Obama seeks to punish rich

July 13, 2011


“Nothing succeeds like success.” — Alexandre Dumas, 1802-1870

If new millionaires or billionaires were created every time President Obama and his fellow liberals disparage “millionaires and billionaires,” there would be far more of them than there are today. And that would be a good thing because it would mean more people are succeeding.

This president, more than any other in my lifetime, seems determined to punish and discourage success and the hard work, risk-taking and values by which one must live in order to attain it. He blasts people who fly on private planes, though he flies on Air Force One, the ultimate private plane, which taxpayers pay for. He doesn’t like yachts, or specifically the people who can afford to buy them. And yet the people who make the private planes and yachts have jobs precisely because others have achieved a level of success that enables them to afford such luxury.

Recall during the George H.W. Bush administration when congressional Democrats persuaded Bush to sign a bill increasing the luxury tax on yachts in exchange for a promise — later broken — to reduce spending. The result was fewer people bought yachts, boat builders were laid off and Congress later repealed the tax hike. Don’t liberal Democrats ever learn economic principles, or does their class warfare trump all else?

People who envy the successful won’t receive any of the money higher taxes might bring in. Congress will spend it long before it “trickles down” to the poor and even if the poor did get some of the largess from the wealthy, when the money runs out they would likely remain poor because their attitude toward “entitlements,” rather than wealth building would remain unchanged. Isn’t that the story of the failed welfare system? Welfare mostly subsidizes people in poverty, helping few escape from it.

In their hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich, or at least self-sustaining, but this president never talks about how they might achieve that goal. Instead, he criticizes those who made the right choices and now enjoy the fruits of their labor. Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their businesses.

President Calvin Coolidge, who is receiving another look by some historians, said in 1919, “The great aim of our government is to protect the weak, to aid them to become strong.” See the difference? President Obama apparently thinks the weak and poor can never become strong and rich without government, though government has a poor track record of aiding people in either endeavor.

Another Coolidgeism: “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”

Pulling down the strong seems to preoccupy this administration and congressional Democrats. Is that unfair? Where, then, can one find a champion of achievement, risk-taking and capitalism among the Democratic leadership? Many of them are rich; they just don’t want too many of the rest of us to become rich. If we do, we might not need government, or them. And we might just vote Republican.

There is something deeply repulsive, even unAmerican, about this war on achievers. We once held them in higher regard because they built and sustained the nation. What do the unsuccessful produce?

Wealth is a sign of achievement, a reward for risks taken. And being poor is not a crime, unless those in poverty refuse to strive to overcome it.

That’s the message this president should be broadcasting, not one that trashes success and promotes class division and envy of the successful.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email address is tmseditors@tribune.com


Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

What's missing from this national deficit debate?

Removing the large tax dollar subsidies to very wealthy USA corporations across the board aka corporate welfare!

If all city and state governments plus the federal government would cut corporate welfare and invest this money in IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL :

  1. many of us would be saving thousands of dollars annually

  2. big business and small business could operate for less

  3. all governments and school districts could cut operating expenses substantially

  4. employed blue and white collar workers would be healthier thus more productive

  5. all humans would have necessary healthcare 24/7

  6. in general OUR cost of living would decrease across the board

  7. New industry,small business and jobs would develop

Thus our tax dollars would be invested in our local communities providing a jump start to economic growth that has been squandered as one result of corp welfare.

With corporations routinely defaulting on their pension promises, more and more workers must rely on their individual wealth to make up the difference. The stock market collapse at the turn of the millennium wiped out much of the financial wealth of middle class Americans, and the collapse of the housing bubble has wiped out much of their remaining wealth.

Making any cuts to Social Security now, either by raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, would have a huge impact on their remaining retirement income and are not necessary to “save the system.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Republicans love big spending . They have been doing it for 31 years and they love Big Government such as Gov Brownback.

The debt limit will be raised. The republicans have always done it in the past.

It depends which party is in office does the matter come up. It's not that big of a deal.

Why? Because so so so many very smart rich people and countries have invested in america. No one not even repubs want to jeopardize this jewel.

Not only that:

The neoconservative PAC aka Chamber of Commerce is now demanding the increase

Wall Street investments would go up in smoke

Tons of business owners would go under

Millions upon millions more would lose jobs

Millions more of retirement plans would go up in smoke

Tens of Millions more would be without medical insurance.

Millions more would lose homes

In general it is safe to say the USA economy would go up in smoke in which case China and Japan would become the new owners of the USA.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

By Doug Orr

The opponents of Social Security will stop at nothing in their long crusade to destroy the most efficient retirement system in the world. Opponents have taken two tracks to attack Social Security.

The first is to claim the system as it is will fail, and the second is to claim that privatization is a better way to provide for retirement security. The first claim was the favorite from 1935 to about 2001.Then the privatization claim became the vogue. Now the first is back on the table.

With corporations routinely defaulting on their pension promises, more and more workers must rely on their individual wealth to make up the difference. The stock market collapse at the turn of the millennium wiped out much of the financial wealth of middle class Americans, and the collapse of the housing bubble has wiped out much of their remaining wealth.

Making any cuts to Social Security now, either by raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, would have a huge impact on their remaining retirement income and are not necessary to “save the system.” In fact, to make the most of the modifications currently being proposed by Obama's commission would be the height of folly.

More info not rhetoric: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

Steve Jacob 6 years, 9 months ago

Better to punish the rich then the poor. "QE2" helped investors while raising gas prices which hurts the poor more.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Clearly 20 years of this plan proves that repubs are NOT the answer:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

  2. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion) http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  3. Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  4. Bush and Henry Paulson blew the $700 billion of bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

And proves that tax cuts do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs.

  1. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Woo hoo! Haven't seen this set of links in at least a day! Have you posted this over 1000 times yet, merrill?

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

If you have nothing of content to add or defense of argument, the low sink to base personal attack. snap delivers garbage on time.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 9 months ago

You would know, have you complained about it over 1000 times yet?

Don Whiteley 6 years, 9 months ago

I've been a Republican for 40 years and my hat's off to Obama for wanting to increase taxes on the wealthy. The ultra-right wingers have taken over the Republican Party, leaving no one there who represents the middle-of-the-road conservatives. Of the trillions the government has provided industry in the way of incentives, loans, and bailouts since 2008, almost none of it has gone into R&D to create new products or into the creation of new jobs. Instead, senior executives took our tax money and put it into their own pockets through astronomical bonuses. It's time not just for the government, but for all Americans to stand up and say "that's enough". Tax them; tax them at the highest possible rates; and leave no hole for them to wiggle out of. If the government is asking seniors and low income earners to take cuts in benefits, the wealthy should have no free ride in bringing our government back to a sound financial basis.

gkerr 6 years, 9 months ago

Distant_voice, Look closely at Obama's plan to tax the millionaires and billionaires. It includes millions of unmillionaires who make 200 thou per or as family 250 thou per. This increases taxes at a time of unprecedented gloom and economic stagnation one key to job creation which is small business owners and their families. Why does he do so in a time when even he is on record as saying it is wrong and counter productive to do so? Why does he fly in the face of his own advice and the advice of economists of all stripes except Krugmann?

