America in 1955: A country of commies?

America in 1955 was settling into the Cold War against Communism. The Warsaw Pact was formed that year; West Germany joined NATO. Disneyland opened. Illinois passed a Loyalty Oath Act, requiring all state employees to take an oath or be fired. GM became the first U.S. corporation to make a billion dollars.

Good times, the essence of America. And as Chuck Collins and Sam Pizzigati point out in a piece in the Christian Science Monitor, back in 1955, the 400 highest-earning Americans “paid more than 50 percent of their incomes in federal tax, almost triple the rate of today’s top 400.”

Of course, anybody who suggested such a tax structure today, in 2009, would be attacked as a Marxist, socialist, damn Commie, etc. But back in the ’50s, when Americans had actual, real-life Commies to worry about, such charges would have been considered ridiculous.

Write Collins and Pizzigati:

“America’s super-rich are paying far less of their incomes in taxes than average Americans who punch time clocks. This is grossly unfair. The good news: Under Mr. Obama’s new plan to cut the deficit in half, the very richest Americans will start paying something closer to their fair tax share.

It’s been a while since they’ve done that. As recent IRS data show, these elites are paying less in taxes – much less – than their deep-pocket counterparts used to pay. In 2006, the 400 highest-income Americans together reported $105 billion in income, an average of $263 million each.

Having trouble visualizing that? To pocket $263 million a year, you would have to take home over $60,000 an hour – and work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for an entire 12 months. Sounds tiring, doesn’t it? But most of the top 400 make their fortunes buying and selling assets, everything from stocks and bonds to the exotic paper that helped inflate the housing bubble.

Uncle Sam taxes income from those assets – whether that income be capital gains or dividends – at a much lower rate than income from work.

The current top tax rate on “ordinary” work income sits at 35 percent. But dividends and capital gains from the buying and selling of most assets face only a 15 percent top rate. That’s why in 2006, America’s top 400 paid just 17.2 percent of their $263 million average incomes in federal tax.

Millions of middle-class American families, once you tally income and payroll taxes, pay far more of their incomes in tax. One particularly striking example from billionaire investor Warren Buffett: In 2006, he paid 17.7 percent of his income in total taxes. His secretary, who made $60,000, paid 30 percent of hers.”

Why should a working man or woman who puts in 50 hours a week and makes $60,000 a year pay a lot more in taxes than the person next door who does nothing and collects $60,000 a year in dividends and capital gains? I never understood the justice of that. Why penalize working people like that?

179 comments Add your comment

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
7:04 am

More wealth envy, Jay. Tsk, tsk.

You know the answer to this one – pass the FairTax!

Oh, and people like Warren Buffett make a lot of other people a lot of money, and enable a lot of other people to have jobs through wealth CREATION. Your $60k a year “working person” isn’t doing that.

Michael Smith

February 24th, 2009
7:19 am

Your analysis evades several crucial distinctions.

1) The man who “works for living” isn’t risking his capital in an investment. He doesn’t suffer an enormous loss of capital when the stock market heads south as it has recently.

2) The man who “works for a living” — as opposed to the investor — isn’t creating jobs and making possible the payrolls that sustain jobs. He isn’t providing the seed capital that makes new ventures possible or that finances the improvements to labor productivity that makes possible higher wages.

3) Finally, the man who “works for a living” is free to save as much of his money as possible and ultimately become an investor himself. That, in fact, is what the great majority of the rich in this country did — less than 2% of America’s rich were born with the money; the great majority of them earned it.

But on a broader point, under the current set-up, almost ALL taxation constitutes an injustice, because the great majority of our money is being taken in taxes for purposes of handouts to those that did NOT earn it. Punishing those who DID earn something, for the sake of rewarding those who did NOT, is the very essence of injustice.

Disgusted

February 24th, 2009
7:21 am

Ah, yes. The Fair Tax. Make the poor slob who earns $30K per year and must spend all of it to survive pay taxes on 100% of it, after giving him a pittance as a credit. Let the guy who makes $30M escape taxes on all of it except for the $30K he spends on groceries and such–and he gets the credit too. In the end, they both pay the same amount in tax. Sounds Fair to me. NOT!

David

February 24th, 2009
7:22 am

Pushing paper around and speculating in the stock market doesn’t generate “real” wealth. Building stuff and then selling it at a profit creates real, long-term, sustainable wealth. So you may have an argument about Warren Buffett paying only 17.7% in taxes if all of that money generated actual wealth that benefited average people. But since speculative wealth is all on paper and can come crashing down like the house of cards (witness the past six months), it needs to be taxed at a much higher rate. That would be an incentive for the uber-rich to divert their assets into actual job creation initiatives, rather than selling intrinsically worthless pieces of paper to each other in an endless loop, with each person taking their cut. That’s not real wealth. That’s not creating jobs. And for the secretary making $60K, that’s not morally defensible.

G

February 24th, 2009
7:31 am

Why do Republicans always balk at helping the poor?

The payroll tax that these people pay is a much larger percentage of their gross income than wealthy tax payers who got the big tax cuts under Bush. Maybe it’s because the poor don’t contribute enough money to Republican campaigns.

When Clinton was in office, the rich paid more taxes and the economy was good.

When Bush was in office, the rich paid less taxes and the economy tanked.

It’s a no-brainer.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
7:31 am

It’s “fair” that the rich pay more?

I’d like to know how you libs figure that free people become successful and “rich,” is it through hard work, innovation and determination or do you think there is some lucky fairy that floats through America waving it’s wand on a chosen few?

America used to be about opportunity for We The People, not opportunities for the government to stick it to We The People.

And yes, Bookman, that is socialism.

Bud Wiser

February 24th, 2009
7:34 am

The top 10% of all personal income wage earners pay approximately 70 % of all personal income taxes collected (do your own homework kiddies, look it up, IRS figures), so it boils down to what the definition of ‘fair’ is. Personally, I always thought that ‘fair’ was I pay one, Bob next door pays one, Fred downtown pays one, Jay pays one, etc., etc., etc.

But it currently is I (the retiree) pay one, Fred (the rich guy) pays seven, Jay pays two, Bob (currently unemployed) collects two, so now the government goes after me and Fred and Jay for more money so Bob can continue to live in a home he can no longer afford. Jay (fictional character here) belongs to the Sierra Club, and subscribes to the Huffington POS and the NY Times, so he happily wants to pay more taxes because “it is the tight thing to do…” His brain was fried on drugs a very long time ago. Fred and I are not very happy being forced at the point of a gun or threatened jail time for this turn of events. And Bob (real name Roberto)has family and friends living with him, some of whom are here illegally, and they have sick kids and a host of relatives in a small 3 bedroom home. They are already under government (translation for the stupid: MY and YOUR tax dollars, BTW) care and assistance….hell, someone even tried to register some of the non-citizens to vote last November. So, Mr Smugly on the left, go ahead and use your pea-sized brain and explain to us all just what in the name of Beelzebub is fair about that?

