by Goldy, 12/26/2006, 8:38 AM

I’m filling in this week for Dave Ross and Ron Reagan on 710-KIRO, so tune in from 9AM to 1PM and hear me make an ass out of myself. Or maybe I’ll be good. Who knows?

We’re still working out today’s lineup, and I’ll update this post as the day firms up, but here’s what it looks like now:

9AM: Do the super-rich have an inner life? Thomas Goetzl writes in today’s Seattle P-I about the growing gap between the megawealthy and the rest of us, with top executives getting $40 million bonuses, average folk struggle to get by. But then Goetzl goes on to ponder whether all this money actually makes the rich folk any happier. Hmm.

10AM: Can we end homelessness in Seattle?

11AM: Is America ready for its first Moslem congressman? Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) will be sworn in on Jan. 4, and he’ll be swearing his oath on the Koran. Why is this creating such a controversy in a nation that deliberately separates church and state?

12PM: What’s happening in the other Washington? Former TNT political correspondent Ken Vogel is now an investigative reporter for the new Capitol Hill publication The Politico, and he joins us to talk about the upcoming session. What can we expect from the new Democratic majority? Call in and ask Ken.

Tune in (or listen to the live stream) and give me a call: 1-877-710-KIRO (5476).

91 Responses to “Radio Goldy”

1. Richard Pope spews:

Saddam’s time maybe runing out as appeals court upholds death sentence
By The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq – An Iraqi appeals court has upheld the death sentence imposed on Saddam Hussein at his first trial, Iraq’s national security adviser said today.

“The appeals court approved the verdict to hang Saddam,” Mouwafak al-Rubaie told The Associated Press.

On Nov. 5, an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam to the gallows for the 1982 killings of 148 people from a Shiite Muslim town after an attempt on his life there.

The appeals court decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq’s two vice presidents. Talabani opposes the death penalty but has in the past deputized a vice president to sign an execution order on his behalf — a substitute that was legally accepted.

Once the decision is ratified, Saddam and other co-defendants sentenced to death at the trial would be hanged within 30 days.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003495336_websaddam26.html

2. anti-liberal spews:

goldie woke up this morning and ran to the PU to see what he was going to be “talking” about today… what a pathetic chump.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/soundoff/

Megawealth comes at great cost to others
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/soundoff/comment.asp?articleID=296977

Seattle shouldn’t disregard the Other Washington

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/soundoff/comment.asp?articleID=297203

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

“Do the super-rich have an inner life?”

I can’t answer that from personal experience; but I assume they’re pretty much like you and me (with one important difference*). I sit in my burrow counting pennies, trying to make ends meet; so I assume they sit in their offices counting gold bars and stock options, trying to make ends meet. As F. Scott Fitzgerald noted, yes, they’re different — they have more money. He forgot to mention they have more overhead, too.

* They don’t have any conscience.

4. Roger Rabbit spews:

So how, exactly, does a Sticky Fingered Republican like John Mack FEEL about making off with $40 mill (or Roadkill McGavick taking his shareholders for $28 mill)? They probably feel slighted because some other asshole got more than they did.

5. skagit spews:

Goldstein, your first guest was very interesting. I wish you had let him answer the callers points and questions. You have such a need to take over the conversation on behalf of your guests . . .his comment, “could I say something” should have been a clue.

I would like to have heard even more of him because he was arguing a bit differently. He was arguing for a more charitable nature in people and I think that is an arguement we need to hear people articulate more often. Not just the numbers and so-called facts which nobody seems to agree on. I bet he’d have had a good response to the stupid caller who tried to alleged that people at DSHS were just sitting around down there. Instead of arguing taxation, he might have made a connection to the increased amount of our public “pie” going to the very wealthy and how that is increasing the rage we feel for the poor because they are easier to blame.

Also, I’m interested to know if kids in Montana really do still get free tuition at their universities. I would have picked up on that and perhaps had Tina verify it.

That hour was getting interesting. I think that hour could have been extended except that you did have another guest to go to . . . still, like to have heard Goetzl’s responses to those people.

In summary, Goetzl’s points and argument got lost . . .

6. skagit spews:

Auntie L at 2: why shouldn’t he go to the PI for topics? Isn’t that extending the conversation on what’s topical?

