Thursday, October 16, 2008

Obama vs. McCain. The Conclusion.

Last night's event concluded this election cycle's series of four presidential (and VP) debates. Its reception followed a pattern that was established during the first one, and continued throughout. I was happy with the performances of Barack Obama and Joe Biden in each of the installments. Still, after each contest, pundits consistently insisted that they were draws. But a strange thing happened when the viewing public was consulted- American voters (both decided and uncommitted) overwhelmingly reported a clean sweep for Obama. I'd like to say that the corporate media's refusal to choose a winner in this series will finally put to rest the oft-repeated rightwing notion that the press has a liberal bias. However, I'm not nearly so naïve as to believe that this pattern will be widely acknowledged.

Regardless, as I've said before, the debates really aren't about "winning and losing". They are about meeting expectations. In this case the objectives of each candidate were well known. Both the McCain campaign and the candidate himself promised that the Arizona senator would come out especially aggressive. Conventional wisdom said that this was his last chance to change the momentum of the race. We heard that McCain would finally bring up Obama's "suspect associations" with Ayers and ACORN, and we waited to see whether he would follow through. Moderator (and CBS anchor) Bob Schieffer left him with no other option when he asked the rivals to address the perceived negativity flowing through the race.

So John McCain came out swinging hard, the way Mike Tyson used to do before he tried to bite off Evander Holyfield's ear. For the first half hour of the debate, he looked feistier than we have seen him look at any time since 2004. He attempted to make populist appeals, using "Joe the Plumber" as a prop. He tried to pin the big-spending tail on the donkey. And he trotted out the timeworn "class warfare" red herring. But then (apparently) his advanced age and flagging endurance made him stumble, and from there on out Obama looked in control of the match. Ironically the turning point occurred with his introduction of Ayers, a subject Republican extremists insisted he include in the debate.

The absolutely unflappable Obama laid out, in the very simplest terms, the facts about his "association" with Bill Ayers. Not only did he convey absolute sincerity, but he even turned the narrative on its head, pointing out that the educational reform panel that he sat on with Professor Ayers contained folks like the "the presidents of the University of Illinois, the president of Northwestern University, who happens to be a Republican, (and) the president of The Chicago Tribune, a Republican- leaning newspaper." Then he put the nail in the coffin of the McCain/Palin attack ads by saying that his campaign has no connection to ACORN- an organization he represented (in the early 90's) only as an attorney working with the US Justice Department to ensure that the state of Illinois complied with the motor voter law.

After that turnaround, McCain was completely incapable of sustaining any momentum, and clumsily returned again and again to his "Joe the Plumber" gimmick. It was clear that John had "jumped the shark" when he began talking directly to the unseen "Joe", and congratulating him for being "rich". I think he realized too that he had blown his "last best chance". His eyes started flittering back and forth like he was lost and scared, and he began to make the faces that have been the source of so much speculation regarding his temperament and stability. By the end of the night, it was clear that Obama had succeeded from the first to the last in his mission to prove himself presidential. Meanwhile McCain was left to pick up the pieces of his shattered campaign, which has run nothing but attack ads for the last few weeks.

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25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will have to agree with you, although I wish it wern't true.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Good Post.

i agree with your point that the debates are about meeting expectations which is why i think McCain finally won one.

If it was just about who is the better speaker there would be no need to have a debate. I thought Mac was more aggressive and scored points on a number of issues. I thought that Obama did best when he lied again about his relationship with Ayers, and when he lied about the 95% tax cut.

Mac didn't hit him on those, he let them slide. He made an under his breath comment about Obama starting his political career in Ayers house, Obama lied and said it wasn't true and Mac let it go.

And he never even challenged the 95% b.s. which was the easiest one to refute since it's impossible.

However i still thought he was good enough to meet the expectations and Obama didn't do anything special so i give the win to Mac.

Since i'm new here let me explain that McCain would NOT have been my choice, i did NOT vote for him in the primaries and i do NOT like him politically. I will vote for him because i believe Obama is much too liberal and with an overwhelming majority in congress i fear for the future of our country if we have an Obama presidency.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not agree!
OBAMA is a smooth talker and you do have to listen to what he says very carefully! He doesn't really answer most questions, only evades and skirts the issues.
My mother told me that the company that you keep does matter. If they are dirty, some of that dirt will definitely get on you. His character is very much in question! I do not believe he is telling us the truth. To go to a church for 20 years and not hear a thing your Reverend is talking about and then to denounce him when he decides that he is not helping you political, really tells me alot about a persons character --- he has none. He has tooooooooo many shady associations!!!!!
I hope you are not 'rich' in Obama's eyes or that you do not work for a company that makes over $250,000, you may not have a computer to use (or a job soon)--- Obama will be taking it all!!! And while the people in Washington are getting richer and the rest of us are taxed and taxed some more, so that we can 'spread the wealth' to those who do not want to work and just want hand-outs and who want the government to take care of them, but who contribute nothing-for they themselves are not being taxed, of course --- we will have people like you to THANK!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

"I thought that Obama did best when he lied again about his relationship with Ayers, and when he lied about the 95% tax cut."