I put myself through college, served in the military, got a great job and made enough money to be able to retire early, so now I want to be “…the person next door who does nothing and collects $60,000 a year in dividends and capital gains..”. It’s sort of like my own little interpretation of The American Dream.

Then there are people like Jay and the mob from the left than have been bred to be insanely jealous and loathsome of success, to feel entitled to live a decent life off of my hard work with no effort for anything on their own other than who they vote for, they want more of everyone else’s money. It is the backbone of the Democrat Party – don’t work hard, it’s not required; you’re a victim, sit back and enjoy the benefits of victimhood; don’t want to pay any taxes, yet still collect a ‘free’ government check called a ’stimulus’?…vote Democrat, we’ll take care of you.

Well, as much as anything this current economic plummeting will do nothing but accelerate after the Messiah gives his little Bush-bashing speech to Congress tonight. I am sure it will remind many of the scene in the movie “The Blues Brothers” where John Belushi pleads with Carrie Fisher and tells her all of the reasons (”its not my fault”)that he failed to show for their wedding. I figure he will try to come off totally blameless on the economy, and will use “catastrophe” and/or “disaster” a minimum of, oh, 17 times or thereabouts.

So that thunderous rear end on the old saggy couch tonight, and watch the free fall begin to accelerate. Obama is in WAY over his head, but if he drowns he will be sure he doesn’t go alone. He’s comin’ for us all, wallets first.

Andy the welcher

February 24th, 2009
7:38 am

Idiot,
It’s fair that the “rich” pay the same percentage of income as “joe the plumber” does, so yes if they earn more then they do pay more.

Please stop trying to think, you’ll only hurt yourself.

ew

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
7:43 am

Maybe it’s me, but when someone spends a million dollars a year on items (like Buffett likely would) he’s paying a whole heck of a lot more in taxes than the person spending $30k a year on items. And Buffett is more likely to spend his money on net new things which will be taxed, versus the “working person” who will buy a combination of new and used items, the used ones which will NOT be taxed.

See, Disgusted, the guy who makes $30 million dollars SPENDS more than the guy who makes $30k. A lot more.

What is really disgusting is the educational system that teaches people to think that what I earn is something YOU should have.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
7:50 am

And G, why is it that people like you think that Republicans don’t like to help the poor? It’s the people who MAKE money that contribute to charity VOLUNTARILY more often, and those are usually Republicans. Your own Democrat leaders in Congress like SanFran Nan and John Forbes Kerry contribute far less in percentage to charities than a typical $40k per year wage earner.

They, like you, just want to use the confiscatory powers of government to make others do what they refuse to do. They are the ultimate parent – “do as I say, not as I do”.

kitty

February 24th, 2009
7:53 am

You are wasting your time on the righties with that thought about fairness. They never understood percentages which in a tax discussion are the great equalizers. They only understand absolute dollars. The righties around here are not exactly the brightest lights on the tree.

Thomas Paine

February 24th, 2009
8:02 am

Jay,

We should allow the secretary to change to a corp-to-corp relationship with her employer and then she would only pay taxes on about 5 grand of the sixty.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:02 am

And kitty, you are under the delusion that we are all equal and should be treated that way.

We may be CREATED equal, but what we do with ourselves and our lives after that separates us from each other. What I earn is none of your business and is not subject to your rules of “fairness” or “equality”. Not in a supposed Constitutional Republic.

Now, in a Socialist utopia, I can understand your thoughts on fairness and equality.

Life isn’t fair, kitty. If you make bad choices, you don’t get ahead like those who make good choices. Get over it and deal with REALITY.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
8:05 am

And, if you really want to save your money and not give any of it to those government agencies such as the FAA and DoD and FDA and EPA…just contact your local UBS broker. At least 52,000 of your fellow hard-working, flag-waving American residents have given the government the what-for and said to hell with this trickle-down crap. After all, it’s their money. They earned every single penny of it and they’re going to keep every penny of it — in a Swiss bank vault. Warren Buffett is not like those so-called “Americans” because he recognizes the injustice of paying less in taxes than his secretary. He understands capitalism. He knows that he would never have been able to amass any fortune at all without people like his secretary. He is smart enough to know that his well being is tied directly to his secretary’s well being — the two are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, many people, too many people, lost sight of the basics needed for a capitalist society to grow and prosper. Greed, arrogance, lust, and more took control of far too many lives and the end result of these people’s actions is now in full bloom. There’s a price to be paid and we are paying it.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
8:13 am

Bud Wiser

February 24th, 2009
7:34 am

Individual income taxes make up about a half of total federal government revenue. Too many of us aren’t paying anything, myself included. That needs to change, and the wealthy are going to have to start paying more unless spending is frozen or reduced.

julio quintana

February 24th, 2009
8:14 am

Jay is once agin off his rocker.
The top 400 earners, also do more then the 60K worker. Teh form companies, run companies, create jobs and contribute to the economy, other then just working, spending and paying taxes.
Secondly, Jay does not seem to understand the nature of the economy. The incentive is to make money. Would Steve Jobs, be motivated if there was no economic incentive?
Finally, Jay needs to see the what happen to the economy after, the tax rate was lower! during the 60th, there was an economic boom and we all benefited from. I am sure Jay parents, had the ability to send Jay to college, and were Jay was able to refine his socialist philisophy.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
8:17 am

Taxpayer February 24th, 2009 8:05 am And, if you really want to save your money and not give any of it to those government agencies such as the FAA and DoD and FDA and EPA…

Taxpayer: An idiotic rant does not a socialist utopia make.

Educate yourself, young woman, go to USGov.duh website and see exactly which federal outlays take up more of the pie than others do.

See how the entitlement slice is much bigger than the one for defense?

See spot run, taxpayer.

Mrs. Godzilla

February 24th, 2009
8:18 am

There will be great wailing and nashing of teeth, garments will be rent
and burnt offerings will be offered….

But we are going to raise taxes.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:23 am

And you know what, Taxpayer? If Warren Buffett would just shut his pie-hole and VOLUNTARILY donate more tax dollars to his wonderful, all-knowing, all caring Federal government, I’d buy his crap.

But he doesn’t. Just like all you libs out there who have the opportunity to send a little extra to Uncle Sugar or you local governments, but don’t. Like the Mass. taxpayers who simply have to check a box to have another .5% of their income VOLUNTARILY taken out. But you libs want everyone ELSE to pony up – not yourselves. Talk is cheap, Taxpayer, and so are libs.

So tell us, Taxpayer. How much extra did YOU send off to Uncle Sam this year? I’m sure you manned it up and VOLUNTARILY did your bit for your country, right?

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
8:25 am

The moron war on oil, my God, where have all the adults gone?

