Ranting season officially opens today with the beginning of the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, although there is more rain than rant on the menu thanks to hurricane Isaac. UN scientists attempted to disrupt the event from their secret base off the coast of Africa using wind turbines and solar panels to stir up a little climate change. They only managed to conjure up a wimpy catagory two, and then they missed the target altogether. Their only consolation is they will shut down the tourist industry on the Red Gulf Coast for a few days.
It was ignored by the lefty press, but Republicans knew the score. Only big government liberals could miss the bullseye with a five hundred mile wide storm. They’ll blame it on a lack of funding, since most of their money went into parachuting an SUV Tourist-bot onto Mars to send pictures and spin donuts in the red sand.
At any rate, the storm did manage to slow things down. Joe Biden was supposed to show up with food stamps and innertubes for the anticipated flood victims, but was driven off by the twenty-foot long pythons that patrol the perimeter of the convention center. As many as ten occupiers are now occupying the inside of the deadly constrictors.
The immigrant snakes were the result of free trade policies encouraged by private industry engineers and Wall Street speculators looking to destroy the native habitat and open up the everglades to developers. Governor Rick Scott said the scheme would necessitate the arming of every able-bodied citizen, a long time goal of the GOP. Definitely a win-win for the Sunshine State.
But back to the Republi-con, or is it the Conservative Con? Con-con? With the cancellation of the opening ceremonies, conventioneers were treated to a private screening of “Leave It To Barack”, a new mockumentary detailing the life of the President from his conception by Beelzebub Trotsky and a gay raccoon to his rise in the Chicago Marxo-mafia. Of course, there are mysterious gaps, in which the viewer can only speculate what imagined debachery took place. Liberals immediately pointed to the use of the word “raccoon” as a dog whistle proving that all Republicans are racists.
It wasn’t so great for Ron Paul. The Romulans offered to let him speak, as long as he mounted the podium naked and in chains. Predictibly, Dr. No said no, and left with his contingent of freedom-loving malcontents. Libertarian Gary Johnson welcomed the homeless delegates into his tent, but cautioned them to bring their own food. “We Libertarians frown upon free lunches,” he quipped. The refugees gave him a standing ovation.
Yes, it’s been a slow start for the big party, but as Scarlett O’Hara said, “There’s always tomorrow.” Stay tuned.
Totally funny dude!
A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Obama is going to be reelected.
Have a nice day.
Romney/Ryan by 7. Have a nice day.
OOOh, I love a bet.
Let’s put a couple grand on it?
I’ll put $50 towards the Hospitality House is Obama wins. And just so I’m not betting against the poor, I’ll do $40 if Romney wins. If neither wins, I’ll donate $100.00. If I win, due to my write-in campaign, I promise to donate $1000.00.
I have no idea who will win, although my spidey sense tells me despite Romney’s douche bag-ness, he might take it if the economy continues to tank and Israel decides to start a war. (Although wars, even other people’s wars, traditionally have the effect of increasing a President’s popularity. But higher gas prices? Who knows…) October can be a vicious month for the financial sector.
And I will be voting for neither Tweedledee nor Tweedledum. Heck, I won’t even vote for myself.
disclosure #1: I have successfully picked every President since 1988. A young attractive lady back then told me to catch that Dukakis magic. I instructed her that if she ever managed to find it, please let me know what shots I needed to get rid of it.
disclosure #2: none, as in zero, of my candidates have ever won.
Go Ryan, you have a way with words and comedy! Excellent!
Oh, and I don’t bet.
“disclosure #2: none, as in zero, of my candidates have ever won.”
I’m batting 500… I’ve voted in every Presidential election since 1972, and so far I’m 5 for 10!
Better than me. That earns you [at least] one round at Cirino’s (Grass Valley) on me.
Donate to HH in any case, it’s a worthy cause.
I hear ya Todd, you would certainly only ever put your money on a sure thing.
Romney isn’t it and you know it.
