by Carl, 06/29/2011, 4:48 PM

- Seriously, what’s going on here?

- I think Sonntag has a better shot than Sandeep thinks, but I’d still say the smart money is on Inslee.

- You guys, we can tell when you edit Wikipedia.

- I think we should have a much higher marginal tax rate, and this graph surprised me.

74 Responses to “Open Thread”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

Why We Don’t Run Government Like A Business

Actually, there are lots of reasons, the most obvious being government isn’t a business nor does it exist to make a profit but rather is supported by our taxes to provide essential societal needs. For example, how could a private business make a profit running elections, except by charging you a fee for exercising your right to vote? Is that what we want? That only people who can afford to pay the voting company’s fee get to vote and have a say in how we’re governed?

All the time, we hear Republicans trumpeting that if only we elected Republicans who know how to run a business, and ran our government in a more businesslike way, everything would be rosy. That’s bullshit. It’s been tried and doesn’t work.

Why? Well, lots of reasons, besides the fact that government isn’t a business and running it requires a different skill set. (That’s what I went to Seattle University’s graduate school of public administration to learn.)

But here’s another reason why we shouldn’t elect Republican businessmen to run our government like a business: If you think government is a profligate borrower, the public debt is peanuts compared to how much debt American business has taken on!

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/06/29/cain.debt.number/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

As you read this article, make sure you click on the chart about halfway down, to enlarge it. Here’s what you’ll see:

– Government debt has been trending downward since the end of WW2.

– Most U.S. debt is owed by the private sector not government.

– While government debt was trending downward, private debt trended sharply upward.

So, the last thing we need is to elect private-sector guys who are experts at borrowing to run our government! Because we have enough fucking government debt already! So why do we need expert borrowers in public offices?

2. Roger Rabbit spews:

Bachmann Defends Hubby’s Feeding At Medicaid Trough

After the Bachmann family were outed as recipients of Medicaid funds, congress critter Bachmann’s official spokesperson issued the following statement:

“Medicaid is a valuable form of insurance for many Americans and it would be discriminatory not to accept Medicaid as a form of payment. As a state-sponsored counseling service, Bachmann and Associates has a responsibility to provide Medicaid and medical assistance, regardless of a patients financial situation.”

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah, well, whatever. That’s just a fancy way of papering over the fact Bachmann is just another welfare queen whose family lives on the dole.

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

Laugh of the Day

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell … insisted [today] that Republicans will “refuse to let the taxpayers take the hit when it comes to reducing the debt.” The debate is … “about refusing to subsidize the Democrats” irresponsible spending habits another day.”

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/06/29/obama.news.conference/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Roger Rabbit Commentary: It wasn’t Democrats who paid Halliburton $110 a case for Coca Cola, hired Blackwater mercenaries for $150,000 a year, or borrowed $1 trillion from China to give tax breaks to billionaires.

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

Want to know where the debt came from? See, e.g., billions in no-bid contracts given to GOP cronies.

5. Michael spews:

- Seriously, what’s going on here?

I couldn’t care less. Really.

- I think Sonntag has a better shot than Sandeep thinks

I think Brain Sonntag and John Ladenburg should quit running for things and go golfing instead. Seriously, it’s time for retirement. Maybe Ron Simms can join them.

You guys, we can tell when you edit Wikipedia.

Yep! And if we give them a long enough rope, they’ll hang themselves. I hope they keep it up.

- I think we should have a much higher marginal tax rate,

The top end needs to go up. We need to stop taxing people that don’t make enough to live on. We need to stop giving money to profitable corporations. We could also stop with the corn, soy, and ethanol subsidies. Capital gains needs to go up. Maybe we could give everyone their first 10K in capital gains free and clear to avoid soaking the small investors and to get more small investors in the market.

I’d also piss-off my lefty brethren by ending the earned income tax credit. It’s not earned income, it’s unearned income, and it’s corrosive in the long run.

6. Roger Rabbit spews:

I think Obama should draw a line in the sand and let the GOPers pull the default trigger. Sure the financial markets will crash, but who owns most of the stocks and bonds? Rich Republicans! So they’re just lighting a match to their own money! I’ll be happy to take their investments off their hands for 10 cents on the dollar, then sell them back to them for 105 cents on the dollar! It’s called “profit” and it’s what entrepreneurs like me get paid for providing liquidity in an illiquid world.

7. Mrs. Rabbit spews:

Oh baby let me gaze into your liquid eyes!

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

Shut up and get back to work in the kitchen, wench!

9. Mrs. Rabbit spews:

Not exactly a paragon of sensitivity, is he?

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 How much sensitivity do you need to deal with Republicans?

11. Roger Rabbit spews:

Which is what I have to do on this blog all day long.

