Open Thread

- So the amount of Border Patrol agents in Port Angeles has gone from fewer than 4 to 40 in the past five years? Huh? Here’s some background on the unpopularity of the Border Patrol out in the peninsula.

Another victory in the drug war.

– Warren Buffett wants the government to raise his taxes. Isn’t he supposed to fix the economy by giving everyone jobs instead?

– Nouriel Roubini explains why he thinks that our current economy is proof that Karl Marx was right about the potential perils of capitalism.

– Rebels in Libya are closing in on Tripoli and a former army colonel says that the Gaddafi regime is collapsing. And now Syria is turning into the next Libya.

– Yakima attorney and Sensible Washington member Alex Newhouse writes about why we should legalize marijuana in the Yakima Herald.

This made me laugh (via Reddit, of course)

Comments

  1. 1

    spews:

    Buffet:

    Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate.

    But some asshat troll thinks he knows better than a billionaire with a halfway decent business track record.

  2. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “‘Karl Marx had it right,’Roubini said in an interview with wsj.com. ‘At some point capitalism can self-destroy itself. That’s because you can not keep on shifting income from labor to capital without not having an excess capacity and a lack of aggregate demand. We thought that markets work. They are not working. What’s individually rational…is a self-destructive process.'”

    This is what I’ve been saying all along — unregulated markets destroy themselves, and businesses who eliminate jobs and slash wages are destroying their own customer base.

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If you click on the Roubini link you’ll get a bunch of Wall Street Journal interview videos. I just spent over an hour listening to several of these. What these economists and conservative businessmen are saying is the Tea Party has it all wrong, you don’t impose austerity during a recesion, the U.S. economy needs massive stimulus, deflation — not inflation — is the biggest threat, and the rich and corporations have to pay more taxes.

    The Teahadists are a populist fringe from the heartland. In the end, who gets the GOP nomination once again will be determined by the eastern GOP establishment that represents the moneyed interests — people who know what they’re talking about. They’re going to put Romney in. Their money, connections, and influence will swamp the cornpones at the Iowa State Fair who paid 30 bucks each to vote for Michelle Bachmann. They have too much to lose to let people like them choose the GOP nominee.

  4. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh yeah, Roubini says keep your nest egg in cash for the next two or three months, until we see whether the U.S. is going to double-dip and whether Europe is going to melt down. But Roubini has always been known as a pessimistic — people call him “Dr. Doom.”

  5. 7

    manoftruth spews:

    @1
    But some asshat troll thinks he knows better than a billionaire with a halfway decent business track record

    oh my god, please. warren has his money now. in fact he’s giving half of it away. noiw hw just wants to be part of the club of obama, for whatever reason, i have some theories. how come he never whined about if when he was makingf his millions? for the same reason 401’s are iras a great investments, because when money compounds tax free you do great. warren has turned into a socialist, i guess he thinks he needs to change his tune in preperation to meet his maker.

  6. 8

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @7, Perhaps you should read Buffett’s OpEd piece and come back when you’re finished and debate his specific points.
    Cuz you look like a real asshat when you just assert with no facts to back it up that Buffett is a socialist ObamaBot.

    Let me help you:

    Back in the 1980s and 1990s, tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack. According to a theory I sometimes hear, I should have thrown a fit and refused to invest because of the elevated tax rates on capital gains and dividends.

    I didn’t refuse, nor did others. I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off. And to those who argue that higher rates hurt job creation, I would note that a net of nearly 40 million jobs were added between 1980 and 2000. You know what’s happened since then: lower tax rates and far lower job creation.

  7. 9

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    RE Buffett’s OpEd: Stop Coddling the Super-Rich,

    If the logic proffered by those who want these policies of lower taxes on the Super-Rich is knowingly wrong, it begs the question as to just WTF their real agenda is.

    Any guesses?

  8. 11

    ArtFart spews:

    @8 Don’t hold your breath. It’s going to take ShitForBrains quite a while as he struggles with all those big words like “the”.

  9. 12

    ArtFart spews:

    @9 Yeah…in Buffett’s case, it should be obvious.

    He’s an old fart. Old enough, in fact, to have been witness to other attempts at “government austerity” sending the economy (and the fortunes of everyone, even the rich) into a death spiral.

  10. 14

    Michael spews:

    @7
    Figured out how you’re going to care for the elderly and the disabled without paying for it yet?

  11. 15

    who run Bartertown? spews:

    A month ago warren buffet was complaining about being taxed more on his corp and private jets……

  12. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 “for the same reason 401’s are iras a great investments, because when money compounds tax free you do great”

    If you run the numbers, you end up with the same amount paying the taxes at the front end or back end.

    The only advantage of deferring taxes is if your income drops after retiring, pushing you into a lower bracket.

  13. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 But it wasn’t regulated enough in the ’80s (see S&L scandals) or ’00s (see subprime fraud), was it?

  14. 20

    Michael spews:

    @19
    The rich folks seem to have a habit of investing their money in stupid shit and having to have the working class bail them out.
    As a member of the working class it leaves me wondering why we keep bailing them out?

  15. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 (continued) I really don’t know how you would justify your comment. You seem to imply there was no deregulation problem involved in the 2007 financial crisis — that’s just plain wrong:

    “Paul Krugman, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Economics, described the run on the shadow banking system as the “core of what happened” to cause the crisis. He referred to this lack of controls as “malign neglect” and argued that regulation should have been imposed on all banking-like activity.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....regulation

    (I used this quote for convenience; if you don’t like Krugman or Wikipedia, you can find innumerable statements to like effect elsewhere.)

    At the heart of the 2007 financial crisis is the ‘shadow banking’ system and the fact it was unregulated. This system allowed entities operating as banks to leverage risky assets at ratios as high as 30:1 — a ratio similar to the margins on stocks that existed just before the 1929 crash. The freeze-up in credit markets in 2007-2008 occurred precisely because the lack of oversight and regulation enabled the ‘shadow banking’ entities to operate freely without regard to the risks they were aking.

  16. 24

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    @23, you go look it up and provide us the reference. Until then your reputation for BS proceeds you.

  17. 25

    manoftruth spews:

    the funny thing is i would have no problem in raising taxes on people who make over a million a year (just a little, after all, we are not communists), but the peoblem is the real agenda is to raise taxes on the middle class by taxing small business owners whose business grosses as little as 250k. why? destruction of the middle class like all communist dictators have done.

  18. 26

    rhp6033 spews:

    MOT @ 25: The idea that the tax proposals would hit small businesses is a myth, mainly because it only taxes profits, not business expenses. The business might run millions through it, but the only thing which counts for tax purposes is the net profit at the end of the year.

    If it’s a sole proprietership and nets $250,000 for the owners in profts after all expenses, they aren’t middle class. They are doing quite well, thank you.

    If it’s a partnership, and that profit is divided several ways, the partners are taxed only on their share. So if there are four parterners, they are indeed middle-class, and will be taxed at the appropriately lower rate.

    If it’s a corporation, the corporation would be taxed at corporate rates, but only to the extent it retained profits. Most small business owners know how to avoid this by turning potential profits into expenses before the end of the tax year (Hawaii has a surge of small groups of mostly family members visiting for “corporate annual meetings” that time of year). Or it can be disbursed as wages to the officer/employees, which are taxed to the employees just like any other wages.

  19. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @20 We don’t need socialism in this country. All we need is for the stupid rich to bear their own losses. If we can institute such a system, everything will level out.

  20. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @25 “the peoblem is the real agenda is to raise taxes on the middle class by taxing small business owners whose business grosses as little as 250k”

    Come back and discuss this when you know the difference between gross business income and taxable personal income.