Biofuel, on the other hand, has to be one of the most irrational pursuits ever undertaken by a mature industrial nation. The idea is that burning a portion of our crops for fuel each year is somehow “sustainable.” All this ignores that humanity has spent most of its history trying to build a sustainable agriculture, but that’s another story. We’re past that now. So each year we now burn one-quarter of the corn crop to feed our gas tanks and are headed for more. All this has created havoc and food riots in that other portion of the world that still practices agriculture. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization is calling biofuels a “crime against humanity,” but what do they know? They just don’t share our vision of a clean and sustainable energy future.-AmSpec

G

February 24th, 2009
8:26 am

As far as charity goes, which is NOT what I was writing about in my previous post, my impression is that Democrats tend to actually get down in the trenches and do the work, and Republicans simplify their lives by dashing off a check and calling it done.

It is a fact that Republicans have more money than Democrats do, so this would seem to bear out my perception.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
8:30 am

Andy,

Once again, like clockwork, your stupidity shines through. Get an education, boy.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:31 am

Management, I seem to remember a test in Australia or New Zealand in the last 60-90 days where they ran an airline jet on a 50-50 mix of bio fuel and JP-4. The interesting thing is that it used a plant that was touted as being more efficient in it’s ability to make a good fuel for airliners, and it wasn’t a food crop, so it didn’t affect the supply chain.

Not everything about bio-fuels is bad. It’s just when Senators from Iowa like Tom Harkin (D-Clueless) put all that pork into bills to create ethanol from his state’s favorite crop – that’s when it gets bad.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
8:33 am

There are two main functions of our American government.

First, and not, unfortunately, foremost is the protection of individual rights. Our government’s record at that is pretty spotty – witness the blight of Jim Crow, that saddled the nation (especially the backwards, benighted South) for over 100 years, and the continuing discrimination towards gay people.

The second function is the protection of property rights, which our government is very very good at.
Steal someone else’s property or services, you go to jail. Don’t pay your mortgage, get foreclosed. Don’t pay your rent, collect your things on the street and get locked out.

Property rights are very expensive rights to maintain. Massive record-keeping is required. Police and National Guard cost billions. Massive prisons are required, courts spend far more time on civil cases than criminal, and far more time on property-related crimes (burglary, extortion, various financial frauds (bad checks, etc.) etc.) than on civil rights. The protection of the rights of property means the protection of the rights of wealth and the wealthy, and everyone (except a few Bookman RightWingnutterbutters) knows enormous wealth has perverted our political and justice system. Property rights can be bought in court, and fought in court. As an example, the so-called self-made Ross Perot made his large fortune through EDS by processing government payments of various types at the local, state, and government level. If EDS lost a bid for a contract, they were notorious for taking their great wealth and suing the government entity, draining government funds through litigation, pursuing the capitulation of the local governments by draining taxpayer funds. Everyone knows that Walmart comes into town and starts spreading money around to local politicians to get local laws and permitting processes changed so they can put up their stores full of cheap Chinese crap. And oil men have bought and paid for judges and politicians for over 100 years, they bought the White House in 2000.

The system has worked so well for the wealthy, that the top 1% now control over 35% of the wealth. But the last time this happened was the late 1920s, and we all know how that turned out. (Actually, the distribution today is even more skewed than it was then…)

Since government works so well for them, they should be willing to pay much more for it than they do.

Kitty is right, your RightWingnutterbutters are dumber than boxes of rocks, Bookman. But you know that.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
8:34 am

Dave R, as usual continues his little rant instead of studying the content of another’s post and providing a well thought position worthy of even lining Andy’s cage with.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:36 am

GodHatesTrash, what kind of alternate universe do you live in?

Judy

February 24th, 2009
8:39 am

Sigh………….As long as it is Democrats vs Republicans we ALL lose. America is doomed. Socialism??? Nope, we’re headed towards anarchy.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
8:39 am

I don’t respond directly to RightWingnutterbutter comments, but I live in a fact-base reality, not a fantasy universe of idiocy passing for ideology.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:40 am

Thanks for proving my point, Taxpayer.

Is there any time when you will answer a post with FACTS? Thus far, you’re the original empty suit when it comes to posting; make a foolish statement devoid of facts, then complain about people who call you out on it, but never defend your position.

How did you survive in this world long enough to retire? Did you sponge off everyone?

And when DID you send that extra check into Uncle Sam to help out your favorite government?

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:42 am

GodHatesTrash, since you don’t feel the need to defend your positions, you should write opinion columns for the AJC. You’re certainly over-qualified in that regard.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
8:44 am

Wow. One issue. Has same effect on both sides of the aisle. Congratulations, Jay.

After the ‘wow’ comes the ‘oh, no.” Specifically, what we’re going to hear quoted as gospel: “One particularly striking example from billionaire investor Warren Buffett: In 2006, he paid 17.7 percent of his income in total taxes. His secretary, who made $60,000, paid 30 percent of hers.”

First, the key word: “total” in “total taxes.” Not “federal income tax.” Rather a poor example for a column in the CSM dealing with fed taxes. Buffet gets a lot of his from capital gains – his secretary doesn’t. I know, that’s one of the points of the article. But just on fed income, a secretary making 60 grand with no taxes and no exemptions would pay about $8500 in fed income tax – not about 20 grand. Now add in SS, property, sales, state, city, etc and frankly, I’m surprised it’s so low. Most people have way more of their income consumed by all levels of gov’t than they’d imagine.

Oh, those super-rich? Like the hedge fund guys who pulled in far, far more (in some cases, hundreds of millions a year) than ‘those rich CEOs’ did? Through their following of the tax code, the money they made wasn’t ‘income’ or ’salary’ like a CEO – it was generally along the lines of a captial gain and they paid a pittance. As I noted during the Democratic primaries, Democratic lawmakers generally shielded or ignored them. Campaign contributions speak, loud and clear.

Bud Wiser made a point that needs to be included – the number of people at moderate incomes who pay little, if any, fed income tax (yes, thank Pres Bush for that one). Is this necessarily a good thing, given the idea that all citizens should contribute to the common good?

I hope the issue isn’t limited to “salary” “income tax vs cap gains tax” and such. The status of our top gov’t officials should be examined (not just those appointees who made ‘mistakes’). Sen Kennedy is fond of saying he pays taxes on his income. As a senator. So all the millions in trust income isn’t income? The Pelosis – worth tens of millions of dollars, much of the assets generating… something, but it isn’t income. Because their fed taxes are, fairly speaking, pretty low.

So one person makes a living by, say, teaching kids, doing electrical work or working a cash register. Why do they take a hit compared to someone who makes a living by buying and selling assets? Oh, those assets create jobs. Right. Teachers train kids who become qualified to have jobs. Just takes a bit longer.

But I still get a kick out of this Democratic idea that a household that makes up to $250,000 a year is a working, middle class household, while someone who makes over $250,000 a year is rich. Quite a divide, there.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
8:45 am

Judy, I think you are correct. Our GOP “friends” are fervently committed to a dog eat dog, jackal eat jackal, hyena eat hyena world. They love war and destruction with all their hearts. They are beyond reason, seemingly incapable of it. Facts bother them.

Their world is the social Darwinist world of the war of all against all.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
8:46 am

Dave R: The whole idea behind “biofuels” is a replacement for the use of oil. In the case of corn, a massive amount of oil is used to farm, refine and transport ethanol, I’m pressed to see what the point is.

