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September 18, 2012

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Porchlight

Here's something that will make steam come out of your ears - The One on Letterman (referring to the 47%):

“I don’t know what he was referring to but I can tell you this. When I won in 2008, 47% of the American people voted for John McCain, they didn’t vote for me. And what I said on election night was, ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president.’ And one of the things that I’ve learned as president is you represent the entire country. And when I meet Republicans, as I’m traveling around the country, they are hard-working family people who care deeply about this country. And my expectation is if you want to be president, then you’ve got to work for everybody not just for some.”

He meets Republicans. LOL

bgates

"So I feel that I've been President for all Americans - the stupid Cambridge Police, the members of my security detail who wouldn't think twice about shooting a black guy, doctors who perform unnecessary amputations out of greed; bankers and pitchfork-wielding mobs; Hispanics and their enemies, who I encouraged them to attack; the people who were entitled to money when GM went bankrupt, and the people who got money when GM went bankrupt; filmmakers critical of Islam who give me lots of money, and filmmakers critical of Islam who are invited to come downtown for routine questioning."

"It's on behalf of all of those people that I have worked as hard as I can. That's what you've seen the past few years. Me, working as hard as I can. Barring only occasional moments of rest - a couple of rounds of golf each month, watching less than half of the college basketball that ESPN and ESPN2 televises, a bit of daily exercise, and the odd date night flight to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles or Paris or Rio or Casablanca or Majorca or Fiji or Maui or only a couple of dozen other places - I'm at work every waking moment."

"I don't think most Americans realize how much is involved in this job, probably because I make it look so easy, but I have to give a lot of speeches in front of a lot of admirers, and I feel like I owe it to them to make it the greatest experience of their lives. It's not just speeches, either. There are a lot of dinners where I have to listen to other speeches, and campaign material to film, interviews to sit through, donation reports to review, photo shoots of me working to arrange, state dinners to host, just many different things. Tonight alone, Dave, I'm not just here talking to you, I have to go have dinner next to Beyonce later. Again."

"And then there's the foreign affairs component - of course my opponents are new to diplomacy - but it's a very important component of my job to meet with foreign leaders, smooth over damage that has been done to our relationship due to missteps by previous administrations, and explain to them what I have noticed about how they can fix various problems in their countries."

"The truth is, I don't think Mitt Romney is capable of doing what I've done over the past three and a half years, and frankly I think deep down he knows it."

Ronnie

What I think the governor meant to say was that when almost half of income-earning Americans, including many who own houses and live comfortably, pay no income tax at all because they are deemed to earn too little, and while employers and businesses are weighed down with most of the income tax load, then we have a system in which the tax burden is not fairly distributed and those who pay nothing are encouraged to support politicians in the Democratic party who promise them that they will keep the free ride going for them. These Americans constitute 47% of the income earners - nearly half. And all too many of them succumb to the temptation to vote for those politicians, so that they can continue to pay no income taxes at all while other Americans foot the bill. This is a system which is broken. As someone once said, "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." Americans who earn less than average are tempted to vote for those politicians who will take more money from their employers and their prospective employers. They are tempted to vote for those who will take their opportunities away in exchange for excusing them from paying their fair share of the tax burden.

This is a system that is broken. It's not the way Americans want their system to work. They know that American the Founding Father created is supposed to create opportunities to go forward and achieve one's own dream, not to go get a handout. But when over the years the government has so distorted the tax code that the system promotes freeloading and crushes opportunity, it gets harder and harder for Americans to keep that vision of America squarely in in mind, and more and more politicians are elected who help erode that vision further by offering more and more redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots and redistribution of tax burden in the other direction.

What Mitt Romney is offering to all Americans is opportunity, a chance to reform the system so that it lives up to its original promise. He's asking for those who don't earn enough to pay any income taxes to vote for more opportunity, more freedom, and less power to politicians who promise to transfer goods and burdens in a way that will tempt the weakness of voters in order to get themselves re-elected. And America has never been a nation of weakness. It is a nation of self-reliant people, a strong people who value fairness and liberty.

