Archive for Thursday, September 20, 2012

Editorial: Uncomfortable fact

September 20, 2012

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is catching all kinds of fire and condemnation for statements he made at a private fundraising gathering last May in Florida.

In it, he noted that about 47 percent of Americans “are dependent upon government” and “believe that they are victims.”

He said, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing and to you name it, that that’s an entitlement and the government should give it to them. And they vote for the president no matter what.”

The facts are correct. There are millions, 47 percent, who pay no income tax, and a record number of Americans who receive food stamps.

Obama and his spokespeople are again using the “fear factor” and telling voters if they vote for Romney, they will lose all their federal assistance. In addition to Obama and his aides, the major media also are engaged in what they can do to paint Romney in a negative manner.

It is good for Romney to acknowledge the battle he faces in trying to get voters to know and accept the fact that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. Perhaps he now wishes he had said this in a different manner, but it was important to deliver that sober message.

However, this does not mean that if he were to be elected, he would cut this aid, only that he is fighting an uphill battle in getting many of the 47 percent to vote for him because of the fear Obama has instilled in them. Perhaps the best chance for a high percentage of those in the 47 percent to improve their earning power would be for Romney to be elected and the nation’s economic situation to improve.

Romney didn’t say anything that wasn’t true, but in a hot, tightly contested election for the presidency, it often is dangerous to tell the truth, whether it be about the danger of the national debt, the unemployed, the under-employed, the drop in median household income, the number of people receiving food stamps, our stature abroad, the fact that new business startups are at the lowest level in 30 years and many other ugly and dangerous indicators.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

No one should discount the potential destructiveness of a victory for Mitt Romney. The widespread media assumption that he’s really a “Massachusetts moderate” who adopted extreme positions to placate the Republican electorate before resetting his Etch A Sketch would be irrelevant even if it were true.

A Romney victory could be accompanied by GOP control of all branches of government, with the party’s right-wing majority in the House driving the agenda.

As Grover Norquist argues, “We are not auditioning for fearless leader…. We just need a president to sign this stuff.”

The “stuff” they would pass—already endorsed by Romney—includes repeal of the modest reforms enacted to police corporations after the Enron scandal and banks after the financial collapse

Repeal of healthcare reform, stripping some 30 million people of coverage.

Budget cuts that would gut almost all domestic functions of the government, from education to child nutrition to safeguarding clean air and water; and an end to Medicare and Medicaid as we know them. Taking place as we speak....beware.

These draconian measures would be used to pay for increases in military spending and tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Under the Romney plan, those making over $1 million a year would receive an average tax break of $250,000.

A Romney victory would buoy a Republican right eager to roll back social progress.

Constrict voting rights and exacerbate racial divides in an era of middle-class decline.

The offensive against labor and workers’ rights would escalate.

And Romney’s bellicose foreign policy would make George W. Bush look dovish.

If Romney wins, we will spend four years fighting to limit the damage he will inflict on the nation.

http://www.thenation.com/article/168264/politics-99-percent[/

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Are you better off now, than you were 4 years ago??

Reagan asked that question and by the time he and GHW Bush were finished millions upon millions were out of jobs and many had to come out of retirement because the Savings and Loan scam put their retirement money up in smoke. A lot of people lost their homes about this time. People in their 60's and older don't get hired easily.

GW Bush and Cheney pulled off a repeat performance. ...... Both republican episodes cost taxpayers many trillions of dollars. Reagan/Bush savings and loan debacle cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion. Of course taxpayers never have a say they are the losers under these republican schemes.

And republicans have the gall to put forth this question? Excuse me....

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

This ENTITLEMENT - Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

This ENTITLEMENT - Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

This ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

This ENTITLEMENT - Starting in 2003, George W. Bush destroyed the world economy by encouraging U.S. banks to make loans to those who could not afford them, through schemes such as the "American Dream Downpayment Initiative".

Also through the destruction of oversight, such as lawsuits to prevent state securities laws from being enforced on Bush's watch.

Once Bush's policies led to their inevitable result of economic collapse, the United States found itself in a situation where it had to take on debt in order to restore the economy.

http://www.reaganbushdebt.org/CalculationDetails.aspx

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

"The facts are correct. There are millions, 47 percent, who pay no income tax, and a record number of Americans who receive food stamps."

That's factual, but it's not factual that those 47 percent will never pay income tax when the economy gets better, but they do pay other taxes right now, and it's not necessarily the case that the use of food stamps will only go up.

There's a lot of fear mongering that's going on in this election, that's for sure. Here's a look in the rear view mirror at why we are facing a couple of today's problems:

The Federal budget deficit? The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq has a lot to do with that, and as I recall, we had a Republican President when those wars got started. And exactly what was accomplished?

The housing crash that led to much larger economic problems? Wasn't that because the housing bubble was inflated to an absolutely unsustainable level while we had a Republican for a President?

I'm not convinced that the President of the United States can control the economy nearly as much as some media makes it appear. But for starting wars, yup, I think the President of the USA has far too much power. I'm not a constitutional expert by any means, but my opinion is that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were started by a Republican President that exceeded his constitutional authority.

I think the Constitution is being torn to shreds in secret back rooms, and I have no idea how that can be rectified.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

And, I don't like this: Corporations have most of the legal rights of a person. I think the only things that a corporation can't do that a person can do is vote and be elected to a political position. But, I have a sneaky suspicion that with a little nudge to the employees, quite a few votes can be bought!

And - political parties! I suppose most Americans think of them as necessary. They absolutely are not! But it's certainly not realistically possible for anyone to be elected to the Presidency today without the backing of one of only two major political parties in existence today.

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

  • George Washington's farewell address, September 17, 1796

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Nope. It's not factual. There is no "47 percent, who pay no income tax". Try 46.4% who pay no FEDERAL income tax and you're talking factual.

Jean Robart 2 years, 6 months ago

picky picky picky for .6% you holler not factual. Grow up

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

The point being made was "FEDERAL" income tax.

Considering the content of this editorial, that's a large "factual" mistake. Kind of negates any credibility.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

Folks who make less than $27,000 may not pay income income taxes after deductions, but they pay payroll taxes. That's half of Romney’s 46.4 percenters. The rest pay no federal income tax due to tax benefits and credits. Here’s the rest of the breakdown:

  1. 22 percent receive senior tax benefits — the extra standard deduction for seniors, the exclusion of a portion of Social Security benefits, and the credit for seniors. Most of them are older people on Social Security whose adjusted gross income is less than $25,000.

  2. 15.2 percent receive tax credits for children and the working poor. That includes the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. The child tax credit was enacted under Democratic President Bill Clinton, but it doubled under Republican President George W. Bush. The earned income tax credit was enacted under Republican President Gerald Ford, and was expanded under presidents of both parties. Republican President Ronald Reagan once praised it as “one of the best antipoverty programs this country’s ever seen.” As a result of various tax expenditures, about two thirds of households with children making between $40,000 and $50,000 owed no federal income taxes. -factcheck.org

  3. The rest ended up owing no federal income tax due to various tax expenditures such as education credits, itemized deductions or reduced rates on capital gains and dividends. Most of this group are in the middle to upper income brackets. In fact, the TPC estimates there are about 7,000 families and individuals who earn $1 million a year or more and still pay no federal income tax.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

About 1/3 of the country receives means-tested welfare of some form - and this does not include Social Security or MEDICARE. There are record numbers of Americans on these programs.

The uber-rich pay no income tax because they do not earn any income, as defined by our glorious 70,000+ page tax code. Obama had the White House and all of congress for two years. Why didn't he fix that?