Explain (with sources) your reasons why you think these are lies. I'm honestly curious. How do you know that Obama "started his career at Ayers' house"? And why do you even care about that, as opposed to your other claim?

I find it a bit amusing that there are "conservatives" that fear for their country if the Democrats get their chance at running things. The GOP has royally screwed this country the last eight years, and you are scared of change?

5:11 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

anon,

If dirt rubs off on you from associations, then McCain is as black as coal. If you are honestly concerned about this issue, give me your e-mail and I'll send you a list of shady characters that McCain is intertwined with.

You can blame Bush and his GOP cronies for whatever tax increases are necessary during the next four years. They doubled the national debt while they held the reins of power.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Merge

There are many sources that highlight the Obama/ayers relationship.Just one of them is

http://townhall.com/columnists/HughHewitt/2008/04/17/airing_the_ayers-obama_connection

More importantly, we know he lied because his story has changed many times. I was giving him an honest compliment when i said that by the way.

I care about that because it is one of many associations that are troubling to me. It makes me curious that a lot of the bad people in the world want Obama to win. What is it that they see in him that makes them want to endorse him? They can only sense 2 things that would make them do that. Sympathy or Weakness. Either way, i don't think it's good for this country.

Finally, I agree that the republicans did a horrible job with the economy, but it was their out of control spending that was the problem and i don't think any honest person thinks that the dems are going to spend less. In fact OB has already proposed almost a trillion dollars in NEW spending which he hasn't denied. This includes increasing spending on "international poverty". whatever that means. And Mac caught him the other night saying he would "consider" offshore drilling. Which I believe means he's going to cave to the greenies. We will not achieve energy independence without domestic drilling. So count on energy prices going higher.

Socialism is a failed ideology. Obama, like FDR before him doesn't believe that. He want's to "spread the wealth around" which just means income redistribution.

The only silver lining, in my opinion, is that the last time we had a president as liberal as Obama it was such a disaster that we got Reagan. Maybe there's another Reagan out there.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

Sorry, I don't trust anything that Hugh Hewitt writes or says. He is a complete partisan hack and Rightwing nutjob. How about a politically centrist perspective?

I think you should worry more about the positions on the issues than the people that want a candidate to win. There are plenty of people on both sides that are reprehensible.

I understand that the GOP has been flogging the Democratic-big-spender propaganda. That's obsolescent thinking. The truth is that these habits reversed in the eighties. Reagan and the Bush family raised the national debt (by proportion) far more than Clinton. And a lot of the GOP increase in debt is due to warmongering. Is McCain more or less likely to expand military operations than Obama?

Domestic drilling will NEVER have a significant affect in bringing us toward energy independence.

The "spread the wealth" comment is plucked from teh discussion Obama had with "Plumber Joe". This is simply more propaganda from the McCain campaign. Obama wants to shift the tax burden toward the wealthiest individuals in society. You should find out where you actually fall under his plan (here's a helpful no-nonsense LINK for that).

It always bothers me when people mangle the definitions of politics. The definition of "socialism" is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods". I challenge you to find a single instance where Obama advocates for this. Let's put aside the brainwashing and talk in complex terms rather than simplistic labels that don't even apply to reality.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Well Merge, you can obviously do your own homework. I'm not making it up, I've read it in multiple places but that was the first one to come up.

I disagree that dem. spending is an obsolete thought and in fact think you might be absolutely crazy if you believe that.

I disagree that there is any "war mongering" at all. Maybe you forgot that we were attacked

I disagree and am dumbfounded by your assertion that domestic drilling won't do anything to help us toward energy independence. Seriously this one shocks me. You must actually believe obama's "only 3% of the worlds resources" line.

I know exactly where i stand in Obama's tax plan

I know exactly what the definition of socialism is. Obama's programs and ideas go in that direction. What he says means less to me than what he's done and said in the past.

We will NEVER agree on these things and this whole discussion is too broad to cite examples for everything. I'll be around and hopefully we can hit them one at a time.

Good luck and thanks for the debate.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Just because it's bothering me.

