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By Tom Cushing

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About this blog: The Raucous Caucus shares the southpaw perspectives of this Boomer on the state of the nation, the world, and, sometimes, other stuff. I enjoy crafting it to keep current, and occasionally to rant on some issue I care about deeply...  (More)

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Who, exactly, is the clown here?

Uploaded: Jul 14, 2014
Clowns are a sure-fire leed.

As an unabashed fan of Steven Sondheim,* I was drawn to the title of Maureen Dowd's recent column in the NYTimes: Isn't It Rich? That query opens the lyric of Sondheim's most famous popular song, Send in The Clowns. His anthems are thoughtful and complex, and often the melodies are difficult – which may together account for their absence from most Top Hits compilations.

That particular musical soliloquy is a poignant ode to life's regrets: in choices made or foregone, and disastrously scrambled timing – thus, as in the circus, it's time to summon comic relief. One verse also concludes with an acknowledgement that human folly is universal, and suffering for our mistakes is inevitable ("don't worry – they're here"). So, I wondered, what tragic circumstance would this Pulitzer-winning columnist describe or reveal?

It turns out that she thinks Chelsea Clinton makes too much money, from activities in which the columnist also partakes, but of which she appears not to approve.

I'm not a student of Dowd's work, although her columns that I recall are usually the ones with which I disagree (her refusal to even consider leaving her church in the wake of its particularly sordid scandals, and poor treatment of women generally, comes to mind). I do understand that she has an ongoing feud with the senior Clintons; now, she's decided to extend it Hatfield-style to a whole new generation.

So, what has Chelsea done – does it have anything to do with those cardinals sins of the young: sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, alone or in combination? No such salacious thing – while acknowledging that the former First Daughter has done pretty well up 'til the present, she's now a fallen woman, into the very pit of Clintonianism: she gives speeches. For money … a lot of it. She's also an NBC News correspondent, for even more money. Stop the presses -- this is a revolting development, worthy of a Sunday by-line!

How much money has the free market determined to be her asking price, you might inquire? Well, up to $75,000 a pop, it turns out, on topics usually related to eradicating water-borne diseases. Further, NBC News reportedly paid her $600-large, annually, to be a correspondent. Now, those really are mighty big numbers – unless you can consistently hit a major league curveball, for power (there's no report of her skills in that regard). This society will pay for those who can display remarkable talents, or make us think, or laugh, or sometimes even for just misbehaving in entertaining ways (looking at You, Kim K.).

Nearly lost in the Dowd-y revelation is the further fact that Ms. Clinton turns over the speaking fees to the Clinton Foundation, one of whose causes is … you guessed it. We used to call that "doing well by doing good." She has skillfully leveraged the happy accident of her prominent birth and engaging nature into a way to attract funds that fight suffering. It's part of a previously announced plan to endow the Foundation with some $250 million, which is a lot of speechifying (more than 3300, in fact, at $75K/speech).

That's 'good' enough for me, but not for Ms. Dowd, who simply claims – without support or explanation – that she's not worth that much: it's "unseemly " she writes. Dowd does not even compare Chelsea's fees to those commanded by former Pulitzer-prize-winning journalists in major publications; that would be an interesting data point, as would where that money goes. The American Speakers Bureau, which represents Ms. Dowd, required more than my idle curiosity before they would share such details.

Further, she gives young Chelsea the following unsolicited advice: "If she really wants to be altruistic, let her contribute the money to some independent charity not designed to burnish the Clinton name …. Or let her speak for free. After all, she is in effect going to candidate school. No need to get paid for it, too." In other words, 'be less effective.' Meow.

Now is there any cause for concern that these pneumatic numbers are paid, in part, to gain influence? Certainly so, and the sprawling Clinton Foundation does suffer from charges of sloppy bookkeeping. That said, there are no Clintons currently in office, none formally running (yet), and nothing-at-all to suggest that Chelsea Clinton has been tainted by any such impropriety. And even if there was reason to suspect it, you level your charges After you investigate, and not before, by lazy innuendo.

I just find this whole manufactured attack to be, well, unseemly. Ms. Dowd never even bothered to tie the great song into her column; but don't worry – she's there.
___

* 'tis said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who think 'Sweeney Todd' (the play, not the movie – a weak adaptation) is the greatest show ever, and those who haven't seen it. Count me in the former group. I've seen it a Lot.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:11 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Tom,


Other than her complete lack of experience in ANYTHING (much like Obama, and it shows), if any organization wants to give Chelsea $75k to speak then fine, it's their money.