The best social program is a job. Compassion is best measured by the number of people who no longer need government assistance. The fact ANYONE has to depend on a government check should be cause for alarm. Government shouldn't hand-out checks and rob Peter to pay Paul, it should set favorable conditions for people, clear a path and make it as easy as possible for everyone to take care of themselves.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

The D had a filibuster proof majority for a couple of months here and a couple of months there during their first 2 years.

I agree that the best outcome would be for people to have good jobs, rather than needing government assistance. And, I imagine that most people would agree with that, even far left folks. The problem comes when those jobs aren't available, and we need to figure out what to do about it. Those on the right believe in cutting business taxes, and those on the left believe in helping the folks without the jobs.

Of the two approaches, it seems to me that helping the folks without the jobs is more likely to result in increased economic activity, which will lead to more jobs. The main reason that businesses aren't hiring/expanding/etc. is low demand. If folks without jobs get some assistance, they'll likely spend the money, which will circulate and increase demand.

If possible, I'd prefer to do this without running budget deficits, but that's only possible if we build up surpluses in the good years, as Keynes advocated, so that those are available when the economy isn't so great.

Clickker 2 years, 6 months ago

Folks who make less than $27,000 may not pay income income taxes after deductions, but they pay payroll taxes

What do you mean by this? Do you mean they pay the taxes that are withheld from thier paycheck..Withholding taxes? Or do you mean that thier employer pays a payroll tax supposedly on thier behalf. Because if it is the latter, that is a tax on the employer, not the employee.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

This was a cut n paste from factcheck.org. I'm guessing it refers to withholding.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

It is also not correct that the same 47% of Americans would vote democrat. It is difficult to determine a single percentage, but the number is significant. Again, see factcheck.org.

grammaddy 2 years, 6 months ago

As usual, the right wants to blame Obama for all that is wrong. The folks who downgraded our credit rating said they did it because the Rethugs were obviously capable of holding the nation hostage to get what they want. Fear-monger much?

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Not that it's any of your business, but I do.

How about you?

And, now, back to the subject at hand, I hope.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

" Socialism is a proven failure wherever it's been attempted. "

This is absolutely false-- it's an integral part of every truly democratic country in the world, and while it may be ideologically unpalatable to you, to eliminate it is to sentence a majority of the country's population to misery and early death, and would likely lead to extreme revolutionary turmoil.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

Me thinks you are wasting your breath(key board and internet connection) Bozo. These people who are beating the anti-Socialism drum do not understand Socialism, how it is interwoven into a successful democratic country nor understand in one form or another the US has always had a certain amount of Socialism and redistribution of wealth going on.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Why on earth do you think a vote for Romney will "return us to fiscal sanity"? Exactly what plan has Romney shown us that convinces you of this? Ryan's plan certainly didn't do it. And Romney "plan"...on his website...has no math, no specifics...just "different hope, different change" nonsense.

And why on earth do you think that the Republicans are any less willing to sell their votes than the Democrats? Why on earth do you think that Republicans want any less from their government than Democrats? They certainly may want different things, but less?? Oh, come on.

Think about it. We have conservatives and tea partiers demanding lower taxes and then, when the Bush tax cuts (the main reason 46.4% of Americans didn't pay FEDERAL income taxes this past year) actually lower taxes...they complain!!! They are resentful...because what they really meant is that they wanted their taxes lowered.

The thing is, their taxes probably were lowered. But, when they hear that other people didn't have to pay "any" taxes (whatever), then they're made because theirs weren't lowered "enough".

So please don't fool yourself into thinking that "the right" is any better than "the left". We're all human...with our own foibles. And BOTH sides show them clearly all the time...if you're willing to look in the mirror.

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 6 months ago

You're right, we need to have this conversation. Are you unaware, or do you just not care, that 8 of the last 12 years we had a republicrat for president--voting for Romney or Obama is continuing the status quo. The republicrats and democans have tag teamed this country into self-destruction. I say it's time to put an end to the madness. Dump the republicrats and democans and vote Libertarian instead...send a REAL message. Gary Johnson for POTUS.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

A bit early in the day to be blowing that dog whistle, don't you think?

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

It's never too early for some folks to blow. You might even say some blow 24/7/365.

average 2 years, 6 months ago

The only way you get anywhere near that '47%' number is by including Mr. and Mrs. AARP cardholder, the majority of retirees not paying any federal income tax. There's no other way to interpret what he said other than saying "most senior citizens consider themselves entitled victims".

Oh, yeah, and he really needs to win Florida somehow. Good luck with that one.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Boy are you ill-informed. Half of seniors have only social security - they paid to get - and may well qualify for other benefits based on income not age.

The other half of seniors pay income taxes. The more they make the more of their ss that is taxable - it is called means testing. The whole program is.

Are we distinguishing the poor seniors from the poor not seniors?? Poor is poor.

I have no problem with the 25% that are in fact poor. The other 25% should be paying taxes.

To equate payroll taxes which buy the individual an annuity and health care to income tax which pays for the operation of the several trillion a year federal government is ridiculous.

We need everyone with some skin in the operation of the federal government game. More from the not poor and a lot more from the rich. The system needs to be truly progressive and not shoved onto the shoulders of less than half the population (upper half of the middle class).

average 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm just saying, if you don't count those Social Security-only seniors in there, you simply can't get '47% of the country'. Romney clearly was including them in his list of moochers.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

It seems that moderate doesn't understand what payroll taxes is or what it is used for. That explains a lot.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

Nor does he understand all Americans have skin in the game, not just the ones he considers worthy.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Apparently kathy you just like to pick fights. No where in anything I wrote did I talk about being worthy. Exactly where did that term come from.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

"We need everyone with some skin in the operation of the federal government game. More from the not poor and a lot more from the rich. The system needs to be truly progressive and not shoved onto the shoulders of less than half the population (upper half of the middle class)."

Exactly what did you say here?

BTW: Randy Newman's new song:

http://perezhilton.com/2012-09-19-randy-newman-im-dreaming-of-a-white-president#.UFuPgWt5mSM.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, really. It is woefully aapparently that you don't because I defined it correctly. The fact that you stole the trust funds and now have to pay with general revenue is not the seniors fault. The payroll tax program buys a specific benefit and is not dedicated to government operations. Get you facts straight!!

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

Apparently you don't get it moderate. Payroll tax is made up of Income Tax due on the amount received for that pay check plus the amount due for Social Security, Medicare, and the 5.65% on Social Security or more that the employer must pay or for the extra part the employer may choose to pay. These payments go toward the annual Income Tax liability. The Social Security, Medicare amounts are not part the tax payment that may get refunded if over payment occurs.

I don't know who you are talking about when you use the term "you". The trust funds were filled with nothing but Government IOU's sent the mid 1070s.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 6 months ago

So this is why the LJW didn't run an actual news article about Romney's video? So Simons could write a spin editorial?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/opinion/kristof-it-takes-one-to-know-one.html?hp

" Romney has proved himself right: We manifestly do have a problem with people who see themselves as victims even as they benefit from loopholes in the tax code. One is running for president."

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

How sure are you that the otheer one has not benefited from "loopholes" otheerwise known as credits/adjustments/deductions including the EIC, charity, eand on and on. I guess to use kathy's term only some paople are worthy to have tax preferenced items (like the poor maybe)

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

If by using the term "the other one", you are referring to Pres. Obama, at least numerous years of his tax returns are available to review. I seriously doubt he has ever used the EIC deduction.

