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Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Walter posted:

They still are in many parts of the world. Multi-generational households actually reinforce "traditional" values. I suppose we could argue about whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but whatever it is, bitching about "boomerang" kids is a relatively new thing.

The conservative element can rarely see past the end of their noses, though, so I'm not really surprised.

But the problem is that the stereotypical nuclear family that looked like "Leave it to Beaver" is perceived as the way responsible white people in America should live, whereas those multigenerational homes are the way smelly brown immigrants live.

Also, blaming increases in multigenerational homes upon liberals, irresponsible sexually active teens, and other comon conservative scapegoats allows conservatives to deflect criticism away from the real causes for these problems, e.g. the economy they ruined with deregulation, tax cuts, and runaway spending; insufficient resources to care for the elderly (which they are now in the process of cutting); the lovely social welfare system that at best warehouses drug users and the mentally ill rather than helping them and their families, etc.

Shalebridge Cradle posted:

Yep

While serving in Taji, Iraq, West received information from an intelligence specialist about a reported plot to ambush him and his men.[11] The alleged plot reportedly involved Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, a civilian Iraqi police officer.[11] West, who was not responsible for conducting interrogations in Iraq and had never conducted nor witnessed one, had his men detain Hamoodi.[11] In the process of detaining Mr. Hamoodi, soldiers testified that Hamoodi appeared to reach for his weapon and needed to be subdued.[11] Hamoodi was beaten by four soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion on the head and body.[12] West then fired his pistol near Hamoodi's head,[11] after which Hamoodi provided West with names and information, which Hamoodi later described as "meaningless information induced by fear and pain."[11] At least one of these suspects was arrested as a result, but no plans for attacks or weapons were found.[11] West said "At the time I had to base my decision on the intelligence I received. It's possible that I was wrong about Mr. Hamoodi."[11]

So, he tortured people and walked away scot-free, only to be elected to Congress by a bunch of right wing fascists that think torture is a good thing?

Bruce Leroy fucked around with this message at Jul 30, 2011 around 00:07

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Goatman Sacks
Apr 4, 2011
MORON. IGNORE ME, AND REPORT ANY WHITE NOISE POSTS I MAKE


Bruce Leroy posted:

He's a war criminal?

He tortured an innocent man on a random rumor from an intel buddy and is completely unrepentant about it. He used this bit of history to show he can "make tough decisions when it counts" in his campaign.

Mr. Funny Pants
Apr 9, 2001



zeroprime posted:

Texas had it's own nation shaking massacre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman

I'm as bothered as you by the, "If only they had more guns," argument, and I'm pro-gun. However, this incident isn't one you want to use. Armed citizens were credited with pinning Whitman down with their own returned fire and a quickly deputized and armed citizen who knew the layout of the tower helped police get to and kill Whitman.

quote:

I wonder how many people he could have taken out if he had an assault rifle

Almost certainly fewer. Assault rifles have shorter range than the guns he was using. Some of the kills were well out of an AK-47's effective range, and at the edge of the M-16's. For the type of killing that Whitman did, hunting rifles are the most effective, which is what he had. Whitman had a lifetime of gun handling and Marine training. Put that together with his methamphetamine and alcohol abuse, failure in school, and possibly the brain tumor he had, and the availability of hunting rifles seems far down the list of causes for what happened. There are many countries with gun control far stricter than ours that allow hunting rifles. None of the major gun control groups here have ever moved to ban them.

Mr. Funny Pants
Apr 9, 2001



Bruce Leroy posted:

That's some pretty classic fearmongering, including the oft-mentioned conservative trope that the UN is trying to ban private gun ownership.

Non-insane gun enthusiasts have been trying to swat this one down for years. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to debunk it in various gun forums. You need 67 votes in the Senate to ratify a treaty, and at no time during Obama's presidency could you get 67 votes declaring the sky blue. And even granting the virtual impossibility of it passing, the treaty explicitly says that nations retain control of their internal gun laws.

Hell, Obama signed a bill (the big consumer credit protection act) with a pro-gun amendment ending Reagan's ban on firearms in national parks. Obama obviously wouldn't have signed it if he had a choice, but he didn't think it was a big enough deal to veto the thing.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Mr. Funny Pants posted:

Non-insane gun enthusiasts have been trying to swat this one down for years. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to debunk it in various gun forums. You need 67 votes in the Senate to ratify a treaty, and at no time during Obama's presidency could you get 67 votes declaring the sky blue. And even granting the virtual impossibility of it passing, the treaty explicitly says that nations retain control of their internal gun laws.