What I can't stand is the utter hypocrisy of the Clintons.

When Hillary Clinton is quoted saying this...:

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [that confront the United States and other nations,] whether it is individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are....

Brazil has the highest tax-to-G.D.P. rate in the Western hemisphere. And guess what? It's growing like crazy. The rich are getting richer, but they are pulling people out of poverty. There is a certain formula there that used to work for us until we abandoned it — to our regret, in my opinion. My view is that you have to get many countries to increase their public revenues."

...but then transfers her speaking fees into a charity trust, that just shows the phoniness of these charlatans. And this goes for any other politician, left or right, who does the same thing.

And it's always interesting to watch liberals eat there own. :)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Tom,

What does "Sweeney Todd" have to do with "Send in the Clowns?" That song is from "A Little Night Music."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

The asterisk was placed at 'Sondheim,' who wrote both shows. I am a fan of all things Sondheim, and most of all Sweeney.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 16, 2014 at 10:00 am

Media Matters reports that one of Ms. Dowd's Other agents stated that she is paid $30,000/speech. Web Link, and that she speaks through them about ten times/year.

No report about what She does with Her money.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

LOL!

Yep...nothing like liberal hypocrisy. And didn't I mention something about liberals eating their own?

What's incredible is that their followers will continue to believe EVERYTHING they say and write. Even when they say they're donating to "charity".

Bull.





 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Jul 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Hiya Former Dan:

Well, given three spelling choices and two chances, you got "their" right half the time, so you're performing ahead of the random curve, and far above your accuracy average. Congrats!

We await your actual evidence of financial foul play -- or is this just something that everybody who's really in-the-know knows, because it's important to be scornfully cynical?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Whoa...!

So I looked at my last post and here's what I found:

1. Tom obviously didn't read very closely. I used the homonym (There, Their or They're) 3 times. So to use Toms observations I failed to use that particular homonym 1 1/2 times.

Tom fails.

2. Regarding correct usage, linked without comment: Web Link

Tom fails...again.

3. And finally, I NEVER mentioned (or even implied) financial foul play in anything I wrote and in fact said that what I thought Chelsea was doing was fine. And just in case I need to spell it out, even to a lawyer, there is no law against hypocrisy.

Tom fails...ah heck, you know what comes next!

Your post was vindictive and factually incorrect on every level.

Up your game, man.

ps, next I guess you're going to tell me I used "your" wrong too? So petty, even for you.








 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Oh and congrats to you too, Tom!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:11 am

Former Dan: your posts remind me of Millie's assessment of Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham: you're "kind of all over the place."

It's pretty clear when you write: " ... their followers will continue to believe EVERYTHING they say and write. Even when they say they're donating to "charity". Bull." -- that you are claiming that money 'they' say is going to the Clinton Foundation is not actually going there.

That's a very serious, specific accusation. Of financial foul play. So where's your evidence? The fact that you so quickly backed-away from it suggests its emptiness, but go ahead -- bring it, or continue to disappoint Millie.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:54 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Tom,

Here Tom, it's an easy read, even for you: Web Link

The title, just in case you are interested: Wealthy Clintons use trusts to avoid full estate tax they back.

You have the essence of the quotes around the word "charity" wrong, and my underlying point was - and still is - the hypocrisy of the Clintons and politicians of both parties when it comes to tax policy.

My posts have been clear about the hypocrisy of the Clintons and of all politicians when it comes to the rhetoric and policies that they try and push on us, and what they do in private life. Your attempt to create an analogy with a character in Bull Durham (a terrific movie, btw) is at best, weird and at worst, stupid.

Maybe you've been too focussed on my proper use of homonyms? <---no mention of that in your screed, eh?

As I said before, Up. Your. Game. Man.




 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

Nuke: ah, so you were making an Irrelevant accusation -- you're right, I should have known. Millie knew. You really are better at the Scattershot Nonsense game than I am. But frankly, it's a skill I do not seek to develop.

Now that your purpose is clear, I will do my best to avoid feeding you in the future.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I'm always fascinated by the juvenile insistence of some folks that people who think that our taxes are too low and at the same time use methods authorized by tax law to pay the least amount the law demands are "hypocritical." These are the same "Beavis and Butthead" clones who usually respond to a comment about lowered taxes being the cause of the national debt with "Well, nothing's stopping YOU from sending more money to the government!! (heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh.)

