Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

RNC’s DOMA Dilemma

March 27, 2013

This must be driving them nuts.

The Republican National Committee recently came out with an analysis dissecting their performance in the last Presidential election. Among their conclusions, the Republican Party should be more accepting of gay marriage, work to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and generally stop attacking women and minorities.

Oh the schadenfreude!
(more…)

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Oh, crap!. No, wait, Oh WOW! No, wait, Oh crap….

June 28, 2012

CNN reported initially that the court had struck the mandate provisions.

The mandate provision was a large part of what made the Affordable Care Act actually affordable for everyone, and made the prospect of covering anyone regardless of their existing health problems palatable to insurance companies.

But then CNN issued a correction, stating that Roberts voted with the 5-4 majority to uphold the mandate (as well as the other provisions).   Wow!  I still don’t believe it!

But then the “Oh crap” moment settled back in…

First, the ACA (or ObamaCare, if you prefer), is and was the Conservative solution to the health care crisis – give the insurance companies a LOT of money and keep them profitable, rather than chasing the moneychangers from the temple and providing inexpensive healthcare by doing it without a profit margin (horrors!) by choosing a single payer system  (electoral-vote.com has a terrific write-up of the conservative pedigree of ObamaCare).  Not the best solution to the problem, the Conservative solution (because the pragmatic Obama thought that would be his best shot at getting something passed… little did he realize how deeply the hatred for him would cause the conservatives to back away from their own plan and vilify it as worse than communism.  Communism! Radical Islamic Communism!  Ahhhh!  Hair on fire!).  So, yay, we’ve managed to preserve a watered-down half-solution giveaway to big business.  Yay for us!

Second, yes, their hair is now totally on fire.  The Tea Party (with their imaginary friends and dainty little plastic pink teacups) are going to be spinning themselves into a frenzy to get rid of Obama so they can overturn the law.  Obama, on the other hand, is drawing lukewarm support because his pragmatism has caused him to give away the cow for some “magic beans”… and since this isn’t a fairy tale, the beans aren’t magic.  The Conservatives will never love Obama, they will never like him, and they will never accept anything he does as anything other than utter Radical Islamic Communism, even when what he is doing is the Conservatives’ own plan, lock, stock and barrel.  He is Obama, he is the ENEMY and no amount of compromise will ever satisfy them.  The Liberals aren’t so hot for him either, because Obama isn’t actually very Liberal (“public opinion [is against the ACA] by roughly 15%, although 15% of the people who oppose it do so because they want a Canadian-style single-payer system”).  So yay, we just got handed a much more difficult election.  Yay for us!

Family Budget Redux

May 23, 2012

The conservatives just love to talk about the family budget when talking about the government’s budget, about how the family has to cut back on its expenses when the money isn’t coming in.

But when the money isn’t coming in, real families frequently can’t cut back on their expenses.  They have commitments – they need gas to get to work, the children need to be fed, the bills have to be paid, their parents’ bills at the rest home need to be paid too.

When real families need money to meet their commitments, if you need more money, what you do, what other real people do, is go out and get another job, bring in more income.

We, as a nation, have commitments we must keep, so the choice is simple and obvious:  we must bring in more revenue.  With taxes the lowest as a share of GDP in decades, there is plenty of room to bring in more revenue, if done right.

Taxes ARE eating up a larger share of YOUR budget, it is true, since your wages have been flat for decades.  But there are some whose income have increased by 20x over the last fifty years while your income has been stagnant (all adjusted for inflation, of course).

Oh, and their taxes have dropped by about 2/3 over the same period.

Gee, where can we get more money to make up the difference?

Take Them At Their Word

May 21, 2012

There is a conservative ideology called “originalism”, which presupposes that the practitioners of this ideology know the original intent of the founders of our nation, and that the original intent of the founders is sacred and should be immutable.

Now, this ideology is ridiculous on the very face of it.  First off, the sacred founding fathers had slaves, and it would be hard for these true believers to argue that we should return to this original principle of the founders.  Secondly, the founding fathers built into their original blueprint for our country a means for amending their design – meaning they knew they did not possess the final word on what our nation should become.

We could twist ourselves in knots over this for hours – the founders word was immutable, and their immutable word was that their words were indeed mutable.  Which means they could be wrong.  If they were wrong, they were wrong about their word being mutable, therefore their words were sacred.  Their sacred immutable words were that their words were indeed mutable.. and so on and so on and so on.

But let’s take these Originalists at their word: they believe what the founders said was totally true and correct.

These same Originalists also say that government is a bad thing, even going so far as saying they wanted to get government down to the size that it could be drowned in a bathtub, and then drown it in a bathtub (metaphorically speaking, of course).

If I remember correctly (and I do), someone once said that government should be “of the people by the people, and for the people”.  Gee, I wonder who it could have been.  Could it have been the founding fathers the originalists so revere?  The ones that designed a government fo the people, by the people and for the people?

By that logic then, these originalists, who believe the original intent of the founders to be the gospel of our nation, they want to drown America in a bathtub (metaphorically speaking).

Just sayin’.

According To The 1%, The 1% Are NOT The Job Creators

May 20, 2012

The best, most well explained, explicit demolition of the Job Creator myth that I have ever read.

From the National Journal:

As Hanauer puts it, he and his rich friends, for all their lavish parties and jet-away vacations, don’t buy enough shirts, cars, and restaurant meals to match the spending that would occur if, say, their wealth was divided up among thousands of poor families. Studies on what economists call “marginal propensity to consume” bear out this idea.