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

Who pays these Goldman Sachs bonuses? You and I do. It’s tacked on, in hidden little increments, every time we buy a head of lettuce or bag of carrots in Safeway; every time we pay a utility bill; and in the very taxes we pay (read: Halliburton). What these guys are good at — what “justifies” their enormous compensation (in an Al Capone sense) — is skimming. Their goal is to take a fraction of a penny off the top of every transaction that occurs in our economy; and they while away their lives figuring out ingenious ways to weave the mesh of their strainer ever more finely. It’s so much more intellectually satisfying than outright stealing (in the manner of a Bernie Ebbers or Ken Lay), and much less likely to produce a prison sentence. Every time another person loses his/her job, or another consumer gets stuck with a poorer quality product with a shorter warranty at a higher price, in the name of “economic efficiency” they get a cut. But whatever they call it, it’s still STEALING.

8. ted bessell spews:

It is illegal for a CEO to do anything except (legally) bring the greatest possible profit to the shareholders of a corporation. $Forty Million Dollar bonuses for CEOs conflicts with this goal. That money should be re-invested in the company or dispersed to shareholders.

Anything else is unethical.

9. skagit spews:

Having said all that, Goldstein, your radio skills have improved so much . . . you have my compliments on your ability to control your enthusiasm and your radio voice. You’re sounding professional.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

5 “the stupid caller who tried to alleged that people at DSHS were just sitting around down there”

Betcha he’s the disgruntled parent behind another CPS success story.

11. ted bessell spews:

Auntie-Liberal has been pulling things out of his nether region for so long that any other source of information doesn’t “smell rihjt”.

14. Richard Pope spews:

Maybe these executive bonuses wouldn’t be so outrageous if our federal tax system made more sense. Taxes far short of spending by half a trillion dollars a year — roughly equivalent to the amount of excess earnings being taken by the super-rich.

15. Steve spews:

Case Number Name File Date Participant Cause Status
06-1-10561-0 Corrigan, Lawrence Joseph 12-04-06 Defendant n/a Docket Info Available

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@2 “Seattle shouldn’t disregard the Other Washington”

Why not? We pay for their roads and schools, and then they bitch about the taxes they don’t pay for roads and schools. A few months ago, on one of my fact-finding tours in the tules, I was talking with a group of indigenous humans about economic development when they interrupted me and said they don’t want economic development! They like things just as they are. They don’t want new high-paying jobs in their county because that would bring in more people and push up real estate prices, resulting in higher property taxes on their trailer homes. These people are perfectly happy living off the land — the corn they grow behind the trailer and the wood they chop for winter heating — and DON’T WANT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. So why should we worry about them, since they’re perfectly content with the squalor and poverty they live in? After thinking about it a while, I decided they have a point. You can take a rat out of a sewer, but you can never take the sewer out of a rat; likewise, you can take a Republican out of Ritzville, but you can never take the Republican out of a Republican. So let the Republicans wallow in their own shit; it makes ‘em happy, and a contented Republican is a Republican who isn’t hunting rabbits.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 It’s also actionable breach of fiduciary duty for union officials to do anything but drive the hardest bargain they can on behalf of their worker-members.

18. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 Well you have a weird concept of ethics. CEOs, like everyone else, have a legal obligation to OBEY THE LAW which happens to supersede their “ethical” duty to their shareholders — a duty that gets short shrift when they appoint their own boards who then proceed to rubberstamp compensation packages dictated by the CEOs themselves at the expense of — guess who? — the shareholders.

This textbook theory stuff is all well and fine, but ceased to have any relationship to the real world long ago. We now live under a system in which CEOs get rewarded for losing money and running their companies bankrupt, and shareholders get screwed along with customers, pensioners, and –you guessed it — shareholders.

And you call that “ethical?”

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@11 Typical wingnut spew: Meaningless and pointless diatribe devoid of facts or specificity.

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

12, 13 I see an “Att Chld Moles2″ in there; is this the guy mentioned @5?

21. Roger Rabbit spews:

15 I thought so.

22. skagit spews:

Roger, read more carefully. Bessell at 11 is not a wingnut.

23. Right Stuff spews:

What is considered rich?
Too rich?

24. skagit spews:

I don’t think anybody in Seattle really cares what Ellison swears on.

25. Right Stuff spews:

@16 careful…..starting to sound a little to elitist….doesn’t fit will with your socialist views…..