That's what the governor wanted to say. That's why he should get your vote. If you don't like that vision and are looking for a free ride, then you should vote for the other fellow.

peter

Hard to believe they marketed those Pall Malls as mild. They were strong as hell! But you could light either end, which is a bonus, when you are blind drunk.

Captain Hate

Matt Yglesias, sooper genius

The concept of "redistribution" falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state. #mythofownership

Clarice

I loved Pall Malls. Pls stop t
alking about them. I really loved Balkanie Sobranies but rarely had them.
bgates, another masterpiece.


Another way to read Matt:"You didn't build that"/
Nicely done, Ronnie


Porchlight

The concept of "redistribution" falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state.#mythofownership

So according to Matt, if colonial explorers show up on an island and there is no pre-existing government, it's kosher to just appropriate it. Kinda like finders keepers?

I guess we didn't really "steal" Elizabeth Warren's ancestors' lands, then, either.

Jane - Get off the couch your country needs you!

Daddy,

How do you take off in a plane that has another plane on top of it?

Janet

A wonderful little post on What's Happening at State?

"So what is our Toy Town Secretary up to? The lead piece is her meeting with the Mexican Foreign Minister and their signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) to "promote gender equality." "

and -

"The Embassy, covering the issues of girls and women, had completely missed what the boys and men with guns were up to."

ends with -

"I always remembered this episode in subsequent years. It represented the State obsession with issues far removed from core US national interests. As I can tell from the State website, things have not improved."

Porchlight

Janet,

Remember when Hillary went to Mexico on her first official visit there as SoS? When shown the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, she asked who painted it. The Monsignor, shocked, replied "God!"

It is only the most famous image in all of Latin America and probably one of the most famous in all the world. But of course, the Secretary of State of the US can't be expected to know or care about such things.

Janet

Yeah. Our leaders & the structure of our institutions are lost & drowning in pursuing whatever the latest unimportant PC project is. Like the Pentagon holding a gay pride event....what a waste of time, effort, & money.

You are gay?...good...go be gay. We don't have time to celebrate your gayness.
You are a woman?...good...go be a woman. We don't have time to celebrate your womanness.
etc...

Janet

Mired in nonsense....that would be a good description.

Melinda Romanoff

New LV poll.

iBama +1.

That would be within the margins, as they say.

From JPod's twitter.

jimmyk

So if you have a hard working senior citizen who worked hard for 50 years, paid taxes, saved some money and then passed away and left his children with a million dollar debt because he lived way beyond his means, I would say he had an entitled mentality.

That would be fine with me if it was just that, between this senior citizen and his (unfortunate) children. The irony is, though, that you can't leave your own children in debt, but thanks to the government, you can leave everyone's children in debt. No bank would ever lend me more money than I can possibly repay, but thanks to the government, it's no problem. Is it a surprise that when we socialize borrowing it explodes?

jimmyk

A sign of the times: The first reference I've seen to "quadrillions of dollars":

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/russian-asteroid-crater-revealed-filled-over-1-quadrillion-013025163.

Melinda Romanoff

jimmyk-

You need to keep reading about Japan. It's a debt figure there, and has been for a while.

DebinNC

Whatever you do, don't miss bgates channelling Obama at 5:41 a.m.. It needs wide distribution and reposting later in the day. I hate to think only nightowls or early risers will read it.

Jane - Get off the couch your country needs you!

I completely agree Janet. There is no equality if you keep separating people out. It is such a joke.

jimmyk

In yen or dollars, Melinda? If Yen, that's cheating.

centralcal

Byron York ‏@ByronYork

From RCP, polls finished in last 48 hours (AP, Rassmussen, Gallup): Obama +1, Romney +2, Obama +1. http://ow.ly/dPi3p


Brit Hume ‏@Kimsfirst

NYT's Nate Silver: Downward trend for Obama in Gallup and Rasmussen trackers is closest thing we have to a theme in the polls for time being

MarkO

Letterman? Dear God. What more can we expect of this man?

Who watches his show, or the View or MSNBC?

Melinda Romanoff

Dave in MA's picture was improved upon.

Swiped shamelessly from Insty.

