Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama's history favoring "Redistribution"

Joe the Plumber wasn't the first person to get Barack Obama to admit his position on wealth redistribution....

UPDATE: Bill has weighed in on this and directed the comments come here. We'll try to coordinate that better next time.
UPDATE: Some have accused that these quotes are "out of context". So here is the full, uncut program for anyone who wishes to evaluate that accusation. (Thanks to Rob for the pointer.)

196 comments:

  1. Holy crap!
    Has this be verified as real?

    The only place to win "economic justice" is in the free market.

    The last time I saw her, Lady Justice was still holding her scale, wearing a blindfold.

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  2. Eek. The scary thing is, I'm sure I know people who would have no problem with this kind of talk. It's not just Obama. The Democratic Party seems to be swinging farther and farther to the socialist left. Thank the Founders for that pesky inconvenient document that stands in their way. It's our only Hope.

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  3. DQ, constructs like "economic justice", "social justice", "higher truth", "greater good" set off my BS meter. As a rule, I have come to assume that the two-word combination is not in any rational sense a subset of the unmodified noun.

    "Economic justice" and "social justice" can only be achieved via injustice. "Higher truth" is another word for lie". And "greater good" is an apologia for evil.

    (Hence my reflexive rejection of "same-sex marriage". But that's for another day.)

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  4. Unless each of you earn over $250,000 a year you should be cheering the idea of "redistribution" - you only stand to gain from Obama's plan. If you do earn over 250k, your rate will go from 36% to 39% (back to Clinton's rate) and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the wealthiest 1% will no longer control 20% of the nations wealth - only about 18%. I say, MORE for the 99%, LESS for the 1%. If you want to make that into a boogeyman called "redistribution", happy Halloween.

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  5. Anymouse,
    Unless each of you earn over $250,000 a year you should be cheering the idea of "redistribution" - you only stand to gain from Obama's plan.

    I have no desire to gain from the hard work of others. Nor do I wish for anything that I have not earned myself.

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  6. My time and my efforts belong to me, not to the government and not to people who find themselves in a situation that is a direct result of poor decisions they've made in their lives. To sanction this kind of theft is against everything this nation was founded on. But Mr. "Anonymous" thinks it's just dandy because he stands to gain financially from someone else's labor and because it will hopefully stick it to the successful people who he despises so greatly. Mr. "Anonymous" is typical of what we call a parasite.

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  7. Nor do I wish to benefit from another's earnings except in the case of working for that person and earning for myself. I have no desire to punish someone else for merely being more successful than me.

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  8. Sir-

    Please...get a grip. You're reaching. The following comments from Senator Obama can be seen in several contexts...the first being the one which you have mentioned in your article...the second in discussing the contrasts of judicial activism as it pertained to the Warren court and where the progression of the civil rights movement beyond judicial activities. Given Obama's background as both a lawyer and professor, he likely spoke under the context of the second thought process. This said, given the fact that governments re-distribute wealth all of the time...in infrastructure, roads, bridges, research and development, subsidies to farmers, the military...ect...he's not wrong. Legislative action is usually the best instrument to re-distribute wealth.

    Even so, attempting to dredge up material from a talk-radio show aired nearly a decade ago and using that as the "silver bullet" to prove that Obama is a communist, socialist, anarchist, terrorist, or whatever "ist" you can think of is indicative of the lack of message within the Republican party in general and within the McCain campaign specifically.

    Do you think a veteran (2 x Iraq) like myself comes to the conclusion to vote for Obama on a whim? The forefathers of the conservative movement cheristished intellectual pursuits, logic, and the attainment of higher knowledge as goals worthy of attainment. The modern Republican party cherishes tarnishing their opponents with nametags and uses fraudulent examples such as "Joe the Plumber" (who is neither a plumber, a business owner (either current or prospective), and who does not make 250k a year) and "Joe Six Pack".

    The Republican party, as Senator Obama stated, was the place of ideas. With the selection of Sarah Palin and the use of catch-phrases and out-and-out lies, the misuse of American military power in Iraq and Afghanistan, the inability to articulate an energy policy for the future, 41 million people without health care, while toting a under-educated populist banner, the Republican party has proven itself to be as bankrupt as the institutions it is now backing.

    My recommendation: get in the basement, the garage, the library, the colleges, the institutions of higher learning and start over. Crack a book. Challenge yourself. Put a bullet into the neo-con ideology and the evangelical movement and move forward into the 21st Century. You're already too late for this party.

    Signed...
    An unrepentant William F. Buckley toting Obamacan.

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  9. "Joe the Plumber" (who is neither a plumber, a business owner (either current or prospective), and who does not make 250k a year)
    Joe is indeed a plumber (someone who has done plumbing work for a living) but lacks a license from his city. He is a prospective business owner in that he has discussed with his employer the prospects of buying him out.

    That he doesn't make $250K/y now is beside the point. The essence of the American Dream is that people aren't born into static classes. We have great upward mobility, so that an apprentice plumber can work his way into owning a business that employs other plumbers, and earn well over that magic amount of money. That's Joe's dream, and how dare you tell him he has no chance to achieve it.

    But the really shady thing about attacking Joe is that it is an essentially ad hominem attack on the messenger rather than the message. "Who is this guy Joe to be asking The One such a question?" He's a United States citizen. And that is all the authority he needs to question those who would rule over us.

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  10. Obamacan,
    I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I am a patriot with a profound respect and lasting gratitude for the fore-site of the founding fathers in crafting the Constitution as a protection from the over-reach of government.
    "Given Obama's background as both a lawyer and professor..."
    Shouldn't he know that "And uh, to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution... is exactly what SCOTUS is supposed to do?
    This is a man who might have to take an oath to Preserve, Protect, and Defend that very document.

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  11. D4, as a Senator, he's already taken such an oath.

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  12. There's just one problem with the "redistribution of wealth" arguements I've been hearing of late from a rather desperate conservative minority- It doesn't take into account reality. There is a perfectly valid argument against socialism and its various forms-= at least 9 i'm aware of, but we ARE living in a country with "socialistic-like" policies and have been for decades. Think about it: what is the US military? What is the Post Office? What is Public Education? Fire fighters? Police? FBI? ET Al. ALL are funded by public monies is some shape or way. Reality is hard to accept sometimes, even when we don't want admit we like it...

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  13. The bailout is a crap sandwich, without a doubt. But this is something completely different. This is a fundamental change in the role of government from protecting our rights to providing our livelihood.
    Just because we have strayed down the path to socialism is no reason to chuck the whole thing.

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  14. Canada is a socialist country and they seem to be doing quit well...oh and they're one of America's top allies. and Americans travel there all the time to purchase prescription medicines for less cost. here in good old America the pharmist is too busy ripping off 85 yr old senior citizens on walkers to give a damn about the high cost of prescription medicine medicine. Barack Obama will CHANGE that!John McCain would just be a continuation of the Bush/Regan policies that srew middle class americans every chance they get.

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  15. Anonymous said...
    >>John McCain voted for the Wallstreet bailout too...doe's that make him a socialist....me thinketh so.<<

    What's the point? Obama is worse according to this broadcast. I know that I'm not getting the constitution-lover I want no matter what I do. I'm working on damage control next Tuesday.

    >> This is hopeless; when intellectual is to take a quote or a statement, highlight it as the writer's true belief, and build a castle of logic on it. <<

    Obama has spent a career (such as it is) spouting stuff like this. This is simply the clearest I've ever heard him say it before. He said nothing new, just removed all spin.

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  16. I happen to agree with Obama's quote. It doesn't make him a socialist, it makes him a realist. The article Obamanomics in the New York Times magazine clearly lays out how radically redistributionist AND free-market Obama is (it is true to say he is both the most conservative and liberal Democratic nominee) Our society cannot continue with as much innovation, creativity, and entreneurship, if the balance of wealth is worse than Brazil's. The victory of America is that most of us are able to buy the things America produces (and what other countries produce as well). Globalization creates bigger winners and bigger losers; if we do not balance the equation our society will crumble, and we will shut our borders, making us all poor. Redistibuting the benefits of a globalized economy is not socialism, it is in fact the only way such a global capilistic world can continue. Rich people know this, that is why more of them donate to Obama.

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  17. Anymouse @ 6:38
    It one thing to use public funds for the public good as in all the examples that you sited. It's quite another to use public funds for individual welfare.

    By the way, you can chose "Name/URL" from the drop down if you don't want to be anonymous. You don't have to provide a URL.

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  18. Joe the Plumber was a McCain campaign plant. wtf,he's not even a plumber and he owe's the goverment $2,000 in back taxes. or at least he did until word got out and they took up a collection for him and presented him with a check to pay it off. guess that's good old socialism at work......what a leech this fricken bald headed fake plumber turned out to be.jeeez,is everybody involved with McCain a fake or phony. Sarah Payless and her $175,000 tax payer wardrobe is a good example. hockey mom? joe sixpack? give me a fricken break!

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  19. Anymouse @ 6:46
    "Redistibuting the benefits of a globalized economy is not socialism...
    When the government does it; yes it is.

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  20. Sarah Payless...ha,ha,...i like it. that's a good one:-)

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  21. Joe the "other" plumberOctober 27, 2008 at 7:01 PM

    "Sarah Payless" as the previous post called her believes in witches. perfect! Halloween is right around the corner. maybe she can jump her ass on a broom and fly back to Alaska. we don't need her voodoo making, spell breaking stupidity here in America.

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  22. Hi Bob:

    Many other comments have said it well that you completely missed/ignore the central and overriding point being made by Obama here, but what I wanted to highlight is that you seem to know quite a bit about hell, and you threaten others with it as though you have the right. How thoughtful! How smart! Attaboy! More snide divisiveness!

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  23. Anymouse @ 6:51
    Get you facts straight. Joe was not at an Obama rally, he was in his own front yard and Obama approached him.
    Joe is not a licensed plumber because the law requires him to apprentice 5 years with a licensed plumber. AKA his boss.
    Glad you're all caught up on your taxes and I hope you never fall behind because, trust me, it's a bitch.
    And the 150K for Governor Palin's make-over came from the RNC not taxpayers. That's what they're supposed to do.

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  24. I don't know what you're getting so upset about. Obama is just commenting on the Warrent Court and how it wasn't as radical as it was sometimes presented.

    And it's true, the US Supreme Court never really got into the issue of the redistribution of wealth.

    Now, does Obama favor wealth redistribution? Yes he does, through the progressive income tax.

    So what's the beef? What's the shame? None that I can see. You people on the far right act as if Bill Gates will suddenly stop working if his taxable income rate goes from 35% to 39.4. Or that a few percentage points increase in teh top rates is somehow the equivalent to "socialism."

    It's not. Not even close.

    Obama wins, McCain loses. No matter what the far-right and McCain throws at Obama.

    Sorry.

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  25. no Daddyquatro,you get your facts straight! Joe the Plumber called out to Obama and as a courtesy Obama walked over to him to take his question and remained there no less than 3 minutes explaining to Joe the Dumber,I mean plumber cause Joe didn't quit get it at first....LOOK AT THE TAPE. of course Obama could have ignored him but that would have been politically incorrect right?

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  26. Joe the Dumber...Sarah Payless...I like it...that's hilarious.

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  27. Carl,
    "Now, does Obama favor wealth redistribution? Yes he does, through the progressive income tax."
    Silly me. I thought the purpose of taxes was to fund the government.

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  28. So Joe moved to that neighborhood five years ago knowing that Obama would pass through?
    Carl Rove really is and evil genius!

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  29. "The United States of America – 5% of the world’s population – leads the world economically, militarily, scientifically and culturally – and by a spectacular margin."
    What measures did you use to make this untrue claim? The US only leads militarily, and, were it to use its military to its capacity, could easily destroy the world many times over. It's certainly not what I'm proudest about with regard to my country. Obama's tax plan simply reverses the regressive taxes cut by Bush and opposed by McCain at the time. Huge income inequality is shown to be detrimental to all classes in an economy, and our nation hasn't seen incomes this unequal in about 80 years. Obama hasn't hidden this at all and I'm proud to support a candidate with the vision to support the well being of every American, not just the "good" ones.

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  30. "an" dammit!
    Preview is your friend.
    And what's with the name calling? You may disagree with someone's political beliefs but they are just as entitled to hold them as you are to hold yours.
    Let's keep the conversation civil.

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  31. As we say in Louisiana, the only way Obama can lost this election is to get caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl...and the boy doesn't count.

    Thank God!!! A long dark chapter in American history is coming to a close. Millions of American like me have found hope in our democratic process for the first time ever. Finally a candidate has emerged who will be able to get our great country back on course.

    I confess, it's fun to watch the reactionary right wingers squirm in their desparation...perhaps I should invite them to leave the country in the same way they've suggested liberals leave for so long? No, that's un American. Still, they might be happier living under a right wing dictatorship somewhere.

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  32. jon,
    The bottom 40% pay no tax at all and the top 1% pay 59%.
    See here.
    Your right, that is regressive. The free-loaders at the bottom should pay their fair share.
    "Huge income inequality is shown to be detrimental to all classes in an economy..."
    To use your own words...
    "What measures did you use to make this untrue claim?"

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  33. Say, make that "linchpin," would you?

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  34. I don't recall asking anyone to leave the country. I do recall many liberal celebrities threatening to leave if Bushitler was elected.
    How's that working?

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  35. Glad someone mentioned Bill Gates. Bill gates and Paul Allen have probably redistributed more wealth than anyone else in Human history. They redistributed this wealth by creating a new industry and millions of jobs, changing the paradigms by which we all communicate in the process. Paul Allen continues to redistribute wealth through venture capitalism, seeding new businesses and new technologies, and building the future. Bill and Melinda Gates are giving their wealth away, directly to charities who do a far better and more efficient job getting it to people in real need than the government ever could. By the way, they both started out dead broke, with nothing but ideas. Every penny that the government takes from them to "redistribute" is money that won't be available for investment in real businesses creating real jobs. Will MSFT shut down if taxes go up? No. Will less money be available to MSFT to create jobs and create more millionaires in the process? Yes!

