Sherffius on tax cuts for the rich: When does he get the Pulitzer?


So, when will Sherffius win a Pulitzer for his cartoons?  Did you see what he had to say about the tax cut legislation?

Sherffius cartoon from the Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera, via Lobsterscope

Sherffius cartoon on tax cuts, from the Boulder Daily Camera

Tip of the old scrub brush to Under the Lobsterscope.

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50 Responses to Sherffius on tax cuts for the rich: When does he get the Pulitzer?

  1. Nick K says:

    Have fun reading, Morgan:
    http://www.alternet.org/economy/149226/corporate_america%27s_plan_to_loot_our_pensions_is_the_latest_battle_in_decades-long_assault_on_the_middle_class_/

    Counting on your pension to be there when you retire, Morgan? Well, don’t. Because the Republicans are planning to make damn sure that its not there when you need it.

    Have fun declaring bankruptcy in your old age and having to live on the street, child.

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  2. Not sure I follow your argument. You’ve cited an article that says the democrats caused the current recession in part by means of a “minimum wage blowout.” This means we should listen to them now?

    You consistently fail to demonstrate how the issue is any more complicated than its essentials: Our economy is vibrant and robust when people are allowed to keep more of the money they earn; when it’s alright for people to make & keep money, they do it. Into this, we’re supposed to inject a new rule that those who earn little, should be provided with more — and those who earn much, should have more of it taken away from them as if they didn’t earn it. That will make the economy stronger, eh?

    I think we’re laboring under different definitions of “economy”. The dictionary says it’s a “system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community.” In accordance with that, I think it’s a sub-community of people working to earn money, and risking that money to earn more. That’s what we’re trying to make more healthy, right? If you agree with that, then step one is, when people succeed at doing this, they’re allowed to keep what they earned.

    As opposed to…this. Hey, we’re Number One! For all the wrong reasons! Yipee.

    You must define “economy” as something to do with how liquid the corporations & rich people are, so your government can skim more money off them. Have I got that right? If not, then how are you defining “unhealthy economy”? What do you think is going on when the economy is anemic. I say, people aren’t working…those who are working, aren’t working hard to find ways to hire more people, because there’s no point to it. To fix the economy, we stop this from being pointless — give it some purpose. Make it so it’s easy to make a business case for hiring people. The article you cited and linked seems to agree with this.

    What do you say is busted when an economy is not strong? People achieving success, are a sign that it’s broken…and we have to make it so they can’t do that?

    As usual Nick, one of us needs to go re-think something and I don’t think I’m the one.

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  3. Nick K says:

    And since Morgan wants to pretend that Republicans are interested in helping the middle class…there is this:

    http://current.com/1usn74c

    Some observations perfectly at home in economics textbooks can be so beastly in practice that nobody is willing to mention them.

    Ignoring the facts, though, leads to bad policies, and with the U.S. unemployment rate at a stubborn 9.6 percent, we don’t need more of those.

    So here comes the leap into ice-cold water: The biggest problem with the labor market right now is that wages are too high. As Washington again turns to government spending as a cure for unemployment, some against-the-grain thinking is in order.

    Economics teaches that full employment would be reached if wages adjust downward, to a level that better reflects current circumstances. At lower wages, employers would desire more workers. Labor markets generate persistent unemployment only if wages are sticky, failing to fall as demand declines.

    A number of reasons help explain why wages don’t and won’t drop, beginning with federal and state minimum-wage laws.

    Second, because union contracts generally cover multiple years, adjusting wages in response to economic circumstances would require a return to the bargaining table, which rarely happens.

    Third, the natural reluctance of workers to accept lower pay is amplified by how their wage helps define their identity. A $60,000-a-year office worker might have an extra-hard time coming to terms with becoming a $40,000-a-year worker.

    Finally, workers and jobs might be mismatched, either geographically or occupationally. Workers might be needed in places they don’t want to move to, or can’t afford to live.

    Bad Timing

    There are ample signs that these obstacles to lower wages are helping drive high unemployment today.

    In an example of poor policy timing, Democrats chose to lift the minimum wage during the worst possible time, just as wages should have been reduced.

    Since 2007, the year the recession began, the federal minimum wage has risen to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 — an increase of 41 percent. Democrats in Congress proposed the three-stage increase, and Republican President George W. Bush enacted it, as part of a spending measure that focused mainly on financing the war in Iraq.

    Increasing labor costs via higher minimum wages at any time poses a risk of higher unemployment; doing so during a recessionary labor market is policy negligence. It would be nice, and perhaps fanciful, to think that had Democrats seen the recession coming in 2007, they might have cut back on their minimum-wage blowout.

    Hard on Teens

    Teenage workers, who as a group fill many minimum-wage jobs, have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession. The teen unemployment rate has increased to 26.3 percent from 16.9 percent in December 2007.

    In a similar vein, evidence shows that union workers are harmed, in terms of employment rates, by their generally higher wages. In 2009, the percentage of union members among the employed dropped to 7.2 percent — the lowest rate in postwar history.

    That Americans in large numbers aren’t pulling up their roots to follow jobs is made clear by the disparity in state unemployment rates. Nevada suffers the highest unemployment at 14.3 percent, while North Dakota weighs in at a surprisingly low 3.6 percent, a rate any state would be bragging about even in the best of economic times.

    So why isn’t there a traffic jam of job-seekers trekking from Las Vegas to Fargo, and from other high-unemployment areas to high-employment ones?

