Free Markets, Free People

class warfare


Oh, goodie – a rerun

And it has all the ear-markings of the usual failure.  New York mayoral race:

Since the days of Bill Clinton and the New Democrats, it has been a totem of faith in some liberal-progressive circles that the key to lifting up the lower ranks lies in downplaying social and economic conflicts, cozying up to business interests, and tackling inequality covertly, through largely invisible subsidies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. De Blasio, in pledging to raise taxes on the rich to finance his education programs, has challenged this formula, and turned himself into the standard-bearer for what some see as a new era of urban populism.

Yes indeed, a “new era of urban populism”, or as those who view the idea just a little differently, a new era of class warfare in which the demonized class gets robbed and the proceeds of the theft are supposedly redistributed for the benefit of the “proletariat”. It’s not like we don’t spend enough on education now. You’d think a smart mayoral candidate would consider the possibility that money isn’t the problem. But that’s too difficult and besides, when you’re supported by teachers unions, well, it’s easier to go after the rich.

And, of course, the author of this article is quite excited about it. It’s like this has never happened recently in, oh, I don’t know, France? You know … where they decided those filthy rich should pay for everything. It certainly wasn’t a matter of “urban” populism per se, but it was a matter of socialist populism – same thing. Result? The rich started moving elsewhere. Imagine that.

Of course De Blasio would have to get this past the state legislature – not likely anytime soon. And, as the author mentions, it’s not a huge tax raise so it’s likely not to get much coverage even if it is passed. But the point of course is the left never learns. Ever. They’re committed to the same failed policies and same failed solutions as they always have been.

Most remarkable is the apparent surprise they register when the predictable happens. It is like they’re geese and they wake up in a new world every day? Unfortunately we have to share the world with them and they’re making it progressively unlivable.

~McQ


The myth of “collective action”

As we launch ourselves further into an era of “collective action” as Obama called it in his 2nd Inaugural address, we can be sure that reality won’t stop the left from remaining true believers in its ultimate power and good and demanding it be forced on us all.  But what does that really mean?

Let’s hark back to Mancur Olson’s critique of collective action for a moment and point out a little ground truth about it, shall we?

Olson’s critique of collective action is complicated, and it is made less accessible by an ungainly prose style. But the gist is that large numbers of people do not naturally band together to secure common interests. In fact, the larger the group, the less likely it is to act in a truly collective manner.

As Olson explained, the interests that unite large groups are necessarily of the lowest-common-denominator variety. Therefore the concrete benefits of collective action to any individual are usually small compared with the costs — in time, effort and money — of participation. “Free-riding” is a constant threat — as the difficulties of collecting union dues illustrates.

By contrast, small groups are good at collective action. It costs less to organize a few people around a narrow, but intensely felt, shared concern. For each member, the potential benefits of joint action are more likely to outweigh the costs, whether or not success comes at the larger society’s expense.

Now, to me, that’s common sense. The bigger the group the more unlikely it will find common ground than a smaller group. So urging a nation of 300 million to a common effort or collective action? Yeah, not going to happen – at least in the areas Obama is likely to want to make such an effort.

That’s not to say that collective action won’t happen. It happens everyday in DC as Charles Lane points out:

Hence, the housing lobby, the farm lobby and all the special-interest groups that swarm Congress. Hence, too, the conspicuous absence of an effective lobby on behalf of all taxpayers or, for that matter, all poor people.

If there is any “collective action” that will take place in DC, besides those noted, it will be among the politicians who band together (and break apart) depending on what they’re after this week or next.  Their constituency?  Not that big of a concern to most.  Those that reside inside the beltway are more likely on their radar than those who voted to put them in office.

So when Obama called on Americans to once again act “as one nation, and one people,” he was, at best, stating an aspiration.

No he’s not – he’s mouthing platitudes to calm the masses, put the opposition on the defensive and set himself up to get his way. And this is how that will work:

Olson’s assessment of reality, both historical and contemporary, is less lofty but more accurate: “There will be no countries that attain symmetrical organization of all groups with a common interest and thereby attain optimal outcomes through comprehensive bargaining.”

