Archive for Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Letter: Illogical theory

December 12, 2012


To the editor:

John Boehner has a problem with logic. He says that if the President raises revenue by increasing the marginal tax rate on the top 2 percent, he will “kill jobs.” On the other hand, Boehner can raise revenue from the top 2 percent by limiting their deductions and not hurt jobs. He is arguing that a dollar lost one way has less value to the top 2 percent than a dollar lost the other. Nonsense!

Boehner must also be hoping that the Republican base will not notice that his rationale for raising revenue through limits on deductions is an accurate statement of the idea that increasing taxes on the top 2 percent will not hurt economic growth. This is a fact substantiated by two reports from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (reports R42111 and R2729), which conclude that over a 65-year study period there is little or no correlation between the top marginal tax rates and savings, investment or economic growth. That result is so contrary to Republican dogma that Congressional Republicans have made a strong effort to suppress the reports. Warren Buffett tells the truth when he says that he and other wealthy investors will not stop investing, and innovators will not stop innovating, because of a 5 or 10 percent increase in their marginal tax rates.


Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Let's take a look at how job creation took a dive when Supply Side Economics came on board. Reagan/Bush Supply Side Economics became great friends with Communist China beyond reality.

How did blue and white collar workers lose these millions upon millions of jobs?

It’s not the Unions!

--- 1. Mergers = industry and jobs lost to other countries Reagan/Bush

--- 2. Hostile Takeovers = industry and jobs lost to other countries Reagan/Bush

--- 3. Leveraged Buyouts = industry and jobs lost to other countries Reagan/Bush

--- 4. Free Trade Agreements = industry and jobs lost to other countries Reagan/Bush/Clinton

--- 5. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan scandal which killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs. = industry and jobs lost to other countries

--- 6. Bush/Cheney Home Loan scandal killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs = industry and jobs lost to other countries

All of above ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of blue and white collar USA job losses in some cases to dictatorships. Big time layoffs are the end result. These jobs go abroad with tax codes that prevent taxation on profits made abroad from USA big name corporations.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone. Why did congress participate in killing the USA economy and millions upon millions of blue and white collar jobs?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

President Obama and the USA Congress,

What are you going to do? This country cannot wait another fours years for the republican party to cooperate. The democratic party cannot wait another fours years for republicans to stop being obstacles to new USA industry that cannot be outsourced.

The USA CANNOT afford millions upon millions of new jobs that can be outsourced.

Congress has failed the majority of the USA population that being the 99%. The 99% was the motor behind everything that had anything to do with the economy. Why did congress allow that to be nearly destroyed?

Why did congress provide a tax code that protects profits on USA goods made abroad in essence encouraging outsourcing of USA jobs by the millions. Congress needs to explain their logic that USA blue and white collars do not need jobs. and the USA economy

Congress needs to explain their logic that the USA economy does not need millions upon millions of blue and white collars working in the USA. Where did these conclusions come from? Corporate America was never going broke instead making tons of profits.

This large group posing as the GOP will NOT build bridges.

This large group posing as the GOP is working for the minority aka the 1%.

The GOP as it was 33-50 years ago is dead. There is no GOP as such.

rtwngr 5 years, 4 months ago

The Democrat party of 33-50 years ago is dead too.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

That is good as well. We need to find some common ground.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago


Repubs fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all WOULD keep them out of control for decades….. we would hope.

Keep in mind a prospering america can overcome repub fear mongering... it must.

What is the repub party afraid? Why do they ALWAYS say no?

What do Repubs fear?

--- Fear a dramatically improved quality of life for all americans

--- Fear Jobs Jobs Jobs for americans

--- Fear New USA industry thus new wealth for america

--- Fear new cleaner energy sources because it would create so many new jobs and reduce rates across the board

--- Fear Medicare Single Payer Insurance for = huge tax dollar savings to government,public schools,small business and all of us in general. Single Payer Medicare is the answer.

--- Fear Clean Collar Industries which produce jobs that cannot be outsourced

--- Fear educated Americans because WE ask questions

--- Fear losing of tax incentives/tax breaks for the wealthy that actually create tax increases for entire spectrum of the middleclass

--- Fear Unions which would not be necessary IF employers shared more of the profits with employees that which makes a corporation or company successful.

