Open thread: the Fiscal Cliff

Patterico told his readers that he was pretty much bored with the fiscal cliff arguments, saying that, ” in the end, we will arrive at a Solemn Agreement to Tackle This Problem Head-On . . . next year.” He continued:

Meanwhile, our massive government debt bubble will continue to grow, and nobody will show the slightest bit of interest in letting the air out.

At this point, since the popping of that bubble is inevitable, I just want it to hurry up and happen. The problem isn’t going to get fixed. We’re not paying off the debt. So let’s get the catastrophe over with now instead of later, and give my children some chance at a few decent years.

I have said before that while I would like to see the deficit addressed entirely through spending cuts, and I meant massive spending cuts, if taxes have to be increased, I want to see them increased on everybody. We are supposed to all be in this together.

I’m kind of writer’s blocked this evening, so I’m setting this up as an open thread on the subject; have at it!
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[The Comments & Conduct Policy. will be strictly enforced on this post.-- Editor]

478 Comments

  1. WW wrote:

    Under President Obama, we have spent more in every single year, as a percentage of our total economy, than any year under President Bush, ….

    Your problem Mr Editor, if I may say so, is that you are having great difficulty in disentangling your ideology from the factual numbers you quote in your table. Look here – you write:

    Note the column for total federal outlays as a percentage of GDP; ….

    This is not a meaningful way to view our outlays, because if, for example, outlays were constant but GDP decreased, then outlays as a percent of GDP would increase, thus leading to false interpretations, as has happened with you. This is exactly what you are doing by focusing on this number.

    Your complaint might be valid, if GDP were decreasing, but it isn’t. Moreover, as you will notice, President Obama’s numbers forecast the economy growing, with GDP increasing by 5.02, 5.96, 5.96 and 5.75% for FYs 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and he still wanted a federal government far larger than that under President Bush, or under any President, since the end of World War II. Even after projecting four years of strong growth, he wants to spend money at recession stimulus levels.

    I go back to this chart of yours, again, which indicates that the rate (the slope) of increasing outlays is about the same for Bush and for President Obama. That is a meaningful observation to make, that is, comparing the outlay (spending) policies of the two Presidents ==> and they were/are the same!

    No, it isn’t a meaningful observation, because it proceeds from President Obama and the Democrats having boosted federal spending by a tremendous amount, 17.94%, in FY 2009. That was supposedly justified by the recession, but President Obama and the Democrats then proceed from that elevated level, taking it as their starting point, rather than cutting back spending.

    But, even were I to take your statement as the truth, it would mean that President Obama, being subjected to the same criteria you used concerning President Bush, would have been “pathetic,” “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” Tell me: if you believe your own statement, how does that not make President Obama “pathetic,” by the criteria you established yourself?

    But the fact that the Republicans spent too much does not somehow mean that they were as bad as the Democrats; if the Republicans spent proligately [profligately], the Democrats’ spending has been nothing short of obscene!

    The difference between the two Presidents’ spending, Mr Editor, is that the Bush spending was by choice, two wars of choice accounting for the bulk of his spending, the Obama spending was by necessity. I argue, and said at the time, that the response to 9/11 should have been only going after bin Laden. Deposing Saddam Hussein and waging war against the Taliban were both ill conceived from the perspective of our own national interests, and severely damaging to us in many ways, like lives lost and our sinking economy. Yes, I blame the Cheney/Bush neocons, totally.

    Totally? Really? Has Barack Hussein Obama not been President of the United States for the past 3 years, 10 months and 12 days? Unless he really hasn’t been, then he is responsible for continuing the Bush policies! Iraq was almost done when Mr Obama was inaugurated, but Afghanistan was not; he continued the war, increased our troop levels, increased our spending, and extended our commitment.

    President Obama inherited the Bush Great Recession, one heading toward another Great Recession, requiring large spending outlays to thwart this disastrously unfolding event from getting much worse. We were desperate! This is irrefutable fact, Mr Editor, therefore not subject to your ideologically based revisions in hindsight.

    Really? Even if we take your statement as the base, why should President Obama project continued spending at elevated levels well after he projects that the recession will be over and we are having strong growth?

    That’s where your excuses fail; you are trying to justify recession level stimulus spending during times when the President projects strong growth.

    You previously defended the President, saying, “(the) President has said his plans are to phase in cutting government spending while phasing out stimulative measures,” and are now trying to defend him not planning to phase in cutting government spending. You said, “As I’ve said on here many times, I prefer getting the economy to sustainable growth, with more stimulus, then phasing in the cutting of spending, and increasing taxes, more on the wealthier segment,” but now you are defending him for not even planning to cut spending. You said yourself that a debt level of 120% of GDP was “unsustainable,” yet you continue to support a President whose policies have raised our national debt to over 100% of GDP, and will continue to add trillions to the national debt every year.

  2. From The Chicago Tribune, in 1934. The Depression continued on and on and on, and didn’t really end until World War II. Unless Angela Mercel and Yoshihiko Noda are about to start channeling Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tojo, my guess is that we won’t have Germany and Japan to bail us out of the Obama economy.

  3. Dana, I don’t know why you waste your time posting all these facts and figures. I keep telling you, facts don’t matter to these guys, only ideology. They don’t care about the economy or the deficit, only that everything is “Fair”. No more rich guys, no more one percent. And, as PJ O’Rourke once quipped, if everyone ends up poor, broke, and dead, well fair’s fair!

  4. Nope, because, in one way, the lower capital gains and dividend tax rates counterbalance the higher marginal rates. Depending on the individual, such will be more or less effective. Complaining about lower capital gains and dividend tax rates without worrying about the higher marginal rates is simply falling into the Democrats’ class warfare strategy, which I will not do.

    When you scream and whine and moan that the rich should not pay 3 or 4 $ more income tax unless the poor do so as well, while bragging that you’re not going to say anything about a tax structure that lets the rich get away with effective rates of half those of the poor (cf Romney’s taxes), THEN YOU’VE ALREADY CHOSEN YOUR SIDE IN CLASS WARFARE.

    You’re for a plutocracy, not a democracy, and an aristocracy, not a republic.

    You are a serf.

  5. The Phoenician wrote:

    When you scream and whine and moan that the rich should not pay 3 or 4 $ more income tax unless the poor do so as well, while bragging that you’re not going to say anything about a tax structure that lets the rich get away with effective rates of half those of the poor (cf Romney’s taxes), THEN YOU’VE ALREADY CHOSEN YOUR SIDE IN CLASS WARFARE.

    You’re for a plutocracy, not a democracy, and an aristocracy, not a republic.

    Sorry, but I don’t define that as class warfare at all. If things were done the way I’d like to see them done, then the top producers will pay more because they earn more, but nobody will be exempt.

    Actually, that would be my second choice: my first choice would be to treat everybody equally, and have everybody pay the same dollar amount in taxes. I’m sure that you see that as class warfare, but I see that as treating everybody equally. Somehow, the notion of treating everybody the same is a radical reich-wing idea for our friends on the left.

  6. The Phoenician erred:

    When you scream and whine and moan that the rich should not pay 3 or 4 $ more income tax unless the poor do so as well, while bragging that you’re not going to say anything about a tax structure that lets the rich get away with effective rates of half those of the poor (cf Romney’s taxes), THEN YOU’VE ALREADY CHOSEN YOUR SIDE IN CLASS WARFARE.

    Except, of course, the effective tax rate on the poor is 0%. The poor in our country have virtually no income tax obligations, and many of them are actually entitled to negative taxation, in which, through the earned income tax credit, they get tax refunds back while having a tax bill of nothing.

    In some cases, you might be able to make that statement accurately about middle class taxpayers. Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14%, so for tax year 2011, in a married couple filing jointly, you have to get above $69,000 of taxable income (figure at least $80,000 in adjusted gross income) to get to the higher marginal bracket. (At $69,000 of taxable income, your total tax bill in 2011 would have been $9,500, or an effective rate of 13.77%.)

    At the 2011 tax rates, a married couple filing jointly had a $11,600 standard deduction plus a $3,700 personal exemption. For a family of four to have a taxable income of $69,000, they would have needed an adjusted gross income of $95,400; however, if their children were younger than 17, there would be a $1,000 per child tax credit against their bill, meaning that they would be well below the 13.77% effective tax rate. If the couple had no children, they’s hit the $69,000 taxable income level at $88,000.

    Had you done something really radical like actually checked the tax rates (I know you know how to use teh google), you wouldn’t have made that mistake.

  7. Actually, that would be my second choice: my first choice would be to treat everybody equally, and have everybody pay the same dollar amount in taxes.

    That’s BS, Dana – and everyone can see it. You’re screaming and whining that the rich might have a top marginal income tax rate 3 or 4% above the middle class – AND YET YOU’RE NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON PEOPLE LIKE ROMNEY PAYING AN EFFECTIVE RATE of 14 or 15% WHILE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS PAY 25 or 30%!!

    THIS is why you have such a reputation as a weasel.

    You are lying. You only pay LIP SERVICE to equality, while endlessly justifying the plutocracy your country has degenerated into.

    You’re more clever about it, but you’re as dishonest as Hitchcock or Eric.