He does so to maintain the predicate of his own fanatic base that cherished base of left wingers, socialists, agitators, who demand big government get bigger, always grow, in order to keep the individual in her place. He does so to get reelected by those who want to perpetually busy themselves with ordering others about by robbing Peter to pay Paul and themselves.

No. I suggest that the mentality of Republicans and Democrats alike that believes what you believe and ignores the consequences of high taxation redistributionism ala Europe results, Always, in financial ruin. Gkerr.

Victor Dawson 6 years, 9 months ago

I would like to have a 200 thou problem! I don't know anyone who is making 200 thou or 250 thou a family that's hurting. Please stop the craziness. The whole idea that these folks are suffering blows my mind. How many of you defending this nonesense make 200+ thou and is having a problem making it through these tough times? Probably, the same people who have health insurance and are complaining about having to have it by 2014! Doesn't make sense! Oh, BIG Government intruding into these poor people's life! Give me a break!

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. $250K for an individual is plenty, and a little more taxes won't kill you if you're making that much or more in 2011.

If you are making that much or more, then I would love to hear how it's going to cause you more harm than, say, a senior who stands to see a cut in Medicare, or someone on disability who stands to see a cut in Medicaid, or a struggling family who stands to see a cut in the food stamp program.

Please, if you're out there, enlighten us to your plight.

There is one exception. Those small businesses who file as individuals. For these people, their businesses can often bring in at least $250K, sometimes substantially more, while most of the money goes back into the business, and they take very little home with them.

Not sure if there would be any exemption for situations like this but there certainly should be.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

I believe the $250K cutoff would be net income, not gross, so those folks shouldn't get hurt.

Katara 6 years, 9 months ago

The $250k for businesses is on profit.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks - that's the right way to think of it.

Abdu Omar 6 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Kerr, your tirade doesn't take into account that high dollar earners pay NO taxes. If they created more jobs and hired more employees, they could deduct the taxes paid on behalf of the employees, so the argument you make is the opposite. I have been done taxes for years and know that certain tax breaks are inherent in the hiring of employees. The Repug's point of view is not true. If we taxed the rich who make in excess of $250K we would be gaining a lot more revenue and they could write off taxes paid for employees.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

and amen distant_voice! A pragmatic conservative is so refreshing.

whats_going_on 6 years, 9 months ago

props for having your own voice and looking beyond party lines.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

"And being poor is not a crime, unless those in poverty refuse to strive to overcome it."

Wrong. Refusing to strive to overcome poverty is not a crime, just as choosing to be homeless is not a crime either. There are those who choose to have a very simple life, although the exact reasons for their choice may not be clear to others.

That would be criminalizing anyone with an income of less than what U.S. Census Bureau came up with as the definition of poverty, which is an income of less than $11,344 per year for a single person.

Even if it were a crime to have an annual income of less than $11,344 per year, physical handicaps or mental illness would most likely be a successful defence from any legal action anyway.

There are some people that want to maintain a simple lifestlye, and that can be maintained at some level on an income less than $11,344 per year for a single person.

What does Mr. Cal Thomas expect the government to do? Go to all the fast food places that hire part time workers at close to minimum wage in the city in which they choose to live, and arrest them because their employers do not pay them more?

Or maybe, arrest their employers for failing to pay them enough?

camper 6 years, 9 months ago

I just cannot comprehend how some thought during the 2008 election cycle that a 3% tax increase (36% to 39%) applied only to income over 250k is somehow punishment. The Republicans argued that this would hurt job creators, and that the economy is sluggish because these job creators feared this increase. Well now that the Bush cuts have been extended, the economy is still sluggish....yet the Rebublicans continue to make the same argument by opposing any government revenue increases (taxes) that will help reduce our defecit.

And they are playing games with the debt ceiling now too. They always increased this during the Bush administration. No problemo. They take advantage of the American public because most of us don't realize that the 1) debt ceiling and 2) budget are different issues. The debt ceiling merely says "the US is going to pay back the money it has borrowed".

And talk about hurting the rich. Lets talk about hurting people struggling to get by. If this debt ceiling will not be increased. It is highly likely that bond interest rates will increase. This almost certainly will throw the economy back into a recession...very possibly worse than before. This makes makes me very resentful that they are playing risk with so much at stake. Terrible.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

If the debt ceiling is NOT raised,we'll all need Chinese lessons.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

And we'll need to get used to using Renminbis instead of Dollars.

But, on the bright side, if you ever travel to China, you wouldn't need to convert any of your currency.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 9 months ago

"taking our medicine now", sure Dr. Liberty, jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge will cure my headache. I think I'll get a second opinion.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 9 months ago

As if those are my only choices. That's the problem with a world where everything is black or white. There are thousands of solutions to the problem we find ourselves in and you're framing the discussion as if there were only two. A small raise to the debt limit, coupled with an small increase in taxes, coupled with a small decrease in government spending and what you have is neither a full sprint towards the abyss nor do you slam the brakes on the economy as a whole. Explore the spectrum Liberty, there's nuance throughout the universe. Black and white is so limiting.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

But for some, the extremes are attractive - they have a sort of ideological purity or something.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm not accusing you Liberty. I'm just pointing out the obvious. I'm not the only one. Many have accused you of being dogmatic. Where do they come up with such a notion? From your posts. That's O.K., you're certainly entitled to your opinion. But what you can't do is frame the discussion as simply your way or the wrong way. But as long as you refrain from the occasional insult (I would think that your smarter than that), I'll continue to look forward to reading your ideas. Peace.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

But Liberty, we're already in a "borrow from Jack to pay Jill" scenario.

Tell me how refusing to borrow any more money from Jack is going to in any way appease Jill?

Not only will Jill still want her money, the interest will go up.

Take our medicine? Alright, fine. But let's be careful not to OD shall we?

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

Nobody is punishing anybody, the far right has to distort everything because they are incapable of rational discourse.

Rolling back the Bush tax cuts is not punishment. It simply restores levels to what they were during the Clinton administration when the rich did just fine.

If the Bush cuts were job saving, job creating stimulus, we'd not have bled jobs throughout his entire administration.

The right is about ideology, not substance, posturing and photo-ops, not constructive action.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 9 months ago

And their enabling propagandists in the corporate press should be recognized for their traitorous assistance.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

"has to distort everything" + "about ideology, not substance, posturing and photo-ops, not constructive action." = Politics as usual.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

In other news: "...For example, if you listened to the president’s news conference today, a theme we are by now wearily familiar with was repeated with numbing repetition: Obama, according to Obama, is quite simply better, much better, than those around him. He is a man of pure motives and unparalleled reasonableness, extraordinary intellectual depth, and unsurpassed seriousness. Others are driven by narrow self-interest, by the political calendar, by outside pressures. They are too ignorant or too weak to do the right thing, the good thing, the hard thing. Not Obama. Members of Congress, from both parties, are trapped by their own ideological predispositions. Obama, according to Obama, is not. He is free from bias, able to see reality whereas others merely see shadows. It is not easy to be Obama in a fallen world..." http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/07/11/obama%E2%80%99s-journey-through-vanity-fair/

Scott Drummond 6 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps he should just give up like Yertle the Turtle and the Boner did yesterday.

