We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
RE: Harvard Researchers - they're from Harvard! Isn't that enough???
RE: Guess who's not paying their fair share? Its been that way- the progs have always wanted 50% +1 of the citizenry to be excluded from the tax rolls, but be the recipient on the dole - it makes them slaves to those handing out the dole, in a neat cycle. And, to end it, makes you a ___(enter your vile characterazation here ('Hater','racist!', ect))
Your weight is mostly determined by your genes. You can through inactivity and gluttony increase your weight somewhat. But a person who's genes wants him/her to be 170 lbs cannot achieve 300 lbs, just as a person who's genes want them to be 300 lbs cannot achieve 170 lbs. So the question is really should children with genetic propensity to be overweight be taken from their parents? Another question might be do you think thew state can do a better job of raising children. If the answer is yes then maybe all children should be under state care. If the answer is no then maybe no children should be under state care.
Re: paying their fair share
I love the toon on Thursday morning's links that has Obummer saying:
"I won't allow the half of Americans who pay no taxes to bear the burden of the other half who aren't paying their fair share."
That about says it all!
Thanks, Bird Dog, for emphasizing the main point of McConnell's strategy in proposing that Obama himself raises the debt ceiling. He was setting up the Republicans to take the fall, and to collect the taxes for the appalling Obama economy, thus making them break their promises of 2010. This is his [McConnell's]way of saying, "Republicans know what you're doing, Mr. Dithers. If you want us to go along, raise it yourself." Once Obama raises the debt ceiling, both houses of Congress can pass a vote of disapproval if they want to [the House probably will] But at least, the blame will go where it belongs, on the Democrats' shoulders, which will help the Republicans in the run-up to 2012.
Giving this power-sotted President even more authority in McConnell's crazy plan to raise the debt ceiling is proof-positive that the Republican Congressional leadership remains as brain dead as ever.
I love Taranto's story about Obama not understanding the difference between collision coverage and liability coverage in his automobile insurance policy. This is of a piece with the (apparently false) story Obama repeatedly told during his election campaign about his mother's difficulties with her health insurance.
The way Obama told it, his mother's insurance company refused to pay for her health care because her cancer was a pre-existing condition. Now, according to a new book from a former NYT reporter, it turns out that it was his mother's request for disability payments that the company declined to pay; in fact, her cancer treatments were covered by her insurance policy and were paid, except for a small deductible.
What makes this story so interesting to me is that (1) in a letter to the insurance company, Dunham wrote that she had turned collection efforts over to her son, whom she named as her attorney, and (2) this happened in 1995, when BHO was 34 or 35 years old, and therefore old enough (especially as an attorney taking on a client's claims case) to know the difference between HEALTH insurance and DISABILITY coverage. The only conclusion anyone can reach in this instance is that throughout his campaign Obama intentionally lied about the circumstance surrounding his mother's death from cancer. In my book, that makes Obama every bit as sleazy as the detestable John Edwards....but of course I already knew that.
The data on tax rates and the tax burden of different income groups can be sliced and diced for political effect, in the same way the unemployment numbers and job creation numbers are sliced and diced by Pelosi-Reid & Co. to sow confusion in order to counter criticism from the Republican side of the aisle. Some helpful numbers about taxes appeared yesterday in a column by Michael Franc, which was posted on-line at the National Review.
"Today the wealthiest 1 percent of American households earn 20 percent of all income — more than twice the share they earned in 1980 and no doubt a class-warfare crime of the first magnitude. But they pay 38 percent of all income taxes, up from the 19 percent they paid in 1980.
"Back in 1981, the bottom half of wage earners paid 7.45 percent of all taxes; today, their share is barely a third of that (2.7 percent).
"[T]he IRS reports that the wealthiest 10 percent of taxpayers, who account for fully 70 percent of all income-tax receipts, send Uncle Sam an average of 18.7 percent of their income. The next wealthiest 40 percent face an average tax rate of barely 8 percent. Finally, the average tax rate paid by the bottom half of Americans stands at a mere 2.6 percent."
Franc's is the most nearly complete list of the relevant numbers that I have ever seen in print. I particularly like the statistics on the effective tax rates of different income groups, given the controversy that was once started by billionaire Warren Buffet over who pays taxes at a higher rate, himself or (IIRC) his secretary.
The only significant number that appears missing is the share of total income that is earned by the lowest 50% of taxpayers, to go along with the same number given for the wealthiest taxpayers. That would provide a clear comparison of the tax burden of each income group with the share of federal income taxes each one pays. The comparison is relevant because it is implicit in the Dems' call for higher taxes on the rich that the lowest 50% of income taxpayers DO pay a fair share when you take into account how "little" of the nation's income is theirs. The numbers cited by Franc already suggest otherwise.