FYI, I don't consider deductions for charity a "loophole". It is a reasonable deduction provided to those who give to others. Take it away and there will be a lot more suffering.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

And on those tax returns I bet he took deductions for home interest, charity, child care and the like. My point is not that those are bad deductions but that they are legal just as Mr. Romney's are. Is there anyway you could really believe that his returns have not been reviewed???

Once you start down the deduction trail each year the Congress (note Congress) approves new and more iffy ones until we get to an IRS code bigger than the bible. What you may dislike others will defend to the death

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

I note you exempted EIC this time. Interesting.

The difference as I see it is we would have no problem discerning whether/what deductions or "loopholes" Obama utilized. If Romney provided his returns, we might see he had offshore accounts that were given amnesty by the IRS in 2010 or that; God forbid, he didn't tithe the full 10% to his church. I really don't have a problem with the wealthy being well off. I just want to ensure they play by the rules and keep the hypocrisy and double standards to a minimum.

grammaddy 2 years, 6 months ago

Our enlisted men in the battle zone also do NOT pay income tax.Would you call them irresponsible or unwilling to take responsibility?? RMoney doesn't have a clue how the 99% live.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Are you sure you are right. There were deductions for serving in a combat zone and some special pays that were tax exempt.

Nice confuser. The issue is those who do not. Are you arguing that that set is zero???

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

I heard the exact same quote this morning on Fox. Military personnel in combat zones don't pay Fed income taxes. Couldn't help it-the program was on in our break room when I walked in.

grammaddy 2 years, 6 months ago

The Republicans promised JOBS would be the #1 priority. Yesterday they killed a Veterans' Jobs Bill. Vote them ALL out.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Which of the many things you have advocated on here do you want. Somebody must pay. The Republicans demanded an offset and the Democrats demanded a tax increase (the one thta somehow funds everything).

Let us hire people who understand limits and can prioritize like every working family in the country.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

I wish to heck people would stop comparing the economies of nations with family budgets.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

The real problam surfaces. Nations must balance budgets or become like Greece

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes, and a "working family" or person knows that when they have "X" amount of obligations and "Y" amount of income, if they have a budget shortfall they must either increase income, prioritize expenditures including cutting or minimizing them; or they can combine the two approaches. Even if they choose to ignore the obvious and stay the course to their detriment, they still realize what could/should be done.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

The national debt hit $16 billion recently, but hey, look over there, Romney! (howling mob dashes away to chant talking points)

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

No, the intelligent thing to do would have been to pursue bin Laden where he was-either by not letting him escape Tora Bora, or hunting him down someplace else after he got away; you know, like Pakistan for example. Instead, Bush invades Iraq.

cowboy 2 years, 6 months ago

A sorry editorial steeped in spin. The problem is we all have eyes and ears and can hear the contempt in Romneybots voice describing "those people". Those people are vets Those people are elders Those people are the one blessed with diabilities Those people are folks not born to Romneybots wealth and privledge

I noticed another poster commenting on the complete lack of coverage of Thurston Howells utter failings this past week , politicizing the death of our state department heroes yet you have the time to bring forth this pathetic defense of republican drivel.

Yesterday the chickenhawk Republicans voted down a veterans jobs bill that would have benefited our returning warriors with job opportunities in national parks , conservation , police and fire positions. How pi$$ poor can you get GOP.

The light is shining bright on the right wings values and you are being soundly rejected by American public.

Keith 2 years, 6 months ago

I thought cutting taxes was a Republican goal. So now they've cut some folks taxes down to zero. Are they now going to break their pledge to Grover Norquist and raise taxes?

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

In all fairness it is a politicians goal to cut taxes mostly on the upper income people. Tax cuts by changes in our tax code and eroding our tax base has been going on since the tax code was created. It is just that now they are talking about reducing the percentage paid of the actual taxable income. A very few are actually taxed at the higher tax bracket and most of those people are in the upper income level of wage earners because they do not qualify for the tax law benefits that other types of income earners qualify for. The people who are self employed business owners or contract labor that would be in the upper bracket have tax laws to use in reducing their overall tax liability percentage.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

In American politics, if a politician tells the truth, he's blasted. So they spend most of their time skirting around uncomfortable truths. Between that, and a 24 hour news cycle, the presidential election has become little more than a soap opera.

We're in the process of getting the government we deserve.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm pretty sure that most of the 47% would just as soon take responsibility for their own well being. That said, for many, there are "social contracts" between some or most of the 47% and the government, especially in areas like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, Liberty, but you obviously don't understand the concept of "social contract", and are just as obviously confusing it with legal contract.

They are not even close to being the same thing, so you're simply arguing apples and oranges.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

There is no confusion. L1 described what a contract was correctly. The misuse of the word "contract" in the term "social contract" is what is at issue. A more accurate lable would be "Social Coercion" becuase (unlike a contract) participation is compulsory, kinda like the Cuban healthcare system.

Phillbert 2 years, 6 months ago

As David Brooks wrote earlier this week, the majority of the 47 percent who are either retired or don't earn enough money to pay more than payroll taxes, are Republicans just like Dolph. That number even includes millionaires, and if you look at it by state, it sure seems they all cluster in Republican states.

If people who are retired or work and don't earn enough to pay income taxes are going to vote for Obama, then Mitt has some problems in the Republican South.

If people who are retired or work and don't earn enough to pay income taxes are going to vote for Obama, then Mitt has some problems in the Republican South. by Phillbert

fiddleback 2 years, 6 months ago

Dolph should really just put his name on this screed rather than make his whole editorial staff look as myopic and bitterly partisan as he is...

"Romney didn’t say anything that wasn’t true"

Sure, Dolph, sure. Except:

  1. Conflating that 47% with being overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/how-do-the-47-vote/

And also nevermind that these numbers grew from the Bush tax cuts which R/R seek to make permanent...

And also nevermind that these numbers grew from the Bush tax cuts which R/R seek to make permanent... by fiddleback

2.Accusing all of the 47% of playing the victim and abdicating personal responsibility. Oh yes, not only fair and balanced, but dripping with truthiness. Those "Greatest Generation" seniors in Florida must have loved it! Sure, they helped defeat fascism and paid taxes all their lives, but what have they done for us lately? Freeloaders!

And Phillbert, as a compliment to your map, here's a map by county of where the "moochers" are concentrated. You can visit the interactive link to specifically see Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, etc. Does Mitt realize that he just insulted folks mostly in the states he's expected to carry?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/12/us/entitlement-map.html

percentage of income that is from government benefits.

percentage of income that is from government benefits. by fiddleback

WilburM 2 years, 6 months ago

What's truly amazing about this editorial is that (compared to many of the above comments), it doesn't take into account the extensive discussion of the 47% and all the analyses that have been put forth on this complex issue. Nope -- just grab a "fact" and run with it. A waste of time, but a great insight into "the writer" (sic) of this piece.

anotherview 2 years, 6 months ago

It's not only those with low income that are not paying any federal income tax. For example: A married couple filing a joint income tax return with $3,000,000.00 invested in stocks that pay an average dividend yield of 3% would have $90,000.00 of annual income. This couple would also fall into the 47% that are not paying federal income taxes. That means there are millionaires that pay no federal income taxes nor do they pay any payroll taxes.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

I thought about opening the can of worms you did, anotherview, but figured it would fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. There are several people that are millionaires that are paying little to no Federal taxes. The people in that group are not just heavily invested in the stock or bond market. They are business owners that cover everything from retailers to real estate owners and developers. It isn't that they are doing anything illegal. They are using the tax laws to their benefit.