The core principal of Socialism is income redistribution. Take from the haves to give to the have nots.

Isn't that what Obama is proposing? Isn't that the crux of his tax plan?

In fact isn't that the current tax system that we have? the "progressive" tax system.

Obama want's to make it even more "progressive" or as you say shift the tax burden to the wealthiest Americans.

The tax burden in this country is already overwhelmingly shifted toward the wealthiest Americans.

The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 – the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 1 percent's taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government's revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

THE ONLY FAIR TAX IS A FLAT TAX.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

One more thing by the way.

Do you really beleive that raising corporate taxes is ever good for the economy or the common man?

You want to talk complex this and that, but it's really not that complex.

If you make it more expensive for corporations to do business, they will either charge more for their goods and services, or they will cut costs with layoffs or lower salaries, or both.

If you raise taxes on wealthy individuals, you may initially get more $ from those individuals, but eventually they will be taxed to the level where they will either shift assets to a friendlier tax area, or they will hide their assets with loop holes or both.

This is very simple. You don't need to do studies. I have a client who used to live in London, but the taxes got so crazy that he actually moved to Andorra. He's not alone. I read a story not too long ago about how France was losing more and more wealthy people who just couldn't pay the taxes anymore.

This is not hype, and this is not complex. It's very simple economics.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

"The core principal of Socialism is income redistribution. Take from the haves to give to the have nots."

That is absolutely false. I provided the definition of socialism, and as I said before:

"The definition of "socialism" is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods".

How do you read progressive taxation into this? I guess I am asking you a rhetorical question, because I know the answer to this already. You've had that shoved down your throat by the Far Right for decades. That's why those folks are so anti-intellectual... so you won't know that they are lying to you.

Honestly, this is one of my absolutely greatest pet peeves, and if you search my blog, you'll find that I have dedicated an entire post to this bullshit propaganda. It looks like I may have to do another.

In the US... in what has always been referred to as a "Capitalist" country, the vast majority of economists (81%) support progressive taxation. SOURCE.

If you are dead-set in changing the definition of the word "socialism" to include progressive taxation, then you have to accept that the USA has been socialist since 1862, when the first progressive income tax was passed in this nation. It is therefore an AMERICAN VALUE that has carried us through the development of the country as a superpower. Have it your way, and if you are against it, you are ANTI-AMERICAN.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Yes that must be it. I'm too stupid to form my own opinions. I've been brain washed by the anti intellectual conservatives.

i ain't never realized it befour but i'm gessin you is kurect.

It's all about degree's my friend.

It really doesn't matter to me if 81% of the economists surveyed prefer socialism or whatever your quote was. Bottom line is it's still socialism.

100% of the economists who THOUGHT UP the idea of socialism preferred socialism.
Besides if that stat it true it's probably because 81% of the people aren't in the highest tax bracket. Most people will always act in their own self interest. That's human nature and coincidentally it's also the reason why socialism never works out in the long run.
It may not be Cuban style 100% socialism, but it's a degree of socialism.

Some of Obama's socialist ideas-

Windfall profits tax -Socialist
Minimum wage laws - Socialist
Unions, especially closed shops - Socialist
(don't even get me started on OB's stance against secret ballots for unions)
Income redistribution - Socialist

Yes we have ALWAYS had some socialism in the U.S. especially since the FDR administration which was socialisms peak, and then of course we had the "great society" of the 60's which was pretty close too.

If that makes me anti American in your eyes that's ok with me.

You see it's all about degree's here too.
I'm critical of some of the economic policies of my government so to you that makes me anti- American

You're going to vote for a guy who lied about his commie terrorist friend who has pictures of che guevera on his office door and claims he thought the terrorist was rehabilitated. You're going to vote for a guy who went to church for 20 years and listened to a a pastor who calls my country the USKKKA. You're going to vote for a guy who believes in income redistribution. You're going to vote for a guy who's wife has never been proud of her country. You're going to vote for a guy who paid 800k to a group who is actively trying to undermine the electoral process. You're going to vote for a guy who worked for that organization and lied about it multiple times and is still lying about it. I could go on and on, but to me that makes you anti American.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

"I've been brain washed by the anti intellectual conservatives."

OK... so then what's your excuse for trying to equate progressive taxation with socialism? Who taught you that?

Your answer is merely to repeat the same false claim again?

"100% of the economists who THOUGHT UP the idea of socialism preferred socialism."

The 81% of American economists that are in favor of progressive taxation certainly don't think it's socialism. But hell... what would they know? They only study financial systems for a living, and you... well, you are just you. That's enough authority right there- you believe it, so it doesn't matter what the experts say.