40 hour weeks time and a half wage increases vacations Sick leave medical insurance maternity leave protection against discrimination equality

This is union representation and who wants to lose job protections and benefits?

moliemolie 5 years, 4 months ago

According to the CBO, the three greatest contributors to the debt under Obama have been the Bush tax cuts, the unnecessary war in iraq and the war in Afghanistan, which is still a mess largely because we diverting all the resources to iraq. Obama has not gone on a spending binge. He is still cleaning up after Bush.'s-driving-projected-debt/

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 4 months ago

John Boehner is one of the dumbest, most ossified politicians on the planet. He occupies the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives solely on how long the people of Ohio continue to send this political wonk to congress.

The Republician party got their collective clocks cleaned and butts kicked in the last election. It becomes crystal clear that most people are not buying the Republican/Limbaugh line. And yet this fool keeps stoking the fires of derision for the president, still fighting the election battle that was lost, and causisng more and more dysfunction for the American political process with his stupidity and stubborness. The outcome of this despicable and derisive issue is still in doubt, but the result for the Rebublicans is pretty clear. Follow the speaker and his c ronies, and we will all suffer the result of their childishness.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 4 months ago

I disagree. He is actually pretty rational, but his TP children are not. Once they get over holding their collective breaths, the Speaker will be OK.

Alyosha 5 years, 4 months ago

Liberty_One's beliefs are wholly alien to the reality and spirit of the United States. One wonders why he continues to live in a country so wholly alien to his perspective. I'm a Constitutional American, in line with the Constitution and, for example, Oliver Wendell Holmes, whose thoughts on taxes deserve and garner far more respect that Liberty_One's selfish and greedy and anti-Constitution beliefs.

The Constitution clearly disagrees with Liberty_One: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

And Oliver Wendell Holmes: “No, young fellow, I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization.”

It is a self-evident truth that government exists to secure our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberty_One seeks to destroy government and thus destroy the people's ability to secure their rights.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

It is certainly a nice theory that government exists to secure rights, but reality shows us that the theory is fundamentally flawed.

Governments (including our own) have historically taken people’s rights and then parceled them back to their subject as privileges.

You can disagree with this idea all to your heart’s desire but I would challenge you to identify how many times the term “compelling government interest” appears in the Constitution and then identify how many times the term has been used by the courts to strip someone of their fundamental rights.

The term “inalienable” seems to have lost something in translation.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

It's a nice theory that we have "inalienable" rights, given to us by God.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

I know we have had a similar discussion at least once before but to clarify: I don’t believe that we have inalienable rights given to us by God, or given to us by any entity. I believe those rights exist because the individual exists.

If I remember correctly, your position was that those rights only exist because government and/or society protect them. I can’t reconcile that idea with my beliefs because it leads to the conclusion that the self same government/society can take those rights away.

Other than for just punishment of a crime against someone else’s rights, government doesn’t control my fundamental rights.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

That's also a nice theory.

You can believe whatever you like, of course - I see no evidence that simply being born confers any rights at all.

Rights are that which people are "entitled" to, and as such, require a philosophical construct and belief system to determine. In addition, they also require a social system of some sort to ensure they're not violated.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

In my initial post, I made it clear that I was expressing my opinion. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else and I am not trying to force my opinion on you. That being said, calling my beliefs theories doesn’t add any credence to your ideas or make mine any less true than yours.

You stated that a person has no “natural” rights, and the rights they do have must be part of a social system’s belief system. The problem I have with your idea is that if a social system’s belief system supports ideas like slavery and unequal treatment for certain portions of society then those people have no “right” to be treated equally. For example, since some Islamic societies do not believe in equal rights for women, and you say that the women have no “natural” right to equality, what is their recourse?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

You called the idea that governments secure rights a "nice theory", so I used that terminology as well. If you don't like it used for your ideas, then perhaps you shouldn't use it for others'.

That's right - in those societies women don't have equal rights. In Canada, they believe that healthcare is a fundamental right, and so all citizens have access to it. Here, we're not so sure what we think of that.