Nope. It will be the group/party that is able to appeal the best to the masses and thereby garner more  of a veneer of support for their agenda than can the other party/group, whether or not the ultimate goal of the action is good for the country or the majority or not. Whether it really benefits the country as a whole usually has little bearing on the effort. And the minority? Well, they’re simply left hanging in the wind.

Their call for “collective action” is a cover, a means of draping the usual politics in high sounding rhetoric. The reality of the situation is that what he calls “collective action” is simply a new code phrase for continued class warfare and redistribution of income. The purpose of proposing “collective action” is to enable him and his cronies to label anyone who opposes them and their actions as divisive, unpatriotic and just about any other name they can think of necessary to demonize and dismiss them.

Meanwhile, the “collective” dismantling of this once great country will continue apace.

~McQ


Quote of the day: Silly collectivist edition

Apparently Barack Obama was channeling Elizabeth “Fauxahontas” Warren the other day in a speech when he said:

Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.

The natural angle of attack when one wants to demean accomplishment is to attempt to portray it as something you were given vs. something you earned.

In this case, where Obama denigrates the accomplishments of the successful (and my goodness when did success become something you attack?), he’s attempting to do just that.  Because, so the collectivist thinking (oxymoron alert) goes, if he and others helped the successful become successful then they can justify claiming a portion of the pie the successful have.

Of course that requires ignoring how the successful become successful.  We heard Elizabeth Warren talk about public works that she claims enabled businesses to succeed.  Like roads, power grids, etc.  What she would have you believe is everyone else paid for those things but apparently the entrepreneur was just a net beneficiary.  Silliness to the extreme.

Also always shunted aside are the sacrifices the “successful” made to reach the stage of success they enjoy.  I personally know “successful” people who mortgaged their house to the hilt, cashed in whatever they had in savings and borrowed the rest to start their business. 

They took all the risk, and yes, some of them failed.  But they didn’t have anyone holding their hand when they set out on their journey to success.  They simply worked harder than anyone else, made the additional sacrifices that had to be made (80 hour weeks, little time with the family, etc). to make that success a fact.

The focus for the collectivists starts at the big house the successful have now, not the risk, work and sacrifice they went through to build that house.

And now that they are a success, suddenly they have a bunch of leeches who want to claim a portion of it (remember about 50% of those in this country pay no income taxes at all).  It reminds me of the lottery winner who suddenly discovers he has cousins, nieces and nephews he’s never heard of all clamoring for some of the winnings.  But in this case, what Obama is trying to justify via this nonsense is not asking for money, but taking it “legally”. 

His is the same song the communists sang in 1917 Russia.  Those who worked hardest and achieved the most don’t “deserve” what they have accumulated because they did it on the backs of everyone else.  We’ve heard variations on the theme quite often from leftist politicians:  “It takes a village”, for instance  or claiming the successful are simply  “the winners of life’s lottery”, etc.

Naturally where Obama wants to strike is precisely where jobs are created.  Almost a million of those in the tax bracket he wants to hit with higher taxes are small businesses.  You’d think the guy who obviously thinks he’s a economic genius would know that.  You’d think a guy who said “the last thing you want to do in a recession is raise taxes” would actually follow through on something he got right.

But no, instead he plays the class warfare card and essentially parrots the communists. 

No, I’m not calling him a communist, I’m simply pointing out the irony of what he’s doing.  Draw your own conclusions about what he is, but one thing he isn’t is a friend of the free market.  He certainly isn’t the economic genius he thinks he is and frankly, he’s leading us down the same path Europe went down years before and we all know how that is turning out.

It is envy cloaked as “fairness”.  Class warfare designed empower government even while it cripples business and, in the end, would contribute to increasing our economic woes.