None of the things you mentioned as "Obama's socialist ideas" actually fall under the definition of socialism. But again, who cares about pesky definitions when you have ego.

Then you trot out the litany of tired "associations" and character attacks, as if by changing the subject you are suddenly going to rehabilitate your flawed logic. The reality remains that progressive taxation has long been a crucial factor in the success of our nation. But if you just label it with the word "socialism" you can change history. Congratulations.

Now go back in time and tell your boys McCain and Phil Gramm that they are actually responsible regulators in favor of meaningful oversight over the banking and financial industries, and we can avert the financial catastrophe that has thrown our nation into chaos.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Ok merge. i think we have been back and forth on this long enough.
Clearly we will never agree and you will continue to say that i'm not smart enough to form my own opinions or come up with my own ideas because you know so much about me.
Luckily for you rhino's have very thick skin.

Here's where i think we stand on the issue.

To my mind it NEVER makes sense to punish success. A progressive tax system does just that. You believe we should punish the successful people but you don't want to use the term punish so you say they should pay their fair share.

You believe a progressive tax system has been crucial to the success of our country, and I believe we have succeeded in spite of it.

Finally, I believe that just because an answer is simple doesn't mean it's wrong. You believe that 81% of a random sampling of economists are smarter than you so they must be right. Of course that means you're much smarter than the other 19% who i'm assuming also did their homework and got their degrees etc. And in your mind if the majority says it's so then it must be so.

Would you change your mind if we asked a different group and the numbers were reversed? Hmmm....

If Obama or anyone else was really interested in being fair, as he claims, he would be preaching a flat tax. It's the only truly fair tax.

I know this sounds too simple to you. It's crazy right? everyone taxed at the exact same rate? No way that could be fair!

8:15 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhon-itall,

Right. I'm against a flat tax. I believe that people who are relatively wealthier than others already have distinct advantages in our economy. Flat taxes may increase productivity, but they also accelerate inequality. Also, income has a marginal value, so that when poorer people get taxed at an equal rate, it ends up hurting them more than someone who earns enough to have a lot of discretionary funds. Unfortunately, tax exemptions also tend to benefit the wealthy in the United States, which further shifts the burden on the lower classes.

A flat tax also raises questions regarding international trade competition. There are issues with border adjustables (they are prohibited by the WTO) and implementing a country-wide flat tax could compel other nations to institute competitively lower flat taxes to lure corporations (and wealthy individuals) out of the US. This would result in a worldwide war of declining tax rates and revenues, whereupon eventually tax income would hit some rock bottom that would severely impair the government's ability to function.

Finally, many of the current flat tax proposals floating around seek to exclude capital gains, interest, dividends, etc., and therefore fail to meet the essential criterion to qualify as an "income tax". This means that they are merely plans to make those who are already rich even richer, at the expense of the poor.

It's a terrible idea Rhino-itall, and perhaps that's why the overwhelming majority of US economists have rejected it.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Merge,

The relatively wealthier people EARNED IT. Contrary to what you might think, most people in this country who Obama thinks are "rich" didn't start out that way. I don't know where you fall on the scale, but i'm looking at a tax increase in an Obama administration and I was born with NOTHING!

That being said,a flat tax is the only fair tax. You think it's a terrible idea, that's ok but don't tell me that most economists think it's a bad idea. That's not what your link said. Plus as i've already said there's 20% that think progressive taxation is a bad idea according to your link. Those guys aren't stupid are they?

Also, a flat tax is the simplest tax. With a flat tax there's no need to have loopholes or deductions. So it benefits nobody more than anybody else.

Capital gains should be eliminated across the board as well. It discourages investment and risk taking.

What you fail to realize is that raising taxes on the wealthy will hurt the lower classes the most. The wealthiest Americans, including corporations will find a way to make it work and the people who will suffer will be the people who pay more for their goods and services or get laid off or have their wages frozen etc.

Your idea of an international purge of business is ridiculous and in fact works the other way and has been for a long time. There's been talk in THIS ELECTION of trying to penalize these "unpatriotic" companies that have moved their operations already. The way to compete for these companies and jobs is not to make it MORE EXPENSIVE for them to do business! Are you serious? I tell you what, You should be advising those people at mcdonalds. tell them if they want more business they need to charge twice as much for the big mac than Burger King charges for the whopper. That should bring the customers in droves.

Recently Sweeden announced TAX CUTS TO BOOST JOBS. You think they're on to something? No you probably don't.

Finally, and seriously you should do some homework on this.