Mike Ford 2 years, 6 months ago

ljworld.....spinning is a sea of denial.....I paid in $1250 in federal taxes and close to $500 in state taxes and I make less than $18k.The gpp doesn't live in the denial of romney weakness does it?

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

You must be singlke. Whay should thgat matter

Ken Lassman 2 years, 6 months ago

Dolph's editorial spin seems to me to be just a shotgun response to the major gaffe in the presidential campaign that squarely puts Romney right where the democrats have been trying much less successfully to put him: as an elitist multimillionaire with little understanding or even interest in the majority of US citizens. Romney's own words have done more to firm up this negative image of Romney than any democrat has been able to do, and it also bolsters the fear of the Main Street folks that a Romney Administration has its eyes on protecting Wall Street more than Main Street.

Dolph's attempt at diverting folks from this message doesn't seem to have any more traction than Romney's own attempts at "clarifying." My prediction is that we're in for Plan B: Romney's minions will initiate a smear and mud campaign against Obama, the likes of which he so successfully waged against his fellow Republicans in the primaries. He has nothing to lose in the ensuing melee, and the resulting fact-bereft attacks will only serve to taint Obama's next administration so that these guys can continue to block any democrat initiatives during the second term.

It's a sad phase our country is going through. Will true leadership rise to the occasion and actually decide that bipartisanship is healthier for our country than polarization?

mom_of_three 2 years, 6 months ago

Better not say that Pledge of Allegiance. It was written by a socialist minister.

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

"HERE HERE BRAVO!!"

I believe you actually meant "HEAR, HEAR", as in to listen, but as one who can't or won't, it's not much of a surprise I guess...

Here's a couple of primers for 'ya.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear,_hear http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1489/why-do-people-say-hear-hear

jaywalker 2 years, 6 months ago

Sure, there was truth in what Romney said, but he said it extraordinarily poorly, not surprising considering he was pandering at a $50k a plate fundraiser. There probably is a solid 47% that are going to vote for the President no matter what; Romney jumped the rails when categorizing them all as "entitled" and in essence, the big part of the problem. Blanket statements are always a bad idea, but in the case of a Presidential campaign we may just have witnessed the final nail in Mitt's coffin. Can't say that bothers me in the least. The fact he was the best the Republican's could come up with after these past four years just proves how weak and clueless the right side of the aisle is.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I apologize in advance, but I'm going to paint with a very wide brush here in my use of liberal/conservative. Hopefully, no one will get too offended.

Yesterday, on another thread, there was a discussion about how much taxes were paid by the big oil companies compared to their record profits. One of our more liberal frequent posters here provided a link to an article that spoke to that issue. The gist of the article was that the amount of taxes paid "depended upon how you count". Wow. What happened was a liberal think tank looked at only one tax, the corporate income tax, while the oil companies looked at all taxes they paid. Juxtapose that with the discussion here about the 47% and you will see both sides flip flop. Liberals now want to look at all taxes paid by that 47% while the conservatives want the more narrow focus of just the one tax, the Federal Income Tax. And he's my broad brush - I think the more liberal you are, or the more conservative you are, the more likely you'll be dug into your position, which is hypocritical. You can't have a narrow focus when it comes to individuals and then seek a broad focus when it comes to corporations, or visa versa, while maintaining a consistent philosophy. The only way to reconcile the hypocrisy, it to introduce your own sense of what is right or wrong, or that ever elusive notion of what is "fair". What's fair to you won't be fair to me, so we finish the circle right where we began, with a lot of words and nothing solved. And in that case, Washington reflects us exactly.

CountyResident 2 years, 6 months ago

So does that mean the corporations will lower the retail price of their product if their income tax rate is reduced to zero? Does that mean that any business that will not be paying any Kansas income tax next year, because of Bownback's tax policy, will also cut the price of their product accordingly. Don't hold your breath.

An individual does not pay any income or sales taxes on corporate income. They might see future gains in the stock price be reduced, but they would not pay income tax unless they sold the stock for a gain. Sales tax has no bearing on this issue.

Romney says that corporations are "people" .

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Corporations often don't lower their prices just because their competition does. Why should they? Not every corporation's goal is to sell to the Walmart crowd. That's why we have things like marketing. You know, TV commercials and stuff like that? The cost of something and the value of something are two entirely different things.

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

The oil companies are counting pass-through taxes as a tax burden on them. Gasoline taxes, sales tax, and the portion of payroll tax paid by the employee do not come out of Big Oil's pocket. They are paid by others and passed along to the appropriate taxing authority.

The Sales and payroll taxes paid by consumers or employees come out of those people's pockets. Even people who make too little to pay federal income tax pay sales and payroll taxes.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

As your link so eloquently stated, "It depends upon how you count".

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

And it's pretty obvious how you count, no matter how hard you try to give your statements a veneer of faux reasonableness.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

Romney says it, so did Fox News, the right wing nut jobs and now the Journal World so it must be true. Never mind that this 47% was a fowl swipe at retired people who have paid taxes all their life, elderly and unemployed who may not be able to work, the military personnel who are receiving combat pay, lower middle class and lower class families along with very small business owners who are paying payroll tax or the 15.3% self employment tax as well as other applicable taxes.

Trumbull 2 years, 6 months ago

How does Romney know that 47% of Americans believe they are victims? How can the writer of the editorial conclude this is a fact?

chocolateplease 2 years, 6 months ago

This is a terrible editorial. Did the writer even watch the video of Romney speaking or read the transcript which contains factual corrections to what Romney said as he lied about Obama? The 47% may be fact, but when you break it down, you learn that these people are mostly falling into the categories of poor, elderly, students, and working poor. And then there are the small percentage of extremely rich who pay no income taxes.

To hear the attitude from Romney, to hear how his job "isn't to worry about them", is shameful. His solution is to pull out the safety net, turn more money over to the wealthiest among us (not even use it to lower the debt. no, he is not a fiscal conservative) and this is who you want running the country?

Please watch the man speak for himself, and read the transcript too since it mentions some factual corrections to the things he said. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/secret-video-romney-private-fundraiser

Trumbull 2 years, 6 months ago

I don't know why Romney and other Republicans always strip off Federal Payroll taxes when saying these things. It is there own way of misrepresenting things. The fact is, roughly 75% of Americans pay Federal Income taxes and/or Federal Payroll taxes. The majority of the remaining 25% are those who have retired and most likely worked all of their lives.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"I don't know why Romney and other Republicans always strip off Federal Payroll taxes when saying these things."

Because they are inherently dishonest.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Did you see my post above, where the liberal think tank wanted to count only one tax while the oil companies wanted to count all taxes? i think the liberals have an equal fear of the truth as conservatives. Equal.

BTW - The link I referenced was put up by deec and then repeated by you. Just so you know which to link I was referring. The one that said: "It depends upon how you count". What a great statement. Truly informative.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

" i think the liberals have an equal fear of the truth as conservatives. Equal."

That's because you always try to place yourself in some mythical, magical middle ground.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Odd how you describe the middle because I'm far to the right on some issues, far to the left on others and in the middle on still other issues. Maybe it does average out to some mythical middle ground. But if someone were far to the far left on every issue, or the far right on every issue, that person's point of view would become irrelevant. I could simply look in Mao's Little Red Book or in some John Birch Society pamphlet and read all I need to know about that person's ideas. The individual becomes redundant. Are you redundant, Bozo, irrelevant?