Hell, Obama signed a bill (the big consumer credit protection act) with a pro-gun amendment ending Reagan's ban on firearms in national parks. Obama obviously wouldn't have signed it if he had a choice, but he didn't think it was a big enough deal to veto the thing.

Exactly.

I think guns are awesome, which sometimes puts me at odds with other lefties with whom I otherwise find much in common.

That said, there are plenty of gun owners/enthusiasts who are just so militant (for lack of a better word) about guns that any restrictions whatsoever on guns are anathema to them, which just makes all gun owners/enthusiasts look like a bunch of irrational and unreasonable nutjobs.

For example, I've personally known people who think that background checks and gun registrations are unconstitutional and tyrannical, yet they are usually the same people complaining about violent crime (without actually acknowledging that violent crime is at 30 year lows). Even more ironic is when they fearmonger about the Mexican cartels, while also complaining about politicians trying to close the gun show loopholes that allow the cartels to get so many weapons.

Mooseontheloose
May 13, 2003
crazy people don't like me

Bruce Leroy posted:


So, he tortured people and walked away scot-free, only to be elected to Congress by a bunch of right wing fascists that think torture is a good thing?

Yep. And oh yah, he doesn't pay his bills or taxes and rides with bikers gangs and thinks Muslims are violent jihadists we have to pacify.


But he totally talks down to people and that makes him a truth teller to the right.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Mooseontheloose posted:

Yep. And oh yah, he doesn't pay his bills or taxes and rides with bikers gangs and thinks Muslims are violent jihadists we have to pacify.


But he totally talks down to people and that makes him a truth teller to the right.

Wow, any sources for that stuff? I'd love to read more about him being an rear end in a top hat after the whole torture thing.

Zeroisanumber
Oct 23, 2010

You're underestimating the power that our bloated military budget has given us.

Mr. Funny Pants posted:

Non-insane gun enthusiasts have been trying to swat this one down for years. I've lost count of how many times I've tried to debunk it in various gun forums. You need 67 votes in the Senate to ratify a treaty, and at no time during Obama's presidency could you get 67 votes declaring the sky blue. And even granting the virtual impossibility of it passing, the treaty explicitly says that nations retain control of their internal gun laws.

Hell, Obama signed a bill (the big consumer credit protection act) with a pro-gun amendment ending Reagan's ban on firearms in national parks. Obama obviously wouldn't have signed it if he had a choice, but he didn't think it was a big enough deal to veto the thing.

The fearmongering is the only way that some of the big gun groups can get money anymore. The NRA, GOA, and other sundry groups won the anti-gun argument at a national level. They've been reduced to swatting down laws at a municipal level and working to get reciprocity for concealed carry.

Dr. Tough
Oct 21, 2007



A few days old but still good:

quote:

Surprise: 58 percent support Obama’s deficit reduction “plan” and 60 percent are dependent on government

Years ago, when I was going through my delusional stage and thought that people would care as much about serious matters as they do about murder trials, I published my research showing that approximately 60 percent of voters are dependent on the government in some way. The 60 percent live in households where the primary household income comes from welfare, entitlements, subsidies, a government job, or a private-sector job that depends on the regulatory state. I predicted that so much dependency would bring the nation to fiscal and cultural ruin if not addressed.

It doesn’t surprise me, therefore, that a recent poll showed that 58 percent of Americans support President Obama’s non-plan plan for reducing the deficit. Even my average intellect can grasp that the 58 percent might be related to the 60 percent.

To be fair to Obama, none of the plans, including the Republican plans and the plan of the Gang of Six, addresses the root cause of deficits--namely, fiat money that is not anchored in precious metals or in the Constitution, which unequivocally states that national money should be so anchored. All anchors to precious metals and fiscal restraint were severed by Richard Nixon when he closed the gold window in 1971, based on the advice of Milton Friedman, of all people. Ninety-seven percent of today’s worldwide debt of nation-states has been created since that closing.

