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Posted at 8:42 AM ET, 12/11/2010

Open Thread

By Greg Sargent

The argument never ends.

By Greg Sargent  | December 11, 2010; 8:42 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

It just makes sense that Bill Clinton would come out in favor of the Obama/McConnell tax scam of 2010.

Bill Clinton, the DLC neo-liberal who killed off more of the New Deal than any Republican welcomes another bite at the apple.

Obama I is really just Clinton III, with yes, a healthy dose of triangulation.

Except now of course they are coming after the big enchilada, Social Security.

The payroll tax rate has never before been lowered. And once they do this it will never be restored.

A year from now they will instead make another "grand deal" where they institute some form of cuts, means testing and automatic inflation adjustment to account for the lower rate.

Make no mistake, the payroll tax "holiday" is the beginning of the end for Social Security.

And it's being done by a Republican disguised as a Neo-Liberal, centrist, DLC puke Democrat.

Goodbye Social Security, Goodbye Democratic Party...

Posted by: unymark | December 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Goodbye!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 11, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

unymark:

As I mentioned yesterday, it is quite clever for Obama to prove he isn't triangulating by bringing in the Great Triangulator himself to endorse Obama's triangulation.

I agree: the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is underway. Will it be the vibrant liberalism of FDR or the cynical defeatism of Bill Clinton? Obama has made his choice but it isn't his party.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

And I can't help but think that Obama KNOWS that this Dirty Deal is driving us further down the road to bankruptcy which will lead, inexorably, to deep cuts in the Welfare State. Maybe that is what Obama really wants, maybe not. But that matters little since the effect is the same.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else ready to take the wbgonne pledge and never vote for Obama again?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Shorting Social Security is a way of saying that it is debased and that we are not going to fix it. It will run into trouble faster than before and it is a sign to all Americans who are nowhere near of age, that they will never see the money they are paying into it. They guessed that already, most did, but now they know the deal is off, it is a straight up income tax for them, for the benefit of others. Only thing we don't know is when the music will stop.

How can this happen? Why wouldn't Social Security be means tested before it would be shorted like this? It is easier to break the deal with a younger, poorer demographic because they don't vote very well and they don't give money to politicians very well.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Here's that chart again that shows where the actual money in dollars is going from the tax cuts. Keep in mind the lower income levels will actually be paying slightly more in taxes because they've taken away the making work pay tax break and replaced it with the payroll tax cut.

I'm sure it'll pass but we should be honest about who is benefiting the most in dollars and cents. If the House could negotiate something for the 99ers, that would be an improvement but I really doubt that'll happen, we couldn't even get the $250 for Seniors to pass. My husband is out scouring the mark down bins at the grocery stores this morning for our new food bank at the Senior complex. Our list has grew from 25 to 60 people in two weeks, and I just got off the phone with the manager and she said it could go up to 90-100 today which would be 25% of the residents having trouble buying groceries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The poorer you are, the more of your disposable income you’re prone to spend. The richer you are, the more likely you are to sock it away somewhere. This is why a stimulus that mainly benefits the poor is far better for the economy as a whole than one that mainly benefits the rich. Yet the tax cut framework actually forces poor people to pay more in taxes, taking away disposable, economy-stimulating income from the 25 million people who need it most and are most likely to spend it in ways that help all of us, and gives huge chunks of it to the very people least likely to spend it in ways that will help all of us.

– A key reason given to back this deal is that the tax cuts are needed to stimulate job creation. Except that, as Peter Cohan points out, “My interviews with startup CEOs suggest that startups will create jobs when the lost profit from not creating them exceeds their cost. And tax rates have very little to do with that calculation.” This is borne out by a recent Wall Street Journal article by Justin Lahart, which confirms that companies have more cash than ever but simply won’t spend it at all, much less on anything like job creation.

http://firedoglake.com/2010/12/11/come-saturday-morning-reasons-to-fight-the-obamagop-poor-tax/

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party is underway. Will it be the vibrant liberalism of FDR or the cynical defeatism of Bill Clinton?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 9:15 AM
-------

One thing I've always admired about the Democratic leaders of the 1940s, especially Harry Truman: they knew the short and successful way to end wars.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else ready to take the wbgonne pledge and never vote for Obama again?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 11, 2010 9:22 AM
-----

If you leave off the "again" part, you can count me in.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

And I can't help but think that Obama KNOWS that this Dirty Deal is driving us further down the road to bankruptcy which will lead, inexorably, to deep cuts in the Welfare State. Maybe that is what Obama really wants . . .

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 9:18 AM
-------

I don't think there's any question about it. LOL. The liberal mind at work.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Ponzi schemes, Mark Madoff, another dead asshöle, just a little too greedy, even for this world.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

From CNN here's the score on the Obama/Republican tax cut compromise. When did we decide that tax cuts are the best way to stimulate growth? We know Republicans believe it more than anything in the world, but why have we conceded the point?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Congressional Budget Office released its score Friday on the tax plan hammered out between Republicans and President Barack Obama, showing a $893 billion hit on the deficit over the next five years.

The bulk of the deficit increase comes from loss of revenue -- $756 billion -- with the rest coming from additional direct outlays.

The 13-month extension of unemployment benefits adds less than $57 billion to the deficit.

The highest price item is the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, which will add more than $400 billion to the deficit, followed by the payroll tax holiday at about $225 billion.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

How can this happen? Why wouldn't Social Security be means tested before it would be shorted like this?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2010 9:37 AM
-------

Or better yet, just provide the minor tweaks needed and let it keep on keepin' on. But Nooooooo----let's break the one program that actually works and turn it into just another welfare program. Means testing is code for welfare program.

I've no doubt expatriates like catothien9
have arranged to forgo any US benefits. And the medical system in Vietnam is without question the envy of the world.
A cat in every pot and thirteen people per shanty.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

@lmsinca

Trickle down does not work, because the super rich are by nature greedy bastards.

Percolation works. You put more money in the hands of those who need it, to get by, and they will spend it. That is why; when America was a thriving manufacturing nation, and the working classes had good paying Union jobs, the American standard of living kept steadily improving. Hell, Henry Ford was smart enought to realize that, and decided to pay his workers an unheard of wage, at the time. He said he did so, because he knew that was the only way that they could afford to buy one of his cars, and increase demand.

The one thing that I have not heard anyone warning Democrats and moderates about is the following:

Since President Obama says that this deal on taxes was the best he could do, that means that for the next two years, he is going to have to agree to what Boehner and McConnell want, since they will have complete control of what will be voted on in the House, and the US Senate.

This tax deal is just the beginning. Now that the Republicans have confirmed that Obama will sign on to passing their agenda, in exchange for very little, they will make him do so, over and over, on all future legislation.

So we must all brace ourselves for the coming legislative defeats, sugarcoated as good compromises.

I have a lot of errants to run, so take care all.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 11, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"The bulk of the deficit increase comes from loss of revenue -- $756 billion -- with the rest coming from additional direct outlays."
------

One thing that amazes me about history repeating itself: when income-tax cuts occur and actually result in increased revenue for the federal government, the government inevitably responds by spending much more than the increased revenue can provide, but the resulting shortfall is then blamed not on the increased spending but on the tax cuts.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Or better yet, just provide the minor tweaks needed and let it keep on keepin' on. But Nooooooo----let's break the one program that actually works and turn it into just another welfare program. Means testing is code for welfare program."

Brigade, I agree 100% and it's driving me crazy that SS is even on the radar, especially now.

Liam, it's gonna be a tough couple of years, no doubt.

I'm out, have a good Sat. everyone. If you can afford it, go shopping I guess.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"When did we decide that tax cuts are the best way to stimulate growth? We know Republicans believe it more than anything in the world, but why have we conceded the point?"

I think that these concessions reflect the collapse of the Democratic Party and its willing subjugation to Conservative ideology. Of course I could be wrong so I'm interested in others' answers to these questions.

And Liam's warning is well-taken: what does this Dirty Deal portend for the next 2 years? If anyone still harbors the illusion that "next time" Obama will stand his ground I'd like to offer that person a good deal on a bridge to nowhere.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

And don't worry Brigade, the cuts are coming and they probably won't be pretty.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

One can start off the day with the vigor of a cold shower and a bar of Irish Spring.