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

No. Mostly you're just to the right with occasional delving into fallacies of the golden mean and defenses of the status quo using the fallacy of common practice. The few issues you'd probably consider yourself to be "to the left" on seem to be plucked more from libertarianism than any progressive policies, and in the current political landscape that still puts them on the right.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm in favor of higher taxes for the wealthy. Left or right?

I'm pro choice. Left or right?

I'm pro gay rights, including marriage. Left of right?

I support increased spending on schools. Left or right?

Though I've sent my offspring to private schools, I'm opposed to vouchers. Left or Right?

I could go on, but why bother. BTW, I like your new word of the month, fallacy. Cute.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

The voucher issue is neither left nor right, since both sides seem to have a fixation on it in spite of the lack of evidence of efficacy. Just ask Arne Duncan.

As to the rest of your positions. I've seen little evidence of them here, and that's all I have to go by. You seem to fall more into the Eisenhower or Reagan model of republicanism, which I realize would make you a screaming pinko commie in some circles. Objectively, you're still an old school fiscal conservative without the fixation on social issues that characterizes today's tea party extremists (many of whom label themselves as libertarian without actually adhering to libertarianism's social freedoms).

BTW - you'll find I'm rather fond of the word fallacy and have used it on many occasions. It's almost as cute as being intentionally condescending while pretending to be the adult in the room.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Read the first sentence of your last comment. " ... occasional delving into fallacies of golden mean ... " Said very much like a pretentious teen (or a philosophy major) trying too hard be be an adult. So, thankfully there is at least one adult in this conversation.

But I do find it interesting that the two most progressive posters here, yourself and Bozo, both mock me for my views even though you can't even agree what they are. You claim I'm right, leaning towards Libertarian, Bozo says mythical middle. What you too have in common, besides your progressive on steroids beliefs, is intolerance for those with views that differ. Thankfully, in that regard, you're not representative of progressives as a whole. Goodbye.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

I say you're more conservative than you like to admit and that you lean toward a fallacy of the golden mean. Bozo says you try too hard for the mythical middle. Not seeing a lot of disagreement there, so I guess we both get to keep our magic progressive decoder rings. We won them as prizes in our boxes of Mau Tse O's fortified with extra irony. They're very handy for bludgeoning dissenters with our snarky intolerance. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to text Bozo to coordinate our hermeneutics.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Forgot to mention - the "higher taxes for the wealthy" issue. Since you claim fairness is impossible and everyone should "pay the same," that seems to imply you're in the radically right and/or libertarian flat tax camp with the Heritage Foundation.

See - gotta go by your posts and not your elevator pitch. You might want to sell yourself as a middle of the road independent that could take any position on a given issue, but the keys on the right side of your keyboard still get worn out a lot faster.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I sell myself as "me".

I read that little red book years ago, so as far as I can see, you have nothing to add to the conversation.

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

I've never read it, but it is certainly revealing that it's your go-to ad hominem when flouncing a conversation.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Just trying to label people who trying to label me. If the shoe fits ...

chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

You'd accused me of bias long before I pointed out yours. One of the few reasons I bothered, actually.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

So, our local 0.1% newspaper editor sides with Romney as he panders to his peers, the angry, radical rich.

"Two recent movements have transformed the political landscape. The Occupy movement literally operates in the light of day. The other movement operates in secrecy, with money as its "speech" rather than ... well, you know, speech.

The Romney video offers us a rare glimpse of the other movement. This movement of the extremely rich is full of rage, ruthless, and radical. And it's on the rise."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/19-8

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

The problem is that so many people who will be destroyed by this rage and ruthlessness support it. The one or two percent couldn't maintain control without the cooperation of those they are destroying.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 6 months ago

The fact is very simple. Candidates like Romney and Akin in Missouri have clearly stated the ideals of the republican facist party. Nothing could be clearer. So why all the blah, blah, blah. Romney and Ryan would be a disaster for this country. But try telling that to the bucolic rubes in Western Kansas who are addicted to the" Kool Aid Tea" they are hearing from "God's Anointed Pioliticians" and the devil's sidekickl. Rush Limbaugh . Check this out with Bfrownbackwatrds, God's spokesman for the Kingdom of Heaven.

CountyResident 2 years, 6 months ago

I am tired of Romney or anyone else referring to senior citizens that draw social security benefits and medicare as some kind of free loader. These people paid both of these taxes all of their working lifes and are entitled to these benefits just as they are entitled to receive distributions from their IRA or any other retirement plan that they may had contributed to. These benefits are not some government hand out.

Trumbull 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree, but I actually don't think Romney was aware of this little detail.......ie seniors make up a large portion of the 47%.

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

I posted this on another thread, but it seems relevant here as well.

In the third quarter of 2008, 44.4 percent of Americans received some sort of government assistance. In 2012, that figure rises to 49 percent.

26.4 percent receive Medicaid now compared to 23.8 percent under Bush.

16.2 percent receive Social Security. Under Bush, 14.9 percent of the population received Social Security. This reflects our aging population.

55 million people receive Social Security or Disability payments.

Info from Factcheck.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

There's an interesting article on my home page today, that goes into a bit more detail about the 3 groups Romney is lumping together.

The groups are likely Obama voters, those who pay no federal income taxes, and those who receive benefits from the government.

For the most part, the groups are in fact distinct, although there's a little overlap.

Likely Obama voters tend to be well educated, and generally well off working folks, so Romney's conclusions are clearly unwarranted.

deec 2 years, 6 months ago

Two ids in one day? Someone really wants to post on this topic.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

See my post above yours.

He didn't speak the truth - he conflated 3 distinct groups, and his conclusion is wrong.

Trumbull 2 years, 6 months ago

Constitutional, I am really struggling to understand your last three sentences. Were you in a hurry?

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

It’s no big secret. Mr. Obama is a Nanny State guy who wants government to redistribute wealth and help take care of people by sending them money from the treasury. Mr. Romney is more of a self-reliance kind of guy who sees government’s role as helping people take care of themselves.

The folks drawing some form of government assistance are far more likely to vote for the guy who promises to continue providing it. That’s all Romney said.

What puzzles me is why are liberals upset by Mr. Romney pointing-out the huge Nanny State Mr. Obama has built? It is his single greatest achievement. A lot of people voted for him and will again because of this.

The simple fact is we need to have this debate because the US cannot afford the spending anymore. A large and growing part of the country depends on some form of government assistance. A shrinking minority has to work to pay for it. We borrow 41 cents of every dollar the government spends ($2 million every minute) We have accumulated a massive and very dangerous amount of debt. The Federal Reserve is now printing money to buy US debt and devaluing the US dollar. How crazy is that? Right now the federal and state governments are spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on means-tested entitlements. Those are payments OTHER than Social Security and Medicare. More than 46 million Americans are now receiving food stamps. That's a record. Nearly nine million Americans are now on federal disability, another record. And more than 100 million Americans, 35 percent of the population, are living in a household receiving some kind of welfare.

Is government going to rob from Peter to pay Paul, saddle our kids and grandkids with massive debts and “take care” of people, or is government supposed to help people take care of themselves? Our country needs this debate.

fiddleback 2 years, 6 months ago

It’s no big secret. Mr. Quantrill was a psychopathic mass murderer, and yet you continue to sport his callow visage as if he's a hero, giving all of Lawrence the middle finger...

Romney didn't just say that the 47% who don't pay income tax have more incentive to vote for Obama; he sloppily labeled them all as Obama-supporters, which doesn't withstand any scrutiny if you look at the data linked to above. He also accused them of playing the victims and refusing to take responsibility for their own lives. Calling that ineloquent is quite the clever euphemism...