However, there is value in such quotes as his above.  When you hear him say things like this, it becomes much clearer as to his true ideological roots and what an additional 4 years would bring.  The press may not have done the job of vetting this president before he took office, but quotes like this do as much for that process as any vetting by the press would accomplish There’s no question of where he lives ideologically.   And it isn’t an ideology that belongs in the most powerful office in this land.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Hypocrites R Us: Obama appeals to the 1% for campaign money

The man who has used class warfare as a means of advancing his re-election campaign is simply shameless:

Speaking in a dimly lighted, art-filled room, Obama told supporters they would play a critical role in an election that would determine a vision for the nation’s future.

"You’re the tie-breaker," he said. "You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes."

Among the celebrities on hand to hear Obama’s remarks were Oscar winner Meryl Streep, fashion designer Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who moderated a private question-and-answer session between the president and the guests. Broderick, who was starring in a Broadway musical, was absent.

Nice group of one-percenters, Mr. President.  Apparently though, this is the “good” 1% (he’s also knee deep in appeals to the “bad 1%” as well, i.e. the Wall Street crowd) who, per Obama, are the “ultimate arbiter[s] if which direction this country goes”.

Really?  Anna Wintour?  Meryl Streep?  Sarah Jessica Parker?

Tell me folks, are George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Spike Lee, Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Cher who you look too for advice or direction on which way this country goes?  Yeah, me neither.

Man will say anything for money, won’t he?  And then he’ll turn on a dime and condemn the other side for taking special interest money.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Robert Reich still pushing the populist “equality” argument

And it continues to get sillier and sillier:

The richest 1 percent of Americans save about half their incomes, while most of the rest of us save between 6 and 10 percent. Being rich means you already have most of what you want and need. Each additional acquisition yields a sharply declining level of satisfaction: That second yacht isn’t nearly as exciting as the first.

So when the top 1 percent rakes in more than 20 percent of total income – twice the share it had 30 years ago – there’s insufficient demand for all the goods and services the economy is capable of producing at or near full employment. Without enough demand, the economy can’t grow or generate nearly enough jobs.

So what can we take from that?

Here’s my interpretation -  the top 1% is taking in 20% of the income and burying half in coffee cans in the back yard.  Or said another way, none of it is invested and pushed back out in the economy to entrepreneurs, businesses or other pro-economic growth activities.  They just keep it, stuff mattresses with it or burn it to light their big fat cigars, or something.   Well, at least in Reich’s version of the economy.450px-Share_top_1_percent

And they have this declining level of satisfaction because they have everything they want.   Other than an excuse to take their money, what is relevant about that (even if true)?  Not much.  But back to that excuse business.  We can save them from the disappointment they’re bound to have when they buy that second yacht (which, btw, will provide good jobs and pay for those who build it) and screw the yacht workers.

Finally, when the rich take that 20%, there’s less for everyone else to spend, so there’s insufficient demand.   Really?  That’s why?  Or could it have to do with the awful economy, over regulating state, massive unemployment and business uncertainty driven by those three things?  Could that possibly be responsible for “insufficient demand”?

Anyway, the apparent Reich argument is that if we just made them (the 1%) give up most of that 20% (I assume, given his usual preferences, he’d like to see that via taxes so the government can do the great job it has done up till now spending it – couldn’t trust the proles to spend it properly you know), why there’d be more money to go around and thus somehow magically more demand and everyone would live happily ever after.  And we’d be able to put those yacht workers on extended unemployment and food stamps.  Yahoo!

300px-IncomeInequality7.svgThe end.

The end of sanity perhaps. 

The richest 1% are taking 20% of what size income pool?  Oh, context!  Reich never says.  Nor does he mention the standard of living and comparable income levels of 30 years ago.  Or the fact that much of what cost a lot of money 30 years ago is relatively cheap now in comparison.  Because, you know, that doesn’t help his argument.

And why 30 years ago?  Check out the chart 80, 90 or 100 years ago.

Additionally, the Reich economy is also apparently a zero sum game.  If the rich take it the “poor” don’t get it since there is presumably a defined pot of money available.  Oh, there’s not.  So that again brings us to the question, “20% of what”?

This is just another attempt by a committed collectivist to reignite the class warfare meme.  It’s desperation time in the old political sphere and Reich is counting on economic ignorance and envy to do it’s thing.  Screw the truth (and history) – it’s never been this bad and it is the root of all our ills.

