More notes from the class struggle

“In the years since the collapse of 2008, the existence of mass unemployment has stopped being something the economic powers that be even pretend to regard as a crisis.”

“I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.

Why are these wealthy white guys so angry at the middle class and poor? Where does this deep-seated anger come from?”

“So today, please pass the word on to all of your contacts that you approve of the Romney campaign’s new direction.”

UK Prime Minister Cameron and U.S. President Obama examine a bust of Churchill in the White House — a piece of art that U.S. Republicans insist is not in the White House.

“We live in a bizarre, post racial, post Civil Rights moment, where to call a white person — especially a conservative — a racist is a bigger sin than racism itself.”

It’s a flat-out racial appeal aimed at convincing non-college educated white voters that this black president wants to take their tax dollars to give them to his shiftless black brothers and sisters.”

It’s all fabricated, this war on women. I don’t get it.”

Welcome to the rules of austerity.”

“Conservatives have locked themselves into a dead consensus in favor of the program developed by Bob Bartley and his friends on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal almost 40 years ago: tax cuts, financial deregulation, and tight money.”

“The thing that began nudging me away from [Ayn] Rand was seeing how people who embraced her values system actually behaved.”

“But just because we can see people like the Siegels as human doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold them accountable.”

“Social Security is not welfare. Social Security is not an investment plan. Social Security is insurance to avoid welfare if your investment plan doesn’t work out as well as you hope.”

“There are so many provisions in the health law that are beneficial to people with chronic illness, including MS.”

“The claim that President Obama ‘raided’ the trust fund because he has proposed additional health care spending in other areas … is like claiming that a person’s checking account had been raided because the bank lent the money to a small business.”

“So, in Rand Paul’s mind, the National Weather Service has ordered 46,000 hollow-point bullets.”

“It’s like he heard about an award that goes to the lyingest liar who ever lied in the history of liars, and Romney’s so eager to win the award that he’s becoming a parody of himself.”

9 takeaways on Romney’s tax plan

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXX

  • hidden_urchin

    From the first link:

    History will record that the economic elite has viewed the economic crisis from a perspective of detached complacency.

    Marie Antoinette called.  She said it turns out that “detached complacency” makes for bad economic and social policy.  Just a heads up.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     The real nature of the crisis in unemployment should be enough to kick anyone in the ass.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    These don’t really seem particularly Christian. Just normal dem talking points. just sayin 

    All this stuff about tight money and taxing the rich is moot. Our tax dollars are going to pay the interest on the national debt and absurd amounts of military spending. That’s the problem. not rich people paying 35 or 39 percent. Military industrial complex = Elephant in room

    “”I live in a Washington neighborhood almost entirely filled with college-educated professionals, and it occurred to me not long ago that, when my children grow up, they’ll have no personal memory of having lived through the greatest economic crisis in eighty years.” ”

    exactly. what an indictment of the system. The Green Zone thats what DC is

  • Daughter

    The Siegel documentary sounds fascinating.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Honestly, I am not sure that the wealthy white guys pushing stuff like the Ryan agenda are so much angry as just indifferent to the suffering it would cause.  It gives further advantage to them, and any harm it does others is just collateral.  However, it would be facetious to say that there is not some anger pushing things like this budget, but I think that anger is its tool, not its origin.  To get people to sign on to something so obviously harmful, people have to be pushed beyond the bounds of rational thought, they need to be brought to anger so that the plan seems acceptable.  The anger comes not from the top, but from the herds of voters they lead around the pasture with dog whistles and myths about “welfare queens” and Kenyan Atheist Fundamentalist Muslim White-People-Hating Presidents.  

  • AnonymousSam

    Yeah, it’s totally irrelevant whether Romney is paying taxation in the 30s% or 0.82%. I’m sure the rest of us can more than make up for his shortcomings and other multimillionaires if we just cut out the military spending. :p

  • Lori

    Just a normal Chris Hadrick talking point. Must be a day ending in y.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The top four hundred income earners in the US in 2008 had an average income of $344,831,528, says Wikipedia. These same individuals paid, on average, an effective tax rate of 16.6%.

    Point one: my effective tax rate is higher than that and I earn twenty-six thousand dollars a year. We need to raise taxes on the rich purely as a matter of fairness. It is not fair that I pay more tax per dollar than someone who earns thirteen thousand times what I do.

