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« Does Multikulti require Multiparty? | Main | Ruminations - 13nov12 (updated 17nov12) »

12 November 2012


Ryan Mount

The Progressive Tax system's job, besides being unconstitutional as per the 14th Amendment, is to influence and engineer social behavior, like buying a house (being in debt), getting a tax credits, etc. It's also ironically am excellent tool for providing loopholes and disincentives for the wealthy who can toy with the system like a cat does a mouse.

More importantly, it designed to make the underclasses "feel good" and tame class warfare by fictitiously making 'the man' pay his fair share. It creates the illusion of social equity.


Ryan, the deductibility of interest paid on debt was originally because interest paid was income to someone else, who would then pay the tax on the income. I remember when I was a kid, even interest on revolving credit was deductible.

The Buffett rule was always just motion without meaning, and the people with massive wealth aren't the ones who pay the higher income taxes; that falls to the folks who are in the early stages of accumulating it. It's a tax on income, not a tax on the wealth you have. The "filthy rich" can move their assets around without triggering those taxes.

The problem is spending. No matter what gets taxed, if there isn't the will of the Feds to not spend less than they have income, the problem will continue to get worse until the merry-go-round stops.


George, your graphic says it all. The envy crowd could tax the rich at 100% and not even make a dent in Obama's (or Bush's) spending. There ain't a tax problem, there is a spending problem.

In 2011 I paid at least 52% of my taxable income in taxes (fed, state, property, sales, dmv, etc) and I didn't even get a t-shirt.

Ryan 6:01am, I agree 100%.

I imagine that being rich today feels a lot like being Jewish in Germany circa 1932.


I just noticed... in Nevada County this year, not only didn't Obama win, he got a lower percentage of the vote than McCain did in 2008.

So much for the color purple.

Billy T

Where are all the rich haters today???


At the rally:

Where are all the rich haters today???

Posted by: Billy T | 13 November 2012 at 08:50 AM

Ryan Mount

I'm not going to come to the defense of the wealthy. I don't believe they need, nor do they expect, any apologies or sympathies. Having had the chance to urinate next to a Capitalist worth billions, I can say I don't really see what the fuss is about. I drove a Japanese Honda SULEV Accord, he drove one of 15 cars, donated millions to children's charities in Africa, wore flannel and provided funds to build some pretty awesome companies that I'm sure everyone here has patronized. I found him inspiring and hardly an evil, mustache-twisting, mooohahaha, capitalist

I don't want to discount class struggle, because I think it's real. What's fictitious is exploiting said tensions for political gain by promoting abusive positive rights. It's like Political Madlibs: "You will get _[noun/thing/program]_ if you vote for _[person/thing]_."

So we're eating May's wheat in April.

I often wonder which "last great century of man" this is? Because the second (FDRs) and third (Euro-centric and now Obama-ish) generation of positive rights seem to be losing steam; they're literally losing funding. And more onerous to the tax and spend crowd, it seems that the electorate doesn't want to pay for its programs nor it's wars either. Else we would have raised taxes by now, wouldn't we have?

Jesus Betterman

Not hating the rich, just the stupid rich who think the can milk the cow all the way up the grass coming in the mouth. Good luck with that, except that it affects the rest of us so much. Bragging about being able to "move it around so it doesn't get taxed" is simply going to bring the kettle to a boil that much faster. The 99% knows all about such loopholes, and eventually will vote them ALL shut. Better to figure out a way to make nice, rather than putting the 98% in jail. That is not going to work.

Here's California:

I've got a better one for the nation coming soon.

Douglas Keachie

Time to design and build better training programs for the jobs that do exist and will exist, and time to design and build extremely compact and efficient modular housing/sleeping quarters for those taking and successfully progressing in such training. Lesser versions can be made available to those who are only motivated sit on their arses. In fact, you could make a whole graduated line of various modular units. Government in competition with slumlords? An idea whose time has come.


Ryan, I pissed next to John Scully once, just before he did to the startup tello (I was one of the first group of 6 hired by the founder with the first round financing, including Scully venture cap) what he had done to Apple a few years earlier. We were setting up to essentially do what Google Voice ended up doing before his "adult supervision" turned the ship into a combination social networking and VoIP application vendor that went nowhere. He decided to start selling the sizzle before they even knew what animal should donate the steaks.

Selling Pepsi isn't like developing next generation phone services. Fortunately, he's retired to Palm Beach FL, where he can do less damage.

Douglas Keachie

I pissed with Lee Felsenstein, while working for his startup Golemics, which he set up after leaving Osborne. Also worked for the Zorba Computer folks, who did the exact same thing Osborne did, pre announcing the next model before all the old ones were sold out of the warehouse. Corkscrew! (but now you can buy one on eBay for $400) And of course I still have my old Victor 9000, moldering away in a back barn. Also discussed computers and education one on one with Jobs, and with Doerr, and asked John Denver if he preferred Mac or PC. His answer, neither, he didn't have a computer. That's just one portion of my 15 seconds of fame, beyond my nationwide StarWars event, now only preserved at The Union, and on my hard drives, including the images returned to me. Sic transit gloria mundi!