JFK, the HERO OF THE LEFT said, "The soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates now" he cut taxes(top marginal rate) by 22% and you know what? He was right! It worked!

Reagan cut taxes by 60% and you know what? It worked!

The Bush tax cuts for "the rich" cut the top marginal rate by 7.5%. and you know what? It worked!

In all 3 cases revenues INCREASED.

What does Obama say about raising taxes. Well he said maybe we can't do it right now with the economy doing so poorly. WHY? If it's a good idea and will be good for the economy then WHY?

Yes we've had progressive taxation for a long time and we've prospered more than any other country, but during that time we still had some of the lowest taxes in the industrialized world. And now the world has shrunk, technology has made it easier to do business from anywhere in the world. Do you really think it's a good idea to incentivize more people/companies to mover their operations to India? Mexico? Vietnam? Brazil? or anywhere else that has an educated work force and an internet connection?

Seriously, you can't win this argument. You can give me 81% of whoever you want saying whatever you want about whatever theory you want. I will show you actual real world results from here and around the world.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

How wealthy people became that way is really not my concern. I'm simply not in favor of entrenched wealth.

If you are looking at a substantial tax increase, then you make well over $250,000 a year. I have no problem telling you directly that you should pay a higher percentage than me.

You reap the benefits of a society organized in a way to serve the wealthy. All our tax loopholes are set up to benefit the uppermost strata. You also have the ability to put your extra money to work for you. Money buys power and influence. If the economy is crumbling (which it is) then it's the responsibility of the upper classes to finance the existing order. The rich screwed up and built an unsustainable system. If you want to preserve a semblance of the status quo, then you should invest in making sure the masses don't get too dissatisfied.

If 81% of economists think progressive taxation is preferable (which is clearly what the link shows), then they are OBVIOUSLY not in favor of a flat tax.

You can continue to attempt to perpetuate the myth that raising taxes on the wealthy will hurt the lower classes, but I'm not drinking that Kool-Aid. And anyone that does is a sucker. The tax structure through the 30's and 40's was extremely progressive (as was noted), and the 50's saw an incredible time of prosperity for the US... and unprecedented class mobility.

I'm not talking about taxing corporations more (just closing loopholes)... I want to see drastic personal income tax increases for rich. I want a progressive capital gains tax as well. The middle class should get a substantial income tax decrease and a total exemption from capital gains tax, so the masses will buy more goods and services... or alternatively save and improve their own class status by investing.

I don't want to see wealth inequality disappear... I just want to see a quicker turnover. That way the best and the smartest from the middle class are always rising to the top... and those who can't adapt among the wealthier classes will drop back to where they belong.

And I don't have to "win" any arguments with people who are already wealthy... I just have to convince others in the middle and working classes.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Dude first of all you need to make up your mind.

If the economy is crumbling as you say, and we've always had progressive taxation then why do you believe this is the best way to go? It's causing the economy to crumble.

You completely igonored all of my points and just came back with a Kool Aid rebuttal.

Do you think corporations who have to pay more to do business are just going to say "oh well, i guess we'll just make less money and let our shareholders suffer" ??????

Really? You don't think they'll find a way to offset those costs?

As to individuals, first of all, i'm not rich.

Secondly, it doesn't matter to YOU how anyone got their money because you don't have any. So YOU want things that are best for YOU. You don't want whats FAIR. You want what's going to benefit YOU. Which by the way i'm fine with, but don't try to play it like it's fair.

Finally, your reference to the "masses" and your idiotic ideas about a progressive cap gains taxes tell me two things about you.

1. You actually believe it is the common man, the guy who works in the factory or the guy who swings the hammer who makes the world go around. Clearly you don't know shit. The guy who swings the hammer and welds the beams does so at the behest of a PRODUCER. Without them you just have a lot of idle hammers laying around. Wake up bro.

2. You don't know ANYTHING about free markets and especially the stock market. Because a progressive cap gains tax would crush the market and therefore the entire economy. The U.S. would cease to be what it is today.

If that's your dream then you're on the right track with your silly ideas. Good luck with that.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

"Dude"... it's starting to seem like you believe your own moniker.


"If the economy is crumbling as you say, and we've always had progressive taxation then why do you believe this is the best way to go?"

Since the Reagan years, progressive taxation has been under attack (by words AND by changes in the legislature). With all the tax loopholes put into place (and with accompanying deregulation spawned by the GOP), we have now entered a time of backsliding. The recent economic woes are the result of "trickle down economics".

"Do you think corporations who have to pay more to do business are just going to say "oh well, i guess we'll just make less money and let our shareholders suffer" ??????"