  8. The actual facts are here – http://www.quickanded.com/2010/02/effective-tax-rates-of-the-richest-400-americans.html

    —-
    There are two important things to note from this chart. The first, and most visually apparent, is that the tax rates of the rich are far more closely linked to the capital gains taxes than income taxes. Salaries and wages, the source of income taxed at the blue line, represented only 6.5 percent of these filers’ income. Nearly two-thirds of their income comes from capital gains, and this is why you see a much tighter coupling between the orange and red lines.

    The second thing to note is that the overall tax rates are really not that high. Contrary to concerns about socia1ism or a government takeover, the richest Americans, those earning an average of $345 million in 2007, paid about 16.5 percent in federal income taxes.
    —-

    And the effective FEDERAL tax rates for middle income Americans are 12.6% – http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=3277.

    Add in state and local taxes, AND THE WEALTHY ARE PAYING LESS THAN AVERAGE AMERICANS.

    You know this. You choose to ignore it because you are a weasel.

  9. I go back to this chart of yours, again, which indicates that the rate (the slope) of increasing outlays is about the same for Bush and for President Obama. That is a meaningful observation to make, that is, comparing the outlay (spending) policies of the two Presidents ==> and they were/are the same!

    No, it isn’t a meaningful observation, because it proceeds from President Obama and the Democrats having boosted federal spending by a tremendous amount, 17.94%, in FY 2009. That was supposedly justified by the recession, but President Obama and the Democrats then proceed from that elevated level, taking it as their starting point, rather than cutting back spending.

    It is a “meaningful observation”, except to you, because you don’t like it. That is not a criterion which a serious thinker would use!

    Totally? Really? Has Barack Hussein Obama not been President of the United States for the past 3 years, 10 months and 12 days? Unless he really hasn’t been, then he is responsible for continuing the Bush policies! Iraq was almost done when Mr Obama was inaugurated, but Afghanistan was not; he continued the war, increased our troop levels, increased our spending, and extended our commitment.

    My position at the time was against the Obama surge, as I felt that it was throwing more lives at a war we had already lost, and I was right. The President would not have faced that dilemma had Cheney/Bush not made such an awful decision in the first place.

    President Obama inherited the Bush Great Recession, one heading toward another Great Recession, requiring large spending outlays to thwart this disastrously unfolding event from getting much worse. We were desperate! This is irrefutable fact, Mr Editor, therefore not subject to your ideologically based revisions in hindsight.

    Really? Even if we take your statement as the base, why should President Obama project continued spending at elevated levels well after he projects that the recession will be over and we are having strong growth?

    Because the recession was “great”, and President Obama has not stated that we are having “strong” growth. I hate to think where our economy would be were we to have followed the austerity policies you prefer. Oh, we already know: Look at the UK!

    You previously defended the President, saying, “(the) President has said his plans are to phase in cutting government spending while phasing out stimulative measures,” and are now trying to defend him not planning to phase in cutting government spending. You said, “As I’ve said on here many times, I prefer getting the economy to sustainable growth, with more stimulus, then phasing in the cutting of spending, and increasing taxes, more on the wealthier segment,” but now you are defending him for not even planning to cut spending. You said yourself that a debt level of 120% of GDP was “unsustainable,” yet you continue to support a President whose policies have raised our national debt to over 100% of GDP, and will continue to add trillions to the national debt every year.

    This is all true about what I’ve said, and events have not caused me to back down on any of it. The economy is recovering too slowly, but this is a normal recovery. It would have been better if we had enacted the Jobs Act which Republicans succeeded in preventing, in hopes that opposing Obama at every turn would win them the Presidency in the 2012 election, that is, better to further damage our country in order to regain poser. It is this which I deem unpatriotic. But the American voter had another idea in mind!

    Adding “trillions to the national debt every year”, the well demonstrated Keynesian approach to boosting a sick economy, will diminish as our economy continues to improve. I note that President Obama, in his proposal for negotiation with the Republicans, has started the phasing in of spending cuts while simultaneously preventing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire on the 98%. As I’ve said before on here, I support this approach. I’m pretty sure that your position is to go over the fiscal cliff, correct? That could well be an immediate disaster, in my view. You might even lose your own job, Mr Editor.

    [Comment edited to fix formatting errors; no changes made to text. -- Editor.]

  10. Comment in mod.

    And lastly, the very premise of your lip-service rhetoric – that the wealthy should pay the same percentage as the poor – is at odds with the American Founding Fathers:

    “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Madison, 1785.”

    basic Catholic morality

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate_en.html

    —-
    The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner[83], and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone. All things considered, this is also required by “economic logic”. Through the systemic increase of social inequality, both within a single country and between the populations of different countries (i.e. the massive increase in relative poverty), not only does social cohesion suffer, thereby placing democracy at risk, but so too does the economy, through the progressive erosion of “social capital”: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence.
    —-

    And simple political reasoning – no country can survive the levels of inequality to which yours is rising without upheaval, social disintegration and ultimately violence.

    When you act as an apologist for plutocracy, AS YOU ARE, you are advocating for rising inequality. Which means you want to see the US crumble.

  11. Eric writes:

    Dana, I don’t know why you waste your time posting all these facts and figures. I keep telling you, facts don’t matter to these guys, only ideology. They don’t care about the economy or the deficit, only that everything is “Fair”. No more rich guys, no more one percent. And, as PJ O’Rourke once quipped, if everyone ends up poor, broke, and dead, well fair’s fair!

    So says the one commenter on here who thinks he knows everything, therefore does not have to cite those who just might be smarter than he. Who needs that?

  12. A question, Mr Editor: Why is it that every PiaToR comment ends up in moderation? I see no violations of your Comments and Conduct Policy. Have you further modified your free speech principle? And btw, you also continue to permit John Hitchcock’s banning of my comments on his topics. I don’t get it!

  13. So says the one commenter on here who thinks he knows everything, therefore does not have to cite those who just might be smarter than he.

    Don’t forget to ask him about his million-dollar movie deal…

    WW, you may find this criticism mirrors what we see on this blog.

    Why do we bother talking to these people?

  14. The Phoenician wrote:

    That’s BS, Dana – and everyone can see it. You’re screaming and whining that the rich might have a top marginal income tax rate 3 or 4% above the middle class – AND YET YOU’RE NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON PEOPLE LIKE ROMNEY PAYING AN EFFECTIVE RATE of 14 or 15% WHILE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS PAY 25 or 30%!!

    THIS is why you have such a reputation as a weasel.

    That’s what you call me, but no one else does.

    And, of course, middle class workers do not pay effective rates of 25 or 30%; one would have thought your previous error would have gotten you to do something radical like actually look it up.

    Let’s assume a married couple with two dependent children, with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 a year. That’s certainly considered middle class in the United States. With a standard deduction of $15,200 in tax year 2012, and personal exemptions of $11,900, their taxable income would be $72,900. Using the 2012 federal income tax rates, their total federal income tax would be $10,285, not exactly an effective rate of the 25 or 30% you claimed. Even if we include Social Security and Medicare taxes (5.65% combined for 2012), their total federal taxes would be $15,935, an effective rate of 15.9%. However, there is a $1,000 tax credit for every child under 17, which could reduce their total taxes to $14,935 or $13,935.

    Naturally, most people in the $100,000 bracket have other deductions which enable them to itemize, and reduce their tax bill further.

    Basically, your complaint that “YET YOU’RE NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON PEOPLE LIKE ROMNEY PAYING AN EFFECTIVE RATE of 14 or 15% WHILE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS PAY 25 or 30%!!” is pure bovine feces — as are so many of your comments — because your premise, that middle class workers pay 25 of 30% is false.

  15. The Phoenician wrote:

    And the effective FEDERAL tax rates for middle income Americans are 12.6% – http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=3277.

    Add in state and local taxes, AND THE WEALTHY ARE PAYING LESS THAN AVERAGE AMERICANS.

    You know this. You choose to ignore it because you are a weasel.

    More bovine feces: the wealthy pay state and local taxes, too; did this not occur to you? In most states, the top producers pay higher marginal rates, though here in Pennsylvania, we are fortunate enough to have a single percentage rate structure.

  16. The Phoenician wrote:

    And the effective FEDERAL tax rates for middle income Americans are 12.6% – http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=3277.

    Add in state and local taxes, AND THE WEALTHY ARE PAYING LESS THAN AVERAGE AMERICANS.

    You know this. You choose to ignore it because you are a weasel.

    [Laughter] Sometimes I wonder if you actually read the things you link. :)

    Well, I followed the link you provided, to find the source for the 12.6% “effective FEDERAL tax rates for middle income Americans” you claimed, to see what was in it. For the “Middle Quintile” that you cited, the individual income tax effective rate was 3.0%, and the “Payroll Tax,” which normally means Social Security and Medicare combined, is listed at 4.0%. The table also includes the 4.9% that the employer pays, which is not normally considered part of the equation. A case can certainly be made that this is part of the employee’s compensation, albeit one he never sees, but if we do that, then we must also increase his income numbers by that amount, which is not done here.

    The table also assigns 0.6% to the middle quintile as corporate income tax; something the vast majority of middle income people never pay. The part that the individual pays, totaling the numbers on the chart you referenced, for the middle quintile, works out to a whopping 7.2%.