What's your evidence for believing that people have a certain set of rights simply by virtue of being born?

Recourse is a different question, of course, and depends on a number of things. People can leave the country they live in, if allowed, or they can fight to get the rights they wish.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

I didn’t object to the use of the term “theory” as it relates to my opinions, I pointed out your attempt to gain some level of authority for your ideas by referring to mine as theories. Sorry if you don’t see the distinction.

I believe you are wrong, women in those societies have equal rights, they are just being suppressed by the very authority you believe get to decide on those rights. If you must rely on that authority to give you “rights” then they are really just privileges.

Let me pose this question: Say you are stranded on an island, which was not associated in any way with any nation or society, with two other people. Those two people decide that they are going to kill and eat you. Do you have the right to defend yourself?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

As I said, you can believe whatever you like.

This whole discussion is a matter of belief, not reality.

What's your evidence to support your belief, if there is any?

You have a natural instinct to defend yourself, of course. If they're stronger than you, then they'll win, and kill and eat you. What happened to your natural right to life there?

Rights are those things that people are "justly entitled" to - as such, what those might be is a matter of belief and philosophy, and people have different beliefs about them.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Anything at all.

What evidence do you have that people have certain rights simply by virtue of being born?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

That's not evidence.

And, I disagree that the absence of a belief in "natural rights" produces absurd results.

Rights are that which people (or animals, etc.) are "justly entitled to", which is a philosophical notion, not something that exists in nature or by virtue of simply being born. Different people and societies have differing ideas about "just entitlement".

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

A theoretical argument isn't evidence, as most use the word.

Evidence usually refers to facts which support one's belief or view. So, if one believes in natural rights, evidence for that might be that in nature those rights exist, without societies.

Of course, this isn't true as far as I can tell.

I don't want to rehash our long discussion on this topic, but your argument is flawed in that it assumes the only basis for moral philosophy is a belief in natural rights. One can believe that humans should have certain rights for any number of reasons.

The fundamental problem is the "is-ought" problem - you should look it up.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, "rights" means you can do something without the government punishing you. In reality, as a human you have the right to do whatever you want. If it's against the law and a right not guaranteed by the constitution, maybe you go to the stripey hole for a while.

Rights exist seperate from the constitution, but the constitution guarantees a few.

You think government is your buddy giving you rights. The government is your enemy and only the constitution prevents them from being more tyrannical than they already are.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I think the government is neither my "buddy" nor my "enemy".

Your post contains an obvious conflict. If a right means that the government won't punish me, then if the government punishes me, it's not a right.

That conflicts with the idea that I have the right to do whatever I want.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

Now there is a reliable source for information on a concept as complicated as this.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

Did you watch it? Carlin does an admirable job summing up the concept that rights are transitory and nonexistent.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I did.

Carlin spent most of the 4 minutes bashing the idea of God given rights. I may not support his delivery method by I agree with his concept. Rights do not come from God.

He actually does an admirable job in debunking Jaf’s idea of rights coming from government.

What he doesn’t do is address the idea that people have natural rights that have nothing to do with God or government. The fact that the US government interred thousands of US citizens during WW2 doesn’t negate the fact that they had the right to be free; it only supports the idea that government is normally the biggest abuser of rights.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago

On what basis, Liberty_One, do you assume that Alyosha is "stealing" and "greedy"? You have no reason to believe that he is anything other than hard-working, self-supporting, and living modestly. It's hardly "greed" to advocate helping the needy and to advocate having a government that embodies this value. You, Liberty_One, may advocate a government that protects only the wealthy and their property, but you're in a tiny minority.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

"Liberty_One is an anarcho-capitalist who is opposed to all government and who regards any and all taxation as the same as armed robbery. He imagines that eliminating government will result in freedom and prosperity for all. He actually has a lot more in common with Communist thought than you do; he just doesn't realize it".

I copied this long ago and thank you for posting it, Voevoda. Well said then -and now.

voevoda 5 years, 4 months ago

You personally may not be greedy, Liberty_One, but the philosophy you voice day after day is one that glorifies greed and views poverty as a moral failing. That philosophy conflicts with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic truth that I hold sacred.