12. rhp6033 spews:

# 1: I was just thinking, the other day, about the lies which get told to us by so-called “experts”, while they are in the process of picking our pockets. Among them:

(a) About 1979-81, just before interest rates hit historical peaks, there were some experts who were claiming that high debt loads were “good”, because the service on the debt (payments + interest) forced businesses to become more lean and “competative”. At the same time, the typical American was told that it was foolish to save money, becuase inflation would always outpace interest earned on savings, and it would be better to borrow as much as possible, instead.

Once they got us up to our eyballs in debt, then they threatened to cut off credit completely unless we modified our usury laws to effectively allow interest rates to rise to phenominal rates. Americans have been deep in debt ever since, and those holding the debt are using our money to bribe (er, “contribute”) to our legislatures to keep us that way.

(b) Beginning in the late 1990′s: “We don’t really need ‘dirty’ manufacturing jobs, because there will be plenty of high-paying ‘service’ jobs available.” Do I even need to discuss this one?

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

As far as the spurious Republican argument that tax cuts create jobs, if that’s true, where are all the jobs that were created on Dubya’s watch?

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@13 The answer is that all of the net jobs during 2001-2009 came from the “birth-death index.” No, that doesn’t refer to how many people were born and died, it refers to the number of businesses were born or died — and it’s not an empirical number, it’s an inferential statistic manufactured from other data. The government doesn’t really know how many business startups or terminations occur each year, so they just make up a number, and then from that made-up number they extrapolate another number for the new jobs these new businesses create, which also is a made-up number. So, if you remove these made-up numbers from the official employment figures, the Bush tax cuts created no new jobs. So much for the argument that low taxes for the rich keep the working shmoes off the welfare rolls. In one word, that’s bullshit.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 rhp6033, I like you a lot, so I hope you won’t mind me telling you that “competative” is actually spelled “competitive.”

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12(a) I’m an expert on debt. I don’t have any. And that makes me an expert on debt, because there is no such thing as “good” debt, except maybe the debt you discharge in bankruptcy court because that debt doesn’t have to be paid back. Any other debt, though, is bad because you have to (a) repay it, and (b) pay interest on it, and both (a) and (b) are major inconveniences.

The national debt is, however, very useful as an investment vehicle. Think of how different the world would be if people and institutions needing a safe haven for their money couldn’t buy U.S. Treasuries — the only investment in the world that is 100% safe!! And now Republicans want to blow that apart, too. Republicans are willing to destroy the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency and destroy the sanctity of U.S. public debt as an absolutely safe haven for cash simply to preserve artificially low tax rates for the rich, who don’t pay any taxes anyway, because the rich always shelter their income in the Cayman Islands or other offshore spas if they can’t find enough legal loopholes in U.S. tax laws to avoid paying taxes. How much sense does that make? None! But these are Republicans we’re talking about … so, go ahead guys, DEFAULT!!! I’m ready for you! I just told my stockbroker to move my entire cash hoard out of money market funds into government funds. Why? Because why do I think the government debt I just bought will be repaid? Because (a) Republicans are demanding that interest on the public debt be paid before social security recipients or soldiers (so much for “supporting” the troops), and (b) Obama will cave in to that demand, too. Yeah, I know Obama’s MO now — he’s a cave-in artist. So, while other people are running away from government debt, I’m running into government debt! You don’t really think Republicans would default on their own money, do you? This is really about cutting off granny’s social security and making soldiers fight for free. Don’t worry, the interest on government debt will be paid, and my money parked in government debt is perfectly safe.

Wanna know how to succeed financially? Just hitch your caboose on the GOP train, like I do, and you’ll be fine. I didn’t have to figure out how to get rich; the Republicans have already figured it out, and I simply ride on their coattails. Given how many cave-in Democrats are running loose in the halls of government buildings, that’s a can’t-miss strategy.

17. No time for fascists spews:

I thought this was an elegant paragraph.

Anyway, despite all this, I want to point out that Bachmann is pulling a Palin, i.e. when she got history wrong, her supporters (with her blessing) decided to rewrite history rather than let Dear Leader be wrong. “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia” is no longer hyperbole! Her supporters changed John Wayne’s birthplace on Wikipedia in order to bring it in line with her erroneous statements, which I found especially amusing, because I’d bet a large sum of money that whoever did that believes that Obama faked his birth certificate to become President. And now her supporters are claiming that John Quincy Adams was a “Founding Father”, even though he was a small child when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

I especially liked the 1984 reference. 1984 scared the hell out of me in HS and I find it amazing, appalling, horrible that the so called conservatives of today are acting like that. They are NOT the conservative of my youth. This crop is a much nastier, much more fascist group. Orwell was afraid of communists, I doubt he would have imagined the group he should have been afraid of is the modern day conservatives.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

Re the “Seriously, what’s going on here?” link, I think it’s obvious the world needs more $4,000 women’s shorts. Seriously. So much money has flowed from the working and middle classes to the rich that the latter are now facing serious problems with figuring out how to spend it all. I mean, how many mansions and yachts and private jets can one person find a use for? Ergo, $10,000 designer handbags, $4,000 women’s shorts, and the like.

