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Political theater, Act 65,436
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The adults have left the house.

Dick Cheney on Charlie Rangel:
Cheney fired the first shot when he predicted that Rangel - who is poised to chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee if the Democrats seize the House next week - wouldn't continue "a single one" of President Bush's tax cuts.

"I think that would be bad for the economy," Cheney said on CNBC News. "I don't know if the stock market would like it."

He then got in a major hit, saying on the Fox News Channel, "Charlie doesn't understand how the economy works."

Many of Bush's 2001 tax cuts are set to expire in 2011 - meaning rates would jump back up again, boosting taxes by well over $1 trillion, unless Congress acts to continue the cuts.

"So if a man like Charlie Rangel were to be chairman of the committee, and sitting there with the gavel, all he has to do is not act, just don't call up the legislation, and there'll be a big tax increase," Cheney said.
Rangel responds:
"He's such a real son of a bitch, he just enjoys a confrontation," Rangel fumed, describing himself as "warm and personable." Rangel said Cheney may need to go to "rehab" for "whatever personality deficit he may have suffered."

"When you have those sorts of problems, you're supposed to seek help," Rangel advised. "He ac- knowledged that he has problems with communication."

Asked whether he was resurrecting over-the-top charges he made last year that he believes Cheney is mentally ill, Rangel cracked, "I don't think he's shot anyone in the face lately, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt."

[...]

"I would like to believe he's sick rather just mean and evil," Rangel, 76, told cable channel NY1.

"Sometimes I don't even think Cheney is awake enough to know what's going on. [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld is the guy in Washington . . . running the country."
Cheney:
"I'm frankly surprised at his comments . . . They were so out of line it almost struck me that . . . Charlie was having some problem. Charlie is losing it, I guess."
Bread and circuses baby.
 
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It’s likely that both of them are right.
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
He’s such a real son of a bitch, he just enjoys a confrontation," Rangel fumed
I imagine in private, Cheney chuckles at this assessment and nods in agreement.

Sometimes being a "real son of a b*tch" isn’t a negative...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Rummy’s the real man behind the curtain?

That’s a . . . fascinating way to interpret things.
 
Written By: Phil Smith
URL: http://
Sometimes being a "real son of a b*tch" isn’t a negative...
It’s better to give than to receive.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
So which is the joke? The dim-witted economy talk or the childish posturing?
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Of course, Cheney is right about Rangel, and the deleterious effects that tax-increases would have on our economy.

New York State’s urban liberals like Rangel don’t understand basic economics - and by using a personal insult to rebuke Cheney’s true observation, Rangel reveals that he is well aware that economics is his weak spot.

If the Left enjoyed fluency in Capitalist economics, they’d be better-informed interlocuters in a discussion of our nation’s economy. And they’d be able to refute Dick Cheney with economics.

Instead, their ignorance forces them to rely on personal derision, and boorish tactics like class-warfare. -Steve


 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
If the Left enjoyed fluency in Capitalist economics,

uh Dude, they wouldn’t be LEFTISTS....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Not so fast... Tax increases don’t automatically damage the economy. How else is the government supposed to pay for the programs that help business by educating and medicating the population? I thought it was funny how Cheney said the other guy knew nothing of the economy while he himself was spouting some vague market logic. What’s with people thinking the economy is run by the stockmarkets anyways?
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Not sure what you’re talking about SJC with tax increases being good sometimes and cheney spouting vague market logic. Could you point out some examples of when tax increases are good and what part was the vague market logic?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Joe,
"uh Dude, they wouldn’t be leftists..."

I know, my man. My comment was a careful trap set to trick Lefties like Rangel into picking up an economics text, with the ultimate goal of compelling them to rethink the socialist cul-de-sac they’re in.

The bait: a promise of immediate gains in political skills. Demonstrating a grasp of the established economic lexicon is more effective at convincing voters of your proficiency in that discipline, than rote name-calling (a la Rangel) can ever be.

The jaws of the trap: exposure to elementary economic concepts, like capital formation (M1-M2), prices and supply/demand curves, capitalization factors, and economies of scale (to name just a few), are an antidote to "Che-Guevera" economics of pols like Rangel.