Sweet dreams, sweet cheeks.
Or, would that be, “sugar tits”?
What Ryan said.
Judith wrote: “Or, would that be, ‘sugar tits?'”
Heh. You are comparing parts, ain’t ya? (-;
I’m only channeling my good buddy Mel.
Just being wicked.
Is it just coincidence that a hurricane is headed toward the Republican Convention?…I think not…. Act of God…lol.
It veered towards Louisiana so the democrats can bash Bush one more time. LOL!
They said that on KVMR this morning. I thought that was kinda retarded.
I’ll be glad to book the bet for Todd and Judith. (Remember, I get to hold the money until the election is decided.)
Since we’re still in baseball season, here’s the line I’m offering:
I finally went to the trouble to analyse and debunk the birther nonsense, and did so on George Rebane’s blog. I’m open to take on all comers who wish to challenge me in this arena.
The Birther thing is such a waste of time. Why can’t we get back to old fashioned irrelevant topics like Flag Burning and taking God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?
I suppose the true believers have resigned themselves to putting an asterisk on President Obama’s tenure. Kinda like we’ve done with Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong.
Crabbie, great funny writing. Hip, hip, hooray. Too many gems to single out, but I found when you add up the sum of the parts a true masterpiece emerged. Whether it is the forest or the trees, take your pick. You take Betty, I’ll take Sue, ain’t much difference between the two. Winning the election? Well, it more than just votes. It has got down solely to which votes where. Romney will win more states than Obama, hands down. Obama will gather more votes than Romney. It all boils down to 11 key states or less than 100 counties to win the electoral college to take the whole enchilada. Red or Green sauce on top don’t matter. Clinton never won 50% of the votes in either election. Think it hurt his feelings real bad per his obsession with his co-dependency issues to be liked. Honest Abe did not get half the people to vote for his stove pipe hat as well. Winning is not everything, its the only thing. They don’t pass out silver medals for coming in second. Did Gary Johnson really say that? He’s getting my vote. Ron Paul is such a prude.
They did get it right this morning on KVMR when they said this is not an independents election, this is a base election. Whoever shows up, wins. Voter suppression is going to be a big deal this time around.
Good one Bob.
The one thing you missed is the irony of the theme of the convention for Tuesday Night of “We Built This” in a building that was largely funded ($86 million) by public money and the nearly $20 million towards the convention paid for by the US taxpayer.
Ben nailed that one. Good job, bud.
Good one Ben. So, our choices are the Republicans at public housing convention or the Democrats at the Denver Bank of America building. Something strange about this picture. This time I strongly believe if you live in California your vote does not matter one lick for President. Obama will take California. Even if every single county save 5 counties votes overwhelmingly for Romney, the big cities override it all. My vote for Johnson or Paul or Romney will make zero difference. I will vote for bitching rights.
But send money to the national Obama campaign anyway. Who needs Romney’s “OhBlameYOU-CouldCareLess Health Plan?”
In 2008 I found it very suspect of the huge presence of AT&T during both conventions but especially the Democratic convention. A new administration coming into office who might have a different opinion of the FISA spying program. Surprise surprise the democrats drag the Bush administration over the coals but once in control continued the very same policies they deemed unconstitutional during the previous administration. In 2008 there was nobody on the ballot that really excited me so I went with history and voted for Obama. That will not happen again in 2012.
As has been pointed out, vote for whoever here, send money where it is needed. Michael Tyson DeGrasse will be getting my vote. Or Green, whoever that is.
Excellent observation Ben. I would love to hear the more hawkish elements of this discussion address this. I think the “You didn’t build this/Yes I did” argument is disintegrated into hyperbole. More reasonable minds should have any issue with the fact that taxes and bonds pay for bridges and convention centers.
What’s at issue here, is the progressive tax system and the false assumption that wealthier people actually “use more” and therefore should pay more taxes than say someone of more moderate means. It’s very 19th/early 20th Century thinking that could have been heard in a Teddy Roosevelt speech. That maybe indeed true for Exxon or Apple. But for a local private contractor? Or the folks who own a local burrito joint? Really?