Or, another option, a zesty immersion in several paragraphs of Aggrieved Vengeance.

Option three (much less drama) would be some learning... Fallows and Rosen discussing wikileaks and TSA.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking

Posted by: bernielatham | December 11, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Speaking of Ponzi schemes, Mark Madoff, another dead asshöle, just a little too greedy, even for this world."

No matter how I struggle and strive
I'll never get out of this world alive.
(H. Williams)

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

O.K. Everybody seems to be talking Obama the sellout or nuts and bolts this morning (I remember one old campaign when a candidate told me you can do anything with numbers). I'd like to take a little different look. The other day, lmsinca, who's always thoughtful and well informed, wrote about her committed work in public policy and, in another post, said that it doesn't matter to her whether Obama succeeds; it only matters to her that his policies succeed. In thinking about it, I realized that my opinion is the opposite. To me, it matters as much that Obama succeed as president as it did that he was elected in the first place. It's important to the country and the rest of the world that America's first African-American president does the job well. If he fails, the ramifications are wider than the failure of other presidents.

But my concern with his success is broader than that. To me, it's also important that the man who made his debut on the national stage talking about our not being blue states or red states but united states, is able to demonstrate the truth of that idea through the sort of dialogue and action that illuminates the beliefs and traits we all share as a people rather than fanning our anger over our differences. We are in an ongoing period of extreme divisiveness. From my viewpoint, it's Republican ideologues and operatives who are its main cause. But I think it's key for us to have a president who doesn't play that same game of hyper-partisanship. I want Obama to succeed in the hard work of changing our national tone. I feel we're on a dangerous course otherwise.

The other reason it seems so crucial to me that Obama succeed is that I believe we all benefit from having a president with the sort of intellect and temperament that means he always tries to balance the concerns of his office and the competing needs and history of the whole population. That may be the hardest part of the job, but it's also the work that the best presidents do.

In the end, for Obama to succeed, his policies need to succeed, and this is the point where my view links with lmsinca's. Yet it has always been my sense that we do best as a society when we're flexible and inventive about specific policies. No particular policy (or policy detour) needs to be an end in itself. It's only the larger goals policies serve that truly matter in the long run and, in this regard, I think we shouldn't forget the very last part of Obama's press conference earlier this week. It's not always a straight, clear line to those goals. As he put it, there's a need to tack and change course along the way, yet always with the eye to the North Star that keeps the course true.

And, no, I won't give up that reference that has guided centuries of searchers just because Sarah Palin had adopted it. Why should anyone?

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Liam-still wrote,
"Trickle down does not work, because the super rich are by nature greedy bastards."
------

Remedial work is called for. I don't think philanthropy was ever seen as the driving force in "trickle down" economics. But someone thought those "greedy bastards" in their quest for more riches might expand businesses, hire people and stimulate economic growth, thereby providing an alternative to the government simply confiscating money from one group and squandering... er, handing it over to another.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

One last word; about the myth that tax cuts increase revenues. That is a crock. Revenues increase because of inflation and natural expansion of the work force size, due to population growth.

America lost 600,000 jobs, instead of adding any, after the Bush Tax cuts were implemented, even before the Great Recession hit.

If cutting taxes increases revenues, then we should cut them to only pay one percent, in taxes. That should create such an increase in revenues, that we will not be able to find ways to spend the massive surplus revenues fast enough. Right? Get real!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

ABC: I agree with much of what you wrote above. But I think it is largely irrelevant. I was as hopeful as you for Obama's presidency but it just hasn't turned out well and it certainly appears to be getting worse. That is reality and it is sad but not nearly as sad as pretending otherwise.

This, though, is a very corrosive avenue that I urge you to think hard about:

"It's important to the country and the rest of the world that America's first African-American president does the job well. If he fails, the ramifications are wider than the failure of other presidents."

I already see that Al Sharpton is going after Anthony Weiner and that Colbert King yesterday in this paper basically threatened white Democrats not to attack Obama or else blacks would desert the Democratic Party. If you think things are ugly now, just wait and see if the Obama Administration -- or his defenders -- adopts the O.J. Strategy of racial polarization. Race has nothing to do with anything and everyone should take that off the table right now.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

No matter how I struggle and strive
I'll never get out of this world alive.
(H. Williams)

Yes and as we prepare for the funeral today of a really nice guy who died too young, I am appalled some people will take their own lives, for nothing. Mark, why didn't you just love people and feel the love that comes back? If you try to give more than you get, it makes every day valuable; sheesh it isn't like there is some kind of secret recipe for a life well lived. Mark Madoff must have skipped the self-help section at Barnes & Noble.

At his call I counseled a depressed alcoholic I've known for years yesterday, on the verge of losing everything. He said, "My life is unraveling and I can't do anything to stop it now, its all in other peoples' hands." Sometimes that happens, but a lot less often than people think. His plan? Move to Argentina (he has family there), oh yeah, that'll fix everything. I tried to get him to start getting happy choosing rehab as a starting point...then of course, the excuse making, the rationalization, the intellectual prowess on display.

Have a great day Plumb people.


Posted by: shrink2 | December 11, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"the super rich are by nature greedy bastards."
-----

And some are also hypocrites. I recall that during Al Gore's ill-fated run for the White House it leaked out that while G.W. Bush had given a great deal to charities, ole Al, a big supporter of redistributing the wealth of others, had himself given about 50 cents to charity.

And now the man with a larger carbon footprint than many small countries is running about the country telling po folk that they should cut back on energy use or risk destroying the planet. He, of course, can afford "carbon credits", so we shouldn't concern outselves with his wastefulness---or alleged molestations.

And those people, rich and middle-class alike, who continually bleat about raising taxes NEVER, but NEVER, send any of the money, the possession of which evidently generates great guilt, to their favorite uncle.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

No matter how I struggle and strive
I'll never get out of this world alive.
----

No matter how I shake and dance,
The last few drops go down my pants.

----

Your turn.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I am re-posting this

The situation is this: Obama went into the negotiations over 91 Billion of tax cuts and 56 Billion of unemployment extensions -

AND Obama came out with 350 BILLION OF BORROWING

What is wrong with that picture? Instead of HALF, Obama DOUBLED THE BORROWING AND DEBT.


I think the individual pieces should be evaluated to determine how much they help Economic Recovery.


This is where I stand:


- Keep the unemployment benefits for a year

- Keep the Equipment expensing because it is targeted for jobs growth and is stimulive

- the democrats are wrong - the Estate tax is something for their side. The only people the estate tax applies to are those who do not do estate planning - a nuance lost this week - Trash the Estate tax completely - make it ZERO like they agreed 10 years ago. The Estate tax was meant to be gone forever.


- Get rid of the "Clinton Temporary Surcharge" I'm sure many democrats will be HORRIFIED to find out that their outcry this week was largely about something which was meant to be Temporaty - the "Clinton Temporary Surcharge"


- The Real Bush tax cut for the upper tax bracket was only to 35% from 36% - Put it back at 36% and be done with this discussion - Put some extra money in the treasury.


_____________________________


Using Greg's bar charts this is a REASONABLE TAX PACKAGE which would only cost 150 Billion


Instead of 350 Billion


That is 22 Billion for the Equipment expensing

56 Billion for the unemployment

and 71 Billion for tax cuts


Eliminate the Estate tax completely, get rid of the Tax holiday, and get rid of the other taxes like the ethanol subsidy which everyone agrees should go.


__________________________


That is a reasonable package, less expensive and more focused on ECONOMIC GROWTH.

- the "leakage" to foreign trade of any stimulus dollars has to be evaluated - and attempts have to be made to compensate or limit the leakage.

Targeted tax incentives toward job creating and investments in US business might do that -

- However, Obama has been favoring these broad-based stimulus programs - (which give small amounts to millions of people) which are HIGH in leakage to China and LOW in job creation.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have a lot of errants to run, so take care all.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 11, 2010 10:42 AM
------

An apt adjective for most of your comments.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

If cutting taxes increases revenues, then we should cut them to only pay one percent, in taxes. That should create such an increase in revenues, that we will not be able to find ways to spend the massive surplus revenues fast enough. Right? Get real!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 11, 2010 11:04 AM |
------

The liberal mental gears turn once again. Yes! And if higher taxes will help the country, then, by gummy, let the government take it all. Everything! That's worked everywhere it's been tried!