It may be I’m smearing more bacon-fat on the trap here, but I gotta say, I think all aspiring technocrats should demonstrate some technical proficiency in the department(s) they seek election to?

Before, they, like, you know, get technical with the tax-payers’ dollars!
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Well Cheney is a SOB, but he is a boy scout compared to Rangel. In my own site I have an article documenting some of the trash that old reprobate has spouted for years. Race baiting, socialist demogogary, and hateful attacks are all par for the course for old Charlie.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
"He’s such a real son of a bitch, he just enjoys a confrontation,"

Wow! Shocking! Imagine, political confrontation in Washington. How gauche.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
ChrisB

Good tax cuts: those targetting the poor. They spend much more of their income compared to the rich, and any extra money to them helps domestic demand.

Bad tax cuts: those targetting the rich. It fuels anger of income inequality, especially when globalisation is squeezing workers and fattening owners.

The vague economic logic referred to just that: more money in people’s pockets will certainly make them spend more, but the effect it will have on the economy will depend on who received the cut. However, you also have to weigh the alternative of raising taxes, which is a boon even if it only helps repaying the national debt. Economics are complicated and doesn’t stop after cashing in your paycheck, so I think Cheney is wasting his breath and our time trying to oversimplify it (well I know it wasn’t his intention to satisfy the economic boffins).
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
ok what about the capital gains taxes? Which is what I believe Cheney was referring to with the reference to the stock market.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Bad tax cuts: those targetting the rich. It fuels anger of income inequality, especially when globalisation is squeezing workers and fattening owners.
Bull. The rich typically invest in buisness ventures, etc., benifitting people like myself (I received my fair share of paychecks working in start-ups, and I wasn’t an "owner"). Taxing them reduces the good they do in the marketplace, replacing it with whatever nonsense the government sinks the money in.

All taxes have a bad effect on the economy. You might be right that we need some taxes, so that we fund our Navy to enable commerce and fund our courts so they can enforce property rights, and so on, but the fact is that our current taxes revenue goes well beyond what we need.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Steve the jaws have closed on SJC already....
Uh SJC where do you think the money for business expansion comes from...the POOR? or Wall Street?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
the POOR? or Wall Street?
Why the POOR off course. Wall street is just for of capitalist pigs and other exploiters of the worker.

;)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Where does Wall Street’s money come from? Their own sense of superiority? No...

Money moves just as much as goods and services do, but in the opposite direction. Tax cuts for the poor rather than the rich can be more beneficial to the economy because it makes their lives better and they tend to spend their money much faster than the richer folks.
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Now that this discussion is pretty much over with, I was wondering if you guys worked in finances. Just a hunch. I’m an economics undergrad.
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Ahh...Joe, the mighty defender of the helpless ’rich’.
Uh SJC where do you think the money for business expansion comes from...the POOR? or Wall Street?
Neither Joe, it comes from overseas; specifically Peking.

Joe: please demonstrate where there has been significant business expansion due to Bush Tax cuts.

In the United States of course, not China.

How many quality long-term jobs did the tax cuts ’create’? How many more will they create (and, just how can determine what that hypothetical number is)?

Again, not in China, Joe. In the US.

Finally, what other country historically has cut taxes for the top 3% earners, and seen a pattern of success of the President’s ’successful tax cuts’? I bet you won’t say "China". You may say "Reagan", perpetuating the myth. Therefore I caveat: I mean in REALITY, not in Jingo-Land.

Being in the top 3% myself, I’ll speak for myself (and by default, for the so-called ’rich’). Hey Joe: quit defending my tax burden; it is my tax burden and NOT YOUR JOB. Butt out. Us rich folks simply do not need you to defend us. Go away.

Now, if you were to argue for smarter spending of tax money, then we could pow-wow on that idea.

Why poor people like you insist on defending rich people like me by supporting thieves, crooks and liars, is just beyond all logical thinking!
 
Written By: Rick Day
URL: http://
Being in the top 3% myself
Can someone point to a post in which Rick doesn’t remind everyone of this?
Us rich folks simply do not need you to defend us.
Why do you assume no one else around here is doing as well as you claim to be?
Neither Joe, it comes from overseas; specifically Peking.
Put up or shut up. Evidence please.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Joe: please demonstrate where there has been significant business expansion due to Bush Tax cuts.
Um, well there are the +4.6 million new jobs since May 2003, and the 4.6% unemployment rate.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Hey SJC, how do you cut the taxes of the poor? What taxes are they paying exactly? And who exactly are the poor?