We’re repeatedly told that “markets are efficient.” I’ve said many times on this blog that’s bullshit. If that was true, I’d still be holding down a day job. I made $700 in the stock market today while jerking off in the outhouse. Obviously, our economic system thinks jerking off is more socially useful than pushing paperwork or making things, otherwise I wouldn’t be paid $700 for jerking off. Hey, you may think that’s a big fucking joke, but have you ever seen a rabbit dick? Up close, I mean? Let me tell you something, if you’re a rabbit, jerking off is work.

Anyway, what I wanted to point out is that if markets were as efficient as free-market proponents claim they are, you wouldn’t be able to find a pair of shorts in Barney’s New York under size 12, because seriously, how many skinny rich women are there? Seriously, the rich guys’ kept women are the best-fed women on the planet. Bar none. If you’ve been married to a billionaire for longer than, say, six weeks what are the chances that you’re still less than a size 12?

Me, I’m not gonna buy Barney New York’s stock, because those idiots obviously don’t know their market. Efficient markets, my ass. If you wanna sell shorts for 4G’s a pop, you gotta make ‘em size 16, 20, 32.

19. Mrs. Rabbit spews:

You’ve been jerking off in the outhouse? That explains why I can’t get laid! Why do you like your paw better than your spouse?

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

@19 Don’t take it personally, love. It has nothing to do with you. Jerking off stimulates my cortex and helps me make better stockpicking decisions. As a rabbit, I don’t have as big a brain as humans do, so my thought process needs a booster when I’m making important decisions.

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

Back to the subject of “efficient markets.” Right now, the stock market is priced for an Obama cave-in. If the president wants to make a lot of money, he should short himself, then grow a spine and stand up to those Republican bullies. That will make the stock market drop 50% and he’ll make a killing on the shorts. Then he sells out of his short positions and buys long at the bottom and rides the market back up after it reprices for normality. After all, things will return to normal after the GOPers destroy the dollar. They always do. This way, Obama can quadruple his money simply by doing the right thing and taxing the rich. And the rich shouldn’t complain, because they won’t be rich anymore, and therefore won’t have to pay Obama’s taxes on the rich! Obama will have to pay those taxes himself because he’ll have all the money that used to be theirs before their lackeys in the House of Representative crashed the markets. It’s a win-win for everyone.

22. Americafirst spews:

You guys, we can tell when you edit Wikipedia.
—————————–
are you really that naive; it is leftist loons doing it in order to blame bachmanites

I think we should have a much higher marginal tax rate, and this graph surprised me.
——————————–
as usual, you nitwits don’t understand the difference between marginal tax rates and taxes actually collected. Try comparing taxes collected with employment growth.

23. Michael spews:

as usual, you nitwits don’t understand the difference between marginal tax rates and taxes actually collected.

When you look at ” taxes actually collected” some of our largest, most profitable, companies got money from us instead of paying into the system.

24. Michael spews:

One of the reasons people like Sonntag, Ladenburg, and Simms, need to retire is so that good folks who are working their way up the ladder, people like Julie Anderson & Ryan Mellow, can continue to work their way up the ladder and not leave public service.

They really need to retire.

25. YLB spews:

I bet Sonntag’s hardest challenge came from Will Baker.

In 2004, something like 840 THOUSAND right wing dumbasses voted for Will Baker, a former male exotic dancer who called himself “the international man of conspiracy”.

Baker ran as a Republican. How did THAT happen?

http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/results_report.aspx?e=67&c=&c2=&t=953&t2=2&p=&p2=&y=

26. Americafirst spews:

rodent, you old fart, you are a little confused today.

@1. Roger Rabbit spews:
– Government debt has been trending downward since the end of WW2.
————————–
Try reading your own graph, it has been trending upward since around 1974.

@2. Roger Rabbit spews:
Roger Rabbit Commentary: Yeah, well, whatever. That’s just a fancy way of papering over the fact Bachmann is just another welfare queen whose family lives on the dole.
———————————
Healthcare providers who accept medicaid are welfare queens. That’s brilliant.