    Funniest of all, in referencing that particular chart, if you actually read it, you’ll see that it notes that the effective federal tax rate goes up for every increase in income. You have refuted your own argument.

  17. The Phoenician quoted:

    And lastly, the very premise of your lip-service rhetoric – that the wealthy should pay the same percentage as the poor – is at odds with the American Founding Fathers:

    “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Madison, 1785.”

    Really? As you note Mr Jefferson’s letter to Mr Madison, consider what Mr Madison actually wrote when he composed the main framework of the Constitution:

    No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken. (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4)

    Basically, the Framers’ idea of federal taxes is precisely what I said should be the case in my most favored option, that every man should be liable for the same absolute amount of taxes, regardless of his wealth, station or income.

    Further, the Framers believed that the states and localities should be the primary centers of government; the federal was created solely to do those things which the states could not reasonably do by themselves. The Framers would have scoffed at the idea that the federal government should be handing out welfare or providing medical care or taxing people just to send the money back to the states or building roads or funding art projects or setting drinking ages or regulating firearms or telling people that they can’t talk about political candidates too close to an election or almost any of the things our federal government does now.

  18. A question, Mr Editor: Why is it that every PiaToR comment ends up in moderation? I see no violations of your Comments and Conduct Policy. Have you further modified your free speech principle? And btw, you also continue to permit John Hitchcock’s banning of my comments on his topics. I don’t get it!

    Said by the “man” who gets nothing at all, it seems. Nor ever offers any apologies.

    Do you still not grasp the concept of the First Amendment, Perry? And how many freakin’ times does Editor have to explain the Hitchcock post policy to you before you finally understand? And even so — what makes you think that you in any way deserve to be granted essentially equal and fair status (to Hitchcock) around here? You exemplify modern progressivism so perfectly — entitled at all costs. Well, get it through your incredibly thick skull that that doesn’t wash ’round here.

  19. This is the “balanced” approach to solving the deficit/debt problem proposed by Dictator Obama. 1) You can virtually guarantee those tax increases will NOT go to whittling down the debt/deficit, and 2) You can virtually guarantee those spending cuts will not materialize.

  20. Adding “trillions to the national debt every year”, the well demonstrated Keynesian approach to boosting a sick economy, will diminish as our economy continues to improve.

    Belief in Keynesianism is like belief in religion. No, scratch that. That’s not fair to religions, which are usually based on at least some factual realities (Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were all real people, for example). No, belief in Keynesianism is like belief in magic. It makes about as much sense as sacrificing virgins to the volcano god in order to appease him.

    The whole premise behind Keynesianism is that the government can run the economy better than the private sector can. If that were true, East Germany and North Korea would be the most prosperous countries on the planet.

  21. We’re all familiar with Parkinson’s Law, that work expands to fill the available time. It’s the organizing principle of unionized labor.

    But when it comes to government entitlement spending it’s the Jackass corollary that explains vote buying: it expands to consume all available funds.

  22. Now, let’s see a weasel at work.

    My comment:

    AND YET YOU’RE NOT GOING TO COMMENT ON PEOPLE LIKE ROMNEY PAYING AN EFFECTIVE RATE of 14 or 15% WHILE MIDDLE CLASS WORKERS PAY 25 or 30%!!

    Dana’s reply:

    And, of course, middle class workers do not pay effective rates of 25 or 30%; one would have thought your previous error would have gotten you to do something radical like actually look it up.

    Let’s assume a married couple with two dependent children, with an adjusted gross income of $100,000 a year. That’s certainly considered middle class in the United States. With a standard deduction of $15,200 in tax year 2012, and personal exemptions of $11,900, their taxable income would be $72,900. Using the 2012 FEDERAL income tax rates, their total FEDERAL income tax would be $10,285, not exactly an effective rate of the 25 or 30% you claimed. Even if we include Social Security and Medicare taxes (5.65% combined for 2012), their total FEDERAL taxes would be $15,935, an effective rate of 15.9%. However, there is a $1,000 tax credit for every child under 17, which could reduce their total taxes to $14,935 or $13,935.

    Did everybody spot Dana’s little evasion there?…

  23. And here we go – total effective tax rates, 2011.

    More bovine feces: the wealthy pay state and local taxes, too; did this not occur to you?

    On income, Dana. What you are weaseling away from, as I have been pointing out, is the disparity between income taxes and capital gains taxes. Do states and cities charge capital gains taxes, Dana?

    Funniest of all, in referencing that particular chart, if you actually read it, you’ll see that it notes that the effective federal tax rate goes up for every increase in income. You have refuted your own argument.

    You seem to have forgotten to include the word “income” when you said “effective federal tax rate”, Dana. Why did you forget that important little qualifier, Dana? Why are you not addressing the differences between rates levied on income and rates levied on capital, Dana?

    Basically, the Framers’ idea of federal taxes is precisely what I said should be the case in my most favored option, that every man should be liable for the same absolute amount of taxes, regardless of his wealth, station or income

    I will grant you a better case on this – at least until the 16th Amendment was passed. However income taxes were passed in 1861 as indirect taxes

    The problem is that your “favored option” is a poll tax – and is ludicrous. You simply haven’t run the numbers – once again, YOU CAN’T FACE REALITY.

    In the US currently 15% live under the poverty limit of $23,000 a year, and where the government takes up 27% of the GDP in taxation. Let’s assume that was reduced to 20% (which it can’t be without your country collapsing), that means you want about $9,700 taken from each person – meaning Mitt Romney pays $9,700 AND THE 15% OF AMERICANS WHO LIVE UNDER YOUR POVERTY LIMIT OF $23,000 PAY $9,700.

    Essentially, you want them to die. No-one can live on $13,000 a year, let alone raise a family.

    And further, AND THIS IS SOMETHING YOU NEVER EVER EVER ADDRESS (because you are a weasel), the US is already starting to strain at the edges due to high inequality – and this inequality is already increasing. Your “favored option” will result in it exploding.

    What you are saying is that you want America to tear itself apart by turning into something out of a cyberpunk dystopia, or an updated version of Columbia, Brazil or Haiti. Or, to give you a picture more in line with your own dreams, feudal Europe.

    But, as shown by your unwillingness to address capital gains taxes, you know this. You are merely paying lip service to “fairness” – as shown by it being at odds with your PREVIOUS statement “The best thing we could do is to have one, single percentage tax rate, on all income, in whatever form, above a particular threshold, with no deductions, no tax credits, just a simple system,”

    So the BEST thing you can do is have a single percentage tax rate, and yet you state that your “favored option” is an absolute amount – even though this is completely insane when the numbers are run.

    You just make this up as you go along to justify being an apologist for plutocracy. You’re a weasel, and in your heart, you’re a serf.

  24. Belief in Keynesianism is like belief in religion. No, scratch that. That’s not fair to religions, which are usually based on at least some factual realities (Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were all real people, for example). No, belief in Keynesianism is like belief in magic. It makes about as much sense as sacrificing virgins to the volcano god in order to appease him.

    Eric, you don’t know what the principles of Keynesianism are, nor are you capable of dealing with reality.

    Consider, for a moment, something one of the prime current champions of Keynesianism just said:

    —-
    Thus, Ryan Avent is driven to distraction by Tyler Cowen suggesting that it’s OK to have austerity now because growth in the third quarter was fairly strong. As Ryan says, the right time for austerity is when “the economy is on the way to putting the zero lower bound well in its rear-view mirror” — that is, when we’re well out of the liquidity trap. Meanwhile, Brad DeLong is driven into shrillness by Alberto Alesina still, after all these years, writing as if there’s no difference between spending cuts in normal times and spending cuts when you’re up against the zero lower bound.
    —-

    See that? You characterize Keynesianism as “always spend” – but the REALITY is that it advocates spending under certain circumstances and austerity under others.

    You can’t deal with that reality. You don’t know what Keynesianism is – you only know wingnut distortions and lies. You don’t know the models behind it, and you certainly are unable to deal with the increasing evidence that, in this financial slowdown, the Keynesians have been shown to be right.

    You can’t deal with reality, Eric – have you sold your book for a million dollars to Hollywood yet?

  25. The Phoenician gets even dumber:

    On income, Dana. What you are weaseling away from, as I have been pointing out, is the disparity between income taxes and capital gains taxes. Do states and cities charge capital gains taxes, Dana?

    Some states do, and some states don’t; that’s up to the states, not the federal government. More, the 14.1% effective tax rate that Mitt Romney paid concerned his federal taxes only. From CNN:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mitt Romney made $13.7 million last year and paid $1.94 million in federal income taxes, giving him an effective tax rate of 14.1%, his campaign said Friday.

    His effective tax rate was up slightly from the 13.9% rate he paid in 2010.

    The majority of the candidate’s income came from his investments.

    His 2011 income was considerably lower than the $21 million estimated by the campaign in February.

    You are the one trying to compare Mr Romney’s federal taxes with other people’s total federal, state and local taxes. Had you bothered to actually look it up, you’d have realized your mistake . . . assuming that it was a mistake, and not a deliberate attempt to falsify the issue.

