Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Morning Plum

* The Dem game plan on tax cuts for the rich: With Congress back in session this week, the Bush tax cuts will dominate the discussion, and here's the Dems' challenge in a nutshell: Can they force Republicans to own the tax cuts for the rich, while taking ownership for themselves of the tax cuts for everyone else?

* What you'll now be seeing from Dems is various efforts to accomplish that. Here, for instance, is Chris Van Hollen saying a deal would be worth thinking about provided it would swap a one-year extension of the tax cuts for the rich in exchange for making the tax cuts for everyone else permanent.

* The GOP counter-strategy: But John Boehner's suggestion yesterday that he could support extending just the middle class tax cuts, if that's the only option on the table, is a clear effort to muddle the lines Dems are trying to draw.

* Outstanding question: What will Mitch McConnell say about this today?

* Is Harry Reid in trouble again? A new Las Vegas Review Journal poll finds Reid in a statistical dead heat with Sharron Angle, but, tellingly, more than half agree with Angle's arguments about the economy, and more than half of indys don't buy Reid's argument about Bush being to blame.

* Are Dems outgunned in the ad wars? Republican House candidates have outspent Dems by millions of dollars, a disparity partly fueled by outside groups on the right, who have pumped three times as much ad money into the midterms as groups on the left.

* Today in media idiocy: Stephen Stromberg skewers the moronic media obsession over whether or not Obama wants to use the word "stimulus."

* Concession of the day: Rand Paul acknowledges that Republicans might also bear a bit of the blame for the deficit.

* The secret to Fox's success: Taegan Goddard flags a funny number from a new Pew poll: The percentage of Republicans that get their news from Fox is way up, while the number that get their news elsewhere is way down.

* Are there any House races, anywhere, that Dems might win? A useful guide to the rather short list of Dem pickup opportunities.

* No end to the pummeling of Pelosi: The RNC's Michael Steele is set to kick off a "Fire Pelosi Bus Tour."

And labor unleashes a barrage of...mailers: The AFL-CIO is set to unleash a hurricane of direct mail pieces blasting GOP candidates in multiple races across the country, Alexander Burns reports, including this one hammering Sharron Angle over her multiple quotes about jobs:

anglemailer.JPG

Which raises a question: We now know that outside groups on the right are badly outspending those on the left with only fifty days until the elections. So what kind of air cover will we see from the left?

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  |  September 13, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House Dems , House GOPers , Morning Plum , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday Open Thread
Next: Boehner concedes only three percent of small businesses affected by extending tax cuts

Comments

Morning round up is early this morning! Greg must've remembered to set his alarm.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, I wonder just what percentage of liberal Democrats get anything from FOX NEWS. I'll be it's near zero.

Liberals just don't seem to want any part of "FAIR & BALANCED".

Posted by: battleground51 | September 13, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"Can they force Republicans to own the tax cuts for the rich, while taking ownership for themselves of the tax cuts for everyone else?"

That's a pretty cynical and dishonest approach, wouldn't you agree, since all the tax cuts were initiated by the GOP to begin with and it was always the GOP that wanted them to be permanent?

Again the question: Why is Obama holding permanent middle class tax cuts hostage to his madness to raise taxes on "the wealthy," i.e., on employers?

Will the GOP be smart enough to (correctly) frame the issue this way?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Every time I think we've hit the uppermost limit on stupid in this country, someone proves me wrong:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/09/13/not-a-joke/

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"That's a pretty cynical and dishonest approach, wouldn't you agree, since all the tax cuts were initiated by the GOP to begin with and it was always the GOP that wanted them to be permanent?"

Well, then, I guess they shouldn't have passed them using reconciliation.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"But John Boehner's suggestion yesterday that he could support extending just the middle class tax cuts, if that's the only option on the table, is a clear effort to muddle the lines Dems are trying to draw."

Here's my hunch. Agent Orange knows that the Dems can't unify around ending tax cuts for The Rich. For example:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42042.html

So Agent Orange says the GOP won't block Middle Class cuts under any circumstances realizing all the time that the Dems themselves will ensure the The Rich get their cuts too. This way the GOP takes the Populism issue away from the Dems but still gets all the tax cuts it wants.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"Well, then, I guess they shouldn't have passed them using reconciliation."

Not a logical response. Is the proposed Dem spin honest?

As for the original cuts, they had no choice in the face of Dem obstruction. Remember when "obstruction" was statesmanship?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Reid needs to bring up a bill to the Senate with just tax cuts for the Middle Class and then allow amendments to be added to it including amendments that may include tax cuts for the rich for 1 year or 2 years or permanently.

Make the Republicans BLOCK A VOTE on Middle Class Tax cuts.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 13, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

When Citizens United came down, I wrote a single post here that day. I said:

"Well, you guys are phuckked".

And by 'you guys', I meant US citizens. EJ has a wise, if unhappy, column on this today and on the urgent need for citizens to be able to ascertain who is trying to manipulate opinion through pushing big money into the political process...

"But repairing Citizens United is not an ideological question, although some cast it that way. Fiscal conservatives should be as worried as anyone about corporations using their newfound power to extract expensive special benefits from the government. Even conservatives who opposed campaign reform in the past have always insisted that they favor disclosure of campaign contributions. Disclosure is now more important than ever."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/12/AR2010091202885.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

It really is becoming difficult for me to imagine how the consequences of this SC decision are going to be other than utterly tragic for everyone but the few who presently possess the lion's share of power and wealth - that is, the real 'establishment' or the actual 'elites' in the US.

Some, probably many, take comfort in this decision thinking it a further realization of the principle of free and unfettered speech. It really is something quite opposite. An clear and accurate analogy here is to imagine a townhall where one or two individuals - invoking an unfettered right to this principle - buy up and crush all the bullhorns in town except the two they bring to the meeting and which they use to over-shout everyone else throughout this and all future meetings.

Outside of some coming tragedy of significant proportion, I don't know how American citizens aren't going to fall back towards the unjust and intractable power relationships of dominators and dominated that held true a century ago.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 13, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@bg: "Well, I wonder just what percentage of liberal Democrats get anything from FOX NEWS. I'll be it's near zero."

I know lots of libs that watch more Fox news than I do. As I know many conservatives who watch CNN and MSNBC. Anecdotal, but not everybody limits themselves to a diet of just what the agree with.

Even though I have a theory that people tend to filter stuff they don't agree with in such a manner that it tends to reaffirm, rather than challenge, their own dearly held beliefs. But that's just a theory. ;)

@qb: "That's a pretty cynical and dishonest approach, wouldn't you agree, since all the tax cuts were initiated by the GOP to begin with and it was always the GOP that wanted them to be permanent?"

Yeah. Um, you know we're talking about DC politicians here, right?

I think it's just a hard argument to make. They had one way to pass the tax cuts, and that was through reconciliation. They wanted to make them permanent, and are trying to make them permanent now. Trying to say they someone don't want the tax cuts, and that this is their fault because there's a built in expiration date--I don't think that's an argument that would resonate with anybody outside of a high school debating team.

However, dishonest and cynical pretty much seems to be the way the game is played in DC. I don't think the Republicans would come out looking any better than the Dems in that regard.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I have to be honest - the discussion over how far to the right Fox is.