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  36. ALCON-

    The government re-distributes wealth all of the time. In point of fact, the taxes you pay go to my salary as a military officer, to the postman who delivers your mail, to the people conducting road construction on interstate highways, and to the people at TSA who conduct security checks at airports, ect. As George Will said this weekend, we have a reverse socialism in place because we tend to re-distribute wealth to the wealthy (case in point, sugar subsidies and tax breaks to oil corporations). Mind you, George Will is not a wilting liberal; he's on the same wavelength as William F. Buckley used to be.

    My biggest beef with the McCain/Republican argument is the fact that they pretend that the people employed by and services render by the government don't exist. By this leap of flawed logic, infrastructure projects occur in a vaccuum; that the fact that the lights are burning in my house and that I get wireless internet means that no government investment has occurred to make those things happen. Wrong answer.

    "Tax relief" by the McCain camp is thrown around without the understanding of the conservative argument that underscored "supply side" economics; that tax rates have a tipping point at which more wealth is created and taxed under prevailing tax law, allowing additional revenue to flow into the government coffers. The problem is that tax relief to the upper tier would be like trying to resusitate a dead pig - no matter how much voltage you use, you're just going to get the stink of rendered fat. Tax relief at the lowest levels generates consumption; re-distribution of wealth to infrastructure improves both the infrastructure and generates jobs. Unfortunately, McCain and CO seem to embrace the under-intiated and under-educated "Joe the Jackasses" out there. Educated people make educated statements; the rabble screams about godless communists and unpatriotic areas of the country.

    Just my two cents...appreciate the good conversation.

    V/R
    An unrepentant William F. Buckley toting Obamacan

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  37. This was an excellent, timely article. My girlfriend's oldest son (12 years old) is studying this election in his history class, and we were able to show him how even adults (I presume the author IS an adult) can replace facts with ignorance, paranoia, and a homey writing style in order to promote their narrow little viewpoints. Articles such as this can go a long way towards helping America's students develop critical reading and thinking skills, and may even help sharpen their sense of humor - it certainly got a laugh out of me! Thanks.

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  38. Folks, we allow anonymous comments, but if they don't make sense, or are way off topic, they'll be deleted.

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  39. Obamacan,
    I appreciate your two cents as well.
    Again, though, the things that you site as "re-distribution" are the proper uses of public funds. It's not re-distribution to pay your military salary, that's receiving value for value and I'm all for it. If it were up to me you'd get a huge raise.
    Taking from the "haves" and giving to the "have-nots" IS re-distribution.
    "Tax relief at the lowest levels generates consumption..."
    How can you give tax relief to the bottom 40% who pay no tax at all?

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  40. Gerry,
    "Articles such as this can go a long way towards helping America's students develop critical reading and thinking skills..."
    Maybe it's just me, but doesn't critical thinking require you to... I don't know...
    Make a point?

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  41. Wow, it looks like the Left wants to redefine words again. Wealth redistribution doesn't have anything to do with building infrastructure, providing emergency services, or defending the country. Wealth redistribution is about taking money from those who have done well in their careers and giving it to those who have not done well, because of some strange notion that the wealthy only got that way by stealing it from the poor. While there are certainly cases of businesses making money unethically, it is not the norm.

    By taking money from the wealthy and giving it to people with no expectation of them doing anything to earn it, those people learn to expect to have money given to them, rather than working for it.

    I have seen this happen to people I have known for many years. One actually has handicaps and has trouble finding work because of them, but the other just wouldn't pull down his towering ego enough to work for anyone, so he went on disability. He has convinced himself now that he is owed a living by others just because he's a huge asshole who doesn't play well with others.

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  42. Dang it, daddyquatro, quit saying my stuff before I do!

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  43. Buck;
    As a serving officer you understand that you exchange your services to the Government for a paycheck. I am an E8 so your check is probably bigger than mine, which is just fine as you provide services which have been valued by our common employer as being more valuable than mine. The TSA agent and postal workers and every other employee of the government work, sort of, for their money. Redistribution means taking from you to give to me, because its just not fair that you make more than me merely because you outrank me. I have a hard time believing that I have to explain this to you, as it is a pretty simple concept. I am, by the way, a fairly well educated person. I have a BS in Business Management and I am a graduate of the US Army Sergeant's Major Academy. I have never once heard McCain/Palin pretend that we do not exist or don't earn our pay, in fact I frequently hear them thank us for our service. What I, and all people who value the individual, object to is taking what I have earned and giving it not to those who provide a service such as building roads or guarding checkpoints, but to those who provide nothing. I will control my own charity, thank you very much. I can do a better job.

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  44. To both Buck and Mustang,
    Thank you for your service.
    The beers are on me if you ever drop by The Lounge.

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  45. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 4:23 PM:
    Unless each of you earn over $250,000 a year you should be cheering the idea of "redistribution" - you only stand to gain from Obama's plan.

    I agree. I love the idea of getting free money from people wealthier than me.

    Oh wait. Never mind. I just remembered that I don't like it when people steal. Maybe that's why didn't go for a career in crime.

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  46. buck70277 wrote October 27, 2008 5:52 PM:
    The modern Republican party cherishes tarnishing their opponents with nametags and uses fraudulent examples

    Interesting idea.

    such as "Joe the Plumber" (who is neither a plumber, a business owner (either current or prospective), and who does not make 250k a year)

    Okay, this makes it more clear who is doing the "tarnishing" with "nametags" and "fraudulent examples". Rather disappointing of you.

    With the selection of Sarah Palin and the use of catch-phrases and out-and-out lies, the misuse of American military power in Iraq and Afghanistan, the inability to articulate an energy policy for the future, 41 million people without health care, while toting a under-educated populist banner, the Republican party has proven itself to be as bankrupt as the institutions it is now backing.

    I don't mind if you like socialism. I just don't want a government led by someone who intends to use force to cram more of it down my throat.

    My recommendation: get in the basement, the garage, the library, the colleges, the institutions of higher learning and start over. Crack a book. Challenge yourself.

    Thanks for the advice. But, you should consider trying it to save yourself. It's too late for me. I've already done it.

    Put a bullet into the neo-con ideology and the evangelical movement and move forward into the 21st Century.

    Nice sentiment from another gentle peace-loving soul. What do you think would be best? .45 GAP? Or would you just prefer to have them all rounded up and do some economy-of-scale Bill Ayers solution -- stadium seating under a dome with some gas?

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  47. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 6:38 PM:
    Think about it: what is the US military? What is the Post Office? What is Public Education? Fire fighters? Police? FBI? ET Al. ALL are funded by public monies is some shape or way.

    Yep. But none of those are the socialist ideal. Don't you remember your training: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"? This doesn't mean that we provide infrastructure services to help support capitalism, but rather it requires that we "spread the wealth around". You remember -- "take" from those that those that create things people want and give to those who couldn't make it to work today. Oh, and don't forget the gulags for those who object.

    Reality is hard to accept sometimes, even when we don't want admit we like it...

    I definitely agree with you. Heh.

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  48. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 6:40 PM:
    Americans travel there [Canada] all the time to purchase prescription medicines for less cost.

    And I have Canadian in-laws who travel to America to get medical procedures.

    Of course, economically, Canada is already "redistributing" the prescription medicine costs to U.S. customers. Once we start doing it here, there won't be anyone else to pay for it. Cute.

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  49. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 6:46 PM:
    I happen to agree with Obama's quote. It doesn't make him a socialist, it makes him a realist.

    Well, no, actually it *does* make him a socialist -- by definition. Good try, though.

    the balance of wealth

    Nice phrase. Like the balance of geysers. Or the balance of monarchs. What you probably intend to mean is "the equality of wealth". That's the only way wealth will get balanced. (Except, of course, for those doing the "ensuring", who will need extra comforts to compensate for their very difficult task.) I think I've already walked out on this movie.

    Redistibuting the benefits of a globalized economy is not socialism

    Of course not. Because...
    Oh, right. Actually, it *is* exactly socialism. But socialism is sort of a bad word to use in politics. Oops.

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  50. To quote the immortal JJ,
    "I don't steal. I find things."

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  51. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 6:51 PM:
    Joe the Plumber was a McCain campaign plant ...
    what a leech this fricken bald headed fake plumber turned out to be ...
    Sarah Payless ...

    And you were sounding so calm and polite (albeit foolish) before. What a shame.

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  52. Joe the "other" plumber wrote October 27, 2008 7:01 PM
    "Sarah Payless" ... believes in witches...
    we don't need her voodoo making, spell breaking stupidity here in America.

    Consider attending a CTA meeting -- Conspiracy Theorists Anonymous.

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  53. Carl W. Goss wrote October 27, 2008 7:10 PM:
    Now, does Obama favor wealth redistribution? Yes he does, through the progressive income tax. So what's the beef? What's the shame? None that I can see.

    I agree with you. None that you can see.
    What's the beef? I'd guess that some people don't like socialism, even if it *is* through progressive income tax.

    You people on the far right act as if Bill Gates will suddenly stop working if his taxable income rate goes from 35% to 39.4.

    Don't know if you mean to include me, but actually, I'm acting as if 50,000 businesses are going to lay off a few million people.

    Or that a few percentage points increase in teh top rates is somehow the equivalent to "socialism."

    Well, no not really -- that's just a downturn in the economy. The socialism is in some of the other things he has in mind.

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  54. Daddy Quatro (an obvious reference to the Audi you drive right? Cute)
    Stated: Its one thing to use public funds for the public good as in all the examples that you sited. It's quite another to use public funds for individual welfare.

    What exactly would be the philosophical difference here? Hundreds of millions of people are served (welfare), but those same people aren't "individuals" if the term welfare is used? Sounds a little like side stepping away from the reality argument AKA a "straw man" fallacy. Welfare is benefits received by both individuals and society at large no matter which term you might want to parse it with Daddy.

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  55. jon wrote October 27, 2008 7:24 PM:
    What measures did you use to make this untrue claim? The US only leads militarily

    So, what you're claiming is that the U.S. *doesn't* lead economically, scientifically and culturally.

    Okay, don't you think it might be helpful if *you* could provide a little backup before we all decide to agree with *you're* bald claims?

    Until then. I think I'll go with the previous set of claims -- inasmuch as you don't have any backup showing at the moment.

    Huge income inequality is shown to be detrimental to all classes in an economy

    Maybe people don't follow you, here, because they lack your background data. Did you actually have anything to back up this interesting claim?

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  56. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 7:12 PM:
    no Daddyquatro,you get your facts straight! ...

    So what you're saying is that Joe was a "McCain campaign plant" because he was standing in his own front yard. I think that I see where you're headed with this -- every single homeowner out in his or her yard was also a "McCain campaign plant". Now that's really devious. What will they think of next?

    Maybe you could carpool with the "other" Joe to a CTA meeting -- Conspiracy Theorists Anonymous.

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  57. I love America wrote October 27, 2008 7:32 PM:
    it's fun to watch the reactionary right wingers squirm in their desparation.

    Sorry, not squirming and not worried. America made it through the Hoover/FDR great depression. I'm sure we can weather another one if it comes to that whether induced by Obama or even by McCain.

    OTOH, for me, it's fun to watch Leftists retreat to "Sarah Payless" and the like when they run out of substance.

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  58. This link will show you the world's wealthiest countries QWER check it out...where "THE ALL POWERFUL" America lands.... it might be a bit of an eye-opener.
    http://www.aneki.com/richest.html

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  59. buck70277 wrote October 27, 2008 8:05 PM:
    The government re-distributes wealth all of the time. In point of fact, the taxes you pay go to my salary as a military officer, to the postman who delivers your mail, to the people conducting road construction on interstate highways, and to the people at TSA who conduct security checks at airports, ect. ...

    I would've thought that you'd understand that what you're describing is paying for infrastructure and not of the same kind as giving money to people who don't want to work for a living. I'm sorry you don't.

    Tax relief at the lowest levels generates consumption

    As I understand it -- you remember, the "95% of Americans" -- these "lowest levels" you talk about are people who pay zero taxes. And "tax relief" for these people means giving them money that they didn't work for by taking it from those that did work for it.

    Educated people make educated statements

    It's just that "educated statements" are not always knowledgeable or wise.

    the rabble screams about godless communists and unpatriotic areas of the country

    Well, at least we understand how you think of people who mention those two subjects.

    Just my two cents...appreciate the good conversation.

    Agreed.

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  60. Actually Daddyquatro is a reference to the fact that I have four kids.
    "What exactly would be the philosophical difference here?"
    The difference is that ALL of society benefits equally when public funds are spent for the public good. When you take $500 from one man and give it to another you are punishing the first man to reward the second.

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  61. Here;s an even more telling statistic QWER:
    http://www.aneki.com/most_generous_countries.html

    Who's got the moral "godly" high ground here?

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  62. Anymouse @ 9:16,
    Luxembourg!
    Seriously?
    Is that the best you can do?

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  63. Anymouse @ 9:20
    Those are figures for GOVERNMENT aide not donations to private charity.

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  64. Daddyquatro said: When you take $500 from one man and give it to another you are punishing the first man to reward the second.

    EXACTLY, but wait...your saying this isn't what happens when you pay taxes?

    Dadddy, your understanding of how public works are financed seems a little on the sophmoric level here. Your definitions of "public good" are very loose indeed. Apparently only "individuals" are to benifit from publicly funded initiatives, yet you don't seem to see that EVERY AMERICAN IS an individual. Your thinking here is a non-sequitor.

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  65. Actually, my definition of "public good" is very tight. If it benefits each and EVERY one of us EQUALLY then it is a public good.
    If I pay $500 in taxes and that money goes to the local Police Force, then it is a public good. We ALL benefit.
    If, on the other hand, I pay $500 in taxes and it is given to "the less-fortunate" in the form of a tax rebate on taxes they don't pay. That's redistribution and benefits only the recipient.

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  66. When I first heard this on FOX & Friends I was sickened. What is going on now amounts to a Coup and the professional journalists are selling the country down the tube. I can only hope that Americans come to recognize the peril we face. In discussions today I have even seen hard core" bamites become speechless and unable to spin. I think some minds are being changed.