  26. The Phoenician wrote:

    See that? You characterize Keynesianism as “always spend” – but the

    REALITY is that it advocates spending under certain circumstances and austerity under others.

    You can’t deal with that reality. You don’t know what Keynesianism is – you only know wingnut distortions and lies. You don’t know the models behind it, and you certainly are unable to deal with the increasing evidence that, in this financial slowdown, the Keynesians have been shown to be right.

    The reality with which we are dealing is that fact that spending never does seem to get cut. You claim that we “don’t know the models behind it,” but models aren’t reality; they are just theory. Reality is that we never stop the spending, never cut back unless we are forced to cut back. Reality is that, even if the Keynesian models were perfect — how ’bout that maximum 8% unemployment the Keynesians promised us with the 2009 stimulus plan, huh? — we don’t cut back when times are good.

  27. Koolo cited:

    Please read this if you think deficits don’t matter and that spending doesn’t drive deficits.

    This piece is an interesting and thought provoking article, koolo. Here is the crux of it:

    But if the cause of growth-killing debt and deficits is increased spending – and it is – the solution is to cut spending. As the November 2010 issue of Reason detailed, we’ve done it before as a country (after World War II) and other advanced economies have done so are recently as the 1990s. Last year, De Rugy and I even laid out an easy way of doing it through small year-over-year cuts that amount to little more than holding spending constant in real terms.

    I would only add that, in addition to cutting spending, we need to increase taxes on the upper 2%, while continuing the Bush tax cut stimulus on the 98%. The 98% will continue to spend these tax cuts, thus the economic stimulus. Republicans fail to understand this, therefore foolishly oppose it!

    This is the approach which I have been advocating on here for quite a while, as outlined in the referenced article: a gradually phasing in of austerity (spending cuts), while we gradually phase out the stimulus measures. This approach is contrary to the austerity of the Ryan Plan which our Editor, specifically, and Republicans, in general, have been hawking for several years.

    I also call attention to the “Federal Outlays Per Capita Chart in the referenced article, in which there is a remarkable difference between Bush-43 (and Reagan) spending increases, and Obama (and Carter, Bush-41, and Clinton) who held the line against spending increases during their term(s). Make no mistake, the Great Recession forced Obama to increase spending to save our nation from another Great Depression, after which he has held the line against further increases in spending. Make note of that, please.

    I wish Republicans, specifically our Editor, would take notice of this, and quit their lies in attempting to put on Obama the sins of their own errors. The referenced chart shows the factual reality, that President Obama has held the line against spending increases, in contrast to Bush-43, who did not hold the line, because of his two wars of choice, not necessity, and Medicare Part D.

    Your cite, koolo, is worth a bookmark for future reference, especially for our Editor, since he is certain to repeat his anti-Obama/anti-Dem falsehoods over and over again!

  28. WW wrote:

    I would only add that, in addition to cutting spending, we need to increase taxes on the upper 2%, while continuing the Bush tax cut stimulus on the 98%. The 98% will continue to spend these tax cuts, thus the economic stimulus. Republicans fail to understand this, therefore foolishly oppose it!

    No, the Republicans support extending all of the tax cuts, for everyone. If you believe that the “98%” would continue to spend the tax cuts, thus stimulating the economy, why wouldn’t you believe that the top 2% would continue to spend the money as well? Having met their necessities, they could spend on luxury items, something poorer people have less opportunity to do.

    Of course, they could choose to invest that extra money, in things which could create jobs, too.

    You’ve come up on a logical conundrum: you cannot argue that the 98% would spend the money, and stimulate the economy, and not concomitantly realize that the top 2% would do so as well.

  29. Perry gets ultra-selective (again):

    Your cite, koolo, is worth a bookmark for future reference, especially for our Editor, since he is certain to repeat his anti-Obama/anti-Dem falsehoods over and over again!

    You must have missed these:

    But instead of increasing government spending in line with normal inflation, under Bush and Obama we are spending $3.8 trillion today. Democrats, who believe we have a “revenue” problem instead of a “spending” problem, must also think they have a bartender problem, not a drinking problem.

    That sort of massive divergence is explainable in light of the fiscal crisis and the Bush and Obama administrations’ responses to it. In my view, those responses were both hysterical, counterproductive, and at least in regard to the auto bailout, illegal. Whether you agree with me on any of that, you should be worried about whether the boost in spending as a percentage of GDP is a temporary blip or the new normal.

    Back when he was running for president, Barack Obama used to talk about how “we have to break that cycle of debt.”

    That used to be part of his basic stump speech in fact. Now the president has gone from talking about cutting $2.50 in spending for every $1 of new revenue in September 2012 to pushing $4 in new taxes for every dollar of spending cuts. That’s all part of his “balanced approach” to government finances.

    But if the cause of growth-killing debt and deficits is increased spending – and it is – the solution is to cut spending.

    Surprise.

  30. This is the approach which I have been advocating on here for quite a while, as outlined in the referenced article: a gradually phasing in of austerity (spending cuts), while we gradually phase out the stimulus measures. This approach is contrary to the austerity of the Ryan Plan which our Editor, specifically, and Republicans, in general, have been hawking for several years.

    The problem is this is all just fuzzy headed theory. It assumes that the government, like a genie, can magically manipulate the economy at will by spending at some times and not at others. For one, as Dana pointed out, the spending always increases, good times or bad, so the notion that libs will ever support any form of government “Austerity” is just nonsense. But beyond that fact, your whole theory is bunk, wishful thinking, stuff made up out of thin air. For your whole assumption is based on the notion that politicians and bureaucrats know better how to run the economy than the free market. It’s classic top down “Command” economics of the type practiced in the old USSR and in Cuba and North Korea today. It doesn’t work. It can’t work. All it does is play to the vanities of armchair “Experts” like yourself who live under the old left wing delusion that if they are just given enough political power they can create a perfect world.

  31. The referenced chart shows the factual reality, that President Obama has held the line against spending increases

    The truth is Obama increased spending vastly in 2009, the first year he was president. And guess what? The spending stayed up, it never went back down. It’s like a guy who used to drink a bottle of gin every day, then one day he increased it to two bottles a day and has kept it at that level every day since. And your argument is like saying – well, at least he hasn’t increased his level of drinking lately.

    Face it, we are a nation of fiscal alcoholics. We just keep guzzling that government booze, and every day the government hands out more. We’re addicted. We can’t stop. And, like true alcoholics, at least half the nation is in denial. They don’t just want more free liquor, they want the liquor stores kept open 24/7. And the first step for the alcoholic is to admit they have a problem. Which you, Perry, and the rest of your Party simply cannot do.

  32. The reality with which we are dealing is that fact that spending never does seem to get cut.

    Uh-huh. In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis, your government spent 42.83% of your GDP – in 2010, this reduced down to 40.96%, and then reduced down in the two years following (as estimated by usgovernmentspending.com).

    Once again, the “reality” you are dealing with is not the one which deals with, you know, the facts.

  33. The truth is Obama increased spending vastly in 2009, the first year he was president. And guess what? The spending stayed up, it never went back down.

    Year / GDP-US ($ billion nominal) / Population-US million / Total Spending -total
    percent GDP

    2009 13939 306.051 42.83 a
    2010 14508.2 308.746 40.96 a
    2011 14958.6 311.592 40.86 g
    2012 15601.5 314.123 40.59 g
    2013 16335 316.847 39.13 g

    (a = actual reported, g = as estimated by usgovernmentspending.com – see here for method)

    Gee, Eric, you seem to have a problem here – spending as a percentage of GDP HAS GONE DOWN since 2009.

  34. You still haven’t bothered to read up on MMT yet, have you, Eric?

    —–
    Deficits is the Norm in a Growing Economy

    There is nothing inherently wrong with government deficits. They do not necessarily “crowd out” private activity, they do not “burden” future generations, they can not lead to “financial ruin” of the government[10]:123. Persistent government deficits are in fact the expected norm in a growing economy[10]:97. They add to the net financial assets (currency and bonds) of the non-government sector and this accommodates for its desired net saving[10]:129.

    The government must not “over-fund” the desire to net save, i.e deficit spend so that effective demand exceeds the potential for the economy to expand to meet it. This happens at some point when the economy approaches full capacity utilization and full employment, if the government continues deficit spending. Should that happen, demand side inflationary pressure will arise – a general continuous economy wide price level increase.

    But if the budget deficit is calibrated correctly – which means that it matches the saving intentions of the foreign and private domestic sectors taken together – then it can be 10 per cent of GDP or 1 per cent of GDP forever without adding inflationary pressure. It is only when the budget deficit accelerates and pushes total spending in the economy beyond the real capacity limits that they become problematic. So continuous budget deficits forever are fine if that is what is needed to offset non-government savings intentions.[11]

    There is nothing special in this regard about government deficits when compared to a deficit in the private domestic sector or an external surplus (a “foreign sector deficit”). These balances all add to aggregate demand. So to say that budget deficits are dangerous with respect to inflation – under certain situations – is saying nothing more than any nominal spending growth (that pushes aggregate demand beyond the real capacity limits) is dangerous.[11]
    —–

  35. Good point, PiaToR! The point then is that in our economy as it is currently, aggregate demand is far below the real capacity limits, therefore in this respect our economy is being properly managed wrt deficit spending. In fact, in the recovery phase following a recession, deficit spending is mandatory in order to grow the damaged economy.

