Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:37 AM ET, 01/31/2011

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Obama administration allies itself with Egypt protestors: Good read from Karen DeYoung, who talks to senior White House officials about their delicate balancing act on the Egypt crisis. Calls for an "orderly transition" represent language carefully chosen to signal firm support for the protestors while simultaneously avoiding a direct call for Mubarak's ouster and indicating a desire for Egypt and other regional countries to remain viable U.S. strategic partners.

* Or, as Egypt expert Andrew Albertson puts it: American officials "are trying to use the strongest possible words while allowing Mubarak to make his own graceful exit."

* Obama's statements on Egypt also intended for Americans: Also interesting: Massimo Calabresi on how White House statements on Egypt are also being calibrated for the domestic audience.

* Fact-check of the day: Obama riding Mubarak on human rights? Don't miss Josh Gerstein's thorough fact-check of David Axelrod's claim that Obama has been pushing Mubarak hard on human rights for years.

* Obama working Mubarak behind scenes: But Jake Tapper reports that Obama administration is now conveying in no uncertain terms some specific ideas for reforms that Mubarak should implement now.

* Repubicans find nothing to criticize in Obama's approach: It must be awfully disappointing to conservative bloggers who are criticizing Obama on Egypt that Republican officials are mostly praising his handling of the crisis.

* Dems already targeting GOP on spending cuts: The DCCC, in its first major ad offensive, is going up in the districts of 19 House Republicans, pillorying them for supporting cuts to education and research on science and technology.

Key takeaway: Dems are betting that even if the public says it generally wants cuts to Big Bad Government, Republicans will be politically vulnerable once they begin to talk specifics. Also: The ads will frame the cuts as bad for the economy, and defend targeted programs as essential for job creation, directly challenging GOP messaging.

* House Dems' strategy for the minority: They are developing a plan to use procedural gimmicks to force House Republicans to take politically tough votes, such as the recent one insisting they disclose whether they are availing themselves of government-run health insurance.

* Delivering on State of the Union promises? On tap for today: A White House official emails that the White House will launch "Startup America," a national campaign designed to begin "winning the future" with "new initiatives to help encourage private sector investment in job-creating startups and small firms, accelerate research, and address barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small businesses."

Expect a heavy emphasis on government's role as faciliator of "private sector investment" (as opposed to government spending) in order to create jobs, jobs, jobs.

* Conservatives want government to fail: E.J. Dionne on why it's in the interests of the right for government to fail -- and why it's doubly incumbent on progressives and Obama to prove government can work.

* Trouble in Tea Party paradise: Sane GOP Senators gently tell the Tea Party Caucus that it's a really insane idea to hold a debt ceiling hike hostage in exchange for a balanced budget amendment that isn't going to happen.

Bill Daley walks it back: Obama was roundly criticized for choosing Daley as chief of staff because of his inistence that Dems strayed off the left-wing cliff by reforming health care, but now he clarifies that, yes, absolutely, the country needs health reform.

Key question: Daley has lots of business cred among moderates and conservatives, so it'll be interesting to see if they'll listen to his claim that the health system needed to be fixed because it was "too much of a wet blanket on the economy.'"

* Counter-intuitive take of the day: Obama and climate change. Hendrik Hertzberg on how Obama's failure to use the word "climate" in his State of the Union was actually a clever bait-and-switch designed to talk about global warming under the guise of "clean energy technology."

* And the coinage of the day: "Fox geezer syndrome." Richmond Ramsey on how Fox News is making older conservatives dumber and more cantankerous and impossible to talk to about politics.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | January 31, 2011; 8:37 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, debt ceiling  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday Open Thread
Next: Conservatives keep hogging credit for Mideast protests

Comments

Egypt will be Obama's downfall.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Waterloo. You must've meant waterloo.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 31, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@Clawrence - You really ought to pick one thing that will "be his downfall". Know what I mean? You are in danger of coming across like one of those intestine-readers.... "the world will end on friday at 2.... on Sunday when the moon rises... within the next three weeks, it is certain"

"Counter-intuitive take of the day: Obama and climate change. Hendrik Hertzberg on how Obama's failure to use the word "climate" in his State of the Union was actually a clever bait-and-switch designed to talk about global warming under the guise of "clean energy technology.""

