All The Players

This editorial in The Seattle Times is not horrible. And in fact, other than the presumption that we need cuts to Social Security benefits most of the ideas mentioned are good.

In politics, there is a tendency not to praise the player who makes the concession that is obvious to you and everyone else but wasn’t to him. That is a mistake. The federal budget deficit is so huge that all the players have to make concessions. All of them find it difficult.

When they make concessions, they need to be praised — and reminded to follow through.

Oh, I know! Tax increases for the wealthy. That’s a concession that the Republicans still aren’t willing to make. Also, The Seattle Times doesn’t mention that we could get more from a federal estate tax. I mean if the deficit is really the biggest most important thing ever and all of the players need to reevaluate their intransigent stance, then they’ll surely reconsider their position on that. So I look forward to their next editorial where they demand to be taxed at a higher rate. I’ll praise it.


  1. 1

    rhp6033 spews:

    The Blethen’s have always fought tooth-and-nail against an Estate Tax, based upon the premise that it would hurt their ability to pass down their newspaper and it’s assets to their children and grandchildren.

    But the way things are going, the newspaper might well pass under the exemption based upon net value within the next five years.

  2. 2

    Jeff Welch spews:

    Arguments from lower and middle class folks against raising taxes on the wealthy seem to fall into one (or more) of four areas:

    1. If taxes get raised on the wealthy they’ll get raised on us too;

    2. Someday we will be wealthy and we don’t want to pay taxes then either

    3. If we raise taxes on the wealthy They Will Become Angry and Smite Us

    4. All taxes are bad, are given directly to politicians as traveler’s checks and steak for breakfast, and therefore Evil no matter who they affect.

    And by the way – why are our schools so broke? What’s happening to public transportation? How come our jobs go overseas?

    Oh yeah. The wealthy tell us it’s because taxes are too high. See #1-4.


  3. 3

    YellowPup spews:

    The excerpt makes it sound as though we’re talking about fairness and civility in a two-sided parliamentary process occurring in a vacuum, instead of a decision-making process that will fundamentally reshape society for a generation or more.

    Instead of making decisions based on conceding line items to one political party or the other, why aren’t we basing it on the kind of society we need to build to stay solvent, competitive, and civil going forward?

    Since there are fundamental disagreements on how to do this, and the Republicans have shown again and again that they are dead weight, that their tactical political objectives outweigh the need for responsible governance, and since the people have put the Democrats in control of the Senate and the presidency, why not use the majorities we have and govern responsibly regardless of whose feelings are hurt?

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @1 In the Blethens’ case, using “newspaper” and “assets” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

    [Rabbit voices in background: “Oxymoron? Isn’t that the stuff Rush Limpdick gets high on?” followed by raucous rabbit laughter.]

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Forget taxes. President Cave-In just took taxes off the table by signaling to the GOPers that he’ll trade away higher taxes on the rich in return for GOP support of Pentagon cuts.

  6. 7

    Americafirst spews:

    @3. YellowPup spews:
    You are far too specific; try to tone it down to something more vague.

  7. 8

    YellowPup spews:

    Example of key Republicans as dead weight:

    House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) has often expressed concern for how Obama administration policies are supposedly a “grave danger to America’s prosperity.” Now, the Wall Street Journal finds that Cantor actually invests in an exchange-traded fund that “takes a short position in long-dated government bonds” — effectively betting against the U.S. Treasury bonds that the government uses to fund its operations

    Concessions, my ass.

  8. 9

    Americafirst spews:

    @8. YellowPup spews:
    That is the right idea. Leaving out unimportant facts, such as anybody who doesn’t realize that we are going to have inflation is a nitwit, saves time and makes the post better.

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 re @8: Isn’t that a conflict of interest? I mean, doesn’t Cantor have a personal financial interest in government bonds going into default? Sounds like he does.

  10. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I was under the impression congress critters are supposed to put their investments into blind trusts. Isn’t Cantor breaking the law?

  11. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Of course, you don’t have to believe government policies will lead to inflation to short government bonds. After all, the Federal Reserve has been holding interest rates artificially low for some time now, and everyone knows that bond prices and interest rates move in opposition — i.e., bond prices will fall when interest rates return to normal levels, inflation or no inflation. Shorting future bond prices is so obvious it’s amazing anyone would sell you a short position in a bond — government, municipal, corporate, makes no difference what kind of bond, even a school kid’s IOU for lunch money should be shorted in this environment!

    What’s even stranger is there are any bonds to short. I mean, why would anyone buy bonds? Even long-term government bonds pay almost nothing. Stock yields aren’t all that great, either, but you can put together a diversified stock portfolio yielding above 4% which is more than you can get from any bonds, except maybe a few junk municipals that everyone expects to default. Why would anyone buy bonds when you can beat their yields by owning blue-chip stocks? Why is any bond salesman still able to make a living?

    As I said before, I’m curious to know who’s stupid enough to sell short positions against bonds …