Fox is really close to the center. It really is.

In addition, it appears that Fox has a firm dividing line between the news reporting, and the opinion segments - news is supposed to be balanced - and opinion is opinion.

Honestly, I have been horrified to hear what MSNBC has put on as "news" and also what CNN has done. They are far to the left - and they allow that slant to influence the "news" segments.


In particular, the anchors on MSNBC and CNN engage in these side comments - many of which are not only partisan but pretty close to inappropriate for a news anchor.


MSNBC's evening line-up is obviously partisan - and opinion - however it is far to the left and extremely anger-filled. It is a snipe-a-minute.


Obviously Fox has its opinion shows - but the hositiliy isn't really there.


Mika Brezenzki had a melt-down last Friday morning on MSNBC - that was completely inappropriate and wrong. That was a partisan-motivated melt-down.


My point is that MSNBC and CNN really have serious shortcomings in the "balanced" department - and Fox is much better.

Go watch and make your own determination.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 13, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

All of which suggests a far more profound question: Just how committed are Republicans to the United States of America? Look at it this way: the single most galvanizing force in the Modern GOP is hostility to federal taxation and federal government. I think that means that Republicans as a rule think that the federal union is limited to providing for national self-defense and that all other matters are beyond the scope of the national government. In other words, the GOP believes only in a limited national union, similar to what obtained under the Articles of Confederation. That limited commitment -- what animated Southern Secession, what drove the anti-Civil Rights Movement in the 60s -- is what allows the GOP to make its current assertions to defy national authority and, if necessary, to secede (see Gov. Perry of TX, for instance).

Here's a thought: Would America be a better country and the world a better place if the United States did split in two? The seceded Confederacy could do things its own way and the remaining United States would act as a unified body. I'd vote to let them go. I sure wouldn't fight to keep them.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"It really is becoming difficult for me to imagine how the consequences of this SC decision are going to be other than utterly tragic for everyone but the few who presently possess the lion's share of power and wealth - that is, the real 'establishment' or the actual 'elites' in the US."

The worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott by the most radical court since Justice Taney. Citizens United is the capstone of the Plutocratic ascension in the United States.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"Stephen Stromberg skewers the moronic media obsession over whether or not Obama wants to use the word "stimulus."

That would be Chip Reid's obsession. I don't know how that simpleton ever got to where he is to be honest.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis at 9:12 AM


I like the way you put it: " but not everybody limits themselves to a diet of just what the agree with. "


_______________________________

It is an interesting psychological question - there must be some percentage of people who purposely look at the other side to see what they are saying -

And a certain percentage to refuse to do that at all.


However, for those who do look at the other side, there is a LIMIT - for me, when I feel that someone says something that is so outrageous - so deceptive and hypocritical - that is when I switch the channel.


That might have something to do with the ratings - Fox tends NOT to have people "who come to look" change the channel.

MSNBC drives people away - even some of the anchors on CNN drop these comments in - the way they ask questions. It is bad.


What is worse - MSNBC and CNN appear to have taken license from Fox - they seem to reason that because Fox is there, they can lunge all the way to the left.

It doesn't work that way.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 13, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Josh points to this very valuable NYer piece by Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower (and if you haven't read it, you should)...
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/09/20/100920taco_talk_wright

Though I'd read the book several years ago, I'd never heard Wright speak until last week when I turned on NPR in my car in mid-broadcast. Amazing man.

Posted by: bernielatham | September 13, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"However, for those who do look at the other side, there is a LIMIT - for me, when I feel that someone says something that is so outrageous - so deceptive and hypocritical - that is when I switch the channel."

lol. You must tune yourself out every other paragraph.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

wb, I would suggest you review Art. I section 8 and the 10th amendment, which was added just in case someone didn't get the point the first time. The Federalist would also help clear this up for you. Short version: the USA is not a "national union" or a confederacy. It is a federal republic with the federal government having only limited and delegated powers. Republicans still believe this. Dems do not.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@bernie: "It really is becoming difficult for me to imagine how the consequences of this SC decision are going to be other than utterly tragic for everyone but the few who presently possess the lion's share of power and wealth - that is, the real 'establishment' or the actual 'elites' in the US."

In terms of what? Are the elites and establishment wealth simply salivating at the opportunity to crush the little people--or kill off their customers? Or impoverish all the folks who currently buy their widgets or whatsits? Even at it's most sinister, I'm not sure unchecked political advertising by oligarchs will be that influential or disastrous in the great scheme of things. People are still likely to vote out the incumbent party with the economy is tanking, irrespective of what sort of advertising the plutocracy inundates us with.

To whit: there is a non-stop campaign about how awesome pre-emptive wars are. Special fx, all the channels, expensive celebrity endorsements, the works. Have you changed your mind? Something similar about farm subsidies are how awesome it is to not levy penalties against American companies for off-shoring all the non-management jobs. Convinced? Is the average American worker convinced his impending unemployment is a good thing, because of all the expensive advertising? I think "utterly tragic for almost everyone" is, um, a slight exaggeration. At least.

That being said, I support full disclosure, 100%. If someone is trying to convince you of something, you have every right to know who is behind it. Transparency benefits everybody in the long run, in my opinion.

Just look at the recent financial crisis to see what obscurity, lack of open exchanges, etc., to see what opaqueness grants us.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Remember when "obstruction" was statesmanship?"

Sure...you remember when using reconciliation was "cramming" stuff down the throat of the American people?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

I think you are woefully overcomplicating it. Here it is:

We passed the tax cuts. We wanted them permanent but they blocked us. We still want to make them permanent, all of them, but the other side still refuses. They are holding permanent middle class cuts hostage because they insist on raising taxes on employers. Which is the same as raising taxes on jobs.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"The secret to Fox's success: Taegan Goddard flags a funny number from a new Pew poll: The percentage of Republicans that get their news from Fox is way up, while the number that get their news elsewhere is way down."
------------------------------
That should come as no surprise.

Fox News is a successful experiment in indoctrination.

"Fox News is the only true source. There is no news but Fox News"

Repeat the mantra enough while simultaneously playing on the fears/xenophobia and paranoia of highly impressionable individuals, and voila! You too can become a successful manipulator of public opinion!

And as an added bonus, you may even get your influence to bleed into normally more skeptical new outlets, prompting the elevation of even the most fringe and absurd (as well as easily disproved) conspiracy theories, like the modern-day classic: "The President of the United States is hiding his birth certificate."

Yes, it's been quite the masterful experiment.

But, it's too bad that experimental outcomes are detrimental to the nation. Though, I guess that's only collateral damage in the relentless pursuit of profit.

Posted by: associate20 | September 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Are the elites and establishment wealth simply salivating at the opportunity to crush the little people--or kill off their customers?"

Their customers are global. It doesn't matter any longer to many of them if the American worker has pay to purchase their goods. All they want is the cheapest labor to maximize profits.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"hey are holding permanent middle class cuts hostage because they insist on raising taxes on employers."

No, the Republicans are holding middle class tax cuts hostage because they insist on lowering taxes on those making more than 250k.