    99 Weeks

    One reason is unemployment insurance. State unemployment insurance programs usually limit benefits to 26 weeks. However, between various state and federal programs to extend benefits during the recession, unemployment benefits can continue up to a total of 99 weeks, giving people less incentive to pick up and move on when they lose their jobs.

    Another complication is the American culture of homeownership. In today’s market, lots of people couldn’t sell their house and relocate even if they wanted to. So chalk one up for renting.

    If, as we’ve seen, wage stickiness is driving unemployment higher, the challenge is to enact the public-policy equivalent of Goo Gone. A few ideas come to mind.

    First, the minimum wage should be scaled back to $5.85, its level when the recession began in December 2007. There were about 980,000 minimum-wage workers in 2009, half of them more than 24 years of age. This change could have a big impact on aggregate employment.

    Tax Credits

    Second, government policies should induce workers to take the plunge and accept lower wages. These policies could include carrots — tax credits that offset large wage declines, for example — and sticks, such as a reduction in the duration of unemployment insurance benefits.

    Finally, unions should be willing to reopen collective bargaining agreements and accept lower wages.

    While painful, and perilous for a politician even to discuss, these measures would do a lot to move the economy back toward full employment.

    (Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

    To contact the writer of this column: Kevin Hassett at khassett@bloomberg.net

    (Come on, Morgan, go ahead and write to Mr. Hassett that you’re willing to earn 10% less in order to help the economy. After all, you, like Mr. Hasset and the AEI believe that the rich shouldn’t have to make any sacrifices. Surely you believe that then you should be making the sacrifices to help the economy, right?)

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  4. Jim Stanley says:

    Nick,

    Actually, cutting taxes for the fabulously rich DOES create jobs and stimulate economies.

    In Switzerland. In the Cayman Islands. In Saudi Arabia. And just about anyplace where the obscenely wealthy take the loot they are legally allowed to withhold from the cause of “promoting the general welfare”.

    Now, if conservatives want to talk about banning or drastically limiting the ability of Americans to offshore their money…I’m listening.

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  5. Nick K says:

    just to reiterate something for you, Morgan, in the hopes that you’ll actually pay attention:

    With regards to the tax cuts on the richest 3% the only thing I want is to get rid of them. Meaning what I want, despite your delusion to the contrary, is for their taxes to be restored to the levels they were at right before George W Bush became President. Since there were plenty of rich people then and they were making quite a lot of money I am not saying that we should take everything they have.

    With regards to that huge defecit we have sorry taxes are going to have to go up to pay for it. There is no ability to get rid of the defecit just by spending cuts. So the question you need to ask yourself is this: Do you want your taxes to rise…or should the taxes rise on those who can most afford it without actually being hurt by it?

    We have more then halved the taxes the rich pay over the last 50 years. Sorry, Morgan, that is enough. Cutting their taxes further is not going to help the economy, its not going to create jobs, and letting their taxes rise to levels that were what they were at a mere 11 years ago is not going to drive the rich from this country or somehow bankrupt them.

    I suggest you start looking out for your own interests instead of thinking that if the Koch brothers get a massive tax cut it will benefit you. It won’t.

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  6. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    December 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm
    Morgan writes:
    What’s this? We’re deciding public policy based on who needs how much? Interesting way you’d have this work, Nick…very interesting.

    No..we’re deciding public policy based on what’s best for the country, Morgan. And it can not be argued that what’s best for the country is for the wealth of this country to be increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few.

    See Morgan, liberals want what is best for the United States. Conservatives don’t give a damn about the United States, don’t give a damn about its people and aren’t interested in what’s best for the country. All they care about is their massive egos and their overriding greed.

    Sell out your economic interests if you want, Morgan, by continuing to be a “Republican” but in the end your party’s policies will simply kick you to the curb and leave you with nothing. Because the current Republican party doesn’t give a damn about you. Just like you can’t be bother to give a damn about anyone else.

    But no matter how much you delude yourself…your interests are not served by continuing to cut the taxes of the richest 3%. The last 30+ years have proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

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  7. Nick K says:

    Jim is quite right, Morgan. There are very few actual true Republicans in this country anymore.

    And you, Morgan, certainly aren’t one. So kindly have the grace to quit demeaning my former party by continuing to call yourself one. Lincoln would kick your ass if you said he was a Republican to his face. And if he didn’t…Teddy Roosevelt certainly would.

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  8. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    What’s this? We’re deciding public policy based on who needs how much? Interesting way you’d have this work, Nick…very interesting. No property rights at all in your version of America, eh? Kind of like the President said, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

    Wow, Morgan, where exactly did you get that I dont want any property rights? If I didn’t want any property rights I’d be after taxing the rich at 100% wouldn’t I? But oh wait..I’m not. But apparently, Morgan, what you want is for there to be no middle class and no poor. What you want is for 97% of the population of the United States to be nothing but the slaves of the richest 3%. Have you so little sense of your self worth that you’re willing to become the Koch brothers slave, Morgan? What you want, Morgan, is to create the first sitting aristocracy in this country and to turn this country into an plutocracy where the rich rule and the rest of us have no say.

    Lets see as for that 30 billion dollars it could be used to rebuild the infrastructure of this country. It could be used to pay for improving the education system in this country. It could be used for a lot of things that would benefit more then just those who already have enough. Hell it could even be used to help pay down the defecit. After all, Morgan, lest you forget..the Walton family made that 100 billion dollars on our backs.

    REgulators, child, serve the people of the country. They don’t serve the businesses they’re regulating. They’re to do what is best for the country under the law. They aren’t to play kiss ass for businesses and to turn a blind eye when businesses act poorly. You might want to bother to remember this is a democratic republic…not a plutocracy where the rich rule and screw everyone else.