@13. Roger Rabbit spews:
As far as the spurious Republican argument that tax cuts create jobs, if that’s true, where are all the jobs that were created on Dubya’s watch?
————————–
you are effing nuts, unemployment dropped after the Bush tax cuts and didn’t start trending up until dems took the House. Try looking at the numbers for the last three major cuts, unemployment goes down every time;

http://www.debatepolitics.com/us-partisan-politics-and-political-platforms/97309-why-did-unemployment-decrease-after-bush-tax-cuts.html

27. Michael spews:

Well, it’s civil unions for Rhode Island. Better than nothing and in time it will switch to just plain old marriage.

Rhode Island’s Senate approved same-sex civil unions on Wednesday, passing a controversial bill not amended from the House version and sent on to the governor who is expected to sign the law
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/30/us-gaymarriage-rhodeisland-idUSTRE75T0HD20110630

28. YLB spews:

unemployment dropped after the Bush tax cuts and didn’t start trending up until dems took the House.

There’s a name for that kind of fallacy – confusing cause and effect or questionable cause.

You ascribe a decrease in unemployment to tax cuts and then attribute an increase in unemployment to the Dems taking a majority in the Congress. Why not ascribe it to an increase in taxes? Obviously because it didn’t happen.

Obama cut taxes too – the making work pay tax cut of the stimulus package which has now been replaced I believe by a payroll tax cut.

Where’s the jobs? Are you next going to say that unemployment increases when Dems cut taxes?

Nitwit indeed.

29. Michael spews:

@26
Try the Wall Street Journal, if it isn’t to liberal for ya.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/09/bush-on-jobs-the-worst-track-record-on-record/
President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.

His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton‘s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.

30. Rujax! spews:

@26…

…you’re the one that’s nuts. Employment started to go south IMMEDIATELY after the shrub took office and has not recovered to this day.

So according to you…we have been in the most prosperous times EV-errrrrrr. Ever ever ever. Low taxes…very little regulation for business…low wages…so where are the fucking JOBS, ASSHOLE?

WHERE IS THE GOD-DAMNED PROSPERITY TRICKLING DOWN TO US LOWER CLASSES.

I don’t know about you bitch…but folk I see are just getting pissed on. And you are a mother-fucking LIAR!

31. Geoduck spews:

The only thing I know about Barney’s is that they used to supply John Keister’s clothes for Almost Live.

32. Americafirst spews:

@28. YLB spews:
——————–
I showed you the last three major tax cuts; they all show lower unemployment. Explain that, you loon. Go back to your looney blog.

@30. Rujax! spews:
—————————
You are too effing stupid to argue with. Go back to your ridiculously stupid blog.

33. YLB spews:

28 – 95 percent of Americans received a tax cut from Obama’s stimulus package.

Was that “major”? Read about it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/us/politics/19taxes.html

Now where’s the jobs?

And NO you haven’t proved crap. Reagan RAISED tax 11 times. Did that quash the effect from his large tax cuts?

You can read about Reagan’s tax hikes here:

http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/bruce-bartlett/1632/reagans-tax-increases

It should have. According to you right wing nitwits ANY tax increase is tantamount to communism.

Now you seem to be running away from the increase in unemployment due to the Dems taking Congress

You’ve been babbling right wing word salad from the beginning.

34. YLB spews:

In the parlance of the right wing degenerates nowadays, Reagan’s tax increases would be deemed “job killing”..

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 “Try reading your own graph, it has been trending upward since around 1974.”

You didn’t even look at the graph in question, did you? It states debt as a percentage of GDP, dope! Which is the figure that really matters. And that line slopes down, not up, from left to right. If you don’t know what that means, ask Darryl to teach you how to read a fucking graph.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

Sure, it has a couple little bumps in it, but it didn’t really start to shoot back up until the mid-2000s, when … um … BUSH was president.

37. Roger Rabbit spews:

All the Republican whining about “borrowing” and “spending” would be hilarious if it wasn’t so nauseating. After all, the GOPers are the kings of borrow-and-spend.

38. YLB spews:

Oh here’s something our newest right wing nitwit can blame on Obama’s NLRB:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/06/boeing-caught-with-hand-in-the-cookie-jar-overcharged-army-millions.php?ref=dcblt

The Unions made them do it right??

39. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 “unemployment dropped after the Bush tax cuts ”

The official government figures don’t agree with your rightwing website’s graph:

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2001: 4.2%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2002: 5.7%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2003: 5.8%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2004: 5.7%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2005: 5.3%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2006: 4.7%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2007: 4.6%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2008: 5.0%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2009: 7.8%

In summary, the unemployment rate NEVER reached the pre-Bush level after the Bush tax cuts.

40. Roger Rabbit spews:

@28 The fallacy is in AF’s data. There was no decrease in unemployment after the Bush tax cuts. Unemployment was always higher after Bush’s tax cuts than before Bush’s tax cuts.