Smart take and exactly right, I think.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 31, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Watched a bit of FOX last night. And turning to the NRO this morning...same theme... BEWARE THE MUSLIMS WHO ARE ABOUT TO TAKE OVER.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 31, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

And once again, I recommend the poll results over at NRO...

http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 31, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

* Repubicans find nothing to criticize in Obama's approach: It must be awfully disappointing to conservative bloggers who are criticizing Obama on Egypt that Republican officials are mostly praising his handling of the crisis.

==

Any minute now they'll get their Phrases of the Day emails. You'll know when they do.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

We've gone from this:

"Writing in Foreign Affairs in 2007, Obama called climate change the “epochal, man-made threat to the planet.” In his July, 2008, Berlin speech, he warned of “a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands.” Just after the election, at a meeting on global warming convened by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, he said, “The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season. . . . Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high, the consequences too serious.” A few days after taking office, he said that leaving global warming unchecked invites “irreversible catastrophe.” In his first address to a joint session of Congress, in February, 2009, he asked for a “cap on carbon pollution” to “save our planet from the ravages of climate change.” In October of that year, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, “There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement—all of which will fuel more conflict for decades.” In the 2010 State of the Union, arguing that a shift away from fossil fuels merits the support even of “those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change,” he praised the House of Representatives for having passed “a comprehensive energy and climate bill.” Strong words. But now they are not even whispered."

... to this ...

"Seen against this bleak background, then, Obama’s State of the Union address was a masterly exercise in rear-guard tactics disguised as visionary optimism. A section was devoted to fighting climate change, but under an assumed name: “clean-energy technology,” for which he proposed new public investments “that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.” (The second of that trio of goals was as close as he came to pronouncing the dread words.) He set a goal of generating eighty per cent of America’s electricity from “clean-energy sources” by 2035. Even as he called for a review of “unnecessary” regulations, he declared that he “will not hesitate to create or enforce common-sense safeguards to protect the American people,” an apparent reference to the E.P.A.’s ambitious plans to limit carbon-dioxide emissions. And he called on Congress “to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies,” the grotesque pastiche of tax expenditures that subsidize oil over other, less harmful sources of energy. The President has not, in fact, given up on doing something about climate change."

And that is considered progress on global warming? Sorry. Those aren't rose-colored glasses they are cherry red blinders.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard is one slick puppy. Consider Jane Mayer's piece on Suleiman....

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/01/who-is-omar-suleiman.html

Than read Kristol here...

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/beyond-mubarak-twere-well-it-were-done-quickly_537708.html

Obviously, anyone would wish a relatively peaceful and democratic revolution here. But if one were to ask Bill if he'd rather have Suleiman up top or El Baradei, which do you suspect he'd choose?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 31, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I mean, really, when the President of the United States is AFRAID to say the words "Global" "Warming" that is somehow considered a good thing? Does anyone honestly believe that those on the Radical Right who sponsor the Global Warming deniers will be tricked b/c Obama doesn't use the phrase? Good grief.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 31, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

Thanks so much for that link to the "Fox Geezer Syndrome"! I've posted frequently about my 85 year old Faux loving mother and what it's done to her life. What a relief to find out that not only am I not alone...but this article was written by an R with 8 of his conservative friends.

"If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I’d be perpetually pissed off too."

May I add..not just pissed off but also afraid...when your 85...very afraid. The author is about 20 years younger than me and so he is probably talking about my contemporaries and I too have witnessed the effect there.

May I end this post in the bi-partisan spirit of the author of the linked piece...

"The popularity of vigorous rage merchants like Beck and Olbermann are not a sign of our political culture’s vitality, but rather its decadence. We live in a time and place that puts high value on emotion, and that views emotions as self-validating. To feel something is thought by many to be sufficient evidence of its truthfulness, or at least its authenticity. This is a mark of the barbarian."

To borrow one of Tena's favorite responses.

WORD!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's Yglesias' take on the Ramsey piece Greg links above...

"The years 2009 and 2010 were a period of declining popularity for Barack Obama, for the Democratic Party, and for progressive politics in the United States of America. Under the circumstances, it’s tempting to examine any particular trend in American political life that operated in parallel to this and see it as advantageous to conservative politics. Hence the skyrocketing popularity of a deliberate kind of political entertainment in which folks like Glenn Beck lie to gullible conservatives about what’s happening in America appear to many as a form of successful political tactic. In reality, however, the declining popularity of Obama, Democrats, and progressives can be easily attributable to poor economic conditions. Now that trends have leveled off and Obama is back at 50 percent and we seem to be headed for a span of so-so growth I think we’re going to find that while Beck has certainly carved out a lucrative business niche for himself, that in political terms creating a paranoid and misinformed base is not helpful."

