Lack of Leadership or the Audacity of Independent Thought?

By Lloyd the Idiot

The national reply to the recalcitrant Republican members of the House of Representatives has been curious. “Tea Partiers,” whatever that means and whoever they are, were once simply written off as half-crazy partisan rabble-trousers, but now that we’re on the edge of the fiscal cliff (again) the derision has turned to disdain. They’re now viewed by both the left and the right as something more than just the garden variety political wingut, something more sinister.  Almost evil. Pointy-eared, hunch-backed gremlins fiendishly intent on destroying America and wrecking the middle class.

Why, you say?  Simple answer:  they have had the audacity to ignore party bosses, think for themselves and vote just the way they said they would when they were campaigning.  Yes, independent thought, my friends.  It’s something unknown in Washington since Mr. Smith (and even that was fiction).  Heeding George Washington’s advice to put aside party, these members have completely disrupted the process, changed the paradigm, mixed things up.  Whatever you want to call it, these representatives in continuing to oppose raising the debt ceiling effectively send a very simple message that every elected representative in any capacity should hear:

Think for yourself.


Comments

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    When this deal comes out soon, and the usual suspects crow about their “victory”, remember that all this “cliff diving” resulted in only 60 billion a year in revenue.

    This is nonsense. Obama is not serious about real problems.

    I am reminding you of this because the big numbers will be thrown about. Those numbers are based on 10 years. Not next year. And anything more than 2 or 3 years is meaningless.

  • “Now I know a bit about owning a business. the funny thing is that if I own a business with net income of over $350,000 a year, I am worth a great deal of money.”

    Not necessarily. If you are a professional like a lawyer or physician making a half to a million a year the value of your business is far from the 10 PE that you are assuming since whoever buys it has to work just as hard as you did to earn the same money. It’s not like I can buy your practice as a passive investor, hire somebody else to do what you were doing and earn the same 350k. If you are selling your practi e the office equipment assets are insignificant or leased, so all you have is goodwill and the ability of the new owner to retain it, which again depends upon him, not you.

    All these tax increases do is cause you to pass the additional cost to your customers and/or cut back on your spending among your fellow citizens, neither of which are good for the economy or the health of a nation… it is inescapable.

    You cannot argue that more money flowing through the government is better than more money flowing through the private sector, nor can you show how a dollar of government spending returns a dollar plus a penny in the private sector. If you can, I’ve got some “free energy” and asteroid mining opportunities that desperately need some of your mathematics in order to make them appear viable.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    ” All these tax increases do is cause you to pass the additional cost to your customers and/or cut back on your spending among your fellow citizens, neither of which are good for the economy or the health of a nation… it is inescapable.”

    Doom, sometimes you turn to tools that decrease your net: Bonuses, hire someone else, buy needed equipment. That stuff is stimulative.

    Net profit, or income if you’re a pass-through entity, needs to be managed like any other part of your business.

    Sounds like you need an accountant.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Eric, an effective messenger (rather, one that would be truly effective in leading by example) does more than preach, they practice. Fully.

    The preaching gets old.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Your “preaching” is really just arguing for shift in current rules, Barbara.

    In this instance, participating in something that undercuts your argument (distorting the tax code), means you’re not as effective in illustrating the effects in the shift in policy for which you are arguing — only enabling your opponents by distorting or softening the effects of current policy.

    You don’t ride the Metro to the rally against crowded roads — you crowd the roads.

  • “Net profit, or income if you’re a pass-through entity, needs to be managed like any other part of your business. Sounds like you need an accountant.”

    I don’t need an accountant to tell me that if my costs go up it inhibits my ability to make the investments required to increase profits such that it will offset the greater cost (tax) burden. What you are suggesting is that higher taxes are a good thing because it will lead to greater prosperity. If true, why would not still greater marginal taxes, say 75% or even all of it, result in a boom? Why is it that you are the only alleged business person I know other than perhaps a few accountants who feels that higher taxes are good for business and the economy?

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “Eric, an effective messenger (rather, one that would be truly effective in leading by example) does more than preach, they practice. Fully.”

    Indeed and given that the policies Buffet is pushing would mean a much higher tax bill for him, I would say he is practicing.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “If you are a professional like a lawyer or physician making a half to a million a year the value of your business is far from the 10 PE that you are assuming…”

    Of course, very few people are approaching investors to be the money behind a law firm. Remember the premise of the scenario we are discussing.

    “You cannot argue that more money flowing through the government is better than more money flowing through the private sector…”

    In some cases it is, in some cases it is not. Especially if the dollars are not “flowing through” the private sector under the status quo.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “I don’t need an accountant to tell me that if my costs go up it inhibits my ability to make the investments required to increase profits such that it will offset the greater cost (tax) burden.”