Since you have felt very free to attack me, Liberty_One, including sending an offensive message to my email account, I wonder at your hypocrisy in demanding that I protect you. Stop calling people names, Liberty_One.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Several logical issues with your post:

If the D can't implement the policies they want due to R obstruction, then they don't "own" anything.

By all means, I'd be glad for the R to stop obstructing and let D implement their policies, then we'll see what happens - if it's a positive outcome, I hope you and others like you see that. If it's a negative one, I'll be the first to criticize the D.

And the D had nowhere near "two years of full control" of anything. They had about 4 months, split up here and there, which amounted to about 70 working days.

Also, of course, most Americans will blame the R if we "go over the cliff".

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, there have been many conversations on this board about certain state leaders who seem to be spending much time doing essentially outside work. The critics seem to be expecting these leaders to work 24/7, 365 on issues exclusive to the state. I don't recall if you're one of those who has been critical, but if we use that same philosophy concerning the amount of time Dems were in control during those first two years, it winds up being a lot more than those 70 working days. Using the standards of the critics, either the Dems were a bunch of slackers or they weren't doing their job.

As usual, I'm somewhere in the middle. I don't begrudge state leaders going out of state for "some" work. But I don't think those elected to high public office should be limited to a traditional 40 hour work week, only working 5 days. That goes for state leaders going to Arizona or Dems in Congress doing whatever it was they were doing, when they could have been in session doing their job. If state leaders dropped the ball when they were working for Arizona, that's on them. If the Dems dropped the ball during those two years, that is also on them.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other on that.

Even if you allow for the full 4 months, that's a lot less than 2 years of full control - it's 1/6 of that.

I think a traditional 40 hr a week for working is fine, personally.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Why do you limit it to 4 months instead of two years?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't understand your question.

The comment is frequently made that the D had "full control" for 2 years, and it's simply not correct. They had about 4 months of full control, meaning a filibuster proof majority. Since there are 24 months in 2 years, 4 months is 1/6 of that period.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 4 months ago

Here's the deal, rarely does either party have filibuster proof majorities. Or veto proof majorities. What happens most of the time is that the two parties have to find a way to work together.

Let me give you an analogy. Suppose I woke up this morning intent on going on a ten mile run, but when I looked outside, it was too cold for a run. Yes, I could blame it on the weather. And if I left it at that, there would be no need to look deeper. But what if I told you that the last ten mile run I went on was 40 years ago. That should tell you that the weather, while perhaps cold, really played no part in my decision not to run.

Obama set out early in his presidency to work cooperatively, rather than using his bully pulpit. He chose not to fight. He chose not to use his mandate. Why? Maybe he's not a born leader. Maybe he thought that by gentle persuasion, he could move Congress. Maybe he thought a fight would hinder his run at a second term. Whatever. He chose what he chose. That an obstructionist Congress was there is besides the point. Just like the weather was beside the point when I decided not to run this morning.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Your post seems quite irrelevant to the discussion here.

Somebody commented that the D had full control for 2 years, and I corrected them.

Also, your criticism of Obama seems off to me - I'm glad that he tried to work cooperatively, and sorry that the R obstructed that. And, when about 1/2 of the voters voted for the other guy, I think that the word "mandate" isn't appropriate.

As I've said, you can't lead those who are committed to opposing you.

He did what I want all of our elected officials to do, and what polls show many Americans want them to do - work together to solve our problems.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I haven't seen anybody argue that.

If they find a way to work together and avoid the cliff, I would think most people will give them all credit.

On the other hand, if they go with your suggestion to continue obstructing and not working together, then they deserve the blame.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Something which seems to escape a lot of people is that the money spent by government doesn't fall into a black hole and disappear. Well, some of it does partly because of corporate welfare that ends up offshore and also a lot of military spending, but the money being spent on infrastructure, education, etc. gets plowed back into the economy and supports the economy.

I support a jobs program similar to what we had in the 30s to get people back to work and to improve our infrastructure.

We ARE NOT going to improve the economy by slashing taxes and putting more people out of work.

George Lippencott 5 years, 4 months ago

Neither party wants to raise taxes on the big donors!!

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