And please stop saying "employers". I understand that that's the terminology Frank Luntz is probably pushing, but you and I both know it's not true. You jumped all over Bernie yesterday about being 'dishonest' - maybe you should take a long look in the mirror.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Look at it this way: the single most galvanizing force in the Modern GOP is hostility to federal taxation and federal government."

Let me fix that for you: "The single most galvanizing force in the Modern GOP is support of low taxes and a belief in limited government, with limited powers to interfere with the lives of individual citizens. Unless the might be terrorists."

"that Republicans as a rule think that the federal union is limited to providing for national self-defense and that all other matters are beyond the scope of the national government"

Have you ever seen any indication from elected Republicans that they really believe in any way, shape or form in limited government? Because, if I'm not mistaken, the government grew more under George W. Bush and a republican house and senate than it had since . . . Richard M. Nixon. I think Reagan--a seriously-minded, pragmatic conservative, irrespective of what historical revisionists want to pretend--actually wanted smaller government (whereas George W. Bush had no use for fiscal restraint), but ended up growing government because it was a necessary compromise to govern, and accomplish agenda priorities.

But where have Republicans successfully cut anything in government? Where have they done anything to shrink government? How many of them have specific ideas about cutting government that could at least theoretically be turned into legislation? Ron Paul and Paul Ryan. Neither of which have the support of the party as a whole.

"Would America be a better country and the world a better place if the United States did split in two?"

No. And these are arguments and issues we should be able to hash out without one side saying they are going to take their ball and go home, and without the other side saying "don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out".

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

qb, you are twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to get your talking points straight.

Democrats want to address both the economy and the deficit simultaneously. Extend tax cuts on the largest percentage of the population while those higher brackets have any income over 250k have their taxes cuts expire back to 39% from its current 36%.

So, someone earning say, 300k would only pay an additional $1,500. Someone earning 500k would pay an additional $7,500 in taxes. Someone earning $1,000,000 would pay an additional $22,500.

Doesn't seem too outrageous.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"But where have Republicans successfully cut anything in government? Where have they done anything to shrink government? How many of them have specific ideas about cutting government that could at least theoretically be turned into legislation? Ron Paul and Paul Ryan. Neither of which have the support of the party as a whole. "

Wow.

I think we got ourselves a real, live conservative who exists outside of the Fox News echo chamber. You'd better be careful - that sort of talk can get you in trouble.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington - I posted this on the thread last night but don't think you saw it, so...enjoy:

mikefromArlington - you know what's REALLY hilarious?

The fact, that's FACT, that History's Greatest Monster and biggest economics "loser", Jimmy Carter, saw 10.5 million jobs created under his administration. Yeah, that's right: Carter created over 3 times as many jobs in 4 years as Bush did in 8.

Isn't this just PRICELESS?

But don't take my word for it - this comes straight from that liberal bastion, the Wall Street Journal.

Read it and weep, bufords: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/

Re: Fox News: there's a reason I don't watch it, and that's because they do things like "report" to their viewers that the Taliban is training monkeys to shoot and kill US soldiers. And their proof for this is a picture they photoshopped of a monkey holding a gun. Which differs only from the Weekly World News in that the WWN wouldn't tell its readers that the picture of the Amazonian jungle tribe visited by Elvis 10 years after his "alleged" death, depicted wearing Elvis wigs, was a photoshop.

I generally don't make a habit of getting my news from an organization dedicated to seeing what is the dumbest, craziest crap they can make up and still get their viewers to swallow.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "I think you are woefully overcomplicating it."

Overcomplicating it? Me? Perish the thought!

"They are holding permanent middle class cuts hostage because they insist on raising taxes on employers. Which is the same as raising taxes on jobs."

And individuals making over $250k, as well. Frankly, I think the Republicans ought to be willing to compromise on that (Boehner signals they are) if necessary, and come back to it. A special $250k plus tax cut for s-corps and sole-proprieterships would cover the "tax on employers thing", and would force Democrats to come out against a tax cut on small businesses very specifically.

Also, if Democrats were really just concerned about "taxing the rich" then they would have proposed an alternative to letting the "tax cuts for the rich" expire that would have excluded s-corps and sole-proprieterships from the tax cut expiration. They did not. Ergo, they must want to tax employers and job creation, or they really know very little about how small businesses are run.

Also, from a strictly political point of view, excluding s-corps from the tax hike seems like an obvious winner. Why haven't they proposed it?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk, but then America turned to a B rated actor to play politician. Sure seems funny when America turns to Hollywood to lead the country. I always thought American's understood the distinction between fantasy and real life.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

"No, the Republicans are holding middle class tax cuts hostage because they insist on lowering taxes on those making more than 250k."

What makes my statement untrue and yours untrue? Not a rhetorical question. Please answer specifically and not with ipso facto assertions.

"And please stop saying "employers". I understand that that's the terminology Frank Luntz is probably pushing, but you and I both know it's not true. You jumped all over Bernie yesterday about being 'dishonest' - maybe you should take a long look in the mirror."

Then answer the questions I have been asking for several days.

What number or percentage of jobs are provided by employers whose taxes will be raised under the Dem plan?

How many jobs are affected by discretionary spending of the 250k jet set?

And don't give us Joe Biden's bogus statistic. Answer the specific questions I asked, or show why they are not the right questions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

@JennofArk: "Read it and weep, bufords"

Bufords, it's the new "quisling". Which was the new "slave". Stylish.

"Jimmy Carter, saw 10.5 million jobs created under his administration."

Was it wearing the cardigan sweater, blaming the American public for the bad economy, or telling everybody to turn down their thermostats that created those 10.5 million jobs?

Or did Carter (as I suspect), in a fit of pique, break the big red "Create Jobs" button on the desk in the Oval Office. "Vote me out after one term, eh? Call me a 'peanut farmer', hmmm? I'll show you. I'll show you all!" Crack!

Here's the thing. The theory is that net jobs improved under both Carter and Clinton, right? Both southerners, but, more importantly, both could (as a practical matter), qualify as midsoutherners (arguably, Bush was a southerner, but being from Texas, he's actually considered a "texan", which is a separate classification). Thus, our next president of either party should be from Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Kentucky. Preferably from Georgia, because Georgians have demonstrated (per the Jimmy Carter example) the greatest ability to create jobs.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"low taxes"

How low?

"limited government"

Limited to what?

Once you answer those questions, Kevin, you will see that my foundational thesis is correct after all. Then you may want to move on to the secondary questions I raised.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

"A special $250k plus tax cut for s-corps and sole-proprieterships would cover the "tax on employers thing", and would force Democrats to come out against a tax cut on small businesses very specifically."

Well, I'm no accountant or tax lawyer, but how do you figure this covers situations like rukidding, who admits his incorporated business is made to look like it makes no money, while its owners do? I just don't think it's that simple. (Uh oh, am I overcomplicating this?)

"Also, from a strictly political point of view, excluding s-corps from the tax hike seems like an obvious winner. Why haven't they proposed it?"

Because, at heart, their goal really is to tax employers. At heart, they believe the government's job is to take back from employers the fithly lucre they've extracted from employees and consumers. That is Obamanomics in a nutshell, which is just the newest incarnation of the same old thing. (You know, the s-word?)

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Here's my hunch. Agent Orange knows that the Dems can't unify around ending tax cuts for The Rich."

