Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama's "tax cuts"

What they really mean.


Blogger Madman of Chu said...

Looks like what they really mean is an investment in the long term health, welfare, and prosperity of the American people. Look at what this editorial is complaining about- $647 billion in transfers over TEN YEARS to support ordinary citizens in their work, home-ownership, child care, and education. None of these are free handouts, they are contingent upon personal commitments that are all undeniable social goods. Compare that to more than ONE TRILLION DOLLARS dispensed to banks and lending institutions over the next year merely to stave off financial collapse, and it looks like a bargain to me. Moreover, compare it to McCain's tax plan, which cuts government revnues by more than double Obama's proposal (this according to the same Tax Policy Center that your editorial cites), but dispenses virtually none of that largess to low and middle income people. Instead of incentivizing tens of millions of people to work, save, learn, care for children, and develop equity in their homes and neighborhoods, McCain feels it would be wiser to spend more than twice that amount to incentivize a tiny minority of Americans to do...what, exactly? Drive up oil prices and create another speculative bubble with all their found money? Buy up treasury bonds so that they can reclaim the income tax they do pay in interest on government debt? I know that you are "furious" about the "mendacity" of calling these tax cuts- but I'm sorry, I can't sympathize with you unless you express vastly greater fury at the irresponsible Republican policies that have led to the current financial debacle.

October 14, 2008 11:03 AM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Why are the "furious" and "mendacity" in quotes? Did I use those words? Exactly what fury have I expressed?
*Someone's* furious, apparently, but it ain't me.

As for "dispensing largess," you've got me there. I don't think government should be in the business of dispensing largess. The word doesn't even apply, really, because it connotes *voluntary* charity and generosity. I don't think the tiny minority of Americans (who pay the majority of taxes in this country and apparently don't need to be "incentivized" to educate and care for their children, save money, develop equity, etc.) consider this transfer of wealth largess.

As for the blame game, I'm not playing. I leave that to those who (like you, apparently) have vastly superior knowledge of the current financial crisis and its origins. I do have a friend with a Ph. D. in Economics (whom I've spoken to quite recently) who would argue with you about the causes of the current crisis and the absurdity of the blame game. Maybe I'll ask for permission to use one of his recent e-mails as a guest posting, and you can debate the issue with him.

October 14, 2008 1:37 PM  
Blogger Madman of Chu said...

I guess it is comforting, if you are a Republican, to feel that it is absurd to place the blame for this crisis where it belongs. So you won't play the "blame game," except where it applies to the semantics of tax cuts. Like you I don't think that government should be in the business of dispensing largess, which is why hopefully the McCain tax plan will never become policy. Government should, however, be in the business of investing in the nation's collective prosperity, which is why Obama's tax cuts are precisely what the country needs. Your editorial writer can try to label his tax cuts "welfare" if s/he likes (oooh-welfare, that good old standby of Republican polemical ire), but *that* is mendacious, not Obama's nomenclature.

October 14, 2008 3:07 PM  
Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Yo, Stew Dog. Looks like we'll have company in re-education camp -- those "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades."

October 14, 2008 3:22 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Oooh, the tu quoque, that good old standby of Madman polemical ire.You can play "I know you are but what am I?" with the editorial all you want, but yes, Obama's "tax cut" nomenclature is misleading, at best.

You accused me of being furious, Madman, but you seem to be the cranky one. You're free to believe or argue whatever you want about the where the responsibility for the current crisis lies. And I'm free to give any such argument the credit it deserves, based on the knowledge and expertise of the person making the argument.

October 14, 2008 5:26 PM  
Blogger Madman of Chu said...

I guess "the knowledge and experience" of others is what you'll have to fall back on, as you seem to have precious little of your own perspective on anything to offer here. Accusing me of a "tu quoque" is an old standby of yours, KM, but I think you'll have to look that one up. I never suggested that Obama's tax cuts are anything but tax cuts. Nothing in his program is going to bring working families' tax burden down to below zero. Even if some small percentage of recipients of Obama's proposed tax credits actually receive more than they pay in federal taxes, they would still be paying taxes in the form of state, local, and sales taxes on all economic activity that would offset the benefits of the Obama "welfare" plan. Here are the figures from the Tax Foundation cited in your editorial:

"Those [taxpayers] in the lowest quintile would receive $22 billion in various tax credits under the Obama plan, which would reduce their overall federal tax liability by an average of $567. However, since these 39 million people currently pay an average of only $489 in federal taxes, they would see their federal tax liability fall below zero, meaning they would get money back from the government in excess of any taxes paid."