“Why not? We pay for their roads and schools, and then they bitch about the taxes they don’t pay for roads and schools.”

Top 50% of wage earners pay 96.5% off all federal income taxes. by your logic, then the 50% who pay for 4% of the taxes should’nt get any voice in what happens to this country……

very anti socialist of you rabbit.

26. Right Stuff spews:

@16 careful…..starting to sound a little to elitist….doesn’t fit will with your socialist views…..

“Why not? We pay for their roads and schools, and then they bitch about the taxes they don’t pay for roads and schools.”

Top 50% of wage earners pay 96.5% off all federal income taxes. by your logic, then the 50% who pay for 4% of the taxes should’nt get any voice in what happens to this country……

very anti socialist of you rabbit.

27. skagit spews:

Top 50% of wage earners pay 96.5% off all federal income taxes.

There you have it. It is labor that pays the taxes in this country.

The rich – those living off interest and dividends to start with and who obviously aren’t paying their fair share.

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

22 I realize that, but I take issue with him on what a CEO’s legal and ethical obligations are.

29. Roger Rabbit spews:

@23 I don’t think that’s the issue, RS.

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 Once again, you miss the mark completely. This isn’t about what kind of roads or schools these people get. They bitch about taxes, period. They bitch about government, period. Why? Because they’re knee-jerk anti-tax and anti-government — but they have their “gimme” hand out like everybody else. It’s a combination of hypocrisy and dumb-fuck ignorance. As for elitism, it’s a tad elitist for 20% of the state’s population to think they should be calling the shots for the whole state. They complain that King County dominates state politics; well duh, King County has a third of the state’s population; King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties have 53% of the state’s population. So of course these three counties dominate state politics — that’s where the people, jobs, tax base, and income are located.

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 Top 50% of wage earners pay 96.5% off all federal income taxes.

Which is only fair if they have 96.5% of the income.

32. thehim spews:

To the guy (I think his name was Eric) who just called in saying that the U.S. Government built a mosque in Quantico, VA; I just posted my unicorn on Craig’s List. It’s a bargain, only $500!

33. sgmmac spews:

Skagit,

What is a fair share for the rich and those living off of their investments?

34. Roger Rabbit spews:

The issue is not so much the income disparities per se, as the anti-worker, anti-middle class policies that create the disparaties. The old conservative saw about “rewarding hard work” is a fucking lie. Where do you see these “hard working” upper crusts when the rest of us are working? On the golf course, in the country club, sailing their yachts, traveling in Europe … you call that “hard work?”

As I’ve posted before on this blog, there are so many disincentives against working, why should anyone work? The tax system discriminates against wage earners so heavily it’s criminal. Capital gains get favored tax treatment; interest income on municipal bonds isn’t taxed at all; the first $2.5 million of inheritance windfalls isn’t taxed at all. What do wage earners get? About $8,000 in total exemptions for a single worker, and a 25% marginal tax rate that kicks in long before reaching an income level that could be considered “affluent.” And workers can’t deduct their work-related expenses. As for the CEO, he gets the personal use of a $25 million corporate airplane as an untaxed perk, or if he owns it, he deducts the interest, depreciation, and operating expenses as a “business expense.” Our tax system pampers self-employed and high-income taxpayers, while the wage earner gets fucked.

My solution to that is to not work. Why should I work? I have a pension which, if not comfortable, is adequate for my basic needs and if I worked the government would take 40% of what I earn so why the fuck should I work? There’s no incentive to work anymore. And “hard work” doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t have get you the appreciation of the boss; hell, the boss doesn’t even know you. You can give your entire life to a company — 30 years or more — and work your ass off and what happens? Next week a snot-nosed 28-year-old a year or two out of B-school comes in, and within a month he outsources your job to China, and the month after that another group of snot-nosted 26 yos a year out of B-school spin off the company and three months later your pension and severance disappear in bankruptcy court. Why the fuck should anyone work, when all the company does is fuck you in return for your years of dedication, loyalty, and hard work? The workers didn’t start the collapse of loyalty and dedication in our economy; management did, by fucking over their loyal workers. So, fuck ‘em. Tax the shit out of their ill-gotten gains; repeal their cushy deductions; make them support the loyal, hard-working workers they spit on.

35. Roger Rabbit spews:

32 Yeah, they built it for target practice.

36. Roger Rabbit spews:

He doesn’t expect them to train Marines to shoot up Christian churches, does he?