Of course.

It's all about the Senate.

The BROKEN, F'd up, "60 votes to do anything" Senate.

All this was, by Boehner, was a cowardly punt.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Was it wearing the cardigan sweater, blaming the American public for the bad economy, or telling everybody to turn down their thermostats"

If there is anything Americans hate it's Bad News. We want no part of it and we told Carter exactly that when we elected St. Ronnie and went on to a 30-year orgy of Greed and Gluttony. Unfortunately, as we are now learning, when Drunken Morning in American lasts 30 years the hangover is brutal. But the GOP doesn't despair because they firmly believe in the time-tested Irish hangover cure: Hair of the dog. Let's Party like it's 1980!!!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne:

"'low taxes' -- How low?"

Very.

"'limited government' -- Limited to what?"

It varies. Actually, in both cases, it varies, as neither conservatives nor the Republican party is monolithic. Some folks want it very limited--the basics. Defense, infrastructure, FEMA, a basic safety net (Medicare, yes, Medicare Part D, no, in other words). Others might and do argue for more. Just (they claim) less than the Democrats.

In most cases, what we actually get are no cuts, but ongoing expansion. So it's hard to argue that the Republicans are actually for limited government in any meaningful sense, although they do seem sincere about the lower taxes.

@wbgonne: " Kevin, you will see that my foundational thesis is correct after all"

You're foundational thesis lacked specificity and objectivity. :)

Which is to say, "correct after all" may be an exaggeration, but you must certainly have a point.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Bush claimed that cutting rich people's taxes by another few percent would increase jobs. It didn't. A net 3 million new jobs were created during Bush's 8 years in office. That's the worst job creation record since they started keeping records right after WWII.

The tax cuts didn't do what Republicans claimed they would do, and it's little wonder, because it only marginally increases the value of each addtional dollar earned over the marginal rate. Back when top rates were at 91%, a cut in the rate to 70% meant that each additional dollar earned over the marginal rate was worth 3 times as much as before the cut. When you cut from what, 39% to 33%, each additional dollar earned over the marginal rate is worth another 6 cents - not even 10% more than what it was worth before the cut.

Cutting taxes doesn't increase jobs. More money circulating in the economy creates jobs, and you get that by addressing wealth and income inequality (taxation is one way to do this) and holding taxes down for people who actually spend all, or almost all, of the money they earn on goods and services, which most of your millionaires don't.

There's simply no rationale for keeping tax rates this low on millionaires. Bush framed it as a "moral issue", as in it was somehow "immoral" for the rate to be 39% but just a few percent lower made things ok. That was a stupid argument then, and it's a stupid argument now, and as noted, the "job creation" rationale turned out to be false as well.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"Limited to what?"

Limited to 14,000 earmarks in 2005.

A record amount.

Under GOP rule (President, Senate, House).

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/09/barack-obama/obama-says-republican-congresses-used-lots-earmark/

Hypocracy, thy name is GOP.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

THE STIMULUS PLAN

It was obvious last year when they were writing up the stimulus that the democrats were not taking the recession and the stimulus seriously.


They saw the stimulus package as a piggy bank - NOT as some that had to be SPENT WISELY AND IN A TARGETED JOBS-CREATION MANNER.


We heard a bunch of rhetoric - but again Obama and the democrats didn't take it seriously - and we heard about this website - which now seems more like a PRE-PLANNED COVER-UP than anything else.


Now everyone knows that the stimulus didn't work


Well, I could have told you that from day one - it was never targeted for jobs creation - it has a bunch of junk in it.


This is the reason that Obama CAN NOT be trusted to guide the economy - he isn't taking it seriously.


And one has to wonder if he knows what he is doing.


That is what everyone is saying - Obama doesn't know what he is doing - and it was a mistake to put someone with no experience in that position.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 13, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"qb, you are twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to get your talking points straight."

Funny that nothing you said after that had anything to do with demonstrating the truth of this proposition.

As to addressing the deficit, don't make us laught. Obama is spending unimaginable new oceans of money that can't be filled with all the money in the world.

He is spending so much money that you could fairly say, as friend did the other day, that tinkering with taxes to raise revenue has become completely irrelevant. We are in new era with Obama where the government isn't so much spending money as just sending out "I don't owe you's."

Raising taxes on employers has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility. It has to to with class warfare. Period.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@qb: "Well, I'm no accountant or tax lawyer, but how do you figure this covers situations like rukidding, who admits his incorporated business is made to look like it makes no money, while its owners do? I just don't think it's that simple. (Uh oh, am I overcomplicating this?)"

I'd bet there's a way. In any case, I think it works politically. That is, it would allow Democrats to cast themselves as worrying about small businesses and the employment consequences of tax policy, while making it appear the Republicans are then arguing for tax cuts for bankers and big-time corporate CEOs, and nobody else.

Yet even the Democrats waffling about extending "tax cuts for the rich" won't make the distinction between individuals making $250k+ and s-corps. Seems odd to me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis, if you really truly want low taxes, you need to pressure states and counties to lower property taxes. That's the real killer.

In order to do that, state budgets need to pay a smaller share of medicare and medicaid, and the Federal govt needs to take a larger share. Oh wait, didn't Congress recently pass a bill that did that? Oh yeah, they did. HCR.

The other way is to change the way public schools are funded -- typically though property taxes -- and make schools compete so as to improve performance. Oh wait, didn't Obama launch a new school performance measure? Oh yeah, they did. Race to the Top.

Thoughts? Anyone?

I never ever see this topic -- state/local property taxes -- brought up.

But I believe this is what is truly underlying the whole T.E.A. movement since Obama has cut federal income taxes, as did Bush, and income tax rates are historically low.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I forgot the other relevant metric for s-cat to provide as well:

What percentage of businesses that have employees would have their taxes raised by Obama?

Again, not the bogus Joe Biden talking point. We are talking about job-creators, not hobby businesses.

Waiting for your answers. Are you scrambling?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

SaveTheRainforest thinks 300 billion in tax cuts and somewhere around 2-3 million jobs is a failure.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I forgot the other relevant metric for s-cat to provide as well:

What percentage of businesses that have employees would have their taxes raised by Obama?

Again, not the bogus Joe Biden talking point. We are talking about job-creators, not hobby businesses.

Waiting for your answers. Are you scrambling?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"it's hard to argue that the Republicans are actually for limited government in any meaningful sense, although they do seem sincere about the lower taxes"

That's called the National Debt. It's also worse than cynical. It also brings me back to the point: If the GOP is not willing to give money (in the form of federal taxes) to sustain the national government, then is the GOP really committed to the national government at all? Or, as I suggested, does the GOP really believe that the United States of America is little different than the the loose union under the Articles of Confederacy? If so, maybe two separate polities is preferable as each could function according to its own understanding of the national union. Though I must say, the Confederacy of Greed and Gluttony will surely be a nasty neighbor -- spewing pollution, undermining regional cooperation on workers rights -- and there could well be a post-separation war in any case. Still, I'm willing to give it a try since we can't function now anyway.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

You know, when "employers" saw 20% profit gains on productivity over the Bush years, and NONE OF IT ended up in the pockets of the workers whose productivity created the gains, please excuse me for not whipping out the world's tiniest violin and playing "Hearts and Flowers" for the poor, beleaguered employers who are going to be asked to pay not the 20% more they made off the backs of their employees during this productivity boom, but a mere piddling 3% more. They ONLY get to keep 6/7ths of the amount they made by holding wages stagnant. Poor babies! They only win the "class war" if they get to keep it ALL!