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/01/the-fox-effect/

Posted by: bernielatham | January 31, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

From below, ScottC3: ""HK has a flat tax of 16 percent. Or at least it did when I was there. They also have some form of government sponsored health care, although I don't know the details. I never used it, and always went to private care during my time there.""

That sounds great, but Hong Kong doesn't pay to maintain hundreds of nuclear warheads, 14 aircraft carriers and armed forces to be stationed in nearly every country around the world, let alone being involved in two major theaters of war at present. That's the bill that is due, Scott -- to us. If we did away with most of that, a 16% flat tax might work here, too.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 31, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Disaster for Israel, Egypt its only ally in the region. Add this to the demographic time bomb forcing the choice between being Jewish or being democratic (yeah, real nailbiter there, hi, Avigdor), the sea change in the world's regard for the Atrocity Factory, this is not Israel's decade.

And with a millennialist psychopath for a prime minister and 300 nukes ... well.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

To feel something is thought by many to be sufficient evidence of its truthfulness, or at least its authenticity

==

Seriously, has it ever been otherwise?

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

jp:

""That sounds great, but Hong Kong doesn't pay to maintain..."

I know this, of course. But recall the origins of this conversation. You asked me what place had a more just tax system than ours. I said Hong Kong. I said this not because it was 16%, but because it was flat.

And I ask you again, why don't you tell those who object to our current health care system to in effect "love it or leave it", as you have repeatedly told me with regard to our tax rates?

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Clearly,

Obama can not allow a situation in which the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Egypt


It is easy to "side" with the protestors. The hard part is making sure the TERRORISTS do not take over the country. Obama is being a naive moron.


Sorry folks.


If the Muslim Brotherhood takes control of Egypt after Obama "sided" with the protestors, then OBAMA MUST RESIGN OR BE IMPEACHED AND REMOVED FROM OFFICE. There is no other way. No one can be sure of Obama's loyalties and we are way to close to the line to be worrying about Obama's loyalties.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 31, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@jprestonian

"That sounds great, but Hong Kong doesn't pay to maintain hundreds of nuclear warheads, 14 aircraft carriers and armed forces to be stationed in nearly every country around the world, let alone being involved in two major theaters of war at present. That's the bill that is due, Scott -- to us. If we did away with most of that, a 16% flat tax might work here, too."

Amen jprestonian. You would imagine that would be obvious! But Conservatives are fearful bedwetters by nature. Look at DICK Cheney...where did he hide during 9/11. How long did it take to even find out where the macho boys Bush and Cheney were on 9/11? When you're afraid of you own shadow the new right wing bogeyman...the "Muslim Brotherhood" is coming to get us.

Combine fear with the good old fashioned profit motive of the MIC and you end up with endless wars and military adventurism.
Instead of "turn the other cheek" it's turn another dollar.

Jesus Christ must be soooo pleased with his earthly acolytes in the United States.
Our country has just murdered more than (pick a figure..tens of thousands?) innocent citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan in response to a criminal conspiracy of less than two dozen men who perpetrated an awful act on 9/11. Vengeance is mine sayeth the GOP.

Ahhh but while we argue over something as fundamental as decent health care...while we have homeless living on the streets..some of them former Vietnam Vets (that truly breaks my heart)...we have billions to spend on killing innocent civilians but can't take care of our own people.

And here at home...another real Jesus pleaser...From my home state of Florida...

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/258313/postcard-florida-michael-novak

"First the great news. On January 14, the last block of Carrara marble — from the same vein from which Michelangelo carved David — was lifted into place by huge cranes (cost: $300 per hour, over three weeks of herculean overtime work) onto the façade of the Oratory at Ave Maria University in Florida."

Homelessness...1 in 7 living in poverty...yet the church has plenty of bucks to waste on cold marble...perhaps the perfect metaphor for the church's cold heart. Facade indeed! Pun intended!!!

And Jesus wept. :-(

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is moving forward with the repeal of DADT.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/01/pentagon_releases_guidelines_for_repealing_gay_pol.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 31, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Scott, you can yell at he tide and order it not to come in but it'll come in anyway.

You're almost down to RFR's level with this tired refrain. Yeah, we get it, those of us old enough to remember LIoLI, anyway. Please quit whining the same thing.

ACA is not going to be repealed, and the compelling moral narrative is plain and simply stronger than the niggardly economic one. Healthcare as a basic necessity of good government is late coming to America, just like the end of slavery was. Just like equality for gays. You won't reverse that tide.