Jim Ryan

Let's see, whom should I believe, Thomas Jefferson and John Locke or Little Matty? Can anyone seriously entertain the notion for a moment that the right to property is an artificial construct created by government? Nothing would count as evidence that this nonsense was in fact true.

Melinda Romanoff

Currency is still currency, last I checked.

Melinda Romanoff

Chinese (PRA) hacking Japanese sites now. Lovely.

Cyberwar, it's the new 5th column.

Janet

It is funny on Twitter....for Talk Like a Pirate Day conservatives are tweeting things Obama said. Hah!

" @iowahawkblog "I Do Think at Some Point You've Made Enough Money" #TalkLikeaPirateDay"

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Ditto about bgates' tour de force in the early am.

A portion of the 47 percent, Mark. But thankfully, very little of the 53 percent. Letterman's ratings are pitiful as are MSNBC's. The View preaches to the pro-Obama choir.

Melinda Romanoff

Kate smacks Yglesias' stupidity.

Cash-Free Yard Sale!

Rick Ballard

Mel,

The AP-Gfk poll indicates that they have discarded the D+8 model and are moving to a more "sophisticated" loading methodology. The poll is D+4, the LV screen is weak, the white/nonwhite percentages do not reflect the electorate (66/36 versus 74/26) and the sample is overweight in the <$50K in income bracket.

Aside from that, it's almost perfect (in the sense that black is almost white). I'd rate the poll as decent propaganda, it should fool most people and has the appropriate level of scientism necessary to be arguable, lacking only the element of being factual in order to reach 'honest'.

DebinNC

Mark Steyn on Hannity's Monday:

"And it's absolutely disgraceful the site that you just showed here, of those guys, those armed guys, going at midnight on a weekend to take this filmmaker in for questioning. You know, if the ambassador in Benghazi had that level of armed force, he'd still be alive today," Steyn said.

So true and so sad. And while families grieve, BOzo is off to Letterman's to laugh about how they look nekkid, then limos over to par-tay w/Beyonce.

Captain Hate

Preznit Rupert Pupkin must have been auditioning for his gig next year as talk show host with the gap toothed imbecile. How much discussion was there on smart diplomacy's success in the Middle East?

Melinda Romanoff

Rick-

Thanks for your work. You do this more facilely than these rusty eyes.

But you're training me as to what to look for!

There are some Chinese commodity stories out there that are starting to emerge from the fog. Creating some financial vacuum points. Here's a teaser. The Chinese steel inventory story should give China bulls a big pause. Just an FYI.

Cecil Turner

Look, there are 3 main taxes that people pay in the US: 1) Income tax; 2) Payroll tax; 3) Capital Gains tax.

There are only two (federal). "Capital Gains" is a subset of income, and is paid in income tax (and into the General Fund).

I'm not a huge Romney fan, but I have a very hard time with claims he paid no income tax.

DebinNC

Pirate Long John Sunnunu, "Me hearties, I've found the sunken chest."

MarkO

Of course, he paid income tax. Yet, that a rational person like Cecil could remotely entertain the thought that he didn't, shows what a drenching the topic has been given in the media.

Harry Reid, so I understand, likes sheep.

pagar

From Mel's 09:17 link.

"Chinese authorities are investigating a number of cases in which steel documented in receipts was either not there, belonged to another company or had been pledged as collateral to multiple lenders, industry sources said."

Where is Jon Corzine and his vaporizer?

Melinda Romanoff

Rick-

More skew data points. Where silence is pure gold, for iBama, of course.

Ranger

Look, there are 3 main taxes that people pay in the US: 1) Income tax; 2) Payroll tax; 3) Capital Gains tax.

Actually, Capital Gains and Interst count as income, just not "earned" income. You bay those taxes to the IRS just like earned income taxes. So Romney wasn't seperating out people who pay Capital Gains from people who pay earn income tax. And when Romney was paying all those taxes even while he only took a $1 paycheck each year, he was definately paying income taxes to the IRS.

At present the Tax Code is specifically designed to punish anyone in the country who tries to invest they way up. Trust me, I've had years when I made almost no earned income, but because I made investments earlier in my life, I had to write a fairly big check to the IRS on investment income I never actually saw because it was immidiately re-invested.