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Obama is spending unimaginable new oceans of money that can't be filled with all the money in the world."

Lies.

Obama's agenda accounts for a small fraction of the current budget. People like qb would rather forget the 1.4 trillion budget overage this administration was handed during massive cuts in revenue due to the nearly 800 thousand job losses a month that occurred on his first day in office.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 13, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"What makes my statement untrue and yours untrue? "

Nothing. That was my point.

"Then answer the questions I have been asking for several days."

No - as much as you'd like to, you don't get to dictate the conversation around here.

If you want to have an honest, intellectual debate - which you repeatedly insist is your purpose - than you need to start being honest.

Obama is not seeking to end the tax cuts for "employers" - only for those making over $250k. Are there employers that will be included in this? Yes - but there are also employers who make less than $250k that will continue to benefit from the tax cuts. In fact, according to a 2007 census report, the average income reported by self-employed individuals is around $31k. So, is every single employer in this country going to have their tax cuts ended? No. We make over $250k - am I an employer? No. Therefore the tax cut is not for "employers". This means that you are "LYING". Get it?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Kevin,

"Seems odd to me."

No argument from me there in that all the Dems do seems odd to me.

But I still think the true anwer is the one I gave. They in fact want to raise taxes on all higher incomes, whether employers or not. Dems love "jobs," but they hate employers. (Where hate means they think employers are just greedy exploiters with ill-gotten gains that need redistributed.)

Politically, it might be smart to do what you suggest. But Dems won't sacrifice their "s-word" principles to practicality unless and until they have to compromise. Which they don't yet see as necessary.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Two things:

Hertzberg sums up Iraq in the latest NYer (9.13.10).

Arguing for a return to The Federalist's concept of limited Federal powers and applying to the 21st c. is interesting and more of an academic exercise. We aren't bound legally by anything written in those papers beyond what was adopted in the final draft of the Constitution.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Bob Bennett (Liberal Commie-UT)

REAL PROBLEMS:

“I think the party is on the threshold of what everybody in the press will call a historic victory,” he said. “And we’re on the threshold of real problems if we don’t have a governing philosophy.”

His comments echo past critiques of his party. In a May op-ed in the Washington Post, Bennett chastised the Tea Party for engaging in a “frenzy of despair” and warned that the movement “could be reduced to a "wave that crashes on the beach and then recedes back into the ocean, leaving nothing behind but empty sand.” And in a June address to the GOP-affiliated Ripon Society, he said “As I look out at the political landscape now, I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas.

[...]

The small-government message of candidates like Lee neglects the role that presidents and Congress have played in seminal issues like civil rights, he added. “As a Republican believing in free markets, I nonetheless concede that there is a role for government. There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government.”

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/13/5100552-bennett-were-on-the-threshold-of-real-problems

TO REPEAT:

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Was it wearing the cardigan sweater, blaming the American public for the bad economy, or telling everybody to turn down their thermostats"

I don't know if it was any or all of those; I was just a pup at the time. But I do know this: the guy you folks like to point to as the biggest economic disaster of all time created 6 times as many jobs per year in office as George W. Bush did.

If the guy who was the biggest economic disaster in history had a job creation record 85% better than George W. Bush's, what does that make Bush?

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

All, check out this concession from Boehner on the tax cuts for the rich:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/boehner_concedes_only_three_pe.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 13, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"I forgot the other relevant metric for s-cat to provide as well"

Not until you admit that you're a liar.

After that, if you want to try and have an honest discussion about whether or not it's a good idea to raise taxes on s-corps and sole-props that are making over $250k - then we will.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Kevin_Willis, if you really truly want low taxes, you need to pressure states and counties to lower property taxes. That's the real killer."

There are also local income taxes, local capital gain taxes, local sales taxes, and local business taxes that can become onerous. Most of these can be written off federal taxes, so it's a manner in which the more confiscatory a state is from its citizens, the more that state deprives the federal government of tax revenue.

Property taxes should often be lower, but, frankly, I just don't know. You'd think exorbitant property taxes would act as a check to prevent retail real estate bubbles, but clearly they didn't. Most localities fund education and infrastructure out of property taxes, which is preferable to doing it through federal funding, so . . . property taxes can be a bear, but I understand the importance of them. There just needs to be a system to drop or hold them (without interest) through hard economic times, or qualify for a "property tax holiday" if you were unemployed for more than six months out of the year, or something.

"In order to do that, state budgets need to pay a smaller share of medicare and medicaid, and the Federal govt needs to take a larger share. Oh wait, didn't Congress recently pass a bill that did that? Oh yeah, they did. HCR."

BTW, I'm neither a fan nor a critic of Obama's HCR. I didn't even object to the public option. Contrasted to Hillarycare, Obamacare was a model of free-market fairness (if imperfect, all such things have to be). When the government gets into turning healthcare into a command economy (as Clintoncare did), then I become a critic, as I was.

Frankly, I find HCR much less objectionable than the bailouts of AIG and the big banks (something I think McCain would also have done, BTW) or the takeover of GM. But, that may just be me.

"But I believe this is what is truly underlying the whole T.E.A. movement since Obama has cut federal income taxes, as did Bush, and income tax rates are historically low."

I think what's underlying the whole tea party movement is that (a) it's a party, and who doesn't like a party? and (b) the U3 and U6 numbers. I don't think we'd be seeing the tea parties like we are, if it weren't for the current unemployment rate, and the number of mortgages defaulted on or underwater.

The local tax bite is what helped elect Chris Christie in NJ. But much of the national tea party movement is a distrust of politicians, combined with high unemployment and a very bad housing market, plus the demagoguery of the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs and, yes, even the Keith Olbermans for whom high-partisanship is a desirable end goal in and of itself.

Plus, when a party is in power, you get some flavor of opposition movement. The Republicans had a lot of folks developing PACs and organizations and flash mobs to protest them when they were in power. If the Republicans get the house and/or the senate, tea parties will change/fade.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

...and, because I hit "submit" too soon, I agree with wbgonne above, that were it not for a broad interpretation of Federal power, we'd have a patchwork of civil rights laws, health and safety, etc, etc.

So, in the end, I'd personally *rather* have a country where I know there is some consistency in how I will be treated going from state-to-state.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I should have added: Carter compiled this amazing job creation record while "employers" were taxed at the rate of 70%, which according to you folks, should have meant that no jobs were created.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk: "I should have added: Carter compiled this amazing job creation record while "employers" were taxed at the rate of 70%, which according to you folks, should have meant that no jobs were created."

It's the power of the cardigan. If only more presidents used it, this would be a very different country today.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

In the Glorious Confederacy of Greed and Gluttony there will be no government other than a massive Standing Army and a huge Prison Industrial Complex. So long as you don't get killed in an imperial battle or imprisoned for being an inadequate consumer there will be no limits on one's God-Given rights to Gluttony and Greed.