    Point two: if those four hundred individuals had paid an effective tax rate of 20.9%, same as the highest-percentage-paying income bracket, government revenue would have been higher by more than five point five billion dollars.

    Yes, I know, drop in the fucking bucket considering the US military budget 2010 came to more than $660 billion, but $5.5 billion is a hell of a drop, wouldn’t you say?

    Suppose now that those same four hundred individuals had paid an effective tax rate of 80%. (This would still leave them with an average of $69 million each after taxes, which, if they lived like normal folks, that one year’s after-tax income would have them set for several lifetimes.) That would increase government revenue by more than $87 billion. Now we’re talking real money.

    And note how my numbers include raising taxes on only the top four hundred earners in the country. It would hardly be fair to raise taxes on only the top four hundred and not the rest of the top 1%.

    Nowhere in this am I saying we shouldn’t cut the defense budget; of course we should. But you are saying that there’s no point in raising taxes on the rich, as though the hundreds of billions of dollars in additional revenue that the government would get if we did raise taxes on the rich to reasonable levels is absolutely meaningless.

  • Baeraad

    Yeah, see, Fred is an unusual sort of Christian. He seems to think that all that stuff in the Bible about caring for the poor is actually what Christianity is all about. I’d have thought you would have noticed by now.

    As for military spending, the US should definitely cut it. Just as the US should definitely raise taxes for the rich. Don’t make it a competition just because you like one idea but not the other.

  • Wingedwyrm

    Regarding Romney/Ryan’s repeating of the claim that Obama is getting rid of the work requirement.  I think, ontop of the question of whether or not they’re knowingly calling out to racists is another question.  Do we, in order to make our point about Romney and Ryan, *need* them to be racist or knowingly blasting racist dogwhistles?  And, I don’t think so.

    All we really need to point out is that this feeds into a race-neutral Republican narrative of “welfare queens” and the lazy poor.  It’s an untrue claim made to associate Obama with an untrue narrative.  The fact that the Republican fantasy of the poor being uniformly lazy, shiftless, nerdowells is most often cast with race as a major factor can, in fact, distract from the point that we’re trying to make that it is a false statement meant to feed into a false narrative.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The thing is the Republicans have to pretend their narrative is ‘race-neutral’; in point of fact however the popular perception is that blacks are on welfare to a greater percentage than whites, and this feeds into pre-existing notions that go back to the slavery era that blacks as a whole are lazy and shiftless unless prodded to work.

    So yes, Republican politicians can be accused with justification of trying to use racist dog whistles while trying to claim the cover of a ‘post-racial’ narrative.

    It would be pathetic if it weren’t so successful, that on the one hand they use Obama’s Presidency as “proof” somehow (although Romney, to his credit, before the NAACP, did confess, as other Republicans have not, that his Presidency does not signal the true withering-away of the ‘last barrier’ to equality) that true racial equality now exists, and on the other thety simultaneously fan all the old racist fears of the blacks taking stuff away from whites.

    It really is an amazing case study in having your cake and eating it too. :

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    Do we, in order to make our point about Romney and Ryan, *need* them to be racist or knowingly blasting racist dogwhistles?  And, I don’t think so.

    They don’t HAVE to be racist but they ARE racist. If that upsets some people who don’t like acknowledging their own racism/tolerance for racism, well, tough shit.

  • Tonio

    Yes. Debating whether Romney or Ryan are racists themselves, or whether they know what they’re doing with their dog whistles, is not the issue. What matters is that the terms work as appeals to white resentment.

  • Michael Pullmann

    “It’s a flat-out racial appeal
    aimed at convincing non-college educated white voters that this black
    president wants to take their tax dollars to give them to his shiftless
    black brothers and sisters.”

    And the sad thing is, it works on college-educated white voters too. Two of them, at least.

  • Tonio

    I don’t typically watch the conventions, and in the case of Tampa next week I would probably be tempted to yell at the screen. The Isaac storm is slated to hit town then. Although I hate how people like Pat Robertson claim that natural disasters are just desserts for sinners, it would be funny if Isaac hit just as a horrendously homophobic
    speaker was getting into his rant, and the winds tore off his clothes to
    show a giant gay-themed tattoo on his chest.

  • Lori

    I think the far more likely scenario would involve the storm somehow catching an anti-gay, “family values” Republican taking advantage of the free admission the one of the local bath houses is offering to convention attendees.