I'm talking about progressive taxation in personal income tax. Don't try to shift the debate.


"As to individuals, first of all, i'm not rich."

Then you should acknowledge your own enlightened self-interest and vote for Obama, unlike "joe".

"Secondly, it doesn't matter to YOU how anyone got their money because you don't have any."

You are making an unqualified assumption, and crossing the line into personal offense.



"1. You actually believe it is the common man, the guy who works in the factory or the guy who swings the hammer who makes the world go around. Clearly you don't know shit."

Now you are just being an asshole.


"2. You don't know ANYTHING about free markets and especially the stock market."

You don't know anything about "free markets" either, because they have only EVER existed in theory.

Shifting the tax burden to the upper class means that the middle class will have more discretionary income to buy products that make the economy grow, or put together an investment portfolio. It will also increase social class mobility.

"Because a progressive cap gains tax would crush the market and therefore the entire economy."

I'm talking about eliminating any existing or prospective capital gains tax for the middle class, not necesssarily raising it for the upper income levels. Don't be so freakin' melodramatic.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

No comment on how JFK, Reagan, and Bush cut tax rates on the top earners and INCREASED revenues?

No explanation on how the "attack" on progressive taxation coincided with the greatest growth in GDP for this country since the industrial revolution? Especially after the "new society" years of the mid 60's and the disaster that was the Carter admin.?

Your story keeps changing by the way. You said a flat tax on corporations would cause a global race to zero or something like that. Or was i reading someone else? You never did address that by the way. And i don't blame you because it was idiotic.

You say i'm being an asshole but you still didn't address the point i was making.

Let me go back to one of many points i made that you ignored.

The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 – the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 1 percent's taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government's revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts.

Read that over again a few times because it's important.

How much more do you think the "rich" should pay? How much more do you think they will pay?

10:18 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

"No comment on how JFK, Reagan, and Bush cut tax rates on the top earners and INCREASED revenues?
No explanation on how the "attack" on progressive taxation coincided with the greatest growth in GDP for this country since the industrial revolution?"

Your problem is that you continue parroting unsubstantiated claims without providing resources or doing research. Don't you realize that you live in the information age, and people can easily call you on your bullshit? THESE REAL GDP GROWTH CHARTS (from the US Department of Commerce)contradict your assertion.


"You said a flat tax on corporations would cause a global race to zero or something like that. Or was i reading someone else? You never did address that by the way. And i don't blame you because it was idiotic."

Perhaps if you are going to serve as an advocate for economic policy, you should do a bit of research in order to have at least a rudimentary understanding of its criticisms. THIS LINK explains a lot of them succintly. By the way... you were the one that introduced your pet concept. It wasn't the subject of this thread, not does either candidate for presidency advocate a "flat tax". Why would I address your "point" in detail? Don't whine if I refuse to acknowledge yopur diversions, especially if you can't even defend your own rhetoric with obejctive sources.

"The top 5 percent (those making more than $153,542 – the group whose taxes Obama seeks to raise) pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes."

First of all... surprise, surprise-you are being disingenuous again. People who make between $160 and 226K will see an average tax decrease of 1.9% under Obama's plan. The top 1.5% makes $250,000 and up, and Obama wants to increase taxes for that group SOURCE. Where the hell are you getting your "facts"? Are you just making them up as you go along?


"The rich (aka the top 1 percent of income earners, those making more than $388,806 a year), according to the IRS, pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes."

Yeah, I know, and it makes total sense to any rational thinker because the top 1% owns nearly 40% of the nation's wealth (39.7% in 2001, according to THIS LINK.

"The top 1 percent's taxes comprise 17 percent of the federal government's revenue from all sources, including corporate taxes, excise taxes, social insurance and retirement receipts."

More fun facts (as of 2001):

The top one percent of the U.S. population owns 44.1% of the stock.

58% of the financial secruities.

46.3% of the trusts.

57.3% of the business equity.

Read those FACTS over again a few times because they are important.

I'd like to see how much these percentages have gone up isnce George W. Bush decreaed taxes for the top 1%, but unfortunately I couldn't find that data very easily.


"How much more do you think the "rich" should pay? How much more do you think they will pay?"

Obviously the American people are baout to make that decision for themselves.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

Ok. So here's what we know. I don't put links in your comments and you don't read the links that you put in.

Here's something else we know. I don't have to put links because you prove my points for me with your links.

Your first link which i presume you THOUGHT was showing that real GDP has gone down since 1980 actually shows that real GDP VOLATILITY has gone down. Which by the way is a really good thing.