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
"I’m an economics undergrad."

And probably always will be, if that is all you know. Demand a tuition refund, you are being robbed.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"I’m an economics undergrad."

And probably always will be, if that is all you know. Demand a tuition refund, you are being robbed.


Written By: timactual
URL: http://
LOL I was going to say the same thing. I guess he hasn’t gotten to the macro course where they teach about the velocity of money, Hey SJC, its just the opposite of what you said. First it is impossible to give people who pay no taxes a tax cut, second, money given to the poor has the lowest velocity, that is it does the least to stimulate the economy.

You probably think that government spending can be used as a long term stimulus too right? It can’t because the government has to get the money from somewhere and
it takes it from the efficient private sector and puts it into the inefficient public sector.

I want to recommend two books. Basic Economics, and Advanced Economics by Dr. Thomas Sowell.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Finally, what other country historically has cut taxes for the top 3% earners, and seen a pattern of success of the President’s ’successful tax cuts’?
Since 1981, the top tax rate was cut from 70% to 50%, and then in 1986 to 28%. Since then the top rate has inched up to 39% and back to 36% but nowhere near the 91% it was in 1960 or the 70% it was in 1980.

During the last 25 years since 1981 the US economy (note the emphasis)has created almost 50 million new jobs (jobs that did not exist before). During the same period most of Europe raised taxes to the point where their governments take well over 50% of the national income, with extremely high rates on "the rich". During that period there has been almost no job growth at all, in 25 years! In 1970 the US and Europe were almost at the same place economically.

But lets be clear: The government doesn’t create jobs, jobs are created by businesses and entreprenuers. All government can do is funnel money money from one activity to another, it doesn’t create anything. In fact the act of diverting funds from where the market allocates them (more productive) to activities where the market has left unfunded (less productive) is inherently inefficient, destroying productivity, wealth and oppotunity for everybody (rich and poor alike).
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
When I wrote ’poor’ I meant a good part of the middle class and everything under it, my bad. Cut me some slack, I’m only a sophomore!

Let me restate my argument: if you HAVE to tax someone, start by taxing the richer Americans. They do less with EACH dollar than their poorer tax-paying counterparts. Although investment is an integral part of the economy, it certainly isn’t what drives it exclusively and a good part of that money flies off to China anyways.

DS, the reason Europe is having a hard economic time is certainly not ONLY because it taxes alot. Neither will taxes exclusively prevent jobs from being created. Hey, I’m not crazy about taxes, but let’s refrain from applying vague economic logic to attack them, ie: elementary supply-side economics.
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Let me restate my argument: if you HAVE to tax someone, start by taxing the richer Americans. They do less with EACH dollar than their poorer tax-paying counterparts.
But that is simply untrue, you will learn the truth in your courses. At any rate, there are other reasons to tax the wealthy, primary reason being the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks, because that is where the money is.

And believe me we DO tax the wealthy in this country, very, very much because you see as the top rates came down in the last 25 years, we also increased the deductions so that most of the lower middle class you were talking about do not actually pay any income tax, or very little.

This is not as good as it sounds, it gives a large segment of the population no real stake in keeping taxes low.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
"...there are the +4.6 million new jobs since May 2003, and the 4.6% unemployment rate"

There is definite failure in education when it comes to math.

-Citing a ’new jobs’ figure has no meaning, unless you relate it to something: job creation under different economic policies, population growth, something.
Saying there are 10 people in a room means nothing, unless you know the size of the room, how many people were left waiting in the hall, etc.
-The unemployment figure has limited significance.
Example: if there is only one job in the country, and you fill it, you have 0 unemployment. The actual unemployed fall off the radar screen when their unemployment checks stop, or they never qualify for same in the first place.

Many, if not most, reports issued by the government are also political statements. People swallow them whole-hog, when the reports appear to back up their personal opinions.

 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
"They do less with EACH dollar than their poorer tax-paying counterparts."