    A 3% increase in your tax burden when you are making $350K net income per year on your business will not cause a blip in your balance sheet.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “If true, why would not still greater marginal taxes, say 75% or even all of it, result in a boom?”

    Ahh…. reductio ad absurdum

  • Half Brain, you keep calling a 10% tax increase a 3% increase for obvious reasons, but the fact is that if you make a million and your tax bill goes from 330k to 370k it is an increase of over ten percent. trying to minimize things by only looking at the first 100k margin over 250k is silly, you might as well look at the first dollar over 250k.

    Second, I would like you to present any significant example of private sector money or capital, other than that confiscated by the government, that does not flow through the private sector. Even if you buy and bury gold in your back yard the demand goes up as well as the equity of others who leverage that equity in ways that benefit the private sector.

    While you’re at it, provide an example of where government spends money more efficiently and delivers greater value than the same money spent in the private sector.

    Finally, it is not absurd to suggest that by following your logic a doubling of the top marginal rate would not be better than raising it by “only” ten percent. I have no problem suggesting that if you cut all tax rates in half and government spending to a third it would cause an unprecedented boom to the economy, and I think many economists would agree, so I am just wondering why movement of equal magnitude in your direction would be absurd?

    In other words, if 39% is better for the economy than 35%, why not just bump it up to 43%… and if still not enough to get the job done take it to 48%, then 52%, 56%, 60%… 75%. Since it is apparently always more taxes and government spending that makes things better, why not just double it right now and get to the Promised Land?

  • Elder Berry says:

    GDP the top rate used to be quite high and we were quite prosperous. higher taxes are not the devil, which is all anyone is saying. Happy New Year.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    ” the fact is that if you make a million and your tax bill goes from 330k to 370k it is an increase of over ten percent.”

    And I say BFD. I have no pity for you I this case.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    “I have no problem suggesting that if you cut all tax rates in half and government spending to a third it would cause an unprecedented boom to the economy, and I think many economists would agree…”

    Can you name an economist that would agree? Can you cite any data that supports this?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    eb, I’d love a new year’s resolution from you against sweeping generalizations–I realize you are omniscient, but it gets ridiculous with you too.

    Opinions with which you disagree are “preaching”? Not necessarily–try Eric’s multiple repetitive pingpongposts–they come closer.

    I particularly like your “You don’t ride the Metro to the rally against crowded roads — you crowd the roads.”–1) I don’t go to rallies against crowded roads. Around here they seem to be for people who are against ROADS, which I am not. 2) Of course I “crowd” the roads when I go somewhere, as does everyone else including those who preach against any and all roads because they live in the “country”, and pay for it with a job 30-50 miles away and want everybody ELSE off of “their” roads. 3)Having lived in the city and in the inner suburbs (born in DC, my kids are third generation born there) you have no clue on my public transportation usage, or anything else–I was a bus and Metro commuter when I lived carless in the city, and believe it or not a nike commuter when I lived and worked in Arlington.

    Happy New Year eb, and pee up a rope, as Joe B might say. :D

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Bike commuter–I can see you visualising me riding an ICBM into oblivion, and loving it–lol

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Barbara, it was an example — not a claim that you actually go to rallies against crowded roads.

    Thanks for that riveting history of your commuting experience, though.

    I see you’ve not sworn off passive/aggressive comments in the New Year (unless pissing up a rope with the addition of a smiley face is a nice thing to say in 2013).

    Too bad.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Yes eb, I understand–I thought I’d take it literally, since no matter how I respond I knew I’d get a comment chiding me for it–too literal, oh so you don’t do irony, and so on.

    How is an injunction to pee up a rope passive aggressive? I thought it was quite direct. And the smiley was to indicate that I mean no more malice by it than you do with your endless putdowns.

    Yes, happy New Year. Here’s hopingf you get over yourself a bit.

  • NateDogg614 says:

    So the Congress passes the bill to avert the fiscal cliff. Obama has not signed it, it’s not clear when he will receive it, and he’s back in Hawaii.

    Any I the only one who is thinking WTF??

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/01/02/obama-in-hawaii-fiscal-cliff-standoff-behind-him/

  • NateDogg614 says:

    Sigh.

    “For Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat, the “fiscal cliff” fight came down to one thing: the unemployment checks the government will still be able to send to thousands of his constituents.

    “When I go to church on Sunday, I know that I will see people with the assurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail,” he said.”

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/jan/2/rep-davis-unemployment-check-mail/#ixzz2GqD7txKm
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  • NateDogg614 says:

    I’m willing to wager that she voted for Obama:

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/01/02/its-come-to-this-woman-tries-to-buy-ipad-with-food-stamps/

    Sorry state of affairs we are currently face as a nation.