Wonder how the teabaggers are enjoying their view way down the river.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 9 months ago

I suspect there are more than a few Tea Party Americans who sent republicons to DC to do more than give in to this President.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Missing the connection there.

A "reward for risks taken" doesn't apply to inherited wealth.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

"it takes no skill to manage money"

That is absolutely true. However, it does take skill to manage it well, rather than poorly.

I personally know a man who had an income of over $350,000 for several years. After about a decade, he was $750,000 in debt.

It takes skill to do that!

Grundoon Luna 6 years, 9 months ago

You forget that in addition to community organizer he was also president of the Harvard Law Review, a Constitutional Scholar at one of the country's most prestigious universities, and a state and US senator. He also turned down a lucrative finance career in favor of public service. Are you ingnorant of these facts or just an @$$clown? Probably the latter. Meh!

And, yeah, the wealth needs to be distributed more fairly because the oligarchy has been stacking the debt against the middle class for decades. If tax cuts for the rich were really the "rising tide that lifs all boats" we'd have been swimming in jobs rather than hemorrhaging them from 2002-2008.

Rasing taxes on the wealthiest of Americans is not punishment. They should pay the most because they reap the most benenfits, not to mention their use and exploitation of resources and infrastructure far exceeds that of the middle class and poor, so really they're by far the greater beneficiaries. The middle class and poor have seen thier incomes stagnate for 30 years now. Y'all like to dog Jimmy Carter? Well, there was more job creation under Carter in his 4 years than Bush 41 and 43 in their 12 years.

Paste on, Merrill!! Goddess love ya!!

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years, 9 months ago

How is returning to the tax rates of 15 years ago "punishment?"

If tax revenues are now the lowest in generations as percentage of GDP, why would raising them on the top 1% be so bad?

Don't the top 1% have enough already...shouldn't they contribute more? The middle class is shrinking. Real wages have been stuck for 30 years.

FACTS don't lie, but Rednecks (aka, "Republicans") do.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 9 months ago

Why on earth do people think the top 1% contribute products and services? Why on earth do people think the top 1% create jobs? BUSINESSES creates jobs. The rich themselves don't.

Grundoon Luna 6 years, 9 months ago

Elvis H. Presley!! We pay for this stuff! They are not "contributing" they are selling those things and profitting from it! If they hire more people it is to increase sales volume to make more money! And to make that money they exploit resources and infrastructure! Stop acting like making those things available for public consumption is a maganimous act!

Grundoon Luna 6 years, 9 months ago

Stone age? Talk about hyperbole! Your avarice is nothing short of astonishing. You're like a 2-year old screaming, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" And you have the nerve to call someone else a fool. Pull your head out, dude.

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years, 9 months ago

How about this:

Make sure the payroll tax applies to ALL income, with no upper limit. Why should it be cut off at a magic $106,000?

Medicare should not be available to those who make more than $250,000 a year in retirement.

Take those two steps, and we'll be a long way towards fixing the entitlements problem. Oh, wait, that would be a tax increase, and those are no longer allowed, for some reason, even though we have the lowest tax revenues in generations as a percentage of GDP.

But, in Redneck World, nothing makes sense....

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

Sure. No SS, and no other benefit paid for by the government.

I mean, we could take away your future Medicare, your current police and fire protection, take away your protection by national security and coast guard, make sure that the only Internet you have is a private network created by your own network standards (no HTTP or TCP/IP for you), that the only infrastructure is one you've either made for yourself or paid a private organization to use, make sure that all of your employees and any other person from who you benefit by conducting a transaction was privately educated.... and a bunch of other practically infeasible measures that would require a tremendous suspension of disbelief....

... but how would we get you to realize the negative impact of no social safety net for your fellow community members? How would we make sure that the result of your refusing to contribute to the society in which you live truly comes back to you in all its Libertarian glory? That's a thought process that's got me stumped.

Is it possible for Libertopia to exist in the US today (other than simply inside your imaginative head, that is)?

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

again, Liberty confuses pragmatism with zealotry.

Liberty incorrectly assumes that anyone who denounces his ridiculousness somehow worships the US government in its current form.

Liberty can't seem to fathom that sometimes, a national standard is better than a disparate, competing marketplace. In Liberty's mind, the disparate, competing marketplace is the best situation for all things... including highways.

It appears that Liberty will never allow himself to accept any possible shortcoming that his Libertopia might exhibit, which is only possible because his Libertopia will never exist to exhibit them.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

The straw man argument that you yourself are constantly making about others, myself included, is that whenever we routinely reject your fan-boy claims of what a strictly Libertarian society would look like, we are all somehow worshiping our current political and economic systems.

For instance, if I argue that taxation is not theft, you falsely assume that I think all current taxation is necessary. If I argue that one regulation lends itself to common sense, you accuse me of supporting all regulation regardless of context.

That is the definition of straw man. Your assertion that I, and others, are wholly devoted to the current system as is, is simply not true. But by insisting that we are, it makes it easier for you to spin it around and make it look ridiculous, while at the same time, taking the focus away from defending your own, somewhat extreme positions.

For a long time, I interpreted your tendency to do this as arrogance. But the more that you turn tail and run away shouting "straw man" over your shoulder, I'm beginning to think that you suffer form intellectual cowardice, unwilling to engage your opposition in a meaningful debate by refusing to acknowledge that it has any merit.

I dare you to prove me wrong someday, and suggest an even possible negative consequence of taking the necessary steps to implement your ideal, Libertarian society.

I won't hold my breath.

Just keep in mind that until you do, you will forever be trapped in intellectual pubescence, wondering amid all your adolescent angst why so many people just can't understand you.

handley 6 years, 9 months ago

All I ask is that big business pay their fair share of taxes. It should not all come from the middle class.

Sally Piller 6 years, 9 months ago

"And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." Cal thinks Jesus was just kidding.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

It's funny that Cal quotes Coolidge as saying the government should "aid the weak to become strong" and then criticizes Obama for the same idea, as if it's a different one.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Read the column again - maybe you'll understand the point.

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

"This president, more than any other in my lifetime, seems determined to punish and discourage success and the hard work, risk-taking and values by which one must live in order to attain it"

Really? I'm pretty sure Cal was alive during Eisenhower's presidency when the upper tax bracket was 91%, and surely he remembers when it was 70% under Nixon and Kennedy. I'm far younger than him, and I remember when it was 50% under Reagan. And yet, we still had plenty of hard work, risk-taking, and rich people during that time. Oh woe is me, Obama would have it go back to just under 40%.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

Funny how Cal neglects to mention that the tax burden on the wealthy is lower now than any time since WWII, while the relative wealth of the top 1% has dramatically increased over the last 30 years.