"...the huge Nanny State Mr. Obama has built...The simple fact is we need to have this debate because the US cannot afford the spending anymore"

News flash: no one will have this debate with you, esp. when your blind partisanship seemingly lays all blame at the feet of the current POTUS. GOP-supported tax cuts and credits are a major part of what got us to 47% not paying income tax. You seem a tad unworthy of debate with such a lop-sided historical recollection.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

I have to find a bigger and better picture of Captain Quantrill. LMAO!

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

Why not use the one depicting his tombstone?

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe you could use one. How about Jim Lane's? What a pillar of the community he was.

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

Ask and ye shall receive.

Enjoy! I know I do.

fiddleback 2 years, 6 months ago

I'd recommend this one:

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10054

There's no excuse to celebrate Quantrill, even if Jim Lane had shot your great great great grandpappy in the face. Yours might as well be a picture of Tim McVeigh.

fiddleback 2 years, 6 months ago

Also, "Captain" Quantrill? To quote True Grit, "Captain of what???"

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Did you support the Bush tax cuts? if so, then YOU supported this reduction in the % of people paying no FEDERAL income taxes.

And the national debt increased by 89% under Bush. Were you complaining then?

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

You're a denier Agno. "Spending" and "deficits" and "debt" are not just smoke screens. They are real and they are big problems that are runing the country You cannot wish them away.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, for crying out loud. Can't you come up with anything new? 57 states, indeed. Why not bring up Solyndra now?

More importantly, perhaps you didn't notice but you said "the national debt is a staggering $16 trillion and increased by about $5+ trillion in Obama’s first term alone"

In other words, when he TOOK OFFICE, the national debt was $11 frickin' trillion dollars!!!

How come you're blowing that off? Wrong president, perhaps? Wrong party? Want us to blame Obama for all of it? Even though the national debt grew by 89% under Bush...and not even half of that under Obama.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

It's the ONLY symbol as far as I can tell...at least based on complaints from people like you.

Corey Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

It's easy to tell when you steal your posts. Here is the source for this one: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/24/solyndra-headquarters-could-sell-at-fraction-original-price/ At least have the decency to acknowledge that the thoughts aren't your own, but are someone else's.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

That's funny, I saw his appearance on Letterman, he did no such thing.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

I looked at his link, and watched the entire clip.

It's fascinating to me that folks like rc ignore the vast majority of what the president said, all of which was factual and reasonable, in order to find some little thing they can criticize.

Given that the national debt is continually increasing, which is the point of the "debt clock", why would we expect anybody to know precisely at a moment in time what the national debt was? Pull up the clock and watch it run, then try to say what it is - by the time you've said it, it's already changed.

I agree with everything Obama said in the clip - including his prescription for dealing with the debt and deficits, which he offered there, and acknowledged that it's a "medium term" problem, and we need to get it under control.

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 6 months ago

If Mr. Romney is a moderate, and there has been little proof ( the Koch brothers support him), he would not be accusing the people of being lazy and demanding to live off the government. Americans have one of the strongest work ethics in the world, but being turned into shovel ready slave labor is not conducive to continue that strong work ethics. The Journal World editor who wrote this nonsense is just as quilty as all the other businesses who took tax breaks in order to fund their own egos. Why does one person have to have one more plane than all the others who were using American mortgages as chess pieced in a money grab game. The JW has chopped so many people that they are not growing, but moving into a smaller building. I cannot understand why Americans should, like sheep, be so appreciative for shovel ready jobs, after workiing hard for a degree that would give them a decent pay for their families and a nice home they can no longer afford. We should be grateful for jobs that do not fit our training. We should be grateful for living in smaller rented cramp homes. We should be grateful for a president who wants to continue to call them lazy while he gives tax breaks ( that means those who have not been paying equal share) are given more and more.
I agree that corporate owners are not lazy, they spend a lot of time figuring out the next money making scam! They spend thousands or millions in hiring lobbyists to give favors to the elected officials. That is the tax dollars that could be used to develop a better product and give decent pay to decent working Americans.
We know who is really not paying taxes. Frank-Dodd Act wa forced on the corporate world because they cannot and will not comply to ethical standards. The EU parliament has forced legislation on derivatives and instrument bundling for the world corporations who have no ability to act ethically. Corporations demand tax breaks, they are so poor, they cannot provide decent paying jobs as they spend millions on lobbyists and one more house and another plane. Americans are not lazy, but they are not sheep.

JohnBrown 2 years, 6 months ago

Funny how Republicans now hate people who don't pay taxes.

And Rockchaulk 1977, did you know that the Republicans piled up 3/4ths of that national debt? They piled it up when times were good. Now we are in deep economic do-do and need government spending to stimulate the economy 'cuz the banks that did it the Bain Way broke our economy and there's no one else that create the demand for products so companies can hire and make more stuff.

"Job creators"? Hah! No company with tons of cash is going to create one single new job unless there is demand for their products. The only way there will be demand now is if the government continues the stimulus...which requires, in the short term, more spending.

Usually, one would hold off piling up government debt until times when its required, such as now. But the Republicans created the debt during good economic times and set up the sorry state we are in debt-wise.

Even Wall Street agrees that austerity needs to come after more stimulus and once the economy has a steady heart beat.

JohnBrown

beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

Facts you are forced to ignore.

The wheels are starting to come off the Romney campaign. Unless something amazing comes out about Obama in the next 2 months -- you know, worse than his being a Muslim socialist homosexual drug addict born in Kenya who wants to ban all guns because he is the anti-Christ, which we already know -- then it is starting to look like a foregone conclusion for an Obama re-election.

beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

And once elected, Reagan tripled the deficit after cutting taxes, starting the ball rolling on our current massive dept.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

I thought Mr Simons editorialized on Saturday.

Or maybe this is the new guy?

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

But usually only Mr Simons writes like this.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

That is true. I've never seen anyone write so many pointless rhetorical questions in my life.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

I stand corrected. Truth be told, I usually don't read very far into Dolph's diatribes, I just judged this on the subject matter. My bad.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 6 months ago

You mean there's a new neo-conservative editorial writer at LJW? Aren't Krauthammer and George Will enough?

scaramouchepart2 2 years, 6 months ago

Does Mitt Romney and the republican party wants all democrates killed off after they are no longer viable working people? Remember Logan's Run. The movie where everyone, not worth anything, we're deciminated at the age of 30. Those people living off the dole are mostly hard working Americans who paid their dues and had their retirement wiped out by corporate greed under the Bush Administration. Obama was not president when corporate greed caused this depression. It has to be a depression with 47% not working and milking those poor corporations. It was a democratic presidents who did not listen to Ms. Brooksley Born when she pushed for regulations on derivatives. Both parties are quilty and it will take both parties working together to clean up this mess and regulate an entity that has no moral compass. Yes Liberty corporations do exist, but they are not a person. They demand people's rights, but do not practice people responsibilities. Corporations have done far to much damage to be a fantasy.

beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

Why would a rich American give up their citizenship when they can simply hide their money in accounts in the Cayman Islands?

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

All half dozen of them. Besides now they can not vote for Mr. Obama

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Nice strawman. The people we are really talking about make in excess of $2K a month

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 6 months ago

Silly people that think they're entitled to food. What's the world come to?

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

No one is entitled to anything someone else is forced to provide them.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

Who did I force to provide me the land I own?