Hence Hanauer’s claim that middle-class consumers, not innovators, create jobs. Amazon didn’t create a new group of book buyers; it just peddled a more convenient way to buy books. Its success created lots of jobs in Seattle, Amazon’s hometown, but it also killed lots of jobs in strip malls across the country. Increasing the number of book buyers would boost sales and jobs in the industry, with no downside.

And…

The middle class incubates entrepreneurs because it offers a good combination of time, resources, and motivation to invest in skills and climb the innovation ladder. Put it this way: The comforts that flowed from the Pacific Coast Feather Co., his then-modest family business, provided Nick Hanauer with a house full of books and days full of time to explore big ideas. Think of those comforts as an investment. The eventual return was Hanauer’s venture-capital portfolio. Poor families just scraping by at the margins can’t make those investments, so their children struggle to achieve in school and pursue higher education. Children from rich families may, thanks to their extreme childhood comforts, lack the desire to build wealth and climb the economic ladder, which the Kauffman study found to be a key motivation for would-be entrepreneurs.

The economy sags when kids who could have grown up to be physicists end up spending their lives brewing lattes at Starbucks. Or when a young woman born to be a teacher finds herself babysitting, for peanuts, while she waits for a classroom to open up.

Read the whole article here.

One Clue Short Of Having A Clue

May 19, 2012

OMG.

From the local paper:

Dear editor,

Yesterday I received a mailer from Commissioner Lisa Birkman’s opponent, comparing her to President Barack Obama. At first I thought it was a joke, until I read both sides.

While our liberal, socialist-leaning president has decided that government spending is the answer to everything, Commissioner Birkman has been a conservative steward of our tax dollars.

Sure, our county has the “highest per-capita debt in all of Texas.” But that is because we, the residents, decided to address our quality of life by voting for road bonds to ease our traffic problems.

Look all over Precinct 1 and you see road construction going on, to ease our traffic problems. Imagine what traffic would be like in five years, without the improvements.

Maybe Commissioner Birkman’s opponent doesn’t drive. I do, and I appreciate Commissioner Birkman’s efforts, and ask the voters of Pct. 1 to elect her to another term.

Charlie Culpepper, Round Rock

Amazing.  Simply astounding.

This guy has not even the first clue about the irony of what he is saying.

Did he even read what he wrote?

He blasts the government for spending money… except when the money benefits him personally (even when it is a grotesquely obscene amount of money, to put words in Birkman’s opponent’s mouth), well, then it is OK.  More than OK, it is conservative stewardship.

This is what bothers me so much about the Tea Party movement, and conservatives in general. 

Government spending is bad, BAD.  Well, unless it benefits me, then it is OK.  Rank hypocrisy.

Or, almost as bad but much more rare, they are consistent in their beliefs, and ALL government spending is bad, and it doesn’t matter if the spending is totally needed in order to take care of our civic responsibilities, or to provide needed services like roads and schools.  They will cut off their own noses just to spite their faces, just as long as it cuts your nose off too.  Thanks, but no, I’ll keep my nose.

And apparently this guy used to be a mayor.  (Thankfully, at least it is “used to be”!)

12 Days of Funny – Day Twelve

December 27, 2011

The old adage…

It is true - the cost of giving the extremely wealthy just a bit more luxury is the loss of programs that do much to prevent disease, poverty and death for those that will never know luxury...

...and here are the numbers.

Thanks for reading as I presented some of the best political cartoons I have seen recently.

(Thanks again to American Progress for the funny daily cartoons, like this one! You can see their archive and sign up for the daily funny in your inbox here.)

12 Days of Funny – Day Ten

December 25, 2011

What a bargain…

No complaints!

For the next 2 days I’ll be continuing to present some of the best political cartoons I have seen recently.

(Thanks again to American Progress for the funny daily cartoons, like this one! You can see their archive and sign up for the daily funny in your inbox here.)

12 Days of Funny – Day Eight

December 23, 2011

Just begging for it…

Feeling the pinch of the new economy.

For the next 4 days I’ll be continuing to present some of the best political cartoons I have seen recently.

(Thanks again to American Progress for the funny daily cartoons, like this one! You can see their archive and sign up for the daily funny in your inbox here.)

The Tea Party is Wrong (but not about everything)

August 30, 2011

The Tea Party is right – you ARE Taxed Enough Already.

The Tea Party is right – the government does need to balance its budget.

Waste is in the eye of the beholder

The Tea Party is wrong – the entire federal budget isn’t waste. Ask a dozen Tea Baggers and you’ll get a dozen different answers that all start “Get rid of everything… except (insert the program thet benefits them directly)”.

The Tea Party is wrong – we shouldn’t balance the budget by cutting more jobs in a bad economy.

The Tea Party is wrong – taxing the rich won’t bring our economy down. In fact, it will bring our economy back.

The Tea Party is wrong – the rich are not the most productive members of society.

The Tea Party is wrong – the rich don’t give us jobs like saints doling out dispensations. Jobs are created by economic demand. If there is money to be made, business will do whatever it takes to make that money, including hiring workers. If there is no money to be made, that is, if there is no demand for a good or service, no amount of extra cash on hand is going to incite a business to spend it on hiring a worker to produce a good or service that nobody can afford.  (And you can take that to the bank… because that is where big corporations are sitting on piles and piles of cash, waiting for demand to return, right this second!)

The Tea Party is wrong – they are supporting the very forces that are making their lives difficult and making them angry.


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