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  67. Daddy, charity is charity, regardless...again... of how you wish to personally define it. 22 bucks for the average American is VERY telling. But again, I have forgotten the conservative mantra: AMERICA can never do any wrong, to anyone, for any reason, and has always been and always will be the greatest, most bestest country to ever exist. Fortunately Jefferson, Madison , and the other triuly humble and great American founders had read their history and realized just how fragile the nature of power is. Remember my conservative friends, this country is an experiment with barely over 200 years to call upon. Nothing in the reality of history has shown any society capable of remaining all-powerful forever.

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  68. PUKE!!! I used to think America deserved her punishment for falling for this liar. We could fix it after he's voted out like Carter. Now I am re-thinking my position. He coule and probably wants to really damage the US and rebuild it in his own perverse (Rev. Wright and Ayers) image.

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  69. Isn't it amazing that none of the leftist apologists for doctrinaire socialism are willing to put their names to their posts?

    Anonymoi, you seem to have base misconceptions on the nature of the concepts of "public good," "redistribution of wealth," and "socialism." Let me try to explain them in terms even you can comprehend.

    A public good is something that benefits everyone equally. Think roads, dams, public schools (OK, that one's debatable given the current condition of most public schools). If something only benefits a small portion of the populace (down to one person) it's not a public good, it's a payment. If the beneficiaries have done nothing to warrant being paid, it's a grant.

    Redistribution of wealth is the taking of money or property from those who have it and giving the grants mentioned above to some other person or persons. This is usually done in return for political support. It is in essence theft under color of law.

    Socialism is government control of the economy. It is accomplished in two broad ways. First, the government can seize and operate all aspects of the economy as government enterprises. This is communism.

    Second, government can allow much of the economy to remain in private hands, but regulate it so heavily that all decisions must comply with government demands. This is fascism.

    The second form of socialism is what we're seeing promulgated by Obama. The parallels with Italy and Germany in the 1930s are very clear and a bit eerie.

    Glad I could explain it to you. Though I doubt you'll understand or actually pay attention.

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  70. My, my, my, my, my. Where to begin? At Anonymous's last keyboard barf, I guess.

    The United States of America has done more good for its own people and for the world at large than any other country on the planet in recorded history.

    And history plainly shows that when a government loses touch with its roots (which I take to mean "reality"), it quickly descends into decadence, irrationality, and eventual destruction. That's the place we are now. But our conservative view is: it's not too late to turn back the tide.

    How low are you, Anonymous, that you want to stand in line with your hand out instead of earning your own bread? And how ashamed are you, that you seek to mitigate your low state by chastising those of us who refuse to lower ourselves down to your level?

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  71. Daddy you stated: If it benefits each and EVERY one of us EQUALLY then it is a public good.

    Philisophically, this is an absurd definition of "the good" which is contextual to the ONE defining "good."
    In reality, this is an impossibility given the fact that not everyone is in the same circumstances in a country of 300 million.
    In ideology, this is an INCREDIBLE 180 degree statement for a conservative like yourself to make- it actually sounds like Karl Marx's approach toward labor and capital talking right out of the communist Manifesto.
    And in practical term, there has never been nor will there ever be ANY program of government that benefits everyone to the same degree.

    My advice:
    1.) admit that socialism is a concept beyond the opinionated reach of "the conservative" world-view right now.
    2.) return to college to enhance the very defendable principles that our incredible country is foundeed upon- *hint- they are existentially beyond the appallingly small confines of the current conservative ideological pradigms
    3.) Vote for Obama. This way you can say you were there when history DID change and our country once again continued this incredible experiement by redefining itself and growing in a new direction. NOTHING can stay the same forever, only change is constant.

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  72. Anonymous AKA The nameless form of all conservative fearsOctober 27, 2008 at 10:23 PM

    Why the heated venom DougLOSS? Aree you "lost" at my comment? Get it? DougLOSS?....? Oh well, I'm sure humor is also a foreign concept. Here try this link though, you may learn a little about the word socialism... that seems to be the "boogetman" of the right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    My question to you and other conservatives is: once you actually educate yourself as to what a socialist principle is- isn't America really a "socialistic-laden" nation? Hell, isn't the theology of Jesus a "socialistic" flavored ideology? Again, before you CONservatives have your ranting heads blowup and start shouting "kill-em" please at least follow the link read up what your talking about. It's just the encyclopedia afterall...

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  73. Gerry Morrow wrote October 27, 2008 8:06 PM:
    I presume the author IS an adult

    You might be an adult as well. Hard to tell from your writing style, of course.

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  74. QUOTE "There is a special hell for you “journalists” out there, a hell made specifically for you narcissists and elitists who think you have the right to determine which information is passed on to the electorate and which is not"

    Yeah, if only they all were like Hannity and O'Reilly.

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  75. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 9:11 PM:
    What exactly would be the philosophical difference here?

    That, of course, would be the difference between socialism and capitalism.

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  76. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 9:16 PM:
    This link will show you the world's wealthiest countries QWER check it out...where "THE ALL POWERFUL" America lands.... it might be a bit of an eye-opener.

    This does a rather poor job of explaining how America doesn't lead the world economically, scientifically and culturally?

    Did you have something better to show?

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  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  78. Anonymous one, if you think Wikipedia is authoritative on anything at all you are sadly misinformed. Unfortunately for you, words do actually have set meanings; they don't stretch and morph just to accommodate your less than specific attempts at making rhetorical points. I suspect you haven't ever actually given any thought to just what socialism is. We all have. Is the US somewhat socialistic after all the mis-government started by the Progressive movement at the beginning of the 20th century and greatly expanded by FDR and LBJ? Definitely. No one would disagree with that. Where we disagree is that you seem to think it's a good thing. We don't.

    Is the theology of Jesus somehow "socialist?" By asking that question you show that you know nothing about Christianity. (Or maybe nothing about socialism, it's hard to tell. Possibly nothing about either.) Jesus didn't preach that the government should take care of everyone. He preached that we each, as individuals (yes, the concept of individual responsibility is a bit foreign to you), have a moral responsibility to care for those of our fellow men in need. You don't get to insist that others do the caring. YOU have to do it.

    As for humor, I've got a boatload of it. I just don't waste it on those who fundamentally can't get the jokes.

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  79. Anon AKA, it's funny you point us rubes to Wikipedia to somehow "prove" that we don't understand what Socialism is, as if anything short of complete State ownership of all industry doesn't qualify. Well, I found this an interesting sentence in that article:

    Socialism is not a discrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other.

    The redistribution of wealth through progressive income taxation has been in the Socialist Party platform since the early 20th century. That much of those old platforms have been adopted into law does not change the fact that they're Socialist.

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  80. Anymouse,
    " Again, before you CONservatives have your ranting heads blowup and start shouting "kill-em" please at least follow the link read up what your talking about.
    ummmm.... Project much?
    I think if you'll read through this thread, you'll notice the only ones ranting and resorting to ad hominem are those from the left. While you have denigrated my intelligence in several posts, assuming it was the same person, since you can't even be bothered to have the good grace to identify yourself with an anonymous nic.
    You seem to be having trouble with the concept of defining your terms.
    You accused me of having a loose definition of "public good" so I gave you a precise definition to which you replied, "Philisophically, this is an absurd definition of "the good" which is contextual to the ONE defining "good."
    The term was Public good not "the good".
    In a free society it is THE ONLY definition.
    If my tax dollars go to build a highway From point A to point B, I benefit even if I never drive on that road. Odds are that someone I know will use that road, or that some good that I want to buy will travel down that road.
    So, go ahead, keep twisting in the wind. Maybe if you keep re-defining your terms often enough you'll arrive at one we can agree on.

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  81. Oh grow up, and quit whining. Just like every excerpt, there's a context.
    And even if he came right out and said LET'S GO SOCIALIST! EVERYBODY SHARE THE WEALTH!" Let face reality: it wouldn't be much different than the tax-supported welfare state we have today... perhaps even more equitable and useful.
    Heaven forbid... then your special place in hell will be empty.

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  82. I wonder why you have no interest in finding out about the Palin's real ties to the Alaskan Independence Party? If we are going to talk dirt, let's really get to the meat. But since you have written about Obama, I reply to that. You have nothing here in this article, nothing of substance just like Joe the plumber was a big nothing. Things are horrible in the U.S.A. and within the republican party. What baffles me are these Joe the plumbler types who want tax cuts for the rich, etc. when they are just above the poverty level. However just in that off chance they may one day be wealthy they fight like banshees against their own economic class, against others who are not exactly like him, against any real change. I really dont get it. And god forbid everybody might get a taste of the pie or a chance at least to sit at the table. Bottom line, things are not working under the current republican mode. much as we wish they were they are not. Now we can continue to look for mud to sling or we can try to make some changes within the replublican mode. I reject the hatred and uninformed stuff spewed at the Palin rallies. I want some real solutions. Not some phoney in expensive clothes and glasses acting like she speaks to me and knows the pain of being poor or middle class. This woman is nothing like me or Joe the plumber and that is the truth this party doesnt want to admit. Why are we wearing the disguise of denial? Why are we spreading fear and hate? We need to take a good look at ourselves and admit - this isnt working. Can we please have some courage and move forward with and generate some real ideas to help this country that arent based in fear? Please.

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  83. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 9:20 PM:
    Here;s an even more telling statistic QWER...
    Who's got the moral "godly" high ground here?

    Interesting link. Depends on what you count as "moral". I assume you believe it is "moral" to have a government "take" from people who create things that others want and give to third parties who don't. I don't call that moral.

    So, I guess that I still have the high ground, and that you still favor "spreading the wealth around" even if you "need" to take it by force.

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  84. This is hilarious. Obama was making a conservative argument that judges can't legislate from the bench, and that to create change people should work through the elected officials. Don't assume that you can understand the subtle arguments of a Constitutional scholar with no relevant training.

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  85. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 9:26 PM:
    your saying this [When you take $500 from one man and give it to another you are punishing the first man to reward the second.] isn't what happens when you pay taxes?

    No, he's saying that he doesn't like it when you take from people who create and give it to people who don't.

    Your thinking here is a non-sequitor.

    Not that I can see.

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  86. "...perhaps even more equitable and useful."
    Yeah, just because it's never worked in the history of human society, that's no reason not to try it again.
    Here's a hint for the "reality based community."
    Life isn't fair and no amount of legislation will make it so.

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  87. It's always fun to watch you leftists spout your dogma, get comprehensively refuted and corrected, and ignore those refutations and corrections and continue to chant your talking points. It's been very clear to those of us who actually think that you don't know how to discuss and debate, but are just chanting in the hope of having your illusions become the accepted background for further thought. That might have worked if we didn't realize what you're doing, but you really don't do much but provide amusement as things are.

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  88. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 9:41 PM:
    Daddy, charity is charity, regardless

    No, theft is still theft even if you call it "charity". When a dictator donates to a cause, he still steals from his subjects to acquire the money to donate.

    Fortunately Jefferson, Madison , and the other triuly humble and great American founders had read their history and realized just how fragile the nature of power is.

    Dropping names doesn't improve your renaming of "charity".

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  89. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 10:14 PM:
    it actually sounds like Karl Marx's approach toward labor and capital talking right out of the communist Manifesto.

    Doesn't to me. Perhaps you could cite the verse. The Communist Manifesto is rather short. Shouldn't take you too long.

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  90. I will admit that Anonymous is right on a couple of points. He says about why ordinary Americans are at heart conservative, "I really dont get it." He's completely right, he really doesn't get it. He says about Sarah Palin "This woman is nothing like me." Again he's right, she's a conservative, a real person who's actually dealt with the issues at hand and done the work necessary. She's us, us ordinary Americans. Yes, she's nothing like Anonymous. Thank God.

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  91. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 10:14 PM:
    admit that socialism is a concept beyond the opinionated reach of "the conservative" world-view right now.

    Doesn't seem like sound advice.

    return to college to enhance the very defendable principles that our incredible country is foundeed upon- *hint- they are existentially beyond the appallingly small confines of the current conservative ideological pradigms

    Thanks for your insight. We'll call you.

    This way you can say you were there when history DID change and our country once again continued this incredible experiement by redefining itself and growing in a new direction.

    I can say that anyway. Can't wait to read the text of the new planned Amendments. What? You weren't planning to bother with that?

    NOTHING can stay the same forever, only change is constant.

    Forever is a long time. I'll get back to you after it's over. Heh.

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  92. It's hard to know which mouse I'm talking to.
    "Things are horrible in the U.S.A. and within the republican party."
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I can't speak for the Republican party ('cause I ain't one) but things aren't horrible in the U.S.A.
    "And god forbid everybody might get a taste of the pie or a chance at least to sit at the table."
    No one's stopping them, as a matter of fact there is infinite pie and you can pull your own chair up to the table at anytime. What you're really saying is that you want a piece of someone else's pie and to kick them out of their chair.

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  93. Oh My Stars and Garters!

    This IS going to be a good time!

    See you guys after I get home from work (and out of the shop, dagnabbit)!

    -MuscleDaddy

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  94. P.S. -

    My shop (where I work after work) is my chair at the table - started small, continues to grow.

    - MuscleDaddy

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  95. A-mous AKA October 27, 2008 10:23 PM:
    I'm sure humor is also a foreign concept.

    Some of us think that name-calling -- you know, "tarnishing with name tags" -- is a nasty form of humor. OTOH, I think it's humorous watching a Lefty when he's run out of substance and resorts to name-calling. Heh.

    once you actually educate yourself

    Cute rhetorical flourish. Doesn't seem to improve your aim, though.

    isn't America really a "socialistic-laden" nation?

    Some of us are interested in reducing the percentage of money that goes to socialism here.

    Hell, isn't the theology of Jesus a "socialistic" flavored ideology?

    Some say as is -- for instance the religious Left. Some disagree.

    before you CONservatives have your ranting heads blowup and start shouting "kill-em"

    Seems to me that you're the only one getting close to "blowup", here.

    please at least follow the link read up what your talking about. It's just the encyclopedia afterall.

    Thanks for the advice. Just FYI, looks like the link is to Wikipedia rather than "the encyclopedia after all".

