Progressive Populism

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8VMcRqtdSI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

For years I’ve been suggesting that the way to win an income tax in Washington state was to borrow a page from Tim Eyman, and run against Olympia. You know, a message something along the lines of: “We don’t have an income tax, because they won’t give us an income tax…” emphasizing how the fat cats benefit from the current tax structure, while our legislators kowtow to their wealthy benefactors’ wishes.

So it’s good to see that message finally being tested, if timidly.

Comments

  1. 3

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    How simple can I make this….?

    It isn’t your money. Or more simply still, it isn’t your damned money! Someone else earned it. Someone else sacrificed and worked and pushed to obtain something and you want to steal it. It isn’t yours. It isn’t mine. It isn’t societies. It is personal property belonging to someone else, and you and your fellow progressives are no more or less than thieves.

    Sure you pretty it up in fine language. You assert rights that don’t exist in order to destroy those that are established in law and custom. But at heart and at base you are petulant toddlers whining about how ‘it isn’t fair.’

    Well you’re right. It isn’t. And you can choose to accept that this is the way things are, like grown ups. Or you can espouse a political and economic philosphy which ignores reality. You can choose politics which pit one class of citizen against others or you can read the Constiitution. All of us are given equal protection under the law, rich or poor. Wealth doesn’t mean that this clause doesn’t apply, thnough liberals would be astonished at that.

    Just a bunch of immature thieves. That’s all the left is.

  2. 5

    correctnotright spews:

    @1: Once again our famous idiot troll demonstrates an inability to think beyond the most shallow comparisons.

    Goldy was not on Tim Eyemans case for promoting initiatives – he exposed Eyeman as a liar who profited from the initiatives he was supposedly “promoting”.

    Goldy is merely advocating for the initaive because it benefits education and health care and addresses the unequal taxes currently used in Washington state. The rich currently pay a much smaller percentage of their income in this state and this law would make taxes more fair and equitable.

    Now we know that the troll is against fair taxes, education and health care. The fool troll also wants to coddle the rich so they don’t have to pay their fair share. Not that we did not know this beforehand…the troll has an agenda. Watch what the troll comments on and says – and you will figure out the troll agenda.

  3. 6

    kirk91 spews:

    If you want to have your money mean anything you need to exist in a society ‘lost’. “The price we pay for civilization is taxes” and having a fair tax system is the barest measure of having a just society.

  4. 7

    correctnotright spews:

    @3: How simple can I make this Lost?

    Your vacant third grade level arguments have no basis in fact. Currrently, people making of 200K in Washington pay far less than their fair share of taxes. This would make the taxes more even.

    In Washington, poor people pay 17.3 percent of their income in taxes, while the filthy rich pay only 2.6 percent of their income in taxes.

    http://www.thestranger.com/sea.....id=4837455

    Oh, and most rich people got that way by luck or from birth. so they “earned” it by being born. the rest of us work our asses off for under 200K.

    Your vapid arguments have no basis in fact – but you certainly would be on the Jesus hit list for moneychangers that screw the everday person.

  5. 8

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 6

    Exactly. I gain no more or less from society than Bill Gates.

    The schools, police, fire departments, military and civilian defense operate on his behalf and mine. The courts defend his rights and mine. The roads can freely be travelled by his vehicle or mine. Customs officers stamp his passport or mine, and inspect cargo on his behalf and mine.

    Yes, he’s made more of his opportunities than I. That doesn’t speak to the society which provided the opportunities, but to the person who did or didn’t use them.

    He owes not one cent more for society than I do.

  6. 9

    correctnotright spews:

    Too bad Lost keeps trying to make the same third-grade level arguments with his.her limited brain power. Taxes paid for your education Lost (clearly we wasted our money on YOUR lack of education, Lost), paid for the roads, paid for your police protection, your fire protection, most of the scientific advances came originally from government research and it pays for your protection form terrorists.

    In fact, most of the federal tax dollars go for the military.

    Taxes bailed out the economy from the great depression, cleaned up the oil spill, cleaned up Washington state from the floods, Mt. St. Helens, from the industries polluting Puget sound, cleaned up Lake Washington from being a cesspool before Metro was created and many other activities.

  7. 11

    Rujax! spews:

    So for “lostinhisownasshole” and his ilk:

    Folks get to make money by advantaging an economic system. A system that provides a “commons” which includes, but is not limited to: infrastructure (roads, bridges, freeways, sewer and water, electricity, etc.) and essential services (courts to enforce contracts, a legislature to enact regulation to ensure a level playing field…or not, like in the current world), and an education system to provide a trained workforce…

    The more money one can figure out how to make in this system the more one relies on…uses…these essential services…hence the more one “owes” the provider of the services…society. The “producer” would not dream os providing THEIR services for free or for little cost. In fact…the producer jacks His/her fees to “whatever the market will bear”.

    That’s what idiots like “lost” don’t get ’cause their heads are too far up their assholes. This is basic capitalism. Pay to play.

  8. 12

    sarge spews:

    @Lost: Please read THIS.

    Low marginal tax rates on the rich and the corresponding massive gap between rich and poor are destroying our economy. Fewer and fewer rich people, with more and more money, doesn’t benefit America.

  9. 14

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 9 and similar arguments

    Already answered this at 6. Society provides the opportunities for everyone.

    I was publicly educated, so was Bill Gates. He made certain choices which I didn’t, and prospered accordingly. Yes, society owes us the playing field. It isn’t and can’t be responsible for how the players perform.

    And, btw, I agree that a sales tax is stupid. An income tax utilising a flat rate of all income with exemptions at the bottom would be fine with me. This ‘soak the rich, pillage their homes’ notion is what I object to.

  10. 15

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 12

    I agree. In 1910 the disparity between a factory owners income and that of its lowest paid worker was something like 40 to 1. In 2000 it was closer to 400 to 1. This is socially unsustainable. Let them eat cake only works until they roll out the guillotine.

    I just don’t agree that federal tax policy is the way of addressing this.

  11. 17

    Lauramae spews:

    This whole horseshit argument that Lost puts forward that proportionate taxes = to stealing is part of the Reagan legacy. Really at some levels it is sickeningly ingenious. Get people to believe that they might also too become part of the plutocracy so that they fight to protect their future potential riches (which they have no hope of ever actually getting). Or that the people who collect the money did it through hard work and earnings. Bill Gates is always held up as an example. The reality is that many of the ultra-wealthy aren’t widely known The riches are “earned” by gambles in the casino of Wall Street doing things like betting that you will default on your mortgage along with everyone else…

  12. 19

    notaboomer spews:

    meanwhile the seattle times bashes and bashes 1098. why today the esteemed editors ran another anti 1098 op-ed. then to balance things out, they ran another anti 1098 op-ed. those rich assholes must be worried.

  13. 20

    Michael spews:

    @14

    I was publicly educated, so was Bill Gates.

    Last I checked Lakeside and Harvard were both private schools.

  14. 21

    Michael spews:

    If 1098 passes the rich folks in Washington state will still have tax rates that are the lowest they’ve had in the last 100 years and will still have some of the lowest in the US. He should be happy.

  15. 22

    Michael spews:

    BTW, I just dropped my ballot in the mail with my yes on 1098 vote checked off.