    Morgan writes:
    What I’ve never been able to figure out is this: Liberals like you seem to be intent on putting more power in the hands of a government that, six years out of every ten, is run by a Republican President. Which is thought by you — especially you, Nick, you’ve made it abundantly clear — are evil. So you want more power to be invested in a government that is pure evil, sixty percent of the time.

    No, Morgan, I want the power in the hands of the people. OR did you forget that the government is the people’s representative in this equation? You, however, want to take the power from the people and hand it to the rich, the powerful and the businesses. Tell me, Morgan, your side loves to claim that the government is too big and too powerful. What does it take take you to realize that businesses and the rich being too big and too powerful is equally a threat if not more so?

    Don’t try and fool me, Morgan, and don’t delude yourself. You are not interested in what is best for the people at all. You’ve bought into this notion, foolish as it is, that if the rich are better off that must naturally mean so is everyone else. That the rich, by being rich, are entitled to everything.

    Your side is so scared of socialism, Morgan, but your side fails to realize that if true socialism ever comes to this country…it will be your sides fault. Because your side will have screwed over the the people by giving everything to the rich that the people will demand it.

    So again, morgan, I ask you. Why should the rich never make any sacrifice? When have we cut their taxes enough, child, when we have already more then halved their taxes?

    Because I find it curious, Morgan, that you continue to fail to even attempt to answer those questions.

    Could it be, Morgan, that you fail to do so because you simply can’t answer those questions?

    Oh and by the way, I don’t think Republicans are evil.

    I think they’re selling out the country, selling out the people of this country and more then a little stupid. The only thing I think your party was evil on…was in authorizing and defending torture.

    I suggest you stop trying to psychoanalyze me, Morgan, you simply aren’t in a position of knowledge, wisdom nor intelligence to be able to do so. Don’t play games you don’t have the ability to win, little boy. And quit trying to win a debate that you’ve shown no ability to fully grasp.

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  9. Jim Stanley says:

    Hi Morgan!

    I’m interested in your challenge to Nick concerning putting power in the hands of government, considering government is often in Republican hands.

    That, sir, was just too cute by half. Nicely done.

    I won’t presume to speak for Nick, he’s doing just fine. I would like to speak for myself, however. I’ve made a discovery. It’s one I’ve come to slowly, over time, but it’s dramatically changed this old liberal’s view of the Grand Old Party.

    I would LOVE to see government back in the hands of Republicans again. Wow. There. I said it. I didn’t even choke on my mac and cheese. I feel better. I was a Republican years ago, after all. But you know what? That’s not why I want Republicans back in power. I’m a sucker for Old Glory and for supporting the troops, whether I support the mission or not. But that’s not what’s been gnawing at me, prodding me to crave some Republican leadership.

    Actually, my desire to see both Houses and maybe even the White House back in Republican hands has to do with my environmental concerns. Though I am far from a fan of PETA, I do love the Sierra Club. I’m particularly passionate about endangered species. The thought of a noble species — the Black Rhino or the Hawksbill Turtle — blinking out of existence due to human greed and disregard is just unthinkable to me. I don’t possess any particular fondness for Black Rhinos…I just can’t feature a world without them.

    And so go my feelings for Republicans. Are there any left at all? I’m not sure there has even been a sighting in the last few years. No…wait. I actually DID see one. My own Senator, Richard Lugar, spoke up for the START Treaty. He sounded an awful lot like a Republican, even though he tends to crawl back into his hidey-hole with great frequency.

    Who can blame him? It’s hard being an endangered species. So often, the Republican specie is either killed outright or so assimilated into the new herd that any Republican distinction is bred or beaten or frightened out of the poor beast. Talk about observable proof of evolution!

    Presently, if I want to see a Republican, I have to go to a museum. I can look at a bust of Abraham Lincoln or a painting of Teddy Roosevelt. I might be able to listen to a tape of Tom Dewey, Everett Dirksen or President Eisenhower. On a good day, I can track down some old video of Jack Javits, Howard Baker or President Nixon. I once talked to Mark Hatfield on the phone. That was an incredible experience.

    I’ll let Nick speak for himself. As for me, you get back to me when there are Republicans in control again. I’ll be the one with the “I LIKE IKE” button. But don’t disturb me unless you have an actual sighting to report. I’ll be bloody disappointed to see a run of the mill brown bear when I am expecting a rare panda.

    In other words, Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint are about as “Republican” as Kim Jong Il.

    If you like Anarchists, Libertarians and Christo-Fascists, that’s your right. But what does the plucky little judge on TV say? Oh yeah! “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

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  10. [...] is a nice way of saying this commenter doesn’t believe in any such thing. His litanies are regularly filled with references to “my side” and “your [...]

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  11. They need a 30 billion dollar tax cut for what?

    What’s this? We’re deciding public policy based on who needs how much? Interesting way you’d have this work, Nick…very interesting. No property rights at all in your version of America, eh? Kind of like the President said, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

    You know, Nick, it occurs to me: If we were indeed in the process of abolishing the right to own property, or softening it up so it’s subjected to the validation of majority rule…I would expect our economy to be doing pretty much exactly what it’s doing right now. Credit frozen, businesses sitting on cash but afraid to spend it on payroll, unemployment ballooning up to 10% and staying there.

    You must be so proud.

    …he believes that the government and the regulators exist to serve the banks.

