OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Transcription of new Rick Perry ad

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to James Bremner,

    Craig, so Obama isn’t left of center?

    If Fox News and the Tea Party are defining what the "center" is, then Ronald Reagan (who increased marginal tax rates while Governor of California) is a ranting commie along with Margaret Thatcher and pretty much every center-right government on this planet who doesn't regard public provision of healthcare and education as the devil's work.

    Still, I'm delighted at the born again fiscal conservatism of Congressional Republicans. Funny how for eight long years they never saw a spending bill they couldn't stuff with more lard, but I guess it's different when Republicans do it...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11857 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Very large majorities of Americans support raising taxes on the rich

    Oh really?

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/federal_budget/september_2011/50_favor_mix_of_cuts_taxes_to_reduce_deficit_but_64_oppose_paying_higher_taxes

    The US needs spending cuts and increased tax revenues (not rates) generated by eliminating deductions and loop holes and lowering rates. A comprehensive corporate tax reform deal was on the table earlier in the year and has support from both Repubs and Dems in both Houses of Congress and is exactly the kind of economic and political circuit breaker Obama needs. This kind of tax reform would get the economy moving again and generate a whole lot of tax revenue, much much more then increase rates.
    He could get that deal anytime he wants to, but Obama keeps killing the the deal by insisting on raising tax rates as well, probably to pander to his base. Dumb economics and super dumb politics. Obama really is no JFK, Reagan or Clinton. Not even close. Any of those guys could have made progress in the current situation.
    Obama is 14 months out from an election, dead in the water, no mojo, no momentum, he is in the really dangerous political space where the phone is just about off the hook, and all he can do is insult the pols whose votes he needs to do anything, and offer up the same tired old crap about the rich paying their fair share. Apparently he is too clueless to know himself, or no one has told him that the rich pay just about all the tax that gets paid, which is the obvious outcome of a the progressive tax structure the US has.
    The top 1% of tax payers now pay more than the bottom 95% of taxpayers. And this doesn't fit his definition of fair? I mean what else does he want? Blood?
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24955.html

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Sacha,

    How about that weather

    It's so, uh, weather-y.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Lucy,
    There are a number of states such as NY or CA where the combined Fed, State income and various local taxes get north of 50% of annual income. Sure there are deductions, which is why a lot of low and middle income taxpayers don’t pay much if any income tax, but if you are on a big income, those deductions disappear in the rear vision mirror pretty quickly.
    Long term capital gains are taxed at 15%, if that is what you are getting at. There is no shortage of taxes, and an enormous amount of taxation paid in the US, and the well off pay most of it. That is just a simple, well known and easily researchable fact.
    I have a fairly sound understanding of the tax system. But based on your post, I have my doubts about your understanding.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I guess one could argue about the meaning of sun or rain, but it seems rather pointless..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16444 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to James Bremner,

    I have a fairly sound understanding of the tax system. But based on your post, I have my doubts about your understanding.

    I understand the concept of progressive taxation, whereby the top tax rate you pay is not the rate every dollar is taxed at, and it is therefore very difficult for every dollar of someone's income to be taxed at 50-60%, especially when the wealthier people are the more likelier large portions of their income are to be derived from capital gains. This is also a "well-known and easily researchable fact".

    The wealthiest Americans pay a large portion of the tax because they earn a large portion of total income - and have increased their income over the last decade, when the median income has shrunk. They also avoid a great deal of tax, through loopholes and deductions. When you earn $15,000 - minimum wage income - you cannot afford to pay very much if any of it in tax because you cannot afford to live if you do. (You can't afford to live on $15,000 anyway, but that's why so many Americans are on food-stamps - effective government subsidies to corporate profits.) When you earn $150,000, you can.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, you are exactly right, it is a different kind of Repub party than the party of Delay and the compassionate conservative, Bush. Compassionate conservatism must have actually meant "spend like a drunken sailor conservatism" (which therefore isn't actually conservatism).
    Contrary to much popular belief, the sentiment that drives the Tea party was born under Bush and Delay, not under Obama. The extreme frustration and disgust of many Repubs, independents and mod Dems at the pork party and fiscal flatulence of 2000 to 2006. Of course the only problem the Dems had with Bush's spending was that it wasn't enough, when Bush spent 400b on his prescription bill, the Dems were screaming that it neeeded to be at least 1 trillion!!
    That anger at spending was only compounded by the concerns of the GFC, and when Obama went of a wild spending spree with his absurd stimulus and across the board big budget increases, that existing concern and anger at excessive govt spending burst out into a wild fire. That is why it got so big so quickly. Sure their was some organization and money involved (just like the Iraq war protests), but no amount of money or organization is going to get your average joe or jane out to a protest if he or she isn't really pissed about something.
    The desire for spending restraint really is real, if the Repubs don't deliver on spending cuts, you will see a lot of Repub Congressmen and Senators being primaried before 2014.