The Federal Reserve is of course the enabling institution in the USA. A love-child that was produced by the illicit mating between the government and private banks, the Fed allows politicians to spend money that the government doesn’t have and to enrich bankers in the sordid process. Before he became Federal Reserve Chairman and sold his principles to the devil, Alan Greenspan warned that this illegitimate offspring would eventually devour all of the nation’s seed corn. The current chairman, Ben Bernanke, also knows this but has made his own Faustian bargain, trading principles for fame and power. The same with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who used to head the New York Fed and was too busy romping in bed with bankers to pay his taxes.

These guys are all geniuses, as measured by IQ and academic accomplishments. They demonstrate that genius and scruples are two different things.

The plan hatched by the Gang of Six has some good features, but it will do nothing about the problem of fiat money and the lovemaking between private banks and government. It also has a horrible feature: It proposes the elimination of the tax deferral on investment income earned on savings. From an economics perspective, this is nutty, for it will remove an incentive to save money and thus deprive the nation of needed investment capital. From a moral perspective, it is nuttier yet, for it will tax income twice: once when earned and once when saved.

Speaking of morals, I’ve been studying the writings of the great moral philosophers all of my adult life, searching for the moral justification for the country’s social and tax policies. There is no moral justification. It simply isn’t moral for half of adults to pay no income taxes and to mooch off the other half, especially when at least two-thirds of the moochers are able-bodied and able-minded.

Take a guy who picked his nose through school instead of studying, who never had any interest in making something of himself, who has never saved a nickel, and whose only interests are beer, bimbos, sports, tattoos, backward caps, a scruffy beard, and gambling. There is no moral justification for him to vote to take money from a guy who grew up in the same circumstance but had a long-term outlook, lived below his means, invested in his future, and learned how to use a razor.

Yet Republicans are incapable of making a moral case against the welfare/entitlement state and somehow lose the moral argument to the collectivists and neo-Marxists in Congress, the White House, the media, and academia. This is like losing a game of chess to a rodent. (No offense to Rod Blagojevich, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and Charlie Rangel.)

Enough ranting for today. In closing, here is a prediction: 58 percent of readers won’t like this commentary.

“Mencken’s Ghost” is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at ghost@menckensghost.com.

Orange Devil
Sep 30, 2010

Waar is da feestje?

HIER IS DA FEESTJE!



Well he got the average intellect thing about right.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Dr. Tough posted:

A few days old but still good:

“Mencken’s Ghost” posted:

The 60 percent live in households where the primary household income comes from welfare, entitlements, subsidies, a government job, or a private-sector job that depends on the regulatory state.

What the gently caress does "a private-sector job that depends on the regulatory state" mean?

Is that just someone who works a job that is regulated by the federal government, e.g. working at a pharmaceutical company regulated by the FDA, or is this just some ambiguous catchall that allows this douche to artificially inflate his alleged numbers to 60%?

Doesn't nearly every American "depend on the regulatory state" just by virtue of living in the US, even if their jobs don't involve regular contact with federal regulators?

“Mencken’s Ghost” posted:

It also has a horrible feature: It proposes the elimination of the tax deferral on investment income earned on savings. From an economics perspective, this is nutty, for it will remove an incentive to save money and thus deprive the nation of needed investment capital. From a moral perspective, it is nuttier yet, for it will tax income twice: once when earned and once when saved.

I'm not an expert on finance, investing, or taxes, but isn't this just lowering or removing the cap on capital gains taxes?

Regardless, the money that is taxed is only the money made on top of the principle investment, not the principle itself, so it's not double taxation, it's simply taxing new income made from investments, right?

“Mencken’s Ghost” posted:

Speaking of morals, I’ve been studying the writings of the great moral philosophers all of my adult life, searching for the moral justification for the country’s social and tax policies. There is no moral justification. It simply isn’t moral for half of adults to pay no income taxes and to mooch off the other half, especially when at least two-thirds of the moochers are able-bodied and able-minded.

Someone is "mooching" from Ayn Rand.

“Mencken’s Ghost” posted:

lose the moral argument to the collectivists and neo-Marxists in Congress

Do ANY conservatives know what words like "collectivism," "Marxism," "communism," or "socialism" mean or is it simply just a grab-bag of general pejoratives they toss into their speech and writing for effect?

“Mencken’s Ghost” posted:

“Mencken’s Ghost” is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer

Is it just me or does that explain a lot?

vxskud
Nov 19, 2006



I'm guessing his published "research" consisted of a poll on FreeRepublic and what he heard a caller on Rush Limbaugh say one time when he was driving.