    Radical right wing ideologues, like our Editor here, substitute supply side stimulus (tax cuts favoring the wealthy) for the required demand side economic growth stimulation, which is why we have, as the outcome, redistributed more wealth to the top at the expense of the middle and the poor. Reagan and Bush-43 have been the main drivers of this supply side theology, which is why we are struggling to recover from the Great Recession their policies have caused.

    The other undesirable side-effect is the political power which is purchased (not earned) by the redistributed wealth of the powerful 1%. Middle class folks like our Editor have not yet digested the fact that their support of the politics of these powerful 1% is their own worst enemy regarding their just reward for their hard work. These folks are their own worst enemies, as they have been duped by the ideologues of the far right.

    The fact that middle and the poor folks, organized and represented by Obama and the Dems, were able to defeat these powerful 1%ers and their ideological lemmings in a most critical election is really remarkable!

    Now we can:

    * Continue Bush tax cuts for the middle workers and small business owners, increase taxes on those who can afford it, i.e., replace supply side tax policy with demand side tax policy;

    * Assure affordable health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans not currently covered, thereby reducing overall costs as well;

    * Preserve Medicare and Social Security for those who have earned and paid for it;

    * Preserve Medicaid for those who need it;

    * Continue to grow the economy for the benefit of all, employers and employees alike;

    * Ensure continued modest economic stimulation;

    * Populate the SCOTUS with more moderate justices;

    * Assure continuation of Roe v Wade for women;

    * Continue the important functions of the Department of Education;

    * Provide interest rates on student loans at low levels;

    * Modernize the DoD by eliminating unnecessary spending;

    * Preserve the Dream Act;

    * Reject efforts to nullify gay marriage.

  36. Continue the important functions of the Department of Education;

    And exactly what are these, pray tell?

    Populate the SCOTUS with more moderate justices

    Indeed — Ginsberg, Stevens and Breyer are WAY too extreme.

  37. The fact that middle and the poor folks, organized and represented by Obama and the Dems

    Yeah, the middle class and poor have been doing SO well under Obama. Have you checked the unemployment stats lately? Have you noticed that unemployment under Obama has been FAR worse than it was under Bush?

    And what about the Keystone Pipeline? There you had thousands of good paying jobs just waiting to be had. And Obama cancelled it purely out of ideological reasons. He screwed all those workers just to appease his left wing friends. And the Obama Admin tried a similar stunt in South Carolina where Boeing wanted to open a new plant to build the 787. Again, for purely ideological reasons, they tried to stop Boeing from opening that plant, which would have created thousands of high paying aerospace jobs.

    And after all this, you STILL say Obama’s for the middle class? [guffaws]

  38. The other undesirable side-effect is the political power which is purchased (not earned) by the redistributed wealth of the powerful 1%. Middle class folks like our Editor have not yet digested the fact that their support of the politics of these powerful 1% is their own worst enemy regarding their just reward for their hard work. These folks are their own worst enemies, as they have been duped by the ideologues of the far right.

    I think you’re putting the cart in front of the horse here – it’s the increased political power of the rich which allows them to skew the playing field towards them, letting them enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary Americans. Reagan was the first step towards this.

    The teabaggers were merely the loud, stupid and fearful contingent of the Republican party, rebranded by an astroturfing operation in order to keep the Republicans going right, and used as dupes.

    And it’s worked so well that the Republican primaries have become a freak show scaring off voters in the actual election.

  39. The other undesirable side-effect is the political power which is purchased (not earned) by the redistributed wealth of the powerful 1%. Middle class folks like our Editor have not yet digested the fact that their support of the politics of these powerful 1% is their own worst enemy regarding their just reward for their hard work. These folks are their own worst enemies, as they have been duped by the ideologues of the far right.

    The problem is, this is all just class warfare left wing dogma. Personally, I am much more afraid of government getting more power than of rich people getting more money. Only the government has the power to take away your property, your freedom, and even your life. Rich people can’t do any of these things. So this left wing fear of the rich is just envy and resentment driven nonsense.

    Personally, I just don’t get this left wing fetish with “Income inequality”. What business is it of yours what someone else makes? Worry about what’s in your own wallet instead!

  40. Personally, I just don’t get this left wing fetish with “Income inequality”.

    This is because you don’t bother learning from history.

  41. Eric:

    Yeah, the middle class and poor have been doing SO well under Obama. Have you checked the unemployment stats lately? Have you noticed that unemployment under Obama has been FAR worse than it was under Bush?

    Says Eric, a victim of self-delusion, refusing to acknowledge the Bush-instigated Great Recession which victimized tens of millions of his fellow Americans who were inadvertently caught up in this web of lost jobs and homes. There is absolutely no compassion or help for them from the likes of Eric. Instead it seems that he would prefer more of the same, as he himself feels secure in the employ of those who support and wish to further our wasteful military-industrial empire.

  42. Says Eric, a victim of self-delusion, refusing to acknowledge the Bush-instigated Great Recession which victimized tens of millions of his fellow Americans who were inadvertently caught up in this web of lost jobs and homes.

    Says the victim of self-delusion who views the world in everything bad = Republican, everything good = Democrat. And hasn’t Perry chastised us for viewing the world in black and white, hmm??

    Oh, need I leave out the self-delusion that leads one to forever to refuse to accept responsibility for one’s actions … always blaming it on others …. we’ve sure seen a lot of that from Perry …

  43. Real accountability, for example, as regarding my previous post, would be for Republicans to accept take responsibility for the policies which produced our Great Recession and the victims thereof. I would not ever expect the likes of koolo to admit that it was largely the policies of his party which were responsible.

    And as serious, Republicans to this day are doubling down, as they fight to preserve the tax rates of the 1%, at the expense raising the rates of all, as per our stern and hardhearted Editor, and/or wiping out deductions which would hit the middle class more severely than the wealthy. Now admittedly, Boehner has not specified these deductions, but we can surmise what they will be because this is the current Republican Party.

    Is it any wonder that Republicans lost this election so critical to furthering their outrageous ideology, which I believe otherwise would certainly cause further hardship and suffering for the middle and poor.

    But where are koolo, Eric, and Editor? Supportive of cutting these earned benefits and promoting the same old same old further crackdowns on the middle and poor (Medicare and Social Security and the Affordable Care Act), and on the poor for Medecaid? Of course! And they are just fine with adding/spending another $2T to the DoD budget!

    Republicans accuse Dems of being the big spenders, when in historic fact, post WWII, the Dems have spent less and created more jobs.

    Following this will come the denials, as per usual. Go at it koolo!

  44. Hey, WW, you’re going to love the latest evidence that Republicans can’t handle reality well:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/12/republicans-not-handling-election-results-well.html

    —-
    49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.
    —-

  45. Hey, WW, you’re going to love the latest evidence that Republicans can’t handle reality well:

    Perry will love that reality, especially since he dabbles in the “realities” that the GOP “stole” the elections in 2000 and 2004. Not to mention that 35% of Democrats believe that G.W. Bush knew in advance about 9/11 …

    LOL!!!

  46. Republicans accuse Dems of being the big spenders, when in historic fact, post WWII, the Dems have spent less and created more jobs.

    Citation needed, of course. And be sure to factor in each and every economic variable into your equations … things like which party controlled which branch of government at which time(s), what deals were made between parties and when, myriad other economic conditions like inflation, interest rates, and energy supply, laws and court decisions which affected legislation ….

  47. Not to mention that 35% of Democrats believe that G.W. Bush knew in advance about 9/11 …

    LOL!!!

    I don’t know about that, koolicker, but GWB sat with his jaw hanging down in an elementary school classroom at the moment of 9/11, while Cheney put himself in charge of the immediate response, then, with his neocons, took us to war in Iraq, unconnected, in fact, to 9/11. And then, regarding Katrina, GWB surveyed the damage, then praised “Brownie” for the good job that he actually did not do. So “LOL” on those incompetencies, but no laughing about the fact of the stolen elections in 2000 and 2004. I don’t expect a right wing partisan like yourself to agree with any of this obvious stuff, but reality is reality. And btw, your party made a strong effort to steal the 2012 election as well, with your voter suppression efforts, but you failed miserably this time, thank god.

    You wingers simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing, as indicated by your history, and as indicated on this blog on a daily basis. Now you are about to take us over the fiscal cliff because you wish to protect the wealthiest from having a tax cut. Your priorities are obvious, certainly not in tune with the needs of the majority of Americans, the 98%, but totally in tune with the wealthiest of us all. That’s wrongheaded, but normal for today’s totalitarian Grover Norquist Republicans!

  48. I don’t know about that, koolicker, but GWB sat with his jaw hanging down in an elementary school classroom at the moment of 9/11, while Cheney put himself in charge of the immediate response, then, with his neocons, took us to war in Iraq, unconnected, in fact, to 9/11. And then, regarding Katrina, GWB surveyed the damage, then praised “Brownie” for the good job that he actually did not do. So “LOL” on those incompetencies, but no laughing about the fact of the stolen elections in 2000 and 2004. I don’t expect a right wing partisan like yourself to agree with any of this obvious stuff, but reality is reality. And btw, your party made a strong effort to steal the 2012 election as well, with your voter suppression efforts, but you failed miserably this time, thank god.