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Bremner,

    Obama is 14 months out from an election, dead in the water, no mojo, no momentum

    His ratings have slipped in the past six months, to about where Reagan was at the same point in his presidency, but he still beats a generic Republican candidate, and seems likely to beat anyone from the utter freakshow that is the Republican lineup. Given that he took office at the beginning of the US’s most severe financial crisis since the 1930s, he was always going to face challenges on the economic front.

    he is in the really dangerous political space where the phone is just about off the hook, and all he can do is insult the pols whose votes he needs to do anything, and offer up the same tired old crap about the rich paying their fair share. Apparently he is too clueless to know himself, or no one has told him that the rich pay just about all the tax that gets paid, which is the obvious outcome of a the progressive tax structure the US has.

    This is actually the problem – as you unwittingly implied above. The US revenue system is borked, to the point where there simply is not the revenue base available to fund the kind of superpower Americans perceive their country to be. There are too many exceptions and loopholes, too many people paying no tax at all – and many very wealthy people paying 15% marginal rates on their dividend income.

    The single biggest factor in the Bush deficits was not his spending – although, man, did he ever expand government – but his tax cuts. This graph of top marginal tax rates since 1900 tells the story quite well. Note the 15% top rate on dividend income.

    And it’s hardly only federal government with this problem. The Republican-as-it-gets state of Texas will run a deficit of $9 billion in 2012, equivalent to more than more than 20% of its general budget.

    I'm surprised that you would quote state income tax rates at 10%, if you're as familiar with the tax system as you say. Only Hawaii has a top rate greater than 10% -- all other states levy less than 10%, most of them substantially less and some none at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    This whole thing reminds me tangentially of a rark-up over Berkeley way, where the Campus Republicans thought they'd make a point about the university's new admissions policy by running a cake stall where they charged people based on their ethnicity and gender, with white men being charged the most and non-whites and women progressively less.

    I thought this was an ingenious way to illustrate relative purchasing power and income disparity, having misheard that the Campus Democrats were running it, until I found out a) it was the Republicans and b) they were actually trying to say that the world was mean to white men. Oh well.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to James Bremner,

    when Obama went of a wild spending spree with his absurd stimulus and across the board big budget increases

    Oh, FFS… Look I get that in your book Obama can’t say or do anything that isn’t malignant and malicious, but while you’re entitled to your own opinion you’re not entitled to your own facts. And I really don’t think Republicans get to pretend their own voting records didn’t happen when they become politically inconvenient, especially when they seem utterly incapable of putting up any alternatives whose relationship with reality (or even plausible surmise) is distant.

    The funny thing is that I'm happy to see tax cuts, but I don't live in some fantasy land where you can cut income and ramp up spending without something giving. Of course, the right-wing radicals who control the GOP (and are no conservatives) can't up with any solution beyond fucking over the poor and middle-class while dishing out corporate welfare and obsessing over non-issues like Obama's birth certificate. The problem with the Tea Party, like all ideologues, is that they exist in some wonderful purist pocket universe where they don't have to deal with messy, complex realities. For these people it was preferable to have the United States default on its debts than raise the debt ceiling. That's beyond cranky and downright irresponsible and dangerous.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11857 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    ...but while you're entitled to your own opinion you're not entitled to your own facts. And I really don't think Republicans get to pretend their own voting records didn't happen when they become politically inconvenient,...

    Ahem, no pretty sure they do. American politics is based on expressing opposing sentiment to the other party.

    In 2012 Obama will promise to shutdown Gitmo and Mitt Romney will oppose government run health exchanges.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    I thought this was an ingenious way to illustrate relative purchasing power and income disparity, having misheard that the Campus Democrats were running it, until I found out a) it was the Republicans and b) they were actually trying to say that the world was mean to white men. Oh well.

    It demonstrates the message being more important the action. Democrats care about fairness and equality, Republicans care about freedom and responsibility.

    Differences in sentiment explain why Libya/Iraq wars are so different. Just like TARP/TARP amd Patriot/Patriot and Gitmo/Gitmo and Solyndra/Solyndra and targetted assasination/targetted assasination and war on drugs/war on drugs are so different. The message portrayed varies, the actions remain the same.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to James Bremner,

    Steve,No doubt the US has some very real and serious problems that it needs to face, the biggest of which is out of control Govt spending driving trillion dollar plus deficits and debt accumulation as far as the eye can see.

    So you want to live in a bankrupt country? I don't get it. Where does this delusion come from that you don't want the wealthy to pay their share because that will allow you to be rich?.
    The biggest problem the American Govt. has is the fact that it can't afford to pay for what Americans need because Americans would rather have a Jet Ski than good health care for their sick and elderly, would rather coddle the rich than help their neighbour.
    Spoilt brats if you ask me.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4640 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    The biggest problem the American Govt. has is the fact that it can’t afford to pay for what Americans need because Americans would rather have a Jet Ski than good health care for their sick and elderly, would rather coddle the rich than help their neighbour.
    Spoilt brats if you ask me.