A pity America has to always lag behind morally.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know more about this?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_re_us/us_conservative_conclave_protest

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 31, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3: ""And I ask you again, why don't you tell those who object to our current health care system to in effect "love it or leave it", as you have repeatedly told me with regard to our tax rates?""

Becaue Scott, I'm a liberal. Liberals want you to be happy. You obviously have the means to live abroad, so 2+2...
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 31, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh but while we argue over something as fundamental as decent health care...while we have homeless living on the streets..some of them former Vietnam Vets (that truly breaks my heart)...we have billions to spend on killing innocent civilians but can't take care of our own people.

==

Seconded on the homeless vets, all over Seattle.

We spend TRillions on wars we don't even know why we started and which almost a decade later still have no clear objectives.

We give $800 billion to banksters who belong in prison for bringing on a financial crisis that ruins millions of lives. They won't even tell us how they spent it.

And we argue about letting people suffer to let the rich have more money.

This isn't conservatism, this is mental illness. This is depravity.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

ruk: ""Look at DICK Cheney...where did he hide during 9/11. How long did it take to even find out where the macho boys Bush and Cheney were on 9/11?""

I think they get a pass for that, continuity-of-government and Secret Service types not being the most flexible people in the universe. In fact, I don't know why anyone would look askance if it were the case that Cheney ordered Flight 91 shot down over Pennsylvania.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 31, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

You would think the wealthy in America would wake up and smell the coffee.

I'm not going to go all extreme on anybody, I'm not suggesting we are anywhere near Egypt's situation....but if the current trends continue...the shrinking middle class...the massive transfer of wealth to the top 1%...arguing over HCR when 60% of bankruptcies are caused by our current 37th ranked health care system...sooner or later the people will catch on and eventually even the Koch brothers and the DICK Armey of misguided TPers will figure it out.

As I suggest...I'm just talking about trends..but are we seeing the first example of what might become commonplace and much larger if the wealthy do not curb their avarice?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/30/koch-brothers-protest-25-_n_816085.html

"RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Twenty-five people were arrested for trespassing Sunday as hundreds protested outside a strategy session of conservative political donors at a resort near Palm Springs, authorities said.

The mostly peaceful demonstration had been arranged with authorities, but some protesters crossed the street to the entrance of the Rancho Las Palmas Resort where they were met by deputies in riot gear, Riverside County Deputy Melissa Nieburger said. They were arrested without a struggle, booked at Indio Jail and released.

Organizer Samantha Corbin told City News Service the protesters were there to "voice opposition to the Koches' funding of climate denial groups, far-right political candidates and anti-health care reform efforts."

Protesters carried signs reading "Troops Home Now," "Medicare for All" and "Tea Party Founded and Funded By The Kochs."

Several dozen people dressed in hazardous materials suits and held police tape and a banner that read "Quarantine the Kochs."

The protest, which had nearly 1,000 people at its peak, lasted about two hours."

Again to paraphrase from that popular Book...to those who are given a lot..a lot is expected. What miserable failures the Koch brothers are in that regard. They were born on home plate with the proverbial silver spoon and they think THEY'VE hit a home run. What vermin and predators on our society!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"* Fact-check of the day: Obama riding Mubarak on human rights? Don't miss Josh Gerstein's thorough fact-check of David Axelrod's claim that Obama has been pushing Mubarak hard on human rights for years."

I found this article from the Post's Glenn Kessler to be a better fact checking piece on Obama and Egypt than the piece you cite. It has more specific examples of White House statements addressing the issue.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/01/obama_and_mubarak_and_democrac.html

Posted by: jnc4p | January 31, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

A Glimpse Inside Ollie Gark's Compound For Plutocrats.
.................................

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/30/langone-cain-koch/

"Wall Street Titan Ken Langone, GOP Presidential Candidate Herman Cain At Koch Brothers Meeting

This weekend, David and Charles Koch, co-owners of the Koch Industries conglomerate of chemical, timber, oil and manufacturing interests, are hosting their twice annual meeting to coordinate strategy and raise funds for the conservative movement. In October, ThinkProgress brought these meetings to light with a memo detailing the last Koch event, held in June, where corporate interests collaborated to help Republicans dominate the election last year. The memo we published showed that the last meeting included a number of wealthy business executives, along with leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Glenn Beck. Previous meetings have featured top Republican politicians and conservative Supreme Court justices. ThinkProgress is reporting from the ground in Rancho Mirage for this meeting, and has learned new information about the attendees:

– Ken Langone, an investment banker and founder of Home Depot, is attending the Koch meeting this weekend. Langone helped found the new Karl Rove network of front groups known as American Action Network, American Action Forum, and American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS, which together delivered an unprecedented wave of attack ads against Democrats last year. Langone and his fundraiser, Fred Malek, attended previous Koch meetings.

