Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taxing Inequality Itself?

A fascinating idea.  Perhaps that could help get us past our current political logjam.

If you've been reading this blog at all, and certainly if you've been reading it regularly, you know that this is my number one concern for this country.  That's because I believe it to be our number one problem--one that threatens our existence as a nation, and as the world's greatest example of a free society.  May 2012 be the beginning of a solution for us all.

I'm signing off for 2011.  Thanks for reading, for commenting, and otherwise for supporting my efforts here.  May your New Year be filled with happiness and love.

Why Do We Need CIR?

Comprehensive immigration reform, that is?  Because the lack of it is taking entrepreneurial energy and pushing it offshore.


Is America Going Marxist?

Seems that way.  Who would have guessed?  In any case, this shows that true change is never top-down.  It is always bottom-up.

Should He Be Dumped?

That's the purist progressive argument, because he hasn't been progressive enough.  Frankly, I never expected him to be that progressive, even if that was what he truly wanted to be.  Our system of government is designed to frustrate making major changes quickly, and to empower the opposition.

When you take into account what he has done, and the prospect of reinforcements in 2012, I don't think he should be dumped.  I think we should have his back.

I do.

Footnote to the author of the article in the first link:  1968 didn't exactly restore democracy.  It gave us Nixon, who gave us Watergate, which almost cost us our democracy.  Something to think about when you want to have a temper tantrum.

Why Political Change Is So Hard

Because changing people is so hard.  Even in Europe, which is more progressive as a whole than the United States, borders can survive in people's minds almost a hundred years after war and politics have erased them.

Take a look.

And So, They Eat Themselves Alive

Breitbart versus Beck.  Couldn't happen to two more disgusting men.  At least Beck is finally outing the Teabags for what they really are.

I Worry About This Guy

Even though I like his politics, as I've said previously.  If the Republicans nominated him, he would win.  But when he opens up the possibility of a third-party run, I worry about how that might give us an all-GOP government.

Which, I think, is the last thing he would want, despite being a Republican.  We'll see.

And That, Friends, Is Why We Need Big Government

Because bad things happen to all of us, especially when it comes to health care.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What Kind Of Country Rejects This Kind Of Leader?

Nearly forty years after the fact, I still find myself asking that question about George McGovern.  He ran a terrible campaign, but history has vindicated much of what he has stood for, this being a prime example.

I certainly agree with him that Nixon would have been better off if he'd lost in 1972.  The sad thing is, so would the rest of us.

"It Doesn't Work, It Never Has Worked"

Nice to see Obama sticking a rhetorical knife into supply-side economics, as well as embracing OWS (however distantly).

If he centers his campaign around this, he'll not only win, he'll have a mandate.

I pray that he's smart enough to do this.

When It Comes To Raising Taxes, There Are Many Roads To Rome

Financial transactions?  Or consumption by the wealthy?

Try one.  Try the other.  Try both.  Try something else.

But, above all, as FDR once said, (emphasis mine) TRY SOMETHING!

Stop Lying About Obama!

David Brooks said so.

Is This Worse Than Higher Taxes?

You bet.  Taxes can go up and down but, when the rich get richer, their spending raises the cost of everything.  Forever.

So why should we have a tax structure that not only allows them to do this, but encourages them to do it?  Are we out of our minds?  Sometimes, I think we are.

"I Know How To Beat Republicans"

So says former GOP staff member Mike Lofgren, here.  Stick with a simple theme and pound it over and over.  In other words, despite his obvious disenchantment with his party, he's still an advocate of bumper-sticker politics, the one thing the GOP does best.

I think what progressives really need to do is to stop talking to each other and start talking to the people on the other side of the divide.  And stick to doing that, day in and day out.  We have better arguments, but we spend all of our time sharpening them against each other, rather than the people whose lives would be better if we didn't let the Rush Limbaughs of the world turn us into cartoons.  They can't turn us into cartoons if we become daily fixtures in the lives of their followers.

Will we spend all of 2012 licking our wounds?  Or will we realize that that which does not kill us makes us stronger--strong enough, in any case, to engage those who disagree with us, and perhaps persuade them to agree on enough good ideas to turn them into reality?

I'm hoping for the latter.  I think it would be truly audacious.  It might be the revolution America needs.

Even The Rich Admit It

We need to raise taxes.  Right now.  Somebody needs to tell the GOP that when your own constituency abandons you, you don't deserve to be in power.

They Can't Explain It, But I Can

At last an honest conservative, one who admits that there is no way to explain why the Bush tax cuts create jobs.

Well, let's see if I can help.