And the idea you could "Morally Justify" further sticking it to the most vulnerable in a country that already treats the less fortunate like poo poo is pure

The mental gymnastics people like this must perform to be able to sleep at night must be staggering

vxskud fucked around with this message at Aug 3, 2011 around 08:30

Bubbacub
Apr 17, 2001



Orange Devil posted:

Well he got the average intellect thing about right.

He sounds old.

"Kids these days and their backwards caps!

Shalebridge Cradle
Apr 23, 2008


Bruce Leroy posted:

What the gently caress does "a private-sector job that depends on the regulatory state" mean?

Is that just someone who works a job that is regulated by the federal government, e.g. working at a pharmaceutical company regulated by the FDA, or is this just some ambiguous catchall that allows this douche to artificially inflate his alleged numbers to 60%?

Doesn't nearly every American "depend on the regulatory state" just by virtue of living in the US, even if their jobs don't involve regular contact with federal regulators?

I assume he means tax preparers and associated legal proffesions based on the rest of the stuff written. I'm not sure how you reconcile this with the prevailing attitude that the government never creates jobs, but contradictions seem to have lost all meaning anyway.

babies havin rabies
Feb 24, 2006



Bruce Leroy posted:

Do ANY conservatives know what words like "collectivism," "Marxism," "communism," or "socialism" mean or is it simply just a grab-bag of general pejoratives they toss into their speech and writing for effect?


I had a conservative argue with me that school lunch programs are communism and if we continued them then the government would "clench their fist on our children". So, no, they don't. When applied to Obama it is just a placeholder for a racial slur.

Saint Sputnik
Mar 31, 2007

when i mouth my
silent curses at you
i can see my breath

i hope the stars don't even
bother to come out tonight
i hope we both
freeze to death

This letter to the editor is a thing of beauty

quote:

I follow C-SPAN daily and have for sometime. I hear a lot about the TEA party. As I see it they want to slow down the spending in this country that has gotten us into the mess we are in. Everyone agrees we spend more than we make and that it will have to stop or sooner or later nobody is going to lend us anymore money.

This TEA party as I see it, thinks we the people pay enough tax now and they don't want to pay more.

I have listened to several CEO'S from the largest companies tell congress we need to lower the corporate tax rate and do away with all the loop holes that now exists in the system.

I have heard many economists speak about how the current tax system will never get us out of debt. Most of the greatest money minds believe we need to go to a value added tax. They go on to say we should do away with income tax altogether and rely on the VAT to pay our bills.

I'm not sure what the answer is but why is the TEA party getting all this flak for stirring up the pot and wanting real change.

Yesterday on C-SPAN there were Washington insider reporters that said the TEA party did influence the bills and tightened the purse strings of this country.        

Anybody that thinks we should just raise the debt ceiling without any real change in spending makes me think of a doctor that puts more blood into a person and doesn't worry about trying to stop their bleeding. When the nurse says, Dr... what about his bleeding? The Dr replies... we'll just put more in later. Oh! says the nurse... and the blood bank wants their blood back with interest doctor. Not to worry nurse we'll just take it from someone else.

We need real change in the way we think and do business. If it takes our citizens that speak out to do it, no matter what they call themselves. I think we should encourage them, not tell them to keep quite and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Shalebridge Cradle
Apr 23, 2008


Saint Sputnik posted:

Oh! says the nurse... and the blood bank wants their blood back with interest doctor. Not to worry nurse we'll just take it from someone else.

I do hate tax and spend doctors with their interest charging blood banks I don't know what the hell this even means.

Mooseontheloose
May 13, 2003
crazy people don't like me

Bruce Leroy posted:

Wow, any sources for that stuff? I'd love to read more about him being an rear end in a top hat after the whole torture thing.

Allen West talks down to someone from CAIR after being called out on his lack of knowledge of the Quran

Allen West and Biker Gangs and other stuff

Allen West thinks he has a higher security clearance than the President.

The man is insane.

Taerkar
Dec 7, 2002

I would always rather be happy than dignified


I'm still giggling about the "Needed Investment Capital" phrase.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Saint Sputnik posted:

This letter to the editor is a thing of beauty

I don't really know an actual tea baggers, but I'd like to know if anyone ever asked them where the gently caress they were from 2001 to 2009, when Republicans in the executive and legislative branches were running up trillions in debts.