And, on top of that, oil burns cleaner and produces more energy per volume than ethanol does.

Plus, oil does not take cheap food off of the world’s plate.

Maybe someday we will find a crop that we can stuff into our gas tanks from the side of the road but until then, what is wrong with drilling for oil?

AlG

February 24th, 2009
8:47 am

Comrade Jay–You have hit the nail right on the headski. The mere fact that Comrade Buffet pays a lower percentage on his income is proof he pays less in taxes than his secretary–if you ignore the mathski. A 15% levy on billions is just a bit more than the tax on a $60K earner. But in the great socialist paradise to come, all will be equal. See the below quote from Comrade Winston Churchill.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
– Winston Churchill

Bud Wiser

February 24th, 2009
8:48 am

TnGelding, I agree with you to the extent that spending can come under control first, but FAT CHANCE of that ever happening now with O’s trillion dollar giveaway.

The Democrats are in the jewelry shop with an unlimited credit card; besides, they don’t pay their taxes on the road to the top, do they Mr Geitnner, Mr Rangel, etc., etc.? They love spending someone else’s money, namely ours.

And Gelding,you said, “…Too many of us aren’t paying anything, myself included. That needs to change…”, brother are you right on the mark with that one. Sounds like you are a Fair Tax supporter and IRS abolitionist as am I.

AmVet

February 24th, 2009
8:50 am

Dave R,

Gotta run and keep the American economic engine running (i.e. pay for the occupation and bailouts).

I noted yesterday that your assertion that 15 of the 18 Iraqi benchmarks being met last summer was fallacious.

Please show me where I am incorrect, OK?

Thanks…

Bud Wiser

February 24th, 2009
8:51 am

Oh, and to Miss Kitty: someone stole your light bulb. I’d love to stay and counter such astounding stupidity, but other than the fact it would be a monumental waste of my time trying to talk sense to such clueless rock-heads, I have a golf game this day.

Ciao for now.

Curious Observer

February 24th, 2009
8:54 am

Several things are apparent: (1) the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will not be renewed, and the rich will finally start paying a more equitable share of taxes; (2) the capital gains tax will not be lowered, nor will the estate tax, which at least forces some of the rich to start distributing some of the wealth they’re hoarding;(3)the cap on Social Security taxation is likely to be raised, so that the wealthy pay the same percentage of SS taxes as the working poor do; and (4) the push for the ironically named Fair Tax stands the same chance as the proverbial snowball in Hades.

After the rage and the grief, you righties can finally get to the final mourning stage: acceptance. You lost the election. A majority of American voters has rejected your assertion that big tax breaks for the wealthiest among us are good for the economy. I look forward to the day when you squeal like stuck pigs and the people who ultimately drive the economy, the average consumer, once again get a break. So go take your anger out on some hapless employee whom you can fire in retaliation. Most of us aren’t buying your BS any more.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
8:55 am

Sorry, AmVet, but I actually used Bush White House figures for that one. You may not like the source, but it’s better than the DailyKooks.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
8:57 am

Well, GHT, I think we have finally got ourselves an administration that actually understands something about our once-great nation and I’m looking forward to the changes that he wants to see made. Your comments about Wal-Mart made me recall a conversation I had with a Wal-Mart employee back in the ’90s — during Clinton’s time. I compared our wages and taxes and I was really alarmed at the numbers. I was paying more just in Federal Income Taxes than this person was making in gross take-home pay from a forty-hour work week. Anyway, I complained about forking over 30% of my hard-earned money to the fed but I always paid my taxes and I never looked for ways to cheat the fed and I had charitable contributions deducted from my paycheck every month and I always have and still do feel blessed with a wonderful life. Really, I do. Some of you right-wing fringe kids that get on here and rant and carry on about how much more wonderful your lives would be if only your dog cages were opened up and you were free to take your rightful places at the head of your packs and mark all of your territory, well, anyway, you are amusing. I’ll give you that much.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
8:57 am

Management 8:25

[[So each year we now burn one-quarter of the corn crop to feed our gas tanks and are headed for more. All this has created havoc and food riots in that other portion of the world that still practices agriculture. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization is calling biofuels a “crime against humanity,” ]]

That came from American Spectator? You sure it wasn’t MoveOn or one of those groups who really care for the downtrodden?

G 8:26

You may want to check out the actual rates (can be difficult to come by) that most of the rich are Republicans. As for the earlier assertion on charity work, I’ll refer you to that landmark study, discussed here to death, by Professor Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University. As the Northwestern Financial Review put it: “He looks at who gives and aligns that data with political affiliation. His conclusion: conservatives give more money to charity than liberals. It is an interesting conclusion given the stereotype that conservatives are cold-hearted individualists while liberals are compassionate collectivists. I would have thought that the most obvious difference between those who give to charity and those who do not, is income. I assumed that low-income people give infrequently and high-income people give often. Turns out income has very little to do with it. Ideology is a much better predictor of whether a person gives to charity. It turns out a low-income conservative is more likely to donate to charity than a high-income liberal.

Brooks said there is a segment of the liberal population that believes charity is bad. Their thinking is that the more people give to charity, the more they are letting the government off the hook for the things it should be doing.

Brooks posed this statement: “The government should do more to assure income equality in this country.” He said that the more people agreed with this statement, the less likely they were to give to charity.”

As far as your ’service’ qualifier: Pres Obama spent his career working with poor segments of society. Even a few months back was donating his time and teaching his kids to do so. That’s one of the things that sunk Caroline Kennedy – little practical application of the faith. Speaking of which, anyone know the last time Spkr Pelosi worked in a homeless shelter in San Francisco? Well, she probably doesn’t need to, as the sum of gov’t money spent on homeless divided by the homeless population comes to about 50 grand per homeless.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
8:59 am

Enter your comments here

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
9:01 am

Management, I agree that drilling for more oil is a good energy policy. I am not going to slam all forms of Bio-fuel just because ethanol is a poor way to go. That’s why I used the example I did. There’s no reason not to pursue both drilling and bio-fuels as long as both are cost effective and bio-fuels don’t eat into food crops.

Here’s a link to the article:

http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2233235/air-zealand-delcares-first

AmVet

February 24th, 2009
9:01 am

Ahhh, that explains it, Dave. The same guys who bleated, “No one saw the economic meltdown coming.” Or how about, “We’ll be greeted as liberators”? Maybe, “Iraqi oil will pay for the occupation.”?

Incredible that after all these years you “faithful” apologists still fall for obvious neo-con cr@p.

Again, show me where your statement is correct. Not just who you parroted it from.

Or retract it.

Because it is wide of the mark.

Thank in advance.

I’ll check in later…

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
9:02 am

The working person is supposed to be complacent. Heck, they’ve given us a 401k!! that is now worth hundreds of….pennies?