    It’s a simple vote. We need to have a state government, the state government needs money to function. The state government can’t bring in enough money with its current tax policies. So we need new tax policies and the rich folks are the ones that have the money, so our new tax policies should be focused on them. The top 1% controls umpteen % of the wealth in America, so we need to go to them to get the cash. The state can’t get the money it needs from the working class, we’re tapped out.

  16. 23

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 16

    I don’t actually believe I’ll ever be more than comfortably middle class. My moral and ethical sense doesn’t rely on what I gain from it, but on what is right regardless of the cost or benefit to me. A society without such a sense of basic right and wrong is a doomed one, one whose cultural glue is coming unstuck.

    It is on that basis, not on whether I’m ever subject to the death tax or high income brackets, that I judge the progressive sense of ‘fair’ tax policy. At the ethical and moral level the income of another man just doesn’t belong to me or to society. It belongs to that man. We can agree that government is necessary and must perform the tasks legislation and constitutions charge it with. Assuming common costs must be commonly paid for is not the problem. Assuming common costs are to be charged only to a minority, for me, is.

  17. 24

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 19

    Of course, that means that the taxes supporting education his parents paid didn’t actually benefit the Gates, so bolsters my argument. I appreciate the help.

  18. 25

    Michael spews:

    @23

    No, what it means is that you can’t be bothered to do 30 seconds worth of research before opening your mouth and that you’re full of shit.

  19. 26

    Blue John spews:

    In 1910 the disparity between a factory owners income and that of its lowest paid worker was something like 40 to 1. In 2000 it was closer to 400 to 1. This is socially unsustainable.

    I just don’t agree that federal tax policy is the way of addressing this.

    Progressives have shown that conservative policies do not address the disparity, and often make it worse.

    Yet you reject any and all progressive policies that do address disparity.

    Then what would you propose to do?

  20. 27

    lostinaseaofselfaggrandizement spews:

    Some people will grow up to be rapists. Some will not use their opportunities to rape and will end up instead being rapees. That is the way of things. Rapees shouldn’t complain. They should enjoy the fruit of their lack of assertiveness.
    I speak truth daily.

  21. 29

    proud leftist spews:

    Arguing with lost is pointless. His “thinking” is rigid, inflexible, and shallow. His argument with regard to taxes is childish. But, that doesn’t stop his arrogance from overflowing. What an ass.

  22. 31

    ahem.... spews:

    lost is entirely correct. our founding fathers who provided for majority rule and a national government that can collect taxes are no better than THIEVES. And there are similar THIEVES in France, Germany, Uk, Sweden, MExico, Guatemala, Brazil, Italy and China, because they all engage in the thievery that is taxation.

    And what is up with that whiskey rebellion!!! Those founding fathers who put it down are not only THIEVES BUT MURDERERS. How dare government forcibly collect taxes, thats’ just highway robbery!

  23. 32

    Steve spews:

    Glenn Beck agrees with Christine O’Donnell,

    “I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet.”

  24. 34

    ArtFart spews:

    @19 Harvard and other private universities benefit from huge government research grants that help pay faculty and support infrastructure from which all students benefit…not to mention the many students even at private colleges who receive some kind of public support (student loans, GI Bill, etc.) So it might be said that Uncle Sam contributes a fair amount of the cost of most college educations, excepting perhaps places like Liberty University.

    Lakeside is another matter. I’m not so much impressed by Bill’s parents, who were rich in their own right, sending him there as I am by the sacrifices that must have been made by Paul Allen’s folks, who were not particularly affluent.

  25. 35

    proud leftist spews:

    30
    It is amazing that lost, the self-professed constitutional scholar, doesn’t know that one of the primary motives of the Founding Fathers in drafting the Constitution was a strengthened central government, unlike the weak government of the Articles of Confederation, that had the power to levy and collect taxes.

  26. 36

    ArtFart spews:

    @3 In that case, can I please have the money back that went to the war profiteers over the last ten years for “services” like building plywood shacks with electrified showers for our troops and providing them with inedible food and contaminated water?

    Oh…and if you’re all in favor of a “universal flat tax structure”, how would you feel about lifting the income cap on FICA so we can quit all the hand-wringing about the “Social Security crisis” and get on with other things?

  27. 37

    Rujax! spews:

    @28…

    …and so he joins that execrable fraternity of Puddy, Cynical, Maxey, Mark1, beckoner, troll and all the others…congrats dude, you finally came to be SOMETHING. Whatever that is…

  28. 39

    Daddy Love spews:

    3. lostinaseaofblue spews:

    It isn’t your money. Or more simply still, it isn’t your damned money!

    Ho hum, another “taxation is theft” post. let’s see….how simple can I make this?

    The WA state constitution is explicit. The state has the power to tax.

    ARTICLE VII
    REVENUE AND TAXATION

    SECTION 1 TAXATION. The power of taxation shall never be suspended, surrendered or contracted away…The word “property” as used herein shall mean and include everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership.

    The legislature has the power to pass laws to enable state powers.

    SECTION 22 PASSAGE OF BILLS. No bill shall become a law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal of each house, and a majority of the members elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.

    My note: Bold text above is why Eyman’s iniative is unconstitutional. Citizens cannot impose a two-thiurds majority requirement for tax legislation without amending the Constitution.

    But there you have it. It’s not “theft,” because our system of constitutional law by and for teh people enacted by elected representatives is implied consent. Disagree with the Constitution or a law? Try to elect people who share your views, but it just ain’t theft, pal.

  29. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Lost, you’re exactly the type of person I expect to be an apologist for a tax system that screws the poor and gives a free ride to the rich (which I’m pretty sure you’re not, so whatever motivates your thinking, it isn’t rationality).

    Government services that support our economy (education, roads, infrastructure, police and courts, etc.) aren’t free. Until you can explain how to pay for government without making anyone pay taxes, you’re a toddler having a silly fit.

    And once you accept that fact that government is necessary, costs money, and someone has to pay for it, your defending the most regressive state tax system in the nation makes you a selfish prick.

    Grow up, little boy.

  30. 43

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 “so was Bill Gates”

    Get your facts straight, dumbass. Bill Gates was born into a wealthy family and went to a private school.

  31. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 “Of course, that means that the taxes supporting education his parents paid didn’t actually benefit the Gates, so bolsters my argument.”

    And your argument is what? That only people with children in public schools should pay school taxes?

    The implementation of universal free public education in the 1800s is what turned America into a superpower and the most prosperous society in human history.

    You just went on record opposing that. Which makes you the biggest idiot of all the trolls on this board.

  32. 45

    worf spews:

    @41 Remember, lost thinks that owning a getaway in Italy is only “comfortably middle class”. Slightly warped viewpoint.

  33. 46

    masaba spews:

    Currently in this state, the top 1% pay about 2.9% of their income in taxes. The bottom 20% pay about 17.3% of theirs. This data is acknowledged by a group that is trying to defeat I-1098, and can be on page 7 here:

    http://www.researchcouncil.org.....ve1098.pdf

    No sane economist would advocate a tax structure that is this regressive. Even economist Freidrich Hayek, awarded the presidential medal of freedom by G HW Bush, agreed that the overall tax structure should be slightly progressive.

    If this passes the rich will finally start paying a fair share of their income to this state’s finances. This measure isn’t at all about socking it to the rich, but is instead about letting them sock the majority of us a little less.

