“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."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama on Raising Capital Gains taxes

And why stop there, how about some additional payroll taxes?


  1. Don't get me started!

    Fed Bails Out Local Man Who’s 'Too Big To Fail'

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    — Just hours after lending $85 billion to insurance giant AIG to protect financial markets from a cataclysmic bankruptcy, the Federal Reserve announced early today it would also bail out Howard Jameson, 52, of Beech Creek, Pa., because the local man is “simply too big to fail.”

    Mr. Jameson, father of four, lost his job recently, sparking a liquidity crisis that could ripple through Beech Creek and beyond, hitting the bank in nearby Lock Haven that issued his mortgage, credit card giant HSBC and even a man down the road in Blanchard to whom Mr. Jameson still owes $200 for the used lawn tractor he bought in June.

    “In a town the size of Beech Creek (population 717), the loss of even one resident’s income can have far-reaching effects,” said an unnamed Fed spokesman. “Of course the impact on his wife and children has been devastating already. We determined that Howard Jameson is just too big, too important, to fail.”

    The Federal Reserve Board of Governors, with the full backing of the U.S. Treasury, decided to step in, making a secured bridge loan, and taking an 80 percent stake in the Jameson family house and their 2003 Ford minivan as well as the remaining equity in the lawn tractor. The move effectively gives the U.S. government control over the Jameson family during the two-year term of the loan.

  2. bob:
    That is a reassuring message of hope to all of us poor shlubs out here in the hustings.

    Do not give up. Keep on trucking. Endeavor to persevere.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. rufus said...

    "Don't ever ascribe to Conspiracy what can as easily be attributed to Ignorance, or simple Incompetence."
    What are you refering to Ruf?
    If it's Dodd, Raines, Gorelick and Co. it sure as Hell ain't incompetence.

  5. "" It would not go over 20% as I have said repeatedly""
    What he'll say after he gets away with the fib.

    Then, when he's in office, he'll say:

    "I am raising the rate to 28% as I repeatedly said I would""

  6. rufus said...
    The thing is, guys, those Indians built a Casino. The Wall Street Crowd were the suckers getting drunk, and gambling all night.

    If only it were a bunch of fools drinking and gambling but the rot goes much deeper. Many folk ran off with bags overflowing with money leaving the rest of us to clean up the mess. Ole Maurice "Hank" Greenberg transferred 2 billion dollars of stock into his wifes name the week he got ousted after an acounting scandal back in '05. Think he's ponying any money up to help out the old comapany? Naw. Remember Bush's friends at Enron? The beat goes on...

  7. ah, Greenberg was the top dog at AIG if ya didn't know.

  8. At this time, according to an article in the Financial Times, due the decline in house prices that has already occurred, more than 10m home owners now have mortgages that exceed the values of their house. This is 20 per cent of all homeowners with mortgages. For half of that negative equity group, the debt exceeds the house value by more than 20 per cent. If house prices fall another 15 per cent, negative equity mortgages will rise to 20m.

    The foolishness in the idea that this will self-correct is staggering. It is not relevant as to why we got here, it is relevant that we are here.

    It is far better to keep people in their homes paying a reduced amount and let them and the economy grow back to a situation of positive equity.

    Perhaps a federal formula where the owner would have to repay a stiff "Obama Special Capital gains Tax" on the profit, not to exceed the consideration given to reduce the mortgage, and prorated to the time of use of the money, would help.

    The alternative seems to point to a spiral downward in home values putting more people under water and further downward pressure in prices. It will self correct alright and there will probably be blood in the streets.

    Folks, if our rulers and masters that got us here do nothing, it may cost you all your wealth. Inactivity and the silent hand of this market may grab you by the throat and choke you to death.

  9. It is amazing to me that central bankers anywhere are concerned about and fighting inflation while the financial polar caps are melting and disappearing into quick sand.

  10. It's all Clinton's fault.

    But it was the Clinton administration, obsessed with multiculturalism, that dictated where mortgage lenders could lend, and originally helped create the market for the high-risk subprime loans now infecting like a retrovirus the balance sheets of many of Wall Street’s most revered institutions.