Define less. Do they get a discount or something?

" Although investment is an integral part of the economy, it certainly isn’t what drives it exclusively and a good part of that money flies off to China anyways."

I was about to ask if you had heard of investment in one of your many econ. courses, but it seems you may have. I thought that China was sending money to us.

"but let’s refrain from applying vague economic logic to attack them, ie: elementary supply-side economics."

Or the vague economic logic of elementary demand-side economics.

********************

"Saying there are 10 people in a room means nothing,"

How about saying there are ten MORE people in the room?

"The actual unemployed fall off the radar screen when their unemployment checks stop, or they never qualify for same in the first place."

I was always under the impression that the criterion was seeking work, whether you got unemployment or not.




 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"I was always under the impression that the criterion was seeking work, whether you got unemployment or not."
=
You are under the wrong impression.

In order to qualify for benefits, you have to have been employed for long enough to qualify. If you don’t land that first job and hold it, you’re out.

There are time limits. If you don’t land a new job within a specified period, you disappear from the data.
—————————————————-
"How about saying there are ten MORE people in the room"

MOEE than what? Last year? When the temperature was different? What?
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
http://www.bls.gov/lau/laumthd.htm

"Unemployment. The estimate of unemployment is an aggregate of the estimates for each of the two building-block categories. The "covered" category further consists of two unemployed worker groups: (1) Those who are currently receiving UI benefits and (2) those who have exhausted their benefits. Only the number of those currently collecting benefits is obtained directly from an actual count of UI claimants for the reference week. The estimate of persons who have exhausted their benefits is based upon the number actually exhausting benefits in previous periods "survived" using a conditional probability approach based on CPS data"

http://esl.jrc.it/envind/un_meths/UN_ME011.htm

"iii) Unemployed population: According to the 1982 international
definition of employment (ILO, 1983) the unemployed comprise all persons
above the age specified for measuring the labour force, who during the survey
reference period were at the same time: (i) not in paid employment or
self-employment, not even for an hour; (ii) available for work; and (iii)
seeking work."

http://www.econmodel.com/classic/terms/ur.htm

*********************
http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm

"Some countries base their estimates of total unemployment on the number of persons filing claims for or receiving UI payments or the number of persons registered with government employment offices as available for work. These data are also available in the United States, but they are not used to measure total unemployment because they exclude several important groups."

*******************
Etc. In the sites I went to, receiving unemployment compensation was not mentioned in any definition of Us domestic unemployment. Try it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well, timactual did that way better than my attempt was shaping up to be. Care to try again with some facts Laime?
 
Written By: Ken
URL: http://
" receiving unemployment compensation was not mentioned in any definition of Us domestic unemployment. "
====
And where do you think they get their data for those actively seeking employment?

In theory, there are supposed to be surverys. Not so easy to find out how and on what basis these surverys are conducted.

In actual fact, you can crunch numbers in multiple ways.
Uou can include/exclude part-time employees.
You can include/exclude those working ’off the books’
You can include/exclude the self-employed.
You can include/exclude the retired, who are seeking employment but are not registered anywhere.






 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
PS - regarding the survey

You can work for only 15 hours/week and be considered as employed.

Are those surveyed going to own up to being employed as drug dealers?

What would be the correct answers for ’undocumented alien’ members of the household?
===
PS - the unemplyment benefits rolls

The drop in beneficiaries is often ited as a separate statistic.
==
The actual - on the streets - rate may be lower as well as higher.
The point: it’s not a good idea to soak up numbers like mother’s milk without knowing what they represent. Government reports need as much scepticism in analysis as anything else.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
You can work for only 15 hours/week and be considered as employed.

Are those surveyed going to own up to being employed as drug dealers?

What would be the correct answers for ’undocumented alien’ members of the household?
Yeah, there’s "noise" on the data. So what, all data sets have noise. "The +4.6 million new jobs since May 2003, and the 4.6% unemployment rate" comment still stands.

There is definite failure in education when it comes to math, indeed.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
If I recall correctly, Rangel wants to get rid of the alternative minimum tax, which in its own way would be a far better move than any of the Bush tax cuts.
 
Written By: zeno
URL: http://

 
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