Our current tax code doesn't just punish success, it punishes any serious effort to build wealth and be self sufficient in the future. That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Jim Ryan

NPR interviewed college student in China yesterday. What's he majoring in? Auto manufacturing. So he could learn to build tanks "in order to exterminate the Japanese people." The hatred of Chinese for Japanese for what happened in the first half of the 20th C. is almost unparalleled. We have no idea of anything like it here.

Janet

Hah! Wonderful, Deb. :)

OldTimer

Sometimes, a little humor gets the point across faster...

http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Obamacare-What-the-Blank-Could-Possibly-Go-Wrong

James D.

"And it's absolutely disgraceful the site that you just showed here, of those guys, those armed guys, going at midnight on a weekend to take this filmmaker in for questioning. You know, if the ambassador in Benghazi had that level of armed force, he'd still be alive today," Steyn said.

I would give everything I own for Romney to call Zero and his lackeys out on this, and the media, too:

"I guess the New York Times and CNN and ABC News and everybody is so fascinated with what I said at a fundraiser five months ago, they just don't have the time to ask the President or the Secretary of State why there was no security for our Ambassador in Libya on September 11th, despite numerous warnings, not to mention basic common sense that would tell anyone with the IQ of a squirrel that there might be extra danger to our people on that particular day.

I guess nobody's interested in why the President and his team are lying to the American people about a riduculous YouTube video being responsible for our Ambassador's being murdered in a meticulously-planned raid by Al Qaeda fighters who knew his movements and had rocket launchers and other heavy weapons. I can't blame them, I guess. It's much more interesting to pore over months-old remarks and quibble over every comma and period in my five-month-old remarks, and, you know, it's only the first time in 33 years that one of our Ambassadors has been killed in the line of duty, I guess that isn't such a big deal to the President, or to you folks in the press pool."

Melinda Romanoff

Mr. Shakedown Jr.'s DC home is on the market. He's on the ballot in November. Is Gov. Quinn going to get his day in the sun?

Danube of Thought

"The concept of 'redistribution' falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state."

The man's insane. One of the principal functions of the American state is the preservation and enforcement of rights in private property.

Danube of Thought

When I say "Nytol" it's a way of signing off for the night. I wasn't prescribing medication for Clarice.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

--The concept of 'redistribution' falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state.--

I wonder if Matt ever heard of John Locke or George Mason, who both wrote of course that among man's natural rights were life, liberty and property?
I wonder if Matt knows that "property" is in fact an expansive term which Jefferson included in the pursuit of happiness, one of the rights our very own declaration says we were endowed with by our creator?
I wonder if Matt would benefit from reading an effing book once in awhile?

Paul A'Barge

You can express your empathy with folks who paid income taxes over their working career and who now pay no income taxes because they are retired and living at the EIT level but the fact remains: people who pay NO income taxes have not skin in the game and everyone should pay something. Implement a National Sales Tax if we must, but having a nation where so many people pay no income taxes and thus have no skin in the game is national suicide.

And you know who knows that better than anyone else, including you? Retired people who paid income taxes all their working lives.

AndyJ92

There are -two- elements in communication; what we think we said and what we think you said. Ask the people at the hardware store, listen to the people at the post office, etc. What people are hearing Obama say is that he will take from those richer than you and give to those poorer than you. Who is her giving to-? Victims, people who have not had a "fair shot", etc.

The question is not whether Romney was literally corrt in his facts; e was right on what most Americans hear Obama saying... Listen to the pundits and arguments about how awful Romney is. They all dispute factual details and offer old people and clever Special Interest Voting Surveys to prove that he cannot be referring to those who receive the benefits. Bravo, but look at who is speaking...who is voting...and who is receiving free everything... Those who vote for redistribution want it taken from those above and given to those below and never-ever consider when the mob will come for them-?

Elizabeth arren makes a half-million dollars a year, yet she wants to take from the rich...by most standards she is one who is rich. It's a Bat-and-Switch game where everybody loses.