  34. 47

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The fallacy of Lost’s argument that money belongs to those who earn it and government has no right to require citizens to pay taxes is that people like him have no right to the benefits of living in our society unless they help support the public services that make those benefits possible.

  35. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @45 “If this passes the rich will finally start paying a fair share of their income to this state’s finances.”

    No they won’t. They’ll still be paying a smaller share of their income to state and local government than anyone else.

  36. 49

    masaba spews:

    The only thing I would change in this ad is the part where they say : ‘The rich pay more, you pay less.’ I would instead cite the statistics that I gave @45 and say, ‘The rich will start to pay as much as the rest of us.’

    The red herring that this is about ‘soaking the rich,’ really needs to die.

  37. 50

    lostinaseaofaynrandfantasies spews:

    Those who have worked hard to be successful are already forced to spend all their money supporting those who aren’t successful. It’s called “wages”. Wages are themselves an unfair tax. Those who are themselves to lazy to own their own business have a parasitical relationship to those of us who are the engines of society. Wages are a form of theft.
    I speak truth daily.

  38. 51

    uptown spews:

    Bill Gates made his money the old fashioned way…
    by having the government prevent others from selling a product that was too similar; i.e., a legal monopoly. Without the government, Microsoft would not be the empire it is today.

  39. 55

    Michael spews:

    @51

    Whomever is filling it for Lost @49 is doing a fine job. Actually thought it was Lost the first time I read it.

  40. 59

    Richard Pope spews:

    Why are we proposing to tax individual income, and not corporation income (or that of trusts or estates for that matter)? Why should an artificially created “person” pay nothing on millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of income, but a real flesh and blood person have to pay income on anything over $200,000 (which could be lowered in future years)?

    Can someone please give me the names of states that have individual income taxes, but totally exempt corporations from the income tax?

  41. 60

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    General response-

    For the left the argument appears to go this way-

    Bill Boeing made airplanes using infrastructure paid for by his fellow taxpayers. He employed a skilled workforce, trained by his fellow taxpayers. He invested and enjoyed his money through banks regulated and protected at his fellow taxpayers expense. He patented his technology using a system maintained and enforced by his fellow taxpayers. Therefore, as he enjoyed a disparate amount of income and property to his fellows, he owes more for the services which made his business possible.

    Countering that, the right would respond like this-

    Bill Boeing took chances with his own money, or that of others willing to risk theirs on his word or business plan. Yes, his efforts required the commonly built infrastructure, educational systems, police and courts, fire departments and so on to succeed. But any janitor sweeping floors in his red bard could have utilised those in the same way he did. The opportunity is what his taxes provided for, not the outcome. Therefore he owes no more or less than the janitor for what the government provided.

    Adding urgency to both arguments is the inarguable and increasing disparity between those who are wealthy and those who are not. Inevitably wealth in increasing concentration in fewer hands will result in social disorder and even destruction.

    Somewhere in the middle (or a bit to the right of it, in my opinion) is probably the answer. A tax system which encourages effort and accomplishment is necessary. Allowing the misery of the most vulnerable among us would be unacceptable.

    I just think that the constant demonization of wealth on the part of progressives isn’t particularly helpful in finding that middle.

  42. 61

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Specifically-

    My lack of clarity is being justly punished here.

    Taxation is not ipso facto theft. Taxation leveled at one class or group of citizens for the benefit of others is.

  43. 63

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Worf,

    The ‘getaway in Italy’ was purchased and remodeled (by me) for a little over $40,000. Hardly a palazzo in Firenze, or flat overlooking the Piazza Navonna in Rome.

    And I can afford it because I drive older cars, live in a modest home and owe no debt on either. I can afford it because I married late, when I could afford a family. I can afford it because my wife and I made delayed gratification so that our kids got the benefit of her Chinese ancestry, my American, and the feel of Europe in Italy and the places we visit while there.

    These are precisely the kinds of choices I’ve been talking about. Not everyone wants a place in Italy, but anyone can get what they do want if they choose to do so and not to let obstacles get in their way.

    That is the American dream. That is what the left denies is possible without cradle to grave nanny government. And they are wrong.

  44. 64

    Walk the talk spews:

    @57

    “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: leftists must arm. Our weakness has always been a belief in the power of reason. That works among us, but the right doesn’t do reason. They don’t do facts. Empiricism is voodoo to them. So, simply, we must arm.”

    Don’t you have better things to do than post on HA all day, counselor, or was that fervent call to arms last week for OTHERS to arm?

  45. 67

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 3:

    Well you’re right. It isn’t. And you can choose to accept that this is the way things are, like grown ups.

    Am I my brother’s keeper? I think that the answer was ‘YES’, I am.

    You always phrase your pronunciamentos as if the progressives on this blog are merely going to be receivers of the services to be rendered via 1098, but I can assure you that that is false. Many of us will pay — just like Bill Gates Sr. — who has money — and a heart.

  46. 68

    Chuck spews:

    The correct question to ask is how much total tax do people that make over $200.000 dollars per year currently pay in total taxes to the state of Washington and what percentage of the total budget is that. I think that if you found that out you would be amazed at that percentage. Remember, the “rich” are the ones that buy the loaded Escalade, or the AMG Hammer. They are also the buyers of upscale houses that have staggering property tax bills on them. Count the entire package. They also pay more sheer sales tax when the buy the $50000 Jenair BBQ.

  47. 69

    rhp6033 spews:

    Lost and others on the right keep trying to turn tax policy into a “moral” issue.

    “Why are we being punished just for being successful? Why should we pay more, in absolute terms, than anyone else?”

    Except for what are commonly known as “sin taxes”, tax policy has one goal, and one goal only: to raise the revenue necessary for the common good. Flat taxes and sales taxes alone simply won’t support the infrastructure (military, courts, transportation, etc.) needed for a modern nation. The impact upon the poor would be so ruinous, taking such a large proportion of their total income, that it could never be enacted or enforced.

    So that leads us to the simple conclusion that the best way to collect tax revenues is to tax the people who have the resources to pay it. It’s futile to go after those that don’t have the means to pay it. The income tax, although imperfect, is the best method we have found so far to do so.

    Questions about the size of the budget, or what programs are worthy of being handled by the government, are other issues entirely.

  48. 70

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 59:

    Therefore he owes no more or less than the janitor for what the government provided.

    Then why do the Boeing bondholders pay 15% taxes on their earning and the Janitor at Boeing pays 35%.

    That’s the unfairness of it. Maybe you and your ilk are forcing a genius to be a Janitor and a Janitor to be a president ( re W).

  49. 72

    Rujax! spews:

    …and the beauty of America is that an idiot like “lostinhisownasshole” can do well enough to have a pad in Italy.

  50. 73

    rhp6033 spews:

    67: Sure, the rich pay more in sales taxes and property taxes for idle consumption and luxorious living than the poor. But that’s taken into account in the statistics comparing the relative tax burdens on the poor and the wealthy.

    The fact is that at some point, your ability to consume greater amounts ends. You can buy a house one year, but even the very wealthy rarely buy a new house every year. You might be paying for lobster and caviar, but eventually you get to the point where you can’t eat more than three or four meals a day, regardless of how expensive they are. Even luxory cars have their limits.

    If you do the math, you can discover that it’s really hard to spend all the income some of the really wealthy receive. Sure, you won’t have any problem spending the first million. Maybe even the next fifteen million. But what if you get fifteen million every single year? Or as a few do, every single month?