If exercise is good, then run until you keel over or, better yet, go jump off a bridge and go for a dip.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Wbgonne--It isn't about racial polarization and Al Sharpton. It's really the opposite. Obama doesn't get a pass because he's African-American, but there are many who want him to fail because he is. That makes his job even more of a challenge. If he succeeds, that puts one old racial canard to rest--at least for a time. If he fails, we know what we're going to be hearing.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 11, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"Obama doesn't get a pass because he's African-American, but there are many who want him to fail because he is."
-------

I don't suppose you could name a few, just so we'd know the idea isn't a product of your fevered imagination.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"If he fails, we know what we're going to be hearing."

You have a point there. But I still think the bigger concern is how black people will react if Obama fails and the potential for blacks to attribute it to racism. Either way you look at it, though, it is potentially incendiary matter and I think I see some sparks.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne,
"You have a point there. But I still think the bigger concern is how black people will react if Obama fails and the potential for blacks to attribute it to racism. Either way you look at it, though, it is potentially incendiary matter and I think I see some sparks."
-----

LOL. And this from someone calling for a primary challenge to Obama and saying he'll never vote for him again. Rich.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca at 10:38 AM


I have to point out a few things about the Congressional Budget Office scoring


First, the Social Security is generally off-budget, so my guess is that the tax holiday part of the deal is not in the first set of numbers you give.

AND if you look at Greg's bar graphs from yesterday - the REAL costs are closer to 350 Billion a year - which would put the costs closer to $1,750 Trillion - this is because the tax holiday money would be off-budget.


If you quickly run through the numbers yourself, you will see that is correct.


Also, remember how the whole Social Security thing works now - the money goes into the Social Security Trust fund, and the government borrows from there. When the government borrows EVERYTHING, the government goes into the private markets and borrows there.

There will $112 Billion less in the Trust fund with the tax holiday - so the government will have to borrow that money from the private markets directly.

From the government point of view, the balance sheet shows it borrowed $112 Billion, just not from where.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If you read the blogs, you get a really good idea of what people are talking about the Compromise


People do not like this tax holiday - it is a back-door stimulus which doesn't have a high multiplier, and much of that money will leak to places like China.


The other stuff should be cut out of the deal too, like the ethanol subsidies.


Also, now there are reports that the House is adding a bunch of other items to this bill - tag-along spending.


Let's just stop the insanity right now. This whole debate has lost control of itself this week.

Obama made a mistake trying to throw the tax holiday in there - that was crazy in this fiscal environment. AND clearly Obama is motivated by his socialist beliefs more than any sound economic growth reasoning.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The Tax Holiday


What is going on here? There is $112 Billion dollars - and it is going out equally by percentage to the first 109K of people's earnings.


However, 47% of the country doesn't pay Federal income taxes.

So, the top 53% of Americans are going to be on the hook for this money - and paying for the interest over the years.


_____


So, the money is going OUT weighted to the bottom - and being paid BACK IN THE UPPER HALF


And - Obama is thinking that this is compensation for those who are making over 250K.

So, what is going on here ??


THIS IS INCOME RE-DISTRIBUTION, and the middle is getting SLAMMED to pay for the bottome half.


The far top is getting protected. The middle is going to get slammed with the bill.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne,
"You have a point there. But I still think the bigger concern is how black people will react if Obama fails and the potential for blacks to attribute it to racism. Either way you look at it, though, it is potentially incendiary matter and I think I see some sparks."
-----

LOL. And this from someone calling for a primary challenge to Obama and saying he'll never vote for him again. Rich.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Why are those views inconsistent?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 11, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

This week provides the EXACT REASONING of why income re-distribution never works.


The rich are always protected. The rich always protect themselves.


So what happens??? ALL income re-distribution plans end up having the middle class pay out to the lower classes.


It is that simple.

The rich are rallied against. However, when the final deal comes out, it is the middle class who ends up paying ALL THE BILLS - and the economy gets sapped from the middle out.

Look at this deal.


THIS OBAMA TAX COMPROMISE IS A SOCIALIST INCOME RE-DISTRIBUTION PLAN.


It is carefully dividing people - rich, middle and poor - and OBAMA AND THE WHITE HOUSE IS CAREFULLY CALCULATING HOW MUCH EACH GROUP IS GETTING.


It is a disgrace. We don't need this.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne,
"You have a point there. But I still think the bigger concern is how black people will react if Obama fails and the potential for blacks to attribute it to racism. Either way you look at it, though, it is potentially incendiary matter and I think I see some sparks."


________________________________


I seem to remember a great deal of INTIMIDATION directed towards the Superdelegates during the primaries


We heard that the blacks would "riot in the streets" if Obama was perceived as having the nomination taken from him by the unelected Superdelegates


Also, there were THREATS leveled that the blacks would leave the democratic party en masse if Obama was treated the way Obama wanted to be treated.

So, we have a black President, who has claimed to be post-racial, trying RACIAL POLITICS whenever he wants.


Others trying racial politics would be called out , and called RACIST. Obama wants it all one-way - he wants to use RACISM for his own good and no one else is allowed to even say a word.


NOW we are hearing the same thing -


Obama has a sense of entitlement over the black community - he acts like he deserves them


_________________________________


ISN'T THERE ANOTHER BLACK MAN MORE QUALIFIED THAN OBAMA???


Seriously folks, go into the Congressional Black Caucus - and find someone with 20 years experience and run that guy or woman-


When will this RACIAL POLITICS END???


Certainly not with Obama..........


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

lms said:

"Yet the tax cut framework actually forces poor people to pay more in taxes,"

Please define poor people and prove this claim as to them.

"“My interviews with startup CEOs suggest that startups will create jobs when the lost profit from not creating them exceeds their cost. And tax rates have very little to do with that calculation.”"

This is pure nonsense. I'm no business wiz, but the comparison is not profit-cost. It is, crudely speaking, revenue-cost, or, simply profit, and, more specifically, after tax net profit. Taxes alter the equation in more than one way. The tax on profits obviously raises the profitability threshold for hiring. So do payroll taxes and, indirectly, income taxes on employees.

Whoever wrote the statement quoted by lms is a complete ignoramus. You surely know better as a business owner, lms.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Suppose I must pay $10 to hire E, and by doing so I will receive 20 in additional revenue. If other costs are 5, I have a profit of 5.

According to the sage quoted by lms, however, a good capitalist wouldn't hire E, because the cost (10) exceeds the profit (5). Of course, this is nonsense. E would be hired because it is profitable to do so (setting aside ROI considerations).

But now suppose that I must pay $1 in payroll taxes, E must pay $1 in payroll taxes and $1 in income taxes, and profits are taxed at 91%. Taxes sort of change the result, don't they?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I take the pledge to never vote for Obama, again.

Yes, I take that pledge, again, because it is the correst thing to do for America.

There are now black, Democrat legislators who are defecting to the Republican party because the Democrat party has gone too far into left field for them. They are African-American, Reagan Democrats or AARDs.

Somebody ought to go see if hell has frozen over.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1 at 12:31 PM |


It's not that simple - usually hiring involves investment -


And the total investment in training, equipment, office space and other costs - that gets compared to the yield (which is before-tax and after tax)


Yes, if one looks at hiring one extra person, yes, there is usually no extra office space.


However, if one looks at hiring 50 or 100 people, there are costs of office space, telephones, telephone charges per month, office equipment - salesmen, flying the salesmen around to customers, promotional materials for the products.


There is an entire cost structure behind each hire - and that gets compared to the potential profit.


Clearly, the after-tax numbers are looked at.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Battleground

Re Blacks

Lincoln and Grant freed the slaves - they were both Republicans.


I find it curious that the democratic party put in Jim Crow - and enforced it.


However somehow, the democrats, through the Kennedys, were able to TWIST the whole thing around - and make the Republicans the bad guys.