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  96. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 10:24 PM:
    Yeah, if only they all were like Hannity and O'Reilly.

    I assume you mean in terms of applying ethical journalism principles. Not sure I'd recommend it.

    But ... well, that *would* reduce the average bias a bit. Certainly would reduce the sheer amount of faux news. Would improve the competitiveness of the other cable news networks. Would slow the slide of major newspapers into the abyss. Interesting thought, though.

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  97. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 10:55 PM:
    And even if he came right out and said LET'S GO SOCIALIST! EVERYBODY SHARE THE WEALTH!" Let face reality: it wouldn't be much different than the tax-supported welfare state we have today

    Personally, I think it would be a great deal different. But then, that's just me.

    perhaps even more equitable and useful.

    But perhaps much less prosperous for everyone. Sort of like the old Soviet Union was.

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  98. If my tax dollars go to build a highway From point A to point B, I benefit even if I never drive on that road.

    You benefit because you can drive on it, or any other road, without getting permission from anyone first. You can get in your car and drive thousands of miles and never be stopped by any armed state agents. Is this a great country or what?

    You might be driving from A to C, and benefit from not having to share the road with drivers who would otherwise go from A to C to B. You may buy something that is shipped from A to B, or some part of it. And if the costs of building and maintaining that road are paid from a motor fuel tax, you'll only pay for that road when you or the things you buy are transported with those taxed fuels. To the extent possible, having those who directly benefit from "public goods" helps to make sure that they aren't a form of redistribution.

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  99. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 11:04 PM:
    What baffles me are these Joe the plumbler types who want tax cuts for the rich, etc. when they are just above the poverty level.

    By sheer coincidence, that confuses a lot of people with a me-first approach to life. Usually it's because they see a direct connection to getting something for nothing. They usually don't see the no-free-lunch fine print.

    However just in that off chance they may one day be wealthy they fight like banshees against their own economic class, against others who are not exactly like him, against any real change.

    That's a good point. Joe should pipe down, suck it up, and stick with his "own economic class". He should join his economic brethren in the fight against different economic classes. He should join in the class war rather than get in the way and try to stop that divisiveness.

    But, Joe probably didn't notice that he was in an economic class. He probably just thought that taking stuff from others without paying for it is still a no-no.

    And, Joe is probably against class warfare, anyway.

    And god forbid everybody might get a taste of the pie or a chance at least to sit at the table.

    And I'm sure you'll have no problem with taking it by force from the people who earned it so that you can give it to the people who didn't.

    I like helping people out, too -- but not by stealing other people's money to do it.

    Bottom line, things are not working under the current republican mode. much as we wish they were they are not.

    You probably meant "current capitalism mode". Personally, I think that they are doing moderately well -- maybe things have too much of a government thumb on the market scales screwing up the economy at the moment.

    Now we can continue to look for mud to sling

    Or perhaps *you* can stop slinging it. I'd be pleased with that for a start.

    I reject the hatred

    Except that you seem to wear yours on your sleeve a lot. I'd recommend dialing it down more.

    and uninformed stuff spewed at the Palin rallies.

    Never mind. It appears that you're really set on embracing your hatred.

    I want some real solutions.

    Ah. We all want things in life. I like your idea.

    Not some phoney in expensive clothes and glasses acting like she speaks to me and knows the pain of being poor or middle class.

    But you had to go and spoil it all again with your hatred.

    This woman is nothing like me or Joe the plumber

    Very true. She's been a beauty queen, a mother, a mayor, and a governor. I doubt you've been any of those, and ditto for Joe.

    that is the truth this party doesnt want to admit

    I must've missed that memo. Darn.

    Why are we wearing the disguise of denial?

    I think that you might be talking to yourself here.

    Why are we spreading fear and hate?

    Looks to me like you're the only one doing the spreading.

    We need to take a good look at ourselves and admit - this isnt working.

    Is this the siren song of the Manifesto, again?

    Can we please have some courage and move forward with and generate some real ideas to help this country that arent based in fear?

    Likely, we won't be able to get together on much until you turn off your spewing and start acting in a more polite fashion. After that, it's usually just a matter of backing up bald assertions.

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  100. A-mous wrote October 27, 2008 11:07 PM:
    Obama was making a conservative argument that judges can't legislate from the bench, and that to create change people should work through the elected officials.

    Good spin choice. As a tactic, I like it. As substance, it's unpersuasive, of course.

    Don't assume that you can understand the subtle arguments of a Constitutional scholar with no relevant training.

    Good advice.

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  101. Marvelous. I've finally caught up for the moment. Heh.

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  102. qwer, I haven't laughed so much in weeks.

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  103. Nice work, qwer!

    Otto, watch that laughter-thing!

    - MuscleDaddy

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  104. Another great post Bill.

    I would feel better if, like you, I believed that Senator Obama's popularity was due entirely to media imbalance and Americans misunderstanding his policies. I don't doubt that this is significant to who will win the presidency, however it is clear that many Americans share his ideologies, and his health care plan revealed during the third debate hardly hides his intentions.

    Most of all, I find it sad that Americans would consider a presidential candidate who sees the success of the civil rights movement as a lost opportunity to change the American Constitution.

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  105. Thank you for taking the risk and writing this. Bravo! As for what will become of you and your family once the Obama machine goes after you, you will be in good company and anyone who considers the attacks anything but bullying by the corrupt left, well, who really cares what they believe, right?
    Bless you and may God help us!

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  106. Lest someone commenting here falsely claim, as did Able Stanton over at eject, eject, eject (Oct 27, 7:04 am), that the youtube audio clip was taken out of context and "carefully edited to play a sentence or two spoken by Obama - then display text on the screen interpreting those sentences - then moves on to more NON-CONTIGUOUS sentences," you can listen and judge for yourself at http://apps.wbez.org/blog/?p=639. The audio in question is "The Court and Civil Rights Jan 18, 2001" (http://audio.wbez.org/Odyssey/CourtandCivilRights.mp3). The youtube segment runs a CONTINUOUS segment corresponding to 39:46 to 41:26, with the completion of Obama's thought; there is NO EDITING of Obama's comment. Then follows callers' questions, and from 46:17 to 47:54, Obama responds to the caller featured in the youtube clip, again a CONTINUOUS segment. LIsten to the whole thing, if you have the time. If you do, as I did, you will have no doubt that Bill Whittle is correct in asserting the unambiguity of Obama's radical position.

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  107. ~Paules says,

    Late to the party. No matter. One hundred percent of my seniors today identified Obama as a socialist based on his own words. About half were totally okay with that. I teach in a non-partisan classroom.

    ~Paules: If Obama is a socialist, do you understand the price?

    Kids: Higher taxes.

    ~Paules: Higher taxes for whom?

    Kids: Swedish socialism requires %60 taxation.

    ~Paules: Are you willing to accept that level of taxation?

    Kids: Yes and no.

    ~Paules: You get free medical care, free education, free insurance, free . . .

    Kids: Who's gonna pay for free?

    ~Paules: You and me.

    Kid #1: I'm totally okay with that. Socialism is good. Everyone gets the same.

    ~Paules: Okay then, I will socialize your grades. Everyone gets a 'C'.

    Kids: Noooo!

    ~Paules: I guarantee total equality.

    Kid #2: I worked for my 'A'. I won't give it up. No damn way.

    ~Paules: It's just grades. It's not like you're spending real money.

    Kid #3: Socialized grades and socialized medicine are two different things.

    ~Paules: Really? Explain yourself.

    Kid #3. Medical care is a right.

    ~Paules: And your source for this claim is?

    Kid #3: Well, it should be.

    ~Paules: Show me in the Constitution a right to healthcare.

    Kid #2: The Bill of Rights limits what the government might do. There are no positive rights in the Constitution.

    ~Paules: Quite right. Do you agree with Senator Obama that positive rights should be drafted into the Constitution? Healthcare? Housing? Insurance?

    Kids (by concensus): It would be nice.

    ~Paules: What would you pay for those rights?

    Kids: Pay? Like money?

    ~Paules: No, you need to understand that increased "rights" will need you to surrender individual rights to the government. If you want government to take care of you, you must give the necessary power to government to do so.

    Kid #5: Lots of people will take it if the government offers. Why not?

    ~Paules: It's your choice. Half of you will vote in this election. I'm not telling you who to vote for. I just want you to be an informed voter. If you really want socialism, you know your candidate.

    Kids (by concensus): McCain sucks.

    ~Paules: Please do not use the vernacular. McCain is no one's ideal candidate. But it's not about McCain. The election is a referendum on Obama. You have identified him, quite rightly, as a socialist. His own words confirm that. "Redistribution" is socialism. What did I teach you when we did the lesson on the ideologies of modernity? Socialists use the mechanism of taxation to promote social and economic equality. Make a decision.

    Kids (equally divided): Obama! No, McCain!

    50/50

    I did my job as teacher. Let the electorate decide. It's going to be close.

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  108. There seems to be a basic misunderstanding here. A progressive tax code, i.e. a tax code that has brackets of ascending percentage according to income, is something that virtually all developed market economies share. It reflects a belief that a relatively higher burden of taxes ought to be borne by the wealthier members of society. This has little to do with socialism, which is centered on the ownership of the means of production by the state.

    Obama, in the cited passage, correctly says that the Constitution is silent on positive rights, which are generally understood to be of a redistributive character (as opposed to negative, i.e. civil rights) and therefore have a monetary element.

    Many elements of public policy in the US have a redistributive aspect, chief among them the tax code, but also programs such as welfare and Medicare. One can certainly disagree on the degree of progressivity of the tax code and the wisdom of more or less income redistribution, but if one knows anything about public policy making (which, it is obvious, the author does not), none of it amounts to a radical departure or anything approaching "socialism."

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  109. kulture wrote October 28, 2008 1:50 AM:
    positive rights, which are generally understood to be of a redistributive character (as opposed to negative, i.e. civil rights) and therefore have a monetary element.

    I disagree with your characterization of the silent positive rights being either redistributive or monetary. I believe that they are generally understood to be individual and unalienable; hence, not at all redistributive or monetary. Feel free to provide backup data if you like.

    One can certainly disagree on the degree of progressivity of the tax code and the wisdom of more or less income redistribution

    Thanks. I do.

    but if one knows anything about public policy making (which, it is obvious, the author does not)

    Always a cute tactic to try a drive-by. However, it makes you look like an opportunist without a real argument. As a result, I presume that you are projecting your own inadequacies.

    none of it amounts to a radical departure or anything approaching "socialism."

    Well now, I disagree with you. I believe that it *is* something approaching Socialism. Feel free to continue with another drive-by about me if it will make you feel better.

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  110. qwer has won the round. Absent sound facts, sources or science, Anymouse and kulture will have to spend the night in the kitchen consoling each other. Or, baking up something else.

    Hopefully, they'll leave it in the oven long enough this time.

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  111. Both socialism as an economic theory and government wealth redistribution and progressive taxation are characteristics of governments that are statist, that see government control of elements of individual life that go beyond the absolute minimum that is needed for a functional society as a positive rather than a negative thing. Statism always tends toward totalitarianism, complete government control of everything, because if government intervention in and control of any aspects of society is viewed as good then government control of all aspects of society must be the greatest good. Of course we know that exactly the opposite is true.

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  112. kulture,

    You said that progressive taxation doesn't really find its basis in socialist ideologies (if I understand you correctly). I would agree that the reason the wealthy pay higher taxes is that they are genuinely a greater burden on state resources.

    And when the wealthy are perhaps paying taxes beyond justified levels it is to subsidize lower income households who can not afford to pay for what they need from the state; which ultimately subsidizes the welfare system. Like taxation, there are practical reasons for a safety net even in capitalist systems (ie. enables risk, minimizes market fluctuation).

    What I don't like about Obama's apparent ideology and that of his supporters is that they do not present any of these rational arguments to justify redistribution. Wealth should be given from the rich to the poor simply because they find the inequality distasteful. And to avoid having to argue about it further, why not declare that such redistribution is a right. This is all socialist doctrine, and very unlike the ideologies that are the foundation of your Constitution and your country's wealth.

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  113. It reflects a belief that a relatively higher burden of taxes ought to be borne by the wealthier members of society.

    Well, a flat tax rate still imposes a higher burden on those with higher incomes, which isn't exactly "wealthier". To impose a higher tax burden upon the "wealthy", one would use property taxes instead. But strangely, property taxes are the least popular of all. Perhaps that's because it's difficult to pretend that someone else is being taxed.

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  114. Here's the breakdown of who paid taxes in the 2006 tax year.

    Percentiles Ranked by AGI
    AGI Threshold on Percentiles
    Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid

    Top 1%
    $388,806
    39.89

    Top 5%
    $153,542
    60.14

    Top 10%
    $108,904
    70.79

    Top 25%
    $64,702
    86.27

    Top 50%
    $31,987
    97.01

    Bottom 50%
    <$31,987
    2.99

    Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
    Source: Internal Revenue Service

    The top 5% paid over 60% of income taxes. The top 50% paid 97%.

    Questions to the socialists; what's the right amount? When is it too much?

    And FYI: These numbers under Bush are HIGHER for the over 5% group than under any other President since Roosevelt.

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  115. I believe that QWER has a superiority complex,if he is going to isolate sentences for analysis,he should be aware that this selective show of strength belies the disjointed state of his intelligence.I would bet that he speaks quite audibly.

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  116. Anymouse @ 3:39
    I'm sure that thought made perfect sense to you. Now, would you like to share with the rest of the class?

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  117. The top 50% should pay 100%,it's a capitalist society,you turnip.

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  118. Anymouse,
    I know you're trying to speak English. Try a little harder.
    I'll leave the Turnip comment, just to show what a classly guy you are.
    But you a treading on thin ice. At least identify yourself with a nickname or all future comments with your lovely use of language will be deleted.

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  119. Kulture:

    You've correctly diagnosed the symptom, but not the disease. There is a huge misunderstanding going on in this thread, but it has nothing to do with the progressive tax code. While people may debate the merits of a progressive tax code in general, or even the particulars of the various rates within it, that's NOT where the socialism fears reside.

    It's not the taxes . . . it's what Obama plans to do with the money!