What guys like Reich, Obama, Axlerod and the Occupy crowd don’t seem to understand is this basic truth:

Successful populists such as Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt did not allow their championing of “the little guy” to devolve into class warfare.

They realized that Americans tend to view the United States as a land of opportunity and do not begrudge anyone for becoming wealthy.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said it best:

I have no respect for the passion for equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.

And that’s exactly what that bunch is trying to do.  Idealize envy.

I don’t think, unless the America character has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, it’s going to succeed.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Issues that unite: Opposing “tax the rich” and class warfare

Despite what Democrats thing and despite the fact that they’ve doubled down on this theme, the “tax the rich” meme of their class warfare agenda isn’t at all as popular as they think it is, as the Hill reports:

Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill.

The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below.

The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward.

So this is another issue in which the GOP would be able to find majority support.

And on corporate taxes, much the same thing:

The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent, as both the White House and Republicans push plans to lower rates.

The Hill tires to argue that the results of their poll is counter to what other recent polls have found.  But in reality, it isn’t:

The new data seem to run counter to several polls that have found support for raising taxes on high-income earners. In an Associated Press-GfK poll released Friday, 65 percent said they favored President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” that millionaires should pay at least 30 percent of their income. And a Pew poll conducted in June found 66 percent of adults favored raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 as a way to tackle the deficit.

Again, note the percentage number in the AP-GfK poll – 30 percent or the percentage they’re now paying.  When you ask voters to put a tax-the-richpercentage to the nebulous “the rich should pay more” meme, you find the majority of voters consider 30% more than fair.  The fact that many may not know that the so-called “rich” are paying that amount is means the GOP needs to do a little educating and informing, but it is clear that voters find the 30% threshold to be more than enough taxation.

So while the Democrats continue to try to push 40% as “fair”, most voters don’t see it as that.  The majority of votes seem to think that fairness in the amount of taxes paid is found at the 30% level.   That’s information to exploit and use against the class warfare Democrats.

Additionally the AP-Gfk polls shows majority support for spending cuts over tax increases.  That’s a winner for the GOP.

What the GOP can’t do is allow the Democrats to take the issue and frame it as Timothy Geithner tired to do the other day:

“…the only way to achieve fiscal sustainability is through unacceptably deep cuts in benefits for middle class seniors, or unacceptably deep cuts in national security."

That’s patent nonsense, but the usual scare tactics employed when anyone talks about significant cuts in spending. Always threaten the security of a large body of voters with false choices.  There are literally thousands of different ways to work toward sustainability before either of those programs would have to be touched (and yes, those programs should be “touched” as well). 

So what do Republicans have to do?

“It might be that people are underestimating how much the rich pay now,” said Bruce Bartlett, a former Reagan adviser and Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush.

The data could indicate a challenge to Obama’s push to increase taxes on the wealthy. The White House’s fiscal 2013 budget request included a number of tax hikes targeting the nation’s wealthiest. In addition to the “Buffett Rule,” it calls for raising taxes on family income above $250,000 in 2013, and returning the top individual rate to 39.6 percent.

But as Obama continues his push to allow the higher-end Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of the year, the poll suggests it might be difficult to persuade voters to buy in when it comes to hard numbers.

Start talking hard numbers and percentages.   Point out that our problem doesn’t revolve around the “rich” not paying enough in taxes, but instead with our politicians spending money we don’t have. 

The sustainability problem has never been a problem of revenue.  It has always been a problem of overspending.  And it is that which has to stop.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Obama the faux class warrior

Apparently, when in trouble politically, the “go to” issue for Democrats is class warfare.  It is time to demonize and divide instead of being statesmen and providing positive solutions, because positive solutions and bipartisan politics is hard, right? 

That’s precisely the road President Obama has chosen to take.  It was either that or run on his abysmal record during his term in office.  So, instead he’s decided to go the old route of many on the left when it is necessary to distract from their record – class warfare.  Pit Americans against Americans.  Play the egalitarian card and claim that those who’ve done better than others are the problem.