Let me spell it out for you, Formerly Dan: I pay the taxes I owe, and not a penny more. I also take advantage of tax laws other can't always use. I deduct my mortgage interest, and have taken credits for investing in certain types of property, including business property and solar panels.

But I think that current tax levels have been designed to do two things: first, increase the national debt which was grown during the Reagan, Bush and Bush administrations with the intent of weakening the government's ability to respond to the nation's needs (GWB candidly acknowledged that fact; "Mission Accomplished" indeed); and second, low taxes have the effect of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. I'm against both of those things, so I think taxes are too low.

But I'm not a martyr. Paying more taxes than I owe wouldn't solve either of the problems cited above - only changing the tax laws so that everyone in my tax bracket and above pays more will actually help. So doing things that cause my taxes to go down while saying that the tax laws should be changed (even if it means I may lose my own deductions in the future) isn't "hypocritical." It's just not stupid. I support policy changes which would actually help. I don't support grandstanding of the nature indulged in by Mitt Romney when he voluntarily paid more than the law required while running for political office on a "no tax increases" platform so it wouldn't be so obvious that his actual effective tax rate was around 10%. Now THAT was hypocritical.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 19, 2014 at 9:52 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Peter Kuget (or WYNIT),

Your post is one hypocritical and disingenuous justification after another. And bringing up BOOOSH is such a cowards approach to a philosophical debate.

I grant that you are at least HONEST with declaring your usage of loopholes, but then you loose all credibility when you indicate that your tax rate is too low and do nothing but pontificate on a message board about how "others" are responsible.

Here's an idea to put you at ease and make your beliefs come inline with your practices: write that check for additional taxes.

Stop being a wimp and blaming everyone and everything else for your lack of action. Take a stand, man.

Sincerely.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 19, 2014 at 9:54 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Lose...not loose!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

Well, Formerly Dan, you haven't disappointed me with confirmation of the maturity level of your thinking with your latest post. You don't understand what "hypocrisy" means. You don't understand the difference between grandstanding and effecting meaningful change is. You don't know what a "loophole" is. And apparently the extent of your ability to address the world is limited to repeating right wing sound bites that are mindlessly repeated amongst the lockstep followers of Fox News and the ilk.

Here's a little analogy to make it simpler for you. If you supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (and I suspect you did) by your lights to avoid hypocrisy it would have been incumbent on you to buy a gun, buy a plane ticket to Kuwait, load up and start walking to the Iraqi border and try to shoot some Iraqi soldiers.

Because even though making that personal sacrifice was not required by law, and would have had little if any impact on the perceived problem, failing to do that means you're a hypocrite. Merely supporting government action which is designed to make a meaningful impact on the issue isn't good enough; you have to make a personal, pointless sacrifice which won't actually help solve the problem.

If you don't, according to Formerly Dan, you're a hypocrite. He knows that because all the other right wing bobbleheads agree with him. At least when it comes to the issue of tax rates. They have been taught this response:

"If you think tax rates are too low, nothing's keeping you from paying more! Heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh, heh-heh!"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

PK (WYNIT),

There's always an excuse with your type.

"You don't understand what "hypocrisy" means."

From Merriam Webster: hy·poc·ri·sy noun \hi-ˈpä-krə-sē also hī-\
: the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do : behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.

Yeah, I'd say you fit this definition quite well, WYNIT. And your justification are just that, justifications. It's always "others" with your ilk.

Nothing else you wrote - and I had a long response - is meaningful.

And your analogy was the lamest point you could have made. I mean exasperatingly dumb!

You are a hypocrite. Most of are in one way or another.

Own it!









 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:21 am

Okay, Formerly - explain the difference between your failure to personally go fight in Iraq and my failure to pay more taxes than I owe, if that's "lame."

But you can't. Because it's exactly the same thing.

I understand that right wingers can only repeat the spin they've been taught, so when they come across a reasoned explanation for why what they are saying is stupid they just double down, and say it again. You've been taught to call anyone who says taxes are too low and rates should be increased but only pays their own legal share under the law as it exists a "hypocrite." It's "truthy" enough that you and your right wing friends never actually think about whether that's true or not. You just repeat it, even though it's patently juvenile.