    Did you write all that with your straitjacket on? If so, that’s pretty talented! And was your psychiatrist nearby? I certainly hope so!

  49. At least GW Bush didn’t completely disregard requests for help from embassies/consulates resulting in the deaths of Americans. And Dictator Obama’s response to Sandy was as at least as pathetic as Bush’s to Katrina. I don’t expect a radical partisan like yourself to agree with any of this obvious stuff, but reality is reality.

  50. And Dictator Obama’s response to Sandy was as at least as pathetic as Bush’s to Katrina.

    Not according to the infamous Chris Christy, nor to the American voter majority! Shows how far out on the right wing you are, koolo!

  51. Not according to the infamous Chris Christy, nor to the American voter majority! Shows how far out on the right wing you are, koolo!

    “Infamous” is right. Usage of that term makes my point precisely. And when you have a sympathetic lapdog media in your corner, Dictator could have done absolutely nothing after Sandy (instead of almost nothing) and the reporting would have been exactly the same.

    Instead of relying on the same lapdog media and Daily Kos-esque blogs, try local reporting from Staten Island and surrounding areas. See how they feel about Dictator Obama’s [pathetic] response. Photo ops in reality just don’t cut it.

  52. Hey, WW, you’re going to love the latest evidence that Republicans can’t handle reality well:

    To point:

    However, it is debatable whether this fact is evidence of ignorance or savvy on the part of Republicans who finger the group as having a hand in the election. As The Blaze reported back in August, some reports suggest that as many as 174 ACORN chapters may still be operating under different names, but with virtually no change in staff or command structure.

  53. Instead of relying on the same lapdog media and Daily Kos-esque blogs, try local reporting from Staten Island and surrounding areas. See how they feel about Dictator Obama’s [pathetic] response. Photo ops in reality just don’t cut it.

    OK them, citation please koolo. Put up or shut up.

    Normal people understand that a catastrophe as devastating as storm Sandy was, will leave some of the victims upset no matter what degree of assistance is given. Again, Republican Governor Christy was appreciative, contrary to your right wing contrariness. Made you mad about him, didn’t it koolo.

    You have convinced me, koolo, that it matter matters not what President Obama has or has not done on any issue, you would mock him, and me, anyway. That is exactly who you are: mocker in chief! I just hope you don’t treat your students in a similar mocking manner, though I suspect you do, as you childishly hide behind your moniker for protection against being revealed for who you are. What a pathetic coward your are, koolo, and with a nasty disposition as well.

    However, it is debatable whether this fact is evidence of ignorance or savvy on the part of Republicans who finger the group as having a hand in the election. As The Blaze reported back in August, some reports suggest that as many as 174 ACORN chapters may still be operating under different names, but with virtually no change in staff or command structure.

    The Blaze? Ugh! But good, I hope they are still operating, as a counter to Republican voter suppression efforts. Sure, there were some minimal problems, but they did not deserve the right wing onslaught which they received. Forward!

    By the way, I note that Adelson is doubling his political contribution for the 2014 election. As a counter to plutarchs like Adelson coming out of the woodwork to run contaminated election campaigns, the Dems have decided to keep their campaign in place, in order to have a positive impact on the 2014 election. Good news!

  54. Says Eric, a victim of self-delusion, refusing to acknowledge the Bush-instigated Great Recession which victimized tens of millions of his fellow Americans who were inadvertently caught up in this web of lost jobs and homes.

    The usual whining, excuses, and blaming the other guy from Perry. Sorry, but excuses just don’t cut it in the real world. Obama had FOUR YEARS to fix the economy and he FAILED. That’s reality. What would you think of a football coach who had four losing seasons in a row and was still blaming the previous coach? Or a movie director whose last four films were flops, and was still blaming the studio? In the real world, they’d be laughed right out on their asses. But you left wing ideologues don’t live in the real world, Results don’t matter to you. It’s a “Cult of Personality” thing. Obama is your cult leader, your god, and therefore nothing he ever does is wrong. He’s never responsible for anything, nor do he and his sheep-like followers hold him responsible for anything. Unemployment has been massively high under his Admin, and he has yet to present a credible plan to significantly reduce it. Wouldn’t it be nice if unemployment dropped way down to the levels they were under Bush? But what is Obama doing? Mindlessly pursuing his fetish, driven by ideology, to screw the rich, the very people who create jobs in the first place.

  55. as you childishly hide behind your moniker for protection against being revealed for who you are. What a pathetic coward your are

    Are you saying, PERRY H, that it’s perfectly fine to provide your full name here from now on? Or are you saying you’re just using that tactic to constantly bully and intimidate someone for doing nothing you’re not already doing?

  56. You have convinced me, koolo, that it matter matters not what President Obama has or has not done on any issue, you would mock him, and me, anyway. That is exactly who you are: mocker in chief!

    Thus says the guy who calls us terrorists, racists, traitors, etc. You are a typical left wing hypocrite, always accusing others of the very things you do yourself.

    I just hope you don’t treat your students in a similar mocking manner, though I suspect you do, as you childishly hide behind your moniker for protection against being revealed for who you are.

    Thus says the guy who changed his OWN moniker from “Perry” to the completely anonymous “Wagonwheel”.

  57. Are you saying, PERRY H, that it’s perfectly fine to provide your full name here from now on? Or are you saying you’re just using that tactic to constantly bully and intimidate someone for doing nothing you’re not already doing?

    You already made that decision for me, didn’t you John, to the point of even giving my detailed location? And btw, you, the chief bully on here, are a fine one to trump up said charges in your typical hypocritical, unchristian-like, phony fashion. If you put yourself forward as a Christian, who else would wish to seek after that theology?

  58. Thus says the guy who calls us terrorists, racists, traitors, etc. You are a typical left wing hypocrite, always accusing others of the very things you do yourself.

    Apparently, Eric, you deem koolo not capable of responding himself.

    And yes, all those epithets about you, they have been stated wrt some specific statement you and others have made from time to time, in contrast to what you wrote in that idiotic letter of yours. My eighth grade grandson could have made a better presentation than that, as a member of the debate club to which he belongs at his school.

  59. None of the charges against you are trumped up, Perry. They are all factual and previously cited multiple times. As far as your specific location, the Editor provided that. The fact you cannot get through a comment without sinning against Providence is proof that you have absolutely no regard for the Truth whatsoever.

  60. As The Blaze reported back in August,

    Bwahahahahahahhahahahah.

    Wikipedia: “TheBlaze is a news and opinion website and television network owned by American media personality and former CNN Headline News and Fox News host Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts.”

    Christ almighty – why not just cite the voices in your head?

  61. OK them, citation please koolo. Put up or shut up.

    Sorry, chum. You have Google. I don’t pl;ay your game anymore. Again, if a bullying, cowardly specimen like yourself cannot even manage to admit how he’s threatened people over political disagreements, then nothing will suffice for your sorry self. Not to mention, you’ve ignored my requests for cites/reasons above, so again — why bother?

    That is exactly who you are: mocker in chief! I just hope you don’t treat your students in a similar mocking manner, though I suspect you do, as you childishly hide behind your moniker for protection against being revealed for who you are. What a pathetic coward your are, koolo, and with a nasty disposition as well.

    On the contrary, there are some things I like about Dictator Obama. Nevertheless, that being said, I hope you don’t beat your wife, though I suspect you do, as you childishly hide behind your moniker for protection against being revealed for who you are. What a pathetic coward your are, Perry, and with a nasty disposition as well.

  62. And yes, all those epithets about you, they have been stated wrt some specific statement you and others have made from time to time, in contrast to what you wrote in that idiotic letter of yours. My eighth grade grandson could have made a better presentation than that, as a member of the debate club to which he belongs at his school.

    If your 8th grade grandson is anything like you, he’s destined for one miserable existence, that’s for sure.

    Thus says the guy who calls us terrorists, racists, traitors, etc. You are a typical left wing hypocrite, always accusing others of the very things you do yourself.

    Exactly, Eric. Perry absolutely can’t stand it when people give him back precisely what he always gives us. And that’s just a cryin’ shame now, ain’t it?

  63. Wikipedia: “TheBlaze is a news and opinion website and television network owned by American media personality and former CNN Headline News and Fox News host Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts.”

    Christ almighty – why not just cite the voices in your head?

    Not at all, Just adding to what you [most likely willfully] omitted from this:

    Hey, WW, you’re going to love the latest evidence that Republicans can’t handle reality well:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/12/republicans-not-handling-election-results-well.html

    Again:

    However, it is debatable whether this fact is evidence of ignorance or savvy on the part of Republicans who finger the group as having a hand in the election. As The Blaze reported back in August, some reports suggest that as many as 174 ACORN chapters may still be operating under different names, but with virtually no change in staff or command structure.

    And indeed, The Blaze exhibits a quantity of sanity that our resident conspiratorilist Perry does not demonstrate 99% of the time. If you bother to read the link, the story goes out of its way to make it known that in NO WAY do they endorse the belief that ACORNesque groups “stole” the election. Unlike, Perry, of course, who wallows in nutville claiming the GOP “stole” the vote in 2000 and 2004.