Thanks for the chuckle. You people crack me up.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

There will always be libertarians who don't think things through.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

Have you ever known a libertarian who did think things through? I have tried to wrap my head around what would happen if we actually tried to follow their precepts and all I come up with is silliness.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

I believe mass chaos would be a better description than silliness. If the world had been operating the Libertarian way we would have been hard pressed to make it to or past the Renaissance period.

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

I only got as far as silliness before i gave up the thought experiment. On a larger scale, yes, it would be chaos.

We wouldn't have made it out of the primeval forest.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

Its a shame you don't understand what a libertarian is, and through your clumsy personal attacks demonstrate your glaring ignorance of it. Sad really. Liberty is one of the central lessons of world history. Virtually all the progress the human race has enjoyed during the past few centuries is due to the increasing acceptance of free markets, civil liberties, and self-ownership (private property) The ONLY cases in recorded history in which human beings have escaped the horrors of grinding, generational poverty and hopelessness have come from where they had capitalism and largely free markets that are the cornerstone of libertarian ideology. If you want to know where the masses of common people are the worst off, it is exactly in the kinds of societies that do not respect individual rights and liberty. History is crystal clear on this point: there is no recorded way to improve the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activates that are unleashed by a system of government founded on the idea individual human beings are sovereign – not the government. It’s a shame you chose to denigrate the political ideology that cares more about you than all the others combined.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh please. I understand Libertarianism better than you think. If Libertarianism was such a great plan the world would already be using it. It stead it has never worked anywhere on the face of the planet. Libertarianism would only work in a perfect world. In case you haven't noticed we do not exist in a perfect world nor do we have true free markets or unbridled capitalism. Ignorance and greed puts a stop to that real quick. You need not look any farther than the corporations, big business and politicians of today. On a smaller more at home scale. Libertarians assume that a small Government can protect an individuals rights. They can't protect us now. Libertarians seem to think that everyone is just going to have a group hug and get along.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

So tbaker since you are not entitled I guess that means you and others like you will have no problem giving up your right to use highways, military protection, fire and ambulance services, etc. The list is quite long so I stopped listing.

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

For starters, I have no "right" to use those things you list to start with, and niether do you. No one should force anyone to provide those things, and they're not. It was a collective decision made by our elected representatives that our society will have those things. No one is holding a gun to the fireman's head forcing him to do his job. Your point is moot.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 6 months ago

According to tbaker, the only thing poor people are entitled to is to die. Oh and by the way, that goes for their snot nosed children as well. He wouldn't have to pay one copper penny of his "hard earned cash" and besides leaves him more to potentially acquire.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

And about $25K per year in the social safety net we have agreed to provide the needy poor

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Wow, Dolph knows how to get hits.

Half of us do not contribute to the operation of the federal government. Of that about half are considered poor. Of that about half turnover while the rest remain on government assistance. Are all of those unable to work? I suspect this group is the set drawing Mr. Romney’s comment.

Of the half not poor – incomes above about $25K - why are they exempt from paying for the government many demand? Why does having children – elective – lead to the rest of us providing you with a get out of federal income tax pass (the Earned Income Credit) . The tax rate at that point is 10% and with normal deductions that effective tax would be a few percent. Why can those above $25K not pay a few hundred dollars a year in federal income taxes?

Why do you get to make the people paying from $60K to $120K pay the vast predominance of the federal income taxes? They are not rich! Why did Mr. Obama not raise taxes on the really rich in the fall of 2009 when he controlled the Congress? Why is he only asking for a 10% tax increase on the supper rich?

The vast majority of the posts on here are at best very misleading and highly partisan.

Kendall Simmons 2 years, 6 months ago

Because he did not control Congress??? 24 days out of 2 years is NOT a lot of time.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Sorry I poseted a blog that listed the time and it was most of the fall that year. Go find it

bevy 2 years, 6 months ago

Best part of this seemingly interminable election cycle? Observing all the ways the Mittster finds to shoot himself in the foot. It would be sad if it wasn't so funny.

beatrice 2 years, 6 months ago

It is sad because people still take him seriously.

Andrew Reeves 2 years, 6 months ago

All this back and forth is so tiresome. "You suck!" "No, YOU suck!" The fact of the matter is the government will always be in the hole. That's how the system's set up. The central banks lend the money to the government and we have to pay it back at a price. Good job, though, playing along. It's funny how quickly things change. Remember Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney?

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_09/remember_deficits_dont_matter032197.php

Trumbull 2 years, 6 months ago

Romney was not be candidly truthful, aside from the 47% figure. If he really were, he might have said something like this:

"47% of Americans do not pay Federal Income taxes. Many of those who do not pay income taxes are those who are retired, children, and people who are amongst the working poor who do not earn enough. There are also those who take child deductions and exemptions, home mortgage deduction, earned income credit, and other tax loopholes designed to help the middle class. And also there are some people who have fallen on hard times, are handicapped or disabled, then there are some who are unemployed and looking for a job, there are active military members, and last but not least there are a minority who take advantage of the system."

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

And there is the 25% that earn more than $2K per month and pay no federal income tax. Why.

Tell me why we continue a deduction for children when we are screaming about clinate change driven mostly by population. Fewer paople a lot less carbon!

Sounds like the real message is give goodies to enough people to build a vote total that will perpetuate the process. But then that is what Mr Romney said. Thanks for acknoweledging it

bad_dog 2 years, 6 months ago

On a related note, I'm sure all will be pleased to know the Topeka Capital Journal is reporting Orly Taitz filed suit seeking to have Obama removed from the ballot in Kansas.

headdoctor 2 years, 6 months ago

There is no kidding going on here. The hearing date with the Judge is Oct. 3.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Dwight Eisenhower was last Republican President to preside over a balanced budget. He had a balanced budget in 1956 and 1957. Since then, there have been two presidents to preside over balanced budgets, LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001. During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

Of course Pres Obama has increased the debt. Every president has increased the debt. Then again Obama inherited a destroyed economy which is going to require more debt to bring it back to life. Using borrowed money to create jobs is smart.

To clarify, congress authorizes the budget. Between 1955 and 1981 Democrats held majorities in both chambers of Congress. From 1981 - 1987 republicans controlled the Senate, while Democrats held onto the House and then regained the Senate while holding controlling the House as well from 1987 -1995.

So the question is misleading in that the president alone cannot balance a budget. Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters.

One point that is often misunderstood is that the budget for a President's first year in office is set by the prior President. Thus the balanced budget of 1969 was due to LBJ's budget even though Nixon was president for most of the year.

Eisenhower actually also balanced it in 1960. Before him there were three years after WWII b/c the war spending had stopped but the taxes and war controls were still in place. Before that it was Hoover in 1930 and before that it was Coolidge 1924-1929 (last president to balance it every year) and Harding 1921-1923.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Which_republican_president_balanced_a_budget#ixzz26ZnxrBpJ

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Conservatives such as Brownback and Romney are big spenders while handing out tax breaks at the same time. Romney and Brownback are reckless conservatives NOT fiscal conservatives.

Conservatives such as Brownback and Romney love big government in spite of the nonsense rhetoric coming from conservatives.

Neither true republicans nor democrats can afford the Brownback/Koch/Romney conservative in any capacity. These thinkers are a threat to job security,wages and residential property values. Easy to document.

This ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

RECKLESS Tax cuts = THE ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which does nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again. Bush Tax Cuts aka THE ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Mother Jones Reporter David Corn on Revealing the Secret Romney Video That’s Upended the 2012 Campaign.