– Karl Crow, a Koch-funded operative, will unveil a new voter-targeting system to help Republicans win back the White House in 2012. Last summer, Crow published a memo arguing that corporations should take advantage of the Citizens United decision to flood money into the midterm elections. His memo also claimed that the decision could give corporations unlimited power to coerce their employees into supporting particular pieces of legislation or candidates.

– The first “serious” GOP contender for the presidency, Herman Cain, is at the Koch meeting. Cain, a talk show host and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, has been a frequent guest at events sponsored by Koch front groups like Americans for Prosperity.

On Thursday, ThinkProgress revealed other attendees of this year’s Koch meeting, like billionaires Richard DeVos and Diane Hendricks. Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) will be in attendance, according to National Review. Also, we learned that 40% of the donors this weekend will be new to the Koch meetings, and that Charles Koch has promised to match ever dollar raised with one of his own.
Update Ronald Erickson, "CEO of Holiday Companies, a Minnesota based petroleum retail and wholesale convenience business with operations in twelve states across the Upper Midwest and Alaska," is at the Koch meeting."

Posted by: Liam-still | January 31, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"I think they get a pass for that, continuity-of-government and Secret Service types"

Oh I get that JPrestonian...DICK Cheney took five free passes to get out of Vietnam while Georgie partied away his opportunity to join the rest of us in 'Nam with the Texas Air NG.

Yes they got a pass..but they didn't have to use it and we have a clear line of succession as outlined in the Constitution.
A REAL leader who did not take that pass but instead rallied the populace might have served us a lot better.

I am not fan of Rudy Giuliani, but at least he wasn't a coward on 9/11...he made himself very visible. Alas he's used that proper behavior to score post 9/11 partisan political points...but I give him credit for having some backbone on 9/11.
Backbone is not a notable quality of chicken hawks.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

jp:

""Liberals want you to be happy.""

Nice dodge.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

if the current trends continue...the shrinking middle class...the massive transfer of wealth to the top 1%...arguing over HCR when 60% of bankruptcies are caused by our current 37th ranked health care system...sooner or later the people will catch on and eventually even the Koch brothers and the DICK Armey of misguided TPers will figure it out.

==

Dude, no, it won't happen. There will be no populist backlash. Thirty years of free market propaganda has done its work. People who snk beneath the waves will blame themselves. The whole self-interest basis of democracy has failed, it's been failing since industrialism, TV stuck the knife in, Reagan twisted it, Rove and Norquist severed both femorals.

Fnancialzation is a one way ticket.

I'd leave if I were you.

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Rassmussen poll on Egypt:

38% of those surveyed believe the overthrow of the Egyptian government would be bad for the U.S.

75% believe that the unrest will spread to other Middle Eastern countries. 59% think that's a bad thing.

And most encouraging:

Only 7% believe the U.S. should help the current Egyptian government stay in power.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 31, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

The thing is, bsimon1 and bernielatham, I've never before said that anything would be Obama's downfall or Waterloo. This will be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back. No one thought that Iran would be Carter's downfall at first. Have you read this:

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/obama-will-go-down-in-history-as-the-president-who-lost-Egypt-1.340057

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

ScottC considers "a flat tax" to be "the most just". Sure, if you are one of the Fattest Cats in the land. For everyone else, it is the most unjust tax system of all.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 31, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

ruk:

""Oh I get that JPrestonian...DICK Cheney took five free passes to get out of Vietnam...""

Your stream of consciousness posting is quite something to behold.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I am not fan of Rudy Giuliani, but at least he wasn't a coward on 9/11...he made himself very visible.

==

In other words, he did his job.

Low bar,

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Well Scott, you can call it a dodge, but from an ideology that stresses independence and self-reliance, I don't think it's out of the question to ask people to stop whining about their high taxes, and move somewhere that suits them better.