For the American Conservative, this is a personal issue from what they see as a divisive Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren and President Obama in this case. And let’s be frank, having someone who never held a private sector job tell a small business owner who has had to struggle just to meet payroll that they didn’t do it on their own, is crass and damn insulting to an entire class of job-producing people.
Just to be fair, I believe that the Elizabeth Warrens of the world, once you strip away the inflated rhetoric, probably would agree that private businesses do indeed work their asses off to provide us with ice cream and sheet metal and ice cream. I said ice cream twice because I like ice cream.
I think the absolute biggest thing lost in the progressive taxation discussion is the fact we are talking top marginal tax rates. Most contractors will not take home as income over a couple million dollars annually. We all pay the same taxes until progressive thresholds are met. The person who makes $25k a year pays the same income tax rate as the person who makes $250k or $25 million does on the first $25k. The same goes for the income tax rates of $250 and the $25 million earner. The first $250 income tax rates are the exact same. Until the top marginal tax rate threshold is met the taxes do not drastically increase. It is when it hits that top margin the incentive to keep the money where it came from kicks in. It is not in our nations or our economic interests to have concentrated/ horded wealth. Reinvest the money back into the business or pay a high income tax rate is the choice. Most people chose to reinvest and that is why the 50’s-mid 70’s we had the most stable growth in our nations history. The wealthy were still wealthy but the nation as a whole was better off at the same time. It is not a punishment but investment into a functional economy and society.
Keach the Green Party is running Dr. Jill Stein for President. She has my vote this year.
Excellent, please encourage more votes for the doctor all over the country.
Dr Jill Stein is so much better than Mitt Romney Todd. It tells me a lot about the confidence you have in Romney that you need to encourage others to vote 3rd party. You better be more concerned about Ron Paul as well as Gary Johnson taking votes from Romney.
Romney by seven. Stein? Isn’t that a beer mug? Oh, and Johnson and Pmaul will yank away some O votes as well. Go getum Stein!
I agree with your observations Ben. My criticisms are based on the fruits of what we see right now. The chief issue with the Progressive Tax system is the fruit it bears right in front of us: the affluent pay less. Why? Because we *must* want it that way; we voted for it. The Progressive Tax system is fundamentally broken, unfixable and it’s hurting average Americans.
Here’s an easy way to fix it:
– Just make the top rate 30% for the companies and the 1%ers
– 20% for you and me and everyone else.
– If you’re below the poverty line, which is about 30K for a family of four, I think, nothing.
– No deductions. No credits. No loopholes. If we have a war or a crisis, we can bump it up by 5% for a year or so.
However I would prefer a consumption[sales] tax, as I’ve outlined before in place of the flat tax I’ve outlined above. This will grow the economy and provide a [more] predictable revenue stream. If you tax productivity[income], you get less of it. It’s not rocket science. Tax Consumption, as Alexander Hamilton advised us. It’s not without it’s issues, but there are people a lot smarter than me that have thought this through.
For example: a Consumption Tax encourages investment and savings because they are tax-deferred until someone spends (buys something) the funds. For poorer people, we simply give them money in the form of yearly or monthly rebates to offset consumption tax overhead. It’s neutral and not regressive in that regard.
I agree with you except on a flat sales tax unless it is on high cost items. The rebate idea is one of the ideas behind a carbon tax that would either clean up extraction or reduce it. The rebate off of the sales tax is an interesting concept. The reason I don’t support a straight consumption flat tax is most people who make $100k or less save virtually $0 annually, which means 100% of their income will be taxed. That is roughly 95% of the working population. The more a person makes would mean the less % of their income they would pay taxes on, an individual can only spend so much money. This makes what we have now even worse. What we have now is a pseudo aristocracy/ oligarchy that is very dysfunctional.