    You know, this is interesting to me. In a previous job I worked with government auditors. What did they tell us? Exactly we were just told by the Congressman you quoted. “We’re here to help you with your audit.” “We’re here to help you pass your audit.” Which, when you think about it, is the way it should work isn’t it? Here are these metrics you need to meet — if you fail them, here’s what you need to clean up in order to pass them. But if you fail the audit, let the fixing commence because that is the job. Need to fire somebody, then fire him and go onward. Meet the criteria. Get it over with. Because the regulatory process is not all about just keeping a business interest stalled just for the heck of it.

    But I always suspected there was some mindset out there that thought no…regulators exist to FIGHT the businesses. To make the business activity MORE expensive just for the helluvit.

    It’s interesting to me running into this mindset on a message board, although I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

    What I’ve never been able to figure out is this: Liberals like you seem to be intent on putting more power in the hands of a government that, six years out of every ten, is run by a Republican President. Which is thought by you — especially you, Nick, you’ve made it abundantly clear — are evil. So you want more power to be invested in a government that is pure evil, sixty percent of the time.

    Care to explain this?

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  12. Nick K says:

    So Spencer Bachus, Repug…er Republican Congressman, and incoming chair of one of the committees that is supposed to oversee the country’s financial institutions says yesterday that he believes that the government and the regulators exist to serve the banks.

    Yes, folks, we have another clear cut example of the REpublicans making it plain and clear who they inted to kiss the asses of and who they think are the important people to take care of.

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  13. Nick K says:

    From MNPublius.com:

    1.6 million people were homeless in 2009 and spent at least part of the year in a shelter; nearly 325,000 of them were children.

    15 million people were unemployed as of October, 6 million of whom had been looking for work for more than half a year.

    44 million people were poor in 2009, 19 million of whom had incomes below halfof the poverty line (half of the poverty line corresponds to an income of $5,478 for an individual and $10,977 for a family of four).

    50 million people lacked access to adequate food at some point in 2009 because they didn’t have enough money for groceries. Nearly 18 million people lived in households where one or more people had to skip meals or take other steps to reduce their food intake because of lack of resources.

    51 million people lacked health coverage in 2009.

    And the source for their numbers is http://www.offthechartsblog.org/a-brief-snapshot-of-hardship-in-america/

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  14. Nick K says:

    You can answer this question too, Morgan.

    If the Walton family is worth a collective 70 billion dollars…they need a 30 billion dollar tax cut for what?

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  15. Nick K says:

    Oh and just so you know, Morgan, if the Republicans said that they’d agree to get rid of the tax cuts to the richest 3% just as long as the money went to pay off the defecit I’d be fine with that.

    Your party is overseeing the creation of the largest income gap this country has ever seen. The last time we had an income gap this large, Morgan, the result was the Great Depression.

    Curiously it was your party that oversaw the the creation of that one too.

    Since I rather doubt you’re a millionaire and you’re certainly not a multimillionaire or a billionaire you and your family are going to be hurt by your party’s policies at some point soon. When that day happens you’re going to think to yourself how foolish you were to not listen to those who knew better then you.

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  16. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Can you find me a single democrat who has commented intelligently on the magnitude of a dent such a policy would make on the deficit? How about the hard-left fringe types like you, Nick, who are trying to pressure them? You going to tell me it’s really all about making the deficit go away?

    It’s about getting the economy going and understanding the fact that when the people aren’t spending, the businesses aren’t spending…someone does have to spend to get the economy going. Lets see…if the people aren’t and the businesses aren’t who does that leave? What? You think the economy is going to grow itself if those with all the money don’t spend and those with barely any money have even less money to spend? And yes…it is about denting the defecit…once the economy is back on track and is actually providing the money to do so. Because its not like those tax cuts to the rich are going to make the rich spend….the proof of that is they haven’t been doing so for the last 10 years.

    But tell us, Morgan, if your party so wants to dent the defecit then why is it desiring to add near a trillion dollars to that defecit accomplishing nothing other then giving a small group of people lower taxes…when those people have already seen their taxes drop drastically over the last few decades?

    My party is the one that got rid of the defecit last time. Your party is the one that created the defecit last time. Your party is the one that created most of the defecit this time and did so in a way that it crashed the economy. Why in God’s name should we trust your party to restore the economy when its the one that crashed it in the first place?

    Oh and by the way, child, I am not an “extreme leftist.” I’m a liberal yes but I’m not extreme about it. I am more then a little pissed off at your party..the party I used to belong to becoming nothing more then a bunch of irresponsible intellectual lightweights who think that the rich are the only ones that matter. Or to put this another way..the only reason I seem so far left to you is because your party is straddling the fence between “rightward extremeism” and fascism.

    Your party is actively trying to destroy the middle class and actively trying to turn the country into a plutocracy in which we have a standing aristocracy. And there you sit clapping them on like a trained seal. Despite being told over and over again that your economic insterets and theirs don’t align.

    Oh and by the way, since I answered your question, you can go back and answer all the questions I asked you.

    Starting with this one: Since in the last 50 or so years we have more then halved the taxes that the rich pay when have we cut their taxes enough?

    And you can add this: What makes you think the Bush tax cuts to the richest 3% will be such a boon to the economy when they haven’t been in the last 10 years?

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  17. Ed Darrell says:

    I linked to Krauthammer’s article because I thought it was an interesting view — not one that I agree with in almost all particulars, but one that generally supports the observation George made about the deal being a “fiendishly clever plot.”

    Generally, Krauthammer appears to me to have stopped making sense about 1991. In this case, he joins the conspiracy nuts. Interesting view.

    Why do you think I wouldn’t want anyone to read it, Morgan? Why would I have posted it?