We shouldn’t worry that the CEO of the company pays a $30 deductible to see the doctor…the same $30 the secretary pays. Oh, wait, the Secretary is now part time so he/she has no health benefits….or 401k of pennies for that matter.

It’s really scary that so many of the GOP supporters are middle class or even poor. Boggles the mind that that many people could be hoodwinked into believeing the GOP was promoting their concerns and needs.

America is a GREAT place to live…if you’re rich. If you’re not rich you need to watch your own back and that includes voting into office people that will advance your needs and improve your situation.

Davo

February 24th, 2009
9:10 am

You could almost swear Bookman was hatched from some communist, hippy hive-mind somewhere…

At least America in 1955 was working.

fearless fosdick

February 24th, 2009
9:12 am

Pretty much sums up the deep thinkers of the republican party!

Norah O’Donnell exposes Republican hack John Feehery’s talking points in about a second and leaves him scratching his head like a dimwit when he had no response after he was asked to name one “pork barrel” project contained in the stimulus bill. (rough transcript)

Feehery:…. They go first with this huge pork bill.

O’Donnell: Name one piece of pork.

Feehery: Ahhh, bhah,,,You can’t do that to me right now, I can’t think of it right now, but it was a huge bunch of stuff that we don’t even know what’s in there.

O’Donnell: Well the reason I ask and it’s not to put you on the spot and everything, but it’s not pork. A lot of people say what it is, it’s infrastructure spending, it is spending that is stimulative. That’s what the White House says.

{snip}

O’Donnell: Let me get this straight: Republicans want to come out and be against helping people who are unemployed?

Feehery: No, they don’t want to do that, but they…

O’Donnell: But that’s what it sounds like…

Feehery: What they don’t want to is go bankrupt in the off years and that’s why Republican governors are having a hard time with this legislation … the relief is temporary, but the changes are costly forever.

O’Donnell: Well it doesn’t sound clear that the republican party knows exactly what to do quite frankly since there’s this disagreement between the government on what to do. I want to read from the Politico, which has an interesting story today which says: Republicans are hatching a political comeback by dusting off a strategic playbook written nearly two decades ago.

Its themes: Unite against Democrats’ economic policy, block and counter health-care reform and tar them from spending scandals.The key point, a playbook from two decades ago. This is really I guess the grand old party.

Is that really the best Republicans have?

Feehery: Well, hopefully not …

O”Donnell: Is anybody a thinker in that party?

TO ANSWER FOR MR. FEEHERY…Duh NO!

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
9:13 am

Dave R seems to think that his continued rants “prove a point”. Well, they do, Dave R. They prove that you are pointless. You still offer no well thought out response to my post that you attacked with nothing but ranting. Instead, you ranted more. But, you are entertaining. Please continue.

Jay

February 24th, 2009
9:15 am

Then you’d be wrong about that too, Davo. I grew up in a military family with blue-collar parents and worked and paid my own way through college working construction, factory and dock jobs in the summer and flipping burgers during the school year. Wasn’t nothing hippy about it.

Joey

February 24th, 2009
9:15 am

Jay; Two things are a real distraction in both the Monitor’s story and your summary of it.

1. Failing to show total dollars, income or tax, as well as per cent of income for Mr. Buffet.

2. The decision to single out Buffet for the comparision. How about some info on Soros and other very weathy Liberals. And how about for comparision Buffet v. Soros, Speilberg v. Briebart, Gore v. Cheney, the Bush’s v. the Clinton’s, Reid’s family v. Isakson’s family, Newt v. Frank? Make a table of total earning and total income taxes paid.

getalife

February 24th, 2009
9:15 am

You would think that this global depression would smack our friends from the right in their sick heads to see their ideology has failed but think again.

They are still clinging to their failed ideology no matter what he has done to the world.

That ladies and gentlemen is the definition of insanity.

Perhaps these words from their hero Murdoch will make them dwell in reality:

MURDOCH WARNS: NATIONS WILL BE REDEFINED, FUTURES ALTERED :

http://www.drudgereport.com/flashrm.htm

So STFU about your failed ideology kooks.

Citizen of the World

February 24th, 2009
9:16 am

Our capitalist/free enterprise country provides an environment that allows some people, whether through hard work, extraordinary talent, birthright or shear luck, to be or become wealthy. Not everyone can be rich in such a system, but those who are should give a higher percentage back to their country through taxes. And we should all remember that, to some degree, the poor subsidize our wealth. They hard work for not much money, which allows the rest of us to earn more or pay less.

A couple of years ago, Oprah had a show where she took on other people’s jobs for a day. She went right back to Harpo and gave all her employees a raise. Sometime the rich think that if everyone were as smart and hard working as they, they, too, would be rich. But it doesn’t work that way.

All you bootstrappers — why aren’t you earning more? Why don’t you go out tomorrow and get you one of those CEO jobs and start bringing home millions a year? Huh?

Well, it’s just as ridiculous for you to expect the janitor to go out and get him or herself a white collar job making a living wage. Wherever you are on the socio-economic scale is where you are likely to stay.

Most of us working stiffs are just trying to maintain. But the rich can carry more of the tax burden than the rest of us without going under, and they should.

Eric

February 24th, 2009
9:17 am

Ahhhhh…class warfare. Gotta love it. The market has pooped all over Obama’s socialist spending plans, so Jay and co. go back to the ever-popular “rich guys don’t pay enough” card.

One thing you are forgetting…those evil rich people can afford to retire. Raise their taxes too high, and watch them drop out completely.

Example – A guy making $500,000 a year, age 50, might have planned on working 10 more years. That’s 10 years of tax collections on him.

Go ahead and jack up his rates now. You might just make him mad enough to decide “the heck with this, I’m retiring in 5 years instead”…and you net collections over that 10 year period will be lower. Great, you exacted your “pound of flesh” from that nasty rich guy for 5 years, but for the next 5 years you got FAR LESS than you would have if you would have just left the guy alone.

Go ahead, lefties. You won. You have the power. Raise those taxes if it makes you feel better about yourselves. Just remember…the stimulus is YOURS when it fails. And when those higher taxes stifle innovation and further impede long-term prosperity, that will be YOURS too.

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
9:18 am

Some of you are missing Jay’s point. Using Buffet’s situation and comparing it to everyday people distorts the issue.

35% of the income of someone making $16,000 is $5,600. That leaves $10,400 to live on.
35% of someone making $100,000 is $35,000. That leaves $65,000 to live on.

17% of someone making $3 million a year is $510,000. That leaves $2,490,000 to live on.
35% of someone making $3 million is $1,050,000. That leaves $1,950,000 to live on.

They can learn to live without the other $500,000. The rest of us have and we do ok without it.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
9:18 am

Bookman, I don’t think you were raised on a commune. Your parents were probably hardworking common sense folks that made sure you realized that you are on the planet for something other than greed and over-consumption, or maybe, like any intelligent person, you looked around and realized that human society relies on interdependence. And somewhere along the line you may have heard the only commandment of the Great Rabbi, “love one another”.

But it certainly seems like some of your RightWingnutterbutters were raised by wolves.

Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do…

Copyleft

February 24th, 2009
9:20 am

It’s ironic that the Republican Party has become the party of the (mostly poor) South, when they’re so blatant about only looking after the rich.

As President Obama pointed out: “A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.”

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
9:21 am

Yes Eric @ 9:17,

The Democrats are in power so there won’t be any more kicking the can down the road to the next administration.

We will bite the bullet and fix the situation. We will do what 8 years of Republicans wouldn’t: Man Up.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
9:21 am

Sorry to burst your bubble, AmVet, but here’s only ONE of the links I read. Jerk:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-07-01-report_N.htm

Got anything else? Or do you just want to waste your OWN oxygen for a while?

Davo

February 24th, 2009
9:23 am

Something I found interesting about John McCains helicopter question from yesterday…Did anyone know anything about that whole ‘new helicopter for the white house’ deal before hand, because it seemed to me to come out of left field. But, here’s the thing…Obama totally dismantled his attack. Serioulsy, he played that off like he knew it was coming. That really cost McCain, I think. Maybe we get to see ‘Angry McCain’ now that the campaign is over.

Clever dude, our president.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
9:24 am

BDAtlanta, it is not the responsibility of those who you elect to advance your needs and improve your situation. That is YOUR job. Anything less is an abdication of your human rights.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
9:25 am

Well, one “table” of the wealthy is real easy to construct. It’s 52,000 rows long and the lump sum of their US taxes paid on their UBS bank holdings adds up to ZERO. Wow, just imagine if we were all rich and not paying taxes. What a wonderful world it would be.

Fookdat

February 24th, 2009
9:26 am

Bookman. Just because the looney left wants to burden me with the social ills they have encouraged over the last 45 years doesn’t mean I should haul the the weight of their load. The government didn’t have to bribe my parents to act like civilized human beings back in the 50s. It came naturally to them.

lovelyliz

February 24th, 2009
9:26 am

Those in the upper echelon of the economic stratosphere do pay a lot in taxes. The conservatives love to tell us about that. What they never say is that those with the most money also hide the greatest amount of their income from the government. If everyone got to hide the same percentage of his or her income form taxes we would be in even worse trouble than we are now.

Of course the same would be true if wages were taxed at the same rate as capital gains or more apropos whatever scheme is going on that claims the income as capital gains.

SaveOurRepublic

February 24th, 2009
9:30 am

Income tax is un-Constitutional as the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified. There are a litany of “holes” in the income tax. Founded the same year (1913) as the private Federal Reserve, the income tax is also pegged to un-Constitutional fiat currency. Federal Reserve notes are not legitimate money, because the Constitution only permits the GOVERNMENT (not a private Central Bank) to “coin” money, & requires that such money be exchangeable for gold or silver. The fiat bills are instead symbols for use in bartering, & being paid in dollars is not the receipt of taxable income. In this Central Banking (Cartel) system, the IRS serves as the “collection agency” for the private Fed.

http://www.mises.org

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
9:32 am

I think that I actually helped other working stiffs to get ahead when I retired. After all, I had plenty of money already and I’m not the greedy type and when I retired that cleared the way for another person to move up the ladder and make some money and hopefully not get too greedy and the cycle continues. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a little bit for others unless you’re just plain greedy and you think that you can take it with you. It doesn’t work that way.

lovelyliz

February 24th, 2009
9:34 am

*The man who “works for a living” — as opposed to the investor — isn’t creating jobs*

It’s a two way street. Without investors/owners, workers would have a very hard time finding decent work. By the same token, without workers the employers would have no one to create the goods and service they want to sell.

Believe it or not the middle class is important too.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
9:36 am

Jay 9:15

[[and flipping burgers during the school year. Wasn’t nothing hippy about it.]]

So you weren’t a Flippy Hippy?

I just liked the sound of that.

G 7:31

[[The payroll tax that these people (poor) pay is a much larger percentage of their gross income than wealthy tax payers who got the big tax cuts under Bush.]]

The Bush tax cuts were for fed income tax, not payroll (Social Security) tax.

BTW – how do you feel about the Obama Administration’s talk about not taxing (Social Security tax) income between a hundred grand and two hundred fifty grand?

Davo

The helicopter issue was in the Sunday papers and as Press Secretary Gibbs noted, Pres Obama had already had discussions with SecDef Gates. It’s been noted in many other forums, as it’s an example of “buy American” that will essentially have the effect of cancelling the program. Interesting how you saw the exchange. Many saw it as a good-natured interchange with the Pres’s quick wit and a signal from McCain (’we all know the size of the Defense budget,” “the chopper costs as much as Air Force One”) that he’s open to cutting Defense budget programs. McCain’s long been a critic of Defense pork – he earlier derailed a billion-dollar boondoggle (and bucked his own party) to lease (that’s right, lease) AF tankers.

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
9:38 am

Dave R,
You didn’t get what I was saying. I’m standing in a voting booth and I have two guys running for governor to choose between. One of them wants to put a landfill next door to my house and the other one doesn’t.

Do I vote in favor of my situation? Ummm, yeah. Because I can think through the situation.

But the guy who wants to put the landfill next door, wants to do that because he has a rich buddy who would get tax breaks for putting it there. Oh, in that case, if I’m a Republican, I vote him in cause I’ve been duped into thinking the Republicans always put my needs first.

Everyone needs to vote in favor of improving their situation. If they did that we would all be better off. Remember, a rich guy has one vote (unless you live in Illinois!) and a poor guy has one vote. And there are a lot more of us than there are of them. When you promote the common need, everyone gains.

Eric

February 24th, 2009
9:38 am

BDAtlanta, you totally missed my point.

Yes, the guy making $3 million can afford to pay an extra $500,000.

But that guy making $3 million can probably also afford to retire completely. Then how much tax do you get out of him?

Go ahead. Make him mad. Raise his taxes. Watch him drop out and retire sooner than originally planned, and watch your long-term tax collections from him end up lower than if you would have just left him alone.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
9:38 am

SaveOurRepublic

[[Income tax is un-Constitutional as the 16th Amendment was never properly ratified.]]

Didn’t work for Wesley Snipes -

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
9:40 am

Taxpayer, you prove my point about liberals each and every time you fail to defend a post.

A. You can dish it out, but can’t take it.
B. You can call out conservatives/Republicans/rich people for not paying enough taxes, but give your lib leaders a pass when they don’t.
C. You think government is great, but are unwilling to VOLUNTARILY pay any extra to help it during times of economic crisis.

You’re just a two-faced, whiny, under-achiever who hasn’t the guts to answer a direct question put to you, and can never, ever defend a lunatic position you throw out on this blog when called out on it. You don’t know a thing about the Constitution, the FairTax, the role of government, the economy and the free-market system or virtually anything on which you post. You’re a perfect example of the failure of government schools. How am I doing so far?