SDN

Tim, you start out with the wrong premise: There is NOTHING earned about EITC. It is simply another form of welfare transfer.

xj

Because of the way tax deductions and credits work, it's entirely possible to be earning a comfortably middle-class income and pay little or no federal tax. Here's a real world example from the files of Instapundit:

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit-archive/archives2/024738.php

The gentleman in question earned $68,000 (40% above the average income for that year) and owed less than $1,000 in federal income tax.

Porchlight

I think this thread may be a done deal but here is how the two groups Romney mentioned do not fully overlap.

Here are the two groups:

Group 1: moochers
Group 2: 47% who do not pay income tax

First, there are members of Group 1, the moochers, who actually do pay income tax. They just want to pay less, or none at all, and they also (probably more importantly) are enthusiastic about expanding entitlements.

These people are officially part of the 53% who pay income taxes, but have an entitlement mentality. Thus they are natural Obama voters and unavailable to Romney.

Then there are members of Group 2, who do not pay income tax, but who are not moochers. Perhaps they do not have a job, but want one. Or they don't pay income tax but they do recognize that expanding entitlements is bad for the country and that everyone should have skin in the game, so they're willing to pay a little more. Or they work hard and resent other moochers (illegal immigrants, welfare queens). Or they are retired seniors who worked hard and paid in all their lives and are angered by the current crop of freeloaders. Or some combination of the above.

Those people are part of the 47%, but they do not have an entitlement mentality, so they are available to Romney. And in fact Gallup shows that Romney picks up a sizable group of low-income voters.

I think what Romney was trying to say was that when you add all these groups together, you get a number uncomfortably close to 50% who are not persuadable. So he's going after the 6-8% who are.

What's confusing about his statements is that the total percentage of unpersuadables (48-49%) - even though some pay income tax and some don't - is close to the percentage who do not pay income tax (47%). But I doubt his audience was confused at the time.

pete the elder

I am pretty close to your example and am a Romney voter. I make about that much, but the wife stays at home with our 3 kids. So we don't pay any income taxes and get a check from the government each year. Deductions eliminate most of the taxes I would owe and then the $1000 per child tax credit kicks in. White middle class married voters with multiple kids like us are much more likely to vote for Romney than Obama.

We paid income taxes for several years when my was also working full time before we had kids and we both paid income taxes before we got married as well.

Charlie (Colorado)

How do you take off in a plane that has another plane on top of it?

Badly.

cathyf
Let's see, whom should I believe, Thomas Jefferson and John Locke or Little Matty? Can anyone seriously entertain the notion for a moment that the right to property is an artificial construct created by government? Nothing would count as evidence that this nonsense was in fact true.
Calling this "nonsense" is not helpful -- because there is an intimate relationship between government and property (and that's what Jefferson and Locke were preaching.)

The truth is that government is an artificial construct created to enforce property, because the enormous benefits that enforced property rights give to humanity are worth the dangers of government despotism. In fact, the benefits of property are large enough to compensate for a fair-to-middling amount of despotism. But that also means that a government which does NOT protect property is of no value at all. Whether that government tramples upon property rights itself, or allows others to trample upon the property rights of others.

These are not particularly complicated concepts, but they are quite precise -- spluttering wildly about "nonsense" is just wrong. Conflating the concept of enforcement of property rights with the concept of creation of property rights is quite sensible -- we need to argue carefully as to why it is wrong not nonsense. It makes perfect sense which is why it should be treated as a serious idea and refuted on its merits.

cathyf
There are only two (federal). "Capital Gains" is a subset of income, and is paid in income tax (and into the General Fund).
Hogwash. If the criteria is "paid into the General Fund" (and spent as fast but usually faster than it comes in) then there is ONE federal tax. Call it "income tax", call it "depreciation recapture", call it "medicare tax", call it "capital gains tax", call it "self employment tax", call it "federal excise tax" -- all are simply accounting sub-accounts of the ONE federal tax that goes into the ONE federal account which is spent by the ONE federal government.

Even those two years (1969 and 2000 if I remember correctly) when the federal government took in a tiny sliver more than they spent in that exact 12-month period, they spent more than that in the previous and subsequent years. There is no "social security trust fund" -- it's all empty. It's always been empty. All of the money taken in by the (regressive) "payroll tax" was spent keeping the (progressive) "income tax" lower than it needed to be to pay for day-to-day government operations.