But including such facts would have made his meaningless screed seem pretty stupid.

tomatogrower 6 years, 9 months ago

Aww. Poor rich. Lower taxes and more money. Cal feels so sorry for them. What to do with the money? Hmmm, let's see. Create jobs? Yes. I'll buy another huge house and hire a few maids and gardners. And I don't have to pay them much, because they are so desperate for a job, and they can always get food stamps. And I can have another baby. All the cool celebs are having babies right now. Then I can hire a nanny, creating another job. Aren't I so generous? I want my own reality show now, so everyone can see all the wonderful things I have, and pretend like someday they will live like I do. Drool and have some cake peasants. Oh, I mean thanks to all you little people. I couldn't have gotten here without you slaving away in my factories, and kissing my behind. Let my praise trickle down upon you.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

That was the relative wealth of the top 1% - do you understand what that means?




just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

Why, yes, the only measure of quality of life is the availability of cell phones that let jobless, homeless kids chat-- right up till they run out of minutes.

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

I hear they use a lot of cell phones in places like Somalia, too. No, really. It's proof that libertarianism works for realz, man.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

Love to see you do the same with gold. Kthxbye.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

"bozo is confusing dollars with real wealth."

Imagine that. Thinking of dollars as a symbol of wealth.

Try telling the clerk at the grocery store that you won't be paying with "dollars," instead you would like to exchange some "real wealth" for your food, and then show them your cell phone. See if that gets the kids fed.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Try to facilitate trade without dollars. That was the point, and obviously not that difficult to grasp. Try to enjoy the "wealth" of modern life without having dollars or shiny metal. Good luck with that.

I just love your condescending tone.

Condescending... you know, to talk down to.

You take yourself so seriously. What a hoot.

tomatogrower 6 years, 9 months ago

Cal is confused. First he hates the rich, then he hates the poor. Read this article of his from earlier this year.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Hmmm. From The Firesign Theater:

"And now the sun is going down!"

"No, no, my boy. You are confused. The horizon is moving up."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

"From The Firesign Theater:"

"We're all bozos on this bus."

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe economists should be in charge of economic policy, rather than politicians.

tomatogrower 6 years, 9 months ago

Haven't you heard? Politicians know more about anything. Experts are stupid. They know more about education, about business, about how to control flooding.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

OH for christ sake....Obama isn't trying to punish the rich, he's trying to balance the budget. What the heck are the rich gonna do when this country's economy collapses because of insolvency? I'll tell you what they're gonna do, move out of the country. They're rich and can do that. These rich patriots can't be bothered with paying a few percent more in order to help the country? Paying a few percent more in taxes will bankrupt them? They won't be able to afford $5000 tee shirts or 4 houses? W.T.F.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

The Bush tax cuts will creat jobs! Riiiight, they've been in place for a decade now and the jobs have yet to surface. Don't believe the hype, sheeple.

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe because they're not in charge of passing the budgets? That's what Congress does. And if Congress doesn't do their job, he has no money from which to write those social security checks, no matter what the Faux News Network might say about it. The money must go to creditors first.

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

I completely agree with you there. The dems squandered their majority for two years and thought they'd win political points by forcing the repubs to vote for the ceiling hike. How did that work out for them?

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

Does he write them out of thin air? The money is going to creditors now, and the coffers will be empty on August 3.

"The Bipartisan Policy Center studied Treasury Department receipts and expenditures for August 2009 and 2010 and determined that the government likely would not have enough revenue to pay the full $23 billion payment to Social Security recipients due on Aug. 3."

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey sheep! Think for yourselves. Think critically, sheeple. Question authority. Stop wasting you life on reality TV and beer.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago


  1. I said no such thing.

  2. I never claimed to have a perfect solution.

  3. Thomas Jefferson got it right: ‘Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.’ And teaching children how to be thoughtful and effective dissenters is the highest form of education.”

  4. I I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror; I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways. And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer, If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place) Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change (Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change) (Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Obama is a wealthy man. I suppose he wants to punish himself then. Now I'm confused. Crazy and confused is no way to live life.

somedude20 6 years, 9 months ago

Bullocks!!!! The rich have been using record tax breaks for themselves for the better part of a decade while the rest of us have been digging in our pockets. The repubs want to end all social welfare and that has been their goal for a long long time. They do not care about the sick, the poor, the elderly and people who do not believe in their version of god and the will do anything to screw over the ones they hate only to protect the ones with the money that they love

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

There was a balanced budget and the debt was stabalized under Clinton. Under Bush, tax cuts were put into place that were primarily aimed at helping the wealthy, and deficits and debt soared. Obama hasn't done as he promised and caved into Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts, and the deficit and debt continue to soar. Hopefully he is serious in wanting to end the cuts now.

If the cuts are removed, the highest rate will rise to 39%, and this is before loopholes and write-offs. Under Reagan that rate was 50%. How exactly is 39% horrible for billionares, but 50% under Reagan means Reagan is a superhero to conservatives and Obama is the devil? I've checked the math, and indeed, 50% tax rate is higher than 39%.

The fact that middle class Republicans fall for this nonsense simply boggles the mind. "In their hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich ..." That is what someone like Cal sells to the masses, that you can become rich, so you better keep taxes low. The amazing thing is that people fall for it.

Finally, if the tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs, where are the jobs? Corporations are seeing record profits, but they aren't hiring. The tax cuts do not create jobs. It is a fallacy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

"How exactly is 39% horrible for billionares, "

In Republican-land, if you're rich, too much is never enough. If you're poor (or middle class,) too little is always too much.

tbaker 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm not so sure the President wants to "punish" anyone; I simply believe he is a statist. I think he feels the federal government is what makes the United States a great country - not it's people. I think he does not believe the foundation of the country should be built on the principals of self-reliance and individual freedom and liberty. I think he wants to use government to try and guarantee an equal outcome in life for everyone. I think he see's "rich" people as a means to this end. He takes from them and gives unto the federal government who then picks winners and losers and transfers the money accordingly. You can hear this philosophy in how he talks. The other day when he used scare tactics about social security checks not going out on time if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Now he knows very well these checks will go out, as does the sycophantic media, and the dems in congress but that doesn't matter. The man is truly classless and a perfect example of why social security should be privatized. He acts like the money is his. He acts like the federal government is somehow entitled to it. He forgets - Americans citizens themselves are sovereign - not the government. He simply will not accept that government spending does not work. It does not foster a climate of economic prosperity, particularly in our private market. PrezBO will never accept the idea that the economy does not thrive when the government is making the economic choices.

tbaker 6 years, 9 months ago

So you have no point? You just blowing off some steam then? Regurgitating whose rhetoric? The republicans just floated an idea that would give the president unilateral authority to raise the debt limit. How lame is that? Theres no rhetoric here Agno. The math is pretty simple. The President wants to spend a $1. The treasury only collects 60 cents in revenue, so he wants to keep on borrowing the other 40 cents like we've been doing for a long time and run up the debt even more. Like a lot of people, I don't think we need to borrow and spend the other 40 cents, we should cut 40 cents worth of government instead and stop adding to the debt. We do that, and theres plenty of money to send out the social security checks. The idea the US defaults on anything assumes we refuse to cut spending. Everything thinking person knows this. The problem is the president and his ilk believe this 40 cents worth of deficit spending is essential becuase - like I said - they believe in government, not people. The idea of closing entire cabinet-level agencies to make up this deficit is just something they will not do. This doesn't change the fact it must be done.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

They'll just cut those benefits.