Somehow, in getting rid of Jim Crow, the democrats were able to retain the black vote, which they were suppressing all along.


The blacks were Republican all along.


This is what is wrong with this nation - the democrats lie and deceive to such an extent that the whole thing gets twisted around.


____________________

My point is this: getting rid of Jim Crow and what happened there was perhaps the anomaly.

Perhaps the nature state of affairs is for blacks to be Republican.


So, if the blacks started to drift over to the Republican fold, it would be natural.


The democrats haven't done much to help the blacks anyway. The inner cities are still bad....


It just seems to me that the COSTS of these massive government programs end up hurting the blacks more than anyone.


The blacks would be far better off with a smaller government and less taxes - and having more money to move to the suburbs. It is that simple.


That is what I am in favor of.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ethanol subsidy needs a stake in its blood[topsoil]sucking heart.

I'm so gunshy about biofuel. So often it takes so-called "waste" that really should be being plowed under to replenish the topsoil. Soil depends on the dying (leaves, manure, stalks) to die & rot and rejuvenate. People think of "agricultural waste" as being renewable, but we're at Peak Soil long long since.

I'm very very cautious about endorsing direct & indirect food fuels. Too much urban ignorance about how fragile and precious topsoil is. There seems to be a lot of "dirt," but that's an illusion. Obviously old cooking oil and excesses of manure etc may make sense. Typically tho people get paid "now money" for, say, manure when correctly spreading it on the fields is longterm, distant and hard-to-quantify money. Even Al Gore finally came out against ethanol (stealing food to make fuel). I worry whether someone like Elizabeth Rosenthal of the NYT has the Soil background to ask the right questions? (I wouldn't have a clue if I hadn't been brought up by a Cornell-agronomist pioneer in commercial organic farming whose mistress and goddess was topsoil to whom he seemed to murmur incantations all the day long.)

We had a wonderful farm implement called a "manure spreader." It was like a goodsized wagon with 3 ft sides and a wide belt maybe and a whirligig business at the far end. You pulled it along with the tractor and it flung manure onto the pasture to fertilize it wholesomely.

Remember that corn stalks, as an example, are NOT waste, but rather an utterly key ingredient to conditioning the topsoil. We would not have this myopic argument if Iowa weren't the first 'voting' state in the primaries. "First" state should be randomly chosen from the remaining not-Iowa non-caucus states one week after the 2012 election. Pull the number out of a hat each four years, giving the new First state time to gear up. AND ONLY primary states would be in the hopper hat.

Caucuses hugely disenfranchise old people (fear of falling) and many working people. Unless they allow a Vote-by-Mail option which *none* do now. (In the general election those states have Vote-By-mail or a draconian Absentee, but NOT in the caucus. It's very very shamefully anti-democratic!!)

Posted by: wendyf | December 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Every day much Truthiness here from the self-proclaimed conservatives.

Posted by: LeftCoast5 | December 11, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

wendyf


You are right about all of that


No one cares about the topsoil anymore.

That is a metaphor for the top tax bracket, right ?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

qb

Below is the math on the low income earners showing the difference between the making work pay vs. the payroll tax cut. And the other bit was just based on anecdotal evidence from interviews with several companies, much like your opposing anecdotal evidence that businesses aren't hiring because of uncertainty and fear of higher taxes. Chillax.

The only time we ever worried about taxes was when workman's comp was really high out here, it got up to 35% per warehouse worker if memory serves me, which was pricing a lot of manufacturers out of the market. The business leaders got together and lobbied for it to be lowered, substantiated by facts and figures and lo and behold, they lowered it and kept a lot of companies from leaving CA. Otherwise, if you're making money and busy all the time, you hire. There are numerous ways companies can lower their tax obligation through investment, depreciation, etc. etc. and they've added a lot of new incentives in the last year and a half besides that if anyone bothers to meet the requirements.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The Making Work Pay credit was a flat $400 per person. The new payroll tax cut, by contrast, amounts to 2 percent of a person’s earnings below $106,800—the current cap on the Social Security payroll tax. So for someone earning $100,000, this new payroll tax cut is going to be worth $2,000, much more than the Making Work Pay credit. But consider the case of someone making $15,000. They will only get a tax cut of $300, or 25 percent less than they would have received with Making Work Pay.

The math here is actually pretty simple. Any single person making less than $20,000 will face a tax increase next year, as will any couple making less than $40,000. To put that in perspective, a family with two parents working full time at the minimum wage will earn $29,000. After switching out Making Work Pay for the payroll tax cut, that couple will pay $220 more in total federal taxes next year."

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the unmasking of the greedocracy we are serfs in is, in the long run, a very good thing. We used to associate Wall Street (falsely) with "investment." Now that it's been unmasked as Casino Street, we can begin to dismantle its purely pernicious influence in our society. (As one uber-money-maker in 1992 said, "Don't let anyone ever tell you that Wall Street is anything but a Casino for Suits.")

The most forlorn and disgusting number of the last decade is that in 2007, 47% of the graduating class from Harvard was in "finance." How appallingly shameful. Worse, how useless.

Borrow 700 billion dollars from the Chinese to buy more baubles for the uberRich? Add that to the Deficit? Let's change our name to the United States of Hypocrisy.

It takes many many hard-working Americans 40 YEARS to make a million dollars. (I've heard so many people say, "Oh, $250,000 isn't 'rich.'" Yeah? Many many hard-working Americans take 10 YEARS to make $250,000. How do you think the rich people get so rich except to hoover the money out of the lives of lousily paid workers below them? Every person's lifetime is exactly as valuable to them as yours is to you, Greedo & Greeda. If the Rich remain so perfectly narcissistic, they'll miss the whisper of guillotines being sharpened.

Posted by: wendyf | December 11, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Wendy

Are you proposing those Second Amendment solutions again?


How about a Tenth Amendment solution?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

RE California:
"In full control of the state government, Dems must show they can shake up the status quo and turn around one of the nation's most troubled states." ---
Dan Balz | The Take
-------

Hahahahahahahahaha
Hahahahahahahahaha
The devils have taken over hell.

Posted by: Brigade | December 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The proposed Compromise is a bad deal

There is too much debt being created - and too much of the money is structured in small amounts which will NOT create jobs, but will be utlized to purchase foreign goods.


The resulting trade deficit will cause the US to BORROW AGAIN to finance the trade deficit.


Then the nation will be borrowing a third time to pay the interest on the debt.


Do something else. This thing might not even pass Congress this week.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Brigade | December 11, 2010 5:09 PM


The democrats caused all the problems in California - selling out every budget - State, County, town, city and school budget to EVERY union they could find.


NOW the democrats have to answer for their crimes against humanity.


AND they are CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

lms,

One can postulate and debate and cite anecdotal evidence about why businesses do our don't hire in a given environment. But the statement made by the interviewer you quoted is patent nonsense -- as a financial accounting matter. No business owner who said that can be long in business.

As for the "poor people" tax math, I think it is pretty clear that it confuses payment of taxes with receipt of a subsidy. I.e., that family earning 29k would likely have paid only about 300 in income taxes at most, taking into account nothing more than the standard deduction and exemptions. They received 800 in "credits" under "Making Work Pay." So they "paid" net income taxes of -500. Their actual "tax cut" was about 300. The rest other 500 was simply a subsidy. Under the fica holiday, they receive a cut of 580 in what they pay.

Now, that might feel unfair to you -- for this family to lose a $300 credit and a $500 subsidy in exchange for a $580 fica cut -- but this family is NOT paying more taxes next year than this year or last. It is paying LESS in overall taxes; it just isn't receiving a transfer payment as well.

To the left, I know this type of precision and accuracy in language and analysis is unwelcome. To the rest of us, it matters a lot.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"It is paying LESS in overall taxes; it just isn't receiving a transfer payment as well."

Yeah, and IT won't be eating meat anymore either. Sorry, I'm back from the food bank, and I'm depressed. We had 120 seniors show up and not nearly enough food. We'll have to work harder next week, my buddies and I.