So my point that GDP has risen substantially since the Reagan tax cuts, and really since the JFK tax cuts stands firm.

You're second link is someones blog. In rebuttal i will direct you to my blog that i admit i didn't read, but i did see Wikipedia highlighted prominently. As a rebuttal i will direct you to my blog where i will write whatever i want and use it as a source.

You're third link, which you obviously didn't read all the way through says that OBAMA WILL RAISE TAXES ON EVERYONE TO FUND SOCIAL SECURITY. So not only am i right about him raising taxes on the 150k and up crowd, but according to your source he's raising everyone elses taxes too . Thanks for the help on that one.

Lastly, you are arguing that the wealthy have most of the wealth. Finally something we agree on. I knew common sense couldn't escape you forever. However it seems to me that you were insulting me for using stats from 2001 and then linked a paper that uses stats from 2001. Maybe i missed something.

Thanks for the help. I will be using some of your links in future arguments with other liberals.

In the future, if you're going to accuse me of making shit up please do read your own rebuttal links. It makes me uncomfortable to point out the utter idiocy of an adversary. And if you don't want to allow this comment to go through, i don't blame you, it's kind of embarrassing.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

"Your first link which i presume you THOUGHT was showing that real GDP has gone down since 1980 actually shows that real GDP VOLATILITY has gone down. Which by the way is a really good thing."

While this link does indeed show a decrease in Real GDP volatility, it DOES NOT support your false claim that GDP increased after JFK, Reagan, and Bush achieved office. In fact it shows a decline after Reagan assumed the presidency and a very slight increase during JFK's short tenure. Twist it all you want, but it certainly doesn't support your claims.

Unfortunately we still have to wait until you can find a source that validates your claims. But of course we'll have to keep on waiting since you're apparently too lazy or too dull to do the research yourself.

It also says (right in the overview) "Countering the widespread view that monetary policy can also explain much of the reduced volatility of GDP growth, the authors conclude that policy's influence on output has been limited."

So you can take a seat and quit crowing. This contradicts your point. I supose you never got that far... you just saw what you wanted to see and moved on.


Commenting on material you didn't even read (the second link) highlights your profound lack of intellectual curiosity.

"You're third link, which you obviously didn't read all the way through says that OBAMA WILL RAISE TAXES ON EVERYONE TO FUND SOCIAL SECURITY. So not only am i right about him raising taxes on the 150k and up crowd, but according to your source he's raising everyone elses taxes too . Thanks for the help on that one."

Wrong again! You better put down the joint before you thank me. The article is talking about Social Security Tax-- NOT federal income tax (which is what we've been talking about all along). Do you know the difference? It's funny that you gloss right over the FACT that the link says income taxes for the under-$250K crowd are going DOWN under Obama. This is what the article actually says-

"Obama started his campaign saying his plans would not increase taxes for people earning less than $250,000. But he found himself in an apparent contradiction by saying he would tax all income to fund Social Security, not just income up to $102,000, as is now the case. So now, Obama's plan calls for no Social Security tax on income between $102,000 and $250,000, but all income above $250,000 would be taxed for Social Security."

I guess you were too busy doing a "victory dance" around your mother's basement to actually think about what you were reading. Now you look like an asshole once again.

"Lastly, you are arguing that the wealthy have most of the wealth. Finally something we agree on. I knew common sense couldn't escape you forever."

No shit sherlock... that's why I said they should be taxed progressively. Use logic for a change. The article bolsters my calls for more taxation on the wealthy.

"Thanks for the help. I will be using some of your links in future arguments with other liberals."

Let me know where you are going to post. I'd love to see you keep making an ass out of yourself.

"In the future, if you're going to accuse me of making shit up please do read your own rebuttal links. It makes me uncomfortable to point out the utter idiocy of an adversary."

Ok douchebag. Now it's time for you to go back and read them again more carefully.

"And if you don't want to allow this comment to go through, i don't blame you, it's kind of embarrassing."

I know. I'll take it down if you ask nicely.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Rhino-itall said...

It's ok buddy. Let it all out.

Are you done? Ok. Once again the study that you cited is about VOLATILITY. Please my friend this is tiresome for me.
Any conclusions from that report are about VOALATILITY. Dude seriously call me a douche if you want but please please don't say that govt. policy had no effect on GDP GROWTH.

Now, lets put GDP aside for a minute because it's obviously distressing to you. I'll make it even simpler, and i know you don't like simple, but i do.

Do you think, YOU, just using your own powers of observations and with your own general experience and education, do YOU think this country in general is wealthier than it was before the JFK years? How about before the Reagan Years?