41. Roger Rabbit spews:

@30 You nailed it! AF is a liar. Unemployment went up — permanently — after the Bush tax cuts.

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

@38 Now I know why my Boeing stock has been going up.

43. Americafirst spews:

@35. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 “Try reading your own graph, it has been trending upward since around 1974.”

You didn’t even look at the graph in question, did you? It states debt as a percentage of GDP, dope! Which is the figure that really matters. And that line slopes down, not up, from left to right. If you don’t know what that means, ask Darryl to teach you how to read a fucking graph.
————————————
I am so glad to see you back in fighting form that I’m not going to hurl any insults back. Take a close look at the federal line and you will see that it starts trending up around 1974.

44. Americafirst spews:

@39. Roger Rabbit spews:
————————–
using your figures:
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2003: 5.8%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2004: 5.7%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2005: 5.3%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2006: 4.7%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2007: 4.6%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2008: 5.0%
Unemployment rate as of Jan. 2009: 7.8%

it peaked in 03, when tax cuts kicked in, and declined thereafter until something happened, oddly enough, around when dems took the House. The earlier years (01,02) were prior to the Bush tax cuts. But I appreciate your arguing from facts, so again, no insults from me.

@40. Roger Rabbit spews:

@28 The fallacy is in AF’s data. There was no decrease in unemployment after the Bush tax cuts. Unemployment was always higher after Bush’s tax cuts than before Bush’s tax cuts.
———————————-
Back to arguing from your conclusions, and now you dispute your own figures above. There must be two rodents, one somewhat sensible and the other looney.

45. YLB spews:

The assertion that tax cuts reduce unemployment is a post hoc fallacy. It can also be argued that unemployment decreased by interest rate cuts or recovery from the recession which in these of the early 2000′s recession was exacerbated by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The assertion that the Dems taking the Congress in 2006 causing the unemployment rate to rise is yet another stupid post hoc fallacy. Once the economy started recovering Greenspan starting raising interest rates – that was at least as coincidental and it can be argued was a contributing factor to the popping of the housing bubble.

The U.S. economy produced 3 million jobs a year in the late 90′s when the the higher Clinton taxes were in effect.

46. YLB spews:

“which in these” should be “which in the case”..

47. Rujax! spews:

Richpeoplefirst @32…

…doesn’t like my blog. Well if he HAD ONE I wouldn’t like his either.

48. Roger Rabbit spews:

@43 “Take a close look at the federal line and you will see that it starts trending up around 1974.”

I hate to tell you this, sport, but the upward movement in that trend line started in 1980 when Saint Ronnie began to borrow-and-spend with a vengeance. That upward movement continued throughout the single term of another borrow-and-spend Republican, George H.W. Bush. Then it moves sharply downward while a Democrat — Bill Clinton — is in office. Then it bumps upward when another borrow-and-spend Repblican, George W. Bush, is running things. Um, do you see a correlation here? I do.

49. YLB spews:

47 – Richpeoplefirst – hey that’s a pretty good name for him.

Spot on!

50. Roger Rabbit spews:

@44 “it peaked in 03, when tax cuts kicked in, and declined thereafter until something happened, oddly enough, around when dems took the House. The earlier years (01,02) were prior to the Bush tax cuts. But I appreciate your arguing from facts, so again, no insults from me”

Since you like facts so much, let’s use some. The portion of the 2001 Bush tax cuts that affected the largest number of people — the one-time $300 tax rebate — applied to 2000 tax returns and this money was received by tens of millions of tax filers in 2001. The major provisions of the lowered estate tax also was effective in 2001. Some other features of the 2001 law were phased in during the period of 2001 – 2006, and what we see during that entire time is unemployment in the high-5-percent range. So where were all the jobs in 2001-2006? The tax cuts created none.

The Bush tax cuts were, of course, controversial and much-debated. However, facts are facts, and opinions are opinions, the two are not the same, and while you’re entitled to your own opinion, you’re not entitled to tinker with facts. Here is what Wikipedia says about the Bush tax cuts, and this Wikipedia article reflects both competing sets of views:

“Critics state that the tax cuts, including those given to middle and lower income households, failed to spur growth. The cuts also increased the budget deficit, shifted the tax burden from the rich to the middle and working classes, and further increased already high levels of income inequality. Economists Peter Orszag and William Gale described the Bush tax cuts as reverse government redistribution of wealth, ‘[shifting] the burden of taxation away from upper-income, capital-owning households and toward the wage-earning households of the lower and middle classes.’ Supporters countered that the tax brackets were still more progressive than the brackets from 1986 until 1992, with higher marginal rates on the upper class, and lower marginal rates on the middle class than established by either the Tax Reform Act of 1986 or the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990.