Ahhh, Freedom!

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The FOX Number even higher than one would expect... scratch that, I would expect... but it's not exactly surprising. We have met raging confirmation bias, and it is the right-wing Republican base.

Idea of the day: Progressive Demes go with a variation of the Waxman Effect (getting rid of the worst conservaDems, while rewarding mainstream ones) to turn up and focus base support. Over on the Senate side, they push races like CA, WI, IL, OH, PA, NH, NC, and KY (with a close eye on IA and other potential breakouts) -- races that the base, broadly speaking, has every reason to fully engage in. Depending on the next few weeks (does Crist implode? is Castle forced to go indy?) FL and DE might have to be bumped to the "front line" as well.

Yes, this is unconventional in the sense that it admits serious fault with the party as is. But ignoring the disappointment with the Dem party as it is -- or saying "look at those crazy people" alone doesn't seem to be cutting it. It's going to take both. The GOP is stone cold nuts, yes, but core of stronger Dems can emerge from this if the Dem coalition shows up in full(er) force.

In related news.... gooooooooo Christine O'Donnell!! "Gimme that Christian side hug!"

Also, whoever came up with the theory of "Peak Wingnut" must be watching this race closely. (Recent events have made me a Peak Wingnut skeptic.)

If O'Donnell wins, I want to see every potential GOP presidential contender endorse her, or they Needz Moar Conservatism! John Thune, T-Paw, Mite, Newt World Order (now with crypto-Birtherism!), Haley Barbour... this means you.

What's that T-Paw? You have tepid praise for Christine O'Donnell. Why do you hate Ronald Reagan?

Posted by: michael_conrad | September 13, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "In the Glorious Confederacy of Greed and Gluttony there will be no government other than a massive Standing Army and a huge Prison Industrial Complex"

Well, come on. How would expect us to chortle malevolently while twirling our crisply waxed shoe-polish black mustaches, otherwise?

If without the standing army, and prison industrial complex, to round up the rabble, how could we be sure that we'd be able to drink chilled orphan's tears in peace? And not to mention, drown adorable fuzzy kittens without being harassed by lefties.

Freedom, indeed.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Nothing. That was my point."

Actually, that's not what you said. You said: "No, the Republicans are holding middle class tax cuts hostage because they insist on lowering taxes on those making more than 250k." Thus, you asserted that my statement was untrue and the Obama spinthat was just being repeated by Gibbs this morning true.

Now you are admitting that the Obama mantra is nothing but spin, and is no more true than my counterspin.

It's pure demogoguery and propoganda.

"Therefore the tax cut is not for "employers". This means that you are "LYING". Get it?"

What I get is that you are loose with accusations of lying when you obviously don't know the answers to the salient questions I posed.

Which is more misleading, to say that the tax increases are increases on employers, or to claim, as the Obama administration does, that it doesn't affect employers?

How many of the taxpayers whose taxes will be increased are employers? How many of the jobs to they provide? What percentages of employers and jobs will be affected?

What is dishonest is the Obama administration's continual suggstions that its tax increases don't affect employers, without giving the public straight and truthful answers to these questions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dear Bernie and wbgonne,

Re Citizens United


See First Amendment (U.S. Const.).


Regards,

James Madison

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Would America be a better country and the world a better place if the United States did split in two?"
----------------------------------
Half in jest:

California could split off and accomplish two things immediately: a massive tax cut and smiles on the faces of every Californian. We'd take in Oregon and Washington too.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Not until you admit that you're a liar."

I knew you didn't know the answers.

Now, admit that the Obama administration is lying when it says the tax increases affect only a tiny percentage of employers.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Art. 1, Sec 8...

Isn't that where the Feds are granted power write Naturalization laws?

Why, yes, it is. Turns out, Constitutional scholar Obama is *correct* in suing AZ for assuming powers granted to the Federal Gov't. But, we already knew that, right?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

So then Kevin, TEA people should support a jobs bill, small biz bills, and efforts to assist homeowners. All things Obama is doing, has done, or seeks to do.

But they don't.

They want the Federal Govt to "stop spending".

Your comments make total sense.

But when you put them up against the reality that the TEA groups are adamantly opposed to SOLUTIONS to the problems they are complaining about... ...well, do you see my point?

Imho, it is abundantly clear that TEA is just a Republican front and nothing more. It knows not, nor cares, about the issues we are presently discussing -- taxes, job creation, housing, health care, education.

If it did, the DESIRED RESPONSE from the TEA set would be for the govt to solve the problems, not to just STOP governing altogether.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Why, yes, it is. Turns out, Constitutional scholar Obama is *correct* in suing AZ for assuming powers granted to the Federal Gov't. But, we already knew that, right?"

Let's just say that your knowledge of preemption law is wanting and leave it at that.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know if it was any or all of those; I was just a pup at the time."

I think places to look might be the end of the gold standard under Nixon, the near-completon of the Eisenhower Interstate System, Jimmy Carter (yes, Jimmy Carter) spearheading the effort to deregulate the airline industry. Carter also created the Superfund, could be something there. Pre-Nixon, JFK had his own Reagan-style tax reform (which cut taxes for everybody) and the "New Frontier" program (education funding, a Medicare-style program, etc). And let's not forget the space program. If I were to guess (and it would just be a guess), I'd think one of the most positive ongoing elements there would have been the near-completion of the Interstate system. The importance of new, powerful infrastructure where before there had been none (or extraordinarily inadequate versions) cannot be overestimated"

"But I do know this: the guy you folks"

"You folks"? I know many do, but not I, JennofArk. I reserve that for LBJ and Nixon. Nixon tops my list.

"like to point to as the biggest economic disaster of all time created 6 times as many jobs per year in office as George W. Bush did."

If only other presidents would push the big red "Create Jobs" button with greater enthusiasm.

"If the guy who was the biggest economic disaster in history had a job creation record 85% better than George W. Bush's, what does that make Bush?"

A Texan.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

mike wrote: SaveTheRainforest thinks 300 billion in tax cuts and somewhere around 2-3 million jobs is a failure.
--------------------------------
That's nothing. He thinks Obama should be impeached because he hasn't fulfilled all his campaign promises. Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

What's next--Obama squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 13, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "So then Kevin, TEA people should support a jobs bill, small biz bills, and efforts to assist homeowners. All things Obama is doing, has done, or seeks to do."

Perhaps, although a "with us or against" mentality seems to dominate politics. Ergo, if they don't like the bank bailouts and the GM "takeover", for whatever reason, they may be resistant to "small business bills", or consider them to be "a sheep in wolves' clothing". In many cases, they feel the federal government needs to resist the urge to keep fiddling with things and just "step out of the way".

And they want the government to "stop spending" (except on things they like) because they see an expansionist government as being a drag on the economy, rather than a stimulus.

"But when you put them up against the reality that the TEA groups are adamantly opposed to SOLUTIONS to the problems they are complaining about.."

Well, opposed to "proposed" solutions, not self-evidently guaranteed-to-be-successful solutions.