If the answer is no then i can't help you. If the answer is yes then your point about the "attack" on progressive taxing is moot.

The guy was going to raise your taxes but now he's not. He was anti war but now he want's to attack pakistan, he was going to raise taxes on the "rich" because it's a good idea for the economy but now he might have to hold off with the economy doing so poorly.

Good luck with that bro. If he's elected, and that's what it looks like right now, you will get a tax increase. Unless it is you who lives in his moms basement and i hope that's not the case.

Finally, i still don't understand where you're going with the wealthy having most of the wealth and attacking me for using stats from 2001 and then linking a paper that uses stats from 2001.

The wealthy already pay more than their fair share of the tax burden. They paid them all the way to the top, in every tax bracket and they're still paying them. They are also producing all of the jobs, all of the wealth, all of the cheap goods and services that you and i enjoy every day. Why do you want to penalize them for doing so much for you? You should just thank them and ask them if you can buy them a beer.

Either way, judging by all the sticks and stones,you're getting very emotional so lets just let this one be for now. Let's agree to disagree.

I'll check you out on another topic down the road.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

rhino-itall,

"Ok. Once again the study that you cited is about VOLATILITY. Please my friend this is tiresome for me.
Any conclusions from that report are about VOALATILITY."

The graph included in the study was a longitudinal examination of the percentage of real GDP growth form 1960-2000. That's what you were talking about, and the volatility study is where I the information. What don't you understand? Go back and look at it again. Yes. This is tiresome.


"Dude seriously call me a douche if you want but please please don't say that govt. policy had no effect on GDP GROWTH."

Are you bothering to read anything, or are you just skimming everything and "mailing it in", so to speak? You made a comment that decreased volatility is good. Fine. And I quoted from the overview of the study... I was just telling you what he study found. My argument was never about "volatility". Again... I used that study because a longitudinal graph of real GDP growth was included. That's it.

"Do you think, YOU, just using your own powers of observations and with your own general experience and education, do YOU think this country in general is wealthier than it was before the JFK years? How about before the Reagan Years?"

How old were you in the JFK years? I can't make that analysis from personal observation. I'd say it's likely less wealthy (per capita mean) then the Reagan years. I'd also say that wealth seemed to have peaked by the end of the Clinton years. But I don't think much of the fluctuations in the GDP in the short run were due primarily to tax structures... being that they didn't change all that much during this time. I do have to note that average per capita income in the US, adjusted for inflation, has been slowly but steadily falling since the late 60's.

"If the answer is no then i can't help you."

You haven't provided anything to assist a broader understanding of these issues since you started posting in this thread.


"The guy was going to raise your taxes but now he's not. He was anti war but now he want's to attack pakistan, he was going to raise taxes on the "rich" because it's a good idea for the economy but now he might have to hold off with the economy doing so poorly."

When was Obama going to raise my taxes? You obviously know nothing of his foreign affairs policies because he's never advocated "attacking Pakistan". He's said he'd attack al Qaeda if they float over the border. Big difference... doesn't take a subtle mind to see it. I'd think you'd be adequately prepared (if only just meeting that threshold). He is still going to raise taxes on households making $250 K and above. He said he might suspend corporate tax hikes. How can you possibly be this misinformed?

"If he's elected, and that's what it looks like right now, you will get a tax increase."

Source for this belief?

"Finally, i still don't understand where you're going with the wealthy having most of the wealth and attacking me for using stats from 2001 and then linking a paper that uses stats from 2001."

Point out where I attacked you about using year 2000 stats. I missed that. And it should be within your abilities to understand why the tax rates should rise progressively with groups of the population that have greater proportions of the nation's wealth. I don't think this concept should be that difficult for you.

Consider the numbers I posted in my last comment. If the top 1% of the nation owns near 50% of the wealth... then why shouldn't they shoulder at least 50% of the tax burden?

"The wealthy already pay more than their fair share of the tax burden."

What proportion of the total tax burden do the wealthiest 1% pay now? Once you find that answer, you'll understand what I'm saying.

"They are also producing all of the jobs, all of the wealth, all of the cheap goods and services that you and i enjoy every day."

That's simply not true.


"Either way, judging by all the sticks and stones,you're getting very emotional so lets just let this one be for now. Let's agree to disagree."

I may have started the "sticks and stones" business by calling you an "asshole". But I meant it in all sincerity. Don't be so melodramatic. I can't "agree to disagree" because you don't address anything I say... you simply try to change the subject.

"I'll check you out on another topic down the road"

Well... I suspect so, because you seem intent on not addressing any of the topics in this thread.

5:31 PM  

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