    Imagine if The One's plan was simply to raise the tax rates (yes, plural: it's far more than just the income tax rate at issue here) in order to fund major new infrastructure initiatives. I'll offer one up: develop new energy sources in two spheres: the existing (drilling rigs, nuke plants, turbines), and the as-yet designed (say, an above-the-atmosphere satellite-based solar energy collection system). Something like this would not raise the socialism red-flags (heh), as such a program would be aimed at building public goods (energy) that carry secondary (economic) and even tertiary benefits (national security) for which we currently do not have the funds to undertake, no matter how useful or necessary they may be.

    Instead, The One wants to raise those taxes to simply put checks in the mail to those whom he believes have been victimized by their lot in this free market life. THAT is what smacks of socialism.

    But not just that. There's also this: the sheer dishonesty about it. This cotton-candy promise of a tax "cut" for "95% of working Americans" is a clever mix of political pabulum and soundbite sophistry. Nearly half of those residing inside that "95%" pay no income taxes at all, as has been pointed out ad nauseam. What THAT group will be receiving in not a tax cut, nor even a tax "credit" (love that one too), but rather a windfall check, welfare check, grant, stipend, gift, handout, etc.

    THAT is what constitutes "wealth redistribution," and what makes all the socialism talk relevant. Such talk is not a smear, but is actually a discussion of "the issues," as The One's surrogates always beg us to discuss.

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  120. Anonymous @ 11:07 pm:

    "This is hilarious. Obama was making a conservative argument that judges can't legislate from the bench, and that to create change people should work through the elected officials. Don't assume that you can understand the subtle arguments of a Constitutional scholar with no relevant training."

    Anybody else a lawyer here? Hard to say when one hides in the reeds of anonymity. I'm easily google-able on that score, so . . .

    What a bunch of nonsense! Listen to the audio clip again, Anon. He's not making a "conservative argument" about the judicial branch in the vein of no, no, no, the plain text of Article III prevents that from being possible. Rather, he was lamenting the fact that the Civil Rights movement focused solely on the courts as their battlefield, because when it came to the issue of "economic justice" and the "redistribution of wealth" . . . even the Warren Court isn't THAT radical. In his view, the reason that even the Warren Court was reticent to embark on a wholesale redistributive agenda was one of practicalities: the Judicial Branch is ill-suited for the administrative duties that would be required to accomplish the goals he was advocating. Oh, and the people would never go for such a program by judicial fiat . . . a grudging admission that the public still recognizes "no taxation without representation!" when it sees it.

    No, The One's honest thoughts on the matter of the Warren Court's avoidance of the socialistic agenda have nothing to do with conservative legal analysis at all. This wasn't principle talking, but realism.

    Of course, The One now sits 7 days short of being given the keys to the branches of government that CAN undertake the administrative task of "spreading the wealth around." And yet The One, The Gaffe, The Media, The Surrogates, and even The Trolls all tell us "these aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along."

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  121. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  122. http://www.american.com/archive/2008/march-april-magazine-contents/a-nation-of-givers

    Q. Are Americans more or less charitable than citizens of other countries?
    A. No developed country approaches American giving. For example, in 1995 (the most recent year for which data are available), Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans. These differences are not attributable to demographic characteristics such as education, income, age, sex, or marital status. On the contrary, if we look at two people who are identical in all these ways except that one is European and the other American, the probability is still far lower that the European will volunteer than the American.

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  123. Can we get the WHOLE conversation and make up our own minds about what he is saying. Seriously, post a link to the whole interview because I KNOW these snips are taken out of context.

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  124. I can't say it 'astounds' me, since that's such a flamboyant word, but it irks me, that there's even a need to dig up artifacts like this audio clip. Yes, we do like actual evidence, actual testimony, from the very lips of the very One, but is it necessary? -- when every detail and incident of His life speaks to His Charactaer?

    The man is a living hologram, with each fractal embodying his entire being.

    Socialist? That's far too formal a designation. Obama is too protean for such a staid limitation. After all, socialism has its scriptures, and why would Obama so cruelly confine himself? To be doctrinaire would be an onerous imposition on his self-actualization. And we must have understood by now that, as with Satan, Obama supposes he created himself.

    He is presently scaling the Mountain of God, to be like the Most High. When we grub through the audio archives of some obscure radio station, it is a sort of blasphemy -- because the Most High to Whom Obama aspires is not the one in the Bible, but the Koran. Not in any Moslem sense, but because like Allah, Obama's defining characteristic is his capriciousness.


    J
    http://forgottenprophets.blogspot.com/

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  125. I am Anonymous #1 in this commentary (#4 from the top), and the only reason I entered as "Anonymous" this morning was because I didn't have the time to create persona and a nickname to go with it, and I know better than to give my real name in a blog (kudos to those few who do). That first entry was my only entry, but since then scores of other Anonymous posters have added their 2 bits, and I'm kind of getting off on the idea of one schizoid character posting so many differing points of view, so I'll continue to stand beneath the Anonymous banner (we are legion) to revise and amend my initial comment.

    I'm thrilled to see that so many of you would not accept so much as a tax cut if it could be misconstrued as "stealing" from some other hard-working citizen. But, Jim @ 5:28 PM, far from being a parasite, I've never even owned a credit card in all my 55 years. No mortgage (built my own home from savings), no hedge funds, no interest from credit default swaps, no welfare, no unemployment insurance - I've been completely off the borrowing/lending/leveraging/earmarking/tax-and-spend/gov't handout/socialist/commie grid all my life. So when I see those earning, say, $1 million a year griping about keeping only $600,000 after taxes, it makes me laugh. And cry. Especially when I see lines for food assistance lengthen down at the Community Center, and kids coming out of school unable to locate the USA on a map of the world, libraries cutting hours, our rural roads crumbling, the top players at AIG indulging in million-dollar post-bailout recreation, and multi-million $$$ golden parachutes (for those who cost the nation $700 billion) which dwarf the accumulated earnings of my extended all-American family over the past 10 generations. I'm not the parasite here. If I get a break on the taxes I pay on my $32,000 a year, I think I'll just say "thanks, but no thanks" to THAT bridge to nowhere - but I'm one of those people who believe that it is patriotic to pay taxes. I'm not looking for hand-outs, I'm looking for better schools and fewer calls from the Police/Fireman's Assistance Funds.

    But where I went wrong was in assuming that "you" - any of the other posters to this blog - WOULD want more money - at anyone's expense. It's a knee-jerk reaction to what I perceive to be part of a conservative's DNA. Apologies. Much of the discussion here showed me the finer distinctions of the argument, and for that I'm truly grateful and appreciative.

    Here's my point, without snark: the great gray, soul-numbing spectre of Big Brother Government is not clawing on the other side of the door wearing a Barack '08 t-shirt. But there is a recognition that the culture of "greed is good" must give us a break for a while. Let single parents with diabetic kids get a little health insurance. Let those working double shifts take the opportunity to get a college degree. Any national policy which encourages hard-workers who just happen to be poor get one more rung up the ladder is good policy for all. Money doesn't trickle down, we've discovered. The rich don't spend their wealth, because, by definition, they've already got everything money can buy. [Ok, I stole that from Robert Reich.] But by investing in the poor and middle class (yes, by utilizing taxed dollars from those making over $250k) we allow for a smarter, healthier, more productive citizenry.

    Where some of you see lazy buttheads who made all the wrong decisions and don't deserve a hand-out, I see hard-working people who could use a hand up - and who, I KNOW, will make the country a better place with any investment, financial or legislative, entrusted to them. Only those who have never relied on charity could believe that charity can solve poverty. It takes a populace willing to let their government invest in education and infrastructure to achieve what only great nations can accomplish, right? I think we should go one step farther and invest in people, too.

    So if those earning over $250,000 get taxed at the pre-Bush rate (3% more) while those earning less get a small tax break (the proposed cuts per worker don't amount to windfalls - have you checked them out with real numbers?), why can't we agree that, as much as we prize our rugged individualism within a free market system, we'd be moving in the right direction for the overall health of the nation?

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  126. Anonymous, if you want to give everyone a hand up, please feel free to do so. Many if not most of us conservatives do it ourselves, through our charitable contributions of time and money. What we're in fundamental disagreement with is that the government has any right to confiscate our (or anyone's) property and give it to others, no matter how much the government perceives they need it.

    Of course charity can never solve poverty. But neither can government. If you think the government invests in anything more than securing it's continued existence and growth you're very naive. And increasing the government's take of the possessions of the most productive among us is a guaranteed way to move in the wrong direction "for the overall health of the nation."

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  127. Awesome. I just spent 45 minutes pounding out a response to Anonymous #1 and posted it, only to see it evaporate into the ether. Is there a moderator in the house?

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  128. Lance,
    No we're not moderating comments, other than to clean up if someone decides to take a dump on the floor. Just consider it one of the joys of the internet age. Your brilliant riposte is now cavorting through the ethosphere.

    Anonymous #1
    If you click the drop down box and choose "Name/URL" you can enter a nickname. No URL is required. You'll be asked to read and replicate some wavy letters, to insure that you have a pulse.

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  129. Greetings, All.

    D4, MD, Qwer, Wayne, Doug, Monster, and all the "Regulars..."

    You have done a fine job, indeed, dealing with the non-thinkers that drop by. My apologies for being AWOL as I returned from China this past weekend. Seems like I missed all the fun!!!

    And, Bill, another outstanding post. My thanks!

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  130. The restribution video on u-tube has almost 2 million hits and 20,000 comments. Stunning!
    This will make a difference in the election.

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  131. My Awesome Mix Tape #6October 28, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    Yesterday, outside of Home Depot, my husband and I listened to this same thing on Rush Limbaugh. I was busy looking for something and wasn't paying attention at the beginning; towards the end I asked my husband who was speaking and he informed me it was Obama. I was shocked. It didn't sound anything like the Obama of today (well, except the overwhelming socialist ideals!)

    The only way I could attach that voice to Obama was by the occasional repetition of words or stuttering. The timbre and the tone of his voice was entirely different. He sounded, please forgive me this for this...more Caucasian than he does now. Maybe not quite done with the whole "Barry" schtick at that point?

    Last week my mother mentioned that each time she hears him speak he sounds more and more "black" (again, my appologies if that offends anyone.)

    So, my simplistic take is that "spread the wealth" is actually his way of insuring reparations get paid to "his" people (at 12 or 13 he decided not to address his mother's ancestry, instead decided to lean towards his father's.) Martin Luther must be rolling in his grave. What a disgrace Obama is for continuing to enslave "his" people. As if throwing money at a situation every made up for sins of the past.

    Good news was that according to the polls yesterday, McCain was behind by only 5 points. That was reported from the liberal left.

    My battle cry:

    "...never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." ~ Winston Churchill ~

    We will win.

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  132. Hey Lance!

    Haven't seen you in a while - good to know you're still kicking-around.

    - MuscleDaddy

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  133. Oh, well, I'm always slow getting in my comments, but this one needed a direct response:

    Daddy, charity is charity, regardless...again... of how you wish to personally define it.

    It's not charity if the money is stolen (Taxed) from me to give to someone else!

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  134. Wayne,
    Yeah, that particular incarnation of Anymouse was having trouble with the definition of words. He/she/it sited statistic on Government spending and called it "charity".

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  135. I listened to the full program at the URL Rob provided and find, as he did, that Obama's comments were kept intact. What really strikes me is the matter-of-fact way in which the entire panel discusses "social justice" and "redistribution" as if it's a common assumption that they are good things, and it's just a darned shame that the courts aren't the right tool to achieve them.

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  136. Wayne - Yah.

    "Charity" is when you freely your give hard-earned resources to someone who needs them.

    When the Government taxes your resources and hands them to someone else, without even asking for your input (much less heeding your protests) the word to use is "took".

    Throw in "...you do this and nuthin' bad'll happen to ya." - and the word is "extortion".

    - MuscleDaddy

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  137. I read the full transcript of the radio show, and Obama's comments actually aren't as ominous as they're made out to be. He's basically arguing that although the Warren court is considered radical, they weren't as radical as they could have been. There's really nothing in his argument suggesting that he thought they SHOULD have been more radical. In fact, he argues that the court isn't the place for that kind of radical change because the court isn't set up with that intention, which is the conservative view, isn't it?

    Now, granted, we know that redistribution of wealth is a goal of Obama's -- I'm not arguing with that -- but I don't think it's fair to read that desire of his back into these comments from 2001.

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  138. 'mouse,

    "Now, granted, we know that redistribution of wealth is a goal of Obama's -- I'm not arguing with that -- but I don't think it's fair to read that desire of his back into these comments from 2001."

    Why?

    Is there anything among his past utterances that would suggest he meant anything else?

    There are plenty of other 'mice' around here suggesting that Obama's sentences and phrases were taken out-of-context - I suggest we evaluate them within a capital-C Context.

    ...as in:
    "Trust People To Do What You've Seen Them Do."
    .- MuscleDaddy-The-Elder

    Taken on-the-whole, I don't think it's unreasonable or unfair to read the desire of his entire life (as indicated by his lifelong associations, statements & voting records) into comments dating back only seven years.

    - MuscleDaddy

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  139. This Sunday's Denver Post (10/26/08) included a letter to the editor stating:

    "A right is a freedom of action (such as the right to free speech), not an automatic claim to a good or service that must be produced by another." --Paul Hsieh (co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine)

    I think that's pretty succinct: a right is a "freedom to" do something, not a "freedom from" some unhappy condition.

    Yes, in a free and moral society, we need some kind of safety net for those UNABLE to care for themselves. This is not a right, it is charity, an unearned benefit.

    (Hmmm, I have a Google Account by can't find how to post under my account name here...)

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  140. Ok, DougLoss @ 11:35 AM, thanks for your response, though I'm not so much naive as I am befuddled by how conservatives think. You wrote, "If you think the government invests in anything more than securing it's continued existence and growth you're very naive." Conservatives appear to be willing to contribute to the cost of training our Armed Forces - that's an investment made by the government, but is it solely for the purpose of securing the government's continued existence? Or is it for the purpose of securing the continued existence of the United States of America? Conservatives appear to support Homeland Security - another massive government investment in self defense. Who is the government defending - isn't it "we the people"? The Founding Fathers said, "government by the people, for the people and of the people." THAT's the government I'm talking about.