"Imho, it is abundantly clear that TEA is just a Republican front and nothing more"

I think we have to part company here. I believe the Republicans are trying to co-opt the grass-roots tea party movement with varying degrees of success, but it is, for them, liking trying to catch a tiger by the tail. But right now the tea parties are kind of like Obama for conservatives and libertarians--a way to express generalized dissatisfaction with the status-quo and a desire for something better. And to "take back our country". It is doubtful the Republicans will be able to satisfy the tea partiers, once in office.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@12Bar: "California could split off and accomplish two things immediately: a massive tax cut "

You'd think that, until you got hit with the massive import/export tariffs from DC. :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"In many cases, they feel the federal government needs to resist the urge to keep fiddling with things and just "step out of the way"."

So then what is their substantive complaint if they want nothing done?

Again, it perfectly illuminates the utter intellectual bankruptcy of their position. If they have a complaint on a substantive issue, then there must be a solution! Otherwise, the complaint is wholly invalidated.

"they see an expansionist government as being a drag on the economy, rather than a stimulus"

Then they should stop complaining about the current state. If "jobs" and the "economy" are SO BAD then they should want something done about it.

Simply telling the federal govt to stop governing is in no way a rational approach to solving the issues they supposedly care about, don't you agree?

"opposed to "proposed" solutions, not self-evidently guaranteed-to-be-successful solutions. "

Fine, oppose Obama's proposed solutions.

What are THEIR proposed solutions?

"Stop spending" is not in any way a realistic way of turning the economy around or creating jobs, nor is stopping the federal govt from governing.

"a way to express generalized dissatisfaction with the status-quo and a desire for something better. And to "take back our country""

Yeah, exactly.

A desire for something better... WHAT?!?!?!

WHAT should be better?

And HOW should it BE better?

Take our country back WHERE? From WHOM? and WHY?!?!?!

I really appreciate your responses Kevin, I'm not "yelling" at you, just trying to drive the point home that... well, actually, I don't think I can say it any better than Bob Bennett, conservative of Utah:

“And we’re on the threshold of real problems if [the GOP doesn't] have a governing philosophy.”

and

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

It is a philosophical/ideological stance.

Their positions, imho, are TOTALLY and THOROUGHLY divorced from the issues. They care more about ideology than they do issues, and that is -- and always has been -- a true hallmark of the GOP. So I disagree with you that they are not a Republican front.

Interested in your further responses to some of my questions. Thx.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

Not one word about corporations or money. I guess Madison forgot those parts. Lucky for the Plutocrats, they have the Radical Far Right Activist Supreme Court to make up new Constitutional provisions for them. In the Glorious Confederacy of Greed and Gluttony the GOPers will make it explicit: corporations are superior to human beings and money is the essence of freedom and liberty.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, btw another example is lawyers. There are many partners who earn over 200 or 250. They are taxed as self employed individuals and are not technically employers. But their crimson are, and you had better believe there is a relationship between their individual net incomes and their firms' employment trends. Thousands of employees have been laid off by law firms since 2008. And I can tell you that the Obama tax increases will worsen that trend. Socking it to those rich greedy undeserving g lawyers will cost more staff jobs.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

And I return to the fundamental questions for the GOP:

How low should federal taxes be and what should the federal government do?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

kevin wrote: You'd think that, until you got hit with the massive import/export tariffs from DC. :)
---------------------------------
Seems like California's geographical location would make that kind of hard for D.C. to play hardball.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 13, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

qb - what utter nonsense.

A law firm will hire and fire according to its workload. If they don't have enough casework to justify 10 secretaries but too much for 8 secretaries to handle, one will be let go.

Why? Because they can't make money by turning away business, which is what they will have to do if they don't have enough employees to handle the workload.

Anyone who has been in business knows it's virtually impossible to make much over $100K without at least some part-time assistance. So I'm not quaking in fear that an attorney's personal income taxes going up by a few thousand per year is going to cause him to shutter the business. It doesn't work that way, and I'm pretty sure you know that.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

That's correct. No exception to free speech by corporations or other organizations. Good thing for the NYT.

Citizens United doesn't overturn contribution regulations so your money complaint is irrelevant.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan: "So then what is their substantive complaint if they want nothing done?"

It appears to vary, and I'm not a tea partier, but I think they'd like to see less bailouts and more jobs. And a better economy. And so on. As Homer Simpson once said, "Stupid TV! Be more funny!"

There are libertarian to centrist folks in the tea parties, and they want everything from the crazy to the modest, from what I've seen. Less taxes, less government spending (often including less military spending, or less corporate welfare), and so on. My contention is that the tea parties are a product of a not unnatural dissatisfaction with unemployment, the economy, future prospects, and politicians in general (especially on the far right, which is why tea party candidates have won many primaries, and run in many more). I'm not aware of much in the way of policy initiatives from the tea party folks, however.

"If they have a complaint on a substantive issue, then there must be a solution! "

Sure there is! Less government, lower taxes.

"A desire for something better... WHAT?!?!?!"

More jobs, more money, lower taxes, another Bond movie.

"WHAT should be better?"

Everything!

"And HOW should it BE better?"

More jobs, more money in the pocket, less nanny state, shortly stated.

"Take our country back WHERE? From WHOM? and WHY?!?!?!"

"Take our country back" has become a political trope. Democrats constantly discussed "taking the country back" and "taking the flag back" (in the case of Howard Dean, he kept saying that Rush Limbaugh had it, and we needed to take it back from him) when Republicans were in power. Now, tea partiers and Republicans are going "take our country back". I don't think much of that as a slogan. I don't consider it particularly meaningful. It's all our country, we all have it, we're arguing about policy. Should be interventionist, or hands-off? Is it better to regulate more or less or differently? Should we tax folks more or less? Are the rich wealth-hoarders or job creators? These are the debates.

"Taking our country back" is a meaningless political cliche, in my opinion, from either side of the aisle.

"There are too many people in the Republican Party who don’t, who say there is no role for government."

This is true, although they all pretty much say there is a role for the Federal government regarding national defense. And no Republicans, as a practical matter, walk-the-talk when it comes to their being "no role for government". Indeed, while the government is growing (especially regarding spending) meteorically under Obama, it did the same under Bush. Last time it was remotely balanced, and under control, was under Clinton. As such, I don't believe that Republican politicians, as a practical matter, will ever behave and vote as if their is no role for government.

That being said, I think the Republicans are trying to co-opt the tea parties, rather than the tea-parties being a Republican front. Evidence: Sharron Angle.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"And I return to the fundamental questions for the GOP:

How low should federal taxes be and what should the federal government do?"

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp ...

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - the evidence suggests that the tea parties were a GOP astroturf operation that turned into something they couldn't control. Perhaps because they underestimated how disgusted the public at large was with the 8 years of FAIL that was the Bush administration.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 13, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Jenny, you clearly have no understanding of the business of law. I do because I am in it. Tad's affect the bottom line both directly and indirectly through lowered client demand. And the bottom line drives employment. Your claim is preposterous and ignorant. In the extreme.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Less government, lower taxes."

How is that a solution?

It is maddening.

"Less government" meaning what? How much less? In what areas? WHY and to what effect?

It is utter nonsense and I think you know that.