37. Roger Rabbit spews:

Well, I know that I ain’t rich, and I know a lot of holy rollers are. Since when does a preacher need a $25 million private jet — and another one for his wife — to spread the Word? My great-grandfather did it from the back of a covered wagon drawn by mules.

38. skagit spews:

Roger, now you miss the point. How do you know the have 96.5% of the income . . . wage are not unearned income.

39. skagit spews:

Smeg, why don’t you tell me?

40. Roger Rabbit spews:

Pat Robertson of “700 Club” fame is a billionaire, no small part of which came from trading in African blood diamonds; Sun Myung Moon (I refuse to call him “Reverend”) is a billionaire, most of which came from offshore sweat shops in which brainwashed Moonies render slave labor for room and board only; Kenneth Copeland is the holy roller who hit up his followers for a pair of “his” and “her” private jets for himself and his wife at $20 mill per copy. Want more examples of the high-net-worth-invididuals who pay no income tax from the Jesus-for-Dollars crowd?

41. Roger Rabbit spews:

38 I’m being inclusive; specifically, I’m including the money they stole from their shareholders … you know, the shareholders they have all these ethical duties to ….

42. Roger Rabbit spews:

33 “Fair” is a slippery concept in the context of free-market economics, Mac. But “unfair” is kind of like shit; you know it by its smell.

43. Right Stuff spews:

@34
“The issue is not so much the income disparities per se, as the anti-worker, anti-middle class policies that create the disparaties. The old conservative saw about “rewarding hard work” is a fucking lie.”

I guess all those illegal immigrants prove you wrong there….. they certainly come here to work hard and make a better life for their families.

44. skagit spews:

Roger, do you argue just to argue? That’s why I scroll past you so often. . . no wonder you worked for the government.

Our tax system pampers self-employed and high-income taxpayers, while the wage earner gets fucked. Refer to your own comment.

Smed, see above.

45. Roger Rabbit spews:

@43 I guess all those illegal immigrants prove you wrong there….. they certainly come here to work hard and make a better life for their families.

Thanks for proving my point. Those immigrants are exempt from minimum wage laws, overtime laws, housing codes, and sometimes aren’t even given an outhouse to piss in. Why do you suppose so many people are getting sick from California lettuce? Because the growers don’t give them pee breaks or Porta-Potties, so when they have to take a dump they do it right where they’re working — on the lettuce you then buy at a grocery store or fast food joint. And you humans eat that shit!!! I’m only a rabbit, and even I know better than to eat lettuce grown under those labor conditions — and I LOVE LETTUCE!!! I wonder how many of those California growers who won’t even provide outhouses for their $1 an hour immigrant labors tool around in Lear jets? I know damn well some do, because I see those things flying overhead when I visit the lettuce fields on my annual Garden Club vacations.

46. Roger Rabbit spews:

laborers not labors

47. Roger Rabbit spews:

Our economy as a whole isn’t a zero-sum game, but parts of it have zero-sum-game elements, i.e. some people get more by taking from others with less. There’s a difference between getting wealth by creating innovations that improve everyone’s lives, creating new industries that add jobs to the economy, or managing a company soundly in a way that creates wealth for shareholders and good-paying jobs for workers — or simply taking. There is now a disconnect between reward and what Redneck calls “producing.” The Producers (i.e., the workers) are getting fucked, while the legions of super-wealthy who get that way through manipulation or outright theft grow daily. The incentive and reward system in our society has collapsed.

48. Roger Rabbit spews:

One of the first things the Democratic Congress should do is repeal the tax exemption enjoyed by for-profit churches and preachers.

49. sgmmac spews:

Gidget,

Not more than 30% for Federal Taxes and not more than 15% for State taxes……………

50. skagit spews:

And how did you arrive at those numbers, Smeg?

Roger, how do you determine for-profit churches?

51. sgmmac spews:

Roger,

While they are at it – they can repeal the tax exemption on foreign income, money held off-shore, and municipal bonds. It is way past time that John and Teresa Kerry paid their “fair” share in Federal income taxes…………

52. sgmmac spews:

What’s wrong with my numbers, Gidget. Name a millionaire or billionaire that actually pays 30%!

53. sgmmac spews:

I need a bird book with pictures so that I can identify all of the little beauties in my back yard eating!