    Is there something innately healthy about the reality of the enormous disparity between haves and have-nots in your view? As the wealth gap spirals out of control and government fails it's obligation to provide a world-beating educational system to the poorest among us, what remedies do conservatives propose? Isn't it possible to pool together a portion of the economic profits we've each earned and come up with a better alternative than home schooling? What better Homeland Security can we provide than a healthy, well-educated citizenry? The Founding Fathers went so far as to support the crazy notion of a "pursuit of happiness." Ask the folks lined up for a little food to carry them over at my local Community Center how far up Maslow's pyramid they feel this fine morning. Think they'll all be saying prayers that John McCain will save them from freeloaders and socialists?

    Ok, I'm getting a little nuts. Sort out the philosophical from the hysterical and give me the straight dope on how we address economic disparity currently on a level not seen since 1928, please.

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  141. What will conservatives do when Obama wins this thing?

    here's my top ten:
    1.) Start the nominating process for the now "deceased" William F Buckley with the motto: "Hey- even a dead guy is more exciting than McCain."
    2.) Pray together for a newly "eraged" Jesus to emerge from the clouds and bring back "the good ol' white" days by laying waste to all liberals, intellectuals, college-educated people, and those who like Kenny G. The one exception- Joe Libermann

    CONTINUED------------>

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  142. Anymouse,
    You might as well stop now.
    Your Top 10 win be deleted.
    It does not add to the conversation nor deal with the topic at hand.
    If you want a platform, blogger is free. Start your own blog.

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  143. Daddy.... I think you need these humor classess...really

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  144. Another 'mouse-making-jokes!

    Hmmm... now that you mention Buckley... maybe someone should check to make sure ACORN hasn't registered him to vote for Obama...

    Oh yeah - the 'good ol white days'... no, that's good - no race-baiting there.

    Ah, yes: 'college-educated people' - 'cause none of us here have compiled any sheepskins, after all.

    ...'cause, y'know - The Rich, White, Priviledged Ruling Class - they don't bother with things like college... They just get theirs from "Enraged Jesus" who comes down and gives it all to 'em when they're born.

    Oh, and that Sarah Palin bit! How topical! How witty! How informed-sounding!

    OhMyDamnYou'reFun.... oh wait, no you're not.

    Go on back to the Kos, baby troll - you're not even fun.

    - MuscleDaddy

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  145. The question remains.... even for the humorless right wing. What will it do when Obama wins? What will it do? Pretend it didn't lose? Pretend America isn't moving to the left? What? Blog on hardly listened to radio?
    Thoughts?

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  146. Like I said Anymouse, I'm more than will to see and read any comments that move the conversation along and deal with the topic at hand, even if it gores my own ox. (See Anonymous #1) But if you want to post David Letterman skits, get your own blog.

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  147. I guess the deletion of my funny posts tells me all I need to know about how CONservatives think and act. 1st Amendment? PALEEEEZE don't EVER say you guys stand for its application. Removing anothers thoughts as if you can deny the existence of it reminds me of another place COMMRADES...

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  148. I'd have to say we will handle it better than the left who have been denying that Bush "was" elected president for the last eight years.

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  149. I'm going to leave that last one, just to show how clueless you are.
    You do not have 1st amendment rights here. This is private property. No one is suppressing your rights to free speech. You can spew your drivel all over the internet for all I care. But this is my house. You obey my rules in my house or you will be shown the door.
    But then the left always was short on manners.

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  150. 1st Amendment references Congress enacting no law abridging freedom of speech.

    You see any Congressmen in here?

    I know it's appealling to think of all Conservatives as being part of some sort of Rovian hive-mind, but we're not actually da gub'mint.

    Dissent Opinion - Fine - we welcome a well-considered arguement, and can even appreciate a simple statement of disgreement with no follow-up.

    Random, OT Stupid Crap? Nah.

    That'll get you shut down.
    (actually, mocked and then shut down)

    - MuscleDaddy

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  151. That's a good point. Joe should pipe down, suck it up, and stick with his "own economic class".

    Hey! I know of a country where they do that. It's called India. Have any of you A-Mooses ever heard of it? GREAT economy* over there, huh?

    *For those of you newbies who didn't get it, that was sarcasm.

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  152. I see at least one of our Anonymoi is historically challenged. The Founding Fathers most certainly didn't say "government by the people, for the people and of the people." That's an inaccurate attempt to quote Abraham Lincoln, who actually said "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." As to the government paying for the armed forces and the homeland security agencies, yes it does that. If it didn't, it would be voted out so quickly you wouldn't believe it. That's as it should be. These things are what the federal government is specifically tasked to do.

    However, using the confiscatory power of the government to take the wealth of some of its citizens to distribute to others of its citizens is decidedly not one of its constitutionally designated powers. This "investing" is what both this Anonymous one and I are talking about. And I reassert that if he thinks there's any reason behind such "investing" other than to extend and consolidate the grip on power of the bureaucracies and politicians who promulgate it, he's extremely naive.

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  153. Mr Whittle: Excellent Article.

    One comment: it should have been stressed and emphasized that this "community leader" is a demagogue.

    Demagogues despise constitutions and find them to be a terrible ANNOYANCE and HINDRANCE.

    Why? Because in the separation and division of powers, power checks power, as we all know. But Obama says he wants to CONSOLIDATE power.

    MR. Whittle, please refer to Mr.Obama as the DEMAGOGIC ORATOR, from now on. That is exactly how the Founders would have referred to him. They feared Demagogic Orators like Obama, and looked to the separation of powers for stability and security against such men.

    But as we know from the Demagogue Obama, ("senior lecturer at the U of C law school") the Founders "had a blind spot".

    Unfortunately the American People has a huge "blind spot".

    I believe this is the price we now have to pay for allowing the study of Politics and Law in the Universities to fall into the hands of Activists. The University has provided this demagogic orator with all the destructive arguments and fallacies he needs to subvert our Fundamental Law.

    Let us call November 5th 2008....

    THE FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR ONE.


    Signed,
    PUBLIUS

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  154. Anonymous #1: First of all, thank you for bringing intelligence and polite dissent to the table. It is an attitude that I find sadly lacking in the world today. Now down to brass tacks. I will not argue against you that a healthy, well-educated populace is in the best interests of the nation, and that to promote those things is included in the objectives of the national government. But the ways that they do that are just as important as the objectives. The pursuit of happiness promised to the American people is just that: the freedom to pursue, not the guarantee of success. Government has the responsibility to protect the freedom of Americans to do that, as they do in protecting our nation from enemies foreign and domestic, in protecting the civil rights of all citizens equally, and in providing key infrastructure to promote the activities that bless all men equally. The government is there to see to it that those rights and freedoms are not infringed.

    Here is a point on which I am a stickler: federalism. I am a staunch federalist, and I will not bend on that. The national government is the means for the individual states to cooperate with one another and to present a united front to the world at large. Its powers are limited far beyond those of the states, because it is nothing more than a framework to unite these states. If one state wants to impose socialist programs - as several have now - they are free to do so. If they want to hand out money for free health care, or free college tuition, or tax the wealthy at 95%, they are free to do so as long as their own state constitution allows for it. The national government does not have these powers legitimately, and cannot be trusted with them. We are a large and diverse nation, and a central government trying to hand down one-size-fits-all social policies is going to create a disaster. Even with the best of intentions and the most honest politicians (snicker), central social planning is a recipe for misery and oppression. I am perfectly willing myself to pay taxes to support infrastructure, to provide financial aid at the state level, to finance our heroic armed forces. I know that I will reap the benefits of those projects - even the tuition assistance. Education in financial matters - of which government and its agents are largely ignorant - is one of the key differences that perpetuates the separation of "haves" and "have-nots." If that young man or woman graduates and goes into the market with more skills and knowledge, they will help to drive the wondrous wealth-making machine of our free market. They will be wealthier, and so will I.

    I am also willing to and do give a portion of my income, according to my means, to help the less fortunate. I have also been the recipient of such aid. I have been unemployed with a young family, through no fault of my own, and after much convincing accepted help from family friends. Now I pass it on. I know it is important, and a Christian value as well. If I could trust them to do it properly, I would have no problem with state governments offering similar help. But they have proven time and again that they cannot do it properly. Corruption of both the government agencies and the recipients is terrifyingly common. I have seen it among my friends, my colleagues, even my family. Government handouts have an overwhelming tendency to promote dependency, dishonesty, and misery. When they begin trumpeting how few people need them anymore rather than how many millions of people are dependent on them, perhaps I will begin to trust them.

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  155. Your last point is spot on, Oyster.
    Have you ever seen a Government program get smaller, much less go away? Job security requires them to keep their "clients" dependent. God forbid they actually "solve" a problem.

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  156. There is a lot of over-hype and paranoia being generated. Especially around the word "Socialism". Look at statistics. When did government shrink and debt decrease? Certainly has not been in the last 8 years. Oh, yeah - when Clinton was in office. The US ranks 29th in healthcare, yet we pay the most - by as much as 2X 2nd place (Sweden). Where do you find the best overall health and it costs the least - Western Europe.

    I read a great quote today - "I would rather pay a higher tax on higher profits than lower tax on lower profits."

    The Republicans need to regroup and redefine. I voted for Reagan - but the Republican party is nowhere near what it was then. Now it all evolves around the religious right. Pretty weird when it is the Democrats that are more fiscally and morally responsible...

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  157. Anymouse @ 1:32
    This post wasn't about Republican or Democrat.
    "The US ranks 29th in healthcare"
    By what standard? Care to back that one up?
    Sweden:
    178K square miles
    9 million people

    USA:
    3.7 Million square miles
    300 Million people.

    Ya think we might have a few more challenges than the Swedish?

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  158. DQ, also consider that the US leads the world in medical innovation. After our companies invest megabucks in new medicines, techniques, etc., and their cost has been amortized by US consumers, other countries get them at reduced prices. If we nationalize health care like those wonderful Europeans did, that stops.

    With a government monopsony on vaccine purchases, the pharmaceutical companies will be squeezed. Some day, a mutation of a germ will make it resistant to existing vaccines, and the replacement vaccine won't make it to market until millions of people die in a global pandemic. Maybe the lab with the new vaccine will be torched by "animal rights" activists, or it won't even be built due to the environmental impact on some obscure subspecies.

    (The hard-core greenies will see the death toll as a feature, not a bug.)

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  159. MuscleDaddy:

    Yeah, I'm still here. Lurking from time to time, but rarely jumpin' in because, just like in court, I tend to speak in paragraphs and pages rather than words and sentences, so finding the time to participate is tough. Neither toddlers nor criminals care about the pursuits of the blogging life. :-)

    As for this morning, I had tapped out a lengthy response to Anon-#1, beginning with an expression of gratitude for his /her tenor and tone. Oyster covered that for me. I also shared aspects of my personal story that have given me both ends of the charity perspective -- having been a recipient of charity from government, family, friends, and strangers, as well as now being firm believers in the Christian duty of uncomfortably generous charity. Oyster's got the goods on that as well.

    So, in lieu of trying to reconstruct The Lost Scrolls of this morning's effort, I'll simply add this to the mix:

    the great gray, soul-numbing spectre of Big Brother Government is not clawing on the other side of the door wearing a Barack '08 t-shirt

    No? Soul-Numbing Spectre, thy name is Helen Jones-Kelley.

    This is all very Twilight Zone weird for me, in a small way. When I graduated from law school, I began working in Dayton for the county prosecutor's office there. As with all of the urban centers here in Ohio, Dayton is heavily Democratic, including the Prosecutor. I started there handling the custody cases for the Montgomery County Children's Services Board involving abused and neglected kids. My unit was housed within CSB's office building. Who knew that back than, I was working just down the hall from a Soul-Numbing Spectre In Training?

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  160. Anon-#1, @ 5:25 pm:

    Is there something innately healthy about the reality of the enormous disparity between haves and have-nots in your view?

    Forgot to answer that one. I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm guessing most here would say something similar to my answer: "of course not, but that's not the issue."

    Really. Believe it or not, I couldn't agree more that the levels of income enjoyed by the ultra-wealthy, whether on Wall Street, in Hollywood, or at Texas Stadium is, in a word, obscene.

    And yet, that conclusion doesn't automatically lead to the next step of government redistribution. At least for me it doesn't, for I value FREEDOM more than I abhor someone else's obscene greed.

    Not to sound all quixotic, but you want to "address economic disparity"? Change the culture, not the government. Begin encouraging strong families and the inculcation of the traditional values of moderation, charity, generosity. Sure, it's small and it's slow, but it's the only way that doesn't require "the soft authoritarianism of socialism" (a great line I read somewhere recently). It is . . . grassroots, even!

    Hmm. This just occurred to me. Imagine if The One and other "community organizers" like him used their grassroots efforts to effect the slow, yet sustaining change of culture, rather than the change of the victim/reparation model of wealth redistribution. Now THAT's change I could believe in.

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  161. Lance,
    Hit me up on the tip line. (upper right corner)
    We may have a place for you here.
    -D4

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  162. Ok, call me Morph. I used to be Anonymous #1, but most of the other Anonymouses were really annoying me and I don’t want my posts to be confused with theirs. Yes, I am morphing. I think I’m beginning to understand a thing or two thanks to posts by Qwer, Paules, Michael, DougLoss, daddyquatro and others [Lance Salyers, please update whatever you want to hit me with – I regret the link crapped out on you earlier]. I’m learning! Now, I’m not morphing into a McCain/Palin voter (I’m afraid I’d turn into a pillar of salt), but I’m finally understanding what some conservatives have been griping about in the face of liberalism. And I really get that a lot of us have been talking past one another for a very long time. I don’t have a solid understanding of any of this, but it appears that this strain of conservatism is much more straighforward and close to home than the stuff I usually plow through. So this is very cool.

    FreeRangeOyster, you kind of blew me away. It’s great to read an online entry that has the clear ring of truth in it. I begin to see a path toward amiable agreement on many points. With a conservative. Hoo-boy.