Honestly, all this stuff about the Tea Party movement being grassroots and having legitimate outrage against runaway spending and government overreach really rings hollow when none of these people said poo poo about Republicans doing all the same crap that they criticize Democrats for doing.

It really just seems like they didn't give two shits about these issues until a black Democrat became president. Suddenly all these people went from complacent morons to firebrand deficit and small government hawks right around the time a black democrat got into office.

Taerkar posted:

I'm still giggling about the "Needed Investment Capital" phrase.

Yeah, it's quite the knee-slapper.

It's incredibly frustrating to see/hear people regurgitate talking points from rich conservatives and corporations without actually paying attention to facts like banks and private businesses sitting on trillions of dollars in cash while the rest of the nation suffers.

Bruce Leroy fucked around with this message at Aug 3, 2011 around 23:52

babies havin rabies
Feb 24, 2006



Bruce Leroy posted:

It really just seems like they didn't give two shits about these issues until a black Democrat became president. Suddenly all these people went from complacent morons to firebrand deficit and small government hawks right around the time a black democrat got into office.

Ask one what they think about Detroit sometime.

thefncrow
Mar 14, 2001


Bruce Leroy posted:

I don't really know an actual tea baggers, but I'd like to know if anyone ever asked them where the gently caress they were from 2001 to 2009, when Republicans in the executive and legislative branches were running up trillions in debts.

The line I've typically heard is something like "We didn't like that either. Don't you remember how unpopular Bush was?" and then some nonsense about Obama's election being the last straw which made them become more vocal.

Which, of course, is basically total horseshit and a bad attempt at revisionist history, but I imagine that's the response you'd get.

babies havin rabies
Feb 24, 2006



thefncrow posted:

The line I've typically heard is something like "We didn't like that either. Don't you remember how unpopular Bush was?" and then some nonsense about Obama's election being the last straw which made them become more vocal.

Which, of course, is basically total horseshit and a bad attempt at revisionist history, but I imagine that's the response you'd get.

It's more or less true because Obama is a continuation of Bush's corporate-sponsored presidency. Bush was disliked, Obama is a continuation of disliked policy (also, he's black).

thefncrow
Mar 14, 2001


babies havin rabies posted:

It's more or less true because Obama is a continuation of Bush's corporate-sponsored presidency. Bush was disliked, Obama is a continuation of disliked policy (also, he's black).

It's really not true, although Obama's presidency being largely the continuation of Bush is pretty much right on.

It's strange because they've constructed this faux rationale that would be dead on the money except that what they've missed is a fundamental thing that makes the whole thing hilariously off the mark.

babies havin rabies
Feb 24, 2006



thefncrow posted:

It's strange because they've constructed this faux rationale that would be dead on the money except that what they've missed is a fundamental thing that makes the whole thing hilariously off the mark.

The only problem with them protesting Obama is that they only do it to put a Republican in his place. It won't accomplish anything. The Tea Party (and, in fact, the two party system in the US) is simply a corporate-sponsored misdirection which creates a spillover outlet for rage. It is, simply put, an investment in being able to continue business. It is to class consciousness what a pacifier is to an infant.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


babies havin rabies posted:

The only problem with them protesting Obama is that they only do it to put a Republican in his place. It won't accomplish anything. The Tea Party (and, in fact, the two party system in the US) is simply a corporate-sponsored misdirection which creates a spillover outlet for rage. It is, simply put, an investment in being able to continue business. It is to class consciousness what a pacifier is to an infant.

That's because the tea party movement is simply astroturf. It was begun by the conservative elites to whip the public into a frenzy against Obama on the chance that McCain lost in 2008. This is why many of the website urls for the tea party were purchased and reserved in August and September of 2008, well before the election even took place.

The Tea Party is directed at putting more Republicans into office, not at any real, substantial change that would actually alleviate any of our problems.

Dr. Tough
Oct 21, 2007



Response to an article about school vouchers:

quote:

As Americans we should be free to use our money to educate our kids at whatever school we want. Families shouldn't be forced to fund a public system that they don't use.

Furthermore, there really is no such thing as "poverty" in American anymore. It makes for great political theatre, but most of the "poor" that they are referring to are the professional poor, ie the people who live a particular way to maximize their take from the government

Darth Windu
Mar 17, 2009

PAWS OFF MY ANDERS


Bruce Leroy posted:

That's because the tea party movement is simply astroturf. It was begun by the conservative elites to whip the public into a frenzy against Obama on the chance that McCain lost in 2008. This is why many of the website urls for the tea party were purchased and reserved in August and September of 2008, well before the election even took place.