In a speech yesterday of about 30 minutes, he expounded on this theme:

But this isn’t just another political debate.  This is the defining issue of our time.  This is a make or break moment for the middle class, and all those who are fighting to get into the middle class.  At stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement.

Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia.  After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for too many years.  Their philosophy is simple:  we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

Lets talk about policies and jobs, shall we?

If anyone is suffering from amnesia the man on the podium is.  It is his administration which as made concerted war on the job creators while trying to create a atmosphere that would shame them and turn other Americans against them.   The perfect example of this is to be found in the energy sector where Obama administration policies have blocked oil and gas exploration and production at every turn, killed jobs and prevented those who want to from earning “enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, and secure their retirement.”  Just ask workers along the Gulf Coast.  But he will push the extension of unemployment benefits.

Their policies have also picked winners and losers – such as Solyndra – and, unsurprisingly, their winners have been losers.

This is a president who did nothing for the “middle class” for the two years he had a majority Democratic Congress except work on a horrendous health care bill which, if fully implemented, will be the ruin of the country.  His legacy was more important than the middle class.

Now he’s their champion, falsely accusing those who pay the majority of the income taxes in this country of being the problem.

Anyone with an ounce of sense and even a passing understanding of economics understands that income isn’t a zero sum game and regardless of how much someone else earns or what the income gap is between top and bottom earners in this society, there is nothing standing in the way of an aggressive, well prepared and hard working person moving from one group to the other.

But the crux of the Obama argument is that the high income earners are the problem and that it is government’s job to punish them (via punitive taxation) for daring to do as well as they have. It is his contention that their success has come at the expense of the middle class.   It is also an implied panacea for all our ills.  Hit them with prohibitive taxes and everything will be wonderful, the moon ponies will again fly, unicorns will graze in your backyard and all the ills of the middle class will be gone forever.

This is a calculated campaign designed to appeal to the emotions and to distract from the real issue – the abject failure of this man to lead and to be a statesman and the total failure of the policies he’s pushed to make any discernable difference.  It is his own record he’s running from and it is the oldest political trick in the world to which he turns to do that. 

This upcoming election isn’t about income gaps, the 1% and the middle class.  It is about a failed president and his abysmal record.  It is about the fact that he has accomplished little of worth and is a divisive president.  Instead of being the uniter he promised to be, he’s been a divider from day one.

The defining issue of our time isn’t the middle class.  In fact, if government would simply get out of the way in most cases, the middle class would find its advancement eased considerably.

The defining issue of our time is the role of government and whether or not we’re willing to let it continue its expanding intrusion and kill our country.  That’s what he’d prefer not be discussed.  Because if it is, he loses.

So let’s change the subject to that which is appropriate – what he has done in the past 3 years to positively advance the cause of America.

I think you’ll find the answer to that to be pretty much nothing.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Observations: The QandO Podcast for 03 Oct 11

In this podcast, Bruce Michael, and Dale discuss el-Awlaki killing and the Social Contract.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Krugman attempts to redefine the “social contract”

That Paul Krugman can be relied on to carry the Democrats water is no longer a point of argument.  He is in the tank with them up to his neck.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that he’s decided the “social contract” now requires that the rich pay more in taxes than they are presently.  It is this redefinition of the social contract that allows him, one supposes, to claim that it isn’t class warfare that’s being proposed but simply the fulfilling of that contract.

And, of course, not days after the “Warren Buffet Tax” premise was completely and thoroughly destroyed, it is that upon which he begins to base his premise:

This week President Obama said the obvious: that wealthy Americans, many of whom pay remarkably little in taxes, should bear part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit.

That is such a loaded line one could spend the day just unpacking it.

A) In Krugman’s world what does “remarkably little” mean?  Compared to what, the bottom 50%?  I mean it is a ludicrous statement to anyone who knows the amount of taxes and the percentage of taxes the so-called rich pay.  Never mind the fact that the premise that they pay less than middle class secretaries is nonsense.  But that’s the scary part – leaving it up to people like Krugman to make policy that effects your life with contextless terms like “remarkably little” and wave away your right to what you earned.