    At that point you are just accumulating wealth, with your advisors telling you how to invest it and shield it from taxes so you can accumulate even more wealth, to keep them employed. Or you could do like Bill Gates does, and start a plan to just give it all away.

  51. 74

    rhp6033 spews:

    Of course, if you need a moral justification for a graduated-rate income tax, how about this: Those who profit most from the system should bear a proportionately greater share of it’s cost.

  52. 75

    rhp6033 spews:

    Of course, you don’t here any of the justifications of Lost being used in the anti-1098 commercials. Those interests who are opposed to the income tax know that they really don’t want to get into that discussion. Because it inevitably leads to voters comparing how hard they work for their money in contrast to how hard the wealthy work for theirs.

    Instead, they are relying upon the “slippery slope” argument, asserting that it will inevitably lead to an income tax on everyone.

    But it’s rather disengenioius of them to use the recent sales tax increase on some products as an argument against the income tax. I-1098 should be enacted because it would make such increases of the sales tax unnecessary.

    The sales tax increases were because our current tax system is broken and unsustainable.The B&O tax is clearly stacked in favor of large, established businesses, and takes it’s biggest bite out of growing middle-sized business (very small business were given a break in the recent rounds of changes).

  53. 76

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 34

    Stronger central government would be more active. If these gentlemen wished for a government without functional limits why the 7 Articles? Why the Bill of Rights added even before formal ratification of the body of the document. They knew what they wanted, spelled it out and clarified it in Amendments. They set up the process for further changes, and made it just difficult enough that these changes would happen as needed, not as reactions to whims of the moment. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I do know enough to know that the Commerce and Elastic clauses weren’t grants of limitless federal power. In that I’m ahead of liberals anyway.

    Re 35

    Lift the tax cap on SS? Fine. Just as soon as we lift the cap on what the wealthy can collect each month on retirement to reflect what they paid in.

    Ms. Litella,

    Biblically and in my faith I am my brothers keeper. I give to charity, donate time, help neighbors without the means to maintain their homes

  54. 78

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    75 interupted-

    Ms. Litella,

    Biblically and in my faith I am my brothers keeper. I give to charity, donate time and help neighbors without the means to maintain their homes. I donate time and food to my local food bank. These are personal obligations, imposed by my faith and by my sense of decency. They are not legitimate grounds for government activity in the hermetically sealed seperation of church and state the left so rigorously demands.

    No janitor pays 35%. Maybe 20%, and after all the housing, food and medical assistance, college tuition assistance and on and on and on, more likely 0%. We are rapidly approaching a point where more than half of our taxpayers pay effectively no taxes, when you subtract such direct benefits from their tax totals. The bottom quarter are physically paid for their citizenship! And this is the progressive notion of fairness? It isn’t even sustainable, for goodness sake.

  55. 81

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 77:

    These are personal obligations, imposed by my faith and by my sense of decency. They are not legitimate grounds for government activity in the hermetically sealed seperation of church and state the left so rigorously demands.

    If you agree that a church or any other private organization, in cincert with other people of good wiil, could better administer and accomplish the goals you espouse, why would you be against it?

  56. 82

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    RHP,

    The argument that society has a right to determine what another citizen has a right to consume is the real slippery slope. Where do you stop? At what point does society decide what is my right to spend and what is luxury?

    I have a house and a cabin. I can’t use both simultaneously. By your reasoning one of the 2 families renting homes from me have a moral right to one of the homes that is ‘idle consumption’ for me. To this I say, Bullshit.

    You’re right about the purpose of taxation. But the distribution of the tax load has to be reasonable. Asking half the citizens or less to pay for the commonly enjoyed benefits of citizenship violates every motivating belief directing the wording of the Constitution. It violates the equal protection clause. It is just wrong.

  57. 83

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 80: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people….”

    Do these words not resonate with you? Do I need to underwrite it for you by saying ‘God’?

  58. 84

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 80

    I don’t understand your question.

    Private secular or religious charity is not something I’ve ever opposed either in sentiment or writing.

    If you’re saying that combining the will to charity and asking our legislators to enshrine them in the tax code discharges the personal duty to charity, it doesn’t. It just shifts that burden to your government. Given the tax structure you want, it then further shifts the burden to the top 2% or 10% or whatever you decide is appropriate. In the end you’ve discharged your charitible duties by someone else paying for them and administering them? Hardly.

  59. 85

    greg spews:

    @76

    Yes, but I don’t think there’re a lot of us on the left who advocate arming to reach our goals as you do Proud Leftist. That’s a non-starter IMO.

  60. 86

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 82

    “Do I need to underwrite it for you by saying ‘God’?”

    No. And I’d prefer you didn’t. My faith is very personal and my choice. I would no more force it on another than I would force my choice of spouse or means of raising my children on another.

    “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people….”

    Among the best words written in any language in any time. They are made the moreso by being included in what amounts to a contract, of all places.

    So you would say, on the basis of those words that disenfranchisement from the provisions of the document which follow can be determined by financial successs?

  61. 87

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 83:

    I don’t understand your question.

    I do not believe you when you say that you do not understand the question. If that is the case, then why did you answer?

  62. 88

    Armstrong spews:

    3. lostinaseaofblue spews:

    How simple can I make this….?

    It isn’t your money. Or more simply still, it isn’t your damned money! Someone else earned it. Someone else sacrificed and worked and pushed to obtain something and you want to steal it. It isn’t yours. It isn’t mine. It isn’t societies. It is personal property belonging to someone else, and you and your fellow progressives are no more or less than thieves.

    Funny, so when a CEO gets 500 times what the employee makes, who is stealing from whom?
    It’s my work, my labor, my efforts that create the product. It’s my team work, my hours away from family and friends, my esperience, my education that create the product.

    Yet my CEO get to walk away with 90% of the profits that my time and effort create.

    My taxes build the infrastructure while my CEO pays half of my tax rate. My paycheck goes 100% into the surrounding economy while 75+% of my CEO’s goes off shore to tax havens in the Bahamas.

    Who is the thief?

  63. 89

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 86

    “I do not believe you when you say that you do not understand the question. If that is the case, then why did you answer?”

    Because I was inferring that this was your meaning by the context and your other posts, I answered what I believed to be your question. If I was incorrect I apologize.

  64. 90

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 83: I’m saying ( as you well know) that if the government can provbide the help people need, then would you be against it?

    Would God be such a nitpicker if life and deATH WERE IN THE OFFING?

  65. 91

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 83: Do you think that Karl Rove or Rahm Emmanuel would have any input on our exchange?

    I think not.

    What do you think?

  66. 92

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 87

    Easy solution Armstrong.

    You can quit your job. You can take an equity loan out on your home for start up costs, borrow it from others or find investors who believe in you, but will hold you to account if you fail. You can work 80 or 100 hours a week for 3 or 4 or 10 years building a company. That is, unless someone else markets the same concept or product better, the economy collapses, or the idea just doesnt’ sell as well as you thought it might. Of course, if any of these things happen all your capital is lost and maybe your home and other assets with it.

    If you succeed you will have sacrifice quite a lot. Your employees might be driving nicer vehicles or living in nicer homes, as you pour all your cash into your growing business. You might have missed your sons football games, or your daughters soccer tournament or your anniversary weekend with your spouse because of some crisis at work. Maybe you missed a decade of your wife or your husbands youth so that you could build this company.