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  18. george.w says:

    Ed once again links to an article he hopes nobody takes the time to go read. Krauthammer is vociferously objecting to the Stimulus side of the deal.

    I did happen to read that one; we both think the deal is a swindle, but disagree on who was the victim and who the perpetrator. In any case, that Krauthammer dislikes it is a point in its favor…

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  19. Ellie says:

    I don’t read Huffpo because of their fascination with Woo, so I thank you for posting Larry Beinhart’s piece.

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  20. Ed Darrell says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-beinhart/renewing-the-bush-tax-cut_b_795362.html

    Larry Beinhart

    Renewing the Bush tax cuts is like:

    …driving your car off the cliff, paying a tow truck twice the price of the car to haul it back up,
    then driving it back over because your brother-in-law’s cousin’s friend told you this time it will fly.

    …celebrating your one day sobriety pin with a cognac and crack party.

    …getting gonorrhea from unprotected sex, and after you get rid of it, going back to the bath house to see if you can get something incurable this time.

    …a 400 pound person going on all McDonald’s diet.

    …after the drunk British football hooligans have rioted and burned down the stadium, you rebuild the stadium and, this time, to make it better, you offer free all-you-can-drink beer.

    …a prostitute getting out of ‘the life’ by switching from cash to credit cards.

    …losing all your money with Bernie Madoff, then convincing the rest of your family to break him out of jail so they can invest all their money with him too.

    …after the earthquake rebuilding your house on the fault line, instead of just next to it.

    …giving your local alchemist your life savings to turn lead into gold, and after the lead remains lead, robbing the bank to pay him to do it again.

    …invading Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, then, after you fail, invading Iraq to get weapons of mass destruction that don’t exist.

    …putting poison in your food to teach the dog not to eat off the table, then forgetting what you did and eating it yourself.

    …after you get lung cancer, smoking again because the worst has already happened.

    …is like knowingly doing 2001-2009 all over again, a few people get rich, no new jobs are created, and the whole economy collapses.

    This is a contest. It’s open to everyone. The writer of the best comparison gets to live with the consequences of whatever our loony legislators and waffling president do.

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  21. Ed Darrell says:

    Ah, but this isn’t about raising revenue, is it?

    No, to paraphrase the old story: Especially since you’re not demanding offsets for the transfer of wealth to the wealthy, we already know what sort of women you and Sen. McConnell are. We’re just bickering about the price, now.

    It was never about raising revenue. It’s about doing the right things for our nation.

    Can you find me a single democrat who has commented intelligently on the magnitude of a dent such a policy would make on the deficit? How about the hard-left fringe types like you, Nick, who are trying to pressure them? You going to tell me it’s really all about making the deficit go away?

    Denting the deficit should not be the concern in time of great crisis. By your standards, we should have shut down our war efforts in 1942 and surrendered to Japan and Germany, rather than run up deficits. By your standards we should have scrapped WPA and all other work programs, and said the nation was over, in 1936.

    It’s never really been about denting deficits.

    But if one wished to reduce deficits, one would first wish to see a speedy return to economic good times. To get there, from where we are, we need stimulus, and lots of it.

    Tax cuts for the wealthy have proven to be a drag on stimulus.

    For rational comment on where we need to go, you can start at George’s place with Robert Reich’s view:
    http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/why-bill-clintons-favorable-view-of-obamas-tax-deal-should-be-disregarded/

    Even more Reich at Reich’s blog, like this:
    http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/why-bill-clintons-favorable-view-of-obamas-tax-deal-should-be-disregarded/

    You can learn a lot by observing, especially if you observe what experts like Paul Krugman tell you to watch:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/yep-its-demand/

    And here:
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/defining-structural-unemployment/

    As far out of the mainstream as you are, Morgan, you’d probably do well to read some Michael Perelman:
    http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/inequality-on-the-diamond/

    And here:
    http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/invisible-handcuffs-is-ready-to-appear/

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  22. Again, Morgan, no one is talking about taking all their money. And you can’t find a single Democrat that has said otherwise.

    Ah, but this isn’t about raising revenue, is it?

    Can you find me a single democrat who has commented intelligently on the magnitude of a dent such a policy would make on the deficit? How about the hard-left fringe types like you, Nick, who are trying to pressure them? You going to tell me it’s really all about making the deficit go away?

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  23. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Morgan: “Step 1, hike taxes on the rich until nobody can keep any significant money they’ve made, step 2, ?????? step 3 profit.”

    Lets see how much utter and pure bullshit Morgan can spout on one topic….

    Again, Morgan, no one is talking about taking all their money. And you can’t find a single Democrat that has said otherwise. But thank you for proving that the Republican delusion is that if you tax the rich at, for example, 40% instead of 35% you’re actually taxing them at 100%.

    Meanwhile in the Republican world it is the poor and the middle class that should be making all the sacrifices and paying for everything.

    Republicans sure do love their motto of “In this world only the strong survive. If you’re strong (i.e. rich) you live, if you’re weak (i.e. not rich) you die.”

    Like this

  24. george.w says:

    Morgan: “Step 1, hike taxes on the rich until nobody can keep any significant money they’ve made, step 2, ?????? step 3 profit.

    Wow, rhetorical much? Restoring the Clinton tax rate is “nobody keep any significant money they’ve made”?

    I kinda like Nick’s idea – If you get tax cuts for people n levels above you in the income strata (presupposing you aren’t a multimillionaire spending your time arguing on the Interwebs) then we get to pick the spending cuts to balance them out.

    Like this

  25. Nick K says:

    But I’ll suggest a compromise, Morgan.