And, then we'll spend at least as much money dealing with increases in crime.

tbaker 6 years, 9 months ago

  1. When have I supported insane government spending - from ANY administration? Bush added a ton to the problem. I'm not a republican.

  2. Who said anything about cutting blindly?

  3. Yes, Federal workers will end up being terminated. I feel bad for them. I feel worse for the people who have to pay their salaries.

  4. On top of the fact not one school of economic thought promotes raising taxes in this economy, like I said before, you could raise taxes on people making over $250K p/yr to 100% and STILL wouldn't make up even half of this year's $1.23T deficit. Face it: The US has a SPENDING problem.

Luke Sapp 6 years, 9 months ago

trickle down sounds like being peed on. those poor rich white males are so nice and they always get flack for building their wealth on the backs of the poor.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

This is possibly the most daft column that Krauthammer has ever written. Just savor some of these beauties:

"This president, more than any other in my lifetime, seems determined to punish and discourage success and the hard work, risk-taking and values by which one must live in order to attain it."

"He blasts people who fly on private planes, though he flies on Air Force One, the ultimate private plane, which taxpayers pay for." -You must mean the auto CEOs who flew in on private planes to testify about why their companies were in financial trouble.

"He doesn’t like yachts, or specifically the people who can afford to buy them." -???

"There is something deeply repulsive, even unAmerican, about this war on achievers." -Yeah, I read "Atlas Shrugged", too.

"Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their businesses." -So, any tax on the rich is punishment?

"Wealth is a sign of achievement, a reward for risks taken." -True, for some like Bill gates and Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs and Ronald Reagan. For others, wealth is a sign of being born into a wealthy family (like Kennedys and Bushs).

This is probably the most duplicitous, daft, and vacuous column ever penned by the Krauthammer. It is Palin-esque in its humor.

Grundoon Luna 6 years, 9 months ago

Ayn Rand, the most extreme of narcicists, came to American from Russia and was employed as a Hollywood screenwriter but inspite of that she has become the darling of conservatives for Atlas Shrugged. Her theory of objectivism, of which they are so enamoured, is just that - a theory. Has this theory held up to any kind of scientific scrutiny? No!! Leave it to conservative to prop up a piece of fiction and promote it as good public policy.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Interestingly, Ms. Rand, despite her philosophy of rational self-interest and objectivism, was a smoker (I believe she died of lung cancer) and loved Charlie's Angels.

People are always much more interesting than their philosophies.

chootspa 6 years, 9 months ago

She also claimed social security and medicare to pay for that self-induced illness. I'm not so sure about "enlightened," but she sure did have "self interest" down.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

That is because it was written by Cal Thomas. For him, it is typical.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

"Nothing succeeds like success"


"How do you get richer in a down economy? Be rich already."

Seriously, The millionaire Cal Thomas's head is so far up the Conservative Media Machine's a that I can't tell where their st ends, and his vomit begins.

This article does nothing but stoke the frenzied flame of "blame it all on the Obama administration, and then off with their heads". It does nothing to look at the situation from a pragmatic point of view.

He looks at the current budget deal before the Teapublicans and sees only the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy and closing of tax loopholes that have allowed the richest to prosper at unprecedented levels since the financial crisis was realized, and sees it as a declaration of war by the administration on the "rich" (i.e. himself).

Forget the fact that those increases in tax revenues are an attempt to offset some of the huge cuts to social programs that will have a negligible effect (if any effect at all) on the wealthiest Americans, and yet affect low income Americans across the board.

Forget seeing it for what it is.... an attempt to compromise.

What rational people are coming to realize, and what Teapublican politicians refuse to acknowledge publicly is this: This recession has not treated all US citizens and companies the same. A majority of middle income individuals and medium sized businesses have suffered to some degree. Many low income individuals and small businesses have suffered greatly. But a scant few wealthy individuals and large businesses (who happen to be the wealthiest in the US) have not suffered at all, but rather have prospered.

The Teapublican's refusal to publicly acknowledge this situation is clear when they reiterate the mantra that "We absolutely cannot raise taxes at all, on anyone, while the economy is as stagnant and fragile as it is."

Most rational people know this is absolute bollocks. The economy is not homogeneous. There are parts of the economy (those record profit parts) that are perfectly capable of absorbing the increase in taxes that would result from their tax cuts expiring, and their loopholes closing.

The proposed elimination of tax cuts and loopholes that are part of the current proposal that includes $4 trillion in combined spending cuts and revenues is not a war on the rich, Cal. Enough with the hyperbole. It's an honest attempt at a compromise.

I'd even go so far as to say it's a pretty darned acceptable compromise, seeing as how the Obama administration conceded to spending cuts that far exceeded even Republican expectation.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago


But how have the Teapublicans responded when offered even more spending cuts than they asked for, combined with the elimination of tax cuts and closing of loopholes for the wealthiest US individuals and coporations?

Well, Mitch McConnell started by declaring that it wasn't a seriouis compromise. His rationale? Because it contained increases in tax revenue. That's it.

The esteemed Mr. McConnell has since proceeded to introduce legislation that would.... get this.... give the executive the power to raise the debt limit on it's own, where the only thing that could stop it is a 2/3 majority vote from congress.

Now why on Earth would Mitch McConnell, Mr. Elephant himself, propose bequeathing such a tremendous budget responsibility (remember that's Congress's job) to an executive branch that he consistently chastises for making poor decisions?

Hmmm... could he be channeling Pontius Pilate? Could he be attempting to wash his hands, and the hands of his grand ol' party, clean of the responsibility of making a compromise to avoid default? Could it be that he understands that defaulting on our debt will not only rock the fragile global economy once again, but will also cause interest rates of US treasury bonds to rise significantly? Perhaps he understands that even a tiny increase on the interest rates of US treasury bonds will translate to hundreds of billions more in annual debt for years to come.

Perhaps he understands that the hard line that his party insists on taking, may very well end up having the unintended consequences of ballooning the deficit to levels unimaginable. Perhaps he understands that if you take a stand, and simply refuse to continue borrowing from Jack, Jill is still going to want her money, and the juice will still be running, faster than ever. Perhaps he understands that the level of cuts that would be required to immediately pay all of our debts without any revenue increase whatsoever will likely lead to a real, live humanitarian crisis right here in the US, that, in the long run, will either have to be dealt with by borrowing ever more money, or by turning a blind eye to real, live suffering by US citizens.