Ryan Mount

Like Raymond Carver once noted, there's a difference between standing on the earth and the dirt. His characters stood on the dirt. I think "pissing" is the correct word choice for Scully. I don't detect any love you have for him. "My" urination Capitalist, whom shall remain anonymous here (contact me and I'll oblige) was a decent and soft spoken fellow who had a keen business sense, and wisdom way beyond Harvard and MIT types that sat at board and executive meetings.

BTW. I find Google Voice excellent compared to the dearth of the competitors. I worked on switch and CTI Technology at Lucent before jumping ship for Internet messaging and commerce. When Fiorina jumped that sinking ship, so did I.


The handle changing is making me dizzy.

> stupid rich who think the can milk the cow all the way up the grass coming in the mouth.

This behavior is not limited to this class of people. However I grant you that the wealthy certainly have more resources and incentive to act this way. And the tax code encourages it because we voted for it.

However to George's point, we could confiscate all of the top earners income and assets, and we'd still be in a world of fiscal hurt.

Douglas Keachie

The top earners worldwide supposedly have between 32 and 60 trillion, and I would guess that the top one percent of the USA, if liquidated, would pay all our debt and then some.

I once was looking to work with a lady on Belvedere island whose hubby was a top lawyer for a bank. She wanted me to edit her videos of a world peace dance project for free. I remember so clearly her telling me with a straight face as we sat on the deck looking out at San Francisco, that "she had no money to pay me, but that I would get credits on the closing screens." I learned a lot that day, and it has stayed with me ever since. No, I didn't do the editing for her, or anything else either.

Ryan Mount

The Obama administration, to their credit, already tried to go after the wealth hidden in offshore places and foreign banks. It was supposed to drum up about a billion dollars (pennies I know, but this speaks to what George is getting at) for the Treasury.

What actually happened is the effort appears to have cost the US money. It seems that wealthy people are smarter and quicker than the US Government.

Instead, tax them when they buy shoe laces, cars and pizza:


Not even close, Keach.

"The U.S. fiscal gap, calculated (by us) using the Congressional Budget Office’s realistic long-term budget forecast -- the Alternative Fiscal Scenario -- is now $222 trillion. Last year, it was $211 trillion. The $11 trillion difference -- this year’s true federal deficit -- is 10 times larger than the official deficit and roughly as large as the entire stock of official debt in public hands...
The answer for the U.S. isn’t pretty. Closing the gap using taxes requires an immediate and permanent 64 percent increase in all federal taxes. Alternatively, the U.S. needs to cut, immediately and permanently, all federal purchases and transfer payments, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, by 40 percent. Or it can mix these terrible fiscal medicines with honey, namely radical fiscal reforms that make the economy much fairer and far stronger. What the government can’t do is pay its bills by spending more and taxing less."

Walt B

And just will happen with all these "higher taxes" from the state and FEDS? Pay down debt? LOL!!!!!! NOT going to happen.
Just more wasteful and useless spending to make the lowlifes
that are the main constituency happy.
Here in Ca., Brown spent 2 BIL more right out of the box, and we have jack sh... to show for it. Now he got the suckers to pas his tax hike. Nor hard earned money to be pissed away on Progressive "programs". More ECO regs are soon to hit us driving up the cost of doing everyday business.
So kiss even more jobs goodbye. Good job LIBS, you road map to destruction has just been given an express lane.
So what is your master plan to keep employers from leaving the state? ( nope,, not going to give you any ideas on just how to do that.)

A book considered fiction by Leftys is now what we are living.
"Atlas Shrugged" is now the new norm.

Douglas Keachie

So is Greg in favor of ending the tax cuts of the rich? Five trillion worth over the next umphteen years?

Douglas Keachie

And Greg and Walt are in favor of cutting the military by 40 percent, and taxing Walt's new toy at 64%? I love it.


Butt stupid is as butt stupid posts.

Douglas Keachie

Even if you fired every last person in the military (see page 8-8), you'd only save about 160 billion per year. The bulk of the spending is elsewhere:

Doing a little self reflection time there, eh, Greg? BTW, don't recall you dragging out the "real" numbers during the Bush years?

Billy T

Ok, tax the crap out of them, as well as everybody. Everyone with 10% of their brain cells still enact knows that taxing Mr. Moneybags won't get us where we want to be.

Nary a word about cuts, save cuts in military. I will agree with Obama and just about every major economist who has looked at our budget problems over the last 10 years. Obama said it has to be a balanced solution. Fair enough. We have a spending problem. It will take cuts and some revisions of our tax code. Get that? Cuts coupled with tax reform.

History has shown it will be much easier to raise taxes on the other guy than to cut a penny of your pet handout.

Paul Emery

I again ask the simple question that George evaded. Would we have had a balanced budget in the late 1990's if the later Bush tax cuts would have been in place at that time. They certainly didn't stimulate job growth as promised so what good were they except to increase the national debt.

George, you can have another crack at it. A simple yes or no or we don't know will do.

Douglas Keachie

How about balanced as in, cut one person off of whatever program, then you cut one person from the military? Just how exactly do you intend to go about your "balancing" act, Mr W & T?