The Tea Party is directed at putting more Republicans into office, not at any real, substantial change that would actually alleviate any of our problems.

Technically, the Tea Party started as a grassroots libertarian movement that was co-opted by conservative elites into the movement that it is now. As far as I understand the history, anyway.

Shalebridge Cradle
Apr 23, 2008


Dr. Tough posted:

Response to an article about school vouchers:

I guess if you truly believe that everyone is a rational actor this is the only way to reconcile the obvious contradictions that poverty poses. Still doesn't make any god damned sense. I'm sure people go to sleep freezing in the winter because welfare gives them more money or something.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Shalebridge Cradle posted:

I guess if you truly believe that everyone is a rational actor this is the only way to reconcile the obvious contradictions that poverty poses. Still doesn't make any god damned sense. I'm sure people go to sleep freezing in the winter because welfare gives them more money or something.

It always seems like the people who believe those things about the "professional poor" or "welfare queens" are people who have never been poor and don't personally know anyone who is poor. They just hear these apocryphal anecdotes about poor people with iphones, new SUVs, etc. and think that these stories are not only true but represent how the typical poor person lives.

It really doesn't seem to matter how much demonstrable evidence you offer them about poor people freezing in the winter because they can't afford to heat their homes, children going hungry in the summer months because they aren't getting free school lunches, etc. They just parrot the same talking points they get from chain emails and right-wing talk radio about how "50% of the country pays no taxes and top 10% pays 90% of the taxes!!!!!"

All this probably stems from severe just-world fallacies so that these people can continue their right-wing, pro-capitalism beliefs with no cognitive dissonance.

Darth Windu posted:

Technically, the Tea Party started as a grassroots libertarian movement that was co-opted by conservative elites into the movement that it is now. As far as I understand the history, anyway.

The tea party began as astroturf from right-wing elites that created a contingency plan in case Obama got elected. They've just rewritten the history of the tea party movement to make it seem like it had grassroots, populist beginnings, kind of like how they've rewritten the history of the term "tea bagger."

Shalebridge Cradle
Apr 23, 2008


Bruce Leroy posted:

They just parrot the same talking points they get from chain emails and right-wing talk radio about how "50% of the country pays no taxes and top 10% pays 90% of the taxes!!!!!"

This has always been my favorite statistic, because ignoring the fact that the bottom 50% of people still pay sales and local taxes this proves basically the opposite of what they claim. Yes the richest 10% pay about 70% of the taxes because this country is a plutocracy and income inequality is this country is some of the worst in the western world.

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.

The whole "48% of the population pays no taxes" is a lie made up by notorious piece of poo poo Lou Dobbs. Please stop repeating it.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Pope Guilty posted:

The whole "48% of the population pays no taxes" is a lie made up by notorious piece of poo poo Lou Dobbs. Please stop repeating it.

But even if it's a not lie (it is a lie), the assholes who parrot it don't understand it.

The whole reason those people wouldn't be paying taxes, especially federal income taxes, is because they are quite poor and barely make enough money to survive, let alone pay income taxes.

The conservatives that use this talking point have a really twisted notion of fairness. To them, fairness is not having people pay taxes proportional to how much money they make (i.e. progressive income taxation), fairness is everyone paying, even if they don't really have any money, and not taxing the very ewalthy much more than everyone else.

It's basically this giant just-world fallacy, whereby those who have massive amounts of wealth must be good people because, in their world, bad people shouldn't receive such great rewards. Conversely, poor people aren't poor because of socioeconomic conditions, discrimination, he actions of the wealthy, and the insane difficulty of escaping poverty. They are poor because they are lazy, immoral, and otherwise bad people who are unwilling to do the work to make themselves incredibly rich.

They basically fetishize capitalism like they do Christianity. "Who cares if millions upon millions of people are harmed by capitalism, those are the terms of following free market capitalism to the letter and that's the way it should be?" Similarly, "Who cares if those fags get beaten up and discriminated against, that's what happens when you go against the Bible?"

zeroprime
Mar 25, 2006

Words go here.

Also feel free to point out that the group paying 70% of income taxes holds 83% of the financial wealth in America and their financial wealth continues to grow while those below them either stagnate or shrink.

