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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, September 22. 2011
That's Italian! Parents take legal action to force son, 41, to move out
Italy produces momma's boys who act macho to cover it up
Stiletto Brothel Expansion Proposal Rejected By Sydney City Council
Pilgrim Christian Tours
A low in jobs, mobility, marriage for young adults
They voted for this
Awaiting the Fall: A Few Thoughts on Mark Steyn’s After America
Signorelli puts a lot of thought into his essay
46 million Americans in poverty?
NY Post: The Prez is a liar
Ex-President Clinton to Newsmax: Raising Taxes Won't Work
Top 0.1 Percent Pays More Income Tax than Bottom 80 Percent
Our Lefty friends hope we're seeing The final crisis of capitalism
I think we're seeing the final crisis of the quasi-socialist welfare state and of the Big Government industry
Free money! All ya gotta do is f-.
See the second video. I think it is satire
McCarthy: The Solyndra Non-Investigation - Bankruptcy examiners aren’t prosecutors.
Time for a special prosecutor?
Or do Chicago politics work on the national stage?
Gunwalker looking worse and worse
Dance video: $700,000 for 2 jobs
What Comes After 'Europe'? The riots of Athens will become those of Milan, Madrid and Marseilles. Border checkpoints will return. Currencies will be resurrected, then devalued.
They say Euroland is a giant fraud.
With ballsy vid of Farage. Farage - and Hannan - are wonderful. Britain does produce some wonderful politicians.
America: The Chief Subsidizer of UN Rapists and Traffickers - The Wilsonian ideals of the UN are not realizable. In turn, the UN is built on a lie: that its diplomats are morally decent.
How To Describe This Administration -Incompetent Or Corrupt?
Today Canada has a superior tax regime to that of the United States, and a much sounder fiscal situation. They are actually developing their energy resources...
The MSM still refuses to call him on it
Obama quickly running out of time
Belmont asserts that Obama has gotten everything wrong.
US federal debt, via SDA:
Tracked: Sep 22, 07:40
Tracked: Sep 22, 15:02
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So we've got Gunwalker, Solyndra, Lightsquared scandles and thse are just the ones we know about at this point. When 0 talked about changing Washington, didn't know he was referring increased corruption. Appears the Chicago way is not scaling up so well nationally.
Re the "Crisis of Capitalism", after reading the post & comments & taking a quick skim of the blog, it appears to be based in the UK somewhere. Some of the comments remind me of a mindset I remember from my days in school at Edinburgh University. Where I first encountered real, honest to goodness we're not kidding Marxists.
(Since there weren't that many scouring, dour Calvinists in Scotland, they were probably the closest thing in narrow, humorless world-views.)
One of the commentators asserts that the "state" needs to create a new paradigm for the economy to flourish in. Or some such.
That was just one of the things that creeped me out about the Marxists I knew -- this faith in the capacity of the "state"; whenever they talked about it I seemed like they really were talking about some sort of abstracted demi-god and not a bunch of individuals employed in an administrative structure.
The way the talked about the "state" you would think there was a temple somewhere where you burnt an offering and hoped the "state" noticed and made a bunch of jobs for everybody. Weird.
All faith in abstraction, none whatsoever in the individual beside you, but pack the "state" with those individuals, then bow down.
The most hallowed, revered, divinely-inspired (even if there is disagreement about divinity, its ideal is inspirational in the sense of 'in-spirit' being the root of 'inspirational') state document in the world, the US Constitution, is nothing more than an attempt to protect people, in person and in general, from the otherwise natural transgression of the state --that is, the state of the people in the whole, or in the hole, whichever best spells the fit, or fits the spell.
Many, many people over there in the U.K. and the Continent did not really understand the foundation of our political arrangement. That such a foundation might actually be substantially antagonistic to state power didn't click. More folks in the U.K. ought to have understood it, but they were contaminated with Marxist thought.
The orthodox Marxists who did understand it viewed it as a trick to allow capitalist exploiters to instill false consciousness in the proles and rule over them, etc., etc.
Geez. If only the "Proles" had ever known how much contempt Marxists planners had for them.
Yes, as GKC stated oh so long ago... “Once abolish God, and the government becomes the God.” – Christendom in Dublin, 1933
Obama is a liar: Even today in Ohio, he is pushing that story about rich people not paying their "fair share". As I wrote before, the Repubs should give him what he wants by raising the tax rate on gazillionaires so he can't keep using this as his re-election theme. Unfortunately, guys like Bufffett will avoid any increase in tax rates since Buffett's wealth is mostly derived from changes in the value of the Berkshire Hathaway stock he owns, not the relatively modest income he receives each year.
BTW, did everyone notice how Drudge mocks the alleged eloquence of the stammering Prez: "I, I, I, I...."? It seems Obama got stuck on "I". Did the TOTUS stall in place?
RE: "Top 0.1 Percent Pays More Income Tax than Bottom 80 Percent"
It always bothers me not to have the context around that statement, maybe one of y'all smart researchers here can come up with the figure.
What was the total collective income for that top .1% versus the total collective income of the bottom 80% is what i want to know. THAT is the context.
