July 31, 2009
Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007â€”the most recent data availableâ€”the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
July 26, 2009
Friend: Well, I think people need health coverage. And I include dental in that because I think dentist visits are so important.
Sarah: Oh, my family never had dental insurance growing up.
Friend: That's terrible! My kids go to the dentist twice a year, no questions.
Sarah: Oh no, we went to the dentist twice a year too, just that my parents had to pay for it out of pocket each time, for all five of us.
Friend: [horrified look, as if I had said my dad did all our own dentistry at home in the garage]
The conversation turned to other matters, but as I think back on it now, I wish I could go back and restart the conversation from this point. I find it fascinating that this friend equated not having dental insurance with not visiting the dentist at all. My parents took us regularly, and they paid for everything on their own: cleanings, x-rays, fillings, sealant, my broken front tooth that rebroke six times during my teen years, retainers, four sets of braces, Mom's crowns and root canals, etc. I know it wasn't cheap, and I have since thanked my parents for all the dental work they bought for me, especially since now I have to buy my own retainers each time the dog chews one up.
But we received dental care. The lack of insurance didn't keep my parents from taking care of our health.
Why is it that people act like they have no concept of taking care of routine health concerns on their own? As if to say that if it's not covered by insurance, you're out of luck? We weren't out of luck; we just paid for it.
I mean they paid for it. Thanks, Mom and Dad.
July 25, 2009
Yeah, why not?
I heard the other day that the Marines SF are going to start being trained in Pashto, Dari, and Urdu. My first thought was, "What took you so long?" Really, we haven't had this idea until eight years into the war?
I had the same thought when I read that Manzi paragraph: no one has thought to compare global warming model predictions to actual data? Sheesh.
July 19, 2009
In other words, Sherrod Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse won't themselves join a plan that "will offer benefits that are as good as those available through private insurance plans -- or better," as the Ohio and Rhode Island liberals put it in a recent op-ed. And even a self-described socialist like Vermont's Bernie Sanders, who supports a government-only system, wouldn't sign himself up.I think Congress should be required to use the public system that they created. And I'm on board with Instapundit's idea of requiring Congress to always pay the highest marginal tax rate as well.
Ever since we started trying for a baby, I have tried to figure out what I think we should do about our guns and teaching our child gun safety. So I read the post Guns, sons & the good old days of parenting and its comments with interest. I think I agree with many commenters that it comes down to respect: children need to learn respect for the power of guns and respect for the authority of adults.
I also found a clip at Gateway Pundit about a car dealership that's giving away AK-47s with truck purchases. Can you hear the condescending sneering from the reporter? I love how she says that people might be offended to hear the dealership equate God and guns. Really? Which people exactly? The gun people or the God people? I generally find those two groups overlap. Especially the ones who are looking to buy a truck in small-town Missouri.
Ah, liberal condescension...make sure to ask him if he thinks Jesus would approve of AK-47s (I literally rolled my eyes as I typed that, heh.)
Both links via Instapundit.
July 14, 2009
And mostly the video just reminded me of military care. We don't have to wait months or years for appointments, but our emergency room and weekend clinic is exactly like this video. Plus we get to share ultrasound rooms!
UPDATE: drblast is on the same wavelength, with Free Lunch, Please
July 09, 2009
A group of 50 black males beats up a white family, shouting "This is a black world!" while they do it, and, quote, "Akron police say they aren't ready to call it a hate crime."
Fantastic. Because we all know if a group of 50 whites beat up a black family while yelling "White power!", the police would tread lightly and not jump to any conclusions.
I think we all need to sit through a presentation:
Ruth Bader Ginsberg on abortion:
To quote Ed Whelan, "Gee, Justice Ginsburg, would you like to tell us more about your views on those populations that 'we donâ€™t want to have too many of'?"
That is old-school Margaret Sanger creepy, and Ginsburg just said that this week.
But I thought Republicans were the mean ones?
July 08, 2009
The people of Palau also think they deserve another fish, because they took our piranhas off our hands:
U.S. government aid to Palau over the past 15 years has totaled more than $852 million, according to a congressional estimate.
The ridiculous thing is that we don't even have any fish to give out. The Fed is just printing new fish, but for some stupid reason, we just keep giving them away like they're real fish.
Enough fish metaphors.
July 05, 2009
This could be the very nature of the Republican Party- a party built by people not liking big government may have trouble finding big leaders in government. The party that loves power and elitism (Democrats) has no problem finding elite powerful politicians.
It would be nice to find politicians both normal and politically savvy. Unfortunately, if youâ€™re normal you get hounded out of politics. And if youâ€™re politically savvy, youâ€™re probably a kleptocratic vampire.
I just didn't have it in me.
Neal Boortz hates the 4th of July. Every year he refuses to work that day because he says he cannot stand people's superficial displays of liberty and independence. Americans ask more and more of Uncle Sugar and relinquish more of their freedom in exchange for government security, and then they have the nerve to celebrate being free on the 4th of July.
I've always snickered at Boortz and thought he was overreacting.
But this year, I am slowly joining him...
As the future of our country goes down the tube, I had a hard time feeling very celebratory yesterday.
Many months ago, I happened to catch Sean Hannity doing a man-on-the-street interview with a young girl. He was asking her questions about what she believed people had the right to. According to her, they have the right to everything: jobs, education, shelter, transportation, health care, and so on. But when Hannity pressed her, saying that surely she can't believe that every single person deserves free everything, she frustratedly replied, "No, you're twisting my words around. Not everybody, only the people who can't afford it. If you can pay for your own college, you should, but if you can't afford it, the government should help pay." So Hannity goes, "Oh, OK, let me see if I can rephrase it. You mean we should function to each according to his need and from each according to his ability?" And the girl excitedly said, "YES, that's it, that's exactly what I meant!"
He then asked if she knew who Karl Marx was, and naturally she had no idea...
I just don't think my countrymen understand what true independence means. I don't think they understand that freedom also means the freedom to fail, to have bad luck, to lose it all. I don't think they understand what the signers of the Declaration of Independence risked and sacrificed.
I don't think they understand risk and sacrifice at all anymore.
And I can't help but note a new "long train of abuses and usurpations" with each passing day...
July 03, 2009
The red lines: "UN Predictions for Temperature Levels"
The yellow line: "UN Predictions: What Will Happen to Temperatures If Their Restrictions Are Put In Place"
The green line: "Global Temperatures from Surface Station Measurements"
The blue line: "Global Temperatures from Satellite Measurements"
So the red and yellow lines are what the UN says will happen, and the green and blue lines are what is really happening. Note the enormous plummet away from prediction.
If this is accurate, then what is actually happening on our planet is nothing like what was predicted. In which case, all decisions based on global warming predictions are moot.
It also reminds me of this unemployment graph.
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