    You can have your tax cuts to the richest 3%. But we get to decide what in the budget we’re going to cut to pay for them.” You will raise no objections or propose any alternatives to where we decide to make the cuts. You will not campaign against them, you will shut up your attack dogs at Fox News. You and your party will be completely silent on where those cuts come from.

    You meaning Republican
    We meaning Democrats.

    Oh and just for your information. Those tax cuts to the richest 3%…they would have made for a 15% across the board cut in federal taxes on businesses, if I remember the figure right. But no…you and your party wanted the tax cuts to benefit the absolute minimum amount of people.

    So next time you want to claim that those tax cuts on the richest 3% will help the economy I hope you choke.

    Like this

  26. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    As for these wussy rich people, what you’re neglecting to consider is they don’t need to take the effort to pick up the ball & head home. All they have to do is…just not do stuff. Don’t expand. Don’t hire. Don’t renovate. Don’t open new service centers, don’t stock the inventory with new product. Just sit on the cash.

    They’re already not doing that. They’ve been doing exactly that for the last ten years. We should reward…or rather…continue to reward them for that? You are aware of the one definition of insanity being “Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result” right?

    Hell, I talked to one of Senator Coburn’s staffers last week and said that if the richest 3% want those tax cuts they should have to create the jobs and economic prosperity first then they can have the tax cuts. You would have thought, by the way the staffer reacted, I had suggested that he pour gasoline on himself and light himself on fire.

    Morgan writes:
    Where’s your example of how well this soak-the-rich scheme has worked?

    You mean besides the 1990′s? The 1950′s through 1980. Or did you somehow miss me saying that under Eisenhower their tax rate was 90%? Know many multimillionaires and multibillionaires who left the country back then? Or during the 90′s?

    Noone here, Morgan, is proposing soak the rich. Neither is any Democrat in Congress or the President. We’re not talking about raising their taxes in the double digits. We’re talking about raising their taxes back to the levels that they were when Clinton was in office. Back when we had a budget surplus.

    Your side loves to talk about how the middle class and the poor, in order to fix the defecit, will have to sacrifice entitlements. That spending designed to help us middle class and the poor will have to be cut. Your side tried gutting unemployment assistance because “it will add to the defecit.” Unemployment assistance or rather extending it won’t even add a tenth of the amount to the defecit that those tax cuts to the richest 3% will. 700 plus billion dollars those tax cuts will add to the defecit, Morgan. And they won’t do a damn thing to help the economy. WHereas the unemployment assistance will help the economy because it will actually help the people who need it and they will spend that money.

    Where exactly do you get off thinking that the rich shouldn’t have to make any such sacrifice? How or why are they the sacred cows that must not be harmed or touched?

    Reagan cut taxes, mainly on the rich. He also had the sense to raise taxes a dozen times when those cuts didn’t bring about the “extra tax revenue” and “economic prosperity” that he claimed. When the defecit exploded in the 80′s Reagan raised taxes to help offset it. Whereas now the Republicans want to engage in endless tax cutting of the rich without having to take any actual responsibility for it when their promises that it will benefit all don’t pan out. In fact when Bush cut the taxes near 10 years ago the Republicans promised that if it didn’t boost the economy and create more jobs that they would let the tax cuts die.

    Are the Republicans liars, Morgan?

    Where you Republicans forgot basic accounting I have no idea. Tax cuts are a form of spending, Morgan, they are an expense. It is the government not having as much money to pay for the things it needs to pay for. You Republicans want to pretend that you can wave your hand and make it so that accounting, when it comes to tax cuts, are only a one sided thing. Basic rule of accounting, Morgan, is that is placed on the credit or expense side of the book has to be also placed on the opposite side. It is your party that took this country from having a large budget surplus to having an massive defecit. And those tax cuts played a part in it.

    Now take responsibility for what your party did instead of continuing to support making the same asinine mistakes over and over. Because you have no evidence to back your claims. And all Ed, myself and the others here, have to do to prove you wrong is say the words “2000-2010.” Because everything we are saying those tax cuts will do and won’t do is what has been going on for the last 10 years.

    Pretend the last ten years are a figment of the imagination all you want, Morgan, but it only goes to show how out of touch with reality the Republicans are and how far from actually deserving power they are. Ideaology does not trump reality except in the minds of the zealots and the fanatics.

    Like this

  27. Ed Darrell says:

    Where’s your example of how well this soak-the-rich scheme has worked?

    USA, from 2009 to 2010. We saved four million jobs.

    It would have been nice to have had another half trillion to have created more jobs, but the Republicans wanted to give it to the rich to . . . well, not to create new jobs.

    Like this

  28. Ed Darrell says:

    As for these wussy rich people, what you’re neglecting to consider is they don’t need to take the effort to pick up the ball & head home. All they have to do is…just not do stuff. Don’t expand. Don’t hire. Don’t renovate. Don’t open new service centers, don’t stock the inventory with new product. Just sit on the cash.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what they’ve done over the last ten years, instead of investing, as we’ve transferred at least $2 trillion from the middle class and poor to the wealthy — they’ve not done stuff. They didn’t expand, they didn’t hire, they didn’t renovate. They didn’t open new service centers, they aren’t stocking new products.

    They’ve invested overseas, opened factories first in Mexico, then in China (shuttering the factories in Mexico!). They outsourced customer service to India.

    We should stop that now. Take the money from those lazy rich who refuse to let go of the stuff, and let the government have it for unemployment benefits, or to fill potholes, or to build bridges, or sewage treatment plants, or plant forests to clean the air, or something — anything other than the nothing the rich has done for a decade of economic stagnation.