I always figured they collectively made more so they collectively paid more... whether that was a flat tax or the progressive income tax that is the law, so making a statement such as above is like saying water is wet. Duhhhh.
So. What are the figures?
Here are the figures you requested, based on the adjusted gross income figures released by the IRS:
The top 0.1% share of the nation's entire pre-tax income is 6.9%
The bottom 80% share of the nation's pre-tax income is 46.9%
Thanks! Now I just have to save them someplace I can remember so I can disgorge them in rebuttal the next "tax the rich" argument I get into....
You should also bookmark an interesting article posted on-line by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute at their web page yesterday. He points out that the IRS publishes data on the top 400 taxfilers, i.e., the really really rich. The IRS data show that the composition of this group changes a lot from year to year. Over the 17 years from 1992 to 2008, 3672 different individuals appeared on this list, 2676 of them (73% of the 3762) just once, only 4 people (0.11% of the 3672) in each of those 17 years. When an individual makes this list just once, it may mean he/she has sold a business he has been building for many years. In any event, the group is not monolithic and so it's not as if "the rich" people who are the targets of Obama's classism are the same high earning folks year after year. People like Warren Buffett, Obama's buddy, are the rare exception. The 4 taxpayers who made the IRS's List of 400 in each of the 17 years (which may include Buffett; there's no way to know) represents just 0.000002% of the 161 million annual taxfilers.
I can put these numbers in context. Relative to their aggregate income, the top 0.1% earning taxpayers pay 10X as much in Federal income tax as do the lowest 80% of earners.
So, who's not paying their "fair share"? What is a "fair share"? Maybe it's time for a flat tax so we can eliminate the APPEARANCE of inequity.
I'd like nothing better than to arrange things to stick it to Buffett. For example, there used to be a provision in the Internal Revenue Code that taxed corporations on excess retained earnings. This provision was intended to keep companies like Berkshire Hathaway from retaining too much income. It forced the companies to disgorge their excess earnings as dividends to shareholders if they could demonstrate no valid business purpose for retaining them. I don't know if that provision remains in the IRC, but if it were stringently enforced it might hit some of those billionaires where it hurts.
This beggars credulity, to the extent that it's safer for one's sanity to deny it and move on, as I'm doing right now...
Mark Steyn is as whiny as Woody Allen, just not as good looking.
"46 million Americans in poverty?"
No, 46 million Americans live below an arbitrarilly set (by liberals) income level.
45 million (at least) of them still have 3 meals a day (at least 1 hot meal), a car, microwave, television, central heating, etc. etc..
In fact, some 40 million live over the standard of living that's the norm for most of the rest of the world, including middle class families in western Europe, whom aren't counted as "poor" at all but are here considered "the rich" by those same leftists.
I have lived in some poor countries such as Poland and I would make the following comments: life is cheaper, food is cheaper, health care is cheaper and public transport is fairly widespread in several major living centers - which also makes access to things like good, cheap food within reach. I would say in many areas of the US a car is a basic need - if you want people to interview, get a job, work. Microwaves and TVs are cheap these days. Central heating is fine except when you can't pay the heating bills. The most frequent requests I see daily in my work from our "rich" poor as you define them are for cribs, beds, diapers, heat and food. They are not asking for Time Warner's latest premium cable package.
Fine. Skip stats. Ignore our poorest state Mississipi's greater per-capitas than the EU's. Go instead for the reliable emotional anecdote. Leave your opponent mired in the guilt of the knowledge that half the people are below average, and that this is really, really unfair.
Or the very definition of anthropomorphist subjectivity applied to the reality of the Universe --which escapes entropy by the motion created by imbalance (see Newton's descriptions).
I said nothing about this being fair or unfair. I am simply saying that measures that compare the US to other places in the world don't necessarily tell the whole picture particularly if one's starting point is that if someone has TV they should not be considered in tough economic conditions. (I don't watch TV, unless you count baseball but I hear it's terrible). I assume (perhaps wrongly) that those of us living in this country would want our communities to develop economic strengths - and that attitude that "well, it's worse elsewhere" is pretty second rate. Or if you want to go that way, at least be consistent. There is certainly enough whining here "we pay too much in taxes". Well, guess what, it's worse elsewhere.
Bomber girl, i'm gonna bestow upon you a personal first. The first thing i've ever said about other people's motivations that i'm certain is correct:
It's not ...whining here "we pay too much in taxes" --it's that so much of what we pay is so clearly coerced in order to provide the wastrel lifestyles of such a crew of ingrate parasites as our political class has finally proven beyond shadow of doubt that it, about 80 to 20, is.
Sad to say, I agree with you completely about the state of affairs of our current political class. It is pathetic. I suggest we go for a jury like system - we all are eligible to serve, show up, do our duty, then get the hell out of there before the lobbyists and the shell of a MSM show up and take notice.
Maybe you're just kidding, but maybe you're onto the single thing that can save the 'consent of the governed' system.
The authoritarian governments, riding high these days relative to the hapless West, may be stuck on oppressive but at least the people have the satisfaction of not having a freely-elected organized crime syndicate laughing it up at 'we the people'.