Isn’t your flat tax roughly what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill came up in 1986?
No. A Consumption tax is a Federal sales tax. A Flat Tax is a leveling (simplifying) of the Tax code with a single (and in some cases Progressive-like tiered) income tax rate(s).
The real impediments to reform are all of the deductions and credits people feel entitled to. Imagine, for a minute as a mind experiment, if we were to take away the Home Mortgage deduction? Probably not going to happen.
The government wants us in debt. It’s obvious from the incentives in the tax code.
I meant only the income tax side. The 1986 Act reduced the number of tax brackets to 3-5 (depending on how you count), and eliminated many deductions, especially those having to to with rental properties. The top rate went from 50-25%. The lowest rate went up, but the income level you started paying at also went up quite a bit. Overall it was “revenue neutral” presumably. The Act is described in Wikipedia.
US consumption taxes (sales taxes) tend to be fairly low by developed world standards (so are income taxes). I just bought a German train ticket online, and the tax rate was about 19%.
One of the problem I find with the conservative argument is that often they try to define what is a “fair” tax rate, before they figure what services government should provide, and what those services cost. The result: Unbalanced budgets, Republican style. Not that different than the Democratic style of unbalanced budgets.
1) I’m advocating *replacing* the current Progressive income tax system with a National Consumption Tax of around 23%. It’s not a net-new VAT like in European countries.
2) The Republican starvation solution is just as asinine and cynical as the Democrats spending like teenagers with the keys to the liquor cabinet and Dad’s car.
Here is some coverage of AT&T on one of the last few legitimate news programs, Democracy Now!
Hi Ben. I don’t like the flat tax for those reasons you list. I think we need to tax, literally penalize for the cynics, consumption.
I believe in some tenants of the Progressive Tax System. I, for one, actually believe that people should get taxed more if they consume more. But only when they consume, NOT when they produce…
I like a consumption [Federal Sales] tax as long as we take care of the underprivileged. And I would be happy to rebate, literally pay, the underclasses with a monthly check to offset the costs of the tax. From what I’ve seen, this would be about 300-$400/month for a family of four living below the poverty line. In consumption-talk, these are called “pre-bates.”
Note: this should increase revenues and allow us to, at a minimum, keep our social programs in place. This(a consumption tax) isn’t some hawkish austerity plan; this is an attempt to collect taxes on people who don’t pay them when they buy yachts or Frappacinos.
Then when Exxon buys a $100K part, they get taxed at 23%. When I buy a new car, the same thing. However, there should be a precipitous drop in the wholesale cost of products and services, because a good chunk of the cost of an item, as George Rebane rightly points out, are taxes that the producer has to pay are passed along to the consumer.
How much does Mitt Romney pay now? GE? Apple? Under a consumption tax, Mitt Romney would pay a 23% tax each time he orders more hair gel. Dr. Oz would get taxed each time he opens his pandering mouth. Sorry, that last Dr. Oz bit has nothing to do with a consumption tax.
I will look into the idea more.
It’s Wednesday and Isaac is looking like the wrath of God.
Fortunately, our current President is taking it seriously and has recourses in place for the afflicted.
Bobby Jindal, republican governor of Louisiana is in charge. O is a onlooker.
Send Joe Biden down there to fix everything. He was put in charge of the Stimulis and that has worked out fine. Maybe Joe will creat that 3 letter word: JOBS. Can’t hurt. Those hurricane folks need a good belly laugh in their times of need.
President Obama, our Commander in Chief, is eminently prepared and ready to assist Governor Bobby Jindal, as he would any U.S. Governor, when disaster strikes
This president responds appropriately.
Unlike “The Shrub”, who cowered in his comfy plane like the custard spine he is.
It’s so good to have a real man in the highest office in the land.
Bush was the real man. Obama is a csrtoon. He didn’t help Texas did he! No ,Obama can organize a few protestors on the streets of Chicago but these disasters take real men.