With this knowledge that Mr. McConnell has, combined with the fact that a majority of his constituency doesn't see it, attempting to push all of the responsibility on somebody else starts to make more sense.

Now that's leadership baby! Save the tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthy at all costs. When your opposition comes halfway and gives you more than you originally asked for, refuse to accept the compromise, still holding out for those richest US citizens and businesses. When your opposition insists on compromise, continue to refuse, and absolve yourself of all responsibility, even though the budget is primarily your responsibility in the first place.

Three cheers for the Teapublicans!

Hip-hip, hooray!, Hip-hip, hooray!, Hip-hip, KABOOM!!!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

The president understands that Social Security hasn't contributed a dime to the deficit and it never has. Simply put is a private fund that draws big time interest year after year.

It has a $2.6 trillion surplus.

It can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 25 years.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

You do understand that the fund has been used for other expenses, and replaced with bonds, which are debt obligations, right?

Peacemaker452 6 years, 9 months ago

Merrill, I will preface this with a statement; This is a serious question, on an issue that I am trying to understand but cannot reconcile the “facts” being presented by various parties.

If the SS trust fund has a $2.6 trillion surplus, why is the Treasury Secretary telling us that he won’t be able to send out checks on the 3rd of August?

tbaker 6 years, 9 months ago

Jafs is right. There is no "suplus" unless you count IOUs. The SS "trust" fund was looted long ago. If Merril thinks an IOU spends like cash, let him try.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

Food for thought:

In 1979, a similar budget showdown on increasing the debt limit that went down to the wire somehow resulted in $120 Million (with an "M") going unpaid -- they cited a technical glitch where the checks simply weren't written for some reason or other. Our debt at the time was about $800 Billion (with a "B").

So that's about 1.5% of our debt that we didn't pay. The result was that interest rates on US treasury bonds went up 0.6% (that's 6/10 of 1%) on ALL of our debt, resulting in an increase in owed interest of $4.8 Billion (with a "B").

We didn't pay $120 Million and ended up owing $4.8 Billion as a result. And that was already after is was pretty much understood that a deal had been reached. But wary investors don't want to be the one left standing when the music stops... so the interest rates rose, just as the are expected to rise if we fail to meet our obligations this time around.

Only now, our debt is obviously much larger than it was in 1979. And.... there is currently no compromise in sight. And.... if no deal is reached, then we're talking about defaulting on a lot more than just $120 Million.

So Republicans and Tea Partiers, tell me again how holding out for these tax cuts for the wealthy is worth risking the combined catastrophes of terrifying global markets while at the same time increasing our debt more than you ever thought possible.

I'm not trying to fear monger here. Everybody in the world except Michelle Bachmann (and her avid followers) seems to understand that default will be catastrophic in more ways than one.

We can haggle on ways to improve the economy in the future. Hell, get Obama out of office, take control of the Senate, and I'm sure you'll have no trouble repealing any tax hikes that might go through as a result of this deal.

But there are ways to fix problems, and there are ways to make problems worse. Which do you think will result if we default on our debt?

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

study progressive vs. regressive taxation. Then get back to us.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

Also, gay marriage has been systematically not recognized in the US since, well, the beginning. The "gay rights agenda" seeks to provide equal rights regardless of whether your gay or not. Not specific "gay rights" that heterosexuals don't get to have. When you realize the difference, get back to us.

Also, atheists are less likely to proselytize than, say, evangelicals. By orders of magnitude. If anybody is pushing anything, it's missionaries, at home and abroad. When you realize the difference, get back to us.

Abortion is legal. If there's any agenda being pushed, it is to overturn established law. When you realize the difference, get back to us.

It's all about perspective. When you can understand the legitimacy of another, get back to us.

Also, your handle is an anagram for "Heady Lovers".

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 9 months ago

"atheists are less likely to proselytize than, say, evangelicals."

I don't know about that. I personally know of several exceptions.

gudpoynt 6 years, 9 months ago

yes, those atheist mega non-churches draw millions into their doors ever sunday don't they?

those atheist missionaries are all over the world spreading the word of not-God, right?

get real man.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Who is trying to say you have to be gay, be an athiest, or have an abortion? Rights for others doesn't mean it is mandatory for you. You can remain as anti-gay, anti-religious freedom, and anti-choice as you want to be. Just don't try to shove those views on everyone else. Okay?

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

No, but they have built the house you live in, the roads you drive on, the car you drive in, picked the food you eat, stitched the clothes you wear ...

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

What's really hilarious reading this is how pathetic the right's arguments are....it's not a tax hike, it's the end of a temporary cut. Now if they went beyond reversing Bush's idiotic cuts, that'd be an increase. But the reps can't discuss anything reasonably and factually.

They also seem to have short term memory deficiencies.

Let's recap -

Reps deregulated the S&L industry under their prophet Ronnie Raygun and Bush 41, then the S&L's tanked and the gov took over 750 or so institutions. Reps didn't call Bush a socialist though, they just goose stepped as usual.

Bush 43 cuts taxes and then starts two wars he never budgets a dime for and no Rep complained.

Bush 43's team lost entire skids of our cash and all he could do was shrug and all the Reps did was tsk, tsk.

Reps weakened banking rules and Paulson lobbied for changes to debt to net capital rules, Reps stepped right up and agreed and then you know what happened a few short years later....and Reps immediately blame CRA even though a bipartisan study concluded, not by a long shot.

Reps spent like drunken sailors throughout the Bush admin and he just signed everything that crossed his desk.

When Bush bailed out companies he did so swiftly, with no real discussion and did not demand anything, not accounting of the use of the funds, certainly not repayment. A few Reps grumbled but none really complained.

When the Obama admin brought up stimulus, the Reps whined about pork, but took none of their own pork out of the bill and all went home and got their pictures took on the capital steps with big fat checks for their projects.

Even the tea party freshman are lining up for federal dollars to take home on pet projects.

There's no sanity left in the Republican party. They''ll continue to subsidize oil companies making billions per quarter in profit instead of chipping away at the deficit they spend every waking hour on their puter whining about.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

Typical Rep, doesn't know a fact 'cause he's escared of them.

Katara 6 years, 9 months ago

"Wealth is a sign of achievement, a reward for risks taken."

I don't know if many would call winning the lottery and becoming wealthy a sign of achievement. Sure there were some risks involved (might lose a $1) but can you really call it an achievement?

Inheriting wealth? Not really an achievement either. If you manage to maintain or grow it by actively doing something (as opposed to collecting interest) perhaps it could be a sign of achievement.

He forgot the part about wealth being a blessing from God, though. I am a little disappointed he didn't go full on Prosperity gospel. I wonder what made him hold back?

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Here's an interesting way that rich folks are making money right now.

Banks "borrow" money from the Fed at absurdly low rates (for a while it was 0%), and then they turn around and "invest" that money in...Treasury bonds.

So the government is lending the money to itself, and paying banks somewhere in the neighborhood of 4%/year for the privilege (that's on a 30 yr. bond).

