do the hard work of defending the country."

    If only we could figure out what "the hard work of defending the country" objectively consists of, or ought to.

    This would be of enormous help to everyone.

    Give it the same conservative scrutiny and skepticism lavished of relatively late on "the hard work of" educating America's youth and we might start getting somewhere.

    (Or not.)

  18. WASHINGTON (CNN) -- US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on Thursday announced new economic sanctions against Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds Force.

    One wonders, now, if the World Bank will continue funding the Iranian projects to the tune of a total commitment of $791 million.

    If they do, the US sanctions are nothing but eye wash and hot air.

  19. There goes our once and future friend.

    Oh, well. C'est la vie.

  20. Trish, even if we agreed on what is necessary to defend the country, even if the barbarians are right at the gate, these bastards would not sign up, I can tell you that, for sure.

  21. Democrats are committed to pay-as-you-go rules requiring that ways be found to pay for any spending increases or tax cuts so as not to add to the federal deficit.

    The bill also reduces the top corporate marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 30.5 percent, at a cost of $364 billion over 10 years. This would be paid for in part through such measures as repealing the domestic production activities deduction and requiring that U.S. corporations that defer income through controlled foreign corporations also defer the deductions that are associated with this income. The last-in-first-out accounting method would also be eliminated, saving $106 billion over 10 years.

    Under the Rangel plan (with costs and new revenues over a 10-year period):

    _Married couples filing jointly would be entitled to take an additional $850 as a standard deduction, at a cost of $48 billion.

    _The number of lower-income taxpayers qualifying for earned income credit would grow, at a cost of $29 billion.

    _The refundable child credit would be increased, at a cost of $9 billion.

    _Investment fund managers would be prevented from paying taxes at capital gains rates, raising $26 billion.

    _Hedge fund managers would be prevented from using offshore tax haven corporations to defer taxes on compensation received for providing investment services, raising $23 billion.

    _There would be mandatory cost basis reporting by brokers for transactions involving publicly traded securities, raising $4 billion.

  22. We had a good mayor, Marshall Comstock, builder, from his youth up, last time around. After a life time of hammering nails, and four years of mayor, he put in to be Building Inspector for our fair city. The current pieces of crap turned Marshall down, and hired, as a political appointment, some dim broad that knows absolutely nothing about the building trade. I take comfort in this thought, if it goes too far, the whole thing will finally collapse, as children cannot care for themselves.

    Emerson said, if the taxes get too high, people will not pay the taxes.

  23. Trish, even if we agreed on what is necessary to defend the country, even if the barbarians are right at the gate, these bastards would not sign up, I can tell you that, for sure.

    Thu Oct 25, 10:26:00 AM EDT

    No, bob, you couldn't.

  24. "As to my piece of Governmental cheese, been a long time since I got any. I keep payin' for yours."

    Not hardly. Between the two of us, I believe you are the only one who has fed at the government trough.

  25. Like that old saying about a hanging in the morning, bob.

  26. Well there you go, raymond.

    Six years I spent traveling the world at Federal expense. That was many moons ago. No cheese since then, though.

    Not that much cheese collected for those years, but the experience, priceless.

  27. Interesting raymondshaw that you would portray military service as feeding at the government trough...I guess it is an accurate observation though.

  28. But so, ash, is driving on the Interstate highway system.

    Or flying on commercial aircraft

    Or getting your mail

    The Federals' web has grown so large, there are few citizens that are not a recipient of some part of the largess.

    From the gasoline in the car, to the food on the plate.

  29. Well of course 'government cheese' refers to a free handout, while one who feeds at the government trough might earn his fare. I'll agree that 'Rat likely earned his keep via his military service.

    Likewise Al Gore and John Kerry saw military service. I just don't think
    they earned their keep.

  30. You join the Army, then go where they send you.

    Then do what you can do.

    I'll admit I took full advantage of the opportunities provided. Flew around South America on MAC flights, goin' to Rio for $10, lunch provided.

    Went on a trip every almost every month or so. The best deal, flying to Quito Ecuador, for lunch.

    The C130 would lift off about 10:00 in the morning, land in Quito couple hours later. Then the retired USAF Master Sergeant would load us in his little pickup truck and take us to the wood carver, where we bought fabulous art work. Then off to lunch, to get steaks, wine or beer.

    Then back to the C130 where the wood carvings were already loaded, then back to Panama.
    The Airborne Infantry boys, who never seemed to leave Panama or even the Base, would line up on pay day to buy their souvenirs from Ecuador.

    Boliva, Peru, Argentina, Uruguay ... then off to Korea, no MAC flights from there, but Korea was a trip, in and of itself.

  31. You sound like an Army wife, Rat.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  32. Got my two Arcoms, had a great time.

    If they'd have let me stay outside of CONUS for twenty, I may have stayed.

    But it was Ft Ord, after Korea, then the "Career Path" through Drill Sergeant duty that chased me away.
    The idea of spending more than a month at "Lost in the Woods" was just unpalatable.

  33. "If they'd have let me stay outside of CONUS for twenty, I may have stayed."

    Tell me about it. Some things never change.