    I’ve got a lot of questions, not a lot of time right now [had a thoroughly poor-white-trash day – plumbing backed up through the kitchen, car battery died with 12 miles of desert between me and home, etc.] but I thought I’d drop a note of general encouragement. DougLoss, I have an image of you – bulldog with a scowl carved across your face, snapping at flies (anonymice), slobber spattering all over the yard – relax, pal, I am the next door neighbor’s mut – dumb as a box of rocks sometimes (yeh, yeh, Abe Lincoln, that’s it, yeh, yeh) but all I’ve got is a bone to pick – I promise I won’t take a dump in your yard.

    So I hope the conversation stays open – if it does, I’ll be back for more.

    P.S. In the time it took to jot this down, the reload came back with Lance’s update – yes, you’re another one – a conservative who explains on all cylinders – thanks for that. I’m still fuzzy on the traditional values approach toward culture change when the cliché-ed conservative family values I’ve come to know leave me exhausted and depressed, but I’m all ears, and, um, your last point about: “This just occurred to me. Imagine if The One and other "community organizers" like him used their grassroots efforts to effect the slow, yet sustaining change of culture, rather than the change of the victim/reparation model of wealth redistribution. Now THAT's change I could believe in.” Leaving the money thing out of it for now, I think that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. I think he’s been trying to lift the level of discussion up to that very point for many years. I think we are in agreement – if not on how Obama handles the money thing – then in how he could set the stage for better things to come.

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  163. In the turbulence of the late 1960's I was a student in college in a small port city in Connecticut. In 1969 (if my memory isn't too blurry) radicals and students "took over" the administration buildings of Columbia University, to try to force the school to abandon its decision to force low-income residents out of university-owned buildings, to make room for expansion of the University.

    Sure, this was a noble cause, but the radicals had a very different agenda, and merely exploited a sympathetic bunch of naive idealists.

    Newspaper photos clearly showed the radicals with shotguns, handguns, bandoliers of cartridges, and other weapons. The University Administrators declined to allow police to assault the occupiers; it was felt there was too much public sympathy for the students. They were after all, the idealistic children of middle-class (and upper-middle-class) parents. The parents, alumni or not, tend to be among the major donors to University fund-raising efforts. Doesn't do to be routinely slaughtering their precious little ones, even if the precious little ones were in fact using lethal weapons in their criminal activities...

    So instead, the world was given the example of a craven administration caving in to the radicals, not just in the immediate issue, but in the larger list of "non-negotiable demands" ginned up as the students and other radicals observed how reluctant the University was to stand its ground. Politically-correct degree programs in women's studies, black studies, and other concessions that might have been implemented in a way to guarantee intellectual rigor were rushed into place.

    In the course of the next few years, scores of occupations in other universities intimidated many other schools to do likewise. The new programs were swiftly populated by mostly radical Marxist and Leftist dogmatic activists, who cared nothing for the scholarly reverence for fair, objective balance of ideas. Black Studies, Women's Studies, first resisted the application of outdated and irrelevant academic standards, then spread their dismembering anti-Western, anti-Capitalist, anti-White European, anti-Male, agendas into other departments. Once they achieved a foothold, they shouted down any opposition, recruiting their students to assist in intimidating and silencing any who dared to disagree.

    This has become the primary method of the Left: to intimidate, bully, interrupt, rudely out-shout, insult, lie, spit, curse, and scream. They don't bother with persuasion, because they know their logic has failed. It doesn't matter to them; they never believed in socialism or Marxism anyhow. They believe in POWER. Just like Soviet Bolsheviks. This is what we can expect from the likes of them. I lived through a lot of campus upheavals, and did my share of meetings and dialectic with some of the keen minds in U.S. colleges. (I don't claim to be one of those, but many of my acquaintances then are now either doctors, professors, or elected reps at all levels of government, or appointed prosecutors, city attorneys, etc.) What I saw repeatedly is that the leftists never gave a shit about logic or civil conversation. Just scream in the face of anyone who disagrees until they give up. It's the Leftists on campus that throw tomatoes, bags of shit, rocks, and bricks to silence visiting speakers whose views they detest.

    This works because our society has become stupid. Like Romeo restraining Mercutio to end the duel, but instead giving Tybalt the perfect opportunity to pierce him fatally. We who are not on the left continue to naively practice civil discourse with vicious miscreants who only feign manners while they're lying and saving energy for the main shout.

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  164. Ok ...that is not his voice! If it was, obviously this is so slanted ...what is this a Fox subsidiary?

    "a man who happened to be playing ball when the Messiah decided to roll up looking for a few more votes on the way to the inevitable coronation." This quote from Bill whatshisname ...shows the same vein of thought that is being practiced for the media by the Rove pundits!!!!

    I predicted that Rove would try to drop out of the spotlight & radar by leaving the Bush regime as early as he could. Then from the cowardly shadows of anonymity he would snipe at the Democratic leadership.

    So this is part of the work....

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  165. Hi Morph! Nah, your image of me is all wrong. I'm pleasant, charming, with a sparkling wit. I pat small children on the head as I pass by. ;) It's just that I tend to address someone's assertions once and disagree with or correct them, and if that's ignored and the invalid assertions continue I don't continue to try to correct them, merely deride them. But I do try to use the same tone as those I respond to, so if you're civil you'll find me very civil too. That's why so many on the left think me rude, I guess. :))

    Sandokan, you're a fool. (See Morph, nothing substantial to correct here, as Sandokan didn't actually say anything, but returning the snarky tone.)

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  166. I'm sorry to say, but this is a clear demonstration of the lack of intelligence of McCain supporters. Keep drinking that Kool-Aid. I'm a Powell Republican. I think freely and go based on the facts.

    Everyone keeps getting hung up on this "socialism" nonsense. The fact of the matter is that tossing around these buzzwords as if it means something is fallacious and fearmongering.

    Anyone who paid attention in college knows exactly what socialism is, and what Obama is proposing is not even close. Anyone with a basic understanding of what they are talking about knows this.

    For America to become a socialist regime, we'd have to toss out our entire economic system. Obama isn't completely revamping the system. He's taking our EXISTING tax-paying system, and merely adjusting WHO PAYS WHAT. That's America people. That's called taxes. It is selfish nonsense to whine and complain about "free market" when the hypocrisy of it all is right in your face.

    Pumas had a shot at unregulated market, and look where that got us. People are losing their homes, the poor are getting poorer as the cost of living rises disproportionately to minimum wage. Yeah a free market is all fine and dandy until the system screws up and suddenly they want a 700 billion dollar bailout.

    So it's a free market...until they go broke. I don't see anyone bailing out the ones who actually NEED it. Sorry, but a single mom making 30k a year needs tax cuts more than people bringing in a net income of 250k. I can't believe you people are so selfish. Higher taxes won't break the bank. If you could afford a BMW before Obama, you'll be able to afford one afterwards.

    I am ashamed to be a member of the Republican party at this point.

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  167. For Peter, October 29, 2008, at 6:07 A.M. --

    For what it is worth, I matriculated at Columbia University from the Fall of 1967 through the Spring of 1971 as an undergraduate Chemistry major. I saw and experienced first-hand the tyranny of the radical left embodied in the SDS, and later the Weather Underground.

    I agree that the resulting move away from formal and required (then) studies of the foundations of Western Civilization and the forced implementation in their place of various "ethnic" and "gender-based" studies programs is a huge contributor to the disintegration of civil discourse in the political arena, and decry that loss. I believe it also contributed immensely to the decline of Critical Thinking in the populace at large, and in the "left" specifically.

    The Scientific Method is certainly misunderstood by those who claim that "scientific consensus" closes the debate on Anthropogenic Global Warming, as but one example. Well-reasoned, Critical Thinking is practised and encouraged at this site, as exhibited in Bill's essays, but those commenters who cannot participate on the same cerebral plain simply try to outshout and outsnark those with whom they disagree. As Doug Loss, MuscleDaddy, DaddyQuatro, Qwer, and several others have amply illustrated, unsupported argumentation avails nothing, here.

    I am pleased to welcome your opinion, Sir. Thank you for the general civility and historical perspective. It brought back some "not-so-fond" memories of opposing the left and their tactics then, as now.

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  168. For Anonyomous, October 29, 2008, at 11:38 A.M. --

    'For America to become a socialist regime, we'd have to toss out our entire economic system. Obama isn't completely revamping the system. He's taking our EXISTING tax-paying system, and merely adjusting WHO PAYS WHAT. That's America people. That's called taxes. It is selfish nonsense to whine and complain about "free market" when the hypocrisy of it all is right in your face."

    I believe that what many are objecting to in The One's philosophy and demogoguery is not so much fear of "pure, unadulterated socialism," per se, but rather the unabashed and naked redistribution of wealth being promulgated under the guise of "social fairness" or "social justice." That "straw man" ain't gonna fly.

    The taking of the fruits of one person's labors specifically for "re-distribution" to others, at the effective point of a gun, is something to be resisted. If one accepts the position that an annual income of $ 250,000.00 places one in the position of being a "takee," then what prevents that from being re-defined down, as Joe Biden has already done? What new definition of "rights" justifies the violation of those personal property rights that such an act entails? Is that not the act of placing "government" above the individual, which is itself counter to the view of the Founders, i.e., that government is the subject of the people, and not vice versa?

    I for one cannot abide such a raw grab at power, and will not support it, regardless of whether I can "afford a BMW" now or in the future.

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  169. Anon 11:38:

    For America to become a socialist regime, we'd have to toss out our entire economic system.
    Moving the goalposts. Note that no one has said that Obama seeks to establish "a socialist regime", only that he supports policies of the democratic socialist movement. Progressive taxation was in the Socialist Party platform in the early 20th Century, and "redistribution of wealth" is one of the standard tools to accomplish the transition from capitalism to communism.

    Pumas had a shot at unregulated market, and look where that got us.
    Another strawman. Those of us who advocate free markets do not desire them to be "unregulated"; we only want regulation to be confined to its proper purpose, which is to punish those who, by force or fraud, violate the person, property, or liberty of others. The housing bubble was created by bad regulation, which forced banks to make bad loans.

    People are losing their homes, the poor are getting poorer as the cost of living rises disproportionately to minimum wage.
    The minimum wage, to whatever extent it affects wages, causes unemployment among low-educated, low-skilled workers.

    Yeah a free market is all fine and dandy until the system screws up and suddenly they want a 700 billion dollar bailout.
    Since it wasn't a free market, the bailout, as distasteful as I find it, is fundamentally a matter of the government making good on the implicit guarantees made on its behalf by Fannie/Freddie (which, being Government-Sponsored Entities, are not private-sector entities).

    Sorry, but a single mom making 30k a year needs tax cuts more than people bringing in a net income of 250k. I can't believe you people are so selfish. Higher taxes won't break the bank. If you could afford a BMW before Obama, you'll be able to afford one afterwards.
    The problem with raising marginal tax rates on those high-income people is that they'll try to pass the tax along to their customers in the form of higher prices. They'll succeed to some degree, based on the elasticity of demand of what they're selling, but they'll sell less of it, which will mean less need for workers to produce it. They'll either lay off someone, or all their employees will get smaller or nonexistent COLAs, since they figure they can afford to have some people quit. So now that single mom that was making $30K is either unemployed, or her income isn't keeping up with rising prices (some of which are the "embedded taxes" passed along as described above), wiping out that $500 "tax cut" Obama promised her in exchange for her vote.

    And there's a point of diminishing returns. A marginal rate of 0% collects no taxes, but so does a marginal rate of 100%. Somewhere in the middle is at least one local maximum, a point above which raising rates actually reduces revenues to the government. The exact point is difficult to determine, especially since many state and local governments impose their own taxes on top of the national Income Tax, adding to the effective marginal tax rate.

    When Obama was confronted with the empirical evidence that lower capital gains tax rates actually produced more tax revenue, he still insisted that he wanted to raise those rates to achieve "fairness". Wrap your brain around that. He'd rather collect less tax, from less taxable income. Not only does he want to redistribute wealth from higher-income people, he wants them to stop making so damn much money in the first place.

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  170. Wow!
    Good stuff last night.
    Congratulations for coming out of the anymouse closet Morph. Civil disagreement is ALWAYS welcome here. In fact we thrive on it.

    Peter, you can witness those same tactics here. When some douche tries to hijack the thread and we cut him off, they start screaming about their RIGHTS. "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

    Sandokan, you blew our cover! It's all a Rovian plot. Run, run away!

    Anymouse @ 11:30
    "I am ashamed to be a member of the Republican party at this point." I'm not a member, they just get my vote because the alternative is worse. No, Obama won't turn us into a Socialist nation overnight but I'd prefer not to take three more giant steps down that road.

    Paul A, It's good to have back on the right side of the world, buddy!

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  171. Morph, first I want to echo a few others who have welcomed your considerate debate here.

    Others have discussed the issue of socialism probably better than I could. I would like to bring up the point that it is not just the socialist direction that Barack Obama wants to go in that bothers people about the possibility of his being elected.

    For instance, there was his declaration that the Washington, D.C. Handgun ban was constitutional. The Second Amendment is pretty clear, in my opinion as well as many others, and no possible wording of such a ban could avoid violating it, except in the extremely limited sense of preventing convicted violent felons from legally owning guns.

    Another issue is the potential for abuse of power. He has already tried to intimidate groups who run ads critical of him by trying to get the Justice Department to prosecute them. As you can see in that article, it's not the first time the DoJ has been used in this fashion.

    Then there is the number of Obama's radical and criminal friends and associates. I don't know about others, but I would be willing to forgive him for one or two, if they weren't "close friends", but he has a whole laundry list, including not only Bill Ayers, but international terrorist Khalid Al-Mansour. Let's see, Bill Ayers helped Obama launch his political career by holding a fundraiser in his house, Rev. Wright, who Obama described as his spiritual mentor, claimed things like 9/11 was "America's chickens coming home to roost", and that HIV/AIDS was created by whites to kill black people, Tony Rezko was a slum lord who didn't turn on the heat in the buildings he managed during bitter Chicago winters until forced by court order. Those are just a few examples.