Sounds like a pretty risk free way to make money to me.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

One more:

Until recently, it was possible to take early retirement for some years, and then pay it back and get your normal SS benefits when you hit that age.

So, folks who could afford it could take those benefits and invest it in vehicles like bank CD's, then pay it back, having made a profit. Those CD's are guaranteed by the FDIC.

Again, pretty low risk.

Katara 6 years, 9 months ago

When did that change? I could have sworn that I read about being able to do that to maximize your retirement recently.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

I believe that they just changed the rules on that one recently.

I'd have to look it up.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 9 months ago

The composer of the headline must be on the take from Obama and his class-war cronies. Based on what Thomas actually says, it should have read, "Obama seeks to punish successful Americans."

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

"Recall during the George H.W. Bush administration when congressional Democrats persuaded Bush to sign a bill increasing the luxury tax on yachts in exchange for a promise — later broken — to reduce spending. The result was fewer people bought yachts, boat builders were laid off and Congress later repealed the tax hike. Don’t liberal Democrats ever learn economic principles, or does their class warfare trump all else?"

Yachts were an indicator during Reagan's "trickle down" years, too. Giving breaks to higher income folks didn't work. They weren't buying. How many yachts does one affluent person need?

bevy 6 years, 9 months ago

I wondered after reading Cal's excretions above - how many yachts are made in a year? If a yacht-maker stops making them, how many job losses are we talking about here? I can't imagine this being a huge industry.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

It has to be difficult for president Obama to accomplish anything given the absolute lack of cooperation from the right wing. I do not understand the arrogance. What makes them think that there is only one way to solve our complex economic problems? Having said that, I have to admit that I cringe every time I hear that we should increase taxes on the wealthy. Not that we shouldn't increase their taxes, but I'd rather hear about the broad tax reforms that Obama eluded to in his State of the Nation speech last January. I suppose these word choices are necessary rhetoric given the lack of cooperation in D.C. The entire spring was wasted by this discord.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

Under Reagan the top tax rate was 50%. How exactly is moving up to 39% now just the most horrible thing imaginable for the wealthy, but 50% under Reagan means Reagan is a superhero?

Why can't any of the conservatives here answer this?

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

There are many questions that conservatives can't, or won't answer, like this one.

Jay Keffer 6 years, 9 months ago

What were the top tax rates when Reagan entered office vs. when he left office?

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

The top rates were higher than Obama is proposing when Reagan went into office, and the top rates were higher than Obama is proposing when Reagan left office.

camper 6 years, 9 months ago

Already the Saboteurs are causing harm by playing politics with the debt ceiling. Just today I heard on the radio that Moody's has issued a warning stating the US debt will be downgraded from a 3 star rating if the ceiling is not adjusted by August 3rd.

This will be a 1st for the USA, and this "warning" will pressure bond rates up. Which of course is not good for a struggling economy. The Republicans resemble traitors or saboteurs who would rather see Obama fail than do what is right for the country for which they are supposed to be serving.

Katara 6 years, 9 months ago

That wall in China turned out to be pretty effective and now they've turned to easier pickings.

Tara Painter 6 years, 9 months ago

What jerk wrote this, some of us dont have rich families to put us though collage, some of us work harder then those rich people just to get by, and were not as selfish either, and help others out when we can. Some times we are at where were at because of the lives we were bought up in. So don't act like they got there from actually working hard, most of them it was handed to them!

woodscolt 6 years, 9 months ago

The rich are out to punish the poor. Republicans believe in entitlements to the rich and they fight the joe plumbers of the world to death to take any entitlements they may need. Pubs = entitlements for the rich and punish the poor. Dems = entitlements to the needy.

woodscolt 6 years, 9 months ago

Typical non response from the pretender living a dream. Reality will always be confusing to you.

usnsnp 6 years, 9 months ago

Let see, I keep seeing this saying "Shared Sacrifice". I live on Social Security and a Military Retirement, have not had a cost of living raise in eather in the last 2 years, according to people there has not been any inflation. Now politicians want more sacrifice from lower wage earners, but I have not seen any of this shared sacrifice from Congress or their staff, and this cxxx about people making over $250,000 a year cannot afford to have their taxes raised, get real, this tax raise is on money made over $250.000 and after all deductions. I remember Repulicans saying about some cuts made to prograns that were only a few million, that every little bit helps, that is the same with raising taxes or doning away with loop holes.

whats_going_on 6 years, 9 months ago

How would a considerably small tax increase (or no tax CUT) hurt wealthy people and stop job creation? Can the super wealthy (lets face it, no one really needs over a million a year) not take a little pay cut for the good of the country?

Yeah yeah yeah, "we earned it"...but how? By hurting those you depend on and stealing from the government, taking jobs away from the country and giving yourselves huge bonuses even when you seriously mess up? Yes, money well earned. Good job, you're all huge douchebags.

And people seem to forget that Obama himself is pretty wealthy. Why would he want to punish himself?

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

A few facts and observations: 1- Ronald Reagan doubled the national debt from 2.5 Trill$ to 5 Trill$, and raised taxes 11 times. 2- George W Bush also doubled the national debt from 5 Trill$ to 10 Trill$, all with Republican congressional approval. 3- Where are the jobs from the Bush tax cuts? 4- Republicans continue to claim they are experts on the economy yet: a- they didn't create any new jobs with the Bush tax cuts, b- they didn't see the economic crisis of 2008 coming, c- they denied there was an economic crisis while it was occurring in late 2008. d- now they claim that they have the answer to fix the problem while not passing one jobs bill in the House. 5- Taxes are at their lowest level since 1950...so...why are we in a recession...where are the JOBS?

In the '50's and '60's I was a Republican. It appears now that all the so-called Republicans of today are really just John Birch Society members in disguise. A bunch of Know-Nothings who prattle on as if they believe they really know something.

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and about "job creators". Most new jobs ( about 70%) are created by entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs are not millionaires, they are people like you and me, still hoping to score. Most millionaires are FORMER entrepreneurs now living on the fruits of their labor (unless you inherited) so taxing people with sky-high incomes is NOT taxing 'job creators' but taxing former job creators.

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

The answer is: ZERO. Under Eisenhower we had a top tax rate of 90% for millionaires, and as I recall, the decades following that were quite something...not like the dulldrums we are in now...after 10 years of Bush tax cuts. If anything, only asking the middle class to pay taxes is keeping would-be entrepreneurs down.

Sorry, your logic is like the Laffer Curve: laughable.

JohnBrown 6 years, 9 months ago

Ah ha! The Know Nothings strike again. When you can't beat the facts you have to change the subject. The answer is still ZERO (duh).

By the way, putting all your rumor and innuendo away, here are some more facts: Total federal revenues in 1960 was about 29.08% of GNP while for 2010 it was 28.95%. In 1960 the federal income tax rate for people making more than $400K was 91%. This means...(warning, another fact) the tax rate NOW is less than in 1960.

Which gets to the heart of Cal's rubbish. Let's raise the rate to, say 29.08%, and let the billionaires help share the burden.