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


zeroprime posted:

Also feel free to point out that the group paying 70% of income taxes holds 83% of the financial wealth in America and their financial wealth continues to grow while those below them either stagnate or shrink.

That doesn't really matter to conservatives, as many of them actually think that's a good thing because those people deserve to be rich. It's this Randian obsession with capitalism and rich people, as if they are all these singular geniuses to whom we owe everything, so we need to revere them and remove any onerous government action that infringes on their greatness.

This is why these wealth fetishizing and corporatist conservatives blame the government for corporate outsourcing instead of the businesses themselves. You generally hear a lot of "if only corporate taxes weren't so high and there weren't so many regulations, all those companies would bring the jobs back to the US."

It doesn't really matter how detached from reality these beliefs and arguments are, e.g. it doesn't matter how low taxes are or how deregulated the US economy is, there's no way a business is going to move to the US when they can pay Chinese and Indian workers pennies on the dollar for what they would have to pay American workers. Things like facts, statistics, and empiricism don't mean poo poo to these kinds of conservatives, because they will just find some way of weaseling out of responsibility and cognitive dissonance when their bullshit is proven wrong. So, when taxes get reduced to their lowest levels in 50 years and there still isn't measurable economic gain despite the massive increase to the national debt, conservatives claim that taxes just aren't low enough.

vxskud
Nov 19, 2006



Bruce Leroy posted:

That doesn't really matter to conservatives, as many of them actually think that's a good thing because those people deserve to be rich. It's this Randian obsession with capitalism and rich people, as if they are all these singular geniuses to whom we owe everything, so we need to revere them and remove any onerous government action that infringes on their greatness.

This is why these wealth fetishizing and corporatist conservatives blame the government for corporate outsourcing instead of the businesses themselves. You generally hear a lot of "if only corporate taxes weren't so high and there weren't so many regulations, all those companies would bring the jobs back to the US."

It doesn't really matter how detached from reality these beliefs and arguments are, e.g. it doesn't matter how low taxes are or how deregulated the US economy is, there's no way a business is going to move to the US when they can pay Chinese and Indian workers pennies on the dollar for what they would have to pay American workers. Things like facts, statistics, and empiricism don't mean poo poo to these kinds of conservatives, because they will just find some way of weaseling out of responsibility and cognitive dissonance when their bullshit is proven wrong. So, when taxes get reduced to their lowest levels in 50 years and there still isn't measurable economic gain despite the massive increase to the national debt, conservatives claim that taxes just aren't low enough.


The amusing part is increased Government regulation and Tariffs on Trade would actually bring more jobs back to America.

But of course that would be UnAmerican :america:

And the interests of the CEOs and shareholders must be protected at all costs!

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


vxskud posted:

The amusing part is increased Government regulation and Tariffs on Trade would actually bring more jobs back to America.

But of course that would be UnAmerican :america:

And the interests of the CEOs and shareholders must be protected at all costs!

It's pretty amusing that all these conservatives justify their economic positions by thinking that they'll be millionaires some day, too, so we shouldn't put any tax increases or regulations into place now because it will affect them when they get rich in the future.

It's basically a child's conception of how capitalism works. "If I work as hard as I possibly can, I'll be rich some day, so I don't want to help put any policies into place that would take away any of my future, hypothetical riches."

The other great part is that many of these people are Christians, so they basically have to ignore huge swaths of the New Testament about how being rich is sinful and un-Christian, like Matthew 19:21. Or, if you're Andy Schlafly, you can just rewrite the Bible so those passages don't exist.

Unlearning
May 7, 2011


vxskud posted:

The amusing part is increased Government regulation and Tariffs on Trade would actually bring more jobs back to America.

But of course that would be UnAmerican :america:

And the interests of the CEOs and shareholders must be protected at all costs!

Corporate tax also incentivises employment where it is levied.

Cost of employee = wages + payroll - corporate tax, roughly

Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


Cahal posted:

Corporate tax also incentivises employment where it is levied.

Cost of employee = wages + payroll - corporate tax, roughly

It incentivizes pretty much any reinvestment into one's own business, whether that investment be new employees, new technology, expanded services and/or production, etc.

Taxes are incredibly low and businesses are sitting upon trillions of dollars in cash while the rest of America suffers, but somehow more tax cuts will make things better and spur economic growth.