Douglas Keachie

Tax cuts for the wealthy do exactly the opposite of what is their claimed benefit. The more the wealthy get cuts, the more money that has to be raised from the poor and middle classes to make up for it. The more the poor and middle class have to spend on taxes, the less they can spend on goods and services. The less they spend on goods and services, the fewer jobs are needed. And the economy corkscrews.

Billy T

Mr. Keachie, my balanced approach remark was a direct very recent quote from our current occupant of the White House. What does balanced approach really mean is up for debate as we speak.

My balanced approach would mean something on the order of $60 dollars in cuts for every dime in tax increases. Your approach would be tax somebody else and don't cut a nickel from me. To each his own. Of course, the little lady probably has a different idea.

The main differences in the balanced approach is how one views the economy and the velocity of the dollar. Some live with the sad misconception that a dollar not taken from Joe the Plumber means a dollar must be taken from Joe the Dishwasher. A zero sum gain, if you prefer. I see a dollar taken out of the economy means it will never be recovered nor multiplied within the economy.

Yes, you are correct pointing out that the more folks pay in taxes the less they can spent on goods and services. That "more" which is removed from the economy hurts the economy. Glad we finally agree.

Jesus Betterman

Glad we agree that sequestrating cash in the vaults off shore is bad for the economy. Leave it in the pockets of those who actually work for a living, instead of clipping coupons.

George Rebane

Do they want to tax our income or simply confiscate what we already own? The answer from the above comment stream seems to be BOTH - if you have some, they want to take it from your income and your stash. The Republic is collapsing faster than previously expected.

It's also a bit humorous for me when considering my posts on the Great Divide and its underpinnings. Local leftie luminaries went ballistic, calling such constitutional notions everything from idiotic to treasonous. Today petitions for peaceful secession have arrived in Washington from various groups from 30 states where such movements are getting serious. Whether these informal expressions of pent-up emotion go anywhere or not, to still deny that at least half of America is willing to cut the other half loose is to reject a growing reality.

PaulE 219pm - There was no 'evasion' of your question in my considered reply (which you didn't reference and is now hard to find under another RR post). I gave you an 'I don't know' with expansion.


In re: Keach at 10:46A;
We put govt in competition with slumlords sixty years ago. What did we get? More expensive slums. L

Russ Steele


You have Bush PTSD, get some help. Please.

Michael Anderson

George, here's another petition you might find interesting:

George Rebane

MichaelA 559am - exactly; punish those who seek constitutional redress, and put on the path to citizenship those who criminally enter the country - the Left at its best.

Russ Steele


Welfare is now the largest item in the federal budget, and under Barack Obama’s budget–the one that didn’t get any votes, but may nevertheless be a blueprint for the next four years–it is slated to grow another 30% in Obama’s second term. Welfare is now the largest category of federal spending

This is an astonishing fact: the amount spent on federal welfare programs last year was enough to mail a $60,000 check to every one of the 17 million households living beneath the poverty line. And that doesn’t include spending by state and local governments, which traditionally have had primary responsibility for welfare, or spending by private charities. This illustrates once again that the principal beneficiaries of welfare spending are not poor people, which is why Richard Nixon wanted to institute a negative income tax that would simply give money to poor people rather than supporting the vast welfare apparatus that exists mainly for other reasons.

George Rebane

RussS 633pm - excellent points Russ. Countries like India are now considering sending their poor cash to spend, instead of funneling it through a corrupt welfare bureaucracy such as the one we have installed and funded.

Billy T

Here is what one person says about closing deductions. Might bring in 1.3 trillion over 10 years. Lets see now. We spend a trillion more each year than we bring in. 1.3 trillion divided by ten years means we will only go in the hole 900 billion more than we take in each year.. That is just ducky.

Douglas Keachie

I understand there is a shortcut guide coming out for the Fiscal Cliff, sort of a Cliff's Note's if you will...

Russ, will you carefully delineate (reference) your definition of the welfare, as I did the military budget, thanks. I'm not clear on what programs you are including under the rubric "welfare."

Paul Emery


You're refusal to look at history as a guide is astounding. The dismal failure of Bush and his economic policies is enough of an example to discredit the current Repubs who still embrace him which you seem to do. His policies are the best look we have about what a Repub administration would be like. If he was so great why is he in exile? HE will be my reference because he's the most recent elected example of "conservative" economics.

Bobby Jindal sums it up.

"We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

Jindal told Politico Republicans should “stop being the stupid party” by working to embrace a larger group of constituents rather than becoming the party of "big anything."

Billy T

Mr. Keachie, this is not cliff notes (good pun), but a general summary with just enough details. Tax the rich, cut off those on unemployment, reduce medical reimbursements to hospitals and medical professionals, eliminate R&D write offs and hit the average middle class family with 2k/year. Not to mention those making a whopping 40k a year will pay about 800 clams more in taxes in 2013. Tax the rich, tax the rich! Well, don't take your eye off the ball as we all go over the cliff.|newswell|text

Douglas Keachie

Here's the other better map I mentioned:

USA2012Election copy

Douglas Keachie

BTW, Earl and I independently came up with the Cliff;s Notes pun. Haven't checked to see who published first

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