B) Are the rich not bearing “part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit” now with the taxes they pay? Of course they are.   In fact, they’re bearing more than anyone else.  But to read that sentence you’d think they weren’t bearing any of it.  Again, pure nonsense.

C) Did they get us in this mess financially?  No.  It was government spending above and beyond the revenue coming in.  Actually it was government borrowing and spending above and beyond the revenue coming in.  Was that done at the behest of the rich?  If not why is it up to them to bear the burden?  Why isn’t it up to the institution that made this mess to change its ways and live within its means?  Doesn’t that mean reduction in the size of government and cuts in spending?  Of course it does.  But that is never mentioned in Krugman’s piece.

Krugman goes through a convoluted rationalization process involving income redistribution and comparisons that are, frankly, irrelevant to the point, all to finally end up with this as the basis of his argument (such that it is) for taxing the rich more:

Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer who is now running for the United States Senate in Massachusetts, recently made some eloquent remarks to this effect that are, rightly, getting a lot of attention. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,” she declared, pointing out that the rich can only get rich thanks to the “social contract” that provides a decent, functioning society in which they can prosper.

That’s right, this is owed because if it wasn’t for government  – Krugman and apparently Warren’s new definition for a “decent, functioning society – none of the rich would be rich.

Seriously – do you actually believe that?  And since when is an institution that has managed to bury itself up to its neck in 14 trillion in debt define itself as a “decent, functioning” anything?  This government is dysfunctional and it is time that apologists like Warren and Krugman own up to that fact.  Instead they commit themselves to this twisted line of argument that claims that the rich are the rich because of a debt ridden government and because of that they owe it to the rest of us to pay that debt down.  The inference is the debt was partly (if not completely) the reason for their success.

There is nothing “eloquent” about that argument.  It is irrational and frankly, stupid.  The social contract as described by Rousseau, had nothing to do with paying down the debt of a profligate government.  It is about the voluntary association of people to their mutual benefit and the voluntary assumption of some social obligations in order to foster that society of mutual benefit.

How that became twisted into this morass of nonsense where those that have become “rich” owe their good fortune to government is just beyond me.  Obviously the society has much to do with it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean government for heaven sake.  Sure, it may have been part of it, but that part was paid for and has been paid for centuries without going into 14 trillion dollars of debt.

And it also must ignore the fact that those who are rich must have done something right to get to that state beside being in a particular society.  If it were just the society, i.e. government, we’d all be rich according to this line of reasoning.  So why is it that they only can find 1% who fit that particular bill?

This is all nonsense on a stick using the usual liberal trick of redefining words.  They attempt to create new axioms by changing the words or concepts over time.  The social contract as a concept was envisioned as a voluntary association in which free people took on voluntary obligations in an effort to indeed set up a “decent, functioning society”.  Note the key word: “voluntary”.  What they didn’t conceive is any sort of involuntary servitude which required certain of them to be treated differently based on their success (or lack thereof if appropriate) within that society they’ve formed.

But that is precisely what Warren and Krugman are trying to sell.  And it is never more obvious than in Krugman’s closing paragraph.  There he speaks of the GOP trying to stop the attempt to raise taxes on only one part of society and, of course, condemns it as something it just isn’t:

Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.

A portion of the populace that pays 38% of the freight but comprises only 1% of it is “exempted for the social contract that applies to everyone else?”  In what world, Mr. Krugman?  Certainly not in the one where sane people are able to apply critical thinking to the sloppy nonsense you seem to delight in dishing out.

And note the dismissal of their status with “very lucky people” used to describe them as if what they’ve earned was undeserved. 

Makes you just want to throw up, doesn’t it?   And before I get the usual “Krugman is a putz and I don’t know why you read him”, the answer is two-fold: A) so you don’t have too and B) it is important to highlight his arguments because they are the arguments of the left and the ones they will continue to push unopposed if we don’t point them out.

I refuse to let them go unanswered.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Obama: “It’s not class warfare. It’s math”.