    Like this

  29. …deficits do not come from cutting taxes.

    If you spend more money than what you have coming in, that causes a deficit. Nothing else does. Can’t nuance this one.

    OK. Let me get this straight, Morgan… I have been spending my time this evening arguing with a man who simply does not grasp that cutting taxes will cut revenues, which — all else being equal — will increase deficits?

    Please tell me, Morgan, that you actually misspoke there. Please tell me that you really do understand that cutting taxes can cause a deficit. Please.

    Like this

  30. Ed once again links to an article he hopes nobody takes the time to go read. Krauthammer is vociferously objecting to the Stimulus side of the deal.

    As for these wussy rich people, what you’re neglecting to consider is they don’t need to take the effort to pick up the ball & head home. All they have to do is…just not do stuff. Don’t expand. Don’t hire. Don’t renovate. Don’t open new service centers, don’t stock the inventory with new product. Just sit on the cash.

    Seriously, what do you think they’re doing? “Oh, look how bad Obama is making us look. Look how awful a person this Nick character is making this Morgan character out to be over on this blog over here. Game’s over, boys! We’d better go create some jobs!”

    Where’s your example of how well this soak-the-rich scheme has worked? Ever? Give me something to pull it out of underpants-gnomes territory — because, right now, that’s where it is. Step 1, hike taxes on the rich until nobody can keep any significant money they’ve made, step 2, ?????? step 3 profit.

    Like this

  31. Ed Darrell says:

    …then what happens? The government gets their money and we don’t have any more rich people. Now what?

    So, Rich People™ are so wussy that a modest increase in taxes makes them turn brittle, break, and blow away in the wind?

    Why can’t the rich pull their share of the economic burden of the nation, especially since they get much more than their share of the economic benefits?

    Like this

  32. True…to a point. But defecits [sic] also come from when you cut taxes…

    No, not to a point; and no, deficits do not come from cutting taxes.

    If you spend more money than what you have coming in, that causes a deficit. Nothing else does. Can’t nuance this one.

    Like this

  33. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    Deficits come from spending money went you don’t have it & can’t get it. They don’t come from not taxing the rich enough.”

    True…to a point. But defecits also come from when you cut taxes on the mistaken notion that if you do it will magically create more tax dollars. We had a surplus before George W Bush came into office and we ended up with a multitrillion dollar defecit. Do you really want to pretend that his tax cuts had nothing to do with that when even the CBO says they did?

    Those tax cuts did nothing but help create a huge defecit, Morgan. They didn’t help the country, they created no jobs, they didn’t help the economy. So again..if they do nothing for the country why give them? Why not use the money to pay down the defecit and take care of necessary spending?

    Like this

  34. george.w says:

    “Deficits come from spending money went you don’t have it & can’t get it. They don’t come from not taxing the rich enough.”

    OK, fine. Here’s a good place to start cutting: the US spends 46 out of every 100 “defense” dollars globally. That money takes a long time to filter back into the economy, if it ever does. Domestic spending, and in particular unemployment insurance, goes right back into the economy. But spending money to help people in trouble seems to bother you.

    Like this

  35. Nick K says:

    Notice, Paul, he doesn’t even attempt to counterpoint the fact that the tax cuts to the richest 3% did nothing for the country, created no jobs, did not help the middle class or the poor.

    All he does is to continue to throw 97% of the people of this country under the bus in the service those who don’t give a damn about him.

    Like this

  36. Nick K says:

    We should add near 800 billion dollars to the defecit giving people who aren’t lacking for money and won’t be hurt if their taxes are raised why? We should continue to bankrupt the country to kiss the asses of the Koch Brothers and others like them why?

    Like this

  37. Nick K says:

    Morgan writes:
    I just think if the two of you are on to a swell idea here, you could defend it rather than calling the other side stupid. We tax the rich and…then what happens? The government gets their money and we don’t have any more rich people. Now what?

    That logic, Morgan, only works if there was absolutely no rich people before the Bush tax cuts. Is that what you’re claiming? That there were no rich people before the Bush tax cuts? None.

    That idea that if we increase the taxes on the rich people to the levels they were before George W Bush’s presidency is going to cause all…or any…of the rich people in this country to leave is illogical, has no basis in reality, and is puerile and asinine.

    And again..considering the number of insults that you’ve said..considering your party’s stock in trade is insult after insult after insult..you don’t get to play the victim. How many times, Morgan, has the word “socialist” come from your lips, metaphorically speaking? You meant that as an insult, Morgan, so sorry…innocent you’re not.

    You’re not even defending your idea. Your “defense” boils down to “Mom, its not fair they’re calling my idea stupid.”

    Like this

  38. Come on, Morgan, don’t tell me conservatives are genuinely concerned about the deficit when conservatives want to add 850 billion dollars to it in order to give the richest 2% of Americans an unneeded tax break. I wasn’t born yesterday — don’t BS me.

    Like this

  39. I just think if the two of you are on to a swell idea here, you could defend it rather than calling the other side stupid. We tax the rich and…then what happens? The government gets their money and we don’t have any more rich people. Now what?

    I know, I know. I’m just supposed to have faith in this plan or else I’m stupid or something.

    Well, here’s something for you to chew on. The federal budget deficit for the month of November is about double the additional revenues we hope to see annually from raising taxes on your hated “rich.” Assuming, that is, that the rich will not change their behavior in any way. Ah, not to worry. Nick says they won’t leave. So if he’s right, we can be sure of seeing 50 cents out of them for every dollar of additional red ink we accumulate during Novembers.