54. skagit spews:

I don’t mind 30% – in fact I like it. Just thought it seemed a little high . . . so wondered on what you based it.

Also, what’s so special about John and Theresa that you picked them out?

55. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Rabbit 34 – The reason you “aint rich” is that you’re a fucking loser. And the reason you hate those of us who are well off is that it reminds of just what a fucking loser you are.

The fact of the matter is that you settled for the low expectations and guaranteed job security of a gummint job. If you were any good, you would have worked in a real law firm making real money.

You made your bed. Lay in it you fucking loser.

56. skagit spews:

I see you’re taking some time off that 10-12 hour a day seven day a week job, Mark. Slacking on the job?

57. Richard Pope spews:

Skagit @ 54

“what’s so special about John and Theresa?”

Probably shows that the Democrats aren’t going to be inclined to change the status quo either.

58. rhp6033 spews:

Regarding executive pay and bonuses:

I was on the “compensation committee of a church for several years. How much do you pay a pastor, considering he is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Considering that his wife is expected to perform church leadership duties “as part of the package”? Considering that he is a supervisor of a small paid staff, and of a much larger volunteer staff?

And how do you compare it with other churches? Based on size (membership?) Total budget? Average member’s salaries? (Good luck getting that figure). Should a “mission” church (one serving a new area/demographic) be treated differently than an established church?

But what I found out from interviewing lots of church members was that in reality, they had a simple idea of how much their pastor should be paid. Less than their own income was too little, more than their own income was too much.

So also are our perceptions of excutive pay. For most of us, the current pay rates are outrageous. But for board members, who each sit on each other’s boards and determine compensation for each other, then it seems perfectly reasonable. Of course, those people have been out of touch with the reality faced by most Americans for most of their lives.

59. skagit spews:

Not news to me . . . so? Would the conversation be furthered if I countered with two conservative names? That’s what I don’t like about the debate. It always reverts to a blame game. And it seems like conservatives resort to that strategy first. Oh well.

60. proud leftist spews:

As the end of the year approaches, perhaps the time is right to consider which contributor to this blog should win the cherished Wingnut of the Year award. Criteria include: (1) Least acquaintance with reality; (2) Blindest adherence to rightwing talking points; (3) Greatest hostility to the truth; (4) Least degree of self-insight and corresponding deepest hypocrisy; and (5) A personality that makes you rather piss on the person than have a beer with him/her. Though MTR and JCH have been in hot competition for this award all year long, antiliberal has really come on strong over the last couple weeks. For that reason, antiliberal gets my nomination for Wingnut of the Year. Congratulations, you dimwitted bastard!

61. rhp6033 spews:

And MTR at 55 reminds us once again why the Republicans got trounced last November. They allowed the veil to slip from their public relations campaign, and revealed (a) what they really think of the average worker, and (b) how they justify in their own minds trying to come up with ways to screw them over.

62. ConservativeFirst spews:

Right Stuff says:

Top 50% of wage earners pay 96.5% off all federal income taxes. by your logic, then the 50% who pay for 4% of the taxes should’nt get any voice in what happens to this country……

12/26/2006 at 11:27 am

This is incorrect. The top 50% of AGI (adjusted gross income) pay 96.5% of the taxes. AGI includes dividends, interest and capital gains, in addition to wages.

skagit says:

There you have it. It is labor that pays the taxes in this country.

Since the original premise was incorrect, your conclusion is clearly incorrect as well.

The rich – those living off interest and dividends to start with and who obviously aren’t paying their fair share.

Those the top 1% of tax filers (AGI of $328,049 in 2004) pay over 36% of the taxes in this country. If that’s not their fair share, how much should they pay?

63. skagit spews:

Second time that’s been asked. What is rich . . . very rich. Well, Roger gave a pretty good answer above when he itemized the perks. What should they pay? How about 50%? I like that number.

64. skagit spews:

Oh, and let’s work on closing the loopholes that let them protect an awful lot of that income. I don’t they have much to worry about. Do you?

65. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Leftistasshole at 60 – I would take great pride in having documented proof of being hated by the enemies of Murka here at HA.

66. rhp6033 spews:

CF at 62: You say the top 50% of AGI pays 96.2 % of the taxes? Apprantly you are only referring to federal income taxes, not state and local sales taxes, real property taxes, motor vehicle taxes, gas taxes, etc., because those don’t calcluate easily into the numbers you listed.

