October 26, 2008

JFK ON TAXES

I'm re-reading Larry Elder's The Ten Things You Can't Say In America, and I came across a timely point:

An economics major in college, Reagan further argued that lowering taxes would increase money coming into federal coffers because it kick starts people into working harder, smarter, and with less need to conceal income.

But guess who else felt that way? JFK. That's right, JFK. In the December 24, 1962, issue of US News and World Report, "Kennedy's Latest Word on Tax Cuts, Plans for Business," in urging a tax cut, Kennedy said that "it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low -- and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.

"The experience of a number of European countries has borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reductions in 1954 has borne this out, and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget -- and tax reduction can pave the way to full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus."

Somehow I don't think Obama is the new Kennedy.

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October 24, 2008

BREAD AND CIRCUSES

Obama and the Tax Tipping Point:

What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.

Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought.

Sen. Obama is promising $500 and $1,000 gift-wrapped packets of money in the form of refundable tax credits. These will shift the tax demographics to the tipping point where half of all voters will receive a cash windfall from Washington and an overwhelming majority will gain from tax hikes and more government spending.

In 2006, the latest year for which we have Census data, 220 million Americans were eligible to vote and 89 million -- 40% -- paid no income taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center (a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute), this will jump to 49% when Mr. Obama's cash credits remove 18 million more voters from the tax rolls. What's more, there are an additional 24 million taxpayers (11% of the electorate) who will pay a minimal amount of income taxes -- less than 5% of their income and less than $1,000 annually.

In all, three out of every five voters will pay little or nothing in income taxes under Mr. Obama's plans and gain when taxes rise on the 40% that already pays 95% of income tax revenues.

And we have Barney Frank saying outrageous things like this:

I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of the money.

I put up a quote from Neal Boortz's piece To the Undecided Voter about how democracy fails when the scales tip and people can vote themselves more money. Andy McCarthy received a similar quote from this blog's namesake, Robert Heinlein.

A perfect democracy, a "warm body" democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction.... [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.

I think our country is in serious trouble.

But apparently Sarah Palin's clothes matter more than massive voter fraud and Democrat donation fraud.

"I love mankind; it's people I can't stand."

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October 21, 2008

PRICE GOUGING

There's a story going on here in town that I simply do not understand. I thought maybe you could help me see what I'm missing.

A gas station owner has been fined $5000 for price gouging during hurricane season last month, when all the gas jumped. Most gas in town went to around $4.00, but apparently this guy was charging $5.50. And apparently he was the only one who raised his this high.

I don't see why this is illegal.

Gas is the most advertised commodity we buy. Ask anyone to tell you the price of milk or detergent, and I bet few people could do it. But everyone knows what gas costs. It's advertised on every street corner. If someone sold gas that day for $5.50, I would've had so much sticker shock that I would've kept going to the next gas station. Problem solved. If I did buy it there, well, I'm a sucker if it was $1.50 cheaper down the street.

But here's what I don't get. Let's say I own a store. I decide I want to sell a two-liter of Pepsi for $45. Is that illegal? It's stupid, but is it illegal? Is it price gouging? Is it only price gouging if there's a natural disaster?

I don't understand why this gas station owner couldn't set the price of gas at whatever he felt like. Is it because other gas stations would see his price and raise theirs? I know gas stations have price wars. Is there some regulating body that decides a price range for gas on any given day?

I really don't get this. What am I missing?

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STIMULUS

Oh yeah, are we getting another stimulus check? Really?

Can we refuse it?

Because last week my husband bought me a Garmin for my birthday, I bought a handgun, I dropped some money buying clothes for my new job, and I had to pay for a fertility treatment.

We're doing a plenty good job of spending our own money right now. I don't need to spend someone else's.

Stop taking money from a taxpayer and handing it to me to spend. Cuz I'd just buy a Glock.

Oh wait, on second thought...free Glock. Hand it over.

Some rich guy is out his hard-earned money and I get a free gun. Sounds totally fair to me, right? Sigh.

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October 20, 2008

GETTING THE AVERAGE

Some Soldier's Mom left a comment at AWTM, and this part caught my eye:

... and you just want to ask Barrack Obama, "Since when did it become acceptable in America to punish hard working people by taking their money and giving it to others because you think that's "fairer"? and that you can't imagine how he justifies giving tax "refunds" to people who don't even pay taxes! You see this as taking your "A" grades in school and giving them to people who got lower grades to make it "fairer".

Did I ever tell you that this is exactly what happened to me in France? I took a literature class, and we had some paper to write. After they were all turned in, the teacher reprimanded the class for missing the point of the paper. She explained what a good paper would've looked like. I felt pretty sure that what I had written was close to what she was looking for, so I was in the catbird seat. But then she laid this kicker on us: She had decided to go ahead and average all the grades and give us the average. I ended up with a C.

I wish I were making that story up. Or I wish it had been like a trick on the teacher's part, a way to teach us a lesson. Nope. It was real and the grade stuck.

I had done the assignment correctly and I got a C. Someone else who had turned in an F was feeling pretty awesome at this point.

I don't see how that's even remotely fair.

And Some Soldier's Mom is right that it's a good analogy for the taxes.

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October 07, 2008

THE RICH

Lest anyone continue to say that the Republicans are the party of the rich...

Soros, Lewis, and the Sandlers form a core group of billionaire activists and Democrat partisans who have formed a group called The Democracy Alliance. They realized that they could magnify their power by working in unison and tapping other wealthy donors to further their agenda (the superb Boston Globe article “Follow the money” is a good primer on how money and 527 groups have come together to have a huge impact on politics in America).

The Democracy Alliance is a major avenue to help them achieve their goals. The roster of its growing membership consists of a list of billionaires and mere multi-millionaires who collectively hope to give upwards of 500 million dollars each year to further promote a left-wing agenda.

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October 06, 2008

WHEN WE LEFT EARTH

I've been watching and thoroughly enjoying When We Left Earth. I didn't know as much about Mercury and Gemini as I do about Apollo, and I know hardly anything about the subsequent missions. It's been wonderful to see the original footage and relive those Apollo moments.

There are a couple tidbits I did learn that have made me smile. First, I didn't know that the LM on Apollo 10 was sent to orbit the moon without enough fuel to power itself off the moon. The men in charge of the space program knew that if they sent astronauts that close to the moon with the means to land, they would certainly land! To prevent them from jumping ahead in the program, they didn't give them enough gas to leave. And the crew joked that they totally would've tried to land on the moon if they'd been able to.

Second, Neil Armstrong left the LM a full 15 minutes before Buzz Aldrin did. You think that was the longest 15 minutes of anyone's life? Heh. Can you imagine sitting on the moon, waiting your turn?

I always am fascinated by the what-ifs of the space program. What if Ed White's first EVA had failed and he floated away from his Gemini shuttle? What if Apollo 8 failed to break the orbit of the moon and the crew was left to circle the moon for eternity? What if the LM of Apollo 11 crashed and Armstrong and Aldrin had to slowly die on the moon? Would there be a rescue mission to retrieve their bodies? So many what-ifs, and such a marriage of good furtune plus hard work to make it all a success.

I am looking forward to watching the final installment of the show to learn about the more recent missions.

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