    And of course, no matter what happens, Pat would never suggest that a storm hit Tampa as a punishment for the city hosting the convention or as a way to signal His divine displeasure with the GOP. I’m sure there’s a Pride event or a circuit party or some gays having brunch or something taking place within 100 miles of Tampa that will explain the whole thing if Isaac causes any damage.

    Note: I do not wish for Isaac to cause any damage in Tampa or anywhere else. If the storm acts as predicted I wish safety for everyone it its path. I’ve been through a hurricane, it wasn’t a pleasant experience and I don’t wish it on others.

  • Tonio

    No disagreement with the last paragraph. I’ve been through two hurricanes. Part of me hopes that the convention would actually be far worse of a culture-war hatefest than in 1992, just so many more voters would be repulsed.

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=500aaee65c6e185f Mouse

    Re: Rich, white guys anger at those below:

    They’re angry because they’re afraid and they’re afraid because they know, deep down, that they’ve committed a grave injustice against the people below.

  • Nirrti

    The white guys have been angry since Brown v. Board of Ed and Civil Rights Act of 1964. Nothing pisses them off more than “those people” getting to have the same things that rightfully belong to the white guys.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That said, the anger seems more concentrated among the people who think they have the most to lose and the least to recover, which oddly enough are the generally working-class whites who’ve never adjusted to the idea that a truly equal society would be better all around. :

  • Wingedwyrm

    In order to make the case for racism, we have to prove three facts.  We all do agree these are true facts, by the way, so remember that I’m not arguing that Romney and Ryan aren’t knowingly blowing a racist dog whistle, just that the argument, itself, is a hard case to prove to the satisfaction of any swing voters.  1.  We have to prove, to swing vote satisfaction, that the language being used about welfare is a continuation of the language being used to belittle race.  2.  We have to prove, to the satisfaction of the people we want to convince, that in the minds of the Republican Base, welfare recipients and non-caucasian races are at the very least heavily merged if not already one in the same.  3.  We have to prove, to the satisfaction of people who are unlikely to sit through the argument to even hear this third part, that Romney and Ryan are aware of fact 2 and are using it knowingly.

    We can’t look into the heads of Ryan and Romney.  We can’t prove that their knowledge of American History up to today has any accuracy, whatsoever, let alone that they’re using it so seditiously.  But, we can just look at the language they’ve used and show that they do have and that the right far more obviously has a resentment of the poor.  This is a group that regularly tweets such things as how horrible it is that someone on SNAP purchased rice crispy treats.  Ryan’s proposed budget takes away the majority of services to the poor.  Romney once said “I’m not worried about the very poor, we have a safety net”.  Oh, and he also blamed the poverty of Palestine on Palestinian culture, making the claim that the richer culture is richer just because it’s the better culture, as if no other factors can ever play in there.

    Racism, as an argument, can backfire on us too easily.  What’s more, it distracts from another sin that we can prove much more easily.  The entirety of the current Republican ticket resents the poor for not suffering enough.  So does their base.  And, that’s what they’re more visibly trying to stoke.

    That’s a far more easily shown narritive of resentment.  And, since it’s shown out front more easily, it’s more easily battled with two facts.  1.  No, Obama hasn’t taken the work requirement off.  2.  The narritive is wrong.

  • LoneWolf343

     “These don’t really seem particularly Christian. Just normal dem talking points. just sayin”

    So?

  • AnonymousSam

     Pat Robertson has apparently never read Luke 13:1–5.Which wouldn’t surprise me. I doubt he reads the Bible much at all. Too much love and compassion for his taste. Better to have a few verses on hand from The Google  and then just expound on them.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Sadly, that is not how hurricanes and tropical storms work, except in cartoons. The people who have to worry most about the storm down here are the people from whom the assholes have already taken everything. And after the storm hits, and we’re left with sinkholes and flooding and destroyed housing, the assholes will run back to their million-dollar nests and attempt to legislate against anything that would prevent sinkholes or help people whose homes have been destroyed.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Ellie – “Suppose now that those same four hundred individuals had paid an effective tax rate of 80%. (This would still leave them with an average of $69 million each after taxes, which, if they lived like normal folks, that one year’s after-tax income would have them set for several lifetimes.) That would increase government revenue by more than $87 billion. Now we’re talking real money”

    Now your talking absolute insanity. You’d only be able to do that once, I assure you. They’d be gone the next year.  If you are talking about raising peoples taxes that high you have taken a wrong turn, point blank. Theres no government that needs that kind of capital to operate unless they were on Mars or something. 

    the budget in Clintons last year was 1.9 trillion.  Does anyone remember chaos and devastation then? No quite the contrary.