  64. Er, dude, your link was to the Blaze itself as well. The entire paragraph with the bolds you put in was written by the Blaze. Which is to say, it is as reliable a newssource as a piece of used toilet-paper.

    And indeed, The Blaze exhibits a quantity of sanity that our resident conspiratorilist Perry does not demonstrate 99% of the time.

    Uh-huh. And you’re about as reliable an expert on sanity as someone who goes around relying on used toilet-paper as a news source.

    Jesus, you people can’t deal with reality at all, can you?

  65. None of the charges against you are trumped up, Perry. They are all factual and previously cited multiple times. As far as your specific location, the Editor provided that. The fact you cannot get through a comment without sinning against Providence is proof that you have absolutely no regard for the Truth whatsoever.

    John, neither you nor your radical partisans have ever produced a citation to back up your allegations. If you could/would, produce it, then we can discuss. Moreover, others would see how trumped up and partisan they are. Regarding sinning against providence, your providence is a myth by which you and like-minded individuals seek to control others, nothing less. It has been this way for millenia. While I concede that there might be some sort of a supreme being in existence, there is no direct proof that there is one, except to fearful people like yourself.

  66. My eighth grade grandson could have made a better presentation than that, as a member of the debate club to which he belongs at his school.

    Oh? Then why is it that you cannot address a single thing in that letter? I made a number of cogent arguments and observations, all stated in clear, plain English, and you have yet to address any of them. The point is, you CAN”T address any of them, let alone refute any of them. For that would require you to use facts and logic, it would mean actually using your brain. But why do that when you can just engage in mindless drivel about irrelevant things, like this supposed genius grandson of yours?

  67. John, neither you nor your radical partisans have ever produced a citation to back up your allegations.

    Bullshit. The proof that you threatened Koolo’s job has been posted here many times. All you can counter that with are your usual self-serving lies. And those lies are so ridiculously, blatantly obvious that you must be utterly delusional to think anyone will believe them.

    Why do you lie, Perry? Is it just self delusion driven by narcissism, or a more cynical, calculated strategy, the classic “Big Lie” technique favored by both Nazis and Communists alike, the notion that if you just tell the same lie often enough and boldly enough, it will eventually be accepted as truth?

  68. Uh-huh. And you’re about as reliable an expert on sanity as someone who goes around relying on used toilet-paper as a news source.

    Jesus, you people can’t deal with reality at all, can you?

    Again, at least the toilet paper recognizes that the quasi-ACORN groups didn’t steal the election. Perry isn’t even in that ballpark yet. LOL …

  69. John, neither you nor your radical partisans have ever produced a citation to back up your allegations.

    He’s the star of A Beautiful Mind‘s sequel, Eric — A Delusional Mind.

    And thank you, Perry, for proving my point about it being 100% useless to provide you cites. Unless and until you can face the stark, concrete reality that you threatened livelihoods and accused another of felony activity, all you’re good for is being the butt of jokes and snarky remarks.

  70. your providence is a myth by which you and like-minded individuals seek to control others, nothing less.

    The only “Myth” is the one you yourself are peddling when you try to deny the existence of God and Christ. The evidence for both is overwhelming, but you have to open your eyes (and especially your heart) if you ever want to see it.

  71. And thank you, Perry, for proving my point about it being 100% useless to provide you cites. Unless and until you can face the stark, concrete reality that you threatened livelihoods and accused another of felony activity, all you’re good for is being the butt of jokes and snarky remarks.

    If you think that, prove it. Your word has little credibility, koolo, and you have offered no proof. I welcome having a discussion on my statements, once one of you produces them. Your behavior on here is the actual threat to your livelihood, as no administrator or parent worthy of the title would want a nasty, hateful, belligerent bully like you in contact with children, as such has been demonstrated on here time after time. Your brother ideologues don’t have the cahones to call you out, but I will continue to do so as long as you continue to behave as you have been behaving on here.

  72. WW wrote:

    Regarding sinning against providence, your providence is a myth by which you and like-minded individuals seek to control others, nothing less. It has been this way for millenia. While I concede that there might be some sort of a supreme being in existence, there is no direct proof that there is one, except to fearful people like yourself.

    One thing that I have noticed over the years is that people of faith will ask others to come to their faith, while those who lack faith always seem to try to argue others out of their faith. Christians in America pretty much universally support freedom of religion (though some would make an exception for Muslims, because the Islamists have proven themselves to be the enemies of civilization), understanding that others will believe what they believe, and aren’t really offended when someone else says he is not a Christian. As a Catholic, I am not offended when I see a Protestant church (St John’s Lutheran Church sits on the northwest corner of the intersection where my parish church, St Joseph’s, is on the southeast; I have never thought I should somehow burn down St John’s), or a Jewish synagogue, or a Hindu Temple.

    Yet, it seems that such tolerance is not part of the makeup of our friends of no faith. If Jews do not accept that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, that is their choice; they are either right or wrong in that, but it’s still their belief, and I don’t look at it as some evil attempt to harm others. Perry, on the other hand, seems to believe that he must not only tell us that he is an agnostic, but to denigrate the faith of others, and call it actively harmful to society.

    You know, I remember the wave of liberalism that was sweeping college campuses when I was a student, and it was a liberalism which proclaimed freedom, a liberalism which held that everybody could do his own thing, and still be cool. Even then, there were a few signs of rigidity, such as the virtually uniform way in which students showed their individuality and rebellion from their parents’ generation by dressing so much alike that it was virtually a uniform, but most people really didn’t try to care what other people did.

    Today’s liberals seem to have gone far beyond that point, to caring desperately what others do, to insisting not only that their way is the right way, but that their way is the only way, preaching a strange, secular version of hellfire and brimstone on those who disagree. They insist on their freedom of speech, but decry allowing others the same freedom of speech, as is noted in their virulent opposition to Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, and their freedom from religion, while wanting to use the power of government to force religious institutions to provide things to which those institutions are religiously opposed. Conservatives today, almost universally, wouldn’t think of outlawing homosexual activity, not really caring what homosexuals do in their bedrooms — and not particularly wanting to know about it, either — while those on the left not only insist that we pay attention to what other people do in their bedrooms, but that the State Must Accept It As Good And Normal. In many ways, American liberals are becoming almost indistinguishable from Stalinists.

  73. Oh? Then why is it that you cannot address a single thing in that letter? I made a number of cogent arguments and observations, all stated in clear, plain English, and you have yet to address any of them. The point is, you CAN”T address any of them, let alone refute any of them. For that would require you to use facts and logic, it would mean actually using your brain. But why do that when you can just engage in mindless drivel about irrelevant things, like this supposed genius grandson of yours?

    Where are your facts, Eric. They are all your opinions, and I don’t agree with them. It would be a waste of my time to address your absurdities, so I won’t.

    Put up some factual bases, then that merits serious discussion.

  74. If you think that, prove it. Your word has little credibility, koolo, and you have offered no proof. I welcome having a discussion on my statements, once one of you produces them.

    You really are in serious need of some medical assistance.

    Your behavior on here is the actual threat to your livelihood, as no administrator or parent worthy of the title would want a nasty, hateful, belligerent bully like you in contact with children, as such has been demonstrated on here time after time.

    Except that I have written nothing, especially since your last banning, that is any worse than anything you’ve written. Not even close. And that goes before your banning too. Any parent or administrator worthy of the title would laugh themselves silly at your pathetic and childish tantrums, and the visceral need to threaten people merely because you disagree with them, and give you right back what you spew at them.

    You’ll be worthy of the title “human being” the day you can finally accept responsibility for the hypocritical threatening slime you’ve spewed around here. You don’t “push back” here, Perry … you’re a pathetic coward who wants everything his way and who would cower in a corner with your hands over your head when confronted in any real manner. God help your wife and all your relatives for what they have to deal with.

  75. The only “Myth” is the one you yourself are peddling when you try to deny the existence of God and Christ. The evidence for both is overwhelming, but you have to open your eyes (and especially your heart) if you ever want to see it.

    The evidence for fairies and little nature elementals is overwhelming if you open your eyes and heart (and brain) far enough. Look – fire dances! it must be a fairy! Look – the wind is playful! It must be an elemental!

    What we have here is fools preaching that foolishness is holy, no more and no less. You have deified your own ignorance, and made your own wishful thinking the only yardstick you recognise.

    Not for the first time, of course – managed to sell your book for a million dollars yet, Eric?

  76. Eric wrote:

    The only “Myth” is the one you yourself are peddling when you try to deny the existence of God and Christ. The evidence for both is overwhelming, but you have to open your eyes (and especially your heart) if you ever want to see it.

    To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible. — St Thomas Aquinas

    You can never argue someone into faith; faith comes from within, and not without. For many of our liberal friends, to have faith in God would mean something contrary to what they want to believe; they do not have faith because they do not want to have faith.

    Faith in God is the simplest thing in the world . . . and it is one of the most difficult things. Faith in God means admitting that there is someone wiser than you, someone greater than yourself, and that you are not the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. Faith in God means an end to rationalization; you don’t get to twist things around to justify doing anything you want to do. Character, it has been said, is doing the right thing when no one is looking, but faith is the knowledge that someone is always there, someone is always looking, someone always knows what it is you have done.