    All Clinton's Fault

  11. Bob,
    That Chevie Volt would barely get me down the hill to Costco. And I'd have to charge it there to come home? And probably get halfway up the last grade before it stalled? What a piece of shit.

    When you talk to the Ford guy, ask him if he'll knock a couple hundred more off the price if we buy two at the same time. I'll throw in on that. Might as well, since my savings are shrinking with each day of the market.

    Need 4wd though.

  12. What a piece of shit.

    You said it. Other EVs get 140 miles to over 240 miles on a charge.

  13. I just hope nobody in the government thinks those losers at GM and Ford are too big fail.

  14. Will do, Linear. He's to get back to me tomorrow via e-mail.

    Name of Jor-ge, immigrant accent:)

    Maybe an illegal immigrant accent.

    That's George to most of us, I think.

    When times are tough, the smart money buys new cars.:))

  15. My precious metals fund was up nearly 10% today.

  16. Recalling the discussion with rat a couple of days ago...

    Two JDAMs At Once on the Same Target

    In Iraq, a JDAM explodes as another, headed for the same aiming point, plunges into the dust and rubble. A common tactic with JDAMs GPS guided bombs is to drop two bombs on the same target, releasing the second as quickly as possible after the first. Sometimes this is done to make sure a vital target gets taken out, in case there is a malfunction (about ten percent of the time there is a fuse or guidance system failure.) At other times, two JDAMs are dropped one after another in order to reach a target underground. The second bomb will go into the crater created by the first, and the blast will dig a little deeper.

    [Look closely at the top of the image.]

  17. Mat was trying to peddle us an electric bike that you had to peddle downhill! to charge up!

  18. Wonder how those electrics fare in the colder weather? Be a bitch to get out of a snow bound lane with a weak battery.

    And no heater or defroster.

    At night.

  19. Linear Thinker,

    Re the JDAM photo, could we have a hint?

    And perhaps an explanation of how to create an explosion that generates 3 rings of flying sheets facing the camera?

    (Still missing those"Guy Fawkes Night" celebrations of old.)

  20. Dr. Bill is saying tonight there may well be much more oil off the coast of Anwar as is estimated at Anwar iself, and that most of the region hasn't even been explored yet.

  21. blkops,

    Maybe the explanation lies less in the creation of the explosion than in the construction of the villa?

    As for a hint, all I know is what's at the link. Decide for yourself if you question the authenticity. And if you can show photoshopping evidence, let us know, eh? I've no intention of defending the image. Just thought it interesting.

    I had to look up Guy Fawkes. I'd miss them too.

  22. I wonder if Neal Stephenson didn' weave a bit of Guy Fawkes lore into The System of the World?

    I just read for entertainment. Not a scholar.

    You've given an idea though. I've got some enormous brush piles waiting the torch when the forest is wet enough. November 5 should be about right, if we get some rains.

    We'll celebrate the election!

  23. Mat was trying to peddle us an electric bike that you had to peddle downhill! to charge up!

    Bob would rather peddle uphill. But that's the upside down world we live in. :)

  24. November 5, Guy Fawkes Day

    Remember, remember the fifth of November,
    Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    We see no reason
    Why Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    " You might say that Guy Fawkes was the only man ever to enter Parliament with honest intentions."

    We need more holidays.

  25. :)

    Well, Dr. Bill is over, bedtime.

    Didn't Guy and friends try to tunnel under Parliament, blow it to smithereens (always liked that word) from below?

    Night, Linear, and Mat.

  26. Guy Fawkes, famous for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, was brought to the Tower to be interrogated by a council of the King's Ministers. However, he was not executed at the tower. When he confessed, he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered in the Old Palace Yard at Westminster; however, he escaped his fate by jumping off the scaffold at the gallows which in turn broke his neck and killed him.

  27. blkops,

    What are chances of having a high speed camera capable of catching an incoming JDAM a microsecond before impact and perfectly aligned during a tactical strike in Iraq?

    Maybe that's restating your question?

    No argument that it looks staged.

    Still a cool picture.