     Jonathan Chait, David Frum (the author of the axis of evil speech, why is this man considered anythign but a maniac? ) and others who write the above articles from DC, the richest place in the entire country. 

    Doesn’t it bother people that they are not experiencing the downturn at all, as chait describes.  That the king and his court are having grand banquets while the people starve?

    It’s not happening because they are smart, it’s because we HAVE to pay our taxes and we don’t decide how it’s spent. Thats all Americans tax dollars floating around DC. all going out to big business and connected folks and we all know about the politicians and their Madoff esque consistent  stock returns they get from inside info.

    anonymous sam – 16% of millions of dollars is alot. DC takes in alot in revenues. There is no revenue problem there is a spending problem. If there isn’t a spending problem today than really there is no such thing as a spending problem.

    raising taxes on the rich will not end the recession.Why not put your hatred of the rich off a bit till it is actually workable without destroying the pathetic scraps of hope for a comeback we have.  Why make them the scapegoat for wall street and washington?

    Lori- I’m sorry your side is afraid to talk about the military industrial complex and it’s negative role on our lives and our economy.  Theres no way around it anymore though.

  • AnonymousSam

    Your strawman is unappreciated. I didn’t say a word about the recession. I’m more concerned with programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security getting cut because the government is taking in fewer taxes per capita than they have in US history while simultaneously deciding that these programs are untenable because of their miraculously diminishing revenue streams.

    But I’m sure you’d rather we switch over to privatized systems anyway, because FREE MARKET

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’d only be able to do that once, I assure you. They’d be gone the next year.  If you are talking about raising peoples taxes that high you have taken a wrong turn, point blank.
     
    Was there a mass exodus of rich folk fleeing the US in the second year in which the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was in effect? I forget what the top tax bracket was but it was over 90%.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    I am entertained by the idea that “Wallstreet and Washington” are somehow separate from the megarich. It really emphasises how little connection to reality you have.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    To be fair, there were two extra factors at work in that era:

    1. Social norms were different. The country had been through a decade of prolonged economic hardship for millions, followed by a war run by a government which emphasized national solidarity and collectivist responses to national problems in a period of crisis.

    So rich people had been ‘conditioned’ by years of an unfavorable political climate that they needed to behave with some humility and decency.

    2. The world at the time controlled capital flows more stringently than today. So even if rich people wanted to park their money someplace else, countries kept track of these things.

    For today, in 2012, the social norms are changing, but too slowly. As for capital controls, they’re slowly being reintroduced, but countries tend to see them more as a crisis measure than as a good thing to permanently adopt.

    It may be a case of too little, too long, but if Obama can take the lead after November to get a tax system reinstated that raises marginal tax rates once again, leaving generous room at the bottom end for a zero-rated threshold, the fact that he’s doing something about the excesses of the rich will move the moral bar, and make it easier to accept once again that high taxes on the wealthy are a necessary component to maintaining the social contract in today’s much more complicated era than the simple farmer-laborer era in which the USA was b0rn.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    bringthenoise- they aren’t disconnected from it. That’s where they are. Sorry for the confusion. http://rt.com/usa/news/dc-wealth-rich-america-339/

    Ellie- There was no where else to go back then. Plus, just look at the forest for the trees. No one is gonig to raise the tax level to 80 percent. Who would do that Obama? come on. When they had that level it did disincentive work too.If you made 200,000 and had the oppurtunity to make more why would you bother is 94 percent left yuor hands. why create jobs past that point?  google Rolling Stones in France

    sam- revenues aren’t decreasing they have just ramped up military spending. cut the military spending, don’t just tax random peopel around the country to pay for it.

    pushing for tax raises is just a way of keeping the status quo.  You have to address the military industrial complex.

    A normal 1st world sort of military budget is 2 percent of GDP. Chinas is exactly 2%. Ours is 5.7 and who knows what all the homeland security stuff costs. We don’t need to adequately fund that we need to get rid of it.

    more to the point, revenues are NOT dimishing they were a trillion or so circa 1990 and are 2.5 now.  again much of this money is going to interest on debt and wars. roads are paid for with gas tax, schools with property tax.