Now I'm off to get my sister to the mall so she can do a little Christmas shopping. See y'all.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 11, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, my math was probably a little off, because I didn't account for the remainder of FICA. The family would have paid no actual income taxes, because they would have had no taxable income. So they just received an $800 "credit" against no income taxes paid -- simply a subsidy.

With the 2% FICA holiday, they'll receive a cut of $580 in income + FICA taxes as opposed to $0 in tax cuts this year and last. They don't actually pay income taxes under either scheme.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Who is pushing the idea that the Constitution protects Wiki???


The Constitution does not protect the release of military and diplomatic secrets.

If someone in the US government is facilitating Wikileaks by pressing this idea, that is treason. I hope it is not Obama himself.


Something is up here.


I don't like the inaction from Obama and the administration on Wiki over the last six months. We are not getting the whole story. Obama and the White House have not told us everything, but the INACTION is telling.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

INsinca


If they raise taxes on all the rich, they aren't going to send the money to that food bank - they are going to give it to bloated unions and they will make government programs more massive.


Yea, well, if the tax increases did go to that food bank, it might be OK, however, they are NOT sending the money that way

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback


You are correct to point out the "transfer payments" are not taxes.

With all the deductions, and standard deductions, I would like to know exactly WHERE the cut-off is to pay ZERO income taxes.


And I would like verification that 47% of Americans are below that number.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Excellent Comment by the way:


it is quite clever for Obama to prove he isn't triangulating by bringing in the Great Triangulator himself to endorse Obama's triangulation.

----------

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Riddle me this, qb: if taxation is an impediment to the economy, why were the Eisenhower years prosperous ones?

According to your addled beliefs the economy should have been in he toilet.

In reality, the economy went into the toilet when taxes reached their lowest point in living memory.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Ev-vid-dence.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

So SS will collect taxes but not pay out when people need it .. that rings a bell .. wait for it .. oh, that's right ... private sector health insurance.

Gotta love that free market. Making things cheap! Life, most of all.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Cao

Because in the 50s, much of the world was destroyed by Hitler, or kept in suppression under Stalin's armies.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Cao

Why don't you just leave us freedom-loving types alone ?


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

While we're debating what makes a start up hire people, let me throw in my 2 cents. I worked for a VC and did startups, so I think my opinion is as good as anyone else's.

If you think it's all that mathematically driven, you don't understand entrepreneurs very well. Sometimes they hire people because 1) they got money from venture capital and 2) their business plan said to hire people.

Sometimes they hire people because 1) they got money from venture capital and 2) their business model is a service model. No people = no revenue.

Never once, did any entrepreneur I work with, even consider taxes.

Now, granted, I only worked with about dozen startups, and only half of them went public or were merged, but that's how hiring decisions actually got made. Startups don't worry about taxes, believe me. Venture capitalists sometimes worry about taxes, but mostly they worry about having a good exit strategy to recoup their investment.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Chris, how ya doing?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"Riddle me this, qb: if taxation is an impediment to the economy, why were the Eisenhower years prosperous ones?"

It isn't in dispute that taxes affect the economy and impede growth; only the details are debated. But taxes aren't the only factor -- except in the minds of simpletons repeating foolish arguments they read on leftist blogs.

"According to your addled beliefs the economy should have been in he toilet.'

Non sequitur. Also, you know next to nothing of my "beliefs."

"In reality, the economy went into the toilet when taxes reached their lowest point in living memory."

Hogwash. The lowest tax rates occurred under Reagan and were followed by sustained and vigorous growth.

"You don't know what you're talking about."

I am bereft and undone. Truly.

And why are you still bothering people here? You are a foreigner whose views are less than irrelevant. You should formally renounce your citizenship but, since you lack the honor and integrity to do so, it should be stripped from you. In any event, the country you've rejected has no need of your silly opinions.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Each time 12bb expounds on her supposed VC and startup experience it becomes more incredible.

If the tax on profits were 100%, no employees would be hired, because there would be no business. Somewhere below 100%, it makes economic sense for a business that needs employees to hire them. It's really as simple as that.

Show me a supposed VC startup business expert who has never seen a business plan that accounts for taxes, and I'll show you someone whose experience and expertise is either entirely supposed or entirely forgotten.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

qb,

Much as you like to disparage me, I did startups for many years. You are big on criticism, and short on actual experience in this area.

Since taxes are not 100%, let's not go into what would happen if they were. Too airy fairy for me.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

As I wrote here two years ago when Limbaugh opened up and said that he hoped Obama would fail that there was a predictable propaganda narrative that the right would forward in the following sequence:

1) Obama will/must fail
2) Obama is failing
3) Obama has failed

We arrived at three a while ago and it will be a major theme in their propaganda until the next election.

*Hannity: "Obama has failed as president"*

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201012100040

Posted by: bernielatham | December 11, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

VC's are motivated by their ability to get out within a short period of time, their exit strategy. VC's are also motivated by capital gain tax rates in the future.

Entrepreneurs are motivated to get money from VC's and grow so they achieve the exit strategy that the VC's are pushing. When you are starting something up, you won't have any taxes to pay at the corporate level, normally. I never knew an entrepreneur who was tax motivated at the corporate level. They are all about growth and keeping their VC's on board for the next round of financing (keeping them happy). If the business plan says hire, then they hire. If they need to hire to produce revenue (and meet the plan), they hire.

VC's do NOT give money to entrepreneurs who then start procrastinating about whether or not the payroll taxes are too high for the next hire.

This was my experience in the startups I was involved in.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

I disparage ridiculous claims you make, and it takes nothing but common sense and some basic business knowledge to see through the one you made above.

If you don't think that entrepreneurs or venture capitalists ever take taxes into account, you are simply detached from reality, and the experience you tout either has no relevance to the question or is fictional or exaggerated. And if don't think they ever do the math, you should take up your argument with lmsinca, who quoted someone claiming they do -- only in an absurd way.

I'm not surprised that you don't want to address the effect of a 100% tax rate. It remains the inconvenient truth that a 100% tax rate would eliminate all private jobs. The only questions are about the shape of the function below 100%.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Yeah bernie, you hit the nail on the head with that one. Unprecedented, as they say.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0826-07.htm

http://www.galbeed.com/2008/08/29/obama-blasts-bush%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98failed-presidency%E2%80%99/

http://www.google.com/#q=bush+and+failed+presidency&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=iv&ei=PS8ETam2FYSclgfVorywBw&start=0&sa=N&fp=1bde53b2ade8e603


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 11, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

"*Hannity: "Obama has failed as president"*

Gee, we never saw this type of thing with GOP presidents. /s

Silly, whiny stuff, bernie. Do you really not see that?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=252942&kaid=127&subid=900056

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

qb1,

I'm sure, in bernie's eyes, that's different.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 11, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

12BB writes


their business plan said to hire people.


______________________


Well, who wrote the business plan, and what were the calculations behind those recommendations?

Seriously, 12Bar, your comment is ridiculous. You claim to have worked somewhere, but then you prove you have no idea how things were done there.


Someone is making decisions to hire people - and calculations are made - based on projected demand - costs - and taxes.

If you don't do that, you are out of business.


The other thing: people don't hire people "because they got venture capital" - that is a really silly version of what goes on.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

"VC's do NOT give money to entrepreneurs who then start procrastinating about whether or not the payroll taxes are too high for the next hire."

Straw man. VCs invest when there is a business plan or ongoing business that shows future profitability. And profitability always has to account for taxes. So of course they expect the plan to go forward if they invest.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

qb,

Your problem is that you are endowed with an excess of criticism and a shortage of real world experience in startups. You want to argue how they should be run (in your opinion) with calculators in their hands finely tuning their next hire. If people were machines, maybe they would do that.

But this is NOT how it really works. VC's have to make doing startups as straight forward as possible. Once they fund a start up, the race has started. If VC's are worried about tax rates, they won't fund the startup to begin with.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Jack Goldsmith (Bush admin Justice Department official) on Assange and wikileaks...

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2010/12/seven-thoughts-on-wikileaks/

It's very good.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 11, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine the venture capital business is at a low point over the past few years.

And even in its boom times, I wonder what the percentage of actual hiring venture capital firms accounted for.


