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October 20, 2008


A great cartoon lambasting this phenomenon on the ReasonsToBeCheerful3.blogspot.com blog...

I sure hope you are right but won't count it over until it is over. I know the right is now blaming Obama for having so much money and not accepting public financing. What is the money he has except public financing? Little people, like my family, we are the fuel behind his campaign, and he is using what we have given him as we wanted. We have put our money where our mouths are. Like your wife, more of us than ever are volunteering and giving. This is very much a campaign funded by the little guy.

I'm not religious but like the ditty "What would Jesus do?" based on what the Jesus person was supposed to be like. I tend to think he would believe in sharing the wealth. I guess the conservatives take off their WWJD bracelets and store them away till something comes up that doesn't apply to their wallets.

Brian, I wish that I could share in your excitement of your candidate.
I have about the same excitement about your candidate as I do a used oil filter.
What about the other candidate?
Well, at least he barely qualifies.
One thing that we do share excitement about, and that is the expelling of the WORST president in the history of the United States.
I wish that we could declare a national holiday as the GOOD RIDDANCE BUSH day.
However, before we get too excited about that; current polls indicate that we have MUCH HARDER TIMES AHEAD!
I thought things could not possibly get harder. It's looking that I was WAY WRONG.
Oh well. At least we will have sweet memories of a wonderful time when America was free.

Ah America was free like when blacks couldn't vote, maybe farther back when they were slaves or where women couldn't vote? *s* I know you didn't mean to go back that far, Harry, but not that long ago (my lifetime) blacks couldn't ride in the front of a bus, drink from a water fountain a white used and women had no way to report abuse in their own homes. Freedom is kind of a personal perspective, don't you think?

In my opinion, a lot of these memories of a golden time in the past tend to ignore a lot of the negatives to glorify what once was. We can make the future the best. It's up to us to not expect someone else to do it, to care enough to get involved. We do have more socialism than we had but some of that is a product of more people. Some is protecting the rich guys in the last bailout.

Even in farming, some got socialism with being told what to grow and given money if they do the practices right (certain crops) and others do not (ranchers).

Look around and you see plenty of government socialism including how McCain wanted to limit the election this time with government deciding how much could be spent if they were good kids and took government funds (ie ours).

I am not sure we can go back to a time before SS or Medicare, not sure how many would want to do so if they could.

Dear Brian,

I place very little faith in your assertion(/hope?) that "...people have developed refined bullshit detecting skills." I thoroughly doubt that. For example, cf.: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2008/10/02/counterknowledge/index.html (and also have a look at the "Editor's Choice" of letters). My view is rather less positive than yours. (Also, I hope that the supplied address will function properly.)

Robert Paul Howard


Could you give a few extra directional points to the article in salon.com, that discusses the bullshit detecting skills. I have briefly scanned the site, and found myself kinda lost, regarding your subject matter.

Dear Roger,

The article is entitled "A nation of conspiracy theorists can't be wrong," by Louis Bayard, in which he reviews Damian Thompson's relatively recent book _Counterknowledge_ (and not with complete approval).

Robert Paul Howard

Yeah, a new day will dawn on November 5 no matter who wins the election, but only because Bush will be gone which I agree is a good thing. However, it will still be politics as usual in Washington.

It is partisan narrow-mindedness to say as Brian did that conservatives are "taxaphobic". No, it's unfair taxation that is the issue here.

Mr. Obama's tax increase would hit the bottom line of small businesses in three direct ways. First, because 85% of small business owners are taxed at the personal income tax rate, any moderately successful business with an income above as little as $165,000 a year could face a higher tax liability. That's the income level at which the 33% income tax bracket now phases in for individuals, and Mr. Obama would raise that tax rate for those businesses to 36%.

Second, the Obama plan phases out tax deductions (the so-called PEP and Pease provisions), thus raising tax rates imposed on this group by another 1.5 percentage points. Finally, Mr. Obama would require many small business owners to pay as much as a four-percentage-point payroll tax surcharge on net income above $250,000. All of this would bring the federal marginal small business tax rate up to nearly 45%, while big business would continue to pay the 35% corporate tax rate.