    Not entirely fair, about the healthcare. If the US government were spending what it spends on Medicare/Medicaid for a standard first-world nationalised healthcare system, they'd have a pretty good thing going. The problem is how the money's spent, not that they don't spend enough. They actually overspend by quite a bit, because the whole system is just so inefficient (and devoted to producing profits for health insurance and drug companies.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    They actually overspend by quite a bit, because the whole system is just so inefficient (and devoted to producing profits for health insurance and drug companies.)

    A lot of it seems to be attributed to all the litigation associated with it. Also, American industry has faced employee health insurance costs that other industrialised nations don’t.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to DeepRed,

    A lot of it seems to be attributed to all the litigation associated with it. Also, American industry has faced employee health insurance costs that other industrialised nations don’t.

    Mostly it comes down to the fact that 30c in every American health dollar goes to administration, v. 2-3c in nationalised systems. I went to the A&E once here. I was dealing with bills from five or six different providers, coming over a period of months. This necessitated five or six different claims to my insurer. It's a *mess*, and an expensive one.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    They actually overspend by quite a bit, because the whole system is just so inefficient (and devoted to producing profits for health insurance and drug companies.)

    IMhO, this succinctly explains the core of the problem in the simplest of terms.

    There, but for the grace of Od, go we?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1131 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Steve Parks,

    It’s a great system.

    The ironic thing is, if you have good health insurance, it is. Americans are trained to accept stacks of paperwork as part and parcel of the healthcare experience, and high-quality care in America is very high-quality indeed. But as with taxes, the people who make the laws and have the most influence on government are thoroughly isolated from the realities of the un- and under-insured, so when they hear "America has a terrible healthcare system" they think back to their own experiences - which have probably been excellent - and decide whoever's saying that must just be stupid.

    It really isn't possible to emphasize enough how much Americans can live in parallel realities from each other, and particularly, how the rich can live in parallel realities from the poor.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, the Right is turning on Perry.

    Too liberal, insufficiently brutal towards the children of illegal immigrants. And some other shit that really does not make sense.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Another example of the Beast eating itself!
    Biblical references litter the ground, hardly surprising, given the predilection of these people. Waiting for some one to save them...fat chance.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1172 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    It’s a great system.

    The ironic thing is, if you have good health insurance, it is.

    Is it really?
    A NZ Doctor article recently had this;

    In an editorial accompanying a study of rosiglitazone published on bjm.com today, professor of medicine Victor Montori and assistant professor of health services Nilay Shah write:

    "The rosiglitazone story says much about how healthcare has become less about promoting patients' interests, alleviating illness, promoting function and independence, and curing disease, and much more about promoting other interests, including those of the drug industry.

    "Has the corruption of healthcare advanced so far that it is unreasonable, even naive, to expect responsible drug companies, enlightened regulators, and thoughtful prescribers?"

    This agrees with your earlier point, but I find it hard to see any system providing selective health care on a largely profit motive as being a 'great system' for anyone.

    Study article here.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to recordari,

    This agrees with your earlier point, but I find it hard to see any system providing selective health care on a largely profit motive as being a ‘great system’ for anyone.

    It's highly selective. If you have power and money, it can work wonders, and certainly patient interaction and therefore perception of the system is very good in those circumstances. For everyone else...not so much. Worth remembering, too, that the threat of lawsuits means doctors are far less likely to prescribe drugs just because they're getting a kickback for them to people who might sue if it goes wrong.

    Overall, yes, it's thoroughly corrupted by the profit motive. I was more trying to explain why the powerful in this country actively choose to perpetuate a failing system - it doesn't fail them, or not that they can notice.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    It really isn’t possible to emphasize enough how much Americans can live in parallel realities from each other, and particularly, how the rich can live in parallel realities from the poor.

    The venerable Jared Diamond has theorised that collapsed civilisations ultimately came to grief the way they did, whenever their elites isolated themselves from the rest of society's problems and went "lalalalalala can't hear you!". He cites the ancient Mayan civilisation as a prime example.

    It seems that left under the carpet, prole problems become elite problems - a modern hypothetical example would be a meningitis pandemic that starts in the poorest regions and eventually breaches the razor wired security blanket, and the gated elites do nothing because it's "not their problem".

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to DeepRed,

    It seems that left under the carpet, prole problems become elite problems - a modern hypothetical example would be a meningitis pandemic that starts in the poorest regions and eventually breaches the razor wired security blanket, and the gated elites do nothing because it's "not their problem".

    Stupid proles should probably eat more cake to vaccinate themselves.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2344 posts Report Reply

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