Taking that one step further, we can all point to some big names and great stories - however, there are many firms which didn't make it - My question is what percentage of LONG TERM hiring venture capital firms account for.


Anyway.


When people talk about job creation, they are talking about small business - because we have all realized that larger companies do not add people at the same rate, and have MBAs cutting all over the place.


So, once everyone comes to that realization, the next thing is to look at what has been going on at small businesses when they grow.

Im sure companies hooked up with venture capital are a percentage, but Im not sure that they are that big of the overall pie.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

TMcW,

Here's a fresh one: Featuring someone I have to, probably inadvisably, believe would be an (intellectual, of course) gale-force thrill up Bernie's leg:

"Obama: On the way to a failed presidency?"
By Katrina vanden Heuvel
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/06/AR2010120606022.html

Rush, Hannity, then...Katrina!!

Alert the smurfz @ OffTheirMedsMatters.

Posted by: tao9 | December 11, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

The point I'm making is that VC's worry about taxes (and I'll argue that is secondary to their exit plan). Entrepreneurs do not worry about taxes and they are the ones that hire, not the VC's.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

TMW,

And who could forget Carville and Greenberg wishing for Bush's failure just before the 911 attacks.

Or Nancy Pelosi calling Bush a "total failure."

Well, at least she didn't call him a Nazi or scream that he had betrayed his country -- charges repeatedly made by Dems before 2004.

All very . . . different though . . . somehow . . .

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Hi 12Bar,

"If VC's are worried about tax rates, they won't fund the startup to begin with."

Hmmmm...

{{{btw: hope you're healing /woof!/}}}

Posted by: tao9 | December 11, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback

Forget it - she will never listen. She is the expert and she will argue with you and parse everything you say.

Then at some point, she will twist the topic around and claim she was right all along.


___________________________


Quarterback

People do not run around with calculators - however periodically calcalations are made to see if the whole set of people are working the way they are supposed to.


Taxes do come into it -


We need TAX incentives targeted to job creation and investments.

It is that simple.


AND we have to start taking a long, hard look at these Free Trade agreements - and decide if they are working the way they are supposed to on a long-term basis.


We need to make serious adjustments in the Free Trade Agreements because the benefits are not as they are billed in economic theory. There are too many real-world factors which stand in the way of economic theories being perfectly applied to the real world.


The Free Trade deals are experiments in theory - which need ADJUSTMENT to work the way the theories say things should have turned out.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

12bb,

Your problem is that you simply fail to see the implications of the very point you state here:

"If VC's are worried about tax rates, they won't fund the startup to begin with."

Your commitment to liberal dogma blinds you to the obvious.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 11, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's to pre-empting bernie's inevitable link to Dr. Sullivan, OBGYN (or, one of his interns).

No thanks necessary, bernie.

http://www.chequerboard.org/2010/12/if-it-is-a-blogfight-andrew-sullivan-wants/

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 11, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

12bb, new user name?

Posted by: DDAWD | December 11, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@tao,

Thanks for the woof.

Since both you and qb seem to making the same point, what is it?

The VC I worked for was motivated in part by capital gains taxes (in 4-5 years), but that concern was way down the list from whether or not the stock market would be healthy enough to have an open window in 4-5 years to get out of the investment. He was not concerned about payroll taxes and personal income taxes, at least as it affected his willingness to fund startups.

The point being made was that hiring decisions by startups were being delayed by tax considerations. I beg to differ from my experience.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse


"misery of the many"


This explains Obama's view of the world.


When Obama sees a few in misery, he believes the way to make things equal is to pursue policies which will create the "misery of the many."


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@ddawd,

Somehow my computer had trouble with the old moniker, so had to create another. It's still me.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you guys do not know that venture investing is going up smartly. Jobs will come from these startups, regardless of payroll taxes or personal tax rates, or capital gains taxes. The money has already been committed.
-------------------------------------------------

Venture capitalists funneled more money into U.S. startups in the second quarter, indicating continuing confidence that the economy is on the mend.

New data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association shows that startup investments in the April-June period climbed 53 percent from the same three months in 2009 to $6.5 billion. This is the most money invested in startups since the third quarter of 2008.

http://localtechwire.com/business/local_tech_wire/news/blogpost/7973168/

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 11, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

I think it would be important to point out that targeted tax incentives and tax credits for job hiring and for investment would be the most focused way to accomplish what we all want: additional hiring.


That is not to say that the top rate does not affect the actions of small businesses.


______________________

Let me ask you this: why is the left so apt-sh9t over the top tax rate ???


It seems a curious thing, to want the tax structure to be so unbalanced -


AND why is the left so emotional about this one little item on their agenda ?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that would make Obama choke more than saying "Bush was right"


would be for Obama to say "Reagan was right"


And the truth is: Reagan's investment tax credits ARE THE WAY TO GO.

It is that simple.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Reagan has accelerated depreciation too


I can't tell you how INEFFECTIVE Obama's stimulus has been -

it was all diverted to ineffective tax cuts which everyone KNEW would not lead to hiring - and diverted to democratic pet projects.

What is WRONG with these people - they are all adults, and they all have advisors - how can they all be so WRONG, when they are doing the nation's business


Are the liberals that blinded by their partisan emotions???


Or are they just stupid ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

"If VC's are worried about tax rates, they won't fund the startup to begin with."

It's this: one of the proffered reasons for the investor class to hold on to their cash is uncertainty, aka (amongst others) tax rates.

Thnx for the VC>start-up outlook, I was curious re: that sector's activity.

Here's some other interesting indicator[s]:

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/12/back-from-financial-ground-zero-two.html

An anecdotal: my company has come all the way back and surpassed 2007 (our best year at the time), we are now bursting at the seams at our building...more folks, more inventory. We are chary over buying a desperately needed bigger building due to, er, uncertainty, still.

Posted by: tao9 | December 11, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I just think it is not the correct way to do things : Spring a $112 Billion of tax cuts of Obama's tax holiday on the country on Monday afternoon - and act like it is a complete "done-deal."


Obama thinks that no one in the nation is entitled to evaluate this $112 Billion - to see if it is good for the recovery, or whether it will even spur job creation.


NO - instead Obama thinks it is a good idea to balance out the SOCIALIST ideas in his own head about the upper tax bracket - WITHOUT regard for how the nation is going to pay back the $112 Billion which will be missing from the Social Security Trust Fund.


In addition, Obama's tax holiday will take an aditional $112 Billion from the capital markets - money that should be utilized for real-time investments in the long-term growth of the economy.


Instead of these investment dollars being directed toward the long-term growth of the Economy, much of this money will be spent on foreign imports - making our trade deficit WORSE.


Did Obama even have economists look at this idea first, or did he just throw it in over last weekend???


Seriously, this tax holiday may do MORE HARM TO THE ECONOMY THAN GOOD. It has to be closely analyzed.


The idea that Obama thinks he is going to make an agreement with a few Senators, leave out the rest of Congress, and leave out the nation discussing this idea AT ALL, is just OFFENSIVE TO DEMOCRACY.


But, hey, it's Obama and just about everything he does makes no sense.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

I guess at first, I thought this Compromise package was a good idea - however over the week I have had second thoughts.

I liked the idea that there finally was a Compromise - and Obama finally had to move toward the middle ground of something.


Then I started think about the Economic implications of the package - and I started to look at the individual pieces here.

I was startled to realize that a good chunk of this deal was never discussed on Capitol Hill in any meaningful way.


The Social Security tax holiday is just a REPEAT of the parts of the original stimulus plan WHICH DID NOT WORK.

So what good is that???


Obama and the liberals have perverted the idea of stimulus - perverted the idea of Keynsian economics -

A year and a half ago I was convinced that Obama and the democrats were not serious about responding to the Economic Crisis, because so much money was diverted and simply not directed toward what would be EFFECTIVE to the economy.


This is Obama - who obviously has NO IDEA what he is doing - twisting around Keynesian economics to fit his own marxist class stuggle prism.

Apparently the only analysis that means anything to Obama is how many billions to to which income brackets -

That is ridiculous for any rational analysis to respond to an Economic Crisis, or to spur Economic Growth.


It is actually frightening how twisted the motivations appear to be here.