    I would never try to argue Perry into having faith; it is a futile task. The most that one can do is to pray that Perry will find faith; the conversion of Saul on the Damascus road shows that the LORD can bring that revelation upon him.

    However, I would point out here that this imposes an obligation on you, and in this case, you is plural: it includes John Hitchcock, it includes koolo, it includes everyone here who “knows” Perry and who is Christian. Knowing that Perry is a lost soul, you are obligated, as a Christian, to pray to the LORD that God will open Perry’s eyes, as he did St Paul’s, as he did St Augustine’s. Matthew 5:44 tells you what you must do.

  77. WW wrote:

    None of the charges against you are trumped up, Perry. They are all factual and previously cited multiple times. As far as your specific location, the Editor provided that. The fact you cannot get through a comment without sinning against Providence is proof that you have absolutely no regard for the Truth whatsoever.

    John, neither you nor your radical partisans have ever produced a citation to back up your allegations. If you could/would, produce it, then we can discuss.

    This is not someplace you wish to go. I deleted the whole episode the first time it happened, though the first suspension comment remains, while I left the second one intact.

    This is not a direction in which I wish the comments to take; let’s drop the whole subject.

  78. You can never argue someone into faith; faith comes from within, and not without. For many of our liberal friends, to have faith in God would mean something contrary to what they want to believe; they do not have faith because they do not want to have faith.

    So why don’t you have faith in fairies and nature elementals, Dana? If you only opened your mind and let yourself believe, you’d find overwhelming evidence for them all around you.

    [Comment edited to fix broken html tag; no changes made to content. -- Editor]

  79. Except that I have written nothing, especially since your last banning, that is any worse than anything you’ve written. Not even close. And that goes before your banning too. Any parent or administrator worthy of the title would laugh themselves silly at your pathetic and childish tantrums, and the visceral need to threaten people merely because you disagree with them, and give you right back what you spew at them.

    You’ll be worthy of the title “human being” the day you can finally accept responsibility for the hypocritical threatening slime you’ve spewed around here. You don’t “push back” here, Perry … you’re a pathetic coward who wants everything his way and who would cower in a corner with your hands over your head when confronted in any real manner. God help your wife and all your relatives for what they have to deal with.

    Koolo, simple logic says that if your behavior on here were that which one would expect from a teacher of our children, then you would have felt no threat. But you keep stating that I threatened you, with no evidence, and with a threat which you yourself perceive. And no surprise, of course your partisan friends support you. And it is noteworthy that never once have you spoken up against their breaches, nor they of yours. You people are classic bullies! Man up, koolo, and change your behavior, else I will continue to respond to it, because you deserve a response.

  80. I thank the Phoenician for proving my point: our friends on the left believe that they must try to argue people out of religion, for some strange reason.

    I’m not arguing you out of your religion; I’m arguing you into animism using the same “logic” presented here in defense of Christianity. If you see this as an attack on Christianity, maybe you should ask yourself why the argument for animism seems puerile and foolish – and whether this is how others see you.

    Pointing out that you (or rather, Eric) has deified his own ignorance isn’t arguing him out of anything – it’s an observation of reality.

  81. Where are your facts, Eric. They are all your opinions, and I don’t agree with them. It would be a waste of my time to address your absurdities, so I won’t.

    Another weaselly evasion from Perry to cover the fact that you cannot intelligently address (let alone refute) a single thing I said. Everything I wrote was in clear, plain English, if you can’t comprehend what I wrote, that makes you an illiterate moron who probably should have paid more attention in English 101.

  82. Your behavior on here is the actual threat to your livelihood, as no administrator or parent worthy of the title would want a nasty, hateful, belligerent bully like you in contact with children, as such has been demonstrated on here time after time. Your brother ideologues don’t have the cahones to call you out, but I will continue to do so as long as you continue to behave as you have been behaving on here.

    Wallow in self-importance much, Perry? Who the hell made YOU the Internet cop, or rather, the Internet snitch? It’s none of your damned business what Koolo does in the classroom. I mean, really, are you so full of grandiosity that you think your participation on this blog is so important that you have to threaten others just because you don’t like what they say? If you don’t like what Koolo say, leave! Or else just ignore him. If you’re not man enough to counter him with better arguments instead of threatening his job to make him shut up, then you don’t deserve to live in a country that enshrined free speech in the very first amendment to its Constitution. You should set up your own country where you can crown yourself dictator and thus control any kind of speech you want.

  83. You people are classic bullies! Man up, koolo, and change your behavior

    Bullies? Free speech is “Bullying”? No, the only bully here is you, threatening others to either “change their behavior” or else have a rat fink like you report them to their boss to get them fired.

    You left wingers can’t handle free speech. That’s because your ideological dogma crumbles in the face of any sort of free and rational verbal opposition. Koolo kicks your ass in debate, and you can’t take it. So, rather than come up with better ideas and more logical arguments, you threaten to have him fired instead. The classic actions of a bully and a coward.

  84. This is not a direction in which I wish the comments to take; let’s drop the whole subject.

    No, let’s NOT drop the whole subject. As long as Perry continues to lie and slander others over the reasons he was banned (twice), we are going to call him on it. If Perry wants this to go away, then he should do the right thing, admit what he did instead of lying about it, admit that he was wrong, and apologize.

  85. But you keep stating that I threatened you, with no evidence

    The evidence has been posted time and time again. You just pretend it hasn’t. It’s the classic “Big Lie” technique. Just keep repeating the lie often enough and maybe you can convince people it’s true.

    Such is the nature of left wing “Morality”. It is entirely self-serving in nature. The left winger will lie, cheat, and steal, and commit any other sin or crime as long as it serves his ideological purposes (lust for power) and as long as he thinks he can get away with it.

  86. You can never argue someone into faith; faith comes from within, and not without.

    Not entirely. Faith doesn’t just come out of thin air, it has to be backed up with facts and evidence. Much of that evidence is contained in the Bible, and much of the rest is simple history. For example, if the Old Testament is false, then where did the Jews come from? And if the New Testament is false, then how to explain the history of the early Christian Church? Christianity isn’t just some myth, indeed, Pontius Pilate was a real person, recorded in Roman history, and the rise of the Christian movement (along with its persecution) was also dutifully recorded by the Romans.

    To say Christ didn’t exist is as foolish as saying Alexander the Great didn’t exist. We have no direct evidence that either man ever lived, no one living today has ever met either person, there is no SCIENTIFIC evidence to prove the existence of either. But there an overwhelming amount of HISTORICAL evidence to prove the existence of both. In both cases, tons of eyewitnesses saw the deeds of both men, and some of those eyewitnesses wrote down those observations and passed that along to future generations. Also, without any direct PHYSICAL evidence, we can see the effects both men had on history. Both men changed the world, and history has recorded those changes. Indeed, the changes wrought by Christ had by far the most influence, after all, Alexander’s empire quickly fell apart after his death and eventually even mighty Greece was eventually absorbed as just another province in the Roman Empire. But Christ’s changes have lasted forever. The world today, especially the Western world, is a world that HE essentially created. To deny that fact is to indulge in wishful thinking of the most childish sort.

  87. Not entirely. Faith doesn’t just come out of thin air, it has to be backed up with facts and evidence

    If you only opened your eyes to the evidence, there’s far more signs of faeries and elementals in the world around you than there is of God.

    To say Christ didn’t exist is as foolish as saying Alexander the Great didn’t exist.

    There’s way more evidence that Muhammad existed. Therefore, by your logic, Islam is more valid than Christianity.

  88. Koolo, simple logic says that if your behavior on here were that which one would expect from a teacher of our children, then you would have felt no threat.

    The Editor clearly posted several times why it was a threat. Your insistence that it was not is beyond ridiculous, especially given your well known disposition. The fact is, you are the only one who fails to see the threat involved. And bullies? Who’s the bully here — the one who had to be suspended more than once for barely veiled threats, or those who keep it in this forum and have a rational sense of perspective about the whole thing?

    Now, in keeping with the Editor’s wishes, why don’t you start by answering my question from above: just HOW and WHY the federal Dept. of Education is so necessary?

  89. Koolo, simple logic says that if your behavior on here were that which one would expect from a teacher of our children, then you would have felt no threat.

    The Editor clearly posted several times why it was a threat. Your insistence that it was not is beyond ridiculous, especially given your well known disposition. The fact is, you are the only one who fails to see the threat involved. And bullies? Who’s the bully here — the one who had to be suspended more than once for barely veiled threats, or those who keep it in this forum and have a rational sense of perspective about the whole thing?

    You simply don’t have the self-discipline to let it go, as requested by our Editor, do you koolo?

    So be it!

  90. It’s none of your damned business what Koolo does in the classroom.

    Sorry, Eric, but it most certainly is my business. I’ve made it my business for many years, most of my life, as a parent, as a teacher, as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer, as an activist, and as a concerned citizen. Moreover, koolo is a teacher in my state. This is the reason I also spoke out against Hube’s behavior. If you condone this behavior, that is on you.

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