    As to Warren Buffet, if he’s so concerned that we aren’t taxing the rich enough…he can just mail in some extra. No one is stopping him. But I do see a Congress and a President completely out of control, and the Drunken Sailors’ Union is getting peeved when they’re compared to drunken sailors anymore.

    Deficits come from spending money went you don’t have it & can’t get it. They don’t come from not taxing the rich enough. On that point, this is where you say “I have to hand it to you Morgan, on there if nothing else, you are right.” If you can’t bring yourself to do that then you’re not engaged in a sincere and honest argument…not that that would be a shocka or anything.

    Like this

  40. Nick K says:

    Morgan, I don’t think you’re in a position to be complaining about any possible insults when you have engaged in such insults yourself and your party does nothing but insult and demonize.

    Innocent victim being picked on you’re not.

    Like this

  41. Nick K says:

    The Walton family are worth about 70 billion dollars, Morgan.

    Do you honestly think they need a 30 billion dollar tax cut? Do you honestly think they will be hurt if their taxes go up a piddling amount?

    Tell us Morgan, when do you look out for your own economic interests instead of your rich masters?

    Like this

  42. Ah, I knew the “stupid” word would get thrown around.

    If the word “stupid” when applied, not to a person, but to an idea, offends you, then I simply don’t know what to say except, “Have a good evening.”

    Like this

  43. Nick K says:

    Morgan once again proves that what he really is is a gutless wonder who will surrender to anything stupid enough and right wing enough instead of actually standing up for whats best for the country.

    Morgan, if they were going to leave if their taxes got raised they would have left already when their taxes were higher. They haven’t, and they won’t.

    But tell us…when Eisenhower was President the taxes on the rich were around 90%. Right now its barely a third that rate. When have we cut their taxes enough?

    And if cutting the taxes on the rich was so beneficial to the rest of us..then why wasn’t it the last 10 years? George W Bush had the lowest job creation rate of any President in the 20th century. And the income of the middle class and the poor has remained stagnant for the better part of 3 decades. In fact in some areas its gone down.

    Tell me, Morgan, when should we stop giving into the blackmail that your party is engaging in?

    Mr. Buffet is right..the rich are engaging in class warfare against everyone else. And like a good little quisling Republican, Morgan, you surrender and decide to continue kissing their asses.

    Like this

  44. …they do not require an economy like the one America is headed for in which the top 1% controls nearly all the wealth, there is no middle class to speak of, and the masses are obscenely poor. Whatever would give a conservative the stupid impression that that kind of economy is best for entrepreneurs?

    Ah, I knew the “stupid” word would get thrown around.

    As to your question, I don’t know what would give a conservative that stupid impression. Do let me know when one comes along who is laboring under it, will you?

    Some time after the current Congress was seated, I wrote to one of my senators who both are in the majority in that august body…I asked if the motto of the 111th Congress was something like “Our approach to any given problem is to ensure no one makes a profit finding a solution to it.” Now, I’m not sure what gives a liberal the stupid impression that this would result in the problem being solved…but when I see the class warfare rhetoric flowing so freely, I’m not the least bit disappointed that I didn’t get an answer. Don’t need one. It’s obvious.

    I would note that the truth of this dictum is much, much broader than the tax cut issue. It seems to apply to just about everything. Health care, stimulus, finance regulation overhaul, foreign aid, TARP, Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan…don’t actually solve any problems anywhere, just make sure no one makes too much of a profit.

    Unless they have the right friends of course.

    Like this

  45. btchakir says:

    That’s why he made Cartoon(s) of the Week this week.

    Like this

  46. george.w says:

    I keep waiting for the story to turn, for us to discover it’s some fiendishly clever plot to give the super-rich enough rope to reveal themselves as the parasites on society that they have become. But they’ve got half the country pitching for them, spewing rhetoric about “the incentive to make economic activity” – like kids ignoring their homework because they all think they’ll be drafted in the NBA.

    Like this

  47. Surely it’s a mere conservative fantasy that the Walton family and other uber-rich people will leave the country if tax levels for them return to the same levels they were for them in 1999. Why didn’t the Waltons and all the uber-rich leave in 1999?

    Second, the class warriors in this society are not the middle class, but the uber-rich — as Warren Buffett pointed out when he said his class had declared war on the rest of America and his class was winning.

    Third, entrepreneurs do not require a third world economy in which to be successful. That is, they do not require an economy like the one America is headed for in which the top 1% controls nearly all the wealth, there is no middle class to speak of, and the masses are obscenely poor. Whatever would give a conservative the stupid impression that that kind of economy is best for entrepreneurs?

    Like this

  48. “If the class warriors got their first two wishes, their third wish would be impossible. If you tax only the rich, yet you have no rich, then government collects no revenue.”

    This is a real concern. It’s been happening in California and other states pinning their hopes and dreams on a steeper progressive tax curve. At the state level, the rich just leave — why on earth wouldn’t they? — and at the national level, they still might leave. More likely, the entrepreneurial individual will simply re-evaluate his next risky opportunity, take note of the diminished returns & elevated risk, and simply delay or defer.

    But nevermind. I’m sure it’s what the smart policy makers do, and it’s only the dummies and illiterates who would deign to point out any problems with it.

    Like this

  49. Good thing someone is standing up for the uber-rich these days. Everybody knows the richest 1% of Americans need an even a greater portion of the national wealth than they currently have. At least, they need that money more than the middle and lower classes, which certainly are not struggling in this economy.

    Like this

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