Porchlight

pete the elder, I am close to your group, too, which is one reason I knew Romney wasn't going to lose too much ground on this, and may actually gain.

And of course there are lots of other non-economic reasons to vote for Romney and against Obama, even if one is in the 47%. The left never can figure any of this out (cf "What's The Matter With Kansas?").

sbw

How do you take off in a plane that has another plane on top of it?

Carefully.

boris

"All of the money taken in ... "

What the hell then just add in money for government bonds and treasury bills too.

Did the government invest those dollars or spend them? Hmmmm?

RebeccaH

Mr. H and I are retired, and Social Security is a big part of that. But we worked forty years to get here, so no, I don't consider that Mitt Romney was including us in his diatribe. We understand who he was talking about (even if the 47% was too inclusive a number), because we all know people like that.

But if we are part of the 47%, I can tell you this: we are not remotely tempted to vote for Barack Obama in November.

Porchlight

Sorry, cathyf. It is nonsense, because it's exactly backwards. Property first, government second. Yglesias has it government first, property second.

Cecil Turner

Hogwash. If the criteria is "paid into the General Fund" (and spent as fast but usually faster than it comes in) then there is ONE federal tax. Call it "income tax", call it "depreciation recapture", call it "medicare tax", call it "capital gains tax", call it "self employment tax", call it "federal excise tax" -- all are simply accounting sub-accounts of the ONE federal tax that goes into the ONE federal account which is spent by the ONE federal government.

I happen to be one of those who think the SS trust fund is largely an accounting fiction, so I'm sympathetic to the view. However, at least in theory, the predominant payroll tax (FICA) funds SS and Medicare, and is sequestered from the General Fund.

In any event, there is no way to support your earlier position that Romney paid no income tax because he paid capital gains, because capital gains tax is income tax.

THE CAMBRIDGE SHOP Karachi

47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them is it?

Deoxy
As a caveat, even if I have managed to screw up the seemingly simple H&R Block calculation with income of $45,000, it is pretty clear that at some lower but still credible number the tax liability would be zero.

No, that's about the size of it... a couple of dependents that don't work, and it takes an above average income to own any income taxes... of course, there are still OTHER taxes that are paid on that income (FICA, the second largest revenue stream for the government and, for all practical purposes, just another form of income tax), but in general, yes.

The claims about freeloaders is a bit much, but it's still NOT a good situation - everyone should have some skin in the game. Even the virtuous are challenged to remain so when put in a position with no skin in the game.

daddy

Ichiro saves the Yanks with an awkward catch preventing extra runs. Looked like a guy catching a punt.

cathyf
In any event, there is no way to support your earlier position that Romney paid no income tax because he paid capital gains, because capital gains tax is income tax.
Look, I'm just talking about logical consistency here. Take a single guy, kind of "slow", who delivers newspapers and pizzas, and lives in a rooming house and owns nothing other than his car, makes $15,000 per year and send 14% of that to the federal government as "self-employment tax." Then the fabulously wealthy investor who pays 13% "capital gains tax" on his investments, and has no 1099 or w2 income. Either BOTH of them pay federal taxes, and BOTH of them have a financial stake in the government, or NEITHER of them do.

When you make $10 million per year, and pay $14K in SE/SS-Med tax, which works out to be 0.14%, OF COURSE you don't think that's very much money. But then you turn around and sneer at that poor guy who "only" pays those "trivial" SE/SS-Med tax, and that the 14% of HIS income isn't a REAL tax and he's a moocher, that is a bunch of bullshit. And you WILL and SHOULD get pummeled at the polls for it. Because when you are only paying 13, 14, 15% TOTAL of your income in taxes (like Romney), you damn well ought to be smart enough not to sneer at the poor widow's mite which is at least that much percentage-wise if not more.