    But of course, your aren’t entitled to the profits. No sir. Those belong to the software engineer or machinist or accountant who believes they made your success possible.

  67. 93

    Blue John spews:

    Lost, you must have missed my question for you up at @25, a request for you to clarify your positition. I have reworded the question.

    Lost Said: In 1910 the disparity between a factory owners income and that of its lowest paid worker was something like 40 to 1. In 2000 it was closer to 400 to 1. This is socially unsustainable.
    I just don’t agree that federal tax policy is the way of addressing this.

    Progressives have ideas for addressing the income disparity. Yet you have rejected most if not all of them.

    Then what would you propose to do?
    Using conservative principles, how would you deal with income disparity?

    (This doesn’t have to be a lost question, any conservative can answer.)

  68. 94

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 90

    How do you tell when a politician is lying? Their mouth is open.

    The more true in reference to political operatives like those two….gentlemen. Wodehouse said it best. “Their crookedness is such that “

  69. 95

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Sorry, “their crookedness is such that they can hide at will behind a spiral staircase.” But it kind of loses effect when I accidentally hit submit. Darn.

  70. 96

    uptown spews:

    @87

    You bring up a good point. When a CEO gets 500 times what the employee makes, they are probably stealing from the shareholders.

    Of course Lost doesn’t give a crap about anybody but upper management (his pretend “business owner”).

  71. 98

    Emily Litela spews:

    Lost says: “Because I was inferring that this was your meaning by the context and your other posts, I answered what I believed to be your question. If I was incorrect I apologize.”

    You are incorrect — and the rest of your post is unintellible.

  72. 99

    LD spews:

    “If I1098 passes”

    It doesn’t have a ghost chance in hell in this election cycle of overspending governments.

    48% against and 41% for, without even considering the Pissed off at government spending voting tsunami

  73. 100

    Blue John spews:

    @ 91 and 87
    lost, you didn’t address his question. He ask “Is it fair?”, you respond with “Go do it yourself”.

    You talked about sacrifice. I can see your point of veiw of how the poor beligered company owner, slaves day in and day out, putting in 18 hour days, while his workers barely work at all, then and go home and sit in their hot tubs.

    By that logic, you should be in favor of the inheritance tax since the walmart heirs or the trust fund kids did not sacrifice for that money, they just sat on their butts and waited for their handout. Conservatives dispise that attitude in poor people, why doen’st that apply to the rich?

    But I digress.

    you said “But of course, your aren’t entitled to the profits. No sir. Those belong to the software engineer or machinist or accountant who believes they made your success possible.”
    Well, like the real world, the answer is no and yes.

    If you can find me a person that made her millions, by herself, entirely without a support staff of any kind and that person, didn’t use the commons any more than you or steve or the janitor did, then I feel you have an argument that they shouldn’t pay any more taxes than anyone else.

    But take Bill Gates. He did not personally code Windows 7 and engineered the XBox 360 and marketed Office 2007 and patent his inventions. He hired a horde of employees who used the commons for him so he could make his profits. Without schools and roads and law and order and day care and medicane and courts and arts and parks and all the rest that makes up the commons and American Society, Bill Gates wouldn’t be keep his company together and be able to make his profits that you say he shouldn’t have to share.

  74. 101

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    I don’t know what you think I oppose but…

    We can and should tax at very high rates corporate or business income (as opposed to personal.) This ensures the re-investment of income into the company as corporate boards use such re-investment as a tax loophole. It also discourages business owners from taking all the profits at once, making stronger longer lasting and more stable companies. While doing so the business value increases, so the ownership retains their property until such time as they sell or otherwise divest.

    Incorporation within the United States should mean taxation within the United States. If Toyota wishes to build cars here and profits by it, they should pay taxes on those profits. Otherwise, if they wish to build cars in India or China and sell them here they should pay stiff tariffs for the priviledge. Having a small office suite that is ‘headquarters’ in Bermuda shouldn’t mean exemption from US taxes, if primary operations are here. All this is workable within our tax code and without impacting personal tax rates.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t and won’t shop at Walmart or Target. I won’t buy supplies at Home Depot or Lowes unless I have no choice. I won’t buy Starbucks coffee or books at B&N, because I buy locally where possible. Local businessmen have a harder time getting that 500 factor higher pay, if only because of basic economics. I wouldn’t buy a house from one of the big developers, partly on quality concerns. Partly I’d just build it myself. And partly because with the best will in the world you can’t control quality on 300 homes going up at the same time.

    Does that answer your question?

  75. 102

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Blue John,

    As a carpenter I needed my tool-bags. I needed my tablesaw, and my circular saw. Without them I could not have done my job.

    But I didn’t share my income with them. They were tools which could have been replaced at need. Without my skill and my knowledge they were potential, but not realized in their usefulness.

    The worker is in a similar role. Without software engineers Gates could not have built his business, true. But if they quit in a body he could replace them, and go on. Without Gates this simply isn’t true. Microsoft would no more exist without him than the dome at Florences’ cathedral would without Bruneleschi.

    That’s the difference. And that’s why the nonsense about the worker being essential to the companies success is just that, popular as it is in corporate cheerleading sessions.

  76. 103

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 99

    “If you can find me a person that made her millions, by herself, entirely without a support staff of any kind and that person, didn’t use the commons any more than you or steve or the janitor did, then I feel you have an argument that they shouldn’t pay any more taxes than anyone else.”

    The janitor or the part time cashier at Walmart uses the commons, arguably, more than a wealthy business owner.

    The courts and jails aren’t filled with millionaires who stuck up convenience stores on a lark, last I checked.

    Millionaires pay for common education, but often send their children to private schools.

    Millionaires homes aren’t protected from fire or theft any more or less than someone living on Ranier Avenue.

    Millionaires pay no less per unit for water or power than the poor, often more due to programs for helping the poor within these utilities.

    Millionaire businessmen use what is available to all in terms of educated workforce, stable business regulations and so on. Others choosing not to do so is hardly cause for penalizing them.

    Frankly, if anything, the wealthy use what your are pleased to call the commons less than the poor, not more.

  77. 104

    Blue John spews:

    @100. I like your personal empowerment ideas. They do make a person feel good.

    But I keep coming back to the problem you gave of income disparity between the highest and lowest paid of of company.

    Nothing in your personal empowermant really makes a dent in that.
    Does taxing corporations at very high rates corporate or business income have any effect on income disparity? I admit, I don’t know. It doen’t seem like something conservatives would go for.

    I throw it open to the room, do/would high corporate taxes solve the income disparity problem?

  78. 105

    lostinaseaofaynrandfantasies spews:

    In summation, there is only one acceptable way to define success – that is the outright ownership of those who are too lazy and or shiftless to own others themselves. There are the John Galts of the world, and there are the replaceable cogs of machinery, some of which happen to have human DNA, but are not truly human because they refuse to fulfill their potential.
    I speak truth daily.

  79. 106

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    While that’s thrown open, I won’t miss my daughters soccer game. Why I’m not rich, I guess.

    Have a good evening.

  80. 107

    Chuck spews:

    @67 Sure you can only buy 1 house or so per year but the property taxes are paid every 6 months. And as far as income goes you are only taxed on INCOME if you have a million dollars in the bank this year, you can only be taxed on the interest the million dollars earned next year. An if Bill Gates decides to do that (as he has stated) good for him. But that choice should be left to the one that amassed the money, not a bunch of has nots that have decided to strong arm someones money from them!