    There are other things, but I start to get disjointed in my writing after a while, so I'll stop there and come back to it later.

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  172. - The "Constitutional Handgun Ban" pronouncement.

    - The "Redistribution of Wealth" comments and other socialist-leaning statements.

    - The race-baiting comments, both live & in his books.

    - His past-and-present associations with terrorists, terrorist supporters, unapologetic racists, criminals and assorted America-haters.

    - His meddling with the securtiy situation over the treaty in Iraq for his own political gain.

    - His campaign's open efforts to suppress dissenting opinion.

    At any other time in American history, any one of these would have disqualified a candidate from a viable run on the Presidency.

    Of course, at any other time in the past 50 years - ALL of these would have been broadcast to the American people, with the volume turned up to "11".
    (instead of only garnering a careful mention on Fox)

    - MuscleDaddy

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  173. About the elitist press exposing only that which fits their agenda ... I recall distincly being almost in shock after the last presidential election when I heard Tom Brokaw (a man who I always thought as fair as a lib reporter could be), basically compaining about bloggers because "it's up to us to decide what is news". He was referring to the big 3 network anchors when he made that statement, and it was a light bulb moment for me.

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  174. Glad you finally realized it. But it goes much farther back than that "Uncle Walter" Cronkite almost single-handedly turned the Tet Offensive in VietNam into a US defeat when it actually destroyed the Viet Cong as a fighting force. Walter Duranty of Time magazine was a Stalin apologist all through the 30s. It's just now we can find the truth much more easily and their extreme bias and spinning of what's actually happening is becoming glaringly evident.

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  175. Listen to the whole thing - with out preconceptions. See if you see something different.

    Here's what I heard:
    Obama is saying it was a tragedy that the media focused on the court battles during the civil rights movement. The real power of change that was occurring was happening in the community - which is were the real power is - not the government. Real power is in the community - with the People. The government and the courts are a reflection of change that the People bring about - not the other way around.

    And, we still suffer from the media implying that change comes from above - from the courts or the government, when it DOESN'T. This great country we have is By the People, For the People. If we want change We The People must make that change - and NOT leave it up to the government to decide for us.

    THAT is what I got out of the interview...

    How's that for a complete 180 on interpretation?

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  176. So, just to put this "spreading the wealth through taxes" idea in perspective. Here are some quotes from "The Writings of Thomas Jefferson", Memorial Edition (ME) in 20 volumes, 1903:

    "Our wish... is that... equality of rights [be] maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers." -- 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME v3:pp382

    "To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'" -- Note in Destutt de Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816. ME v14:pp466

    "If the overgrown wealth of an individual is deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it." -- Ibid.

    Something to ponder.

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  177. Thank you qwer, you just added another book to my already overloaded "To Read" list.

    Anonymous @ 5:57PM - taken without any historical or personal context, that is a perfectly valid interpretation. It is one with whose sentiments I whole-heartedly agree. It is also utterly contrary to the statements, sentiments, and actions that Mr. Obama demonstrated both before and after this interview. I wish sincerely that he had meant it as you interpret it - but I cannot for a moment believe that, because these quotes do not exist in a vacuum. "Listen to the whole thing - with out preconceptions" you said - but what we are using is not preconception, it is the evidence of his own character and history. A quote without context is useless, and will only reflect the thoughts of the reader. That says good things about your own benevolent impulses, but nothing good about his.

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  178. qwer - I agree with your [silent] supposition regarding the acute wisdom and thoughfulness of the giant Jefferson. I cast a couple more of his offerings before you as an earnest defensor of El Diablo:

    "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785. ME 19:18, Papers 8:682

    "Taxes should be proportioned to what may be annually spared by the individual." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1784. FE 4:15, Papers 7:557

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  179. Oyster,

    Indeed - much as I said earlier - "context" should not be limited to a single speaking engagement.

    Tyrone,

    Sounds like the way it works now (sans "tax-rebates" to those not paying taxes in the first-place)...

    - MuscleDaddy

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  180. Tyrone Slothrop wrote October 29, 2008 8:19 PM :
    I cast a couple more of his offerings before you as an earnest defensor of El Diablo

    Perhaps the difference between the quotes lies in the experience Jefferson acquired between the writings: yours from the mid-1780s and mine a decade or two later.

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  181. qwer wrote: Perhaps the difference between the quotes lies in the experience Jefferson acquired between the writings: yours from the mid-1780s and mine a decade or two later.

    That's doubtless true. I'm certainly no expert on Jefferson, but from what I've read the views he espouses in your post seem to be truest to his most deeply held convictions. In his day things were of different perceptionary hues as well, politics papered in greenish patterns of the so-called idle rich generating lucre on land that others coerced into productivity through their blood-sweat and callused-toil; and e'er have just men been roused, wracked and repulsed by a perceived injustice.

    I must admit that I find this Barackian tax-tweak to be somewise troubling.

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  182. Tyrone,

    I think I'm gettin' to like you.

    Here's hopin' ya stick around.

    - MuscleDaddy

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  183. ~Paules says:

    "Redistribution" under any political ideology is a fundamentally flawed concept. All issues of "justice" and "fairness" aside, the use to which government puts redistributive wealth is the growth of more government. Period. End of story.

    Public education in my district, for example, requires one bureaucrat for every two teachers in the classroom. Allocated to each student is $10,000 per year. Run the math and you will see that my cut of that 10K is $2000 for each student (5 classes averaging 16 students calculated on a per diem basis), or a salary of 32K. Peanuts. The other 8K is for infrastructure, administration, books and materials.

    Give me 160K and I will rent space, provide all materials, and offer a better education for sixteen students than any of them currently get from the public school system IN ALL SUBJECTS. And I'll make 100K doing it, if not more. I think my analogy is fair. Government spends $4 on administration for every dollar it redistributes.

    I know some of you readers are prepared to pick apart my example. Don't bother. I know the example is simplistic. The point is: Why would anyone trust any civic institution to the hands of government? Do you really want Public Health Care? Really? Think about the following before you answer: public housing, public busses, public toilets. Oh, but public healthcare will be different. Yeah, right.

    And me? I'm about to launch another Paules Challenge for a box of paper. That's right, folks, I have used up my paper ration for the YEAR. When a teacher goes begging for basic supplies you know it's just WRONG.

    And that's today's lesson from Mr. ~Paules' Classroom.

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  184. D4 - check in the inbox.

    Morph - nice to meet ya and have a handle to hang on the mannered discourse. And thanks for the kind words.

    I will try to reconstruct my response, but can't tonight. Trial tomorrow demands bedtime now.

    Parting tidbit: looks like Story of the Soul-Numbing Spectre gets deeper and better/scarier: Checks on Joe more extensive than first thought. Looks like it wasn't just child support records; it was also taxes and welfare records. Says Ohio's latest embarrassing public official (whither Jen Bruner?): "Jones-Kelley wrote that the checks were "well-meaning," but misinterpreted amid the heated final weeks of a presidential election. . . Jones-Kelly also has denied any connections between the computer checks on Wurzelbacher and her support for Obama. She donated the maximum $2,500 this year to the Obama campaign."

    Newspeak Fevah: Catch it!

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  185. Tyrone -

    I'm with MuscleDaddy. Nice demeanor. Pleasant conversation. Quoting a Founder. And helping to even the keel. I like the way you trim your sails.

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  186. "Do you really want Public Health Care? Really? Think about the following before you answer: public housing, public busses, public toilets. Oh, but public healthcare will be different. Yeah, right.

    You Rawk! Mr. P.

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  187. MuscleDaddy and qwer - Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your kind words and extended hands. The marked amenity of your manners is more than matched by the sound sagacity and patriotic passion of your prose. I am only sorry that I introduced myself to you all with a sneering rejoinder aimed at Dr. Melanie, which The Monster promptly and politely stomped to the curb.

    I have been reading the essays and comments from your Ejectian archives, and I am impressed. I find that, when you launder and leapfrog the legion of insulting, infantile and imbecilic trolls that pour in perpetuity from the undersides of some vast bridge over the river Why, conservative sites oftentimes stimulate and interest me more than others. Perhaps it's because, being a libertarian-yea-authoritarian-nay liberal, I enjoy, and derive benefit from, immersing myself in political, social, economic and philosophic thought currently not copacetic to that of myself; to endeavor to learn from, or at the least understand better, those - the majority - who do not necessarily share my purview, but have more than contributed to the greatness of America. I began from a position where critical thinking was unfailingly trumped by visceral, where I valued equality more than freedom; I am trying to improve on the former and re-evaluate my adherence to the latter. In this peripatetic pilgrimage, I have found much to muse upon from the combined wisdom of such Burkean descendants as your good selves.

    Sadly, the demands of real life are exerting their scabrous hold upon my time these days with an unparalleled ferocity, but I will close with this: while I have serious concerns and reservations about an Obama presidency - in especial one with unfettered assistance from bicameral majorities - I find that the earlier endorsement of he whom you label The One by Mr. Francis Fukuyama (which can be found here) propounds a position within a well-tossed horseshoe of mine. His comment:

    It is hard to imagine a more disastrous presidency than that of George W. Bush....As a general rule, democracies don’t work well if voters do not hold political parties accountable for failure. While John McCain is trying desperately to pretend that he never had anything to do with the Republican Party, I think it would a travesty to reward the Republicans for failure on such a grand scale.

    In my opinion, the declaration by Mr. Whittle in a previous National Review article, opining that the Republicans deserved to win more than the Democrats deserved to lose, is an inversion of how I view the just outcome of this seemingly endless, and oftimes interminable, electoral process.

    I shall intrude upon your future discussions here as and when I find the time and marshal the relevant thoughts - but I shall remain to educate and inform myself, whether cloaked or visible; of that have no doubt!

    Good day, gentelmen.

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  188. Tyrone Slothrop ....

    what's with the alliteration overblow?

    I can literally see your ego bulging through my computer screen. Here's a tip: no one cares about a dried up burnt out rag like the National Review anymore... just look at the dwiddling subscriber numbers... oh that applies to the entire conservative movement as well...

    I can't wait for eight LOOOOOOOOOOOONG years of OBAMA rule

    chant with me oh pious neo-cons OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA! LOL

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  189. ~Paules says:

    "I can't wait for eight LOOOOOOONG years of OBAMA rule." ~Anon.

    Rule? Is that what you want, Anonymous? You wish to be ruled? Wow. I thought that in a republic the people ruled through their elected representatives. But I will thank you for your candor. You have taken Obama's cult of personality to a logical conclusion.

    I prefer the words of Gandhi: "The truth is still the truth even if only one man know it." Conservatism will never die as long as free men value liberty. Obamism is just a fad. Liberty is an enternal principle, and free men will still fight for her long after Obama is gone.

    I can with a certain confidence make a couple of predictions. The premature crowing by Obama supporters will turn to rage if he loses. And if he wins, Americans will rue the day they elected a man they did not know. Placing one's confidence in a persona(and that's all Obama really has to offer) is the sure road to perdition. The clear-eyed see only mass psychosis in Obama's adoring crowds.

    And the truth remains the truth even if only one man knows it.

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  190. Tyrone Slothrop wrote October 30, 2008 7:02 PM:
    In my opinion, the declaration by Mr. Whittle in a previous National Review article, opining that the Republicans deserved to win more than the Democrats deserved to lose, is an inversion of how I view the just outcome of this seemingly endless, and oftimes interminable, electoral process.

    I don't mean, here, to cast aspersions on your choice. It is your own, and I say best of luck to you with it.

    I prefer not to sit in judgment. I especially prefer not to mete out punishment to others for their transgressions.

    I prefer to fix problems rather than punish those who create them. As a result, perhaps I view this election differently than some of the other people here.

    I'd like to fix the earmarking that has bloated federal spending. Between the two parties, I find little difference on this point. However, between the two candidates, I have no difficulty in determining who is likely to better achieve that end. It is a contest between the man who refused to take earmarks and stood against that tide in the first place, and yet another man who took them in abundance. What do you do with a man who won't put his ladle in the trough when everyone around him drinks their fill to overflowing?

    I'd like to fix the causes of this latest financial crisis. Between the two parties, I find a few differences on this point, some moderately significant but opinions differ. However, between the two candidates, I have no difficulty in determining who is likely to better achieve that end. It is a contest between the man who led the charge time and again to attempt reform in the first place, and a man who wrote a single letter and never followed it up. What do you do with a man who is willing to beat on the Bastille door however futile it seems?

    I'd like to fix the great partisan division in this country. Between the two parties, I find a some differences on this point. However, between the two candidates, I have no difficulty in determining who is likely to better achieve that end. It is a contest between the man who formed his own bipartisan group (you may remember the reviled "Gang of 14") and withstood the slings and arrows from within his own party to forge one bipartisan consensus after another, versus a man who kept his head down and went along with the majority flow safely within the most left-leaning inner circle of his party.

    There are numerous other things that I'd like to fix in the federal government as well. But as these are the most pressing economic and divisive issues, they are more than sufficient -- more than merely indicative -- of who is more likely to cure the ills that face the nation.

    It is one thing to talk about the need for changing course, for fixing the great problems of the day. It is another thing to have taken such a stand back when those problems were difficult and unpopular.

    I plan to vote for such a man.

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  191. qwer:

    Brilliant.

    You've impressed me into succinctness. That, sir/madam (?), is no small feat.

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  192. Lance,
    qwer is most definitely a dude
    (Well at least he says he is. This is the "INTERNET", after all)
    and I join you in applause.

    PS. Let me state, on the record, that I have no idea about the size of his feat.

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  193. They amaze me, those who do not interpret Obama's words literally, as spoken by the Messiah.

    Some pretty strong Kool-Aid.....leaves your head spinning, even if you haven't had any!

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  194. This is scary, this overt socialism, but also this rejection of negative liberty. I guess Hayek was right about socialism leading to totalitarianism (also see "speech codes"). This isn't a first, however. Wilson openly disparaged the Constitution, and FDR attempted to replace the old Bill of Rights with an "economic bill of rights." Not that's that much consolation, those were our two worst presidents.

    ReplyDelete

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