“Economist Simon Johnson wrote in 2010: ‘The U.S. government doesn’t take in much tax revenue — at least 10 percentage points of GDP less than comparable developed economies — and it also doesn’t spend much except on the military, Social Security and Medicare. Other parts of government spending can be frozen or even slashed, but it just won’t make that much difference. That means older Americans are going to get squeezed, while our ability to defend ourselves goes into decline. Just because there’s a bipartisan consensus on an idea, such as tax cuts, doesn’t mean it makes sense. Today’s tax cutters have set us up for tomorrow’s fiscal crisis and real damage to U.S. national security.’”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_tax_cuts#Debate_over_effect_of_cuts

What’s really interesting here is that supporters bolster their position by arguing how progressive the tax rates are even after the Bush tax cuts! I thought these guys believe progressive taxation is a bad thing?? So why are they using progressivity as an argument?

So far, I haven’t even asked the question, how reliable are official unemployment data? Most people would answer, not very. We all know government inflation figures are cooked. So is the unemployment data set. I’ve already described how the government’s “birth-death rate” stokes the employment data with mythical jobs. Another data-skewer that is more familiar to the general public is that the government doesn’t count people as unemployed after their unemployment benefits run out, even if they’re still unemployed. The government also doesn’t count:

1. So-called “discouraged workers” who need to work, and would work if they could, but have stopped looking for work because there are no jobs to be had;

2. People who have lost second jobs needed to make ends meet, but are counted as still employed, because they still have their primary job;

3. People who are still working at least part-time but whose hours and/or pay has been cut below the the level required to make ends meet.

However, I use the official government data anyway, even though it’s misleading, because it’s the most readily available information. It’s reliable enough for the comparison we’re doing here — of unemployment before and after the Bush tax cuts — because it’s apples-to-apples. And what it shows is unemployment jumped sharply immediately after the first round of Bush tax cuts was enacted, stayed high for years afterward, and has never come down to pre-tax-cut levels at any time since then. That’s hardly compelling evidence that the Bush tax cuts created jobs, even if you ignore the skewing of data by the “birth-death” gimmick and the government’s failure to count everyone who is unemployed and its complete failure to take underemployment into account — these things are real to the people suffering from them, so it’s perfectly fair to ask whether they got any benefit from the Bush tax cuts. And the answer to that is generally no; tax cuts don’t help people who are don’t have income to pay taxes on.

The truth is that when companies and high-bracket individuals use their tax cuts to buy luxury goods or stash the money into savings and investment accounts instead of hiring more workers, those tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy or create jobs. And that’s what happened to most of the money pocketed by the rich from the Bush tax cuts.

Businesses don’t hire workers because they have extra money. They only hire workers when demand for their goods and services increases. And how could demand increase when businesses were merging, downsizing, and outsourcing? You can’t expect the economy to generate new jobs when you’re collapsing demand by slashing wages and laying people off.

Today, the American economy is awash with idle capital — trillions of dollar of it. Banks and money funds pay zero interest to depositors because they can’t put money to work. Corporate balance sheets are flush with cash that can’t be plowed back into their businesses because demand isn’t here. Over the last 40 years, when the Republican economic policies that dominated the American economy focused on shifting GDP from the working and middle classes to the rich — in the name of expanding the pool of job-creating capital — what has evolved is an oversupply of capital and weak demand because of stagnant and falling real wages and rising structural unemployment. In short, capital creation has been overdone, and workers have been shorted. If the economy is ever to recover, this pendulum must now swing back in the other direction, away from giving more money to the rich so they can sit on even more useless and idle capital, and back toward putting more money in the hands of consumers who will spend it.

51. Roger Rabbit spews:

@44 (continued) “Back to arguing from your conclusions”

Sorry, sport, but the unemployment data I posted are facts, not conclusions, and speak for themselves.

52. YLB spews:

Herman Cain is an idiot:

In the magazine’s “Talk” feature, Cain was asked about his statement at a Tea Party rally in March that the mainstream news media are “doubly scared that a real black man might run against Barack Obama.”

A real black man is not timid about making the right decisions,” Cain tells the magazine. As for Obama, Cain goes on to say “it is documented that his mother was white and his father was from Africa. If he wants to call himself black, fine. If he wants to call himself African American, fine. I’m not going down this color road.

You just went down the “color road” twice dumbass!

Cain ought stick to exploiting cheap labor to churn out crappy pizza. What a bozo! It’s hard to believe that the “cow on the tracks” Steele would make a far superior candidate!