  81. 108

    Blue John spews:

    Bill gates could have created his company in any country that had a strong, stable commons. He could have created it in America, or Denmark or Canada or Japan, but it may not have been as personally profitable, due the tax laws of the respective country. However. he could not have created his company in Somolia or Nigeria or Columbia where the commons, the social infrastructure does not exist to support his business.

  82. 109

    spews:

    lost @ 60

    Taxation is not ipso facto theft. Taxation leveled at one class or group of citizens for the benefit of others is.

    Bush’s tax cuts transferred wealth from the middle class to the rich. What you would call theft.

    Now you’re talking like a progressive. Welcome!

  83. 110

    spews:

    lost @ 59

    Let me see I understand you:

    We should all be treated equally.

    When someone excels, it’s because they’re better. Irrespective of ability, opportunity, or circumstances.

    Nice double standard you have there.

  84. 111

    kaela spews:

    @106 But that choice should be left to the one that amassed the money, not a bunch of has nots that have decided to strong arm someones money from them!

    You mean like Goldy, who would be able to pay his FAIR SHARE of taxes IF his business didn’t depend upon that always present donation request just to survive?

  85. 112

    BeerNotWar spews:

    One debt the rich will always owe the comman man is that it is the common man that protects wealth with blood. It’s not the wealthy that patrol the streets or fight in wars. For all that wealth to be protected from enemies foreign and domestic, the wealthy require the non-wealthy.

    And to create that wealth, masses of non-wealthy workers are required.

    And Bill Gates gets a hell of a lot more from the protections of society than I do, has benefitted a lot more from our education system than I have, as well as from our common power grid, transportation system, legal system.

    Some wealthy people understand this, and are willing to pony up their share.

  86. 114

    You know your a limp wristed girly-man metrosexual when.... spews:

    Bill Gates is also smarter and works harder than you…..which is why he is better off than you are.

    jealousy….its whats for dinner(at your house)

  87. 115

    proud leftist spews:

    As I’m sure I’ve stated before here, one of the most rousing political speeches I’ve ever heard was at the Democratic state convention in, I think, 1992. Mike Lowry (how I miss him, a true progressive and visionary) was on his way out as governor. He queried why the rich were not demanding to pay more taxes; after all, their wealth could not buy certain things, but higher taxation could–cleaner air, cleaner water, better infrastructure, better public schools, more protected wilderness. ML: “The rich can buy beautiful homes in gated communities with water views, but their own money can’t ensure that they have a view if smog is ever present. Why are the rich not standing up and demanding to pay more taxes?” It was beautiful, trust me. Now, with 1098 proponents, we do have some of the rich (God bless them) standing up and demanding to pay more taxes.

  88. 116

    LD spews:

    The only things left for I1098 are

    13 days till its defeat

    Gates dunk tank consession, and sorrow over flushing down the drain 500k

    Smiling citizens

    Frowning governor and government hacks

    Massive state Government union cuts

    And of course with I1056, and I1100, and I 1007, the legislature can reel back their massive spending spee.

  89. 117

    You know your a limp wristed girly-man metrosexual when.... spews:

    @114

    Hey Proud Communist, the rich, or anybody for that matter, are free to write a personal check to Olympia or Washington DC any fucking time they want to.

    where are all those check from papa gates and the other rich folk you are talking about?

    why arent you sending a bonus check to queen christine or oba-dog?

    talk is cheap, beeootch….

  90. 119

    proud leftist spews:

    Maxie @ 116
    “oba-dog”–you truly are a racist piece of shit. Did you send that email to the head of the GOP in Virginia Beach, VA that led to his resigning? You’ve never added value to any discussion, never.

  91. 120

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 118

    Well, he’s right

    Gates Sr, you and the rest of the usual suspects are convinced that it’s blindingly obvious that the moral and patriotic thing to do is pay extra taxes. How much did you pay above what you owed in Federal tax last year? How much did Gates? Soros? I mean, they all believe in this, so they must have paid extra, right? What? Nothing? Not one extra dime from Soros or Gates? I am shocked.

  92. 121

    Rujax! spews:

    119. lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 118

    Well, he’s right

    Gates Sr, you and the rest of the usual suspects are convinced that it’s blindingly obvious that the moral and patriotic thing to do is pay extra taxes. How much did you pay above what you owed in Federal tax last year? How much did Gates? Soros? I mean, they all believe in this, so they must have paid extra, right? What? Nothing? Not one extra dime from Soros or Gates? I am shocked.

    10/20/2010 at 6:57 pm

    Hey “lostinyourownasshole”…

    This shit you spew just flies around when your head pops out doesn’t it?

  93. 122

    kaela spews:

    @84 Yes, but I don’t think there’re a lot of us on the left who advocate arming

    Let alone killing in order to achieve your political goals, which is exactly what Proud Leftist is advocating, greg. Think about it. Proud – an attorney – is calling for others – big emphasis on “others” – to suppress, and kill if necessary I would imagine, those who oppose his political views. Of course, he’s not doing this openly or leading the charge himself because that would be bad for his chosen career as an attorney. Instead, he’ll let others take all the risks while he continues to feed that comfy lifestyle.

    Now that’s courage, eh?

    Would you care to come to DL, Proud, and give that little “time to arm” speech?

  94. 123

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 120

    Ah Rujax. The man of the hour. Surely you paid more than that wingnut run IRS said you owed last year too? No? Really? I’m disappointed Rujax.

  95. 125

    proud leftist spews:

    121
    You people do neither irony nor humor, do you? A nation full of shits like you would be much like East Germany in 1975.

  96. 126

    proud leftist spews:

    121
    BTW, kaela, you are “walk the talk,” too. Freaks like you used to be holed up in your mother’s basement your whole lives, doing whatever. Now, you get to play on the internet and pretend you are real people. Have fun. Enjoy.

  97. 127

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 77: Good for you!

    Then I’m sure that some modest taxation to achieve your goal of helping the poor will be tops on your list.

    Maybe we can divert some Star Wars funds to do that.

  98. 128

    Emily Litela spews:

    re 93: I want to be very clear with you.

    I am doing very well in today’s economy. But I do not mind paying a little more in taxes to help our brothers and sisters in need.

    If private charity could solve the problems, that would be great. But they are not up to the task. Corporations are not up to the task.

    I think that governmental solutions will help even more.

  99. 131

    kaela spews:

    @24 You people do neither irony nor humor, do you?

    You’ve done everything to divert from your trumpet call:

    “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: leftists must arm. Our weakness has always been a belief in the power of reason. That works among us, but the right doesn’t do reason. They don’t do facts. Empiricism is voodoo to them. So, simply, we must arm.”

    Now it turns out it you were misunderstood, it just a little humor? You are a wuss, aren’t you.

    My ex was an attorney, and he used to come home and boast about this or that accomplishment week after week. You’d think he was building the Hoover dam the way he’d talk it up. But at firm parties around clients he was a servile little puppy dog and it was pretty apparent there was much less to the bravado that he brought home.

    Let’s find out what you’re really made of Proud. Come to the DL and give that tough talkin’ “time to arm” speech. So far all you’ve been doing is back-tracking furiously with wussy “I didn’t really mean it” excuses. Don’t be a wuss Proud – show up at DL.