Mother Jones reporter David Corn joins us to discuss how he released the now notorious video of Mitt Romney telling a crowd of wealthy donors in Florida that he does not worry about the 47 percent of Americans who are "dependent" on government and see themselves as "victims." Romney’s comments have divided Republicans, with some saying he should stand by his statements and others suggesting he should renounce them.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/20/mother_jones_reporter_david_corn_on

verity 2 years, 6 months ago

What does that have to do with the video?

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

We broadcast from just outside a Freeport, Illinois, factory owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Workers at Sensata Technologies have set up an encampment called "Bainport" across the street from the facility to protest the company’s plan to close the plant and move it to China, taking 170 jobs with it. The workers have been trying to get Romney to save their jobs.

We’re joined by two Sensata workers — Mark Schreck and Tom Gaulrapp — and Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp, who has supported the encampment and fended off calls for it to be shut down.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/20/bainport_live_from_illinois_plant_where

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Some of the workers have been employed at this site for 33 years.

"Welcome to Bainport, a taste of the Romney economy." That’s the message on one of the banners that greets you at the tent city where we broadcast from in Freeport, Illinois.

"Bainport" is an encampment set up by workers who face losing their livelihoods when their workplace closes its doors in November and moves to China, taking 170 jobs with it.

The workers’ plant, Sensata Technologies, is owned by Bain Capital, the firm co-founded by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Democracy Now! first spoke to the Sensata workers when we met them at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, where they unsuccessfully tried to meet with Romney.

Now, they have returned to Freeport and set up a protest camp in a bid to save their jobs. We speak to "Bainport" workers Dot Turner and Cheryl Randecker.

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/9/20/bainport_a_taste_of_the_romney

Kate Rogge 2 years, 6 months ago

I noticed several Lawrence Democrats have posted on the New York Times' article about the end of moderate Kansas Republicans:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/the-end-of-a-kansas-tradition-moderation/

Nice to show the flag and remind ourselves, and the rest of the country, that Kansas also has Democrat voters. At least until Kobach figures out how to disenfranchise us all...

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Why bother a smost of us are locked up in Lawrence and a few other isolated locations

Alyosha 2 years, 6 months ago

If this is what passes for thinking in the editorial offices of the LJW, God help them as they try to maintain their business.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 6 months ago

This is a "Dolph piece". He's no true editor, just sits on the board because he's the majority stockholder. He likes to puff around about the I built this business despite the fact that he's a trust fund baby and got the LJW handed to him. Pretty much like Mitt Romney.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Half of us do not contribute to the operation of the federal government. Of that about half are considered poor. Of that about half turnover while the rest remain on government assistance. Are all of those remaining on government assistance (12.5% (35 million)) unable to work? Katara this data came from you. I suspect this group is the set drawing Mr. Romney’s comment.

Of the half not poor – incomes above about $25K - why are they exempt from paying for the government many demand? The tax rate at that point is 10% and with normal deductions that effective tax would be a few percent.

Why are the people making $60K to $120K paying the vast majority of the costs of operating the government? They are not rich. For the most part they receive only the same services everyone else receives. If we can take as much as 30% ($30000) of their income, it would seem only proper that we take 5% (an average of $1500) from the set making between $25K and $60K.

By the by that would suggest that with that level of progressivity we take 55% from those making over $500K and so on.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

The Australian treasurer, Wayne Swan, in an unusually blunt criticism of US politics weeks before the presidential election, said "cranks and crazies" had taken over the Republicans and posed the biggest threat to the world's largest economy.

Swan, one of few world leaders able to boast his country had avoided recession during the global financial crisis, also labelled the Tea Party wing of the Republicans as "extreme".

"Let's be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world's biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican party," Swan said in a speech to a conference in Sydney.

The Republican party's position on the US budget had led a year ago to the deadlock in negotiations, Swan said, to prevent the looming "fiscal cliff" – nearly $600bn in planned spending cuts and tax hikes that will bite early next year.

Congress had been debating whether to increase the US borrowing ceiling but the Republicans would not budge.

"Despite President Obama's goodwill and strong efforts, the national interest was held hostage by the rise of the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican party," he said.

Australian politicians rarely launch such blunt criticism of their counterparts in the US, a key strategic ally.

Swan, named by banking magazine Euromoney as its finance minister of the year in 2011 and treasurer of a centre-left government, also called on the US Congress to resolve an agreement on the budget to support growth in the short term.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/21/wayne-swan-republicans-cranks-crazies

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

M errill.

What is note worthy about a Democrat supporting Democrats. It is the democrats that want to double the tax on the upper half of the middle class in order to expand the goodies for those who vote democratic.

Wayne Maxwell Swan (born 30 June 1954) is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He has been an Australian Labor Party member (read Democrat) of the Australian House of Representatives from 1993 to 1996 and since 1998, representing the Division of Liley, Queensland.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

merrill is just throwing every piece of text he's ever copy/pasted against the wall to see what will stick.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

I don't think so. He has asked that those not poor ($25K to 60K) pay something toward the operation of the government we all benefit from. If he keeps this up he will be my hero - but he has to tax the rich..

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

No just a gross oversimplification. Kind of like "you didn't build it."

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

In your opinion not mine. Careful or we will prove the author's point.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Only about 12.5% are poor. What are the rest doing paying no taxes??

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

You know Tange, you are creative but tho e pictures eat up bit rate.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Well in my youth there were vacuum tube computers at the college computer center. Our first "home" computer (Apple II) came in our thirties.

Remember, that was back when the student or their parents paid most of the cost of college.

.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps because there is a broad segment of AMERICANS WHO ARE? There is no justification for 50 million Americans paying absolutely nothing toward the operation of the federal government - an entity that provides them many benefits.

It is politically unwise and morally bankrupt. There is absolutely no bigotry in demanding they pay a fair share - more than zero.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

Romney's statement, again, is a conflation of 3 different groups - likely Obama voters, those who pay no federal income taxes, and those who receive assistance from the federal government. The 3 groups are for the most part distinct, with a little overlap.

Most likely Obama voters are well educated, and well off (middle class) working folks, so his conclusion is completely unwarranted.

He also ascribes a certain mindset of entitlement to almost half the country, without any particular evidence of that.

So, his statement is factually incorrect, and ascribes motivations and mindsets without any evidence. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is rather popular these days, and gets a lot of traction with a lot of people.

And, of course, by saying it's "not my job to worry about those people", he's showing his clear lack of interest in representing them as president, which means he'd be the president of little more than half the country if elected.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Just a minor clarification to the very misleading chart above

The chart is in tax units not money. The senior benefit is only available to those who take a standard deduction – mostly those with no income but Social Security – maybe somewhere between 10 and 20 K – truly in the poor range. Lots of them but with little tax gain as they pay very little to begin with.

The EIC – a credit - is used by families with children with incomes as much as $50K to essentially reduce their federal income tax burden to zero. Exactly why should an elective decision to have children lead to no taxes for a family making over $4K per month?

Subsidizing children while demanding sacrifice to address climate change is simple pandering. Fewer people is less - much less - carbon

What started out as a good idea has become a major boondoggle exempting almost 30 million people who are not poor from any burden to support the operation of the federal government – and oh by the way vote their own pocketbook – for those who push that benefit.

We can return to the original intent of the EIC on budget through benefits payments to those deserving for less cost and without placing the tax burden on half the population (the upper half of the middle class)

The rest of the above is almost criminal and should have been terminated long ago. But then exactly where did all the tax preference come from - the Congress - with both parties very willing participants.

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