And more importantly, are you comparing the number of taxpayers, or the total AGI? Be careful – if you mean taxpayers, your argument also proves that wealth is inordinately concentrated in this country, if 50% of the taxpayers barely qualify to pay any taxes at all in this country. Gee, whatever happened to the middle class?

67. proud leftist spews:

Mark @ 65
Good luck–maybe you’ll win. Your self-description as being a person of “superior intelligence” surely should earn you some votes. By the way, old boy, I don’t have time in my day to hate someone who is but a powerless fool. Best wishes to you for 2007.

68. Jack Burton spews:

Marxist tripe.

How does a company hiring an executive paying a high salary and bonuses tied to mutally agreed upon conditions become “stealing?”

When is the last time you saw a poor person (other than a social services recipiant)give someone a job?

69. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Burton – That kinda distills it down to the basics doesn’t it.

Answer: Cause it’s just not “fair” and moonbats don’t “feel” good about because nobody “needs” that much money.

70. YOS LIB BRO spews:

MTR – WE “DISLIKE” YOU BECAUSE YOU WELSH ON BETS YOU MAKE WITH LIBERAL FOLK. YOU ARE A SCUMBAG. LOWER THAN THAT ACTUALLY.

OTHERWISE YOUR IGNORANCE IS JUST MERELY AMUSING.

PAY YOUR FUCKING GAMBLING DEBT AND LEAVE.

71. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Tell me… are you guys really so fucking ignorant of economics that you really think it’s a good idea to penalize saving and productive investments?

72. YOS LIB BRO spews:

MTR GETS MY TOP VOTE FOR WINGNUT LOSER OF THE YEAR BASED ON PL’S CRITERIA. HE’S GOT A LITTLE MORE OF A GRIP ON REALITY THAN JCH BUT THAT’S NOT SAYING MUCH.

CONGRATULATIONS, MTR!

PAY YOUR FUCKING GAMBLING DEBT.

73. sgmmac spews:

“Those the top 1% of tax filers (AGI of $328,049 in 2004) pay over 36% of the taxes in this country. If that’s not their fair share, how much should they pay?”

Your comparison isn’t relevant to their fair share. Their “fair” share is a certain percentage of their income -not their share of the overall taxes collected by the IRS.

There are some multi-millionaires who are paying a very high percentage of their income in federal taxes and there are others – who pay very little (as a percentage of income). Those people are the ones with off-shore holdings, the majority of their money invested in tax-free muni’s, and various other tax shelters such as charity foundations………….

74. rhp6033 spews:

So, almost two months after the November debacle, the Republicans in Washington D.C. still won’t blame themselves for their defeat. Could it have been their blind support for Bush’s equally blind Iraq policy? could it have been their use of fear-mongering far beyond its effective pull date? Could it have been the record budget deficits and wasteful spending? Could it have been the incredible incompetence in governing, of which the FEMA response to Katrina and its revelation of cronyism in high levels of important government positions is only an example? Could it have been the erosion of personal liberties, including warrentless spying on citizens and arrest and long-term incarceration without the benefit of habeous corpus or even trial? Could it be the hypocracy of child stalkers serving in Congress as the head of committees to protect children? Or perhaps the tax breaks to their wealthy contributors at the expense of all our children and grandchildren, who will be paying for that debt for decades to come? Could it be the multiple gaffes, such as Allen’s calling an opponant’s campaign worker a “Maccaca”, or Conrad Burns chewing out exhausted forest fire fighters for not working hard enough.

Naw. For the Republicans, the belive it was simply a failure of election advertising strategy.

“GOP Turns Anger on Campaign Committee
By DAVID ESPO
AP

WASHINGTON – Narrowly defeated in his bid for a fourth term, Montana Sen. Conrad Burns turned his anger on the National Republican Senatorial Committee and commercials it had run months before the election.

The ads hurt me more than they helped. I wouldn’t have spent the money,” he said, his comments characteristic of the season of second-guessing now unfolding among Republicans.