But the truth is, it **is** just whining. No one's "gone Galt" (unless you count the cheapskates who refuse to tip), 'cause most people of this ideological bent are also convinced there's no where else in the world they could possibly be better off -- and for most of them, they are right. In the low-tax paradises they envision, they would, of course, be hunted for food.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 31, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Let us not rehash what Bush and Cheney did on 9/11.

It just opens the doors for all those 9/11 insider conspiracy loons to come pouring in to Plumline.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 31, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Your stream of consciousness posting is quite something to behold.

==

Now you're at Brigade's level.

There was no stream of consciousness there,

Posted by: caothien9 | January 31, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Good new post from Adam Serwer on ridiculousness of right wingers taking credit for Mideast protest:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/conservatives_still_trying_to.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 31, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"It just opens the doors for all those 9/11 insider conspiracy loons to come pouring in to Plumline."

Such as caothien9.

Posted by: clawrence12 | January 31, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Scott, what would you think of a high rate flat tax with a high front end standard deduction? Say, a 40% tax on individual income above $75K, or marital income above $150K, or single with family income above $100K, or married with family above $175K, adjusting the standard deduction upward for inflation every five years or so? Assume, arguendo, that itemized deductions no longer exist, for an utterly simple system.

Those were just examples; you could write your own.

Or do you propose taxing from the first dollar of income?

Do you treat investment income differently than earned income? Why or why not?

I have run the numbers on "Fair tax" and it does not produce half the revenue our current system produces, FWIW.

I have thought that

http://www.apttax.com/

shows some promise.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 31, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Quick IQ test for libs.

Based on the following climate data; http://www.lakepowell.net/sciencecenter/geologic%20global%20temp.jpg , regardless of what man does, is the Earth going to be getting:

A) Warmer
B) Colder
C) Stay about the same.

Posted by: illogicbuster | January 31, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

jp:

""Well Scott, you can call it a dodge""

I did. It is.

""...but from an ideology that stresses independence and self-reliance, I don't think it's out of the question to ask people to stop whining about their high taxes, and move somewhere that suits them better.""

Again, the same could be said of anyone who "whines" about any aspect of our politics that they would like to see changed. Ideology is irrelevant. "From an ideology that stresses interdependence and communal arrangements, I don't think it is out of the question to ask people to stop whining about a lack of health care and move somewhere that suits them better."

Your "love it or leave it" attitude is nothing more than a desire to shut down the discussion. It has nothing to do with wanting anyone to be "happy".

""But the truth is, it **is** just whining.""

How does it differ from any other expression of a desire to change the status quo, such that this is "whining" but, say, expressing a desire to change our health care system is not "whining"? Of is any such expression of a desire for change "whining"?

""No one's "gone Galt" (unless you count the cheapskates who refuse to tip), 'cause most people of this ideological bent are also convinced there's no where else in the world they could possibly be better off...""

You can count me in that group. I agree that there are few if any places in the world better than the US. And I have been to a lot of places. And I believe this despite the many policy disagreements I have regarding much of our existing politics. The notion that to want to live in the US implies that one cannot logically have disagreements with specific policies or prevailing attitudes within the US is, to be honest, just plain stupid.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

mark:

Good questions. I will respond in due course, either here in a bit or tonight on Happy Hour.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

@Scott

"Your stream of consciousness posting is quite something to behold."

Thanks. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 31, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Mark:

Apologies for the delay.

""Scott, what would you think of a high rate flat tax with a high front end standard deduction?""

Not much, to be honest. The whole reason that I say that a flat income tax is more just than a progressive tax is that it spreads the burden of maintaining government in some equal measure across the populace, and it also provides a somewhat equal incentive to the citizenry to consider the costs of any particular spending that the government might endeavor to embark upon. It is not perfect, of course, But the higher the front end deduction, the larger the portion of the citizenry that gets exempted from the responsibility of maintaining government.

I am not entirely opposed to some threshold level of income below which no tax is assessed. However, I think that anyone who falls below the threshold such that they escape any income tax burden ought not be allowed to vote. All voters ought to bear some portion of whatever financial burden there is for the things they are voting for.

Regarding investment income, I would not treat it any differently than earned income, except to say that it should not be taxed twice. Which of course raises issues regarding corporate taxation.

""I have run the numbers on "Fair tax" and it does not produce half the revenue our current system produces, FWIW.""

In arguing for a flat tax, I am not arguing that it will maximize revenue. I am simply arguing that it will maximize equity.

""I have thought that http://www.apttax.com/ shows some promise.""

I'll take a look.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 31, 2011 3:59 PM | 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

© 2011 The Washington Post Company