Elaine Elliott 6 years, 9 months ago

The wealthy will be punished when the economy crashes and all social services crash along with it. Then they will have no police to protect their homes or businesses when they are being vandalized. Nor will they have the fire department coming to put out the fires that the dirty dirty poor people will start. Another Watts riot is coming soon, except this time it will be obvious that it is is a class riot.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago


In my experience, it's rather the other way around - conservatives seem tense, paranoid and stingy.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

RIght wingers are a disgrace. They hate America and Americans and cling to that hate 'cause they think it'll get them into heaven. They refuse to read history and have to distort what little they know of or they can't maintain a conversation. It's sad.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 9 months ago

Cal Powers articles are almost too stupid to comment on.

I just wonder sometimes if he is in on the game or if he really believes the crap he writes.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 9 months ago

When the moral standard bearers are not themselves moral, you have a kind of situation that Jesus faced back in the day. Those who should know the law well also know how to abuse it well.

Therein lies the problem with our Congress and with our political parties. Cal is a kind of political parasite so it is almost humorous to see him moralizing all the time.

I worry about the aftermath of these mudslinging contests and its effect on our country. Knowing the fragility of the human psyche, I think it is a good idea to vote for people with better character than what we are currently seeing.

...and when I think of the recent political debates I would hope for people with better education, intelligence and experience.

Jay Keffer 6 years, 9 months ago

Interesting analysis:

Take every penny from the wealthiest 500 corporations in America (Big Oil, Big Walmart, Big All-of-Em)...and that pays for our government through February 9th.

Take every penny from all the wealthy sports stars (NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, PGA, NASCAR...all of em)...and that will pay for our government for another day (February 10).

Take every penny from families making over $250,000 a year (remember, that's the line President Obama has decided makes you unworthy of your money)...and that pays for another 141 days of our government budget (July 2).

Take every penny from Hollywood property by evicting them from their homes and selling them at market value...and that pays up to August 4.

Kill every billionaire in the country (and let's throw in the almost billionaires too), take every penny they have in their bank accounts...and that pays for the government through Christmas.

Now, defund both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and let's cancel all foreign aid...and that pays us up until December 30th with one more day to go.

At this point, we've drained every penny from the wealthy, so we're going to have to ask everyone else to chip in $40 per person. That covers us through the end of the year.

See how easy it is! If we just took all the money from the rich, we could fund all of our wonderful government programs for a whole year! Of course, the problem then becomes that January 1st is here again and we've got another year to pay for in front of us.

But having taken every penny from "the wealthy" to barely pay for just one year, what do we do then? Keep in mind that the vast majority of Americans will have lost their jobs given that we decimated those "fat cat" companies who just so happen to also be our country's largest employers.

This is the short-sightedness of the 'tax the tar out of the rich until they are rich no more' crowd. They guarantee their political success by promising you goodies from someone else's pockets. But we've followed their prescription for so long now that we're at a crisis point. Our budget is unsustainable. Pretending otherwise is beyond foolish - it's economic suicide.

Margaret Thatcher always said the problem with socialism is that you run out of other people's money.

Spread my work ethic, not my wealth.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 9 months ago

How silly can you get? A lot of billion dollar corporations are not paying any taxes at all. In fact, many of them get a huge rebate at the expense of the other taxpayers. A lot of billionaires don't pay anything in taxes because they have bank accounts outside of the U S. They have loopholes, lawyers and schemes that are only available to the rich. While our taxes are immediately taken out of our paychecks, the rich can defer taxes for many years to come. In the meantime, they make money off of their money. To worry about the welfare of the rich due to a paltry increase in tax, is like worrying about a 600 pound human losing a little weight. It is beyond absurd. The wealthy get wealthy by using our resources and still they don't want to pay for the usage. It is just plain greed, nothing more, nothing less, just plain old fashioned, ever a problem with humans, greed.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 9 months ago

So, in America, we will find out what is wrong with capitalism. Eventually, the rich cannot steal anymore wealth from the poor and they start walling themselves off to try to keep the poor from taking it back. No one earns money on their own. These capitalists did not build any buildings, did not grow any food, did not perform any tasks of labor, they just finance it and exploit others for their labor and continue to figure out how to keep more of the profit for themselves. A person with a conscience will always find it hard to take so much from others, but the ones without don't have that problem.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 9 months ago

Even many of our wealthy people know they should be paying more in taxes. In fact, they are the only ones who can pay more and help us recover. Everyone else is tapped out. If they don't pay more, our country will fail. What will the wealthy do then? They will move, because they can afford it. That is what you call patriotism.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 9 months ago

Lastly, Cal is a complete idiot. He is only capable of reciting tired rhetoric. It is devoid of facts, objectivity, meaningful observation and loaded with propaganda that has been trotted out since people have been taking advantage of other people to amass wealth. There are plenty of real experts on this topic, so ignore this fool.

Currahee 6 years, 9 months ago

"Wealth is a sign of achievement, a reward for risks taken. And being poor is not a crime, unless those in poverty refuse to strive to overcome it." 1. Is it still a sign of achievement when it's inherited? 2. 22.1% Unemployment means a lot of people can't overcome it. 3. The author has an idealist view of the rich which isn't true. Also, the rich probably made a lot of lives miserable to become rich. Call it an ahole tax.

Don't get me wrong, everyone should pull their own weight. But when the rich takes advantage of society for their own gain, well maybe you might need to take a second look.

camper 6 years, 9 months ago

What Currahee said.

Also in my small slice of the corporate world, many of the rich vice presidents and managers did not necessarily get to where they got because of achievement. Many of them can only "delegate" authority" and "manage people", but really do not know the nuts and bolts of anything.

And right now, corporations are downswizing and outsourcing. You know who avoids these cuts? Yes the rich. They always manage to keep there jobs while it is the little and mid level workers (who actually know what they are doing) get cut.

The writer of this article is really a knucklehead if he believes what he wrote.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

"Drained every penny from the wealthy"? That's hilarious, guess there aren't anymore billionaires or millionaires, how silly.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 9 months ago

Before we had laws protecting individual rights and the concept of "inalienable rights given by God" most of the known world was ruled by privileged families who handed down their wealth, land and authority through their blood lineage.

If we follow the Republicans we will return to that standard of living. They will eliminate the inheritance tax, monopoly protections, social services, etc.; and privileged families will again control all of the worlds distribution channels, resources and technology.

It is human nature that people usually want to acquire more and more wealth and power over others.

The fact that there are SO many Americans who allow taxes on the wealthy to be continually eliminated while the wealth of our nation continues to become more and more concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller percentage shows that they are not thinking clearly anymore.

Health care used to be something provided by employers and something affordable; soon it will be affordable only for the rich.

Social services are headed in the direction of health care which Americans are struggling to afford.

If we allow this new Aristocracy to emerge what does that say about human nature when most Americans believed that our freedom was a gift from God but we allowed it to be taken away by sweet sounding politicians.

America will be no more.

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