Mr. Obama responds that more than nine of 10 small businesses would not pay these higher taxes. Last Thursday he scoffed in response to the debate over Joe the Plumber, saying that not too many plumbers "make more than $250,000 a year." He's right that most of the 35 million small businesses in America have a net income of less than $250,000, hire only a few workers, and stay in business for less than four years.

However, the point is that it is the most successful small- and medium-sized businesses that create most of the new jobs in our dynamic society. And they are precisely the businesses that will be slammed by Mr. Obama's tax increase. Joe the Plumber would get hit if he expanded his business and hired 10 to 15 other plumbers. An analysis by the Senate Finance Committee found that of the filers in the highest two tax brackets, three out of four are small business owners. A typical firm with a net income of $500,000 would see its tax burden rise to $166,000 a year under the Obama plan from $146,000 today.

According to a Gallup survey conducted for the National Federation of Independent Business last December and January, only 10% of all businesses that hire between one and nine employees would pay the Obama tax. But 19.5% of employers with 10 to 19 employees would be socked by the tax. And 50% of businesses with 20 to 249 workers would pay the tax. The Obama plan is an incentive to hire fewer workers.

For many months Mr. Obama and his band of economists have claimed that taxes don't matter much to growth or job creation. But only last week Mr. Obama effectively admitted that even he doesn't believe this. His latest "stimulus" proposal includes a $3,000 refundable tax credit for businesses that hire new workers in 2009 or 2010.

So what sense does it make to offer targeted and temporary tax relief for some small businesses, while raising taxes by far more and permanently on others? Raising marginal tax rates on farmers, ranchers, sole proprietors and small business owners is no way to stimulate the economy -- and it's certainly no way to create jobs.

WWJD? I have no clue if he even existed, but if he did I bet he wouldn't be in favor of Obama's plan. It isn't share the Love, it's Stiffle The Success and Jobs, and when you stiffle jobs you create poverty and thus the need for the entitlements that Obama proposes to finance by his tax plan! Rather ironic, don't you think? Or maybe just plain short-sighted and stupid?

condor, how would you pay down the deficit? Just wondering. I know McCain says earmarks which sometimes are repairing a bridge but even if you took them, two months in Iraq each year is more than they cost. Do you believe in voodoo economics? faith based taxation? It would be interesting to know. and most small business have a myriad of tax writeoffs which you know if you have one. You can take a big gross income and bring it down to not such a big taxable one through investing in certain things, etc etc. But somebody has to pay this deficit down somehow and the ones against taxes never explain how they figure that will happen. If you know enough government waste, maybe you should be writing to them about it. McCain says he can do it in his first term in office but he also said he knows how to get bin Laden and evidently hasn't told anybody the answer to that either. Voodoo economics didn't work in Reagan's time and doesn't today

First of all I never said I am against taxes. I am against unfair taxes. Of course the government needs revenue.

How to cut the deficit?

The same way a private citizen does who is over their head in debt. They throw away the credit card. They sell the fancy car and boat and live simply. They trim their expenses by eliminating what they don't need so that there is enough left over to pay down their debt. This includes paying cousin Lenny's medical bills because they are sick themselves and need the money for their own operation.

Well we have a progressive tax system now. It has been in place a long time. So I guess you want a flat rate and whether someone makes $50,000 a year or $500,000, you want them to pay the same say 30% to taxes? You do realize that McCain is not suggesting that either. It has been assumed all along that those who make more can afford a higher percentage because it's not dipping into their basic living costs. But if you feel it's fine to make a family just barely making it have to figure out what they can afford for their kids, what they can eat, whether they can keep the house warm in the winter, well it is your right to think that way. It's not been the American system though. What most have tried to avoid is a confiscatory rate for the rich-- not that they ever paid it as they always have deductions and they always will have. It's the average working class Joe who really has no way around it.

The solution is a consumption or flat tax built into consumer goods. If you're rich and buy more, you pay more and if you're poor and buy less, you pay less.

Tax tiers are unfair because they don't take into account the myriad variables in everyone's lives. Some are not hurt by paying a higher percentage but some are.

Many object to the death penalty because an innocent may be executed. In the same way, an innocent can be punitively taxed by arbitrary tax tiers set at certain income levels.