    If you looked at us from space you’d think we were a people who worshipped the residents of an area called DC to the extent that we put their needs far above our own and that we LOVED war. These are not anyones values though.

    edit: also not one to post random links but, look at this one http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118622.html Condi Rice: humanitarian

  • Ross Thompson

    Now your talking absolute insanity. You’d only be able to [raise top-bracket taxes to 80%] once, I assure you. They’d be gone the next year.

    From 1944 to 1956, the US marginal tax rate was 91% or higher. What proportion of people paying that rate left the country in 1945? If you expect people to behave differently now than they did in the 40′s and 50′s, why? What fundamental societal change has happened that makes high taxes less acceptable?

  • Lori

     

    more to the point, revenues are NOT dimishing they were a trillion or so
    circa 1990 and are 2.5 now.  again much of this money is going to
    interest on debt and wars. roads are paid for with gas tax, schools with
    property tax.  

    Is this  something that you cut & pasted from somewhere else? I ask because you clearly have no idea what it means and I’m wondering how that works with you.

  • Ross Thompson

    When they had that level it did disincentive work too.If you made 200,000 and had the oppurtunity to make more why would you bother is 94 percent left yuor hands. why create jobs past that point?

    Once you’re above the poverty line, earning extra money always results in keeping extra money. All your income up to $200,000 is taxed the same way it was before (so you get to keep the same amount of it), and the new money earned above $200,000 is taxed at a higher rate (so you get to keep less of it, but still a positive amount). As your gross income goes up, so does your net, even if it takes you into a new tax bracket.

    This is one of the most bizarre misunderstandings I’ve seen coming from people who claim to understand finance and business, and I have trouble believing that such people are genuinely mistaken, rather than that they’re being deliberately mendacious. But I’m sure you’ll prove me wrong by admitting you were wrong and never using that argument again, right?

  • Kubricks_Rube

    [L]ook at the forest for the trees. No one is gonig to…

    It’s funny. No matter how many times you’re told that “no one is going to” enact your preferred policies, you keep repeating them as if they are a feasible option. If you only want responses based on a practical assessment of what’s achievable in the current political landscape, then don’t keep  insisting that slashing military spending by 50% is the answer, cause that ain’t gonna happen.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    they aren’t disconnected from it. That’s where they are. Sorry for the confusion.

    Then what did you mean by saying we should stop hating the rich* and focus on Washington and Wall Street?

    * Not that anyone does. Asking those with more to contribute more in taxes is straight out of The Wealth of Nations and nothing like hatred. Those rich people who have attracted ire (Trump, Kochs) are hated for their actions, not their wealth. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You know, for all that Republicans love military spending, they seem to hate realizing you need to have the taxes to pay for it.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    If you made 200,000 and had the opportunity to make more why would you bother if 94 percent left your hands. 

    If I can work forty hours a week and make $80K/year, or fifty hours a week and make $85K/year, why would I bother working the extra ten hours? After all, there’s a 75% penalty being attached to my work!

    And yet, people do this.

    Why do we do this? Because we want the extra $5K more than we want the extra ten hours a week. 

  • http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=500aaee65c6e185f Mouse

    Yeah, the bloated military budget always astonished me…

    During the 90s, people were like, “OK, Cold War’s over, we no longer have to fear Russia nuking us. Can we make some cuts to the military budget?”

    Collective Response of Government: No.

    9/11 did give more justification for the military perspective, but given that both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven just how useless our fancy bombers and whatnot are, given that terrorists can run circles around us, using low-tech roadside bombs, plus the fact we’re in a massive recession, you’d think somebody would consider making some cuts to the military, but nobody wants to be accused of hating our troops, even though very little of that money goes to help them when they come back maimed from war.

  • AnonymousSam

    Taxation revenue is the lowest it has been since 1950.

    I utterly fail to see how increasing taxation on the rich preserves the status quo when the status quo is that the taxation rates they pay are lower than anyone else’s, especially if they exploit tax loopholes that can cut their taxation by a further half.

    I fail even more to see why this is putting the rich’s needs above our own. Do you even realize you just made a point in complete negative contrast to the theme of what anyone is talking about?