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/06/herman-cain-barack-obama-black-man-/1?csp=34news

53. Roger Rabbit spews:

Birthers Sue Esquire For Satire Piece

Jerome Corsi and Joseph Farah (who is CEO of wingnut website WorldNetDaily) are suing Esquire magazine for a satirical piece whose headline proclaimed that Corsi’s birther book had been pulled from bookstore shelves. They’re asking for $285 million of damages for alleged interference with their book sales.

Never mind that Farah bragged on his own blog that Obama’s release of his long-form birth certificate has increased sales of Corsi’s book.

Hey, if stupid people want to pay money to these guys for a pack of lies, that’s their privilege! This is, after all, America — land of free speech, conspiracy theories, and gullible rightwing fools.

This one will get dismissed on a motion for summary judgment. Free speech, get it? You can’t sue publications for satirizing you, especially when you’re a public figure who seeks the public limelight, as both of these plaintiffs do.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/esquire-sued-by-birthers-_n_887238.html

54. Roger Rabbit spews:

Corsi’s books belong on the “fiction” shelf, but I’m pretty sure they’re still there.

55. Roger Rabbit spews:

@52 I wouldn’t vote for a guy whose only qualification to be president is that he ran a pizza chain.

56. Michael spews:

@50
We’re in the middle of a big re-ordering of things.

A buddy of mine probably qualifies as a “discouraged worker” but, the truth of his situation is that his job sucked ass and his wife made enough that with some re-ordering of their lives he could stay home and be a house husband for a couple of years. They ditched cable TV, went from a two car family to a one car family, stay home more, cook their own meals, go to the library more, and are much happier now.

Between paying for that second car, daycare, to-go food and all the other costs of having a both parents working, the benefits of that second job were actually pretty slim. A lot of folks are figuring this out.

57. Roger Rabbit spews:

@56 The late Pop Rabbit, who was almost 100 years old, supported Ma Rabbit and a whole den of bunnies with one job. When he went up last month to the Big Meadow In The Sky, where the sun always shines and there are no damned peregrine falcons circling overhead, he left behind an estate we’re still adding up but it has become apparent that Pop Rabbit’s 1950′s-style job, stay-at-home wife, and large brood didn’t keep him from accumulating a sizeable estate. Adding up all the investments, annuities, and insurance policies, we’re already over a million dollars and still counting. The bottom line is he was born at the right time; he was worth more than all of his now 50-something and 60-something bunnies are worth put together. But then, he didn’t have to pay $1,000 a month for health insurance, like I do.

58. Roger Rabbit spews:

What Does The Bible Actually Say About Homosexuality?

The core opposition to gay rights comes from Bible thumpers, but do these people even read the book they so assiduously thump on, let alone understand what it says? You may find this article interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-jefferson/bible-gay-marriage_b_886102.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C74514

59. rhp6033 spews:

# 55: Make that a BANKRUPT pizza chain. Can anyone find one around here anymore? They lost the Pizza Wars back some twenty years or so ago, when almost all the pizza parlours closed and it became a delivery service. I think Cain came in after that, but I don’t see that he performed any great miracles. This week he said we don’t need a minimum wage, he probably wanted to go back to having the drivers rely entirely on tips for their wages – after splitting a share of them with the company.

60. rhp6033 spews:

On thing which gets overlooked in the analysis of the Bush economic performance is the fact that we were in a war economy for most of Bush’s eight years as President. It might not have looked like it, because the expenses of the wars in Afganistan and Iraq were kept off-budget during Bush’s entire terms of office, but we were continuing to spend billions of dollars each year on the effort.

Now, when the U.S. gets involved in a war, the economy usually benefits, right? The government spends money to purchase weapons, supplies, etc. from U.S. suppliers. Workers benefit due to the expanded job market to support war spending, and the shortage of jobs caused by soldiers leaving to go into the service. In the past, these pressures on the economy were so great that the government had to enact wage and price controls to keep the bubbling pot from boiling over.

But a funny thing happened between 2001 through 2008. No significant job growth. No economic boost. Sure, a handful of well-connected firms did very well – Halliburton, KKR, Blackwater, etc., but that did not trickle down to the average American worker and taxpayer. A handful of executives got enourmously wealthy, but that’s about it.

Part of this is due to the fact that much of the logisitics and supply efforts were out-sourced to foreign nationals and firms. The handful of companies took most of the mark-up, and disbursed it mostly to the top executives in bonuses, or it was used to purchase other companies. Rather than the money moving in a circle, it was all headed in one direction – into the pockets of the favored few.

That’s why we never saw an economic boom like we did in the 1940′s (WWII), 1950′s (Korea and the Cold War), or the 1960′s (Vietnam).