For someone who makes $251K to pay 3% more in taxes than someone who makes $249K is absurd.

well i disagree but that's America and the right to do that. Consumption tax might be fine but it won't happen with either presidential candidate. Too many people make too much money off the deductions-- including religions. I think on the it doesn't matter, if you were barely feeding your family, you'd see this differently. The rich are though who should vote for McCain... not the working class as he's no friend to them

Although, having said that, I don't personally vote for who will promise me the lowest taxes. I care about paying down the deficit, our infrastructure, fulfilling our obligations to the military troops who now will need our help in some cases for years to come. Taxes are not the major issue to me-- and we pay plenty of them.


The truly Rich will pay more taxes, however, they will, in many cases, not pay more for what they consume.

The truly rich already have a ton of material stuff. They don't need to purchase stuff, they already have that stuff.

When the truly rich do decide to purchase a particular item or service, they just simply get with the Seller and demand a reduction in the selling price of the item/service, to compensate for the tax increase. The taxes are collected, but the truly Rich don't pay more. They have the purchasing power.

The Seller, having to reduce his/her price, are forced to reduce their operating expenses. Maybe, an employee doesn't get a pay raise, or needed repairs or maintenance to production equipment doesn't get properly done.

The truely Rich are very smart. Someone else is going to pay the price.

Obama said something in his recent press conference that all he is talking about is going back to what the 'rich' paid in 2000. At that time McCain objected to the tax cut. Was he a socialist then?

This whole thing is ridiculous as all taxes are about redistributing the wealth. It's a question of being fair in how it's done and to say that the rich will be hurt as much by a tax increase as the middle class is unaware of what it's like in either class. Obama wants to give the middle class a chance to get rich or at least pay their bills.

And you are right, Roger. There are a lot of ways that the rich get what they want including sometimes out and out freebies from those who want to curry their favor. When it comes time for taxes, there are places you can invest that defer taxation until sometime when you might have less income.

It amazes me the pity that Republicans have for the rich right now.

And how about the $150,000 worth of clothes that RNC bought for Sarah Palin, but they will be given away after the election. So basically she's a fraud. She isn't wearing her own clothes, saying her own words, and yet Republicans have loved her, loved the designer dresses and can hardly wait to get more of her kind of thinking governing our country. I think it already has been. So all this talk about them relating to the average working stiff is a lie as who they really relate to is the rich. and the reason they put down intelligent people is they don't want anybody else figuring out what they are up to... a drone population would suit them just fine.

Interesting to read the comments and just feel the emotions and fear rise with each posting.

It's great to see people throw around descriptive terms like: "the rich, the truly rich, the average joe, the average working stiff" as if that means something specific or the thought that Joe the Plumber represents some typical American. I bet my definition of the "truly rich" isn't the same as any of yours. Taxation has been around since people discovered they could call themselves "king" and take from a weaker person regardless how rich they were. The primary beneficiary of taxation is the government itself and the people who earn their living by governing. This is not the time or consciousness in America for that to change.

I've been voting and working in this country since the late 1960's and quite frankly it has been my conclusion that the rest of the World is more affected by our President than we American's are. Our domestic life has had it's ups and down in the last 50 years but factoring in the changes in technology, what have all those Presidents, from either Party really done to dramatically change "Life in America"? Taxes go up or down 3-6-10%, who cares. You just work harder or get more in government give aways. Does it really change any of our lives? The folks in real need in the 60's are still in real need today and the politicians continue "using" them to get elected and make sure they are all still in need 4 years later for the rhetoric of the next election. It's all Promises and Lies. Presentations and No Qualifications. Domestically: What really is Obama "going" to do? What really is McCain "going" to do? "Going" to do is the question? It's no different this time than anytime in the last 50 years but "they" have done their job; get you in a uproar by creating FEAR. And boy do I feel it coming through loud and clear.


The "truly rich" description, in my above comment, was based on several specific examples. I worked directly under these individuals. My comment was not sarcasm, it was based on my observations of reality.
These specific examples were individuals that were simply "smart money" persons.

With that said, I did enjoy and agree with much of your comment.

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