Less government is NOT a solution to anything. It is purely ideological m@sturb@tion.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

" the evidence suggests that the tea parties were a GOP astroturf operation that turned into something they couldn't control"

Dr. Frankenstein comes to mind.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 13, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

More ideological m@sturb@tion:

Dick Armey, establishment Republican AND TEA party leader:

""It's quite possible that John Boehner basically realizes that you simply can't get the Democrats emotionally prepared to deal with the fact that comprehensive continuation of the tax structure as we know it today after 10 years [of Bush cuts] is just."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/armey-backs-boehners-strategy-on-tax-cuts.php

See that Kevin?

It's no longer that tax cuts for the rich HELP THE ECONOMY.

Now they are "JUST".

It is a MORAL effort, not economic.

IDEOLOGICAL WANKERY in its purest form.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just say that your knowledge of preemption law is wanting and leave it at that."

Since when can a State violate civil rights? Because the Federal Government hasn't "revisited" Immigration Law? That's rich...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Women of all political stripes should examine what's really behind Michael Steele's "Fire Pelosi Bus Tour." Stripped to it's essence, I believe that the Repubs can't deal with a successful woman. Would they be doing this with a successful male Speaker of the House? No. This "low road" to political power only appeals to the rural, undereducated types out there (=who always been part of the Repub base) that just want women to remain barefoot, subservient brood mares; e.g, just look at that guy in Kentucky that went on a killing spree the other day allegedly because his wife didn't cook his eggs right.... However, these types will vote Repub anyway, so why such a shameful , embarrassing campaign stunt?

Posted by: dozas | September 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Chuck, don't know how to break this to you, but Obama sued AZ under a preemption theory, not for violating civil rights. Wanna guess why?

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's bit more: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/conlaw/2010/05/justice-oconnor-on-arizona-immigration-law-sb-1070.html

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 13, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"Now you are admitting that the Obama mantra is nothing but spin, and is no more true than my counterspin."

And once again - that was my point.

"I knew you didn't know the answers"

And I knew you wouldn't hold yourself to the same standards you held Bernie to yesterday. Shocking that you're a hypocrite as well as a liar.

The reason I refuse to answer your question is that it's too general to answer and there is spin on both sides of the debate: how exactly do you define employer? Are you talking about only small businesses or all businesses? Are we talking sole-props, c-corps, and s-corps? I've seen varying numbers from numerous sources - but have yet to see believable numbers from on objective source I could trust entirely.

Now, you've been pi**ing and moaning for two days now for someone to answer your questions. If you've got a point to make then just make it already. If not, then move on. If you've got evidence to the contrary - fine; but from everything I've read, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that reverting back to the tax rates of the Clinton administration - a MARGINAL difference of 4.6% - is going to lead to massive layoffs.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The point is very simple and is made by the very inability/failure of those supporting tax increases on "the rich" to answer those questions.

The only dishonesty here is the dishonesty of Obama and Biden in misrepresenting to the public that taxing "the rich" doesn't impact employers or employment, without giving straight and honest answers to these fundamental questions, which I note you do NOT dispute are the relevant questions.

The data I have seen indicates, for example, that about half of all "small" businesses that actually employ people -- as opposed to everyone who has any "business" income -- will have their taxes raised, and of course since they are the larger businesses they provide most of the jobs. And that doesn't even account for much economic reality such as the legal market I described above, and the fact that many jobs depend on discretionary spending of the "rich" jet set like you. Most people who make your income, for example, hire landscapers and other service providers. They go on vacations, they buy cars, and of course they invest in job-creating businesses.

News flash: "the rich" = the people who employ others. Your administration is lying to the American public.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 13, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

"Kevin - the evidence suggests that the tea parties were a GOP astroturf operation"

Well, then, it may be my prejudiced, but I think that evidence is deeply flawed. There is no way the GOP are capable enough to create something like the tea party. They treat rank and file Republicans as cows to milk, and think of them that way, too.

I may be mistaken, and the misunderstanding may be mine, but I do not believe the GOP has the wherewithall, the belief in the grass roots, or the trust of the rank-and-file electorate to astoturf the tea parties into existence. If you think the GOP would even conceive of something like the tea parties, I think you gravely misunderstand the low regard in which the national GOP holds it's constituents. It doesn't want them competing with them, or asking them questions, or holding them to account, or flushing out RINOs, or doing any of the things the tea party is doing.

And many of the organizers of the tea parties have experience (as I understand it) of being shat upon by the national GOP, which is why they are organizing tea parties. It may be a positive or negative political happening, but it's not a front for the national GOP.

But, given the modest success tea parties have had, well--that's all the evidence you need that the national GOP didn't come up with it. Indeed, for most DC Republicans, the tea parties are a thorn in the side. The very idea of them interferes with cigars and sherry at the club. Why would they want to start missing rounds of golf because of noisy, irascible constituents?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 13, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"The data I have seen indicates, for example, that about half of all "small" businesses that actually employ people -- as opposed to everyone who has any "business" income -- will have their taxes raised, and of course since they are the larger businesses they provide most of the jobs. "

C'mon. Share your source with us....let us judge the validity of the information that your citing. Or are you just going to rely on the "Some say..." gambit?

And see, this is part of the game that's played. Why just include "those that employ people"? Don't self-employed people employ themselves? They pay payroll taxes on their earnings so why don't you consider them "employers"? Why don't you include them in your statistics? Easy - because it doesn't make your point quite as well, does it?

And btw - Boehnor answered your question - the expiration would effect approximately 3% of small businesses. I think I'll go with his numbers. Maybe you should call his office and offer your services - your spin sounds much scarier.

"Most people who make your income, for example, hire landscapers and other service providers. They go on vacations, they buy cars, and of course they invest in job-creating businesses."

Cripes - this argument again? Do you not think that people making <250k stimulate the economy? They don't spend money going out to restaurants, buying school supplies, buying cars, or going on vacation? See, the problem is that you think this all about jealousy or class warfare or hating the rich. It's not (at least for me and the people that I know). It's about the fact that it makes more sense to put money in the hand of those who will spend it as opposed to those who are more likely to put it in the bank for a rainy day.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

And here you go, qb:

"Hand the wealthiest Americans a tax cut and history suggests they will save the money rather than spend it.....

The Moody’s research covering couples earning more than $210,000 found that spending by the wealthy is more likely to be influenced by the ups and downs of the stock market than changes in income-tax rates.

Stock-market performance is the “primary factor that is driving the savings of the top 5 percent of households,” said Mustafa Akcay, economist and co-researcher of the savings data."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-13/rich-americans-save-money-from-tax-cuts-instead-of-spending-moody-s-says.html

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 13, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"* No end to the pummeling of Pelosi: The RNC's Michael Steele is set to kick off a "Fire Pelosi Bus Tour." "

Will that bus tour be headed for good republican conference stops in las Vegas?

Or will he carry along lV quality conferees in the back of the bus?

Posted by: ceflynline | September 14, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

QB-

Are you denying that civil rights violations are not part of the equation?

Hey, I wish Holder would've come right out and said, " this will lead to racial profiling."

So, are you saying it should've been called the "Naturalization Service" instead of the 'Immigration and Naturalization Service"? Ya know, according your Framer's fetish?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 14, 2010 4:12 AM | Report abuse

QB-

If you are still on the Immigration tip: explain O'Connor...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | September 14, 2010 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company