61. rhp6033 spews:

What is hillarious is that a significant number of influential Republicans figure that blacks will support Cain because he is “more black” than Obama, and that women will support either Palin or Bachman simply because she is a woman.

They must feel this way becuase they think blacks and women can be easily manipulated, like their own Republican voters.

No matter how badly they get beaten, they never seem to learn the right lesson, do they?

62. proud leftist spews:

53
You don’t say–rightwingers filing a frivolous lawsuit. Such hypocrisy.

63. Michael spews:

@56

We’re also seeing a lot of folks moving in with friends and family & doing freelance and off the books work. Some of this people are being forced into, but a lot of it is just natural change.

64. YLB spews:

Puddydope exposed as a dope once again:

But Halperin is a well known MSNBC kook.

And he’s a lefty!

Halperin is a left wing tool.

Let’s first go way back:

As for your repeated insistence that you could reach no other conclusion but one that says that I am “very liberal,” I’m sure if you think it over, you will reconsider

Now fast forward to today:

Sitting on the set of “Morning Joe,” Mr. Halperin smiled mischievously as he disparaged Mr. Obama’s behavior at a news conference a day earlier. “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday,” Mr. Halperin said.

Halperin is obsequious and totally in the tank for the right.

Of course right wing tool Spew Spewitt keeps the faith as will his sub-tool Puddydope.

65. Rujax! spews:

YLB @ 64…

puddybitch IS the kook.

66. Michael spews:

@64

Halprin’s more pro-establishment than left or right.

67. YLB spews:

66 – and pro-establishment = anti-Obama.

68. Americafirst spews:

@50. Roger Rabbit spews:
———————–
good post and I won’t nitpick. You are, however, confusing trend with yearly movement in your prior post.

69. Roger Rabbit spews:

@62 Yeah, sounds like we need even more tort reform than our GOP friends are plumping for, doesn’t it?

70. Puddybud, identifying northwest liberals who elected an underexperienced man to the presidency weighed down by an oversized ego spews:

For the HA databaze fool yelling loser beta boi over his ignorance of the Google wiretapping complaint…

This data collection system is commonly known as a packet analyzer, wireless sniffer, network analyzer, packet sniffer or protocol analyzer. (Id. ¶ 61.) Defendant authorized inclusion of this wireless sniffer technology into its Google Street View vehicles and even sought to patent the process. (Id. ¶ 65.) The wireless sniffer secretly captures data packets as they stream across Wi-Fi connections and then decodes or decrypts the data packet and analyzes the contents. (Id. ¶ 62.) In order to view the contents of the data packets captured by the wireless sniffer in a readable form, the packets must be stored on digital media and then decoded using crypto-analysis or a similarly complicated technology. (Id. ¶ 63.) As such, the data packets are not readable by the general public absent this sophisticated decoding and processing technology. (Id. ¶ 64.) Defendant has admitted to storing this data on their servers. (Id. ¶ 6.) The content of the data packets collected by Defendant included Plaintiffs’ SSID information (the Wi-Fi network name), MAC address (the ID number of the Wi-Fi network’s hardware), usernames, passwords and personal emails. (Id. ¶¶ 66, 69.)

You are such a monomaniacal miserable moronic technologically deficient know nothing idiot.

Butt keep cutting and pasting those left-wing whack job sites beta boi!

71. Puddybud, identifying northwest liberals who elected an underexperienced man to the presidency weighed down by an oversized ego spews:

The EPA has authorized the eradication of yelling loser beta boi progeny.

Toooooooooooooooooo

Dammmmmmmmmmm

Funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny

72. Puddybud, identifying northwest liberals who elected an underexperienced man to the presidency weighed down by an oversized ego spews:

Remember when President George Bush was infamously ridiculed by the libtardo msm lamestream media for playing some rounds of golf while Americans were dying on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq? Well last count over 1200 brave mem and women have died while Obummer has played 75 rounds of golf to date. And where is the same libtardo msm lamestream media screaming?

Oh wait the erudite one, HA’s misogynist conservative woman hater rujax claimed there is no left-wing lamestream media bias.

So many left-wing fools visit this blog.

73. YLB spews:

70 – Yawwwwwn… So now you’re saying Google gave a “rat’s ass” about the “payload” – email, passwords…

Google could break wpa2/aes from their camera vehicles?

Looks to me the lawyers are as confused as your stupid ass. As confused as Herman Cain about the “right of return”.

What a moron!

74. YLB spews:

71 – Since you talk out your ass – the only stink I sense in these parts is from you.

Watch out fool! Here comes the crop duster! LMAO!

And keep aping Spew Spewit about Halperin stupid – maybe he’ll prostrate himself before your stupid ass!

It’ll be the highlight of your miserable life!