  • NateDogg614 says:

    *we are currently facing

  • Elder, yes, the top rate used to be quite high, but back then in the sixties total government spending (Fed, State & Local) was just shy of 30% of GDP, whereas now it is over 40% of GDP. Further, very little was ever paid at that top marginal rate because of even larger “loopholes” that existed prior to the AMT and TEFRA.

    But the real issues is whether it is a good idea to suck more resources from an ailing private sector or fewer, regardless who you are trying to punish. And make no mistake about it, despite what “skin in the game” Biden and all the other “pay your fair share” advocates say about the more successful among us, it is clearly intended and meant to be viewed by the masses as “punishment” for the success they have enjoyed at the “expense” of everybody else. Class warfare and divisive politics that would make Lenin proud.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Doom, still waiting on that economist and data…

  • NateDogg614 says:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-we-raised-taxes-but-the-rich-still-arent-paying-their-fair-share/article/2517443#.UOWqhG_AexV

    “President Obama cut a video, distributed by his reelection, to reiterate his belief that the wealthiest Americans still aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes and to outline a second-term agenda ranging from environmental policy to gun control.

    Obama started by celebrating the tax increases — “making our tax code more progressive than it’s been in decades,” he said — that will take place because of the fiscal cliff deal.”

    OK, to any of you liberals/progressives/Democrats/commies (whatever you want to call yourselves) who HAVEN’T boycotted this site (why was that again?), riddle me this:

    1) What constitutes a “fair share”?

    2) How much do you have to earn to qualify as “rich”?

    3) How do you expect to make the case to raise taxes again without getting serious about spending cuts?

    4) In a country that was founded by rebellion because of (among other things) tax increases, why in the HELL would you celebrate a tax increase?? Granted, that just may be the paper’s take on it, but still….

  • Sorry, EB, didn’t notice your request. There are scores of studies that compare the long and short term effects of spending and taxes on GDP when governments “adjust”, meaning try to get out of debt by raising taxes, cutting spending or, as your team is trying to do, raising taxes, increasing debt AND spending our way to prosperity. Here’s one from Harvard… good enough, or are they too liberal?

    http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/alesina/files/Output%2BEffect%2BFiscal%2BConsolidations_Aug%2B2012.pdf

    “Do sharp reductions of deficits and government debts (labeled ‘fiscal adjustments’) cause large output losses? This question is at the forefront of the policy debate, given that many OECD countries sooner or later will have to reduce their public debts. The answer which this paper provides is that it matters crucially how the consolidation occurs. Fiscal adjustments based upon spending cuts are much less costly in terms of output losses than tax-based ones. In particular, spending-based adjustments have been associated with mild and short-lived recessions, in many cases with no recession at all. Instead, tax-based adjustments have been followed but prolonged and deep recessions.”

    “The difference is remarkable in its size and cannot be explained by different monetary policies during the two type of adjustments. In fact, we find that the mild asymmetric (and lagged) response of short-term rates cannot explain the difference between the two types of adjustments: heterogeneity in the response of monetary policy appears with a lag of one to two years, while the heterogenous response of output growth to EB and TB adjustments is immediate. We find that the heterogeneity in the effects of the two types of fiscal adjustment (tax-based and spending-based) is mainly due to the response of private investment, rather than that to consumption growth. Interestingly, the responses of business and consumers’ confidence to different types of fiscal adjustment show the same asymmetry as investment and consumption: business confidence (unlike consumer confidence) picks up immediately after expenditure-based adjustments.”

  • NateDogg614 says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256972/Middle-earners-hit-hardest-revealed-workers-making-30-000-bigger-hit-earning-500-000-new-fiscal-deal.html

    “Middle-class workers will take a bigger hit to their income proportionately than those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 under the new fiscal cliff deal, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

    Earners in the latter group will pay an average 1.3 percent more – or an additional $2,711 – in taxes this year, while workers making between $30,000 and $200,000 will see their paychecks shrink by as much as 1.7 percent – or up to $1,784 – the D.C.-based think tank reported.

    Overall, nearly 80 percent of households will pay more money to the federal government as a result of the fiscal cliff deal.”

    OK sports fans!! Is this Bush’s fault? Or can we blame Obama for this one?

  • Nate, The Messiah, Obama, is always blameless, always perfect. Nothing is ever his fault, he only gets credit and acclaim. It is he who does the blaming on others, it is not for others to ever blame him. He’s perfect, and he knows it. I mean, we’re talking about the guy who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he even took office… that’s just how divine he is.

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