That's one of the fascinating thing about today's soldiers of the right - the complete inability to do anything but repeat what they have been instructed to believe, regardless of whether it actually makes any sense or not.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 7:40 am

Formerly, I realize I need to dumb this down for you: if "hypocrisy" is "the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do; behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel." then it would be hypocritical to expect other people to pay the taxes they are required to pay by law, but not pay the amount of taxes required by law yourself. (This is similar to the position you adopt, by the way - you feel that the Clintons and I should pay MORE taxes than we legally owe but you should be exempt from that.)

I expect everyone to pay the taxes they owe under the law, and no more. I also expect people to take advantage of tax laws which legally lower their overall tax bill. That's what I do, and it's no more or less than what I expect of you or the Clintons or Mitt Romney.

What I support is changing the laws so that overall revenues are increased, and doing so in a progressive manner, that is, offsetting the fact that most taxes take a larger share of the income of the poor and middle class than of the wealthy by having income tax be calculated on a larger share of the income of the wealthy than of the poor. But if my policy was enacted, I'd still expect people to pay what they owe under the law and not a penny more. If my policy were enacted I'd pay more than I do now - but no more than the law requires. I'd expect exactly the same of you and everyone else.

Now, I understand that you've been trained to call that "hypocrisy." It isn't. But I seriously doubt that you'll be able to climb out of your right wing echo chamber far enough to recognize that. You've been taught to cry "hypocrite!" over and over again like a kid on a playground and that's about all you're able to do, isn't it?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

508 words of excuses, justifications and insults. Bravo WYNIT!

"you feel that the Clintons and I should pay MORE taxes than we legally owe but you should be exempt from that."

Get it through your thick head: YOU are the one wanting to force others (through new laws, of course) to pay more in taxes. YOU blame the productive for the faults of the politicians. YOU want to pay more in taxes and there is no law preventing you from doing so, just excuses and justifications for why you don't.

Just. Do. It. Hypocrite.

And explaining to you why your "analogy" was stupid is a complete waste of my lunch time.

Good day to you WYNIT.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Uh, Nuke? Your vain efforts to "announce your presence with authority" keep getting knocked out of the park by Mr. Kluget. Web Link You've also beaned the mascot and broken a window.

You might want to call in a reliever, or at least an alter ego. It's shower time.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

And one other thing WYNIT.

I look at my outgoing taxes every darned time I have to file, and twice yearly for property taxes, and have to wonder: where does MY money go?

Why do I think this? Because for the last 5-6 years, the southbound right-hand lane on 680 between Pleasanton and Sunol has been a shambles and really no better than a third-world highway! The bay area has some of the worst traffic and yet, nothing is being done for the most part. Yet, when I was back east in DC there wasn't a freeway in the whole of the metropolitan area that didn't have a massive amount of construction happening.

It's not too much to expect highways that don't have deep pot-holes every 100 ft or so. Yet there you and your ilk are, asking for more when whatever it is we are giving is not being put to the right use.

BS.

Good day.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Oh please Tom...your attempts at being clever really fall short.

Now let the adults debate and go back to moderating. Or better yet, write another screed that's easily debunked.

And of course, you won't allow me to start throwing around disparaging remarks about you now, would you?

>wink<


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm

No Nuke, that was a good-un, and on-point too -- not that I expect you to understand or appreciate such things. That appears to be too much to ask -- It's really just all about the attention with you, isn't it? But despite the title, this particular blog is really Not all about you.

It is not, however, too much to ask that your comments be directed at the blog, and not me, or at your poor understanding of the world, or of who's responsible for the pot holes on your favorite stretch of highway. Be advised.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Gram-ME, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 8:21 am

Tom Cushing, 👍 👏. Well stated.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by American, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Peter: Can you please explain to me how lower tax rates make the poor poorer? Are you assuming that the "poor"(whatever that means, you did not define it) are getting less government aid-benefits when there are less taxes coming in? Are you assuming that the government will always spend more on government aid-benefits when more revenue comes in? Isn't that a dangerous assumption, the more "we have" the "more we spend"? Perhaps you and the younger generation(and the liberal Democrats) need to really change your views on this, and start realizing the importance of savings, of a rainy day fund, and that a penny saved and not spent is really a penny earned?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

American,

PK will not be able to provide an answer other than "the rich need to pay their 'fair' share". No substance, all feelings and hypocrisy.

Don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a DanvilleSanRamon.com blogger,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

Above is an example of a useless post: it is nothing but a pre-emptive attack on another commenter; it adds nothing, except that it screams:

"Look at MEEEE!!"