Funny how the left constantly tries to redefine words or terms in order to justify their actions.  Current tax rates are referred too as “tax cuts” when they refer to the “rich” but no other class of taxpayer.  The fact that the “rich”, as defined by Obama and company, pay the lion’s share of taxes now while the bottom 50% of “taxpayers” pay a combined 2.75% of all taxes is ignored.

And now, with renewed attacks on the “rich”, it’s “not class warfare.  It’s math.” Now, I guess, we’re redefining “math” as well.  Notice what isn’t being talked about which usually enters any public discussion by the left?  Fairness.

In fact, changing the tax rates on the “rich” is a leftist wet dream, because somehow they’re of the opinion that what the “rich” have earned really fell from the sky and they were just lucky enough that it fell in their backyard.  So “fairness” is redistribution, by their redefinition of course.

Yes, it is “only math” if you believe in a very pernicious premise – that government has first claim on everything you earn.  That you don’t “deserve” to keep what you make.

J.E. Dyer wrote a great post at Hot Air on the subject.  I recommend it.  What the “it’s math” crowd want you to ignore is this:

If any of us doesn’t deserve to keep everything he has earned, then that man is a slave.  Alternatively, he is less than human; he has no moral standing, and no unalienable rights inhere in him.  He is like a farm animal.

Of course we all deserve to keep our own money.  If it is ill-gotten – stolen, swindled – then it’s the crime that deprives us of it, not any inherent function of the armed authorities to prowl the land in search of “undeserved” bank balances.

The question of what we “deserve” boils down to which came first, the individual human with rights, or the state.  America was founded on the principle that the individual human with rights comes first.  Any idea that violates that principle is counter to our founding idea.  It is not possible to reconcile with our founding principle the idea of collective schemes in which we make some modification to “what we deserve.”  We either deserve to keep all our own earnings – money – wealth – goods – or we do not have unalienable rights.

In this case, it is the “rich” who are being used as the farm animals.

Here’s the truth about taxes paid.  The “rich” or top 1% pay 38.02% of all income taxes collected.  So over 1/3 of all taxes are paid by 1%.  Expand that a little and the top 5% pay 58.7% – well over half of all income taxes collected.  The top 10% pay 69.94%

So 10% of all income earners are paying 70% of all taxes.

Entry into those hallowed ranks?  Well to be in the top 10%, your adjusted gross income need merely be $113,000.  “Rich”, right?

Of course not, in fact, most who understand what it requires to live realize that $113,000 is working class.   The top 5%’s income threshold is $159,000.  And the top 1% is $380,000.

So what Mr. “It’s not class warfare” is recommending is raising taxes on those who already pay 38% of all taxes.  And obviously, in the convoluted world of the left, that’s fair.

The president criticized Republicans for insisting no taxes can be raised, and said it would not be possible to improve the nation’s fiscal standing without new taxes on the wealthy.

He rejected criticism that his proposals amount to class warfare, saying that after a decade of unchecked spending, every American has to pitch in and pay their fair share. Otherwise, Obama said, the U.S. will try to cut programs for the middle-class and the poor while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy.

You have to love the so-called reasoning. “After a decade of unchecked spending, every American has to pitch in and pay their fair share”.  The government spent it, but it is up to those government supposedly serves to pay it off – try that on your boss sometime. The entire pitch here is to claim a single class of people haven’t paid their “fair share” (fair share being redefined as over 38% of the total for one and only one class) of what the government has spent without consulting them or anyone else.

And 1% paying 38% of the load is fair?  How is “every American”  pitching in when he’s only talking about raising taxes on a single class … the 38% class?  And how isn’t that class warfare?

Raising taxes on the top 1% has become Obama’s panacea for everything.  You almost want to say “go ahead” and let the truth finally sink in.  The top 1% cannot cover the profligacy of the government in any way, shape or form, even if the tax rate were to be raised to 100%.   As taxes go up, the ‘rich’ find ways to protect their wealth.  It’s again Econ 101 stuff.  And, of course, they have every right to do so.  It’s their money, not the government’s.

Yeah, it’s not “class warfare.  It’s math”. 

But only as the left has redefined each concept.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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