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Bruce Leroy
Jun 10, 2010


For some new content, here's a crazy and loving stupid editorial from Charles Krauthammer.

Charles Krauthammer posted:

Conventional wisdom holds that the congressional super-committee established by the debt-ceiling deal to propose further deficit reduction will go nowhere. I'm not so sure. There is a grand compromise to be had. It does, however, require precise sequencing. To succeed it must proceed in three stages:

(1) Tax Reform.

True tax reform that removes loopholes while lowering tax rates is the Holy Grail of social policy. It appeals equally to left and right because, almost uniquely, it promotes both economic efficiency and fairness. Economic efficiency - because it removes tax dodges that distort capital flows (and thereby diminish productivity) while cutting marginal tax rates (thereby spurring growth). Fairness - because a corrupted tax code with myriad breaks grants deeply unfair advantage to the rich who buy the lobbyists who create the loopholes and buy the lawyers who exploit them.

Which is why the 1986 Reagan-Bradley tax reform was a success. It satisfied left and right, promoted efficiency and helped launch two decades of economic expansion.

But didn't that agreement take years to hammer out? Yes. Today, however, the elements are already laid out by the Simpson-Bowles commission. The super-committee doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. It simply has to make choices.

(2) Revenue Neutrality.

[/b]Every dollar of revenue raised by stripping out a loophole is to be returned to the citizenry in the form of lower tax rates. Initial revenue neutrality avoids ideological gridlock over tax hikes and ensures perfect transparency during any later alterations of that formula.[/b]

Start with the obvious boondoggles, from the $6 billion a year wasted on ethanol subsidies to your Democratic perennials - corporate jets, oil company breaks, etc. That's the fun part. Unfortunately, whacking that pinata yields but pennies on the dollar. The real money is in the popular tax breaks: employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Altering some of these heretofore politically untouchable tax breaks would alone be a singular achievement.

I'd suggest abolishing the health care exclusion, which encourages wasteful medical spending. I would also abolish the mortgage-interest deduction. Start by excluding second homes and mortgages greater than $500,000. Lower that threshold by $100,000 chunks as the housing market meets threshold indexes of recovery.

As for charitable contributions, here I go soft. I'd leave the deduction intact on the grounds that subsidizing private charity disperses power and strengthens civil society, the principal bulwark against state domination.
Your preferences will be different. So will the super-committee's. What's important is to make choices that are deep, radical and revenue-neutral.

But, you say, is not the committee's mission to reduce debt? This, as yet, does nothing. Correct. But it's indispensable for achieving the ultimate in debt reduction:

(3) The Grand Bargain.

Once you have serious revenue-neutral tax reform in place, the ideological horse-trading that is required for massive deficit reduction - tax hikes versus entitlement reform - can begin.

Republicans will resist the former, Democrats the latter. But tax-reform-first makes possible the compromise that eluded John Boehner and President Obama. Boehner was willing to increase revenues by $800 billion. Obama was reputedly ready to raise the Medicare age and change the Social Security cost-of-living formula.

Remember: Tax reform will already have slashed rates radically. In one Simpson-Bowles scenario, the top rate plunges to 23%. Conservatives could at that point contemplate increasing net revenues by tweaking these new low rates, say, back to Reagan's 28%, still much lower than the current 35% and Obama's devoutly desired 39.6%. The deviation from revenue neutrality would yield new tax receipts for the Treasury, in addition to those resulting from the economic growth stimulated by the lower rates.

Democrats would have to respond by crossing their own red line on entitlements. That means real structural changes. That means raising the Medicare and Social Security ages, indexing them to longevity (until 70 becomes the new 65) and changing the inflation formula. Perhaps means-testing Social Security (after one has recouped what one originally paid in).

The result of such a grand bargain would be debt reduction on a scale never before seen. World confidence in the American economy would rise dramatically. Best of all, we would be back on the road to national solvency. It can be done. In three months. In three stages.

So, massively cut taxes now and later on we'll decide if we can compromise to tax increases to rates significantly lower than current levels. Oh, and don't forget wasting any revenue gains from closing tax loopholes by requiring that all the money gained from the ending of those loopholes be frittered away on more tax cuts.

Honestly, is there any conservative economic plan that isn't basically just "cut taxes and social programs"?

How many times do tax cuts have to fail at providing economic growth until they understand that tax cuts don't work and are just handouts to the wealthy and corporations?

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