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

American, I'm not talking about direct aid. I'm talking about myriad policies, regulations and attitudes which make day to day living more expensive for the non-wealthy and which tend to make it harder for anyone who isn't born into Danville-style affluence to join our club. Consider the difference between America today and the country I came of age in in the 60's and 70s. Tuition at UC, both for undergraduate and professional schools was about $750 a year back then. A young person from any economic background with adequate intelligence and diligence could complete his or her studies and set out in the world with little or no debt.

Taxes have been cut on both state and federal levels several times since then. Now annual tuition at UC is $12K+ undergrad, $50K to $65K for medical and law schools. That means the children of families which aren't extremely affluent either enter life in serious debt or forego the most reliable means for raising their socio-economic stature: education. Cutting taxes has resulted in cutting services like education, parks, vocational training, etc. We've become a "pay as you go" society, especially for kids. Returning taxes to the levels they were set at in the 50's, 60's, and 70's would allow us to provide things like education and recreation for youngsters of all economic strata on an equal basis. We've cast that aside.

Low taxes also means no funding for regulators who protect the public. If a corporation can get away with dumping its pollution into the common air or water, the people who get sick will have to pay for their treatment themselves. If a company can bilk millions of consumers out of $20 or $50 apiece through anti-competitive collusion or fine print, they simply walk away with the money - all effective recourse has been destroyed. The corporations and their shareholders make higher profits, consumers pay the price.

The recent recession was triggered by unregulated companies issuing home loans outside of the banking/Fannie May framework. Again, lots of companies made a lot of money arranging and reselling those loans on Wall Street. The people who lost their homes got squat. The low-tax, low-regulation nirvana of the right is simply a shortcut to the law of the jungle: the strong can take what they can keep and dictate the terms of any conflict resolution, the weak get whatever is left over for them.

It's not as simple as one law, or two. We've seen a panoply of laws and regulations put in place by legislative, administrative and judicial decisions which have ever so subtly but consistently tilted the playing field in favor of the wealthy and powerful and against the poor and middle class for the past 35 years. (The legal/economic philosophy associated with the Chicago School which gained predominance in the 19870's and 80's played a big part.) Up until about 1980, the "rising tide lifted all boats" - economic growth benefited everyone. That's no longer true. Over the past 35 years ***all*** of the increase in wealth seen in this country has gone to the affluent - and the higher the percentile of wealth, the greater the disparity becomes. People with mere low-six figure incomes and seven figure net worths have kept up and seen a modest increase. People with seven figure incomes and high eight figure net worths have seen a lot more. The billionaires have seen the highest percentage of wealth growth of all. But the income and wealth of the lower 50% of all American families hasn't gone up at all. That's not an accident or caused by any one single law or event - it's the culmination of a shift of the political and economic philosophy of the nation. And when you combine static or declining incomes and higher cost of things like higher education, plus less recourse against being injured or cheated out of your life savings...

the poor get poorer.



 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

PK,

Taxes are higher now then they were under Clinton and yet what happened under Clintons watch? Higher revenues.

But how could that be, you might ask?

The difference, Peter, is and always will be, PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS! The policies under our current political class have NOT AIDED (<--note) in creating the amount of jobs required for the increased revenue that the government needs to spend on all its programs, frivolous or not.

This is economics 101.

Unemployment is still unacceptably high. The people who have stopped looking for work and are essentially off the roles of UI (the REAL unemployed) is at record levels. And all the left and you have in response is increasing taxes.

It is mind-blowing in it's complete lack of vision and thought.

And you keep comparing private enterprise to public sector, like somehow businesses are demons to be castigated and only government is good. As some who has some say in how a company operates, I can tell you that companies are WAY more efficient with how they spend their money then the government at any level.

Government waste has been documented since the early founding of our country, yet people like you refuse to even do anything about it, yet, you want taxes to go up?? THEY CAN'T EVEN REPAIR OUR FREEWAYS IN UNDER 5 YEARS!!

Again, truly lacking of any vision or thought.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

And from CNBC (hardly a conservative media company)

Title: The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes

Web Link

Excerpt:
"Buried inside a Congressional Budget Office report this week was this nugget: when it comes to individual income taxes, the top 40 percent of wage earners in America pay 106 percent of the taxes. The bottom 40 percent...pay negative 9 percent."

And by the way, they were just parroting the CBO!

But lets raise taxes.

Ugh.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Jul 23, 2014 at 2:02 pm

So much disinformation, so little time...