Tax cuts don't create jobs.  Consumers with discretionary income create jobs.  Low tax rates are good for consumers, except when they're given to the investing class.  In that case, low taxes simply lower the cost of making bad business decisions, and indirectly subsidize lazy and even craven decision-making in business.

Higher tax rates for the investing class, on the other hand, are like welfare reform for the consuming class.  Like Samuel Johnson's prospective hanging, they concentrate the mind wonderfully, and force investors to make smart decisions that create smart enterprises--that is, businesses that effectively serve the needs of consumers.  In the process, the investing class eats only when the consuming class eats, ensuring the democratization of capitalism.

And no, this is not crackpot thinking, unless you think that Business Week hires crackpots.

Get it?

Nah, I didn't think so.  Unless, of course, you're not a conservative in 21st-century America.  But if you are one, and this still puzzles you, drop me a line.  I might be willing to do a little one-on-one work with some of you.

Maybe He's Smarter Than We Think

Obama, that is.  Everybody's focused on either the individual mandate or the lack of a public option, in the national discussion of health care reform.  But they don't talk about this, or the fact that it may lay the groundwork for a single-payer program at the federal level.

It's not more important to be tougher than the other side.  Brains always defeat brawn.  And Obama, whatever else may be true about him, is not stupid.

On The Other Hand, When It Comes To The Future ...

... there may not be an America that forces the government to assume innocence and prove guilt.  Obama, good Constitutional law professor that he is supposed to be, needs to veto this.

A Question For The Critics Of "Class Warfare"

Why do you object to government aid for the 99%, when you have no problem with the 1% helping themselves to it?

It's OK to talk about class warfare, especially if your side didn't fire the first shot.

One Reason Why I Believe In The Future

Her name is Emma Sullivan.  And I pray that there are many more like her.

"You Can't Handle The Truth!"

If you're a Time reader in the U.S., as opposed to the rest of the world.  Proof that, despite 9/11, we live in a psychological bubble of our own making.

They Have More Leverage Than We Think

The Democrats, that is.  Hopefully, they realize it.  Even more hopefully, they'll use it.

Hey, there's a first time for everything.  Isn't there?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So, Which Poll Should You Believe?

This one?  Or this one?

I'd go with the latter, if only because Gallup has, historically, always had a Republican bias (not as bad as Rasmussen's, but definitely there when compared to other national polls).  And, besides, whether the GOP nominee is Romney or Gingrich, neither one is going to run an inside straight on all twelve "purple" states.

On the other hand, if South Carolina really is in play, the GOP may not be able to afford to concentrate on the "purple states."  In any case, the current GOP strategy of betting everything on sweeping both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is in serious trouble.

Especially if there's any fire behind this smoke.  Let's hope so.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Farewell, Mr. Wicker

You were one of the best.  If you don't know that, take a look.

Racism Trumps Patriotism

At least, it seems that way for congressional Republicans

Not to mention Republican Presidential candidates.

If this is true, it makes you wonder whether the United States can stay united.

I Hope Your Thanksgiving Wasn't Disturbed By This Lie

They push this every year.  And all it proves is how much the right relies on lies.

Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste

That was the mantra for the Obama administration in its early days.  Now, it's the mantra of those on the other side of the fence, as they attempt to supplant democratic processes with authoritarian ones.

Think I'm joking, or exaggerating?  Take a look at what's happening in Michigan, and see if you still feel that way.

The 8 Real Causes of Deficits and the Debt

A good reference for any debates you want to have with people who blame it all on entitlement spending.

God Is Not Mocked ...

... when it comes to economic power or anything else.  The lesser shall be greater, and the greater shall be lesser.

Could Republicans Be Too Stubborn For Their Own Good?

It's possible.  But remember what I said about that folding sound ...

He Makes A Good Point

I've often thought exactly the same thing about Obama and his relationship to liberals.

But it's not unreasonable to look at things as they are, and ask, as Robert Kennedy once did about the possibility of things being better, "Why not?"

Is America A Tale Of Two Countries?

And, if so, should we attempt to solve our problems by splitting up?  One state representative in Illinois thinks that it would be a good idea for his state.

Part of me almost thinks that it would be a worthwhile experiment.  We might find out, fairly graphically, how much we really need each other, after all.  The price would be steep, but the lesson might be worth it.

That Folding Sound You're Hearing As December Begins ...

... is coming from the Democratic Party.  They have all the leverage in the world they could want when it comes to taxes and the deficit.  So, what are they going to do?

This.  AND this.

The only real recipe you need for a dictatorship is two parties:  one that says "Jump." and the other that always responds with "How high?"