This nation does NOT need any more borrowing - and certainly not directed toward programs which will spur MORE IMPORTS. It will be an OBAMA DEBT SPIRAL.


I hope that more people are thinking about this than me.

I don't even know if Pelosi is going to bring up this package for a vote - OR if it has the votes


350 Billion in ADDITIONAL BORROWING should make people take pause - especially if they aren't rushed into voting like Obama always seems to want to make them do.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

It's just silly - the idea that just because the top bracket is getting their extension, everyone else has to be compensated in someway.

Not for nothing, everyone else is getting their extension too.


However, Obama is intent that somehow the rich should pay even more - and if the rich are going to get that - everyone else should get more money.


The problem is that it will be $112 Billion more onto the government debt - and it will a Trillion dollars when everything is said and done.


YIKES - this is NOT a good idea.


Folks, after arguing about the partisan aspects of this - whether Obama should have compromised like he promised the country in 2008 - or whether this is all triangulation.


ALL that means nothing - next to the additional $112 Billion in debt and all the interest we have to pay on all that.


Forget it - kill the deal.


Pass the unemployment stuff, and targeted tax incentives - keep the Clinton Temporary Surcharge out, and make the top rate 36% which is what is was without the Surcharge -


There - a package which is 150 Billion instead of 350 Billion - and let's all go home for the holiday without the recriminations which seem to be current looming threats.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama's tax holiday is basically ONLY going to stimulate Chinese factories.


It is that simple.


The US taxpayer will be nailed with the debt and interest for decades and generations - it will ONLY help Chinese factories - and it will do LITTLE FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN THE US.


That is the bottom line.


It is not sound Economic Policy for the US.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 11, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@imsinca,
"Yeah, and IT won't be eating meat anymore either. Sorry, I'm back from the food bank, and I'm depressed."

caothien9 always ate plenty of meat through both good times and bad.

-------

@12BarBluesAgain,
"Venture capitalists funneled more money into U.S. startups in the second quarter, indicating continuing confidence that the economy is on the mend."

But...but...that would mean caothien9's predictions of gloom and doom are all wet. Haven't these capitalists heard that you can hire people for 3 cents a day in Vietnam---locked down and under armed guard. But at least they can enjoy a "good" meal for only 50 cents. And what could possibly go wrong when one invests in business or property in a communist country?

Posted by: Brigade | December 12, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Hiya, 12BB, to quote HAL9000, "everything is going extremely well." Very serene life here, the people are friendly, the food is fresh as can be and delicious, prices are almost absurdly low. I should have done this years ago. Our yard is full of fruit trees, even the business district in Hồ Chí Minh City is loaded with trees. We should talk on the phone, do you have a calling card? Google V247 for the one everyone uses to call here.

Got the birds here fine (though my little conure died during the vet check, very sad), they love their fourth story digs and fruit every day, cat loves it, awaiting shipment of books etc.

Don't know why you bother with "quarterback," where you post actual experience in the actual world he regurgitates canned right-wing talking market-fundamentalist points and dodges into idiot absurdities like 100% tax rates. When I asked why we had prosperity under Eisenhower's 91% top rates he dodged into some "it's complex" BS and then claimed that Reagan tax rates (still higher than now) led to prosperity.

Give me a MasterCard with no limit and eight years before the bills come in and I'd look pretty prosperous too. Any long term graph of American performance, ANY metric, shows that Reagan began the end.

His whole "taxation is theft"and "liberals are totalitarian" is as tired as Brigade's infantile quips. And his post count suggests this is all he does, promote the Norquist message.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 2:48 AM | Report abuse

By the way, it's completely screwed up that the conservatives on here aren't wishing Holbrooke a good recovery. Remember, he is the reason there is some doubt that the outing of a CIA agent isn't a conservative plot.

But I guess he served his purpose.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 12, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

"And why are you still bothering people here? You are a foreigner whose views are less than irrelevant. You should formally renounce your citizenship but, since you lack the honor and integrity to do so, it should be stripped from you. In any event, the country you've rejected has no need of your silly opinions."

==

So which am I, a foreigner and therefore not a US citizen, or a US citizen who deserves to be stripped of that dubious honor because some dittohead on a blog is "bothered" by what I post?

You could at least make a token effort to make sense.

Or, well, maybe you just can't. Another matchbook MBA? Figures.

Cheer up. As those Americans educated since Reagan reach adulthood and the voting booth you and your ilk will have lots of company and I would imagine that expat statistics are rising sharply as we commie rats leave a rapidly sinking ship.

Since snotty rejoinders and baseless assertions are your whole shtick, there's not a lot of point trying to educate you. I only take on promising students.

Go read Atlas again, chump.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 3:28 AM | Report abuse

QB: "Your problem is that you simply fail to see the implications of the very point you state here:"

(stage whisper) er, umm, ah, it's considered good form to continue with an enumeration of those "implcations" lest people think you're just blowing smoke.

QB: Your commitment to liberal dogma blinds you to the obvious.

You're the last person here who has any leg to stand on lecturing others on "commitment to dogma," since channeling Grover Norquist is, like, all you do in this bl0g.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

'It wouldn't be U.S. concern if U.S.S.R sent Jews to gas chambers', Kissinger told Nixon

Former American president can also be heard making many disparaging comments about 'abrasive and obnoxious' Jews on the 1973 recording, including: 'I don't want any Jew at that [state] dinner who didn't support us in that campaign'.

By Haaretz Staff..."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/it-wouldn-t-be-u-s-concern-if-u-s-s-r-sent-jews-to-gas-chambers-kissinger-told-nixon-1.330106

Posted by: bernielatham | December 12, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

"he lowest tax rates occurred under Reagan and were followed by sustained and vigorous growth."

Yeah. For China.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 12, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"Delegates from 193 nations agreed Saturday on a new global framework to help developing countries curb their carbon output and cope with the effects of climate change, but they postponed the harder question of precisely how industrialized and major emerging economies will share the task of making deeper greenhouse-gas emission cuts in the coming decade."

No hurry. Take your time. Just don't buy any real estate on the coast unless you like living in a wetsuit. Glub glub glub gurgle gurgle. It'd a great thing that global warming will just go away if we pretend it isn't happening. Are we AWESOME or what? Glub glub glub gurgle gurgle.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 12, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Oops. Link.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/11/AR2010121102960.html

Posted by: wbgonne | December 12, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

"You could at least make a token effort to make sense."

Makes perfect sense to anyone who isn't grasping for an insult. You label yourself an expat, so I take you at your word that you have US citizenship. But you are no American. You are a foreigner because you hate America and have renounced it. So make it official already. Renounce your citizenship and go away. We Americans don't want you.

"Or, well, maybe you just can't. Another matchbook MBA? Figures."

I seriously doubt you would want to compare educations.

"as we commie rats leave a rapidly sinking ship."

Your lips to God's ears.

"Since snotty rejoinders and baseless assertions are your whole shtick, there's not a lot of point trying to educate you. I only take on promising students.

Go read Atlas again, chump."

What is it with liberals and projection, liberals and complete lack of self awareness? Take a look at your own comments sometime. Your mommy would not be proud.

"(stage whisper) er, umm, ah, it's considered good form to continue with an enumeration of those "implcations" lest people think you're just blowing smoke."

Pardon me, I often forget some of you can't keep up. But this one's pretty simple.

12bb is asserting that taxes have no impact on employment decisions. Now, this is complete poppycock, and you couldn't find even a liberal economist to agree no matter how hard you searched. Nor a competent business person or B school prof. It's lunacy.

12bb was making her argument in the specific context of VCs and their portfolio companies, claiming (ridiculously) that entrepreneurs never think about taxes, and that VC's expect them to execute on business plans with the money the VCs invest.

The statement by 12bb that both tao and I quoted, however, admits what we've been saying all along: VCs necessarily take taxes into consideration. They do so BEFORE investing. When they invest, they do so after having studied a business plan that necessarily has to account for taxes. They also necessarily take into account their own future cap gains exposure. Taxes are a factor from beginning to end.

So 12bb simply admitted my point without realizing it: taxes can lead investors not to invest, and without the investment the business does not operate or grow, and employees are not hired.