"Taxes are higher now then they were under Clinton and yet what happened under Clintons watch? Higher revenues." In what universe are taxes higher now than during the Clinton Administration? Or to be more precise, from what source of "truthy" disinformation did you get that absolutely false idea? The myth that Reagan's tax cuts resulted in higher government revenue was debunked years ago, but this is the first time I've heard the lie applied to the Clinton Administration.

In reality, government revenues rose throughout both Clinton and Obama's terms in office. The only recent president who did not experience significant growth in revenue during his term in office was Bush. You remember him, the "Bush tax cuts" guy?

"The difference, Peter, is and always will be, PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS! The policies under our current political class have NOT AIDED (<--note) in creating the amount of jobs required..."

In fact, in the last four years the American economy has added almost ten million private sector jobs. The one area of job losses during the Obama Administration has been in the public sector. (Unlike during the Reagan administration, when government jobs increased.)

"And you keep comparing private enterprise to public sector, like somehow businesses are demons to be castigated and only government is good."

I've never said anything of the sort. Period. That's a lie, plain and simple. I don't believe it, and I've never said it. That kind of simplistic thinking is more your style, Formerly. I believe in striking the right balance between private sector, public sector, and private/public combined. I don't apply an ideological test to how that balance should be struck, but a pragmatic one: what works best for any particular exercise?

"As some who has some say in how a company operates, I can tell you that companies are WAY more efficient with how they spend their money then the government at any level." I think this is true in some respects, although it's also true that corporate executives can and do get away with a lot of stuff that would land a public employee in hot water. But it's not a valid comparison, for one specific reason: if a company screws up, it can go bankrupt, liquidate, and another company will take over its market niche. Tough for the shareholders and employees, but it happens all the time.

But governments don't have that luxury. Even though a few small municipalities have gone bankrupt, they had to keep operating. So "efficiency" has to take second place to redundancy. Also, public accountability means lots of open meetings, with published agendas, which slows down the process. Not efficient; but not efficient for a reason. The U.S. Army isn't "efficient." That's not its top priority. Somehow, I'm not sure having the nation defended by the lowest bidder would be my priority.
A balance needs to be struck but in terms of accomplishing a specific goal for the lowest cost, government is not usually going to be cheapest. On the other hand, if it comes to accomplishing something that is essential, I don't want the entity charged with the task to suddenly cease doing business in the middle of the job. Apples and Oranges.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

PK,

Re/taxes - you might want to look at the effect of ACA taxes for that comparison. Have fun.

Re/revenue - There you go again, BOOOOSH! Who said anything about him? Anyway, still you forget (or avoid) the impact on revenue via private sector jobs. You cannot seriously be so obtuse as to compare revenue being raised by taxation of real income to be the same as increased taxation? They're just not the same.

"In fact, in the last four years the American economy has added almost ten million private sector jobs."

When you get around to comparing jobs lost then netting it out, let me know what you find.

"...That's a lie, plain and simple."

To use your own words: "If a corporation can get away with dumping its pollution into the common air or water, the people who get sick will have to pay for their treatment themselves. If a company can bilk millions of consumers out of $20 or $50 apiece through anti-competitive collusion or fine print, they simply walk away with the money - all effective recourse has been destroyed. The corporations and their shareholders make higher profits, consumers pay the price."

Yeah, that's not demonizing corporations. <---sarcasm

And furthermore I never indicated that I quoted you, so I didn't lie. I was taking artistic license, just like you did in describing corrupt corporations. Oh and by the way, has government done NO WRONG in the last 6 years? I won't hold my breath waiting for a honest reply from you on THAT particular question.

"I think this is true in some respects, although it's also true that corporate executives can and do get away with a lot of stuff that would land a public employee in hot water."

Let me ask you this: When Enron happened, what happened to the executives and under what administration did it happen? What about Tyco and Worldcom? Now, when the finance companies did their shenanigans that lead to last recession, who got prosecuted and under what administration?

"But governments don't have that luxury. Even though a few small municipalities have gone bankrupt, they had to keep operating. So "efficiency" has to take second place to redundancy."

Uh what?! I don't understand this.

"...which slows down the process. Not efficient; but not efficient for a reason."

Why do you think slow process equals inefficiency? Thats not true at all. Inefficiency is adding layers of unnecessary management/regulation, or requiring 2 people for a task that really has the capacity for 1.

And of course, you have to bring up a straw man in the military...ugh.



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