So there you have it- the poorest 20% of Americans will be receiving a grand total of $88 dollars (per capita) of "welfare" *annually* under the Obama tax plan. Only in some insanely cynical universe could that $88 dollars be called a "federal check from taxpayers to nontaxpayers," as that money and more will be paid back into the public kitty by the people who receive it. You could call it a "federal check from the central government to local government" or "tax relief to the working poor." Anything but welfare, which it most assuredly is not.

So my position is not a tu quoque, it is that your editorial writing is *lying* while Obama is telling the truth.

October 14, 2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Madman, I *once* before accused you, completely accurately, of a tu quoque. Calling it an "old standby" of mine is therefore both mendacious and a rather telling indication of the impression it made on your psyche.

"I guess 'the knowledge and experience' of others is what you'll have to fall back on, as you seem to have precious little of your own perspective on anything to offer here."

-- The phrase I used was knowledge and *expertise.* And, yes, as I've already said, I will gladly fall back on the knowledge and expertise of those who actually *have* knowledge and expertise.

October 14, 2008 6:16 PM  
Blogger Madman of Chu said...

Yeah, you are right. The number of times I've seen you deploy a tu quoque exceeds the number of times you accused me of it. Likewise in this case the numbers don't lie. If you still give credence to the "knowledge and expertise" embodied in this editorial after seeing the numbers underlying it....that doesn't surprise me at all.

October 14, 2008 7:35 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Here's what I said:

"You accused me of being furious, Madman, but you seem to be the cranky one. You're free to believe or argue whatever you want about the where the responsibility for the current crisis lies. And I'm free to give any such argument the credit it deserves, based on the knowledge and expertise of the person making the argument."

My reference to giving credit to arguments based on the knowledge and expertise of their authors was in the context of discussing -- or not discussing -- the causes of the current financial crisis. As I said, I give your expertise in that matter the credit I think it deserves.

Let's see . . . I accuse you of using a tu quoque and your response is "well, you do it more than I do!" In other words, "You, too, KM! You, too!"

Thanks for the laugh, Madman.

October 14, 2008 7:45 PM  
Blogger stewdog said...

I was interested when I saw 9 comments to this post. . .but then I saw that is was just the Madman, returning from the basement, unloading his mad manship on KM.

I have a Mad Mad in my office. "It's all the Republican's fault. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Fannie, Freddie. . Oh. Stop repeating the 'talking points' of Rush Limbaugh. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in charge of congress. . fuh! pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."
Congrats. MM. . your guy is going to get in. .but it will be a short trip as he further damages the economy, and shows what an unqualified nothing that he truly is.
American Idol Politics! Meet the New Boss. . Same as the old boss.

October 14, 2008 9:24 PM  
Blogger Madman of Chu said...

Again, you seem to be confused as to what a tu quoque is. I didn't say "you too, KM, you too," I simply said that you use them more than you *accuse* others of doing so. That is kind of funny, and if you had a good laugh at your own're welcome.

What's really funny, though, is how this blog, and especially your posts on it, is a simulacrum of the McCain-Palin "campaign." Go back and look at how much of what you've written in this thread has anything to do with tax policy. Making it about your opponent rather than the facts is always the easier choice. You've made a lot of assertions about my emotional state, my "psyche," my lack of all that verbage I don't see anything to deny that the editorial you linked to is hogwash.

You want to stand with the Wall Street Journal on this, explain yourself. What about giving the poorest 20% of taxpayers $88 that will be paid toward state, local, sales, and other taxes merits calling Obama's program anything other than a tax cut? What is it if it is not a "tax cut?"

October 14, 2008 9:35 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...

Sorry, SD. I should explain that
-- for reasons of my own -- I have vowed not to engage Madman on political issues anymore. I should have just remained silent, instead of trying not to engage and to snipe at the same time.

October 14, 2008 9:39 PM  
Blogger Kate Marie said...


Don't like the blog? Don't read it.

October 14, 2008 9:44 PM  

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