That still too complicated for you?

"You're the last person here who has any leg to stand on lecturing others on "commitment to dogma," since channeling Grover Norquist is, like, all you do in this bl0g."

That really hurts, coming from such an intellectual heavyweight.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 12, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

"dodges into idiot absurdities like 100% tax rates."

A hypothesized 100% tax rate is actually a good way to test the claim of folks like 12bb that tax rates have no impact on employment. That's why you dodge the challenge. As someone who apparently is nostalgic for a 91% top rate, it is actually close to your own ideal.

Does that mean your ideal is an "absurdity" as opposed to a full-blown "idiot absurdity"? Just wondering.

"When I asked why we had prosperity under Eisenhower's 91% top rates he dodged into some "it's complex" BS and then claimed that Reagan tax rates (still higher than now) led to prosperity."

Don't attribute words with quotation marks that weren't mine. People can read what I said. Since you think the matter is simple, perhaps you'd like to explain what you thought of economic growth 1992-2000 and how it could have occurred without Eisenhower tax rates. Puzzling, huh?

Nor did I say that "Reagan tax rates . . . led us to prosperity." You made the assertion that we experienced economic collapse when rates were the lowest in living memory.

That claim is factually false, and that is all I pointed out. The lowest rates since the Depression occurred under Reagan/Bush I. We did not experience subsequent economic collapse but sustained and strong growth. That isn't an argument about cause and effect but a simple demonstration that your claim was factually false.

And it's obvious that you are the one who still doesn't know what he is talking about, since you now claim that rates were higher under Reagan than they are now. You might want to consult the historical tax tables. I've refuted this same myth several times before when it was shopped by liberals like rukidding -- you have a lot in common. Look it up if you'd like. I'm not wasting more time on someone so painfully ignorant of basic facts.


Posted by: quarterback1 | December 12, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I was busy yesterday and didn't have much time to weigh in on all the debate my link started. The simple, yet noteworthy point of the thing was based on interviews with CEO's of numerous start-ups, the tax "incentives" similar to the ones we've seen for the past year and a half plus the ones in the Obama/GOP compromise don't particularly affect hiring.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"We grow through 'extreme programming,' which lets our R&D team build a prototype quickly and get feedback from customers that we use to adjust what the product does. We plan to expand by moving onto mobile devices and signing up more distribution partnerships. The tax incentives haven't had any effect or change on our hiring plans. Most of them did not even apply to us."

"Our secret sauce is making the system work for the conservative banking industry while it also appeals to cutting-edge advertisers. We've expanded into mobile devices through the banks and are looking to social networks next and into global markets in 2011. Tax credits never enter my mind when it comes to hiring."

"We adapt by responding to ongoing Net Promoter Scores (NPS), in-application feedback and customer research for product enhancements. Smallish changes in the tax structure do not currently have a significant impact on our business."

See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/cQS9QS

Posted by: lmsinca | December 12, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@imsinca,
"Yeah, and IT won't be eating meat anymore either. Sorry, I'm back from the food bank, and I'm depressed."

"caothien9 always ate plenty of meat through both good times and bad."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brigade, not sure what this has to do with my comment to qb. We were discussing the working poor in this country and he was pointing out that they (IT) won't be paying more just getting back less under the Obama/GOP plan. Obvious. My response was that they probably won't be eating meat anymore. As one in seven Americans is on food stamps now, in some states in the south one in five, I suppose a little extra money in their pockets per year is no big deal as long as the top income bracket gets their $139k savings.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 12, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

"Patients treated at dialysis clinics run by the largest U.S. for-profit chains have a higher risk of death than patients treated by the biggest nonprofit chain, a study released today in the journal Health Services Research concludes.

The outcome gaps are substantial..."

http://www.propublica.org/article/new-study-shows-higher-mortality-risk-at-in-for-profit-dialysis-chains

Posted by: bernielatham | December 12, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

All, a fresh Open Thread for you:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/sunday_open_thread_13.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 12, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"said that it doesn't matter to her whether Obama succeeds; it only matters to her that his policies succeed."

ABC

Nice post and I certainly understand your points and agree with some of them. But to say that it doesn't matter to me whether Obama succeeds or not isn't quite the point I was making. I would love nothing more than to see him succeed, but I cannot be emotionally invested in his success if the policies being advanced either undermine or in the long run do more harm than good to the middle class.

Most everyone agrees the middle class, working class and working poor have suffered miserably during this recession and so far very little of the legislation has provided long term improvement. Just my opinion, but to me this is the core of where the Democratic party needs to be placing their efforts and I'm just not seeing it. I'm less interested in assigning blame and more interested in advocating for a better outcome.

I was simply stating what my priorities are, and yours and Bernies and Liams and Wbgonnes and Ethans are all just as valid. We all generally want the same thing but see different avenues and impediments in getting there.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 12, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

lms,

"as long as the top income bracket gets their $139k savings."

Wow, that's going to be awesome. I'll use that as a down payment on one of those three jets Sanders says I have.

The claim that "poor people" will be paying more overall taxes is a corruption of language and thought. Bernie is always here harping about propaganda (like, horrors, claiming Obama has "failed"), but this is a clear example of a claim that is factually false and is part of a rhetorical strategy to corrupt debate and mislead the public. The "poor people" described in your link are not paying any actual income taxes and will not be paying "more taxes" next year. They will be paying less. It simply isn't honest debate to claim otherwise.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 12, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

qb

I just stated that they "won't be paying more". The point is they will have less disposable income in 2011 than they did in 2010. I'm sorry but that matters to me.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 12, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

lms said:

"The simple, yet noteworthy point of the thing was based on interviews with CEO's of numerous start-ups, the tax "incentives" similar to the ones we've seen for the past year and a half plus the ones in the Obama/GOP compromise don't particularly affect hiring."

A couple of points about that article and this gloss. I don't have a lot more time to waste today on this, so, keeping it short:

The article was Oct 3 and is notably vague about the "tax incentives being discussed in Washington." There are some nonspecific references to "credits," but certainly no reference to permanent rates or even rates.

What credits or incentives, then? Rapid depreciation? Making Work Pay? These are not the same as tax rates, and I don't know of anyone who thinks they have identical affects.

The companies interviewed are all tech startups. They hire highly skilled people to develop software, etc. Many are not yet profit-making (but obviously have plans to be). The interviewees make comments along the lines that the "tax incentives" don't even apply to them.

Some of the comments are also making the point that long-term growth decisions are not based on short-term tax incentives. Well of course they aren't, not by anyone with sense. It is long-term rates and structure that really matter, and that is the GOP/conservative point.

You can't logically extrapolate from these interview comments to the notion that tax rates do not affect employment and growth. Raise income, corporate, and cap gains tax rates substantially and permanently and see how that affects growth and hiring.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 12, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"I don't have a lot more time to waste today on this, so, keeping it short:"

Me neither, have a nice day qb and everyone else. Greg has a new thread up. See y'all later.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse


all pls come to the new open thread above...thanks!

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

That's what, seven times now with the "you're a foreigner" shtick? Wow, no wonder you're a conservative, qb, you're stuck on readonly.

Quibbling over the definition of "poor" is about as shabby as it gets,excepting only that bigoted junk Brigade posts.

Not interested in anything more you have to say, "quarterback." If I want to hear your views I can get them from the sources.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"Patients treated at dialysis clinics run by the largest U.S. for-profit chains have a higher risk of death than patients treated by the biggest nonprofit chain, a study released today in the journal Health Services Research concludes.

The outcome gaps are substantial..."

==

What else could you expect? The goal of privatized healthcare is the maximization of shareholder value, not the maximization of patient survival. That private insurers will create excuses to deny benefits, will provide shabby cheap service, will seek to exclude customers with greater potential to get sick, is perfectly predictable given the motivations.

The free market is a scam. It's an immature centuries-out--of-date model and its advocates belong in prison.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Raise income, corporate, and cap gains tax rates substantially and permanently and see how that affects growth and hiring.

==

No need. We have the evidence of the last hundred years, and it directly contradicts you.

The more taxes are lowered and business deregulated, the worse the economy performs.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 12, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

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