President Bush ‘s low approval ratings, the unpopular war on Iraq , voter concern about corruption and Democratic fundraising all figured in the GOP loss of Senate control in last month’s elections. But among Republicans, long-hidden tensions are spilling into view, with numerous critics venting their anger at the GOP Senate campaign committee headed by North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole…

Burns and Sen. George Allen lost exceedingly close races – the margin of defeat a fraction of a percentage point. A victory in either one would have left the Senate tied at 50-50, giving Republicans control on Vice President Cheney ‘s ability to break tie votes.

Two more weeks of ads in Montana might have made a difference, said one of many Republicans who expressed anger that Dole’s committee aired no television advertisements in Burns’ behalf for between Labor Day and Halloween….”

http://news.aol.com/elections/story/_a/gop-turns-anger-on-campaign-committee/20061226122409990001

Sorry, Republicans. The voters, like Dorothy, have seen the man behind the curtain, and they are no longer intimidated by the smoke and mirrors. A public relations campaign won’t help without reforming the entire party.

75. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

22 of the 28 seats moonbats won were by less than 2000 votes. 18 of the 22 were by less than 1000. With the advent of tactic of “distributed fraud”, you guys got what you wanted.

If just 50,000 votes had gone the other way, we’d still have adults in charge. So there’s sure as shit no “mandate”.

I just hope Pelosi and company show their true marxist murka hating colors and try to do their radical destructive agenda.

76. proud leftist spews:

Redneck
The only party acting like the November election provided a mandate is Bush. He thinks he can keep doing whatever he wants despite the electorate’s spanking of him and his policies. That shows how out of touch Bush is and reveals his lack of respect for democracy. With regard to your “if 50,000 votes had gone the other way” horseshit, perhaps you might acknowledge the flipside argument: the Democrats’ thrashing of the Republicans would have been even more dramatic if just a few votes changed here or there–the 369 votes by which the Republicans retained Katherine Harris’s seat provides a sterling example. The most remarkable fact about the recent election is that Democrats did not lose a single seat or district they held anywhere in this fair land. If that doesn’t show repudiation of the Republicans, I don’t know what is. By the way, I see you got a vote for Wingnut of the Year. Congrats.

77. ConservativeFirst spews:

rhp6033 says:

CF at 62: You say the top 50% of AGI pays 96.2 % of the taxes? Apprantly you are only referring to federal income taxes

I was correcting a previous incorrect statement. And yes, I was referring to federal income taxes.

And more importantly, are you comparing the number of taxpayers, or the total AGI?

Top 1% or top 50% refers to the percentile, thus the number of taxpayers. I didn’t think that needed clarification.

if you mean taxpayers, your argument also proves that wealth is inordinately concentrated in this country, if 50% of the taxpayers barely qualify to pay any taxes at all in this country. Gee, whatever happened to the middle class?

No it proves the wealthy pay a large share of the the taxes. The top 5% (AGI greater than $137,055) pay a majority of federal income taxes. In 2004 the top 5% paid over 57% of federal income taxes, up from over 54% in 2003. I thought the Bush tax cuts in 2001 were supposed to be for the wealthy. It appears to me they are paying more.

Median income in the U.S. in 2004 was around $45,000. So I’m not sure what your beef is here.

78. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Do I get your vote too?

79. ConservativeFirst spews:

sgmmac says:

Your comparison isn’t relevant to their fair share.
Their “fair” share is a certain percentage of their income -not their share of the overall taxes collected by the IRS.

My statistic is perfectly relevant. It shows that the wealthy pay most of the federal income taxes in this country.

If you were in charge, what would be a “fair” tax bracket structure?

Personally I think what an individual pays (as a percentage of their income) in federal income taxes is irrelevant. The aggregate data provides a much clearer picture on who pays the most in federal income taxes for the exact reasons you cite (tax free municipal bonds, etc.).

80. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

As I said earlier, the moonbat definition of a “fair tax” is one that somebody else has to pay.

Also, money paid to gummint should no longer be called “taxes”. In NewSpeak they are now known as “investments”.

81. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Wouldn’t the “fairest” thing be a flat tax.

Nobody gets a free ride. Nobody gets screwed.

Does anybody know why this will never happen?

82. sgmmac spews:

ConservativeFirst,

I want a level playing field, if I pay 10% of my income in taxes, I want Bill fucking Gates to pay 10% of his income in taxes.

It isn’t relevant because those multi-billionaires could have more income than the total revenue brought in to the IRS.