    Cutting military spending is a good idea and needs to happen regardless, but it’s only part of the equation. Giving our top earners a free ride at the expense of everyone else has got to be stopped as well.

  • AnonymousSam

    Speak for yourself. I have a deep suspicion for the character of anyone who manages to accumulate that much wealth without putting it to a use that’s beneficial for the masses. The worst characters are the ones who want to steal money away from everyone else by having legislation passed which might as well come with a bottle of lube (COD of course), but they themselves only seem to want to pile all their millions away in an offshore account and let it sit for future generations. They give me dystopian fantasies about chariots pulled by naked slaves while suited men with monocles and rifles sit atop and play Warfare Polo with each other for the last few wild dollars blowing about in the breeze.

    “I see one! Why, that’s a rare and elusive Jefferson Greenback! Faster, boys, before anyone else sees it!”

    “Oh no you don’t, Helu! *Pew pew* I need that twenty to finish wallpapering my ninth bathroom!”

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    Mouse- I strongly agree.

    Sam- thats revenues as a percent of GDP. the GDP is much higher than it was in the 50′s.  Obviously our intake in 2012 is higher than it was then.  Also, we are borrowing more and of course inflating more now than then.

    We aren’t where we are because rich people aren’t paying enough taxes. If we raised taxes on the rich the insane foreign policy of the Pentagon wouldn’t make sense. 

    bring the noise-  The way to get at the rich people in DC  and wall street is not to raise there taxes but to take away their entire salaries, which are illegitmate.  There are rich people all over the country who have nothing to do with that stuff.

    lori / Sam - http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_408.htm 1990:  a trillion  ish 200o: 2 trillion ish 2010: about 2 trillion and a half

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You do know what GDP represents, right? The sum total of the output of final goods and services the nation produces.

    In short, in terms of what the USA can provide in the way of goods and services is incomparably larger than it was in the 1950s, yet the government is taking in less as a fraction of that national output than in the 1950s.

    Yet, strangely enough, economic growth in the 1950s was 4% per year, while in the 2000s it has been (until ’07/08) about 3% per year.

    For that matter, compare the 1970s (OMG! Inflation! Regulation! Taxes!) and 1980s (WOOHOO deregulation and tax cuts!)

    3.2% per year and 2.8% per year, respectively.

    One might almost suspect a stronger government of being conducive to faster economic growth.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    To be fair about the military budget, I recall it peaking at $600 billion in the 1980s, then kind of falling to about $250 -350 billion in the 1990s and holding steady. So the “peace dividend” did kind of show up, but it was basically eaten up by the prevailing interest on the national debt, which IIRC was running about $200 billion-ish a year?

    But even so it was often argued in the USA that the military could be further improved and streamlined for $150 billion per year.

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    It’s not so much the waste factor though there is alot, it’s the way they view defense. They don’t think about it really, they are obsessed with this world as chessboard think tank stuff. If you read that Niall ferguson article you can see he’s imbibed alot of that foolishness. 

    I wish I could find the clip of Ron Paul when he asks some general “Do you ever think of Americans?”

    In the end, we are probably going to have to do al this stuff, including raising taxes, because the money is running out and the silver is dross, as they said in the bible.

  • EllieMurasaki

    thats revenues as a percent of GDP. the GDP is much higher than it was in the 50′s.  Obviously our intake in 2012 is higher than it was then.  Also, we are borrowing more and of course inflating more now than then.
     
    So you don’t think the US government should be spending more dollars now than it did in the 1950s, even though, given population growth, the dollar figure the US was spending in the 1950s won’t cover anywhere near as much today as it did in the fifties?

    The way to get at the rich people in DC  and wall street is not to raise there taxes but to take away their entire salaries, which are illegitmate.  There are rich people all over the country who have nothing to do with that stuff.
     
    What do you propose be done about the Koch brothers? Their money’s not from Wall Street, as Koch Industries is privately owned. And as long as it takes a fuckton of money to get elected to Congress, it’s only going to be rich people in those positions, and I think that will remain true even if we say that Congressional salaries decrease as their recipients’ wealth from other sources increases.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    While we’re making judgements about whose salaries are illegitimate, are you planning to answer my question about what you do for a living?

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    SGt- I’m a delivery guy. hard work, low pay

    Ellie-  answer later gotta go to work. I still can’t believe you blocked me


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