The point about social-security/self-employment tax is that it is a REGRESSIVE tax. Or, more precisely, it is a flat tax for the 90%, and regressive tax for the 10%. Since it is a regressive tax, the only people to whom it is a trivial amount of money are the fabulously wealthy. So the notion that the payroll tax isn't really a tax is something only believed by people who are BOTH fabulously wealthy AND ignorant and stupid who lack the slightest ability to imagine what the lives of less-wealthy people are like. There is no doubt at all that Romney is fabulously wealthy -- but before this I would vigorously dispute the notion that he is ignorant and stupid and lacks the slightest ability to imagine what the lives of less-wealthy people are like. I still don't think he is -- but the obvious fact that he is willing to pull a Leona Helmsly when he is buddying up with his other richy-rich friends is politically tone-deaf.

boris

But then you turn around and sneer at that poor guy who "only" pays those "trivial" SE/SS-Med tax, and that the 14% of HIS income isn't a REAL tax and he's a moocher, that is a bunch of bullshit.

Nobody seems to be sneering at those people.

If SS and Medicare were privitized the argument you are making would not be relevant to what's being discussed. The opposition to that is like opposition to school vouchers ... government likes government control. But either way low income workers would still be out 14% of their pay in order to avoid becoming a future moocher.

Point being those workers are not part of the moocher group or the moochee group. So in a discussion about moochees vs moochers it's either a red herring or a straw dummmy.

boris

Well, it's still true that they're not a target audience for income tax cuts. Still they should be if their income comes from the private sector since a thriving private sector would improve their expected net worth over time.

Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

-- Either BOTH of them pay federal taxes, and BOTH of them have a financial stake in the government, or NEITHER of them do.--

The government tells us that our FICA tax is used solely for SS and that any sums borrowed from SS are secured by special bonds for that purpose, so pizza delivery boy has a stake in SS and medicare and will theoretically receive a return on that investment.

Cap gains guy has a stake in everything else and other than the occasional tank, highway or aircraft carrier receives very little in return.

cathyf
The government tells us that our FICA tax is used solely for SS and that any sums borrowed from SS are secured by special bonds for that purpose, so pizza delivery boy has a stake in SS and medicare and will theoretically receive a return on that investment.
The government also tells us that they can print money and use it to "buy" bonds and then spend that money to buy real stuff and it's MAGIC and won't have any effect on prices. The government tells us that if you pass a law that insurance companies can't refuse to pay out claims to people who didn't pay premiums that won't have any effect at all on the ability of insurance companies to pay out claims.

The government doesn't believe in MATH, and they believe that it is possible to outlaw MATH and that will solve all those pesky problems.

The delivery guy isn't going to get any return on social security or medicare because all of his social security and medicare taxes have been spent.

In order to get a return off of your IRA, 401K, etc. to use when you retire, you actually have to put money into your IRA, 401K, etc. You can't just open the account and then spend all your income plus rack up constantly growing credit card debt on current spending.

Look, I know I won't see any social security or medicare because all of my past self-employment tax payments have all been spent. Even if the deficit were to go to zero after Romney is inaugurated, and stay there permanently, every penny of any FUTURE "self-employment tax" that I earn and pay will have to go towards paying down $16 trillion worth of debt. I'll be long dead and buried before there is any money for ME in retirement.

richard40

I agree that romney did select the wrong target in targeting the 47% that dont currently pay income taxes, since many of them are still sound people that still care about the country, rather than what handouts they can get, and many of them are the white working class "bitter clingers" that obama so despises. But romneys basic point was correct, just mistargeted. His real target should have been the 30% that said in a recent poll that gov should do more, despite obama having recently expanded gov to totally unsustainable levels. This 30% really is a dependency class, with all of the drawbacks and derangement that romney assigns to them. I hope romney is willing to clarify this in an interview soon.

cathyf
His real target should have been the 30% that said in a recent poll that gov should do more, despite obama having recently expanded gov to totally unsustainable levels. This 30% really is a dependency class, with all of the drawbacks and derangement that romney assigns to them.
Bingo! The "government should do more" attitude is the real target here, especially since it is an attitude shared by lots of the "elite" who are firmly in the 53% who pay income taxes. (All of those Solyndra execs will pay significant taxes on their salaries and bonuses that were paid for with OUR money -- that doesn't mean that they are not MOOCHERS. And whether you call the money income tax, payroll tax, or capital gains tax, it was OUR income taxes, payroll taxes and capital gains taxes FIRST.)

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