  100. 132

    Steve spews:

    @119 “How much did you pay above what you owed in Federal tax last year?”

    I don’t calculate what I would have paid versus what I did pay. Besides, it’s none of your damned business. I will say that I don’t deduct my charitible contributions, at the very least so, yes, I paid above what I could have. Why shouldn’t I pay more? After all, I owe much to society’s social safety nets. We’ve talked about this before. Those are the very safety nets that you would have taken away, causing my Mom to die much younger than she did and for me to be cast to the streets to wander alone as achild in your hellish Dickensian vision of America. Is it any wonder that you disgust me?

  101. 133

    Steve spews:

    @130 Proud Leftist has never advocated that we arm to suppress or to get our way. You’ve read too much into his statement and now you won’t shut up about it. Make shit up and turn it into a strawman argument. That’s the wingnut way and that’s exactly what you’re doing.

  102. 134

    masaba spews:

    I’m with Lost on this one. But I am going to actually put some faces to this vague argument since some of you people don’t seem to get it.

    Paris Hilton earned her money folks. She is filthy rich, and has worked hard for every dime. She has sacrificed, slaved, and given up so much to make that money that you now want to steal from her to be able to pay folks like Salvatore Giunta (http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....02712.html) a man who is not an engine of our economy, and has spent his life taking no risks to make this country better, and providing very little to our national treasure. I mean, seriously, he should be thanking the Paris Hilton’s of this country for the fact that he even has a job. Whereas she has clearly sacrificed to earn her millions, he has done nothing of importance but still receives specialist’s pay.

    It is perfectly reasonable, and in fact moral to make people like Salvatore Giunta pay 10-17% of their incomes in state taxes but make Paris Hilton pay 2.3%. Progressives are just amoral assholes! They hate this country, and want to steal from the Paris Hilton’s, who have made this country great, to give to the Salvatore Giunta’s, the tools of our society.

  103. 135

    Steve spews:

    Lost, “They were tools which could have been replaced at need.”

    “The worker is in a similar role.”

    Throw out an anecdotal story and it’s off to the races. It’s not just the poor you piss on. Your continued denigration of the American worker knows no bounds as well. I can tell stories too. There’s the story of the founders of VECA Electric. That’s VECA as in “Veterans Electrical Contractors Association”, founded by brothers returning from WWII. Starting with a core group of a less than a dozen electricians whom they paid foreman’s wages whether they did foreman’s work or not, they built VECA into a company employing a couple thousand electricians and they had a larger engineering group than any Seattle electrical engineering firm. They treated their workers as being indispensable. I know. I once worked for them. Try working with that anecdotal story.

  104. 136

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 134

    Reading comprehension is a really weak strength with you, isn’t it. (With Masaba too, interestingly. I wonder if this is a leftist brain/right brain thing.)

    That wasn’t an anecdote, it was an analogy. One whose central point you missed, given your obvious difficulty with the English language.

    So try answering that point, if I give it to you to save time. Bruneleschi required hundreds of skilled stone masons to build the dome at Santa Maria Dei Fiore. Without his conception of how this feat of engineering was to be accomplished none of them would have started work. Without his mind guiding the immense project none of them would have been able to complete it. And without the Medici funds, none of the materials or labor or even the skill of Bruneleschi himself would have been mobilized at all.

    But keep harping the liberal line. The workers are everything. Management and ownership are parasites sucking the blood of these poor helpless victims.

    BTW, you’re anecdotal story doesn’t diminish my point. These gentlemen who founded VECA had an idea that high wages would result in high quality. High quality would bring a large and loyal customer base. They risked personal money and turned out to be right in their case. So obviously whatever personal money they accrued from their company belongs to those men, and they gave it all to them, yes? Somehow, I doubt it.

  105. 137

    Blue John spews:

    I only have time for one post set today so here goes….
    Lost said “I won’t miss my daughters soccer game. Why I’m not rich, I guess.”
    An interesting choice. Lost, do you feel you can be rich, or participate in your family, but not both. It’s telling about how you view wealth.

  106. 138

    Blue John spews:

    I can play compare and contrast also.

    The courts and jails aren’t filled with millionaires who stuck up convenience stores on a lark, last I checked.
    >>The courts are not filled with the janitor or the part time cashier at Walmart arguing over copyright protection, or patent infringement or contract enforcement.

    Millionaires pay for common education, but often send their children to private schools.
    >> Most parents want the best for their kids. That’s an argument that public education is not funded well enough.

    Millionaires homes aren’t protected from fire or theft any more or less than someone living on Rainer Avenue.
    >> Fire department, probably. It’s one of our most socialist institutions, that will come and try to protect everyone. That’s why there was such a visceral reaction to the $75 fire fee back east.
    >>As for the police, you are going to try to argue they are equal? Are you seriously trying to say that a person’s home on Rainer Avenue is just as safe as one on Medina? Are you seriously trying to say that a person walking on Rainer Avenue is just as safe as one walking in Medina?

    Millionaire businessmen use what is available to all in terms of educated workforce, stable business regulations and so on. Others choosing not to do so is hardly cause for penalizing them.
    Frankly, if anything, the wealthy use what your are pleased to call the commons less than the poor, not more.

    >> So a company’s workers don’t use public roads? So a company’s workers don’t email and move data across the internet created by public funds? So a company’s workers didn’t go to public school? So a company doesn’t use the public courts to enforce copyright protection, or patent infringement? The way I see it, the bigger the company, the more they rely on the commons to provide for them. Microsoft could exist in some form in any developed country with a stable commons. Microsoft could not exist in Somalia, a libertarian dream, because the commons infrastructure wouldn’t support it.

  107. 139

    Blue John spews:

    I realized that lost’s solutions were in the category of “Fierce Individualism”.
    but I can imagine his conversation with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Starbucks, or the big housing developers.
    Lost: “I don’t like your income disparity. You need to be paid less and pay your least paid workers more, or I won’t shop with you.”
    them: “OK, we can live without your spending. Get out.”

    “Fierce Individualism” is just not enough, and lost’s solutions don’t address that.

  108. 140

    Blue John spews:

    lost said “As a carpenter I needed my tool-bags. I needed my tablesaw, and my circular saw. Without them I could not have done my job.
    They were tools which could have been replaced at need. Without my skill and my knowledge they were potential, but not realized in their usefulness.
    The worker is in a similar role. Without software engineers Gates could not have built his business, true. But if they quit in a body he could replace them, and go on.”

    Here we do not agree, People, workers are not interchangeable parts, to be discarded when they become inconvenient or outlived their usefulness. That’s a world of temps, worked hard like rented mules, or serfs, and fired as soon as they cut into profits.
    Your attitude is one of the reasons unions formed in the first place, to stop employers from firing workers when they got hurt on the job, or got sick, or had problems with working conditions, or lack of a living wage.

  109. 141

    Blue John spews:

    Maybe it is about class. America is not the classless society we were told we were

    Looking at the mean spirited comment about government unions, its seems many of the conservatives here are like the crabs in the pot. They hate that common people are doing better than them, and will do everything in their power to tear them down down, pull them down. Like gleefully enjoying the idea of gutting the unions.
    Yet at the same time, they yearn to be rich and get away from people like them. The rich get a pass, because if some day the conservatives magically become rich, the conservatives can escape being around those common people.
    When common people are well off, that’s bad, cause they are living above their station. But if rich people can live like kings, thinking that because they are rich, they are better than everyone else, that’s good.