Man it up, Taxpayer, and tell us how much extra you VOLUNTARILY contributed to your poor, under-fed U.S. Government this year. Tell us why the citizens of Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the nation, can forgo the opportunity to help their state out in tough economic times when their laws allow them to do so. Defend the libs up there who only help out to the tune of 1/20th of one percent of those who can contribute. Defend the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers up there who don’t add a dime to their state, when those few who do make less than $18,000 per year. Tell us all why it should be MY responsibility to pay more because I make more, when you libs, when given a chance, won’t do it yourselves.

Tell us why your whole entire philosophy isn’t bankrupt.

NRB

February 24th, 2009
9:42 am

Here’s an idea, how about the government just spends less money? Why is that NEVER a possibility? Why does all it always have to be about stealing more money from people that happened to do the right things with their money.

And yes Jay, you ARE a communist. It’s pretty much official at this point. You and the rest of the worthless hacks at the AJC.

Jayson

February 24th, 2009
9:44 am

Eric said: “Go ahead and jack up his rates now. You might just make him mad enough to decide “the heck with this, I’m retiring in 5 years instead”…and you net collections over that 10 year period will be lower.”

Right on, Eric!

When the day comes that the libs have no one to depend on but the most non-productive among us, their socialist policies will be exposed as the lose-lose propositions that they are.

Dumb and dependent is no way to go through life.

Dave R

February 24th, 2009
9:45 am

BD, I didn’t miss your point at all. You continue to vote for someone ELSE to look out for your needs.

I vote for those who will stay off my back, or I don’t vote at all. None of the Above is my usual preference.

GodHatesTrash, Superstar

February 24th, 2009
9:48 am

One of Dumbya’s major “accomplishments” was reducing capital gains taxes.

He did it by putting the economy in the toilet, and destroying over a decade’s worth of capital gains.

No capital gains, no taxes.

Destroy family fortunes, and you destroy estate taxes.

Eliminate entitlement programs by bankrupting Social Security and spending trillions on a War on Tare.

And an essentially bankrupt economy inevitably means smaller gummint.

Brilliant strategery.

The war of all against all, a dog eat dog world. Neo-con ideology triumphant.

Redneck Convert

February 24th, 2009
9:49 am

Well, somebody tell this SaveOurRepublic to send all his federal reserve notes up here to me c/o Simpsons Trailer Park, Cumming. Since it ain’t legal money it won’t hurt him none and I sure could use it. Have a good day everybody.

SaveOurRepublic

February 24th, 2009
9:51 am

Paul @ 9:38 am – Correct you are sir. I’m not suggesting folks don’t pay income taxes, only that it’s un-Constitutional & a racket to empower Big Government & the Central Banking Cartel. However, the IRS is like the Mob (my apologies to the Syndicate)…if you don’t pay the “shakedown”, you “pay” via other “means”. ;-)

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
9:58 am

My father in law hated Bush and he was the first one I ever heard say the Bush administration made the Nixon administration look like a bunch of school boys.

He could have voted for Obama but he has some money in the bank and he saw the taxes coming in an Obama administration…. so he voted for McCain.

He voted in favor of his situation. I totally respect that.

Wan’t the game theory situation in the Russell crowe movie (a Brilliant Mind??) trying to prove that when everyone votes in favor of their self interest, everyone wins? But when some don’t vote in their self interest, commonly due to lack of complete information, no one wins.

This incomplete information is what the right wing media outlets push on people – think Hannity, Boortz, etc. They are duping people into voting against their self interest. A guy living in a trailer park or working for minimum wage would not be voting republican if he knew the truth.

mm

February 24th, 2009
9:58 am

Dave R,

You are such a moron. You think you are richer, smarter, and better than me because I voted for a Democrat? You are a fool. I PERSONALLY KNOW THE RICH DO NOT PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES.

SaveOurRepublic

February 24th, 2009
10:01 am

Redneck Convert @ 9:49 am – Touche! The Fed Notes are superficially “good”, but have no intrinsic value (not backed by precious metals). Fiat currency increases the number and severity of boom-bust economic cycles & leads to inflation (& currently is driving us towards hyperinflation).

On that “note”, I’d suggest everyone look towards investing in (taking physical) & taking physical possession of precious metals (numismatic & bullion, etc.). Investments pegged to the fiat dollar will continue to follow the U.S. dollar’s downward spiral.

http://www.mises.org

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
10:02 am

You got the guts to back up that post of your, Dave. I bet you don’t. I bet you are a little coward. Bring it on, Dave. Your rants have got me excited. This is entertainment that I enjoy. What you got, boy?

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
10:03 am

When Oblahma and his merry band of socialists hawk for equality, they are not talking about lifting up the poor.

Nope, their aim is to knock down the rich and make them poor too.

Where’s the “hope” in that?

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
10:03 am

Somene mentioned Wal-Mart so I will rant abit about them.

Did you know they were using tax payer money to offset the cost of their healthcare? They lost a huge lawsuit in California last year or the year before about this.

Correct me if I am wrong here but I believe they had set the deductible for store workers just above the point where it was affordable. The managers would then suggest to workers to get medicare or medicaid instead.

Paul

February 24th, 2009
10:04 am

SaveOurRepublic

That is a good distinction. Thanks.

“Apologies to the Syndicate” – that was funny!

NRB

[[Here’s an idea, how about the government just spends less money? Why is that NEVER a possibility?]]

Because many people want more? Maybe they want a defense contract in their area for jobs so they think the multihundredmillion F22 is a really cool idea? Maybe they want more freeways built to allieviate congestion? Maybe they have a relative dying of a rare disease, so rare it doesn’t make economic sense for the drug companies to create a new pill? Maybe they lost their job and find temporary health insurance costs almost as much as their unemployment check and they have a kid or spouse with MS?

Pres Obama has pledged to go through the budget and get rid of duplicative, wasteful or inefficient programs. Check out the background of his top budget advisors – work in OMB or as a staffer gives him a great head start. But every program has a constituency. And Republicans will scream just as loud and long, and come up with many creative, theoretical justifications, when it’s their program on the chopping block.

I’m willing to let Obama have at it. in fact, I’ll wager you’ll hear something about ‘pay as you go’ in his upcoming speech. Maybe he can undo some of the explosive growth that didn’t get paid for by his predecessor.

AJC/DNC Management

February 24th, 2009
10:09 am

Here’s the genius of the junk science environmental terrorists in action-

The NASA satellite was to orbit 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth and observe how carbon dioxide enters and leaves the atmosphere, helping scientists predict future increases in the ————->main greenhouse gas<————— blamed for global warming. Instead, the satellite fell in the ocean near Antarctica though the mission manager said at no point did the craft pass over land.-Bloomberg

Another 273 Million bites the dust, geez.

And how about the goonies of the left, they can’t even report another of their mindless disasters without lying like pigs, look it up, methane and water vapor are more responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2 is.

When your whole entire world is built on a lie, why even bother with the facts?

Huh, left wingers?