A fine example is John and Teresa Kerry who pay very little in federal taxes, because Teresa has a very large majority of her money sheltered in muni’s, while other multi-millionaires who are worth less than the Kerry’s pay much more than they do.

The US tax system is totally and completely corrupt! It is an absolute outrage that a family of four making 50 grand a year are paying over 20% of their income to the IRS, while working their asses off and struggling to stay afloat and the two wealthiest multi-billionaires have the majority of their income sheltered away in charitable foundations.

Gates and Buffett should be forever shamed for claiming to support death taxes all the while knowing that THEIR asses arn’t going to pay any of it!

83. sgmmac spews:

MTR,

Fuck NO to your flat tax!

84. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

mac – If you think 20% is bad, try 40%.

That’s what you fought for…

85. sgmmac spews:

CF,

I said in a earlier post………
30% of income for Federal taxes and take away off shore holdings, foreign investments, charitable foundations and all of the other crazy loopholes in the current system.

86. sgmmac spews:

MTR,

There are people who pay more than 40%. Small business owners are taxed at 30% by the Feds. In this state some of those small business owners are paying some very outrageous B & O Taxes too……….

87. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

mac – there’s no such thing as a “loophole”. That word is a complete misnomer.

Taxes are used for two things:

1) To raise money for gummint operations such as giving to billionaires to build sports stadiums and to fight wars.

2) To use as a tool of policy implementation.

Those things you call “loopholes” were put there on purpose to encourage those behaviors deemed to be desireable and to DIScourage other behaviors deemed to be undesirable.

For example, home ownership is deemed to be a good thing. That’s why homeowners are able to deduct interest paid on thier home. Booze and smokes are deemed to be a bad thing, and that’s why we tax the shit out of them.

88. Mark The Redneck KENNEDY spews:

Mac – Those business owners should pay a lot. I mean… they’re rich businessmen who drink martinis and play golf all day. According to Roger Rabbit, they don’t do shit. The workers do all the real work.

C’mon… if somebody is making $100,000 should the tax rate beyond that be 100%? How much does a person really need?

89. skagit spews:

Smeg, the reason I know you get all your information from your stupid conservative talking points is because you cannot reference anybody other than a Dem. Don’t you think you should be able to discuss these things neutrally?

Also, name a conservative who is giving as much money away as Gates is.

And Bill Gates – just like you and me – will pay whatever he has to pay. Nobody wants to pay taxes. Get the fucking laws changed . . . and quit worrying about whether or not it is a Republican or a Democrat. FCS, the conservatives have had all the power almost consistently since Reagan.

I think incomes under $40,000 should not have to pay. Above that, progressive rates are fine with me. And the government should not subsidizing companies to outsource, or subsidize companies in the Mariana Islands (which is under US law – forget your other offshore crap) and your leader Tom Delay and Abramoff were responsible for that. AS long as you are so one-sided in your thinking, this is a problem that will never be solved.

And it wasn’t the Dems holding up the minimum wage increase. What is wrong with you?

90. ConservativeFirst spews:

sgmmac says:

MTR,

F*ck NO to your flat tax!

12/26/2006 at 4:17 pm

(expletive deleted)

sgmmac says:

CF,

I said in a earlier post………
30% of income for Federal taxes and take away off shore holdings, foreign investments, charitable foundations and all of the other crazy loopholes in the current system.

12/26/2006 at 4:19 pm

If you are taking away deductions and loopholes, that sounds like a flat tax to me.

BTW, if you removed the tax free nature of municipal bonds, you’d be raising taxes on citizens of cities that issue bonds, since the cities issuing the bonds would have to pay market (meaning higher) interest rates, to compete with corporate bonds with good debt ratings.

What percentage of the total tax burden should the top 1% of taxpayer be paying? Clearly you want to raise the amount of taxes they pay, because the policy you are advocating would do just that.

Idealogically I’m for a flat tax, but realistically I recongize neither party would stick with a flat tax for long since tax breaks are a great way for both parties to repay loyal constituencies. Personally I think using the tax code to encourage certain behaviors is bad policy.

91. sgmmac spews:

Gidget,

Conservative talking points????

Where the hell have you read that Republicans hate flat taxes?

Where the hell have you read that Republicans want a progressive rate income tax in Washington State instead of the current regressive “use” tax system currently in place?

You haven’t because they arn’t fucking Republican postitions.

What’s wrong with YOU?????