    On the other side, progressives are steadfast that the rich ARE no better than the common person and want to do everything in their power to keep the rich from unjustly living like kings.
    When common people are well off, that’s good. But if rich people can live like kings, thinking that because they are rich, they are better than everyone else, that’s bad.

    I realized these are pretty blanket statements. You all may see it differently. These are just my opinions, your’s may vary.

  110. 142

    Steve spews:

    “So try answering that point, if I give it to you to save time.”

    “Without his conception of how this feat of engineering was to be accomplished none of them would have started work.”

    Without the stone masons there would be no dome at Santa Maria Dei Fiore. But you’re here to denigrate the American worker, so I can see how you’d ignore that little fact. It’s like how I can design the electrical systems for a new hospital and yet, without electricians, nothing would ever get built. You would glorify me and yet denigrate them? You do so because you haven’t a fucking clue.

  111. 143

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 133

    So, you’re going to present facts? How about the fact that at 100 I advocated for the kind of taxation that would address the inequity you mention? That is, high corporate or business taxes, as opposed to high personal income tax.

    But hey, you’re a liberal with a rabid partisan streak. Don’t let real facts get in the way of that.

    While we’re on the subject let’s remove the irrelevant issue you’re attempting to use as a blind. I will freely admit your link shows exactly the kind of soldier and man any parent or community or nation ought to be justly proud of. I will freely admit that Paris Hilton seems, from what little I know of her, to be…not quite the same thing.

    So? Ms. Hilton employs tens of thousands of workers worldwide. Each of her homes pays property tax supporting local fire departments, schools, police and all the other ‘commons’ items you folks try to say conservatives hate. Her automobiles and clothes and other luxury items RHP would say she has no right to support local shops and larger firms which build or sell them. I can and do dislike what is shown to be her lifestyle, her moral and ethical views. But unlike the left I can see the productive work her wealth performs regardless of her personally.

    But she has to look in the mirror and see the spoiled immature brat without much in the way of redeeming qualities she seems to have become. Salvatore Giunta will always see a man of courage and integrity who risked his own life for that of his fellows. He will always see a man who met a test and came out the other side knowing he passed. Why do you need tax policy to enforce this on them? You don’t think they know, that everyone knows, which is the better person?

  112. 144

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 103 and 138

    You don’t get my point. If enough people made the same choice Walmart would change its business model.

    Sure, you can pass laws that Walmart will pay a set minimum wage at a set proportion to the executive suite compensations. Expensive attorneys will just find a way to keep doing business as it is.

    That is, unless consumers enforce these policies on them with the best tool they have, their spending money. If Walmart sales fall by 25%, for example, and they know the reason is their policies are offending customers, they will change those policies. Otherwise all the legislation in the world won’t change a thing.

  113. 145

    Steve spews:

    “And without the Swedish funds, none of the materials or labor or even the skill of Steve himself would have been mobilized at all.”

    And there would be no Swedish Hospital. Do you get the point, Lost? We’re all in this together, except, of course, for you.

  114. 146

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 141

    Back where you started, still ignoring the point.

    Without the motivating force of your design and the money which builds the hospital not one electrician will show up on the jobsite. Not one insulation contractor will follow him, or sheetrock sub install the gyp. Not one flooring man will install the tile. Not one piece of equipment will grace the operating suite you designed to handle the unique needs of that equipment. And not one patient will recieve an emergency bypass surgery.

    Without the slightest intent to sarcasm, I’m sure you are the highly skilled and nationally known engineer you claim to be. I’m sure that were you to quit your employer and the client that is funding the building itself would be struggling to find someone to replace your unique talents. But they would do so. And you know this as well as I.

    The client, the business owner, the person with the skill, knowledge and means to set all this in motion is the key to the whole thing, not the worker.

  115. 147

    lostinaseaofblue spews:

    Re 144

    Of course we’re all in this together. That’s what living in a society means, and why I twice decried the disparity of income in this nation in this thread.

    But the day is too nice to be inside typing. Off to the hills to hike with the the dogs and see some fall color. Have a nice autumn day everyone.

  116. 148

    Steve spews:

    “The client, the business owner, the person with the skill, knowledge and means to set all this in motion is the key to the whole thing, not the worker.”

    You have absolutely no clue. But you do have an agenda. It’s what distorts your world view, leaving you clueless. Here’s a fact. When Microsoft completes a major construction project, in their Grand Opening ceremonies Bill Gates celebrates the design team members, the construction workers and the city inspection authorities, as well as his own employees. He doesn’t spend one minute glorifying himself or Microsoft’s upper level management. He has a clue. You don’t. You would show up patting yourself on the back while denigrating those who did the work, telling them that they could all be replaced. That’s one reason why Gates is hugely successful and you’re not.

  117. 149

    masaba spews:

    @142

    Lost, I truly don’t give a fuck about Paris Hilton. I’m fine with the fact that she is rich, and I like the fact that her Dad’s company employs many of Americans. But at the same time, I don’t think it is fair that people like her are paying 2.3% of her income in state taxes while people like the soldiers at Ft. Lewis pay 10-17% of theirs.

    And if you don’t like the Paris Hilton example, then how about all the Microsoft millionaires we have in this state? They didn’t really work too much harder than many of the soldiers at Ft. Lewis, and certainly haven’t made nearly the sacrifices that some of our soldiers have over these past 9 years. However, the MS millionaires happened to get lucky enough (and, I am sure that their productivity had something to do with it, too) to work at a company that exploded. Again, I think that they deserve what they got, but we need a tax structure that taxes them equally.

    Finally, I am not the one coming on here saying that the rich (some of whom are just like Paris Hilton) are the ones making sacrifices while the working class folks (some of whom are like Salvatore Giunta) are tools in a system. From everything you have posted so far, you should agree 100% with my post @133. Own it Lost. Stop making statements and then waffling on them later.

  118. 150

    masaba spews:

    @142 again

    Eh, reading this post again, Lost, it doesn’t sound so bad. Sorry for my blowing up in 148.

    I guess the main thing that I don’t understand is why you keep trying to make taxation out to be a moral issue. Our current tax structure in this state does exactly what I say it does @133. It taxes rich heiresses at a much lower rate than it does soldiers at Ft. Lewis.

    Furthermore, from an economic point of view, taxes are something that are leveraged on the population to support the needs of the state. It has very little to do with morality, and more to do with the fact that the state needs money to run. And as rhp noted: ‘Questions about the size of the budget, or what programs are worthy of being handled by the government, are other issues entirely.’ How much beyond 17% do you want to go on the working class? Your idea of taxing businesses more would be fine with me, as well, by the way, but we would probably have the same dispute when we found that big businesses end up not being taxed at the same level as small ones. And I still think that every citizen with the financial capability to do so should share in the tax burden at some level, as a matter of equity, not just businesses.

    I’m not saying that every rich person is a Paris Hilton or that every working class person is a Salvatore Giunta. However, I just don’t get why you think that trying to correct the tax disparity between them in this state is amoral.

  119. 151

    Steve spews:

    “But hey, you’re a liberal with a rabid partisan streak. Don’t let real facts get in the way of that.”

    Projection unleashed. Lost, the rabid Randian, hasn’t posted a single fact in all the time he’s been here.