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
10:09 am

BDAtlanta,

I know what you’re saying about Wal-Mart. But, they do have their good and bad side. For one thing, I know several people that work there and get a better wage than they were getting at smaller local stores and they are getting pretty good health insurance coverage at a low cost while they were getting no coverage at their other jobs. Anyway, I’ve read about some of the underhanded things they have done and I don’t like them for that but I have seen that they have actually improved other’s quality of life and I commend them for that. It’s always a mixed bag.

HayJay

February 24th, 2009
10:10 am

Paul

February 24th, 2009
10:14 am

BDAtlanta

[[ when everyone votes in favor of their self interest, everyone wins?]]

I believe the idea is (and there are many, but the one most applicable to your description) , when everyone settles for a less than optimum (for themselves) situation, everyone wins. When everyone holds out for the most optimum solution for themselves, everyone loses.

Look at Social Security. Reps don’t want to raise taxes. Dems do. Dems don’t want to restructure benefits. Reps do. Result – paralysis.

Desired outcome – everyone gives a little. Reps agree to have upper-tier people expose more of their income to Social Security tax (currently it’s capped – you hit a certain income level, no more tax). Dems agree to up the retirement age, phased in over a number of years. The less than optimum agreement for both parties results in progress. Holding out for a complete meeting of your terms means defeat for everyone.
Illustrated by the

DB, Gwinnettian

February 24th, 2009
10:17 am

“Go ahead. Make him mad. Raise his taxes. Watch him drop out and retire sooner than originally planned”

When has this ever actually happened?

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
10:19 am

Dang, Paul. If they keep upping the retirement age to collect Social Security benefits, I’ll never get to retire again and collect it. After all, it’s my money that I paid into that system. It’s not an entitlement, it’s mine and I want it back and I shouldn’t have to wait until I’m dead to get it back. :lol:

TnGelding

February 24th, 2009
10:19 am

What about a tax amnesty? That should bring in at least a trillion bucks.

Tailgater

February 24th, 2009
10:22 am

Paul

February 24th, 2009
10:24 am

Taxpayer

I know, I know. But you’ll be really, really old no matter what, and how can you enjoy anything if you’re old and decrepit?

But you hit the objections from both sides. Ever taken a look at what average life expectancy was when SS started and people began taking benefits? Not long at all – not decades, like now. And you hit the distinction between paying in to qualify and ‘my money.’ You pay in, you qualify. But current payers pay for current recipients. It’s an insurance program. You die now, your wife and kids get a benefit, likely far more than you paid in.

Hey, there’s an idea – all the people who say “I paid in, I want it” – fine, give it to them. Then have the checks stop when the amount they received equals what they paid in. Can even kick in some for interest. That’d be fair, right?

G

February 24th, 2009
10:26 am

Republicans are richer than Democrats, there’s no way around it.

Help comes in different flavors, and the type of help one favors is a function of one’s desire to establish or maintain power over others. One type of help is dependency-oriented — this type of help serves to maintain relative differences in power and status within a community by providing “things” to others — gifts of food, money, aid, etc.

The other type is autonomy-oriented — this type of help seeks to reduce status differences by providing education, training, advice that can help the recipients to gain skills and knowledge that allow them to provide for themselves and thus, ultimately, to no longer require that help.

I would venture to propose that Republicans are comfortable with making their charitable contributions because they see these as ways of establishing and maintaining their status. Their generous gifts to the poor benefit them directly, through the rewards of public recognition and tax deductions, and more subtly, by maintaining their status as the “haves,” and assuring that the have-nots, the recipients of their beneficence, remain mired in their subservient positions. Indeed, they are expected to be grateful for these “gifts.”

Democrats, in contrast, are more likely to see governmental programs, directed at providing long-term support and training, intended to provide stability and to improve the lives of their recipients, as the more appropriate way to confront and reduce the inequalities of our society.

Obamamania

February 24th, 2009
10:29 am

Samuel Vaknin, Ph.D. Dr. Vaknin has written extensively about narcissism.
Dr. Vaknin States”

I must confess I was impressed by Sen. Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first, I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident – a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness, but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words.

Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi “religious” impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming.

Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects. Barack Obama is a narcissist.

Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes “Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist.”

Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens.

Vaknin says that Obama’s language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People’s Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children – was also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They ceated a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom.

When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don’t know it until it is too late. One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. “Obama’s early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations,” says Vaknin.

“Mixed-race marriages were even less common, then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then, his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia , a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white) grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995.”

One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing Personality that it overwhelms those around them.

Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents.

Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention.

If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The “present” vote is a safe vote. No one can criticize him if things go wrong.

Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.

Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him a lot longer than expected and at the end it evolved into, guess what? His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the book “Dreams from My Father.” Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist, no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself?

Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama’s lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month. A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who has raised nearly half a billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? Because, his brother cannot be used for his ascent to power.

A narcissist cares for no one but himself. This election is like no other in the history of America . The issues are insignificant compared to what is at stake.

What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world?

I hate to sound alarmist, but one is a fool if one is not alarmed.

Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others…They are simply self serving and selfish.

Obama evidences symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw.

Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them treacherous.

Today, the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party. The great majority of blacks have also decided to vote for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven. This is racism, pure and simple. The downside of this is that if Obama turns out to be the disaster – I predict he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama’s detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites.

The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions will increase to levels never seen since the turbulent 1960’s. Obama will set the clock back decades… America is the bastion of freedom.

The peace of the world depends on the strength of America , and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and virtually all sworn enemies of America – are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House.

America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president.

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
10:33 am

Paul, you have gone and hurt this old senile — am I senile, I can’t seem to recall — dude with that talk about the facts of life. Now, I have less to look forward to…and those projections of how much money I’m going to get back once I reach Social Security retirement age…what am I to make of those numbers…are they the proverbial carrot on the stick, something to keep my hope falsely elevated, nothing to truly look forward to. The horror of it all. You have burst my bubble. I may need Medicaiding.

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
10:34 am

Hehe.

Steven Colbert said “evidently Oscar winners have been outsourced to India, too.”

By the way, what time does Obama part the waters tonight?

Whoopee G

February 24th, 2009
10:37 am

Thanks for visiting from San Diego, Jeff with a G.

The dirt that is covering your corpse can be found in Cali-for-knee-deep-in-debt due to liberal entitlement programs.

BDAtlanta

February 24th, 2009
10:41 am

Most of us have learned to live without 35% of our paycheck.

A certain segment of our population can only pay in 17% of their paychecks. They need the other 18% for something else?

That’s fair? They are paying only half of what they could be if they were like the rest of us?

Maybe the police and fire dept should only answer 50% of their calls?

Taxpayer

February 24th, 2009
10:44 am

I’m just loving the things that the Obama administration more and more. Can’t you just feel the love in the air. I mean, for example, Obama has promised to reach out to those poor people in Gaza and help them get back on their feet by giving them $900 million in aid. Then, there’s the plans to improve our relations with Cuba. That’s long overdue even though I hear that the Cuban cigars are nothing compared to what they used to be. Not that I would smoke one anyway. Yuk. But, Rush probably could start up a good trade with them.